The Ice Age Cometh! Forget Global Warming!

The iceagenow guy contradicts the above report that says that Antarctica is the ""only large terrestrial ice body that is gaining mass rather than losing it".

Greenland icecap growing thicker

- 20 Oct 2005 - Greenland 's ice-cap has thickened slightly in recent
years despite wide predictions of a thaw, scientists said today. Satellite
measurements show that more snowfall is thickening the ice-cap,
especially at high altitudes, according to the report in the journal Science.

"The overall ice thickness changes are ... approximately plus 5 cms
(1.9 inches) a year or 54 cms (21.26 inches) over 11 years," according
to the experts at Norwegian, Russian and U.S. institutes led by Ola
Johannessen at the Mohn Sverdrup center for Global Ocean Studies
and Operational Oceanography in Norway.

The article then blathers on about how this is consistent with global warming.

The deception continues.

See more of this article at
Unfortunately, the link serves only a blank page.

See also:
On this one, I got "404 Error
The page you requested cannot be found. The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

Greenland glacier advancing 7.2 miles per year! The BBC recently ran a documentary, The Big Chill, saying that we could be on the verge of an ice age. Britain could be heading towards an Alaskan-type climate within a decade, say scientists, because the Gulf Stream is being gradually cut off. The Gulf Stream keeps temperatures unusually high for such a northerly latitude.

One of Greenland’s largest glaciers has already doubled its rate of advance, moving forward at the rate of 12 kilometers (7.2 miles) per year. To see a transcript of the documentary, go to
This one, at least, is still available.

BBC Two, Thursday 13 November 2003, 9pm

The Big Chill - transcript

NARRATOR (JACK FORTUNE): In thirty years time they say Britain’s summers could be like the South of France. By the end of the century we could be as hot as Greece. This they say is what global warming could bring us. But a growing number of scientists believe we could have our future climate completely wrong.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: I can only describe it as catastrophic. It’s clearly going to influence every single one of us every day of our lives.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: You could expect to see sea ice off the coast of South East England, probably several miles off shore.

BOB GASGOSIAN: The implications are huge. The economic implications, the political implications, and the national security implications, for all countries.

NARRATOR: If these scientists have it right forget the Riviera, Britain could be heading for a climate like Alaska’s. And it could all happen in the just the next twenty years.

NARRATOR: In the Atlantic waters north of Scotland a fisheries researcher was the first to record a warning from the deep. Bill Turrell has spent his career studying the ocean currents. Until recently his concern has been how they affect fish stocks. But ten years ago he began to see something in the water that really alarmed him.

DR BILL TURRELL (Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen): We really worried when we saw these results, we’d never seen a change like this ever before. Changes that don’t occur quickly and don't stop quickly.

NARRATOR: Turrell believes that he has found evidence that a climate catastrophe could be heading right towards us.

DR BILL TURRELL: These changes are fundamental, they’re substantial. They are going to impact our climate and the climate our children have to live in.

NARRATOR: If he is right then Britain could be heading for a massive drop in temperatures. It seems we could be heading for something like an ice age. The ice ages were one of the greatest forces nature has unleashed on our planet.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE (University College London): They simply were the most dynamic, destructive phenomenon that’s ever hit the planet. They involve glaciers hurtling down from mountainous regions, pouring out from the polar regions and devastating everything in their paths, grinding rock to nothing, lowering mountains, filling valleys.

NARRATOR: More than twenty times in the earth’s history ice sheets have come down from the North Pole, the last one struck a hundred thousand years ago. Britain was buried in a tomb of ice.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: Effectively they wiped the slate clean in the northern hemisphere, over twenty times in the last two million years.

NARRATOR: These events were so terrible that for years scientists wondered what had caused it, and could they ever threaten us again.

NARRATOR: In the search for answers they turned to the sun, our ultimate source of heat. They discovered that the pattern of ice ages matched strange wobbles in the earth’s orbit around the sun. These altered how the sun’s heat shone upon the earth. They allowed the ice to grow and retreat.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY (Penn State University): And these wiggles in earth’s orbit are very regular, they’re very predictable, they make sense and so there’s this long slow bumpy slide in to an ice age and then a climb out of an ice age.

NARRATOR: They found that the ice ages didn’t happen at random. They followed a slow and predictable pattern. It took ninety thousand years to grow an ice sheet and about ten thousand years to melt it. That predictability allowed scientists to calculate when the next one was due. It was reassuring news, not for thousands of years.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: For a big ice age, a big climate change, we don’t expect anything to happen on human time scales of a few dozen generations.

NARRATOR: The message from the sun seemed to be clear. We had no reason to fear a massive drop in temperatures, at least that’s what conventional theory said.

NARRATOR: Then fifteen years ago Richard Alley came to Greenland to study how our climate had changed since the last ice age.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: When we started working in Greenland we knew we were on to something big. We really expected that we were going to find things that might surprise us.

NARRATOR: Greenland is like an ancient thermometer, a unique record of what has happened to the weather. Every single year for the last a hundred thousand years. It’s all because the ice is preserved in layers, the further down you drill the older the snow.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: If you took all these pieces of core that have been collected and put them end to end they’re about two miles long and this is a sort of two mile time machine.

NARRATOR: Each layer records what was happening in the earth’s atmosphere at the time the ice was formed. Whether it’s the traces of a huge natural disaster or pollution from human activity, it’s all frozen and perfectly preserved.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: We can see this, this ice core is beautifully layered and we can ask of it what happened, what was coming through the atmosphere at that time. Is there ash and acids from a big volcano, is there lead from Roman lead refining or what have you? So there’s this history of what was blowing through the air and piling up on top of the Greenland ice sheet, sitting here on these beautiful layers.

NARRATOR: But the most important measurement preserved in the layers is the temperature. The ice that Ally brought back to the lab was in effect the annual weather reports since the beginning of the last ice age. What he was looking for was changes in the amount of so called heavy water held in the ice. The basic rule, the more heavy water the warmer the climate. If the conventional wisdom about climate change was true then when he plotted the results he would expect to see slow changes in heavy water as the world warmed and cooled during the last ice age. But that’s not what he found.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: This flabbergasted us, I think this flabbergasted a lot of people.

NARRATOR: The changes were anything but slow. He saw that temperatures could drop suddenly and catastrophically. And it happened far more often than was predicted by the passage of ice ages.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: The world sometimes did change in the slow grand sleeps and sometimes it changed like a light switch.

NARRATOR: The earth’s past was full of devastating climate jilts, none as bad as a full ice age but enough to turn Britain in to Alaska. The search was on to find out what could trigger these climatic disasters. They searched through the ice record for clues. Had huge volcanoes blotted out the sun? There was no evidence for that. A succession of asteroid impacts? Again, no evidence. More wobbles in the sun’s orbit? That didn’t fit. In fact no one could account for what Ally had discovered. Except for one man who thought he could. Wally Broecker is the guru of climate science. He was convinced that it was all to do with the oceans.

Prof WALLY BROECKER (Columbia University): I’m convinced that the ocean is at the core of the whole thing. The trigger lies in the ocean.

NARRATOR: Not everyone saw it his way.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: And of course you started out was three allies in a hundred people, who think it’s nuts.

NARRATOR: Broecker’s attention was drawn to one ocean current in particular, the gulf stream. Britain bathes in its heat. It begins south of the equator and as it flows along the gulf of Mexico it absorbs heat from the tropics. It continues on past the coast of Britain.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: It’s roughly equal to all the rain in the world. Fifteen million cubic meters per second.

NARRATOR: The current carries the heat of a million power stations. It means we can swim in the sea at the same latitudes that Canada has polar bears. But the most important thing about it happens further north. It sinks.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: When it gets up in to the northern regions of the Atlantic, cooled and make denser and it sinks in to the deep sea and goes back the other way.

NARRATOR: This sinking is caused by salt in the water. When the salty water cools near Greenland it becomes so dense that it plummets to the bottom of the ocean. The water then heads back south to where the gulf stream began, and the whole process begins again. It’s a continuously circulating belt of water and heat, that’s why it’s called the conveyor. The sinking off Greenland is vital, this is what keeps Britain forever warm. So Wally began to speculate what would happen if the conveyor ceased to flow. Could that explain those dramatic falls in temperature? Trouble was most scientists were convinced that the oceans never changed at all.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: People tended to think about it as something that went on and on and on and on. We assume that the properties of the ocean are at a steady state, but if it’s changing then you can't assume that anymore and it makes real chaos.

NARRATOR: Then came something that shocked everyone out of their complacency. Something so small it might have been completely overlooked. Lloyd Keigwin spends his time examining mud samples from the bottom of the ocean. Mud cores just like the ice in Greenland can tell the history of activity in the ocean and what was going on in the conveyor. In particular Keigwin was looking for tiny sea shells called forams. These lurk on the ocean floor feeding on nutrients that sink to the sea bed.

Dr LLOYD KEIGWIN (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.): The forams build their shells out of calcium carbonate like any sea shell you’d find on the beach. And when they take carbon and oxygen and other elements out of the water to make their shell the chemistry of their shell reflects the chemistry and the physical properties of the water.

NARRATOR: When the conveyor flows most of the nutrients get swept past the forams, and so their shells are usually poor in nutrients.

Dr LLOYD KEIGWIN: When the conveyor is on the deep water of the north Atlantic is continually being flushed out and there aren’t a lot of nutrients that have accumulated. But if the conveyor went in to an off mode or a reduced mode um more nutrients would accumulate.

NARRATOR: Keigwin developed a way of measuring how much nutrients the forams must have absorbed.

Dr LLOYD KEIGWIN: We add a little more liquid nitrogen here, and this trap will capture the carbon dioxide produced as this sample falls in the hot acid. And soon we’ll know was the conveyor circulation on or off at this particular time.

NARRATOR: To his surprise he found massive variations in the composition of the shells. In other words at times in the past the conveyor must have switched off. When this work was published Wally Broecker knew exactly what it meant. It was the clue he had been looking for.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: The greatest joy to a scientist is discovery. It’s almost as if nature is trying to prevent us from uncovering her secrets.

NARRATOR: So he put it all together. The huge drops in temperature seen in the Greenland ice, the shells that said the conveyor had been cut off, they had to be connected.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: Well it was, it was this merging two parts of my science, the understanding of the ocean and the understanding of the climate. It popped in to my head that one way you could do that would be by turning on and off the what’s now called the conveyor belt, the deep water formation in the north Atlantic. And so I got the idea well hell if you turned that on and off or up and down, that could make at least in Europe very large climate changes.

NARRATOR: Broecker believed this explained the massive jolts in temperature seen in Greenland, the conveyor had switched off.

STATION ANNOUNCEMENT: We can only apologise to passengers for the inconvenience caused and for the disruption to services this morning.

NARRATOR: And if it had happened before it could happen again. And if it did Britain would be plunged in to a bitterly cold climate. But then someone pointed out one obvious flaw in the theory. This isn’t the age of global cooling but of global warming. Eight of the ten warmest years on record fell in the last decade. Climate experts are predicting temperatures to rise faster than at any time since the last ice age.

Dr RICHARD WOOD (Met. Office): The models that are used to make the predictions of global warming suggest that by the end of the century the warming we would see will be between about one and a half degrees and around six degrees. And really to go to see that in historical context you’d have to go back hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of years to see a climate in the past that was that warm.

NARRATOR: The effects of global warming are being felt across the planet. The talk is not of ice but about how to prepare for hotter weather and the extremes that would bring.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: Global warming should make the UK a more hazardous place to live. Particularly during the winter when we have not only more rain but we have more heavy precipitation, bursts of extreme rainfall. This is going to mean that for example river flooding is much more common, much more frequent and its implications will be much more serious.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: They’ll be changes in er frequency of things like tropical cyclones. And possible storms in the er outside the tropics and there are some latitudes to the UK and Europe.

NARRATOR: These are the changes our government is urgently planning for in the coming century. But recent discoveries suggest we might have to gear up for ice, not heat and rain. But our understanding of global warming maybe too simplistic. One of the most important of these discoveries was made by a team of NASA scientists based inside the arctic circle. Bill Krabill and his team have spent the last decade monitoring the effect of global warming upon the vast Greenland ice sheet.

BILL KRABILL (NASA, Wallops Island): This particular area, you can think of it as a huge ice cube that nicely offers global climate, an ice cube that’s a thousand miles long, four hundred miles wide and two miles thick in the centre.

NARRATOR: For years accurate measurements of the effects of global warming across the ice sheet were impossible. It was just too huge and inhospitable to measure from the ground. So they took to the air. Greenland is one of the biggest blocks of frozen water in the world. And if it started to melt the effects would be felt worldwide.

BOB THOMAS (NASA, Wallops Island): It comprises enough water to raise sea level by about six or seven metres if it all were to melt.

NARRATOR: They mapped the ice with a combination of global positioning satellites and lasers. The satellite measures the height of the plane and the laser measures the distance from the plane to the ice.

BILL KRABILL: There are five thousand individual beams per second that are being projected in to that scan there and then down in a pattern on the surface, measures the surface at ten centimetre accuracy.

NARRATOR: At five year intervals they have flown the same route across the island, each time they have measured the height of the ice. By comparing the two measurements they can see if the ice is growing or shrinking.

BILL KRABILL : There’s definitely changes taking place here, all over the margin of the Greenland ice sheet it is thinning. It’s equivalent to fifty cubic kilometres of ice and snow that are disappearing off the Greenland ice sheet each year.

NARRATOR: This fifty gigotonnes of water melting from Greenland was the first evidence that global warming might be effecting the ice sheet here. But one change really shocked them. They started to measure one of the island’s biggest glaciers.

BOB THOMAS: Less than ten years ago, five years ago, it was moving at about six, seven kilometres per year. And that was more or less in balance with the snowfall. Now in the five years since then the speed is almost doubled.

NARRATOR: It’s now advancing at twelve kilometres a year. The increase seems to be linked to global warming. It’s the fastest moving glacier on the planet. It dumps enough fresh water in to the sea each day to supply London for several months. Global warming seems to be reshaping the whole landscape of one of the biggest ice sheets on earth.

BOB THOMAS: Well I myself am convinced that global warming has affected the dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet and um that is possibly because increased melt water is creeping to the bed through crevasses and boullans and lubricating the bed and making it far more easy for the er, for the ice to flow.

NARRATOR: NASA have recently doubled their estimates of how much fresh water is coming off Greenland. To a hundred cubic kilometres per year. And much of that fresh water is flowing towards the sinking zone of the conveyor. Scientists began to wonder just what could be the effect of all that fresh water on the conveyor. They began to realise that because the conveyor was driven by the salty water sinking then too much fresh water would dilute the salt and so if the salt was diluted too much the conveyor wouldn’t sink.

Dr TERRY JOYCE (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.): What’s amazing about this is that how well fine tuned the system is. Where only a one percent chance in the salinities maybe significant, may tip us over in to this regime where the water is too fresh at higher altitudes to sink and the conveyor will stop.

NARRATOR: Cut off the conveyor and a climate catastrophe would happen. The only question was just how much fresh water would it take. The truth is that no one quite knows. What they do know is that Greenland isn’t the half of it. There is another even bigger source of fresh water heading straight for the sinking zone. Predictions are that global warming will lead to a much wetter world, because warm air can hold more moisture. And when it heads north and cools it should lead to more rain. In 2000 a team of American scientists travelled to Siberia. They studied the effects of global warming on some of the biggest rivers in the world.

Dr BRUCE PETERSON (MBL, Woods Hole): If you took the Ob, the Enesai and the Elena rivers and put them side by side you’d have a volume of discharge equivalent to three Mississippi rivers.

NARRATOR: The rivers collect rain that has fallen over a vast area of land. They already carry nearly twenty times the amount of fresh water towards the sinking zone, then drains from the ice in Greenland. Peterson wanted to find out if global warming had led to more water in these rivers. The warming in the last hundred years is only about half a degree. He measured how the flow of water had changed.

Dr BRUCE PETERSON: An increase in annual discharge of a hundred and twenty eight cubic kilometres per year. You probably can not imagine what a hundred and twenty eight cubic kilometres per year’s like. It’s a large volume of water.

NARRATOR: And in the coming century we’re expecting up to ten times more global warming. So Peterson decided to calculate how much more fresh water that could bring.

Dr BRUCE PETERSON: At the end of the next hundred years we expect approximately fifty percent increase in the discharge that these rivers would occur.

NARRATOR: It’s a horrifying prospect. A fifty percent increase in some of the world’s biggest rivers. If Peterson’s projections are true a vast wall of fresh water will soon come flooding through northern Siberia. An extra thousand cubic kilometres a year more could flow in to the salty waters of the conveyor. The impact could be immense. And that was the warning that Bill Turrell had seen in the deep. He’s been monitoring the saltiness of the conveyor as it flows past the Faro Isles north of Scotland.

DR BILL TURRELL: This is the device we use to measure the salinity in the ocean. These bottles here collect the water samples that we bring back to the ship to analyse, to collaborate the electronics which are down here. This package measures temperature, salinity, about twenty five times a second as we lower it down from the surface down to the seabed.

NARRATOR: If the saltiness of the water is dropping it’s a sign that the driving force of the conveyor is weakening.

DR BILL TURRELL: This graph shows the salinity or saltiness of the bottom water. It’s the saltiness from 1900 to the present day.

NARRATOR: Until the 1970s the salinity had been almost constant. But then it began to drop.

DR BILL TURRELL: After the late seventies we began to see a freshening of the bottom water. So much so that we, we began to doubt our own results. We took further samples, we checked with other countries who are sampling the same water, until eventually we became convinced that this change was actually happening.

NARRATOR: Turrell had measured the largest and most dramatic change recorded in the era of modern instruments. And there was worse. He took measurements from the very bottom of the ocean, from the return leg of the conveyor. Its flow had fallen by a massive twenty percent.

DR BILL TURRELL: It’s the first changes that we’d expect to see if we thought that global warming was beginning to effect the conveyor belt. Er a few years ago I probably wouldn’t have said that because global warming was far more iffy, it wasn’t so significant, it wasn’t so certain. Now we really do know that fresh water input to the Arctic is increasing. The Siberian rivers are pumping out more fresh water. The Arctic ice sheets are melting and there is more release of fresh water. It, it’s the most fundamental change I’ve observed in my career.

NARRATOR: The process that could cut off the conveyor has begun. We don’t know where the cut off point is, we just know we’re getting closer to it.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: I don’t think that an abrupt sudden trip and fall down the stairs is the most likely outcome. But I think that the probability of that is high enough that we should really think about it.

Dr TERRY JOYCE : The likelihood of having an abrupt change is increasing because of global warming is moving us closer and closer to the brink. We don’t know where that is but we know one thing, we’re moving towards the edge. And so I would say within the next hundred years it’s very likely. In other words a fifty percent probability that this might happen.

NARRATOR: So there could be a fifty percent probability that the conveyor will stop flowing past the shores of Britain. Perhaps a one in two chance that one of the most important sources of heat in the world will just disappear. What would happen to us if the heat of a million power stations were to cut off? The answer depends crucially on how soon it happens. The Met Office has run a series of possible scenarios. In the first they examined what would happen if the conveyor cut off in fifty years. They have balanced the effects of fifty years of global warming against the regional cooling caused by the conveyor cutting off. In this scenario the area around Britain does indeed get colder.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: Cooling due to the ocean circulation collapsed is even stronger than the global warming. We’re still looking at a climate which is a lot colder than today’s.

NARRATOR: But how much colder? This was the coldest winter in the past century. A freak event not easily forgotten.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: The winter of 1962 to 1963 is something that people of my age particular remember because from Boxing day ‘til March there was very deep snow on the ground across much of England.

NARRATOR: Blizzards lashed the country for day after day. In places snow lay eight meters deep. And temperatures fell to minus twenty two degrees.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: That would have had a huge impact on, on people’s lives. There’s a lot of disruption to all sorts of infrastructure, people were snowed in for long periods, over quite a wide part of the country.

NARRATOR: The electricity supply failed across the whole south east. Crops had to be drilled out of the ground. We asked the Met. Office to examine their scenario and calculate how often we could expect a winter like this. Their answer, once every seven years. But there is a second scenario the scientists have been examining.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: Well I can only describe it as catastrophic.
BOB GASGOSIAN: The implications are huge.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: It’s clearly going to influence every single one of us every day of our lives.

BOB GASGOSIAN: The economic implications, the political implications, er and the national security implications, for all countries.

NARRATOR: This scenario is that the gulf stream conveyor cuts off, not within fifty years but twenty. It’s described as a low probability, high impact event. The whole of north west Europe gets a lot colder.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: This is really a huge change in climate, a massive cooling. If this was to happen we would certainly have a future which was very cold, very different from what we have today.

NARRATOR: The coastline of Britain would become unrecognisable.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: You could expect to see er sea ice off the coast of, off the coast of south east England probably several miles off shore.

NARRATOR: We would struggle to keep our coastline open and our ports working. But the effects of a shutdown could be even greater on land. Winter blizzards would bring us entirely new hazards.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: We’d expect to see ice storms. Now these are severe winds but they bring with them either frozen rain or snow which clogs up and builds up on cables, power cables, telephone cables, brings them down very effectively. These conditions can persist for days and can really bring a country to its knees.

NARRATOR: Our infrastructure would be in danger of collapse.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: The power lines would ice up, they’d snap, they’d collapse and this could happen virtually country wide during the worst of these storms.

NARRATOR: With enough warning we could make plans and adapt to our new landscape. The trouble is there wouldn’t be any warning.

Dr TERRY JOYCE: It’ll be quick and suddenly one decade we’re warm, the next decade we’re in the coldest winter that we’ve experienced in the last hundred years, but we’re in it for a hundred years.

NARRATOR: Winters like this would be commonplace.

PROF BILL MCGUIRE: I think we’d be extraordinarily poorly equipped to deal with a gulf stream shutdown. If we’re dealing with a situation where snow is on the ground for perhaps thirty days a year or maybe up to a hundred days a year, with temperatures regularly down in the minus twenties, I think we’ll find it very, very difficult to cope with that.

NARRATOR: It could mark the end of the British way of life as we’ve known it. But there is something even more disturbing about the conveyor cutting off. Something that suggests it could cause a catastrophe of truly global proportions if it were to happen. The Met Office have run another computer simulation. It shows a clear link between a conveyor cut off and patterns of rainfall across the world.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: One thing that’s really surprised us was the fact that, that the impact is not just confined to our part of the world.

NARRATOR: The dark red areas of his map suffer massive drops in rainfall.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: The main rain band in the tropics would move quite a bit south so all these countries in the red region here would lose a very large proportion of their rainfall and that could impact on a large number of people in those parts of the world.

NARRATOR: Central America would be one of the worst hit regions. It could lose up to forty percent of its rainfall.

Dr RICHARD WOOD: The model suggests that the present er vegetation in the rainforest wouldn’t be sustainable in that situation, and the forest would die and be replaced by grassland.

NARRATOR: While we shivered through long and bitter winters huge tracks of forest would die away. Well that’s what the computer model said. And then came evidence that it had actually happened before. The clues came from within Richard Alley’s ice cores. They contained bubbles of ancient air, evidence of how the atmosphere has changed. Alley’s attention focussed on one gas that was present in the bubbles, methane. It’s produced naturally by bacteria in the tropics when they receive plenty of rainfall, and it disappears at times of drought.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: And so you can ask of those bubbles how many swamps were there on earth. And this is wonderful because it tells you something that’s happening across a whole bunch of the land area. If the world dries up partially they’ll be much less methane in the air and it will show up, right there.

NARRATOR: He found that the methane levels plummeted at the same time as temperatures had dropped in the past. It seemed the conveyor cut off made the world drier.

Prof RICHARD ALLEY: And when the north Atlantic has been cold in the past the monsoon seems to have weakened or failed in places in Asia. Chill out the northern Europe and you dry a lot of places around a lot of millions of people with that.

NARRATOR: The monsoon is a lifeline to hundreds of millions of people living across the Asian subcontinent. Agriculture depends on its heavy rains. Should this scenario ever happen it would bring disaster on an unimaginable scale. There would be famine, economic collapse and refugees on the move.

DR BOB GASGOSIAN: We had only three billion people on this earth in 1962, we have over six billion now. Where are these people going to go if there are economic hard times? If we were to get on the same scale of the Irish famine today, that occurred then, I am very concerned at what would happen at that time.

NARRATOR: And there is a final twist to these scenarios. Switching the conveyor off can happen at speed. But switching it back on is altogether harder.

TERRY JOYCE: We’re moving along and suddenly we drop down, how do we switch it back on? Well we would have to climb this cliff. There’s an enormous amount of energy required to climb that cliff.

Prof WALLY BROECKER: And there’d be nothing in the meantime we could do to change it.

TERRY JOYCE: We have to reveres this effect of global warming by hundreds of years.

NARRATOR: We are now preparing for more heat and more rain. But our new understanding of how climate change works challenges all that. It suggests our defences could be pointing the wrong way.
Doing a search for the articles missing from Reuters and CNN mentioned above :

Greenland icecap growing thicker

- 20 Oct 2005 - Greenland 's ice-cap has thickened slightly in recent
years despite wide predictions of a thaw, scientists said today. Satellite
measurements show that more snowfall is thickening the ice-cap,
especially at high altitudes, according to the report in the Journal Science.

"The overall ice thickness changes are ... approximately plus 5 cms
(1.9 inches) a year or 54 cms (21.26 inches) over 11 years," according
to the experts at Norwegian, Russian and U.S. institutes led by Ola
Johannessen at the Mohn Sverdrup center for Global Ocean Studies
and Operational Oceanography in Norway.

See more of this article at
See also:
I found nothing on google or google news.

Other than the clip of the article on iceagenow, there was only the following on a blog:

October 23, 2005
Greenland ice cap thickens slightly
Thought you'd like this one:

Greenland’s ice cap has thickened slightly in recent years despite wide predictions of a thaw triggered by global warming, a team of scientists said on Thursday.

Read more from this blogger:
Greenland ice cap thickens slightly
Well, here was another link to it, so I decided to check that one out. Guess what?

Error 404

The page you are looking for does not exist; it may have been moved, or removed altogether. You might want to try the search function. Alternatively, return to the front page.
I know it might be "conspiracy minded" of me, but I can't get over the feeling that something is being hidden here.

Perhaps someone can get hold of a copy of the Journal Science which supposedly published the original piece and scan it and post it?

It really bugs me when I think somebody is hiding something.
Continuing to dig, I found the following on a NASA site:

Are the polar ice caps melting?

Polar ice is melting in some areas, while growing thicker in other areas. In the Arctic, sea ice extent has been dwindling for more than a decade while the ice has also been thinning. On land in the Arctic Circle, however, the answer is a bit more complicated. The ice sheet on Greenland, for example, is growing thicker near the interior at higher elevations while it grows thinner and is retreating along its perimeter at lower elevations. Similarly, the ice sheets on Antarctica appear to be growing thicker near the interior of the continent while thinning and retreating at the edges in places like West Antarctica. The question of what will happen to polar ice in a global warming scenario is really much more than just the melting. For details, please read Time on the Shelf from NASA's Earth Observatory.
Okay, so we go to the recommended article:

It seems to be another example of talking out of both sides of the mouth at once.

Now, if you notice, in the article above entitled "East Antarctica puts on weight," there is the following remark:

However, the European Space Agency satellite CryoSat, due to be launched later this year, should be able to make very accurate altitude measurements around the coast, providing evidence of exactly how much ice is being lost there. Only when scientists put all these measurements together will the full truth about Antarctica's ice become clear...
Notice in the article below the following remark:

A European satellite named Cryosat was designed to provide definitive answers to some of these questions. A launcher fault destroyed the mission in October 2005...
Considering the disappearance of the articles about Greenland on the U.S. controlled websites, this just sort of gives me the willies. What do they mean a "launcher fault destroyed the mission" ???

Earth - melting in the heat?

By Richard Black
Environment Correspondent, BBC News website

Predictions vary from the catastrophic to the cataclysmic.

Glaciers are melting, the ice caps disappearing into the oceans. Sea levels may rise by many metres as a consequence.

Indigenous Arctic peoples will find their food stocks gone, while fresh water supplies in Asia and south America will disappear as the glaciers which provide them melt away; penguins, polar bears and seals will find their habitats gone, their traditional lives unliveable.

But how realistic is this picture? Is the world's ice really disappearing, or is it unscientific hot air?

A European satellite named Cryosat was designed to provide definitive answers to some of these questions.

A launcher fault destroyed the mission in October 2005,
but the European Space Agency has approved a replacement. In the meantime, here is our global snapshot.


Huge, pristine, dramatic, unforgiving; the Antarctic is where the biggest of all global changes could begin.

There is so much ice here that if it all melted, sea levels globally would rise hugely - perhaps as much as 80m. Say goodbye to London, New York, Sydney, Bangkok, Rio... in fact, the majority of the world's major cities.

But will it happen? Scientists divide the Antarctic into three zones: the east and west Antarctic ice sheets; and the Peninsula, the tongue of land which points up towards the southern tip of South America.

"Everybody thinks that the Antarctic is shrinking due to climate change, but the reality is much more complex," says David Vaughan, a principal investigator at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK.

"Parts of it appear to be thickening as a result of snowfall increases. But the peninsula is thinning at an alarming rate due to warming.

"The West Antarctic sheet is also thinning, and we're not sure of the reason why."

On the up

Temperatures in the Peninsula appear to be increasing at around twice the global average - about 2C over the last 50 years. Those figures are based on measurements made by instruments at scientific stations.

Earlier this year, David Vaughan's group published research showing that the vast majority of glaciers along the Peninsula - 87% of the 244 studied - are in retreat.

The ice dumped into the ocean as the glaciers retreat should not make much difference to global sea levels - perhaps a few cm.

More worrying, potentially, are the vast ice sheets covering the rest of Antarctica.

Making temperature measurements for the continent as a whole is difficult; it is a vast place - more than 2,000km across - there are few research stations, and temperatures vary naturally by 2-3C from year to year.

But measurements indicate that in the west, melting is underway.

"About one-third of the West Antarctic ice sheet is thinning," says Dr Vaughan, "on average by about 10cm per year, but in the worst places by 3-4m per year."

The rock on which the West Antarctic ice rests is below sea level - and British Antarctic Survey researchers believe the thinning could be due to the ice sheet melting on its underside.

"It may be that the ocean is warming and that's causing the ice to melt, but there may be other reasons as well; for example, there's lots of volcanism in that area and so that could change how much heat is delivered to the underside of the ice sheet."

Cryosat should help to pin down what is happening at the West Antarctic fringe. The radar altimeters on board its predecessors ERS1 and ERS2 have been unable to map the steep slopes at the coast, whereas Cryosat's instrument should be able to cope.

If the entire West Antarctic ice sheet did melt, sea levels globally would rise, by around 5m. But at the moment, there is no sign of that happening.

One recent scientific paper attempted to calculate probabilities for how much West Antarctic melting would contribute to global sea-level rises during this century.

The conclusions: a 30% probability of a 20cm rise, and a 5% chance of a 1m rise.

Eastern mass

And what of the big monster, the much larger east Antarctic sheet?

A recent study using altimeter data suggested it is getting thicker, by about 1.8cm/yr; another, using the gravity satellite mission Grace indicates its mass remains stable.

But could rising temperatures in time drain the ice away?

"It is not going to happen on any realistic human timescale," says David Vaughan.

"It's so cold that you could raise temperatures by 5-10C without having much of an impact; it's on rock above sea level, so warming in the ocean can't affect it."

Largely insulated from global trends and so big as to generate its own climatic systems, most of Antarctica appears to be immune to the big melt for now, though answers to what is happening in the west are eagerly awaited.


At the top of the world, the Arctic is a region built on water.

Around the North Pole is ocean, with ice floes crowding in each winter and thinning again in the summers.

In September, we learned from scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center that the extent of ocean covered by ice is getting smaller each year; the current rate of shrinkage they calculate at around 8% per decade.

Their projection is that within about 60 years, there will be no summer ice at all on the Arctic Ocean.

"Overall, the extent has been declining, with some oscillations, since the 1970s when satellites were able to map it," comments Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University, UK, and currently at the Laboratoire Océanographique in Villefranche-sur-mer, France.

"There's been a slow decline, but now the thinning appears to be more rapid.

"In the last two decades, not only has the area shrunk but the ice has got thinner by about 40%; the prediction is that it will vanish altogether during summers in the second half of this century."

Military records

Measurements of thickness come mainly from military submarines, which spent long periods under the Arctic ice during the Cold War.

Peter Wadhams was one of the scientists who afterwards persuaded the authorities in Britain and the United States to de-classify their data.

But as a method of measurement, it is far from perfect; and satellites have given only limited help.

The existing satellite fleet gives good measurements of ice extent, but is not so good at detecting thickness, partly because the orbits of satellites with radar altimeters do not cover every portion of the ocean

This data deficit has led to a rival theory; that the ice is not melting at all, it is simply piling up in another part of the ocean, perhaps along the north Canadian coast.

Peter Wadhams believes he has now disproved this idea.

"We did an experiment where we installed a set of buoys in that region which measure the thickness of the ice and transmit it back via satellite," he says.

"The buoy sits on the ice, and as waves pass under it they make it rise and fall, just by a millimetre or two; measuring this allows you to calculate the thickness of the ice."

The preliminary results, announced at a scientific meeting in April 2005, show that the extra ice is not there; it really has melted away.

Great expanse

Temperatures, meanwhile, show a similar pattern to that seen along the Antarctic Peninsula; an average warming of about 2C in the last 50 years, about twice the global average, albeit with significant variations between different parts of the Arctic.

This is reflected in changes to ice cover on land as well as on sea.

The Greenland ice sheet is, after Antarctica, the second biggest expanse of ice in the world.

Its fringes expand and contract with the seasons; but images show it is melting more each summer now than a decade ago.

In February 2006 researchers discovered glaciers in Greenland were moving much faster than before, meaning that more of its ice was entering the sea.

In 1996, Greenland was losing about 100 cubic km per year in mass from its ice sheet; by 2005, this had increased to about 220 cubic km.

A complete melt of the ice sheet would cause a global sea level rise of about 7m; but the current picture indicates that while some regions are thinning, others are apparently getting thicker.

Other land masses surrounding the Arctic, such as Siberia and Alaska, are also beginning to feel the impact of rising temperatures.

Much ground here is permafrost - ground that is, or at least should be, permanently frozen.

Construction methods have been adapted to the rock-hard ground. Buildings can be erected with minimal foundations¿ until the ground begins to melt.

That it is now melting deeper than before in some areas is beyond dispute. Projections indicate that the permafrost line - its southern boundary - will migrate northwards.

"As permafrost melts more rapidly," says Peter Wadhams, "a lot of methane and methane hydrates will be released to the atmosphere; and these are greenhouse gases."

So melting here would create a positive feedback, stirring the atmospheric mix to generate further warming.

Wider impact

To people living in the region, the melting brings mixed news.

Current lifestyles and staples foods will almost certainly change. But the open ocean may permit new opportunities for trade and agriculture.

A bigger question is what it means for the rest of the planet.

Ice reflects the Sun's radiation; water absorbs it.

More water and less ice - a lower albedo - mean that the pace of warming could increase.

In this scenario, the Earth would be losing one of its "natural checks and balances" against warming - another positive feedback mechanism.

The Arctic is intimately tied to the global climate system, and disruptions here have the potential to create worldwide changes - albeit over long timescales.

Possibly the most powerful link is via the thermohaline circulation, the global conveyor taking warm water along ocean surfaces and returning colder water at depth.

"One very sensitive place is the middle of the Greenland sea," says Peter Wadhams.

"That has been ice free in the summer, but usually in winter it would be covered by a lobe of ice growing out from the Greenland coast. As it formed, it rejected salt back into the water, making the water heavier and helping it to sink.

"Since 1997, the ice tongue has never formed. That will be having an impact on the thermohaline circulation."

Back in geological history, about 55 million years ago, the Arctic was a warm (possibly 20C) shallow sea that would have been ice-free without the intervention of a human-enhanced greenhouse effect.

Natural variations may be playing a role in the picture seen now; but, as with other parts of the planet, it is the speed of change which alarms many researchers as much as the change itself.


Glaciers snake over many of the world's high regions - the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps, Alaska.

The recent signs are that these, like the Arctic, are feeling the impact of rising temperatures.

Over the last five years, various teams have reported glaciers shrinking in Peru, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Alaska.

"There is a global pattern of melting in most of the world's mountain glaciers," says Michael Hambrey, director of the Centre for Glaciology at Britain's University of Aberystwyth.

"There are exceptions - some glaciers are advancing - but overall the state of mountain glaciers is a dramatic shrinking since the 1970s.

"Some have disappeared completely, and most could be gone by the end of this century."

Snow and snouts

The data on this comes principally from a number of glaciers - perhaps less than 100 - which scientists consider make up a representative sample.

These are studied in some detail, though many more will be surveyed periodically to measure the length of their snout.

Satellite measurements are also of some value.

Two years ago, a study in South America found that rates of thinning in the Patagonian ice fields were double in the period 1995-2000 compared with what they had been in the previous 25 years.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), collates records from across the globe and issues regular bulletins of area and volume changes.

Two years ago, they concluded that 30 major glaciers - assessed as being a representative global sample - had thinned by an average 6m between 1980 and 2001.

Dry season

None of this is without its impact on human society.

"It will have a major impact," says Professor Hambrey, "mainly through reductions in the fresh water supply.

"Cities like La Paz in Bolivia and Lima in Peru rely heavily on glacial meltwater from the high Andes brought down into dry arid areas.

"Switzerland, by contrast, uses meltwater for hydroelectric power generation. If the glaciers disappear, their generating capacity will be very much reduced."

Melting glaciers can form lakes on mountainsides - lakes which can suddenly burst, creating torrential streams which threaten life and property.

Michael Hambrey says these incidents have already caused about 30,000 deaths in Peru. They are also a major issue in the Himalayas, where a programme of work is in place to make the lakes safe.

If ice comes off the land and ends up as water in the sea that should, logically, have some impact on sea level.

Its scale is minute compared with the potential melting of the West Antarctic or Greenland ice sheets - perhaps half a metre globally if all the mountain glaciers disappeared.

But that could happen before the end of the century - much earlier than projected for Greenland and Antarctica.

There seems little doubt that the changes seen in mountain glaciers, however, are going to have an impact on human societies in coming decades, as populations expand and the supply of fresh water shrinks with the ice.
Here's a Reuters feed to the Australian ABC news website: said:
Greenland icecap thickens despite warming

Friday, 21 October 2005

Greenland's icecap has thickened slightly in recent years despite concerns that it is thawing out due to global warming, says an international team of scientists.

A team led by Professor Ola Johannessen, at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway, report their findings online ahead of print publication in the journal Science.

The 3,000-metre thick Greenland icecap is a key concern in debates about climate change because a total melt would raise world sea levels by about 7 metres. And a runaway thaw might slow the Gulf Stream that keeps the North Atlantic region warm.

Glaciers at sea level have been retreating fast because of a warming climate, making many other scientists believe the entire icecap is thinning.

But satellite measurements showed that more snowfall is falling and thickening the icecap, especially at high altitudes, say Johannessen and team.

"The overall ice thickness changes are ... approximately plus 5 centimetres a year or 54 centimetres over 11 years."

But, they say, the thickening seems consistent with theories of global warming, blamed by most experts on a build-up of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars.

Warmer air, even if it is still below freezing, can carry more moisture. That extra moisture falls as snow below 0°C.

And the scientists say that the thickening of the icecap might be offset by a melting of glaciers around the fringes of Greenland. Satellite data is not good enough to measure the melt nearer sea level.

Ice sheets

Most models of global warming indicate that the Greenland ice might melt within thousands of years if warming continues.

Oceans would rise by about 70 metres if the far bigger icecap on Antarctica melted along with Greenland.

Antarctica's vast size acts as a deep freeze likely to slow any melt of the southern continent.

The panel that advises the United Nations has predicted that global sea levels might rise by almost a metre by 2100 because of a warming climate.

Such a rise would swamp low-lying Pacific islands and warming could trigger more hurricanes, droughts, spread deserts and drive thousands of species to extinction.

Separate study supports sea level rise due to ice melt

A separate study in today's issue of Science reports that sea levels are probably rising slightly because of a melt of ice sheets.

"Ice sheets now appear to be contributing modestly to sea level rise because warming has increased mass loss from coastal areas more than warming has increased mass gain from enhanced snowfall in cold central regions," the report by a team led by Professor Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University in the US says.

"Greenland presently makes the largest contribution to sea level rise."
Despite the data, the article is heavily spun as reinforcing the global warming scenario.
Coming back to Cryosat, the European Space Mission that was supposed to give us the truth about the melting or growing of the ice on the planet, which conveniently failed in concert with the disappearance of articles saying that the Greenland ice sheet was actually growing, we now find the following:

Cryosat crashes into the sea - €135m firework

By Team Register

8th October 2005 20:42 GMT

The European Space Agency’s latest satellite has broken up and crashed into the sea.

The €135m satellite, called Cryosat, blasted off this evening from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome, aboard a modified intercontinental ballistic missile, called Rockot. But it went missing a couple of hours later, around the time it should have shot into final orbit.

Cryosat was supposed to examine the effects of global warming on the polar ice caps. Instead it did its own little bit for global warming as it plunged into the icy Arctic Sea.

In a statement this evening, The European Space Agency said that Russian authorities blamed the crash on "an anomaly in the launch sequence".

The second stage performed nominally until main engine cut-off was to occur. Due to a missing command from the onboard flight control system the main engine continued to operate until depletion of the remaining fuel. As a consequence, the separation of the second stage from upper stage did not occur. Thus, the combined stack of the two stages and the CryoSat satellite fell into the nominal drop zone north of Greenland close to the North Pole into high seas with no consequences to populated areas.

A joint Russian-ESA team will investigate the cause of failure and expects to report back within a few weeks. ®
Cryosat rocket fault laid bare

27 October 2006

By Helen Briggs
BBC News science reporter

Russian space officials have identified the rocket fault that led to the loss of Europe's Cryosat satellite.

A problem with the onboard flight-control system of the newly built upper stage of the rocket was to blame.

The Russian state commission report clears the launcher for future use.

It was grounded on 8 October when the mission to map the Earth's ice sheets fell into the ocean shortly after lift-off from Plesetsk in Russia.

The £90m (135m euro) satellite was riding atop a Rockot launch vehicle, a former military rocket modified by the addition of a newly manufactured third stage.

The Russian Failure Investigation State Commission says a set of measures is being implemented to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

"We confirm from the information we have from the State Commission that there was a problem with the software flight-control system in the Breeze upper stage of the launcher," European Space Agency spokesperson, Simonetta Cheli, told the BBC News website.

"This problem led to a failure of the Breeze upper stage to generate the command to shut down the second stage engine."

The error meant that separation of the rocket's second and third stages did not occur, denying the satellite the final boost it needed to reach orbit and causing it to nosedive into the sea.

A board set up by the rocket operator, Eurockot, is to review the findings of the State Commission next week.

The British scientist who proposed the mission, Prof Duncan Wingham, is calling for the spacecraft to be re-built.
So, it was a software flight control problem; probably one of the easiest ways to sabotage a mission via remote control...

We next see that ESA is not giving up, but the work may not be done in time based on all of the above information:

Workshop on Antarctic sea-ice highlights need for CryoSat-2 mission

9 August 2006

Sea-ice thickness is an important parameter in modelling global climate, and moreover, long-term changes are considered to be a reliable indicator of climate change. However, estimates of sea-ice thickness trends around Antarctica are currently very limited. An international workshop held recently made it clear that these essential data can only be obtained from satellite missions such as CryoSat-2.

The International Workshop on Antarctic Sea-Ice Thickness in Hobart, Australia, brought together around 60 scientists from different countries and disciplines within the sea-ice science community. It provided the forum for the much-needed discussion on methods of measuring sea-ice thickness and snow-cover thickness, addressing all disciplines of field science, remote sensing and modelling. Over the three-day event, which was held on 5 - 7 July 2006, talks highlighted the fact that ice-thickness trends around Antarctica are still largely unknown and that information on seasonal, inter-annual and decadal thickness variations is very scarce. [...]

ESA's ice mission CryoSat-2


The question of whether global climate change is causing the polar ice caps to shrink is one of the most hotly debated environmental issues we currently face. By monitoring precise changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets and floating sea ice, CryoSat-2 aims to answer this question.

The go-ahead to build and launch the CryoSat-2 mission came in February 2006 after the loss of the first CryoSat last October due to a launch failure. The mission's objectives remain the same as before – to measure ice thickness on both land and sea very precisely to provide conclusive proof as to whether there a trend towards diminishing polar ice cover, furthering our understanding of the relationship between ice and global climate. CryoSat-2 is due for launch in 2009.

It is now generally agreed that the Earth's atmosphere is getting warmer, and although the impact of climate change is expected to be amplified at the poles, it is extremely difficult to predict what effect this is having on the polar ice cover. On one hand, recent years have already seen record summer reductions, in extent and concentrations, of sea ice in the Arctic. In Antarctica, giant icebergs have calved and part of the Larsen ice shelf has disintegrated. However, on the other hand, ships have recently been trapped for weeks in unusually heavy Antarctic pack ice conditions. [...]

ESA said:
Considerations Over the Loss of CryoSat ESA Satellite

On 8th October 2005, following a successful preparation of the satellite by the joint ESA and industrial teams, the launch of CryoSat satellite on board a Rockot launch vehicle ended in failure. Due to an anomaly towards the end of the planned 2nd stage operations and approximately five minutes after lift-off, at a height of 230 km, the launch vehicle automatically interrupted its mission and began to fall. The combination of the re-entry heat and the explosion of the fuel tanks completely destroyed CryoSat. Debris of the launch vehicle (2nd, 3rd stage) and of the satellite impacted into the Arctic Ocean.

Formed in 1995, the launch services provider Eurockot Launch Services GmbH, is a joint venture between EADS Space Transportation (DE) and Krunichev (Russia) that provides commercial launch services with the Rockot launch system to operators of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and operates from launch facilities in Plesetsk Cosmodrome, northern Russia.

From an altitude of just over 700 km and reaching latitudes of 88°, CryoSat aimed at monitoring precise changes in the thickness of the polar ice sheets and floating sea ice. The observations made over the three-year lifetime of the mission would have provided information on the rates at which ice cover may be diminishing.

The root cause of the CryoSat failure has been unambiguously identified and corrective measures for Rockot`s return-to- flight are now under way. A Russian State Commission was convened immediately after the accident. The conclusions of its investigation work have been issued in a report including subsequent recommendations, and its main conclusion is that human error and not an inherent design flaw of the launch vehicle caused the failure. More specifically, the Commission’s report indicates that the launch failure was ultimately caused by the 2nd stage main engine not being shut down at the correct time, leading to an engine burn until the propellants were depleted. Due to this incorrect shut down, an engine failure occurred, resulting in a lateral force on the launch vehicle. This resulted in unstable flight causing the vehicle flight angles to exceed allowable limits. In accordance with the pre-defined flight programme, the on-board computer automatically terminated the mission.

Risks linked to launch activities are dealt within the risk management plan of any space venture in function of the particular mission at stake. The establishment of such plans is initiated many years in advance and there are various elements that can impact the results of a mission. A risk management plan would then take into consideration factors linked to the political and economical context – especially for commercial launches- and other factors relating to technical failures and human errors that may cause property damage to the satellite and equipment or, in the worse case scenario, property loss or death of personnel and third parties. In the case of a satellite launch, the latter is to be taken into account and managed contractually – by clearly defining the obligations and the level of liabilities between the parties - and through insurance coverage. [...]

The rest of the article is pretty much about the "whose fault is it?" bit.
But, have a read of the Chairman's introduction to the bulletin:

Article said:
A Word from the Chairman

Space Law Games

Some of you may well have seen the American film in which a supercomputer takes control and directs the fighting between the two superpowers, resulting in the annihilation of the armed forces of the two opposing camps. It turns out that it's only a game with the battle, entirely virtual, won by the computer, which has been brilliantly programmed by a young boy. Proof, if any is needed, that games can be your downfall. But that is not the main point I wish to make here.

Games have an important educational role to play in the development and communication of ideas, whatever the age of the players. I might be mistaken, but it seems to me there are no board games involving knowledge of space activities. My suggestion is that such a board game be created. Of the games that could provide a template, my personal favourite is "Trivial Pursuit", in which two or more teams pit their knowledge against each another. What would remain would be to draw up a list of topics and possible answers, and also to establish various difficulty levels.

Dear readers, if you are interested in this idea, please send me lists of possible questions grouped by topic. A "panel of experts" will sort through them and then, who knows, maybe they could be published and perhaps used at the next summer course to test the participants' knowledge.

Thanking you in advance.
What an odd introduction!
Laura said:
Perhaps someone can get hold of a copy of the Journal Science which supposedly published the original piece and scan it and post it?

It really bugs me when I think somebody is hiding something.
Electronic version... copy and paste (iIf someone wants a PDF doc of this article e-mail me, because the figures are missing):

Originally published in Science Express on 20 October 2005
Science 11 November 2005:
Vol. 310. no. 5750, pp. 1013 - 1016
DOI: 10.1126/science.1115356

Prev | Table of Contents | Next
Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland
Ola M. Johannessen,1,2* Kirill Khvorostovsky,3 Martin W. Miles,4,5 Leonid P. Bobylev3

A continuous data set of Greenland Ice Sheet altimeter height from European Remote Sensing satellites (ERS-1 and ERS-2), 1992 to 2003, has been analyzed. An increase of 6.4 ± 0.2 centimeters per year (cm/year) is found in the vast interior areas above 1500 meters, in contrast to previous reports of high-elevation balance. Below 1500 meters, the elevation-change rate is –2.0 ± 0.9 cm/year, in qualitative agreement with reported thinning in the ice-sheet margins. Averaged over the study area, the increase is 5.4 ± 0.2 cm/year, or ~60 cm over 11 years, or ~54 cm when corrected for isostatic uplift. Winter elevation changes are shown to be linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation.

1 Mohn-Sverdrup Center for Global Ocean Studies and Operational Oceanography, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen, 5006, Norway.
2 Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, 5007, Norway.
3 Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, St. Petersburg, 197101, Russia.
4 Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, 5007, Norway.
5 Environmental Systems Analysis Research Center, Boulder, CO 80303, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

The Greenland Ice Sheet is an object of increased attention for at least two reasons related to global climate change (1, 2). First, complete melting of the ice sheet would raise the global sea level up to 7 m. This process, expected to occur on a millennial time scale, should begin when the critical ~3°C threshold for Greenland climate warming is crossed, perhaps before the end of this century (2, 3). Second, increased Greenland Ice Sheet melt and freshwater input into the northern North Atlantic Ocean have been theorized to weaken or even disrupt the global thermohaline circulation on a relatively rapid, multidecadal time scale (4, 5). Here, we address changes in the surface elevation of the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is pertinent to both of these critical issues through glacier mass balance, i.e., accumulation minus losses.

The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to climate forcing is not straightforward, because variability in solar radiation, greenhouse gases (GHGs), atmospheric circulation, surface temperature, cloud cover, precipitation, and albedo, as well as glacier-flow dynamics, may affect the magnitude, rate, and direction of changes in glacier mass balance (1–3, 6). Efforts to measure changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet from field observations and aerial and satellite remote sensors have improved our knowledge over the past decade, although there is as yet no consensus assessment of the overall mass balance of the ice sheet (6). There is nonetheless considerable evidence of melting (7–9) and thinning (10, 11) in the coastal marginal areas in recent years, as well as indications that large Greenland outlet glaciers can surge at subdecadal time scales (12), possibly in response to climate. Less known are changes that may be occurring in the vast elevated interior area of the ice sheet, although a balance has been reported based on some tracks of aerial laser altimetry, unevenly sampled in space and time (10, 13). This underscores the need for long, continuously sampled data sets, such as those derived from satellite altimetry. Whereas decadal and longer satellite-derived data sets have been developed for surface melt (7–9), the surface-elevation data sets analyzed previously have been discontinuous (10, 11, 13) and relatively short (14).

Therefore, we derive and analyze a continuous satellite altimeter height record of Greenland Ice Sheet elevations by combining European Space Agency (ESA) ERS-1 and ERS-2 data to (i) determine the spatial patterns of surface elevation changes over an 11-year period, 1992 to 2003, (ii) determine seasonal and interannual variability of the surface elevation over the same period, and (iii) investigate how observed elevation changes are linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern of atmospheric circulation (15), which we hypothesize to have an underappreciated role on the Greenland Ice Sheet surface elevation through its effect on winter precipitation. This is a critical issue, as the NAO index (16) is predicted to become more positive in response to increasing GHGs (17, 18).

The data set analyzed here to identify Greenland Ice Sheet surface-elevation changes is based on 11 consecutive years of ERS-1 and ERS-2 radar altimeter height measurements (19). The methodology used to calculate elevation changes is based on the crossover analysis using the differences in ice-mode altimeter heights at crossing points of the satellite-orbit ground tracks (19). Elevation change rates (dH/dt) were calculated for 0.5° x latitude 1.0° longitude cells using two methods. In the first method—the dH/dt method (20)—we used all available crossovers. The dH/dt was determined as a slope of a linear fit to the crossover difference of elevations versus time interval using descending minus ascending orbits. The second method—the time series method (21)—was applied to form seasonally averaged time series of elevation change, using descending minus ascending orbits and ascending minus descending orbits (19). Thus, the first method gives the spatial elevation change averaged for the entire time interval, whereas the second method allows investigation of the temporal variability of spatial averages.

However, to merge ERS-1 and ERS-2 as one data set, it is essential to account for bias between the satellites. To achieve this, we developed and applied the following procedures. We applied the systematic 40.9-cm offset, with ERS-2 being lower then ERS-1, specified by ESA (22) and confirmed by Brenner and colleagues (23), before investigating the remaining bias. Although there was a year (1995 to 1996) when the satellites operated in tandem, the number of ERS-1/ERS-2 crossover points available during this period is considered insufficient to determine the between-satellite bias directly from elevation differences during the overlap (19). Therefore, we estimated the bias using a large number (8 million) of crossover points between ERS-1 orbits during its whole period of operation from 1992 to 1996 and ERS-2 orbits from a period of equal length, 1995 to 1999, including the 1-year overlap, giving higher reliability (19) (fig. S1). The calculated spatially averaged ERS-1/ERS-2 bias is 21.5 ± 2.0 cm. The bias is spatially variable, and the effect of the bias on determining dH/dt from the crossover data varies from typically ~2 cm/year over the interior plateau to about 20 cm/year over ice-sheet margins (19). We applied this bias for each ERS-1 x ERS-2 crossover point before calculating the dH/dt average for each cell.

The spatial pattern of variability derived from the dH/dt method is mapped as the 11-year elevation-change rate for each cell (Fig. 1), based on 45 million crossover points distributed over three data sets: ERS-1 (ERS-1 x ERS-1), ERS-2 (ERS-2 x ERS-2), and ERS-1 and ERS-2 (ERS-1 x ERS-2). Positive dH/dt values are generally found over most of the high-elevation areas, with largest positive values of up to 10 to 20 cm/year in southwestern (<69°N) and eastern Greenland between 74°N and 77°N. The largest negative values, –25 to –30 cm/year, are found in several parts of western Greenland, where independent aerial altimetry in 1997 and 2002 to 2003 also found the greatest thinning (11). Negative values are also found in southeastern Greenland (63°N to 66°N) and in the northeastern ice stream (78°N to 80°N), with values of –10 to –15 cm/year. The regional differences in elevation change reflect, to varying degrees, the location of ice divides (Fig. 1), notably between southwest and southeast Greenland, +10 to +20 cm/year and –5 to –15 cm/year, respectively. The most substantial thinning is observed over outlet glacier areas, particularly in western, southeastern, and northeastern Greenland, which implies a dynamic mechanism in addition to changes in precipitation and melting [e.g. (24, 25)].

Fig. 1. Greenland, showing the boundaries (thick line) of the ice sheet and major ice divides (thin lines), adapted from (13). The colors indicate ice-sheet elevation change rate (dH/dt) in cm/year, derived from 11 years of ERS-1/ERS-2 satellite altimeter data, 1992 to 2003, excluding some ice-sheet marginal areas (white). The spatially averaged rate is +5.4 ± 0.2 cm/year, or ~5 cm/year when corrected for isostatic uplift. The white areas between the color-coded pixels and the thick line delimiting the ice sheet indicate no observations. Latitude in °N, longitude in °W. [View Larger Version of this Image (50K GIF file)]

The surface-elevation change rate averaged over the Greenland Ice Sheet [excluding those marginal cells with unreliable data (19)] is +5.4 ± 0.2 cm/year, or ~60 cm for the period 1992 to 2003. We have partitioned the variability into different elevation bands of 500-m intervals, starting at <1500 m and extending to >3000 m (Table 1). Below 1500 m, where summer melting is pronounced, the mean dH/dt is –2.0 ± 0.9 cm/year for the period 1992 to 2003. Above 1500 m, the mean dH/dt is +6.4 ± 0.2 cm/year. These dH/dt values are obtained before correcting for isostatic uplift, which is estimated to be approximately 0.5 cm/year averaged for the entire Greenland Ice Sheet (26). When adjusted for average uplift, the overall ice thickness changes are thus about +5 cm/year or 54 cm over 11 years, whereas above 1500 m, these values are about +6 cm/year or 65 cm over 11 years. The latter results are in contrast to the high-elevation balance reported previously (10, 13), based on spatially and temporally discontinuous observations, in contrast to our 11-year data set comprising 45 million crossover points. The positive changes observed here imply increased accumulation, supported by evidence that elevation changes in the interior of Greenland can be attributed primarily to snow accumulation (27).

Table 1. Spatially averaged elevation-change rates (dH/dt) and SE partitioned over different elevation bands of the Greenland Ice Sheet, 1992 to 2003, not corrected for isostatic uplift. The uncertainties (±) in columns 2 and 3 are SE when averaging results within each band. The values in column 3 are SE of the slope of the linear fit determined for each cell. The areas corresponding to each elevation band are indicated in column 4. These values exclude those cells with unreliable, discarded data (Fig. 1) (19), mostly from the lowest elevation band.
Elevation band (km) DH/dt (cm/year) Standard error (cm/year) Area (103 x km2)
<1.5 -2.0 ± 0.9 0.4 ± 0.04 155.1
1.5-2 5.6 ± 0.5 0.3 ± 0.03 228.2
2-2.5 7.0 ± 0.4 0.2 ± 0.02 398.9
2.5-3 6.4 ± 0.3 0.2 ± 0.01 458.3
>3 5.5 ± 0.3 0.1 ± 0.01 140.3
All elevation bands
5.4 ± 0.2
0.2 ± 0.01

The time-series analysis (19) of elevation changes spatially averaged over all cells <1500 m and >1500 m indicates seasonal and interannual variability of up to tens of cm (Fig. 2). Below 1500 m, there is no significant trend until 1999, after which a negative trend of ~6 cm/year is evident. Above 1500 m, the positive change is 6.1 ± 0.6 cm/year, confirming the result from the dH/dt method. The overall elevation change derived from the time-series method is +5.3 ± 0.5 cm/year, also confirming the dH/dt result.

Fig. 2. Interannual variability of spatially averaged Greenland Ice Sheet elevation, shown as anomalies from the 11-year mean, 1992 to 2003. The data are aggregated into areas >1500 m elevation (red) and <1500 m (blue), indicating divergent trends since 2000. The vertical bars indicate SE when averaging the results for each cell. [View Larger Version of this Image (24K GIF file)]

Regional temperature and precipitation are both influenced by the NAO (15). Because the NAO in winter strongly affects precipitation, with r ~–0.75 for model-calculated total precipitation for Greenland and r ~–0.80 for southern Greenland (28), we hypothesized that the NAO weather and precipitation pattern strongly affects ice-sheet elevation change. However, systematic precipitation measurements are available almost exclusively for the coastal stations and not the interior, such that the NAO index may serve as a proxy for precipitation. Therefore, we examine the direct relation between Greenland Ice Sheet elevation change and the NAO index (16). Elevation changes during winter have been calculated from the time series using the differences between winter (December-January-February) and the preceding autumn (September-October-November). Figure 3 shows ice-sheet elevation changes during winter and the winter NAO index for 1992 to 2003. The correlation between elevation changes and the NAO is maximum when lagged one month, e.g., November-December-January for the NAO and December-January-February for elevation, with r ~–0.88 (s < 0.05, df = 10), thus explaining about three-quarters (r2 ~0.77) of the elevation changes. The correlations for spring, summer, and autumn are, as expected, lower: 0.04, –0.08, and –0.28, respectively, implying no significant effect of the NAO during these seasons. The winter correlation (–0.88) is stronger than the above-mentioned correlations for the NAO and modeled Greenland precipitation (28), which implies that the NAO index is a very good proxy for winter precipitation data. Therefore, strongly negative NAO-index conditions lead to increased accumulation and elevation change during wintertime, and vice versa. This is exemplified by the changes observed from 1994/1995 (–10.1 cm) to 1995/1996 (+11.6 cm), associated with a record positive-to-negative NAO reversal (2.4{sigma} to –3.1{sigma}) (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3. Spatially averaged changes in winter Greenland Ice Sheet elevation (red) and winter NAO index (blue), lagged 1 month, 1992 to 2003. Winter elevation change during, e.g., 1994/1995 was determined by subtracting autumn 1994 from winter 1994/1995. For elevation, winter is defined as December-January-February with, e.g., winter 1994/1995 specified as 1995. The correlation coefficient between elevation change and the NAO index is –0.88 when lagged 1 month, e.g., November-December-January for the NAO and December-January-February for elevation. [View Larger Version of this Image (14K GIF file)]

The relation is based not only on the intensity of the NAO but also on the development and position of the Icelandic Low (29), which, for example, shifted southwestward to Cape Farewell between 1994/1995 and 1995/1996 (Fig. 4), giving higher precipitation especially in southern Greenland. However, in other years, a weak negative NAO index may be due simply to a weakly developed Icelandic Low, in which case the elevation change is barely positive, as in 2001 (Fig. 3). The relationship appears weak in the most recent years, since 2001, with the NAO index relatively neutral.

Fig. 4. Composite winter sea-level pressure (mb) in Greenland and surrounding areas (A) 1994/1995 and (B) 1995/1996, which have positive and negative NAO index values, corresponding to negative and positive changes in Greenland Ice Sheet surface elevation, respectively (see Fig. 3). Data are from National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Reanalysis (35). [View Larger Version of this Image (27K GIF file)]

The observed correlation between the NAO and ice-sheet elevation changes suggests that future trends in the NAO could influence the Greenland Ice Sheet surface elevation. The winter NAO index trend has been generally positive since the 1960s, although during our 1992 to 2003 study period, the trend happened to be slightly negative, hence the observed increase in elevation. Model experiments with increasing atmospheric concentrations of GHGs generally indicate an increasing (positive) NAO and a slight northeastward displacement of the Icelandic Low in the future (17, 18)—both implying less winter accumulation over Greenland.

Nonetheless, as mentioned, the NAO can explain about three-quarters of the surface elevation changes, leaving us to speculate on other factors. A modeling study (30) of the Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance under greenhouse global warming has shown that temperature increases up to 2.7°C lead to positive mass-balance changes at high elevations (due to accumulation) and negative at low elevations (due to runoff exceeding accumulation), consistent with our findings, which implies that perhaps a quarter of the growth may be caused by global warming in Greenland (31) in our observation period. Furthermore, the observed elevation change implies that ice-sheet growth in the interior of Greenland may partly offset the freshwater flow of the retreating subpolar glaciers needed to explain the freshening rate of the world ocean, which can be explained almost entirely by Arctic sea-ice melt (32).

In conclusion, we have presented new evidence of (i) decadal increase in surface elevation (~5 cm/year) within a study area comprising most of the Greenland Ice Sheet, 1992 to 2003, caused by accumulation over extensive areas in the interior of Greenland; (ii) divergence in elevation changes since the year 2000 for areas above and below 1500 m, with high-elevation increases and low-elevation decreases, the former in contrast to previous research (10, 13); and (iii) negative correlation between winter elevation changes and the NAO index, suggesting an underappreciated role of the winter season and the NAO for elevation changes—a wild card in Greenland Ice Sheet mass-balance scenarios under global warming.

There are, however, caveats to consider. First, we cannot make an integrated assessment of elevation changes—let alone ice volume and its equivalent sea-level change—for the whole Greenland Ice Sheet, including its outlet glaciers, from these observations alone, because the marginal areas are not measured completely using ERS-1/ERS-2 altimetry (see Fig. 1). It is conceivable that pronounced ablation (e.g., 10, 11) in low-elevation marginal areas could offset the elevation increases that we observed in the interior areas. Second, there is large interannual to decadal variability in the high-latitude climate system including the NAO, such that the 11-year-long data set developed here remains too brief to establish long-term trends. Therefore, there is clearly a need for continued monitoring using new satellite altimeters—including advanced ones with improved ice-sheet ranging in steeper coastal areas—and other remote-sensing and field observations, together with numerical modeling to calculate the mass budget through net losses and net input from snow (33).

References and Notes

* 1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2000: Third Assessment Report (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2001).
* 2. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, Impacts of a Warming Arctic (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2004).
* 3. J. M. Gregory, P. Huybrechts, S. C. B. Raper, Nature 428, 616 (2004). [CrossRef] [ISI] [Medline]
* 4. S. Rahmstorf, Clim. Change 46, 247 (2000). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 5. T. Fichefet et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 30, 1991, 10.1029/2003GL017826 (2003). [CrossRef]
* 6. E. Rignot, R. H. Thomas, Science 297, 1502 (2002).[Abstract/Free Full Text]
* 7. W. Abdulati et al., J. Geophys. Res. 106, 33729 (2001). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 8. W. Abdalati, K. Steffen, J. Geophys. Res. 106, 33983 (2001). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 9. K. Steffen, S. V. Nghiem, R. Huff, G. Neumann, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L20402 10.1029/2004GL020444 (2004). [CrossRef]
* 10. W. Krabill et al., Science 289, 428 (2000).[Abstract/Free Full Text]
* 11. W. Krabill et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L24402, 10.1029/2004GL021533 (2004). [CrossRef]
* 12. I. Joughin, W. Abdulati, M. Fahnestock, Nature 432, 608 (2004). [CrossRef] [ISI] [Medline]
* 13. R. Thomas et al., J. Geophys. Res. 106, 33707 (2001). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 14. K. Khorostovsky, O. M. Johannessen, L. P. Bobylev, in Arctic Environmental Variability and Global Change, L. P. Bobylev, K. Ya. Kondratyev, O. M. Johannessen, Eds. (Springer Praxis, Chichester, UK, 2003), pp. 270–280.
* 15. J. Hurrell, Y. Kushnir, G. Ottersen, M. Visbeck (Eds.), The North Atlantic Oscillation: Climatic Significance and Environmental Impacts (American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, 2003).
* 16. The NAO index used here is defined as standardized ({sigma}) sea-level pressure (SLP) differences between Iceland and Gibraltar (34).
* 17. T. Osborn, Clim. Dyn. 22, 605 (2004). [ISI]
* 18. S. I. Kuzmina et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L04703, 10.1029/2004GL021064 (2005). [CrossRef]
* 19. Materials and methods are available as supporting material on Science Online.
* 20. H. J. Zwally, A. C. Brenner, J. A. Major, R. A. Bindschadler, J. G. Marsh, Science 246, 1587 (1989).[Abstract/Free Full Text]
* 21. D. J. Wingham, A. J. Ridout, R. Scharroo, R. Arthern, C. K. Shum, Science 282, 369 (1998).
* 22. P. Femenias, ERTNRS-RA-0022, May 1996
* 23. A. C. Brenner, H. J. Zwally, H. G. Cornejo, J. L. Saba, Proceedings of the ERS-ENVISAT Symposium, 16–20 October 2000, Gothenburg, Sweden (2000).
* 24. R. Layberry, J. Bamber, J. Geophys. Res. 106, 33781 (2001). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 25. C. H. Davis et al., J. Geophys. Res. 106, 33743 (2001). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 26. J. Wahr, T. van Dam, K. Larson, O. Francis, J. Geophys. Res. 106, 33755 (2001). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 27. J. R. McConnell et al., Nature 406, 877 (2000). [CrossRef] [ISI] [Medline]
* 28. D. H. Bromwich, Q. S. Chen, Y. F. Li, R. I. Cullather, J. Geophys. Res. 104, 22103 (1999). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 29. J. C. Rogers, D. J. Bathke, E. Moseley-Thompson, S.-H. Wang, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L212308, 1029/2004GL021048 (2004). [CrossRef]
* 30. P. Huybrechts, A. Letreguilly, N. Reeh, Paleogeogr. Paleoclim. Paleoecol. 89, 399 (1991). [CrossRef]
* 31. P. Chylek, U. Lohmann, Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L14705, 10.1029/2005GL023552 (2005). [CrossRef]
* 32. P. Wadhams, W. Munk, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L11311, 10.1029/2004GL020039 (2004). [CrossRef]
* 33. E. Hanna et al., J. Geophys. Res. 110, D13108, 10.1029/2004JD005641 (2005). [CrossRef]
* 34. P. D. Jones, T. Jónsson, D. Wheeler, Int. J. Climatol. 17, 1433 (1997). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 35. E. Kalnay et al., Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 437 (1996). [CrossRef] [ISI]
* 36. Supported by the Research Council of Norway through the "Marine climate and ecosystems in the seasonal ice zone (MACESIZ)" and "Mass balance and freshwater contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet: A combined modeling and observational approach" projects; the Mohn-Sverdrup Center for Global Ocean Studies and Operational Oceanography; the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS) through the Fellowship Grant for Young Scientists "Greenland Ice Sheet elevation change and variations derived from satellite altimetry" to K.K. This study was also part of the "Climate and Environmental Change in the Arctic–CECA" project nominated for the European Union Descartes Prize 2005. We also thank ESA and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for providing processed altimeter data, two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments, and R. J. Telford for language editing.

Supporting Online Material

Materials and Methods

Fig. S1


Received for publication 26 May 2005. Accepted for publication 11 October 2005.


Sea levels: change and variability during warm intervals.
R. Edwards (2006)
Progress in Physical Geography 30, 785-796
| PDF »

Recent Greenland Ice Mass Loss by Drainage System from Satellite Gravity Observations.
S. B. Luthcke, H. J. Zwally, W. Abdalati, D. D. Rowlands, R. D. Ray, R. S. Nerem, F. G. Lemoine, J. J. McCarthy, and D. S. Chinn (2006)
Science 314, 1286-1289
laura said:
I was under the impression that the last sunspot cycle was considerably stronger and more active than predicted. Anybody got any input on that?
There is also a difference of opinion concerning a solar activity "issue".
On one hand we have those who say that indeed there is an increase of solar activity, but not during the last decades:

Sun's Activity Increased in Past Century, Study Confirms

By Jeanna Bryner
Staff Writer
posted: 26 September 2006
02:29 pm ET

The energy output from the Sun has increased significantly during the 20th century, according to a new study.

Many studies have attempted to determine whether there is an upward trend in the average magnitude of sunspots and solar flares over time, but few firm conclusions have been reached.

Now, an international team of researchers led by Ilya Usoskin of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory at the University of Oulu, Finland, may have the answer. They examined meteorites that had fallen to Earth over the past 240 years. By analyzing the amount of titanium 44, a radioactive isotope, the team found a significant increase in the Sun's radioactive output during the 20th century.

Over the past few decades, however, they found the solar activity has stabilized at this higher-than-historic level.

Prior research relied on measurements of certain radioactive elements within tree rings and in the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica, which can be altered by terrestrial processes, not just by solar activity. The isotope measured in the new study is not affected by conditions on Earth.

The results, detailed in this week's issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters, "confirm that there was indeed an increase in solar activity over the last 100 years or so," Usoskin told

The average global temperature at Earth's surface has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1880. Some scientists debate whether the increase is part of a natural climate cycle or the result of greenhouse gases produced by cars and industrial processes.

The Sun's impact on climate has only recently been investigated. Recent studies show that an increase in solar output can cause short-term changes in Earth's climate, but there is no firm evidence linking solar activity with long-term climate effects.

The rise in solar activity at the beginning of the last century through the 1950s or so matches with the increase in global temperatures, Usoskin said. But the link doesn't hold up from about the 1970s to present.

"During the last few decades, the solar activity is not increasing. It has stabilized at a high level, but the Earth's climate still shows a tendency toward increasing temperatures," Usoskin explained.

He suspects even if there were a link between the Sun's activity and global climate, other factors must have dominated during the last few decades, including the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
And then we have this article about our sun that probably doesn't know that this was solar minimum period:
Solar Minimum Explodes

by Science at NASA
Huntsville AL (SPX) Sep 16, 2005
Just one week ago, on Sept. 7th, a huge sunspot rounded the sun's eastern limb. As soon as it appeared, it exploded, producing one of the brightest x-ray solar flares of the Space Age. In the days that followed, the growing spot exploded eight more times.
Each powerful "X-flare" caused a shortwave radio blackout on Earth and pumped new energy into a radiation storm around our planet. The blasts hurled magnetic clouds toward Earth, and when they hit, on Sept 10th and 11th, ruby-red auroras were seen as far south as Arizona.

So this is solar minimum?

Actually, solar minimum, the lowest point of the sun's 11-year activity cycle, isn't due until 2006, but forecasters expected 2005, the eve of solar minimum, to be a quiet year on the sun.

It has not been quiet. 2005 began with an X-flare on New Year's Day--a sign of things to come. Since then we've experienced 4 severe geomagnetic storms and 14 more X-flares.

"That's a lot of activity," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Compare 2005 to the most recent Solar Max: "In the year 2000," he recalls, "there were 3 severe geomagnetic storms and 17 X-flares." 2005 registers about the same in both categories. Solar minimum is looking strangely like Solar Max.

Scientists like Hathaway track the 11-year solar cycle by counting sunspots. When sunspot numbers peak, that's Solar Max, and when they ebb, that's solar minimum.

This is supposed to work because sunspots are the main sources of solar activity: Sunspot magnetic fields become unstable and explode. The explosion produces a flash of electromagnetic radiation-a solar flare. It can also hurl a billion-ton cloud of magnetized gas into space-a coronal mass ejection or "CME."

When the CME reaches Earth, it sparks a geomagnetic storm and we see auroras. CMEs can also propel protons toward Earth, producing a radiation storm dangerous to astronauts and satellites. All these things come from sunspots.

As expected, sunspot numbers have declined since 2000, yet solar activity persists. How can this be?

Hathaway answers: "The sunspots of 2005, while fewer, have done more than their share of exploding." Consider sunspot 798/808, the source of the Sept 7th superflare and eight lesser X-flares. All by itself, this sunspot has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991.

Weird? Much about the sun's activity cycle remains unknown, Hathaway points out. "X-ray observations of flares by NOAA's Earth-orbiting satellites began in 1975, and CMEs were discovered only a few years earlier by the 7th Orbiting Solar Observatory. Before the 1970s, our records are spotty."

This means we don't know what is typical. Scientists have monitored only three complete solar cycles using satellite technology. "It's risky to draw conclusions" from such a short span of data, he says.

Hathaway offers a cautionary tale: Before 2005, the last solar minimum was due in 1996 and the sun, at the time, seemed to be behaving perfectly: From late-1992 until mid-1996, sunspots began to disappear and there were precisely zero X-flares during those long years. It was a time of quiet. Then, in 1996 when sunspot counts finally reached their lowest value-bang!-an X-flare erupted.

"The sun can be very unpredictable," says Hathaway, which is something NASA planners must take into account when they send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars.

Returning to 2005: is this year an aberration-or a normal rush to the bottom of the solar cycle? "We need to observe more solar cycles to answer that question," says Hathaway. "And because each cycle lasts 11 years, observing takes time."

Meanwhile, Hathaway is waiting for 2006 when solar minimum finally arrives. Who knows what the Sun will do then?
And then, in March, we have a statement about the beginning of the solar minimum period:
(***link to NASA doesn't work for some reason, so this is only a quote from

WHERE HAVE ALL THE SUNSPOTS GONE? The sun has been remarkably blank lately. Solar physicists say this is a sign that solar minimum has arrived
Strangely enough, just prior to the late solar minimum, a new spot appeared on Jupiter:

spaceweather said:
JUPITER'S NEW RED SPOT: For centuries, the Great Red Spot has reigned supreme among storms on Jupiter. The anti-cyclone has 250 mph winds and is big enough to swallow two planet Earths. Jupiter has other storms, too, but none like the Great Red Spot.

Until now. A new red spot has appeared on Jupiter, about half the size of the original and nearly the same color. Amateur astronomer Christopher Go of the Philippines took its picture on February 27th:

"Red Jr." was born 6+ years ago when three smaller storms collided. (Many astronomers believe the Great Red Spot was born the same way--by merger.) At first the new storm was white, the color of its progenitors, but now it is turning red, a sign of intensification. Will Red Jr. eventually grow to rival the Great Red Spot--or remain junior? No one knows. But you can watch, because both red spots are big enough to see through backyard telescopes: sky map.
And here the chronicles of "solar minimum" with a strange activity around new Jupiter spot:
(according to As I understand, so called "prominences" can also happen during solar minimum, unless there is a person here that knows something else.

12 March:
If you have a safely-filtered solar telescope, take a look at the sun. A new sunspot (image) is rapidly emerging in the sun's northern hemisphere. It is already as big as Earth and could grow much larger if it continues to blossom at its current pace.
16 March:
QUIET SUN: There are only two small spots on the sun today, and neither poses a threat for flares. That means solar activity is low. Or is it? Continued below...

ACTIVE SUN: "The sun is starting to kick," says Jack Newton of Portal, Arizona, who photographed three prominences dancing along the limb of the sun on March 15th:
21 March:
RED JR: "Things are getting weird around Jupiter's new red spot--Red Jr.," says astrophotographer Christopher Go. "A ring inside the spot is now more prominent, and there are 2 big white ovals just above it." Red Jr., in short, is looking a bit like Mickey Mouse:
25 March
PROMINENCE ALERT: If you have a solar telescope, point it at the sun today. A huge solar prominence is erupting near the sun's south western limb
26 March
NOT-SO-QUIET SUN: Once again, the sun is blank, but there's more to solar activity than sunspots. Yesterday, a huge prominence billowed away from the sun's southwestern limb. Earth will feel no effects from the eruption, which was not aimed in our direction.
28 March
SOLAR ACTIVITY: New sunspot 865 is growing rapidly. Yesterday, it didn't exist; today it is bigger than Earth. The spot does not yet pose a threat for strong solar flares, but its development merits watching.
30 March
SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot 865 is still growing, more than doubling in size since yesterday. The movie below obtained by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows how the spot has blossomed since it first appeared on March 28th:
3 April
SOLAR ACTIVITY: Things are heating up on the sun. The growth of sunspot group 865 continues; it now stretches more than 10 Earth diameters from end to end. The spot has a twisted and possibly unstable magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares.
4 April
SOLAR ACTIVITY: The biggest sunspot of the year is crossing the sun's disk, but yesterday solar astronomers couldn't take their eyes off something else--this spectacular prominence.


The sun is active at present and capable of producing such vistas on a daily basis. Meanwhile, sunspot 865 poses a threat for strong solar flares; an eruption could produce spectacular vistas here on Earth.
7 April
BIG SUNSPOT: Sunspot 865 is about as big as the planet Neptune, which makes it an attractive target for solar telescopes. Don't wait too long to look, however, because the sun's rotation will soon turn the behemoth away from Earth
11 April
DINOSAURS ROAM THE SUN: "Solar prominence activity has been spectacular for several days now," says Mike Taormina of Palatine, Illinois. "This Brontosaurus-shaped prominence I photographed yesterday is just one example!"
22 April
SOLAR ACTIVITY: "It is big and getting bigger by the hour," says Mila Zinkova of San Francisco, California. "I decided to photograph it as soon as possible because, if I waited longer, the Earth, which I added to the picture for comparison, would become too small to see!" It is this solar prominence, dancing today above the sun's northwestern limb.
25 April
BIG SUNSPOT: "It's only a few days old from our perspective, but this baby should be interesting in the days to come," says Greg Piepol who sends this picture from Rockville, Maryland:

The "baby" is sunspot 875, just arrived on our side of the sun. It is bigger than the planet Neptune and poses a threat for M-class solar flares. The view will improve later this week as the sun's rotation turns the spot toward Earth. Stay tuned!
27 April
CRACKLING SUNSPOT: Sunspot 875 is crackling with solar flares. A C8-category blast yesterday lit up a region around the spot big enough to swallow Earth more than 20 times. Greg Piepol of Rockville, Maryland, caught the flare in mid-eruption.

Sunspot 875 has a tangled, complex magnetic field that harbors energy for even stronger M-flares. If you have a solar telescope, keep an eye on this active region.
28 April
RADIO BLACKOUT: Yesterday's strong M8-flare from sunspot 875 caused a shortwave radio blackout on Earth. Antennas at the University of Florida Radio Observatory recorded the event in the form of a dynamic spectrum, below. Horizontal lines on the left are radio stations. On the right they vanish, silenced by the flare for more than 10 minutes:

And here an explanation abou tsolar minumum on wiki:

wiki said:
Solar minimum is the period of least solar activity in the solar cycle of the sun. During this time sunspot and solar flare activity diminishes, and often does not occur for days at a time. The date of the minimum is described by a smoothed average over 12 months of sunspot activity, so identifying the date of the solar minimum usually can only happen 6 months after the minimum takes place.

Solar minimum is contrasted with the solar maximum, where there may be hundreds of sunspots.

Solar minimum and solar maximum--"Solar Min" and "Solar Max" for short--are two extremes of the sun's 11-year activity cycle. At maximum, the sun is peppered with spots, solar flares erupt, and the sun hurls billion-ton clouds of electrified gas toward Earth. It's a good time for sky watchers who enjoy auroras, but not so good for astronauts who have to be wary of radiation storms. Power outages, disrupted satellite functions and communications, malfunctioning GPS receivers--these are just a few of the things that can happen during Solar Max.

Solar minimum is different. Sunspots are fewer--sometimes days or weeks go by without a spot. Solar flares subside. It's a safer time to travel through space, and a less interesting time to watch polar skies.

As of this writing, in April 2006, the sun is ending a solar minimum period.[1]

There is a problem with this last statement, because according to another article, solar minimum continued till late July.
Sun's Next Stormy Cycle Starts
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 18 August 2006
01:34 pm ET

Astronomers say the Sun has begun its next cycle of activity, part of an 11-year ebb and flow in sunspots and solar flares.

Solar activity is near the low point in the cycle now. Few sunspots appear and solar flares are rare. But on July 31, a tiny sunspot appeared and then vanished after a few hours. It was a normal event, except that it was magnetically backward.

"We've been waiting for this," said David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight in Huntsville, Alabama. "A backward sunspot is a sign that the next solar cycle is beginning."

Two lines of evidence

Sunspots are areas of strong magnetic activity, where material wells up from below. The dark spots are like tops on a soda bottle, and sometimes they erupt and send bubbles of superheated gas, called plasma, into space.

This sunspot had a south-north orientation in a region of the Sun where spots would normally be oriented north-south.

"We're near the end of Solar Cycle 23, which peaked way back in 2001," Hathaway said. Cycle 24 should begin "any time now," he said, adding that it might have begun on July 31.

The tiny, backward sunspot was at 13-degrees south latitude. Cycle-heralding sunspots are usually closer to the Sun's midsection, between 30 degrees North and 30 degrees South. So Hathaway is not certain the new cycle has begun. "But it looks promising," he said.

Another group of researchers today announced that the cycle had indeed begun. That team, using the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) facility built by the National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak, Arizona, detected small magnetic eruptions near the Sun's poles that they say signal the new cycle's stars.

Storminess ahead

The peak of Cycle 23 was not particularly noteworthy, though a record-setting solar flare came as part of a string of storms struck our planet in November of 2003—actually well past the peak of the cycle.

Astronomers think Cycle 24 could be a strong one based on historical records and computer projections.

Enhanced activity means satellites and even power grids on Earth are at risk of electrical malfunction. Solar storms spew charged particles into space, and when they interact with Earth's protective magnetic field, electrical charges can dip into the lower atmosphere and even to the ground.

It will likely be many months and perhaps years before the new cycle builds steam and serious storminess ensues.

NASA plans later this month to launch a new pair of probes, called STEREO, to better monitor solar activity through the next cycle.
And finaly the article about predictions of a future sun activity. The conclusion, no one knows what what will happen, but surely, everyone have an opinion about it.

Solar Opposites: Forecasts for Sun's Activity Disagree Wildly
By Ben Iannotta
Space News Correspondent

The U.S.-led panel charged with predicting the intensity of the next cycle of sunspot activity will have to resolve highly divergent predictions issued this year by two leading solar forecasting modelers, according to solar experts at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

While some scientists are predicting a weak cycle, others are predicting a cycle that would be the most intense solar activity yet recorded.

Sunspots are cool, dark patches on the sun's surface that give rise to solar flares, streams of protons and X-rays that wear down the electricity-generating solar panels on satellites and increase the atmospheric drag on spy satellites, the Hubble Space Telescope and other low-Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

Solar flares also can disrupt communications with airliners traveling on polar routes, degrade the accuracy of GPS satellite signals and cause disruptions in electric power grids on Earth, said Bill Murtagh, a U.S. space weather forecaster.

Satellite manufacturers will review the new prediction, due to be completed in April, to make sure they are planning adequate radiation shielding on electronics and large enough solar arrays to cover the expected wear.

"There's an optimization that's done to try to size that appropriately. You don't want there to be too little, but on the other hand, you don't want to have too much," said Barry Noakes, the chief technology officer for Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, in Newtown, Penn.

NASA is funding the work of the 12-person Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel, named for the upcoming sunspot cycle, the 24th since accurate records have been kept. Solar physicist Doug Biesecker of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., chairs the panel, which met for the first time in October.

The panel's prediction will be the official solar-cycle forecast for NASA, NOAA and the International Space Environment Service, which operates 11 regional space weather warning centers around the world.

The task of forging a "single, clear voice for the user community" will be challenging because of the wide array of predictions that need to be reconciled this time around, Biesecker acknowledged, noting the contrast between those predicting a weak cycle and those predicting a cycle that would nearly rival the record setting Cycle 19 observed in the 1950s.

A similar prediction panel met 10 years ago, before the current solar cycle, and reached a unanimous consensus from predictions that spanned a narrower range. "In the previous cycle there was a tendency to believe it would be a big cycle. It was just a question of how big," Biesecker said.

At the meeting in San Francisco, Biesecker brought together two members of the panel who were scientists representing the two leading techniques for predicting sunspot activity.

Ten years ago, scientists using these techniques arrived at similar predictions. Now, their results are diametrically opposed, and it will be up to Biesecker's panel to reconcile them.

Solar physicist Dean Pesnell of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., believes that the best predictor of solar activity is the characteristics of the Sun's polar magnetic field.

"If we look at the current value of the polar fields, they're way down here, about half of the field strength that was measured in the previous solar minimum. This leads us to produce a prediction that the next solar cycle will be relatively weak," he said.

Solar physicist David Hathaway of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., believes a better approach is to study fluctuations or vibrations in the intensity of Earth's own magnetic field as it reacts to streams of particles from the Sun during the current solar cycle.

"It's like listening to a freight train in the distance and trying to estimate the size of the train, but what we're listening to is the Earth's magnetic field," he said. "Listening to what the Earth's magnetic field [was] doing back in 2003, as it turns out, we find that it was a strong peak that suggests that the next cycle ought to be a big cycle," Hathaway said.

Hathaway and Pesnell said the situation facing the panel is interesting because in the past their techniques have pointed to similar results. "The surprising thing is they disagree so fundamentally this time," Pesnell said.

"As scientists, we need to get to the bottom of this as far as understanding how the sunspot cycle works," Hathaway said.

Biesecker said the panel would issue a prediction in April and update it after that, similar to the way hurricane forecasters issue updates.

"A year from April, we will revise our prediction... We may have discovered we were wrong spectacularly or we are headed in the right direction," Biesecker said.
And here article about the strongest solar flare on record:

Latest Sun Flare Put at X28, Strongest on Record
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 05 November 2003
10:01 pm ET

Update, 7:20 A.M. ET, 06 November 2003: NOAA's Space Environment Center (SEC) has classified this flare as an X28, making it in fact the strongest ever recorded. A source told that the SEC is aware other scientists still think the flare was even stronger. The article below remains as it originally appeared. - RRB

A flare released by the Sun on Tuesday could be the most powerful ever witnessed, a monster X-ray eruption twice as strong as anything detected since satellites were capable of spotting them starting in the mid-1970s

The strongest flares on record, in 1989 and 2001, were rated at X20. This one is at least that powerful, scientists say. But because it saturated the X-ray detector aboard NOAA's GOES satellite that monitors the Sun, a full analysis has not been done.

The satellite was blinded for 11 minutes.

Craig DeForest, a solar physicist at the Southwest Research Institute, said others in his field are discussing the possibility that Tuesday's flare was an X40.

"I'd take a stand and say it appears to be about X40 based on extrapolation of the X-ray flux into the saturated period," DeForest told

That estimate may even be conservative, he said.

The flare leapt from a sunspot that is rotating off the visible face of the Sun, so its effects were not directed squarely at Earth. Nonetheless, a radio blackout occurred at many wavelengths as the storm's initial radiation arrived just minutes after the eruption. Radio blackouts are ranked from R1 to R5 by NOAA's Space Environment Center, the space counterpart to the National Weather Service.

"This is an R-5 extreme event," said SEC forecaster Bill Murtagh. "They don’t get much bigger than this."

Paal Brekke, deputy project scientist for the SOHO spacecraft, which monitors the Sun, also told the outburst could be as strong as X20 "or much higher."

At least X20

The SEC is still evaluating the flare's ranking. For now, they are calling it an X20+, indicating that it is indeed the most powerful on record. The only known event that might outrank it is an 1859 solar storm that zapped telegraph lines in an era when solar monitoring could not provide an evaluation of a flare's strength.

The radiation flare was accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME), an expanding cloud of charged particles -- actual matter that moves at supersonic speeds but not as fast as light. Had this CME been aimed at Earth, scientists would have feared a potential space storm unlike anything seen in the Space Age.

As it is, the expanding cloud is expected to provide a glancing blow sometime Thursday.

The storm, if it arrives, will not likely be major, forecasters say. But as with all space weather, satellites and communication systems will be at risk of disruption or damage. Colorful sky lights called auroras may be active at high latitudes and possibly into northern U.S. states and Europe.

More to come?

Tuesday's flare was generated by Sunspot 486, which is about 15 times the size of Earth.

Sunspots are dark, cooler regions of the solar surface, areas of pent-up magnetic activity. They're a bit like caps on a shaken soda bottle, and upwelling matter and energy can blow at any moment. Scientists cannot predict when a flare will occur.

During the past two weeks, number 486 and two other large sunspots set off nine other major flares. It was one of the stormiest periods of activity ever witnessed, all experts agree. The number of intense flares, some shooting out within a day of another, was unprecedented. Auroras were seen as far south as Texas and Florida.

The second strongest flare in this historic two-week series was an X17 event on Oct. 28. It was aimed at Earth and generated severe geomagnetic storming when it blew past the planet less than 24 hours later.

A period of relative calm is now expected on the solar surface. But another round is possible.

The Sun spins once on its axis once every 25 days at its equator, carrying sunspots around. Sunspots can last days or weeks. Any of the three that have rotated off the right side of the Sun could return in about two weeks on the left side and, possibly, send more major storms toward Earth.
Hmmm. Interesting. Conspiracy Theory Time...

Is it possible that the PTB know/think that an ice age IS coming (and would do a lot of damage)? That might explain all of the money into "pro" global-warming research. Might part of the warming be artificial (spraying of chemtrails comes to mind) to give the illusion of warming? When they really know it is about to get a lot cooler.

I'll bet our friends in the petroleum industry would LOVE global cooling.

Of course, I don't study this subject that much so I reserve the right to be completely wrong :)

Well, I just keep thinking of some things the C's said:

22 Feb 97

Q: (Laura) Ok, we have several things that we discussed earlier, is
there anything you wish to say before we launch into questions?

A: Underground bases see dramatic budget increase.

Q: (Laura) Ok, why do they have a budget increase?

A: Because there is much more activity to come.

Q: (Laura) Ok, what kind of activity?

A: Broad range.

Q: (Laura) Can you list, say, the top three?

A: Experimentation, utilization and implementation.

Q: (Laura & Terry) Of what?

A: Human "resources." Plan falling into place for "harvest."

Q: (Terry) The new underground bases, along with all the old ones are for
the coming harvest?

A: And other purposes of STS forces' plans.

Q: (Terry) And other STS plans... (Laura) What is this thing called 'The

A: What do you think?

Q: (Laura) Well, is that harvest in a negative event, or harvest in a
positive one? I mean, as in the harvesting of the wheats and the

A: Either/or.

Q: (Laura) Ok, now you say the plans are falling into place. What
specific events of the past, say, several weeks, or months, whatever
period of time set aside, are these plans that are falling into place? I
mean, what's the key in the lock?

A: Have you been paying attention, as we have always
suggested you should?

Q: (Laura) Of course! I just asked you because I wanted you to
enumerate! Of course I'm paying attention!

A: Lately, there has been diversion for you.

Q: (Laura) Well, it doesn't mean I'm asleep!

A: V*** mentioned the weather. Was that a bit "nippy" for you in
central Europe in December and January, Arkadiusz?
Here, I wonder if the "nippy" wasn't a major clue.

Q: (Terry) V*** mentioned the weather, and the changes in it. What
was the name of that movie we watched up in Tallahassee, I forgot the
name of it...

[Terry then spoke about a science fiction. Aliens were here
among us, and were plotting to affect the weather in such a way as to
make the planet uninhabitable for us, but perfect for them. Naturally,
there was secrecy and coverups. Then the subject moved to the cell phone
towers that were noted in rural areas of North Florida. This then lead
to a question about the cell phone towers. First part of question lost.]

Q: (Terry)...transmit to us and back... what can be transmitted? Can the
negative energy be focused through these microwave towers?

And what was the correlation between the strange weather and the

(Laura) Because we were told that the weather changes were
due to the energy buildup of the wave. That was two years ago. And it
had nothing to do with the 'harvest.'

(Terry) But it could also be that
HAARP adds to it.

(Jan) Ok, well, let's ask...

(Laura) Well, they would love for us to think that HAARP has something
to do with weather. 'Yes, we're having bizzare weather. Let's blame it on
HAARP!' because we're going to think about HAARP... What a perfect...

(Terry) Well, HAARP has a lot more to do than just the weather. They can put all the
energy-based stuff that they've been experimenting on in one place,
because they can do whatever they want, just by changing the

(Jan) Or, even just continue to mess the weather up, to
continue to create negative vibrations, worry and uncertainty...

(V***) I guess the point I'm trying to get at is, are these weather
changes promoting some changes in the physical body, that's making the
physical body more 'harvestable?'

(Terry) Could very well be.

(Laura) Well, it's all interconnected, but I wouldn't say that one is the cause
of the other, just to say that they occur...

(Terry) But why, as we were talking about earlier, is all this weird stuff going on all through the

A: We told you that "HAARP" was being designated for
capturing and modulating electromagnetic fields for the purpose of total
control of brainwave patterns in order to establish a system of complete
"order on the surface of the planet" in either 3rd or 4th density.

Q: (Laura) Is HAARP in operation at the present time?

A: Yes, in its early stages.

Q: (Terry) Is the spreading of all these communication towers out across
the country the equivalent of a HAARP program on a continental scale?

A: Back up system.

Q: (Laura) So, they don't need the towers to operate the HAARP system,
but they are there as the backup?

A: Towers serve dual and lateral purposes.

Q: (Terry) Local and regional authorities can use the towers to track
people, amongst other things. (Laura) Is the weather being controlled or
changed or in any way affected by HAARP?

A: Climate is being influenced by three factors, and soon a fourth.

Q: (Laura) All right, I'll take the bait; give me the three factors, and
also the fourth!.

A: 1) Wave approach. 2) Chloroflorocarbon increase in atmosphere, thus
affecting ozone layer. 3) Change in the planet's axis rotation
orientation. 4) Artificial tampering by 3rd and 4th density
STS forces in a number of different ways. Be vigilant. Be observant. Be
cautious in your planning and be aware. Do not let emotional anomalies
cloud your knowledge base. This is not a "time" to let one's guard down.
Be especially careful of travel to unfamiliar locators, as well as
sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings!!! You are being watched. Or, at
least, it is best to assume you are, and act, think, and prepare
accordingly. Remember what you have been warned about concerning attack.
As you learn more and know more, you become more interesting... and,
when your ranks swell, you are more vulnerable unless you are more

Q: (Laura) All right, were those given in the order in which they are
occurring? The fourth being the one that's coming later?

A: Maybe, but remember this: a change in the speed of the rotation may
not be reported while it is imperceptible except by instrumentation.
Equator is slightly "wider" than the polar zones. But, this discrepancy
is decreasing slowly currently. One change to occur in 21st Century is
sudden glacial rebound, over Eurasia first, then North America. Ice ages
develop much, much, much faster than thought.

[Discussion of new scientific theory recently presented that the earth is

Q: (Terry) Is the Earth expanding? That's just putting it bluntly, but,
is the Earth expanding, how did you put that? (Ark) Yes, that's the
theory: the idea is that the continents move away because the Earth is
expanding, and this is much faster than you know, than geologists were

A: Continental "drift" is caused by the continual though variable,
propelling of gases from the interior to the surface, mainly
at points of magnetic significance.

Q: (Jan) What causes the change in the axis?

A: By slow down of rotation. Earth alternately heats up and cools down in

Q: (Laura) Why does it do that? What's the cause of this?

A: Part of cycle related to energy exerted upon surface by
the frequency resonance vibrational profile of humans and others.


Q: (Terry) Ok, let's go back to the beginning of the session, when we
were talking about the acceleration/expansion on underground bases in
preparation for the harvest. Is that world-wide, we're talking here?
A: Yes, but United States is focus, due to tparticularly cooperative
power structure profile.

Q: (Terry) Do we want to ask about the power structure profile?

No, we know what that is; they agreed to work with them. But, what I
would like to know is what particular steps are being taken, what
particular activities are being stepped up?

A: Acquisition, staging, testing of planned activity.

Q: (Laura) And what is the planned activity?

A: Control of absolutely everything.

Q: (Laura) Well, swell! (Terry) That's the one world government! That's
what they want! (Laura) OK, is there anything in particular that we can
do to...

A: Knowledge protects, ignorance endangers. Awareness makes you less
vulnerable, both directly and indirectly. Heard anything about synthetic
blood, and blood and plasma alteration lately?

Q:(Laura) There's a can of worms for you! All right, I'll bite! Go
ahead, tell us about the synthetic blood and the blood plasma.

A: Less "mutes" needed.

Q: (Laura) Cattle Mutilations. They don't need as many cattle

A: Bio and cyber/genetic humanoid types now increasing exponentially in
general population. You may have already encountered one or two during
the past 10 days.

Q: (Laura) You, who? You, as in me, you as in F***, who?

A: Reflect upon activities, and power and influence centers for answer.
9 May 1998

Q: ... I would like to know
what the geographic coordinates, according to our current
grid system, that would frame Atlantis. I don't need the
exact shape, just a general box shape... the perimeter...

A: Like asking: "What are the geographic coordinates of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization?"

Q: Okay, let me get more specific: the Atlantean land that
was supposed to have existed in the Atlantic Ocean... what
was the farthest north of any any part of Atlantis that
was in the ocean, that no longer exists?

A: It is "time for you" to know that Atlantis was not a
nation, land, Island, or continent, but rather, a

Q: All I wanted was to have an idea of a land mass in the
Atlantic ocean that people talk about - where did it sit?

A: Where do you think?

Q: Well, I sort of think that the Azores and the Canary
Islands are sort of...

A: Yes, but many other places too. Remember, the sea level
was several hundred feet lower then...

Q: Why was the sea level several hundred feet lower? Because
there was ice somewhere or because there was not as much
water on the earth at that time?

A: Ice.

Q: Was the ice piled up at the poles? The ice sheet of the
ice age?

A: Yes.

Q: So, Atlantis existed during the ice age?

A: Largely, yes. And the world's climate was scarcely any
colder away from the ice sheets than it is today.

Q: Well, how could that be? What caused these glaciers?

A: Global warming.

Q: How does global warming cause glaciers?

A: Increases precipitation dramatically. Then moves the belt
of great precipitation much farther north. This causes
rapid buildup of ice sheets, followed by increasingly
rapid and intense glacial rebound.
preprint of Mann, M.E. and Jones, P.D. 2003. Global surface temperatures over the past two millennia. Geophysical Research Letters 30: 10.1029/2003
[...]A flawed recent study [Soon and Baliunas, 2003-'SB03'] compels us to stress two points which might seem patently obvious: (1) It is essential to assess each proxy series for sensitivity to past temperature variability and not, as in SB03, to equate hydrological influences with temperature influences; (2) It is also essential (e.g. by compositing records) to distinguish between regional anomalies, which often cancel in a hemispheric mean, and not, as in SB03, to equate e.g. the existence of asynchronous warm anomalies in different regions with a hemispheric mean warm anomaly.
Composite series were formed from weighted combinations of the individual standardized proxy series, employing weights on the individual records that account for the size of the region sampled, and the estimated reliability of the temperature signal as determined by comparison with the instrumental surface temperature record [Jones et al., 1999].

Reconstructions of hemispheric mean temperatures over roughly the past two millennia employing proxy surface temperature data networks with sufficient spatial and seasonal sampling, temporal resolution, and retention of millennial scale variance, support previous conclusions with regard to the anomalous nature of late 20th century temperature at least about two millennia back in time for the Northern Hemisphere. To the extent that a 'Medieval' interval of moderately warmer conditions can be defined from about AD 800-1400, any hemispheric warmth during that interval is dwarfed in magnitude by late 20th century warmth. The sparseness of the available proxy data in the Southern Hemisphere lead to less definitive conclusions for the SH or global mean temperature at present.
please see figures there!
res. group site:
Science 24 November 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5803, pp. 1286 - 1289
Recent Greenland Ice Mass Loss by Drainage System from Satellite Gravity Observations
S. B. Luthcke,1* H. J. Zwally,2 W. Abdalati,2 D. D. Rowlands,1 R. D. Ray,1 R. S. Nerem,3 F. G. Lemoine,1 J. J. McCarthy,4 D. S. Chinn4

Mass changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet resolved by drainage system regions were derived from a local mass concentration analysis of NASA–Deutsches Zentrum für Luftund Raumfahrt Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE mission) observations. From 2003 to 2005, the ice sheet lost 101 ± 16 gigaton/year, with a gain of 54 gigaton/year above 2000 meters and a loss of 155 gigaton/year at lower elevations. The lower elevations show a large seasonal cycle, with mass losses during summer melting followed by gains from fall through spring. The overall rate of loss reflects a considerable change in trend (–113 ± 17 gigaton/year) from a near balance during the 1990s but is smaller than some other recent estimates.
Greenland Ice Sheet on a Downward Slide 10.19.06
For the first time NASA scientists have analyzed data from direct, detailed satellite measurements to show that ice losses now far surpass ice gains in the shrinking Greenland ice sheet.
Image right: Greenland's massive ice sheet has lost nearly 100 gigatons of ice annually recently, much of it in low-elevation regions along the continent's southeastern coast, including the southern tip


Credit: NASA MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

Using a novel technique that reveals regional changes in the weight of the massive ice sheet across the entire continent, scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., report that Greenland's low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, while the high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall. The study appears in Science Express, the advance edition of Science, on Oct. 19.
"With this new analysis we observe dramatic ice mass losses concentrated in the low-elevation coastal regions, with nearly half of the loss coming from southeast Greenland," said lead author Scott Luthcke of NASA Goddard's Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory. "In the 1990's the ice was very close to balance with gains at about the same level as losses. That situation has now changed significantly, with an annual net loss of ice equal to nearly six years of average water flow from the Colorado River."
The study is based on an innovative use of data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite that reveals detailed information about where and when the Greenland ice mass has changed. Other recent studies using GRACE observations have reported continent-wide ice mass declines, but none has shown these changes in enough detail for scientists to investigate how the change is distributed among the different areas of the ice sheet.


NASA satellite data has revealed regional changes in the weight of the Greenland ice sheet between 2003 and 2005. Low coastal regions (blue) lost three times as much ice per year from excess melting and icebergs than the high-elevation interior (orange/red) gained from excess snowfall. Credit: Scott Luthcke, NASA Goddard

The authors divided Greenland into six "drainage systems" according to the directions that the ice sheet flows from the interior toward the coasts. The drainage systems were further divided into high- and low-elevation areas. The amount of ice in the two northernmost systems remained essentially unchanged from the start to the end of the 24-month study period (July 2003-July 2005). The largest ice mass loss occurred along the southeastern coast. Continued monitoring in the future is needed to determine whether this ice loss is a long-term trend, the authors point out.

To achieve this more-detailed view of the ice sheet's behavior, Luthcke and his colleagues used a technique that brings GRACE's global view of the Earth down to a more local and frequent view. The pair of GRACE satellites orbiting in close formation detect changes in the Earth's mass directly below them by measuring changes in the distance between the two satellites as the gravitational force of the mass causes each to speed up or slow down.

Standard GRACE data products infer local mass changes from a global data set of these satellite measurements. The new study used only data from over the Greenland region, which produced smaller-scale mass change readings over Greenland every 10 days. This allowed the Goddard scientists to monitor the ice sheet region by region and season by season and compare what they found to other known features of the ice sheet and its dynamic behavior.

Image right: The changes in the ice sheet's mass were measured from space by the GRACE mission. GRACE is a pair of satellites orbiting in close formation that can detect changes in the Earth's mass directly below them by measuring changes in the distance between the two spacecraft as the gravitational force of the mass causes each to speed up or slow down. Click to view animation. Credit: NASA

"The seasonal cycle of increased mass loss during the summer melt season and growth during winter is clearly captured," said co-author Jay Zwally, ICESat project scientist. The new results also capture more precisely where changes are taking place, showing that the losses of ice mass are occurring in the same three drainage systems where other studies have reported increased glacier flow and ice-quakes in outlet glaciers. The new results show a dramatic speed up in the rate of ice mass loss since the late 1990's that is nearly identical to reports earlier this year based on radar measurements of glacier acceleration.

Although the ice mass loss observed in the new study is less than half of what other recent research has reported, the results show that Greenland is now losing 20% more mass than it receives from new snowfall each year. "This is a very large change in a very short time," said Zwally. "In the 1990's, the ice sheet was growing inland and shrinking significantly at the edges, which is what climate models predicted as a result of global warming. Now the processes of mass loss are clearly beginning to dominate the inland growth, and we are only in the early stages of the climate warming predicted for this century."

NASA's ICESat laser satellite is currently acquiring even higher-resolution data on where the ice changes are taking place, which is providing more detail into the mechanisms that are causing the ice changes. The authors are also using ICESat data and the new GRACE technique to study individual drainage systems in Antarctica. GRACE is a joint partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt. The satellites, launched in 2002, are managed by the Jet Propulsion

Proffesional discussion on Greenland glaciers:
Sea Ice Decline Intensifies
Summer Arctic sea ice falls far below average for fourth year, winter ice sees sharp decline, spring melt starts earlier
This is a joint press release between the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), a part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder; NASA; and the University of Washington.

For the fourth consecutive year, NSIDC and NASA scientists using satellite data have tracked a stunning reduction in arctic sea ice at the end of the northern summer. The persistence of near-record low extents leads the group to conclude that Arctic sea ice is likely on an accelerating, long-term decline. “Considering the record low amounts of sea ice this year leading up to the month of September, 2005 will almost certainly surpass 2002 as the lowest amount of ice cover in more than a century," said Julienne Stroeve of NSIDC. If current rates of decline in sea ice continue, the summertime Arctic could be completely ice-free well before the end of this century. (Figure 1: September extent trend, 1978-2005).
The sea ice area for the Arctic shows near-record minimums for 2002-2006. The recent years represent a unique event because they show a year-to-year persistence of minimum ice extents (graph below). Sea ice area is now about 18% below the level of the 1980s and earlier.
Satellites See a Double-Texas Sized Loss In Arctic Sea Ice
Scientists using satellite data have confirmed that the amount of sea ice that floats in the chilly Arctic is much less than it used to be, and that's probably because of warmer Arctic temperatures.
Each year, during the month of September, the amount of sea ice floating in the Arctic Ocean is typically at its lowest amount for the entire year. This year, and all the way back to 2002, the amount of sea ice has been 20 percent less than the average amount seen normally between 1979 and 2000.
Satellites helped scientists learn that there was about 502,000 square miles less sea ice each September since 2001 than there typically was in previous Septembers.
Arctic sea ice changes in gfdl climate change scenario experiments
GFDL model results suggest that the Arctic is a region where one can look for potentially dramatic climate change signals in the 21st century. On this page, we show some results from coupled climate model experiments conducted at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey. using GFDL's current state-of-the-art climate model known as the GFDL CM2.1 model.

Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor, "Vast ice shelf collapses in the Arctic", Independent, December 30, 2006,
A vast ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has broken up, a further sign of the astonishing rate at which polar ice is now melting because of global warming.
The Ayles ice shelf, more than 40 square miles in extent - over five times the size of central London - has broken clear from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic, it emerged yesterday.
The broken shelf has formed an ice island, in what a leading scientist described as a "dramatic and disturbing event", citing climate change as the cause. The news caps a dramatic year of discovery about just how quickly the polar ice is disappearing.
It comes as America's leading climate scientist, James Hansen, warns in today's Independent that the Earth is being turned into "a different planet" because of the continuing increase in man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The break-up of the Ayles shelf occurred 16 months ago, in an area so remote it was not at first detected. "This is a dramatic and disturbing event," said Professor Warwick Vincent of Laval University in Quebec City. "It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years."Ice shelves float on the sea, but are connected to land (as opposed to ice sheets, which are wholly land-based). In the past five years, several ice shelves along the fringes of the Antarctic peninsula have started to become unstable or break up. The most spectacular was the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf, the size of Luxembourg.
Until now, there had not been a similar event among the six major shelves remaining in Canada's Arctic, which are packed with ancient ice that is more than 3,000 years old.
Professor Vincent, who studies Arctic ecosystems, travelled to the newly formed ice island and was amazed at what he saw. "It's like a cruise missile has come down and hit the ice shelf," he said. "Unusually warm temperatures definitely played a major role. It is consistent with climate change." The collapse was picked up by the Canadian Ice Service, which notified Luke Copland, head of the new global ice laboratory at the University of Ottawa. Using US and Canadian satellite images, as well as seismic data - the event registered on earthquake monitors more than 150 miles away - Professor Copland discovered that the ice shelf collapsed in the early afternoon of 13 August 2005. Scientists were surprised at the speed of the event, Professor Copland said - it took less than an hour.
There have already been several disturbing indications this year that the Arctic ice is melting at a much faster rate than expected. In September, two Nasa reports showed a great surge in the disappearance of the winter sea ice over the past two years, with an area the size of Turkey disappearing in 12 months.

Something weird happens with reports on Antarctic sea ice: they speak bouth mouths simultaneously like Laura wrote!
Daily Updated Sea Ice Maps, Univ. Of Bremen, Germany (Arctic, Antarctic) from satellite AMSR-E

this one is quite interesting:
New Melting Moment
The collapse of a huge ice shelf in Antarctica in 2002 has no precedent in the past 11,000 years, according to a study that points the finger at global warming. Measuring some 3,250 sq km in area and 220m thick, the Larsen B iceshelf broke away from the eastern Antarctic Peninsula in 2002, eventually disintegrating into giant icebergs.
By chance, a US-led team of geologists had gathered a rich harvest of data around the iceshelf just before the spectacular collapse, including six cores that had been drilled into marine sediment. The cores contain the remains of plankton and algae imbedded in layers of minerals, and their radiocarbon and oxygen isotopes provide clues about ice cover and climate change over the millennia.
The researchers, reporting in Nature, the British science weekly, say that since the end of the last Ice Age, some 11,000 years ago, the iceshelf had been intact but had slowly thinned, by several dozen metres. Its coup de grace came from a recent but decades-long rise in air temperature, they say. "The modern collapse of the LIS-B [Larsen B iceshelf] is a unique event within the Holocene," they write.
"The LIS-B eventually thinned to the point where it succumbed to the prolonged period of regional warming now affecting the entire Antarctic Peninsula region." The Holocene is the period of relatively balmy weather that followed the last Ice Age. The research is the latest in a series of studies to sound the alarm about the effects of climate change in Antarctica, where the bulk of the world's freshwater is locked up.
The Antarctic Peninsula, which juts northwards out of West Antarctica, is considered a warming hot-spot.
Over the past half century, temperatures in the peninsula have risen by around two degrees Celsius.
In recent years, the peninsula has lost ice shelves totalling more than 12,500 sq km, equivalent to four times the area of Luxembourg.
Of the 244 glaciers that drain inland ice and feed these shelves, 87 per cent have fallen back since the mid-1950s, according to a British study published in April.
Global warming, also called the greenhouse effect, is caused by carbon gases mostly discharged by burning oil, gas and coal, that trap the Sun's heat. But Earth's climate also goes through natural oscillations of warming and cooling, resulting in Ice Ages and the milder interglacial periods in between.
The new study does not say that global warming caused by human activity was responsible for the Larsen B's demise. However, it refers to a steep rise in the temperatures over the past several decades, a phenomenon that climatologists concur was unleashed by fossil fuels.
All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

Overally, i have an impression that there is a mask of a peer-reviewed science in recent reports on climate change, it's like a terrible labirinth
one has to go through ... only to get lost!!

Total Pole airship



In French, sorry :cool2:

"Dans le cadre de l’Année Polaire Internationale 2007-2008, l’expédition Total Pole airship a pour objectif de mesurer l’épaisseur de la banquise qui recouvre l’Océan Arctique. Pour cela nous survolerons de part en part l’océan gelé en passant par le pôle Nord � l’aide d’un dirigeable sous lequel sera fixé un appareil (EM bird) qui enregistre instantanément l’épaisseur de la glace de mer.
Le résultat acquis au cours sera une valeur de référence pour suivre l’évolution des changements climatiques."

"L’EM bird.
Instrument mis au point � l’Alfred Wegener Institut (Institut polaire allemand). Accroché sous un hélicoptère � 15-20 mètres au-dessus de la glace, il enregistre instantanément le profil de l’épaisseur. C’est cet appareil que nous allons utiliser, accroché sous un dirigeable.
Il émet une fréquence laser dont l’écho décrit la surface de la banquise et un rayonnement électromagnétique basse fréquence qui analyse la surface inférieure. La différence entre les deux, donne le profil de l’épaisseur."

Après l’échec du lancement en octobre 2005, l’ESA a décidé de refaire un Cryosat 2. Ce satellite sera équipé d’un instrument SIRAL, acronyme qui signifie (Sar Interferometer Radar ALtimeter) qui mesurera l’épaisseur de la banquise. Ce nouveau satellite sera lancé en mars 2009."

Google translation :rolleyes:
"Within the framework of the International Polar Year 2007-2008, forwarding Total Pole airship aims to measure the thickness of the ice-barrier which covers the Arctic Ocean. For that we will right through fly over the cold ocean while passing by the North Pole using an airship under which an apparatus (EM bird) will be fixed which records instantaneously the thickness of the ice of sea.
The result achieved with the course will be a value of reference to follow the evolution of the climatic changes."

"The EM bird.
Instrument developped at the point with the Alfred Wegener Institute (German polar Institute). Hung under a helicopter with 15-20 meters above the ice, it records the profile thickness instantaneously. It is this apparatus which we will use, hung under an airship.
It emits a laser frequency whose echo describes the surface of the ice-barrier and an electromagnetic radiation low frequency which analyzes lower surface. The difference between the two, gives the profile thickness."

After the failure of launching in October 2005, the ESA decided to remake Cryosat 2. This satellite will be equipped with an instrument SIRAL, acronym which means (Sar Interferometer Radar ALtimeter) which will measure the thickness of the ice-barrier. This new satellite will be launched in March 2009.
Wow, everything is happening so rapidly. Just wanted to input some observations about the subject. First I found the missing cnn article on the web archive you can see it here:

I can say that here in Vancouver BC, (Canada) the last winter we had and especially this year I can conform that we are getting more and more arctic weather patterns. The wind storms are changing the environment, making it bare, and the cold has increased dramatically. Vancouver is famous for mild winter, but things are changing fast. I guess the 2010 Olympics here in Vancouver are starting to make more sense. And I think the Olympics have a dual purpose, as it will be a nice way for those that know to finish construction on any preparation plans. Also the very disturbing thing about Vancouver is the massive underground city, right underneath the main downtown core. If you know what to look for you can see all the evidence, right there in plane sight. There are massive air intakes hidden all over the place. They look normal until you realize that the structures that they are supposedly built for, have no need for such massive and complex ventilation systems. Also in the oldest part of the city (gas town) the side walks have cretin bricks that are made to look like bricks but on closer look, they look like glass as if they are letting light below the surface. I have heard eyewitness accounts from my friends that work in the security industry, of forbidden areas that lead to massive doors that no one seems to know what’s behind. I think if I get a chance I will take some pics and post them up. I also know many of the bridges and tunnels that connect the downtown core to the rest of the area have been upgraded for earthquakes. The interesting thing about it the only news about these upgrades has been small mentions of them on the local traffic and news radio station, and when they have been mentioned they where given in a traffic context. It is all happening as has been discussed on the pages of this forum.

On a different note, I had an idea to make a nice visual of the brown star and our solar system depicting the brown dwarf interaction with the ornett cloud and our solar system. Just having trouble visualizing the orbits involved. I know there are good illustrations and explanations of possible orbits by the group. I am having trouble locating them. Just wondering if someone could direct me to it thanks.
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