12 January 2019   Leave a comment

New research suggests that the planet’s oceans are absorbing heat from global warming at a far faster rate than the sparse evidence had suggested. New techniques for measuring ocean temperatures show a much faster rate of warming. According to Scientific American:

“Taken together, the research suggests that the oceans are heating up about 40 percent faster than previously estimated by the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Since the 1950s, studies generally suggest that the oceans have been absorbing at least 10 times as much energy annually, measured in joules, as humans consume worldwide in a year.”

In a separate study by Chinese researchers, even the temperature in the deep oceans have been rising:

“Data due for publication next week will show ‘2018 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean, surpassing 2017,’ said lead author Lijing Cheng, of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“He told Reuters that records for ocean warming had been broken almost yearly since 2000.

“Overall, temperatures in the ocean down to 2,000 metres rose about 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18F) from 1971-2010, he said. The 2013 U.N. assessment estimated slower rates of heat uptake but did not give a single comparable number. “

The new estimates are four times larger than the ones used in the last IPCC report model.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech in which he blasted former US President Obama of “abandoning” the Middle East in a speech Obama gave in Cairo on 4 June 2009. President Obama tried to maintain a conciliatory tone to the Muslim world given the suspicions of many Muslims after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003:

“I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.  Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

“I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight.  I know there’s been a lot of publicity about this speech, but no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us to this point.  But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.  There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground.  As the Holy Koran tells us, “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”  (Applause.)  That is what I will try to do today — to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.”

Mr. Pompeo’s speech was entitled “A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East.” Mr. Pompeo did not refer to President Obama by name, but rather indirectly as “another American” who addressed an audience in Cairo. And he castigated Mr Obama in these terms: ” So today, what did we learn from all of this? We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. And when we partner with enemies, they advance.” The irony of this statement after President Trump has called for a withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan is truly remarkable. As Uri Friedman notes in The Atlantic:

“Or, as Trump might put it: The Wall, The Wall, The Wall, and maybe China, too. ‘I don’t want to be in Syria forever. It’s sand and it’s death,’ Trump stated shortly before Pompeo jetted off to the Middle East, as the president boasted of how he had decimated ISIS and could now let Iran and Russia finish the battle. ‘I want to spend money in our country.’”

Posted January 12, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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