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The Bush administration classified various spy photos of glaciers. It isn’t clear why. Those glaciers are no imminent danger to us, and are unlikely to learn anything useful about the sources and methods we use to monitor them even with the photos. That we take pictures of glaciers is hardly shocking news to our enemies.

Then again, the photos show dramatically different extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, even from one year to the next. Responding to a request for declassification from the National Academy of Sciences, the Obama administration released the photos. Already various observers are using them to push for faster action on climate change, and to beat up on the secrecy of the Bush administration.

The photo above shows the Chukchi Sea, near Barrow, AK. In July 2006, it was covered in sea ice. One year later, July 2007, shows no sea ice in the same area. Needless to say, it’s a worrying trend, and rather puts George Will’s persistent crankery in context.

Comments

  1. #1 rpsms
    July 28, 2009

    Isn’t calling a one-year variance without historical context “a trend” a Patented GW denialism move?

  2. #2 Josh Rosenau
    July 28, 2009

    Good point. The photographs illustrate a long-term trend, and that long-term warming trend is what’s worrisome, not the annual variation. I should have been clearer on that point.

  3. #3 D. C. Sessions
    July 28, 2009

    I rather hope that someone puts together pictures from across a reasonably long timespan — at least a decade, preferably several — into a Flash animation. One picture, words, many pictures: word.

  4. #4 eric
    July 28, 2009

    2nd that there D.C. – the science is confusing, lets face it. pictures (with a robust assertion of validity) are uber powerful.

  5. #5 BaldApe
    July 28, 2009

    If it’s not a problem, why go to such lengths to hide it?

  6. #6 Fecal Apparition #34491
    August 6, 2009

    Glaciers melting? But of course. That’s becuase of the NATURAL, not man-made climate cycle of the earth that has been going on since the continents started drifting apart after the flood of Noah.

    Guess what. Glaciers will come back one day. Then they will melt again. Then they will come back. Then they will melt again. Then they will come back. Then they will melt again.Then they will come back. Then they will melt again.Then they will come back. Then they will melt again.Then they will come back. Then they will melt again.Then they will come back. Then they will melt again.Then they will come back. Then they will melt again.

    Get the trend? Global warming is a farce and a scam. Stupid people actually believe this dictatorial propaganda crap and expect me to contribute to their high cause of nature worship. My contribution is simply this: Go to hell and take your CFL bulbs and shove them up your fascist ass and mind your own business.

    Idiots.

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