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December 17, 2008

NSN Daily Update 12/17/08
Posted by The National Security Network

The National Security Network publishes a Daily Update, consisting of a rapid response policy section, a "What We're Reading" news summary, and the "Commentary of the Day," highlighting op-eds and notable blog posts.  We know our readers watch the papers, but we want to share with you the stories you may have missed, and so we will be posting some of our daily selections of news and commentary right here on Democracy Arsenal. You can always find our complete Daily Updates and our other reports on our website

See today's complete Daily Update, "'So What?' - The Failed Counterterrorism Policy of George W. Bush" here.

What We're Reading

China is close to sending warships to the Gulf of AdenThe U.N. authorizes land and air strikes on pirates.

A Latin American summit in Brazil excludes the U.S. while welcoming Cuba.

NASA reports that ice is disappearing at an accelerating rate, with 2 trillion tons of ice lost worldwide since 2003.

The Christian Science Monitor has a three-part series on Japan's desire for a bigger role in world affairs.

President-elect Barack Obama faces an early decision on the fate of the space shuttle.

Commentary of the Day

John Kiriakou, in the Miami Herald, discusses Iran's influence in Latin America and revamping U.S. strategy in the region.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom, in the Christian Science Monitor, explores two overlooked stories about China.


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Did anyone every here about Archimeds Principle? Let me quote another scientist description of this principle relating to melting ice and global warming.

“When the Arctic Ocean ice melts, it never raises sea level because floating ice is floating ice, because it’s displacing water,” O’Brien said. “When the ice melts, sea level actually goes down. I call it a fourth grade science experiment. Take a glass, put some ice in it. Put water in it. Mark level where water is. Let it [melt]. After the ice melts, the sea level didn’t go up in your glass of water. It’s called the Archimedes Principle.”

does anyone have al gores email address? better yet do you know where he parks his jet. He should really hear about this discovery.

First of all, its Archimedes not "Archimeds".

Once again I have to explain the science of the greenhouse effect to correct your comment. The Archimedes Principle holds true only if the water is the same density (it is not, melted ice is less dense because it is not saline) and if the ice is not on land (most of the Greenland ice sheet is as is much of Antarctica).

Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas. Besides simple experiments, how do we know? Venus has an atmosphere comprised mainly of C02 and while its closer to the Sun, the surface temperature is much higher that vicinity can explain.

When we burn fossil fuels the heat is created largely by breaking carbon bonds. We don't destroy the carbon, this is not a nuclear reaction. So the carbon has to go somewhere; either soot (unburned carbon) or CO, or C02. The C02 goes in to the atmosphere and raises the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. Few scientist would argue this.

Nature also contributes to the greenhouse effect, wild fires, volcanoes, etc.

How much C02 do humans emit? Somewhere north of 200 million tons/year. How much C02 does Earth's natural carbon flux cause? About twice that.

While the human contribution is small compared to nature's our contribution affects the delicate balance of carbon in the atmosphere. Many scientists believe that man's contribution can change the balance like adding the few drops of water to an already full glass of water.

The oceans absorb a lot of C02 but he ultimate price will be that the oceans will become more acidic by forming carbonic acid, H2CO3, bad news for fish and ocean plants that normally convert CO2 in to 02.

Here is the bottom line: Let scientist determine the effects of global warming, most layman do not have the skills or training to do so (would you want a non-surgeon operating on you?) and leave the policy making (what to do about it if anything) to society and politicians.

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