CHRISTMASTIME in Antarctica seemed like the perfect season for Chris Turney, an Australian climatologist, to lead an expedition of scientists and well-heeled tourists to explore Antarctica, where it is summer and the ice is melting.
On Christmas Eve, their ship became stuck in ice and remained that way for nine days after rescue ships also became stuck. Finally on Thursday, the weather broke and a Chinese helicopter crew ferried the passengers to safety.
Skeptics of global warming snickered.
"There's a misconception here — we are not trapped in new ice that's been created because its cold," Turney told the Guardian. "This is very old, thick ice that's been remobilized. It was attached to another part of the continent and has broken out and, with the south-easterly winds we've had, has pushed it up against the coast . . .and pinned us in."
Old or new, ice is ice and it is remobilizing quickly at both poles, reaching at least a 35-year record in Antarctica, while remobilizing to seven-year highs in the Arctic, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center — even as carbon dioxide reaches its peak.
Before the U.S. commits to a trillion-dollar restructuring of its economy, let's be sure of the science.
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FOR very good reason, companies are extremely protective of their copyrights. Nevertheless, the response to a letter to a Missouri brewer from the lawyers of Starbucks to cease and desist calling a beer "Frappicino" was amusing.
Jeff Britton, owner of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Cottleville, Mo., freely admitted to copying the name of a drink sold by the popular chain of coffee shops. In his response, Britton called Frappucino "the F-word."
"Unfortunately it was only similar to the F Word because we meant to call it the same thing," Britton wrote. "Lucky for us, we're poor spelers."
Britton enclosed a check for $6, which is what the brewer collected on the sale of three Frappicini beers. As clever as the response was, the case underscored the problem companies face in protecting intellectual rights in an Internet age.