Thursday, June 18, 2009

Warming in Antarctica

By Francisco Izquierdo

To summarize, Antarctica is not cooling, because scientists did not contemplate the long-term, or different zones of Antarctica in their analyses; in addition, they conclude on a theoretical base, but a recent study considered real data and theories and the result was that Antarctica is warming. It is necessary to make more serious studies about this issue in order to have more scientific evidence about these last surprising results, which point out Antarctica is warming, not cooling.

Are you sure about your thoughts about global warming? Global warming has became one of the most important subjects related with environmental science. At the same time it caused an intense debate (Staff, 2009). There are many scientific researchers in favor of global warming, but there are a lot of people that think the contrary as well. Similarly, there are groups that support global warming such as environmentalists and investigators. In contrast, there exist a group, the economists, that disagree with global warming. The increase of temperature in some areas of the world is showed as one reason by doomsayers. But, the point of view of the contraries is that it is normal. The reasons are obvious because some of the environmentalists think that the economic development and human activities are causing the global warming (Knight, 2008). To speak about the global warming and its consequences is difficult. First, if there is a global warming, it will be tangible in all continents. Now, the Antarctic continent is the focus because it presents rare behavior about its temperature. In addition, Antarctica is very important because there is located 90% of ice, if it is melted by high temperatures, it could cause major damage to people and nature in general. Most people know and feel that Earth is warming even though scientists have showed that Antarctica is cooling. To know about increasing or decreasing of temperature in this continent is very important, because any change in Antarctica’s weather pattern could cause an increase of environmental and geographic harms. For example, some species of animals and plants could become extinct. In the same way, because the sea will raise its level, some cities will suffer human and material loss, and loss of flora and fauna as well. In general, Antarctica is not cooling, because researchers consider few years in their analysis, only a part of Antarctica, and theories about phenomena; moreover, a recent study, which was published last January, 2009, shows that Antarctica is warming.

First of all, Antarctica is not cooling, because researchers have considered few years in their analysis. At any investigation, there are many steps, which should be rigorously considered such as materials and methods’ part. In this part, according to objectives of the study, the study should be delimited in time and space. The time considered, days, weeks, months or years, will permit us to conclude and obtain specific results and more precise. In this case, by studying and concluding about temperature trends in Antarctica, it is necessary to take long term data. To a major number of years considered on any study correspond a major accuracy in our conclusions and results, because in this case we are talking about climate, which considers temperature as one of the more important elements.
we can notice in the next researching, the authors took into account a different period of study. Therefore their conclusions are partial about temperature’s trend in Antarctica. “Incredibly, if you are interested in Antarctica temperature trends from the present back to 1982, the region has cooled. If you go from present back to 1966, the region has cooled. Like it or not, over the past four decades, and during the time of the greatest build-up of greenhouse gases, Antarctica has been cooling!” (Chapman, 2007, para. 4).

If you take data from a determined time, and then you analyze it, the results and inferences that you obtain will be valid only for this period. For instance, if yesterday and today at Carbondale, there is a temperature of 100 degrees, you cannot affirm that temperature at Carbondale in all 2009 year is high. In other words, Antarctica is not cooling.

Also, Antarctica is not cooling, because researchers have considered only a part of Antarctica. Going on with the variable space or place of study, it is important to decide according to objectives, the place where the samples will be taken. The reason is very simple; the decision or chosen space to take sample data, because it will allow us to infer only about this place. If you take sample over a determined place, your conclusions will be valid only to this place, it will not be valid for other places, which were not considered in the sample or study.

In the next researching, we can observe that the past studies only had considered part of Antarctica. In this case, Antarctica’s peninsula was studied. Therefore, we cannot conclude about all Antarctic continent. “It turns out that most of the Antarctic measurements in the past had been taken on a small peninsula, and not over the vast wind-blown expanse of the frozen continent” (Inhaber, 2002, para. 1). If you take samples only of one part of the whole, you will be able to conclude only about this part, and you can’t generalize your conclusions. For example, if you find that people from Mexico are very lazy, you cannot say that all people around the world are lazy too. In brief, Antarctica is not cooling because researchers only were considering one part of that continent in their analyses.

In addition, Antarctica is not cooling because researchers consider only theories about phenomena. The scientific method is one tool that helps us to create theories. However, this method is a cycle. For this reason, if one theory is created, it is necessary to continue researching in order to confirm it, because absolute truth doesn’t exist. For instance, the next theory is considered to conclude that Antarctica is cooling. “The cooling trend of Antarctica agrees with the Sun-cosmic ray theory of climate change, which says when the Sun is more active, there are less cosmic rays to seed clouds, causing Antarctica to cool as the very white ice is more reflective than clouds, while the rest of the planet warms where clouds are more reflective than the ground, even in the Arctic. In contrast, the CO2 greenhouse theory predicts that the coolest part of the planet, Antarctica, should show the most warming due to the very low water vapour content in the air” ( Gregory, 2009, para. 17). I agree totally that this theory is the best way to explain many phenomena, but it will be created on the basis of reality, as in this case, climate, which we can know by describing and measuring some variables such as temperature and precipitation.

Furthermore, according to a recent study, Antarctica is warming. “Assessments of Antarctic temperature change have emphasized the contrast between strong warming of the Antarctic Peninsula and slight cooling of the Antarctic continental interior in recent decades” (Steig et al., 2009, para. 1). In this study that considered data of 50 years, from 1957 to 2006, and the measurements were taken over small peninsula, interior Antarctica, and east and east Antarctica too, Steig and his colleges found an increasing of temperature of 0.5 °C (Steig et al., 2009). These results that show warming in Antarctica are supported by many institutions and researchers such as The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Earth Institute, and Michael Oppenheimer. “It is important to recognize that the widely-cited ‘Antarctic cooling’ appears, from the limited data available, to be restricted only to the last two decades” (Steig and Schmidt, 2004, para. 3.). Indeed, global warming is affecting all continents (Mittelstaedt, 2009).

To summarize, Antarctica is not cooling, because scientists did not contemplate the long-term, or different zones of Antarctica in their analyses; in addition, they conclude on a theoretical base, but a recent study considered real data and theories and the result was that Antarctica is warming. It is necessary to make more serious studies about this issue in order to have more scientific evidence about these last surprising results, which point out Antarctica is warming, not cooling.


Chapman, W.L. & Walsh, J.E. (2007). A Synthesis of Antarctic Temperatures. Journal of Climate, 20, 4096-4117

Gregory, K. (2009, March 3). Antarctica is cooling. Retrieved Jun 08, 2009, from

Inhaber, H. (2002, July 27). Antarctica is cooling? Capitalism magazine. Retrieved June 08, 2009, from

Knight, M. (2008, OCTOBER 30). Data pins polar warming blame on humans. CNN. Com. Retrieved June 05, 2009, from LexisNexis database.

Mittelstaedt, M. (2009, January 21). Antarctica not as chilly as thought. Retrieved June 05, 2009, from LexisNexis database.

Staff, W. (2009, February 27). Prehistoric Global Cooling Caused By CO2. Space Daily. Retrieved June 05, 2009, from LexisNexis database.

Steig, E. & Schmidt, G. (2004, December 3). RealClimate. Retrieved Jun 08, 2009, from

Steig, E.J., Schneider, D.P., Rutherford, S.D., Mann, M.E., Comiso, J.C., & Shindell, D.T. (2009, January). Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year. Nature, 457, 459-463.

Uses of Wikipedia

Are you a researcher? This is for you! Nowadays, many activities are made by Internet. You can buy, study, and pay by Internet almost everything. To obtain information by this way couldn’t be the exception. There are a lot of sites or web pages where it is possible to obtain information. The web page that you visit relies on your own purposes. For example, if you are a scientific investigator, you probably will use serious and reliable sites. One site online related with a lot of information is Wikipedia. “(Wikipedia) is an encyclopedia compiled by the voluntary contributions of hundred of writers and editors. Anyone can write an article and post it to the Wikipedia; anyone else can come along later and edit the article. It’s a kind of open, voluntary, work in progress. As such, it’s the most up to date encyclopedia you’ll find” (Lengel, 2006, para. 6). From my point of view, I think that students should not be allowed to use Wikipedia because its content is not reviewed by experts, is able to be changed by anybody at anytime, and is not suitable to serious purposes such as scientific and technological research.

First of all, the students should not be allowed to use Wikipedia because its content is not reviewed by experts. As a result its content is not true. When you go to find information to your thesis or some scientific essay, you need reliable information which has been reviewed and authorized by a specialist in your area. If you use certain information, you will be able to do a respectable scientific paper or article. In contrast, if you use sources like Wikipedia, which is not reliable because it is written by any people, you will do lower quality academic jobs. “While encyclopedias and journals are generally authored by scholars and peer reviewed before publication. Wikipedia articles can be written and edited by anyone at anytime, bringing about a debate over the risk of giving those outside academia the power to create and contribute to articles on scholarly subjects” (Wolverton, 2007, para. 7). For this reason, Wikipedia is not a good idea to use.

Also, students should not be allowed to use Wikipedia because its content is able to be changed by anybody at anytime. How can you be sure if the information from some specific articles is the same today as it was yesterday, if somebody could have changed it. In the same way, the article can be the same, with the same number of words, but it can appear with some altered word; therefore, the meaning is not the same. As a result, the information is not correct and your time is a waste. In addition, we don’t know if the changes or corrections were made by its own author because anybody can do that. “Furthering this, users can add, alter, or remove information without registering a user account, giving those who visit the site free and anonymous reign over the available information” (Wolverton, 2007, para. 7). It is clear that Wikipedia is not a good source for students.

In addition, students should not be allowed to use Wikipedia because is not suitable to serious purposes. Wikipedia and Internet never could replace to school library (Lengel, 2006). The information that you find in books from the school library is unswerving. Consequently, you can use this information with confidence. For instance, you can use a book of statistic science from school library, and obtain the method that you will utilize at a scientific and technological research. Another example is when you need information from scientific magazine; because you need information specialized from scientific articles. In this case, Wikipedia is not a good idea to do that use with, because the information in it is too general and too simple. Instead of using Wikipedia, you should visit the school library.

To summarize, students should not be allowed to use Wikipedia because its content is not reviewed by peers or people specialized with recognized prestige in the area, the information in it is changeable not only by authors but also anybody; moreover, its content only could be valid for simple purposes not for academic objectives like scientific and applied research.


Lengel, J. (2006, February 7). Authority. Teaching with technology. Retrieved Jun 05, 2009, from

Wolverton, J. (2007, January 22). Wikipedia wisdom. Valley vanguard. Retrieved Jun 05, 2009, from

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Global warming and predictive models

According to Andrew Monaghan in his article, “Climate Models Overheat Antarctica,” Antarctica’s warming has been overestimated by computers models. At first, real temperature data from Antarctica were compared with data estimated by computer models. As a result, they found that the true value of increasing temperature in Antarctica was overvalued by 250 percent more than real value. In fact, this error was caused by not considering water vapor, which is different from one place to another. In conclusion, even though the current computer models are better than past models, they are far from be accurate methods to know a good prediction about Antarctica’s climate; moreover, to know the cause of error can help researchers to improve computer models.

It is very interesting to know that researchers are working about how to obtain accurate predictions on Antarctic’s climate. Nowadays, to build models to predict Antarctic’s climate is important because they help us to know the size of future problems, find their solutions, and give security to the population.

To build good models in order to get reliable information is not easy. In addition, these kinds of models are very complicated because they should consider a lot of variables. If you obtain a high-quality model, you will be able to know more about the problem. You can know the related factors which are affecting in negative or positive way the result.

After that, models help us to discover answers to problems. In this case, the responses will be about global warming. To know the future values of temperature by using accurate models is very important because you can analyze this data. Then, you can conclude if there is a change in climate or not. I think that in this moment, there is not change climate because climate continues being the same in each country or region. Finally, it is possible to discover solutions in advance.

Furthermore, if investigators can identify some problems in advance and find their answers, the people will feel more secure. However, if researchers don’t have enough tools or adequate methods to solve the problems, human population and other living forms can suffer terrible consequences. For example, Mario Molina discovered that substances named CFCs were destroying the ozone layer. After that, this problem has been reduced.

To summarize, any model that can predict Antarctica’s climate is important because it has to do with future problems like climate change. After they are evaluated, they can help to know the problems better, discover some solutions, and calm people. For these reasons, it is very important to study models and government should encourage researchers, and give them more support.

Monaghan, A. (2008, May 13). Climate models overheat Antarctica. Space Daily. Retrieved May 23, 2009, from LexisNexis database.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Laptops to children?

Certainly, the most developed countries have enough human and money capital . Therefore, Canada and United States can run any kind of project. For example, there are programs that try to give one laptop computer to every child. Indeed, it is possible in these countries. I agree with this idea, but I think that it is necessary to do a deep analysis about that.  First, we should ask the next question, do children need a computer? Why? Who? How many? The study should consider many variables. For instance, it can contemplate age, and educational level. As a result, from the study we obtain age and educational level optimum at which children can get the laptop computers. Then, this program can run on a small scale, in order to know probable collateral problems. In the same way, this study will help us to know what kind of children could use a computer with good results on their mental development and educational level. To conclude, it is important to give a computer to children; furthermore, we should study this subject profoundly before we run it. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Technological advances and behavior

Today, there are a lot technological advances. They have transformed the way to work, to communicate, and to behave. For instance, you can use Mobil phone and Internet to communicate very quickly. Internet, a new technology, permits us to be connected at any time. As a result, there are many changes in education, culture, and job. First, in education, a professor can teach courses online. Many students around the world can take these courses. Similarly, a student can get advice from his teacher by e-mail. He can send his assignments in the same way. Second, our culture has been altered too. For example you can increase your knowledge about other countries without traveling. You can share ideas with other people, who you don’t know. Finally, some people can work in their home because they can exchange a lot of information. One team can work online and finish the work without meeting. In conclusion, that we are connected online is very important because it improves the culture, increases the quality of education and permits us to work faster.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pollution by spilling oil

Mexico and its population face many environmental problems. One of them, the most important, is pollution of resources such as air, soil and water. Big spilling of petroleum causes it. In the same way, when soil is affected, flora and fauna is damaged too. Soil become infertile and crops don’t yield enough. Many crops are scratched and farmers become angry because they lose their harvest. Also, many people become sick because they drink unclean water. On the other hand, this activity, which causes pollution, is the most significant to Mexico. Economic growth of my country depends on petroleum although it has other resources. There are a lot of businesses on this activity and many people have jobs from it. The government can run projects about education, roads and health, and decrease the poverty and so on from this action. To sum up, the pollution caused by this economic project is too large and it is necessary to solve it. Moreover, it is possible to run this kind of project related with oil, but it is necessary to take care of the environment too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ozone layer, Global warming and Montreal Protocol

In Stephen Leahy’s article “Climate Change: Chemical lobby weakening ozone treaty,” he depicts relevant information about Montreal Protocol which is a significant agreement among many countries such as Argentina, The United States, and Canada. First of all, the actions of the protocol have helped to reduce the destruction of the ozone layer, so the ultraviolet radiation is less intense today. Some chemicals which damage the ozone layer and which have a negative effect on climate have been substituted for new chemicals. But the new chemicals cause other problems such as being a the greenhouse gas and causing global warming. Therefore, skin cancer in humans has maintained its rate even though the problem continues yet. Flora and fauna have continued their course. To sum up, the protocol has carried out activities to defend the environment, and it produce benefits to populations such as people, flora and fauna.

Is the Montreal protocol a good idea? Because some countries around the world are not aware about this topic, many bad situations have not been solved. I know a little about this problem and its impact on the environment. However, I agree with the measures being taken by the protocol, because these are helping to improve the people’s health, decrease damage to nature, and give a new approach to the economy.

First of all, the Montreal Protocol increased people’s health. There are a lot of cases of skin cancer, and many people are dying. For instance, in the US this is a serious problem because many people have become sick with this kind of cancer (Leahy 2009). In contrast, the new generations of individuals will not have skin cancer, because the effect of the ultraviolet radiation has been normalized.

Also, Montreal Protocol has decreased damage to nature. Soil can support the agricultural use. For example, plants have good development, so they produce many foods. We can grow different crops that are useful to people. Fauna is preserved, and it gives well-being to the environment. As a result, there are many advantages from the protocol.

In addition, the Montreal Protocol gave a new approach to the economy. Chemicals that were been utilized in big companies have been eliminated and modified. These modified substances are according to the protocol to conserve the ecosystem without forgetting the economic development. Consequently, the global economy can be better with damaging the nature.

In summary, the Montreal Protocol is a huge agreement, because it is stopping collateral effects by controlling use of some chemicals, allowing development of society, plant and animals, and the countries’ economy. The governments will encourage this kind of agreement in order to take care of the world, upon whom life depends.


Leahy, S. (2008, September 16). Climate change: Chemical Lobby Weakening Ozone

Treaty. Ips News. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from