Monday, December 26, 2011

26 December 2011 “Weather 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles…”
Cassi Creek:         The year 2011 CE has been a year of weather extremes.  Ocean temperature fluctuations, current shifts, polar ice caps melting nearly rapidly enough to measure visually.   Global warming has diminished the Arctic ice pack by about 44% compared to only decades previously.  The long sought for Northwest Passage is there if the vessels are powerful enough, heavily armored enough to withstand compression of ice without popping seams; and if there are sufficient and powerful enough icebreakers. 
          The U.S. Navy has no icebreakers available for active duty.  The U.S. Coast Guard has one on active duty.  Most other nations bordering the Arctic Ocean have multiple icebreakers or are building them as rapidly as possible. 
          The United States Navy typically becomes rapidly underfunded, under-equipped, and is forced to catch up at the onset of any demand for increased naval services.  Given the plans to develop Arctic resources by Arctic nations, we may well be facing a “sea of troubles.”
          This afternoon was spent doing maintenance on my weather station.  It should be all right for the next 6 months now.  
          Dinner last night was Larb, a Thai salad/entrée featuring chopped meat, lime juice, cilantro, mint, and shallots, served in lettuce leaves.  It was a common menu item when I was in VietNam.  We served it along with grilled shrimp and satay sauce.  Tonight will be much simpler fare, hotdogs and beans.

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