Thursday, August 21, 2008

In honour of the Olympics

A blast from Maribo's past:

BEIJING (Unassociated Press) - The climate’s second doping sample contained elevated levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, scientists at an Olympic doping lab confirmed on Friday.

Pierre Martin, who chairs the Olympic testing facility, said they discovered the carbon dioxide in the climate’s B sample had to have come from an outside source. The doping tests were ordered after the climate produced one of the warmest years in recorded history.

The result comes after years of speculation by scientists, environmentalists and the media that the climate was participating in an elaborate, clandestine doping program. The test appears to confirm that ingestion of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the climate is the primary cause of global warming.

Lawyers for the oil and coal industry continue to claim that warming is due to natural variability, and questioned the motives of the scientists at the testing lab.

“The climate has never knowingly ingested any illegal substances to enhance performance,” said spokesman Michael Henson. “This is the same old witch hunt, led by a group of maverick scientists jealous of the size of American cars and homes.”

The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Richard Pound, dismissed the claims of the global warming ‘skeptics’.

“Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, the Ozone Layer, the strategy never changes. Deny, deny, deny,” argued Pound. “This time, the evidence is incontrovertible.”

The testing lab reports that carbon dioxide appears to have been the main element in an elaborate greenhouse gas program. Scientists confirm unnatural levels of methane, human growth hormone, nitrous oxide and a several other lesser greenhouse gases.

“The extent of the doping program is unprecedented,” added WADA head Pound. “The atmosphere has even been using a mysterious substance that our scientists have labeled ‘black carbon’”.

Pound added that his agency will move to strike the climate’s many recent temperature marks from the record books.

The climate’s A sample, taken in the 1990s, found that the planet appeared to be warming. Carbon dioxide – commonly referred to by the code “CO2” – was thought to be the primary culprit. While carbon dioxide does exist naturally in the atmosphere, it can also be introduced through activities like the burning of fossil fuels like oil.

The natural level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is thought to be around 280 parts per million (ppm). The B sample, collected after the warmest year in recorded history, showed a level of close 380 ppm, far in excess of the WADA limit.

Most damning for the climate is a new carbon isotope ratio test used by French testing lab. The test confirmed that the additional CO2 in the atmosphere was not naturally generated, and must be derived from an outside source like oil or coal burning.

Computer models developed by scientists at NASA also show that the additional CO2 is the only way to explain the climate’s performance over the past thirty year.

“You simply cannot generate this pattern of warming from natural causes alone,” commented NASA scientist James Hansen.

In anticipation of a positive test results, the climate has engaged in a broad media campaign. In a book to be released this June, the climate floats a number of theories for the elevated CO2 level, including a rash of recent forest fires, medication being taken to rectify the ozone hole, dehydration from the Indian monsoon and a bratwurst festival in Milwaukee on the day of the test.

The climate has few supporters left in the Earth community. In a brief statement, the Greenland Ice Sheet, the small island nation of Tuvalu, the Great Barrier Reef and thirteen other prominent geographical features called for action:

“The latest positive test signals that it is time to end the fruitless debate about the science. We must move on to solutions to the doping problem.”

The positive test could lead to strict regulations on carbon emissions. The atmosphere has one earlier doping offense, a positive test for CFCs that caused the ozone hole over Antarctica. Under World Anti-Doping Agency rules, a second infraction brings a lifetime ban on industrial emissions.

Although it is unclear whether a restriction on emissions can be enforced, many in the Earth community argue it is necessary to level the playing field.

“We all knew something wasn’t right with the climate,” said the Arctic sea ice. “I’ve lost 40% of my summer cover in the past 30 years. You’re telling me that is natural?”

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