Saturday, December 30, 2006

Got Ice?

From a paper on the threat of global warming, written by an environmentalist some years back, I found this literally numbing description of the prospect;

A big enough rise of global temperatures would eventually melt the world's glaciers, and indeed a retreat of mountain glaciers since the 19th century was apparent in some regions. That would release enough water to raise the sea level a bit. Worse, beginning in the 1960s, several glacier experts warned that part of the Antarctic ice sheet seemed unstable. If the huge mass slid into the ocean, the rise of sea level would wreak great harm, perhaps within the next century or two. While that seemed unlikely (although not impossible), by the 1980s scientists realized that global warming would probably raise sea level enough to damage populous coastal regions.

There is some truth that is stranger than fiction, and more threatening than scientific predictions. One of them occurred yesterday.

A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a "major" reason for the event. The Ayles Ice Shelf — all 41 square miles of it — broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic.
Derek Mueller, a polar researcher with Vincent's team, said the ice shelves get weaker and weaker as temperatures rise. He visited Ellesmere Island in 2002 and noticed that another ice shelf had cracked in half.

"We're losing our ice shelves and this a feature of the landscape that is in danger of disappearing altogether from Canada," Mueller said.

What are the polar bears going to do now? It seems that our wasting the planet's resources has brought about the grim prospect that we may have wiped many more species off the earth. Time to get out the rotary mower and turn down the thermostat. No, well past time.

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Blogger Woody Guthrie's Guitar (aka Konopelli) said...

What consistently pisses me of are the folks--the rational, scientific types--who proclaim that there's not yet enough evidnce...that claiming an overwhelming human contribution in the process is not supported by data...

where the fuck is the precautionary principle in all this???

act in such a way as to endeavor to assurre the least harm to the greatest number...

it would cause economic 'hardship'?

ignoring it is gonna cause the destrution of all the planet's coastal regions, up to a height of as many as 20 meters...

think that's NOT gonna cause 'economic hardship'?


10:49 AM  
Blogger Woody Guthrie's Guitar (aka Konopelli) said...

i guess i'm just a fucking narcissistic doomsayer, hunh?

10:50 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

you're talking to the broad who told Dick Yarborough that el Senador was going to lose anyway since he voted for civil rights for black people, he might as well save endangered species.

2:37 PM  
Blogger A Tabla Rasa said...

think it's time to bring back ZPG?

10:33 AM  

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