Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New meaning to glacial pace

I keep packing on the pounds, and the world's glaciers keep shedding weight. Not good.
(Maybe if I ate less, there'd be less need to cut down rain forests or raise beef and ship all those goodies to the local Hen House, reducing my carbon footprint. Consequently, that might preserve a little bit of ice. Let me think about that while I feast on another cheeseburger.)
More evidence is spilling out like tumblers off an ice shelf that the world's glaciers are losing their heft.
Greenland is losing 250 billion tons of ice a year. Nearly as much is shedding from glaciers and ice shelves in Antarctica. (Our picture here is really just a routine summer calving of ice off a glacier deployed for dramatic effect.)
We've known for some time that 90 percent of the world's glaciers are in retreat. Now comes word that they're melting even faster than we thought.
There's fear that Greenland's ice could reach the point of no return -- that as the top of the ice continues to drop in elevation, the remainder will melt even if global temperatures don't increase.
Along the Antarctic peninsula, islands have been revealed with regularity in recent years as shrinking glaciers shrivel away to reveal that ice had covered over connections between separate pieces of land previously thought to be single stretches of terra firma.
And around Antarctica the increased loss of ice could foul the current balance of water south of the Polar Front. That, then, could have profound influences on the the way water of different temperatures and different saline levels moves about in the ocean and stirs up the bottom of the food chain. Which, extrapolated out way down the road, could make it harder for me to chow down on that burger.


Mike Hendricks said...

Scott, don't you know there's no such thing as man-made global warming. Heard it on talk radio.

Turkeyturk said...

There may be global warming, but is it due to man?....ahh that's the question that has yet to be determined.

jw williams said...

cool place my bro was station mgr in the mid 70s