"The Wondering Jew"
Sept. 22, 2004 - 18:58 MDT
THE WONDERING JEW
An interesting article was in today's Rocky Mountain News by Jim Erickson, which explains much to me. As follows.
Speed of glaciers' flow spurs concern
"Some Antarctic glaciers are flowing seaward five times faster than they did just TWO years ago, increasing concerns about rises in sea levels resulting from the warming of Earth's polar caps."
"University of Colorado researchers measured the speed of several glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula, the long arm that reaches northward toward the southern tip of South America."
"These glaciers feed thick plates of ice, called ice shelves that float on the ocean along the Antarctic coast. The shelves act as dams that slow the seaward flow of glacial ice off the continent."
"In March 2002 a Delaware-size Antarctic Peninsula ice shelf called Larsen B, collapsed. Since then, several glaciers in the region have accelerated, CU researchers Ted Scambos and Jennifer Bohlander report in Geophysical Research Letters."
"Two of the glaciers are now moving at about a mile per year, according to the CU researchers. Most glaciers move a few inches to a few hundred yards annually."
"Average temperatures in the region have increased 4.5 degrees during the past 60 years. In the past 30 years, ice shelves in the region have shrunk by 5,200 square miles -- an area slightly larger than Connecticut."
"The Larsen area can be looked at as a miniature experiment, showing how warming can dramatically change the ice sheets and how fast it can happen," Scambos said."
"While the consequences of this area are small compared to other parts of the Antarctic, it is a harbinger of what will happen when the large ice sheets begin to warm," he said."
"The much larger shelves in other parts of the Antarctic could have much greater effects on the rate of sea-level rise."
I'm not an expert, but seem to have learned at one time or another that as things increase (such as temperature) the effects of change accelerate faster than the increase of causation. One degree of temperature rise a few years from now might cause tenfold the decrease in ice-shelf size. As it is now, portions of ice-shelf the size of small states are disappearing each year.
I have read projections of the rise in sea level if the ice-caps melted to bare earth. I seem to remember reading a list of cities and territories that would be under water if that happened. I don't think it take much inattention to flood over the unfloatable on coastlines.
Seems Mr. Bush pooh-pooed the idea of the effects of global warming, or was it that he denied that our globe is now running a fever temperature ? Something to that effect, it was, I think.
Maybe a century or less if one desires to be a politician holding office in Washington D.C. it will be that political stature and wealth are not enough, only experienced swimmers Need Apply . . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far