Jump to content
The Education Forum

Arctic ice rapidly melting


Mark Stapleton
 Share

Recommended Posts

While not strictly a political conspiracy, I think this should be interesting reading for all concerned with the future of the planet.

This piece from Paul Brown suggests catastrophic rises in sea levels are not far away:

Glacial Acceleration - A Sea of Troubles

by Paul Brown

It is hard to shock journalists and at the same time leave them in awe of the power of nature. A group returning from a helicopter trip flying over, then landing on, the Greenland ice cap at the time of maximum ice melt last month were shaken. One shrugged and said:”It is too late already.”

What they were all talking about was the moulins, not one moulin but hundreds, possibly thousands. “Moulin” is a word I had only just become familiar with. It is the name for a giant hole in a glacier through which millions of gallons of melt water cascade through to the rock below. The water has the effect of lubricating the glaciers so they move at three times the rate that they did previously.

Some of these moulins in Greenland are so big that they run on the scale of Niagra Falls. The scientists who accompanied these journalists on the trip were almost as alarmed. That is pretty significant because they are world experts on ice and Greenland in particular.

We were visiting Ilulissat, Greenland, once a stronghold of Innuit hunters but now with so little ice that the dog sleds are in danger of falling through even in the depth of winter.

But it is not the lack of sea ice that worries scientists and should be of serious concern to the inhabitants of coastal zones across the world. Cities like New York and states like Florida are in the front line.

Scientists know this already, but just to give you some idea of the problem, the Greenland ice cap is melting at such a fast rate it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break up.

Scientists say the acceleration of melting and subsequent speeding up of giant glaciers could be catastrophic in terms of sea level rise and make previous predictions published this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) far too low. The glacier at Ilulissat, which it is believed spawned the iceberg which sank the Titantic, is now flowing three times faster into the sea than it was 10 years ago.

Robert Correll, chairman of the Artic Climate Impact Assessment, from Washington told me:”We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at 2 metres an hour on a front five kilometres long and 1,500 metres deep. “That means that this one glacier puts enough fresh water into the sea in one day to provide drinking water for a city the size New York or London for a year.”

Professor Correll, who is also director of the global change programme at the Heinz Centre in Washington said the estimates of sea level rise in the IPCC report in February had been “conservative” and based on data two years old. The range of rise this century had been predicted to be 20 to 60 centimetres, but would be the upper end of this range at a minimum and some now believed it could be two metres. This would have catastrophic effects for European and US coastlines.

He said newly invented ice penetrating radar showed that the melt water was pouring through to the bottom of the glacier creating a melt water lake 500 metres deep causing the glacier “to float on land. “These melt water rivers are lubricating the glacier, like applying oil to a surface and causing it to slide into the sea. It is causing a massive acceleration which could be catastrophic.”

The glacier is now moving at 15 kilometres a year into the sea although in periodic surges it moves even faster. He has seen a surge, which he had measured as moving five kilometres in 90 minutes - an extraordinary event.

If all of Greenland melts, something we were previously assured would take thousands of years, but now could be hundreds, then sea level round the world would rise seven metres. That is without any contribution from the Antarctic, the glaciers of Alaska, the Rockies, the Himalayas, or the ocean water expanding as it warms.

So the talk of sea level rise should not be in centuries, it should be decades or perhaps even single years. For 10,000 years, during all of human civilisation sea level remained stable leading us to believe that coastlines remained roughly in the same place. A century ago the sea began to rise one millimetre a year, 20 years ago it had reached two millimetres and this century it has risen to 3 millimetres. This annual rise may not seem much but add hurricane storm surges and high tides and we are soon saying good bye to a lot of coastal settlements - like the Big Apple.

Switch forward a week from the helicopter ride to George W. Bush’s meeting of 16 of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in Washington last month and what do we hear. We hear lots of rhetoric about how, along with terrorism, climate change is the biggest threat to the earth - although the catastrophic sea level rise facing our major coastal cities does not rate a mention.

But instead of decisive political action (as with terrorism) we get suggestions from the President of voluntary cuts in emissions, down to the government of each country, and then next summer another conference to discuss where we have got to - which on past form will be nowhere at all. It did not sound like the much needed change of heart from the President, but just another delaying tactic to tide him over until his term of office ends.

Although it may sound like it, the commentators in Europe are not singling out America for criticism, although it has to be said as often as possible that the US is the world’s most profligate nation when it comes to fossil fuel consumption, AND has rejected the only legally binding international agreement that could do something about it. But Europeans are not doing enough either. We need convincing that our own leaders have enough political will to reach the tiny Kyoto targets that are the minimum first step to tackling this problem. The public hears the latest scientists’ warnings that an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions is needed if we are to stave off catastrophic climate change, yet wait in vain for the policies needed to achieve them.

In my book, protestors wearing George Bush masks are pictured “fiddling while the earth burns.” Maybe he is just the lead violinist of the orchestra.

Paul Brown was the environment correspondent for The Guardian newspaper for 16 years and has worked in newspaper journalism for more than 40 years. He has written extensively about climate change, population, biodiversity, pollution, energy, desertification, and ocean management. Brown has appeared in and written television documentaries on environmental issues, contributed to books on green politics, and is the author of several books on the environment. He is the author of Global Warning: The Last Chance for Change. See also www.globalwarningbook.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it might be worthwhile asking John and Andy to create a subforum or two here? I'm think Political Discussion (rather than conspiracy) and Chat.

There is a Government & Politics subforum, but it is primarily aimed at the teachers of those subjects rather than people who might like to discuss it in general.

They might not be appropriate on this board, but I thought it might be worth asking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Peter,

You're obviously well qualified to speak on this. The impending climate crisis should get more space on the Forum, imo.

Things are much worse than most people think. At 15 kilometres of melt per day and a rapidly accelerating rate, it's hard to see the Ilulissat glacier lasting beyond Christmas. And scientists have suggested the Gulf of Mexico has already become a hurricane factory due to the discovery that many parts of the Gulf have an average temperature exceeding 30C degrees. The exponential rate of global ice melt can only make it even warmer and this will happen much sooner than previously thought.

It's not surprising the Bush Administration merely pays lip service to these problems. The welfare of future generations does not concern them ( future generations of their elite group is their exclusive concern).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it might be worthwhile asking John and Andy to create a subforum or two here? I'm think Political Discussion (rather than conspiracy) and Chat.

There is a Government & Politics subforum, but it is primarily aimed at the teachers of those subjects rather than people who might like to discuss it in general.

They might not be appropriate on this board, but I thought it might be worth asking.

That's an excellent suggestion, Evan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think it might be worthwhile asking John and Andy to create a subforum or two here? I'm think Political Discussion (rather than conspiracy) and Chat.

There is a Government & Politics subforum, but it is primarily aimed at the teachers of those subjects rather than people who might like to discuss it in general.

They might not be appropriate on this board, but I thought it might be worth asking.

That's an excellent suggestion, Evan.

Here you go chaps

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=258

have fun

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think by the response that Apollo falls into the "conspiracy" section (even though I disagree with that assessment).

How about we just play this by ear, and post there if desired?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think by the response that Apollo falls into the "conspiracy" section (even though I disagree with that assessment).

How about we just play this by ear, and post there if desired?

Thanks to Mark for starting this thread. (And Stephen who started a similar thread a while ago).

I can fully understand Peter's comments that this is indeed a conspiracy. In an ideal world we should have a discussion about the conspiracy on this forum, and a discussion about global melting (sic) on the other forum. I think Peter also has a point however - this forum tends to generate most traffic. It may die out on the other thread.

To be honest I wish I had more to contribute to such an important debate. Living on the coast as I do I stand to be affected by rising sea levels as much as the next person.

Peter, please feel free to post away either on this or the other forum (when I can find the damned thing) - I'm sure there will be plenty of people lurking who'll be interested in your views regardless of whether they chip in or not. The photo with the glacires was interesting, do you have a larger version, with a full explanation of what is happenening?

As for major glaciers receding at 15km per year? Is this true? Surely not? Why haven't I heard of this on the BBC News, yet hear plenty of discussion of whether the Chancellor's decision to increase Inheritance Tax was purely down to political manoeuvring? Very disturbing, especially if this is representative rather than anomalous.

I'm buying a caravan in the hills just in case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think by the response that Apollo falls into the "conspiracy" section (even though I disagree with that assessment).

How about we just play this by ear, and post there if desired?

Thanks to Mark for starting this thread. (And Stephen who started a similar thread a while ago).

I can fully understand Peter's comments that this is indeed a conspiracy. In an ideal world we should have a discussion about the conspiracy on this forum, and a discussion about global melting (sic) on the other forum. I think Peter also has a point however - this forum tends to generate most traffic. It may die out on the other thread.

To be honest I wish I had more to contribute to such an important debate. Living on the coast as I do I stand to be affected by rising sea levels as much as the next person.

Peter, please feel free to post away either on this or the other forum (when I can find the damned thing) - I'm sure there will be plenty of people lurking who'll be interested in your views regardless of whether they chip in or not. The photo with the glacires was interesting, do you have a larger version, with a full explanation of what is happenening?

As for major glaciers receding at 15km per year? Is this true? Surely not? Why haven't I heard of this on the BBC News, yet hear plenty of discussion of whether the Chancellor's decision to increase Inheritance Tax was purely down to political manoeuvring? Very disturbing, especially if this is representative rather than anomalous.

I'm buying a caravan in the hills just in case.

Thanks Dave. This issue is going to push itself into prominence, although it's clear the mainstream media are reluctant to give it their full attention. There's no money in it for them--unlike the big bucks they make out of pushing the threat of terrorism. In this, as with many other controversial issues, the mainstream media is not our friend and thus must be bypassed. Those who rely solely on the mainstream media are years behind the curve anyway. From the alternet, "Consumption of corporate media causes ignorance, paranoia and rage".

There's plenty of info available in the alternative media but like many others I'm just a beginner so it's going to be a tough job sorting out the reality from the panic. This is issue has frightening ramifications, but it is one which can cause people to overreact if not fully informed. That's why the Forum's collective knowledge should be utilised. I think climate change deserves a subforum of its own, at least. I intend to post quite a bit on it.

There's many things I don't fully understand--like the assertion that rainfall will greatly increase in the higher latitudes and decrease in the tropic and temperate zones. The scientists themselves are not in agreement, so finding the truth won't be easy. However, they all agree on the fact that global warming will cause the polar caps to melt and sea levels to rise. Rising sea levels have not been experienced in modern history so people may be reluctant to accept that this may happen in their lifetime, or their children's at the very least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on Peter's assessment that this is not simply a political discussion but rather a deliberate action (i.e. a conspiracy) I am inclined to leave this thread here where it belongs.

I would ask people, however, to consider if their threads are simply political discussion rather than a political conspiracy.

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think by the response that Apollo falls into the "conspiracy" section (even though I disagree with that assessment).

How about we just play this by ear, and post there if desired?

Thanks to Mark for starting this thread. (And Stephen who started a similar thread a while ago).

I can fully understand Peter's comments that this is indeed a conspiracy. In an ideal world we should have a discussion about the conspiracy on this forum, and a discussion about global melting (sic) on the other forum. I think Peter also has a point however - this forum tends to generate most traffic. It may die out on the other thread.

To be honest I wish I had more to contribute to such an important debate. Living on the coast as I do I stand to be affected by rising sea levels as much as the next person.

Peter, please feel free to post away either on this or the other forum (when I can find the damned thing) - I'm sure there will be plenty of people lurking who'll be interested in your views regardless of whether they chip in or not. The photo with the glacires was interesting, do you have a larger version, with a full explanation of what is happenening?

As for major glaciers receding at 15km per year? Is this true? Surely not? Why haven't I heard of this on the BBC News, yet hear plenty of discussion of whether the Chancellor's decision to increase Inheritance Tax was purely down to political manoeuvring? Very disturbing, especially if this is representative rather than anomalous.

I'm buying a caravan in the hills just in case.

I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would state that the worldwide climate changes over time, as it is now. That has been the hisotry of the earth. It changes, sometimes for the good and others not so good.

The real questions are what is the amount of change caused by man and should man attempt to stop the change in the earths climate.

The evidence is pretty thin that man is a major player in climate change. To be sure man has done more than its fair share to screw up the planet, but changing the climate, I'm not so sure. Given we are seeing a rise in the tempatures of some of other planets while our planet is also warming does not suggest our warming trend is man made.

It's the second question I have the most problem with. Given how well man can screw up everything we touch, I'm not very pleased to think man is going to attempt to 'fix" the climate of he earth. When we have the very same scientists who were telling us in the 70's that we were going to freeze to death via global cooling...telling us now we are going to bake to death via global warming...well you get the picture.

IN a nut shell, this is all political and more about moving money for one party to the next rather than being about science.

If we want to move away from a carbon based society to something else, I've no problem with that and I think its going to happen. The market will take care of that in the end.

In the mean time its much ado about nothing...at least nothing we can really do much about. The climate is going to change. Humans will adapt. Welcome to real life.

Edited by Craig Lamson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about that.

There were many convincing aspects to "The Great Global Warming Swindle" but the majority of the points put forward by the production have been disproven.

I certainly do NOT say we should stop everything and go "green".

On the other hand, I think there is a lot of room for sensible suggestions that would reduce our total emissions, and a general behavioral change in the way do things.

My world of watering the lawn, burning off, etc, needs to be re-evaluated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

British explorer to measure depth of Arctic ice cap

LONDON (AFP) — A British explorer who was the first man to reach the North Pole solo announced plans Tuesday to lead an expedition to measure the thickness of the Arctic ice caps.

Pen Hadow, 45, who reached the top of the world alone in 2003, will lead a three-person team on the Vanco Arctic Survey mission, which could provide key evidence on climate change.

"The Arctic ice cap is in crisis. It is going to disappear in the lifetime of many people here. The question is: when?" he told reporters as he unveiled the mission in London.

The survey results would give the clearest prediction yet of how long the ice cap would last before melting into the Arctic Ocean, he said.

"The only way to have a precise knowledge is by walking across the ice cap," he said.

The latest estimates for how long it will take for the Arctic ice caps to melt range from 16 to 100 years, said Hadow.

Joao Rodrigues, from the University of Cambridge, added: "The melting of the ice cap will have global repercussions. It's accelerating and is irreversible.

"This will be the first time that such a detailed survey of the ice thickness and snow load will be made from the surface over a full crossing of the Arctic Ocean," he said.

Hadow will be joined on the mission by fellow scientists Ann Daniels, 42, and Martin Hartley, 39.

Daniels will be in charge of navigation and stewardship, while Hadow will take the measurements and Hartley "will be running around like a Jack Russell to take pictures and films." Images will be relaid daily.

The expedition will kick off at Point Barrow, Alaska, in mid-February and the group will cover 2,000-2,200 kilometres (1,250-1,370 miles) before they arrive at the geographic North Pole about 120 days later, in mid-June.

Full story: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hs-59x...bZPoIl7J3SJ7FZQ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Stephen Turner
I don't know about that.

There were many convincing aspects to "The Great Global Warming Swindle" but the majority of the points put forward by the production have been disproven.

Evan, a high Court Judge found nine problematic points in Gore's presentation, and then only concluded that too strong a conclusion had been drawn, not that any of these points were factually incorect. Indeed, as the vast majortity of the Scientific community agree with most of Gore's work, its difficult to see how he could, without standing science on its head.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not surprising the Bush Administration merely pays lip service to these problems. The welfare of future generations does not concern them ( future generations of their elite group is their exclusive concern).

http://www.transbuddha.com/mediaHolder.php?id=1147

...and don't overlook that they are OIL people who benefit from the buring of OIL; They are involved in the construction of; refining and shipment of OIL. They are involved in the chemical industry, who's main ingredient is OIL. They are owners of the power companies that mostly burn OIL. They are owners of the companies that make up the MIC, that make great profits from the use of OIL, COAL, GAS. Yes, additionally, all of their actions and policies show a disregard and blindness to the future and/or others not in their little group of elite. General Motors is famous for having [long ago now] purchased public transport systems in cities [LA] and railroads around the nation....it then did NOT develop them, but tore them up to encourage car usage and more use of oil. There are conspiracies behind the global climate change...though no one conspired on purpose to warm the environment...their greed and

lack of care for humanity and the ecosystem has. Even their little wars of late, done in the name of the country are only for themselves. Quite a mafia. [NB the real Mafia's big money maker now, after illegal drugs and gambling, is illegal dumping of toxic waste].....So our environment is being destroyed by a variety of mafias of people who put money over people, power over the planet.

Peter, did you click on the link? I was hoping you would like it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...