Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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Friday, 1 June 2007

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S ICE MELTDOWN SHOCK

The cover story in the latest edition of the National Geographic magazine (June 2007) is 'The Big Thaw.' It should be required reading for every in-denial-prat of a politician and petrol-head, every pusher of the Black Stuff (oil and coal), and every pusher of fossil-fuelled machines.

It talks of projections of ice-cover, which predict huge reductions, and the consequent rise in the sea-level, but it also says that the meltdown is happening far faster than former projections ever expected. Greenland and West Antarctica and glaciers all over the world are melting at an alarming rate.

Excerpts: 'But lately, the ice loss has outstripped the upward creep of global temperatures.'

'Eric Rignot, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who has measured a doubling in ice loss from Greenland over the past decade, says: "We see things today that five years ago would have seemed completely impossible, extravagant, exaggerated." '

'At the rate the Arctic is now warming [temperatures three to five degrees Celsius higher could be back soon]--"by mid-century, no problem," says Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona, who has studied the ancient climate [130,000 years before the last ice-age]. "There's just unbelievable warming in the Arctic. It's going much faster than anyone thought it could or would." '

'The latest signs from Greenland have persuaded many ice researchers that sea level could rise three feet [a metre] by 2100. Rignot, who has measured the rush of glaciers to the sea, says even that figure may turn out to be an underestimate. Greenland, he notes, could ultimately add ten feet to global sea level. "and if this happens in the next hundred years instead of the next several hundred years, that's a very big deal."

Indeed. Enjoy your coal-fired electricity. Enjoy your fossil-fuelled life-destroying vehicle. Enjoy the remains of Earth as we have known it for all of human civilisation. Enjoy your share of trashing the only planet we can live on in the entire universe.