Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Largest Antarctic Ice Sheets Near Collapse


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Ever since the entire Larsen Ice Shelf broke off and fell into the sea, scientists have been warily eyeing the remaining ice shelves. Now they think they can detect signs all of them are about to shatter and fall into the ocean. No surprise to me, look at how very active the fault lines on the Antarctic plate are acting! Meanwhile, the volcano in Alaska rumbles along while the mysterious asteroid hurtles towards our planet.

From the New Scientist:
The massive west Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, is starting to collapse, scientists warned on Tuesday.

Antarctica contains more than 90% of the world's ice, and the loss of any significant part of it would cause a substantial sea level rise. Scientists used to view Antarctica as a "slumbering giant", said Chris Rapley, from the British Antarctic Survey, but now he sees it as an "awakened giant".
Um, I would say, Mother Nature is rearranging the furniture and we are but ants and cockroaches to Her Majesty. I don't care how much one prays to Allah or Jesus or Buddha or whoever, not one of these guys can order Mother Nature around, they have zero influence over her.

We, on the other hand, do have some small influence, some large influence, indeed, the global warming stuff is 50% us and 50% the very active sun and of course, the ozone holes that let in lethal rays, directly onto the exposed snow packs.
Changes on the peninsula, where 75% of the 400 mountain glaciers are in retreat, have provided new insights into the ways that ice sheets may disintegrate.

In March 2002, a huge floating ice shelf known as Larsen B shattered into icebergs. This turned out to have an effect akin to pulling a cork from a bottle. With Larsen B no longer impeding movement, the ice floes that fed the shelf began moving faster towards the sea and started to thin. The finding took scientists by surprise when revealed in September 2004 and now modellers are now working to include such mechanisms in their predictions.
Look, let's be reasonable: America's refusal for years and years to curb our abuse of fossil fuels, our refusal to not only change but to actively make things much, much worse, our blasted collective stupidity is going to end civilization. If the seas suddenly rise by only 10', this ends most cities. All of Florida south of Tallehassee, will be habitat for manatees.

And the hurricanes. Don't even think of living within 100 miles of the ocean unless it is in very secure bunkers set high above flood stage!

London, Venice, all of Holland, Manhattan and of course, Washington, DC, will be 100% underwater. Few people know that lower Manhattan has a seawall and ditto, Brooklyn along half the shoreline. Coney Island will be for mermaids, only, it is already watching the shores get eaten by the sea, year after year.

When the ice blows, the rise will be quite rapid. Most small island nations will disappear like Atlantis. Bangladesh's 75 million+ people totally without homes, half of Pakistan, gone, much of the Tigris/Euphrates valley, up the Nile, too. Denmark. Probably California will end up with the Salton Sea filling much of the Central Valley, for the rift there in the earth is already preventing the irrigation water from flowing out and it won't be long before the slight elevation at the Colorado River's exit into the Gulf of California will be too low to stop the ocean from flowing northwards.

All our petty problems are dwarfed by this mess.

Then there is the asteroid. Something truly we should concentrate on only we won't.

This just came in: From the Washington Post:
The National Association of Evangelicals said yesterday that it has been unable to reach a consensus on global climate change and will not take a stand on the issue, disappointing environmentalists who had hoped that evangelical Christians would prod the Bush administration to soften its position on global warming.

Over the past four years a growing number of evangelical groups have embraced environmental causes, urging Christians to engage in "Creation care" and campaigning against gas-guzzling SUVs with advertisements asking, "What would Jesus drive?"
Of course, this campaign had a flat tire and is out of steam and the Jesus-loves-only-greedy-people churches decided they have nothing to do with causing catastrophe and despite all the Bible Stories of God killing people who annoy him, they decided they would rather have God launch the Apocalypse rather than stop devouring the planet, themselves.

This is, I fear, a wish of theirs that will come true. I don't want it to since I live here, too. Perhaps we can ship them all off to Mars.
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