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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Denial, not just a river in Egypt

Now, here comes another gloomy post...but I just wanted to remind those of you who always wear rose-colored glasses or engage in denial that reality has a way of smacking us upside the head sometimes. I'm referring to Global Warming. Is it happening? Or is the earth just gearing up for another major climate change -- which has indeed happened over the ages? Regardless, something is going on...and it IS going to effect all of us -- sooner rather than later.

Here's couple good news articles:

Warm climate transforms Alaska terrain


Sinking towns

In the cooler interior regions, buildings are slumping and roads are buckling as permafrost -- frozen soil -- thaws and turns into softer, spongy soil. The Inupiat village of Shishmaref on a narrow Chukchi Sea barrier island is preparing to move as the town sinks into the ground.

"For those of us who live in the changing conditions every day, there's no question. We see it. We feel it every single day," Cochran said.

Satellite records released on Wednesday showed that sea ice coverage in the arctic region has fallen for the last four years with "unusually early springtime melting in areas north of Siberia and Alaska," according to a study by the University of Colorado, NASA and the University of Washington.

Shrinking sea ice has created hardships for sea animals like polar bears that find their prey at the ice's edge.

Heated-up waterways are throwing off long-established salmon cycles and, according to one scientist, have allowed a warmth-loving, salmon-wrecking parasite to thrive in the Yukon River.

Warming is accentuated in high-latitude regions like Alaska in part because of thinner atmospheres in the polar region, concentrating greenhouse gases, and in part because of the nature of atmospheric currents, according to studies.

Such changes have also contributed to falling ice coverage in the Arctic Sea, with spring and summer melting happening 17 days earlier than usual, according to the satellite study.

The disappearance of ice and snow uncovers dark surfaces of the ground and sea, which absorb more solar heat and warm up the landscape, said Vladimir Romanovsky, a permafrost expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute.

Report: Ice-free Arctic summers possible by 2100


"It's increasingly difficult to argue against the notion that at least part of what we are seeing in the Arctic, in terms of sea ice, in terms of warming temperatures ... is due to the greenhouse effect," Mark Serreze, a research scientist at NSIDC, said in an interview.

"We've put a hit on the system and we are in the midst of a grand global experiment," Serreze said about the impact of global warming and ice melting on humans and animals. "We will have to live with the outcome."


I doubt that my generation of Baby Boomers or those older than us will have too much to worry about, but IF I were younger, I'd definitely be worried. Or if I had offspring, I'd be concerned what their life will become. Not just due to earth climate changes, but due to the depletion of oil known as Peak Oil.

Just some ideas to ponder.

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