The facts about glaciers are these:1) since 1850 we have lost 50 percent of our glaciers to warmer climate, 2) from 1850–1970 we have lost an average of 2.9 percent per decade, 3) from 1970-2000 we have lost an average of 8.2 percent per decade.
The predictions is that before the end of this century global temperatures will rise by 3 degrees. This translates into a 75% glacial area loss, the glacial line will be 340m higher than what it is now and precipitation will rise by 10% in summers.
Those hit hardest will be those who rely on the glaciers for drinking water and agriculture. And the water from glaciers will be released quickly early in spring when it is needed most for irrigation.
The need for drinking water and irrigation I can understand. Hydro-power too. But tourism I cannot. In today’s world there is an unhealthy and heavy reliance on the economy. This is something I feel that businesses and politicians want you to have in order to maintain a artificial and human system all the while ignoring larger factors which contribute to its sustainability.
The progress-driven philosophy of humankind simply cannot be kept up indefinitely. But I am not against our way of life, rather, if logic dictates, that if we continue to heat the room we call Earth temperatures will rise to uncomfortable levels.
I remember someone once telling me about how each person generates 200 watts of heat. Simple math will tell us that 6 billion people together generate 1.2 trillion watts of heat. So by being alive we are heating the planet. And just how much electricity is needed to run all those air-conditioners to cool us down, that is, if we each person utilizes air-conditioners. Which means we are generating the heat not once but twice just to keep us cool (inside our houses and workplace) but not the rest of the planet.
Our lifestyles need to change in order to survive. We have adapted the planet to our needs but that is coming at a cost. Maybe it is time for us to adapt to the planet like we used to. Wouldn’t that be a novel idea.
2 thoughts on “Glaciers heading for a quick melt”
Even if the melting isn’t directly attributed, it still probably was started by the initial effects of glabal warming. But yes, the chain reaction can’t stopped once it is in motion. Nature simply wants to find a new balance (not sneakers).
And maybe more of us should see it for ourselves. Before might have been close to where we live but today, urbanization and simply creating our own conditions for living (adapting the environment to us) has separated us from nature. And seeing it as a tourist just does not cut it.
This is an amazing thing, glacier melting. There is a glacier I went to see not too long ago called Portage Glacier. The National Forest Service built a facility on the edge of Portage lake, not 100 yards (I’m guessing the exact distance, but I know it was close) from the glacier itself. Since they built that facility (say 20 years ago or less), Portage Glacier has receded so far back that it is no longer visible from the building. The lake was frozen over while I was there, so we walked to the glacier – 3.5 miles…. all the way at the end of the lake and around the bend.
The interesting thing is that they don’t necessarily attribute this particular glacier’s melting to global warming. They say that it is melting itself, because as it melts it raises the lake level, which in turn melts more of the glacier, which in turn…. well, you get the picture.
Nonetheless, this is a graphic illustration that once we let things get past a certain point with our climate there will be no turning back whatsoever, period, done deal. Up here, from year to year you can see the glaciers receding with your naked eye. Perhaps if we all saw the melting for ourselves it might make more of an impression.