Thursday, 4 September 2008
Every force has an equal and opposite reaction, ice melts, sea levels rise!
Open water now stretches all the way round the Arctic, making it possible for the first time in human history to circumnavigate the North Pole, The melting ice last week opened up both the fabled North-west and North-east passages, in the most important geographical landmark to date to signal the unexpectedly rapid progress of global warming.
Four weeks ago, tourists had to be evacuated from Baffin Island's Auyuittuq National Park because of flooding from thawing glaciers, please note, Auyuittuq means "land that never melts". Two weeks after this, nine stranded polar bears were seen off Alaska trying to swim 400 miles north to the retreating icecap edge.
Until recently both the North-west passage around Canada and the North-east passage around Russia had been blocked by ice since the beginning of the last Ice Age. As shipping companies are already getting ready to exploit the new route, Professor Wieslaw Maslowski at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, concluded that there will be no ice between mid-July and mid-September as early as 2013. The process feeds on itself. As white ice is replaced by sea, the dark surface absorbs more heat, warming the ocean and melting more ice.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, islands including Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, are flooding due to the increased sea levels.
President Remengesau of Palau recently said: “Palau has lost at least one third of its coral reefs due to climate change related weather patterns. We also lost most of our agricultural production due to drought and extreme high tides. These are not theoretical, scientific losses -- they are the losses of our resources and our livelihoods.... For our island states, time is not running out. It has run out, and our path may very well be the window to your own future and the future of our planet".
These islands are on the front line of climate change, they are the early warning system for climate change, sea levels will rise not only due to ice cap and glacial melt but because water expands when its temperature rises.
But Sarah Palin, John McCain's new running mate, holds that the scientific consensus that global warming is melting Arctic ice is unreliable. My concern is that by the time her and the other sceptics arguments have melted away, so will the Arctic ice.
In the words of Isaiah 43:8 “Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf".
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 02:47