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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:19 PM

More bad news about glaciers — and therefore sea levels


from Grist's Gristmill blog:





Summer Rupper, a geologist at Brigham Young University, traveled to Bhutan. Her goal in visiting the Himalayan nation in southern Asia was to predict how its glaciers were likely to respond to various climate scenarios over the coming decades. The answer: No matter what, the glaciers are likely to shrink substantially.

Rupper’s most conservative findings indicate that even if climate remained steady, almost 10 percent of Bhutan’s glaciers would vanish within the next few decades. What’s more, the amount of melt water coming off these glaciers could drop by 30 percent. …

In fact, snowfall rates in Bhutan would need to almost double to avoid glacier retreat, but it’s not a likely scenario because warmer temperatures lead to rainfall instead of snow. If glaciers continue to lose more water than they gain, the combination of more rain and more glacial melt will increase the probability of flooding — which can be devastating to neighboring villages.


Note the point in that first paragraph: “even if climate remained steady.” In other words, even if the climate didn’t get any warmer, which is almost certainly not going to be the case.

Although Bhutan’s glaciers are massive and how they react to climate change will affect those downstream from the nation — read: the populous nation of Bangladesh — melt is a problem for glaciers the world over. And, by extension, for everyone who lives anywhere near the ocean. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://grist.org/news/more-bad-news-about-glaciers-and-therefore-sea-levels/



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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply More bad news about glaciers — and therefore sea levels (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
villager Nov 2012 #1
Cha Nov 2012 #2
Gregorian Nov 2012 #3
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #7
Gregorian Nov 2012 #8
AgingAmerican Nov 2012 #13
Wounded Bear Nov 2012 #4
Overseas Nov 2012 #5
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #17
MynameisBlarney Nov 2012 #6
kydo Nov 2012 #9
Bainbridge Bear Nov 2012 #10
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #18
GliderGuider Nov 2012 #25
glinda Nov 2012 #11
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #19
limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #12
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #14
HeiressofBickworth Nov 2012 #15
FarCenter Nov 2012 #16
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #20
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #23
live love laugh Nov 2012 #21
lunatica Nov 2012 #22
Hydra Nov 2012 #24

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:24 PM

1. Someday, even America's Democrats are going to have make policy that openly acknowledges

...these things are happening.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:26 PM

2. Thanks marmar

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:26 PM

3. This is a fucking huge issue. I can't believe we're dorking around while the world melts.

And by dorking around I mean tourism, and a bunch of what I call "monstrosities to materialism" that I am finding while looking for a new place to live. Americans have been hellbent on building 5,000, and bigger, square foot homes over the last ten years.

Alright, I will just shut up now. It's your kids and grand kids who will be wondering what we were doing while the world melted.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:58 PM

7. Sadly humans rarely doing anything to prepare for the future

We act only when our backs are against the wall.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:49 PM

8. My dad taught me as a young child that people only act in a crisis. Kind of cynical, but partly true

I am going on 60, and for the last ten years I've been paying for what I did to myself in my 20's and 30's. I didn't know what I was doing. The minute I felt something was wrong, I stopped alcohol overnight. No problem.

I honestly think the problem is that people also do not really know there is a problem. I have known it since I was around 16 years old. We weren't talking about carbon emissions yet, but I was already in serious stress over this. I KNEW. I have eyes. And it seemed so obvious to me. I only recently realized that I was more right than I want to be.

I don't know whether it will be a severe shock of a crisis or just a smouldering wreckage that leaves us with a "silent Spring". I suspect the latter.

All I can say is it's a shame. A shame I drank. And a shame we had to bring our population to 7 billion. In fact, since the day of 7 billion (October 31, 2011) we now have 50,000,000 new people. That's a few Los Angeles, and New Yorks in just one year.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:41 PM

13. This is one area where Obama worries me

He rarely mentions anything about it. Climate change will be a huge issue before he is out of office. It's do or die time.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:32 PM

4. No problem. They only provide fresh water for.....

3 or 4 billion people.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:36 PM

5. K&R. It is very sad that the warming is happening much faster than expected. Milder warnings were

given decades earlier, in the hopes that one could inspire people because it wasn't too late.

But instead, once the first warnings were issued, and deliberately "don't want to be too alarmist," oil industry PR kicked into overdrive on so many levels-- starting the "there is lots of doubt" talking points, encouraging more consumption of oil with giant hummers and "Morning in America" thinking-- we're great! we don't have to cut back! -- and all kinds of delay.


And here we are in an era of accelerated warming. The middle scenario. The ocean currents haven't reversed but the glaciers are melting faster than expected and the Arctic ice is melting faster and the permafrost and and and

Thank goodness more people are getting out there to protest and push for change now.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:44 PM

17. It's really not so much the warming itself,

(IPCC records actually show that we've largely stayed on track for the average predicted increases, and not quite as warm as Hansen predicted back in '88) as more like some of the knock-on effects are coming on quicker than even the scientists predicted, particularly the ice melt in the Arctic.

But instead, once the first warnings were issued, and deliberately "don't want to be too alarmist," oil industry PR kicked into overdrive on so many levels-- starting the "there is lots of doubt" talking points, encouraging more consumption of oil with giant hummers and "Morning in America" thinking-- we're great! we don't have to cut back! -- and all kinds of delay.


Definitely true, and it didn't help that dishonest hacks like Christopher Hooker and others kept claiming that even moderate action on climate change would destroy the world economy(which was and still is blatantly untrue, but I don't expect them to give a fuck anyhow), and many other pieces of bullshit they've been spewing of course.

Thank goodness more people are getting out there to protest and push for change now.


Very true.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:39 PM

6. Great.

Juuuust great.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:04 PM

9. I don't know whats worse

Images similar to one you post that only re-enforces that climate change is fact

or

that nearly half of the US population either; down right out doesn't believe climate change is real and will often turn the debate into some weird rant about al gore, or they refuse to believe humans have had an impact on climate change.

Mind you these same people believe baby jesus played with dinosaurs, and most recently they believed that not only would romney make a good president but that he would win in a landslide. There track record isn't looking so great - must be a scary time for them these days.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:11 PM

10. It was wise of Bill McKibben

 

to call his book "Eaarth". It looks more and more like this planet will never be "normal" for the rest of human history. Our grandchildren will never forgive us for what we failed to do. It was Kurt Vonnegut who said. "We could have saved the planet but we were too damned cheap." Yes, I know. The planet will eventually repair itself but by then, we will be extinct.

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Response to Bainbridge Bear (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:55 PM

18. .....

It looks more and more like this planet will never be "normal" for the rest of human history. Our grandchildren will never forgive us for what we failed to do.


Not for the rest of human history. For some centuries afterward? Maybe so. On a geological time scale, though, Earth could in fact recover in the blink of an eye under the right conditions, or at least in some ways.

The planet will eventually repair itself but by then, we will be extinct.


No, we'll still be here. What civilization may look like in another couple of millenia from now, nobody can really say. But barring a K/T event or gamma ray burst, or something equally truly apocalyptic, we'll still be around in some fashion.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:55 PM

25. The point is that as long as we're still around, the planet won't repair itself.

We'll keep ripping it up faster than it can heal. Seen a megatherium or a wooly mammoth around recently? Pointy sticks are a very destructive force, when backed up by a kilo and a half of human brain.

If the planet does heal, it's a given that we will be gone. After all, most species go extinct eventually. What would make us any different? It could take another 1000, 10,000 or 100,000 years, but our extinction, from one cause or another, is a given.

The question is, how much and how fast are we, through our actions, increasing the probability of our own extinction? That's a bit of an imponderable, but some people (including me) think we're bringing the horizon in on ourselves much faster than most people realize. And we're speaking up so that more people will consider that possibility, and what we might do about it.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:13 PM

11. The world has been in crisis on this for a long time so maybe the

issue is denial in order to drown out the fear. Humans are really a piece of work. Not all humans but many of them.

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Response to glinda (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:59 PM

19. Re: "Humans are really a piece of work. Not all humans but many of them."

Yeah, climate change deniers(Monckton, Booker, etc.) and apocalypse proponents(yes, Malcolm Light GuyMcPherson, etc.) both. I mean, AGW being a NWO hoax, or humanity going extinct because of climate change alone? Both theories are equally nutty and should be shunned by rational, thinking people, and I do hope, btw, that that would be the majority on our side, or we're in real serious trouble.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:41 PM

12. this should be a top priority. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:54 PM

14. No Carbon Tax: Obama

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021841961

Looks like Obama doesn't have the wherewithal to do anything about adding co2.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:27 PM

15. This weekend I saw the movie Chasing Ice

I recommend it. A photography team set up cameras to view glaciers over a several year period. In the past 10 years glaciers have receded as much as they have in the previous 100 years. It's a real eye-opener.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:39 PM

16. Glaciers, excepting Greenland and Antarctica, could only raise sea levels by about 45 cm.

There's just not that much water in glaciers. It is mostly in the Antarctic.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:00 AM

20. True, but there's still the issue of drinking water, too.

Most, if not all, of the water from the Ganges in India, for example, comes straight from the Himalayas. Hundreds of millions need that to survive every day.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:34 AM

23. True. This article seems to imply that melting glaciers are the biggest factor in rising oceans

but they aren't. It is mostly the rising temperature of the ocean waters that lead to higher volume and therefore higher sea levels.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:19 AM

21. If everybody would stop farting this problem would be solved.



It's very sad that there are people who choose to believe that methane gas is the cause of climate change vs. believing that there are actionable causes stemming from monied interests. On election morning while waiting in line, a stranger and I talked about the weather--in particular Sandy's devastation. He said it was a shame that climate change was only going to get worse and then said that he would be long gone by the time it became intolerable. I agreed and thought I probably will be gone as well. But, in the meantime, I will watch as Al Gore's inconvenient truth becomes an inconvenient reality.

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Response to live love laugh (Reply #21)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:31 AM

22. Increased violent weather is already here, not some time in the foggy future

More people will die now and in the immediate future from weather related causes than we are used to. It could happen very quickly if droughts keep killing crops that used to be taken for granted.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:47 PM

24. +1000

This hellish summer was just a taste of things to come.

How are you supposed to eat money?

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