22 December 2010
Glaciers…. what glaciers?
Posted by KAS
For an undisclosed reason, I thought it fitting to post on an environmental scientific issue today (how did I choose among the many degenerate conditions, you ask?) Well, I chose something fitting not only per the environment, but also reminiscent of this past weekends New England snow storm and the icicles I was cursing this morning while chipping away at the inch thick layer of concrete ~ I mean ice ~ on my windshield. It's also a lonely morning as the relationship front is about as stable as these icebergs... hence the source of this material. Crumbling, unsteady and volatile.
So, the planets melting… it's melting as the result of our use of natural resources (including forests) and fuel (oil, gas, coal etc.) and mainly due the fact that there are Billions of Humans utilizing these sources. What does this mean, you ask? Well, on a grand scale, the Earth's climate changes are somewhat cyclical and extremes are the norm, occasionally, over the long term. So, the Earth likely would fair through this and solve the problem with temperate extremes that could invariably take care of the cause (humans.) Not only could we die, but likely such changes could kill off most organic life. Though, these extremes naturally happen on our little blue dot in the sky, it's our activities that are likely advancing that change to a point were we are progressively dooming ourselves and all other species along with us.
Though, I am not nearly knowledgeable enough in what exactly happens with global warming; green house gasses appear to be smothering our atmosphere, in affect, as far as I can understand it. The Ozone layer surrounding the Earth holds in the Earths' heat (collected from the suns solar rays) and the gasses that we emit by burning fuel including deforestation's and forest fires collects in the Ozone, leading to more trapped heat. So, with the smothering of the Earth due to all the excess gasses retaining heat on our planet; the icebergs are melting.
Ice solid, if immersed, takes as much space as melted… Like, ice cubes in a glass. But, when ice is floating atop the liquid; it's only the immersed portion that contributes to the level of the fluid (the ocean.) So, as is apparent in the pictures above, you can see that the iceberg is submersed as well as floating above. The portion above water does not affect the level of the water; just the portion below. So, when one of these beauties melts; the part that once floated has now joined the immersed portion and is now contributing to the overall level of the liquid.
There are many ramifications as a result of this. One is the loss of land due to rising ocean levels as the result of the added water. Another is the loss of 'land' that the icebergs themselves provided to life forms like Seals, Penguins and Polar Bears; and likely many other oceanic creatures and organic life forms above and below the berg. Another painful blow is the loss to valuable scientific research that can be found within the frozen ice as the ice froze thousand or even millions of years ago and provides data, organic record and environmental records that can be found no where else on Earth.
There are other implications as well; the lost of reserves as many glaciers act as reserves of water during wetter years or colder months; melting in the warmer years and months and releasing the valuable resource that is more needed at that time. The ecosystems that are tied to glaciers and the process of glacier freezing and melting are too numerous to recount (nor do I have a thorough understanding of all affected as would be required to do so)
The Earths bergs melt and as a result we are reminded that we are the cause of these widespread changes. Many, if not all, will be detrimental to us directly or indirectly through eco systems and extreme weather. What can you do to help? Be energy conscious, don't support dirty fuel (like coal) and furthermore support absolutely clean fuel sources; like the sun and water (like in Switzerland) don't support economies that limit regulation (like… o.k. I won't say it, but you know) and lastly, plant trees. Yes, trees. They not only store detrimental carbon dioxide and produce beneficial oxygen, but also they will provide shade that I imagine will be needed… not funny really, but likely true. Lastly, and I know it's a pain, but recycle. Recycle paper and plastic at least.
Don't be mistaken, damage is already done. It is the speed in which the end zone becomes clear, that we can try to control. The goal here being to try and protect organic life by progressing enough ourselves to be prepared for the extreme as well as to slow down the progress as much as possible to grant us a better chance of such success. In order to either protect ourselves as well as other life; or, to leave the planet… as is necessary to survive.
It's likely that in a period of time- our planet would go through a cyclical extreme anyway; be hammered by space 'junk' of some kind or in some other way be affected in a manner that would force humanity to adapt/leave the planet in order to survive. So, it's probably not a bad idea to be prepared anyway.
03.09 ~ I am but human, in my thoughts and desires- in my inconsistencies. It makes my opposing decisions no less real, no less quantitative... confusion is but the eye of truth, beckoning reason. ~ 03.12 ~ Time. It's existence is action progression, regression, reflection and projection. What in time is solidified and carried to another time is my choice. In one choice you lose all others; as an atom appreciates when the observer decides. It's a blue ocean of intrigue and a wave of contentment- that I am lost in, whilst, carried by. ~ 03.23 ~ That we are all part of one pulsing energy of life.. ~ 3.28 ~ There is no greater power, than the power of words. In speech we pass each other in halls, ride in elevators and embark in the great adventure that are words - with all of their beauty and intrigue. There are no wrong words spoken, only wrong interpretations and implications. Honest words are organic, true and expressions of what we are; existing autonomously and innocently, regardless of what others may think of them. 3.30 ~ That, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It certainly doesn't help being in the company of those who have succeeded in accumulating far more knowledge than I. Is the differentiation between intelligence and knowledge simply the accumulation verses the ability to learn/understand? Or, are the two interchangeable. I feel as though time is passing faster than my ability to accumulate... do other people share this conundrum, I wonder... 4.02 ~ That, "It is what it is" isn't exactly accurate. "It is what I make it" is more so... 4.08 ~ That, "it's not time that matters... it's that mattering is what makes time." 4.12 ~ I watch and wonder... think and ponder... about it. Should I find that I have analyzed to much, to little; or that the quandary was all for not, I'll not know till the applicable time has passed.I hereby instill time as my guide, innocently and fully without disposition and without angst. (4.17) ~ Though random, we should not ignore paths crossed. Just as, we should not entirely exclude emotion from our conclusions. (4.26) ~ That I dispise my lack of control over my own intentions and wonder why I am so weak in this regard. (4.27) ~ That I have opened doors, I wished to open, while simultaniously putting other doors at risk of closing. It's not with resistance I contemplate, it's with anxiety. (4.28) That, I should take a break. Time to simply be, for a bit. (5.01) Its hunger drives decent of rational, a battle of wit and need. Like rain pouring down, wisped by winds, settled by gravity, I’m drawn to it ~ KAS