October 17, 2007

The Melt In Greenland

In the comments of a Daily Kos diary about why Al Gore is quite electable, indeed, there was this link about how very, very fast the ice is melting:

... "Moulin" is a word I had only just become familiar with. It is the name for a giant hole in a glacier through which millions of gallons of melt water cascade through to the rock below. The water has the effect of lubricating the glaciers so they move at three times the rate that they did previously.

Some of these moulins in Greenland are so big that they run on the scale of Niagra Falls. The scientists who accompanied these journalists on the trip were almost as alarmed. That is pretty significant because they are world experts on ice and Greenland in particular. We were visiting Ilulissat, Greenland, once a stronghold of Innuit hunters but now with so little ice that the dog sleds are in danger of falling through even in the depth of winter. ... the Greenland ice cap is melting at such a fast rate it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break up. ...

That *sounds* scary, yes. But we've got time, right? The scientists said we had time. two of the recent eco-diaries shows just how wrong they were, with ice levels dropping faster and greenhouse gas emissions rising faster than had been predicted.

The IPCC report was very conservative. By the traditional meaning of that word, which is to say, cautious and restrained. Our climate isn't looking to return the favor. The IPCC also used information published by a 2005 cutoff date, which in turn represented research from one to two years prior. Much has changed since then. The situation on the ground is racing ahead of scientists' ability to carefully study it and publish findings.

Please call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 three times, once for your representative, twice for your Senators. Ask your representative to support the Markey-Platts bill in the House, and for the Senators to support the Sanders-Boxer bill. Tell them that, on top of that, they need to work on figuring out a way to push for 80% reductions in emissions, and invite them to a Step It Up! event on November 3rd to support those levels of emissions cuts, a green industry initiative that would be a job creation engine, and a moratorium on new coal.

You should ask them even if they're Republicans. Some of those folks actually know that this issue is one of many that's killing their credibility. And they're probably going to balk hard at a moratorium on new coal. How, they will say, are we going to power our cities? Simple. Tell them to incentivize improving transmission grid efficiency and efficiency retrofits of existing facilities. I don't know how much more conservative a measure one could propose.

Posted by natasha at October 17, 2007 05:56 AM | Environment | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

Here are three toll-free numbers for the Senate switchboard:

800 828-0498, 800 614 2803 or 866 340 9281.

Now you can afford to call every day.

Posted by: Scorpio at October 18, 2007 03:53 PM


Posted by: natasha at October 18, 2007 07:24 PM