Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A small foretaste?

We are having some dark days at the moment. The devestating floods in Pakistan,the Russian forest fires, and now the breakaway of a 260 sq km iceberg from the Petermann Glacier on Greenland (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/07/biggest-ice-island-greenland).

The breakaway of the huge iceberg is unusual and apparently the largest such event since 1962. It seems uncertain whether the event was directly caused by climate change or not.

But with report last year
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/11/greenland-channels-ice-loss) that the greenland ice sheet was riddled with channels which might speed up the degradation of the ice sheet, it seems ominous.
It raises concerns about sea level rise and also the possibility of a Younger Dryas like cold snap (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas).

I suppose the really scary thing is that these are all real possibilities and may well be a foretaste of what is to come. As the hypocrisy, disagreement and finger pointing happens at Bonn, it is worth all of us remembering this.

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