It’s Melting Faster Than Predicted

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The news about the climate is keeps getting worse. This week a report from NASA and scientists at the University of California revealed that some of the glaciers in West Antarctic “have passed the point of no return,” threatening greater sea level rise impacts than previously thought

The findings, which focus on the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica, were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The glaciers’ grounding lines – the points at least one thousand feet below ice where they first lose contact with land – are moving further inland, and as that happens, the glaciers’ flow speeds accelerate. And the faster they flow, the more they thin- that means their days are likely numbered.

Only one of the six glaciers they studied, the Haynes Glacier, had an obstruction upstream to slow down these changes, but even its retreat is moving as quickly as the others, the scientists found.

Given these changes, glaciologist and lead author Eric Rignot, of UC Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, stated, “The collapse of this sector of West Antarctica appears to be unstoppable.”

The effects of this meltdown is already being seen in cities like Miami, Florida

The sunny-day flooding was happening again. During high tide one recent afternoon, Eliseo Toussaint looked out the window of his Alton Road laundromat and watched bottle-green saltwater seep from the gutters, fill the street and block the entrance to his front door. [..]

Down the block at an electronics store it is even worse. Jankel Aleman, a salesman, keeps plastic bags and rubber bands handy to wrap around his feet when he trudges from his car to the store through ever-rising waters.

A new scientific report on global warming released this week, the National Climate Assessment, named Miami as one of the cities most vulnerable to severe damage as a result of rising sea levels. Alton Road, a commercial thoroughfare in the heart of stylish South Beach, is getting early ripples of sea level rise caused by global warming – even as Florida’s politicians, including two possible contenders for the presidency in 2016, are starkly at odds over what to do about it and whether the problem is even real.

The fact that the earth is warming even faster than expected and the cause is an increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and humans are adding to it with our reliance on fossil fuels, there are still those in seats of power who are denying that this is happening. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is one of those possible presidential candidates, is one of them. Sen. Rubio, when was asked about climate change in an interview for ABC’s “This Week,” stated that he didn’t think there was anything that could be done to slow climate change that wouldn’t destroy the economy.

Rubio – who expressed deep skepticism about whether man-made activity has played a role in the Earth’s changing climate – told Karl he doesn’t believe there is action that could be taken right now that would have an impact on what’s occurring with our climate.

“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it … and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy,” he said.

Rubio said he didn’t know of an era when the climate was stable.

“The fact is that these events that we’re talking about are impacting us, because we built very expensive structures in Florida and other parts of the country near areas that are prone to hurricanes. We’ve had hurricanes in Florida forever. and the question is, what do we do about the fact that we have built expensive structures, real estate and population centers, near those vulnerable areas?” he asked. “I have no problem with taking mitigation activity.”

When asked by John Amato of Crooks and Liars what he thought of Sen. Rubio’s remarks, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said, “It’s insane, but that’s what passes for political discourse these days. It’s a complete rejection of facts, evidence and logic – the ‘Endarkenment‘.”

On HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver pointed out just how out of touch with reality these denialists are.

What Sen Rubio and others with this attitude, don’t want to admit is that by 2060 if most of the eastern shore of Florida is under water there won’t be an economy there at all.

3 comments

    • TMC on May 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm
      Author
  1. Let us not forget the big “methane bomb” locked in the ice from prehistoric atmospheres past. All part of the cost of stocking the world with a few millionaires and Billionaires. Humanity as a whole (global south) will “subsidize” these Carpetbaggers without borders as it has always been the case.  We have bought into the idea of “progress” even if it turns our planet into Venus.  

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