Thursday, March 16, 2006 10:36 am
Greenland is melting
Think global warmings a myth? Just check out the glaciers.
George W’s mind seems to operate in a bass-ackward fashion. When there is zero evidence to warrant a presidential rush to action, he plunges dead ahead, facts be damned. Yet when there is an abundance of evidence on an issue crying out for presidential action, he does nothing. As we now know, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, had no connection to al-Qaeda or 9/11, and posed no threat to our security. But there we are, with our soldiers mired in Bush’s bloody mess. Meanwhile, despite the administration’s insistence that global warming isn’t happening, a new report shows that Greenland is melting in front of our very eyes. Using satellites, a research team from NASA and the University of Kansas has discovered the alarming fact that Greenland’s vast glaciers are melting more than twice as fast as they were only 10 years ago. This is no small matter — the Greenland Ice Sheet is as much as two miles thick and covers an area nearly as big as Mexico. Over the last two decades, the air temperature over the country’s southern glaciers has increased by 5.4 degrees, causing a larger and faster ice melt that, in turn, is causing a worrisome rise in sea levels. In 1996, Greenland lost 22 cubic miles of its ice sheet. Last year, it lost 54 cubic miles. How much is that? Only one-fourth of a cubic mile of ice would supply all of the water that Los Angeles consumes in a year. This melt rate mirrors the findings of researchers analyzing other ice sheets, from the Himalayas to Bolivia. This drastic change not only threatens people on seacoasts but also means that the globe will see more and bigger storms. Someone please tell Bush to get his butt in gear.