Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Greenland and sea level level rise ... by gimleteye

I understand that Miami readers ... the principal source of readership for this blog ... find it difficult to comment on the impact of climate change. We established the blog for the purpose of calling attention to local issues and politics that the mainstream media refuse to touch.

We narrow-cast and the comments we receive are a good indicator that an important slice of Miami and of Florida congregate around our blog. We also know our blog is read by those involved in the judiciary at the federal and state level, and know that those special interests who control Florida politics through conservative legislatures at the city and county level and through the state legislature employ people to track the blogs.

Talking about climate change and its impacts needs to be an incessant, constant drum beat. I don't have any expectation that it is possible to divert attention to a long-term crisis affecting Miami any more than it is possible it is to change the media message machinery of the radical right. What I call, the Fox News politburo.

Fox News will change its tune on climate change when it pays them to.

People pay attention to their insurance rates, and eventually -- whether through storms here or nearby -- it will be even more difficult than it is today to obtain insurance. Only those who self insure will be able to live in Florida, or those who accept the kinds of marginal insurance offered by Citizens. That population will also dwindle is a prediction.

What is NOT a prediction is the fact of what is happening today on Greenland's ice sheets: they are melting rapidly because the planet is heating up quickly. We are experiencing sea level rise, now, because of global warming, but it is only the leading edge. The melting of Greenland's ice cap is the leading edge.

These photos, over the past week, taken north of the arctic circle are documentary evidence. We want Miami decision makers who come to this blog -- climate deniers like US Senator Marco Rubio or Jeb! Bush or their staff, campaign contributors and advisors -- to know there is a written record that someone tried to reach them.

As time goes on, and not much time at all, mainstream journalism will pick up the threads blogs like ours are exposing because global warming is the greatest failure of market economies in the history of mankind. A few more photos, then:

This photo is from the side of the Kanja glacier at Ilulissat. Ten percent of the ice melt of Greenland comes from this glacier.

You may have read about the problem of melting permafrost. Here is a photo. Look closely near the white stone, and you can see the melting frost. The methane contained in the world's permafrost is the wild card in predicting the impacts of climate change.

There is an austere and magnificent beauty in the great unwinding of the Greenland ice cap. Before I left Miami, I imagined feeling a little like someone rubber-necking at a road wreck, or, like those who road horses and carriages to view the first battle of the Civil War. 

My experience of Greenland was different than I expected. It is so far away. The distance reinforces the amazement that mankind, through the burning of fossil fuels, has powerfully altered the course of nature. 

We are not paying attention, because paying attention to long-term consequences of our actions is against our nature.  What is happening in Greenland filled me with awe. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you again. Even for the most skeptical on these issues, no one can doubt (well, they CAN but shouldn't) sea level rise & the melting Ice Caps. It's too bad the GOP just turns a blind eye pretending this will all just fix itself. I can only hope the Nation would read your in depth articles from Greenland. They should be a must read in schools.....Nothing says it better then your photos, up close & very telling.

Anonymous said...

Shhhh. Condo vultures just announced Miami high-rise developers are in a frenzy of proposing - 100 or more new buildings on the books and presumably coming. Or not. Now that you've reported this maybe they will abandon their plans and cancel the lavish convention center, the fabulous Watson Island gambling hotels, the Port of Miami tourist city on filled in bay bottom, the....whatever's. Or not. Shhhhh..

Anonymous said...

Last anon, they really don't care. They're all making their profits within the next five years and will be long gone by the time the buyers/suckers/politicians HAVE to deal with this!!!!! I think I've brought cynical to a new level with this post, but it's so true. I can only laugh at the though because I'm inland and may end up with waterfront property by then! I cannot laugh at the reality though. Now is he time, not tomorrow or band aids like they're doing in Miami Beach.

Anonymous said...

Still-life of the apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gimleteye:

The whole world is still in denial. Not necessarily the Fox news brand.

The flooding on Alton Road and the Greenland melt are but the early stages of a global upheaval that will displace billions.

Yes, you may get 35 hits on a post about Homestead politics, but this is the most important story the world will ever see...and you are kind to share it with us.

Thank you for all those who are reading, but are too in awe to comment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this. Most people, myself included, deal with only present issues affecting us now. It's hard to focus on things happening in places far away from us. We are so self centered that we take a narrow view of things.
Hopefully your posts will open up some eyes. I know actually seeing this, for me, has made me rethink the 'why do should i care' attitude. Now I need to get up off my butt and do something.

Sid said...

During the last interglacial period, 130,000–116,000 years ago, when Greenland temperatures were on average 5 °C (9 °F) higher than now, the glaciers on Greenland did not completely melt away.

Hey! Wait a minute! Temperatures were actually significantly HIGHER 130,000–116,000 years ago? Who were the carbon polluters back then? The Flintstones? LOL!

Source: Willerslev, E.; et al. (2007). "Ancient biomolecules from deep ice cores reveal a forested southern Greenland". Science 317 (5834): 111–4.

Anonymous said...

Great photos.