July 2, 2009

Santa Alert

Listen up, Santa! It's not just alarming news for walruses and polar bears.

Just in time for the July 9 G8 Summit, a geophysicist at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen announced that the extent of ice in the Arctic is lower today than at any time in the last 800 years. This new record stretches back to the days of Genghis Khan in the 13th century.

Scientists arrived at this conclusion after testing ice cores and comparing tree rings to 16th century logs.

Concurring, the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center also found that the long-term trend indicates a decline in glacier ice of 2.5% per decade, or (to put it into terms we can get our heads around)--an average of 13,000 square miles of ice per year.

Will the G8 Summit attendees see the political urgency in this? Or will they be influenced by the climate change skeptics and deniers? Is Oklahoma's Senator Inhofe totally off base when he calls global warming the "greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people?"

Some glaciers, such as Argentina's Perito Moreno glacier, are actually surviving. Now I'm not a climate expert, but I do believe my eyes . . . and last summer, I saw some diminishing glaciers up close and personal in Glacier National Park in Montana. Perhaps Senator Inhofe needs to get out of Oklahoma more and visit that national park to open his eyes.