THE POWER OF ICE
On my trip through Patagonia on my way to Antarctica, I was astounded by the array of glacier formations and the absolute magnitude surrounding me. As I hiked the glacier at Puerto Moreno, the stunning blues and spectacular shapes kept my trepidation at bay.
It was only in my wildest dreams that I ever imagined actually walking on a glacier with crampons! But even more than the beauty and the thrill, even beyond the excitement and the fear, I found myself captivated by the dire importance of ice, the precarious precipice now facing mankind. Talking to the experts, the people who live and work on the icy glaciers, plummeted me into the seriousness of our situation. Without the ice, without the glaciers, man's existence on this planet is doomed.
For a long time I wondered what a non-scientist, non-biologist, non-activist could do on behalf of future generations. Are we really such a self-based society that we can't look past our own today into the future we leave to our posterity? Looking around, talking to anti-global warming relatives who don't want to let go of a penny of THEIR money to do a thing for the future, I just shook my head in disbelief. Of course, my little effort probably couldn't save an ice cube, but none the less, I knew I had to stand and be counted among those who TRIED to save the penguins - for as the penguin goes - so goes the human species.
I just couldn't sit back and do nothing, so I started this blog and I'm writing a book with the intention of making it into a popular film. No matter how daunting a task I see before me, I realize it is one step in the right direction for humanity - one small step for humanity. If I could, I would go to the moon or go to the middle of Antarctica in another Apollo and shout from the highest plateau - STOP THE HUMAN IMPRINT - STOP POISONING THE PLANET WITH EXCESS CO2 - LET THE FUTURE GENERATIONS LIVE - , but not being an astronaut, I guess I will have to settle for my little blog, my silly book and maybe a tad more impact from my film. Meantime, I am hoping someone joins my bandwagon!
Why are ice and snow important?
Beyond the area it covers, the influence of polar ice extends out to ocean circulation and planetary weather patterns. For instance, warm winter temperatures in Europe result from ocean currents partly driven by melt-water from Arctic ice. So changes to polar regions could hold far wider ramifications.
Reflecting and insulating
Snow and ice have a high albedo, meaning they reflect solar radiation back into space. And they also insulate land and ocean surfaces, holding in heat that would otherwise leak into the atmosphere. MoreICE & SNOW - Importance MORE
Antarctica is melting, not growing.
In fact the ice mass is dropping at an accelerating rate due to multiple factors including accelerated glacial ice calving rates. The loss of sea based ice allows the Antarctic ice to move faster towards the ocean resulting in an increased rate of loss of the Antarctic ice.
NASA addresses ICE MELT arguments HERE
|2013 photography by Marilyn Mornigstar - all rights reserved|
While in Antarctica, I was the only one on my ship who captured a full calving event, and I wanted to insert that video here, however, it has turned into a MOV. file and won't load in this blog. Therefore, I went a seachin' the internet for a good calving video for you, and I found this one that is really great EXCEPT THE BACKGROUND MUSIC, which will make you crazy. So, please take heed. The mute button will make viewing this video all the more enjoyable!
TURN OFF SOUND!
Fantastic time-lapse ice-calving sequence video
|2013 photography by Marilyn Morningstar - all rights reserved - permission required|
The polar ice caps have melted faster in last 20 years than in the last 10,000. A comprehensive satellite study confirms that the melting ice caps are raising sea levels at an accelerating rate. READ FULL ARTICLE
Arctic 2013 Video
ANTARCTICA LAND ICE MASS IS DECREASING
With more snow precipitation in Antarctica one might expect that the ice mass would grow as well, but at this time the ice discharge (calving) rates are increasing.
Data confirms these three factors:
- Antarctica is warming
- Antarctic sea ice extent is increasing
- Antarctic land Ice mass is decreasing
A warmer world seems to translate to more snow but faster loss of that snow in the spring/summer months.
BBC - THE POWER OF THE EARTH - ICE
Other links to ICE videos
Antarctica Ice - MELT National Geographic
Antarctica Ice - MELT National Geographic
National Snow & Ice Center - Earth's Frozen Regions
Spy satellite data reveal vulnerability of East Antarctica Ice Sheet
Declassified spy satellite imagery of Antarctica dating back to the 1960s has revealed that the world's largest ice sheet may be more susceptible to climate change than once thought.
East Antarctica reaches higher elevations than elsewhere on the continent and experiences some of the coldest temperatures on Earth, hitting well below zero degrees Fahrenheit throughout much of the year. As a result, a massive ice sheet has accumulated, measuring more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) thick in some regions, holding enough water to raise global sea level by more than 160 feet (50 meters) if it were to completely melt.
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