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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Glaciers melting a lot faster!

World glaciers melted at an already suspicious rate of 30 cm per year in the 80s and 90s, they reached 50 cm in 2005 and (and that's the striking news) 140 cm. in 2006, almost triple than the previous year (
source). The figures for 2007 are not available yet but I can only think of horrible figures considering it was the year that the Northwestern passage melted for the first time ever.

Since 1980 our average glacier has lost some 11.5 meters of thickness and the process tends to behave as a positive feedback, because deeper compactated layers of ice are less white and therefore absorb more heat and melt faster.

Of course we can take consolation in the fact that the Earth of the dinosaurs was much warmer, with no ice at the poles and wide deserts and semideserts... but one thing is living since "always" in such conditions and another very different is to face the critical transition, with all the ecological imbalances and the more or less severe extinctions, further aggravated by our destructive "economic" practices on land and in the seas.

The prospect is really gloomy.

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