googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: How many "Manhattan Incidents" do we need before we listen?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How many "Manhattan Incidents" do we need before we listen?

Our world is giving us advance notice that it is hurting, with humans causing most of the hurt.
One such notice is the calving of the massive Greenland glaciers. In 2010 a huge mass of ice – four times the size of Manhattan – broke off.
Free ride for polar bears?
And now another chunk – twice the size of Manhattan – has splintered off:
“While the size is not as spectacular as it was in 2010, the fact that it follows so closely to the 2010 event brings the glacier’s terminus to a location where it has not been for at least 150 years,” Muenchow says.
“The Greenland ice sheet as a whole is shrinking, melting and reducing in size as the result of globally changing air and ocean temperatures and associated changes in circulation patterns in both the ocean and atmosphere,” he notes.
So the ice sheet seems to have retreated to where it was last some 150 years ago.
And Canada's "true north, strong and free" is is also melting, at an accelerated pace:
“Northwest Greenland and northeast Canada are warming more than five times faster than the rest of the world,” Muenchow says ...
Will we cease to identify Canada with snow and ice in decades to come? Possibly, thanks to the steady northward migration of global warming's effects.
About the only cheerful news about this calving is that polar bears might get a free ride:
According to Muenchow, this newest ice island will follow the path of the 2010 ice island, providing a slow-moving floating taxi for polar bears, seals and other marine life until it enters Nares Strait, the deep channel between northern Greenland and Canada, where it likely will get broken up. 
When will we ever learn?

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