Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for January 22nd, 2008

Thought You Were “Safe?”

Posted by feww on January 22, 2008

Think Again! Antarctic thaw is Accelerating.

Here’s the nightmare scenario in a nutshell:

You were told that the ice sheet in Antarctica won’t be a major issue as far as far rising sea levels are concerned—anyway not for thousands of years. Right?

Wrong!

Antarctica with an area of 14.4 million sq km is about 1.5 times the size of the United States (9,826,630 sq km) and contains enough ice on the ground to raise world sea levels by almost 60 meters if it all melted.

iceberg_nasa-2.jpg
Earth’s Shrinking Antarctic Ice Sheet

Credit: Ben Holt Sr., GRACE team, DLR

The researchers working in the Antarctic have proposed a scenario whereby some of the ice on land can slide into the ocean and melt quicker, thanks to the newly-discovered large lakes deep below the ice surface which could lubricate their descent.

In a more compelling scenario, the ice need not melt completely. An earthquake could break up the ice sheet into smaller pieces which then slide into the ocean aided by the lake effect. Once the ice enters the ocean it displaces the water and sea level will rise dramatically (with similar devastating effects as in the first scenario, but on a much accelerated timescale) covering the worlds coastal cities and low-laying areas.

“There is preliminary data from the ice over these lakes… that shows that the ice speed is increasing,” Jan-Gunnar Winther, head of the Norwegian Polar Institute said. Read full report.

Related Links:
Antarctic Ice Sheet
Hidden Lakes Speed Ice Flow Into Ocean, May Disrupt Climate

Posted in chaos, floods, Global Warming, ice melt, rising sea | Leave a Comment »

Stop the Arctic Madness!

Posted by feww on January 22, 2008

Increased Arctic Oil Activity will end in Eco-Disaster

A report prepared by the eight-nation Arctic Council released on Monday said, the rising global demand for oil and gas is increasing the activity in the Arctic. The increased activity will enhance the risk of oil spills in the region.

“Oil spills can kill large numbers of animals by covering them in oil, and create long-term contamination that can affect populations and ecosystems for decades”.

“The Arctic is generally considered to be vulnerable to oil spills due to slow recovery of cold, highly seasonal ecosystems, and the difficulty of clean up in remote, cold regions, especially in waters where sea ice is present”.

Arctic Oil and Gas 2007 was prepared by about 100 scientists who have been working on the report since 2002. The release of the report scheduled for 2007 was reportedly delayed because the United States and Sweden had reportedly blocked publication of policy recommendations.

The report discusses:

  • The significance of levels of petroleum hydrocarbons in the Arctic and significance of cold on toxicological effect
  • The toxicological impact of hydrocarbons on people
  • Impacts of oil spills on land including an account of 1994 commuter public pipeline ruptured that contaminated a large area
  • Effects of marine spills including subarctic spills such as the Exxon Valdez
  • Potential of impacts from arctic spills (and some of the consequences)
  • Physical disturbance including impacts of infrastructure and activity on land surface and habitats
  • Effects of offshore activity through noise an offshore construction
  • Significance of further habitat fragmentation and disruption to wildlife
  • Social impact on the indigenous population
  • Implication for health care and social services

For more information and a copy of report visit Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program.

Posted in Arctic, energy, environment, health, indigenous people, ndindigenous people, toxicological impact | Leave a Comment »