Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Perito Moreno Glacier Melting

Many of you will have seen the news reports showing the glacier in Perito Moreno, Patagonia, Argentina breaking off into the ocean. I had the great pleasure of seeing this 'natural' phenomenon a while back and it was truly breath taking seeing gigantic slabs of ice, the size of tall buildings, crack and crash into the ocean with a tremendous splash (link here).

When I saw this great spectacle it was January a few years back, which is high summer for the southern hemisphere. This time however, it is occurring in July i.e. winter for these climes.

Global warming is generally accepted as the culprit (unless somebody has been spreadin' a whole lotta salt!) The glacier is melting at an advanced rate never seen before. This is denied by the usual skeptics who claim it's just natural variations in the earths temperature. These are the same skeptics who have a vested interest in not acknowledging this fact i.e. they consider adhering to the Kyoto protocol too expensive.

Penny for your thoughts?


Anonymous,  July 09, 2008 1:03 am  

Wow! The bit at the end of the vid is climactic (if you'll excuse the pun).

Quickroute July 09, 2008 1:17 am  

@ Primal: Imagine standing there watching it! Rocks yer Socks!

I know they were clapping because it was great spectacle but they are unknowingly cheering global warming - Scary!

Thriftcriminal July 09, 2008 3:55 am  

Well, I don't fully buy into the global warming thing to be honest, but this is not to say that I am on the other side of the argument. I'm more coming from the perspective that oil is a limited resource and we are directly experiencing the early effects of that at the moment. I think we should be moving away from it at this point to minimise the social and economic impact of it's inevitable scarcity.

Anonymous,  July 09, 2008 11:27 am  

Global warming is a natural process that is bound to take place one way or another, however, we human beings are accelerating the process. Conservation Biology is my field of study and I love it, but one thing that pisses me off is the growing # of ppl that are becoming "earth friendly" not because they actually give a damn about our planet but because it is fashionable to be "green" nowadays.

According to one of my proffesors biodiesel is actually more harmful for the environment.

Nick July 09, 2008 11:51 am  

I tend to go with the consensus that it's global warming but experts have been proved wrong plenty of times before so I keep an open mind. Even if it is global warming that's melting the glaciers and the ice caps, it's hard to see how humans can ever do enough to stop it. We're all consuming and polluting at such a colossal level, a few well-meaning recycled bottles and low-energy light bulbs aren't going to make much difference. Probably all we can do is adjust to a changing environment.

As for oil, several oil industry experts have said there'll be plenty of oil well into the next century, so the jury's out on that one too. Take all fashionable dogmas with a large pinch of salt!

Nomadic Matt July 09, 2008 3:29 pm  

Your comment box didn't work for me!!

I saw this on the news and they said this wasn't b/c of global warming....that it was b/c of the huge river running through it!

but a lot of glacial melting can be blamed on climate change

Baino July 09, 2008 4:58 pm  

There's no doubt the globe is warming, it's the 'reason' for it that has everyone in a spin. Spectacular or not, natural phenomenan or not it's a fact that the ice flows are melting, the sea is rising and temperatures all over the world are going ape shit one way of another. Too many people, too much consumption . . .no matter the cause, we still need to recycle, reuse, renew and at a faster rate than we're doing now.

As for biofuels . . .great idea but they're eating into the world food supply . . .

Shaunj July 09, 2008 6:23 pm  

I don't know whether to feel exhilirated or depressed as hell watching this. I don't give a flying fu*k if some people are becoming more environmentally aware because it is fashionable. At least they are trying to do something which is better than apathy anyday.

Shaunj July 09, 2008 6:26 pm  

ok- I've decided its depressed I feel but i think this has to do with the Enya music in the background. :/

VE July 09, 2008 7:04 pm  

I've seen similar such events up in Alaska, it is quite the site. Suddenly my fridge ice maker just isn't that impressive...

Megan July 09, 2008 8:04 pm  

Grr can't watch it from work. Will later but just wanted to say I love the little warning sign. Looks like something that would be outside Dr. Evil's lair - Warning! Giant Iceball Cannon!

Quickroute July 10, 2008 1:34 am  

@ Thriftcriminal: There are lots of alternatives but they generally get quashed by the influential 'oil' powers that be.

@ Lover of Nature: I agree there are a lot of people hiding under the blanket of "I'm Green" just for image. I still prefer this to no effort which is a problem her in Argentina.

@ Nick: I think there's a lot more can be done to raise the conciousness level on the subject to the general public. Only then will the powers that be do something really constructive.

@ Nomadic Matt: I had issues with the comment box and am still working on them - thanks for the heads up.

My motto is keep an open mind to what news tells you!

@ Baino: Good advice and we need to make the powers that be publicize it more. Recycling needs to be pushed a lot harder before it makes a real difference.

@ Shaunj: Don't be depressed - they play her music on every tear jerker advert but it works. I agree any effort is better than none.

@ VE: I always wanted one of those ice makers - i'm so tired refilling plastic containers that crack - Jealous!

@ Megan: lol - I love Dr. Evil - I just wish the 'real' tyrants of the world were as funny as him!

Megan July 10, 2008 1:40 am  

Ok I watched it and I'm with Shaunj. Enya makes everything sadder. And her sister sings "Last Rose of Summer" pretty good, too.

Quickroute July 10, 2008 1:44 am  

@ Megan: What time of night is this to be coming home from work?

Please tell me you went for a pint or two?

I know the ol' Enya music makes it all so dramatic!

Anonymous,  July 10, 2008 8:48 am  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  July 10, 2008 8:51 am  

It's true that apathy is better than nothing but I do give a flying beep about it. Most of the people that I know who claim to be "green" only go as far as changing the light bulbs, but they still produce a lot of waste. They use a lot of water, use the car for any little thing when they can walk. This is what I was reffering to, perhaps I should have been more clear. I wish more ppl would make greater changes, like someone said here, changing a few lights is not going to make a huge difference.

I have family members that actually think that changing the light bulbs is enough. It's a family of 5, they have 4 cars, they can carpool or take public transport but they choose not to. This is the kind of fashionable "green" I mean.

Queen Goob July 10, 2008 9:09 am  

I'm not a true believer of global warming to the extent of blaming everything on man's unconscionable behavior. The earth has what I like to think of as a life cycle. This cycle takes millions of years but the cycle takes us through ice ages and global warming alike. I was just yesterday at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and funny; there is actually the same amount of ice now as there was in 1980; it just covers different places i.e. less in spot A versus more in spot B so yes, it looks like ice is melting but the total sea ice concentration is 10.9 million sq km - exactly the same as in 1980.

For some cool reading, go here:

Queen Goob July 10, 2008 9:13 am  

.....I'm gonna get shit for my last comment, aren't I?

Anonymous,  July 10, 2008 10:29 am  

Well as much and all as I know that there are natural cycles the evidence is mounting and will surely soon be too great to ignore

Quickroute July 10, 2008 12:17 pm  

@ Lover of Nature: You make a good point. There are a lot of people who make a half hearted attempt at being 'green' and seem to be more concerned with the image of being 'green'.

@ Queen of Goob: It's true the earth has cycles of different temperatures. There are a lot of people in the scientific community that believe man is altering and escalating that cycle.

The site you gave me above clearly supports that. See here

@ Conortje: It seems a lot of people are waiting for 110% proof instead acting on 80% probability. Not wise in my opinion!

Cyprus Blog July 11, 2008 10:42 am  

Wow !!! the last bit was amazing. I am surprised that no one even backed up a bit!

Quickroute July 11, 2008 12:51 pm  

@ Cyprus blog: I know - I think they were all in shock

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