It Won’t Be Here Tomorrow  

“It won’t be here tomorrow” was a cry that some stall holders shouted when displaying their wares in street markets. It is doubtful as an inducement to buy and even more doubtful as a statement of truth. However, “they won’t be there in a few centuries” is a less doubtful and probably true statement of the six major glaciers in the West Antarctic.

NSAS has analysed glaciers that drain into Amundsen Bay and conclude that the glaciers are melting away and that the trend is irreversible. I think “irreversible” takes us into field of human ignorance, but I have no reason to doubt that the glaciers are melting slowly but surely.

These glaciers cover immense areas. The conclusion has been reached not by computer simulation but by study of actual data amassed over the past forty years by observation and recording.

The scientists claim that the trend is irreversible because of the underlying shape of the sub-sea rock. It slopes in a way that makes it hard for ice to re-form, once melted.

It could be worse; the scientists have not allowed for the knock on effect on other ice in Antarctica which could melt if these six glaciers melt away. Just the melting effect of these six glaciers would cause sea levels to rise by 1.4 metres around the world.

It strikes me that we must either invest in reducing emissions to a level where they do not continue to warm the earth or we must invest in more sea defences. We have probably a couple of centuries to get our act together as far as sea defences are concerned, and much less than that if we want to stop global warming by emission reduction.

My experience as a human leads me to believe that we will do neither.

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