Article by Matt Miller. Listen to the audio of a large iceberg in Antarctica scraping against the ocean floor or another iceberg and read the full article here.
Excerpt from the article:
“Last year, glaciologist Jason Amundson of the University of Alaska Southeast actually flew out to investigate one of the bigger ice quakes near Wright Glacier and Mount Ogden on the United States-Canada border.
“The glaciers in that area are pretty small,” Amundson said. “To produce an earthquake like that, that could be detected regionally, you would need to have a pretty big event.””
“The Greenland ice sheet is on track to lose mass at about four times the fastest rate observed over the past 12,000 years. At its current trajectory, such melting would dump huge quantities of freshwater into the sea, raising global sea levels and disrupting ocean currents, scientists concluded in new research Wednesday.
The new findings, published in the journal Nature, warn that the only way to avoid a drastically accelerated meltdown of the massive ice sheet in coming decades is for the global community to curtail emissions of greenhouse gases in the near-term.
Greenland is already the largest contributor to sea level rise, though Antarctica has the potential to increase sea levels even more. As sea levels creep upward, coastal storms including hurricanes and nor’easters become more destructive. Recent trends in more frequent “sunny day flooding” at high tide in places such as Annapolis, Md.; Norfolk; Charleston, S.C.; and Miami is also linked to sea level rise.”
“The intensifying rivalry over sea routes and mineral resources in the Arctic, itself a consequence of the climate emergency, has caused alarm over its environmental impact.
“Even during a pandemic and nationwide protests against state violence, the Trump administration is still finding new ways to exploit the climate crisis. He is truly the worst president for the planet we’ve ever had,” Charlie Cray, a senior researcher for Greenpeace USA, said.
“There are so many ways our tax dollars could be used to support Arctic communities. Helping out the oil industry and the military with a new fleet of icebreakers is definitely last on the list.”
Polar military experts are also sceptical over the urgency of the “icebreaker gap” with Russia.
“Icebreakers – even if armed – don’t really address some of the most commonly cited challenges that China and Russia might pose for the United States in the Arctic,” Paul Avey, assistant professor for political science at Virginia Tech university, argued. “This isn’t to say icebreakers can play no role in competition. But in narrow defence terms, I think that the best way to address China and Russia in the Arctic – and Antarctic – is to focus on issues in eastern Europe and the western Pacific.”
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