24 July 2012
"I'M MELTING .... "
This just in from NASA ~ Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt. It is becoming harder and harder to deny the existence of global warming, but some benighted souls persist. This report adds to the overwhelming body of evidence for anthropogenic climate change. When you click on the link, you'll see two images. The left image was taken on July 8 and shows 40% of the ice sheet surface thawing. Four days later, the right image shows 97% of the ice sheet surface thawing. Such a rapid change over so short a time frame has never been recorded in the thirty years of satellite monitoring. Coupled with similar melting taking place in the Arctic ice cap and Antartica, the implications are dire ~ disruption of the global ocean current pattern, lower salinity as fresh water is added, and yes, a rise in sea level. Those who live near the ocean should be making plans to mover permanently to higher ground, or figuring out how to grow interdigital webbing to help you swim.
Alternatively, lateral thinkers are producing serious designs for living on the ocean. Here is a list of ten designs, complete with artists' concept images, ranging from artificial islands to floating homes (see image above, click to enlarge). They look enticing in warm calm weather, but I'm not certain how well they would stand up to the increasing numbers and ferocity of hurricanes.
The world's glaciers and ice sheets aren't the only things melting these days. As the financial crisis widens and our fears and insecurity increase, the stress can prove overwhelming for some. Here you will find a map showing a breakdown by state of the number of deaths per 100,000 population by firearms. Note that gun violence is higher in states with lower income and in states that vote Republican. Gun violence is lower in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies, and in states with stricter gun control laws. Contrary to belief, there is little correlation between gun violence and drug abuse, or mental illness, or high levels of unemployment.