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Indonesian Glacier Drops 12 Inches in Two Weeks
September 4, 2010 3:32 PM   Subscribe

"Rain is probably the most effective way to ... cause the ice to melt. So this was the first time you could see the surface actually lowering around you." A rare tropical glacier in Indonesia has dropped by a foot in the space of two weeks, as observed by a team sent to collect ice cores to study the effects of global warming. (Glaciers, previously.)

According to Wikipedia, tropical glaciers have been steadily shrinking or disappearing as of the mid-20th century. Though these glaciers account for a small fraction of the Earth's total freshwater ice, they provide a principal element of the water supply to tropical regions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report (PDF link) projects that freshwater supply from glacial runoff will dramatically decrease in the near future, and that this problem will be worsened by increased salinization of groundwater due to rises in ocean levels.
posted by spitefulcrow (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
and then the water wars will begin.
So when the soulless Big Moneyed Interests have sucked the precious resources from the four corners, bringing us to the precipice of apocalyptic scarcity of things required to simply cling to life (our way of life being long destroyed), and we are long past the point of saying "climate change...told you so", our snark eclipsed by near constant starvation and sickness, where will these douches be? Is there some well-stocked city-sized submarine for the insanely wealthy? Can they still generate wealth? Will money even matter? I don't get the myopia. Maybe they are like those parasites that, although totally dependent on the vitality of the host, cannot help but take actions sure to result in the host's death.
posted by Jezebella at 4:31 PM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


So when the soulless Big Moneyed Interests have sucked the precious resources from the four corners, bringing us to the precipice of apocalyptic scarcity of things required to simply cling to life (our way of life being long destroyed), and we are long past the point of saying "climate change...told you so", our snark eclipsed by near constant starvation and sickness, where will these douches be?
It's your fantasy, so I guess they can be wherever you want them to be?
posted by planet at 4:34 PM on September 4, 2010


It is your fault too, Jezebella.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:51 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


"...the melting of the glacier won't have a devastating impact on Indonesia..."

Because they will just start drinking more bir.
posted by fartknocker at 5:04 PM on September 4, 2010


It is your fault too, Jezebella.

Oh this whole "Nuh uh it's all of our fault" B.S. is just ridiculous. The only way to stop global warming is with policy, so blaming an individual is nonsense (not counting how they vote or otherwise affect policy outcomes, for example by promoting global warming denial)
posted by delmoi at 6:41 PM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tropical glaciers: a neat phenomenon I knew nothing about.

Glaciers in Papua New Guinea? That is such a cool island.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:47 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could blame the Koch Brothers. They are actively working on killing clean jobs and the planet. Do we need to find these people guilty of crimes against humanity.
posted by meddeviceengineer at 7:31 PM on September 4, 2010


Tropical glaciers: a neat phenomenon I knew nothing about.

Same! That's kind of why I posted this. It's sad that something I just found out about is disappearing.
posted by spitefulcrow at 7:59 PM on September 4, 2010


"Puncak Jaya was named 'Carstensz Pyramid' after Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz who first sighted the glaciers on the peak of the mountain on a rare clear day in 1623. The sighting went unverified for over two centuries, and Carstensz was ridiculed in Europe when he said he had seen snow near the equator."
posted by gimonca at 10:23 PM on September 4, 2010


The only way to stop global warming is with policy

And when the proposed policy is only 30% effective and for every dollar spent on actual carbon control a dollar is spent lining the pockets of the likes of Goldman Sachs - I'd say the proposed policy is flawed beyond belief.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:22 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, but with global climate change, figuring out where future sources of potable water (from higher amounts of rain which could collect in natural/artificial dams or accumulations from newly melting glaciers, &c) are going to be sketchy even with super-high-powered simulations.

A strategically sound source of potable water today may very well be a desert in a decade.

Then again, if both poles melted completely, the salt content of "sea water" would be low enough for it to be potable. A huge proportion of currently habitated land (many urban areas are coastal) would be underwater, but a significant fraction of Earth would still be above the water line.
posted by porpoise at 11:31 PM on September 4, 2010


if both poles melted completely, the salt content of "sea water" would be low enough for it to be potable

Cite?
posted by flabdablet at 12:08 AM on September 5, 2010


Is there some well-stocked city-sized submarine for the insanely wealthy? Can they still generate wealth?

In reality what will happen in our lifetimes is this: Food prices will skyrocket, but the US and Europe are so incredibly wealthy compared to the rest of the world that we'll hardly notice. That's always been my objection to those Google Maps applications that show how Amsterdam, London or Manhattan will be submerged by a rise in sea levels. Wrong. Climate change isn't going to overcome wealth inequalities, it's going to exacerbate them. What will happen is that the Dutch and the Americans1 and everyone else with a lot of money and resources will beef up their sea-walls. They'll have the resources to modify crop strains for different climate conditions and to pump water from areas with more rainfall to areas with less. If that fails, they'll still be able to import food from wherever it grows.

Bangladesh on the other hand will drown by inches, as every year the typhoons hit just a little bit harder, as more and more soil becomes useless due to salinity.

The consequences of climate changes, like its causes will be diffuse, suffered overwhelmingly by the world's poor.

(1) Well, the US has the resources to do so. What happened in New Orleans shows that they're not always properly applied.
posted by atrazine at 1:06 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Buy property in inland Alaska now.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:08 AM on September 5, 2010


Blaming an individual is nonsense

Ok, I'll try another route.

There is nothing to do. This shit just is happening. No one is steering the spaceship earth.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:06 AM on September 5, 2010


And when the proposed policy is only 30% effective and for every dollar spent on actual carbon control a dollar is spent lining the pockets of the likes of Goldman Sachs - I'd say the proposed policy is flawed beyond belief.
You'd rather the earth over heat then goldman make any money? Are you fucking kidding me? Smart people will be able to make money off stopping global warming, and that's a good thing – it will motivate people.

Anyway, if the policy isn't strong enough then we need a stronger policy. I have no idea what policy you're talking about, lots of different people have proposed lots of different things. There isn't one specific proposed policy.
There is nothing to do. This shit just is happening. No one is steering the spaceship earth.
Bullshit. There are clearly people in charge. But not j. random consumer.
posted by delmoi at 3:58 PM on September 6, 2010


These people grew rice until the salt water intrusion made that impossible; then they farmed shrimp until the salinity increased too much for that; now they fish, but overfishing has greatly reduced catches, and they face tiger attacks if they venture into the mangrove forest swamp, where the best fishing is now found.

That's the kind of thing I mean.
posted by atrazine at 4:08 AM on September 7, 2010


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