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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Holy Hothouse, Batman!

The melting of the glaciers in the world's tallest mountains is a global disaster in the making. If this catastrophe proceeds as predicted, the toll on life - human, animal and plant - will be staggering. So, how come the all-powerful Jesus isn't helping stop it? Are there no Christian environmentalists praying to him? Does his Omniscience not know what is happening? Perhaps Jesus is the wrong guy to approach. Thor has had much more experience with ice - maybe we should be praying to him!

For that matter, what about Buddha? The Tibetan Buddhists have for centuries methodically created and practiced a religious tradition that is considered very powerful in a number of ways, metaphysically and supernaturally. Traditions hold that Buddhists priests and monks have been able to do and create all sorts of magical things - so why can't they stop the top of the world from melting and destroying a significant percentage of the earth?

Obviously, these problems are extremely serious and are not going to go away without massive physical intervention of some sort. The problem is so immense that, barring some extraordinarily advanced technology being suddenly created or released, there doesn't seem to be any stopping it. I would love for us to be able to "just pray" or "raise our vibrations" or "think positive thoughts" in order to prevent this nightmare, truly I would. But it just doesn't seem to be working, and we are now in a state of emergency, as was predicted years ago. Superman, where are you?

Ice-capped roof of world turns to desert

Scientists warn of ecological catastrophe across Asia as glaciers melt and continent's great rivers dry up

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Published: 07 May 2006

Global warming is rapidly melting the ice-bound roof of the world, and turning it into desert, leading scientists have revealed.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences - the country's top scientific body - has announced that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are vanishing so fast that they will be reduced by 50 per cent every decade. Each year enough water permanently melts from them to fill the entire Yellow River.

They added that the vast environmental changes brought about by the process will increase droughts and sandstorms over the rest of the country, and devastate many of the world's greatest rivers, in what experts warn will be an "ecological catastrophe".

The plateau, says the academy, has a staggering 46,298 glaciers, covering almost 60,000 square miles. At an average height of 13,000 feet above sea level, they make up the largest area of ice outside the polar regions, nearly a sixth of the world's total.

The glaciers have been receding over the past four decades, as the world has gradually warmed up, but the process has now accelerated alarmingly. Average temperatures in Tibet have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 20 years, causing the glaciers to shrink by 7 per cent a year, which means that they will halve every 10 years.

Prof Dong Guangrong, speaking for the academy - after a study analysing data from 680 weather stations scattered across the country - said that the rising temperatures would thaw out the tundra of the plateau, turning it into desert.

He added: "The melting glaciers will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sand storms." The water running off the plateau is increasing soil erosion and so allowing the deserts to spread.

Sandstorms, blowing in from the degraded land, are already plaguing the country. So far this year, 13 of them have hit northern China, including Beijing. Three weeks ago one storm swept across an eighth of the vast country and even reached Korea and Japan. On the way, it dumped a mind-boggling 336,000 tons of dust on the capital, causing dangerous air pollution.

The rising temperatures are also endangering the newly built world's highest railway, which is due to go into operation this summer. They threaten to melt the permafrost under the tracks of the £1.7bn Tibetan railway, constructed to link the area with China's northwestern Qinghai province.

Perhaps worst of all, the melting threatens to disrupt water supplies over much of Asia. Many of the continent's greatest rivers - including the Yangtze, the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Mekong and the Yellow River - rise on the plateau.

In China alone, 300 million people depend on water from the glaciers for their survival. Yet the plateau is drying up, threatening to escalate an already dire situation across the country. Already 400 cities are short of water; in 100 of them - including Beijing - the shortages are becoming critical.

Even hopes that the melting glaciers might provide a temporary respite, by increasing the amount of water flowing off the plateau - have been dashed. For most of the water is evaporating before it reaches the people that need it - again because of the rising temperatures brought by global warning.

Yao Tandong, head of the academy's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research Institute, summed it up. "The full-scale glacier shrinkage in the plateau regions will eventually lead to an ecological catastrophe," he said.

Global warming is rapidly melting the ice-bound roof of the world, and turning it into desert, leading scientists have revealed.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences - the country's top scientific body - has announced that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are vanishing so fast that they will be reduced by 50 per cent every decade. Each year enough water permanently melts from them to fill the entire Yellow River.

They added that the vast environmental changes brought about by the process will increase droughts and sandstorms over the rest of the country, and devastate many of the world's greatest rivers, in what experts warn will be an "ecological catastrophe".

The plateau, says the academy, has a staggering 46,298 glaciers, covering almost 60,000 square miles. At an average height of 13,000 feet above sea level, they make up the largest area of ice outside the polar regions, nearly a sixth of the world's total.

The glaciers have been receding over the past four decades, as the world has gradually warmed up, but the process has now accelerated alarmingly. Average temperatures in Tibet have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 20 years, causing the glaciers to shrink by 7 per cent a year, which means that they will halve every 10 years.

Prof Dong Guangrong, speaking for the academy - after a study analysing data from 680 weather stations scattered across the country - said that the rising temperatures would thaw out the tundra of the plateau, turning it into desert.

He added: "The melting glaciers will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sand storms." The water running off the plateau is increasing soil erosion and so allowing the deserts to spread.

Sandstorms, blowing in from the degraded land, are already plaguing the country. So far this year, 13 of them have hit northern China, including Beijing. Three weeks ago one storm swept across an eighth of the vast country and even reached Korea and Japan. On the way, it dumped a mind-boggling 336,000 tons of dust on the capital, causing dangerous air pollution.

3 comments:

absolutely said...

Things change, get used to it people.

charlie said...

Sorry... Thor can't help us in this... See, we were having an Easter parade with the Gods, and recreating his everlasting passion was non other than JC himself. Then as we nailed JC to the cross (yes, I know, he likes it), we used Thor's hammer. At this moment, we haven't found his hammer and he is bloody mad.....

Of course this is a joke. But if the world leaders, that have the power ($$$) to help in the development of this much needed technology do nothing... Guess it's up to us. Our life depends on this...
This, is serious...

Dr. W. Sumner Davis said...

The answer is simply- there are 100's of million's of planets in the cosmos with intellegent life- the gods are working with those who gice a crap about their planet and are ignoring those who treat it as a sewer.
-Dr. W. S. Davis
The Global Warming Clearinghouse
http://www.warmingearth.org/