Sunday, May 07, 2006

Since There Is No Such Thing as Global Warming, Ancient Glaciers Now Melting In Tibet Are, Like, No Problem


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

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.


"Scientists say"?

Pshaw. Clueless George don't need no stinkin' ee-leet smarty-pants scientists! There's no such thing as global warming. See that gubmint report? Can you find anything about global warming? No? See? We got wite-out, an' we got RID of it.

Full story here.

19 comments:

james said...

Global warming is the biggest problem that we face right now. I think that in some ways it is a worse threat then terrorism.

The other sad part about increasing desert sand is that it increases the substance that Republicans stick their heads in to avoid the global warming disaster.

james said...

Thanks for visiting my blog by the way.

Libby said...

You have to wonder how the skeptics sleep at night, even with their mattresses stuffed with oil company money. Ya think they don't get that money won't protect them from the impending calamity?

james said...

Libby:

You're right. How can these anti-global warming folks (who are mostly conservative) speak about "protecting family values" and "life" when destroying the environment negatively effects their children and grandchildrens' futures???

I don't think killing "God's" (if you believe in a "God") planet is a Christian of "family value."

They're miopic vision and endless greed will kill us all.

james said...

Oops, I meant "..is a Christian OR 'family value.'"

No Blood for Hubris said...

Well, the "end times" viewpoint insures that they don't have to take it seriously, since the righteous are going to get vacuumed-up to heaven.

enigma4ever said...

hmmm, well that theory would/could hold water except suppose they aren't getting vacumned up to Heaven ( even though they think they are) but instead are going to the other epicenter of Global Warming...if you know what I mean???

excellent post- really interesting- how could any wingnut argue with such drastic damaging effects....thanks again for grounding us with the Truth....

No Blood for Hubris said...

Hi, all. I'm unable to post more, due to Blogger problems. Alas. I wonder if this comment will get through?

No Blood for Hubris said...

Comment got through, but nothing else is.

This blog is officially down.

Have written blogger for the third or fourth time today to no avail. Perhaps I should be writing to the new CIA chief? Or to Turdblossom?

Apologies.

enigma4ever said...

Hi NB so sorry about your blogger issues- I will email some people to see if they can get Blogger to help and I also will email you offline and see if there is anything I can do to help- we need you here in Blogger land...email enigma4ever@earthlink.net, if there is anything else we can do to help...

Kvatch said...

ICE-CAPPED ROOF OF WORLD TURNS TO DESERT

Or, at the very least, the biggest slushy in history.

No Blood for Hubris said...

Slushy.

(Sniff!)

What a nice re-frame, Kvatch.


Oh, and I'm still not able to post, though Blogger has apologized to me for having considered this blog a SPAM blog. Perhaps because I keep having to write about torture torture torture it's certainly repetitive. Anyhow they assured me today that all would be well, but--it isn't.

Sort of like being a reassured by Tony Blair that Bubble Boy won't be nuking Iran anytime soon.

Gakk.

No Blood for Hubris said...

Wed AM. Blog still down. Sorries all around.

No Blood for Hubris said...

Wed PM. Still down. Grrr.

No Blood for Hubris said...

This is really hopeless. I was trying to find a telephone number so I could contact a human, but no-ooo.

Thoughts? Ideas on whether one should go elsewhere? If so, where so?

Neil Shakespeare said...

Ouch. Scary article. As if I needed another one...

enigma4ever said...

I will email KVATCH and also LOC and Gryphen tonight and see what they can do to help. I also posted a note on the Big Brass Alliance asking them to help you....so sorry you are going through this...

No Blood for Hubris said...

Thanks very much.

No Blood for Hubris said...

Refugee blog now up at:

http://juniper.typepad.com/no_blood_for_hubris/