Sunday, August 12, 2007

How Green Is My Valley?

Disclaimer: The 'you' used in the post is generalized.

Next time that pathological egotist swaggers up to say-‘Is it hot or just me?’ be
sure to tell the dolt- “its global warming’. And while we are on that topic, we might as well do it properly. You have read about it before your EVS exams and heard about it while changing channels [Read: about global warming and not pathological egotists]. So for a change let’s see what it does and what it intends to do.

I was watching An Inconvenient Truth last week. By the end of the movie I positively hated myself for living in blissful apathy while cataclysmic changes are chocking our planet. For example take a look at the following two images I captured from the movie [no copyrights violated, I hope].

The trees, the sheet of ice and blossoms of wild flowers have disappeared like the emperor’s new clothes in the second flick and it didn’t even take four decades to reach that point of aridity. Did you say-‘how in the blue blazes?’. I am so glad you asked.

I work on the answer why don’t you take a look at these two pictures taken of the glaciers in Nepal:-

What you are witnessing through these pictures is the alarming phenomenon of glacier retreat. Except the ice caps and ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctic, the total surface area of glaciers worldwide has decreased by 50% since the end of the 19th century. So as the earth becomes more of a frying pan, the glaciers on Andes, Alps, Himalayas, Rocky Mountains and North Cascades melt into oblivion. And if you are wondering what exactly that has to do with us, read this. The Himalayan glaciers that are the sources of Asia's biggest rivers - Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween and Yellow - could disappear by 2035 as temperatures rise. Approximately 2.4 billion people live in the drainage basin of the Himalayan Rivers. India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar could experience floods followed by droughts in coming decades. In India alone, the Ganges provides water for drinking and farming for more than 500 million people. Increased melting would cause greater flow for several decades, after which some areas of the most populated regions on Earth are likely to 'run out of water' as source glaciers are depleted.

This is not a threat, mister and if you think this is pointless sensationalizing of a nonexistent issue scroll back to the Kilimanjaro pictures. The ice cap has moved back like a receding hair line and only remains in patches-

As the Earth gets scorched by global warming, there is a concurrent acceleration in the rate of evaporation from the great water bodies. Because the world is a closed system, this will cause heavier rainfall and greater erosion. But in Africa this situation takes troublesome proportions since the mangrove forests which kept the soil in place, are being uprooted by man(un)kind. In vulnerable tropical areas like Africa this leads to desertification due to deforestation and its brunt falls on the biodiversity.

Analyze this. Polar bears are stranded on melting ice floe and consequently getting a one way ticket to Davy Jones's locker. This thawing habitat transliterates into major trouble for Emperor penguins, gyrfalcons and the rainbow trout. Seal pups are going hungry and starvation is becoming the Porcupine reindeer herd’s daily bread. Joining this jamboree of destruction is the thoughtless clearing of Ecosystems for biofuel expansion. But we are dealing with the algebra of reciprocality and the equation doesnt augur too well for the fine 'piece of work' that is man. Strange fluctuations in temperature? Changes in climatic [1][2]patterns?
Tropical storms on the hike? Health issues trolling us? What is the humanitarian impact of climate change?

Well, if I havent lost you yet, let me tell you this is the fag end of the post[ did you say-'mercifully'?]


Shan B said...

Thank you for a very compact yet well-executed post, madam. Nice to see that you didn't actually hurl the blame to man and his technology like other articles do.

I suggest you should research on the counter-opinions as well (if you haven't already done that and as far as I know you, its most likely that you have :P). For example, the snow top of Mt. Kilimanjaro has been melting since long long before this sudden surge of global warming; or that many glaciers are in fact increasing in size since the 1970s, despite the fact that the well-known ones are retreating.

grasshopper said...

what makes me feel good...kills me!!
ok wasnt, hee hee..
but where d'ya get ideas to bug people lady?