Melting Glaciers December 10, 2009Posted by Jill S. Schneiderman in climate change, geology, hydrologic cycle.
Though the New York Times chose not to publish it, I’m posting my letter to the editor regarding Thomas Friedman’s December 9, 2009 Op-Ed about ‘Climategate.’
To the editors,
In “The Odds of Disaster,” (12/9/09) Thomas Friedman writes, “…evidence that our planet has been on a broad warming trend has been documented….” With the brouhaha about hacked data from East Anglia’s Climatic Unit looming over Copenhagen, I recommend the online archive of glacier photographs from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (http://nsidc.org/data/glacier_photo/index.html).
With regard to the Muir Glacier, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientists, the glacier retreated more than seven miles and thinned by 875 yards over a sixty year period.
One need not have a degree of any sort to see the melting. Whether or not anthropogenic greenhouse gases are the cause hardly matters; as the crysophere melts, meltwater expands, flows into oceans and sea level rises.
‘Climategate?’ I agree with Tom, “be serious.”
Jill S. Schneiderman
Professor of Earth Science, Vassar College
Image used by permission: NSIDC/WDC for Glaciology, Boulder, compiler. 2002, updated 2006. Glacier Photograph Collection.
Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Digital media.