Global Warming Facts and What to DoGlobal Warming Facts and What to Do

Some people who can't handle the fact that humans are causing global warming might still debate the causes, but it is obvious that global warming is happening. The thinning and melting of polar sea ice, ice shelves in Greenland and Antarctica, and the retreat of alpine glaciers all over the world -- even the Himalayas -- show unquestionably that the Earth is warming.

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I have lived here before
In days of ice.
And I came back to find
The stars displaced,
And the smell of a world
That is burned.
Yeah, well, maybe it's just a change of climate....

by Jimi Hendrix from the song "Up From The Skies"

Melting Polar and Alpine Ice

Carbon Footprint – desertification – global warming – climate change – mass extinction. Unpleasant buzz words for a new century. The success of humans as a species has become a scourge upon the planet. The Earth will endure, as will life upon it, but humanity faces a deepening crisis that threatens its survival. Like too many cattle trapped in an overgrazed pasture, humanity approaches the realization that thoughtless greedy consumption of resources cannot last forever. The time to change -- to adapt -- has come. Hope can be found in the fact that adapting is what humans do best. They are brilliant omnivorous primates that have a drive to survive.

Overwhelming studies, reports, and observations from all over the world prove that global warming is happening. Alpine glaciers are melting as are the polar ice caps. Glaciers in the Himalayan Mountains are melting and forming glacial lakes quicker than glacial scientists can record their formation. (1) Of the retreating glaciers that have been measured, the rate of melting ranges from 100 feet to 230 feet per year. Global warming has resulted in a 1 centigrade rise in temperature in the Himalayan region since the mid 1970s. (2)

Substantial evidence, including breathtaking satellite photos of disintegrating polar ice sheets, has been collected about the massive melting of the Earth’s polar ice. The once indomitable polar bear has become an icon of the global warming crisis because diminishing ice flows have reduced the bears’ habitat. People are now beginning to see dead bears in the polar seas that drowned as they succumbed to exhaustion and the elements trying to reach the next ice flow.

More polar ice melts every year. The temperatures of northern Alaska are 2 to 3 centigrade higher than in the 1950s and polar ice is receding much farther north in the summer than it used to. In 2004, arctic summer ice was 200 miles farther north than it had been just two decades earlier. (3)

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(1) “ Himalaya Melting” Broughton Coburn, OnEarth, Winter 2007, p. 35.

(2) “ Himalaya Melting” Broughton Coburn, OnEarth, Winter 2007, p. 36.

(3) “Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts” Will Iredale, The Sunday Times, Dec. 18, 2005.

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