Monday, November 2, 2009

Mount Kilimanjaro

Check out this photo and article from the Times.

10 comments:

Hilary Grosser said...

I think it is great that this is getting attention. I came across a similar article on CNN and as the effects of global warming are more widely broadcasted, more and more people are likely to pay attention and hopefully have a reaction which will encourage legislation. Oftentimes there is a disconnect between our actions and the negative externalities that result, but as economies and tourist destinations are threatened, we are forced to face the facts and act now in an effort to preserve these areas for future generations.

Sallie said...

This picture really hits it home that CLIMATE CHANGE IS OCCURING. We have mentioned in class how there is a surprisingly large population that continues to deny climate change is occurring despite the multitude of scientific evidence supporting this crisis. What we haven't addressed are possible reasons for this ignorance or denial in such problems. I've been thinking and wondering if perhaps this denial or willingness to place minimal importance on this global crisis is due to people's expectations that the problem will take care of itself. In a similar situation, we discussed how people really aren't concerned about the seemingly finite oil reserves the world has, which is about 40 years worth. People aren't worried about running out of oil, because 40 years ago scientists predicted we would be in an oil shortage today; however, it seems that we keep finding new oil reserves and are developing alternative forms of energy that increase the number of years before the reserves run out. I think this is the reason why people want to think about other issues instead of the crisis of climate change-they expect that the problem will fix itself if they go about doing the same thing. Hopefully pictures like Mount Kilimanjaro will be a wake-up call that we really can't just allow the problem to run its course.

Scotty Groth said...

Climate change: things are getting hotter. Colder things are getting hotter too, like ice. When ice gets hot, it melts. Soon, all of our ice will be gone. Ice reflects sunlight, you can see it glisten. It can hurt your eyes on a sunshiny day. And so, the planet will become warmer, and the cycle continues, along with a handful of other cataclysmic positive feed back loops.

Why is it that so many people, primary in the U.S., don't believe this, do they not understand? If that is the case, then climate change is the least of our problems, haha..., So I'm going to assume they understand the logic, but find fault in the validity of the evidence and/or are uninformed. Media attention can only help the dissemination of this information I suppose. I can't really see a change in our culture's behavior before it is "too late," whenever that time may be. If we must tailor our policies so that the primary motivation to stop killing the planet is profit, what caused us to start killing the planet in the first place, well, I'm just not sure how far that will get us. Then again, I think I'll lean toward the bright side and have a little faith in humanity. Here's hopin'.

Jim casey said...

me too Scotty

Parker Pritchett said...

It is incredible that, despite picture evidence such as this (they say a picture is worth 1,000 words), that concern about global warming has actually decreased in the last five years amongst the general public. Really? How can people turn a blind eye to this? It says something about us that we are so much more willing to live in a blissful state of denial that is leading us down a self-destructive path rather than "man up" and do something to change the future of our children for the better. Ignoring climate change has transformed from simply pretending not to trust confusing scientific data to blantantly ignoring basic and easy to understand evidence such as the picture of this receding glacier. Its not exactly hard to understand. It all comes down to our unwillingness to make sacrifice.

Jess Vercellino said...

One of the things that struck me the most was the fact that it was scientists in this study that didn’t all agree that the melting of this ice cap was due to humanity’s role in global warming. I'm used to politicians or ordinary citizens disregarding climate change but not scientists. If 85% of the ice cover has vanished from 1912 until now, what else could be causing such rapid melting? While there could be other climatological causes, it is not natural for ice caps to melt at that rate. Dr. Kaser attributes the melting to declining moisture levels. I’m not a scientist, so I may be wrong, but could moisture level changes be connected to climate change at all? It seems too black and white of an answer to say that climate change has nothing to do with the melting while saying that moisture fluctuation is the sole cause. I agree with Dr. Thompson that the evidence for climate change is too compelling when you take into account the fact that other tropical ice caps are also melting. That would be too much of a coincidence, especially considering their location near the equator where the climate has been historically pretty consistent.

Mary Jennings Van Sant said...

The picture of Mount Kilimanjaro and the fact that the ice has decreased 26% in nine years really surprised me, but what surprises me even more when there is evidence like this is how some people, like the authors of the study, still are questioning whether the melting was a result of humanity's role in global warming and trying to find other explanations for why disasters related to global warming are occurring. It is interesting to read about the views of people that do not believe it was humans that caused it, but after looking at the picture and reading the article I think it makes an even stronger case for those that believe that humans play a significant role in this issue. The picture is such a compelling piece of evidence to show how our actions and carbon emissions etc are affecting the environment and instead of questioning our role we should use it as motivation to try and lessen humanity's negative affect on the environment.

Alex Caritis said...

I think that the most interesting park of the article is the statement that there is "no consensus on whether the melting could be attributed mainly to humanity’s role in warming the global climate." I was struck by the idea that people need proof that melting is MAINLY due to anthropogenic activities. When it comes down to it, climate change IS happening and the planet is beginning to show explicit signs of global warming. Most likely, these planetary changes are due to a combination of anthropogenic and natural forces. Non-the-less, human activity IS having a impact on climate change. Why do we need evidence that we are the MAIN contributor to climate change? Why can't we appreciate that regardless of the extend of the damage, we are damaging the environment?

Sasha Doss said...

It was shocking to see just how little ice was left on Mount Kilimanjaro. I agree with the previous comments that it's hard to grasp the fact that there are actually people who don't believe in climate change. I feel, however, that the most effective means of persuasion is the media. Pictures like this can really demonstrate the drastic changes that are taking place as we continue to emit GHGs. It might even be more effective to show a picture from a few years ago, so that people may compare the two. I found it interesting that Dr. Kaser attributed the melting to other, possibly, natural causes rather than to human interference. I feel, at best, it is a combination of the two that is causing such changes in the glaciers.

Kahena Joubert said...

The most shocking thing about this article is that authors of the study have “reached no consensus on whether the melting could be attributed mainly to humanity’s role in warming the global climate.” This sounds absurd to me, what else would the melting of a major ice cap be attributed to if not global warming? Many people do not believe that global climate change is a threat but when the evidence is right in front of you, there is no way to ignore it. The picture of Mount Kilimanjaro definitely dispelled any doubts I would have had about global climate change. Pictures do no tell lies but instead provides more evidence!