Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Seawater on the Up?

The last programme in Attenborough's 'Frozen Planet' series ('On Thin Ice') paints a pretty pessimistic picture of global change ( It appears that the rate of ice loss at both poles is accelerating and this is likely to have a dramatic effect on sea levels. It is particularly striking that the decline in ice at the north pole has made it much easier to extract oil and gas which, when burned, is likely to further increase global warming. The 'freeing' of the north-west passage from ice would also increase marine traffic between the Atlantic and the Pacific (furthering the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). I must admit that Attenborough's graphic presentation of evidence is likely to be compelling to the lay viewer (in spite of the fact that much of the global warming debate has, apparently, failed to convince). His notes that some polar animals have 'adapted' to the changes (mainly by altering their location) but this would not seem to be an option for many human populations. 

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