Friday, January 15, 2010

Global Warming Effects On The Wallet

by Donnalynn Polito
photo by Olaf Otto Becker

One of the most expensive effects of global warming can be the rising of sea levels as we work to defend ourselves against the rising sea. 

According to glaciologists, there is growing evidence that the melting of glaciers is speeding up.  With 90% of glaciers retreating and thinning, the world’s ice is melting at an alarming rate.  Some glaciers are gone completely. 

As glaciers melt, river flow increases, but that’s only a temporary situation.  When the glaciers are gone altogether, there will be no flow into the rivers.  We will then have to rely totally on rain to sustain the rivers, an iffy possibility at best.

In Greenland, the ice is melting at a rate of 250 billion tons a year and Antarctica isn’t far behind.  This melting ice along with warmer ocean waters from climate change is making sea levels rise.

A photographer who has spent many years in Greenland taking beautiful photos of the landscape took a photo of a glacier  in 1999 for his book, Under the Nordic Light.  When he returned 3 years later, the glacier was gone. 

More recent photographs by Olaf Otto Becker show the changing landscapes of Greenland. 

The pockmarked snow in Becker’s photos are dark from an airstream of dust as far away as China.  As the dust and ice mix, they gradually become tracks, holes, then rivers, lakes and deep glacial holes that can go hundreds of feet down called moulins.

Becker's trips to Greenland and the startling photographic history he has compiled had recently been brought to the attention of the Copenhagen summit. 

Olaf Otto Becker has three books published that describe his journeys into the far reaching lands of Greenland and show a dazzling but disturbing photographic history of glaciers melting.

The names of these books are “Under The Nordic Light”, “Broken Light”, and “Above Zero”, Becker’s most recent.  A convenient Amazon link to your left is where you can easily preview and purchase any of these books.

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