Posted in Expiriencing Antarctica

The Ice is melting!

 

IMG_8959
Photo by Rohan Sood at Neko Harbor. Notice the ice calving into the water on the right and how the size of the wave created is almost three times the size our ship even. 

 

Are you the kind who believes in conspiracy theories? I know I am. When I was younger I would watch every documentary and dig up all possible information about the Apollo moon landing and Area 51. I was convinced about the Apollo moon landing being fake because my then-favorite rock band said so, even though they meant it as a diss on Hollywood referring to its Darkside and the west for propagating the ‘immoral’. I would go around propagating the same hoping people would finally see that we are being lied to!

As the years have passed, I’ve learned to exercise my own critical thinking and let others do the same by letting them form their own opinions. So even though I strongly believe that climate change is happening, I will let you form your own opinions around it. To lay down the facts, climate change deniers believe that global warming is not happening at all as since the formation of the earth, through millions of centuries, earth has gone through fluctuating climate i.e. through the ice age and the stone age etc etc. So if the earth is heating up now, it’s only because it is meant to. Dinosaurs have become extinct and so have Wooly Mammoths but evolution has brought in new species into the picture. It’s the natural cycle of life! Sure, that makes absolute sense…. right?

Wrong! When we talk about Climate Change we are talking about “Human-Induced Climate Change” which is way different from the natural climate change. The amount of Green House Gases being released into the atmosphere has accelerated the process of natural heating since the industrial revolution to levels now higher than the speed of warming observed over centuries. Animal adaptation and evolution is a slow process and does not happen overnight. At the rate at which the climate is drastically changing, there is no scope for animals to adapt to the change.

Since the Industrial Revolution began in about 1750, carbon dioxide levels have increased nearly 38 percent as of 2009 and methane levels have increased 148 percent.

Earth Observatory, Nasa

All this has led to the ice at the poles to melt, which in turn is going to flood cities like Mumbai, New York, New Orleans and entire island nations like Maldives along with its flora and fauna, due to sea level rise. Whether you live in these cities or far inland, you probably still don’t understand the gravity of the situation. You might think it doesn’t affect you? The fact is, it does. What happens at the Poles effects all of us, and no event on earth happens in complete isolation. Climate change is not only making the temperatures to rise but is also making the weather more extreme. I am sure you are experiencing it too, no matter where you are in the world. These past few years, Boston has seen the coldest winter, Delhi has recorded the highest temperature, farmers all across the globe have seen the worse droughts and the coasts furious cyclones.

The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years.

Earth Observatory, Nasa

For me climate change is real because I have seen it happen. The ice is melting!

On our last day at Neko Harbour when we were sitting on top of that hill, reflecting, we saw something that drove home the point of climate change and for some of us scarred us for life. A huge chunk of the hanging ice from the glacier in front of us broke off and fell straight into the water. There was a loud noise and a thud that got our heart racing for it almost sounded like an earthquake. And the silence that followed felt like an eternity. At that moment, the thing that our team leader Don Kent said “nothing in the world will give you the emotional impact that Antarctica will give you” never seemed truer. The ice is melting! And it is happening at both the poles.

 

I am convinced that climate change is real because I see it happening every day. My own city is getting warmer and I hear everyone I know complain about ‘this year being the worse summer’, every year. Every global issue is a direct or indirect consequence of climate change. From terrorism to the refugee crisis to inflation and global economy fluctuations can all be traced back to climate change. Think about it! I watch what is happening to the animals (marine and land) due to human activities and how vast and intricate the climate change issue is.

If you want to know more, watch “the climate change conspiracy by the Truthloader” and learn more about this guy: James Hansen. If you are a climate change naysayer I would love to indulge in a healthy discussion and learn from you as to why you believe so? But be warned, that I put climate change deniers in the same category as people who believe that the Holocaust wasn’t real! And if you fall in the category of the latter I put you in the same category of Heartless Humans.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with one of my favourite quotes by Sir Ken Robinson:”If in 50 years all insects were to die, all life forms on earth would perish but if humans were to die all life forms would flourish.”

Are you the kind who believes in conspiracy theories? I know I am. When I was younger I would watch every documentary and dig up all possible information about the Apollo moon landing and Area 51. I was convinced about the Apollo moon landing being fake because my then-favorite rock band said so, even though they meant it as a diss on Hollywood referring to its Darkside and the west for propagating the ‘immoral’. I would go around propagating the same hoping people would finally see that we are being lied to!

As the years have passed, I’ve learned to exercise my own critical thinking and let others do the same by letting them form their own opinions. So even though I strongly believe that climate change is happening, I will let you form your own opinions around it. To lay down the facts, climate change deniers believe that global warming is not happening at all as since the formation of the earth through millions of centuries earth has gone through fluctuating climate i.e. through the ice age and the stone age etc etc. So if the earth is heating up now, its only because it is meant to. Dinosaurs have become extinct and so have Wooly Mammoths but evolution has brought in new species into picture. It’s the narutal cycle of life! Sure, that makes absolute sense…. right?

Wrong! When we talk about Climate Change we are talking about “Human-Induced Climate Change” which is way differnt from the natural climate change. The amount of Green House Gases being released into the atmosphere has acceralated the process of natural heating since the industrial revolution to levels now higher than the speed of warming observed over centuries. Animal adaptation and evolution is a slow process and does not happen over night. At the rate at which the climate is drastically changing there is no scope for animals to adapt to the change.

Since the Industrial Revolution began in about 1750, carbon dioxide levels have increased nearly 38 percent as of 2009 and methane levels have increased 148 percent.

Earth Observatory, Nasa

All this has led to the ice at the poles to melt, which inturn is going to flood cities like Mumbai, New York, New Orleans and entire island nations like Maldives along with its flora and fauna, due to sea level rise. Whether you live in these cities or far inland, you probably still don’t understand the gravity of the situation. You might even think how does this effect me? The fact is, it does. What happens at the Poles effects all of us, and no event on earth happens in complete isolation. Climate change is not only making the temperates to rise but is also making the weather more extreme. I am sure you are expirienceing it too, no matter where you are in the world. This past few years, boston has seen the coldest winter, delhi has recorded the hightest temperature, farmers all across the globe have seen the wrose droughts and the coasts furious cycolons.

The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years.

Earth Observatory, Nasa

For me climate change is real because I have seen it happen. The ice is melting!

On the last day at Neko Harbour when we were sitting on top of that hill, reflecting, we saw something that drove home the point of climate change and for some of us scarred us for life. A huge chunk of the hanging ice from the glacier in front of us broke off and fell stright into the water. There was a HUGE noise and a thud that got our heart racing for it almost sounded like an earthquake. And the scilence that followed felt like an eternity. At that moment the thing that our team leader Don Kent said “nothing in the world will give you the emotional impact that Antarctica will give you” never seemed more true. The ice is melting! And it is happening at both the poles.

IMG_8959
Photo by Rohan Sood. Notice the ice caving into the water on the right and how the wave created is almost three times the size of our ship even.

I am conviced that climate change is real because I see it happening everyday. My own city is getting warmer and I hear everyone I know complain about ‘this year being the worse summer’, every year. Every global issue is a direct or indirect consequce of climate change. From terrorism to the refugee crisis to inflation and global economy fluctuations can all be traced back to climate change. Think about it! I watch what is happening to the animals (marine and land) due to human activities and how vast and intrecate the climate change issue is.

If you are a climate change naysayer and I would love to indulge in a healthy discussion and learn from you as to why you believe so? But be warned, that I put climate change denyers in the same category as people who say the Holocaust wasn’t real!

Finally I’d like to leave you with one of my favotrite quotes by Sir Ken Robinson:”If in 50 years all insects were to die, all life forms on earth would prerish; if humans were to die all life forms would flourish.”

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