A new study published recently in the journal Nature shows that indeed Antarctica is melting at a faster rate than previously thought. Bad news for coastal areas as the rate of melt has doubled since 2012. With a faster rate of melt one can expect that this will contribute 6 inches to the sea level rise by 2100, at the upper level of what had been previously estimated by various panels. This means that instead of Brooklyn being flooded once a year it would now be flooded 20 times a year. A real nuisance to the people living there I would assume.
Of course not only Antarctica is melting. Greenland is melting as well as it has lost an estimated 1 trillion tons of ice between 2011 and 2014. With oceans warming and their waters expanding this means that the sea levels will also rise.
With better satellites in orbit observing the polar regions we now can be very sure about things like rates of melting in such areas. The idea that as the climate warms this will increase precipitation and that this would also mean more ice at the poles was disproved by the new studies.
With the Trump administration advocating cuts to Earth observation programs we risk missing out on future details about rates of melt in the polar area and so endangering communities who live along the various coasts worldwide.
For many years scientists thought that the Totten glacier was stable. Scientists thought that the glacier was in an area where warmer currents in the ocean would not affect it. No longer is this believed. They have discovered that the waters around the glacier were warmer than expected and thus, the glacier would melt the area that was underwater. The glacier is 75 miles in length and 19 miles wide.
Totten is the biggest glacier in the eastern part of Antarctica and its melting has the potential to contribute to the elevation of sea levels worldwide.
Scientists in the U.K have just determined that an increase in sunshine in the past 20 years is having an effect on the ice melt in Greenland. This could literally affect millions of people worldwide. If the Greenland ice sheet melted we could see global sea levels rise by 6 meters.
It has been estimated that 25 per cent of global sea level rise can be attributed to the melting of the ice sheet on Greenland. Since 1995 Greenland has lost about 4.000 gigatons of ice.
Scientists believe that as the Arctic is warming faster, it is affecting the weather over Greenland. There are less clouds and more clear skies in now. This increase in sunlight explains about two-thirds of the ice melt in Greenland since the 1990’s. Since 2003 ice loss has nearly doubled.
No doubt that things could simply go on towards the day when the ice sheet in Greenland is no more, and millions of people who live by the shore will be severely affected. Just slowing the rate of melt will be difficult. Perhaps we should prepare people for what seems inevitable, a global rise in sea levels in the next 25 years that could be catastrophic.
Could be gold, but will you get your price? Probably not. Let me explain to you dear reader what happened to me. I was lucky enough to have in my possession a jewel that was made of gold with a long gold chain attached to a lucky charm. As I was not one to wear such jewels, not being the type that likes to display wealth, I thought it best to sell this jewel to a jeweler. At least I would have cold hard cash in my hands and that I know what to do with.
I did not go far for the transaction, favouring a jeweler that was near where I lived. I went in and promptly displayed the chain and the lucky charm on the counter. The man, in his late fifties, told me that someone in the back would weigh the gold and give it a price.
Now, I must say that I had a price in mind. After all, the person that had given me the jewelery had told me that the chain alone was worth 80 dollars. I therefore estimated the whole piece to be worth at least 100 dollars. I was already making plans on how to spend this money, salivating like an old toothless dog after someone had thrown it a bone. A golden bone.
After waiting a few minutes a woman came out from behind and detailed for me how much the piece was really worth, 45 dollars. My jaw must have dropped several feet as I stammered that I had thought it worth more like 80 to 100 dollars. I protested saying that the chain alone was worth 80 dollars.
She smiled and then patiently explained to me that the price was what the amount of gold in the chain and the charm. It was 25 dollars plus 20 dollars and nothing more. She then explained that she was not into reselling jewelery but into melting it and producing something new. Furthermore, she said that when jewelers sell pieces they routinely mark up the prices. That I knew about the mark-up, but I did not know about a mark-down!
I was very disappointed by the price that she had quoted me. According to the weight of the gold that was the price. I thought about declining but as the piece held no sentimental value to me and that 45 dollars in my pocket was better I agreed to the exchange.
This is what happens when one is a novice in such matters. We are cruelly led back to earth by those who know. We routinely appraise things much too highly because they may have some worth to us, but when we offer it on the market invariably we are disappointed by the returns we get. Things are always worth more to us than to other people.