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Glacier Bay National Park. Two and a half centuries ago, the entire area was covered by thick sheets of ice.
High snowfall and cold weather to blame.





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In other news...Death of an Alaskan village
By nah on 10/16/2008 10:41:14 AM , Rating: 3
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7669143.stm

quote:
Alaska is at the vanguard of climate change. The state's northern parts have seen an average temperature rise of three degrees celsius in recent decades Now the permafrost - the frozen ground that previously kept the Ninglik stable, as well as providing a solid base for the village's scattered houses - is melting.


quote:
Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin has set up special "immediate action" committees to deal with both the causes and consequences of global warming. She appointed environmental lawyer Larry Hartig as her commissioner for the environment. He accepts there is a massive challenge ahead. "Climate change is an immediate and serious problem for people all around this state," he says. "It's hitting us in a variety of ways right now. It's particularly hitting rural Alaska, with flooding and erosion. "It's also changing patterns of our fish and game around the state, which is impacting people's ability to get the subsistence foods they've relied on for hundreds of years." The University of Alaska Institute for Social and Economic Reform carried out a study into the costs of climate change, based on predictive climate models. It estimated the bills could run into billions of dollars.




RE: In other news...Death of an Alaskan village
By masher2 on 10/16/2008 11:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
Any analysis that says Alaska wouldn't benefit greatly from a temperature rise of 3-4 degrees is ludicrous on its face. That will mean less area covered by ice, a substantially longer growing season, much higher productivity for both farmed crops and wild plant growth, and many other positives.

The real danger is cold. If the state returns to the mean temperatures of 250 years ago, most of the state will be wholly uninhabitable.


RE: In other news...Death of an Alaskan village
By nah on 10/16/2008 11:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin has set up special "immediate action" committees to deal with both the causes and consequences of global warming.


So this is completely meaningless--


RE: In other news...Death of an Alaskan village
By masher2 on 10/16/2008 11:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see the connection you're making. Climate change means change after all, and it's important to plan for that change. Furthermore, while the net effects of warming will be good for Alaska, there are undoubtably some negatives -- a tiny Inuit village on the edge of an ice floe, for instance, is going to have to adapt to change.

If you look at Alaska's Climate Change policy, you'll see they wisely focus on preplanning, adaption, and mitigation, rather than rashly attempting to stop the gears of nature:

http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/


RE: In other news...Death of an Alaskan village
By manoj252 on 10/16/2008 1:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
What do you think of the claims that melting the permafrost will release more methane (trapped in the ice right now) which will trigger higher temperatures and set off a vicious cycle?


By masher2 on 10/16/2008 1:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
The clathrate gun hypothesis? It's prima facie plausible, though little real evidence exists to either support or deny it.

Regardless, since a great deal of current research suggests that climate sensitivity to CO2 is extremely low, then if the methane "gun" exists, it's going to fire from natural causes rather than anthropogenic...and we better prepare for mitigation and adaption, rather than wasting resources in a futile King-Canute style attempt to halt it.


RE: In other news...Death of an Alaskan village
By nah on 10/16/2008 1:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
rather than rashly attempting to stop the gears of nature:


I'm curious--what do you mean by this ?


By mdogs444 on 10/16/2008 1:31:48 PM , Rating: 2
He means they are drawing up plans on how to cope and adapt with climate change, rather than trying to come up with nonsensical ways to stop natural climate change.


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