April 5 News: A Millennium And A Half Of Ice Melted In 25 Years

Peru's Qori Kalis glacier, 1978

Qori Kalis, 2011

Ice that took 1,600 years to form in the Andes has melted in 25 years: “the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance.” [New York Times]

Lonnie G. Thompson, the Ohio State University glaciologist whose team has worked intermittently on the Quelccaya ice cap for decades, reported the findings in a paper released online Thursday by the journal Science….

Throughout the Andes, glaciers are now melting so rapidly that scientists have grown deeply concerned about water supplies for the people living there. Glacial meltwater is essential for helping Andean communities get through the dry season.

In the short run, the melting is producing an increase of water supplies and feeding population growth in major cities of the Andes, the experts said. But as the glaciers continue shrinking, trouble almost certainly looms.

Douglas R. Hardy, a University of Massachusetts researcher who works in the region, said, “How much time do we have before 50 percent of Lima’s or La Paz’s water resources are gone?

See also Lonnie Thompson on why climatologists are speaking out: “Virtually all of us are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization.”


New White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough recognizes climate change is a serious problem and is expected to have a big impact on executive decisions. [National Journal]

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 were the lowest since 1994. [Energy Information Administration]

California regulators are considering a crackdown on fracking, with increased emissions monitoring and advance notice of drilling. [National Journal]

New rules from the Interior Department increase workplace safety regulations on offshore drilling platforms following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill. [The Hill]

The Air Force released a strategic energy plan that aims to increase its renewable energy consumption from 5 percent to 25 percent. [Sustainable Business]

Japan could be the world’s second-largest solar market after China this year. [Sustainable Business]


After Superstorm Sandy, the National Hurricane Center will now continue to issue warnings and advisories when extremely strong storms stop being hurricanes, but still pose threats to coastal areas. [AP]

The Exxon Pegasus pipeline spill reminds us that we “still rely on the ready abundance of a volatile, toxic sludge.” [Washington Post]

The largest processor of petroleum products in the United States is half owned by Saudi Aramco, in Prot Arthur, Texas. [New York Times]

BP is selling its wind energy assets to refocus on petroleum. [Christian Science Monitor]


Scientists at the University of South Florida say the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill caused a die-off in the millions at the bottom of the aquatic food chain. [Tampa Bay Tribune]

Growing pools of toxic green algae in the Great Lakes have agriculture practices and global warming to thank. [Atlantic Cities]

A new report from NOAA found that extreme precipitation from intense storms will increase significantly this century in the U.S. [LA Times]

20 Responses to April 5 News: A Millennium And A Half Of Ice Melted In 25 Years

  1. Superman1 says:

    Philip Wenz,

    “Whatever happened to Superman1? I miss being harangued for the inadequacy of my advocacy.”

  2. Superman1 says:

    I have concluded the climate is a lost cause. There is no way we can realistically satisfy the combined technical, economic, and sociopolitical requirements.

  3. Superman1 says:

    There are many groups (boxers, pro football players, race car drivers, smokers, drinkers) who are willing to sacrifice health and years at end of days for gratification in the here-and-now.

  4. Sasparilla says:

    From the well respected author’s of Merchant’s of Doubt…a possible future scenario (history+ future fiction):

    Have to thank Lou, who is on these pages, for pointing this out…rather chilling reading (some predictions are probably too conservative, initial arctic melt out in 2040’s when it’ll probably happen this decade for example but a good read).

  5. Superman1 says:

    Those in the advanced nations are more than willing to make these sacrifices at the end of years for gratification today, and those in the developing world will not give up opportunity to leave abject poverty today for a few extra years of life.

  6. Superman1 says:

    Therefore, I see no real constituency anywhere on the globe willing to make the necessary sacrifices to save the climate. Not one post here has convinced me otherwise.

  7. Remember, even though the EIA headlines this data as “Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions,” that’s not really an accurate description of the data.

    The data the EIA releases under that broad headline is actually the estimated carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of fossil fuels.

    It does not include CO2 emissions from energy production, like flaring.

    It does not include CO2 emissions from non-fossil energy, like biofuels.

    And please remember that CO2-specific reporting does not include or account for the important non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel production, distribution, and consumption, which are likely to INCREASE with the shift from coal to natural gas.

    Some Climate Progress background for interpreting the EIA data:

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    Interesting comment here…

    “In case of a war, President Barack Obama would turn into “the most ominous leader” in the history of the country, Castro added.”

  9. Paul Magnus says:

    Pretty certain collapse is inevitable. Lets say more than likely in science speak….

    Left out in cold: Crisis has Greeks foraging forest for heat source — RT News
    Austerity measures and spiraling unemployment have left many Greeks without the means to pay for heating. In desperation some have taken to illegally chopping down firewood, damaging historic forests.

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Did anybody think the Deepwater Horizon disaster wouldn’t cause a massive die-off? And the effects of 250 years of pollution is slowly creeping up the food chain, ME

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘…and he will appear!’ Thanks Philip!

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Fidel may be long in the tooth, but he ain’t no fool.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘I have seen the future, and it is….cancer’.

  14. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yeah. Many thanks Philip, I love starting my days with pure dogmatism, ME

  15. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Just one of the many spanners in her toolbox, ME

  16. paul magnus says:

    $5T … the US war in Iraq.

    All for oil! Just think what could have been done with a $5t investment in clean energy. We could have been 9/10th the way to solving global warming if Bush had had some marbles and balls.
    about a minute ago

  17. Superman1 says:

    Bush was as much a captive of his donor and electorate constituency as Obama is of his. Neither constituency, nor any real constituency anywhere on the globe, is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to save the climate. Not one post here has convinced me otherwise.

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Then why do you bother?

  19. Greg Hamby says:

    just keep pushing for clean is all we can do…