Monday, June 9, 2008

Polar Express

There is a new sense of scientific urgency around the accelerating pace of climate warming in the earth's polar regions. A NASA satellite camera on the Aqua caught a Manhattan-size floating piece of ice shelf in the act of disintegrating on Feb 28, 2008.

By March 8, the Wilkins ice shelf, comprising some 5,000 miles of floating ice off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula had lost 160 square miles of ice to the Pacific Ocean.

The July 2008 edition of Scientific American reports that this ice breakup is the latest of seven major Antarctic ice-shelf collapses in the past 30 years, after some 400 years of relative stability.

Once again, before casting our votes, we need to know where Barack Obama and John McCaine stand on the issue of global warming, and we need to know who they intend to use as their advisors on the vitally important issue.

Our health and the health of our offspring could depend on the quality of science-based decisions made in the next few years.