February 24, 2012

Mount Everest’s shrinking glaciers

Image first produced and shown at UNESCO's Outdoor Exhibition ‘Satellites and World Heritage Sites, Partners to Understand Climate Change,’ at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico. Copyright Cnes 2004 - 2010 - Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image

Saw this photo on Responding to Climate Change  today while I was putting off doing my Calculus homework. It’s so beautiful, yet also super disturbing.

This is a photo of Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park, home of Mount Everest (the highest peak in the world, duh), which is famous for its “dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys.”  The site says:

Several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda, are found in the park.

The air temperatures in this area have risen by 1°C since 1970, leading to a 30% decrease in snow and ice cover over the last 40 years.

A high glacier on Mount Everest, located at an altitude of 4,000 m, is now a lake.

Glacier lake outburst floods are now much more frequent, creating serious risks for human populations with grave implications for the water supply in South Asia and the flow of major rivers such as the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra.

I just don’t get how people can look at stuff like this and say, “Oh, it’s just totally random that this is happening, it’ll all get colder someday again and everything’ll be fine.”  As if.

In case you’re curious, Responding to Climate Change (RTCC) is an organization that’s dedicated to raising awareness about climate change issues (yay).  It also runs Climate Change TV, the world’s first-ever online video channel that’s 100% devoted to running stories about climate change.  You should check it out.   Everybody should.

 

 

 

 


February 8, 2012

Team Earth

Conservation International’s stunningly beautiful online magazine Team Earth has launched a new issue (#4 of a series), and it’s full of both amazing photos and stories of good news for the planet.

A family from a floating village, Prek Toal, on Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia.

You can read about the projects they help fund and focus on:  slowing deforestation, preserving healthy, adaptive ecosystems, and bringing oft-ignored indigenous groups to the forefront of political and economic decisions that affect them and their traditional lands.  This issue focuses on a life-giving lake in Cambodia (replete with floating houses!) and how CI is helping the people of Papua New Guinea  preserve their forests, as well as a look forward to the next Copenhagen climate summit.

It always warms our heart to see the good work that so many conservation-oriented organizations are doing in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government ministries all over the world.  CI is a terrific advocate for all of us who want to respect the Earth’s breathtaking diversity and the sustainability of its resources.

We laugh that these kinds of online treats are what naughty sites are for others.  If it’s wrong, we don’t want to be right. ; )

 


November 27, 2011

This stuff exists

Paul Nicklen is a white man who grew up in an Inuit community way up in Northern Canada near Greenland.  He takes pretty amazing pictures of polar bears, seals, penguins and the like for magazines like National Geographic.  He’s trying to put (animal) faces to the story people otherwise are getting kinda sick of — that polar ice is disappearing.

Watching him talk about the polar food chains, you can see his respect for the fragility of the world he grew up in.

I appreciate that.

It takes guts to hang out in the water for days on end with leopard seals.  He’s putting his money where his mouth is.  He’s funny, too.

Gotta restock my shelves.  See you later.


June 17, 2011

Chris Jordan

It’s impossible to ever go out and actually see the entire Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but photographer Chris Jordan does a good job of putting us face-to-face with the results of our consumption and waste. His series of photographs taken on the Midway Atoll islands documents the plastic particles found inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The birds die of dehydration and malnutrition after their parents mistakenly forage the Pacific Ocean for food and bring back only garbage to feed their young.


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