Glacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years and is the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance, reports Justin Gillis at the New York Times. Studying the melting margins of the world’s largest tropical ice sheet, scientists dated ancient plants as they became exposed from retreating ice. Plants exposed when ice melted 25 years ago were 4,700 years old, while the current edge of retreat is exposing plants that are 1600 years older, that is, about 6300 years old. Thus, scientists conclude that in the past 25 years, 1600 years of ice accumulation has melted. The published research is also exmaining ice cores to reconstruct a more detailed global climate history. One exciting episode appears to indicate that the earth went through a period of unusual weather around the time of the French Revolution, begun in 1789. The weather presumably contributed to the food shortages that made that upheaval worse. Researcher Dr. Lonnie Thompson noted, “When there’s a disruption of food, this is bad news for any government.”
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 Years