Friday, April 13, 2007

Green Thoughts - Greenland is Melting

I’ve just returned from an architectural conference where the theme was sustainable design. Pervading through the lectures were warnings of apocalyptic doom due to global warming, as if we needed any further motivation to design with energy conservation and ecological responsibility in mind. The warnings reminded me of an article I read recently in the New York Times. A trivia question: What country has the greatest length of coastline? I’m pretty sure the answer is Greenland with over 27,000 miles, and according to recent reports, the coastline may be growing, or at least changing. Due to global warming glacial ice is receding, resulting in new islands that were thought to be peninsulas, and exposure of new land forms.

When I was a kid, mapmaking fascinated me, but I wondered how the cartographers earned a living. I mean, once the landforms are drawn, what else is there to do? This was before I understood political boundaries and other aspects of maps, but I never expected that landforms would change within my lifetime. As explorers rush to Greenland to discover new islands, the reason for this geographical change may be slighted.

Scientists had believed that the effect of global warming on glacial ice was minimal, but recent developments suggest otherwise. The impact of arctic ice melting on the sea level is catastrophic for island nations and coastline inhabitants, particularly low-lying areas such as Bangladesh, or I suppose, New Orleans. I will admit that some of the media coverage on global warming leans toward extremist ranting, but there is no denying the reality of Greenland’s ice melt.

Check out the full NYT article:
The Warming of Greenland

I do remember this is a primarily a music blog, so here’s a remotely relevant little ditty: Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland



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