May 6, 2007

Climate change

The following is excerpted from article by Dave Hoopman for the
Wisconson Energy Cooperative:

Bryson describes the navigational instructions provided
for Norse mariners making their way from Europe to
their settlements in Greenland. The place was named
for a reason: The Norse farmed there from the 10th
century to the 13th, a somewhat longer period than
the United States has existed. But around 1200 the
mariners’ instructions changed in a big way. Ice became
a major navigational reference. Today, old Viking
farmsteads are covered by glaciers.
Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common
grist for current headlines. “What do they find when
the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”

We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature
forest and agricultural water-management structures
had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing
sunlight for the first time in thousands of years.
Bryson interrupts excitedly.

“A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools
because they were going to be back the next spring
to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says.
“There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting
back to normal.”

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Climate change models

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