We are going to stray from form this week in terms of our company news. I have just returned from a trip to the West coast of Canada – the trip was spectacular, but there was one day that was particularly poignant – the day we went to Athabasca Glacier. This is the second glacier I have hiked across, the first being the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand, but the story was the same – the rate at which they are retreating was absolutely incredible.
Glaciers Melting fast
Athabasca is retreating by approximately 10 – 50m per year. It is still being fed at the top by the Columbia icefield, but in 17-20 years at current rates there will be no glacier left. There was a guy there who had visited in 1988 and I just don’t think he could get over how much of it had gone. You could see too just how upsetting this was for our tour guide, not just because she will be looking for a new job in the not too distant future, but this is her home for much of the year and she can see the changes month to month.
It is getting hot hot hot
I think glaciers are probably the easiest way to see things are changing rapidly on the planet, but this week here in London we have experienced temperatures well above 30 degrees. They reckon that the 34.4oC recorded in Gravesend on Tuesday was actually the highest September temperature we have had since 1911, but that the September average will be the highest on record.
Couple this with Nasa’s latest findings that August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping – this was according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
It is all pointing to Global warming – so the big question is whether the warming is nature at work or whether we are playing a part and that global warm is accelerating as a result of our actions.
The following graphic is perhaps the finest infographic we have been sent (and believe me we get sent them daily) courtesy of http://xkcd.com/. It takes a lot of scrolling, but take a look. I think it answers the question pretty conclusively.
One final thought…..
One final thing to finish on and this is actually specifically directed towards Justin Trudeau (who may or may not read our website) – there are two ways to access the Athabasca glacier, a walking tour (which I did) as well as a bus tour. These big buses drive up on the ice and ferry 7,000 up and down the glacier each day between May and October. These buses aren’t eco-buses though running on batteries or anything like that. They look like they are from the 1950’s and kick out a ridiculous amount of diesel fumes – the smell as we walked across the glacier was disgusting, bearing in mind we were in the middle of nowhere!
Now a tour guide trying to talk about conservation & global warming while standing on a retreating glacier works well – but couple that with the fact they are going up and down on these crappy old buses – I think the message is lost. Just something to think about Justin!