Sea level rise as a result of climate change and global warming is a regular news headline here in Boston and worldwide. (See the recent UMass Boston report and the Boston waterfront real estate view).

Every national academy of science reporting to a major government and 97 percent of the most frequently published climatologists say our appetite for fossil fuels is driving an unprecedented rate of planetary warming. But the shifting baseline can be hard to see. Or it used to be.

The examples below are a glacier in Alaska and a coral reef off St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, two of almost 30 such comparisons made to date by North End photographer David Arnold (www.doublexposure.net). While corals suffer several human afflictions, culprits include rising ocean acidification and the increasing number of heat shocks from fossil fuel burning. Arnold says the the first question he asks any political candidate for any office these days is: “Given the magnitude of scientific evidence, how are you going to lead us?”

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Shoup Glacier 1938

 Shoup Glacier 2007


Buck Island Reef 1995

 Buck Island Reef 2011

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Could you source this? Your quote: “Every national academy of science reporting to a major government and 97 percent of the most frequently published climatologists say our appetite for fossil fuels is driving an unprecedented rate of planetary warming.”

    Beyond the sourcing: How do we define a major government? And all the research funding is going to global warming (now conveniently changed to climate change, something even Shen Kuo knew about). So of course 97% of the MOST frequently published are going to say this. (And you don’t get published, unfunded or not, if you buck this current trend. I mean, I just read an article on global cooling consensus during the 70’s being a myth, yet that very topic was a big part of my geology education.)

    Funny thing is when you grab a global warming scientific study and look at the abstract, it always claims “strong support,” yet the data are weak and suspect in all too many cases (and of course, studies create Cartesian Circles citing one another). I guess it’s all how you churn it. Reef decline is a complex topic. As for glaciers, it could just be a precursor for a climate change that is going to happen with or without the help of man. Our cars are not going to melt ice caps on the planet! Heck, only 15% of America’s land is developed and the environmentalists say we’re all deforested.

    I mean, it’s hard to believe our cars are causing this all of a sudden, especially since the globe cooled during periods of heightened emissions and pollutants. After all, the earth has made intense shifts in its climate over time. 125,000 years ago, tundra was lush forest. It’s all theory, no matter what the trends in science are. For these trends in thinking have shifted just as much as the climate. But man’s concept of himself as impactful and significant never changes.

    When the world rages in war (if we make it that far) to live in limited land caused by the next Ice Age, man’s demise will be demonstrative of his hubris. Only ironically he won;t be there to reflect upon it in study.

      • Hi, David – The Union of Concerned Scientists is a political organization. Furthermore, the front page of their site is decorated with items that pre-date the dismantling of Global Warming as a theory (2007). (After this date, climate change became the terminologgy.) The credibility of organizations, on this site, whose statements are made after this year is not strong. And as one scrolls, to see that 18 scientists or 255 sign off on something is pretty funny. I’m not sure how much scientific research you’ve done in your day, but 255 scientists work on one floor of a building in Cambridge.

        I appreciate anyone who wants to be a good steward of the environment. I am a supporter of The Surfrider Foundation and even donated money this Spring to Greenpeace (of all places), solely for one specific campaign that I believed in. There is nothing that troubles me more than reef decline and rain forest destruction. But I am not going to jump on the warming bus. Not considering the data. I am certainly not a geologic Sc.D., but I have conducted and run and lectured on research.

        What smells like consensus is the foul odor of scientific fad. I am totally open to the idea that we are warming the planet, and have my doubts we are not. But I also have my doubts that we are. And on that latter side, I have the geologic history of this planet on my side. On the other side is about 30 years of Ivory Tower research.

        Thanks,

        BB

        This all smells of eugenics.

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