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Obama stares down melting Alaska glacier to sound alarm on climate chang

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By JOSH LEDERMAN

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Glaciers always melt this time of year. Scientists call that phenomenon "summer."

And there's growing consensus among scientists that indeed heat melts ice.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Obama's message of urgency is important, but sadly too often during his presidency the actions of his administration run counter to his rhetoric. For example, if he is so concerned about climate change, then why did the US federal government give Royal Dutch Shell an oil drilling permit for the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest coast?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Obama channeling Harold Camping.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Oh, dear Lord.....not again....

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Obama is exactly right. Keep the oil in the ground. America needs to lead the world with clean renewable energy tech, not old dirty carbon tech.

2 ( +9 / -6 )

"The 2-mile-long chock of solid ice has been retreating at a faster and faster pace in recent years — more than 800 feet since 2008, satellite tracking shows." - article

'There you go again, making mud pies from molehills.' - a ghostly voice from the past . . .

The GOP-Tea spent thirty years saying Science had it all wrong and now it looks as if Science's ship has just made port. Heck, instead of leading with knowledge and factual analysis, the GOP-Tea jawed time and now turns to a new war on vaccinations for children? Is the GOP-Tea batting .200?

"One of nearly 40 glaciers springing out from Harding Icefield, Exit Glacier has been receding for decades at an alarming rate of 43 feet (13 meters) a year, according to the National Park Service." - article

Man, that Science stuff always trips up those GOP-Tea-ers. Bye-bye Keystone, bye-bye?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Obama stared down a melting glacier" Ooh, did he scare it into retreat?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Glaciers always melt this time of year. Scientists call that phenomenon "summer." And there's growing consensus among scientists that indeed heat melts ice.

It's not the fact that the glacier is melting at this time of year. It's the fact that the glacier is not recovering the lost ground after each successive melt and freeze. This is what is meant by it receding.

Indeed, heat does melt ice. Higher average temperatures and an increase in the temperature of the planet's oceans is increased heat so therefore increased ice melting.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Man, that Science stuff always trips up those GOP-Tea-ers. Bye-bye Keystone, bye-bye?

That would be suicidal! Basically, everything you use has oil as an ingredient. With what are we going to make up the difference? Libs never consider that serious point. My iPhone has oil in it, without it, how will they make plastic?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

With what are we going to make up the difference? Libs never consider that serious point.

Where has anyone claimed we should stop using oil altogether?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Where has anyone claimed we should stop using oil altogether?

If that's the case, then we should use oil UNTIL we can find a viable alternative energy source that we can use that would have less damaging consequences on the environment and climate. We have millions of gas guzzling cars worldwide and that will remain so for a very long time and for the time being, that is all that we have. I agree, we need and should develop and ween our dependency on oil, but until that time comes, we will need to use oil.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

If that's the case, then we should use oil UNTIL we can find a viable alternative energy source that we can use that would have less damaging consequences on the environment and climate.

You mean what we're already doing?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm sure Obama can stop glaciers from melting. Keep the faith.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

You mean what we're already doing?

and continue it until there is NO NEED to do so, increase if we must.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

I'm all for oil conservation. I'm all for effective rentable energy. I am not sold on "human influenced climate change", natural climate change cannot be altered by humans yet. If we were returning to an ice age we have no choice but to adapt.

A mere 20000 years ago New York City was covered in a glacier. With our short meteorological history we can't predict next week weather let alone a millennia!

The nation and the world has much more pressing issues that a hypothesis or myth. Facts today require attention!

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Climate change, economic change...Yes, we can!

Oh, wait...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Shouldn't we embrace the possibility of extended growing seasons in agriculture? With the exploding human population we'll need the food. Offer free sterility in third world nations, desert nations, and any regions people,seem to over pocreate. By choice of course. The population explosion will kill us before the hot days will.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Population Explosion is so 70's.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

will see who is right ...hope your kids can enjoy there time here as well

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow you think the world will end in our kid's lifetime?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

bassfunk

My iPhone has oil in it, without it, how will they make plastic?

Polymers from corn are used to make plastic, too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

AP: President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska on Tuesday ...

Sorry, Associated Press, but President Obama, puissant as he may be, DID NOT STARE DOWN any glacier.

And please stop pasting White House ad copy without the appropriate quotation marks.

BTW, on a related note, Smithsonian magazine this month mentioned Mendenhall Glacier 12 miles from the capital of Alaska, has been retreating since the 1700s. I guess because of all the CO2 they were pumping out back then.

And:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendenhall_Glacier

... However Alaska has been receiving record snowfall in the last decade. Snow is the main factor that causes glaciers to advance.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My iPhone has oil in it, without it, how will they make plastic?

Anyone with a modicum of science education would instantly recognize that carbon locked within a physical item is not the problem; excessive amounts of carbon in the atmosphere is. This is, you see, why carbon was not a problem before.

Glaciers always melt this time of year. Scientists call that phenomenon "summer."

This may be of a JHS level, but there exists a difference between "weather" and "climate."

Troglodytes may beat their chests, but truth always prevails. Really, the only question is how much damage will be incurred before stabilization is restored.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Didn`t the President fly there on Air Force One??? That thing burns 5 gallons of fuel per mile. Washington to Alaska is how far?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Laguna Anyone with a modicum of science education would instantly recognize that carbon does not exist as an element in the atmosphere. Did you mean Carbon Dioxide perhaps? Carbon locked in a physical item? LOL you are too funny. Where did you get your science education?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Carbon does not exist as an "element" in the atmosphere just as plastics are not composed of carbon dioxide. Plastics come in a variety of compositions, but the most common is ethylene, which is the "e" in PET, PE, HDPE and is a hydrocarbon composed of four hydrogen atoms bound to a pair of carbon atoms. Ethylene is produced by "cracking," in which petrochemicals are heated to simplify complex hydrocarbons.

Disregarding the energy inputs required for this process (which are considerable but could come from renewable sources), the carbon content of the source material remains locked into the resulting material. If recycled, the net carbon addition to the atmosphere would thus be zero.

Combustion would free the carbon from its bonds with hydrogen (in fact, the hydrogen would be consumed), and the free carbon would immediately combine with oxygen to form CO2. Fundamentally, the same process occurs when petroleum-based fuels are burned. If recycled, however, within the constraints noted above, plastic would be carbon-neutral.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Didn`t the President fly there on Air Force One??? That thing burns 5 gallons of fuel per mile. Washington to Alaska is how far?

Well, I'm not a scientist, but I know the president using all that fuel to fly to Alaska can't be good, not to mention we all have to pay for it, therefore he and especially Michelle should find a better, more friendlier efficient way to travel. They can use a Hybrid or Segway...heck even a pogo-stick is better for our drastically and urgently changing planet.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Having struggled with this article to find out exactly where and how he stood to observe it, and to clarify how he managed this double entendre of 'staring down', it seems that he trekked up to the foot of the retreating glacier and stared UP at it.

Surely the image was good enough on its own without over-clever word-play. Never let the facts get in the way of fancy journalism though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, I'm not a scientist, but I know the president using all that fuel to fly to Alaska can't be good, not to mention we all have to pay for it,

The former is apparent. As for the latter, according to Wikipedia, "the United States Department of Defense is one of the largest single consumers of energy in the world, responsible for 93% of all US government fuel consumption.... if it were a country, the DoD would rank 58th in the world, using slightly less than Denmark and slightly more than Syria."

Fortunately, the DoD is aggressively developing renewable energy sources not only to extend its ability but as it recognizes that climate change-based conflicts - a major factor behind what is happening in Yemen and, to an extent, Syria - will dominate conflicts going forward.

So the question is, why do you hate the American armed forces?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Bye-bye Keystone, bye-bye?" reply: "That would be suicidal! Basically, everything you use has oil as an ingredient."

There you go again, Keystone is the Koch Brother's tar sands pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico and has nothing to do with plastics.

Tar sands, are the dirtiest fuel sources and create the poorest quality diesel. They represent a fortune to the Koch Brothers. Their dirty tar sands are imported to China for their dirtiest contribution to global warming, at a hefty profit to Koch and Co. Why the pipeline? Because Canada will not let Koch pollute the air in their dirty production of dirty diesel.

But, as usual, the GOP-Tea-ers think Keystone is their savior on high, or as they keep repeating, oil is their savior, the anointed one. Whatever that means.

So, making the claim that Keystone's purpose is the creation of plastic, like that can't be done any other way, hasn't a thinning ice wedge to stand on, because of dirty fuels like tar sands their friends are looking to unleash on an already dirty and threatened global pollution problem.

Guess burning the global village in order to save it is all the GOP-Tea has left to sell, just like ISIS.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@laguna You just turned an about face. Anyway I'll give you a hint. The black you see in the propaganda pics?, the one you may have mistakenly understood as carbon?, they are not co2, co2 is colorless. Furthermore, those are mostly products of incomplete combustion, hence still attached to H.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Arimura, I'm not aware of which photos you are referring to. Regarding "incomplete combustion," I am afraid that you are mistaken: any combustion of a hydrocarbon will result in CO2 - which, as its name implies, no longer contains hydrogen. Incomplete combustion may result in soot, which is a powder-like form of amorphous carbon that not only acts as a greenhouse gas but is responsible for particle matter (PM), which is particularly dangerous for humans, scarring lungs and inducing asthma. Soot has been discerned in ice as a thin sheet; scientists have noted increased deposits coinciding with the industrial revolution.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@laguna. idk how to explain to you. fossil fuels = hydrocarbons. incomplete = still hydrocarbons remaining. i hope its simple enough.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A further point regarding soot, Arimura, is that it has been indicated by many scientists as a major factor in the increased melt rate of glacial ice as its dark color heats the surrounding area. So even when not airborne, the stuff is damaging.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@laguan yeah i agree with you there. nevertheless soot is not co2.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There you go again, Keystone is the Koch Brother's tar sands pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico and has nothing to do with plastics.

Which would help us a lot, especially in creating new jobs and NO, not short term, but for the long foreseeable future, but I keep forgetting, it's a private sector job and not attached to the government hip. Good on the Koch Brothers if they use their money to privately fund the project, that's great news!

Tar sands, are the dirtiest fuel sources and create the poorest quality diesel. They represent a fortune to the Koch Brothers. Their dirty tar sands are imported to China for their dirtiest contribution to global warming, at a hefty profit to Koch and Co. Why the pipeline? Because Canada will not let Koch pollute the air in their dirty production of dirty diesel.

More lib nonesense talk as usual. If it's not harvesting veggies to put in your car, it's asinine for liberals.

But, as usual, the GOP-Tea-ers think Keystone is their savior on high, or as they keep repeating, oil is their savior, the anointed one. Whatever that means.

So how has Obama saved the economy with 45 million people on food stamps for 52 months?

So, making the claim that Keystone's purpose is the creation of plastic, like that can't be done any other way, hasn't a thinning ice wedge to stand on, because of dirty fuels like tar sands their friends are looking to unleash on an already dirty and threatened global pollution problem.

So now you're a scientist and engineer and like his majesty know more than the experts that declare otherwise?

Guess burning the global village in order to save it is all the GOP-Tea has left to sell, just like ISIS

You can blame the anointed one for that.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I don't see Obama starred down on Glazier in the pictures but he took photos for coming Time Magazine. It's great photo opportunity for Obama. So he can tell Time Magazine writer about Glazier what his assistants reading from book. By the way, I didn't see Obama and his wife using Hybrid car or Electric car. If he worry about Global warming and then he should use Hybrid or Electric car as role model for his fans.

How many pro climate change activists drove Hybrid or Electric car? I see only a few of them drive Hybrid car. Al Gore? Nope. Al Gore is only interesting investing in renewable energy business and promoting climate change for his business. Obama must have bought share in renewable energy businesses with Al Gore.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Guess burning the global village in order to save it is all the GOP-Tea has left to sell, just like ISIS" reply: "You can blame the anointed one for that."

Oil? You have that right at leaste.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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