Sunday, April 27, 2008

More Evidence Of Global Warming

In 1995 I went around the world for eight months. One of the highlights of the trip was the afternoon a hippie in his late fifties pulled up to the youth hostal where I was staying and opened the door to his mini-van so that the half-dozen people that waited could pay him and then claim one of the seats so he could play driver and then tour guide on a short excursion on a road through a subtropical forest to Franz Josep Glacier, one of the few remaining remnants of this planet's period of the ice age. I still have a pebble from the ice bedded bottom of this valley that runs up a mountain and is surrounded by lush green ferns. I suppose that's why this recent article caught my eye:

New Zealand's largest glacier is shrinking fast due to climate change and will eventually disappear altogether, scientists said Thursday (April 24, 2008).

The 23-kilometer (14.3 mile) long glacier in the South Island's Southern Alps is likely to shrink at a rate of between 500 and 820 metres a year, said Martin Brook, a physical geography lecturer at Massey University.

"In the last 10 years the glacier has receded a hell of a lot," Brook said on the university website.

"It's just too warm for a glacier to be sustained at such a low altitude -- 730 metres above sea level -- so it melts rapidly and it is going to disappear altogether."

The rapid melting has seen a lake seven kilometers long and two kilometers wide form at the base of the glacier. Thirty-five years ago, the lake did not exist.

"The last major survey was in the 1990s and since then the glacier has retreated back 180 metres a year on average," Brook said.

The lake at the foot of the glacier is speeding up the melting as more ice is submerged under the surface of the water.

A study last year by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research found the volume of ice in the Southern Alps had shrunk almost 11 percent in the past 30 years. More than 90 percent of this loss was due to the melting of the 12 largest glaciers in the mountain range due to rising temperatures, the university report said.

You can visit Franz Josep Glacier too before it melts away, online at:

Research info gathered at:

Now, here's one of my poems that's icy:

A Hood Ornament To Unbotton...

then lay out my struggle iron with no
ransom note built to shine


maybe get my bomb up a hollow tree so
bark with your freak whip mouth fur
behind moonlight's steamy window
about to ricochet


in a rooftop summing up the rollercoaster of
my rope to slide the cooler door to wide-open
be stud & hot enough to melt a knee size tens
dangling off a diving board to seesaw with
your fingerprints all over my tool box if I
were a bumblebee to scotch lube traces never
trifling a remedy & careful not to paste blossoms
all over the brand new upholstery.

Poem first published at:
Visit my ezine:
and music blog:
Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.


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