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Glaciers Are Continuing To Shrink Around The Third Pole
By Ernest Stewart

"This blue planet is our only home and Tibet is its roof. As vital as the Arctic and Antarctic, it is the Third Pole. The Tibetan Plateau needs to be protected, not just for Tibetans but for the environmental health and sustainability of the entire world." ~~~ Dalai Lama

Most folks, whenever they think of the poles, think only of the Arctic and Antarctic, i.e., the north and south poles; however, there's a third pole; and its glaciers are melting as fast as are the Arctic and Antarctic glaciers. Trouble is, over a quarter of the world's population depends upon them for their drinking water.

Global warming has been taking its toll on the world since the mid-nineteenth century, when scientists first came up with concerns related to it. A good example might be -- and I'm sure all you Sherlockians are aware of -- "English Fog." Not the friendly water fog, but that horrible industrial fog caused by industrial pollution that we call smog. Back in December of 1952, in a four-day period, one of those "Pea Soupers" killed some 12,000 people in London, while making another 100,000 ill. Back in the 1970s, when I lived in the Hollywood Hills, one could look out from there to downtown LA and the only thing you could see was an orange-green smog with just the tips of the skyscrapers poking through -- while it was bright and sunny up in the hills.

A recent study questions the possible effects of climate change, and how India is acting as a major stimulus in the global warming. Earth's atmosphere is responding quickly to all the fatal repercussions of what has happened in the past; and one of them is the alarming rate at which glaciers are shrinking around the third pole.

The air pollution caused by India and China at the third pole is aggravating the melting of glaciers -- challenging the lives of flora and fauna there. China and India are the world's worst-ranked countries in air pollution -- because of all the smoke and trash they generate. The region covering Himalaya-Hindukush Mountains and the Tibetan plateau happens to be the third-largest, ice-covered region on the planet, falling behind the Arctic and the Antarctic, thusly dubbed the third pole, the risk zone.

This region is heavily polluted, thanks to India and China. While the shrinking of glaciers may have its own poor aftermath, billions of people sprawled around the area will be affected sooner or later. For instance, those who reside near the Indus basin consume water from these melting glaciers; imagine what will happens when this fresh water source dries up....

Among many other things that act as a catalyst in bringing these glaciers down, black carbon puts in major inputs. The black carbon is a particular matter obtained after the burning of fossil fuels and biomass. The black carbon absorbs sunlight, causing regional warming. Along with this, when these particles deposit on the ice surface, they darken the region, allowing the icy surface to absorb heat and melt faster, absorbing into the drinking water, polluting it.

So, until all the industrial nations stop burning black carbon and sending billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, it's only going to keep getting worse -- until it kills us all. Then, in 10 or 20 thousand years, things will go back to normal, allowing whatever creatures following us to have the same chances we had. I hope they are smarter than we were!


06-11-1933 ~ 08-28-2016
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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 36 (c) 09/02/2016