Glaciers are in retreat across the northern portion of the Antarctic Peninsula, which is experiencing some of the fastest climate melting across the globe.
Because Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of all fresh water reserves, the glacial melt is also expected to have a significant effect on rising sea levels. Some of the ice masses, such as Collins Glacier on King George Island in the Northern Peninsula, are forecast to disappear within two decades.
In a telephone interview with Supreme Master Television, leading South American glaciologist Dr. Jefferson Simões at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, explained that glaciers like those on King George Island are extremely sensitive to slight temperature variations.
Dr. Jefferson Simões – Chief glaciologist – Institute of Geosciences, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (M): Ice in King George Island is near the melting point. It's near zero at the surface. Any energy that I give to it, is going to melt. So that's why we think that the glaciers in that area of the world, are very good as our early warning system about climatic change because they respond very fast.
VOICE: Dr. Simões explained that severe global warming is speeding the melting process throughout the Antarctic Peninsula.
Dr. Jefferson Simões (M): Just to give an example, in the northern part of the peninsula, some of the stations have shown a 3-Celsius degrees increase of the mean annual temperature in a period of 50 years.
Compare that with the warming that we had at a global level that was about 0.7, 0.8 degrees in 140 years.
VOICE: Our appreciation, Dr. Simões, for helping us to understand the perilous state of such ice masses as Collins Glacier and our planet.
May your efforts help awaken us all and lead to rapid actions to return the balance of our ecosphere. In her ongoing efforts to help humanity realize the urgent need to reverse global warming, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the issue of melting glaciers during an August 2009 videoconferencein Thailand.