Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ice and Sky - and toxic carbon soot

Merci Mille Fois

   Again to the French Ambassador and Embassy in Washington for hosting a movie screening of a very important film that I highly recommend people get and watch. ICE AND SKY.

   People generally understand that there is climate change and increased flooding and polar ice caps melting at exponentially greater rates during the last 200 years that at any time prior in known history. But what causes that and how we know is apparently up for debate (and pushed back by people with direct investment in the coal /fossil fuel companies and communities.)

  Ice and Sky explains it. Tracking the adventures of one prominent French scientist and later Russian and Americans joining him in his polar adventures, this chronicles how the testing was done after drilling in the polar antarctic region to get samples of ice drilling deep into the ice age.

  When you put a regular ice cube frozen from you freezer when the ice melts in a drink it does not bubble or let out air. When you melt polar ice, however, it bubbles- because the atmosphere, air is trapped in the ice when it freezes outside at the poles.  The air that is trapped contains what is in the atmosphere.

   The French scientist found this out when observing that some ice they captured they put into chunks in their whisky drinks-and it bubbled  (unlike fridge freezer ice.)  This told them that air and whatever is in the air is in the ice.

   The next discovery after drilling in to the ice was that the ice reads like the rings on a tree. The chronology of age is determined by the layers of ice. The era and years when atomic bombs were exploded caused radiation to go to the entire globe was trapped in the ice at that level so they determined radiation could be found trapped in the ice dating to that era.

  So what did they discover trapped in the ice for the more recent centuries? The same carbon that resulted from post-industrial revolution fossil fuel burning is trapped in the ice. This did not exist prior to the industrial revolution in this quantity. Massive amounts of carbon trapped in the air will eventually melt the ice in a molten slush puddle of blackened sooted ice which is what we can observe the polar glaciers melting doing, slushing into the sea, rising sea levels.

  Now, I am not a scientist. But I am also not an idiot. And this is fourth grade science when you understand what they did to come up with the conclusions they did. The carbon created by fossil fuel burning post-industrial revolution from coal , petrol and other "dirty fuels"  is causing this. And for those evangelical fundamentalists-this comports with the "last days" scenario of massive flooding "as in the days of Noah."

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