The Slowly Rising Oceans

(Credit: ©The Washington Post)

The Global Language Monitor has recently  announced the Top Words of the Decade (2000-2009), as part of its annual global survey of the English language.   The Top Words were Global Warming, 9/11, and Obama followed by Bailout, Evacuee, and Derivative; Google, Surge, Chinglish, and Tsunami followed. Climate Change was the top phrase, while Heroes was the top name; bin-Laden was number two.

I was not surprised at all the words global warming and climate change are being searched and re-searched by many people around the globe—and the numbers are rising even as we speak.    A large number of them fully believe that global warming and climate change are real and here to stay, while many others feel it’s only a hoax made up by ultra liberals trying to pull the rug from under the huge manufacturing conglomerates responsible of emitting enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Who to believe?  It’s the same eroded story of the glass half full or half empty.

It’s no big secret that Greenland—the world’s largest island—has consistently losing its ice sheets during the last 30 years.  Reputed scientists have found that over this period, Greenland’s melt zone has expanded by 30 percent.  Its ice cap now loses 60 to 90 cubic miles of ice every year—more than all the ice in the Alps.  This ice is melting away into the oceans, slowly adding the sea level rise.

“The wolf is coming,” says the scientific community, but many are looking the other way.  Experts are studying the Earth’s polar regions and glaciers to see if warmer global temperatures will melt enough ice to raise sea levels, disrupting marine life and even change ocean and weather patterns.  Some of these factors have been experienced by the 4,200 inhabitants in the small town of Ilulissat in Greenland.  They are seeing first hand how global warming is changing their town and their ancestral lifestyle.  They know for a fact that growing waterfalls from melting ice on Greenland are undermining the ice sheets that once kept sea levels from rising.  Greenland is thawing.

Human activities are emitting an increasing amount of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere.  For example, the atmosphere carbon dioxide in 1976 was 330 ppm (parts per million).  In 2007 the number increased to 379 ppm.  That’s a hike of 24 percent in a little more than thirty years.  Where is this gas coming from?  Mainly from our coal power plants, from our automobiles and from our homes.

Visible effects of the rising temperatures are:

  • Ferocious wildfires in California, Greece, and Australia.
  • Record-breaking droughts in Africa, the Southern part of the United States and Australia.
  • Disappearance of 80 percent of the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Receding glaciers of the Himalayas.
  • Destructive hurricanes and floods in Bangladesh.
  • Plummeting water levels  in the Colorado River.

It is estimated that 70 percent of the world’s population lives on coastal plains.  Eleven of the fifteen biggest cities stand on the coastline or river estuaries.  As the oceans rise, salt will invade the water table depriving inhabitants of drinking water.  It’s anticipated widespread migratory phenomena can occur in the future at unpredictable scales.

In Panama, huge waves destroyed the road leading to Punta Chame. Waves this size were never seen before.  Puerto Caimito in Chorrera was completely wiped out by similar waves.  It’s inhabitants are presently rebuilding their houses, even though they are well aware the ocean will be back and their dwellings will once again be destroyed.

Similar events happened last year at Costa Arriba and Costa Abajo in the Province of Colon.  Swelling oceans are destroying villages near the Panama coastlines.  For these people, global warming and climate change is not a hoax.  If I were you, I would be reluctant in buying a beach house or a vacation home near the ocean.  It could be submerged in less than a decade if the rising oceans trend continues.  Take heed at Nature’s warnings and Good Day.

Related Interactive Information – Vital Signs of a Warming World

2 thoughts on “The Slowly Rising Oceans”

  1. Question on this comment:

    “In Panama, huge waves destroyed the road leading to Punta Chame. Waves this size were never seen before. ”

    I was just out there and plan on going back in Feb. When did the wave hit? The road condition is someone legend! The road! The Road!!

    1. Hi John:

      This happened in September or October of last year near a place called La Claridad. It was all over the TV news in Channel 21.

      I don’t get your point about “The Road. The Road.” I’m sure during the next rainy season, the road will be hit again.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s