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glacier, ice, environment

Sarah Palin: Are Humans Really Responsible for Global Warming?

alaska, glacier, iceRegardless of her role in the political landscape, Sarah Palin somehow always finds a way to make news.

While on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month, Palin made it clear that she isn’t sure if global warming is truly man-made, according to FactCheck.org.

I take changes in the weather, the cyclical changes that the globe has undergone for — since the beginning of time, I take it seriously, but I’m not going to blame these changes in the weather on man’s footprint. Obama was up here looking at, say, the glaciers and pointing out a glacier that was receding. Well, there are other glaciers, though, that are growing up here. And he didn’t highlight that, but he used glaciers as an example.

– Sarah Palin (CNN)

Regardless of what Palin is seeing happen up in Alaska, the fact of the matter is that glacier size can vary according to a region’s precipitation. Some may grow, but in the world as a whole, the bottom line is that the planet is losing ice.

So how schooled are you when it comes to glaciers and the impending doom facing our polar bears? Let’s take a look at some of these facts from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

  • Ten percent of the planet is covered by glacial ice.
  • In the U.S., glaciers cover more than 30,000 square miles.
  • If all of the ice on land melted, sea levels around the world would rise 230 feet.
  • Increased dust and soot from grazing and farming are also responsible for glacier loss.
  • Many scientists attribute the beginning of our glacial retreat to the Industrial Revolution, which began in the 1760s.
  • During the peak of the last ice age, glaciers covered 32 percent of total land area.
  • Glaciers store 75 percent of the world’s fresh water.

But what is really happening in Sarah Palin’s Alaska, as well as other regions where the ice caps are supposedly melting? For starters, the World Wildlife Foundation states that all of the glaciers in Alaska that have been surveyed are melting, and thinning rates have doubled over the past five-to-seven years. Almost 20 percent of the glacier ice in the European Alps has melted over the past two decades, and losses in the Andes glaciers have accelerated as well.

To be fair, the National Snow and Ice Data Center notes that scientists are still feverishly collecting data to accurately determine how exactly global warming impacts glacier melt. However, it’s clear thus far that something dire is going on.


Sources

  • Levitan, Dave. “Sarah Palin Claims Glaciers Are Growing, So Obviously Humans Didn’t Cause Climate Change.” FactCheck.org. September 9, 2015.
  • “Glacier Facts.” WWF. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  • “Facts about glaciers.” National Snow and Ice Data Center. Retrieved September 15, 2015.