While I found the scientific methodology and resulting maps to be quite compelling, I would understand if inexperienced readers might be somewhat skeptical of what it all means. Enter ASTER Imaging from NASA. ASTER stands for Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer. As it regards global warming, ASTER was used in a collaboration between NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to create the world’s largest 3D map.
Covering the surface of our planet between 83 degrees North and 83 degrees South latitudes, the ASTER map features intriguing discoveries, including with regard to glaciers in the Bhutan Himalayas, giant sources of potable water for roughly a billion people. Simply put, the glaciers are not melting at a uniform pace yet they should be. Global warming is a logical choice when attempting to pinpoint the blame.
Well, as I often repeat here on Keyboard Culture, our planet’s atmosphere is in a constant state of compensation, attempting to fix through temperature regulation and storm systems the damage which we have inflicted and continue to inflict.
What is to be done? Well, the answer to that question has not changed. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and deforesting the planet!
If you are interested in more specifics, examine the image at the end of this post. Here is NASA’s description of what it means...
“(ASTER) data have revealed significant spatial variability in glacier flow, such that the glacier velocities in the end zones on the south side exhibit significantly lower velocities (9 to 18 meters, or 30 to 60 feet per year), versus much higher flow velocities on the north side (18 to 183 meters, or 60 to 600 feet per year). The higher velocity for the northern glaciers suggests that the southern glaciers have substantially stagnated ice.”