1. Ice cores from glaciers and ice caps provide a remarkable history of climate change extending back in some cases 800,000+ years (Antarctic ice).
2. The loss of glacial ice in the tropics is accelerating. The race is on to obtain and preserve cores from these areas. One of the figures presented by Lonnie derives from a recent paper by Cullen et al. (2013) who used photographs and three-dimensional visualization techniques to map the remarkable loss of ice on Mt. Kilimanjaro from 1912 to 2011.
|Source: Cullen et al. (2013)|
3. 98% of the worlds glaciers are currently losing mass. Those on Papau New Guinea will likely be gone by the end of the decade. Roughly half of the glacial ice the the alps will be gone by 2040.
I first saw Lonnie speak 10 or 15 years ago. The changes he was documenting back then were impressive, but those described in this latest talk are jaw dropping. Change is underway and it is starting to pick up speed.
Lonnie also shared a remarkable story. A leader of more than 50 high altitude expeditions for scientific research, he was stricken with congestive heart failure. He is now a heart transplant recipient. Learn more about Lonnie's remarkable research and life in this New York Times article by Justin Gillis.