Monday, November 2, 2009

Global warming and its happenings

Elizabeth Kolbert is fantastic at what she does. She is very passionate about what she is writing about and it can be seen in her work. It is what retains my attention and keeps me reading on. She is able to really set in the scenery as she goes from town to town, discussing how hunting is used for necessary purposes, and then describing how the melting glaciers effects the every day people as they look out from their homes. The different words used to describe the condition of the ice and how it is softening much sooner than normal..

She also introduces the topic of permafrost with Romanovsky. I was actually unaware that the shrinking of permafrost is what gives way to huge gaps in the ice. It is also interesting to note that the warming of permafrost is a good indicator that global warming has occurred because while the top layer of permaforst is supposed to be the coldest, it is warm while the middle is colder.

Albedo, which is the division of incident light and reflected light, is apparently a large cause of the Arctic circle warming very quickly. More specifically the ice-albedo which is the open water that is exposed when the snow melts. This to me, was a very interesting process that was explained, and that the open water transfers a lot of heat the goes into the ocean because of the process. Kolbert is able to make something that could be very complicated and simplify the process for many people's understanding.

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