ENVT 200 03

The Effects of Climate Change on Glaciers

Kendra Pierre-Louis, a reporter on the Climate Desk for the NYTimes, brought to the public’s attention the massive avalanches Tibet has now experienced two times, and she reported that climate change is to blame. In 2016, Tibet faced a devastating and fatal avalanche that surprised scientists who believed this was a truly unique and unbelievable occurrence; and then it happened a second time. Generally glaciers will either move a lot of snow and ice at a slow pace, or a small amount of snow and ice at a very fast pace; however, this avalanche combined the worst of these occurrences and moved “enough snow and ice to fill one million freight train cars stretching 7,500 miles” at 186 mph (Pierre-Louis). Because the region has warmed nearly 0.5 degrees Celsius every decade since the 1960’s, the air holds more moisture, which contributes to heavier snow and rainfall. This combination of precipitation is the driving force behind the massive collapses down the mountain ranges. Dr. Kӓӓb, a professor of geosciences at the University of Oslo, wants to warn people living near glaciers that this kind of event can happen, and can be very damaging in areas that are highly populated. The effects can be seen from eight to eighteen kilometers outside of the glaciers, and as seen in the first avalanche, they can be life threatening to people as well as other organisms.  

This was a very interesting article that touched on a wide variety of topics and indirectly identified ways that climate change is an increasingly complex problem that we are dealing with globally. I believe the author’s intended audience was a very broad and nonspecific audience. Climate change affects everything, and we have a responsibility as individuals on this planet to take care of our home that we share with so many other species. I see the only possible bias that Ms. Pierre-Louis could have would be on the side of wanting to protect and sustain the planet, as she has a history of reporting on environmental and scientific topics. I believe the agenda of this article was to address the impact climate change has on the world. The way that climate change is addressed in this article is precisely the way everyone should be viewing this wicked problem, a complex, devastating, and systemic issue. Not only is climate change affecting humans, it is affecting animals, of which hundreds were killed by the first avalanche in Tibet. In the case that homes and buildings were or are affected in the future, there is a whole economic downfall associated with costs of fixing and replacing homes, objects, and people. Socially, these events cause distress, confusion, and worry that loved ones are or will be hurt the next time an avalanche occurs. Lastly, the environment is clearly being affected by climate change and the effects of these cataclysmic surprises (Pierre-Louis). Where will we see the next natural disaster? The Earth is calling for help while enduring avalanches, hurricanes, earthquakes, and more, and I believe we have a responsibility to address the problem that we as humans have caused.



3 thoughts on “The Effects of Climate Change on Glaciers

  1. Kenzie Hammers

    I really like the way you tied in the complex and interdisciplinary issues these events cause rather than just discussing the environmental impacts. Perhaps soon the general public will realize that these events are not solitary, random occurrences but rather are interconnected with many other natural disasters occurring around the world due to climate change and human interference.

  2. brookshireha

    I agree with you in the fact that this article is not really biased, at all. I felt like he was informing the audience on the issue, and pointing out the facts. People who do not believe in climate change might think differently, and think this is biased, but I do not agree. I loved the point you made of how climate change affects everyone and everything- not just humans. Our environment, nature, and all the animals around us. I do hope that more people read and write articles similar to the ones above so we can educate the public on this massive problem!

    Great post- look forward to the next!

  3. prof.saunders

    The scale and scope of the ramifications of climate change are massive and complex. Thank-you for highlighting such an interesting article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar