Blindsided — Not

August 19, 2012

(Illustration found here).

In this era of pure nonsensical bullshit:

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth’s superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.
— Emily Dickinson, ‘Tell All The Truth

From the prolific Bill McKibben, his take last week on a major event unfolding in the Arctic — found last week at Rolling Stone:

There’s no place on Earth that’s changing faster — and no place where that change matters more — than Greenland.
Late last month, NASA reported that ice all across the vast glacial interior of the world’s largest island was melting – a “freak event” that hadn’t occurred for at least 150 years.
The alarming discovery briefly focused the media’s attention on a place that rarely makes headlines.
RAPID ICE MELT BAFFLES SCIENTISTS, The Wall Street Journal declared.

McKibben goes on to explain that actually, In fact, scientists weren’t baffled at all… — mainly, because a shitload of science/researcher people have been saying shit like this was going to happen for awhile, and now, shit like this has happened.
He also explains how and why, and with all the numbers, and McKibben seems to know his figures — his recent piece, Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math, based on way-earthbound numbers should frighten the shit out of any half-assed-sane person, or at the way-least, provoke some anxious moments — and fills a lot of the Arctic story with observations of Jason Box, a scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center (probably spent more time in Greenland than any American of his generation).
And these expert comments ain’t pretty with no benefits:

Box had conservatively predicted that it might take up to a decade before the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet melted all at once.
That it actually happened in just a few weeks only underscores how consistently cautious ice scientists have been in forecasting the threat posed by global warming.
Now, however, that caution is being replaced by well-founded alarm.
“Greenland is a sleeping giant that’s waking,” says Box.
“In this new climate, the ice sheet is going to keep shrinking — the only question is how fast.”

McKibben concludes:

But the future, pressing as it is, sometimes gives way to sheer awe at the scale of what we’ve already done.
Simply by changing the albedo of the Greenland ice sheet, Box calculates, the island now absorbs more extra energy each summer than the U.S. consumes in a year.
The shape and color of the ice sheet’s crystals, in other words, are trapping more of the sun’s rays than all the cars and factories and furnaces produce in the world’s biggest economy.
One of Box’s collaborators, photographer James Balog, puts it like this: “Working in Greenland these past years has left me with a profound feeling of being in the middle of a decisive historic moment – the kind of moment, at least in geologic terms, that marks the grand tidal changes of history.”
Amid this summer’s drama of drought, fire and record heat, the planet’s destiny may have been revealed, in a single season, by the quiet metamorphosis of a silent, empty sheet of ice.

One would/should consider that a major news story — if you follow climate-related news at all, this Arctic-ice-melt phenomenon is already been spun through your brain.
Last February, NASA said this:

A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean’s floating ice cap.
The thicker ice, known as multi-year ice, survives through the cyclical summer melt season, when young ice that has formed over winter just as quickly melts again.
The rapid disappearance of older ice makes Arctic sea ice even more vulnerable to further decline in the summer, said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and author of the study, which was recently published in Journal of Climate.

And last week, this announcement of a kind of super melting in Greenland:

The cumulative melting index, on the other hand, does account for water flowing to the ocean.
The same meltwater can affect ice dynamics by lubricating the base of the ice sheet and speeding its slide toward the sea.
This year, Greenland experienced extreme melting in nearly every region — the west, northwest and northeast of the continent — but especially at high elevations.
In most years, the ice and snow at high elevations in southern Greenland melt for a few days at most.
This year it has already gone on for two months.
“We have to be careful because we are only talking about a couple of years and the history of Greenland happened over millennia,” cautioned Professor Tedesco.
“But as far as we know now, the warming that we see in the Artic is responsible for triggering processes that enhance melting and for the feedback mechanisms that keep it going.
Looking over the past few years, the exception has become part of the norm.”

There’s enough online sources for a person to keep up and understand what is happening to the planet — a lot of climate-related sites, some more technical than others, are available and anybody can know.
But not for the masses, or those looking to the MSM.
From Media Matters:

Despite the implications of Tedesco’s new findings for our changing climate and our communities, not one of the major broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC), cable (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC) or print (Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal) outlets have covered the report.

A shitload of a shitload of people are really going to be mega-surprised.

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