A STORY in The Washington Post appears to confirm all the fears that have been voiced by conservationists and eco warriors.
“The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday,” says the newspaper.
“Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.
“Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.
“Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”
Wow. Those warnings were right all along.
Except that this report was published in The Washington Post's Monthly Weather Review for November, 1922.
A reader sent me this story from 90 years ago. It resurfaced on the internet a couple of years ago but it's the first time I've seen it and it appears to be true and not a hoax.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am all in favour of protecting the ozone layer, recycling (as long as I don't have to do any real cycling), saving energy and looking after Mother Earth.
Global warming, in the simplest explanation I have found, is like being in a car with the windows closed on a hot day.
The heat from the sun can get in, but can't get out and the interior gets hotter.
That's what happens to the Earth: the heat gets trapped in the atmosphere by gasses like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, which are mainly man-made through the use of electricity, burning fossil fuels and petrol. We all know what happens to dogs, for instance, when their owners leave them in the car on a hot day. Well, conservationists say the same thing could end up happening to us.
The report from 1922 suggests we were going through a cyclical climate change 90 years ago. Are we going through another now? Or was that the start of global warming?