Viridian Note 00310: Disgorging GlaciersBruce Sterling [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Key concepts: melting glaciers, global warming, organic contents, archeology
Attention Conservation Notice: It's about dead, rotting stuff falling out of ancient ice.
Are you Italian? I'll be in Torino on May 4. http://www.hiroshimamonamour.org/
The planet's warmer than it's been in a thousand years. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1951000/1951084.stm
It's been a decade since they dug "Otzi the Iceman" out of a melting glacier in the Alps. Otzi news sources.
There's a more recent Canadian Iceman named "Kwaday Dan Sinchi," found, unfortunately, without his head. http://www.explorenorth.com/library/weekly/aa082599.htm
The "Siberian Ice Maiden" wasn't released by global warming; they dug her up out of the permafrost. But boy, what a cool kit she had. Tattoos, headdresses, the works. http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/information/biography/pqrst/polosmak_natalia.h tml
"Melting Glaciers Release Ancient Relics" by Kevin Krajick
"As alpine glaciers around the world succumb to warming,
"Tissues with intact DNA and archaeological objects of
wood and bone provide pictures that stone tools only hint
at, and because they can all be radiocarbon dated, there
Farnell, who is based in Whitehorse and heads and interdisciplinary team that now regularly harvests Yukon ice. 'It's one of the few positive things to climate change.'"
http://www.taiga.net/yourYukon/col198.html Rick Farnell specializes in molten caribou dung.
http://evolve.zoo.ox.ac.uk/ABC/Projects/Permafrost/Fieldwork/Balliolrepor t.html Scientist Beth Shapiro makes the scene at melting ice in the Yukon.
"Vanishing Ice"Glaciers have been thinning and retreating since the mid-19th century – Switzerlands's have declined a third in volume since 1860 – but now the pace is accelerating and with it the urgency to collect stranded perishables. Many regions have not been so warm for 8000 years of more, so some frozen objects may be at least that old.
"In March, the University of Colorado published a
report by glaciologist Mark Dyurgerov estimating that
mountain glaciers worldwide are losing 90 cubic kilometers
of ice a year, with those in Alaska, the Andes, and central Asia dwindling particularly fast." (((Horrifying – yet not too surprising when you consider that chunk of
"Glaciologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University,
Columbus, says that the Qori Kalis glacier in the Peruvian
Andes, which has retreated by 4.7 meters a year since the
1960s, has suddenly started wasting that much in a week
and that the famous snows of Mount Kilimanjaro may be
completely gone by 2015." (((Can't say they didn't warn
us about it; can say that oil companies made sure the US
government wouldn't do anything useful. What will
"glaciologists" call themselves when there aren't any
glaciers left? "Starving climatic refugees," that might
be a good guess.)))
(...) "Dozens of bird species migrate over the ice fields and surprisingly often crash by the flockful, later to turn up in snowbanks like raisins in a fruitcake. Even whole forests are sometimes encased by advancing ice, as shown by large intact ancient trees washing out of glaciers in Alaska and Switzerland. (...) Humans have
also crossed glaciers far more often than previously
glaciologist at the University of Calgary, Alberta.
(...) "So far, the artifacts are stunning. There are
wooden weapons shafts of birch, spruce and willow up to 2
meters long, some with antler projectile points attached.
One point still has caribou blood on it. There is a
finely-serrated ivory blade of unknown purpose. (....)
The group has even found two bows of maple, apparently
carried over the glaciers 80 kilometers from Alaska, where
"The Canadian Iceman himself, found just south of the Yukon, wore a squirrel-fur cloak and a finely woven hat much like those seen in the region today and carried a bone-and-metal knife, a spear, and a snack of dried fish
in a leather bag. About 20 when he died, he was dated to
to see to whom he might be related. (...) After making
sure that scientists had enough samples, in July 2001
Indians held a potlatch, cremated him, and had his ashes
airlifted by helicopter close to where he died.
(...) "To get ahead of the curve, scientists are now
trying to pinpoint good prospecting spots. 'We know
things melt out, but the real problem is predicting
exactly where they'll appear,' says archaeologist James
Dixon of the University of Colorado Institute of Arctic
and Alpine Research (INSTAAR).
"Dixon and glaciologist William Manley, also of INSTAAR, heave spent the last 3 years assembling a Global Information System model to map potentially fruitful areas in Alaska, which hey hope to apply to other areas of the world. Their charts overlay glaciological data, such as the altitude below which particular glaciers are melting, with information such as trade routes, ancient stone quarries, mineral licks, and other places where people and animals may have been." (...)
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O BURY ME IN MY FAVORITE GLACIER, OR, WELL, IN THAT DAMP SPOT THERE O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O