According to the Canadian Ice Service, an enormous chunk of ice, 260 sq.km. in size, separated from a glacier in Greenland last week, becoming the most spectacular event to take place in the Arctic in 50 years. The broken piece will eventually fragment and inevitably melt in warmer waters, contributing to rising sea levels worldwide.
The first 6 months of 2010 were the hottest globally on record. [See Ice Island Breaks Off Glacier at the Weather Network].
It’s dawn and the sandpipers are gathering at low tide along the shoreline in the marsh. They’re so intent on eating that they take no notice of humans next to them on the trail. Their gentle piping calls to one another are a fitting accompaniment to the rising sun.
Sandpipers have always seemed to me to be among the most delicate of the shore birds. Like the endangered plovers, their fleeting movements, whether in flight or along the edge of the water, never give me a chance to appreciate them for long. I wonder if they’ll be affected by the oil spill down south when they migrate this fall. [See BP oil spill could affect Maritime plovers at CBC].
Further along the shore, growing near the strandlines, statice is beginning to bloom. It seems odd that such a delicate flower chooses to grow here along such a rugged shoreline. Yet it manages to survive, despite winter’s stormy waters and winds.
When I think of rising sea levels, I wonder how wildlife such as sandpipers and statice will be affected in the years to come. Will they simply disappear? Or will they find a way to cling to life beyond the present shoreline?
This is a beautiful planet and not at all fragile. Earth can withstand significant volcanic eruptions, tectonic cataclysms, and ice ages. But this canny, intelligent, prolific, and extremely self-centered human creature has proven himself capable of more destruction of life than Mother Nature herself…. We’ve got to be stopped.
~ Michael L. Fischer