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What's up, what's down on our warming planet?

Glaciers are down, the ocean is up.Here are some details: Europe is losing its Alpine snowmass.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor on

Glaciers are down, the ocean is up.

Here are some details: Europe is losing its Alpine snowmass. Glaciers in Europe have lost 25% of their snowmass since 1980. It's more than agony for skiers. Huge sections of rock and rubble are leaving their alpine perches, crashing into thre valleys below.

The oceans are rising and a new study says two meters rise by 2100 is probably the most we'll see. Two meters is a figure that's widely bandied about as a "given" in a world with few real givens. Likely, this study says, the sea rise will be significantly less than two meters as Greenland loses its ice cover and the glaciers in Arctic, Alps and Antarctic shrink. Yet even small rises can be consequential, the scientists warn.

Just raising all of California's levees by .15 meters would cost a billion dollars. The researchers also predict millions of humans in low-lying coastal areas will have to re-locate. That translates into political and social disruption on a wide scale. SOME DON'T LIKE IT HOT

With most national governments mired in inaction or stunned into denial, much of the work to combat global warming has fallen to smaller entities. In recognition of ten cities that are moving toward the future with eyes and planning ahead, a business ethics (don't laugh, not always an oxymoron) think-tank will name the ten most globally-warming-alert cities on earth. It's what Ethisphere calls "10 cities throughout the world that have built a strong, principled foundation in order to become a global mega-hub by the year 2020." This list comes out this week.

The same group named the most active corporations in dealine with global warming earlier this year. Tech companies were: Oracle, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Cisco, Sun and Xerox. Semiconductor firms: Freescale, Texas Instruments, Royal Philips.

THINKING BIG, THINKING SMART?

Big problems give big thinkers big ideas. Our readers do not seem to be too thrilled about giving engineers the chance to monkey with the mega-proceeses on our planet. Now comes an entire journal issue in UK devoted to the debate over various geoengineering schemes being aired, floated and ballooned. And here's a link to the various journal articles.

So here's our geoengineering poll again, in case you missed it last time around. Aren't you even a little thrilled by the idea of altering the oceans' chemistry or toying with the upper atmosphere on a mega-scale? Aren't you confident that Halliburton or Bechtel could make that solar radiation bounce back into space? [poll id=27]

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