The Ilulissat Evanescence

A while ago, I saw this video:

This is one of the most sublime documented visions of Earth in action one can view on the internet. Ice calving is the breaking off of ice at the edge of a glacier. But what is seen in this video is more than just a “breaking off”. It is an exodus, a mass defection of niveous blue behemoths, like mountains so easily uprooted, capsized and exiled to the open waters. No doubt it is a rare and astonishing sight to behold, but its grandeur is a severe symptom of an ongoing global dilemma. Toward the end of the video, a visual aid is used to illustrate the scale of this calving event. What does it say about our climate when an ice sheet the size of lower Manhattan 2-3 folds thicker disappears into the water within 1 hour and 15 minutes? It says many things, including the evanescence of things.

The Ilulissat Glacier, also known as the Jakobshavn Glacier, has been subjected to study for consolidate out understanding in climate warming. It is the fastest flowing glacier in the world, flowing at the gait of 20m (66 feet) per day. The video reveals that the glacier has become the victim of global warming, a byproduct of human civilization, and underlines transience. The Ilulissat Glacier has maintained itself a vast ice empire for millennia upon millennia, and it isn’t until the recent technological epoch in human history that upset carbon neutrality when the glacier began to diminish by the kilometers, especially in the recent decade when it has lost just as much as it did in the precedent century. It shows that however imposing something may be, be it a glacier or the climate, it will not last forever. However, that is not to say it can’t be made to last as long as possible.

We only have one atmosphere, one that we all share. Sure, one day the sun will age and swell and boil our atmosphere into outer space, but it shouldn’t discourage us from our duty and responsibility to stand guard for our weather, even under the duress of daily life, before it is too late.

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