Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today's daily dose of Doom...

UN warns climate change melting glaciers at alarming rate
The world's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, calling for immediate action to prevent further constraints on water resources for large populations, UN data released Sunday showed.
"Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The culprit is climate change, according to data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), based at the University of Zurich and supported by UNEP.
The centre drew its findings from nearly 30 glaciers in nine mountain ranges revealing that in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting more than doubled.
"The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight," said Wilfried Haeberli, director of WGMS.
According to UNEP, the growth has particularly sped up in the past few years, with what had been a record loss for two decades -- 0.7 metres (2.3 feet) in 1998 -- having been exceeded in three of the past six years.
Steiner said that "it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice," adding that the forecast is not entirely gloomy given the growth of the so-called green economy.
However, Steiner said the 2009 climate convention in Copenhagen will provide the true litmus test of governments' commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the carbon pollution from fossil fuels damaging Earth's climate system.
"Otherwise, and like the glaciers, our room for manoeuvre and the opportunity to act may simply melt away."
WGMS measures the thinning of glaciers in terms of water equivalen, for instance, estimating that in 2006 shrinking was equivalent to 1.4 metres of water equivalent, compared with half a metre in 2005.
Some glaciers have particularly suffered, such as Norway's Breidalblikkbrea glacier, which thinned almost 3.1 metres in 2006 compared with 0.3 metres in 2005.
Other glaciers to have experienced dramatic loss in Europe are Austria's Grosser Goldbergkees glacier, France's Ossoue glacier, Italy's Malavalle glacier, Spain's Maladeta glacier, Sweden's Storglaciaeren glacier and Switzerland's Findelen glacier.
However, of the 30 glaciers WGMS tracks for changes, four percent have thickened.
Here is a nice picture of the Rongbu glacier at Mount Everest, and shows the first view, in 1968, and the second view, in 2007.
Humanity, prepare for your medicine!
I think I need another strong drink after this!

T176....Sydney's foamer train!

Yes...what self respecting gunzel type lurking here in wonderful NSW does not try to photograph, and have a "quiet moment", over this local suburban trip train in the road raging madness of Sydney.


Well the crackling vintage motive power for starters. For a long time ancient GMs 22 and 27 did a rather fine effort most of the time.

At present though it is Alco 4471, and GM27, doing the pants enlarging work at the front.

However, often, even daily, motive power can be switched around, and then you will see 442's, FL's, 45's and rarely an EL or a GL.

Yes, well what can one say to that?

The other appealing feature is the schedule.

Often first past Sydney's notorious and cursed peak blackout, the hard at work gunzel can lie in bed, with his deviate imagination towards other non rail forms of public transport, and then pick a spot anywhere on the metro goods line to prepare for its arrival.

When current railmags in hand, sometimes with sticky pages, T176's arrival is sure to please, as it hammers past sometime after 9.00am on its return run from Yennora, to Botany.

Departure from our rail choked port is anytime from 12.45 pm on, to again beat the insidious afternoon peak, so if the morning was not enough, a second helping can be again once enjoyed.

For your arousel, here is T176 on Monday 3 March 2008, just north of Chullora Junction.

4471 and GM27 are full of hard, throbbing, power at 1.15 pm, this particular day.