News Stories

Time to Re-Draw Our Maps

As global warming melts glaciers at both poles and sea levels rise, maps all over the world will have to be redrawn. Coastal towns in Florida may disappear and so may Boston and New Orleans. In other parts of the world, drought is causing rivers to dry up. For instance, the Dead Sea is 82 feet lower than it was half a century ago, and may not appear on future maps at all.

In ABC News, Clayton Sandell quotes global warming activist Edward Mazria as saying, "We're not talking about South Sea islands and Bangladesh here. We're talking about the US being physically under siege with a very small increment of sea level rise."

As an architect, Mazria knows where to place the blame. He says, "The building sector is responsible for close to half of all energy consumption in this country and close to half of all greenhouse gas emissions?Seventy-six percent of the energy produced in this country goes just to operating buildings. That's heating, lighting, cooling and hot water."

The Guardian newspaper in the UK reports that "the Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows," adding that experts are "stunned." A piece of Arctic ice twice as big as the UK has simply fallen into the ocean. The paper quotes Arctic ice specialist Mark Serreze as saying, "It's amazing. It's simply fallen off a cliff and we're still losing ice."

In LiveScience.com, Andrea Thompson quotes cartographer (map maker) Mick Ashworth as saying, "We can literally see environmental disasters unfolding before our eyes. We have a real fear that in the near future famous geographical features will disappear forever."

One thing is certain: the maps our children will use as adults will be very different from the ones we're familiar with.

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Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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