Friday, March 28, 2008

A Farewell to Ice

March 18, 2008, The latest report on changes in the world’s glaciers, which we cover in the newspaper today, is Mass Balance Bulletin Number 9. The take-home message for many parts of the world — from Asia to the European Alps to the Andes — appeared to be, “Farewell to ice.” Essentially, the mountain storehouses of frozen water that have shaped their history and culture, or that have provided a secure year-round source of water through modern times, are no longer secure.

Writing about the report brought back memories from nearly 15 years ago, two years before I came to The New York Times.

At the time, I went to Switzerland for Conde Nast Traveler to get a better understanding of the findings in the second such bulletin. Rates of shrinking and melting were already nudging beyond patterns driven by known nonhuman influences. More >>>