Here's a short blog post from some other part of the cryosphere, dedicated to the hard work that scientists are putting into gathering data. These are not think tank folks in suits devising strategies for steering public opinion or keeping it in place. These are hard-working people who go out there to assess situations, make measurements, build up collections of data. Even though we rarely hear about them, there are thousands of honest people doing this, tens of thousands, now, yesterday, tomorrow.
From glaciologist Mauri Pelto's blog From a Glacier's Perspective:
The above video looks at the effort behind a long term field study, looking at images from 11 of the 30 years of our research. Long term monitoring programs have until recently been unattractive for federal grantmakers, since they are not directly advancing the frontiers of science. However, many long duration time series from monitoring programs do advance science eventually as the response to changes in environmental or climate conditions are documented. In 1984, I responded to a request from the US National Academy of Sciences, “to monitor glaciers across an ice clad mountain range”, something that was not being done anywhere in Norther America. Thirty years later we are still pursuing this project. We have developed a 30 years time series of glacier mass balance on glaciers across the North Cascades of Washington. To ensure that the program could be sustained, we did not pursue any federal funding for the project. The data we, collect is submitted to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) each year, the regional time series built in the North Cascade is just part of the contribution to the global glacier mass balance time series at WGMS. The cumulative North Cascades glacier mass balance record is in fact quite similar to the cumulative global mass balance time series. For the globe there have been 22 consecutive years of negative mass balance, that is the reality of the impact of global warming on mountain glaciers around the globe. The impact on the glaciers of Mount Baker was recently published: Pelto and Brown (2012).
Peter Sinclair also has a new video out for the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, with more of those hard-working people discussing the implications of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet instability for sea level rise: