COMMENTS: Pastoruri & Ilulissat

Both NBC and CBS continued their global warming travelogues. Monday each worried about rising sea levels inundating low-lying lands on the shores of the Indian Ocean. CBS' Mark Phillips had fun in The Maldives; NBC's Ian Williams foretold misery in Bangladesh. Now both take on melting glaciers: NBC's A Perfect Storm in the Cordillera Blanca in the high Andes; CBS' Eye onů off the coast of Greenland.

Again CBS had fun and NBC presaged doom. NBC's Anne Thompson told us that the Pastoruri Glacier supplies 80% of Peru's potable water and its runoff's hydropower supplies 80% of the nation's electricity. Yet it is melting so quickly that it has lost 40% of its mass in just 13 years. The glacier will be gone by 2022. On the coastal zone lies Lima, Peru's capital, population 8m, with just 2% of Peru's water. It is "dire downstream," Thompson warned.

Meanwhile, climate change has raised winter temperatures in Greenland from -40C to -25C, CBS' Phillips smiled. The Ilulissat Glacier is melting so fast that its wall is now up a fjord 50 miles away from the coast. The land is open to extreme tourism--will Johannes Mathaussen ever become a Sled Dog Millionaire?--and to exploration for gold, copper and iron ore. Greenland's capital Nuuk, population 17,000, enjoys a building boom.


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