A new ice island four times the size of Manhattan has broken off of the Petermann Glacier in Greenland. The Petermann Glacier is on the northwestern end of Greenland, and the new ice island will eventually drift out to the Atlantic Ocean by way of Baffin Bay. Wikipedia has a satellite photo from NASA of the glacier.
One of the concerns associated with global warming is the release of freshwater into the norther Atlantic as sea ice and glaciers from the Arctic melt. There is real concern that this deluge of fresh water may upset the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. If the movement of warm water north and cold water south is disrupted, winters could become much more severe for people living in the northern latitudes of Europe and the USA whose climates are moderated by the ocean and its transportation of equatorial warmth north.
As the signs continue to mount that global warming is a dangerous reality, some people continue to deny that there is anything wrong. I classify the denialists into three basic types.
1. The people who believe nothing is going on. This group includes the imbeciles who say such ridiculous things as “It’s cold right now, so global warming can’t be real.” Among this group are people who lack an understanding of the difference between weather and climate. In 2009 many places experienced record low temperature maximums (this means the high temperatures were lower than they ever had been). Denialists of the first kind took this as evidence that global warming, which, of course, should be called climate change, isn’t happening. I wonder if these people are related to the “microevolution happens, but macroevolution can’t” type of creationist. Other manifestations of this kind of denial include references to scientists who thought we would be entering an ice age, and questioning the credibility of climate scientists. A favorite tactic of the leaders in this group is to call Al Gore fat. This group of people needs more information. Also, they’re idiots (and probably Republicans).
2. The people who believe something is going on, but it is not caused by humans nor can it be mitigated by humans. These people are the kind to say it’s all solar flares or natural changes in the climate. They cannot read a simple graph (and probably call themselves Independents while voting Republican).
3. The people who believe that global warming is real, caused by human activity, and could be mitigated through changes in human behaviour, but who cynically manipulate the public to oppose any regulations that may hurt the profitability of their businesses. These people are known as corporate executives of fossil fuel companies. They are jackasses (and also Republicans).