Don Pablo Edronkin

Some Advice From An Explorer: A Basic Rule For Disaster Avoidance.

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"If you want an answer as to why do catastrophes happen to us and why can't we do anything to prevent them, ask yourself what have you been doing lately regarding the melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers.

In the case of most things, we tend to assume that they are not important if we don't see their effects immediately, so we forget them.

Ice melts slow, ergo we way no attention. Did you know that Antarctica will melt in approximately 3000 years?

Did you know that the seal level would rise up to 60 metres after that happens?

Indeed, many cities will be drowned.

This can be applied to anything we do: our jobs, our families, our tools and our computers.

People who regularly visit or visited the white continent report that the disappearance of ice is evident; the same thing happens in Patagonia, where glacier recession can actually be seen.

In the case of Antarctica, some decisions have already been taken a long time ago because ice melting has had become evident even by then. For example, the Argentine government decided to construct a concrete runway for aircraft operations at Marambio Island during the late sixties because even then it was becoming impossible to supply the Argentinean research and military bases in the Antarctic Peninsula by using snowmobiles over the frozen ocean.

Now, Marambio Air Force Base receives regular C-130 flights from Patagonia and operates a variety of other aircraft in the area to supply the bases there: Twin Otters, Huey and Chinook helicopters, and even F-27s.

The base and its runway proved to be a huge success, and pilots who go there say that flying from one continent to another, while it takes just a couple of hours, provides to be the ultimate bush flying experience.

It has been so successful because it opened the continent the whole year and unlike most other Antarctic runways, it is not constructed over ice but concrete, and thus allows for the operation of wheeled aircraft which are much more easy to land.

But the fact remains that if this base has been successful is because those who took the decision to built it nearly forty years ago were right: the ice there is melting.

Catastrophes are seldom unannounced visitors.

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