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Re: What kind of advances have come do to your reasearch?


From: "Mike Ledbetter" <answer3@passport.ivv.nasa.gov>
Subject: Re: What kind of advances have come do to your reasearch?
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 13:52:49 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: onair@passport.ivv.nasa.gov <onair@passport.ivv.nasa.gov>
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 1998 12:40 PM
Subject: What kind of advances have come do to your reasearch?


>Walter R. asks this Question:
>
>What kind of advances have come do to your reasearch?
>
>
>Answer:
>
>In my current position, I make grants to researchers who are studying a
wide variety of research problems. The most exciting result has been the
discovery that the Arctic has been warming for the past two decades! The
impact of that warming could be very dramatic indeed. For example, if the
floating ice in the Arctic Ocean melts away, there will be no place for
polar bears to stand to hunt their food. The whales that native hunters use
for a food supply will no longer be driven close to shore where the natives
can get to them. That will change their cultural practices as well as
limiting their food supply. Also, the warming will cause the ground that
usually is frozen solid to partially melt.  That ground is called permafrost
and some of the areas that have historically been underlain by permafrost
are now thawed out.  The towns and roads built in those areas could sink
into the thawed ground. The economic consequences could be very great. Our
research programs expect to be able to predict if and how soon these
conditions might occur.

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