Family members gather in a Liverpool hotel ballroom to learn the fate of loved ones who were traveling on the Titanic. Everyone is frantically seeking information on survivors. Suddenly an old polar bear walks into the room. He looks sad, and there is a tear in his eye as he asks, “Have you got any news of the iceberg? My family were on it. Have you got any news of the iceberg? They mean the whole world to me.” It hadn’t occurred to the grieving relatives that a polar bear’s family might have been on the iceberg that collided with the Titanic. It is, you see, a matter of perspective.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).