The Bush administration classified various spy photos of glaciers. It isn’t clear why. Those glaciers are no imminent danger to us, and are unlikely to learn anything useful about the sources and methods we use to monitor them even with the photos. That we take pictures of glaciers is hardly shocking news to our enemies.
Then again, the photos show dramatically different extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, even from one year to the next. Responding to a request for declassification from the National Academy of Sciences, the Obama administration released the photos. Already various observers are using them to push for faster action on climate change, and to beat up on the secrecy of the Bush administration.
The photo above shows the Chukchi Sea, near Barrow, AK. In July 2006, it was covered in sea ice. One year later, July 2007, shows no sea ice in the same area. Needless to say, it’s a worrying trend, and rather puts George Will’s persistent crankery in context.