It may finally be time to start worrying. The horrible effects of global warming look to have begun

It is estimated that at the Battle of the Somme in World War I, one million soldiers were killed or wounded. The men were subjected to continuous bombing and machine-gun fire, engaged in hand-to-hand combat, as well as endured poison gas attacks. On the most hideous day of the fight, the British lost over 50,000 troops. It has been called one of the bloodiest battles in all of history. It is not surprising, therefore, that a few of survivors reacted negatively, and experienced shell-shock, which is a complete mental breakdown. Incidentally, the term originated in that war.

Some of the distressing symptoms of men suffering from shell-shock are: shaking and tremors, sweating, nausea and vomiting, abdominal distress, urinary incontinence, palpitations, hyperventilation, dizziness, insomnia, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, heightened sense of threat, anxiety, irritability, depression, substance abuse, loss of adaptability, suicide and disruptive behavior, mistrust, confusion, and extreme feeling of losing control.

So it is with some anxiety that I read that Ted Scambos and his fellow glaciologists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, were, he said, “shell-shocked” that the rate of loss of glaciers on Greenland might be occurring at a rate faster than some glaciologists have predicted.

This is worrying for at least two reasons. The first is that since it is well known that Boulder is one of the nation’s top spots for hand-wringing, the last thing the therapists who live there need is an increase in psychiatric cases. They will not be able to cope with the patient load and we might have to bus emergency relief shrinks in.

The second, and more important reason, is that, if Scambos’s statement is true, and not just an exaggeration said to a reporter over-eager to emphasize the possible dark side of the future, then we can officially count Scambos and his colleagues as the first casualties positively attributable to anthropogenic global warming! Even worse, this new form of shell-shock might be infectious, and could spread not just to other glaciologists, but to other climate scientists as well. There is already good evidence this is the case, judging by what you see printed daily in the headlines, so don’t be too quick to dismiss or scoff at the idea.

So get the word out, my friends, raise awareness of this new and debilitating form of illness, before it becomes epedemic in proportion, and before you find that you too have succumbed to this dread malady.