Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scientists Report Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates

Of course, nobody could have EVER anticipated this.

Via TruthOut, Kari Lydersen, The Washington Post:
"The pace of global warming is likely to be much faster than recent predictions, because industrial greenhouse gas emissions have increased more quickly than expected and higher temperatures are triggering self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms in global ecosystems, scientists said Saturday.

'We are basically looking now at a future climate that's beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model simulations,' Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science."
The prognosis is not promising if you live in or near, or depend on in any way (say for oxygen or pollution clean-up), rain forests, which are drying out frighteningly quickly and, when the inevitably burn, will mark the serious decline of the planet's natural resources to reabsorb carbon dioxide.
Unexpectedly large amounts of carbon dioxide are being released into the atmosphere as the result of "feedback loops" that are speeding up natural processes. Prominent among these, evidence indicates, is a cycle in which higher temperatures are beginning to melt the arctic permafrost, which could release hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, said several scientists on a panel at the meeting.

The permafrost holds 1 trillion tons of carbon, and as much as 10 percent of that could be released this century, Field said. Along with carbon dioxide melting permafrost releases methane, which is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Yet another reminder, should one be needed, that we are soooooo fucked.

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