Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Issues Making Sense

Journal Entry- Tuesday, February 5, 2008.

It is all making sense now. Linkage. It is important to pull little bits out over time and connect them. Yesterday I posted something very interesting which has been gnawing at me for some time like a carcass left out in Nunavut.

Tipping points. We are seeing them NOW.

Published on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 by The Independent/UK
Scientists Identify ‘Tipping Points’ of Climate Change
by Steve Connor

Nine ways in which the Earth could be tipped into a potentially dangerous state that could last for many centuries have been identified by scientists investigating how quickly global warming could run out of control.

Professor Lenton added: “But we should be prepared to adapt, and to design an early-warning system that alerts us to them in time.”

Irreversible changes

* Arctic sea ice: some scientists believe that the tipping point for the total loss of summer sea ice is imminent.
* Greenland ice sheet: total melting could take 300 years or more but the tipping point that could see irreversible change might occur within 50 years.
* West Antarctic ice sheet: scientists believe it could unexpectedly collapse if it slips into the sea at its warming edges.
* Gulf Stream: few scientists believe it could be switched off completely this century but its collapse is a possibility.
* El NiƱo: the southern Pacific current may be affected by warmer seas, resulting in far-reaching climate change.
* Indian monsoon: relies on temperature difference between land and sea, which could be tipped off-balance by pollutants that cause localized cooling.
* West African monsoon: in the past it has changed, causing the greening of the Sahara, but in the future it could cause droughts.
* Amazon rainforest: a warmer world and further deforestation may cause a collapse of the rain supporting this ecosystem.
* Boreal forests: cold-adapted trees of Siberia and Canada are dying as temperatures rise.

No comments: