Monday, January 07, 2008

Big Melt Reality

Carbon Equity has released a commentary on the report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Essentially the reality of global warming is exceeding projections as witnessed by last summer's unprecedented Arctic Sea ice loss. The graph above is notable for showing that the Arctic Sea ice melt is now occurring almost 40-100 years ahead of predictions.This graph is one of the most disturbing things I've seen in some time if only due to the real vs. "worst case scenario" aspect.The actual satellite data is worse than any of the predictions. The report goes on to make a number of salient points including the following:

"• Climate change impacts are happening at lower temperature increases and more quickly than projected.
• The Arctic's floating sea ice is headed towards rapid summer disintegration as early as 2013, a century ahead of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections.
• The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice will speed up the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet, and a rise in sea levels by even as much as 5 metres by the turn of this century is possible.
• The Antarctic ice shelf reacts far more sensitively to warming temperatures than previously believed.
• Temperatures are now within ≈1°C of the maximum temperature of the past million years.
• The IPCC suffers from a scientific reticence and in many key areas the IPCC process has been so deficient as to be an unreliable and dangerously misleading basis for policy-making."

We in the U.S. are unfortunately dealing with a large group of fact impervious people while we as a nation contribute to degradation of the planet in huge ways. Time may have already run out while Americans slowly conclude that climate change is real. The world is in dire need of leadership capable of making collective decisions on behalf of the future. Where this leadership might come from remains to be seen.

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