A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.
The CNN left/right debate show Crossfire was off for a while last month, apparently because there's no way to "debate" the search for a missing plane. The show returned this week, and Tuesday's show (5/6/14) illustrated another issue that should be considered beyond the realm of the "both sides" TV debate: climate change.
Yesterday, the Office of the President of the United States announced an information campaign that will be ongoing to inform the U.S. public of the consequences of changing climate patterns and conditions in the U.S. The announcement coincided with the release of the Third National Climate Assessment of scientists in the U.S. You can read an announcement of all this here).
The National Climate Assessment is the definitive statement of current and future impacts of carbon pollution on the United States. And the picture it paints is stark: Inaction will devastate much of the arable land of the nation’s breadbasket — and ruin a livable climate for most Americans. “Americans face choices” explains the Congressionally-mandated report by 300 leading climate scientists and experts, which was reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences.
The unsettling story of how global warming helped fuel two record-breaking multi-billion dollar weather disasters thousands of kilometers apart this winter highlights just how unpredictable and dangerous our CO2 turbo-charged climate system is becoming. On the west coast, California is suffering its worst winter drought ever recorded. The failure of the rainy season left critical snowpack levels at just 30% of normal.
As carbon emissions concentrate in the atmosphere, the planet is burning up... and fast.
That is the well-known bottom line when it comes to human-caused global warming and climate change.
Over the course of April, according to the world's premiere atmospheric monitoring station Mauna Loa, Hawaii, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the concentration of carbon averaged more than 400 parts per million for the entire month for the first time in human history.
Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change started the publication of its 5th Assessment Report (or AR5), initially showing the work by the Working Group I, which deals with the physical basis of climate change. Now, the AR5 process continued with the publication of the “Summary for Policy Makers” by the Working Group II, concerning “impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.”
When you are racing through a rural landscape on a bullet train, it looks as if everything you are passing is standing still: people, tractors, cars on country roads. They aren’t, of course. They are moving, but at a speed so slow compared with the train that they appear static. So it is with climate change.
There are choices that need to be made if dangerous climate change is to be avoided in the 21st century. Previous reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have confirmed that the influence of human activities on the climate is unambiguous, and that climate change will have a major impact on human activities and ecosystems.