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US News - On The Environment, From The Lost Decade To The Last Decade

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 11:13 AM
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US News - On The Environment, From The Lost Decade To The Last Decade
EDIT

Over the decade's first nine years, global temperatures averaged 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.1 degrees F) higher than the 1951-1980 average, NASA reported. And temperatures rose faster in the far north than anyplace else on Earth. The decade's final three summers melted Arctic sea ice more than ever before in modern times. Greenland's gargantuan ice cap was pouring 3 percent more meltwater into the sea each year. Every summer's thaw reached deeper into the Arctic permafrost, threatening to unlock vast amounts of methane, a global-warming gas. Less ice meant less sunlight reflected, more heat absorbed by the Earth. More methane escaping the tundra meant more warming, more thawing, more methane released.

At the bottom of the world, late in the decade, International Polar Year research found that Antarctica, too, was warming. Floating ice shelves fringing its coast weakened, some breaking away, allowing the glaciers behind them to push ice faster into the rising oceans.

On six continents the glaciers retreated through the 2000s, shrinking future water sources for countless millions of Indians, Chinese, South Americans. The great lakes of Africa were shrinking, too, from higher temperatures, evaporation and drought. Across the temperate zones, flowers bloomed earlier, lakes froze later, bark beetles bored their destructive way northward through warmer forests. In the Arctic, surprised Eskimos spotted the red breasts of southern robins.

In the 2000s, all this was happening faster than anticipated, scientists said. So were other things: By late in the decade, global emissions of carbon dioxide matched the worst case among seven scenarios laid down in 2001 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. scientific network formed to peer into climate's future. Almost 29 billion tons of the gas poured skyward annually23 percent higher than at the decade's start. By year-end 2008, the 2000s already included eight of the 10 warmest years on record. By 2060, that trajectory could push temperatures a dangerous 4 degrees C (7 degrees F) or more higher than preindustrial levels, British scientists said.

EDIT

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/energy/2009/12/01/c...
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 11:22 AM
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1. And while there have been previous warm periods in geologic history,
none of them have ever come on so fast. That's why all the models were wrong - the assumptions were that these temp rises would take centuries, not decades.

Models for sudden onset of cold periods are well known - shutting down the thermo-haline circuit, volcano emissions, even lowered sunspot activity had attributed to sudden cooling. But there are no models for sudden warming. At all.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 05:33 PM
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2. I cannot understand how some people
can claim to be absolutely terrified about an imaginary Muslim hiding under the bed, while ignoring the truely biblical shit storm looming on the horizon. Whatever comes, no one will be able to say we weren't warned. And no one will be able to say we didn't deserve it.
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