Friday, September 16, 2005

Head for High Ground?

Hoo boy, are we living in interesting times:
Global warming 'past the point of no return'

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.

They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating. [...]
Some time ago, the BBC posted an interesting set of before and after pictures of How the World is Changing. The SFGate also has an interesting set.

Also, melting can happen at a fairly rapid clip. Back in 2002 the Larson B ice shelf, east of the Antartic peninsula, broke apart and disappeared in just a few weeks. At the time, very few were willing to attribute this to global warming with any degree of certainty.

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