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More rapidly than you think

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20757152-30417,00.html

 

"CLIMATE change may occur more rapidly and with far greater effect than

expected.

 

The warning comes from Australian atmospheric researcher Barrie Pittock. He argues there are firm scientific grounds for suspecting the pace of climate change may be faster and its manifestations more extreme than presently thought.

 

Pittock is a scientist who should be respected. Twenty-five years ago he was

an influential figure in a group that persuaded the superpowers - the US and

Soviet Union - that the nuclear winter unleashed by atomic war would leave

no survivors. Thus, one of the first uses of climate modelling was to save

humanity.

 

Pittock lists the following reasons for believing the consensus on climate

change may understate its effect:

 

* Global dimming, which acts as a brake on global

warming, has been reducing.

* Permafrost is melting across huge areas, reducing

the albedo, or reflectivity, of the Earth's heat into space.

* There are signs that forests, soils and algae are becoming

sources rather than sinks for atmospheric carbon as climate

change stresses them.

* Arctic sea ice is retreating rapidly, also reducing the amount

of heat being returned to space.

* Ocean circulation changes are occurring in the mid to high latitudes

in ways that may have unpredictable effects on the climate.

* The ice cover of Antarctica and Greenland is shrinking, raising

sea levels and reducing heat loss.

* Tropical cyclones appear to be becoming more intense.

* The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, one of the

Earth's main heat transport systems, has slowed. This

was not expected to occur for a century or more."

 

Note well the last effect. This could be very serious.

 

Greg

 

 

posted to ClimateConcern

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