This is important, really important. In the summer of 2007 we have crossed some threshold, what others have called a tipping point. Something dramatic has occurred in the Arctic.
If you watch the following animation (credit to BostonGeologist at TOD) it shows the extent of melting for August 7, 2006 versus August 7, 2007. The melt rate has been increasing at a constant rate since 2000 when then last change occurred. But this change is even larger than the last change. There is a good chance that the old minimum ice extent may be broken by 25% or more before the melt season is done. The rate of ice melt has turned up sharply. This has implications for both the Arctic ice sheet and the Greenland ice mass as well. Further, this has implications for the thermohaline circulation.
What is now occurring may have crossed the line into the unstoppable. Dr. James Hansen's belief that we had 10 more years to stop global warming may be 10 years too wrong. And Hansen is derided as an extremist! People need to look around at what is occurring!
Very clearly we have crossed a threshold where the positive feedback forces are growing stronger at an exponential rate. The summer Arctic ice sheet may have less than five years left at this rate, maybe as little as three years. And the Greenland ice sheet just became a terrible unknown, whose melt rate has always exceeded prediction after prediction and now it may jump upward yet again.
There are two possibilities for the future here. The first, and most likely insofar as our limited understanding can discern, is runaway warming resulting in a much hotter planet, rapid desertification, loss of agricultural land, loss of fresh water supplies, and destruction of civilization. The less likely is just as bad with the climate being pushed into a warming event that ends the current warm period and thrusts us into another ice age. Both of these consequences can occur suddenly. Climate shifts have been recorded that happened in as little as five years and the typical climate shift is a few decades max.
And note that our civilization collectively refuses to do anything about climate change. We won't act until it is too late. I am now officially expecting something dramatic on the climate front this fall. I hope I am wrong but let's see what we get. It's almost too late now to prepare if you haven't been preparing already but you still have a tiny window. Remember, you were warned. Don't cry to me about your situation if your world suddenly changes for the worse.
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