Climate Dystopia To Be More Dystopic Than Imagined

 The New Scientist has seven reasons climate change is worse than we thought. Cover via Climate Progress, who kindly give us non-paywalled articles on the seven.

The thick sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was not expected to melt until the end of the century. If current trends continue, summer ice could be gone in a decade or two.Read more (or see “ Death Spiral Watch: Experts Warn ‘Near Ice-Free Arctic In Summer’ In A Decade If Volume Trends Continue “).

We knew global warming was going to make the weather more extreme. But it’s becoming even more extreme than anyone predicted. Read more (or see “NOAA Bombshell: Warming-Driven Arctic Ice Loss Is Boosting Chance of Extreme U.S. Weather“).

Global warming was expected to boost food production. Instead, food prices are soaring as the effects of extreme weather kick in. Read more (or see “Oxfam Warns Climate Change And Extreme Weather Will Cause Food Prices To Soar” and links therein).

Greenland’s rapid loss of ice mean we’re in for a rise of at least 1 metre by 2100, and possibly much more. Read more (or see “Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Nearing Critical ‘Tipping Point’” and links therein).

The planet currently absorbs half our CO2emissions. All the signs are it won’t for much longer. Read more (or see “Carbon Feedback From Thawing Permafrost Will Likely Add 0.4°F – 1.5°F To Total Global Warming By 2100” and “Drying Peatlands and Intensifying Wildfires Boost Carbon Release Ninefold“).

If we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, we might be able to avoid climate disaster. In fact we are still increasing emissions. Read more (or see “The IEA And Others Warn Of Some 11°F Warming by 2100 on current emissions path”)

If the worst climate predictions are realised, vast swathes of the globe could become too hot for humans to survive. Read more (or see “An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts“)

Which all only serves to bring to mind a scene from the movie Snatch, with all of us in the role of the hare.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

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  • NOAA: Arctic nearly free of summer sea ice during first half of 21st century

    NOAA, April 12

    For scientists studying summer sea ice in the Arctic, it’s not a question of “if” there will be nearly ice-free summers, but “when.” And two scientists say that “when” is sooner than many thought — before 2050 and possibly within the next decade or two.

    James Overland of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Muyin Wang of the NOAA Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, looked at three methods of predicting when the Arctic will be nearly ice free in the summer. The work was published recently online in the American Geophysical Union publication Geophysical Research Letters.

    “Rapid Arctic sea ice loss is probably the most visible indicator of global climate change; it leads to shifts in ecosystems and economic access, and potentially impacts weather throughout the northern hemisphere,” said Overland. “Increased physical understanding of rapid Arctic climate shifts and improved models are needed that give a more detailed picture and timing of what to expect so we can better prepare and adapt to such changes. Early loss of Arctic sea ice gives immediacy to the issue of climate change.”

    Climate Progress: The trend-line here indicates more like in this decade we’ll be out of ice in the Arctic, and then how will we quaff our Martinis in the far North?

    Melting in Antarctica is worst in 1,000 years

    The amount of ice melting on the Antarctic Peninsula has increased dramatically in recent decades.

    Al Jazeera, By Steff Gaulter, April 14

    For the first time, scientists have managed to demonstrate that ten times more ice melts in the summer months on the Antarctic Peninsula now than it did 600 years ago.


    The latest research, a joint project by the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survery, looks at a 364 m ice core, which was extracted from the northern tip of the peninsula. Visible layers of this tube of ice show where the ice melted, then refroze. By measuring the thickness of the layers and analysing the gases contained in the ice, researchers were able to determine the changes in temperatures in the region over the last 1,000 years.

    The ice core demonstrated that the current level of melting was unprecedented in the last 1,000 years, and ten times more than it was 600 years ago.

    Climate Progress: New Yorker: ‘Has Obama Already Given Up On Climate Change?’

    Insurance Journal: UN Report Finds World Climate Change Goal at Risk as Emissions Surge

    UCAR: Cutting specific pollutants would slow sea level rise

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