Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Global warming causing feedback loops right when Australia and NZ go into global warming denial
Changes 'amplify Arctic warming'
Scientists say they now have unambiguous evidence that the warming in the Arctic is accelerating.
Computer models have long predicted that decreasing sea ice should amplify temperature changes in the northern polar region. Julienne Stroeve, from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, told a meeting of the American Geophysical Union that this process was under way. Arctic ice cover in summer has seen rapid retreat in recent years. The minimum extents reached in 2007 and 2008 were the smallest recorded in the satellite age. "The sea ice is entering a new state where the ice cover has become so thin that no matter what happens during the summer in terms of temperature or circulation patterns, you're still going to have very low ice conditions," she told the meeting. Theory predicts that as ice is lost in the Arctic, more of the ocean's surface will be exposed to solar radiation and will warm up. When the autumn comes and the Sun goes down on the Arctic, that warmth should be released back into the atmosphere, delaying the fall in air temperatures. Ultimately, this feedback process should result in Arctic temperatures rising faster than the global mean.
Right when Rudd destroys all hope that he was more than Greenwash with his pathetic 5% reduction, right when the nACTional coalition destroy local renewable biofuel, allow back thermal power generation and dismantle the ETS for a climate denial select committee, right as all these things are happening the Arctic is now melting so fast that the dreaded feedback loops are starting to rear their heads, this latest news that we are probing these new limits comes on the heels of research by Igor Semiletov, the Russian scientist with the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Pacific Oceanological Institute, that shows the permafrost on the undersea shelf off the northern Siberian coast is starting to melt releasing methane, there is an estimated 950 gigatons of carbon locked up there, while it is estimated that currently in the environment we have a total of 730 gigatons of carbon in the atmosphere – this extra release would be catastrophic for the planet, and while our leaders live in denial the realities and the consequences of those realities keep getting closer and closer.