Climate clusterfrack earlier and faster

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2016/03/22/we-had-all-better-hope-these-scientists-are-wrong-about-the-planets-future, They're not.

An influential group of scientists led by James Hansen, the former NASA scientist often credited with having drawn the first major attention to climate change in 1988 congressional testimony, has published a dire climate studythat suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned.

The research invokes collapsing ice sheets, violent megastorms and even the hurling of boulders by giant waves in its quest to suggest that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much. Hansen has called it the most important work he has ever done.

The sweeping paper, 52 pages in length and with 19 authors, draws on evidence from ancient climate change or “paleo-climatology,” as well as climate experiments using computer models and some modern observations. Calling it a “paper” really isn’t quite right — it’s actually a synthesis of a wide range of old, and new, evidence.

“I think almost everybody who’s really familiar with both paleo and modern is now very concerned that we are approaching, if we have not passed, the points at which we have locked in really big changes for young people and future generations,” Hansen said in an interview.

The research, appearing Tuesday in the open-access journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, has had a long and controversial path to life, having first appeared as a “discussion paper” in the same journal, subject to live, online peer review — a novel but increasingly influential form of scientific publishing. Hansen first told the news media about the research last summer, before this process was completed, leading to criticism from some journalists and fellow scientists that he might be jumping the gun.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm


Hansen and his colleagues think that major melting of Greenland and Antarctica can not only happen quite fast — leading to as much as several meters of sea level rise in the space of a century, depending on how quickly melt rates double — but that this melting will have dramatic climate changeconsequences, beyond merely raising sea levels.

That’s because, they postulate, melting will cause a “stratification” of the polar oceans. What this means is that it will trap a pool of cold, fresh meltwater atop the ocean surface, with a warmer ocean layer beneath. We have actually seen a possible hint of this with the anomalously cold “blob” of ocean water off the southern coast of Greenland, which some have attributed to Greenland’s melting.

Indeed, shortly before the new paper’s publication, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released new recent data on the globe’s temperature that certainly bears a resemblance to what Hansen is talking about. For not only was the globe at a record warmth overall over the last three months, but it also showed anomalous cool patches in regions that Hansen suspects are being caused by ice melt – below Greenland, and also off the tip of the Antarctic peninsula.

Several meter sea rise in under a century puts FL under water.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Is this a 100% guaranteed, certain, no ambiguity, no room for any error, prediction?

Kilosqrd's picture
Sep. 5, 2014 2:22 am

No, not even close. The best computer models do not show this happening, they show much slower warming and consequences. But Hansen & colleagues are using a different method, they are studying previous warming periods in the geological record, some have shown much more rapid warming effects can and do happen.

And of course the computer modeling is inaccurate for longer term effects (i.e. > 30 yrs). This is due to the poor understanding of the many feedback mechanisms that can cause major errors in the computer models.

To further complicate the issue, human induced global warming is not the same as natural cycles. So what might have occured in a natural cycle might be less or more than what would occur due to human induced climate change.

Going past 20-30 yrs into the future are still very uncertain.

Welcome to the circus called the Future. Climate change is just one of many Gargantuan unknowns civilization faces. Probably a lesser one. Big questions of technology, biotech, nanotech, AI, direct integration of tech & the human brain, Detection of life on alien worlds, space industrialization, global pandemics, nuclear war, bio-weapons, bio-terrorism, social insurrection, revolution, social/psychological changes in children due to technological civilization, widespread automation and much reduced need for human labor.

It is going to be a wild ride for the next generation.

Jun. 17, 2015 11:41 am

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