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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Climate Change Faster Than Expected

An increasingly large amount of peer-reviewed research, published since the IPCC 4th Assessment Report was released in 2007, shows that global warming is happening right now, and that it is quicker than predicted just 2 years ago.


The evidence for this statement is from many areas. Some of the areas showing change are shown below.


-Multiple plants and animals, in widespread sites, are already showing evidence of climate change. Examples include the timing of plant flowering, animal breeding, and lake thawing.


-Increased ocean surface temperatures in Pacific & Atlantic hurricane-formation zones which will lead to stronger cyclones are definitely related to human-induced warming.


-Acidification of the world’s oceans is happening quickly, because of CO2 in massive amounts being dissolved in salty water. This is going to have major changes on marine environments and as a result food supplies for many areas.


-Calculated sea level rise this century will be greater than that calculated just 2 years earlier. It is expected to rise at least a meter, according to new scientific evidence.


-The increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet which began in the summer of 2004 has been definitely related to global warming.


-West Antarctica’s Ice Shelf is undergoing accelerated melting during the last decade and has witnessed ten major ice-shelf collapses in that period of time.


-Arctic sea-ice is melting much faster than previously estimated, and it is almost certain that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer before 2080.


-Arctic Circle permafrost is thawing much faster than recently thought, and is liberating a lot more greenhouse gases than forecast.


The global warming that is now occurring is going to extend for multiple centuries even after all human-released greenhouse gas escape ceases. This is due to the significant inertia that exists in the climate and the delayed decay of carbon dioxide from within the environment.

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