Posted by: zyxo | November 30, 2008

After the credit crisis a climate crisis ?


Instrumental temperature record of the last 15...Image via Wikipedia
Banker Charles Morris predicted the credit crisis in early 2007. But no one listened and thus the credit crisis came upon us unexpectedly.

Is the same happening with the climate crisis ? Is the drastic change of the climate not to come until many decades from now, or will it come much, much sooner and will we get in trouble already, say at the end of next year ?
In any case there are signs that it is all happening much faster than anybody thought.

  • The arctic ice cap is melting down really quick. The result is that the Sun’s radiation is absorbed by open water rather than bounced back into the atmosphere, creating a vicious circle of heating — melting — heating —melting faster and faster.
  • As long as it is arctic ice that melts, there is just a danger of global warming. Arctic ice is frozen sea water. But as the ice of Greenland is melting too, which is fresh water, it becomes a totally different story : the gulf stream could halt, resulting in a new ice age in Europe. However, the forecasts tell us that this will happen only in the 21st century… or not.
  • And then there is Yellowstone National Park. What does this have to do with climate change ? Underneath the park waits a gigantic volcano to erupt. It has been a while now since it happened the last time, so it can explode any time to cover half of the US with ashes and change the climate of the word.

Enough pessimism. End-of-year is coming and I have a lot of presents to buy.

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