Monday, March 28, 2016

The Rate of Climate Change Could Accelerate

A respected group of climate scientists has concluded that climate change and its negative effects are likely to occur much more rapidly than previously thought. The authors predict that within just 50-150 years Earth will experience massive storms, the disappearance of large portions of the polar ice sheets, and a rise in ocean levels of several meters; enough to inundate some coastal cities. According to the authors, we are already in the early phase of an accelerated period of temperature rise similar to one that occurred naturally about 120,000 years ago. By the time that one was over, ocean levels had risen by a whopping 20-30 feet.

What is new about this prediction is the rapidity of the changes; the authors conclude that they could occur in just a couple of human generations, and not over thousands of years.

While not all scientists are absolutely convinced by this paper, it appears that they are taking it seriously. It is likely that this paper will cause other scientists to examine the data to see if it fits with their own predictive models. Little by little, through the scientific process of testing and retesting, we come closer and closer to the truth. We cannot afford to get this one wrong.

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