01 December 2006

Breaking Ice

Climate change and its effects on our planet is still high on my mind. Yesterday and today I came across a number of articles dealing with the effects of climate change.

The first one was an article in The Press reporting on the findings of a New Zealand-led drilling team in Antarctica, who has recovered three million year of climate history. The conclude that the Ross Ice Shelf, a raft of ice the size of France, could collapse quickly, triggering a dramatic rise in sea levels. History indicates that if the ice shelf collapses, it will do so suddenly and quickly. That was also proven in 2002 when the Larsen Ice Shelf extremely quickly collapsed.

In January, British Antarctic Survey researchers predicted that its collapse would make sea levels rise by at least 5m, with other estimates predicting a rise of up to 17m.

At the same time, James Lovelock, who is famous for the Gaia hypothesis, depicting the planet as a living being, predicted that large parts of the planet will become uninhabitable. He estimates that only about one tenth of Earth's population will be able to survive. He estimates that the temperatures on Earth will rise up to 8C, and that our current efforts will be mostly meaningless. Warming will be driven by a feedback loop that we cannot influence anymore. (see http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1129-05.htm)

Maybe a prospect too depressing to contemplate ...

(Photo by Yukon White Light)

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