[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Monbiot on catastrophic climate breakdown
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Sat Mar 14 07:19:42 GMT 2009
Shear Tory animal panic.
It really is appalliing.
I think we should call it a nutter.
Or "Nervous Breakdown".
Domza "Greenland Glacier" VC
2009/3/14 Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za>:
> Friday, March 13, 2009 by The Guardian/UK
> Climate Change? Try, Climate Breakdown
> What's clear from Copenhagen is that policymakers have fallen behind the
> scientists: global warming is already catastrophic
> by George Monbiot
> The more we know, the grimmer it gets.
> Presentations by climate scientists at this week's conference in Copenhagen
> show that we might have underplayed the impacts of global warming in three
> important respects:
> * Partly because the estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
> Change (IPCC) took no account of meltwater from Greenland's glaciers, the
> rise in sea levels this century could be twice or three times as great as it
> forecast, with grave implications for coastal cities, farmland and
> freshwater reserves.
> * Two degrees of warming in the Arctic (which is heating up much more
> quickly than the rest of the planet) could trigger a massive bacterial
> response in the soils there. As the permafrost melts, bacteria are able to
> start breaking down organic material that was previously locked up in ice,
> producing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane. This could
> catalyse one of the world's most powerful positive feedback loops: warming
> causing more warming.
> * Four degrees of warming could almost eliminate the Amazon rainforests,
> with appalling implications for biodiversity and regional weather patterns,
> and with the result that a massive new pulse of carbon dioxide is released
> into the atmosphere. Trees are basically sticks of wet carbon. As they rot
> or burn, the carbon oxidises. This is another way in which climate feedbacks
> appear to have been underestimated in the last IPCC report.
> Apart from the sheer animal panic I felt on reading these reports, two
> things jumped out at me. The first is that governments are relying on IPCC
> assessments that are years out of date even before they are published, as a
> result of the IPCC's extremely careful and laborious review and consensus
> process. This lends its reports great scientific weight, but it also means
> that the politicians using them as a guide to the cuts in greenhouse gases
> required are always well behind the curve. There is surely a strong case for
> the IPCC to publish interim reports every year, consisting of a summary of
> the latest science and its implications for global policy.
> The second is that we have to stop calling it climate change. Using "climate
> change" to describe events like this, with their devastating implications
> for global food security, water supplies and human settlements, is like
> describing a foreign invasion as an unexpected visit, or bombs as unwanted
> deliveries. It's a ridiculously neutral term for the biggest potential
> catastrophe humankind has ever encountered.
> I think we should call it "climate breakdown". Does anyone out there have a
> better idea?
> © 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited
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