Is Earth Close to Dangerous Tipping Point in Global Warming?

“It’s not really so much of a question whether the dangerous tipping point occurs at 450 or 550 ppmv CO2. It’s how do we get the (greenhouse) emissions under control so we don’t push past all the possible points at which the climate change becomes a seriously dangerous issue.”

- Chris Field, Ph.D., Director, Carnegie Institution's Dept. of Global Ecology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

Almost 98% of the Antarctica South Pole continent is covered by ice, which averages a mile thick. Antarctica lost much more ice to the sea than it gained from snowfall, according to a NASA survey done between 1992 and 2002. It also had a corresponding rise in sea level.  The survey documented for the first time extensive thinning of the West Antarctic ice shelves. Credit: NASA/SVSSatellite image courtesy NASA.
Almost 98% of the Antarctica South Pole continent is covered by ice, which averages a mile thick. Antarctica lost much more ice to the sea than it gained from snowfall, according to a NASA survey done between 1992 and 2002. It also had a corresponding rise in sea level.  The survey documented for the first time extensive thinning of the West Antarctic ice shelves. Credit: NASA/SVSSatellite image courtesy NASA.

June 1, 2007  New York, New York - The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported this year that there is at least a 90% certainty that global warming is man-made and will “continue for centuries.” The IPCC also reports that in coming decades, rising temperatures and rising sea levels will cause floods and mass famine. The implication is that there will be massive dislocations of humans and animals that have traditionally lived near coastlines. Despite the hard data, the George Bush Administration has resisted setting CO2 reduction goals, claiming there would be too many economic hardships for Americans. Ironically, it is the United States, which dominates the world list of greatest CO2 emitters.

 

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