CLIMATE CHANGE ROUND UP FOR THE WEEK ENDING July 25, 2020

WEEKLY QUOTE:

We always say what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. It does affect our weather in different parts of the world where hundreds of millions of people live.  There was a study last week, which says that the extreme heat that we are seeing would have been almost impossible without climate change.  So, it does have a clear fingerprint of climate change on it.

Clare Nullis World Meteorological Organization
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NEWS AND VIEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Lead:

Biggest ice sheet on Earth more vulnerable to melting than thought

Shocking evidence suggests that the last time the East Antarctic ice sheet collapsed, it added over 10 feet to sea level rise, and that it’s likely to happen again.

A rare, translucent, black-and-white crystal that sat in a box for 30 years has led scientists to a startling discovery: The East Antarctic ice sheet, which holds 80 percent of the world’s ice, may be even more vulnerable to warming than once believed.

Scientists had determined that this ice sheet last retreated about three million years ago. But a new paper in the journal Nature suggests—based on a study of crystals collected from the region—that a large part of it collapsed only 400,000 years ago. Most startling of all, the team’s calculations suggest that the dramatic change happened during an extended but relatively mild warm spell.

During that time period, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere never rose very high, peaking at only about 300 parts per million (ppm), says David Harwood, who studies Antarctic glacial history at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

“That’s the scary thing,” says Harwood. Modern carbon dioxide levels blew past 300 ppm way back in 1915—and they currently sit at 410 ppm. In the coming centuries, that extra carbon dioxide could raise temperatures, and sea level, well above what happened 400,000 years ago, he says. “This doesn’t bode well for the future.”

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