Climate Change: The New Optimum Could Be Just Weeks From The Start of the Year

Climate Change: The New Optimum Could Be Just Weeks From The Start of the Year

Letters to the Editor: Save the planet. Read Thor Heyerdahl.

Friday, October 9, 2011

In the News: A new environmental study is released today.

This article includes the following statement:

A new Environmental Protection Agency survey reported this week said nearly 40 percent of Americans believe the planet is in trouble due to manmade global warming, according to the National Audubon Society.

A new report in Scientific American says the world is on the verge of a “climate tipping point” after decades of pollution and overconsumption. The authors conclude that society has about three to five years to take bold action to avoid the worst effects.

Climate scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report Tuesday that warns “dramatic consequences” from global warming will require “rapid, unprecedented, and unprecedented change” to protect wildlife and the planet — without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

In other news, scientists tell The Associated Press that global warming could result in an ice age for much of North America as well as southern Europe and the British Isles because of warmer winters and hotter summers.

The article reports:

Scientists say it’s only a matter of time before we enter a new climate optimum, one where a period of frigid winters stretches across much of North America and Europe while the warm conditions associated with summer become the norm.

When the current optimum comes, it will be just weeks since the start of the year. Scientists aren’t sure yet how warm it will be.

The new optimum is driven by several factors, all of which are connected to mankind. In the northern hemisphere, the Arctic is warming. The ice cover, which reflects nearly 80 percent of sunlight, is melting at an unprecedented rate. The ocean surrounding the Arctic is becoming more acidic.

And if current trends continue, the world will experience a “tipping point” — when conditions force a change — well before 2030, the scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science.

Scientists say that with that time frame, the world

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