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Rising sea levels could threaten infrastructure worth more than $205bn in Australia if climate change is left unchecked, a study has warned. The Climate Council report said the most serious consequences of rising seas would be an increase in the frequency of coastal flooding and the retreat of shorelines.
Global warming could be triggering increasingly cold winters in some parts of the world, scientists have claimed. Researchers have discovered a link between rising ocean temperatures, and a large pocket of cold air known as the polar vortex. They discovered that as oceans heat up and melt the Arctic ice, warm air is released that destabilises polar air and sends cold blasts into the atmosphere.
Earth’s subterranean carbon blisters are starting to pop. Carbon inside now-melting permafrost is oozing out, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out just how much of it is ending up in the atmosphere. Whether recent findings from research that attempted to help answer this question are good or bad climate news might depend on whether you see an Arctic river basin as half full of mud - or half empty.

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The complete melt of the Greenland ice sheet could occur at lower global temperatures than previously thought, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change showed on Sunday, increasing the threat and severity of a rise in sea level. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea level rise of several meters, potentially threatening the lives of millions of people.
“Our study shows that a temperature threshold for melting the (ice sheet) exists and that this threshold has been overestimated until now,” said scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, who used computer simulations of the ice sheet's evolution to predict its future behaviour. A complete ice sheet melt could happen if global temperatures rose between 0.8 and 3.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees, the scientists said. Previous research has suggested the ice sheet could melt in a range of a 1.9 to 5.1 degree temperature rise, with a best estimate of 3.1 degrees.

One-twentieth of the world's ice is in Greenland, which is about a quarter of the size of the United States and about 80 percent of it is covered by the ice sheet. If it all melted it would be equivalent to a 6.4 meter global sea level rise, previous research has shown. "If the global temperature significantly overshoots the threshold for a long time, the ice will continue melting and not regrow - even if the climate would, after many thousand years, return to its pre-industrial state,” said team leader Andrey Ganopolski at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Today, global warming of 0.8 degrees has already been recorded.

“The more we exceed the threshold, the faster it melts,” said Alexander Robinson, lead-author of the study. If the world takes no action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the earth could warm by 8 degrees Celsius. “This would result in one fifth of the ice sheet melting within 500 years and a complete loss in 2,000 years,” he said. “This is not what one would call a rapid collapse. However, compared to what has happened in our planet's history, it is fast. And we might already be approaching the critical threshold. If temperature rise is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, a complete melt of the ice sheet could happen in 50,000 years, the study found.

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