Friday, February 17, 2006

Update on Global Warming, or, Crap! We're Screwed!

According to a paper in this week's issue of Science, Greenland's glaciers are flowing melting much faster than predicted by any current global warming models. This is rather bad, for a couple reasons:

1. It indicates that global warming is having a bigger impact faster than anyone had guessed.
2. Apparently, current climate models do not take glacial flow into account. This seems to show us that glacial flow will have a serious impact on sea levels, which worsens the overall outlook.

Combined with the reported today at the annual meeting of AAAS that in the CO2 and methane-rich atmosphere of around 100 million years ago, ocean temperatures in at least one region where 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are now, potentially as hot as 107 degF--which is also much hotter than expected by current models--I'm almost ready to grow my beard and hair out so I can carry my placard down the street and warn people about the apocalypse.

Let's just get one thing straight: much like evolution, global climate change is pretty much a fact at this point. Like the best science, hypotheses and theories have been put forward and confirmed through experimentation and observation. All that matters at this point is doing what we can to minimize its effects. And maybe, just a little, cut down on our current carbon usage to try not to exacerbate the symptoms. This is quickly turning into a problem that we won't have the option to leave to our children: because we're going to have to deal with it ourselves.


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