Monday, August 20, 2007

Kristof: Global Warming Outstrips Projections

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof looked at global warming science last week, and found it looking ominous:

“Over and over again, we’re finding that models correctly predict the patterns of change but understate their magnitude,” notes Jay Gulledge, a senior scientist at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Kristof's column focused on four specific items leading to this conclusion:

  • Arctic sea ice thickness has reached a new low--and there is still more than a month of the normal melting season left to go. (More info on this available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent at the moment is a whopping 16% below its level on the same day in 2005, when the previous record low was set.)

  • Annual ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica now is 125 billion tons, and growing.

  • Actual sea level rise is following the upper limits of previous projections, and is now forecast to be 0.5 to 1.4 meters by 2100.

  • Glaciers are melting more quickly than anticipated.

    In other words (my words, not Kristof's), the imperative for reducing global warming pollution and for carbon-free energy technologies like wind and solar power continues to grow.

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