June 07, 2012

Is a 'global tipping point' near?

Scientists usually, as a group, aren't usually alarmists, wingnut beliefs about global warming and climate change aside.

That's why, per Raw Story, even though it's just 22 scientists warning about it, a group of researchers who is worried the mix of climate change and ongoing population growth could — soon and suddenly — cause a 'global tipping point' shouldn't be taken lightly. That's especially true since they were published in Nature, one of the world's most prestigious science journals.
The team determined that once 50-90 percent of small-scale ecosystems become altered, the entire eco-web tips over into a new state, characterised especially by species extinctions.

Once the shift happens, it cannot be reversed.

To support today’s population, about 43 percent of Earth’s ice-free land surface is being used for farming or habitation, according to the study.

On current trends, the 50 percent mark will be reached by 2025, a point the scientists said is worryingly close to the tipping point.
Meanwhile, though it's shorter-term, and therefore technically still more "weather" and not "climate" and also just U.S., not global, measurements, five-month/year-to-date temperature reports from NOAA should be alarming.

A lot of those anomalous (or what used to be anomalous, perhaps) temperature reports have at least three full sigmas of variation from the norm. And, the "degrees above normal," take note, is just from the years of 1981-2010, after we really started seeing temperature rises.

More here on how hot it's been, over the last 12-18 months, too.

Oh, and what will the Obama Administration say or do? Given the reaction of Dear Leader, as well as state officials, to oil pollution in North Dakota, little.

That said, the schadenfreude part of me kind of wishes to see this tipping point, as the U.S. has more to lose than many countries, the Biblical exceptionalists will have to scramble for talking points (they'll just blame "sinful liberals" in new ways, but won't be able to say God is protecting the U.S.), and, just maybe, as the rich retreat into ever-higher levels of gated isolation, the middle class of red-state wingnuttery will start "getting it."

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