November 29, 2012

Arctic: Area larger than US melted

That’s right, this summer’s record-setting melt of Arctic sea ice eventually killed off anarea larger than the United States. Yet the US continues to drag its feet at Doha, Qatar just as much as anybody else.

That’s even as the alarm bells continue to sound:
The dire climate news — following on the heels of a report Tuesday that found melting permafrost could significantly amplify global warming — comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled for a third day to lay the groundwork for a deal that would cut emissions in an attempt to ensure that temperatures don't rise more than 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) over what they were in preindustrial times. Temperatures have already risen about 0.8 degrees C (1.4 degrees F), according to the latest report by the IPCC.
And as the Antarctic melt is increasing, too.

And, assuming they don’t get a deal? As I have blogged before, temperatures are likely to hit a rise of at least 4C overall. And, that’s overall, including the water of the world’s oceans, which warms more slowly. We could see temperatures at least 6C, or 11F, higher than preindustrial times by the end of this century.

Which means droughts like this year’s, now intensifying again, will be “the new normal.”

And, not just for the US. China, ahead of us on carbon emissions though still far lower on per-capita emissions, would probably lose one-third of its agricultural output. An 11F rise would certainly nuke much of the Himalayan glacier field on which its, and India’s, rivers depend, as well as causing massive changes to India’s monsoon.

So, yes, the US is at fault for diddling away under Team Obama. So, too, is China for insisting “rich countries” pay more. Chinese leaders, look into your Mahayana Buddhism past: We’re all on the one “big raft” together.

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