December 25, 2012

Bye, bye West Antarctica?

It looks like warming amounts of the West Antarctic ice sheet have been undermeasured. (And shock me that climate change deniers have claimed just the opposite.) Here's what might be happening ahead:
In the summer of 2005, the interior of West Antarctica warmed enough for the ice to undergo several days of surface melting. 
Dr. (David) Bromwich is worried that this could eventually become routine, perhaps accelerating the decay of the West Antarctic ice sheet, but the warming is not fast enough for that to happen right away. “We’re talking decades into the future, I think,” Dr. Bromwich said.

I would like to be that optimistic, but what if Bromwich is too optimistic?

Joe Romm gets blunt about what climate change without major, near-term intervention could cause.

And, I don't think Romm is being too scary. A warming on land of 3C by 2050 is quite likely, I think, per his links and others I've read. That's at best a "few decades," not counting any tipping points.

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