Thursday, 3 July 2008

The North Pole Goes West?

Predictions from the the UK Meteorological Office's Hadley Centre about the melting of the ice sheets of the north pole have suggested that the ice will disappear entirely in the summer periods by September 2079 (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article804599.ece). Although this is treated by some commercial companies as an opportunity (easier access to hydrocarbon and mineral resources and the opening of the north-west passage to North America), the consequences for the globe are likely to be dramatic. The ice normally reflected light back into space, so the globe will warm faster. George Bush should have managed to work out that Polar bears are endangered by then. At the other end of the globe, many penguin species are showing rapid declines in numbers (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4232324.ece).

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Tipping Points?

News that the world's climate may have already passed tipping points is concerning. Such events including things such as the loss of ...