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Climate Change: Even More Urgent than Anticipated

09/09/2011

Until now, climate science got most of its data from either satellites or from ground-level instruments. But a recent years-long study used airplanes flown from the North Pole to the South and back again, at heights between 500 and 40,000 feet, to gather a much more extensive data set.

Among their findings is a new, unanticipated source of methane–an even worse greenhouse gas than carbon. It seems the ocean surfaces uncovered by melting ice are contributing significantly to methane emissions. And that isn’t all–less ice also means less of the sun’s energy is reflected back into the atmosphere.

As I mentioned Wednesday, 2011 continues to show us the consequences of runaway climate change. Hurricane Lee caused “unprecedented” flooding around Washington, DC this week, and yesterday the Binghamton, New York area experienced “an extreme rainfall event unprecedented in recorded history”.

That second links lead to an article explaining a fundamental prediction of climate science: as the planet warms, atmospheric water vapour increases, which comes down in the form of “extreme deluges.”

What’s to be done?

Well, there’s this petition that needs signing, against the construction of a pipeline that promises to significantly contribute to climate change.

And we can also focus on energy efficiency–on reducing the amount we use and on finding alternatives to fossil fuels. According to the following infographic from WellHome.com, plenty of people think that’s a good idea. (Click for a bigger version.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/09/2011 5:06 PM

    We’re all toast. Well, I’ll be dead.

  2. 09/12/2011 1:20 PM

    I hope not!

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