No 1622 Posted by fw, March 24, 2016
“If Greenland fresh water shuts down deep water formation and cools the North Atlantic several degrees, the increased horizontal temperature gradient will drive superstorms, stronger than any in modern times. All hell will break loose in the North Atlantic and neighbouring lands.” —Dr. James Hansen
So says Dr. Hansen in the 15-minute video, Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms Video Abstract, embedded at the bottom of this post. A full transcript of the video is available at Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: The Threat of Irreparable Harm by James Hansen, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, March 22, 2016. Hansen says this about the video: “The main point that I want to make concerns the threat of irreparable harm, which I feel we have not communicated well enough to people who most need to know, the public and policymakers. I’m not sure how we can do that better, but I comment on it at the end of this transcript.”
According to Common Dreams’ article about Hansen’s new report:
“The peer-edited report examines growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland and studies how that melting has historically amplified “feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting.” Taking into consideration “rapid, large, human-made climate forcing,” the study predicts a much more accelerated rate of sea level rise of several meters, beyond that which humanity is capable of adapting to.”
To read Common Dreams’ original short piece about the report and watch Hansen’s 15-minute video, click on the following linked title. Optionally, below is a repost of the story, along with the embedded video. As well, there is a SEE ALSO link to Hansen’s abbreviated version of the original paper – “abbreviated” but still long and highly technical. In addition, this link also provides links to 3 newspaper stories about Hansen’s latest research.
Even scientists who question findings say ‘we ignore James Hansen at our peril.’
Dr. James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who is widely credited with being one of the first to raise concerns about human-caused global warming, is a co-author of a new report predicting that the world will undergo devastating sea level rise within mere decades—not centuries, as previously thought.
The report, published Tuesday in the open-access journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, paints an even bleaker picture of the planet’s future, positing that continued high fossil fuel emissions will “increase powerful storms” and drive sea-level rise of “several meters over a timescale of 50 to 150 years.”
Hansen, who now serves as the director of the Climate Science Awareness and Solutions program at Columbia University Earth Institute, published the findings along with an international team of 18 researchers and academics.
As the abstract states, the predictions “differ fundamentally from existing climate change assessments.” For example, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 predicted three feet of sea level rise by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated.
A draft version of Hansen’s paper released last year provoked wide debate among climate scientists. Nonetheless, Michael Mann, a renowned climate scientist with the University of Pennsylvania, who is among those questioning some of the report’s “extraordinary” claims, told the New York Times, “I think we ignore James Hansen at our peril.”
The peer-edited report examines growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland and studies how that melting has historically amplified “feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting.” Taking into consideration “rapid, large, human-made climate forcing,” the study predicts a much more accelerated rate of sea level rise of several meters, beyond that which humanity is capable of adapting to.
Or, as Hansen put it, “We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control.”
These staggering claims come as climate scientists continue to reel from the frightening speed at which the Earth is warming. On Monday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, issued a report warning that climate change is occurring at an “alarming rate” and that world leaders must act to curb greenhouse gases now, “before we pass the point of no return.”
In a video released alongside the new report, Hansen, who left his position at NASA in 2013 so that he could fully commit himself to fighting climate change, says that the paper explores the consequences of continued greenhouse gas emissions. These include “superstorms stronger than any seen in modern times,” sea level rise that will erase “all coastal cities,” and, finally, “how soon we will pass points of no return.”
Abbreviation of Ice Melt Paper by James Hansen et al., Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, March 22, 2016 – This is a shorter, but still highly technical version, of the Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise & Superstorms paper, largely extracted from the original report. In addition, this source provides: Link to Hansen’s Ice Melt paper; Link to video discussion; Link to Hansen’s web page; and Links to 3 newspaper articles about Hansen’s Ice Melt study.
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