A December 4, 2013 report indicates that the world is already beginning to pass tipping points that could rapidly augur catastrophic, and irreversible changes. According to a new 200-page report released by the US National Academy of Sciences, we appear to be headed for abrupt climate change which could cause rapid changes to physical, biological, and human systems in a matter of years or decades. This would make adaptation far more difficult.
The beginning of the collapse of the Arctic’s summer sea ice has already been documented and appears to be accelerating. Some scientists have predicted the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet this century. There is some good news in the report, like the finding that the melting of arctic permafrost is unlikely to occur anytime soon.
The report concedes that there are significant uncertainties, however, they conclude that the world is not doing enough to address these threats. The report calls for more research and the development of an early warning system. “This should be a wake-up call for the world,” stated Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “No amount of continued warming can be considered safe when we have no idea when we’ll pass these thresholds for irreversible and abrupt climate change.”
Click here to see the report (PDF).
Best Evidence Yet that Climate Tipping Points Threaten to Push Us Past the Point of No Return
Ecological Governance Respecting Planetary Boundaries through Degrowth and Social Processes
New Study Indicates We Are on the Verge of Tipping Points
Environmental Tipping Points
Melting Ice Releasing Methane (Tipping Point)
Building Support for Action on Climate Change Before We Reach Tipping Points
The Fifth Global Environmental Outlook Report
Science and Pernicious Ignorance of Climate Change Denial
The Effects of Global Warming