Levels of warming previously thought to be safe may instead trigger widespread melting of the world’s ice sheets and other catastrophic impacts, scientists said recently at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting, reports Douglas Fischer at the Daily Climate. “There’s evidence that climate sensitivity may be quite a bit higher than what the models are suggesting,” said Ken Caldeira, a senior scientist at Stanford University’s Carnegie Institution for Science. Accelerating melting on the world’s ice sheets and other new observations have scientists concluding that even a two-degree Celsius rise in temperatures – a benchmark long seen as safe in global climate talks and other emissions reductions scenarios – could lead to an 80-foot rise in sea levels. “The dangerous level of global warming is less than what we thought a few years ago,” said James Hansen, director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “…. a target of two degrees is actually a prescription for long-term disaster.” Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice at a surprising clip, Hansen said, and methane hydrates – a potent source of greenhouse gas frozen beneath the seas – are starting to bubble up.
New perils seen to even modest warming. Amounts of warming previously thought to be safe may instead trigger widespread melting of the world’s ice sheets and other catastrophic impacts, scientists said Tuesday. Daily Climate