Ancient Records Indicate Present Arctic Will Be 14 Degrees F Warmer

A US government monitoring station shows that we have pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to 400 parts per million for the first time in human existence, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. Simultaneously, a truly remarkable set of paleoclimate data, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science, shows that climate is much more sensitive to carbon dioxide than we thought. Based on Arctic sediment core samples, different types of evidence indicate carbon dioxide levels roughly 3 to 5 million years ago were similar to present ones, but the Arctic temperature was much warmer, about 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, and sea levels were 82 feet higher.  Previous models fail to show such climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide levels, and indeed, current models fail to predict the far faster melting of Arctic ice now occurring. What does this mean for our civilization? Romm, a scientist himself, says it means that returning as quickly as possible back to 350 ppm is a vastly more rational course of action for a non-suicidal civilization, than continuing our unrestrained march toward carbon dioxide levels of 600, 800, and even 1000 parts per million.

 

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte

 

Source

Climate Sensitivity Stunner: Last Time CO2 Levels Hit 400 Parts Per Million The Arctic Was 14°F Warmer! http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/12/1993531/climate-sensitivity-stunner-last-time-co2-levels-hit-400-parts-per-million-the-arctic-was-14f-warmer/

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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