Monday, December 16, 2013

Abrupt Global Warming

Global Warming is often thought to be taking place gradually, over long periods of time, but as global warming continues, it can suddenly accelerate, due to feedback loops that can cause the pace of change to take on a non-linear character. Furthermore, there can be interaction between feedbacks and the accumulated impact can speed up global warming rapidly, resulting in abrupt and steep global warming.

Specific feedbacks that can accelerate warming in the Arctic are described in the following posts:
- Diagram of Doom
- Further feedbacks of sea ice decline in the Arctic
- Causes of high methane levels over Arctic Ocean
- Methane Release caused by Earthquakes
- How Do We Act in the Face of Climate Chaos?
- The astounding global warming impact on our oceans . . .
- Methane emerges from warmer areas

Feedbacks are pictured in a more general way in the image below.

Two major feedbacks are specified in above image, i.e. the albedo changes caused by decline of snow and ice cover in the Arctic, and the resulting accelerated warming in the Arctic that threatens to cause huge amounts of methane to be released from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, in turn leading to runaway global warming, as also pictured in the image below.

As above image shows, a polynomial trendline already points at global temperature anomalies of 5°C by 2060. Even worse, a polynomial trendline for the Arctic shows temperature anomalies of 4°C by 2020, 7°C by 2030 and 11°C by 2040, threatening to cause major feedbacks to kick in, including albedo changes and methane releases that will trigger runaway global warming that looks set to eventually catch up with accelerated warming in the Arctic and result in global temperature anomalies of 20°C+ by 2050.

This threat calls for comprehensive and effective action, such as described at the Climate Plan blog.