Thursday, January 1, 2009

Coming in 2009 -- Continued Warming

An iceberg melts off Ammassalik Island in Eastern Greenland, July 19, 2007

A new report led by the U.S. Geological Survey, indicates that the United States faces the potential for abrupt climate change in the 21st century that could pose clear risks to society in terms of our ability to adapt. "Abrupt" changes can occur over decades or less, persist for decades more, and cause substantial disruptions to human and natural systems. Among its findings, the report concludes that:
• rapid and sustained arctic sea ice loss is likely
• an abrupt change in sea level is possible
• the SW United States may be beginning an abrupt period of increased drought
• the pace of methane emissions, a very powerful greenhouse gas, will increase, further hastening warming

Lake Mead lakebed near Las Vegas. The reservoir is down 50% or more since 2000.

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