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Beachfront property may not be the investment you thought it was....

Scientific American:

Roughly 14,700 years ago the weather patterns that bring snow to Greenland shifted from one year to the next—a pattern of abrupt change that was repeated 12,900 years ago and 11,700 years ago when the earth’s climate became the one enjoyed today—according to records preserved in an ice core taken from the northern island. These speedy changes—transitions from warming to cooling and back again—in the absence of changes in greenhouse gas could presage abrupt, catastrophic climate change in our future.

"What made these abrupt climate changes were circulation changes, and these changes took place from one year to the next more or less," says glaciologist Sune Olander Rasmussen of the Centre for Ice and Climate at the University of Copenhagen, who was part of a team that analyzed annual data from ice tubes extracted from as deep as 10,000 feet (3,085 meters) beneath the ice sheet, which were collected by the North Greenland Ice Core Project, a drilling expedition.


Following this abrupt shift, as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) of warming occurred over the subsequent decades—a change that ultimately resulted in at least 33 feet (10 meters) of sea-level rise as the ice melted on Greenland.

Katrina was just a warm up, eh?

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Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

The Atlantic Salmon Federation explains part of the problem with salmon survival by noting that cold water circulation in the northern Atlantic is changing rapidly, driving prey species from the salmon's normal feeding grounds. We tend to focus on the Gulf Stream, and warm water circulation patterns, when thinking about climate change in North America and Europe. However, I suspect that the cold water return system is at least as important, and since it would be effected by the meltwater from Artic Ice, it's probably a good leading indicator.

Submitted by lambert on

If I have the jargon right?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

at least,

our dept of homeland SECURITY

got some on-the-job training in how to cope

from failing to adequately cope with the katrina disaster.

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

maybe "discover" mag three or more year ago,

there was a fascinating article, with graphics, about the atlantic conveyor - north AND south atlantic were involved as i recall.

as i recall, the initial speculation affecting climate involved glacial ice dams giving way and billions of cu ft water per xxx of "cold" glacial pond water pouring into the path of the ("warm")gulf stream via the st. lawrence seaway.

makes sense and could be. but initial scientific speculation, aka great stories, is often replaced as data acrete.

none of this subtracts from a very sensible feeling on most of our parts that something strange is afoot.