The Tipping Point and its Effects - a Global Climate Change Warming Point of No Return
Arguments about Climate Change Take Away from the Seriousness
While arguments continue to rage about the why's, who's and how's of climate change and global warming, there is something far more sinister happening to our climate that has been stuck on the back burner for the most part : It's called the Tipping Point. The Tipping Point is a place that our climate can get to that is well - basically irreversible. It's a point that is pretty much described by it's name - a point where the scale "tips" in a direction and points us in a different direction.
Definition of "The Tipping Point" From Wikipedia:
Tipping points are "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable." Gladwell defines a tipping point as a sociological term, "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point."
This "tipping point" in our climate is a point that can cause what's called "abrupt climate change".
Arctic Sea ice may be GONE in 3 years
The Definition of "Abrupt Climate Change"
Abrupt climate change from Wikipedia:
Abrupt climate change refers to an event where large and widespread shift in climate occurs within a short period, perhaps a decade. The phrase was coined because of worldwide, centuries-long events seen in ice cores of past climate. There are also abrupt climate changes with sudden onset and gradual recovery, such as the 8.2 kiloyear event associated with a meltwater pulse into the Labrador Sea.
The best current theory for the cause of abrupt climate change is the slowing of the ocean's thermohaline circulation (THC).
Other, comparatively small events, such as the Little Ice Age, might also be placed in a category of rapid climate change.
Abrupt Climate Change
Abrupt climate change can happen when the tipping point occurs - our climate can change radically and swiftly by Earth's standards and well....pretty much wreak havoc (remember the dinosaur extinction? There is a theory that their extinction was caused by an abrupt and devastating climate change)
Now for us, I'm not saying we are going the way of the dinosaurs, but recent studies are indicating that global warming is happening at an accelerated rate - a rate so fast that in fact last years report on climate change is being considered "outdated". This is pretty scary stuff folks, because if all the Arctic ice melts in 5 years it will cause untold changes to our earth, and life as we know it will change drastically.
Can it be reversed? Well the bright side of the story is that we are not dinosaurs and we recognize this coming, so yes perhaps there is something we can do to at least SLOW down the process, or maybe come up with new unthought of process to change the direction the warming will go (there are scientists working on various scenarios and projects to do with abrupt climate change and the tipping point and its effects)
The First Tipping Point Reached?
Today's News from GLOBAL DISASTER WATCH:
The first 'tipping point' may have already been reached in the Arctic, where sea ice is disappearing up to 30 years ahead of predictions and may be gone completely within five years - something that HASN'T OCCURRED FOR A MILLION YEARS. It could result in rapid and abrupt climate change rather than the gradual changes forecast by the IPCC. Natural carbon sinks, such as forests and oceans, are losing their ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere faster than expected. Rising temperatures have already led to a major reduction in food crops resulting in losses of 40m tonnes of grain per year. Marine ecosystems in the North and Baltic Sea are being exposed to THE WARMEST TEMPERATURES MEASURED SINCE RECORDS BEGAN. "It is clear that climate change is already having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so it's vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses become swifter and more ambitious."
What Does Global Warming Really Mean?
How I Learned About the Tipping Point
I came to know about the tipping point several years ago when researching climate change, before global warming was even a mainstream phrase. At the time I was warning my family and friends about climate change, its impact on earth, us and civilization in general - I was met with sometimes blank stares and nonchalant attitudes (this was before Al gore even came out with the wildly successful movie " An Inconvenient Truth") I even wrote an article for a newspaper column about this and how we would be having major hurricanes to come because of the effects of climate change and global warming on Earth (Hurricane Katrina came a few months after and we all know what's happened since then - Hurricane Ike and many others)
My point being here is not to say "I told you so" but rather to say - "Hey, let's quit arguing about climate change once and for all and let's do something about it!!" Most people don't know about things like tipping points and abrupt climate change, so they have NO IDEA of the seriousness of what continued unchecked global warming will mean.
So in conclusion, it looks like we may have reached a tipping point (how exactly one would measure that I do not know) and it's possible that left unchecked we may go into a new era of "Abrupt Climate Change", which could start runaway climate change - a far worse situation.
My advice to anyone reading this? Become informed, do what you can do to slow down the process of warming, do your part (recycling, less gas consumption,etc.) because really that's the only thing you can do, and put pressure on your government officials to address this. This is no joke and we are under pressure now to address this growing threat.
(Dorsi Diaz reports on climate change for the San Francisco Examiner - to read more news about recent climate change new click here)
Another wonderful hub by fellow writer Sabu with great information on first hand accounts of climate change: http://hubpages.com/hub/Climate-Change-and-Global-Warming---What-They-Mean-for-Us