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Posted Mon Mar 9 2009: from Macleay Argus (Australia):
Planning for the tipping point
The overwhelming majority of the world's scientists agree that emissions of global warming gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are trapping the heat in our atmosphere, destabilising the climatic systems that have prevailed for thousands of years, and ultimately leading to wild weather events involving more frequent storms, floods, droughts and, through the melting of the ice sheets, sea level rise. All of their tracking points to a faster warming than anticipated, such that we will soon reach what scientists call a tipping point. This is a point where forests, soils and the permafrost warm to the point where they begin to release increasing quantities of greenhouse gasses of their own accord, creating a feedback of rapidly accelerating greenhouse emissions and warming that is no longer within our control. At that point, we will be unable to stop the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet and possibly the Antarctic as well. Loss of Greenland will eventually lead to a 7m rise in sea levels.
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