GR: Climate scientists have warned us that warming will accelerate as positive feedbacks grow stronger. We may have just witnessed the first evidence that they were right. Global warming might now be self-sustaining. Fear of that possibility is what provoked all those hair-on-fire remarks about stopping fossil fuel burning before it became too late to stop catastrophic warming, before it was too late to prevent the end of civilization. Personally, I think we have a few more years, at least five or six to amend our ways. If we continue to have record years, however, it’s curtains for sure.
“Over just the past three years, global temperatures have risen by about 0.4 degrees Celsius. This was an extreme acceleration in the rate of warming. One that is unmatched in all of the past 136 years of climate record keeping.warming-since-1880-shows-acceleration-in-recent-years.
“During 2016, according to NASA, global temperatures hit 1.21 C above 1880s averages. This is a new record high to shatter all previous heat records. More to the point, the world’s atmosphere and oceans are now hotter than they’ve been in at least the past 100,000 years. This is considerable global warming. Enough to tip the world into a new climate age and bring about substantial geophysical changes.
“The most glaring of these changes is the now impending rise of the world’s oceans. And as glaciers and ice shelves show signs of rapid melting in Greenland and Antarctica, we should consider the fact that the last time ocean surface and atmospheric temperatures were so warm, seas were 20 to 30 feet higher than they are today.
“Warming across the world was not distributed evenly during 2016. And the Northern Hemisphere polar region, according to NASA, received the heaviest blow from rising atmospheric heat. Above the 80 degree North Latitude line, temperatures were fully 4.9 degrees Celsius above average for the period of an entire year.
“As a result, one of the most vulnerable areas of the world — the Arctic Ocean — was subjected to extraordinary warming. A warming that is now removing a considerable chunk of heat-deflecting sea ice from the Arctic environment and helping to set the stage for further rapid Arctic warming and worsening glacial melt in Greenland.” –Robert Fanney (Continue reading: NASA Data Shows the Rate of Global Warming is Accelerating — 2016 is Third Consecutive Hottest Year on Record | robertscribbler.)