Ice in Antarctica and Greenland is disappearing faster and may drive sea levels higher than predicted this century, according to leaked United Nations documents.
Greenland's ice added six times more to sea levels in the decade through 2011 than in the previous 10 years, according to a draft of the UN's most comprehensive study on climate change. Antarctica had a fivefold increase, and the UN is raising its forecast for how much the two ice sheets will add to Earth's oceans by 2100.
The changes in the planet's coldest areas are a "very good indicator" of a warming planet, according to Walt Meier, a research scientist with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
"It's an early warning system," Meier said by phone fromNASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "When you think about a couple of degrees of warming, in the U.K. or U.S., it's not something that would be too noticeable, whereas in an area of snow and ice, it can have a huge effect. With sea ice, minus 1 to plus 1 is the difference between skating on the ice and swimming in the ocean."
David Fuller's view We cannot afford to assume either that this is not happening or that it is only a temporary anomaly. Of course our increasing human population and developing technologies are warming the planet. However, I suggest the solution is not to throw the world into economic depression by banning fossil fuels. We need a variety of energy sources to prosper, including fossil fuels while they remain competitive.
The solutions to our human contributions to global warming can be found in our technologies. After all, we put carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and have the incentive to take some of it back out, if it is a potentially useful resource, as other articles including the previous one above on "gas made out of thin air" suggest.
Note: There appears to be a contradiction in this article, if I am reading it correctly. The second paragraph above says that Antarctica's ice is also melting more quickly. However, the 'Melt Season' section at article's end says: "The extent of Antarctica's sea ice 'very likely' increased 1.2 percent to 1.8% percent a decade over the same period."