the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Who Says We’ve Already Passed a Tipping Point

Posted by Jeff Id on September 3, 2008

I have been questioned on other blogs more than one time about my references to people claiming we have passed the “tipping point”  in climate change.  Scepticism of a skeptic as it were.  So I took the time to write about some bigshot scientist who is making the over the top claims.

His very impressive bio is HERE.  His research is funded by a wide range of government organizations HERE.

Now for the good part, you can read one of many articles HERE or read my excerpts below.

“No matter where we stand at the end of the melt season it’s just reinforcing this notion that Arctic ice is in its death spiral,” said Mark Serreze, a scientist at the center. He added that there is a strong possibility that by 2030, the Arctic might be free of summer ice. The two most affected places by the melting process are the Chukchi Sea off the Alaskan coast and the East Siberian Seas off the coast of eastern Russia.

The DEATH SPIRAL, pretty strong words don’t you think?

“It’s tipping now. We’re seeing it happen now.” What he is trying to do, is make it clear that this is a fact, it is a phenomenon that is taking place right now, not something that is expected to happen over the next couple of years.

I’m glad, actually, now that we have passed the tipping point we can quit worrying and start building rafts.

Bob Corell, who headed a multinational scientific assessment of Arctic conditions a few years ago, managed to describe the situation in just one sentence: “We’re moving beyond a point of no return.”

All I can say is we have only been tracking the ice caps for 30 years.  Certainly the climate has warmed slightly world wide, there is a local increase in the arctic temperatures.  In 2008 global temperatures have dropped and ice coverage in the Arctic and Antarctic have increased from last year.  None of these temperatures have been shown to be outside of natural variation by anything.

It is also clear from ice core data that the climate after each of the last 4 ice ages warmed to more than 2degrees C higher than today before dropping 8 degrees all without human help. Each time it did return to lower temperatures.   It is also clear from ice data that for the last 10k years the climate has warmed and cooled naturally more than we have seen recently.

It sounds to me more like scare tactics designed to make us react by increasing taxation and funding of research rather than real science.  This guy does not know any better than anyone else weather the climate change is natural or not.   If he’s right, even he admits there is not much we can do about it now.

I wonder what he will say after the ice coverage increases next year again?

One Response to “Who Says We’ve Already Passed a Tipping Point”

  1. Pangolin- California said

    The reason that the arctic has reached a tipping point is that warming permafrost is releasing methane in amounts that could exceed the global warming effect of all the man-made greenhouse gasses released to date. These are undisputed facts. Warm permafrost releases methane which traps heat in excess of the abscence of that methane. It’s even got a wiki link.

    Death spiral is a pretty accurate term for the release of large amounts of methane into the atmosphere.

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