Posted 10 years ago on Sept. 27, 2012, 7:28 p.m. EST by ZenDogTroll
from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
At least, I certainly find it so. There is a certain dread fascination, in watching the Arctic Ice Cap thin. I am reasonably sure that by the end of this decade, between 2018 and 2021 - the arctic ice will be no more than a memory. The polar bear will, in all probability, not be far behind - unless chance and evolution permit their adaptation to the new environment that is most definitely just around the corner.
In his article, Global Warming's Terrifying New Math ; Bill McKibben closed by noting that humanity is now leaving the Holocene Epoch, a period between ice ages that has been generally warm and relatively stable, meteorologically speaking.
We are on the cusp of geologic history.
There is no doubt, we are also facing the worst man made crisis that either man, or this planet, has ever seen. Given the events of the 20th century, that may seem to some, as not only remarkable and provocative, but far fetched.
Yet I say, consider carefully. In 2007 the estimate of ice loss was revised, to reflect the changes that by that point were already outpacing best estimates. The loss of Arctic ice was projected to be 40% by 2050. Yet only five years later, Arctic ice loss had exceeded the previous record and out paced every single climate model in use.
My own best guess is that most of these previous projections did not, perhaps could not, incorporate data indicating that carbon dioxide has not been as high as it is today, in fifteen million years.
Fifteen Million Years.
What was the planet like, fifteen million years ago?
"global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland,"
For a little perspective - California projects a sea level rise by 2100 of about five feet. North Carolina projects a sea level rise of about one meter - yet opposition to the projection itself has been such that it has been revised backward to 15 inches - and this despite all the scientific evidence indicating the rate of Global Warming is outpacing all best estimates.
The rapid loss of ice in the Arctic, outpacing current best estimates, creates a cascade of revisions throughout the field of both science and urban planning. None of them seem prepared to consider the possibility of global seas 70 or 100 feet higher than they are today. Though land based ice - like Greenland or Antarctica - may have certain advantages and so last longer than the Arctic Ice Cap, never the less, it seems we have already produced enough carbon dioxide to ensure that this land based ice does melt, and there is absolutely no certainty that it will melt with anything like a uniform progressive nature. Some of it, perhaps much of it, will most likely melt all at once. Suddenly and without warning.
When might this take place? No one yet has a guess based on scientific data - but I would bet by 2050, if not much sooner, we will see coastal communities worldwide abandoned like the fabled Atlantis.
As George Monbiot says, There are no comparisons to be made.
And so here we are, indeed, at the end of the Holocene. It is ending. It is ending because we made it end. We produced the carbon dioxide that elevated the planet's temperature, it will most certainly continue to elevate, and it is as if this were our deliberate intent - to journey back fifteen million years in time.
Pull up a chair I say. Sit back and relax. The fireworks should be spectacular.