ENVIRONMENT NEWS

Global climate changes

2019-10-11 02:01:34

Whether one believes global climate change is related to human use of fossil fuels, the anthropomorphic production of carbon dioxide, or not, the politics of climate alternation seem to be here to stay. As increasing use of energy drives economic growth across the planet, the commingling of climate science, government will, and both human and planetary health will also increase.

 

Whether one believes global climate change is related to human use of fossil fuels, the anthropomorphic production of carbon dioxide, or not, the politics of climate alternation seem to be here to stay. As increasing use of energy drives economic growth across the planet, the commingling of climate science, government will, and both human and planetary health will also increase.


One ingredient thrown into the climate science side of the mix is our ability to put current temperature changes into historical context. “Historical” in this sense does not merely mean a few decades or even hundreds of years; it means multiple thousands of years. From geology to linguistics, understanding the past is often a key to the present. In many ways, our understanding of what is happening today can be illuminated and tempered through our understanding of what came before.

To this end, glaciologist John Moore investigates the climate changes associated with the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, a period geologists call the Holocene in which we continue today. Moore believes his research gives us a window into climate changes ahead. Calling his research an early Holocene analog to today’s climate, Moore’s predictions regarding glacier melting and sea level rise are more alarming than the United Nations Nobel Peace Prize-winning IPCC report.

Moore, of the University of Lapland, Finland, studies blue ice in the Antarctic. Unlike ice cores that are produced by boring down into deep layers, blue ice is deep ice that has been exposed by sublimation. Like a fossil exposed by erosion, blue ice is easier to collect but retains its important and telling characteristics. From these ice fossils Moore has concluded that today’s temperatures are higher than they were at the beginning of the Holocene warming when glacier melting first began in earnest. Warmer temperatures today will speed the melting of our remaining glaciers to create sea level change beyond the 30-50cm IPCC predictions, he surmises.

There are many “ifs, ands or buts” associated with global change. One thing is certain, however: change is a fact of life on this small planet. Whether those changes are brought about by the hand of man or are simply the effect of a cosmic roll of the dice, they exist only for humankind to consider and manage. They are a test of human cooperation and ingenuity, a test where the results will certainly have global consequences.