Friday, December 02, 2005

New Scary Climate Change Stuff

The two latest developments in the gradual (but increasing quickly) disintegration of the planet's climate, courtesy of insatiable human consumption of fossil fuels and exponential growth: core ice samples taken from Antarctica's ice cap indicate that current levels of carbon dioxide and methane are at their highest levels in the last 650,000 years. Researchers could not drill any deeper because of technological limits, so the issue may not be settled, but preliminary findings are disturbing at least. In another finding, it seems that sea levels have risen twice as much during the current century as in previous times.

Second finding: The Atlantic Conveyer, also known as the Gulf Stream, responsible for bringing warm water to Northern Europe, has been discovered to be slowing. This is in line with previous computer modeling predicting that the current may collapse from global warming, paradoxically causing the climate in Europe to cool substantially. This recent data clearly needs more study and corroboration, but as a confirmation of previously offered theories, it's an important piece in the puzzle. Of course, humans need a crisis to wake up from holiday shopping and pay attention, so the steady drip of bad news will have no effect on nonnegotiable lifestyles. Chaos wishes readers a happy weekend, unencumbered by entropy.

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