Thursday, March 27, 2008

A point of no return?

Several sources have been referring to this study by Oxford Analytica: Does climate change have a 'tipping point', or a level at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable? More simply put, how warm is too warm?

A gradual awareness is building in the scientific community that our stressed ecosystems are perched on a cliff edge. Given the right nudge, they are capable of slipping rapidly from a seemingly stable state to flood or drought. An Earth that is just a few degrees Celsius hotter may push the planet's climate system past critical thresholds.

A recent study, 'Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system', published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reviews 14 earth systems to assess how small changes can have large long-term consequences on human and ecological systems....

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