More than double the average ice loss per year.
I know we have the global coronavirus pandemic to contend with; this is a reminder: climate change marches on, a tiny bit abated by the massive and immediate reduction in the world’s carbon footprint. That’s a little bit of good news.
Saunders and her colleagues are finding clues that over the past 12,000 years of Earth’s history, higher wind speeds and greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have gone together. If this link between wind and CO₂ holds true today, it will lead to higher levels of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, which will speed up climate change, which could further intensify the westerlies.
There’s growing evidence that, at least in the winter months when the westerlies are at their most violent, some parts of the Southern Ocean are giving off more of the gas than was previously estimated. It has all the makings of a vicious cycle.
How Warming Winters Are Affecting Everything: undefined
Lead author Dr. Giuseppe Zappa, now at CNR-ISAC, said: “Whenever greenhouse gases are emitted, they immediately begin impacting climate, but the impacts develop over several timescales.” Greenhouse gas build-ups in the atmosphere can affect local climates immediately—on the scale of just a few years—or gradually develop a significant impact over decades or even centuries, like sea-level rise.
Now, the team’s modelling simulations of Mediterranean climates show that decreasing rainfall in the Mediterranean and in central Chile occurs rapidly alongside greenhouse gas rises, on the order of a few years.
In recent years, we’ve seen countless climate-resiliency schemes featuring bioswales, rain gardens, retention ponds, earth berms, levees, sea-wall barriers, even oyster beds. All of these strategies are useful, but they come with a big “if.” They will help protect our coastal cities if we also cut our carbon emissions in time to mitigate even worse impacts of climate change.