Abrupt climate change.
This is the first mention of it, as far as I can tell, from a mainstream media source:
the climate in various regions of the Arctic could potentially change abruptly, in the relatively near future.
We will be hearing more and more about this as the weeks and months pass by.
The warming began in the last week of August, when temperatures in the stratosphere high above the South Pole began rapidly heating in a phenomenon called “sudden stratospheric warming.”
In the coming weeks the warming is forecast to intensify, and its effects will extend downward to Earth’s surface, affecting much of eastern Australia over the coming months.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the strongest Antarctic warming on record, likely to exceed the previous record of September 2002.
The colossal geoengineering project would need energy from at least 12,000 wind turbines to power giant seawater pumps and snow cannons, and would destroy a unique natural reserve. The scientists are not advocating for such a project, but said its apparent “absurdity” reflects the extraordinary scale of threat from rising sea level.
“As scientists we feel it is our duty to inform society about every potential option to counter the problems ahead,” said Prof Anders Levermann, at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who led the research. “As unbelievable as [the proposal] might seem, in order to prevent an unprecedented risk, humankind might have to make an unprecedented effort.”
“Even if we keep the Paris agreement [target of 2C above pre-industrial levels], we will get five metres of sea level rise,” he said. “I think people haven’t really entertained the real consequences of this. Either you abandon these coastal cities or millions of people live by a wall behind which is the world’s oceans, above your head, like the sword of Damocles.”
An enormous glacier the size of Florida may be on the brink of melting so quickly it could cause catastrophic global sea level rises, scientists have warned.
Nothing to see here … move along.
Floating ice off the southern continent steadily increased from 1979 and hit a record high in 2014. But three years later, the annual average extent of Antarctic sea ice hit its lowest mark, wiping out three-and-a-half decades of gains — and then some, a NASA study of satellite data shows.
In recent years, “things have been crazy,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. In an email, he called the plummeting ice levels “a white-knuckle ride.”
Serreze and other outside experts said they don’t know if this is a natural blip that will go away or more long-term global warming that is finally catching up with the South Pole. Antarctica hasn’t showed as much consistent warming as its northern Arctic cousin.
“But the fact that a change this big can happen in such a short time should be viewed as an indication that the Earth has the potential for significant and rapid change,” University of Colorado ice scientist Waleed Abdalati said in an email.
On this trip, satellite images have been indispensable in helping scientists track the ever-changing ice in the regions we’ve been exploring. But the map Queste received that morning was different. He noticed dark cracks in parts of the ice shelf, which floats out over the sea like a huge fingernail from the glacier itself. They had not been there before. The ice shelf was clearly starting to break up. Queste’s first thought: “Oh, shit.”
According to NASA, the iceberg may become the largest to break from the ice shelf since observations began in 1915. It’s possible the ice shelf could become unstable following the break.