googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Eric Reguly: The Global Warming Bomb

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Eric Reguly: The Global Warming Bomb

Eric Reguly of the Globe & Mail has yet another of his thought-provoking articles, this time on the threat posed to the world by global warming:

Eric Reguly & Global Warming Bomb
Climate change was always one of those amorphous blob concepts, vaguely threatening, but only vaguely, because you could not stick your head out the window and see it. For most people, at least for those in the wealthy parts of the world, where food comes from supermarkets and air conditioning means bursting thermometers can be ignored, climate change was someone else's problem.

Not any more…

The Arctic icecap is disappearing at shock and awe rates, far faster than the vast majority of climate scientists predicted only a few years ago…

The Feedback Loop:

He comments on one of the most alarming aspects of ice melting at the poles – the feedback loop:

The fear is that Greenland's ice cap could be the next melt victim as "feedback loops," in which small amounts of warming trigger more warming, gain
momentum. Less ice means more dark spots - the ocean - which absorb more heat than do the bright ice packs. As more heat is absorbed, the Arctic warms up. Not only is the ice disappearing, but also the snowpack on land. Canadian scientists have warned that the snow is vanishing evening faster than the ice in some Arctic areas.

Scientists, environmentalists and agronomists are busy studying the fallout of the diminished Arctic ice. It could have dramatic effects on ocean salinity, ocean currents, sea levels, global weather patterns, rainfall, wind intensities and species migration and reproduction. All of which translates into a changing economy, and not necessarily for the better.


Costs of Global Warming:

Reguly also refers to the study – hot off the press this week – which puts a dollar figure on current costs of global warming, and it is a huge one:

A new report published this week titled "Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of a Hot Planet," is one of the first studies that delves into climate change's effect on global gross domestic product. It was commissioned by DARA, a non-profit group that monitors aid programs, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum, and was written by more than 50 scientists, economists and policy strategists commissioned by 20 governments.

Its findings are bleak: Climate change is already costing $1.2-trillion (U.S.) a year and is reducing global GDP by 1.6 per cent. It is contributing to the deaths of almost 400,000 people a year.

Thanks for the warning, Eric. A good contribution to the beginning (hopefully) of a serious discussion of global warming in Canada.

Now let the battle begin.

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