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Why the Arctic is Melting

Instead of cooling down - New research indicates that Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years. In fact, the Arctic would be COOLING right now if it wasn't for the greenhouse gas emissions that are overpowering natural climate patterns, such as reduction in sunspots.

When scientists used their computers to reconstruct summer temperatures across the Arctic over the last 2,000 years, decade by decade, they found that thousands of years of gradual Arctic cooling, related to natural changes in earth's orbit, would continue today if not for emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Climate scientist David Schneider says, "This result is particularly important because the Arctic, perhaps more than any other region on earth, is facing dramatic impacts from climate change. This study provides us with a long-term record that reveals how greenhouse gases from human activities are overwhelming the Arctic's natural climate system."

Climate scientist Darrell Kaufman, who also worked on the project, says, "Scientists have known for a while that the current period of warming was preceded by a long-term cooling trend, but our reconstruction quantifies the cooling with greater certainty than before."

Researcher Gifford Miller says, "Because we know that the processes responsible for past Arctic amplification are still operating, we can anticipate that it will continue into the next century. Consequently, Arctic warming will continue to exceed temperature increases in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in accelerated loss of land ice and an increased rate of sea level rise, with global consequences."

What does he mean by "global consequences?" Basically, when sea levels rise, coastal cities drown, and since major cities worldwide were mostly built in coastal areas, in order to take advantage of shipping, we may all be moving inland soon.

This is already happening: Around 20 million people in Bangladesh will be affected by rising sea levels in the next coming years, as salt water moves inland, killing their rice crops.

In BBC News, David Shukman quotes futurist Ahmadul Hassan as saying, "People will migrate to the cities for jobs, because of the uncomfortable situation with sea level rise."

He quotes a 25-year-old Bangladeshi woman as saying, "I think it is not possible to live in this country any longer. We have to move to other countries. It is not possible to live here."

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