Arctic scientists warn we may be headed for uncontrollable changes in the environment – and fast. Drastic Arctic ice melt could set off 19 tipping points from which the world may never recover. Even now the striking effects of melting Arctic ice reach as far as the Indian Ocean, and researchers say Arctic temperatures are “off the charts.”
The Stockholm Environment Institute released their Arctic Resilience Report, and the news isn’t good. They warned of several potentially irrevocable climate change tipping points. For example, more vegetation has been growing in the tundra, but the darker plants don’t reflect sunlight like snow would, instead absorbing the heat and leading to even more warming. And that’s just one of the 19 tipping points.
Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute Marcus Carson told The Guardian, “The warning signals are getting louder. [These developments] also make the potential for triggering [tipping points] and feedback loops much larger.”
Even though Arctic ice melt will make itself felt around the world – in the report the scientists say “what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic” – the way of life for Arctic people could be dramatically altered forever. The scientists said these people should be given the resources they need to survive the coming changes.
Carson said the serious issues we see in the Arctic still aren’t well understood and we need further research, much of which has been done by the United States. But one man may now try to stand in the way – Donald Trump. The President-elect has been rather wishy-washy on his climate change stance lately, recently announcing he wants to stop giving money to NASA for climate research. On Trump’s idea, Carson said, “That would be…like ripping out the aeroplane’s cockpit instruments while you are in mid-flight.”
The report also says greenhouse gas emissions around the world need to be reduced if we have any hope of heading off some of the disastrous effects of climate change.
Via The Guardian