Planet at the Tipping Point
Scientists are now saying we are at the tipping point of global warming, and we can no longer hope to stave off a catastrophe. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.
Beyond the tipping point
Scientists at the Planet Under Pressure Conference in London during the third week in March have issued what can only be termed a frantic call to action on climate change. They contend we are at the very cusp of an irreversible point from which we will not be able to recover.
The former head of the United Nations climate panel and chief advisor to the environment ministry in the U. K., Bob Watson, says "we just have not acted. The need for action is becoming more and more urgent with every day that passes." He added that the world has already passed the point where global warming could be held to a two degree Celsius increase. He says the two degree limit is already out of reach. "We've only got a 50-50 shot at a 3 C (5.4 F) world, almost no chance of a 2 C world, and to be quite honest I would say that it's not unlikely that we will hit a 5 C world."
The Petermann Glacier, in Greenland, lost a 100 square mile block of ice which broke off and separated from it in August, 2010. By July, 2011, it had completely melted. The level of Arctic Sea ice melt is at a level not seen since 1972 when measurements were first recorded, and Watson suspects it's at a level not experienced for at least 8,000 years.
The "Anthropocene" Era
Scientists at the conference are claiming we have now entered the "anthropocene" era, the time when humans' actions bring about catastrophic changes, which are likely to end up being as far-reaching as the mass extinctions of 65 million years ago. The video below gives a good account of the time line of the exponential, almost geometrical increase in extinctions, warming, fertilizer use, population increase, and other measures of humanity's destructive actions.