Scientists Warn That a ‘Superstorm’ Climate Shift Might Occur Within Decades, Not Centuries

March 29, 2016 | Joanne Kennell

Ocean storm in a small fishing village
Photo credit: FrankPearson/Wikipedia (CC0)

“We’re in the danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control.”

A lot of news on climate change has been released this week, and one study warns that global warming could be even more dangerous than previously believed. In fact, these dangerous conditions, including rising sea levels and “super storms,” could happen sooner than thought.

The paper, titled “Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms,” claims that, at the current pace of burning fossil fuels and using greenhouse gases, humans will induce an imminent climate shift, leading humanity “past a point of no return.”

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“We’re in the danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” lead author James E Hansen, a retired NASA climate scientist and director at Columbia University, told The Independent.

Startlingly, it is generally agreed by climate scientists that sea levels will rise as much as 30 feet following the melting of all land ice, and it was believed that this rise would take centuries. However, the paper, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, predicts that the oceans could rise to these levels in just 50 years!

“That would mean a loss of most of the world’s large cities and all their history”, said Dr. Hansen in a video (shown below).

The team, made up of 18 other authors, believes the process of rising waters will be sped up after all the fresh water from melted ice sheets forms a cap on the top of the ocean layer. This fresh water melt would also have an effect on the ocean’s overturning circulations in the North Atlantic and Southern Oceans, effectively shutting them down. This is expected to cause “superstorms,” stronger than any we have experienced in modern times.

The paper based its evidence on storms which occurred 120,000 years ago, when the Earth’s temperature was about one degree warmer than it is today.

Now, this sounds a little extreme, and there are definitely skeptics to the hypotheses posed in the paper, but in all honesty, who would suffer if we seriously reduced emissions and switched to renewable energy sources?

Think about it this way: If we take action on climate change and it turns out climate scientists were wrong, all of humanity benefits — our air is cleaner and the planet is healthier. However, if we don’t take action on climate change, and we find out scientists were right, we all lose…


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