Monday, May 21, 2007

It Gets Worse

According to this CBC story, NASA scientists are finding that the Antarctic ice shields are melting much faster than previously thought.
The 2005 melt was extensive enough to create a layer of ice when the water refroze, but was not long enough for the water to flow to the sea ... if enough water from melted snow is created, it could slip through the cracks of the continent's ice sheets and potentially affect their movement.

What this means is that areas like the Ross ice shelf is in more danger of breaking free and sliding into the ocean, and when that happens, the Pacific basin will face a tsunami that will make the 2005 Boxing Day Tsunami look like a splash in a kiddie pool.
But it gets worse.
It seems that the Antarctic Ocean carbon sink, thought to account for 15% of the world's carbon sinks, has already reached its upper limit in its ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
"Ever since observations started in 1981, we see that the sinks have not increased [in their absorption of CO2]," Corinne LeQuere told the BBC's Science in Action programme.
"They have remained the same as they were 24 years ago even though the emissions have risen by 40%."

We may have vastly underestimated the speed at which our environment is falling apart. We're in trouble, and we're not catching any breaks.

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