With Speed And Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change.WITH SPEED AND VIOLENCE: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change
The scientific community has come to a near consensus that Earth's climate is steadily warming--whatever the cause. Pearce, an environment consultant for New Scientist magazine, cites evidence that even greater climate change will come suddenly and with devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. effect as several tipping points are crossed. Pearce outlines what rising temperatures could mean for the fate of the Arctic, Antarctica, oceans, forests, and cities, as each approaches a point of no return. He cites as examples the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica and the acceleration of glaciers there and at northern latitudes toward the sea. As glacial ice melts at an increasing rate--as a direct result of human activity, Pearce asserts--sea level rises will be measured in feet, not inches, and will threaten the existence of islands and coastal areas. The crossing of climatic tipping points could mean fire and drought in the Amazon rainforest The Amazon Rainforest (Brazilian Portuguese: Floresta Amazônica or Amazônia; Spanish: Selva Amazónica or Amazonía) is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon Basin of South America. , melting permafrost permafrost, permanently frozen soil, subsoil, or other deposit, characteristic of arctic and some subarctic regions; similar conditions are also found at very high altitudes in mountain ranges. in the Arctic, the Arctic, the northernmost area of the earth, centered on the North Pole. The arctic regions are not coextensive with the area enclosed by the Arctic Circle (lat. release of enormous amounts of methane gas from bogs in northern Europe and ocean-bottom deposits, and mass extinctions in oceans. Pearce accounts for temperature increases in predicted changes in Earth's reflectivity re·flec·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. re·flec·tiv·i·ties
1. The quality of being reflective.
2. The ability to reflect.
3. from air pollution, melting ice, and vegetation changes. None of the news is good, according to the author. Beacon Press, 2007, 278 p., hardcover, $24.95.