Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hot: Climate change happening at record pace

In my previous post about climate change, I mentioned that I had two more stories on that hot topic from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (One year of Curiosity on Mars) to share.  Here's the next.

Stanford University via PhysOrg: Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years
August 1, 2013
The planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate since the dinosaurs went extinct. But what might be even more troubling for humans, plants and animals is the speed of the change. Stanford climate scientists warn that the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift in the past 65 million years.

If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive.

Although some of the changes the planet will experience in the next few decades are already "baked into the system," how different the climate looks at the end of the 21st century will depend largely on how humans respond.
Welcome to the 400 ppm world, where 550 ppm by the end of the century is the low scenario being tested by NASA and climate change alone could drive extinctions.

I have one more climate change story from last Saturday's OND, one about how a rapid climate change in the other direction may have contributed to extinctions.  Stay tuned.

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