An angry beast , and we're poking it with sticks. Featured
— Walter Broecker, the climate science pioneer who uncovered the ocean's role in accelerating abrupt climate shifts in the earth's past.
Notes: Early paleoclimate studies suggested that the earth's climate had changed dramatically in the past, but that these changes occurred very slowly, over many thousands or even millions of years. Later studies discovered that changes have happened much more rapidly formerly thought, and that due to feedbacks, even relatively small forcings could start a chain-reaction that results in dramatic change.
"The historical records shows us that abrupt climate change is not only possible--it is the normal state of affairs. The present warm, stable climate is a rare anomaly. It behooves us to learn as much as we can about the climate system so that we may be able to predict when the next abrupt shift in climate will come. Until we know better when this might happen, it would be wise to stop pouring so much carbon dioxide into the air. —from "The Science of Abrupt Climate Change," Jeff Masters, Weather Underground.
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July 18, 2011
October 22, 2011