A major new report warns that on our current emissions path, we face the severe risk of abrupt climate change impacts. The basic conclusions themselves are nothing new — see “Startling new sea level rise research: “Most likely” 0.8 to 2.0 meters by 2100” and “Australia faces the “permanent dry” — as do we.”
But what is stunning is that these warnings come from the United States Geological Survey — the Bush Administration (!). This new science-based report, Abrupt Climate Change, is thus a sobering book-end to the fantasy-based talking points released by the Administration today on how the President has “Taken Constructive Steps To Confront Climate Change.”
This is a first-rate report from the USGS’s Climate Change Science Program. I highly recommend reading, Chapter 2, “Rapid Changes in Glaciers and Ice Sheets and their Impacts on Sea Level,” and Chapter 3, “Hydrological Variability and Change.” The chapters are much more readable than the IPCC reports, and the two together will make anyone an expert on what are perhaps the two most dangerous climate impacts that threaten this country.
The sea level rise conclusion, “based on an assessment of the published scientific literature” is: