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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38

Posted on 20 September 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis

Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by warming, from ice sheets and ocean currents to the Amazon rainforest – and scientists believe that if one collapses others could follow

Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica

The Thwaites glacier in Antarctica, where ice is now melting on a massive scale. Photograph: Nasa/OIB/Jeremy Harbeck/EPA 

The warning signs are flashing red. The California wildfires were surely made worse by the impacts of global heating. A study published in July warned that the Arctic is undergoing “an abrupt climate change event” that will probably lead to dramatic changes. As if to underline the point, on 14 September it was reported that a huge ice shelf in northeast Greenland had torn itself apart, worn away by warm waters lapping in from beneath.

That same day, a study of satellite data revealed growing cracks and crevasses in the ice shelves protecting two of Antarctica’s largest glaciers – indicating that those shelves could also break apart, leaving the glaciers exposed and liable to melt, contributing to sea-level rise. The ice losses are already following our worst-case scenarios.

These developments show that the harmful impacts of global heating are mounting, and should be a prompt to urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But the case for emissions cuts is actually even stronger. That is because scientists are increasingly concerned that the global climate might lurch from its current state into something wholly new – which humans have no experience dealing with. Many parts of the Earth system are unstable. Once one falls, it could trigger a cascade like falling dominoes.

Click here to access the entire aticle as originally posted on the Observer/Guardian website. 

The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis by Michael Marshall, The Observer/The Guardian, Sep 19, 2020

Toon of the Week...

 2020 Toon 38

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Wind and solar are 30-50% cheaper than thought, admits UK government (Simon Evans)
  • Why does land warm up faster than the oceans? (Michael Byrne)
  • SkS New Research for Week #38 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Interactive: What is the climate impact of eating meat and dairy? (Daisy Dunne)
  • UK's Radical Citizens Climate Assembly (Climate Adam)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39 (John Hartz) 

Climate Feedback Claim Review...

Western US wildfires are not the result of widespread arson

CLAIM: A distressing number of the [West coast] fires are not accidents, and willful arson is the cause.

VERDICT: Inaccurate

SOURCE:  , 10 Sept. 2020 

KEY TAKE AWAY: Recent wildfires on the West Coast have been ignited by a number of sources, including lightning, power lines, and even a smoke machine at a party. Their severity is the result of strong winds and intense drought driven by a dry summer and record warmth, which is part of an ongoing human-caused warming trend.

Western US wildfires are not the result of widespread arson, Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Sep 14, 2020

SkS Week in Review... 

Poster of the Week...

 2020 Poster 38

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