How Feedback Loops Are Driving Runaway Climate Change

Check out Dahr Jamail's update on climate change. Dr. Ira Leifer says that when dinosaurs reigned, each hemisphere didn't have three circulation cells, but only one. As Arctic warming continues, we're headed for the same thing, which would shut down the Jet Stream and AMOC.

“The jet stream, which controls seasonal storms in the midlatitudes, is a result of these three cells, and would disappear in a single weather cell planet, dramatically altering rain patterns and almost certainly heralding an ecosystem catastrophe,” Leifer explained. “The plants that underlie the food chain would be replaced by others that the local animals (insects to apex predators) could not utilize — in short, an abrupt acceleration of the current Great Anthropocene Extinction event.”

Mark Serreze, the director of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, says so much has changed in the Arctic that computer models for it are no longer valid. Dr. Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute is most worried about Greenland Ice Sheet melt. During the last interglacial with just a 1°C rise (at around 300 ppm CO2) half of it melted.

The rapidly melting Greenland Ice Sheet is precisely what is causing the AMOC to slow. Moreover, an Arctic that is continuing to warm could lead to the failure of the Gulf Current, Dr. Leifer said. “The resultant deep freeze that would hit Europe would destroy European agriculture and likely lead to a massive war for survival,” he warned.

Drs Lister and MacCracken warned that the effect of one positive feedback triggering others is seriously underappreciated.

“In reality, there are many critical feedback mechanisms and the interlocking effects between them means that the climate is far more unstable and irreversible than we are led to believe, and the climate’s change is likely to follow a super exponential progression once the temperature rises above a certain level.” [emphasis mine]

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All the more reason for governments to, as you urged your members of Congressdeclare a climate emergency "with the same urgency and resolve with which we triumphed in WWII."




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