Earth May Be Warming Even Faster Than Expected
Scientists have thought that if planetary warming could be kept below a 2-degree Celsius increase, perils such as catastrophic sea-level rise and searing heat waves could be avoided.Scientists haven't thought anything of the kind; the "2-degree target" was thought up at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. That's well-known and attested. Would 1.9 degrees be liveable with but 2.1 degrees spell disaster?
Ongoing data, however, indicate that three global feedback mechanisms may be pushing Earth into a period of rapid climate change even before the 2-degree C "limit" is reached: Ice melting into the oceans, which warms surface seawater, leading to more melting; thawing of permafrost, which releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, raising the air temperature and melting more permafrost; and glaciers breaking up and falling into the sea, which lessens the amount of sunlight reflected into space, thereby heating the atmosphere and further degrading glaciers."Ice melting into the oceans" absorbs heat from the seawater, cooling it. How could cold water at the melting point of ice warm the seawater which melted the ice, when that seawater must have been warmer than the ice to in order to melt it? The meltwater can't add heat to the sea, when the heat to create the meltwater came from the sea in the first place.
"glaciers breaking up and falling into the sea" - do they mean whole glaciers, or just the bits which have been falling into the sea (calving) as those bits of glaciers have been doing for thousands of years?
The feedbacks could ultimately alter weather by changing the jet stream's path, magnify insect infestations and spawn more and larger wildfires.Indeed they could, but long-term alteration of the jet streams could equally well trigger the next ice-age. We're well overdue for that event already.