Reality Check

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Climate change poses a massive threat. Simultaneous action worldwide is needed to break cultural inertia. This is the message to world leaders from the Planet Under Pressure conference. In related news, early in 2013 the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research – ATMOSNews, reported on a study by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl. Findings suggest that carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere at a rate that has never before been experienced. “If emissions continue on their current trajectory,” Kiehl says, “the human species and global ecosystems will be placed in a climate state never before experienced in human history…”. New findings reported in the UK’s Guardian newspaper suggests that the Arctic summer sea ice loss is linked to extreme weather. In this article Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis points to the phenomenon of “Arctic amplification”, where: “The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. Scientists are now just beginning to understand how these profound shifts may be increasing the likelihood of more persistent and extreme weather.”

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