Or so says some spam for terradaily that made it to my inbox (which is just a rehash of the Berkley press release, though thankfully without the stupid flood picture). This is obvious b*ll*cks, as google shows. The wiki page is a bit rubbish, largely because the only example anyone can ever think of is the Younger Dryas, and we aren’t going to have another one of those (yes yes I know). Its certainly the only one terradaily can think of. Woods hole too. And there is a whole NRC report on ACC. And indeed if you look for “rapid” climate change you’ll find Spencer Wearts history.
But TD is pushing a new programme called IMPACTS, and they say: “climate change has occurred with frightening rapidity in the past and will almost certainly do so again” which seems just a bit strong. But they have decided to investigate four potential ACC’s:
1 instability among marine ice sheets, particularly the West Antarctic ice sheet;
2 positive feedback mechanisms in subarctic forests and arctic ecosystems, leading to rapid methane release or large-scale changes in the surface energy balance;
3 destabilization of methane hydrates (vast deposits of methane gas caged in water ice), particularly in the Arctic Ocean; and
4 feedback between biosphere and atmosphere that could lead to megadroughts in North America.
1 is exciting, but probably isn’t a runner; reading further down I think it just amounts to trying to model ice shelves properly, which as they say of western civilisation “might be a good idea”. 2 and 3 are probably OK, methane is in the news recently. 4 doesn’t excite me but then I don’t live there and I’m very insular.
Just to be clear: I’ve no objection to research on rapid climate change, just their pretence that this is a new thing, which I find irritating.