(Pierre-Henry Deshayes/AFP/Getty Images)
So that’s it, then.
Global warming may have passed the “tipping point,” according to some scientists who have just released data showing the Arctic summer ice has reached its highest level of melting ever, and may be gone entirely by 2012. It was just three years ago that scientists calculated the ice would disappear in the summer of 2060. Whoops.
Tipping point: “the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development.”
Tomorrow (Thursday), James E. Hansen, who directs NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, will tell scientists at the American Geophysical Union scientific convention in San Francisco that “in some ways Earth has hit one of his so-called tipping points, based on Greenland melt data.”
Scientists, who have struggled to give us a sense of urgency on global warming issues, have now given us a new tipping point: hopelessness.
When the ice melts in the summer in the Arctic, we’re told, there’s no surge of Canadian air to collide over Minnesota with the warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and, so, it doesn’t rain anymore.
It’s not like we can just all make an extra tray of ice cubes for the Arctic, or turn off a light, or even wait for progress from Bali.
If we’ve reached the point of no return, what exactly are we supposed to do about it, other than laugh and wait for it?