Disrupting systems bodes ill for our climate

info@islandpacket.comApril 22, 2013 

In 2007, I read three books about climate change. The best one was "The Weather Makers" by Tim Flannery. The most important factors are:

  • The thermohaline conveyor belt.

  • The white polar ice.

  • The thermohaline conveyor belt is a flow of water that circulates the entire globe. It distributes warm water from the equator to the poles and back again. Cold salty water is dense and is pulled down deep into the oceans at the poles, which is what moves the belt around the world. Polar ice is fresh water, and when it melts, it dilutes the salty water, making it less dense. The melting of the polar ice caps will eventually shut down the thermohaline conveyor belt and an ice age will begin.

    The white ice covering the poles reflects the warm rays from the sun. When white ice melts, the dark water absorbs the suns rays. Cold water absorbs carbon dioxide. Warm water does not. Once the oceans are saturated with carbon dioxide, they can release stored methane, climate-warming gas. As for sea levels, it is not just affected by polar ice melting. Warm water has more volume. Maybe Christo can wrap the poles in white (no joke).

    Diana Nadanyi

    Sun City Hilton Head

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