Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/02/will-antarctic-ice-doom-us-all
Will Antarctic Ice Doom Us All?
We doom ourselves through our hedonistic greed and willfully manufactured garbage, which includes greenhouse gasses.
Unless there is a mass die-off of humans from disease or climate disaster the future for non-human life on earth IS likely “doomed”.
A note to the author…if you use a source and cite a source without a link to the source, it’s kinda a no-no in good reporting. It took me 15 minutes to track it down. I will be citing it and not you for that very reason.
and the answer is…Arctic ice or the lack of it will get to us faster than antarctic ice or lack of same
The carbon cycles of Earth are still little understood and long term predictions are shady at best. So why not err on the conservative side and not continue with business as usual? We already are well immersed within the 6th Mass Extinction Event and can’t see our way out of it yet. The world still acts as of these events are well into the future. They’re here now. Silly humans need to grow up and start acting responsibly for a change. Clean up your room and yard. If the neighborhood goes there’s nowhere else to move. Peace
Firstly, I do not mention this to suggest that this Climate change just another of natures cycles but I think it worthwhile pointing out that wide spread societal collapse has happened before due both to mans greed and due to natural cycles.
As example it was once thought the Mayan Empire numbered no more then 2 million peoples. LIDAR mapping has demonstrated that the extent of the Mayan Empire was once much greater than that. This technology shows vast infrastructure buried under the Jungles , including complexes that people had just walked over before being totally unaware as to what was under their feet. They are now suggesting it numbered well over 20 million people before it collapsed and at its time had more people and a greater size then the Kingdom of England. While not certain what lead to its collapse ( which was rapid) , they think it was caused by turning more and more jungle into farmland to grow foods for their growing population. When these crops started failing there was a massive civil war and finally an abandoning of the cities.
To the Sahara , the largest desert on this globe which in extent is larger then the lower 48 states of the USA. It was once thought this has been desert for 10s and thousands of years and more. This is not the case. New science shows it was once a lush and fertile land as little as 8000 years ago. Herodotus wrote that the Nile actually turned eastwards and ran to the lands we call Mauritania today. In fact Lidar mapping shows that there a vast network of underground rivers and streams buried under the Sahara and one of the major ones followed the course Herodotus mentioned. Around 5000 BC Lake Chad was the largest freshwater lake in the world having an area greater than all the Great Lakes of North America combined.
While uncertain what led to the collapse of this ecosystem (some attribute it to a 200000 year cycle based on earths wobble) the change was sudden and dramatic. Some have concluded the drastic change happened in as little as 100 years and that there cities and structures to be found under the Sahara sands across its entire extent.
To the melting of the Antarctic ice something like this did happen before and this when the glacial ice that covered much of North America began to collapse. I read an interesting book that showed the outline of various countries shorelines back to 20000 BC and the amount of land that simply vanished under the rising seas is enormous. Divers are finding ruins under these very waters some much deeper down than once envisioned. In what is now Manitoba there was once a huge freshwater lake held in place by glaciers. When that glacial wall collapsed this volume of water rushed down throw the central USA and to the Caribbean. This caused sea levels to rise by many feet, not just inches and it was a rapid change and not one that took centuries.
In some ways, our current lurch toward societal collapse is a function of global scale.
The increases in both human population (pretty much an outbreak) and annual carbon emissions (a 200-fold increase in 160 years) are unlike anything previous societies contended with – the Mayan’s problems stayed regional in scope, for example, but the gathering climate chaos is worldwide.
But you’re absolutely right: Regardless of causation, drastic change can happen very quickly…
None of the events I mentioned were deemed “Global Extinction Events” which is what is happening today so while the consequences of those past events severe and indeed catastrophic for those in the areas affected , this one that is ongoing will be magnified many times over.