As the world still reels from record breaking disasters around the globe like Phillpine Typhoon Yolanda and the latest extreme flooding in the Solomon Islands, dangerous feedback loops seem to have been put into motion according to the latest report by Paul Beckwith, part-time professor at The University of Ottawa, in his latest YouTube video.
Beckwith, part-time professor with the laboratory for paleoclimatology and climatology, department of geography at the University of Ottawa, has become the everyday mans scientist when it comes to climate change, explaining climate change extremes and wild weather over at his YouTube channel in easy to understand language. Beckwith, with an extensive background (and degree) in Physics and working on his PHD in abrupt climate change, breaks down the science of climate change into easy to understand lingo that his readers can easily relate to. In his latest video, Paul has a roaring scenic background as he discusses the latest state of affairs and what's been happening on the wild weather front.
And just what are positive feedbacks when we talk about the climate system?
"There are many climate feedback mechanisms in the climate system that can either amplify (‘positive feedback’) or diminish (‘negative feedback’) the effects of a change in climate forcing. For example, as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases warm Earth’s climate, snow and ice begin to melt. This melting reveals darker land and water surfaces that were beneath the snow and ice, and these darker surfaces absorb more of the Sun’s heat, causing more warming, which causes more melting, and so on, in a self reinforcing cycle. This feedback loop, known as the ‘ice-albedo feedback’, amplifies the initial warming caused by rising levels of greenhouse gases."
"In climate change, a feedback loop is the equivalent of a vicious or virtuous circle – something that accelerates or decelerates a warming trend. A positive feedback accelerates a temperature rise, whereas a negative feedback decelerates it."
The latest news is not surprising if you follow climate change, as we are now starting to see the consequences of inaction to our mammoth consumption of fossil fuels over the last few decades. As the Arctic continues it's rapid descent into oblivion, it appears we have now set a course of falling dominoes into action with a series of feedback loops now ingrained into our climate system - and these are not the types of feedback's any of us wanted to see. As anyone knows, once you start a row of dominoes falling, it's very hard if not impossible to stop them mid-track.
Beckwith and other scientists have some hope however that there are some possibilities to at least halt/ and or slow down climate change, some of these discussed here at The Arctic Methane Emergency Group and The Alamo Project.
With the recent announcement by World Banks President Jim Yong Kim that, "Battles over water and food will erupt within the next five to 10 years as a result of climate change", it looks like climate change may have finally gone mainstream. The question is now, however, can we stop the rest of the dominoes from falling?
Follow Dorsi Diaz here at www.TheArtofClimateChange.com, an upcoming Kickstarter project that will launch this month (April 2014) that presents a multi-modal community response to the growing threat of climate change. Dorsi, an art educator, teaches children and families about climate change through her use of art and writing.