Sunday, May 18, 2014

What is 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humankind consumes energy?

A new study by NASA finds that the rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in "an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea."  The study suggests that sea level rise projections for this century are toward the high-end of the IPCC range, which is 1 - 3 feet (26 to 98 centimeters).

The NASA video, narrated by Eric Rignot of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, illustrates what Mother Jones magazine has described as a "Holy Shit Moment for Global Warming" and can be seen on YouTube:

More graphics are available at the NASA website 

- and the press release is at:

But wait - there is good news. Lots of it.
To underline how unnecessary these problems are, consider this from the IPPCC:

"Solar energy is the most abundant of all energy resources. Indeed, the rate at which solar energy is intercepted by the Earth is about 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humankind consumes energy."

* Arvizu, D., P. Balaya, L. Cabeza, T. Hollands, A. Jäger-Waldau, M. Kondo, C. Konseibo, V. Meleshko,
W. Stein, Y. Tamaura, H. Xu, R. Zilles, 2011: Direct Solar Energy. In IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation [O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, K. Seyboth, P. Matschoss, S. Kadner, T. Zwickel, P. Eickemeier, G. Hansen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

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