Meltdown in the Arctic: Humanity Beware?


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Wed, 02/28/2018 - 8:00am to 9:00am
Guest James Anderson discovered the Ozone hole; now he warns of catastrophe if we don't make massive changes in the next 5 years


What happens in the Arctic has an out-sized impact on the overall global climate. And right now, it's looking very, very bad.  December of last year was the warmest on record in  the Arctic, and 2018 has already set a string of records for lowest levels of Arctic sea ice--a critical component of planetary climatic stablity. Last week, while the Eastern United States simmered in some of its warmest February weather ever recorded Tuesday and Wednesday, the Arctic was also stewing in temperatures more than 45 degrees above normal.

“What is particularly frightening is that this is happening in a La Nina year, when if anything, the Earth should be a little bit cooler than normal,” Prof. John Abraham told ThinkProgress. “If this isn’t a clarion call to take action, I don’t know what is.”

Our guest this week is Harvard University Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry James G. Anderson. Anderson, who received the Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service in June 2016,, gave a sobering speech at the University of Chicago in January,  where he warned of dire consequences without an unprecedented global mobilization to take carbon out of the atmosphere. Given his credentials, we ignore his warning at our peril. He received the Benton Medal in part for his groundbreaking research that led to the Montreal Protocol in 1987 to mitigate damage to the Ozone Layer.

According to a recent Counterpunch piece by Robert Hunziker, "At the time, Anderson was the force behind the most important event in the history of atmospheric chemistry, discovering and diagnosing Antarctica’s ozone hole, which led to the Montreal Protocol. Without that action, ramifications would have been absolutely catastrophic for the planet."

For those wanting to delve deeper into Prof. Anderson's recent talk, some of his presentation can be found at this dropbox link:

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