Abrupt climate change

I’ve just watched a good video on the andthentheresphysics blog about climate change that begs to be shared. It’s called Expecting the Unexpected and features scientists discussing the possibility of abrupt climate change which is something we should fear. Here it is:

Climate science contrarians like to say that climate change is nothing to worry about but this is not what scientists are telling us. The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences recently released a report about climate change that is geared towards the general public. It’s available for download: Climate Change: Evidence & Causes

One of the questions they ask and answer is, Are climate changes of a few degrees a cause for concern?. Their answer is YES. People don’t seem to understand that a change in the global average temperature of a few degrees is substantial and cause for concern. During the last ice age, global average temperatures were only about 4-5° colder than now and this was enough for an ice age! They say,

Global warming of just a few degrees will be associated with widespread changes in regional and local temperature and precipitation as well as with increases in some types of extreme weather events. These and other changes (such as sea level rise and storm surge) will have serious impacts on human societies and the natural world.