Boreal Meltdown

Earth’s Hotspots a cause for concern

Further global warming of 1oC defines a critical threshold. Beyond that we are likely to see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know”, says

Jim Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Hansen and colleagues have analysed global temperature records and found that surface temperatures have been increasing on an average of 0.2oC every decade for the past 30 years.

Alaskan springs are now two weeks earlier allowing plagues of moths to eat all the needles of entire forest regions in one summer. The trees die and then usually succumb to forest fires that destroy soil vegetation and accelerate the melting of the permafrost.

In 2003 Siberia there was a record number of forest fires losing 40,000 sq kms.

Similar changes are occurring in Alaska…warming there has shortened the life cycle of the bark beetle from two years to one, causing huge infestations and subsequent fires which destroyed huge areas of forest in 2004. ”

( F. Pearce, “One degree and we’re done for” New Scientist Vol 2571 30th September 2006 pp8,9)