Expectations for a warming planet – slow feedbacks
Slow Feedbacks
(slow feedbacks are things that happen slowly – decades to centuries to millennia)
• Arctic ice will melt and the newly-ice free waters will absorb energy instead of reflecting it
• The “snow line” will retreat and the newly snow-free land absorb energy instead of reflecting it
• Trees will replace shrubs in the Arctic, and trees absorb more energy than shrubs
• Some of the organic carbon (in permafrost, peat bogs, etc.) will decompose
• Some of the methane from methyl hydrates will be released
• Sea level rise of 20-30 feet for each degree of warming
• The Greenland ice sheet will likely melt
Source: Bruce Parker