As early as 1896, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius devised a basic formula to explain geologic changes in climate: add carbon dioxide, things heat up. Simple.
But scientists have since learned that a little atmospheric temperature rise can unlock vicious feedback loops that speed global warming. Some of these feedbacks are already taking effect. Others may be triggered by further warming. If global temperatures continue to rise, some of these feedbacks could spiral beyond our ability to reverse them. Here are four examples.
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|Madeline Ostrander wrote this article as part of Stop Global Warming Cold, the Spring 2008 issue of YES! Magazine. Madeline is associate editor of YES! Magazine|