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Are we overlooking any precautions?

With the recent discovery that methane is bubbling out of the Arctic faster than expected, how worried should we be about abrupt changes in climate such as this one? Are there precautions we should be taking that both the political and scientific communities have been overlooking?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on March 8, 2010 4:15 PM

By the time we factor everything it'll be too late

As if the question about human intervention in any rise in the earth's temperature wasn't complicated enough, now we have the factor of increased methane releases from tundra areas where the permafrost is melting as the temperature rises.

Posted by Rick Edmund, on March 15, 2010 3:33 PM

Understand the context first

The report that methane is bubbling from the Arctic faster than expected will encourage other scientists to undertake additional research to replicate, validate and extend our knowledge and understanding about arctic methane releases and their implications

Posted by William O'Keefe, on March 10, 2010 2:17 PM

Watch for potential tipping points

We should be very worried about this sort of change. The reality is that the climate system is tremendously complex, and there are many potential tipping points that could trigger abrupt changes in climate that would be enormously costly to adapt to.

Posted by Bernard Finel, on March 10, 2010 1:57 PM

Fix the brakes first

As concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continue to increase and warm the Earth there are numerous feedbacks that occur that can either moderate or accelerate the amount of warming.

Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on March 10, 2010 7:07 AM

Physics rules (well it should)

No doubt this will be argued from both sides -- from those that say it is just a natural phenomena to those who argue it is yet another worrying sign of a tipping point.

Posted by David Hone, on March 9, 2010 6:57 AM


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