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Action Guide Home > Publications > Abrupt Climate Change. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

Abrupt Climate Change. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research image

Abrupt Climate Change. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

"For this Synthesis and Assessment Report, abrupt climate change is defined as: a large-scale change in the climate system that takes place over a few decades or less, persists (or is anticipated to persist) for at least a few decades, and causes substantial disruptions in human and natural systems.
This report considers progress in understanding four types of abrupt change in the paleoclimatic record that stand out as being so rapid and large in their impact that if they were to recur, they would pose clear risks to society in terms of our ability to adapt: (1) rapid change in glaciers, ice sheets, and hence sea level; (2) widespread and sustained changes to the hydrologic cycle; (3) abrupt change in the northward flow of warm, salty water in the upper layers of the Atlantic Ocean associated with the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC); and (4) rapid release to the atmosphere of methane trapped in permafrost and on continental margins."

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Author(s)Clark, P.U., A.J. Weaver , E. Brook, E.R. Cook, T.L. Delworth, and K. Steffen
PublisherUS Geological Survey
Place publishedReston, VA
Date / Journal Vol No.2008
Pages477
 
 

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