CBS (AP) Forty-five nations answered France's call Saturday for a new environmental body to slow inevitable global warming and protect the planet, perhaps with policing powers to punish violators. Absent were the world's heavyweight polluter, the United States, and booming nations on the same path as the U.S. — China and India.
ABC Scientists Factor Greenland into Global Warming Equation
Video: Global Warming Rising Water Dangers http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2847566
But there's a massive unknown worrying the scientists: Sea levels could rise in the coming decades faster than anyone thought.
Ominous news in the fourth unanimous assessment in 20 years by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], just finalized at a plenary session in Paris, sets the stage: The human-induced warming has now reached down more than a mile to normally frigid deep ocean currents -- currents that for millions of years have acted as a massive cooling system for the planet.
Water expands as it heats up, so scientists can now calculate that sea level will rise up between seven inches and nearly two feet before the end of the century.
But there's also an enormous wild card: It's the Greenland Ice Sheet, two miles thick at its center and containing enough ice to raise the world's oceans 23 feet.
It's melting so fast lately that the scientists in Paris couldn't settle on any predictions for it. ...full text