Thomas Homer-Dixon

11 results found for: Arctic and Poles


September 17th, 2012 —

Ice, Please — Climate on the Rocks

Those who deny the reality or significance of climate change often say Arctic sea ice also shrank dramatically as recently as the 1930s, so what’s happening now is just part of a natural long-term fluctuation. But the best recent analysis, published in the top scientific journal Nature last November, says that “both the duration and magnitude of the current decline in sea ice seem to be unprecedented for the past 1,450 years” and that the recent decline is “consistent with [human-caused] warming.”

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January 22nd, 2012 —

Detecting and Coping with Disruptive Shocks in Arctic Marine Systems: A Resilience Approach to Place and People

An article in the journal Ambio
Ongoing and rapid rapid changes in the physical environment of the marine Arctic will push components of the region’s existing social-ecological systems beyond tipping points and into new regimes. We emphasize the need to understand the Arctic’s role in an increasingly nonlinear world; then we describe emerging evidence on the connectivity of system components from the subarctic seas surrounding northern North America; and finally we propose an approach to allow northern residents to observe, adapt and—if necessary—transform the social-ecological system with which they live.

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December 31st, 2010 —

And Now the Weather: Nasty and Brutish

On December 31, 2010, in “And Now the Weather: Nasty and Brutish,” published in the Toronto Globe and Mail, I report the results of some recent climate research that suggests loss of Arctic sea ice is disrupting the polar vortex, causing north-south jet streams to pull cold air into southern latitudes.

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August 23rd, 2010 —

Disaster at the Top of the World

On August 23, 2010, in “Disaster at the Top of the World,” an op-ed appearing in The New York Times filed from the icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent in the Arctic, I argue that only a climate crisis will generate real movement on climate policy and that we need to develop plans now to exploit the opportunity provided by this crisis when it occurs.

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October 30th, 2008 —

Climate Change, the Arctic, and Canada: Avoiding Yesterday’s Analysis of Tomorrow’s Crisis

Canadian policy makers should shift their attention and resources commensurately. While policymakers, wedded to an outmoded worldview, fret about what Arctic climate change might do to national power directly in the basin, human wellbeing could be devastated around the world by cascading consequences of shifts in the Arctic’s energy balance. Ironically, these changes could – in the end – do far more damage to state-centric world order and even to states’ narrowly defined interests than any interstate conflicts we might see happen in the newly blue waters of the Arctic.

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September 12th, 2008 —

Blocking the Sky to Save the Earth

The important thing is to get scientists, environmentalists and global-warming skeptics alike out of the nonsensical all-or-nothing dichotomy that characterizes much current thinking about geo-engineering — that we either do it full scale, or we don’t do it at all. While we should all hope that we never need to play God with the earth’s climate, we must also have the best science at hand to do what might be necessary if melting polar ice leads to a far more dangerous future.

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April 4th, 2008 —

Podcast: Who If Not Us? Speech on Radio Ecoshock

Homer-Dixon says a carbon surge threatens the world, breaking IPCC predictions. He outlines the latest science, and makes an odd suggestion of how the Internet might help save us.

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January 1st, 2008 —

Positive Feedbacks, Dynamic Ice Sheets, and the Recarbonization of the Global Fuel Supply: The New Sense of Urgency about Global Warming

A Globally Integrated Climate Policy for Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2008. I am delighted to be here to talk about my understanding of the current state of climate science. I should start by saying that I am not trained as a climate scientist, although I have been working in the area and reading the [...]

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October 4th, 2007 —

A Swiftly Melting Planet

The Arctic ice cap melted this summer at a shocking pace, disappearing at a far higher rate than predicted by even the most pessimistic experts in global warming. But we shouldn’t be shocked, because scientists have long known that major features of earth’s interlinked climate system of air and water can change abruptly.

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October 21st, 2006 —

Unleash Capitalism’s Creativity on Climate Change

If we unleash Canada’s capitalist creativity, we could be an international leader in a suite of technologies urgently needed in a warming world that will depend on fossil fuels for many decades. These include technologies for the clean combustion of coal, for storing carbon dioxide underground, and for using hydrogen as a transportation fuel. We could make staggering amounts of money selling these technologies around the world. Instead, once again, we’re at risk of falling behind places like California—a mighty engine of invention that is rapidly focusing its creative energies on solving global warming.

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