Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Still ruining the world, just doing it slower

Yes, I've got more climate change battology for you.  But research suggests that we may have a slight break.

A recent downturn in global warming means that "extreme" rates of temperature rise will be "not as likely" as forecast for the short-term future.  In the long-term, however, there will likely be no significant difference in the already expected rise in global temperature.

As I said, we're still killing the world, it's just going to take a little longer to do it.

From the linked article:

"Climate sensitivity looks to see what would happen if we doubled concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and let the Earth's oceans and ice sheets respond to it over several thousand years.
Transient climate response is much shorter term calculation again based on a doubling of CO2.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007 that the short-term temperature rise would most likely be 1-3C (1.8-5.4F).
But in this new analysis, by only including the temperatures from the last decade, the projected range would be 0.9-2.0C.

" "The hottest of the models in the medium-term, they are actually looking less likely or inconsistent with the data from the last decade alone," said Dr Alexander Otto from the University of Oxford."

The article goes on to say that Otto and his climate colleagues attribute the discrepancy in long and near-term predictions to the world's oceans.  The waters are absorbing more heat than was previously thought likely.  That, however, is still being debated in certain sectors.  Most of all, I like how the article ends:

"Is there any succour in these findings for climate sceptics who say the slowdown over the past 14 years means the global warming is not real?
"None. No comfort whatsoever," he [Otto] said."

None indeed.  Hardest hit, at least in the near future, will be the poles.  The amount of melt that has occurred in the last year alone is more than any on record. This is not good news, especially when you considered that it is feared that over one third of plant and animal species will soon go extinct due to what we've done to our environment.
Sad thing is, even if we run out of oil in the next 15 to 20 years, I don't see anything changing.  People will just start burning whatever they can get their hands on for fuel.  Urban areas might start looking like something out of Dickens' London.

But investing right now in clean, renewable fuels? That's crazy, sandal-wearing hippie talk.

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