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September 27, 2009

Global warming: pro & con

Via NewScientist, remarks by 'one of the world's top climate modellers' that warming forecasts may not be holding up well.

World's climate could cool first, warm later

Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.

"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.

"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."

On the other hand, here's a dramatic 20-minute presentation from July of this year called Time-lapse proof of extreme ice loss. It's by photographer James Balog, who is an unabashed AGW evangelist. (My words, not his.) The presentation's an impressive record of the effect - though that's not the same as showing that the cause is primarily human activity.

Finally, Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, had a cautionary article in Forbes this week. (H.T. Steve)
Climate Change: A Perilous Path
Our costly ''solutions'' could be more harmful than global warming itself.

Evidence is growing that relatively cheap policies like climate engineering and non-carbon energy research could effectively prevent suffering from global warming, both in the short and long term. Unfortunately, political leaders gathering at a special meeting of the United Nations in New York this week will focus on a very different response.

They will make many of the most important decisions on how to respond to climate change over the next decade. They are expected to thrash out political disputes like how much carbon rich and poor nations should agree to cut. The real question that must be addressed is: Do we want to be the generation that promised so much but failed to solve global warming? We will not be judged by our descendants on our rhetoric, nor on the scale of our promises. We will be judged on what we deliver.

Posted by joke du jour at September 27, 2009 08:30 AM

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On one hand, to think that we could reduce countless barrels of crude to carbon in the span of a little more than a hundred years and not have it affect the planet in some way is probably wrong.

On the other, to think that we could possibly even have the slightest clue about every factor, natural or man-made, that affects the climate is also probably wrong, and I'd wager more so.

I keep reading about "doing something before it is too late". Too late for what? By who's measure?

Climate engineering is a joke. Nature took care of the Earth before we were here and nature will take care of her after we're gone, if it comes to that. We should just let her.

Posted by: codewritinfool at September 28, 2009 08:30 PM

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