Wednesday, February 17, 2010

China laughing?

What with all the global weirding hereabouts, a good guide to the latest climate science is undeniably the order of the day.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
  • Heat-trapping greenhouse gases are at unprecedented levels, and the paleoclimate record suggests that even slightly higher levels are untenable.
  • Since we have record levels of heat-trapping gases, it’s not surprising that we also learned that this was the hottest decade in the temperature record and that the Arctic is the hottest in at least two millenia.
  • We learned that the planet is warming from those GHGs just where climate science said it would — the oceans, which is where more than 90% of the warming was projected to end up.
  • Unexpectedly, even Antarctica appears to be warming.
  • This global warming is driving melting at extraordinary rates every where we look, including places nobody expected.
  • And given that unexpectedly fast ice melt, it’s no surprise the science now projects much higher and much faster sea level rise than just a few years ago.
  • We continued to learn about the dangerous positive carbon-cycle feedbacks that threaten to amplify the impacts of human-caused GHGs.
  • Indeed, the best evidence is that the climate is now being driven by amplifying feedbacks.
  • High emissions levels + positive feedbacks = climate catastrophe.
  • And the plausible worst-case scenario is even worse than this grim “business as usual” emissions case.
  • And this is not good news for human health and welfare.
  • So the time to act is most certainly now.
  • The anti-science crowd [& that's putting it politely] use smoke and mirrors to distract as many people as possible, but the rest of us need to listen to the science and keep our eyes on the prize — reversing greenhouse gas emissions trends as quickly and rapidly as possible.
And, for videophiles, The Science of Climate Change.
Indeed, I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now. And Iran, Russia, Venezuela and the whole OPEC gang are high-fiving each other. Nothing better serves their interests than to see Americans becoming confused about climate change, and, therefore, less inclined to move toward clean-tech and, therefore, more certain to remain addicted to oil. Yes, sir, it is morning in Saudi Arabia.
Amen to that, brother Thomas. Or rather, Allahu Akbar!

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