Friday, May 02, 2008

Global Warming: What Will The Next Decade Bring?

Fair bit of blogosphere commentary on this story about a team of German reseachers who

...predict...a slight cooling of Europe and North America, probably related to shifting currents and patterns in the oceans...

...over the course of the next decade, after which they expect AGW to overwhelm natural climate variability.

Climatologist James Annan is not impressed.

And New York Times writer Andy Revkin wonders if our short human attention spans will not drift away from AGW as a political issue if the warming trend is not continually and relentlessly upward. He puts it a bit differently, of course:

One central question I’m exploring with Dot Earth is this: Can a species that evolved as an opportunist (grab those berries, gorge on that fallen antelope) and responder (fight or flee) meaningfully integrate evidence of long-term risks provided by science (on climate) or economics (on Social Security) and act for the sake of the future?

Well, yes they can. The Disney company issues 100 year bonds, and Canadian Pacific

...was paying 4% on a 1000-year bond, issued by the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway in 1883, and due to be repaid in 2883!

Humans can think long-term in all sorts of wonderful ways when there's money involved. "For the sake of the future"? That's another question.

2 comments:

Paul S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul S said...

My understanding of AGW is that it is supposed to increase steadily so "what the next decade brings" is of great interest. I think that our response (or lack of) to AGW will be forged over the next decade.

Still there are various issues surrounding AGW that are of interest.

Global sea ice cover (not just cherry-picking the Arctic cata) shows ice cover nearly 500,000 square kms above average.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

Secondly, data from the Argo float ocean observing system appears to show no warming of the oceans over the last several years.

Lastly, the temperature in the tropical troposphere is cooling contrary to predictions of nearly all climate models.