Wednesday, January 28, 2009

our cherished apathy

Newsflash - Global warming is 'irreversible'.

A team of environmental researchers in the US has warned many effects of climate change are irreversible.

The scientists concluded global temperatures could remain high for 1,000 years, even if carbon emissions can somehow be halted.

Their report.... appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Joseph Romm at Climate Progress has more:

NOAA stunner: Climate change "largely irreversible for 1000 years," with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe

Important new research led by NOAA scientists, "Irreversible climate change because of carbon dioxide emissions," finds:

...the climate change that is taking place because of increases in carbon dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop....

Alarmist hype? Perhaps, in terms of some model variants but so what. If even a percentage of this is accurate we should all be in emergency mode. These are not back burner scenarios. Collectively and politically however that is exactly what we are doing. Consider the recent Pew chart here.

That is the current priority list among surveyed Americans. Global Warming is dead last. It wasn't even truly addressed at the inaugural either. A serious PR campaign needs to get underway. I know everyone is worried about jobless, understandably, but this lack of concern or even interest is too big to ignore.

From the L.A. Times:

Even if by some miracle the nations of the world could bring carbon dioxide levels back to those of the pre-industrial era, it would still take 1,000 years or longer for the climate changes already triggered to be reversed, scientists said Monday.

....Over the long haul, the warming will melt the polar icecaps more than had previously been estimated, raising ocean levels substantially, the report said.

And changes in rainfall patterns will bring droughts to the American Southwest, southern Europe, northern Africa and western Australia comparable to those that caused the 1930s Dust Bowl in the U.S.

...."The policy relevance is clear: We need to act sooner, even if there is some doubt about exactly what will happen, because by the time the public and policymakers really realize the changes are here, it is far too late to do anything about it," [said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research].

top image:
hat tip: FDL, MJ


CAP said...

I'm currently in the middle of a heat wave - every day this week over 40°C or 104°F. Hottest heat wave for nearly a century. If this is the future, it's EXTREMELY uncomfortable.

This part of the world was always very dry. It most assuredly is on the way to being just a dust bowl! No one will say it out of a misguided belief in sugar-coating public announcements. Like avoiding the R-word until the Recession is conceded elsewhere first.

It's disgraceful.

In Adelaide (600 miles to the west) it was 47°C - 116.6°F yesterday. In that kind of temperature - forget about bare feet anywhere - don't try and touch anything metal - like a car door handle with your bare hand! And guess what that does to water usage and power (air conditioning) use? Sky High.

We're not even into the second decade of this century but already its scary.

highlowbetween said...

I hear you loud and clear. A friend was commenting the other day that he felt 2020 was going to be major tipping point in our collective lives.

highlowbetween said...

and not for the better