Climate change

A succinct summary of where we presently are on climate change is to be found in the January 2002 edition of The Scientific American magazine.  The author is Stephen Schneider, possibly the best qualified scientist in the world today to give this situation report. The article addresses the statements on climate change made by Bjorn Lomborg in The Skeptical Environmentalist.

Furthermore, as to the cause of this change, Tony McMichael concludes that "... it will be reasonable from here on to regard each extreme weather event as containing at least some human-induced component." (Page 297)

   The European floods of late summer 2002, just days before the Johannesburg Earth Summit, led to calls on the US from Europeans to act firmly to reduce their greenhouse emissions. But others were attributing the cause of the floods to the Europeans themselves, pointing out that acid rain and forest clearing had reduced the ability of the land to absorb rainwater, causing far more runoff, erosion and floods. Tony McMichael's conclusion still applies.

As if we haven't done enough damage to the biosphere, hubristic scientists and growth obsessives are proposing further interference with the environment to mitigate the damage already caused. The BBC reports on the proposal to sequester carbon dioxide in the oceans, to increase the albedo (reflectiveness) of clouds to reduce the amount of energy reaching the Earth's surface from the sun, stabilizing ocean currents by major river diversion (1). The same BBC report tells us that 'We may have missed the best time to intervene to protect the climate.' (1)

It is possible that human-induced climate change has been significant for 10,000 years - follow this link.

20 April 2009 update. The scientific understanding of climate change has grown since the above was written. A more sophisticated analysis (which also happens to be highly relevant to this site and to evolution) is available here (four papers written 2006-2008) and here (from May 2009) and here (from December 2009), from Walter Jehne.

(1)  Alex Kirby, BBC, 7 January 2004: 'Blue-sky thinking about climate'
The Guardian (UK) collects news items on climate change and extreme weather events.
(This link to the Guardian was added on 14 August 2002.  Please let us know if it is broken)

Evfit home    On to a discussion of why people are reluctant to act effectively to deal with climate change

Last up-dated 3 December 2009