Monday, September 04, 2006

The Sea Change?

Once in a while something is written or said that, usually in hindsight, is seen to have been a pivotal point in a society's thinking. This may be one such moment in the history of the "science" of global warming.

I don't think the topic goes far enough, mind you, but with any luck others will take up the baton and run with it. As an example, the author is concerned that species migration should be helped along with the inevitable climate change. What Homo sapiens needs to understand is that as a species it will have its own migration needs which must also be addressed. Far easier to allow butterflies to migrate than people from the Third World to the First World.

It important for lay people to understand that the politicians can do precious little (if anything) to stop climate change. Once we all begin to understand this, reasonable science will have achieved a major success and we can then get on with coping with climate change (and my suspicion is that there will be many more positive aspects than negative).

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Adaptation policies have had far less attention than mitigation, and that is a mistake," says Miss Cairncross. "We need to think now about policies that prepare for a hotter, drier world."

All the evidence I have seen is that hotter means wetter.

10k years ago global temps were up well beyond where we are now. The Sahara was green.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/313/5788/803?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=holocene+sahara&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

9:52 PM  
Blogger Paul Ashton said...

Thanks, Anonymous, for posting your comment and link. Having worked in Tunisia where Roman culture was well established with rich farming, etc. it has occurred to me that some of the change over the past few thousand years may have been due to deforestation. Certainly there is less rainfall in Tunisia now than 2,000 years ago, judging by what the archeologists tell us.

But there remains a bielief that hotter will always mean drier, even though we know that the equatorial regions (which are closest to the sun all the year round) are also among the wettest.

Climate change should be expected to broaden the equatorial belt at the expense of the arctic, with the temperate zones shifting northward. The political problem with this expectation is that people may want to move along as well.

8:55 AM  

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