Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not much time left, we're told


Global Warming
Originally uploaded by ianarridge.
Well, just when you thought the news couldn't get any worse...

Jonathan Leake at the London Times reports on the conclusions drawn from scientists working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Scientists say rising greenhouses gases will make climate change unstoppable in a decade
THE world has just 10 years to reverse surging greenhouse gas emissions or risk runaway climate change that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable.

The stark warning comes from scientists who are working on the final draft of a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report, due to be published this week, will draw together the work of thousands of scientists from around the world who have been studying changes in the world’s climate and predicting how they might accelerate.

They conclude that unless mankind rapidly stabilises greenhouse gas emissions and starts reducing them, it will have little chance of keeping global warming within manageable limits.

The results could include the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, the forced migration of hundreds of millions of people from equatorial regions, and the loss of vast tracts of land under rising seas as the ice caps melt.

In Europe the summers could become unbearably hot, especially in southern countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, while Britain and northern Europe would face summer droughts and wet, stormy winters.
And, let's see, rising sea levels will bring the Elizabeth River to my doorstep. I wonder it it would be covered by flood insurance?

Now, here's my serious question: If we choose to not believe the science, and it turns out that it's right, what sort of a world will be be living in? And, if we do make changes now, and are successful, will we really know we were right? And which is better: to be right and not know it, or to be wrong and know it?

3 comments:

  1. Here's a little news flash: a single glacier that has retreated 35 meters (about 100 feet) in three years proves utterly nothing. For that matter, there are many more and impressive examples of glacial retreat than this one.

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  2. True enough, James. Poor choice of picture. I'll let you in on a little secret: I like adding pictures to my posts; I think it adds a little something to provide some eye candy. Usually, when I have something I want to post about and I want to add a picture, I slide over to flickr and punch in a couple of search terms and voila. Then, I pick the pic I like the best. In this case, my search term was "global warming" and from the pictures on the first page I chose this one. Perhaps I'll go find a better one...

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  3. Please note that the image you used above is copyrighted and although you gave me the image credit, you should always ask BEFORE you using such photos.
    Apart from that, interesting blog!

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