Saturday, July 21, 2012

Climate Change? Science And Tipping Points

I found this New York Times piece worth a read:

So far 2012 is on pace to be the hottest year on record. But does this mean that we’ve reached a threshold — a tipping point that signals a climate disaster?

For those warning of global warming, it would be tempting to say so. The problem is, no one knows if there is a point at which a climate system shifts abruptly. But some scientists are now bringing mathematical rigor to the tipping-point argument. Their findings give us fresh cause to worry that sudden changes are in our future.
Saturday evening update:

Good editorial from the Journal Sentinel:
It's possible that this summer is just a fluke; that the heat waves and drought that are wreaking havoc for farmers and others are an anomaly, and that the weather will return to "normal" next summer or maybe the summer after that. That it's just summer and it's hot, and that this really isn't part of a trend that climate scientists have been predicting.
But that's not the way to bet.
The science says climate change is happening now, not just in computer models or overactive imaginations but in the real world. From rising sea levels to droughts to tornadoes and wildfires, there is a growing list of anomalous events that indicate climate change is already upon us. And the safe bet is to start acting now to mitigate the human effect on climate change at the international, national and local levels.


Anonymous said...

yes! yes! YES!! fresh cause to worry! that is exactly what it is all about!

worry, worry, worry. We just cannot get enough.

Paul Trotter said...

"By applying the principles of dynamical systems, Mr. Scheffer was able to figure out that to fix the ponds, he had to remove the fish that thrive in the turbid water. They stir up sediment, which blocks sunlight from plants, and eat the zooplankton that keep the water clear. His program of fixing the Netherlands’ ponds and lakes is legendary in ecology."

The fish in our closed system would be the filth we spew into our atmosphere in billions of tons daily.

The answer to the question: Sadly- we do need shock to wake us up. What will that be?

Mullins with Moran said...

Nature in her own way is biting us back but now her teeth hace sunk in with no release in sight.

No forgiveness said...

@ Mullins : and the tip of her pointed teeth are just about hitting our jugular.

the sky is not falling said...

More pure media hype. Why is it that the “growing list of anomalous events” are actually less irregular or extreme than past weather records which were made in the early 1900’s and at a time with with much lower levels of CO2?. The highest recorded temperature in Wisconsin was in 1936 and the lowest was in 1996. The current warm, dry weather in the United States is certainly not being experienced on a “global” scale, and on the average, things are “normal”.

far side of the moon said...

I now see that it is raining in southern Wisconsin. Is this the new normal? Will it ever stop, ever again? Can we change the law so that it won’t rain so much, or so that it will stop? Oh my, Oh my!

Actually, if we are now able to simultaneously produce both rain and drought by our CO2 emissions, with a little more practice, we should be able to put enough CO2 in exactly the right place, at the right time to produce a pleasant world climate which is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.