“While we await global temperatures to start rising again, there are signs that the overall rise won’t be as fast as we have once been led to believe…. [A] future characterized by modest rather than extreme climate change elevates the role of adaptation relative to mitigation in most discussions.”
As global temperatures in 2012 further cement a modest warming rate in response to anthropogenic climate influences, the light burns ever brighter for the “lukewarmers”—those intrepid souls who accept that human activities are impacting the character of the world’s climate, but hold the opinion that, when taken together, these influences are–and will be–relatively modest.
While lukewarmers’ individual opinions of whether or how to do “something” about anthropogenic climate change vary, a future characterized by modest rather than extreme climate change elevates the role of adaptation relative to mitigation in most discussions.…
The scientific findings of the human influence on the climate system have been, and perhaps will always be, a mixed bag. Assuming strong positive feedback effects, and thus a high climate sensitivity, it certainly can be argued that the bad outweighs the good. But if feedback effects are more neutral, the sign of the externality flips from negative to positive given that, on net, a moderately warmer, wetter, and CO2-fertilized world is quite arguably a better one.
Earth Day 2012 yesterday brought forth predictable cries of doom-and-gloom. But there are plenty of positives on closer inspection on the climate front, developments which have undoubtedly spilled over into making the earth a better place for humanity at large.
Here is my Top 10 list of positive climate developments based on the recent empirical data and the latest scientific literature:
10) The growing season across the Northern Hemisphere is expanding;…
“A collection of research results have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature in recent months that buoys my hopes for a low-end climate sensitivity.”
One of the key pieces to the anthropogenic climate/environment change puzzle is the magnitude of the earth’s climate sensitivity—generally defined as the global average temperature change resulting from a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2).
One of the reasons that the “climate change” issue is so contentious is that our understanding of climate sensitivity is still rather incomplete. But new research efforts are beginning to provide evidence suggesting that the current estimates of the climate sensitivity should be better constrained and adjusted downwards. Such results help bolster the case being made by “lukewarmers”—that climate change from anthropogenic fossil-fuel use will be moderate rather than extreme, and that an adaptive response may be more effective than attempts at mitigation.…