Is this actionable knowledge? The answer for many is an, obvious, yes, because people, corporations and governments are taking actions. What is missing in action is any rational, national or global approach to reduce emissions and, therefore, to bound the changes to our weather and climate as incremental changes to our history of the past few centuries. This leads to a situation where the actions that we take are in many ways temporary patches, because over decades and the next few centuries, we will be reliably warming up and sea level will relentlessly rise. There is much more difficultly predicting changes to ecosystems, agriculture, pathogens, political systems and nations. This will require anticipation, to which models will contribute, and the willingness and flexibility to spend on adaptive strategies if we are to obtain societal stability. Those who view models as providing actionable knowledge are more likely to succeed. Otherwise, we will be like those who lived on the shore of modern Turkey at the end of last glacial period, chasing the retreating glaciers and their water into the mountains with their goats and sheep.
RickyRood, • 2:14 AM GMT on July 25, 2014
As the polar vortex mutated through the media, it was recognized early as naïve, mocked by comedians, dismissed as scientifically imprecise and politicized. It then becomes a trigger, that supports the doubt that is the goal of the political argument to disrupt climate-change and energy policy. This is a case when the pursuit of simple metaphors and snappy descriptions of complex events fuels the rhetoric. It is a fundamentally flawed tactic of communication and a fundamentally robust way to capture attention and fuel disruption. We must do better.
RickyRood, • 6:49 PM GMT on July 13, 2014
Final question: How does climate change affect sea level? The usual suspects are listed as changing the temperature of the ocean and adding water to the oceans from melting ice. These are important and act globally. Climate change and climate variability are also realized in changes to ocean currents. Since these currents are often close to the coasts, there are potential large, rapid and localized changes to sea level. The changes in surface currents in the ocean are related to changes in the stress of winds on the surfaces; hence, there are changes related to atmosphere pressure patterns. There is local variability due to storms and storm surges. And as the ice melts, the land might rise, might fall, also an effect due to climate change. These sources of variability will be important to planning in the next decades, but on the time of a century or longer, adding water to the ocean from melting ice will dominate; there’s really nothing working against it.
RickyRood, • 10:49 PM GMT on July 09, 2014