Friday, November 09, 2012
Great, Wrong Again.. or, Surprise, Sandy Has Sisters!
The U.S. National Centre for Atmospheric Research reports they, and the larger scientific community, got it wrong. Once again they erred on the conservative side resulting in unduly optimistic projections.
Now, NCAR warns, we're in for higher than expected temperatures and, with that, more extreme weather sooner than previously forecast.
The analysis by the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found that climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature were likely to be more accurate than those showing a smaller rise. This means not only a higher level of warming, but also that the resulting problems – including floods, droughts, sea level rise and fiercer storms and other extreme weather – would be correspondingly more severe and would come sooner than expected.
Scientists at the NCAR published their study on Thursday in the leading peer-reviewed journal Science. It is based on an analysis of how well computer models estimating the future climate reproduce the humidity in the tropics and subtropics that has been observed in recent years. They found that the most accurate models were most likely to best reproduce cloud cover, which is a major influence on warming. These models were also those that showed the highest global temperature rises, in future if emissions of greenhouse gases continue to increase.
Slowly, perhaps much too slowly, our leaders are coming to recognize, publicly, that we are indeed holding a gun to our own heads. Unfortunately, translating that sort of acknowledgement into the type of action needed to effectively respond, is something that has eluded civilizations in the past. There is a vast and powerful inertia to be overcome and corporatist governments are particularly ill-suited to challenging the status-quo.