Europe will suffer badly from climate change
by Dean Carroll
With world leaders preparing to meet in South Africa next week in an attempt to create a new United Nations deal to reduce global carbon emissions and replace the Kyoto Protocol, which ends in 2012, a prominent scientist has urged politicians to "get out of the discussion room and look at what is coming". Speaking at the SciTechEurope conference in Brussels, organised by Public Service Events, Professor Colin Jones told governments to think beyond five-year election cycles so that an effective long-term intergovernmental deal could be put in place quickly – before it was too late to save the planet.
Jones, who is head of the European Commission's € 7m Earth System Model Bias Reduction and Assessing Abrupt Climate Change project and director of the Rossby Centre at the Swedish government agency SMHI, admitted that the plan to limit global warming to a two degree increase was probably out of reach – adding that there was "a 1 per cent chance" that the target would be met. He warned policy-makers that temperatures increased last year at the most rapid rate ever recorded, due to man-made carbon emissions. "We are taking our planet into new territory, a place we have never been before, and we don't know what the outcome will be," said Jones. "The pace at which we are heading towards the cliff is accelerating; the rate of temperature change is very different to anything we have ever experienced before. We are going to hit the problem very soon so political leaders need to get out of the discussion room and look at what is coming. But governments have a short-term horizon because we have five-year election cycles. And society values economic principles above the environment we live in so it's easier to listen to the sceptic's message, which says 'you don't need to change anything."
Overwhelming scientific data shows that there has been a dramatic rise in global temperatures since the 1960s, in close correlation with rising carbon emissions and industrialisation. And measurements through carbon dating, using ice cores, and calculations of the inconsistent spaces between tree rings have enabled researchers to chart approximate data back through thousands of years. But despite the weight of academic evidence, sceptics put any warming down to natural changes triggered by increased solar activity and sunspots. Another leak of emails from the University of East Anglia, in the United Kingdom, last week purported to throw further doubt on the scientific consensus - which backs the theory of anthropogenic climate change. But Jones dismissed the leak and insisted it was simply a rehash of the same messages that were previously leaked.
In a dark warning to Europe, he claimed that the Mediterranean region was already starting "to dry out" – with warming meaning the wet areas would become wetter and dry areas would become drier, as a result of "feedback loops". He explained: "The Med region will see intense water supply problems in the future. The amplification is caused by feedback processes. Also, we might see a thaw of the permafrost in northern latitudes, releasing more carbon dioxide and methane. And we know that the Arctic sea ice has been thinning since 1984 – much of it is not there in the summer now. In addition, carbon sinks like the Amazon may become less efficient as the atmosphere changes in a warmer world. The acidity of the ocean has been changing solidly for the past 20 years and coral reefs are starting to die."
Commentators suggest there is little hope of a new deal being struck by the UN, in South Africa. The conflict between developing nations, which want to continue their industrialisation at an exponential rate even if carbon emissions rise as a result, and developed nations leading the charge for CO2 reduction is unlikely to end anytime soon. With the economic crisis, some politicians are even calling for Europe to relinquish its role as a leading player in tackling climate change – suggesting that environmental regulation and green taxes will be too much for the continent's fragile finances to bear in light of the eurozone crisis.
Earlier, Professor Anthony Ryan of Sheffield University – chairing the SciTech conference – told delegates that harnessing solar power and embracing GM foods was the only way life could be sustained for a rapidly expanding global population that had already reached seven billion. "This is a new geological period dominated by human beings," said Ryan. "The world is in crisis, there are too many people and not enough food. There is not enough energy and too much environmental destruction as well as climate change and unsustainable economic growth. We are squeezing the earth's resources as air quality is getting worse and oil and gas are running out. All of these things have to be linked to policy and economics if we are to find solutions."
Superstition, omen worship, sacrificing goats and witch burning combined are no match to the absurdity of this advanced stage of human achievement regarding the powers of the cosmos as being weak, fragile and delicate and in need of human stewardship. Nature laughs at humans regarding themselves as immortal gods because if we too can boil planets, so too are we immortal Gods with the powers of gods. Climate change wasn't about a changing climate; it was about controlling a changing climate.
How you ask? By taxing the air we breathe with bank-funded and corporate-run carbon trading markets ruled by politicians. Were the scientists lying? No, not within the confines of their equation that first assumes climate change to be real. They virtually studied the effects, not causes, of a crisis that hasn't happened through 25 years of this consultant's dream of CO2 climate research. It was pure correlation and nothing else and despite there being tropical fossils under the melting ice and on every continent, it still "assumed" this climate of the last 200 years or so as "never" to have happened before.
And, no, ice cores are not like some temperature dipstick from a Harry Potter movie. There are more papers written on how to interpret them than anything else. Keep in mind that you can't have a little catastrophic climate crisis. Only a comet hit is worse than a climate crisis so ask yourself why are these countless thousands of consensus scientists not making themselves visible and acting like it's the crisis they say it is? They outnumber the climate change protesters and sit on their thrones spewing needless fear with complete immunity. Studying a worst case scenario isn't a crime, but it sure acts like tool of immunity for these exaggerating lab-coat consultants.
Let's not forget the decades of "science", denying the toxicity of the deadly pesticides they gave us that poisoned the planet in the first place. The climate-blame movement is officially now an insignificant cult judging by the fact that occupywallstreets list of demands made no mention of CO2, climate change or greenhouse gas and the greenhouse gas ovens you condemn billions to with such glee. Obama didn't even mention the "crisis" in his state of the union address and if you still think there are enough voters to vote yes to taxing the air to make the weather colder, you are the new denier. Climate change was unsustainable and history has a special place for fear mongers.
mememine - Canada
Well, 8C in a century - even if true - is not a 'dramatic rise' by any stretch of the imagination, just a rather anemic recovery from the little ice age. In fact, the stability is unusual if anything. Sat measurements (the only accurate data we have) show changes of this magnitude can and do happen - in both directions- in the space of a couple of years.
On tree rings - you mean trees are growing faster, more healthy? Oh no. Poor mother nature. Carbon dioxide will do this, most plants evolved with far higher levels of atmosphereic 'pollution', 7000 ppm during the Cambrian and still prefer 1200-1500 ppm today.
GThreepwood - Michigan