Comments on “The Great Climate Conundrum” article [Editor: see previous post]:

Larry Tallman

[Editor: see previous post here -]

It is generally understood that for the last 10,000 years global temperature has only varied +/- 1 degree C over that time.  There may have been local changes like the Little Ice Age (mentioned below) that were in excess of 1 degree C but the global temperature range was not (the Little Ice Age resulted in a 0.03C global cooling).  The article’s use of the word “significant” is therefore misleading especially as we are now at 1 degree C above pre-industrial temperature – and that IS global.  The most recent projections, moreover, are suggesting that we are going to at least a 3 degree C unless action is immediate and effective.  The article does not indicate what temperature variance is “significant”.  It is therefore difficult to pin down particular criticisms. 


Another gap in the article is the existence of climate forcings (or tipping points) that, especially in the Arctic, will likely end up being cascading tipping points.  That means a vastly more rapid climate change than we have been experiencing thus far.


The result is that the article, by picking and choosing its topic carefully, is giving a false impression of how much time we have.  And that is crucial as time conditions (or should) much of what we do.  An example of that: Yesterday I read in a science blog that, rather than having 12 years to bring greenhouse gas emissions down to 45% of the present, we actually only have 2 years as it will take at least 10 years to put the scientific, social and economic infrastructure in place.  And remember, those IPCC goals were predicated on the development of either geo-engineering or carbon capture, neither of which technologies are anywhere near being discovered let alone developed (suggested ideas are not technologies).


The emergency is now.