Data in climate change stories is usually based on conservative estimates and analyses to make the point more palatable. It was hoped that the implications would be harder to dismiss if the nominal or worst case scenarios weren’t used as the basis for the discussion. Even then, it was a tough sell. Many today continue to deny climate change, or don’t see the need for action. Unfortunately, the climate is independent of the arguments and has continued to change. Even more unfortunately, the changes are above the nominal; they are worse than the nominal which is worse than the conservative which isn’t even being appropriately addressed. Particularly in the Arctic, some of the more dangerous feedback mechanisms are occurring, particularly methane leaks caused by increased water and land temperatures.
“a number of us have had these experiences where it’s become clear to us that in many respects, climate change is unfolding faster than we expected it to.” – Michael Mann
“there’s a 50 percent chance we’re already committed to going beyond 2 degrees centigrade and agrees with the growing consensus that the business-as-usual trajectory is 4 or 5 degrees.” – Jason Box paraphrased
We know we’re unprepared for the scenarios being discussed in the media. Many scientists are faced with the knowledge that the real story may be far worse, and expect that there’s even less chance that anyone will seriously engage in a reality that is potentially far worse. To start such a debate is to invite ridicule at best and threats to jobs and livelihoods at worst. In the meantime, the climate changes continue because our way of life continues.
(Click on the photo for the link.)