Saturday, May 4, 2013

I contributed a cartoon to a recent post on Skeptical Science (Forks in the Road: Last Exit to Two Degrees):

The Road to Six Degrees

The illustration reflects a common view among climatologists that the longer society waits to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the harder it will be to avoid a warmer planet. The turns in this metaphor are last chances. Every year, humanity is committing itself to an ever warmer world.

I think we've missed the two degree turn, but that's a debatable question. It's a genuine topic of scientific debate as opposed to the false controversy perpetuated by some conservative media, politicians, business interests, and most important, the conservative media's loyal followers. While the false controversy asks "is the planet warming?" "is it natural?", climatologists are debating how much Earth will warm and how that will play out on a world of 9+ billion people who are highly dependent on our climate.

For perspective, the average temperature difference between the last global ice age and now is 6 degrees C. Humanity is on the road to 6 degrees C, but in the warmer direction, a level that has not been seen in over a million years, perhaps many more. Worse, the rate of global change may have no precedent in geological history, but this too, is a valid scientific debate.

I'm ready to jump out of the car.


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