Friday, April 06, 2007

Esse Est Fervescere

Today Working Group II ("WGII") of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a "Summary for Policymakers" of their upcoming fourth assessment report on "Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". Based on a staggering 29 000 data series, WGII concludes that

the consistency between observed and modelled changes in several studies and the spatial agreement between significant regional warming and consistent impacts at the global scale is sufficient to conclude with high confidence that anthropogenic warming over the last three decades has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems.

Conspicuous by their absences are observations made in the developing world. As the first diagram in the Summary shows (Figure SPM-1, entitled "Changes in physical and biological systems and surface temperature 1970-2004"), observations were missing for the increasingly prodigious greenhouse gas producers, China, India, and Brazil, and the fossil fuel megaproducers spanning the entire oil-producing Middle East. Perhaps these countries hope that, by adopting a Berkeleyan esse est percipi perspective, avoidance of scientific eye contact will make global climate change bypass their territories. Alas, the report predicts just the opposite for almost all of them: a hotter, drier, and much less pleasant future.


Post a Comment

<< Home