With climate change back on the minds of North Americans after Hurricane Sandy, and the threats extreme weather posed by our changing climate, another report recently suggests (surprise!) more extreme drought and warming.
NCAR’s report mentions climate models that show a greater increase in temperature will be more accurate than those on the lower end.
The analysis also suggests increased global temperature would impact society through more droughts, heatwaves, and higher sea levels, along with other concerns that come with a changing climate.
NCAR noted, depending on various models and dryness, that we should expect to see temperatures globally rise greater than 7F from a doubling of carbon dioxide.
This is one example of the report that the mainstream media has often not been able to communicate well to the public, according to Joe Romm in the Climate Progress post:
So the study didn’t find, as the Post and other media outlets assert, that “the world could be in for a devastating increase of about eight degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.” The study found the “global temperature rise for doubled carbon dioxide of more than 7 degrees F.”
The temperature rise we would see in 2100 would depend on how much beyond (or below) 550 ppm we are at that time plus the impact of the various feedbacks not incorporated into the ECS. If we hit 1000 ppm, warming would likely exceed 11 degrees F — possibly by a few degrees!
Of course, the first 7 F would devastate civilization, but, even so, 14 F would still be unimaginably worse — rendering large parts of the planet’s currently habited and arable land uninhabitable, superheated dustbowls and rendering large parts of the ocean, superheated, acidic dead zones.
As Hurricane Sandy showed, the perils of ignoring climate change through extreme weather should not be ignored, as costs of these types of events will only increase, as noted by a Munich Re report last month.
NCAR’s findings give further credence of the challenges our planet awaits this century, while only increasing the need to advance a clean energy policy.
We are starting to see that in the US after the recent election. Talk of implementing a carbon tax, thanks Sandy’s damage and the impending fiscal cliff could become reality, albeit a long shot.
The question remains: will global action start moving before what NCAR predicts becomes reality, or will the costs of extreme weather linked to climate change continue to pile on? Only time will tell.