Keeping Our Cool: Canada in a Warming World
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Monster wildfires in Australia, January golfers in PEI, ruined fruit crops in California, snowless ski runs in Switzerland, starving polar bears in the North, devastated trees in Stanley Park. Climate change is no longer a vague threat. The climate change we are in store for over the next few centuries will be larger and occur faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. Brilliantly researched, Keeping Our Cool is a comprehensive and engaging examination and explanation of global warming, with a specific emphasis on climate change in Canada. In an engaging and accessible way,Weaver explains the levels of greenhouse gas emissions needed to stabilize the climate and offers solutions and a path toward a sustainable future.
Rather than smoothing the curve in a systematic manner, the end points were added on with either no smoothing or partial smoothing. How the initial reviewers of the original article missed this is beyond me. After correction of subsequent additional arithmetical errors, a corrected curve was produced by Damon and Laut, as show in part b). This curve is now just a little less impressive. Why in 2008 would someone still show you a curve, let alone one that is known to contain an error, that stopped in 1980—especially when we have twenty-seven more years of data and several decades of high-precision direct satellite measurements of solar intensity?
A New York Times opinion editorial headlined “Global Chilling” by Paul Epstein from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard Medical School appeared two days later. While not the mother-of-all national security issues, this certainly was the mother-of-all outbreaks of global warming–induced ice age syndrome. I still don’t understand what happened. The Pentagon report was written three months earlier by business strategists/scenario thinkers Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall. It was a public report that was never secret, whose goal was: … to imagine the unthinkable—to push the boundaries of current research on climate change so we may better understand the potential implications on United States national security.
The following year, the connection was made in a far less subtle manner. William Calvin, a noted theoretical neurobiologist affiliated with the University of Washington, published an essay entitled “The Great Climate Flip-flop: Global warming could, paradoxically, cause a sudden and catastrophic cooling” in the highly respected and widely read Atlantic Monthly. He noted: We could go back to ice-age temperatures within a decade—and judging from recent discoveries, an abrupt cooling could be triggered by our current global-warming trend.
As a result, the IPCC was eventually criticized for being too conservative in its assessment of future sea level projections. Mean Sea Level Changes, 1870 to 2006 Global mean sea level change reconstruction from 1870 to 2006 relative to the 1961 to 1990 average. The solid curve is from satellite data and the black circles are from coastal tide gauges. Reproduced with permission from Figure 5. 13 of Bindoff et al. (2007). The cryosphere describes the collective aspects of the Earth system that include water in its solid form—ice.
Part a) shows the average (or mean) temperature warming, but the shape of the distribution (or variance) not changing in the future climate. Part b) shows the average temperature not changing, but the distribution spreading out in the future climate. Part c) shows both the average temperature and the temperature distribution changing in the future climate. Reproduced from Folland et al. (2001) with permission from the IPCC. If we assume that the temperature distribution has the same shape as in part a) of “Temperature Distribution” (a normal, or Gaussian, distribution or shape), we would expect that the most probable daily-averaged July temperature in Toronto would be 20.