Yes, I’m not totally without a sense of humour about it….
If Global Warming shuts down the Gulf Stream – not currently expected this century, but very possibly in the 22nd – will we have mile-high glaciers as far south as the Mid-Atlantic United States, the Upper Midwest, etc.? Ocean waves freezing in mid-surge in New York Harbor?
I’m no scientist, but from what I’m reading, they’re talking in terms of a “Little Ice Age,” maybe not even this bad, but similar to just one “year without a summer,” and apparently ‘only’ restricted to Western Europe – though I have to think Eastern North America as well, since the Gulf Stream influences weather there also.
IOW, perhaps liveable climatically, but damned unpleasant even for the hardiest hockey fan!
But combine reduced agricultural output there with that coming from Peak Oil and the end of petro-fertilizer, and that could be more than unpleasant!
(Sorry, I was delayed by Great Week/Pascha-related pursuits. This is the report that came out Friday [PDF].)
You’ve heard the MSM take on it. Not alot new for readers of this blog, although some of the regional specificities are… as is the question: Why are governments allowed to futz with what is supposed to be a scientific document? It smacks of Bushie “faith-based [pseudo-]science”!!!
Anyway, some highlights you might not have heard, in the order reported:
My own concluding reflections:
Some deniers point to the failings of their local TV weatherperson and ask how any scientists can claim to predict Global Warming planetwide for the next thousand years or more. Reasonable question.
The answer is that it’s actually usually easier, scientifically, to analyze general worldwide trends, than which jet streams or cloud formations are going to appear over this or that particular point on the earth’s surface more than, say, 24 hours in the future. What GW scientists aren’t saying is that your block will get a thunderstorm more intense than usual next weekend, or for that matter, that your town’s daytime high (or worse, overnight low) next weekend will be 0.03 degrees Celsius warmer than usual, or whatever. All they’re saying is that on average, the long-term trends, verified by complex mathematical models that have successfully predicted what we’ve already gone through in recent generations as if it hadn’t happened yet, portend that the world’s overall temperature will keep rising as far ahead as we can see, caused by Greenhouse Gases that have had known effects and will continue to because we know how these gases behave in the atmosphere, how long they can be expected to last up there, etc etc etc.
For example, the global average temperature won’t even be affected by a relatively-more localized Upper North Atlantic Little Ice Age if it happens, though Western Europe and eastern North America will certainly feel different until the global average overcomes the local Little Ice Age effect.
Like dropping an ice cube into a boiling pot.