Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The consequences of climate change

Anyone wondering why we should reduce emissions in an attempt to avert the worst effects of cimate change should look at what it will do to Australia:

Australia could be up to two degrees Celsius warmer by 2030 and face more bushfires, heatwaves and storms despite global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, a climate change report showed yesterday.

Australia is also at risk of stronger cyclones, fewer frosts, changing ocean currents and a more pronounced cycle of prolonged drought and heavy rains, found the government-commissioned report by The Allen Consulting Group.

(Emphasis added)

Australia is already suffering its worst drought in decades, which has severely affected economic growth and threatens to cause a serious water crisis in Sydney - and the long-term prognisis is that it is only going to get worse. The same could happen in New Zealand. And people still think we should do nothing...?


"And people still think we should do nothing...?"

I'm not doing nothing.

I'm shoving as much Penfolds bin 389 and Penfolds bin 28 into my wine cellar as I can afford. If I could afford Grange I'd be cellaring it too.

Some of the best wines the world has ever produced, and they're going to go to hell once the climate-change starts to seriously bite in Oz. By the time these come out of my cellar you won't be able to get wine like that anywhere.

(so I'm being a bit flippant: but there is a underlying point here that even Don Brash should get).

Posted by Icehawk : 7/27/2005 03:22:00 PM

I notice they always seem to suggest "a more pronounced cycle". this just seems a little funny to me that this would occur everywhere except in as far as they mean tropical weather extending south some degrees (which isn't really the same as "drought and flooding").
A possibility is that reported studies assume extremes because
it is more likely to get reported (who cares if you argue global warming will cause nothing disasterous for your region)

Posted by Anonymous : 7/27/2005 11:46:00 PM


The el Nino / la Nina cycle (for example) is basically determined by where the upswelling of cold deep ocean water occurs (by the Sth American coast, or further West), which then pushes around the climate (with feedback to the ocean, of course).

Why those upswellings will start having more affect I don't quite understand (the stuff I read got too technical for me), but I thought it was largely because in global warming the atmosphere heats up much faster than the ocean depths (the Pacific Ocean is big. No, really big. Really). If cold ocean depths are colder compared to the atmosphere, then when cold water hits the surface it has more affect.

So long-term if global warming stops and the world has a half-century to settle into a new equilibrium, then the cycles would stop being so pronounced. But that's not much help for the next 150 years, at least.

Posted by Icehawk : 7/28/2005 09:32:00 AM

OK I can buy the equilibrium argument.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/29/2005 12:33:00 AM