Thursday, December 01, 2005

Meanwhile, back in the ;( corner

Well, that didn't take long. No sooner do I go to bed a little cheerier that Cat 5 hurricanes may not all be down to us, I open up my mail this morning to the following, from the New Scientist:

Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age

With this key bit of analysis/explanation:

"The slow-down, which has long been predicted as a possible consequence of global warming, will give renewed urgency to intergovernmental talks in Montreal, Canada, this week on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol."

If there is a reason not to contemplate substituting milk with Scotch on my Frosties , I guess it's here:

"Harry Bryden at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in the UK, whose group carried out the analysis, says he is not yet sure if the change is temporary or signals a long-term trend."

And here:

"Richard Wood, chief oceanographer at the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre for climate research in Exeter, says the Southampton team's findings leave a lot unexplained."

But sadly it mostly shows to me that we are still very much in a phase of claim and counterclaim that can rather assault the senses, and our ability to figure out rationally what is happening and/or what we are doing to ourselves. Which of course makes  decisions on the best courses to take to rectify the situation hard.

I did however find this final series of facts quite interesting:

"The last shutdown, which prompted a temperature drop of 5°C to 10°C in western Europe, was probably at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago. There may also have been a slowing of Atlantic circulation during the Little Ice Age, which lasted sporadically from 1300 to about 1850 and created temperatures low enough to freeze the River Thames in London."

It would be hard to pin the efforts of man on these. 

I am starting to weary of big ticket stories (up or downbeat) which tend to make good headlines and then go on to provide the ammo for competing advocates, but it would be silly not to try and stay on top of all that is available. Noting that even sticking with the science is not going to result in a shining bolt of light on the problem(s) and the solution(s), I'd suggest this is a pretty good link to stay on top of if you're interested:

I remain resolute that whatever is happening is not being helped by wasteful or polluting practices, and so maintain my advocacy of any practical measures that can help improve the situation and steer people's behaviour in ever more cooperative directions.