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A “Lull” in Global Warming? There’s That Complexity Thing Again… (And There’s No Lull Predicted for Arctic Sea Ice Melt)

The Lull Before the Storm: What, Me Worry?Lull: transitive verb  Etymology: Middle English; probably of imitative origin  Date: 14th century
1: to cause to sleep or rest : soothe  2: to cause to relax vigilance <were lulled into a false sense of security>

Reports this week of a new study published in the journal Nature suggest that, due to the natural variability of the Gulf Stream “conveyor belt” which brings warm water up to the north Atlantic, and the cyclical El Nino, global average temperatures may stall until around 2015, then accelerate again in a “boomerang effect”.

Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany, stressed that results from this new computer modeling were just the initial findings and it would be, according to Keenlyside,

wholly misleading to infer that global warming, in the sense of the enhanced greenhouse effect from increased carbon emissions, had gone away.”

Of course many have jumped on this report in an effort to do just that. (Charles Clover, environmental editor for the Telegraph admits he used easily manipulated language in his initial reports on his blog)

Just to sweeten the pot a little, in an attempt to demonstrate the complexity of climate change, nobody has mentioned global dimming lately, which may add a little punch to that boomerang effect.

It may also be interesting to note one of the more drastic consequences of climate change: the total collapse of the Thermohaline circulation (gulf stream conveyor belt of warm water) due to the melting Greenland ice sheet releasing billions of gallons of fresh water into the sea. If that happens (and hopefully it won’t, at least for a long time) northern Europe and North America will become bitterly cold. I can just hear some of these denialists then, cynically pecking away at their keyboards, denying the reality of global warming, forever failing to understand that the globe does not revolve around them.

It is frustrating that with every step forward in the effort to increase our understanding of climate change we must wade through incessant vitriol and pronouncements of the “last dying gasp of AGW” – even as we increasingly exhale more CO2 into the atmosphere. These arguments are hackneyed and old, and they refuse to grasp the complexity of the issue – or even try.

One of the various enlightening comments on Clover’s blog (linked above on “reports” by the way) to help further the substantive discussion on how best to address global warming was thus: “Oh thank god! I can stop holding in my farts.”

Just let me say to that gentleman, on behalf of the global community, we rather you wouldn’t.

And the Arctic Sea Ice Isn’t Listening to You Anyway

Climate researcher Sheldon Drobot from the University of Colorado predicts that Arctic sea ice will once again retreat to record levels this year. The predictions are based on satellite data and temperature records, giving a 59% probability that minimum sea ice records will once again be broken.

In the past decade Arctic sea ice has declined some 10%. Last year sea ice melt broke the previous record of 2005, retreating an area equal in size to Texas and California combined.

 

 

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