‘Science Tempers Fears on Climate Change’

By September 6, 2006Global Warming

Here was the other news out of Australia this weekend, obliterated by news of Steve Irwin’s passing and by various Labor Day coverage here in the US. Says the lead sentence:

“The world’s top climate scientists have cut their worst-case forecast for global warming over the next 100 years.”

Of course they’re still predicting warming, but they’ve scaled back its magnitude. Had they gone they gone the other way, of course, Time magazine would be running a special edition and poor Katie Couric would be hoarse.

We’ll ask again: What is the proper temperature of the earth? Just wondering.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Matt says:

    Pat, the news from The Australian was based on leaks of the contents of the next IPCC report, due out in February of next year.

    Since the IPCC is still working on drafts of the report, we don’t know for sure what the final report will contain. The Australian has been criticized for jumping on the leaks for exactly this reason (see http://www.realclimate.org).

    Be that as it may, what the leaked info actually says is not so much that they have “scaled back [the] magnitude” of the predicted temperature increase, but that they have narrowed the range from the previous 2100 prediction of between 1.4C and 5.4C (a mean of 3.4C) to one between 2.0C and 4.5C (a mean of 3.2C) — a revision that suggests that they now have greater confidence in their ability to accurately predict climate change.

    So what was the point of your question, again?

  • Pat,

    Thanks for the reassuring assessment. I guess things aren’t going to be as bad as we all were afraid of.

    I took a look at that article you referred to. I was relieved to find out that temperatures would only be rising 3C by the end of the century if nothing is done. They also only predicted a rise in sea levels of between 14 cm to 43 cm (something like 6 inches to two 15 inches) by the end of the century.

    Insofar as the proper temperature of the globe, I would suspect that something under the temperature in which Greenland’s ice cap is melting and Antarctic ice sheets are also dissolving would be advisable.

    I am glad you found some good news like this emanating from Australia in the midst of the Crocodile hunter fiasco. Unfortunately, the rest of the news regarding climate change is rather disconcerting with CO2 levels at record level and warming trends continuing.

    I would think that manufacturers will have terrific opportunities in developing technologies to aid production without negative greenhouse gas effects.