Climate Paradox


As I write this, the negotiation in Doha round around climate treaty turns to its last hours (it actually went beyond the deadline). As so often, decisions are left to the last minutes. Bargains are made behind the closed doors and something like a contract may come as a result. The big guys, particularly US and president Obama, has not shown much of commitment to come up with something new that would take the negotiations seriously. Nothing substantial is coming out of this conference, I fear.


A couple of weeks ago, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research launch a new study, commissioned by World Bank, about what could world look like  by the end of this centuryin the scenario in which we have let our atmosphere to warm up 4 degrees from the preindustrial standpoint. This is our current situation: if we do not take any really real measures here (like the ones we employed until now), the 4 degrees more on average is real, by the end of this century or even before.

The simulation models used in the research shows that world would be rather different place from now. There are rather dramatic results: much more droughts and heat waves, dramatically risen sea-level rise. Look at this chart:



It clearly shows how different a world will be in case we let climate change really happen and change substially our climate. The extremes will be come new normal.

At the same time, the negotiations seems to be as stuck as ever and some countries, like US, simply shows indifference to the issue. So:  The more we know about how detrimental warming actually is, the less there seems to be action to do something about it. If there is a thing called paradox, this is it.