June 16th, 2004

2020 lack of vision

bring back the wolf

Went to see The Day after Tomorrow yesterday, Collapse ) Still, until the next blockbuster it's got everyone debating and/or denying the dangers of climate change, so, good enough.

Poll #308722 pick your own climate apocalypse

With all this on my mind, folk of the internet, please pick your climate apocalypse scenario. Of the five options, one is only moderately apocalyptic, one is unlikely to be much of a bother to anyone except the wandering jew, and at least one is arguably already happening, but which do you adhere to? You may pick your favourite, or the one you think is most likely.

Chaos will out: Bigger, more terrible storms, increasing in severity, frequency; areas of serious weather danger like Tornado Alley and Andra Pradesh increasingly uninhabitable; chaotic weather pushes the world into permanent disaster.
Linear projection: Increase in temperature continues or increases; fight against desertification becomes a failing rearguard action; forests brown, plains become dustbowls; world collapses into food crisis, forced migration and species extinctions.
Tidy correction: An environmental effect (e.g. melting ice dumping into ocean currents) triggers a mini ice age, giving us the chance to experiment with frost-resistant crops, wear fashionable mittens and reintroduce the wolf to N. Europe.
Sudden collapse: The world gets suddenly hotter; increase in carbon dioxide and water vapour triggers a positive feedback loop; after a very brief interval to wonder what went wrong a runaway greenhouse effect extinguishes all life on earth.
Normalisation: Our climate becomes more stable as the planet gradually cools over time; there will be no more ice ages; over the millenia, weather will become more stable and boring, until it finally loses momentum and stops altogether.

If you want to run this experiment in a more measured fashion, climateprediction.net are running a Seti-type "large ensemble" experiment. Download one of two climate models and see where the world is going.