IPCC Report Due Tomorrow

With the next IPCC Report due to be released tomorrow, there has been some debate designed to undermine the science even before it is released. There has also been some effort put into diluting the contents of the report even before we get to see it.

Unfortunately, the report will repeat the basic statements regarding science that we all dread to hear… that warming is occurring, that there is already considerable change in the pipeline and that we must act quickly if we hope to slow the warming.

It would be great to listen to people like Curry or the other advocates of low impacts (or even that its all a hoax) but every time such statements are looked into, it becomes obvious how they are ignoring basic scientific knowledge regarding our climate.

But enough of the negativity, what can we do to fight the changes? We should be focusing on the opportunities, not the threats.

First there is the replacement of our fossil fuel power stations with renewable energy. This is the largest target in our use of energy. This would be followed by:- the vehicle fleet (replace with electric) cement production (find alternatives) aluminium/steel making and industrial processes (develop new methods) .

There are challenges with these, but we have time if we deal with the big problems first (power stations and vehicles).

When all this is done, we may have to look at extracting GHGs from the environment. There are already methods available to extract CO2 from the air. This would be a big task and require a lot of energy, but innovative methods may be developed in the longer term.

Still pressing is the need to get on with the job of cutting fossil fuel use. It is becoming more obvious that this will only happen when people are directly impacted. Extreme weather is likely to be the driving force. If only we didn’t have to be hit by floods or bushfires before people wake up to the threat.

ENSO appears to be looking neutral for the next 6 months which generally means quiet weather (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/). Lets hope it stays that way – the next El Nino will not be pleasant.

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