Assessing Climate Stability

Assessing Climate Stability f OK BY PAUL R. EPSTEIN AN D JAMES J. MCCARTH Y Examination of systemic characteristics can improve assessments of the global climate system's vulnerability to abrupt change and growing instabilities already suggest an urgency for precautionary action. We have the wrong model of what's going on in the world of climate. It's not global warming we should be concerned about, but the likelihood that the long period of relative climatic stability—a 10,000-year period in which all of hu- man civilization happened to develop—may be ending. Its replacement will be a period of profound cooling. The leading indicator of such an event—the freshening of the waters of the North Atlantic—is already happening. Per- haps as soon as 10 years from now, Europe might look a lot like Canada, and the climate of California could begin to resemble North Africa. — Peter Schwartz, Global Business Network, Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time of Turbulence n the Intergovernmenta l Panel on Climate Change "reasons for concern" arising from projected future (IPCC ) Third Assessment Report, Working climate change. The SPM states Group s (WGs) I an d II reviewed the state of knowledg e regarding certain low-probability-high- Projected climate changes http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/BAMS-85-12-1863
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

f OK BY PAUL R. EPSTEIN AN D JAMES J. MCCARTH Y Examination of systemic characteristics can improve assessments of the global climate system's vulnerability to abrupt change and growing instabilities already suggest an urgency for precautionary action. We have the wrong model of what's going on in the world of climate. It's not global warming we should be concerned about, but the likelihood that the long period of relative climatic stability—a 10,000-year period in which all of hu- man civilization happened to develop—may be ending. Its replacement will be a period of profound cooling. The leading indicator of such an event—the freshening of the waters of the North Atlantic—is already happening. Per- haps as soon as 10 years from now, Europe might look a lot like Canada, and the climate of California could begin to resemble North Africa. — Peter Schwartz, Global Business Network, Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time of Turbulence n the Intergovernmenta l Panel on Climate Change "reasons for concern" arising from projected future (IPCC ) Third Assessment Report, Working climate change. The SPM states Group s (WGs) I an d II reviewed the state of knowledg e regarding certain low-probability-high- Projected climate changes

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Dec 24, 2004

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