12 October 2009

climate change - the other side

Arguments over the reason for climate change have been going on back and forth for years. Some experts believe that it is part of the Earth's natural heating and cooling mechanisms rather than 'man-made activities'. Others of course vehemently oppose this view by saying that only Man's activities are contributing to this increase in temperature. The third, more balanced view is one that gives allowances for the Earth's natural cycles and still holds that human activities are probably hastening the increase of temperatures the world over.

I'm uncertain where I belong. I don't know if it is as simple as a 'this or that' situation and there are definite grey areas in scientific and technical information to ascertain if decision making can be that simple. In the face of almost equal evidence for both sides of the argument, what we do for sure are:
  • Temperatures are increasing and we are facing consequences of that i.e., extreme weather, loss of biodiversity and collapse of ecosystems
  • Policy makers are unsure where they stand on climate change and methods to tackle it
  • As a consequence of the this, industrialists are unsure how to incorporate a business model that ensures business development and yet is environmentally sustainable
So the welfare of the world has been dunked in a potpie of madness and everyone is arguing of who gets the biggest share. So right now, I'm wondering if this quagmire of doubt and uncertainty will make more sense with a different approach or a different hypothesis for the theory of climate change.

A recent BBC news article on the same topic talks about Pacific decadel oscillation (PDO) which talks about cyclical warming and cooling of the Earth's oceans. According to temperature data, for much of the 80s and 90s it was warmer than average and global temperatures were warm too but in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down. This means that global temperatures could also follow because these cycles have lasted nearly 30 years.

If this is true, then current temperatures are set to decrease instead of increase. So far on record, 1998 was the hottest year and the recent heat-waves have not even come close to matching those temperatures. These evidences, also scientific cannot be ignored anymore and this also holds true for evidences supporting Man-made climate change. It is unimportant where we stand on the issue of climate change because regardless of cause; it is happening.

This theory offers a glimmer of hope for mitigation and adaptation efforts. But can hope be banked on?

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