Letter: Complex science
Climate science is a story of continuous progress. It is far too complex to be understood completely by even a climate scientist, much less those of us with less than post-doctoral education in the field.
The interaction of global warming with population growth, modernization of developing economies, and geopolitic, to name a few issues, is even more difficult to understand or predict. We are already seeing effects of climate change with increased frequency and intensity of wildfires and destructive weather events, desertification, African famine, the Syrian civil war, increasing numbers of migrants and refugees, species loss, migration of fisheries northward, etc., etc., etc.
Many of these changes, for example, the increasing frequency an intensity of El Niño events, loss of sea ice, melting tundra with methane release, will accelerate and amplify change at an unknown rate. Unfortunately, while these changes are occurring far faster than they have at any time prior to the Industrial Age, they are still too slow for the casual observer to register the appropriate concern. Where is the tipping point for irreversible warming and an eventually uninhabitable planet. Thirty years? A thousand? Does that make a difference to you?
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