With all the environmental changes going on these last few years it may seem difficult to make any sense out of it. As a scientist climate change either caused or exacerbated by global warming is the obvious culprit. That being said, what people and governments really want and need to know is where is it going and how fast?
Did you ever have a top when you were a child? You know, cone shaped toy with a string you that wrapped around a groove on upper section and pulled to get it to spin really fast. When that top was spinning fast you could poke it with your finger and it would come back to nearly the same place it was when you first touched it. Once that top began to slow down when you poked this time it didn’t come back to the start point. Not only was it spinning in a new place it began to wobble all by itself. Kind of like grandfather did on Christmas eve after three glasses of eggnog. Then after awhile longer the top fell over and was still. This scenario is similar to what is going on with the world’s climate. For centuries we had pretty much predictable and reliable amount of rain fall,snow and temperatures. Oh, there were the occasional hurricanes, blizzards or floods but nothing that changed the general climatic trend. The top was spinning fast. After a couple of hundred years of pumping ever increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere we have slowed down the top. Temperatures and amounts of rainfall and snow are all over the place. Severe weather events are now common occurrences all over the planet. The top is now wobbling. Where will it finally land? I don’t have a crystal ball – that’s a scientist’s way of saying I don’t have enough data to predict it – but if logic still serves certain events will occur. Sea levels will rise, it will get colder in the northern areas of the planet, the southeast will get drier and there will be wholesale changes in animal and plant distributions and survival. Solutions? Be diverse in your abilities, flexible in your thinking using logic and reason to make your decisions rather than listening to the loudest voice that tells you what you’d like to hear. Act Global – Think Local!