The World Will Get Warmer: Study Illuminates When Variability Will No Longer Be Cover for Denialists
Climate change is a subject now burdened with political baggage to such an extent that in many nations political action is stifled, as here in the United States, yet the planet’s surface does not care about human politics and will continue to change, among which the surface average temperatures will get warmer.
How much warmer? Even more importantly, when will the temperature change get so noticeable as to affect everyday life?
Published today (9 Oct 2013) in Nature is a study on when the mean temperature around the world will regularly surpass the observed surface temperatures since regular observations started (about the mid 19th century)
Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues. Here we present a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given location moves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (±18 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (±14 years s.d.) under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.
While the paper itself is behind a pay wall, there is a summary article on the Nature website: Climate Change Gets Clocked : Nature News & Comment
“Very soon, extreme events will become the norm,” says lead author Camilo Mora, an environmental researcher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Because temperatures in the tropics vary little between seasons, even a slight increase in the average temperature could lead to unprecedented conditions — with negative consequences for ecosystems that are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. Many tropical nations also have limited economic capacity to adapt or otherwise respond to such threats.
The researchers at the Univ. of Hawaii have a website that summarizes their findings: The timing of new climates at which one can find the paper, graphics, supporting information, and also an interactive map that allows one to select your favorite local, to find what the models used by the team estimate for that local.
Yes, it will get warmer.