We could be seeing the worst case scenario for climate change, according to Eric Mack at Forbes:
“Here’s a few brutal facts about what’s been going on since October of 2015: The past seven months have been the hottest, based on global averages, that any human alive today has ever lived through. All of us today are living through unprecedented times, at least since we began keeping halfway decent temperature data in the nineteenth century, and perhaps much longer.”
Mack notes that it is not just atmospheric temperatures that have broken records. The oceans have been overheating too:
“The ten warmest months for the world’s oceans have all occurred — any guesses?? — yep, in the past ten months.”
Temperatures in Greenland this winter were 36 degrees warmer than normal; and at one point the Arctic temperature rose above zero. This summer is expected to see the lowest level of polar ice since the start of the industrial age.
Several reports this year suggest that the worst case scenarios set out by the International Panel on Climate Change are now more likely to be realised; with changes – like sea level rise – that were not anticipated before 2100 now likely to be realised by 2050; if not sooner. As Mack says:
“This is the point where tweets and comments about my being an alarmist begin to get composed. Given the data I’ve compiled here, perhaps it’s actually an accurate characterization this time. But when is the right time to sound the alarm? Do we need to wait until the fire has already burned down the town?”
Sadly, from a UK perspective, it is only when the Thames is flowing through the debating chamber of the House of Commons that we are likely to see any settled political agreement on the need to take action. By which time, of course, we will be at least 50 years too late.