Warmup

A great way to experience 22,000 years of global temperature fluctuations:

From a recent article in the New York Review of Books:

The “Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” … recognizes that “climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.” Its objective is to put the world onto a path “consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” beginning in 2020, while also “pursuing efforts” to limit the increase to an even lower maximum limit of 1.5°C.

… For reasons of consensus more than science, a globally averaged temperature increase of 2°C has emerged as an acceptable upper limit among policymakers seeking to curb emissions growth.

… [T]he limits on change in temperatures … represent enormous shifts in the earth’s climate. A 2.5°C change is huge, equivalent to the difference between the average daily temperatures of New York City’s hottest and coldest years on record. Already, the global average temperature has risen nearly 1°C above preindustrial levels, and the change has been scientifically linked to unprecedented consequences of that warming. These include heat waves, fires, ice melt, coral reef die-offs, and animal migrations to higher latitudes and elevations. A 3.5°C change would be almost as large as the contrast in temperatures between today and the last ice age, when global temperatures were about 5°C cooler on average. Those five degrees buried much of North America and Europe in glacial ice and sank the global sea level some 330 feet lower than it is today. There were different ecosystems on land and in the oceans, and the shape of the world’s coasts was radically different than it is now.

(Laurence C. Smith, “Greenhouse Warming: Prepare for the Worst,” a review of Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis by Tim Flannery. New York Review of Books: Vol. LXIII, No. 15, 13 October 2016, p. 44.)

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
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