Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bjorn Lomborg and Global Warming Excress

Bjorn Lomborg has weighed in with a recent column on the ongoing global warming debate essentially decrying the rather strident and poorly supported positions of some of the more exuberant promoters of the global warming ideology. I also find it difficult to mistake a natural upward adjustment in the the apparent average temperature regime of the Northern Hemisphere for the End of the World, particularly when it appears to be offset with an equivalent minor downward shift in the Southern Hemisphere.

I also have great faith in the public's ability to discern aberrant nonsense for what it is, and those that cannot are usually pretty good at canceling each other's votes out.

What Bjorn does do is argue rather persuasively that a warmer Northern climate may actually be a Good Thing. Simply the reduction of the winter death rate is a benefit.

In the meantime the wack crowd would have a massive rise in sea levels and are predicting a temperature shift of over 2 degrees or pick your number.

In the real world, it is believable that the shift in the Northern Hemisphere is around 1/2 a degree over the past century depending on how the calculation is made. It is believable only because surplus heat is slowly eliminating the perennial sea cover of the Arctic.

I think that we can all agree that the Arctic is the area most affected and also the place where this heat is expended. I think that we also can agree that the sea ice effect extends to a maximum of thirty degrees south.

A back of the envelope calculation then suggests that a half degree shift in northern temperatures will mean at least a seven fold shift of 3.5 degrees in the arctic and more likely a ten fold shift of 5.0 degrees.

The reverse is also true and probably had a lot to do with the determination of the half degree shift in the first place. Obviously a shift of 2.6 degrees would give the Arctic a short violent tropical summer before it crashed back into winter.

I think it is far more likely that we are actually looking at the optimal shift right now and that it will not shift any more. This does not mean that changes in the Arctic are over. In fact they have just begun. That half degree shift is much more effective than anyone realizes as yet.

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