Science and technology have utterly transformed human life in the past few generations, and forecasts of the future used to be measured in decades. But big changes arrive faster and faster these days. So here we've shifted our forecast to the near-term, because we're right on the verge of some extraordinary stuff. These are the trends and events to watch out for in 2013. See them all here.
The warning from climate scientists has been clear and consistent for decades: Man-made greenhouse-gas emissions, which increase every year, are causing the planet to warm, and that will have dire consequences—the specifics of which (timing, intensity, location) aren't completely understood right now.
Unfortunately, the steadiness of that message is also its undoing in the media; more often, the rare scientific dissenter gets the limelight. "Because it's been pretty much the same for 25 years, it almost never gets reported," says Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Two statements of scientific consensus forthcoming in 2013 will provide an opportunity to set the record straight: the National Climate Assessment, which lays out observed and anticipated trends in the U.S., and the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global evaluation of the peer-reviewed literature conducted by thousands of researchers.
Journalists will still be looking for catchy news pegs, particularly in the IPCC report. They'll find only nuanced differences from the last assessment in 2007, Schmidt says. Yet many will stretch those fine distinctions into exaggerated and overwrought headlines, which can lead to public confusion.
That's what happened when the U.K.'s climate-monitoring organization, the Met Office, released an update to its global-temperature data set in October. Despite British scientists' explanation that it showed multi-decadal warming, outlets such as the Daily Mail cherry-picked the data to support the headline: "Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago." The Met Office called the coverage "misleading," but it was widely reprinted by other media outlets.
That's not to say that good science can't break through the sound bites. As any scientist searching for the climate-change signal among reams of weather data will tell you, it just takes practice to filter out the noise.
It simply doesn't matter if man is causing an increase in "greenhouse" gases, because these guys have a political agenda. The proof of that is in their doom-saying. What do I mean? A warmer planet can't be all bad, but all these so-called scientist see are doom and gloom as a result of from a warmer planet. A true scientist would look for and report on all possibly outcomes, not just the bad consequences. So, what is their motivation to paint any global warming as bad?
Simply put, they have an agenda.
Predict the weather will be warmer and chance of rain too. ~ Climate Scientists
I do not know which job is best, working for the government or being a weather scientist. No matter what decision is made or if no decisions are ever made, they always get paid.
Who cares when the changes are so slow to occur.
Predictions of a foot or two of higher sea levels by the end of this Century are not going to destroy life on earth and could very well spark beneficial evolutionary changes--human mutants that are actually kind and loving instead of this farce we call man.
Life always finds a way.
I for one wouldn't mind a new life form replacing man which were far too violent, prejudiced, and evil to inherit the Earth.
@kehvan - yep - here are my thoughts:
The crux of the climate change theory is the impending 'threat' to humanity. Without this 'threat', there would be no reason for the theory to exist in the first place.
Climate Science has gone the way of 'proving the threat'. And 'solving the threat'. This does not allow the science to be objective. They are now active participants in the solution as well as naming the cause.
The net gain is negative. Yes, it will be warmer in some places. Yes, there will be more precipitation in more places. You're not considering at all the more dynamic nature of weather that we'll experience. We will likely experience more extreme weather events. Those things aside, y'all don't appear to be considering the effect on the oceans. The higher CO2 concentrations in the air result in more being absorbed in the oceans resulting in acidification. Stop trying to be all, "I'm right, they're wrong" about this. Look at the facts. Even if there's an agenda, is the information wrong?
One more thing, the Earth will continue with or without us. There's no question, but we don't have the right to destroy the environment and habitats because we don't want to change or we don't like that it fits nicely with another's political agenda.
Actually the NOAA's NCDC global surface temperature anomalies data show that while the temperature has been consistently warmer than the 20th century average, it has been constant over the last nine years.
Check it out:
It's certainly not what I expected. How do they justify saying the planet is still warming? They use a 10-year moving average. :)
Should start to get weird if the trend holds for >10 years....
Slow to occur? I've seen drastic weather shifts over the last 20 years. That's not "slow to occur."
People continue to ignore the real threat of this. Droughts in your farmlands and excessive rainfall in the cities. Extreme thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. Where do you plan to get your food when the great plains wither in drought like they did last year? Or the fish die from too rapid of changes in the acidity of the water? Going to raise your cattle on dirt lots? The people in the cities sure aren't going to move fast enough to accommodate for it, especially with so many nonbelievers.
If the population wasn't so high, maybe this wouldn't be such a big deal, but with this many people...it's going to be rough.
What is their motivation? It's quite simple really: "bad news sells". That's why we get so many completely exaggerated warnings and predictions.
Sadly the solution is so cheap and easy, yet Big Oil's purchase of our 100% corrupt politicians, media, and Green organizations stands in the way.
With a World War II effort, in ten years 10000 mass produced nukes could easily with a fraction of our industrial capacity, with the costs covered at a 40% ROR by replacing fossil expensive fuels, head off the fast approaching the global warming precipice and peak oil crisis.
Westinghouse is predicting 2 cents a kwh costs and 3 year build times for factory produced nukes. China is now building reactors for $1.5B/Gw and that is dropping fast towards the $1B/Gw predicted.
2500 new mass produced nukes scattered around the US at $2500B financed by the $700B paid every year into the coffers of Big Oil/Coal for their deadly products and $100B in pollution related health costs, would carry all US energy needs.
At a minimum fifty times the cost wind and solar alternatives are simply impossible industrially, politically, and financially.
The process begins with Obama setting us out on the needed course with a new 80% clean energy electricity mandate by 2035. A massive nuclear build is a certainty as no other clean energy alternative is competitive.
Eliminate the current absurd 6 years process to get a site permit to add an approved nuke identical to many other operating units to an existing nuke plant or replace a filthy coal plant with an already approved nuke, cutting US nuke costs to Asian levels.
Like FDR with 1930's TVA and Bonneville hydro projects, Obama needs to start a giant public power nuke corporation with a single national license - no lawyers allowed - charged with replacing all the nations coal plants efficiently on budget and on time just like Asian countries are doing.
There is a lot of unemployed autoworkers and mothballed auto factories just waiting for orders.
As we convert to nukes, NG electricity and heating applications would immediately convert to nuclear electricity, nuclear produced synfuels and electric vehicles.
Green people need to understand that the biggest roadblock ending the imminent threat of a peak oil GHG holocaust is the Green movement's ill conceived, opposition to nuclear power At the very least their stupid stubborn opposition kills a several million folks annually.
Feeding the green nitwit are the scum at Big Oil/Coal paying off our politicians and media keeping the public in the dark.
The warning from (most) climate scientists may be consistent and clear, but the actual data is ambiguous. And that's why we keep hearing about what the (alarmist) climate scientists have to say. Alarming news is noteworthy. No one cares that warming trends in the 20th century (and the lack of warming trend in the 21st century) are not unusual when compared with historical data.
Kehvan nailed it. Most climate scientists have an agenda, so their conclusions support their agenda even though the data says something different than their conclusions. But who checks data anymore? It's so boring. Just trust the climate scientists, because they're, like, you know, "scientists."
"...The Met Office called the coverage “misleading,” but it was widely reprinted by other media outlets...."
Of course this media coverage was far less "misleading" than the press releases put out by the IPCC itself. The fact of the matter is that the widely-heralded computer climate models the IPCC uses to predict future global warming cannot even come close to replicating recent past changes in global climate. And the failure of these computer models to pass such a simple test would be proof to any real scientist that these models are deeply flawed.