By Michael D. Mastrandrea
Why we should always arrange for weather switch now through taking anticipatory motion in susceptible areas.
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Extra info for Preparing for Climate Change (Boston Review Books)
These include the loss of glaciers, melting ice sheets, and other factors that produce rising seas, which could inundate low-lying coastal areas and small island nations around the world; escalating infectious disease transmission; increases in the severity of extreme events such as heat waves, storms, floods, and droughts; large drops in farming productivity, especially in hotter areas; the loss of cultural diversity as people are driven from their historical communities; and an escalating rate of species extinction.
Increases in the frequency and/or intensity of floods, hurricanes, fires, and other extreme events are also troubling. The immediate effects of, say, wildfires are obvious, but the indirect impacts can be more damaging to health: smoke degrades air quality, exacerbating respiratory illnesses of millions in downwind areas. In some regions—particularly the Arctic, where surface air temperatures have warmed at approximately twice the global rate—changing climate patterns are threatening entire ways of life.
The climate problem is filled with deep uncertainties, uncertainties in both likelihoods and consequences that are unlikely to be resolved to a high degree of confidence before we have to make decisions about dealing with their long-term, and in some cases potentially irreversible, implications. These decisions often involve strong and conflicting interests and high stakes. ” In Thomas Kuhn’s “normal science,” the practice is to reduce uncertainty through standard science: data col- 52 preparing for climate change lection, modeling, simulation, model-data comparisons, and so forth.
Preparing for Climate Change (Boston Review Books) by Michael D. Mastrandrea