18 February 2016

Another record temperature ... but look on the bright side

Here in Calgary we have been enjoying weather that, for the season, can only be described as balmy. Like last year, February has been more spring than winter.

One of the reasons, of course, is our warming planet. The figures are in for January and the Earth just extended its hottest-months-on-record to nine in a row. And that's not all. January's temperature was highest above normal for any month ever recorded. And it doesn't end there. Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point ever for January. Siberia, northwest Canada, and much of Alaska were at least five degrees Celsius above normal. A record-breaker three times over—what a month!

So, what to do, what to do. Given my advanced age I will be long gone by the time global warming brings civilization crashing down around our ears, so should I worry about it or should I just ignore humanity's foolishness and enjoy the warm days warming my old bones? Hmmmm.


  1. claresholm here
    and i'm going with warming the 'ol bones
    the corner we missed
    was in the 60's i figure
    now nobody is able to tell 7 billion
    to just cut back
    or has the ability to talk rich people out of their money
    or unwind the wind up toy
    enjoy the ride


  2. It's not often I disagree with Lungta, Bill, but on this one I do. I don't know if you have children but many of us do and some of us will have grandchildren and their kids too.

    Theirs will be a highly precarious future. It won't be nearly as easy and carefree as we had it. That said, Canada like most countries with polar proximity, is advantaged compared to nations more equatorially proximate. What that means is that their future will probably run longer than less fortunate populations. Perhaps it will be long enough for the bright lights to discover some effective mitigation and adaptation technologies. We cannot know.

    What we do know is that, precarious as their future may be, we - today - can ensure it will be far more difficult than necessary. With every extra gigatonne of greenhouse gas we pour into the atmosphere, their prospects darken. We know, as a matter of scientific certainty, that our current emissions or atmospheric loading, without more, ensure warming of 1.5C by 2100. What we do from here on can easily send that to 2C, 3C or more. If the sword of Damocles is hanging over their heads, we have placed it there.

    That's what hangs in the balance - the future that awaits them, not yours. That's what our actions and attitudes will decide.