Climate, And Time Scales

How long is long?

The science of climate change on decadal to century timescales most definitely is not settled, in spite of the IPCC’s highly confident proclamations. There are so many interesting and unsolved issues in climate dynamics. At this point, climate science seems relatively irrelevant for energy policies – the goals of carbon mitigation are in place, and whether anything meaningful can be achieved in the near term is doubtful. However, climate scientists are (in the words of Pointman) in a hurry towards some finishing line only they could see, and acted accordingly. I suspect that the IPCC becoming less and less relevant to the UNFCCC agenda.

I’m hoping that at some point soon, climate scientists will get fed up with trying to play politics with their science and get back to researching and debating these fundamentally interesting and unsolved issues in climate science, rather than attacking their colleagues for suggesting that there are other ways of thinking about climate change.

Wouldn’t that be nice?