Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Blame Gaia

This is what I've always thought would turn out to be true.

There's more to the recent dramatic and alarming thawing of the Arctic region than can be explained by man-made global warming alone, a new study found. Nature is pushing the Arctic to the edge, too.

There's a natural cause that may account for much of the Arctic warming, which has melted sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature. New research points a finger at a natural and cyclical increase in the amount of energy in the atmosphere that moves from south to north around the Arctic Circle.

[If you doubt it, go back through the blog and search "climate change."]

I don't base that on scientific expertise, but on an acquaintance with the vicissitudes of climate in human history and pre-history.

I'll be watching to see how this research holds up. I'll be even more curious to see if this emerges as the paradigm, when so many people -- almost everyone who's opened his mouth on the topic, in fact -- is invested in one way or another in something else. Before the article is finished, some of them are trying to spin it one way or another.

Climate change is a real and historical event; we are at the end of a run of relatively stable weather. It is a serious threat to people around the world in many ways. It is not entirely caused by human activity, and even if all the fondest dreams of environmentalists were realized overnight, it still would be happening and uncontrolled.

That's not going to make anybody happy. True things rarely do. We'll see if this is one.