Little funding for study of climate change impacts

October 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Climate science funding, Climate science research | Leave a comment
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According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report, the earth’s average surface temperature will very likely increase by 2 to 11.5 degrees over the next century.

Knowing this range for average surface temperature, though, doesn’t give people a whole lot of information to go on about the future.  In the first place, it’s a range, and small differences in degrees can change what plants will grow well in a region. 

Add in the fact that projections for future precipitation have an even wider span, in part because of climate models’ inability to deal with clouds very well, and the unknowns multiply even more.  Not to mention that changes in climate will likely manifest differently by region. 

So, the question remains: what will climate change mean? And how do we prepare for it if we don’t understand what it will look like?

It’s a question that a story in the most recent issue of the journal Science reports has been neglected by the Bush administration. 

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