And by complex, I mean complex enough that you can’t do much by cutting off greenhouse gasses. If you could, which you can’t. Scroll down past the map of the Great Ice Age, which happened two million years ago.
But the reality of humans’ impact on climate is exceedingly complex.2 Even if greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated completely, other harmful anthropogenic [human caused] sources of climate change would remain. And even if global average temperatures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways.
One often overlooked human factor is land use. Deforestation, dryland farming, irrigated agriculture, overgrazing, and other alterations to the natural landscape can disrupt Earth’s natural balances and change weather patterns. As with the addition of CO2 into the atmosphere, the effects can last for decades or longer and affect regions distant from the original offense. Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.
In theory, this could be really bad news. This might mean the next Global Climate Change conference might want to address land use, through land use regulations. A sort of Global Zoning Initiative. Actually, I’m sorry I wrote that, because that is probably what will happen.
I think by the time the next Global Climate meeting is held — far away from where the participants live — the game will be up. People will understand that these nuts are not saving the planet by flying jets to exotic places to write rules for others to live by.
I say next time they get somewhere for a climate wing-ding, we get the local airport to refuse to refuel. On account of Climate Change.