Thinking about this
If you look at the World Health Organisation’s list of health threats, number one is climate change. Pandemics were down in third place, behind ‘non-communicable diseases’ such as diabetes and obesity.
…it seems rather bizarre, and a good reason for Trump to defund the WHO.
Why has CO2 become so important?
“The Earth warms and cools on a range of different time scales, driven by different effects. But the two controlling factors are always the amount of sunlight (solar radiation) reaching the Earth’s surface, and the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.”
One explanation might be that if there are only two principal climate controlling factors, one of them (solar radiation) is known very precisely over hundreds of thousands of years. But CO2 concentrations are not equally well understood. So far more effort is put into studying CO2. It became all-important in climate studies several decades ago, and has since then become politically important as well. CO2 is important because it’s NOT well understood. But if, as at present, CO2 levels are rising, and causing atmospheric warming, it’s not too surprising if climate scientists are worried about warming.
Nevertheless the ice core record shows that we’re currently in one of Earth’s shortlived warm interglacials. And if climate scientists don’t understand CO2, they don’t understand ice ages either. They believe that as CO2 levels fall, ice ages are likely to start, and when they rise ice ages are likely to end. But the normal course of events shown in the ice cores predicts that we’re due for a new ice age any time now, except for the fact that CO2 levels are rising, which leads most climate scientists to believe that we’re not going to see a new ice age for a very long time, and to worry about warming.
My own belief, after two years of building my own model of heat flows (I used to build such models 40 years ago) at the surface of the Earth, is that there’s another factor that determines the glacial cycle, which is the thermal resistance of large areas of snow and ice during ice ages, which results in the gradual warming of subglacial rock by geothermal heat from within the Earth, and the eventual melting of the overlying snow, in a repeat cycle of freezing and melting. This cycle seems to be unknown to climate scientists. As I see it, it’s the ice sheets that control the glacial cycle, not CO2. Small rises in CO2 can only delay the inevitable onset of the next ice age, and we may have already experienced the delay: a new ice age could start any day. But climate scientists discount geothermal heat as insignificant by comparison with solar heat and the effect of CO2.
I think that at the present rate, we’re likely to be in for a terrible shock when ice starts advancing as the next ice age begins.