Readers will perhaps know that I have been doing weather and climate research for perhaps half a century now.
I was never a strong proponent of climate change in the fashion of the orthodox or IPCC approach. I tended towards the skeptical camp and thought that the warming trends evident in recent times were largely natural in origin. This implied that they might reverse and the problems would be resolved (or new problems would arise).
More recently, I have come around to the belief that the current warming is probably about two-thirds natural and one-third anthropogenic in origins. That ratio is perhaps going to change over time but will remain the complex foundation for further climate change in the near to mid-range future.
Therefore I am proposing a third option which is neither the orthodox IPCC position nor the typical climate skeptic position. CC3 is the term I hope to make widely known for a position which says, basically:
** Warming is probably going to continue at a moderate pace, perhaps muted for a decade or two by the solar downturn, but apparently robust enough to keep temperature trends moving upward, and with the possibility of a larger increase to come when the Sun resumes a more active phase (which could be delayed to 2050 or beyond).
** There is perhaps a 25% chance that natural cooling will intervene and return the climate to something approximating the mid-20th century. As long as human activity sustains higher greenhouse gas levels, it seems unlikely that we would cool off as much as the mid-19th century, and levels similar to the Dalton or Maunder minima are probably not achievable until well on into the future when Milankovitch cycles, currently flat-lining, resume their path towards the next glacial interval.
** Therefore it seems prudent to plan around the near-inevitability of at least some sea level rise, and current IPCC-driven political programs which seem unlikely to gain full acceptance anyway would have little or no impact on this inevitable outcome.
I would foresee three stages of sea level rises if natural plus anthropogenic warming continues at any pace greater than 50% of the pace set from 1890 to 1960 and resumed around 1987.
In the first stage, considerable marginal melting in Greenland and widespread deglaciation of lesser ice sheets and mountain glaciers might promote a 1.0 to 1.5 metre sea level rise. This would have large impacts in a few coastal areas that are low-lying inland (such as Miami, FL) and would remove large areas of current ocean-beach habitats. It would be a manageable problem in many other cases, especially if protective dykes were built up in the next 20-30 years (as is already underway in some cases). I foresee this stage occurring around 2040 to 2070 and I don't think any political action curtailing fossil fuel production or usage will change the situation more than marginally.
In a second stage, larger parts of Greenland may start to melt and there could also be significant melting around margins of Antarctica (less certain). This stage might raise sea levels a further 3 to 6 metres. This would be most likely to occur around 2070 to 2150.
A third stage might see a catastrophic meltdown of all remaining polar ice but that seems less than 50% likely and would be well off into the 23rd or 24th centuries. Our technological capability by then might be a game changer (we might have planetary weather control for example).
Since the other two positions (IPCC, skeptics) have well known political positions (carbon taxing and ignoring the problem), CC3 should have its own distinct political position (action required). I believe this is the most logical political response:
** Monitor for sea level rises and other actionable outcomes, and develop strategies for mitigation of these outcomes. The main weakness of the IPCC science may be its inaccurate assessment of the proportionality of natural and anthropogenic warming (a recent discussion I had with self-identified IPCC experts establishes that they think the warming is a blend of 1.5 times current warming of human sources and -0.5 times from natural trends which "ought to be" cooling as they were over much of the previous 5,000 years). That leads the political side of their movement to suggest rather frantic interventions in the economy of western nations in particular to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. They clearly think that if successful these interventions will return the climate to its predestined cooling trend.
If that cooling trend is supposed to be heading (courtesy of Milankovitch cycles) towards the next glacial period, then I don't really see the point of trying to speed that up, do you? Another "ice age" in popular parlance would be a much greater disaster than any sea level rises or other warming phenomena. It would displace far more people and impact agriculture in much worse ways. But that's a debate for people in the distant future perhaps. Most researchers who agree that Milankovitch holds the key to the timing of the next glacial period think it could be 25 to 50 thousand years into the future.
This current human activity spike in greenhouse gases will likely be ancient history to those people who we might imagine will be living in a very high-tech environment that might even include sophisticated weather control schemes.
So to return to the more logical political response, I would say we need to be planning the following initiatives:
** upgrading coastal defences and drawing up plans for larger defences that could be constructed over 10-20 years if future governments become convinced that sea levels are rising (there is no need to go too quickly into this, the sea level rises are not likely to be catastrophically rapid).
** making the most logical decisions about fossil fuel production and exporting, for example at the moment the green movement in Canada wants to curtail a lot of that including even LNG shipments to China which would replace coal burning energy there. That makes no sense to me. The net change in greenhouse gas emission (and sooty deposition) brought about by those exports would be a positive. At the same time, it might make more sense to refine petroleum closer to source of production so that what is being shipped can go by road and rail more easily than pipelines. Perhaps stockpiling incentives so that production could continue to stimulate the economy but a larger market share for electric vehicles would extend the operational life of the fossil fuel component, making for lower annual outputs of fossil fuel emissions.
** desalination can reduce ocean levels slightly and on a massive scale in key areas (southwest U.S., Mexico, west Africa, Middle East, Australia, Namibia, Chile and Peru) there are large areas that could be successfully irrigated and brought into agricultural production. In some cases (notably west Africa, southern California) there are options for extending ocean cover into inland basins that are already below sea level (thus only connecting excavations required) and those basins could be used to store the desalinated water created or to increase the total volume of the global ocean (perhaps offsetting some of the sea level rises).
** technologies should be stimulated in such areas as large-scale carbon scrubbing or sinks, and a new area opened up, to increase ocean volume. In Canada, we have a lot of waste land, so much so that it doesn't even hold any sort of significance to native peoples for hunting. This waste land is often not very far above sea level. I wonder if expanding the area of Hudson Bay or the Beaufort Sea (Banks Island is almost the size of Ireland and is almost totally uninhabited) might provide a restraint on sea level rises and at the same time the climate change underway in those regions might go through useful changes such as increased snow cover around the subarctic margins. There might also be areas of northern Russia that could be engineered to become part of the ocean (this would take massive engineering to remove land and place the sediments in useful positions). I don't think we are stuck with sea level rises if we can engineer solutions. But if we get to "phase two" larger rises then I think we run out of options like these.
Basically then, what I plan to promote is a more common sense approach to the same problems that the IPCC identifies. I don't think their political agenda is very popular in most western countries and if they try to over-extend their hand with coercive approaches, who is going to do the coercion? The UN peacekeeping forces were mentioned by one IPCC zealot, apparently they were to be deployed near U.S. oilfields to ensure compliance with the Paris accords. Anyone who thinks that would actually work is not very familiar with American politics.
My belief is that the warming has enough of a natural component that it will almost inevitably continue anyway, even if the green movement somehow had a complete success over 20-30 years. I will be releasing a massive study of the past 180 years of weather data at Toronto, comparing that to the CET records which are twice as long (and 247 years of daily data). What this will show is that natural warming was almost certainly the main cause of warming from about 1890 to 1960 (in North America more certainly than in Europe). That natural warming might have had some anthropogenic input but the massive rises in greenhouse gases did not really begin until after 1930. What I see after that is a slight cooling phase (1978 to 1982 particularly cool) then with the large El nino event of 1982-83 a sort of phase change back to the previous trend of natural warming, which has slowed to a crawl since about 2012.
I can't accept the IPCC arguments and I don't think they have a true "proven science." They bang on about some 99% consensus which they can only attain by excluding all dissidents in the profession (and they are numerous). This is the old communist approach of putting two candidates on a ballot, one from the party, and one who you knew was not a real candidate and if you were spotted voting for that person, you would end up in Siberia for twenty years. But that had the advantage of reducing the communist vote from 100% to 99.7% or whatever, which duped a few really stupid people in the west into thinking that the people actually wanted communism (100% would sound rigged to those few idiots).
If you raise valid concerns about the IPCC theories, you just get a torrent of abuse and hostility (how dare you squared).
And the use of psychological manipulation on vulnerable school-aged children to sell this half-baked unproven theory is a major scandal and an egregious case of child abuse. If this is "science" then I want no part of it. By calm and rational persuasion, I think this CC3 approach can be shown to be an improvement on both that politically tinged IPCC agenda and the see-no-warming approach of many skeptics (who may be proved right in the long run, but my approach overlaps to the extent that if careful observation and monitoring reveal no impending problems, then fine, do nothing).
One person acting alone can probably have very little impact on the global conversation. So I am going to do whatever I can to promote this CC3 approach as a better alternative until it gains some traction and becomes part of that conversation. I hope you'll consider giving it your support. To give further evidence that natural warming is a real issue, and to provide some hard data for the discussion, I will soon be publishing a website and associated excel file to be entitled "Toronto-180" which documents all of the data collected at this one location (downtown Toronto) for the longest known period in North America (March 1, 1840 to end of Feb 2020). There is also a daily climate record for the years 1831 to 1860 partially overlapping, from Providence RI southwest of Boston. My CET studies are extensive and documented over on Net-weather in their historic weather section.
This Toronto-180 study will show the associated rises in temperature at that location relative to the CET. That helps to identify how much of the warming at Toronto is due to the urban heat island (another human influence, but separate from the AGW climate change sort of warming although I've often wondered, if all urban heat islands are summed up, what's their net contribution to the overall warming since when it gets windy, those heat island effects are spread out into the larger circulation). The size of the urban heat island at Toronto is evidently about 2 C deg since the large city now has brought temperatures up to very similar levels to the CET whereas in the mid-19th century when Toronto was only a small town the size of perhaps Athlone or Mullingar today, and the station at the edge of that town, the average temperature was running closer to 2 degrees lower than the CET.
This data set will be a treasure trove for researchers in general. I have shown in graphical format the changes in all aspects of the climate at Toronto, and compared them to the CET. The various El Nino warmings that are stronger in North America create interesting differentials but the trends are usually similar. There were pronounced temperature spikes in both data sets in 1921, 1948 and 1953. There were however years out of phase. When North America was experiencing widespread record heat in 1936, nothing similar occurred in Britain. Heat waves of 1911 and 1955 were similar in both places.
Anyway, what was a linear debate (warming that we caused, or no problem) is now perhaps a three-cornered discussion with this new addition. I see some problems in adequately resolving the two components of warming, but I feel quite sure that the warming is likely to continue no matter what governments do in the short term. The idea that we can easily change the trends is probably a fallacy even if the IPCC science is sound. It is more of a fallacy if their science is unsound. So it's complicated. Unlike the IPCC scientists, I have faith in the general public to choose the right path and I don't think 99% of the people who read weather forums are stupid and need to be educated or lectured. So I value your opinion. With an attitude like that, is it any wonder I have been blacklisted by our rather lamentable science for most of my adult life?
To me, it's a sign of weakness when a scientific body quickly resorts to options like censorship, blacklisting, ostracism, ad hominem arguments, I don't recall Albert Einstein using any of those to gain acceptance for his ideas.