Sunday, January 28, 2018

Literary Corner: There Is a Cooling, And There's a Heating

Long-term sea ice concentration for January 27 2018, compared to median value for this day, 1981-2010, as indicated by red line. Setting records! Via National Snow and Ice Data Center.

In his year at the heart of world political power, it's remarkable how much Donald Trump has retained his capacity for childlike wonder, as in the fresh, almost dewy trimeter lines of this lyrical response to a question on the 2016 Paris Agreement, which he has announced the United States will leave in November 2020, from his interview with British fashion icon Piers Morgan on ITV (see today's Independent story, "Donald Trump appears to misunderstand basic facts of climate change in Piers Morgan interview"), when he talks about his longing to rejoin the agreement, because of his fondness for the president of France, but fears he can't unless it's a different agreement, as if Mom had said he couldn't:

It Used to Be Global Warming
by Donald J. Trump

I. If Somebody Said, Go Back
If somebody said, go back
into the Paris accord,
it would have to be a completely
different deal because
we had a horrible deal.
Would I go back in?
Yeah, I'd go back in.
I like, as you know, I like
Emmanuel. I would love to,
but it's got to be a good
deal for the United States.
II. There Is a Cooling, And There's a Heating
There is a cooling, and there’s
a heating. I mean, look,
it used to not be climate change,
it used to be global warming.
That wasn’t working too well
because it was getting too cold
all over the place. The ice caps
were going to melt, they were
going to be gone by now,
but now they're setting records.
More below average since December than ever before (though 2012's September-December readings were even worse). The most widely accepted predictions for an ice-free summer in the Arctic have it happening not "by now" but between 2020 and 2040, as per Overland and Wang 2013. The fact that in September 2012 the summer ice extent was already down 49% from its 1979-2011 median value (see below) made it seem pretty urgent.

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