The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers the hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2)is the driving force governing our climate. This is primarily based on climate forecast models. We are early in a five-year period of time when we can test that hypothesis on the real atmosphere.
If those of us who believe the IPCC greatly overstates and oversimplifies the effects of CO2 on the climate are right, we should see significant cooling by 2013; 2015 at the latest. And, that cooling should last for a number of years. There are three reasons why cooling should occur:
- The very long solar cycle and the lack of sunspots in recent years. A number of scientists believe this alone is enough to cause cooling in about three years. Some scientists believe that there is roughly a three-year lag between dearth of sunspots and resulting cooling.
- The (warm) El Nino has flipped to a (cool) La Nina in the Pacific.
- The Pacific Decadal Oscillation has flipped into the cool phase (after 20+ years in the warm phase).
If these three conditions do not cause cooling then it is likely the IPCC is right and major actions are needed. If the cooling occurs, we can continue to do research and try to improve our ability to forecast the future state of the climate.
We can afford to wait. There is nothing about 'global warming' the calls for immediate drastic action (world temperatures are falling at the moment). At this moment, inaction is wise.