Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Climate change observation

I was reading earlier (here) interesting and challenging observations about the potential impact of climate change at olliesplace.  That set me to thinking how we, the little people, caring for our few square feet of the planet might have a role to play. That translated into rather a long comment on their blog (apologies to olliesplace for my ramblings). I thought I'd copy my comment here:

Learning and adaptation in the face of climate change seem to be crucial. The effects on agriculture, horticulture and all aspects of life will be, it seems, profound and at the same time difficult to predict as to their nature and timing.
I wonder if all of us involved in care of the land, on any scale, might have a further part to play in this. 
Is it possible (Maybe through IPCC, or perhaps more locally at first) to agree a common, small basket of indicators of change, readily understood and observable by gardeners, farmers, naturalists and similar for recording, submission  and analysis, either in a responsible government department, meteorological agency or university. This would allow very detailed mapping of change, it's extent and nature, for the purpose, not of finding yet further evidence for global warming (though it may do that) but specifically to allow detailed understanding of the impact and speed of change.
There is an assumption that climate change is gradual. Yet evidence exists (Greenland ice core studies for example) that it can "flip" in very short time spans.
Such changes need to be observable, understood and capable of being acted upon by all of us on the land. 
Knowing of change helps planning in cropping and animal care. We know already that carrying on as before is not an option, changed growing conditions, different pest problems demand flexible approaches.
Just a thought, maybe it's already being done, and I've missed it?

1 comment:

Will said...

So true. We need to remember also to encourage small changes too. Even people opposed to change in their lifestyle can make small contributions they may not even notice. Contrary to some thought on the subject, I think these small changes, can make a difference.

I see you found one of the comment forms to use that has the name/url option. Thanks!