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Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Nov 3, 2020 at 3:00 AM
Climate Change

Stasis : a state of static balance or equilibrium : stagnation – Merriam-Webster

All aspects of life on earth are subject to continual change. The changes are the result of numerous factors including: changes in the sun; changes in earth’s position and orientation relative to the sun; changes resulting from anthropogenic actions, including gaseous and particulate emissions and land use changes; volcanic activity; and, other natural phenomena. Paleoclimatic history suggests that periods of stasis, if they have existed, have been brief and fleeting.

However, the consensed climate science community appear to believe that stasis is desirable and therefore, that global average temperature, global sea level, global ice cover, etc. should adhere to patterns determined to exist at some relatively recent point or period in human history. Some appear to believe that this point in history should be immediately prior to the start of the industrial revolution. Others appear to believe that this point should coincide with the beginning of the instrumental record, while others believe the period circa 1950 to be the reference point.

A relatively common position is: “We liked it the way it was in … and we want it to stay that way.” However, any particular year is but one year of a 30-year climate period and any particular climate period is merely one period in an epoch of approximately 11,000-year duration.

Residents of islands in the Pacific are concerned about rising sea levels, but ignore the reality that their islands are volcanic and have not always existed, no less at their current extent and elevation. Residents of coastal communities in numerous countries are also concerned about rising sea levels, but typically choose to ignore the effects of coastal subsidence.

Residents of cities and their environs are concerned about rising temperatures, but ignore the impact of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect on those temperatures. Residents of these cities frequently move to the suburbs, not realizing that they bring UHI with them as they expand the urban heat island.

Environmentalists are concerned about the retreat of glaciers, ignoring the fact that these glaciers are the residue of the most recent ice age. They are concerned about the effects of glacial retreat on global sea level, but ignore that global sea levels were much lower at the peak of the ice age in which the glaciers were formed.

Environmentalists are also concerned about the extent of sea ice, even though it has no impact on global sea levels. Sea ice coverage was far more extensive and persistent during the ice ages, even though global sea levels were far lower.

Climate science has not determined what set of static conditions would be ideal for the globe and all of its residents, but that has not deterred the desire for stasis at some set of conditions. There remains no common agreement on the specific conditions to be achieved.

There is also no recognition that stasis might be neither possible nor desirable, nor that the effort would likely require significant ongoing effort and cost.