Once again we reach the same point in the science of climate prediction. We have more prediction than we do science. There is no doubt that the Earth is warming. There is very little doubt that the rate of warming is increasing. Trouble is, we don’t know what that means.
To give an example, just last week in Science magazine there was a publisher’s note about a recent study which pointed out that we know that water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. What we don’t know is whether increasing the total amount of water in the atmosphere will increase or decrease the rate at which the planet heats, or cools. This is a body of observations in a desperate search for a science.
The warming trend may continue as we now measure it. It might slow down, or it might speed up. It may be because of human influence, or because of natural cycles we have not identified, or human influence may have delayed natural cycles we have not identified. Then there are the changes which may occur as a result of the increases.
Catastrophic melting of the Antarctic Ice Pack may have occurred at least once in geologic history. If so, sea levels rising, tsunamis, and positive feedback into the warming trend may each or all occur. Or not. The alteration in salinity and temperature from Polar melting, (or more importantly the Greenland Ice Sheet) could well cause a redirection of the Gulf Stream. Surprisingly, that change could occur on a time scale measured in decades, not centuries, resulting in a massive alteration in the temperatures of all of northern Eurasia. But then again, it might not.
If the possible results seem murky, you should read up on the possible causes. Carbon cycles altered by man, The presence of the Himalayan Plateau, the presence of the Andes/Rockies, the absence of large scale magma releases in the last hundred thousand years, periodicities in astronomic processes, all possible, none proven, and not a chance in hell that we can do much about most of them.
You and I can . . . carry an umbrella, galoshes, and a heavy coat, wear sunscreen, and . . . support the fight against the evil forces that are causing global warming, as soon as we find out what those forces are.