(note: Part 2 of Blanket Effect series, edited for content)
An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its' Implications for United States National Security (PDF)
By Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall
A Climate Change Scenario For the Future
The past examples of abrupt climate change suggest that it is prudent to consider an abrupt climate change scenario for the future as plausible, especially because some recent scientific findings suggest that we could be on the cusp of such an event.
Rather than predicting how climate change will happen, our intent is to dramatize the impact climate change could have on society if we are unprepared for it.
Many scientists would regard this scenario as extreme both in how soon it develops, how large, rapid and ubiquitous the climate changes are.
But history tells us that sometimes the extreme cases do occur, there is evidence that it might be and it is DOD’s job to consider such scenarios.
In the climate change disruption scenario proposed here, we consider a period of gradual warming leading to 2010 and then outline the following ten years, when like in the 8,200 event, an abrupt change toward cooling in the pattern of weather conditions change is assumed to occur.
Warming Up to 2010
Following the most rapid century of warming experienced by modern civilization, the first ten years of the 21st century see an acceleration of atmospheric warming, as average temperatures worldwide rise by .5 degrees Fahrenheit per decade and by as much as 2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade in the harder hit regions.
Most of North America, Europe, and parts of South America experience 30% more days with peak temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit than they did a century ago, with far fewer days below freezing.
In addition to the warming, there are erratic weather patterns: more floods, particularly in mountainous regions, and prolonged droughts in grain-producing and coastal-agricultural areas.
In general, the climate shift is an economic nuisance, generally affecting local areas as storms, droughts, and hot spells impact agriculture and other climate-dependent activities.
(next: Pt 3- The Period from 2010 to 2020 - Thermohaline Circulation Collapse)