Global climatic change has been in the limelight for decades now. And yet scientists still cannot agree on the nature of the ongoing processes. Are we in an age of warming or cooling? What is the engine of natural cataclysms that occur ever so often today? And how should we make forecasts for the future? As Yuri Izrael, head of the federal service involved with hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring and full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, sees it, the all-important problem now is to look into the possibilities of stabilizing the climate. He aired his view in an interview for the Moscow evening daily Vecher-nyaya Moskva in November 2010.
It is an open secret now: the earth has seen many climatic changes, with warming and cooling spells following one after another. In the dim and distant past, in the age of dinosaurs (ca. 230 to 65 years ago)*, the globe's surface temperature was about ten degrees Celsius higher; that's when vital mineral deposits like coal came into being. The latest Ice Age came to an end around 10,000 years ago, while the contemporary temperature maximum is known to have established itself but 5,000 years later. Ever since, the global temperature has been fluctuating now and then for a variety of causes, natural and anthropogenic alike. It has seen ups and downs, sure. If
* See: Yu. Avsyuk et al., " Did Dinosaurs Die Out Suddenly?", Science in Russia, No. 3, 2002; V. Alifanov, A. Averyanov, "Time of Dinosaurs", Science in Russia, No. 5, 2003.--Ed.
we take these past 100 years, the warming trend is quite obvious.
The impact of human activities on the global climate is certainly beyond doubt*, Acad. Izrael went on to say. But he did not agree with the climatic weapon idea now on the anvil. The anomalously hot summer of 2010, he says, was due to natural geophysical processes that kept the heatwave in European Russia for a long stretch of time. In point of fact, no country has power enough to exert even ... Читать далее