Gernot Wagner

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de abril de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

La última vez que la atmósfera contuvo tanto dióxido de carbono como hoy fue hace unos tres millones de años. En esa época, el nivel del mar era entre diez y treinta metros superior al actual. Los científicos llevan mucho tiempo tratando de reproducir esas grandes fluctuaciones del nivel marino mediante modelos climáticos, sin lograrlo. Pero ahora por primera vez, un modelo de gran calidad de la relación entre el clima y el hielo de la Antártida pudo simular esas oscilaciones. Es ciencia de la mejor, pero trae noticias devastadoras.

El nuevo modelo muestra que solo el derretimiento del hielo antártico puede provocar a fines de este siglo hasta un metro de aumento del nivel global del mar, mucho más que estimaciones previas.…  Seguir leyendo »

The headline in The New York Times yesterday was succinct. “By 2047, Coldest Years May Be Warmer Than Hottest in Past, Scientists Say.” Not, say, “around 2050” or “within our lifetime.” The specificity makes the crisis feel real, imminent and terrible. Call it a convenient truth. The story was about a new study published this week in the journal Nature that calculated that by 2047, the average temperature will be hotter across most parts of the planet than it had been at those locations in any year between 1860 and 2005.

In truth, attention to the year 2047 is misguided. Climate around the world has already changed to a point where we can perceive humanity’s fingerprint.…  Seguir leyendo »

In June 1992, world leaders, including President George Bush, agreed to combat climate change at the Earth Summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro. This week, at “Rio+20,” leaders, experts and activists will once more gather to ponder the fate of the planet.

Optimism will be in short supply. Since the first conference, global carbon emissions have increased by some 50 percent — an outcome that those who were present 20 years ago would surely have seen as disastrous. And we are continuing this sorry trend: As the Arctic becomes ice-free, we can expect that it will be drilled for oil.

But below most radars, and despite the alarming news, the seeds of an energy revolution are being sown.…  Seguir leyendo »

You reduce, reuse and recycle. You turn down plastic and paper. You avoid out-of-season grapes. You do all the right things.

Good.

Just know that it won’t save the tuna, protect the rain forest or stop global warming. The changes necessary are so large and profound that they are beyond the reach of individual action.

You refuse the plastic bag at the register, believing this one gesture somehow makes a difference, and then carry your takeout meal back to your car for a carbon-emitting trip home.

Say you’re willing to make real sacrifices. Sell your car. Forsake your air-conditioner in the summer, turn down the heat in the winter.…  Seguir leyendo »