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Science and the Global Climate Change Regime: the Implications of Warnings of Abrupt Climate Change

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Abstract:

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol were adopted when it was assumed that climate changes would evolve gradually. Recently, however, scientists have warned that abrupt climate change is a distinct possibility if freshwater intrusion into the North Atlantic slows or shuts down ocean currents and thus the thermohaline circulation. These scientific warnings cast further doubt on the adequacy of the gradual international cap-and-trade strategy embodied in the Kyoto Protocol. Will the emphasis continue to be on mitigating climate change by limiting emissions of greenhouse gases or by technological fixes that sequester them? Or will there be a decisive shift to designing adaptive strategies, as suggested by the recent Pentagon report on the implications of abrupt climate change for national security? Will the international community continue working together to address the threats posed by global climate change? Or will nations shun collective strategies in favor of self-help measures designed to buffer their own populations from the worst impacts of climate changes.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

climat (120), chang (101), abrupt (51), would (43), global (35), countri (34), develop (34), impact (33), may (28), atlant (28), emiss (27), intern (26), state (26), warm (24), regim (24), decad (24), north (23), adapt (23), ocean (23), water (22), cool (22),

Author's Keywords:

climate change, Kyoto Protocol, science, thermohaline circulation
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Name: International Studies Association
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http://www.isanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Soroos, Marvin. "Science and the Global Climate Change Regime: the Implications of Warnings of Abrupt Climate Change" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, Mar 05, 2005 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p69669_index.html>

APA Citation:

Soroos, M. S. , 2005-03-05 "Science and the Global Climate Change Regime: the Implications of Warnings of Abrupt Climate Change" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p69669_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol were adopted when it was assumed that climate changes would evolve gradually. Recently, however, scientists have warned that abrupt climate change is a distinct possibility if freshwater intrusion into the North Atlantic slows or shuts down ocean currents and thus the thermohaline circulation. These scientific warnings cast further doubt on the adequacy of the gradual international cap-and-trade strategy embodied in the Kyoto Protocol. Will the emphasis continue to be on mitigating climate change by limiting emissions of greenhouse gases or by technological fixes that sequester them? Or will there be a decisive shift to designing adaptive strategies, as suggested by the recent Pentagon report on the implications of abrupt climate change for national security? Will the international community continue working together to address the threats posed by global climate change? Or will nations shun collective strategies in favor of self-help measures designed to buffer their own populations from the worst impacts of climate changes.

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Associated Document Available Political Research Online
Associated Document Available International Studies Association

Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 26
Word count: 6550
Text sample:
Abrupt Global Climate Change and the International Climate Change Regime "We then went with the current of the sea's greatest river which has its own banks fish and temperature. I mean the Gulf Stream...we much pray that this steadiness continues because...if its speed and direction were to change the climates of Europe would undergo disturbances whose consequences are incalculable." -------Jules Verne 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea (quoted in Carlowicz 2003) Marvin S. Soroos Department of Political Science and
et al. 2002. "Increased River Discharge to the Arctic Ocean " Science. Vol. 298 December 13 2171-73. Schmitt Raymond W. 2000. "The Ocean's Role in Climate " testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation July 18. http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/currenttopics/abruptclimate_schmitt_testim.html 24 Schwartz Peter and Doug Randall 2003. "An Abrupt Climate Chantge Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security." http://www.ems.org/climate/pentagon_climatechange.pdf Weart Spencer 2003 "The Discovery of Rapid Climate Change "Physics Today. Vol. 56 (8) August. http://www.aip.org/pt/vol-56/iss-8/p30.html 25


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