Los conocimientos conocidos del cambio climático

POTSDAM – El filósofo Daniel Dennett alguna vez comparó la ciencia con la construcción de una pirámide gigante. Su base representa la masa del conocimiento bien establecido -el que ya no es polémico y el que rara vez se discute fuera del ámbito académico-. La investigación más reciente se va apilando hacia la cima de la pirámide, donde se lleva a cabo la mayor parte del debate público. Es una metáfora adecuada para la investigación sobre el cambio climático, que vale la pena tener en cuenta con la publicación del último informe del Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático de las Naciones Unidas (IPCC por su sigla en inglés).

El quinto informe del IPCC, producto de varios años de trabajo de cientos de científicos expertos en clima de todo el mundo, analiza nuestro conocimiento establecido del cambio climático y explica hallazgos más recientes. Los medios, comprensiblemente, tienden a centrarse en esto último -como las predicciones de una crecida mucho más alta del nivel del mar comparado con el informe previo del IPCC de 2007-. Pero olvidémonos del ciclo de las noticias y démosle una mirada a la base de conocimiento sólido de nuestra pirámide.

La investigación sobre el clima se remonta a por lo menos dos siglos, al descubrimiento de Joseph Fourier de los efectos de los gases de tipo invernadero en los climas planetarios; en 1859, John Tyndall demostró en su laboratorio qué gases causan este efecto. Mediciones detalladas de radiación, en el terreno y desde satélites, han demostrado desde entonces la existencia del efecto invernadero.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now