Incertidumbre y acción sobre el cambio climático

Las incertidumbres sobre el cambio climático son amplias y numerosas. ¿Cuánto CO2 podría agregarse a la atmósfera si no se hace nada al respecto? ¿Cuánto calentamiento global causará y cómo afectará a los climas locales, los ecosistemas y las especies vulnerables? ¿Qué impacto tendrán esos cambios en la productividad, la comodidad y la salud? Y, por supuesto, ¿cuáles son los costos probables de cambiar a fuentes de energía renovables y de la conservación de energía?

Mientras más se sabe sobre el cambio climático –por ejemplo, el papel de las nubes y los océanos—más incertidumbres surgen. Sin embargo, la “teoría” del invernadero, como a veces se le llama despectivamente, ha quedado demostrada más allá de cualquier duda responsable. Hay incertidumbre sobre los parámetros cuantitativos, y puede haber dudas sobre si el calentamiento global de las últimas décadas se debe exclusivamente al “efecto invernadero”. Pero no hay dudas científicas sobre los fundamentos del calentamiento global.

Si sabemos que la tierra se está calentando, pero no sabemos a ciencia cierta a qué velocidad y con qué efectos sobre los climas a nivel mundial, ¿cuáles son las medidas más urgentes que debemos adoptar para afrontarlo? Una, por supuesto, es seguir estudiando los fenómenos climáticos y su impacto ecológico. Otra es promover las investigaciones enfocadas a encontrar remedios. Necesitamos urgentemente entender qué alternativas habrá para los combustibles fósiles, cuánta energía se puede conservar, como extraer el CO2 de la atmósfera y, de ser necesario, cómo aumentar el albedo de la tierra, es decir, su capacidad de reflejar la luz del sol.

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