Cancun, climate, and weather

Fokke & Sukke are proud weathermen The outcome of the climate negotiations … can now be predicted months in advance.

The 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 6th Meeting of the Parties to its Kyoto Protocol has started today in Cancun. It will last for two weeks. Unlike last year’s conference/meeting in Copenhagen, expectations are low this time. Again, results will be minimal.

The economic crises, the results of the mid-term elections in the USA, climategate, and the deception of Copenhagen are often listed as reasons why Cancun is unlikely to lead to a breakthrough. I would add that the international climate negotiations repeat the same moves over and over again. If something did not work the last 10 times, why would you try it again? I’ve argued elsewhere that the international framework for climate policy is complete, and that we should now focus on reducing national emissions at minimum cost.

There is another similarity between Copenhagen and Cancun. It’s winter. There are slow oscillations in the climate. Experts reckon that cold winters may be with us for another decade or so. After that, trend and cycle will conspire to rapid warming.