Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

‘Climate dice’ now dangerously loaded: leading scientist

From Yahoo! News:

PARIS (AFP) – Evidence for global warming has mounted but public awareness of the threat has shrunk, due to a cold northern winter and finger-pointing at the UN’s climate experts, a top scientist warned Wednesday.

“That gap has increased substantially in the last year,” Hansen told a press conference during a visit to Paris.

“While the science was becoming clearer, the public’s perception became less clear, in part because of the unusually cold winter in both North America and Europe, and in part because of the inappropriate over-emphasis on small minor errors in IPCC documents and because of the so-called Climategate.”

Full article here:

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

From Skeptical Science:

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science: a letter to Science

A letter Climate Change and the Integrity of Science has been published in the journal Science. It’s written by 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, including 11 Nobel laureates (here’s the complete list plus their university affiliations). I recommend reading the entire letter but here is an excerpt:

There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet…

… The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific assessments of climate change, which involve thousands of scientists producing massive and comprehensive reports, have, quite expectedly and normally, made some mistakes. When errors are pointed out, they are corrected. But there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:

  1. The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.
  2. Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
  3. Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth’s climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.
  4. Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.
  5. The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.

Much more can be, and has been, said by the world’s scientific societies, national academies, and individuals, but these conclusions should be enough to indicate why scientists are concerned about what future generations will face from business-as-usual practices. We urge our policy-makers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the un restrained burning of fossil fuels.

The scientists are the members of the NAS most familiar with climate science, as explained by lead signer Peter Gleick:

It is hard to get 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to agree on pretty much anything, making the import of this letter even more substantial. Moreover, only a small fraction of National Academy members were asked to sign (the signatories are all members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences but were not speaking on its behalf). Because of a desire to produce a statement quickly, the coordinators of the letter focused on those sections of the NAS most familiar with climate science and the ongoing debate. But the NAS (and Academies of Sciences and other professional scientific societies from dozens of other nations) has previously published a long set of assessments and reviews of the science of climate change, which support the conclusions laid out in the Science essay.

Lastly, here is a link to the National Academy of Science’s Policy advice, based on science, to guide the nation’s response to climate change.

Artic Heating Up in a Snowball Effect

From the New York Times:

Now climate researchers have detected such a feedback loop at work in the Arctic. It is well known that the region is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Yet scientists have yet to agree on why. Some have theorized that warmer air from the south was responsible, while others blame a change in cloud cover.

Read the full article here.

Fox News Reports: IPCC Report Gets an “F” from Critics

It may be time for the United Nations’ climate-studies scientists to go back to school.

And they gave 21 of the report’s 44 chapters a grade of “F.”

The team, recruited by the climate-change skeptics behind the website, found that 5,600 of the 18,500 sources in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Nobel Prize-winning 2007 report were not peer reviewed.

A group of 40 auditors — including scientists and public policy experts from across the globe — have released a shocking report card on the U.N.’s landmark climate-change research report. 

The full article can be read here.  I looked up the website that sponsored the study to find out if this was credible look at the IPCC report and I have come to the conclusion that this is not a very credible report.  Here is why I think this is so.  First, the report has been sponsored by a website devoted to proving global warming is a hoax.  So right of the bat their credibility gets a big black mark in the area of objectivity.  Secondly, I looked the l ist of volunteers to find out what kind of background these folks have.  The list can be found here.  The list contains the names and for some the credentials of those who examined the IPCC report.  A big strike for me against their credibility is that there are few if any actual climatologists listed, or at least from what can be determined from the list.  There are some scientists with impressive sounding credentials but nothing really directly connected to climate science.  Many on the list appear to be bloggers.  Knowing the extent of my scientific expertise, that doesn’t give me much faith in the report either.  A couple of the examiners remained anonymous which is a big strike against credibility and many have no information regarding their credentials so there isn’t an easy way to check out their backgrounds.  Let’s say for the sake of argument that all on the list have impeccable credentials in climate science.  One report cannot overturn decades of research done by thousands of scientists across the globe.  So for me, this news report doesn’t do much for me and only represents more bad science.