Simon Donner takes on the great “climate change” vs. “global warming” debate. He argues, albeit somewhat tentatively, for capitulation; we should call a thing what everybody else calls the thing:
Rights and wrongs of the different labels aside, the fact is that there is a disconnect here. We use a term that means less to people. [more]
Apparently, Tom Yulsman has been on the “climate beat” for quite some time.
Anyway, he has a collection of interesting observations about communicating climate science from various participants. Unfortunately, no compelling position emerges from it. Sometimes I suspect that it is exactly the purpose of conventional journalism, to avoid influencing the reader’s position at all. [more]
IGSD / INECE press release:
Climate Change is Such a Serious Threat to National Security that Military Organizations are Now Part of the Solution
Washington, D.C., March 18, 2009 – International climate change policy must take into consideration the effects of climate change on national security and military organizations are part of the solution, said participants at yesterday’s “Climate Change & Security At Copenhagen” conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Institute for Environmental Security and the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE-EU), in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. [more]
From Herman Daly’s keynote to the AMS workshop on Federal Climate Policy:
However, it is useful to back up a bit and remember an observation by physicist John Wheeler, “We make the world by the questions we ask”. What are the questions asked by the climate models, and what kind of world are they making, and what other questions might we ask that would make other worlds? [more]
This peculiar figure is still up at a NASA site. The cooling rates are monstrously high (per annum!) and the boundary between land and sea is too sharp and there is altogether a misleading amount of detail. I seem to recall William Connolley warning me that this map was broken. [more]
Very interesting rebuttal to the “high cost” arguments I endorsed recently in an article by Adam Stein on Grist.
I don’t buy the argument that responding to climate change is “an opportunity” for society at large. An atmosphere sensitive to CO2 is worse than an atmosphere not sensitive to CO2. The “cost” may be exaggerated, but that doesn’t make it cost-free or a small matter. [more]
It’s time the conspiracy of engineers promoting their “thermodynamics” stopped getting a free ride.
It happens I believe in Phlogiston Theory. But so did all the Nobel winners, not just in physics and chemistry but also economics and peace. Without exception. Also Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi not to mention Babe Ruth and Bobby Orr and Joe Namath…
I understand that the contrary “thermodynamic” theory is motivated by economic self-interest on the part of engineers who want to keep getting money for designing their so-called combustion chambers and engines and such, but their pretense that the science is settled is very far from true. [more]
From Bob Park’s newsletter:
BALANCE: CLIMATE FEEDBACK MAY NOT BE AS BAD AS THOUGHT.
One of the global warming nightmares is that thawing permafrost might release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This positive feedback would accelerate warming. A group led by M. Turetsky of Michigan State found that new plant growth in thawing Canadian peat bogs more than offset the release of methane. [more]
Trenberth and Dai in GRL argue that injection of aerosol into the upper atmosphere reduces the vigor of the hydrological cycle, and thus is not a good compensation for greenhouse gas forcing. Even the abstract is behind the firewall! (That seems a bit counterproductive on any model of scientific publishing.) Here is the abstract:
Effects of Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption on the hydrological cycle as an analog of geoengineering
Kevin E. [more]
Most regular readers will have already noted RealClimate’s coverage of this year’s record Arctic sea ice retreat. Let me also point out that it has made the New York Times, with the headline “Analysts See ‘Simply Incredible’ Shrinking of Floating Ice in the Arctic“.
Also, Fergus has some interesting discussion and fascinating links.
The latest IPCC report notoriously appears to reduce the predicted sea level rise. The caveats to this reduction do not appear in the summary for policymakers. The middle of the road climatologists’ position is expressed in some detail by Stefan Rahmstorf on what I take to be one of the most important postings to appear on Realclimate. [more]
The South Asian Monsoon is turning out to be quite exceptional.
I think there should be a global index of how anomalous the global weather is at any given moment. It’s not obvious what the right metric would be. Because everything is more or less coupled to everything else, anomalous weather in one place should be accompanied by anomalous weather elsewhere. [more]
First of all, it’s still raining and it looks to be getting worse soon.
The New York Times had an article recently about Ron Paul remarked on the strange confluence of far left and far right opinion. This has coastal folks baffled. It makes perfect sense in the south, though. People who dismiss “flyover country” and come up with stupid theories about what makes rural people tick drive me mad. [more]
Another reason to use the expression “climate change” rather than “global warming” is it’s a far more fruitful search term. Amazon’s hits on “climate change” are dramatically more useful, though Singer and Michaels do turn up. I discovered this in responding to a query this morning from a nonspecialist about what to read after “Inconvenient Truth” to learn more. [more]
All sincere doubters ought to consider Naomi Oreskes’ excellent overview of the state of knowledge about anthropogenic climate change in specific, and about how we collectively come to know anything about anything in general.
Thanks to Andrew Dessler and Grist for the link.
Can the Wall Street Journal be far behind?
Quark Soup points out that the libertarian-conservative-republican (US) magazine National Review has a cover article conceding the reality of anthropogenic warming. You have to subscribe to read the article (I intend to read it over coffee at Borders, frankly) but here’s the (current as of this posting) link for confirmation. [more]
Let me call your attention to an elegant article by Paul Baer which does a better job than I have of calling the Stern Report methodologies into question and arguing for something other than economics to be steering our decisions. I have not heard of Mr Baer before but I look forward to hearing from him again.
Matt Huber and his student Ryan Sriver are onto some interesting ideas about tropical storms to say the least. Following on some ideas of Kerry Emanuel’s they are arguing that there are no ifs or buts about it. If their argument, which looks pretty solid to me, is correct, increased tropical cyclone activity is inevitable in a warming scenario. [more]
and neither do I, honestly. He is quoted in a news article in Science.
Geochemist Daniel Schrag of Harvard University argues that mandatory carbon caps should have been applied years ago to force energy technology innovations. He doesn’t think that it’s necessary to have, as Bush proposed, a year and a half of discussion to define emissions goals. [more]