Thursday, April 5, 2012

Climate contrarian case wilts as more studies confirm warming trends

Gerard Wynn in the Insurance News via Reuters: A clutch of recent studies reinforces evidence that people are causing climate change and suggests debate should now move on to a more precise understanding of its impact on humans. The reports, published in various journals in recent weeks, add new detail to the theory of climate change and by implication cast contrarians in a more desperate light.

To be clear: there’s nothing wrong with doubting climate change; but doubts based on ignorance, a political bias or fossil fuel lobbying don’t help.

The basics, well known, are that rising greenhouse gas emissions are almost certainly responsible for raising global average surface temperatures (by about 0.17 degrees Celsius [app. 0.3°F] a decade from 1980-2010), in turn leading to sea level rise (of about 2.3 millimeters [0.0905 inches] a year from 2005-2010) and probably causing more frequent bouts of extreme heat waves and possibly more erratic rainfall.

Vast uncertainties remain about the risk of runaway warming, and the urgency: for example, about what level of greenhouse gas emissions will cause how much sea level rise this century. The latest studies suggest firmer evidence for a human finger print, for example showing that pollution is largely responsible for a slow cycle in sea surface temperatures in the last century.

Recent studies also cast more light on trends, for example showing that the world has seen hotter years since 1998 (previously held by some as a record); and presenting firmer forecasts for 2050....

Khan Atshan near Karbala. Taken from a US Army UH-60 over the western Iraqi desert. Shot by Jim Gordon, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Vast uncertainties remain about the risk of runaway warming.."

The vast uncertainties don't stop there. Virtually every part of climate alarmism is based on vast uncertainties. Like climate sensitivity is vastly uncertain, the amount of cooling clouds deliver is vastly uncertain, the amount the ocean will rise or fall is vastly uncertain, the amount the planet will warm or cool is vastly uncertain, or how long must we tolerate climate alarmism is vastly uncertain. So you're not kidding about vast uncertainties.