CLIMATE, FACTS AND HOW TO INTERPRET THEM

Name Position Findings, conclusions
Svante Arrhenius Professor of chemistry at University of Uppsala, 1859-1927 Concluded that there is no doubt that CO2 is heat-absorbing. Probably the first scientist to calculate (according to the story on the back of an envelope) the effect of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 on the global temperature,
Bert Bolin Professor of meteorology, 1925 – 2007, the first chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Research on the carbon cycle convinced him of the danger of climate change, and the role of human activities. Helped introduce the Keeling curve to world-wide research circles. The Bohlin Centre for Climate Research, KTH, Stockholm, formed in 2006, is named after him
Charles David Keeling American scientist, 1928 – 2005, conducted measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere at the Manua Loa Observatory on Hawaii Alerted about the risk of accelerating anthropogenic CO2 increase, measured continuously since the 1950s, and of the dangers of “greenhouse effect” and global warming
Tony Heller

aka Steve Goddard

Nowadays blogger at ”Real science”, geologist, former software developer at Intel, imaging systems for Defense Dept  etc. Analyst and activist rather than researcher Warmest years in modern history were around 1936. NASA has recalibrated – not clear why -all weather station data so that temperatures seem to be rising, while in reality they have been falling somewhat, at least in the USA. Concerns over global warming are exaggerated, and we should not worry since the world might be slowly cooling.
Kevin Anderson Professor and Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Never travels by airplane Little or no chance of containing the rise in global mean surface temperature at or below 2 degrees C (as proposed in the Paris accord). Moreover: the impact has been reassessed so that the 2-degree increase now represents the threshold between dangerous and extremely dangerous climate change. No point in losing hope, but really very little hope, and time for a cool-headed review of the scale of the challenge facing the global community. Tough times ahead. The current, dominant economic model needs reshaping, as it is not fit for bringing about reduction in use of fossil fuel for energy generation. So, again, little room for hope.
Guy McPherson Professor emeritus, Natural Resources and Ecology, born 1960, USA, blogger at Nature Bats Last, advocate of the idea “Near Term Extinction” NTE NTE is guaranteed. It could be here within 10 years. Extinction means everybody.  Warnings have been around since the 19th century, but were not taken to heart. We have less time than most people imagine. Habitats will from now on degrade fast, leading to drastic fall in food production. We will starve to extinction. This will happen even if we would be able to stop all CO2 emissions immediately. (Part 3 of the Nature Bats Last essay on the blog reads like a tortuous, drawn-out vision of Ragnarök and I do not want to be there when it comes).
IPCC International Platform for Coordination of Climate research, formed in 1988, advisory function, assessments written by “hundreds of leading scientists”. A synthesis report of 2015 is 157 pages long, yes 157, and discusses scenarios. It contains a User Guide, a glossary of terms of more than 10 pages, in itself an indicator of the complexity of the climate issue, and a Summary for Policy Makers of 30 (yes, 30) pages. With the involvement of so many experts I thought this must be the most sensible and balanced presentation available, of the risks we are facing. It most likely is. In spite of an abundance of graphics it is heavy academic stuff to begin with, and avoids any statement that could be dismissed as unscientific. IPCC has through reviews and evaluations concluded that greenhouse gas emission is the highest in history, and that global warming is a fact. It IS a fact, and most likely caused by the emissions, with economic and population growth as drivers.  Impact seen as mostly negative. Extreme weather events are more frequent. More emissions will cause further warming, but are not easily quantified. In every scenario examined temperature is predicted to rise and extreme weather events to become more frequent. New risks will arise, and food production is likely to be affected negatively. Substantial emission reductions now can reduce long-term risks.  Only the most restrictive scenarios show a likelihood of containing the increase within 2 degrees C this century relative to pre-industrial levels. Mitigation is discussed. (But I do not find any comments on the system inertia – i e how long would it take for an emission reduction to have noticeable impact?) Since a 1.5-degree increase would have less harmful consequences, and by many is seen as a realistic target, this increase-limit was agreed upon in the so-called Paris accord of Dec 2015. In July 2017 president Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the accord – and with that not work for reduced emissions. In November 2017 Syria signed in, so that the US is now the only nation in the world not participating. – Meanwhile monitoring of the use of fossil fuel and continued measurements of the CO2 levels show that the accumulated level of national self-formulated emission targets is not likely to be met. (After I have read the report summary twice I cannot say that I know what to tell myself or the politicians I vote for.)

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