Archive for September 2010
There are some that that wish to delay action on climate change and some that refuse to accept the scientific consensus that humans are causing significant global warming with possible devastating impacts. These delayers and contrarians often hang their hats on the Wegman Report as proof that climate scientists are either corrupt or incompetent. The Wegman report, commissioned by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), is central to the infamous Hockey Stick Controversy and was promoted as “independent, impartial, expert” work by a team of “eminent statisticians.” It was none of those.
As detailed in John Mashey on Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report, the Wegman report was “a facade for a PR campaign well-honed by Washington, DC ‘think tanks’ and allies, underway for years.”
On Friday, September 24, 2010 I gave a public presentation on The Little Ice Age (LIA). Click to view the presentation (PDF format). Much of the historical information comes from my Little Ice Age in Europe Web page published quite a few years ago.
The LIA (a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850) brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating effect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea.
So how does the climate change experienced during the LIA compare to what lies ahead?
Please view the presentation and consider the following:
- The climate in Western Europe was about 0.7C (1.3F) cooler than in the warmest part of the Medieval Warm Period.
- This apparently “slight” climate change had profound and devastating impacts on European civilization.
- It is expected that the global average temperature increase by the year 2100 will be 4C (7.2F).
- The climate change expected by 2100 is about 6 times greater than that experienced during the LIA.
- The causes of the LIA, if repeated today, may only put a dent in the expected warming heading our way.
- Although our modern technologically-driven society is better equipped to respond to climate change than our ancestors, is it reasonable to assume that such a large expected climate change will be beyond our ability to adapt resulting in biblical implications for this century?
Your opinions on the last question are welcomed.
Update (July 18, 2011): Monckton told he’s not member of House of Lords. Clerk of parliaments publishes letter on Lords’ site saying peer is not and has ‘never been a member of the House of Lords’.
On May 6, 2010, Mr. Christopher Monckton testified by invitation to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming of the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Monckton, who is not a scientist, gave testimony that was in stark contrast to that of the scientists who were present at the hearing as well as the many official statements produced by the world’s premiere scientific organizations, about the growing dangers of climate change. Here, a number of top climate scientists have thoroughly refuted all of Mr. Monckton’s major assertions, clearly demonstrating a number of obvious and elementary errors. We encourage the U.S. Congress to give careful consideration to the implications this document has for the care that should be exercised in choosing expert witnesses to inform the legislative process.
The late Stephen Schneider was a hero to many of us because he believed it was the duty of scientists to engage the public on their terms and he was brilliant in doing so. The video above was taped a few weeks before he died this summer. Dr. Schneider appeared on stage in front of 57 self-described climate skeptics with the hope that he might change some minds. The video is an excellent example of just how good he was at communicating climate science and just how poorly informed the general public is on this critical issue.
While I continue to research the impact of climate change on ecosystems I thought it might be interesting to see the Top 10 most viewed blog posts of mine. Curiously enough, #1 has almost nothing to do with climate but Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic highlighted that post and drove thousands to my blog. Go figure!
- No, This Weather Really Blows
- Monckton Responds to My Defense of Abraham
- Turn the Tables on Monckton
- Climategate Coverage: Unfair & Unbalanced
- Taking the Money for Grant(ed) – Part I
- The 800 lb. Gorilla in the Ocean
- Do you feel lucky, punk?
- Alan Alda Brings Passion for Communicating Science
- Open Letter to Christopher Monckton
- A Side of Rat Feces? (A History Lesson) - authored by my wife, Instructor of History at St. Joseph’s College.