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Neither the sun or CO2 has that immediacy of influence. If I was reporting to a board of directors with a sales — business plan for the future, and I could not explain very large spontaneous movements without an explanation, what value is my model forecast for future prosperity. I would be told to go away and find the reason, or replaced. Understand the driver or key influence over the anomalies and you get closer to understanding the drivers of climate. Understand the daily detail and the mechanisms that control it before anyone can paint the big picture.

What you say is essentially correct. I have been regularly forecasting such anomalies with solar base forecasts. Like the heatwave of March , forecast to start around th March, or the cold of Jan-Feb , forecast to start around 7th Jan But the elephant in the climate room is how these shorter term atmospheric anomalies then drive the ocean modes over time. And how the ocean phases then drive changes in cloud cover. Which from the solar frame of reference, ocean phase and cloud cover changes are decidedly powerful negative feedbacks.

The standard model has no frame of reference, the ocean phases are regarded as internal and unforced. This specious model of the climate system only leaves room to evaluate changes in non-condensing greenhouse gases, which are then falsely attributed with positive feedback responses in cloud clover, which are in reality negative feedbacks to changes in solar forcings via the ocean phases. Serving as an accounting game rather than useful climate modelling science for the future of humanity. Judith, Excellent article.

By coincidence I am working on related material more broadly. The title will be -The Power of Uncertainty in law, science, negotiations, religion and life. My stories show the power of uncertainty as your compass. It smothers nuances and complexities. It blinds us to possibilities. What about adding the proven uncertainty of global temperatures to your piece? It seems the IPCC and alarmists place far too much emphasis on the fictional single global temperature statistic which is surely most uncertain globally.

Of course there is no global temperature just as there is no global weather. It is a made up statistics. Therefore when experts in statistics and math point out the foibles of climate scientists as statisticians and math gurus I am impressed. Higher temperatures, fresh water shortages, higher sea levels and extreme weather events will each affect regions differently.

Physical, mathematical and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming. While it is always possible to construct statistics for any given set of local temperature data, an infinite range of such statistics is mathematically permissible if physical principles provide no explicit basis for choosing among them. Distinct and equally valid statistical rules can and do show opposite trends when applied to the results of computations from physical models and real data in the atmosphere.

Short title: Global Temperature? So indeed the planet has an average surface temperature. It is just that it is not possible for us to determine it. But just an approximation is extremely useful, and since we are better at measuring differences than absolute values, we settle for temperature anomaly. That is why we use it, or the imaginary numbers. You seem to have a misconception about imaginary numbers. It is probably due to their unfortunate name. Imaginary numbers have been proven to exist in that they present solutions to naturally occurring problems.

Alternating circuits in electrical engineering for example. These cannot be solved without imaginary numbers. The global temperature of the Earth is an arbitrary number determined in different ways for different times, in that sense it is imaginary because it is not a directly measurable quantity. Whether it is useful or not is to be determined, and is it useful for Science or politics? It must have been warmer if the tree lines were further up the mountains and further North, but how much? I believe global temperature is a political number used to prove a theory, that there is a direct correlation and causation effect between Co2 levels and global temperature.

Assuming it could be determined. I have been longed intrigued by some of the estimates in a variety of papers in terms of the level of uncertainty and degree of precision of those estimates. They were just literally the first ones I came across. When the levels of uncertainty are multiples of the initial estimate how valuable is that information?

When the estimates are of such infinitesimal amounts how much confidence does that engender? This is not a criticism of the individual scientists or their attempts at doing science. Are we fooling ourselves that we can gain the knowledge we seek? I guess you were unable to get anything from the article. Did you even read it or you just come to comment? We calculate we have emitted GtC between and As we have discussed, our best estimates indicate fossil fuel production should reach its peak over the next few decades.

If true, we face somewhere around GtC total unless we find another way of producing CO2. But you should know that the effect is logarithmic and decreases in proportion. As you can see the uncertainty does not add. It multiplies. We are not able to predict in a meaningful manner the warming that will be produced in the 21st century. However we have seen in the past 30 years that no country has been able to transition to a lower carbon economy.

Renewable energy growth has only supplied part of our energy growth. There is no reason to be optimistic about decarbonization. What I got out of the article was it missing the biggest uncertainty completely, which is the total emissions between now and , uncertain to a factor of five. As a result, we are the source of our main risk. This brings it back to more linear by reducing the effect at the low end. Under the assumption that the warming is due in its entirety to CO2.

Assumption that is most likely wrong. CO2 forcing easily dominates the net forcing tota which is why the warming follows the CO2 forcing so well over time even as its rate of change has tripled since We already discussed this sometime ago. So it is really an assumption that the warming is dominated by CO2. And a likely incorrect one. This component is a degree superimposed on a natural variability with only a tenth of a degree amplitude, and the year temperature shows no sign of slowing down now. Not true. Since Feb. This is such a big amount compared to the warming that it is certainly affecting the rate of warming.

Almost all the temperature increase post has been erased. This is climate, a month average means nothing. It is not even longer than a solar cycle that you have to average out at the minimum. Also how do even explain a linear ramp if not with a forcing change? Since the CO2 forcing change has been 0.

Philosophy of Climate Science Part II: Modelling Climate Change

This is a rate that drowns out natural decadal fluctuations like those from the sun. How do you explain that the medieval warm period was as warm as the midth C according to proxies? The midth century had more solar activity than average for sure. Changes in TSI are just too small to produce a change of climate, yet the paleo record screams that prolonged low solar activity strongly correlates to colder, drier climate.

It is clear that the solar effect is underestimated in models at the expense of CO2 being overestimated. You assume that our knowledge and accounting of climate forcings is adequate. There is no evidence that such assumption is correct, and there is circumstantial evidence that it is not. Solar forcing is currently lower than average, and the temperatures are at a high, so we can rule that one out.

You are assuming how that one should work. Solar forcing is currently lower than average, so that means cooling, and cooling we are having. The year trend has grown larger during you puny, meaningless temp drop. The higher the tower, the bigger the dive. It was hilarious. You need a huge temp drop to nullify the warming, caused by the enhanced greenhouse effect, that killed the PAWS. There has not been one. Your problem is that the CO2-hypothesis does not explain the clear inflection points marked by the red line, and the red and blue lines are clearly divergent. The evidence is unsupportive of the CO2-hypothesis as currently formulated and coded in the models.

It needs a serious re-appraisal, but the climatariat is too invested in it to do it. Thta is not a significant change in gradient because it does not show up in year temperatures. The reason you see these things is solar variation where the last 15 years have been low. If solar is responsible for an important part of the warming, we can cancel out the alarmism about climate change. Solar forcing cannot be much higher that it was in the second half of the 20th century, but it has a lot of room going down.

And fossil fuels are reaching peak production in short time. We have already seen the worst global warming can do. It is very close to being defeated. Afterwards we will have to deal with global cooling, perhaps in the 22 or 23th C. The relative sizes of these trends are important to pay attention to. The solar forcing only takes into account changes in TSI, that are small, but it does not take into account changes in ozone, particle rain, or electric and magnetic changes, whose effects are very poorly known.

While decisions cannot be based on what it is unknown, it is unwise to base decisions on a known poor understanding. That way always leads to frozen inaction, no exceptions. There is no evidence that the sun has done anything special at any time. It is full of evidence on the correlation between low solar activity and climate worsening. A lot of paleoclimatologists are convinced because they see the evidence.

The sun can do tenths of a degree, you show. I think your block is because it is GHGs providing the forcing. This is typical selectivism that we see here all the time. Forcing is forcing, no matter the source. You just have faith that most of the warming is coming from GHGs and a lot more will come, but you have zero evidence on that. So it is not me who is showing selectivism.

I there was evidence for what you say I would accept it, but there is not. Models do not constitute evidence. If you read any papers on explaining paleoclimate, sensitivity estimates from observations, or climate projections, it is really degrees we are talking about here for the thousands of GtCO2 we will add.

The problem with sensitivity estimates based on paleo data is that they assume the CO2 produced the warming and not the other way around. Silly mistake. They are also based on the observational record, and that is not imaginary see energy balance models. Your silly mistake is to assume CO2 changes from geological processes cannot produce warming and cooling. All the observational record can say is that temperature and CO2 covariate. It is reasonable to assume CO2 must cause some warming due to its properties. It is unreasonable to assume CO2 is the main temperature control from available evidence.

What the geological record says is that CO2 has been decreasing over hundreds of millions of years negative trend , while temperature has been cyclical no trend. This is evidence supporting CO2 has a smaller role than assumed. Otherwise we would be toast already. I understand it has to be done, but in my opinion it means very little.

Climate has a low sensitivity to CO2. This is obvious since planetary CO2 has gone from 15, ppm to ppm. You CAGW guys are so wrong that it is almost pathetic. But there is exceptional behavior now just as the CO2 increased and much as expected from physics. The Physics only says that there should be warming, not how much, because that depends on the climate.

And no. There is no exceptional behavior. It was accepted by the authors of that graph that the last part had a low confidence due to proxy drop out. Other reconstructions, like Moberg et al. The biology says there is no exceptional behavior. What happens is that we have changed the way we measure.

Despite the huge increase in CO2, the mountain treeline is still well below Holocene Climatic Optimum levels. And trees measure climate the way they always have. It is an exceptional warming rate and magnitude that goes along with the exceptional CO2 rise rate. The warming lags due to the oceans, and the trees lag even more. The average ocean trend in recent decades has been 0.

The land is warming twice as fast, so the ocean lags the global average rate. Every year tree seedlings attempt to grow at higher altitude and fail. It is too cold for them to reach the same levels they reached a few thousands of years ago, despite the help from a lot more CO2. Regarding actual data, we see sharp rises in CO2 and temperature in a period when we emitted nearly GtCO2. You are calling this a 3-way coincidence because you still have no idea at all how they could even have happened together. Europe is being reforested due to farm abandonment, higher temperature and very high CO2 levels.

I saw the first young trees already 4 years after it was abandoned. The first seeds must have started growing the same year. If temperature had gone up as much as during the Holocene Climatic Optimum trees would have already reclaimed past heights. More so with increased CO2 levels.

The treeline is going up in most places it is studied, but still hundreds of meters below were it was a few thousands of years ago. And there is no 3-way coincidence. There was warming before we emitted CO2 and there continues being warming as we emit more. How much warming the increased CO2 levels are producing is not known. Assuming all of it is silly. Assuming half of it means we can forget about the whole thing. It will never be a problem. From the Marcott graph it would have only been since that the temperature exceeded the Holocene Optimum, and only since that we exceeded the average of the last years.

Sea levels are rather higher than back then and rising faster than at that time, so you may be interested in looking at that. As I already mentioned, there was also a CO2 increase prior to that was more landuse change than emissions, but warming matches CO2 not just emissions. Its rate of change only started easily dominating natural fluctuations some time after when it reached 0. This is a quantification of its effect that can be compared with changes in the ocean heat content, for example. Here is a different statistical treatment of Marcott data:. The treatment by differencing corrects the effect of proxy drop out at the end of the assemblage due to most proxies not reaching the end of the reconstruction.

As you can see it never gets even close to HCO temperature. It is the instrumental temperature attached that shows that, but the instrumental data does not reach the HCO, so we are left with an apples to oranges comparison that does not allow to draw any conclusion. However the biology, the glaciers, and the Arctic ice, they all show a significantly warmer HCO. Nobody knows what sea levels were back then, but in most places there is a Holocene high stand during the HCO, in many cases significantly higher than now. Your extraordinary warming is not such. Nobody knows how much warming CO2 causes.

You are just accepting uncritically one guess. You are just one of the few that still cares about that. The rest are just living their lives without caring much. So you are worried about the warming at the end exceeding the HCO. If it did, would that make you believe CO2 has an effect? I am not sure I see your reason for your obsession with the HCO yet. I am pointing to the rate of rise, and a few more degrees to come.

Does this not seem possible to you from this graph? I already think CO2 has an effect, and have said so in my articles, but not because I believe it, but because I see evidence of it in the cryosphere retreat. I am not obsessed with the HCO, just pointing that present warming is neither exceptional, nor unprecedented.

It is just atypical for the time. I see no evidence that there are a few more degrees to come. Perhaps 0. Nothing to be worried about. The present warming is 1 C in about century while the HCO was about 0. There is a major difference that I can see in these two cases with the recent one being rather exceptional. Simultaneously CO2 has abruptly done a half doubling in this same period. From the forcing change we can expect about another degree for every GtCO2 that we emit in the 21st century.

On that scale a degree more warming is a lot when you look at it, let alone several.

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Climate Science

We have Marcott that I showed. What else do you have? PAGES2k also gives you the last few thousand years with a resolution of a few decades and shows no such thing. Notice how it says NH. Those would show a degree of warming at the end. These look like year averages. BEST with year averages looks like this for a like-with-like comparison. I stop this now. You could use tree rings for the last 50 years instead, I suppose, but no one does because we have thermometers and lots of them. And it is not correct that HCO was only 0. That answer is wrong because we know that HCO was significantly warmer than now.

Depending on which proxies you use you get different answer, so the uncertainty of Marcott et al. As I explained in my last article you cannot compare rate of temperature change over different time scales. You can get 0. You have to have the evidence to prove it. Oh yes, the CO2 change is tremendously abrupt, but the temperature is not. There was warming before the CO2 change, and there is warming now, and the rate is not very different. This is very strong evidence that the role of CO2 in climate change has been hugely overblown.

The temperature change is abrupt. BEST has over a degree in the last century. What kind of evidence would convince you, if anything at all? It is clear to me that there is warming and that there is a anthropogenic contribution, but beyond that the rest is built on assumptions. What would convince me a hypothesis is correct is that its predictions that differ from other hypotheses predictions are correct.

If there is another hypothesis, there has not been any energy-balance quantification done to present it. What do you have in mind when you say that? You can only distinguish between hypotheses that actually attach numbers to them, and something without numbers is just speculation rather than a hypothesis. Charles Darwin presented his hypothesis without any number attached to it.

Alfred Wegener presented his hypothesis without any number attached to it. Both were accused of speculating and had a hard time having them accepted, yet they were both essentially correct. And it is very simple really. If the period is characterized by low warming, then it is the Sun. If it is characterized by high warming it is the CO2. I am evidence-driven and the only convincing evidence is the amount of warming during a low solar activity period.

So your competing hypothesis is the sun. Compare the beginning of the 21st century with the beginning of the 20th century when the sun was in much the same state and it is about a degree warmer. So, you believe in everything what makes the human part extreme, try to become a little more sceptic about the dumb alarmism claims and you will learn much more about climatology.

Jim, it looks very likely, you understand almost nothing about climatology. There is no data which can show, that most of the recent warming is due to GHG emissions. This might be hard for every hysteric layman believer in CAGW, but that we call real climatology. First, some IR forcing due to CO2, which starts in the upper Troposphere must not result in the same forcing at the surface or through the troposphere.

High sensitivity can be ruled out, because you can never simulate the last interglacial with that, the sharp T increase was followed by a sharp GHG increase, but the fast T decrease at high CO2 levels over some centuries show, that negative feedbacks are much stronger than claimed by the AGW industry. It is boring to talk with you about that, because we all know for many years what you refer to, but we do not think that easy about some numbers you do not really understand.

That we call climatology! The glacial periods depended a lot on positive feedbacks from albedo, and positive feedbacks still matter, only some of which is albedo. We can even see the year solar cycle of forcing in the temperature which has an amplitude near 0. Skeptics have to pretzelize their arguments against the effects of increasing GHGs around this fact. I go with mainstream science on those too, like Milankovitch, initiated by lower CO2 levels promoting a colder climate than in the last 10 or more million years where CO2 levels were mostly higher.

For you, it would be complete mystery why the Milankovitch cycles started when they did because you have ruled out the importance of lowered GHG levels. The Ice Ages only started after the earth became cool enough. Why did the earth become cool enough? CO2 has been declining for the last 50 million years due to geological factors from a high value nearer ppm in the warm iceless mid-Eocene to Antarctic glaciation 35 million years ago as it dropped near ppm, to finally Arctic glaciation as it dropped below ppm prior to the Ice Ages.

Paleoclimate is rather reliant on CO2 levels for understanding climate change and the effects are those supported by physics and our recent experiment with the earth. Without this aspect of GHG physics, all of this would be a mystery. First it should be clear, that the CO2 concentrations mostly reacted to climate changes in the past and it could act as a so called stabilisator in best case. Second you should not try to explain climate is dominated by CO2, this is mainstream nonsense driven by the AGW industry. No, geological processes affect CO2 levels on time scales of millions of years.

Volcanic periods add CO2 such as at the end of the icy Permian, mountain-building reduces it through weathering and there are others like ocean sedimentation and soil burial that sequester carbon deeply to become limestone and carboniferous rocks. Net loss from these has been the dominant geological process since 50 million years ago.

CO2 goes down to really dangerous low concentrations about ppm during the last glacials and up to about ppm in century mean in between, driven mostly by ocean warming and cooling. Read more about the way CO2 explains the last few hundred million years. Once you have that appreciation, you can see how what we are doing to the GHG forcing is comparable with what geology can only do in millions of years. What are you talking abou?

From to is close to to and because of the log dependence, the modern forcing is less. So do not claim this increase takes geological time scales and it is not about the number, it is about the forcing and much more it is about the feedbacks. Actually the Ice Ages have some very large swings due to albedo feedbacks that are non-existant prior to that period, and CO2 responds to these maybe as much as 15 ppm per degree.

Before the Ice Ages, or NH continental glaciers that hep them, these types of feedbacks did not exist and nor did the climate swings. It is very hard to overturn a hypothesis that also has evidence and explanatory power. We now measure continental drift routinely and can understand evolution in terms of genetic biology. Similarly with general relativity. The hypotheses became better founded by subsequent tests because they provide predictive power for further experiments.

Wegener had all the so called evidence, the scientific consensus against him. If you are not aware about climate physics, please even try to understand history, ok? He had the shape of the African and South American coasts as evidence. What are you talking about? What was the contrary evidence that continents are stationary?

That was a default steady state theory like what existed before evolution. Things change and people discover not only the change but also the reason. That is just layman stupidity.

1. Introduction

But If you are a layman in climatology, like you, you must live with this limits, others can verify and are sceptic anyway. Solar activity determines whether there is warming or cooling. The resulting temperature depends on the initial state and other factors that also affect temperature. There is a year warming trend.

The same level of solar activity at different times corresponds to a different temperature but to a similar amount of warming or cooling. Solar activity has been high most of the time since the Maunder Minimum. And there is actual evidence for the solar hypothesis. Read my articles instead of just commenting there. Everything I say is supported in the scientific literature with citations. It is extremely common in science that the correct theory supported by evidence is rejected by the consensus. The status quo was steady state and it was wrong.

As for the sun, if you know of a difference between and and even lulls, you need to say what it is because from the perspective of solar activity they are the same, long cycles, low activity, similarly the maxima between them. Why is the sun different now from what it was in or that both had similar sunspot cycles? Is there even a testable hypothesis? Look at the graph. Why would you say the sun is doing something different in the current cycle from all those other cycles around and The sun has not changed outside its previous range, but the climate has.

Why do they say it is stronger now than when there was a similar weak sunspot cycle in and ? If you accept the almost 3 times positive feedback as claimed to CO2 emissions , the warming up to is almost driven by the sun. Please do not claim about those policies which should beware the earth from catastrophic climate. All this CAGW claims are totally naive propaganda! The change rates of temperature line up with the accelerating CO2 forcing change that tripled since , and it still adds 0.

And, you must consider a decades lag in T peak because of the ocean inertia.

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What do you know about climatology? What is your profession, if you would be so kind? Meanwhile the land responds almost immediately and its fastest warming rates are now. Like the NH is warmest at 1. In the year cycles the temperature responds very quickly. The largest response is to the immediate forcing. If the sun halved in strength today, we would not have to wait decades to see its effect. A large fraction of the response to solar forcing is immediate and you disagree. I gave an example.

If the sun goes up and then down on decadal scales, most of the response is also up and then down following it. Recently the sun is down and it would have a net cooling effect because recent values far outweigh values from decades ago in the response function. Once you claim, we lag about 20y due to IR forcing, but in case of the sun radiation, which penetrates the oceans much more deeper, we should see a abrupt cooling after some years low activity.

Fantastic illusions… We lag when the forcing is increasing rapidly, which is the case with CO2, not at all with the sun that goes up and down and averages not much over a century. In mid 19 century every naturalist knew species changed. There were plenty of hypotheses because nobody knew how. Even the idea of natural selection had been proposed long before Charles Darwin. Quite the contrary. There is a very clear difference between , , and Each was significantly warmer than the previous.

Same problem as with CO2, you make lots of wrong assumptions and you are not even aware you are making them. This is a very common mistake for people not trained as scientists. You have to question the evidence supporting what you believe it is true. Others who already believed in evolution and natural selection may have had an easier time accepting Darwin, but those are not the ones we are talking about. What was the actual difference in the sun that causes this putative increase in forcing while leaving the sunspot cycles the same? With the Maunder Minimum there was a clear change.

What happened to it since? For CO2, it is just about the energy budget. Energy conservation is a basic fact of science. This is all measurable and verifiable that way. It is quite simple. When solar activity is above average it causes warming. When it is below average cooling.

Uncertainty and the Philosophy of Climate Change : Martin Bunzl - Book2look

Increasing solar activity since the Maunder Minimum is responsible for a part of the warming observed. Search Go. Project leader: Richard Bradley The objectives of this project are: 1. To study scientific models that are both imperfect and non-linear, especially those of the climate and of climate change, with a view to: i understanding what limits they imply on our ability to generate forecasts that can be used by policy-makers; and ii investigating ways in which such models can be fashioned to provide policy-relevant information.

Parker a suggests that this influence might be dampened by representing uncertainty in coarser ways that also better reflect the extent of actual uncertainty, e. The use of these labels varies, however. Contrarians have played a role in creating or sustaining a number of public controversies related to climate science. Four of these are discussed very briefly below, along with some recent philosophical work reflecting on the impact of contrarian dissent.

The Tropospheric Temperature Controversy. Satellites and radiosondes are the primary means of monitoring temperatures in this layer. Prima facie, this presented a challenge to climate science, and it became a key piece of evidence in contrarian dismissals of the threat of anthropogenic climate change. Over time, additional research uncovered numerous problems with the satellite and radiosonde data used to estimate tropospheric temperature trends, with many of these problems related to homogenization NRC ; Karl et al.

Nevertheless, the debate continues see, e. The Hockey Stick Controversy. The hockey stick controversy focused on some of the first millennial-scale paleoclimate reconstructions of the evolution of Northern Hemisphere mean near-surface temperature. These reconstructions, when joined with the instrumental temperature record, indicate a long, slow decline in temperature followed by a sharp rise beginning around ; their shape is reminiscent of a hockey stick e.

Contrarian criticism in the published literature followed two main lines. Mainstream climate scientists offered direct replies to these challenges e. Book length accounts of the controversy from opposing sides include Montford and Mann The Climategate Controversy. Authors of the emails included climate scientists at a variety of institutions around the world. Focusing primarily on a few passages, contrarians claimed that the emails revealed that climate scientists had manipulated data to support the consensus position on anthropogenic climate change and had suppressed legitimate dissenting research in various ways e.

A number of independent investigations were subsequently conducted, all exonerating climate scientists of the charges of scientific fraud and misconduct that contrarians had alleged e. Some of the investigations, however, did find that climate scientists had failed to be sufficiently transparent, especially in their response to contrarian requests for station data used to estimate changes in global temperature ibid. The Hiatus Controversy. Global mean near-surface temperature increased significantly during the s but then showed little increase between the late s and the early s.

By the mids, contrarians began to claim that global warming had stopped and that climate models and climate science were thus fundamentally flawed, since they had projected more warming. Part of the problem here was communication: graphs shared with policymakers and the public often highlighted the average of climate model projections, which smoothed out the significant variability seen in individual simulations and suggested a relatively steady warming; in fact, the observed rate of warming was not so different from that seen in some of the model projections see Schmidt ; Risbey et al.

A host of potential explanatory factors were identified—related to external forcing, internal variability, ocean heat uptake and errors in observational data—which contrarians portrayed as excuses. Subsequent investigation found evidence for actual contributions from most of the hypothesized factors, though discussion of their relative importance continues see Medhaug et al.

Contrarian dissent has impacted the practice of climate science in various ways. Most obviously, research is sometimes directed at least in part at rebutting contrarian claims and arguments. For example, a recent research paper related to tropospheric temperature trends Santer et al. Senate see also Lewandowsky et al. In addition, Brysse et al. Drawing these threads together, Biddle and Leuschner suggest that contrarian dissent has impeded scientific progress in at least two ways:. They argue that, while dissent is science is often epistemically fruitful, the dissent expressed by climate contrarians has tended to be epistemically detrimental see also Biddle et al.

The issue of anthropogenic climate change raises a host of challenging ethical questions. Most of these are beyond the scope of this entry on climate science. A very brief discussion is provided here nevertheless, because the questions are important and because a full entry on the topic is not yet available. The basic ethical question is: What ought to be done about anthropogenic climate change, and by whom?

The question arises because there is good evidence that climate change is already having harmful impacts on both humans and non-human nature, and because continued high rates of greenhouse gas emission can be expected to bring additional and more devastating harms in the future Field et al. Attempting to address this basic ethical question, however, leads to further, complex questions of global and intergenerational justice, as well as to questions regarding our ethical obligations to non-human nature. Here are just a few examples: Do some nations, including those that have emitted large quantities of greenhouse gases in the past, have an obligation to bear more of the costs of climate change mitigation and adaptation than other nations?

Uncertainty and the philosophy of climate change

See, e. When considering actions to mitigate climate change, how should the harms and benefits to future generations be weighed against those affecting people today? How should impacts of climate change on non-human nature, including loss of biodiversity, be taken into account? Are there circumstances in which proposed geoengineering solutions—such as injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere or seeding the oceans with carbon-absorbing phytoplankton—are ethically acceptable? There is a large and growing philosophical literature engaging with these and related questions; some anthologies and book-length works include Arnold ; Broome ; Gardiner ; Gardiner et al.

Climate Science First published Fri May 11, Introduction 2. Basic Concepts 3. Climate Data 3. Climate Modeling 4. Anthropogenic Climate Change 5. Introduction The field of climate science emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. By contrast, a definition of climate change associated with a narrower, actualist view is: any systematic change in the long-term statistics of climate elements such as temperature, pressure, or winds sustained over several decades or longer.

American Meteorological Society b The latter definition, unlike the former, allows that climate change might occur even in the absence of any changes in external conditions, as a result of natural processes internal to the climate system e.


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Climate Data The sources and types of observational data employed in climate science are tremendously varied. Climate Modeling Models of the climate system, especially computer simulation models, have come to occupy a central place in both theoretical and applied research in climate science. Thus, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC is able to report very high confidence that models reproduce the general features of the global-scale annual mean surface temperature increase over the historical period, including the more rapid warming in the second half of the 20 th century, and the cooling immediately following large volcanic eruptions.

By the mid-twentieth century, oceanographer Roger Revelle and colleagues concluded: By the year , the increase in atmospheric CO 2 … may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked change in climate. The same year, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

IPCC a Drawing on the expertise of the international climate science community, the IPCC has delivered assessment reports roughly every five years since Likewise, Katzav argues that climate change projections can often be interpreted as indicating real possibilities : a state of affairs in a target domain is…a real possibility relative to time t if and only if a its realisation is compatible with the basic way things are in the target domain over the period during which it might be realised and b our knowledge at t does not exclude its realisation over that period.

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