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climate Security Mar '14
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About

Human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels to power our homes and businesses and changes to the land caused by the rise of modern cities and expanded agriculture, undoubtedly affect the global environment. It is the extent of that effect and how it relates to changes in the modern climate which is the subject of current scientific debate.

Wise, effective climate policy flows from a sound scientific foundation and a clear understanding of what science does and does not tell us about human influence and about courses of action to manage risk. Many of the temperature data and computer models used to predict climate change are themselves as uncertain as are our understanding of important interactions in the natural climate.

Are calls about the uncertainty in the state of scientific knowledge a call for no action? Nothing could be further from the truth. The message to policy makers is not to delay actions until uncertainties are reduced. Rather, actions should flow from the state of knowledge, should be related to a long-term strategy and objectives and should be capable of being adjusted- one way or the other- as the understanding of human influences improves. There is a sufficient basis for action because the climate change risk is real. Yet it is equally true that actions must not be predicated on speculative images of an apocalyptic vision of life in the near future.

Latest Climate Change Articles

EPA Admits to Senate that CO2 Regs Not About Pollution Control

I usually don’t comment on what transpires in congressional hearings. But this is too good to pass up. On Wednesday, before the Senate EPW Committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy had this priceless quote regarding the EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide regulations (italics added): “And the great thing about this proposal is it really is an investment […]

June 2014 Update of SSM/I Ocean Products

The SSM/I and SSMIS series of microwave imagers, operating since July 1987, provide global oceanic measurements of total vertically integrated water vapor, cloud water, rain rate, and surface wind speed. These are useful for studying how the maritime atmosphere varies due to El Nino and La Nina, as well as provides ~27 year trends for […]

Science Not Pseudo Science

The form of the question is a strong reason to keep the federal government out of setting standards for teaching climate change science. Paraphrasing Mark Twain, if you don’t read or listen to the popular media, you will be uninformed and if you read or listen to it, you’ll be misinformed. Any effort to teach […]

Dr. Spencer’s ICCC9 Presentations

Following my detour through California after attending the 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas, I’m finally back home to find low temperatures in the 50s in Alabama (was Al Gore in town?). Here are the two presentations I gave. The first presentation briefly summarized our published paper on the role of El […]

What We Are Reading

New Paper: Climate Models Unable To Simulate Holocene Climate Optimum & Subsequent Cooling

A paper under discussion for Climate of the Past finds climate models are unable to simulate the mid-Holocene Climate Optimum from ~4-6 thousand years ago when global temperatures were naturally 2-3C higher than the present. The models are also unable to simulate the gradual cooling from the Holocene Climate Optimum to the Little Ice Age and pre-industrial temperatures.

How to Determine the Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

One of the problems with John Cook’s appeal to authority is this: So far, no one has quantified the consensus among natural scientists on global warming. In fact, it cannot be done easily, said JJon Krosnick, a social psychologist at Stanford University who has been studying communication strategies for decades. While the Cook study may quantify the views expressed in published literature, it does not establish the beliefs of any defined group of scientists, Krosnick said.

Climate change hits all Pentagon operations, official says

All Pentagon operations in the U.S. and abroad are threatened by climate change, according to a Defense Department official. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) ranking member on the subcommittee, challenged the notion that climate change issues must play a key role abroad.

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