climate Security Mar '14


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

Nearly 3,500 Days Since Major Hurricane Strike… Despite Record High CO2

As Subtropical Storm Ana churns off the southeast U.S. coast, the global atmosphere has exceeded 400 ppm carbon dioxide content for the first time in…well…who knows? And also on tap for this month (May 25th, Memorial Day) is another milestone: 3,500 days since the last time a major hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger) struck the […]

Mystery Climate Index #2 Explanation

Yesterday I presented this time series of climate data and asked if anyone could determine any physical causes based upon it’s character: I like the example because it shows realistic variability compared to, say, global average temperature variations. I created it with a very simple function that actually has some basis in how the real […]

Magical Mystery Climate Index #2

A little over a year ago I posted a climate riddle of sorts: a time series that showed warming, then a “pause”, then warming again, etc. The point of the exercise was to demonstrate how a natural climate cycle sumperimposed upon a linear warming trend can cause what we have seen in global temperatures. I […]

UAH V6.0 Global Temperature Update for April, 2015: +0.07 deg. C

NOTE: This is the first montly update with our new Version 6.0 dataset. Differences versus the old Version 5.6 dataset are discussed here. The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for April, 2015 is +0.07 deg. C, down a little from the March, 2015 value of +0.14 deg. C (click for full […]

What We Are Reading

Sudden onset of ice loss in Antarctica so large it affects Earth’s gravity field

Scientists have observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica. The ice loss in the region is so large that it causes small changes in the gravity field of the Earth.

Severe weather may be linked to Arctic warming

New evidence has linked Arctic warming with severe weather in countries including the UK and US. The studies are adding to the growing weight of evidence linking increased Arctic temperatures with changes in mid-latitude weather patterns.

What can we do about climate change?

Do we have the resources (from, say, economics or ethics) to answer these sorts of questions?

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