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

We need to solve the real climate problem

The debate over global warming — which morphed into climate change — over the past 25 years has misled politicians and the public about the nature of the real problem. The real problem is not increasing carbon dioxide emissions, as has been asserted by environmentalists and the climate establishment for years and accepted uncritically by […]

What did Lima Achieve? Waste Resources; Increase Emissions!

It’s back to the future with shades of the Rio Treaty. Twenty years ago when Al Gore was promoting what became the ill fated Kyoto Treaty, many moderate people proposed what was called “Pledge and Review and No Regrets” strategies. They were ridiculed and since then 193 nations have participated in a charade called the […]

A Martian Looks at Climate Negotiations

An interesting mind game involves thinking about what a Martian would think if he/she came down and observed the activities in Lima at this year’s COP.  It doesn’t take much a stretch of the imagination to conclude that upon returning to Mars, he/she would report that there doesn’t appear to be intelligent life on earth. […]

2014 a Record Warm Year? Probably Not.

As continual fiddling with the global surface thermometer data leads to an ever-warmer present and an ever-cooler past, many of us are increasingly skeptical that beating a previous “warmest” year by hundredths of a degree has any real-world meaning. Yet, the current UN climate meeting in Lima, Peru, is setting the stage for some very […]

What We Are Reading

Ancient relative of the elephant ‘holidayed in warm Arctic 125,000 years ago’

When taking mastodon habitat preferences and other ecological and geological information into account, the results show that mastodons probably only lived in eastern Beringia for a relatively short time when temperatures were as warm as they are today. Lead author Grant Zazula, a palaeontologist from the Yukon Government, said: ‘The residency of mastodons in the north did not last long. The return to cold, dry glacial conditions along with the advance of continental glaciers around 75,000 years ago effectively wiped out their habitats.

The Great Cooling Of Arctic Sea Ice Projections: Having Been Burned, Scientists Far More Cautious With Projections

Over the past 30 years Arctic sea ice has shrunk considerably. Although both in 2007 and 2012 negative records were reached, the ice recovered in the years that followed. Former US Vice President and climate activist Al Gore was clearly impressed by the 2007 melt record and so in 2008 he declared the Arctic could be completely ice free by 2013. The year 2013 came and went, but the ice stayed.

Why Aren’t Climate Models Better at Predicting Arctic Sea ice Loss?

One major limitation of most climate models is that they don’t give a complete picture of the physics that governs interactions between sea ice, the ocean and the atmosphere, Professor Danny Feltham from the University of Reading explained in the session.

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