Feature
Feature
climate Security Mar '14
Feature
Feature
Feature

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

3,264 Days Without a Major Hurricane Strike

Who would have predicted it? As of today (October 1) it’s been nearly 9 years since a major hurricane (Cat 3 or greater) has struck the U.S., the last being Wilma in October, 2005. Remember the 2005 hurricane season? Landfalling hurricanes right and left. Katrina! This was going to be the new normal in a […]

Success is Not an Option

When 120 world leaders meet to discuss action on climate change, it is a sure bet that optics will trump substance. The leaders will claim success even though it is unlikely that anything of substance will be accomplished. Emerging economies will demand that the developed world commit billions of dollars in compensation for the emissions […]

McCarthyism is Alive and Well

Last week Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Henry Waxman  moderated an event hosted by the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. It featured panelists who make a career of attacking, sometimes viciously, industries that do not toe the environmentalist line on climate change.  One of the panelists asserted that industry attempted to cover up the health […]

Are Record Ocean Surface Temperatures Due to Record Low Wind Speeds?

The fortuitous revelation of record warm sea surface temperatures in August, only days before Climate Summit 2014, begs the question — why? Why were SSTs so warm? (Not “Why announce it just before Leonardo DiCaprio’s coronation?”) As readers here know, I follow the “ocean products” produced by RSS from the SSM/I and SSMIS satellite sensors, […]

What We Are Reading

Two contrasting views of multidecadal climate variability in the 20th century

Here we show that observed multidecadal variations of surface climate exhibited a coherent global-scale signal characterized by a pair of patterns, one of which evolved in sync with multidecadal swings of the global temperature, and the other in quadrature with them. While simulating well the amplitude of the largest-scale — Pacific and hemispheric — multidecadal variability in surface temperature, the model underestimates variability in the North Atlantic and atmospheric indices.

5 reasons to counter climate-change regulation

More than 120 heads of state (excluding those from China and India) gathered at the United Nations in New York to discuss climate change, the biggest such meeting since the 2009 Copenhagen summit. They recommend costly measures to reduce fossil-fuel consumption. Here are five reasons why America should not go down this path.

Researcher works to predict electric power blackouts before they happen

In the past, utility engineers have used static models of local electric grids to aim for single-contingency, worst-case scenario protection strategies rather than dynamic, real-time solutions to a unique grid disturbance. Through advanced modeling and computer simulation, researchers are developing tools to improve grid protection operation analysis and prediction under different scenarios.

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