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

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 […]

Climate Denier: A Tool to Intimidate

CNBC recently invited Marshall Institute Chair Will Happer, just retired as a tenured physics professor from Princeton University, to appear on   Squawk Box to address comments he had made about the demonization of CO2.  It was a good example of an interviewer, Andrew Ross Sorkin, acting like a prosecuting attorney instead of someone trying to […]


Science Behind Weather

William Happer, Princeton University, discusses the science behind tracking weather and the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate on CNBC.

Dr. Roy Spencer’s Keynote Speech at #ICCC9

Dr. Spencer asks the question: What do we really know about Global Warming? This is from Wednesday morning July 9th. From Watts Up With That http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/14/dr-roy-spencers-keynote-speech-at-iccc9/#more-112881

What We Are Reading

Climate models that accidentally got El Niño right also show warming slowdown

Coupled climate models that include both the atmosphere and the oceans accurately reproduce the behavior of the major ocean cycles, including the ENSO. But, since the onset of changes in the ocean is chaotic, the models generally don’t get the timing right—the model may show an El Niño starting three years earlier than it does in reality.

Radiative forcing and temperature change at Potsdam between 1893 and 2012

Radiative forcing in both the short and long-wave lengths reaching the Earth’s surface accounted for more than 80% of the inter-annual variations in the mean yearly temperatures measured at Potsdam, Germany during the last 120 years. Three-quarters of the increase in the long-wave flux was due to changes in the water content of the lower atmosphere; the remainder was attributed to increases in CO2 and other anthropogenic, radiatively active gases.

Mixing it up: Study provides new insight into Southern Ocean behavior

Turbulent mixing in the deep waters of the Southern Ocean, which has a profound effect on global ocean circulation and climate, varies with the strength of surface eddies — the ocean equivalent of storms in the atmosphere — and possibly also wind speeds. A new study is the first to link eddies at the surface to deep mixing on timescales of months to decades. This new insight into how the Southern Ocean behaves will allow scientists to build computer models that can better predict how our climate is going to change in the future.

Partner & Fellow Blogs