Thursday, September 26, 2013

Climate Change Reaches Our Shores. A Pause, Not An End, To Global Warming

Dengue is one nasty disease.


Climate change reaches our shores. "As the world barrels toward a climate crisis of its own making, my country stands at the precipice. In the Marshall Islands, like elsewhere in the Pacific, climate change is no longer a distant threat, nor at the doorstep. Climate change is here...As one of only four low-lying coral atoll nations in the world, we are increasingly panicked by recent scientific reports suggesting that the world is currently heading for a three- to six-foot rise in sea levels by the end of the century. If such predictions are accurate, my country will be lost forever." Christopher J. Loeak in The New York Times.

MULLER: A pause, not an end, to warming. "The global warming crowd has a problem. For all of its warnings, and despite a steady escalation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the planet's average surface temperature has remained pretty much the same for the last 15 years...The current pause is consistent with numerous prior pauses. When walking up stairs in a tall building, it is a mistake to interpret a landing as the end of the climb. The slow rate of warming of the recent past is consistent with the kind of variability that some of us predicted nearly a decade ago." Richard A. Miller in The New York Times.

PORTER: The cost of climate change. "William Nordhaus of Yale, to cite one estimate, wrote recently that allowing uncontrolled carbon emissions would raise the world's temperature 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above that of the preindustrial era by the end of the century and cost the world a fairly modest 2.8 percent of economic output. An influential group of scholars argue that the climate is too complex to be modeled so neatly. Assuming that growing concentrations of carbon in the air will gradually heat the atmosphere and produce a gradual accumulation of economic losses, they say, ignores all the ways in which the environment could suddenly go haywire. "The models create the illusion of sureness," said Martin Weitzman of Harvard, one of the first economists to look into low-probability "tail events" omitted by most forecasters." Eduardo Porter in The New York Times.

IPCC's confidence in human contribution to climate change rises. "For a document that is likely to be attacked with a level of vitriol reserved for the highest-stakes political battles in Congress, it is noteworthy that every climate scientist spoke with about the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described it with the same word: conservative. The report, written by a worldwide group of several hundred climate scientists and set to be released Friday, follows four previous reports released between 1990 and 2007, which together paint a picture of ever-increasing confidence on the basic facts of human-caused global warming." Terrell Johnson for The Weather Channel.

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