Sunday, September 11

Climate Change still a major issue

Climate change is just as much on the political agenda as it ever was and the climate deniers/skeptics have been just as busy trying to make claims that there are no problems. I think this latest from the Climate Denial Crock of the Week series makes a clear point from an American perspective:

So what is new in the science??

Not a lot really, despite all the shocking misinformation put forward by the denialsphere, the climate is still warming and the science continues to offer evidence that it is humans that are causing it.

Recently physicist Jasper Kirkby and his team conducted an experiment at CERN to try and prove that the Sun and cosmic rays (protons) are responsible for seeding clouds and hence regulate climate. The results published in Nature last month have been discussed quite a bit but are inconclusive because the particles in the experiments chamber created by the protons are to small to seed clouds. He does however intend to do further experiments, so the results are likely to be fed into models and climate science in general.

Also recently the Spencer and Braswell paper published in a journal called Remote Sensing suggested that there would be far less warming than the majority of scientists have been predicting. However the paper came under a lot of criticism partly because the model used by Spencer was over simplified, partly because he published the paper in a journal with a specialism on the borders of climate science. More recently Andrew Dessler has a paper in press that criticises the maths/science of the Spencer/Braswell paper.

On top of all the criticism, the editor in chief of Remote Sensing stepped down because he realised the Spencer/Braswell paper probably was not of sufficient quality and the journal had not the expertise to review the paper effectively. Spencer has also been criticised for deviating from science and delving into politics and economics, publicly stating his political views and his purpose in life.

For more information, the Skeptical Science web site (which recently won an award) has some useful articles:

So what has been happening around the world this year?

1. Arctic ice extent is again at a record low, similar to 2007.  So despite the claims the planet is (bizarrely) cooling, the average ice extent is continuing downwards. Why else would nations and oil companies be interested in these regions?

2. The US has suffered a very serious drought and wild fires as shown in the video above and news reports.

3. King Crabs have been found on the edges of the Antarctic.

4. Research has shown that species migration away from the equator towards the poles is about 20cm per hour.

Just a few observations out of many around the world, that our warming of the planet is gradually have an impact. But it isn't predicted to be gradual forever, positive feedbacks are likely to make things worse.

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