Clarity, please

thermometer 

 

 

 

From a call for papers I received:

2009 Watershed Science & Technical Conference

Within the scientific community, the phrase “climate change” is replacing “global warming” because Earth is not just getting warmer. It is also changing, and changing in ways that scientists are just beginning to explore.

Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting and shrinking, plants and trees are blooming earlier and in places where they have never bloomed before, growing seasons are lengthening, polar permafrost is thinning.

The scientific debate is changing as well, moving away from whether and why we are warming, to what effects climate change will have on Earth’s environment, and just what exactly is causing it. Is it simply human output of greenhouse gasses? Is it a natural climatological progression?

To sum up:

  • Scientists are now focusing on “climate change”, not “global warming”. (Climate can cool or warm.)
  • The Earth’s climate is getting warmer, with notable effects.
  • Scientists are focusing no longer on if and why we are warming, but how climate change (warming effects) will affect the Earth
  • Scientists are focusing on why the earth is warming/changing. 
  • Global climate change might be a natural phenomemon or it might be caused by greenhouse gasses (which are supposed to cause warming.)
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2 Responses to Clarity, please

  1. troutsky says:

    Lichanos, It really isn’t an either/ or argument is it? ( man caused or “natural”) Couldn’t it be both? The true debate is whether capitalism can adapt quick enough and I have serious doubts.

  2. lichanos says:

    Troutsky:

    Yes and no.

    Yes, not either/or. CO2 will have some warming effect. Natural causes certainly do. The questionis, how much does each cause and why? If my view is correct (downplaying AGW) then adaptation is in order, as always, because climate always changes, and we have done such a poor job of adapting to what we have NOW! Extreme events will happen. They will be infrequent and destructive. We don’t plan for that now. We build on the shore, on the flood plain, etc.

    No, the models and the AGW folks predict significant and deleterious warming due to human activity. If they are right, significant, directed action is indicated and feasible, at great cost. Adaptation would seem inadequate.

    The question is deeper than capitalism. Human societies of all kinds don’t respond to long-term, diffused, risk.

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