Friday, April 11, 2008

Big Melt and CO2 vs. U.S. "reality"

More scientific evidence accumulates relating CO2 production to climate change but with minimal effect in the consciousness ofthe American public. Recent examples include further work by James Hansen, an American scientist whose works have been actively supressed in the U.S. As noted at Truthout Dr. Hansen postulates an abrupt "tipping point" that requires decisive action and is largely ignored by the American mainstream:

" Very few people outside of climate scientists and climate activists even know about Hansen's polar ice melt hypothesis and what it means to each of our distant and more immediate futures. There is probably a scientific debate raging in labs and symposia about this new and compelling vision of climate change, but since publics globally remain, surrealistically, almost completely uninformed, how would we know?.

For example, Andrew Revkin, the NY Times expert and dean of American climate science reportage, mentioned the Hansen et el latest paper, "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?" only through his Dotearth blog with no coverage in the Times newspaper at all. At Dotearth he quotes from the paper's summary:

Humanity today, collectively, must face the uncomfortable fact that industrial civilization itself has become the principal driver of global climate. If we stay our present course, using fossil fuels to feed a growing appetite for energy-intensive lifestyles, we will soon leave the climate of the Holocene, the world of human history. The eventual response to doubling preindustrial atmospheric CO2 likely would be a nearly ice-free planet.

Humanity's task of moderating human-caused global climate change is urgent. Ocean and ice sheet inertias provide a buffer delaying full response by centuries, but there is a danger that human-made forcings could drive the climate system beyond tipping points such that change proceeds out of our control. The time available to reduce the human-made forcing is uncertain, because models of the global system and critical components such as ice sheets are inadequate. However, climate response time is surely less than the atmospheric lifetime of the human-caused perturbation of CO2. Thus, remaining fossil fuel reserves should not be exploited without a plan for retrieval and disposal of resulting atmospheric CO2. Paleoclimate evidence and ongoing global changes imply that today's CO2, about 385 ppm, is already too high to maintain the climate to which humanity, wildlife and the rest of the biosphere are adapted.

But the vast majority of New York Times newspaper readers, Americans in general and people globally have never even heard of this emerging vision of climate change, let alone been informed and educated by critical commentary from those with relevant expertise.

Hansen's emerging climate change vision and climate change A are almost mutually exclusive. Today's nascent climate change mitigation measures, including carbon taxes and cap and trade, remain completely within the gradual, linear, conventional wisdom. This level of mitigation does not address the big ice sheet melt as a crucial tipping point. No governments anywhere - not even those governments that have led in acknowledging climate change as a real and serious problem - are even remotely considering mitigation measures of an immediacy and scale needed to try to return atmospheric CO2 emission levels below 350 ppm. Climate change B is an impossibility within our present political and economic systems.

Which is probably why you haven't heard about Hansen's new climate change information and possible Draconian mitigation strategies in the mainstream media."

The video posted above comes from The Vulcan Project at Purdue done in cooperation with NASA. While it by itself doesn't establish CO2 emissions directly to climate change it does demonstrate the measurable nature of the phenomena which can be seen also in polar ice formation melting and other harbingers of change. Don't say you weren't warned.


Schnitzel_Republic said...

I think the most damaging consequence of the entire movement of the past twenty admitting "global warming" is out...and settling in for "climate change". Every argument made throughout the 1990s and up until the 2005-era...was centered on global warming.

Now, like a FAD...the key phrase is "climate change" that any change of weather this year...matches with whatever theory that one has come upon with minimum statistics.

Those of us who were somewhat believing in the situation...started to question alot of different things as this new phrase was tossed about. warming was a great now the sell is climate change. In three years...another faddish word will be invented to continue the trend.

I even find it amusing that some discussion groups introduce their members of the forum...who used to be introduced as an "expert on global warming"....and today the introduction is "an expert on climate change". I often wonder what accreditation process was rendered and what umbrella does the guy use to cover himself.

And allow me to be humble in this aspect...I am not an expert...but I did take science classes throughout my youth and into university...and can actually read the various literature with ease. It does not help to say you have absolute proof in global warming...and then shift the chatter to say absolute proof of climate change exists. Your proof evaporated? If proof evaporates...then it wasn't absolute to start with.

WINston smITh said...

Thank you Ripley
I appreciate your thoughtful remarks and quite frankly would have to agree that the semantics of climate science have become way too politicized when in fact it's the facts that matter.