Thursday, February 08, 2007

The following pretty much sums up just how definitive the recent IPCC report is when it comes to sound science:
Climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) says the IPCC's report is "a political document, not a scientific report." In fact, the power of the IPCC findings are in their exhaustive scientific rigor. "The main science report -- more than 1,600 pages in its draft form -- was compiled by 150 scientists as main authors, another 400 scientists as contributing authors, a team of review editors, and some 600 reviewers. The document went through two rounds of reviews. And unlike past efforts, review editors required chapter authors to respond to each responsible review comment." Researchers utilize the latest technology -- scientists at the federal Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory "devoted half of their supercomputer's time for a year running models for the latest report" -- and "every government in the world" approves the summary for policymakers released last week. "Only points that were considered indisputable survived this process," one climate scientist notes. "This is a very conservative document - that's what makes it so scary." Indeed, the process is at times so ploddingly exhaustive that "many top U.S. scientists reject [the] rosier numbers" about sea level rise because the calculations "don't include the recent, and dramatic, melt-off of big ice sheets" in Greenland and Antarctica.
In addition, corporations (!) are coming around to the reality of the problem, with CEOs from ten of the largest companies in America urging Bush to take steps to combat climate change, and insurance companies refusing to take on the risk associated with global warming.

But the deniers won't be denied. The WSJ editors were recently caught fabricating history in a feeble attempt to refute climate change, and this item from right-wing NewsBusters web site:
About 12 minutes into Thursday’s NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams warned viewers about “global warming,” but just eight minutes later NBC ran a story about the month-long “deep freeze” in Colorado. If journalists can fret about global warming every time there’s a heat wave, it’s just as legitimate to point out such a glaring contrast on a newscast even if the events are really no more contradictory than claiming above average temperatures one month are evidence of global warming.
Just more proof that the right has no clue what they're talking about when it comes to global warming. They refuse to actually read the studies and reports that explain the effects of atmospheric change ultimately leads to more extremes in the weather, i.e. greater volatility. From a quite scholarly (Harvard) paper:
Given the pace of warming today, the anomalies in the World Ocean, the acceleration of the hydrological cycle, the associated increase in weather variability, and the growing instabilities in the cryosphere, the authors suggest that we are already observing signs of instability within the climate system. The current “business as usual” emission trajectories will likely lead to greater variability, more extremes, and more costly impacts for natural and socioeconomic systems, even with the current rate of change in the average global temperature.

Stabilization of CO2 at 450 or 550 ppm may possibly avoid some critical adverse thresholds; but, there is no assurance that the rate of change of greenhouse gas buildup in the interim will not force the system to oscillate erratically and yield significant and punishing surprises, or even force the system to jump into another equilibrium state. Gradually leaning far over to the side in a canoe may not tip it; but rapid movements and wide, erratic swings from one side to the other can tip the balance.
While the long-term trend line in temperature is certainly up, that line will be populated by wildly variant data points. We'll continue to experience more drastic heat with more drastic cold, more drastic rain and flooding with more drastic drought, etc.

What the MSM should be doing is explaining more of these truths to the public, rather than just showing evidence of the increased volatility in weather. Not that those on the right will finally acknowledge the science, but no matter the public should be better informed. Apparently, many on the right will refuse to accept the reality of the dire situation until it's too late.

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