Global Warming and Climate Change: All Too Real

The attached article by Dana Milbank in the June 12, 2013 Washington Post was the direct trigger for this post, on a topic that was on my list of things to discuss.  It is a harbinger of the future (NYC and GCC).

I first referred to climate change publicly in a speech I gave at the University of Delaware in 1982 entitled ‘Values in Energy Decision Making: Some Personal Perspectives’.  It was just a few years after Jim Hansen first began publishing on the issue of global warming and climate change and undertook to alert the world to the possibilities.  We all owe him a big thanks.  (Note:  the 1982 speech referred to above will be discussed in future blogs on nuclear power, energy conservation, and the role of values in energy policy.)

My current thoughts on global warming and climate change are reflected in the attached power point presentation, an invited Earth Day-related talk to a citizen’s group in northern Virginia (Global Warming and Climate Change).  It was an opportunity for me to review some of the rapidly growing literature on the subject and the latest scientific testimony to Congress. While not being a climate scientist, and recognizing that a few scientists still question the validity of human-induced global warming, I personally have no doubts, based on my reading of the literature as a scientist, that global warming is occurring due to human activities and is having serious impacts.  One such impact is on precipitation patterns which is touched upon in my earlier blog on ‘Water and Energy’.  Some have identified global warming and associated climate change as the most important issue facing the global community, which may be all too true notwithstanding that the world faces many other difficult-to-solve problems as well.





Your comments, if anything, understate the seriousness of the global warming that’s already manifesting itself in extreme weather events. Yes, Chicken Little, you’re (finally) right: the sky really IS falling!

I agree that global warming is already having serious consequences, and not only in its impact on weather events – e.g., food production in certain ‘traditional’ locations, in migration of disease vectors, and on ocean populations. A sad fact is that areas being hit hard by rising ocean levels due to glacier melting – e.g., island nations – had no measurable part in creating the warming but are suffering the consequences.

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I think you need to update your presentation in the light of the latest IPCC Report now out or you will be seen to be in denial.
For instance, if I recall correctly, they say there has been no global warming for the last 15 years, which your graph [Slide 5] does not show [and, by the way, you do not show the large temperature peak two years before your chosen 1880 origin!] Also your sea level projections seem to have got doubled from my recollection of 16 inches +/- 8in to 30in +/- 18in. You need to check.

Don, I did update my Global Warming blog on August 12th: ‘Update on Global Warming And the Threat of Sea Level Rise’. Doubt that I can be labeled a ‘denier’.