New Video: There is No Pause in Global Warming
September 4, 2013
Climate denier and frequent Fox News talking head Chris Horner of the tobacco and Oil funded Competitive Enterprise Institute used to have a favorite laugh line in regard to global temperature – “How do you measure the temperature of a planet? Where do you stick the thermometer?”
Actually, the planet has a very sensitive thermometer that has reliably continued to show the heat buildup, even in a decade of slower surface temp rise – and that’s the ocean.
Part of the “This is Not Cool” series for the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, this new video includes interviews with an all star team including Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Dr. Jerry Meehl, oceanographer Josh Willis, and others. There will likely be a second video on this topic soon, as boiling down the issue of climate sensitivity is more than one can do in a 6 minute time slot, and I still have a number of interviews that did not make it into this one.
It’s no surprise that the initial line of denialist attack on the forthcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), first installment due out later this month, will be the issue of “climate sensitivity”, that is, how much warming can we expect from a given level of greenhouse forcing. A number of high profile media spots have lately raised the question about whether scientists will be slightly lowering the estimates from the canonical 3° C plus or minus 1.5° or so, to maybe 2.5C or thereabouts. It’s a distinction without a difference is the first response – but even to get to that first response you have to understand something even more fundamental – a slightly lower rate of surface temperature rise over the last decade or so does not change the fact that the planet continues to gather heat. That heat is going somewhere, and has an effect on the system – surface thermometers are only one indicator of a relatively small portion of that heat imbalance.
For more maniacal viewers, I’ll also be posting some of the original skype interviews in complete form in coming days and weeks.