Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Science Policy for the Duped Who Engaged in Climate March

With all the hyperbole with this week's climate marches, one would think we're dealing with settled science.  That would certainly for those easily duped. According Steven E. Koonin, a theoretical physicist, former science adviser to the White House, and Director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York UniversityWe are very far from the knowledge needed to make good climate policy.  He writes

The idea that “Climate science is settled” runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.

Hot West Coast

The hot/dry weather conditions on the west coast are often attributed to anthropogenic global warming.  Recent report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests otherwise.
Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, whereas multidecadal temperature changes are widely interpreted in the framework of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which responds to regional atmospheric dynamics. This study uses several independent data sources to demonstrate that century-long warming around the northeast Pacific margins, like multidecadal variability, can be primarily attributed to changes in atmospheric circulation. It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.