Nov 27, 2012, 12:32 PM
Post #4 of 5
From Kay Kilpatrick:
Re: [The Publisher] Climate change - rising sea level
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In response to Michael Craddock query and the editorial in the NY Times:
In the interest of advance full disclosure, I admit I am indeed a card carrying scientist who studies global sea surface temperature for a living --and therefore on the dole and can't be trusted ---I pause to put on armor and my life jacket.
It is a good thing that we are all sailors; if the climate dialogue continues to be perpetually distracted by the question "Is climate change human induced?" rather than how are we going to deal with the consequences, our sailing skills will be in high demand in a future Water World.
As the original editorial piece in the New York Times stated: "There are two basic ways to protect ourselves from sea level rise: reduce it by cutting pollution, or prepare for it by defense and retreat. To do the job, we must do both. We have lost our chance for complete prevention; and preparation alone, without slowing emissions, would — sooner or later — turn our coastal cities into so many Atlantises."
Having just suffered through an election year in the US, we are all too familiar with the sound bite spin in regard to communicating important ideas by political parties. Unfortunately the same polarizing dialogue often hinders the climate discussion.
For the equivalent of the Politico fact checker on climate change Skeptical Science( http://www.skepticalscience.com) and Real Climate (www.realclimate.com) are credible sources of additional information and often provide a more complete dialogue to a climate sound bite.
In response to Michael Craddock's question "what is the truth". Yes, it is a fact that volcanoes can emit enormous amount of CO2 for brief periods of time, but on an annual bases they typically represent less than 1% of human induced emissions. Here is a response reference from the climate science community to the proposition that global warming is due to volcanoes and not humans:
"Anthropogenic (sic human induced) CO2 emissions—responsible for a projected 35 gigatons of CO2 in 2010 [Friedlingstein et al., 2010]—clearly dwarf all estimates of the annual present-day global volcanic CO2 emission rate. Indeed, volcanoes emit significantly less CO2 than land use changes (3.4 gigatons per year), light-duty vehicles (3.0 gigatons per year, mainly cars and pickup trucks), or cement production (1.4 gigatons per year). Instead, volcanic CO2 emissions are comparable in the human realm to the global CO2 emissions from flaring of waste gases (0.20 gigaton per year) or to the CO2 emissions of about 2 dozen full-capacity 1000-megawatt coal-fired power stations (0.22 gigaton per year), the latter of which constitute about 2% of the world’s coal-fired electricity-generating capacity." download full AGU editorial article Gerlach, T. (2011), Volcanic versus anthropogenic carbon dioxide, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(24), 201–202, doi:10.1029/2011EO240001. [Full Article (pdf)]