The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Progress in Pop Climatology

Wunderground, long my preferred weather site, has a series of pop science articles on climate and climate change that are really first rate.

Meanwhile I am slapping together a series on Correlations, about the global mean radiative balance. The delivery schedule is tight. Consider it a rough draft. Definitely not as well thought out or polished as the Wunderground stuff, but I hope you see the germ of a good approach there.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

I hope to find time to do this approach justice some day. I worry that most people simply will lose patience with the numbers, though, even though the concepts are simple enough.

2 comments:

EliRabett said...

You have some typos in Part 3. The "two layer" idea is very cool, it brings out the idea that most of the absorbed energy in the atmosphere never gets out.

tidal said...

That's a good series, mt.

It's interesting that both you and Eli ( 1, 2)have undertaken recent simple "back to basics" posts on the science.

"Revere" over at Effect Measures on Scienceblogs has also recently done the same: here, here and here. It's an excellent series too, although some of the resulting comment posts (to parts 1 and 3) are soooo maddeningly/depressingly frustrating: "Could we be microwaving the water/ice off of the planet from power lines, cellphones, TV's, radio, etc.?" "I also recognize some of the same people pushing global warming on us in MSM are the same who gave us the lies about the GWOT and Iraq. The beneficiaries of carbon cap and trading in the war on climate change will be the same people who finance conventional wars." Sheesh, he's talking about electromagnetic radiation and black bodies and Wien's displacement, and this is the discourse he gets back????!!!

Nevertheless, I think the effort is worth it. As more and more people find accessible ways to delve into the underlying science, the inanity of the denialist talking points becomes increasingly evident to more and more people.