It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

30th Anniversary of "Global Warming"

An excellent session chaired by Tony Busalacchi and Ray Pierrehumbert (thanks to Rodrigo Caballero for tuning me in) on the 30th anniversary of the first NAS report on climate change, chaired by Jule Charney in 1979 with some of the all time great minds in meteorology (Charney, Bolin, Smagorinsky) and oceanography (Wunsch, Stommel) participating.

I'll have more to say about this session later. The most important point, though, is that despite all the press about "global cooling scares" in the 1970s, by 1979 the NAS was capable of getting the whole picture right, in the complete absence of any observable recent warming.

The relatively brief report, "Carbon Dioxide and Climate, A Scientific Assessment", is available online, and genuine skeptics are invited to compare the best scientific opinion of the 1970s not only with current consensus thinking but also with the observed climate trajectory.

4 comments:

Phil said...

Shame that we've done next to nothing about it in the following 30 years.

David B. Benson said...

Right on!

climatesight said...

It's all a question of whether scientists 1) knew that our emissions would eventually cause warming, and then watched it happen; or 2) saw that it was warming, realized that it correlated with our emissions, and accepted it as causation.

The scientific community knows it is 1. But most of the public thinks it is 2.

Michael Tobis said...

Climatesight, yes, I agree with your assessment.

The thought prompted by your observation is that if the social scientists and media experts really wanted to help, they would identify public misonceptions like this, find out how prevalent they are, and help us find ways of correcting them.