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View Diary: Want to see a real crisis? A *partial* counterpoint (44 comments)

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  •  re: good stuff (none)
    Thanks for the all the recommendations everyone.

    To answer your first question:
    If by 'we' you mean humans - thats true, humans have never had temperatures much above our current levels - i forget exactly what the maximum is over the previous 7000 years - call it about 1 degree above present levels) -  however, the report you refer to isn't stating that 2 degrees C above today's temperature is the 'critical point' - they claim that that 2 degrees C above 1750 temperature is the 'critical point' - that is about .5 degrees C from our present temperature.
    If on the other hand, you mean the earth ecosystem by 'we', then no, temperatures were more than a few degrees C 60 million years ago, althought I couldn't find a record on line that went back that far.  However, the graph that goes back 3 million years clearly shows temperatures signficantly higher than present day.

    Secondly, re: european scientists.  I'm not sure I can answer that definatively - after all, all I can give you is my impression.  However, it seems to me that in scientific journals among all scientists in the field, the scientific scatter is pretty uniform - remember i disccused these GCMs - well even as underresolved as they are, running them takes enormous computing power - some of the world's most powerful supercomputers run these GCMs and as a result, they tend to be international collaborations that work on them.

    (this would be the most famous example of a GCM supercomputer: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1951265.stm

    this is a list linking most of the major GCM studies in the world today
    http://stommel.tamu.edu/~baum/climate_modeling.html )

    so by and large, I think the scientific community is pretty well in agreement (or disagreement) uniformly.

    I suspect what you see is that European popular science is more ?liberal?(as is everything - although this isn't exactly the word I want, but I think you know what i mean) than American popular science.  As a result, what gets broadcast to the public as science, such as the CNN article linked originally here, tends to be more certain of climate change than that you read here.  

    Its all in how the media presents it and which particular speaker they trot out to talk about it.  If only news broadcasts were peer-reviewed :)

    -Yertle

    •  Thanks for the quick response. (none)
      The Independent's original article suggested we were only 0.8C higher than 1750 - was that just a mistake on their part (sorry to nitpick, it's just nice to be able to factcheck with someone who knows)?

      I'd been wondering about the "media filter" as far as how the science is presented. I'm usually aware that some of this stuff I need to take with a pinch of salt, but the BBC presented it without a disputing voice, and usually if they do that I take it as gospel. Perhaps I need to start filtering them, too... ;-)

      •  media filter! (none)
        Ah! I only saw the link to CNN.  I don't know, I assume that is correct.  I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but that seems to be in the right ballpark.

        Media filter- heh, seems to me that you have to assume a media filter on everything these days.  However, if you can find 'Science' or 'Nature' I recommend those journals for the interested non-scientist.  They are peer reviewed journals, but they tend to publish the latest advances only, and they are generally written for a broader audience.  They both take publications from a broad range of fields.

        -Yertle

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