HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Andrew Revkin, NY Times: ...

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:37 AM

Andrew Revkin, NY Times: A Closer Look at Moderating Views of Climate Sensitivity

Found this NY Times article from a couple of weeks back, and I thought I might share it with you.....

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/a-closer-look-at-moderating-views-of-climate-sensitivity/

A Closer Look at Moderating Views of Climate Sensitivity
By ANDREW C. REVKIN

“Worse than we thought” has been one of the most durable phrases lately among those pushing for urgent action to stem the buildup of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

But on one critically important metric — how hot the planet will get from a doubling of the pre-industrial concentration of greenhouse gases, a k a “climate sensitivity” — some climate researchers with substantial publication records are shifting toward the lower end of the warming spectrum.

There’s still plenty of global warming and centuries of coastal retreats in the pipeline, so this is hardly a “benign” situation, as some have cast it.

But while plenty of other climate scientists hold firm to the idea that the full range of possible outcomes, including a disruptively dangerous warming of more than 4.5 degrees C. (8 degrees F.), remain in play, it’s getting harder to see why the high-end projections are given much weight.

This is also not a “single-study syndrome” situation, where one outlier research paper is used to cast doubt on a bigger body of work — as Skeptical Science asserted over the weekend. That post focused on the as-yet-unpublished paper finding lower sensitivity that was inadvisedly promoted recently by the Research Council of Norway.

In fact, there is an accumulating body of reviewed, published research shaving away the high end of the range of possible warming estimates from doubled carbon dioxide levels. Chief among climate scientists critical of the high-sensitivity holdouts is James Annan, an experienced climate modeler based in Japan who contributed to the 2007 science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.....


So there you go.....rest of the article can be seen at the link.

14 replies, 1328 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:55 PM

1. *Bumping!* for more visibility.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:38 PM

2. So in other words everything is just fine, don't worry....

While it may not turn out as dire as some would have us believe, I think it will indeed be dire enough to create massive problems throughout the entire world..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bandit (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:41 PM

5. Yes, and I don't think he was trying to downplay the real problems that we ARE facing, now. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to Viking12 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:05 PM

4. S.S. is pretty good, and usually right on the money, but.....

In this case, however, I'll have to go with Revkin and co. on this one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:22 PM

9. Why? Because Revkin tries to make a controversy where one doesn't exist?

That's seems to be your Raison d'ętre

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Viking12 (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:11 PM

10. No, it's because he's pointing in a new direction that some others have yet to see.

If it was just ONE paper, I'd be a lot more understanding. But given that not only are there several papers suggesting this, and more on the way, and that he's been around for a while and that he really does seem to know his stuff, it does make you wonder if perhaps some of the earlier estimates may very well need to be fine-tuned a bit(after all, our scientific understanding is not static by any means; for example, remember that the IPCC's second assessment from 1995 indicated that we wouldn't see more than 2.5*C of warming by 2100 even with the equivalent of the A1FI scenario, and the Third Report from 2001 was on the the order of 6 or 7*C by then. The Fifth Report now indicates something on the order of about 4*C by 2100).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:36 PM

13. You're either dumb or dishonest

Revkin's discussion revolves around climate sensitivity, not projections of temperatures in 2100 (we'll ignore, for now, the fact the you grossly misrepresent the differences between the IS92 scenarios and the SRES scenarios). Focus. The fact is that the science is being fine tuned. The IPCC FAR, SAR, & TAR all identify the likely range of climate sensitivity to be 3C +/- 1/5. The AR4 uses a likely range of 2.1-4.5 with the most likely being 3C. A narrower range, fine tuned. AR5 has not yet been released; to make assertions about what it says from stolen drafts is intellectually dishonest.

What you think is such an exciting "new direction" is really immaterial. The 'debate' Revkin is covering is whether sensitivity is greater than 4.5 degrees is less than a 33% likelihood or less than a 10% likelihood. In either case it was never considered likely and is only peripheral to any policy debates.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Viking12 (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:18 PM

14. Well, I admit it's possible I made a mistake somewhere, re: the AR Reports.

It does happen, and if I did, you can always offer some corrections, that is, if I don't get to it first(though going so far as claiming I'm supposedly "dumb or dishonest" was quite unnecessary, and frankly, practically trolling.).

And, by the way, you apparently missed this part:

For the record, I am interested and have various queries out on how “consensus” is determined in the climate panel’s writing process (something that’s been explored here before).

And, once again, don’t get me wrong. Even with almost no chance of the high end of climate sensitivity estimates being right, the odds of substantial, prolonged and disruptive climate change (and changes in ocean chemistry) are still plenty high enough to justify a sustained push toward an energy menu that works for the long haul.

And given the inherent wide range of people’s feelings of risk, I also don’t expect the evolving science to eliminate debate over how fast to push and how much to spend.

Finally, it’s especially important to keep pushing toward new energy norms given how little humanity has done so far to shift from unfettered fuel burning.

Anyone who’s ever gotten an extension on a tough homework assignment or paper knows how that can work out — simply with a later all-nighter. (See a 2005 discussion of climate policy in the context of homework here.)

The stakes here are far higher than in potentially flunking out of a course.

For these reasons, I can understand why some climate campaigners, writers and scientists don’t want to focus on any science hinting that there might be a bit more time to make this profound energy transition. (There’s also reluctance, I’m sure, because the recent work is trending toward the published low sensitivity findings from a decade ago from climate scientists best known for their relationships with libertarian groups.)

Nonetheless, the science is what the science is.


I don't see anything here that most DUers would be liable to disagree with.

to make assertions about what it says.....is intellectually dishonest.


Funny thing is, I don't recall you saying anything about the Malcolm Light AMEG piece that was bandied about E & E over the summer, or any of the other pieces of doomer B.S. and fearmongering that have popped up over there from time to time(sometimes in threads, and sometimes on the comments boards) some of which had a bit, sometimes more, of actual intellectual dishonesty in their crafting(and no, I'm not going to bother digging shit up, partly because I don't have the time or the energy, and also because I doubt anyone will change their minds, anyhow, based on past experiences.).

And before you say anything else, I didn't necessarily say, nor imply, that this was the absolute truth by any means, and that it was open-and-shut. Not at all

However, I do believe it may be a possible sign of a slight change in the consensus. It IS possible, and hopefully, we can see some more of this stuff uncovered in the future.

TBH, I get that you don't agree with Revkin. Fine by me. But I felt that this was an important piece of information, regardless of whether or not people were necessarily going to agree with it.....


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:26 AM

6. i don't remember alerting this

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:44 AM

7. Why, did somebody alert on this? n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:18 PM

8. I came to this post and a message at the bottom said "your alert has been sent"

i don't understand why you spend most of your time here arguing that climate change is less and agreeing with people who work to deny it here.

often you preface your minimizing posts by saying that you do believe in climate change and doing something about it.

but you rarely post in favor of doing anything about it. only in support of the idea that it isn't as big of a problem as most believe.

the one idea you've agreed with lately, as mitigation for climate change, was putting reflective sheets of plastic into the atmosphere to reflect some sunlight.

1) do you support reducing fossil fuel emissions or not, in your community, in your state, in your country, in your world, from acts of goodwill and from government policies or not?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CreekDog (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:23 PM

11. Oh, not this again.....

i don't understand why you spend most of your time here arguing that climate change is less and agreeing with people who work to deny it here.


Okay, then, who are these 'deniers' I am supposedly in league with? In fact, I've actually confronted a few bonafide deniers in the past:

often you preface your minimizing posts by saying that you do believe in climate change and doing something about it.


"Minimizing", C.D., is a rather deceptive term, and funny that only a very small certain clique on here actually uses it for the most part.

only in support of the idea that it isn't as big of a problem as most believe.


I'd wager that many (not all, of course) people outside of E & E would generally agree with me on most things concerning the environment.


but you rarely post in favor of doing anything about it. the one idea you've agreed with lately, as mitigation for climate change, was putting reflective sheets of plastic into the atmosphere to reflect some sunlight.


You do realize I can't post over there anymore, right? You might want to search thru the forums and look for the threads that I've recced, and a fair number of them have to do with mitigation and making positive change(I was even planning on posting a few similar threads from Daily Kos, if you MUST know). That should tell you something.

And if you really want to keep this going, we'll do it thru DU Mail, but I'm not about to let my thread get clogged up with this crap.

(P.S. I'll admit that "your alert has been sent" thing was probably just a glitch of some kind).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:52 PM

12. if you think most people agree with your opinion, let's craft a poll question on that

we'll leave your name out of it.

express in a sentence your belief in global climate change and it's severity and we'll test it in a poll.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread