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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 09:27 AM
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Climate Change and ‘Balanced’ Coverage
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/climate-chang... /
December 23, 2010, 7:12 am

Climate Change and ‘Balanced’ Coverage

By JUSTIN GILLIS

In an article this week on the relentless rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, I outlined one of the canonical projections of climate science: if the amount of carbon dioxide doubles, the average surface temperature of the earth is likely to increase by 5 or 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a whopping change. I contrasted that with a prediction from skeptics of climate change who contend that the increase is likely to be less than 2 degrees.

One major voice on climate science, Richard B. Alley of the Pennsylvania State University, told me he gets annoyed by the way this contrast is often presented in news accounts. The higher estimate is often put forward as a worst case, he pointed out, while the skeptic number is presented as the best case.

In fact, as Dr. Alley reminds anyone who will listen, and as he recently told a Congressional committee, the estimate of 5 or 6 degrees is actually mildly optimistic. Computer programs used to forecast future climate show it as the most likely outcome from a doubling of carbon dioxide, but those programs also show substantial probabilities that the warming will be much greater.

The true worst case from doubled carbon dioxide is closer to 18 or 20 degrees of warming, Dr. Alley said — an addition of heat so radical that it would render the planet unrecognizable to its present-day inhabitants.

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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 09:30 AM
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1. at 18 to 20 degrees difference, we become underground cave dwellers
because it would be too hot on the surface.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 09:36 AM
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2. Seriously! I read projections that a lot of Africa will become uninhabitable due to the high temps.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Underground cave dwellers who eat…
what, exactly? …
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Each other...
for a while.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 10:04 AM
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5. And even with an average rise of 10 degrees much of the earth will be 20 degrees warmer
Edited on Fri Dec-24-10 10:05 AM by GliderGuider
The warming is not uniformly distributed.

This is kind of the reason I'd like to see us eliminate all global CO2 emissions within 20 years. We won't of course, but that's the sort of reduction it would take to avoid this future.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-24-10 11:25 AM
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6. Venus. nt
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