Sunday, March 06, 2011

Trenberth Lets Loose

Simon Donner points to flash videos of the Communicating Climate Change talks at AMS. Simon, of course, is very shy about his, but it is worth listening to.

Devils Lake climate, weather, and water decision support system Fiona Horsfall, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and D. Kluck, M. J. Brewer, M. Timofeyeva, J. Symonds, S. Dummer, and M. Frazier
Recorded Presentation
Trends in public opinion on climate change, as reflected in contributions to Australian newspapers David J. Karoly, Univ. of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia; and B. Parr Recorded Presentation
Promoting climate information and communication of climate change Kevin E. Trenberth, NCAR, Boulder, CO Supplementary Information
Recorded Presentation
What counts as knowledge? Using science dynamics to communicate climate dynamics James Rodger Fleming, Colby College, Waterville, ME Recorded Presentation
Communicating climate change: from awareness to action Amy K. Snover, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and L. C. Whitely Binder, A. F. Hamlet, and J. Littell Recorded Presentation
Making climate part of the human world Simon D. Donner, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, BC, Canada Recorded Presentation
Communicating uncertainty in the IPCC 5th Assessment Myles R. Allen, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom Recorded Presentation
Eli wonders whether Myles Allen was thinking of a certain IPCC non author when he said:
Communicating uncertainty is central to the IPCC assessment. One of the most irritating things I saw last summer was a slew of reporting in the British press following the IAC assessment saying that the IPCC has finally discovered thanks to the Inter Agency Council assessment of it that it needs to take uncertainty seriously. As an IPCC author who has done nothing else for the past twenty years or so I found this incredibly irritating.


Martin Vermeer said...

Actually contrary to Trenberth, I find the name 'Climategate' appropriate. Just like in the original, the criminals were not the 'burglees' but the burglars and their bosses. Including one Commander-in-Chief who was made to resign -- that part is still missing from the metaphor.

About Simon Donner's talk, he might find my experience interesting: when talking about sea level rise to an educated lay audience, the detail attracting the most attention was my reference to the Chao et al. finding that artificial reservoir impoundment has lowered sea level with over 30 mm over the last century... just as anthropogenic, just as unintentional as most of the rest of the sea level rise budget -- but somehow, this detail drove home to these people that, hey, it's us doing this!

Belette said...

Myles' modesty is touching.

Horatio Algeranon said...

History is indeed important.

The most important lesson of all is that nature has not been kind to civilizations who ignored the reality of their predicaments.

And as Chris Hedges points out

This time when we go down it will be global. There are no new lands to pillage, no new peoples to exploit. Technology, which has obliterated the constraints of time and space, has turned our global village into a global death trap. The fate of Easter Island will be writ large across the broad expanse of planet Earth. -- Chris Hedges from This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us

Hedges gets the current CO2 level wrong (he says it's "329ppm"), but IHHO, he's right on the main points.

Some time in the distant past (@2003), Horatio wrote a poem (and did a painting) about this

Portal to the Past

EliRabett said...

Belette, what are we to think of stoats who abandon the family name to put on French airs? Seriously, you don't get to be a middle shot at Oxford by being shy,

EliRabett said...

Martin, yes that was very telling for Eli also. We are in the anthropogenic.

Steve Bloom said...

I still like "Arbustocene" (first heard from Paul Ehrlich, although not necessarily original with him). Of course it's just a passing phase in the larger Kochozoic.

Steve Bloom said...

A year and a half ago MA had the temerity to snipe at Hansen in Nature regarding the latter's contribution to the Rockstrom effort. Note that he corresponded with Rockstrom (not a subject matter expert) rather than Hansen, which was remarkably gutless. The principal objections were to the 350 ppm upper limit rather than MA's favored trillion-tonne approach (calculated relative to a +2C maximum assumed to be the limit beyond which dangerous climate change is triggered) although MA admits in the link that they're probably pretty equivalent (well, no, since 350 ppm implies an active effort to reduce back down as rapidly as possible; IOW any significant time spent above 350 is dangerous), and to Hansen's proposal that the potential for rapid collapse of the ice sheets means that sensitivity is more like +6C relative to the standard +3C. I think we'd have to say that Hansen's ideas have aged rather well, noting e.g. that just a couple of weeks ago Anderson and Bows (2011) described 2C as more like the demarcation between dangerous and extremely dangerous.

Of course MA got what he wanted in the short term, which was to have the trillion-tonne limit rather than 350 ppm featured in the Copenhagen Diagnosis, and we've seen just how much more effective that's been with policy makers, the media and the public. Or not, perhaps. Anyway, to all appearance Hansen's response was simply to ignore Myles. I'm sure we all recall what Oscar Wilde had to say about that sort of treatment.

David B. Benson said...

No, what did Oscar Wilde say that might have any relevance here?

Steve Bloom said...

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.