Sunday, April 19, 2015

U.S. Science Committee Gets Curry from Professor Curry !

Judith A. Curry is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include hurricanes, remote sensing, atmospheric modeling, polar climates, air-sea interactions, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric research. She is a member of the National Research Council's Climate Research Committee.

Professor Judith Curry had strong revealing evidence placed before the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing this week:

"Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change. This includes'"
- The slow down in global warming since 1998 - Reduced estimates of the sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide
- Climate models that are predicting much more warming than has been observed so far in the 21st century
"While there are substantial uncertainties in our understanding of climate change, it is clear that humans are influencing climate in the direction of warming. However this simple truth is essentially meaningless in itself in terms of alarm, and does not mandate a particular policy response."
"We have made some questionable choices in defining the problem of climate change and its solution:'"
- The definition of ‘dangerous’ climate change is ambiguous, and hypothesized catastrophic tipping points are regarded as very or extremely unlikely in the 21st century
- Efforts to link dangerous impacts of extreme weather events to human-caused warming are misleading and unsupported by evidence…
- It has been estimated that the U.S. national commitments to the UN to reduce emissions by 28% will prevent three hundredths of a degree centigrade in warming by 2100.
“I found myself deeply troubled by Dr. Curry’s written and oral testimony,” Rep. Don
Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, said during a hearing Thursday… “… In almost total conflict with anything I’ve read over the last 15 years...” 
But Curry wasn’t about to let Beyer lambaste her testimony and responded to the Democrat’s confused rebuttal....
“Climate is always changing and it’s going to change in the future, the issue is how much of the change is caused by humans,” Curry said....
“… It seems to me very much sticking your head in the sand,” Beyer retorted, adding that debating over which year is the hottest was “silly” since 10 of the last 15 years were record warm years.
“The climate has been warming since the 1700s, okay, since the end of the ‘Little Ice Age,'' Curry explained. “We don’t know what’s causing that warming in the 18th Century, in the 19th Century — it’s not attributed to humans.”
“So there are other things going on in the climate system that have been contributing to warming over several centuries,” Curry said. “We can’t blame all of this on humans,
and we don’t know how all this is going to play out in the 21st Century. We just don’t know.”  
Beyer then ...compared Democrats’ advocacy for carbon dioxide regulations to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s arguing for the use of “enhanced interrogation” on the “one per cent chance” it could prevent al-Qaida from getting a nuclear weapon.
“And are we going to do nothing because there’s a greater than one per cent chance climate change…” Beyer said before being interrupted by Curry. 
“There is nothing in my testimony that says we do nothing,” Curry said. “What is being proposed is ineffective, it’s not going to do anything even if the U.S. is successful at meeting 80 per cent reductions by 2050 this is going to reduce warming by about a tenth of a degree centigrade. It’s not going to do anything.”

She concluded with: ''The inadequacies of current policies based on emissions reduction are leaving the real societal consequences of climate change and extreme weather events largely unaddressed, whether caused by humans or natural variability."

The Way I See It......The central issue in the scientific debate on climate change is the extent to which the recent (and future) warming is caused by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions versus natural climate variability that are caused by variations from the sun, volcanic eruptions, and large-scale ocean circulations.

The wickedness of the climate change problem provides much scope for disagreement among reasonable and intelligent people. Effectively responding to the possible threats from a warmer climate is made very difficult by the deep uncertainties surrounding the risks both from the problem and the proposed solutions.

How many more years of no-warming must there be before our politicians dare to notice what the science is saying?  We need to push the reset button in our deliberations about how we should respond to climate change.

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