Category — Global ‘lukewarming’
“As the level of scientific understanding is increasing, so too is the level of understanding that global warming probably isn’t going to be overly harmful to our health and welfare. Consider … the Gallup question ‘Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime?’ … Since 2008, an increasing percentage of respondents (64% in the latest poll) have answered ‘no’.”
Every so often the pollsters at Gallup gather information about Americans’ feelings about global warming. They have a new release. And while each new set of numbers is perhaps interesting on its own, the real insight comes from seeing how attitudes have changed over time. And from the historical trends, it appears that more and more Americans are becoming global lukewarmers–as they should be, given the evidence.
The percentage of American’s polled that worry “a great deal” or “a fair amount” about global warming tends to bounce around based on current events (Figure 1: click for clarity). In the past decade, for example, there was a rise in “worry” from 2006–2008 corresponding to hurricane Katrina and Gore’s push of “An Inconvenient Truth.” [Read more →]
April 16, 2013 6 Comments
”While we await global temperatures to start rising again, there are signs that the overall rise won’t be as fast as we have once been led to believe…. [A] future characterized by modest rather than extreme climate change elevates the role of adaptation relative to mitigation in most discussions.”
As global temperatures in 2012 further cement a modest warming rate in response to anthropogenic climate influences, the light burns ever brighter for the “lukewarmers”—those intrepid souls who accept that human activities are impacting the character of the world’s climate, but hold the opinion that, when taken together, these influences are–and will be–relatively modest.
While lukewarmers’ individual opinions of whether or how to do “something” about anthropogenic climate change vary, a future characterized by modest rather than extreme climate change elevates the role of adaptation relative to mitigation in most discussions.
A year ago, in this space, I highlighted some positive lukewarmer developments in 2011. These included findings that the observed temperature trends over (and within) the past 3 decades are lower than climate model projections and that the climate sensitivity—that is, how much the average global temperature will rise under conditions of a doubled atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide—has likely been overestimated.
Here, I review some significant events from 2012. Many continue these same themes. I am sure that there are others that did not make my list. If your favorite is not here, please feel free to include a brief description of it in the Comments section below.
Temperatures in 2012
First, let’s have a look at the global average temperature for 2012. [Read more →]
February 4, 2013 14 Comments
“Mounting evidence [of lukewarming] begins to start to make you wonder whether there is some fundamental problem between climate models and reality.”“To me, the most significant thing that the Climategate emails show is that the deck is stacked against the publication of research results that are critical of the established scientific consensus, and the skids are greased for papers that run in support…. Not a good situation for the advancement of science.”
“Lukewarmers” are those scientists (and others) who believe the balance of evidence is middling between “climate alarmists” (who tend to think that the global temperature rise will lie in, or even exceed, the upper half the IPCC’s 1.1°C–6.4°C range of projected temperature rise this century) and ultraskeptics, or “flatliners” (who tend to think that the addition of human-generated carbon dioxide has virtually no impact on global temperatures).
Lukewarmers have found the world to be a lonely place. But favor (think physical processes of global climate) smiled for us in 2011. Several scientific studies produced results, when considered in combination, provide evidence that the general warming of the earth’s climate is proceeding at a rate that lies in the lower half of the IPCC’s projected temperature change during the 21st century.
And with a low-end temperature rise comes along low-end impacts. Seemingly good news for all!
First, let’s review the global average temperature, both at the surface, and in the lower atmosphere since 1979—the year that satellite observations of the temperature from the lower atmosphere become reliably available, and pretty near the beginning of the second warming episode of the 20th century. [Read more →]
January 19, 2012 40 Comments