Thongchai Thailand

THE FATHER OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Posted on: October 6, 2020

Father of global warming' worries the climate young people inherit will be  out of their control | CBC Radio
Father of climate-change awareness speaks at ASU
Climate Scientist Michael Mann: Exxon Story 'Confirmed Things We Long  Suspected' | InsideClimate News
One Planet: Climate Scientist Michael Mann Kicks Off A Week Of Special  Coverage | KALW
What's expected for the 2020 California wildfire season? | AccuWeather
2020 Election: Democrats connect California wildfires to climate platforms

THIS POST IS A REVIEW OF A CBS SPECIAL REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE WITH REFERENCE TO THE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES AND EAST COAST HURRICANES OF 2020. THE FULL TEXT OF THE TRANSCRIPT IS AVAILABLE ONLINE LINK: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/western-wilfires-record-temperatures-california-60-minutes-2020-10-04/

2020 Hurricane Season Is Less Than 100 Days Away; Here Are the Names You'll  See This Year | The Weather Channel
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Report Card

PART-1: WHAT THE TRANSCRIPT SAYS

JAMES HANSEN, MICHAEL MANN:  CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES AND EAST COAST HURRICANES OF 2020:  [LINK TO SOURCE DOCUMENT]   

  1. At least 31 have died in the largest wildfires in California history. The east is defending itself against twice the usual number of tropical cyclones. And what may be the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth came in August in the United States. It’s a torrid 2020 and it was forecast 32 years ago. In the 1980’s, a NASA scientist named James Hansen discovered that climate change, driven by carbon emissions, was upon us. His graphs, of three decades ago, accurately traced the global rise in temperature to the year 2020.
  2. Last week, we had a lot of questions for Hansen. Are these disasters climate change? Do things get worse? Is it too late to do anything?  California smoke blew more than 2,000 miles to the east and drifted over the Pennsylvania farm of retired NASA scientist James Hansen. His 1988 paper on carbon and climate accurately predicted temperatures up to the far-off year of 2020James Hansen: Yeah, we’re seeing exactly what we expected. But I expected that governments would be wise enough that they would begin to adopt policies to preserve the future for young people. But they haven’t done that yet. Hansen is the father of climate change science. For 32 years he was director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Today, at 79, he runs the program on climate science at Columbia University
  3. Question: What is your forecast for the next 30 years? James Hansen: Well, if we don’t change anything, then we’re going to continue to see more and more of these extreme regional events because the physics is quite simple. As you add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, you increase the heating of the surface. So, at the times and places where it’s dry you get more extreme droughts. The fire seasons become longer. The fires burn hotter. But at the times and places where it’s wet, you get more evaporation of the water. And you get warmer, moist air, which provides greater rainfall. And it’s the fuel for storms. This summer, the Atlantic Basin has soaked beneath 23 tropical storms or hurricanes, double the usual number. Death Valley, California, hit 130 degrees — now being evaluated as a world record. And Los Angeles reached 120
  4. Michael Mann: People ask, are we dealing with a new normal? And the sobering answer is, that’s the best-case scenario. A new normal is the best-case scenario ’cause that sorta means, well, we’ve got a new situation and we just have to learn how to deal with it. But it’s much worse than that. So, there are surprises in store and we’re seeing some of those surprises play out now. Michael Mann is a geophysicist whose work on past climate showed today’s rate of warming began with the Industrial Revolution. Mann is a lightning rod for deniers, but his research has been verified again and again. Mann is director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Question:  But there’ve always been fires in the west. There’ve always been hurricanes in the east. How do we know that climate change is involved in this? Michael Mann: Well, there are a number of independent sort of sources of information, lines of evidence that tell us that this isn’t natural, that this is human-caused. Let’s look at the big picture, the warming of the planet a little less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming of the planet since pre-industrial time. Now, people ask, well, couldn’t that happen naturally? Well, it turns out that if you look at the factors that are driving natural changes right now — small but measurable fluctuations in the brightness of the sun, Volcanic eruptions — they tell us that earth should’ve cooled slightly over the past half-century. Here’s what he means. In that yellow line at bottom, NASA has measured a steady decline in heat from the sun since the 1950’s. But the red line, the temperature of the Earth, has only increased. Michael Mann: We can only explain that warming when we include the human factor of increased greenhouse gas concentrations; in particular, carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. : Well, the president says about climate change, science doesn’t know. Michael Mann: The president doesn’t know. And he should know better. He should know that the world’s leading scientific organizations, our own U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and national academies of every major industrial nation, every scientific society in the United States that’s weighed in on the matter. This is a scientific consensus. There’s about as much scientific consensus about human-caused climate change as there is about gravity.  Wade Crowfoot reminded us California emerged from a five-year drought in 2016. In that drought, which we called a mega-drought— hasn’t happened at that level in a thousand years. We experienced communities in California literally running out of water. And where California dried out is now the site of the largest single fire in state history, called the Creek Fire. So that’s an existential challengeWe lost over 160 million trees in the Sierra Nevada mountain range as a result of that drought. The fire that burned the hottest and most dangerous, the Creek Fire, was in the epicenter of that tree mortality. It ran so hot that it created a smoke cloud 50,000 feet in the sky. What was the impact of all the smoke? Wade Crowfoot: Fifty million Americans on the West Coast suffered through weeks of the worst air quality on the planet. You didn’t have to live anywhere near the fires to be affected by them. Throughout California the smoke was so bad that our kids couldn’t play outside. And folks were discouraged from even spending any time outdoors. I did my first climate story more than 20 years ago and I remember, at the time, being told that there would be terrible fires and terrible hurricanes in 100 years; that this was a problem for our great-grandchildren. What changed? Michael Mann: what we’re finding is that many of these changes can happen faster than we thought they could. We didn’t really expect to see substantial loss of ice from the two major continental ice sheets, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. But now, the satellite measurements and in situ measurements tell us that they’re already losing ice. They’re already beginning that process of collapse. It’s already contributing to sea level rise, decades ahead of schedule. Michael Mann: warming can be stopped. Oceans and forests would begin to absorb excess carbon in a matter of years if emissions, principally from coal-fired power plants, are reduced close to zero. Former NASA scientist James Hansen believes the way to do that is for governments to tax cheap fossil fuels to make them more expensive than clean alternatives. They have these wishful thinking agreements like Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Every country says, “We’ll try to do better.” That won’t work. What we need is to have an increasing price on the fossil fuels and do it in a way that the public will accept.  At what point does it become too late? James Hansen: It becomes too late if you get to the point that you cannot stop the ice sheet disintegration. That’s the biggest point of no return. We can get to a point where we’re going to get several meters of sea level rise out of our control. That’s too late. We would lose our coastal cities. And more than half of the large cities in the world are on coastlines. If we don’t start to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere, 50 years from now, someone doing research on this time might look at this interview and I wonder what you would like to say to them. Michael Mann: That– that’s a tough question. I would say we did everything we could and we’re sorry. We’re sorry that we failed. But I don’t think that’s our future. I don’t want that to be our future. That’s a possible future. We have to recognize that. The worst visions that Hollywood has given us of dystopian futures are real possible futures if we don’t act on this problem; the greatest crisis that we face as a civilization.
Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets met | Sea  level | The Guardian
Climate change: UN panel signals red alert on 'Blue Planet' - BBC News
Indonesia Flooding Kills 66: Here's What to Know | Time

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. CLAIM: This summer, the Atlantic Basin has soaked beneath 23 tropical storms or hurricanes, double the usual number. RESPONSE: Climate science does have a clear position on how global warming will affect tropical cyclones. This clear position is found in Knutson etal 2010 where we find that the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones can be found only in the global mean total cyclone energy in all six cyclone basins over a long time time span of 30 years or more. Specifically data for a single cyclone season from a single cyclone basin do not contain useful information about the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones. Details in a related post: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/04/agwcyclones/
  2. CLAIM: California emerged from a five-year drought in 2016. In that drought, which we called a mega-drought— hasn’t happened at that level in a thousand years. We experienced communities in California literally running out of water. And where California dried out is now the site of the largest single fire in state history, called the Creek Fire. So that’s an existential challengeWe lost over 160 million trees in the Sierra Nevada mountain range as a result of that drought. RESPONSE: California is a desert that was not settled by the Spanish for this reason. It was made inhabitable by water from the Hoover dam and its large population today derives from that change and the gold rush. Droughts in California are the norm and they go back much longer than climate change. This historical pattern can be seen in the drought severity index going back to 1908 and in the drought data below going back to 1841 (provided by Wikipedia). Droughts in California are not a creation of fossil fuel emissions and they can’t be made to go away by taxing fossil fuels. This kind of attribution of localized climate events to AGW is a form of circular reasoning and a creation of confirmation bias LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/
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3. CLAIM: We’re going to continue to see more and more of these extreme regional events because the physics is quite simple. As you add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, you increase the heating of the surface. RESPONSE: Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a theory about long term trends (longer than 30 years) in global mean temperature. The interpretation of regional weather events that are by definition constrained by time and geography cannot be understood in terms of AGW because under these conditions, “Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections at regional and decadal scales”. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/16/the-internal-variability-issue/

4. CLAIM: we’re finding is that many of these changes can happen faster than we thought they could. We didn’t really expect to see substantial loss of ice from the two major continental ice sheets, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. But now, the satellite measurements and in situ measurements tell us that they’re already losing ice. They’re already beginning that process of collapse. It’s already contributing to sea level rise, decades ahead of schedule. RESPONSE#1: The admission that climate scientists don’t really know the climate and that their forecasts were wrong is made in a strangely positive light as if to imply that not knowing and finding that things are worse than previously thought makes them even more right than previously thought. It does not. It makes them wrong. This is similar to their claim that the less they know the scarier climate change gets for us and that when they don’t know and are faced with large uncertainties, the extreme end of the confidence interval contains the relevant information. Such a misunderstanding of basic statistics and information theory is pervasive in climate science. LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/05/22/global-warming-science-2007-the-dearth-of-scientific-knowledge-only-adds-to-the-alarm/ LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/12/12/methanescare/ LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/12/12/methanescare/ . It likely derives from an odd interpretation of the statistical concept of uncertainty that is also pervasive in climate science; LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/12/12/methanescare/ RESPONSE#2: The inability to understand uncertainty is found in their projection of sea level rise from melting ice sheets as seen in this related post: LINK#5: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/19/greenlands-future-sea-level-rise/ . Briefly, large confidence intervals don’t mean OH LOOK HOW HIGH IT COULD BE, it means that we don’t know because a large confidence interval is the creation of a large variance and a large variance is the creation of inadequate information.

5. CLAIM: But there’ve always been fires in the west. How do we know that climate change is involved in this? Michael Mann: Well, there are a number of independent sort of sources of information, lines of evidence that tell us that this isn’t natural, that this is human-caused. RESPONSE: It is necessary for these lines of evidence not only to explain why these forest fires happened but also to explain the discrepancy in forest fire devastation between state managed forests and privately managed forests described in a related post: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/15/privately-owned-forests-in-california/ . Briefly what we see in the data is the California forest fire devastation of 2020 is found mostly in state managed forests and not in privately managed forests.

STATE MANAGED FOREST

What's expected for the 2020 California wildfire season? | AccuWeather

PRIVATELY MANAGED FOREST

Timber Companies Have the Opportunity to Protect Forests Long Term -  Pacific Standard

WITH THANKS TO https://wattsupwiththat.com/ FOR ALERTING US TO THIS CBS REPORT.

2 Responses to "THE FATHER OF CLIMATE CHANGE"

Great article and breakdown, I applaud you for wading through the mud in that transcript.

The title of this post “THE FATHER OF CLIMATE CHANGE” is something
that is very commonly said. I would argue that he is the father of Global
Warming because the father of Climate Change in my opinion is George
Kukla. https://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/3175 From the link:

“Kukla also saw evidence that earth was now moving rapidly toward another ice age. Shortly after coming to Lamont, he organized a conference with Brown University geologist Robert Matthews on this idea. They summarized their findings in a 1972 paper in the journal Science, “When Will the Present Interglacial End?” They also wrote to President Richard Nixon of the potential for floods, snowstorms and deadly frosts, as well as “substantially lowered” food production; they warned that the Soviet Union was probably already considering a response.”

This was during the height of the Cold War and Kukla was very clever in
suggesting that the Soviets were ahead of the U.S. The U.S. response
from the link:

“The White House reacted quickly. By 1973, the State Department formed a Panel on the Present Interglacial, and Congress held a series of hearings on the state of climate research and U.S. preparedness. A series of bills to create a national climate program were introduced; in 1979, President Carter signed the National Climate Program Act into law.”

The claims of modern alarmists that the impending ice age scare
wasn’t widespread are wrong, the U.S. opened the floodgates on
funding climate studies based on a letter warning of an impending ice
age from Kukla and Matthews.

As always, shared on my little subreddit.

Thank you very much for this very interesting and comprehensive comment. It inspired me to read more about Kukla. Cheers.

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