Monday, April 21, 2014

AAAS; What We Know – about Climate Change, Antarctica

Terra Nova Bay, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Photo © B. Luyendyk
The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) recently issued a web page and a short booklet (http://whatweknow.aaas.org ) addressing issues revealed in the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes) over the past few months. One of the main goals of their statement is to address the misunderstanding among the general public that there is significant debate in the Climate Science community about the basic tenets of Climate Change. This is not true. The debate that is occurring surrounds science questions on processes and predictions among other topics, not that Climate Change is happening, is a significant threat and that humans are causing it.

Disinformation on Climate Change has been a characteristic of several media outlets and activist groups. 


In the recent past a petition was organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition ) to reject the findings of Climate Science, the IPCC reports and other related conclusions. The petition expresses Doubt in the truth of Climate Change. It was signed by over thirty thousand “scientists” and addressed to the United States Government. The thirty thousand included engineers, physicians and other technically trained individuals including an astronaut - but few to none were climate scientists. People are entitled to their opinion, but not qualified to judge the state of Climate Science unless they are engaged in the field. 

It is these types of exercises that accomplish the goal of seeding Doubt in the public's mind. Sponsors of them are following the course laid out by the tobacco industry in the 1970’s; in that case to create Doubt about the scientific findings to convince the public that tobacco as a cause of disease is not accepted science; ( http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org ).

An earlier post of mine discusses the findings of loss of ice mass in Antarctica (March 25, 2014 ) . Ice loss will contribute to the rise in global sea level that humanity faces this century. Careful peer reviewed research is the source of the conclusions in What We Know and the IPCC AR5.
We can learn from our past mistakes.
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