In preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference next month in Bali, scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC) are meeting this week in Valencia, Spain to hammer out their fourth assessment report.
The meeting in Bali has excited the disbelievers and denialists with the usual ad hominem arguments with a selective and usually scant understanding of the underlying science; a thin cover for a political dogma:
The U.N. harbors terrorists, the climate has always changed (oh, really? Thanks for the insight), Mars and Pluto (yes, Pluto) are getting warmer – I guess Martians and Plutons drive SUV’s – HA!
Always kind of missing the point, they are subject to the same lag that even the IPCC suffers from given the apparent pace of climate change.
Reports that the US will likely back the IPCC’s assessment leaves much of these outdated denialist rhetoricians chattering to themselves. The rest of the world really is moving on.
By the same token, the IPCC report being discussed this week will leave out much of the latest findings of the Arctic ice melt this year, the shrinking ice sheet on Greenland, and data that suggests a sudden and unexpected spike in atmospheric CO2 levels from the rapid industrialization of China and India.
The nature of the peer review process precludes these rapid changes for inclusion in the IPCC report.
Which brings up another point counter to the common denialist claim: that the IPCC represents an “alarmist” bias, when in fact it is just the opposite. In almost every instance, the expected consequences of global warming are happening much faster than models projected. For the most part, scientists have projected conservatively expressly to avoid being labeled as alarmist.
What I guess I’m saying is that we need new arguments from these denialists because many are so, well, 2006.
This is what I know personally. For many years I’ve wanted to visit Alaska and experience the Great North. In talking to friends about my desire to visit I would joke that I want to see Alaska “before it melts”. (not very funny)
Damned if I finally make it to Alaska this year only to find that it really is melting.
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