Richard Alley: what we know now…

In this talk, recorded at the American Geophysical Union’s Chapman Conference on Climate Communication in Colorado recently, Richard Alley gives his overview of what we know about the state of the climate. As you might expect, he covers the cryosphere in some detail (why Greenland may not be as big a worry as West Antarctica), but he also has interesting things to say about climate sensitivity (same as it ever was), food production, and the possibility that chunks of the planet may become too hot for humans. Well worth watching…

Check out the other talks from the conference, all up at the AGU’s Youtube channel. I’m planning to catch up with the talks by Mike Mann, Steve Lewandowsky, Jeff Masters and Gavin Schmidt — when I can find the time.

[Hat tip to Greenland’s very own videographer, Peter Sinclair — who also gave a talk at the conference.]

2 thoughts on “Richard Alley: what we know now…”

  1. Steven Davis, whose talk was entitled “Recarbonization of the Global Energy System” is worth a view.

    He discusses and updates these two papers, i.e. Hoffert 1998 Energy Implications of future stabilization of atmospheric CO2 content, and Raupach 2007 Global and Regional Drivers of Accelerating CO2 emissions.

    Starting in the early 2000s, the amount of carbon emitted per average energy unit used globally has been increasing, as well as the amount of energy used per unit of global GDP. And, the civilization is using more total energy now than the “business as usual” scenarios envisioned in 1998.

    He concluded: “I know a lot of you have probably read about how emissions in the US and Europe are down in recent years and we can probably have an entire other conference on what that is all about – whether its outsourcing CO2 or the recession or its cheap gas, and how persistent those reductions are liable to be – but what I’ve shown you today is a global analysis to a global problem and its showing that we’re moiving in the wrong direction. We need to communicate this as well, as try to get back on track”.

    This page has the “Live Web Session Schedule” for the AGU Chapman conference on Communicating Climate Science. You can get the presenter names and titles of their talks, then google “AGU Chapman ” and the name of the presenter and get the video to watch.

  2. This is also worth viewing and hearing :

    Song of a Warming Planet

    In Crawford’s composition, each note represents a year, ordered from 1880 to 2012. The pitch reflects the average temperature of the planet relative to the 1951–80 base line. Low notes represent relatively cool years, while high notes signify relatively warm ones.

    The result is a haunting sequence that traces the warming of our planet year by year since the late 19th century.

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