The recent slowdown (or ‘pause’) in global surface temperature rise is a hot topic for climate scientists and the wider public. We discuss how climate scientists have tried to communicate the pause and suggest that ‘many-to-many’ communication offers a key opportunity to directly engage with the public.
We must not fall victim to decontextualized and ahistorical media accounting of climate trends.
Natural variability can explain fluctuations in surface temperatures but can it account for the current slowdown in warming?
Observational data show a continued increase of hot extremes over land during the so-called global warming hiatus. This tendency is greater for the most extreme events and thus more relevant for impacts than changes in global mean temperature.
It is time to acknowledge that global average temperatures are likely to rise above the 2 °C policy target and consider how that deeply troubling prospect should affect priorities for communicating and managing the risks of a dangerously warming climate.
Diplomacy? Sec. Kerry pushes Indonesia to decarbonize as USA energy use emits 17.2 tons CO2/person/yr., Indonesia 1.8. Quote: “It’s not enough for one country or even a few countries to reduce their emissions when other countries continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon pollution as they see fit.” More on Dot Earth.
Big majority of Americans ready for climate action even with cost, finds @yaleclimatecomm. Release:
In Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies, we report that most Americans support national action on global warming:
- Most Americans (83%) say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.
- Majorities of Americans say that corporations and industry (65%), citizens themselves (61%), and the U.S. Congress (52%) should be doing more to address global warming.
- A majority of Americans (71%) say global warming should be a “very high”, “high”, or “medium” priority for the president and Congress.
The survey also found that majorities of Democrats and Republicans support several climate and energy policies. For example:
- Providing tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (82% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans support this)
- Funding more research into renewable energy sources (84% and 60% respectively)
- Regulating CO2 as a pollutant (85% and 55%)
- Eliminating all subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry (67% and 52%)
The report includes an Executive Summary and the results broken down by political party and Global Warming’s Six Americas. You can download it here.
It’s very revealing and important reporting, but I can’t see how this additional intelligence - as the Information.dk story suggests - “may have contributed to the Americans getting their way…”
That implies that the U.S. did get its way.
To me, it still seems clear that China, with India and others, were far more adept than the United States at manipulating the proceedings to guarantee no shift toward a binding global commitment to decarbonization. Read Mark Lynas and Der Spiegel.
Can anyone imagine why President Obama would have committed to going to the meeting in person if the administration knew the outcome would be weak gruel?
Postscript 3: Lisa Friedman has an excellent Climate Wire piece noting how inconsequential any NSA monitoring was even if it ended up taking place. Yvo de Boer makes a good point in that piece: ”There is a much bigger debate going on about who is spying on who. But in the climate change negotiations, we should be very much focused on looking forward and building trust, not looking back, not on rehashing things that may or may not have happened in the past,” he said.
Postscript 1: I do agree with Alden Meyer’s concerns about how these revelations will chill dialogue going forward. Even worse odds for significant steps in Paris in 2015.
No idea why some claim this @dotearth line vanished: ”[I]t’s counterproductive to blur lines between observations based on science and values-based views on solutions.”
The scientific community has been working on understanding the climate system for nearly 200 years. In that time, a robust understanding of it has emerged. We know the climate is warming. We know that humans are now in the driver’s seat of the climate system. We know that, over the next century, if nothing is done to rein in emissions, temperatures will likely increase enough to profoundly change the planet. I wish this weren’t true, but it is what the science tells us.