Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/20/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sometimes, consensus isn't enough.

How many scientists does it take to convince someone the climate is changing because human activities are warming the planet? This is the challenge that the IPCC intends to wrestle with next month when it issues its latest report, now with a greater degree of certainty than ever before.

You can't convince anyone using science until certain prerequisites have been satisfied.

You can't convince anyone using science until certain prerequisites have been satisfied.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/20/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: aerosols, global wamring, climate, change, pollution, ipcc, report, consensus


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some details of a pending International Panel on Climate Change report have already been leaked and the basics are known. The IPCC says they are now 95 percent certain that human activities are warming the planet.

They also say that the pace of warming has slowed, likely a result of a number of factors, including increased quantities of volcanic ash in the atmosphere. Finally, they concede that the Earth is a tremendously complex system and that predicting the local impacts of the broader changes, of which they are certain, is nearly impossible.

Unfortunately, that last concession reduced their work to a question of how to reign in warming, because local adaptations cannot be planned in advance, since nobody can say with certainty how one place or another will be impacted.

There may be some exceptions to that. After all, a rise in sea level will be global, and that can be anticipated. However, questions of how much, and more specific questions than that remain unanswered.

All the IPCC can say with certainty is that the planet, globally on average, is warming and that warming is the direct result of human activity.

Despite the sophistication of modern science and computer systems, models remain incomplete. No model has yet successfully predicted changes over the long term. So far, scientists have managed to tease only a gradual trend out of the data.

Scientists can, with the right data, pin down specific correlations between time, location, and temperatures, but beyond that their work tends to be very local and specific. Meanwhile, general data about things like historic CO2 levels and degrees of climate change remain just that -general data often taken from a time when humans did not exist.

Still, the IPCC is working hard to communicate to the world that there is a consensus view on anthropogenic climate change and that the consensus is now shared by 95 percent of the world's climate researchers.

The IPCC does not do any direct research itself, but rather aggregates thousands of papers and reports every year to develop what the panel believes is a genuine measure of agreement on the issue. The IPCC says they evaluate what is being published and produce a report.

Based on their most recent work, they say that 95 percent of the scientific community supports the conclusion that humans are impacting the climate for the worse.

The challenge, as always, remains how to convince the public that this is happening and that it is a bad thing, which requires attention. So far, 90 percent consensus has proved inadequate.

It's unlikely that 95 percent consensus will help much either.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Green

What a difference a millennia makes! Antarctic was at one time like coastal California Watch

Image of It's amazing what a millennia - or two can make on real estate. Two new studies claim that the chilly expanses of Antarctica were at one time very much like coastal California today!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's amazing what a millennia - or two can make on real estate. Two new studies claim that the chilly expanses of Antarctica were at one time very much like coastal California today! The two new studies are helping scientists determine the effects of long-term ... continue reading


BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? Smog from India, China winds way to U.S., Canada Watch

Image of The smog in Asia, it must be noted is caused by more than just the burning of fossil fuels - it's comprised of nitrogen oxides, methane and other volatile organic compounds that combine to produce ozone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ripples in the global pond, half a world away, can have effects all over the globe. Researchers at Texas A&M now say that air pollution originating in both India and China, almost certainly affects global weather patterns, particularly in the United States and ... continue reading


MONSTER El Nino forming in South Pacific, will being devastating weather around the globe in 2014-2015 Watch

Image of We may see a sharp increase in severe weather events for 2014-2015.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to scientists, a massive El Nino is forming in the Pacific and it may be the largest such El Nino ever recorded. If true then the entire planet may experience an uptick in extreme weather events with serious consequences for life and property around the ... continue reading


World must turn to wind and solar to combat global warming, report says Watch

Image of Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world must turn to the wind or sun for its energy needs -- or face catastrophic consequences wrought by climate change. That's the news from a recent report from the United Nations on global warming. These devastating effects could take place as early as 15 ... continue reading


Former Indonesian tropical paradise reduced to garbage dump Watch

Image of The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As people in China's most air polluted cities cheerfully don face masks, a fisherman on Indonesia's Citarum River has blankly accepted his polluted fate. Once searching for fish, Herman, the name of the fisherman proffered to news reporters says he now looks ... continue reading


THIRD Oarfish sighting in Sea of Cortez stokes earthquake fears Watch

Image of A tour guide lies beside a beached oarfish specimen on the Isla San Francisco in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An oarfish has been found washed on an island beach in Mexico, leading to speculation if it is one of the two previously sighted and filmed last month, or if it is in fact a third specimen. If it is a third, it could fuel rumors of an earthquake since anecdotal ... continue reading


Japanese island consumes another in unusual volcanic activity Watch

Image of Two volcanic craters are shown on Niijima on November 22. The island emerged about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a spate of highly unusual volcanic activity, one Japanese island has merged with another nearby island. Niijima Island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last ... continue reading


Are these oarfish in Mexico predicting an earthquake? Tourists film TWO live oarfish trying to beach themselves Watch

Image of Oarfish are legendary harbingers of earthquakes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing new video shows two oarfish swimming just offshore in Mexico to the delight of ecotourists on a kayaking tour. The video, taken last March, shows the pair of fish possibly about to beach themselves. Oarfish are rarely sighted and legend associates their ... continue reading


MASS EXTINCTION: All life on Earth went extinct 252 million years ago Watch

Image of The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly all life on Earth became extinct 252 million years ago. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT scientists, the culprit was not an asteroid striking the planet, but a methane-spewing microbe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daniel ... continue reading


Bison, elk appear to be fleeing Yellowstone. Is supervolcano eruption eminent? Watch

Image of A supervolcano under Yellowstone could cause mass extinctions if it erupted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talk of a supervolcano eruption in Yellowstone National Park has hit the blogosphere after several people have posted videos of animals fleeing the sanctuary. A supervolcano eruption would destroy everything for hundreds of miles around and would plunge the planet into ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter