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Transcript
Introduction to discussion on
Climate Change
Richard Wilson
Harvard University
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Nino constantly insists that proof of anthropogenic climate
change is weak.
It is not a repeatable experiment
unlike astronomy it does not repeat itself.
Can we improve the evidence for or against?
Does it matter whether it is man made or naturally occurring?
I suggest that we should carry out any experiments
Seriously suggested to clarify the situation
Should we do something?
I will go over my questions.
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Energy costs are about 1/3 of our budgets.
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Burning carbon by or for us maybe 1/4
The conventional view
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Before 1800 Earth absorbs radiation from the sun
Re-emits as black body
Temperature calculated to be about T 200 degrees K
1824 Jacques Fourier proposes that the earth is a greenhouse
T = 200 x 2^(0.25)
Circa 1870 Tyndall and others: H20 and CO2 greenhouses
gases
1897 Arrhenius calculates relation between CO2 and
temperature
About 1930 mixing between surface ocean and deep oceans is
weak
If t ~ 700 yrs then a problem,
if 70 years mixing will prevent excessive rise
1946 Dobson’s lectures in Oxford makes predictions
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1968 + Keeling’s measurements of CO2 in Mauna Loa
1968 Glenn Seaborg tells Congress:
Nuclear power will NOT cause CO2 increase
1970+ Scientists continually raise the issue: politicians do
nothing
1986 Hansen (NASA) thinks we should do something.
Temperature rise estimates for doubling CO2 average 3
degrees - might be 10 degrees.
Is that a probability ? What does that mean?
1990 computer calculations agree. But is this because
they all make the same mistake?
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1992 Will Happer (Assistant Secretary for Science) fired
from DOE for questioning the evidence
Does CO2 rise cause T rise or somehow T rise prevent
CO2 absorption by oceans? Can we find out?
Happer suggests increasing CO2 is good
1994 + International Program on Climate Change
IPC 3 Chairman exaggerates
2004 IPCC4 Claims that T rise is definite.
Is it? Probably 90% say yes but 10% say no.
Does careless presentation by East Anglia scientists alter
the picture?
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If T rise is uncertain
The effect in the environment is more uncertain.
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What is the effect of a different discount rate?
what do we recommend?
 Carry out any scientific study that clarifies the
situation
 Rethinking data on T rise (T Quirk at this meeting)
 Do anything cheap to reduce C burning?
 Study the effects
 Sit on our Hands? (Michaels)
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Enough of my questions
What do you say?