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Human climate disruption [Jun. 18th, 2006|09:27 pm]
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Update post coming soon, but first:

I read this annoying editorial in the newspaper this morning about global warming (which I'm going to refer to as "human climate disruption" instead, because calling it "global warming" misleads the discussion). Actually, I only read about half of it, because as I said, it was annoying.

I was pondering a counter-letter to the editor, but then I realized that it was unlikely to do any good if I didn't address the issues in contention. If you're going to try and change somebody's mind with new information, you have to figure out what information would actually matter, or all you're going to do is add heat to the disagreement.

And so, a quiz:

So, whaddaya think about anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change?

A) It's totally happening
B) A lot of people say it's true, but I'm not convinced
C) I hear arguments for and against, and I'm not sure what to think
D) I think it's some kind of hoax
E) Other

If you answered anything other than A, I'd like to try and change your mind, so leave a comment explaning why (generally speaking) you don't find the idea persuasive.

I was thinking that I'd write a short explanation of the physics involved, because it's actually pretty straightforward. But I want to know whether that's actually where the disagreement arises...

From: nosato
2006-06-19 05:05 pm (UTC)
Just some quick comments, as my Internet time is limited while my mother is visiting...

When you talk about "human climate disruption," you may want to look into "extreme" events...like the trend of extreme high temperature days is positive and the trend of extreme low temperature days is negative and so forth. These are the indicators that what we really look into (I think). While mean values are convenient measures for "global warming"...like comparing it to a departure from the Normal (30-year average), we do care (more) for extended period of extremely hot days, for example.

In addition, "geography" matters. Not all places on Earth will observe warming trends. Those places with increasing precipitation events may observe "cooling" trends, as available energy is used to evaporate water, rather than increase temperature...I stop here...you know what I am talking about.
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