Climate Change

formerly “Climate Science” this has been updated in recognition of the fact that ALL of our articles, events, etc. involve climate sciience.  ”Climate change” is intended to suggest changing elements of the climate: e.g., shifts in global oceanic and atmospheric circulation and ensuing changes to temperature, precipitation, groundwater levels, saltwater intrusion.

What Happens in the Arctic Doesn't Stay in the Arctic. Fran Ulmer

Fran Ulmer reminds people that “Antarctica has penguins.  The Arctic has people.”  Ms. Ulmer was a University of Alaska Chancellor and Lieutenant Governor of Alaska from 1994-2002.  She talks about the effects of climate change in Alaska where average seasonal temperatures have already increased by 4 degrees in summer and 7 degrees in winter.  Her talk is wonderful for anyone who forgets how very different the situation is at the Earth’s poles: Antarctica is uninhabited land surrounded by an ocean, whereas the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by 8 nations.

William Nordhaus on Climate Sensitivity

William Nordhaus is the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and author of over 20 books, including the recently published “The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World.” His DICE model is one of the first and still most widely utilized integrated assessment models for considering the relationships between climate change, energy consumption and economic impacts.  What is really relevant to the discussion of uncertainty, says Professor Nordhaus, is an understanding of statistics, which is the subject of his talk.

Empirical Determination of Earth's Climate Sensitivity and Implications of Present Uncertainties. Stephen Schwarz

Stephen Schwarz, Brookhaven National Laboratory, delivers a talk entitled, “Empirical Determination of Earth’s Climate Sensitivity and Implications of Present Uncertainties”, at the YCEI conference “Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Conversation with Climate Scientists and Economists”.

Climate Sensitivity and Some Speculative Implications for Modeling Catastrophes. Martin Weitzman

Martin Weitzman of Harvard University begins his discussion by reviewing the most recent IPCC Summary Report and the language they use for describing the likelihood of various climate sensitivity scenarios.  He relates that language and those likelihoods to the various probability distributions calculated by climate and economic modelers.

Fundamentals of the Value of Information w/ Reference to Climate Uncertainty. Gary Yohe

Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University explains how the value of information regarding projections of climate sensitivity depends on:

1. what the decisions are to be made about and for whom, 2. the character of the decision space (states of nature, irreversibility, persistence, etc.), 3. decisions based on the range of “states of nature” and “their distributions”, 4. decision makers prior assumptions about those distributions, 5. decision makers’ attitudes (averstion) towards risk, 6. timing of the decision.

A Workshop on Uncertainty in Climate Change: Introduction & Opening Remarks. Ken Gillingham

Yale Professor Ken Gillingham welcomes participants in this YCEI sponsored workshop that brings together climate change scientists and economists whose modeling efforts hinge on the need to accommodate anticipated climate change in a warming world.  

He sets the stage for the day’s conversations by reviewing the just released IPCC 5th Assessment Report, some of its findings, and the unique language that the IPCC uses to describe uncertainty in climate sensitivity, the key parameter that concerns economists and climate scientists.

Climate Models & Climate Sensitivity. Dan Lunt

Dan Lunt, from the University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences in the United Kingdom, discusses the basics of climate modeling and a history of how models have grown in sophistication and the questions that remain today. Dr. Lunt describes his research interests as broad, with a special focus on icesheet-climate interactions and comparison of the paleo record with climate models.


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