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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Understanding the ecological mechanisms governing the biogeogoraphy of organisms is essential to predict how climate change will alter ecosystems and their functioning. Factors affecting the patterns of aboveground plant and animal communities across landscapes have…
The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) — responsible for most of the precipitation on Earth — is defined by a pronounced maximum rainfall occurring 5◦ north of the equator over most ocean basins. The existence of an ITCZ directly derives from large…
Frogs that eat holiday lights, birds that eat plastic, and beetles attempting to mate with beer bottles are all examples of organisms that have fallen victim to what biologists call “evolutionary traps.” Whereas natural selection typically produces organisms that behave in ways to maximize their fitness, resulting in more offspring passing their genes onto the next generation, human actions sometimes short-circuit the process…
Biologists increasingly realize that understanding the impact of global change on biological processes requires accounting for fine-grain environmental variability (Potter, Arthur Woods, & Pincebourde, 2013). Similarly, climatologists have found that increasing the resolution of climate models typically produces better simulations of climate and precipitation…
Clark University’s Christopher Williams trained as a land surface hydrologist and terrestrial ecosystem ecologist. Clark University’s website reports on his work:
“Chris investigates how earth’s biosphere responds to natural and human perturbations such as severe drought events, bark beetle outbreaks, fires, harvesting, and land cover changes.”