Climate Science

What Happens in the Arctic Doesn't Stay in the Arctic

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.

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

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 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 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

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