Friday, January 25, 2013

What We Know About Climate Change... Kerry Emanuel

This seems like something that is worth passing along.  

It's about an updated edition of Professor Kerry Emanuel's book "What We Know About Climate Change"

A Quick, Awesome Must-Read on Climate Change 
—By   | Wed Jan. 23, 2013 | Mother Jones

Kerry Emanuel
Kerry Emanuel 

At this point, climate change is so politicized that it's difficult for the general public to sort out what scientists really know—and don't know—about it. 
Penned by Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric sciences professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this latest edition of                            What We Know About Climate Change is the most comprehensive, readable, BS-free rundown on the topic that you're likely to find. 
It's short enough to read in a day, apolitical enough to appeal to both your Fox-obsessed wingnut uncle and your dreadlocked freegan older sister in Brooklyn, and just detailed enough to provide a reload of fresh intellectual ammunition to help you engage others on the topic

Here are a few things you'll learn: 
  • What kind of long-term variation do we expect in the climate, and how is that different from what we're experiencing now? (Heat and cold come and go, but never as rapidly as the last half-century; moreover, the warming of the last 30 years can be explainedonly by accounting for human greenhouse gas emissions.)
  • How exactly do molecules like carbon dioxide and methane make the planet heat up? (Key fact: The planet is warmed twice as much by its own atmosphere than it is by the sun.)
  • How do climate computer models work, and how accurately can they predict the future? (There's a good amount of guesswork involved, but they set reasonable parameters for what we can expect.)
  • Why is the GOP's intransigence on climate action so maddeningly illogical? (In Emanuel's view, the most grievous offense to America's free-market economy isn't subsidies for renewables, but the fossil fuel industry's stranglehold on policymakers.)
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