People don’t need a sophisticated understanding of climate change, he says. “It’s certainly the case that one’s culture has a significant relationship to whether or not you accept [anthropogenic global warming], but that doesn’t mean your global warming knowledge isn’t also related to it. In 2013 the EU announced that at least 20% of its budget for 2014-20 would be spent on climate issues. Help us create more great content. When people produce greenhouse gases, energy leaves Earth even more slowly—raising Earth’s temperature.”. Ranney’s work, on the other hand, is all about mechanism. However, a study in 2009 by the Heartland Institute showed that almost 90% of all US weather stations as set up by the National Weather Service are in urban heat islands. But time and again, he heard “climate change” as an answer. After a period of global cooling in the min 20th Century, the Century as a whole saw a global temperature rise between 1-1.4°F. However, Global Warming (or climate change as it has increasingly been referred to in order to combat the problem of a recent stall in the warming trends) has been politicized to such an extent that it is a multimillion dollar industry. Specifically, it’s a lack of understanding of the mechanism of global warming that’s been retarding progress on the issue. Ranney and his team say that a “wisdom deficit” is driving the wedge. 4 Most of the warming occurred in the past 40 years, with the six warmest years on record taking place since 2014. . 4. “There were a lot of things that were culturally predicted, like thinking we were in a geocentric universe or that smoking was fine for you or that the Earth was flat—all manner of things that eventually science overcame.”. Indeed water vapor has been shown to be responsible for 30% of the temperature increase over that time. Over the past one million years, the Earth has experienced a series of ice-ages ('glacial periods') and warmer periods ('interglacial'). 50% of all Carbon Dioxide released by the human use of fossil fuels, deforestation or other human based causes has already been absorbed. . Gla… We do not just need the 5-10% of the population willing and able to put time, money and effort into change. Anecdotally we know that there have been times in the past when it was warmer. 10 Solutions For Climate Change Whenever we hear of climate change, the first thing that comes to our mind is global warming. Still, despite many people’s strong reluctance to accept anthropogenic global warming, cities and counties in places like southeast Florida have gone ahead and supported practices to deal with global warming anyway. The data used to produce the model came from tree ring analysis which placed too much emphasis on samples from a species (bristlecone pine) known to give unreliable results. The accuracy of this graph has been hotly disputed by ‘climate change sceptics’ for many of the reasons set out below including the use of flawed statistics that did not give sufficient recognition to  previous warm periods and analytical algorithms that were weighted to produce hockey sticks. Science is, however, never settled, there is always something more to learn. series of no-frills videos To assume that science on any one particular issue has gone as far as it can when grants are one sided and debate is shut down is both arrogant and dangerous. By Johnny Ball. The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Solar activity also correlates almost precisely with global temperature rises for recent decades – this activity is completely independent of human activity. It was a landmark agreement that many expect could break the logjam that has kept the world’s two largest emitters largely on the sidelines of talks to curb greenhouse gas emissions. When global fossil fuel use was measured against arctic air temperature for the same period the two did not correlate. But political affiliation doesn’t always overwhelm knowledge when it becomes available—Ranney found no evidence for a difference between conservatives’ and liberals’ change in willingness to accept climate change after his “knowledge intervention.”. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation has been shown to be responsible for the warming and cooling periods experienced in the Arctic over a similar timescale (warm from 1910-40 and 70-2008 with a cool period in-between). Ranney recalls a scientist’s presentation at a recent conference which said that many university professors teaching global warming barely had a better understanding of its mechanism than the undergraduates they were teaching. At some level we are all responsible for climate change. As such much of the research on global warming has been designed to investigate this with comparatively little invested in research on potential natural causes. “I don’t think it makes sense to believe that if you tell people in five-minute lectures about climate science, that it’s going to solve the problem,” he says. Argument 2: No one really knows why the climate varies The global climate has fluctuated considerably over the Earth’s history, either for unknown reasons or because of “internal variability” in the climate system. In a third study, 41 people recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online marketplace for freelance labor, scored an average of 1.9 out of 9. 2. Yet back home, President Obama still faces an electorate that doesn’t believe climate change is caused by humans. The relative stability of ozone levels since 1997 coincides with a stalling in global temperature increases over the same period. Grappling with climate change requires transforming how we power our economy, and no sector requires more fundamental change than transportation, which accounts for the largest share of US global warming pollution. But they disagree on what, exactly, those questions should be. Myriad studies and surveys have found that. “Whatever we can do now will be heroic for our great-grandchildren, and whatever we do not do will be infamous,” Ranney says. There was no evidence for political polarization. They fail accurately to predict changes in ocean circulation patterns. Tens of thousands of scientists in more than a hundred nations have amassed an overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to a clear conclusion: Humans are the main cause. Ranney and Kahan, much like the skeptics and supporters of human-caused climate change, question the other’s conclusions. Declaring a position on the issue can become more a statement of cultural identity than one of scientific understanding. He hadn’t set out to tackle environmental issues—he was first trained in applied physics and materials science before turning to cognitive psychology. Whatever the cause, Kahan thinks the case of southeast Florida is worth studying. We… Kahan relates one anecdote in which state and local officials in Florida have argued for building a nuclear power generator higher than planned because of sea-level rise and storm surge projections. We're the ones who burn fossil fuels, produce livestock and clear trees, increasing the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Climate change proponents such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change),  NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe that the rise in greenhouse gasses comes from human activities. 1. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Humans Are Not Causing Global Warming…. “Mechanism turns out to be a tie-breaker when there’s a contentious issue.”. of varying lengths in multiple languages explaining just that. The IPCC has adopted the Mann, Bradley and Hughes ‘Hockey Stick’ graph that shows a long term reduction in global temperatures over the previous 1000 years followed by a sharp increase in the last century. It’s certainly true that liberals are more likely to accept anthropogenic global warming than conservatives. This happens on occasion with religious medical doctors, he says, who reject evolution but openly admit to using the principles of evolution in their work life. Climate illiteracy isn’t just limited to the general public, either. Temperatures today sit well within the temperature variations shown to have existed over the last 2,000 years before humans started to use fossil fuels. Kahan’s ideas are based on his own surveys of the American public. Scientific debate is often shut down with personal attacks made on scientists who speak out against the orthodox climate change. The science on global warming is not ‘settled’. We need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital, ... Ending climate change requires the end of capitalism. Scientists use climate computer models to compare these observed changes with natural climate drivers and human climate drivers. If one or both of them are right, the shift in tone could transform our society’s debate over climate change. Fossil fuels need to be quickly replaced with cleaner, renewable energy like wind and solar power. The results of much of the research into global warming through history and its potential causes today show that the Earth regulates its temperature through a complex interrelationship of many different processes. As mentioned, Both human and natural factors have a role to play in climate change. Americans generally trust climate scientists The more knowledgeable a conservative, for example, the more likely they are to not accept human-caused global warming. At the end of the Mediaeval Warm Period the earth experienced a period of prolonged cooling that has been colloquially termed the Little Ice Age. Tests have shown that these adjustments are ineffective and fail to remove ‘contamination’ in the results. We need everyone to turn the tide towards sustainability worldwide. In 2013 the EU announced that at least 20% of its budget for 2014-20 would be spent on climate issues.Climate science has become politicized which has had the unfortunate effect of shutting down debate on the issue. Global warming is the cause of climate change. He then polled the same people to see whether they understood it better and whether they accepted that humans are causing climate change. Carbon Dioxide and Methane are not the only greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere – they are not even the most abundant (although they are the ones that have increased most dramatically over the past decades). Some people who knew quite a bit on the topic still didn’t accept the premise of anthropogenic climate change, and vice versa. Unlike Ranney, Kahan did find strong evidence for polarization. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas and is released into the atmosphere by natural not man made processes. a recent Pew Research Center poll There is no reason to assume that they are connected with human activity. Editorial: Wealthy countries are responsible for climate change, but it’s the poor who will suffer most (Shonagh Rae) ... Editorial: Why we wrote our series on climate change. Only 40% of Americans attribute global warming to human activity, according to The Little Ice Age came to an end around 1900, it is not, therefore, surprising that global temperatures have risen. This Mediaeval Warm Period, as it is known, occurred at a time when the human contribution to greenhouse gasses was negligible (burning fires was about the only fossil fuel activity). This, despite decades of scientific evidence and the fact that Climate science has become politicized which has had the unfortunate effect of shutting down debate on the issue. Because in the world, that’s what happens.”. When the climate-change furore began around 1988, I was alarmed and took a stance against it, earning the title ‘denier’. Despite their apparent disagreement, Ranney thinks the debate is a bit of a false dichotomy. Climate change bombshell: Humans are NOT to blame for global warming claims shock study A SCIENCE journal is set to launch an investigation into a controversial study it … Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere – at the same time the reduction in forested land through logging or clearing for agriculture results in a loss of the natural carbon sink (trees absorb Carbon Dioxide). But if you ask these same people if they believe in climate change, they’ll say, “no, that’s something entirely different!” Kahan says. Meanwhile, Dan Kahan says that it’s not a wisdom gap that’s preventing acceptance of human’s role in climate change, but the cultural politicization of the topic. The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere decreased after the year 2000 (which coincided with a stall in global warming. Ocean currents are powerful forces -the warm and cool periods of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (a change in atmosphere and ocean currents in the Pacific) seem to coincide with warm and cool periods over the last 100 years. Climate change/global warming and cooling has been going on for millions of years. This means that it is impossible to create an accurate comparison of temperature records today and temperature records in the past. In simpler words, climate change is the change in weather patterns which can last for extended period of time, even millions of years. Urban areas are, on average warmer than rural areas. That’s because greenhouse gases work like, well, a greenhouse. That temperature data is alleged itself to be cherry picked to give the required result. We know subtle changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun are responsible for the comings and goings of the ice ages. Against: There is no conclusive body of evidence to support the existence of manmade climate change. Plus, Ranney points out that Kahan’s studies are correlative, while his are controlled experiments where causation can be more strongly inferred. Climate change is one of the most challenging issues facing the world today. So when they are cut down, that beneficial effect is lost and the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse effect. The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is driven by natural oceanic processes. Whether we label it blame or not, the question of who is responsible for the climate crisis is a necessary one. ... (ALEC)—an industry group responsible for spreading climate disinformation. He also found that, as expected, conservatives are less likely to accept that humans are changing the climate. Two thirds of the weather stations operating in the 1970s are still working today (the collapse of the Soviet Union shut down half the weather stations in the world). NOAA has stated that changing weather patterns such as the rise in severe hurricanes like Katrina is down to changes in ocean currents and not global warming. Perhaps most notably, acceptance increased among both conservatives and liberals. Figures show an increase in atmospheric water vapor in the final two decades of the last century which correlates to a period of warming. 3. At least, he did at first. But on another level, the fossil fuel companies whose very raison d’être is to get coal, oil and gas out of the ground, and make it available to our addicted economy, are also responsible. Just right. In addition, most of the measures of climate science knowledge that Kahan uses in his research focus on factual knowledge rather than mechanism. It’s similar to how lots of people follow the ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average but don’t understand how those fluctuations relate to macroeconomic trends. With every new experiment, Ranney found consistently low levels of knowledge. Kahan’s not exactly sure why some people act in ways that directly contradict their own beliefs—he laughs and verbally shrugs when asked—but he has some ideas. The models are, quite simply, unreliable. This is because the models assume a positive feedback (ie as human created greenhouse gasses increase water vapor will increase) when instead observations show a decrease in water vapor. I can’t find it, but it said something like: “Can we all please stop acting like ordinary people are to blame for climate change because we won’t take 5 minute showers and go vegan, and not the corporations that make billions from destroying the planet”. We do not know enough about the climate system to attribute the present global warming to any specific cause. When the delicate balance of these GHGs is maintained between what we add and what plants absorb, the long-term average works out like Goldilocks and the Three Bears for life: Not too hot. Following on from points 9 and 8 you can see that there is a large natural fluctuation in world temperatures. Perhaps most worryingly was the  revelation in emails leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research unit (one of the world’s leading climate change research institutes) stating that they used tricks to ‘hide the decline’. . Americans generally trust climate scientists, The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. Human rights are intimately linked with climate change because of its devastating effect on not just the environment but our own wellbeing. The key, Kahan says, is that they have kept politics out of the room. “If you don’t understand the mechanism, then you just have competing authorities, kind of like the Pope and Galileo.”, One of the most common misconceptions, according to Ranney, is that light energy “bounces” off the surface of the Earth and then is trapped or “bounced back” by greenhouse gases. When the arctic air temperature was measured against solar activity (solar irradiance) for the period 1880-2000 the two measurements correlated very closely. Only a few scientists now admit to being sceptical about man’s role in global warming. In his experiments, after the first round of questions, Ranney included a brief lecture or a written explanation on the correct mechanism behind global warming. And it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome a cultural predilection with more information,” Ranney says. If there have been warm periods in the past it must surely be a fallacy to suggest that the global warming (if it exists) of the last few decades is down to human agency. We're not skeptical of climate change, though, because we know the climate has been changing since the beginning and will continue to change throughout time. In those circumstances, declaring a position on the issue becomes more a statement of cultural identity than one of scientific understanding. But if you did, do you think you’d be giving that lecture to them with Rush Limbaugh standing right next to them pointing out they they’re full of shit? And increasingly extreme statements by activists undermine environmental progress, say climate scientists. It will inevitably impact the solutions we propose to fix things. Man made global warming – they would have us believe – will be single handedly responsible for rising sea levels, melting glaciers, species extinction and any severe weather from tornadoes to ice-storms. And a new paper from noted climate scientist, Richard Heede, reported on in the Guardian paper and published in Climatic Change, Weather, on the other hand, refers to what you see and feel outside from day to day (e.g. We do not, as yet, have the technology to model these effects with any accuracy. In essence they substituted tree ring data that did not match their required results for temperature data that did. Climate is measured over much longer periods – typically 30 years. Kahan found no correlation between one’s understanding of climate science and his or her acceptance of human-caused climate change. Yet back home, President Obama still faces an electorate that doesn’t believe climate change is caused by humans. If increases in Carbon Dioxide were a cause of warming it should precede not come after a warming period. We experience weather on a day to day basis – with all the advances in recent decades meteorologists still struggle to predict weather outcomes more than five days in advance with any accuracy. Asphalt absorbs and subsequently radiates a lot of heat, urban buildings generate a lot of heat. More than 130,000 page views later, Ranney is not shy about his aims: “Our goal is to garner 7 billion visitors,” he says. Calculating the cumulative cost of carbon dioxide emissions gives new insights into the question of who is responsible for climate change. Is the orthodoxy right? The correct mechanism is subtly different. Even a doubling of human created greenhouse gasses would have only a negligible impact on temperature increase (less than 10% of that predicted by models). Climate is different from weather.When we talk about the Earth’s climate, we are referring to the average weather conditions over a period of 30 years or longer. Oceans go through periods when they are warm and when they are cold. Convinced that the key to acceptance is understanding the mechanism, Ranney created a There is a school of thought that links warming to ozone depletion. The leading one is the notion of dualism, when someone mentally separates two apparently conflicting ideas and yet feels no need to reconcile them. Scientists who want research money and the respect of their peers must agree with global warming or loose their grant funding. When Ranney surveyed 270 visitors to a San Diego park on how global warming works, he found that exactly zero could provide the proper mechanism. Scientists have studied ‘proxy’ data such as tree ring samples or ocean cores to establish that this mediaeval warming did, in fact, take place. Climate change is a human rights issue not only because its devastating impacts affect the enjoyment of human rights, but also because it is a man-made phenomenon which can be mitigated by governments. While the IPCC has said that they doubt the Little Ice Age was a global phenomenon and was limited to the Northern Hemisphere only, recent research has shown corresponding cold periods in the Southern Hemisphere. A study of temperature increase relies on access to reliable temperature data. Not too cold. Carbon Dioxide is a natural constituent part of our atmosphere and as such our atmospheric processes will eventually balance any human related increases through an increase in the activity of natural carbon sinks such as forests and oceans. “We certainly can reduce our greenhouse-gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk. Hundreds of millions of in-person lectures would certainly be impossible, but Ranney has high hopes for his online videos. That doesn’t mean polarization doesn’t exist. We can predict weather for up to five days in the future but all attempts to predict any longer term changes in weather or climate have proved futile. In the 10 years to 2009 the US Federal Government allocated $25bn to research on climate change. Most Americans recognize climate change, but some are still unsure about its causes. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization. The Facts Funding for NOVA Next is provided by the Eleanor and Howard Morgan Family Foundation. “They only need to be able to recognize what the best available scientific evidence signifies as a practical matter: that human-caused global warming is initiating a series of very significant dynamics—melting ice, rising sea levels, flooding, heightened risk of serious diseases, more intense hurricanes and other extreme weather events—that put us in danger.”. Trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Kahan suggests that these people use their significant analytical skills to seek evidence that aligns with their political orientation. The other day I saw a tweet that had escaped its platform of birth to become a Facebook meme. “Even one of the most highly-cited climate change communicators in the world didn’t know the mechanism over dinner,” he says. 'The IPCC states that humans are … sunny, rainy). It is accepted by most mainstream media as fact – dissenting views are marginalized with ‘health warnings’ if they are allowed at all. Ozone problems were of course, man made, but are in the process of being fixed with pre 1970 levels of CFCs are expected to return by 2050. “The people who are disagreeing in the world are not college students,” he says. Jun. However, correlation is not causation – just because something looks like it is related it does not mean it is. Over the same time the volume of greenhouse gasses (Carbon Dioxide and Methane amongst others) increased to 389 parts per million against a background fluctuation between 180-300ppm in the previous 650,000 years. Burning coal, oil and gas produces carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Only 40% of Americans attribute global warming … Without naturally-occurring greenhouse gases (GHGs) like carbon dioxide, our planet would be downright freezing. In mediaeval times it was so warm (approximately 1.8°F warmer than today) that Vikings were able to colonize and live in Greenland and even travel to the Americas. But we already have the answers, it’s just a question of making them happen. Two scientists, two very different answers to why some people refuse to believe that humans are changing the climate. Ranney’s research group has boiled it down to 35 words: “Earth transforms sunlight’s visible light energy into infrared light energy, which leaves Earth slowly because it is absorbed by greenhouse gases. So climate change is any change in the climate, lasting for several decades or longer, including changes in temperature, rainfall or wind patterns. Research using multiple different proxies for temperature (tree rings, boreholes, ocean sediment samples) has shown that temperatures in the past have varied more than previously thought – particularly when compared to research that used a single proxy. A Purdue University survey found that 47% of climatologists challenge the idea that humans are primarily responsible for climate change and instead believe that climate change is caused by an equal combination of humans and the environment (37%), mostly by the environment (5%), or that there’s not enough information to say (5%). Last week during his tour of Asia, President Barack Obama struck a new global warming deal with China. Al Gore famously said that ‘the science is settled’. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust. How to stop climate change. In depth analysis of ice-core samples show that increases in Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere increased markedly after an increase in global temperature. The apparent correlation between an increase in temperature and an increase in Carbon Dioxide levels meant that it was easy to assume that man is responsible for global warming. Solutions we propose to fix things hear of climate change research focus on factual knowledge than... Our mind is global warming or loose their grant funding and clear trees, increasing the amount water! Not ‘ settled ’ are causing climate change is related it does not mean it is politicized specific. Methane when they are to not accept human-caused global warming ’ s experiments which... 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