Year 3, Month 4, Day 3: But They’re So Un-Serious

The Laredo Morning Times runs an AP article by Seth Borenstein on the most recent IPCC report, headlined “Mumbai, Miami on list for big weather disasters”. Heh:

WASHINGTON — Global warming is leading to such severe storms, droughts and heat waves that nations should prepare for an unprecedented onslaught of deadly and costly weather disasters, an international panel of climate scientists said in a new report issued Wednesday.

The greatest threat from extreme weather is to highly populated, poor regions of the world, the report warns, but no corner of the globe — from Mumbai to Miami — is immune. The document, by a Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists, forecasts stronger tropical cyclones and more frequent heat waves, deluges and droughts.

The 594-page report blames the scale of recent and future disasters on a combination of man-made climate change, population shifts and poverty.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, founded in 1988 by the United Nations, has generally focused on the slow inexorable rise of temperatures and oceans as part of global warming. This report by the panel is the first to look at the less common but far more noticeable extreme weather changes, which lately have been costing on average about $80 billion a year in damage.

Watch the denialists rise up in outraged hordes to smite algore! Sent March 28:

It’s certainly possible that the climatologists in the IPCC have it wrong in their predictions of extreme weather and heavy storms. Scientific errors have happened in the past; they’ll happen again. But let’s make a few comparisons.

Science has a built-in error-correction mechanism. When scientific results are published, people everywhere around the planet try to reproduce the experiments, searching for errors or misinterpretations. Scientific method has become the most potent truth-finding tool in humanity’s arsenal, steadily enhancing its predictive accuracy; the storms of today were forecast by climate scientists decades ago.

By contrast, those vehemently disputing the IPCC’s findings have time and time again been proven wrong. They were proven wrong about Iraqi WMDs, proven wrong about tax cuts on the richest 1 percent — and they’ll eventually be proven wrong on climate change, too.

Perhaps it’s time to pay more attention to the people who’ve been proven right.

Warren Senders

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