From USA Today,
Do journalists not know how to read graphs? There are four measures of atmospheric temperatures. Here they are, each updated to the latest information (January, 2011).
|British Hadley Center data.|
|University of Alabama data|
It would be refreshing (and basic journalism) for reporters to stop reprinting claims from environmental groups and do some independent investigation.
The quotes from “experts” in the article are telling,
- “We are moving into a different kind of world,” says environmental economist Scott Barrett of Columbia University.
- “That’s where geoengineering comes in,” says international relations expert David Victor of the University of California – San Diego
- “Geoengineering is no longer a taboo topic at scientific meetings. They are looking at it as one more policy prescription,” says Eli Kintisch, Science magazine reporter. (his biography shows no education in atmospheric science).
As seems to be the norm for these articles, none of the people quoted about modifying the atmosphere are atmospheric scientists.
That stated, it is my opinion geoengineering is a terrible idea at this time. Why? There is no indication it is needed (temperatures are now cooling and they have been essentially flat for 15 years as you can see from the graphs), the world economy can’t afford it, and the “risks” of it backfiring are substantial. Once, for example, iron is dumped into the ocean it cannot be removed. What if it causes too much cooling? What if it kills (already depleted) fish populations?
As previously documented, there is a growing number of atmospheric scientists who are concerned that the world may be in for significant cooling in the next five to twenty years. If so, geoengineering would increase the amount of cooling. As this blog has demonstrated, humanity does much better with warmer temperatures than it does with colder temperatures.