Summary: Here is a status report on climate science by an eminent climate scientists, helping us see its frontiers and so better cope with one of the major challenges of the 21st century. (Second of two posts today.)
By Roger Pielke, Sr.
Posted with his generous permission.
A note about progress in science
Geological ages ago at Cornell, I learned that science usually takes place on the frontiers of observation. That’s the important insight Thomas Kuhn overlooked in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Freeman Dyson described this hole as “tool- or instrument-driven revolutions.” These are as or more common than paradigm-driven revolutions. Galileo looks through his telescope at the moons of Jupiter and our view of the universe changes. Watson and Crick looked at an X-ray diffraction image of DNA and saw its structure; four years later Watson formulated the “central dogma of molecular biology” and began a revolution still in its early stage.
My guess (guess) is that new observational tools, not just new theories, will end the climate wars. If not, then eventually the changing climate will tell us which side was correct.
About the author
Roger Pielke Sr. is currently a Senior Research Scientist in Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and now serves there as a Senior Research Associate.
His list of accomplishments, honors, and publications is too long to list here. See his bio for details. See his website for commentary on climate science issues. Also see his presentations, especially these…
- Roger Pielke Sr.’s testimony to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee on 29 May 2014.
- “Climate Threats: A More Inclusive Assessment Is Needed“. A look at peer-reviewed papers of hindcast multi-year climate model prediction skill (2015).
For More Information
These provide an introduction to climate models, an important frontier in climate science.
- “A Model World” by Jon Turney in Aeon, December 2013.
- “Climate Modeling 101: What are climate models and why are they important?” by the National Academy of Science.
- An introduction to climate models by the World Meteorological Society.
- “The Physics of Climate Modeling” by Gavin A. Schmidt in Physics Today, January 2007.
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see The keys to understanding climate change and My posts about climate change. Also, see these posts about computer models, especially these..
- Important: climate scientists can restart the climate change debate – & win.
- How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future.
- A story of the climate change debate. How it ran; why it failed.
- Put the stories about record 2016 warming in a useful context.
- A look at the future of global warming. Our political response depends on its trend.
- Surprising news about trend of America’s temperature and precipitation.
To learn more about the state of climate change…
… see The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr. (Prof of Environmental Studies at U of CO-Boulder, and Director of their Center for Science and Technology Policy Research). From the publisher…
“In recent years the media, politicians, and activists have popularized the notion that climate change has made disasters worse. But what does the science actually say? Roger Pielke, Jr. takes a close look at the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the underlying scientific research, and the data to give you the latest science on disasters and climate change. What he finds may surprise you and raise questions about the role of science in political debates.”