Science Seat: Meet a climate change scientist
Chris Field studies climate change at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology.
February 22nd, 2013
07:00 AM ET

Science Seat: Meet a climate change scientist

By Zaina Adamu, CNN

Editor's note: The Science Seat is a feature in which CNN Light Years sits down with movers and shakers from many different areas of scientific exploration. This is the third installment.

Thousands of families were left devastated when Superstorm Sandy destroyed their homes in October. When it comes to these extreme climate events, according to Chris Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, the worst is yet to come.

Field is also a professor of biology and environmental earth system science at Stanford University and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change delegation that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He holds a doctorate from Stanford University.

CNN Light Years spoke with Field before he headed to Boston for the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Here is a transcript, edited for brevity and clarity:

CNN: When you were a kid, did you see yourself getting into biology? If not, what did you see yourself doing?

Field: I’ve always been interested in the outdoors, and I’ve always been interested in nature. When I was about to graduate, I didn’t know if the best way to be involved with nature was from an artistic, social science or a bacheloral science perspective. But what I discovered is that the approach that I was best at and comfortable with was in the natural science perspective.

CNN: Where did your passion for climate change come from?

Field: Well, I think that - and this could be the case for most scientists studying nature over the last few decades - the importance of climate change has emerged gradually from our observations, but I think almost everyone has really seen the world changing around them. And the more I learn, the more I got an appreciation about how important the topic was and how scientific information was a critical part of the portfolio that would allow us to take action.

CNNBack in 1984 when you began at Carnegie’s Institution for Science, climate change was not as popular a topic as it is now. Why is that?

Climate change is something that we have been able to put the pieces together to relatively slowly.

One thing that is fascinating is that if we look back at the historical roots of our understanding of the way climate works and the way humans might change it, those roots go back very deeply. And some of the key insights trace back to the late 19th century. So that’s a long time from when we realized how pervasive the human actions and the human impacts of climate were. And it really wasn’t until the late 1980s and the early 1990s that we began to assemble a comprehensive scientific picture of the importance of climate change.

CNN: There are some who suggest that global warming is a myth. What do you say to people who think that?

Field: I think that there are important things that people need to understand. The scientific roots of understanding climate change goes back more than 100 years.

There was a brilliant Swedish chemist named (Svante) Arrhenius who published a paper in 1896 based on his measurements of how much energy carbon dioxide absorbed. Simply based on his observations on the absorptions of energy by carbon dioxide, he was able to come up with a relatively accurate estimate of how much the climate might change by the doubling of CO2.

Part of the reason why it is important to look back to Arrhenius is because we can really understand in great agonizing detail how the physics of heat absorption by carbon dioxide works and we can understand how that translates to our warmer planet. The understanding of the physics that was well-established more than 100 years ago is, of course, the core foundation on which the modern understanding of climate has been built.

The other thing that people need to understand is that much of our understanding of climate change and much of the foundations for our protection of the world in the future is not based on climate models, it is based on observation.

CNN: What is some of the research you’ve done and what are you working on now?

Field: For many years, my interest has been in the study of how climate change impacts ecosystems, particularly, for two reasons. One of the reasons is that humans rely on nature for a lot of important reasons.  Nature provides climate regulations, water purification. Climate has a real responsibility to try and protect the natural world.

The other reason why I have been interested in studying nature is that there is critical feedback where naturally, systems could either amplify or suppress the human actions that cause climate change. A good example of that is for every ton of carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere, only about a half a ton stays there. And the other half is stored (at least temporarily) into the oceans, into ecosystems, forestry and other plants. I’ve been really interested in the long run where we will continue to see a giant subsidy from nature in the future.

My studies have been experimental ones where we take ecosystems and we artificially increase the temperature, change the composition of the atmosphere and just see how the plants, animals and microbes operate under these simulated conditions. I’ve also done studies based of the analysis of satellite data, trying to infer what is happening on a global scale.

CNN: Do you believe that human beings contribute to climate change or do you believe that climate change is a natural part of the way the world works?

Field: It is extremely important for people to understand that as a scientist, I believe at looking at the evidence and try to understand what the evidence is telling me. And the evidence that humans are contributing to climate change is almost beyond dispute at this point. The evidence is overwhelming with the climate system changing. The fact that humans are the drivers by far makes it the most attractive explanation based on the evidence — not based on what I believe — but based on what the evidence says.

CNN: If we (humans) continue down the same path we are on regarding our contribution to global warming, what changes do you foresee happening to the Earth?

Field: I think what we are seeing now is that there are already impacts of climate change already occurring. We have already seen extremely hot conditions, heat waves, we’ve seen flooding. We’ve seen a clear increase in the number of events like high sea levels that caused Sandy.

The evidence of linkage that cause these things are pretty clear. It is also clear that as we move forward, much of what we will see will be a change in the frequency, the intensity and the duration of these types of extreme events. Climate change is not going to be about a perception about how the average [temperature] has changed. The most important impact that I believe [will happen] when it comes to climate is more extreme conditions.

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soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. kandalama hotel sri lanka booking

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    March 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  2. Arno Arrak

    I quote:

    "...scientific roots of understanding climate change goes back more than 100 years.... There was a brilliant Swedish chemist named (Svante) Arrhenius who published a paper in 1896 based on his measurements of how much energy carbon dioxide absorbed. Simply based on his observations on the absorptions of energy by carbon dioxide, he was able to come up with a relatively accurate estimate of how much the climate might change by the doubling of CO2."

    This is only a half-truth. They want us to think that they are using Arrhenius theory when in fact Arrhenius theory will only give a CO2 doubling temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius. This is not enough to scare anyone. IPCC needs some angle to jack it up so that they can claim "dangerous" greenhouse warming ahead. For that reason they bring in water vapor, another greenhouse gas, and claim that it will raise the Arrhenius warming up to more dangerous levels. It works like this. First, carbon dioxide warms the atmosphere. Warm air can hold more water vapor than cool air does and the greenhouse effect of this additional water vapor gets added to the original warming from carbon dioxide. This way the total warming becomes a factor of three or more higher than simple Arrhenius warming will give. And this is how predictions of dangerous warming ahead are cooked up. Positive water vapor feedback is what they call it. But one of its predictiobs is an increase of atmospheric water vapor with time. And satellites cannot see that. But that is not the worst problem they have. Ferenc Miskolczi measured atmospheric absorption of infrared radiation over time by using NOAA's weather balloon database. It has data going back to 1948. He found that atmospheric absorption of infrared radiation was constant for 61 years while carbon di0xide at the same time increased by 21.6 percent. According to IPCC the added carbon dioxide should have shown absorption but it did not. So what happened? It is impossible to stop absorption because that would violate the laws of physics. It turns out that when several greenhouse gases, say carbon dioxide and water vapor, simultaneously absorb radiation an optimum atmospheric window for absorption is established. If one gas, say carbon dioxide, increases and causes extra absorption, the other gas must decrease to make up for that. What happened with Miskolczi's measurements is that as carbon dioxide increased over time the amount of water vapor diminished to make up for this. As a result, total absorption by the atmosphere as a whole did not change. This, in effect, is negative water vapor feedback, the exact opposite of positive water vapor feedback that IPCC uses. As a result, all their predictions are far off the mark. For example, in 2007 they predicted that twentieth century warming shall be at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. We are now in the second decade of this century and there is no sign whatsoever of this predicted warming. There has actually been no warming for the last 17 years as Pachauri of the IPCC himself admits. Their greenhouse theory that predicted this warming is simply wrong and belongs in the trash heap of history. Phlogiston, the other wrong theory of warming, is waiting for it there.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  3. Russell

    I love the way so many people who claim to have done so much research and are convinced that we are destroying this planet fail to mention that Mars is warming too. Or is that happening because of the big oil companies?

    February 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • DMW

      Again, please name your source. Also note that the environmentalist movement predicted these same climate reactions due to fossil fuel burning, 30 years ago. I know because I am an environmentalist and have been since then. But the deniers are now coming up with these sidebars like Mars is heating too. Please explain how we get that information since we have not been tracking the temperatures on Mars since probably quite recently.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  4. looking for white men

    Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to offer something again and help others such as you helped me.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  5. max

    Its just a matter of time before we humans destroy the planet and all its resources. When are we going to curb our population growth?

    February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • DMW

      Haven't we been through this before. Population growth is not the most urgent matter. The places with low population growth use the lion's share of the resources and emit most of the poisons and emissions. The worse offenders are probably people like you though this is based on my assumption that you are not aware of your carbon and water footprint.

      February 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  6. Meh

    IPCC Lead Author Misleads US Congress...This man continues to attempt to defaud the public with this bull. Interesting that he was part of all those reports that were bogus!!

    February 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  7. Naaaaaa

    I just want to say, all the Glaciers in the world are receding at an alarming pace.

    PLEASE don't be a part of the Earth becoming like Easter Island!

    They didn't think they would change anything either, and they all died.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  8. Crocker

    I ain't buying the hype. A single large volcanic eruption launches more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the amount generated by all of humanity during it's entire history. And we have way more than just a single volcanic eruption worldwide each year.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • DMW

      Name your source that we get as much in a single volcanic eruption please.

      February 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Naaaaaa

      Opposite, WE put out more air pollution EVERYDAY than a volcano. THAT means 365 "volcano's" a year, EVERY YEAR.
      NOW do you understand why this IS important?

      February 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • eromdettimo

        Like your response to person and his volcano assertion that volcanos put more pollution in the atmosphere than climate change factors. It is a rather odd statement he makes, of course, esp. w/o citation. I've been watching climate change happening since before the term was heard–I was amongst a group of Friends, who, in 1974 protested in Philadelphia that the area's air inversion was caused by cars. We were arrested for stopping cars with our sit-down in the street. It was climate change. All I knew was that cars were damaging the air we breathe. Assertions that the layman can't see it without scientific protocols is wrong-headed. When I see my perennials bloom a month early, it's happening. Thanks.

        February 27, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • CTed

      USGS begs to differ. We put out more carbon every year than a Mt St Helens like event. We put out more each year than all the volcanic activity combined. If we had a massive eruption every year on top of the normal eruptions (like the constant eruption of Kilauea) it might get closer but we put an order of magnitude more carbon into the air than volcanoes do.

      February 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  9. trueguy4ever

    Well, the problem here is we have not got anything that can replace the oil we use to power our modern world. So unless about 6 billion of us die off, nothing will change or can change, it's just the way it is. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    February 25, 2013 at 4:31 am |
    • DMW

      This is bunk. We've got more than enough clean, renewable energy and if we conserved the waste that we do, we'd be rolling in energy. We have tried nothing; we haven't improved our public transit which would leave cities freer of the noise and pollution of cars; we haven't adjusted the traffic light changes which must waste tons upon tons of energy for nothing for sitting there idling (has anyone else noticed this?); the wasted energy from droughts and open doors and windows while heating or cooling is on; street lights on during the day and waste in dwellings and commercial buildings. We waste water for fracking and nuclear but water is the scarcest resource not energy. Energy is abundant. We have energy from the sun, wind, biofuels including algae, tides, rivers, and many technologies that have been buried by the fossil fuel industry. But if we changed direction and steered towards renewable energy, that would light a huge outbreak of new technologies and discoveries. Don't be a chump and believe the scam of the fossil fuel industry. They are into everything now, even the schools and colleges and they virtually pull the strings of the media.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  10. Poltergeist

    Most Americans won't notice climate change until the shifting climate starts driving food cost up.

    February 24, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • CTed

      You mean like the drought in the midwest this year? It's starting already

      February 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  11. D

    This is a real phenomena and it is very serious. As the glaciers melt into the ocean, they will disrupt the ocean currents. This is what causes severe weather, and is what is believed to have caused the last ice age. Currently, there is a piece of glacier cracking in Greenland and when it breaks off into the ocean, as it melts, it threatens to send the northeastern part of America into an ice age. So, for all of you out there who are so against global climate change, I suggest you do some research and get your facts straight. Also, when you find an article contradicting global climate change, look and see who funded it, because I can almost guarantee you it is an oil company.

    February 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  12. Cam

    I'm a believer in global warming. So my question is what can I do as a person to make things better. I live on five acres and have been thinking of planting it in trees. I recycle. I drive a hybrid car. What are some other things that we can do as individuals, because I believe there are a lot of people like me out there that would like to make a difference for our children.

    February 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • DMW

      Wow Cam, I am always talking about climate change and I never hear someone ask this question. So I tip my hat to you. You are doing a lot more than others simply by using the hybrid. If the economy was based on a footprint "ration" that people bargained with you would get points for using that hybrid. Of course we have to change our economy – that is the big picture. It seems impossible but it's not. We can do amazing things if we all decided we were going to lick this thing. Since you live on a decent piece of land, you could grow organic food. Organic food is synergistic for the soil as well as for human consumption. Organic fertilizers keep the soil packed with mitochondria which nourish the plants and get all the bacteria flowing right keeping the soil in a condition that absorbs moisture for efficient uptake of nutrients for the plant. If you make enough you could sell herbs, vegetables and even flowers at the local farmer's market. Same with fruit trees. Just so you know (it's so wonderful to have someone who actually wants to do something about this! Believe me it's rare) we're not going to fix this mess without the help of the cannabis plant. Industrial hemp can replace cutting down trees, it can replace cotton (cotton uses 50% of the world's pesticides) and we can even make car bodies out of it like Henry Ford did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGZEMwMx2vk Hemp is an extraordinary plant its seeds are also one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. http://www.hempfarm.org/ So every chance we get, we have to inform people about this plant and get it off the Controlled Substance list – it is criminal that it remains there. Houses made from hemp/crete are 75% more fuel efficient and are fireproof, rodent-proof and termite-proof. We have to get this growing everywhere. It also absorbs mercury, pesticides and heavy metals from the soil. So many things about it are excellent. It was wonderful to see your commitment. If only we all were like that.

      February 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • constantine16621990

      Im just like you cam:) im one of those small individual people that try to help the environment to make it a better place for ourselves and for our future generations. Its the little things: recycle, i make sure my water tap isnt dripping, turn off the lights i dont need, or all of them when im gone, and above all, i try to avoid using my car as much as possible. Like i said, its the little things that make a big difference:)

      February 27, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  13. krehator

    This planet will not be destroyed by us. We will merely make it unlivable for ourselves. Nature will fight back, and recover after we are gone.

    February 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • jon

      I see your planning ahead with the extinction of the human race. Carry on.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • DMW

        This is why it is so infuriating with people. What part of "IT IS AN EXTINCTION" don't they understand? Yes it's THAT bad. You're the one not getting it.

        February 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
  14. ladyj

    Great Waves of Change are coming to our Human Family and our Planet. ARE YOU PREPARED?...Learn how to navigate these difficult times we live in and the times to come. free book...greatwavesofchange dot (org)

    February 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  15. Devon Rivard

    What's the point of debating climate deniers? They are never going to listen to reason because many of them think that science is a lie. Many of these people are the same individuals that believe evolution is a lie, "If people came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys!".

    February 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  16. Phil A

    Seems many memories are short or out grown, the 1938 hurricane was horrible and topped any of the recent ones. Even this last north East snow storm was not any worse than 1947,1978 and 1993 all of which matched or beat this recent one. The media pumps these events for sensationalism, do a search on the glaciers in the Himalayas they are growing. These changes are just natural events, our earth has and will go through many changes many will not be good for man kind.

    February 24, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • DMW

      I suggest you stop listening to the media and put your head in a book and fill it with some facts. You may not have experienced anything worse but you are not the only one. Everywhere in the world climactic events are happening with more frequency and happening just the way the climate scientists predicted in the 1970's. We are on a collision course with our own extinction and people like you are taking us down because of your willful ignorance.

      February 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • PDXSerric

      I grew up in Alaska through the 70’s to the 2000’s. During that time alone glaciers that used to be literally a stone’s throw away have receded so far back that you have to not hop on a boat and take a 20 minute ride just to see what remains of the face (Portage Glacier). Others have gone entirely.

      Our winters have gotten warmer, our permafrost has begun to melt and the Arctic Ice has shrunk, forcing large polar bears to migrate south to land to feed for the first time in known history.

      Creeks where I used to live are long since gone. Lakes have shrunk. Herds have thinned.

      Don’t try to tell me nothing has changed just because you haven’t seen it when the rest of the world has – and I have personally. You know the saying – when you seem to have a problem with everybody, it’s usually your problem, not theirs.

      February 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • Eve Stevens

        Go to your main breaker box and turn the big breaker to OFF. Easy fix.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
  17. DanCheshire

    Republican definition of global climate change; The inability to open secret offshore investment accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

    February 24, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  18. dotheflippin'math

    It doesn't matter what we do, since Brazil is going to keep chopping down the Amazon, and China, India and all the other 3rd world nations are going to continue to increase their CO2 emissions. As for all the deniers, just wait until the methane hydrates let loose from the Arctic. That is the wild card that will rapidly increase warming, and there are signs that it will happen a lot sooner than expected. I think when the East Coast is under 6 feet of water, they'll get the drift....well,at least the wet ones. Those deniers are a tough sell, kinda' like Ross Perot, but without the brains. As for the argument that climate change is natural, it is. However, what is not natural is the rate of CO2 increase in the 20th century and beyond. That is the driver for the current warming, and it's hard not to blame the deforestation, along with the burning of huge amounts of fossil fuels. Unlike a volcano, which can emit a huge amount of CO2, and dust (which has a cooling effect), in a short burst of time, we are constantly emitting kilotons of CO2 all day, every day, and removing the trees and swamps that remove the CO2 and generate oxygen. We're brilliantly shortsighted. Bummer for our kids.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
  19. Richard Right

    Our history of weather and temperature in the U.S. only goes back to the late 1800s. We shouldn't trust the words of our politicians. Scientists are darn well unreliable, omitting the information that doesn't agree with the story they want to tell as well as simply making gross mistakes (remember that hockey stick temp forecast). If you want the truth look for examples of weather from the 1930s to the end of the 1990s. You'll see we get hot, we get cold, we get dry and we get wet.. Its the ultimate example of hubris when we think we have any significant effect on climate.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Leslie Graham

      The Hockey Stick was not a 'temperature forcast' it was a reconstruction o fpast temperatures to the present day.
      There are now around 11 or 12 hockey sticks, each one has been constructed from different proxies and by different teams of scientists from different countries at different times.
      And guess what ?
      They all show exactly the same thing.
      There is NO 'debate' about human caused climate change among the scientific community and there hasn't been for decades. We know beyond any doubt that there is no 'natural cycle' that can explain the loss of 80% of Arctic ice volume in 25 years.
      There are vurtualy no climate scientists on Earth who are not in agreement about what the evidence shows.
      Human beings have been effecting the climate on Earth for thousands of years to a minor degree – these days we have increased the level of a pwoerfull greenhouse gas by 40% in around a century. OF COURSE this is affecting the climate. How can it possibly NOT effect the climate?
      The climate has ALWAYS changed.
      In the past every time CO2 levels have risen the climate has changed.
      The laws of physics don't give a damn where that CO2 comes from. It doesn't matter if it is from the hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 outgassing from some prehistoric ocean or from the hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 being pumped out by humans burning carbon.
      The laws of physics dont care at all – they just do their thing.
      CO2 rises = global temperature rises.
      Every single time.
      Always has – always will.
      How can it not?

      PS – 'Mememine' is a paid shill who spams those same gish gallops of utter nonsense all over the web under about 6 different sock puppet screen-names every day. Don't encourage him. Report as spam wherever possible.

      February 24, 2013 at 4:53 am |
      • Eve Stevens

        So far, no evidence. Even the climate models are wrong. But you were not counting that as evidence, were you?

        February 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
      • marat 1

        But you are not telling people here the ACTUAL TRUTH. There are slews and slews of extremely reputable scientists who have not jumped on the bandwagon of the line that "climate change is primarily due to human activity." Do a little further research and you will come to articles that will shake your faith in the fable that "there is no question" about the total role of human activity in this phenomenon. In point of fact, many phenomena do not conform to the picture you are trying to ram down the throats of people here...as if there were NO other sensible theories. Your readers should ALSO know that there is HUGE, HUGE money for Companies who have embraced your line and have proposed hugely expensive projects to "store or bury carbon." In addition, there are reputable Universities who have not looked kindly on certain faculty members WHO DO NOT SHOW THE KNEE JERK mantra of human activity being the ONLY story to be told. In fact, some of these Universities have even dismissed certain faculty members who were not the "true believers" from receiving TENURE!! How is that for your "rational view" of the "science" behind the global warming game????????
        Other scientists have proposed that much of what has been attributed to human activity may be more easily explained by variations in solar activity and you can find papers on this quite easily. I am not talking about "quacks" but researchers in the field of climate change who have been published in the most notable relevant journals. The story is an unfolding one, it is not written in stone...and there are still a great number of people in science who have the wisdom to see the holes that remain in the current "closed case on Climate Change" that you have swallowed. What you suggest is FAITH....and the Party Line...but wiser minds, and plenty of them, are shaking their heads and NOT AT ALL CERTAIN. And they have no other agenda but to look at the OVERALL data.

        February 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • ChuckW

        You are missing a serious point here. The vast majority of scientists who have spent years studying climate and weather have concluded that man is greatly contributing to climate change and the overall temperature of the earth's surface is warming at a much faster rate than can be explained by any other phenomena that is currently taking place. Let's assume, for a moment, they are all wrong. If that's the case, then reducing carbon emissions would have little effect globally, but would greatly improve local situations (less smog, pollution, etc.) Strikes me as an overall plus. If, on the other hand, their research proves to be true, doing nothing to change what we are doing now will rapidly lead to a tipping point that will cause massive dislocations to civilization in the next couple of centuries. We have been ignoring the alarms for years. So the real question here is; should we do nothing and take a significant risk that there will be massive dislocation for our children and grandchildren, or should we do something and possibly mitigate against that, but certainly leave them a planet as clean (or better, cleaner) than the one we inherited? I always learned it is cheaper and easier to clean up your mess as you make it, rather than wait until you are done and then try to clean up the large mess you leave behind.

        I would love to think scientists are wrong, but I am not willing to bet the future of mankind on it.

        February 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  20. Scott Saunders

    Smart scientist and the revealer of truthful warnings. I bet Earth will be another Mars someday.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  21. capster78

    There have always been extreme weather events. Hurricane Sandy was not even that bad of a hurricane. I am not really sure what these scientists want us to be up in arms about. These weather events are no more prevelent now then they ever were in the past.

    February 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Name David

      How do you know?

      February 24, 2013 at 4:33 am |
    • Leslie Graham

      Hurricane Sandy was the second most powerfull storm in US history,
      It was second only to Hurricane Isobell in 2003.
      Scientists measure Hurricanes on the IKE scale. The 'Catorgory' system referes only to the sustained wind speed at the storms core. Sandy was only a 'Cat 1' when it made landfall but on the IKE scale (Intergrated Kinetic Energy) that measured ALL of the storm from the core to the edge some 500 miles accross it wighed in at an incredible 140 terajoules – that's about 20 terajoules more than Katrina which as a 'Cat 5'.
      It's probably not a good idea to post about hurricane strength on a public forum when you have no idea what you are talking about.
      Same goes for all the "The climate's changed before'"arm-chair 'experts' – most of whom clearly don't even understand basic schoolboy physics let alone climate systems.
      The climate has always changed – Well DUH!
      Yes. In the past the climate has changed every time CO2 levels have risen.
      Every time.
      Perhaps some of these 'experts' woul dlike to show their scientific evidence as to why the climate won't change THIS time?

      February 24, 2013 at 5:04 am |
    • constantine16621990

      Capster, your comment is beyond words, either you were drunk off your ass the entire lengh of the storm, or you were visiting another country:/ i watched every moment of that Hurricane destroy the coast for over 2 hours with devastating effectivness. "hurricane Sandy was not even that bad of a hurricane"..what are you high?? no, your just stupid.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  22. Mary Jane

    Get used to the weather and mother nature people because it's unpredictable. HELLLLOOOOO MR.OBVIOUS!!!!

    February 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ord_Miller

      Winters are different. Summers are different.
      1.015 billion internal combustion engines in the world.
      180,000,000 gallons of fossil fuel burned each day in furnaces.

      People with interests pay money to deny it makes any difference, but winters are different, summers are different.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
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    February 23, 2013 at 7:59 am |
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    When it comes to climate change, I think anyway, it's not just about a matter as easy as we look up a dictionary to learn what it means or find something right after getting the answers from the dictionary, but we're glad to see this kind of feature accomplished by the scientist and CNN’s contributor, and thanks for sharing! Good luck to girls, boys, men and women!

    February 23, 2013 at 2:07 am |
  25. valwayne

    What is more extreme today about extreme weather than our Great Grandparents and Granparent experienced in the drought stricken dustbowl days of the 30s. For every extreme weather event we've had in the last 10 years, you can do a quick internet search and find an even more extreme event in 30 years ago, or 60 years ago , or 100, or 150 years ago before Global Warming...oops Climate Change was even a thought. The greatest death tolls from drought, famine, hurricanes, floods, and even tornadoes hasn't happened in the last 10 or 15 years, but much futher back in history. Extreme weather? Superstorm Sandy? Sandy came ashore as a cat 1 hurricane, not some killer cat 4 or 5. And it wasn't the hurricane that cause so much flooding it was the fact that the storm surge as it came ashore happened during a full moon and high tide. Bad timing, not extreme climate made Sandy so damaging. And of course the fact that many more people than in all of history have built their homes right on the beach.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • DMW

      The ecosystem is similar to a terrarium. It's like a closed loop. The decayed matter is trapped deep into the earth having little effect on the current system. It takes millenia to form fossil fuel. It is formed by decayed matter over and over many atmospheres. While it was forming, the earth had a balance – plants take in CO2 and sent out oxygen which provided animals with oxygen and they breathed out CO2. It's a complex system but basically Nature provides a balance. Now industrialization comes along and digs up that extra carbon, burns it into the atmosphere so it injects tons upon tons of CO2 per day and they cut down the "lungs of the earth" the trees. The oceans absorb much of the carbon. It makes the oceans warm. The ice at the poles melt. The reduced white surface of the ice sheets causes more heat to be absorbed by the oceans due to the darker surface area. The ice melts ever faster. And this is the loop we now are in. We have damaged the balanced loop of Nature and have created a new loop. Now with the economy you can see that if you spend more than you earn, you're going to have a problem. But somehow that logic doesn't follow in matters that are based on self-interest. We can have free energy but the fossil fuel companies spend billions to keep us stupid. And it works. If you think you need to be a scientist before you can see that we're destroying our own life source, then you're dumber than dirt.

      February 24, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  26. hypostasis

    Nobody has ever argued that the climate doesn't change on its own. What is being argued is that it normally takes tens of thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands of years, not 100 or 200 years. That time differential has a HUGE impact on the ability of living things to adapt–evolve–to their environment. What nobody knows is what that impact will be: severe storms; microbial infestations; sea level rises; will the oxygen content change? It is a truly undefined matrix.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Eve Stevens

      You may want to look up the Younger Dryass period in which tmeperatures went up and back down 10 C in less than a decade. That was climate change, entirely natural. You all want to do something or have your government do something. The only thing you can do is to shut off your electricity or wait until your government does it for you.

      February 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
      • hypostasis

        That is called a spike, not a change.

        February 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • hypostasis

        Also, it's Younger Dryas, one 's', and it occurred during the Holocene period, 400,000 years ago, and one of the major causes that has been argued is major volcanic eruption. Just like how Mount Pinatubo dropped the earth's temperature for a few years.

        February 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • Eve Stevens

        Then you can't read because the Younger Dryas occured at the end of the last galaciation, not in the Holocene. It was not one spike but repeated up and down's that lasted for 1300 years. So far, I have learned that you can't read, have no knowledge of climate history, but you believe your use of fossil fuels is destroying the planet yet you continue to drive and use electricity. Go ahead, keep screaming about climate change when we are living in the most stable part of the Holocene. Ask your government to do something and they will. They will make energy so expensive that you will die of cold. at some point you will stop posting.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
      • DMW

        We're dealing with bullies. The fossil fuel industry ripped out all the once prolific railroads. Then they made sure there was no other alternatives. By being on oil we are connected at the hip to the fossil fuel, the substance that is poisoning the world we live in. But the fossil fuel industry has to be made to step back, they are not going to go down willingly. Because go down is what they will have to do. We had to learn how to retool, now it's their turn.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • hypostasis

        Firstly, Eve, I never stated or implied anything about the usage of fossil fuels; that is from your lack of reading and wishful projecting. Secondly, I will admit to a typographic error of 400,000 instead of 40,000 years. As for the rest, a spike is still a spike, even if it’s repeated 1000 times. And something else we’re going to disagree on: We are currently living in the Anthropogene epoch. Also, you should learn how to spell: occured is occurred and galaciation is glaciation. When your spelling is that atrocious it diminishes any point you try to make. Furthermore, sentences begin with a capital letter: "At some point you’ll stop posting."

        February 26, 2013 at 3:21 am |
      • hypostasis

        Eve, I will use smaller words and less complex sentences so you can understand what I am saying. If you had read my first post and understood it: “Nobody has ever argued that the climate doesn't change on its own. What is being argued is that it normally takes tens of thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands of years, not 100 or 200 years. That time differential has a HUGE impact on the ability of living things to adapt–evolve–to their environment,” you would have known that the Younger Dryas was not only the exception that proved the rule–it normally takes tens of thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands of years for the climate to change–but also a sterling example of the impact of a sudden change in climate: It took one asteroid, which became a meteorite when it impacted the earth, to wipe out the dinosaurs; and from Richard Firestone’s peer reviewed paper: The Case for the Younger Dryas Extraterrestrial Impact Event: Mammoth, Megafauna and Clovis, “Approximately 12.9 ka ago the Northern Hemisphere suddenly experienced a return to glacial conditions lasting >1000 years called the Younger Dryas (YD) that reversed the warming of the preceding interstadial deglaciation… At the same time mammoths, many other megafauna, smaller mammals, and birds suddenly became extinct in North America. At least 35 mammal genera disappeared (Grayson and Meltzer, 2003) and all evidence of Clovis culture in North America abruptly ended (Waters and Stafford, 2007). C. Vance Haynes (2008) has identified a black, organic-rich layer or “black mat” at 70 Clovis-age sites that started forming 12.9 ka ago (Taylor et al. 1996). As Haynes described it, the "mat covers the Clovis-age landscape on which the last remnants of the terminal Pleistocene megafauna are recorded." No skeletal remains of horse, camel, mammoth, mastodon, dire wolf, American lion, short-faced bear, sloth, tapir, etc., or Clovis artifacts have ever been found in situ within or stratigraphically above the YD-age black mat. Haynes (2006) concluded that the "extinction of the Rancholabrean megafauna was geologically instantaneous, essentially catastrophic." This is inconsistent with other theories proposed to explain their disappearance including human overkill (Mosimann and Martin, 1975). Human predation fails to explain either the absence of kill sites for 33 extinct mammals or the rapidity with which they disappeared. Abrupt Younger Dryas cooling has also been implicated in the demise of these megafauna and mammals (Guthrie,2006). However, similar episodes have often occurred during the past 80 ka, and none were associated with major extinctions. Additionally, no evidence exists for suspected pandemic disease (MacPhee and Marx, 1997) in the Pleistocene record, and the elimination of so many varied species by disease seems unlikely. Simultaneous sudden extinctions and rapid onset of Younger Dryas cooling, followed by the appearance of the black mat, clearly indicate that a catastrophic event such as major volcanism or an extraterrestrial impact event occurred 12.9 ka ago. However, analysis of sulfate in Greenland ice (Zielinski et al. 1996) indicates that there was no major North American volcanic episode sufficient to have caused a catastrophe of this magnitude at that time. Consistent with an extraterrestrial impact event, Firestone et al. (2007) reported the discovery of a thin sediment layer at the base of the black mat at 10 Clovis-age sites across North America and a site in Belgium containing numerous markers indicative of impact. Extensive stratigraphic and chemical analysis of sediments from these sites shows that this impact was capable of causing the Laurentide Ice Sheet to fail and the catastrophic conditions leading to the megafaunal extinctions. The black mat then would have formed from the ashes of the impact and the decay of plant and animal debris.”

        Do you understand now? Sudden change…sudden death.

        February 26, 2013 at 4:17 am |
  27. I Am Butters

    Big deal. So what if the world goes up in a big ball of fire in the future. I won't care. I'll be dead long before that happens.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Eve Stevens

      I agree.It will happen when the sun enlarges and envelops the earth. I don't care either cause I won't be here. But the hysterical environuts out there just won't turn off their electricity. What is the deal? They don't believe what they say?

      February 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • mtbeau

      When more tax money that goes into repairing damage from these storms, I hope you do not complain.

      February 25, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  28. Dave

    He developed a passion for AGW when he, like Al Gore, discovered there is a lot of money to be made from it and he gets treated like a rock star. Would CNN have interviewed this geek without the AGW fraud angle? I don't think so.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • hoossculpting

      A major difference between scientists like Dr. Field and people who challenge his findings is that he could be, and would be, prosecuted for falsifying and misrepresenting data. If climate change deniers were held to the same standard we would have prisons full Fox News fans.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:11 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      Dave, what a naive and cynical view. Do you really think university professors are treated like "rock stars?" I am a university professor (and a relatively successful one) and my friend with a BA makes more than me working at the bank. In general, people go into science and research because they are fascinated and compelled. They go into it despite the fact that they could make much more money doing something else.

      I get so tired of hearing that tired and (willfully?) misinformed excuse to dismiss expert information.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • constantine16621990

        I agree, Dave your a retard at its best:/ climate change is absolutly real. And by the time your dead. Im sure you will have a family
        ( hopefully their not so stupid) and if you shut this knowledge out, your family, our families, and 7 billion other families of the future will be dead, since they'll be the ones who were left with our climate change problem:/ we dont care if You inparticular are dead, but im sure the rest of us want to live to see the future, without mother nature destroying everything every year.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • George

      Ice core data, geologic fossil evidence, all manner of proxy data, the prevalence and breakdown of telltail carbon isotopes in CO2 molecules over time. This is solid data trending in one direction... Ignore it at your children's peril... Its happening... Try and be useful.

      February 24, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • DMW

      Do you apply that same logic to the fossil fuel companies? They spend billions to confuse the public over the facts on this issue. Why do you suppose that is? I've been an environmentalist since the 1970's and the prognosis has always been the same. With better technology over the years it has become more accurate. But way back then we were told there would be droughts and floods with greater frequency occurring. Have you not noticed that the deniers are not saying that the warming is due to sun flares anymore? Of course these proponents never projected what sun flares would do to the climate. Unlike the people warning of climate catastrophe who have predicted with high accuracy more than thirty years ago. This scientist is a nice guy and all but too wimpy to give an accurate illustration. Already the permafrost is exploding into the atmosphere in the Arctic. I always thought that's bye bye planet but if we move quickly, we may have a small window where we can grow industrial hemp for paper, clothing, biofuels, bioplastics etc instead of cut down trees and dig up carbon to burn into our own atmosphere. What idiots humans are!

      February 24, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  29. asdf

    The climate has been hotter and cooler than it is right now. How did that happen without man-made green house gases? Factors other than man-made green house gases caused that change. This is not disputable. Proving the climate is changing does not prove that man caused that change. Correlation does not prove causality and the correlation is weak and even negative at times.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Name David

      You have simply made an assertion, a denial without any basis in fact. If you read scientific publications on a regular basis it would start to add up. Start with the Journals Science and Nature or at least Scientific American.

      February 24, 2013 at 4:42 am |
    • DMW

      And what happens if you are wrong and people actually are causing climate change? What then? You're going to take the entire civilization down? Now what if the climate change proponents are wrong? We get cleaner air, water and soil. Capiche?

      February 24, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  30. DMG2FUN

    Global warming is evolution. It has happen before and will happen again.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  31. asdf

    You're gullible.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  32. Loubies

    You know how I know Climate Change isn't real? Because it's cold. Today. Where I live.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • donna

      Ignorance is Bliss

      February 22, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Dum Bass

      Yep, keep thinking that way. Sandy was nothing but a natural event. The new found strength and severity of storms means nothing. Stronger hurricanes are just a coincidence. Keep telling yourself that, it will make all the difference......

      February 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Bryan

      Yes, it's called "winter".

      February 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • asdf

      So what you are saying is that you believe in man-made climate change and you wish to discredit skeptics by easily fooling gullible people with comments like that?

      February 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • BC

      Ignorance! That's like saying my sidewalk is flat so the world is flat!

      February 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • DMW

      It will be coming to a town near you soon enough, dork.

      February 24, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Devon Rivard

      Read the comment again guys, dude is being sarcastic.

      February 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  33. oh well..

    When someone says "The ground is unstable and you might die if you walk over it" do you, a) try to avoid going there? or b) say, "bah, humbug" and run over that ground?

    When a number of people claim climate change is going to harm humanity if we continue doing what we are doing, would you a) try to avoid it or b) continue on the same path?

    But I guess our entire generation (every living thing today) would be dead and gone by the time anything really bad happens.. so its not our problem.. we can do whatever we want today, eh? right? right?

    February 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  34. asdf

    There is over whelming evidence that the climate has always changed even before man came along. The connection between man-made gases and climate is a wild guess and the predictions are extremely bad. There are many possibilities other than gases that are produced when people make money they can tax .

    February 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • donna

      Ignorance is Bliss

      February 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Doug

      I'm sorry, but you are completely wrong. We have evidence based on tree ring and ice core data that shows a beautiful sinusoidal wave of fluctuating temperatures from 100,000 years. These temperatures rose and fell with the same frequency. In the last 50 year s or so, that model has been thrown off.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
      • Dubhly

        Doug, Im sorry but you are worng as well. in geological terms that is a very short term. How long ago was the latest Ice age. we go through them periodically anyway. I would not say we might not speed it up some, but I do not think we will be doing anything that the planet does not do to itself anyway. We are simply entering the next Ice age, plain and simple and we will need to deal with it or die out as countless spiecies have before us. However to assume that 100,000 years of tree rings is enough data on the worlds climate to issue a statement of certainty is mistaken. Good solid evidence years, do not get me wrong or think that i am attempting to downplay it, but i would not use it as a complete justification by any means either.

        February 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
      • Naaaaaa

        Dubhly: There are MANY different forms of evidence, tree rings are just one.
        Look, the BEST evidence of our part in this is ALL the Glaciers on the planet are shrinking or just GONE.
        We used to have 45 in Glacier National Park in Yellowstone. Now 14.
        Look around the world and find one that isn't coming close to their end.
        Ya know what happens then?

        Take a guess? What would YOU do if you can't get enough water for your family?
        Think about it.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • asdf

      Doug, You are correct that the climate has changed. But it has always changed. Are we in an ice age right now? No. So we have proof that the climate changed before mankind. Have you proven the climate has changed as a result of man? NO!!!!!! You're guessing.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
      • burnthalo

        Yes, we are in an ice age. And because the temperature has always fluctuated does not mean humans aren't causing it now. That is as proven as can be. I think what makes me saddest is how people who know nothing can try and argue against people who have devoted multiple decades to understanding a subject.

        February 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
      • Naaaaaa

        NASA dot org. Educate yourself.

        February 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Dum Bass

      Yep, tonnes of possibilities. None of them include the FACT that we have damaged our planet's systems. None of them include the obvious: We did This. Sandy, monster storms, hurricanes like 500 mile wide tornadoes....... Yep, pure coincidence....

      February 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • trollol

      Is it so hard to believe that human industries are having an effect on climate? Just because the changes are miniscule doesn't mean it should be ignored. Miniscule changes over a long period of time will eventually make a difference and it isn't wise to wait till the last second to do something about it. It is true that climate has changed naturally throughout earth's history but throughout much of earth's history, human beings with relatively advanced technologies did not exist until now.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  35. Zwei Stein

    And yet, in the face of overwhelming scientific proof, people still scream for more oil, more gas, more coal, more, more, more, MORE, M O R E!!!!! If they would only use a small portion of the brain that they were born with, they would opt for MORE wind, and solar. For each house! Their needs would be fulfilled and their investment would pay for itself within six years. After that, it's FREE. AND, our footprint would be so much smaller! Wise Up!!

    February 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Doug

      MOAR GUNS

      February 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  36. Fubarack

    The warmers want everyone to think the weather is "extreme", and that is just not the case. Study weather history yourself, rather than trust people who have taken to naming every little weather system, in a propaganda effort. Science used to be unbiased, now they think the weather and climate should be static. I wish these loons would get a real education, instead of studying propaganda. If you want a consistent daily climate, move into a bubble.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Zwei Stein

      Sounds like you're the one who needs a real education.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • ChangeIsComing

      now just imagine those natural climatic changes coupled with our man made self destructive contributions.....so, dear friend, with all due respect, if you think your answer to do nothing is going to make all this go away then continue sticking your head in the sand as the storm blows your ass away....

      February 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  37. Gary

    Thank you to all of the scientists of ths world who will unfortunately be asked to save us from ourselves.

    February 22, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  38. Ricky Hughes

    Climate change and extreme weather has been occuring since the beginning of time. The "doom and gloomers" will only convince the numerous idiots out there, that global warming is happening. Storms like Superstorm Sandy have occurred on the east coast throughout history. Droughts have always occurred in the west -THAT"S WHY IT"S A DESERT! There are numerous historical accounts of weather events exactly the same as what these half-wits are fretting over now. The only difference is they didn't have CNN broadcasting it 24/7. Please don't fall for this nonsense!

    February 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Mark

      So, I guess you think The Dust Bowl "just happened" too, and had nothing to do with human activities. I think I'll believe the scientist. Thanks for giving me something to laugh at, (that means laugh at YOU!!) This is a serious subject, but fools are entertaining.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
      • Russ

        A weatherman who tells you he can accurately forecast the weather, is a lying weatherman. Same goes for these scientist. Anything statement other than, "We're not exactly sure" is bunk.

        February 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Joebarchuck

      It's funny how scientist and rational people look at facts and evidence and you just give an opinion based on poorly understood facts. Of course there has been weather issues in the past such as heat waves, floods and such but none have been so close to each other and the general global warming of the past century has never happened so fast during the previous millions of year we are able to have records and EVIDENCE of. Wake up MORON before your family is killed in a weather related event. The good news is that most global warming skeptics are in the states that will be the most affected from Texas to Florida. They could all be killed for all we know, it would just make the world a better place. Less religion, less denial of FACTS, more humane societies. So yes please continue to deny global warming and use all the oil the world has to offer and suffer the consequences by watching your loved ones die.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Dum Bass

      The wet is a desert due to the interaction of the Rockies with east blowing rain clouds. They (the Rockies ) stop most rain coming west to east. Result? Desert. Climate change: Result?? Sandy, and so much more....... That is the truly sad & scary truth.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Naaaaaa

      HAHAHAHA not nonsense. YOU will be one of the ones in 10 years saying, "Why didn't we do more to stop this!".
      I hope it effects you more than most!

      February 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  39. ChuckW

    You are welcome to deny climate change all you want. It is not just about rising sea levels or longer summers or less snow. It is about places on earth that are now used to grow the food we depend on becoming deserts and the wetlands that used to protect us from catastrophic flooding dying off or being drowned. Climate change is real. Can anyone say with 100% certainty how much of it is man caused? No, of course not. What most realistic scientists have been saying for some time now is that the evidence shows mankind has had quite an effect on the climate, and the activities of man are, at best, speeding up climate change. When the oceans were higher, thousands of years ago, mankinind was nomadic and could move easily rto where the food was. Today, we cover much of the inhabitable zones of the planet, and the ultimate result of climate change will be major famine, not just in the places where famine always seems to exist, but throughout the developed world, too. If you wish to be blind to the evidence, or say it hasn't been proven, what you are truly saying is "I really don't care about man in the future, as long as things remain OK in my lifetime." If you did, you would do what you could to help the situation and back a global attempt to mitigate future damage. Climate change is not some liberal plot to destroy civilization. This is a conservative plot to protect it for as long as is possible.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  40. jj

    Yes, use the terms extreme weather and climate change. It is not simply global warming. The book "The Coming Global Superstorm" by Bell and Strieber is a good description of this.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  41. Dave

    Ask any geologist about global climate change- it's huge and the record is written in the rocks. The problem for human beings is not climate change, that is unavoidable. The problem is the rate of climate change, do we have centuries or years to adapt? When the climate changes fast the costs to human civilization are high. It is undeniable that the golbe has been erratically warming for the last 12,000 years and that we in a period of more rapid warming. Wheteher we are causing much or all of this rapid warming probably won't be scientifically proven in our lifetimes, but if we are, we will have made a Big Mistake. We need to hedge our bets and start reducing CO2 emissions. A CO2 tax lets the market figure out the best way, we could even make it revenue neutral by offsetting reductions in other taxes.

    February 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • K.Mcleod

      Well said.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • LMAO

      Sorry not even remotely true. The trend has been cooling for the last 10 years or so.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • JohnC

        Well sort of true about last ten years: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/global-land-ocean-mntp-anom/201101-201112.png. If you look at the last few years in the larger context in this chart it could be a short term levelling off before more rising as has been seen in the past at times. But given that it hasn't made a notable drop it's reasonable that the curve will continue as it has rising, leveling or slightly falling then rising again.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • Hawk in Texas

        The earth has been getting hotter. are you one of those tea party nut jobs? why do you think that we have been recording the highest tempatures in the last 10 years. last year was the hottest on record.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • Me

        What a moron – go bury your head again – that time up your laughing a$$

        February 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
      • MandoZink

        LMAO
        For a more realistic look at your assertion, check out this graph. You left out some data.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

        February 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • dirediredocks

        Hawk in texas's comment is invalid via his "Name Calling" this is not good debate tactics Hawk in Texas.

        February 22, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
      • Joebarchuck

        You are a complete MORON... Understand the facts before posting them. Even though in the past ten years the average earth temperature has been more mild, the highest temperature have stayed for longer periods, melting glaciers faster than ever before... PLEASE learn your facts before posting.

        February 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
      • Naaaaaa

        Never ceases to amaze me, people that do NO research before posting.
        To be ignorant is a choice, but to yell it from the rafters takes some b@lls!

        February 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • I don't think so!

      Only a moron would suggest such a tax or be in support of it. Congrats!

      February 22, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
      • I don't think so!

        because i'm the ruler of the universe, and i say so nya nya nya

        February 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
      • oh well..

        people like you remind me of an indian saying.. To a jaundiced person, the entire world looks yellow, and thinks that is how it really is..

        I can understand why you think everyone else is a moron now

        February 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  42. kcy2014

    The "fact" of Global Warming is based on trend estimation – predicting future temperatures based on past data. Building simulation models around trend estimation is what scientists do when they don't understand what's going on.
    Let me say it delicately: only a fool would call "incontrovertible evidence" results based on empirical curbe fitting.

    February 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • alan

      No, the fact of Global Warming is based on the study of PAST climate data. The concern that scientists feel is based on extrapolation. If they are right, and the vast majority of evidence says they are, we are in trouble. The world won't end, but there will be significant disruption to what we believe is the normal situation: weather, food production, disease, etc. will all be different. Even the US military sees this as a threat.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • hannah

        I think this is true. But it will be a good thing for the population to go down, as more people will die in these extreme weather evenst and droughts where there is not enough food. The planet is just righting itself.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Frank_K

      I must point out that you have No Idea what you are talking about. Or, you are trying to pass off false information. Even reading this article will improve your understanding. But absolutely no science is based on "predicting future temperatures based on past data" - they use physics instead.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • DaveW

      I think most of us who have read on this subject and have considered the evidence as presented to us by folks such as the highly reputable scientist interviewed for this article, know who the fools are.

      Be careful what you write in these comment sections. Future historians will be mining this data when they search for the small-minded, self-centered people who refused to do anything about global climate change even when the evidence they confronted was quite clear.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
      • Allen

        You self-obsorbed buffoon.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
      • Me

        You are the buffoon Alan – IDIOT

        February 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
      • Naaaaaa

        AAAAG, your correct!
        Good point, I haven't looked at it like that!
        Good post!

        February 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  43. JosephS

    Simple solution – move away from the coast. Buy land in Houston – one day it might be beach front property. Point being, significant climate change (if true) won't cause the world to end. We'll adapt and overcome as we always have. A few people might die, but that's the risk of life. I for one am looking forward to my extended summer vacations. :)

    February 22, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Me

      What an IDIOT you are – why this world is so fked up

      February 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  44. Darwin

    Hey, the evolutionary process is not always friendly. Adapt or go away.

    February 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  45. mememine69

    Believers, Deniers, Former Believers,
    What sick satisfaction do we get by wanting to believe in a cataclysmic climate crisis for our own children? If we were living in a real civilized society we would have legal consequences for issuing these CO2 death threats to billions of helpless children.
    But this fear mongering we do feels like the right thing to do doesn't it because it’s about “our planet and “our children" and what is wrong with loving the planet and being concerned about it? Right? You would have to hate the planet to not believe in climate change? I just feels good to do the right thing?Why would science lie we ask ourselves; they say it's real and who is going to argue with what the world of science says and if a headline says so; it must be true? Yes our planet is doomed to a climate crisis because of Human CO2 because we must be doing something to our planet. Just look at the crap we throw at poor Mother Nature Does that feel good.
    To jump at the chance to condemn our own children to the greenhouse gas ovens is not what good loving and honest people do. REAL planet lovers don’t want this misery to be real and real planet lovers love the planet with love, not fear. Science gave us pesticides and science only agrees; “it is real and happening” but only “could” be a crisis. NEVER has the world of science said any crisis was imminent. Never.
    If you still believe in the CO2 mistake and tragic exaggeration, just remember that history will catch up with you and label those responsible this needless CO2 panic as “end of the world freaks” in another circus of Reefer Madness.

    February 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Frank_K

      In other words,
      I don't like the ramifications of climate change that the science tells us.
      Therefore, the science is wrong.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • StevenR

      No. Global Warming is a fact. Is is happening. Theory (models) and observations confirm is it happening. It will be a crisis – it really already is if you are living is a drought or flood (or both) plagued area. You denials are an indication of extreme ignorance.

      I suggest you test another THEORY of science – the THEORY of gravity. It is as untested and questionable as the THEORY of GLOBAL WARMING. Go ahead. Jump off a tall building. Gravity is only a theory. Go ahead, jump.

      You won't be missed.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Nope!

        Nope, there is no credible evidence at all, none.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Grand Ma Loves AR-15s

      Lots of babbling to just say, "I wear a tin foil hat.".

      February 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Mark

      The implication in your post that YOU have children is even more disturbing than the ignorance of your remarks. Are you raising them to "love god" and "have faith" and "believe Jeebus will save" them also????. I would bet you are, ignorance in science is often a result of "belief" in some sky fairy.

      February 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  46. mememine77

    I look at this issue the same way Bible thumpers justify their belief in god. Is it not better to believe than not to believe, just in case the scientists are correct?

    February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • mememine69

      Are ;yoiu saying since we have waited 2000 years for Jesus to prove he was correct, we now have to wait through another 27 years of wrong IPCC crisis predictions? REASON, not religiion. We must evolve.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • mixed_signal

        What do you mean 27 years of wrong IPCC predictions. The central predictions have been and continue to be increased average temperature, more heat leading to more moisture in the atmosphere leading to more water and energy in storms, including more snow (overall more precipitation and more violent storms), and more variation in weather patterns. The temperature predictions have always had large, clearly spelled out error bands and probabilities. There's nothing inconsistent with these IPCC statements and summaries. Can you point out specifically what is?

        February 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  47. Boomer in Mo

    I'll be long gone to the great beyond when the worst of this is here. Nevertheless, right noticed a tremendous change in planting times, plant behavior and weather in the last 40 years. Is it due to man or just a natural cycle. I don't know, but I don't much like it. Just a fact to think about. Do you thing 7 billion human beings, or 7 billion of any other species, has an effect on their environment or not? I think 7 billion anything is going to have an effect, I just don't know if it is good, bad or just another natural cycle.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Boomer in Mo

      Bad typing. The sentence should have read: Nevertheless, as of right now, I have noticed a tremendous change in planting times, plant behavior and weather in the last 40 years.

      February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  48. Zoglet

    The fact that we are being told to get used to extreme weather is a warning that our leaders are going to do NOTHING to attempt to reign in the courses of climate change. Our political system is locked on auto pilot leading us all to self destruct. Greed will be the death of us all.

    February 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  49. lbdukeep

    This is the cost of DENIAL! Its happening, and I don't think we can turn it back now. The damage is done....and still going strong....humans are indeed parasites of this planet. But problem is...there is no Earth 2 – instead, Earth is going to become Mars 2: The Sequel!

    February 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chris

      The Earth will survive us. We know that at many points in Earth's history co2 levels have been much higher and the level of biodiversity much greater. If we're all worried about having our coastal cities inundated with rising sea levels then that isn't new. Cities that were once on the coast are now miles inland and those that were miles inland are now on the coast. Just look at Hissarlik, or Troy. The toll mankind takes on the ecosystem, in terms of biodiversity, or ocean acidification will be what really has a lasting effect. Up here in Canada we have seen a temperature increase of almost 1 degree, this was due to the massive tree die off in B.C caused by the Pine beetle, not co2 levels, but this doesn't make the threat any less dire.

      February 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • StevenR

        Duh. Why do you think the pine beetles can survive the winter now? GLOBAL WARMING.

        February 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
      • Eve Stevens

        Because we no longer cut down the dead and dying trees. Native Indians used to burn back the forests and so did we until big government decided it was better not to. Now we have a lot of dying trees, pine beetles and dead trees. Perfect for a great forest fire.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  50. barac

    Slowly Slowly we all going to die.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  51. mememine69

    FORMER climate blame believers are better planet lovers.
    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets ruled by corporations and trustworthy politicians
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
    *Until now Obama had not mentioned the crisis in the last two previous State of the Unions addresses.
    26 years of the all the scientists only saying it “could” be a crisis, never saying it “will” be a crisis means it won’t be a crisis, because “maybe” isn’t a lie. Help my house could be at the point of no return possibly from being on fire maybe? This Reefer Madness of climate blame is our legacy and real planet lovers are glad a crisis was an exaggeration. The remaining doomers wanted this misery to be real.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • StevenR

      NOT! Global warming is happening and is hitting the tipping point. As the permafrost melts, gigatons of CO2 trapped for thousands of years are being released.

      Be afraid. Be very afraid.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  52. mememine69

    If this really is a climate "crisis" then find us one single IPCC warning that says it "will" happen not just might and could and likely happen and if it were really a "crisis" they would say so and not qualify every warning with a "maybe". Help my house could be on fire maybe? How close to unstoppable warming will the lab coats take us before they say a crisis is "imminent"? Comet hits are "imminent" but climate change crisis isn't?
    27 years of research only saying it might happen proves it won’t happen. Deny that!

    February 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Frank_K

      All science except pure mathematical proofs involves statistical probabilities over the outcome. IF a building inspector told you it was "very likely", a 95% probability, that your house's poor wiring will cause it to catch fire, would you then say "Oh, it's not going to happen because he didn't say it was imminent"? Why are you unable to wrap your head around this fact?

      February 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • Shocko

        This is the most lucid comment I have read on a board in a long time. Well done.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  53. Robert Wilson

    The comments about the oceans rising is true – they have been rising since the last ice age. The oceans rise and fall by 600-700 feet between ice ages. As the ice age forms the ocean waters are converted to snow and ice lowering the ocean levels, as the ice melts the oceans rise.
    The fact that oceans are rising is expected. Is the oceans rising faster than normal I don't know if anyone knows. We do know that the Pacific Island going under water shows that the ocean was 60-70 feet lower 3,000 years ago because the caves where people lived are 70-80 feet below the present water line.

    February 22, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • mememine69

      You say; "I don't know if anyone knows."
      Unless it’s a Harry Potter movie it’s impossible to have a little tiny catastrophic climate crisis so let's all be happy a crisis for our kids was exaggerated and not real because as you say; we "don't know if anyone knows."

      February 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • StevenR

      ...and the rate of increase is increasing. We should be going into another ICE AGE and the temperature is CLIMBING. That ain't right. WE ARE KILLING OURSELVES. The scientists mention on the likely scenarios. You want one that is UNLUIKELY but TOTALLY POSSIBLE? You want the WORST TAKE on what CAN HAPPEN?

      How about the phytoplankton in the ocean die off and the oxygen concentration drops by about 40%. ALL HUMAN LIFE ON EARTH ENDS.

      Now that is not LIKELY but it is POSSIBLE. No REAL CONSERVATIVE would let even the SLIGHTEST POSSIBILITY of that happening exist. ALL MEASURES would be used to make it IMPOSSIBLE.

      But an IGNORANT REACTIONARY like a member of the GOP would probably let that SLIDE to make an extra BUCK.

      February 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • Eve Stevens

        Go to your breaker box and turn the big breaker to OFF, Easy fix.

        February 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm |

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