The American Geophysical Union is currently holding a conference in San Francisco. Over 20,000 people are attending the conference. Fortunately for us, many of the presentations are being posted to YouTube and there is an amazing volume of science available on the site freely available.
James Hansen and others recently presented on the potentional for rapid warming in this 2011 video. It is an important video, and well worth watching:
In a nutshell: we can’t afford to keep burning fossil fuels and releasing them into the atmosphere.
Stephen Lewandowsky gives a good overview:
Science is debate, and the AGU meeting is the biggest annual debate of climate scientists in the world. It is a debate that extends over five days, each filled with 12 hours or more of non-stop science.
There is, however, one issue that is not being debated: Nowhere is there a debate about the fundamental facts that the globe is rapidly warming and that human greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for that warming.
That scientific debate ceased decades ago.
It is only in the fantasy world of climate denial that ignorant chatter about those physical fundamentals continues, to the detriment of the public which would be better served without such distracting noise.
Among the 20,000 geophysicists and scientists from other disciplines in attendance at the AGU meeting, there is no mention of the denialist troupe of cranks who do “science” by writing letters to the editor.
With one exception.
Dr. Jim Hansen, one of the world’s foremost climate scientists, who first alerted the world to the risks from climate change decades ago, gave a presentation on Tuesday night. A patrician figure, he was greeted with a standing ovation even though the message he had to deliver, based on the latest available science, was far from encouraging. Decades ago, Dr. Hansen predicted events such as Hurricane Sandy, and he has been warning about the implications of climate change ever since.
Dr. Hansen expressed the view that the professional dis-informers who facilitate and encourage climate denial, and who obstruct and delay a solution to the problem at great cost in dollars and human lives in support of their own short-term greed or ideological agenda, ought to be tried for crimes against humanity.
Watch the video to see how science is really done.