When a Risk Isn’t Just a Risk

I promised you some interesting new material on economics, and here’s a new blog post at the Sun-Sentinel to that effect. I’ll explain more about the difference between risk and uncertainty in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, you can find more prescient papers by Pavlov and Wachter here, here, and here, and you can find the Princeton paper here.

The commenter “Max-42” counters that El Niño is responsible for the record-breaking ocean temperatures, and he’s partly right. El Niño is playing an important role, but so is climate change. Joseph Romm has an excellent post explaining how the two have worked in tandem. I encourage you to check it out.

And, as always, read the original post.

Making Mountains Out of Glaciers

Yesterday, we talked about John Coleman and his sorry excuse for a climate change lesson. As a reader pointed out to me, one piece of evidence in particular has generated another climate news scandal recently. As a refresher:

according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, global glacier thickness has declined every year for the past 4+ decades. The most recent academic research I’ve seen was published 2 months ago, and it concluded that Antarctic ice loss has been vaster and faster than the IPCC predicted. Another paper published around the same time found that, based on historical evidence, Antarctica is more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought.

When many people hear “glaciers,” they think of the Himalayas. One of the most startling predictions of the 2007 IPCC report was that this gorgeous region in South and East Asia will lose all its glaciers by 2035. If you trace that claim back to its original source, you find quotes in New Scientist and Indian magazine Down to Earth by Syed Hasnain, who studied the Himalayan glaciers for the International Commission on Snow and Ice. Hasnain, it turns out, made the prediction based on “speculation,” not evidence.

Let’s be clear about what this means: Nothing.   Continue reading “Making Mountains Out of Glaciers”