05 Dec '11, 9pm

Dot Earth Blog: More on the 'Sensitive' Climate Question

Here are some fresh thoughts on the enduring and important questions surrounding “climate sensitivity ” – how much warming will result from a substantial buildup of greenhouse gases. After my post on a much-discussed paper trying to clarify the extent of greenhouse-driven heating to expect in coming decades, I sought input from the lead author, Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University . (As I mentioned, another author, Nathan Urban of Princeton University, provided one valuable view in a long interview posted on the Planet 3.0 blog .) Here’s Schmittner’s reaction, focused less on specific technical criticisms and more on overarching insights and issues raised by his work. The research drew lessons from paleoclimate studies of the Last Glacial Maximum, the cold peak of the last ice age, that relate to the extent of warmth possible in an era of accumulating greenhouse g...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/more-on-the-...

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