I was invited by Manny Miller (thanks Manny!) who was the coordinator to an excellent set of presentation at the April 23, 2007 Tripartite Symposium — Realities And Challenges Of Global Warming/Global Dimming held in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. The meeting was sponsored by the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (www.sacp.org ), Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (www.ssp-pgh.org) and the American Chemical Society – Pgh Section (http://membership.acs.org/P/Pitt/).
The presentations were:
Dr. M. Granger Morgan-Carnegie Mellon Univ, Why Climate is Changing and What We Can Do About It?
Dr. Beate Liepert – Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Dilemma of Anthropogenic Impact on Climate: Global Dimming and Global Warming
Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr.-Univ. of Colorado, The Human Impact on the Weather and Climate
Mr. John Quigley-PA DCNR, Director of Legislation and Strategic Initiatives,Pennsylvania Perspectives, Federal Uncertainty
Those who read Climate Science, will of course, be aware of the perspective that I presented at the meeting. However, the other three talks provide important insight by others, including the emphasis on CO2 as the dominate environmental issue of the coming decades. Climate Science disagrees with this assessment, but recommends readers review the powerpoint talks to learn what is being proposed. For example, Mr. Quigley states that
“Global warming (is) the single biggest long-term threat to PA’s (Pennslyvania’s) existing natural heritage”.
He further discusses Pennsylvania’s significant role in this threat as a result of CO2 emissions from the combustion of the coal which is found in large quantities in the state. He presents a review of what Governor Rendell has proposed to address this issue. It is a candid and informative presentation of where the politics are taking the climate change issue.
Dr. Morgan presented an effective summary of CO2 sequestration and direct air capture technologies. He reported that there are large costs with the implementation of these technologies. He states unequivocally that “there is no uncertainty that CO2 and other greenhouse gases…are warming the planet and changing the climate”, and that “talk about uncertainty about these issues is largely the result of intentional obfurscation by those with short-term economic interests”. Over the coming decades, he has concluded that there will have to be “enormous changes in the nature and operation of the global energy systems.” Dr. Morgan is a Member of the EPA Science Advisory Board so his views have enormous influence.
The third talk by Dr. Beate Liepert was on the role of aerosols in the climate system. A paper on this subject in which she is a co-author has already been discussed on Climate Science (see);
Rosanne D’Arrigo, Rob Wilson, Beate Liepert and Paolo Cherubini, 2007: On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in Northern Forests: A Review of the Tree-Ring Evidence and Possible Causes. Journal of Global and Planetary Change In press.
She states that “by reducing air pollution, we commit up to -0.8degrees C of extra warming.”
These talks, by otherwise outstanding experts within their specific fields, document that the focus on the role of humans within the climate system, unfortunately continues to ignore assessment reports such as
National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.
but rather focuses on CO2 has the dominate culprit in causing climate change. The presentations also emphasize, in terms of the remedies proposed, that the issue is energy policy not climate policy.