Climate Change by three numbers

Dear Editor,

President Donald J. Trump has fulfilled another one of his campaign promises. He has announced that the US will not participate in the Paris Climate Accord. This is the best thing he has done so far in his presidency. Most people have no idea what the Paris Climate Accord is even about. It has very little to do with climate so the name of the Accord is very misleading to start with. The Paris Climate Accord is all about the distribution of money.

The more information you have about climate change the more you will be able to understand it intellectually and not ideologically or psychologically. In other words, think with your brain and not with your heart. There are just three numbers that you have to understand in order to assess what is really happening with climate. Those three numbers were defined in a report, Climate Change by Numbers from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by actual mathematicians, not climate scientist. Instead of following the money, we really should be following the clarity of numbers.

The first number is 0.85 degrees: That is the homogenized temperature increase since 1880 when actual water temperatures were first taken by merchant ships sailing the oceans. I won’t bore you with the details but the numbers were very erratic because of the differing way of collection. Also, not all grid squares of the earth surface were represented. Today’s numbers are very accurate using super computers and satellite data, but everything prior had to be homogenized for the prediction models to make sense.

The second number is 95% certainty: Most ‘scientist’ agrees that climate change is the result of ‘cause and effect’. Over the last 60 years 50% of warming has been caused by humans determined by an IPCC attribution study. What that means is; factors (natural or human) will cause an effect. The sun itself is the primary factor. Another factor is CO2. The factors are plugged into the mathematical formula and differing factors will provide different results. The models from the formulas are constantly changing with new data gathering techniques. Interestingly, the mathematicians completely ignored the benefit factors in their equations. If the benefit factor were included the certainty would reverse itself to 5%.

The third number is 1 trillion tons: It is IPCC’s best estimate of how much carbon we can burn before running the risk of a 2 degree increase in earth temperature. We have already burned one half trillion tons since the beginning of the industrial era. At current rates, IPCC estimates we only have 30 years left to reach 1 trillion. The 1 trillion is a prediction base on statistics, probability, repetitions and incentives. A system called the Monty Carlo (card games) has made climate modeling more probable but it can not tell us what the future holds.

 

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