SWISS CAMP, Greenland Ice Cap, June 6 (Reuters) – Dr. Konrad Steffen interview

June 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Arctic, Climate change, Glaciers, Greenland, IPCC, Ocean levels, Sea levels | Leave a comment

Q: How do you view the media coverage of climate change?
A: One disappointment I would raise is if you look at the understanding of climate change by scientists — let’s be generous — 95 percent of scientists say we understand the process and we are convinced there is global warming. The media reports it, like a lot of other stories, as 50-50. They want to always show the other side. That’s good, but I’m disappointed that the media does not reflect that there is a 95-5 percent discussion. It sounds like it’s 50-50. The public reads this and they can’t make up their mind usually.

Worth reading the entire interview that was released today:

INTERVIEW-Global warming and the melting of Greenland
06 Jun 2007 13:05:28 GMT
Source: Reuters

Here’s another qoute from that interview, especially for my readers in California:

Q: Short of the conveyor belt stopping, what could reverse the warming in Greenland?

A: We had a similar warming in Greenland in the 1930s. It took about two and a half decades to get that warm, but the temperatures were almost identical as they are now. But this was a local warming around Greenland. Right now we have warming all the way down to the mid-latitudes.

How could it be reversed? That’s a hard question, because if you put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere it takes a very long time to take them out. We have never had such a high carbon dioxide level in the past 500,000 years.

We cannot take CO2 out of the atmosphere, not in the amount that’s currently there. It is self-regulating, yes. CO2 is taken out and put into the ocean, but it’s a very slow process. If we actually start now, changing our emissions through better fuel consumption or better insulation, everything helps in that way.

We know California has grown its industry and population but its CO2 output has decreased in the last 15 years. It is possible to have an increase of the economy and population and decrease your output. Only that would help in the longer term. But the warming will continue even if we turn off all the engines today because of the memory effect in the atmosphere. It takes quite a long time.

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