A new report by Stanford University scientists finds that the earth is warming ten times faster than it has at any time since the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. If the current pace of greenhouse gas emissions continues, the researchers say, temperatures in North America, Europe and much of Asia could increase 4 degrees by 2050 and 9 degrees by the end of the century.

(Ken Slade/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/texaseagle/6450000391/sizes/z/in/photostream/)
Climate change will increase extreme weather events like the Texas drought. (Ken Slade/Flickr)

Extreme weather events, including heat waves and heavy rainfall, are expected to become more severe and more frequent. Although we can’t stop some of the changes from happening, the researchers say how different the climate looks by 2100 will depend a lot on how we respond.

The work, a comprehensive study of climate models by scientists at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment, was published in the journal Science.

  • Karl W. Braun
    • Russell_Frege

      Those of us who are not experts need to assess the credibility of expert testimony. With that in mind, it is noteworthy that this Stanford research was published in a leading journal, while the link you provide is to an article in a much lower prestige journal with less difficult peer review standards. With that in mind, the analysis of Meteostat data provided in the link you give has some potential problems. I found a PDF of the article and there are a few things that I found fishy about what measurements they used and how they analyzed the data. Not being an expert, however, I’ll wait to see what response the climate science community gives to the paper, which no doubt will be forthcoming since the link you provide is making the rounds on websites devoted to denying human influence on the climate.

      • Karl W. Braun

        The article I linked to was just an example I happened to have at hand to illustrate that the science on this subject is indeed far from being “settled”. There are many other such examples, which should be expected on an issue as complex as this. On the matter of what constitutes a “leading” journal and the standard of “peer review”, I say, who are we to judge on that? Argumentum ad verecundiam has absolutely no place at all in scientific discourse, rather it is the weight of evidence presented that is truly the deciding factor. And by this measure, though I’m not necessarily an “expert” either, I also found a number of questionable assumptions and conclusions contained within the Stanford paper as well. I do not consider myself either as a “warmist” or a “denier”, but as merely someone who is curious enough to go beyond the claims, to a deeper understanding.

        • Russell_Frege

          The article you linked to is not in a reputable journal, yet you cited it as on par with a publication in Science. It’s not for me or you to judge what’s a reputable journal. It’s for experts in the field. I would say that I understand the science pretty well for a non-expert but at some point one reaches one’s limit and has to make a judgement about the reliability of the scientific consensus itself. I believe it is reliable. Others have asserted some degree of conspiracy to explain the consensus. Well, I grew up sort of a space nerd and I just have a hard time believing organizations like NASA are in on some vast scientific hoax:

          For one to individually judge the entire weight of the evidence would require a massive effort of obtaining the necessary training and engaging directly in a total review of the literature. That’s crazy. Even within a scientific field there is necessarily specialization because no one can know it all. Your view is based on a very naive social epistemology. We all have to make informed judgements about the reliability of sources. I’ll take the top academics publishing in Science or the consensus view as reported by NASA over something in some third rate journal that none of the top experts publish in.


Andrea Kissack

Andrea has nearly three decades of experience working as a reporter, anchor, producer and editor for public radio, large market television news and CBS radio. In her current role as KQED’s Sr. Science Editor, Andrea helps lead a talented team covering science, technology, health and the environment for broadcast and digital platforms. Most recently she helped KQED launch a new, multimedia initiative covering the intersection of technology, health and medical science. She has earned a number of accolades for her work including awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Associated Press. Her work can be seen, and heard, on a number of networks, Including NPR, PBS, CBS and the BBC.

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