Politics aside, there is one aspect of climate science that is irreducibly controversial: precise predictions of the future. It's a near-certainty that temperatures and sea levels will continue to rise and weather patterns will change, but at what rate, and with exactly what consequences, it's impossible to say for sure, despite the increasing sophistication of our models. It's now beyond reasonable doubt, however, that the earth is warming and that the warming is largely caused by human activity.
But even as the percentage of skeptics has risen in the body politic, among serious scientists, one by one the few remaining doubters have been persuaded by the ever-mounting evidence. In March, Richard Muller, a physics professor at UC-Berkeley and until then one of the loudest and strongest voices among the dissenters, testified before Congress that his own research, not yet published, confirmed the scientific consensus of rising temperatures. And on Oct. 21, he wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal counseling skeptics to change their minds.
In this talk at Flyleaf Books, actual scientist Jose Rial, a UNC-Chapel Hill geologist, will report on his work in Greenland and address the many issues surrounding climate change. —Marc Maximov