Climate Feedback Loops

Following up on Debunking Deniers of Climate Change (which is excellent, watch the video if you haven’t done so yet), a new study considers the difficulties involved with making predictions about current climate change based on historical models. And there’s the possibility of feedback loops making a bad situation worse:

An alternative is that there are additional feedbacks lurking in the system. Small temperature increases do things like melt reflective ice and put more water vapor (another greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere; as a result, they have a larger impact than might be expected. We’ve already got a number of major feedback loops incorporated into our climate sensitivity number, but there is the chance that there are other significant ones out there that we don’t know about, in which case our climate sensitivity number is too low. This is a rather worrying prospect, since it would mean that future temperature increases might be much larger than the current pessimistic projections.

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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