The Ever-Changing Science of Global Warming

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Speaking of science, Brad Plumer points out today that scientists do change their minds from time to time. That’s science! And they’ve been changing their collective minds on global warming recently too:

Much of the climate science that’s been published since 2007 appears to have strengthened the consensus, not weakened it. A report published last May by Britain’s Met Office, looking at more than 100 peer-reviewed post-IPCC studies, found that the case for human influence has been bolstered: “We can say with a very high significance level that the effects we see in the climate cannot be attributed to any other forcings.”

Similarly, at last year’s annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, UC Santa Barbara’s William Freudenberg gave a presentation finding that, “New scientific findings are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected.” ”

Anyone who reads this blog regularly already knows this, but as climate models have gotten better the consensus estimates of future warming have been going up, not down. A rise of 2°C over the next century is now a certainty, 4°C is pretty likely, and 6°C is hardly out of the question. And anyone who thinks 6°C isn’t something to at least consider insuring against just isn’t paying attention.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate