Climate Science 101

Last week I was invited to speak at a conference on jobs and the environment organized by the UC Berkeley Labor Center. The main focus of the day was carbon pricing policies such as cap and trade.  But I wasn't asked to speak about offsets or the CDM. Instead I was asked to wear my climate scientist hat and present the latest scientific evidence for climate change. My presentation drew heavily from the fourth assessment report of the IPCC.

The take home message is that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal and it is very likely due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.  A new study estimates that we can pollute another 700 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050 and have a 75% chance of limiting warming to less than 2o C (3.6o F). While these may seem like good odds, would you board a bus that had a one in four chance of crashing?