Climate feedback confusion leads to “don’t panic” video
There’s currently a video called “Don’t panic: flaws in catastrophic global warming forecasts” circulating amongst the policy community. That’s according to Ray Bates of University College Dublin, Ireland, speaking at the Vilhelm Bjerknes medal lecture at the European Geosciences Union meeting. The video explains that whereas most scientists assume that an unknown but stable system is dominated by negative feedback, climate scientists are an exception - they assume that the climate is dominated by positive feedbacks. As a result of this the video reckons there’s no need to worry about climate change.
Bates reckons that this confusion hasn’t been helped by the fact that climate scientists aren’t always clear in their definition of what they mean by feedback. In fact, there are at least six different definitions of feedback and, depending on the definition used, the feedback in some systems may be either positive or negative.
“I believe there is an urgent need for us as climate scientists to agree on an accepted set of definitions for climate feedback,” said Bates. “That will make it easier both for ourselves and for others outside to read our literature.”
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