WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Challenging climate scientists with questions

Posted March 25, 2015

This past Monday while in Boulder I had the rare opportunity to sit down with two of the leading climate scientists in the world – Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Dr. Pieter Tans at NOAA's Earth System Research Lab.

Loveland Pass O'Fishel Quest: In search of the science behind climate change

In order to be true to the scientific method, I didn't lob softballs their way, but fired many questions at them relating to counter-arguments that others have made about their positions on climate change.

I asked Trenberth about the 17-year pause in the warming, globally speaking. His response was that natural variability didn't disappear. If you look at the temperature record over the past 100 years, the warming has not been linear (straight) but more like a stair step. Based on recent data, he says this most recent stair may be about to transform into the next step.

I asked Tans if he was willing to be wrong. He told me that if he discovered something that proved everybody wrong, he would most certainly do it, as a Nobel Prize would probably be waiting!

I'll share more in the coming weeks, but I thought those were good places to start.

19 Comments

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  • Sam Nada Mar 26, 2015
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    Your assertion is utterly false.

    http://pmm.nasa.gov/education/articles/whats-name-global-warming-vs-climate-change

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-global-warming.htm

  • Phil Larson Mar 26, 2015
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    So true.

  • Andi Rueny Mar 26, 2015
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    what was once "Global warming" is now "climate change". Why? Because the first could not be proven.

  • Paul Stroud Mar 26, 2015
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    @Clovis Sangril [needs citation]

  • Clovis Sangrail Mar 25, 2015
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    Who has been caught fabricating quotes and then saying "Trust me" and "you cant prove they dont exist"- AWG cheerleader Niel Degrass Tyson.

    Who has been busted faking experiments to "prove" Atmospheric warming? Science Dude Bill Nye.

    What Drowning Polar Bear Huckster had his wife serve as peer review for his articles? Charles Monnett.

    What well know science dude wants to punish people holding opposing theories- Al Gore.

  • Sam Nada Mar 25, 2015
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    One characteristic of the right is to accuse others of their own faults. Climate science is SCIENCE. Of the two parties which one is known as anti-science? Which one has attempted to force changes in the teaching of evolution to include non-science "intelligent design"? Which party wants to defund climate science? Here's a hint:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/10/423052/congressman-says-defunding-climate-science-is-a-priority-for-gop/

    War on science? Yep, GOP:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/04/national_science_foundation_and_tom_coburn_the_republican_effort_to_cut.html

    Which party has appointed a science denier who quotes the Bible to "refute" climate change as the chairman of the Senate committee on environment? You get 1 guess.

    Which GOP governor has banned the use of the term "climate change" by government officials? Rick Scott (R), Florida.

    The list goes on and on...

  • Anthony Snark Mar 25, 2015
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    You have that completely backwards. The left relies on science. The right is politicizing it.

  • Buford Justice Mar 25, 2015
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    Climate science has been so politicized by the Left that almost anything coming out of that field must be heavliy scrutinized for bias.

  • Sam Nada Mar 25, 2015
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    You're embarrassing yourself. Your post is nearly incoherent. 100 scientists? And how many qualified actual climate scientists have stated unequivocally that global warming and the resulting climate change is in fact being caused by human activity? If you actually want to know what scientists say about global warming and climate change read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    You are getting your information from the wrong sources, and the consequences of being misinformed on this issue are dire. Please educate yourself.

  • Eric Peters Mar 25, 2015
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    This is not a political issue. It is about scientific fact, and the vast majority--well over 90%--of climate scientists are certain that global warming exists and is man made. Those who invoke politics are deflecting the argument away from the core facts, which are firmly established.

    I'm sure that Greg Fishel is not skeptical about global warming, but, like any good journalist, he leaves behind his personal views when reporting a story. He was feeding this scientist questions from the skeptics, not from his own viewpoint.

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