Union of the Atomic Scientist's view of California fires and global warming


Forum Staff
Apr 2013
La La Land North
First a bit of history as a neat intro to the meat of the report:

First, some rhetorical context: about 2,000 years ago, the great Jewish leader Hillel gave a fine example of brevity in teaching. Hillel was confronted by a skeptic who wanted an explanation of the five books of the Torah. The analyses of these books are long. The skeptic, however, demanded a statement so brief that it could be spoken while standing on one foot. Hillel lifted a foot and said: “Treat others as you would wish them to treat you. That is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. Now go and study.”
Now to the main message:

I am certainly not Hillel, science is obviously not religion, and the IPCC reports are not the Torah. But I think the essence of this IPCC report can be summarized in 12 succinct points. Here they are:

  1. It’s warming.
  2. It’s us.
  3. It hasn’t stopped.
  4. The heat is mainly in the sea.
  5. Sea level is rising.
  6. Ice is shrinking.
  7. Carbon dioxide makes oceans more acidic.
  8. Carbon dioxide in the air is up 45 percent since the 1800s.
  9. It’s now the highest in millions of years.
  10. Cumulative emissions set the warming.
  11. Reducing emissions limits the warming.
  12. Climate change will last for centuries.
Just 12 points. Only 60 words. You can easily speak them while standing on one foot.
Further details and links at Are the California wildfires and climate change linked? - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists