Hearing on Using Technology to Address Climate Change

by Judith Curry

The House Committee on Science, Space & Technology Hearing on Using Technology to Address Climate Change is about to begin.

Date:  Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – 10:00am
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building
Website and livestream [link]
  • Mr. Oren Cass, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Mr. Ted Nordhaus, executive director, The Breakthrough Institute
  • Dr. Phil Duffy, president and executive director, Woods Hole Research Center
  • Dr. Judith Curry, president, Climate Forecast Applications Network; Professor Emerita, Georgia Institute of Technology

Most unfortunately, owing to severe weather in DC last nite, my flight was cancelled and I am unable to attend the hearing.

Here is a link to my written testimony [Curry House science testimony]

My verbal testimony:

I thank the Chairman and the Committee for the opportunity to offer testimony today.

Two overarching policy response options have been articulated in response to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. Both of these policy options exist in context of a broad and complex policy environment that involves energy, transportation, agriculture, economics, security, and land use practices.

Climate-related decisions involve incomplete information from fast-moving and irreducibly uncertain science. In responding to climate change, we need to acknowledge that we cannot know exactly how the climate will evolve in the 21stcentury, we are certain to be surprised and we will make mistakes along the way.

The focus of my testimony is on adaptation. In considering adaptation responses, it is important to recognize that there are multiple causes of climate variability and change, and that climate is just one element of the complex causes of vulnerability of human and natural systems.

Possible scenarios of incremental worsening of weather and climate extremes don’t change the fundamental storyline that the U.S. is highly vulnerable to current extreme weather and climate events.  Nearly all regions of the U.S. have an adaptation deficit relative to the current climate state and historical extreme events.

As a practical matter, adaptation has reacted to local crises associated with extreme events, emphasizing the role of ‘surprises’ in shaping responses. Pro-active adaptation raises the question of:  “Adapt to what?” Unfortunately, climate models do not provide us with the information needed to anticipate the local consequences of climate variability and change.

The challenge for climate change adaptation is to work with a broad range of information about regional vulnerabilities and climate variability, in the context of a decision-analytic framework that acknowledges deep uncertainty.

Rather than developing an optimal policy based on a negotiated scientific consensus, robust and flexible policy strategies can be designed that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.

A focus on policies that support resilience and anti-fragility avoids the uncertainties of attributing climate change to humans versus nature and avoids the hubris of thinking we can predict the future climate.

Rather than ‘bouncing back’ from extreme weather and climate events, we can ‘bounce forward’ to reduce future vulnerability by evolving our infrastructures, institutions and practices.

Sea level rise is one impact area where pro-active adaptation is justified by our scientific understanding of the direction — if not the magnitude — of future sea level change. Global mean sea level has been rising since the mid 19thcentury. There is no question that local sea levels are increasing in some coastal regions at rates that are causing damage.

However attributing sea level rise to human-caused global warming has been very challenging. In the locations that are most vulnerable to sea level rise, natural oceanic and geologic processes plus land use practices are the dominant causes of current local sea level rise problems.  Of direct relevance to the issue of climate variability and change, large-scale ocean circulations can cause regional sea level rise to exceed global values by an order of magnitude on annual to decadal time scales.

If we look at sea level rise only as a climate change problem, then we are missing key components of sea level rise that are important to decision makers.

Confronting our regional and local vulnerabilities to climate variability and change has many potential advantages, allowing for a range of bottom-up strategies to be integrated with other societal challenges. These include growing population, environmental degradation, poorly planned land-use and over-exploitation of natural resources. Even if the threat from global warming turns out to be small, near-term benefits to the region can be realized in terms of reduced vulnerability to a broad range of threats, improved resource management, and improved environmental quality.

As a climate scientist, I am concerned that climate science has focused only mitigation relevant research such as attribution of global climate change and determining the climate sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide. As a result, there has been little focus on understanding natural internal climate variability and regional climate dynamics, which is needed to inform adaptation. A new emphasis of climate science on understanding natural climate variability and its regional impacts is needed to better understand our vulnerabilities to climate variability and change in the 21stcentury.

JC reflections:  This looks like a very interesting Hearing, with witnesses that are not the ‘usual suspects.’  I may do a follow on post on any interesting topics raised by the other witnesses.



Judith Curry

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Grayzone Project 11
Pass Blue 56
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 410
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 27
Need To Know News 1681
FEE 3241
Marine Le Pen 231
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 543
Mohamed Omar 242
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 17
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 71
Vetenskapsradion Historia 117
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 177
Les Crises 1881
Richard Falk 115
Ian Sinclair 79
SpinWatch 50
Counter Currents 6318
Kafila 356
Gail Malone 33
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 93
The Duran 6551
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4811
Paul Craig Roberts 1155
News Junkie Post 44
Nomi Prins 24
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 3465
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 66
Liberty Blitzkrieg 795
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2152
21 Century Wire 2910
Burning Blogger 280
Stephen Gowans 67
David D. Friedman 128
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1465
Tom Dispatch 409
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3431
The Barnes Review 472
John Friend 366
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3108
School Sucks Project 1736
Giza Death Star 1564
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 567
GMWatch 1801
Robert Faurisson 148
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 743
Le 4ème singe 87
Jacob Cohen 197
Agora Vox 10772
Cercle Des Volontaires 417
Panamza 1646
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 720
Spy Culture 368
Conspiracy Archive 66
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 489
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 546
Independent Science News 66
The Anti Media 5573
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 259
The Mind renewed 211
Natural Society 2467
Yanis Varoufakis 814
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 65
Web of Debt 125
Porkins Policy Review 347
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 563
Libyan War Truth 280
DeadLine Live 1905
Kevin Ryan 61
Aaron Franz 186
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 111
Peter B Collins 1337
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9546
Climate Audit 220
Donna Laframboise 355
Judith Curry 1052
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1991
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 10119
Laura Wells Solutions 27
Video Rebel's Blog 411
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 17843
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2657
Northerntruthseeker 2043
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4616 Blog 2688 Original Content 6112
Corbett Report 2087
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1106
Webster Tarpley Website 940

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public