Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Land Use/Land Cover Effets On Climate Greater Than Energy Use

There are more and more articles coming out showing how the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels plays in insignificant role in global warming and climate change. This is, as Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. says, something that should be communicated to policy-makers.

Feb 06, 2008Excellent Report On Land Use/Land Cover Effects On The Climate System
By Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science
As a follow up to the NASA press release on the diagnosis of landscape changes in the eastern 2/3 of the United States that was posted on Climate Science on February 4 2008, there is an excellent slide presentation by Professor Jon Foley of the University of Wisconson at the April 2007 NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change Program meeting. Professor Foley’s slides are titled ”Planet Against the Grain”.

It includes the very important conclusions that “agriculture and land use release more greenhouse gases than any other single human activity”, “effects on physical climate often get ‘washed out’ in outdated climate metrics of radiative forcing and global mean temperature”, “global change is much more than CO2 and global warming” and “current focus on CO2/Climate Connection is very short sighted”.

The entire set of slides is very much worth seeing. Professor Foley effectively summarizes the perspective on the human role in the climate system that should be communicated to policymakers. The current emphasis on energy reductions of CO2 emissions will not have the benefit of altering the climate that is being claimed by the AGU Position Statement on “Human Impacts on Climate” where they state “The cause of disruptive climate change is tied to energy use”. This is much too narrow a perspective of how humans are altering the climate system. Read Roger’s full post here.

No comments: