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"Explaining the global warming “hiatus": models, measurements and media", Wendy Parker (Durham University)

Egenis seminar series

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date24 October 2016
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceByrne House

Egenis seminar series. Change in title and abstract. In both scientific journals and the blogosphere, there has been much discussion of a recent “hiatus” or "pause" in global warming. Climate skeptics see the hiatus as evidence that climate scientists have exaggerated the effects of greenhouse gases on climate. In the face of such criticism, climate scientists have found ways to explain the hiatus that do not require any significant revision to existing theory or models. Just as a coherent account seemed to be emerging, however, some climate scientists came to the conclusion that actually there is no hiatus to be explained(!), once appropriate corrections to the observational data are applied. This talk will discuss this unfolding hiatus episode, calling attention to some important features of explanatory practice in climate science: the centrality of computer models; the revisable nature of observational datasets; the multitude of causal factors that might be invoked in explanations; and the benefit and burden of substantial uncertainties.


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