Roger Davies is Professor of Climate Physics at the University of Auckland. For over 40 years he has worked (and still is working) on NASA satellite projects observing clouds from Space. He has taught climate physics to a large number of students at Universities in the States, Canada and New Zealand.
This talk will start with an objective overview of climate change and where it appears to be heading. The goal will be to demystify the science behind climate change by answering the following questions:
- What do know for sure? Agreed to by most or all climate scientists.
- What is plausible but not proven? … but just as hard to disprove.
- What is best-guess speculation? This is where the scientific discussion gets most heated.
I’ll also tell you a little about unresolved climate science dilemmas that I find interesting: Clouds (my specialty). All clouds reflect solar radiation (cooling) but high clouds are a powerful greenhouse component (warming). Which effect will win?
- Past climates. Sea level was 4 to 7 m higher in the recent past (when carbon dioxide was far less). Should we ignore this?
- Chaos. What about natural variability and how is this affected by chaos? Should we ignore this too?
The second part of the talk will look to the future and introduce the latest buzz word: NET. This is potentially where forests (but perhaps not birds) may be important.