Probably the greatest missing element in the public discourse about climate change (to characterize the current rancorous political debate with a more benign phrase) is error bars. Too much of the public expects scientific projections of sea level to be well-defined, but climate scientists know that best estimates reported in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are likely to be much too low because they neglect “dynamic melting” of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
What do you know about global warming? Can you tell FACT from SCIENCE FICTION? Want a free “Got Science?” sticker?
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
by Steven Johnson
(Riverhead, October 2010, $26.95, 336 pages)
Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz
I recently had a letter published in Physics Today, taking issue with another reader who wrote that “pronouncements concerning global warming issued by the Royal Society and the American Physical Society in 2007 indicate that some societies appear set on usurping science.”