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[Global Change: 3791] The Poster Boy of Global Warming Parameters


Tom Adams May 13, 2010 6:43 AM
Posted in group: globalchange
I guess the AGW hypothesis implies that the energy of Earth system is
relentlessly increasing.

It might be nice to have a measurable proxy parameter for that energy
that is relentlessly increasing year after year.

Such a parameter could become like the Dow Jones Industrial Average of
AGW, it might be more convincing to the general public to focus
attention on a relentlessly increasing parameter.

The thermal expansion of the oceans might be a suitable parameter of
this sort.

I have the impression that denying or explaining away of the thermal
expansion of the oceans is difficult, but I am not sure about this.  I
don't want to underestimate the creativity or PR prowess of the
deniers.

The general characteristics of this parameter:

1.  Captures a good bit of the Earth's AGW-induced energy increase
relatively quickly

2.  Easy to explain to the public and hard to deny or explain away.

3.  Increases relentlessly year over year (assuming a big volcano or
something does not cause a temporary halt to warming, if that is
possible.)

Of course, there are a lot of ocean-related parameters of interest
(runoff, ice extent, sea-level rise).  To paraphrase James Carville:

"It's the oceans, stupid"

Coined from Carville's "It's the economy, stupid":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It's_the_economy,_stupid

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