Climate Madness

By Keith Kloor | August 30, 2012 4:24 pm

One guy is mad as hell and the other guy is Baghdad Bob.

Such is the madness of the climate debate.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, climate politics
  • Eric Adler

    Spare us your comments based on false equivalence between George Monbiot and Marc Morano. The decline of Arctic Sea Ice is alarming, significant and will continue for many decades.

  • Leo G

    Aside from the polly bears, I really can’t understand why the Artic sea ice melt is such a catastrophe? Ice melts when warm, then water freezes when cold. Are we expecting no ice during the dark of winter (when the polly bears need it)? 

    I think it was on Dr. Curry’s blog, someone is posting sat data from 10, 8 and 2 years and showing accelerated cooling. Another chastizes him for cherry picking, the time isn’t long enough, etc. The droll reply is, but the drought in the states is long enough to prove AGW?! 

    You’re right Keith, this debate is beyond belief.

  • Leo G

    Oh, and George, Trenbreth’s quote has not been proven. According to Ryan Maui, the ACE has been dropping for the past few years. How is that circle squared?

  • Tom Fuller

    I’m nervous about ice loss in the Arctic. Hell, I’m nervous about unusual accumulation in the Antarctic. I don’t know what it means (and I don’t believe those who say they do).

    Unlike Xtreme Weather, this is the continuation of a trend, it is predicted by both theory and models, it’s happening earlier than forecast and if someone wants my opinion on the first real evidence of effects of climate change, this is it.

    And I don’t like it.

  • Mary

    You want mad as hell? Monbiot told me personally that the Rothamsted trial was not something that he’d object to.And then he wrote a character reference for an “eco warrior” who trashed that same scientific experiment? There’s gonna be shouting if we are ever in the same room at the same time. Such is the madness of the GMO debate.

  • Leo G

    Tom, could you put your worry into a descriptive post? I don’t see anything to worry over. It may be one of earth’s negative feedbacks. With less ice cover, the Arctic may just be a “chimney” to space, releasing huge amounts of energy.  

    I was watching a science program on the CBC the other night, they were trying to trace the route of the humans who came to colonize NA. An astounding discovery was made. Off the coast of Vancouver Island, sea bed samples were taken, From these samples, there was pollen eveidence that 17K years ago, that area was warmer then what the ocean could freeze at. With the level of the ocean quite a bit lower then today, it appears that the outer west coast of Canada, may have been actually ice free! 

    To me, we don’t know enough to be worried about summer iceless artics. 

  • Howard

    Eric. you couldn’t be more wrong.  The mad as hell guy example from Network is the only sane guy left and he is telling the truth.  Baghdad Bod was a lying spokesman for a totalitarian madman.  They are exact opposites, not false equals.

  • PDA

    Leo, your sang froid at the prospect of an ice free Arctic – unprecedented in the lifespan of Homo sapiens – would be awesome if it were just one man against the world. 

    It’s actually not. 

    I don’t know what it means, either, and I don’t believe those who say they do. So it’s not about who’s the more rugged individualist. We all have to live here. 

  • Tom Fuller

    Leo G, well, I’ll try, but I’ll also try to be brief.Having an ice-free summer at the North Pole is almost certainly not unprecedented. It is however unusual. It might happen (or almost happen) almost every 60 years or so as some part of a cosmic spin cycle. But it might not. And if it is in fact wholly or partially a response to climate change that is exacerbated by human emissions of greenhouse gases then for me it is a first step down a long road that will increase the misery of those in the developing world and be a very costly exercise in urban redevelopment and rural adaptation that is coming at an awkward moment.We in the richer countries will deal with it. Hell, many in the richer countries will profit from it. Climate change will actually increase the GDP of some countries, such as the U.S.But no-one’s going to like it.And as for those in the developing world, it would be one of the cruelest ironies imaginable if our consumption and consequent emissions not only moved beyond their reach but was at least partially the cause of their continued problems.

  • Leo G

    PDA, where I live I watch the process happen every year. The lake freezes in the winter and melts in the spring. No biggie. Yes the Arctic is bigger, not enclosed, etc. but I just don’t see the reason to nash our teeth.  

    Tom, if it is a portent of MMGW then that by itself will solve some of the problems you have fears of. Look at your own country. During WW2 you guys could have easily stayed on the sidelines, and a lot of your citizens were fine with that. But one thing about America, that no one can deny, When Pearl harbor got bombed, the whole country rose as one! If the arctic is responding to MMGW, do you not think that once again, your country will not see the danger and rise to lead the world again? If this is not mostly a natural cycle, then I think that we have nothing to fear, America will get going, and the cleaner technologies will be built and utilized. 

    To me it is a win/win situation, no matter how this turns.

  • andrew adams

    Leo,AIUI, the short answer is that (among other things) firstly less sea ice means that more of the energy received from the sun is absorbed by the oceans instead of being reflected back into space so having a positive feedback effect and secondly there will be an impact on atmospheric circulation which could affect weather patterns in the NH, and may be doing so already.  The longer (and much better informed) answer is here    

  • andrew adams


    AIUI, the short answer is that (among other things) firstly less sea ice means that more of the energy received from the sun is absorbed by the oceans instead of being reflected back into space so having a positive feedback effect and secondly there will be an impact on atmospheric circulation which could affect weather patterns in the NH, and may be doing so already.

    The longer (and much better informed) answer is here   

  • PDA

    The lake freezes in the winter and melts in the spring. No biggie.

  • Keith Kloor

    Mary (5)

    Monbiot is not consistent at all. On nuclear power, he positions himself as a sane voice among a sea of irrationality in the green movement. But on GMOs, he’s apparently just as irrationally fearful as those he derides on the nuclear issue.

    Eric (1)

    On the sea ice thing, it’s not that I’m downplaying that news but more poking fun at his overwrought reaction to it.

  • Nullius in Verba


    “firstly less sea ice means that more of the energy received from the sun is absorbed by the oceans instead of being reflected back into space”

    How much?The Earth’s surface area is about 510 million square kilometres. The Arctic ice extent at it’s minimum is currently around 3 million square kilometres. So we’re talking about 0.6% of the area. Also, the polar regions get about half the global average insolation due to their latitude, so we’re in the ballpark of 0.3% of the sun’s energy. It would be a bit less than that because of the effect of clouds. (Cloud over sea looks the same as cloud over ice.) Summer cloud fraction over the Arctic oceans is about 0.8, so the effect of ice cover on planetary albedo is around a fifth of what would occur with clear skies, but part of that is probably double-counted in the insolation figures I got and Arctic clouds are often thin, so we’ll be generous and go with 0.15%.

    That would shift the effective radiative temperature of the Earth about 0.1 C, give or take a factor of two.

    Reason to panic?

  • Martin

    A darker Arctic absorbs more than a whiter one when the sun shines on it, but also (if I recall my ancient physics) radiates more when it does not, and that feedback does not increase endlessly.  Melted floating (fresh water) ice causes very little rise in (salt water) sea levels. So I have to say I don’t see there being any terrible catastrophe, or even very much inconvenience to humans, from a summer-ice-free north pole. Faster, cheaper, pirate-free trade routes should be a benefit.  Neven makes some good cases for possible weather changes, but the causal chains are weak (as we have had considerable mid/long-term changes in local weather states before, independent of ice-free Arctics) As a proxy indicator of global temperature change the Arctic is  not very good as it’s a relatively small area and somewhat unusual compared to the rest of the world. And anyway, we have instruments for measuring temperatures (or a close approximation) across the globe; if we’re worried about temperature, we should be monitoring the temperature.

  • Martin

    Dammit, how do you keep paragraph breaks?!

  • Nullius in Verba


    Type the comment, then switch to html view (the blue ‘< >’ button on the toolbar) and then hit enter twice after every </p>.

  • andrew adams


    No, not in itself a reason to panic. It’s just one impact amongst several and not the most significant one in the short term.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Or for another (and much more fun!) view on the Arctic Death Spiral…

    “Thus the Met Office (and Hadley Centre within it) is party to a complete denial of what is actually happening in the Arctic with accelerated warming, precipitous decline in sea ice and ominous rise in methane emissions.”


    “We wish to hold the Met Office and its chief scientist to account for putting out scientifically unfounded and incorrect information to delude the government and public that no possible Arctic planetary emergency exists.”

    Hold to account?

    “Traditionally governments have tended to react to events rather than forestall them. But in this case we risk sliding irreversibly into ultimate climate catastrophe. We are close to a point of no return. Not to act as quickly as possible to halt the slide would be an abject failure of the most primary responsibilities of government. And, because such a catastrophe would threaten the life of every person on the planet, not to act would also be suicidal.”

    Ultimate Climate Catastrophe Suicide?

  • Joshua

    The Arctic ice (well, what there is of it left) has taken on the character of an ink blot.

    “Skeptics” see it in the shape of a last nail coffin nail for the AGW hoax. “Realists” see in it the shape of a last straw that will finally break the will of denialism.

    As for me: Everywhere I look I see inkblots.

  • grypo

    Well, the canaries are panicking.

  • Nullius in Verba


    Is that the canaries in the coal mine or the canaries in the wind farm?

  • grypo

    Don’t know really. Not sure how wind farms exist on the tropical islands. Although they may find Arctic summers a nice vacation spot sometime in the near future.

  • Leo G

    PDA @ 13 – nice way to insult me!  :) 

    I take a real physical example, on a very small scale, of what happens when an area of water freezes/melts, admit that it may not be the right example, but it is something to look at, and you send me to that wiki page. My expectation was that I was going to a counter arguement from someone who had parsed this already. But no, just a thoughtles slapdown with no backing up. 

    Well maybe this is the way some feel about the atmospheric models PDA. A not real simulation relied upon by some to forecast imminent collapse in the near, but too near, future. I think that I will stick by my physical example, and let you wander off into the realm of insults. 


  • Leo G

    Andrew @ 12 – please forgive me, but I am already late for work, (following spurious leads from PDA) I will have to look at your lead later today.  

    Thanx for taking the time to offer some substantive reasoning. 


  • Tom Scharf

    The funniest part of these articles is when they point out that the melting arctic allows the drilling season to be extended.  That is truly poking the greens with a stick. Ouch.

    Certainly this is something that should continue to be monitored and its effects explored.   A decent direct measurement of the affects of global warming.  Just make sure to be consistent with the message if the next ten years the trend does not continue, and paying attention to the oppositie side of the world and keeping that in context is also appropriate.

    I call BS on the Monboit Trenberth quote.  

    Basic theory, climate model simulations, and empirical evidence all confirm that warmer climates, owing to increased water vapor, lead to more intense precipitation events even when the total annual precipitation is reduced slightly “¦ all weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.

    Less than ten years ago they claimed both hurricane frequency and intensity would increase.  The exact opposite occurred.  Global cyclone output is at historic lows and the USA is currently in its longest streak of no CAT3 landfalls in recorded history.  6 years and counting.  They’ve been walking back this claim ever since they made it.

    Not pointing out obvious past failures while trumping up a convenient success is propaganda.

  • PDA

    Leo, you compared the loss of the Arctic icecap over years, from a max of ~14 million square kilometers to zero… to the seasonal melting of a lake. And that’s not even wrong: as the RationalWiki page explains, it’s not just that you’re

    not making a valid point in [the] discussion, but [you] don’t even seem to understand the nature of the discussion itself, or the things that need to be understood in order to participate.

    And I thought it might be more useful for to see that in its full context rather than just taking it as an obscure slam from me.

    I’m sorry that you found it insulting. There’s a difference, however, between arguing a point and making a category error that makes it really difficult for one to respond. If you had asserted “All bananas are round, therefore Madonna has no mole on her face,” I’d have been at a similar loss.

  • Nullius in Verba


    Possibly you didn’t understand the point Leo intended?

    People often operate in mental frames, in which the important issues and points being debated are implicitly agreed as part of the context. It’s a way to simplify the discussion of a complex issue, and usually people understand it’s just a subset. But when people abruptly jump out of the shared context, challenging the assumptions of the mental frame itself, debaters frequently experience a sense of dislocation – as if someone had questioned something not open to question.

    I think the point was that for most people whether the Arctic Ocean thaws fully or not is not directly relevant to their daily lives. Why should they care? And why is a frozen Arctic objectively better for them than a thawed one? As participants in the debate, we invest contended issues with importance and significance, sometimes without questioning that closely.

    The point (I thought) was that a body of water thawing completely is not inherently a catastrophe, as such. We assume that because the Arctic usually doesn’t, that if it did the fact that things have changed is a bad thing. But not all changes are bad.

    Andrew, I thought, understood the point and gave a good answer with reasons why people living far from the Arctic should care – climate feedback, and disturbance to the jet stream. We can argue about those, but they’re very much to the point.That said, somebody challenging a mental frame ought to recognise when their point has been missed. Sometimes people do intend insults, but often it’s just a misunderstanding. It’s mutual.

  • Leo G

    NIV, cheers. I was a bit offput by the final line in PDA’s wiki, “or the things that need to be understood in order to participate.” PDA, I do look at things from different angles, having no classical scientific training. But I am open to seeing others point of view. I found it insulting that instead of you either giving a valid reason as to why my example was null, or sending me to a lead, like /Andrew did, you just decided to tell me that I had no idea what it is that is going on so basically STFU. That never works in what is hopefully a cordial discussion. To me this is the rub. I do not have the experience that say Gavin has, but I am not just going to follow his word blindly. It may take a few years for me to understand the issues, but that does not render my opinion mute on the policy. The big deal lately in this war, is that the scientist’s and those on the side of God, need to get their message out to the public in an easier form to understand. Well here I am, Joe Public, educate me, don’t belittle me, cuz though you may be right, you belittle me, and I will smilingly take you, myself and everyone else down to catastrophe! Capiche? 

  • PDA

     I had no idea what it is that is going on so basically STFU.

    Not at all. At the same time, I didn’t really see an (admittedly, by you) hand-waving analogy and “I just don’t see the reason to nash our teeth” as an opener for a cordial discussion. Seemed more like you had your mind made up and weren’t really interested in putting much thought into any alternative perspectives.

    If I was mistaken, I’d be delighted to engage further if you’re open to it.

  • Leo G

    Andrew, here are my, and mine only, thoughts on your lead, thanx.

    Albedo – like men without hats, our heads heat up rapidly in the summer, but also cool down faster in the winter. May end up being niether here nor there. Will be interesting to watch this 

    Northern populations – I will have to acceed this point as I have no idea about their modern lifestyle, except that fresh produce in the north is way expensive. 

    Extreme winter conditions south of the arctic – Hmm, more land area covered in snow, for longer, further south, may actually lead to a negative feedback. if not at least if drought conditions do increase, there will be more fresh water stored and available for irrigation from the higher snow packs. 

    Jet stream – I am completely ignorant on this, no comment 

    Perma frost and calthrates – have read some articles claiming that studies are already underway in ways of capturing this energy. Supposed to be better to burn these and turn them into the less harmful form of CO2 

    Stable conditions for the last 400K to destabilization – conjecture at this point, though has some thoughtful guesses behind it. 

    Interesting post, thanx Neven and Kevin.  

  • Leo G

    PDA – as of this point in time, my mind is made up, there is nothing to worry about. But this is based upon what knowledge I have of the subject, which I admit is not a lot.  My favourite quote of all time is by Mohammed Ali, “if at the age of seventy, you are still acting and thinking like you were when you were seventeen, then your life has been wasted.” My position today is not my position of tomorrow. It cannot be if I am still learning and growing.

  • http://ifyouaer Matt B

    I think the issues raised at @15 by NIV are good ones. If most problems created by declining sea ice have the loss of albedo as their source, it would seem that ice coverage around June 21 would be the biggest concern, since at that point the north is getting sunlight 24 hours/day. By eyeballing some of the long-term sea ice extent graphs it looks like ice coverage in recent years at the summer solstice is down from the long-term average, but only by 10-15%. Add in NIV’s point about cloud cover cutting down incident sunlight even more and a case can be made that current conditions definitely promote warming, but by how much? And is it significant? Are there any good papers where they do the calculations for these types of variables? And is NIV correct in his 0.1 C deg estimate? 

  • BBD

    NIV # 29:

    The point (I thought) was that a body of water thawing completely is not inherently a catastrophe, as such. We assume that because the Arctic usually doesn’t, that if it did the fact that things have changed is a bad thing. But not all changes are bad.

    Atlas shrugged 😉

  • PDA

    Here’s what I’m getting from someone who knows more than I do about sea ice. Take it with as much salt as you feel is appropriate.

    Warmer water also releases heat and moisture to the atmosphere during fall and winter, which may deteriorate the Polar Vortex causing cold Arctic air to dip further south. This happened in the winter of 2009 – 2010, contributing to extreme weather in North America.

    A deteriorated vortex causes the jet stream to become “wavier,” and as waves become larger, they stall and cause what are referred to as blocking events: unusually prolonged weather conditions. This year’s long heatwave, drought and wildfires in the USA are one example, as is the very cool and wet early summer in Europe.

    Warmer waters would also speed up melting of the glaciers in Greenland which empty into the sea, as well as the Greenland Ice Sheet. The sea ice that would have buffered the glaciers, warming from below as well as from the warmer air. Melting will take increase sea level only slightly, but the long term effects of lost ice mass in Greenland will accumulate over time.

    Methane that is currently locked in permafrost will be released as the Arctic warms, as will methane in seabed clathrates. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, amplifying atmospheric warming and creating a positive feedback effect.

    Pretty sure all that is different than what happens when the lake in your backyard melts every spring.

  • grypo


    The results of this study add to an increasing body of both observational and modeling evidence that indicates diminishing Arctic sea ice plays a critical role in driving recent cold and snowy winters over large parts of North America, Europe, and east Asia. The relationships documented here illustrate that the rapid loss of sea ice in summer and delayed recovery of sea ice in autumn
    modulates not only winter mean statistics (i.e., snow cover and temperature) but also the frequency of occurrence of weather events (i.e., cold air outbreaks). While natural chaotic variability
    remains a component of midlatitude atmospheric variability, recent loss of Arctic sea ice, with its signature on midlatitude atmospheric circulation, may load the dice in favor of snowier conditions in large parts of northern midlatitudes. The relationships elucidated here can be also of practical use in seasonal forecasting of snow and temperature anomalies over northern continents
    and assessing the potential risk of such events. If the decline of Arctic sea ice continues as anticipated by climate modeling results (31, 32), we speculate that episodes of the aforementioned
    circulation change will become more frequent, along with more persistent snowstorms over northern continents during winter. Year-to-year variations in autumnal sea ice area may provide a useful predictor of wintertime snowfall in these regions. Better understanding of interactions between the diminishing Arctic sea ice and dominant modes of climate variability (i.e., NAO/AO, El Niño) and natural chaotic variability of the general circulation is a fertile area for further research, given the potential to improve seasonal forecasts.

    2012 Jiping Liu, Judith A. Curry, Huijun Wang, Mirong Song, and Radley M. Horton

  • Nullius in Verba


    “A deteriorated vortex causes the jet stream to become “wavier,” and as waves become larger, they stall and cause what are referred to as blocking events: unusually prolonged weather conditions.”

    That’s a reference to the effect the ‘Arctic Oscillation’ or ‘zonal index’ has on the behaviour of Rossby waves. These are waves that occur in the boundary of the convection cells, and are due to Coriolis forces and the conservation of a quantity called ‘vorticity’ (essentially, angular momentum). The size of the waves varies in what is known as the ‘index cycle’ from zonal flow, where the convection cell boundary is smooth and there’s not much mixing between latitudes, to meridional flow, where the boundary is wavy and big lumps of warm/cold air move across latitudes.

    Since around 1990 the Arctic Oscillation has predominantly been in its positive mode, but over the last couple of years there have been some strong negative zonal indexes, leading to disturbed weather. However, the general pattern has long been recognised, and blocking highs are not particularly unusual.

    The claim has some plausibility to it – high pressure at the pole constitutes a negative index, and high pressure is caused by localised warm weather. It depends on temperature differences, so overall warming wouldn’t affect it, but if the poles warm more than the rest of the world, there would be a tendency in that direction. However, the temperature differences that drive weather systems are much bigger than the projected magnitude of global warming (at least under the more moderate IPCC-based scenarios) so it’s unlikely to be a noticeable change.

    Under some scenarios, Arctic warming would be bigger and the issue would be more of a concern. e.g. “In 10 years, i.e. by 2022, PIOMAS volume data suggests that the Arctic Ocean will be essentially free of ice for 6 months of the year, and the Arctic will then be warming at about 4 degrees per decade. The Arctic temperature will be 5 or 6 degrees hotter than today. The disruptive effect on Northern Hemisphere weather systems will be traumatic, leading to severe food shortages for all and starvation for millions if not billions of people.” But not even the IPCC are willing to stick their necks out to that extent. Ten years is not such a long time, and people are bound to remember claims like that.

    “Warmer waters would also speed up melting of the glaciers in Greenland which empty into the sea, as well as the Greenland Ice Sheet.”

    In some specialised local circumstances it might do, but this isn’t a general effect. The rate of flow of glaciers is not limited by the backward resistance at the outlet – ice floating on water offers little in the way of friction. And the Greenland ice sheet is on land and 3 km thick. How will warmer water affect it?

    “Methane that is currently locked in permafrost will be released as the Arctic warms, as will methane in seabed clathrates.”

    Indeed – the methane has been bubbling out of the seabed for the past 8,000 years since the end of the last ice age. But heat conducts through the sea bed mud very slowly, and increasingly slowly with depth. The depth to which a surface temperature change extends increases with the square root of time, and after thousands of years the ice-front is now tens of metres down. It will take a considerable length of time for the wave of modern warming to catch up to it.

    That’s not to say that I am confident that melting all the Arctic sea ice would have no bad consequences. I’m just saying that we can’t just assume it, and we have to examine any claimed consequences carefully to see if they make sense. While I wouldn’t take the comparison with a frozen lake too seriously, it’s reasonable to ask the question.

  • Andy

    It’s a bit ironic that Baghdad Bob was misunderstood.  We now know thanks to post-war interviews that most of the crazy things he said were “facts” the regime actually believed.  Over the years of Saddam’s brutal rule, the upper echelons of Saddam’s government became insulated from reality thanks to a system that rewarded bad news with punishment or death. People at all levels of government sought to hide failure and the perception of failure for the senior leadership. Even Saddam’s sons routinely lied to their father and worked to cover up their own failures.So when the allied forces advanced north toward Baghdad, the information flow from tactical units to Saddam’s inner circle, to include “Baghdad Bob,” became completely divorced from reality as it moved up the chain.  The bubble surrounding the inner circle didn’t pop until US tanks were roaming the streets of Baghdad and parking in front of Saddam’s palaces.Anyway, just a small tangent of what is now history.

  • Eli Rabett

    Hornet, nest, stick and so forth.While it is accepted practice to try and figure out how a system reacts to change in order to better understand it, doing so while you are in the test tube is not a cool idea.

  • Nullius in Verba


    Does the same apply to the fossil fuel economy?

  • hr

    #4 Tom Fuller Says:  “it is predicted by both theory and models, it’s happening earlier than forecast “It can’t be both well predicted and happening at a rate different to forecast. Don’t get seduced by theory predicting the correct sign the reality is the theory and models must be wrong. In what way they are wrong I’d like to know.

  • hr

    #4 Tom Fuller Says:  “it is predicted by both theory and models, it’s happening earlier than forecast ”

    It can’t be both well predicted and happening at a rate different to forecast. Don’t get seduced by theory predicting the correct sign the reality is the theory and models must be wrong. In what way they are wrong I’d like to know. 

    (hoping for paragraphs)

  • Eli Rabett

    In #41 there is a confusion between a construct of the last 100 years and the Earth.  Hint:  There have been major changes in the fossil fuel extraction, use and cost over very short periods.We are now at such a point where choices are being made willy nilly between natural gas, tar sands and coal, let alone non fossil energy sources such as nuclear, solar and wind (hydro is about maxed out).  On what basis should those choices be made is the question, not whether there will be large changes in energy sources over the next twenty years.In making such choices, experience shows that the market, with a time horizon of maybe 5 years, sucks.

  • Nullius in Verba


    Sounds like you’re talking about the economic weather, there.

    Has experience shown that centralised government interference in the economy, with its time horizon firmly set to populist fashions and the election cycle, has done any better?

    Only dictators-for-life take the political long view.


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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