The heat streak goes on: NASA finds that last month was the warmest September on record

By Tom Yulsman | October 17, 2016 11:33 am

With that in mind, I have an urgent request for Chris Wallace, moderator of the next debate: please ask Donald Trump about climate change

warmest

In this temperature anomaly map, yellow, orange and red colors show regions of the world that were warmer than the long-term average in September. (Source: NASA GISS)

Although it is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity, climate change has barely figured in the past two presidential debates. Now, we have news that by all rights should finally prompt at least one question on the subject at the third and last debate, scheduled for this coming Wednesday:

This past month was the warmest September in a record dating back to 1880, according to data just released by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The globe was .91 degrees C, or 1.638 degrees F, warmer than the long-term average for September.

That means 11 of the past 12 months have been the warmest on record, by NASA’s reckoning. (June 2016 was second to June of 2015 as warmest for that month.)

And there is almost no doubt that 2016 will go down as the warmest year on record:

The prediction, offered today on Twitter by Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA GISS, suggests that warming for all of 2016 could come uncomfortably close to the 1.5 degrees C above preindustrial times that the Paris climate accord is supposed to help us avoid. (The accord, by the way, went into force just this past Oct. 4.)

Wednesday’s debate is the last time that we will be able to hear Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump discuss climate change in a forum together. It’s particularly important to ask Trump about his views. That’s because he has said he would “cancel” the Paris agreement. He has also called climate change a “hoax,” and argued that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

SEE ALSO: The trail of post-debate, fact-checking breadcrumbs reveals multiple falsehoods put forward by Donald Trump

This flies in the face of science, as well as a robust consensus among climate scientists.

In September, for example, 376 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates, published an open letter describing the serious risks they perceived from climate change. The letter also warns of severe, long-lasting consequences if the United States were to opt out of the Paris agreement.

This was just the latest expression of a robust scientific consensus on climate change. Last May, a survey provided additional evidence of the strength of that consensus.

The authors, Dennis Bran and Hans von Storch, used a standard survey response format in which respondents answer questions based on a scale of 1 to 7. On this scale, 4 can be seen as indicative of ambivalence, whereas 7 generally means “very much.” Here are highlights:

In the survey, 96.7 percent of respondents said they were convinced that climate change is occurring now. (This was the percentage of respondents who answered 5 or above.) Nearly 80 percent of those answering this question chose ‘7’, meaning they were “very much convinced.”

Moreover, an overwhelming majority of the climate scientists surveyed indicated that human activities are implicated in climate change: 87.35 percent said they were convinced that “most of recent or near future climate change is, or will be, the result of anthropogenic causes”. Three quarters of respondents answered ‘6’ or ‘7’, with the latter number again meaning “very much convinced.”

Just how much of a threat does climate change pose in the view of these experts? Nearly 86 percent of respondents said they were convinced that “climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity.”

With this in mind, I have a question that I’d Chris Wallace, Wednesday night’s debate moderator, to pose to Donald Trump. Here it is:

Mr. Trump, the science is very clear: The globe is warming. And this is already causing changes to the climate, right now — including sea level rise, an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, and a rise in some other kinds extreme weather events, including heavy rainfall episodes. Research also shows that emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning are largely to blame. Moreover, this isn’t just the view of a handful of researchers. Recent research shows it is the consensus view of literally hundreds of climate scientists around the world.

With this in mind, why have you not accepted the scientific evidence, and the overwhelming consensus among climate experts, that climate change is real, mostly human-caused, and a threat to all people on the planet?

I don’t have high hopes that Wallace will pose any question like this — because of how he says he views his role: “Basically, you’re there as a timekeeper, but you’re not a participant.”

But he also says that his job is to “make sure that they engage in the most interesting and fairest way possible.” And that does give me at least a sliver of hope that he’ll do his job as a journalist and ask a question that is of great interest to billions of people around the world.

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  • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

    Over at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog there is a video illustrating the decline in Arctic sea ice volumes since the beginning of the satellite age. The numbers come from PIOMAS a computer model:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2016/10/arctic-sea-ice-minimum-volume-1979-2016-.html

    For those interested in how these numbers compare to other ways of measuring sea ice volume, Neven, the blog writer points, in the comments, to this paper:

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/9/713/htm

    • Tom Yulsman

      Many thanks for this! You are anticipating a post that I hope to write tonight or tomorrow. (The only thing standing in my way is my day job…)

      • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

        I’m looking forward to your next post!

  • John C

    As far as prioritizing threats goes, I think that Global Islamic Terror Denial is a lot worse than AGW Denial. Yes, and in the long term especially.

    • Chris Crawford

      You’re way off topic, and so I’ll compound the problem by reminding you that total costs imposed by terrorism on the USA amount to less than 5,000 deaths and about $300 billion. However, our overreaction to terrorism has cost us about 5,000 deaths, more than 20,000 incapacitated men, and about $2 trillion. The greatest threat, then, is our being terrorized by the terrorists — which is exactly what they want.

      • John C

        Yes, they’re just a JV team, as we keep getting reminded. And when Iran is armed with nuclear weapons they’ll just be a JV team with a nuclear arsenal and ballistic missle capability facing off a thermonuclear armed Israel. So, what’s the problem? More people do in fact die from slipping in the shower, as our philosopher king has opined.

        The general public has been harangued about the impending catastrophy of global warming for 30 years and still place it at the bottom end of the list of pressing priorities:

        Economy and jobs 37%

        Health care 13%

        Terrorism 12%

        Foreign policy 9%

        Immigration 9%

        Climate change 6%

        Taxes 3%

        Unsure/No answer 4%

        So, yeah, most of us think there are more important things to address our attention to.

        • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

          I’m not sure it’s really true that the general public has been “harangued” about global warming for 30 years.

          But I can only speak from my personal experience of obtaining my science education in the 80’s and then working in science since then. For me, global warming started really breaking through all the other information I have competing for my attention and coming onto my radar screen early this decade.

          Politicians are a separate group and certainly since Hansen’s congressional testimony in 1988, AGW has had some governmental attention. (I am assuming this is your basic starting point for the 30 years.)

          But among the general public, I would bet the vast majority of Americans didn’t even know his testimony took place. For those that did, it was probably swept from their memory the next day.

          But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the average American does indeed feel that for 30 years, they’ve been fed endless information on AGW.

          • John C

            They probably thought he had something to do with the Muppets. AGW has been taught as a central scientific topic in schools at all levels since the 80’s. Also covered as a hot topic in the places most people get their news, like Good Morning America and The View between corn bread recipes and Jennifer Anniston updates. Not to mention politicians who have made it a standard part of their vaudeville routine.
            Maybe haranguing is the wrong word, it’s actually more like the same Bible pounding sermon endlessly repeated – We have sinned against the Environment, We must atone for our sins by changing our evil ways, if we do this, that and the other thing we will regain the Environment’s grace and be Redeemed, if not we are Doomed, BTW anyone who doesn’t believe this is a Heretic (denier / skeptic, same thing).
            As I said, the climate is warming to some degree, probably as part of a natural cycle catalyzed by human activity to an extent we’re not exactly clear on. It will present some problems (and maybe inadvertent benefits in crop growth and reforestation in some geographic areas) the specifics of which we clearly do not have any idea of, any more than guessing what the stock market will look like in 100 years. That said, the majority of people, me included, focus the majority of our attention on more clear and immediate concerns that will impact our lives, country and the human race as a whole.

          • Chris Crawford

            “AGW has been taught as a central scientific topic in schools at all levels since the 80’s.”

            Ah, now we see your connection to Mr. Trump: you also like to fabricate your facts. You wouldn’t happen to have any evidence to support that claim, would you?

            You object to the attempts to educate the public about AGW, yet you also claim that the public doesn’t care about AGW. So are you saying that the attempts are widespread but ineffective? How is it that a supposedly universal campaign has failed to affect the public? Is the evil mainstream media losing its touch?

            Meanwhile, you say nothing of the gigantic efforts by deniers like yourself to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Just look at any discussion board like this one: the deniers are everywhere. They’re not very good; I’ve never encountered a denier who understands the basics of science at the undergraduate level.

            Your final paragraph serves to demonstrate just how little you know about AGW.

        • Chris Crawford

          So you have no evidence to counter my point; all you can offer is speculation. Good.

          And pointing out that the general public fails to grasp what the science shows us does nothing to refute the power of the scientific arguments.

          It would seem, therefore, that you have acceded to my points.

  • OWilson

    The “Paris Accord”, is just another political statement of intentions that carries no enforcement regimen, or penalties for non compliance. Most of these politicians will be out of office, or dead, the next time someone checks up on the actual results.

    The United Nations issues these statements of condemnation on a regular basis, about Nuclear Proliferation, War, Terrorism, Corruption, Human Rights, but they are powerless to effect any change.

    Like Bill Clinton’s deal with North Korea in 1996 to keep them from developing nuclear weapons, sounded good at the time, in fact they used the same feel good language to boast about the same deal with Iran. (Google is your friend)

    The politicians were literally fiddling with policy while Paris was burning from an existential threat to the world.(143 dead, and counting)

    The Greatest World Scientific Collaboration, IPCC FAR 1990 predicted two main outcomes, global temperatures and the “primary” cause, increasing levels of anthropogenic C02.

    Since 1990, C02 levels have increased, but the temperatures as measured by satellite, are far less than predicted in that report. What was sold as “settled science, and had a 97% “consensus”, was simply wrong.

    Since then we had had Hansen’s Tipping Point come and go, we have had Al Gore’s Tipping point come and go, John Kerry’s Tipping Point come and go, and the dire Doomsday scenarios are still being flogged relentlessly, by a small percentage of the population 7% (PEW). who believe that AGW is a major concern.

    Most folks are tired of the failed models, failed predictions, failed Tipping Points, the extreme hype, and have mentally tuned out.

    Crying wolf too often always has this effect.

    Bottom line. The temperature anomaly as measured by the satellite record (not ancient tree rings, ice cores, ancient steamship engine intake records from 1890) over the last 37 years is 0.44 degrees.

    Projected forward, with NO hiatus, would give us an anomaly of 0.40 by 2050, and 1 degree by 2100.

    All forecasters come out with newer “models” all the time. Nate Silver of Five/Thirty Eight is the current darling, but he gave Trump a 10% chance of becoming the GOP Nominee :)

    His latest “model” has Trump somewhat higher and by election day is “models” will be right on!

    Yes Virginia, models do improve just by adding a little “reality”, but as someone said predicting is hard, especially about the future.

    Let’s get it right for this weekend first,

    Will it rain for the tailgate? :)

    (We’ll leave the worry about the weather in 2100, to those suckers who will be saddled with an out of control National Debt, long after y’all are dead! :)

    • Chris Crawford

      Why do you deniers even bother writing up your ridiculous blatherskite? It’s all easily refuted by reference to the scientific literature. Have you even read any of it? Have you read IPCC AR5 WG1? If not, how can you claim to have an informed opinion on the matter?

      • OWilson

        Ah, the name calling appears on cue!

        Can Mikey be far behind? :)

        • Chris Crawford

          I’ll take that as an admission that you have not read the scientific literature on the subject. Ergo, your opinion on the matter is uninformed.

          • OWilson

            Ah, and here’s Mikey, on cue as usual with the “me too” approval of left wing name calling, but, as usual, nothing on topic to add to the discussion.

            Predictable knee jerk stuff of the Left!

          • Chris Crawford

            OK, so you are confirming that you haven’t read any of the scientific literature. You are proudly ignorant.
            If you have any questions about climate science, I’ll be happy to explain it to you.

          • Mike Richardson

            Oh, I can do better than that. Though, Chris did not actually call you names, but simply point out that your information was not good. Making you — what’s that term you love so much — oh yes, a “low information voter.” Yeah, if you presented a well supported argument, instead of some exercise in circular rhetoric, you could maybe hold the high ground here. But instead, you apparently find it more important to note that I agree with someone else than to present a well-reasoned counterpoint, which compels me to find time in my busy schedule of work, dealing with a climate-change-related disaster, and any number of more entertaining distractions to respond to your post. Perhaps you can present some information to show that Tom was incorrect in his reporting, or that it the measurements taken did not actually reflect a continuing warming trend, rather than worrying about what I’m doing other than rebuilding my flood-damaged home, and we can take you a little more seriously. In the meantime, you are providing me with some nice laughs while my family recovers and provides a nice example of why evidence-based reasoning prevails over politically motivated decision making. Popularity is nice, but being proven right by reality itself is so much more rewarding.

          • OWilson

            Have a nice day! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Nope, not a bit of substance to counter anything in the article or what I’ve said. And the ironic name calling (because it’s only bad when other people do it, right?), which makes you predictable, and meets the definition of troll. Yes, you do provide entertainment, if nothing else. Meanwhile, we continue to break records with temperatures from month to month and year to year, and you can do nothing but spout political BS and insult anyone who points out that you aren’t arguing your case very well. Which at this point, is just about anyone who posts more than a few times without praising your singular wisdom. 😉

          • OWilson

            You are my very own personal socialist, government employed predictable troll!

            I kinda like that.

            That’s why I am the only person on these blogs that ever has time for you. :)

            I like to see you twist and turn.

          • Mike Richardson

            Again, the height of irony to see you refer to anyone else as a troll, particularly when you veer so far off the topic to continue with the insults. So what exactly is your opinion with regards to the ever-mounting evidence that the earth is warming? Do you disagree with the measurements, or do they not meet some particular standard of proof for you? Oh, and have you consulted with your friend the BarBQ Man about that supposed dramatic shift that was supposed to occur around the first part of this month due to “magnetic forcings” or some such nonsense? I miss that guy — he was even funnier than you. But any mini-ice age or reversal of warming you might have been hoping his wacky ideas might deliver on has quite predictably failed to materialize. Reality just isn’t terribly cooperative with you guys. And you’re hardly the only person who responds to my posts, not that I care one way or the other. But reliably respond in negative fashion you always do — so if you’re looking for a predictable troll, you might just want to check a mirror. 😉

          • OWilson

            Trolls are “responders”, followers, with snarky insults.

            They are not “first posters” because they really have nothing of interest to say on the subject at hand.

            We’ll let the readers decide who is who :)

            As I keep telling you Mikey, you are nobody, and cannot adjudicate yourself the winner in every exchange.

            Cheers!

            (follow me in the next thread, you might learn something)

          • Mike Richardson

            Hey, I’m the one that at least was referring to the subject matter of this thread, and asking your opinion of it. First poster or not, you consistently derail a conversation with far-right political diatribes and insults. So you are educating folks, though it appears you’re providing schooling in the fine art of trolling, with far more experience than you ascribe to me. So again, are you providing any fact-based counter argument against the rising temperatures discussed in this article? No more mini-ice ages or other wish list of alternative theories to a well-established scientific premise regarding the global climate? Or do you wish to continue educating people in your mastery of the art of trolling, as only you can? 😉

          • OWilson

            Have a nice day!

            (Troll this!) :)

    • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

      Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here.

      Let’s start with the satellite temperatures. Just like surface temperatures, satellite temperatures are adjusted. And just like surface temperatures, over time the adjustments to satellite temperatures are themselves adjusted.

      The one big difference is that these “adjustments to the adjustments” are a lot larger for the satellites than the surface temperatures. See here for a comparison:

      https://moyhu.blogspot.com/2015/12/big-uah-adjustments.html

      Almost two years ago, UAH had a big adjustment to their adjustments in downward direction. At the beginning of this year RSS had a big adjustment upward.

      From a scientific standpoint there is no reason – no reason – to prefer satellite temperature data over surface temperature data. In fact, one of the principle scientists at RSS wrote the following concerning the hiatus and possible measurement errors (emphasis mine):

      As a data scientist, I am among the first to acknowledge that all climate datasets likely contain some errors. However, I have a hard time believing that both the satellite and the surface temperature datasets have errors large enough to account for the model/observation differences. For example, the global trend uncertainty (2-sigma) for the global TLT trend is around 0.03 K/decade (Mears et al. 2011). Even if 0.03 K/decade were added to the best-estimate trend value of 0.123 K/decade, it would still be at the extreme low end of the model trends. A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!). So I don’t think the problem can be explained fully by measurement errors.

      This from a guy who’s day job is satellite temperature measurements.

      I have also heard him say that rather than folks emphasizing the satellite data over other data, that ALL data should be considered and I certainly agree with him on that. The satellite data is an important component of the entire picture.

      To put what I hope is the final nail in the coffin here, the fact of the matter is that neither satellite nor surface temperature measurements are the best measure of whether the Earth is warming or not. The best measure is Ocean Heat Content, as argued by skeptic Roger Peilke Sr. in the following:

      https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-334.pdf

      And measures of OCH are unequivocal in showing consistent warming – no hiatus (see first three graphs):

      https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

      That’s enough for this one. Models are next.

      • OWilson

        The opinions here are mine own.

        Feel free to reject them as you please!

        • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

          This,

          Since 1990, C02 levels have increased, but the temperatures as measured by satellite, are far less than predicted in that report. What was sold as “settled science, and had a 97% “consensus”, was simply wrong.

          doesn’t read like opinion. It reads like someone trying to make a scientific point. My apologies if as an opinion is how you intended it.

        • Chris Crawford

          Yes, you are certainly entitled to your own opinions — but on subjective matters only. You are not entitled to fabricate your own facts.

    • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

      Regarding the words “models” and “failure” being used in the same sentence let me say two things right off the bat:

      1 – Current temperature models likely still run too hot (but we’ll see what the comparison is after the end of this year), and definitely need improvement on how they handle clouds, but

      2 – Models cannot be typically graded on a binary pass/fail scale.

      As a first example let’s check out Hansens’ 1988 model as we are now approaching 30 years of data for comparison. That is done here:

      https://moyhu.blogspot.com/2015/10/hansens-1988-predictions-revisited.html

      The author explains how to use the graph and I’ll only point out two things:

      1 – GISS Ts (Met stations) is the most important comparison as explained in the text, and

      2 – The A, B and C scenarios refer, basically to different emission scenarios. As the author points out, reality fell somewhere between B and C.

      I’ll let you be the judge of how good that comparatively primitive model performed.

      And this brings up the first thing when looking at how good a model performs: you have to know what type of emission scenario it is based on.

      Another thing is, does the model show its error bars. Here is a comparison of current temperatures against CMIP5 model output. The author is updating on a regular basis, figures from AR5. Again, you be the judge:

      https://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/comparing-cmip5-observations/

      And just to head off complaints of bias, here is comparison done at a skeptic website. I hope this author also updates this once we get into 2017:

      https://climateaudit.org/2016/01/05/update-of-model-observation-comparisons/

      All-in-all, I think it is wrong to say the temperature models fail. That descriptor is not a scientifically valid way to judge them. And it is not wrong to state that the surface data sets are matching better as we continue to have warmer years. 2016 will likely only improve the match.

      • OWilson

        There are many “models” and predictions.

        Like a stopped clock, some will be found to be be accurate at the moment. :)

        The first IPCC 1990 FAR Report was doing OK for a while and gained Al Gore, a Nobel Peace Prize. It was the Gold Standard, produced by input from 120 countries.

        But, just like Clinton’s nuclear deal with N. Korea, Obama’s ACA and Obama’s Iran deal, it is not worth the paper it is written on.

        • Chris Crawford

          You seem to be unaware of the fact that the first report was followed by a number of other reports. The most recent is AR5, which was released two years ago. It is considerably more advanced than the 1990 report.
          Was your computer built in 1990? Are you using Windows 3.2?

        • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

          Well, this is a strange reply.

          Ahem, focusing on the pieces that are “relevant” to the discussion.

          Yes, there are many models. That’s a GOOD thing. The more approaches to the difficulties that exist in models, the better. And one minor quibble: models make projections (along with error bars) of future climate based upon different inputs. No climate modeler looks at the output of a model and believes it shows the EXACT path the climate will take – which is what the word “prediction” implies.

          So the clock metaphor is somewhat misplaced.

          As for the rest of your comment…

          • OWilson

            Arguing with true believers can be time wasting, and counter productive.

            Consider my “metaphor” to you is a closed door on bible thumpers. :)

            I’ll give you the last word!

          • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

            I appreciate your allowing me the last word. I have done that also many times in the past and it is good to see my karma has built up enough so that I am on the receiving side now!

            The only sense in which I am a ‘true believer’, is that I am a true believer that when it comes to science issues, and global warming is first and foremost a science issue, one can come closer to a true understanding of a subject if one takes the time to learn the science basics – from the scientists.

            Does this mean that scientists can’t give bad info? Of course not. But science is constructed in such a way as to bring those things to light eventually.

            As someone trained in science, I think those are good thing to ‘truly believe’. My belief in my profession depends upon it.

          • Mike Richardson

            CGS, don’t make the mistake of calling an understanding of science, and the value of cumulative evidence, “belief.” Belief is what the religious and political fundamentalists fall back on, when facts do not support their positions. It is not an evidence-based or reality -based view of he world, and does not therefore deserve the respect of a scientific worldview. Unfortunately, some politically-motivated posters seem to confuse belief with an objective worldview (I’m giving the benefit of a doubt here), and argue fervently that they are correct, despite enormous mounting evidence to the contrary. We don’t have belief — we have facts. We have the high ground.

          • OWilson

            “WE have the high ground” was said often in the last century.

            It was just another “belief”.

            And it was fatally, lethally and catastrophically wrong!

          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, because appealing to reason of course is exactly the same as gooses-stepping with dictators. Do you ever get tired of these hyperbolic and nonsensical comparisons, or is this just your go-to argument when you actually know you’re wrong but can’t admit it?

          • OWilson

            It’s the delusional autocratic and despotic statements you make, “WE HAVE THE HIGH GROUND”, and the self awarded Iron Crossses, “YOU LOSE”.

            (When in fact only 7% (PEW) consider AGW high on the list of Threats to Mankind) actually agree with you.

            Your own approval rating shows a dismal record, for someone claiming “WE” Have The High Ground.

            So who exactly is “we” paleface? :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Anyone capable of understanding that the preponderance of evidence supports accepting the reality of climate change and humanity’s part in it. Unlike you, facts are not concerned with popularity. You don’t get to vote on whether or not gravity exists, if the earth is a sphere, or if evolution occurs. You can deny it by force of will and proclamation, of course, but who exactly is “delusional and autocratic” then? 😉

          • Mike Richardson

            Anyone capable of understanding that the preponderance of evidence supports accepting the reality of climate change and humanity’s part in it. Unlike you, facts are not concerned with popularity. You don’t get to vote on whether or not gravity exists, if the earth is a sphere, or if evolution occurs. You can deny it by force of will and proclamation, of course, but who exactly is “delusional and autocratic” then? 😉

          • OWilson

            I just dropped my pen.

            Oh my God! It fell to the ground!

            There goes my denial of gravity!

            Geez, i’m having a bad day, today.

            Earlier they showed a photo of a round earth taken from the space station, OMG Is it really round?

            Then I saw someone on TV today who really resembled a monkey, could it be true? Evolution?

            Now I think I’ll go to bed!

            I can’t take it anymore!

            But at least we still have a lot of Arctic ice up there! :)

          • https://ridingtheirownmelting.wordpress.com/ cgs

            Appreciate the comment!

            I have thought about this very often and one begins to tread on philosophical ground when tackling this subject.

            I don’t deny that folks can misappropriate the word “belief” and use it in ways contrary to its intent. They do the same thing with “theory”. But we don’t stop using those words just because someone might do this.

            I looked up the definition of the word “believe” and the first explanation given is:

            “accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of”

            Now people who accept science.are accepting something very fundamental: that the physical universe behaves in such a way that a scheme such as the scientific method can be used to uncover its workings. As per the definition above, they are accepting this as true.

            That this indeed appears to be true has been shocking to some scientists.

            “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility…The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.” – Einstein

            So it doesn’t seem completely wrong to me to use the word “belief” when speaking of science in this way. One is just expressing trust in the rational functioning of the universe.

            But this is a fun point to discuss! :-)

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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