At the moment, I can't think of a profession I'm less envious of than that of the American climate scientist. Consider: The climate science community's years of meticulous study, research, data collection and modeling -- not to mention its cautious, much-deliberated-over policy guidelines -- are met with what? Certainly not our thanks. Nope, instead, climate scientists get labeled fear-mongers, liars, hoax-makers, greedy grant-seekers, and worse, largely as a result of industry interests who deem their findings inconvenient. Despite all that, they're being called on to be better communicators, more effective spokespeople. Even though they're, you know, scientists, not motivational speakers. So it's especially inspiring when some are willing to do double -- even triple -- duty, and face down blowhard skeptics in public arenas like Congressional hearings. These videos are both well worth watching, as they not only showcase the great knowledge and skill of these two scientists (who gave testimony at a hearing on climate science a couple weeks back), but introduce some important fundamentals of climate science as well. Don't expect there to be any more such meetings in the foreseeable future, by the way, the Republicans have dismantled the global warming committee in the House.
Watching the video above, it's an all too familiar situation -- a belligerent layman stubbornly rehashing his talking points, and refusing to consider the merits of the information he's being given. Never mind that one party has dedicated his life to studying the topic, while the other has been briefed by his aides and overheard some snippets from Fox News. Also, as Joe Romm points out over at Climate Progress, the demonstration Dr. Alley gives -- explaining Milankovitch cycles by using his bald spot -- is pretty brilliant.
There are also key points aplenty in this second, less argument-laden video. It's a good intro to how the ice mass of Greenland is calculated, and why the fact that the the troposphere is warming while the stratosphere is cooling is instrumental to climate science.
Well done, sirs.
H/T Climate Denial Crock of the Week
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