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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on climate change

February 27th, 2014
02:36 PM ET

In this web extra, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about climate change.

Amanpour's full interview with deGrasse Tyson will be online Friday.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Climate
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Taswinder Singh Chaggar

    Yes we may be having global warming but to say that sea levels will rise by 80 metres without telling us the time it will take is scare mongering . From 1950-2009 the average rise in sea level was 1.7 mm. per annum .The projected rise over the 21 st centuary will be between 56cm and 200 cm. What may be more interesting is that the global warming may be due to methane and soot.rather than carbon dioxide alone.

    February 28, 2014 at 7:03 am | Reply
    • Francis Redfern (prof. physics and geology)

      80 m may be the worse-case scenario, due to the W Antarctic ice sheet breaking up completely. But it isn't exactly scare mongering. Even more scary is the possibility the much larger E Antarctic ice sheet may be unstable (Science 26 July 2013:Vol. 341 no. 6144 p. 326). I agree that a caveat would have been helpful, but the problem is that there is no good geological record of what might happen when the climate warms this fast due to (mostly) carbon dioxide, with additional uncertainties due to land use change and man-made aerosols, etc. This is an experiment whose outcome and time scale are not really known very well. You can't dismiss as impossible what you don't know.

      March 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      Climate hysteria is pure religion masquerading as science. The notion that the sea levels will rise due to mankind's "sin" of using fossil fuels unless he pays repentance to the likes of Al Gore is a timeless religious motif that exists in most mythic traditions including the Judea-Christian Scripture in the story of Noah. Even the Aborigines have such a flood mythology. It is allegory that exploits what psychologist C.G. Jung called "the guilt of living", it is not fact. Science isn't based on conjecture, or fear mongering, or computer model projections, or consensus or inconvenient truths, or political agendas....it's based on empirical evidence and repeatably tested hypothesis...period.

      April 21, 2014 at 12:15 am | Reply
      • Yup

        "Science isn't based on...computer model projections, or consensus"

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Not worth getting into, because you're obviously clueless.

        May 6, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
      • chrave1956

        I agree Mark

        Further, the evidence suggests Antarctica ice would actually increase if as climate warmed, evaporation would increase and produce significant increases in snow at the polar caps

        So, logically, global warming would most likely lower sea levels

        May 27, 2014 at 11:02 am |
  2. shanegenziuk

    80 meters? Last time I checked beach front property was going up in price.

    February 28, 2014 at 8:43 am | Reply
  3. DavidinPerthAustralia

    In most industrial scenarios these days, the potential for risk that may cause any injury to people is seen as priority number one – even when the risk in most normal peoples eyes is zero. So I find it strange that when non-management yet very intelligent engineers and scientists paint a vision of a potentially very bad future if we do not change our ways, that we as a society ignore it almost TOTALLY. If was an industrial scenario it would only have to be "possible and plausible once" to create a whirlwind of panic. Yet with data that shows trends that probably aren't linear, but actually exponential as Sir James Lovelock would suggest, we should hedge our bets to the betterment of humanity – whether the risk is real or not. Personally, I think its always better to err on the side of caution, regardless of the future position – just in case. If nothing else, we as a race would use the land and resources more efficiently. Not a bad outcome by any means. However the massive potential for loss of industry, loss of life, loss of farm land, loss of humanity is just too massive a bad outcome to ignore the risk, no matter how small. So for those of you who don't want to believe but want to live wasteful selfish lives, I very seriously hope I don't have to say I told you so because then we have ALL lost, but no doubt the same people will be the biggest whiners when their beach front property gets swallowed and I don't allow them to live on my organic carbon positive hobby farm in the hills!

    March 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  4. Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Thanks for this interest in my comments. To flesh out professor Redfern's point, it's common in Physics to ask what the limits are. It's the natural exploration of a problem's space of parameters. Many people do this naturally in other ways, but, perhaps, don't think of it in these terms - What won/lost record will your team have if it wins every remaining game? If I don't cut my hair for a year, how much longer will it be?

    The interview wan't long enough to offer rates and predictions, and I didn't talk about changes to weather patterns attendant with such melting. The goal of my reply was primarily to highlight the folly of politicizing science.

    -Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York City

    March 2, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
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