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This is the last part of a tribute to the late climate scientist Stephen Schneider, a Stanford biologist, atmospheric scientist and co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for his work with the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Schneider gave the opening address at the “Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change” conference at the Hadley Centre in England on February 1, 2005. At the request of the British government 200 scientists convened to counter the refusal of the US administration to acknowledge the urgency of the problems related to climate change.
Data on the accelerated melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and the possible collapse of the Gulf Stream that brings warm waters from the tropic across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe caused the greatest concern – but were not covered in the commercial US media.
I interviewed Schneider after his return and we covered the issue raised by climate change deniers that a 5 degree Celsius rise does not make a difference. Schneider explained data extraction from ice cores and, quoting the precautionary principle, urged that if we wait for 90-plus percent certainty in the data it will be too late to act.