Climate Change: Congress Warned About 'High Risk' Posed By Global Shifts

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Climate Change: Congress Warned About 'High Risk' Posed By Global Shifts

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/climate-change-congress-gao_n_2687149.html

WASHINGTON -- The federal government's official watchdog had a message for Congress on Thursday: Hey, Stupid, the climate is changing.

The Government Accountability Office delivered that warning in its update of the greatest threats the government faces in carrying out federal programs. Generally the GAO identifies things like flaws in the defense contracting process and fraud in health care programs.

This year's update of the High-Risk Series report included the increasingly obvious and growing external threat of climate change -- in spite of the continued insistence from many members of Congress that fears over global warming are overblown.

"Limiting the federal government's fiscal exposure to climate change is one of the new areas we have on the list," Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, the head of the GAO, told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference. "The federal government is terribly exposed to this change," he added, noting that the government owns hundreds of thousands of buildings, operates defense installations, picks up the tab to help local governments with disasters, and runs crop and flood insurance programs.

"The government doesn't budget for disaster," Dodaro said, "and the record number of disasters hit above 90 in 2012."

Dodaro was aware that some in Congress might not like his agency's embrace of climate change, but he argued that the facts justified it.

"We believe that the information coming from the National Academy of Sciences and from the federal government's own global change research program ... has been very clear on the science underpinning this area," Dodaro said.

He did allow that the GAO was staying away from the debate on why the climate is changing.

"We are not focusing on what's causing these changes. We know that there are efforts under way to deal with emission issues, so that's a policy matter for the Congress," he said. "We think there's enough scientific evidence to show, regardless of whether anything else changes, there's enough problems identified."

Still, while President Barack Obama has proposed making a stronger push to deal with climate change, and leaders in the Senate have praised him for it, the idea has received a chilly reception from leaders in the House.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, joined Dodaro at the press conference to emphasize that it doesn't matter whether lawmakers agree on climate change, the effects are nonetheless occurring, and Congress should plan.

"We're recognizing that we have under-appropriated and under-prepared for a wide variety of disasters," Issa said. "If they're occurring more, not less, if we're seeing an absence of indexing for inflation, those are all areas that legitimately put it at high risk," Issa added, even while indicating he has some skepticism on the climate front.

"I hope all members of Congress on both sides of the issue recognize that it's really not about where you are on climate change, how much CO2 is being emitted -- which, by the way, has gone down, not up -- it's really about recognizing that Congress has not adjusted for the amount of money we are paying out," Issa said.

The cost issue was one of the prime factors Dodaro cited in deciding to take the potential political risk of officially elevating the threat.

"We also believe the timing is right because of the federal government's fiscal position," Dodaro said. "We can no longer afford to take on these huge costs that occur as a result of disasters, and we need to prepare properly. We think we have a sound case."

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, had the starkest warning for his colleagues.

"This landmark action by the nonpartisan experts at GAO ... is a wake-up call for Congress to finally start addressing this issue," Cummings said Thursday. "GAO warns that climate change is real, its impacts are already being felt, and its consequences will be devastating if we continue to ignore it."

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Hi so before anything else,

Hi so before anything else, can anyone please tell me what climate change is and how dangerous it is.  I wanted to say sorry in advance if for some this is a lame question. I have an idea of what it is but I wanted to be sure that my understanding is correct.  I am hearing about it but do not fully understand. 

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Hi so before anything else,

Hi so before anything else, can anyone please tell me what climate change is and how dangerous it is.  I wanted to say sorry in advance if for some this is a lame question. I have an idea of what it is but I wanted to be sure that my understanding is correct.  I am hearing about it but do not fully understand. 

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Climate Change

ahuvaai17,

To answer your question, which is not lame by any means, here is the basic idea.

1. Climate = the average range of weather conditions (usually defined using roughly 30 years or more of observations) for any region. Each location (e.g. wherever you live) has typical February temperatures, for example. The common phrase for distinguishing climate from weather is "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get." The typical February temperatures might range between -20 and 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) with a mean temperature of say 23. Any given day might be 10, -15, 30 or any other temperature, however.

2. Climate change = changes in the average weather conditions such that either or both the mean temperature or the expected range of temperatures is altered. Precipitation ranges and averages change too.

3. Climate has changed all throughout Earth's history. Over many thousands of years the planet cycles between cold periods (ice ages) and warm periods similar to now (interglacials). However, the concern now is that the entire planet is experiencing a change in its average climate conditions that is increasingly warmer. Note, while the average temperature is definitely increasing, this doesn't mean that every location is experiencing the same amount of warming.

4. The polemic surrounds the reason why the planet is warming. If the sun were getting brighter, for example it would warm the planet. The sun is not getting brighter, however, so that cannot be the cause. Anthropogenic Global Climate Change just means that we are causing the changes. This occurs through our release of greenhouse gases (primarily Carbon dioxide) through activities like burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas).

5. Greenhouse gases are just gases that are transparent to sunlight but that are not transparent to longer wavelength heat radiation. The effect is like having an increasingly heavy blanket over the planet. Energy (heat) comes in as sunlight but takes longer to escape much like a coat keeps your heat from escaping your body as fast during a cold winter's day.

6. The problem is that the greenhouse gas effect builds every year and we cannot stop it (no way to take the extra blanket/coat off). Naturally, things would recover but will take hundreds to thousands of years after we stop our fossil fuel emissions. Even if we stopped all emissions today, the planet would warm for at least 200 years.

7. It is a huge problem because of both the magnitude of the change and the speed with which it is occurring. If we stay on the 'Business as usual' path of increasing emissions we will warm the planet by 5-6 C (9-11 F) by the end of the century. That doesn't sound too big but when we are talking about changes for the entire planet it is an immense amount of energy. This is the same average change in temperature as we have experienced from the depths of the last ice age until today. Normally those changes would take a few thousand years to occur, we are managing it in one hundred years.

8. All life on Earth depends upon the climate. Everything is where it is now because it is adapted to the typical climate of that location. We are currently causing climate changes that will force all life to adjust to new conditions but it is not adapted to changes that occur this quickly so no one knows exactly what will occur but estimates are that up to half of all species may not make it (extinction).

9. All of recorded human history since the advent of agriculture and writing has occurred within a narrow temperature band. The difference between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age was only  1 C different across the planet (average temperature). We are currently headed into warmer global temperatures than any human or even humanoid has experienced.

10. We are literally changing the planet and all of human society will have to adapt (or die), just like every other species.

If you or anyone else wants to learn more come on over to the Definitive Global Climate Change thread. All are welcome (skeptics too!) to engage on civil discussion and ask questions that are general or specific in nature.

Cheers,

Mark

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However, it's also important

However, it's also important to note that it is only a theory and the evidence is not in yet to confirm its veracity.  No one knows what the average temperature of the earth will be at the end of the century, or even if that concept (of an average temperature) is something that can be determined.  Instrumental measurement records only go back a few hundred years, and they are not comprehensive enough of the entire surface of the earth to know precisely what the average temperature was.  Proxy measurements are used to determine what temperature was before thermometers were used to measure.  That would be things like the chemistry of sedimentary rocks, tree-rings, fossils, and so on.  Again, their accuracy has to be taken as an interpretation of what the proxies suggest, rather than a direct measurement of the actual temperature.  Satellite measurements, which are perhaps the most reliable as far as accurate reading of measurements, have only been around for about 33 years.  So what climate scientists have done is take the data and model their calculations to come up with a virtual picture of earth's "average temperature".  It is important to note also that the satellite data does NOT show an alarming rate of "warming".  Also, that there has been no warming in either land or satellite measurements for 16 years, despite more emmissons of carbon dioxide, the perceived cause.  Also, carbon dioxide is plant food and life on earth would be impossible without it.  Earth is a carbon rich environment.  So, it is a controversy, not a settled theory. Thanks.  Ohboy, I read that article above, and it's completely off the science.  There is no connection between the recent weather events and climate change as the article suggests.  Tropical Storm Sandy was not an anomaly of climate, caused by global warming (and by extension caused by humans).  It wasn't even a hurricane when it landed on the Jersey Shore.  Hurricanes DO hit the northeast United States, and that's not a new thing.  As do blizzards in the winter; and droughts DO happen in the various regions of North America from time to time. The Dust Bowl?  The Great Flood of 1929? The hurricanes of the 1950's, etc. etc.. The conflation of insurance claims and weather events and climate change is NOT science.  Thanks again.

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Merchants of doubt....

Eric,

I suggest that you and others read Merchants of Doubt as you have either bought into or are set on promulgating the propaganda of a few unscrupulous people - who also said that smoking isn't linked to cancer, acid rain doesn't exist, the ozone hole isn't important and other paid for opinions before they got around to deriding climate change. As always, it is empty rhetoric saying that the science is uncertain, etc, etc without an ounce of actual evidence or any alternative explanation for all of the very obvious observations. There is no alternative 'theory' or explanation, they just say no.

If you wish to debate the actual science or lack thereof for the talking points listed above, come over to the Definitive Global Climate Change thread. Most of your points have already been discussed there, with scientific explanations and citations, often with back and forth with skeptical people such as yourself.

Yes, it is just a theory, just like evolution and gravity. Anyone will have just as much success disbelieving in climate change as they will in denying gravity. Anyone who doesn't actually know what a 'theory' is should read But it's "JUST a THEORY" by Ken Harding.

The following definitions, based on information from the National Academy of Sciences, should help anyone understand why evolution is not "just a theory."

A scientific law is a description of an observed phenomenon.  Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion are a good example.  Those laws describe the motions of planets.  But they do not explain why they are that way.  If all scientists ever did was to formulate scientific laws, then the universe would be very well-described, but still unexplained and very mysterious.

A theory is a scientific explanation of an observed phenomenon.  Unlike laws, theories actually explain why things are the way they are.  Theories are what science is for.  If, then, a theory is a scientific explanation of a natural phenomena, ask yourself this: "What part of that definition excludes a theory from being a fact?"  The answer is nothing!  There is no reason a theory cannot be an actual fact as well.

For example, there is the phenomenon of gravity, which you can feel. It is a fact that you can feel it, and that bodies caught in a gravitational field will fall towards the center.  Then there is the theory of gravity, which explains the phenomenon of gravity, based on observation, physical evidence and experiment. Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity replaced the less accurate gravity theory of Sir Isaac Newton, which was the first complete mathematical theory formulated which described a fundamental force.

There is no serious scientific doubt about anthropogenic climate change, the scientific differences center on just how severe and rapid it will be. We've known about greenhouse gases and their role in warming the planet since 1824, and the first 'model' of the global climate effects of fossil fuel derived carbon dioxide was published in 1896. Literally thousands of scientists have tried to prove it wrong (and failed) ever since. Scientists are skeptical by nature, otherwise they are not truly scientific in their thinking.

This is an extremely serious matter and politics of any stripe should have no part in it. The next time someone tries to dissuade you from seriously considering global climate change by sowing doubt, ask them to 'prove' to you that what we are doing is not life threatening or to produce a coherent 'theory'  that can accurately explain the millions of observations from many, many sources around the world and shows that we shouldn't worry about it. Don't hold your breath waiting for it though since no one has been able to come up with one in over 100 years. This is why the vast majority of all scientists who actually study climate and its impacts on life have no doubt that we are in trouble. We have families too and so more and more of us are trying to directly educate the public about what the science really says about what we are doing to the planet and the risks that we are creating for ourselves and future generations.

Sincerely,

Mark

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Mark,  There's a difference

Mark, 

There's a difference between gravity, and evolution, and this one.  I don't hear the government or activists trying to tell us we have to act on those theories.  So, tell me, what have I said that isn't true?  I use my own sense to figure this out, not propaganda.  It is an unproven theory.  It is an unfalsifiable hypothesis.  That's all it is.  All the "warming" that is agreed on by scientists is not much at all (it doesn't exceed the error bars of uncertainty), and there is no way of knowing what's behind (causing) that insignificant trend.  This we do agree on: we are in an interglacial and those tend to be warming compared to ice ages.  

Eric

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Eric Meyers

Eric Meyers wrote:

Mark, 

There's a difference between gravity, and evolution, and this one.  I don't hear the government or activists trying to tell us we have to act on those theories.  So, tell me, what have I said that isn't true?  I use my own sense to figure this out, not propaganda.  It is an unproven theory.  It is an unfalsifiable hypothesis.  That's all it is.  All the "warming" that is agreed on by scientists is not much at all (it doesn't exceed the error bars of uncertainty), and there is no way of knowing what's behind (causing) that insignificant trend.  This we do agree on: we are in an interglacial and those tend to be warming compared to ice ages.  

Eric

Eric,

Have you even looked at the Definitive Global Climate Change thread as Mark Suggested? 

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/definitive-global-climate-change-aka-global-warming-thread-general-discussion-and-questions/71

Or is your "own sense" superior to science?

Doug

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Doug, I'll take a look at it

Doug,
I'll take a look at it when I have a few minutes. Is there something I said that isn't supported by science? I don't think so. It's not wild claims about the future or the temperature and not too complicated to understand.
Eric

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Yes, there is a difference

Eric,

One is based on verifiable observations, peer-reviewed analyses, and testable hypotheses.

The other is rhetorical dogma.

They are not the same thing.

You have declared that the warming 'is not much at all' - based on what? At what point would you consider it to be significant? Are you willing to bet everything and everyone on your gut feeling? Incidentally, the problem is not how much we have already warmed, it is how much warmer we are already committed to becoming. Even if we stopped all emissions today this will become the warmest interglacial period in at least a million years (probably longer but the record gets fuzzier the further you go back). In your earlier post you state things that may be true but that are meaningless like "carbon dioxide is plant food and life on earth would be impossible without it" - True, and no one is going to argue with you about it. What does that have to do with this problem? No one is proposing or able to abolish carbon dioxide. Are you inferring that since a little CO2 is good that a lot must be better? If so, consider water, we all need it to live but we can also drown in it. More is not always better or harmless.

"there is no way of knowing what's behind (causing) that insignificant trend" - a demonstrably false statement with an erroneous conclusion. Can you prove that there is no way of knowing? Who decided that? What else can't we know and why? The same laws of physics allow us to estimate the temperatures on other planets (backed up by satellites and rovers), why shouldn't they work here?

Don't get me wrong, climate science is far from perfect but it is quite sufficient for concluding that we are causing most of the climate change over the last several decades and that we are truly playing a dangerous game with everything we depend upon for living the lives that we are accustomed to. It's true that no one can 'precisely' predict the average temperature at the end of the century. In part this is due to incomplete knowledge about planetary dynamics but mostly it is due to not knowing just how much fossil fuels human societies will burn between now and then. This is why a range of future emissions scenarios are modeled.

You and everyone else are entitled to your own opinions. No one is entitled to their own facts though. It is a fact that climate change is happening and we are, in large part, responsible, it is a fact that doing so will stress all ecosystems and causes changes that we cannot predict with confidence (please see the aforementioned thread for nearly 800 informative posts detailing this). It is my opinion that it is really dumb of us to run a completely uncontrolled experiment on the climate of the only planet that we have without any safety measures or plan B. I think that most people would agree if they actually understood what is happening.

You have taken the time to look at some materials pertaining to climate change so you obviously are interested. I encourage you to take the time and make the effort to actually learn about the subject matter so that you can make informed decisions and better inform others. If you do not want to wade through our thread, two useful sites that are easier to navigate and which provide informative and understandable explanations of various aspects of climate science are Skeptical Science and RealClimate. There are plenty of places in the blogosphere that will give you half-baked alarmist or denialist (how's that for a word?) spin. Try to pick credible sources.

Cheers,

Mark

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From a mobile phone: There's

From a mobile phone: There's no way of calculating how much of the little bit of climate change observed in the last several decades (and even 150 years) is the result of the infinitesimal amount of CO2 (compared to the vast amont of naturally occurring CO2) emmitted by humans. That is a fact. Or perhaps you or others outline how this is calculated by scientists accurstely. Yep, I'll wager you in that!

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You'd lose

I suppose that you'd have to first decide what 'counts' as substantial.

This graph is out of date as it now is pushed back for 800,000 years. CO2 stayed below 280ppm in all that time until the recent periods of the Industrial Revolution and it is currently at 395ppm - >40% higher. Measuring CO2 is done at several locations across the planet and since it is long lived in the atmosphere it is well mixed and so can be well measured with relatively few stations. The OCO satellite was going to give is a better global map but it didn't survive the launch. A new one is due up before too long.

Don't buy into the nonsense that volcanoes are big contributors to the CO2 dynamics. Annual carbon emissions from volcanoes average <1% of those from our fossil fuel use (USGS link).

Cheers and good night!

Mark

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Thanks!

Doug,

Thanks for providing him with a nudge in the right direction!

cheers,

Mark

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Yes you'd have to buy into

Yes you'd have to buy into that narrative as substantial (meaning that graph). Fact is CO2 is naturally occurring. The oceans are a big reservoir of it obviously and when the temperature increases guess what happens? Fact. CO2 outgasses from the vast oceans. 395 ppm is nothing. It has been way higher than that on planet earth.

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I do declare.

Declaritive statements are an eruption of Brocka's area.

Skeptics believe the evidence.

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Signing off of this thread

Thanks to akonatingle17 for the original informative post. I, for one, had not seen that information.

As for Eric - I think we've hijacked this thread so I will desist after this.

You know many things but do not appear to understand them.

The oceans have soaked up roughly 25% of Anthropogenic carbon emissions (hence the growing acidification). The land (vegetation) may have taken up another 25%. What we see accumulating in the atmosphere is only the remaining 50% of our emissions.

Yes, CO2 levels have been greater and the temperatures of the planet have been higher in the Earth's past. Most recently around 30 million years ago before the continent of Antarctica was iced over. Give some thought to the world you seem intent on re-creating.

Mark

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Whats the worse that could happen?

A lot of this discussion I've found can be resolved using a very small but well written book and utube videos.  It really boils down to the quesiton: If I am wrong; whether I believe in Global warming caused by CO2 or I believe it is not and its all a manufacturered story; what is the worse that can happen?  A rational risk approach to this topic.  I highly recommend people on both sides of this 'debate' read this book.  I've purchased several copies and given to friends.  After reading loads of books on the topic; both sides, this is the 'gold standard' in my mind on the topic.   Link below.  Easily purchased on Amazon.

http://www.gregcraven.org

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An interesting side-bar about

An interesting side-bar about Brocka's area. I would agree that I " believe the evidence " , if it's relevant to the thing in question. This would seem to be " what's global warming " and " what can be done about it ". Insurance claims due to weather events strikes me as fear-mongering. It's easy to prove no connection to global warming there. The other point which may have been missed was : how can we calculate (reasonably) what portion of the mild climate change observed in the last 150 years is attributable to human emmissions, and (since it seems agreed climate changes naturally in the first place regardless); what is attributed to natural cause? This seems reasonable to ask, but I fail to see a reasonable answer , chart provided above notwithstanding. It's far too crude to make any reasonably accurate calculation using that or any other model I am aware of. Nature's complexity trumps all of them. We should remain open-minded.

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Reeva, are you there?

&quot;Mark Cochrane&quot; wrote:
Are you inferring that since a little CO2 is good that a lot must be better? If so, consider water, we all need it to live but we can also drown in it. More is not always better or harmless.

Or arsenic.

Modern life built with the expectations of technological progress and all that comes with it depends a lot on "if a liitle is good a lot must be better."

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ditto on Merchants of Doubt and the 2004 study by Oreskes

There is not much more I can add to this discussion, except to say that I agree that the evidence for anthropogenic global warming is very convincing.  Last year I was on sabbatical, and I spent about 6 weeks writing about climate change for my own interest, after having read several books on the topic over the course of a year.  Below is what I wrote with respect to the evidence for climate change.  

Eric, if you want a full copy of my summary of the recent science on anthropogenic global warming, written for lay readers like myself, then just let me know and I will send it to you.  There are just under 200 references.  Also, www.skepticalscience.com is a great resource for those who are not sure whether or not to believe that humans are causing one of the fastest climate shifts in the last 550 million years.

Cheers, Hugh

From "The Meteor of Our Time: An Overview of Anthropogenic Global Warming" by Hugh Kelly

Human Fingerprints: Connecting Global Warming to Industrial Activity

The mainstream media often makes it seem that there is still a lot of scientific doubt as to whether the Earth is warming and whether this warming is caused by human activity, with the result that about half of adult Americans are not sure what believe about this topic. However, there is a broad consensus among climate scientists that global warming is caused by the impacts of industrial civilization. The national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States have affirmed this several times in joint statements in the last decade, including in 2005.28

In a 2004 study titled “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,29 Naomi Oreskes, a Professor in the History of Science at the University of California - San Diego, did a study using the Institute for Scientific Information database in which she surveyed 928 peer-reviewed papers found with the keywords “global climate change” published between 1993 and 2003. 75% of these either explicitly or implicitly accepted that anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon while 25% of the papers dealt with the subject of paleoclimate and took no position on the current global warming. None of these studies questioned or denied global warming.

In 2008 researchers Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman found that over 87% of climatologists affirmed that global warming was being caused by humans.

Figure 6: Results from Doran and Zimmerman’s 2008 study30 showing the broad agreement among climate scientists that human activity is causing the Earth to warm.

Figure 6 shows the response
levels to the second question
of their survey, which was

Do you think human
activity is a significant
contributing factor in
changing mean global

temperatures?”31 This
shows that the general
public is still quite divided
as to whether humans are
causing global warming,
while there is little division
on this issue within the
scientific community. A
third study, which came out
in 2010, found that over
97% of actively publishing
climate scientists support the theory of anthropogenic climate change.
32

However, one does not need to be a scientist to realize that burning mass quantities of coal and oil - in effect transferring carbon from the ground to the air - will change the composition of the atmosphere. Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, carbon dioxide levels have risen from 290 to 390 ppm and counting. There is chemical evidence that a significant portion of this atmospheric increase is due to the burning of hydrocarbons, as carbon dioxide from fossil fuels has a different isotope ratio than atmospheric carbon dioxide.33

Scientist can connect this atmospheric increase to the global warming of the last one hundred years by way of a body of evidence sometimes referred to as fingerprint studies. This is possible to show because not all types of global warming are equal. Warming driven by solar heating has a different pattern in the atmosphere than warming driven by greenhouse gas emissions. If the atmosphere warms in accordance with the greenhouse gas pattern, it would suggest that this is the cause of the warming.

Perhaps the most famous fingerprint is the difference between the heat pattern in the lower atmosphere, known as the troposphere, and the next layer up, the stratosphere. Figure 7 contains model scenarios for the heat pattern of warming due to the sun, volcanoes, greenhouse gas emissions, and, on the far right, the combined effect. The combined model projection is similar to the greenhouse gas scenario and basically predicts that the troposphere will warm and the lower portions of the stratosphere will cool.

Figure 7: Modeled scenarios for warming patterns due to the sun, volcanoes, and greenhouse gas emissions, respectively. The image on the far right is the combined effect.  (NOTE - THIS IS NOT THE IMAGE IN THE ORIGINAL OVERVIEW, BUT THE CLOSEST THING I COULD FIND ON THE WEB FOR THIS POST.  IF YOU WANT THE ORIGINAL IMAGE, EMAIL ME OR SEE MANN AND KUMP'S DIRE PREDICTIONS P. 74 -HK)
Source: Mann & Kump’s Dire Predictions34

The observed pattern in Figure 8, taken from atmospheric temperature measurements, is quite similar to the pattern predicted by the combined model, suggesting that the Earth’s warming is due to greenhouse gas emissions. Ben Santer and a team of researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory first established this fingerprint link in the mid 1990’s,36 but his credibility was attacked by global warming deniers, as explained in Appendix 4: The Denial and Obfuscation of Global Warming.

Figure 8: The observed warming pattern in the Earth’s atmosphere matches the model prediction for increased warming in the troposphere and slight cooling in the stratosphere, showing the “fingerprint,” or link, between human emitted greenhouse gasses and global warming.  Source: Mann & Kump’s Dire Predictions.

 (NOTE - I AM NOT ABLE TO COPY AND PAST IMAGES FROM MY DOCUMENT OR UPLOAD FILES ONTO THIS POST FROM MY COMPUTER.   IF YOU WANT THE ORIGINAL IMAGE, EMAIL ME OR SEE MANN AND KUMP'S DIRE PREDICTIONS P. 39 -HK)

In addition to the difference in temperature change
between the troposphere and the stratosphere, there
are several other fingerprint studies consistent with
greenhouse gas-driven warming. The nights are
warming more quickly than are the days
37 and the
winters more quickly than the summers
38 ,39 because
as the greenhouse effect becomes stronger it
insulates more. Warming due to increased solar
activity would tend to heat more during the day and
the summer. Two other fingerprint studies show
that less heat is escaping into space
40,41 while yet
another shows that this heat has been caught by the
atmosphere by detecting an increase in the amount
of infrared radiation that is returning to Earth
42. For
a more in-depth look at these human fingerprints on
global warming, see the cited studies as well as a
clear and accessible explanation of this data in John

Cook’s The Scientific Guide to Global Warming
Skepticism.
196  After considering all of these different
fingerprint studies, it should be clear that anthropogenic global warming is really happening.

[28] “Joint Science Academies Statement: Global Response to Climate Change”

Spring 2005.  The National Academies.  <http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf>.

[29] Oreskes, Naomi.  “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change.” Science. 306 (December, 2004):1686. Print.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Doran, Peter T. and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman.  “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” Eos: the newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.  Volume 30 #3 20 January, 2009.  < http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf>.

[32] Anderegg, W., Prall, J., Harold, J. and Schneider, S. (2010), Expert credibility in climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107(27):12107-12109.  < http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.abstract>.

[33] All plants, including those that were later compressed into coal, oil, and natural gas, prefer carbon12 and take up more atmospheric carbon12 than carbon13 when engaged in photosynthesis, and since the ratio of atmospheric carbon13 to carbon12 has decreased since 1850, we know that a significant portion of the additional carbon is coming out of smokestacks and tailpipes.  For more details see:  Steig, Eric.  “How do we know that recent CO2 increases are due to human activities?” Real Climate: Climate science from climate scientists.  Web.  22 December, 2004. <http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/>

[34] Mann, Michael E. and Lee R. Kump. Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming. p. 74 New York: Pearson Education, 2008.

[35] Ibid.  p. 39.

[36] The earliest study of this fingerprint was conducted by Ben Santer and colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the early 1990’s  and was seen as a major breakthrough in climate science when it was released in July 1995 in Asheville, North Carolina at a drafting session for IPCC’s Working Group I report.  Santer’s work was later attacked by climate change deniers Patrick J. Michaels and Fred Singer.  For a more detailed account, see Chapter 6 of Oreskes and Conway’s Merchants of Doubt.

[37] Alexander, L. V., et al.  “Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation.”  Journal of Geophysical Research.  (2006) 111(D5):D05109+.

[38] Braganza, K., D. Karoly, T. Hirst, M. E. Mann, P. Stott, R. J. Stouffer, and S.

Tett (2003), “Indices of global climate variability and change: Part

I—Variability and correlation structure.”  Climate Dynamics. 20, 491–502.

[39] Braganza, K., D. J. Karoly, A. C. Hirst, P. Stott, R. J. Stouffer, and S. F. B.

Tett (2004),” Simple indices of global climate variability and change: Part II:

Attribution of climate change during the twentieth century.” Climate Dynamics, 22,

823– 838, doi:10.007/s00382-004-0413-1

[40] Harries, J. E., et al (2001). “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from

the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997.” Nature.

, 410, 355 357.

[41] Griggs, J. A., Harries, J. E. (2004). “Comparison of spectrally resolved

outgoing longwave data between 1970 and present.”  Proc SPIE (CHECK) , Vol. 5543,

164.

[42] Evans W. F. J., Puckrin E. (2006),” Measurements of the Radiative Surface

Forcing of Climate.”   P1.7, AMS 18th Conference on Climate Variability and

Change.

[196] Cook, John.  “The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism.”  skepticalscience.com. December 2010.  < http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs/Guide_to_Skepticism.pdf>.

Eric Meyers's picture
Eric Meyers
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2013
Posts: 169
*sigh*

I'll respond to this 

Hugh,

The two points of evidence you present (to answer my question presumably) are weak, and easy to refute.

I've already reviewed them long before. 

1. the 97% figure is based on a carefully worded (loaded) question and a biased survey which is intended to a preconceived outcome so it could be repeated ad nauseam in the press to convince the public like me we don't know what we are talking about or thinking about.

2. Computer models and reality don't "match up" as you claim.  The "fingerprint" is derived from the models not observations.  

Again, mostly chicanery, not science.  

Thanks

(oh and I think the mainstream media does a pretty good job of carrying water for you believers rather than us skeptics, otherwise I wouldn't be discussing this all the time with friends who are on your side.)

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 2736
Bye Eric

Quote:
1. the 97% figure is based on a carefully worded (loaded) question and a biased survey which is intended to a preconceived outcome so it could be repeated ad nauseam in the press to convince the public like me we don't know what we are talking about or thinking about.

According to the article the question that drew the 97% response rate was:

Quote:
Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

That seems like a fairly straight forward question.  You may misconstrue it all you want, but I haven't heard any refutation of that number from climate scientists, even the 3%.

At this point I think it is safe to conclude you are a troll.  Nowhere do you actually engage the science.  You provide no references to studies or to scientists who support your claims.  There is no point on carrying on this conversation.  When you come up with something substantive, I suggest you post it on the definitive climate change thread linked above.  I'm out.

Eric Meyers's picture
Eric Meyers
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2013
Posts: 169
yeah I'm a troll

Doug, 

thanks for your patience and gratitude.  if a troll is someone who replies to discussions he is interested in having with his own thoughts and reasons, yeah, I'm one.  The question could be answered "yes" even by people who don't believe global warming is a problem.  It could be the "mean temperatures" are influenced by urban heat island effects but do not necessarily contribute to global warming.  Remember "mean temperature" is that which is calculated and averaged from numerous data points, and much of it is the surface temperature stations maintained by the national weather service. 

Thanks

Later Dude!

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 466
*double sigh*

Eric, it is blatantly obvious that you are far more intersted in "being right" than you are in climate change. An argumentive, "I am always right" style rarely wins the day, or the viewers. Just sayin'.

Jan

Eric Meyers's picture
Eric Meyers
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2013
Posts: 169
Why wouldn't I be interested

Why wouldn't I be interested in both things if I believe something or not? I used to believe in the meme of anthropogenic climate change and I sort of still do.  I just don't believe it is catastrophic or something that needs serious action and I try to explain why and I often run up against the type of resistance to my opinion seen starting to form right here.  By the way, I am thinking it isn't worth much more of my effort to discuss here because it will be repeating myself and going through the same old tired feedback loop I am familiar with from past experience.  I do it mostly to learn.  In case you or anyone else with natural curiosty is interested in the 97% meme , here is something that explores that fallacy more.  I know, I know, a skeptical site, paid for by merchants of doubt I suppose: http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=97%25

Eric

HughK's picture
HughK
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 326
even in a warming world, we're all cool. :)

Hi Eric,

 
First, of all, I want to be clear that I bear you no ill will of any kind.  :)  I don't think you're a troll or a bad guy, and I don't think it's helpful to anyone in the thread to label.  I am glad that different people have different ideas and think for themselves.
 
Also, like you and Mark, I agree that we probably shouldn't go back and forth about this for too long, as we all have family and friends to take care of, work to do, and we need to tend to our health and happiness as well, so this will be my last post on this thread.
 
You said that my post contains two points.  It actually contains about six, as I count them.  These are the six points that I see in what I wrote above:
 
1.  Affirmation by the national academies of science of many countries (see list above) that AGW is real
 
2.  The vast majority of climate scientists believe that AGW is real
 
3.  There is a big disparity between what climate experts believe and what the public believes.
 
4.  That a significant amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has an isotope ratio that indicates that it came from fossil fuel burning
 
5.  The fingerprint study led by Ben Santer showing that observed atmospheric warming patterns confirm the modelled outcome of AGW atmospheric warming.
 
6.  Warming patterns that indicate insulating, greenhouse warming, as opposed to solar-driven warming or a decrease in atmospheric aerosols from volcanic eruptions, such as the nights are warming more than the days and winter is warming more than summer.
 
In addition my post encourages anyone interested in learning more to take a deeper look at AGW at www.skepticalscience.com and John Cook's related publication, The Scientific Guide to Global Warming.  It also includes an offer for me to share my whole overview, which I spent about six weeks working on, about 8-10 hours per day, in the fall of 2011.  I am no expert, but I am pretty familiar with the basic issues and arguments and it is clear to me that AGW is very likely to leave a legacy of climatic instability serious enough to threaten a sixth mass extinction, and certainly to leave a destabilizing legacy to the children and grandchildren of our contemporary industrial civilization.
 
Also, in my overview, I give a basic explanation of the difference between climate forcings and climate feedbacks.  I am not clear on exactly how you see climate forcings and climate feedbacks in the following statement:
 
Eric Meyers wrote:
Yes you'd have to buy into that narrative as substantial (meaning that graph). Fact is CO2 is naturally occurring. The oceans are a big reservoir of it obviously and when the temperature increases guess what happens? Fact. CO2 outgasses from the vast oceans. 395 ppm is nothing. It has been way higher than that on planet earth.
 
James Hansen and other climate experts will affirm that fossil fuel burning and other human-emitted greenhouse gasses comprise a climate forcing that unleashes positive feedbacks, which can be huge.  In Hansen's words: "“forcings drive climate change. Feedbacks determine the magnitude of the climate change.

So, that's all I will write for now.  We don't agree on the likely impact of human driven climate change, nor on what constitutes sound science and what does not on this topic, but if we are both at peakprosperity, I would guess that there is a lot that we do agree on.  

So, please know that I am completely fine with you having a different view on this matter and that I hope we meet again in these forums, ideally crossing paths where our ideas are more akin to each other, but if they're not, that's ok too.  smiley

All the best,

Hugh

 
Eric Meyers's picture
Eric Meyers
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2013
Posts: 169
forcings and feedbacks

Hugh,

I respectfully differ in the opinion that forcings and feedbacks are well understood, enough to base government policy decisions on what some scientists say.  James Hansen has repeatedly proven to the world he is an activist before a scientist.  His actions speak for themselves as do his models' predictions. They've been proven wrong by orders of magnitude.  Of course he and all the supporters of his advocacy will argue against this with technicalities.  Business as usual regarding emissions, has not warmed the atmosphere to levels predicted in his 1988 paper(s).  Even he admits in his latest paper: flatness on atmosphere warming for the past decades - with his own caveats of course.  I am waiting for better observational data by a variety of sources and scientists before I get on board some big action bandwagon again.  This is just the sanest way to look at the whole picture (a complicated one, I grant you that).  Doing nothing at all is far more beneficial to most than attempting something so transformative of economies, lifestyles, etc., it must necessarily deprive most people on the planet of basic amenities that are responsible for the high standards of living and life expectancies in the industrialized nations.

Thanks for the kind words,

I'm done too.

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