Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

1006 posts / 0 new
Last post
Arthur Vibert's picture
Arthur Vibert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 16 2008
Posts: 116
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Thanks, Doug. I forgot about this!

Arthur

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3105
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

agitating prop

Quote:

Translation--Lomborg got a better offer from the nuclear lobby. . 

Or it could be that he actually understands what's going on as we continue to add 2ppm CO2 to the atmosphere every year.  The latest meme that "well, we will just adapt to it" appears to be the last refuge of those still in denial.  We're at 390 ppm now and the scientists seem to be in agreement that 350 is the highest level we can safely live with.  So, the notion that we should just let peak fossil fuels run their course is a non-starter.  We need to be reducing ghg's, not just adding to them more slowly as we run out of oil.

Doug

Zapata's picture
Zapata
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 28 2010
Posts: 28
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

I was going to answer this where it was originally posted by LogansRun, but Arthur advised moving here.

I'm new here, so please excuse my making points on a subject that some people are thoroughly sick of talking about.

First:  Follow the money.

Maybe, or maybe follow the scientific consensus.

Second:  It doesn't matter whether there's climate change or not.......Peak oil will take care of it in no time at all.  And even if there IS global climate change, humans will adapt. 

I strongly disagree. The real problem is that these two problems are going to catch up with us at roughly the same time, along with our economic woes. The results of human induced climate change may impact the planet's ecosystem for millennia, regardless of when oil production peaks- we don't really know what the impact will be, but suffice to say that the present situation is far, far worse than the most alarmist predictions of 20 years ago... that should give pause.

The climate change debate is pretty much over... it's like debating evolution. I mean, in the end some people will choose to believe what they prefer to believe, and that's just the way it is... it's a combination of being hard- wired for it and a lack of fundamental critical reasoning in our education systems.

Third:  No matter WHAT'S happening, banks shouldn't be in control of how we take care of the issue...ie:  Goldman Sachs and the carbon exchange and/or Carbon Taxes.

We can probably agree on that.

Seriously, WTF is the issue here?  If we actually believe there's Peak Oil as well as Peak Metals, Peak Population, Peak EVERYTHING, Global Climate Change is a moot point!  Period! 

No, it's of the utmost importance for making predictions regarding the future. For example, I live on the Pacific Ocean, just a few feet above sea level... recently I've become a bit concerned with exactly how many feet... 10? 20? I'm not sure... But if Greenland is melting at an exponential rate it could be a real bad day when we turn the corner of that hockey stick... for me and for a lot of other people.

Also there is a (not widely accepted) theory that when Greenland melts all that cold water will bring on a period of glaciation.

This research is vital for our ability to create valid models to predict the future impact of climate change, the importance of which cannot be overstated.

 

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

I really should have placed my post here, so I've reproduced from the - "Lomborg reverses stand on climate change" - thread ...


LogansRun wrote:

First:  Follow the money.

Second:  It doesn't matter whether there's climate change or not.......Peak oil will take care of it in no time at all.  And even if there IS global climate change, humans will adapt. 

Third:  No matter WHAT'S happening, banks shouldn't be in control of how we take care of the issue...ie:  Goldman Sachs and the carbon exchange and/or Carbon Taxes.

Seriously, WTF is the issue here?  If we actually believe there's Peak Oil as well as Peak Metals, Peak Population, Peak EVERYTHING, Global Climate Change is a moot point!  Period!

 

Hi Logan,

I've a great love for Carl Sagan. He once remarked that: -

 "If you had a big globe with a coat of varnish on it, the thickness of that varnish relative to that globe is pretty much the same as the thickness of the Earth's atmosphere compared to the Earth itself."

As a good analogy, the devastation caused by Krakatoa in 1883 was resultant from 90 million tons of pollution, comparable to "a cataclysmic explosion with a measure of some 26 times the power of the biggest H-bomb test". Now, the globe is having the equivalent of that figure pumped into the atmosphere every single day of the year. In certain circles I've also read that it would take up to 300 years for the globe to reset atmospherically after pumping such vast amounts of ancient sunlight into it. Somehow, I think that even after we've used up what we possibly can, up to and including 2065, the results of the last 160 years will be a price paid for by the next 10 generations and beyond ...

I should gather the evidence to back up what I've written and paraphrased above from other authors, but the volumous amassed work that is the thread - "Global Climate Change: Is It Worth Brushing Off?" - expresses more than a simple paragraph sound bite that I could ever write; no matter how impassioned what I've written could appear on the surface, mine is but a scratch to the surface of the varnish ...

One man will always struggle to change anothers firmly held opinion, but when all is said and done, I will always hope to leave something behind to think about ...

My Best,

Paul

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

~ VF ~

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3105
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Paul,

Spot on.  Now we have the distraction of peak oil to cloud the issue.  We are still adding 2ppm CO2 to the atmosphere every year and it is apparently accelerating.  It is not absolutely clear where the tipping points are, but given the severity of the potential consequences, we should assume they aren't far a way.  We've gone from 280 to 390 ppm CO2 in a little over a hundred years.  60 ppm more and we are at a point of relative certainty of catastrophic consequences.  That's less than 30 years.  Do we want to go there?

Doug

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

A lot of great information in this thread, thanks to everyone who contributed!

I, for one, am glad this thread is in the Chapter 18 category instead of the conspiracy theory one. The only smart people I know who deny the "conspiracy theory" of man-made climate change are the same people who believe in the "conspiracy theory" of a global movement towards a new world order, characterized by massive oppression. It's a great example of how very smart people with good ideas can take those ideas a little too far, even when there are much simpler explanations for what they observe. Instead of financial elites attempting to use the real envrionmental disaster of climate change to further concentrate wealth (perhaps through shady cap-and-trade schemes), these people assert that 95% of respected scientists around the world are manufacturing data to support their bogus theories and the massive amounts of carbom emissions by humans have absolutely nothing to do with the effects of accelerating climate change we are seeing right now.

Frankly, there are no more excuses left for people to deny the very real dynamics of man-made climate change, and we can't begin devising appropriate solutions before we admit that there is a problem.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Ashvinp

Quote:

The only smart people I know who deny the "conspiracy theory" of man-made climate change are the same people who believe in the "conspiracy theory" of a global movement towards a new world order, characterized by massive oppression.

That's painting with a broad, inaccurate and incorrect brush.

The scientific community has done almost nothing to actually identify the parameters that shape AGW, and the burden of proof and is still on the proclaiments in my book. As of present, I don't have enough information to conclude one way or another. AGW is probably true - but it is poorly defined, which detracts from its credibility. Proving it doesn't not exist isn't the same as proving it does.

Cheers,

Aaron

DurangoKid's picture
DurangoKid
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 25 2008
Posts: 174
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Perhaps someone can clue me in on this.  I've heard from some sources that the climate scientists/acitvists are basing emissions on EIA projections of hydrocarbon supply/demand curves.  The EIA and for that matter USGS estimates have until very recently been optimistic to say the least.  They have been backing away somewhat from their earlier estimates of oil, gas, and coal reserves.  The short story is that the expectation would be BAU for another couple of decades at least.  Now it seems that oil from all sources peaked in 2008 (2005 for petroleum + 2008 for NGL).  From here on out it's plateau and then decline.  How does that fit into projections for climate disruption?  Yes, there is a certain momentum in the total quantity of greenhouse gasses.  CO2 for example will be around a while, methane less so.  One would think that as emission decline over the next few years the rate of growth in the problem will at least start to slow if not stop.  Anyone with some good numbers on this?

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Hey Doug,

How about we role out the special carpet for all of those newbies that have entered into the inner-workings of cm.com, and give this old thread another lease of life with that old favourite, wonderingmind42 from You Tube, who created that especially entertaining set of video's on climate.

Greg has been so thoughtful, he created his own site, dedicated in making the whole experience a lot less cumbersome by putting them all in an alphabetized list for easy reference, and all in one place. The link to it is below his first film I've set below this: -

A Nice & Satisfyingly Helpful link To Wonderingmind42's Very Own Website Of Uncomplicated Indexed Video's ...

A Link To His Book Which Came About Through The Success Of His Online Video's

[quote=]

This Is What An Independent Critic Had To Say Of The Book

What's The Worst That Could Happen?: A rational Response To The Climate Change Debate

by Greg Craven

Written by a high school science teacher, Greg Craven’s What’s the Worst That Could Happen? A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate is a worthwhile and unusual addition to the catalogue of books on climate change. Craven’s chosen task is not to determine whether climate scientists are right in their projections of what human activity is and will do to the climate; rather, he is trying to prepare readers to make the best choice, given the uncertainty that will always exist.

This is the same basic message he popularized in a series of viral videos, the first and last of which are especially worth watching:

* The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See

* How It All Ends

I do have one slight quibble with both. Craven’s decision grid suggests that we will eventually be able to look back and know if we made the right choice. I don’t think that’s true. If we take aggressive action and stop climate change, we may never know with certainty just how bad it would have been if we had ignored it. No matter how sophisticated they become, simulations can never give us total certainty, and we don’t have another planet with which to run an experiment. Similarly, if we take no action and climate change proves catastrophic, we will never know for sure what level of action would have been sufficient to stop it – or whether doing so was still possible at any particular point in time.

Craven’s approach is based around heuristics: examining the ways in which people make decisions, taking into consideration pitfalls like confirmation bias, and then developing an approach to make an intelligent choice. In this case, it involves developing a way to roughly rank the credibility of sources, look at who is saying what, and complete a decision grid that shows the consequences of climate change either being or not being a major problem and humanity either taking or not taking major action. His own conclusion is that taking action unnecessarily isn’t likely to be exceptionally economically damaging, and can be considered a prudent course for ensuring that the worst does not happen.

On the question of why action has not yet been taken, Craven focuses primarily on human psychology. We respond to threats that are immediate, visible, and have a hostile agent behind them. Since climate change is none of these things, it doesn’t trigger strong responses in us. Cognitive factors also help explain why people are so confused about the state of climate science, though individual failings in information assessment are accompanied by the failure of the media to pass along good information effectively.

Craven concludes that raising political will is the key action that needs to be taken, and that cutting individual emissions is of very secondary importance. Like many others, he draws on the analogy of WWII to show what the United States is capable of achieving when it has the determination.

Some readers may find the book’s informal style and fill-in-the-blanks exercises a bit annoying, or feel that they trivialize the issues at hand. That being said, Craven has produced a very accessible book that recasts the climate change debate in a valuable new way: evaluating what choice to make, under uncertainty, rather than trying to determine authoritatively who is right. For those wishing to grapple with the practical question of what ought to be done about climate change, this book is well worth reading.

Enjoy!

~ VF ~

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3105
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

By chance, I ran across a publication that just came out from The Royal Society, the British version of our National Academy of Sciences.  The title: Climate Change: A Summary of the Science.  It's a free download in pdf.  I haven't read it yet, as I just downloaded it, but thought others might be interested.  It's only 19 pages long, so not a huge download.

http://royalsociety.org/climate-change-summary-of-science/

Read it, remember it, there will be a quiz.Frown

Doug

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

My point was that I feel the theory of man-made global warming has been just as established as the theories of gravity or evolution, as well documented in this thread. The only difference is that religious people who doubt evolution aren't jeopardizing the entire human race with their skepticism...

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?
ashvinp wrote:

My point was that I feel the theory of man-made global warming has been just as established as the theories of gravity or evolution, as well documented in this thread. The only difference is that religious people who doubt evolution aren't jeopardizing the entire human race with their skepticism...

+1T!!! Cool

~ VF ~

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Ashvinp,

I'd submit that Global warming (having the attention for 10 years regarding climatic affectations that occur on timelines that can span 10's of millenia) is significantly less "established" than Gravity or Evolution, which have hundreds of years of workable formulae and observable, replicatable results that stem from actual field work and not computer generated models. Food for thought.

It's important to remember that while your "feelings" are nice for your friends and family, science requires proof - and you have made a claim, offering zero proof.

Your claim is, quite frankly, entirely ignorant. As I stated earlier, no one understands the full ramifications because so much effort is given to hyperbole. Saying that it's "threatening the entire human race" is simply not true.
As the population decreases, according to your and others' lines of logic, the cause will decrease, showing a direct proportionality. Further, what experimentation have you done to draw this conclusion?

Basically, for all of you who simply read what you want and discard the rest, the burden of proof is still on Global Warming propagandists.
The evidence submitted might show a trend, but it's far from concluding definitively that Global Warming is an event that is unchecked and claims that it will destroy us all are wildly speculative and incommensurate with the information available. At present, there is nothing but data showing that trends like this have existed throughout known history and certainly within our recorded climatic history.

Fact - Realistic figures show humans are responsible for some greenshouse gasses.
Opinion - It's intelligent to maintain your habitat
Belief - The Earth's ability to regulate itself is far from permanantly compromised.

Cheers,

Aaron

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3105
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Aaron

Sigh, here we go again.

Quote:

I'd submit that Global warming (having the attention for 10 years regarding climatic affectations that occur on timelines that can span 10's of millenia) is significantly less "established" than Gravity or Evolution, which have hundreds of years of workable formulae and observable, replicatable results that stem from actual field work and not computer generated models. Food for thought.

I'll grant your point as to gravity.  We live with it all the time.  Every time I try to fly, I keep getting pulled back down.Yell(Although, Michael Jordan did seem to defy it from time to time.)Surprised

However, I suggest that climate change and evolution are on about equal footing as to scientific validity.  To quote from Climate Change: A Summary of the Evidence, linked above:

Quote:

Measurements (temperature) show that averaged over the globe, the surface has warmed about 0.8 degrees C (with an uncertainty of about plus or minus .2 degrees C) since 1850.  This warming has not been gradual, but has been largely concentrated in two periods, from aroujnd 1910 to around 1940 and from around 1975 to around 2000.  The warming periods are found in three independent temperature records over land, over sea and in ocean surface water.

Quote:

Global-average CO2 concentrations have been observed to increase from levels of around 280ppm in the mid-19th century to around 388ppm by the end of 2009.  CO2 concentrations can be measured in "ancient air" trapped in bubbles in ice, deep below the surface in Antarctica and Greenland; these show that present-day concentrations are higher than any that have been observed in the past 800,000 years, when CO2 varied between about 180-300ppm.  Various lines of evidence point strongly to human activity being the main reason for the recent increase, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil,gas) with smaller contributions from land-use changes and cement manufacture.

So, we have actual documented temperature changes and actual documented changes in atmospheric CO2 levels (among other GHGs and human caused climate forcings).  CO2 is a proven ghg, therefore, the simultaneous occurrence of both over the time period, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, has been scientifically accepted as causitive.

Aaron

Quote:

As the population decreases, according to your and others' lines of logic, the cause will decrease, showing a direct proportionality. Further, what experimentation have you done to draw this conclusion?

Climate Change: ...

Quote:

Current understanding indicates that even if there was a complete cessation of emissions of CO2 today from human activity, it would take several millenia for CO2 concentrations to return to preindustrial concentrations

So, assuming Chris's most "optimistic" estimation of 5 years for peak oil to reach public awareness to a significant degree, we can further assume at least another 10ppm CO2 being added to the atmosphere by 2015.  Even then, we will continue to add ghg's to the atmosphere for a very long time, hopefully at decreasing amounts.  I find nothing optimistic, with reference to climate change, about the approach of peak oil.  We are well past 350 ppm, and well on our way to 450 ppm, the former being consider unsustainable in the long term and the latter being widely considered catastrophic.

Applying the precautionary principle, what do you think we should do?

Doug

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3105
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

I think the "concluding remarks" of the above cited report are worth repeating here.

Quote:

There is strong evidence that changes in greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activity are the dominant cause of the global warming that has taken place over the last half century.  This warming trend is expected to continue as are changes in precipitation over the long term in many regions.  Further and more rapid increaes in sea level are likely which will have profound implications for coastal communities and ecosystems.

It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future, but careful estimates of potential changes and associated uncertainties have been made.  Scientists continue to work to narrow these areas of uncertainty.  Uncertainty can work both ways, since the changes and their impacts may be either smaller or larger than those projected.

Like many important decisions, policy choices about climate change have to be made in the absence of perfect knowledge.  Even if the remaining uncertainties were substantially resolved, the wide variety of interests, cultures and beliefs in society would make consensus about such choices difficulty to achieve.  However, the potential impacts of climate change are sufficiently serious that important decisions will need to be made.  Climate science - including the substantial body of knowledge that is already well established, and the results of future research - is the essential basis for future climate projections and planning, and must be a vital component of public reasoning in this complex and challenging area.

From my understanding of the science, the Royal Society bent over backwards to avoid having to respond to more disingenuous sound bites from the denialist "community."  There are many conservative reasonable scientists out there who are saying that the findings and projections embodied in IPCC4 are too conservative.  The need to respond forcefully and soon is beyond question.

Doug

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?
Aaron Moyer wrote:

Ashvinp,

I'd submit that Global warming (having the attention for 10 years regarding climatic affectations that occur on timelines that can span 10's of millenia) is significantly less "established" than Gravity or Evolution, which have hundreds of years of workable formulae and observable, replicatable results that stem from actual field work and not computer generated models. Food for thought.

It's important to remember that while your "feelings" are nice for your friends and family, science requires proof - and you have made a claim, offering zero proof.

Your claim is, quite frankly, entirely ignorant. As I stated earlier, no one understands the full ramifications because so much effort is given to hyperbole. Saying that it's "threatening the entire human race" is simply not true.
As the population decreases, according to your and others' lines of logic, the cause will decrease, showing a direct proportionality. Further, what experimentation have you done to draw this conclusion?

Hyperbole? You mean the kind where someone says the entire housing market and financial sector is going to collapse in a few years, and is dismissed as a radical doom and gloomer?

Please, don't make appeals to science to deny a scientifically established theory, when you can't take the time to review publicly available research that has been presented in this very thread (thanks in a large part to Doug). Millions of people in poorer parts of the world are seeing the very real consequences of climate change right now as you continue to deny its theoretical validity.

If you have reviewed the data and research, and still conclude there is no man-made problem that needs to be immediately addressed, then you are the one being willfully ignorant. Personally, I don't think there is any burden of proof anymore, because the trial was conducted, the verdict was handed down, it was confirmed numerous times on appeal, and the sentence was established. Years and years of "hard time" as long as continue to act like we own the planet and our collective actions don't have any consequences.

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 1024
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Goodbye Arron and all you other denialists,

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Doug,

Thanks for the well thought out reply.
The point I, and many other scientists who are not "sold" on the presented material are trying to make is that these results are *not* tantamount to a conclusively shaped frame of what exactly Global Warming means.

Vitriolic rants like those being made by Ashvinp further prove the point that ignorance on both sides are detracting from any meaningful dialogue as to what CC is, why it's occuring, it's range of influence and reconcilability.

The data you've provided here states, amongst other things:

Quote:

Global-average CO2 concentrations have been observed to increase from levels of around 280ppm in the mid-19th century to around 388ppm by the end of 2009.  CO2 concentrations can be measured in "ancient air" trapped in bubbles in ice, deep below the surface in Antarctica and Greenland; these show that present-day concentrations are higher than any that have been observed in the past 800,000 years, when CO2 varied between about 180-300ppm.

My contention regarding this data is that what we're studying cannot be adaquetely framed over the course of 200 years - we've been monitering the processes of natural selection for hundreds of millenia before humans developed a consistent, logical and scientific approach to observing the growth and death of species, adaptation and genetic frequency. Natural Selection has been scrutinized, had it's science combed over and was approached skeptically and it withstood all of these challenges. This vetting process is infinately more important than simple "Peer Review".

If the peers review the information with a preconceived notion, or without a thorough understanding of what they're reviewing, the results are GIGO.

So, over the ten years that we've been reviewing climate change, we've used climatic data going back until about 1800.
Let us look at the event that arguably gave us interest in recording atmospheric and terrestrial phenomena:
http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen/Year1816.html

Consider some of the science that this site presents.
I understand that it's not well documented, but this frusteration is exactly the same for me as the data reported by the IPCC! It is incomplete and certainly not well framed with science.

This event set a trent of cooling that we've been emerging from - a period before which temperatures (then unrecorded) were significantly warmer.

If we had conclusive numbers from this period of time and before, how would this shape our understanding of where we are now?
How about if we had information from the previous thousand years, in which Europe had an abrubt and short-lived ice age?

Much like Gene Frequency, climate change isn't the kind of event you can measure on a short time line.
While there are things that we can, such as the macroscopic effects of aggregate tropospheric warming (which we are experiencing due to GhG's), these things are scientifically analogous to things like Genetic Drift, in which a small event causes large changes in an otherwise equilibrius ecosystem.

Here it is in simple terms:
We're not seeing any major transnational incidents of die-offs of flora/fauna due to the changing climate.
So far, the climatic shifts are not producing wildly outlandish results - though they are alarming.
Because of this, and because our continuity is so deficient, I do not feel it's appropriate to damn our global population based on very temporal (decade long) observations on climate during a period that may very well simply be a continued warming trend exacerbated by petrochemical pollution.

This exacerbation should be controlled, and is cause for alarm, but claims that they will cause unchecked and wanton destruction have no scientific validity.

Cheers,

Aaron

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?
Aaron Moyer wrote:

Doug,

Thanks for the well thought out reply.
The point I, and many other scientists who are not "sold" on the presented material are trying to make is that these results are *not* tantamount to a conclusively shaped frame of what exactly Global Warming means.

Vitriolic rants like those being made by Ashvinp further prove the point that ignorance on both sides are detracting from any meaningful dialogue as to what CC is, why it's occuring, it's range of influence and reconcilability.

I understand why CM originally wanted to put a thread like this in the CT section, since it evokes so much passion and heated argument.  The reason why I am making "vitriolic rants" is because I feel like I am on a boat being steered towards a waterfall, and we have one last chance to steer away to shore, but the other people on the boat want to keep discussing whether we are absolutely sure there is a waterfall, exactly how steep it is, our exact chances of survival, etc. The sick part is that there is very little downside to assuming there is a waterfall and steering to shore, except we may have to sacrifice an entertaining trip down the river.

I'm sorry, but everything in your post about timescales of measurement and analogies to evolutionary theory is just a way of keeping the argument going even as you run out of any good arguments to make. Obviously the theories about the evolution of complex biological systems had to have a somewhat intensive vetting before accepted as legitimate science. This is especially true because it was first formulated in the 19th century when there was much less technological capability to test or investigate the hypothesis.

You even admit that, at the very least, we have warming trend that has been "exacerbated by petrochemical pollution", and that this "excarbation should be controlled" and that it is "cause for alarm". You say that climactic shifts have produced "alarming" results, but since they're not "outlandish" according to you, you would rather take a much more passive approach to dealing with it? You should check out the video posted by VanityFox on the previous page, and then tell us whether you think anything should be done and how soon. If it's just a matter of you thinking we need to explore more options before we rush to implementing something like cap-and-trade, then I may still disagree, but at least I think you are making a legitimate argument that is supported by logic and reason.

BTW, if my "vitriolic rant" proves that me and other believers of man-made climate change are ignorant and distracting from a legitimate discussion, then the facts and data presented in this thread supporting our conclusion should have no problem meeting your burden of proof.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Ashinvp,

The thing that makes it a rant is that it fails to satisfy reasonable scientific objections.
I apologize for not having more time - one of these days I'll try and dissect the IPCC report a bit more to expose some of their faulty logic and unsound comparisons.

Suffice to say, the very use of climate models creates suspicion IMHO.

Thanks for the well reasoned reply.

Cheers,

Aaron

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 28 2008
Posts: 1636
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Hey Doug,

How long ago is it since you watched chapter 20 of the Crash Course? There was something so very satisfying about Chris's use of Pascal's Wager in his deft use of describing decision making. It was so satisfying in fact, that it became one of the defining reason's as to why I took to writing on this forum, and sharing his message over the last 2 years. With Chris's chapter 20, he laid out a formulation with such clarity, he encapsulated my necessity to act accordingly. In example, I'll paste part of the films transcript below : -

Chris Martenson wrote:

So let’s begin with Step 1 - the case for action.

First, let’s add some detail to the spectrum I laid out before. Here we might assess the potential for disruption as beginning with “status quo,” meaning that all the key risks dissipate relatively rapidly. Next on the spectrum would be a prolonged recession and all that that entails. Next we might place a collapse of the financial system on here, and finally we might envisage a collapse of government services at all levels

I am pretty certain that our future lies somewhere along this spectrum; the problem is, I don’t know where. The key here is that I cannot entirely rule out any particular outcome. I can’t place a probability of zero next to any of these, so I need to weigh them all.

So let’s play a little thought game with one of them and see how it might lead to making a case for action. Let’s use #3 – Financial System Collapse.

Without worrying about how likely or probable a financial crisis might be, let’s simply say it is either true or it is false. That is, it either happens or it doesn’t. Hopefully we can all agree that “true or false” pretty much covers the total range of possible outcomes.

And down on this axis, we’ll say that you either prepared for this crisis in advance or you did not. Again, it is either true or false that you chose to take steps to mitigate the impact of a financial crisis.

So what happens if it’s both true that the crisis happened and that you did prepare as best you could? Congratulations - give yourself a smiley face; you did the best you could.

And what about the case where the crisis did not happen and you did not prepare? Again, congratulations - you did the best you could. It turns out that these are essentially equivalent outcomes, and we can therefore remove them from our decision framework. In each case, we got the best outcome we could, so there’s not much to be gained from weighing and comparing them.

But what about this case, where the crisis did not happen but you did prepare? How bad could that be? What’s the worst that you could put in this box? Well, you probably wasted some money (maybe the opportunity to participate in capital gains in the stock market) and some wasted time, but perhaps worst of all, you ended up feeling foolish. That’s awful.

Now let’s compare this box to this other box, where the financial crisis happened but you did not prepare. What can we put in this box? Here it’s possible that you suffered a massive loss of wealth, had to make sudden, massive adjustments under the pressure of little time and scarce resources, and live with a sense of recrimination for having been “right” in your concerns but unprepared nonetheless. You can probably put a bunch more things in each of these boxes, and you should. But for our purposes, we’re done.

Now all we have to do is compare these two boxes. That’s it. In the scheme of things, which is worse? Where would you rather be? We are all built differently, but I am the sort that could never forgive myself for being right but unprepared. I can more easily forgive myself for being wrong and prepared. But that’s just me. Only you know which of these two boxes carries more weight for you. But if you picked the upper right box, then I need to ask, “What’s preventing you from taking action?”

Now, just for arguments sake mind, we were to look at Greg Craven's film "How It All Ends", we find the exact same use of Pascal's Wager, a full year before Chris Martenson used the self same equation method in the Crash Course!!! So, in my argument, if Pascal's wager is used in expressing The Crash Course, and has people drooling and defending its merit and message, then therefore, Greg Craven's series should also be given more than just a cursory glance in regard to his take on Global Climate Change, before dismissing its merit and message.

Therefore, this is a repost : -

How about we role out the special carpet for all of those newbies that have entered into the inner-workings of cm.com, and give this old thread another lease of life with that old favourite, wonderingmind42 from You Tube, who created that especially entertaining set of video's on climate.

Greg has been so thoughtful, he created his own site, dedicated in making the whole experience a lot less cumbersome by putting them all in an alphabetized list for easy reference, and all in one place. The link to it is below his first film I've set below this: -

A Nice & Satisfyingly Helpful link To Wonderingmind42's Very Own Website Of Uncomplicated Indexed Video's ...

A Link To His Book Which Came About Through The Success Of His Online Video's

[quote=]

This Is What An Independent Critic Had To Say Of The Book

What's The Worst That Could Happen?: A rational Response To The Climate Change Debate

by Greg Craven

Written by a high school science teacher, Greg Craven’s What’s the Worst That Could Happen? A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate is a worthwhile and unusual addition to the catalogue of books on climate change. Craven’s chosen task is not to determine whether climate scientists are right in their projections of what human activity is and will do to the climate; rather, he is trying to prepare readers to make the best choice, given the uncertainty that will always exist.

This is the same basic message he popularized in a series of viral videos, the first and last of which are especially worth watching:

* The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See

* How It All Ends

I do have one slight quibble with both. Craven’s decision grid suggests that we will eventually be able to look back and know if we made the right choice. I don’t think that’s true. If we take aggressive action and stop climate change, we may never know with certainty just how bad it would have been if we had ignored it. No matter how sophisticated they become, simulations can never give us total certainty, and we don’t have another planet with which to run an experiment. Similarly, if we take no action and climate change proves catastrophic, we will never know for sure what level of action would have been sufficient to stop it – or whether doing so was still possible at any particular point in time.

Craven’s approach is based around heuristics: examining the ways in which people make decisions, taking into consideration pitfalls like confirmation bias, and then developing an approach to make an intelligent choice. In this case, it involves developing a way to roughly rank the credibility of sources, look at who is saying what, and complete a decision grid that shows the consequences of climate change either being or not being a major problem and humanity either taking or not taking major action. His own conclusion is that taking action unnecessarily isn’t likely to be exceptionally economically damaging, and can be considered a prudent course for ensuring that the worst does not happen.

On the question of why action has not yet been taken, Craven focuses primarily on human psychology. We respond to threats that are immediate, visible, and have a hostile agent behind them. Since climate change is none of these things, it doesn’t trigger strong responses in us. Cognitive factors also help explain why people are so confused about the state of climate science, though individual failings in information assessment are accompanied by the failure of the media to pass along good information effectively.

Craven concludes that raising political will is the key action that needs to be taken, and that cutting individual emissions is of very secondary importance. Like many others, he draws on the analogy of WWII to show what the United States is capable of achieving when it has the determination.

Some readers may find the book’s informal style and fill-in-the-blanks exercises a bit annoying, or feel that they trivialize the issues at hand. That being said, Craven has produced a very accessible book that recasts the climate change debate in a valuable new way: evaluating what choice to make, under uncertainty, rather than trying to determine authoritatively who is right. For those wishing to grapple with the practical question of what ought to be done about climate change, this book is well worth reading.

Enjoy!

~ VF ~

 

V's picture
V
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2009
Posts: 849
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

The Global Warming Scam Hit by More Scandal

Written by Brian Westenhaus   

Tuesday, 19 October 2010 15:40

For the scientifically adept and honest people global warming is a huge embarrassment.  Not only have the main base perpetrators been caught but also the institutions that house their activities have gone deep into the coverup.  It’s just too much money to let integrity rule their actions.  The global warming scheme has tens of thousands of people employed even though that seemingly high cost is miniscule compared to the harm to billions of people the stage two schemes of corrective measures would force on the innocent.  A taxpaying family is out a few dollars each year now but the corrective measures could get to hundreds of dollars per month.

 

Its something far more dangerous that low intensity wars would be.  Yet media and leadership are out of touch.  Integrity be damned, so to speak.

 

Not everyone is lost.  Some, only a few, get the message and act to preserve the integrity of science.  It’s hard to resist all that money and notoriety.  Al Gore is famed on falsehoods, sort of that Gary Hart idea “you can get real famous in just two weeks,” comment taken to a whole new level.  That fame mixed with fear has flooded the scam with money.  That leaves those with integrity out in the wilderness shouting at the emptiness.

 

But for those with an age past needing the career funded or the integrity to stand up to the snake oil sales pitch a little can be done.  When its somebody very highly regarded, with an impeccable reputation and is slapping down a U.S. national association – its news – and an act worth our attention and respect.

 

But not by major media news in the U.S. so it’s up to a viral spread.

 

Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara has resigned from the American Physical Society. Here is short version of the Lewis career pedigree: Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara and former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chairman of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II.

 

This is news.  The Lewis resignation is significant, the reason are damning.  Lewis’ act may be a historical moment and calls into doubt the integrity and credibility of the management of the American Physical Society. It’s past time for these things to get underway.

 

Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat suggests the letter is, “worthy of repeating . . . in (its) entirety on every blog that discusses science.”  This writer agrees – far too much human capital is being wasted as well as billions of dollars and risks to the future from a fraud.  This IS serious stuff.

 

Here is his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society. It’s a damning document of great courage and some sacrifice.

From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara

 

To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010

 

Dear Curt:

 

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

 

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

 

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

 

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

 

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

 

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in) distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

 

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

 

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

 

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

 

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

 

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

 

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

 

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

 

Hal

 

One day ‘Global Warming’ will in be history’s trash can.  The question is how much will be lost in the hysteria in the meantime.

 

By. Brian Westenhaus

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

NOAA: Year-to-Date Global Temperature Ties for Warmest on Record

Arctic sea ice reaches its third lowest minimum extent on record

October 15, 2010

Temperature Anomolies, September 2010.

Temperature Anomolies, September 2010

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The first nine months of 2010 tied with the same period in 1998 for the warmest combined land and ocean surface temperature on record. The global average land surface temperature for January-September was the second warmest on record, behind 2007. The global ocean surface temperature for January–September was also the second warmest on record, behind 1998.

The monthly analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, which is based on records going back to 1880, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders, so they can make informed decisions.

Global Temperature Highlights

  • For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 58.67 F (14.75 C) tied with 1998 as the warmest January-September period on record. This value is 1.17 F (0.65 C) above the 20th century average.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for September 2010 tied with 1998 as the eighth warmest on record at 59.9 F (15.5 C), which is 0.90 F (0.50 C) above the 20th century average of 59.0 F (15.0 C).
  • Separately, the September global land surface temperature was 1.19 F (0.66 C) above the 20th century average of 53.6 F (12.0 C) — the ninth warmest September on record. Warmer-than-average conditions dominated the world’s land areas. The most prominent warmth was in western Alaska, most of the contiguous United States, eastern Canada, Greenland, the Middle East, eastern and central Europe, western and far eastern Russia and northeastern Asia. Cooler-than-average regions included much of Australia, western Canada, parts of the northern United States, parts of western and central Europe, and central Russia.
    • According to NOAA’s National Weather Service, Los Angeles set a new all-time maximum temperature on Sept. 27 when temperatures soared to 113 F (45 C), surpassing the previous record of 112 F (44.4 C) set in June 1990.
    • According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, the country had its coolest maximum temperatures since 1984. The Northern Territory had its coolest September since 1984, and Western Australia and Victoria each recorded their lowest maximum temperatures since 1992. South Australia had its second-lowest maximum temperatures on record for September. Overall, though, the nation had overnight minimum temperatures that were 1.62 F (0.90 C) above average.
  • The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.79 F (0.44 C) above the 20th century average of 61.1 F (16.2 C) and the ninth warmest September on record. The warmth was most pronounced in the Atlantic Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean.
  • La Niña’s magnitude strengthened to moderate in September, as sea surface temperatures continued to drop across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Niña episodes are typically associated with global temperatures that are cooler than recent trends, and this was the case for September 2010. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to strengthen and last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2011.
Temperature Anomolies, January - September 2010.

Temperature Anomolies, January - September 2010

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Polar Sea Ice and Precipitation Highlights

  • Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum on Sept. 19, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The average extent of 1.89 million square miles (4.90 million square kilometers) was the third lowest September sea ice extent on record (30.4 percent below average). The annual record was set in 2007 (38.9 percent below average). This year also marked the 14th consecutive September with below-average Arctic sea ice extent.
  • Antarctic sea ice reached its annual maximum in September. September 2010 was the third largest sea ice extent on record (2.3 percent above average), behind 2006 (largest) and 2007 (second largest).
  • According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, the continent received an average precipitation of 1.91 inches (48.4 millimeters) during September — this is nearly double the 1961–1990 average and the highest September value on record.

Scientists, researchers and leaders in government and industry use NOAA’s monthly reports to help track trends and other changes in the world's climate. This climate service has a wide range of practical uses, from helping farmers know what and when to plant, to guiding resource managers with critical decisions about water, energy and other vital assets.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the oceans to surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Find us on Facebook.

Additional Information

September 2010 Global State of the Climate – Supplemental Figures & Information

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Global Climate Change Indicators

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Climatic Data Center

Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming. It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change. Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.


How do we know the Earth's climate is warming?

Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change. A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends. The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.


The Global Surface Temperature is Rising
Global Surface Temperature
Global annual average temperature measured over land and oceans. Red bars indicate temperatures above and blue bars indicate temperatures below the 1901-2000 average temperature. The black line shows atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in parts per million.

Global average temperature is one of the most-cited indicators of global climate change, and shows an increase of approximately 1.4°F since the early 20th Century. The global surface temperature is based on air temperature data over land and sea-surface temperatures observed from ships, buoys and satellites. There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others. These year-to-year fluctuations in temperature are due to natural processes, such as the effects of El Ninos, La Ninas, and the eruption of large volcanoes. Notably, the 20 warmest years have all occurred since 1981, and the 10 warmest have all occurred in the past 12 years.


U.S. Surface Temperature is also Rising
US Temperature
Annual surface temperatures for the contiguous U.S. compared to the 20th Century (1901-2000) average. Calculated from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN version 2). More information: U.S. Surface Temperature Data, USHCN v2.

Surface temperatures averaged across the U.S. have also risen. While the U.S. temperature makes up only part of the global temperature, the rise over a large area is not inconsistent with expectations in a warming planet. Because the U.S. is just a fraction of the planet, it is subject to more year-to-year variability than the planet as a whole. This is evident in the U.S. temperature trace.


Sea Level is Rising
Sea Level Rise
Annual averages of global sea level. Red: sea-level since 1870; Blue: tide gauge data; Black: based on satellite observations. The inset shows global mean sea level rise since 1993 - a period over which sea level rise has accelerated. More information: Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise (USGCRP) and Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.

Global mean sea level has been rising at an average rate of approximately 1.7 mm/year over the past 100 years (measured from tide gauge observations), which is significantly larger than the rate averaged over the last several thousand years. Since 1993, global sea level has risen at an accelerating rate of around 3.5 mm/year. Much of the sea level rise to date is a result of increasing heat of the ocean causing it to expand. It is expected that melting land ice (e.g. from Greenland and mountain glaciers) will play a more significant role in contributing to future sea level rise.


Global Upper Ocean Heat Content is Rising
Ocean Heat Content
Time series of seasonal (red dots) and annual average (black line) of global upper ocean heat content for the 0-700m layer since 1955. More information: BAMS State of the Climate in 2009.

While ocean heat content varies significantly from place to place and from year-to-year (as a result of changing ocean currents and natural variability), there is a strong trend during the period of reliable measurements. Increasing heat content in the ocean is also consistent with sea level rise, which is occurring mostly as a result of thermal expansion of the ocean water as it warms.


Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover is Retreating
Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Extent
Average of monthly snow cover extent anomalies over Northern Hemisphere lands (including Greenland) since Nov 1966. Right: Seasonal snow cover extent over Northern Hemisphere lands since winter 1966-67. Calculated from NOAA snow maps. From BAMS State of the Climate in 2009 report.

Northern Hemisphere average annual snow cover has declined in recent decades. This pattern is consistent with warmer global temperatures. Some of the largest declines have been observed in the spring and summer months.


Glacier Volume is Shrinking
Glacial Decrease
Cumulative decline (in cubic miles) in glacier ice worldwide. More information: Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S.

Warming temperatures lead to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. The total volume of glaciers on Earth is declining sharply. Glaciers have been retreating worldwide for at least the last century; the rate of retreat has increased in the past decade. Only a few glaciers are actually advancing (in locations that were well below freezing, and where increased precipitation has outpaced melting). The progressive disappearance of glaciers has implications not only for a rising global sea level, but also for water supplies in certain regions of Asia and South America.


U.S. Climate Extremes are Increasing
enlargeEnlarge above graph. Annual Climate Extremes Index (CEI) value for the contiguous United States. Larger numbers indicate more acive climate extremes for a year. More information: CEI.

One way climate changes can be assessed is by measuring the frequency of events considered "extreme" (among the most rare of temperature, precipitation and storm intensity values). The Climate Extremes Index (CEI) value for the contiguous United States is an objective way to determine whether extreme events are on the rise. The figure to the left shows the the number of extreme climate events (those which place among the most unusual of the historical record) has been rising over the last four decades.


How do we know humans are the primary cause of the warming?

A large body of evidence supports the conclusion that human activity is the primary driver of recent warming. This evidence has accumulated over several decades, and from hundreds of studies. The first line of evidence is our basic physical understanding of how greenhouse gases trap heat, how the climate system responds to increases in greenhouse gases, and how other human and natural factors influence climate. The second line of evidence is from indirect estimates of climate changes over the last 1,000 to 2,000 years. These estimates are often obtained from living things and their remains (like tree rings and corals) which provide a natural archive of climate variations. These indicators show that the recent temperature rise is clearly unusual in at least the last 1,000 years. The third line of evidence is based on comparisons of actual climate with computer models of how we expect climate to behave under certain human influences. For example, when climate models are run with historical increases in greenhouse gases, they show gradual warming of the Earth and ocean surface, increases in ocean heat content, a rise in global sea level, and general retreat of sea ice and snow cover. These and other aspects of modeled climate change are in agreement with observations.


Climate Model Indications and the Observed Climate
Observations vs. Model
Simulated global temperature in experiments that include human influences (pink line), and model experiments that included only natural factors (blue line). The black line is observed temperature change.

Global climate models clearly show the effect of human-induced changes on global temperatures. The blue band shows how global temperatures would have changed due to natural forces only (without human influence). The pink band shows model projections of the effects of human and natural forces combined. The black line shows actual observed global average temperatures. The close match between the black line and the pink band indicates that observed warming over the last half-century cannot be explained by natural factors alone, and is instead caused primarily by human factors.


800,000 Year Record of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Concentrations
CO2 Changes
Carbon dioxide concentration (parts per million) for the last 800,000 years, measured from trapped bubbles of air in an Antarctic ice core. More information: Climate Change Impacts on the U.S.

Over the last 800,000 years, natural factors have caused the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration to vary within a range of about 170 to 300 parts per million (ppm). The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by roughly 35 percent since the start of the industrial revolution. Globally, over the past several decades, about 80 percent of human-induced CO2 emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels, while about 20 percent resulted from deforestation and associated agricultural practices. In the absence of strong control measures, emissions projected for this century would result in the CO2 concentration increasing to a level that is roughly 2 to 3 times the highest level occurring over the glacial-interglacial era that spans the last 800,000 or more years.


Energy from the Sun Has Not Increased
Solar Variability
Global surface temperature (top, blue) and the Sun's energy received at the top of Earth's atmosphere (red, bottom). Solar energy has been measured by satellites since 1978.

The amount of solar energy received at the top of our atmosphere has followed its natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs, but with no net increase. Over the same period, global temperature has risen markedly. This indicates that it is extremely unlikely that solar influence has been a significant driver of global temperature change over several decades.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3105
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

DTM

Now there you go again, posting actual science in the face of Dr. Lewis's screed which, btw, cites no scientific theories or findings and only makes vague charges without specifying any scientific studies that he actually disputes.  BTW, no fewer than five panels of distinguished scholars have looked at the so-called 'climategate' and found no wrong-doing, no fudged data and no innappropriate scientific procedures.  I don't know what the good doctor's real beef is, but he'll have to produce an actual charge and supporting evidence before his rant should be considered to have any merit.

Doug

edited to get the right doctor.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?
Doug wrote:

DTM

Now there you go again, posting actual science in the face of Dr. Lewis's screed

Sorry Doug....

ashvinp's picture
ashvinp
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 20 2010
Posts: 412
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

The last few posts on this thread capture the dynamic of ideologies regarding climate change perfectly. Letters of resignaton filled with vague accusations vs. objective, scientific analysis of data. Hmmm who should I believe?? Good work DTM.

jpitre's picture
jpitre
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 3 2009
Posts: 366
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

I been away from this tread for a while and amazed to come back to see the same dead arguments against the concept of global warming. Beyond me how anyone can still be a denier. Ice is melting, the world is getting warmer and we are spewing billions of tons of greenhouse gas into our atmosphere - gee, I wonder if there is a connection. Seems to me there is altogether too much time squabbling over the scientific minutiae /details when all the time it is in plain sight for anyone to see that our climate is warning and we are a big part of why.

Time to move on to doing what we can about solutions

Jim

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2367
Re: Global Climate Change: is it worth brushing off?

Jeez, you guys really miss the point.
Scientific Process? Anyone?

...No?

The information presented by IPCC and Al Gore in particular, is not conclusive. It shows a temporal trend - not a runaway climate catastrophe.
Scientists like Dr. Lewis are correct - they've asked for scientific documentation that conclusively proves something.
It has not been presented.

The scientists who doubt the hyopthesis are not encumbered by the burden of proof - the scientists making the claim are.
Producing lots of data that can be interpreted by science in a number of ways is not proof.

This isn't a tired arguement unless you're just simply not convinced that the Scientific Process is valid.
Ice is melting? Empirical observations are not conclusive theories.

Almost all the rational is being provided by subjective data on a very short timeline.
This would be like talking about the Economic Meltdown and saying it's a process that, by all accounts, will destroy habitats permanantly and leave the world in an eternal state of peril.

While the dire consequences exist as a possiblility, there is a full spectrum of possibility that is not being regarded because of dogmatic over-interpretation and runaway anthro-progenic computer models that are useful only as guides.

Further, the claims in DTM's links are just as suspect; The Sun's energy has not increased?
Seriously? Look at the timeline. It's not an increase in aggregate energy that is in question. It's the duration of the solar cycles.

There is a correlation between temp, fluorocarbons, O3, Ice melt and Oceanic depth.
There should be.
What about this is alarming? These numbers are relatively mild, and even over the last 500 years, we've had significantly more extreme temperature changes - we just simply can't quantify it with numbers - which makes this science all the more suspect.

This entire thing is just dupe or get duped.

Sad that minds are so closed.

Cheers,

Aaron

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments