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The Engineer
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UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/26/2009 11:39 PM

Came across this article and figured I'd share it. It can found at the following link.


Scientists for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, say the group's latest findings on global warming show rapidly increasing carbon dioxide emissions and quickly shrinking Arctic ice. To compound matters, a separate study released on Wednesday finds that the melting of polar ice is more severe than previously thought.

The Chairman of the IPCC, RK Pachauri, said 11 of the last 12 years were among the warmest for global surface temperature in recorded history. Pachauri testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the IPCC's latest findings on global warming.

He said climate change will impact some parts of the world more severely than others.

"In Africa, for instance, by 2020 our projections show that 75 to 250 million people would be affected by water stress on account of climate change, and crop revenues could drop very rapidly," said R.K. Pachauri. "We are really causing major distortions and disparities in economic development and growth throughout the world."

Pachauri's testimony coincided with another study by the U.N.-backed International Polar Year program, which found that icecaps at both the North and South Poles are melting at unprecedented rate. The report, compiled by scientists from more than 60 countries, also says that the shrinking of polar and Greenland ice is fueling a rise in sea levels and the potential for dramatic changes in the global climate system.

The authors say the Arctic permafrost also reveals larger amounts of carbon than expected that, with further melting, could release more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

Christopher Field, a contributor to the IPCC report, told the Senate Committee that temperatures at the South Pole are rising faster than expected.

"Just within the last few months we've seen confirmation that the continent of Antarctica has been warming," he said. "And it's been warming at a rate of almost 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, comparable in pace to much of the rest of the Southern Hemisphere."

Pachauri and Field say the costs of mitigating human generated carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions are modest compared to the costs of doing nothing. Field adds that the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says if CO2 levels are left unchecked, the earth's temperature could rise several degrees by the end of the century.

Scientists who are skeptical of the severity of global warming contend that there is no way to measure the impact of human activity on climate and that no one knows how much warming will occur or how it might affect the earth. Some experts suggest that global warming may be part of natural climate cycles that humans can do little about.

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#1

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/27/2009 12:06 AM

I agree with the last statement. It is something humans can do little about. So why do we keep getting bombarded with global warming scenarios every day? Perhaps a warmer earth would not be all that bad...I don't suppose the polar bears would agree. What do you think, Roger?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/27/2009 12:10 AM

I think if I lived in Canada I'd probably feel the same way.

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#3

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/27/2009 11:34 PM

Think of it this way- the alternative to global warming is global cooling, leading to an ice age, which would be far more devastating than the projected effects of global warming (try crowding the worlds billions within the tropics...). Reading the United Nations Panel reports, it is quite clear that no one has sufficient understanding of what effect any meddling would ultimately have.

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 5:04 PM

"It is quite clear that no-one has sufficient understanding of what effect any meddling would have."
Indeed, that is the problem - that at the moment the side-effect of our carbon-based economy is that we are meddling like mad with the atmosphere, and we have insufficient understanding to know just how extreme the results will be. But even the less extreme analyses now suggest that it is imperative that we find ways to reduce this meddling.

Global cooling is not necessarily "the alternative to global warming". In fact, the scenarios I have seen for the more rapid onset of an ice age show it as being triggered by a period of global warming and consequent changes in ocean currents.

Hopefully, I am misreading your intent; but if not this looks like a frighteningly selective interpretation of the reports.

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#20
In reply to #3

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 2:36 PM

Personally, I believe that the whole topic is just a method used by the politicians (aided by the scientifically illiterate media) to keep the general public focused on topics other than issues like the economy.

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 3:57 PM

Yes, because no one is talking about the economy.

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#32
In reply to #20

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 11:24 AM

Thus quoth the Dodo "We have lived on this island for hundreds of thousands of years, and nothing has ever tried to eat us. Show me the evidence that these new animals are dangerous, and then I will run away".

P.S. Distracting attention from the economy: that's one of the least convincing conspiracy theories I've seen - the warming fraternity have been working away through good times as well as bad. (And the man who recently most needed this distraction wasn't exactly prominent on the global warming front, was he)

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#37
In reply to #32

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 3:02 PM

By "fraternity" you mean the scientists of the world, right. The guys who spend 8 years studying science in school, training themselves to be critical thinkers, fighting to get their papers published through the peer review process, engaging in heated debates over minutia that are critical only to their perfectionist discipline. Then work 30, 40, 50 years in a discipline, immersed. Those guys right?

And you are? Your facts are better because?

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 4:37 AM

I can't see the connection between your post and the post you were ostensibly answering. The way I read the latter was that it likened those who deny global warming to the dodo - i.e. both being unable to perceive or respond to a potential hazard; then it seemed to say that the man who needed people distracting from the economy (presumably George W?) was not one of those trumpeting global warming - so I can't see how it would be interpreted as contradicting the fraternity.)

What am I missing here?

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#45
In reply to #39

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 2:19 PM

Hey Fyz,

I think you misunderstood guest's post. Take another look at the P.S. part:

P.S. Distracting attention from the economy: that's one of the least convincing conspiracy theories I've seen - the warming fraternity have been working away through good times as well as bad. (And the man who recently most needed this distraction wasn't exactly prominent on the global warming front, was he)

I think Guest is basically saying "I dont' believe the proponents of Global Warming are promoting it because of the economy. This may at first seem supportive of Global Warming, till you noticed the term "Warming Fraternity", a phrase that is used to describe irrational loyalty.

In other words, the guest is saying that the "Global Warming Fraternity" isn't acting to distract from the economy, they are doing it because thats what they do. It isn't meant to be complimentary.

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#56
In reply to #45

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 5:46 AM

Fraternity must carry different connotations in the USA. Over here, it simply means a group (often, but not necessarily a formal one) working for a common cause*. (A secret fraternity would be another matter, Boaz)
*Presumably in this case the preservation of the climatic status quo.

Given the very strong implications of the remainder, I am inclined to think that it was written by an European who didn't intend such an implicit meaning.

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#134
In reply to #45

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 8:04 AM

I agree with Phys (except the nationality)

What G means is that the poor fellows were trying against all odds (the Greens). And people are calling them the conspirators.

Where as the person who needed to divert the attention most from the economy (I presume Mr President- he meant) didn't do it,

Hence it is not the conspiracy theory.

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#133
In reply to #37

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 8:00 AM

As I see you two are in agreement then

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#85
In reply to #3

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 9:49 PM

When you are not sure of the effects, at least preserve the nature and let nature take its own path.

Damaging nature could bring you to a point, where nature also may not be able to correct the situation.

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#4

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 12:33 AM

NASA and the other tax-funded agencies which actually measure global temperatures agree that, while CO2 continues to increase, global warming stopped ten years ago and recent cooling has us back to 1930 temperatures. Now, since all the non-scientists/politicians are determined that it's all our fault the Earth is warming (The other planets seem to be warming, too. The ice caps on Mars are shrinking), it seems a waste of money to actually measure temperatures. Their minds are made up.

By the way, the polar bear population sems to be at an all-time (recorded time) high.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 1:17 PM

And Santa Claus is real and the Earth is 6000 years old and the sun revolves around the Earth, and the Earth is flat and Dinosaurs are fake and..........

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 5:07 PM

I think that one of the statements may be based on measurements - polar bears can indeed be found in greater density on the pack-ice than previously. (Isn't it amazing how you can mislead with selective data?)

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#113
In reply to #9

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/05/2009 6:07 PM

That was so totally uncalled for that it immediately calls into question your ability to be factual and avoid ad-hominum attacks against those you disagree with.

He had a legitimate comment to make, and rather than provide any critique or evidence to the contrary, you immediately attack the commenter?

Roger, your previous comments and assistance on CR4 indicate that you are capable of better than this, and I only hope that your increasing immersion in academia (getting that PHD, right?) have not hardened your ability to stay open minded.

There is no evidence that any activity of mankind is capable of activity even of the order of magnitude of input to the climate system of earth necessary that we could even raise the temperature of the planet by a single degree intentionally, let alone as a by-product of other-than-water vapor greenhouse gases.

And that's not even looking at the fact that our surface temperature collection (the raw data) is corrupt. Many stations may be trending warmer, but largely and demonstrably due to location and development around most of those that have any noticeable warming trend at all.

We don't have the whole picture, the models appear to be tweaked toward the outcome desired, the scientists that are not politically active or politically/government funded do not tend to sign on to the hysteria, and the solutions are all pushing for collectivist government solutions that conveniently include centralized control of the economy or harsh punishment against developed countries, industries, and individual companies.

That doesn't lead to confidence in the global warming hype by the global-cooling-deniers.

I'm sure you've got more bio-research behind you than most of us will ever desire to have - so didn't you get into the whole carbon-cycle thing?

CO2+sunlight = faster growth of plants + O2 = more shade/cooling/green = carbon stuck in the plants => more food and less carbon until we burn the resulting matter = start all over again...right?

It still appears to me that the long lag of historical CO2 after warming periods indicates gases coming out of solution from the oceans due to solar output, and who cares if the ice ebbs and flows? I'd love to see northern Canada, Greenland, and Siberia able to be farmed again, we could feed billions more people that way.

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#122
In reply to #113

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/06/2009 9:28 AM

Hear! Hear!

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#123
In reply to #113

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/06/2009 10:51 AM

I believe that I have answered every specific scientific objection in this thread. Regarding the ad hominem objection that supporters are politically funded or otherwise have vested interests, you have at least two counterexamples contributing to this thread [unless you count as a "vested interest" my having grandchildren that I don't wish to be subjected to the political upheaval that would attend excessive (or excessively rapid) warming].

I shall briefly make my comment on your hopes for farming in Canada etc:
Globally, the optimum situation would be where highest levels of insolation coincide with the regions where the temperature is optimum. Warming these more polar regions will increase production there - but the loss of production in the regions that are nearer the tropics (including the US corn-belt) will unfortunately be greater than the benefit. In fact, it should be no surprise if the optimum condition is to have the best temperatures at around +/-25O latitude: the area per degree of latitude is largest near the equator, the insolation there is highest, and temperature also varies more slowly near the equator (as solar heat input per area follows a cosine law). Add to that that rapid change means that the populations and food will not be in the same place, we would need any change to be rather slow (even if a warmer world would in absolute terms produce more food)

So, the situation is that all specific references to "poor data" that have been presented on this thread have been found to be either based on partial understanding or on superseded results or otherwise not properly relevant - and that this is present in this thread for all to see. If you have good-quality additional information I would be very pleased to see it. But the coupling in this post of general and unsupported statements about the quality of the data with ad-hominem accusations leave me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

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#136
In reply to #113

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 8:17 AM

I'd love to see northern Canada, Greenland, and Siberia able to be farmed again,

But add to that India. china, and all other currently farmed areas especially between tow tropics will be deserts.

And I am not sure that the above will be farmable. The total weather pattern will change.

CO2+sunlight = faster growth of plants + O2 = more shade/cooling/green = carbon stuck in the plants => more food and less carbon until we burn the resulting matter = start all over again...right?

More temperature- less water condensation, less rain fall = dead plants = bush fires = more CO2 in air = more heat and the cycle goes on. More CO2 released from the entrapped CaCO3

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#145
In reply to #136

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 9:35 PM

More temperature- more evaporation, more rainfall. the evaporated water that goes up must come down.

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#135
In reply to #4

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 8:12 AM

polar bear population sems to be at an all-time (recorded time) high

No hibernation, lots of food. Winter deaths gone down.

NASA and the other tax-funded agencies which actually measure global temperatures agree that, while CO2 continues to increase, global warming stopped ten years ago

I am not sure (and I have least regard with due respect to Pink - other post - what they are saying) I know personally the weather change over here for last 10 years and they are not showing what NASA is saying.

Winter temperatures are mild. Summer here used to be max 40 deg C. Last year it has touched 45 and this year now already it is 39 deg C. (Peak Summer is May end- June Early)

Rain falls are annually OK, but the spread is not. Every year as I remember we used to have some rain fall during Jan and feb (may be to carry the plants through the summer) , last year - nil, this year nil as on date.

Same NASA has predicted the arctic to be ice free by ? 2010 ?

I am not sure about the global warming but every thing is showing it at my zone. Other part of the world ?

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#5

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 10:28 AM

Absolutely change is the global condition; let us not lose sight of that

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#6

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 11:57 AM

Greetings.

A number of years ago my step son was working on his PhD, in Lawrence, Kansas, in electrical engineering and working for NASA in the summers in Greenland.

They were flying onto the ice with a P3 Orion ex Navy sub chaser. They mounted the microwave on the wings and went back and forth using microwave to measure the ice and land configurations underneath the ice.

They found a a number of mountains that were under the ice I believe it was in the Northwest section of Greenland that no one knew existed and doubted the findings.

It seems that there was a map that was made in the 1500s or the 1600s that showed those mountains and no ice but everyone had thought that the maker was wrong until this study came out. It also showed that the ice was actually growing in Greenland and not melting.

I am not sure if it was on the same old map or a second old one that showed Antartica as a number of islands and no ice.

I remember there was an article in some journal giving all of their findings.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 12:06 PM

Are you referring to the Piri Reis map? Here is the Wikipedia article.

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#8
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 1:02 PM

We know that, a thousand years ago, there were trees and dairy cattle in Greenland. It's well documented. There were also wineries in Britain. Then the world as we know it slipped into "the little ice age." Glaciers in Europe advanced. The learned men studied the problem, and the consensus, the "inconvenient truth", was that the cooling was caused by human activity, specifically witches. After they had burned a sufficient number of witches, the glaciers began to retreat, long before the industrial revolution, and the trend has continued to the present.

Engineers, as opposed to politicians, depend on past test data. If asked to fight global warming, the scientific solution is to produce more witches.

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#10
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 1:23 PM

Yes there was trees and dairy cattle in Greenland hundreds of years ago, on the very southern tip. Glaciers did advance in Europe. Learned men didn't blamed it on witches, you made that up.

Today people like yours however ignore all the signs of extraordinary unnatural melting and warming and burn anyone who tries to tell you at the stake, as can be seen by your dig at Al Gore above. Face it man, your the guy with the pitchfork and torch ready to burn witches, not a reasonable objector.

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#15
In reply to #10

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 6:14 PM

Am I reading this right?

Today people like yours however ignore all the signs of extraordinary unnatural melting??

What or where is this 'unnatural' melting occurring and what is unnatural about the melting process precisely??

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#11

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 1:49 PM

Aye Mate!! Good to see ya' on this dark and rainy night…

"Sure the clouds pour buckets. Even under the eves are wet and dripping"

"Rain falls up?. Wind maybe?"

"Do believe it; rain falls up"

"Good news then. Barkeep pour me another pint.

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#14

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 5:21 PM

Roger, thanks for posting this. I have a question regarding the final paragraph:

"Scientists who are skeptical of the severity of global warming contend that there is no way to measure the impact of human activity on climate and that no one knows how much warming will occur or how it might affect the earth. Some experts suggest that global warming may be part of natural climate cycles that humans can do little about."

Have we any idea how many informed scientists fall into this camp?. My reason for asking is that, although I know scientists who are mistrustful of our ability to accurately measure and and still less predict the medium-term behaviour of the atmosphere, remarkably few of them consider that a case can be made that man is not causing significant disruption. My reason for asking is that reports on the subject of warming are littered with reports of "skeptical (scientists)" * and "some (contradicting) experts"; however, (unlike those concerned about CO2) almost always without any way of tracing the source.

*Maybe this is also partly a misinterpretation - after all, a scientist who is not in the proper sense sceptical is probably not going to produce reliable results anyway

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

02/28/2009 8:54 PM

"...remarkably few of them consider that a case can be made that man is not causing significant disruption."

What is the evidence that man is causing global warming? Is man also causing the warming on other planets, or is that just a quirky coincidence? And the past warming, when fossil fuels were not a factor? Were Nature's laws different then? People point to a correlation between CO2 and temperature, but it's not a good one, as witness the last decade. The warmest year on record was 1934, when man-made CO2 had been reduced more than Kyoto ever would, as the Great Depression had shut down steel mills and factories, reducing emissions about 30 per cent. And the warming 200 years ago wasn't caused by Exxon or even the Carron iron works. So, people cook the data, like the infamous "hockey stick" that Al Gore cited, and say, but look at the correlation. If you believe that correlation proves causality, then you believe that skimpy bathing suits cause sunny days. (Yes, natural sources of CO2, like oceans and tundra give off more when they warm up) The computer models which predict warming can't even model past climate change, and they can't handle the really important "greenhouse" factors, water vapor and cloud coverage. They are constructed like video games to give the result the funding agency wants, GIGO. No one has measured the attenuation of outgoing radiation attributable to atmosphereic CO2; the effect is down in the noise. So I repeat: what is the evidence that man is causing global warming? (I'll concede that the urban heat island effect causes urban weather stations to show warming)

Vice President Cheney asserted that a 1 per cent probability was as good as certainty; if Iraq might have WMD, then act as if they did. When it comes to disrupting the world economy and creating new, expensive, never-ending government agencies to win the war on global warming, as they have the war on poverty, the war on cancer, the war on ignorance, the war on drugs, I'd rather take my chance that this is a passing delusion, like faith in astrology. It's a humorous cliche', the bearded guy on the sidewalk holding a sign, "The end is near," but it's not humorous when heads of state do that. Show me the evidence, the measurements, the hard science.

Before you write me off as an ignorant crank, I just happened to have been one of the better forecasters at European Weather Central.

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#28
In reply to #16

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 10:33 AM

Hmm. I suppose best to address your comments point by point:

"Is man also causing global warming on other planets, or is that just a quirky coincidence?"
Well, no to both; obviously man is not causing any such thing - and neither is it a coincidence. That is because there is no genuine evidence of comparably anomalous warming on the other planets. I imagine you to be referring to Mars as the case most frequently cited. What appears to have happened is that some writers have seized on data from a particular region of Mars, and called that "global". But, to paraphrase NASA: "to the extent that it is sensible to speak of a mean temperature for Mars, the evidence is for cooling from the 1970s onwards". (N.B. the other popular error that distorts the data from outer planets is the choice of periods that do not coincide with the full planetary year).

"Past warming, when fossil fuels were not a factor": certainly there were historical times when local temperatures were higher, usually when known cycles coincided. Global land temperatures were often higher in geological timescales, particularly when the continents were coincident. You need to bear in mind that the issue is not that the absolute temperatures that man will be creating will higher than they have ever been; it is not even entirely that they will be higher than they have been since mammals have been in the ascendancy (though that is probably the case).
The major issues are:
. that the unprecedented rate of change will not give plants and creatures time to adapt or to migrate; and
. that the origin of the increased global temperature is expected to result in relatively large effects at the poles, and the secondary consequences of this are liable to be more extreme than those due to other causes of warming.
Regarding "1934 being the hottest year" there are several basic errors here:
. First, that 1934 was the hottest year in the USA only. Mean global temperatures in 1934 were almost exactly on the trend line, and below those of any year whatever since 1980.
. Second, that global CO2 levels will not have reduced significantly as a result of the depression - there may have been a marginal decrease, but the more likely result would have been that the increase was negligible (I can't find reliable data to cover this period).

Whether correlation indicates causality depends on the level of the correlation. The correlation we have between CO2 and global temperatures is sufficient to indicate causality; what it does not tell you is whether one causes the other - and if so which way around, or whether they both have a common third cause. However, when the effect is predicted and refinements to the models only serve to confirm the predictions, the safest conclusion has to be that the model must be taken seriously. (Water vapour and cloud coverage have been included, and don't modify the results. Even if they did, such exceptional levels as are seeing would demand an explanation for the changes in vapour levels.)

"No one has measured the attenuation of outgoing radiation attributable to atmospheric CO2; the effect is down in the noise." It has only become possible to do this at all since about 1984. I have not personally seen the results, but my understanding is that the results correlate well with the models. As you state that "the effect is down in the noise", you will doubtless provide me with the reference to source data so that I can see for myself.

So, the evidence is modelling combined with measurements that strongly correlate with the model.

As regards the evidence, much of it has been presented third-hand in various fora on CR4. Beyond that, you have access to the internet: "Seek and ye will find".

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 12:24 AM

Hey Fyz,

There are a handful that suggest it, and by handful I mean less than 5 that I've seen though there are probably more. One guy went rogue at APS last year and it got picked up for a week by the media as APS's official stance till APS came out and said "the guy wrote that in an Op-ed piece". They then reiterated their statement on Global Warming which is of course that it's real and it's caused by man.

It's been my personal experience that all the scientists I've met:

1. Acknowledge Global Warming is real and caused by man

2. The climate models that attempt to predict temperature changes are unreliable as of today

3. The surface temperature measurements have issues

4. Are a little freaked out by the fact that ice seems to be melting much faster than any of the models predicted.

Personally, I'm less worried about Global Warming (understanding that it will be a long time befor anything is actually done to fight it because of the costs involved) than the willful denial by a large segment of the population of a scientific fact (evolution is another example). If intelligent men and women can deny this, what else can they deny? It's a bit unnerving for me.

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 3:39 PM

Roger Pink -- about your comment "If intelligent men and women can deny this, what else can they deny? It's a bit unnerving for me."

In another CR-4 topic "Have We Failed Engineering" we are beating around the subject of engineering education at the moment. I'm coming to the opinion that an important element of that solution is in early education of children in the efficacy of logic, critical thinking and the scientific method. Just how we do this could be done is another interesting topic. But worthy of note is the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man," which is based on a quotation by Francis Xavier. (thanx, Wikipedia)

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#25
In reply to #21

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 4:01 PM

Very, very well said. I agree.

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#29
In reply to #21

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 10:42 AM

The scary thing about the Jesuit statement is that it applies to belief structures and habitual behaviour.
Based on observation of differently educated generations in the UK, I have a creeping fear that open-minded but critical thinking is not that much affected by education. This is based on the untutored technicians (from older generations) I have worked with - who have appeared to be as able to recognise what lay before them rather better than the majority of graduates. Yes, I recognise this to be a selected group; nevertheless...

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#36
In reply to #29

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 2:57 PM

I think the root of the problem has been that science has always sought to target the youth to improve its future prospects. I think what we as scientists must do is target the parents. Educate them, inform them, constantly refute lies and misinformation that proliferate society. And most importantly, treat them with respect. We need to stop taking the approach that some segments of society are unredeemable. This is hogwash, they are just believing the people who pay attention to them. If scientists in the U.S truly made an effort to educate the "far right" in the US, we might wake up one day to find them our staunchest allies.

If we target the parents, teach them and clear their misconceptions, I promise you, the children will follow.

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#111
In reply to #36

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/05/2009 4:06 PM

Dear Roger, I've got my doubts about targeting parents. Typically your parents teach you what they know, not what you might really need to know.

I do of course believe that all of us are duty bound to search for truth, and try to share that. The focus on CO2 as the trigger for Global Warming is in fact, from what I can tell, a bit narrow.

Far as I can tell increased CO2 did increase average temperatures, but then led to increased release of Methane, which I regard as the likely reason that warming models have been off mark, and things are melting faster than anticipated.

There is regardless of whatever reasons you want to identify as most important to blame, CO2 or Methane combinations, a dangerous warming trend.

It is seen in bird migration nesting dates in the arctic, and in drownings of Polar Bears.

Human beings are a dominate species on the planet. Pretty much what happens here, or has happened here, can be traced to our activities.

Exceptions are Asteroid strikes and Volcanos, from what I can tell.

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#112
In reply to #111

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/05/2009 5:11 PM

I don't know the answers, but here's my 2p

Methane is easy to identify and quantify via its absorbtion spectrum, so it's unlikely that would have been missed. In any case, the temperature observations are well within the expected range - the major issue seems to be the rate of melt of the northern ice caps. Part of this could be due to difficulties in modelling the circulation of air and water (much of which of course varies randomly). The melting is also triggering earthquakes, which will in turn accelerate mixing. It also appears that the absorption of the polar snow has been changing - possibly due to changing wind patterns bringing in pollutants

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#30
In reply to #17

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 10:48 AM

Thanks, that's about what I thought, and your interaction with professional scientists correlates well with what I've seen in the UK. However, one thing I have noticed about UK scientists is that the majority of them will only get involved in a discussion on specific aspects when one of those involved is a specialist in that aspect; to my mind, this cannot be helpful when dealing with public education or scepticism. Are US scientists similarly diffident?

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#35
In reply to #30

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 2:51 PM

Extremely so, which is why I think there is a perception of a debate at all on this as well as some other established science (evolution). The silence is deafening from most scientists, not because of any doubt as to the facts, but rather a profound distaste for the inevitable confrontation that will inevitably result.

There are exceptions of course, and it does seem to me that younger scientists tend to be more vocal, still, I think APS and other scientific organizations need to create a branch dedicated to proactively confronting these misconceptions. A public relations wing if you will. We as scientists have to stop seperating ourselves and rejoin the real world. We have a social responsibility.

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#18

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 8:02 AM

In all interpretation of scientific facts, there is a set of underlying assumptions, many of them implicit and not acknowledged.

Two people can look at the same climate data and one will say "anthropogenic global warming", another will say "part of a natural cycle".

The history of scientific concern over climate change, going back at least to the 1890's, favors the second view, but it really depends on the "filter" you take into interpreting the facts.

I personally wonder what the present strident "anthropogenic warming" camp will be saying in a couple of decades time when the majority of scientific opinion will be looking at the evidence and concluding that an ice age is imminent and it is not caused by global warming after all but just part of the natural cycle.

One good effect of the present discussion is that society is now trying to use it's resources more efficiently. If sensibly done, this must be to the benefit of all.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 11:38 AM

Sceptic quoted:

"I personally wonder what the present strident "anthropogenic warming" camp will be saying in a couple of decades time when the majority of scientific opinion will be looking at the evidence and concluding that an ice age is imminent and it is not caused by global warming after all but just part of the natural cycle."

I think they would say "We did the right thing. The odds were in our favor with a benefit/cost ratio of 10. And look at the side benefits. Reduced emissions of toxic byproducts of coal burning such as mercury. Development of other energy sources to reduce consumption of oil, provide energy for a growing world population and heating to withstand the colder climate in EurAsia and North America"

It's a win-win situation, guys. And please quit worrying about them taking away your old pickup truck. Ain't gonna happen 'cept maybe Down Under where the greenies have gone crazy. Sorry mates. You made a big mistake allowing them to buy food in your markets. Maybe they'll quiet down, especially the tree hugger cults, now that a lot of good people have lost everything, lives included, from the fires. I've got a feeling the greenies are not going to get a lot of support for hugging those eucalyptus fire bombs.

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#23
In reply to #18

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 3:55 PM

"In all interpretation of Scientific Facts, there is a set of underlying assumption, many of them implicit and not ackonowledged"

The scientific method is not a set of opinions, its a strict set of procedures used to develope rules that define nature. What you're mistaking for insight is in fact your ignorance of how science works.

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#22

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 3:47 PM
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#26
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/01/2009 4:02 PM

How cryptic.

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#75
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 5:25 PM

not much to it

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#27

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 9:26 AM

From John Coleman, passed along becuase he says it better than I.


From the founder of the Weather Channel, and a U of I alumni

The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam

By John Coleman

The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints.

Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have led tthe public to be skeptical that any runaway global warning. There is now awareness that there may be reason to question whether CO2 is a pollutant and a significant greenhouse gas.

How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government? And how will we ever stop it?

The story begins with an Oceanographer named Roger Revelle. He served with the Navy in World War II. After the war he became the Director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla in San Diego, California. Revelle saw the opportunity to obtain major funding from the Navy for doing measurements and research on the ocean around the Pacific Atolls where the US military was conducting atomic bomb tests. He greatly expanded the Institute's areas of interest and among others hired Hans Suess, a noted Chemist from the University of Chicago, who was very interested in the traces of carbon in the environment from the burning of fossil fuels. Revelle tagged on to Suess studies and co-authored a paper with him in 1957. The paper raises the possibility that the carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming. It seems to be a plea for funding for more studies. Funding, frankly, is where Revelle's mind was most of the
time.

Next Revelle hired a Geochemist named David Keeling to devise a way to measure the atmospheric content of Carbon dioxide. In 1960 Keeling published his first paper showing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and linking the increase to the burning of fossil fuels.

These two research papers became the bedrock of the science of global warming, even though they offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas. In addition they failed to explain how this trace gas, only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, could have any significant impact on temperatures.

Now let me take you back to the1950s when this was going on. Our cities were entrapped in a pall of pollution from the crude internal combustion engines that powered cars and trucks back then and from the uncontrolled emissions from power plants and factories. Cars and factories and power plants were filling the air with all sorts of pollutants. There was a valid and serious concern about the health consequences of this pollution and a strong environmental movement was developing to demand action. Government accepted this challenge and new environmental standards were set. Scientists and engineers came to the rescue. New reformulated fuels were developed for cars, as were new high tech, computer controlled engines and catalytic converters. By the mid seventies cars were no longer big time polluters, emitting only some carbon dioxide and water vapor from their tail pipes. Likewise, new fuel processing and smoke stack scrubbers were added to industrial and
power plants and their emissions were greatly reduced, as well.

But an environmental movement had been established and its funding and very existence depended on having a continuing crisis issue. So the research papers from Scripps came at just the right moment. And, with them came the birth of an issue; man-made global warming from the carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.

Revelle and Keeling used this new alarmism to keep their funding growing. Other researchers with environmental motivations and a hunger for funding saw this developing and climbed aboard as well. The research grants began to flow and alarming hypothesis began to show up everywhere.

The Keeling curve showed a steady rise in CO2 in atmosphere during the period since oil and coal were discovered and used by man. As of today, carbon dioxide has increased from 215 to 385 parts per million. But, despite the increases, it is still only a trace gas in the atmosphere. While the increase is real, the percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny, about 41 hundredths of one percent.

Several hypothesis emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming. But they remained unproven. Years have passed and the scientists kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories. And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up.

Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation's bureaucrat named Maurice Strong. He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meeting.

Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations, a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government. But, he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis. So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation's
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This was not a pure climate study scientific organization, as we have been led to believe. It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved the UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels. Over the last 25 years they have been very effective. Hundreds of scientific papers, four major international meetings and reams of news stories about climatic Armageddon later, the UN IPCC has made its points to the satisfaction of most and even shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

At the same time, that Maurice Strong was busy at the UN, things were getting a bit out of hand for the man who is now called the grandfather of global warming, Roger Revelle. He had been very politically active in the late 1950's as he worked to have the University of California locate a San Diego campus adjacent to Scripps Institute in La Jolla. He won that major war, but lost an all important battle afterward when he was passed over in the selection of the first Chancellor of the new campus.

He left Scripps finally in 1963 and moved to Harvard University to establish a Center for Population Studies. It was there that Revelle inspired one of his students to become a major global warming activist. This student would say later, "It felt like such a privilege to be able to hear about the readouts from some of those measurements in a group of no more than a dozen undergraduates. Here was this teacher presenting something not years old but fresh out of the lab, with profound implications for our future!" The student described him as "a wonderful, visionary professor" who was "one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming," That student was Al Gore. He thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book Earth in the Balance, published in 1992.

So there it is, Roger Revelle was indeed the grandfather of global warming. His work had laid the foundation for the UN IPCC, provided the anti-fossil fuel ammunition to the environmental movement and sent Al Gore on his road to his books, his move, his Nobel Peace Prize and a hundred million dollars from the carbon credits business.

What happened next is amazing. The global warming frenzy was becoming the cause celeb of the media. After all the media is mostly liberal, loves Al Gore, loves to warn us of impending disasters and tell us "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". The politicians and the environmentalist loved it, too.

But the tide was turning with Roger Revelle. He was forced out at Harvard at 65 and returned to California and a semi retirement position at UCSD. There he had time to rethink Carbon Dioxide and the greenhouse effect. The man who had inspired Al Gore and given the UN the basic research it needed to launch its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was having second thoughts. In 1988 he wrote two cautionary letters to members of Congress. He wrote, "My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways." He added, "…we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer."

And in 1991 Revelle teamed up with Chauncey Starr, founding director of the Electric Power Research Institute and Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, to write an article for Cosmos magazine. They urged more research and begged scientists and governments not to move too fast to curb greenhouse CO2 emissions because the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain and curbing the use of fossil fuels could have a huge negative impact on the economy and jobs and our standard of living. I have discussed this collaboration with Dr. Singer. He assures me that Revelle was considerably more certain than he was at the time that carbon dioxide was not a problem.

Did Roger Revelle attend the Summer enclave at the Bohemian Grove in Northern California in the Summer of 1990 while working on that article? Did he deliver a lakeside speech there to the assembled movers and shakers from Washington and Wall Street in which he apologized for sending the UN IPCC and Al Gore onto this wild goose chase about global warming? Did he say that the key scientific conjecture of his lifetime had turned out wrong? The answer to those questions is, "I think so, but I do not know it for certain". I have not managed to get it confirmed as of this moment. It's a little like Las Vegas; what is said at the Bohemian Grove stays at the Bohemian Grove. There are no transcripts or recordings and people who attend are encouraged not to talk. Yet, the topic is so important, that some people have shared with me on an informal basis.

Roger Revelle died of a heart attack three months after the Cosmos story was printed. Oh, how I wish he were still alive today. He might be able to stop this scientific silliness and end the global warming scam.
Al Gore has dismissed Roger Revelle's Mea culpa as the actions of senile old man. And, the next year, while running for Vice President, he said the science behind global warming is settled and there will be no more debate, From 1992 until today, he and his cohorts have refused to debate global warming and when they are asked about we skeptics, they insult us and call us names.

So today we have the acceptance of carbon dioxide as the culprit of global warming. It is concluded that when we burn fossil fuels we are leaving a dastardly carbon footprint which we must pay Al Gore or the environmentalists to offset. Our governments on all levels are considering taxing the use of fossil fuels. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of naming CO2 as a pollutant and strictly regulating its use to protect our climate. The new President and the US congress are on board. Many state governments are moving on the same course.

We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by no drilling and no new refineries for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that the whole thing about corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies. That also has driven up food prices. And, all of this is a long way from over.
And, I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it.

Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a high jacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history.

John Coleman
1-28-2009

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#31
In reply to #27

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 11:16 AM

John Coleman is a powerful presenter, and a formidable entrepreneur. His degree was in journalism, which would at the time have been most likely to major in writing and presentation.

The only 'facts' I could identify in the article relate to Roger Revelle's sounding a note of caution in 1988. He did not say the theory was wrong - just that his scientific level of confidence had been misinterpreted - moderate action was appropriate, but more data was needed before taking extreme action*. The global warming since that time has been at the upper end of the predictions of that time - and the melting of ice-caps is outside the upper quartile. I think that Revelle himself would by now be urging government to act and to act decisively.
*Typical of a scientist - assuming this message would not be interpreted as "ignore everything you have heard so far".

The only reason Gore won't debate global warming at the scientific level is that he regards himself as not being best qualified to do so - his role is to raise awareness and look to the political and economic aspect of the solutions. There are plenty of people involved who do debate the scientific issues, on the internet, in journal articles, in books, at meetings, and even in the popular press.

Other than that, it seems that we have an awful lot of "bad science" statements without any attempt to engage with any of the technical issues (and search as I might, that is all I have been able to find from this source).

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#44
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 2:18 PM

Are you telling me that a smart man such as Al "I invented the internet" Gore can't debate global warming? He won't debate it because he is just a salesman trying to make a buck by parting more fools from their money. He should be Al "I invented man-made global warming" Gore instead.

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#55
In reply to #44

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 5:35 AM

Al Gore was one of those in Congress who was instrumental in providing the authority and funding for the development of the internet. That is the most he ever claimed (though he did once use the dreaded "initiative" word). Now you know you got your "facts" wrong, perhaps you might revise your view of him as a person (that's not necessarily the same as agreeing with him, of course)
N.B. I can't see how anyone actively working in politics can avoid at least fudging some issues - after all, to be active in politics they have to talk such a great deal.

BTW, I think it could be time to change the way you describe your location - it makes it appear that you believe that Texas still has a president.

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#58
In reply to #55

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 8:38 AM

Nah, I will leave my location as is. The USSA, as it has officially become since November of 08, led by socialists and liberals from the left coast and the northeast, has become an increasingly scary place to live. Texas would be far better off on its own.

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#63
In reply to #58

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:47 AM

That's as maybe, but wishful thinking doesn't make it true. So in my opinion it just looks silly (others may disagree). [A bit like calling my country "Great Britain" - though in our case it has an accurate meaning as well]

BTW, the idea that the USA is "led" is a novel one to me - I always thought that politicians attained power by pandering to public opinion.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:50 AM

Hey! Sometimes politicians cajole too.

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#66
In reply to #64

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:59 AM

Agreed, but there are limits. No-one can lead too far away from where the populace already wants to be taken (except maybe by stealth - and I don't know how long it's possible to keep that up). ("The art of the possible"?).

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 11:04 AM

I agree, politicians are mainly a manifestation of the needs and wants of the populace. The reason we hate them is because they are such effective mirrors.

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#115
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/05/2009 6:34 PM

I would agree fully if you edited slightly to state something like:

"...many politicians are mainly a manifestation that some are able to convincingly promise a painless way to meet the needs and wants of the populace. The reason we hate them is because once elected, they turn out to have been nothing more than effective manipulators."

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#70
In reply to #63

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 11:51 AM

Public interest has little to do with it anymore. Politician's votes are bought and paid for by way of campaign contributions and bribes/kickbacks from lobbyists. This is along with putting plenty of pork in their bills ensuring that they stand to financially profit themselves as well as their biggest campaign contributers. It's really sad how far away from the ideas set forth by the founding fathers of the US that things have gotten. "No taxation without representation" for example, we are not represented by our congressmen and senators, they represent only their own self interest and ambition for power.

The latest scheme being pushed heavily is buying votes by way of socialised programs and welfare. First the government requires banks to secure home loans for people with low or no income, or else be penalized by the federal governemt. Then when the people cannot pay their mortgages, they offer to reduce interest rates and assist with repayment...on the tax payers dime. Meanwhile, those of us who bought homes well within our price range receive no such interest rate help or rewards etc. for consistently paying our bills. Why are the deadbeats being rewarded instead of the productive members of society??? It is to offer incentive to be more and more dependant on the government for your every want and need. This is precisely why democrats are pushing for an amnesty bill for illegal aliens. With the insane welfare programs being dreamed up and a guarantee in place for housing, food stamps, etc. who do you think they will vote for? It is just a way to buy an additional ~20 million votes.

Along with trying to make people more and more dependant on the government, is the continuing fight to institute rediculous "gun control" laws that violate the second ammendmant. Politicians now try to argue that guns not designed for sporting, should be made illegal. Of course they would take this position, that is because the second ammendment has absolutely nothing to do with sport, and everything to do with a citizens right to protect themselves from their enemies, including their government. This ammendmant was put in place to ensure that the possibility of revolution by the citizens against tyranny will always exist. It is a check and balance.

Well...that was way off-topic.

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#74
In reply to #70

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 5:20 PM

You could consider that we already tried the "buying votes with welfare" trick in the UK. Margaret Thatcher and the subsequent rise of "New Labour" prove that it does not have the specific effect you fear. But (like any other form of emergency intervention) it does have plenty of other unintended consequences. The problem is that no country has yet managed to do this in a way that avoided a range of income where people see no net benefit from working.

So, if (and it so happens that I do) you want to ensure that all your citizens can have a decent life, the only method that could possibly work is universal subsidy for all citizens as of right, regardless of income. That looks horribly expensive at first sight - and means tax has to start from a much lower income level; but people will always see some return for any additional effort, so it will always work out cheaper overall than only paying those who are nearly destitute.

(There as been a demonstration of this in another area - the EEC "Common Agricultural Policy" causing any produce that didn't reach a specific price to be bought and placed into storage. Initially, this looked cheaper than a subsidy, but it distorted the market, creating periodic gluts in one foodstuff and production shortages in others. Other than that it is exactly equivalent to paying people only if they don't work)

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#33

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 1:08 PM

Some useful links:

http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/global-warming-on-jupiter.html

http://motls.blogspot.com/2004/09/sunspots-correlations-with-temperature.html

quoted from marc Morano:

Following the U.S. Senate's vote today on a global warming measure, there is a shift taking place in climate science. Many former believers in catastrophic man-made global warming have recently reversed themselves and are now climate skeptics. The names below are just a sampling of the prominent scientists who have spoken out recently to oppose the perceived alarmism of man-made global warming.

The media's climate fear factor seemingly grows louder even as the latest science grows less and less alarming by the day. It is also worth noting that the proponents of climate fears are increasingly attempting to suppress dissent by skeptics.

Once Believers, Now Skeptics

Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, a top geophysicist and French Socialist who has authored more than 100 scientific articles and written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal from the Geochemical Society of the United States, converted from climate alarmist to skeptic in 2006. Allegre, who was one of the first scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years ago, now says the cause of climate change is "unknown" and accused the "prophets of doom of global warming" of being motivated by money, noting that "the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!" "Glaciers' chronicles or historical archives point to the fact that climate is a capricious phenomena. This fact is confirmed by mathematical meteorological theories. So, let us be cautious," Allegre explained in a September 21, 2006 article in the French newspaper L'EXPRESS. The National Post in Canada also profiled Allegre on March 2, 2007, noting "Allegre has the highest environmental credentials. The author of early environmental books, he fought successful battles to protect the ozone layer from CFCs and public health from lead pollution." Allegre now calls fears of a climate disaster "simplistic and obscuring the true dangers" mocks "the greenhouse-gas fanatics whose proclamations consist in denouncing man's role on the climate without doing anything about it except organizing conferences and preparing protocols that become dead letters." Allegre, a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences, had previously expressed concern about manmade global warming. "By burning fossil fuels, man enhanced the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century," Allegre wrote 20 years ago. In addition, Allegre was one of 1500 scientists who signed a November 18, 1992 letter titled "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" in which the scientists warned that global warming's "potential risks are very great."

Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta recently reversed his view of man-made climate change and instead became a global warming skeptic. Wiskel was once such a big believer in man-made global warming that he set out to build a "Kyoto house" in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997. Wiskel wanted to prove that the Kyoto Protocol's goals were achievable by people making small changes in their lives. But after further examining the science behind Kyoto, Wiskel reversed his scientific views completely and became such a strong skeptic, that he recently wrote a book titled "The Emperor's New Climate: Debunking the Myth of Global Warming." A November 15, 2006 Edmonton Sun article explains Wiskel's conversion while building his "Kyoto house": "Instead, he said he realized global warming theory was full of holes and 'red flags,' and became convinced that humans are not responsible for rising temperatures." Wiskel now says "the truth has to start somewhere." Noting that the Earth has been warming for 18,000 years, Wiskel told the Canadian newspaper, "If this happened once and we were the cause of it, tha

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/02/2009 2:41 PM

Esbuck,

Your posts demonstrate a hazardous disregard of intellectual responsibility.

I encourage everyone to read Esbuck's posts so that you can truly understand how misunderstood science is. Esbuck represents the confusion and misconceptions regarding science that plagues this nation. Esbuck has presented op-ed pieces as facts because he has so little understanding of science, that he cannot distinguish editorials from scientific data.

People of Esbuck's ilk will present large numbers of editorials as a means of debate. Think of it as debate through attrition, they bury you in meaningless opinions so as to lose the facts in the giant pile of.....(well, you know). Esbuck is too lazy to actually do the work required to have an informed opinion, instead he presents the opinions of others and regards anything they say as facts to be disproved. Esbuck laziness on this subject, as well as his clear misunderstanding of science is dangerous.

Esbuck has turned away from critical thinking. Esbuck is a follower, devoid of original thought on this subject, whose jeering ridicule of those who have spent the time and effort to understand these problems reflects the misplaced confidence of the uninformed.

Some of you may believe this post is unduly harsh. You may believe that such criticism, although true, should not be spoken aloud. I disagree. I think it's important Esbuck understands exactly what he is. If not presented with the stark reality of what he is, how can he ever change? Our silence in these matters makes us complicit in whatever ill is born of the lies and made up facts presented by Esbuck's sources.

There is nothing so dangerous as a nation that turns its back on science and the discipline of critical thinking. It consumes itself in a fire of unrestrained passions. We must reaffirm critical thinking in this country and it starts by confronting individuals like Esbuck rather than engaging them.

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#40
In reply to #34

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 7:27 AM

Hi Roger Pink

I'm afraid your last post showed all that is bad about the GW believers views of the sceptics.

Instead of answering his points, you simply attack him.

This approach should have no place in a forum like this.

We want facts, not personal attacks.

You have not answered a single one of the points raised.

It does seem apparent that the sceptics are actually gaining strength as GW seems to be abating.

I still have not received a satisfactory answer to the points I have frequently raised:

1. Historical global temps have been higher in the past without anthropogenic factors available to blame - eg the medieval warm period where grain was grown in Greenland, grapes in S. Scotland and Newfoundland or similar region was referred to as"Vinland" because native grapes grew there. (Climate models don't satisfactorily account for this period, which means either the models are wrong or the historical records)

2. Past geological ages had around 10x our present levels of CO2, with no evidence of the disasters being predicted now. Why is it a disaster now when it caused no problems then?

3. Increased CO2 leads to increased crop and food production. Greenhouse growers have used this for years and go to great trouble to increase CO2 within their greenhouses. Why is this supposed to be a looming disaster?

I would prefer factual answers, not name calling.

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#43
In reply to #40

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 12:24 PM

I'll have a go - even though I am convinced you are either know these answers already, or are capable of finding the answers for yourself.

Point number 1: There are two aspects - both of which have already been implied or mentioned in this thread:
First, it is not current or even medieval temperatures we are worried about, but expected higher temperatures (expectation based initially on modelling, but now more obvious from extrapolation of the temperature curves).
Second, the problem is with the distribution of the temperatures. The medieval warm period appears not to have been entirely global, as it apparently lead neither to the rises in sea levels we anticipate nor to the famines across Africa (though we cannot be certain of the latter).

Point number 2: Assuming for now that there was nothing we would consider to be a disaster (and we really don't have the sort of information that would allow us to judge whether that was the case), that could only be because there were no forms of life around that were unadapted to the temperatures that correspond to that level of CO2.

Point number 3: At appropriate temperatures what you say is precisely true (current levels of CO2 are indeed quite low for plants). But you would also need to supply the other nutrients that are needed in similar proportions. However, the real problem is that, if you look at the regions of the globe that are currently most productive, you will see that increasing global temperatures will cause them to move further from the equator, and that the productive areas will shrink. That's just considering the temperatures - rain-fall distribution will also change, so areas where people currently live will suffer increased drought, and the regions where the rain does fall will be those where soils have not had the opportunity to adapt to make use of it. In short, a good proportion of the catastrophe (though not I believe all) is because he change will be too fast for ecosystems - and their dependent fauna - to adapt.

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#46
In reply to #40

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 2:42 PM

Sceptic,

I disagree.

When you engage someone who refuses hard science in a discussion you're validating him. I'm certainly not the only person who is thinking what I wrote. The difference is no one would write it out of politeness.

We've tried addressing nonsense fact after nonsense fact for ten years with regards to global warming and where has it gotten us? A world where science is doubted, an object of ridicule. You know why? Because we validated their ridiculous arguments by engaging them rather than just cutting through the BS and telling them they are fools.

What if I bought an NFL team and made myself a starting running back, would you sit and debate the idea with me, or would you say, you're being an idiot, you're going to get killed. If you said that to me, is it because you hate me, or because you are mean? Of course not. On the contrary, it's because you care. What if no one wanted to confront me like that? What happens then? I go out on the field and get killed. Did people do me any favors with their "Politeness"? Of course not, they did themselves a favor by not sounding like "the bad guy", meanwhile I'm dead because I was an idiot and no one would tell me.

I know you probably disagree. I know most people here probably agree with you that I'm being a jerk. And I certainly acknowledge that there is a line that I don't mean to cross that I cross occasionally.

But I would rather say the truth and have him hate me then allow him to go through life believing he's in the game when he isn't.

Roger

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 3:26 PM

Roger -- Bravo for taking the position you do. There are things in life we just have to deal with. Someone has to run the sewage treatment plant as unpleasant as it might be for most. Life is full of the spoor of illogic and untruth that will grow unchecked day after day unless we keep shoveling.

On the other hand this particular debate you are leading reminds me of a popular saying in in another subculture I'm involved with. It goes something like this:

"Arguing with an (event official) is like wrestling with a pig on mud. After a while you begin to realize the pug enjoys it."

Ed Weldon

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 3:34 PM

Wait, am I the pig or the event official?

Just kidding. Just to emphasize, I may be a bit of an idealist, but I refuse to believe this is a lost cause. When I run into these guys in different threads they are smart and funny. We need these people. In the immortal words of Ben Franklin, we must hang together or we will hang separately. So what I'm saying is they aren't pigs, they are passionate intelligent people who have been suckered and I look forward to their righteous anger if they ever figure it out.

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#49
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 3:44 PM

Roger --From one lizoid to another ... Pigs are really interesting and intelligent creatures. They can even make decent pets under the right conditions. They seem to have some habits and preferences that we don't like. That's OK. But then they likely feel the same way about us.

BTW, their flesh tastes wonderful when properly smoked and cooked.

Ed Weldon

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 4:50 PM

See, now I'm just hungry.

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#137
In reply to #50

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 8:34 AM

All this discourse is highly distasteful to Earl of Blandings.

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#138
In reply to #137

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/07/2009 8:54 AM

not to mention the denizens of animal farm

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#54
In reply to #49

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 4:52 AM

Winston Churchill was fond of saying "Cats look down on us, dogs look up to us, pigs treat us as equals".

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#61
In reply to #54

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:26 AM

And how do you think Winston Churchill would view you?

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#53
In reply to #46

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 4:45 AM

Hi Roger Pink

When you engage someone who refuses hard science in a discussion you're validating him.

This is rubbish. When you refuse to engage someone, you immediately validate them by leaving the assumption that you are unable to counter his arguments.

With the quality of some of the research work I have seen you produce, you have no need to resort to these tactics.

If he is putting forward nonsense, sink it with solid argument. That is the surest way to knock him out of the argument.

You are far to good a researcher to resort to the tactics you have been using.

I'm saying that if he thinks he's good enough to be on the team, let the facts show him if he's not.

Physicist?

Thank you for your response.

There is, in fact, some historical evidence of 1st century AD GW being wide spread. At that time, the Uighur nation was strong both because of the silk route trade and because the rivers into the Taklamakan were flowing strongly and reliably allowing extensive irrigation. As there does not appear to have been an increase in rain, the only source for this water was melting of glaciers on the Kunlun, Pamir Knot and Tien Shan mountains. This indicates warmer than normal conditions, a far cry from the present.

You comment that there seems to be no evidence of drought in Africa, but the necessity for that comes about because of the requirements of our climate models. It may not be a real artifact at all times of GW.

The importance of historical warming periods is that if our climate models can't accommodate them, then the models are wrong so we cannot rely on their predictions.

In addition, if climate in the historical past has been warmer than now, or as warm, and we have had cold periods in between, we can expect that our present warming is most likely to be part of a natural cycle, anthropogenic effects are minor and the cycle will shift some time in the reasonable future. In fact, beyond measures to increase the efficiency of use of our resources, the stronger actions being mooted (carbon sequestration, carbon trading etc) could wind up making the reversal worse than it would otherwise have been. I actually doubt this as I think we are too small a player on the world stage (as distinct from local effects) to make a major difference.

The assertion that our present warming is anthropogenic is an assumption. In fact, it exists in mathematical models only. If those models can't handle known historical events, then they are no use as a predictor.

The geological evidence shows many plant forms that indicate similar temperatures to the present and similar conditions except for the much higher CO2 (still only a trace in the atmosphere). If the plant forms then had no trouble, there is no reason to suspect we will.

I'm trying to locate the reference, but a paper was produced which noted that C3 plants are currently limited by CO2 rather than nutrients or water, so increased CO2 will produce higher yields of these (eg corn, I think wheat uses the C4 pathway).

We also need to be careful to distinguish between facts and interpretation of facts.

A temperature measurement is a fact. A statement such as "this is part of an upward trend" is an interpretation, relying on some processing of the raw data.

There is no room for disagreement on facts. Interpretation leaves varying amounts of room for disagreement. Interpretation masquerading as fact leaves room for quite heated disagreement.

http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/climate/

In it is a graph of CO2 rise since 1870 to 2000.

Another graph shows the trend in average global surface temperature from 1860 to 2000.

Between 1880 and 1895, this temp was falling while CO2 was rising.

Temperature then wandered around until a consistent rise started in about 1938.

During this whole time, CO2 was rising with no effect on global temperature.

Suddenly temperature rise occurs in step with CO2 rise. All theory I have seen indicates the early rise should have occurred almost immediately. I cannot think of a credible mechanism that will account for temperature lagging CO2 rise, then going into step with it.

This indicates we have probably fingered the wrong villain by blaming CO2.

Some other factor(s) have clearly been dominant and probably still are.

Incidentally, I suspect the temperature graph has been subject to some massaging. All records I have seen from a variety of places around the world, plus other evidence such as droughts etc indicate that the 1930's were a period of significantly higher than normal temperatures, yet the graph on this site doesn't show this, which makes me a little suspicious of it.

If it showed the 1930's as the temperature I think it should have been, then temperature would have risen ahead of CO2 rise, then in the 1940's would have fallen as CO2 rose, definitely hard to account for with current climate models.

The site seems to regard the CO2 level measurements from the top of Mauna Loa as the best baseline for global CO2, yet Mauna Loa is a active volcano, with the potential for CO2 to seep out of the ground unnoticed. In addition, Kilauea, another active volcano is on the Island with bubbling lava and all. Knowing that volcanoes are established as CO2 emitters I would think this would make readings from this site dubious.

Why haven't they taken the readings from the least polluted atmosphere in the world? Southern Tasmania has a station which measures everything to do with the atmosphere. It is regarded as the best baseline for atmospheric studies. (I think it is called Cape Barren, but I'm not sure). It would be interesting to see what CO2 rise we have had based on this site. I suspect it would be significantly different, but I don't know.

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#60
In reply to #53

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:23 AM

Sceptic,

These aren't tactics. These are the gut reactions of a guy who spends his time trying to understand Science, loves Science, and is sickened by the garbage people who should know better put forward as facts. I'm not here to play nice, I love science and everything represents and I feel that it is under attack, so I'm fighting back.

Sceptic, your name belies your prejudice. I'm not saying you're a bad person, but you are on the wrong side of this.

Roger

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#62
In reply to #53

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:29 AM

That is very long, and you make good points.

I'll address them, even though I think you ignore the more important features of my response, which I shall reiterate first:

1) The major problem with global warming is not where we are today - it is where we could be in a few years time.
2) The actual level of temperature is not the only issue - the lack of time to adapt is equally important.

Now to some of your points:

"The importance of historical warming periods is that if our climate models can't accommodate them, then the models are wrong so we cannot rely on their predictions."
The "if" premise is false, so that is certainly not a reason to discard the models. I should probably have been more specific: the models can accommodate past periods of global warming. What they cannot necessarily do is to say what was the cause - the reason for that being that we did not have monitors in place. [As I have mentioned elsewhere, this is not my field of expertise, but possible causes could include human slash-and-burn activity, changes in solar activity, a high-volume venting of stored methane or CO2 (I don't believe that would necessarily need major geological disruption)]

Most of the following paragraph was covered in comments 1 and 2. But the statement "I think we are too small a player on the world stage" would appear to fly in the face of quite a lot of evidence - I'll just mention a couple of not-directly items before commenting on oil:
. We have had problems with ozone layer destruction. This was measured and modelled, and found to correlate very closely with the levels of halogenated hydrocarbons that man was producing. Reversing our production has had the expected effect.

. American botany changed dramatically following the arrival of the Europeans. That was mainly due to a very small matter - earthworms arrived with the settlers.

Which brings us to my relevant points - man's biological activity could indeed have very little global effect*. But the things that may be associated with us can have effects out of all proportion to our direct biological impact. In the above two cases the issues were respectively the use of materials that were particularly damaging to the ozone layer and an associated (and apparently minor species. For the CO2 issue it is that we have found out how to release carboniferous deposits that the Earth has taken aeons to absorb, and that it so happens that any bit-player who discovered this could (unwittingly?) release vast amounts of carbon over such a short period as to cause severe disruption.
*That is not to say that even in a purely biological sense we cannot breed ourself to the point where our population becomes unsustainable - many species do that, and it can even happen if there is significant predation, which does not apply to man.

I don't really understand why you repeat the comment about higher temperatures, etc. But I regard your added comment "if plant forms then had no trouble, there is no reason to suspect we will" as irrelevant and unworthy. The "normal safety limit" for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is taken as 0.5%, and concentrations above 5% are lethal in a relatively short timescale. Many plants will thrive under these conditions. And why just plants, why not say "if bacteria can survive, so can we" - which would also include high sulphur levels, etc.

Although (again) it is not my field, I am aware that under present conditions the primary limit on growth of many plants is temperature followed by CO2 - so to that extent we are in agreement. Equally, we can be confident that the trends are well understood and documented - and taken into account both in the models for CO2 retention / temperature trends, and in the calculations of consequent agricultural yields. We must also bear in mind that the existing limits only apply in regions where the plants are growing relatively well; in other regions the limit is all-too-often water or fixed-nitrogen availability - and again, these are the kinds of things that the calculations will have taken into account.

"A temperature measurement is a fact. A statement such as "this is part of an upward trend" is an interpretation, relying on some processing of the raw data." It may be an interpretation, but that does not affect its fundamental meaning. That's like saying that the velocity of a car is only an interpretation and has no implications (did you try that in court when you were caught speeding? Did it work?). Returning to a more serious take: what is true is that the existence of a trend does not necessarily imply that it will continue; in the case of the car, it is an experience-based model that tells you to what extent the velocity will continue, and what will be the consequences of trying to change that velocity too suddenly. In the case of the climate, we have no direct experience on which to base the models; but we do have well-validated physical models that have predicted the type of trend we are now seeing, and these are the same models that cause the present concern. (And don't forget that it was the same modelling principles that allowed us to design cars, launch satellites... Albeit, I will admit that the climate system is far more complex and difficult than anything for which we have previously had successful engineering models

As you well know, we can take this too far. E.g. if I rely on only my senses, I know that I see images and hear sounds. It is a matter of interpretation that I take any of these to be created by beings of similar type and equal importance to myself. ButI think for day-t-day purposes we accept out own and each-other's existence as facts.

Regarding the graphs (here and here) - the increase in CO2 between 1860 and 1920 was relatively slow, and the models would have predicted about 0.05 degrees of CO2-induced warming over that entire period - that is too small to distinguish from other effects, even if we had the level of detail on insolation etc. that has become increasingly available over the last 40 years. Similarly, I don't see the evidence for "a consistent rise started in 1938". My interpretation is that the graph shows a rise between about 1920 and 1935 that is approximately consistent with the confluence of previously known climate cycles and other effects. I would also note that the magnitude and rate is similar to for the periods 1920-1935 and 1980-2000; the difference is partly that the starting-point is different, but (much more significant) that other factors that would account for the 1920-to-1935 warming were not present. But on its own (even including the modelling) I too would not regard this as conclusive - only that we should take the issue very seriously; however, (while still including the modelling) add in the period from 2000-2008 and it seems to me that we have enough to indicate that we should be treating the effect as real and man-made - at least until significant counter-evidence is found. So, no, I don't think we have the wrong villain, but if we do (and given that there are genuine commercial interests behind people who are funded to look for this), I believe we can count on it becoming public if/whenever such data is available.

Regarding your suspicions - droughts etc are related to air circulations, and have occurred in various localities throughout history. Assuming that warming (whether CO2-induced or not) induces drought in no way implies that it is the only cause - or even that historically it has been the major cause.
N.B. many of the better-known deserts have endured particularly long periods of drought; but I see no reason to suppose there is anything fundamental about this - other than perhaps a measure of localised positive feedback.

Regarding "suspicious measurements on Mauna Loa, you are mistaken about the difficulties. Volcanic CO2 is always accompanied by other gases, and these can be monitored; so I would be more concerned about other effects such as photosynthetic depletion. However, I remain confident that adequate correction has proved possible, if only because the results from Mauna Loa correlate rather well with time-corrected results from Barrow and Tutuila (both since 1973) and Antarctica (since 1975). Trinidad head is also correlating well, but has only been running since 2002. I have been unable to find the Tasmanian results - it may merely be that the methods have not been sufficiently scrutinised by the reporting authorities; it's also conceivable that there have been changes in local conditions that we are unaware of.

Well, I've rambled back at you. I remain convinced (and hope you are at least to some extent coming along with me) that the probability is high that the effect of man-induced CO2 on climate is significant and will become increasingly important over the coming 30+years (depending on what we can do about it). But I also agree that, while taking ameliorating action, we should continue to pay attention to alternative explanations (including random), and modify our views as-and-when (or maybe only if?) credible alternative explanations present themselves.

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#57
In reply to #46

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 7:20 AM

I don't think that your analogy is good. Even in its own terms, I don't think it's what a concerned friend would say; I think something along the lines of: "Don't be a ******* idiot, you'll get killed. Those guys are huge, they've been training for it, and even they get seriously hurt".
That covers both corners - but the initial emotional response will be inevitably be counter-productive unless there is a firm basis of trust already in place (i.e. your friendship extends beyond mere companionship).
Plus, by answering with apparent contempt and without substance, you risk appearing to be unable to engage.

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 9:50 AM

Fyz,

I think this is a discussion I'd much rather have than the current Global Warming one. I'm going to put a post up to start a discussion on this subject. You're welcome to join.

Anyone here is welcome to join.

Roger

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#65
In reply to #59

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:53 AM

I will be interested. I think influence and relationships is an area in which scientists, technologists and engineers do not generally excel. How far we are capable of learning is another matter. As an example, although there are occasions that I have to dig members of my family out of the result of miscommunication and misplaced assertion, the fact remains that in terms of day-to-day influence they are more effective than I - almost without exception.

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#68
In reply to #65

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 11:05 AM
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#52
In reply to #40

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 5:21 PM

Sceptic,

To continue my point, look at all the effort Physicist? went through to address his points. Fyz went above and beyond, refuting false fact after false fact respectfully. He treated that fool with dignity and respect and where did it get him, no where. Because it isn't really a debate. It's a smart informed guy talking to an uninformed guy who thinks he's informed. That's a waste of the informed guy's time.

I don't like seeing Fyz's time wasted on a guy who doesn't know what he's talking about. His time is better spent arguing with me so I can learn something (like tidal forces).

Not everyone is entitled to an opinion. If you don't know what you're talking about you need to be quiet and learn. Too many fools have opinions on subjects they have no business having opinions on. I don't care if you disagree with me, but you better be informed, because if you come at me with BS facts, I'm going to let you know whether you want to hear it or not. For your sake as well as mine.

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#41
In reply to #34

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 8:47 AM
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#42
In reply to #41

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 11:45 AM

esbuck -- I'm just a layman in the area of climatology and global warming. But it seems to me that given the amount of scientific activity we've seen I'd expect that this information from 11 years ago, true as it may be with respect to satellite temperature measurement, is out of context.

Looking at this with the necessarily broad brush of the mechanical engineer in my hand I see much ado about temperature which is just a measurement of what is really an energy problem. It is as if we are arguing about the performance of a steam engine based primarily on observations of its temperatures.

Perhaps another simple minded analogy is the kettle I'm about to put on the stove to boil water. The water boils quietly at a low burner setting. Turn the burner up, the energy flow increases and the boiling becomes more active. Water starts to blurt out of the spout and make a mess of the stove. If I were able to add some insulation to the kettle to reduce radiant heat loss the boiling would just get more violent and the stove becomes a bigger mess.

Unfortunately for our atmosphere we have no control over the energy source. The best we can do is understand how it all works. We're not there yet. But we can do something about the insulation on the kettle while we are still learning.

Ed Weldon

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#51
In reply to #41

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 5:10 PM

That article is from 1997. Here's what the author of that article, Dr. John Christy has to say today

"It is scientifically inconceivable that after changing forests into cities, turning millions of acres into irrigated farmland, putting massive quantities of soot and dust into the air, and putting extra greenhouse gases into the air, that the natural course of climate has not changed in some way."

Christy has also said that while he supports the AGU declaration, and is convinced that human activities are a cause of the global warming that has been measured, he is "still a strong critic of scientists who make catastrophic predictions of huge increases in global temperatures and tremendous rises in sea levels."

Here's the Wikipedia page on Dr. John Chisty.

So, as I was saying, you don't know what you're talking about. To defend your point of view that man is not causing global warming, you posted a link to a 1997 article written by Dr. John Christy who today says that man is causing global warming. Nice work.

Why don't you do some more google searches, barely skim the articles and post the ones that agree with you, regardless of whether or not they were written this decade, with an introduction to the article written like you know what you're talking about. It's fun when you waste everyones time.

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#86
In reply to #34

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:27 PM

You are a wannabe politician masquerading as a scientist.

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#87
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Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:43 PM

Ha. That maybe the funniest thing anyone has ever said to me on CR4. I'm serious. I have no tact, no patience. I say things that make other people cringe. I speak my mind constantly and rarely mince my words. The only reason people tolerate these traits is because I'm an artist (and in general like people, even when I don't, which I think they can sense). I can solve problems others can't with my scientific instinct. I can explain things others don't know in ways that most can understand. If you truly believe what you wrote above, then have completely misunderstood me, or have some weird outlandish idea of what a politician is.

I'm smiling while typing this whole post. It really is the funniest thing I think anyone has ever accused me of.

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#89
In reply to #87

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:49 PM

Humble too!

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#116
In reply to #89

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/05/2009 6:38 PM

but can he kiss babies and raise taxes?

nah...he'd be thinking of how to invent a super-absorbent invisible glove while applying for a grant ;)

much more scientist than politician, though admittedly opinionated like the rest of us.

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#88
In reply to #86

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:43 PM

Mikerho -- And your substantive contribution to this discussion is?

Ed Weldon

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#90
In reply to #88

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 10:52 PM

Thanks Ed, but please, let me enjoy this moment. Of all the things people have said to me, and they can say some awful things when they are angry at me, this is the first time I've ever been accused of being a wannabe politician.

It's like being this clumsy guy with no balance and being mistaken for a trapeze artist. Or I guess more accurately a wannabe trapeze artist.

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/03/2009 4:26 AM

As I warned you, the only way to find data that says other planets are warming is to ignore the 50% of the data that goes the other way. In the case of Jupiter, the equatorial regions are going through the warming that accompanies the formation of a new "spot"; but the poles are cooling; I would have said " to compensate", but the temperature that we see on Jupiter depends as much on far we see into the atmosphere (and on the local atmospheric density, as heavier gases have greater rates of gravitational cooling) as it does on the total heat stored on the planet. In addition, the thermal mass of Jupiter's atmosphere is so great that you would be looking at rather long timescales for any solar-originated changes.

I see that you have re-visited a pair of much-plugged sceptics who are also professional scientists. Even these may not be what they seem. (I hate this ad hominem stuff - unfortunately, it is the only way to deal with falsely claimed authority)

Claude Allegre is a distinguished geophysicist, one of the most eminent workers in the narrow field of isotope analysis. He has no direct background in climatology, and has not published anything scientifically relevant. More to the point, perhaps, he is also a prominent politician, very much in the French partisan tradition. 20 years ago, when he was a strong supporter of the French nuclear industry, he added his name to a letter warning about the dangers of global warming. Now, the coal industry in his political heartland appears to be under threat.

I honestly don't know enough about Bruno Wiskel's views on warming to comment properly. I found lot's of stuff on agricultural methods, and curiously (?) much of it related to economical use of resources. He also continues to be actively engaged with environmentally neutral building techniques.
The other comment that I would make is that the prime staement that has been attributed to him (and I doubt its origins) is that the Earth has been warming for aeons and that the trends we see at the moment are just a part of that; as you only have to look at the global temperature graphs to see that such a statement is extremely misleading - until all the "qualifying caveats" are included.

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#69

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 11:48 AM

The thread seems to ask whether climate change evidence is unequivocal: clear, unambiguous, unquestionable. This thread involves those who believe it is unquestionable and those who question it. The significance is that many people, including the IPCC, believe that it is clear that man's burning of fossil fuels, releasing CO2 into the air, is the cause of present global warming, and that the "climate crisis" justifies vast, expensive political programs to curb the release of CO2. If that hypothesis is correct to a high degree of certainty, then those programs, "carbon caps," etc. are justifed. If the evidence does not support that hypothesis to the exclusion of others, then such programs may be futile, and the money might better be spent mitigating the effects of climate change.

Some things are clear.

Human activity can change the environment, deforestation, agriculture, building cities, over-fishing, polluting rivers, etc. Specific example: in the United States, mandates to burn corn-derived ethanol have caused a 38 per cent increase in fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, increasing the size of the "dead zone".

As the UN points out, http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/climate/page/3057.aspx, the climate has been changing for a long time (400,000 years shown) and there is, in general, a correlation between temperature and non-man-made CO2 in the atmosphere.

The political conclusions depend on the evidence of causality. Radiative transfer theory, applied to computer models, suggests a prompt relationship between CO2 and temperature; if you were to double the CO2 in one day, the temperature would begin to increase in one day, unless it's cloudy. However, if the observed temperature goes up before the C02 increases, or if the temperature goes down while CO2 continues to increase, then the hypothesis of causality is not supported, is not unequivocal. The correlation between temperature and CO2 concentration might, for example, be caused by the fact that warm water (oceans) cannot dissolve as much CO2 as cold water, so warming would release CO2. If the evidence does not support the hypothesis that CO2 causes global warming, then clearly efforts to control CO2 are misguided.

The data on the UN site tend to be difficult to analyse. Does the change in ice in a Finnish river, beginning in the 17th century, indicate that man's burning of fossil fuels cannot be the cause? Generally, the data given is smoothed or truncated or otherwise unsuitable for detailed analysis.

However, the US taxpayer has funded more detailed and credible data collection efforts. Go to http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd06oct97_1.htm . (Note the reference to Dr. John Christy) Read what Marshall Space Flight Center has to say about current measurements and then apply your own scientifically sophisticated ability to interpret the data.

May I suggest that, after you have examined the NASA data, you post your personal conclusions here?

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#73
In reply to #69

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 5:05 PM

In one of your paragraphs you apparently refer to the content of a 1997 report as "what the Marshall centre has to say about current measurements". You should expect subsequent work to have addressed those reservations - and so it has. However, even without those subsequent changes to methodology, the continuing warming would have markedly increased the levels of certainty to the point that the 1997 article would have been very different. This lack of attention does your arguments no favours whatever.

However, I agree your point that in absolutist terms you should never say that anything is unequivocal - even without existentialist arguments, there is always another possibility* - though alternatives become increasingly unlikely as the data mounts. That way, I see two possibilities - you either take the absolutist view that the term unequivocal can never be valid, or you accept some level of proof as corresponding to "unequivocal". In 1997, when the article you referenced was written, I would have said that the conclusion was "extremely strongly indicated" - in my book that's something like a >70% probability of being true (if you insist I will define elsewhere what I mean by this). Given the scale of the potential problem, that should have been enough to start taking action, which could be suspended if/when events proved it unnecessary. As of early 2007, that probability had increased to about 90% - that would already be enough to convict in most courts of law. As of now, the probability is yet higher - enough to satisfy me that the term "unequivocal" is appropriate. What I mean here is that you cannot reasonably draw any other conclusion - even though it is always conceivable that further data could show that the conclusion was wrong.

This is written after revisiting the NASA data (which you will find referenced in one of my postings that predates yours), as well as examining data that takes us up to 2008 (you can find summaries of that on Wikipedia - at the times I looked it corresponded well with the source data)

Now to your proposed courses of action: if you could guarantee that there was a way to mitigate the effects of the change, I could accept this (assuming the cost to be less than the cost of reducing the size of the change). The reality is that, even at the lower end of the expected change, there is no known way to mitigate the effects for even as much as half of the worlds population - there would be famine from which mass migrations would be powerless to prevent mass starvation. Even those living in countries that would be least affected would need to anticipate either the arrival of unprecedented numbers of desparate refugees or the adoption of ruthless policies of exclusion (that would amount to death sentences for those people).

No, unfortunately the reality is that, if it is due to mankind's CO2 generation, the only effective way to ameliorate the problem is to cap and then to reduce ourCO2 output. If it is caused by other factors, the probability is that the acceleration we fear will fail to happen; so efforts to ameliorate the effects would anyway be wasted. However, there remains the remote possibility that we are experiencing the results of an instability in the climate and that warming at or above the present rate will continue regardless of our actions with regard to CO2. In that case we will either find other (and either presently unrealisable and even more expensive) methods of cooling the Earth (shading? - maybe spectrally filtered to optimise photosynthesis), or agriculture will eventually fail and the planet become incapable of supporting more than a few tens-of-thousands of people at best.

* I suggest anyone wanting absolute certainty should visit a few fundamentalist religious establishments. Those are the only places it can be found. (It's such a shame that the certainties of the various fundamentalist factions seem to be contradictory).

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#71

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 3:37 PM

Many well qualified Japanese scientist are starting to tell the truth: Please see below:

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/

Japan's boffins: Global warming isn't man-made

Climate science is 'ancient astrology', claims report

By Andrew Orlowski (andrew.orlowski@theregister.co.uk)

Posted in Environment, 25th February 2009 12:23 GMT

Free whitepaper – Deploying High-Density Zones in a Low-Density Data Center [WP134]

Exclusive Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.

Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN's IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.

One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.

The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence in Japan's native marine and astronomical research. Publicly-funded science in the West uniformly backs the hypothesis that industrial influence is primarily responsible for climate change, although fissures have appeared recently. Only one of the five top Japanese scientists commissioned here concurs with the man-made global warming hypothesis.

JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel. The report appeared last month but has received curiously little attention. So The Register commissioned a translation of the document - the first to appear in the West in any form. Below you'll find some of the key findings - but first, a summary.

Summary

Three of the five leading scientists contend that recent climate change is driven by natural cycles, not human industrial activity, as political activists argue.

Kanya Kusano is Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC). He focuses on the immaturity of simulation work cited in support of the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Using undiplomatic language, Kusano compares them to ancient astrology. After listing many faults, and the IPCC's own conclusion that natural causes of climate are poorly understood, Kusano concludes:

"[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis," he writes.

Shunichi Akasofu, head of the International Arctic Research Center in Alaska, has expressed criticism of the theory before. Akasofu uses historical data to challenge the claim that very recent temperatures represent an anomaly:

"We should be cautious, IPCC's theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis. "

Akasofu calls the post-2000 warming trend hypothetical. His harshest words are reserved for advocates who give conjecture the authority of fact.

"Before anyone noticed, this hypothesis has been substituted for truth... The opinion that great disaster will really happen must be broken."

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#72
In reply to #71

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 4:04 PM

I see, so rather than quote Exxon research you've turned to the Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER)

http://www.jser.gr.jp/society/society_e_01.html

Have you ever seen the movie "Thank you for smoking?". JSER reminds me of the Academy of Tobacco Studies from that movie. You know the one which repeatedly said that it's studies showed no correlation between cancer and cigarettes.

Have you even bothered to see if this "JSER" is even associated with the japanese government? It isn't. It's just a sham organization thrown together.

One of the members is "Executive Officer, Research & Development, The Kansai Electric Power Co., INC"

Another is "Advisor, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Chairman, Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd."

You really need to stop it and educate yourself on this issue. Look into the stances of the major scientific organizations on this subject. The UN task force. NASA. Oh I forgot, all of these are unreliable, but your "JSER" made up of advisors for japanese gas companies and electric companies, that's reliable.

I really wish people like you would have some self respect and educate yourself on these things rather than force me to point this foolishness.

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#76
In reply to #72

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 5:29 PM

"Look into the stances of the major scientific organizations on this subject. The UN task force. NASA."

I'm glad, Roger Pink, that you agree with my view expressed in #41 and #69, where I reference UN and NASA sites with data. Apparently you believe that the UN and NASA are incorruptable, as compared with the pseudoscientists who prostitute themselves for filthy lucre. Fine, go to the UN and NASA sites and show us the evidence, that's measurements of the real world, not computer simulations or projections. Point out the data which support the hypothesis that industrial activity is driving global warming, for the first time in billions of years. Point out the data which establishes CO2 as the cause, not the sun or methane or water vapor or any other non-industrial factor. Point out the data which enable us to establish how much global warming will be reduced for each $trillion in CO2 avoidance. (Engineers are good at cost-benefit calculations, aren't they?) Make a scientific case that industrial CO2 is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you can't, please don't attack the unconvinced jurors.

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#81
In reply to #76

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 7:34 PM

I responded to those posts already. You're not interested in the truth because you're too lazy to do the work to learn it. You write rambling diatribes, barely better than the ranting of a lunatic. No one, other than uninformed fools have any interest in what you have to say. You could be a meaningful member of the discussion if you bothered to educate yourself but instead you're noise.

You don't know what you're talking about, your not qualified to have an opinion on this subject. You're just ranting. And most people here think it, they just wont tell you. And so you continue to pollute this forum with your uninformed opinions.

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#79
In reply to #72

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 6:42 PM

Roger: no need for personal attacks. My self respect is low enough.

Money and politics have corrupted the the science of global warming/climate change. I have heard that at Cisco Inc. , you might want keep any dissenting opinions about man made global warming to yourself. Money can influence free speech, even in the private sector. Money also influences NASA, who evidently has a glut of taxpayers money to spread around. (see below)

I read the bio's of the Japanese Scientist you feel are unduly influenced. They are pretty accomplished people. If they can be bought, so can NASA. The UN task force must be clean, after all it's the UN isn't it----right?

I run into intolerance every time I express skepticism about man made global warming, and Al Gore's role in this whole subject. By the way, do you think Al is cruising the lake on his new 100' houseboat?

From the internet:

WASHINGTON, Mar. 3 -- The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Cisco Inc. announced Tuesday a partnership to develop an online collaborative global monitoring platform called the "Planetary Skin" to capture, collect, analyze and report data on environmental conditions around the world.

Under the terms of a Space Act Agreement, NASA and Cisco will work together to develop the Planetary Skin as an online collaborative platform to capture and analyze data from satellite, airborne, sea- and land-based sensors across the globe.

This data will be made available for the general public, governments and businesses to measure, report and verify environmental data in near-real-time to help detect and adapt to global climate change.

"In the past 50 years, NASA's expertise has been applied to solving humanity's challenges, including playing a part in discovering global climate change," said S. Pete Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center. "The NASA-Cisco partnership brings together two world-class organizations that are well equipped with the technologies and skills to develop and prototype the Planetary Skin infrastructure."

Cisco and NASA will kick off Planetary Skin with a series of pilot projects, including "Rainforest Skin," which will be prototyped during the next year. Rainforest Skin will focus on the deforestation of rainforests around the world and explore how to integrate a comprehensive sensor network. It also will examine how to capture, analyze and present information about the changes in the amount of carbon in rainforests in a transparent and useable way.

According to scientists, the destruction of rainforests causes more carbon to be added to the atmosphere and remain there. That contributes significantly to global warming.

"Mitigating the impacts of climate change is critical to the world's economic and social stability," said John Chambers, Cisco chief executive officer. "This unique partnership taps the power and innovation of the market and harnesses it for the public good. Cisco is proud to work with NASA on this initiative and hopes others from the public and private sectors will join us in this exciting endeavor."

NASA provides continuous global observations of our home planet using a constellation of spacecraft, as well as airborne and in situ ground observations to monitor the health and well-being of Earth. Cisco will bring its experience and expertise in networking technologies and advanced innovation to the project.

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#82
In reply to #79

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 7:38 PM

You don't get to dictate terms to me. I'm not interested in debating whether or not a person who serves as an adivor for a gas company is biased when it comes to global warming. That's just a really really stupid discussion. Feel free to have it with someone else. I'm sure you'll feel comfortable.

You have no regard for the truth. You allow yourself to be mislead. You obviously don't have respect for science. Who cares what you think if your thoughts are in no way restrained by logic or evidence.

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#91
In reply to #82

Re: UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence is Unequivocal

03/04/2009 11:35 PM

Roger:

You cite NASA and the UN as sources. Both take money for their spin. With the new administration spewing out hard earned taxpayers dollars, you will see lots of entities lining up as true believers. Every nose-picker will be an expert in search of a grant. Money is power and power corrupts. Heck, give me a couple million bucks, and I'll write whatever you want. Roger, whats your price? How much would it take for you to adopt an opposing point of view-especially since what you believe has no real impact whatsoever.

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