Print 31 comment(s) - last by TheEinstein.. on Jul 25 at 8:53 AM

Data suggests that unknown processes may be missing from prediction models.

If there's a topic that nearly everyone is familiar with this year, it's global warming. Advocates for this camp and that camp have been slinging mud and "facts" at each other at an increasing rate in the last few years as global awareness of the various theories behind it has risen. Though special purpose groups, scientists and Al Gore may not agree on what should be done, there are generally accepted numbers that climate researchers use to generate pictures of what kind of temperature the Earth will endure in the next century. Only, those numbers might be wrong.

A paper recently published in Nature Geoscience, authored by Gerald Dickens of Rice University, Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California - Santa Cruz has found evidence that climatologist models may in fact be wrong. Their work concentrates on a well-known thermal event in Earth's past known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and the records it left behind in the form of carbon deposits. Via core samples from all around the world, the PETM is one of the best documented events of its kind.

But what Dickens's team found in those PETM cores doesn't jive with the standard global warming model in use by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC model typically uses a 100% increase in atmospheric carbon as the threshold in their models, but when compared to the deposits from the PETM, in which atmospheric carbon levels only rose by about 70%, the current model fails to explain the dramatic temperature increase during that period.

How does the Dickens/Zeebe/Zacho team explain the 7 degrees Celsius jump in just 10,000 years? They can't. But they think their data suggests that there's some unaccounted process missing from the IPCC model. If they are correct, the IPCC models could be off by as much as 100% as far temperature goes when using the PETM event as a reference.

Global warming, whether it exists or not, whether it's man-made or not, will be a hot topic in the next few years, perhaps decades. While not every study done has substantial ground to stand on, there does seem to be much that scientists do not understand about the geological or environmental processes behind it. More data is needed, and perhaps groups like Dickens's will find it.

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By FITCamaro on 7/16/2009 8:32:14 AM , Rating: 4
More data is needed

This is why jumping to conclusions and trying to spend trillions of dollars to "fight" climate change is retarded. We haven't even scratched the surface as to how our climate works. But we went to spend tons of money and destroy economies and industries based off flawed models?

RE: Exactly
By Ringold on 7/16/2009 2:14:26 PM , Rating: 4
But we went to spend tons of money and destroy economies and industries based off flawed models?

Check out the cap & trade bill the Democrats passed in the House and sent to the Senate; 85% of the emission permits are handed out by the government. It's the largest source of patronage to campaign donors and lobbyists perhaps in history. At least Obama wanted to auction them all off to raise revenue, but Congress wanted a new set of goodies to doll out to buy votes, donations and influence. It should be obvious that this is really why governments are so keen to jump on the global warming bandwagon; the scope to expand their power is almost unlimited.

RE: Exactly
By AnnihilatorX on 7/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Exactly
By Solandri on 7/17/2009 1:09:15 AM , Rating: 5
You're forgetting opportunity costs. Yes green-spawned industries can make money. But non-green industries make more money. So by encouraging green industries over non-green industries, you are stunting economic growth. If the green industries could outperform non-green industries, they wouldn't need government assistance. They would be able to compete and win in the market on their own.

That said, a lot of the non-green industries don't properly account for externalized costs (pollution, decreased quality of life, economic instability due to volatile foreign oil supplies, etc). You could make an argument that if these externalized costs were properly paid for by the industry causing them, the green industries would be competitive or even outperform the non-green industries. And that the government assistance and regulations are necessary to level the playing field.

RE: Exactly
By FITCamaro on 7/20/2009 9:10:34 AM , Rating: 3
Wind energy and solar energy do not make money. They need government assistance to be even remotely viable. Hybrids at first were only possible due to government tax credits. They became more popular only when gas prices skyrocketed.

RE: Exactly
By MrPoletski on 7/21/2009 11:13:25 AM , Rating: 3
I still stand by my global warming solution for dealing with cattle methane emissions.

Fit pilot lights to every cows back side, you could cut methane emissions drasticly overnight... and if it ever goes wrong you get free steak.

Hooray for free steak!

About time!
By besmertnic on 7/16/2009 10:16:33 AM , Rating: 5
I'm a earth scientist who works with computer models,and I could have told you this years ago, those models are totally inaccurate, mainly because they are based on supposition and made up numbers. We don't even know the true volume and composition of the complete atmosphere (it is constantly changing), how can we model it?

RE: About time!
By kattanna on 7/16/2009 10:24:36 AM , Rating: 2
agreed. we do know that the ocean really is a climate mover, yet we know so little of how it works, nor can we model it alone correctly, yet people take these overly simplified global climate models as gospel.

RE: About time!
By Grabo on 7/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: About time!
By myocardia on 7/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: About time!
By 1078feba on 7/20/2009 3:00:27 PM , Rating: 3
Logic? Logic?

Are you trying to be funny?

Anthro GW has been the most emotional of arguments from it's outset.


It was only after watching this juggernaut gain a life of it's own that more level headed people asked if we couldn't just apply some brakes here and make sure that we know what it is we think we know.

Hey, guess what? Turns out we don't.

Logic, huh? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

RE: About time!
By robinthakur on 7/22/2009 9:23:31 AM , Rating: 1
That we can't trust any predictions and should 'live in the now?'

Yes this is exactly what we should be doing!! Let me lay my cards on the table
-I like and support the Obama Administration.
-I agree that pollution should be reduced for the tangible benefit of all and we should recycle more.
-I believe that fish stocks need urgent government backed action to ensure they do not collapse.
-I believe that rainforests/reefs should be saved where man has been directly responsible for their decline.
-BUT I do not believe for a micro-second that man influences the Earth's climate.

The anthropogenic climate change camp are beginning to steer government policy and that in itself is frightening, given that the computer models for climate futures are incomplete, innaccurate and therefore hold very little worth. It honestly tarnishes science, when the models and the science are manipulated to prove a foregone 'conclusion', especially when that conclusion has been proven to be wrong. The Earth's climate is cyclical, and from all I have read reacently, we are going through a cooling phase rather than a warming phase. Its not a scientific argument where people who oppose the mainstream articles based on their own scientific analysis are howled down and paraded around as social pariahs.

Its like when the medical profession weren't aware that bacteria causes stomach ulcers rather than stomach acid overproduction. The mainstream view was proved wrong by two scientists who dared to challenge the status quo.

It has become an emotive issue which governments have devoted billions of currency to 'tackling' and which employs thousands of specialist journalists and special interest groups all with an equal interest in the prophecy coming true. When I was growing up in the 80's everyone was terrifed of a new ice-age which would freeze us all to death, then it was global warming, and now its been renamed to 'climate change' as that's a good umbrella term which can go either way.

In fact, its a non issue which cannot be solved. The earth gets hotter and the earth sometimes gets colder. Throughout its history, forever and ever until the human race dies out. Mankind cannot effect it, in the same way that the dinosaurs couldn't. End of story and try and enjoy your life without worrying about things which you have zero control over.

Is it possible....
By Xaser04 on 7/16/2009 11:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
That the additional unknown warming was caused by oooo I don't know, the Sun?!

Of course admiting that the unknown warming was caused by the sun may out a slight spanner in the works of the current IPCC predictions.....

I am starting to get more and more fed up of hearing how the leaders of the developed world are going to combat climate change, seriously the entire premise of trying to combat climate change is an oxymoron in its self. How can we 'combat' something that by its very nature (and description) is changing all the time?

RE: Is it possible....
By phattyboombatty on 7/16/2009 2:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's ironic that progressives are the ones pushing so hard to combat climate change. I thought conservatives were the ones who fight so hard to keep things the same. Variety is the spice of life. I welcome climate change.

RE: Is it possible....
By Solandri on 7/17/2009 1:30:12 AM , Rating: 3
Each side has its own agenda. If the figures on global dimming are correct
then a viable solution to global warming (assume for the moment that it is happening) is to seed high altitude clouds which reflect sunlight back into space before it has a chance to heat the Earth appreciably. But that doesn't jive with the environmental movement's agenda for eliminating fossil fuel use.

I'm of the opinion that the environmentalists are probably correct on this one. But don't for a minute believe that they're on the side they're on primarily because they're worried about the Earth getting warmer. They see it as a great vehicle to drive the policies they want implemented. Just like many of the deniers are on the side they're on because their current business operations would be greatly upset of it's true. It's all politics.

The scientists who have flip-flopped on the issue (sometimes several times) with each new nugget of data are the ones I actually respect the most. By flipping, they've demonstrated they're not beholden to one side of the issue.

RE: Is it possible....
By AlmostExAMD on 7/20/2009 3:18:57 AM , Rating: 2
The same way we combat new Viruses,Flu's.
Doesn't stop them creating new drugs to combat new strains.
Yes it is changing all the time,But cutting all the trees down aint exactly helping either,They do tend to suck up CO2 from what I remember. lol
Man made global warming or not,Sitting back and doing nothing is a recipe for disaster,Better to tidy up our act now so we don't become to lazy in future(or is it to late).
Bahhh what should I care,I don't have any kids to worry about,Dunno about you lot though! ;)

By someguy123 on 7/16/2009 6:03:04 PM , Rating: 3

By Sazar on 7/16/2009 6:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking HEAT myself.

But, El-Nino is doing the deed at the moment, 102F in Austin at the moment, should top out at 105F. Hotter when factoring in the Heat Index.

By HostileEffect on 7/16/2009 6:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
Its a little more heated where I'm at (near Austin), tops out 102F in the shade and who knows what in the sun, but this is Texas and its supposed to get hot here. ^^

By FITCamaro on 7/20/2009 9:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
Awesome comment. :)

By svenkesd on 7/16/2009 9:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the atmospheric CO2 levels rose because of the temperature increase.......

RE: Hmmmmmm....
By ziggo on 7/16/2009 10:39:25 AM , Rating: 3
Stop blaspheming against the church of climate change!

RE: Hmmmmmm....
By Grabo on 7/16/09, Rating: 0
By Sherlii on 7/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: However...
By AssBall on 7/16/2009 2:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
Potential for disaster? Don't kid yourself, we are spending money on a supposition.

If we really wanted to spend money on preventing a disaster we would be developing asteroid deterrence and solar flare protection.

By sxr7171 on 7/18/2009 12:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
People will change basically "massage" numbers and assumptions to get the result they want. It happens all the time.

By phxfreddy on 7/19/2009 6:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
.... anyone who has done numeric modeling knows that errors accumulate rapidly and make the modeling unusable for anything other than speculation.

That's one of the myriad tells of the global warming argument that give it away as a scam.

By MrPoletski on 7/21/2009 11:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
That has to be the most loaded headline ever...

By SnakeBlitzken on 7/22/2009 3:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."

This is my best line from the article: “found evidence that climatologist models may in fact be wrong.” Hello Mr Obvious!

Dear Al Gore,
By bubba551 on 7/22/2009 3:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
Since you are so certain of what the weather will be in 2020, could you please give me some advice on my vacation next month?

I am looking to take off during the week of August 24 and need to know where I should go. This is very important to me as I do not want to lose my deposit.

Thank you in advance,

By TheEinstein on 7/25/2009 8:53:08 AM , Rating: 2
Look up the work by Henrik Svensmark and other scientists at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen.

Also look up Cosmic Rays and cloud formation.

Their models are the only models that have successfully worked in all years mapped, and correlates well with even weather going back centuries.

The scientists working this line of research have not failed to accurately model the general weather trends in a given year so far.

Compare this to Global Warming 'Scientists' and Climate Change 'Scientists'. Not one of their models has EVER been successfully applied forward or backward.

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