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Major remaining questions are why the Earth warmed, if it will continue warming, and what the effects are

Researchers at the University of California, Berkley, have just completed a massive review of collected climatology data and have concluded that despite imperfections -- namely, massive local discrepancies, the overall conclusions of major climate studies were correct -- the Earth has warmed.

UC Berkley dubs the study the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature study -- or "BEST" for short.

I. What is BEST?

The BEST project was carried out by Robert Rohde, Robert Jacobsen, Richard A. Muller, Saul Perlmutter, Arthur Rosenfeld, Charlotte Wickham, Jonathan Wurtel, who at the time were all associate with UC Berkley; Judith Curry a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Donald Groom a researcher at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory.

Interestingly, while the group of researchers completed four papers on the work... ... they did not wait for these papers to be peer-reviewed and published, before calling attention to the work.  Rather, they made the unusual step of publishing most of their analysis code (sans apparently some analysis scripts); their data sets used in the analysis; and plots and graphs of their conclusions.

Depending on who you ask, this approach is either an attempt to create a media circus prior to peer review or an unusual but good-hearted attempt to allow the non-expert public to participate in peer-review.

II. The Earth has Warmed, the Pope is Catholic

Aside from quesitons of how the data was published, the critical question is -- what does the study claim?  Well it explicitly only covers land data -- no sea data.  Basically it concludes using 15 compiled data sets, which date back to 1800, that a 1ºC warming has occurred since the mid-1950s.  

Some of the data in this study was taken from Global Historical Climatology Network, administered by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) -- a source of data also used in past studies by the NOAA, NASA, and the Hadley Center.  But the entire data set is more than five times as big as any other study, encompassing 39,000 weather stations.  Thus the study isn't entirely independent from past results, but does offer some fresh blood.

The data indicates two things, one of which the press releases glosses over.

1. The Earth does appear to have warmed.
2. Warming appears to have hit a standstill since 2000.

The second point is disguised as most of the initial press releases focus on a decadal averaged figure.  Since the late 1990s were a period of net increase, they make the first part of the 2000s also look like a period of increase when the decadal rolling average is applied.  The real picture is seen below:
Berkley heat levels
Note the relative flat line over the last decade, which is eye-catching, even if you discount the steep decline in 2010.  Now witness how this contrasts with the trend over the last decade in the rolling average shown in the press release:

Berkley rolling average

...it seems unfortunate that the misleading rolling average was selected of these two figures.  This chart conveys what appears to be one accurate piece of information to the reader -- that the temperature has warmed over the last half century, but also conveys an inaccurate impression that warming has continued over the last decade.

III. Of Urban Heat Islands and Averages

One of the paper's key objectives seems to be to cast this new work as an unbiased analysis that takes into account past criticisms.

Elizabeth Muller, co-founder and Executive Director of Berkeley Earth, comments, "[This work will] cool the debate over global warming by addressing many of the valid concerns of the skeptics in a clear and rigorous way."

Notably, the paper seems to give special interest to discussing the urban heat island (UHI) effect, which is consistently raised by Anthony Watts as an underaddressed source of error.  The UHI premise is that stations near cities are "worse" than their rural counterparts, as local heat from the city can give erroneous readings.

The study offers some analysis of this hypothesis, offering that the "worst" stations had the same climate pattern as those that were ranked "okay" (for reasons unknown the "worst" stations were not compared to the "best" stations).  It concludes that the UHI was "locally large and real", but asserts that it does not significant effect the overall conclusion because urban areas only account for 1 percent of total surface area on Earth.

Unfortunately, if the author's intent in this analysis was to placate Mr. Watts, a seasoned and respected skeptic, they only halfway succeeded.

Mr. Watts comments, "The unique BEST methodology has promise. The scalpel method used to deal with station discontinuity was a good idea and I’ve said so before."

But more critically he adds:

They didn’t adequately deal with that 1% [urban area] in my opinion, by doing a proper area weighting. And what percentage of weather stations were in that 1%? While they do have some evidence of the use of a "kriging" technique, I'm not certain is has been done properly. The fact that 33% of the sites show a cooling is certainly cause for a much harder look at this. That's not something you can easily dismiss, though they attempt to. This will hopefully get sorted out in peer review.

IV. What the Study Does Not Show

The study makes no attempt to explain the source of warming.  In short it supports the global warming hypothesis, but does not majorly support or deny the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis.

In fact it offers possibilities that could support or repudiate AGW, writing.  Namely it comments that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) -- sea current/salt flow is strongly correlated with land temperature shifts.  The source of this correlation is unclear, it comments.  It might be naturally occurring, or it could hypothetically be manmade.

Describes UC Berkley:

Such changes may be independent responses to a common forcing (e.g. greenhouse gases); however, it is also possible that some of the land warming is a direct response to changes in the AMO region. If the long-term AMO change have been driven by greenhouse gases then the AMO region may serve as a positive feedback that amplifies the effect of greenhouse gas forcing over land.  On the other hand, some of the long-term change in  the AMO could be driven by natural variability, e.g. fluctuations in thermohaline flow. In that case the human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated.

In other words, correlation does not prove causation, though causation may hold true; and further the driver of the correlation (man? nature?) is unknown.  Got it?

Despite the study being relatively agnostic on the topic of AGW, that didn't stop some news outlets from taking the opportunity to lash out at AGW skeptics.  Forbes' guest columnist Peter Gleick bitterly comments, "Indeed, even most remaining climate change skeptics and deniers have moved away from saying there is no warming. Now, their major talking points are that it isn't caused by humans, or only a little bit, or it won’t be bad, or we can’t afford to fix it, or… Denial is a moving target."

Of course this conclusion seems odd.  While there may be some disingenous skeptics who profited off arguing that globally warming in all contexts was proven untrue -- much as at least one AGW advocates turned his unfounded claims of AGW being proven completely true into a near billion dollar fortune and a Nobel Peace Prize -- many AGW skeptics -- like many AGW advocates -- took a balanced approach calling for more research.

Other critical articles took a similar heavy-handed approach, at some points spewing blatant factual inaccuracies.  States Jess Zimmerman, an armchair analyst at enviroblog Grist, "The Arctic now has ice-free summers, 90 years in advance of predictions."

Grist error

Of course this ice free winter is a bit like a unicorn -- it hasn't been recently observed, though some -- like Ms. Zimmerman -- mistakenly believe it has.  

Walt Meier, a research scientist at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center kindly corrected the errant blogger, writing, "The statement "The Arctic now has ice-free summers, 90 years in advance of predictions." is most definitely flat-out wrong. The Arctic has not had less than 4 million square kilometers, in our data and any other source one cares to look at, even at the summer minimum.While extent and thickness are decreasing and ice-free summers are certainly possible, even probable, in much less than 90 years, we are not there yet. Not even close."

Ice Cover
Look -- there's ice in the summer! [Source: NOAA/NASA]

Sadly his veteran voice has thus far been ignored by the Grist writer, and the piece remains uncorrected.

V. Conclusions

This new research clearly was a thoughtful, if less than definitive look at warming.  

It arguably has some flaws.  It received major criticism from a math professor for its use of smoothing, and we think its prominent positioning of the decadal analysis versus the more revealing year-by-year plot is slightly misleading.  

That said, while some of its techniques and presentations could be criticized, overall the work(s) offer(s) a lot of interesting information to the public.

The research shows that indeed the Earth warmed, but where it's going -- particularly after a decade of virtually no warming -- remains to be seen.

Amid this backdrop, it's important to remind the reader that the cause of historical warming in the 1960-2000 period is absolutely not known definitively.  AGW advocates and skeptics alike are disingeneous to suggest otherwise.  Further, even if AGW does happen to be real, how mankind would be increasing the temperature rise (Greenhouse gases? Landuse changes? Black carbon on snow? Dark colored aerosols?)

And most importantly, the question of the overall effects of potential future warming on human society are unclear.  Will warming help mankind?  Will it hurt it?  It's hard to say at this point, though various studies have claimed both benefits and dangers of a potentially warming planet.

As for these questions, UC Berkley is largely disinterested in answering them -- at least immediately.  Rather, it's more interested in conducted a thorough analysis of sea station data.  When it does come out with this analysis, we'll likely be in for another wave of AGW theory supporters bashing the skeptics, and some skeptics bashing right back, both claiming the data supports their claims in some way.

Those interested in unbiased answers will simply have to review the commentary -- and the works themselves -- and try to glean the true picture.

Source: Berkley Earth



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Paj on 10/25/2011 7:46:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why aren't climate scientist looking at the geological record to disprove this myth? Maybe because it disagrees with their assertions...


I'm sure they never thought of that. You should definitely go and tell someone.


By Arsynic on 10/25/2011 10:03:13 AM , Rating: 1
Awesome logic there, Paj. You view scientists like Catholics view the Pope--infallible, holy and always acting with the best of intentions.


By kattanna on 10/25/2011 11:39:02 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
And all the evidence points to anthropogenic climate change


that would be incorrect and disingenuous to claim so. The earth system is a very complex system and to say, man is the primary cause of change is simply not true.

We can say for certain that man has introduced CO2 and other very trace gasses into our atmosphere, and altered the albedo of the planet via land use changes, cites and converting land to farming for instance. And we can say for certain that our major cities do have a higher base temp then the surrounding land, that whole urban heating effect.

Almost all of climate sciences claims are almost solely based on computer climate models. And while they are wonders of computation and interesting exercises in thought, they often lack real world settings and conditions which stem from 3 primary reasons.

1) is the critical lack of actual hands on measurements of the real world

2) limited understanding of the earth system as a whole. To try to say we know all that goes on within the complete earth system, which entails knowledge of the local solar system and galactic neighborhood, is a most ignorant statement.

3) vastly limited computation power. As someone who has been in the computer science field for decades, our modern machines are truly awe inspiring, but they are still vastly underpowered to run accurate models. all too often the models have to be paired back from running even all of the earths system that we currently know of because the machine simply cannot handle all the calculations within an exceptable time frame.

and to go back to the 2nd item, time and time again, actual hands on physical research that gathers real world data continues to show the folly of holding those GCMs up as "fact".

some recent examples include a driftwood study that showed the arctic ice cap as recently as 6000 years ago had up to 50% less ice then today, even during a time of less CO2.

Cern recently released a long term study showing how the waning and waxing of the suns magnetic field cycle can actually have a direct effect on the earths albedo via changing cloud cover due to cosmic rays.

another very recent study showed how the river systems here in the US, which was the only focal point of the study, actually has a much higher rate of CO2 release then previously assumed and so much more that current GCMs need to be updated, yet again.

and for #3, studies have shown that changing the resolution of a computer model can have very different outcomes. one example using kilometer sized squares showed a complete loss of vegetation with a warming climate, but when the grid size was dropped to 100's of meters, it had a vastly different outcome showing a more natural pattern of change without the complete loss shown in the coarser model.

now dont get me wrong, man can and is a force for change on our planet, but to say that we are the primary driver of climate change would be incorrect. We can say that the earth is changing, but we cannot say who is in the drivers seat, us or the planet. And with temps not getting any higher then 1998, all the while our CO2 levels continue to rise, im willing to say its nature in charge.


By JediJeb on 10/25/2011 3:06:24 PM , Rating: 5
One thing I would add to this is the dip in temperatures between around 1940 to 1960. With the Great Depression being ten years before that industrial output was lower, then when WW2 began industrial output began to increase yet temps world wide fell for what looks to be a decade or two. I'm sure during WW2 we were generating a lot of CO2, probably more than was generated in the decade prior where production and consumption was cut back by the economic times then. How do the AGW folks explain that away?

A war the size of WW2 surely stirred up enough dust and ash to lower the albedo during that time which should have raised temps. It also churned out what should be a spike in CO2 levels relative to the period just before it. If man is truly the one driving the warming, why didn't we see a spike then? The prosperity that began in the mid 1950's is what is blamed for the warming trend from then until now, but if that is a driving factor then we should have seen a cooling starting around 1930 up till the beginning of the war when prosperity and the increased emissions that go with it were dropping like a rock. I guess they will say that upward forcing has immediate effects while downward forcing is delayed, but can that be proven also?


By Natch on 10/26/2011 8:19:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's really quite simple. Just like when you take a survey of people's opinions on a matter of interest, if you try hard enough, you can skew the results to show anything you want to.....just the same as scientists can show certain facts that support their claims, and suppress others that do not.

Bottom line? Global warming, man-made global weather changes, or whatever you want to call it, ise still junk science, because it's too easy to "prove" your point, one way or the other.


By GmTrix on 10/26/2011 8:45:40 AM , Rating: 1
I liked this post right up until the third part of your last sentence. To use your own words back at you:

The earth system is a very complex system and to say, nature is the primary cause of change is simply not true.


By kattanna on 10/26/2011 10:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
thanks, im glad you liked it.

humanity isnt even a significant part of the earths carbon cycle, while not insignificant, we are not a major factor in any way. Though i do have to find a bit of humor in modern carbon cycle creations as they all seem to assume static flows of carbon always perfectly in balance, which any quick look over carbon levels on a geologic time scale show they are anything but. They also seem to ignore volcanic activity which is odd as they can contribute very much to it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

there is a decent link showing an example of nature very much in control

enjoy


By GmTrix on 10/26/2011 1:19:46 PM , Rating: 3
I was trying to point out that there's a clear contradiction in your first post:
quote:
We can say that the earth is changing, but we cannot say who is in the drivers seat, us or the planet.

quote:
im willing to say its nature in charge.

Throughout your entire post you argue that there isn't enough understanding of "the complete earth system" to conclusively say what's the root cause of the warming. But then immediately after that you say nature is the root cause?

I said I liked your post because you convinced me that you were keeping an open mind and not jumping to conclusions. Then at the very end you seem to already have your mind made up.


By kattanna on 10/25/2011 11:03:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why aren't climate scientist looking at the geological record to disprove this myth?


of course it disagrees with them, if you will notice most studies only deal with temps from the late 1800's, if they even bother to go back that far, because thats the rough start of the industrial revolution, aka when we started burning coal in mass, and the end of the little ice age. From the very start of looking at climate change it has always been anthropogenic in nature, because we all know the earth to be a static unchanging thing... ;>)

but also because most people simply cannot understand the expanse of time, geologically speaking. Large numbers seem to readily confuse people. Once in a geology lab class the professor asked the simple question of how many millions are in a billion, there were lots of blank stares, sadly.


By Paj on 10/25/2011 11:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
Please show me these studies. The IPCC report has en entire section on paleoclimates.


By kattanna on 10/25/2011 3:47:45 PM , Rating: 3
first up, we currently ARE cooler then the last interglacial by about 2 degrees. And for most of earths history we have not had permanent ice caps. On average the planet has had a higher temp then now.

and you are comparing a period where the was a possibility of 2 snowballs earths, but averaged over time, they are the short term flukes they are, geologically speaking.

maybe i should be as disingenuous as you and compare our modern temps to the priscoan eon, its a damn sight cooler today today compared to then, but that would require me to throw away 4 billions years of history, like you.


By kattanna on 10/26/2011 10:14:32 AM , Rating: 4
LOL wow.

first up, you might want to learn how to hit reply properly, as i wasnt the one who made the initial quote.

I havent seen any counter evidence from you to refute his claim though.. just name calling and throwing a temper tantrum, as if screaming means you win, but who knows, maybe in your household it does. shame.

and your trying to use a 250 million year chunk of time to refute 4.5 billion years of history, is still disingenuous.


By YashBudini on 10/27/2011 2:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
as if screaming means you win,

Do you own a TV? That's the only kind of win on the air anymore.


By cactusdog on 10/27/2011 4:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
Argueing about science with people who deny climate change is a waste of time. Their opinions are based on conspiracy theories and their only objective is to try to stop the introduction of any kind of tax.

Thats the only reason they are so adament and pretend to know a lot about the subject, to stop any green tax at all costs.

You can prove them wrong on the science then they just shift to their conspiracy theory backup and accuse scientists of being part of some conspiracy to raise taxes and destroy capitalism.

Climate change denyers are really just anti-tax crusaders. They dont care if the planet is warming or not.


Why this study is getting much attention
By smitty3268 on 10/24/2011 10:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
Is because of who's behind it. The contents shouldn't really surprise many. To quote Ars:

quote:
Last week, a project called Berkeley Earth released drafts of its findings. The project was started by a physicist, Richard Muller, who had previously expressed doubts about the mathematical rigor of climate science; it received funding from a variety of sources, including the Department of Energy and foundations set up by Bill Gates and the Koch brothers. The Berkeley Earth team set out to analyze records of the Earth's surface temperatures to answer questions about the trajectory of the planet's recent warming that had been raised by skeptics and contrarians. To a very large degree, it discovered that climatologists had been doing a pretty good job after all.




RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By smitty3268 on 10/24/11, Rating: -1
By drycrust3 on 10/25/2011 12:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
confirmed that the data the climatologists are using is unbiased and fairly solid

The University of East Anglia in England where there were lots of Global Warming advocates went and corrupted the base data. Over 100 years of data has been corrupted, so now it has become impossible to know what happened where. And that University doesn't see why they did anything wrong!


By wookie1 on 10/25/2011 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Which climate skeptic are you referring to? I think that you may be a bit out on a limb to refer to Dr. Muller as a "climate skeptic". He may have had doubts about the data analysis methods, and how easily they have been successfully criticized so far, but calling him a climate skeptic may be a bit too much.


By name99 on 10/25/2011 2:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
"a climate skeptic, funded by prominent climate skeptics, has now come out and basically confirmed that the data..."

Unlike Jason, who still will not admit the truth --- but is readying the barricades for the next line of defense which will be
"Of course global warming is happening --- I was saying so before those stupid climate scientists. But it's happening for reasons that have nothing to do with humanity --- it has to do with solar activity, underground volcanoes, the changing configuration of the tectonic plates. I and my skeptic friends know fsckall about solar activity or geology, but, dammit, we are RIGHT about this."

This will of course be followed by
"Of COURSE global warming is caused by anthropogenic CO2. I was telling people this way before those stupid climate scientists understood what was going on. But it will be a good thing. Crops will grow faster, less money will be spent on warming in winter. We can sail ships over the north pole. More of us can enjoy the Aurora Borealis. Polar bears will stop terrorizing humanity. We can start to drill for oil in Antarctica. Of course, I admit I know nothing about agriculture and the growth of plants or animals , but, dammit, we are RIGHT about this."


RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By Reflex on 10/25/11, Rating: -1
By Paj on 10/25/2011 7:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its too bad Watts could not hold to his own promises, and that sites like Dailytech continue to be dishonest about this topic. Ars, however, had an excellent writeup, written by actual scientists, with actual PhD's, including in topics related directly to this field. No suprise that it was far more credible than this hit piece.


Couldnt have said it better myself.


RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/25/2011 9:38:55 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Its too bad Watts could not hold to his own promises, and that sites like Dailytech continue to be dishonest about this topic.

How exactly is DailyTech being dishonest in its coverage of this topic?

Your vague accusations are troubling.

It's easy to cast vague aspersions as you don't have to substantiate them. But that is not a legitimate form of intellectual debate.

quote:
Ars, however, had an excellent writeup, written by actual scientists, with actual PhD's, including in topics related directly to this field. No suprise that it was far more credible than this hit piece.

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/10/climat...
http://arstechnica.com/author/john-timmer/

If you're suggesting that having a Ph.D in cell biology somehow makes you more or less qualified to comment on climate change than someone with graduate-level coursework in chemical and computer engineering, I would have to disagree with you.

Besides, certificates do not make make or break intellectual arguments. Arguments should be based on their own merits.

But again, don't let me stop you from your vague accusations.


RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By Paj on 10/25/2011 10:21:11 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Depending on who you ask, this approach is either an attempt to create a media circus prior to peer review or an unusual but good-hearted attempt to allow the non-expert public to participate in peer-review.


quote:
...it seems unfortunate that the misleading rolling average was selected of these two figures. This chart conveys what appears to be one accurate piece of information to the reader -- that the temperature has warmed over the last half century, but also conveys an inaccurate impression that warming has continued over the last decade.


quote:
Unfortunately, if the author's intent in this analysis was to placate Mr. Watts, a seasoned and respected skeptic, they only halfway succeeded.


quote:
In other words, correlation does not prove causation, though causation may hold true; and further the driver of the correlation (man? nature?) is unknown. Got it?


quote:
Of course this conclusion seems odd.


If youre going to write like this, at least preface it with 'Editorial' - that's clearly what this piece is.


RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/25/2011 12:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If youre going to write like this, at least preface it with 'Editorial' - that's clearly what this piece is.

Err, if you believe the facts to be so definitive, please explain why in the last decade studies -- including BEST -- have shown virtually no warming to be occurring, despite soaring CO2 emissions?

Look, there's very few people that deny that warming occurred between 1950-2000. I used to write articles disputing this particular point with Michael Asher.

My point is that the current research does not clearly point where the climate is going (as evidenced by the smoothed flatline in temps for the last decade), how much % mankind is forcing, precise (or even reasonable estimates of) % contributions of individual types of manmade forcing effects (black carbon soot, dark aerosols, CO2, etc.), and lastly the end point (e.g. if we do indeed "heat up" the globe, how hot will it ultimately get, before the response is dampened by the biosphere).

I've reviewed much of the literature and haven't seen definitive answers to the above points, in the IPCC report or elsewhere. The IPCC models only consider CO2 for the most part -- they don't account for other manmade forcings (e.g. black soot or aerosol) -- a major flaw.

I'm not saying mankind isn't causing global warming. Clearly CO2 is a GHG and contributes a warming effect to the biosphere. What I'm suggesting is that we don't really know if that effect is the biggest forcing factor and whether compensators can balance it, based on the reports I've seen. All the models I've seen -- including the IPCC one, predicted temperature rise from 2000-2010. That increase never happened. Clearly the models are flawed, at least to some extent.

Until we know precisely what's going on we're just shooting in the dark, economically in trying to "fix" the problem.

A perfect example is the idea of painting buildings/rooftops white to decrease global warming. It was recently shown by a more complex research model that this would actually worsen warming by a complex cloud-cover related feedback.

If you don't understand the system and the potential problem fully you can't hope to safeguard against it or fix it.

That's the point some rational skeptics (as opposed to dogmatic ones who say AGW is patently false and warming hasn't occurred) are trying to make. We don't know. Let's find out. But let's not act like we have all the answers when we don't have them.


RE: Why this study is getting much attention
By SilthDraeth on 10/25/2011 3:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking of Mr. Asher, do you know if he is well? I miss reading his insightful comments, etc. He was a good addition to this board.


By YashBudini on 10/27/2011 2:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
Asher was a pro-corporate extremist at best, and a misanthrope/omnivore at worst.


By Paj on 10/26/2011 5:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Err, if you believe the facts to be so definitive, please explain why in the last decade studies -- including BEST -- have shown virtually no warming to be occurring, despite soaring CO2 emissions?


Honestly? I have no idea. Its entirely possible that its some long term cycle that hasnt been identified yet. I dont feel qualified to answer that if no definitive answer has been established yet.

What concerns me is the long term trends, which show a clear rise. fluctuations in temperature over the short term are common. The overall trend in the moving average is as real as ever. As the models become more refined and powerful, the evidence becomes more solid.

quote:
I've reviewed much of the literature and haven't seen definitive answers to the above points, in the IPCC report or elsewhere. The IPCC models only consider CO2 for the most part -- they don't account for other manmade forcings (e.g. black soot or aerosol) -- a major flaw.


The IPCC report from 2007 has an entire chapter on aerosols.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/e...

quote:
I'm not saying mankind isn't causing global warming. Clearly CO2 is a GHG and contributes a warming effect to the biosphere.


quote:
That's the point some rational skeptics (as opposed to dogmatic ones who say AGW is patently false and warming hasn't occurred) are trying to make. We don't know. Let's find out. But let's not act like we have all the answers when we don't have them.


Thank you for being forthright, however I am confused by your viewpoint. On one hand you admit that anthropogenic climate change is real, and in the next you say that the causes are unknown. Which is it?

I'm well acquainted with the viewpoints of alarmists and militant environmentalists, and I dont share a lot of them.

What I do agree with is that we need to think beyond the short term, think beyond our lust for consumerism, address the huge levels of waste the West generates while billions starve. I don't want to take us back to the stone age, I believe investment in advanced technology is the answer if we are to sustain economic and social development. I don't believe that infinite growth, as predicated by most economic systems around the world, is logical or sustainable. If we continue to pretend that it is, our problems will only get worse and I believe we are in real danger if we continue down this path and ignore the evidence that is clear as day.


By Reflex on 10/25/2011 10:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
Look through the entire staff. They have several experts in relevent fields. Ars uses a peer review process before publishing articles, no article reflects only the opinion of the author, it must pass fact checking and review by peers in the field.

You could learn a lot from that process. And yes, their 'certificates' mean a lot more on this topic than yours. My accusations are not vague either, you cast vague asperations against a study that was authored by people who were publicly more skeptical of climate change than you. And yet they found that the consensus was correct and you, Watts and the rest have simply disowned them for it.

Jobs wasn't the only person with a reality distortion field.


By smitty3268 on 10/25/2011 11:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh wait, wait for me. Let me put on my conspiracy hat too!

In no way did I ever imply there was any conspiracy, so I'm kind of disappointed that's where you took this.

What I said was that the people behind this are fairly indicative that it is NOT part of any global warming conspiracy, which is why even GW doubters should have to take this seriously. I don't know if they will or not, but it's very difficult for people to claim that the people behind this study were altering data to suit their claims, or making stuff up to gain more research money. The fact that their results line up with previous studies indicates that previous conspiracy theories are most likely full of $h1t as well.

And by the way, I've never been convinced that global warming is necessarily something to be all that worried about. I just thought it was idiotic to try and deny that it was happening. I also think it's stupid to claim that humans can't possibly be responsible. If a volcano can affect worldwide temperatures, then so can the combined output of the entire human race. What needs to happen is further studies detailing exactly what the results of further warming will be, and whether it is feasible or even preferred to try and stop it.


To summarise the situation
By Tony Swash on 10/25/2011 7:18:41 AM , Rating: 5
Almost no one says there has not been some gentle warming in the last 100 years. So the BEST study does not address some of the key outstanding issues in the global warming debate.

There is ample evidence that the surface temperature record is not very complete and not very accurate so using it calculate the amount of warming to any precise figure is probably not possible. The satellite temperature record is much more accurate but only goes back to 1979 - see below on what it shows.

Even if the surface record is 100% accurate the amount of warming it shows is not unusual by recent historical standards. There appears to have been several warming and cooling episodes of a similar magnitude in just the last few thousands years.

Even if the warming continues at the same gentle rate there will be almost no serious negative consequences for humans. Humans and their civilisations have always flourished in warm periods. All claims of a looming climate disaster rest upon the notion that the rate of warming will accelerate due to positive feedback mechanisms. These mechanisms have been identified via modelling and not empirical study.

There is no evidence that the recent gentle warming is accelerating. Predictions of acceleration are all based on mathematical models which have all shown to have poor predicative capabilities.

Leaving aside it's possible warming features CO2 is not harmful gas and increased levels in the atmosphere accelerate plant growth and thus food production.

There has been no increase in global average temperatures since around 1998 even though the amount of human added CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 25% in that period.

The satellite data supports the no warming view and also shows no warming in precisely those parts of the upper atmosphere where the climate models say it should occur. Presumably if those models are being used in a scientific way then the divergence of the date from the models should require some alteration to the models.

Presumably if the 'Human added CO2 causes warming' hypothesis is a scientific one and if CO2 continues to be added to the atmosphere (as is very likely) and if there is no warming then at some point even the most committed of supporters of the 'CO2 causes warming' hypothesis will have to agree that the hypothesis has been falsified.

It would be useful if the supporters of the 'CO2 causes warming' hypothesis could say how long, in their opinion, a period of no warming would have to be in order to disprove the hypothesis. There has been no warming for 13 years. Will it be disproved after 15 years? 20 years? 25?




RE: To summarise the situation
By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 9:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent post.


RE: To summarise the situation
By Tony Swash on 10/25/2011 10:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks

I started out open minded about the AGW hypothesis and out of interest I started to look at the evidence around AGW and came to the following conclusions:

That the evidence to support AGW was weak and circumstantial - it doesn't mean it's wrong. Just that the evidence is weak.

That the evidence for believing that if the recent gentle warming continues it would lead to some sort of planetary disaster was so weak as to be almost non-existent and was wholly dependent on very unreliable computer models.

That the idea of AGW happening and being so dangerous that it would require some sort of fundamental resetting of our economy and society was hugely popular amongst certain influential political tendencies for purely ideological reasons.

As result of the political support that AGW had received a truly staggering amount of money had been directed towards AGW related research and had created a political economy and career food chain that was very distorting of actual scientific research.

If the evidence changes I will change my mind.

I have collected various bits of evidence about the weakness of AGW theory on a web site I set up which is here.

http://a-sceptical-mind.com/

There is a very good and highly recommended lecture here from a science conference on the issue of the temperature record.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG_7zK8ODGA


RE: To summarise the situation
By ekv on 10/25/2011 2:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm impressed ... enough to hit reply. Keeping as open a mind as possible on the topic is all that can be asked for.

Having said this, I have to follow with (and no offense), there are those here who wish you'd have a similar approach re: all things Apple. Just sayin'

Btw, thanks for the links [Bill Whittle no less 8]


RE: To summarise the situation
By Tony Swash on 10/25/2011 5:44:47 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
Having said this, I have to follow with (and no offense), there are those here who wish you'd have a similar approach re: all things Apple. Just sayin'


That's OK - I understand. The fact is I wish the whole tone around here when discussing topics such as Apple, Android, Google etc could be a bit more rational and constructive. But the balance of comments about Apple are absurdly critical and often offensive, blatantly untrue and juvenile. So I post to balance things up a bit. I give as good as I get. Like I say it would be good if we could all raise our game a bit.

Keep well


RE: To summarise the situation
By kattanna on 10/25/2011 3:58:40 PM , Rating: 2
nice post.

i would like to add this site to a list those who wish to explore the issue can go to, no drama, just facts

http://www.theresilientearth.com/


Gore Scheme
By TerranMagistrate on 10/24/2011 9:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
Getting super rich off of pseudo-science and propaganda needs to have a proper name.

Kind of like Charles Ponzi -> Ponzi Scheme




RE: Gore Scheme
By Dorkyman on 10/25/2011 12:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'd suggest "en-Gore-ging."


RE: Gore Scheme
By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 12:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
+6 - you hit it right on the head so to speak!


RE: Gore Scheme
By rrocklin on 10/25/2011 8:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
The way to really get rich is to find data and perform analysis that show that there is no such thing as man made global warming. The energy industry would pay a fortune. Unfortunately it cannot be done.


RE: Gore Scheme
By YashBudini on 10/27/2011 2:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Getting super rich off of pseudo-science and propaganda needs to have a proper name.

How does religion strike you?


By Amiga500 on 10/25/2011 4:36:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Depending on who you ask, this approach is either an attempt to create a media circus prior to peer review or an unusual but good-hearted attempt to allow the non-expert public to participate in peer-review.


This is absolute rubbish.

By publishing the data and analysis techniques, the authors are allowing every researcher in the field to examine their work. For far too long, peer-review has been confined to a few (by a few, I literally mean papers being reviewed by less than 10 people) hand-picked experts associated with journals. If those journals and/or reviewers have a vested interest in perpetuating a theory or an area of work, then bias will be shown to work giving conclusions that agree with "their" norm.

This work is different; publically available for peer-review. This is how science should be done. You should be underlining that and not be disparaging it.




By Amiga500 on 10/25/2011 11:52:35 AM , Rating: 2
My my my...

I wonder if the down-raters actually understand the peer-review process at all? I would be shocked if any of them have ever submitted papers to it.

I suppose it is only reflective of the idiots that trawl this site these days.


By TeXWiller on 10/25/2011 1:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
The openness of the peer-review process was indeed noted among other publications and the media, fortunately.


By AerieC on 10/25/2011 1:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you were down-voted. I, for one, enjoy being able to run the numbers for myself, and interpret them myself, rather than just taking the word of the researchers.

I've personally seen studies that come to ridiculous conclusions based on the data they've collected. If you only read the abstract (or worse, a news article paraphrasing the abstract), you only get the ridiculous conclusions. Numbers never lie.


I always knew that
By cruisin3style on 10/24/2011 8:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
The following statement is true.
The previous statement is false.




RE: I always knew that
By TeXWiller on 10/25/2011 1:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
A good way to point out that the Earth is indeed a system of systems instead of only a set of propositions of the first order.


None of this matters
By Mithan on 10/24/2011 10:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
None of this matters. If Climate Change IS being caused by Human Activity, one can make the conclusion that as the Western economies slowly collapse from economic stagnation, that they will release much less CO2, as an impoverished population will consume less.

This will solve the problem.

On the other hand, if this is not human caused, then it matters little since we don't have any control over it anyways.

Chances are good though that the scientists are mostly wrong and we are probably going to enter a little ice age or something, that will freeze Canada, Russia and northern Europe and cut a lot of the worlds food supply down, inflating food prices and furthering our economic malaise.

So do I care about Global Warming? Nope. There is nothing I can do about it and if there was, the coming collapse of our economies will take care of my CO2 emissions.




RE: None of this matters
By retrospooty on 10/25/2011 8:59:33 AM , Rating: 2
"the coming collapse of our economies will take care of my CO2 emissions"

Are you smoking Glen Beck weeds? The economy will be fine, everything will be fine. There wont be widespread rioting, or any global meltdown. Have you seen how many iphones sold lst quarter? Android outselling even that. This is a recession. It happens and it ends.

Just breath, man just breath. Now repeat that process and all will be well.


There are two Ice Caps
By Mitch101 on 10/24/2011 9:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
And the Antarctic sea ice peaks at third highest on record and Australia is recording record low temperatures.

Believe what you want nobody who posts for either side is going to convince the other side you either believe its happening or you don't.

George Carlin: Earth Day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Miv4NHsDo




Media circus
By gladiatorua on 10/25/2011 12:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Depending on who you ask, this approach is either an attempt to create a media circus prior to peer review or an unusual but good-hearted attempt to allow the non-expert public to participate in peer-review.

So basically the same thing.
"Equal opinion" stuff concerning science is just a pile of BS. Valid points will just drown in media circus. Especially with topic like global warming, that was and still is milked by both supporters and sceptics.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMvMb90hem8




This is the problem with the "climatologists"
By tayb on 10/25/2011 9:06:26 AM , Rating: 1
They think their work is superior and above the scientific process. Peer review? Fogeddaboutit. Answering questions as to their methods and research? Fogeddaboutit.

I generally agree that the earth is in a "climate change" but the real issue is what is causing it. This "research" makes no attempt to answer that question which, in the end, changes absolutely nothing for the skeptics and the believers.




By Paj on 10/25/2011 9:42:34 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, the IPCC, 31 National science academies and Stern review did no peer review whatsoever. None.

Have you actually READ any of the literature?


Didn't Realize the Earth Was 200 Years Old...
By Arsynic on 10/25/2011 9:40:32 AM , Rating: 1
The Alarmists seem to be worse than Creationists. The problem with the alarmists is that they have yet to define what the "normal" or "healthy" temperature for the Earth is.

Secondly, if this is a warming trend, these studies still fail to prove what's causing it. If I suspend my disbelief for a minute and assume that 200 years out of billions of years is a reasonable sample size, so the Earth is warming. What next?

How do we make the jump between the Earth getting warmer since the 1800's to bankrupting corporations and global welfare--shuffling money from rich nations to poor nations?




By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 12:18:11 PM , Rating: 1
Excellent post!!


Look at the data
By JimboK29 on 10/25/2011 9:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Debate all you want but look at the data. CO2 has risen and Earth's temps are crashing down.

Go to channel 14 near the troposphere.

http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh...

Case closed. Agenda driven journalism has failed.




What bothers me...
By nafhan on 10/25/2011 10:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it be stranger if the average temperature had stayed the same over the past 200 years? It's widely acknowledged that the earth's temperature changes drastically, and even does so quickly on occasion. It seems likely that there's historical precedent for greater than 1 degree change over a 200 year period. If so, why are so many assuming that this change is due to human activity? I don't get it...




The reason for warming
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/25/2011 10:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
The cause of warming is simple: The earth is crying out for carbon taxes so the rich can create yet another trillion dollar arm of high finance and millions more can starve in the streets.

Bankster logic: You can add one more yacht to the global carbon footprint as long as you pay for it with the wealth and future of a few dozen middle class families.

Alternative bankster logic: Instead of just taking their wealth via standard looting and banking scams and the buying of political hacks that enable it, you can convince the middle class to vote themselves out onto the streets by tugging on their liberal heartstrings and offering endless wars and checkpoints as the "conservative" alternative. How's that for a 50 word sentence?




No $*!@ sherlock
By GatoRat on 10/25/2011 11:38:09 AM , Rating: 2
The northern hemisphere went through a mini-ice age in 18th century. During the American Revolutionary war the Hudson River froze solid to New York City.

As someone else said if the temperature--climate--didn't change THAT would be cause for alarm.




Follow the money
By JimboK29 on 10/25/2011 11:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
We live among 'experts' who were caught manipulating data (climategate) to pursue an agenda. Thermodynamics: The Earth has an energy budget and the temperature cannot just go pop off without a source of energy from the outside.

The left does not want people to know this and hides the facts. The AGW link to man has come crashing down and now they will try anything to keep alive a dying media generated mindset. They own every side of the argument.




Still missing something
By dgingerich on 10/25/2011 11:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
This study still misses a very obvious thing: it was warmer than current temperatures during the 900AD to 1400AD period. There were even vineyards in Scotland! Food production was higher and population growth was bigger. Guess what? There was no industrial machine producing tons of CO2 back then, either. So, they can't blame CO2 levels for that warming.

Then the little ice age came along, from ~1400 to 1850's. That's what they're comparing today's temps to. These "Climate Change" followers always do that. They pick the coldest time in recent history to compare to today's temps instead of going over the entire age.

Personally, I'd rather not go back to those type conditions, where everyone spent most of their time indoors, plagues thrived, and people starved. I'm glad it's getting better than those days! Yes, temperature fluctuates. That doesn't mean humanity has a hand in it. That doesn't mean the whole world is going to end. All it means is our growing season will lengthen, maybe some people will be displaced by rising ocean levels, (their fault for living so close to the ocean, or like New Orleans, putting a city on sinking swamp land) and we'll have more comfortable winters. We'll adapt. That's what we do. Duh.




I swear
By geddarkstorm on 10/25/2011 1:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
People are acting like this is some discovery. Notice all the OTHER TEMPERATURE SERIES from several agencies already there in that chart? The data is nothing new, BEST is using the SAME source data as everyone else. BEST simply worked to correct some data analysis issues, that's it. And curiously enough, it shows going backwards in time, temperatures have been warming steadily since the little ice age: no hockey stick!

Though interestingly, when BEST uses the stations ignored by the other data sets, the world temperature is seen dramatically cooling in the 21st century so far. So, that's some food for thought.




Bigger Picture
By Fracture on 10/25/2011 2:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure everyone is ready to admit the Earth has periods of heating and cooling, but isn't the question whether or not it is an Anthropocene warming? The study doesn't address that.




A slightly diffrent angle
By mark89 on 10/26/2011 1:20:30 AM , Rating: 2
I take a few points as given facts:
Carbon does increase the earths temperature (how much is a different question).
Carbon fuels are limited and have many other uses (chem industries).
It is next to imposible/hardly feasible to recapture large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere once released.

So we aren't yet quite sure what is going on, man has very small influence vs. large. Until one or the other degree is proven will take many many years.
To prove the Effekt to be large wed have to wait until its to late. To prove its untrue wait for ever?

But lets look at the risks:
If we assume we are responsible, we lose money and economic development potential in other fields. On the other hand we reduce our consumption of resources, that will become more valuable to us (need less but chem industrie without oil?).

If we assume we aren't responsible, we continue to waste our resources and will run out, and will need to move completly to alternatives for some things like polymers we lose a lot of great materials and will have to make do with others. On the otherhand we will have developed further in the same time frame. And of course if we are wrong and climate change is real :(

So loking at our options with dealing with these uncertaintys I would propose the safe and slower aproach. Increase our efficency and conserve CO2 and our resources. In the past we have continously improved our efficeny dealing with resources, why waste them now if they can do more for us in the future?

Also the Population is growing we need to be more efficient, and efficient is the road and means of conserving resources. So why fight it, we need to go there sometime, why not sooner rather than later?
Leave our children and childrens children with some of the resources we still have available and be amazed by what they can do with them. No matter whether or not we are responsible for climat change




Inaccurate Analysis
By Starcub on 10/26/2011 7:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Note the relative flat line over the last decade, which is eye-catching, even if you discount the steep decline in 2010. Now witness how this contrasts with the trend over the last decade in the rolling average shown in the press release:

What are you doing? There is no relative flat line in the graphs you cited over the past ten years. There is a relative flat line in the data prior to 1970 and another flat line (not a steep decent as you claim) following 2008. Moreover the data in both charts is essentially the same, as one would expect an averaged plot to be.




Koch funding
By Stacey Melissa on 10/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Koch funding
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/24/2011 9:09:42 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Was the fact that this study was, in part, Koch-funded too inconvenient to mention? You mentioned financial incentives for Gore, even though that is far less closely related to this study.

Of course funding is a source of bias, and yes this study was funded to the tune of $150,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. And yes Charles Koch is an oil billionaire who could lose money from warming being proven true.

But that said, the research stands on its own. If you want to dispute its claims, by all means lead the debunking charge. But try not to drop vague unsourced, unstudied allegations about a SCIENTIFIC study.

It's FAR DIFFERENT to insult the work of Ph.D, credentialed climatologists who are modestly getting by than it is to criticize Al Gore -- a man with no formal climatology credentials -- getting paid millions for speaking his unscientific views and growing fat off hundreds of millions in carbon credits, which he helped push the government to adopt.

Hopefully you can see the difference there and why your comparison is pretty much invalid.

quote:
And as you quoted, denialists have long been moving the goalposts. However, the very fact that this study happened and was funded by certain interests is great evidence that there is still a very substantial doubt (particularly by the Kochs) that warming has occurred at all. After all, why would a denialist waste money to answer the question of whether GW has occurred, if they already accept it as a settled question?

Moving goalposts has a better name -- it's called science. True science is a long historical trek of moving goalposts. The Greeks did not know of quarks or black holes or quirks of relativity. We now know these things and our "goal posts" of what we expect have moved.

Assuming prior knowledge and "keeping your goalposts where they are" is called dogma. That is not science. You'd be wise not to confuse the two, lest you give a misguided criticism of scientific skepticism.


RE: Koch funding
By Reflex on 10/25/2011 4:29:42 AM , Rating: 1
You have an odd definition of 'moving goalposts'. Of course science changes as understanding grows. That is not the same thing as saying "If 'a' is proven then I will admit the theory has merit" and then later when 'a' is proven saying "Sure, but what about 'b' which I just pulled out of my ass" which is pretty much exactly what is happening.

The climate is warming. But more significantly, it is doing it at a pace far more rapid than at any point in the earth's history. While it is true that the earth has been both far warmer and far colder than it is today, what it did not do during those warmer and colder times was support human life. What matters to us should be the climate that best permits us to continue to exist, not the fact that millions of years ago it was warmer and thus we have nothing to fear, as back then there were no humans and life was quite different from today.

The last time there was warming like this it took 40,000 years to accomplish. We have done it in a century and a half. Species are dying off at a rate that is unprecendented during the history of human life. If this does not concern you, then you make for an excellent ostrich.


RE: Koch funding
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2011 7:51:03 AM , Rating: 1
Because there's more humans than ever. Species dying does not equal warming. We're simply killing them through our own expansion.

quote:
The climate is warming. But more significantly, it is doing it at a pace far more rapid than at any point in the earth's history.


Really? Didn't know we had a to the decade accurate history of the Earth's climate. Now "in recorded history" sure. But recorded history is an inconsequential slice of time compared to the Earth.

Furthermore another posters link to a site that shows just how inaccurate measuring stations are in the US alone is cause to give doubt to any claims. How is a temperature monitoring station right next to AC exhaust ducts and brick buildings a clear reading? Not only will it cause temps to jump up during the day, but it will cause higher temps even after the sun goes down since all that extra structure bleeds off heat longer than just the earth would. This has long been ignored by climate researchers. Maybe I should put a monitoring station in my attic and then preach about how hot things are getting in the summer too.


RE: Koch funding
By AssBall on 10/25/2011 8:16:36 AM , Rating: 2
The real question here should not be "is the earth really warming".

It should be "Who gives a sh*t and why exactly should we have to impose stupid expensive and stifling regulations to try and prevent a natural phenomenon"


RE: Koch funding
By PReiger99 on 10/25/2011 8:39:26 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, bring on "real" and "unbiased" Fox News science where the conclusion to a (loaded) question is... included in the question itself.


RE: Koch funding
By PReiger99 on 10/25/2011 8:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
... This has long been ignored by climate researchers. Maybe I should put a monitoring station in my attic and then preach about how hot things are getting in the summer too

All things being equal, if you put a monitoring station in your attic, near a wall, a lake, you-name-it, then it would still record differences in the surrounding environment.

For example if a typical summer (around where you live) is 30'C, and then temperature becomes 31'C on average on the following summers, your station would still monitor an increase because your attic didn't change, didn't get better isolation so any outside difference would affect the temperature inside. Granted, your base temperature would be completely wrong but it wouldn't prevent you from determining if summers are more hot/cold over the years.


RE: Koch funding
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2011 9:32:06 AM , Rating: 1
My point was attics get extremely hot in the summer. Much like next to an AC duck as well as an asphalt parking lot. If the actual temperature is 95 degrees but the measuring station is reading 105 because of the other extra surrounding heat sources and for longer, that skews the results. Which is exactly what is happening but we're supposed to take this data as accurate.


RE: Koch funding
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/25/2011 9:07:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
You have an odd definition of 'moving goalposts'. Of course science changes as understanding grows. That is not the same thing as saying "If 'a' is proven then I will admit the theory has merit" and then later when 'a' is proven saying "Sure, but what about 'b' which I just pulled out of my ass" which is pretty much exactly what is happening.

But how is something considered "proven" if there's possible errors in the data set?

Again your language indicates pure dogma. That is not science.

Heck, even the theory of relativity has been challenged by physicists who believe it may limited or flawed. Why is AGW theory such a special snowflake that it shouldn't undergo rigorous analysis and skepticism?

quote:
The climate is warming. But more significantly, it is doing it at a pace far more rapid than at any point in the earth's history. While it is true that the earth has been both far warmer and far colder than it is today, what it did not do during those warmer and colder times was support human life.

Err... this comment is simply laughable. First, how do you claim knowledge that the Earth is warming so much faster than any period historically? Were you sitting at a temperature station back in the time of the dinosaurs and gathering accurate climate data?

There are some studies that try to assess prehistoric warming, but they have a huge margin of error as they rely on things like ice samples and tree rings, which are at best marginally accurate at measuring warming, to my understanding.

Further, what makes you think that humans will all magically perish if the Earth warms to prehistoric levels? Warmer climates + more CO2 typically mean more plant growth, which would be a boon to crop yields. Doesn't sound horrible to me.

quote:
The last time there was warming like this it took 40,000 years to accomplish. We have done it in a century and a half. Species are dying off at a rate that is unprecendented during the history of human life. If this does not concern you, then you make for an excellent ostrich.

Speciation is due a variety of factors, warming being a very minor one.

You're doing a great injustice to conservation efforts in your claims. Tigers aren't going extinct because of global warming, they're going extinct because of poaching and habitat loss. As long as certain close minded individuals insist that warming should be the sole focus of the environmentalist and conservation movements, the situation will continue to go downhill because mankind won't be focused on the more important issues like rainforest destruction and poaching.


RE: Koch funding
By Arsynic on 10/25/2011 9:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The climate is warming. But more significantly, it is doing it at a pace far more rapid than at any point in the earth's history.

I'm calling BULLSHIT on this. Just how the fuck can you make this statement based on 200 years of data?


RE: Koch funding
By Paj on 10/25/2011 7:38:51 AM , Rating: 2
So now, along with other denialists, you are denying that you denied anything in the first place. Keep those goalposts fresh!

The facts are these - the vast majority of internationally active climate scientists support that anthropogenic climate change is real. Study after study after study confirms these results. Every scientific body of international repute also confirms the position. 32 National Science Academies unanimously confirm it - including in the US.

Yet the US media, in its pursuit of 'balance', gives equal weight to denialists, even though this goes against the scientific literature. In no other developed country is the reporting so weighted in favour of denialists and skeptics, which - in case it needs to be said again - goes against the scientific consensus around the world. Its as absurd as giving equal weight to flat-earthers in the pursuit of a balanced viewpoint.

Your policy and international standing suffers as a result. Which you and a majority of DT readers probably dont care about anyway, but its true all the same.


RE: Koch funding
By FITCamaro on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Koch funding
By Paj on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: Koch funding
By Dr of crap on 10/25/2011 9:03:06 AM , Rating: 2
WRONG!
I'd guess half don't give a sh$t and of the other half, maybe 10% care the earth is warming (maybe warming).
The media will skew that to make it look like MOST care about warming.
They missed stats and percents in school!

But we should be using carbon credits as money and living like they did in the 1700s because the Earth maybe warmed 1°C in 60 years.
Does everyone agree with this statement?


RE: Koch funding
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2011 9:33:22 AM , Rating: 1
Fox News is only media outlet that doesn't outright accept any global warming twaddle that comes out. All the other major networks "question" it while having a guy come on to say how correct it is with no real argument from the host.


RE: Koch funding
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/25/2011 8:58:43 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The facts are these - the vast majority of internationally active climate scientists support that anthropogenic climate change is real. Study after study after study confirms these results. Every scientific body of international repute also confirms the position. 32 National Science Academies unanimously confirm it - including in the US.

The fact that scientists outside this field of study are urged to support or deny global warming is a sign of the topic's bizarre politicization, which has absolutely nothing to do with science.

How often do you see thousands of scientists internationally being called upon to publicly support or deny PGLA-coated gold nanoparticle flocculation?

This isn't science, it's a political circus fair.

quote:
Yet the US media, in its pursuit of 'balance', gives equal weight to denialists, even though this goes against the scientific literature. In no other developed country is the reporting so weighted in favour of denialists and skeptics, which - in case it needs to be said again - goes against the scientific consensus around the world. Its as absurd as giving equal weight to flat-earthers in the pursuit of a balanced viewpoint.

"Denialist" is a misleading and offensive term you're applying in a disingenuous attempt to disenfranchise legitimate scientific skepticism. Science, particularly science that governs important policy decision, should pass rigorous skepticism and review.

Your phrasing tells me you view AGW like the Bible. You have some fixed view of it and anyone who dares suggest otherwise is "unscientific" and blasphemous.

This is beyond moronic. Skepticism is an essential part of science. Your insistence on promoting AGW as unalterable dogma is disturbing and utterly unscientific.

quote:
Your policy and international standing suffers as a result. Which you and a majority of DT readers probably dont care about anyway, but its true all the same.

Oh, dropping the fear card, eh?

"If you don't blindly go along with everyone else YOU'LL LOOK REALLY BAD!!!"

Well if the rest of the world isn't interested in actually understanding climate change in a true scientific fashion (which I doubt you are correct in claiming is the case), then maybe the U.S. should go its own way.

quote:
Yet the US media, in its pursuit of 'balance', gives equal weight to denialists, even though this goes against the scientific literature.

But the literature simply says the Earth has warmed, using a particular data set. Some skeptics have pointed to possible errors in the collection of that data set -- that's perfectly legitimate. And further there's no scientific consensus in the peer reviewed literature about what % of the recent warming man has caused, exactly how much the world will ultimately warm to, and what exactly the effects will be.

There's all sorts of ideas and hypotheses.

Claiming flatly that there's a rigorous literature explanation that explains precisely where the climate change is going, how humans are affecting it, and what other factors are involved is pure fantasy. It doesn't exist.


RE: Koch funding
By Stacey Melissa on 10/25/2011 10:40:50 AM , Rating: 3
Jason, your suggestion that one should avoid politicizing science is quite right. You should try following that suggestion one of these days. That'll require leaving out the blatant laissez-faire views that drip from so many of your post-Asher articles.

Yeah, there are dogmatic people on both sides. You're one of them. You're so dogmatic that you titled your article with "proves" in quotes, as if this study didn't really confirm earlier findings about the baseline claim that GW has occurred. This is a neutral title: "Study Confirms Warming Occurred." This is your ideologically-driven title: "Study 'Proves' Warming Occurred, Pundits Seize Chance to Bash Skeptics." And it's tragi-comically contradicted by the subheading: "II. The Earth has Warmed, the Pope is Catholic." Are you moving the goalposts between title and subhead? Is the pope Catholic?

quote:
"Denialist" is a misleading and offensive term you're applying in a disingenuous attempt to disenfranchise legitimate scientific skepticism. Science, particularly science that governs important policy decision, should pass rigorous skepticism and review.

Your phrasing tells me you view AGW like the Bible. You have some fixed view of it and anyone who dares suggest otherwise is "unscientific" and blasphemous.

This is beyond moronic. Skepticism is an essential part of science. Your insistence on promoting AGW as unalterable dogma is disturbing and utterly unscientific.

I can't speak for Reflex, who, for all I know, may well be as dogmatic as you suggest, but personally, as a genuine all-around skeptic (one who believes things tentatively, and only to the extent that available evidence supports), I'm insulted when faux skeptics attempt to steal the mantle we real skeptics earned. You aren't skeptics; you're nothing more than cynics, and cynicism is cheap. You have the same cynicism that 9/11 Truthers have, that Birthers have, that UFOlogists have, and that creationists have. To you and them alike, the scientific consensus is all a conspiracy. And just like they do, you falsely label your conclusions "skepticism." But skepticism isn't a conclusion; it's a process. So don't call yourself a "global warming skeptic." You're not one. You're merely a global warming cynic.


RE: Koch funding
By Paj on 10/25/2011 11:25:39 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
How often do you see thousands of scientists internationally being called upon to publicly support or deny PGLA-coated gold nanoparticle flocculation?


If PGLA-coated gold nanoparticle flocculation made a difference to Big Oil's bottom line, I'm sure you'd see it often. But I digress.

quote:
This is beyond moronic. Skepticism is an essential part of science.


Correct, but only when the skepticism is itself empirical. Denying overwhelming scientific evidence, assembled from thousands of climate scientists and unanimously endorsed by science academies the world over isnt skepticism, its ignorance.

quote:
Your phrasing tells me you view AGW like the Bible. You have some fixed view of it and anyone who dares suggest otherwise is "unscientific" and blasphemous.


I am basing my argument on the scientific evidence. If new data comes to light, if the evidence changes, or fails to support the hypothesis, then the conclusion must also change. So far, this hasn't happened.

quote:
Oh, dropping the fear card, eh? "If you don't blindly go along with everyone else YOU'LL LOOK REALLY BAD!!!" Well if the rest of the world isn't interested in actually understanding climate change in a true scientific fashion (which I doubt you are correct in claiming is the case), then maybe the U.S. should go its own way.


Do you read any foreign media? The BBC, Guardian, al Jazeera?
If you did, you'd be well aware of the criticism the US received when you withdrew from Kyoto. Not just from the press, but governments as well.

quote:
And further there's no scientific consensus in the peer reviewed literature about what % of the recent warming man has caused, exactly how much the world will ultimately warm to, and what exactly the effects will be.


There are no certainties, only probabilities. You can't expect them to predict the future.

The IPCC report from 2007 attributes warming to anthropogenic sources with > 90% certainty. As in, the intergovernmental body that assesses peer-reviewed scientific literature across the globe. Whose consensus is shared and endorsed by over 40 national scientific academies, as well the International Council for Science, the National Research Council (US) and Royal Meteorological Society. Please show me the lack of consensus.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/e...

It is extremely unlikely (<5%) that the global pattern of warming during the past half century can be explained without external forcing (i.e., it is not explained by any known observed natural phenomena)

Result
Warming during the past half century cannot be explained without external radiative forcing

Likelihood
Extremely likely (>95%)

Factors contributing to likelihood assessment
Anthropogenic change has been detected in surface temperature with very high significance levels (less than 1% error probability). This conclusion is strengthened by detection of anthropogenic change in the upper ocean with high significance level.


RE: Koch funding
By Tony Swash on 10/25/2011 11:33:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I am basing my argument on the scientific evidence. If new data comes to light, if the evidence changes, or fails to support the hypothesis, then the conclusion must also change. So far, this hasn't happened.


Given your views on this how would you explain the lack of warming in the last 13 years?

Man made CO2 in the atmosphere has increased in that period but the temperature has not increased as the models said we should expect it to. Are the models wrong? If so what is wrong with them - because if the error cannot be identified than the over all validity of the models must be questioned.


RE: Koch funding
By Amiga500 on 10/25/2011 11:57:00 AM , Rating: 2
The models are pish.

Many don't even include the effect of the ocean.

Crazy stuff!

I have zero confidence in the current models, and very little confidence in the IPCC.


RE: Koch funding
By Stacey Melissa on 10/25/2011 12:12:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But that said, the research stands on its own. If you want to dispute its claims, by all means lead the debunking charge. But try not to drop vague unsourced, unstudied allegations about a SCIENTIFIC study.

It's FAR DIFFERENT to insult the work of Ph.D, credentialed climatologists who are modestly getting by than it is to criticize Al Gore -- a man with no formal climatology credentials -- getting paid millions for speaking his unscientific views and growing fat off hundreds of millions in carbon credits, which he helped push the government to adopt.

Hopefully you can see the difference there and why your comparison is pretty much invalid.

My point apparently flew way over your head. I'm the one accepting the study, and you're the one trying to find excuses to deny it, remember? Al Gore is irrelevant to the study, and yet you just had to take a shot at him, like you always do in GW articles. The Koch money is relevant because it helped fund this study, and yet, because that fact is at odds with your ideology, oops, you failed to mention it. I shouldn't have to spell this out, but I will... A frequent claim and/or allusion of the GW denier crowd is that the scientific consensus about (A)GW is driven by money and/or anti-business ideology, rather than climate facts. Now this BEST study comes along, with funding by an infamously wealthy, pro-business organization. The BEST study - contrary to the way a conspiracy-minded denialist might expect it to conclude based on funding source - turns out to confirm the allegedly biased findings of earlier studies. Thus the common denialist claim that money and/or anti-business ideology has significantly affected previous GW findings is shown to be false.

quote:
Moving goalposts has a better name -- it's called science...

Um yeah, I'm well aware of the scientific method and the fact that scientific findings are always up for revision. But that's not at all what I was talking about. I was talking about the way GW denialists have long had the habit of moving goalposts in order to keep protecting their sacred belief that governments should not take actions to mitigate AGW. First, they said GW wasn't real. Then, the data is inconclusive. Then, OK, it's real, but it's natural. Then, OK, the data about it being anthropogenic is inconclusive. Then, OK, it's anthropogenic, but it's too expensive to mitigate. Then, OK, we could try, but we'd almost certainly fail to mitigate it. Then, OK, we could do something, but why bother mitigating when it might be a good thing?!

If I wanted to see that kind of goalpost movement, I'd talk to a creationist.


RE: Koch funding
By Fracture on 10/27/2011 10:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
This is worthy of a 6.


RE: Koch funding
By Captain Orgazmo on 10/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: Koch funding
By BZDTemp on 10/25/2011 3:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
After all, why would a denialist waste money to answer the question of whether GW has occurred, if they already accept it as a settled question?


Because they hope results may be useful in their agenda.


One Website to Disprove it All!
By TheEinstein on 10/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By TheEinstein on 10/24/2011 9:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
To address another issue with this article..

Look up "swordfish and Northpole". Might be you find three submarines sitting in the north pole... with only icebergs around them and not a sheet of ice.

If your willing to look at evidence I will later post the grandfather of all anti-AGW sites for you.


By TheEinstein on 10/25/2011 11:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
To summarize the first post which environuts downrated..

I can prove global temperatures have NOT gone up, and that this is due to deliberate malfeasance.

Http://www.surfacestations.org will show you the recording stations used by the NOAA and show how an amazing 92% of them misreport the temperature upwards by a MINIMUM of 1 degree.

Given this evidence you should be able to conclude we are actually either in normal ranges, or we are in a cooling phase.

You will see pictures of all the weather stations and academic proof of their problems.


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By TSS on 10/24/2011 10:44:48 PM , Rating: 3
Heh, running a campaign on the emotional knee-jerk response huh?

Don't get me wrong, i think manmade global warming is bull too. But:

quote:
Think of how those wasted funds could have been used.
Think of how much money more you would have,
Think of how Spain would not be on the brink (and in danger of pulling the EU with it if it does go over)
Think of how much debt we owe the Chinese for a LIE!


1. Your talking tax money or corperate profits. At most it cost a couple of jobs, but nothing that would seriously impact the job creation problem you currently have.
2. Not a whole lot more, since 2002 you've already cut taxes by too much. And price increases have been caused mostly by inflation, which is actually caused by your governments lack of money.
3.Spain is on the brink because they've build tens of thousands of buildings on their coastline that nobody lives in (and can live in) and where just build for "investment". If anything spain could've used more enviromentalism.
4.You owe the chinese for making the new american dream of consuming possible. Which is a lie, yes. But don't blame that on the enviromentalists. Blame it on the indulgence of the american people. But then again campaigning by blaming your constituents doesn't get many votes now does it....


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By TheEinstein on 10/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By twhittet on 10/25/2011 1:38:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see your "pure math" on "permanently employing" 2000 people on the money given to Solyndra.

If you were to use real math, you would also subtract any of the $ DID create jobs, or has otherwise been put back into the economy. I'd still be plenty interested to see it without that though.


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By slunkius on 10/25/2011 2:07:15 AM , Rating: 2
looks like you've been called out about those permanent jobs. waiting for the follow up. or was it just hot air?


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By LordSojar on 10/25/2011 3:04:19 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
With the money given to Solyndria


~535 million was given to Solyndria. That's nothing in context when compared to many, MANY other expenditures.

In addition, out of all the money that went into "green" energy start ups, etc, very few failed. We massively expanded our green-tech industries and are developing, new, cleaner technologies on a daily basis.

Pointing out the one or two businesses that failed isn't proving anything other than ignorance. So it failed. How many Wall St firms failed or were on the brink of failure? How many tech start ups fail every year with zany ideas, innovative ideas crushed by a broken patent system, etc fail? Solyndria is a terrible example of why we shouldn't invest in this stuff...

Germany invested billions of euros into green energy, and they are thriving because of it. You think we had it bad bailing out some banks? Try bailing out entire other countries....

But, I get it, you hyper conservatives need talking points, and you'll grab straws whenever you can to prove that the "liberal agenda" is destroying the US and leading us ever closer to that 4th Reich you're so afraid of. Heil socialism! Sigh....


By YashBudini on 10/27/2011 2:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How many Wall St firms failed or were on the brink of failure?

How many start up businesses fail every year? Wrong location, wrong management, but hey, blame the president.

How many oil wells are drilled with no results? Were they government subsidized? Any whining about them? No, but solar? What the hell. (All start up companies are a crap shoot, just like well digging.)

If the US did nothing and China became #1 in solar cell production and technology (with government help?) then that would be whose fault again?

quote:
and you'll grab straws whenever you can to prove that the "liberal agenda" is destroying the US and leading us ever closer to that 4th Reich you're so afraid of. Heil socialism!

Anything short of being a misanthrope is socialist according to the extremists. I wonder how they behave in church. Yeah OK, no I don't.

But wasn't Hitler to the far right? I thought he hated communism as he viewed it, which would be Russia. Haven't a number of dictators in general been afraid/against communism?

You ready for this? From Wikipedia:
quote:
Fascism opposes class consciousness and is anti-anarchist, anti-communist, anti-conservative, anti-democratic, anti-individualist, anti-liberal, anti-parliamentary, anti-bourgeois and anti-proletarian.[16] It entails a distinctive type of anti-capitalism and is typically, with a few exceptions, anti-clerical.[17][18] It rejects egalitarianism, materialism, and rationalism in favour of action, discipline, hierarchy, spirit and will.


quote:
How many tech start ups fail every year with zany ideas, innovative ideas crushed by a broken patent system,

You mean they were Apple-ized?


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By Paj on 10/25/2011 7:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
Your grasp of these issues is facile at best. Environmentalism is not the cause of the woes currently faced by the US (or Span, what?)


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2011 7:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
While this post is a bit out there, it doesn't take away from the fact that linked to site shows a clear problem with the monitoring stations used for temperature readings around the US.

But hey who cares if data is off.


RE: One Website to Disprove it All!
By TheEinstein on 10/25/2011 11:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
Heh downrated for http://www.surfacestations.org

Denying wont change tne facts.

Btw the jobs I could get....

Semi truck drivers.

There is a current shortage of 100,000 drivers according to industry experts. An average semi costs $150,000 and a trailer can cost around $40,000.

Using some juggling where loans would be obtained based on the assets and given some serious monies dedicated to training and recruitment I could fill all 2k trucks with ease.

Given after expenses and payroll (due to the shortage of drivers) a typical semi truck is fully paid for in 3 years woth enough spare to pay for half of another.

Cargo pays out between $1.50 to $2.50. My company I work for gets a median of about $1.90 a mile but he also gets a cut for his logistics company of an unknown amount.

Average new drivers earn about $50,000 a year. For quick assumption we will say total cost to employ a driver is $100,000 a year.

An average truck should get about 135,000 miles a year.

With about $89,000 in annual fuel costs and some maintainance costs (not to high on new trucks, warranties on most stuff til 500,000 miles)

That said the fourth year of a truck is the profit year. Typically you come out significantly ahead, and the used truck market will buy back trucks for approx $40-$50,000

There is currently 6 million truck drivers on the road at various levels (from A class box trucks to 53 foot trailers). Again most industry experts want at least 100k more to meet current demand. Most of this is in the Over The Road catagorey.

I could meet a demand, so long as I could find a supply. Right now there is no real advertising for these positions... I could innovate and fill this void.

Oh and the loan would easily be repaid as well as the bank loan with on going operations.

Oh and the website with proof global warming is a lie... http://www.surfacestations.org


By YashBudini on 10/27/2011 2:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Heh downrated for http://www.surfacestations.org


You were down rated for posting a self-serving advertisement. The link could have actually increased your rating otherwise.


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