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Is Antarctica warming or cooling? Either way it proves global warming, according to climate modelers.

In the 1990s, predictions of a greenhouse-warmed Antarctic abounded. As time passed, though, problems surfaced. Research paper after paper indicated that, other than the tiny Antarctica peninsula, the continent was in fact cooling -- and had been doing so for many decades.

Skeptics pointed to this as a flaw in global warming theory. Not so fast, cried the climate modelers. They quickly spun a number of possible explanations, including ozone holes, ocean currents, and terrain that cut off Antarctica from the world's warming. As the certainty in the cooling trend grew, so did their statements, until they eventually began stating that they had predicted a cooling trend all along.

As the folks at RealClimate put it, "Doesn't this contradict [global warming]? Not at all, because a cold Antarctica is just what calculations predict… and have predicted for the past quarter century."

Cooling was thus cast as proof of global warming, not refutation. The media dutifully shifted their cameras from penguins to polar bears. The world was safe for Kyoto again.

But now a new paper has appeared, saying that Antarctica is warming after all. Written by Eric Steig and Drew Shindell, the paper purports to prove that past evidence of cooling was incorrect. But doesn't that contradict the models? Not if one can again rewrite history.

Speaking at a news conference today, Steig says, "We now see warming is taking place [in] accord with what models predict as a response to greenhouse gases."

In 2004, Shindell had something very different to say. That year he authored a paper that stated, "Surface temperatures [had] decreased significantly over most of Antarctica," Shindell added, "This cooling is consistent with circulation changes". He dedicated the rest of the paper to demonstrating that climate modeling "reproduces the vertical structure and seasonality of observed [cooling] trends."

Today, Shindell says, "It’s extremely difficult to think of any physical way that you could have increasing greenhouse gases not lead to warming at the Antarctic continent.". One can only wonder if he kept a straight face.

Even the New York Times is playing along, saying that cooling "ran counter to the forecasts of computer climate models". Memories are short.

The real story here isn't Antarctica. It's the willingness to rationalize model results to fit any and all scenarios. To the modelers, their results are consistent with. . . well, everything. Whether warmer or colder, flood or drought, more storms or less -- it's all proof that global warming is real and happening now.

This, of course, isn't real science. A true theory require something called falsifiability -- a set of conditions under which it can be disproven. So far, this is something the modelers have failed to give. It allows them to maintain a facade of unflappable certainty-- but it isn't science.

Among researchers who work with actual climate data, skepticism is climbing. The modelers at least remain faithful. But as of now, their predictions are rather like the gypsy fortune teller who tells you, "You will live a long life -- unless you die young."



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By Grabo on 1/22/2009 4:17:51 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
Fact 4: We're not really sure what the natural cycle is or where it would be if humans weren't contributing


http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/...

"Over the several hundred thousand years covered by the ice core record, the temperature changes were primarily driven by changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Over this period, changes in temperature did drive changes in carbon dioxide (CO2). Since the Industrial Revolution (over the last 100 years), CO2 concentrations have increased by 30% due because to human-induced emissions from fossil fuels."

"The bottom line is that temperature and CO2 concentrations are linked."

"There is indisputable evidence from observations that the Earth is warming. Concentrations of CO2, created largely by the burning of fossil fuels, are now much higher, and increasing at a much faster rate, than at any time in the last 600,000 years."

quote:
Fact 5: The natural cycle can vary widely


Yep. NASA says : "Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in solar output, in the Earth’s orbit, and in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands."

What does that mean, then? It means climate has changed rapidly in the past. So?

It doesn't in any way mean that we aren't responsible for the current co2 levels in the atmosphere, or that we aren't adding to the heating of the globe because of that.

It doesn't mean that we can adapt. Were was our modern civilization > 650 000 years ago? Where are the impact assesments from when sudden heating struck then?

NASA also says "The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years."

Modern civilization impact still applies, and the fact that
the atmosperic co2 levels haven't been over 300ppm in the last 650 000 years, whereas it is currently above 380. Started to rise right around the time of the industrial revolution.

Where is any sort of indication that this current warming trend is a natural cycle? Except in your head? See picture 1 again.

I'm citing the Climatic Research Unit and NASA and you are citing ..what?


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