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April 09, 2008

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Comments

Marcus

Please. Do you know how many magazine articles around the world say this, that and what ever about climate change? Jim, why not leave commentary on the science of climate change to peer reviewed scientific articles. The credibility of your blog is on the line here.

get real

Ummm. Even if the connection were to not exist I suggest we could all improve our lifestyles if we ditched our stinking cars and started to design cities that are walkable rather than just driveable.

Sepp Hasslberger

I don't agree with Marcus that all scientific discussion should be left to the "experts" in peer-reviewed articles and scientific journals. Many an important discovery has been made by people who weren't the experts of the time and who were even positively looked down upon when they stated their discovery. Sometimes they even did not live to see the "experts" finally accept what they had proposed. Yet today we are told to leave it up to the scientists to do our thinking. Doesn't quite make sense...

Yes on get real's idea that we should very well improve our lifestyles and ditch stinking cars. I might add that we should ditch a lot of the current technology that is at the root of our polluting the environment. We need clean spaces to live and breathe in. And so do the other species that we share the earth with.

So yes, let's clean up our act, but not with a false reasoning of "eliminating CO2" because it causes "global warming".

My personal collection of contrary evidence to the man-made-global-warming scenario is here:

Man-made Global Warming - The Debate is not over!

Richard

Anyone else noticed how, the minute you try and put down global warming theories, you get a 'leave it up to the experts' response? Isn't that dangerous?

I know there's supposedly 'overwhelming' evidence proving global warming exists, but that's only because that's what the media are telling us about. Articles like this prove that, for every paper supposedly proving global warming exists, there's probably another paper proving the exact opposite. So should we still just accept it exists or do you think there might just be a slim possibility that that theory is politically motivated??

Paul F. Dietz

This guy is a well-known crank.

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2008/01/spencer_is_totally_off_his_roc.php

Marcus

There is a reason for standards. Thanks Paul for showing why. As I said, the world if full of Bulls#(@$%hit in 1000s of blogs/magazines/pseudo scientific conferences etc etc. Why comment specifically on this one?

Jo P

Excellent blog – I enjoy reading it.

The article attempts to explain “why the climate is not highly sensitive to CO2 warming”. I have still to be convinced that mankind has any significant role in global warming; but that we are currently going through a period of global warming seems pretty certain (surely the sun is the most likely culprit). So this article does not “invalidate all the concern about global warming and make the future much less of a concern” because if global warming continues over a sustained period then we will need to innovate and almost certainly change our lifestyle to fit our new conditions – if not for ourselves then for the sake of our children and grand children.

Al Fin

Why is Marcus trying to intimidate Jim into silence on this issue? Am I the only one who is tiring of this McCarthyist attitude of so many "shut up the debate is over" alarmists?

The debate on climate is not over. Whether the item Jim discusses is validated or not, Jim owes it to his readership to keep the debate open.

GreyFlcn

Dude, thats the same Roy Spencer paper you posted last week.
http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2008/04/aquabirds-aquab.html#comment-109497476

_

Pretty much, this theory was original thought up by Richard Lindzen, and then disproved, and disowned.

In 2001, Lindzen published a paper speculating that as the Earth warmed, water vapor would decrease in the upper atmosphere, allowing heat to escape back into space more efficiently, and thereby reducing overall temperature.

The paper met with vigorous criticism. Eventually, he disavowed the idea. "That was an old view," Lindzen said about his five-year-old hypothesis. "I find it insane that I am still forced to explain this."
seedmagazine.com/news/2006/08/the_contrarian.php?page=all

_

Roy Spencer, is trying to raise it from the dead.

Either way you roll it.
Both Spencer 2007 and Douglass 2007 focus on limited and noisy tropical temperature data as the basis for their entire argument.

Incidentally, we don't have very good data there. So yes, there have been papers going both ways on that region.

So the only real answer is to get better satellites. But apparently we have to go to Mars first, rather than launch a critical climate satellite.
gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/4/7/17121/09186

GreyFlcn

==surely the sun is the most likely culprit==

One thing scientists on all sides know, is that it's definantly not increased solar irradiance.

sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/312/3
folk.uio.no/nathan/web/statement.html
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7327393.stm
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6290228.stm
greyfalcon.net/forcing4.png

Demesure

It's funny to see how the AGWers get hysterical with a fact that doesn't suit the "consensus", even calling a scientist "crank". Jim's blog's credibility is even now called into question. Ha, someone is learning the hard way what's up to have doubts about the orthodoxy.

When we get there, it's the best evidence that it has nothing to do with science or reason and everything to do with fanaticism and intolerance.

RoySV

My neighbor said something about climate change yesterday. I will report back after I can fully interview him. (He'd off now visiting his astrologer).

Zach

There's no hysteria here. There are multiple posts that show concerns about the original article, one that has a link to some background info on the scientist who is quoted indirectly in the original article, and another that says that even the original person who "thought up" the original idea now disavows it. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

I think the reason there was some concern about the blog's credibility is that Jim could have easily done that research himself via Google before posting it, or he did and decided it was worth posting anyhow. Instead he covers himself with a comment about how "he is not qualified to endorse these findings". There is in fact some level of de-facto endorsement when he posts the article here - there are a million articles and theories about climate change; what prompted him to post this particular one?

There are many folks out there who are so depressed about the implications of the "scientific consensus" that they are overly eager to embrace any theory that, to be blunt, is less depressing, even if it is based in faulty science. There's no way of knowing whether Jim or any of the posters here are operating from that mindset, but posts like this make at least this longtime reader of the blog have some minor but real concerns. The only way to move the debate forward, even to advance a theory that is massively different from the scientific consensus, is still a rigorous approach to hard science and the principles of peer review and putting truth and technical accuracy above all other factors.

Al Fin

Someone forgot to tell the climate itself to follow the "consensus." Bad climate! Try to do better next time, okay?

Climatology is an infant science--too young to have any kind of meaningful consensus. You can call it that if it makes you feel more secure, but . . .

And another thing. All of these hysterical ad hominems flying about. Does it really take that sort of extremism to keep everyone in the religious fold?

George Bruce

"Ummm. Even if the connection were to not exist I suggest we could all improve our lifestyles if we ditched our stinking cars and started to design cities that are walkable rather than just driveable."

Posted by: get real | April 09, 2008 at 03:45 AM


So, you want this for esthetic reasons alone? Will this ditching of cars and rebuilding of cities be voluntary or mandatory? If it is voluntary and the peasants won’t cooperate, what will you do next? Are there “Ecological Sensitivity Re-education Work Farm Communes” in our future?

George Bruce

"Ummm. Even if the connection were to not exist I suggest we could all improve our lifestyles if we ditched our stinking cars and started to design cities that are walkable rather than just driveable."

Posted by: get real | April 09, 2008 at 03:45 AM


So, you want this for esthetic reasons alone? Will this ditching of cars and rebuilding of cities be voluntary or mandatory? If it is voluntary and the peasants won’t cooperate, what will you do next? Are there “Ecological Sensitivity Re-education Work Farm Communes” in our future?

George Bruce

"Ummm. Even if the connection were to not exist I suggest we could all improve our lifestyles if we ditched our stinking cars and started to design cities that are walkable rather than just driveable."

Posted by: get real | April 09, 2008 at 03:45 AM


So, you want this for esthetic reasons alone? Will this ditching of cars and rebuilding of cities be voluntary or mandatory? If it is voluntary and the peasants won’t cooperate, what will you do next? Are there “Ecological Sensitivity Re-education Work Farm Communes” in our future?

bob

Is it bad to follow the consensus? Well, unless you happen to be versed in climatology and truly understand the issues so that you can formulate an informed opinion, no it probably is not. Any one person, especially one with (let's call it) a Copernican complex, can hunt for anomalies and claim that their theory disproves the consensus. This is rather similar to what another group of people do: creationists.

blind mole rat

I accept the "new" findings not as proof of anything one way or the other but as an improvement of our understanding. This is nothing close to the end of the argument or proving anything absolutely.

I also read the opinions that we unscientific little people make after reading the dumbered down more stupider media articles. Politics will affect me more this fall than warming.


Benny Peak Demand Cole

I have been wondering about the threat of "global warming," for some time, as I was aware that North America and Europe were actually much warmer 1000 years ago than today. Grapes werer growing in New Foundland, and grass stayed green through frostless winters when Lief Ericson came to "Vinland" (named for grapevines). Grapes! How many eons passed for grapes to migrate from more southerly climes to New Foundland? Not only was it warmer, it must have been warmer for a long, long time.

I am a devout environmentalist. I believe we should go to PHEVs with all speed, and power our grid by solar, wind, geothermal, and nukes.

I am worried the eco-movement will get a huge black eye on man-induced global warming. We will lose credibility on many other, real issues.

And people have painted themselves into a corner. Can Al Gore come out now, and say, "Jeez, I was wrong." Give back his Nobel Prize? He has staked his reputation.
At this point, Gore is worse than close-minded; he has vested interest in suppressing new information, and destroying different viewpoints. He can't even say as much as, "The new information coming out does make the issue more grey." He is trapped like a rat on the sinking Global Warming boat.

A sad day for people who care about the environment. We have followed a Pied Piper....

Bob Wallace

It's quite valid for non-brain surgeons to discuss brain surgery. Perhaps once in a great while a novel idea might emerge that will extend our knowledge.

But who do you want approving techniques for messing around in your brain - the vast consensuses of certified brain surgeons or a couple of folks who make novel claims based on little to no data?

GreyFlcn

re: Benny Cole
==I was aware that North America and Europe were actually much warmer 1000 years ago than today. Grapes werer growing in New Foundland, and grass stayed green through frostless winters when Lief Ericson came to "Vinland" (named for grapevines). Grapes!==

Benny, why do you keep saying that?

Vinland was named for Vin, the Viking word for meadows, and the "grapes" he found were actually berries.

And there is no scientific study that argues that globally it was warmer in the medieval period than now.
http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2008/04/aquabirds-aquab.html#comment-109876832L

_

Then again, if you feel so strongly about it, then perhaps you could cite your sources, rather than expecting the scientific world to be flipped on end by mere gossip.

_

Whats more, can you provide even one significant scientific organization in the world which says that the experienced warming in the past few decades hasn't been primarily caused by human actions?

Because frankly, I highly doubt you can.
http://greyfalcon.net/whatwouldittake

Not even the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Don

With respect to "Vinland", its etymology admits to either Wine-land or Meadow-land, so that argument cannot be settled. Please, guys, a little forbearance is helpful.

Don

With respect to "Vinland", its etymology admits to either Wine-land or Meadow-land, so that argument cannot be settled. Please, guys, a little forbearance is helpful.

Bob Wallace

"Can Al Gore come out now, and say, "Jeez, I was wrong." Give back his Nobel Prize? He has staked his reputation.
At this point, Gore is worse than close-minded; he has vested interest in suppressing new information, and destroying different viewpoints. He can't even say as much as, "The new information coming out does make the issue more grey." He is trapped like a rat on the sinking Global Warming boat."

Obviously we're all guessing as to what Gore might be able to do or not be able to do.

My guess is that if there was a change in the scientific community that says "We were wrong. This new data (or analysis) disproves what we earlier believed" then Gore would quickly change his position.

I certainly think he would have a much easier time changing his position than would some of the "deniers".

Their decision making process seems to be more along the lines of a religious belief system.

Stake out a position and search for any little tidbit that one can use to support that belief.

(Or perhaps it's a "our side/your side" problem for them. If the idea is put forward by someone on the opposite team then it must be fought tooth and nail.)

Mike

Why is the CAGW complaining? I thought their marching orders were to shift to "climate change".

GreyFlcn

Technically,
Global Warming causes Climate Change.

Two different, but similar terms.

Benny Peak Demand Cole

Vinland named for vines? Maybe. See:

The earliest etymology of "Vinland" is found in Adam of Bremen's 11th-century Latin Descriptio insularum Aquilonis ("Description of the Northern Islands"): "Moreover, he has also reported one island discovered by many in that ocean, which is called Winland, for the reason that grapevines grow there by themselves, producing the best wine." (Praeterea unam adhuc insulam recitavit a multis in eo repertam occeano, quae dicitur Winland, eo quod ibi vites sponte nascantur, vinum optimum ferentes). The implication is that the first element is Old Norse vín (Latin vinum), "wine".

By the way, in this same period (1000 a.d. or so), grapes started to grow well in England. Parts of China were warmer too. Records are scant, but the Earth was probably warmer than than now.

Add this from Wikipedia: "Leif and his crew left Markland and again found land, which they named Vinland. They landed and built a small settlement. They found the area pleasant: there were plenty of salmon in the river and the climate was mild, with little frost in the winter and green grass year-round. They remained in the region over the winter."

New Foundland with green grass year-around and little frost in winter!

The UN used to publish temperature tables showing 1000 a.d. as hotter than now (which certainly seems likely, what with frost free winters in New Foundland and grapes growing in England), but then halted the practice.

see

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/05/nosplit/nwarm05.xml

Whole books have been written about how warm that period was for Europe, and that warmth probably allowed Europe to flourish.

Surely, if green grass stays on frostless ground through winter in New Foundland, we can agree North America was warmer than today. Something like that just could not happen today. We get frost in winter in Los Angeles!

Okay, so we could still have global warming today caused by CO2, even if it was warmer 1000 years ago. I am open to that possibility, but also open to other ideas.

I stand by my assertion that Gore is hopelessly roped into his position, and now must bash any opposing views. I cannot imagine Gore simply saying, "You know what? New evidence means there is much less to worry about. Sorry I bothered you. Global Warming? Oh, that? Let's change the topic, eh?"

Bob Wallace

You make a jump based on no data ....

"Parts of China were warmer too. Records are scant, but the Earth was probably warmer than than now."

Come up with some support for similar warming in the Southern Hemisphere (and the other parts of China) or drop that assertion.

Cherry picking data is intellectually dishonest.


--

As for Gore being able to change his mind - remember a large portion of his family's wealth resulted from tobacco farming.

When he saw the data and suffered the loss of his sister from lung cancer he got out of the tobacco business and began supporting anti-tobacco legislation.

That's one piece of data that indicates that Gore is someone who can take opposing data into consideration and change his behavior.

(And, before you head down that attack track, no, Gore did not make the change overnight. It took a little while, but he got there.)

Bob Wallace

And you cherry picked the 'winland = grapes' stuff.

A bit further down the same page one finds...

"A more recent interpretation of the name Vinland is that the first element is not vín but vin, an Old Norse word with the meaning 'meadow, pasture'."

"Vin a common name on old farms from Norse times in Norway...."

Read down the page.

We don't even know where old Lief found his berries (if berries rather than a meadow he did fine).

Could have been the gooseberries of Newfoundland.

Could have been the Concord grapes of New England.


Benny Peak Demand Cole

Check the article from the Daily Telegraph. It has a chart showing the Earth warmer in 1000 a.d. than today.

also, see this:

http://gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/winter96/article1-fig1.html

the last chart clearly shows Medievel temps above current, based upon tree rings etc.

That being said, maybe CO2 is heating up the planet now. I am open to the idea, but also open to the recent posts here on the Energy Blog, which seem to be casting doubt on man-induced Global Warming.

I never met Gore, and I voted for him. But is he open-minded? On global warming? Come on. He has a deeply vested interest at this point. You think he woud just say, "Oh, that film I made? Forget about it!"

Actually, we are about on time for our next cyclical Ice Age. They come 'round regularly. I tend to tink an Ice Age would be worse than Global Warming.

Benny Peak Demand Cole

also see http://gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/winter96/article1-fig2.html
According to this chart, it was warmer 6,000 years ago than now, also. I am just saying....

Bob Wallace

How about you taking a look at this?


".... The medieval warm period and little ice age are labeled at roughly the times when they are historically believed to occur, though it is still disputed whether these were truly global or only regional events."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

Notice three things:

1) This is more recent than your post. Recent data is generally better than earlier compiled data.

2) At least two of the references in this article specifically state that the data is from the Northern Hemisphere. Not from the planet as a whole. (I didn't check the other references to see where the data was collected.)

3) Take a look at the slope of the line on the far right. It might have warmed up back in the 1000s, but doesn't that steep rise give you a bit of concern?

--

As for Gore, I would like you to present some facts that back up your accusations.

Without supporting evidence you are simply engaging in the politics of personal destruction.

Bob Wallace

I was unfamilar with the site you were referencing so I clicked on "About".

And right at the top of that page was a "Ask Dr. Global Change". One of the first questions that the good Doc fields is

"Is global warming a real issue that we should be concerned with or is it hype?"

His/Her answer?

"The threat of global warming is a real issue. It is clear from long-term temperature records that the world is warming. It is becoming clear that human activities, mainly burning fossil fuels and deforestation, are part of the cause of this warming. Since these human activities are expected to continue into the foreseeable future, scientists predict that the earth will continue warming. The debate among scientists who study climate centers around questions like: How much warming? How fast will the earth warm? What will be the regional and seasonal patterns of the warming? What will be the impact of the warming on natural ecosystems and people?"

Seems like Ol' Doc Change sees the data differently than you do.

Gary

God forbid someone who comes out and says that Global Warming may not be as true as we may think it to be and that we're all going to die if we don't ditch our cars now!

It's very possible that Science is wrong, wouldn't be the first time. Science is known for it's predictions of doom in one form or another. Perhaps they are wrong again.

If the planet was warming at such an alarming rate, then why did the Ocean drop one inch instead of rise this past year? Why is it that, I know of for a fact that it has been snowing in guilford, England. Why is that? We're in April. This just doesn't happen regulary. Maybe the earth is actually cooling. I use the word maybe because none of us here really know. It's all just speculation until it occurs. Period. I don't understand why some folk are so into something of which they have no power over.

Bob Wallace

Let's see now....

Are you really willing to stand behind the statement that those who are concerned about global warming insist we *must* "ditch our cars now"?

Do you really want us to believe that science postulates lots and lots of doomer predictions?

I haven't seen any 2008 ocean level data, but as of a year ago the oceans were rising higher than previous predictions.

Do you not know that we're in a La Nina condition?

If the ocean levels have fallen in the last few months might that not be the reason?

Do you really think that we should sit by passively to see whether we cook our planet rather than paying attention to those who have studied the issue?

Do you really think we have no control over our futures?

That we can't make some modest adjustments to the way we live "just in case" rather than take that large a gamble?


robert anselmi

Let's back global warming even if untrue so we can have energy by nuclear.

Ian Hodgson

Interesting how these days those who still don't believe in man made clobal warming have less and less to say that even resembles science. Here's one reason why 2 minutes on google gave me this http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-02-01-ipcc-report_x.htm

Al Fin

Besides, the key thing to remember here is the very young age of climate science. Climatology is too young to assume the mantle of a mature consensus. It is still in the data gathering stage. Crikey, it's still in the "building the tools it needs to gather the data it needs to formulate the falsifiable hypotheses it needs so that it can begin trying to falsify its hypotheses before it can be taken seriously" stage.

Baby sciences about chaotic fields cannot be taken seriously, until they get their act together. That may take some time, if you truly look at the "luminaries" in the climate field.

GreyFlcn

The key thing to remember is that political decisions need to be made every day without absolute proof.

So while we can get very esoteric on the finer points of climate science, the blunt points are certainly clear enough that it's worthwhile to spend less than 1% of 1 years GDP to avoid the potential consequences.

Especially since the consequences of being wrong aren't that bad. Worst comes to worst we invest in infrastructure that will help us deal with exponential population growth.

Bob Wallace

Absolutely.

Not only with population growth, but also pollution, declining oil supplies, and the flow of wealth out of the country.

And improving all of the above keeps more dollars in the taxpayers pocket.

Al Fin

What is needed is to approach the problem less as a religion, and more as a young and incomplete science. The foundation has not been built yet. Much better to be systematic and methodical. Not to go off half cocked.

If the costs of carbon hysteria were as benign as you suggest, the heavy industries of Germany and much of the EU would not be squawking so loudly about the current seemingly meek and ineffectual EU proposals to cap emissions.

Bob Wallace

When someone uses a phrase such as "carbon hysteria" it makes me think that they have a political agenda.

Say it ain't so Al.... ;o)

Al Fin

When someone uses a phrase such as "carbon hysteria" it makes me think that they have a political agenda.

You may very well think that, Bob, but then again there may be other excellent reasons for one to use that very phrase. In this case, the phrase is used as a dispassionate descriptor of the wild-eyed fanaticism that abounds around the banner of CAGW.

;-)

Bob Wallace

Do you think that the majority of people who are concerned about global warming are "wild-eyed" fanatics?

Or are you selecting out the few who are a bit over the edge and trying to make them representative all all who express concern?

Do you make the observation that there are some loosely-connected-to-reality deniers?

Don't know your personal stance, Al. It's just that your post hit me as a potential nut-job rant. Just trying to figure it out.

Inquiring minds want to know.... ;o)

Al Fin

You may remember the cliche cartoon of the bearded long haired man walking down the sidewalk carrying a sign that says "The End is Near!" The man was often portrayed as a bit on the wild-eyed side, and one might describe him as at least suggesting the appearance of fanaticism.

People who flock to the catastrophist banners often remind me of that cliche of a cartoon. They "know the truth" and don't bother trying to confuse them with more recent data. They simply will not hear of it.

Nutjob is as nutjob does, to paraphrase a rather fleet-footed aphorist of the shrimp-boat persuasion.

There are people who have to believe in impending catastrophe, as part of their basic makeup. You might call them nutjobs, if you were feeling unkind.

When I come into possession of new and important information, I often change my mind. What do you do?

;-)

Benny Peak Demand Cole

The Holocene Maximum, of 6000 years ago. Why was it warmer then than now, even according to these Global Warmsters?

http://gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/winter96/article1-fig2.html

And, we are about due for an Ice Age. Is that not a worrisome thing?

As for Gore, I think he is well able to defend ehimself against the slings and arrows of a little guy posting things on a website, that being me.

Bob Wallace

I remain somewhat skeptical of everything. But I try not to let that skepticism override my objective nature.

And I try to keep politics and religion out of my science.

(I do try to keep science in my politics.)

So, as long as you agree that there are nut jobs in both camps and that one should try to avoid painting the 'other side' with too broad a brush.

Lord knows, the anti-science group produces some significant nut jobs.

(Actually I'd bet your long-haired example more likely to be of the anti-science persuasion.)

I'd hate to think you blind in one eye.... ;o)

Bob Wallace

That warming period is most likely due to Earth orbit variation - Milankovitch cycles.

But that's a roughly 19,000 year cycle and unlikely to be the cause of currently observed warming.

As for Gore, I seriously doubt that he's paying any attention to this site or to you.

(If that's any consolation for you....)

Benny Peak Demand Cole

Okay, but I am still worried about the 10,000-year-cycle for Ice Ages, and we are about due...looking for land south of the equator....
I will stop worrying that I have offended Al Gore.....

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