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Offline litespeed

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Is Global Warming Interest Cooling Off?
« on: 11/11/2009 18:49:41 »
I've been following this stuff since the 1970's when Time Magazine confidently reported "Telltale signs [of a comming ice age] are everywhere..."  http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=25676.0

That particular hysteria subsided, and I sense something similar is hapening now. I base this on a number of observations. First, my decade of anecdotal experiences shows a general atrophy among the CO2 faithful. In addition, I notice a certain degree of hesitancy in the general reporting. For instance, we see 'Climate Change' has replaced the customary 'Global Warming' terminology. I sense editors hedging bets...

In addition, the public is increasingly aware there is not now nor has there ever been any sort of meaningful consensus on the topic. This was painfully demonstrated to algore by one or another British Court decision.  And then there is The Incovenient Truth planet has been cooling for about a decade already. 

The Climatistas lived by the hot, stormy, anecdote. A constant drizzle of "Hotest Summer On Record" "Tornados and Hurricanes OH MY!  More recently we see repeated reports of record breaking low temperatures. Not a single hurricane this year! etc etc. I don't claim these things prove Global Cooling, but I sense a general weariness with the banality of it all.





 

Offline BenV

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Is Global Warming Interest Cooling Off?
« Reply #1 on: 12/11/2009 00:05:26 »
I can't comment on general opinions of climate change, but I can comment on these specific bits of your post:
For instance, we see 'Climate Change' has replaced the customary 'Global Warming' terminology. I sense editors hedging bets...
That's a result of a general increase in awareness in the media that climate change is a complex issue, and will result in warming in some areas and cooling in others.

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In addition, the public is increasingly aware there is not now nor has there ever been any sort of meaningful consensus on the topic.
Most people I have spoken to, scientists and laymen alike, are aware that there is a general consensus that climate change is occurring, and that human activities have contributed to it.
 

Offline litespeed

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« Reply #2 on: 12/11/2009 18:37:02 »
Ben,

I am interested in how this 'climate' consensus can be demonstated. Accordingly, we need to define our terms. First, who is qualified to be included in the sampled 'universe'? Further, what percentage of agreement is needed to qualify as a consensus. Fifty one percent?  The most statistically sound arguement would include a list of individuals, their standing to be included in universe of interested parties, and evidence as to their particular point of view.  In addition, individuals who have alternative views need to be identified and individually disqualified for one reason or another.

In general, I find the term 'consensus' to be a red flag of some sort of political agenda. For instance, in Galeleo's time there was a general consensus among clerics the sun revolved about the earth. In parrallell I suspect a consensus of Weather Babes are fully despondent! I am on happy ground these days for a number of mundane reasons. The most fun are those who built the CO2 bandwagon back in the day and who have now recanted. There is one particular French guy.... Also, the founder of The Weather Channel seems to be a denier.

Beyond all that, we have a plethora of data that disputes the overreaching climatistas. I specialize in showing todays climate is cooler then several times in historical times, and is also warmer then other historical times, while CO2 remained constant during those periods. 

I also have a general predilection for warm anyway. My general point is human civilization does better in warmer times such as The Roman Era and the Midieval Warming, and does less well when weather cools. Such as late Roman Times, the post Midieval Warming period [famine, plaque and general mischief) etc.

 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #3 on: 12/11/2009 21:12:19 »
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I am interested in how this 'climate' consensus can be demonstated. Accordingly, we need to define our terms. First, who is qualified to be included in the sampled 'universe'?

Well, climatologists would probably be the most qualified.

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Further, what percentage of agreement is needed to qualify as a consensus.

Well, I reckon 97% should do it.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco.globalwarmingsurvey/index.html

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In general, I find the term 'consensus' to be a red flag of some sort of political agenda.

So somehow the fact that there is a consensus makes you believe there must be a deep-rooted conspiracy theory?

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In parrallell I suspect a consensus of Weather Babes are fully despondent! For instance, in Galeleo's time there was a general consensus among clerics the sun revolved about the earth.

To wear the mantle of Galileo, it is not enough to be persecuted: you must also be right.

-- Robert L. Parks

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I also have a general predilection for warm anyway.

Oh well, whatever suits you.

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My general point is human civilization does better in warmer times such as The Roman Era and the Midieval Warming, and does less well when weather cools. Such as late Roman Times, the post Midieval Warming period [famine, plaque and general mischief) etc.

Your general point is invalid considering we are in vastly different times to the romans, and more is at stake now. What was good for maybe a hundred million romans may be different to what's good for 6.7 billion odd people today.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #4 on: 12/11/2009 21:14:49 »
Could you provide a bit of detail about this?
"This was painfully demonstrated to algore by one or another British Court decision. "
And, BTW, if you have to spend that much effort on the  meaning of the word "consensus" then you look likeyou are trying to distract attention from something else.
 

Offline litespeed

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« Reply #5 on: 12/11/2009 22:51:45 »
madi & bored

The climate changes and you need to be prepared. It is more important to be prepared for colder then to be prepared for warmer. Don't blame me the messanger for reporting the 20th century was a bit lame in warming after the last cooling spell. If the current cooling stops and it gets warmer you will be OK. On the other hane if it continues to get colder you could find yourself in a world of hurt.
 

Offline Karsten

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Is Global Warming Interest Cooling Off?
« Reply #6 on: 13/11/2009 20:21:03 »
I specialize in showing todays climate is cooler then several times in historical times, and is also warmer then other historical times, while CO2 remained constant during those periods. 

How do you avoid observer bias (or observer agenda as it seems to be in your case) with this attitude?
 

Offline Karsten

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« Reply #7 on: 13/11/2009 20:53:22 »
I fear that in the USA people are getting distracted from the ecological crisis we are heading into. Too many people lost jobs. Many struggle to pay for bills they think need to be paid. Others are in dept and have few choices. Incredible amounts of money are spent on the economy. The necessary societal and infra-structure changes to avoid a climate disaster (or at least soften the blow) are very expensive and no one can see where that money could possibly be coming from right now. We are at war with other countries and are fighting the collapse of our growth-based economy. Additionally we need to fight a war against our own addictions. Too much is going on. At times of peace and well-being we can think of the environment and life-style changes easier. Rehab is not wanted right now.

It is significantly less troubling to just watch popular TV, stay uninformed, and keep going as we have in the past few decades. Knowing and understanding what could be if we do not change our ways is rather depressing. I find few people are capable of enduring this for long. Of course, ignoring it is rather short-sighted. But we have been raised to believe that we can handle anything. So, as a nation, we wait until action is required. Too late probably.
 

Offline litespeed

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« Reply #8 on: 14/11/2009 18:38:41 »
Karsten - You wrote: "I fear that in the USA people are getting distracted from the ecological crisis we are heading into. Too many people lost jobs. Many struggle to pay for bills they think need to be paid."

Bills they THINK need to be paid? Here is what WILL happen whether or not these rednecks pay their bills, pay a Climate CO2 tax, and perhaps have their jobs exported to low cost, high polution coal burning societies.

"Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks." http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/business/worldbusiness/11chinacoal.html?pagewanted=all

 

Offline Karsten

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Is Global Warming Interest Cooling Off?
« Reply #9 on: 14/11/2009 19:17:16 »
Karsten - You wrote: "I fear that in the USA people are getting distracted from the ecological crisis we are heading into. Too many people lost jobs. Many struggle to pay for bills they think need to be paid."

Bills they THINK need to be paid? Here is what WILL happen whether or not these rednecks pay their bills, pay a Climate CO2 tax, and perhaps have their jobs exported to low cost, high polution coal burning societies.

"Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks." http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/business/worldbusiness/11chinacoal.html?pagewanted=all



You continue to confuse me. Which "these rednecks" are you talking about? I did not mention rednecks.

Some of the bills people think they need to pay are for items they thought they needed. Or think they still need. There is plenty around to pay for that is so ingrained in our US-American society that not having it makes you an outcast. Cell-phones. Large TV sets. Large cars. Big houses. Annual vacations abroad. Etc. Societal pressure to keep consuming. Good Americans consume. Even voluntary ignorance is bliss.

And what does China have to do with US-Americans getting depressed with the climate change outlook and looking the other way? It seems you are giving me more reasons to be depressed. Are you saying that the people of China (or India) do not have the "god-given" right to live as well as North Americans? Per person, the people of China still pollute 5 times LESS than the people of the USA. And the Chinese have a shrinking population as far as I know. If US-Americans lived like the Chinese in regard to energy use and population control, we would have SIGNIFICANTLY fewer problems on this planet. And in turn the Chinese (or whoever) would not feel the urge as much to live way beyond this life-style.

Before the people of North America have not cleaned up their own act and started living sustainably as a nation, we cannot easily tell other nations to not follow our example. We might know better but what does that matter if we don't act better.

 
 

Offline litespeed

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« Reply #10 on: 14/11/2009 19:23:13 »
Karsten,

I don't mind China poluting the place with CO2, though sulfuric acid is another matter. The reason is I do not dive under my bed at the mention of CO2!  Planetary life THRIVED at 3,000ppm!  You need to cheer up, bucky. We are living in a rare and welcome Climate Optimum!
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #11 on: 14/11/2009 23:00:53 »
It is not only the level of CO2 that is a problem, but the rate at which it is increasing. Slow increases like those that have occured in history give life time to evolve and adapt, and ocean chemistry to buffer against ph decrease, but at the current rate this will be alot more difficult.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/09/2510699.htm
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Dr Howard says that over time, the ocean may be able to counteract acidity by dissolving accumulated shells of dead marine organisms on the ocean floor, thus raising ocean pH and its ability to take up CO2.

But he says this will take a long time and come at the cost of living marine organisms.

"The buffering mechanisms in the ocean are quite slow compared to the rate at which we are putting fossil fuel carbon into the atmosphere and into the ocean.," he said.

http://www.coralcoe.org.au/news_stories/coralfutures.html
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“When CO2 levels in the atmosphere reach about 500 parts per million, you put calcification out of business in the oceans.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017102133.htm
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New calculations made by marine chemists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) suggest that low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean could expand significantly over the next century. These predictions are based on the fact that, as more and more carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, marine animals will need more oxygen to survive.
« Last Edit: 14/11/2009 23:17:24 by Madidus_Scientia »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #12 on: 15/11/2009 14:30:18 »
"Planetary life THRIVED at 3,000ppm!"
Mankind didn't.
And, as I have said, it's the change that's the real problem.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #13 on: 15/11/2009 18:22:37 »
Indeed, until modern times mankind had never experienced CO2 levels above 300ppm
 

Offline Karsten

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« Reply #14 on: 15/11/2009 19:10:59 »
I don't mind China poluting the place with CO2, (...)

"Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks."

You don't mind China polluting the place with CO2 but you also find it worrisome that the "increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years"

What is this????? It is OK, but it is not at the same time?????? Make up your mind!
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #15 on: 17/11/2009 03:37:18 »
I don't mind China poluting the place with CO2, though sulfuric acid is another matter. The reason is I do not dive under my bed at the mention of CO2!  Planetary life THRIVED at 3,000ppm!  You need to cheer up, bucky. We are living in a rare and welcome Climate Optimum!

Humm - I wonder where the 3,000 PPM came from? There is NO reliable source for that statement, that's for sure.

It helps to have the correct facts.

And the uncertainty in the GEOCARB III and COPSE data (yellow area below) is enough to make these two methods meaningless as well.

Thus, the only even partially reliable estimate of carbon dioxide levels throughout geologic history, with it's inherent flaws, barley reaches a 1,000 PPM during the Permian. This makes the Carboniferous sequestering arguments, as well as most ALL other arguments based on prehistoric CO2 levels, to be simply guesses, and balderdash in all reality.

The only reliable record is the oldest ice core. ICE CORES vary as well. So what is there? Sediment cores? That is it? Sediment cores using fossils are badly flawed as the oceanic CO2 doesn't track atmospheric CO2 linearly, varying over 500% in different geographic locations as well as in different ocean levels and from different organisms. Not all fossils are created equal.

Oh - and one other thing - "climate optimums" as described above - are times of vast species die-off.

Where is your air conditioner?




FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png


AS TO THE QUESTION


The debate may or may not be dieing off in the US. But it seems the rest of the world is paying much more attention to it than the US. There is even attention being paid to it in India and China! That is why they have all the Treasury Notes the US has issued. They are smarter than the US. They have not buried their heads in consumerism, like ostrichs, to reality since the 1980's  (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/world/story/23CB15726A6F882A86257639000EB545?OpenDocument)
 
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #16 on: 17/11/2009 05:30:49 »
Our "Learned yet bored Chemist" seems to have hit the nail on the head. We are focusing on the amplitudes. It's not the amplitudes that get you, it's the slope (rate of change) that gets you.

Rather than focusing on the absolute values of CO2 etc, we should be looking at the rate at which those values change.

The Earth is a very complex, yet adaptable system. Animals and plants are very complex, yet adaptable systems. Given enough time, the earth and living things can adapt to changes, possibly even to their ultimate advantage. However, like any control system that uses negative feedback, it's not the amplitudes of the inputs that "bugger things up" (sorry, but I think it's justified), it's the rate at which they change that does. Step functions can be very bad news.

Has there ever been a time when the rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere was so great, and if so, what happened?
 

Offline frethack

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« Reply #17 on: 17/11/2009 06:37:54 »
Humm - I wonder where the 3,000 PPM came from? There is NO reliable source for that statement, that's for sure.

It helps to have the correct facts.

And the uncertainty in the GEOCARB III and COPSE data (yellow area below) is enough to make these two methods meaningless as well.

Thus, the only even partially reliable estimate of carbon dioxide levels throughout geologic history, with it's inherent flaws, barley reaches a 1,000 PPM during the Permian. This makes the Carboniferous sequestering arguments, as well as most ALL other arguments based on prehistoric CO2 levels, to be simply guesses, and balderdash in all reality.

They are best guesses with the current information, much like oil prospecting :)  There is a lot more work to be done for CO2 throughout geologic time, but some minimum/maximum constraints can be inferred from current sources.  The problem is finding samples that have not undergone an extensive amount of alteration...they do exist, but are rare and hardly representative of the earth as a whole at this point.  Luckily there are a lot of dedicated people working on this, so maybe we will have something more concrete in the near future.

Oh - and one other thing - "climate optimums" as described above - are times of vast species die-off.


Climate Optimums are generally times of species prosperity, with a few exceptions, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).  Its the climate optimums that draw the monsoons to the higher latitudes.  The term doesnt mean just warm, but also requires climate stability (well...as stable as the climate ever gets anyway).  Ice ages lend themselves to instability, which is a major contributing factor to mass extinctions, such as the one we have been living through for past 2 million years or so.  Even the Late Permian extinction, in all of its anoxic glory, had wild shifts between glacial and hothouse climates.

The right side is the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, then the warming into the Bolling/Allerod, then the plunge back into the Younger Dryas, and then 10,000 years of beautifully stable (comparatively) temperatures during the Holocene.  The major mass extinctions on this graph occurred during the LGM and YD.


Here is the past 450ka (4 glacials/interglacials...Holocene is on the right).  


I would also refer back to this post for something more modern
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=22612.msg282266#msg282266

Just for clarification, Im not arguing that CO2 has no effect on climate, only that climate shifts happen very regularly, and that the current changes should be viewed in perspective and without hyperbole.
« Last Edit: 17/11/2009 06:50:42 by frethack »
 

Offline litespeed

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« Reply #18 on: 20/11/2009 20:04:15 »
 

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