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Author Topic: Would you consider watching "An Inconvenient Truth" and giving an opinion?  (Read 30643 times)

paul.fr

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Scenario 1: Conveyor slows down within next two decades.
Such a scenario could quickly and markedly cool the North Atlantic region, causing disruptions in global economic activity. These disruptions may be exacerbated because the climate changes occur in a direction opposite to what is commonly expected, and they occur at a pace that makes adaptation difficult.

Scenario 2: Conveyor slows down a century from now.
In such a scenario, cooling of the North Atlantic region may partially or totally offset the major effects of global warming in this region. Thus, the climate of the North Atlantic region may rapidly return to one that more resembles today’s—even as other parts of the world, particularly less-developed regions, experience the unmitigated brunt of global warming. If the Conveyor subsequently turns on again, the “deferred” warming may be delivered in a decade.


What can we do to improve our future security?
Ignoring or downplaying the probability of abrupt climate change could prove costly. Ecosystems, economies, and societies can adapt more easily to gradual, anticipated changes. Some current policies and practices may be ill-advised and may prove inadequate in a world of rapid and unforeseen climate change. The challenge to world leaders is to reduce vulnerabilities by enhancing society’s ability to monitor, plan for, and adapt to rapid change.

All human endeavor hinges on the vicissitudes of climate. Thus, the potential for abrupt climate change should prompt us to re-examine possible impacts on many climate-affected sectors. They include: agriculture; water resources; energy resources; forest and timber management; fisheries; coastal land management; transportation; insurance; recreation and tourism; disaster relief; and public health (associated with climate-related, vector-borne diseases such as malaria and cholera).

Developing countries lacking scientific resources and economic infrastructures are especially vulnerable to the social and economic impacts of abrupt climate change. However, with growing globalization of economies, adverse impacts (although likely to vary from region to region) are likely to spill across national boundaries, through human and biotic migration, economic shocks, and political aftershocks, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report stated.

The key is to reduce our uncertainty about future climate change, and to improve our ability to predict what could happen and when. A first step is to establish the oceanic equivalent of our land-based meteorological instrument network. Such a network would begin to reveal climate-influencing oceanic processes that have been beyond our ability to grasp. These instruments, monitoring critical present-day conditions, can be coupled with enhanced computer modeling, which can project how Earth’s climate system may react in the future. Considerably more research is also required to learn more about the complex ocean-air processes that induced rapid climate changes in the past, and thus how our climate system may behave in the future.

 The NAS report is titled Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises.  Climate change may be inevitable. But it is not inevitable for society to be surprised or ill-prepared.

References:
1 “Are We on the Brink of a New Little Ice Age?”—testimony to the US Commission on Ocean Policy, September 25, 2002, by T. Joyce and L. Keigwin (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution).

2 Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, US National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Academy Press, 2002.

3 “Thermohaline Circulation, the Achilles’ Heel of Our Climate System: Will Man-Made CO2 Upset the Current Balance?” in Science, Vol. 278, November 28, 1997, by W. S. Broecker (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University).

4 “Rapid Freshening of the Deep North Atlantic Ocean Over the Past Four Decades,” in Nature, Vol. 416, April 25, 2002, by B. Dickson (Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, UK), I. Yashayaev, J. Meincke, B. Turrell, S. Dye, and J. Hoffort.

5 “Decreasing Overflow from the Nordic Seas into the Atlantic Ocean Through the Faroe Bank Channel Since 1950,” in Nature, Vol. 411, June 21, 2001, by B. Hansen (Faroe Fisheries Laboratory, Faroe Islands), W. Turrell, and S. østerhus.

6 “Increasing River Discharge to the Arctic Ocean,” in Science, Vol. 298, December 13, 2002, by B. J. Peterson (Marine Biological Laboratory), R. M. Holmes, J. W. McClelland, C. J. Vörösmarty, R. B. Lammers, A. I. Shiklomanov, I. A. Shiklomanov, and S. Rahmstorf.

7 “Ocean Observatories,” in Oceanus, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2000, published by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

8 The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850, by Brian Fagan (University of California, Santa Barbara), Basic Books, 2000.

9 “Cultural Responses to Climate Change During the Late Holocene,” in Science, Vol. 292, April 27, 2001, by P. B. deMenocal (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University).

10 “Holocene Climate Instability: A Prominent, Widespread Event 8,200 Years Ago,” in Geology, Vol. 26, No. 6, 1997, by R. B. Alley and T. Sowers (Pennsylvania State University), P. A. Mayewski, M. Stuiver, K. C. Taylor, and P. U. Clark.

11 “A High-Resolution Absolute-Dated Late Pleistocene Monsoon Record From Hulu Cave, China,” in Science, Vol. 294, December 14, 2001, by Y. J. Wang (Nanjing Normal University, China), H. Cheng, R. L. Edwards, Z. S. An, J. Y. Wu, C. C. Shen, and J. A. Dorale.



ROBERT B. GAGOSIAN is President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He was appointed Director in 1994 and President in 2001, following a distinguished career as a marine geochemist. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the 52-institution Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education and as a member of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel of the US National Oceanographic Partnership Program. In 2002, he was appointed to the Science Advisory Panel of the US Commission on Ocean Policy and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science Advisory Board, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=282&cid=9986
 

Offline JimBob

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Also

Ice Retreating Faster Than Computer Models Project

Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, a new study concludes. The research, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that the Arctic's ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments.

The study, "Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Faster Than Forecast?" will appear tomorrow in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters. It was led by Julienne Stroeve of the NSIDC and funded by the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR's principal sponsor, and by NASA.

"While the ice is disappearing faster than the computer models indicate, both observations and the models point in the same direction: the Arctic is losing ice at an increasingly rapid pace and the impact of greenhouse gases is growing," says NCAR scientist Marika Holland, one of the study’s co-authors.

The authors compared model simulations of past climate with observations by satellites and other instruments. They found that, on average, the models simulated a loss in September ice cover of 2.5 percent per decade from 1953 to 2006. The fastest rate of September retreat in any individual model was 5.4 percent per decade. (September marks the yearly minimum of sea ice in the Arctic.) But newly available data sets, blending early aircraft and ship reports with more recent satellite measurements that are considered more reliable than the earlier records, show that the September ice actually declined at a rate of about 7.8 percent per decade during the 1953-2006 period.

"This suggests that current model projections may in fact provide a conservative estimate of future Arctic change, and that the summer Arctic sea ice may disappear considerably earlier than IPCC projections," says Stroeve.

Thirty years ahead of schedule

The study indicates that, because of the disparity between the computer models and actual observations, the shrinking of summertime ice is about 30 years ahead of the climate model projections. As a result, the Arctic could be seasonally free of sea ice earlier than the IPCC- projected timeframe of any time from 2050 to well beyond 2100.

The authors speculate that the computer models may fail to capture the full impact of increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Whereas the models indicate that about half of the ice loss from 1979 to 2006 was due to increased greenhouse gases, and the other half due to natural variations in the climate system, the new study indicates that greenhouse gases may be playing a significantly greater role.

There are a number of factors that may lead to the low rates of simulated sea ice loss. Several models overestimate the thickness of the present-day sea ice and the models may also fail to fully capture changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation that transport heat to polar regions.

March ice

Although the loss of ice for March is far less dramatic than the September loss, the models underestimate it by a wide margin as well. The study concludes that the actual rate of sea ice loss in March, which averaged about 1.8 percent per decade in the 1953 -2006 period, was three times larger than the mean from the computer models. March is typically the month when Arctic sea ice is at its most extensive.

The Arctic is especially sensitive to climate change partly because regions of sea ice, which reflect sunlight back into space and provide a cooling impact, are disappearing. In contrast, darker areas of open water, which are expanding, absorb sunlight and increase temperatures. This feedback loop has played a role in the increasingly rapid loss of ice in recent years, which accelerated to 9.1 percent per decade from 1979 to 2006 according to satellite observations.

Walt Meier, Ted Scambos, and Mark Serreze, all at NSIDC, also co-authored the study.

http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/ice-retreating-faster-computer-models-project-13118.html

 

another_someone

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OK, I am not going to try and compete on length with your replies - I thought I was doing well enough at the length I was using.

As you say, climate has changed substantially in the past - without any human interaction.

The argument that we can at least slow down the inevitable, and that change at a slower rate is less expensive than change at a faster rate is not necessarily the case.

Assuming we do slow down the inevitable - what price will we have to pay to achieve this end?  This is always a factor that the environmentalist lobby just ignores, and assumes that all the options come at minimal or zero cost, and we only need to worry about the cost of outcome, not the cost of investment.

Nor is it inevitable that rapid change is more expensive than slow change - it depends on various factors.  Certainly, slow change will allow us to spread cost better (all other factors being ignored), but it may also require us to adapt to interim situations that in a rapid change may happen too fast to allow for adaptation, and hence incur limited cost.  As a possibly not very comparable example, but example nonetheless, over the last 30 years, my waistline has gradually increased by over 40% in size.  If all of this increase had happened in a single year, then in that year I would have had to buy a new set of clothes, but those clothes would then have lasted me for the next 30 years.  The fact that in each year there was only a slight increase in waistline meant that every few years I had to throw away my old clothes and buy new ones, which was more expensive that a single set of new clothes that would have allowed for the change in waistline in a single step.  As I said, there are many reasons why this is an unrealistic comparison to make, and I am not trying to say that this comparison alone is an argument for rapid change, only an indication that one has to look at the precise nature of a situation rather than simply assume that slow change is cheaper than fast change.

One particular factor one has to take account of is that if you are correct in assuming that the long term effect of global warming would be cooler temperatures in the mid and high latitudes, after an interim period of warmer temperatures in those same latitudes; then a more rapid change would cause a shorter period of time for that switchback to happen, and so less need to make substantial adaptations to the interim warm period before the temperature switches back to colder temperatures.

The other factor to take into account is that if there is an increase in ice cover, then it should increase the albedo of the Earth, and so limit the warming.  Other effects concerning increased aridity are complex, since the reduced cloud cover would reduce the albedo, but reduced humidity would also reduce the greenhouse effect of water vapour (if the converse happens, and we have increased rainfall, as some other projections suggest - then the contrary issues have to be considered).

But all of this is a side issue to my major concern - which is not about what will or will not happen, but what degree of certainty we have that we can make the slightest difference to this outcome, and how much is it going to cost us to be proven to fail in this experiment in human climate control (we have so far failed even to manage local weather, with things like cloud seeding, which has had very mixed outcomes - but we are ignoring those failures, and going for the big one -  seeking to control global temperature).
 

another_someone

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Ice Retreating Faster Than Computer Models Project

Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, a new study concludes. The research, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that the Arctic's ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments.

The study, "Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Faster Than Forecast?" will appear tomorrow in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters. It was led by Julienne Stroeve of the NSIDC and funded by the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR's principal sponsor, and by NASA.

"While the ice is disappearing faster than the computer models indicate, both observations and the models point in the same direction: the Arctic is losing ice at an increasingly rapid pace and the impact of greenhouse gases is growing," says NCAR scientist Marika Holland, one of the study’s co-authors.

But this is exemplifying what I have been saying - the models do not explain observations.

I have not doubted that global warming is, and has since before the industrial revolution, been a fact of current climate trends - the debate is not about what, but about why.

What the environmentalists are saying here is they have a theory why things are happening, when they test that theory against reality the two do not match up, but they use that mismatch as a proof that their theory was correct.

When they start to get the numbers consistently right, rather than when they get them wrong, it will begin to sound more plausible.
« Last Edit: 15/10/2007 21:45:02 by another_someone »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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I remember watching this scenario a long time ago with James burkes brilliant film titled after the warming.

It of course got ridiculed by the majority of scientists, but I could not help believing that the Atlantic Conveyor system could again be slowed down by a sudden influx of fresh water running in from thawing ice around the North Pole regions. Well in the words of Burke; ‘That’s just  what was about to happen when global warming caused the ice to melt around the poles’. I still have the film in my collection and have asked repeatedly if I can show a small clip from it, but alas never did get a reply. Have just wrote again asking if it is possible to use it.

Series Price:  $185.00
(2 videos in series)
Sale Price:  $20.00 
(Public Performance Rights Included)   

This was included on the website, As I have already purchased a copy does this give me permission to show a small clip and provide a link back to the video source?

By the way, Burkes version is far more comprehensive.

Andrew
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6514270139930450081

After The Warming Online Video from Google:

ENJOY :) Fantastic video!

Andrew
 

Offline JimBob

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George,

This does say the models are wrong. The effects of global warming are happening FASTER than anyone thought they would. So, get out your survival gear.

 

another_someone

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George,

This does say the models are wrong. The effects of global warming are happening FASTER than anyone thought they would. So, get out your survival gear.

With the caveat that in fact no-one has (to my knowledge) been able to work out how much ice is melting, only how much ice we see melting in the places we look (I know satellites give us a lot more coverage, but one also has to look at ice thickness, etc.).  Nonetheless, I am willing to believe that even if the measures are imprecise and subject to error, I am willing to believe the figures to be plausible.

Yes, it does mean we have to look at how we cope with the consequences - not something I questioned.  All I have said is we do not have the models that would allow us to take control of the atmosphere.
 

Offline JimBob

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I think "control" falls under fantasy until we can build domes for cities. We can however, make as much effore tas we can to try to influence the climate. It is doable. What has happened to the greasy black atmosphere of Londonin the 1800's until humans took it in their hands to change it?
« Last Edit: 16/10/2007 02:33:09 by JimBob »
 

another_someone

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I think "control" falls under fantasy until we can build domes for cities. We can however, make as much effore tas we can to try to influence the climate. It is doable. What has happened to the greasy black atmosphere of Londonin the 1800's until humans took it in their hands to change it?

I don't think it is at all comparable.

The clean air act of 1956, aside from being on a far more local scale, was about making a concious attempt to control the contents of the air, over which we did have direct control, not over controlling weather.  It would be wrong to say it had no effect on the weather, since removal of particulates in the air actually increased local temperatures, but that was not the intended effect of the legislation, nor could we at the time have predicted that outcome.
 

paul.fr

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Another "error" by Gore was that he attributed hurricane Kartina to global warming. Whilst this may be an error, in the fact that we can not be positive Katrina was a direct result of global warming> There is good evidence that it just may be.

On Monday August 29, Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Louisiana and Missisippi, leaving a trail of destruction in her wake. It will be some time until the full toll of this hurricane can be assessed, but the devastating human and environmental impacts are already obvious.

Katrina was the most feared of all meteorological events, a major hurricane making landfall in a highly-populated low-lying region. In the wake of this devastation, many have questioned whether global warming may have contributed to this disaster. Could New Orleans be the first major U.S. city ravaged by human-caused climate change?

The correct answer–the one we have indeed provided in previous posts (Storms & Global Warming II, Some recent updates and Storms and Climate Change) –is that there is no way to prove that Katrina either was, or was not, affected by global warming. For a single event, regardless of how extreme, such attribution is fundamentally impossible. We only have one Earth, and it will follow only one of an infinite number of possible weather sequences. It is impossible to know whether or not this event would have taken place if we had not increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as much as we have. Weather events will always result from a combination of deterministic factors (including greenhouse gas forcing or slow natural climate cycles) and stochastic factors (pure chance).

Due to this semi-random nature of weather, it is wrong to blame any one event such as Katrina specifically on global warming - and of course it is just as indefensible to blame Katrina on a long-term natural cycle in the climate.

Yet this is not the right way to frame the question. As we have also pointed out in previous posts, we can indeed draw some important conclusions about the links between hurricane activity and global warming in a statistical sense. The situation is analogous to rolling loaded dice: one could, if one was so inclined, construct a set of dice where sixes occur twice as often as normal. But if you were to roll a six using these dice, you could not blame it specifically on the fact that the dice had been loaded. Half of the sixes would have occurred anyway, even with normal dice. Loading the dice simply doubled the odds. In the same manner, while we cannot draw firm conclusions about one single hurricane, we can draw some conclusions about hurricanes more generally. In particular, the available scientific evidence indicates that it is likely that global warming will make - and possibly already is making - those hurricanes that form more destructive than they otherwise would have been.

The key connection is that between sea surface temperatures (we abbreviate this as SST) and the power of hurricanes. Without going into technical details about the dynamics and thermodynamics involved in tropical storms and hurricanes (an excellent discussion of this can be found here), the basic connection between the two is actually fairly simple: warm water, and the instability in the lower atmosphere that is created by it, is the energy source of hurricanes. This is why they only arise in the tropics and during the season when SSTs are highest (June to November in the tropical North Atlantic).

SST is not the only influence on hurricane formation. Strong shear in atmospheric winds (that is, changes in wind strength and direction with height in the atmosphere above the surface), for example, inhibits development of the highly organized structure that is required for a hurricane to form. In the case of Atlantic hurricanes, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation tends to influence the vertical wind shear, and thus, in turn, the number of hurricanes that tend to form in a given year. Many other features of the process of hurricane development and strengthening, however, are closely linked to SST.

Hurricane forecast models (the same ones that were used to predict Katrina's path) indicate a tendency for more intense (but not overall more frequent) hurricanes when they are run for climate change scenarios (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Model Simulation of Trend in Hurricanes (from Knutson et al, 2004)

In the particular simulation shown above, the frequency of the strongest (category 5) hurricanes roughly triples in the anthropogenic climate change scenario relative to the control. This suggests that hurricanes may indeed become more destructive (1) as tropical SSTs warm due to anthropogenic impacts.

But what about the past? What do the observations of the last century actually show? Some past studies (e.g. Goldenberg et al, 2001) assert that there is no evidence of any long-term increase in statistical measures of tropical Atlantic hurricane activity, despite the ongoing global warming. These studies, however, have focused on the frequency of all tropical storms and hurricanes (lumping the weak ones in with the strong ones) rather than a measure of changes in the intensity of the storms. As we have discussed elsewhere on this site, statistical measures that focus on trends in the strongest category storms, maximum hurricane winds, and changes in minimum central pressures, suggest a systematic increase in the intensities of those storms that form. This finding is consistent with the model simulations.

A recent study in Nature by Emanuel (2005) examined, for the first time, a statistical measure of the power dissipation associated with past hurricane activity (i.e., the "Power Dissipation Index" or "PDI"–Fig. 2). Emanuel found a close correlation between increases in this measure of hurricane activity (which is likely a better measure of the destructive potential of the storms than previously used measures) and rising tropical North Atlantic SST, consistent with basic theoretical expectations. As tropical SSTs have increased in past decades, so has the intrinsic destructive potential of hurricanes.

Figure 2. Measure of total power dissipated annually by tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic (the power dissipation index "PDI") compared to September tropical North Atlantic SST (from Emanuel, 2005)

The key question then becomes this: Why has SST increased in the tropics? Is this increase due to global warming (which is almost certainly in large part due to human impacts on climate)? Or is this increase part of a natural cycle?

It has been asserted (for example, by the NOAA National Hurricane Center) that the recent upturn in hurricane activity is due to a natural cycle, e.g. the so-called Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation ("AMO"). The new results by Emanuel (Fig. 2) argue against this hypothesis being the sole explanation: the recent increase in SST (at least for September as shown in the Figure) is well outside the range of any past oscillations. Emanuel therefore concludes in his paper that "the large upswing in the last decade is unprecedented, and probably reflects the effect of global warming." However, caution is always warranted with very new scientific results until they have been thoroughly discussed by the community and either supported or challenged by further analyses. Previous analysis of the AMO and natural oscillation modes in the Atlantic (Delworth and Mann, 2000; Kerr, 2000) suggest that the amplitude of natural SST variations averaged over the tropics is about 0.1-0.2 ºC, so a swing from the coldest to warmest phase could explain up to ~0.4 ºC warming.

What about the alternative hypothesis: the contribution of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to tropical SST warming? How strong do we expect this to be? One way to estimate this is to use climate models. Driven by anthropogenic forcings, these show a warming of tropical SST in the Atlantic of about 0.2 - 0.5 ºC. Globally, SST has increased by ~0.6 ºC in the past hundred years. This mostly reflects the response to global radiative forcings, which are dominated by anthropogenic forcing over the 20th Century. Regional modes of variability, such as the AMO, largely cancel out and make a very small contribution in the global mean SST changes.

Thus, we can conclude that both a natural cycle (the AMO) and anthropogenic forcing could have made roughly equally large contributions to the warming of the tropical Atlantic over the past decades, with an exact attribution impossible so far. The observed warming is likely the result of a combined effect: data strongly suggest that the AMO has been in a warming phase for the past two or three decades, and we also know that at the same time anthropogenic global warming is ongoing.

Finally, then, we come back to Katrina. This storm was a weak (category 1) hurricane when crossing Florida, and only gained force later over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So the question to ask here is: why is the Gulf of Mexico so hot at present - how much of this could be attributed to global warming, and how much to natural variability? More detailed analysis of the SST changes in the relevant regions, and comparisons with model predictions, will probably shed more light on this question in the future. At present, however, the available scientific evidence suggests that it would be premature to assert that the recent anomalous behavior can be attributed entirely to a natural cycle.

But ultimately the answer to what caused Katrina is of little practical value. Katrina is in the past. Far more important is learning something for the future, as this could help reduce the risk of further tragedies. Better protection against hurricanes will be an obvious discussion point over the coming months, to which as climatologists we are not particularly qualified to contribute. But climate science can help us understand how human actions influence climate. The current evidence strongly suggests that:
(a) hurricanes tend to become more destructive as ocean temperatures rise, and
(b) an unchecked rise in greenhouse gas concentrations will very likely increase ocean temperatures further, ultimately overwhelming any natural oscillations.
Scenarios for future global warming show tropical SST rising by a few degrees, not just tenths of a degree (see e.g. results from the Hadley Centre model and the implications for hurricanes shown in Fig. 1 above). That is the important message from science. What we need to discuss is not what caused Katrina, but the likelyhood that global warming will make hurricanes even worse in future.

_____________________
1. By 'destructive' we refer only to the intrinsic ability of the storm to do damage to its environment due to its strength. The potential increases that we discuss apply only to this intrinsic meteorological measure. We are not taking into account the potential for increased destruction (and cost) due to increasing population or human infrastructure.

References:

Delworth, T.L., Mann, M.E., Observed and Simulated Multidecadal Variability in the Northern Hemisphere, Climate Dynamics, 16, 661-676, 2000.

Emanuel, K. (2005), Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years, Nature, online publication; published online 31 July 2005 | doi: 10.1038/nature03906

Goldenberg, S.B., C.W. Landsea, A.M. Mestas-Nuñez, and W.M. Gray. The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity. Causes and implications. Science, 293:474-479 (2001).

Kerr, R.A., 2000, A North Atlantic climate pacemaker for the centuries: Science, v. 288, p. 1984-1986.

Knutson, T. K., and R. E. Tuleya, 2004: Impact of CO2-induced warming on simulated hurricane intensity and precipitation: Sensitivity to the choice of climate model and convective parameterization. Journal of Climate, 17(18), 3477-3495.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=181
 

paul.fr

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Figure 1



Figure 2

 

another_someone

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Sorry it has taken a little while to respond to this.

There are three different issues:

1) The key issue regarding this thread is whether Al Gore's film is a reliable tool for education.

2) Whether global warming exists, and what is its likely social impact.

3) Can we do anything that will avert any social disaster that is cheaper than the disaster itself (and that has a predictable outcome - otherwise we are simply gambling, and then the question becomes whether we can afford the gamble).

I have no disagreement with issue 2 - I have from the beginning agreed that we are, and have for over 3 centuries, been undergoing a period of global warming.

I have debated with Jim the issue of whether I believe we can intervene in a predictable and cost effective way to alter the rate of global warming - I don't believe we can (clearly others disagree with me on that, but have yet to convince me that they have either fully costed the issues, or that they have even provided adequate evidence that they can guarantee the outcome of the action they propose).

So the remaining issue is whether Al Gore's film is a reliable educational tool.  The primary argument in its favour seems to be that it is 'on message' - i.e. it may be propaganda, but it is politically acceptable propaganda.

What has happened is that while the judge has now said that some balance must be shown with Al Gore's film, it is yet to be seen what form such a balance will take - and will it be left to each school to implement that balance in the manner it chooses - which potentially can be a very week balance indeed.  Furthermore, whereas Al Gore's film has been provided to each school at no cost, there is no evidence that the schools have been allocated budgets to obtain balancing material of equivalent production values, and so they will be left with having to somehow source material that is also free of cost, but may not have the same production values (and most teachers are unlikely even to have the time to try and locate such material).

Some time ago there was a Channel 4 Documentary entitled "The Global Warming Swindle".  There is no evidence that the Government will be demanding that schools will be showing that documentary as a counterbalance to "The Inconvenient Truth" (it is unlikely to be collecting any Nobel Peace Prizes either).  I certainly would not regard the documentary as any better than Al Gore's film, but it does provide an appropriate balance of about equal quality.  I doubt it will happen.
« Last Edit: 18/10/2007 23:10:17 by another_someone »
 

another_someone

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Another "error" by Gore was that he attributed hurricane Kartina to global warming. Whilst this may be an error, in the fact that we can not be positive Katrina was a direct result of global warming> There is good evidence that it just may be.

Lots of things 'may be' - but to state as fact that which 'may be' is incorrect.

More to the point, from what I have read of what you posted on the matter, it actually seems to be saying that there is no change in probability of a serious storm or hurricane hitting landfall at that point - it suggests that the change in probability is only in the strength of the storm, not the likelihood of its happening.

But since in any case, we are only playing with probabilities, it seems reasonable to say that if it is possible, then sooner or later it will happen - the only issue is the time-scale over which it will happen (i.e. will it happen once every 50 years, or once every 200 years - but sooner or later, it will happen).
 

Offline Bass

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3) Can we do anything that will avert any social disaster that is cheaper than the disaster itself (and that has a predictable outcome - otherwise we are simply gambling, and then the question becomes whether we can afford the gamble).

I have debated with Jim the issue of whether I believe we can intervene in a predictable and cost effective way to alter the rate of global warming - I don't believe we can (clearly others disagree with me on that, but have yet to convince me that they have either fully costed the issues, or that they have even provided adequate evidence that they can guarantee the outcome of the action they propose).

This also begs the question of opportunity costs- could we spend money elsewhere to better combat the effects of global warming vs. the cost of reducing carbon emmissions?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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The problem as I see it is not so much reducing the carbon output, but sorting out the problem with the Atlantic Conveyor System. If anyone is reading this that can influence events, I do have some answers as to how we can stimulate the flow again in the Atlantic Conveyor without it breaking the bank. There is a simple cost effective way to induce this density flow and return system, but It requires a fair amount of multinational cooperation. I suspect however that things need to get far worse before anyone would be willing to listen.

Andrew K Fletcher
 

Offline Bass

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So Andrew- you're leaving is in a state of agitated anticipation?  I'll bite, how are you proposing that we stimulate the Atlantic conveyor system?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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First of all view my simple experiments with solutes, particularly the one where i drop salt and sugar crystals in a clear vase with the sunlight shining through so it shows the fluids moving caused even by a single falling crystal of sugar. This initiates flow before the crystal dissolves, which is very important from the conveyor's driving force. http://www.metacafe.com/channels/AndrewKFletcher/ The 4 videos relating to my experiments, located here

What we need is something that is not going to change the salinity of the water but is going to pull the surface water down so it can be replaced by saltier water from underneath it. More to the point, the seeding of the conveyor from the surface would require a huge amount of material in order to address the massive surface area of the ocean, so ideally it would require a massive amount of small particulate aggregate, the finer the better. We know salt is out of the question as this kind of application would quickly exhaust world reserves and possibly have negative effects on fish stocks. Anyway, salt would cost money either way, or we would need a huge amount of salt so this would cost an inevitably huge amount of money.

The solution is quite simple really, as are most solutions.

Throughout the world we have deep water ways for shipping, usually estuarial waters, which receive a huge amount of sedimentary fine sands that cause problems for shipping and have to frequently be dredged and taken out to sea and dumped. Or as in the case of South Devon, mixed with cement and used to render the outer surfaces of houses, (no longer practiced). This fine sand which is a problem in most harbours and estuaries is considered to be an inconvenience these days with little to no application.

However, this fine sand would provide the ideal properties for seeding the conveyor system and would be readily available from dredgers working to keep channels open for shipping. Most shipping requires ballast after dropping off their cargoes, some take on board seawater as ballast. This return capacity could be used to deliver the sand and silt to the point of disposal where it would be scattered or emptied from the passing ships into the ocean where the salinity of the water has been compromised by the influx of salt free surface water from melting ice.

Which brings us back to the simple experiments in my video’s As the sand and silt falls rapidly to the ocean floor, it will cause a huge cloud to form but should not damage the fish stocks as this type of aggregate ends up in the ocean at some point anyway. So no net change, other than the point at where it ends up in the ocean,

On it’s way down to the ocean floor, it causes a dragging effect on the water molecules, as shown clearly in the video’s, this causes surface water to be pulled down with it and mixed with the saltier water. It also generates a pull or return flow as generally accepted in the Atlantic conveyor system, which would inevitably pull on the warmer waters from the equatorial region causing the warmer waters to be drawn up to replace the rapidly sinking waters generated by the falling silt and sand.

On the ocean floor there will be a relatively minor disruption to marine life, as this would take place in some of the deepest parts of the ocean where plant life and marine life are not so abundant. Furthermore, the current generated by the falling aggregate would also be bringing with it adequate flora and fauna to occupy the ocean floor.

The other bonus is that shipping of course will be provided with a new paid cargo to transport, some as return ballast others shipping being utilised for conducting the seeding tasks.

And there will be a concerted effort to open up more ports and waterways as the value of dredging these important water inlets has been realised.

One ship will not make much difference, but a continual flotilla of ships will undoubtedly produce the desired effect and re-establish the carbon sink along with the acceleration of the Atlantic Conveyor System.

I would like to present this concept as a paper and would welcome others from the forum to join me in presenting it to the appropriate authorities, should anyone wish to jointly prepare a paper based on this practical solution to what could be the World’s most challenging pending disaster please feel free to add your thoughts.


 

another_someone

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7058074.stm
Quote
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have risen 35% faster than expected since 2000, says a study.

International scientists found that inefficiency in the use of fossil fuels increased levels of CO2 by 17%.

The other 18% came from a decline in the natural ability of land and oceans to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere.

About half of emissions from human activity are absorbed by natural "sinks" but the efficiency of these sinks has fallen, the study suggests.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was carried out by the Global Carbon Project, the University of East Anglia, UK, and the British Antarctic Survey.

It found that improvements in the carbon intensity of the global economy have stalled since 2000, leading to an unexpected jump in atmospheric CO2.

"In addition to the growth of global population and wealth, we now know that significant contributions to the growth of atmospheric CO2 arise from the slow-down of natural sinks and the halt to improvements in the carbon intensity of wealth production," said the study's lead author, Dr Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project.

Global sink

The weakening of the Earth's ability to cope with greenhouse gases is thought to be a result of changing wind patterns over seas and droughts on land.

"The decline in global sink efficiency suggests that stabilisation of atmospheric CO2 is even more difficult to achieve than previously thought," said report co-author Dr Corinne Le Quere of the British Antarctic Survey.

"We found that nearly half of the decline in the efficiency of the ocean CO2 sink is due to the intensification of the winds in the Southern Ocean."

The declining power of the seas to soak up industrial pollution is not only being recorded in the southern hemisphere, however.

According to a separate 10-year study published recently, the effect is also being seen in the North Atlantic.

So what is the likelihood that the enormous investment we are making in trying to deliberately guide global temperatures in a different direction is anything other than a total waste of money and resources that could be put to better use on projects with a more predictable outcome?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Oddly enough, I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

OASIS IRRIGATION is a plan to utilise the massive waste water and sewage problem generated by the West by transporting it as ballast in super tankers. Crude oil shipping currently transports sea water half way around the world for no financial gain, in act it costs the oil industry a lot of money to clean out the tankers and return clean oil back to the ocean, or in fines for discharging the tar residues in storms hoping they won't be picked up by satellites.

My idea is much better. Fill the tankers with waste water as ballast, and take it to the desert coastlines where it is used to reforest right up to the coast working your way inland  and in doing so cool down the hot dry coastal strip that provides an invisible thermal barrier that behaves like an impenetrable force field against moisture laden clouds, preventing them from crossing onto the land and offloading rain onto the scorching earth below.

Remove the thermal barrier by reforesting using waste water to replace the organic material which binds the sand grains together creating a fertile crust that suspends the water table in the first metre of sand and thus reduces the need for frequent irrigation long enough to get the roots established and provide some cover against the sun.

Stand on a hot tiled swimming pool edge burning your feet. Then stand where some ones wet feet have been before you. The temperature difference is amazing.

Irrigate a 10 mile strip of coastline along North or South African Desert and replace the desert with lush green fertile forest and cause it to rain. Don’t believe it? Well, that is exactly what happens regularly on the Costabrava in Southern Spain, whereas down the coast just a short distance West where the forests have been removed and replaced by concrete and tarmac  deserts we find a completely different climate, and when it does eventually rain in these areas we see flash floods and devastation instead of fertile forests teaming with life.

More to the point, if we start cooling the deserts down and reversing the devastation by reforesting we will create huge wildlife reserves, property that is worth purchasing, end famine in the surrounding areas, teach the world how to replicate in other areas and begin to share the rainfall equally around the globe preventing the devastating floods and fires we see today.

Instead we choose to slap a tax on cars, planes and shipping and shout about ozone depletion when the real depletion is in the deserts which are expanding at a phenomenal rate. Cool the hottest ares in the world and begin to cool the planet. And make a handsome profit from the whole process while dramatically reducing water bills. A fellow mathematician who was also a engineer for South West Water, did an analysis on the costs and saving from no longer having to treat waste water in the South West, but storing it in huge tankers submerged and encased in concrete as breakwaters in Brixham and a few more ports. He predicted a £200 per household saving. Bob Baty, goes on record saying my project is not economically viable as it is too expensive. We now have the highest water bills in the whole of the U.K. He lied through his teeth!

But we will all carry on regardless and go along with the pathetic attempts to tax global warming and grow money in the greenhouse effect instead of addressing the fundamental problems we are all inevitably about to face. And when the proverbial hits the fan, these idiotic  B.S’rs will be enjoying their spoils in some oasis raising a glass saying we were wrong.
 

Offline angst

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George, I know you don't believe in global warming and I will not debate you on this issue. You can disagree, but I said mostly thing tings about education, that are my opinion, there is no tutor system.

But about carbon sequestration - the research has been done. It is not good for the future unless the issues is addressed. This conclusion is held by well over 90% of the people who have done the peer review work. The deck is stacked against what you are trying to argue and that is the LAST thing I will say in this thread.
 
P.S. Many better minds than yours had to agree to the Nobel Prize. I doubt that I have the intelligence to doubt their collective wisdom.

This is the problem that I have with the 'global warming' debate, and generally scientific debate within the public domain. It ceases to be a discussion about the science and becomes a discussion about who (and how many) agree with a certain viewpoint. Under these terms of scientific argument, Galileo was wrong. Under these terms the Earth is the centre of the Universe. Or, rather, under these terms the Earth was the centre of the Universe.

Unless one accepts that the very nature of the Universe altered as public opinion altered, then the 'democratic' argument is scientifically redundant.

The report by the IPCC had to construct 'errors' within two disparate measurement mechanisms in order for their model to be accurate. Not only two errors, but two corresponding errors. What are the chances of that? I would imagine that such a convergence of seperate errors must be pretty small, and yet such a probablitiy was preffered over the thought that the model might be incorrect. Does that sound like sound scientific practice?

What is happening within the wider public debate on this is that scientists are becoming the 'high priests' of science, that laymen can never understand. This is a dangerous place, as when those high priests are shown to be in error, then faith in their 'religion' will begin to crumble - and we will see a return to superstitions as the basis of understanding the world around us.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Angst

Well spoken
 

Offline angst

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Andrew, thank you for your kind words. I don't feel quite so much like I need to go and get 'me coat'.
 

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