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Author Topic: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?  (Read 7950 times)

Offline thedoc

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A "drought emergency" in California, but how much is climate change to blame? Research from Stanford University tries to find out.

Read the whole story on our website by clicking here

  
« Last Edit: 16/10/2014 17:49:01 by _system »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Extreme weather catastrophes could be as much as three times more likely...

Usual bovine excrement. "Extreme" is undefined. "could be" is meaningless. 

"as much as three times more likely" is at least worth debating.  To qualify for "extreme", something has to be unlikely, otherwise it's just "normal". So exactly what is the probablity of something 3 times as much as very improbable? And if we are really talking about Poisson events, what is the confidence range of 3 times improbable?

Anyway surely the cart is being put before the horse here.  Climate is the longterm average of weather, so if weather changes, over an undefined period, so will climate.


Anyway it's not news
 
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140214-drought-california-prehistory-science-climate-san-francisco-2/
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A millennium ago—just yesterday, in geologic time—Native Americans waited all winter for rains that never came. They waited the next winter and the next. Then the marshes of their sacred San Francisco Bay turned from cattails to salt grass. Fishing declined and the Native Americans could no longer rely on the bounty of the bay. Finally, they left, hungry and thirsty, in search of water.
     

But I have no doubt that someone whose living depends on climatological scaremongering will say "a thousand years isn't climate, it's weather". Or maybe they will blame the 11th century drought on King Canute messing about with the tides - it's always the fault of the Brits. 
 

Offline teragram

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alancalverd:-
"But I have no doubt that someone whose living depends on climatological scaremongering will say ......................."


Implying that there are no climate change deniers whose financial and corporate interests depend on convincing us that climate change is a myth?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Climate has always changed, and always will, because the atmosphere is inherently unstable. Only a fool would deny that. But there are some who make a living by pretending that it is a recent phenomenon, caused by capitalism (why else would China be exempt from the Kyoto protocol?) and likely to be a disaster if you don't unplug your telephone charger, throw away your lightbulbs, and buy an expensive electricity meter.

There's far more money in scaremongering than in questioning the validity of the data and the robustness of the models. Governments make huge sums by imposing arbitrary "green" taxes, then redistribute the money to "consultants" and windmill manufacturers. And if anyone dares to ask a simple question like "how do you know what the global mean temperature was in 1800, when nobody had ever visited Antarctica, let alone measured its temperature"?  or "What exactly do you mean by "sea level"?" he faces execration and excommunication.

I guess my favourite example of mass gullibility was the way in which the recent discovery of 500-year-old bryophytes under a retreating glacier was reported. The headlines concentrated on the glacier retreating under "temperatures unprecedented in human history" and such bunkum, whereas the presence of the plants clearly indicates that it must have been hotter 500 years ago for them to have grown there in the first place. Written history goes back around 6000 years, and includes the time when Ur was a flourishing seaport, now 100 miles from the coast. Rising sea level? I think not.

My "financial and corporate interests" depend on sticking to the truth, and sticking the truth to others. Climate change is a fact, and we have to live with it because we have no control over it. Beware of false prophets.
 

Offline teragram

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As far as I know China is not “exempt” from the Kyoto Protocol, it just didn’t sign up to it. If I remember correctly the U.S.A. had to be dragged into it after years of denial.
I’m glad that you accept the existence of climate change. My dreadful mistake was to omit the preface “Man made…..”
It has been known for about 120 years that CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat, and that burning fuels leads to an increase in the gas.
The scientific consensus is that climate change occurring since the industrial revolution is largely man made. Therefore we HAVE controlled the climate, but not to our benefit. By definition then we can (if it’s not too late) to some extent reduce the effect.
Incidentally, even the economics “scientists” now seem to think that it will cost far more to live with the consequences of man made climate change than to attempt to reduce it.
To say that  there is “far more money in scaremongering…” seems to imply that the vast majority of climate scientists are lying to us for their financial gain, rather than trying to warn us. So should we trust the repesentatives of non-renewable energy interests, or climate scientists? In other words, who are the “false prophets”?
 

Offline alancalverd

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When climate scientists get a prediction right, based on actual rather than "adjusted" data and arbitrary proxies, it will be time to listen to them. The fashionable view in the 1960's was that we are headed for an imminent ice age.

Consensus in science is a dangerous thing. Understanding comes from mavericks like Galileo and Einstein. If we relied on consensus we'd still be suffering from cholera, typhoid, smallpox and malaria. The American Academy of Sciences famously told the Wright Brothers in 1910 that "there is no conceivable military use for the airplane" and two airborne wars later the British Association decreed that "about five computers will suffice for the UK's needs".

Climate change is, by consensus, due to the interaction of phlogiston with caloric, though my bet is on water, which the IPCC generously admitted (in its very first report) was clearly the most important greenhouse gas but far too difficult to quantify, so they ignored it.

China was indeed an early signatory to Kyoto, but, along with India, has no commitment to do anything about it.
 

Offline teragram

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To be fair, China is closing some coal fired power stations and banning the use of the more pollutive types of coal in large areas. The aim is to improve air quality.

I would say the relevant maverick here is Jim Hansen, ex NASA, first, I think, of the modern visionaries to warn us in 1988 of the dangers of human-induced climate change.
Are Galileo and Einstein still mavericks?

Water vapour, as you say, is a great contributor to global warming. Remember that the production of CO2 from burning fossil fuel is accompanied by a proportionate production of water vapour.
As for phlogiston, I’ve still got a few bottles left. Out of caloric though.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Water vapour, as you say, is a great contributor to global warming. Remember that the production of CO2 from burning fossil fuel is accompanied by a proportionate production of water vapour.

Which makes coal the least climate-change-inducing fuel of all!
 

Offline peppercorn

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Water vapour, as you say, is a great contributor to global warming. Remember that the production of CO2 from burning fossil fuel is accompanied by a proportionate production of water vapour.
Which makes coal the least climate-change-inducing fuel of all!

It says 'ere...
Water vapour feedback loop amplifies the temperature change caused by CO2.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Yeah, that's the usual bunkum put about by the CO2 lobby. It doesn't explain why the prehistoric CO2 curve follows rather than leads the temperature curve, unless you believe that the laws of physics changed in 1900. The simple explanation is that water is the driver and the CO2 balance between plants and animals is temperature dependent - as any insect will tell you.

Why the non-science? Because you can tax carbon. 
 

Offline Ethos_

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #10 on: 22/10/2014 14:41:13 »
Yeah, that's the usual bunkum put about by the CO2 lobby. It doesn't explain why the prehistoric CO2 curve follows rather than leads the temperature curve, unless you believe that the laws of physics changed in 1900. The simple explanation is that water is the driver and the CO2 balance between plants and animals is temperature dependent - as any insect will tell you.

Why the non-science? Because you can tax carbon.
I agree Alan,...............it's all about the Globalists control of wealth redistribution...................Ethos
 

Offline teragram

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #11 on: 28/10/2014 21:19:36 »
Yeah, that's the usual bunkum put about by the CO2 lobby. It doesn't explain why the prehistoric CO2 curve follows rather than leads the temperature curve, unless you believe that the laws of physics changed in 1900. The simple explanation is that water is the driver and the CO2 balance between plants and animals is temperature dependent - as any insect will tell you.
 
Why do CO2 deniers speak  disparagingly about the “CO2 lobby”? Is it because it is such a tiny movement compared to the fossil fuel lobby?
Anyway, even if you believe that CO2 is irrelevant in climate change, the fact that water vapour is relevant indicates that burning fossil fuels is undesirable.
The argument re. the CO2 curve following, not leading, the temperature curve, was I think anticipated by James Hansen (see above) and others, many years ago. The key phrase is I think “the prehistoric CO2 curve”. In more recent times man-made CO2 has risen beyond the point where it becomes a significant contributor.
See Peppercorn’s link above.

 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #12 on: 29/10/2014 22:24:50 »
It's not just "prehistoric" data that makes one doubt the importance of anthropogenic CO2. We now have evidence from a retreating glacier that the planet, or at least Canada, was warmer 500 years ago than it is now, well within recorded history but way before the industrial revolution.

There are many good reasons to reduce or eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel, but lies and bad science aren't among them.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #13 on: 01/11/2014 14:18:16 »
It doesn't explain why the prehistoric CO2 curve follows rather than leads the temperature curve.

"CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise [most notably] when the Earth comes out of an ice age.
Here, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth's orbit. "
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #14 on: 02/11/2014 14:29:58 »
And not just an ice age. The famous Mauna Loa data shows an annual cycle of CO2 concentration that (a) lags behind the temperature graph and (b) reaches a minimum in late winter when anthropogenic CO2 emission is at a maximum. Indeed all the evidence I have seen, points towards CO2 being the thermometer, not the thermostat.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #15 on: 03/11/2014 13:19:14 »
As in this: Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide... ?

The fluctuations are explained by forest 'breathing' - ie. growth through the summer (most forest is concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere).
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #16 on: 04/11/2014 11:23:56 »
Forest growth should reduce the CO2 level in summer. The data shows the opposite.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #17 on: 04/11/2014 23:25:37 »
Forest growth should reduce the CO2 level in summer.
The 'annual cycle' data shown fits perfectly with that assertion. Drop off starts in May and continues until September.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #18 on: 05/11/2014 00:40:53 »
I think we live on a different planet, or at least we till different soils. Fastest growth occurs in the period February-July. Once the days start getting shorter, deciduous forests and grasslands think about seeding, not competing for sunlight, and the leaves start falling in September, with most trees and grasses virtually dormant by the end of October. Something to do with "fall" and "harvest".

As for conifers, here's what happens to the Douglas Fir - surely a typical northern hemisphere wild and farmed species.
Quote
shoot extension ends in midsummer generally in response to moisture stress, (3) dormancy develops during late summer and early fall in response to a continuing moisture stress

So what is actually going on? A simple suggestion is that insect activity determines the equilibrium between atmospheric and sequestered CO2. Plants grow by turning CO2 into structural materials, and insects get their energy by oxidising plant material back to CO2. Insect activity is profoundly temperature-dependent with grubs eating themselves to the limit in spring, then hatching and mating at the height of summer. Many insects don't eat at all after mating, and eventually the trees outgrow their pests (otherwise the entire ecosystem would collapse) so around July the rate of CO2 absorption exceeds production, and by September the insects have pretty much given up and the CO2 level plummets. However as the mean temperature increases year by year, so the mean atmospheric CO2 concentration is gradually increasing - the insects are winning the long war,if not the annual battle.       
 

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Re: What role did climate change play in California's droughts?
« Reply #18 on: 05/11/2014 00:40:53 »

 

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