What criteria would be required to refute man-made climate change?

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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I wish to ask those who consider that there is any significant threat from climate change due to human activity what it would take for you to consider the hypothesis failed? That is what would it take for there to be nothing to worry about from it?

Given it has not caused any trouble so far there must be the posibility that the whole thing is a scare over nothing so what would it take for you to come to this conclusion?
« Last Edit: 23/04/2016 10:43:07 by chris »

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: Criteria for the CAGW hypothesis to fail
« Reply #1 on: 22/04/2016 22:21:46 »
I can't speak for the believers, but I would be less unimpressed by the hypothesis if we had a sensible prediction of what would happen if we reduced CO2 emissions, and we did so, and it came true. But then I'm just a bloody scientist - who cares what I think when there are journalistic and political careers, headline-making conference dinners, and serious money at stake?

Successive governments having destroyed the UK coal industry in order to get re-elected, it is absolutely essential for the population to continue to believe that coal burning is a Bad Thing.

Successive governments having given wads of your cash to windmill and solar panel manufacturers, it is absolutely essential for the population to continue to believe that unreliable sources of electricity are a Good Thing.

The blessed European Union having decreed that recyclable filament lamps must be replaced by toxic fluorescents or Chinese LEDs (and more central heating), it is absolutely essential that the population continues to believe that switching on a filament lamp is tantamount to nailing the Baby Jesus to the Cross. 

Successive governments having privatised railways and water supply and encouraged speculative jerrybuilding on flood plains, it is absolutely essential that the population continue to believe that flooding, chaos, drowned cattle, rotten crops and general disruption are all your fault for daring to drive a car (Ministerial Jaguars don't count).

And it isn't just a problem for British politicians. Populations in less hospitable climates having been encouraged to (or at least not discouraged from) breed themselves into unsustainabilty, it is essential that they continue to believe that that the lack of food and water is due to decadent Westerners flying to Australia.

If the bogeyman of AGW didn't exist, politicians would have to blame someone else for the consequences of political corruption and incompetence, or face the threat of revolution and redistribution of power to those with the competence and honesty to use it properly - what politicians call anarchy.
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Offline Tim the Plumber

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To Bored Chemist,

It would be really nice to know what it would take in your case.

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Offline Bored chemist

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To Bored Chemist,

It would be really nice to know what it would take in your case.

As I have said before, The first step would be to explain how adding CO2 didn't cause warming.
It's a greenhouse gas.
You would need to explain how it somehow didn't raise the temperature.

Nobody yet has got close to doing that.

BTW, Alan, Maggie destroyed the mining industry because the unions were a strong voice opposing hers. It had nothing to do with climate change.

Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
If you find that fluorescent lights are toxic, I suggest that you stop eating them.
« Last Edit: 05/06/2016 20:15:37 by Bored chemist »
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Offline alancalverd

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BTW, Alan, Maggie destroyed the mining industry because the unions were a strong voice opposing hers. It had nothing to do with climate change.
We know that, but the trick is to get the population to believe that what she did was a Good Thing. The UK now sits on about 200 years' supply of coal that cannot be mined safely or economically, ever. If were was no mitigating factor, the Conservative party would be unelectable, and we can't have that, can we? 


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Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
I used to heat my kitchen with 500W of tungsten lighting. When I replaced the bulbs with CFLs, I had to install bigger radiators to make up the deficit. Trouble is that the radiators heated the walls and windows, whereas the lamps used to heat the people, so the net efficiency decreased. I've no objection to CFL and LED lighting where heating is undesirable and long life is essential, but it would be nice to have an efficient ceiling-mounted radiant heater again!   

Apropos your main point, however, the earth's climate is such a complex system that, even though it is scientifically obvious that CO2 is not a significant driver, it would be very difficult to produce a realistic and predictive model based on water, the major greenhouse gas.  The only way to convince anyone who isn't impressed by simple physics (i.e. most people) is to wait until the temperature starts to decrease whilst CO2 remains constant or increases. By that time, however, I'm sure everyone will have lost interest and a bigger bogeyman will be foisted upon the taxpayer.. It's worth remembering that income tax, believed by most people to be as essential as DNA, was actually introduced as a temporary measure to pay for the Napoleonic Wars. How short the public memory....
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Offline puppypower

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One way to refute man made climate change is to explain how the magic trick works. If you went to a magic show and the audience saw someone levitate, it will be hard to convince people it did not happen, unless you can show how the trick works.

There are several aspects to the man made climate change magic trick. One aspect is connected to hyped fear. For example, when an airliner crashes (beyond terrorism), there will be a lot of media hype and endless expert analysis. After listening to this for several days, many people begin to assume all air travel is at risk. Politicians will cater to the fear insisting something needs to be done, industry wide. The induced fear and hype, reinforce by the actions of leadership, will cloud judgment. This fear is the house lights being dimmed for the magic trick. All the doom and gloom predictions, connected to man made global warming, that never panned out was the house lights dimming. It did not matter if this happened or not, the goal was the fear. Those who got the fear bug, will not care if the bogeyman did not show, since he is out there.

Another aspect of the magic trick is connected to semantics. When they say this is the warmest summer on record, science only has good weather data for about 150 years, tops, even though the earth is 6 billion years old. Yet the term, on record, is often interpreted by the fearful, to mean the entire life of the earth. Nobody who performs this magic trick will ever clarify this.

This distraction blends into the next aspect of the illusion. We generate more weather data, today, than any time in history of weather data collection. More data makes it look like more is happening. From a satellite, you can see weather in remote areas where data was never collected. This counts as manmade change, since nothing there could be substantiated, to prove otherwise.

If we needed to look at the weather from 200 years ago, there is little if any direct data to use. Even if this was the worse in 500 years, it is still not the worse on record, since officials records are 150 years old. Due too the scarcity of the hard direction data, one may need to rely on indirect data, like tree rings to give us a clue of what happened. This can tell us the annual averages, but you can't see day to day like we record today. The result is there is more climate change today, based on a hard data.

Here is an experiment we can do in schools. This is the magic trick. We will have a group of students observe and record, with their cell phone cameras, any bird or squirrel they see, during one month of time. When all the data is compiled, we will tell them there are more birds and squirrels in that area, now, that in any anytime in history.

Technically, the students will have recorded more hard data than any skeptic can produce, for any other time in history, for that area. The claim of more birds and squirrels, although unsubstantiated and probably not true, will be hard to disprove, especially since anyone who denies my claim, will not be able to provide as much hard evidence as the students. We then make fun of the skeptics so they don't spoil the trick.

To help my claim along, I will use fear to dim the house lights. I tell them that bird and squirrel droppings can cause disease. This is the distraction needed to get others to fixate on birds and droppings so thy start to observe and see more than they ever noticed before. The fear will require something be done, with the school now making a big deal about cleaning the sidewalks. This will reinforce the fear, due to remediation being employed.
 

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« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 00:35:09 by puppypower »

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Offline evan_au

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Quote from: Tim the Plumber
Given it has not caused any trouble so far

I think your question is based on a false premise.
- In our part of the world, coral bleaching is a problem.
- In the Champagne valley, their climate has moved to the south of England (but they won't tell you that).
- There are a number of species that are being pushed to extinction by being pushed to the edge of their habitat.
- There have been some rather destructive hurricanes in coastal USA.

None of these individual events can be blamed with 100% certainty on human-induced climate change.
- But if human-induced climate change increases the severity of hurricanes by 10%, by the time there are 10 hurricanes, you could say that one of them is caused by humans.
- The El Nino cycle contributes to coral bleaching - but the bleaching is worse by 1K due to the action of humans
- Habitat destruction and fragmentation contributes to extinctions. But it is climate change that pushes the species out of the end of their nature reserve

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Offline tkadm30

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The fiddling of temperature data on a global scale through climate engineering is a strong evidence that climate change is a hoax. The official narratives of climate change may be manipulated to promote the pseudoscientific model of global warming.

Thus faking data by doing solar radiation management (chemtrails) could have the opposite effect on global temperature levels and may contribute to ozone depletion in the atmosphere. Ozone depletion and climate change are deeply interconnected.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html

http://geoarchitektur.blogspot.ca/p/faking-data-for-geoengineering.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion_and_climate_change
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Offline Tim the Plumber

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To Bored Chemist,

It would be really nice to know what it would take in your case.

As I have said before, The first step would be to explain how adding CO2 didn't cause warming.
It's a greenhouse gas.
You would need to explain how it somehow didn't raise the temperature.

Nobody yet has got close to doing that.

BTW, Alan, Maggie destroyed the mining industry because the unions were a strong voice opposing hers. It had nothing to do with climate change.

Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
If you find that fluorescent lights are toxic, I suggest that you stop eating them.

So data from the world showing that it was not warming would not do it.???

If it got colder would that do it?

If the IPCC's predictions were narrowed down to the low end of the range at which there is almost no cause for concearn would you then think there was nothing to worry about?

You see I am not trying to disprove the science of IR absorption I just want to know what level of warming is OK and how you would get to that position.

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Offline alancalverd

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I think your question is based on a false premise.
- In our part of the world, coral bleaching is a problem.
For the coral, certainly. But the Great Barrier Reef is itself a product of geologically recent climate change!
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- In the Champagne valley, their climate has moved to the south of England (but they won't tell you that).
Actually, moved back to southern England, where it was in Roman times and up to the 11th century. I suppose you could blame the bloody Romans and their excessive use of hot baths and central heating, but somehow or other the Ancient Britons managed to survive for thousands of years, clad only in woad and paganism. They didn't even bother to put roofs and walls on Stonehenge.

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- There are a number of species that are being pushed to extinction by being pushed to the edge of their habitat.
'twas ever this, quoth the diplodocus. And you can't blame humans for that.

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- There have been some rather destructive hurricanes in coastal USA.
though fewer Grade 5s have been recorded pretty much each year since the 1850s. The damage caused has increased, because more people now live, in less robust houses, and with more expensive cars and boats, on the south east coast. And Katrina wouldn't have been a major problem if they hadn't drained the swamps to build houses on the outskirts of New Orleans.
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Offline Blame

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Doesn't much matter really. Just as long as its attached to sufficiently large backhander from the oil industry. 

But if you are serious then another source for all that CO2 or a convincing explanation for Siberia defrosting without our help.

You sure ain't going to convince me that the climate hasn't changed.

but why bother? the smart move is to give up on "its not our fault" in favor of "its too late/too expensive to fix".

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Offline alancalverd

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Curious how True Believers keep asserting that skeptics deny the obvious. But the essence of faith is, of course, acceptance of a hypothesis in the face of the facts.

Climate is changing - fact. Climate always has changed - fact. Most of these changes occurred long before industrialisation - fact. Which makes the hypothesis of significant anthropogenically-driven change just a teeny bit unlikely.

Nevertheless we press on and create models based on recent data. The only reliable global data is from 1970 onwards though we have some reasonably good urban data from 1930. Then it turns out that the only way we can make this recent historic data fit the anthropogenic model is to "correct" the data, and even then, the model isn't usefully predictive - fact.

So we make broad-brush statements about "never in recorded history" and suchlike. Until we find 500-year-old bromeliads under a retreating glacier. Unless you accept that they were put there by the Devil to confuse unbelievers, the only rational explanation is that the glacier wasn't there 500 years ago - fact. 

All of which suggests that climate change is real (which we knew already) but probably not significantly anthropogenic. That's science, not faith.
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Offline agyejy

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Climate is changing - fact. Climate always has changed - fact. Most of these changes occurred long before industrialisation - fact. Which makes the hypothesis of significant anthropogenically-driven change just a teeny bit unlikely.

That's not even remotely how logical inference works nor does it address the very real differences between the changes predicted for natural climatic process vs the changes we are currently seeing. One of the clearest signs of the greenhouse effect is that the upper levels of the atmosphere are cooling as the atmosphere near the surface warms. The only thing that can account for this is increased heat retention via greenhouse gasses and the greenhouse gas that is most clearly increasing is CO2 and the only new source of CO2 is humans. The fact that climate has changed in the past in no way counters that argument not the least of which because it complete ignores the differences in the changes we are seeing now from natural changes.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period-intermediate.htm <- A more detailed argument than I have presented.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/its-not-us-advanced.htm <- Here is a fuller accounting of the various different pieces of evidence that place the blame on us.

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Nevertheless we press on and create models based on recent data. The only reliable global data is from 1970 onwards though we have some reasonably good urban data from 1930. Then it turns out that the only way we can make this recent historic data fit the anthropogenic model is to "correct" the data, and even then, the model isn't usefully predictive - fact.

You point about the data simply isn't true: http://www.skepticalscience.com/surface-temperature-measurements-advanced.htm
A blind review of climate science claims from both opponents and proponents has been conducted using experts in statistical analysis: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303028762_A_blind_expert_test_of_contrarian_claims_about_climate_data

It was found that the claims of mainstream climate science are credibly supported by the available data while statements to the contrary were found to be misleading. I emphasis this study was blind and avoided bias by not letting the judging experts know exactly to what the supporting data pertained.

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All of which suggests that climate change is real (which we knew already) but probably not significantly anthropogenic. That's science, not faith.

Again nothing above actually address the very real evidence and arguments for human induced climatic change. Since it bears repeating:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/its-not-us-advanced.htm <- Here is a fuller accounting of the various different pieces of evidence that place the blame on us.

I've actually run into the character limit so I'm actually going to make this a two parter.

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Offline agyejy

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Continued from above:

Since past experience here as indicated a reluctance to actually follow a link in order to read the evidence I'm going to quote the entire article here. I apologize for the length but I feel it is necessary due to the refusal of people to follow a link disproving their statements only to repeat those statements later.

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Surface Temperature Change

Back in 1988, NASA's James Hansen made some of the first projections of future global warming with a global climate model (Hansen 1988). He created 3 scenarios which he called Scenarios A, B, and C which used various possible future greenhouse gas emissions levels. Scenario A used a model with accelerating greenhouse gas emissions, Scenario B had linearly increasing emissions, and Scenario C had emissions leveling off after the year 2000. None of these models ended up matching greenhouse gas emissions exactly right, but the radiative forcing (energy imbalance) in Scenario B was closest, too high by about 10% as of 2009. Additionally, the climate sensitivity in Hansen's 1988 model (4.2°C global warming for a doubling of atmospheric CO2) was a bit higher than today's best estimate (3°C warming for CO2 doubling).

Hansen's Scenario B projected a global warming trend from 1984-2009 of 0.26°C per decade. The actual trend as measured by surface temperature stations over that period was about 0.2°C per decade. When corrected for the 10% smaller radiative forcing than Scenario B and the higher climate sensitivity in Hansen's models, his study projected the global warming over the ensuing 25 years almost perfectly.

Meehl et al. (2004) took a different approach. Instead of projecting future surface temperature change, they used climate models to attempt to attribute past temperature changes in a method known as 'hindcasting' (as opposed to forecasting). In their study, Meehl et al. show that natural forcings cannot account for the increase in global temperatures in the second half of the 20th century, and that models using both natural and anthropogenic forcings model the temperature change over the 20th century most accurately.

"The late-twentieth-century warming can only be reproduced in the model with anthropogenic forcing (mainly GHGs), while the early twentieth-century warming is mainly caused by natural forcing in the model (mainly solar)."


Figure 1: Anthropogenic plus natural vs. just natural radiative forcing temperature change vs. observed global surface temperature increase (Meehl 2004)

A number of studies using a variety of different statistical and physical approaches have, like Meehl 2004, estimated the human and natural contributions to global warming.  They universally find that humans are the dominant cause of the observed global warming over the past 150 years, 100 years, 50 years, 25 years, etc.  In fact, many conclude that natural effects have actually been in the cooling direction in recent decades (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Net human and natural percent contributions to the observed global surface warming over the past 50-65 years according to Tett et al. 2000 (T00, dark blue), Meehl et al. 2004 (M04, red), Stone et al. 2007 (S07, light green), Lean and Rind 2008 (LR08, purple), Huber and Knutti 2011 (HK11, light blue), Gillett et al. 2012 (G12, orange), Wigley and Santer 2012 (WS12, dark green), and Jones et al. 2013 (J12, pink).

Stott et al. (2003) took yet another approach, examining surface temperature changes region-by-region across the planet and comparing them to how climate models predicted they should have changed. Stott found that regional temperature changes could also be traced back to anthropogenic global warming.

"The causes of twentieth century temperature change in six separate land areas of the Earth have been determined by carrying out a series of optimal detection analyses. The warming effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations have been detected in all the regions examined, including North America and Europe….Our results show significant anthropogenic warming trends in all the continental regions analyzed. In all these regions, greenhouse gases are estimated to have caused generally increasing warming as the century progressed, balanced to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the region, by cooling from sulfate aerosols in the middle of the century."



More warming at night than day

Climate models predict that as a consequence of anthropogenic global warming, the planet should warm more at night than during the day. This is also known as a decreasing diurnal temperature range (DTR – the difference between minimum and maximum daily temperature). Braganza et al. (2004) investigated the changes in DTR over the past 50 years and concluded as follows:

"Observed DTR over land shows a large negative trend of ~0.4°C over the last 50 years that is very unlikely to have occurred due to internal variability. This trend is due to larger increases in minimum temperatures (~0.9°C) than maximum temperatures (~0.6°C) over the same period. Analysis of trends in DTR over the last century from five coupled climate models shows that simulated trends in DTR due to anthropogenic forcing are much smaller than observed. This difference is attributable to larger than observed changes in maximum temperatures in four of the five models analysed here, a result consistent with previous modelling studies."

Essentially Braganza et al. found that that while DTR is decreasing as expected by climate models, it’s decreasing more than they predicted because daytime temperatures are increasing less than they predict, possibly because the models omit changes in the Earth’s reflectivity from factors like cloudcover and land use change. Here you can see the observed changes in maximum, minimum, mean global temperature, and DTR vs. predictions by the four climate models used in the study.


Figure 4: Observed vs. modeled temperature trends (Braganza 2004)

Stratospheric Temperature Change

As the lower atmosphere warms due to an enhanced greenhouse effect, the upper atmosphere is expected to cool as a consequence. The simple way to think about this is that greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the lower atmosphere. Since less heat is released into the upper atmosphere (starting with the stratosphere), it cools.

Jones et al. (2003) investigated the changes in temperature over the past 4 decades at both the near surface (troposphere) and stratosphere layers, and compare them to changes predicted by a coupled atmosphere/ocean general circulation model, HadCM3. They concluded as follows.

"Our results strengthen the case for an anthropogenic influence on climate. Unlike previous studies we attribute observed decadal-mean temperature changes both to anthropogenic emissions, and changes in stratospheric volcanic aerosols. The temperature response to change in solar irradiance is also detected but with a lower confidence than the other forcings."

Tropopause Height

The tropopause is the atmospheric boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. Observations indicate that the tropopause height has increased several hundred meters over the past 3 decades. Santer et al. (2003) investigated the causes of this change and concluded as follows.

"Comparable increases are evident in climate model experiments. The latter show that human-induced changes in ozone and well-mixed greenhouse gases account for ~80% of the simulated rise in tropopause height over 1979–1999. Their primary contributions are through cooling of the stratosphere (caused by ozone) and warming of the troposphere (caused by well-mixed greenhouse gases). A model predicted fingerprint of tropopause height changes is statistically detectable in two different observational (“reanalysis”) data sets. This positive detection result allows us to attribute overall tropopause height changes to a combination of anthropogenic and natural external forcings, with the anthropogenic component predominating."


Figure 5: Changes in temperature and tropopause height in response to various radiative forcings (Santer 2003)

Upper Atmosphere Temperature Change

The layers above the stratosphere are expected to cool as a result of global warming as well, for similar reasons (less heat reaching higher levels as it’s trapped in the lower atmosphere). Jarvis et al. (1998) investigated changes in the thermosphere and ionosphere in 1998 and concluded as follows.

"The estimated long-term decrease in altitude is of a similar order of magnitude to that which has been predicted to result in the thermosphere from anthropogenic change related to greenhouse gases."
Laštovička et al. (2006) arrived at a similar conclusion.

"The upper atmosphere is generally cooling and contracting, and related changes in chemical composition are affecting the ionosphere. The dominant driver of these trends is increasing greenhouse forcing, although there may be contributions from anthropogenic changes of the ozone layer and long-term increase of geomagnetic activity throughout the 20th century. Thus, the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases influence the atmosphere at nearly all altitudes between ground and space, affecting not only life on the surface but also the space-based technological systems on which we increasingly rely."


Figure 6: Atmospheric temperature and Ionospheric electron density vs. Altitude (Laštovička 2006)

Ocean Heat Content

Ocean heat content has increased significantly over the past 40 years. In fact, approximately 84% of the total heating of the Earth system over that period has gone into warming the oceans. Barnett et al. (2005) investigated the cause of this warming signal, and concluded as follows.

"[the increase in ocean heat content] cannot be explained by natural internal climate variability or solar and volcanic forcing, but is well simulated by two anthropogenically forced climate models. We conclude that it is of human origin, a conclusion robust to observational sampling and model differences. Changes in advection combine with surface forcing to give the overall warming pattern. The implications of this study suggest that society needs to seriously consider model predictions of future climate change."


Figure 7: Modeled vs. Observed Ocean Temperature Changes

Sea Level Pressure

Gillett et al. (2003) compared observed changes in sea level pressure with those predicted by four coupled ocean–atmosphere climate models and concluded as follows.

"Here we detect an influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols in observations of winter sea-level pressure (December to February), using combined simulations from four climate models. We find increases in sea-level pressure over the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean, southern Europe and North Africa, and decreases in the polar regions and the North Pacific Ocean, in response to human influence….Overall, we find that anthropogenic greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols have had a detectable influence on sea-level pressure over the second half of the twentieth century: this represents evidence of human influence on climate independent of measurements of temperature change."

Precipitation

Zhang et al. (2007) showed that models using natural + anthropogenic forcings do a much better job of matching observed precipitation trends than either natural or anthropogenic alone. The correlation with natural forcings alone is extremely weak - only 0.02. With anthropogenic alone is 0.69, and with both combined is 0.83 over the past 75 years.

"We show that anthropogenic forcing has had a detectable influence on observed changes in average precipitation within latitudinal bands, and that these changes cannot be explained by internal climate variability or natural forcing. We estimate that anthropogenic forcing contributed significantly to observed increases in precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, drying in the Northern Hemisphere subtropics and tropics, and moistening in the Southern Hemisphere subtropics and deep tropics. The observed changes, which are larger than estimated from model simulations, may have already had significant effects on ecosystems, agriculture and human health in regions that are sensitive to changes in precipitation"

Infrared Radiation

Increase in downward longwave radiation

Anthropogenic global warming is caused by an increase in the amount of downward longwave infrared radiation coming from greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Philipona et al. (2004) measured the changes and trends of radiative fluxes at the surface and their relation to greenhouse gas increases and temperature and humidity changes measured from 1995 to 2002 at eight stations of the Alpine Surface Radiation Budget (ASRB) network. They concluded as follows.

"The resulting uniform increase of longwave downward radiation manifests radiative forcing that is induced by greenhouse gas concentrations and water vapor feedback, and proves the "theory" of greenhouse warming with direct observations."
Evans et al. (2006) took it a step further, performing an analysis of high resolution specral data which allowed them to quantitatively attribute the increase in downward radiation to each of several greenhouse gases. The study went as far as to conclude,

"This experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming."

Decrease in upward longwave radiation

As the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, we expect to see less infrared radiation escaping at the top of the atmosphere. Satellite observations have confirmed that the decrease in upward longwave radiation matches well with model predictions, including in Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, and Chen 2007, the latter of which concluded:

"Changing spectral signatures in CH4, CO2, and H2O are observed, with the difference signal in the CO2 matching well between observations and modelled spectra."


Figure 8: Increased greenhouse effect from 1970 to 2006. Black line is satellite observations. Red line is modeled results (Chen 2007)

Increased top of the atmosphere energy imbalance

This increase in downward and decrease in upward infrared radiation is expected to create an enery imbalance. Trenberth et al. (2009) used satellite data to measure the Earth's energy balance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and found that the net imbalance was 0.9 Watts per square meter. (Wm-2) This figure is consistent with the calculations in Hansen et al. 2005 using ocean heat data.

"The predicted energy imbalance due to increasing greenhouse gases has grown to 0.85 ± 0.15 W/m2"


Figure 9: TOA Radiation (Trenberth 2009)

Murphy et al. (2009) obtained a similar result.

"About 20% of the integrated positive forcing by greenhouse gases and solar radiation since 1950 has been radiated to space. Only about 10% of the positive forcing (about 1/3 of the net forcing) has gone into heating the Earth, almost all into the oceans. About 20% of the positive forcing has been balanced by volcanic aerosols, and the remaining 50% is mainly attributable to tropospheric aerosols. After accounting for the measured terms, the residual forcing between 1970 and 2000 due to direct and indirect forcing by aerosols as well as semidirect forcing from greenhouse gases and any unknown mechanism can be estimated as 1.1 ± 0.4 Wm-2."


Figure 10: Cumulative energy budget for the Earth since 1950 (Murphy 2009)

This is an impressively wide variety of global and regional climate change observations strongly matching the changes predicted by climate models and providing clear fingerprints of human-caused climate change.
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Clearly there is a lot of evidence supporting human caused global climate change and much of that evidence is actually independent of surface temperature records.
« Last Edit: 08/06/2016 08:05:49 by agyejy »

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Offline alancalverd

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One of the clearest signs of the greenhouse effect is that the upper levels of the atmosphere are cooling as the atmosphere near the surface warms.
Which of course is entirely different from the measurements you made 400,000 years ago. Or even 500 years ago.
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Offline agyejy

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Which of course is entirely different from the measurements you made 400,000 years ago. Or even 500 years ago.

Those measurements are unnecessary. The Earth and its atmosphere are physical systems that obey the rules of physics. The atmosphere may be a chaotic system but we've been modeling chaotic systems with high degrees of precision for awhile now. However, you don't even need a model to understand that the only reason for the surface atmosphere to increase in temperature while the upper atmosphere cools is the greenhouse effect. There is literally no other physical process that could cause that and the only new significant source of greenhouse gasses is human activity. Beyond that as the article I quoted pointed out there is a veritable mountain of other evidence that is not temperature related that proves the current climate change we are seeing is caused by humans.

Some other particularly important bits from the article I quoted (you really should read it) are the direct measurements of increased downward infrared radiation in the lower atmosphere and decreased upward infrared radiation from the upper atmosphere leading directly to a measurable energy imbalance in the upper atmosphere indicating a net increase in thermal energy trapped by the Earth. In short direct measurements of the greenhouse effect in action and given that the only new significant source of greenhouse gasses is human activity the implications are inescapable.

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Offline alancalverd

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The atmosphere may be a chaotic system but we've been modeling chaotic systems with high degrees of precision for awhile now.
Except for the atmosphere, where IPCC has admitted that the behavior of the water system is too complex to model, and no model has yet had any useful predictive value.

Quote
Hansen's Scenario B projected a global warming trend from 1984-2009 of 0.26°C per decade. The actual trend as measured by surface temperature stations over that period was about 0.2°C per decade.
If I made a 30% error in my work, people would die and I would lose my job. But who cares about 30% when politics is involved?

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When corrected for the 10% smaller radiative forcing than Scenario B and the higher climate sensitivity in Hansen's models, his study projected the global warming over the ensuing 25 years almost perfectly.
"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future" Nobody doubts Mr Berra's famous truism. Prediction about the past, however, is ridiculously easy. If I had enough data, I could tell you what you had for breakfast yesterday. But would that convince anyone that I had the authority to tell you what to eat tomorrow? 
« Last Edit: 08/06/2016 20:21:58 by alancalverd »
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline agyejy

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Except for the atmosphere, where IPCC has admitted that the behavior of the water system is too complex to model, and no model has yet had any useful predictive value.

Surely you can point me to the exact document from the IPCC that says this.

Quote
If I made a 30% error in my work, people would die and I would lose my job. But who cares about 30% when politics is involved?

There is obviously a very big difference between what you do and statistical modeling of chaotic processes. For example, if you prove to a stock broker that you can predict the price of a stock to within a 30% margin or error that stock broker would basically throw money at you and you'd both get rich. What is important about climate modeling is not 100% accuracy (though being more accurate is nice) but rather reproduction of trends. That 30% error is not large enough to say that the warming trend isn't happening nor is it large enough to invalidate the conclusion that humans are the cause.

Quote
"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future" Nobody doubts Mr Berra's famous truism. Prediction about the past, however, is ridiculously easy. If I had enough data, I could tell you what you had for breakfast yesterday. But would that convince anyone that I had the authority to tell you what to eat tomorrow?

If you developed a reasonable physical model using the past data and validated it by making predictions about the future that are later validated (which climate scientists have done) then yes clearly you've got a model worth listening too. But actually what we're discussing now is not actually predictions about the future. Right now we're discussing the validity of physical models and the interpretation of the models. Specifically the climate models we are discussing are not evidence for human caused global warming because they predict the future. They are evidence for human caused global warming because they accurately model the historical recorded using the physical processes that clearly indicate humans have caused the change in climate.

Even if you do not believe the future predictions of the climate models and even if the future predictions are not 100% accurate that does not change the fact that the physical modeling of the past proves humans have caused the observed climate change. Given that we are currently changing the climate and that the changes have the potential to be very harmful (even if you think the chances are small) to most of the planet we have a duty to attempt to mitigate our impact on the climate despite our inability to make 100% accurate predictions about the future. The regulation of carcinogens is a prime example of this principle in action. Even given data on the exposure of a population to a carcinogen we cannot accurately predict which individuals will get cancer nor when. However, based on verified physical models and past data we know that the presence of that carcinogen has the potential to be harmful.

Also none of your points above address the very simple fact that we've directly measured an imbalance in infrared radiation entering and leaving the upper atmosphere that matches the energy needed to explain the observed temperature increases. The only possible reason for this imbalance is the greenhouse effect and the only significant source of new greenhouse gasses is human activity. Even if you disagree with the climate models we've now directly measured the greenhouse effect in action.

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Offline Bored chemist

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To Bored Chemist,

It would be really nice to know what it would take in your case.

As I have said before, The first step would be to explain how adding CO2 didn't cause warming.
It's a greenhouse gas.
You would need to explain how it somehow didn't raise the temperature.

Nobody yet has got close to doing that.

BTW, Alan, Maggie destroyed the mining industry because the unions were a strong voice opposing hers. It had nothing to do with climate change.

Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
If you find that fluorescent lights are toxic, I suggest that you stop eating them.

So data from the world showing that it was not warming would not do it.???

If it got colder would that do it?

If the IPCC's predictions were narrowed down to the low end of the range at which there is almost no cause for concearn would you then think there was nothing to worry about?

You see I am not trying to disprove the science of IR absorption I just want to know what level of warming is OK and how you would get to that position.


Well, since the world is warming  that's an entirely irrelevant question
But, since I'm debating climate change with someone who doesn't want to believe in it, I guess I have to put things like that to one side.
After all, it's only a fact.

OK, so the answer to your question is simple.
Even f the world were getting colder the effect of CO2 would still be to raise the temperature and that's warming.
If some external effect- perhaps God built a really big deep freeze or something- overruled that effect it wouldn't mean the effect wasn't there.
So, mankind 's actions would still be warming.


Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Bored chemist

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We know that, but the trick is to get the population to believe that what she did was a Good Thing. The UK now sits on about 200 years' supply of coal that cannot be mined safely or economically, ever. If were was no mitigating factor, the Conservative party would be unelectable, and we can't have that, can we? 


Quote
Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
I used to heat my kitchen with 500W of tungsten lighting. When I replaced the bulbs with CFLs, I had to install bigger radiators to make up the deficit. Trouble is that the radiators heated the walls and windows, whereas the lamps used to heat the people, so the net efficiency decreased. I've no objection to CFL and LED lighting where heating is undesirable and long life is essential, but it would be nice to have an efficient ceiling-mounted radiant heater again!   

Apropos your main point, however, the earth's climate is such a complex system that, even though it is scientifically obvious that CO2 is not a significant driver, it would be very difficult to produce a realistic and predictive model based on water, the major greenhouse gas.  The only way to convince anyone who isn't impressed by simple physics (i.e. most people) is to wait until the temperature starts to decrease whilst CO2 remains constant or increases. By that time, however, I'm sure everyone will have lost interest and a bigger bogeyman will be foisted upon the taxpayer.. It's worth remembering that income tax, believed by most people to be as essential as DNA, was actually introduced as a temporary measure to pay for the Napoleonic Wars. How short the public memory....

"We know that, but the trick is to get the population to believe that what she did was a Good Thing. The UK now sits on about 200 years' supply of coal that cannot be mined safely or economically, ever. If were was no mitigating factor, the Conservative party would be unelectable, and we can't have that, can we? "
The lie told at the time was that UK coal was too expensive.
It wasn't true then; it isn't true now and it has nothing to do with climate change since it was done when people were not really looking at that.

Maggie did not say "we have to close the pits because of global warming".
So you are posting a red herring.
Please stop doing so.

"I used to heat my kitchen with 500W of tungsten lighting. When I replaced the bulbs with CFLs, I had to install bigger radiators to make up the deficit. Trouble is that the radiators heated the walls and windows, whereas the lamps used to heat the people,"
To exactly the extent that the light didn't shine on the walls- i.e. zero.
That claim just doesn't stack up with the laws of physics.
However, if you really want to "keep the faith" buy some halogen lamps and burn half a KW heating the room (it won't work unless the room is uncommonly well lagged- but why let reality get in the way) .

In the meantime, perhaps you could look at the cost of a KWHr of electricity, and the same energy from gas.
Feel free to use the energy that's more expensive- but don't blame the government for encouraging people not to join you in that folly.

"Apropos your main point, however, the earth's climate is such a complex system that, even though it is scientifically obvious that CO2 is not a significant driver"
It is neither obvious, nor scientific.
And for what it's worth, you have made no attempt to show that it's even true.

You seem to be as guilty of "slight of hand" as the governments you criticise.
Now I agree with you that they are playing silly buggers with just about everything, but occasionally they get irt right . AGW is one of those (though it took long enough)
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Bored chemist

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We know that, but the trick is to get the population to believe that what she did was a Good Thing. The UK now sits on about 200 years' supply of coal that cannot be mined safely or economically, ever. If were was no mitigating factor, the Conservative party would be unelectable, and we can't have that, can we? 


Quote
Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
I used to heat my kitchen with 500W of tungsten lighting. When I replaced the bulbs with CFLs, I had to install bigger radiators to make up the deficit. Trouble is that the radiators heated the walls and windows, whereas the lamps used to heat the people, so the net efficiency decreased. I've no objection to CFL and LED lighting where heating is undesirable and long life is essential, but it would be nice to have an efficient ceiling-mounted radiant heater again!   

Apropos your main point, however, the earth's climate is such a complex system that, even though it is scientifically obvious that CO2 is not a significant driver, it would be very difficult to produce a realistic and predictive model based on water, the major greenhouse gas.  The only way to convince anyone who isn't impressed by simple physics (i.e. most people) is to wait until the temperature starts to decrease whilst CO2 remains constant or increases. By that time, however, I'm sure everyone will have lost interest and a bigger bogeyman will be foisted upon the taxpayer.. It's worth remembering that income tax, believed by most people to be as essential as DNA, was actually introduced as a temporary measure to pay for the Napoleonic Wars. How short the public memory....

"We know that, but the trick is to get the population to believe that what she did was a Good Thing. The UK now sits on about 200 years' supply of coal that cannot be mined safely or economically, ever. If were was no mitigating factor, the Conservative party would be unelectable, and we can't have that, can we? "
The lie told at the time was that UK coal was too expensive.
It wasn't true then; it isn't true now and it has nothing to do with climate change since it was done when people were not really looking at that.

Maggie did not say "we have to close the pits because of global warming".
So you are posting a red herring.
Please stop doing so.

"I used to heat my kitchen with 500W of tungsten lighting. When I replaced the bulbs with CFLs, I had to install bigger radiators to make up the deficit. Trouble is that the radiators heated the walls and windows, whereas the lamps used to heat the people,"
To exactly the extent that the light didn't shine on the walls- i.e. zero.
That claim just doesn't stack up with the laws of physics.
However, if you really want to "keep the faith" buy some halogen lamps and burn half a KW heating the room (it won't work unless the room is uncommonly well lagged- but why let reality get in the way) .

In the meantime, perhaps you could look at the cost of a KWHr of electricity, and the same energy from gas.
Feel free to use the energy that's more expensive- but don't blame the government for encouraging people not to join you in that folly.

"Apropos your main point, however, the earth's climate is such a complex system that, even though it is scientifically obvious that CO2 is not a significant driver"
It is neither obvious, nor scientific.
And for what it's worth, you have made no attempt to show that it's even true.

You seem to be as guilty of "slight of hand" as the governments you criticise.
Now I agree with you that they are playing silly buggers with just about everything, but occasionally they get irt right . AGW is one of those (though it took long enough)

Curious how True Believers keep asserting that skeptics deny the obvious.

Climate is changing - fact. Climate always has changed - fact. Most of these changes occurred long before industrialisation - fact. Which makes the hypothesis of significant anthropogenically-driven change just a teeny bit unlikely.
Did you expect that we wouldn't notice that this bit "Which makes the hypothesis of significant anthropogenically-driven change just a teeny bit unlikely." is a non sequitur?
So, re. "Curious how True Believers keep asserting that skeptics deny the obvious. "
That you deny the obvious isn't the big problem
I'm saying you have to rely on logical fallacies (like that non sequitur) to try to support your viewpoint.
And if your viewpoint is only supported by fallacies, then your viewpoint is wrong.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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Quote from: Tim the Plumber
Given it has not caused any trouble so far

I think your question is based on a false premise.
- In our part of the world, coral bleaching is a problem.
- In the Champagne valley, their climate has moved to the south of England (but they won't tell you that).
- There are a number of species that are being pushed to extinction by being pushed to the edge of their habitat.
- There have been some rather destructive hurricanes in coastal USA.

None of these individual events can be blamed with 100% certainty on human-induced climate change.
- But if human-induced climate change increases the severity of hurricanes by 10%, by the time there are 10 hurricanes, you could say that one of them is caused by humans.
- The El Nino cycle contributes to coral bleaching - but the bleaching is worse by 1K due to the action of humans
- Habitat destruction and fragmentation contributes to extinctions. But it is climate change that pushes the species out of the end of their nature reserve

If there had been the warming expected/predicted by the IPCC/hockey stick and this had produced the increase in hurricanes and other storms as predicted I would agree that there were problems with a warmer earth.

But, it has not warmed up as so predicted. There have been less hurricanes.

I like the fact that the climate of the Champaign region is not in Southern England. One day I hope it is warm enough that they can grow the sort of grapes that the Romans did around York. Today they manage some few very hardy ones but the Romans used to use their onld style ones to produce good quality wine. Around York!

The few species which depend upon alpine or arctic habitats will manage as they have in all the other periods of earths warmer times, I expect.

These are not at all reasons to continue to kill at least 10 million people per year through artifical food prices due to using food as fuel. These are not reasons to destroy our industries and create unnecessary ecconomic problems.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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Curious how True Believers keep asserting that skeptics deny the obvious. But the essence of faith is, of course, acceptance of a hypothesis in the face of the facts.

Climate is changing - fact. Climate always has changed - fact. Most of these changes occurred long before industrialisation - fact. Which makes the hypothesis of significant anthropogenically-driven change just a teeny bit unlikely.

Nevertheless we press on and create models based on recent data. The only reliable global data is from 1970 onwards though we have some reasonably good urban data from 1930. Then it turns out that the only way we can make this recent historic data fit the anthropogenic model is to "correct" the data, and even then, the model isn't usefully predictive - fact.

So we make broad-brush statements about "never in recorded history" and suchlike. Until we find 500-year-old bromeliads under a retreating glacier. Unless you accept that they were put there by the Devil to confuse unbelievers, the only rational explanation is that the glacier wasn't there 500 years ago - fact. 

All of which suggests that climate change is real (which we knew already) but probably not significantly anthropogenic. That's science, not faith.

And then we get called deniers.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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There is obviously a very big difference between what you do and statistical modeling of chaotic processes. For example, if you prove to a stock broker that you can predict the price of a stock to within a 30% margin or error that stock broker would basically throw money at you and you'd both get rich. What is important about climate modeling is not 100% accuracy (though being more accurate is nice) but rather reproduction of trends. That 30% error is not large enough to say that the warming trend isn't happening nor is it large enough to invalidate the conclusion that humans are the cause.

I recon I can manage to predict almost all stock prices to that margin 2 years into the future no problem. 95%+ hit rate.

Your lack of understanding of the world is frightening.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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To Bored Chemist,

It would be really nice to know what it would take in your case.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=67101.msg489452;topicseen#new
As I have said before, The first step would be to explain how adding CO2 didn't cause warming.
It's a greenhouse gas.
You would need to explain how it somehow didn't raise the temperature.

Nobody yet has got close to doing that.

BTW, Alan, Maggie destroyed the mining industry because the unions were a strong voice opposing hers. It had nothing to do with climate change.

Also, speaking out in favour of a century old technology that's 97% inefficient is "interesting".
If you find that fluorescent lights are toxic, I suggest that you stop eating them.

So data from the world showing that it was not warming would not do it.???

If it got colder would that do it?

If the IPCC's predictions were narrowed down to the low end of the range at which there is almost no cause for concearn would you then think there was nothing to worry about?

You see I am not trying to disprove the science of IR absorption I just want to know what level of warming is OK and how you would get to that position.


Well, since the world is warming  that's an entirely irrelevant question
But, since I'm debating climate change with someone who doesn't want to believe in it, I guess I have to put things like that to one side.
After all, it's only a fact.

OK, so the answer to your question is simple.
Even f the world were getting colder the effect of CO2 would still be to raise the temperature and that's warming.
If some external effect- perhaps God built a really big deep freeze or something- overruled that effect it wouldn't mean the effect wasn't there.
So, mankind 's actions would still be warming.

I fully understand you. And I don't dispute you.

I am asking, not really as a science focus but as a public policy focus, what level of warming is OK for humanity and thus what amount of evaisive action we should do?

Is the sacrifice of at least 10 million people per year from unecessary hunger related diseases due to the increase of food prices by 70% because of us using food to mkae fuel OK or an over reaction to a none problem?

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Offline agyejy

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I recon I can manage to predict almost all stock prices to that margin 2 years into the future no problem. 95%+ hit rate.

Your lack of understanding of the world is frightening.


1) I'm not sure why you think that I think such a feat is impossible. Depending on the length of time over which you want to predict the price you can actually do better than that with a decent machine learning algorithm and training data set. This is why financial institutions have been recruiting form physical science departments for years. Students of the physical science generally have an appropriate grasp of the required mathematics and experience solving real world problems. They get paid extremely well as long as they produce results.

2) I doubt you were thinking of using machine learning to make your predictions (I could be wrong) in which case you're going to fare a lot worse than you think you will. Our brains have evolved to trick us into believing we are more knowledgeable than we actually are. I'm not saying that you specifically wouldn't do as good as you think because of some inherent personal failing. It really is an objectively verifiable issue with all human brains.

3) You (and possible me to some extent) have stretched the analogy too far. Climate is a thing that happens over decades not days or months. If you trace back the quote string you'll find that the prediction in question was one that covered about 25 years. If you could predict stock prices for 2 decades with the same precision you would be on a whole other level from the guys predicting the stock market today. The current state of stock prediction more closely resembles weather forecasting than climate science.

4) Your final sentence was unnecessary in order to make your point and seems to serve no other purpose aside from attempting to make me angry. I politely request that your refrain from doing that in the future and I will do my best to do so as well. I suggest a cursory reread of your future posts specifically on the lookout for any similarly unnecessary sentences.

Is the sacrifice of at least 10 million people per year from unecessary hunger related diseases due to the increase of food prices by 70% because of us using food to mkae fuel OK or an over reaction to a none problem?

This is not a thing that anyone advocates nor is it a thing anyone will actually let happen (at least in the long term). Pretty much every (with some exceptions) revolution can be traced back to increases in food prices. It is well known that when wheat prices climb so does global unrest. No political establishment would last for very long under the pressure that such a policy would create.

Beyond that there are many alternatives to food crops for fuel. Much progress has been made with algae and other microbes that produce byproducts that can almost be used as fuel without processing. There is also a massive amount of wasted food (especially in the US) that could be used. There are also other sources of waste plant matter (mostly inedible grasses) that with a little work could be used.

Of course the very fact that we don't perfectly understand the climate is exactly why we should do everything in our power to stop influencing it. Even if the really bad things don't happen for 50-100 years we should still make an effort to avoid them now because it will only get harder in the future and the burden will be placed on our children and their children.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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I recon I can manage to predict almost all stock prices to that margin 2 years into the future no problem. 95%+ hit rate.

Your lack of understanding of the world is frightening.


1) I'm not sure why you think that I think such a feat is impossible. Depending on the length of time over which you want to predict the price you can actually do better than that with a decent machine learning algorithm and training data set. This is why financial institutions have been recruiting form physical science departments for years. Students of the physical science generally have an appropriate grasp of the required mathematics and experience solving real world problems. They get paid extremely well as long as they produce results.

2) I doubt you were thinking of using machine learning to make your predictions (I could be wrong) in which case you're going to fare a lot worse than you think you will. Our brains have evolved to trick us into believing we are more knowledgeable than we actually are. I'm not saying that you specifically wouldn't do as good as you think because of some inherent personal failing. It really is an objectively verifiable issue with all human brains.

3) You (and possible me to some extent) have stretched the analogy too far. Climate is a thing that happens over decades not days or months. If you trace back the quote string you'll find that the prediction in question was one that covered about 25 years. If you could predict stock prices for 2 decades with the same precision you would be on a whole other level from the guys predicting the stock market today. The current state of stock prediction more closely resembles weather forecasting than climate science.

4) Your final sentence was unnecessary in order to make your point and seems to serve no other purpose aside from attempting to make me angry. I politely request that your refrain from doing that in the future and I will do my best to do so as well. I suggest a cursory reread of your future posts specifically on the lookout for any similarly unnecessary sentences.

Is the sacrifice of at least 10 million people per year from unecessary hunger related diseases due to the increase of food prices by 70% because of us using food to mkae fuel OK or an over reaction to a none problem?

This is not a thing that anyone advocates nor is it a thing anyone will actually let happen (at least in the long term). Pretty much every (with some exceptions) revolution can be traced back to increases in food prices. It is well known that when wheat prices climb so does global unrest. No political establishment would last for very long under the pressure that such a policy would create.

Beyond that there are many alternatives to food crops for fuel. Much progress has been made with algae and other microbes that produce byproducts that can almost be used as fuel without processing. There is also a massive amount of wasted food (especially in the US) that could be used. There are also other sources of waste plant matter (mostly inedible grasses) that with a little work could be used.

Of course the very fact that we don't perfectly understand the climate is exactly why we should do everything in our power to stop influencing it. Even if the really bad things don't happen for 50-100 years we should still make an effort to avoid them now because it will only get harder in the future and the burden will be placed on our children and their children.

You said;

Quote
Quote from: agyejy on 08/06/2016 21:27:36

    There is obviously a very big difference between what you do and statistical modeling of chaotic processes. For example, if you prove to a stock broker that you can predict the price of a stock to within a 30% margin or error that stock broker would basically throw money at you and you'd both get rich. What is important about climate modeling is not 100% accuracy (though being more accurate is nice) but rather reproduction of trends. That 30% error is not large enough to say that the warming trend isn't happening nor is it large enough to invalidate the conclusion that humans are the cause.

I said that that would be easy. For me; a plumber without any complex maths or indeed any particular knowledge about stocks or specific companies.

Today as a result of the artifical price of basic food being 70% higher due than it should be at least 10 million people a year are dying unnecessarily from hunger related causes. Personally I cannot see it being nearly so low as that.

How does a starving Nigerian or Indian sleeping on the street change Western Government policy? How would they manage to have such a revolution?

I say again your lack of understanding of the world is deeply frightening.

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Offline agyejy

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I said that that would be easy. For me; a plumber without any complex maths or indeed any particular knowledge about stocks or specific companies.

Again your belief that you can do that is simply a result of the way the human brain convinces itself it knows more than it actually does. It is called the illusion of knowledge. You should really watch the video in the link I provided. But really it should be obvious that what you claim is impossible because if it was possible financial companies wouldn't spend what must be at least millions of dollars on analysing stock prices with mathematics. The best machine learning algorithm I could find with a search claimed about 75% accuracy in stock price about 75% of the time but only out to a year.

Quote
Today as a result of the artifical price of basic food being 70% higher due than it should be at least 10 million people a year are dying unnecessarily from hunger related causes. Personally I cannot see it being nearly so low as that.

Where is your proof of this claim? Specifically where is your proof that the increased price of food is directly caused by biofuels (remembering that correlation is not causation) and not something else like say changes in climate or higher oil prices impacting the cost of transportation or even food market speculation via financial institutions.

Quote
How does a starving Nigerian or Indian sleeping on the street change Western Government policy? How would they manage to have such a revolution?

I say again your lack of understanding of the world is deeply frightening.


For starters India is self sufficient in terms of food staples and Nigeria was self sufficient until a civil war (which means it could be self sufficient again in the future but that's not really important). As harsh as it sounds any food problems those two countries face is largely the fault of their governments. That isn't to say that the world shouldn't do it's best to help them. However, their problems have absolutely nothing to do with biofuels.

The two most important crops for exportation are rice and wheat and for both of these crops the waste they produce that humans can't eat (the husks) are the only things used to produce biofuels. So for the two most important food crops in the world a biofuel initiative would actually subsidize increased planting and a lowering of prices. The only places where biofuel initiatives really compete with human use is soybeans which mostly just impacts vegetable oils and corn which can potentially become a problem but mostly for places that make things like tortillas (the Mexican tortilla riots being a good example). Care should be taken with policies centered around these crops but they generally don't impact that much of the world as a whole.

Of course if biofuel use ever created a significant shortage in food and a drastic price increase it would be immediately followed by riots. This has happened in the past for food price increases related to natural events like droughts. It is often said the Arab Spring was significantly influenced by food prices. If the government of a nation undergoing riots could directly link the cause of those riots (food prices) to the policies of another nation (biofuels) they would do so very loudly and in public which would result in intense pressure to change those policies. That is how global politics works.

In short the global food economy has many issues but currently biofuels isn't one of them. Generally speaking there are issues with poor land and water use, transportation prices, speculation on crop prices via financial firms, and probably most importantly changing weather patterns and climatic conditions that are impacting how much and what can be grown in many regions. The land and water use issues are problems for the governments of individual countries. The financial firm and climate issues are a problem that must be addressed primarily by first world nations. Transportation prices are mostly uncontrollable. Biofuels simply aren't being produced on a level that is impacting food prices for staple crops like rice and wheat and biofuels are actually likely to help decrease the price of rice and wheat by allowing farmers to sell the waste produced by those crops as only the waste is used to make fuels.

And again I repeat:

Your final sentence was unnecessary in order to make your point and seems to serve no other purpose aside from attempting to make me angry. I politely request that your refrain from doing that in the future and I will do my best to do so as well. I suggest a cursory reread of your future posts specifically on the lookout for any similarly unnecessary sentences.

I would also add that when you expressed distaste in the use of the word denier I apologized for my use of the term and ceased using it. I showed you respect and I would appreciate if you would reciprocate. If you are not even reasonable enough to comply with such a simple request after I complied with a similar one from you I have no choice but to conclude that you're simply not a reasonable person.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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I will make this simple;

1, Predicting stock prices is easy for most stocks (by value) as most of them, the big ones, the blue chip companies where most of the money is, are fairly stable. So the price of them is easy to predict.

Being better at it than the rest of humanity is not easy.


2, http://www.dw.com/en/jean-ziegler-biofuels-a-big-cause-of-famine/a-16775009

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Jean Ziegler: The mechanisms that cause death by starvation are all human-caused reasons. The main reason for this daily massacre is speculation on the food market. Half of the global population lives in cities, where food is not produced. According to World Bank data, 1.2 billion humans are "extremely poor." If the corn price were to explode again, like it did in the past two years by 63 percent, then these people will die because they cannot pay these prices.

It's very clear to anybody who is willing to think it through.

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Offline agyejy

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1, Predicting stock prices is easy for most stocks (by value) as most of them, the big ones, the blue chip companies where most of the money is, are fairly stable. So the price of them is easy to predict.

Being better at it than the rest of humanity is not easy.

You can predict trends to some degree but not accurate values. Stock prices are far more volatile than you believe they are. Also, your initial statement was that you could predict "almost all" stock prices and now you're limiting it to the relative small minority that make up most of the value. Basically now you're just saying it isn't hard to predict the value of a stock exchange as a whole with some accuracy and that is roughly correct but vastly different than my original statement and your original response.

2, http://www.dw.com/en/jean-ziegler-biofuels-a-big-cause-of-famine/a-16775009

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Jean Ziegler: The mechanisms that cause death by starvation are all human-caused reasons. The main reason for this daily massacre is speculation on the food market. Half of the global population lives in cities, where food is not produced. According to World Bank data, 1.2 billion humans are "extremely poor." If the corn price were to explode again, like it did in the past two years by 63 percent, then these people will die because they cannot pay these prices.

Well to start with you seem to have missed some very important points in that article:

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Jean Ziegler: The mechanisms that cause death by starvation are all human-caused reasons. The main reason for this daily massacre is speculation on the food market.


That is to say more than anything speculation is primary reason for starvation.

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Then there is the price dumping. In Africa, vegetables - whether Greek, German, Portuguese or French - are sold for as little as half as much as the African products. And though the African farmer may labor away hard, he doesn't have the faintest chance of receiving a fair wage if he tries to compete.

So it's really economic interests that allow the population to go poor?

Of course, that's predatory capitalism for you.

And what role do politicians play?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and Education Minister Luc Chatel, right, talk with pupils of the Francois Couperin College in Paris, in the classroom of their school, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the day after a gunman on a motorbike opened fire at a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, southwestern France. Hundreds of police blanketed southern France on Tuesday, searching for a gunman, possibly a racist, anti-Semitic serial killer, who killed four people at a Jewish school and may have filmed his attack.

Ziegler says France's former President Nicolas Sarkozy was powerless against multinationals
Sovereignty, the normative strength of the state, melts away like a snowman in spring against this. The ten largest multinational food companies controlled 85 percent of all food traded in the world last year. These companies have power that kings, emperors or popes never had. They are beyond any social control.

A little anecdote: Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French President, said on French television on October 8, 2011 that at the upcoming G20 summit at the beginning of November in Cannes, food speculation would be banned. Then the summit occurred and there wasn't a word of this in the final report. What had happened? In the meantime, of course, the food companies had intervened. They said that any prohibition like this would be an unfair interference in the free market and the heads of state of the industrial world capitulated.

In short the biggest problem is definitely large food corporations and not biofuels. If large corporations weren't price dumping then local farmers could actually support themselves and their nation and if speculation was outlawed food prices would be much more stable.

Beyond that we actually have no way of knowing how many of those 1.2 billion people actually depend on corn for food. Most people actually depend on rice and wheat instead. In general most corn (about 90%) grown in the US isn't fit for humans to eat and US farmers have historically overproduced demand. That overproduction has been the cause of many farm subsidies in the US and only recently has ethanol even started to make a dent in this overproduction. Of course since this is excess corn no one wanted in the first place it doesn't really impact prices much when someone does buy it but it does help lessen subsidies. Also, yield per acre in the US has been steadily increasing since basically the start of farming. This won't continue forever but it does help meet demand while minimizing prices. Furthermore we don't know how many of those people that do depend on corn buy it from the US (though it's probably a large portion). Then there is the possibility that they'll simply buy the next cheapest food to survive (though this won't be possible for everyone). Therefore it is inaccurate to state the whole 1.2 billion would starve just because corn prices increase.

Finally, as I have previously mentioned there is a serious effort to use non-food sources for ethanol. Everything from bacteria to crop waste that we have to discard anyway. So while there is a point to be made in limiting the amount of food crop that gets used for biofuels that isn't a reason to give up on biofuels and label them as killing people via famine. It is entirely possible to be against the unlimited use of food crops to produce biofuels (which is the stance of basically anyone serious about biofuel policy) without being against biofuels. The things that are really killing people via famine are food corporations and changes in climate.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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http://www.commondreams.org/views/2007/11/06/western-appetite-biofuels-causing-starvation-poor-world

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It doesn't get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty per cent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava. The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the district of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought. It would surely be quicker and more humane to refine the Swazi people and put them in our tanks. Doubtless a team of development consultants is already doing the sums.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2007-05-01/how-biofuels-could-starve-poor

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The enormous volume of corn required by the ethanol industry is sending shock waves through the food system. (The United States accounts for some 40 percent of the world's total corn production and over half of all corn exports.) In March 2007, corn futures rose to over $4.38 a bushel, the highest level in ten years. Wheat and rice prices have also surged to decade highs, because even as those grains are increasingly being used as substitutes for corn, farmers are planting more acres with corn and fewer acres with other crops.

https://www.actionaid.org.uk/food-not-fuel/the-problem-with-biofuels

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Meeting existing European biofuel targets would push the price of some crops up by as much as a third. For poor families in the developing world who have to spend up to 80% of their income on food, even a small rise in the price of staple foods is catastrophic.

It must be conforting to be able to stick your fingers in your ears and say LaLaLaLa....

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Offline agyejy

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http://www.commondreams.org/views/2007/11/06/western-appetite-biofuels-causing-starvation-poor-world

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It doesn't get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty per cent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava. The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the district of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought. It would surely be quicker and more humane to refine the Swazi people and put them in our tanks. Doubtless a team of development consultants is already doing the sums.

2007 is a pretty long time ago in terms of politics. Also of note:

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This is one of many examples of a trade that was described last month by Jean Ziegler, the UN's special rapporteur, as "a crime against humanity". Ziegler took up the call first made by this column for a five-year moratorium on all government targets and incentives for biofuel: the trade should be frozen until second-generation fuels - made from wood or straw or waste - become commercially available. Otherwise, the superior purchasing power of drivers in the rich world means that they will snatch food from people's mouths.

Which sounds an awful lot like what I've already said in this thread. And this:

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The cost of rice has risen by 20% over the past year, maize by 50%, wheat by 100%. Biofuels aren't entirely to blame - by taking land out of food production they exacerbate the effects of bad harvests and rising demand - but almost all the major agencies are now warning against expansion.

Or as I said before the issue is far more complex than biofuels. Although being stupid about how you do biofuels is (no surprise here) stupid. But that isn't a biofuel problem that is a governance problem. It is interesting to note that:

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They turn away because biofuels offer a means of avoiding hard political choices. They create the impression that governments can cut carbon emissions and - as Ruth Kelly, the British transport secretary, announced last week - keep expanding the transport networks. New figures show that British drivers puttered past the 500bn kilometre mark for the first time last year. But it doesn't matter: we just have to change the fuel we use. No one has to be confronted. The demands of the motoring lobby and the business groups clamouring for new infrastructure can be met.

Or in other words if you elect scientifically minded people that actually understand the problem they would implement actual solutions that don't cause other problems.

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https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2007-05-01/how-biofuels-could-starve-poor

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The enormous volume of corn required by the ethanol industry is sending shock waves through the food system. (The United States accounts for some 40 percent of the world's total corn production and over half of all corn exports.) In March 2007, corn futures rose to over $4.38 a bushel, the highest level in ten years. Wheat and rice prices have also surged to decade highs, because even as those grains are increasingly being used as substitutes for corn, farmers are planting more acres with corn and fewer acres with other crops.

Again seems to be from 2007/2008 and also the title itself says could starve not is starving. I can't actually read the full article so I can't comment completely but some things stand out. The first is the use of the term corn futures. That is basically speculation on the price of corn which brings me back to the original point about controlling large food corporations. Additionally, the rising price of corn in 2006-2007 caused riots exactly as I said it would a led to international pressure to fix the problem which is exactly what happened. Of particular interest is what actually was responsible for the price increase and what was done to reverse it:

Tortilla Riots

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Meanwhile, corn-flour companies, whose product is used to make about 40 per cent of all tortillas in Mexico, promised to sell at no more than 5 pesos per kilo.

As Sergio Sarmiento, of Mexico’s Reforma newspaper, pointed out , 3.50 pesos per kilo was hardly a sacrifice for the large commercial grain merchants.

They had bought the corn at the equivalent of between 1.20 pesos and 1.45 pesos a kilo a few months before.

“If the purpose of storing the corn during those months was to make a tidy profit, they have already achieved it,” he said of the commercial buyers.

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Today, most people agree that an important inflationary factor was the large-scale corn buyers, which held back stocks to take advantage of rising prices.

The hoarding came to an end when the government decided to bring forward import quotas from the US. (The quotas were abolished for good in 2008 as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement.) “That scared the big buyers in Mexico, and they began selling their inventories again,” Mr de la Torre said.

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https://www.actionaid.org.uk/food-not-fuel/the-problem-with-biofuels

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Meeting existing European biofuel targets would push the price of some crops up by as much as a third. For poor families in the developing world who have to spend up to 80% of their income on food, even a small rise in the price of staple foods is catastrophic.

See the points above about prices being controlled more by large corporate price speculation and the push towards using waste or so called secondary sources.

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It must be conforting to be able to stick your fingers in your ears and say LaLaLaLa....

I never denied it couldn't be a problem or that it wasn't contributing to the problem at all. I argued it is currently a very minor contributor to the problem and really only exposes the terrible way corporations handle our food supply. Getting rid of biofuels isn't really going to change much. We need to focus on stopping speculation on crop prices by large corporate entities. The push to use second-generation biofuels is also a very good idea. Biofuels aren't inherently a bad idea. They can be done correctly and they can be done incorrectly. The correct response isn't doing nothing at all.

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Offline puppypower

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We can't measure the past with the same accuracy as the present. Nor do we have as much variety and quantity of data for the past as do for the present. The preponderance of data belongs to the present, making the present stand out, as being more.

One can demonstrate this trick of the mind, with a simple experiment. What you do is have a group of students use their cell phone cameras to record the birds and squirrels in a local park for one month. After they are done, and we compile all the pics, I will claim there are more birds in the park, now, than any other time in the history of that park. To support my claim, it will be able to show hundreds of pictures; hard data points. Whereas anyone saying my claim is ignorant, will not have anywhere near the same volume of support data. They will have to rely much more on anecdotal evidence and indirect data, which is easier to challenge.

If you took away all the funding going into manmade global warming, for one year, so there is very little hard data being collected, people would get the impression things are improving. Less bad news is good news. It is like if the media stopped pointing out flaws in political candidates, for one election cycle, one will get the impression the quality of the candidates has improved. It is all about data exposure and how the mind correlates more versus less.

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Offline IAMREALITY

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What would it take??  Hmmm, I guess a rock smashed into my head hard enough that it damaged my ability to have any critical thinking skills and caused enough brain damage that my thoughts were no longer logically sound and I became a total ignoramus that was oblivious to the mountains of facts before me, no matter how tall that stack got.

And hasn't yet caused any harm???  Yeah, whatever you say pal lmao

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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What would it take??  Hmmm, I guess a rock smashed into my head hard enough that it damaged my ability to have any critical thinking skills and caused enough brain damage that my thoughts were no longer logically sound and I became a total ignoramus that was oblivious to the mountains of facts before me, no matter how tall that stack got.

And hasn't yet caused any harm???  Yeah, whatever you say pal lmao

Any scientific hypothesis must be failable. That is the theory of gravity stops being true when you drop a rock and it does not accelerate towards the center of gravity of the earth.

If there is no failable test for you on this subject then you have abandoned any scientific thinking about it and are practicing a religion.

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Offline IAMREALITY

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Any scientific hypothesis...

No such requirement exists for scientific fact.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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Any scientific hypothesis...

No such requirement exists for scientific fact.

Yes it does. A fact is that untill shown to be wrong.

Newton's laws of motion were facts untill they were shown to be wrong by the orbit of Mercury. It took Einestein to sort that out.

If you have no criteria for failure, no failable test, for you pretty theory it's not science.

If the world's temperature falls by 0.5c over the next 10 years would that cause you to reconsider?

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Offline IAMREALITY

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Any scientific hypothesis...

No such requirement exists for scientific fact.

Yes it does. A fact is that untill shown to be wrong.

Newton's laws of motion were facts untill they were shown to be wrong by the orbit of Mercury. It took Einestein to sort that out.

If you have no criteria for failure, no failable test, for you pretty theory it's not science.

If the world's temperature falls by 0.5c over the next 10 years would that cause you to reconsider?


No, a fact doesn't have to be "failable" in order to be a fact.  That literally makes zero sense. 

And no, if the temperature falls in 10 years I would not reconsider in the slightest; since everyone knows climate change is a long term game with many other variables that can come into play.  Looking at it in the short term only would be an ignorant thing to do; much like the idiot trump standing there in the winter exclaiming how cold it is, and trying to use that as a knock against the concept of climate change because obviously the planet can't be warming; or at risk of warming, merely because it was cold.  So no, I would not change my opinion on the plethora of facts surrounding climate change, merely because global temperatures dropped in the next 10 years.  Furthermore, many unforeseen things can happen that end up affecting the degrees of climate change or whatever, as there are so many variables.  But even if those things occurred it wouldn't mean that man-made effects on climate weren't in fact real.  Like I've said, they've been proven to be real with mountains of evidence so high it isn't even funny.  We've most definitely had an impact on the global climate and if unforeseen events don't happen, and we continue on the current trajectory, it will definitely have devastating effects.  But even if the outcome turns out to not be as severe, even if certain things happened that caused the planet to not undergo as significant changes as are predicted, it still would not mean that human activity didn't have an impact.  Like I've said, there are mountains upon mountains of evidence that establish as solid fact that we have.  So like I said, and will not change my answer on, in order for me to reject that I'd have to be hit pretty hard in the head by a rock and it would need to cause significant brain damage, to the point I completely lost my critical thinking skills and objectivity.  That is my answer and it will not change.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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Obviously human activity has an impact on the rest of the world.

This includes climate.

Obviously human activity generally has caused some warming of the world.

These things are not the thrust of this thread.

I would like to know what it would take for you to change your opinion from "human activity will cause a climate catastrophy" to "not that much to worry about, the warming effect of human produced CO2 is small".

The bottom end of the IPCC's predictions are in line with a business as usual scenario. The temperature rise since these predictions came out has been below the bottom of these numbers.

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Offline agyejy

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The temperature rise since these predictions came out has been below the bottom of these numbers.

You are going to need to source this claim.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/ipcc-global-warming-projections.htm

Quote from: The Link
The figure below from the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report compares the global surface warming projections made in the 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007 IPCC reports to the temperature measurements.




IPCC AR5 Figure 1.4. Solid lines and squares represent measured average global surface temperature changes by NASA (blue), NOAA (yellow), and the UK Hadley Centre (green). The colored shading shows the projected range of surface warming in the IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR; yellow), Second (SAR; green), Third (TAR; blue), and Fourth (AR4; red).


Since 1990, global surface temperatures have warmed at a rate of about 0.15°C per decade, within the range of model projections of about 0.10 to 0.35°C per decade. As the IPCC notes,

"global climate models generally simulate global temperatures that compare well with observations over climate timescales ... The 1990–2012 data have been shown to be consistent with the [1990 IPCC report] projections, and not consistent with zero trend from 1990 ... the trend in globally-averaged surface temperatures falls within the range of the previous IPCC projections."

What about the Naysayers?
In the weeks and months leading up to the publication of the final 2013 IPCC report, there has been a flood of opinion articles in blogs and the mainstream media claiming that the models used by the IPCC have dramatically over-predicted global warming and thus are a failure. This narrative clearly conflicts with the IPCC model-data comparison figure shown above, so what's going on?

These mistaken climate contrarian articles have all suffered from some combination of the following errors.

1) Publicizing the flawed draft IPCC model-data comparison figure
Late last year, an early draft of the IPCC report was leaked, including the first draft version of the figure shown above. The first version of the graph had some flaws, including a significant one immediately noted by statistician and climate blogger Tamino.

"The flaw is this: all the series (both projections and observations) are aligned at 1990. But observations include random year-to-year fluctuations, whereas the projections do not because the average of multiple models averages those out ... the projections should be aligned to the value due to the existing trend in observations at 1990.

Aligning the projections with a single extra-hot year makes the projections seem too hot, so observations are too cool by comparison."

In the draft version of the IPCC figure, it was simply a visual illusion that the surface temperature data appeared to be warming less slowly than the model projections, even though the measured temperature trend fell within the range of model simulations. Obviously this mistake was subsequently corrected.

This illustrates why it's a bad idea to publicize material in draft form, which by definition is a work in progress.

2) Ignoring the range of model simulations
A single model run simulates just one possible future climate outcome. In reality, there are an infinite number of possible outcomes, depending on how various factors like greenhouse gas emissions and natural climate variability change. This is why climate modelers don't make predictions; they make projections, which say in scenario 'x', the climate will change in 'y' fashion. The shaded regions in the IPCC figure represent the range of outcomes from all of these individual climate model simulations.

The IPCC also illustrates the "multi-model mean," which averages together all of the individual model simulation runs. This average makes for an easy comparison with the observational data; however, there's no reason to believe the climate will follow that average path, especially in the short-term. If natural factors act to amplify human-caused global surface warming, as they did in the 1990s, the climate is likely to warm faster than the model average in the short-term. If natural factors act to dampen global surface warming, as they have in the 2000s, the climate is likely to warm more slowly than the model average.

When many model simulations are averaged together, the random natural variability in the individual model runs cancel out, and the steady human-caused global warming trend remains left over. But in reality the climate behaves like a single model simulation run, not like the average of all model runs.

This is why it's important to retain the shaded range of individual model runs.

3) Cherry Picking
Most claims that the IPCC models have failed are based on surface temperature changes over the past 15 years (1998–2012). During that period, temperatures have risen about 50 percent more slowly than the multi-model average, but have remained within the range of individual model simulation runs.

However, 1998 represented an abnormally hot year at the Earth's surface due to one of the strongest El Nińo events of the 20th century. Thus it represents a poor choice of a starting date to analyze the surface warming trend (selectively choosing convenient start and/or end points is also known as 'cherry picking'). For example, we can select a different 15-year period, 1992–2006, and find a surface warming trend nearly 50 percent faster than the multi-model average, as statistician Tamino helpfully illustrates in the figure below.



Global surface temperature data 1975–2012 from NASA with a linear trend (black), with trends for 1992–2006 (red) and 1998–2012 (blue).

In short, if climate contrarians weren't declaring that global surface warming was accelerating out of control in 2006, then he has no business declaring that global surface warming has 'paused' in 2013. Both statements are equally wrong, based on cherry picking noisy short-term data.

IPCC models have been accurate
For 1992–2006, the natural variability of the climate amplified human-caused global surface warming, while it dampened the surface warming for 1997–2012. Over the full period, the overall warming rate has remained within the range of IPCC model projections, as the 2013 IPCC report notes.

"The long-term climate model simulations show a trend in global-mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2012 that agrees with the observed trend (very high confidence). There are, however, differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012)."

The IPCC also notes that climate models have accurately simulated trends in extreme cold and heat, large-scale precipitation pattern changes, and ocean heat content (where most global warming goes). Models also now better simulate the Arctic sea ice decline, which they had previously dramatically underestimated.

All in all, the IPCC models do an impressive job accurately representing and projecting changes in the global climate, contrary to contrarian claims. In fact, the IPCC global surface warming projections have performed much better than predictions made by climate contrarians.

It's important to remember that weather predictions and climate predictions are very different. It's harder to predict the weather further into the future. With climate predictions, it's short-term variability (like unpredictable ocean cycles) that makes predictions difficult. They actually do better predicting climate changes several decades into the future, during which time the short-term fluctuations average out.

That's why climate models have a hard time predicting changes over 10–15 years, but do very well with predictions several decades into the future, as the IPCC illustrates. This is good news, because with climate change, it's these long-term changes we're worried about:


IPCC AR5 projected global average surface temperature changes in a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5; red) and low emissions scenario (RCP2.6; blue).

Intermediate rebuttal written by dana1981

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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Well we could have an argument about if the temperature has risen at all since 1998 or if it's too close to call because any rise is within the instrumentation error range but lets just say that there has been very little rise and try to move on.

What would it take for your opinion to become that we are looking at the lower end of the IPCC's predictions?


This is because there is definately nothing significant to worry about from those.

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Offline Bored chemist

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There is obviously a very big difference between what you do and statistical modeling of chaotic processes. For example, if you prove to a stock broker that you can predict the price of a stock to within a 30% margin or error that stock broker would basically throw money at you and you'd both get rich. What is important about climate modeling is not 100% accuracy (though being more accurate is nice) but rather reproduction of trends. That 30% error is not large enough to say that the warming trend isn't happening nor is it large enough to invalidate the conclusion that humans are the cause.

I recon I can manage to predict almost all stock prices to that margin 2 years into the future no problem. 95%+ hit rate.

Your lack of understanding of the world is frightening.

Well, judging by the rate of progress of this thread, it will still be here in 2 years- so put your virtual money where your mouth is. Make those predictions.
Post them here and we will see how well you do.

If there had been the warming expected/predicted by the IPCC/hockey stick and this had produced the increase in hurricanes and other storms as predicted I would agree that there were problems with a warmer earth.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-weather-june-set-to-be-wettest-on-record-a7083371.html
I'm obviously not saying that 1 wet month proves much.But it's clear that the extremes are getting more common (and they should get rarer as the historical record grows)
And then we get called deniers.
Well,when you post to say that the weather isn't changing, but it clearly is, what term would you prefer?
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline puppypower

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That's not even remotely how logical inference works nor does it address the very real differences between the changes predicted for natural climatic process vs the changes we are currently seeing. One of the clearest signs of the greenhouse effect is that the upper levels of the atmosphere are cooling as the atmosphere near the surface warms. The only thing that can account for this is increased heat retention via greenhouse gasses and the greenhouse gas that is most clearly increasing is CO2 and the only new source of CO2 is humans. The fact that climate has changed in the past in no way counters that argument not the least of which because it complete ignores the differences in the changes we are seeing now from natural changes.

The only real way to know if the present changes in climate and temperature, are due to manmade influences, is to compare the current trends, to another warming trend from the distant past, using all the criteria that Agyejy presented in his long list of graphs.

For example, about 1000 years ago Europe was unusually warm. If we had all the same graphs, such a upper atmosphere temperature, ocean temperatures, that Agyejy presented, full of hard data from 1000 years ago, we could establish a baseline for all the same criteria. With this historical baseline, we would be see if there is more than one way to create climate change and global warming, so we can factor that out. The problem is, we don't have the same level of data, from 1000 years ago, that we have for today. There is no good way to establish a hard data baseline for all these criteria. If these are all connected, into an integrated system, you need to know all of them to get a baseline.

The problem that the lack of a good baseline creates, is like doing analytic chemistry with a mass spectrometer that is not calibrated against any known tangible standards. Instead we will speculate standards, based on theory. Optically, even if your instrument is not properly calibrate, you can still go through all the motions of science. You can put on the lab coat and generate data. You can see  peaks, you can analyze the data, etc. However, none of your claim will hold up, if there is no calibration standard. Theory is not a calibration standard, since theory is an educated guess. I can guess that a meter stick is this long. How about I use that to establish the property lines between our houses? This is not the same as an official meter stick we can all trust. 

Picture if I had a scale, which is not calibrated. I don't know if it is high or low, or by how much. I can still go through all the motions and weigh things, and generate piles of data, so it looks like official science. If publishers does not care if there is an official standard we can publish all types of papers, because all other data collection is done on the up and up. But all the data can be high or low compared to the baseline of hard reality. If theory is sufficient to create this baseline, the shady merchant will zero his scale with a theory that is in his own favor, so he can get a better price. This is why hard data is used.

Would other branches of science be willing to use the same approach of not needing a tangible calibration standard? Instead should we let each branch of science theorize its own standards, based on the data it creates on the fly. Would the EPA allow this, if business did this before they discharge chemicals into lakes and streams?

Since we can't meet the large number of criteria modern science believes influences and reflects climate changes, for 1000 years ago, to create a baseline, the other option is to use the standards of the past; inference science, as the baseline and limit modern data collection to just the same things. This is not as fancy looking, and we would need to give up satellites all the fancy toys. But at least it will create a hard data baseline. Unfortunately, we can get a good baseline, or we can use fancy tools, but not both at the same time.
« Last Edit: 23/06/2016 13:05:22 by puppypower »

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Offline Jackm

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Good Question

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Offline Atkhenaken

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 Co2 levels have no effect on temperature.  Co2 properties are such that increasing CO2 doesn't automatically equate with a temperature rise. Once you reach saturation point of CO2, there are no further increases in temperature. Just like glass, if you increase the thickness of the glass in a green house, you wont necessarily increase the green house temperature.

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/4-carbon-dioxide-is-already-absorbing-almost-all-it-can/

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Offline alancalverd

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One very simple experiment is worth doing.

The mass of carbon dioxide above any point on the surface is equivalent to a column of pure CO2 just 8 feet high at 1 atmosphere pressure.

Build two "greenhouses" with heavily insulated sides 8 ft tall, and a flat roof of IR-transparent plastic - thin polyethlyene will do, as all it has to do is prevent gas escaping. Add a few horizontal sheets of polyethylene inside the greenhouse to ensure that convection is independent of the gas density. Cover the floor with sterile soil. Fill one greenhouse with carbon dioxide and the other with ordinary air at around 50% saturation. Then measure the temperature a couple of inches above the floor, every 5 minutes for a year.

The difference in mean temperatures represents the worst-case effect of doubling the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.     

Why has nobody published the result of such a simple test? It would be a lot cheaper and far more credible than faffing about with computer modelling of extremely dubious historic data. Perhaps that's the reason!
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Offline jeffreyH

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One very simple experiment is worth doing.

The mass of carbon dioxide above any point on the surface is equivalent to a column of pure CO2 just 8 feet high at 1 atmosphere pressure.

Build two "greenhouses" with heavily insulated sides 8 ft tall, and a flat roof of IR-transparent plastic - thin polyethlyene will do, as all it has to do is prevent gas escaping. Add a few horizontal sheets of polyethylene inside the greenhouse to ensure that convection is independent of the gas density. Cover the floor with sterile soil. Fill one greenhouse with carbon dioxide and the other with ordinary air at around 50% saturation. Then measure the temperature a couple of inches above the floor, every 5 minutes for a year.

The difference in mean temperatures represents the worst-case effect of doubling the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.     

Why has nobody published the result of such a simple test? It would be a lot cheaper and far more credible than faffing about with computer modelling of extremely dubious historic data. Perhaps that's the reason!

People seem to value complexity over simplicity. As if the simple solution has no merit since it is the cheaper alternative.

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Offline Tim the Plumber

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One very simple experiment is worth doing.

The mass of carbon dioxide above any point on the surface is equivalent to a column of pure CO2 just 8 feet high at 1 atmosphere pressure.

Build two "greenhouses" with heavily insulated sides 8 ft tall, and a flat roof of IR-transparent plastic - thin polyethlyene will do, as all it has to do is prevent gas escaping. Add a few horizontal sheets of polyethylene inside the greenhouse to ensure that convection is independent of the gas density. Cover the floor with sterile soil. Fill one greenhouse with carbon dioxide and the other with ordinary air at around 50% saturation. Then measure the temperature a couple of inches above the floor, every 5 minutes for a year.

The difference in mean temperatures represents the worst-case effect of doubling the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.     

Why has nobody published the result of such a simple test? It would be a lot cheaper and far more credible than faffing about with computer modelling of extremely dubious historic data. Perhaps that's the reason!

If the result was that CO2 concentrations over very low levels have exactly the same effect whatever the actual concentration where would you get it published?

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Offline jeffreyH

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I would say collect the data first. Don't even worry about publication until you have the CO2 and control data sets. The analysis would be very interesting. Once you have the data you could publish the raw data and initial conclusions here.

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Offline Bored chemist

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http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/4-carbon-dioxide-is-already-absorbing-almost-all-it-can/

You need to focus on the word "almost" there.
It's the reason why that argument is "almost" right.
Please disregard all previous signatures.