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#29117 - 05/30/08 09:19 AM The Global Warming... She is sinking!!
jryan Offline
Hardcase


Registered: 06/08/07
Posts: 8589
Loc: Oakton VA
I think we may have just seen the worst blow against the theory of anthropogenic global warming yet. I think the theory is listing heavily and may no longer be sea worthy... the salvo was fired in 2005 from the good ship ClimateAudit.org and has just crashed through the deck of the Royal Anthropogenic Global Warming, and exploded in one of her magazines.

The magazine is The Journal Nature.

Ok, finish groaning at bad metaphors and read on.....

Over three years ago, Steve McIntyre and his crew reported on a troubling bias they found in the "bucket" method used to measure ocean temperatures pretty much from the turn of the century until 1970. The "bucket" method, and many other methods were eventually phased out over the 30+ years following 1970. Here is a graph of the distributions of methods since 1970:



This is important in that the "bucket" method introduced a 0.3 C downward bias in temperatures that was never accounted for. So the phase out of the bucket method over the last 30 years introduced an erroneous 0.3 C observed rise in ocean temperatures over that period. This is huge considering the total surface temperature rise that has the world so concerned is a total of 0.63 C... and that number used the ocean surface temps in their average.

I call this a win for ClimateAudit.org because after reporting on this serveral years ago (as well and refining their observation over serveral subsequent articles... and revisited once more here), the journal Nature has accepted a peer reviewed study that came to the same conclusion.

It should be noted, however, that the Journal Nature article was somewhat sugar coated when compared to ClimateAudit.org. Steve McIntyre has covered the Nature Article twice (here and here), and argues that the adjustments are not final as far as he is concerned.

At this point, who should we listen to?

On another front, Theodor Landscheidt gets more kudos as a solar scientist for predicting over two decades ago the sudden drop in climate at the beginning of this year. He has long been a proponent of global climate being driven by solar variance, and was roundly discredited in his theories because the last 30 years of surface temps have not matched his predictions even as the solar activity has matched well with prediction (after reading the first part of this post, need we wonder why?).

Considering that Theodor Landscheidt was right 20 years ago about the temperature drop in the first quarter of this year, but climatology is still adjusting temperatures from the early 1900s, who should we listen to? Theodor Landscheidt can apparently tell us what the temperature will be in 2028, whereas climatology can't tell us what the temperature in 1914 will be next month.
_________________________
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” - Richard Feynman

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#29119 - 05/30/08 10:07 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: jryan]
ScottSA Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 14308
Loc: Canada
Well, considering the "green" tax revolts in Europe, and the economic slowdown everywhere, this nonsense is like radfem...it's fine to pay lip service to as long as we can afford it, but then it gets real tired.
_________________________
If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?~Albert Einstein

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#29140 - 05/31/08 07:21 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: ScottSA]
Geo Offline
Super User


Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 2638
Loc: North Carolina
Jryan, I think just because some of the ocean data may be flawed doesn't mean that the entire theory of global warming is to be cast into the rubbish heap. At most a couple of warning shots have been fired across the bow of our ship (to continue your metaphor). This is way too complex to be dismissed so out of hand based on a single data set.

The current issue of Skeptic Magazine does a pretty good job showing how complex this issue is.

In one article, Patrick Frank challenges the science behind anthropogenic CO2 cause of global warming. But, clearly, just because the science is inadequate doesn't mean that we aren't the cause of it or at least contributing to it.

Bottom line:

 Quote:
When it comes to future climate, no one knows what they’re talking about. No one. Not the IPCC nor its scientists, not the US National Academy of Sciences, not the NRDC or National Geographic, not the US Congressional House leadership, not me, not you, and certainly not Mr. Albert Gore. Earth’s climate is warming and no one knows exactly why.


http://www.skeptic.com/the_magazine/featured_articles/v14n01_climate_of_belief.html

But some of the science [i]is[i/] cut and dry. In the same issue of Skeptic Magazine, Tapio Schneider argues that it's pretty clear that human activities have increased CO2 levels. It's really not that much of a leap to suppose that we may be causing at least some warming.

An excerpt:

 Quote:
The concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in atmospheric samples have been measured continuously since the late 1950s. Since then, carbon dioxide concentrations have increased steadily from about 315 parts per million (ppm, or molecules of carbon dioxide per million molecules of dry air) in the late 1950s to about 385 ppm now, with small spatial variations away from major sources of emissions. For the more distant past, we can measure atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in bubbles of ancient air preserved in ice (e.g., in Greenland and Antarctica). Ice core records currently go back 650,000 years; over this period we know that carbon dioxide concentrations have never been higher than they are now. Before the industrial revolution, they were about 280 ppm, and they have varied naturally between about 180 ppm during ice ages and 300 ppm during warm periods


http://www.skeptic.com/the_magazine/featured_articles/v14n01_human_induced_climate_change.html

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#29141 - 05/31/08 08:30 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: Geo]
ScottSA Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 14308
Loc: Canada
 Originally Posted By: Geo
But some of the science is cut and dry. In the same issue of Skeptic Magazine, Tapio Schneider argues that it's pretty clear that human activities have increased CO2 levels. It's really not that much of a leap to suppose that we may be causing at least some warming.

An excerpt:

 Quote:
The concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in atmospheric samples have been measured continuously since the late 1950s. Since then, carbon dioxide concentrations have increased steadily from about 315 parts per million (ppm, or molecules of carbon dioxide per million molecules of dry air) in the late 1950s to about 385 ppm now, with small spatial variations away from major sources of emissions. For the more distant past, we can measure atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in bubbles of ancient air preserved in ice (e.g., in Greenland and Antarctica). Ice core records currently go back 650,000 years; over this period we know that carbon dioxide concentrations have never been higher than they are now. Before the industrial revolution, they were about 280 ppm, and they have varied naturally between about 180 ppm during ice ages and 300 ppm during warm periods


http://www.skeptic.com/the_magazine/featured_articles/v14n01_human_induced_climate_change.html



This is something I have no expertise in at all, but the argument you just presented doesn't support manmade GW. It simply says that there's more CO2 in the air, and insinuates a connection between that and warming. That's like finding mud in the Somme during WW I and claiming a connection between mud and a million dead, by virtue of the fact that the two coincide in time and space. You could make the same argument for background radiation; there is more radiation in the air since the invention and use of nuclear weapons, therefore radiation causes global warming.

This is the real operant:

When it comes to future climate, no one knows what they’re talking about. No one. Not the IPCC nor its scientists, not the US National Academy of Sciences, not the NRDC or National Geographic, not the US Congressional House leadership, not me, not you, and certainly not Mr. Albert Gore. Earth’s climate is warming and no one knows exactly why.

Yet we are spending billions trying to fix a problem we don't even know exists. That's crazy.
_________________________
If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?~Albert Einstein

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#29142 - 05/31/08 09:13 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: ScottSA]
Geo Offline
Super User


Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 2638
Loc: North Carolina
 Originally Posted By: ScottSA

Yet we are spending billions trying to fix a problem we don't even know exists. That's crazy.


Well that's the bottom line and I completely agree with you there. You can's start fixing a problem if you don't completely understand it, or before you even have a clue as to what's going on. To make vast, sweeping changes based on sheer guesswork is plain stupid. Environmentalists and politicians need to avoid knee jerk reactions. We should continue studying the issue and try to figure out what we're dealing with.

And yet, there are probably things we can--and should--do regardless of where you stand on global warming. Finding more efficient energy sources that emit less pollution is a worthwhile endeavor no matter how you look at it. We should constantly strive to reduce our impact on depletion of natural resources. And doesn't it also make sense to reduce our carbon footprint? We just have to be smart about it.

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#29145 - 05/31/08 10:00 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: Geo]
goldston Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 188
Loc: San Jose, CA
A lot of problems are solved before they are completely understood. I'm not an expert, and don't know what I'm talking about here, but I think the experts DO know a lot more about what is going on than the average person. Carbon levels are increasing in the atmosphere. Isn't it clear to even skeptics that human activity is pumping lots of carbon into the atmosphere. Therefore isn't the simplest hypothesis that these two facts are related. I would think that a skeptic should try to supply an alternative mechanism to explain why all the carbon being pumped into the atmosphere by humsns wouldn't increase the total carbon in the atmosphere. Some scientists try to do this, but they are now a small minority.
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#29146 - 05/31/08 10:09 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: ScottSA]
SomeFool Offline
Super User


Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 2675
Loc: near Boulder
 Originally Posted By: ScottSA
This is something I have no expertise in at all, but the argument you just presented doesn't support manmade GW. It simply says that there's more CO2 in the air, and insinuates a connection between that and warming.


First Scott, I should thank Jryan for the original post bringing to light here a probable systematic error in SST measurements starting in World War II when Navy ships started moving away from the so-called 'bucket' method they had been employing due to not wanting to get shot out of the water dragging a damn bucket behind them. The movement away from the 'bucket' method appears to have probably introduced a systematic error in the SST temperatures, and I was previously unaware of that. So thanks for that. The actual magnitude of this systematic error now needs to be understood and any corrections to SST data now need to be made. Note that modifications to the SST (Sea Surface Temp) data have no impact whatsoever upon air temperatures made over land, which comprises the observational data that demonstrates conclusively that GW is a real, observed phenomena. All you appear to be questioning above, Scott, is the cause of this observed warming, not the fact of it being observed.

Okay, now to your questioning the link between a 40% increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the effect that might have upon global atmosphere temps (and/or SST).

CO2 is a so-called 'linear' molecule, as at rest all its constituent atoms lie in a line like this: O-C-O. As such, it has some vibrational modes, four to be exact, two of which are degenerate (i.e. repeated): asymmetrical stretching, symmetrical stretching, bending and scissoring.

Carbon dioxide, CO2, is linear and hence has four fundamental vibrations. The asymmetrical stretch of CO2 gives a strong band in the IR at 2350 cm–1. The two scissoring or bending vibrations are equivalent and therefore, have the same frequency and are said to be degenerate, appearing in an IR spectrum at 666 cm–1.


Note: IR spectroscopists use funny units to describe light wavelength, called 'inverse units' which express the number of cycles (waves) per unit distance, usually using the cgs unit of cm-1 or cycles per centimeter. This is different from the more familiar units of Angstroms (10-10 meters), nm (nanometers or 10-9 meters) or µm (micrometers or 10-6 meters).

The symmetrical stretch of CO2 is inactive in the IR because this vibration produces no change in the dipole moment of the molecule. In order to be IR active, a vibration must cause a change in the dipole moment of the molecule. (The reason for this involves the mechanism by which the photon transfers its energy to the molecule, which is beyond the scope of this discussion.) Of the following linear molecules, carbon monoxide and iodine chloride absorb IR radiation, while hydrogen, nitrogen, and chlorine do not. In general, the larger the dipole change, the stronger the intensity of the band in an IR spectrum.


The above description of vibrational modes is not only a well-established theory, it is also observationally confirmed. Data is available from numerous sources, for example near me is NIST (the National Institute of STandards). Vibrational Data: http://cccbdb.nist.gov/

If you want to see the actual IR absorption spectra for CO2, here it is: (source: http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C124389&Type=IR-SPEC&Index=1#IR-SPEC (transmittance data by default on that page, below is Absorption data)



If you want to see the calculated vibrational modes for CO2 and their frequencies, go here: http://cccbdb.nist.gov/vibs1.asp and type in 'CO2' (no quotes) and submit the job.

So, we have established that CO2 absorbs light energy in the IR part of the spectra (commonly called 'heat'). This is why CO2 is one of the gases that is called a Greenhouse Gas (aka GHG). Other important GHG's are water vapor (H2O) and methane (CH4). Calculating the impact of the extra heat retention in the atmosphere due to CO2 increasing from 280ppm to 385ppm is beyond the scope of this post, but it has been calculated many times and subjected to much discussion and debate in the climate science arena. The current generally accepted value for this CO2 'forcing factor' is 1.5-1.6 w/m^2 (watts/square meter). See for example Knutti et al: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/knutti/papers/knutti02nat.pdf

It is definitively accepted that CO2 (and other anthropogenic GHG's) cause the retention of heat energy within the earth's atmosphere, the only possible debate one could have would be the amount (size) of that extra retained energy and how that compares to the variability of other naturally occuring factors (solar variablility, change in cosmic ray levels, volcanic gases, etc.) Climate scientists have studied these other factors long and hard and cocluded that heat retention due to human generated GHG's outstrips these other possibilites by around a factor of ten. If you don't want to accept that changing the levels of GHG's in the atmosphere does anything, the challenge you are faced with is 'what happens then to all that extra energy?' A basic discussion of the earth's solar energy balance can be seen here, btw: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/climate/greenhouse_effect_gases.html



 Originally Posted By: ScottSA
That's like finding mud in the Somme during WW I and claiming a connection between mud and a million dead, by virtue of the fact that the two coincide in time and space. You could make the same argument for background radiation; there is more radiation in the air since the invention and use of nuclear weapons, therefore radiation causes global warming.


As can be seen above, no, there is substantially more to the GHG/GW link than the example you cite, they are not in the same ballpark for comparison.

I should say a few things about what I believe in regards to GW and why. Around 2002 when a three hundred year drought hit Colorado, I started thinking more about this issue (not that there is any connection between that drought and GW, but I was thinking a lot about drought and climate as I was on my city's drought committee.) Anyway, at that time, I was pretty much GW agnostic. For me, the big impediment in believing the human-caused GW thesis was the approximately thirty year long period of global cooling starting around 1940 and ending around 1970 or 1975. If GHG's were continuously increasing in the atmosphere (which they were), then why did the temperature go down during that period? That was a bug stumbling block for me in accepting the GW thesis. Anyway, post-9/11, researchers wised up to the idea of global dimming, the idea that by putting extra particulates and aerosols into the atmosphere, the amount of solar insolation reaching the earth's surface and oceans and thicker parts of the atmosphere is reduced. Man has in fact been pumping huge amounts of these into the atmosphere in addition to GHG's. Additionally, the presence of these aerosols and particulates in the atmosphere explains why the magnitude of the observed atmospheric warming is less than climate scientists had predicted, which had also been a problem for me. Anyway, the advent of the theory of global dimming and subsequent work to quantify its effects was enough to remove my objections for the human-caused GW thesis.

A word about Al Gore and other hysterical GW proponents: I went and saw Gore's little movie even though I don't like the man and even though I felt that he had many many things wrong in his presentations about GW. For example, before I went to see the movie, I went and looked up the Antacrtic ice core data and the CO2 and temperature (proxy) data that those ice cores gave. Just looking at that data, it was immediately apparent to me that temperature leads CO2 levels, exactly the opposite of what Al Gore says in his film. In otherwords, the ice core data does not demonstrate the causality of higher CO2 -> higher temps. There are numerous other problems with his presentation that I won't get into here. Many of these problems stem from trying to get everything to demonstrate GW, and probably not everything does show GW. Similarly, there is the so-called 'hockeystick graph' by Mann et al (that btw McIntrye has challenged, I think unsuccessfully.) Most of these long-running temperature records are NOT direct 'instrumental' records, rather they are derived using so-called 'proxy' data. As such, proxy data relies upon a series of assumptions from models relating a proxy for temperature to an imputed temperature. It was my personal decision about all temperature records based upon proxy data to set all proxy data records aside and to rely solely upon the so-called instrumental temperature record, which for global temps dates from around 1850 or so. Thus, my entire observational basis for belief in the human-caused GW thesis dates from around 1850 or so. In other words, one can believe in GW and not need to tie it to all the incorrect things that Al Gore says. That was my own answer in the face of data that people argued over, was to set all data that is in dispute aside and rely only upon ageed upon data. YMMV, 'natch.

A word about real observations of GW: go to the NCAR or NOAA web sites and look up the high-latitude (Arctic) temperature record for the last century. The rise in temps in that part of the world is far greater than at low latitudes. If, looking at that data, you conclude there is no warming this last century, then there's no point in talking any more about this, as nothing will convince you.

Hope this helps,

fool out
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To see is to be blind

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#29147 - 05/31/08 10:27 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: Geo]
jmill Offline
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5679

So now the truth finally comes out? Not only do we not know if global warming is anthropogenic, we can't even be sure that it's happening at all? I can't say I'm surprised even a little bit.

GW has never been about good science. It has always been about politics, a sort of meteorological spotted owl. As an example of the lunacy of the left on this one, Ministers of Parliament in Great Britain have apparently proposed a carbon ration card, so every time a Briton took a flight or bought petrol, his or her carbon use would be documented. You would be limited to how much you could use, and to use more would require buying someone else's surplus carbon. That idea, and others like it, are nothing less than an expressway to left-wing fascism. Imagine allowing the government tell you that you couldn't fly to visit a relative because you had used up all your carbon credits. Of course, if you were willing to buy someone else's carbon credits, then of course you can go... It's a new tax and a new leash on human activity, cleverly cloaked in disastrous feel-goodism.

This is why I discount anyone who blindly swallows the concept of GW. They are far more interested in telling me and everyone else how to live than they are in fixing any problem, real or perceived. They're simply hiding behind GW, much as the whacko environmentalists hid behind the spotted owl in an attempt to shut down all logging in America's Pacific Northwest, in order to remake the world into their emotionally pleasing but logic-deprived vision. Ted Kaczynski tried the same thing with bombs, and his "manifesto" made about as much sense as that of any GW nut.

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#29148 - 05/31/08 10:32 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: jmill]
SomeFool Offline
Super User


Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 2675
Loc: near Boulder
John, please read my last post. There's no need to blindly swallow anything, nor throw up one's hands and say we can't understand this, because we largely can. Some things we can't predict exactly, it's true, but we can say an awful lot and be pretty damn sure about it.

Cheers,

fool out
_________________________
To see is to be blind

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#29149 - 05/31/08 11:06 AM Re: The Global Warming... She is sinking!! [Re: SomeFool]
ScottSA Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 14308
Loc: Canada
Thanks fool. I can't say I'm convinced, but I say that on the basis of ignorance and a lack of comprehension of the details of what you're telling me.

I was born a sceptic, and as soon as I heard the IPCC hysteria and some of the criticisms of it, along with the unrelated hitch-hiking agendas and philosophies, the whole thing took on the aspect in my mind of a house of cards. I may not know jack about the science behind GW, but I know snakeoil when I see it, and the politics of GW are the slimiest since the New York Democrats held power.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that even if CO2 production was halted today, no change would be forthcoming for centuries, and in any event CO2 production cannot and will not be halted, so wouldn't it make more sense to invest in learning to live with it rather than running around bancrupting ourselves to no avail?

My understanding is that even if
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If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?~Albert Einstein

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