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mikey23545
03-24-2008, 11:12 AM
Climate facts to warm to


Christopher Pearson | March 22, 2008

CATASTROPHIC predictions of global warming usually conjure with the notion of a tipping point, a point of no return.
Last Monday - on ABC Radio National, of all places - there was a tipping point of a different kind in the debate on climate change. It was a remarkable interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Anyone in public life who takes a position on the greenhouse gas hypothesis will ignore it at their peril.

Duffy asked Marohasy: "Is the Earth stillwarming?"

She replied: "No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."

Duffy: "Is this a matter of any controversy?"

Marohasy: "Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued ... This is not what you'd expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you'd expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up ... So (it's) very unexpected, not something that's being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it's very significant."

<b>Duffy: "It's not only that it's not discussed. We never hear it, do we? Whenever there's any sort of weather event that can be linked into the global warming orthodoxy, it's put on the front page. But a fact like that, which is that global warming stopped a decade ago, is virtually never reported, which is extraordinary."</b>

Duffy then turned to the question of how the proponents of the greenhouse gas hypothesis deal with data that doesn't support their case. "People like Kevin Rudd and Ross Garnaut are speaking as though the Earth is still warming at an alarming rate, but what is the argument from the other side? What would people associated with the IPCC say to explain the (temperature) dip?"

Marohasy: "Well, the head of the IPCC has suggested natural factors are compensating for the increasing carbon dioxide levels and I guess, to some extent, that's what sceptics have been saying for some time: that, yes, carbon dioxide will give you some warming but there are a whole lot of other factors that may compensate or that may augment the warming from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

"There's been a lot of talk about the impact of the sun and that maybe we're going to go through or are entering a period of less intense solar activity and this could be contributing to the current cooling."

Duffy: "Can you tell us about NASA's Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we're now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?"

Marohasy: "That's right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. <b>What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."</b>

Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"

Marohasy: <b>"That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."</b>

Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could beconsiderable ..."

Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."

If Marohasy is anywhere near right about the impending collapse of the global warming paradigm, life will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.

<b>A great many founts of authority, from the Royal Society to the UN, most heads of government along with countless captains of industry, learned professors, commentators and journalists will be profoundly embarrassed. Let us hope it is a prolonged and chastening experience.</b>

With catastrophe off the agenda, for most people the fog of millennial gloom will lift, at least until attention turns to the prospect of the next ice age. Among the better educated, the sceptical cast of mind that is the basis of empiricism will once again be back in fashion. The delusion that by recycling and catching public transport we can help save the planet will quickly come to be seen for the childish nonsense it was all along.

The poorest Indians and Chinese will be left in peace to work their way towards prosperity, without being badgered about the size of their carbon footprint, a concept that for most of us will soon be one with Nineveh and Tyre, clean forgotten in six months.

The scores of town planners in Australia building empires out of regulating what can and can't be built on low-lying shorelines will have to come to terms with the fact inundation no longer impends and find something more plausible to do. The same is true of the bureaucrats planning to accommodate "climate refugees".

Penny Wong's climate mega-portfolio will suddenly be as ephemeral as the ministries for the year 2000 that state governments used to entrust to junior ministers. Malcolm Turnbull will have to reinvent himself at vast speed as a climate change sceptic and the Prime Minister will have to kiss goodbye what he likes to call the great moral issue and policy challenge of our times.

It will all be vastly entertaining to watch.

THE Age published an essay with an environmental theme by Ian McEwan on March 8 and its stablemate, The Sydney Morning Herald, also carried a slightly longer version of the same piece.

The Australian's Cut & Paste column two days later reproduced a telling paragraph from the Herald's version, which suggested that McEwan was a climate change sceptic and which The Age had excised. He was expanding on the proposition that "we need not only reliable data but their expression in the rigorous use of statistics".

What The Age decided to spare its readers was the following: <b>"Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental precepts. We should not ignore or suppress good indicators on the environment, though they have become extremely rare now. It is tempting to the layman to embrace with enthusiasm the latest bleak scenario because it fits the darkness of our soul, the prevailing cultural pessimism.</b> The imagination, as Wallace Stevens once said, is always at the end of an era. But we should be asking, or expecting others to ask, for the provenance of the data, the assumptions fed into the computer model, the response of the peer review community, and so on. Pessimism is intellectually delicious, even thrilling, but the matter before us is too serious for mere self-pleasuring. It would be self-defeating if the environmental movement degenerated into a religion of gloomy faith. (Faith, ungrounded certainty, is no virtue.)"

The missing sentences do not appear anywhere else in The Age's version of the essay. The attribution reads: "Copyright Ian McEwan 2008" and there is no acknowledgment of editing by The Age.

Why did the paper decide to offer its readers McEwan lite? Was he, I wonder, consulted on the matter? And isn't there a nice irony that The Age chose to delete the line about ideologues not being very good at "absorbing inconvenient fact"?

Brock
03-24-2008, 11:27 AM
Insert tiptap's pedantic run-on paragraphs that nobody reads here.

StcChief
03-24-2008, 11:50 AM
can we yank Gore's Nobel prize since he's full of it.

Bootlegged
03-24-2008, 01:26 PM
silence is deafening.

jAZ
03-24-2008, 01:50 PM
I was wondering when this was going to show up.

I saw it on another board. Here's what I wrote then.


Some meaningful context...

Christopher Pearson is self described as "I'm an old-fashioned radical libertarian".

Jennifer Marohasy is a paid lobbist who's job is to lobby against environmental regulations and for free-markets for the Institute of Public Affairs.

"The Institute of Public Affairs is a right-wing, corporate funded think tank ... (that's) key policy positions include advocacy for privatisation, deregulation, ... and denial of most significant environmental problems, including climate change."

So what you are reading is the position right-wing, corporate funded think tank as told to you by an anti-envirnomental regulation lobbist and reported to you by a self described as "radical libertarian".

Context is always valuable in these sort of threads.

jAZ
03-24-2008, 01:52 PM
I also posted this article...

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/12/22/215837/90

Objection: Climate scientists never talk about water vapor -- the strongest greenhouse gas -- because it undermines their CO2 theory.

Answer: Not a single climate model or climate textbook fails to discuss the role water vapor plays in the greenhouse effect. It is the strongest greenhouse gas, contributing 36% to 66% to the overall effect for vapor alone, 66% to 85% when you include clouds. It is however, not considered a climate "forcing," because the amount of H2O in the air basically varies as a function of temperature.


If you artificially increase the level of H2O in the air, it rains out immediately (in terms of climate response times). Similarly, due to the abundance of ocean on the earth's surface, if you somehow removed all the water from the air, it would quickly be replaced through evaporation.

This has the interesting consequence that if you could somehow instantly remove all CO2 from the atmosphere, the temperature would begin to drop, causing precipitation to remove H2O from the air, causing even further drops, in a feedback effect that would not end until no liquid water was left, only ice sheets and frozen oceans.

CO2 put into the air by burning fossil fuels, on the other hand, stays in the atmosphere for centuries before natural sinks finish absorbing the excess. This is plenty of time to have substantial and long-lasting effects on the climate system. As the climate warms in response to CO2, humidity rises and increased H2O concentration acts as a significant amplifier of CO2-driven warming, basically doubling or tripling its effect.

An article from RealClimate -- "Water vapor: feedback or forcing?" -- has a good discussion of this subject.

banyon
03-24-2008, 01:53 PM
silence is deafening.

What's the point? It's not like anyone in this thread would be interested in the facts about the issue unless handed them by God himself.

jiveturkey
03-24-2008, 01:53 PM
Where's the link?

It's certainly an interesting read but I want to see a source. If it's from bigoilrules.com it's going to become less interesting.

Brock
03-24-2008, 01:54 PM
Yes, sure, as long as something you repeat over and over again can be called a fact, whether it's true or not.

Donger
03-24-2008, 01:55 PM
I was wondering when this was going to show up.

I saw it on another board. Here's what I wrote then.


Some meaningful context...

Christopher Pearson is self described as "I'm an old-fashioned radical libertarian".

Jennifer Marohasy is a paid lobbist who's job is to lobby against environmental regulations and for free-markets for the Institute of Public Affairs.

"The Institute of Public Affairs is a right-wing, corporate funded think tank ... (that's) key policy positions include advocacy for privatisation, deregulation, ... and denial of most significant environmental problems, including climate change."

So what you are reading is the position right-wing, corporate funded think tank as told to you by an anti-envirnomental regulation lobbist and reported to you by a self described as "radical libertarian".

Context is always valuable in these sort of threads.

For clarity, you are asserting that these people are suspect due to their potential motivation, yes?

banyon
03-24-2008, 01:55 PM
Yes, sure, as long as something you repeat over and over again can be called a fact, whether it's true or not.

That appears to be the gist of it, yes.

jAZ
03-24-2008, 01:56 PM
Where's the link?

It's certainly an interesting read but I want to see a source. If it's from bigoilrules.com it's going to become less interesting.

It's a real publication... but see my 2nd to last post.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23411799-7583,00.html

Radar Chief
03-24-2008, 02:03 PM
Has the average global temperature “plateaued over the last decade” as claimed in the article?

jAZ
03-24-2008, 02:04 PM
For clarity, you are asserting that these people are suspect due to their potential motivation, yes?
They are quite credible when assessing what they are. They are a paid policy lobbying organization. They are not remotely suspect in that context.

But their objective isn't understanding reality as the scientific method demands. It's defending their belief system against attack, no matter what reality might be.


Understand that and you can understand this article and all of it's flaws.

jAZ
03-24-2008, 02:10 PM
Has the average global temperature “plateaued over the last decade” as claimed in the article?

2007 tied 1998 as the hotest year in history.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2008/earth_temp.html

2007 Was Tied as Earth's Second-Warmest Year

01.16.08

Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century.

"It is unlikely that 2008 will be a year with truly exceptional global mean temperature," said Hansen. "Barring a large volcanic eruption, a record global temperature clearly exceeding that of 2005 can be expected within the next few years, at the time of the next El Nino, because of the background warming trend attributable to continuing increases of greenhouse gases."

The eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.

pikesome
03-24-2008, 02:18 PM
For clarity, you are asserting that these people are suspect due to their potential motivation, yes?

Isn't that the response to every single "GW doesn't exist" or "Isn't as bad" report?

Scientists that believe in GW work for free out of love for the planet and mankind.

patteeu
03-24-2008, 02:56 PM
They are quite credible when assessing what they are. They are a paid policy lobbying organization. They are not remotely suspect in that context.

But their objective isn't understanding reality as the scientific method demands. It's defending their belief system against attack, no matter what reality might be.


Understand that and you can understand this article and all of it's flaws.

Flaws?

pikesome
03-24-2008, 02:58 PM
Flaws?

It's Flaws!
http://media.funlol.com/content/img/jaws-kitten.jpg

Ultra Peanut
03-24-2008, 03:30 PM
Well, if anyone's qualified to speak about global warming, it's a climatologist like Mrs. Marohasy.

Oh, what's that? She's a biologist?

Well, I mean, at least she's objective (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Institute_of_Public_Affairs).

Its key policy positions include advocacy for privatisation, deregulation, reduction in the power of unions and denial of most significant environmental problems, including climate change.Bravo to Mrs. Marohasy for standing up to Big Science!

Okay, so her claim that we're entering a cooling period is completely quashed by the numbers (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/Fig1_2007annual.gif), which show fluctuations from year to year even as the average rises. But darn it, I like the cut of her jib!

Bootlegged
03-24-2008, 03:41 PM
Florida just went under water as I am typing. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! (don't drive - it will get Georgia next!!!)

Ultra Peanut
03-24-2008, 03:45 PM
Florida just went under water as I am typing. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! (don't drive - it will get Georgia next!!!)I see what you did there!

tiptap
03-24-2008, 05:16 PM
Actually I am surprised that people on site haven't included that that two thirds of the overall rise in temperature has seen a DROP January 07 to January 08. That would be the degree rise from 1984. This data is not in dispute and is provided by Henson, the man who was the spokesperson for Global Warming back in 1992. He does work for the US Government.

So what do I want you all to take from this. Just like in the original posted piece, the people collecting this data and studies are not skewing numbers or anything. They are reporting the collected findings.

So is this my way of saying I am wrong. No. And neither are most people in the field. And why. Because we are at a sunspot lull and a La Nina event in the S. Pacific. Both events are associated with cooler weather. Yet even with these atmospheric events, the North Pole Ice is not building up. The OLD ICE melted, it melts at higher temperatures because it doesn't have salts to lower the melting point. The replacement is the easier to melt salted ice.

I want everyone to understand that when the data jumps up much higher when both the sunspots increase, 11 year cycle and El Nino returns with La Nina disappears that the trends over the last 6 decades hasn't stopped in response to higher CO 2. It is just overlayed with this periodic function. (I been expecting this. So just for the record, there has still been absolutely no record lows for any state in the Union for any month summer, fall, winter or spring since 1992. There has been 12 states with record highs twice what one would expect and again no record lows despite expectations of at least 6.)

So until that time I will not try to influence these kinds of discussions. I actually hope the polar ice cap and glaciers start growing and I am proved wrong.

(this last part, well I lied obviously and have made additional entries but they are about lost glaciers.)

mikey23545
03-24-2008, 06:29 PM
I knew this thread would be the equivalent of showing dinosaur fossils to a bunch of Christian fundamentalists...ROFL

tiptap
03-24-2008, 07:29 PM
It strikes me more like the statement by the Creationist and very excellent Physicist Lord Kelvin (of the Kelvin temperature scale) who shot down Darwin's theory of Evolution by calculating that the Sun burning the most energetic fuel could only burn for 10 million years and that wasn't long enough for Evolution to take place. With a small caveat that notwithstanding that some new source of energy was found. Darwin would be dead when Lord Kelvin was stirred from his dozing off by the findings of Rutherford about Nuclear Fusion. And the age of the sun was shown to be Billion of years old by the Helium ash.

There is quite good science behind Global Warming. But it is climate, not weather of a particular year, that will be validated.

tiptap
03-24-2008, 07:43 PM
Study debunks 'global cooling' concern of '70s

The supposed "global cooling" consensus among scientists in the 1970s — frequently offered by global-warming skeptics as proof that climatologists can't make up their minds — is a myth, according to a survey of the scientific literature of the era.

The '70s was an unusually cold decade. Newsweek, Time, The New York Times and National Geographic published articles at the time speculating on the causes of the unusual cold and about the possibility of a new ice age.

But Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center surveyed dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles from 1965 to 1979 and found that only seven supported global cooling, while 44 predicted warming. Peterson says 20 others were neutral in their assessments of climate trends.

The study reports, "There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age.

"A review of the literature suggests that, to the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists' thinking about the most important forces shaping Earth's climate on human time scales."

"I was surprised that global warming was so dominant in the peer-reviewed literature of the time," says Peterson, who was also a contributor to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report.

Scientific reports in the past decade, most notably the U.N. panel's Nobel Prize-winning efforts, have warned that human activities are warming the planet by increasing the release of heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases into the atmosphere.

Skeptics have argued that climate change is cyclical, not fueled by the burning of fossil fuels — coal, oil and natural gas. Peterson notes in the study that concerns over the frigid 1970s subsequently became representative of scientific division over global warming.

That was an unusually cold decade, especially the later years, across the Northern Hemisphere. In the USA, the winters of 1977-79 were three of the 11 coldest since the recording of temperatures began in the 1890s, according to climate center data. The winter of 1978-79 remains the coldest on record in the USA.

Just as it's hard for people today to think much about global warming in the dead of winter, it was also hard for the public – and the media – to focus on a warming world, while at the same time enduring some of the coldest winters on record.

However, as Peterson notes in the paper, "even cursory review of the news media coverage of the issue reveals that, just as there was no consensus at the time among scientists, so was there also no consensus among journalists."

Some have doubts about the new survey. "The paper does not place the late '70s in its climatic context," says Pat Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

"The temperature records we had at the time showed a very sharp cooling from the mid-'40s to the mid-'70s," Michaels says. "And scientists attempted to explain that as a consequence of the pollution that was preventing solar radiation from reaching the surface.

"At the time, scientists thought the cooling effect of pollution was greater than the warming effect of carbon dioxide," Michaels adds. "They were attempting to explain the dramatic cooling of the '70s."

But Robert Henson, a writer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and author of The Rough Guide to Climate Change, says: "This is an important part of science history, and Peterson and his co-authors have done a great job of excavating it.

"People have long claimed that scientists in the 1970s were convinced a new ice age was imminent. But in fact, many researchers at the time were already more concerned about the long-term risks of global warming."

Along with Peterson, the study was also authored written by William Connolly of the British Antarctic Survey and John Fleck of The Albuquerque Journal. The research will be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2008-02-20-global-cooling_N.htm



(Just to add to this. Lyndon Baines Johnson, in one of his addresses to the public, brought up the potential problem of warming from CO 2, he got that from his scientific advisers even then)

Ultra Peanut
03-24-2008, 08:21 PM
I knew this thread would be the equivalent of showing dinosaur fossils to a bunch of Christian fundamentalists...ROFLkeep press butan

tiptap
03-25-2008, 01:21 PM
Vast Antarctic Ice Shelf on Verge of Collapse

A vast ice shelf hanging on by a thin strip looks to be the next chunk to break off from the Antarctic Peninsula, the latest sign of global warming's impact on Earth's southernmost continent.

Scientists are shocked by the rapid change of events.

Glaciologist Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado was monitoring satellite images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf and spotted a huge iceberg measuring 25 miles by 1.5 miles (41 kilometers by 2.5 kilometers - about 10 times the area of Manhattan) that appeared to have broken away from the shelf.

Scambos alerted colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) that it looked like the entire ice shelf - about 6,180 square miles (16,000 square kilometers - about the size of Northern Ireland)- was at risk of collapsing.

David Vaughan of the BAS had predicted in 1993 that the northern part of the Wilkins Ice Shelf was likely to be lost within 30 years if warming on the Peninsula continued at the same rate.

"Wilkins is the largest ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula yet to be threatened," he said. "I didn't expect to see things happen this quickly. The ice shelf is hanging by a thread - we'll know in the next few days and weeks what its fate will be."

Aircraft reconnaissance

The BAS scientists sent an aircraft out on a reconnaissance mission to survey the extent of damage to the ice shelf.

Jim Elliot, who captured video of the breakout said, "I've never seen anything like this before - it was awesome. We flew along the main crack and observed the sheer scale of movement from the breakage. Big hefty chunks of ice, the size of small houses, look as though they've been thrown around like rubble - it's like an explosion."

An initial iceberg calved away from the Wilkins Ice Shelf on Feb. 28. A series of images shows the edge of the ice shelf proceeding to crumble and disintegrate in a pattern characteristic of climate-caused ice shelf retreats throughout the northern Antarctic Peninsula. The disintegration left a sky-blue patch of hundreds of large blocks of exposed old glacier ice floating across the ocean surface.

By March 8, the ice shelf had lost just over 220 square miles (570 square kilometers) of ice, and the disintegrated ice had spread over 540 square miles (1,400 square kilometers). As of mid-March only a narrow strip of shelf ice between Charcot and Latady islands was protecting several thousand more kilometers of the ice shelf from potentially breaking up.

The region where the Wilkins Ice Shelf lies has experienced unprecedented warming in the past 50 years, with several ice shelves retreating in the past 30 years. Six of these ice shelves have collapsed completely: Prince Gustav Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller and the Jones Ice Shelf.

Antarctic warming

The Wilkins Ice Shelf was stable for most of the last century until it began retreating in the 1990s. A previous major breakout occurred there in 1998 when 390 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) of ice was lost in just a few months.

"We believe the Wilkins has been in place for at least a few hundred years, but warm air and exposure to ocean waves are causing it to break up," Scambos said.

The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed faster than anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere; temperature records show that the region has warmed by nearly 3 degrees Celsius during the past 50 years - several times the global average and only matched in Alaska.

Other parts of Antarctica, including the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, seem to be more stable, though areas of melt have been observed in recent years.

Melting in the Antarctic is different than the recent record melt in the Arctic. Antarctica is composed of ice sheets, or huge masses of ice up to 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) thick that lie on top of bedrock and flow toward the coast, and ice shelves, the floating extensions of ice sheets. Arctic ice is primarily sea ice, some of which persists year-round and some of which melts in the summer and freezes again in the winter.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080325/sc_livescience/vastantarcticiceshelfonvergeofcollapse