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View Diary: Global Warming - Creating the Conditions for a Cronkite Moment (183 comments)

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  •  And what is your putative causal mechanism (5+ / 0-)

    So far, we have a claim based on a particular run of data (which itself isn't very convincing), but to prove up the claim you would

    a) need an explanation for why a 40% increase (from 280 to 400 ppm) in concentration of a chemical known to trap heat from its basic physical chemistry does NOT then trap heat.

    b) a plausible mechanism forcing cooling.

    I am wondering if anyone has come up with either of those to date.  I confess, so far all I've been aware of is nit picking with a study here or there (leaving thosands of others left, even if you removed every study anyone has objected to), but so far, I've never seen any causal explanation of why CO2 and methane do not behave like CO2 and methane.

    •  But it's not causal !!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan, koNko

      Yep, he smoked for 30 years after getting addicted as a teenager due to tabacco advertising.

      Yep, he died of widespread and severe lung cancer at age 46.

      Yep, his brother, a non-smoker, is alive and doing great ten years later.

      But where's your PROOF that there is a connection?

      We shall not contribute to our own destruction.

      by James Wells on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 01:45:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The question is not do CO2 and methane (0+ / 0-)

      behave as CO2 and methane. The question is how important are CO2 and methane as forcing mechanisms for the global climate, as against other mechanisms. If we just consider the recently released study that eliminated the "noise" and found the global warming signal intact even though the raw data showed that temperatures had leveled off since 1998, we have to conclude that natural factors remain at least as powerful as CO2 in determining climate, given that CO2 emissions continued to increase at an escalating rate throughout nearly then entire period (I think they leveled off a bit because of the recession).

      As far as what are the other facts, I'd start with those factors that were identified in that study: variation in solar energy (I think the Maunder Minimum is interesting), volcanic activity, and ENSO cycles, although I think recently they've been talking about another one which is I think is the PDO, which appears to have shifted to a cool phase after 1997/1998.

      •  All of which we already knew about (0+ / 0-)

        Here is what you are missing.  Yes there is natural variation but that does not mean that a trends of rising temperature is meaningless.

        Let me use an analogy.  If you spend slightly more than you earn each month you will have a downward trend heading toward bankruptcy. However you bank balance will go up on the first a lot then down as you pay rent bills etc. you would be an idiot if you looked at a that and said "gee, my daily balance is controlled more by the cash flow each days than by the $100 I am short each month.   Because it is the accumulated effect of those shortfalls that are going to cause you to lose the house

        You know a lot of smart people have looked at how the natural cycles change and move and those are important on a season annual of even decadal scale.  On a multi decadal scale they cancel themselves out because they are cycles though leaving only the trend.  So yes other factors affect temperature on the short run, and people have looked at whether things could be big enough to offset carbon ( say solar variations). And you know what? When you actually do the math they aren't.  A volcano going off will get us a couple of cool years but that doesn't fix the underlying problem.  These other factors are going on but at different periods.  On balance they'll have no effect, unlike atmospheric carbon because that's the one thing that is trended rather than cyclical.  

        I am beginning to realize that part of the problem is that Americans are very scientifically literate so most just don't know how to make sense of science.  Too bad

        •  If we already know about all of this (0+ / 0-)

          Then why wasn't it predicted? Shouldn't the trend lines released by the IPCC have included decades where temperatures leveled off due to natural factors? But they didn't; all of the graphs from that period showed linear or exponential growth in temperatures. Yeah, I'm sure they anticipated cooler or warmer years, but not a decade and a half almost of nearly level against the trend of rapidly rising temperatures in the 1980's and 1990's.

          I don't think it's all that helpful to a debate to start talking about "smart people" agree with me, and boy it's "too bad" that "Americans (like you) are . . . (not) very scientifically literate so most just don't know how to make sense of science". I mean don't you think that's sort of juvenile in a debate to sort of say, "Well, I'm smart and you're dumb, so I'm right".

      •  Pilkington, please try... (0+ / 0-) think like a scientist.

        You have rejected the idea the CO2 has a large effect on climate.

        What data would make you accept that hypothesis? How hot must it get? How much ice cover must we lose?  Is there any other data that might become available in the next few years that would change your mind?

        Please try to answer in numbers, i.e "If temperature rises by 1.0 degree over the next X years, I'll change my mind".

        This will help people understand if you are just unconvinced...or impossible to convince.

        •  I haven't rejected the idea that C02 has a (0+ / 0-)

          large effect on climate. I have rejected the idea that we know enough about CO2's relative effect on the climate such that we should fundamentally alter our way of life in order to stop emitting it on the scale suggested by climate change advocates.

          For me to accept that hypothesis would have to start with restoring my confidence would have to be restored in the quality of the science. No more "hide the decline" emails. No more refusing to comply with FOIA requests for raw data. No more branding of skeptics as "deniers" and conspiring to keep their papers out of the academic literature. A fair and honest public debate about the issues.

          Once my confidence was restored in the quality of the data, then yes, if global temperatures began to rise (again) and at a clearly unsustainable rate (>1 degree a decade?), then I think yes I would call that a crisis demanding drastic action. And even if temps began rising at something less than that rate, I'd support having reasoned discussions about the costs and benefits of taking the sort of "no harm" measures versus preparing ourselves to adapt.

          Keep in mind, as I've said above, I'm in support of most environmental and energy conservation ideas that make sense without reference to global warming science. I "get off the train" when we start talking about carbon taxes, cap and trade, sequestration, and subsidizing nuclear energy. If we do those other things that are good ideas on their own, we will be better prepared to take more radical actions if it becomes clearer we face an imminent catastrophe.

          •  That doesn't sound very scientific. (0+ / 0-)

            You say you will believe the data, but only if a certain soft, fuzzy, unquantifiable "confidence" is felt by you.

            But fuzziness aside, you're not willing to take action (as opposed to "reasoned discussions") until we see a full degree of warming. In just one decade.

            That's irresponsible.

            If the scientists turn out to be correct, what's your plan for getting the last 100 years of carbon out of the atmosphere? Especially since you want to delay another decade, minimum before we start?

            Even if God sent His angels to tell you, "Lo, the Scientists are not lying", listening to guys like you would still screw us over.  You would insist on seeing additional warming (and an additional 10 years of carbon emissions).

            But let's try this another way. Please fill in the variables X, Y, and Z:

            X = Cost of taking action (less side-benefits, like less lung cancer)

            Y = Cost of Bad Global Warming actually happening (floods, hurricanes, famine, etc)

            Z = Probability of Y coming true, if we don't spend X.

            I'll go first. I say X=0 (since we have so many unemployed, they can build the windmills or whatever), Y= one ka-frackin-jillion dollars, and z = 10%

            Your turn!

      •  Or do people living under rocks (0+ / 0-)

        Understand sunshine? Maybe for them it does not exist.

        As for your question, the preponderance of evidence and thus, overwhelming scientific consensus concludes CO2 and methane do behave like CO2 and methane and primary greenhouse gases driving atmospheric global warming.  

        And just like the casual skeptics who denied ODS was responsible for the hole in the ozone layer were proven completely wrong when ODS was banned and the process reversed, you are wrong here.

        And then, as now, the world was wise not to wait until skeptics with nonsense arguments and no facts to support them were convinced.

        You have no credible arguments. You are talking nonsense.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:27:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's about the most dumbest argument (0+ / 0-)

          against climate skepticism that I've ever heard. I never rejected the idea of CFC's being responsible for the hole in the ozone layer, and I don't remember anyone else doing so either. It was a real problem that could be solved by regulating one particular industrial compound, and it was.

          That's like saying that I doubted that gasoline engine exhaust caused smog. I didn't, I fully support requiring catalytic converters on cars. You could just throw anything out there. Why don't you just say that I was among those doubting that there Earth is round?

          •  You have almost convinced me (0+ / 0-)

            I would not be surprised if you claimed the earth was flat.

            I never rejected the idea of CFC's being responsible for the hole in the ozone layer, and I don't remember anyone else doing so either. It was a real problem that could be solved by regulating one particular industrial compound, and it was.

            Then why to do reject the idea other industrial compounds cause global warming?

            It seems you think you can just throw out anything out there to denny what a far greater number of climate scientists have concluded based on a preponderance of evidence.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:42:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't deny that CO2 causes global warming (0+ / 0-)

              I've stated that I'm not convinced that it causes enough of it that we will suffer catastrophic consequences if we don't radically alter our way of life.

              •  What about the evidence leads you (0+ / 0-)

                to that conclusion?

                Evidence is in front of our eyes. Melting of glaciers and ice caps is rapidly accelerating. General trend of weather is becoming more extreme with increasingly severe droughts in arid regions and storms/flooding in sub-tropics. Same trends beginning to affect temperate regions.

                A preponderance of evidence leaves essentially zero reasonable doubt of the phenomena which you seem to agree but now you're going to wait until your house is under water or surrounded by desert to react?

                If the house next door is burning do you go back to sleep because maybe it won't affect you and who gives a shit if the town burns down as long as your house is left standing?

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:54:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because it's not fucking true (0+ / 0-)
                  Melting of glaciers and ice caps is rapidly accelerating.

                  No they're not.

                  In case you are too lazy to follow the link, Antarctica has 90 percent of the world's ice, and on balance the ice sheets there are growing not shrinking:

                  Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m.

                  A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded.

                  General trend of weather is becoming more extreme with increasingly severe droughts in arid regions and storms/flooding in sub-tropics.

                  That's not true either.:

                  To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

                  As it happens, the project's initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. "In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years," atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871."

                  In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. "There's no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather," adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher.


                  Not to mention that as we become wealthier and more industrialized as societies (due to a large extent to a heavy use of carbon-based fuels) we tend to become more more able to adapt and respond to extreme weather. Actual worldwide deaths from extreme weather events are DOWN on the order of 98% over the last century:

                  When it comes to death by weather, the worst decade was from 1920 to 1929, when environmental conditions killed 241 out of every million people. Since then, the rate has steadily dropped by 98 percent. In the 1960s, 50 out of every million people around the world died because of floods, fires, storms, extreme heat or cold, and related causes. By the 2000s, the rate was down to about five out of a million.

                  During the study period, the researchers also found that droughts were responsible for close to 60 percent of extreme weather deaths, while floods caused almost 35 percent. Deaths from both causes have dropped precipitously in recent decades. Even hurricanes, tornadoes and other storms, which claimed 7 percent of extreme weather deaths from 1900 to 2008, kill 55 percent fewer people now than they did in the '70s.

                  To put the numbers in perspective, weather now ranks extremely low on life's list of risks. Overall, weather caused less than one-tenth of a percent of all the deaths during the last decade. Car crashes, accidents and violence are far more significant threats.


                  Same trends beginning to affect temperate regions.

                  Wrong again:

                  In 2008, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Miami published “Global warming and United States landfalling hurricanes,” a long-view analysis of patterns in hurricanes striking United States shores in relation to climate conditions. Their prime conclusion was that warming seas are associated with rising wind shear — a hurricane-killing condition — in the part of the Atlantic that is a nursery for the kinds of hurricanes that tend to strike the United States. The rise in wind shear appears to be associated with “a weak but robust downward trend in U.S. landfalling hurricanes.” Their work built on earlier analysis drawing the same conclusion.

                  Earlier today, I contacted the lead author, Chunzai Wang, an oceanographer at the federal Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and he said that subsequent hurricane patterns have bolstered their findings:

                      I can assure you that the conclusion is still held (even much firmer) if we use the updated hurricane data. Keep in mind that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season had 12 hurricanes, but not a single hurricane made landfall in the United States.


                  I'll spare you the humiliation of my pulling up links to the only extreme weather that we've seen in temperate regions recently: extreme cold and blizzards. And no, East Coast Halloween snowstorms, and Mountain West Memorial Day blizzards are not caused by global warming.

                  So can you with a straight face read those links and still claim that "the preponderance of the evidence leaves essentially zero reasonable doubt"? Come on, man, you are dead wrong on all three counts, and yet you think there's zero chance that you are not wrong. Think about it.

            •  That's a ridiculous argument to state (0+ / 0-)

              that because we solved one environmental problem that therefore every someone alleges that there is another environmental problem that are a priori assumed to be right and we should do everything they say. You might as well say that every time someone says that we should go to war against a tyrant, we should because we were right to fight Hitler.

              •  Thank you for making my day. (0+ / 0-)

                Inching toward argumentum ad Hitlerum are we? Funny!

                OK, let's take a sanity check here:

                - You agree ODS emissions had a negative effect on the atmosphere and that this was solved by phasing it out and implementing replacement technology.

                - You agree GHG causes global warming and could be solved by phasing out fossil fuels and implementing replacement technology but you are not convinced this is necessary because some as yet defined event of your choosing has not knocked you upside the head hard enough yet to convince you it's really, really necessary.

                - You think I made a ridiculous analogy because ODS is ODS and GHG is GHG, and ODS was Hitler but GHG is only Idi Amin.

                - You are The Decider.

                Have I got it right now?

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 11:23:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll start at the end (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, I am the Decider. I have one fucking vote, and an Internet connection, and two feet, and a law degree, so yes I'll exercise my democratic right to participate in the political process on behalf of things that I believe in and against things that I oppose. What kind of fucking question is that?

                  No, it's not the analogy that's ridiculous, it's the argument that because you and I happened to have agreed on an issue previously, I can't possibly disagree with you on another issue now.

                  It's not about "me". Yes, I have a right to exercise my own independent judgment about policies that I do or do not want to see put into place to govern me. How is that different than you deciding that because you think that we are facing imminent catastrophic climate change, that you have the right to determine what kinds of policies should be put into place?

                  Yes, I agree about ODS.

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