Global Warming - Moved

Bikeman (Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein)
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I never understood why so

I never understood why so many people feel less alarmed about climate change when they believe that yes, there is a climate change but it is not caused by human activity but by some natural, possibly solar, mechanism. I find this thought even more alarming!

Think about it: if it's our activity that causes a climate change (warming, cooling, greater extremes, whatever ...), it's quite natural to believe that we also have at least a chance to reverse it, by changing human behavior. If, however, climate change is caused by a "natural" mechanisms....oh boy, we may be doomed!!! We should not hope to be able to influence, say, some long-period solar mechanism.

Now, some people argue that while climate change may indeed be caused by human activity (e.g. carbon dioxide and other emissions), the effect it has on our planet is comparable to what happened in some periods in history in the last few 100,000 years.

Oh great!! Among the natural events that probably shaped the climate in those timescales are outbreaks of super-volcanoes and impacts of large space objects, sometimes causing mass extinctions. As "natural" as those events might be, I don't feel comfortable with the thought that human activity on earth has "only" the same impact on climate as events that completely reshaped the biology on this planet.

CU
Bikeman

Ver Greeneyes
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RE: Because the Sun had

Message 93054 in response to message 93050

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Because the Sun had increased it’s output slightly for a decade or two.
Now, things seem to have reversed. Sunspot activity and solar output are the lowest in a century.


If you check global temperatures (they started measuring in 1880) against sunspot activity (measurements date back 400 years) you'll see what looks like a correlation up until around 1950 - after that there's no obvious correlation at all, in fact if anything the -reverse- seems to be true. This is one of the graphs that was abused in The Great Global Warming Swindle - they essentially cut off everything beyond 1950 to make it seem like solar activity is largely responsible for global warming. If you use historical temperature data (less certain) to go back before 1880 there's no correlation either.

I'm not just quoting some scientist on this - I downloaded the raw data and plotted it in a program I wrote; there's no way it works ;)

And I agree with you, Bikeman. Better it be us than a force completely beyond our control.

Mike Hewson
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RE: And I agree with you,

Message 93055 in response to message 93054

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And I agree with you, Bikeman. Better it be us than a force completely beyond our control.


I'll come out and say that I think anthropogenic global warming is true. But not Tomas, because one subset of professionals has found another subset to it's liking. Note that those who were judged as having a doubtful provenance ( ie. worked in the petroleum industry and oddly, meteorologists ) were then defined by the Zimmermans as insufficiently nuanced or un-scientific. The views of the remaining 2/3 being entirely unknown. This illustrates the groupthink behaviour neatly. Why lack of scientific debate is quoted as a merit I can't understand. History is replete with blunders based on consensus, many Nobel winners have made appalling boners but progress in factual truth has always been well served by comparison of alternate views. So that's why data is far more important, coupled with a lucid explanation of the mechanisms.

It's extent of human influence that is far harder to be sure of. Likely an overlay upon other variations long established and quite unrelated to humans - and there's a prime issue. Climate science, for want of a better phrase, isn't mature enough to gives us that answer yet. That being true, and with our carbon fuel dependence a major concern even in the absence of climate effects, then prudence/precaution is very sensible. Find a cleaner living for sure and don't crap in your own nest.

My main worry is that regardless of the precise merits of the science, the standard of the overall discussion needs a huge boost ( I mean worldwide, not specifically in this thread ). An issue like this deserves far better than alot of the glib piecemeal servings we currently get. A personal anecdote if you will suffer it:

- last winter we had a 45 year record snowfall on my own doorstep. Not a peep from any media outlet. Not even the local broadsheet, who normally report right down to the level of cattle getting foot rot.

- last summer we had our worst bushfire in living memory, sweeping past just 30 meters from that very same doorstep. And yet, before the burnt corpses had even begun to cool, or safe evacuations from fire gutted towns achieved, we had nationwide announcements from certain well heeled politicians blaming global warming.

This proves/disproves no science whatsoever. But it does demonstrate the increasingly shameless/disturbing trend of 'doom profiteering'. So no real surprise that it gets taxed either.

As for historical temperature data, it's a shame ice cores don't yield that short term granularity. So while skating on the Thames can be casually ( not causally ) related with the Maunder minimum ( of sunspot counts ) it doesn't get you too far. Wasn't there tree ring data from somewhere though?

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Rod
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Just reading this thread just

Just reading this thread just shows how short term thinkers we are.. I think I understand this.. it is part of of our evolution.. We compare current conditions to what is in our recorded history.. Hubris I say :-) The world is much older.. And our resolution in looking further in the past is unrefined.. Nobody knows what is going to happen so stop worrying about it..:-)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Ver Greeneyes
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RE: This illustrates the

Message 93057 in response to message 93055

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This illustrates the groupthink behaviour neatly. Why lack of scientific debate is quoted as a merit I can't understand. History is replete with blunders based on consensus, many Nobel winners have made appalling boners but progress in factual truth has always been well served by comparison of alternate views.


Here's a good example of how groupthinking can influence our assumptions: http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.3354 (yes, I can get on arxiv again now :P)
There's also the phenomenon of choice blindness: we can usually find ways of justifying a choice, even if we didn't actually -make- that choice.
There's a lot riding on Climate Change, both in terms of funding and long term consequences. I know we'd all like to think of scientists as the heroes of our time on the one hand and perfect instruments of the scientific method on the other, but the fact is we're all human. That said I (obviously) think Anthropogenic Climate Change is real, but it's not the conclusion that's important, it's how you reached it. There is too much misinformation and media hype out there to base it solely on what you hear on the news (is that ever a good idea?) or even, sadly, in documentaries.

Quote:
As for historical temperature data, it's a shame ice cores don't yield that short term granularity. So while skating on the Thames can be casually ( not causally ) related with the Maunder minimum ( of sunspot counts ) it doesn't get you too far. Wasn't there tree ring data from somewhere though?


Yes, tree rings are our most objective intermediate term source of data. The difficulty is that you need to get a large sample (which can, thankfully be done without destroying the trees) and most of the data is still fairly local.
Tree ring data is very important though, as it also gives us data on how carbon-14 has varied over time (especially important due to the large fluctuations caused by nuclear testing).

Simplex0
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I have just one more thing to

I have just one more thing to say regarding this. Read the information released by active scientist who you should regar as having the best knowledge in this field and base your taking on that.

Unles you regard your knowledge to be superior of cause;)

You can start with this who states

"
National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) position of January 2001 that

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.[1]
Since 2007 no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion. A few organisations hold non-committal positions.

"

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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RE: I have just one more

Message 93059 in response to message 93058

Quote:

I have just one more thing to say regarding this. Read the information released by active scientist who you should regar as having the best knowledge in this field and base your taking on that.

Unles you regard your knowledge to be superior of cause;)

You can start with this who states

"
National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) position of January 2001 that

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.[1]
Since 2007 no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion. A few organisations hold non-committal positions.

"


Again the groupthink - one can disqualify dissent not with data per se ( it should speak for itself, if true ) but by use of phrases like "scientific body of national or international standing". So those who have disagreed are thus without standing and/or are not-scientific, by simple fiat. And individual positions, of whatever merit, are excluded as a bonus.

Alas what the IPCC is still reluctant to reveal/discuss/cope-with was the large slab of contributors who pulled out of the process of producing that 2001 statement. There is a dissenting document written by such scientists - which the above IPCC definitions cleverly exclude from the discussion. To simply illustrate : if I ask you to nominate a color, you say 'red' but I then say 'No, it has to be green or blue' then what happens? If you walk away you don't get to influence the result, and by the above mechanism you then become an individual and no longer one of a group. If you submit to one of the limited choices then the next question becomes 'light green or dark green?' ... and so on. Hence a consensus/unity will be achieved in stages, but by design of the process and not by any actual intellectual agreement over all those originally invited.

In any case the really glaring fault in such an approach is ever so much simpler - "I assert something. No-one has contradicted me. Thus I must be right". This type of stuff is not progressive science - it is advocacy. Advocacy is good. We all do it. But science it is not, as that requires comparison of theory with fact.

I'm not critical of you Tomas. It's that many, many people I meet ( DownUnda local doctor ) really have no interest or respect in scientists, politicians or their views. You can't use a 'credentials' approach with them, you have to explain why things are and in terms they can understand. The environmental movement(s) have gained a tremendous opportunity in visibility with this topic ( and for their other agenda ) but most have made an absolute dog's breakfast of it. The price will be sorely paid when the spotlight fizzles out.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Ver Greeneyes
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RE: I'm not critical of you

Message 93060 in response to message 93059

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I'm not critical of you Tomas. It's that many, many people I meet ( DownUnda local doctor ) really have no interest or respect in scientists, politicians or their views. You can't use a 'credentials' approach with them, you have to explain why things are and in terms they can understand. The environmental movement(s) have gained a tremendous opportunity in visibility with this topic ( and for their other agenda ) but most have made an absolute dog's breakfast of it. The price will be sorely paid when the spotlight fizzles out.


Then on the other hand there are fundamentalist secular humanists, who believe that scientific consensus is the ultimate truth, beyond question. Not to mention the staggeringly large percentage of people who will believe everything someone in a white lab coat says, even to the point of overruling their own senses. (not that our senses are always right, but IIRC the experimenters never once even said they were scientists)

Simplex0
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I wonder if you are using the

I wonder if you are using the same logic in you daily life?

" All the engineers except one say that with a probability of 97% the bridge will collapse and kill you if you try to drive on it. Hmmm..... Naaa! they are just a fundamentalist thinking group I think that the logic say that I should drive over it"

I guess that we have a different view of which one who belongs to the fundamentalist group guys ;)

Rod
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hey.. Keep engineering out of

hey.. Keep engineering out of this.. They are two different disciplines :-)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

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