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The Climate Change debate

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The Climate Change debate

Old 1st Dec 2009, 02:42
  #3101 (permalink)  
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Worth a read... though parts are tough sledding...

Any students of history out there could give us all a short synopsis on the (was it?) 17th century great tulip market boom and bust?
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a history of popular folly by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book chronicles its subjects in three parts: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions".
The subjects of Mackay's debunking include economic bubbles, alchemy, crusades, witch-hunts, prophecies, fortune-telling, magnetisers (influence of imagination in curing desease), shape of hair and beard (influence of politics and religion on), murder through poisoning, haunted houses, popular follies of great cities, popular admiration of great thieves, duels, and relics. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias and Michael Lewis, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles.[1]
Among the bubbles or financial manias described by Mackay are the South Sea Company bubble of 1711–1720, the Mississippi Company bubble of 1719–1720, and the Dutch tulip mania of the early seventeenth century. According to Mackay, during this bubble, speculators from all walks of life bought and sold tulip bulbs and even futures contracts on them. Allegedly some tulip bulb varieties briefly became the most expensive objects in the world during 1637.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 04:49
  #3102 (permalink)  
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that would be the same Christine Milne that drove a smoke belching clapped out old Puegot 504 when she was a teacher?

Just think of all those great minds going to Coppenhagen to save us from disaster? I suppose they will all walk, not use any power, no paper etc while they hold the big talkfest?

ETS the tax that will save the planet.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 07:09
  #3103 (permalink)  
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Well done tha Oz politicos, the headlines are the BeeB's

Australia opposition vote deals climate law blow

Australia's opposition Liberal Party has elected a new leader, amid a searing row over the government's carbon trading laws. Tony Abbott was chosen to replace Malcolm Turnbull at a Canberra meeting. Mr Turnbull had backed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme (ETS), but Mr Abbott opposes it.

The government needs the support of the Liberals to pass the legislation in the Senate. The Liberal revolt throws Mr Rudd's plans into turmoil. Mr Rudd had wanted the legislation to pass the Senate - where his party does not have a majority - by the start of the Copenhagen climate change summit next week. Last week he secured Mr Turnbull's support for the bill, prompting the angry reaction from some Liberal lawmakers that triggered the leadership challenge. Mr Abbott won the final vote against Mr Turnbull by 42 votes to 41. A third challenger, Joe Hockey, was eliminated in first-round voting.

Minutes after his victory, Mr Abbott told a news conference that he would fight the ETS bill.

Full article: BBC News - Australia opposition vote deals climate law blow
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 08:22
  #3104 (permalink)  
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The Beeb going on the offensive yet again, Richard Black cherry picking bits out of the report and spinning them.

Major sea level rise likely as Antarctic ice melts
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Sea levels are likely to rise by about 1.4m (4ft 6in) globally by 2100 as polar ice melts, according to a major review of climate change in Antarctica.

Conducted by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), it says that warming seas are accelerating melting in the west of the continent.

Ozone loss has cooled the region, it says, shielding it from global warming.

Rising temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula are making life suitable for invasive species on land and sea.

BBC News - Major sea level rise likely as Antarctic ice melts

The actual document the article is 'based' on: http://www.scar.org/publications/occ...5_Nov_2009.pdf
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 09:26
  #3105 (permalink)  
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This report is a good example of good science for the most part. If you accept that we are in a period of climate change, howsoever caused and however short or long term it may be, many of the conclusions are perfectly acceptable.

I saw this though and offer it for your perusal:

There is a large scatter in the regional trends seen in different climate models (see Figure 2 of Connolley and Bracegirdle, 2007). However, there is also a large scatter within different runs of a single model, e.g. MPI ECHAM5 with the same external forcing;
my italics.

Those models again.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 09:48
  #3106 (permalink)  
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Watching BBC News last night there was a chap crawling about inside a Himalayan glacier that was melting. It was claimed that the glacier was stagnant and had stopped moving - because it was melting due to increased global temperatures! It was even more outrageously suggested that the end result would be the drying up of Indian rivers such as the Ganges! As if the Ganges (or any other river) is solely dependent upon its head waters for the downstream flow.

I'll be generous and call this a hypothesis, but no more than that.

Now, the glacier isn't subjected to global temperatures, it is subjected to local temperatures and, where the melting glacier is located at the foot of a mountain, the temperature has always been (within human record) above freezing. It seems to me that glaciers won't become stationary because they are melting - for where is the cause and effect? - they begin melting as soon as they descend to a level where the local temperature is above freezing and will finally disappear and drop their morraine load at the point where they come to a halt.

Questions: "How is the local (as opposed to the global average) temperature changing?" "Has the snow line altitude on the mountains changed, and if so in what way?"

Later in the evening there was a documentary on C4 about geology and the formation of mountains. In this programme we saw a research scientist examining river beds in the foothills of the Himalayas. He pointed out how the river bed had been rising for thousands of years, in a series of sudden steps about 1.6 meters apart - each leap being the result of major earthquakes. By carbon dating organic material from the old river beds he could determine the rate at which the leading edge of the Himalayas was rising - 10 cms per annum or a bit more than half a meter since Sagarmartha was first climbed by Hilary and Tensing

Now, if the leading edge of the mountains are rising, and that rise is greater than the rate at which the peaks are rising (which it is) then the slope is decreasing. So, another hypothesis - glaciers will slow down as the slope of their course decreases, thus the point at which they become stationary will recede, causing them to melt earlier than before the slope decreased.

So, the question is "Are the glaciers' receding because a reduced slope brings them to halt sooner, where they then melt, or do they come to a standstill earlier because they are melting as a result of rising local temperatures?" There's a hypothesis or two to be tested here and testing hypotheses is what science is really all about.

Returning to that earlier matter of Ganges drying up. The meltwater that forms the head-water run off down the mountain remains constant regardless of how much time it spends trapped as glacial ice. The water flow is dependent only upon how much moisture is deposited upon the mountain, either as snow or as water. The fact is that the monsoon rainfall has increased within living memory and more moisture is now being deposited upon the Himalayas than at any time in recorded history. The suggestion that the Indian rivers might dry up because of receding glaciers is nothing more than religious scare mongering.

If we are to be made to cut our economies by 40% (which would in turn have a devastating effect upon the economies of the developing nations) and return to pre-industrial conditions, giving up private transport, flying, electrical power and gas etc., then we have a right to expect this to be supported by much more than a mish-mash of untested hypotheses and media hype.

I accept that the global climate is changing, but our attention needs to be focussed, like that of the Netherlands, upon dealing with the results rather than upon the fanciful belief that the human race can control the climate.

Last edited by Blacksheep; 1st Dec 2009 at 10:22.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 10:08
  #3107 (permalink)  
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This is a good article from Ian Plimmer

Global warming? Don't wait up! The Earth has her own tricks to keep the carbon count in control | Mail Online
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 10:25
  #3108 (permalink)  
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The case for CO2 causing the glaciers to retreat isn't even accepted by all the ecologists, some of whom blame deforestation (which changes the rainfall paterns over the mountains etc). Theycan't even agree on the rates.

e.g. EcoWorld: Burning Fossil Fuels or Tropical Deforestation, which is causing Glacial Acceleration?

So that's another bit of the case not proven then....
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 11:31
  #3109 (permalink)  
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PLEASE, PLEASE READ THIS and disseminate...

CRUdGate - Why this can't be swept under the carpet
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 12:12
  #3110 (permalink)  
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This was a great letter written to Dr.Judith Curry in the Climateprogress blog

"First let me just say I am not really qualified to comment here. But thanks for the chance and thank you for all your comments. I consider myself a skeptic, on this issue and most. My degree is in economics, which reinforced this somewhat.

I am one of those non-scientists who have been led astray by the “deniers” as some here say. I’m sure many here can refute it, but my skepticism began after reading “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. I’m sure that will cause a collective groan from many. But I say this, because I believe I am the demographic you need to convince, not to gloat in my ignorance of all the details. And that is why I’m commenting. I have been following this closely, and I find the comments sections more educational the the stories in some cases.

The above comment referring to eugenics struck home to me. Mr. Crichton wrote on that subject in his afterward comparing his fear that AGW was heading in the same direction. Because he was already a wealthy man, I gave him some credibility on the issue. As a layman, it is hard for me to swallow that only scientists working for evil rich energy companies corrupt the science, when the most famous spokesman for AGW is an ever richer Al Gore. It struck me a way end an argument, not win it. I know a lot of rich and poor people, and money in my experience is never a good indicator of integrity. Regardless of the stereotypes for both.

And that brings me to the real reason I’m commenting. I want to thank Dr. Curry for her comments. Reading them, and the others here, I can really appreciate that there are good people on both sides, and to some small degree, this scandal has lead me to question AWG a little less. The reason is she does speak for a superior moral, and from my understanding of it, scientific position. Integrity rings home with me.

I don’t have the time to read every new finding on AGW. But daily for the last 7 years (or longer when you consider other issues) I read or hear stories about the imminent destruction of civilization if we don’t act within days. After a while you shut it out. In the meantime you are told that you must use 1 sheet of toilet paper, give up all meat, or not plan of having kids. If you don’t you are a evil person. Or at least uneducated.

In the meantime, common weather patterns are part of the proof of AGW. Hurricane Katrina, something that we all knew was gonna happen someday, well before any normal person heard of AGW, is caused by you guessed it, AGW. After awhile you don’t just zone it out, you begin to resent it.

To the reasonable skeptics, I say keep it up. But to the reasonable believers, like Dr. Curry, I say you true problem isn’t the minority of skeptics, it is the army of idiot believers. Constant fear tactics backfire, and turn people like me into skeptics. You call for openness gets a lot of respect from me though. And when I see a paper from you I will read it with an open mind. I am the guy (and people like me) whose mind can be changed. But things like the CRU data breach, and the pretending that it is no big deal, don’t help. But Dr. Curry’s comments, as well as George Monbiot, give me pause.

On final thought for the true believers of AWG. It wasn’t that the wolf wasn’t real that killed the little boy, it was that he overblew the danger so many times that when the wolf showed up it was too late. Your true problem isn’t the skeptic scientists, it’s the idiots telling me I hate the planet because I want to use more then one sheet of toilet paper, and AGW is happening because of warm day in late November when I just want to enjoy it. With a steak…

Thank you for the chance to comment."

Todd Underwood
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 13:27
  #3111 (permalink)  
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And this was another good post in the same blog

"Here are a few things that raise questions in my mind.
1. Regarding temperature “reconstructions” in the U.S., the temperature in the early 1900s for parts of the U.S. were recently adjusted downward. I forget the exact measurements, but it was roughly the equivalent of saying that up until 2007, the temperature in Scottsdale, Az on Dec 3rd in 1909 was 38deg F. But now the temp on that day in 1909 is suddenly 32deg F. I understand there are a variety of reasons that the temp may have been adjusted, but I also believe that the methods for adjusting those temperatures should be published ALONG WITH THE ADJUSTMENTS themselves. Why wasn’t this done, and why isn’t it done as a matter of course.
2. When I first started this journey, I was amazed that so much of what had been written was all based on the IPCC report…and I was further amazed at how few scientists actually had input to that report, and was astonished that what the report ultimately said was, and forgive me for paraphrasing somewhat,: “We can find no other explanation for the warming, therefor it must be C02. And to prove it’s NOT C02, you must prove that it IS something else.
Now pardon me and my hair-in-curlers, over-the-fence, beer-drinking friends…but that hardly instills confidence in the findings, where I come from. It’s pretty much like saying “Well…we couldn’t find anyone ELSE who killed J.R., so it must be JimB.”
I don’t have to prove WHO killed him to prove that statement wrong. I just have to prove that I did not.
Likewise I need help with understanding all of the criticism, especially right now, of people like Steve McIntyre. He doesn’t need to publish 200 peer-reviewed papers to prove that there is an error somewhere in someone’s process. If he finds an error, so be it.
I believe the work done by Anthony Watts regarding surface stations and the measurement of temperatures to be of incredible value to anyone doing research in this field, yet I don’t see people thanking him for pointing the problems with a number of stations out. And I don’t see anyone saying “Wow…we really need to take a closer look at this database and figure out what the impact is.”
Why is that?
Yes, I’m sorry Bernard, but when it comes right down to it?…you need to appease the hair-curler-beer-drinking crowd…if for no other reason than they are the ones paying for the research, and they are the ones that will bear at least some of the brunt of whatever politicians end up doing based on the research.
And for those that don’t like that?…you probably need to find another field."
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 13:51
  #3112 (permalink)  
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And this was another post in the same blog.

Considering that Dr.Curry is a believer in AGW, I must that she has been more fair than anyone else to seek alternative opinins and publish them without censoring. Her assessment of the CRU Gate and the proposed remedies to such situations also was fair. It is these kind off healthy debates from the pros and the cons that are needed to foster real scientific advance. Not the kind you see in realclimate or from posters like Simonpro.

"I’m putting my name up here as I normally post from time to time as Micky C but after reading Dr Curry’s piece I wanted to comment without ambiguity.
I am a trained physicist (PhD) and currently work in the field of plasma physics (ion thrusters). My PhD work was in the field of thin film ferroelectrics where our group (in Queens Belfast) managed to overhall a ‘consensus’ opinion on multi-layer capacitors by repeating the experiment ourselves. Thes paper (by H, Tabata et al App Phys Letts, 1994) was widely cited (note to Bernard J) but the data was incorrect. Tabata reported enhanced dielectric constant by reducing individual layer thicknesses of BTO (Barium Titanate) and STO (Strontium Titanate) but this was actually a false reading. He did not show the measured losses which would have immediately shown that the reported constant was due to transient conduction related effects rather than intrinsic polarisation in the material. We did this instead. The field then adapted.

With regard to the main piece:

I’m sorry Dr Curry but there are no ’skeptics’. And if so then every scientist is a skeptic. Scientific method can be neatly summarised as ‘you are only as good as your last experiment’. You publish your data, methods and assumptions in a manner that anyone layperson or scientist alike can take and repeat themselves, either using the same methods or an independent method that is logically and physically consistent. They can shout at you all they want but all you say is ‘here’s the data and full method; go repeat it’. There is no hubris about it. Just plain openness and honesty. Now even though it was difficult for him, Steve McIntyre did just that for the Hockey Stick and found it was wanting. (As an aside the whole use of uncalibrated and uncharacterised ‘proxies’ extrapolated out of the fitting space is laughable and I would not have let these papers MBH98 and the recent PNAS Mann 2008 be published without a detailed section on assumptions and limitations)
In climate science I have seen a severe lack of experimental evidence for the processes involved in AGW, principally radiative forcing (a term that Jim Hansen introduced in the 80s as a means of relating increase in CO2 to overall increase in temperature).

Hansen extrapolated radiative physics for CO2 alone and combined this with a model of the atmosphere. But then even with this all climate models assume that the atmosphere uses a radiative-convective coupled process. So to Steven Mosher, it is not enough to say that if we understand radiative physics we understand forcing. This is a meme that has been circulating for a while. Coupling phenomena have to be characterised as coupling produces effects that are different from the variation of individual components.

What should have happened after forcing was introduced is that a large scale laboratory experiment should have been performed to better bound the uncertainty of Hansen’s original estimate. This hasn’t happened yet. So there is as yet no empirical evidence apart from basic radiative physics for forcing and the couping that is assumed involved even though it a well used assumption that coupling takes place in the atmosphere.

To spell this out more clearly: that there is an interaction between water vapour processes and CO2 (and O3) that alters the net outcome from purely radiative IR absorption and emission of CO2.

As for the peer review process, just because it is published does not mean that it is correct. There is a very famous stellar model in the field of Astrophysics called the Kurutz model. It is used to determine the temperature of stars by their spectra. Now this model is probably the best one at homogenising the difference between observation resolution of the sun and other stars i.e. you make a model of the sun and then apply it to other stars and it doesn’t fit and vice versa.

However one of the most cited papers is by a guy who proposed a model and it was so bad at describing the sun that it is used as an example of what not to do. (I can’t remember the name of the author but I’m sure some astrophysicists will know it). It is widely cited but just wrong.

What is supposed to happen after peer review is that someone else tries to repeat what you do independently. After a number of people have done this and found other ways of trying to falsify it, the theory starts to get some traction. What has become evident from the CRU emails, is that the groups trying to independently repeat the findings of others where not in fact independent; not just in the work but also in the review. It was a club of researchers who had too much interaction and vested interest. Their objectivity was clouded. Also they were trying to keep other papers that contradicted their ideas from being published. They were not even allowing bad papers to fall on their face by repetition as is the norm. So the questions you ask should be:

How well has the promoted theory of global warming been independently assessed and by whom?

How much of the key processes have been experimental repeated and shown to agree with postulated and by whom?

It appears that both of the answers to these questions is Not Very Well At All. And Essentially By The Same People. Consider that people still have small niggling doubts and questions about Relativity but for the most part the theory it considered settled (until of course we do the next experiment). AGW is not even in the same league as this.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 15:10
  #3113 (permalink)  
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To believe in AGW, one must take as fact that a trace gas (CO2) has the ability to change the Planetary climate at a rate that 'should' cause near panic, since the Oceans will rise 1.4 meters in 100 years.

I submit that an immense force, the Sun, could do that in two to three years, and has. The Sun's cycle is unaddressed, and almost certainly has everything to do with recent 'changes'.

Rather than count ppm's of Carbon Dioxide, perhaps an honest appraisal of the spotty Sun?

Nah, no money nor power there. At least not so's you'd know.

AGW deserves to be archived with Grimm, and Disney, just sayin'

Old 1st Dec 2009, 19:34
  #3114 (permalink)  
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Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the unit.
It will be interesting to see whether the BBC report this on the 10 o'clock news?



Just in case the BBC News people are reading this, here is the source;

CRU Update 1 December - University of East Anglia (UEA)

Last edited by Captain Airclues; 1st Dec 2009 at 20:27.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 20:02
  #3115 (permalink)  
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There are currently 5 stories on the BBC website about global warming, that is not one of them, surprise surprise.
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 20:41
  #3116 (permalink)  
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Professor at centre of climate change email row stands down temporarily - Telegraph
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 21:29
  #3117 (permalink)  
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Open letter to the University:

Respects. I understand Professor Jones has pledged his full support to the 'independent review'. This is, of course, troubling; we know at this point the quality of his work when in support of something in which he 'believes'. We are sure this is an oversight on your part and beg you reconsider.

Perhaps it is not too late to repopulate the body of inspectors with those in whom Jones' Faith is found wanting, as you see this would salve the 'supposed damage' brought upon your eminent University.

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Old 1st Dec 2009, 21:36
  #3118 (permalink)  
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Limited hangout
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Old 1st Dec 2009, 21:49
  #3119 (permalink)  
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In the business, it is also called a 'gag'. A Trojan Horse, or 'good joe'.
You've seen it in endless movies and TV as 'good/bad cop'.

The spokeshole for Sierra Club got an A- from me this morning, when he admitted, with 'passion' that the lapse in ethics needed to be addressed, the minus came when he pulled back into his 'settled science' bromide.

"Nothing wrong here Maude, it's just a pile of Ketchup." (no Earl, underneath is the dog turd)
Old 1st Dec 2009, 23:58
  #3120 (permalink)  
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Well we'll see what the "Mad Monk" has to say about that!
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