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Another Global Warming Consequence Exaggerated

Well this is unfortunate timing. Just as it is being reported that the Cancun climate talks are in danger of collapse, a report is published that debunks one more of the extreme global warming consequences claims.

Alarming predictions that global warming could cause sea levels to rise 6ft in the next century are wrong, it has emerged.

The forecast made by the influential 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which would have seen cities around the world submerged by water, now looks 'unlikely'.

A Met Office study also rules out the shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean's conveyor belt, which would trigger Arctic winters in Britain like those seen in the film The Day After Tomorrow.

It's not all good news though. The publish report does offer up some dire predictions of its own.
It says there is new evidence that the Arctic will become largely free of ice during most summers earlier in the century than the IPCC warned, and that the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to melt in centuries to come than previously thought.

It also warns that the release of methane from warming wetlands will be greater than thought in 2007 - leading to more global warming in the coming decades.

Here's the problem though. There's just too much variability in the predictions that come from climate models. As fast as last year's disaster scenario is found to be invalid, a new scenario takes its place. There is undoubtedly some truth buried in all these reports but it is almost impossible to divine it amongst the cloud of data from poorly tuned models (or outright fabrications).

The standard response to that argument I hear is "Well something bad is happening. We have to act and we have to act now!" The problem I have with that is that those calling for such actions have lost their credibility. They clearly have an alternate agenda and are happy to use global warming or any other convenient catalyst as a means for driving that agenda. I refuse to support that approach even if, in some cases, I support parts of that agenda.

I'm an outdoor kind of guy. I live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. I spend many of my weekends hiking with my dog in open spaces and national forests. I don't want to see the sky clouded with pollution, the water poisoned with chemical runoff, or the animals driven to extinction from deforestation. But to me those goals are noble enough to have my support. I don't need exaggerated or bogus claims of global warming used to give governments powers they don't need to help reach those goals.

Ironically, this approach is very similar to the oft maligned "weapons of mass destruction" approach. There were many reasons that removing Hussein from power in Iraq was good choice. But many of these reasons were subtle or complex and it is hard to rally the populous without something clear-cut and obvious. So a focus on these missing WMDs was made, to somewhat disastrous results.

This is hardly different than the approach being taken by global warming extremists. There are a lot of subtle and complex reasons having a healthy ecosystem is beneficial to society. But again, it's hard to motivate people to support something with subtle arguments. So the blunt "we are all going to die from global warming, and soon" hammer is brought forth, whether rigorously supported by scientific study or not. And as a scientist, I refuse to go along with the deception.


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Comments (21)

But the science is settled.... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

But the science is settled. I mean, it was "settled" before, but now it's even more settled.

We realized we'd lost a power of ten in our models of the previous settled science, so now the new settled science is even more settled. Rock solid. On a settledness scale, a 10.

And the new settled science says we've got to give all our money and freedom to the government. It's for the children. It's for the polar bears. Hell, it's for the polar bears' children!

So pony up, you racists, haters, climate criminals, and grownups, or we're all doomed!

(Hey, writing liberal ad copy is easy, and fun!)

2007 Intergovernmental Pane... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The only thing they've been consistent is that they've later been proven to be wrong.

When they start ACTING like something bad will happen, MAYBE I'll start listening.

Re "healthy ecosystem is be... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Re "healthy ecosystem is beneficial to society"

Problem is they don't know what the definition of a healthy ecosystem is. many of them think a healthy ecosystem is one that man has not touched. Clearly not true.

They have lied and told half truths for so long that they have no credibility lift. Often they did it for money. Some have used the excuse that they needed the money their studies. I say what good are those studies if what they produce are lies and propaganda.

I'm fricken freezing. If we... (Below threshold)
yttik:

I'm fricken freezing. If we're going to do this global warming thing, I wish we'd get on it already.

It's really funny watching ... (Below threshold)
Not Me:

It's really funny watching them all retrench here in Cancun - lots of deck chair rearranging.

It's interesting to hear, on a regular basis, "the official US/Japanese stance may be against a new Kyoto treaty, but I talked to someone from the US/Japanese delegation who says there may still be a chance."

Apparently, most of the folks here have never heard the phrase "they're shining you on."

One of the things most peop... (Below threshold)
fustian:

One of the things most people don't know is that climatology is a small part of earth science. In fact, you can think of a climatologist as an earth scientist that took the global warming money.

This means that finding a climatologist that supports the global warming alarmist position is even less challenging than shooting a whale tied to a tree.

Problem is they don't kn... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Problem is they don't know what the definition of a healthy ecosystem is.

Or how to achieve one.

Rangers in Sequoia National Park used to try heroically to put out all fires. It was to "save the trees."

Then they found out that brush fires were part of the sequoias' natural life cycle. Fires (surprisingly) didn't hurt the grown trees, and burned out the pine needles and brush underneath the trees, so that sequoia seeds could gain access to the soil. Furthermore, the heat opened the pine cones, releasing the seeds.

So all those years of knocking themselves out to "save the trees" (sound familiar?) they were actually harming the trees' reproductive cycle.

Gotta be a moral buried in there somewhere. We just need a brush fire to burn out the liberal detritus to find it.

Even Al Gore is calling bul... (Below threshold)
Roy:

Even Al Gore is calling bullshit now.

Soon to be posted comment b... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Soon to be posted comment by Non-climate scientist Steve Crickmore (when he isn't busy making up fairy-tales about Reagan and BushI working with the Ayatollah to harm innocent political-waif Jimmah Carter): "Don't believe anyone who isn't a "peer-reviewed" "climate-scientist"!!!! (except for me, cause I'm a lefty, and lefties are exempt from such a facist rule!!!"

don't just do something! st... (Below threshold)
Idahoser:

don't just do something! stand there!

No really, it takes courage to admit that you don't know what is happening, and doing something could be the worst possible action. Courage the left does not have. Never let a good crisis go to waste, get some power and control out of it, who cares what really happens to the environment?

Jay good point. There are m... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Jay good point. There are many examples like that. Like forcing the military to relocate their ranges because of the infamous spotted owl showing up there. They would move the ranges just to find those birds move with them. Finally someone thought that maybe the owl like the ranges since the noise tends to scare off some of their enemies resulting in an increase in the owl's population. The list goes on and on.

At its center, global warmi... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

At its center, global warming has nothing to do with the environment.

The only thing the anti global warming movement is good for is as a helpful tool to help us identify the idiots

There is lots of <a href="h... (Below threshold)
aardman:

There is lots of physical evidence that our environment is changing, from drastically higher concentrations of CO2 (compared to those found in ancient Antarctic ice cores), to melting glaciers (how long before "Glacier National Park" becomes a contradiction?). You may argue with the climate models used by scientists, but you can't argue with the evidence that everyone sees.

So what is one to do, as a scientist, leader, or simply, as a concerned person? You can:

a). Do nothing, but risk having much more drastic change forced upon you if the climate goes off kilter.

b). Try to model the climate, and make some predictions for the future. Modeling the climate is extremely difficult, perhaps among some of the most difficult scientific problems of today. Mistakes will be made.

c). Take some common-sense precautions, even in the absence of a good climate model. For example, try to burn less fossil fuel, try to produce less CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

The climate changes slowly, in either direction. If the scientists are right, and we're headed for a much more difficult climate in the future, it will take a long time to undo it.

More directly related to this blog post: ask yourself if it's beneficial to discredit climate scientists and climate science. Sure, some of these studies are corrupt, they're made by people after all. But the reverse is true: studies that say that everything's OK and climate change is a hoax can be just as corrupt, but simply pushing a different agenda.

I guess I'd be curious what you mean by "I refuse to go along with deception." How are you so sure about who's deceiving you?

There is lots of physica... (Below threshold)
cirby:

There is lots of physical evidence that our environment is changing, from drastically higher concentrations of CO2 (compared to those found in ancient Antarctic ice cores), to melting glaciers

Well, there's a problem with that.

It turns out that CO2 does migrate through ice (the assumption was that it did not). Not quickly, but fast enough to greatly alter the CO2 profiles in ice cores. They're just starting to really address this issue. In other words, the ice core models are wrong, or at least not reliable enough for actual science.

The "melting glaciers" issue is another. The problem is that they're not. Melting, that is, at least not at a rate high enough to account for shrinkage. The issue there is reduced snowfall due to lower relative humidity in the regions the glaciers are found in, not temperature. The normal glacier melt isn't being replaced with fresh snowfall.

This is a HUGE problem for global warming models, since they're all based on the assumption that increases in CO2 levels will cause MUCH higher increases in relative humidity (and precipitation), causing the real global warming (since water vapor is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2). If relative humidity worldwide is NOT increasing by a good amount, the models are wrong - that's not negotiable. The entire basis of the model is that for every increment of CO2-based warming, there's going to be almost ten times as much H2O warming.

Global Warming is a commie ... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Global Warming is a commie scam, plain & simple. It's designed to redistribute wealth without any proof that man is causing the earth to warm, let alone that CO2 is causing it.

Perhaps the earth warms on a Solar cycle and CO2 increases & decreases as a side effect.

In any event, follow the money and you will see that it is all a fraud, scam, farce, & lie to empty your wallet.

"It's really funny watching... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"It's really funny watching them all retrench here in Cancun

5. Posted by Not Me | December 6, 2010 12:50 PM "

I hope you come back with some good stories.

a). Do nothing, but risk... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

a). Do nothing, but risk having much more drastic change forced upon you if the climate goes off kilter.

b). Try to model the climate, and make some predictions for the future. Modeling the climate is extremely difficult, perhaps among some of the most difficult scientific problems of today. Mistakes will be made.

c). Take some common-sense precautions, even in the absence of a good climate model. For example, try to burn less fossil fuel, try to produce less CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

You forgot d):

d). Take some fucking stupid steps that crush economies and constitute a massive power shift to central government, which by happy coinky-dink, is exactly what global warming/ cooling/ in-betweening/ climate change types have been advocating so, oh, forever on other grounds.

Turn your logic around. We all agree that child molestation is bad. Child molesters molest children, and in some models are thought to generate a subsequent generation of child molesters. Most child molesters are homosexuals. Let's take some common-sense precautions, and kill all homosexuals, which models says will reduce propagation of child molestation. Precautionary principle! I mean, mistakes will be made, modeling this stuff is tough, but after all, it's for the children! Do you see the problem?

If the scientists who are advocating lots more research funding in their Cinderella field that was a backwater until this shit came along are right and successfully control their own surprise at being right, and we're headed for a much more difficult climate in the future, it will take a long time to undo it.

FIFY.

Yep, several centuries from now it might be warmer. Or cooler. Or about the same. Won't those "climate scientists" be mortified then to find out they were full of crap, and just wasted a) grant money, and b) a hell of a lot of economic growth.

Oh, wait, they won't be mortified. They'll be dead. And so won't give a shit whether they're later shown to be right or wrong, and they don't worry about it now, either.

More directly related to this blog post: ask yourself if it's beneficial to discredit climate scientists and climate science. Sure, some of these studies are corrupt...

Yes, it is. Absolutely fucking yes, it is. I say this as a professor of chemistry. The essence of science is skepticism, not faith. The most scientifically sound approach one can make is to question everything. Sound propositions withstand such probing. Bullshit ones do not. The fact that any studies are corrupt - as you yourself admit - discredits the entire field, irrevocably. Bottom line: they don't know what the fuck they're doing. Period.

If any of these "climate scientists" are certain they're correct, let them make a prediction that is falsifiable in less than geologic time. And if they're wrong, they're fired, and banned from Federal research funding for life. Fair deal, right? After all, they're certain, right? Let them put their money where their mouths are. Either that, or STFU.

I come from a hard science - which climastrology most certainly is not - and I'm surprised all the time. Physics and chemistry are not settled sciences, but climastrology is? Please. It is to laugh.

Global Warming is ... (Below threshold)
aardman:
Global Warming is a commie scam, plain & simple. It's designed to redistribute wealth without any proof that man is causing the earth to warm, let alone that CO2 is causing it.

How many of these studies have you read or seriously thought about? For someone with such strong opinions, I'd hope (for your sake) that you have more than jingoistic sound-bites to back up your claims.

It turns out that ... (Below threshold)
aardman:
It turns out that CO2 does migrate through ice (the assumption was that it did not). Not quickly, but fast enough to greatly alter the CO2 profiles in ice cores. They're just starting to really address this issue. In other words, the ice core models are wrong, or at least not reliable enough for actual science.

This is interesting, I wasn't aware of these studies, so I'll look into it some more.

Oh, and thank you for the thoughtful and informative reply! There is hope yet that it's possible to have a measured and reasonable dialogue about this topic. :)

Take some fucking ... (Below threshold)
aardman:
Take some fucking stupid steps that crush economies and constitute a massive power shift to central government, which by happy coinky-dink, is exactly what global warming/ cooling/ in-betweening/ climate change types have been advocating so, oh, forever on other grounds.

First off, leave the politics (and the profanity) out of this, it's not serving your argument.

Second, I never said that I am in favor of crushing economies and the like. I am not advocating taking extreme steps on the basis of theories that are not sufficiently scrutinized. However, I am saying that what's at stake is potentially huge, for everyone, so it makes sense to be pretty sure about it -- one way or the other -- before making such strong pronouncements and condemnations.

Discrediting the scientists who are working on this -- and, yes, making mistakes in the process -- is far from being part of the solution. It makes an already difficult job even harder, to everyone's detriment. Polarization -- especially political polarization -- is bad for science, and ultimately bad for everyone.

The most scientifically sound approach one can make is to question everything. Sound propositions withstand such probing. Bullshit ones do not.

Show me evidence (experimental, or theoretical) that invalidates all (or even a majority) or climate science claims. In fact, the very fact that such a fiery debate exists around these claims suggests that there is great scientific interest, as well as skepticism, around them. Some of these claims or experiments are later shown to be wrong, which is all the more proof that the scientific process works and is healthy in this area.

The fact that any studies are corrupt - as you yourself admit - discredits the entire field, irrevocably. Bottom line: they don't know what the fuck they're doing. Period.

There are abuses in virtually all scientific fields, perpetrated by corrupt individuals for monetary gain. In fact, some of them are in your field -- chemistry -- chasing funding from pharmaceutical companies, for example. This is a sad and reprehensible fact of life, but it doesn't discredit the field itself.

As for the falsifiability angle, do you also consider astronomy to not be a science? Because it certainly makes lots of claims that are not falsifiable any time soon. Same with many branches of medicine, notably neuroscience. Popper made no claims about the time-scale on which falsifiability need to happen in order to render the endeavor viable as science.

Would appreciate your revie... (Below threshold)

Would appreciate your review and comments.

Is Ice Melt Causing Volcanic Eruptions? . . . Maybe So!
Doyle Doss, December 5, 2010

The recent volcanic eruptions in Indonesia may have a simple rational scientific explanation; land ice melt.
The oceans have risen 4 inches in the last 50 years (wikipedia.org/Current sea level rise). Two inches of this rise is due to thermal expansion (the oceans have warmed over the same period). The other two inches of rise comes from land based ice melt; this is new water that has been added to the oceans.
A cubic foot of ocean water weighs 64.1 pounds. A 2 inch rise over one square mile (27,878,400 sq. ft. in a square mile) works out to 4,646,400 cubic feet of additional water which, when multiplied by 64.1 equals 297,834,240 pounds and then divided by 2,000 (lbs per ton), is 148,917.12 tons. Or very nearly 150,000 tons of increased water weight per square mile of ocean.
The Pacific Ocean covers 69,375,000 square miles (35% of the earth's surface). The increase in weight of the Pacific Ocean over the last 50 years due to freshly introduced water from land ice melt is 10 Trillion 331 Billion 125 Million 200 Thousand TONS (69,375,000 X 148,917.12 = 1.03311252 × 1013).
The Queen Mary II (one of the largest ships afloat) weighs 150,000 tons. Imagine almost 70 MILLION Queen Mary IIs evenly distributed over the entire Pacific Ocean (one for every square mile).
The Pacific Tectonic Plate lies beneath the Pacific Ocean and at 39,758,000 square miles is the largest of all tectonic plates. Now mentally "sink" the 40 Million of your Queen Mary IIs floating directly above the Pacific Tectonic Plate onto the seafloor.
The earth is not "solid" . . . the tectonic plates float on top of a molten interior. If you push downward evenly across the entire surface of a tectonic plate stress is introduced along the margins. The westward margin of the Pacific Plate is a subduction zone; the Pacific Plate is "diving" beneath the Eurasian Plate . . . as it plunges downward (under increased pressure from 40 Million QM IIs) it only stands to reason that lava from below is going to be vented upward, hence the recent Indonesian volcanic eruptions. ("Like popping a pimple," commented a friend.)
The Earth is a closed system. Beside the occasional meteorite and continual sunlight nothing new is being added. This geologically rapid shifting of large amounts of water weight from the land masses to the oceans is creating an accumulating "out-of-balance" effect on the oceanic tectonic plates. The Earth's tectonic plates will compensate for this "out-of-balance" condition by "adjusting" their boundaries. We are experiencing these adjustments as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and associated tidal waves
And as a footnote, this huge increase in ocean water weight may be the contributing factor in the unusual intensity of this year's earthquakes in Chili and Haiti and probably has had an influence in the ongoing Icelandic eruptions.
(The author is a practical scientist and inventor whose website is heatstick.com.)




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