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Stand-By for Global Cooling

Can't they just make up their mind....

Scientist predicts 'mini Ice Age'
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Russian astronomer has predicted that Earth will experience a "mini Ice Age" in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg said Monday that temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak, RIA Novosti reported.

The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said.

Dramatic changes in the earth's surface temperatures are an ordinary phenomenon, not an anomaly, he said, and result from variations in the sun's energy output and ultraviolet radiation.

The Northern Hemisphere's most recent cool-down period occurred between 1645 and 1705. The resulting period, known as the Little Ice Age, left canals in the Netherlands frozen solid and forced people in Greenland to abandon their houses to glaciers, the scientist said.

Yeah whatever.

At least this one has more science behind it than the global warming hoax. That the output from the sun is cyclical has been known for hundreds of years. Any HAM radio operator can tell you that, but the global warming hustlers never want to talk about it.

I just hope I can burn enough fossil fuels before I die to counteract this ice age stuff.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stand-By for Global Cooling:

» Oblogatory Anecdotes linked with Scientist Predicts "Mini Ice Age"!

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» Conservative Outpost linked with What happened to global warming??

» Conservative Culture linked with Oh no, its Global Cooling - Halliburton?

Comments (111)

Given the fact that methane... (Below threshold)

Given the fact that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, you shouldn't forget the benefits of chili cook-offs!

..sorry- was paying attenti... (Below threshold)

..sorry- was paying attention to the dying part.

Global warming is a hoax? ... (Below threshold)
I am a Dandy Warhol:

Global warming is a hoax? Could you provide data, articles or opinions of reputable scientists to support that assertion or is that just your (unqualified?) opinion.

Yeah, Paul, give us data, a... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Paul, give us data, articles, and opinions to prove that global warming doesn't exist... from scientists who depend on the grants they receive to study global warming and would be out of a job if they disproved it.

I'm gonna not make a point,... (Below threshold)
Gold Fart:

I'm gonna not make a point, or rally address the issue at all but just sound like a paranoid delusional.

Global warming is not a hoa... (Below threshold)

Global warming is not a hoax. It's the suggestion that we puny humans are the sole and primary cause of it that is.

Besides, I like the idea of being able to take a cruise to the North Pole in 15 years.

So who fund grants that on... (Below threshold)
I am a Dandy Warhol:

So who fund grants that only pay out if they show that global warming is occuring? How about an example of that silverbubble?

As far as I know NOAA and other bodies fund research on the climate, and the money is not in anyway dependant on the outcome of the research. infact reasearch in any field is always supposed to be funded up front, not retro-actively.

Well, I have no experience ... (Below threshold)

Well, I have no experience with the NOAA but I do have experience with other government agencies that distribute funds for basic research (NSF, AFOSR, etc.) And while I agree that in principle their funding is not dependent upon outcome, the process of peer review lends itself to just that kind of filtering. And it need not even be deliberate. Thus it would not surprise me to find clear predispositions to fund research that advances a particular point of view. But again, I must disclaim any knowledge of that occurring here.

Global warming is not a hoa... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Global warming is not a hoax. Blaming the cause on SUV's might be a hoax, but the warming trend is undeniable.

One question (and it is som... (Below threshold)

One question (and it is somewhat related), if a tobacco company gave a large grant to a group to research the effects of smoking on middle aged men, wouldn't it be in the best interest of the research team to either find NO negative effects (and thus endear themselves to an industry with a lot of money) or leave the study "open-ended", saying we found no ill effects, but need more time (and more money)?

Therefore, if a group offers a grant to research global warming, would it not seem true that the research team would agree with the grant giver, and thus endear themselves to that group, thereby almost guaranteeing themselves the job when the next study is needed?

Hmmm.So w... (Below threshold)


So who fund grants that only pay out if they show that global warming is occuring? How about an example of that silverbubble?

Oblivious to the obvious.

Show me a grant to disprove Global Warming. That's all the answer you need.

Frankly I'm hoping for a bit of Global Warming. So what if the artic ice cap melts, it's not like it'll raise the sea level or anything. Hell it's ice that's already floating on the sea. If melting icebergs caused sea levels to rise then someone needs to explain why my ice filled gin & tonic doesn't overflow when the ice melts.

Ahhh. New Jersey Italian food and Florida temperatures! Now that's combination I could live with.

Silverbubble -- any scienti... (Below threshold)

Silverbubble -- any scientist who can show that anthropogenic global warming is not happening will be (1) a millionaire and (2) a Nobel Prize winner. I know it makes you feel good to believe Michael Chichton's silly conspiracy theory, but there's zero evidence that's it's true.

Frankly I'm hoping for a... (Below threshold)

Frankly I'm hoping for a bit of Global Warming. So what if the artic ice cap melts, it's not like it'll raise the sea level or anything. Hell it's ice that's already floating on the sea. If melting icebergs caused sea levels to rise then someone needs to explain why my ice filled gin & tonic doesn't overflow when the ice melts.

That's hilarious. No one has ever claimed melting icerbergs would cause the sea level to rise. The concern is that the melting of ice sheets ON LAND (Antarctica, Greenland) will cause the levels to rise.

Ed,Pass me a gin &... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:


Pass me a gin & tonic!

By the way, most of the Arctic ice is on land. Take it from this former Alaskan, there is a lot to melt, and it is doing just that.

The real change is occurring in the more temperate regions, where two or three degrees means the difference between winter snow accumulating in the mountains, or rain that immediately runs off to the ocean. When the snow doesn't accumulate, the streams and rivers dry up in the summer. That can devastate sushi bars because the fish can't spawn.

Still, I'll be drinking Ed's gin and driving my SUV until someone can prove either my breath or my car's farts are causing the problem.

Earl is right. I'm a clima... (Below threshold)

Earl is right. I'm a climate scientist and if I could prove that climate change was not anthropogenic I could get any faculty job in the country. Furthermore, you don't write a proposal to prove an idea; you write it to test a hypothesis. Finally, why do you buy some yahoo's prediction about future sun activity? Sure we all know about sunspots and longer term cycles, but where is the proof for this?

Show me a grant to dispr... (Below threshold)

Show me a grant to disprove Global Warming. That's all the answer you need.

What a waste of money that would be. Show me a grant to disprove plate tectonics, why don't you. Global warming is happening, without any doubt whatsoever. How else would you explain this: January Was America's Warmest on Record?

How much effect humans are having on the process is obviously disputed, but there will be no disproving of global warming. Then again, you don't understand the difference between floating ice and ice sheets on land, so you'll probably continue believing whatever suits you.

From AP today: "January was... (Below threshold)

From AP today: "January was America's warmest on record"

I love that one Russian ASTRONOMER counts as all of the forces of science. Why can't "they" make up their mind? Crack research down here at the Wizbang.

Fluctuations are normal - the global rise of greenhouse gasses are not. This leads to greater heat production.

"Living is easy with eyes closed"

Well, here's a question, if... (Below threshold)

Well, here's a question, if humans are the ONLY cause of global warming (due to our burning of fossil fuels) why did the last ice age end before we humans began burning stuff? Did they just fart a lot more back then?

why did the last ice age... (Below threshold)

why did the last ice age end before we humans began burning stuff?

Because the earth's climate is, you know, complicated. No one is saying than human activity is the only reason the climate is changing; there are tons of possible reasons. But if we're making things much worse for ourselves in the future, we might want consider stopping.

Regular Dude: So the earth... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Regular Dude: So the earth is getting hotter?

Scientist Dude: Probably.

Regular Dude: A lot hotter?

Scientist Dude: Maybe.

Regular Dude: Is it our fault?

Scientist Dude: Don't really know.

Regular Dude: Can we do anything to stop it?

Scientist Dude: Probably not.

Regular Dude: Can we still make air conditioners?

Scientist Dude: Absolutely.

Regular Dude: Cool.

There is little reason to d... (Below threshold)

There is little reason to doubt that the climate is getting warmer. But, bear in mind that it was just 1975 when science discovered that the climate was getting cooler. In fact, there was one proposal being floated to cover the ice cap with soot to help off-set the "alarming" cooling phase.

It seems equally clear that human activity is contributing to this warming trend (such as it is). CO2 is, after all a 'greenhouse' gas. But....there are also influences such as rotational precesion, orbital eccentricity, volcanic eruptions, solar activity et al that have a far more profound impact on our climate than your neighbor's E-V-I-L SUV. Or all the SUVs combined.

There isn't the tinest shred of credible scientific evidence to support the notion that, if we cut our emissions to zero, we could alter a pending climate shift. NOT ONE SINGLE SHRED!

So, before we start a World-Wide Welfare program (such as the Kyoto Accords), the admitted goal of which was to reduce global temperatures by .07 C (an amount that is not even measurable as a global mean temperature) with a timeline of 50 freaking years...and an estimated cost of $7 TRILLION dollars, somebody is gonna have to provide some REAL proof. And..the dirty little secret of the global warming scam is: they can't!

Wow. Keeping on the anti-sc... (Below threshold)

Wow. Keeping on the anti-science crusade. good job.

Oh, science I love!<p... (Below threshold)

Oh, science I love!

Its politics disguised as science that I hate!

But if we're making thin... (Below threshold)

But if we're making things much worse for ourselves in the future, we might want consider stopping.

I agree.

However: how do you know we're doing that? That is, how do we know we're "making things much worse for ourselves?" Even if I were to grant that discretionary energy usage is the primary source of global warming, how do you know that the world environment is going to be worse for us as a result of it? This planet has seen climate shifts far greater than what we are seeing now; and life has adapted just fine. It certainly will not be the same but it's not clear it will be worse.

Secondly: how exactly do you propose we stop it? Do you honestly believe that is a feasible proposition? The reductions mandated by Kyoto will have a negligible impact; furthermore, among countries that are not bound by its protocols are many whose energy consumption will be increasing far faster than those that are.

I mean: can anyone credibly propose the cessation of fossil fuel use? Or for that matter, can anyone credibly propose a decrease of global energy consumption?

Now to be clear, I am all for the development of clean energy production methods derived either from renewable sources or more slowly depleting ones. (Thus including nuclear fission for example.) There are a whole host of reasons to do this. The problem is, that those in the political sphere who scream "GLOBAL WARMING!" the loudest seem to be bound to those who would prefer we just all move back into caves and burn wood. (Only, burning wood will be prohibited.)

>Wow. Keeping on the anti-s... (Below threshold)

>Wow. Keeping on the anti-science crusade. good job.

No you dim wit. It isn't ANTI sciene. it is PRO science.

That's the problem. We DON'T HAVE ANY SCIENCE. All we have is a self perpetuating fad.

Guess you belived in Cold Fusion too huh? numbskull.

I'm with you on this one, P... (Below threshold)

I'm with you on this one, Paul!! I've always said that it's NATURAL for the temperature to rise and fall over time, and, since our pollution output pales beside what even ONE volcanic eruption spews into the atmosphere, the idea that we humans were altering the climate was ridiculous.

(enjoying a warm winter in SoCal)

I'd be much more willing to... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned:

I'd be much more willing to listen to global warming alarmists if their solution wasn't the elimination of capitalism and a return to enclosed feudalism.

But, bear in mind that i... (Below threshold)

But, bear in mind that it was just 1975 when science discovered that the climate was getting cooler. In fact, there was one proposal being floated to cover the ice cap with soot to help off-set the "alarming" cooling phase.

That's a myth.

since our pollution output pales beside what even ONE volcanic eruption spews into the atmosphere

That's also wrong.

Sorry, left out <a href="ht... (Below threshold)

Sorry, left out the link.

Wrong again, Earl.... (Below threshold)

Wrong again, Earl.

Here's the link:


And...while your digesting that little bit of crow, I'll get you the link on the emission reports for the Mt Pinitumbo eruption. I seem to recall 14 million metric tons of sulfer dioxide in 48 hours....but I'll have to double check that.

I've been doing some readin... (Below threshold)

I've been doing some reading here and there since the last time you posted about global warming and come to my own conclusion that the science linking us to global warming could be bogus (i.e. the hockey stick that you can also create through Montecarlo simulation (http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trc.html), etc.). But I don't see how scientists could make up the amount of CO2 that we put into the air since it's a very measurable quantity (CO2 per car * number of cars + C02 per KwH * KwH + ...). And it's a signiifcant amount of CO2 that we're putting into the air (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/graphics/globcarb.gif).

If I were President I'd say, we don't really know what our CO2 is going to do to our environment and our panet, so let's tread lightly and try to reduce it.

I'm a little skeptical of ethanol. The process of making ethanol gives off carbon dioxide. It's a question of are we pumping carbons out from below the ground and burning those into the air from oil or are we sucking carbons out of the soil into corn and then fermenting it into the air? What's the difference? They say you can bottle the CO2 and use it to clean mining equipment or something but once you let it out of the bottle, where does it go? The CO2 in my Coke at McDonalds has to go somewhere, right? I'd like to see the comparative numbers on that.

Also, a lot of carbons (I think almost half) are from burning coal to have electricity (for things like electric cars). Half of my electric bill is from 4 computers that I leave on all the time to catch worms and viruses. These global warming scientists have whole farms of computers cracking away for their next paper and they want me to replace my light bulb with some $40 "environmentally green" one?

Oops! My bad! it was 20 m... (Below threshold)

Oops! My bad! it was 20 million tons!

Solo -- I like how you tota... (Below threshold)

Solo -- I like how you totally trust the MSM (Newsweek no less!) when it suits your needs. Hate to tell you, but Newsweek isn't exactly a scientific publication. Here's a discussion of that exact article -- this was linked to the page I provided, but you obviously missed it.

They key passage in the Newsweek article is this: "'Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data,' concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. 'Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.'"

Typical MSM, overhyping the situation.

Also, 14 million metric tons is the same as 14 Tg. As the link I provided said, human activity adds about 79 Tg sulfur/year to the atmosphere.

Pretty sure I'm not the one eating crow.

Actually, there's a much be... (Below threshold)

Actually, there's a much better link than this but I can't locate it right now. It has all the numbers of what was estimated for the various emissions. It's staggering really!

YOu could locate it by googleing "Mt. Pinitubo"

Oops! My bad! it was 20 ... (Below threshold)

Oops! My bad! it was 20 million tons!

Yeah, that bolsters your case a lot.

Well, for anyone truly inte... (Below threshold)

Well, for anyone truly interested in the subject, there is an interesting piece of research being conducted. Of course, this poor hapless scientist has already raised the ire of the Imams of the global warming religion and will, no doubt, be burned at the stake for heresy. but...

Here's the link:

Yeah, Earl. Actually it do... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Earl. Actually it does bolster my case quite a bit.

Beyond that, the Newsweek article was simply reporting the opinions and research of the scientific community at that time. He didn't make this stuff up out of the blue (like, say...Dan Rather)
Yes..the data sets may have been flawed. I emphisize "may". Most assuredly, we understand more about the global climate now than we did at that time. And similarly we will know more 30 years hence and.....the conclusion may well change again. Funny how that works out, huh?

The question is: why wed yourself so completely to a science that is, frankly, all over the board on this subject? Could it be that it just happens to fit neatly with your political views? Hmmmmm?

I'll bet it does!

Here's a question, since tr... (Below threshold)

Here's a question, since trees (and other plants) actually USE C02 to produce the air we breathe, wouldn't a HUGE REDUCTION in the C02 in the air actually have harmful effects on humanity? Second, IF the Kyoto Accords were such a great thing, why didn't China and India get included?

Lastly, I'm all for renewable and cleaner energy sources as well, but not for the environmental reasons, I just hate sending over $2 a gallon (and I know that's low compared to other parts of the U.S.) to the Saudi sheiks and other people who really don't like the U.S.A.

Interesting link you have t... (Below threshold)

Interesting link you have there Earl....

You say it is a myth that the media reported we were cooling in the 70's.

Then you provide a link that cites all the times they did report it... The only difference is that your link says "Well they did report it but thouse don't count."

HUH? Either the media reported it or they didn't.

The fact of life is that the media has misreported 1,000 global catastrophies in the last 30 or so years.

The reality is that we don't have any real science to back it up. In the late 70's they said the seas would rise and we woudl all be dead by 2000.

The earth must have missed the memo.

Ted Dansen (or however you spell his nane) was quoting a "study" that said there woudl be no life in the sea by 1997. He quit quoting it about 1991.

About 2 years ago the BBC (or maybe the Guardian) ran a pice saying it was too laste, global warming was already here a done deal and in 10 years we'd all be dead. (or some such babble) Well... They have 8 years for us all to die to be proven right.

Here's something I bet you did not know...

When the first "horesless carriges" (cars) were build many scientists of the day said that if a woman travelled over 50mph she would become sterile.

There is a great irony of life that many "scientists" use their work to prove superstition.

If you belvie the world will end tommorrow if we don't all give up our SUVs, ok fine. You're gullible.

But that's OK, millions of people thru the millina have belived the would was about to end for various reasons. You will be neither the first nor the last.

Silly me, I'm a sceptic. But history usually proves the sceptics right.

(ouch I just read that and saw the typos... ugly. Sorry, it's late and I'm tired. you can figure it out.)

Gotta love a Paul-science p... (Below threshold)

Gotta love a Paul-science post ;)

Al Gore invented Global War... (Below threshold)

Al Gore invented Global Warming.

mr ho say sumerian circle</... (Below threshold)
mr ho:

mr ho say sumerian circle

for this isnt aliens. though the earth does lean.
consider please.
the angle of the earths magnetic field varys about 15 deg from the earths rotational axis. The earth wobbles over a period of time. From Draconia (the Star) and Lodestar or North Star. The Magnetic Field also wobbles, or rotates within in a what they called Sumerian circle. (Sum of the Area)

Magnetic field also alters weather, Pollution and co2 aggravate the situation. mand made C02 differs in from natural C02 and doesnt break down equally in nature, thus the arguments over C02 gases.

now what name you call mr ho while me gone?
you call me crazy more? =) mr ho smile,

If we don't stop filling th... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

If we don't stop filling the air with "green house gasses" then the whole earth will turn into one giant greenhouse and crops will multiply tenfold (like in a greenhouse) and then all those starving people will get fat and explode and life as we know it will vanish.

I'm still waiting for some ... (Below threshold)

I'm still waiting for some study that includes any figures for the cooling effects of any corresponding rise in sea level brought about by global warming. Those alleged scientists always seem to overlook that for some reason. I've been to more than one conference on the subject and I always get the same answer when I ask about that, "We'll get back to you." They haven't yet gotten back to me in over 15 years. I've mentioned this in the comments here at Wizbang and not one single tree-hugging-grant-money-grubbing-parasitic-anti-capitalist-self-proclaimed scientist has sent me a link to any such study either, I wonder why...

Could be because it shoot holes in their theory, but that's just a guess. Any of you treehuggers got that link yet?

What we need to do is combi... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

What we need to do is combine intelligent design and global warming on the same thread and see how fast we can get these folks spinning with the scientific method. We might find a whole new energy source there if we could harness it.

Man, I go out for a couple ... (Below threshold)

Man, I go out for a couple of beers and miss all this? Where to begin? Let's start with Paul:

You say it is a myth that the media reported we were cooling in the 70's.

I never said that. I said it is a myth that (in solo's words) "science discovered that the climate was getting cooler". If you don't know the difference between "science" and "media", your problems go way beyond not understanding the basics of climate science.

The reality is that we don't have any real science to back it up. In the late 70's they said the seas would rise and we woudl all be dead by 2000.

I've never heard that. Care to provide a citation? If "science" indeed said that, it should be easy.

When the first "horesless carriges" (cars) were build many scientists of the day said that if a woman travelled over 50mph she would become sterile.

I've never read that either. Care to provide a citation or link?

Ted Dansen (or however you spell his nane) was quoting a "study" that said there woudl be no life in the sea by 1997.

Wow, citing Ted Danson as a scientific authority. I'm impressed.

Bullwinkle wrote:... (Below threshold)

Bullwinkle wrote:
I'm still waiting for some study that includes any figures for the cooling effects of any corresponding rise in sea level brought about by global warming.

Care to explain how that might happen? If you're talking about the slowing of the North Atlantic circulation, it has been discussed before. A lot. There was a paper in Nature. And a discussion on Wizbang. Nice selective memory.

Solo:Yeah, Earl. ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Earl. Actually it does bolster my case quite a bit.

Uh, no, it really doesn't. The 20 million tons (the amount of sulfur emitted by Pinatubo) is quite a but smaller than the amount emitted by humans (79 million tons per year). Not offense, but the math isn't complicated.

I'll start worrying about s... (Below threshold)

I'll start worrying about so called scientists with so called predictions ausing computer models coming anywhere close to what they predict when they finally get a weather guy who can tell me what the weather will be like in 2 weeks--with ANY sort of accuracy.

It's my belief the computer models used for these chicken little predictions are so far off as to be useless for anything other than stirring up emotions and drama in order to get more funding.

Earl, if there's a rise in ... (Below threshold)

Earl, if there's a rise in sea level there will be a corresponding rise in water surface area on the plant, along with increased evaporation rates and that will increase cooling and rainfall. Too hard for you? With me so far?

OK, what I keep asking for is one link to a study that includes rather than ignores this. I have been asking to be shown one model that includes this in it's figures and have never once found one single alleged scientist that can show me one. If this isn't entered into the figure the figures are bogus. Post the link to a study that includes this here in the comments, I dare you.

OK, what I keep asking f... (Below threshold)

OK, what I keep asking for is one link to a study that includes rather than ignores this.

There's a reason the studies ignore this -- because it's a tiny, probably negligible effect. First off, amount of evaporation is not proportional to water surface area. But let's say it is. It's estimated that a 50cm (~2 foot) sea level rise would reduce the land area of North America by 19,000 km^2 [IPCC 1998]. That's a lot, of course. Scaling it up for all earth's land area (of which North America accounts for 16.3%), we get a land reduction of 116,600 km^2 (this scaling isn't exact, since all continents are different, but it's reasonable).

Right now the oceans cover 335,258,000 km^2. So a 50 cm rise in sea level would increase the surface area of the oceans by 0.035%. Under four parts in ten thousand -- not a very big change. Certainly not enough to make a measurable difference in water evaporation.

Basically, the big news with sea level rise is the decrease in land, not the increase in ocean.

[email protected]! I'll be too old to en... (Below threshold)
Scott Crawford:

[email protected]! I'll be too old to enjoy the skiing!

That's about the lamest thi... (Below threshold)

That's about the lamest thing and the worst math I ever heard in my life. How were you able to determine that a 50 cm rise would only increase surface by that amount? Did you use a mathematical formula or a map that actually shows the areas that are currently dry land that would be underwater with that rise? It's amazing that you were able to figure that out when our own government can only estimate it with all the resources and funding available to them!
I gotta call bullshit on your science, your math skills and your thought processes in general. You are not qualified to make the claims you are making, your opinion, and that is clearly all it is, it agenda driven drivel. Now in case you didn't understand it clearly the first time I want to see a link to a REAL SCIENTIFIC STUDY that includes the cooling effects of the added surface area of water from a the corresponding rise in sea level estimated for the amount of global warming people like you are claiming we are going to have. Not your bullshit opinions. Can you do that? BTW genius, in case you don't know, the area flooded in North America alone would be much larger than the surface of the Great Lakes, are you willing to stake your reputation as a junior scientist that the Great Lakes don't effect the weather? There's no need to argue your position or your claims, I shot them down, just post the link. I'm still daring you...

I almost forgot, evaporatio... (Below threshold)

I almost forgot, evaporation IS PROPORTIONAL to surface area. You ain't exactly Bill Nye the science guy, are you?

But I thought there was ... (Below threshold)

But I thought there was consensus about anthropogenic global warming? This Russian scientist must not have gotten the memo. He must obviously be paid off by the Russian oil companies. This all reminds me of a post of mine from a while back. Ah, memories.

Hmmmm.1. Most of t... (Below threshold)


1. Most of the artic ice is on land?

Got proof of this? Look at the map. The largest amount of surface area is over water. Keep in mind that we're also discussing *volume* and ice floating in seawater has the vast majority of it's volume hidden under the water while the ice volume of glaciers is entirely visible.

2. 20 million tons of sulfur from one volcano vs. 79 million tons from 5.5 billion humans in one year.

There are at least 100+ active volcanoes erupting at any given time all over the world, including underwater volcanoes.

3. The coming ice age in the 1970's is a myth cooked up by the media eh? Someone should tell Congress since there was a hearing on this issue and a number of scientists testified to this effect.


I gotta call bullshit on your science, your math skills and your thought processes in general.

Agreed bullwinkle. I think you nailed it right then and there.

There is a consensus on glo... (Below threshold)

There is a consensus on global warming, not on anthropogenic global warming. Paul is absolutely correct that the dominant effect is from solar output. If we were simply to maintain our current global CO2 output levels, there would little to worry about.

There are two problems: 1) too rapid of an increase can push the Earth's global CO2 cycle out of balance ("equilibrium") an effect that is especially of concern for the North Atlantic Oscillation (think gulf stream shutting off) and 2) treaties like Kyoto don't address the dominant abusers (NOT the US and Europe). Normalized to economic production, the US is not an abuser, rather it is actually increasing it's CO2 efficiency over time.

I've made this point before over at Say Anything, using the best "state of the art" data and analysis I could dig up. My references, ironically, are the same scientists some people use to bolster their case for anthropogenic global warming.

By the way, if you look at the rate of evaporation, it is a strong function of surface water temperature. Global warming accelerates evaporation and increases the precipitation rate. This is already seen in Greenland, where on the one hand you have an increased melting of the ice cap at lower climates and an increase At the moment, we don't even know for a fact whether global warming and human generated environmental effects (e.g., CO2 production) will result in a melt-off or an increase in ice-cap accumulation! Here's a reference.

The problem with the human-generated global warming is not primarily the scientists, but rather the quacks who are misusing this science to bolster (often) anti-industrial agendas and such, or the reporters who run sensationalized stories to help sell copy.

My funny about this is that the same people who are accepting carte blanche environmentalist mischaracterizations of the global warming research are the same group that are accusing Bush of ignoring the science. Life is full of irony.

Bullwinkle:How we... (Below threshold)

How were you able to determine that a 50 cm rise would only increase surface by that amount?

Uh, I cited my source. The funny thing is, you provided another one. That EPA study you provided gives similar numbers, though it's for land between 0 and 150 cm. I imagine it's pretty easy geography to estimate.

are you willing to stake your reputation as a junior scientist that the Great Lakes don't effect the weather

Uh, no. "Global climate" and "weather" are different things.

I gotta call bullshit on your science, your math skills and your thought processes in general.

Where exactly is my math wrong? Just so you know, when scientists disagree, they don't just say "I call bullshit". They explain why the other person is wrong. You'll need to explain to me how my simple mutliplication is incorrect. My guess is, you can't.

Anyway, as Carrick points out, what will make the most difference in evaporation is not sea surface area (which barely changes) but sea surface temperatures (which could change by a measurable amount). And yes, sea surface temperature changes are included in all models.

[email protected] Earl<... (Below threshold)


@ Earl

Uh, I cited my source.

You do? Where?

Ed -- you're not very good ... (Below threshold)

Ed -- you're not very good at reading, are you? I wrote "[IPCC 1998]" in my post. [Now, I know, the predictable answer is "IPCC is biased!" Fine. (1) How is the number wrong, and (2) if they were so alarmist, shouldn't they be overestimating, not underestimating, the land area lost to the sea?]

By the way,Ed, Pinatubo was one of the largest, and most sulfur-rich, volcanos to erupt in several decades. It'd be wrong to compare it to the other 100+ volcanos erupting at any given time.

Great posts Carrick and Ed!... (Below threshold)

Great posts Carrick and Ed!
But I would repeat: There is no evidence that if we were to cut our Co2 emissions to zero, we could head off a pending climate shift.
And I would point out that, the very computer model that generated the infamous "hockey stick" graph (showing a rapid increase in global temperatures for the 20th century as an abberation) has been under scrutiny for a couple of years now. IN fact, there's a huge 'brouhaha' over at Nature Magazine, which published the original work, about the data sets and methodology of the model. IN short..it looks like Mann et al. cooked the books to get the result they wanted.

There are much more accurate models using more reliable data over a longer period of time that demonstrate the 20th century increase (in much the same way that the 'hockey stick' graph does), but reveals this warming period as a relatively small 'blip' in a larger climatic trend. IN other words..no significant corelative association between observed 20th century warming and the advent of the industrial age (which is the assumption in the 'hockey stick' model). Here's the link, again:


Mars is also experiencing g... (Below threshold)

Mars is also experiencing global warming.

Everyone knows Martians like SUVs.

Oh, I'd like to repeat anot... (Below threshold)

Oh, I'd like to repeat another previously mentioned influence to consider.

Rotational precession. As I'm sure most know, the earth 'wobbles' on its axis from about 22.5 to 24.5 degrees relative to its orbital plane. This cycle occurs over about a 15000 year period. It doesn't sound like much but...it shifts the point where the sun's warmth has the most profound effect on the earth by about a thousand miles. This changes ocean temperatures over the affected region and alters current, evaporation rates, cloud cover, precipitation rates, etc. that literally alter the entire global climate.

Add to this- Orbital Eccentricity. Earth's orbit around the sun is an elipse but, that elipse isn't constant. It changes over about a 50,000 year cycle and changes the earth's average distance from the sun by millions of miles.

Combine these two with solar forcing (the cyclical increase or decrease in solar activity), throw in a tempory increase (or decrease) in volcanic activity and what you have is a cyclical climate pattern that we are largely POWERLESS to alter.

The so called "delicate ecosystem" (spoken with a high pitched whine) is anything but delicate. Its profoundly robust. And...if Al Gore (and his mindless minions) think that we're gonna make a difference by reducing the average global mean temperature by 7 one-hundreds of one degree over 50 years while emptying the national treasuries of western industrial nations (under the direction of those corrupt, blue-hatted baby rapers at the U.N.), then they've all got rocks in their heads.

Our scientific and economic resources are better spent figuring out how to cope with any pending climate shift because, if there is one coming-there is nothing we can do to stop it.

Solo: But I wou... (Below threshold)
Krusty Krab:


But I would repeat: There is no evidence that if we were to cut our Co2 emissions to zero, we could head off a pending climate shift.
Absolutely true. And as I said, if we simply stopped increasing them, there would be a minimal effect on the global climate. If we simply slowed the rate of increase, but continued to increase the amount of CO2 pumping into the atmosphere, it might be a very long time before we saw any significant negative climatic impact from that.

The short-term problem if we increase the CO2 production rate too rapidly, then we can knock the otherwise fairly robust "global CO2 cycle" out of whack. One of the biggest worries is the effect of a too precipitous of an increase of CO2 on the North Atlantic Oscillation. This is the main concern of real climatologists, and not the total volume of anthropogenic CO2 emissions (which amount to about 3% of the total CO2 released into the atmosphere) that environmentalists whine about.

Hmmm.1. <blockquot... (Below threshold)



Ed -- you're not very good at reading, are you? I wrote "[IPCC 1998]" in my post.

Considering that this is a blog, i.e. internet, most people provide a link when citing. Only a jackass would consider thinking a "[IPCC 1998]" is a valid cite.

You're not very good at citing now are you?


Now, I know, the predictable answer is "IPCC is biased!" Fine.

IPCC: Was established by the United Nations Environment Program & World Meterological Organization.

World Meterological Organization: Is a United Nations speciality agency that supports the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Framework Convention on Climate Change: Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty -- the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable. Recently, a number of nations have approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the climate change process, particularly the COP, the subsidiary bodies and their Bureau.

I.e. the IPCC is an extension of the WMO which is dedicated to the establishment of the "Framework Convention on Climate Change" of which the *Kyoto Protocol* is a PART OF.

**You must be some kind of jackass to think I'm going to take this "source" as definitive.**


By the way,Ed, Pinatubo was one of the largest, and most sulfur-rich, volcanos to erupt in several decades. It'd be wrong to compare it to the other 100+ volcanos erupting at any given time.

Who gives a rat's ass? There are 100+ volcanoes erupting all over the world at any one time. If one volcano erupting can output 20% or so, in only 48 hours, of the human race's entire yearly output of sulphur, then I'd say you've got a frigging problem in comprehension and debate.

Now go away or I'll have to taunt you a second time.

Only a jackass would con... (Below threshold)

Only a jackass would consider thinking a "[IPCC 1998]" is a valid cite.

You obviously know nothing about science. Or Googling. Goodbye.

Goodbye, Jackass. Heh.... (Below threshold)

Goodbye, Jackass. Heh.

Wait! Come back, Jackass...... (Below threshold)

Wait! Come back, Jackass...where's my link to that study that includes the increased water surface area and evaporation, you illiterate turd?

In the words of that infamo... (Below threshold)

In the words of that infamous philosopher Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along".

Part of the problem with th... (Below threshold)

Part of the problem with this whole discussion is that fact that global warming / climate change / ozone depletion is all tied up into one big nasty knot, and unfortunately people have staked out political positions on one side or the other that they feel they must defend. Science suffers when this happens.

Does the earth's climate change? The evidence seems overwhelming that it does, although it does so on such a long timescale that hundreds of generations of men will live and die without noticing it.

Does man's activity contribute to climate change? The evidence is, I think, not sufficient to make a determination. Consider that man has only been capable of making accurate temperature measurements for about three hundred years (the modern mercury thermometer was invented in 1714). This isn't even a tick of the clock compared to the theoretical age of the earth. Further, the records are fragmentary and older ones especially are of questionable accuracy. It seems to me that making predictions of global warming based on such scant evidence is rather like a first-year medical student trying to diagnose a patient's heart condition based on listening to the heart for a few seconds and seeing a quarter inch of the chart from his EKG.

Assuming that man's activities do contribute to climate change, what is the timescale for this? If we accept the argument that various air pollutants cause a greenhouse effect and climate change, then do we not have to accept the possibility that that soot and other chemicals put into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution or even since the dawn of civilization have already altered some balance that will cause artificial climate change?

It seems to me that the proponents of global warming imply - or at least are content to let people believe - that the effects of global warming will start to manifest themselves in the near future and that they will be catastrophic. If they are correct, then it only makes sense to take whatever action is required to prevent this.

However, those who don't believe in the theory of anthropogenic global warming argue that the recommended actions will do great harm to the world economy NOW.

Who's right?

A final note: I have not been convinced at all that anthropogenic global warming is a threat to humanity, or that it even exists at all. There are, however, threats to humanity that we KNOW exist and that we can do something about. Before we rush off to sign Kyoto and make everybody drive electric cars, why not give some thought to preparing against:

-- Another hurricane on the Gulf Coast

-- A major earthquake in California

-- An outbreak of a lethal epidemic, such as the Spanish Flu of 1918

-- Terrorists getting a nuke

-- If we want to get really sci-fi, how about a large meteor striking the earth?

It is reasonable to expect these things to happen eventually, because they have happened before (with the exception of the terrorist scenario). Therefore, it seems much more reasonable to worry about them than to concern ourselves much with something as nebulous as global warming.

Hmmm.Frankly Globa... (Below threshold)


Frankly Global Warming doesn't really bother me for a number of reasons:

1. Any possible negative impact is very far in the future, in which case there's no use worrying about it.

2. If any possible negative impact is NOT very far in the future, then we're screwed and it's no use worrying about it.

3. One of the biggest impacts from possible Global Warming is the increase of fresh water into the oceans which could raise the sea level and decrease the salinity.

4. The timeline for most scenarios involve at least 50-100 years.

5. The most desired and useful material in space colonization is *water*.

6. The most logical means of transporting materials from earth to orbital and sub-orbital space is via a mass accelerator.

7. 50-100 years is plenty of time to build a couple dozen mass accelerators to support space colonies.

8. If we've got too much fresh water on our hands then we can easily ship it off the planet since our space colonies will be very much in need of that water.

9. Ergo, no Global Warming.


Thank you, thank you. You are too kind. Please sign all checks to ....

Hmmm.In case anyon... (Below threshold)


In case anyone misunderestimates the previous comment, yes it was tongue-in-cheek.

But rather logical for all that.

By the way, most of the ... (Below threshold)

By the way, most of the Arctic ice is on land. Take it from this former Alaskan...

There's that mad cow disease talking again.

Ed and McGeehee:I ... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Ed and McGeehee:

I might have the mad cow, but I know a little something about ice.

The average thickness of the land-based arctic ice cap is 7,000 feet and reaches two miles in some places. Meanwhile, the ice floes of the Arctic Ocean are typcally 6-25 feet thick. Now go back to your map and compare arctic land mass to the frozen surface area of the Arctic Ocean.

The ice floes are a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Ed,Also consider t... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:


Also consider this. My home town of Juneau, which sits next to British Columbia in Southeast Alaska, has 232 CUBIC MILES of ice sitting within it's city limits--and none of it touches the ocean. Yes, this one tiny town of 25,000 people, thousands of miles south of the Arctic Circle, has that much ice in the city!

And that little town has experienced a very distinct warming trend since the early 60's. The ice cap used to expand and recede but remained fairly stable overall. Now it's receding like a bat outta hell.

That's one tiny example from a moderate climate, and it's infinitesimal compared to the vast Arctic.

I might have the mad cow... (Below threshold)

I might have the mad cow, but I know a little something about ice.

It's absolutely essential for a martini, for example.

Denny, compared to the Antarctic ice cap, the amount of land-based ice in the Northern Hemisphere, Greenland excluded, is a drop in the bucket.

My "mad cow" comment was in reference to your trying to make the fact you once lived in Alaska serve as a basis for expertiose on your part.

And that little town [Ju... (Below threshold)

And that little town [Juneau] has experienced a very distinct warming trend since the early 60's.

It's called the heat island effect. Consider posting the Juneau population figures from the 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000 census.

Hardly "global."

McGeehee:You're ri... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:


You're right about the non-Greenland Arctic ice caps in comparison to Antarctica. But how does that bolster Ed's claim that most Arctic ice is sea ice rather than land-bound? It doesn't. Nor does it diminish my correction of him.

I never claimed Juneau was "global," I merely offered it as one example of what is also occuring globally.

And, I was not claiming any special climate expertise. However, as one who has spent time all over the Arctic and seen it first hand, I probably have a little better perspective of the geography and ice content than someone like Ed who has not. It's as simple as that.

So McGeehee, what's your point? I made a simple, but true, one line correction of Ed's misperseption of arctic ice. You have not even claimed I was wrong about that. So what are you doing? --and why are you mis-reading the one simple point I made?

Denny is heading to the store for martini ice--McGeehee did have one excellent point!

Oh, McGeehee,About... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Oh, McGeehee,

About the "heat island" effect....

Juneau's city limits enclose 3248 square miles, or roughly twice the size of the state of Rhode Island.

In that massive expanse, roughly 25,000 people have lived for many decades. From 1960 to the present, the population has varied by a couple thousand people each year, but it is essentially constant.

Are you suggesting that changes in this tiny but constant population affected the climate over 3248 square miles? --particularly the 928 square miles of ice that is separated from the population center by a mountain range? That's pretty silly.

I meant to say, "by a coupl... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

I meant to say, "by a couple thousand people each decade." But the population has hovered pretty constantly around the 25,000 mark.

By the way, that's fewer than 8 people per square mile. Since there are few roads (you can only drive 40 miles in one direction on one road), almost non-existent off-road vehicle use, and it's populated by environmental freaks who absolutely refuse most reasonable development, it's a real stretch to suggest the population there is affecting it's climate.

Hi Bullwinkle-You ... (Below threshold)

Hi Bullwinkle-

You have an interesting idea- I'd never considered what effect evaporative cooling would have on temperatures. From a physics perspective, wouldn't the heat transfer occur from the oceans to the atmosphere (as the warmed vapor goes into the atmosphere)? Would this cause the atmospheric temperature to rise? Or cool? And wouldn't the increase in water vapor in the atmosphere increase warming overall, since water vapor in the atmosphere would enhance heat retention, since it's a good insulator (greenhouse gas)?

I'm no scientist and don't ... (Below threshold)

I'm no scientist and don't claim to be one but it seems to me that increased humidity would result in more cloud cover and more rain, both of which would contribute to cooling. The oceans also act like heat sinks and are capable of absorbing enormous amounts of heat. I do know that humid air is easier to heat but also easier to cool. I also know that reflectivity of the water's surface radiates a lot of heat back into space so more surface equals more reflectivity. There's a lot of agenda driven stuff out there and without taking increased water surface area into consideration of the modeling the modeling is bogus and slanted to suit that agenda, which leads me to believe it's being ignored for that particular reason. Throw in a goofy statement made by the treehuggers like "evaporation isn't proportional to surface area" that is either an intentional lie or inability to use Google coming from someone who complained that we could use Google to find the link he couldn't provide he must have been lying intentionally and you have the basic dishonest anti-capitalist agenda being presented the only way they are able to justify it, by lying. Honest points of view don't rely on lies to support them and neither does science. That's what facts are for. The global warming side is damn short on facts and long on opinion, and that's a fact.

bullwinkle-Thanks ... (Below threshold)


Thanks for the reply. I guess I'm still not clear on how evaporative cooling will result in overall cooling. Thermodynamics indicates that the heat will go somewhere, so if the oceans are cooled by evaporative cooling, it is at the expense of the atmosphere, which will warm (or some other component of the system- maybe the land warms)?
How does increased humidity result in more cloud cover and more rain? Also, what do you mean by humid air being easier to heat and cool? Compared to what? I believe that humid air is harder to heat and cool than dry air (due to all the water vapor in the air- it has a high heat capacity).
You're correct about the oceans acting as heat sinks and being able to absorb a lot of heat. How does this relate to evaporative cooling? Wouldn't that cool the oceans, meaning they're not acting as heat sinks?
As to reflectivity of the water's surface, how much (percentage wise) of the total water surface of the earth will increase, and how much increased thermal radiation will result from this? For instance, there will be a much greater impact if the total area increases by 50% than if it increases by 0.05%. I honestly don't know the numbers.
I also did a quick google search on evaporation rates, and this page seems to indicate that evaporation isn't proportional to surface area in a real world situation, but is dependent on a number of factors, such as temperature at the surface boundary and on humidity at the surface: http://van.hep.uiuc.edu/van/qa/section/States_of_Matter_and_Energy/Boiling_Evaporating_and_Condensing/20020321122324.htm
Anyway, this is a great discussion- I'm learning a lot!

Just ask yourself two ques... (Below threshold)

Just ask yourself two questions about this and you can settle the whole thing:

1. Is it scientific in any way, shape or form to deicde to ignore any factor that can have a measurable effect on the results?

2. Are they ignoring the increase in water surface of area because including it would strengthen their claims or weaken them?

If you answer both honestly you'll know why they keep ignoring it and you'll know why nobody has yet been able to show me a link to a study that factors it in.

I don't recycle. I burn le... (Below threshold)

I don't recycle. I burn leaves and paper garbage in my backyard. I drive a truck that belches diesel exhaust. I often liberate Freon into the atmosphere. Just doing my part.

Bullwinkle,I'm no ... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:


I'm no meteorologist or other climate expert. However, I do have some familiarity with science, and a career working with logic and arguments. So, for what it's worth, I've got to say both of your questions, 1 and 2, are begging the question.

Built into both questions is a positive assumption of actual the question at issue: Do changes in water surface area have a measurable impact? Your premise is yes. You might be correct, or you might be very wrong.

What matters is that your questions are meaningless until that premise is verified. Erroneously, you suggest the answers to your questions will establish the truth of your premise. Shame on you. That is very, very wrong.

(Ok, so your first question isn't so offensive at face value--if given the Clintonian literal reading, but reading between the lines is simple and your intent is clear.)

I've also gotta call bullshit on your 3:26 a.m. post which seems to be typical for you. You seem to feel a little too confident attacking others who may have knowledge and expertise that falls outside the realm of your vast ignorance. If you don't know it, the other person is automatically a liar and an idiot. I know, because you've accused me of similar things because I have training and expertise way outside whatever it is you think you know.

Perhaps you should stop for a second and assess the limits of your expertise. Perhaps you have no idea how much you don't know. Perhaps others know the answers to questions that never even occurred to you. Imagine.

Finally, I don't understand why some of you treat global warming as a partisan issue. That's nonsense. Perhaps claims about the cause are partisan and subject to great debate, but it's existence is not. For whatever reason, there is a global warming trend that can't be denied.

bullwinkle-I've as... (Below threshold)


I've asked myself the two questions you posed, and they in no way answer the questions I asked you. I'm trying to understand the process by which evaporative cooling and increased water vapor would cause an overall drop in temperature.

How do your two questions address asking you explain your statement "I do know that humid air is easier to heat but also easier to cool"? I'm looking for a mechanism by which your hypothesis would cause cooling overall. I'd love to engage in a discussion about this but you're not really providing any details.

And is evaporative cooling proportional to surface area or not? I provided an explanation on how it isn't in a real-life system. What do you think? Thanks,

That's hilarious Denny, you... (Below threshold)

That's hilarious Denny, you going out on a limb like that and talking about my vast ignorance. I suggest you try a little research before you project your own problems onto others. The comments here would be a good place to start, like possibly reading what I wrote and trying to find the part where I said global warming wasn't happening. I didn't say that but I did question the cause and the amount so once again you're either lying or stupid when you claim I did. As far as evaporation having a measurable effect I know for a fact that it does. I know from actually researching it.

From one source.
Warmer ocean surface temperatures at low latitudes also release water vapor through an excess of evaporation over precipitation to the atmosphere, and this water vapor is transported poleward in the atmosphere along with a portion of the excess heat. At high latitudes where the atmosphere cools, this water vapor falls out as an excess of precipitation over evaporation. This is part of a second important component of our climate system: the hydrologic cycle.

Here's another one worth reading:


So far we've had the jackas... (Below threshold)

So far we've had the jackass who defended the bad science by saying that increased evaporation not only wasn't included in the models because it wouldn't have any effect (if it's not included how the hell would they know?) but also that it isn't proportional to surface area, which it certainly is.

Then Denny, the second jackass said that I denied warming was happening in a pathetic attempt to discount what I'm saying, using dishonesty to support his opinion on the matter. He also didn't answer either question. So jackass #2, tell us, is it scientific in any way, shape or form to omit something from the model that does, or possibly doesn't effect the outcome? You think it's ignored because it won't matter like jackass #1, but how do they know if they don't include it?

Still not one friggin' link to a study that includes it in the model. That's the part that all of you keep ignoring. Where is that study, the REAL scientific study that doesn't have an agenda driven outcome?

Think evaporation doesn't p... (Below threshold)

Think evaporation doesn't play a part in things?

"But the tropical forests present a win-win because they cool the planet by evaporative cooling and the uptake of carbon."

It's amazing how that works? Evaporation is good for cooling the planet, but we aren't going to include it in our modeling because it doesn't have any effect that we can tell...

Hmmm.1. <blockquot... (Below threshold)



The ice floes are a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Your assertion, you prove it. Work out the numbers and post them here along with the links.


Also consider this. My home town of Juneau, which sits next to British Columbia in Southeast Alaska, has 232 CUBIC MILES of ice sitting within it's city limits--and none of it touches the ocean. Yes, this one tiny town of 25,000 people, thousands of miles south of the Arctic Circle, has that much ice in the city!

*shrug* I don't know the area so I can't say. But I think I'd like something that would back up that "232 CUBIC MILES" statement. Not disagreeing, but I'd like confirmation.

Even then let's do some quick and dirty math, and yes that means it's not perfectly precise, so that 232 cubic miles = 1,224,960 cubic feet of ice.

The Artic ice pack is around 40,000 sq miles and, I'll take the 25 foot thickness since I'm too lazy to actually look it up, so that comes out to around 5,280,000,000 cubic feet of ice.

Congrats! You've got 5.27 billion more cubic feet to go to equal the artic ice pack.

3. Whether or not Global Warming is going is under contention yes. But whether or not HUMAN activity is the primary or aggravating reason for Global Warming is under even more contention. Even if I accept that global warming is happening I haven't seen very much evidence that it is human activity that is responsible for it.

Now that doesn't mean that human activity might not be responsible. But there's a lot of varied factors involved in such a complex system and over-reliance on computer models makes me suspect most of the gloom-n-doomsayers because such computer models are such crap that they have to be reset quite often else the earth ends up a baked husk or a sweltering jungle.

In addition to the question of whether or not global warming is happening and whether or not human activity has anything to do with it is the issue of whether or not humans can actually do anything to impact it. And it's this last aspect that frankly bothers me the most.

It's one thing to enact significant changes, which will lead to massive economic and social chaos, in response to well known and quantifiable science. It's a completely different thing to do so in response to poorly understood psuedo-science. A lot of people on the Left like to portray conservatives as anti-science. This is not true. I love science and one of my earliest childhood heroes was Charles Proteus Steinmetz.

But one of the most serious issues involving global warming is that political considerations have overtaken the science. We'd all like to think that scientists are above being manipulated by and manipulating political considerations, but the fact is that many scientists are more than willing to fabricate, falisfy, fake and outright lie to support their funding efforts, patrons or political aspirations.

Good intentions is insufficient. I want facts. I want proof.

[email protected] bullwinkle... (Below threshold)


@ bullwinkle

1. Doesn't air pressure also affect the evaporation rates in addition to temperatures?

2. Doesn't relative humidity affect evaporation rates since highly humid air cannot easily absorb more moisture?

Frankly what I know about evaporation you can put into a thimble.

Yes, those are true, but gi... (Below threshold)

Yes, those are true, but given the same conditions evaporation is still proportional to surface area. That doesn't change.
If the humidity is already high in the tropics evaporation will still increase with more water surface area.

A cubic mile is 5280 x 5280... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

A cubic mile is 5280 x 5280 x 5280 cubic feet, so 232 cubic miles is 34,149,924,864,000 cubic feet.

A square mile is 5280 x 5280 sq feet, so 40,000 sq miles x 25 feet thick is 27,878,400,000,000 cubic feet.

That works out to 1.225 times more ice within the city limits of Juneau than in the Artic ice pack.

Does that seem wrong to anyone else?

As a liquid evaporates it a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

As a liquid evaporates it absorbs heat, but when the vapor condenses, it releases that heat. In a closed system there's no net gain or loss of heat. The evaporation condensation cycle is very effective at transporting heat and this technology is used in heat tubes.

With an outside energy source the evaporation condensation cycle can be used to move heat from a colder place to a hotter place such as in air conditioning, also called a heat pump.

The Sun and Earth form a very complex system that acts both as a heat tube and a heat pump, but there's even more going on. Evaporation produces clouds that can reflect sunlight back into space, but they also reflect infrared from the surface, and thus, traps heat that would otherwise escape into space.

Scientists have been trying to model all this for a long time using computers, but their efforts have not been very successful.

Climate Models (Inadequacies: Precipitation) - Summary

Hmmm.Does... (Below threshold)


Does that seem wrong to anyone else?

Regardless I think I feel pretty damn silly for screwing up my calculation. :)

Hmmm.Ok this is fu... (Below threshold)


Ok this is funny. A reference to the IPCC in this NRO article.

Hi bullwinkle-I li... (Below threshold)

Hi bullwinkle-

I like your first link, but the authors concluded that the hydrologic cycle, which transfers heat from the tropics to the northern latitudes, will slow down as ocean temperatures rise, causing even more warming at the tropics and, conversely, cooling at northern latitudes because of the diminished heat transfer.

Also, I'm not sure how your link about evaporative cooling cools the rainforests pertains to oceans, which are obviously a much different system.

It seems to me that as temperatures rise, water will evaporate from the oceans, water vapor will increase, which will lead to further warming, since it's a greenhouse gas. Cloud cover and humidity will increase, but this is also insulating, trapping even more heat. I read some stuff from Science magazine today about increased cloud cover leading to increased heat retention- when I get back to work tomorrow I'll try and dig the abstracts out.

Re: Mac Lorry- I know that some of the earliest climate models were rough, but how inaccurate are the current models? Remember, back in 1992 a computer model predicted the global temperature change caused by the Pinatubo eruption:


Hmmm.But humidity ... (Below threshold)


But humidity isn't global, it's a local effect with variations based on local conditions. A high humidiy near the equator would result in more rainfall. A high humidity in the more northern and southern lattitudes could result in more snowfall as the moisture is carried to high elevations or into cold weather.

In fact isn't this what is causing even more snowfall in the central highlands of Antartica?

Frankly I think the global weather, wind and currents are just too complex to really model well.

Mac Lorry:The ice ... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Mac Lorry:

The ice cap in Juneau is 928 square miles, and it's a quarter mile thick. Do the math: 232 cubic miles. Pretty simple. Google if you want.

Bullwinkle: You're an idiot, and you don't read well. Enough said.

Ed: I think you'll find the Arctic Ice Cap is more than 40,000 square miles in Greenland alone. I could be wrong, and I'm too tired to research it now. I would encourage you to go for it. Meanwhile, consider it is nearly 2 miles thick while you compute the square miles.

Warming is a fact. Causation is open for debate.

Hi ed-I think we'r... (Below threshold)

Hi ed-

I think we're starting to debate around the point as to humidity- in fact, I think I've forgotten what the original point is! I think you're exactly right in your observation that humidity is local. But it can have global consequences as we see with the hydrologic cycle.

If you think that the climate is too complex to model, what to you think of the models which have correctly predicted climate variations?

Denny Crane,I don'... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Denny Crane,

I don't dispute how much ice is in Juneau or how much is in the artic ice cap. I was just using the figures others were providing to raise a question about those figures. Now you say:

The ice cap in Juneau is 928 square miles

And it was stated before this is all within the city limits of Juneau, so we can infer from that information that Juneau is that large. Someone else can Google it, I just raise the question.

Also nuclear submarines are designed to break through the Artic Ice cap, obviously the part of the cap that's floating. I don't know exactly what thickness they can break through, but it's less then 50 feet and more like 15 feet.

echibby, ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


I know that some of the earliest climate models were rough, but how inaccurate are the current models?

The best information is what I linked to before, which is a summary of research papers, some of which looked at 20 state-of-the-art GCMs to see how well they predicted one of the largest of earth's atmospheric phenomena - the tropical Indian monsoon. The results are that they don't work. The concern is that these GCMs are the major source of evidence behind the Kyoto treaty. Bush is wise to hold off supporting Kyoto until there's more data.

Climate Models (Inadequacies: Precipitation) - Summary

Mac Lorry-Thanks f... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry-

Thanks for the link. It's interesting that the authors of the piece point out that a set of self-described "20 state-of-the-art GCMs"failed to predict weather trends. GCM stands for Global Climate Model- these aren't used to predict local weather variations, only global climate trends. So are these original models actually GCMs? The article is unclear. The authors of the article seem to equate inability to predict/model Indian monsoon trends with inability to predict/model global climate trends. Conveniently, they ignore models that have correctly predicted global climate trends, such as Hansen's 1992 study I cited earlier.

I also stumbled upon another site: a blog written by climate scientists. Here's what they have to say about climate models:


Thanks for the dialog- I hadn't looked into global modeling much before this.

echibby,Thanks for... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Thanks for the link. There's lots of information on that site, but I note that the date at the top is 1 Dec 2004. This is a fast moving subject and like many people, I expect on-line sources to be more up to date. I'm not saying the content is invalid, just that I'm disappointed it's been static for more than a year.

Computer models work by starting with a set of parameters that describe the atmosphere as it is now or was at some point. Then predict what those parameters will be at some set period into the future by applying the current understanding of how the atmosphere works. Those predicted parameters become the input for the next cycle. The faster the computer the shorter the time period can be and the greater the number of parameters that can be used. Some of the most powerful computers in the world are used to predict weather in this way.

From your own experience you know that the prediction for tomorrow is more accurate then the prediction for two days into the future, which is more accurate then the predictions for next week. Flaws in the model accumulate so that each cycle is less accurate than the one before it. Obviously, there can be some random occurrences where the prediction for tomorrow is wrong while the prediction for next Friday is correct. To obfuscate matters further predictions are given in percentage chance, such that there's a 50% chance of rain next Friday. Then if it rains or not the predication is only 50% wrong.

The GISS global-climate model's success in estimating Pinatubo's climate impact shows that science has a reasonable understanding of how massive quantities of sulfur dioxide in the upper atmosphere alters the climate. The forcing in such a case is so great as to overwhelm normal processes.

Last summer computer models were used to predict the track and strength of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Some models were correct on what would happen in the next 24 hours, but then were wrong in following 24 hour predictions. You can't judge a model's accuracy on it's success or failure of any given prediction. Similarly the success of estimating Pinatubo's climate impact doesn't translate to meaning that computer models in general are accurate.

The question the studies about the many GCM's was trying to answer is how accurate are their predictions. One means is to measure their predictions of major atmospheric phenomena. These models work the same way the weather models work, by projecting what the atmosphere will be a short time into the future, then using those projected parameters as input for the next cycle. If a model can't predict one of the largest cyclical atmospheric phenomenas on Earth, then we know the inputs to the next cycle are wrong. Being that errors accumulate with each cycle, what value are such models in predicting theclimate decades into the future?

There's a real simple principle at work here. Science can't model something it doesn't understand. Alternately, if the model's predictions are wrong, is shows that science doesn't understand what they are modeling. The answer is more research and faster computers.

Mac Lorry-It seems... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry-

It seems we're in agreement on the need for more research and faster computers!

Re: the realclimate website- go back and check the actual entries. The index was created in Dec 2004, and the entries in the index (under climate modelling, at least) range across 2005, the most recent being Nov 30. The user comments are even more recent. If you check out the home page of realclimate, the most recent entry is Feb 9, 2006. So the site itself is relatively up to date- the authors presumably don't update every subpage on a frequent basis.

Regarding climate modelling- there is a difference between climate and weather. As far as I can tell, no one generating GCMs will use them to predict whether or not there will be rain next Friday. Climate models cannot predict what a hurricane will do- this is a discrete, small event in the global climate cycle. I agree with you- they are next to useless to predict what the monsoon will be like this year, next year, or further into the future. They're not designed to do this. But climate models can be used to make a hypothesis about the long term climate (not weather!).

It's like comparing apples and oranges- modelling a hurricane, or a monsoon, which is a fast dynamic event on the global scale, is much different than modelling long term, large geographic trends. I found this site that actually lets you analyze the data from a number of climate models:



Mac Lorry-I just r... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry-

I just remembered this. Last September (coincidentaly right after Katrina- the paper was accepted long before), a study was published in Science:

Science Webster et al. 309 (5742): 1844

The abstract is:
"We examined the number of tropical cyclones and cyclone days as well as tropical cyclone intensity over the past 35 years, in an environment of increasing sea surface temperature. A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5. The largest increase occurred in the North Pacific, Indian, and Southwest Pacific Oceans, and the smallest percentage increase occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean. These increases have taken place while the number of cyclones and cyclone days has decreased in all basins except the North Atlantic during the past decade."

What is/was controversial about the paper was that a number of leading climatologists didn't accept the conclusions, saying the data did not support the thesis of the paper. Essentially, a lot of counterarguments focused on the fact that the science was not there yet that enabled a projection of microevents (hurricane intensities and numbers) from a macroeffect (global sea surface temperatures).

I bring this up to illustrate that climatologists, who generally agree on global warming having an anthropogenic cause, still have violent disagreements on projecting microevents such as hurricanes.

echibby,I'm not an... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


I'm not an expert on weather and climate computer modeling, but I do have some experience with computer modeling for other types of non-linear problems where there's no pure mathematical means of arriving at a solution. These models all have some basic principles in common as I wrote about in my prior post on this topic.

Computer models take a set of initial conditions, project what the values of these conditions will be a short time into the future, then use these projected values as the input to the next iteration. If you're into calculus you may recognize this process as being a form of numerical integration. These fundamentals are common to all the weather and climate computer models regardless of their specific purpose. The difference is in the details of what parameters are used to define the atmosphere, how many data points are used, how the projections are made, and the time period being covered in each iteration. The problem that plagues all such models is that any errors in the projected values accumulate with each integration the model goes through. It's the classic garbage in garbage out problem.

The weather, and thus, the climate is a chaotic system. From Chaos theory we know that small influences accumulate over time to produce large effects. This is sometimes refereed to as the butterfly effect, which says that a butterfly flapping it's wings in the tropics will result in a storm in some other location in the future that wouldn't have occurred if the butterfly never existed. For that reason, no GCM with so course a data set that it ignores one of earth's largest atmospheric phenomena would have any scientific credibility.

While not specifically designed to predict the Indian monsoon, the fact is that the 20 GCMs in the study do predict the Indian monsoon, just not accurately. The degree to which the Indian monsoon effects world climate is the degree to which all the GCMs in the study introduce errors into subsequent iterations. As these errors accumulate, the predictions of the GCMs become increasingly inaccurate.

I'm not disputing the earth is in a warming period, just the cause of it. Growing volumes of data show the earth has expensed two complete warming and cooling cycles since Roman times, all before human produced CO2 could have had any influence on the climate. While still in the minority, several scientists have pointed to the cyclical changes in the Sun's energy output as the primary cause of these warming and cooling cycles, including the Russian scientist who's predicting a cooling in mid-century.

The site I linked to before has been accumulating data supporting Sun cycles as the driving force behind climate change and also data showing the world will be better off with higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the warm period than it would be with lower concentrations.

The conclusion is that warming will continue regardless of what humankind does, apart from nuclear war, and that we should be moving people and infrastructure out of coastal low-lands. It would also be smart to harden the infrastructure that can't be moved to withstand hurricanes, regardless.

Hi Mac Lorry-The q... (Below threshold)

Hi Mac Lorry-

The question you're trying to answer is not what effect monsoons or hurricanes have on global climate, but what effect these events have on global weather. GCMs make projections of the former, not the latter. If we were speaking of Global Weather Models (not sure if they exist or not), that would be a different matter. I believe what concerns you is that a GCM that doesn't include weather events will be inaccurate.

As a matter of terminology, climatologists use models to make projections, not predictions. Climate projections deal with averages- what will be the average temperature in five years? Ten years? And beyond... And how are these averages influenced by macro trends, such as water vapor, cloud cover, humidity, solar variance, etc? You correctly point out that sun cycles affect the global climate. Solar variation is already accounted for in current GCMs.

As terrifying as a hurricane or monsoon is, these events do little to influence macro trends. These are weather events. An event like Pinatubo, which perturbs the atmospheric dynamics to a large degree, does influence the macroscale. This is a climate event. A very concise summary of the differences between climate and weather can be found here:


We both agree that the earth's average temperature is increasing. We disagree on the causes. There is a wealth of data extending back tens of thousands of years) wich correlates temperature and atmospheric composition. Accurate climate models (they do exist!) can be tested against historical data, and they're pretty good at this. Obviously, these models aren't used at all in examining weather events over the previous millennia (such as hurricanes, blizzards, etc).

I understand your reluctance to buy into a climate model which ignores local events, but these have very little effect on the global climate. Of more concern is getting accurate historical data on CO2 composition, temperature, etc. Researchers have gotten very good at this, which allows them to test the robustness of GCMs. I think we can agree that a) global temperatures are rising and b) CO2 levels are rising due to the actions of humanity. Where we disagree is if the two are correlated at all. Climatologists overall think that they are. This is due to the models, which have shown themselves robust at projecting the climate (not weather).

echibby,I understa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


I understand what you are saying about weather not being the same as climate, but trends in weather define the climate, not the other way around. Project the trends and you project the climate. GCMs project shifting patterns in perception, not just temperature, as the two are tightly coupled. In order to project trends in precipitation you have to model trends in weather patterns, as it's the weather that produces the precipitation.

The GCMs in the study all make projections about the precipitation produced by the Indian monsoon or else they couldn't have been in the study. Given the cyclical feedback nature of all these models, any inaccuracy in any part of the projected data set accumulates, and because of the interconnectedness of the atmosphere, any error spreads through the entire data set. The further into the future a projection is made the less accurate it becomes.

It's true that the GCMs have been tweaked so that using past data they can predict the current climate. Unfortunatly, this has not been accomplished through a fundamental understanding of how the climate works, but through the introduction of numerious correction parameters. The same technique of using past data to develop a model until it can accurately predict the present has been used in attempts to predict the stock market. Even though the rewards are obvious, no such model is accurate enough to beat the average rise of the market over time. The conclusion is that the technique of using past data to tune a computer model is of little use. The only valid test is to measure how well a model predicts intermediary conditions such as the precipitation produced by the Indian monsoon.

The role of the solar cycles is just starting to be understood. Here's a small excerpt from a piece published on the CO2 Science website as a result of reviewing three scientific studies linking the sun to historical climate changes.

Hence, there is no longer any need to consider the historical rise in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration as being the primary driver of 20th-century warming. Like everything else climate alarmists lump along with it, the much-maligned greenhouse gas was merely "along for the ride" on earth's eternally-oscillating climatic roller coaster whose operator is the sun.

Solar-Powered Millennial-Scale Climatic Change

I'm not sure how much of this you want to read, but you have been kind enough to provide links, so I'll do the same.

More Evidence of a Solar-Climate Link

A Pair of Two-Millennia-Long Climatic Records

Here's a quote from Climate Model Inadequacies (Radiation) - Summary

Hartmann, on the other hand, was considerably more candid in his scoring of the test, saying that the results indicated "the models are deficient." Expanding on this assessment, he further noted that "if the energy budget can vary substantially in the absence of obvious forcing," as it did over the past two decades, "then the climate of earth has modes of variability that are not yet fully understood and cannot yet be accurately represented in climate models," which leads us to wonder why anyone would put any faith in them. To do so is simply illogical.

I hope I got the links to the right pages.

Theres growing evidence that the current crop of GCMs are fatally flawed and it's the Sun that caused the historical climate oscillations and is doing so again. Other studies demonstrate that C02 concentrations lag warming and cooling cycles, and thus, are cause by climate change rather than cause climate change.

Hi Mac Lorry-Thank... (Below threshold)

Hi Mac Lorry-

Thanks for the links. I actually don't see any thing to dispute about the analysis of CO2 Science- the papers they summarize discuss the historical effect of solar variation on temperatures. All the models already take this into account. CO2 Science then makes the claim that this alone can account for current warming trends- I don't think the original papers claimed this, but it's difficult to know without going back and reading the primary literature.

I'd like to call a halt to our exchange- I don't think we're going to sway each other. You've given me a lot to think about and digest- thanks! I'm definitely going to go back to the primary literature and read up on this. It's very easy to selectively cite in order to prove a point either way. You're obviously a thoughtful person and I hope you can do the same.







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