Global Warming

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safe
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Global Warming

I now feel that the following represents my understanding of the climate:

1) Global Warming is real, it is caused by man and popped up out of the blue.

2) The Climate naturally cycles on a 100,000 year loop and we are just seeing the natural cycle playing out and man has had no effect.

3) The Climate cycle does exist, but man has added extra energy with the introduction of extra CO2 and we need to freak out because it's going to cause "straight line global warming" when it would normally just switch to cooling.

4) The Climate cycle does exist, and man has added extra energy to the cycle, but the odds are the net result is not all that different than predicatable patterns, but some deviation is expected.

5) I am a Climate denier and don't believe climates ever change.

--------------------------

Please respond with your favorite choice and explain why...

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gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

I think we've been here before, but here we go, this is what I think.

Last time around I used terms like "not to our liking" to describe the possible climate outcome. I think people thought I meant that we may need to run the airconditioner a week earlier every summer or something like that... So I'll lay out what I think, no wry understatements.

Of course there is a variation in the climate. No one denies this.

Of course reducing the ability of infra red to get through the atmosphere means that the temperature has to go up in order for the amount of heat lost to space to equal the amount of heat gained from the sun. There is no doubt that increasing the CO2 level makes it harder for IR light to escape. None but the wilfully stupid or the outright liar would deny this.

"straight line global warming" is just something that the people who don't understand what's going on use as a term to try to convince people global warming isn't happening. A classic strawman argument. For those unfamiliar with "strawman arguments" it's where you pretend that the people you're arguing with have said something (the strawman) and then you knock that strawman down. It doesn't work for the people you're arguing with because they know they didn't say that. The hope is that onlookers are fooled.

We don't know what will happen if you release a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere of the Earth when the continents are configured as they are now and sun is this bright (brighter now than it ever has been since just after the solar system formed). Last time this experiment was run (releasing a lot of CO2 all at once) the temperature of the Earth rose by at least 40 degrees C (possibly much more). Few people think that the rise will be as high as that, but no-one is sure what will happen. (except everyone is sure that the "straight line" strawman *isn't* going to happen) It's possible that the mechanisms that lower the temperature at the end of each cycle will kick in and cool the place off again. It's also possible that they will be overwhelmed and the temperature will go up a lot. Perhaps a very great deal. It's possible that the temperature will stabilise at a new higher temperature. That new “higher temperature” may be hundreds of degrees higher than it is now. Completely evaporating the oceans and raising the surface pressure to 200 atmospheres. (similar to Venus). It's also possible that the temperature will go up a great deal and then swing back wildly to a very low temperature. That may cause it to snow in summer down to 30 degrees latitude. If that happens we know for sure that the climate will run away in the cold direction. The temperature all over the world will fall below -10C (it's happened before). All the oceans will freeze over completely. We know it will stay that way for at least millions of years until the CO2 level builds up over 10%. If it gets cold enough to freeze the CO2 out at the poles then it won't ever end. The world will stay frozen 'till the sun leaves the main sequence. CO2 will deposit out at about -80C. The lowest recorded temperature in recent past was -90C. Should temperatures like that be maintained for any length of time then the CO2 will be deposited as ice and then that's it for life on earth. (even microscopic life is doomed). With no ocean currents warming the poles then that's quite possible.

It may seem strange to suggest that the Earth could be converted into such a hostile place. After all it seems so large and so stable. That's an illusion brought on by our lack of travel and our short lifespan. The Earth has been an ice covered white cueball just as I've described just 650 million years ago (10 times longer ago than the extinction of the dinosaurs which seems a long time ago to us, but which is less than 20% of the life of the earth in the past). An example of crushing atmosphere and surface temperature of hundreds of degrees is visible most nights. Venus isn't that far away.

So none of your listed options are anything like what I actually think. Maybe option 1 is closest, except that it didn't just "pop out of the blue". It's a perfectly obvious outcome from dumping a huge amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

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MikeB
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Re: Global Warming

Every single poll option is essentially a strawman, a false representation of reality. And nothing is more infuriatingly wrong that the term 'straight line global warming', since it's so badly distorted that it's not even wrong.

Look, our climate is set by an equilibrium of various forces. It's at a balance point (except that it's not). We have a variable amount of heat arriving at the upper atmosphere, a variable amount of heat penetrating to the planet's surface, a variable amount bouncing back to the upper atmosphere, and a variable amount escaping into space. There are probably hundreds of different factors that can influence any stage of the heat path, slowing or speeding it under certain conditions. When the flow of heat is altered, the laws of thermodynamics insist that the planet start moving towards the new equilibrium point, hotter or colder according to the nature of the change.

There's absolutely no doubt that CO2 slows the escape of heat into the upper atmosphere, thus warming the planet. Denying this type of physical chemistry disqualifies you from any possible conversation on the topic, since you're now denying clear facts.

There's also no doubt that other factors also exist that can shift the equilibrium point. But as we examine each of those factors, we find that none of them are changing rapidly, and none of them are moving the equilibrium point any significant distance from it's pre-industrial value.

But here's why the 'straight line' term is complete bullshit: the concentration of CO2 is constantly increasing. It didn't just instantly jump from 275ppm to 385ppm and stop, it was pushed up year after year, decade after decade. It's currently gaining about 2-3ppm per year, and the rate at which it's climbing is also increasing.

So, let's pick a number and examine it: if climate sensitivity is in the range of 3C, then each increase in CO2 concentrations by 1ppm would add 0.01C to the equilibrium point. If you raise concentrations by 10ppm, the equilibrium point goes up 0.1C, and if you raise it by 100ppm, it goes up by 1C. So, at the beginning of the industrial age, we added 1ppm of CO2 in a decade, and we get warming at the rate of 0.01C/decade. In the middle of the industrial age, we're adding CO2 at the rate of 1ppm per year, so we get warming at the rate of 0.01C per year. And if we continue on the current industrial path, we'll be adding 5ppm per year, so we should expect warming at the rate of 0.05C per year. That's certainly not straight line, in fact it's a nice geometric increase. But it's completely wrong.

Because the Earth isn't at an equilibrium, it's behind the curve. It's got a massive amount of thermal inertia, so it's always moving towards the equilibrium point, and never reaching it. Depending on the distance it needs to move, it will take decades to centuries to catch up with any alteration of the equilibrium point.

So, right now CO2 concentrations are 110ppm higher than they were at the pre-industrial mark, but we aren't actually 1.1C warmer. We're only 0.8C warmer, and the difference is entirely explained by thermal inertia. So, somewhere in the near future, even if CO2 emissions halted instantly, there's more warming coming, just to continue to move towards the new equilibrium point.

But even that isn't the whole story. Because the climate sensitivity number doesn't include all the various feedbacks that exist. And feedbacks are the critical piece of this system. This thermal equilibrium is a balance of forces, but the forces can be changed simply by changing the equilibrium point. As the earth warms, ice and snow melt, which changes the reflectivity of the planet, changing the amount of heat that is directly reflected vs the amount absorbed. So changes in ice and snow cover will amplify other smaller changes.

What does this mean to our geometric increase in temperature? Well, if CO2 was the only thing changing, we might expect 0.1C warming per year. But what really happens is that we get about 0.05C warming per year for a number of years as the ice slowly warms up. But when the ice crosses the freezing point and melts, the whole situation changes instantly, and you get 0.15C warming per year. And with more warming, more ice melts faster, and suddenly 0.15C/yr becomes 0.25C/yr or 0.35C/yr. That's not a linear increase at all! We may easily shift our warming curve from geometric to exponential, as various feedbacks kick in (and there's quite a number of them to worry about).

The actual shape of the warming curve in the next century is an 'S' curve (overlaid with yearly fluctuations). Initially slow warming will become more and more rapid. In the middle section, it'll be terrifyingly fast. But as we approach the new equilibrium point, warming will slow. Assuming we don't move the equilibrium point before the planet reaches it, the system will almost certainly overshoot equilibrium, and then cool back down to the new equilibrium mark.

The big unknown right now is how far humans are going to move the equilibrium point, and how fast. Right now, we're on track to push the point about 6-10C, and it'll take more than several centuries to get there. So, for the next century, there's no possible chance we'll observe straight line warming, it'll be accelerating and the acceleration itself will be accelerating. If we actually move the equilibrium point by 10C, and then wait for everything to settle down, oceans may rise by 200-500 feet, and worldwide ecosystems (and agriculture) will be devastated. That's not a small inconvenient change!

Now, there's clearly other forces out there that influence the equilibrium, outside of the things that humans are changing. But not a single one of them is going to move the equilibrium point by 6-10C! And sure, some of those other forces are periodic, like solar cycles and orbital shifts. But again, none of them have ever pushed the thermal equilibrium to move as fast and as far as our human-triggered forces. These other forces continue to exist, and continue to change, but the magnitude of their change is so small that they will become nothing but noise in the face of our human activity. When faced with a human-forced change of +10C, does it really matter if non-human-forced changes are going to cause a cooling of -0.01C?

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davew
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Re: Global Warming

I like #6

6) I am a troll. I understand there are plenty of places to discuss climate science on the internet with real climate scientists, but I would rather bring my uninformed opinions on climate science to an electric vehicle forum because I have found I don't get shot down as fast and it brings me the attention I want.

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

The Bell Curve

I just enjoy tracking the perceptions and awareness of the Climate Cycle over time. Basically it seems that we have gone through a "Bell Curve" of Global Warming hysteria that peaked in and around 2008-2009. Polls now show the climate as something only important to a few percentage of the population.

People that might have been true "straight line global warming" believers a few years ago have hedged their language a little, but still are reluctant to see the Climate Cycle pattern.

Personally I pick "4)" (kind of obvious given the way I worded it) and think we are in a Climate Cycle pattern with some deviation due to CO2.

This does kind of seem like a "worn out issue" these days. No one is concerned about carbon emissions anymore. (more interested in jobs)

Cynically people who want a job would have no problems working in a "Green Industry" just to get a paycheck.

Warren
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Re: Global Warming

Safe,

I love your bike. I think your idea for an ebike race series is terrific. Stay away from discussing climate change. It just makes you look foolish.

Warren

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

Foolish or unwilling to conform?

Few scientists reject the existence of the Climate Cycle. The only debate is whether the present CO2 levels are sufficent to throw that pattern off.

From the scientific perspective I'm coming from a stronger foundation than people who advocated "straight line global warming" back in 2008-2009.

You have to at least admit that...

(or is it "don't let science get in the way of a good crisis")

marcopolo
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Re: Global Warming

davew wrote:

I am a troll. I understand there are plenty of places to discuss climate science on the internet with real climate scientists, but I would rather bring my uninformed opinions on climate science to an electric vehicle forum because I have found I don't get shot down as fast and it brings me the attention I want.

Davew, you are displaying very troll-like tendencies yourself! You may not like what ol' Safe is saying, but he has every right to express his views, without being labelled a troll or any other offencive terms.

This forum has a section for advocacy and politics. I know such subjects are not to everyones taste! Some contributors prefer to restict their discussions to technical aspects of their respective vehicles.

If that's the case, that's OK, you have your own censorship control! Just like TV! Don't like a program? Simple,switch channels! Simply ignore those threads that don't appeal to you.

But, why would you attempt to censor Safe?

I don't always(well, almost never), agree with Safe's points of view, but then I don't always subscribe to his detractors either. That's the nature of debate. If you disagree or find such subjects a waste of time, just ignore those threads that don't interest you.

If you don't you are in danger of becoming one of those sad individuals who sit waiting to be offended by TV/Radio shows, so that they can write indignant letters demanding censorship! (Always, to protect the kiddies!) Stop it!, before you find yourself wearing a cardigan that your gran knitted!

Actually, the entire Global warming/climate change debate is undergoing a process of review and reassessment.

I live a great deal of the year in Australia. Australia was for the last 10 yrs in the grip of a long and devastating drought. Not surprisingly, the Australian Green Party reached an apex of support in the 2010 federal election only to see a massive slump in the Victorian State elections.

2010 saw a dramatic collapse of support world-wide for political parties advocating CG/CC. Although it would appear that Joe Public seems to have accepted the science, he has no faith in the advocates.

Back in Australia,the Greens have alienated the public and many of their own supporters, for blaming the current devastating floods, covering vast areas of the eastern states, on the effect of GW/CC.

This tactless, and oppourtunistic proposition has naturally offended those affected, especially in rural areas, where the Greens are seen as a city-based movement of intellectuals and idealists.

Equally disturbing is the lack of preparation by the authorities to maintain prudent flood control measures. This lack of foresight can be attributed in part, to the hysterical belief that due to global warming the nation would become hotter and drier!

Naturally, it was a fixation on the certainty of GW, by the ideologues in charge of the centre-left governments responsible that created a policy of negligence. As the flood waters rose, the level of confidence by the public in the centre-left's Green allies has sunk!

The old ,(19I6), Australian national poem that every school child learns by heart, describes;

I love a sun-burnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.. etc

Well,suddenly everyone remembered, yeah thats right, FLOODING RAINS!! These were commonplace before the Dams were built.

Suddenly, issues like the fact that the earths orbit is entering a cycle taking the planet further from the sun, producing another very cold era. Or that recent increases in sun activity may just as inexplicably decrease. Or a volcano, asteroid, hail of toads, plague of locusts or God knows what, may create all kind of climatic mayhem, has provided additional credibility to the sceptic argument that the causes and outcomes of climate change are more complex, and less predictable, than was once conceived.

Chanting GW/CC dogma, in a hectoring and supercilious manner about global warming to people under twenty feet of water, (or as in the case of the Northern hemisphere, enduring the coldest winter in living memory), is a recipe for political suicide!(especially in economically straitened times).

MikeB, is a very convincing, well researched and sincere advocate. But no-one has a monopoly on truth. There are simply to many imponderables and unknowns for Mike to state any more than "here's the best scientific knowledge available, in all probability it will prove accurate".

Others are entitled to put opposing views, no matter how implausible. Attempts by indignantly narrow-minded puritans at censorship are counterproductive.

It's not just Safe you attempt to censor, but the rights of all other readers.

Safe is harmless, save your indignation for real trolls!

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

Even in the limited scope of human history we have seen massive climate changes. Early humans lived in caves during the last Ice Age. That was their way to adapt to conditions and as a result of all that free time in the caves it produced the first known musical instrument (a primitive flute) that likely influenced the progress of language development and other arts.

Many of the places where early humans lived are now underwater because as the Ice Age ended and we began to see global warming (20,000 years ago) the oceans have been steadily rising covering over many older artifacts. It's likely that much of early human history (artifacts) is lost to the sea rise.

It's very hard to deny the Climate Cycle. It's locked permanently into the historical record and you can't change that or ignore that without seeming unaware of history.

------------------------

The one thing we can all agree on is that the climate always changes and there is nothing we can do to permanently "lock" the climate into a steady state. We will be forced to adapt again as we have before. Humans are essentially "defined" by our ability to adapt to conditions no matter how good or bad they are.

Humans are an adaptive and pragmatic species...

davew
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Re: Global Warming

marcopolo wrote:

Davew, you are displaying very troll-like tendencies yourself! You may not like what ol' Safe is saying, but he has every right to express his views, without being labelled a troll or any other offencive terms.

My objections to these posts are they are repetitive, uninformed, cite dubious sources, ignore substantive replies, and serve only to prolong an argument that will never end. If Safe was interested in learning about climate science rather than ranting there are many better places on the internet to do it. There are sites with actual climate scientists that understand for more than we ever will collectively. The fact that he keeps coming here to make the same bogus arguments indicates to me that he has no interest in learning. I have little patience for people like this.

marcopolo wrote:

But, why would you attempt to censor Safe?

Calling a troll a troll is not censorship. Removing this thread would be censorship.

marcopolo wrote:

Actually, the entire Global warming/climate change debate is undergoing a process of review and reassessment.

You seem to be under the impression that science is a matter of public referendum. It isn't. I have no idea what the Green Party in Australia said, but whatever it was it can't change the underlying science. Climate change cannot predict or lay claim to any particular flood, drought, hurricane, bushfire, hot season, or cold season.

Take smoking cigarettes as an analogy. Smoking causes statistical increase in many illnesses including lung cancer. If you smoke are you certain to get lung cancer? No. If you avoid smoking are you certain to not get lung cancer? No. If you smoke and die of lung cancer was it the cigarettes that caused it? No one can say for certain. Regardless smoking is still a very bad idea because, on average, it will provide you with a shorter and more miserable life.

Statistics do not apply to individual cases and climate change is entirely about statistics. To say that global climate change caused the Queensland floods is wrong. Current science predicts that climate change will result in weather events like the Queensland flood happening more frequently and to greater extremes. To determine whether this prediction is true or not will involve looking at global data over a longer period of time. Even once the data is in, however, each event will be random and probably with precedent. Only in aggregate will the weather patterns be unprecedented.

The predictions that are easier to measure are: a steady increase in average global temperature, an accelerating rise in sea level, and accelerating ocean acidification. All of these are conforming to prediction so far.

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

davew wrote:

...The fact that he keeps coming here to make the same bogus arguments indicates to me that he has no interest in learning.

What?

My point is that the concept of "Global Warming" as presented outside of the "Climate Cycle" historical context is obsolete thinking by now. I'm advocating MORE knowledge, not less.

No one (to my knowledge) goes about explaining present conditions based on a model that doesn't include the bigger picture of history. To disregard history would be insane.

There is near universal agreement that climates change, they cycle, they can be forced off track with outside stimulus (CO2, volcanism, comet strikes, etc...) but they are almost never constant and so the fact we've seen 20,000 years of global warming is not at all unexpected. (we've warmed since the last Ice Age)

Climates Cycle... that's just a historical fact.

Why do you persist in "Climate Cycle Denial"?

(how's that for a new phrase?)

...do we really need to go through the data again?

gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

Marcopolo,

Well if you read what the Australian Greens have actually said, rather than what you'd like to think that they said, you would find that they haven't blamed the current floods and droughts on global warming. (Strawman) What they've said is "Like the drought, heatwaves and bushfires, these floods are predictable calamities and worse is in store as the planet is heated by human actions. We may collectively choose to do nothing about the rapidly increasing of burning of coal, here and overseas, from coal being mined in Australia by wealthy corporations largely owned overseas. However, that choice should not be made without informed debate."

So to paraphrase, yes Australia is a land of droughts and flooding rains, just like the poem, but putting more energy into the system will make both worse in the future. We need to talk about preparing for them getting worse or we need to talk about stopping them getting worse.

I don't think there has ever been an "hysterical belief that due to global warming the nation would become hotter and drier". (well perhaps that's what you believed, I don't know). What climate scientists believed (well what they said, which again is a slightly different thing) is that extreme weather events will become more common. (droughts will get drier, floods will be worse, cyclones will be more common). Most models do predict a reduction in average rainfall of around 0.1 mm/d around the SEern populated areas in Australia and an increase in the desert and FNQ area of around 0.1 mm/d.

The hysteria I see seems to come from the denier's camp. Ever more desperate attempts to stem the tide of evidence that something serious has already happened and that it's sure to get worse. Strawmen seem to be the only straws at which they can clutch.

=:)

Just an aside... We've heard about the release of methane caused by warming that will increase warming. We've heard about the loss of reflective ice and snow. Something that not many people mention is that if the sea level rises then there's more area of sea and less of land (well that's obvious) but because sea absorbs heat well and emitts IR poorly, the world will absorb even more heat. Yet another positive feedback. One that effects tropical areas rather than polar, where there is more energy to be absorbed per unit surface area.

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gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

Safe said:
"The only debate is whether the present CO2 levels are sufficent to throw that pattern off."

It's good that you can recgonise that. That debate is actually over. Long over. The scientific community is completely clear on that one. The present (let alone the projected) levels of CO2 are easily able to disrupt the current cycle. They already have and it's predicted with a great level of certainty that they will be disrupted further even if we stop all CO2 emmisions completely right now.

What remains open to debate is will that disruption result in a change to a new and completely different "strange attractor" as they're called or will it simply shift the one we have a little bit. Few climate scientists are willing to talk about the low probablity outcomes. They do exist though. I mentioned them in my earlier post and it's pointless to repeat them.

Safe also says:
"To disregard history would be insane"

Good now we're getting somewhere...

There is a clear historical record of the climate having been pushed (how it was pushed is not clear) to a different strange attractor in the past. That resulted in a world with all the oceans frozen hundreds of feet deep, the land completely covered in ice, the atmosphere almost completely without oxygen and the CO2 level estimated to be at 14 percent. (10% is lethal to humans in 30 minutes)

To think that you can push a chaotic system hard in some random direction and think there is no way it could end up swinging into a place it has *already been* is (as you pointed out) insane.

Safe said
"Humans are essentially "defined" by our ability to adapt to conditions no matter how good or bad they are."

Well that's nice, but they haven't seen how bad it can get yet... Do you have any good proposals for just how we're going to live on a planet covered with hundreds of feet of ice, a toxic atmosphere and no multicellular plants or animals to share it with?

=:)

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marcopolo
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Re: Global Warming

davew wrote:

My objections to these posts are they are repetitive, uninformed, cite dubious sources, ignore substantive replies, and serve only to prolong an argument that will never end. If Safe was interested in learning about climate science rather than ranting there are many better places on the internet to do it. There are sites with actual climate scientists that understand for more than we ever will collectively. The fact that he keeps coming here to make the same bogus arguments indicates to me that he has no interest in learning. I have little patience for people like this.Calling a troll a troll is not censorship. Removing this thread would be censorship

For brevity, I have amalgamated your paragraph. I agree that SAFE is a remarkably thick skinned poster, who displays an astonishing lack of regard as to whether he is connecting with his audience or not. I understand your point that other forums exist where his views maybe either more expertly debunked or praised with more enthusiasm.

However, my point is valid. if he is wrong, so what? Why employ such emotive terms as troll, denier etc... Such terms are excessive, and should be reserved for the deliberately perverse, dishonest, and malicious. The fact that you have "little patience" is hardly a virtue. Safe is harmless. He doesn't attempt o hijack other threads, so why can't you just ignore his utterances on the threads of his own creation? After all if no-one responds, where's the harm? If they do, where do you get off interrupting their dialogue with shrill cries of Achtung! Troll! Troll Raus! Troll Raus!

Quote:

You seem to be under the impression that science is a matter of public referendum. It isn't.

'The science will remain the same, regardless of human belief'. Or will it? I was writing in the context of human political perspective. If you are arguing that the effect of global climate effects are a part of a gigantic natural cycle and mankind can do nothing to alter these effects, then you are correct, the science is not a matter for public referenda.

If, on the other hand, you believe that human activity can effect the climate, then science is a matter of public referendum, since you will require the support of the populace to implement policy change.

This requires skills of communication and inspiration, not supercilious moralistic hectoring.

gasdive wrote:

Well if you read what the Australian Greens have actually said, rather than what you'd like to think that they said, you would find that they haven't blamed the current floods and droughts on global warming

Sadly, all politicians must live with the fact that they will be judged by the oft misquoted media sound bite, not what their followers try to correct later. In the modern era, this is becoming an increasingly difficult problem for politicians of all colours, the skill of condensing complex concepts in tamper-proof sound bites is a real art form.(more to the discredit of the media/audience than the politician).

Correctly or incorrectly, the centre left/green governments, cited climate change as a reason for not releasing water from dams, not building, or maintaining levees and other flood management infrastructure. If the drought had continued, they would have been hailed as wise, as it is, a large section of the populace, egged on by an irresponsible tabloid media, will find scapegoats to hold responsible for a natural disaster.

Sadly, we are living in an era when we no longer stoical accept natural disasters, (or even the difficulty of tough decisions). We now demand scapegoats to blame for misfortune and those scapegoats must be made to pay for their guilt, to avert responsibility from ourselves.

The real problem with the Green lobby, is that despite the strong public acceptance of the science, (largely misunderstood), Joe Public is increasingly disaffected by a lack of economically effective environmental policies that can inspire him sufficiently to support.

This is the real challenge! The green movements erratic support for all sorts of policies unrelated to the environment, lessens the effectiveness of the message. So too do the leftist, hate all big business, capitalism, conspiracy theorists.

William Clay Ford, has spent twenty-six years advocating and supporting the development of electric vehicles. I never hear one word of recognition for his achievements. Equally, Ross Blade in Australia develops a practical EV in accordance with all the passionately argued requirements of EV advocates. No one buys one! Why? Not because the product's no good, (it's actually an excellent little car and 4 years before iMev and Leaf) but because what people advocate, even with passion, is often very far from what they will actually act on when it doesn't suit their own self interest.

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gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

Marcopolo, you're always interesting to talk to.

You said "...becoming an increasingly difficult problem for politicians of all colours, the skill of condensing complex concepts in tamper-proof sound bites is a real art form."

So the Greens have lost support because they've been blamed in the media for saying things that they haven't said. Well conspiracy theory is usually the domain of the “sceptics” (deniers is not the fashionable term apparently). Some huge group of unknown someones is trying to get us to give up all that's good and holy because they're going to make a fortune out of the “green” industry. No-one is clear who they are, how that fortune is to be made nor how the conspirators are going to be the ones who make the money.

So rather than invoking a conspiracy theory, how about invoking a much more reasonable idea. Enlightened self interest. Our society is filled with individuals. Each individual makes decisions to help themselves and the people around them. Carbon emitting companies usually have large advertising budgets (there's big money in burning things). It's in the interest of the person who controls the advertising budget of a company like that to spend their company's money with a media outlet that supports the denial of climate change or who lies about the Green party's policy. Why? They don't wish to be called to account in a boardroom to explain why they're supporting a media outlet that's running a story that might damage the company. Equally the editor doesn't wish to run stories that may close damage a company that spends big on advertising. Who would wish to be called into a boardroom to explain why they lost a multi million dollar advertising account? Who's going to write or shoot a story that may damage a company like that, knowing that the editor is going to discard your story unrun. Keep creating unusable stories and you'll be let go, so why do it?

There are thousands of similar individual decisions made every day. No conspiracy, but the end result is what we see here. I'm sure Safe isn't “bad”. He's simply been mislead by a storm of misinformation that's swirling around the planet.

The Greens are trying to stop ourselves killing ourselves (and them and their families). I can't find any indication that they “cited climate change as a reason for not releasing water from dams, not building, or maintaining levees and other flood management infrastructure” All I can find is a storm of abuse directed at them over the second dam above Brisbane having not been built because they wouldn't allow it. Of course that was a state decision by a different party taken 4 years prior to the formation of the Australian Greens Party. No-one from the party that made that decision is a representative from the AG. Yet there's plenty of people very angry with AG for having prevented that dam being built.

What I'm seeing is simply an hysterical massive disinformation storm and I'm seeing you as being part of that storm of disinformation.

=:)

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MikeB
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Re: Global Warming

marcopolo wrote:

Chanting GW/CC dogma, in a hectoring and supercilious manner about global warming to people under twenty feet of water, (or as in the case of the Northern hemisphere, enduring the coldest winter in living memory), is a recipe for political suicide!(especially in economically straitened times).

First, while it's impossible to blame global warming as the sole cause of any particular extreme weather event, it has reached the point where it's now impossible to deny the fact that an altered planet is making such extreme weather more common. The types of extreme weather events that we are seeing simply can't be explained by 'regular weather fluctuations' in the absence of a warming climate. The likelihood of this pattern of extreme weather happening without climate change is essentially nil.

Sure, Australia is a land of drought and floods. But right now, this year, the ocean water temperature off your coast is at an all time record high. And record warm water temps mean, with absolute scientific certainty, record high evaporation rates. When you put huge amounts of water into the atmosphere, huge amounts of water eventually come back down. So it's essentially a scientific fact that warming oceans are making your regular flooding stronger, more intense, more damaging. Paradoxically, higher air temperatures are also causing more water to evaporate from the soil, leading to low soil moisture. This can lead to drought if the prevailing winds don't carry in ocean moisture, or it can lead to flash floods when the winds do. I'm sure you saw the viral youtube video where a small drainage ditch overflowed into a raging torrent of water, and cleared an entire parking lot of cars?

And don't be fooled by pictures of snow in the Southern US states, and claims of a record cold year. (I personally remember a colder winter when I was a teen.) First, again, higher air temperatures mean higher water content, so we should actually expect heavier snowfall, until the threshold temperature of 0C is crossed. As I said, we've had 0.8C of warming globally so far, and my home city of Atlanta regularly sees temps several degrees below freezing in the middle of the winter, so the fact that it's still below freezing in the middle of winter should be no surprise.

But something far more scary is happening further to the north, up in the Arctic. Last year, we had a blast of cold air cross the US, and somebody noticed that it was actually warmer in a particular city in Greenland than it was in Miami, FL. Wait, what? Seriously??

This year, it's even scarier:(source)

Quote:

To put this picture into even sharper focus, let’s take a look at Coral Harbour, located at the northwest corner of Hudson Bay in the province of Nunavut. On a typical mid-January day, the town drops to a low of –34°C (–29.2°F) and reaches a high of just -26°C (–14.8°F). Compare that to what Coral Harbour actually experienced in the first twelve days of January 2011, as reported by Environment Canada (see table at left).

* After New Year’s Day, the town went 11 days without getting down to its average daily high.
* On the 6th of the month, the low temperature was –3.7°C (25.3°F). That’s a remarkable 30°C (54°F) above average.
* On both the 5th and 6th, Coral Harbor inched above the freezing mark. Before this year, temperatures above 0°C (32°F) had never been recorded in the entire three months of January, February, and March.

Something very odd is going on up in the arctic. The ice is melting, and failing to refreeze, and there's no doubt that the melting is the direct result of global warming. But it's the side effects that are really fascinating. Let's look at the next section of this report:

Quote:

The year the sea forgot to freeze


Arctic sea ice extent, 12.21.10
Large areas of open water persisted across much of the area between Greenland and Canada on 21 December 2010. (Image courtesy Cryosphere Today.)

Why so freakishly mild? One factor that both feeds and is fed by the warmth is the highly unusual amount of open water across seas that are normally frozen by late November. On the winter solstice (December 21), Hudson Bay was little more than half frozen (see map at right).

Similarly, a large swath of the Baffin/Newfoundland Sea fell weeks behind schedule in freezing up. As evident in the charts at bottom, these bodies of water remain in catch-up mode. Around the south part of Baffin Island, “the boats were still in the water during the first week of January,” says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. “The Meteorological Service of Canada was still writing marine forecasts as of 7 January, well beyond anything we have ever done.”

Storm after storm sweeping up the East Coast in recent weeks has pumped warm Atlantic air across eastern Canada, helping postpone the freeze-up even further and allowing temperatures over land to soar far above average.

According to Philips, the implications for people in the far north have been widespread. Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit, had to cancel its year-end snowmobile run on Frobisher Bay for the first time. “Last New Year’s Eve, the big story was ice breaking up,” says Phillips. “This year there was no ice to break up.” Worst of all, he adds, “it’s impossible for many people in parts of the eastern Arctic to safely get on the ice to hunt much-needed food for their families—for the second winter in a row. Never before have we seen weather impact a way of life in so many small and big ways.”

Ok, so things are getting interesting in Canada. How does this affect the US? The simple answer is that all this unfrozen ocean means more water evaporation. (Sounding familiar?) Ice normally acts as an insulator, separating the cold air from the unfrozen water, but this insulation isn't present right now and that's pushing heat back into the air. This generates a high pressure zone in the atmosphere, a high pressure zone that just sits stationary around Greenland. This pattern is recognized as a negative value in the 'North Atlantic Oscillation', and last year was one of the strongest negative values recorded.

Why do we care? Because that high pressure zone is a blocking high, it forces prevailing winds to flow around it. Arctic winds. Sure, it's warmer than usual up there, but it's still pretty damn cold from our perspective. We've moved the entire jet stream. So those frigid arctic winds are diverted from their regular path, and instead travel down into the US, or perhaps across Western Europe.

This is what we mean when we say that Global Warming causes Climate Change. Just getting a little bit warmer, on average, has lots of very interesting side effects. And most of those side effects are hard to predict in detail, but almost certainly not in the direction of 'constant mild weather'.

If you're worried about the economics of climate change, this is what we face. Weather can cause massive economic damage, and we're making it an absolute certainty that that economic damage is going to get bigger. If the people don't want to hear about that in an economic downturn, too bad. Reality sucks, and you don't get to bury your head in the sand just to avoid bad news at an inconvenient time. They need to know what's coming soon, and to know that they have the power to affect what's coming further down the road.

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MikeB
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Re: Global Warming

davew wrote:
marcopolo wrote:

Davew, you are displaying very troll-like tendencies yourself! You may not like what ol' Safe is saying, but he has every right to express his views, without being labelled a troll or any other offencive terms.

My objections to these posts are they are repetitive, uninformed, cite dubious sources, ignore substantive replies, and serve only to prolong an argument that will never end. If Safe was interested in learning about climate science rather than ranting there are many better places on the internet to do it. There are sites with actual climate scientists that understand for more than we ever will collectively. The fact that he keeps coming here to make the same bogus arguments indicates to me that he has no interest in learning. I have little patience for people like this.

I agree strongly with this. Safe does not give any appearance of being interested in honest discussion. He opens this new thread with a straw-man argument, and the next two posts immediately tell him that he's using a straw-man. Does he learn? Does he modify his language? Does he even acknowledge that his terms might be wrong? No. In fact, he immediately goes back to using the exact same straw-man.

Now, I can tell you that 97% of publishing climate scientists agree that mankind is creating a potentially dangerous alteration in this planet's climate, and that leaves a little bit of wiggle room for debate. But I can tell you that 100% of those same scientists will tell you that 'straight-line' global warming is utter gibberish, nonsense, a completely bogus concept.

The first time safe used the term, it could possibly be in ignorance. When he continues to use the term after being corrected, then he's just being dishonest. If he doesn't like being called dishonest, if he doesn't like being labeled a 'troll', then he should simply stop acting that way!

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marcopolo
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Re: Global Warming

gasdive wrote:

So the Greens have lost support because they've been blamed in the media for saying things that they haven't said.

Whoahhhhh there, Silver! You've read too much into my observation. It's not conspiracy, just lazy and cynical reporting. There is no gain other than creating a sensational story. I watched several "green spokespersons on TV making similar statements to the version you related. The statements were well phrased for normal speak, but they were a gift to tabloid journalists to misquote in politico/media/speak.

The journalists are not out to get the Greens in particular.Today, they will misquote Bob Brown, tomorrow Julia Gillard, on Wednesday Tony Abbott! The more professional politicians grow wary and skillful with experience and learn mediaspeak carefully. The Greens are just less experienced and easier targets. It's too easy to blame the politicians, much of the fault lies with ourselves and our willingness to accept such journalism.

Quote:

What I'm seeing is simply an hysterical massive disinformation storm and I'm seeing you as being part of that storm of disinformation.

Whether it's science, patriotism, religion, people grow to distrust those who claim to be 100% correct. The lessons of history has taught that although such prophets promise salvation, in the end they invariably turn out to be crazy demagogues with no absolute truth, just misery and suffering.

Why must I be part of a 'storm of disinformation' because I plead for civility, and a tolerance of the views of others? (no matter how inane).

I have great respect for MikeB's obvious in-depth research and well referenced opinion. Whether I agree with him on every issue is not the point. My criticism, is not of the accuracy of his knowledge, but the gratuitously aggressive manner he employs to expound those views. It's the singer's delivery, not the song that's counter-productive.

Whether, you like it or not we live in a democracy. People are seldom swayed by self-absorbed fanatics, if you want to sell your message, it must come in a form that people can understand and relate to.

Even, ideas that benefit all, still meet will disfavour if they are to large or too radical.

In the last election a group of environmentally conscious bankers, tried to persuade Bob Brown, Wayne Swan, Malcom Turbull into supporting an audacious, but practical plan that would revolutionise the Australian landscape and have a greater long term impact than any fiddling with carbon tax, credits or other unworkable schemes. This plan would provide Australia and the world, an enormous natural facility to remove greenhouse gas on an Amazonian scale, while building long terms assets exceeding the value of the entire mining/energy sector.

The beauty of this plan was that it cost the taxpayer not one cent!

Of 207 state and federal (past and present) politicians approached, only six responded. The Hon Joe Hockey, former NSW minister, John Della Bosca, former Vic premier, Jeff Kennett,Barnaby Joyce and Bob Katter. (more on this plan in a separate and more appropriate thread).

Ross Blade in Victoria produced the world first production 4 door, 4 seat electric car that can be purchased retail. Ross has received support from the NZ government, but none whatsoever from any Australian political party, red, blue or green. (although the lady from DLP did offer to pray for him, and the Sex party guy offered a donation, unhappily at the same time, and now both spokespersons whereabouts are unknown!).

This is the sort of attitude that exists to progress.

It's not disinformation to point out that green movement are losing support due to the public growing weary of the self-righteous, supercilious, intolerant, and grimly fanatical style of many advocates and supporters. Calling the mildest of dissenters, "deniers" and ferocious vilification of perceived enemies, alienates people from the message.

This is not disinformation, but useful observation.

mikeB wrote:

The first time safe used the term, it could possibly be in ignorance. When he continues to use the term after being corrected, then he's just being dishonest. If he doesn't like being called dishonest, if he doesn't like being labeled a 'troll', then he should simply stop acting that way!

Mike, for an intelligent guy, you just don't get it, do you?

It's possible for Safe to hold to his beliefs, quite honestly, despite being 'corrected' by you! He may be wrong, stubborn, or even stupid, and yet remain perfectly honest! He is not "redeemed' only when he agrees with you!

Your statement would not be out of place at either a Stalinist show trial, House hearing into Un-American activities, or one of Mao's happy little 'cultural correction' gatherings.

Tomás de Torquemada, could have used a guy like you!

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

Straight Line Global Warming

At this point I see the phrase "Straight Line Global Warming" as strictly a historical phrase. It represents the early storytelling done at the beginning of the climate debate. It's a way to REMIND people of the past... how we got to this point in understanding. Where we were.

(it's to remind everyone that in the past things were viewed incorrectly)

As I see it the people that became disillusioned with "Straight Line Global Warming" have now adopted 100% certainty that the Climate Cycle pattern is going to break. This is normal and represents an example of:

Cognitive Dissonance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

As I see it the "Failed Prophecy" was the older "Straight Line Global Warming" theory and those people had nowhere to go but to then "jump" to the conclusion that the Climate Cycle pattern was certain to break. From the psychological perspective it makes sense that as new information becomes known that people adapt to try to maintain internal comfort.

----------------------------

As I see it the situation is simple:

We have a pattern. (Climate Cycle)
We have added CO2 which is a known deviating force.
We now wait to measure if the deviation is strong enough to permanently "force" the cycle into a straight line or some other altered state.

It's good to be reminded that so far what we have experienced is not abnormal for the Climate Cycle. We are not far off from historical patterns up to this point. (still)

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Re: Global Warming

marcopolo wrote:

It's possible for Safe to hold to his beliefs, quite honestly, despite being 'corrected' by you! He may be wrong, stubborn, or even stupid, and yet remain perfectly honest!

Fair enough. How about we agree that Safe is incapable of conducting a reasoned debate without trying to pin a specific diagnosis on him?

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MikeB
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Re: Global Warming

safe wrote:

Straight Line Global Warming

At this point I see the phrase "Straight Line Global Warming" as strictly a historical phrase. It represents the early storytelling done at the beginning of the climate debate. It's a way to REMIND people of the past... how we got to this point in understanding. Where we were.

Pure historical revisionism. Until you came here and started using the phrase, I'd never seen it used. Never.

And that's because it simply never made sense. Warming as the result of human influence was always expected to follow an 'S' curve pattern, even when the height and steepness of the 'S' was unknown. Nobody in scientific circles would ever imagine a linear response to a non-linear chaotic system with an accelerating input. It's gibberish, and always has been.

You might as well remind people of the historical context of gravity, when people thought we didn't fly off the earth because invisible elves with heavy boots stood on our shoulders. We all remember stories of the gravity elves from our childhood, right?

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

In the beginning of the debate people would say that there was a linear relationship between CO2 and temperature and there was no mention of the historical Climate Cycle at all. Since then we have matured to include the natural background cycle and talk now about how we are DEVIATING from the cycle.

So that's progress...

It's a fact that the early presentation was very simplistic. It's possible that the scientific folks knew better back then and were willing to remain quiet just to reduce controversy, but that is how it was once presented. This excessive simplicity was part of the reason that the opposite reaction was so strong when counter evidence was presented.

The first pass at "Climate Awareness" was crude and simplistic and we are maturing as time goes on. We seem to have less certainty as we discover more data.

The more we know the more we realize we don't know...

marcopolo
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Re: Global Warming

davew wrote:
marcopolo wrote:

It's possible for Safe to hold to his beliefs, quite honestly, despite being 'corrected' by you! He may be wrong, stubborn, or even stupid, and yet remain perfectly honest!

Fair enough. How about we agree that Safe is incapable of conducting a reasoned debate without trying to pin a specific diagnosis on him?

Agreed! Safe reminds me of an old fashioned street preacher. Safe isn't actually interested in debate or even the reaction of his audience. His objective would appear to be just the sound of his own voice.

MikeB, raises the interesting question, why on this forum? I can only guess, but maybe the indignant responses provide a feeling of righteousness among the deluded. Who knows?

At least he hasn't started on the latest furphy, that the ice-cps are melting on mars, so this proves man-made green house emissions are irrelevant!

Ignore Safe, maybe he'll go away if deprived of an audience.

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gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

Marcopolo, We're agreeing.

"It's not conspiracy, just lazy and cynical reporting."

Yep, we agree. That's why I said "So rather than invoking a conspiracy theory, how about invoking a much more reasonable idea." and then went on to talk about what individual decisions might be made by a diverse range of people that has created the appearance of co-ordinated actions.

=:)

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gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

MikeB wrote:
safe wrote:

Straight Line Global Warming

At this point I see the phrase "Straight Line Global Warming" as strictly a historical phrase. It represents the early storytelling done at the beginning of the climate debate. It's a way to REMIND people of the past... how we got to this point in understanding. Where we were.

Pure historical revisionism. Until you came here and started using the phrase, I'd never seen it used. Never.

I'd never heard it either, but I'm not that widely read in this sort of thing. So I googled it. "straight line global warming" returned 8 hits, of which a quarter were Safe!

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marcopolo
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Re: Global Warming

gasdive wrote:

So I googled it. "straight line global warming" returned 8 hits, of which a quarter were Safe!

The term appears to represent Safe's thought process, "straitline", as in 'blinkered', narrow vision, neither right nor left!

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

Hockey Stick?

I guess the official phrase was "Hockey Stick". But it's the same concept.

In the early days of climate storytelling the story suggested that things were going just fine without mankind and then all of a sudden things shot upwards like a "Hockey Stick" and produced "Straight Line Global Warming" because there was a direct relationship with CO2.

Now we know that the Climate Cycle started global warming 20,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age and oceans have been rising all that time. The oceans today are about 300 feet higher than they were back in the last Ice Age:

So while at first the storytelling made it look like climates were constant then suddenly changed now we know that change is the "norm" and constants don't really ever happen.

We have to admit that the perspective on climate change has itself changed.

We have matured a lot since the first story was told !!!

gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

safe wrote:

So while at first the storytelling made it look like climates were constant then suddenly changed now we know that change is the "norm" and constants don't really ever happen.

We have to admit that the perspective on climate change has itself changed.

We have matured a lot since the first story was told !!!

So Safe, can you mature one further step? The charts you've shown show a pretty constant picuture too. You don't like the "hockystick" as it shows over 80 years. so you adopted the expanded scale. Expanded by a factor of 10 000 to show 800 thousand years. Sure it's a bit bumpy, but it's pretty constant over that time. Comfortingly constant. Yes it's variable. Yes it could be uncomfortable at times, but it stays within pretty tight bounds. Expanding the scale by that amount means that the current *rate* of temperature rise is hidden and it's impossible to see that it's a higher rate than it ever has been in that period.

Are you prepared to expand the scale again? This time by a lower factor, just 1000 (a tenth of your favorite expansion) to 800 million years?

Looked at over that longer timescale the current stable climate of regular small ice ages and warm periods is the odd man out. The climate has swung wildly looked at over a long term. Much hotter than the reasonably constant cycle in the "recent" past, and much much colder.

I can't find a long term temperature trace. This one that I have found covers a slightly shorter period of reasonably stable temperature (compared to the big temperature changes around 650 million years ago that have been sliced off this chart). Look at the very stable recent period that you've shown in your chart. It's very much the odd man out. Yet this 542 million year trace is highly stable compared to what went before.

You seem to feel that what we're doing now can only produce fluctuations within the range seen over the last 800 000 years. Can you answer the direct question: Do you have any reason to think that introducing a change to this chaotic system cannot produce fluctuations of the size seen in the recent (650 million years) past?

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safe
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Re: Global Warming

Most definitely... it's possible that if we were to increase CO2 to the levels from long ago that it would have a dramatic effect. CO2 was at one time three times the level we see today.

But before we get too comforted in an "easy answer" we have to remember the "other" thing that changed from that time. The tectonic plates moved. Central to the Climate Cycle now is the physical layout of where the oceans are and where the land is located. It's because of the present location of the plates that we get the currents we do. Our pattern of Climate Cycle warming and cooling seems tied to the solar cycles (wobble, tilt, eccentricity, etc) AND also to the specifics of the plates.

We cannot just automatically assume that the early earth with it's single land mass would behave the same way. Much of how our ocean currents effect the climate have to do with the movement of warm waters into cold areas. The toggle switch seems to be tied to ocean saltiness.

The sun "drives" the cycles, the oceans implement the heat effects, but it's the physical layout of the tectonic plates that ultimately controls whether currents exist or not.

-----------------------------

Mind Blowing Concept

I've posted this in other places before, but it's worth repeating. If we were to discover some sort of runaway CO2 problem down the road we could build MASSIVE DAMS in the oceans to halt or redirect ocean currents. We could then MASTER the Climate Cycle just as we have mastered river waters with dams.

Science could solve the problem of Climate Cycles if we really were willing to build something so massive. (makes that Chinese dam seem tiny by comparision)

It's a drastic step to take, but if it meant we could function as a planet without a Climate Cycle (for the first time) it would produce a kind of stability that we have never known.

Someone has to "think outside the box".

-------------------------------

Without some form of "control mechanism" like the massive dams we forever will be under the control of Climate Cycles as well as CO2 induced variations. The history of the earths climate is one which is always changing. It would make a lot of sense to simply decide that man must CONTROL the climate and be willing to build control systems.

Simply limiting CO2 would not prevent another Climate Cycle... and even the normal cycles would (and have been) rough on humanity.

If we really want to be serious about "Climate Control" we would need to think about this sort of crazy idea...

marcopolo
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Re: Global Warming

safe wrote:

If we really want to be serious about "Climate Control" we would need to think about this sort of crazy idea...

Well Jason, that's what comes of feeding a little monster, it will grow crazier and crazier!

Massive Ocean Dams! Changing the ocean currents! What next, realigning the planets orbit? Changing suns?

However, it's interesting that Safe is not really a sceptic in the true sense, but rather someone who knows the truth but seeks to refine the science by altering reality to make it more palatable to his way of thinking.

To debate with Safe is as pointless as attempting to persuade a devout Creationist.

Safe is entitled to his opinions, without abuse, but we are also entitled to ignore his outpourings, in the same way you would ignore a creationist.

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gasdive
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Re: Global Warming

Yes Marcopolo, I'm feeding mogwai after midnight and getting gremlins as a result.

I think I've figured out where Safe is coming from (if you don't mind me speculating Safe...)

It basically doesn't matter how bad we make things because limitless human cleverness can fix the problems later.

=:)

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