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Climate Change & Global Warming


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How important is Global Warming to you in the Grand Scheme of Things?  

246 members have voted

  1. 1. How important is Global Warming to you in the Grand Scheme of Things?

    • Give me a break, I've enough on my plate
      17
    • I suppose there's something in it, but it's for the Politicians/Corporations/Those in power to sort out
      4
    • Yes I think it is important and I try to do my bit.
      79
    • If we don't stop it, the Planet dies in a few years, it's as simple as that.
      34
    • I think it is all hype and not half as bad as they make out
      108
    • I don't know what to think
      17

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Try this.

 

Direct observations find that CO2 is rising sharply due to human activity. Satellite and surface measurements find less energy is escaping to space at CO2 absorption wavelengths. Ocean and surface temperature measurements find the planet continues to accumulate heat. This gives a line of empirical evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming.

 

How does this sit with Phil Jones statement that the surface temperature rise has not been statistically significant over the past 15 years? OK, I know you will say that we need 30 years for "climate" but...? The oceans; well, maybe, another few years and we will have a pretty good idea of what is going on there.

 

However. The fact that the climate is warming is not proof that this is caused by CO2. Look at this graph for Lerwick:

 

http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Lerwick-TA.gif

 

We see a period of warming, followed by a period of cooling, followed by warming. The 30 year period from 1910-1940 shows warming very similar to the period 1970-2000. What caused the 1910-1940 rise?

 

I accept that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that the planet has warmed, but back to the point DS made

proof that our filth causes runaway climate change
Will CO2 cause out-of-control catastrophic global warming?

Nobody knows, but I do not trust the IPCC conclusions. There are other more important environmental issues.

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^^Looking more closely at the graph, there have been three sharp increases:

1925-1932 approx.

1981-1987 approx.

1998-2005 approx.

The last increase was built more or less on top of the previous one, pushing the temperature to its highest level for 100 years.

 

Bearing in mind that these are local temperatures, the changes could have been caused by jet streams, gulf stream, or whatever. I haven't been able to compare this with the global temperatures because I haven't found a suitable global graph that would give me a direct comparison.

 

As these are presumably average temperatures, it would also be interesting to see graphs of the max and min temps over the same period, to see if they both moved up and down, or was the average affected more by one than the other.

 

What is the source of your graph? Is there one extending to 2009?

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Try this.

Well, it's a better link than last time, although scanning through the page and trying to check the papers referenced proved very frustrating, as most of them only link to rather uninformative abstracts (very difficult to criticise it if you can't read it), and Evans 2006, which looked interesting, turned out to be a "404 Not Found". (That's not a problem unique to that page, of course, it's a continuing bane of my attempts to use the interweb to research practically anything.)

 

A quick response to the summary at the top of the page, though:

 

Direct observations find that CO2 is rising sharply due to human activity
Yes, we know that CO2 is (apparently) rising (apparently, as I mentioned above, because we don't know to what extent the diffusion of CO2 into ice after formation smooths the levels detected thousands of years later). We know that humanity is chucking far too much of it into the atmosphere, though most of that is due to insane business practices, the untaxed, colossal quantities from aircraft, etc., not so much due to us ordinary folk. Whether most of the increase is "due to human activity" remains moot.

 

Satellite and surface measurements find less energy is escaping to space at CO2 absorption wavelengths
I note that they don't dwell on the fact that the satellite measurements also show that more energy is escaping to space at longer IR wavelengths, which only indicates that the spectral characteristic of the outgoing radiation has changed a bit, the overall radiation apparently increasing slightly. OK, so the marginal increase in CO2 absorbs a little more "here" in the spectrum, but it doesn't appear to stop the energy escaping "there" instead.

 

Ocean and surface temperature measurements find the planet continues to accumulate heat
A nice graph from Murphy 2009, pity Murphy 2009 is another "404". OK, the oceans, at least, may be absorbing some extra energy, although I'd be interested to know how the land is managing to do the same given the noticeable (and widely reported worldwide) cooler weather in recent years. (Please. don't refer me to that recently announced tosh about 2009 being the second warmest year on record; I've already pointed out that (a) the records only go back to when the Earth had just started warming up after the LIA, and (B) the source of that claim is no longer a trusted source.)

 

This gives a line of empirical evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming
I suppose that, if you assume that human-generated CO2 causes the claimed warming, it does. But nothing on that page proves that assumption, and that's the "missing link" we want. Without it, all we have is a correlation, at best.
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Try this.

Well, it's a better link than last time, although scanning through the page and trying to check the papers referenced proved very frustrating, as most of them only link to rather uninformative abstracts (very difficult to criticise it if you can't read it), and Evans 2006, which looked interesting, turned out to be a "404 Not Found". (That's not a problem unique to that page, of course, it's a continuing bane of my attempts to use the interweb to research practically anything.)

I share your pain. It would be much easier if all the scientific papers were available, free, online.

 

A quick response to the summary at the top of the page, though:

 

Direct observations find that CO2 is rising sharply due to human activity
Yes, we know that CO2 is (apparently) rising (apparently, as I mentioned above, because we don't know to what extent the diffusion of CO2 into ice after formation smooths the levels detected thousands of years later)..... Whether most of the increase is "due to human activity" remains moot.

No, we do know directly that it comes from fossil fuel burning. This is proved by the isotope research. More here.

Satellite and surface measurements find less energy is escaping to space at CO2 absorption wavelengths
I note that they don't dwell on the fact that the satellite measurements also show that more energy is escaping to space at longer IR wavelengths, which only indicates that the spectral characteristic of the outgoing radiation has changed a bit, the overall radiation apparently increasing slightly. OK, so the marginal increase in CO2 absorbs a little more "here" in the spectrum, but it doesn't appear to stop the energy escaping "there" instead.

I'm not sure what your getting at here. This graph shows the different wavelengths at which the various greenhouse gasses are absorbing heat and how much this has changed over time.

 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/harries_radiation.gif

 

And this one shows the greenhouse radiation back to Earth. Where is this lengthening of wavelengths you mention?

 

http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/Greenhouse_Spectrum.gif

 

Ocean and surface temperature measurements find the planet continues to accumulate heat
A nice graph from Murphy 2009, pity Murphy 2009 is another "404". OK, the oceans, at least, may be absorbing some extra energy, although I'd be interested to know how the land is managing to do the same given the noticeable (and widely reported worldwide) cooler weather in recent years. (Please. don't refer me to that recently announced tosh about 2009 being the second warmest year on record; I've already pointed out that (a) the records only go back to when the Earth had just started warming up after the LIA, and (B) the source of that claim is no longer a trusted source.)

Look, if you don't trust the instrumental temperature record, then further debate is pointless. You can't say it's not happening because you have no data either way. And I can't prove to you it is happening because you won't accept the basic data.

 

This gives a line of empirical evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming
I suppose that, if you assume that human-generated CO2 causes the claimed warming, it does.

But we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we know the increase is human caused and we know it's warming (the melting ice all over the planet proves that it's warming even if you won't accept the instrumental data.)

 

What more do you need?

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How does this sit with Phil Jones statement that the surface temperature rise has not been statistically significant over the past 15 years?

Jones was quotemined by the Daily Fail. Try reading the full answer he gave to the BBC.

BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

 

Phil Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

 

BBC: How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

 

Phil Jones: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

That better?

 

Or better still, try reading the whole interview. :wink:

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.... I haven't been able to compare this with the global temperatures because I haven't found a suitable global graph that would give me a direct comparison.

Hows this:

 

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/f/f4/Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

 

The vertical axis is a bit more stretched than the Lerwick graph and the horizontal is compressed, but they seem to match fairly closely. Maybe someone with access to photoshop or something similar could manipulate the images to match up the axis. :wink:

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(the melting ice all over the planet proves that it's warming even if you won't accept the instrumental data.)

 

 

Well, yes, if you blindly believe the IPCC or Al Gore, the ice all over the planet is melting. If you do a little independent research, reality is different.

 

And from this “updated†analysis, the IPCC reported that the increase in Antarctic sea ice extent was an insignificant 5.6 ± 9.2 × 103 km2 yr–1 (0.47 ± 0.8% per decade)—a value that was only about one-half of the increase reported in the peer-reviewed literature.

 

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/02/16/another-ipcc-error-antarctic-sea-ice-increase-underestimated-by-50/

 

Although I agree with you (and Jones!) that the climate is warming, I don't agree this is mainly caused by CO2.

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The vertical axis is a bit more stretched than the Lerwick graph and the horizontal is compressed, but they seem to match fairly closely.

The Lerwick graph in green. If the original data is available it'd be interesting to see rolling 5 and 10 year averages for Lerwick too.

http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/2858/shetlandvsglobaltemps.jpg

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Well, yes, if you blindly believe the IPCC or Al Gore, the ice all over the planet is melting. If you do a little independent research, reality is different.

....

Although I agree with you (and Jones!) that the climate is warming, I don't agree this is mainly caused by CO2.

So the global climate is getting warmer, but in such a way as to cause no ice to melt ? I think you might have to run that one by me again :)

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That's fascinating, Carlos, thanks for that. :wink:

 

The one thing that jumps out at me from looking at that graph is that the extremes on the Lerwick graph are both higher and lower than the global average.

 

This would indicate that Shetlands climate is more sensitive to change than the global average. Something to keep in mind.

 

And I wonder if it would be possible to pin down a cause for the major departure from the global average in the late 70's?

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