Author Topic: New NASA Satellite Survey Reveals Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Thinning  (Read 13227 times)

Online jacqmans

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NEWS RELEASE: 2009-107                                                            July 7, 2009

New NASA Satellite Survey Reveals Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Thinning

PASADENA, Calif. Ė Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record. The new results, based on data from a NASA Earth-orbiting spacecraft, provide further evidence for the rapid, ongoing transformation of the Arctic's ice cover.

Scientists from NASA and the University of Washington in Seattle conducted the most comprehensive survey to date using observations from NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite, known as ICESat, to make the first basin-wide estimate of the thickness and volume of the Arctic Ocean's ice cover. Ron Kwok of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., led the research team, which published its findings July 7 in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.

The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and intense cold ensues. In the summer, wind and ocean currents cause some of the ice naturally to flow out of the Arctic, while much of it melts in place. But not all of the Arctic ice melts each summer; the thicker, older ice is more likely to survive. Seasonal sea ice usually reaches about 2 meters (6 feet) in thickness, while multi-year ice averages 3 meters (9 feet).

Using ICESat measurements, scientists found that overall Arctic sea ice thinned about 0.17 meters (7 inches) a year, for a total of 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) over four winters. The total area covered by the thicker, older "multi-year" ice that has survived one or more summers shrank by 42 percent.

Previously, scientists relied only on measurements of area to determine how much of the Arctic Ocean is covered in ice, but ICESat makes it possible to monitor ice thickness and volume changes over the entire Arctic Ocean for the first time. The results give scientists a better understanding of the regional distribution of ice and provide better insight into what is happening in the Arctic.

"Ice volume allows us to calculate annual ice production and gives us an inventory of the freshwater and total ice mass stored in Arctic sea ice," said Kwok. "Even in years when the overall extent of sea ice remains stable or grows slightly, the thickness and volume of the ice cover is continuing to decline, making the ice more vulnerable to continued shrinkage. Our data will help scientists better understand how fast the volume of Arctic ice is decreasing and how soon we might see a nearly ice-free Arctic in the summer."

In recent years, the amount of ice replaced in the winter has not been sufficient to offset summer ice losses. The result is more open water in summer, which then absorbs more heat, warming the ocean and further melting the ice. Between 2004 and 2008, multi-year ice cover shrank 1.54 million square kilometers (595,000 square miles) -- nearly the size of Alaska's land area.

During the study period, the relative contributions of the two ice types to the total volume of the Arctic's ice cover were reversed. In 2003, 62 percent of the Arctic's total ice volume was stored in multi-year ice, with 38 percent stored in first-year seasonal ice. By 2008, 68 percent of the total ice volume was first-year ice, with 32 percent multi-year ice.

"One of the main things that has been missing from information about what is happening with sea ice is comprehensive data about ice thickness," said Jay Zwally, study co-author and ICESat project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "U.S. Navy submarines provide a long-term, high-resolution record of ice thickness over only parts of the Arctic. The submarine data agree with the ICESat measurements, giving us great confidence in satellites as a way of monitoring thickness across the whole Arctic Basin."

The research team attributes the changes in the overall thickness and volume of Arctic Ocean sea ice to the recent warming and anomalies in patterns of sea ice circulation.

"The near-zero replenishment of the multi-year ice cover, combined with unusual exports of ice out of the Arctic after the summers of 2005 and 2007, have both played significant roles in the loss of Arctic sea ice volume over the ICESat record," said Kwok.

For images of the Arctic sea ice decline, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/icesat-20090707.html .

For more information about ICESat, visit: http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov .

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov .

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

-end-



Offline vt_hokie

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Troubling, but not surprising. 

Offline robertross

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Yup, sky is falling...umm  I mean ice caps are melting.
Just in case you missed an Inconvenient Truth...  ;)
(sarcasm off)
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 01:24 AM by robertross »
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline zapkitty

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Now to listen with bemusement as the data is carefully and very selectively massaged into being evidence of an impending ice age...

Offline Chris Bergin

Yup, sky is falling...umm  I mean sea is melting.
Just in case you missed an Inconvenient Truth...  ;)
(sarcasm off)

Planet's been cooling since Al "X-33" Gore made that movie ;)

Offline robertross

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Yup, sky is falling...umm  I mean sea is melting.
Just in case you missed an Inconvenient Truth...  ;)
(sarcasm off)

Planet's been cooling since Al "X-33" Gore made that movie ;)

Sea is melting...yeah, I knew what I was typing there...lol

Actually I meant the ice caps are melting (corrected).
Need alot of water first before "The Day After Tomorrow"  happens.  :)
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Sesquipedalian

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So, how come we never hear about the ice in the Antarctic? ;)

Offline hop

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So, how come we never hear about the ice in the Antarctic? ;)
One can only assume it would have to do with not paying attention because there's plenty published on the subject.

Offline DfwRevolution

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So, how come we never hear about the ice in the Antarctic? ;)
One can only assume it would have to do with not paying attention because there's plenty published on the subject.

Or Antarctic data is being quitely ignored because it is inconsistent with the "consensus" the media and scientific community already reached. Reputations are on the line. Nobel Prizes have been awarded. Entire careers have been staked on the notion of man made global warming. Yet we are 10 years into a cooling cycle that will likely continue through 2030 despite ever increasing CO2 concentrations. What leaders can swallow their pride and admit that we don't have a clue if man-made climate change is even happening?

There is indeed a human tragedy in the making. It won't come when the Earth warms a few degrees and reaches levels entirely unremarkable in our geologic history. It will come when we willingly slash our productivity and economic growth only to learn that controlling cyclical climate change is an exercise in futility.

Offline Analyst

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It didnít take long before the conspiracy morons (a much stronger word would apply better) came out of the woods. Denial is a wonderful thing, isnít it. Makes your life easier, gives your day structure. But doesnít change reality at all.

Never herad about the Antartic ice? This only being evidence of living in denial mode. Pay attention! Read a paper or a book. Or two.

The Antartic ice sits on land and is not floating on an ocean. It breaks at its edges in very large pieces. Different form of ďthinningĒ. Same reason and same end result: Less ice.

Analyst

Online Eerie

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So, new shipping lanes are opening? Good, good...

Now, to settle Greenland...

Offline madscientist197

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Anyone who wants 100% certain data isn't going to get it. Face it, the earth is a complex system and all these different factors and feedbacks can't be separated out at will. Both sides have done the odd bit of misrepresentation and thereís lots more research that needs to be done (climate modelling is still embryonic, for example).

That's the problem -- because no-one can definitively prove either way it turns into a religious argument. And it gets really tiresome fast. Personally, I'd rather not take the risk of extreme CO2 induced climate change, and I think nuclear power offers the best way to reduce CO2 output while keeping our standard of living.

Even if you assume a 90% chance that global warming is incorrect, if you calculate the expected costs (statistical expectation) you would find that it is still worth reducing CO2 output. This is because the costs to society if it is true, are so large.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 08:24 AM by madscientist197 »
John

Offline mr.columbus

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It didnít take long before the conspiracy morons (a much stronger word would apply better) came out of the woods. Denial is a wonderful thing, isnít it. Makes your life easier, gives your day structure. But doesnít change reality at all.

Never herad about the Antartic ice? This only being evidence of living in denial mode. Pay attention! Read a paper or a book. Or two.

The Antartic ice sits on land and is not floating on an ocean. It breaks at its edges in very large pieces. Different form of ďthinningĒ. Same reason and same end result: Less ice.

Analyst


Well said. I always wonder what the motivation of people is who think that man-made global warming is a large conspiracy of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people while no-one can provide a shred of hard evidence for that conspiracy.

Why do people not want to face the facts? The Arctic sea ice is thinning which is a direct result of global warming. Global temperature increases manifest the most in the arctic and antarctic regions. If you look at Antarctica, there are studies who show that there are areas in which snow fell in the last couple of years where snow is normally not expected due to much lower temperatures. Snow can only fall if the temperature increases to a certain level.

Offline mr.columbus

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Anyone who wants 100% certain data isn't going to get it. Face it, the earth is a complex system and all these different factors and feedbacks can't be separated out at will. Both sides have done the odd bit of misrepresentation and thereís lots more research that needs to be done (climate modelling is still embryonic, for example).

That's the problem -- because no-one can definitively prove either way it turns into a religious argument. And it gets really tiresome fast. Personally, I'd rather not take the risk of extreme CO2 induced climate change, and I think nuclear power offers the best way to reduce CO2 output while keeping our standard of living.... YMMV, of course.


1. I agree climate modeling is problematic. The concepts modeled on computers are much too simplistic.

2. But measures of temperature change and measures of past temperatures and CO2, methane etc. concentration exist. And no serious scientist is disputing that data - especially considering you can derive historic temperatures and CO2 data etc. from different independent sources.

3. That being said, the global temperature change experienced since the 1920s is unprecedented in recent geological history (at least the last 500,000 years). The CO2 level is higher than in the last several million years.

4. The above does not mean that scientists can attribute the global temperature change with 100% certainty to greenhouse gas emissions, but they can say that they are very certain that the temperature change is overwhelmingly due to those human induced emissions. That's what's in the latest IPCC report and it means 20,000 scientists have come to that conclusion based on data they have examined.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 08:26 AM by mr.columbus »

Offline Lab Lemming

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I reckon this whole ice melting / oceans rising gig is a clever ploy by sea launch to take over KSC...

Offline madscientist197

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In all fairness, one of the lecturers at my university had his research misrepresented in that IPCC report. Probably accidental, of course. But I would question as to which precise aspects of that document each of the 20,000 scientists would agree with and disagree with... And that's the problem -- all this gives deniers reasons to keep on denying! And this is before we start getting to the political nature of the document itself. No process is clean and the IPCC report certainly wasn't. So even for those of us who do believe climate change is probable, don't expect complete acceptance of the document and it's conclusions. Trying to shove it down people's throats (not that you are doing that) gives the conspiracy theorists even more fodder. You can't win.

Incidentally, one of my closest friends lectures here as well, he did his masters on the relationship between ozone depletion and climate change. He's a pretty convinced climate change denier, as it seems are a surprising number of members of staff. While I don't agree, there seems to be a lot of otherwise intellegent people who have serious doubts -- and they're not all being paid by the oil lobby ;)
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 11:37 AM by madscientist197 »
John

Offline Chris Bergin

It didnít take long before the conspiracy morons (a much stronger word would apply better) came out of the woods. Denial is a wonderful thing, isnít it. Makes your life easier, gives your day structure. But doesnít change reality at all.

Yep, that's pretty much how I'd describe the uber-Liberals running around in their man skirts saying "don't the kill the planet, turn off a light bulb - pass me the canabis, man". You know, the same people that bang a tamborine and wave rainbow flags in the belief the likes of Bin Laden will think "hey, those Zionists aren't all that bad, maybe I got it wrong."

Having an objective view about the potential the planet's climate is cyclonic is not a conspiracy. It IS a conspiracy when the green dollar (because it is a massive business!) is so scared about people being given an objective overview of the situation, they run campaigns claiming any scientist that dares to disagree with them "is paid by Oil Companies".

Yes, energy consumption needs to be worked on, but don't fall into the trap of those armwavers who are jumping on this bandwagon to try and send us all back into the dark ages, via some wacky idea we can all live as hobos singing songs around a camp fire.

The only solution is to move forward with technology and get the accurate understanding of the situation and find the solutions accordingly. Simply shutting off power stations makes NO FRAKKING DIFFERENCE because there is no global accord, so all we do is fall backwards as undesirable nations say "thanks very much".

Offline rdale

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Well said. I always wonder what the motivation of people is who think that man-made global warming is a large conspiracy of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people while no-one can provide a shred of hard evidence for that conspiracy.

Nobody wants to claim "conspiracy" but it certainly is setting the stage up for such remarks when POLITICIANS get Nobel prizes for their "scientific" work. Wow.

I'm not at all denying the globe is warming. But look at something from a climatologist that doesn't have a hand in the money bucket either way: http://bit.ly/SBKrF

Offline Lab Lemming

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Chris, Columbus, what are you guys talking about? 

The Peace prize almost always goes to a politician.

Climate is cyclical; weather is cyclonic.

Most of the climatologists I know are ex-exploration geologists who took a 60% pay cut to do research.

The linked article is either stupid or deliberately misleading.

Climate science is a great opportunity for space and planetary science, as global coverage is difficult to get by any other means.

Offline rdale

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The linked article is either stupid or deliberately misleading.

It's funny... When someone who actually does climate work for a living, and makes no money from research grants, his work is "stupid or misleading" if it doesn't match the opinions of those who make money from research grants which support the GW theory.

If you have any evidence to back your claim with, I'd love to see it.

Otherwise it sounds a little strange when you have NO weather knowledge yet are able to read that article and say "It is all wrong."

Offline Analyst

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First some questions:

- What is wrong with turning of a light bulb (saving energy)?

- What is wrong with folks smoking canabis? I have a much bigger problem with drunk folks driving. Because they hurt others.

- What is wrong with banging a tamborine and waving rainbow flags (peaceful demostrations)? We had a revolution this way here in Germany 20 years ago.

- So a politician canít do scientific work?
And a scientist canít be a politician and vice versa?
And a Nobel (peace) price canít be awarded for doing scientific work (50% for IPCC ), or bringing scientific results into peoples minds (50 % for Al Gore) Ö "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"?

Earths climate is cyclic. Ever has been for more than 4 billion years. This is not the point.

For more than 150 years humans generate massive amounts of greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels. This has, by simple physics, large warming effects. Denying this is stupid, or conspiracy, or both. The warming effects outgrow any natural cycle, short of massive and long term vulcanic activity (which has not happended). Be it a downward or upward natural cycle right now, it is overwhelmed by the human made effects.

Noone is talking about not using energy anymore, shutting down power stations today, living in caves etc. Donít fall into the trap of folks (often with massive commercial interests) who paint this (non) alternative to scare you.

Climate science is a great opportunity for space and planetary science, as global coverage is difficult to get by any other means.

Very good point! But we want to go to the moon, and beyond, with humans. And we need all money we can get for this. And robotic missions - in particular long term earth observing missions - are so boring anyway. Show me the shiny stuff. :)

Analyst
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 01:52 PM by Analyst »

Offline Lab Lemming

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Well, for starters, he claims that starting records in the 70's is a ploy to accentuate recent warming without mentioning the fact that we don't have satellite records from before then.

So Alabama is cooling.  Good for it.  There are regions which are cooling all over the place- just look at these maps of Australia:
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/seatrends.shtml

Picking out reports from those areas which are cooling doesn't tell you much about the health of the overall system.

The linked article is either stupid or deliberately misleading.

It's funny... When someone who actually does climate work for a living, and makes no money from research grants, his work is "stupid or misleading" if it doesn't match the opinions of those who make money from research grants which support the GW theory.

If you have any evidence to back your claim with, I'd love to see it.

Otherwise it sounds a little strange when you have NO weather knowledge yet are able to read that article and say "It is all wrong."

Offline rdale

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Picking out reports from those areas which are cooling doesn't tell you much about the health of the overall system.

Read it again... His complaint is that while that region is cooling (certainly acceptable in GW) -- the report just issued says that his region is warming up. One of those just doesn't belong.

Either you use 120 years of records and show the region is cooling, or you only look at 30 years and say the region is warming. Which one makes more sense?

Which one would you expect a "pro-GW report" to contain?

Offline Chris Bergin

I'll find some spare time later today for a response to that, Analyst. Space ship news comes first ;D

Offline mr.columbus

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Hmmm, this is a space flight forum, so I guess most people are interested in numbers and hard data.

So before we go into whether global warming is caused by humans or not, can someone comment on the global temperature increase in the last 100 years or so evidenced by public data?

I will just add two diagrams to this post - there are of course a lot more on the internet.

The first one is commonly quoted and shows the temperature data from the last 1000 years made from nearly 10 independent studies.

The second one shows a graphic of temperature changes between 2008 and 1880 and a graph of the last 120 years of temperature change (it's a very recent graph with data until January 2009). It also puts into perspective the cyclical down-change in temperature from 2005 to 2008, which is not a reversal of the trend but a small cyclical correction to the downside at the moment. Right now, from the data in those two pictures the only conclusion we can draw is that the temperature globally increases pretty rapidly on an unprecedented scale and that as of early 2009 this trend has not reversed or stalled.

Offline kkattula

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Global CO2 levels have been falling for billions of years. Eventually they will be so low, the Earth will become uninhabitable.

My theory:  Gaia has evolved humans to replenish CO2 levels by burning fossil fuels.

Offline rdale

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Hmmm, this is a space flight forum, so I guess most people are interested in numbers and hard data.

Actually no - we're interested in spaceflight ;)

I did my job interjecting some truths from those of us on the ground doing this daily. I'll leave the rest to y'all from here on out...

Offline kkattula

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A little perspective:


Offline mr.columbus

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My theory:  Gaia has evolved humans to replenish CO2 levels by burning fossil fuels.

I could *believe* that. All worship Gaia, our Goddess!

As to CO2 levels, you are absolutely correct. Earth most of the time was a wamer place than right now. The changes between low CO2 and low temperature times and high CO2 and high temperature times were pretty long - transition phases were hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. So going from 250 ppm to 400ppm within 100 years or so is pretty hefty. Especially considering that the last couple of million years or so never spiked above 300ppm...

P.S.  I am NOT saying CO2 is the only factor for global warming, not at all. There are a variety of factors that come into play, some increase the warming trend, some go into the other direction (e.g. human induced global dimming which decreases global temperatures due to pollution and aircraft travel and of course rocket exhausts ;-) - year, rockets against GW!).
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 03:24 PM by mr.columbus »

Offline DfwRevolution

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It didnít take long before the conspiracy morons (a much stronger word would apply better) came out of the woods. Denial is a wonderful thing, isnít it. Makes your life easier, gives your day structure. But doesnít change reality at all.

Honestly sir, that is quite offensive. >:( I would say that conforming to the mob mentality is far easier than being in the minority of objecting critics, wouldn't you?

Reality is that anthropomorphic global warming is riddled with inconsistencies. It is disturbing how often AGW proponents immediately resort to personal attacks when confronted with this fact.


(1)Anyone who wants 100% certain data isn't going to get it. Face it, the earth is a complex system and all these different factors and feedbacks can't be separated out at will.

That's the problem -- because no-one can definitively prove either way it turns into a religious argument.

(2) Even if you assume a 90% chance that global warming is incorrect, if you calculate the expected costs (statistical expectation) you would find that it is still worth reducing CO2 output. This is because the costs to society if it is true, are so large.

(1) Which sounds like a good argument against taking drastic action that will adversely affect our standard of living for generations to come.

(2) More likely, the consequences of hurting economic growth will dwarf the consequences of climate change. Besides, do you realize many parts of the world have no interest in compromising their economy for the sake of CO2 reduction? Consider two very plausible scenarios:

a. The U.S. and EU slash CO2 emissions at the price of 0.5% GDP growth per year, thus 2.5% growth versus 3.0% growth. China, India, and the developing world do not follow suit. Thus the efforts of the U.S. and EU are largely irrelevant. Nevertheless, by 2050, the U.S. will produce $22,000 less per capita than if the economy grew at 3.0%.

b. The entire world takes action against climate change for the same price of 0.5% GDP growth. By 2050, the world will produce $36 trillion less per year than if growth continued at 3.0% average. That is the equivalent to losing the wealth generated by today's ten leading economies every year.

So do you expect global warming to inflict $36 trillion dollars of economic damage every single year as early as 2050? That's 400 Hurricane Katrina disasters per year. Starting to sound ridiculous, doesn't it? The logical course of action is to let economic growth continue unimpeded and treat the climate change symptoms as they come ... IF they come.

The worst possible outcome would be if we do slash our economic growth and climate change happens anyway - either because our efforts were insufficient or because it was a natural climate change all along. Then we would be faced with the theorized plagues, food shortages, floods, etc, etc with substantially less wealth to fix them.

In the end, fighting climate change is a complete no win.

Offline mr.columbus

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a. The U.S. and EU slash CO2 emissions at the price of 0.5% GDP growth per year, thus 2.5% growth versus 3.0% growth. China, India, and the developing world do not follow suit. Thus the efforts of the U.S. and EU are largely irrelevant. Nevertheless, by 2050, the U.S. will produce $22,000 less per capita than if the economy grew at 3.0%.

b. The entire world takes action against climate change for the same price of 0.5% GDP growth. By 2050, the world will produce $36 trillion less per year than if growth continued at 3.0% average. That is the equivalent to losing the wealth generated by today's ten leading economies every year.


Do you have a source for that 0.5% claim? I am asking because I know of a pretty good MIT study which concluded that the cap and trade program to limit CO2 emissions within the EU had a positive effect on both the environment and CO2 emissions while not having a negative effect on the economy.

Here is a link: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/07/04/mit-report-world-can-learn-from-european-cap-and-trade-system/ and here http://www.pewclimate.org/press-releases/05.08.08

Quote
The EU cap-and-trade system has operated well and has had little or no negative impact on the overall EU economy, according to an MIT analysis.

Despite the quick adoption and unsure start of the European system, which operates internationally and is larger than either of the U.S. programs for SOx and NOx, it is ďfar more than any other nation or set of nations has done to control greenhouse-gas emissions ó and it works surprisingly well,Ē according to A. Denny Ellerman, senior lecturer in the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Offline Analyst

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It didnít take long before the conspiracy morons (a much stronger word would apply better) came out of the woods. Denial is a wonderful thing, isnít it. Makes your life easier, gives your day structure. But doesnít change reality at all.

1) Honestly sir, that is quite offensive. >:(
2) I would say that conforming to the mob mentality is far easier than being in the minority of objecting critics, wouldn't you?

3) Reality is that anthropomorphic global warming is riddled with inconsistencies.
4) It is disturbing how often AGW proponents immediately resort to personal attacks when confronted with this fact.

1) Yes it is. Because it is needed. There comes a time when facts speak for themselves.
2) Sometimes the minority is correct, sometimes the majority. I don't care if human made global warming is already accepted as fact by a majority or not. It remains a fact nevertheless.
3) No it is not. To the contrary. Justifications of denial are inconsistent.
4) Again, there is no fact.

Why does all this remind me of the denial of the evolution of spezies? Or having the earth still at the center of the universe?

Analyst

Offline Far North

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I had hoped that my first post to this forum would be somewhat more benign, but oh well...

(1) Which sounds like a good argument against taking drastic action that will adversely affect our standard of living for generations to come.

It would seem to me that increasing CO2 concentration from 250 ppm to 400ppm in the space of 150 years could also be considered a "drastic action" that has the very high chance of even more adversely affecting our standard of living for generations to come.

We don't know how the climate system works, thus we don't know what the effects of our meddling might be. What we do know, however, is that the system is extremely powerful and infuential; the potential for devastation on a grand scale does certainly exist. We don't have a backup climate system. We are stuck with this one. I'd rather we not accidentally screw soemthing up.

(2) More likely, the consequences of hurting economic growth will dwarf the consequences of climate change. Besides, do you realize many parts of the world have no interest in compromising their economy for the sake of CO2 reduction? Consider two very plausible scenarios:

a. The U.S. and EU slash CO2 emissions at the price of 0.5% GDP growth per year, thus 2.5% growth versus 3.0% growth. China, India, and the developing world do not follow suit. Thus the efforts of the U.S. and EU are largely irrelevant. Nevertheless, by 2050, the U.S. will produce $22,000 less per capita than if the economy grew at 3.0%.

b. The entire world takes action against climate change for the same price of 0.5% GDP growth. By 2050, the world will produce $36 trillion less per year than if growth continued at 3.0% average. That is the equivalent to losing the wealth generated by today's ten leading economies every year.

I am having a hard time sympathising with this. So what if the economy doesn't grow at such an incredible rate? We have it pretty damn good already, I you don't mind me saying. I'd rather we take the sustainable and less riskier path towards more wealth.

Might I also express my dislike of a system that relies on constant growth in order to function? Constant growth cannot be sustained in a closed system. That is a fact. I suggest watching this lecture when you have more time (it gets better after it has stopped explaining basic maths; also there are 7 more parts on Youtube):



So do you expect global warming to inflict $36 trillion dollars of economic damage every single year as early as 2050? That's 400 Hurricane Katrina disasters per year. Starting to sound ridiculous, doesn't it? The logical course of action is to let economic growth continue unimpeded and treat the climate change symptoms as they come ... IF they come.

As early as 2050? Maybe not. But 2100? Seems much more probable already. I wonder what would happen to the world economy if, say, a billion people and a very large part of world industry were forced to relocate due to rising sea levels and worsening storms?

Also, ignoring all the warning signs and hoping that we will still have time to do anything about it when we do screw up doesn't seem like a sustainable way forward.

By the way, this conspiracy thing is ridiculous. Yes, there is lots of private interest in this, but that is true for both sides.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 07:34 PM by Far North »

Offline Jim

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Once I again I have disrupted this forum.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=16352.msg381605#msg381605

I am sorry that I worked on this spacecraft's launch and now give Chris all these headaches.

 ;)

« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 07:49 PM by Jim »

Offline DfwRevolution

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Do you have a source for that 0.5% claim? I am asking because I know of a pretty good MIT study which concluded that the cap and trade program to limit CO2 emissions within the EU had a positive effect on both the environment and CO2 emissions while not having a negative effect on the economy.

0.5% is an arbitrary constant but a figure that is very reasonable. I picked it to show the massive effect of a seemingly minute rate of return over long periods of time. It could be 0.1% or 0.01%. The result is still in the trillions or billions of dollars over the long-term.

Don't tell Spain about MIT's study. The loss of productivity due to their increasing utility rates and government subsidies of alternative energy have been well documented. Yet this nation with 20% unemployment was recently cited as a model by the Obama administration in the same sentence as job creation. Frightening.

1) Yes it is. Because it is needed. There comes a time when facts speak for themselves.
2) Sometimes the minority is correct, sometimes the majority. I don't care if human made global warming is already accepted as fact by a majority or not. It remains a fact nevertheless.
3) No it is not. To the contrary. Justifications of denial are inconsistent.
4.) Why does all this remind me of the denial of the evolution of spezies? Or having the earth still at the center of the universe?

1. Chris has sure worked hard to keep this a discussion board above such pettiness.  ::)
2. A scientific fact can be tested and verified. Please point me towards the climate models that have accurately and consistently predicted a climate changes in advance.
3. The premise of global warming is that man-made CO2 concentrations are causing temperatures to rise. I call the fact that Earth has cooled for 10 years amidst continuous increases in CO2 concentrations a significant inconsistency.
4. Why does this remind me of the hype that aspartame is a deadly carcinogen?

It would seem to me that increasing CO2 concentration from 250 ppm to 400ppm in the space of 150 years could also be considered a "drastic action" that has the very high chance of even more adversely affecting our standard of living for generations to come.

In our geologic history, those changes are entirely unremarkable.

(1) I am having a hard time sympathising with this. So what if the economy doesn't grow at such an incredible rate? (2) We have it pretty damn good already, I you don't mind me saying.

1. Then our standard of living plateaus. Innovation plateaus. Higher rates of unemployment become common. There will be fewer inventions, new services, and opportunities to enhance our lives. The 3rd world stays the 3rd world. Higher education and modern health care reaches fewer people. Need I go on?

2. I'm sure people in 1909 said the same thing. We are not a rich or advanced society in comparison to what we could be in 50 or 100 years if we maintain the average rate of economic growth since WWII.

By the way, this conspiracy thing is ridiculous. Yes, there is lots of private interest in this, but that is true for both sides.

I agree entirely. Please note that the first person to use the word conspiracy was not me. Scientist are prone to the same biases as everyone else. I also think a great many have put themselves in a position where they feel they cannot come out against their own research without destroying their reputations. That is not a conspiracy theory at all. It's simple human nature.

Once I again I have disrupted this forum. I am sorry that I worked on this spacecraft's launch and now give Chris all these headaches.

I think we can all give you a pass, Jim  ;)
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 08:48 PM by DfwRevolution »

Offline mr.columbus

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0.5% is an arbitrary constant but a figure that is very reasonable. I picked it to show the massive effect of a seemingly minute rate of return over long periods of time. It could be 0.1% or 0.01%. The result is still in the trillions or billions of dollars over the long-term.

Just to put things into perspective. Even if 0.5%, which is according to the MIT an unreasonable number not supported by the facts, were the average toll for GDP growth per year due to combating climate change, in the US this would at the moment *only* amount to 70 billion USD per year. It superficially sounds high, but it's not. It's about 1/70th of what the costs for healthcare are or about 1/12th of the military costs etc.

0.1% would be 14 billion USD. Still in absolute terms a high number but in relative terms peanuts for the government.

Current estimates are that right now climate change has already a cost tag of several hundred of billions of USD per year. Here is a good MSNBC article on that subject:
Quote
The U.S. government, insurer of last resort, faces a potential payout of at least $919 billion under a worst-case scenario of flood and crop losses due to global warming, congressional investigators say...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18228964/

And we shouldn't forget the lives that are at risk here. We spend billions of dollars to build save spacecraft in order to mitigate the risks of spaceflight and save a handful of lives. Global warming threatens hundreds of millions, people who live in coastal areas, people who live in areas which are experiencing more floods or droughts etc.

Quote
Don't tell Spain about MIT's study. The loss of productivity due to their increasing utility rates and government subsidies of alternative energy have been well documented. Yet this nation with 20% unemployment was recently cited as a model by the Obama administration in the same sentence as job creation. Frightening.

Spain has suffered a doubling of its unemployment rate and a deep recession due to a housing crisis in scope worse than the US housing crisis. There are tons of articles on that subject on the internet. I wonder where you got the notion from that their current problems have anything to do with CO2 caps?
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 08:56 PM by mr.columbus »

Offline mikegi

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I am having a hard time sympathising with this. So what if the economy doesn't grow at such an incredible rate? We have it pretty damn good already, I you don't mind me saying. I'd rather we take the sustainable and less riskier path towards more wealth.
I'm glad my ancient relatives didn't say:

1) Outhouses are pretty damn good already and less risky.

2) Horse-drawn carriages are pretty damn good already and less risky.

3) Bloodletting is pretty damn good already and less risky.

4) Telegraphs are pretty damn good already.

etc., etc.

Offline Far North

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In our geologic history, those changes are entirely unremarkable.
Most of these large changes in CO2 levels happened gradually, taking millions of years. The shorter ones might have been unremarkable in the long term, but what were the short term (few hundred to thousand years) consequences of these extremely rapid changes?

1. Then our standard of living plateaus. Innovation plateaus. Higher rates of unemployment become common. There will be fewer inventions, new services, and opportunities to enhance our lives. The 3rd world stays the 3rd world. Higher education and modern health care reaches fewer people. Need I go on?
This just shows that the system that we have right now needs to be changed or replaced with something that can function without growth. Because, again, you cannot support growth indefinately. Growth will stop at one point, and it might very well be within only a century or two.

2. I'm sure people in 1909 said the same thing. We are not a rich or advanced society in comparison to what we could be in 50 or 100 years if we maintain the average rate of economic growth since WWII.
What I am trying to say is that most people in general will not be too saddened by the thought that they will not have much more luxury in fifty years. Those that will be, will only be so because they remeber the time when progress was fast. Remember the time before the industrial revolution? Little to no progress happened within one person's lifetime, yet I do not believe that too many people complained about that.

Thechnological progress is not a prerequisite to contentness. And "good living standards" don't mean a thing if the person that is experiencing them is a sad, stressed individual.

I am not by any measure against increasing human technological capability. I just think that it should be done more responsibly, more sustainably and at a lesser cost.

I could also say a few things about the horrifying consequences of unfettered industrial growth at the rates seen since WWII to the ecology of the planet, but I doubt this arguement would matter to most of the people on this forum.

Modify: most people won't be too saddened by the lack of tech progress
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 10:01 PM by Far North »

Offline Far North

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I'm glad my ancient relatives didn't say:

1) Outhouses are pretty damn good already and less risky.

2) Horse-drawn carriages are pretty damn good already and less risky.

3) Bloodletting is pretty damn good already and less risky.

4) Telegraphs are pretty damn good already.

etc., etc.

I am glad too, but the funny thing is that if they had thought this way and if we all would be living the same way as we did back then, you probably wouldn't be any less content with your life.

Again, I am by no means against technological growth and development, just the idea that we need it at any cost and that we cannot possibly function without this absurdly large amount of it.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 10:02 PM by Far North »

Offline yg1968

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Interesting debate. What I find the most frightening is that if you dare disagree that global warming is "a problem that needs to be wrestled with" (as Griffin tried to argue), you are immediatelly cast aside as some kind of right wing extremist. It's impossible to even discuss this topic without getting this type of response. The debate isn't scientific at all. It has been politicised by people such as Al Gore.  I still don't understand why he won a nobel prize for politicising this issue.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2009 03:23 AM by yg1968 »

Offline eeergo


Don't tell Spain about MIT's study. The loss of productivity due to their increasing utility rates and government subsidies of alternative energy have been well documented. Yet this nation with 20% unemployment was recently cited as a model by the Obama administration in the same sentence as job creation. Frightening.

I don't know what "well-documented" means to you, but I can tell you alt-energy subsidies were not the cause of our catastrophic economic situation, or at least played a very secondary role. Look at Germany, or the Netherlands, for example.

Actually, a much more important cause that made the crisis attack us even more ferociously than other countries was just what you're defending: an unsustainable model that relied on constant growth, as Mr Columbus has put it (sometimes, even on constant growth of the growth, if you know what I mean ;) ), to put on top of Spain's decades-long problems. Also bear in mind that 20% unemployment rate doesn't mean the same here as in, say, the US. Many analysts believe a rate of as much as 8% is structural to the economic system.

That unsustainable model was based on wild, unrestrained competition in residential construction. There were subsidies, but it was largely a so-called "self-regulated" business. We should now what "self-regulated" means in capitalist terms by now, however...  ::) When the market saturated, that is, when the growth could not be sustained in the closed environment of the country (the demand was long gone, but speculation and "self-regulation" still kept the wheel going), collapse was swift.

In the village I spend my holidays in, more than half of the commercial space was taken by real-estate agencies, which in the course of a few months, all but disappeared. And surprise!  :o We ended up with millions of immigrant labor, who were first exploited and introduced innecessarily to the system, and then were left jobless. Furthermore, this "industry" was largely dependent on non-qualified workers, so even if a crisis wasn't going on, it would be very difficult to relocate them.

Another pillar of this model was (and still is) agricultural and fishing subsidies. Surprisingly again, an environmentally unsustainable system dragging down the rest of the economy. Half of Spain is covered in inefficient farmland, wasting water with obsolete techniques, and while the manufacturing industry languishes or emmigrates, Spain's representatives fight lost battles over in the European Commission to sustain this stubborn model.

Meanwhile, innovation and non-tertiary industries that struggle to grow with little support get drowned under every one the (frequent) crisis that big, old-fashioned development model suffers. Most of them are predictable, which makes the situation even more ridiculous.

Many of the reports I read point to the subsidies for alt-energies being one of the very few positive areas in our economy. They stimulate R&D, basic science, engineering and heavy industry, set the basis for an important exporting industry, and puts the country in one of the scarce world-leading roles it can boast about. There was some concern about over-inflated subsidies, and the Ministry of Industry talked about cancelling them at one point. We're known by the lack of any form of scientific attitude (even in economics) in our political leaders, so a more rational approach was approved recently.

Just as the outcome of the environmental crisis is, if we stubbornly refuse to look for alternatives and stop wasting resources (and not just worry about CO2 emissions, note I'm talking about a wider issue than GW, but very related to it)

As a sidenote, funny you argue about 3rd world development as an excuse for not changing our ways. Many of these countries are worse than they were 50 years ago because of this economic model, and those which aren't see their growth hampered by it.
-DaviD-

Offline mikegi

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I am glad too, but the funny thing is that if they had thought this way and if we all would be living the same way as we did back then, you probably wouldn't be any less content with your life.
So, ignorance is bliss? I am not content with today's level of technology. I think we've barely scratched the surface. Medicine is primitive -- there are too many chronic diseases (arthritis, etc.) that cause suffering. Computer technology is primitive.

Quote
Again, I am by no means against technological growth and development, just the idea that we need it at any cost and that we cannot possibly function without this absurdly large amount of it.
You are for ending growth and development. You can call it "sustainability" but it will rapidly become "subsistence". There is no middle ground.


Offline madscientist197

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Interesting debate. What I find the most frightening is that if you dare disagree that GW is "a problem that needs to be wrestled with" (as Griffin tried to argue), you are immediatelly cast aside as some kind of right wing extremist. It's impossible to even discuss this topic without getting this type of response. The debate isn't scientific at all.

Yes, I agree, it's completely polarised now. I think a part of it is that intellegent people don't like to be bullied into thinking a certain way (even if it is correct) and why a lot of this 'debate' is counterproductive (because few people are actually listening to the other side, just metaphorically bashing each other over the head). I suspect over the long run, a lot of the change in opinion will be driven by generational change.

One unfortunate aspect of the GW debate is that much of it is driven by the Green lobby. This means that they idealise an agrarian culture and aren't willing to use nuclear power, which is probably the best option to maintain our standard of living. If the Green lobby told everyone what that would do to our standard of living, I don't think many people would be willing to accept it. (I actually like Greens, it's just that it's not a lifestyle that suits everyone!)
« Last Edit: 07/09/2009 02:17 AM by madscientist197 »
John

Offline hop

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One unfortunate aspect of the GW debate is that much of it is driven by the Green lobby.
Ah yes, those notorious geenie lobbyists like the AAAS, the worlds national academies, NASA, the British Royal Society and the thousands of scientists who do the actual work that ends up in the IPCC reports. Oh and now the G8 leaders.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2009 03:27 AM by hop »

Offline Antares

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I always wonder what the motivation of people is who think that man-made global warming is a large conspiracy of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people while no-one can provide a shred of hard evidence for that conspiracy.

My jury is still out, but it's interesting that a lot of graybeard scientists whose careers have been established and who don't need to worry about putting food on the table are skeptics.  It doesn't take a large conspiracy if you have a few rich individuals, foundations and corporations with a stake as the ones providing the research money.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see which researchers they will support and which ones they won't, nor to see what results said researchers will reach.

Who paid for the MIT/Pew studies?
« Last Edit: 07/09/2009 04:22 AM by Antares »
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline madscientist197

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One unfortunate aspect of the GW debate is that much of it is driven by the Green lobby.
Ah yes, those notorious geenie lobbyists like the AAAS, the worlds national academies, NASA, the British Royal Society and the thousands of scientists who do the actual work that ends up in the IPCC reports. Oh and now the G8 leaders.


Hey don't distort what I'm saying. I NEVER implied that. I have the utmost respect for those groups. The problem is the less scientifically literate groups. Thank you for proving my point about partisanship. :p

An example, then -- here in New Zealand the Green party is the biggest force for CO2 reduction etc. I support that. But I don't support their anti-nuclear stance or the idea that everyone wants to live in some sort of communal agrarian living. There is an intermediate position which some people don't seem to want to grasp, which doesn't have to involve the destruction of our modern technological society or the destruction of the environment due to climate change.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2009 04:14 AM by madscientist197 »
John

Offline Antares

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I'm not at all denying the globe is warming. But look at something from a climatologist that doesn't have a hand in the money bucket either way: http://bit.ly/SBKrF

Since I don't trust anything coming out of Huntsville ;) here's another one.  Forget the URL, this TEENAGER with no preconceptions was profiled on NPR.
http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.6

One of her central theories in the purported global temperature rise is the placement of measurement sites in urban islands of heat.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline hop

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My jury is still out, but it's interesting that a lot of graybeard scientists whose careers have been established and who don't need to worry about putting food on the table are skeptics.
There are far more similar "greybeards" on the other side. Those making up the organizations listed in my previous post, for example.
Quote
It doesn't take a large conspiracy if you have a few rich individuals, foundations and corporations with a stake as the ones providing the research money.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see which researchers they will support and which ones they won't, nor to see what results said researchers will reach.
This is a bizarre theory. Most corporations and governments would have a very strong interesting in proving AGW false. Proving that you didn't need to make reductions in CO2 would essentially be saving many billions or trillions of dollars. If there were promising avenues to do this, you'd think that this would have flourished under the Bush administration at least. Instead, they were dragged, kicking and screaming, to the eventual admission that AGW was in fact real.

Nor is it credible for a small group to do this. How do they get the AAAS and national academies on board ?

Forget the URL, this TEENAGER with no preconceptions was profiled on NPR.
http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.6

One of her central theories in the purported global temperature rise is the placement of measurement sites in urban islands of heat.
I suppose this doesn't matter if you give more credence to the online postings of a 15 year old than statements from the AAAS and Royal Society, but this effect is accounted for in published research.

madscientist197
I guess I jumped to the conclusion that you were saying the AGW issue was simply a product of "green" campaigners. I apologize for directing the sarcasm at you, although I think the point still stands ;)

Offline vt_hokie

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Interesting debate. What I find the most frightening is that if you dare disagree that GW is "a problem that needs to be wrestled with" (as Griffin tried to argue), you are immediatelly cast aside as some kind of right wing extremist.

Likewise, if you believe that it is a problem that needs to be addressed, you are cast aside as some sort of extremist liberal.  Frankly, I'm tired of the name calling from both sides.

Offline mr.columbus

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One unfortunate aspect of the GW debate is that much of it is driven by the Green lobby.
Ah yes, those notorious geenie lobbyists like the AAAS, the worlds national academies, NASA, the British Royal Society and the thousands of scientists who do the actual work that ends up in the IPCC reports. Oh and now the G8 leaders.


Hey don't distort what I'm saying. I NEVER implied that. I have the utmost respect for those groups. The problem is the less scientifically literate groups. Thank you for proving my point about partisanship. :p

An example, then -- here in New Zealand the Green party is the biggest force for CO2 reduction etc. I support that. But I don't support their anti-nuclear stance or the idea that everyone wants to live in some sort of communal agrarian living. There is an intermediate position which some people don't seem to want to grasp, which doesn't have to involve the destruction of our modern technological society or the destruction of the environment due to climate change.

Just to response to the nuclear power point you are making. As an engineer, I am very much pro-nuclear power because I know that modern power plants are safe and that the issue of long-term storage of nuclear waste can be tackled and is tackled right now.

But personally I'd say the nuclear power debate is beside the issue. First we need to have ordinary people look at the actual temperature data, greenhouse gas emissions data, studies that show that the sun's activity has actually gone down in the last 30 years and not up etc. and then not just tell them "look, so we got human made global warming", but ask them what explanation they can come up with for the change. I think this way they will realize that we ARE facing a problem here and that it is a big problem costing hundreds of billions each year already and costing lives as well, not just in 3rd world countries or developing countries like China etc., but in first world countries too. And even more so, it makes many million people's live miserable due to drying up farm land in one area and floods in another area, more severe winds and storms in the next area etc.

P.S. I also always wondered why people were attacking campaigns like "Save the Polar Bears". Year, they are an officially endangered species. Will the world change if they are gone? Probably not. Is it good that they face extinction? I'd say hell no.

Offline mr.columbus

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Interesting debate. What I find the most frightening is that if you dare disagree that GW is "a problem that needs to be wrestled with" (as Griffin tried to argue), you are immediatelly cast aside as some kind of right wing extremist.

Likewise, if you believe that it is a problem that needs to be addressed, you are cast aside as some sort of extremist liberal.  Frankly, I'm tired of the name calling from both sides.

Very well said. I rather much prefer a fact based discussion. Like the DIRECT proposal compared to Ares I and Ares V or Not-Shuttle-C or EELVs would be discussed. We would talk about payloads, TLI numbers, structural loads issues or lunar lander mass and LOC numbers. We won't be accusing each other of conspiracies on both sides (hopefully) or coming up with things like "the reason Ares I is such a mess is because it's painted orange" instead of making reasonable arguments about TO issues etc.

Offline spacecase

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I am starting to agree that there is a rise in global temperatures overall. I don't agree that it is mostly attributed to humans.

I am surprised that no one has mentioned that Jupiter and Mars are also experiencing global warming too. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

We may need to take actions based on data. The problem with weather and climate is that it is so complex that you can only say what has happened, not what is happening.

By the way, did anyone else notice in that chart with temperatures and CO2 levels that the CO2 levels were actually lagging the temperature changes?

Offline vt_hokie

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We may need to take actions based on data. The problem with weather and climate is that it is so complex that you can only say what has happened, not what is happening.

Well, I guess you could say my brother is trying to say what is happening!  He's doing climate research - just moved to Hawaii in fact for a post-doc position after completing his Ph.D. in Meteorology at Penn State. 

Offline hop

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I am surprised that no one has mentioned that Jupiter and Mars are also experiencing global warming too. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html
I suggest you look a bit deeper than a superficial piece in national geographic. Solar forcing has been looked at in depth, and it doesn't cut it (as pointed out by the other scientists in that article). Moreover, at least in Mars case, more likely causes have been identified.
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We may need to take actions based on data. The problem with weather and climate is that it is so complex that you can only say what has happened, not what is happening.
You don't need to model things perfectly to have a high confidence AGW will happen:
1) The increase in CO2 due to human activity is indisputable.
2) The physics underlying the greenhouse gas effect of CO2 is also extremely well established.
If you accept those two facts, AGW must be real to some degree, unless there is a negative feedback that counteracts it. Unfortunately, the positive feedback appears to dominate.

That leaves room for debate over the magnitude, but you can get reasonable estimates of the overall heat balance with much simpler calculations. Imagine you are heating a pan of water on a stove: Modeling the chaotic flow of convection cells is fiendishly difficult, but you don't have to do that to predict the temperature will increase, and make a decent estimate of how quickly it will happen.
Quote
By the way, did anyone else notice in that chart with temperatures and CO2 levels that the CO2 levels were actually lagging the temperature changes?
Which chart are you referring to ? This is likely true of past warming episodes (and is expected because there's feedback involved, and those episodes were not triggered by overdeveloped apes burning trillions of tons of hydrocarbons!) but AFAIK is not supported for the current trend.

Offline mikegi

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My jury is still out, but it's interesting that a lot of graybeard scientists whose careers have been established and who don't need to worry about putting food on the table are skeptics.
There are far more similar "greybeards" on the other side. Those making up the organizations listed in my previous post, for example.
When did the number of scientists, for or against, become one of the tests of the validity of a theory?

Offline hop

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When did the number of scientists, for or against, become one of the tests of the validity of a theory?
For people who are not experts in a particular scientific field, a strong consensus among experts is a useful (but not perfect) indicator of which theories are credible or represent the best interpretation of the available data. This is a direct result of the fact that the scientific method and peer review actually work a large percentage of the time. History strongly supports the value of this indicator.

FWIW, those who aren't convinced that such a consensus exists regarding AGW might want to look at http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1550
« Last Edit: 07/10/2009 05:32 AM by hop »

Offline zapkitty

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What the consensus argument overlooks is two factors.

One is that corporations... which wield many of the political privileges of human citizens while being vastly powerful, completely unintelligent and utterly amoral... many of the most powerful of these have a vested interest in the status quo especially where oil and to a somewhat lesser extent coal are concerned. 

Bad enough... but add to that...

Second is that right-wing conservatives... (here comes the autoresponse rejoinders screaming in at mach 5 before I even finish :) )... have built up a specialty line in debunking solid scientific theory and promoting false equivalences in psuedoscientific "theories" that happened to match their political and/or religious beliefs.

And so it's no surprise that the corporations adopted the conservative techniques and that the conservatives made opposing the very existence of solid climate change theories a part of the core conservative platform.

Imagine "creation science" with major corporate pr and research backing to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and, unlike the creationist dreck, warming skeptics have some scientific merit to back it up.

And that's why scientists who've never taken a penny of  the corporate efforts are often tarred with the same brush as the actual corporate shills... they're both saying similar things and the corporations have been caught lying through their teeth on this matter so many times...

It's not the fault of the actual skeptics, but they're being identified with a corporate hard-sell campaign that uses many of the right wing's most egregious anti-science tactics.

Again... a lot of the global warming doubt in the public minds is the result of pure BS that has been and is being furiously generated by a combined corporate-conservative tag team matchup for years.

If you're a true warming skeptic you'll need to shout to be heard above the roar of nonsense noise being generated by the corps and the wingnuts... and you'll also need to be careful your words are not incorporated into the pr campaign as supporting all the wingnut concepts you'd never say or subscribe to.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2009 06:41 AM by zapkitty »

Offline butters

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In my view, the case for anthropogenic climate change (even if not accurately or comprehensively described as "warming") primarily due to the sudden rapid combustion of prehistoric biomass deposits is fairly compelling.

However, it strikes me as odd that the environmentalist movement has focused on climate change when the case for anthropogenic ecological decline of wildlife stocks and biodiversity due to pollution from industrial and agricultural waste is so much stronger and virtually irrefutable.

Carbon may not be an adequate proxy for all the other ways in which petroleum man inflicts long-term damage on the biosphere.  Over 75% of the world's wild fisheries are exhausted or nearly so, but it isn't because of climate change.

Half of the world's tropical forests have disappeared since 1850, and that's not an effect of climate change either, although it could be a cause.  Many of the world's great rivers no longer reach their mouths, a fact that also cannot be attributed to climate change.

The changes in human civilization that are primarily responsible for Earth's rapid ecological decline were, by and large, empowered by the unsustainable depletion of prehistoric biomass that may very well be warming or otherwise changing the climate. 

But this is like saying that if we don't slow down our compulsive depletion and contamination of the ecosystems upon which we depend for healthy food and water supplies, then certain low-lying coastal areas may be under water some day.

Offline GI-Thruster

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I've been watching this debate for fifteen years and it never ceases to amaze me that those with the most passion and most caustic words are those who lack anything resembling facts--both sides guilty here.

Just IMHO, it almost does not matter who's right.  Whether the planet is warming or cooling, whether it's caused by human industry, it just doesn't matter.

If the worst is true, caps and trades, scrubbing the air, none of it is anything but a Band-Aid.  And this is probably the very worst part of the problem: the alarmists have convinced people both that there's this terrible problem and that it is fixable.  It is NOT fixable with wind turbines and shutting off your lights.  They know this though they won't admit this except in those rare circumstances when they start talking about population control and did you know how many acres of wheat it takes to grow a cow?  We must all become vegetarians too.  Cows fart too much, they're heating the planet.

If there really is a problem the only thing that approaches a real solution is to remove fossil fuels entirely.  As it happens, this is a great idea even if the planet is not warming as it leaves more room for cow farts.

So, if you want to presume like the politically motivated masses and their attendant drones that AGW is real, the thing to do is work on energy storage and generation that does not rely upon fossil fuels.  Batteries, caps, fission and fusion.  Certainly, burning oil and coal and then scrubbing the air won't work in China because they won't care.  You have to give the Chinese and everyone else on the planet a fiscally acceptable alternative.  Wind turbines are not an alternative and neither is tofu-burgers.

Offline GI-Thruster

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When did the number of scientists, for or against, become one of the tests of the validity of a theory?
For people who are not experts in a particular scientific field, a strong consensus among experts is a useful (but not perfect) indicator of which theories are credible or represent the best interpretation of the available data. This is a direct result of the fact that the scientific method and peer review actually work a large percentage of the time. History strongly supports the value of this indicator.

FWIW, those who aren't convinced that such a consensus exists regarding AGW might want to look at http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1550

I understand the argument from scientific consensus but you need to recognize this is nothing like the peer review process.  All of this debate is ruled by preconceptions and politics.  There are almost no open minds.  There is very little legitimate scientific investigation.  Almost all the investigators have made up their minds in advance.  If you look at the wretched data manipulation and the fact this is acceptable when on this topic, you realize the system is broken.  Politics interjected itself into the process and now the entire system is broken. . .broken. . .broken!

I'm not saying there's a conspiracy there'd need to be some guidance for a conspiracy.  What we have instead is everyone pretending their opinion matters despite the issue is so complex that only a few of the best scientists in the world could hope to understand it and none of them are climatiologists.

Consensus doesn't mean anything here.

Offline mr.columbus

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If the worst is true, caps and trades, scrubbing the air, none of it is anything but a Band-Aid.  And this is probably the very worst part of the problem: the alarmists have convinced people both that there's this terrible problem and that it is fixable.  It is NOT fixable with wind turbines and shutting off your lights.  They know this though they won't admit this except in those rare circumstances when they start talking about population control and did you know how many acres of wheat it takes to grow a cow?  We must all become vegetarians too.  Cows fart too much, they're heating the planet.


I have not heard any serious climatologist or person who wants GW to be addressed argue that global warming could be stopped within a couple of years. Well it can't. What the IPCC says is with measures you can slow global warming which means you'll face less severe consequences in 2050 or 2100, albeit consequences are still there. Just as the ozone layer wasn't restored by phasing out CFCs etc. but its depletion was slowed and may eventually in many decades stop and in say 2050 the ozone layer may even start to recover.

P.S. as to cows, year they actually contribute to global warming. No doubt. Doesn't mean we need to be all vegetarians, does it? we can cut emissions elsewhere, can't we?

P.S.S. I take a global temperature increase of 1.5 C over an increase of 4 C until 2100 every day.

Offline mikegi

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What the consensus argument overlooks is two factors.

One is that corporations... which wield many of the political privileges of human citizens while being vastly powerful, completely unintelligent and utterly amoral... many of the most powerful of these have a vested interest in the status quo especially where oil and to a somewhat lesser extent coal are concerned.
Funny, I'd say the same thing about government. Except that government can use force to make people follow their rules, companies can't.

Quote
Second is that right-wing conservatives... (here comes the autoresponse rejoinders screaming in at mach 5 before I even finish :) )... have built up a specialty line in debunking solid scientific theory and promoting false equivalences in psuedoscientific "theories" that happened to match their political and/or religious beliefs.
Funny, I'd say the same thing about the AGW proponents. AGW conveniently meshes with their desire to increase government's reach and control those nasty "vastly powerful, completely unintelligent and utterly amoral" companies.

Quote
Again... a lot of the global warming doubt in the public minds is the result of pure BS that has been and is being furiously generated by a combined corporate-conservative tag team matchup for years.
What would you call the massive pro-AGW campaign generated by governments, schools, media, etc, etc? We're absolutely saturated by the pro-AGW bandwagon every single day. My 9 yr-old daughter routinely came home from school with thoughts on how this or that was or wasn't "Green" or "good for the environment". It's really time for the pro-AGW side to stop whining about being "oppressed" by whatever imagined enemies they supposedly have. That may play well on campus but it doesn't cut it out in the real world.

Edit: I'm not a meteorologist and have limited knowledge of weather/climate. I'm a skeptic, which I always thought was a good thing when it came to science. However, I've seen the study-mills and other tricks used by some to promote their ideas. Consensus science isn't science at all, it's politics. When a new theory comes along with doomsday claims (billions dead, "Earth in Peril", etc.) accompanied by a radical political/government agenda, then claims that we "must do something now before it's too late", I think you should be skeptical too.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2009 01:52 PM by mikegi »

Offline robertross

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If you're a true warming skeptic you'll need to shout to be heard above the roar of nonsense noise being generated by the corps and the wingnuts... and you'll also need to be careful your words are not incorporated into the pr campaign as supporting all the wingnut concepts you'd never say or subscribe to.


Okay, my turn to speak up.

Great post zapkitty.

To me, no matter which way people look at it, there is SO MUCH spin on this topic from both camps that people just need to make their own mind up, and stick with it.

I'm just going to follow the actions I believe to be true and be happy about it, damn the rest, because you can never win this fight until the end, whatever the end. You can either tar & feather me, or look at me in a better light when the wool gets pulled back from over our eyes.

Enjoy your discussions.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline madscientist197

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You don't need to model things perfectly to have a high confidence AGW will happen:
1) The increase in CO2 due to human activity is indisputable.
2) The physics underlying the greenhouse gas effect of CO2 is also extremely well established.
If you accept those two facts, AGW must be real to some degree, unless there is a negative feedback that counteracts it. Unfortunately, the positive feedback appears to dominate.

That leaves room for debate over the magnitude, but you can get reasonable estimates of the overall heat balance with much simpler calculations. Imagine you are heating a pan of water on a stove: Modeling the chaotic flow of convection cells is fiendishly difficult, but you don't have to do that to predict the temperature will increase, and make a decent estimate of how quickly it will happen.

Thank you. That is the best arguement that GW proponents could make -- simple, and essentially undeniable because it relies on the simple, easily verified physical properties of CO2. Instead, all too often they insult our intelligence by drawing best-fit lines through the last couple of decades of (highly noisy) temperature data and say "See -- this proves global warming"... Then they wonder why people doubt them.
John

Offline yg1968

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What the consensus argument overlooks is two factors.

One is that corporations... which wield many of the political privileges of human citizens while being vastly powerful, completely unintelligent and utterly amoral... many of the most powerful of these have a vested interest in the status quo especially where oil and to a somewhat lesser extent coal are concerned. 

Bad enough... but add to that...

Second is that right-wing conservatives... (here comes the autoresponse rejoinders screaming in at mach 5 before I even finish :) )... have built up a specialty line in debunking solid scientific theory and promoting false equivalences in psuedoscientific "theories" that happened to match their political and/or religious beliefs.

And so it's no surprise that the corporations adopted the conservative techniques and that the conservatives made opposing the very existence of solid climate change theories a part of the core conservative platform.

Imagine "creation science" with major corporate pr and research backing to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and, unlike the creationist dreck, warming skeptics have some scientific merit to back it up.

And that's why scientists who've never taken a penny of  the corporate efforts are often tarred with the same brush as the actual corporate shills... they're both saying similar things and the corporations have been caught lying through their teeth on this matter so many times...

It's not the fault of the actual skeptics, but they're being identified with a corporate hard-sell campaign that uses many of the right wing's most egregious anti-science tactics.

Again... a lot of the global warming doubt in the public minds is the result of pure BS that has been and is being furiously generated by a combined corporate-conservative tag team matchup for years.

If you're a true warming skeptic you'll need to shout to be heard above the roar of nonsense noise being generated by the corps and the wingnuts... and you'll also need to be careful your words are not incorporated into the pr campaign as supporting all the wingnut concepts you'd never say or subscribe to.

One thing that Griffin said but unfortunatelly he never really expanded on is the question as to whether we need to worry about human-made global warming. As he said, who is to say what the right temperature for the planet should be? The temperature on earth has fluctuated through history. Do we need to worry more about human-made global warming than non-human made global warming? I don't have the answers to these questions and I am not convinced that anybody really does but they are good questions to ask ourselves.

In any event, I am in favour of hybrid cars and alternate energy that can reduce pollution because it just seems to make sense. But I wouldn't kill the economy over it.

Unfortunatelly, the eco-hippies have hijacked the GW issue and are using it as a political football. In the environmentalist political arena, the real answers and solutions actually do not matter as long as you appear to be doing something (whether it works or not doesn't actually matter). As an example of this, nuclear power is probably one of the cleaner type of energy but you will not see the eco-hippies promoting it because of the issue of nuclear waste. They have hijacked the issue but they usually offer very little in terms of realistic solutions and are unwilling to accept some of the trade-offs that come with making a difficult political decision.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2009 03:07 PM by yg1968 »

Offline kimmern123

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Well said. I always wonder what the motivation of people is who think that man-made global warming is a large conspiracy of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people while no-one can provide a shred of hard evidence for that conspiracy.

Nobody wants to claim "conspiracy" but it certainly is setting the stage up for such remarks when POLITICIANS get Nobel prizes for their "scientific" work. Wow.

I'm not at all denying the globe is warming. But look at something from a climatologist that doesn't have a hand in the money bucket either way: http://bit.ly/SBKrF

If this is referring to Al Gore winning the Nobel peace prize, that prize has very little to do with science. It is even awarded separately from the more science-oriented Nobel prizes. The scientific awards are awarded by Sweden, while the peace prize is awarded by the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway.

I'd rather not take sides in this arguement as it's pretty much impossible to lead a civilised discussion with either side. However I will say that I'd rather have a little slower economic growth for a small period of time, and perhaps change my cell phone or my tv a little less often, if that meant we could prevent global warming. That way we would anyway have invested lots of money in cleaner energy sources, and new technology that some day will benefit us no matter what, as oil reserves will dry up at some point.

Offline Chris Bergin

Ok, this thread has run its course. Locked.

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