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More on Global Warming

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by dmc, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Linky


    A snippet:

    Now the Republicans are on the offense. Anyone have good information refuting some of the stuff in here? Anyone have support for it?

    There's a bit of generalizing that I'm not fond of, but I sure would like to know if the major facts and assumptions are correct.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I find this kind of stuff fascinating, and wonder how scientific consensus will end up in the near future.

    The thing that's held my interest recently as I mentioned in another thread about global warming is this effort and these poor examples of climate stations that he comments on in his blog: http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/

    It makes me wonder whether the temperature trends being reported are real or have more to do with urban heat-island effects. This stuff about Greenland just reinforces my questioning
     
  3. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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  4. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I have no studies to demonstrate this, but one thing I've heard is that with general global warming we are more likely to see more extreme weather around the globe, both in terms of high temperatures and low ones. I don't know what the scientific consensus is on this one, though.
     
  5. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Extreme weather...

    Last year, baking heat and the hottest days on record.

    This year, massive flooding and we appear to have moved straight from Spring to Autumn. (Compared to Europe which is experiencing drought and forest fires.)

    Chalk that one up in the tick column.
     
  6. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    It's hard to debate that the world isn't getting warmer. It has been (a general trend with periodic deviations) for about the past 600 years. The issue is whether the most recent increase has been caused by man and is dangerous. The answer to the first seems to be no (though the jury's still oficially out) because the rate of warming is no different from the general trend. The answer to the second is largely unknown for the US, but most likely no for everywhere else. 800 years ago, before the Little Ice Age, there was more food in Europe, Asia, and Africa then there was 500 years ago, after the Little Ice Age. The weather was nicer, the growing seasons longer, and the plants grew better. We don't have a whole lot of reliable records from the US of the same time, but in general, things seemed to be the same.

    The other thing to remember is that global temperature is not the only influence on weather. A few years ago we were told by geologists and climatologists alike that the American mid-west was going into a regular dry-spell, and that the wet, rich growing conditions of the past 200 years have actually been unusual for the region. This has little to nothing to do with global climate changes.

    More and more we are realizing that we only really understand the most basic principles of how our world works. We found what appears to be a crack in the crust along the mid-Atlantic Ridge that goes all the way down to the mantle, but we have no idea how it formed. Off the coast of Australia we recently found a 20-foot dip in the surface level of the ocean covering an area of a few hundred feet. Apparently we think it has something to do with a cold water current, but we don't know why the surrounding water isn't flowing in to fill the dip. We don't understand how our environment works to a large degree, so what makes us think we can predict how it will change?
     
  7. The Mountain Hare Banned

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    NOG:
    Bull****.
     
  8. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Carc, which part of Europe do you mean? The south and east parts are baking, while in the UK, Germany and Switzerland they had floods. Then we had them, too.

    Imagine: in the course of 2 weeks one town experienced several consecutive days of 40-ish degrees Centigrade, and then was flooded. I've heard that climate change can lead to more storms in the tropical regions as there is more evaporation, but it can get way more widespread than that, apparently.

    Now, I do realize that it might take more time before we are statistically certain, but given what is already happening, voices "ah, it's not so bad" may have to wear the burden of proof.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    @ Hare - Your post is not overly productive, nor is it informative. It would be much better to actually state WHY you disagree with NOG's assertion than your simple one-word reply.

    I am in the middle with this. While there has been a gradual warming trend, it appears that the trend of the last 100 years is greater than the previous time. However, humans weren't taking measurements of the polar ice caps 500 years ago either, so perhaps we're just observing the effects of it now more than before.

    There is one fact that is controvertible: The amount of atmospheric CO2 is much higher now than it was in any of the early periods (measured from ice core samples) that NOG mentioned. CO2 is a known green house gas, and as the concentration of it increases in our atmosphere we would expect temperatures to rise.

    One thing that I find odd about NOG's statement is this:

    Do you have any additional information on this, because that is the exact opposite of what I have read. The earlier posts and links in this thread are more of the exception than the rule - most of the data I have seen indicates the opposite. I agree that there is a general warming trend, but everything I have seen indicates that the rate of warming is at a greater pace now than it was before. So while it may be justifiable to say that man is not solely responsible for the current warming, to state clearly that man is not at all responsible is not correct. In fact, I would go so far to say that while the jury is still out, the answer to the first issue appears to be "yes" and the answer to the second is unknown. Well, unknown for humans - it's certainly dangerous if you're a polar bear.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I agree, but Hare's one word was correct. NOG stated that the answer to the question of whether or not our excess global warming is caused by man appears to be no, but the scientific consensus, a consensus has not been challenged in a single peer reviewed scientific study in over 15 years, says that the answer is yes.

    NOG also says that the jury is still out. This is also not true, as it has been the consensus of the scientific community that our excess Global Warming is caused by greenhouse gases which are accumulating in the atmosphere due to human behaviour for over 15 years. During those 15 years, not a single peer reviewed study has disagreed with this consensus. In other words, there hasn't been a singe published study in a refereed scientific journal challenging the idea that global warming is caused by man in over 15 years.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I agree that in the scientific community, the answer seems clear indeed - and that the jury is not out. However, I think that NOG was speaking of public opinion - and that appears to be quite different than the scientific opinion.
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    OK. That makes sense (but only if "public opinion" is only referring to the US).
     
  13. Dinsdale Gems: 13/31
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    I have a hard time accepting the prognostications of doom and gloom about the climate. I think it interesting that meteorologists can't consistently predict the weather one week in advance but we're supposed to believe that they can predict the climate 50 or 100 years from now. Computer climate models are only as good as the information that is plugged into them. Who verifies this data? Back in the 70's weren't the environmentalists predicting a new ice age? Now they've switched 180 degrees to a crisis of global warming. It looks suspiciously like an effort by these same environmentalists to cram their agenda down our throats. I find it interesting how those who are skeptical of the whole global warming "crisis" consistently get shouted down or simply dismissed as kooks.

    Now before you call me an evil right-winger who wants simply to plunder the environment for the profit of a few, please hear me out. A certain degree of environmental responsibility makes sense. After all, a cleaner environment IS better; it is a more pleasant and healthier place in which to live. Cleaner running cars, responsible logging and prohibiting the dumping of industrial waste into the air and rivers all make sense and improve the quality of life for all citizens. However, I find the whole "crisis" mentality and the rush to implement a bunch of knee jerk "solutions" to be as alarming as it is ridiculous. So now the state, country or whatever announces that it is going green and then mandates that incandescent light bulbs be replaced with flourescent and that the production of ethanol (which is not as efficent as gasoline) be stressed. The cost of everything rises and the government intrudes even more into our lives. Oh, and by the way, who is profiting by the implementation of all these new environmental standards? Oh, yeah, it's the many of the same companies who are responsible for all the pollution in the first place and who have the politicians in their pockets. Everyone makes a big fuss about Halliburton and Iraq but I say scratch the surface of the global warming "crisis" and you'll find the same kind of worms crawling inside. Al Gore is profiting hansomely from this, no doubt. Are you?

    Recently I saw a good example of how the hysteria can affect the average joe. The news headline was how milk prices are going to rise greatly in the future. The reason? So much corn is being used for the production of ethanol that there is less corn available for cattle feed, hence it is more expensive for the dairy farmers to raise their cows. Naturally the farmers have to pass along the costs so the end result is that milk is more expensive. Now we can extrapolate this out to any number of goods and see how this could affect us all for a manufactured "crisis."

    Another problem I have with the whole global warming "crisis" is that it is assumed that this is going to be some global catastrophe. Who says? A catastrophe for whom? I'll suspend my skepticism for a while and pose this question. Assuming that global warming is going to raise the global tempurature over the long term, we are warned that the ice caps will melt and polar bears will drown. There will be drought in some places and floods in others. Since it's unlikely that there will be severe weather ALL the time let's assume that the global weather patterns simply change and some places that were dry become wet and vice-versa. Is this bad for the WHOLE planet? Isn't it possible that it might actually be good for some portion of the world's population? I think it all depends on who you ask. The same goes for wildlife. Some will benefit while some suffer. Does that make it bad? Wouldn't that happen regardless of whether man caused the climate change or not?

    Just because a thing is hysterically repeated ad nauseum doesn't make it a fact. I remain skeptical.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    @Dinsdale: This is really a very simple issue. If science is wrong about global warming (and we all know science has been wrong before) and we do everything in our power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move to sustainable sources of energy, what will happen? Nothing major. A few minor economic headaches that will work themselves out within a few years, at most. Most of the changes we make would need to be made sooner or later, anyway, since fossil fuels are a finite resource. In the end, we just would have pushed the inevitable forward by 20-40 years.

    If, on the other hand, science is right (and we all know that science has been right before) and we do nothing, what will happen? Nothing good. As the world's coastal cities flood with the rising water levels, we would have an economic catastrophe on our hands that would make the Great Depression look like a Carribean Vacation.

    You see, I don't care if you are skeptical. Where matters which can potentially have great impact on our survival as a species are concerned, we should be erring on the side of caution. The onus shouldn't be on science to more conclusively prove that environmental measure "X" is necessary (which, according to the entire climatological community, it has already done). It should be on those opposed to such measures to prove conclusively that it isn't.

    If those opposed cannot scientifically refute the consensus opinion in peer reviewed, refereed journals, then we should follow the course prescribed by the global climatological community. The cost of inaction in the event that the consensus opinion is correct is simply too high.

    [ August 10, 2007, 02:11: Message edited by: Drew ]
     
  15. The Mountain Hare Banned

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    Aldeth:
    My post was both productive and informative.

    As to 'why' I would disagree with NOG's assertion, I don't feel a need to explain this. The thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles in dozens of respected scientific journals do that for me. Why repeat what has been re-iterated for God knows how long by the scientific community in general?

    A significant proportion of the American public reject evolution. Forgive me if I don't place much significance in American public opinion, which is usually ill informed and uneducated.
     
  16. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    This just in.

    Rumour has it the Goreacle is in such a state of dismay that he is taking his private jet around the world. :)

    In all seriousness I am impressed and horrified by Drew's comments. The thought that scientists could be using scare tactics to force a political agenda on the world is very troubling to me.
     
  17. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Wow, a global conspiracy by climatologists to incite false expectations for the apocalypse. Yes that would work a long way for them in their nefarious plans to take over the world. I never would have expected this, truly Snook thanks for uncovering this. Now excuse me, I must build my own coal furnace to the backyard in order to prevent them from furfilling their evil schemes.
     
  18. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I would try to go solar if you can. It is better for the environment.
     
  19. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I am always astounded when people believe that "scientists" should be (or are) impartial and unbiased. That is simply untrue. The majority of scientist are employed by industry (your's truly being one of those) and are certainly biased -- we know who pays the bills and we have to feed our children. The scientists in academia have a bit more latitude, but they still need to perform research which will generate grants for continued research (again, it's about money). Government scientists are probably the most neutral (I know that sounds wierd) at least in the US, but politics can influence research.

    Big money is going into climate research, to both prove and disprove global warming. And so we see a lot of very biased results.

    I think it notable that there are very few neutral papers out there.
     
  20. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    So...who claimed that scientists are completely unbiased then? There's a difference with a scientist being biased and him being a incompetent liar. The fact that a scientist is biased does not make him right or wrong. The only country where the jury is out on global warming is the US, I think it speaks of quite an arrogance to dismiss all the research done in other countries, and global warming research is very popular right now and done in just about every country in the world.

    To me the logic is quite obvious, US is the country which would have to take the most painful cut to prevent or slow down the global warming, so I suppose it's more comofortable for people to think that it's just a bunch of hippies trying to force through their extreme ecofascist policies through fake science.

    It's not that a scientific consensus would do much good, even though I think we'll reach the consensus soon enough, I mean when even Bush seems to be softening up for global warming somewhat more and individual states in the US are taking their own initiative some improvement is on sight. The real problem comes after the consensus when you'd have to get the entire world community to agree on limits, which I unfortunately don't see as something very likely to happen.
     
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