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The scientific consensus on global warming

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Drew, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Yet again, the argument that there isn't a consensus in the scientific community on whether or not the brunt of global warming is caused by man is rearing it's ugly head. If you think there's no consensus or that the subject is hotly contested within the scientific community, you'd be surprised.

    EDIT: Regarding the choice of verbiage scientists use when discussing global warming, I feel compelled to point out that after all our years of research and study, science only has 18 physical laws. When speaking about every other conceivable subject, the strongest verbiage scientists are ever going to use in an official capacity is "likely". In science, unless it's a law, it is not definite or absolute...and sometimes even the laws are open to debate.

    [ March 14, 2007, 17:09: Message edited by: Drew ]
     
  2. khazadman Gems: 6/31
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    The whole man made global warming scare is just so much bs. They keep telling about the "evil corporations" who oppose it, but they say nothing about the people who are pushing it.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Did you actually read the article? The people "pushing it" happen to be every peer reviewed climatologist who has published a study between 1993 and 2003. Of the 928 studies published during that period a whopping 0% of them disagreed with the consensus position. The consensus on global warming is stronger than the consensus on the theory of evolution.
     
  4. 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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    Not to dispute your overall point, but that article is actually old, and there is more certainty in the consensus position now.

    And
    is untrue. In the IPCCs reports "likely" is only a moderate certainty, with "very likely", "extremely likely", and "virtually certain" as stronger certainty terms.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    @BTA: I know the article is old, but I couldn't find any newer articles that view such a large period of history and don't have the time to check every study conducted in the last 4 years. If you or anyone else has seen something like that, I'd appreciate a link so I can add the article to my records. You are right that the statements made by scientists on the subject of global warmer are firmer, now, than they were 4 years ago, but what I'm really trying to talk about regarding the "strength of the consensus" is the number of scientists who support it, rather than the strength of their language. To that end, the consensus shows no more (and no less) support than was shown 4 years ago.
     
  6. 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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    Right, that's why I said I didn't want to dispute your overall point; I agree with it. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things.

    And here is the summary report for policymakers for the physical science basis on climate change for 2007: http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf
     
  7. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Just an addition, correct me if I'm wrong: the IPCC actually has a large presence of state "experts" who can delay a finding for a while if their state doesn't agree with it. So if the IPCC makes a statement, expect that at least several states have had it watered down a bit.
     
  8. Von'Meyer Gems: 3/31
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    What bothers me about all this is that no one seems to mention what steps and measures have already been put into place to decrease pollution world wide.

    Yes, America is not exactly doing all it can. Yes, I'm certain that American companies are afraid of profit loss if they are forced to completely change towards eco-friendly methods of production. But, aren't a few other nations worse? Isn't China burning more coal now than the entire Western world during the Industrial Revolution? Isn't China ignoring world pressure to "go green?"

    Aren't cars cleaner than ever? More efficient than ever? Aren't landfills safe? Are toxic wastes being destroyed through natural processes that are safe and clean?

    In short. Do any of these same scientists admit that while humans may be the cause of global warming, we are also taking the steps necessary to prevent further damage?
     
  9. Susipaisti

    Susipaisti Maybe if I just sleep... Veteran

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    We are not taking the steps necessary, we're taking some steps.
     
  10. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Until someone can explain the shrinking polar caps on Mars, the fact that the current warming period started before the industrial revolution. the warm period in the Middle Ages (better than the UNs cop out of just dropping it from the charts), the fact that the polar caps are getting thicker while they are shrinking in diameter, the fact that since 1996 the world has actually grown cooler, and why in the 1970's scientists were panicked about global cooling and wanted to spread soot or some other dark substance over the poles to increase their melting, I will be happy to settle for "likely".

    By the way, cows put out more greenhouse gases than cars...so everyone who doesn't' think enough is being done should go join PETA. ;) :lol:

    Again, just so I don't get flamed...I am all for cutting down on pollution as I believe that it is a primary cause of many ailments were almost non-existent 200 years ago (like allergies), but I don't believe that there is a tipping point, or point of no return...this planet was a ball of molten lava and noxious gas in its beginnings, and if it turns out we are throwing it somewhat out of balance it will adjust or we can adjust and it will recover (or we will kill ourselves and it will recover).
     
  11. 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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    While that's certainly true, is the cost of adapting more or less than the cost of correcting? :)
     
  12. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Depends on if the law of unforeseen consequences rears its ugly head.
     
  13. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful 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!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Good one to begin with, considering how easy it is for our scientists to do local studies of Mars' environment. Might as well have started with "Until the GOP starts agreeing with everyone else about global warming ...". Those two statements are synonymous in this case anyway, I'm sure.

    The rest of your initial sentence is equally full of smoke-screens. So because scientists were wrong once, they can't be trusted ever again? Lordy, lordy... This might be news for some here, but scientists make mistakes all the time. It's time and more research that reveals these mistakes and allows for correction. Only an utter fool would dismiss the research made in the last 30 years based on what came before it, or try to use it as "proof" that global warming isn't happening. Not to mention your other "proof", like warm periods in the Middle Ages (oh yeah, we have so many scientifically sound temperature measurements throughout the world from that time - it's just the evil, evil UN that is suppressing them), to the "proof" that polar ice caps are getting thicker (huh? source?), despite there being no really reliable way to measure thickness of ice caps in general.

    But anyway, as I said before, this is a futile discussion with a side that considers this issue a topic of political, rather than scientifical debate. It's a good thing that gravity was not a subject of much political debate in the US, otherwise Americans couldn't be sure even today whether a dropped apple will fall down - or up!
     
  14. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Tal,

    It has noting to do with politics...it has everything to do with money. "Scientists" on both sides of this debate are being paid to come up with findings that back one side or the other. The majority of the independent evidence I have seen on this issue states a. there is evidence of global warming, but that none of it is unprecedented in geologic history, b. there is no proof that man kind is having any impact on global warming and c. that if man is aggravating the issue our impact is minimal.

    Lets make sure we are clear first thing. This discussion is about man-made global warming, not global warming in general. It is indeed factual that if you look at certain periods of time there is evidence of global warming...but the relative magnitude and cause of this global warming remains in debate.

    Actually it is quite easy for our telescopes to photograph Mars, and for computers to analyze the pictures to determine if the polar caps are changing. It is also very interesting to note that as the solar output modulates in magnitude there is coinciding and apparently correlating relationship between the changes in both planet's polar caps...evidence that at least part some part of the global warming we have experienced has a relationship to unusually high solar radiation.

    I am sorry, but proof is a naive word to use here, and it is something I have not once implied to offer in this discussion. There is no proof either way, as any person with either no political agenda or a smidgen of intellectual honesty will admit. This makes it appear that you are trying to set my position for me. :confused:

    There are geologic methods for determining historical temperatures, and though they are not 100% accurate they do show evidence of a cyclical history of warming and cooling periods that are quite similar to recent events.

    By the way, the comments about the UN are your words not mine.

    Again, I am offering proof of nothing, but if you want a good discussion about ice caps I can provide one.

    From said story:

    Moving on:

    I am politicizing the issue? :shake:
     
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful 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!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I forgot the two are mutually exclusive... :shake:

    More like scientists on one side and "scientists" on the other... You know which side's interests would be hurt the worst by acknowledging global warming.

    Interesting... scientists on Earth are able to do much more thorough studies of the climate here (what with being on the same planet and all, not to mention having a few hundred satellites orbiting it), but when it comes to Mars, you'd be quite happy with telescope pictures and computer analyses. But then again, many US administrations have proven time and time again that not knowing anything whatsoever about the local conditions first-hand should never preclude imagining to know everything there is to know about the local conditions, so you are probably just following a trend.

    Actually, I used "proof" in my text, not proof. It was not an implied quote of anything you've written. Not that there aren't many people posting even here that are absolutely convinced that the GOP has all the answers on this issue, so evidence one way or another is really irrelevant to them. They've got all the proof they need.

    If the discrepancies there were so minimal, no serious scientist today would be bothered by this issue. But this is obviously not the case. Periods of global warming and cooling naturally happen over much longer time spans than a few hundred years, as I'm sure you're well aware.

    I think I got your meaning of (and I am quoting you here): "better than the UNs cop out of just dropping it from the charts" right. Based on mountains of previous anti-UN comments I've seen from you...

    As for your source, well, for starters, the article is 5 years old. I dare say that things have changed somewhat since then. As for the content of the article itself, it doesn't seem to dismiss mankind's role in global warming completely.

    The summary certainly doesn't suggest anything that I'd completely disagree with, but then again, it doesn't bring up any significant points not already discussed in our last two threads on this subject:

     
  16. Tiana Gems: 3/31
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    Not to mention the recently published article about the greatly accelerated melting of a Greenland ice. The ~nine year study discovered the melt had more than tripled since the beginning of the research.

    I don't have the link, but it was in a recent edition of Science, a study by a Texas university I believe.
     
  17. 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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    One of the reasons there is no consensus in the political arena is because there is not a consensus among scientists. At least there is no consensus about the cause of the warming among scientists (it's happening, but the source of the warming is unclear). There are several theories (some of which are just garbage):

    - Industrial emissions are polluting the environment and providing a insulating layer and that's the big villian,

    - Industrial emissions are eating a hole in the ozone layer and that's the big villian,

    - Raping the rainforest is the big villian,

    - All the processes of man are adding heat to the environment and raising the temperatures slightly throughout the world,

    - Solar flares are the real culprit here,

    - This is a natural process the world goes through. We missed our last ice age due to less volcanic emissions than previous cycles, we are now entering the 'thaw period' having never gone through the 'ice period' of the cycle.

    The issue of global warming is probably a combination of all of these. Unfortunately, a lot of scientists have their own opinions and anyone who disagrees with the importance of their opinion is dismissed as ignorant. This kind of contention just adds fuel to the fire for the politicians (and others that are among the less informed).

    At UT-Austin, the professors used to get into verbal (and sometimes physical) fights over different scientific opinions -- even though they agreed on 95% of a particular theory, that last 5% was a matter of pride. It was insane, but then some professors are insane meglomaniacs.
     
  18. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Again, you provide another red herring and incorrectly state my position. I agree that overall the earth has warmed in recent history, but you keep pigeon holing my position as denying this warming.

    Where I differ in opinion is the cause of this warming and its long term impact. There is no science that can provide any meaningful evidence that man is the cause of this warming, that man can do anything to stop it, that there will be any dire long term consequences, and there is precious little time spent looking at the long term impacts of the proposed "solutions" (again the law of unintended consequences).

    The difference between the two of us is that I am willing to state that it is possible that man is or is not impacting global warming but that there is insufficient evidence to prove either position, where the only position that you will accept is that man is creating global warming based upon blind faith in an agenda based scientific communities' opinions.

    I will address one comment you made as it is unfairly slanted and then I will quit this topic:

    Actually the scientists decrying the "proof" of man made global warming have just as much to lose as those being paid to debunk it...they both lose funding from their sources if they publish an opinion contrary to the position of those providing the funding.
     
  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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    One more thing I would add....

    There have been times in the history of the world when the average temperature was quite a bit warmer than it is now. Temperature fluxuations can be seen in the fossil record and entire species have become extinct because of it. At worst, I believe we are speeding one of these fluxuations along. However, when you look at the amount of energy and heat we put out as a species -- and compare that to the stored energy of the earth and what we get from the sun -- we really don't exert much of an influence.

    Many would say our pollution is eating away the ozone layer (and adding to global warming by doing so) -- yet other factors are also involved and it is not clear whether pollution is the major factor (although it is clear pollution is a contributing factor).

    So much of this issue is clouded by opinion and speculation that it is difficult for most people to see though the garbage fed by both the tree-hugging-PETA-supporting-doomsayers and the no-problem-here-people-in-denial. The truth is somewhere in between.
     
  20. Morgoroth

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

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    The truth is somewhere in between, the temperatures are not going to rise as much as gore's video for example exclaims. But they are on the rise and humanity is affecting it. IPCC says that there is a 5% chance that humanity is not a major contributor to the cause of global warming. And I have to wonder, if an international studygroup with experts from all around the globe is not reliable then what is? If man made global warming is not true then it certainly must be the biggest hoax in human history.
     
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