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Author Topic: There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998
Jon Camp
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There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998

Further: Kyoto is Pointless

Agree or disagree, I find it interesting reading. My personal opinion is that "climate change exists, both warming and cooling, and that it self-regulates and that self-regulation includes any human contribution."

This isn't to say I think we should willfully pollute or anything. Nobody likes dirty air or water, but I'm also not one who thinks that Kyoto is necessary either, so obviously articles and columns like the ones I linked appeal to me more than the IPCC reports (which I have also read).

I don't come here much anymore, so I don't know how long it's been since the last "Global warming is going to kill us all" or "Global warming is a crock!" thread was. Hopefully not too recently. . . . .

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RickyB
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Hey Jon, why don't you move to Tuvalu and see how confident you'll be about "self regulation".
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Jon Camp
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Tuvalu is 1 place on the planet. Nice strawman Ricky. Got anything better than an anomaly to dispute that the sytem as a whole self-regulates?
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RickyB
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Let's wait a few more years and we'll see. However, I will point out that Tuvalu, while being one place, is still in the same world-wide ocean system as the rest of the Earth. We have to see how long in recorded memory Tuvalu has been safely inhabited to see whether this can simply be written off (2,000 years at least, according to this link). Also, we have to be sure that Tuvalu isn't sinking (rather than the water around it rising). Islands do that sometimes. Eight of them doing it together seems a little less probable.

As for the claim that global warming stopped in 1998 - I've read that 8 of the 10 hottest years on record have been in the past decade. Sounds a leeetle incompatible with this claim. I don't trust the Telegraph (a notoriously right-wing rag), or the dude with the academic title whom they got to write for them to have gotten the East Anglia study right, and I notice they didn't actually link to it or anything.

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LetterRip
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Jon,
h
See this graph for the data from 1998 to present

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C_lrg.gif

quote:
that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
What does he mean by 'global average temperature' - annual? monthly? daily?

quote:
Thanks to the work of a Canadian statistician, Stephen McIntyre, and others, this graph is now known to be deeply flawed.
McIntyres self described as a 'mineral exploration consultant' and while there were some errors in Mann et. als. reconstruction (they were immaterial), there were extremely significant errors in McIntyre et. al. critique. See this recent paper,

quote:
The 15th century reconstructions that result from elimination of significant proxy information in scenario 1 (MM03; cf. Rutherford et al., 2005) are also shown in Figure 1 (pink line). Similar to MM03, this scenario yields much warmer NH temperatures for the 15th century than both MBH98 and WA, which are also at odds with 15th century temperatures in other empirical reconstructions (see Jones and Mann, 2004). According to our assessment, however, this result does not have climatological meaning because the reconstructions clearly fail validation tests, returning negative RE scores for both calibration and verification (-0.42 and - 0.57, respectively, for 1400-1449; –0.65 and –2.71, respectively, for 1450-1499) indicative of no reconstruction skill (Table 2).
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimaticChange_inPress.pdf

What is the point of your second link? It doesn't appear to have any actual content?

LetterRip

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LetterRip
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Ah thought you might be interested in that the people making claims about temperature trends who offer to make bets on such, back out or insist on ridiculously favorable odds.

http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d5/jdannan/betting.html#lindzen

So here is a question for avowed 'skeptics' at what odds would you take a 20 year bet on cooling (ie at the end of the 20 year period it would be cooler than the chosen comparison). You can pick the average annual temperature for any year in the past 20 years as your start date.

Here is another graph showing the same data as above.

LetterRip

[ April 14, 2006, 06:28 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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RickyB
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Oh, and it's not just Tuvalu. There's also Kiribati.
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The Drake
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Kiribati may be 300 sq miles in threat, but how much glacier territory becomes habitable or arable when they melt? [Razz]
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LetterRip
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Have been spending wayyyy too much time reading posts on McIntyes blog. I need to invest more time looking at assorted papers (yuck!). His blog would be a lot better if he didn't posit conspiracy theories and toss acussations around.

Much interesting discussion on statistics. Personally I'd like a team of ten or so statisticians who are totally unassociated with climate research or industry to do the reconstruction themselves and give their own analysis. I think most of the players are too heavily emotionally invested to give objective analysis.

LetterRip

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Haggis
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Call me crazy, but I don't think that 6,500 metric tons of fossil fuel emissions released into the atmosphere every year is a good thing. Does anybody seriously think this will have no adverse consequenses?
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canadian
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In Canada, we are working hard to ensure that we are in control of the fabled Northwest Passage, as it is becoming a much more viable shipping lane due to ice melt. We are also mapping extensively up north because with the disintegration of the ice, more area has become attractive for oil and mineral extraction than was previously accessible.

Any studies that deny Global Warming are to appease the public. Corporations and governments are definitely treating it as a reality.

[ April 14, 2006, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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RickyB
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Drake touched on an interesting point. Is it possible that lands considered too cold and harsh will become more readily habitable as a result of global warming? I ask seriously and ignorantly [Smile]
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Clark
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In the last few hundred thousand years the average temperature on Earth has varied by several degrees celcius one way or another, much larger than the tenths of degrees Farenheit usually reported by global warming people. Looking at "recent" geologic history, we are actually in a very stable temperature period over the last ten thousand years. Humanity is only a tiny blip on the radar as far as geologists are concerned, and industrialization if only a tiny blip in humanity in the last 100 years. It will take hundreds of years before anyone can say whether recent minor warming trends are really global warming or a tiny little hiccup in the grand scheme of things. So, in other words, we won't know whether we're guilty of global warming until we've really, really screwed things up.

As for "6,500 metric tons of fossil fuel emissions" each year, that may very well be true. However, the number one product from complete combustion of any hydrocarbon is . . . water.

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NSCutler
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quote:
As for "6,500 metric tons of fossil fuel emissions" each year, that may very well be true. However, the number one product from complete combustion of any hydrocarbon is . . . water.
8/9ths of the mass of that water came from the atmospheric oxygen used to burn the hydrocarbon. The mass of the carbon is going into volitile carbon-containing compounds that are going to self-regulate our society back to the stone age, thus solving the problem.
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Haggis
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quote:
As for "6,500 metric tons of fossil fuel emissions" each year, that may very well be true. However, the number one product from complete combustion of any hydrocarbon is . . . water.
I misstated. I meant to say 6.5 billion metric tons of CO2. That can't be good.
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canadian
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Nope.

What people who argue against the idea of Global Warming fail to recognize is that no one is saying it's going to wreck the earth.

This fair planet has had far higher levels of toxins, pollutants and hydrocarbons in the atmosphere. The earth will be fine.

It is ourselves we are ****ing up the ***.

"No, we're not!"

Well, yes, actually. We are.

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RickyB
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We may be very stable in the last 10K years, but how does the last century stack up against the other 99 of that same period?
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RickyB
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canadian makes an excellent point. Earth will of course survive. However, the life we've set up for ourselves may well not. For Earth, in the geological view, the submersion of every coastal city in the world under water is no catastrophe at all. For us, well...

Great point, mate.

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halfhaggis
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The world is self-regulated.

Humans just delude themselves into thinking that they are a critical part of the regulations.

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RickyB
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Another good way of putting it [Smile]
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Drake touched on an interesting point. Is it possible that lands considered too cold and harsh will become more readily habitable as a result of global warming? I ask seriously and ignorantly [Smile]

Canadian fielded half the question. There's also a corresponding Great Siberian Land Rush that's about to start up. If pack ice recedes enough to keep northern sea lanes open for a larger part of the year, Canadian and Russian ports that are currently pretty damn marginal will be able to open up as the destinations for major shipping lanes for a sizable chunk of the year, and slashing the bejesus out of the shipping time between the North American west coast and a port connected to Europe's transport infrastructure.

Of course, the russian real estate entrepreneurs are all waiting for the permafrost to permanently defrost first, since nobody wants to get in early on the land grab and end up with something that would've made a great transpot hub except that it turns out to be a gigantic swamp now that it's not permafrost.

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by halfhaggis:
The world is self-regulated.

Humans just delude themselves into thinking that they are a critical part of the regulations.

Actually the world just seems self-regulating and moves very slowly. It's an open system, and it's not in equilibrium. There have been several drastic swings in global climate during the earth's history, and they don't automatically "correct" themselves, life on Earth just adapts around them.

Meanwhile I'd rather have hte human race overestimate our impact rather than underestimate it. Pascall's Wager might have been a fizzler when applied to religion, but its a pretty good rationale for trying to minimise our environmental impact, and especially for smacking down the "what global warming?" crowd's premise that we don't know for sure if we're having an impact. After all, if we can't tell yet then why take chances?

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flydye45
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Overestimate at what cost of human suffering and loss?

Quite frankly, the Third World won't care. Heck, the Chinese don't and they have the whole Tao Te Ching thing as a basic meme in their culture.

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livermeer kenmaile
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For me, the scariest aspect of human-caused global warming is its finite nature.

First we have tw-centuries of ever increasing brun of hydrocarbon fossil fuels. Then a very rapid decline of burn that soon reaches a negligible point. We dump massive amounts of anomalous hydrocarbons into the system and then suddenly stop. How will this abrupt cesation affect the climate machine?

Meanwhle, another, more pressing issue is: how will the bulk of humanity survive when its basis for existence, fossl fuel energy, is exhausted?

The combination of these two effects is a potentially huge problem. If human-caused -- or just naturall causedy -- global warming becomes as significant as current data trends indicate, homo sapiens will have a lot of adjusting to do. If we have to do this adjusting while we're figuring out how to replace an energy appetite that measures in millions of barrels per day, we will likely suffer.

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The Drake
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Take a look at the technology curve. The idea that we'll not be able to clean up this problem after the fact seems slim to me, though that's obviously debatable. Considering that almost every projection shows that Nuclear Fusion will be attained over the next century, along with cheap solar energy, means a revolution in energy is right around the corner, in terms of geological time.

Animal husbandry led to plagues, which were fixed by advances in medicine.

Our whole history is about making messes and cleaning them up when we get a chance...

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Everard
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"Our whole history is about making messes and cleaning them up when we get a chance..."

On the other hand, when we know we're making a mess that will cost trillions to clean up, and cause severe hardship to hundreds of millions... isn't it our duty to try to prevent that mess from occuring? Or at the very least minimize the damage?

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The Drake
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I agree, Everard. That's why I'm in favor of building the windfarm off Nantucket, massive research into Fusion, and other replacements for fossil fuels.

But it is also why I'm against Kyoto and other delaying tactics. The solution to this problem, and the minimization of catastrophe, does not lie in timid half-measures or self-deprivation.

What if the early farmers had the knowledge that they would deplete their topsoil, or create terrible diseases, and decided to return to the hunter-gatherer life. Calamity avoided, but also every progress since then.

Early mining contaminated the environment and poisoned people, water, etc. But it also gave rapid access to the minerals needed to establish ambulance service.

We don't bind our feet to keep the same pair of sneakers, we buy a bigger pair.

Maybe the Earth itself will become like the Fertile Crescent, burned out and used up - but launching humanity into an even greater migration.

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canadian
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Or maybe it will become a poisonous, dried out husk! Anyone who's had a divorce knows how funthat is...

Actually, I'm very curious about these fusion predictions. Who made them? And how?

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DonaldD
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quote:
What if the early farmers had the knowledge that they would deplete their topsoil, or create terrible diseases, and decided to return to the hunter-gatherer life.
But are those the only two options?
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RickyB
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I agree with Donald. It's not Ludditism to slow down a process you know for an almost certain fact is causing severe damage until you can find an alternative. We need to stop seeing every hinderance of business as a regressive catastrophe.
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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
quote:
What if the early farmers had the knowledge that they would deplete their topsoil, or create terrible diseases, and decided to return to the hunter-gatherer life.
But are those the only two options?
The issue is that any other option delays the development of the new energy, because there are limited funds for energy. You can't spend billions increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel plants without starving the funds for research into new energy.

Likewise, the farmers wiping out the topsoil might have held back, but almost certainly there would not be the same degree of technological progress today.

As for fusion:

quote:
DEMO construction would probably start some time in 2025, with operation perhaps 10 years later. Commercial power plants could then be up and running by around the middle of the century. In the shorter term, it is hoped that the first plasmas in ITER will be achieved by 2016, with full-power deuterium-tritium operation by about 2021. Almost 50 years have passed since fusion research was declassified; but in less than 50 years from now, man-made Suns on Earth could finally become a reality.
DEMO is a demonstration power plant, fully functional. Obviously, people debate a lot of the timelines in this attempt. But I think it is likely that as nanoscale materials breakthroughs are made, this schedule will even accelerate from what we think currently. Many of us may live long enough to see oil and coal plants phased out. That is, if we don't funnel all the effort into patching the old ways.

You can rip the bandaid off, or you can peel it slowly. Rip it, baby!

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RickyB
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quote:
You can't spend billions increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel plants without starving the funds for research into new energy.
I call fallacy on that. Sure you can. I am almost positive that countries committed to Kyoto are spending much more in relative dollars on alternative fuels research than we are.
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
quote:
You can't spend billions increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel plants without starving the funds for research into new energy.
I call fallacy on that. Sure you can. I am almost positive that countries committed to Kyoto are spending much more in relative dollars on alternative fuels research than we are.
And yet, they also are only committed to Kyoto on paper - after all, why follow through when they can't hobble the giant? Few countries are actually doing what they promised. At least the U.S. is being honest about it, up front.
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livermeer kenmaile
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quote:
Our whole history is about making messes and cleaning them up when we get a chance...
It's the nature of that chance that has us antsy...
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livermeer kenmaile
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Kyoto was typical of most grand political announcements and agreements. It was mostly talk.

Thjat was the sole victory about it: the talk acknowledged the xistence of global warming.

When the USA nixed Kyoto, little effect was achieved either way in reducing carbon emissions.

But the existence of global warming and the need to deal with it and related issues (energy, vital resources, et cetera) was denied for a few precious years.

"We need to stop seeing every hinderance of business as a regressive catastrophe."

New Bush leiglsation limits the labeling of every hindrance of business a catastrophe to two out of three.

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livermeer kenmaile
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Don't count your fusions before they hatch:

"Not for a long time. Experimental fusion reactors like the Joint European Torus (Jet) at Culham in the UK currently use more energy than they release.

There are therefore many major scientific and engineering hurdles to overcome before the technology becomes commercially viable. A commercial reactor is not expected before 2045 or 2050 - if at all. Indeed, there is no guarantee that Iter will succeed.

The running joke is that fusion has been "just decades away" for several decades."

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livermeer kenmaile
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"Or maybe it will become a poisonous, dried out husk! Anyone who's had a divorce knows how funthat is..."

What two mad young lovers have fused together, let no fission cleave them apart...

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The Drake
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
quote:
You can't spend billions increasing the efficiency of fossil fuel plants without starving the funds for research into new energy.
I call fallacy on that. Sure you can. I am almost positive that countries committed to Kyoto are spending much more in relative dollars on alternative fuels research than we are.
That depends on a lot of things, including how your budgeting process works (if we're speaking of government spending). Any given society will only support so much spending on energy. Some societies will support more spending on energy than others, for a variety of reasons. But this number is not unbounded, nor is it likely to grow by significant numbers (2x) to absorb "doing both". Even if it did, you're back to the question of whether you should just spend twice as much on one approach.

So, when we're backing research, one of the things we have to ask is, "How does this help us in the future?" Well, Kyoto-style bucks are going to be thrown away into a dead end technology. New Energy research will establish that society as an expert in new energy going forward. I know which one I want my taxes spent on.

There's far too big a portion of our limited resources being funneled into fossil energy companies to help mitigate the problems fossil fuel causes.

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