Climate Change Paper

OK I feel that this deserves its own thread so it may be more easily found for future reference, as opposed to being buried on page 5 of an older thread.

If we take the nature of "Global Warming" to include the generally "catastrophic" scenarios emphasized by the mass media (sea level rise/sinking islands, more extreme wx/drought, starving polar bears who lack the ability to adapt to their local environment, new and scary disease vectors, etc.) I proclaim myself as an ardent skeptic. In fact I just don't believe it based on the science.

Here is maybe the best paper I have seen at summarizes the skeptic POV and points of contention.

http://www.friendsofscience.org/documents/...s/deFreitas.pdf

I will point out that it was published in "BULLETIN OF CANADIAN PETROLEUM GEOLOGY" so I'm sure that any out there that are predisposed to dismiss any further debate on the topic of climate change can use this to immediately dismiss this paper (up here in Canada some of the loudest Global Warming Theory supporters now describe skeptics with the pre-emptive ad hominim of "Flat Earthers"). Or maybe BCPG were the only ones willing to publish this.

For any others with an open mind this seems to cover the major concerns of skeptics all in one paper.

It also seems I am not the only skeptical Canadian - and this link includes actual Climatologists and Meteorologists!

http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?ide=2
 
It also seems I am not the only skeptical Canadian.

No you're not. In fact, I am sick of our government pushing Kyoto on us. And to be honest, I'm to the point where I wanna get my DirectTv working again, so I don't have to see any more "Stop Climate Change" ads...
 
what's the truth

Hmmm, It's a typical anti-climate change paper. I've seen these arguments before. One argument is that the heat island effect is responsible for the observed temp change. Another argument is that scientific consensus is overrated. Interesting to see that despite the consensus for global warming is >90% in favor of it. Does that mean the consensus of > 90% is wrong? Well, it's not likely but not impossible. Skeptics in science should always be taken seriously. But not so seriously that politicians should ignore such a strong consensus as these skeptics propose. The other problem with these skeptics is that a large number of them seem to have not so innocent agendas of their own. Either their funding is from petrochemical companies or they are playing the victim of being ostracized and have exceptionally bitter attitudes as a result.

It's hard for me to know the truth in this but the evidence I've personally seen sides with scientific consensus. I've been to enough glaciers over the years to witness dramatic shrinkage in just about all of them. I don't take my personal observations as a sole indicator that I go with consensus but they certainly don't jive with the small minority of skeptics.
Global warming fits with my observations. Whether or not it's anthropogenic is probably open to a bit more debate but it makes sense to me considering the amount of CO2 we burn. All that gas that's been locked up underground is being released and then we're burning the candle on the other end by removing CO2 sinks (aka forests).

Maybe global warming will actually benefit us. We're already seeing Canada prepare for the opening of the Northwest Passage as an option to the Panama Canal owing to the thinning ice (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002765065_harper27.html).

Anyway, take a look at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=121 for an explanation of the famous 'hockey stick' temperature plot.

Jim
 
Re: what's the truth

Hmmm, It's a typical anti-climate change paper. I've seen these arguments before. Jim


And your argument is typical of the sheeple who are brain washed by the climate change propaganda.
 
Re: what's the truth

And your argument is typical of the sheeple who are brain washed by the climate change propaganda.

After this dramatic response, I am forced to reevaluate all of my beliefs toward global warming. It's all so clear now. Thanks for bringing the weight of evidence so heavily in your favor.
 
Agreed with Chris and LaDue. Global Warming by humans is pretty much inarguable from the evidence I've seen. The real question is whether we're pushing ourselves to a doomsday scenario. Time will tell ;) Climate change is extremely complicated. Lots of feedback processes at work.

For instance, Humans input CO2 into the system. CO2 "traps" IR energy and reemits it toward the surface. Surface of planet warms. If surface temp increases, we could also raise evaporation and input more H2O into the atmosphere. More H20 could mean more clouds. Well clouds happen to be great at reflecting sunlight back into space so you could actaully end up with a net cooling effect. ;) Like I said... complicated.

Aaron
 
I couldn't have said it better Chris. My thoughts exactly. It's clear there is global warming occurring. It's about as debatable as whether or not we really sent men to the moon. Of course, there are those who refuse to believe - and I'm sure some have great stories to tell...

Also agree with Chris that the contribution from man is less easy to quantify, but there is undeniable actions by Man to try and make the change more noticeable with time. Try taking a glass of water and throwing in 1 grain of salt, and then taste the water. Can you taste the salt? No, but if you put in enough, eventually you will, and it's pretty darn tough to remove it once you realize there's too much in the glass. Why not stop short of thowing in a full tablespoon of salt into the glass to see if it tastes salty? That's the sensible side of trying to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and limit deforestation. But I suppose if you live in Canada you might have good reason to cheer for global warming.

Glen
 
US scientists fight political meddling (News@Nature 439, 896-897 (23 Feb 2006) News)
St Louis, Missouri - The rift between US scientists and the administration of President George W. Bush widened last weekend, as Nobel-prizewinning biologist David Baltimore used the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in St Louis to denounce government suppression of scientific findings.

Speaking last Saturday to a packed conference room, Baltimore — the president-elect of the AAAS — urged scientists to challenge perceived censorship of their research. Tensions between the Bush administration and researchers have been high for years, but Baltimore said he had recently grown convinced that the problem cannot be shrugged off as the usual battles between science and politics.
[...]
Major US science agencies such as NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health are all part of the executive branch of government, meaning that their employees answer ultimately to the president. In recent weeks, several researchers have gone public with charges that their government minders censored or otherwise manipulated their findings (see 'Censored Science?').

The latest round began last month, when James Hansen, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, charged that NASA was trying to stop him doing media interviews that might cover policies on greenhouse-gas emissions. The 24-year-old NASA press officer who was the source of many of Hansen's complaints eventually resigned (see Nature 439, 643; 2006).
Censored science?
Public-affairs officers are at the sharp end of charges that science is being suppressed or watered down by US government officials. Among the recent accusations:

* In October 2004, a NASA press officer was pressured by her boss to delay a news conference on ozone and air pollution until after the presidential election the following month.
* A University of Colorado sea-ice expert argues that NASA last autumn watered down a university press release to remove mention of accelerating sea-ice decline. NASA is re-evaluating its media policies.
* Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have protested at the agency's public position that denies any links between hurricanes and global warming. The administration recently updated its website to acknowledge that some researchers see a connection.

Colin Macilwain & Geoff Brumfiel

Science under attack
Researchers are increasingly upset with the Bush administration, not for its tactics but for its entire operational philosophy.

Nature 439, 891 (23 February 2006) doi:10.1038/439891a
The highlight of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week was an impassioned session in which scientific leaders, including molecular biologist David Baltimore, made clear their views on the fraught relationship between science and the Bush administration.

The discussion was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists in the wake of revelations about how the administration's political appointees have sought to control the messages communicated by scientists to the public, including attempts by the NASA press office to muzzle climate scientist James Hansen (see page 896).

And judging from the response at a packed and emotional hall in St Louis, a great many US scientists now believe that the Bush administration is prepared not only to ignore scientific facts in making policy decisions, but also to suppress findings that conflict with its own priorities.

Culture of fear reigns at Australian research lab
Protests grow over claims of academic censorship.
(News@Nature 439, 896-897 (23 Feb 2006) News)
Sydney - Claims from Australian scientists that they have been gagged in discussions of climate change have revealed a culture of fear at the nation's leading research laboratory.

An investigative television programme aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 13 February claimed that three prominent climate scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were censored in discussions of climate change and energy research.

Evangelicals, Scientists Reach Common Ground on Climate Change
Science 24 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5764, pp. 1082 - 1083 DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5764.1082a
This month, 86 influential leaders in the U.S. Christian evangelical movement came out for "national legislation requiring … economy-wide reductions" in carbon emissions. The 8 February statement is seen as an important boost for supporters of mandatory controls on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Re: what's the truth

Jim:

I appreciate your input and I regret that someone (a fellow Canadian no less!) had to jump in with an inappropriate reponse.

To j_scheerer, I feel strongly about this issue as well, but I should point out ST works best when we keep the tone and courtesy at a high level. As MH alluded, facts and an overall quality debate are the real ways to have any hope of swaying opinion - especially on a topic such as this where opinions can be strong and well established.

Hmmm, It's a typical anti-climate change paper. I've seen these arguments before.

Exactly why I posted it! Its appears to me a comphrensive compilation of the skeptic POV and not many documents provide that. Many ST members may not have seen such a document and I therefore think it is important and useful in the debate.

I am going to wait a few days before repsonding to the specifics in the paper as I would love to see many points of view put forth.

Interesting to see that despite the consensus for global warming is >90% in favor of it. Does that mean the consensus of > 90% is wrong? Well, it's not likely but not impossible. Skeptics in science should always be taken seriously. But not so seriously that politicians should ignore such a strong consensus as these skeptics propose.

I very much appreciate you making the point about welcoming skeptics! One of the things that is frustrating about the debate up here is that many pro-Global Warming Theory advocates want to SQUASH further debate, which I find scientifically abhorrant. I agree that this is an important topic that has real and important policy implications, and I hope we can have this discussion divorced from politics!

Regarding the > 90% notion, one has to be careful to avoid ad populum fallacies as much as appeal to authority fallicies in these debates (I am not saying you are using these in any way, but this topic is ripe for that kind of illogic popping up occasionally - moreso with appeals to the layperson from advocates/advocate groups)

The other problem with these skeptics is that a large number of them seem to have not so innocent agendas of their own. Either their funding is from petrochemical companies or they are playing the victim of being ostracized and have exceptionally bitter attitudes as a result.

As someone with no stake in this debate other than a desire for scientific truth and integrety I am concerned your last comment begins to approach the ad hominem.

I trust you would acknowledge that pro-warming theory advocates/advocate groups can have agendas too! It is a human trait!!!

It's hard for me to know the truth in this

I acknowledge the same for me as well, though my inclination is opposite yours. Again it will be interesting to duscuss some of the finer points of this as this thread progresses. Maybe all of us will benefit from a greater understanding of the complexities at play.
 
I'm all for a big dose of skepticism so long as it spurs on more research. I believe most scientists don't have a horse in the race, and would as humans rather find out that anthropogenic effects aren't significant.

But as others have said the evidence is pretty strong that they are significant. What's not that well understood is the consequences of human climate interventions. It's not clear yet how much greenhouse gas effects translate into net surface warming and what the localized effects might be.

For example studies are suggesting that surface warming tends to shut down the North Atlantic deepwater "conveyor", and that the "conveyor" is something like 25% weaker than in the recent past. Models suggest this will tend to put Europe and eastern North America above about 45 latitude in the big chill. The extra heating has to go somewhere, and that somewhere might just be into tropical systems and more intense and persistent sub-tropical highs, i.e. drought.
 
Must say that I've seen too much evidence to support climate change, therefore I cannot, in good conscience, dismiss it. What I am not sure of, is if it's a cyclical change or due to atmospheric changes we've initiated.

If we've toppled the first domino due to our polluting ways, then it's urgent that we find solutions, and clean up our act.

The Kyoto Protocol is a paper tiger, since the globe's most prolific producers of greenhouse gases have refused to sign on, anyway. It will serve as nothing more than a political juggernaut to the oil and gas industry, and will wring billions of dollars from the economies of the underwriting countries.

That's rather like putting separate sections for smokers and non-smokers on the International Space Station. It makes no more sense.
 
Rewriting The Science
As a government scientist, James Hansen is taking a risk. He says there are things the White House doesn't want you to hear but he's going to say them anyway.

Hansen is arguably the world's leading researcher on global warming. He's the head of NASA's top institute studying the climate. But this imminent scientist tells correspondent Scott Pelley that the Bush administration is restricting who he can talk to and editing what he can say. Politicians, he says, are rewriting the science.

But he didn't hold back speaking to Pelley, telling 60 Minutes what he knows.[/b]
WMV transcript
QT transcript
 
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