Home > Uncategorized > Global Warming, Climate Change, Iconoclasm

Global Warming, Climate Change, Iconoclasm

I’m just putting this up so there’s a global warming thread for people’s comments about global warming.  I’d love to see the Alexander Cockburn thread return to a discussion of Alexander Cockburn.

Argue with the photos if you wish.  They were probably taken by those damn lying scientists, so they don’t have anything like the significance of whatever deep “thoughts” Limbaugh or Beck have pulled out of their respective butts.

  1. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Giggles writes: “it doesn’t matter if 100% of people in a field think the Earth is flat. Time and time again they’ve been proven wrong by open-minded people who go out and actually study the situation.

    Giggles, you’re using a logical fallacy. Yes, of course there are countless examples when the consensus opinion has been wrong. You are ignoring the even-more-countless examples when the consensus opinion is correct.

    Things become interesting and newsworthy when the consensus is wrong precisely because the consensus is usually correct.

    Using your logic, we should all expect that anthropogenic global warming would be proven only when 97% of climate scientists feel it is not happening.

  2. July 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

    “You can no more convince a Believer that man has little, if any, effect on climate than you can convince a Christian that there is no God.”– Fred Mangels

  3. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I’ve never heard of this Fred Mangels you quote, Fred. How long has he been (to use Giggle’s words) actually studying the situation? Do you have a list of his peer-reviewed papers, or a quick summary of his disagreements with the IPCC consensus? I’d love to know what flaws he’s found in the consensus, and why they’ve been suppressed.

  4. July 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Do you have a list of his peer-reviewed papers,…..

    Doesn’t matter. It would make no difference.

  5. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Giggles wrote: I applaud people for raising alternative viewpoints and despise those who dialectically force the herd to fear and cower.

    She then states that humans have had documented effects on the climate for 2,000 years. But she disagrees with the IPCC consensus.

    First of all, I’d love to hear an explanation of how the IPCC is apparently, in Giggle’s opinion, forcing the herd to fear and cower. It is, after all, representing 97% of the herd, or at least 97% of the herd that has studied this issue and devoted careers to investigating what is happening to the climate and why. That’s what Giggles wants, right?

    Then, I’d be interested in hearing whether Giggle’s agrees or disagrees with the statement that the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by human activities has risen in the past fifty years so as to dwarf earlier emissions. And, since Giggles brings up the decades (!) of lag time between human emission changes and planet-level temperature responses, I’d be interested in hearing how long Giggles feels it should take before the climate moves in response to changing CO2 emissions, given how much of these emissions are buffered in the oceans. A week? Two? Or is the change absolutely instant, like flipping a light switch?

    Giggles is obviously interested in the science, as Giggles has managed (with the help of friends?) to dig up a pleasing-to-Giggles reference or two. Why Giggles thinks Giggles references are wiser than those of the 97% of atmospheric scientists who have devoted decades to their field is beyond me.

  6. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Oh, Fred! You were just quoting yourself!

    You’re right, people who have spent years studying climate in order to get doctorates in the field, and who have then spent decades trying to objectively study the dynamics of the atmosphere, and who have had their work reviewed by others who have spent years studying the field, probably won’t be persuaded by your quoting yourself.

  7. Plain Jane
    July 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Fred’s peer reviewed opinions abound in the local blogosphere, unfortunately they are mostly bad reviews.

  8. Thirdeye
    July 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    The whole AGW issue has taken a really unfortunate turn that has little to do with science. It’s a low quality science debate. On the one hand are the deniers who contend that IPCC is some sort of Communist plot for a one world government, or a cult. On the other hand are uncritical devotees of the IPCC who see them as the bearers of truth and light exempt from all criticism. There is room for honest criticism of the IPCC’s processes and its conclusions, but any criticism will be distorted by partisans of the two positions. Groupthink happens in science. and seems to have afflicted the IPCC to a certain degree. It doesn’t make the IPCC a conspiracy or a cult. It makes the IPCC just another group that does some good work but fuzzes the line between its view of an issue and its own institutional self-interest.

    What’s even scarier than the reality of AGW, which has been with us at least since the spread of wetland rice farming released huge amounts of methane, is the reality of climate change that is due to cycles humans have no control over. Worldwide climate engineering is uncharted scientific and political territory.

    http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Interview/Stewart-Brand/ba-p/1595

  9. Giggles
    July 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Mitch, I think you didn’t read what I was replying to and you know taking anything out of context can be taken out of contest.

    Tra said that anyone who said that scientists said that human changes might result in an ice age was wrong (paraphrasing she said scientists never said that). I pointed to a citation that showed that was indeed a scientifically held viewpoint, and Jane hopped in to say that X% of scientists think this or that on some date in the past which is what precipitated my Flat Earth analogy.

    At no point have I said I don’t think that humans are having an effect on the environment. In fact I pointed out several cases where they have had measurable effect. Many species do currently and have left their imprint in the rock record. What I think we do not understand is what the actual effects will be of our effects. We can guess, and as we’ve guessed wrongly as many times as rightly in the past, the present likelihood of correctness is about 50%.

    That I do not have certainty of what is going to happen in the future shows that I have an open mind. In my personal life, I have removed as much of my footprint as possible and continue to encourage others to do so..

    I’m sorry you don’t think I’ve drunk enough of the Koolaid to be part of your club. And as far as my friends digging up my citations, sorry – it’s me.

    I don’t think this is any kind of conspiracy one way or the other, I just think the jury is still out on the effects and it’s pure hubris (or pseudo-religion) to have ALL the answers and wish to enforce them on others.

    Peace and good wishes to all, sorry to have so gotten your various goats, sheep and other livestock.

  10. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Giggles says: “That I do not have certainty of what is going to happen in the future shows that I have an open mind. In my personal life, I have removed as much of my footprint as possible and continue to encourage others to do so.”

    I would disagree with you about the 50% chance of the consensus being right. More information does become available over time, as you know.

    Sure, we could say that nobody knows anything and there’s no point in listening to anybody. That’s kind of the “science” equivalent of “why vote, they all lie.” But I don’t believe that nobody knows anything, and so I’d rather listen to the 97% of people educated in a subject than the people who have decided that the 97% are either wrong or have only a 50/50 chance of being right.

    Based on your modification of your behavior according to the precautionary principle, it sounds like you would, too. You have to make decisions based on what you know and who you trust. It’s great to realize that your mind may be changed by new information tomorrow, but none of us can wait until tomorrow to decide what to do today.

    The entire “debate” strikes me as eerily similar to the “debate” over whether cigarettes cause cancer.

    I don’t pretend to know the science, but I do have my opinions about whose opinions are more trustworthy, and I’d trust the “climate change establishment” over the Exxon-Mobil denialists any day of the week. In fact, it strikes me as an amazing achievement on the part of the denialists to have turned the near-unanimity of shaken climate scientists into evidence of a “climate change establishment,” and to posit that the 97%, of all people, are just in it for the money and ego support.

    Your mileage, at least in terms of your blog presence, apparently varies.

    My livestock is content, thank you very much.

  11. tra
    July 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Giggles said: “Tra said that anyone who said that scientists said that human changes might result in an ice age was wrong”

    No, I did not claim that no scientists ever said that might happen — what actually commented on was:

    “…the claim that in the 1970s the scientific community was just as convinced about ‘global cooling’ as the scientific community is about human contributions to greenhouse-gas-driven climate change today. That, of course, is complete nonsense.”

    https://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/alexander-cockburn-is-dead/#comment-176293

    I stand by that statement. So if you’d like to refute the statement I actually made (as opposed to your deeply flawed “paraphrasing” of my statement) you’ll have to come up with evidence that the vast majority of climate scientists and scientific organizations across the globe believed, in the 1970s, that man-made global cooling was leading us toward a man-made ice age — in other words something equivalent to today’s scientific consensus on global warming. Good luck with that.

  12. steak n eggs
    July 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Its a very human reaction for some people to avoid the band wagon, but instead slowly form an opinion on something much bigger than themselves. Don’t smugly mistake these people for idiots. I’d rather be a conscientious free-thinker than an annoying zealot.

  13. firesidechet
    July 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    There is nothing anyone can do to change the climate. It is more likely due to solar storms anyway. The point about bringing up the cooling news in the 70’s is that the media has for many years now, wanted to keep you on edge, and plays into your fears to keep you distracted, so they can get you to buy their magazines, and tell you what you think you want to hear. God forbid the temperatures go down next year.

  14. Plain Jane
  15. Thirdeye
    July 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Maybe the warm period 7000 years ago was caused by pre-Columbians torching the great plains, followed by an explosion in the population of farting Bison.

  16. Mitch
    July 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Some may be interested in this article refuting Cockburn and other warming skeptics. I like it because of its calm and responsive tone.

    http://monthlyreview.org/2008/07/01/the-scientific-case-for-modern-anthropogenic-global-warming

  17. Amy Breighton
    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Cockburn claimed that Antarctica has been gaining ice while the North Pole loses it and that there were no autos in the 14th century when Co2 was similarly high. Are either of these assertions true?

    He might still be correct on lousy science…its everywhere…but why miss any opportunity to ween ourselves off a toxic energy source near depletion?

  18. High Finance
    July 23, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I hate it when farting Bisons explode.

  19. Just Middle Finance
    July 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Canada will gain farm-able acres and Mexico will lose farm-able land. The smart Capitalist will be dumping the Mexico stock and will be buying Canadian stock (CNDA on the NASDAQ).

    “Rising world temperatures might throw Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and other low-latitude nations
    into generations of misery, while causing Canada, Greenland, and Scandinavia to experience a rip-roarin’ economic boom.”
    http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~lebelp/GEasterbrookGlobWarmAtlantic200704.pdf

  20. Mitch
    July 23, 2012 at 7:37 am

    AB,

    There are many, many places on the web where the arguments made by Cockburn are effectively demonstrated to be in error. I list more below, to add to the one I cited in my previous comment at 11:01.

    It is also relatively easy to find the financial links between the fossil fuel industry and denialism. I list one such report below.

    People who have gone into science as a profession are in the habit of issuing obscure reports in obscure journals, knowing that other experts in their field will go over their information with a fine tooth comb. It serves them little to come up with unsupported conclusions, because their peers will tear their arguments apart.

    Non-scientists might think there is a great deal of glamour and publicity involved, but the vast majority of scientists are far more interested in speaking with others in their field, using language that most of us would find extraordinarily boring.

    Here, for example, is the title of a paper published in the extremely respected journal “Nature” in 2000: Acceleration of Global Warming DUe to Carbon Cycle Feedbacks in a Coupled Climate Model. This paper has been cited in other research papers 1842 times, so it shows up at the top of Google. The authors work for the British weather bureau and the Southampton Oceanography Centre. You can see the paper here: http://quercus.igpp.ucla.edu/teaching/papers_to_read/cox_etal_nat_00.pdf

    The regular-English press releases tend to come from University public relations offices, or from people who are alarmed that the political system is not responding to what they consider to be frightening information that they’ve accumulated.

    It’s only when there are substantial financial incentives for cherry-picking data and coming up with theories to fit the agendas of well-paying clients that you can find a small minority of scientists who can be bribed by the promise of wealth.

    It strikes me as remarkable that conspiracy-minded folks think the financial incentives favor the vast majority of those who publish, daily, peer-reviewed research in fields ranging from fluid dynamics to archeaelogy to computer modeling to oceanography, as opposed to the vanishingly small minority of such people whose business has become denialism and who are generally paid with cash traceable to the fossil fuel industry, whose entire business model is built around the continued burning of fossil fuels.

    Antarctica Ice: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/02/is-antarctica-getting-warmer

    CO2: http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm

    CO2: http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    Climate skepticism and Exxon: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/05/09/exxonmobil-linked-to-9-of-top-10-climate-skeptics/

    Here’s a video:

    CO2 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UXgDrr6qiUk

  21. Giggles
    July 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for wishing me “luck” – here’s some very interesting contemporary material about the global cooling scare of the 1970s — yes, it’s all cut and paste from here down…

    ———————————– QUOTATIONS ————————

    “Predictions of future climate trends by Stephen Schneider and other leading climatologists, based on the prevailing knowledge of the atmosphere in the early 1970s, gave more weight to the potential problem of global cooling than it now appears to merit.”

    – Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Betrayal of Science and Reason (Washington: Island Press, 1996), p. 34.

    Here are some “global cooling” quotations and comments from an earlier era. While such concern was not a scientific ‘consensus,’ such as that created by the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in favor of high-sensitivity anthropogenic global warming, the Ice Age scare was a very active hypothesis that should give pause to the Boiling Age purveyors of today.

    “Certainly the threat of another ice age was the topic of much scientific and popular discussion in the 1970s. Books and articles entitled ‘The Cooling,’ ‘Blizzard,’ ‘Ice,’ and ‘A Mini Ice Age Could Begin in a Decade,’ abounded. The ‘snow blitz’ theory was popularized on the public television presentation of ‘The Weather Machine’ in 1975. And certainly the winters of the late 1970s were enough to send shivers through our imaginations.”

    – Harold Bernard, Jr., The Greenhouse Effect (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing, 1980), p. 20.

    “The worriers about cooling included Science, the most influential scientific journal in the world, quoting an official of the World Meteorological Organization; the National Academy of Sciences worrying about the onset of a 10,000 year ice age; Newsweek warning that food production could be adversely affected within a decade; the New York Times quoting an official of the National Center for Atmospheric Research; and Science Digest, the science periodical with the largest circulation.”

    – Julian Simon, “What Does the Future Hold? The Forecast in a Nutshell,” in Simon, ed., The State of Humanity (Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell, 1995), p. 646.

    “In the early 1970s, the northern hemisphere appeared to have been cooling at an alarming rate. There was frequent talk of a new ice age. Books and documentaries appeared, hypothesizing a snowblitz or sporting titles such as The Cooling. Even the CIA got into the act, sponsoring several meetings and writing a controversial report warning of threats to American security from the potential collapse of Third World Governments in the wake of climate change.”

    – Stephen Schneider, Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century? (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1989), p. 199.

    “Some climatologists believe that the average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere, at least, may decline by two or three degrees by the end of the century. If that climate change occurs, there will be megadeaths and social upheaval because grain production in high latitudes (Canada, northern regions of China and the Soviet Union) will decrease.”

    – George Will, “A Change in the Weather,” Washington Post, January 24, 1975, quoted in James Fleming, Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 132-33.

    “The dramatic importance of climate changes to the world’s future has been dangerously underestimated by many, often because we have been lulled by modern technology into thinking we have conquered nature. This well-written book points out in clear language that the climatic threat could be as awesome as any we might face, and that massive world-wide actions to hedge against that threat deserve immediate consideration.”

    – Stephen Schneider, Back cover endorsement, Lowell Ponte, The Cooling: Has The Next Ice Age Already Begun? Can We Survive It (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976).

    “Our climate has swung wildly from severe warming during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s to severe cooling during the 1960s. . . . The cooling is a fact.”

    – Lowell Ponte, The Cooling: Has The Next Ice Age Already Begun? Can We Survive It (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976), p. 31.

    “Earth’s climate has been cooling. This fact seems to contradict theories that say it should be warming. But the prophets of warming are describing real forces that influence climate, and like other scientists they are still learning how these forces interact to produce a balance of heating and cooling on our planet. It may well turn out that the growing instability of Earth’s climate is caused by human influences adding both heating and cooling forces to the balance, thereby making it more and more ‘unnatural’ and precarious. The prophets of both warming and cooling agree on at least one thing: climatic changes can come quickly, within centuries or even decades, and can have devastating consequences for humankind. Climatology has ceased to be a drab science. Its findings have taken on an urgent importance for all of us.”

    – Lowell Ponte, The Cooling: Has The Next Ice Age Already Begun? Can We Survive It (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976), p. 31.

    “The continued rapid cooling of the earth since World War II is also in accord with the increased global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization, and an exploding population, added to a renewal of volcanic activity.”

    – Reid Bryson, “‘All Other Factors Being Constant . . .’ A Reconciliation of Several Theories of Climate Change,” in John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, eds., Global Ecology: Readings Towards a Rational Strategy for Man (New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1971), p. 84.

    “The generally cold period worldwide during the 1960s and early 1970s caused speculation that the world was heading for an ice age. A British television programme about climate change called ‘The ice age cometh’ was prepared early in the early 1970s and widely screened—but the cold trend soon came to an end. We must not be misled by our relatively short memories.”

    – John Houghton, Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 7.

    “Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras—and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900.

    – Peter Gwynne, “The Cooling World,” Newsweek, April 28, 1975, p. 64.

    “There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production—with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.”

    – Peter Gwynne, “The Cooling World,” Newsweek, April 28, 1975, p. 64.

    “Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. . . . The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.”

    – Peter Gwynne, “The Cooling World,” Newsweek, April 28, 1975, p. 64.

    “Several schools of thought in climate science interpret existing data in different ways. One argues that, instead of growing warmer, the Earth may enter an Ice Age as a result of man-made fuels combustion. The combustion of fossil fuels releases large quantities of particulate matter into the atmosphere, which may reflect sunlight away from the Earth, thus cooling the planet.”

    – Wilson Clark, Energy for Survival: The Alternative to Extinction (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1974), p. 117.

  22. Mitch
    July 23, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Giggles,

    Perhaps your best, most reasonable quotation is this one:

    “Earth’s climate has been cooling. This fact seems to contradict theories that say it should be warming. But the prophets of warming are describing real forces that influence climate, and like other scientists they are still learning how these forces interact to produce a balance of heating and cooling on our planet. It may well turn out that the growing instability of Earth’s climate is caused by human influences adding both heating and cooling forces to the balance, thereby making it more and more ‘unnatural’ and precarious. The prophets of both warming and cooling agree on at least one thing: climatic changes can come quickly, within centuries or even decades, and can have devastating consequences for humankind. Climatology has ceased to be a drab science. Its findings have taken on an urgent importance for all of us.”
    – Lowell Ponte, The Cooling: Has The Next Ice Age Already Begun? Can We Survive It (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976), p. 31.

    Notice that this author, writing a book on the topic of “global cooling” in 1976, acknowledges that the theories, even as he wrote, were predicting warming. He correctly points out that there are many influences on climate. He correctly points out that human activity can add both warming forces and cooling forces. He correctly points out that climatic change can be abrupt. And he correctly points out that climatology has taken on an urgent importance.

    James Hansen is perhaps the scientist most associated with concern over global warming. He studied physics and astronomy, and his early work was on the atmosphere of Venus. He worked on techniques to determine the makeup of Venusian clouds. He then did work for NASA, using satellite data to measure global temperatures. The first publication from this project was in 1981.

    I’m copying a large excerpt from Wikipedia’s entry on Hansen here, because it gives a good indication of the sort of work, over decades of refinement of models, that goes into why he is concerned. The reason I tend to believe people like this is captured well in this excerpt: at one point, Hansen acknowledges that an agreement of his model with observations is likely to be accidental; at another he is found worrying over some anomalous data, and finding an explanation for it. The reason I tend to disbelieve the denialists is that they often seek out anomalous data, and pretend it can be examined out of context. This is the behavior of people trained in lobbying and politics, not science.

    “Vilhelm Bjerknes began the modern development of the general circulation model in the early 20th century. The progress of numerical modeling was slow due to the slow speed of early computers and the lack of adequate observations. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the numerical models were getting close to being realistic.[34] Hansen’s first contribution to numerical climate models came with the 1974 publication of the GISS model. He and his colleagues claimed that the model was successful in simulating the major features of sea-level pressure and 500mb heights in the North American region.[35]

    “A 1981 Science publication by Hansen and a team of scientists at Goddard concluded that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to warming sooner than previously predicted. They used a one-dimensional radiative-convective model that calculates temperature as a function of height. They reported that the results from the 1D model are similar to the more complex 3D models, and can simulate basic mechanisms and feedbacks.[36] Hansen predicted that temperatures would rise out of the climate noise by the 1990s, much earlier than predicted by other researches. He also predicted that it would be difficult to convince politicians and the public to react.[37]

    “By the early 1980s the computational speed of computers, along with refinements in climate models, allowed longer experiments. The models now included physics beyond the previous equations, such as convection schemes, diurnal changes, and snow depth calculations. The advances in computational efficiency, combined with the added physics, meant the GISS model I could be run for five years. They showed that global climate can be simulated reasonably well with a grid-point resolution as coarse as 1000 kilometers.[38]

    “The first climate prediction computed from a general circulation model that was published by Hansen was in 1988, the same year as his well-known Senate testimony. It used the second generation of the GISS model to estimate the change in mean surface temperature based on a variety of scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions. Hansen concluded that global warming would be evident within the next few decades, and that it would result in temperatures at least as high as during the Eemian. He argued that, if the temperature rises 0.4 °C above the 1950-1980 mean for a few years, it is the “smoking gun” pointing to human-caused global warming.[39]

    “In 2006, Hansen and colleagues compared the observations with the projections made by Hansen in his 1988 testimony before the United States Congress. They described the intermediate scenario as the most likely, and that real-world greenhouse gas forcing has been closest to this scenario. It contained the effects of three volcanic eruptions in the fifty year projections, with one in the 1995, whereas the recent Mount Pinatubo eruption was in 1991. They found that the observed warming was similar to two of the three scenarios. The warming rates of the two most modest warming scenarios are nearly the same through the year 2000, and they were unable to provide a precise model assessment. They did note that the agreement between the observations and the intermediate scenario was accidental because the climate sensitivity used was higher than current estimates.[20]

    “A year later, he joined with Rahmstorf and colleagues comparing climate projections with observations. The comparison is done from 1990 through January 2007 against physics-based models that are independent from the observations after 1990. They show that the climate system may be responding faster than the models indicate. Rahmstorf and coauthors show concern that sea levels are rising at the high range of the IPCC projections, and that it is due to thermal expansion and not from the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets.[40]

    “Following the launch of spacecraft capable of determining temperatures, Roy Spencer and John Christy published the first version of their satellite temperature measurements in 1990. Contrary to climate models and surface measurements, their results showed a cooling in the troposphere.[41] However, in 1998, Wentz and Schabel determined that orbital decay had an effect on the derived temperatures.[42] Hansen compared the corrected troposphere temperatures with the results of the published GISS model, and concluded that the model is in good agreement with the observations, noting that the satellite temperature data had been the last holdout of global warming denialists, and that the correction of the data would result in a change from discussing whether global warming was occurring to what is the rate of global warming, and what should be done about it.[43]

    “Hansen has continued the development and diagnostics of climate models. For instance, he has helped look at the decadal trends in tropopause height, which could be a useful tool for determining the human “fingerprint” on climate.[44] As of 12 February 2009, the current version of the GISS model is Model E. This version has seen improvements in many areas, including upper-level winds, cloud height, and precipitation. This model still has problems with regions of marine stratocumulus clouds.[45] A later paper showed that the model’s main problems are having too weak of an ENSO-like variability, and poor sea ice modeling, resulting in too little ice in the Southern Hemisphere and too much in the Northern Hemisphere.[46]

  23. tra
    July 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Giggles,

    Note that in the third paragraph of your cut-and-paste, whoever gathered those quotes actually supports my point:

    “…such concern was not a scientific ‘consensus,’ such as that created by the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in favor of high-sensitivity anthropogenic global warming…

    Indeed. A George Will opinion piece, a Newsweek article, Ponte’s ridiculous book, and a couple of quotes from other books is hardly evidence, much less proof, that in the 1970’s the scientific community was just as convinced about “global cooling” as the scientific community is about human contributions to greenhouse-gas-driven climate change today.

    While definitions of what constitutes a scientific “consensus,” may vary, it’s clear that the 1970’s speculation about a possible human-caused “global cooling” trend never came anywhere close to being a widely-accepted prediction. It’s a bit silly to advance Newsweek, George Will, Lowell Ponte, and a couple of others, as “evidence” that there had been any sort of scientific consensus anywhere near equivalent to the kind of agreement that exists among the vast majority of climate experts today, as reflects in statements from the IPCC, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and equivalent science academies in 31 other countries, and virtually every national and international-level scientific body in the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    Is it possible that the vast majority of scientists with relevant expertise are wrong, and the tiny minority of contrarians are right? Sure…but it’s not very likely.

  24. tra
  25. Plain Jane
    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am

    From 1969 to 1979 only 10% of climate scientists were predicting cooling while 62% were predicting warming. Today 97% are predicting warming. NO ONE is predicting global cooling today. Some regions will get a lot colder and some a lot hotter, some both depending on the time of year, but the average global temperature is getting hotter. Even most real climate scientists who are “skeptics” are only skeptical about how severe the damage will be and whether it is financially feasible to spend money to reduce it. Many of these “skeptics” are, of course, in the pay of the fossil fuels industry.

  26. Amy Breighton
    July 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks for the link Mitch.

    It appears there has been much controversy about Antarctic Ice. Maybe Cockburn was in treatment when the March, 2012 Guardian article was published.

    This single issue will never detract from Cockburn’s contributions in advancing humanity’s continuing/ancient struggle with empire.

    It would be difficult to believe him incapable of changing his opinions on the degree of human-caused warming amid a preponderance of scientific evidence…despite his extraordinary independence and well-founded suspicions.

  27. Mitch
    July 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm
  28. Plain Jane
    July 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I was just going to post that same story from Mother Jones.

    http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble

  29. Plain Jane
    July 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Even Fox has stories about how fast the ice was melting in Greenland and concedes that it may be due to climate change, but there is no conclusive evidence as yet. When I am uncertain about which course to take, it helps me to ponder the consequences of choosing the wrong one. Catastrophic climate change v wasting money and slowing economic growth being the consequences for making the wrong choice, especially with the preponderance of scientific opinion and observable changes already occurring, I’d choose the latter.

  30. Mitch
    July 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    PJ,

    You have to break a few cookies to build a business. Do you have any idea what sort of damage carbon caps might do to the bottom line of Exxon? I find your statement reprehensible and dangerous!

  31. Plain Jane
    July 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    The pentagon report on the national security issues of climate change years ago detailed the likely effect of climate change on the Gulf Stream and consequently the NE coast of the US and northwestern Europe, but of course it also discussed national security issues from global unrest caused by millions of migrant, starving people due to rising seas and food shortages from drought. The UK article mentioned above was based on that report.

    Of course, if our basic safety net is shredded as jobs and food become scarce, there will be millions of American in the same sinking boat with no where to go.

  32. Plain Jane
  33. Thorstein Veblen
    July 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    PJ; “Catastrophic climate change v wasting money and slowing economic growth.”

    I actually see a lot of potential for jobs and economic growth if we ever decided to really start dealing with climate change and its effects. They’d be different jobs, though.

    And, who is going to pay for the transition is really the bigger question. Those who profit from the status quo are likely to get a double whammy, i.e., higher taxes on the one hand, and reduced profits from traditional fossil fuel and linked industries on the other. Good luck with that.

  34. Anonymous
    July 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

    “Do you have any idea what sort of damage carbon caps might do to the bottom line of Exxon? I find your statement reprehensible and dangerous!” Mitch channels HiFi……

  35. Plain Jane
    July 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    More Weather Extremes Leave Parts of U.S. Grid Buckling
    By MATTHEW L. WALD and JOHN SCHWARTZ 7:48 PM ET
    From highways to power plants, the concrete, steel and engineering that undergird the nation’s infrastructure are being dangerously taxed by heat, drought and storms.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/us/rise-in-weather-extremes-threatens-infrastructure.html?_r=1&hp

  36. High Finance
    July 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

    “Mitch challels HiFi…..”

    Only on his best day.

  37. What Now
    July 27, 2012 at 11:02 am

    “‘HiFi’ shares a rational perspective…”
    ..in his dreams

  38. Mitch
    July 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

    The Koch Brothers, no doubt, are now collecting resumes…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind

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