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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1309

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the quoted study by the Russian Science Academy into solar cycles, and the predicted onset of 200+ years of global cooling of which they claim there are already indications, and which will override man made global warming?

Poppycock, is it, because;

a) the warming consensus doesn't take it seriously?

b) the warming consensus scientists can't now possibly admit to doubts without looking extremely foolish?

The science is settled! End of??
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5002

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW--you get comedy of the day award for your advice to keep an open mind. I agree, and appreciate the irony. Correct me if I am wrong, but I saw nothing in this article fundamentally different than what I posted here a few weeks back--May 26--saying that it is hard to detect changes as small as a tenth of a degree in a chaotic data set. Some here have posted information that shows that short term phenomena that we sort of understand--sun spots--and others that we don't, affect average temperature. True enough. Anyone grappling with trying to tease a trend--or a lack of a trend--out of an inherently chaotic data set will always want more data. Hopefully, they will work in a field with peer review and sufficient humility that the imperfect theories will get better over time.

There may be something else happening in temperature trends, but it is too early to tell and it is certainly not benign. The earlier models that predicted temperature changes did not take into account climactic factors that we know of that could buffer, or mute those increases. Most notable are increased cloud cover and absorption of CO2 by the oceans. We have a developing body of information that says that ocean acidification is increasing fairly rapidly right now. Of course that reduces the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, but the trends are still going up at an alarming rate. Greater CO2 has the potential to increased cloud cover, which in turn has the potential to reflect some of the solar heat before it reaches the ground, and thus reduce the heat gain. But acidification has huge ecological implications, and changing cloud cover patterns will affect agriculture and heating and cooling needs throughout the world. We certainly don't have enough data to put them into our models, and I don't know if anyone is yet trying. I do know that deniers have blocked additional monitoring that might help us develop the science.

So I agree, keep an open mind. Take those actions at this stage, like a small price signal on carbon emissions, that would encourage conservation, but not significantly affect the economies of any nation.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3237

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT, a re review of the literature makes it clear that nothing is settled in this complex subject unless you work for a carbon company.
Climate scientists like the Russians are proposing numerous theories and altering them as their data sets evolve.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1309

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well at least they're open to alternatives K.C., and that's the kind of science I like.

Perhaps, some of us are feeling frustrated after enduring four severe Winters (only weather, of course, and of no significance), only to have the frirst cuckoos of the barmy army pipe back up now that, at long last, we've had a week of hot and welcome sunshine, to proclaim it as proof of global warming! (Yes, I KNOW they are just idiots, and not credible scientists.)

However, I do see a serious issue. Just supposing, for the sake of argument, that the cooling theory turns out to be correct, and the consensus scientific warming community has got it wrong, how would that play out in the current battle being waged over half the world, between science and fundamentalist religious dogma?

Even in our enlightened Western world we already have a problem with religious bigots who insist that evolution is nonsense, and the world is only a few thousand years old. What a godsend it would be to them if the scientific community as a whole ends up with egg on its face.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3237

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The scientific community as a whole does not appear to have bought into anything outside of the media.
Many scientists have no opinion on global warming.
Climatologists generally think there is growing support among the data.
Other scientists are studying their old bones , tiny bugs and all the rich panorama of science without a thought to climate.
I read studies like the Russian one which examine data both for and against the current global warming model. This model constantly evolves.
The politics are the news. That is the arena where open minded discourse has collapsed.
And ,of course, in some churches.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5002

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know, I know, Scientific American--what could they know? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-york-city-east-coast-drastic-actions-prevent-flooding-hurricane-sandy
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1309

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac.

Given the history of exaggerated predictions of global warming effects by climate scientists, and subsequent back-tracking and downgrading of such claims, might not your quoted one also be uncertain? How do they respond to the claim of a predicted global cooling phase? Have they factored it in to their claim, or just dismissed it as irrelevant? (If so, on what grounds?)

Projecting what is happening now (the 'teasing out' of warming effects and sea level rises) accelerating into the future, is another prediction which remains open to uncertainty.

Until counter arguments to the sun cycle study, and the prediction of an imminent (starting roughly 2030, but claimed signs of it starting already) cooling phase which will be strong enough to override any future warming effects, can be presented to prove this theory in error, and it can therefore be discounted, the science is not settled!
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5002

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--there are certainly people who exaggerate threats--Obama is a socialist, TARP will bankrupt the country, and global warming will drown us all in half a century, the list goes on. Those people should be ignored or taken with a grain of salt, and we should calmly think of how wrong the folks who truly believed that a Communist government in Vietnam would lead to the fall of all the Asian countries like a series of dominos.

In the world where I work in America I know few scientists who make exaggerated predictions. Instead, I know of scientists who model future scenarios using different assumptions, and they always give ranges from low to high, along with what unknowns affect those scenarios.

It is perhaps not helpful to use a term like "the science is settled," because it covers for a series of assumptions that are not made explicit. We have seen this in religious attacks on evolution as a theory. There is certainly DNA evidence that documents evolutionary change and common ancestors for humans and apes. But there are huge data gaps, and the science of evolution cannot thus be said to be settled. While this leaves room to believe in a divine hand in creation, it does not mean that "intelligent design" should therefore be taught in public schools.

There are a few things in climate change that are settled. Sea level has risen, fairly steadily, over the 100 or so years that we have accurate records. (We need to be careful to look at net sea level rise--some areas are sinking, and others are rising as they rebound from the last ice age.) Temperature records are accurate enough to say that the average temperature has risen by about 1.2 degrees C over the past 100 years. There are changes in biological communities where plants are blooming 2 to 4 weeks earlier, and ecological communities are migrating upslope on mountains and northward in response to warming. It is possible that some of that apparent 1.2 degree of warming is not really an increase in the average temperature trend, but the result of another factor that we don't understand. That is why the increase is reported, responsibly, as 1.2 degrees plus of minus 0.5 degrees--we only know with that accuracy. Finally, the physics of the solar cycle are well enough known to be sure that increased CO2 causes some level of temperature increase--unless there are offsetting factors.

Anyone that says the science of climate change, as vast as it is, is settled, is guilty of arrogance. But anyone that says there is no evidence of human-emission induced warming is dishonest, not arrogant.

I studied modeling for physical phenomena that are pretty well understood--water surface elevations in oceans, bays and rivers. The models have steadily gotten better, and come close to fully capturing the physics and predicting, with an acceptable degree of precision, the impacts of floods, waves, tides, and tropical storms. Climate models are in their infancy. I did not go into modeling because, as you suggest, modelers have a tendency to believe their models as predictions of reality, rather than of scenarios. While they are improving rapidly they don't come close to capturing the fully physics of the climate system. But to take those limitations in human understanding and conclude that climate science is far from settled, is equally wrong.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1309

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac.

Once again, thank you for a response. I am not a scientist but I do take what I like to think is a logical line on things. To make my thoughts clear ...

I fully agree with the accuracy with which temperature rises, and sea level rises have been researched and 'teased out' (not intended as an insult) from the 'noise', by responsible and dedicated scientists. Their findings are accepted, and I also see it as obvious that the warming process must continue as CO2 levels continue to rise alarmingly. That, to me, is the settled part.

The current contradiction is that there now is an opposing scenario (a very big spanner in the works) with this Russian research into solar cycle effects, and their observations and recordings of ground effect data.

The beautiful simplicity of their theory (if it is not flawed) is that it doesn't deny the forces of global warming (as the doubters do) but claims that the strength of the imminent solar cooling cycle will override, and possibly reverse, that continuing process. They thus have no need to attack the global warming scientists, and the current consensus. They simply say that their solar cycle effect will be stronger.

Isn't that the crux of the matter? So far, warming scientists have down-played solar cycle effects as being of low magnitude. Clearly, the Russians are claiming otherwise. That, is the question which I would like to see resolved. Are we going to get cooling (for the next couple of centuries), or warming?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5002

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--I certainly hope that there are other cycles, including sunspots, increased cloud cover, and CO2 absorption by the oceans that will mute the impacts of warming. I have consistently said that I don't believe the more doomsday scenarios. However, as I understand it, the Russian study was not a comprehensive study that looked at the physics, nor has it yet been peer reviewed. We need that part of the scientific process before we decide it is the answer.

By the way, increased vegetation growth is another way that natural forces could blunt the impacts of climate change. The scientific community has been involved in researching whether or not there is a trend towards greater vegetation, and the advance of satellite technology gives us a greater capability of actually monitoring vegetation change. Even with those tools, what work I've seen is very inconclusive--carbon needs to actually be sequestered in a young forest or marshes, at a landscape scale. Older forests tend to be in balance of rotting and growing, with little net sequestration, and clearing for agriculture and timber harvesting, globally, seems to offset any net sequestration benefit. Of course it would be nice if the Republicans in Congress would actually support the research that might be able to let us make smarter decisions...
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