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#61 Jase

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:08 PM

I don't usually like to weigh in on this issue anymore because people are stupid about it on both sides more than most issues.

But that article was pretty a) interesting, and b)filled with confirmation bias.

#62 cookinwithgas

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:12 PM

Of course, because it might not be what you want to hear. I am no expert on these matters, but I am not an expert on a lot of things - I do end up trusting the people who are the experts, and the vast majority of them say that there is something going on that we need to address.

I am willing to hear any relevant information on the matter, but so far the people that proclaim the loudest that there is no such thing as global warming (or climate change or whatever it's called) seem to, for the most part, have their own agendas and views to protect, while the scientific community has actually altered it stances on these issues since the 70's - you know, scientific method and all that.

We don't know all there is to know and probably never will, but we do know enough to understand that we should be taking action. The worst that could happen is that we make the planet a better place.

#63 Htar

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:43 PM

The scientists waffle every ten years. Taking a few thousand year sample of climate conditions is a drop in the bucket compared to the 4 billion year age of our earth. Believe it or not, there used to be NO ice on the planet.

Of course we should be proper stewards of our environment. But, if I don't want to separate my paper and plastics, or ride a bicycle to work, that's my right.

#64 cookinwithgas

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 01:01 PM

Wow, here I thought that the only "rights" we are "guaranteed" are explicitly in the Constitution.

#65 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 01:26 PM

We don't know all there is to know and probably never will, but we do know enough to understand that we should be taking action. The worst that could happen is that we make the planet a better place.

Exactly. What I have objected to all along is the constant fearmongering. There is nothing wrong with promoting alternative engery sources, recycling, conservation, etc. and I support those things. We need to get off oil altogether for myriad reasons, but all this hogwash in the media about "we have four years to act" and "we're all going to drown" is just silly.

#66 Jase

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 01:49 PM

Of course, because it might not be what you want to hear. I am no expert on these matters, but I am not an expert on a lot of things - I do end up trusting the people who are the experts, and the vast majority of them say that there is something going on that we need to address.

I am willing to hear any relevant information on the matter, but so far the people that proclaim the loudest that there is no such thing as global warming (or climate change or whatever it's called) seem to, for the most part, have their own agendas and views to protect, while the scientific community has actually altered it stances on these issues since the 70's - you know, scientific method and all that.

We don't know all there is to know and probably never will, but we do know enough to understand that we should be taking action. The worst that could happen is that we make the planet a better place.


You mistake my interest in the subject for bias.

I'm willing to hear anything as well; however, I also know a load of bullsh*t when I hear it. And trust me, there's tons of it out there. For every article like this, I could show you five bullsh*t laden articles (I call them pamphlets) from conservative think tanks.

The propaganda of the pro-warming side may bring moderate good to the planet but there's a lot of money out there to be made off of the ensuing fallout. There is a somewhat worthy end but it does not justify the means IMO.

The problem is there's a lot to be sacrificed from a commitment to reducing one of the few clean emissions out there, CO2, a gas which doesn't even make a good greenhouse gas.

The single most effective thing americans can do to reduce greenhouse gases is to stop eating beef. I'll stop eating it if you do.

Our efforts are better spent trying to cut down on real pollutants. There are plenty of them out there. We have nitrogen and sulfur oxides, PM10s, and VOCs in our air, high BOD and low dissolved oxygen in our lakes and streams, and mercury in our fish.

Sadly, they aren't as sexy for politicians and the media to latch onto. But they are much more capable of killing us and the world around us in a much shorter amount of time.

Edited by Jase, 21 January 2009 - 01:55 PM.


#67 cookinwithgas

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

It seems to me that those are more localized things that the EPA can work on effectively, as they have done since the 1970's. This is more of a big picture issue that involves all world governments.

#68 Jase

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 02:24 PM

It seems to me that those are more localized things that the EPA can work on effectively, as they have done since the 1970's. This is more of a big picture issue that involves all world governments.


1) Effective, EPA? Charlotte has been non-compliant with them for years. Where are the consequences?

2) OK, here's a big picture, world issue for you that kills people every day: The ozone hole. Yes, it's still there. Yes, it's still expanding. Incidence of skin cancer has increased 10% in the last 60 years. A million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the US every year. 3 million worldwide.

The pollution from the 70's is still up there depleting the ozone. And we're still adding to it every day. It is a global disaster. Have you heard anything about the ozone hole in the last 10 years? Even a peep? Talk about an elephant in the room that just disappeared one day...

#69 Jase

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:10 PM

Thought I'd go ahead and post this before someone else does. Seen articles about it all over the internets today:

http://www.sfgate.co.../MN8015E0U9.DTL

All Antarctica seems to be warming, report says

(01-21) 18:16 PST -- The climate trend that is raising temperatures across most of the world is warming all of Antarctica despite earlier signs that most of the ice-covered continent has cooled during the past 50 years, researchers are reporting today.

The scientists stop short of claiming with certainty that wind-borne greenhouse gases from global industries on other continents are responsible for Antarctica's warming, but they say their evidence makes them "almost certain" that human activity carries at least some of the blame.


For years the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose scientists track global warming year by year, has reported that greenhouse gases and global warming have clearly hit six of the world's seven continents, but that the evidence from Antarctica is still unclear. West Antarctica is known to be warming strongly, but the climate of the much larger eastern area was said to be cooling, some scientists have argued.


Now the issue has apparently been resolved.


In a report published today in the journal Nature, climatologists Eric J. Steig of the University of Washington and Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies say that for the first time they combined satellite observations over the entire continent with evidence from more than 100 manned and unmanned weather stations both inland and along the continent's coasts to determine climate trends for the past 50 years.


During an hour-long teleconference Wednesday, the scientists said their data clearly shows that on average the entire Antarctic continent has been gradually warming at least since 1957.

However, if you read what the actual authors have to say about it, it becomes clear that there aren't really any new conclusions coming out of this study, other than more "sophisticated" modeling techniques:

http://www.realclima...ca-red-or-blue/

A couple of us (Eric and Mike) are co-authors on a paper coming out in Nature this week (Jan. 22, 09). We have already seen misleading interpretations of our results in the popular press and the blogosphere, and so we thought we would nip such speculation in the bud.

The paper shows that Antarctica has been warming for the last 50 years, and that it has been warming especially in West Antarctica (see the figure). The results are based on a statistical blending of satellite data and temperature data from weather stations.

...


Here are some important things the paper does NOT show:


1) Our results do not contradict earlier studies suggesting that some regions of Antarctica have cooled. Why? Because those studies were based on shorter records (20-30 years, not 50 years) and because the cooling is limited to the East Antarctic. Our results show this too, as is readily apparent by comparing our results for the full 50 years (1957-2006) with those for 1969-2000 (the dates used in various previous studies), below.

2) Our results do not necessarily contradict the generally-accepted interpretation of recent East Antarctic cooling put forth by David Thompson (Colorado State) and Susan Solomon (NOAA Aeronomy Lab). In an important paper in Science, they presented evidence that this cooling trend is linked to an increasing trend in the strength of the circumpolar westerlies, and that this can be traced to changes in the stratosphere, mostly due to photochemical ozone losses. Substantial ozone losses did not occur until the late 1970s, and it is only after this period that significant cooling begins in East Antarctica.


3) Our paper — by itself — does not address whether Antarctica's recent warming is part of a longer term trend. There is separate evidence from ice cores that Antarctica has been warming for most of the 20th century, but this is complicated by the strong influence of El Niño events in West Antarctica. In our own published work to date (Schneider and Steig, PNAS), we find that the 1940s [edit for clarity: the 1935-1945 decade] were the warmest decade of the 20th century in West Antarctica, due to an exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific at that time.

So basically, the conclusion that the media is heralding, that the entire continent is warming instead of just the western peninsula, drawn from this study, is based on 1) old, altered information from the GISS that has been broadly criticized for being fudged to fit the models. 2) a "new statistical method". Oy.

This study brings forth no knew information to the table except for short term measurements from localized weather stations, yet the media is trumpeting this today as the end of global warming skepticism.

There are some more interesting gems uncovered on climateaudit beyond what was immediately apparent to me:

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4914


The following are the station history comments for Butler Island AWS WMO ID 89266 from the University of Wisconson Antarctic Automated weather stations project. I assume this is GISS station ID Butler Island 700892660009. The temperature graph from GISS is available through- http://data.giss.nas...num_neighbors=1


The supplementary data of Steig et al 2009(www.nature.com/nature/journal/v457/n7228/extref/nature07669-s1.pdf) indicate a warming trend of 0.45 C/decade for Butler Island - the highest of any site reported. I thought it would be interesting to see what the station history revealed-(from http://amrc.ssec.wis...tlerismain.html). Note that Butler Island sits on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Google earth shows a featureless rounded island surrounded by sea ice.



The GISS graph shows a break between 2003 and two new data points for 2007, 2008(?). There is data available for station 892660 for the intervening period but not shown on GISS (eg http://www.tutiempo....2005/892660.htm) for some reason.


Given the station history I am surprised that Steig et al 2009 manage to define a trend at all let alone a rising one of 0.45degrees C/decade. If it were me I would have left this station out of the analysis altogether as it appears far to unreliable. I wonder how many other stations are similarly affected? Did reviewers bother to examine station records at all?

Seems to have been a change of elevation for this station as well that further complicates the data reliability:
http://amrc.ssec.wis...tlerismain.html: 91 m
http://ice.ssec.wisc...tlerismain.html: 205 m

There is an interesting comment on how the satellite data were adjusted in the supplementary information:


"Accuracy in the retrieval of ice sheet surface temperatures from satellite infrared data depends on successful cloud masking, which is challenging because of the low contrast in the albedo and emissivity of clouds and the surface. In Comiso (ref. 8), cloud masking was done by a combination of channel differencing and daily differencing, based on the change in observed radiances due to the movement of clouds. Here, we use an additional masking technique in which daily data that differ from the climatological mean by more than some threshold value are assumed to be cloud contaminated and are removed. We used a threshold value of 10°C, which produces the best validation statistics in the reconstruction procedure."


In other words they removed the lowest temperatures from the satellite data until they got a fit with the RegEM results. I also wonder how they derived the "climatological mean" since the problem is that there isn't any climatological data for most of Antarctica.


Here is another little gem:


"Independent data provide additional evidence that warming has
been significant in West Antarctica. At Siple Station (76 S, 84 W)
and Byrd Station (80 S, 120 W), short intervals of data from AWSs
were spliced with 37-GHz (microwave) satellite observations, which
are not affected by clouds, to obtain continuous records from 1979 to
1997 (ref. 13). The results show mean trends of 1.16 +- 0.8 C per decade and 0.45 +- 1.3 C per decade at Siple and Byrd, respectively (13). Our reconstruction yields 0.29 +- 0.26 C per decade and 0.36 +- 0.37 C per decade over the same interval. In our full 50-year reconstruction, the trends are significant, although smaller, at both Byrd 0.23 +- 0.09 C per decade) and Siple (0.18 +- 0.06 C per decade)."

Notice that the uncertainties of the reconstructions are much smaller than in the actual data. Now, that's what I call real modelling.


These "findings" conveniently come just in time for the maximum summer melt of antarctic ice. The media circus has already latched onto the sensationalism of it, and soon the politicians will be treating the headlines from this "study" as fact.

More will be known once more of the details of the study come to light, but the initial signs point to this study being as valid as something from Jules Verne.

#70 N1kkadeemuz

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 11:05 AM

So when I drive my 08 Toyota Sequioa does it piss all of you off?

hahaha


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