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I wish to respectfully point out a few errors on your behalf | 354 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
I wish to respectfully point out a few errors on your behalf
Authored by: Bernard on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 08:32 AM EST

I was going to write a long comment pointing out all the factual errors in your response, but then I thought this was more appropriate:

http://xkcd.com/386/

But then, I thought that wouldn't help anyone, and would be disrespectful, so I thought I would respond in detail.

At 405 seconds, there is a chart of the effects of a 4 Centigrade increase. One bullet point is "drought over 40% of inhabited land". Here is an article in Nat ure titled: "Little change in global drought over the past 60 years". In short, previous estimates of global drought used a simple model that often gives an over estimate of the amount of drought.

Yes, one new paper. An interesting one, if it proves to be correct. I understand there has already been serious doubt expressed as to that point, by other drought researchers. ("They normalized away the recent drying" is one choice quote.)

At 660 seconds, an increase of 12 Centigrade causes places that were 80 Fahrenheit to become 170 Fahrenheit. An increase of 12 Centigrade is an increase of about 21 Fahrenheit, so I can see 80 Fahrenheit going to 101 Fahrenheit. Where does this 170 Fahrenheit come from?

It comes from the changing distribution in temperature extremes. A 12C increase in average temperature doesn't cause a corresponding increase in the max - it actually causes the max to go up much faster (I'm not entirely sure why, something to do with soil moisture, humidity, and similar factors, I think). You might find some answers in this section of the now 5-year-old IPCC AR4 report here. I'm sure there's more & better research on the topic available, if you do a little digging.

You can measure the amount of light that gets absorbed by CO2 and CH4. These are green house gasses.

Agree 100%. It's mind-boggling that some people still dispute this, but then some people (some of the same people) still dispute that smoking is bad for your health...

Intense radiation in the upper atmosphere converts some nitrogen into carbon 14, which is radioactive. The amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere is constant - the decay rate matches the rate at which it is produced.

Carbon 14 trapped in ice decays, but is not replaced. The ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 tells you how long CO2 has been trapped in ice.

You can go somewhere cold, take samples of ice, measure the amount of CO2 and the time when the CO2 was trapped. You will find a rapid increase in the amount of CO2 that correlates with sales of coal.

A nice succinct summary - there are other indicators, too, like the fact that atmospheric oxygen levels are decreasing in proportion to the CO2 increase (suggesting it's from burning carbon, not CO2 outgassing from volcanos), the C-12 / C-13 ratios indicate the carbon is from fossilised plant material, and that the amount of extra CO2 in the atmosphere is considerably less (about 50% less) than humans are known to have emitted by burning fossil fuels.

The IPCC has a hockey stick graph of global temperature against time. Flat with a sharp rise in recent decades. You can go to the IPCC and ask for the raw data and the algorithms used to make that graph. You can go home with a bunch of excuses: "the data is copyright, you have to buy a license", "the algorithms are secret" and so on.

I'm not allowed to give out the raw data I base my reports on at work, due to similar license agreements. They're not uncommon in the professional world, get over it.

As for the algorithms being secret - if you define 'secret' as 'published in publicly available scientific journals', I guess you might be considered correct on that point...

Some determined guy got a load of funding from the anti-global warming crew, and repeated the work with publically available data and an open source method. The result was a hockey stick graph I have some confidence in.

Ah, Richard Muller and the BEST crowd.

If by 'confidence in', you mean 'exactly the same as all the previous ones, within the margins of error', then I'll go with that.

The only thing BEST added to the field was a slightly better way of processing large amounts of inhomogeneous data to get one internally-consistent record. They also dredged up some data to push the start date back a little. Other than that, it's nothing that hasn't been known at least 14 years or so, ever since the original hockey stick graph was published.

They didn't even successfully persuade the anti-global warming crew that funded them - that crowd dismissed their findings as garbage as soon as it came out that BEST backed up all the previous research on the topic.

Climate models are secret, so you cannot download one and run it on a cloud youself. Every month I see another article showing that current climate models have a new flaw.

cough Garbage! cough (I would have used stronger language there if Groklaw's comments policy permitted ;-).

Exhibit A: Source code for NASA GISS Model E (as used to produce data for IPCC AR4).

Exhibit B: EdGCM that you can run on your PC at home with little effort.

Exhibit C: Community Earth System Model from NCAR.

Exhibit D: The distributed-computing based ClimatePrediction.net which runs the Unified model.

That's just what I dug up in two minutes of googling...

A decade ago, the future perils of global warming were not certain, but the recommendation was to do something anyway as a precaution. I have no problem with that either back then or now. Somehow in the last few years the dangers of global warning have been portrayed as a certainty, but I do not know what evidence led to this certainty.

Actually, if you go and read papers from as far back as the early 80s, the future perils were pretty scary even back then. As our knowledge of the climate system has improved over the past 30-odd years, so our knowledge of the likely outcomes of global warming has improved.

And no scientist will talk in terms of 'certainty', but rather 'probability'. Our knowledge of the probability of adverse outcomes has increased immensely. So has the actual probability of these outcomes occurring, thanks to 30-odd years of delaying tactics by the fossil-fuel industry (who not only took a leaf out of the tobacco industry's book, they hired the same guys to do it).

There may well be utterly convincing evidence of an impending global warming disaster - hidden amongst a pile of alarmist exaggeration and references to outdated scientific papers.

How do you define 'alarmist exaggeration', when the best science available is telling you the future looks pretty bleak if we don't stop burning fossil fuels?

I'd also suggest you look further than The Register for your climate science news. I stopped reading their climate articles a year or two back, because I found them almost uniformly misleading and inaccurate, with a distinct anti-global warming slant (this is compared to reading the actual papers they're reporting on). Almost as bad as The Australian newspaper over here.

Anyway, that took me over half an hour to put together, hope someone appreciates it!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Carbon 14 is relatively constant
Authored by: jesse on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 11:31 AM EST
And NOT created by radiation from the sun except in microscopic amounts.

It requires a rather high energy cosmic ray particle to cause on atom to eject a
neutron... And then it has to be absorbed by carbon 13...

Doesn't happen much from solar radiation except in extreme solar flares.

Gamma rays can do it... but the sun doesn't produce gamma rays with such power.
If it did, we wouldn't be here.

The amount of C14 produced depends on the amount of high powered cosmic rays -
and that is relatively constant. It does not depend on the amount of C13 in the
air beyond a minimum (not enough neutrons to be absorbed).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

OK, I Watched the video too
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 01:24 PM EST
And it bugged me. TED talks don't have a music backing track, huh?
I found the original, you can too. He explains at the start why this
seems dumbed down, although he doesn't actually use those words.
Just put it on the shelf with all the other conflicting theories.
You can count on Patents Inc vs. The World having no interest in this.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What would Ghengis Khan have done?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 03:15 PM EST
Serious question. The linked Register article by their agent provocateur
Orlowski thoroughly raked the coals, yet left me with this nagging
worry, the people who have thought about it are petrified by something
beyond their experience or knowledge, and none of those with the authority
to make a decision on what to do wants to move, afraid of being found
out if they make a mistake.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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