Planning for a Warmer World / Semester Summary

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:47 PM GMT on April 18, 2011

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Planning for a Warmer World / Semester Summary

This is the last week of the winter term at the University of Michigan. We start just after New Year’s Day and march relentlessly to the end. It is the term when I teach my Climate Change Problem Solving. Class projects this term look at Adaptation Plans for Baltimore, Maryland; Institutional-scale Composting; Evaluations of Solar and Wind Energy in Chicago; and Understanding and Attribution of the 1930s Warm Period. Of course I got behind and Jeff Masters had to cover for me last week. (Thanks Jeff.)

Back at the end of December I was anticipating the semester with this blog. I was motivated to change the course by two syntheses of knowledge. The first was the National Academy of Sciences, Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia. This report draws attention to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – as opposed to consideration of our emissions with the idea that the carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The basic message is that all of the carbon dioxide that we release from coal, oil and natural gas, will be around for many thousands of years. There are many important messages from this synthesis, but one of those messages is that to stabilize carbon dioxide at any level, we will have to reduce our emissions by more than 80% of current. So the total amount we accumulate depends on when we have the ability and the will to end our emissions – a decision that will be strongly influenced by how the climate impacts us.

The accumulation of carbon dioxide suggests several things to me. At the top of the list is that, given our population and our energy consumption, there is no way that we will avoid an average rise of the global surface temperature of 2 – 4 degrees centigrade. In some regions the temperature rise will be much greater, and the temperature increases in the Arctic will be systematically high. Since I always worry about important issues that have slid into the background, the other major issue that demands our carbon-dioxide attention is ocean acidification. The National Geographic has a good collection of information on ocean acidification. Here is the Executive Summary of the Stabilization Report.


The other synthesis of information that influenced my course this year is the collection of papers on preparing for an atmosphere with more than 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide and with temperatures that are beyond our notional two degree average that represents our arbitrary and comfortable threshold of dangerous. The papers in this issue deconstruct the idea that, at least for some, that two degrees of global average warming is not dangerous. A key issue that follows from the report is the importance of considering the rate of increase of warming.

One of more important risks associated with a warming planet is the rate at which the planet is warming. We are in the midst of a period of great species extinction and rapid warming stress the ability or the inability to adapt to rapid changes in temperature and water. Thinking about people and climate, population is increasing and our current rate of temperature increase largely coincides with maximizing climate stress and population stress at the same time. With this rapid warming to a 2-4 degrees surface increase, climate stress, especially water availability, rises to a level comparable to other sources of stress. This brings attention to managing the rate of warming while we develop the needed technology to manage carbon dioxide. Policy wise – we need to focus real resources on technologies such as batteries, carbon removal and sequestration, and a whole range of water and energy efficiency challenges.

Each year the students who come to my class bring a different knowledge of climate change to the class and different points-of-view about the challenges of climate change. One of the things I find most encouraging is the desire to move to problem solving, and the realization that the political arguments that seem to paralyze, at least, our national approach to climate change, is, in fact, political. I divine from their comments that they see the behavior of our elected officials as irrelevant and obstructing. That is introduction to geo-engineering.

There are arguments about geo-engineering. There remains this argument that if we allow ourselves to think about geo-engineering, then we will use this to allow ourselves to do nothing about climate change. What becomes more and more obvious, as we consider the accumulation of carbon dioxide, our population, and our imperatives for growth and economic success, is that we are engaged in geo-engineering without thinking about it. It’s like if we release the carbon dioxide and it mixes around the atmosphere, then we lose accountability and responsibility. It is self-evident that we do have to think about our carbon dioxide waste. Whether or not we choose to label it as such, we are currently engaged in unintelligent geo-engineering. There remains fear to use the word geo-engineering in climate research programs. It is imperative that we seriously think about management of the climate. If there is a notion of “sustainability” with 8, 9, or 10 billion people, then there is a notion of climate management. I mention an effort by some scientists GeoMIP. This is an effort promoted by scientists, with a wide range of opinions on the merits of geo-engineering, to promote quantitative understanding of geo-engineering. Similarly, we need to know much more about the impacts of ocean acidification; climate change is an easy problem compared with acidification.

I will be getting back into the climate change blogging saddle. In the next few weeks I have a few series that need to be revisited – validating models, the Sun, media, the EPA. Again thanks to Jeff for covering for me.

r







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Quoting iceagecoming:


If "Science just is" then why don't we have debates
about the mass of H atom.
Debates occur when there is reasonable doubt about the methods used to come to a conclusion. So you can skip the name calling and blame game and be thankful
there are sceptics, for they are the reason science
improves everyday.

Science can be introduced to children well or poorly. If poorly, children can be turned away from science; they can develop a lifelong antipathy; they will be in a far worse condition than if they had never been introduced to science at all.
Issac Asimov
was a Russian-born American author and biochemist.

Scientific skepticism is a wonderful and completely useful and necessary thing; reasonable doubts about methodologies and conclusions are what keeps science honest. However, in my many years of dealing with CC/GW, I've personally come across very few if any actual skeptics; instead, I've seen an endless procession of people--driven by financial, political, or religious ideologies--steadfastly and resolutely refusing to be swayed by an amount of scientific fact or logic. These folks determined long ago that AGWT threatens their stock portfolio, or their political or religious beliefs, so they've either shut off all thought about the issue, or they've become vocal against it.

Those who honestly and openly use logical, rational analysis to critically interpret the data are skeptics, no matter what they conclude. But those who indulge in dishonest and disingenuous practices such as misrepresenting or distorting data, or using logical fallacies, etc., are absolutely not skeptics, regardless of those conclusions; they are, simply, deniers.

Skepticism is a rational, intellectual mode of inquiry, and is a very welcome part of science--or, for that matter, almost any other endeavor. OTOH, denialists are simply gullible folks willing to believe the most outrageous idiocies as long as in their mind those idiocies "refute" climate science. I suppose it helps them sleep better at night, but I really wish they would learn the difference.

Sigh...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
Quoting Neapolitan:
It would be great if we could just will away global warming by swearing we don't believe in it; if we could invalidate the mountains of data in support of AGWT by demonizing all scientists; if we could cool off the planet with endless shouts of "Al Gore! Al Gore! Al Gore!"

But unfortunately for us all, things don't work that way. The planet is warming--rapidly--and all the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that one iota.

Time to wake up, deniers. For your sake. For your kids' sake. For the planet's sake...


If "Science just is" then why don't we have debates
about the mass of H atom.
Debates occur when there is reasonable doubt about the methods used to come to a conclusion. So you can skip the name calling and blame game and be thankful
there are sceptics, for they are the reason science
improves everyday.

Science can be introduced to children well or poorly. If poorly, children can be turned away from science; they can develop a lifelong antipathy; they will be in a far worse condition than if they had never been introduced to science at all.
Issac Asimov
was a Russian-born American author and biochemist.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As a follow up to № 245...

I said earlier I would post a link to historical arctic temperatures showing that there is a correlation with the PDO. I previously posted a graph of the PDO index over the last century; that can be compared to the graphs I'm posting and linking to below. Following is a graph of temperatures north of 70° N that purports to be from a paper Jones et al.


From here. (Scroll about one-quarter of the way down).

I couldn't find a graph to the original Jones et al data, and I'm sure some people will probably object to the link, but I have no reason thinks it's not accurate.

I'll back it up with another graph from a paper from Dr.Soon from 2005. This paper actually is discussing the plausibility of a link between solar irradiance and arctic temperatures, but I am merely linking to because it provides a graph of historical temperatures north of 62° N. It is in Figure 1 of the Soon paper linked here. It's within a PDF file and I'm too lazy to upload the image tonight, but there it is. It is not much different from the previous graph.

I do understand that like all arctic temperature measurements, the data is rather sparse. I'm sure it's even worse for measurements 60 years ago, but what measurements are available seem to hint at a correlation between the PDO and arctic temperatures. The next 20-30 years may be able to corroborate or contradict this assertion.

I doubt anyone is still on but...I'm out. Good night to anyone that is still up.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
Quoting Neapolitan:
It would be great if we could just will away global warming by swearing we don't believe in it; if we could invalidate the mountains of data in support of AGWT by demonizing all scientists; if we could cool off the planet with endless shouts of "Al Gore! Al Gore! Al Gore!"

But unfortunately for us all, things don't work that way. The planet is warming--rapidly--and all the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that one iota.

Time to wake up, deniers. For your sake. For your kids' sake. For the planet's sake...


For the kids' sake is funny coming from you.

Rapidly?

Really?

How much do you consider rapid?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It would be great if we could just will away global warming by swearing we don't believe in it; if we could invalidate the mountains of data in support of AGWT by demonizing all scientists; if we could cool off the planet with endless shouts of "Al Gore! Al Gore! Al Gore!"

But unfortunately for us all, things don't work that way. The planet is warming--rapidly--and all the wishful thinking in the world isn't going to change that one iota.

Time to wake up, deniers. For your sake. For your kids' sake. For the planet's sake...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
№ 238

Responding to selected quotes from McBill:

I may have to come back to add some links later tonight as I'm a bit preoccupied presently, but in the mean time...

--Sorry, but I'll have to disagree here. "Consistent with" is essentially the same as "evidence of." If the real world turns out like my model said it would, I'd say that's pretty good evidence that my model is sound. Or, conversely, if Arctic ice was increasing for 30 years while climate models were saying it should be decreasing, would you really say that wasn't evidence that the models were wrong?


Much easier to prove them wrong than to prove them right. Obviously if a model says ice should be decreasing and it's increasing then yes, that would be evidence that the model is wrong. If the model shows ice is increasing and it is actually increasing, it merely is evidence that the model isn't necessarily wrong.

A silly example: I get up one morning and get in my car to go to work. I turn the key and hear nothing. This would be consistent with someone having removed the engine from my car overnight. Of course, there would be other explanations as well.

--It would also be impossible to rule out natural variation based on 1,000 years of observation. If your standard is 100% probability then it's obvious no amount of evidence will sway you from your beliefs.


There will always be some doubt obviously; I'm not seeking 100% confirmation. I simply don't think it has been established with what we know so far that sea ice is going to continue to decline beyond a reasonable doubt.

--Do you have any evidence that the PDO has an effect on Arctic ice extent? From what I've seen, the available evidence discounts a link. First, there are some estimates of sea ice extent before the satellite era - obviously not as reliable as satellite measurements - and none of them indicate a substantial increase in ice extent when the PDO was negative during the 50's, 60's and 70's. Second, it looks to me that the PDO has been trending downward since the mid-80's. Looks like the loss of sea ice has accelerated during this period. Third, what's the proposed link between the PDO and Arctic ice extent? What if I were to propose that a positive PDO generally leads to an increase in Arctic ice extent? What evidence do you have to refute that assertion?


I'm going from memory, but I seem to recall that there is a correlation between the PDO and arctic temperatures (there may be a lag involved). Someone can probably find something on this, but I'll probably add a link later; I can't immediately find one that sources original data at the moment.

I recall reading that the NAO (whoops--I said AMO in № 236, I meant the NAO; I'll have to edit that) may be linked to arctic sea ice as well. I guess as at least one example of this, I can link to the PIOMAS model's hindcast page which seems to indicate that the NAO is taken in account with the PIOMAS model (scroll down to the bottom of the page). Again, I'll probably add other links later, unless someone else has more time and beats me to it.

Concerning the graph that you posted, a few points:

First, the models that are being referred to weren't created in 1950 and validated over the last sixty years. Hindcasting is much less impressive than actual validation. I'm not even sure to what degree the models weren't calibrated to past conditions.

Second, whether they overestimate or underestimate future conditions, when they are wrong it shows that some assumption used in creating the model was wrong. It's not necessarily valid to say that because a model underestimates ice loss over a period in the past that it's necessarily going to underestimate ice loss in the future. It could just be that it gives bad results and will continue to do so. A model that approximates sea ice area based on a smoothed PDO could be made to match the observed curve as well.

Thirdly, I don't think I would say that the PDO has been "trending downward" since the mid-80s. A graph from here appears below:


I know it's old, but it was the first one I found; you're welcome to find a newer one but I think this one is sufficient for this post. If anything, I'd say it peaked in the 80s, was still primarily positive and significantly so in the 90s and has been about equally positive and negative since 2000. It's true that we haven't seen a significant rebound in arctic sea ice yet, but I don't think we can rule it out yet. It will be interesting to see what sea ice does if the PDO during the next ten years approximates the trends seen during the 1950s.

Fourthly, I don't really trust any sea ice estimations before the satellite era. The ones from 1958-1979 likely aren't terrible, but any prior to 1958 I would say are virtually worthless.

Lastly, I'll just repeat that Arctic sea ice is just one small piece of the puzzle. If the decline in Arctic ice extent was the only evidence that AGW is real, I'd say forgetaboutit. Of course, if you look at the big picture, you'll find multiple lines of evidence pointing in the same direction that reinforce one another.


I agree that arctic sea ice by itself proves nothing, but it is often cited as proof of AGW and thus is interesting to discuss and take a closer look at. As I've stated before, an overview of my view on recent global warming is:

It seems reasonable that over the last thirty years or so there has been warming, as can be best most convincingly seen (at least to me) in the satellite temperature record. There are other ways to confirm this as well. I do believe that over the last ten years or so that the warming trend has decelerated, although I will agree that ten years may not be long enough to infer that the trend is necessarily changing.

I'm not as confident in the surface temperature record, but there are many ways to confirm that the trend over the last 100 years has also been a warming one.

I am quite skeptical of the ability of temperature proxies to rule out similar trends over any 30-year or 100-year periods in the past, and I am also not convinced that global temperatures in the past 1000-1500 years have not exceeded those of today.

It seems reasonable that manmade emissions have been a significant contributor to atmospheric CO₂ levels, and that that in turn has contributed to warming globally. I am very uncertain as to how much of a contribution this would be; my opinion of this has varied a bit over time, but currently my estimate would be no more than half but as I said, I am very uncertain of this. Of course this would lead to my belief that natural variations in global heat distribution are significant contributors as well.

Post is getting long (and probably filled with grammar errors and the like) so I'll end it here...

I'm going to be out for a while, but I'll probably be on later tonight.

Edited: Fixed an HTML italics tag...Out for now.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
[Removed: "Submit" routine wouldn't let me edit the post; I guess it was too long]. Will repost.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
The Planet has no ears nor FB page and it could care less what any single Human believes,,the facts remain what they are..regardless of any "Beliefs",

Science dont care,,it just is.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
Quoting martinitony:




You really didn't get the point of my post. It has nothing to do with the truth about global warming. It has everything to do with the accusation by alarmists that those who disagree must be denialists. A denialist is someone who faced with unquestionable facts refuses to accept reality. Such would be the case with the Holocaust. The whole world may be incorrect about their judgement about global warming, but the whole world is not a bunch of denialists. It is the mudslinging of zealot alarmists that accuses significant scientists, educators, climatologists and meteorologists as well as laymen of denialism that is the issue I was addressing.
With all the money global warming scientists have at their disposal, the support of crony capitalists hoping to make a buck selling windmills, the entire liberal media at their beckon call, don't you find it strange that so many people worldwide are questioning the voracity of the science and some even questioning the validity of the data and some who just don't believe any of it?
Now you or others here will talk about big oil or coal or lung cancer or some other hodge podge of BS to try to rationalize what has happened. You will never question what is most obvious or ask the question you should be asking every day. Could we be wrong?



Quoting HaloReachFan:


I wasn't saying it is true just because a majority of people think that way.

That was you putting words in my mouth thanks!

Typical.

But in reality I was saying people are finally opening their eyes.

But thanks again for putting words in my mouth that I did not say!


To both of you, I apologize if I offended either of you. All I was trying to say was that if either of those posts was written to imply that "because the majority doesn't believe in gw then gw itself is wrong," that you yourselves are wrong. If you intended otherwise, then ignore my post.

So neither of you two dispute the fact that the earth is warming and that humans are at least partially responsible? Is RMuller really the only one on the whole blog who doesn't believe we are warming?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
№ 234
Quoting McBill:

Thing is, predictions of an ice free Arctic aren't based on an extrapolation of the trends in ice extent over the past 30 years. Those predictions are based on the results from climate models which say that if you increase greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, you'll see an increase in temperatures in the Arctic and a decrease in sea ice. So, what we're seeing in the Arctic is consistent with predictions based on climate models and just one more indication that the IPCC is on the right track.




"Consistent with" is far short of "Evidence of". Impossible to rule natural variation based on the thirty years of observation, especially since some natural climate cycles such as the PDO and AMO NAO, which may have an effect on arctic ice extent, have cycles that are much longer than the observation period. I'm curious to see how the arctic ice responds during the next 10-20 years or so, given that we seem to be entering a period with a PDO that trends negative.

№ 225
Quoting RMuller:
Looks like we're cooling to me:
Link


C'mon...That's only a couple of years of data. All of the cooling there is due to La Niña. Someone else could just as easily post a graph of 2008-2010 and claim warming of 40°/century...and it would be just as pointless. (If your post was meant as a joke, I'll retract my response...LOL.)

Edited: changed AMO to NAO

Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
Quoting martinitony:
With all the money global warming scientists have at their disposal, the support of crony capitalists hoping to make a buck selling windmills, the entire liberal media at their beckon call, don't you find it strange that so many people worldwide are questioning the voracity of the science and some even questioning the validity of the data and some who just don't believe any of it?

I don't find it at all strange; as has been stated countless times, the amount of money the pro-pollution side has spent trying to get people to question the data is far more than has ever been spent on all previous anti-science propganda campaigns combined. Of course many of the uneducated and undereducated will fall prey to their lavish siren call; were that not so, they pro-pollution propagandists wouldn't be spending nearly so much.

Quoting martinitony:
You will never question what is most obvious or ask the question you should be asking every day. Could we be wrong?

Highly unlikely. In fact, it's so far out of the realm of possibility as to be, well, impossible. But I'll say this much: if we are wrong about the the causes and effects of GHG-driven AGW, the entire science world will have to be turned upside down to hunt for the other mysterious and totally unseen and unsuspected force that's causing all the things we're seeing: quickly melting sea ice. Rapidly vanishing glaciers. Rising oceans. Thermometers--on land, at sea, in space--showing unanimous warming. Extended heat waves, deeper and longer droughts, more frequent catastrophic flooding, increasing extreme weather events. Dying coral reefs. Ocean acidification. Earlier onset of spring. Later onset of winter. Quickly thawing permafrost. Forced migration of plant and animal species. The warming of the troposphere. The cooling of the stratosphere...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
Quoting TomTaylor:


WOW! I must admit I am surprised at how many misinformed citizens there are out there.

It's just too bad this does nothing for your argument. As Nea mentioned its a logical fallacy (saying the majority believe it making it true...remember 1000 years ago when nobody believed in a time before humans, atoms, continental drift, or even greenhouse gases?!).

Additionally if you did that poll on climate scientists (the ones who are informed) I'm sure the numbers would be much much different. Sure all you denialists would say its hidden agenda, but we all know that's not true.


I wasn't saying it is true just because a majority of people think that way.

That was you putting words in my mouth thanks!

Typical.

But in reality I was saying people are finally opening their eyes.

But thanks again for putting words in my mouth that I did not say!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:

The fact that we've only had accurate climate records for the last 30 pr 40 years does nothing to refute the fact that we are warming now. Nothing.

Still warming folks


Quoting TomTaylor:


WOW! I must admit I am surprised at how many misinformed citizens there are out there.

It's just too bad this does nothing for your argument. As Nea mentioned its a logical fallacy (saying the majority believe it making it true...remember 1000 years ago when nobody believed in a time before humans, atoms, continental drift, or even greenhouse gases?!).

Additionally if you did that poll on climate scientists (the ones who are informed) I'm sure the numbers would be much much different. Sure all you denialists would say its hidden agenda, but we all know that's not true.


You really didn't get the point of my post. It has nothing to do with the truth about global warming. It has everything to do with the accusation by alarmists that those who disagree must be denialists. A denialist is someone who faced with unquestionable facts refuses to accept reality. Such would be the case with the Holocaust. The whole world may be incorrect about their judgement about global warming, but the whole world is not a bunch of denialists. It is the mudslinging of zealot alarmists that accuses significant scientists, educators, climatologists and meteorologists as well as laymen of denialism that is the issue I was addressing.
With all the money global warming scientists have at their disposal, the support of crony capitalists hoping to make a buck selling windmills, the entire liberal media at their beckon call, don't you find it strange that so many people worldwide are questioning the voracity of the science and some even questioning the validity of the data and some who just don't believe any of it?
Now you or others here will talk about big oil or coal or lung cancer or some other hodge podge of BS to try to rationalize what has happened. You will never question what is most obvious or ask the question you should be asking every day. Could we be wrong?
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Quoting HaloReachFan:
What about this whole theory they are basing this off of 30 years of satellites nothing more?

Seems to me like an odd way to say we are causing the warming of the Earth.

How about all the other years this Earth has been around?

*crickets*

Yea that's what I thought.
Quoting RMuller:


That's also what I've been saying. The alarmists are basing all of their gloom and doom and thirty years of records and the temperatures are not even as warm as they have been in the past. The Arctic ice sheet is at a ten year minimum. Big deal! What does that prove?

The fact that we've only had accurate climate records for the last 30 pr 40 years does nothing to refute the fact that we are warming now. Nothing.

Still warming folks
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting HaloReachFan:
Link

Worldwide, only 42 percent told Gallup they believed global warming was either a %u201Csomewhat serious%u201D or %u201Cvery serious%u201D threat. Gallup did not publish the separate percentages for each answer.



I couldn't go back and ready everything Neo says.

All he does is attack just like everybody else on his side.

Seems to be something they all do.

Why doesn't he just go back to the main blog and leave us alone.

Or does nobody want him there either.
Quoting martinitony:


Yes, the whole world is dumb and full of denialists. See right here:
Gallop

How could this be with people who are as convincing as you are?

I wonder how one defines a denialist. I suppose if it is you or the rest of the alarmists, it is someone who disagrees with you. If it was me, I would say it was someone who discards all arguments that don't support his argument. It would be one who constantly attempts to discredit anyone who disagrees with him. It would be one who attacks the arguer instead of the argument.


WOW! I must admit I am surprised at how many misinformed citizens there are out there.

It's just too bad this does nothing for your argument. As Nea mentioned its a logical fallacy (saying the majority believe it making it true...remember 1000 years ago when nobody believed in a time before humans, atoms, continental drift, or even greenhouse gases?!).

Additionally if you did that poll on climate scientists (the ones who are informed) I'm sure the numbers would be much much different. Sure all you denialists would say its hidden agenda, but we all know that's not true.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Before you comment watch it.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What about this whole theory they are basing this off of 30 years of satellites nothing more?

Seems to me like an odd way to say we are causing the warming of the Earth.

How about all the other years this Earth has been around?

*crickets*

Yea that's what I thought.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RMuller:


I would say that I must see three or four ads or PSAs every day in different medias insinuating that the earth is warming and we must do something about it. My children have the tv on much of the day when they are inside especially during the winter. I truly can't recall ever seeing any such propaganda stating that there is nothing to worry about with "climate change" even from the Big Oil ads. It goes to show even with all of the brainwashing that the public can see through this charade and is a little more intelligent than most give them credit for.


PSAs were once required by the FCC as part of the price broadcasters paid for using the public airwaves. Nowadays they're not required, though many broadcasters and cable providers still use them to put out important messages and/or just to fill unsold ad space (listen to Michael Savage or Glenn Beck on the radio; local broadcasters can't sell the shows, so dozens of PSAs are often run during their shows).

Now, back in the days when broadcast cigarette advertising was allowed, there were many anti-smoking PSAs run. This is, obviously, because Big Tobacco's profoundly deep pockets were able to buy many thousands of hours of prime commercial time each year, and in doing so were able to convince a lot of politicians and civilians that smoking wasn't a problem, that it was about taste and style, that there were absolutely no connections between illnesses and smoking. Big Tobacco didn't need PSAs; they had all the air time they wanted. And as many anti-smoking PSAs as there were, cigarette smoking became more and more popular until science had finally had enough of the corporate lies and started shouting, "STOP!!!"

Sound familiar?

Now there are vast rivers of cash spouting from anti-science, pro-pollution forces, and some information outlets have taken that money and, in return, have drilled home the message that there is no warming, and that if there is it's not manmade. IOW, Big Energy doesn't need freebie PSAs; it has Fox, WUWT, the House majority, and others in its pockets. The fact that some broadcasters and cable providers still run science-based PSAs is a good thing, but until they get more vocal, their message is still being drowned out by Big Oil/Big Coal dollars.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
Link

Worldwide, only 42 percent told Gallup they believed global warming was either a “somewhat serious” or “very serious” threat. Gallup did not publish the separate percentages for each answer.



I couldn't go back and ready everything Neo says.

All he does is attack just like everybody else on his side.

Seems to be something they all do.

Why doesn't he just go back to the main blog and leave us alone.

Or does nobody want him there either.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As has been stated numerous times, the fact that a number of people believe--or don't believe--in a particular thing exists has absolutely no bearing on whether it actually does. (See argumentum ad populum.) But to anyone who would insist on using public opinon polls as a way to support their own disbelief in AGW, I would answer by stating that 97% of actual climate scientists are convinced that the planet is, indeed, warming--and it would take a special kind of fool to disregard their very learned opinions in favor of those from people who believe other provably false ideas such as: the world is 4,500 years old; evolution isn't real; tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs; corporations are people, too.

No, I would say the fact that so many Americans don't believe the planet is warming is a direct result of the billions of dollars spent by deeply-pocketed pro-pollution forces in a desperate attempt to mainatin their high-dollar, high-pollution status quo. Admittedly, they've done their job well, QED.

So, how does one define an AGW denialist? To me, it's someone who has ingested so much uninformed/misinformed data from non-science sources--a certain cable TV "news" channel, certain Big Energy-owned politicians, certain Big Energy-funded websites--that he or she is convinced that all scientists are either stupid or lying or both, and therefore refuses to budge one iota, refuses to entertain real science even for a second, refuses to even acknowledge the increasing signals of warming around him. Denialists pretty much walk around with their hands over their eyes and ears mumbling, "I'm not listening, I'm not listening, I'm not listening".

That, my friend, is an AGW denialist.

Education is the answer. It always has been. And I am an educator, like me or not. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
Quoting Neapolitan:

Oh, I'm sorry it wasn't anything quite so profound and "objective" as "Yes, it's about the weather stupid." ;-)

Look, the climatic facts are the climatic facts, and no amount of worship at the altar of JB and Anthony Watts can or will ever change them. The atmosphere is in great peril, and things are getting worse by the day while these two clowns continue to spread their anti-science, pro-pollution nonsense to the uneducated/undereducated masses. It's sad. It's short-sighted. It's selfish. And it is, in a word, dumb.


Yes, the whole world is dumb and full of denialists. See right here:
Gallop

How could this be with people who are as convincing as you are?

I wonder how one defines a denialist. I suppose if it is you or the rest of the alarmists, it is someone who disagrees with you. If it was me, I would say it was someone who discards all arguments that don't support his argument. It would be one who constantly attempts to discredit anyone who disagrees with him. It would be one who attacks the arguer instead of the argument.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Quoting martinitony:


My, how objective your post was. Full of so many facts and figures that support your argument. You are such an intelligent person.

Oh, I'm sorry it wasn't anything quite so profound and "objective" as "Yes, it's about the weather stupid." ;-)

Look, the climatic facts are the climatic facts, and no amount of worship at the altar of JB and Anthony Watts can or will ever change them. The atmosphere is in great peril, and things are getting worse by the day while these two clowns continue to spread their anti-science, pro-pollution nonsense to the uneducated/undereducated masses. It's sad. It's short-sighted. It's selfish. And it is, in a word, dumb.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13278
Quoting Neapolitan:

Oh, JB. Always such a kidder.

Perhaps if the had studied climate instead of weather, he'd have a better understanding of the differences between short-term (weather) vs. long-term (climate) trends. Instead, he's always trying to reconcile the discrepancies he sees between the two--and the obvious confusion he feels--with cherry-picked data, numerous relevant (and irrelevant) charts and graphs, and no small amount of snide commentary.

It makes me wonder whether he'll ever learn--or if he even cares to...


My, how objective your post was. Full of so many facts and figures that support your argument. You are such an intelligent person.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Quoting sirmaelstrom:


To be fair, they are quite a bit below the thirty-year average, and it's way too soon to say that we're seeing a recovery from the recent lows of 2007/8. I do agree that thirty years is too short of an observation period to make reasonable future predictions.


I asked a friend of mine with a masters in statistical analysis what you could say about 30 years of climate data. as far as deviations from the mean etc. He said "not much."



Link

Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
A Little Reality
Yes, it's about the weather stupid.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Well, it should be noted that if the climate got stuck in a permanent El Nino/La Nina, the effects would not be the same as the year long or so episodes that we have today, since for an El Nino, the warm water stored in the ocean would become depleted (that usually ends the event as the atmospheric circulation breaks down); the opposite happens during a La Nina, like right now (see also the BOM statement I posted about the atmospheric circulation breaking down, though that hasn't happened yet):



That obviously can't continue indefinitely; by "permanent", they probably mean the long-term state. Of course, if the atmospheric circulation is what causes the global weather effects, it shouldn't really matter what happens in the ocean (hence, talk of the current La Nina weakening based on the warming ocean ignores the SOI, which indicates an extremely strong and strengthening circulation).


I am quite certain that all the oceans surface area has a direct effect on atmospheric temperatures globally. La Ninas and El Ninos gradiants are obvioulsy becoming greater. Problem is we are doing nothing to stop it.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.