A wake up call to everyone...

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rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:12 am

HoustonDavid wrote:How observant of you Lenny, that the internet, especially Wikipedia is full of information regarding AGW, the vast bulk of which (unless you agree with Randall) agrees that global warming is a reality. Of course, Randall wants to indulge in a pi**ing contest over who can present the most "scientifically valid" papers (of course he wants to be the judge of which is valid) agree with which position, but it is pretty well established what the vast majority really think. But don't ask Randall to agree; he's made up his mind no matter what the scientific community thinks.
Actually, no - I have "made up my mind" by actually looking at the evidence and analyzing it, which is far more than you can say you've ever done. I at least understand on a scientific level the fundamentals of the issue and have spend a considerable time investigating and thinking about it. All you know is certain sources have told you it's true - that's it.
HoustonDavid wrote:Just ask his friend, the one non-scientist,
unpublished, opinionator who agrees with him.
Who are you referring to here?
HoustonDavid wrote:There are probably others, but they are in
the minority in the scientific community. But then, I said I wouldn't get into a pi**ing
contest..... :wink:
You're the one who is making it p'ing match - not me. If you don't want to engage in a discussion of facts, logic and evidence because you don't know anything (or don't want to know anything) that's fine with me. You can chose to believe whatever you want for whatever reasons.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:40 am

>the vast bulk of which (unless you agree with Randall) agrees
that global warming is a reality<

I guess while it may not be definitely proven I feel there's a need to be concerned because the release of carbon emissions has never been greater--we should be concerned about what that means. Of course then there's the problem of what we do about it--every "cleaner" technology seems to have its own set of pitfalls--the windmill sage grouse problem, nuclear power, battery powered cars..... Regards, Len

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:27 am

lennygoran wrote:I guess while it may not be definitely proven I feel there's a need to be concerned because the release of carbon emissions has never been greater--we should be concerned about what that means.
This was the initial concern that started the scientific investigation way back in the 1950s. Let's dig in and examine the issue a little more critically:

First of all, we are talking about carbon dioxide - not some dirty, toxic, foreign substance being spewed into the atmosphere. CO2 is plant food, and all animal life breath it out. It's also colorless and odorless. Nature itself spews about 30 times (or more) the amount of CO2 into the atmosphere that humans contribute. Total current CO2 levels are about 380 parts per million or only a mere 0.038% of the atmosphere - a very trace amount. The atmosphere is also NOT what one might think of as a 'closed' system where anything emitted into it stays there permanently. The atmosphere is in fact a highly dynamic system with components like CO2 constantly being absorbed and emitted over and over again as part of the planet's ongoing carbon cycle.

Next let's take a look at CO2 as a percentage of the earth's greenhouse effect. Many people confuse the 'greenhouse effect' as being like the effect of a glass greenhouse type building where heat is trapped in an enclosed structure (minimizing heat loss by convection). The 'greenhouse effect' of the atmosphere works by absorbing incoming and outgoing radiation - mainly emitted by the Sun (or reflected back by the Earth). Because of this, the effect is NOT like a blanket or heat trap as one might imagine, but rather more like a delay - or the rate at which radiation ultimately escapes back out into space. The process is quite complex involving numerous energy balances in various stages of the process. The point though is that CO2 only makes up about 3-5% of the entire greenhouse effect, while water vapor makes up about 95% or more (BTW, as a side note, even Al Gore was forced to admit under oath in a Senate hearing that water vapor makes up 95% of the earth's greenhouse effect). Because we know that human activity accounts for only about 3-4 percent of CO2 into the atmosphere, we can calculate that the approximate contribution humans have on the greenhouse effect is only about 0.1% - very, very small.

These few things are just the tip of the iceberg, but do you now see how after actually examining just some of the basic numbers and proportions, that the amount of human contribution is much smaller than conventional wisdom would lead you to believe?
lennygoran wrote:Of course then there's the problem of what we do about it--every "cleaner" technology seems to have its own set of pitfalls--the windmill sage grouse problem, nuclear power, battery powered cars..... Regards, Len
Yes but before anything is done it needs to be clearly established as a problem, and the problems need to outweigh the benefits. Once you've gotten the byproduct of burning down to CO2 that is as clean as you can possibly get it. The question amounts to whether the CO2 we emit has enough warming potential to cause a problem.
Last edited by rwetmore on Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

HoustonDavid
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:10 am

Randall, how could you possibly know what I know? Assuming you do only makes
you appear foolish, when I truly believe the only thing you are being foolish about
is the question of the reality of AGW.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

lennygoran
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:15 am

>Because we know that human activity accounts for only about 3-4 percent of CO2 into the atmosphere, we can calculate that the approximate contribution humans have on the greenhouse effect is only about 0.1% - very, very small.
These few things are just the tip of the iceberg, but do you now see how after actually examining just some of the basic numbers and proportions, that the amount of human contribution is much smaller than conventional wisdom would lead you to believe?<

Thanks, the statistics you provide are new to me and are eye opening--somehow I never came across them before. 0.1 is very small or so it seems to me. Just to digress for a second when I read your statistics it reminds me of the battle the Metropolitan Museum had to get just the tiniest bit of land from Central Park to expand and add to the amount of art they could show the public--I fully supported the museum in that battle.

The one thing I'm afraid of is that the stats you've provided somehow don't tell the whole story. I'll have to hunt around at Wiki. Regards, Len :)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:19 am

HoustonDavid wrote:Randall, how could you possibly know what I know?
I can't, but you certainly haven't demonstrated having any knowledge of the science at all.
HoustonDavid wrote:Assuming you do only makes
you appear foolish, when I truly believe the only thing you are being foolish about
is the question of the reality of AGW.
:roll:
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:26 am

lennygoran wrote:The one thing I'm afraid of is that the stats you've provided somehow don't tell the whole story. I'll have to hunt around at Wiki. Regards, Len :)
You are correct - they don't tell the whole story. There is a lot more. Would you like me to elaborate?

And yes, by all means do not take my word for anything (or anyone else's for that matter) without checking and verifying.
Last edited by rwetmore on Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:29 am

>There is a lot more. Would you like me to elaborate? <

Thanks-definitely. Regards, Len

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:12 pm

lennygoran wrote:Thanks-definitely. Regards, Len
There is really a lot to it all, but essentially the fundamentals of the issue boil down to whether or not the climate system, in response to increases in air temperatures, is dominated by net negative or net positive feedbacks. A negative feedback is a mechanism that opposes change; a positive feedback is a mechanism that amplifies change. In other words, if the climate system is dominated by negative feedbacks, it means that if there was something that triggered some warming - that warming would trigger other mechanisms that cause cooling and vice versa. On the other hand, if the system is dominated by positive feedbacks, warming would trigger other mechanisms that cause more warming and vice versa.

It is generally accepted by both sides that a doubling of CO2 in isolation (meaning if it were the only substance in the entire atmosphere) would increase the surface temperature about 1 degree C - give or take a few tenths of a degree. That is very small amount - certainly not enough to cause any concern or justify any action at all. (*Right now I don't want to get into how long a doubling of CO2 might theoretically take or even if human emissions are large enough to cause a doubling).

The basic fundamental question is will that small increase in the surface energy budget from a doubling of CO2 trigger more warming via positive feedbacks, or will it be even less warming due to negative feedbacks. Obviously if the feedbacks are mostly negative, then we're talking about an amount of warming a lot less than 1 degree C or only a very small amount. If the feedbacks are largely positive, then we are talking about an amount of warming that would be considerably higher than 1 degree C or a potentially significant amount.

This is crux of the entire issue. Do you follow?
Last edited by rwetmore on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:31 pm

>Obviously if the feedbacks are mostly negative, then we're talking about an amount of warming a lot less than 1 degree C or essentially only an infinitesimal amount. If the feedbacks are largely positive, then we are talking about an amount of warming that would be considerably higher than 1 degree C or a potentially significant amount. This is crux of the entire issue. Do you follow?<

Er, I think so. Now I'm worried about a considerably higher than 1 degree amount--is that a dangerous amount in your opinion. Regards, Len

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:43 pm

lennygoran wrote:Now I'm worried about a considerably higher than 1 degree amount--is that a dangerous amount in your opinion. Regards, Len
Interesting question. It depends on how much higher. I think even a 2 C rise would be relatively harmless - probably even mostly beneficial. I think at least a 3 C increase would be necessary for the negatives to possibly start outweighing the positives.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:52 pm

>I think at least a 3 C increase would be necessary for the negatives to possibly start outweighing the positives.<

So let's take a pessimistic view for a second--if it went to 4C what in your opinion would be some of those negatives that could happen? Regards, Len

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:50 pm

lennygoran wrote:Er, I think so.
OK - good. Is there anything I can further clarify? If you are still not clear on the fundamentals it will make investigating the issue and assessing credibility nearly impossible, BTW.

Continuing on: The AGW proponents are the ones who are claiming the climate system is primarily dominated by positive feedbacks - that is warming will trigger more warming. The skeptics are the ones saying the weight of the evidence points to the system being dominated by negative feedbacks - that is warming will trigger cooling that offsets the warming.

The AGW proponents are saying the main positive feedback mechanism is water vapor - that is as the surface temperature increases (as a result of rising CO2), the amount of water vapor will also increase, which in turn will cause more warming and so forth and so on.. They have build computer climate modeling systems around these basic assumptions, and these models serve as the evidential foundation for virtually their entire position. These models have very large positive feedbacks, and subsequently output very large increases in temperature from a doubling of CO2.

The skeptics are saying that these climate models are gross oversimplifications of the climate system, make numerous arbitrary assumptions, produce contradictory results, do not account for many well known phenomena in the climate, do not explain and are inconsistent with what has caused significant climate change in the past, and perhaps most importantly they don't do clouds properly (or even at all). Clouds are key to understanding the whole energy balance of the climate system because they have the ability to reflect large amounts of incoming radiation back out into space (via albedo). To give you a sense of scale, clouds can reflect about 70-80 watts per square meter of incoming radiation, where as a doubling of CO2 would only change the surface heat flow by about 2-3 watts per square meter. In other words, just a slight increase in total cloud coverage could completely offset even a doubling of CO2.

Essentially, the skeptics believe that increases in water vapor from CO2 warming (or any other sourced warming for that matter) will likely trigger more more cloud formation (more water vapor = more clouds), which in turn will reflect more of the sun's energy back into space and negate or greatly minimize the amount of actual net warming we get from CO2; thus clouds are the main negative feedback mechanism. More clouds also means more total rainfall, and more rain stimulates more plant growth, which in turn sucks up more CO2 from the atmosphere; hence, additional negative feedback. In short, water - beginning with water vapor, then into clouds and then back down again in the form of rainfall largely regulates the temperature of the earth.
Last edited by rwetmore on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:02 pm

>The skeptics are saying that these climate models are gross oversimplifications of the climate system, make numerous arbitrary assumptions, produce contradictory results, do not account for many well known phenomena in the climate, do not explain and are inconsistent with what has caused significant climate change in the past, and perhaps most importantly they don't do clouds properly (or even at all). <

Thanks for all this information--I have to admit it's making me a little dizzy. Could you give some examples of the arbitrary assumptions and contradictory results. In your opinion is there any chance that despite all the skeptics say they could still be right. I know this must be wild but in your opinion could you give the odds as to how much of a chance there is they are right--for example is it a one in a thousand chance they may have it right or is it more like a one in a 4 chance. Regards, Len

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:42 pm

lennygoran wrote:Thanks for all this information--I have to admit it's making me a little dizzy.
No problem. I'm trying to outlay the basics so you can then go and do your own research and investigation.
lennygoran wrote:Could you give some examples of the arbitrary assumptions and contradictory results.
The biggest and most egregious assumption the models make is that the warming experienced in the past century was the result of rising CO2 levels and not anything else.
lennygoran wrote:In your opinion is there any chance that despite all the skeptics say they could still be right.
If you are asking me if I know with 100% certainty that nothing significant will happen if atmospheric CO2 is doubled, the answer is I don't. However, 100% certainty should most definitely not be the standard by which public policy decisions on issues like this are made. A preponderance of the evidence should be the standard with this kind of thing, and I think most would agree.
lennygoran wrote:I know this must be wild but in your opinion could you give the odds as to how much of a chance there is they are right--for example is it a one in a thousand chance they may have it right or is it more like a one in a 4 chance. Regards, Len
I would say the chances of the IPCC predictions of 3 degrees C or greater increase being correct are less than 1 in a million - extremely remote. Less than 3 C and the chances are higher but still awfully low in my assessment - like less than 1 in a thousand for a 2 C increase. Maybe 1 in 100 for a 1-1.5 C increase. About 1 in 10 for 0.5-1.0 C, and about a 90% chance of 0.5 degrees C or less (or for all practical purposes - pretty much a total nothing).
Last edited by rwetmore on Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:36 pm

lennygoran wrote:So let's take a pessimistic view for a second--if it went to 4C what in your opinion would be some of those negatives that could happen? Regards, Len
It's hard to say really. A 4 C increase would likely the mean less of difference in temperature between the poles and the equator - generally warmer temperatures in the higher latitudes. Less difference in temperature between the equator and the poles would likely result in stabler, less erratic weather conditions and less of a difference between the seasons (longer summers and shorter winters). It would probably also cause some sea level rise, though probably not as much as you might think.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:26 pm

Len,

Some additional food for thought: A system that is dominated by negative feedbacks is generally said to be stable and well designed. On the other hand, a system dominated by positive feedbacks is generally said to be very unstable and poorly designed.

For life to have evolved and flourished as it has over time, the earth's climate system would have likely needed to be fairly stable - at least generally speaking.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:15 pm

>I would say the chances of the IPCC predictions of 3 degrees C or greater increase being correct are less than 1 in a million - extremely remote.<

Wow--1 in a million--thanks so much--you've given me alot to mull over--I have to admit a bias--I'm a gardener and this has been one of our worst Julys ever--too warm and not enough rain--I don't know whether to blame carbon or el nino! Regards, Len :)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:30 pm

lennygoran wrote:Wow--1 in a million--thanks so much--you've given me alot to mull over--I have to admit a bias--I'm a gardener and this has been one of our worst Julys ever--too warm and not enough rain--I don't know whether to blame carbon or el nino! Regards, Len :)
More likely el nino. :wink:

(P.S. check your message inbox)
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:12 am

>(P.S. check your message inbox)<

Ah, just did that--sometimes I forget to check up there! Thanks. Regards, Len

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:54 pm

In regards to clouds and computer models, here is a direct quote from Chapter 8 of the IPCC's 2007 assessment report - Climate Models and their Evaluation: "Significant uncertainties, in particular, are associated with representation of clouds, and in the resulting cloud responses to climate change." The fine print reveals they basically admit that they don't know how to properly model and account for clouds, yet they just arbitrarily dismiss this and go on to say their models are accurate and all predict significant warming, etc.

Most people never bother to examine the actual assessment report - they just read the Summary for Policy Makers. I've actually spent some time reading large parts of the over one thousand page monstrosity that is the official IPCC assessment report. The assessment report goes into detail about the purported science they claim to have in support of the whole thing - not all of it consistent with what's in the Summary for Policy Makers.

BTW, if you doubt the huge impact clouds can have just think how much cooler it generally is on a cloudy summer day vs. one that's sunny and clear. Low level clouds reflect a lot of the sun's radiation, and are a huge part of the whole energy balance of the climate system. To discount them entirely, just assume they are a static variable, or a even a positive feedback is highly suspect to say the least.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

lennygoran
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by lennygoran » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:19 pm

>just think how much cooler it generally is on a cloudy summer day vs. one that's sunny and clear.<

As someone who has been out in the garden alot this past July I can definitely attest to what you say here--any clouds have made a difference! Regards, Len :)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:27 pm

Another thing - the AGW proponents don't even consider the influence cosmic radiation has on low level cloud formation. Cosmic radiation likely makes the potential low level cloud formation in response to increased evaporation (water vapor) even stronger, thus exhibiting an even more powerful negative feedback response. Perhaps even strong enough to negate virtually the entire warming effect from a doubling of CO2.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

piston
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:34 pm

I'm staying up tonight in the hope of seeing the northern lights. What will you make out of that?? :mrgreen:
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:37 pm

piston wrote:I'm staying up tonight in the hope of seeing the northern lights. What will you make out of that?? :mrgreen:
Nothing. Enjoy the view. :)
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

HoustonDavid
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Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:28 pm

BTW Randall, what "evidence" do you have that scientists aren't smart enough to consider
cloud cover and solar radiation as part of their meteorological studies? Just because you
haven't read about it is hardly an answer. If you read for the next 900 years, you wouldn't
begin to cover everything that has been published on the subject of AGW. Unless you are
multi-lingual (not just bi-lingual), most of what's published would blow right past you.

As Teresa and I have pointed out, mathematical studies of changing weather patterns turned
into the Chaos Theory of Math because, essentially, it was impossible to mathematically
model weather changes accurately. Which led back to statistical analysis and predictions based
on statistical modeling. We have much better observational data for short-term predictions, a la
your local weather persons, but longer term at this point is a mathematical impossibility. If you
don't like statistical modeling and predicting, but are only satisfied with hard empirical proof,
you will always find it difficult to agree with AGW conclusions.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:26 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:BTW Randall, what "evidence" do you have that scientists aren't smart enough to consider cloud cover and solar radiation as part of their meteorological studies? Just because you haven't read about it is hardly an answer. If you read for the next 900 years, you wouldn't begin to cover everything that has been published on the subject of AGW. Unless you are multi-lingual (not just bi-lingual), most of what's published would blow right past you.
It's actually cosmic radiation I was referring to, but to answer your question - I didn't say that scientists "aren't smart enough to consider cloud cover". Many in fact have considered it, and various types of clouds have been shown and theorized to exhibit different effects. The really high cirrus clouds, for example, are poor sun shields but good insulators. The big question mark with clouds is how they will change in response to how the climate changes - specifically how will they change in response to increases in air temperature and evaporation? The information presented in the IPCC assessment report on clouds and how they are incorporated into the models is really ambiguous and inadequate. They also very clearly disclose that clouds are a major source of uncertainty in their models, which says an awful lot in and of itself.

And no where in any of the documentation of the entire IPCC assessment report do they address the potential effect cosmic radiation might have on cloud formation. It's simply not considered at all.
HoustonDavid wrote:As Teresa and I have pointed out, mathematical studies of changing weather patterns turned into the Chaos Theory of Math because, essentially, it was impossible to mathematically model weather changes accurately. Which led back to statistical analysis and predictions based on statistical modeling. We have much better observational data for short-term predictions, a la your local weather persons, but longer term at this point is a mathematical impossibility. If you don't like statistical modeling and predicting, but are only satisfied with hard empirical proof, you will always find it difficult to agree with AGW conclusions.
What you're failing to recognize here is that modeling the cloud response to climate change is exponentially more difficult than trying model the weather because it's a far longer term prediction of the same phenomena. Clouds are weather (storms, precipitation, etc.). Models can't accurately predict the cloud formation and subsequent weather and precipitation response beyond just a few days even with highly detailed information of the current climate conditions, but they can somehow predict the cloud response 100 years out? Forget it.

If the models can't accurately predict the cloud response then they can't be expected to accurately predict the climate. As mentioned many times, just a slight increase in cloud coverage - in overall quantity, density and/or persistence time could completely offset the entire warming effect from a doubling of CO2.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:18 pm

David,

Looked at another way, clouds are the IPCC's, the AGW proponents', and the climate modelers' black sheep.

If a model has a variable with over 25 times the influence on the surface energy budget as a doubling of CO2, and the behavior of that particular variable has a large degree of uncertainty or "unknown" associated with it, how can the model be expected to accurately predict anything - let alone long term changes in response to such a small increase in the surface heat flow from a doubling of CO2? The answer is it can't be expected to. And keep in mind this is just one variable. In general, the problem with the models is they're focusing on the few things they know and just brushing aside the greater number of things they don't. The climate system is so complex, requiring so much simplification for modeling, that the models are just unreliable as predictive devices and not valid scientific evidence.

Don't forget that one of the main things that makes a particular scientific theory or hypothesis a sound or valid one is whether or not it's testable by some kind of experimental means. In other words, for a theory to be scientifically valid it needs to be falsifiable, or at least have clear notion of what evidence would be needed to prove it untrue. For example, if I claim that I can jump 10 feet off the ground - this is a scientific claim because it can be experimentally tested by measuring how high I can jump. OTOH, if I claim that I will be able to jump 10 feet off the ground after 10 years of implementing a calculated rigorous exercising and training of my legs, this is not a scientific claim because it can't be tested and disproved.
Last edited by rwetmore on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

Cyril Ignatius
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:49 pm

piston wrote:Careful, David, not to become a new religious fanatic! Last time I checked, the only scientists who do have any expertise in climate change matters opposed to climate warming models are essentially geologists who adopt a very long term perspective. The problem with their methodology, over several millenia, is that this climate warming trend is very short term by comparison and it is inextricably linked to a recent increase in consumption of fossil fuels, along with deforestation and other human-made changes.

In any case, these skeptical geologists, often connected with the petroleum-product industry, are indeed a small minority. But it's easy to lose sight of how small a minority they are because of all the pseudo scientific editorials authored by individuals who have absolutely no credentials on this topic.
The science simply isn't there on global warming. Either way - warming or cooling. The Politics IS there, and that is the moving force here. As scholars of public policy have succinctly put it: "Politics dominates analysis. Period". The real push to create the "greenhouse crisis" was fundamentally a creature of politics, not science. It's rise to prominence has all the characteristics of religious politics. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that at one level. But recognizing this fact is a central starting point for making a return to a sane conversation about the environment and public policy.
Cyril Ignatius

piston
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by piston » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:10 pm

No. Or should I capitalize both letters?

The science has come from one side, one side only. The so-called critical evaluations of that science have come from the other side. There are really very few, if any, active scientists, in the field, among the climatoskeptics. To be in the field means to observe first hand, everything!

I have to say that due to their lack of scientific research involvement, in the field, global warming deniers are basically reactionary in their input and that's about all.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:44 pm

Cyril Ignatius wrote:The science simply isn't there on global warming. Either way - warming or cooling. The Politics IS there, and that is the moving force here. As scholars of public policy have succinctly put it: "Politics dominates analysis. Period". The real push to create the "greenhouse crisis" was fundamentally a creature of politics, not science. It's rise to prominence has all the characteristics of religious politics. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that at one level. But recognizing this fact is a central starting point for making a return to a sane conversation about the environment and public policy.
Yes, but the environment was never what it was primarily about - that was just the cover, as was the so-called science.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:45 pm

David and Piston (and the rest of the faithful):

Some other scientific tidbits to consider:

The long wave radiation absorption spectrum for CO2 which is centered around 15u (15 microns) is almost completely opaque at current levels, which means that even a doubling of CO2 only has the potential to widen the band ever so slightly. This means that the radiation near 15u already has an extremely high probability of being 'absorbed' or captured by a CO2 molecule. The primary effect from a doubling of CO2 is not an increased likelihood of being 'absorbed', but more just a slight shortening of the height or distance from the surface from where nearly 100% 'absorption' is achieved. There isn't really any significant increase in the total amount of generated heat, but more just a moving of the heat a little bit closer to the surface. This very small amount of 'distance shortening' is easily overwhelmed by the much greater force of convective overturning (the rising of warm air upward through the atmosphere and the descending of cold air downward), which tends to exhibit a cooling effect on the air at the surface.

The other CO2 bands centered around 2u and a little over 4u are located where there isn't very much energy and in large part overlapped by the water vapor bands.

In short, there isn't much more CO2 can do than what it is already doing.

Edit:

Parts reworded for clarification.
Last edited by rwetmore on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

HoustonDavid
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by HoustonDavid » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:24 pm

Randall, since you admit you have no scientific credentials, your credibility only comes
from your belief that what you read is true, and the only thing you can share is that
firm belief in those pick-and-choose authors whose opinions you choose to agree with,
although you don't seem to share much about your sources, nor any arguments you
have read that agree with AGW. You don't have the creds to pick and choose whom you
agree with on an educated basis.

Why on earth should we choose to agree with you since you only have a library card and
a computer, not a science PhD like nearly all of the scientists who agree with AGW based
on their research on the subject. Try submitting your theories or findings to a legitimate
science publication and see how far you get. BTW, nearly all of the AGW scientists keep
even better track of what is being published on the subject than you do. You and Cyril
claim it is strictly a political conspiracy, all economically inspired to force us into bankruptcy
so the conspiratorial "they" (whoever "they" may be) can take over, but that is as absurd
as the flying saucer conspiracy, or claiming President Obama is a socialist or a communist
Muslim also trying to take over the country. Just another of your conspiracy theories wrapped
up in pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

rwetmore
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:48 am

HoustonDavid wrote:Randall, since you admit you have no scientific credentials, your credibility only comes from your belief that what you read is true, and the only thing you can share is that firm belief in those pick-and-choose authors whose opinions you choose to agree with, although you don't seem to share much about your sources, nor any arguments you
have read that agree with AGW. You don't have the creds to pick and choose whom you
agree with on an educated basis.
So what you're saying is there is no possible way I or anyone else can assess credibility on this subject unless we have a science PHD? Critical thinking skills combined with a solid understanding of the fundamental principles of science are of no use?
HoustonDavid wrote:Why on earth should we choose to agree with you since you only have a library card and a computer, not a science PhD like nearly all of the scientists who agree with AGW based on their research on the subject.
There are plenty of highly accomplished scientists with PhDs that say "no" to AGW based precisely on their research on the it. Climate science is actually a multifaceted subject, but the fundamental scientific principles that govern it are no different than any other field.
HoustonDavid wrote:Try submitting your theories or findings to a legitimate science publication and see how far you get.
What theories are you talking about?
HoustonDavid wrote:BTW, nearly all of the AGW scientists keep even better track of what is being published on the subject than you do.
I'm not saying this isn't true, but how could you possibly know if it is or not? There is a ton of stuff in the scientific literature related to the subject - much of it dating back decades.
HoustonDavid wrote:You and Cyril claim it is strictly a political conspiracy, all economically inspired to force us into bankruptcy so the conspiratorial "they" (whoever "they" may be) can take over, but that is as absurd as the flying saucer conspiracy, or claiming President Obama is a socialist or a communist Muslim also trying to take over the country. Just another of your conspiracy theories wrapped up in pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo.
Look, I don't think Obama is Muslim imposter trying to "take down" the country, nor do I believe in the whole birther thing (though it is somewhat suspicious); but even if it's true that he is not truly a natural born citizen - I don't think he's a planted imposter, so it matters not. I think he's an American that doesn't like this country as it was founded and wants to change it - move it far left. AGW is going to give him and others of his ilk around world that are sympathetic to the cause a huge amount of the power and control over the average citizen that they need to implement their agenda. It's simply convenient to believe it because it's such a useful tool. In other words they want it to be true, so when someone with scientific credentials tells them it's true, that's all they need or want to hear.

You're implying I'm saying it's some kind of conspiracy in the sense that a bunch of people got together in a room and conspired to make all this up. I know of no evidence of that happening, nor do I believe that has happened. There is long history to this whole thing that started over 50 years ago (I'm not going to go into it here). The key thing you need to understand is that scientists in general know that if they do research that doesn't have any significant implications, they are not likely to get any more funding and their careers and livelihoods will suffer as a result. If they produce research results that have alarming or very significant implications, they will get noticed and more research money will come their way from sources who are looking for it. If they produce results that conclude there's really nothing of significance here - "yeah maybe a slight amount of warming but nothing to be concerned about or do anything about", they aren't likely to get any more research money. Scientists have to make a living too, and don't forget they are just people - prone to bias, dishonesty, and self-serving tendencies like most. There is a lot of money in climate research - I mean millions of dollars in government funded grants and such. I didn't take long for a lot of them to realize they could make a nice and lucrative research career out of the whole thing if they just kept up the alarmist mantra and continued to produce research supporting it. It's not hard to manipulate research to a desired outcome. I'm sure initially there were a good number of scientists who did research showing contradictory results and/or many who asked questions and raised objections, that wouldn't tow the party line so to speak, but they were ignored and over time filtered out of the process - their contrary research, questions and objections never addressed.

One thing I am absolutely 100% certain of is that the research that's been done supposedly in support of AGW is most certainly NOT the result of careful, objective and skeptical work - what science at its core is supposed to be all about.

You need to be much more skeptical of scientific research in general, especially that which is as politically charged and funding biased as this particular field.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

Cosima___J
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Location: Georgia

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by Cosima___J » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:31 am

An interesting quote I ran across in my reading the other day:

"And even if there were a consensus, science is not about majority rule. It either is or it is not."

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
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Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:10 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Try submitting your theories or findings to a legitimate
science publication and see how far you get.
They are not "my theories" per say, but more the mixing together of extrapolations from a large amount of published literature on the subject.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

HoustonDavid
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:11 pm

Good post Cosi, and I agree 100%. Just look at the history of science for proof of that.
I spent most of my professional life working with scientists and engineers. Of course
they have to work for a salary, just like the rest of the world. Randall makes the false
assumption that their work depends on income from their work, when in reality it is the
other way around. Most work for research firms, the academic community, and industry,
all of which pay their salaries. Much research is funded through grants and government
contracts. Applications are usually prepared by people like me, technical writers working
with the scientists and researchers.

I never, in 40 years, knew anyone at the mercy of their research coming to a conclusion
that agreed with any particular agenda. Science, as you say, either is or isn't. Otherwise
it isn't science. According to Randall's conspiracy theory,it is a political game of agreeing
for dollars to reach a specific agenda, one he believes is a conspiracy to rule the world by
breaking the economies preparing to waste their money to fight AGW. Good luck with
getting the scientific community to agree with that. They would laugh if he had the temerity
to talk about that publicly at a scientific convention.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:00 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Randall makes the false assumption that their work depends on income from their work, when in reality it is the other way around.
???? What does this even mean?
HoustonDavid wrote:I never, in 40 years, knew anyone at the mercy of their research coming to a conclusion that agreed with any particular agenda.
What significance is there to this even if it's true? It's like you're trying to say that no scientific research can be biased, manipulated or fraudulent because you've never encountered it directly yourself.
HoustonDavid wrote:Science, as you say, either is or isn't. Otherwise
it isn't science.
What you are describing here is 'reality' (whether known or unknown). Science is a process by which we try to systematically figure out what reality is. Science bows the no authority or consensus is what Cosi was saying.
HoustonDavid wrote:According to Randall's conspiracy theory,it is a political game of agreeing for dollars to reach a specific agenda, one he believes is a conspiracy to rule the world by breaking the economies preparing to waste their money to fight AGW.
No, it's simply a lucrative source of funding that is specifically looking for 'alarmist' climate research results - the results of which enough scientists are willing to provide regardless of whether the claims have genuine scientific validity or merit. Most politicians have legal backgrounds and don't have a very high level of scientific understanding. All they are seeing is few graphs and stuff - it's what they want, so they keep funding those that continue to produce what they're looking for. In this particular field, it's really easy to manipulate research or bias research toward a predetermined conclusion, especially when the 'client' won't know the difference. This is basically what has happened here.
HoustonDavid wrote:Good luck with getting the scientific community to agree with that. They would laugh if he had the temerity to talk about that publicly at a scientific convention.
Actually a lot of these things are known in the scientific community. You're just completely unaware of it because you haven't done any research or investigating.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

rwetmore
Posts: 3042
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:24 pm

Re: A wake up call to everyone...

Post by rwetmore » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:02 am

I know most people want this thread to die a permanent death, but I'd like the add a few more things here:

David asked what evidence there is that climate modelers are not representing or considering clouds accurately. This is actually a really good question, so I thought I'd try to answer it in more detail. I think most of the models are assigning clouds some degree of positive feedback (how much varies per model). Why they have done this is because they are interpreting satellite data in a way that fits the whole AGW/CO2 forcing hypothesis - rather than taking a careful, objective, critical look at the data for other possible explanations. As a result, they have mixed up cause and effect - mistaken what is really a forcing for a feedback (it's actually very easy to do this, especially when you're trying to fit evidence to a predetermined conclusion rather than objectively analyze it).

Basically (via satellite), the modelers have observed warming in certain areas to be generally associated with less cloud coverage, and from that they are assuming the warming is causing the decreased cloud coverage. Less cloud coverage in response to warming lets in more sunlight, which serves to amplify warming (positive feedback). The problem is they have assumed that the warming is causing the decreasing clouds, rather than the decreasing clouds are causing the warming. The decreasing clouds are more than likely just the result of changes in general atmospheric circulation flow, rather than a resulting effect of warmer temperatures. In other words, the decrease in cloud coverage is causing the temperature increase - not decreasing in response to the temperature increase (feedback). As a result, clouds have been misinterpreted as having a positive feedback in response to warming by climate modelers when in reality clouds exhibit a strong negative feedback in response to warming (more evaporation from warming = more total clouds = more reflection of incoming radiation = negative feedback).

The bulk of this comes from the work of Dr. Roy Spencer, who has done a lot of research in this particular area (yes David, he is a PhD). Other scientists have pointed out similar problems in the climate modelers treatment of clouds - strongly suggesting the models are almost certainly wrong in this respect.

Clouds are the elephant in the room that's being ignored or obfuscated by the AGW proponents and the IPCC. Their effect on the surface energy budget is absolutely enormous compared to the tiny little bit from increases in CO2. Over 2/3rds of the earth's surface is water. It makes perfect sense that the cycle of water (water -> water vapor -> clouds -> precipitation -> back to water) is the primary way in which the planet regulates its temperature.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

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