Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Global Warming Critics Proved Right

In news that will send the spirits of skeptics, deniers and global warming critics soaring, their long maintained condemnation of climate change computer models has been justified.

For years, skeptics have maintained that computer driven models of global warming fail to accurately project changes to the Earth's climate. Recent research now supports their view. Unfortunately for them, the problem is that models have been too conservative in their projections.

"It turns out that global warming critics were right when they said that global climate models did not do a good job at predicting climate change," Robock commented. "But what has been wrong recently is that the climate is changing even faster than the models said. In fact, Arctic sea ice is melting much faster than any models predicted, and sea level is rising much faster than IPCC previously predicted."

The study also shows that carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere faster than expected, with emissions now 35 per cent higher in 2006 than in 1990.

Equally unfortunate is that due to a general failure to read and inability to generate coherent arguments in their own defense, skeptics likely won't read far enough into this post to get the punchline.


43 comments:

Anonymous said...

dont need a computer to tell us the planet is warming up, the debate is over.....want proof....just one word.....california

Nelson Muntz said...

Ha ha!

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I reckon there won't be any denyin' once the dire predictions come true (and then some.) I hate to say it, but the idea that it's twice as bad as we thought is sorta makin' me wanna throw my hands up an' quit tryin' to save what's lookin' unsaveable.

With all the GHG feedback happenin' as the permafrost melts, we may be in a position where all we can do is try to adapt to inevitable, unstoppable, irreversible climate catastrophe.

More irony: the deniers may be correct on Kyoto. It won't do any good. Not because of a non-existent problem, though, but because it was always too little, too late -- even if it had been strictly adhered to.

Prepare. Adapt. Survive.

JB

SkyShades said...

What the global climate models predicted was frightening enough, to know that the earths climate is changing at an even faster rate is truly unsettling. Hopefully this will prompt the world to take more actions toward environmental preservation.

idreamofgreen.blogspot.com
idreamofgreen.com

Anuj said...

Further, I am nobody is sure how the albedo fits into the entire model, is it a positive or negative effect. This may be a runaway chain reaction, see you can never accurately predict climate or such complex systems there are just too many variables to consider. Hence the error rate is quite great but even if you do put in the margins even then the future is bleak.

We have to act now, it's already too late we should salvage what we can, I think that saving the human species should be at the top of everybody's agenda, don't you?

saskboy said...

I suppose when bad things in the climate happen, the deniers will turn into grumblers that think fondly of the olden days, and wonder why nothing was done to preserve them.

Steven Chen said...

Hi jimbobby,

Do you have children?

With two young children, I have no choice but to fight to the bit end. Anything else is not an option. By the way, I think God would be very happy if we could save his proud creation, the Earth, from human destruction.

dan allosso said...

50 feet in 50 years is my motto. Any idea where there might be an accurate online map of world coastlines with contour lines?

Steve said...

This is what happens in a battle between scientists and businessmen. Scientists are, by their nature, conservative. They want to check and double check their facts and predictions, then sway with reason. Businessmen will to do and say whatever they have to to make more money. It would never occur to Coca Cola or Chevron to say anything other than that their product is the absolute best. They will happily make up facts and spin numbers to make their point.

That is why they have been so successful at keeping this ridiculous argument going long after it's been settled.

I hate to say it but we need a few Madison Avenue manipulators on our side.

E. R. Dunhill said...

dan,
Detailed super wide-area topo data from a single source are hard to come by. Governments tend to produce geospatial data for their own lands, and when they spend the fairly considerable resources to create good terrain models elsewhere, it’s very often for military or intel purposes, and those data don’t find their way to public sources. And, generally speaking, when maps cover larger areas, cartographers provide less detail. Of course, these are all generalities for brevity’s sake.
The National Aeronautics and Space Admin has been collecting topographic data for years, using the shuttle. This dataset may provide a starting point for whatever you’re doing. http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/

-erd

The Derek said...

Seriously, here in sac its the middle of october and I'm still wearing shorts. I should be wearing long pants, a jacket, and carrying an umbrella by now...

i can just see the nay-sayer bloggers linking to this post after reading the title not realizing they are linking to a post showing they are wrong.

Mary said...

Mankind is his own worst enemy. I have seen climate change moving at a fast rate since the 50s. My parents probably saw it moving before then. Unfortunately mankind is in a state of denial and we are all going to suffer because it may be too little, too late. I'm not usually a pessimist, but in the area of global warming I'm afraid we are going to lose.

supra said...

Hopefully this will prompt the world to take more actions toward environmental preservation.

AJ's View said...

You can't always depend on computer climate models as weather patterns can be very unpredictable, even if areas have a regular pattern over the past years.The present situation is frightening enough. This is definitely an eye opener and immediate action must be taken. Better late than never.

DC said...

The problem with the critics and proponents is that the discussion centers on the problem not the solution.

Maybe dedicate a little more time to finding sustainable solutions for the everyday people, than showing how right or wrong people are at predicting things!

Amanda

weallmustchange said...

Well said DC. But will people change? We have to start somewhere I suppose and maybe a "grass roots" movement by a few can spur the rest of the country to follow suit. Then again it most likely will be expensive, what about the people living in poverty? These are the discussions that lead us to the answers.

Rogers Place said...

You can tell its getting warmer as it snows less every year.

Sarit said...

Carbon dioxide emissions were 35 per cent higher in 2006 than in 1990, a much faster growth rate than anticipated
People love to interpret facts in ways that only support their case. Why aren't you suspecting that the model is just plain wrong? If my model was off by 35% in 2006 why would you have any trust in my calculations for 2026?
According to the article, there is no mention of how the "climate" changed, only the net amount of CO2 being released. Although we all associate an increase in CO2 as an increase in temperature, why is there no temperature increase prediction?

Odiyya said...

attention dingbat (i.e. sarit). the model isn't off by 35%. You're confusing the total co2 increase with that fact that that total increase was greater than anticipated.

As for your other uninformed statements, try spending more time reading, and less time talking.

hasatour said...

Hi All,
I stay in Borneo ( 3rd Largest Island in the world) all the while since 1960. Cutting on Rainforst definitely contribute to global warming. No need scientific proof. It is happening now for the past 40 years.

Ethos Austin said...

Have you all read this - "Are the Wildfires in California Related to Global Warming?"

http://www.alternet.org/environment/65972/

Enjoy....

Sarit said...

Hey Odiyya, let's leave out the insults and discuss the issue. Just because you can't come up with a solid argument doesn't mean you need to resort to name calling.

You're confusing the total co2 increase with that fact that that total increase was greater than anticipated.

I'm confused with what you're saying. How am I confused?
All these computer models are trying to predict climate change. If CO2 is a major contributer to climate change, then the model must predict how CO2 levels will change over time. Either you accept that the model is wrong or you accept that CO2 is not a contributing factor.

Its similar to weather forecasting. You don't just predict whether it rains, you predict where the high and low pressure regions will develop and then that tells you whether a cold front is going to hit you (bringing rain). If you don't predict the pressure regions correctly, you won't predict the cold fronts correctly.

Odiyya said...

As i said previously sarit, you need to read. The model isn't wrong. the point is that the scientists running them have been modeling based on the most conservative possible estimates because these are the ones that can be verified by the greatest number of outside sources.

They do this to avoid comments in the mainstream media and 'skeptics' circles, who will leap down there throat if ANY detail ends up being wrong.

The point is that all the predictions and trends global warming scientists make are not only true, but the affects are occuring faster than these conservative predictions have stated.

So you can't have it both ways. either you need to allow scientists to be more aggressive in their predictions, and potentially overshoot by a small degree OR you accept the conservative minimum that they can verify with 100% certainty, and you don't make ignorant criticisms when they invariably undershoot the problem.

ps - apologies for the dingbat comment.

Anonymous said...

yeah right so i am supposed to believe that cuz some dude who failed to become president SAYS that this is happening but i see the complete opposite. the temp here is colder this time of year than it was last year and besides us "critics" are right even scientists say so read it
Here
and you will see that all that you say has no leg to stand on.

soshann said...

In Australia we are in the middle of an election campaign wherein the only significant difference between Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dumber is the cigarette paper you can insert between them on climate change. We've prepared this dramatisation of the consequences of our "climate change sceptic"PM John Howard's position.

Come along to the BBQ Stopper of a life time.

Meet Ernie & Sheila and all the gang and marvel at their radioactive antics around the gene pool.

http://www.youtube.com/RageAgainstHoward

Please tell all your friends family and work mates to come to the party EVERYONE's WELCOME!

E. R. Dunhill said...

Anon,
This passes for credible journalism? The article you refer to states:
“I interview children who are scared. They believe the polar bears are already going extinct and that the oceans will soon rise even higher than 20 feet, drowning them and their parents…
“The only practical thing we can do today that would make a difference in CO2 output is to launch a major shift toward nuclear energy. But the environmental movement rarely utters the word nuclear.”
Are we to discontinue every policy discussion and all scientific discourse that is confusing or frightening to children? What is the point of this statement, other to inflame people against cruel climate scientists who frighten innocent children?
The contentions about nuclear energy are also generalized to the point of being false. There are plenty of measures in addition to adopting nuclear energy that would impact carbon emissions. Urban re-development, dietary changes, changes in building codes, and many other actions. And who is this “environmental movement” that the article finds tacit on nuclear energy? Stewart Brand, James Lovelock, Patrick Moore, and many others have all come out in favor of nuclear power. Many environmental groups have indicated that they would be agreeable to nuclear energy as an alternative to coal and NG, provided that the government makes legitimate assurances for security and waste disposal. The statement in the article you referenced somehow misses the fact that this is one of the most important debates among environmentalists; that there is a generation-gap among environmentalists on this issue, and that a major shift has been underway on this issue since the 1990s. The statement takes the pulse of the environmental movement as of the 1970s and 1980s. That’s history, not news.
Touting John Stossel’s middle-school reasoning in a characteristically inflammatory piece for TV as proof that “…all that you say has no leg to stand on” is simply flawed reasoning. Your contention is that Gore’s argument (An Inconvenient Truth) is wrong because someone (Stossel) disagrees with it. If we follow your reasoning, then we must conclude that Stossel’s piece is wrong because Gore disagrees with it. We need to use better reasoning than this.
Clearly we must allow for credible for scientific and policy discourse on the subject of climate. This is how we get good science and good policy. But to quote John Stossel as a definitive opinion on this? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

ok smart guy explain why i have colder and colder years then huh this summer was a record cool summer and last winter was the coldest in a long time. and if there is so much global warming then when the water gets evaporated where does it go does it just incinerate no i think it goes to clouds so more cloud cover equals cooling down right?

besides you are all missing the point and that point is that God created the earth we are to worship him not the creation. we are straying from him and it will be the end of us all.

Sarit said...

The article anon was referring to is actually about this 20/20 report that you can see on youtube. Rather than talking about an article about a show why not just see the 8 minute report: Give Me A Break - Global Warming and come up with your own opinions.

Chris DiDonna said...

I am finishing up a Calc. Project using some of these climate models. The results are clear. Those who refuse to believe that climate change is taking place are just becoming ignorant towards scientific data that is correct.

E. R. Dunhill said...

Anon,
At the risk of stepping on Odiyya’s toes, I think the scope of some of your questions warrants more attention than can be given in this small Comments space.
I've spun-off a space for an in-depth treatment, here. I welcome questions and comments from anyone.

Sarit said...

Could you give us some more information about this climate model? Maybe a link to the actual formulas/calculations that are used.

I know I'm asking for you to give me ammunition to break down your argument, but that is the heart of the peer review process. Without peer review you're just asking everyone to believe in dogma, which is not science.

I'm sure that your results are clear. 1+1 always equals 2, but I don't know of any formula that says man made CO2 = global warming.

Odiyya said...

Hi Sarit,

at the risk of sounding dismissive, the 'model' in question is the bearest sideline. the point is that no credible, peer reviewed scientist has anything to say to disprove the fundamental predictions, affects, and causes of global warming. Nor do i have time to explain the intricacies of it to each person who comments, well meaning though they may be.

this blog is written from the perspective, and assumption, that you've already take the time to read the prevailing scientific consensus and critique. This is why i offered that link in my first comment to you on this post.

so my answer is the same. if you have questions about the supposed 'counterviews', then by all means have a read of that page. its thorough, and i offer it with total good faith as a useful starting point for good readers such as yourself who want to know more.

And then, if you have further info or questions, or evidence, i'll happily look into it further.

fake consultant said...

anonymous:

to believe that every place will grow warmer as a result of climate change is to misunderstand the nature of the problem.

it seems reasonable to suggest that changes in atmospheric temperature will be variable over the planet...but that the net effect of these changes will be an increase in average global temperature.

the thing is, as these changes occur, the potential exists for a disruption of the mechanisms that currently circulate heat around the planet (winds and currents), and it is reasonable to suggest that the equatorial regions will get much warmer...while the north gets colder.

more specifically, it is suggested that the disruption of the gulf stream's ability to circulate water from the tropics north will cause europe to become much colder, on average, than it is today.

to put it in the simplest terms possible, a 5 degree decrease in european temperatures balanced against a 6 degree increase in carribean temperatures might look like a 1 degree average increase...but that won't be how it looks to those in the affected areas.

for those who see this as a potential future problem: this is today's problem.

ask floridians who are finding homeowner's insurance amazingly expensive, or ask aleuts who are finding their villages floating in water, as the ice melts out from under them, or ask insects who are finding new ranges due to changes in climate that have already occured.

Phil A said...

Al Gore is a politician. His lips were moving all through that film of his, what more proof do you need that he was lying? ;-)

Mind you - that doesn’t mean it’s not worth pushing hard for nuclear electrical generation and hydrogen powered cars and planes anyway.

Anonymous said...

There is no point in this discussion as long as none of us is expert in global changes. If you wish to believe there is global warming, you can find many supporting proves, however if you wish to belive there is nothing like global warming, you can find many proves that there is nothing like this. So finally you believe in what you decided to believe even before this discussion started. Just answer honestly. Do you personally know anyone who had to change his/her opinion because there were no arguments to support his/her view?

Odiyya said...

The problem anon, is your saying nothing about the QUALITY of any given argument. Anyone can go out and find limp statements to support any view they have, be it one about global warming, or anything else in their life.

For example, "al gore is an ecofascist" is a perfectly acceptable argument against the idea of global warming for many people on the right side of the political spectrum. However, anyone blessed with intelligence or moral ability above that of a seven year old can tell you that the comment is far less than of poor quality.

Phil A said...

Odiyya, If Al Gore is an eco-fascist, or not, makes little difference.

The fact is he is a politician. A politician on a particular bandwagon not an expert - and in this case it seems even the experts don’t actually know.

The arguments about ‘consensus’ are not exactly conclusive and there is actually some reasonably convincing evidence that can be interpreted one way and other equally convincing evidence that can be interpreted the other and some either.

The sensible thing to do is try to cover your bets both ways, without costing a fortune, or throwing baby out with the bathwater.

Odiyya said...

Number one, you're making a reasoned argument, so i applaud that. its refreshing.

No, it makes no difference whether or not Al Gore is an ecofascist (whatever that is) at all. The point is that is a criticism that fails to look at the issue at hand, the same as whether he's a politician or not.

As for the evidence you've mentioned, i'd be interested in seeing it because i'll be point blank honest with you, EVERY piece of evidence i have come across (and this is a substantial pile, i read everything i see on this) has proved to be misrepresented, incomplete, a downright lie, or the paid product of the fossil fuel industry.

This i say without malice or emotion. its a statistical fact, and its the reason why you see the frustration you do from people arguing for action. Meanwhile, the media is totally complicit in this by not doing the work to fact check, most of which can be accomplished by a 2 minute google search.

But having said that, if government were taking the approach you outlined here, we'd still be miles ahead of where we are. In short, put it on a ballot and i'd vote for it.

Phil A said...

Odiyya, If you are interested in some of the con arguments re AGW then this site is worth a visit.

Personally I find the solar output/sunspot argument quite persuasive. I seem to recall this has been recorded as having an impact on the ‘climate’/temperature on Mars.

One of the main reasons I take AGW with a pinch of salt is the fact that climate has apparently been varying since one existed, long before humans - even mammals. Most recently markedly the climatic optimum around the beginning of the last millennium and the little ice age in the latter middle half of it.

So I don’t doubt climate change, I just think humans have a lot less impact on it than the AGW supporters imagine and I am not convinced they have got it right.

The odds say we are due for a drop in temperatures.

Odiyya said...

I'll give this site a stop by once in awhile. after a first glance though, anything climate related i saw supports taking action against rather than denying it. the two i found being the post that apparently refutes the 'consensus' of global warming by stating that half of people agree with the IPCC and a further 15 to 20 percent say its understated it:

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/2/26/end-of-the-consensus.html#comments

In any reasoned approach a 70% expert endorsement is more than enough to start acting immediately, so i find this article a strange endorsement of uncertainty.

The other i read was a statement by joanne simpson where in her own words she endorsed action along Al Gore and the IPCC's recommendation:

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/2/27/another-global-warming-sceptic.html#comments

As for the sunspot argument, this is an old one, and unless the article you are thinking of introduces anything new, one that has been addressed and accounted for while leaving little to no support against man made global warming. I didn't find the specific link you mentioned so feel free to post it here. This was most notably addressed during the IPCC's 4th report, where it singled it out specifically due to its frequency cited in denier camps.

As for the natural cycle argument, i've heard this many times, understand why people bring it up, but it comes down to what factors that cycle is tied to. If you agree that CO2 is indeed a greenhouse gas, than how do you set aside the fact that its 35% higher than at any recordable time in the past million years, and feel we can somehow ignore this and fail to act?

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/12/17/22147/335

So what i'll agree to at this point is your source does seem to bring up some reasonable counterpoints to what is an overwhelming consensus, I don't see how it changes the need to act, as those sources themselves are endorsing action.

Phil A said...

Odiyya, I don’t see there is a particular need to act on climate change. Don’t have the time right now for a detailed post, but I am not convinced by AGW.

I do think it is long past taking similar action based on other grounds though.

Most of the gas/oil powered tech (cars, trucks, planes) we have could probably be powered by hydrogen giving us clean pollution free transport. Most power including that necessary to crack water to get hydrogen could be obtained from nuclear energy.

The reason the UK dosn’t have this and France does is probably largely due the green lobby.

Odiyya said...

Well, you're not giving me anything to go on here.

I'll give you the time to post something detailed, but to be frank, this is typically where the conversation goes with people who don't believe in anthropogenic global warming. Those in favour have reels of substantial evidence, and the other side "isn't convinced".

Unless you have valid evidence to that, you're just talking flight of fancy. but as i said, I'll give you credit enough to assume you'll supply some.

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