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Captain Hybrid

Global Warming: Are the Skeptics Right?

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Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
A Global-Warming Sketpic
Jon Titus   2/6/2012 12:42:43 PM
I'm firmly a global-warming sketpic.  Back in the 1950's and 1960's, scientists told us the contrails from jet aircraft criss-crossing the US would cause ice crystals to form in the upper atmosphere and greatly reduce sunlight in the midwest.  That in turn would cause crop yields to go down significantly and some parts of the midwest would become a wasteland.  Didn't happen.

Not long ago we had a scare about depletion of the ozone over Antarctica due to photo-chemical reactions that involved halogenated chemicals released into the atmosphere.  Three scientists received the Nobel prize in chemistry (1995) for demonstration the sequence of reactions that depleted ozone.  I don't know if any high-altitude sampling proved the same reactions occur in the atmosphere, but apparently measurements of ozone depletion for the 2011 season in Antarctica might show the largest measured "hole," even though halogenated compound use has decreased steadily for yours. Hmmm.

I can only say about global warming that many measurements are either statistically irrelevant or influenced by sources other than "global warming."  Sensors that used to measure temperatures in open areas now have parking lots and other structured built nearby, sensor inaccuracies, lack of long-term data, etc.  And as one of the comments pointed out, if a model cannot accurately predict the next few point on a graph based on past data, the model has a flaw.  As far as I know, many models do not account for long-term (geological time spans) effects and normal fluctuations in temperatures.  Based on real science we're actually due for a new glacial age and widespread cooling.  So, yes, based on past experiences with "panic science," I remain a skeptic. --Jon Titus, Ph.D. (chemistry)

WhEEngineer
User Rank
Gold
in the name of Global Warming has gone too far
WhEEngineer   2/6/2012 12:39:29 PM
Don't forget the 'global warming tax' requested by the UN (seems the 'oil for food' cash cow was killed a few years ago) and they need some way to bilk billions of dollars or euros or yuan or rubles any way they can.  The make algore a billionaire by selling carbon credit boondoggle went down in flames.  Let's spend the money intelligently and with purpose by using it on education and getting people off welfare.

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: climate change happens, get over it!
Watashi   2/6/2012 12:34:35 PM
I assume you have data to back that up? 

Perhaps the same mythical Data that is sorely lacking in this whole debate. 

jeffbiss
User Rank
Gold
Re: Climate change evidence
jeffbiss   2/6/2012 12:32:01 PM
NO RATINGS
Where is your proof, or theirs, of thuggery? I don't see it and haven't seen anyone show any. As far as I can tell, the deniers engage in the discussion outside the scientific community, such as in religious or business publications. So, there is no thuggery.

What seems to be happening is that deniers make a decision to avoid the scientific process, such as performing one's own research or responding in peer reviewed journals, and using the ignorance of the majority of Americans to further their agenda. Otherwise, why write an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal or First Things?

I think that the answer is obvious.

sensor pro
User Rank
Gold
Re: Climate change evidence
sensor pro   2/6/2012 12:31:51 PM
NO RATINGS
You have a lot of interesting points and examples, however none really explain which of OUR actions affected the Sun. Why nobody is pointing to the fact that the Sun is more active with severely increase number and size of flairs.

I would like to know which fossil fuel did that.

In my opinion various groups only point to items that help their cause. The science is too politisized.

Bryan Goss
User Rank
Gold
comdemned for their believes
Bryan Goss   2/6/2012 12:25:32 PM

What saddens me is the first paragraph. The responses to what these men believe. We have come so far in science, yet these blogs show us as the human race to be just like those who condemned Galileo for believing the earth moved around a fixed sun, or condemned people as foolish for believing the world is round when it is obvious that it is flat. ChrisP, I wonder how many of the 80% of UK engineers secretly disagree with Global Warming, but for fear of job or promotion claim to agree. How can scientist have a true honest discussion if the unpopular side is punished for their believes?

jpratch
User Rank
Gold
Re: Climate change evidence
jpratch   2/6/2012 12:17:04 PM
@Marwan;

You raise the seminal arguement that the AGW proponents refuse to address. That is the issue of model fidelity, model accuracy and model calibration. If the model cannot predict last year's activity from the data before it, the model has significant factors unaccounted for. Over the decade of 2000 to 2010, CO2 rose at an accelerated rate while observed global temperatures were not accelerating and by some accounts were nearly flat over significant periods. 

A tenet in modeling and analysis is that correlation does not necessarily indicate causality. As you point out, there are significant factors and feedback mechanisms not presently considered in the models. If the statements that the model temperature rise predictions exceed the actual observed values by a factor of four, the model is far from ready for prime time directing the future decisions for all mankind.

There are huge, uncontrolled sources of CO2 at work in the form of recent volcanic activity. The magnitude of their contribution is, at best, only estimates. Some sources estimate it to be "years worth" of man-generated CO2. Even if it is much smaller but the real number is in the same order of magnitude as man-generated presents a conundrum that the very best efforts to reduce carbon foorprint can be erased by a single "natural" event, and one that has become more common.

So until there are answers to these modeling issues as well as quantification of the potentially swamping impact of natural sources, does a politically induced attempt to force a pre-industrial economy make sense? The so-called solutions seem to take the form of "wealth redistribution" rather than true mitigation. As such, they are suspect. It is truly a question of whether AGW proponents have a scientific outcome or a political outcome as their objective. If you "follow the money, as evo1 and cassiopeia implore us, you find both sides have dirty hands. AGW research is as much a business as the fossile fuel developers are. Should the ultimate ground truth in climate be found, one or both will of these "industries" will likely collapse.

As one post stated, the worst part is the change in "climate of scientific discourse". The scientific method has been hijacked by a community of hooligans and thugs who resort to ad hominem attacks rather than debate. When the truth is ever found, it may never see the light of day, depending on who finds it and who supresses it. If the side that finds it does not like it, it will die; if the side that finds it cannot stand the personal cost, it will die.

Stuart21
User Rank
Silver
Re: climate change happens, get over it!
Stuart21   2/6/2012 12:11:44 PM
HEC wrote "Mt. Pinatubo has been putting out greenhouse gasses over the last 20 years which total more than the total of all human emmission in recorded history.  The recent eruptions in Iceland have emmitted enough CO2 to negate all "human" CO2 reductions over the last 4 years."

Totally untrue. If you look at the CO2 levels recorded on the top of Mauna Kea there is NO visible rise in levels at the time of Pinatubo or Iceland. For your statement re Pinatubo to have been true the atmospheric CO2 levels SHOULD HAVE DOUBLED in that time. 

No significant change, apart from the normal man made year by year increase.

You are quoting from a scam email written by, and circulated widely and forwarded without question by deniers - and without thinking. Bringing into focus recent reports that they may have difficulty in that area.

Further, irrespective of what nature emits, mankinds CO2 emmisions are on top of that, and are new. 

The skeptics are wrong. We don't know everything, but sure as hell there are limits to growth. When CO2 levels acidify the seas such that fish & coral die, is that ok? Do we do it just till we need to carry respirators? Then it will be just us and the cockroaches.

HEC, check your FECS. 

Curt Carpenter
User Rank
Gold
Scientist's Mission
Curt Carpenter   2/6/2012 12:01:10 PM
Wouldn't science, scientists, and all the rest of us be better served if these sixteen and all the others in the scientific community would focus on designing better experiments to test the different global warming theories?

Certainly there is a political dimension to the issue, and an economic one, and scientists are entitled to have an opinion on these issues.  But they seem to be an aside to the scientific problems -- which is where these men's expertise lies.

ChrisP
User Rank
Silver
Re: How about a timeout here?
ChrisP   2/6/2012 11:45:27 AM
It seems that the majority of US engineers are clueless about global warming.  The people who wrote the letter appear to be the usual mix of emeritus professors and people from other scientific endeavors - using their name to give themseolves some credibility.

80% of engineers in the UK say that global warming is real and only 10% do not.  Thye don't have a continuous drumbeat from the ignorant press and Republicans.

Engineers in the US don't keep up to date with what is going on on the rest of the planet.

 

 

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