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Global Warming - yes, no, maybe?

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Any scientist understands my comments completely. I have stated facts and you wish to pick at word choices because you do not understand the process of science. I am sure that you will be the last to post on this issue because all of the rest of us will tire of trying to educate someone who does not wish to learn but only to be a parrot to ideologues whose work you do not understand.

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Vol_scouter, it's finally dawned on me that Merlyn is like an old, toothless and senile pit bull, gnawing on our legs:


+ too toothless to do any injury;

+ too nerve-damaged to recognize when he's been injured;

+ too stubborn to quit or let go.


With a dog, the solution would be to put him out of his misery.


With Merlyn, there is no solution. All we can do is leave, and leave him snapping and snarling around this thread by himself.


There's no point to responding to him or trying to answer him -- he is alternately unable or unwilling to participate in a reasoned discussion.






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Let me help with a few references:


Winter Could Be Worst in 25 Years for USA:






Ice Slows Operation At N.J. Nuclear Power Plant:



Elderly burn books for warmth?



Vermont sets 'all-time record for one snowstorm':



Iowa temps 'a solid 30 degrees below normal':



Seoul buried in heaviest snowfall in 70 years:




Midwest Sees Near-Record Lows, Snow By The Foot:



Miami shivers from coldest weather in decade:



Here in Georgia it's cold enough to freeze the slobber dripping from a toothless pitbull!




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Hey, JoeBob;


I think we should have a contest to see how many articles can be found which explain that the current cold weather is CAUSED by global warming!


I'd bet anything that there will be some, though it may be harder to find them than it would have been before 'Climate-gate'.


I can't find the link at the moment, but a few days ago I read an article about a group of indigenous Andeans who are dying off due to poverty and and repeated cold winters*. The writer explained that the repeated cold winters were due to glacial melting caused by . . . AGW!




* No info on how you can help. I gathered that previous local efforts have been stymied by lack of local funding, and external efforts have been hampered by local red tape, for which there apparently was funding.

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vol_scouter writes:

Any scientist understands my comments completely.


Then why not include a cite or a link supporting your usage.


I have stated facts and you wish to pick at word choices because you do not understand the process of science.


No, I don't agree with what is, apparently, your arbitrary distinction between "consensus" science and "settled science." Whenever I ask about it, all you do is spew out more insults.]


I am sure that you will be the last to post on this issue because all of the rest of us will tire of trying to educate someone who does not wish to learn but only to be a parrot to ideologues whose work you do not understand.


vol_scouter, you may have not noticed that I HAVEN'T BEEN ARGUING ABOUT AGW PER SE AT ALL in this thread, so your bizarre comment that I'm only a "parrot to ideologues whose work you do not understand" is beyond ridiculous.

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I know it's a bit chilly in much of the US right now, but Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (our national weather service) has just announced "...the average temperature in Australia over the past decade was 0.48 degrees above the 1961-1990 average. This continues a trend that has seen each decade since the 1940s being warmer than the previous decade."


That 0.48 degrees is Celsius. In Fahrenheit it was 0.86 degrees warmer.


I'm pretty sure that source can be trusted. Make of it what you will.

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Have you ever participated in a meeting to deliver a consensus opinion in an area of science? Have you published scientific articles in peer reviewed journals? Have you given scientific talks at international meetings? Have you ever given an invited scientific talk? Have you studied science at the graduate level? Have you written a thesis or a dissertation? Have you taken graduate level mathematics courses? Have you taken graduate level physics, chemistry or engineering courses? Have you ever taught science courses in a graduate school? Do you work professionally as a scientist? I am able to answer in the affirmative to all of these queries. What you are asking is like Clinton asking the definition of is. Note that I have helped to determine the consensus knowledge in a field of science. You pick at semantics rather than issues. Once again, scientists would understand what I have said but you do not or do not wish to do so.

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Answering my own challenge, here's a first attempt collection of news claiming that 'it's cold because it's getting warm'. I'm sure the really juicy quotes will come later, after climatologists have had a chance to 'analyze' the cold.


I did find it surprising that the juiciest current quotes came from Chinese officials. I'd guessed the Chinese were quietly cheering Gore from the sidelines, given the enormous geopolitical benefit they stand to gain from cap-n-trade legislation. But, I was really surprised to see them do so publicly, given the chance that it might cause others to contemplate the global political implications of Guru Gore's wish list.





[ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/weather/article6975867.ece ]


"The icy conditions of Western Europe, which broke records in half a dozen countries in December, are expected to last for at least another week.


Guo Hu, the head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, linked this weeks conditions to unusual atmospheric patterns caused by global warming."



[ http://www.theage.com.au/world/extreme-weather-linked-to-climate-change-say-chinese-20100104-lq2e.html ]


"FREAK snowstorms and record low temperatures sweeping northern China are linked to global warming, say Chinese officials."




[ http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/polar-pressure-pattern-driving-chill-nearly-off-chart/ ]

"The head of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau asserted that global warming was behind unusual atmospheric patterns (a heap of climate scientists I queried saw no such link)."



[ http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/global-warming-is-happening-even-if-it-doesnt-feel-like-it-1858998.html ]

"So if it is the longest cold snap for 29 years, does that prove that the idea of global warming is a non-starter? Funnily enough, it doesn't. For once you look at current meteorological conditions across the whole world, a different picture emerges."


(Explanation follows of how it's only cool in Europe, etc. and that it's much warmer elsewhere -- like here in the US!! I guess that would be a pretty persuasive argument for a Brit not keeping up with current US weather.)


[ http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2010/01/05/cold-it-would-be-even-colder-if-not-for-global-warming ]


(Explains how it would REALLY be cold, instead of just really cold, if not for global warming.)



[ http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=cold-winter-doesnt-mean-global-warm-2009-02-12 ]


"Global warming is responsible for the overall upward temperature trend, and any snow outside our window shouldnt convince us that Earth has stopped heating up, says Richard Heim, an NCDC meteorologist. "Most of the top 10 warmest years have happened in the last decade and a half," Heim tells ScientificAmerican.com."


(Fails to mention that the "warmest decade" conclusion depends on much disputed data and models.)

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Yah, Merlyn, I think vol has da right of it here, eh? Not at all surprising not to find a cite, either. Scientists just do what they do, eh? Kinda like lawyers or docs. If yeh want to understand why scientists do what they do, yeh need to look for cites from the sociology of science literature, and no scientists read da stuff :).


Vol goes overboard with statements like "Political decisions that can destroy the economy of the country..." That's just hyperbolic political tripe, which discredits his more objective position on the science. Steps against global warming amount to little more than an ordinary tax. If yeh want political decisions which can destroy the economy of a country, yeh have to go back to Phil Gramm-style deregulation and the decision to repeal all of the depression-era protections which nearly took out our entire banking system last year.


Hilo, cigarette tort cases here in da U.S. are decided by "the preponderance of the evidence" not by "beyond reasonable doubt". Beyond reasonable doubt is the standard for criminal conviction.


But I think yeh all do protest too much, eh? Science is messy business and climate models are hard, but I reckon a lot of smart people are giving us their best shot. Da rate of warming that hilo reports, and da rate of warming that I've seen myself, and the smart people who are workin' on this all seem to agree that we're lookin' at a pretty big risk.


Some folks are gamblers, and are willing to take big risks with their own future or their kids' futures in order to make money now. Me, I'm a more traditional and conservative fellow. I don't think that kind of risk taking is at all smart, and I really start to cringe when people start making fun of those sounding the warnings that they don't understand. Heard the same stuff from the bankers before the meltdown. "Oh, the risk is overblown. Oh, we can't compete with foreign banks if we don't take big risks. Oh, it's based on old data. Oh, the smart people are so silly playing chicken little."


Fossil fuel use is bad for our national security, bad for our environment, terrible for our long-term economic security, and at least potentially bad for the climate (which in turn is horrible for our long-term economic security).


With that kind of thing, true conservatives line up in support of making sacrifices and doin' what we have to do to protect the nation and the world for our kids and grand-kids.


It's only fakers and fools who believe we can borrow-and-spend our way to prosperity because we're too fat and lazy to make sacrifices now. And on this issue, da real fakers and fools are linin' up against global warmin'.




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Vol_scouter, I have a quote that may be useful in understanding the reception some of your recent explanations have received.


When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

Proverbs 29:9

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Ah, yah, well da Beavuh has spoken. So I guess all us dumb Southern hicks shud just shut up and lis'n to da man wid da advanced duhgrees who tahks funny.


He's tellin' us, so we can unnerstand that any us dummies dat have da questions bout global warmin' are jus dummies, no, lemme get ud right:

"da real fakers and fools are linin' up against global warmin'"


We're not da dummies: we're da "fakers and fools".


And, he's takin' his time to share his big money knowlej wid us, too. Dis money trouble our country is havin' is all da Republican's fault, and wuz caused by " Phil Gramm-style deregulation and the decision to repeal all of the depression-era protections which nearly took out our entire banking system last year."


Well, that's gud to know.


Here I was thinkin' it was that Barney wierdo fro Massasneezit and dumb Dodd from Conneticant that forced da banks and dose Mae-girls to loan all dat money to people who couldn't pay it back, so they could buy all dose big houses and live just as good as da rich men from Chicahgo.



GaHillBilly, tipping my hat.

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Cap and trade is capable of wrecking an economy - I did not say that it WILL wreck an economy only that it is capable of doing so. I do not believe that cap and trade is a good idea though I have said several times that I believe that it is a good idea to decrease the nation's dependence on foreign oil. I do not think that the decision to decrease the dependence on fossil fuels on AGW but it should be based on long term energy sustainability and national security. It must include a vigorous nuclear program since the other resources are not going to provide sufficient energy in the foreseeable future.


The problem once again with the warming data is what does the average earth temperature mean and how is it calculated? The temperature reporting stations around the world have changed over time as well as the technology. For example, there could be reporting station that has reported rather consistent temperatures for several years. When the old system is replaced with a newer one, the new system is once again consistent with itself and prior recorded seasonal variations but is averaging 0.5 degree C warmer than the previous readings. It is likely that one is not correct or that the experimental station has changed (the old roof was removed and the new roof is slightly smaller causing a higher temperature). If everything is found to be the same, someone will make a decision to either increase the old temperatures to match the old ones or to lower the new temperatures. It is not possible to know the 'truth'. The actual situations are more complex but they still require a judgment as to how the data is to be adjusted. Certainly, if the folks doing the research have a personal bias, it is likely to manifest in those decisions even if the researcher is attempting to be unbiased (the data could then biased in the other direction as well).


Another problem is the location of the temperature measurements. In the past, they were all made by thermometers near the surface of the earth. Obviously, some areas would be well covered, i.e. the US; whereas the Pacific Ocean would have very few reporting stations. So if were are N reporting stations worldwide in say 1950, the average temperature would not be the usual mean: (T1 + T2 + T3 + ... + TN)/N but would be a weighted mean: (a1*T1 + a2*T2 + a3*T3 + ... + aN*TN)/N where the coefficients a1, a2, a3, ... ,aN are weights that are proportional to the area covered by the temperature measurement. So that the a's for New York city may cover a small area where the a's for the few stations in the Pacific Ocean would be much larger since it would represent hundreds of square miles. Therefore, a small uncertainty in the magnitude of the temperature at a Pacific Ocean station gets greatly magnified.


As time goes on, some stations go out of existence and others are added. So they have to be accounted for in much the same way. Some remote stations may be damaged and not report data for months due to severe weather. How do you account for the lost data representing a portion of the surface of the earth. Simply to disregard the station skews the data but how it is adjusted for can skew it as well. Once again, the temperature variations on the earth's surface is much greater than the temperature changes being claimed. For example, HiLo says that Australia has increased 0.48 degrees C over the past decade. But in the winter in the southern hemisphere, the temperatures in Antarctica can by ~ -70 degrees C while the southwest US at the same time can be ~ 40 degrees C. So that the daily variation on the earth can be on the order of 100 degrees C. So that the effect being measured is on the order of 1/200 th of the temperatures. In order to account for those magnitude of differences, the temperature measurements must be quite accurate for the region that they represent which they are not. So the errors in the measurements are larger than the effect reported which makes any claims suspect.


The weather models are not accurate for more than a few days at a time. It is not reasonable to believe that models that cannot predict weather patterns for more than a few days at a time can be expected to be accurate for decades. The AGW folks were touting that last summer would have even worse Atlantic hurricanes but it was an unusually quiet summer. The models did not predict that the northern hemisphere would have one of the worst winters in decades. The models do predict more capricious weather patterns so that a locale could have a more severe winter one year while the surrounding areas are generally warmer which is not what is being seen.


Global warming is not an unchallenged fact by climatologists. The reporting is difficult and the modeling requires high performance computing that is not generally available. This is a difficult area that deserves much more research and funding. Most of the researchers are dedicated and hard working. There are some who appear to have political aims. Consensus opinions should not be used for such important political decisions like cap and trade. In medicine, consensus opinions often change within a few years, sometimes dramatically.



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Yah, vol, I appreciate the problems. Like most of the folks here, I just don't have enough experience or knowledge of this branch of science to be able to say much, eh? All I know is that what the science is sayin' matches my experience. The snow lines are further north, the glaciers I remember as a lad out west are much smaller, forests I loved are now experiencin' blights from warm-weather insects that never used to be able to survive a winter.


I don't buy the argument that because it's hard to predict short term weather yeh can't predict longer trends. That's just not the way it works in most things, eh? It's very hard to predict markets in the short term, but in the longer term they're driven by underlyin' economics. It's very hard to predict what cases will be filed this week in court, but it isn't too hard to make good guesses at longer-term averages or what a change in law will do to those averages. Can't speak to the rest though.


I do think cap and trade is a stupid risk, eh? It's just goin' to create another leveraged gamblin' market with no collateral. Be better if we just did the straightforward thing and taxed fossil fuels. Use the revenue to invest in nuclear, to pay for our troops, to encourage research and secure our financial and energy future. Payin' for things I reckon is just too old fashioned for modern folks.


Here I was thinkin' it was that Barney wierdo fro Massasneezit and dumb Dodd from Conneticant that forced da banks and dose Mae-girls to loan all dat money to people who couldn't pay it back


And you would be wrong in thinking that, eh?


That's a really good example of a partisan political lobby sellin' cow pies in the hopes that some sucker will buy the story that they're really chocolate.


The cause of the bankin' collapse was deregulated gambling with other people's money, using highly leveraged derivatives on dishonestly packaged tranched and bundled bond instruments.


It's kinda like this. A guy borrows a thousand dollars from you to make a decent wager on a bet that pays off 90% of the time. Then yeh loan another fellow $50,000 to make a bet that the first guy will win his bet.


Now, when the first fellow (the subprime mortgage holder) loses his bet, you could say he was "responsible" for your loss of $51,000, eh? In a way he was. But the reason that you're broke was not the $1000 loan. It was the unregulated, highly leveraged $50,000 loan to the second guy who had no real collateral.


The directives to Fannie and Freddie may or may not have been reasonable public policy. But absent the tranching, packaging, derivatives, and unsecured leveraging the bubble doesn't get as big, and defaults on regular subprimes don't put the banking system at risk. The stuff they were doin' was legally inane and economically insane.


I can't speak to global warmin' science, but I can say that yeh have to lay the blame for da financial meltdown at the feet of da Republican led deregulation that the Dems bought into. Can't say whether it was because they were Southern boys, Texas gamblers, or just plain stupid ;). Can say that they sure weren't conservatives in any way that matters.


If yeh believe anything else, that's your right. But you're buyin' cow pies, not chocolate.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"The cause of the bankin' collapse was deregulated gambling with other people's money, using highly leveraged derivatives on dishonestly packaged tranched and bundled bond instruments."


Maybe. I gather you do know something about financial markets, somewhat more than you do about AGW. I don't know much about them, so I'm definitely not sure.


I do know that GWB tried to reign in some of the MAE excesses and was blocked primarily by the Franks/Dodd axis of power. I don't know to what extent some of the MAE activities were a fundamental cause of the current financial collapse.


I do recognize -- and agree -- that the highly leveraged banking, whatever the causes that led to its being so profitable in the short term, were fundamental to the collapse.


Borrowing more than you can pay back is never prudent, but it is sometimes profitable.


However, I gather the causes are too complex for anyone to be sure why it really happened -- otherwise more than one or two would have 'seen it coming'. Also, if there was a clearly identifiable cause and effect chain, one party or the other would have been all over it. They haven't been, and although the Democrats blame the collapse on GWB, I have never seen them associate that blame with an explanation. This too suggests to me that either (a) they aren't sure why it happened either, or (b) they do know, but it's as much on them as on the Republicans.


But, to roll over and accept AGW just because you've gotten locally warmer weather is pretty silly from someone who seems to know what "tranching, packaging, derivatives, and unsecured leveraging" are. Until AGW became a religion, it was an 'accepted fact' that there were both long term (1000's of years) and short term (10's or 100's of years) climatological trends and variations. The "Little Ice Age", with effects described in Dicken's Christmas Carol, was ending at the time of the Civil War. The combatants who fought the battle near here woke up to frost in mid-September, something that's been unheard of since I was before I was a boy in the '50's.


So it's warmer now, then then.


But, is it "GW"? Probably. Is it a long term or short term trend? Dunno, and it seems likely they don't know, either. Is the "GW" primarily "AGW", instead of a non-anthropogenic "GW"? It seems pretty clear that that is unknown.


Are there state players who stand to benefit enormously if Western governments accept AGW as dogma. Yes.


Are there political views who stand to benefit enormously if Western governments accept AGW as dogma. Yes.


Is long term weather modeling even MORE SPECULATIVE than allowing banks to major in derivatives? Yes.


Does this prove that AGW is NOT happening. No.


Does this prove that it's imprudent -- at . this . time -- to bet trillions on AGW? Yes.




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