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dime21
Jul 29, 2011, 09:54 AM
A new study by former NASA climatologist find huge discrepancy between climate models and hard data. I'm surprised the Climategate criminals didn't try and suppress this somehow. :rolleyes:

http://www.dailytech.com/Study+Finds+Huge+Discrepancy+Between+Hard+Data+and+Warming+Models/article22301.htm

Alarmism and climate profiteering is dealt yet another serious blow

Many are still operating under the perception that current global warming models are "good enough" to make drastic economic decisions. That party line has been pushed, in part, by certain individuals like ex-U.S. Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who have stood to gain tremendously in personal finances by promoting alarmist and sensationalist rhetoric. Indeed, Mr. Gore's "documentary" An Inconvenient Truth painted a grim picture of a pending apocalypse and made Mr. Gore hundreds of millions in sales and speaking fees -- but its accuracy is hotly debated.

I. New Study Blasts a Hole in Current Models

In a new study, Roy Spencer, Ph.D -- a prestigious former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) climatologist who currently works at the University of Alabama -- has examined data between 2001 and 2011 gathered by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer sensor housed aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.

The study was published [PDF] in the peer-reviewed journal Remote Sensing.

The data reveals yet another thorough analysis of atmospheric heat dissipation -- an important factor in heating or cooling. And like past studies, it found that the Earth's atmosphere shed heat at a much faster rate than what's predicted in widely used global warming models.

The hard facts show that both the predictions of the amount of heat shed during a a full warming scenario, and the amount of heat shed as warming begins were understated.

As the data shows the Earth's atmosphere to be trapping less heat; that means the outcomes of any sort of human-based warming caused by the emission of carbon greenhouse gases and other compounds is likely overstated. Thus the dire predictions of models used by the United Nation's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and researchers are likely flawed.

States Professor Spencer in a press release from University of Alabama, "The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show. There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."

This is a critical conclusion as it shows that the secondary "indirect" trapping from atmospheric water may be far less than previously predicted.

II. Supporting Evidence Builds Stronger Case

The new study isn't necessarily cause to abandon climate models altogether. After all, understanding our planet's climate is the key to growing better crops and protecting people from natural disasters. That said, the models likely will need a major overhaul, one which some leading climate alarmists may regret.

Supporting evidence strengthens the case that such an overhaul is needed.

Researchers at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have been baffled by the fact that the widely used climate models were failing to properly predict atmospheric humidity and the rate of cirrus cloud formation -- phenomena driven by atmospheric heat.

Few public voiced such thoughts, likely for fear of persecution by their more sensationalist warming colleagues. Still, despite the politics, the data crept silently into several studies.

Additionally, sensors aboard NASA's ERBS satellite collected long-wave radiation (resulting from escaping atmospheric heat) between 1985 and 1999 than was predicted by computer models.

Between the relatively comprehensive volume satellite and atmospheric data, the picture appears clear -- the climate models are badly flawed.

III. Indirect v. Direct Warming

So what's the difference between direct and indirect warming? Well, direct warming is caused by substance like carbon dioxide, which trap a certain amount of heat when they're found in large quantities in the atmosphere.

While carbon dioxide has been vilified in the media, peer reviewed research states with relative certainty that it is actually a very weak greenhouse gas and a weak contributor to "direct" warming.

The fearful hypothesis, which alarmists have been pleased to promote, is that carbon's direct heating -- while small -- will somehow throw the environment out of whack, causing an increased abundance of atmospheric water. As water is a far better greenhouse gas at trapping heat, this could lead to a domino effect -- or so they say.

But the new study shows that the predictions of runaway indirect heating are likely badly flawed.

IV. The New Climate Picture

The new study doesn't dismiss that warming will occur if man keeps burning fossil fuels. Rather, it indicates that it will likely occur at a much gentler pace than previously predicted, and that the maximum temperature reached will likely be lower the predicted, as well.

This is significant as alarmists have tried to use the hypothesis of rapid runaway warming as a justification for sweeping economic changes. Under a gentler warming scenario, slowly rises in sea levels would not be that big a deal as mankind would have plenty of time to adjust to them. Plus the levels would not rise as fast as previously predicted.

Of course, this means some of the "good effects" of warming -- such as resource harvesting in an ice-free Arctic -- won't be realized either. Thus the more temperate, data-based climate picture has both advantages and disadvantages versus the more fantastic past models.

V. A Brave Scientist

Professor Spencer deserves to be commended for his thorough analysis and outstanding work. It takes a bold man to defy some of one's colleagues when they're clearly perpetrating a factual inaccuracy.

It's not hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for Professor Spencer to get his work funded and published in a field dominated by NASA, whose higher ranks are heavily dominated by pro-warming advocates like James Hansen. The Nov. 2009 "climategate" email scandal at the University of East Anglia seemingly confirmed what many suspected -- it's hard for scientists to voice alternate opinions given the dogmatic state of climate research.

And yet it's tremendously important to do so.

For the most part, everyday environmentalists who have bought into the rhetoric of wealthy entrepreneurs like Mr. Gore, or powerful research chiefs like James Hansen did not personally profit off of the alarmism and approached the climatology debate with the best of intentions.

Sadly, in doing so pressing real environmental crises like the destruction of the Earth's rainforests faded into the background. Further, the climate emphasis led, in some cases, to lesser cuts to toxic gases such as nitrogen and sulfur compounds produced in the burning of fossil fuels. Regulators allowed greater levels of these gases, so they could focus on forcing industry to adopt stricter carbon standards.

These toxic gases have contributed tremendously, according to thorough peer review, to problems like asthma. Thus the climate alarmism may have indirectly cost the public's money, the health of the environment, but the public's health, as well.

NT1440
Jul 29, 2011, 10:05 AM
Hilarious, now that you have some data that supports your viewpoint, suddenly you believe in the scientific method.

How very credible of you. :roll eyes:

Keep in mind this is one study. One.

miloblithe
Jul 29, 2011, 11:14 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_%28scientist%29

Spencer is a signatory of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation's "An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming".[22]

The declaration states:

"We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth's climate system is no exception."


He's also on the board of directors of the George C. Marshall Institute, a conservative think tank, and is on the board of advisors of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

StruckANerve
Jul 29, 2011, 12:55 PM
I am going to be keeping an eye on this one. It seems like legit research. And attacking his associations in his personal life is petty. Let the science stand on its own.

jnpy!$4g3cwk
Jul 29, 2011, 12:57 PM
A new study by former NASA climatologist find huge discrepancy between climate models and hard data. I'm surprised the Climategate criminals didn't try and suppress this somehow. :rolleyes:

http://www.dailytech.com/Study+Finds+Huge+Discrepancy+Between+Hard+Data+and+Warming+Models/article22301.htm

I'm glad that you see the necessity for much more research in this area. The purpose of these satellites is to understand the physics better.

thejadedmonkey
Jul 29, 2011, 01:00 PM
Meanwhile, I can count on one hand how many days it's been below 89 in my area in the past month, where 85 was considered hot, ten years ago.

leekohler
Jul 29, 2011, 01:18 PM
Meanwhile, I can count on one hand how many days it's been below 89 in my area in the past month, where 85 was considered hot, ten years ago.

Yep- same here. I was talking to some of the guys on my hockey team about how they used to play hockey outside on ponds in the winter here. They said it's not been possible for over ten years now, because it never gets cold enough, long enough anymore. Wonder why that is?

Tomorrow
Jul 29, 2011, 01:42 PM
Meanwhile, I can count on one hand how many days it's been below 89 in my area in the past month, where 85 was considered hot, ten years ago.

Yep- same here. I was talking to some of the guys on my hockey team about how they used to play hockey outside on ponds in the winter here. They said it's not been possible for over ten years now, because it never gets cold enough, long enough anymore. Wonder why that is?

Small sample size. In the 16 years I've lived in Texas, this past winter was the most brutally cold we've ever had, by far (by our standards, of course). Six snow days resulting in school closings - I've never seen more than two before. Temperatures in the single digits when the 99.6% design condition is 17°.

Does that mean the Earth is getting colder? Of course not; this summer has been equally brutal for us, even for what we're used to.

Gelfin
Jul 29, 2011, 01:44 PM
Okay, first, the University of Alabama in Huntsville is not the University of Alabama. Completely different schools. Spencer does not work for UA. He works for UAH.

He's also a complete nut. He's been playing this same tune in various forms for years now, often using statistical trickery to cook data consistent with his pre-formed religiously-driven conclusion that humans do not affect the climate. It's actually a sign of how his position is eroding that the new finding says only that warming is happening more slowly than models indicate, not that it isn't happening.

Spencer is not doing science right. He's hardly doing it at all.

EDIT: Oh, and by the way, the last paragraph -- or should I say hagiograph -- of the article the OP posted is hilarious. Can we get a picture of him staring off into the distance with an American flag waving behind him to go along with that?

Mousse
Jul 29, 2011, 01:47 PM
The data reveals yet another thorough analysis of atmospheric heat dissipation -- an important factor in heating or cooling. And like past studies, it found that the Earth's atmosphere shed heat at a much faster rate than what's predicted in widely used global warming models.

Oh no! Mother Earth is spewing out heat faster than scientist previously thought. It's the dawn of a new Ice Age. It's The Day After Tomorrow.:p I should work for Faux News.;) Have the gotten hold of the story yet? They better not steal my Ice Age angle.:p

Lord Blackadder
Jul 29, 2011, 02:04 PM
It is not even necessary to mention his conservative political connections. Just look at his work on climate change - it's sloppy and extremely suspect. Most of his work output is geared toward getting his controversial opinions out to the general public, rather than winning over the scientific community. He is a partisan shill.

Classic tactic nowadays...if your professional peers think you are a quack, write a popular book and try to fool the ignorant.

jnpy!$4g3cwk
Jul 29, 2011, 02:22 PM
It is not even necessary to mention his conservative political connections.

50 years ago, conservatives were saying that we had to develop nuclear power because of global warming. Now they are saying that there is no global warming. I guess conservatives aren't what they used to be.

Lord Blackadder
Jul 29, 2011, 02:39 PM
I guess conservatives aren't what they used to be.

Nothing is what it used to be; the validity of an approach should be measured in part by its ability to adapt to a changing world. Yesterday's progressives may be today's reactionaries.

hulugu
Jul 29, 2011, 03:19 PM
I am going to be keeping an eye on this one. It seems like legit research. And attacking his associations in his personal life is petty. Let the science stand on it's own.

Sure, I mean there's thousands of research projects that continue to find strong evidence for climate change, let's focus on one that presents some doubt.

Being a skeptic is fine, but I find it interesting to watch a single Forbes article—not known for its science coverage—wend its way through the conservative media-sphere based on a flawed scientific article.

Second, this isn't Spencer personal associations we're talking about, rather we're discussing associations that may motivate and polemicize his scientific work. I disagree with Discover on this, it's not an ad hominem to discuss his motivations. He is an avowed skeptic who works for Exxon.

StruckANerve
Jul 29, 2011, 04:57 PM
Sure, I mean there's thousands of research projects that continue to find strong evidence for climate change, let's focus on one that presents some doubt.

Being a skeptic is fine, but I find it interesting to watch a single Forbes article—not known for its science coverage—wend its way through the conservative media-sphere based on a flawed scientific article.

Second, this isn't Spencer personal associations we're talking about, rather we're discussing associations that may motivate and polemicize his scientific work. I disagree with Discover on this, it's not an ad hominem to discuss his motivations. He is an avowed skeptic who works for Exxon.

Don't get me wrong, I am fairly convinced of the negative impact humans are having on the climate and I do believe the planet is warming. I am not, however, completely opposed to the idea that the effect we are having might be exaggerated. After a bit of digging I did find that Dr. Spencer has repeatedly put forth papers with very flawed methods of calculation, so his reputation and motivation is very questionable. Let's just say I will await the scientific communities assessment of this new paper.

iJohnHenry
Jul 29, 2011, 05:13 PM
Cormorants have been sighted in flocks, just off Toronto harbour.

First time in many moons, Ke-mo sah-bee.

Just sayin'. ;)

AP_piano295
Jul 29, 2011, 05:38 PM
I'm surprised the Climategate criminals didn't try and suppress this somehow. :rolleyes:


You are aware that it was determined that no wrong doing or manipulation of data occurred during the contrived "Clmategate" scandal?

In other words Climategate never actually happened....

184550
Jul 29, 2011, 05:39 PM
I am going to be keeping an eye on this one. It seems like legit research. And attacking his associations in his personal life is petty. Let the science stand on its own.

Exactly. If the science is legitimate then his personal opinions/ beliefs are irrelevant.

The key word I saw was 'peer reviewed journal'. If there are issues I'm sure we'll hear about them.

Lord Blackadder
Jul 29, 2011, 05:44 PM
I'm sure we'll hear about them.

Only if you listen.

Eraserhead
Jul 29, 2011, 05:49 PM
Yep- same here. I was talking to some of the guys on my hockey team about how they used to play hockey outside on ponds in the winter here. They said it's not been possible for over ten years now, because it never gets cold enough, long enough anymore. Wonder why that is?

Last time before the last year or two there was serious snow here was 1990.

184550
Jul 29, 2011, 05:49 PM
Only if you listen.

I'm sure someone will relish posting that development to this thread. I eagerly anticipate its arrival.

Lord Blackadder
Jul 29, 2011, 05:57 PM
I'm sure someone will relish posting that development to this thread. I eagerly anticipate its arrival.

At this point I'm not rejecting his paper out of hand, but people who desire to give his position undue weight are loudly trumpeting a single article in a journal. He is currently badly outnumbered, and if you give his single article in a peer reviewed journal a great deal of credence than surely you are willing to give a correspondingly greater credence to the large number of articles in peer reviewed journals (easily available though a cursory search of journals on the web, though Google, or in any universary library) that suggest evidence for anthropogenic climate change? Why is his single article more important than a large number of at least equally credible articles that you may disagree with?

If his work results in a major reversal of the scientific consensus, then he is vindicated. If not, we can legitimiately declare his position fringe science at best.

184550
Jul 29, 2011, 06:01 PM
At this point I'm not rejecting his paper out of hand, but people who desire to give his position undue weight are trumpeting a single article in a journal. He is currently badly outnumbered, and if you give his single article in a peer reviewed journal a great deal of credance than surely you are willing to give a correspondingly greater credance to the large number of articles in peer reviewed journals (easily available though a cursory search of journals on the web, though Google, or in any universary library) that suggest evidence for anthropogenic climate change? Why is his single article more important than a large number of at least equally credible articles that you may disagree with?

Of course.

I think you've mistakenly assumed I have an opinion on Global Warming. FWIW I'm not a science and math guy. I'd rather leave that stuff to the experts; who ever they may be.

Daffodil
Jul 29, 2011, 06:02 PM
For all of you who haven't already, I very strongly urge you to read "Merchants of Doubt" by Naomi Oreskes. As a historian of science, she analyzes the whole climate debate from a historical point of view and demonstrates pretty convincingly how it's been settled by science for a good long time in favor - if you wish to call it that - of ongoing anthropogenic climate change.

She draws a very convincing parallel to the tobacco industry's decades of denial and deliberate deception in light of mounds of evidence to the contrary. It's an excellent summary of how ridiculous the whole climate "debate" is at this point, and how we desperately need to shift our focus to how to combat it. Heaven knows there'll be enough to argue about as far as implementing real policy, let alone this petty squabbling and putting your fingers in your ears pretending that the problem doesn't exist.

Although it's written in such a style that she sort of hits you over the head with the main arguments, it's still a fantastic, enlightening, very evidence-based read.

hulugu
Jul 29, 2011, 06:05 PM
Exactly. If the science is legitimate then his personal opinions/ beliefs are irrelevant.

The key word I saw was 'peer reviewed journal'. If there are issues I'm sure we'll hear about them.

His personal opinions are influencing his science. As nmrrjw66 noted, his calculations are often flawed and that's really the problem with men like Spencer feign iconoclasm when they're really just bad scientists.

Not many scientists get glowing essays in Forbes magazine and the reason is entirely politics.

184550
Jul 29, 2011, 06:09 PM
His personal opinions are influencing his science. As nmrrjw66 noted, his calculations are often flawed and that's really the problem with men like Spencer feign iconoclasm when they're really just bad scientists.

Not many scientists get glowing essays in Forbes magazine and the reason is entirely politics.

Did you miss my entire post? :confused:

Lord Blackadder
Jul 29, 2011, 06:32 PM
Did you miss my entire post? :confused:

Earlier you posted this:

Exactly. If the science is legitimate then his personal opinions/ beliefs are irrelevant.

The key word I saw was 'peer reviewed journal'. If there are issues I'm sure we'll hear about them.

Some of Spencer's scientific observations may be legitimate (I haven't examined them in detail) - but are his interpretations of that data garnering consensus? No. Spencer's modelling from the article in the OP has already been criticised (http://www.livescience.com/15293-climate-change-cloud-cover.html) for a number of shortcomings. In other words, the science does not appear to be legitimate. It's also worth pointing out, as numerous others have, that the article has been primarily publicized in non-scientific media, by magazines and websites with well-established political agendas, but no credible scientific background.

A second observation I would make is that his personal opinions/beliefs do matter if they serve as a motive to promulgate sloppy science. Michael Behe attempted the same nonsense with intelligent design and failed miserably. Now nobody is listening to him anymore aside from his own acolytes.

184550
Jul 29, 2011, 06:37 PM
Earlier you posted this:

Exactly.

hulugu seems to think that was a glowing affirmation of his conclusions.

Oh well, I suppose some people only see what they want to see.

Lord Blackadder
Jul 29, 2011, 06:47 PM
Oh well, I suppose some people only see what they want to see.

I thought you were giving him too much credit myself...you said that "if there were issues" they would be revealed. I think they already have, as I mentioned above. Sorry if I seemed fixated, but I wanted to make it clear that Spencer's science is already very much in question, as are his motives.

I also want to add, as a general point, that getting an article published in a journal is not, in itself, tantamount to acquiring scientific consensus. It simply means that it has passed muster with a small group of peer reviewers and the editorial staff. It is up to the broader scientific community to then either accept or challenge the author's work. Many journal articles have been published and eventually debunked - some such work was the result of honest research that proved a blind alley, others were the result of sloppy science or outright fraud. No single check is perfect, but over time murder will out.

.Andy
Jul 29, 2011, 06:48 PM
It's also worth pointing out, as numerous others have, that the article has been primarily publicized in non-scientific media, by magazines and websites with well-established political agendas, but no credible scientific background.
The article contained all the favourite push buttons of climate deniers. Al gore mentioned over and over (and a picture with caption), calling spencer "brave" in his fight against the establishment, climate alarmism, tenuous links between CO2 reduction policy and adverse outcomes (in this case asthma), individuals financially profiting (gore), and suppression of alternate "research". And a picture of a woman in a swimsuit for some titillation. It's got everything a denier could hope for.

dime21
Jul 30, 2011, 05:44 PM
Meanwhile, I can count on one hand how many days it's been below 89 in my area in the past month, where 85 was considered hot, ten years ago.

Yep- same here. I was talking to some of the guys on my hockey team about how they used to play hockey outside on ponds in the winter here. They said it's not been possible for over ten years now, because it never gets cold enough, long enough anymore. Wonder why that is?

Weather != Climate. This is a concept the alarmists can't seem to grasp hold of. You had a warm winter, ok, well we had record snows this past winter on the east coast... and both of these data points mean precisely nothing at all in discussion on climate.

Most of his work output is geared toward getting his controversial opinions out to the general public, rather than winning over the scientific community. He is a partisan shill.
I think you just described Al Gore and his cronies. No science to the junk they're pushing, just politics and $$$.

.Andy
Jul 30, 2011, 06:25 PM
No science to the junk they're pushing, just politics and $$$.
You are probably not in the best position to throw stones given you heralded an article about a "scientist" that believes god has made the earth robust enough to with stand climate change and is also a creationist. The very definition of junk science.

hulugu
Jul 31, 2011, 12:05 AM
Exactly.

hulugu seems to think that was a glowing affirmation of his conclusions.

No, you're mischaracterizing my point. However, Lord Blackadder did a better job of explaining what I was trying to say.

Oh well, I suppose some people only see what they want to see.

I just got distracted by John Slattery's silver hair.

bassfingers
Aug 1, 2011, 08:41 AM
Meanwhile, I can count on one hand how many days it's been below 89 in my area in the past month, where 85 was considered hot, ten years ago.

Yep- same here. I was talking to some of the guys on my hockey team about how they used to play hockey outside on ponds in the winter here. They said it's not been possible for over ten years now, because it never gets cold enough, long enough anymore. Wonder why that is?

And when you have an unusually cold winter, I bet you'll all cry "...uhhh... Climate change!"

Have your cake and eat it too. Meanwhile, I'm not going to stress over an imaginary problem (*cough* political weapon)

NT1440
Aug 1, 2011, 09:44 AM
And when you have an unusually cold winter, I bet you'll all cry "...uhhh... Climate change!"

Have your cake and eat it too. Meanwhile, I'm not going to stress over an imaginary problem (*cough* political weapon)

So does science just bother you or do you just like to ignore reality?

Heres the thing, it doesn't matter what you believe. There is every incentive to "go green" and stop the impact we are having on the planet, from a business and security standpoint. The faster we can get this country sustainable and producing all of its own energy needs, the faster we will truly "win the future."

The benefits of the initiatives started to combat climate change vastly outweigh the short term costs with long term sustainability, so whether or not climate change is real (it is.), the response should be the same if we are serious about this being the greatest country on earth in the 21st century. Right now we are just basking in our 20th century greatness while EVERYTHING falls to **** around us.

Sydde
Aug 1, 2011, 11:02 AM
The benefits of the initiatives started to combat climate change vastly outweigh the short term costs with long term sustainability

Here's the thing: sustainability countervails growth. You have to choose. Do you want (cyclic) economic growth or sustainability? The former is to just continue to get as much stuff out of mines and into landfills as quickly as possible, as we have been doing. The latter is the difficult path, examining our values, determining who benefits from economic metastasis and how that formula can be changed to harm the fewest.

"Green" is little more than marketing irony. Sustainability is a completely different animal. Life is short, eat dessert first.

hulugu
Aug 1, 2011, 12:33 PM
And when you have an unusually cold winter, I bet you'll all cry "...uhhh... Climate change!"

Have your cake and eat it too. Meanwhile, I'm not going to stress over an imaginary problem (*cough* political weapon)

Why do you think it's an imaginary problem?

AP_piano295
Aug 1, 2011, 12:45 PM
Why do you think it's an imaginary problem?

He does make the fair point that people who believe in climate change are inconsistent with the message.

Doesn't make it any less real but we should be careful with how we portray the effects or we risk losing legitimacy.

(Though for the record this inaccurate portrayal comes from the general population not the scientific community)

hulugu
Aug 1, 2011, 01:05 PM
He does make the fair point that people who believe in climate change are inconsistent with the message.

Doesn't make it any less real but we should be careful with how we portray the effects or we risk losing legitimacy.

(Though for the record this inaccurate portrayal comes from the general population not the scientific community)

Look, if people want to use local weather to argue for or against climate change, that's not something that scientists can really deal with. People have used all manner of scientific theories for their own ideas and will continue to do so: evolution and 'darwinism' being one of the most common.

Of course, weathermen should stop referencing climate change every time there's a especially powerful storm.

Lord Blackadder
Aug 1, 2011, 01:20 PM
He does make the fair point that people who believe in climate change are inconsistent with the message.

Doesn't make it any less real but we should be careful with how we portray the effects or we risk losing legitimacy.

The evidence for it is real, and has been explained by specialists with much more precision than any memeber of the general public (or any politician) could. They have been ignored by the deniers, who put their stock in quack science and/or outright lies.

AP_piano295
Aug 1, 2011, 09:05 PM
The evidence for it is real, and has been explained by specialists with much more precision than any memeber of the general public (or any politician) could. They have been ignored by the deniers, who put their stock in quack science and/or outright lies.

You don't have to convince me I'm well aware that it is very very real. And it is almost certainly 95-98% caused by human action.

I'm just making the point that we should refrain from saying "this heat wave is global warming" or because it sort of makes arguments like "this snow storm proves it's not" seem valid. We should also stop using the term global warming as it's horribly mis-leading.

NT1440
Aug 1, 2011, 09:51 PM
You don't have to convince me I'm well aware that it is very very real. And it is almost certainly 95-98% caused by human action.

I'm just making the point that we should refrain from saying "this heat wave is global warming" or because it sort of makes arguments like "this snow storm proves it's not" seem valid. We should also stop using the term global warming as it's horribly mis-leading.
Agreed in full. While it is still too simple a term, I try to use climate change at the very least. Global warming just warps the public understanding.

Pachang
Aug 2, 2011, 02:10 PM
Does anyone apart from me think that computer models are the wrong way to go about figuring out what the temperature is going to be in fifty years anyway?

Computers adding,multiplying and substracting lots of dependent variables who's interrelationships cannot be exactly known isn't a scientific experiment. It's a computer model. Many don't understand that it isn't the same thing.

Many of the worlds best economists were using computer models to predict economic trends. None of them saw the GFC coming. I am not that confident that the world's best climate scientists and their models will do much better. At least not until the field has developed a lot more.

hulugu
Aug 2, 2011, 02:37 PM
Does anyone apart from me think that computer models are the wrong way to go about figuring out what the temperature is going to be in fifty years anyway?

Computers adding,multiplying and substracting lots of dependent variables who's interrelationships cannot be exactly known isn't a scientific experiment. It's a computer model. Many don't understand that it isn't the same thing.

Many of the worlds best economists were using computer models to predict economic trends. None of them saw the GFC coming. I am not that confident that the world's best climate scientists and their models will do much better. At least not until the field has developed a lot more.

Well, since computer models are used in hundreds of scientific and engineering applications this argument holds very little water. Flight simulators, structural load tests, air pollutant distribution, noise mitigation, car crash modeling, molecular modeling for drug testing are some examples of computer modeling that is effective and brings testable results.

It's important to remember that scientists continuously adjust and test these models even as they're seeking out better and better data to input into these models.

Lord Blackadder
Aug 2, 2011, 02:42 PM
Does anyone apart from me think that computer models are the wrong way to go about figuring out what the temperature is going to be in fifty years anyway?

Predictive modeling is a valid approach, though it has plenty of limitations. it may not accurately predict the future, but it does allow us to predict a range of possible outcomes.

Really, there is no better alternative.

Mousse
Aug 2, 2011, 03:40 PM
Does anyone apart from me think that computer models are the wrong way to go about figuring out what the temperature is going to be in fifty years anyway?

You're not the only one. Heck, it's only as accurate as the data and the methodology. So seeing how they can't even get the next week's forecast right, I don't see how they can be so certain of temperature fifty years from now.:rolleyes: Get those boffins working on a better model. I'll listen then.

.Andy
Aug 2, 2011, 04:36 PM
Sometimes comments in climate change threads are so absurd that it is hard to tell sarcasm from a serious post.

skunk
Aug 2, 2011, 04:39 PM
I can't think what you're referring to.

dukebound85
Aug 2, 2011, 04:40 PM
You're not the only one. Heck, it's only as accurate as the data and the methodology. So seeing how they can't even get the next week's forecast right, I don't see how they can be so certain of temperature fifty years from now.:rolleyes: Get those boffins working on a better model. I'll listen then.

climate does not equal weather and the methods for forecasting the two are indeed different

iJohnHenry
Aug 2, 2011, 05:15 PM
How about a detailed study of changes in the Polar ice caps?

We should be able to do this, and have actual data, and not computer "speculation", which is only as good as the programming that went into it.

.Andy
Aug 2, 2011, 05:25 PM
How about a detailed study of changes in the Polar ice caps?

We should be able to do this, and have actual data, and not computer "speculation", which is only as good as the programming that went into it.
Are you under the impression that polar ice caps have not, and are not continuing to be studied?

Lord Blackadder
Aug 2, 2011, 05:31 PM
Are you under the impression that polar ice caps have not, and are not continuing to be studied?

A cursory glance at a series of old and new USGS maps can provide the answer to that. "Studying" the rate of melt for glaciers and the ice caps is as old as the science/art of mapping.

Living in Alaska has placed me in a position to both directly observe increased glacial retreat, and to also observe the loud protests of climate change deniers who live almost literally in the shadow of said glaciers. Fiddling while Rome burns.

gibbz
Aug 2, 2011, 05:33 PM
Here (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/) is a piece from a highly reputable scientist (http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/trenbert.html) that directly and clearly addresses the paper's inadequacies.

It is worth the read.

To help interpret the results, Spencer uses a simple model. But the simple model used by Spencer is too simple (Einstein says that things should be made as simple as possible but not simpler): well this has gone way beyond being too simple

.Andy
Aug 2, 2011, 05:36 PM
A cursory glance at a series of old and new USGS maps can provide the answer to that. "Studying" the rate of melt for glaciers and the ice caps is as old as the science/art of mapping.

Living in Alaska has placed me in a position to both directly observe increased glacial retreat, and to also observe the loud protests of climate change deniers who live almost literally in the shadow of said glaciers. Fiddling while Rome burns.
From my limited travel I have always been touched by the affinity most people have for their glaciers. They are almost as if they are living family members rather than flows of ice. Pity some people will place politics over science but unlike climate that's something that will never change.

gibbz
Aug 2, 2011, 05:39 PM
Pity some people will place politics over science but unlike climate that's something that will never change.

Unfortunately for these politicians, they do not have the luxury of waiting until the last minute to make (attempts at) good changes at the last minute like they did with the recent debt limit debate. The last minute is here.

EricNau
Aug 2, 2011, 05:41 PM
I hadn't caught this thread earlier, but one of my favorite scientists addressed this article as well:

No, new data does not “blow a gaping hole in global warming alarmism” (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/07/29/no-new-data-does-not-blow-a-gaping-hole-in-global-warming-alarmism/) by Phil Plait.

I found it interesting.

Lord Blackadder
Aug 2, 2011, 05:43 PM
^ Good links from both of you, by the way.

Unfortunately for these politicians, they do not have the luxury of waiting until the last minute to make (attempts at) good changes at the last minute like they did with the recent debt limit debate. The last minute is here.

An interesting comparison - the difference being that politicians have the power to decide when the last minute comes in the debt crisis - they can stage-manage the whole affair.

In the case of anthropogenic climate change, their time constraints are defined by someone else. And therein lies the rub.

firestarter
Aug 2, 2011, 06:09 PM
Even if one didn't believe a word of climate change science, energy security is a compelling enough reason to try and reduce reliance on petrochemicals - even for the most hawkish commentator.