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Subject: Global warming confirmed, again rss

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Matt Thrower
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Hi,

Saw on the news this morning that yet another study has confirmed that the earth is warming up. It's particularly interesting because:

* Their graph of temperature changes over the last few decades agree almost exactly with that of previous groups, in spite of taking into account "heat islands" and other effects that climate sceptics have claimed mean previous research is flawed.

* They were partly funded by money from climate sceptic groups, such as charities run by the Koch Brothers, and so should be free from claims of bias.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15373071

I was particularly amused by the call at the bottom of the article for Rick Perry (and others) to apologise for being wrong regarding global warming. I'd be amazed if we see that.

Of course if you've got a sceptical frame of mind on this issue, this study does not confirm that the warming is man made. That's an important issue which does need to be clarified in a similar manner, if possible. Indeed this study claims to have found a possible new source for natural warming over previous decades. But hopefully now we can move on to answering that question, because this one looks pretty settled to me.
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Won't change the sceptic's minds - they will just change the goalposts to some other target.
As you say, they have already moved away from denying that the Earth is warming to claiming that the warming is not man-made.
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Liam
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The irrational will stay irrational.

I wonder how long it will take for the funders to drop out of the project?

And instead put that money towards clean coal, ethanol, catching emissions and lobbying for tax cuts for these industries and other billionaires so they can save the world. Ah green wash.

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Eric Knauer
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MattDP wrote:

Of course if you've got a sceptical frame of mind on this issue, this study does not confirm that the warming is man made. That's an important issue which does need to be clarified in a similar manner, if possible. Indeed this study claims to have found a possible new source for natural warming over previous decades. But hopefully now we can move on to answering that question, because this one looks pretty settled to me.


The "new source" is what many of the "skeptics" have been discussing for years. It seems this study has caught up to their ideas.

Quote:
The Berkeley group does depart from the "orthodox" picture of climate science in its depiction of short-term variability in the global temperature.

The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is generally thought to be the main reason for inter-annual warming or cooling.

But by the Berkeley team's analysis, the global temperature correlates more closely with the state of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index - a measure of sea surface temperature in the north Atlantic.

There are theories suggesting that the AMO index is in turn driven by fluctuations in the north Atlantic current commonly called the Gulf Stream.

The team suggests it is worth investigating whether the long-term AMO cycles, which are thought to last 65-70 years, may play a part in the temperature rise, fall and rise again seen during the 20th Century.

 
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Wow, what an obnoxious bunch of physicists.

Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK," said Prof Muller.

"This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change sceptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.


So, you assembled a team of ten physicists to test the claims by "skeptic" bloggers, and then were surprised when the climatalogists were correct and the bloggers were not?
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In their defence they were being paid by a funders that probably wished to disprove the results of the other teams. So the write up may be written in such a way as not to rock the funders boat.

The second line is not obnoxious but supportive IMO, particularly given some of the flack levelled at the researches from the University of East Anglia.
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Kevin C wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
Wow, what an obnoxious bunch of physicists.



(I'm allowed to post that, 'cos I am one.)


What, a liberal-arts major? whistle
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Interesting to watch the squirming of Anthony Watts given that he said:

Anthony Watts wrote:
And, I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results. I haven’t seen the global result, nobody has, not even the home team, but the method isn’t the madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU, and, there aren’t any monetary strings attached to the result that I can tell. If the project was terminated tomorrow, nobody loses jobs, no large government programs get shut down, and no dependent programs crash either. That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet.


http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/06/briggs-on-berkeleys-be...
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Eric Knauer
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Kevin C wrote:
eknauer wrote:
The "new source" is what many of the "skeptics" have been discussing for years. It seems this study has caught up to their ideas.


Sigh. You didn't actually read the paper, did you?

The correlation with the AMO is on a pre-whitened version of the temperature data, i.e. with the long term trends removed. Once the long term trend of the temperature data is removed, the AMO explains slightly more of the short-term wiggles about that trend than ENSO, which has commonly been used for that purpose. The paper presents no evidence of an AMO contribution to climate change, because it only deals with variations on a 2-15 year timescale.

The only comments it makes relevent to climate change is in the penultimate paragraph of the discussion, in which it speculates about the longer term variations in the AMO. They suggest some possibilities, including that the longer term variations are driven by climate change, or that they are contributing to climate change. They don't draw a conclusion because they don't have any basis to draw any.


From the paper:

Quote:
some of the long-­term change in the AMO could be driven by natural variability, e.g. fluctuations in thermohaline flow. In that case the human
component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated


This seems consistent with some of the "denialists" claims that the science is not settled and that the "warmist" models did not predict a quarter of a century without significant warming.

The original piece says "It is now time for an apology from all those, including US presidential hopeful Rick Perry, who have made false claims that the evidence for global warming has been faked by climate scientists."

If they are using Perry is a symbol of the "denialist" position, then I agree with this statement.
 
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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
Won't change the sceptic's minds - they will just change the goalposts to some other target.
As you say, they have already moved away from denying that the Earth is warming to claiming that the warming is not man-made.


Yes, to them it's all just a massive coincidence that the warming happens to take place right after the Industrial Revolution...
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If those scientists were smart they would have fudged the data to agree with the Koch financiers desires. That would have resulted in a large amount of financing from that camp.
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Eric Knauer
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Kevin C wrote:
eknauer wrote:
From the paper:

Quote:
some of the long-­term change in the AMO could be driven by natural variability, e.g. fluctuations in thermohaline flow. In that case the human
component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated


This seems consistent with some of the "denialists" claims that the science is not settled and that the "warmist" models did not predict a quarter of a century without significant warming.


If you take it out of context, I guess you can misread it like that. If you read the context and also ignore the rest of the science in the field then no. It is clear from the context that you omitted that they are simply stating a range of possibilities at this point. And there has been plenty of other work, observational as well as model based, which provides ample evidence that recent warming is consistent with the atmospheric greenhouse effect.


Which isn't contrary to some of the "denialists" crowd. The Rick Perry's of the world? Yes, but not others who acknowledge AGW but disagree about the degree and current ability to predict.

Quote:
Finally, we can always fall back on the first law of thermodynamics. If the climate is being warmed be heat from the oceans, then the oceans should be cooling. But they're not.


No disagreement here if Rick Perry is someone representing the denialists who dismisses the first law of thermodynamics.
 
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The J wrote:
Moving the goalposts? Isn't this pretty much exactly how science works? Be skeptical of a claim, test it, prove it, be skeptical of the follow up claim, test it, prove it.

How is that moving the goalposts?


Because the goal, in this instance, is not "prove that global warming exists or does not exist." The goal is "enact no policies that could potentially curb global warming if they involve real costs."

With that goal, it's easy to shift goalposts so long as you can keep coming up with rationalizations to do nothing. At first, the rationalization was "there actually isn't any global warming going on, so we shouldn't do anything" (which some RSPers still advance). Then there's "okay, global warming is happening, but it's not man-made so we shouldn't do anything." From there, one progresses to "okay, global warming is man-made, but we can't do anything/it's too late/we should be pursuing adaptive technologies instead/etc."

The truth that all of these positions are usually advanced by the same people at various points of their supposed skepticism makes this quite evident.
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Well, is it proven to your satisfaction now? If not, the meme may live another day.
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The J wrote:
You have to show the money being spent the way you want it to be spent will actually have an effect.


If that was the case, no government would spend money on any new scheme for anything, ever.

You can't know whether something is going to work until you've tried it. Unfortunately, we only get one shot at this, and the do nothing approach may wreck the planet. The do something approach may cost a few percent of GDP. The only way to unequivocally prove that the global warming effect is man made is to stop pumping out all the pollutants and see if it stops. Demanding that sort of level of proof before we act is a no-win situation, and 'sceptics' know it.

I would contend that even if global warming is not man made (and I think it extremely unlikely, based on the data) that surely a move away from fossil fuels (which will run out, and whose pollution is not just limited to CO2) towards forms of energy that are endlessly renewable, and theoretically cheaper once the generation infrastructure is in place, makes sense anyway?
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Jeff
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The J wrote:
It just seems to me that the goalposts ARE placed directly at proving anthropomorphic global warming.


Is that the kind of global warming that involves a super-weird type of yiffing?
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Dane Peacock
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Kevin C wrote:
So actually I think the evidence suggests that your perception of what is and is not known is suspect.


So awesome. I hereby nominate the preceding statement as the official motto of RSP.
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mightygodking wrote:
With that goal, it's easy to shift goalposts so long as you can keep coming up with rationalizations to do nothing. At first, the rationalization was "there actually isn't any global warming going on, so we shouldn't do anything" (which some RSPers still advance). Then there's "okay, global warming is happening, but it's not man-made so we shouldn't do anything." From there, one progresses to "okay, global warming is man-made, but we can't do anything/it's too late/we should be pursuing adaptive technologies instead/etc."


You missed the last one.

"Okay, global warming is man-made, there is nothing we can do about it, there is nothing we can do to deal with it, sure we'd all die normally as a result...but our Invisible Sky Friend Jesus will come and restore the Earth as he'd never ACTUALLY let us all kill ourselves off*"

* I've actually heard this position argued, FWIW. Not by a major organization - just individuals - but give it a few years. It'll take off.
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In other news, Edward Wegman, the statistician who authored the report commissioned by Joe Barton which "confirmed" climate auditor/mining consultant Stephen McIntyre's criticism of the hockey stick has been caught repeatedly plagiarizing from Wikipedia in his latest article.

Wegman,favorite source of RSP climate skeptics worldwide, was already under investigation for plagiarizing large sections of "the Wegman report" (for which he blamed a grad student) and other papers.

This is now his 5th published paper which has been found to substantially rely on unattributed internet sources.

Maybe he should finally get rid of that pesky graduate research assistant?

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/201...

http://deepclimate.org/2011/10/04/said-and-wegman-2009-subop...
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The J wrote:


Did this study prove that we have anthropomorphic global warming. No, it didn't. It continues to support global warming. But that was like the 30 yard line. I think that was well settled a decade ago. I mean if man is not the cause of the global warming then spending a ton of money to offset that seems like a bit of a waste.


You're correct that nothing has been "proven", and that this study along with many others supports our current understanding of AGW. What you don't understand is that it's as far as the goalpost needs to go. Scientific ideas are assessed by their level of support, and not by being proven, as physical and biologic processes are much more complicated than a logic problem. However, if certain ideas garner overwhelming amounts of evidence for their existence, than we can say the idea has so much support that it's as close to fact as science can approach.

The J wrote:

The "sky is falling" predictions that have come out of some of the models is clearly inaccurate. Continued inaccuracy in speech like yours only hurts resolution. Such speech is like all the criminal activity taking place in the "Occupy" protests, it obfuscates meaning. It gives the "deniers" something to hang their own useless rhetoric upon.


What evidence do you have that all the climate models are inaccurate? I think it's impressive that you can make such an authoritative statement about the peer reviewed climate literature.....

The J wrote:


There are several good studies that support anthropomorphism. And anecdotally it makes sense. Anecdotal evidence (look, it coincides with the industrial revolution!) isn't science however.


Several..........thousand? I always find it hilarious that people can make such strong statements, even though they have no idea of the vast amount of independent observations that support AGW. I don't mean climate models, but direct, historical (or otherwise) evidence: rates and variability of temperature change via proxies (ice cores, oxygen isotopes, tree rings, pollen etc.), carbon isotopic signatures of fossil fuel, stratospheric cooling and tropospheric warming, decrease in solar irradiance as the atmosphere warms etc.

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Matt Thrower
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glundee1 wrote:
In other news, Edward Wegman


Good Lord, what is that thing posing as your avatar? I hope never to see it again! Gah!
 
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Zaphod wrote:
The J wrote:


Did this study prove that we have anthropomorphic global warming. No, it didn't. It continues to support global warming. But that was like the 30 yard line. I think that was well settled a decade ago. I mean if man is not the cause of the global warming then spending a ton of money to offset that seems like a bit of a waste.


You're correct that nothing has been "proven", and that this study along with many others supports our current understanding of AGW. What you don't understand is that it's as far as the goalpost needs to go. Scientific ideas are assessed by their level of support, and not by being proven, as physical and biologic processes are much more complicated than a logic problem. However, if certain ideas garner overwhelming amounts of evidence for their existence, than we can say the idea has so much support that it's as close to fact as science can approach.

The J wrote:

The "sky is falling" predictions that have come out of some of the models is clearly inaccurate. Continued inaccuracy in speech like yours only hurts resolution. Such speech is like all the criminal activity taking place in the "Occupy" protests, it obfuscates meaning. It gives the "deniers" something to hang their own useless rhetoric upon.


What evidence do you have that all the climate models are inaccurate? I think it's impressive that you can make such an authoritative statement about the peer reviewed climate literature.....


Some evidence from the "denialist" side (not Rick Perry).

(http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/09/08/more-...

Currently, a bevy of researchers are furiously scrambling to make excuses why the models aren’t working so well by pointing out potential influences such as a slight decline in solar radiation (Lean and Rind, 2007), and a decrease in upper atmospheric water vapor (Solomon et al., 2010) which may be acting to impart a cooling pressure on surface temperatures and thus offset some warming from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Others are contending that the observed lack of warming is perfectly consistent with model projections (e.g. Santer et al., 2011).


http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/09/16/ridin...

The list of things proffered that the models couldn’t have known about that have led to slower-than-expected warming over the past 10-15 years includes declines in solar radiation, declines in stratospheric water vapor, increases in stratospheric aerosols, increases in tropospheric aerosols, the timing of El Nino/La Nina cycles, the timing of multi-decadal ocean circulation oscillations, and probably ultimately, the kitchen sink followed by the commode. What’s interesting is that the white knights never really mention these very same influences when they are acting in the opposite sense—that is, when they are acting to speed up the warming (which many were during the 1990s). But now that warming has considerably slowed, these mechanisms seem to have taken on cosmic significance.

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/09/06/new-p...

The variation of stratospheric aerosols has acted to increase the rate of global warming during the past decade over and above that expected from carbon dioxide (and lower atmospheric aerosols). The press release has spun the results 180 degrees from what they actually are. And in doing so, has sparked a bunch of media coverage proclaiming that we now know part of the reason why the earth’s average temperature has risen so little during the past 10-15 years despite rapidly rising atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases.






 
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eknauer wrote:
Cut and pasted stuff


DeMyer's Second Law:

“Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.”

I really hate argument by cut and paste(and if you ever find me doing it, you have my permission to smack me in the chops).
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Kevin C wrote:


So, how do we know how human activities affect climate? It's actually really simple...


You're lumping together all "skeptics", those who believe AGW and those who don't. Until you make that distinction, these climate 101 lessons are meaningless.

Quote:
Either global warming is the greatest crisis ever to confront humankind, or it is a lefty plot completely manufactured by scientists and politicians in pursuit of research funding and control over our lives. That's about the way it plays out in the media, on blogs and in conversations on the Metro. Anyone out front on this issue is either an apocalyptic or a denier, virtuous or vile.

Similarly, one camp maintains that temperatures are rising dramatically with unspeakable portents, while the other thinks what has happened is entirely a result of undefined internal oscillations in the earth-sun climate system, and that there is virtually no human component to climate change. This group is especially fond of the lack of statistically significant surface warming since 1995. Since 1997, temperatures really flatlined.

There's a third way, which suffers from the problem that it is subtle, neither black nor white, and doesn't do well in sound bites. It's a "lukewarm" synthesis, arguing indeed that humans have something to do with the rise in surface temperature measured since the mid-1970s, but that it is hardly the end of the world as we know it. This view claims to accommodate the seemingly odd behavior of temperature in the last 15 years. (Michaels)



 
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Stirlingmoomoo wrote:
eknauer wrote:
Cut and pasted stuff


DeMyer's Second Law:

“Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.”


That's a convenient way of dismissing something you don't agree with but has zero relevance as to whether the argument is true or not.
 
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