Global Warming

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I know there is already a post on this, but I just wanted to make a point.

I live in California, so obviously there is a great deal of controversy here by the coast and especially where I am (a small conservative community) whether or not warming is legit (long story short, I believe...). Anyhoo, I was recently speaking with an exchange student from Hong Kong, and she matter of factly stated a few things about global warming. Surprised, I asked her if she had any doubts. Nope. Her textbooks teach it, back it up, and give you the facts, agree or disagree. She explained that it made perfect sense, and mainland China was beginning a campaign to save the coast and raise awareness. Now, for all the global-warming-China-destroying-the-ozone-bashing I hear, that's pretty neat. Anyone here agree? Disagree?

Should scientific subjects be forcibly taught in schools? (Not talking about creationism.)
 

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  • #2
AppleBite
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Well, it is very comforting to hear that China, a big consumer of coal and other sources of greenhouse gases, seem to be aware of the problem of global warming. As a growing economy with tremendouse growth potential, it is very imporant that the new development takes measures to ensure environmental sustainability for the generations to come.

Whether something should be forcibly taugth in schools or not is rather difficult however, as people should be allowed to believe what they want. The great paradox of freedom of speech... However, personally I would like to see greater awareness raised about sustianable development. Now what your friend is saying sounds very promising, and hopefully other countires will also make an effort to raise awareness about environmental degradation as much of our economy and way of life depends on limited resources being used in a sustainable manner.
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
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The forcibly taught thing is more suited for discussion in another forum, like General Discussion.
 
  • #4
AppleBite
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The forcibly taught thing is more suited for discussion in another forum, like General Discussion.

Right you are. Yet, the discussion on whether or not environmental issues should be taught in schools are also a vital aspect when considering which environmental theories for which there consists a general approval of and for which it does not.

Still, as you state, the discussion in this forum should not focus on whether something should be forcibly taught or not, but rather which theories should be taught in schools if such a corriculum were to be imposed. That is the true question; what is the correct theory?
 
  • #5
jim mcnamara
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AppleBite -

Um, it's more complex than you might like.

A international climate panel, the IPCC, issued a statement that there is a 90% chance that the warming we are seeing (the warming is pretty much accepted as real) is caused by human activity, like dumping [tex]CO_{2}[/tex] into the atmosphere.

See this site:http://www.ipcc.ch/

So we have a
Part A: is there a very recent warming trend - yes. IMO.
Part B: did humans do it (implication being humans can undo it)? less certainty, the IPCC says a 90% chance humans did it.

And there is a more slippery Part C:
What will happen? - the answer here is that any answer you see is at least partial speculation by experts or maybe something derived from a model. While speculation from a climate expert is absolutely better than what you & I can come up with, it is very far from established scientific fact.

For example:
While rising sea levels will do exactly what is described, see the policymaker's document, the extent of the possible rise (based on the assumption that things stay warm) is hard to forecast well. The IPCC provides uncertainty guidance for policymakers to allow them to get a handle on the policymaker's document contents, and assess the threats they perceive.

The difference between a sea level rise of 6" versus 2 feet (as a contrived example), is the displacement of extra millions of people living in low-lying areas near the sea - parts of Florida, or New York City, for example. And loss of infrastructure a long with it. In theory.

So - bottom line - it's as much political as scientific, and I think if humans caused it we are in deep doo-doo. Human governments that fix things other humans broke have a horrible track record. Humans fixing things they did not break also has a bad rep. It's a lose-lose thing IMO.
 
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  • #6
AppleBite
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Right you are again Mr. Mcnamara. Good work.

The questions you've posted are exactly the theories I was referring to. There is today a general consensus on global warming, what it is and what is causing it. However, there is still debate within the community on what the results will be. There are still debates on how weather will be affected by the rising temperatures, for example, and as you state yourself about the rising sea levels. The question on whether we can predict these changes BEFORE they occur, (many of them are accelerating already) is yet to be determined.

The question of politics is also an important aspect. Now, although we humans have a history of shooting ourselves in the foot and then jumping into a pool with sharks, the alternative of just sitting there doing nothing with the matter seems to me more terrifying than the results of a possibly-failed attempt. Would you not agree?
 
  • #7
jim mcnamara
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Let's assume the climate isn't "broken", in the sense that us humans did not do much of CC, something else did.

If we can't identify the cause with great certainty, how can we fix it? Right now, the IPCC says we have a 90% chance of being right. So, conversely, we have a 10% of applying a wrong fix. Assuming there exists a fix.

Let's follow the 10% chance of being wrong:

Suppose that global dimming is real. There is evidence to support the idea, but I'm not a climate scientist, so I cannot say definitively what it's status is. Anyway, suppose we clean the skies up, and let more sunshine in. And, further, suppose that our problems are due in part to insolation - solar input - our 10% chance of a wrong solution. Cleaning the skies will just make it even hotter.

This is an absolutely horrible example, but it's the best I can do. Maybe we can fix it, or maybe our piddling will cause the next white Earth phase, who knows?

We all have a hidden assumption of cause and effect in this problem. The implication is 'removing the cause removes the effect'. But you have to be clear about the cause.
And in climate does removing the cause reverse the problem?

Climate is VERY complex. One approach to science is to deal with complex systems by abstracting out a few things, one at a time, and then analyzing each in turn. It just takes time. We are in so-called beta science in climatology. We need time to assemble the pieces we abstracted out an put them back into agrand model. But we don't have time to do that. If in fact we are the cause of the current problem.

It's a quandary - a lose-lose situation as I said. Basically, I do not know more than that it is getting warmer, nothing else is all that clear to me. Did we do it? I do not know for sure. Since it is in the political arena where logic does not apply, we all will probably lose. US policy makers are more interested in keeping themselves in office than in anything else.

I'm really old so all of this is just going to kick future generations in the teeth. Not me, I already lost some teeth. :)
 
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It is not a horrible example Jim, because that is exactly what happened from 1940 - 1970. The climate was cooling, even as solar activity and GHGs were increasing because of the cooling effect of aerosols. This is known as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming" [Broken]

Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in 1950s. It is thought to have been caused by an increase in particulates such as sulfur aerosols in the atmosphere due to human action. The effect varies by location, but worldwide it has been estimated to be of the order of a 4% reduction over the three decades from 1960–1990. The trend reversed during the past decade. Global dimming has interfered with the hydrological cycle by reducing evaporation and may have caused droughts in some areas. Global dimming also creates a cooling effect that may have partially masked the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming.
 
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  • #9
AppleBite
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That is a good example Skyhunter.

However, the sad part of the tale is where the aerosols come from of course. There has been drawn quite good links between global dimming and seismic activity in the same period of time(vulcanoes errupting all over the place, to put it bluntly), as well as human sources such as the sulfur aerosols in what you quote.
 
  • #10
LURCH
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What concerns me is the fact that many proposed solutions do not involve removal of the suspected cause. A project to stop Global Warming has already begun, that assumes human output of CO2 is the cause, and suggests dumping tons of iron oxide into the ocean is the cure. The iron oxide will provide a rich growth medium for algea, which in turn will sequester the carbon. At least, that's the plan. I think dumping huge amounts of rusty metal into the ocean might have some effects we haven't predicted yet. so could deliberately triggering a population explosion among the microorganisms of a particular habitat.

To make matters worse (for my own peace of mind, that is), I do not belong to the "concensus" who agree that Global Warming is even happening at all! I'm not saying it isn't, only that I'm not anywhere near convinced that it is. What if the temperature isn't going up, and we find some clever way to reduce it?

I think there is a lot of room for questions on this issue and, in light of that fact, I don't think it should be taught in the classroom under "things we know for certain."
 
  • #11
I believe that the restatement of the IPCC's statement is a bit more stringent than is actually the case.

At last years APS, the statement was read to be more along the lines of "... it is 90% likely that human activity has had a significant effect..."

The whole report reads like that. With "likely" and "very likely" being some of the top runners along with "high confidence", "significant" etc.

The phrases are meant to correlate with an established ranking system, I believe. With "Very likely" meaning greater than 90% and it going down from there.

What disturbs me is the fact that the media is distorting what the scientist mean when they use the word "consensus'.
 
  • #12
888eddy
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yes it should be taught in schools. climate science is very young and whatever the cause its difficult to tell whether its possible for us to reverse it. whether temperatures are goin up or not the worlds glaciers are melting at an increased rate and with 1/3 of the worlds population depending on water from glaciers its important that, whatever the probabiity that our efforts will help, its worth a shot. if we're wrong about climate change but try to do somthing about it then a small dent in the ecconomy and a small effort by everyone is the consiquence, but if we're right and don't do anything then 3 to 4 billion peoples lives could pottentially be lost. If climate change is taught in schools as factual science more students will want to do something about it than if it was taught as pottentially happening or not taught at all so i find it difficult, given the pottential disaster that climate change could cause, that its even a debate. personaly i think that more drastic measures should be taken because just cutting back on CO2 emmisions is so unlikely to help.
 
  • #13
LURCH
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...if we're wrong about climate change but try to do somthing about it then a small dent in the ecconomy and a small effort by everyone is the consiquence..

But that's just my point; those will not be the only consequences. If we're wrong about Global Warming, and we try to correct it by reducing carbon emissions, then all we end up doing is wasting time and money and effort. But, if we're wrong about it and try to fix it through some other means (like we find some clever way to dilliberately cool the planet by increased albedo) we could trigger the next Ice Age, and billions will die.

Ironic if the clmate change we so greatly feared did not exist, until we caused with our attempt at a cure.
 
  • #14
Gokul43201
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We all have a hidden assumption of cause and effect in this problem. The implication is 'removing the cause removes the effect'.
Who exactly is making this assumption?
 
  • #15
888eddy
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But, if we're wrong about it and try to fix it through some other means (like we find some clever way to dilliberately cool the planet by increased albedo) we could trigger the next Ice Age, and billions will die.

we don't need to take measures to cool the planet necessarily, just slow down the negative effects. we obviously need to cut down on emmisions for a million other reasons than global warming but that's probably not going to be enough. if anything it will just slow it down. in germany they have just built a giant screen to direct cool air over a glacier to slow its melting. solutions like this are exactly what we need. the thing is, the most badly affected countires are the ones that can't afford to help themselves.

you are right that we should definately not play with the global climate until we are 99.9% sure of what the effects will be. there is a lot of room for a huge disaster if we miscalculate and with the vast learning still to be done in climate science that seems too likely to risk.
 
  • #16
Gokul43201
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in germany they have just built a giant screen to direct cool air over a glacier to slow its melting.
That sounds like an incredibly stupid idea, but I couldn't say with more certainly without looking at a real report.
 
  • #17
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Current global warming discussions are usually more about politics than they are about science. Since public education teaches both political and scientific things it makes perfect sense to teach global warming.
 
  • #18
B. Elliott
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What concerns me is the fact that many proposed solutions do not involve removal of the suspected cause. A project to stop Global Warming has already begun, that assumes human output of CO2 is the cause, and suggests dumping tons of iron oxide into the ocean is the cure. The iron oxide will provide a rich growth medium for algea, which in turn will sequester the carbon. At least, that's the plan. I think dumping huge amounts of rusty metal into the ocean might have some effects we haven't predicted yet. so could deliberately triggering a population explosion among the microorganisms of a particular habitat.

To make matters worse (for my own peace of mind, that is), I do not belong to the "concensus" who agree that Global Warming is even happening at all! I'm not saying it isn't, only that I'm not anywhere near convinced that it is. What if the temperature isn't going up, and we find some clever way to reduce it?

I think there is a lot of room for questions on this issue and, in light of that fact, I don't think it should be taught in the classroom under "things we know for certain."

I agree 100%. The last thing we need to do is deliberately attempt to meddle with the Earths climate. Sure, years and years worth of spilling our byproducts into the atmosphere may be having an effect, but imagine what we could really screw up if we were to intentionally execute a major change in global climate.

At this point, we know just enough to get ourselves in some deep crap.

Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate
The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."
http://www.dailytech.com/Myth+of+Consensus+Explodes+APS+Opens+Global+Warming+Debate/article12403.htm

Scientists sign petition denying man-made global warming
More than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition denying that man is responsible for global warming.

Its president, Arthur Robinson, said: "If this many American scientists will sign this petition, you certainly can’t continue to contend that there is a consensus on this subject.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...petition-denying-man-made-global-warming.html
 
  • #19
Evo
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That article was incorrect, it was the APS Forum on Physics & Society that invited a debate. At no time did the APS governing body, the APS Council, retract it's stance, but it's a start in the right direction, IMO.

If you want interesting reading, see here.

The release of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Papers: Working Group I, The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, 2005-2007; Expert Review Comments on First-Order Draft, Chapter 1. ESPP IPCCAR4WG1, which was previously withheld from the public until they were sued for the information under the "Freedom of Information Act".

The previously withheld report can be viewed here - http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/7794905?n=2&imagesize=1200&jp2Res=.25 Where you can see how the IPCC "picked" the data they wished to present. Make your own judgement. I would suggest you download it since the IPCC has been "moving it" without re-directional links to let you find it. Surely it's not intentional.

Scientists sign petition denying man-made global warming
I'm afraid I don't trust the title of that as it seems too sensasionalist. I don't believe that the petiton is that they "deny" AGW, but rather they believe that there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support it.
 
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  • #20
888eddy
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That sounds like an incredibly stupid idea, but I couldn't say with more certainly without looking at a real report.

im not an expert by any means. i don't know much at all about climate science, I am a mechanical engineer. i read about it in the news recently; all i know is it involved germany, a giant screen, cool air, an slowing glacier melting. i'd imagine you are unlikely to find funding for such a project if its a 'stupid idea'. they'd of done a whole lot of computer and scale model testing before a real world test was done so chances are, its going to work, its just a matter of how bigger difference it makes.
 
  • #21
Evo
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im not an expert by any means. i don't know much at all about climate science, I am a mechanical engineer. i read about it in the news recently; all i know is it involved germany, a giant screen, cool air, an slowing glacier melting. i'd imagine you are unlikely to find funding for such a project if its a 'stupid idea'. they'd of done a whole lot of computer and scale model testing before a real world test was done so chances are, its going to work, its just a matter of how bigger difference it makes.
You would be surprised how many hairbrained ideas can get funding from equally hairbrained organizations. How much energy would it take to cool a glacier?

Can you find a link to this?
 
  • #22
B. Elliott
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That article was incorrect, it was the APS Forum on Physics & Society that invited a debate. At no time did the APS governing body, the APS Council, retract it's stance, but it's a start in the right direction, IMO.

If you want interesting reading, see here.

The release of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Papers: Working Group I, The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, 2005-2007; Expert Review Comments on First-Order Draft, Chapter 1. ESPP IPCCAR4WG1, which was previously withheld from the public until they were sued for the information under the "Freedom of Information Act".

The previously withheld report can be viewed here - http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/7794905?n=2&imagesize=1200&jp2Res=.25 Where you can see how the IPCC "picked" the data they wished to present. Make your own judgement. I would suggest you download it since the IPCC has been "moving it" without re-directional links to let you find it. Surely it's not intentional.

Thanks for the link Evo. I remember you mentioning it in another thread at one time, but didn't see a link. I tried searching for it with Google but couldn't find the original.

I'm afraid I don't trust the title of that as it seems too sensasionalist. I don't believe that the petiton is that they "deny" AGW, but rather they believe that there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support it.

That's pretty much what I read into it. I usually take headline statements with a grain of salt anyway. Did you by chance hear about Chris Landseas resignation from the IPCC last year? With all the talk about the IPCC being sway by political agendas, it was a little hard to find truth in it. His resignation letter definitely didn't help my opinion of them.

THE IPCC AND POLITICS
Consider the case of Dr. Christopher Landsea, the world’s foremost expert on hurricanes. Dr. Landsea accepted an invitation to provide input on Atlantic hurricanes for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, due out in 2007. But over time, Dr. Landsea realized that certain key members of the IPCC were bent on advancing a political agenda rather than providing an objective, fact-based understanding of climate change. As a result, he resigned from the IPCC process.
http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=236307

Resignation Letter of Chris Landsea from IPCC
Dear colleagues,

After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from
participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the
part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become
politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC
leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.
http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm
 
  • #23
B. Elliott
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You would be surprised how many hairbrained ideas can get funding from equally hairbrained organizations. How much energy would it take to cool a glacier?

Can you find a link to this?

I'd also like to see a link. The first question that pops into my mind is are they 100% certain that the glacier melting isn't being caused by a local condition rather than global?
 
  • #24
Andre
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Current global warming discussions are usually more about politics than they are about science. Since public education teaches both political and scientific things it makes perfect sense to teach global warming.

That's right. There are two sides to this, About the science, you could question the basic assumption of AGW that the difference between the "black body" radiation and the actual average temperature of 33 K is caused by the greenhouse effect. Advise to consult a basic meteorology textbook for that and learn about convection, hadley cells, etc and use your physical knowledge to project transfer of energy here.

about the political-economal side, this is the wrong place to discuss it. To "follow the money" it might be interesting to google Enron Kyoto, but fasten seatbelts first.

I intend to upload and link to the missing IPCC documents but I have to find out if that is legal first. I can mail them though.
 
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  • #25
Gokul43201
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Scientists sign petition denying man-made global warming

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...petition-denying-man-made-global-warming.html
This too, is incorrect. The petition signed by 31,000 scientists (the majority of whom don't have PhDs?) says the following: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

They do not go anywhere near denying AGW. They only deny that it would be catastrophic as well as disruptive in the foreseeable future.

http://www.oism.org/pproject/
 
  • #26
Evo
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Thanks for the link Evo. I remember you mentioning it in another thread at one time, but didn't see a link. I tried searching for it with Google but couldn't find the original.
I will be posting more about that IPCC document later.

Did you by chance hear about Chris Landseas resignation from the IPCC last year? With all the talk about the IPCC being sway by political agendas, it was a little hard to find truth in it. His resignation letter definitely didn't help my opinion of them.

THE IPCC AND POLITICS

http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=236307

Resignation Letter of Chris Landsea from IPCC

http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm
Yes, he's not the only scientist that has protested the IPCC's data mining and bias.
 
  • #27
Gokul43201
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If this thread is about the poltics and unethical behavior of the IPCC, then shouldn't it be in P&WA or in Social Sciences?

As for the science behind warming, here's what Dr. Landsea had to say in a PBS interview:
"We certainly see substantial warming in the ocean and atmosphere over the last several decades on the order of a degree Fahrenheit, and I have no doubt a portion of that, at least, is due to greenhouse warming. The question is whether we're seeing any real increases in the hurricane activity."

The doubt here is about the effect on hurricane activity, and Dr. Landsea says the IPCC basically insisted on sticking with a stronger influence despite his arguments to the contrary (that sounds exactly like the actions of a highly politicized body). He does say, however, that he has no doubt about the source of some of the warming.

Yet, you will find GW and AGW denying sites selectively quoting Landsea to make their case.
 
  • #28
Evo
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If this thread is about the poltics and unethical behavior of the IPCC, then shouldn't it be in P&WA or in Social Sciences?
The unethical behavior has to do with misrepresenting the science.

It is certainly true that "individual scientists can do what they wish in
their own rights", as one of the folks in the IPCC leadership suggested.
Differing conclusions and robust debates are certainly crucial to progress
in climate science. However, this case is not an honest scientific
discussion conducted at a meeting of climate researchers. Instead, a
scientist with an important role in the IPCC represented himself as a Lead
Author for the IPCC has used that position to promulgate to the media and
general public his own opinion that the busy 2004 hurricane season was
caused by global warming, which is in direct opposition to research written
in the field and is counter to conclusions in the TAR. This becomes
problematic when I am then asked to provide the draft about observed
hurricane activity variations for the AR4 with, ironically, Dr. Trenberth as
the Lead Author for this chapter. Because of Dr. Trenberth's pronouncements,
the IPCC process on our assessment of these crucial extreme events in our
climate system has been subverted and compromised, its neutrality lost.
While no one can "tell" scientists what to say or not say (nor am I
suggesting that), the IPCC did select Dr. Trenberth as a Lead Author and
entrusted to him to carry out this duty in a non-biased, neutral point of
view. When scientists hold press conferences and speak with the media, much
care is needed not to reflect poorly upon the IPCC. It is of more than
passing interest to note that Dr. Trenberth, while eager to share his views
on global warming and hurricanes with the media, declined to do so at the
Climate Variability and Change Conference in January where he made several
presentations. Perhaps he was concerned that such speculation---though
worthy in his mind of public pronouncements---would not stand up to the
scrutiny of fellow climate scientists.

I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I
view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being
scientifically unsound. As the IPCC leadership has seen no wrong in Dr.
Trenberth's actions and have retained him as a Lead Author for the AR4, I
have decided to no longer participate in the IPCC AR4.
The facts have been misrepresented. The report that the IPCC hid from the public has scientist after scientist questioning and opposing the way the IPCC was piecing together their final report. The IPCC "staff" is actually making disparaging remarks about the scientists that are against what the IPCC is doing, I'm not surprised that they did not want anyone to see it, it's quite an embarrassment for them. I am putting together a post pointing these comments out so that you don't have to read the entire report if you don't wish to.
 
  • #29
Gokul43201
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So, then are we going to talk about the science at some point?

In my opinion, the science is in published, peer-reviewed papers. Discussion of that science belongs here.

The IPCC is a policy-making body. If we want to talk about their misrepresenting science, in just the same way that we talk about Bush's attacks on science, or McCain's misrepresentation of the effect of automobile maintenance on oil savings, we have been doing that in P&WA.

We should be primarily discussing the science here, not the motives, not the sociological effects, not the psychology, not the money trail or the politics, but that's what we seem to be doing so far.
 
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  • #30
Andre
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So, then are we going to talk about the science at some point?

That's what I did over the years, Gokul, and I'm happy to repeat that. Just name your subject.

Paleoclimatology
Hockeystick
Ice cores
Climate feedbacks
The flaws in the greenhousegas idea
The role of convection and the water cycle in climate
The complex combination of cycles all of them on climate

other..?
 
  • #31
Gokul43201
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I'm talking about this thread, Andre.

And it's pretty clear that the questions asked in the OP are about ethics in education and the Government policy in China regarding education as well as implementation of energy policy.
 
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  • #32
Evo
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So, then are we going to talk about the science at some point?

In my opinion, the science is in published, peer-reviewed papers. Discussion of that science belongs here.
It is discussing the science, go to the report and read the first comment, read all of the comments, this is the direct input from the scientists. These are the scientists discussing the peer reviewed papers, they are not discussing politics, policy, etc... that is a different IPCC document.

http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/7794905?n=2&imagesize=1200&jp2Res=.25

Do you disagree that this document is discussing the science?

I think I will split the science discussion off from the rest of the thread, as I agree, Gokul, on not mixing the two discussions.
 
  • #33
Gokul43201
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The document is discussing the science, but none of us in this thread are. Like you said, the thread has two different themes in it, and one is somewhat unrelated to the OP. I think a split is the right decision.

After that, you can also delete my posts that deal with thread administration.
 
  • #34
Evo
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The document is discussing the science, but none of us in this thread are. Like you said, the thread has two different themes in it, and one is somewhat unrelated to the OP. I think a split is the right decision.

After that, you can also delete my posts that deal with thread administration.
I will do so and clean up. I would prefer to discuss the science side as the political side is just a bunch of hot air and media sensationalism. I'd like a discussion without the drama. What the scientists are discussing is pretty interesting, and both viewpoints are represented in the report.
 
  • #35
latecommer
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As a geologist with emphasis is paleo studies, of course climate comes into play in nearly all of the research I have done. Causation is not a big part of it however. What i do believe and understand is that we have very clear evidence of two things... Climate has cycles now and before human beings could have any forcing ability, and also that it has been much colder and much hotter than it is today. Most of the great diversity of life occurred in periods of higher temperature.
Now it appears that it is more likely that we are entering a cooling or dimming period than that we are getting warmer. The causes of the cooling could be some of many proposed hypothesis including deminished activity on the Sun (which is happening without question)
I really put very little credence into the fears of sudden sea level rise. There has been virtually no change in the steady rise since the last glaciation ( a very typical result after glaciations) It seems likely that most interglacials follow very much the same pattern this one has. An abrupt rise in sea levels early in the interglacial and a steady rise there after, continuing throught to the next glacial event. The same is true of the various glaciers on Earth. They advance and retreat on a cycle that follows such events as the LIA, and the medievil warming.
IMO those who are raising the alarms about global warming are looking at far too small a picture. Humans being what we are tend to think in terms of life times, while the Earth lives on a much longer scale.
Personally I see nothing near or far term about climate to cause the kind of concern some of my associates fear.
 

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