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In Science Express from UC-Santa Barbara

  1. Oct 14, 2005 #1
    In "Science Express" from UC-Santa Barbara

    Science Daily has the following intriguing title in their press releases today:

    "Link Between Tropical Warming And Greenhouse Gases Stronger Than Ever, Say Scientists"


    The bit I got out of this press release, was that the shift in climate that occured 950,000 years ago may have been triggered by CO2 levels rather than retreating ice sheets, and they are drilling ice cores to test this idea.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2005 #2
    Hi Patty,

    It occurs to me that we are discussing the same paper here:


    It may be worthwhile to take note. As I said over there, now the hockeystick is dead, inevitably, the ice age with all it's mysteries comes back to rebuild the "CO2 = warming" case.

    But now things are different. We are well on our way to really understand what happened and there is no "CO2 = warming" in there.
  4. Oct 15, 2005 #3
    The Most oft 'Vaunted Cry' was that they hadn't waited long enough in the Observance of the Pattern-s.

    So Now is Soon enough?
  5. Oct 15, 2005 #4

    With time we generally have more and more information, thus a better ability to understand the larger picture. That seems to be the case here. ??
  6. Oct 16, 2005 #5
    We do have detailed information about CO2 contents of the air bubbles in the (Ant)arctic ice sheets for some 100,000 years on Greenland as of the 1980ies (Camp Century) and going back 420,000 years for Antarctica (Vostok) since 1999. Currently ice core data are available which are going back to 740,000 years (EPICA Dome C).

    More current work in progress is hi resultion research on the NGRIP core on Greenland (the one with that "fresh-looking" pine needle under the ice) and trying to extent the EPICA Dome C to perhaps 1,000,000 years.

    But things are much harder to interpret and nothing is like it seems. The age difference between the gas in the bubbles and the surrounding ice has made the researchers going crazy. As the surface of the polar ice remains open, fresh air can mix freely between the much older ice. Then distinct differences between ice CO2 and other CO2 calculating methods (leaf stomata) suggest that some physical and chemical or biological (extramorphiles) reactions may take place in the ice. But the biggest question is if we do understand the language of the isotopes. I think, no, I am sure that we do not.

    This here is a comparision of the current heavy isotopes of a shallow core in Greenland that should represent temperature, compared to the GHCN global temperatures during a few decades in the last century. The high sub annual resolution of the ice core shows the seasonal variation of the heavy isotopes. But it also shows no trend at all. So, what does that say about the temperatures? Which one is wrong?

    On the other hand, this (detrended) graph of the Vostok ice core of Antarctica shows an absurd high correlation (R2>98%) between Deuterium isotopes in the ice and annual layer height (or annual precipitation). Apparantly the correlation between precipitation and isotopes is much stronger than isotopes and temperature, leading to the conclusion that the ice cores do not show temperatures accurately (and there is much more evidence), which casts serious doubts about the relationship between CO2 and temperatures during the ice ages.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  7. Oct 16, 2005 #6


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    What are the isotopes? How can scientists correlate between atmospheric temperature and the isotope amounts?
  8. Oct 16, 2005 #7
    An Isotope is one of two or more forms of a single element; the atoms of each isotope have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei. Thus isotopes have the same atomic number but differ in atomic mass.

    For our ice core research important is the ratio of the heavy hydrogen isotope (called "deuterium" or "D" or "2H") containing a proton and a neutron, as well as heavy oxygen isotope 18O containing 8 protrons and 10 neutrons versus normal 16O with 8p and 8n.

    Heavy isotopes behave like the fat heavy boys in class. They are not that agile and the quick smaller boys are always the first to do something active, with the fat boys lagging. Water evaporating is something active and the much more light guys evaporate out than the fat boys. This is called fractination. This process is temperature dependent, as the temperature rises, the molecules speed up and more heavier boys also get enough speed to escape the water. So the ratio between fat and skinny changes with temperature.
    The opposite occurs during condensation. This is going to a less active state, which the fat boys love, so they go first, also temperature dependent.

    Here is the same story in scientific language.

    So it seems so obvious. Isotope ratios are temperature and with some cross - checking (Severinghaus Science 1998) this Vostok graph with CO2 in the upper and "temperature" in the lower is derived only from isotope ratios, disregarding a lot of other processes like precipitation changes, variable raining out situations. Working on a detailed paper to expose this "affirming-the-consequent" fallacy.
  9. Oct 16, 2005 #8
    Sing it again bunni

    In Five years time? much more certainty?

    Should we still think that there isn't ANY problem, at all, with all of the energy consumption? and pollutant productions? cause that seems to be the effect of saying that "The warming isn't, or doesn't, matter" as that is not the Only issue associated with the Climate, or the Changes that are occuring Naturally, or Anthropogenic, we still need to be careful one way, ♪ or the oooother

    Or, Not?

    Just My Opinion.

    .. .. .. and From a FREAKK'IN rabbit! >> .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .....
  10. Oct 16, 2005 #9
    Well, if you're asking for my opinion then I'd say sure, in five years time we'll have an even better idea of things than we do now. I'd say that now, we have a better idea of things than we did 30 years ago.

    I'm not following what you're saying: I certainly believe consumption is affecting the environment including climate. I don't know anyone that says it's all down to CO2 though, but consumption is such a broad word and can include creating pollution, creating CO2, deforesting, habitat loss, and so on and so on....

    And I think we need to curb consumption in any way that is reasonable to do so, because this helps reduce pollutants, deforestation.... And, as far as I understand even the CO2 skeptic's position on this, they would agree -

    The only place some of us (seem to) disagree is on the degree to which CO2 specifically is contributing. I think it is worth seriously curtailing and others don't seem to.

    I haven't figured out your position here yet.... but I do hope mine is a little more clear. :smile:
  11. Oct 16, 2005 #10
    Look! he takes a Position!

    Agreed, on Both parts.

    Agreed again, and on both parts again.

    But how to motivate People?

    The Fright of warming isn't good motivation, but it does seem to get them to think, and Act, so replace that with what? the apathy that was there before, when they had "No Fear" of the Weather Machine = Energy Production = pollution.

    So what becomes the Motivator, for the changes needed, just for the pollution? How does this enable pointing to that as to continue with the impetus that concern over 'warming' HAS brung about?


    Position? Moi? Dormant! {Sleeping like a Rabbit, up on a Turtles back}.. .. .. .. What else .. .. .. .. .. .. is new .. .. .. ..
  12. Oct 16, 2005 #11
    Basically it boils down to the simple obviously mutual objective and grand strategy, to accomplish an endurable sustainable world with a balance between nature and humans. No sane person would object to that.

    The big problem is however, to agree what's going on and what there is to do.

    The AGW sceptics would be the first to agree that many human actions are damaging the environment, threatening it's stability and survival but antropogenic global warming is simply not one of them, although he have a long way to go to convince everybody why not.

    So, excess CO2, produced by fossile fuel burning is highly unlikely to have that much impact on climate that we should change policies to preserve it.

    Pollution may be a reason to reconsider how and what to burn. CO2 is no polluter but several other matters are that are also released by burning.

    The main reason why we should reconsider burning, terminating our dependability is the transition to a sustainable balanced economy, based on affordable, efficient and effective renewables. But which to choose is far from easy.

    Using global warming to enforce moderation and transition is very wrong for two reasons. Firstly, the urge to accomplish political objectives creates a extreme biased climate science, diverging more and more off the straight and narrow path of the objective scientific method. This will effectively prevent steering back as well. As we are indeed way off track.

    Secondly, wrong biased As soon as Antropogenic Global Warming is exposed when evitably the real mechanisms of the past and the present are revealed, the damage to science will be enormous. Forensics types of sciences should always be modest, it may look one way but the solution may be completely different.
  13. Oct 16, 2005 #12
    Scientists make their conclusions based on evidence. Even if the vast majority of scientists were ultimately found to be "wrong" on human contributions to climate change, as long as their conclusions were based on properly controlled experiments, there is no damage done to science.

    We revise theories all the time, and we understand that science is successive approximations. Newton, for example, did not cause "enormous damage" to physics with his ideas.

    It's not as though scientists are making up GW data as they go. They are *collecting* data and asking if it supports a particular hypothesis. As long as procedures are properly followed, the science (as a process) is sound.
  14. Oct 17, 2005 #13
    Absolutely and most certainly agree, however, if your research is driven by:


    Then were for instance would the hockeystick fit in? accidently making the wrong choice by chance or perhaps expectation, a slight exagaration for a good cause or manipulating methods and using selective data to proof a predeterminent conclusion?

    I don't know but I'm not optimistic, having followed all the details of the MM05 inquiry.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2005
  15. Oct 18, 2005 #14
    Thanks Andre. I find the link useful.

    I googled on Dixy Lee Ray and couldn't find what she was referring to in that selected quote. She has been outspoken on nuclear energy - and was critical of Carter's nuclear energy program - so I wonder if her quote actually is geared towards scaremongering of nuclear energy rather than GW?

    This could apply to any number of scenarios, my brief search on her doesn't indicate that she was talking about climate.

    I agree that the attitude is wrong in any event, but it may not pertain to the climate discussion directly.

    (And of course there will always be the odd scientist, in any field, that has an ax to grind. They are an embarassment.)
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  16. Oct 18, 2005 #15
    Unfortunately, Patty, the original statement was actually of environmentalist, biologist, climatologist Stephen Schneider about global warming:


    A few more examples of doubtfull science: The resignation letter of Chris Landsea:

    And the experience of David Deming:

    Now if that was to be true, who could that have been?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  17. Oct 18, 2005 #16
    I googled the phrase to get some clues --- and found no hints that said anything other than what you've quoted.In other words, I have no idea who said it.

    It sounds very unscientific. And as I said earlier, such people in science are an embarassment.

    And I am sure you would agree that the presence of such few people doesn't affect the truth or not, of climate and how and why it is changing. I'm sure you would also agree that there are publications on climate every day, and that the vast majority of these are by reputable scientists, who are properly following scientific procedures, and honestly trying only to get to the truth of the matter, and having reached consensus that fossil fuel consumption is accelerating warming. In fact I'll head over to science daily and see what's new today, on this topic.

    It's important to know who the bad apples are, but it's also important to realize that most of the apples are following "sound science" and reaching a conclusion based on that.
  18. Oct 18, 2005 #17
    Perhaps you should have googled about who was in the lead attempting to kill the Medieval Period. I tested all the names of the coauthors of the IPCC TAR (I do spend waaay to much time on this but that's the forensic method, patience patience patience). Anyway, this is the obvious winner. Not that I'm accusing anybody. Just curiousity.

    I agree that testing global warming by increased greenhouse gasses is most certainly paramount. But where to start and what to believe? Which science is fair and which is constructed and which is biased by the it-must-be-true spirit?

    So when you start with the pure physics, then there is little reason left to pursue greenhouse gasses all too vigorously.

    If you start in paleo climate, there are a lot of disapointments too:


    BTW It's my objective (and perhaps progressing a little) to falsify that statement.
  19. Oct 19, 2005 #18
    Remember the Landsea letter?
    So here is somebody not shy of offering scary stories perhaps balancing truth and political requirements.
    He's active again:
    And of course one more tick off for the most popular ad honimem in the world:

    So it is clear that independent auditing and exposure of scaremongering needs to be unfunded. Moreover I wonder why the salaries of Trenbeth and Meehl et al are not mentioned.

    Well a few more generatings ahead, when temperatures aproach the little ice age again, people are going to marvel about the incredible effective manipulation of the public. You can just make anything true.
  20. Oct 19, 2005 #19
    Your thrust seems to be that the climate change people are offering scare tactics and doomsday scenarios.

    This hasn't been my experience.
  21. Oct 19, 2005 #20
    About scaring tactics, there is an interesting thread here that I seem to have killed accidentily.


    I hope you enjoy the Problem Preservation Principle.

    There is not a single doubt that the "scaremongers" are absolutely convinced of the correctness of global warming caused by anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gasses and of course their objectives are most noble, accomplishing a sustainable world. Most certainly. Discussing those things doesn't have the intention of scaremongering. It seems to be so simple, be good to nature, curb the gasses, and live happily ever after.

    The problem however, is that the truth does not care about our common beliefs and feelings. No matter how good the cause, if you're wrong, you're wrong. That's the harsh reality.
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