Dramatic glacial retreat caught by NASA satellite

By Phil Plait | April 12, 2010 7:30 am

In January through April of 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed in the Antarctic.

This was a huge sheet of ice, about 3250 square kilometers (1250 square miles) in area, roughly equal to a square 57 km (34 miles) on a side. There had been a series of warm summers that weakened the shelf, and then the very warm summer of 2002 spelled doom for it.

The Landsat 7 satellite took many images of the collapse, but the Earth Observatory Image of the Day just released two dramatic shots of its impact:

craneglacierretreat

The top image was taken on April 6, 2002 — about two months after the shelf collapsed — and the bottom one on February 20, 2003. What you’re seeing is the Crane glacier which flowed out into the ice shelf. See how the end of the glacier has retreated so far back into the bay? The Larsen B ice shelf helped stabilize the glacier, but with the shelf gone, the glacier was free to break off as well. The end result is the glacier edge effectively retreating up the channel. You can see icebergs floating in the bay, some hundreds of meters across.

It’s hard not to wonder about climate change when looking at this. As we reality-based folks are fond of saying, weather (short-term, local environment) is not climate (long-term, larger environment). On the other hand, how many episodes of weather over how large a region does it take to add up to climate?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Pretty pictures, Science

Comments (131)

  1. Doug Little

    And it begins!

  2. Not to mention how much more exposed rock there is. With the rock being darker, that only increases absorption of heat as well.

  3. Steve in Dublin

    Global warming isn’t happening because… because… you’ll have to prise my SUV from my cold, dead hands!

  4. Daffy

    Cue Plutonium for more “AGW is a religion” comments…

  5. Yeah, but Al Gore is fat, so there.

  6. Daffy

    Yes, yes he is. But I am not dating him so I don’t care. ;)

  7. Gary Ansorge

    5. NBwaW

    Well, if Al Gore is fat, what do we call Russ Limbaugh?

    Gas prices are headed back up for the summer,,,again. Look for them to top out around $3.75/gal,,,again. Maybe THAT will help “pry my SUV out of our bankrupt hands”.(Ok, I paraphrased).

    Still, the Arctic is becoming more accessible. All those juicy resources available for raping. Now, if we could just get to the stuff buried under the miles of ice in the antarctic. Goody, goody, another oil rush. There’s nothing like a vanishing ice cap to negate all those pesky international agreements.

    Ah well. Maybe we can genetically modify humans to breath sea water,,,

    My prediction stands. 2010. The next “hottest year on record.”

    Not that being right will convince PBFP,,,

    Gary 7

  8. Notice how the land also has less snow on it in the latter pciture. Is this to be blamed on the loss of the ice shelf too? I can’t see how that could happen. Or was it just a warmer spell of weather when the picture was taken? It would be more convincing if the pictures were taken at exactly the same time of year. I wonder what the second scene looked like six weeks later as the winter season took hold. A glacier can move at up to 30m per day so it could push out another kilometer in that time, not enough to recover the 10 km loss shown but what did it look like in the following years? Surely they must have taken later pictures and it does not take seven years to process them.

    Has someone just cherry picked two pictures that make the point they want or is there more extensive evidence? In the past we would take such pictures at face value but given knowledge of the abuse of data used by the AGW camp we now need to see something more convincing than this.

  9. mike

    But.. but.. it was unseasonably cold where I live this week. Check mate, climate conspirators!!

  10. Brad

    Well in the words of prof Palin it’s all snake oil, but wait wasn’t snake oil sold by people who didn’t get science?

  11. jeturcotte

    Humm… the rock IS more exposed… I’m going to guess that isn’t entirely normal, but February is naturally a warmer month for the region than april (modestly, anyway.. going from summer into fall) … still, it is true that it will absorb heat more.

  12. Michael

    So…the same argument that contends that one unusually cold winter does not make for global cooling is ignored when a single glacier is used to extrapolate that glaciers are melting all over the world. Well, consider these facts:

    “The Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. The Emmons Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. Crater Glacier on Mt. Saint Helens is growing. (According to the US Forest Service, Crater Glacier is now larger than it was before the 1980 eruption.) Glaciers on Glacier Peak in northern Washington are growing.

    Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest glacier in Argentina, is growing. Pio XI Glacier, the largest glacier in Chile, is growing. Glaciers are growing on Mt. Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada. Glaciers are growing on Mt. Blanc, the tallest mountain in France.
    Glaciers (230 of them) are growing in the Western Himalayas. Glaciers are growing in Norway. Recently, all 50 glaciers in New Zealand were growing. Glaciers in Greenland are growing thicker. And contrary to what we’ve being told, the Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing, not shrinking.

    More than 90 percent of the world’s glaciers are growing, but all that we hear about are the ones that are shrinking.”

    When a single incident is used to promote an already painfully inept theory, then it’s propaganda instead of science.

  13. ChH

    Dramatic ice coverage advance caught by NASA satellite

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    (especially helpful is their chart:)
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

  14. jasonB

    For all of you who are so worried/convinced of AGW, please turn off your computers. And your lights. When gas hits $4 you can smile very self satisfactorily, at $5, you should all be cheering!

    You can all make fun of us who make fun of Al Gore. Please examine why we do. The AGW crowd embraced him when he won his Oscar and Nobel prize. He was THE spokesman. So much so, kids were forced to watch his demonstrably wrong propaganda piece in school. Now that the bloom is off that rose and he been shown to be nothing but a hypocrite that stands to make ALOT of money off of AGW (as does Rajendra Pachauri) the true believers say where just batting at straw men, and they never really thought all that much of VP Gore to begin with.

    Maybe we just don’t believe every politician when there’s a very large pile of money waiting to be spent by them.

  15. @Michael (#10),

    90% of glaciers are growing? Are you sure you don’t have that backwards? According to the World Glacier Monitoring Service, it seems that the trend is the other way?

  16. ozprof

    PhilG,

    Sorry, your arguement will not work. If you check the dates of those pictures, the first one is taken at the beginning of autumn, just after seasonal ice retreat would have been at its maximum. While the bottom one was taken during late summer, well before any seasonal ice retreat would have reached its maximum.

    So according to your arguement, the top one should have shown LESS ice.

  17. Rob
  18. Jeff in Tucson

    @10 Michael, Phil shows us images to support his claims. You sort of quote the US Forest Service for one of the glaciers you mentioned, but why should I believe you about the others, or the quote about how “More than 90 percent of the world’s glaciers are growing,” when you don’t provide us with sources, or images, or any sort of evidence to substantiate your claims. I’d LOVE to read your sources.

  19. Gary Ansorge

    11. jasonB

    “a hypocrite that stands to make ALOT of money off of AGW ”

    Last time I looked, Al gave away all the proceeds from the film to charity, so I fail to see how HE has a vested financial interest in AGW.

    Are you sure you’re not looking in your own sand blasted mirror?

    Gary 7
    PS. There’s an old saying in show business; “Thanks for the applause. Now, please throw money.”
    This is how we express our SERIOUS support. We throw money,,,

  20. Jeff

    But people do not forget we are in the holocene epoch which is technically an interglacial period, and the Milankovich cycle hasn’t stopped. So it’s possible we should be worried about another glacial age, instead of the much sited global warming. If we were wooly mammoths instead of humans, we’d understand this in better perspective.

  21. Paul from VA

    Oh but Michael@12 the vast majority of glaciers being monitored are melting. The only sources that say otherwise are effectively made up:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/may/10/environment.columnists

    The article linked above would be hilarious were it not for the fact that the AGW skeptics continue to cite growing glaciers as the gospel truth. HINT: it involves Lyndon Larouche and a website of even deeper lunacy.

  22. Maybe we just don’t believe every politician

    It’s just too bad that Al Gore is the only way to find out anything about global warming, an idea he invented himself while twiddling his thumbs as Vice President.

  23. Evil Merodach

    @10, There is certaininly a lot of crowing that glaciers are now growing, but outside of the anti-AGW websites I don’t see any scientific findings that support the claim that 90% of the glaciers worldwide are now growing..

    This pro-AGW website counters this claim:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/himalayan-glaciers-growing.htm

    And these scientific orgainizations that actually monitor glaciers see no evidence that glaciers across the globe are growing, rather the opposite:

    http://www.geo.unizh.ch/wgms/

    http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/

  24. Gary Ansorge

    20. Jeff

    ” So it’s possible we should be worried about another glacial age”

    I think we’ve pretty well figured out how to avoid another glacial age. Also, note the natural tendency for suns to get hotter as they age.

    The last 4 million years has been the age of intermittent glaciation. Well, mostly glaciation with intermittent warming periods. Then We came along and looky, looky, an extended warm period. Yes, we should probably have entered another ice age several centuries ago. That SEEMED to be the way we were going, until the industrial age began in earnest.

    I’m just trying to figure out where I should be buying beach front property. I think I’ll avoid islands.

    Gary 7

  25. @12 Micheal wrote:

    More than 90 percent of the world’s glaciers are growing, but all that we hear about are the ones that are shrinking.

    Bullpucky! Worldwide, most glaciers are in decline, and have been for some time.

    http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/
    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig2-18.htm
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3046/

  26. You can all make fun of us who make fun of Al Gore. Please examine why we do.

    Because it’s easier to attack a spokesman than it is to attack the data. You have nothing of substance to contribute, so you attack a man rather than the idea. My initial post was a perfect parody of yours.

  27. Ray

    Phil, the two pics are interesting, but how are pics from 2002 and 2003 the pic of the day?

    Where are the pics from 2004-2010?

  28. Oli

    No one denies climate change. It’s just that the effect of us, human beings, on the change is much smaller than everyone thinks. Now don’t go and bash me – I have my reasons to believe that. Do you really not think that the CO2-emission-reduction isn’t (at least partially!) invented by politicians like Al Gore who just want the (gullibe) people to believe them, and vote for them?

    Of course the Earth is getting warmer. A couple of degrees. Then we’ll have a new ice age – look at the ice age cycle if you don’t believe me. We’re in a warm period now, in a few decades we’ll reach the peak, and then we’ll go down very rapidly.

    Don’t bash me – I have my reasons to believe this. I am not some gullibe idiot who believes everything someone said somewhere in some paper. I’m skeptical, I’m not gullible – and I know my facts.

  29. Daffy

    Jason, are you seriously proposing that profit motive is the reason for support of AGW? Do you really want to go with that idea? Really?

    So what are global energy companies motivated by (including their shills like Rush Limbaugh)? Fairies and lollipops?

  30. Pieter Kok

    Well, if Al Gore is fat, what do we call Russ Limbaugh?

    I can’t wait for RL to gravitationally collapse, so no “information” can escape.

  31. Daffy

    No information does escape! Only disinformation.

  32. Jean-Denis

    Michael,

    I don’t know for the other ones, but I can tell you as an eye witness that the glaciers on the Mont Blanc in France are *not* growing. They are *shrinking*. And very significantly too.

    As for the rest of your claims? I have no reason to believe that they are any more valid.

    Greetings from cold France. Yeah, AGW will possibly make France colder, if the North East derivation of the Gulf Stream gets deviated.

  33. Stan9FOS

    How many thousands (millions?) of years had it taken to build the glacier and ice shelf, (enduring many cycles of warming and cooling) and how quickly did it break up, compared to its life span?

  34. jasonB

    @ Gary

    Profits from the film, yes. How about the carbon trading business?

    “Are you sure you’re not looking in your own sand blasted mirror?”
    Interesting choice of mirror type…

    To Daffy

    Rush is in business FOR profit and is very happy to say he is. Just wishing the AGW head honchos who ARE making lots of money from it would admit the same. Funny the left in this country is always quick to point how it’s some how not fair that one person has two dollars more than another, yet Al with all his homes and jets get a pass on the very behavior/lifestyle that I’m supposed to curtail even though I don’t have a “carbon footprint” 1/100th many of our dear leaders unashamedly have.

  35. David D.

    Then there’s this:
    wired.com/wiredscience/2010/04/polar-ice-review/

    “Tipping point not likely for Arctic Sea ice”

    “Everyone thought there would be a tipping point,” said Dirk Notz, a Max Planck Institute climate scientist. “But that’s too simple.”

  36. David

    Wait a minute! One of the labels on the first picture says “melange”. Is there something they’re not telling us?

  37. Paul M

    Did anyone else notice that the glacier in the top left corner seems relatively intact?

  38. The retreat of the Crane Glacier is solely the result of the collapse of the Larson B ice shelf…not global warming. Meanwhile, the cause for the collapse of the ice shelf is a bit more complicated nor is there the beloved “consensus” that it was caused by AGW. The western Antarctic peninsula has a complex climate history and it is disengenuous, or simply ignorant, to ignore that.

    Nevertheless, AGW proponents have latched onto this “extreme event” as a poster child.

  39. DeepField

    So the second picture is now seven years old (and only one year later than the first). Isn’t there a newer picture, to see what has been going on since then?

  40. Maybe we can send Senator Inhofe and his grandkids down there to build an igloo.

  41. Landsat 7 is controlled by the US Geological Survey, not NASA.

    https://landsat.usgs.gov/

    The source website of the images has it wrong as well.

  42. Chris M

    See what I don’t understand is how burning several million years worth of accumulated carbon in
    a 150 year time span and putting it into the atmosphere does NOT have an impact on the climate or the oceans.

  43. This obviously has nothing to do with global warming, since global warming doesn’t even exist! I mean, just this last week it dropped well below freezing where I am; it isn’t normally that cold this time of the year. If global warming were real, how do you explain that? Plus, the very idea that humans can influence the climate of a planet is preposterous. Look at how big the earth is! It’s not like pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere is going to change anything.

  44. ChH

    Meanwhile, unusually frigid arctic weather causes a significant rebound in arctic ice extent.
    Unreported, of course, by AGW zealots.

  45. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @4. Daffy Says:

    Cue Plutonium for more “AGW is a religion” comments…

    Well since you gave me the cue ..why not . ;-P ;-)

    (Oh yeah I did plan on getting some sleep tonight. Oh well.)

    Glad to know you missed me! ;-)

    @ 7. Gary Ansorge Says:

    My prediction stands. 2010. The next “hottest year on record.” Not that being right will convince PBFP,,,

    Er, is that your admission that I’m actually right Gary? ;-)

    Your prediction for 2010 being hottest year … well we’ll have to wait & see.

    Although as you point out continually for 1998 it takes more than just one year to make a trend – of course, one year that marks a peak with over adecade of othertyears of stable or declining temps *does* kinda make a bit of a noticeable graph! ;-)

    … & don’t even get me started on why Hansen & his 2005 figure is totally unreliable. Plus in case you didn’t notice, 2005 is starting to get to be quite a long time ago in itself. How time flies.

    Key facts : 1998 (12 years ago) holds the global hottest year record & in the United States the hottest year ever is 1934. (A whopping 76 years ago!)

    If the planet is warming because of human carbon dioxide emissions then how the(non?) blazes do you explain that?

    (Yes I know I’ve said this here before but well ..*look at the evidence* – after all isn’t that what science is about! AGW is a myth that’s been busted. It has already failed its prediction test -it said the world should warm & it hasn’t. Hypothesis refuted.)

    So yes, I’m very skeptical of AGW Alarmist claims that the climate is rapidly warming at a dangerous rate because of Co2 which was many, many times higher in the geological past without causing any harm.

    Plus too we know the idea that a hotter planet is worse for life generally and us specifically is busted too as, again, the geological and palentological record – plus even the historical record suggests the exact opposite:

    Roman warming – reasonable grapes could be grown in Britain, Roman civilisation flourished,

    Medieval Warm Period -Vikings colonised Vinland in North America,

    Dark Ages = cooling era and we had the Black Death plague and the collapse of many civilisations incl. Romans,

    Little Ice Age – Thames froze over in England, harsh winters kileld hundreds of people and animals and causedenormous suffering.

    Hmmm .. I prefer warm conditions to ice age ones’ maybe we shoudl burn some more coal and oil not less? If that is, it would actually affect the climate which it doesn’t. ;-)

    1940′s – 1960′s were cooler than average, 1980′s -2000′s a bit warmer, let’s see what the next few decades do before we panic & do the headless chicken Eco-dance shall we? :-P ;-)

  46. But unless we spend trillions to avert catastrophic global warming, how are proponents going to take credit when it doesn’t happen?

    I have no problem with doing what’s right for the environment. The problem is that the expensive solutions (cap and trade, carbon trading) being proposed for AGW hold little promise of making a difference. Why proponents would so vehemently demand we implement these corruption-ridden, economy-killing and ineffective policies is beyond me. When you consider the social-engineering changes they would prefer to make to our society, the reasons become much more clear. I’m not saying that’s the motive of many individuals, but they are certainly being taken for a ride by those in power who do have that motive.

    More sensible all the way around is the promotion of clean-energy technology to developing nations so that they can more-quickly get past the dirty growing pains that we ourselves went through on the path to prosperity. And make no mistake, prosperity is exactly what allows us the luxury to take better care of our environment. (Too bad we don’t teach our children about the tremendous progress we’ve made in that regard.) Sapping it away for the profits of carbon-trading corporations (like ol’ Enron) is just insane. And, yes, Al Gore does have a vested interest in that business. Why does he get a pass on the greedy capitalist moniker?

  47. The Other Ian

    Gary Ansorge:

    My prediction stands. 2010. The next “hottest year on record.”

    Is there a scientific basis for this prediction? Even with a warming trend, most years are not going to be hottest on record, so a priori your prediction will probably be wrong.

    Just promise me that if you do turn out to be wrong, that you won’t subsequently make the same prediction for 2011, then 2012, etc. until you happen to get one right by chance.

  48. oldebabe

    Michael:
    In Feb this year, I viewed Perito Moreno (Argentina) up close and personal – walked to and climbed on it. It looked very big and solid, with a boom and a small calving as I watched. Glaciation right up to the lake and on one side a barely visible frozen moraine. WOW. Yes, and local lore as well as available scientific data is that the glacier extends, growing usually around Feb/March, tho it can/does obviously change some configuration. Yes, again, this is well-known and of interest, i.e. a glacier that can grow (or at the very least a glacier that continues to maintain its extent) given its specific climate, weather, and geomorphology of its location. But, it seems to be and is regarded as unique.

    Many (most?) glaciers have been documented to be shrinking lately, so Perito Moreno is currently evaluated as special, not a typical glacier.

    One example, or even a few examples, is/are obviously just that, not the whole story. Critical thinking time.

  49. ChH

    Pay no attention to the evidence of pre-industrial human activity being uncovered by retreating European glaciers. It does not count as evidence.

  50. The Other Ian

    PbfP:

    So yes, I’m very skeptical of AGW Alarmist claims that the climate is rapidly warming at a dangerous rate because of Co2 which was many, many times higher in the geological past without causing any harm.

    The sun was also cooler in the geological past. In fact, one of the problems in geology and paleontology is the faint young Sun paradox — the Sun was too cool to explain observations of life and surface water in Earth’s early history. One explanation for this apparent disconnect is that the Sun’s coolness was compensated by greenhouse effects.

    Little Ice Age – Thames froze over in England, harsh winters kileld hundreds of people and animals and causedenormous suffering.

    A phenomenon local to Europe, and one that could hypothetically repeat because of global warming. So much for “warmer = better”.

  51. I’d also like to point out that the American desert southwest is having an very mild late winter/early spring. (Thank you, El Nino.) The Sonoran desert is having an awesome bloom becaused of all the rains we had. I cannot remember ANY month of March in 26 years that was this cool. (The hottest years were back in 1989 & 1990.) It was the same story last June also. Comparitively speaking, we’ve been pretty mild around here for the last several years. This is completely contrary to the Chicken Little predictions of local AGW fearmongers. (They simply ignore this trend.)

    Does this make the news? No.

    But, hey, the northeast experiences a few days of 90 degree weather and the media and AGW proponents are on it like flies on sh*t. And they accuse deniers of hyping random events? tsk tsk

    My own observations support the variability induced by the Pacific Decaedal Oscillation. I’ve not noted any trends in my area that would indicate we experiencing a dramatic rise in temperature. (Past predictions & computer models have said we already should be.) Rather, we appear to have entered the downside of the oscillation. Imagine that. But, hey, if the last few years are any indication of global warming, I’ll take it!!

    So, when your fearmongering from 20 years ago doesn’t come to pass, forgive me for being skeptical about your predictions for the next 20 years or more. But, nope, y’all just keep moving the line forward and ignore that you have a pretty bad track record for prediction.

  52. Daffy

    Jason: ” Funny the left in this country is always quick to point how it’s some how not fair that one person has two dollars more than another…”

    Really? Who said that and when?

  53. Nullius in Verba

    Off the top of my head, I seem to recall that about 20% of glaciers were advancing, 50% retreating, and 30% not doing very much at all. Although as there are more than 160,000 glaciers recorded, and only a few hundred having been monitored for long enough to be able to make statements, it’s tricky to be sure. It depends what the selection biases might be.

    Northern hemisphere glaciers grew up until the end of the little ice age in about 1850 and have since been shrinking at a constant rate. Southern hemisphere glaciers generally have shrunk throughout the Holocene, since the last real ice age.

    But glaciers aren’t a good reflection of temperature – they’re more about precipitation, and moreover they show a lag of hundreds to thousands of years. It’s best to think of them as frozen rivers. If you see the river near you flowing faster, your first thought would probably be that it had been raining upstream a few hours ago. Changes in glacier speed now may be related to snowfall changes in their accumulation areas five hundred years ago. They speed up and slow down, for reasons not fully understood yet. Certainly not temperature, since surface temperature changes take many years to penetrate by conduction to the plastic flow layer, and water flowing down crevasses and moulins can only penetrate the cracked brittle layer on top, not the plastic flow layer where the pressure is high enough to make ice flow by shear stress, so they cannot reach the all-important bottom, which has the greatest influence on flow rate.

    In the case of both Greenland and Antarctica, the great mass of ice is in a bowl in the rock, created by their weight, and so is not at risk of going anywhere. As snow accumulates on top, it is flowing off the edges. More snow means faster flow.

    Ice sheets and glaciers – both big and small – break off. They have done for millions of years. The glacier retreat might or might not be related to temperature, but their message is complex and ambiguous, and not one to rush to superficial conclusions over.

  54. John Sandlin

    For all the warming denialists, please note when you say that the recent weather is completely opposite of what AGW models predict that you are completely incorrect. That’s one reason many began using the phrase Climate Change. The predictions are for wider temperature swings and changes in precipitation patterns – which we have had.

    Global Climate change is about trends. The trend is warmer, even if the northern east coast of the United States had a particularly wet winter.

    Finally, most denialists are worried about the costs of fixing the problem. How much will it cost to fix once it’s too late. Oh, that’s right, it won’t be fixable, regardless the monetary cost.

  55. @46 The Other Ian wrote:

    In fact, one of the problems in geology and paleontology is the faint young Sun paradox — the Sun was too cool to explain observations of life and surface water in Earth’s early history

    A paper published in the current issue of Nature addresses the “paradox”. The authors posit that the oceans absorbed more energy than the continents, and clouds reflected less energy due to the lack of nuclei around which the droplets form.

    From the press release, The conclusion from all this is that we can’t solve a faint sun paradox and also satisfy the geologic and metabolic constraints by having high carbon dioxide values… But the theory of a lower Earthly albedo meets those constraints

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/su-eea040610.php

  56. Utakata

    The only thing warm around here is the bull raw that Anti-AGW wanks spew out any time BA says anything about climate. Enough already! Just say the Earth is flat, 6,000 years old , not warming and move on. Don’t baffle us with 300 paragraph cherry picked smoke and mirror routines. It’s not very convincing.

  57. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    how many episodes of weather over how large a region does it take to add up to climate?

    Modulo trending, the climatologist baseline seems to be 30 years.

    … oh, you were rhetorical.

  58. Gary Ansorge

    47. The Other Ian

    “Is there a scientific basis for this prediction? Even with a warming trend, most years are not going to be hottest on record, so a priori your prediction will probably be wrong.”

    Obviously, it’s the long term trends that indicate warming/cooling. I just put that out there to zing PBFP. Since we have had a new “hottest year” about every 10 to 20 years, and the last peak was 1998(or 2005, depending on whether you accept Hansens data) I figure it’s about time for a new one, especially with the El Nino last year that totally messed with US weather patterns and seemed to convince AGW denialists they were right. Anyway, if I’m right about 2010, I get my 15 nano-seconds of fame(snark) AND I get to zing my buddy, Joe, who is Anti-AGW(as in “Is it hot enough for you Joe?”)

    45. PBFP;

    Oh, THERE you are. I was beginning to think you were on vacation.

    Warmer winters, earlier spring, later autumn are pretty great for me. Reduces my monthly electric(heating) bill by $20.00. Unfortunately, those trends usually INCREASE my air conditioning bill in the (longer)summer and THAT’S a bummer.

    “Although as you point out continually for 1998 it takes more than just one year to make a trend – of course, one year that marks a peak with over adecade of othertyears of stable or declining temps *does* kinda make a bit of a noticeable graph!”

    Unfortunately, we have no idea if a run away greenhouse event is likely/possible/inevitable on earth. Our only example of such is Venus and we still don’t know what feedback loops failed there.(New research indicates the early Venusian atmosphere was as thin as Earths. What happened to make it as it is today?). Personally, I’d like to keep weather as stable (on earth) as we can and that necessitates keeping a very close eye on what might precipitate such feedback loop failures.
    Ground warming (and stratospheric cooling ) is totally consistent with increases in ambient CO2 levels. We have ground warming (and stratospheric cooling) so,,, I think maybe it’s that pesky CO2 we keep adding to the atmo.

    ,,,and anything that encourages humans to kick our petroleum addiction is fine by me.

    Gary 7

  59. The Other Ian

    Sman @55,

    It’s true that ammonia and carbon dioxide have largely been ruled out as playing a critical part, and methane likely couldn’t have done the job on its own, so there must have been something else going on. That something else could have been the lower albedo hypothesis, or Shaviv’s stronger solar wind hypothesis, or something else entirely. All of these theories are made stronger when combined with greenhouse effects, since the Earth at that time was quite warm (possibly as warm as 70 C), and so there’s a large amount of warming to be explained.

    James Kasting summarizes all this nicely in his article on page 687 of the same issue of Nature. In any case, the science is far from finished here.

  60. John Sandlin: Actually, many economists think it would be cheaper to adapt to whatever climate change occurs; another little fact that alarmists avoid talking about. (Not to mention that humans are really good at adapting.) Of course, there’s no proof or consensus either way on that topic…it’s pure speculation used as fodder for fearmongering. The other end of the spectrum will bellow that our attempts to correct the problem could actually make things worse.

    By the way, Utakata, I don’t believe the Earth is flat or only 6000 years old, so feel free to place your prejudiced assumptions and childish accusations where the sun does not shine.

    The utter denial of ANY contrary evidence or skepticism around here is laughable and is as clearly motivated by politics as is accused of denialists. The folks I know who are skeptical come from many political persuasions (including Democrats)…but every bonifide alarmist that I know is a liberal that openly displays their intolerance for conservatives (and simply assumes that all deniers must be conservative).

    I’m guessing that a few of you aren’t going to appreciate the stereotype being thrown back in your face.

  61. QuietDesperation

    Admit it, Phil. You’re just looking for page hits now. :-P

    Because it’s easier to attack a spokesman than it is to attack the data.

    *shrug* Welcome to the human race. So find a better spokesperson.

    But glaciers aren’t a good reflection of temperature – they’re more about precipitation, and moreover they show a lag of hundreds to thousands of years.

    Wasn’t there one that was retreating due to recent deforestation at lower levels? It changed the local wind patterns and allowed warmer air to blow up to the glacier. I forget which one. In Africa, I think. It was a nice example of a very localized system.

    I’d also like to point out that the American desert southwest is having an very mild late winter/early spring. (Thank you, El Nino.)

    Bleah. I want *real* spring to actually start here in Southern California! It rained today! Unacceptable! Unmutual! My heat should not be coming on in April!

  62. jcm

    Climate change is real whether you like it or not. Deal with it.

  63. Jean-Denis

    Eric,

    You are so shortsighted!! Wake up. Our little planet goes beyond your country. I can guarantee you that what you just wrote is totally wrong here where I live, where common sense seems to be much more widespread than in the USA.

  64. Daffy

    QD: “*shrug* Welcome to the human race. So find a better spokesperson.”

    Assuming you mean Gore, the Right Wing media pay far more attention to him than anyone else does.

  65. ChH

    jcm – yes, of course climate change is real. The quesions are:
    1. are people causing it?
    2. is it possible for people to stop it?
    3. if so, should we trash our economies and freedoms to stop it?
    4. is it continuing on the same trend as 1970-2000, or has it turned back to a cooling trend?

  66. The Other Ian

    QuietDesperation @61:

    Wasn’t there one that was retreating due to recent deforestation at lower levels? It changed the local wind patterns and allowed warmer air to blow up to the glacier. I forget which one. In Africa, I think. It was a nice example of a very localized system.

    I believe you’re referring to Furtwängler Glacier on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  67. Eric@60:
    Actually, many economists think it would be cheaper to adapt to whatever climate change occurs; another little fact that alarmists avoid talking about.
    [Citation needed]

    See, for instance, this counter: So how can we put a price tag on the effects of global warming? The most widely quoted estimates … depend upon educated guesswork to place a value on the negative effects of global warming in a number of crucial areas, especially agriculture and coastal protection, then try to make some allowance for other possible repercussions. Nordhaus has argued that a global temperature rise of 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit — which used to be the consensus projection for 2100 — would reduce gross world product by a bit less than 2 percent. But what would happen if, as a growing number of models suggest, the actual temperature rise is twice as great? Nobody really knows how to make that extrapolation. For what it’s worth, Nordhaus’s model puts losses from a rise of 9 degrees at about 5 percent of gross world product. Many critics have argued, however, that the cost might be much higher.

    Despite the uncertainty, it’s tempting to make a direct comparison between the estimated losses and the estimates of what the mitigation policies will cost: climate change will lower gross world product by 5 percent, stopping it will cost 2 percent, so let’s go ahead. Unfortunately the reckoning is not that simple for at least four reasons.

    Read the original; it should be required reading. I await your acknowledgement or attempt at refutation.

  68. Doug Little

    The utter denial of ANY contrary evidence or skepticism around here is laughable and is as clearly motivated by politics as is accused of denialists

    So I am assuming that you will be backing that statement with some evidence that that is what goes on around here. Also it seems to me that most if not all arguments from the Anti AGW side have been refuted by the peer reviewed science. But of course we all know that there is a massive global scientific conspiracy against the conservative world view and that reality seems to have a remarkable bias against conservatives.

  69. Joey Joe Joe

    65:

    How anyone can continue to question that humans are the primary cause of Climate Change is beyond me. The glaciers are melting! What more proof do you need?

    [/sarcasm]

  70. The best way to convince someone is to consistently state the absolute (best known) facts one has. Eventually, reason and truth will triumph. It could take a very long time though if history has taught us anything. :)

  71. Gary Ansorge

    60. Eric

    “adapt to whatever climate change occurs; another little fact that alarmists avoid talking about”

    Adapt? As in move to cooler climes? I expect that’s what about two billion people will TRY to do. Do YOU have room for them in YOUR house?

    Or do you mean “Learn to breath underwater”?

    To encourage people to make necessary changes(like solar power) is one type of adaptation. To change ingrained transportation habits(drive slow, small, electrically powered vehicles, car pool or take public transit) generally requires that we first make them aware in their gut that bad things will happen if they DON’T change. THAT’S adaptation too you know and I fail to see how that is any more expensive than forcibly altering petroleum or coal consumption with carbon offsets.

    I’m not intolerant of conservatives. Just impatient. I’m about as liberal/progressive as I can be and still remain in the real world. I totally believe in socialism for the poor while at the same time accepting capitalism for the wealthy. I believe people have the right to live their lives any way they see fit, as long as they don’t do so at the expense of others(and I’m not talking about money here).
    I accept the evidence for AGW, while keeping one eye open for the possibility that this may be what happens just before the climate system swings over into another ice age, as in, if a catastrophic release of glacial water into the ocean changes the flow patterns of warm water currents . Does that seem conservative to you? (hint: It isn’t).

    People who cling to old ways of doing things are generally considered conservative and that is a necessary component of our collective psyche. It’s in the conflict between liberal/new vs conservative/old that we settle on the best path. The conflict generates mostly noise but eventually a consensus will arise and off we go. Pick a side. I’m for the progressive.

    Gary 7
    PS I take no exception to conservatives pointing out a different interpretation of the evidence. Where I become incensed is when self proclaimed wing nuts LIE and distort evidence. That’s just asking for a fight.

  72. ozprof , where do you get your info from? Everything I can find says minimum ice coverage for antarctic is in January, February or March.

    I found a nice animation showing how ice coverage can vary from year to year in March. Notice how the ice disappears around the ice shelf in 2002 but returns afterwards. That is why we need to see this area over more years to make any judgement on it. Has the glacier regrown since then and if so why did they not show that?

    http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice_animation_ant.html

    What happens when you look at figures for all the ice melt over a longer period? Try this

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/10/06/antarctic-ice-melt-at-lowest-levels-in-satellite-era/

    “One swallow does not a summer make”

  73. Doug Little

    if so, should we trash our economies and freedoms to stop it?

    So becoming more environmentally responsible will some how trash the economy and remove the freedoms that you enjoy today? Now I’m not an economist but I would have thought that creating new markets and mandating that we become more efficient in certain sectors of the existing economy is going to drive up demand for research and development resulting in a more highly educated and skilled workforce, which given the level of globalization within the manufacturing sector due to the abundance of cheap labor in 3rd world countries, is probably a good thing for the American economy.

    What’s your alternative?

    What freedoms are you going to lose?

  74. shaun

    I recommend for those who think humans can’t have a high level of negative impact on this planet please revisit your history on the black blizzard of the 1930′s.

  75. Jean-Davis: Thanks for living up to the stereotype…the anti-Americanism was a nice touch. I find most people are ignorant of climate trends where they live and are, indeed, very short-sighted. One hot summer will make them completely forget about five years of normalcy…or that really cool summer they had seven years ago.

    We actually got pretty hot last July and August (didn’t break many records though) and our monsoon season fizzled. By the end of the season, the alarmists were bleating the mantra again and had completely forgotten how cool it had been in June. It’s also strange how they freak out about droughts here in the desert. It’s NORMAL for us to have drought conditions for many years in a row…but the media never provides that caveat when bleating about it. It’s also normal for us to experience a few 90-degree days (33+ C) in March…but every time it happens the local media acts like it’s an extreme event (giving locals an erroneous impression of reality). They insist on comparing everything to a single “average” temperature when it’s far more accurate to report a “mean” temperature than can vary from 60 to 90. It’s pretty rare that we have average temperatures that time of year. Most years it’s a few degrees above “average”…then we have those El Nino years when it remains 10 to 15 degrees below average. Ergo, people are left with the impression that we’re trending above what is normal…despite that most of our high-temperature records are decades old.

    Los Angeles and southern California is another locale that has always tended to extreme weather events. It’s either too hot or too cold or too wet or too dry…rarely does it experience what local meteorologists would tell you is “average.” Thus, people are left with a media-driven notion that the weather has gone crazy, despite that SoCal weather has always been crazy.

    And, of course, climate change is real. It always has been. But, as I said, I’m rather observant of my local area and have not noticed anything outside the bounds of expected climate oscillations. (My brother is in the farming industry in Alberta and reports the same for his area.) And, as I noted, local alarmists conveniently ignore that they’ve been predicting our area to be one of the most greatly affected (in the entire world) by global warming…and they’ve been doing it long enough that we should have seen it by now. Could they at least meet me halfway and admit they’ve BEEN wrong and perhaps try to come up with a new hypothesis on how our area will be affected?

    One seeming trend I would admit to is that our daily low temperatures may be getting higher. (It’s also the well-documented reason for some globally-warm years.) In fact, this is a less-publicized prediction of global warming…probably because it does not support catastrophism. Paleontological and geologic evidence supports that global warming results in more uniform temperatures (higher lows and lower highs), widening of the Earth’s temperate zones (longer growing seasons in the north), a greater amount of precipitation (fewer deserts), but less “extreme” weather (a contentous subject among hurricane scientists). In other words, the fossil record seems to indicate that a warmer Earth provides better conditions for life in general (greater biomass and biodiversity)…whereas it’s pretty clear on the devastation wrought by colder temperatures.

  76. Robert E

    I always find it amusing (in as sad sort of way) the idea that Al Gore making $ = bad, but that the consumption of foreign oil that results in people like Hugo Chávez making money — who would like nothing better than to see the US go up in flames — isn’t.

    So, for those of you outraged that a US citizen who donated all film proceeds to money = evil, please explain why your support of foreign dictators who hate the US isn’t.

  77. Utakata

    But Eirc @ #60, there is no liberal conspiracy I am aware of on this…only science which leans towards the anti-AGW being full of it. It’s also amusing as well, that you would mention partisan positions…since I never said anything to that affect in my statement. So it’s not me whose behaving childishly. Or least I haven’t told anyone where to stuff it because I disagreed with them.

    As for what I said, I stand behind it. Even if the person believes one of those positions to be true…I have issues with that.

  78. Greg the Goofy Antiscience Guy

    For all the back and forth in this thread, it should just be reduced to #53 (Nullius in Verba). Climate change is an important debate, but glacial retreat offers little evidence (but spectacular images!). For instance, Fox Glacier has been in retreat since the Little Ice Age, well before the industrial revolution.

    The BA’s last paragraph in particular is out of line. On the one hand he wants to point out that being ‘reality-based’ (an implied pejorative against anyone who disagrees with him) he wouldn’t mistake weather for climate, then follows that by saying “hey, this weather kinda looks like climate!” just because it suits his personal position. Bad form.

  79. ChH

    Doug Little @73: “… creating new markets and mandating … drive up demand …”

    If it results in lower cost per unit energy, including capital costs, yes, it will be beneficial to the economy. But the alternate energy sources we’ve seen so far cost much more per unit energy than fossil fuels. In that case, any money spent on alternatives is money taken away from being spent on something else (see “broken glass fallacy”).

    DL: “What’s your alternative?”
    Let the market pick winners and losers, not the government. Then we avoid idiocy like corn-based ethonol & wind farms & the like.

    DL: “What freedoms are you going to lose?”
    First & foremost the freedom to spend my money as I choose, since you want gov’t mandates that will increase what I must spend on energy and/or efficiency.
    Also, there is a lot of talk about things like banning incandescents (with no superior replacement – CFL’s have problems), banning outdoor grilling, banning the sale of houses without certain efficiency measures, forcing people to purchase more fuel-efficient expensive cars, banning the internal combustion engine,

    Robert E @76: “… Al Gore making $ = bad …”
    I’m all for Al Gore or anyone else to make money by meeting someone’s need. Making money by forcing people to buy certain products, then selling them the product is profiteering of the grossest kind.
    Gore’s money is coming not from film proceeds, but rather ownership in companies that sell green products & carbon credits (the 21st century version of the Catholic indulgence).

    That other evil people such as Chavez are making money under the current oil economy doesn’t make what Al Gore is doing OK. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  80. ChH

    Still complete silence from the AGW zealots on the significant rebound in arctic ice coverage last month, and the resulting positive feedback from increased albedo.

  81. Still complete silence from the AGW zealots on the significant rebound in arctic ice coverage last month, and the resulting positive feedback from increased albedo.

    I do apologize for not getting around to cleaning up the voluminous amount of poop that anti-reality types are able to spread everywhere in a matter of seconds.

    Of course, if you actually read any of the websites that attempt to explain reality to the best of our current knowledge, you wouldn’t have made that disingenuous claim in the first place.

    Be that as it may, here’s your answer: Arctic Sea Ice (Part 1): Is the Arctic Sea Ice recovering? A reality check

    I would recommend getting your information about climate change from sites that have a good track record of intellectual honesty, which would preclude both the usual denier sites, as well as much of the mainstream media. A radical idea, I know, but it would have likely prevented you making such an easily debunked claim.

  82. ChH

    Damian … good link. There may indeed still be a medium-term trend toward less arctic ice coverage. Too bad we don’t have reliable records going back a few thousand years, covering the medieval and roman warm periods.

    But … The point I was trying to make is that AGW zealots trumpet the smallest evidence of warming (such as 3250 km^2 of antarctic ice breaking up), but don’t say a word about ice coverage elsewhere rebounding by 1000000 km^2.
    My information (I posted the full links in #13) was from nsidc.org, by the way – hardly a “denier” organ.
    BTW, what exactly about my claim was disingenuous?

  83. Jeffersonian

    @12
    Fail. The majority of glaciers in Washington’s Cascade chain are in serious retreat (Johannesburg Mtn’s shelf glacier is a studied example).
    Same is true for the Andes and Himalaya chains.
    Funny, though, how you cherry-picked.
    As for the French/Swiss Alps, I’ve inspected glaciers on site and have personally visited the glacier huts which were built at glacial level and now have to add steps to their staircases every summer. Out of hundreds of huts, not one has had to remove the staircases. (The largest and moot-studied is the Aletsch). Course, the fact that many ski areas in the Alps have had to shut down their once thriving ski d’ete programs may be a more obvious indicator. But then, according to the deniers, it’s okay when billion-dollar industries fail due to climate change – it will be offset by the increase in high-profit Siberian farmland.
    And I’m guessing you don’t know that glaciers can surge in length due to melting, even as girth decreases.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aletsch_Glacier
    nichols.edu/DEPARTMENTS/Glacier/glacier_retreat.htm

    @14. jasonB
    Clearly it is you who is obsessed with Gore; you who insists on making a connection where none is implied.

    @28
    For decades science discussed Co2 reduction when no politicians were onboard. It took grassroots efforts to educate politicians because, without their help, nothing on a global scale gets accomplished. Now that a few are involved, you make a claim that politicians invented the issue. Your assumptions only show you’re late to the party.

    @51
    You’re conflating the jetstream position with longer-term climatic trends. How does above-normal moisture brought in by a southern-positioned jetstream negate global temperature increase?

    @53
    The fact that there is a lag is what makes many glaciers good indicators of trends. Glaciers are classified by many different types. Hanging/shelf glaciers, for example, are highly subject to average temps because they have no terminal moraines and no surge troughs. You can expect glaciers to vary seasonally but remain relatively stable over a period of a couple decades. If a glacier that took 10,000 years to accumulate loses half its mass in 40 years, it’s just not expected behavior. If you look at precip patterns and find they average-out, then what’s the next thing you look at?

    @60
    If this adaptation is reflected by a tripling of your tax responsibility to accommodate reactionary and emergency adjustments, are you cool with that? Or does this adaptation assume an isolationist philosophy?

  84. ChH:

    Apologies for not noticing your links at 13.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but I do admit to being suspicious about your motive for asking people to offer an explanation for “the significant rebound in arctic ice coverage last month”, while also using the rather unimaginative epithet, “zealots”. Unless you have expectations of every day/month/year being warmer than the last, and ice continually on the retreat without any anomalies, at all, etc, it is hard to understand your reasons for asking for an explanation for something so minor. When you add in the fact that ice coverage says absolutely nothing about the age and volume, which are even more important factors, I am at a loss to explain your comment.

    If one can be zealous about reality, then I suppose that I am a zealot, but I would also question where you have experienced this “zealotry”, because it is not in evidence at the climate change sites that I frequent, although most, if not all, of them deal almost exclusively with the science?

    It appears to me that you have mistaken the people who are genuinely interested in understanding the problem for the few who might correctly be accused of going too far in their advocacy. How you then square that with the fact that the number of people who deny even very basic science in their eagerness to obfuscate and obstruct any movement on the issue far, far outweigh those who deal in apocalyptic scenario’s, I have no idea. But if the word zealot applies to those who support the overwhelming scientific consensus, I’m not even sure that there is a word to describe the sheer idiocy and intellectual dishonesty on the opposite side of the manufactroversy.

    Finally, it is almost never correct to attribute a one-time event or phenomena to climate change, which is based almost entirely on trends. But to be fair, the place that I learned that was actually on the climate change sites. It is usually the media that speculates about whether such events are due to climate change (often entirely erroneously, I admit), and that annoys climate scientists every bit as much as it does people like yourself. However, it doesn’t follow that all one-time events are therefore not a result of climate change. Some obviously are, and we can figure out which is which by taking a much broader view of the issue. Whether we can conclusively say that a one-time event is caused by climate change, as opposed to simply pointing out that it fits with the overall trend, I’m not really sure.

  85. Chris A.

    @ChH (#80):
    “Still complete silence from the AGW zealots on the significant rebound in arctic ice coverage last month, and the resulting positive feedback from increased albedo.”

    Umm, how about a chart from the link _you_ posted earlier?

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100406_Figure3.png

  86. Utakata: I never claimed it was a liberal conspiracy nor was my post directed soley at you (just the one comment). But, yeah, when you childishly toss out generalities about anyone who disagrees with you, you’re right that I’m going to tell you to stuff it. Excuse me. I’ve never been the one to start the name-calling around here. Phil pretty much handles that himself, though I don’t begrudge him for it…that’s his style. It just seems odd that’s it’s okay for alarmists to engage in that behavior while I get called out on it. Speak to the attitudes of some of your comrades if you’re to speak to me about mine.

    Still, most hard-core alarmists are liberals. I don’t think they’re conspiring over the issue…but I’ll spare you my childish assertions on the subject. Climate skeptics appear to come in all flavors, including liberal. (Of course, those turncoats are the most despised of all.)

    Robert E.: Indeed, I didn’t realize that I was supporting Chavez making a buttload of money from our dependence on foreign oil simply because I pointed out that Al Gore has a vested interested in carbon trading. In fact, I favor removing our dependence on foreign oil precisely for the reason of NOT propping up dictators. Ergo, I am pleasantly surprised by Obama’s plans for new nuclear power plants and more offshore drilling. That should get the ball rolling while we continue to develop more efficient alternatives.

    I’m hoping you don’t judge vested business interests of individuals based soley on their politics. Are liberal capitalists to be trusted more than conservative ones? Or just capitalists that own oil companies? What about capitalists that own ethanol companies? Does Al Gore get a pass on his glaring conflict of interest simply because he is Al Gore? Likewise, is research funded by environmental organizations any less biased than research funded by oil companies? Is it not valid for all such funding to be questioned? Are liberals more noble than conservatives? How do libertarians get pigeon-holed into the equation?

    Help me out here.

  87. ChH

    Chris A – that chart is the average for the month of March. Much of the rebound I mentioned came at the end of March relative to past years, so is not reflected in that chart. It’ll be interesting to see what the April chart looks like given the record-late peak this year.
    But … the difference there is probably a short-term blip that’s really not important – the world has undergone much more drastic warming and cooling swings in the past without our help.

    Like I said posted to Damien in my #82, the main point I was making is to ask why a big deal is made over 3250 km^2 of sea-ice loss while 1,000,000 km^2 (300x) of sea ice gain is not mentioned at all?

    THAT is one reason why I call it zealotry.

    I’ve noticed the belief in man-cause climate change resembles the worst aspects of organized religion. People speak of carbon-emitting activities as though they are sinful, with absolution from guilty feelings available by the purchase of indulgences (carbon offsets). You’ve got the priesthood, evangelism, punishment of heretics, and getting off on telling other people how to live their lives.

    So … “AGW zealots”. Feel free to call me a “denier” in response. Know that what I’m denying is not the continual changing of the climate, but that it is out of the ordinary & caused by humans.

  88. Brian Too

    Once again, loons here posting about the BIG MONEY, AL GORE, HOCKEY STICK, MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD, etc. The best one was “90% of glaciers are growing”. Oh really? Got a source for that, one that isn’t a laughable house of cards?

    Once again, the reality is that there is a huge, simply gigantic entrenched fossil fuel industry. One that, in certain quarters, really does not want it’s business model challenged in any way whatsoever. One that spends significant funds to lobby for it’s interests with the cover story that “what’s good for us is good for the nation”.

    The Precautionary Principle holds that the downside of Climate Change is so great, that it’s worthwhile to spend some money now. Even if not all the facts are known. However the deniers will have none of that. They know that they will never be held accountable in future decades, for their misinformation now.

    I propose we change that. If you are a denier, please send me your bank name, account number, and current balance. If you are wrong, you will be receiving an invoice for your share of the damages caused by flooding of our coastal towns and cities, not to mention agricultural lands and all the rest. The invoice will have the force of law so you must pay or face seizure. If your account balance is too low then your opinion is correspondingly devalued because you cannot meet the size of your potential liability.

    Oh, what’s that? Not so eager to put any of your personal resources on the line? Well why not?

  89. Utakata

    Um …please don’t berate me about being childish Eric @ 386, then go off and justify why you where being childish yourself. That doesn’t work with me.

    But I am sorry your understanding in this debate is tied up in your ideology. You see ideology is not an instrument to measure with. Science is. So everytime you go on yammering about liberals, alarmists, hardcore, turncoats or otherwise does not distract from the bogus claims of Anti-AGW, which are for the most part seems very idelogically driven.

    I suppose I should understand considering that the ideology is bottom line profit driven and thus resistant any change that may cost money, driving down precious stocks. And you say liberals are alarmist…but I digress.

    Generally speaking, there also appears a disturbing trend that because a person holds liberal views it’s a thought crime that he or she can comment on them unless his or her’s conclusions are the same as Anti-AGW types. It’s like saying one can’t discuss socialism because they’re poor. And in before “I never claimed that,” baloney…it’s not what you and kin are saying directly, it’s what you are implying. It’s a bogus smoke screen to throw up that only skew the debate in you guys favor. Just saying…

    And again, I stand by what I said at the beginning.

  90. Spectroscope

    @7. Gary Ansorge Says:

    5. NBwaW : Well, if Al Gore is fat, what do we call Russ Limbaugh?

    Isn’t it interesting to note that when the Global Warming (or is it climate change now we know the world y’know isn’t actually warming?) debate comes up the first names that spring to mind are those of *politicians* NOT scientists.

    Doesn’t that in itself imply something as to whether or not the AGW idea really belongs in the scientific magisteria or the political arena?

    AGW is associated with Gore’s personality cult & with extreme environmentalism – if that doesn’t make people suspect its scientific validity .. then it should.

    Gore’s Bull about Warming is an ideological belief & not a scientific theory – period.

    As for thinking insults against Al Gore can be cancelled out by insulting Rush Limbaugh too .. maybe you should think about what each of those men is asking of us all:

    Rush is unapologetically supporting his political party and trying to convince you to vote Republican.

    As far as I know Rush has never pretended to be a “scientist” or made up a scare-mongering lame-brained horror movie and claimed it to be a valid “documentary”.

    Al Gore of course has done those – he is a failed partisan politician yet he tries to pretend he’s both a genuine scientist & genuine film-maker. Why? Because he wants to undermine and destroy the entire Western world by putting in place repressive taxes and making us all submit to the radical green agenda. Oh and profit himself while doing so.

    None of which will fix the (non)problem of human CO2 emissions as China, India and others nations will more than make up for any shortfall produced by Americans going back to living in trees and caves and surrendering their economy and quality of life in the process.

    The failure of the Copenhagen summit showed that if Anthropogenic Global Warming really is real (& it isn’t) then there’s absolutely nothing we (as Westerners living in the first world) can do to change it & we’re just going to have to adapt as we’ve always done where climate is involved.

    Of course the good news there is that for any disaster an average environmentalists claim will happen a good rule of thumb is to halve the severity of the consequences – at least. And for Al Gore & the AGW mob a good rule of thumb is that their whacky predictions can be discounted 100% about 100% of the time. (Eg. melting Himalayan galciers, umm ..no. Rising temperatures & record heatwaves ..er no.Loss of snow & ice from everywhere ..wrong again.)

    Finally comparing Rush Limbaugh and Al Gore let’s also note that Rush certainly never tried to warp peer review, fudge the data toproduce erroneous “hockey stick”charts and GIGO computer game “Climate predictions” (& how are *those* working out for y’all btw?) or use “tricks” to “hide the decline” as the Climategate Club did for the sake Gore’s AGW political cause.

    Thus science wise while neither Rush or Gore are legitimate scientists I’d rather trust Rush who at least knows that and doens’t pretend to be an expert than Gore who does.

  91. Bruce

    @88 Brian Too:

    How about posting YOUR account info? When AGW doesn’t happen, you will be invoiced for all the money wasted on carbon credits and such. If your balance is too low, perhaps you can get a loan from Al Gore, the one profiting from this gigantic hoax.

  92. Dean

    @87
    “I’ve noticed the belief in man-cause climate change resembles the worst aspects of organized religion.”

    Your glasses are polarized.

    You are seeing and complaining vociferously of bias in one dimension but not the very clear bias in the others (I’ll steer clear of suggesting where your comments fall in this respect). Look at the posts above!!

  93. Utakata, I never said it’s a thought crime to hold liberal views either (I hold quite a few myself)…nor did I come close to suggesting that you should shut up. Why do you display this oppression complex? Perhaps you could take a cue from Richard Hansen and call a national press conference to tell everyone how horribly I’m oppressing you.

    As for science, it’s not my fault that there are so many niggling points of fact from which to “cherry-pick” data that not all is as the fearmongers would have us believe…especially in regard to predicting catastrophy. No, I’m not talking about non-melting glaciers…I’m rolling my eyes just as much as you guys over the 90% claim. On the other hand, Antarctica as a whole does present a few problems…as does the lack of significant warming over the last decade. Sorry, quibbling over hundredths of a degree doesn’t cut it…we were told it was going to be much worse. The more that alarmists brush aside these facts the more I have to wonder why they have no skepticism whatsoever or deny the existence of ANY data that does not support AGW. It’s as obtuse as that 90% claim. The inability to admit mistakes about past predictions hampers the credibility of future predictions.

    Again, my primary concern is in CATASTROPHIC predictions. It’s a bald-faced lie that there is consensus on that particular aspect of global warming. (Proponents seem to enjoy deluding themselves that the consensus includes everything claimed about global warming.) There’s also this little matter of human nature having always believed we are having catastrophic effects on the world around us. Combine that with the utter denial of opposing facts and it’s no wonder that so many independently-minded folks see the issue having slipped into the realm of religious fervor…complete with the demonization of heretics.

    And since when is my ideology profit driven? Where’s my check? I don’t own stock in oil companies. I’m more concerned about the cause of AGW harming the environment by restricting development in third world and shifting the focus away from more localized efforts. Indeed, it embarrasses me how selfish I am. America, I think, is prosperous enough to weather the economic storm that could be created by whatever legislation is thrust upon us. Africa? Not so sure about that.

    I also have to wonder why alarmists stand so solidly behind solutions that (in Europe) are already proving themselves ineffective and riddled with corruption. Why won’t anybody address that issue? Why do we have to accept these particular proposals or be branded a heretic? Regardless of economic concerns, carbon trading doesn’t accomplish anything except make profit for carbon-trading companies. (I thought only my own ideology was profit-driven.) Caps on CO2 emmissions have been completely ineffective. The only reductions have been a result of the tanking economy. Ironically, America has reduced its CO2 output more than Europe because of that.

    Meanwhile, there are sensible solutions I can live with because they work at all levels of environmental and human-health concern; things like cleaner energy alternatives and increased MPG standards. Oh, wait…there’s no profit in that. My bad.

  94. Phil

    > how many episodes of weather over how large a region does it take to add up to climate?

    Given the fact that you are an experienced scientist, hopefully such a question will inspire you into investigating further about the absurdity of the “weather vs. climate” dichotomy.

    Think of it like that planet/dwarf planet/satellite waste of time…

  95. Jeff

    What makes any of you think humans are wise enough to do things in a rational way? They never did, never will.

    So irregardless of the consequences, if any, nothing will stop human technology. In my own view, and this is just mine, the oil engine, which is low hanging fruit, will soon run out, and the technical civilization will collapse anyway, long before climate changes radically. Humanity will go back to the paleolithic and stay there for the rest of its history on earth.

    I know this type of thinking isn’t popular among all you scientists out there (hey, I actually am one myself!), but I’ve thought it out pretty carefully.

  96. Mike G

    @87-ChH

    Little is being said about the fact that peak Arctic sea ice extent has rebounded to slightly below the 30 year average because there’s little surprising or informative about that. It grows back to almost the 30 year average EVERY year, even as the long-term trend in decline of multi-year ice and minimum summertime extent continues. To understand why the extent at the annual minimum is a much more important indicator and bigger newsmaker than the extent at the maximum, plot the trend in annual maximum extent and annual minimum extent and compare the two lines. The rate of change in minimum extent is much greater than the change in maximum extent.

  97. Doug Little

    If it results in lower cost per unit energy, including capital costs, yes, it will be beneficial to the economy. But the alternate energy sources we’ve seen so far cost much more per unit energy than fossil fuels. In that case, any money spent on alternatives is money taken away from being spent on something else (see “broken glass fallacy”).

    You seem to have a pretty simplistic view on how the economy works. So what you are saying is that the only beneficial quality of a particular product is it’s price? Sure the upfront cost of alternative energy is higher, but it is generally comes with a much lower environmental and social impact. I don’t know about you but I would much prefer to live in a world where I can breath clean air and drink clean water and the fact that there is a lot of like minded people who wouldn’t mind paying more for their energy knowing that it is from an environmentally friendly source means that there is a market for this type of thing. I don’t know about you but I make sure that I buy humanely raised animal products, which I pay more for, because for me it is the moral and right thing to do. Secondly, the costs associated with alternative energy will come down as the technology and infrastructure gets better. In the meantime requiring companies to be somewhat responsible for their emissions is not a bad thing in my book.

    Let the market pick winners and losers, not the government. Then we avoid idiocy like corn-based ethonol & wind farms & the like.

    OK so you didn’t answer my question here, maybe because you haven’t got an alternative solution.

    First & foremost the freedom to spend my money as I choose, since you want gov’t mandates that will increase what I must spend on energy and/or efficiency.
    Also, there is a lot of talk about things like banning incandescents (with no superior replacement – CFL’s have problems), banning outdoor grilling, banning the sale of houses without certain efficiency measures, forcing people to purchase more fuel-efficient expensive cars, banning the internal combustion engine,

    First and foremost where are you getting your information from? You make a lot of claims here that I am just meant to take your word for. I’m calling bullshit until you cite some proof. Also it seems that it is all about you. I hate to break it to you but you live in a society where there are limitations on freedoms especially if your actions will lead to an infringement of my freedoms. Last time I checked no one was forcing anybody to buy more fuel efficient cars, as a matter of fact the market is doing a nice job of increasing the efficiency of cars all by itself thanks to higher gas prices and greater environmental awareness and responsibility. I’ll bet that you think the bans on smoking in restaurants and bars to be infringing on your freedoms as well.

    I’m all for Al Gore or anyone else to make money by meeting someone’s need. Making money by forcing people to buy certain products, then selling them the product is profiteering of the grossest kind.

    Again no one is forcing anybody to buy anything. Also as an aside you like to bandy the term alarmist around whilst holding the position that the economy will collapse if we try and regulate carbon emissions or make it more attractive to try and develop alternative sources of energy. That, my friend is how you destroy grade A, heavy duty irony meters.

  98. Alan

    I am frankly getting to the point of concluding that in general the AGW Deniers within the Skeptic community are just another version of Creationists and 9/11 Truthers — that is, they’ve reached the point where no amount of facts will ever change their mind.

    One good sign of this are the continual reappearance of “zombie arguments”, how the same argument keeps coming back and back and back no matter how many times it is disproven. For example, the idea that we’ve been cooling over the last decade — 1998 was an unusually warm year for a number of well-understood reasons. Deniers forget that fact and then want us to believe that since temps haven’t been quite as high since we are in a “cooling” cycle.

    That’s just complete bunk — if you look at the >averages< and trends over time we have continued to steadily warm. The fact that Deniers nevertheless keep on offering us this "Zombie" of an argument either shows deliberate fabrication or ignorance on their part — take your pick.

    It's just like other groups where ideology and faith trump critical thinking — the fact that Deniers endlessly offer the same arguments even as they are by any sane measure long since disproven demonstrates they ultimately aren't interested in reality, just in supporting their preconceptions.

  99. ND

    “Deniers forget that fact and then want us to believe that since temps haven’t been quite as high since we are in a “cooling” cycle.”

    Deniers are not forgetting. They’re coming from an a deeply entrenched anti-AGW and often times anti-environmentalism and other ideological belief system and they’re using a talking point such as the 1998 average temp to manipulate the discussion. They are not innocently misinformed. It’s a game and deliberately dishonest form of debate. I am not convinced that the 1998 temp level is what convinced them AGW is not real.

    Note: I have foaming-at-the-mouth individuals such as Plutonium being from Pluto in mind with these comments.

  100. Daffy

    Spectroscope Says: “Thus science wise while neither Rush or Gore are legitimate scientists I’d rather trust Rush who at least knows that and doens’t pretend to be an expert than Gore who does.”

    Please tell me that was a joke. Rush pretends to be an expert on EVERYTHING; The fact that you choose to believe his gross, easily debunked lies indicates your own bias and nothing more.

    I mean, My god, Rush is the guy who claims there are more forests in America now than when Columbus arrived; he claims there are more American Indians now, too. He started blaming Obama for the deficits a month BEFORE Obama took office.

    And THIS is the guy you trust? I now know everything I need to know about your opinions.

  101. Ray

    @ Alan

    “I am frankly getting to the point of concluding that in general the AGW Deniers within the Skeptic community are just another version of Creationists and 9/11 Truthers — that is, they’ve reached the point where no amount of facts will ever change their mind.”

    The same cana be said of the “warmists”.

    Neither side seems to see the middle. Neither side is practicing healthy skepticism.

  102. Doug Little

    Neither side seems to see the middle. Neither side is practicing healthy skepticism.

    Except for the fact that the scientific consensus is strongly in favor of AGW, also there is no middle when it comes to science it’s not based on opinion, you don’t get to make up your own facts. Do you consider people who rally against evolution healthy skeptics?

  103. Chris A.

    @ChH (#87):
    “…that chart is the average for the month of March. Much of the rebound I mentioned came at the end of March relative to past years, so is not reflected in that chart. It’ll be interesting to see what the April chart looks like given the record-late peak this year…the main point I was making is to ask why a big deal is made over 3250 km^2 of sea-ice loss while 1,000,000 km^2 (300x) of sea ice gain is not mentioned at all?”

    So let me get this straight: The fact that the amount of sea ice has declined steadily for the last 30 years in the Month of March (to the tune of 1.2M km^2) is negated by one data point (the increase from last month to this month)? What about the fact that (again, from your source) the amount of sea ice in 2010, overall, has been well (i.e. more than 2-sigma) below the 30-year average for the first 3.5 months of the year?

  104. Daniel J. Andrews

    On the other hand, how many episodes of weather over how large a region does it take to add up to climate?

    Phil…you might like these sites listed below that track extreme weather events. One thing they do is look at occurrence of climatic extremes and see how the occurrence has changed over time.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei.html
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/
    The home page is also a great resource.

    While it is not possible (yet) to point to a single extreme weather event and say that it was due to global warming, you can look at a number of extreme events and see they’re occurring more frequently than in the past.

    E.g. record low temps compared to record high temps from the 50s to the 2000s. It is close to a 1:1 ratio (cold:hot records) in the 50s and by the 2000s, is a 2:1 ratio.
    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/maxmin.jsp#

    Re: 2010 being hottest year. I didn’t have time to elaborate as to the scientific basis for that prediction. I think it was theotherIan that asked about that (a legitimate question, btw). The warming of the last few years–(no, Jones did not say there was no warming; yes, independent statisticians in a blind test did find increases when given the dataset; yes, the 200s were the warmest decade on record beating the prior record holder the 90s, which beat the prior record holder the 80s) — were despite being in an extended solar minimum, a minimum not seen in about a century. The sun is now becoming more active, and there is an El Nino still ongoing. Here’s what NASA said in January 09,

    Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance.

    They reconfirmed that prediction recently (sun more active). We’re now have the hottest Jan, Feb, and March so things are on track for this prediction so far. Doesn’t mean we will have a hottest year (note the “likely”, which has some probability value attached to it). A major volcanic eruption (think Pinatubo) could cool the globe again. And a hottest year by itself is not evidence of global warming. It is basically weather. Three consecutive record setting decades on the other hand are just one of the bits of evidence for global warming. Will the 2010-2019 set a new decade record too? Maybe. Maybe not. There’s a lot of variability in the system.

    One thing I think many people misunderstand. AGW was *not* invented to explain the past 3 to 4 decades of warming. AGW is the prediction, made over 150 years ago and based on the physics of CO2 molecules, on what would happen if CO2 were to increase in the atmosphere. It is a prediction confirmed over the last 40 years by not just a dozen different temperature data sets from land and ocean (earth and satellite-based–yes, satellite temps do confirm warming), but also numerous proxy measurements like ice and sediment cores, ice melt, peak water flow, migration events, flower bloom events, permafrost melt, and many others. Incidentally, Arctic amplification (where warming is higher in the Arctic than elsewhere) was also predicted over a hundred years ago by Svante Arrhenius.

    For those who think the planet isn’t warming then they need to come up with a mechanism to explain why the laws of physics are seemingly being suspended as the extra CO2 is not warming the planet (the interesting iris hypothesis where all the extra heat escapes through an opening into space now lacks evidence for and has ample evidence against).

    And for those who think warming isn’t occurring you have to explain why the self-proclaimed skeptics and darlings of the Heartland Institute, George C. Marshall Institute, CEI institute, and favourites of people like Watts, Limbaugh, Beck, Morano say warming is occurring. Eg. Dr. Patrick Michaels–warming is occurring and we have something to do with it–and said it during a Heartland Institute conference too); Dr. John Christy (the one who originally said satellite data didn’t show warming, but had to retract that claim when orbital correction factors were applied and the sat data did show warming); non-climate people Dr. S. Fred Singer (unstoppable global warming every 1500 years–he altered the graphs to demonstrate this).

    When 97% of climate scientists AND your own skeptics AND statisticians say warming is happening isn’t it a bit perverse to claim there is no warming?

  105. The Other Ian

    Daffy @99:

    I mean, My god, Rush is the guy who claims there are more forests in America now than when Columbus arrived; he claims there are more American Indians now, too.

    Actually, if you’re only counting North America, then the latter claim doesn’t sound entirely implausible. The major populations that were lost were the Aztecs and Incas, which together constituted about 3/4 of the total indigenous population in the Americas.

    According to the 2000 census, the total number of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the USA was 2,416,410. 4,119,301 if you include those who selected multiple ethnicities. Pre-Columbian estimates are much more difficult to find, but the ones I’ve seen range from 1.15 million to 10 million. The true value is likely somewhere in the middle.

  106. Daniel J. Andrews

    For those who are interested, here is Tamino’s set of links to different temp data sets (so you can do your own analysis, if you have the background).

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/climate-data-links/

  107. P@J

    Micheal #12: “Crater Glacier on Mt. Saint Helens is growing. (According to the US Forest Service, Crater Glacier is now larger than it was before the 1980 eruption.)”.

    Um… Crater glacier is actually, uh, inside the crater formed by the 1980 eruption. So I would posit that it is infinitely larger than it was prior to the 1980 eruption.

    Credibility = 0.

  108. Gary Ansorge

    95. Jeff

    You nihilistic assumption would be accurate but for one minor,,oversight.

    What makes you think human evolution has stopped?

    Old style humans have seldom been rational but they’re not all there is.

    40,000 years ago, human consciousness appeared to undergo a quantum leap in complexity, resulting in vast advances in art, tool making, etc.

    10,000 years ago, another bump occurred and we have the resultant civilization to show for that.

    Get ready for the new kids on the block,,,(we won’t let Y’All fall back to the paleolithic)(Honest!)

    106. P@J

    Right fraking on!

    GAry 7

  109. Daffy

    The Other Ian Says: “According to the 2000 census, the total number of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the USA was 2,416,410. 4,119,301 if you include those who selected multiple ethnicities. Pre-Columbian estimates are much more difficult to find, but the ones I’ve seen range from 1.15 million to 10 million. The true value is likely somewhere in the middle.”

    So even if we accept your estimate (I have seen as high as 15 million) there are about 4 million fewer American Indians now than in pre-Columbian times. So even granting the most conservative of your figures, the comment is totally implausible.

  110. QuietDesperation

    Still complete silence from the AGW zealots on the significant rebound in arctic ice coverage last month

    Ice is migratory. :-) The ice from the Larsen shelf migrated to the Arctic.

    The whole debate is silly. The world is sliding into another ice age. That’s my prediction for the end of civilization and I’m sticking to it. :-)

    Either that or giant bees.

  111. Plutonium being from Pluto

    98. ND Says:

    “Deniers forget that fact and then want us to believe that since temps haven’t been quite as high since we are in a “cooling” cycle.” Deniers are not forgetting. They’re coming from an a deeply entrenched anti-AGW and often times anti-environmentalism and other ideological belief system and they’re using a talking point such as the 1998 average temp to manipulate the discussion. They are not innocently misinformed. It’s a game and deliberately dishonest form of debate. I am not convinced that the 1998 temp level is what convinced them AGW is not real.

    Thats the logical fallacy of casting aspersions at others motives & ad hominem right there for y’all folks.

    No, us climate change-AGW skeptics (please note & use the correct term not your own insult for those you disagree with okay) are not “innocently misinformed” at all.

    We’re actually accurately informed instead. :P ;-)

    We have done our research rather than merely going along with the AGW bandwagon. It is the skeptics job and nature to point out when the emperor is naked – and the AGW myth hasn’t a shred of scientific truth to cover itself with.

    The simple fact of it is that 1998 being the hottest year ever conclusively refutes the proposition put by the AGW mob that our Earth is warming at a dangerous rate because of human carbon dioxide as the actual evidence, the maths and graphs that science is meant to use, shows everybody that the Alarmist claim is just NOT true.

    If human Co2 was responsible for global temperatures – & levels of Co2 keep rising – then so should global temperatures. But the hottest year being over a decade ago shows that that is not happening – the link isn’t there.

    How Science works :
    Scientists come up witha hypothesis to explain a certain thing, this hypothesis makes a prediction, evidence is gathered to test that prediction, if the evidence contradicts the prediction then that hypothesis is disproven & is rejected and eliminated from any further consideration. If the evidence supports the hypothesis then it is *tentatively* accpeted a spossibly valid subject tomore such tetsts and predictions – & never “settled” as indisputably true! (Science can always refine or refute entirely previously supported theories.)

    With that in mind, this is what has happened with the AGW hypothesis :

    AGW prediction : Co2 levels cause temps to rise.

    Scientific Test : Global temperature records

    Result : 1998 was hottest year – 12 years ago despite ever-increasing Co2 levels.

    Scientific & Logical Conclusion : AGW is disproven, falsified & scientifically gets eliminated and rejected. We now *know* that the Anthropogenic Global Warming notion is FALSE.

    Q.E.D.

    What part of that don’t the Alarmists get? What part of that do they have any *rational* argument with?

    How many times do the AGW Hysterics have to see the evidence staring them in the face before they comprehend that basic truth? Obviously quite a few more. *Sigh*

    Note: I have foaming-at-the-mouth individuals such as Plutonium being from Pluto in mind with these comments.

    So you think I’m “foaming at the mouth” for calmly and politely putting a rational, indisputable argument here? Biased much? Resorting toad hominems much? :roll:

  112. ND

    “We’re actually accurately informed instead.”
    That’s questionable and it’s just your personal belief that you are accurately informed.

    “We have done our research rather than merely going along with the AGW bandwagon.”
    You can lecture about how science is done all you want but you are not a scientist and don’t understand what you’re reading makes scientific sense or not. You just can’t be taken more seriously than those in the field doing the research.

  113. Doug Little

    We have done our research rather than merely going along with the ANTI AGW bandwagon. It is the skeptics job and nature to point out when the emperor is naked – and the Anti-AGW myth hasn’t a shred of scientific truth to cover itself with.

    There fixed it for ya.

  114. Daffy

    Plutonium,

    “AGW Mob”
    “Alarmists” (with a capital A, yet)
    “Hysterics” (capital H!)
    “AGW Religion”

    Yes, you are foaming at the mouth…and you are NOT helping your cause. As I said before, I am somewhat on the fence on this one; but whether you like it or not, thousands of entirely respectable scientists have accepted AGW based on the evidence. Are they wrong? Maybe. But they are NOT all “jumping in the bandwagon,” or “Hysterics,” or part of a “Mob.” If you truly believe what you are saying (and at this point I have my doubts), then I suggest you tone down the rhetoric and stick to facts; you’ll find a much more receptive audience.

  115. ND

    “AGW prediction : Co2 levels cause temps to rise.
    Scientific Test : Global temperature records
    Result : 1998 was hottest year – 12 years ago despite ever-increasing Co2 levels.”

    This is kindergarten level Rush Limbaugh logic. And it’s completely crap as has been pointed out to you a multitude of times. Enough already.

  116. Pi-needles

    @ 110 PBFP: I’ll be nice here & just destroy your “1998″ argument by pointing out that it falls down on a couple of critical points of logic.

    this is what has happened with the AGW hypothesis :
    AGW prediction : Co2 levels cause temps to rise.

    Okay that’s simple – no, wait its actually *simplified*. Overly simplified.

    See you are missing a key phrase here & that is:

    *All OTHER things being equal* if Co2 emissions cause Global Warming then global temperatures will rise.

    And that’s the key because: NO, all other factors are NOT equal.

    Being a regular here you will already know that our Sun has just been through an extremely quiet period – one of its most prolonged minimums for many solar cycles.

    We also know that, yes, solar activity is *one* factor driving our climate – not the only factor but a significant one along with others such as the impact of volcanoes and Milankovitch orbital cycles and *ALSO* human pollution incl. Greenhouse gases.

    So here’s the thing:

    1. Solar activity is low which should mean global temperatures fall.

    2. Milankovitch cycles tell us things should be heading into an another ice age soon-ish, (geologically speaking) if I recall right.

    BUT despite that

    Scientific Test : Global temperature records
    Result : 1998 was hottest year – 12 years ago despite ever-increasing Co2 levels.

    But hang on a sec – global temperatures have still been exceedingly warm! The past decade has seen many really hot years, maybe, just maybe, none that were quite as hot as ’98 although then again many people (none of whoem you believe because .. er.. you and the “skeptics” want it that way) say 2005 *was* actually hotter.

    Gee what could be behind that I wonder? :roll:

    Not the Sun, not natural orbital cycles so what could be keeping things so warm despite the quiet Sun? .. oh yeah those rising Co2 levels! ;-)

    Scientific & Logical Conclusion : AGW is disproven, falsified & scientifically gets eliminated and rejected tentatively accepted until refuted by something more convincing – or further tests confirm it still more. We now *know* that the Anthropogenic Global Warming notion is FALSE. TRUE.

    Fixed that for you! ;-)

    But there’s something else too – global average temperatures are just one test of AGW & one prediction made by that theory.

    There are other signs & observationally confirmed predictions too. Want to see one? Go to the top of this post! ;-)

    Read the literature. Look at the numbers and the patterns of melting glaciers, rising temperatures and changing precipitation in many parts of the world.

    Look at what the experts – the climatologists who have dedicated years of study to the field are saying. You may not want to believe them – but sticking your head in the sand and just saying “Lalalalalalalalalalala won’t hear you!” isn’t going to cut it with too many people or change the physical reality that is out there.

    Q.E.D.

    If AGW was wrong, if climate change wasn’t happening do you really think *all* the scientists in the field who know what they’re talking about would keep it secret – when their career would be made by overturning it? Do you?

    Finally, I too predict the global heat will be on again & the 1998 & 2005 records will tumble soon as lack of solar activity ceases to offset the Co2 levels and temperatures soar. Guess we’ll find out in time but I think the odds of the self-described “Skeptics” being right are 100:1 if not 1,000:1 or less. Like it or not. :-P

  117. P@J

    OK PfP, I’ll go there.

    Your little trip through grade-school “scientific process” displayed your simplistic understanding of science. Maybe try this model of how the process works, still simplistic, but slightly more realistic:

    A phenomenon is observed. Several conceptual models explaining the phenomenon are proposed while precise measurements of the phenomenon are collected, to refine understanding. Eventually, testable models of the phenomenon, based on our existing understanding of fundamental physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics are developed. Tests are developed to compare the models to the observed phenomenon (this where the null hypothesis arrives). The tests provide data to compare the model to the observed phenomenon, and these test either strengthen the model (“support the theory”) or point our flaws in the model, in which case the model may be adjusted. The model is generally rejected only if it provides no predictable testable hypothesis, or if a superior model is developed which is better supported and more testable.

    To say nothing is ever indisputably true is, in practice, a false argument. The model of universal gravitation and the value of “G” is absolutely true for all sufficiently massive objects, within reasonable scales of magnitude. No amount of jigging with gravitons is going to stop your keys from falling at about 9.8m/s^2. CO2 will always absorb IR radiation at the 15um wavelength. This is true.

    “AGW prediction : Co2 levels cause temps to rise.”
    Wrong. These are not predictions, these are observations. Temperatures were observed to rise. Atmospheric CO2 was observed to be increasing. Several hundred years of physics and chemistry tell us that CO2 gas can act a greenhouse gas.

    “Scientific Test : Global temperature records”
    Um, no. This is an observation, it is not a test.

    “Result : 1998 was hottest year – 12 years ago despite ever-increasing Co2 levels.”
    Um, no. These are , yet again, observations, not “results”. 1998 was marginally hotter than 2005 (although within the error bars of the measurement, but I digress), which was marginally hotter than 2009. The question to ask now is: how does this fit our model?

    “Scientific & Logical Conclusion : AGW is disproven, falsified & scientifically gets eliminated and rejected. We now *know* that the Anthropogenic Global Warming notion is FALSE.”
    Quite the stretch. If 2010 is hotter than any year on record, does that mean AGW is proven TRUE again. How many times will we flip that switch, once every year is subsequently cooler than 2010 (“FALSE!”) or hotter then 2010 (“TRUE!)” Do you see that science cannot work like this?

    A better approach would be to refine our model, while respecting the bounds of physics and chemistry. The fact 2009 was cooler than 1998 dos not mean CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas. Perhaps there are other variables? El Nino – La Nina cycles? Aerosols? Sun spots?

  118. The Other Ian

    Daffy @108:

    So even if we accept your estimate (I have seen as high as 15 million) there are about 4 million fewer American Indians now than in pre-Columbian times. So even granting the most conservative of your figures, the comment is totally implausible.

    What? Granting the most conservative of my figures, there were 1.15 million pre-Columbian, and more than 5 million now (including Canadians), which would mean that there are more than four times as many indigenous Americans now as there were then. More realistically, and taking your estimate into account, there were probably 5-10 million in 1491, making the current total most likely in the range of 50-100% of what there were then. “Improbable” I’ll grant. “Totally implausible” it’s not.

  119. ND

    One thing being missed by the native american population comment is that by claiming there are more now than before is meant to minimize the tragedies and crimes committed against them.

    Note: my comments are directed towards Rush himself and not those discussing the population figures in this thread. I’m assuming that the goal of Rush’s comments is to minimize the treatment of the native americans because it fits Rush’s history of such comments and attitudes. The guys is an SOB and a <censored> and <censored>head.

  120. Daffy

    The Other Ian Says, that is the weakest defense of Rush Limbaugh’s idiocy I have ever read.

  121. Daniel J. Andrews

    Just came across The Complete Guide to Modern Day Climate Change: All the data you need to show the world is warming.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/04/14/the-complete-guide-to-modern-day-climate-change/

    It is a guest post at Climate Progress by Professor of Physical Sciences, Scott Mandia, and briefly looks at why they know warming is unequivocal. Remember this data has been analyzed and reanalyzed by people all around the world, and has withstood peer-reviewed scrutiny. It will also continue to be reanalyzed as better methodologies are created. To dismiss all this as fudged data by a handful of scientists who are creating a hoax is ludicrous. You believe that then there’s nothing stopping you believing the moon landing was a hoax.

    Note that Scott links to two of Peter Sinclair’s Climate Crock of the Week videos which deal with Arctic ice (volume vs area, and 2009 sea ice measurements). ChH was having difficulty understanding this (maybe s/he understands now…I didn’t have time to read through the rest of the comments), so these 10 minute videos are useful summaries. Do check out all of Peter’s videos on youtube…his What We Know video is excellent.

    And be sure to check out Scott’s blog (http://profmandia.wordpress.com/), which is also an educational resource.

  122. Undeniable

    What are the AGW believers here actually doing about what they are (apparently) convinced is an ongoing disaster of unprecendented scale? Selling their cars? Turning off their heating or air conditioning? Lobbying the government? No? What they’re actually doing is carrying on with their lives as normal whilst arguing with AGW sceptics on an internet blog. Well, that’s got me convinced.

  123. The Other Ian

    Daffy,

    I’m not defending the buffoon. I’m just a pedant. Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that.

  124. Daffy

    No worries…I do the same thing a lot.

  125. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 113. Daffy : Just calling it as I see it.

    @115. Pi-needles :

    that’s the key because: NO, all other factors are NOT equal. Being a regular here you will already know that our Sun has just been through an extremely quiet period – one of its most prolonged minimums for many solar cycles. We also know that, yes, solar activity is *one* factor driving our climate – not the only factor but a significant one along with others such as the impact of volcanoes and Milankovitch orbital cycles and *ALSO* human pollution incl. Greenhouse gases.

    So the Sun drives climate when it ‘s convenient to the AGW belief but not when its not?

    I dunno. I see the point you are trying to make there I think &, yes, I’ll admit I’ve simplified things for clarity but … well.

    I’ll think on this some more but I still think the Alarmists are over-emphasising the role of Co2 relative to other variables and over-hyping the “catastrophic” consequences of it.

    @116. P@J Says:

    To say nothing is ever indisputably true is, in practice, a false argument.

    Is it? One side here the “AGW is real” one is vehemently insistent that “the science is settled.” Well, I don’t think it is & nor do a lot of other people who I’ll freely admit are a lot smarter than I am. Harrison Schmitt, Burt Rutan & Ian Plimer to name just three. I don’t think the AGW “theory” (hey look, Pi-needles, I can put words in sarcastic inverted commas too!) belongs on the same level as the Theory of Gravity or Evolution yet – or even close.

    I think the science here is at best contentious and disputable.

    “AGW prediction : Co2 levels cause temps to rise.”
    Wrong. These are not predictions, these are observations.

    So are you trying to tell us that AGW does NOT predict rising global average temperatures?? What the .. ?!

    Several hundred years of physics and chemistry tell us that CO2 gas can act a greenhouse gas.

    But, oddly enough, the geological record spanning millions and billions of years seems to say otherwise : Co2 levels in the past were much higher than today & no disaster followed. Indeed, the Earth has been colder than it is now and still had higher Co2 levels so the co-relation does NOT appear to be there.

    “Scientific Test : Global temperature records”
    Um, no. This is an observation, it is not a test.

    Can’t it be both? Can’t observations themselves also be a test of whether a given theory is correct or not? If observations contradict the prediction a theory makes – doesn’t that say the theory is inaccurate?

    If 2010 is hotter than any year on record, does that mean AGW is proven TRUE again. How many times will we flip that switch, once every year is subsequently cooler than 2010 (“FALSE!”) or hotter then 2010 (“TRUE!)” Do you see that science cannot work like this?

    Its not just one year, its the trend – & the rising temperatures trend looks to me like it peaked in the year 1998 which was the “Highwater mark” after which the tide has stopped coming in and may -just perhaps – be starting to ebb again – more time and more observations are needed but to say that global temperatures are rising *alarmingly* is, IMHON, very much unclear and far from “settled” science. Time will tell.

    Perhaps there are other variables? El Nino – La Nina cycles? Aerosols? Sun spots?

    That’s what us climate change skeptics keep trying to point out to *you*.

    There are OTHER FACTORS driving the climate than just human Co2 which has been over-emphasised and, in fact, demonised by the AGW believers at the expense of all other possible variables!

    Co2 isn’t the be all & end all of climate & esp. NOT human Co2. Maybe it plays some small role – or, then again, maybe it doesn’t – but thinking CO2 drives everything climate~wise is a fallacy. Sigh.

  126. P@J

    PfP, mind if I get all of my ad hominem out first? You are a meat head.

    OK, now onto the facts of the matter.

    “But, oddly enough, the geological record spanning millions and billions of years seems to say otherwise : Co2 levels in the past were much higher than today & no disaster followed.”
    Actually, temperatures in the post-Mesozoic do correlate very well with atmospheric CO2 concentration. I’m not sure how you characterize a “disaster” prior to the late Quaternary…

    “Its not just one year, its the trend “
    Very good! Baby steps here…

    “& the rising temperatures trend looks to me like it peaked in the year 1998 which was the “Highwater mark” after which the tide has stopped coming in and may -just perhaps – be starting to ebb again “
    Oh! you were so close, then tripped on the finish line. 1998 was not the end of a trend, it was part of a trend. That trend has continued. No honest person can look at the temperature records of the last 20 years and suggest that the trend is anything other than continued heating. The heating is not as profound as from 1996-1998, but amongst the years that were hotter than 1996 are 2001, 2002, 2003, 224, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. which brings us to:

    “Perhaps there are other variables? El Nino – La Nina cycles? Aerosols? Sun spots?
    That’s what us climate change skeptics keep trying to point out to *you*.”

    So please, give us a variable that has not been systematically elimated as a cause of the heating of the lat 100 years. But before you do, go here:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/
    And make sure your assumption has not already been debunked, 10, 20, or 50 years ago, and you just haven’t bothered to educate yourself.

    As for the examples I cited above, here, I’ll throw you a bone. There is a crapload of data saying the sun’s output has not been significantly higher over the last 100 years. Aerosols are not as well studied, but they are definitely having an impact on the planet, and every study so far published suggests that they are responsible for significant cooling. The la Nina – el Nino cycles are likely the reason we have not yet seen a repeat of 1998, but it is important to recognize they are about circulation of energy about the earth’s atmosphere, not about the net increase in energy that is being observed. Any apparent cooling we got in the last 5 years from la Nina will come back and bite our ass when the 2010-2011 el Nino kicks in. But it isn’t your ignorance of these facts that bothers me, it is your assumption that everyone studying AGW is as ignorant as you are, or conspiring to hide them for some nefarious reason.

    p.s. “ignorant” is not an ad hominem attack. You are clearly ignorant of a few facts. You can inform yourself and become less ignorant. The meat head thing you will probably have to live with.

  127. Ema Nymton

    Has anyone seen anyone anywhere even close to as stupid as Plutonium being from Pluto?

  128. Pi-needles

    ^ Yes. ;-)

    Sadly, there are actually many more stupid – & some of them are even in Congress. :-(

    Dare I mention Sarah Palin, Dubya and that Republican guy who thinks Russia is still the Soviet Union? ;-)

  129. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 127. Ema Nymton Says:

    Has anyone seen anyone anywhere even close to as stupid as Plutonium being from Pluto?

    Why do you say that?

    What exactly have I said that you consider so incredibly stupid?

    Specifics please.

    As you might imagine I don’t think I’m stupid – people who just make a one-line post attacking someone else without any apparent reason or supporting evidence OTOH …

  130. erik
  131. @45. Plutonium being from Pluto :

    ..[SNIP!] .. @ 7. Gary Ansorge : “My prediction stands. 2010. The next “hottest year on record.” Not that being right will convince PBFP,,,”
    Er, is that your admission that I’m actually right Gary? Your prediction for 2010 being hottest year … well we’ll have to wait & see.
    [Emphasis added.]

    Just for the record – 2010 tied with 2005 for the hottest year. As NASA has observed :

    NASA Research Finds 2010 Tied for Warmest Year on Record

    [Headline in bold original - ed.]

    Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The two years differed by less than 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit. The difference is smaller than the uncertainty in comparing the temperatures of recent years, putting them into a statistical tie. In the new analysis, the next warmest years are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009, which are statistically tied for third warmest year. The GISS records begin in 1880.

    Click on my name for the source. (Sheepishly admits to being PbfP in a past life.)

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