2011: The 9th hottest year on record

By Phil Plait | January 20, 2012 10:34 am

If anyone tells you the Earth isn’t warming up…

… tell them they’re full of it.

2011 was the ninth hottest year on record, and those records go back 130 years.

And then they might say, well, sure, but that could be coincidence. Then you look them straight in the eye, and you say:

Nine of the ten hottest years on record have been since 2000.

The map above shows changes from average (where the average is from 1951 to 1980). You see clearly that temperatures over land have increased almost universally. Most of the ocean temperatures have gone up as well; the one big cooler region in the eastern Pacific is due to the La Niña last year, so it’s a temporary effect. Even with La Niña dropping temperatures, the overall effect is an increase in temperature. I’ll note that sunspot numbers were low last year as well, which (if anything) should result in a (very) slight cooling effect too.

Climate change deniers will gnash and froth — I expect the comments to this post to reflect that, as they always do — but the bottom line is this. The Earth is getting hotter. Human beings are at least partly to blame, and the evidence has piled up that we are mostly to blame. Not the Sun, not cosmic rays, not orbital oscillations. Humans.

As I’ve said before, here are the facts:

The Earth is warming up. The rate of warming has increased in the past century or so. This corresponds to the time of the Industrial Revolution, when we started dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases warm the planet (hence the name) — if they didn’t we’d have an average temperature below the freezing point of water. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which is dumped into the atmosphere by humans to the tune of 30 billion tons per year, 100 times the amount from volcanoes. And finally, approximately 97% of climatologists who actually study climate agree that global warming is real, and caused by humans.

Given the vast amount of evidence supporting all this, denying it is fantasy. Again, that won’t stop deniers: they will obfuscate, blow smoke, and nitpick details to make them seem important. But what they’re doing is fiddling while Earth burns.


Related posts:

New independent climate study confirms global warming is real
Climategate 2: More ado about nothing. Again.
Arctic ice at second-lowest extent since 1979
As arctic ice shrinks, so does a denier claim

Comments (257)

  1. TravisM

    Cue the deniers… now!

  2. Nicole Bilous

    Ok so the earth is warming up…is it really such a big deal that we need to spend multi-trillions on it to stop or reverse the warming? Warmer weather makes plants grow faster and better, the elderly die or get sick more often when its deeply cold. And as for myself living in Alberta Canada i wouldn’t mind the winters to be a little warmer, just saying :D

  3. bbmcrae

    Phil, this is all a lie by Big Hippie. Also, we never landed on the Moon. Elvis told me so.

  4. Radwaste

    Phil, great post.
    But I prefer to engage people with this simple observation: it is hotter in the city. There are more cities now than there has been.

    These are things that ordinary people can see for themselves, without engaging in any of that icky “analysis” stuff, and without invoking that backlash which always seems to occur when “experts”, or 97% of experts, are mentioned.

    To the more-educated folk – or those presuming to be educated, possibly in fields without much logical rigor after all, I add the request that they view the recession in icecap coverage and tell ME what that means. Ahh, the joy of making others think!

    Any photo of Earth from space shows the surface on fire in places due to civilization: bright lights, traffic. Seeing is believing! Ask, “Where is this energy going?”

    Lastly, I advise seperating the climatology from politics. This has to be driven into people’s heads with a hammer sometimes, but the observations have nothing to do with political parties. In short, what is going on due to energy consumption here does not depend on the opinion of a tribal chieftain, be he aside the Upper Nile or the Potomac.

  5. Fabio

    How can we be sure this is not just a VERY LONG cycle?
    I really WANT to believe in one of the sides (human-caused global warming X natural global warming).
    What are the real evidences that this is indeed human-caused?

  6. saphroneth

    And the other one is in the 1990s, right?

    What I find most worrying is that there’s a lag time between CO2 production and it actually getting into the upper atmosphere. So we’re already committed to another… I think 20… years of warming. This is also at the core of the denier claim that the post-WWII industrialization is correlated to a decline. It’s not. The post-war temperature decline correlates to the thirties, AKA “The Great Depression”.

  7. chief

    Cue deniers…. LA… LA…. LA… LA….

    I can tell that things are warming up. The normal weather patterns have shifted and we are getting more moisture in the air in terms of wetter falls and more snow on the warmer winters. (which is to expected), but the winters are warmer on average now, (golf in january anyone?)

    Put your faith in scientists, They spend years studying the specialties of their chosen fields. I seriously doubt deniers (ahem…. include congress), put as much schooled thought into correctly counter arguing the theorems put forth showing all the warming evidence.

  8. VinceRN

    Here’s what my skepticism says about this chart. I think the argument would be stronger if these things were addressed.

    I don’t think measurements taken at the end of the 19th century belong on the same chart with those taken at the dawn of the 21st. The number of measurements taken back then were a tiny fraction of a percent of those taken today, they were taken in only a tiny fraction of the locations, and their accuracy was widely variable and in all cases far less than our worst accuracy today. That little uncertainty bar just doesn’t do it.

    I would like to see (though I won’t) measurements taken in the same way with the same instruments as back then compared, it would tell us more.

    I would like to see an acceptable level of accuracy and volume of measurements determined and a comparison made based on that. Perhaps it would be all the data since we started using satellites.

    What I will enjoy seeing here, and soon, is all the people that call themselves skeptics attacking me because they think anything that has the global warming tag attached to it should be exempt from skepticism.

    I don’t deny global warming, it is clearly real. I don;t deny that humans are a cause, the major cause. It would be absurd to think that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere would not have an effect. I do deny that many of the people here should really be calling themselves skeptics if they can’t look at this skeptically. Perhaps there should be a category of “limited scope skeptics”. (I put this at the end because I figure most will read just the first two paragraphs and go into attack mode, calling me a denier again.)

  9. Phil, I agree with all you’ve said, except the implicit conclusion that this certainly means, or likely means, climate catastrophe.
    I still haven’t seen scientific, as opposed to ideologically motivated, arguments that present a conclusion of climate catastrophe from present or near future CO2 equivalent GHG concentrations.

    SLR and other changes will happen at a rate that is slow enough for Human societies and the natural environment to adapt to, the overall rate of change will be nothing like that which we have seen imposed on the planet through the effects of Human expansion over the last 200 years.

  10. Wzrd1

    Saphroneth, actually, it was a combination of great depression and aerosols generated by WWII that caused a temperature dip.
    Don’t forget the OTHER denier argument, that volcanoes generate CO2. That’s always an amusing one, as vulcanism isn’t on the increase and doesn’t chart with their argument.
    Phil, your statement that sunspots increase the temperature of the Earth is correct, direct satellite measurements show the opposite to be true, even IF it’s counterintuitive. Many are unaware of that.
    Your article was very informative, regarding ice ages as well. Perhaps an article on solar insolation with more detail would be a worthy topic, as some misconstrue the physics involved and distort it in bizarre ways…
    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap02/sunspots.html is pretty good at the basics.

  11. One particular stat from yesterday’s NOAA’s climate extremes report* really stuck out at me: because of La Nina, 2011was the second coolest year of the 21st century to date, though it still tied with the second warmest year of the 20th century. IOW, one of the two hottest years of the 20th century was only as warm as one of the two coolest years of the 21st century.

    Deny away, denialists. But the facts are the facts…

    * – http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20120119_global_stats.html

  12. TheBlackCat

    @ VinceRN: What, exactly, would that tell us that we don’t already know? Especially considering we have climate proxies that tell us the temperature from that period as well.

    I am also not sure where you got the idea no one has shown plots of only the recent past, lots of such plots I have seen start in the 60’s or 70’s. Just google image search for “temperature trend since 1970″, I got over 5 million results.

  13. TheBlackCat

    SLR and other changes will happen at a rate that is slow enough for Human societies and the natural environment to adapt to, the overall rate of change will be nothing like that which we have seen imposed on the planet through the effects of Human expansion over the last 200 years.

    What makes you think this?

  14. Chris

    One thing you forgot to mention that helps bring the point home. It’s not only the 9th hottest year on record, but also the hottest La Nina year on record.

  15. Pete Jackson

    The warming has stalled since 2001 even though there were both El Niños and La Niñas in that period. The arctic has been getting warmer for sure, and summer sea ice there has decreased. But there have been areas of the oceans, particularly the Pacific that have gotten a bit cooler to offset this.

    The cause of the stall? Take your pick: less solar activity, Chinese smog, contrails? Who knows. Or it could just be one of the oscillations in the record, due to large scale periodicities in ocean currents, that have occurred before.

    The sea level rise has stalled also, according to a post by the BA last year.

    Whether all this is merely a short-lived pause in the warming, or a significant oscillation that lasts 50 years, remains to be seen.

  16. BlackCat, taking SLR as an example, building sea walls up at a rate of 10mm a year isn’t a huge ask, and our cities are always being remade, going on past evidence, few of the building standing now wont have been demolished and replaced within 100 years for reasons other than SLR anyway.

  17. pete J

    Well here goes.
    The science on this is fairly consistent, the planet is warming and certainly pollution in any form is bad for us all.

    But, the recent attempts at a response were in my opinion unrealistic and motivated by greed and politics not actually attempting to improve the situation. This would be kyoto and Gores attempt to allow the 1% to profit by selling offsets.

    I would really like to see much more pressure from all of the supporters of change towards increasing personal emissions standards, taxing carbon directly(gasoline, natural gas, coal), higher building standards regarding insulation and energy efficiency (including making them retroactive), removing subsidies to gas/coal/petrochemicals. Raise the standards then let the market solve the problems, at 10 dollars a gallon we will all make different choices.

    The most damage to this cause was done when we tried to make is someone elses problem instead of taking personal responsibility.

  18. @Andrew W (#7): I suppose any proper response depends on how one defines “climate catastrophe”. Are the oceans going to boil away overnight, will the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt to puddles within a few years, will all life vanish due to warming? No, of course not. And anyone who says otherwise is either seriously out of touch with fact or a bald-faced liar.

    I myself define a “climate catastrophe” as temperatures changing faster than humanity’s ability to cope with them. That would, obviously, lead to hundreds of millions, or billions, of people without adequate food or water; flooded cities large and small, and forced relocations of entire nations due to rapid sea level rise; extreme increases in health problems; civil unrest on a global scale; major societal upheavals. And so on. Now, I’ve read many papers and studies outlining in detail everything I just wrote, and I know that some people may dismiss them as “ideologically motivated”. If so, I can’t help there. But I personally tend to accept the warnings of multiple independent experts working across many disciplines, rather than just crossing my fingers and hoping the catastrophic stuff takes its time. You know?

  19. Over the last 26 years of CO2 crisis warnings, did anyone see these countless thousands of scientists ACTING like it was really the “crisis” they said it was going to be? Don’t they have children too? Maybe they don’t because science also gave us the pesticides that poisoned the environment originally making environmentalism necessary in the first place. This wasn’t about energy or little kids planting trees or big oil. Climate change was a comet hit of a crisis and if it were real, the scientists wouldn’t outnumber the protesters. It’s like having more priests than parishioners and no Billy, a tiny little catastrophic climate crisis is only in Harry Potter movies. REAL planet lovers were glad, not disappointed a crisis was exaggerated and the new “denier” is anyone who doesn’t know that the world has walked away from the CO2 madness.
    Occupywallstreet does not support climate change belief as Carbon Mitigation entails bank funded carbon trading stock markets run by politicians and or politicians taxing the very air we breathe. Obama never even mentioned the “crisis” in his state of the union address and if scientific consensus had been real, the thousands and thousands of “concerned” consensus scientists would have rebelled in protest. What could be worse than a climate crisis? Nothing! Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading and needless CO2 research to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education funding for just over 26 years of INSANE attempts at climate CONTROL. History will not be kind.

  20. Bob

    The part that worries me the most about this (and last years as well – create your own maps here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/) is that the places significanlty warmer than average are the polar regions.

    1. This bothers me for two reasons – there aren’t that many people there to anecdotally notice the big temperature swings
    2. The large sheets of ice in these areas with significantly warmer than average temperatures.

    Even for the deniers, skeptics and supporters alike, it’s time to start thinking about how we’re going to preserve our food sources, cities, etc. Even if you don’t believe that we’re responsible, we are all going to see the consequences of this.

  21. Chip

    … and when 2012 is a little cooler than 2011 – next headline from Phil? “2012: The 10th hottest year on record!” Sheesh.

  22. D Hunt

    @ Andrew W

    All the things I’ve seen regarding how climate change will affect most of humanity is based on the changes in growing areas/seasons. If the breadbasket of the US turns into a desert, for instance, a large chunk of humanities food production capability will disappear. Already the need for irrigation has gone up in that area. The rising oceans is less of a concern than the net loss of arable land.

  23. Jim Pettit (#18) “I myself define a “climate catastrophe” as temperatures changing faster than humanity’s ability to cope with them.”

    Well, actually you should have said “I myself define a “climate catastrophe” as climate changing faster than humanity’s ability to cope with them.”

    So is that going to actually happen? Well, that’s going to come down to whether or not climate on the local scale is going to change at a faster rate than the overall average rate of global change, because an average change of 2C isn’t going to be very devastating, some crops will replace other crops, thus far the warming hasn’t led to major local climate changes.

  24. Peptron

    But CO2 is non toxic and essencial to life! Just like water! Now watch as I demonstrate that water is harmless by putting my head in a bucketful of water and inhalate deeply!

  25. Jess Tauber

    If the breadbasket of the US turns into a desert then we will all learn to eat cactus. Of more concern is that with warmer temperatures less oxygen will dissolve in water, reducing ocean productivity in deeper areas, though this should be offset by greater river flows in areas of increased precipitation. Maybe we can exploit algal blooms and jellyfish. But tuna will be off the menu.

  26. ceramicfundamentalist

    #12 Andrew W:

    “building sea walls up at a rate of 10mm a year isn’t a huge ask”

    i’d agree that building up existing sea walls by 10 mm per year is not a huge task, (unless you are in a location with crumbling infrastructure and chronic economic problems, like say, louisiana), but to build new seawalls in every seaside city in the world that didn’t need them before would be a monumental task.

  27. timmy

    OK, so what I am seeing from both sides of this argument is that we all agree the climate is changing. What we don’t agree on is how that change will affect the planet in the future. Are we talking shorts in February? Or full-out, drinking your own pee, Waterworld?

    I also see a lot of people posting their opinions and then expecting, maybe even hoping, to be attacked by someone with a different viewpoint. That doesn’t seem helpful.

    So, if you agree the climate is changing, but don’t think it will be that bad, does that make you a denier? And it seems like the “deniers” are being more civil with their arguments than the… er… non-denialists? warmists? Being nice always scores points with me.

    Cue the warmists in 3…2…1

    [Edit] Alright, now it’s degenerating… @mememine69 Occupy Wall Street? WTF?

  28. kat wagner

    I am not looking forward to more mosquitoes living here. I’m not looking forward to more bugs in our forests, turning the pine trees red and dead. I’m not looking forward to the permafrost in Russia and Canada melting, sending more methane into the atmosphere – because that is the ultimate tipping point and scientists are freaking because it’s already happening. I’m not looking forward to all the glaciers in Glacier National Park melting – but they are now and will be gone by 2050.

    Climate change is happening at a faster rate than what would be natural – because since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been pumping carbons into the atmosphere.(Let’s burn some more coal and chop off some more moutaintops).

    While I’m bitching: even my husband says NO to the Keystone Pipeline. He says tell them to build a refinery up there. There’s already been a tar sands spill in the Yellowstone River and the locals will tell you it was tons of no fun.

  29. Peptron

    @Chip:
    If you look closely at Phil’s graph, you’ll notice that it shows that 2011 is cooler than 2010. 2009 is cooler than 2008, 2007 is cooler than 2006, 2005 is cooler than 2004, 2003 is cooler than 2002.

    But more importantly, where I live, today’s temperature is 10 degrees lower than yesterday’s. Obviously, that means that the truth is that the temperature isn’t going up, but actually going down, by 10 degrees a day. At this rate we will reach absolute zero in a little more than 3 weeks. Now THAT is something to worry about.

    Furnicating averages, how do they work?

  30. #25. The majority of most seaside cities are well above any plausible 100 year SLR, the majority of cities are in less developed nations, as they develop their infrastructure will have a high rate of turnover, the new infrastructure should be built taking SLR into consideration.

    So “build[ing] new seawalls in every seaside city in the world that didn’t need them before” wont be required, and realistically, building sea walls would be a tiny expenditure compared to the cost of running each city.

  31. TheBlackCat

    BlackCat, taking SLR as an example, building sea walls up at a rate of 10mm a year isn’t a huge ask, and our cities are always being remade, going on past evidence, few of the building standing now wont have been demolished and replaced within 100 years for reasons other than SLR anyway.

    Tell that to the island countries that are going to completely disappear, and a large portion of the state of Florida, for example, as well. Are you going to build a sea wall around the islands, and around one of the largest states in the U.S.?

  32. Jeff R

    Ok, the planet is warning. Seriously though, all theses scientist, has even one of them thought, hmm, maybe the earth has shifted on it’s axis and thus we are a tad bit closer to the sun? We need to find a way to keep the balance and green house gases are bad and we all need to do our part but I am sure it’s more than just humans causing this effect.

  33. ethanol

    Radwaste said:

    Any photo of Earth from space shows the surface on fire in places due to civilization: bright lights, traffic. Seeing is believing! Ask, “Where is this energy going?”

    The problem with reverting to these sorts of “intuitively obvious” explanations over the vastly more complicated explanations coming from climatology is that they are simply wrong. The amount of direct thermal energy coming from fires, and streetlights, and nuclear power plants, and all the various man-made processes, is just a drop in the bucket relative to the kW/m^2 delivered constantly by the sun over half of earth’s surface. The heat resulting from industry really has no effect, but shifting the thermal equilibrium with greenhouse gases does. We will need to simplify explanations to make them more accessible, but we can’t offer simplifications which are blatantly untrue, if only because this provides an opening for deniers to “disprove” the science.

  34. I think the best analogy that can be is this: let’s say you just bought a car and you ask 100 automotive engineers if the car is “safe” and 97 of them say “no”. If you’d still drive it, you’re probably a global warming skeptic (at least) or denier (at worst). Just because your neighbor (who isn’t an automotive engineer) tells you it’s safe doesn’t mean it is. Whom do you trust – the people who do this for a living or the people who say the opposite because they’re paid to do it?
    Yes, I’m oversimplifying terribly, but I’ve found it an interesting way to reframe the question. Only this “car” we’re deciding to drive has far greater implications should it crash and burn.

  35. @Andrew W (#25) The truth is, 10% of the world’s total population–and 13% of its urban population–lives in low elevation coastal zones. That’s nearly 700 million people at direct risk from rising seas (and it doesn’t include other sea level rise problems such as cropland inundation, saltwater intrusion, etc.)

    I see you trying desperately to dismiss the imminent and very real dangers presented by even moderate warming. But you should know that you dismiss them at your own peril, and that of your children, and theirs.

  36. Carol

    To get to the human society adapting thing: does anyone remember all the people dying in Europe due to the intense summer heat? What sort of adaptation shall we make if our crops don’t grow due to heat and drought? How about just simply burning as they did in Russia? Maybe we can become pure energy beings real quick. I think agricultural effects will be the most effective at reducing human population overhead. The spread of disease—things that were basiclaly contained in the tropical areas suddenly becoming population decimators due to the spread of insects and other carriers. The loss of entire ecosystems due to the decimation of habitat. The loss of fisheries added to the depredation of the same by human populations…the list goes on and on

    Let’s face it, adaptation isn’t going to happen fast enough

  37. #30. TheBlackCat.

    People living on many coral atolls are already in trouble as a result of increased population causing the increased draw off of ground water, which in turn is causing the fresh water table within the atolls to fall below sea level with a resulting ingress of sea water.
    SLR has not been the cause of the ingress that’s already been seen, the SLR to date hasn’t been enough to cause it.

    Your definition of “a large portion of the state of Florida” is about 3% of the area of Florida, mostly Monroe County and parts of a couple of neighboring counties, not good for those people, but tiny compared to the displacement of people that goes on all the time for various other reasons.

  38. Jim, define “low elevation coastal zones” that’s elevations up to what? 10 meters? 20 meters? 50 meters? 100 meters?

  39. ethanol

    With the argument seeming to shift away from whether global warming is true to whether it is worth fighting, it is helpful to consider the timescale over which we weight the effects of our actions. Do we care about things that happen after we die? What about after our children die? How do we weigh an effect that will likely hurt our children and grandchildren, but could then help people thousands of years into the future? Because with the mechanisms by which excess CO2 is entrapped, the timescale of global climate change is thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. While commenters are right that some portrayals of climate over the next hundred years are alarmist and unsubstantiated, the flip side is that in models of the long term effects, the next hundred years represents only the foothills of a vast mountain range of increasing temperature, ocean acidity, and altered precipitation. Unfortunately our society is not equipped with the language for discussing our responsibility for changes we impose on the distant future. For more information on this topic, I strongly recommend “Deep Future” by Curt Stager.

  40. Bob

    For 121 years there has been a 9th warmest year on record. What year did this replace?
    And yes pumping trillion tons of junk in the air will have an effect.
    But with only 130 years on records I think it might be too soon to panic.

  41. #37. ethanol

    I’ll go out to 100 years, beyond that other factors, and the action of our children, grandchildren and their descendent’s are more important.

  42. Mapnut

    Building seawalls around cities is not a solution to sea level rise. At least not in any city where it rains. The biggest problem in New Orleans is pumping rainwater out of the city after a storm. Storm drainage is designed based on the water level at the downstream end. If that increases, the design no longer works.

  43. John Smith

    Does anyone know how this compares to the medieval warm period?

  44. Andrew: the “low elevation coastal zone” is defined as “the continuous area along coastlines that is less than 10 m above sea level”.

    In #35, you stated, “about 3% of the area of Florida, mostly Monroe County and parts of a couple of neighboring counties, not good for those people, but tiny compared to the displacement of people that goes on all the time for various other reasons.” A five-foot rise–which is certainly possible–would inundate all of Monroe County (including the Keys), most of Miami-Dade County, and much of Broward and Palm Beach County, along with much of Hillsborough (Tampa) and Pinellas (St. Pete) County. In other words, the majority of everyone who lives in Florida would be greatly and directly affected. That’s a LOT of people to relocate, and trillions in real estate to lose. Yes, Florida has a very mobile population–but not to the tune of millions with nowhere to go. And pumping isn’t viable; the state is mostly porous limestone. Too, I haven’t even mentioned the loss of inland Dade, Monroe, and Collier County, home to most of the nation’s winter produce.

    And that’s just one state. In the US, there are other major cities under great risk: Boston, Galveston, Honolulu, New Orleans, NYC, San Diego, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle. And across the globe, there are major world cities such as Mumbai, Shanghai, Calcutta, Guangzhou, and Osaka. Again, nearly 700 million people are at risk from sea level rise alone; that’s equivalent to the entire population of two Americas. Where will they go? Who will pay for the necessary infrastructure to house them, feed them, employ them?

    @Bob (#38) — Then how long should we wait before doing something? How long will be long enough to convince the unconvincable?

  45. ethanol

    #39 Andrew W:

    I’ll go out to 100 years, beyond that other factors, and the action of our children, grandchildren and their descendent’s are more important.

    In some respects this is almost certainly true. Some actions, like what infrastructure we choose to build, can have long-term effects but will naturally change on the 100 year timescale one way or the other. But other sorts of actions inevitably have a significant influence long into the future. Take for example nuclear waste. It is much easier to develop an internment system that will last hundreds of years rather than 10 or 100 thousand years, but it is widely recognized that given the terrible difficulty in extracting, cleaning up, and re-interning this waste that we must make an effort to bury it until it is safe. The question is which of these is global warming more like? It is worth noting that the models I was referring to were based on the effects of CO2 released during our lifetime, not over subsequent generations. In that sense it is more like the nuclear waste scenario, where it will inevitably have an effect unless subsequent genarations make an active effort to undo it. The question then is how hard would this CO2 be to remove? It is far beyond our present capacity but it is always possible that a vastly more advanced future civilization could achieve this if they wished it. But can we make that assumption? And even if we can, is it our place to impose that labor and responsibility on future peoples?

  46. Chris

    So if people cause global warming how many of them need to be nuked off the face of the earth to stop it? A pandemic or chemical attack is also an acceptable way of reducing the population to below the Earth’s carrying capacity but without the immediate benefit of nuclear winter to cool us off. Unless someone can some up with a realistic solution that won’t involve global cooperation.

  47. Katja

    @Nicole Bilous:
    Actually, Nicole, more people die from complications of heat stroke or general heat than they do in the cold. Also the warmer weather is making more precipitation which causes colder and deeper winters, not warmer ones. Also harvests that grow too fast yield less food and leave many trees barren for a season or two. So just saying.

  48. BJN

    I wish conservatives were really conservative. Planning for the future, carrying insurance, and being prepared for predictable events at one time were attributes we’d assign to someone who is conservative. The word is now synonymous with boastful selfishness, willful disregard of facts, gleeful shortsightedness, and flagrant irresponsibility.

    I think it’s time to take the word back. We need to conserve, act responsibly, and plan ahead using the best information that science provides.

  49. john

    Just out of curiousity, has the temperature of the sun fluctuated at all?

  50. Jason

    @ Nicole (#2) : That sort of comment belies a deep misunderstanding of how this whole issue works. Weather and climate are incredibly complex. Ocean temperatures affect evaporation rates, which affect humidity, and windflow patterns, and ocean currents, and other things.

    An average warming of the globe doesn’t just mean that your thermometer will go up a couple of degrees. Some places may go up a lot, a few may even cool off a little bit on average. But also, places that were previously rainy may dry out, or vice versa. Ocean currents could change, changing the temperature, salinity, and CO2 concentration of coastal habitats, killing fish and corals. It is a big complicated web we live in. There are _never_ single isolated effects from changes this large.

    We can’t even predict the weather accurately more than a few days out. What makes you think that predicting the effects of global alterations like this would be so simple?

  51. BlackMage

    Mars is also warming up. It is the Sun going through warmer/cooler cycles. Stop with the global warming crap.

  52. Queeg

    “And finally, approximately 97% of climatologists who actually study climate agree that global warming is real, and caused by humans.”

    I’m so glad it is settled. Up until now I thought only 94.% of climatologists agreed. Why have we not heard this before now? So I guess we commission our governments to spend a LOT of time and money, destroy the worlds economies… to do what exactly? Restore the Earth to it’s proper temperature? Which is? The same scientists who gave us kudzu, chimera, and the Africanized honeybee?

    There are more important things to worry about, like things in which you can actually make a positive difference.

  53. gw

    I hope your right about man made global warming, because here in England in the last few years it’s been too cold, even in June I’ve had to wear gloves at times.

  54. Miguel

    So…could you also post a graph on the temperature in neighboring planets compared to earth?, say. Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto…just a few….just asking..I don’t want to have a one sided opinion…I want more data.

  55. Ken

    Deniers or no deniers….one fact remains inescapable: NOBODY IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING — at least NOTHING is being done to materially affect CO2 (& related) outputs.

    Even if the USA AND Europe cut emissions significantly, other countries will not & for all practical purposes cannot — it would be political and/or economic suicide. One reality of how humans manage affairs on this planet is that those in charge maximize short-term gain–their personal gain–and minimize short-term personal adversity (their hype & hubris may say otherwise but their real actions prove the point). That’s how they stay in charge — power is an aphrodisiac. The facts are, no matter what the political party or professed views on climate, nobody is doing anything that is making any real difference on any measurable scale. That is another trend that will continue to not change.

    So, go ahead & slam “deniers,” lament about the problem of warming and so forth. It makes no difference if every denier were converted. Humanity will continue to produce CO2 & other pollutants/greenhouse gasses and this trend will not only continue to continue, it will continue to continue at an accelerating rate.

    So plan ahead for a warmer world–its coming and nobody is going to change it. All these debates about/with “deniers” etc. are utterly pointless & impotent in their effect.

    It’s not the deniers that are “fiddling while Earth burns” … everybody is. Talking about it while living in an industrialized society & surviving on its products and thinking that, because you believe and cut your carbon footprint an imperceptible amount is the height of hypocrisy. You haven’t made a difference (at least unless you’ve moved off the grid & are surviving in the bush, etc.).

    Anybody doubting that needs to crunch the numbers & see what it would take to really make a difference. No politician or other leader is going to take such measures as long as they also intend to retain their position power. That is one lesson from history that has NEVER been violated by anyone for any period long enough to have made any real difference.

  56. TheBlackCat

    @ “For 121 years there has been a 9th warmest year on record. What year did this replace?”

    That would be the current 10th warmest year on record, which looks from the plot to be either 2001 or 2004.

    Also, the previous 9th warmest year hasn’t been on the list for 121 years, since all of the top 10 on the list have occurred since 1997. In fact there is no year prior to 1998 that is warmer than any year of the 21st century (after 2000).

  57. @43 BJN: I wish conservatives were really conservative. Planning for the future, carrying insurance, and being prepared for predictable events at one time were attributes we’d assign to someone who is conservative. The word is now synonymous with boastful selfishness, willful disregard of facts, gleeful shortsightedness, and flagrant irresponsibility.
    I think it’s time to take the word back. We need to conserve, act responsibly, and plan ahead using the best information that science provides.

    Thisity this this this. In the US, so called “Conservatism” has become simply another word for “I’ve got mine, you can go suck it.” There’s no planning beyond the next election cycle, no solutions, no vision. There’s no push to reestablish the US as world leader in science. It’s gotten to the point where you could show your average conservative something written by William F. Buckley or Ronald Reagan (without the name attached, of course) and they’d tell you it was “Liberal media propaganda.” If I considered myself a Conservative, I’d either be mourning the destruction of my party or fuming angry and ready to punch some faces.

  58. rizzo

    Honestly, I’ve completely stopped arguing against the deniers. I’ve come to the conclusion that even if they believe the scientific evidence, they really just don’t give a damn. For all their whinging about how the national debt is going to screw their grandkids, they don’t care that the environment will screw them even harder.

  59. mark

    The fact remains that you are tracking weather patterns from the 1800’s to 2012…but the earth is 4.5 billion years old! to draw a conclusion from only a small percentage of the total life span of anything would not only be illogical but also unscientific. We can track periods of extreme cold based on numerous ice ages. so would you not believe it goes both ways?? Global warming is a theory…a very weak one at that.

  60. Derek

    Phil, I think you should plug this site, as it is one of the most complete anti-denier resources I have ever seen:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

    It comes complete with journal citations, links to published works, and an archive of hundreds of debunked arguments (with refutations written by actual scientists).

  61. Justin

    Predictably global warming cry babies refuse to look at the real indicator….ie. a temperature graph over the last 2000 years rather than the last 130 years. See the real graph at this link showing that we are in a normal trend, following almost the same track as we followed 1000 years a go. http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/02/11/a-2000-year-global-temperature-record/

  62. @56 Ken: So, go ahead & slam “deniers,” lament about the problem of warming and so forth. It makes no difference if every denier were converted. Humanity will continue to produce CO2 & other pollutants/greenhouse gasses and this trend will not only continue to continue, it will continue to continue at an accelerating rate.

    It’s more complex than that. The very fact that deniers are there, and so vociferous, means that people who are not AGW deniers will act differently. For instance, I’m sure Obama isn’t a climate change denier, but part of the reason he won’t do more to address it is because the denier crowd will tar him as a “Job-killing eco-commie”. The very fact that a substantial portion of the population simply refuses to acknowledge modern science has dire consequences across the board (and not just politically). It’s the same in the media – the existence of the denier population biases the presentation of issues surrounding climate and energy. The entire media reference frame is skewed toward a POV that’s more “sensitive” of people who may not want to hear the truth.
    It’s like “peer pressure.” Fewer people are going to go “off the grid” if it’s seen as a “crazy” thing to do. The general societal standard on what constitutes “normal” is pinned to one side by the denialists.
    Gah. I’m not a sociologist. I know others may be able to articulate it better than I. But it’s important.
    And I think you’re being a little pessimistic regarding the plausibility of achieving a low-carbon lifestyle. Certainly, it’s hard for individuals, right now, simply because of our infrastructure. But there are quite a few people who seem to know what they’re talking about who have written convincingly that it IS possible, if we can just get on the same page across the board.

    @17 Pete J: The science on this is fairly consistent, the planet is warming and certainly pollution in any form is bad for us all.
    But, the recent attempts at a response were in my opinion unrealistic and motivated by greed and politics not actually attempting to improve the situation. This would be kyoto and Gores attempt to allow the 1% to profit by selling offsets.

    I agree, particularly about the “offsets”. And this is an important topic of discussion. But we can’t get to the point of determining what to do about the problem when so many people don’t even acknowledge that there IS a problem.

    I would really like to see much more pressure from all of the supporters of change towards increasing personal emissions standards, taxing carbon directly(gasoline, natural gas, coal), higher building standards regarding insulation and energy efficiency (including making them retroactive), removing subsidies to gas/coal/petrochemicals. Raise the standards then let the market solve the problems, at 10 dollars a gallon we will all make different choices.
    I do agree, but there are some things that simply work better when initiated at the government level. Large-scale infrastructure planning isn’t something most people have any say in, nor are tax incentives for new technology development or green building practices. How can you buy solar power, for example, if your local power plant is coal-fired?

    The most damage to this cause was done when we tried to make is someone elses problem instead of taking personal responsibility.
    I do agree. We should certainly take steps to do what we can, personally. As I said before, though, it’s difficult to brainstorm when simply publicly acknowledging that there IS a problem can draw you into angry arguments with the denialist crowd.

  63. Can someone please tell me how many published, peer-reviewed, generally scientifically accepted articles, pro, con, and don’t know, that there are on this subject. Bloggers don’t count in this tally, and neither do all the emotional accusatory comments- only the aforementioned type of scientific articles they are quoting.

  64. FTW!

    Well really this isn’t about global warming. What it should be about is doing what is best for humanity.
    While screwing with the global thermostat may not be a bad thing… we do not know that.

    Now normally I’d say brave new world and lets give it a go, but that isn’t the right attitude to take with something as important and irreplaceable as the entire planet we live on.

    So the bottom line is that regardless of how stupid people have been in the past, its time to stop being stupid. Just because the Elizabethans did, and the baby boomers did it, it isn’t a good excuse to keep doing it.

    Frankly humans aren’t equipped to really emotionally understand how something that affects them more than a week from now. That is why credit traps and the like work. lack of foresight.

    So, if we can all try hard to not screw thing up further, lets start there rather than at is this happening, and do we need more time.

    The meek shall inherit the earth… after its been shat out by lions.

  65. I just signed onto a letter from the League of Conservation Voters to the American Meteorological Society pushing them to put out a statement saying climate change is real. You can click on my name to do the same.

    As we know, a lot of meteorologist don’t believe climate change because they can’t see how you can get long-term climate predictions when short-term weather predictions are so difficult. But of course, climate and weather are like as molecular motion and temperature. A thermometer can tell me the temperature without telling me where any of the air molecules are going.

  66. dave

    They caught meteorological scientists omitting data that didn’t support their claims for global warming. So i don’t believe this.. That said, the earths temperature is cyclical. Before we discovered fire, or even here, there were several ice ages. With or without us, the earths climate will shift. The question is, are we effecting it? My opinion is no. The green movements and those committed to and profiting from the “Green” movement will lie, cheat beg and steal to advance their cause. I’d say that makes them biased.

  67. Steve of the Desert

    I was up in Northern Arizona, where I saw the “Petrified Forest”….and guess what I found? Several hundred thousand years ago that region of the country was a dense rich forest. Some how, it became a dry, arid desert area, and the trees that used to be there had minerals deposit into the wood of the trees at the molecular level leaving “stone trees” now laying in sand…….How did the climate change so radically without the hand of man?

    Last year I visited Yosemite…….Guess what I found, the entire Yosemite valley was formed by glaciers!……Where are they at now, and what caused them to melt and shrink away without the impact of man?

    Warming and cooling cycles are normal, in the history of this planet, even to extremes, and any effect of mankind on the atmospheric temperatures is minimal and is probably secondary to the effect of sunspots on temperatures.

  68. But@Matt B (61): but the AMS has put out an official “information statement” on climate change in 2007 (http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2007climatechange.html). It ends with the following: “…there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond.” It would be nice, however, were the organization to issue a new statement that wasn’t quite so wishy-washy…

  69. Jim Gillen

    Go back further than 130 years. This old earth has cycled from one solid hunk of ice to very warm and back to very cold. Yes it is true that WE are causing changes in our climate but, we are not all that capable of turning it around with out the possibility of REALLY screwing it up. Who ever does anything substantial had better think it through and THEN put it up for a vote. In the meantime, each of us needs to do whatever we can to help. Let’s just not give in to the fanatics on either side.

  70. Mark Cantrell

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned another consequence of rising temperatures: stronger hurricanes. You might be able to build seawalls against rising seas, but there’s not much you can do to ameliorate a Category Four or Five storm. I’ve been in a couple of Twos and Threes, and they’re terrifying enough. If I was still a coastal dweller, that would be my major climate change concern.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2011/1118/Climate-change-warning-brace-for-hotter-heat-waves-stronger-storms

  71. Jeff Akston

    I have faith that the entire scientific community isn’t just lying about this to get funding, so I am not a denier.

    But what always annoys the hell out of me with these things is that we’re talking about the Earth. A planet that has been around for billions of a years, and you are going to use a sample of 130 years and try to convince me that it’s meaningful? That’s ridiculous. That is completely meaningless.

    Especially given that fact that well before humans were ever around, there were numerous ice ages and massive shifts in global climate.

    So Ockham’s Razor and all, given those two data points (and really the only two that I know – I am fully admitting my ignorance of the science, but this “ohh, we have a 130 year sample” nonsense is foolish), what is more likely.

    1. Humans are the cause for the change in climate this time but not the numerous other ones that happened before the industrial revolution
    2. The giant ball of unstable burning gas in the center of the solar system is largely to blame for this change as well as previous changes that occurred before humans.

  72. Dale C

    Here’s the problem with the “science.”

    If your goal is to reduce global warming, then you have to attack the root of the problem. Humans do contribute to global concentrations of CO2, but even if you account for all human activity, that contribution only amounts to 3.207% of all greenhouse gas concentration. BUT, these numbers ignore the reality that there is a FAR more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, and it exists in quantities so vast dwarfs CO2’s greenhouse effect. That potent greenhouse gas is H2O—water vapor. When you add water vapor to the models, man made CO2 contributes only 0.117% to the overall greenhouse effect.

    So… if you know the Earth is warming and you want to do something about it, do you attack 0.117% of the problem, ignoring the REAL gas that’s holding all this heat, or do you attack the actual problem? The answer is dead obvious, but nobody is trying to scrub water vapor from the air.

    Why? Because there’s money to be made in the process of reducing CO2 emissions. Trillions of dollars of money. Entire industries live and die by it. Politicians succeed or fail by it. Scientists are funded and have their careers built or destroyed by it. Treaties are signed and broken by it. Money talks.

    If you think trillions of dollars won’t affect what a scientist reports, what lies a politician tells, or what laws a nation will pass, you are at best naive, and at worst a fool. If this was about saving our planet, we’d attack 99% of the problem, not the paltry 0.117% that science clearly shows we’re actually contributing. But it’s not about science. It’s about money, and more so, it’s about convincing otherwise intelligent people to follow a path by terrifying them that if someone doesn’t part with some money fast, none of our grandchildren will ever see a snowflake.

    Hogwash. Think for yourself. Question authority.

  73. Tony

    We are collectively too stupid to realize the extent of the damage we’re doing to the envelope-thin layer on top of the crust of the Earth, a place that we call “The only place we can safely exist in the universe we know”. Honestly, we’re all going to suffer and die as a species.

    Just thought I’d throw that out there to cheer you up.

    In the mean time, we still have to persevere in the face of invincible ignorance.

  74. Bob K.

    Has anyone ever explored the possibility that more heat may be rising from the earths core?

  75. davem

    There is, of course, that other elephant in the room – human population. Even the optimists suggest a 9 billion population by 2050. These people will want to be fed. The oceans are being emptied of fish. The land needs yet another agricultural revolution to cope. If the glaciers of the Himalayas continue to retreat, the rains will fail, and 1 billion Indian subcontinental humans will look elsewhere to live.

    I have a plan. Since the USA is the World’s leading denier country, and as far as I can tell, the country preventing any serious movement on AGW, we all sign a treaty. If the planet doesn’t warm up by the predicted 2C, the rest of the World agrees to refund all money spent countering AGW by the US. Times three. If the rise does occur, and the forecast disasters do happen, the US agrees to let the displaced person immigrate to the States.

    Is that unreasonable?

  76. Dutch Railroader

    @Matt

    Weather vs. climate:

    Will it rain next Friday? Will it be warm next summer?

  77. Mark

    It doesn’t matter if the temp is hotter WHERE YOU ARE. Its not about YOU. Its a global change. As far as making it hotter where YOU are and that not being a bad thing, it might make it COLDER where you are. We don’t know.

    It IS a shift of global climates. Dry areas might get more wet, or perhaps turn to desert, depends on the shift over time and specific locations.

    If you want to be warmer – move to Florida.

  78. Just a Bulldozer

    Of course it looks hot in the north, because they have had to extrapolate thousands of square kilometers, because there are no thermometers measuring real temperatures. This is science and conclusive evidence to you guys? From the comfort of your homes you look at a picture with a rising graph line and red color, thinking to yourself, HA! The validation I was waiting for, Suck it deniers, I told you so… Really? A computer generated map of the world depicting warming since 1880, when there were no means to measure temperature reliably… say for example in the middle of the Indian Ocean… Pacific… Atlantic… middle of Antarctica in 1880 or even 1920. But GISS couldn’t make errors or make up data or could they, like they did here: http://climateaudit.org/2010/04/15/giss-warmest-march-ever-in-finland/
    Sticking with the Sodankylä station, which is “quite” up north, surely the warming trend would be visible, but it isn’t, no matter how much you color it in red, you can look for the data on the GISS website yourself. This is not the only station that shows no warming trend, but as you can’t be bothered to look at stuff yourselves, you believe the nicely colored picture instead.
    I cannot believe that Phil, you as a scientist don’t feel the need to be a skeptic or at least have a curiosity to find out for yourself, but rather you have chosen a side and seek validation for your opinion. Being a skeptic (don’t use the word denier, it is so childish that it makes you look like a fool) is not about denying anything (certainly none of us deny the holocaust, moon landings or that the earth is round… or any other stupidities you try to throw at us), but we are keeping a very valuable discussion going, so that the data, real-life measurements and conclusions are not distorted by preset mindsets or agendas, as it happened e.g. in New Zealand between raw data and the “official temperatures”.
    There are lots of Climate prophets seeking profits.
    But, hey… pretty picture, pretty colors… oooh.

  79. Gene

    You warmers are the true Deniers. Because what all of the climate scientists agree on is…
    If we stopped all human CO2 emissions today it would affect the CO2 levels in about a thousand years.
    The real denial is…
    There is nothing that can be done. The tipping point is past. Most likely 50 years ago. The ship has sailed. The parrot is dead. Deceased. Passed on. So get over it.

  80. T.rex

    Worst journalism anywhere. He jumps from a fact (9 of the 10 hottest years), and then follows it up with a non-fact, (that humans are to blame).

    The industrial revolution? So like steamships and stuff hurt the environment? Funny, i thought it was hair mousse canisters.

  81. Tony

    @davem – I’ve long thought that population reduction is one of the things we should very seriously be looking at and attempting to increase our chances of surviving as a species, but China and India have shown us how difficult that is to implement, even with the draconian Chinese government at the head of the Chinese program.

    No data is conclusive enough to overcome the loud shouts of the selfish denialists over the heads of the stupidly ignorant. The mere mention of serious population control – especially in the US – is enough to have everyone screaming. And our representatives are pre-programmed to follow the “it keeps me in office” voting mainstream to actually do what they are supposed to be doing: Protect our interests.

    Seriously, we’re all gonna fry. :P

  82. Johnsey

    If its truly warming, then i blame the liberals for all their iPad and Prius factories.

  83. Blargh

    @ 33. Jeff R

    Ok, the planet is warning. Seriously though, all theses scientist, has even one of them thought, hmm, maybe the earth has shifted on it’s axis and thus we are a tad bit closer to the sun?

    They have, and that’s not the cause. We keep track of the Earth’s orbit. It would be nice if the answer was something that simple, but it’s not, sorry. All the easy answers have been investigated, and none of them – even combined – manage to disprove greenhouse gases as the cause of global warming.
    But it wouldn’t matter even if we didn’t keep track of Earth’s orbit – we also keep track of how much radiation we receive from the sun, which leads to:

    @ 50. john

    Just out of curiousity, has the temperature of the sun fluctuated at all?

    The sun’s output fluctuates constantly, and also follows a larger 11-year cycle.
    This is one of the things NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is looking at, when it’s not giving us neat videos of frying comets. :)

    @ 53. Queeg

    The same scientists who gave us kudzu, chimera, and the Africanized honeybee?

    Scientists gave us kudzu? I did not know that. I thought that was a completely natural plant… that was introduced to the US as ornamentation.
    Chimera? The mythological beast? Or any number of useful biological constructs, none of which has caused any harm?
    And beekeeping has what to do with climate science?
    Sure you don’t want to throw in anything else into that association fallacy? ;)

  84. T Rex (83): I made no such jump. See those pieces of text in the post that are a different color? Those are “links”. If you click them it takes you to other pages where you can get more information. Like, say, where the point you are making is debunked. That way, I don’t have to make the same point in blog posts over and over and over again every time a denier comes in here and says something that was debunked long, long ago.

    Say.

  85. JP

    What if the problem is real?

    Option 1: We choose to do something – We may just have a chance of helping.
    Option 2: We choose to do nothing – Seems like we’re headed for disaster at some point.

    What if the problem is NOT real?

    Option 1: We choose to do something – We will have actually done something for our planet.
    Option 2: We choose to do nothing – We get lucky but we’re still headed for disaster as it seems we don’t give a damn.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me – We’re screwed unless we start treating the earth better – but that isn’t going to happen, is it? I suppose we should just all enjoy our greed while it lasts.

    Don’t forget to leave an apology to your children in your will – at least you would have admitted the truth one time in your life.

  86. Sharon

    I’ve always put it this way … if you regularly sucked on a car’s tailpipe, what would happen to your body? You’d probably die, right? Then how could what we belch out into the atmosphere not be affecting other living organisms and the Earth’s natural processes? I know you like driving your Chevy Tundra, but driving it and believing that it’s having an effect on the planet are not mutually exclusive.

  87. Kyle

    Dear Americans,

    I think the confusion is that deniers are assumed to believe the earth’s temperature is not in flux. I don’t think anyone denies clear factual proof that temperatures change from year to year. The climate change debate is not about whether temperatures are changing, but whether it is a natural occurrence or man-made. There is simply not enough conclusive long-term analysis to prove that man is causing this climate shift. This could take hundreds if not thousands of years of uninterrupted scientific analysis. You cannot make a snap decision about the climate over just a hundred+ years of analysis. Just because we have strong evidence that greenhouse gases can cause warming we do not have any hard data to show what the earth’s natural climate would be sans man therefore we cannot make a firm conclusion. At best man-made climate change is still a young hypothesis ripe for study and analysis.

    If you truly believe in science you will be open to the option that it could be man-made or natural causes. If you honestly believe, steadfastly, that it is one or the other you are essentially in a religious sect (acting on a belief not fact). What is religion after all, faith/belief without fact. A true scientist would never discount one scenario or the other as that is not how true science is conducted.

    What happens is you have people that used to say global warming was being caused by man, now they call it climate change. The issue here is that they refuse to qualify climate change arguments with the phrase “man-made”. I mean how can you dispute the fact that temperatures change? Look at a thermometer and you will see it change then look at it at the same time, same day, next year. This simple test proves there is climate change, so now if I go out and say there is climate change without qualifying it as man-made then all I have done is caused people to fear something that they may or may not be able to change.

    Why does this matter?

    Well you have many groups of people in America that are trying to push their philosophies and ideas on each other. Many liberals are trying to push laws and regulations that conservatives feel will infringe on there rights, liberties, and quality of life. Conservatives are trying to prevent said liberals from passing these laws which makes the Liberals feel unsure of the future, concerned about the planet, and worried about their health. Both sides are equally right in their concerns since they both feel they are not getting their way that they think the country should pursue.

    What is my belief: I think man is causing some of it, however I also believe that nature is causing the majority of it. Could I be wrong? Quite possibly, but I’m not going to act in fear as if the world is going to end, because that can happen without climate change. We can also only control America which is a small fraction of the world (Less than 5%)

    I think it is in the best interest of our country to pursue the path that leads to economic superiority in lieu of environmental kindness. Why? Well, if we stay a predominate superpower of the world we will be able to have the influence to help others make better decisions in the future regarding matter such as the environment when we have more conclusive studies of the climate of Earth.

    Science is about knowledge and study. Math is about proofs. Man-made climate change is still very much a science.

  88. Nathan Wren

    @Nicole Bilous #4

    As a fellow Western Canadian, may I suggest the “sheepish shame” emoticon next time? You have only to take a short drive over the Rockies to see the Pine Beetle devastation of BC forests, caused by abnormally warm winters, for a simple example of why you should care.

    Also, while you are not likely to be hurt much by a global sea level rise in elevated, landlocked Alberta, you might dust off a bit of human empathy for the hundreds of millions of (often socioeconomically disadvantaged) people living at or near sea level around the world, who might not share your rosy outlook on the matter.

  89. amphiox

    Seriously though, all theses scientist, has even one of them thought, hmm, maybe the earth has shifted on it’s axis and thus we are a tad bit closer to the sun?

    If the earth moved closer to the sun, the year would get shorter. Not only that, but the speed the earth moves in its orbit would increase, and every single astronomical observation made from a ground based observatory would shift, and all of them would shift in the same way.

    Astronomers would notice within weeks.

  90. CharonPDX

    Wow. Slashdot has gone way downhill. Used to have actual thinkers, who understand science. The vast majority of the comments to your post over there are deniers. Not “the science is up in the air” skeptic-sounding deniers, but outright deniers.

  91. Al

    Follow the money.

    Almost everyone who is pomoting the idea that global warming is as bad as they say it is (and will kill us all) either works for the government, one of their contractors, or is in a university that receives funding to study (surprise!) global warming.

    Ever wondered why it always seems that the financially secure or the over educated are promoting their fear about global warming?

    The planet heats and cools. Maybe it is getting warmer, maybe its not. 50 years from now the same self satisfied idiots will be trying to alarm us that is getting too cold. Follow the money.

  92. sj

    I didn’t know had the technology to measure the earth’s global temperature back in 1880s.
    Steampunk satellites?

  93. skepticaljamie

    In response to;

    2. Nicole Bilous Says:
    January 20th, 2012 at 10:45 am
    Ok so the earth is warming up…is it really such a big deal that we need to spend multi-trillions on it to stop or reverse the warming? Warmer weather makes plants grow faster and better, the elderly die or get sick more often when its deeply cold. And as for myself living in Alberta Canada i wouldn’t mind the winters to be a little warmer, just saying

    Alberta – home of that environmental disaster, the Tar Sands and our knuckle dragging drooling Conservative Prime Minister…

  94. It looks as though someone sounded the alarm; Phil stated some basic, well-documented, and scientifically proven facts , and the denialists have come-a-runnin’ as though their very lives depended on it. I see one breathless and debunked denialist trope after another up above and over on Slashdot: “The world’s not warming!” (Yes, it is) “It’s not us!” (Yes, most of it is) “Warming will be good for people!” (No, it won’t) “It’s sunspots” (No, it’s not) “The climate record only goes back 130 years!” (No, it doesn’t) And so on.

    And so on.

    And so on.

    Fact: CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    Fact: CO2 is higher in concentration now than it has been in hundreds of thousands of years.
    Fact: That CO2 spike is due almost entirely to our burning of fossil fuels.
    Fact: There is absolutely NO other mechanism known to scientists that could conceivably cause the bulk of the current warming. Nothing.

  95. Juliar

    I love looking at the graphs Hansen has made again. Move the “smoothing” down to 100km and see how much of the planet isnt being monitored.

    And at the same time the theory of man made global warming still hasnt found the hot spot on top of the equator which validates with data, not man made computer models, that the theory is real or not.

    I still cant believe how much denial is going on in the alarmist community. Sorry, but the scientific method has invalidated the theory of man made global warming and it is only the denial and overwhelming belief in this theory is crazy.

    Over 100 billion US has been spent on creating computer programs with fudge factors, that ignore:
    – clouds
    – rainfall
    – energy input variations in the sun
    – cosmic rays
    – oceans
    – land use
    – volcanoes
    – orbital shift

    All these factors which make climate are not modelled by man made computer models. Why not? Deniers.

    And instead work on the assumption that CO2 heats up water, and then feeds back to CO2 causing the hot spot which has not been found. Theory: invalidated.

    Volcanoes have increased substantially in the last 12 months – what ever happened to the volcano in Sth America which closed airports in Melbourne Australia and the other volcano in Europe which shut down airports across Europe and the UK? Whoops, forgot to mention those ones, volcanoes dont exist! Time to deny that too.

  96. Lorena

    I knew it! Winters were much colder when I was a kid :D
    BTW a couple of days ago, I read in a newpaper that Buenos aires, Argentina, now is a “tropical city”. :S :S According to Osvaldo Canziani “In the last 100 years average temperature went up 1,8 Cº. But most important, the minimum temperatures went up 2.7cº since 1967.
    Right now it’s 10.37 pm and the temperature is 29.9Cº :S :S

  97. curious george

    Sharon says “… if you regularly sucked on a car’s tailpipe, what would happen to your body? You’d probably die, right?”

    Sharon – never exhale. You are affecting my organism, and everybody else.

  98. drrocks1982

    To those griping about supposedly ill-founded conclusions from a less than two century record of measured CO2 and temperature, climate scientists use proxies like gas bubbles in ice cores from Antarctica & Greenland and deep ocean sediment records to look into the paleoclimate. Since we know the current climate linkages, surface geology and other important things like thermodynamics well, we can back out climate behavior within the last approximately 800000 years with great confidence. Here is a paleorecord of CO2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2mZyCblxS4

    The results are telling, a difference in CO2 of <100 ppm controls whether or not glaciers are advancing through Cleveland, Ohio. We are now way way way over the average CO2 content of the atmosphere during which the current modern human civilization as thrived. Anyone notice when the major uptick happens? Also, you'd be surprised about the leverage wielded by what deniers describe as small changes in atmospheric CO2 compared to the larger whole. For comparison, look up how much more Potassium you'd have to add to your blood chemistry to kill yourself. Good thing your kidneys keep your body in equilibrium.

  99. danf

    The planet may indeed be warming up. 10,000 years ago we were just exiting the last ice age. The next period of glaciation is due. A warming earth may stave off the next ice age or trigger it.

    What your real religion is, is not that the earth is warming, but that we should imagine that we can do something about it. That “something” invariably is some sort of self flagellation. leading to impoverishment for millions/billions of people. It is all a form of self loathing…pathetic

  100. Steve D

    (2) “is it really such a big deal that we need to spend multi-trillions on it to stop or reverse the warming?”

    Are you ready to pony up the costs of droughts, failed harvests, tropical diseases in formerly temperate areas, and refugee movements? The DoD takes those threats seriously, but, hey, they only put their lives on the line.

    Funny, supposedly computer models of climate are unreliable, but predictions of what it will cost to reverse climate change are dead on, even though economics is way fuzzier than climatology.

    Look at the state of the economy. The business community knows NOTHING about running business – their only solution when things tank is to throw people out of work. Why should we trust the clowns who run Wall Street even to know what it will cost to fix climate change, much less how climate works?

    BTW, where I live, we just had our first below-zero day all winter. It’s been record warmth. I can dig that, except that next summer it will be hot and sticky like it’s been getting increasingly for the past 20 years or so.

  101. If you really want to know the truth, and blame greenhouse gases, you really need to look at the #1 green house gas, the one that is 10x more dangerous then CO2 or any of the other major green house gases, we all really need to do some about H2O, it is the real problem, it is more dangerous then CO2, and all the others added together. plot the rise of H2O against the temps and you will see that you don’t have to fake the numbers, cut out time periods or even fudge the numbers, it will all be there, in black and white.

  102. Nick

    9th hottest on record for the last 130 years… What is your point? It has been a lot hotter before that and before man was here, it was even hotter. Oh I forgot. No room for debate, just 130 year hockey sticks.

  103. scarr

    So, the average temp has risen since the end of the Little Ice Age, a period from the 1400 to 1800’s where the averge temp dropped significantly enough to cause crop cycles and locations to change in Europe. The climate is always changing, and if you pick a small enough sample you can make the data say anything. Over 10,000 years we are still in a cool climate period, though I will grant that our shift seems to be quicker than average. We cannot be surr of that though because that data is extrapolated, not directly measured.

  104. Muzz

    Dale C at #74 (currently) You’re talking garbage. Water vapor doesn’t stay in the atmosphere like CO2. Its cycle is much faster. And guess what; how much water vapor there is, is linked to temperature. Which brings us back to CO2. CO2 keeps the heat in which keeps up the water vapor which keeps the heat in even more.
    Percentages are meaningless and only used to skew the debate in specious ways. You attack the root of the problem if you know what it is, and we do.

    Vance Avis @ #65 (currently): I don’t think you can count the papers that easily. It’s a big subject. The IPCC Fourth Assessment report apparently drew on about 6000 papers. They would be from a wide variety of fields. They would have been directly or indirectly looking for evidence of climate change though. How they relate to your categories I couldn’t say.
    Against, there’s not very many. Stuff cited in the controversial Wegman report I suppose. There are works by some researchers which are decidedly neutral and cited by both “sides” at different times, I think as well

  105. NothingToSee

    @JP – I came up with a hypothetical situation and played it out using your logic. Thanks, that was fun.
    ——————
    Let’s say you wake up in the middle of the night and smell smoke.

    There really IS a fire:
    Option 1: Do something – wake up other inhabitants, exit the house, call 911 for the fire deparment, deal with smoke/water damage, deal with your insurance company, rebuild your life.
    Option 2: Do nothing – stay in bed and succumb to the smoke/flames

    There really is NOT a fire:

    Option 1: Do something – wake up the other inhabitants, exit the house, call the fire department. Hope that no one gets injured in the process of hurring to your house, pay the city for calling out the fire department. No damage, but at least you’ve tested the emergency response system. Never know when the children might need to use it.
    Option 2: Do nothing – stay in bed and dream of other disasters that will doom us all.

    Seems like a no brainer to me. We are all screwed unless we can 100% guarantee that the EMS system will work, but that isn’t going to happen is it? I guess we should all enjoy our mercury filled energy efficient UL tested light bulbs.

  106. Bill Bogdan

    This man-made global warming debate is so worthless, and I’m not taking sides.

    An observational study can only produce a hypothesis. The only way to “prove” your hypothesis is through a controlled study (a.k.a. the scientific method, a.k.a. a clinical study).

    For example, observational studies are forbidden by the FDA for drugs and medical devices, and rightfully so.

    So this article produces a nice hypothesis (as do all observational studies by the alarmists). Sad that people no longer understand what real science is, especially your 97%.

    For an explanation of this, watch this really informative and very funny video:

    Tom Naughton – Science for Smart People

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1RXvBveht0

  107. NothingToSee

    Educate me. I have a couple of questions that have nagged at me for a long time with respect to anthropogenic global warming/climate change. I do have my opinions, but those could be changed. Not seeking a fight…I sincerely want to understand.

    1.) Dogma. That is all that I see when I see the word ‘denier’ used by a person that is supposed to be trained in science. For me, science was the escape from dogma….and skepticism in many ways is how Science came to be. For some reason with this subject – there is no room for it anymore. Why?

    2.) I want to understand what, in the opinion of scientists, caused the earth to warm rapidly into the the last interglacial period and then leading again into the medeival warm period. Can someone explain how it happened then – and how it is different from now?

    3.) I want to undersand how measurement error is addressed in all of the data. For example, we know that our intruments become exponentially more precise and more abundant. Has anyone taken a crack at trying to calculate variation based upon measurement error alone? Esp in the last 130 years?

    4.) I want to understand why it is acceptable to look point at a 9 year period in a timframe of 2.89E-08% (130 years) of the earths existence. Tring to think of an equivalent, but for sake of understanding…in my mind, that seems like it would be just as logical to take a 1 minute window of time on January 1st and predict the weather for the rest of the decade. Perhaps I am missing somehting here….I want to understand.

    5.) Again, we are pointing at 9 years of a 130 year window of time. Couldn’t one also slide that 130 year old window backwards in time and find 100’s if not 1000’s of other times and be able to state that 9/10 years were the hottest on record. For example, if a 40 year old that has ran every day since she was 20 years old told you that, shej ust ran her fastest time on record it would sound very impressive. What if you found out that she just started recording her times last week? “fastest time on record” loses it’s awe pretty quickly.

    Those are sincere questions. I would love to have an answer to them.

  108. Richard Cheese

    We’re holding back the next ice age. Everyone calm down.

  109. at (74.) Dale C raised the point of water vapor as a greenhouse gas and while that is technically true, there are 3 important facts that work together to make it less critical than carbon dioxide as a controlling factor in persistent thermal balance trends:

    1. Earth’s range of temperature and atmospheric pressure encompasses the area around the triple point of water, so rapid, large, and chaotic changes in atmospheric water vapor concentration via phase transition are the norm (it’s known as weather…)

    2. Solar heating is a surface phenomenon which causes high-humidity thermal updrafts.

    3. The upper troposphere always has some point at which the temperature is low enough to condense out clouds of ice crystals and/or liquid mist that reflect the bulk of solar radiation.

    The end result is that while water vapor has the potential to act powerfully as a greenhouse gas by passing visible light and absorbing infrared, it is self-limiting in that net effect in the actual atmosphere and behaves instead as an amplifier for changes in temperature that are driven by more persistent factors like carbon dioxide and solar input. It can’t be treated as if it were the same as a gas like carbon dioxide that is fairly homogeneously distributed and doesn’t switch from a greenhouse gas to a highly reflective high-altitude surface in vast quantities as an everyday event (or ever.)

    Of course that does not mean that water’s behavior in the atmosphere isn’t important, of course it is. It’s the most complex part of climate modeling and the least certain. As recently as a decade ago, there were warming skeptics who were working on the hypothesis that increased cloud cover would actually fully counter the effects of carbon dioxide in net energy balance. It was a bit of a perpetual motion machine concept, but it had some appeal and took hard data to dismiss. The suggestion that climate science ignores water in the atmosphere and therefore cannot be legitimate is dead wrong on its premises.

  110. John Noonan

    So we are warming up….that does not mean that all of the doomsday predictions regarding the consequences of warming up are true. But, since we really do not know what the consequences will be and we know that a cleaner planet is a better plannet, we should make real efforts to clean up and to change our ways. We have limited resources but we live like we have unlimited resources; It seems that we believe that a magical technological breakthrough will fix everything in some revolving door version of tomorrow.

  111. Micah

    This is a GISS plot….the more and more I look into it, the clearer it is becoming that this data set is absolutely compromised (to all the slow out there….the fix is in). Anyone can do it. Pick a station, any station data that comprises the GISS data set. Look at a raw temp plot and the adjusted temp plot. Raw temps are flat (except in urban stations), the adjusted temps in the current GISS create the fiction you see above. The smoking gun is picking an adjusted GISS temp plot from the past several years and compare it what GISS says today about the exact same time and location….you will see it got colder pre-2000. Each year GISS pushes out data the past keeps getting colder and colder (making that nice upward slope…when in fact the raw data is almost flat). What happened today to make us think that a temperature recorded in 1933 was 1 degree too warm and fix it by subtracting a degree? We’re talking about a .10th of a degree scale here! It’s a nice statistical trick to take the very real urban heat island effect and normalize its slope throughout the whole dataset thereby forcing the past to get colder. Notice that nice hot spike over the Artic…where there are NO stations for GISS (but it makes a nice place to pad the data help to keep up the fraud).

    No deigning anything here, it is pretty easy to figure out just by actually looking at what is actually creating that plot. GISS is pure fiction plain and simple. Or in the layman’s terms, complete Bull….or to say another way FRAUD.

  112. @106:Scarr: The Little Ice Age was regional, not global. Much like El Nino does not reflect global cooling.

    @110 Nothing to see:
    (#1) I’ll call a spade a spade. A skeptic can be convinced by evidence, whereas a denier simply dismisses evidence that they don’t like.

    (#2) These are valid questions, but the problem is that you’re asking for a lot. You could also say “I want to understand the opinion of scientists on how exactly to construct an efficient heavy-water-moderated pebble-bed reactor with a negative void coefficient without excessive neutron activation of primary cooling components.”
    You wouldn’t get an answer on this thread, but that doesn’t mean that scientists don’t know how to do it. It just means you need to do some serious work to get the answer. The problem is that people want simple answers, and then when they get those answers, they say “Well, duh, what about A B and C?”
    Of course, those issues have been addressed, but since you wanted the simple explanation, all those variables were left out.
    It’s a real public relations problem. If scientists just dump the data on us, it’s worse than useless, as we don’t know how to interpret it. If they tell us their interpretation of the data verbatim, we accuse them of talking down to us (or find problems that don’t really exist because we don’t understand the process). And like I said before, if they simplify it, then we get the mistaken impression that certain things have been overlooked. You can’t win.

    #3): Again, it’s been done, but I doubt anyone here has an encyclopedic knowledge of all of the hundreds of thousands of studies who can point us to the correct one.

    #4 and 5): We only have 130 years or so of direct measurements, but we have a lot of other evidence going back further (ice cores, for instance). And none of it shows the sort of rapid changes that we’re seeing now. It’s not so much that there’s a change, but the speed at which it’s happening.

  113. Derek

    This is part of the problem in dealing with the denialists: they make a bazillion disjointed, poorly informed, largely incoherent and self-contradictory objections, and there’s not enough time in the day to deal with all them over and over and over in every thread.

    Every single argument that has been presented in this thread so far, from “Mars is warming” (false), to “It’s a natural cycle” (false), to “the trend doesn’t show up in data sets of 1000s of years” (false), to “it’s warming but you can’t prove we’re causing it” (false), to “it’s the sun” (false), blah blah blah blah blah…every single one of those arguments was already thoroughly debunked in the link I posted. And many of them were even covered in Phil’s original post. Plus, they all contradict each other.

    But here we are, 100+ comments in, and people are still ejaculating wild speculations into the thread, or else throwing out the same old tired discredited nonsense that was pre-emptively refuted in the opening post. Go figure.

  114. Good lord. There are too many posts to respond to individually, so let me just point out a few things that I’m seeing repeated over and over.

    First, the bit about how we only have 130 years of measurements. Yes, direct measurements. But we also have tree rings, ice cores, glacier measurements, geology, paleobotany, and a variety of other methods for tracking global temperature. These measurements don’t simply stand alone, they’re combined with the other data to get a fairly comprehensive history of our planet.

    Which brings me to the next point I see repeated a lot on this thread, the “The Earth’s climate always changes” argument. The problem is not that the climate is changing, but how FAST it’s changing.
    It’s true the the Earth’s temperature has shifted in the past, and CO2 levels also rise and fall on geological timescales. The difference is that right NOW, these changes are happening hundreds of times faster than they have in the past. When we find signs of climate change in the geological and fossil record, it often takes millions of years to get a few degrees change, or a doubling of CO2. We’re seeing these kinds of changes inside 200 years!

  115. But the climate has changed before!

    Read it. Understand it. Please. Otherwise you just sound like a broken record.

  116. @82 Gene You warmers are the true Deniers. Because what all of the climate scientists agree on is…
    If we stopped all human CO2 emissions today it would affect the CO2 levels in about a thousand years.
    The real denial is…
    There is nothing that can be done. The tipping point is past. Most likely 50 years ago. The ship has sailed. The parrot is dead. Deceased. Passed on. So get over it.

    So let me get this straight – because deniers caused us to dick around too long to do anything, and now it’s too late, that means that scientists are somehow wrong because the hopelessness of the situation invalidates the facts? Erm?

    Also, it’s not too late to make a difference.

  117. @114 Derek: This is part of the problem in dealing with the denialists: they make a bazillion disjointed, poorly informed, largely incoherent and self-contradictory objections, and there’s not enough time in the day to deal with all them over and over and over in every thread.
    Every single argument that has been presented in this thread so far, from “Mars is warming” (false), to “It’s a natural cycle” (false), to “the trend doesn’t show up in data sets of 1000s of years” (false), to “it’s warming but you can’t prove we’re causing it” (false), to “it’s the sun” (false), blah blah blah blah blah…every single one of those arguments was already thoroughly debunked in the link I posted. And many of them were even covered in Phil’s original post. Plus, they all contradict each other.
    But here we are, 100+ comments in, and people are still ejaculating wild speculations into the thread, or else throwing out the same old tired discredited nonsense that was pre-emptively refuted in the opening post. Go figure.

    This! ^
    And this is why most scientists are loathe to take the time out of their day to try and explain this stuff: because most people refuse to even try to understand, or care. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. Refute a point, and a hundred other people parrot the same point and all demand a detailed answer.
    What are scientists (or just concerned folks like us) supposed to do?

  118. @98 Juliar: Over 100 billion US has been spent on creating computer programs with fudge factors, that ignore:
    – clouds
    – rainfall
    – energy input variations in the sun
    – cosmic rays
    – oceans
    – land use
    – volcanoes
    – orbital shift
    All these factors which make climate are not modelled by man made computer models. Why not? Deniers.
    And instead work on the assumption that CO2 heats up water, and then feeds back to CO2 causing the hot spot which has not been found. Theory: invalidated.

    What is your evidence for any of this? Are we supposed to believe that every single climate scientists working with these models is too dumb to notice these massive flaws?

  119. TheBlackCat

    What is your evidence for any of this? Are we supposed to believe that every single climate scientists working with these models is too dumb to notice these massive flaws?

    He can’t, because it is simply false. Things like clouds, solar variations, oceans, land use changes, and volcanoes are most certainly taken into account in the models.

    Cosmic rays, as far as I am aware, are not taken into account because there has been no change in cosmic ray levels, nor is there any strong evidence that they have any significant effect. I know that orbital shifts are taken into account in paleoclimate models, which have long enough time periods to actually make a difference, but I am not entirely sure whether they are used in short-term models where they are too slow to make any difference.

  120. Joe A

    For those who don’t remember, In 2007 NASA (the source of this data) admitted they had made mistakes in their temperature recording process. NASA reported that through 2006 the hottest year had been 1934, 1998 was second, 1921 was third and 2006 was fourth. Maybe the ‘scientists’ should actually check their data.

  121. gss_000

    @15 Pete Jackson “The warming has stalled since 2001 even though there were both El Niños and La Niñas in that period. ”

    I’m a little late to the game, but this is simply not true.

    First, you can’t accurately say anything about the warming trend based on 11 years of data. When you actually do the math (which most of the people repeating this line never actually do), you see that the uncertainty is too great. Typically, people use 30 years of data but you can get away with less. 10 years is not enough. You are confusing weather with climate.

    Second, Phil is referring to the NASA data on the temps. By NASA’s figures, 2010 was the warmest on record. Forget what I said before and let’s just stick to your statement and what it implies. So how can you have the warmest year on record if it has stalled? Please explain.

    Third, this is just a variation of the “no warming since 1998″ canard that was floating around till about last year. Notice how the year is being pushed up as more data comes out that raises confidence there *has* been warming when you use the original start date.

    And guess what? Who says dealing with this has to be costly? The same people who tell you it’s warming found relatively cheap ways to deal with the issue:
    http://tinyurl.com/7glb7u8

  122. Phyllis

    My take on the climate change issue is this:

    1.) It is arrogance to presume that we can “Save the Earth”, or indeed, that the Earth really needs saving. It’s been here for 6 billion years, give or take a few millenia, and I am confident that it will be here until the Sun goes super nova on us. The Earth’s climate has changed many times over its existance – the planet is nothing now as it was in the dinosaurs’ time – and it will continue to evolve , which leads me to my next point ….

    2.) Climate change endangers people. Period. We must get over this save the planet complex and realise that we will drive ourselves into extinction long before the planet is in any great risk. Humans are relatively delicate critters, we have a narrow tolerance for heat or cold and need the air to be a specific mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, etc. to breathe safely. Should the climate change to an atmosphere of extreme heat or cold (or both), should the air attain too much methane or CO2, we will die off relatively quickly. The Earth will putter along and continue evolving without us.

    My conclusion is that, whether we agree on how fast the climate is changing, or how globally catastrophic it may or may not be, can we agree that something is going wrong and try to right our course before we bring about our own tragic (allbeit appropriate) end? Climate change is happening, it does not require anyone’s belief to exist, and, given the plethora of unpleasant scenarios that could result from it, is this something any of us really want to be proven right about? Repent! Recycle, Reduce, Reuse! Or be Removed.

  123. gss_000

    Oh, and as for the cosmic ray, mini ice age, etc, ad nauseum wrong theories, check out:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610

    And for math and actual statistics showing why other claims are wrong, check out:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/

  124. @Phyllis: I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve always been unapologetically “Humans First”. I don’t think most people who are concerned about climate change are worried about “saving the Earth” in some vague way (that doesn’t involve saving humans specifically).

  125. John

    Nine of the ten hottest years have been since 2000, 2011 is the ninth hottest year recorded. see the climate is cooling :)

  126. Baroque97

    The thing that always comes to mind whenever I hear anyone deny global warming with “the Earth’s climate is always changing!” is that yes, it has – but during the time that humans have been a generally settled, agricultural/urban species that was dependent to some extent on climate being consistent enough to have predictable crop yields from one year to the next, how much has it REALLY changed during that period?

    For most of the span of life in general on Earth, the environment hasn’t necessarily been all that hospitable to our species. Certainly not when it is in such numbers that there isn’t space to just move over 50 miles and build a new settlement when the old one is wiped out by storms or rising seas or whatnot, because someone is already there.

    I worry about what kind of place my nephew and nieces will be able to live in. I don’t see it as being a very nice planet unless they are all lucky enough to marry into money and have some level of insulation from the troubles to come. Otherwise they’ll be screwed along with the rest of us.

  127. John

    Not crazy, not stupid (Mensa member) you global warmers fail to look at the big picture.

  128. John

    What moderation? Not agreeing with you?

  129. Blargh

    @ NothingToSee:

    Dogma. That is all that I see when I see the word ‘denier’ used by a person that is supposed to be trained in science. […] Why?

    You can check out Phil’s permalinked “My use of the word “denier”” under “Blogroll” on the right hand side. TL;DR:
    Skepticism is about not believing without evidence. If the evidence doesn’t support his position, the skeptic changes his mind.
    Denialism is keeping on disbelieving no matter what. If the evidence doesn’t support his position, the denier will deny the evidence. No matter how much of it is presented.
    And that’s why most of the anthropogenic warming deniers really are deniers and should not be called skeptics – because they will keep on denying no matter how much evidence you present. Debunk one of their misconceptions and they’ll jump onto something else that can hopefully support their belief. Debunk that and they’ll jump onto the next one, etc. Or just deny the evidence’s validity outright: “those scientists are all in cahoots”.

    I want to understand what, in the opinion of scientists, caused the earth to warm rapidly into the the last interglacial period and then leading again into the medeival warm period. Can someone explain how it happened then – and how it is different from now?

    The Medieval Warm Period was mostly a local phenomenon (parts of the Northern Hemisphere). You can read e.g. Mann et al – Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly for details. Relevant quote from the article: “The Medieval period is found to display warmth that matches or exceeds that of the past decade in some regions, but which falls well below recent levels globally”. The key words there are “some regions”.

    I want to undersand how measurement error is addressed in all of the data.

    Properly. Seriously, this is not something you overlook. We use all the modern fancy technology to calibrate our older measurements and proxy measurements.

    I want to understand why it is acceptable to look point at a 9 year period in a timframe of 2.89E-08% (130 years) of the earths existence.

    Again, we are pointing at 9 years of a 130 year window of time. Couldn’t one also slide that 130 year old window backwards in time and find 100′s if not 1000′s of other times and be able to state that 9/10 years were the hottest on record.

    First off, looking at the temperature 4 billion years ago is not very relevant except for validating models. Unless you want to draw conclusions like “In the Hadean period, the mean surface temperature was above 200 °C. Therefore, global warming is harmless.”.
    Second, our record doesn’t extend back 130 years. Our record stretches back millions of years, through the use of temperature proxies. Just google “paleoclimatology”.

    Those are sincere questions. I would love to have an answer to them.

    Then here’s a sincere question from me: are you really? Or are you just looking for reasons to disbelieve?

    @ Phyllis:

    It’s been here for 6 billion years, give or take a few millenia

    Well, give or take a few billion years, rather. ;)
    (The Earth is roughly four and a half billion years old, not six)
    And nobody believes that “Save the Earth” means “save the planet itself from exploding”; it’s pretty much shorthand for “Save what’s on the Earth” or “Save the Earth as we know it”. Doesn’t affect your second point, though.

  130. Blargh

    Oh, and as usual when climate change is discussed, I’ll advise everyone to watch the climate change videos by Potholer54, a.k.a. Peter Hadfield, on Youtube.
    They start off here:
    Potholer54: 1. Climate Change — the scientific debate

    Despite this being Youtube (yes, I’m a bit jaded :)), his videos are the best intro to climate science/the climate change debate I’ve come across. He refrains from emotional arguments, or arguments from authority, and instead only looks at the objective science involved. And gives sources, and publishes errata.

    As the opening quote states:

    “No, I’m not going to give you the latest pronouncements from Al Gore on the subject of climate change. Al’s not a scientist, let alone a geologist or a climatologist. And neither are these guys: [picture of climate change activists]. However well-meaning they may be, most environmental activists don’t know a schist from shinola. And the same goes for climate prognosticators like Rush Limbaugh and Paul Harvey. This video is about science, and the debate between climate scientists.”

  131. Dan M

    What does a red blood cell know about the life cycle of a human? A bit less than we do about the life cycle of the Earth thanks to a little thing called deductive reasoning. But it’s true enough — a human lifetime, or several, is very limited span in which to observe these glacial cycles. And with a system as complex as the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s hard to prove an irrefutable causal link between human activity and climate change.

    But one thing we should all agree on: humans have the power to affect this planet adversely. Stockpiles of nukes can attest to that. Hopefully we don’t need to observe a nuclear winter to agree it’s possible.

    Those who dismiss the possibility we’re responsible for this change without due consideration shirk our collective responsibility to understand the consequences of the power we possess as the first technological species on Earth. And the number of people doing this is just plain frightening. If evolution were an election and our current status the presidency, this kind of irresponsibility ain’t gonna get us a second term.

  132. Darby

    Gee. Bob @#41 leaves a point to ponder.

    When do we start to panic?

    Now you could say that we are all still ok and need to do nothing until we are all entirely convinced that we are doomed. And I am guessing that is the point of panic. That mode of thinking reveals something that is, bluntly, all too American. Deny deny deny until the truth smacks you in the face and then run to technology.

    Or you could say, as others have alluded, that the point of panic should not be the point when we should be expected to make reasonable decisions. Instead, we can just take a deep breath, feel some responsibility and do something. Anything. Buy LEDs. Buy a Prius. Use solar and wind and other technologies. Recycle. Turn off the lights. Put on a sweater. Support change. Make small changes in your behavior today and teach them to your children. Then do more. Nobody is expected to do everything, but everyone can do something. We can do better. Specifically, Americans need to do more. They have done much too little for much too long. I am not even asking that they do their share, just not be such a poster-child for egregious senseless waste.

    Sorry. Is that ideology? Well, the allocation of scarce resources has always been an economics issue, and ideology certainly affects economics, doesn’t it? In many places of the world, global warming is not a divisive issue. It is not the bane of ranting ideologues. It is also not an issue of economics any more than health care is. It is a matter of decency, husbandry of resources, and reason. And caring more for the environment, like caring about health, solves a lot of other social problems as well.

    What difference is a B2 bomber more or less if tens of millions are starving each year because grain prices keep going up? Why quibble about a billion more or less for energy research when nobody even keeps track of Pentagon budgets anymore?

    I am not panicking. I see a world awakening to the task ahead. I see nations leading the charge to win this huge battle humanity is having with itself. Unfortunately, although the US is part of the solution, it is much more a part of the problem.

  133. NothingToSee

    @Blargh and Joseph G –

    Thank you. I really do appreciate you taking the time to address my questions. Starting with the last question first…just to clear the air a bit.

    Then here’s a sincere question from me: are you really? Or are you just looking for reasons to disbelieve?

    I am only asking questions. My degrees in science trained me that it was good to ask questions. When I was growing up, my Priest trained me that it was not good to ask questions…unless I didn’t mind being called a heretic. (I don’t). I do want to have a dialogue on this subject, cut through some of the other hyperbole and understand a few things.

    I do appreciate your candid response to the Dogma/Skeptic question. I greatly dislike any language that uses a broad brush to paint another group with some qualifty. With respect to Science…it makes people like myself afraid to ask questions…even the dumbest of questions. You could easily replace the word ‘denier’ with ‘heretic’ and it does nothing to change the meaning. That, to me, is religion. I came to science to escape religion.

    I think it would be silly to say that all of the evidence for AGW has been thoroughly explained and that there are no more questions. Yes, there will be those that will needle away at a subject even when you believe that it has already been thoroughly explained (aka debunked). It is annoying, but healthy for science, and should be a big glowing banner to you that says, “We haven’t done enough to educate the public on this topic!”

    These are valid questions, but the problem is that you’re asking for a lot.

    I understand that it is a big question, but the problem is that we (the public) are being asked to undertand a lot.

    We only have 130 years or so of direct measurements, but we have a lot of other evidence going back further (ice cores, for instance). And none of it shows the sort of rapid changes that we’re seeing now. It’s not so much that there’s a change, but the speed at which it’s happening.

    This takes me back to the other question (sorry). Could any of the different between rapid change now vs. slower change historically be explained by differences in measurement?

    “The Medieval period is found to display warmth that matches or exceeds that of the past decade in some regions, but which falls well below recent levels globally”. The key words there are “some regions”.

    According to the IPCC there are/will be regional differences with AGW. How is this different?

    “”First off, looking at the temperature 4 billion years ago is not very relevant except for validating models…..Our record doesn’t extend back 130 years. Our record stretches back millions of years, through the use of temperature proxies. Just google “paleoclimatology”.

    Ok, here is a point of confusion. What I read here is (paraphrasing)…looking at the temperature from the past isn’t great, but go ahead and look at the proxy data. I am sure that this is not what you meant…can you explain?

    I have examined the proxy data, which is where my first question came from. Couldn’t one also slide that 130 year old window backwards in time and find 100′s if not 1000′s of other times and be able to state that 9/10 years were the hottest on record? I want to say that the answer that question is “yes” and therefore makes the article headline above not as shocking….but I do think that I am still missing something.

    Again, I do appreciate the responses.

  134. Jim

    @Jim #36

    “@Bob (#38) — Then how long should we wait before doing something? How long will be long enough to convince the unconvincable?”

    Hyperbole.

    And you wonder why people you label deniers won’t listen to you?

  135. Jbiskofski

    Interesting that all these graphs start around 1900.

    Were humans seriously not recording the most important aspect of agriculture?

    There are graphs that include 500/600 years of data go look for one, you will be surprised.

  136. Another Jim

    @Nothingtosee #123

    Wow, thanks for stating so eloquently what I’ve always thought.

    The title of this article is meaningless hyperbole – there’s ALWAYS an “X of X”. There’s always a tallest person in the room, always an oldest person in the room. It doesn’t really tell you much about the number of people in the room, the range of ages, or anything else really useful. Even worse, it derails the discussion by giving nitpickers something to start picking apart.

    Also, the rampant condescension around here (starting with Phil) has driven me away multiple times. Sorry Phil, but you’re often as bad as hardcore deniers.

    I’m not a trained scientist, but i like to think I’m curious and intelligent enough to be able to read about a given science and learn to understand it well enough to be informed. I’ve done this with Quantum Mechanics and it’s utterly flipped my worldview. Fortunately the people I learned from were open to my (albeit) naive questions and disbelief…because QM throws everything you believe into question.

    Now AGW is the same-throwing everything people believe/experienced into question, AND you’re telling people they MUST change their behavior or it’s “The End of The World”. As Nothingtosee points out, there’s a distinct religious tone in these discussions, and the onus is upon the scientific community to find ways to effectively educate those who ask questions, not to beat them down with condescension and hyperbole, and label them “heretics”.

    Like nothingtosee, I’ve always been a skeptic, and had the same treatment from the church. I now wear “skeptic” proudly, and am disappointed when the scientific community co-ops the ideology of religion and equates skeptic with heretic.

    Yes, it’s frustrating, and requires a great deal of patience, but there’s a lot of people to educate, and a lot of politics and BS to undo.

  137. Miles Archer

    1. Is the planet warming up? I don’t see how anyone can seriously deny this.
    2. Are humans the cause? Again, I think the data stacks up pretty well here too, but it’s not quite as cut and dried.
    3. What action should we take?

    It’s the 3rd question that gets me. I don’t any of the policy measures that have been proposed making a difference. You’re not going to get people to voluntarily lower their standard of living to theoretically save their grandchildren.

    At some point, someone will start taking unilateral action to stop the warming with the cure worse than the disease. E.g. nuking mountains to create aerosols.

  138. Ron1

    @81. Just a Bulldozer Said: “Of course it looks hot in the north, because they have had to extrapolate thousands of square kilometers, because there are no thermometers measuring real temperatures. This is science and conclusive evidence to you guys?”

    ………………………………………………………

    Jeez, the stupidity and ignorance that one individual is willing to post in a public place simply astounds me and I think the above comment qualifies Just a Bulldozer for for winner of the most stupid comment (although there are some really close, denier, runner-ups).

    For example, it is really stupid to imply that conclusive temperature evidence is lacking in the north due to the low density of surface reporting stations when, in fact, I can get surface temperature data for ANY surface location provided, (1) there is an infra-red SAT PIC available, (2) the location is free of cloud and (3) recognition that the valid area for the temperature obtained is dependent upon the resolution of the satellite radiometer (generally 1kmx1km or smaller).

    Further, in case you choose to argue there is no SAT PIC coverage for the Arctic, consider that while the GOES 10.7um imagery is limited to about 70 degrees N lat, NOAA’s polar orbiting 11um satellites do cover the high arctic, and in higher resolution. As well, many other countries have their own weather satellites with equivalent capabilities with the result that there is an overwhelming body of thermal data for the north down to at least 1km resultion.

    So, educate yourself before you spew any more idiocy.
    ………………………………………….

    Joseph G.

    Good for you. Your contributions in support of the consensus are valued.
    Cheers

  139. Garrett

    So, I have one question, and it is an honest question, and not one trying to be a denier or whatever, I can see that we are getting hotter.

    What does it mean if in the next 5 or 10 years the temperature continues to level off or drop? (Because that is what the graph does show up there in the article right? That the temp now is level or lower than its highest?) Obviously besides the fact that it will bring everyone out to yell at each other some more – but what would that state? What if the temp in 2020 is the same as it was in 1990? If the trend begins to fall, would that be attributive to better knowledge about the situation? Do we have any measured information that says that humanity has been taking steps to lower it? If not, does that mean that this really just is a planetary cycle? (I realize this is assuming alot, but this would help me understand better, what it would mean if what we assume would be the case doesn’t happen). Anyhow, thank all of you that have real discussions on this fact, instead of just assuming that the other side are idiots. That doesn’t do much to help those of us that really want to gain knowledge and understanding.

  140. Of course the planet is warming. It has been naturally warming along the same trend line since the LIA:

    http://i45.tinypic.com/125rs3m.jpg

    There has been no acceleration of warming, as had been widely predicted by Algore’s followers. It is simply an artefact of using a zero baseline chart that appears to show accelerated warming. But when a correct y-axis shows the long term trend, it is clear that CO2 has little or nothing to do with the planet’s natural recovery from the LIA:

    http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/2681/temperaturewithrealbase.gif

    Thus, the statement that current temperatures are warmer than past temperatures is technically correct, but it only shows that the planet is still emerging from the LIA, nothing more. There is nothing unusual happening, as even Phil Jones admits:

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hadley/Hadley-global-temps-1850-2010-web.jpg

  141. Muzz

    NothingtoSee: your questions, if they be honest and I’m assuming they are, betray a complete ignorance of the debates and science around this topic. I mean that in the nicest possible way.
    Given that, don’t you think you should go an learn a bit about how these questions might have been answered instead of wading in with a “I don’t like this tone/this could all be wrong!” kind of attitude?
    You might say that’s what you’re here to do. But so, so much has been done by deniers, yes deniers, and interested parties to spread disinformation and destroy the assumption of good faith around this issue that every mention is a battle ground. Unhappy though that is, you ought to take that into consideration. You may find your cheerful assumed neutrality actually has been subtly informed by lies.
    I think this is the hardest part for “the public” to grasp. They think they’re in the middle, but all the supposed skepticism they think puts them there was actually osmosed from the anti side and comes pre packaged for their political beliefs.
    It takes more than just regular science education and public awareness on the part of climate experts to unseat that sort of thing.

    Anyway:
    — “The Medieval period is found to display warmth that matches or exceeds that of the past decade in some regions, but which falls well below recent levels globally”. The key words there are “some regions”.

    “According to the IPCC there are/will be regional differences with AGW. How is this different? ”

    Don’t you see how this is a complete non-sequiter from what you were asking? If the Global temperature average has seen a steep rise in the last century, how can you compare it to a regional rise whose contribution to the Global average is going to be necessarily smaller? There’s also no indication that the MWP warmed anywhere near as rapidly as today, even regionally.

    “I have examined the proxy data, which is where my first question came from. Couldn’t one also slide that 130 year old window backwards in time and find 100′s if not 1000′s of other times and be able to state that 9/10 years were the hottest on record? I want to say that the answer that question is “yes” and therefore makes the article headline above not as shocking….but I do think that I am still missing something. ”

    Yes, something. This is quite odd, to say the least. The hottest years on record clearly refers to the hottest years during the time of records. Not proxies, records. It’s right there in the name. What reason would there be to pick another time to say that about?
    See, this is partly why I opened the way I did. Everyone who argues this subject on the web has seen this line of argument before, or something like it. It’s an appeal to diminish the supposedly scary language because…I dunno…”in the context of all time things might have been worse!” or something. Mostly this stuff is a kind of reverse Pangloss behaviour designed to skew the debate. In your case I don’t know. I can’t currently fathom how that question makes any sense though. What are you getting at with this? Do you want Phil to factor in all time to his headlines until they’re a paragraph of qualifications? Do you grasp that the relevant point is what is happening now?

  142. @Jim (#137) “Hyperbole. And you wonder why people you label deniers won’t listen to you?”

    No, I don’t wonder at all. And it’s got absolutely nothing to do with my asking them how much evidence it would take to convince them.

    (By “unconvincable”, I’m talking about those whose basic stance where climate change is concerned is “I don’t care what I see or what any scientist tells me, CO2’s not rising and the world’s not warming”.)

  143. Daniel J. Andrews

    Couldn’t one also slide that 130 year old window backwards in time and find 100′s if not 1000′s of other times and be able to state that 9/10 years were the hottest on record? I want to say that the answer that question is “yes” and therefore makes the article headline above not as shocking….but I do think that I am still missing something.

    That’s a good question, NothingToSee. I would suggest though it is a variation of the talking point, “It was hotter in the past” which while true is not relevant. For the times it was hotter in the past scientists have a really good idea what caused those warm periods (e.g. orbital variations amplified by subsequent build-up of CO2). None of those variations that caused a warmer climate in the past are in play right now so the question is, What is causing the warming today? See Richard Alley’s The Biggest Control Knob for a brilliant and entertaining lecture on the subject.

    agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

    The second reason it isn’t relevant is because human civilization developed during a stable climate period not a hot climate from a few million years ago so it doesn’t matter if it was warm in the past when we weren’t around.

    To address your actual question though, I suspect you won’t find a 9 out of 10 hottest years in the paleo records for two reasons.

    1. The previous warm periods built up over thousands of years, not 4 decades (incidentally each decade since the 60s has been warmer than the previous decade). That’s a lot of time to mask an upward trend through typical variability. That we’re seeing so many hot years despite this variability is testament to how quickly warming is proceeding.

    And this is a big one, 2. the paleo record for many parts isn’t so specific that you can tease out individual years depending on the time frame and the proxy measurements used (and there are many many many and more being found every year). To do so would be similar to dating a fossil to 63,478,431 years ago.

    Again, keep in mind even if there were another 9 out of 10 hottest years somewhere–or in many places–in the long record the important point is those times were initiated by other factors that increased CO2, and that those factors aren’t in play today–we’re increasing the CO2 ourselves.

    As an aside, having global temps historically change so fast as to have 9 out of 10 hottest years occur frequently is not good news. This tells us the climate sensitivity is much higher than estimated, which means small changes in things like CO2 can result in a great deal of variability far more than even the high end of extreme models. Not something we want to (or likely will, actually) see.

  144. tmac57

    @John #130

    Not crazy, not stupid (Mensa member) you global warmers fail to look at the big picture.

    Yes we have looked at the ‘Big Picture':

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/big-picture.html

    You and all of the other people who have been posting their skeptical questions about climate change here can find answers to all of your questions on this site,with lots of peer reviewed science,and quite a lot of back and forth discussion of the science in the comments.

  145. Daniel J. Andrews

    @81. Just a Bulldozer Said: “Of course it looks hot in the north, because they have had to extrapolate thousands of square kilometers, because there are no thermometers measuring real temperatures. This is science and conclusive evidence to you guys?”

    Of course!! How did we miss that!?! Our best minds working on it for over a century–damn you, Svante Arrehenius and your 1900 pencil and paper calculations that showed the Arctic should warm faster than the rest of the planet–you led us all astray, what with the maths, the physics and the chemistry explaining why this would be the case. We’ll have to bin physics and chemistry now…obviously it is all wrong.

    Okay, snark off. I’m sorry Bulldozer but Ron1 is right in his assessments about the level of ignorance displayed by that comment. Use that as your litmus test. Don’t trust any website or person that feeds you that ‘argument’. You need to start at the beginning–find Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming for a summary of the history of scientific knowledge in this area. How we know what we know is a great way to build on your understanding on things.

    Do you think people just threw together a temperature map without doing any kind of verification to see if their map matched reality based on other lines of evidence?

    I’ll be up along Hudson Bay again in another two weeks for surveys, and I can guarantee I’ll be asked again by the First Nations people, “What is happening to our weather (i.e. climate)?”, followed by a litany of observations about the quality of the ice, how warmer winters are forcing them to change things, how the winter roads deteriorate so much faster and last about half the time they used to. I’ll have to tell them nothing has changed…the temperature anomaly maps showing such warming were done wrong.

    If your idea were correct then you’d need to explain why the Arctic sea ice is melting, especially the multi-year ice. You’d need to explain why freeze-up on the Arctic coasts is coming months later than it used to. And when it does come why the ice isn’t as good according to the peoples who have lived up there for generations. And why peak river flows are sooner, glaciers retreating quickly, spawning fish and insects arriving sooner, flowers blooming earlier, bird species altering migratory patterns, changes in permafrost locations and vegetation migrations, etc. You can look at longer term climate variability from sediment and ice cores, from tundra excavations, from plankton communities too.

    It is not just one item (like temp records or even proxy temp records) that supports that the world is warming and it is our CO2 responsible. There are multiple lines of evidence from many independent areas and they’re all telling the same story. If the temperature records erroneously say the Arctic is warming faster (as predicted over a century ago based on physics) then there’d be multiple lines of evidence contradicting it. Multiple independent lines that will either verify or refute the temperature map.

    Please ask yourself why you’re so willing to discard so much evidence when you haven’t even taken a cursory look at it. If you don’t wish to examine the evidence, or don’t have time, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t think you actually know something and have something to contribute to the science.

    If you want to contribute to conversation about “How are we going to deal with this?”, then your opinion is valid. When it comes to the science aspect though, your opinion is worse than irrelevant. Don’t be a D-K poster child.

  146. Bahb

    Want to see this in a “glass half full” light? What this means is that we won’t have to worry about the next ice-age for quite some time.

    http://theweek.com/article/index/223144/has-climate-change-blocked-the-next-ice-agenbsp

    Of course, this begs the question: If the planet goes through regular periods of cooling, doesn’t that mean it logically goes through periods of warming as well? What I don’t quite understand is how statements such as “the sun is not the cause” or others that refer to astronomical aspects are denied or eschewed when there are clearly researchers who believe otherwise

    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/environment/-Global-Warming-Could-Delay-Next-Ice-Age-137029543.html

    The biggest issue I have with this whole discussion, is the attempt of people to make me feel guilty about something I have no control over. Even if we were to put everything necessary into place, remove all the “excess” CO2 from the atmosphere and live a “cleaner” life, we still have no control over what happens to the planet in the long term. We are microbes on the fleas that live on the back of a dog riding in a car driven by someone who’s blindfolded.

    The discussion at this point shouldn’t be about what we have done, because honestly it doesn’t really matter. I want to see less hand-wringing and finger-pointing and more press about what we should be doing to survive all the changes that are irrevocably upon us.

  147. Mike G

    The climate change debate is not about whether temperatures are changing, but whether it is a natural occurrence or man-made. There is simply not enough conclusive long-term analysis to prove that man is causing this climate shift. This could take hundreds if not thousands of years of uninterrupted scientific analysis. You cannot make a snap decision about the climate over just a hundred+ years of analysis.

    The fact that you clearly don’t understand the basis for concern does not mean that it’s not well supported. Contrary to what you and many others here seem to believe, no one is simply looking at relatively short temperature trends and assuming we must be the cause. The temperature trends are simply confirmation of what is expected from the theory. The theory is based on a handful of simple, well-supported facts.

    1. We’ve known since the late 1800s that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. This is something that can be derived from first principles based on the structure of the CO2 molecule and can trivially be measured in the lab. This property of CO2 has been exploited in practical applications such as CO2 lasers and we have very good measurements of the wavelengths over which CO2 absorbs and re-emits light.

    2. We know for a fact that CO2 levels are increasing. This has been measured reliably and continuously since the 1950s, and discontinuously since the 1800s. We also have proxies such as lake and ocean sediments, corals, ice cores, and leaf fossils which allow us to estimate CO2 many thousands of years farther back.

    3. We know that CO2 increase is coming primarily from us via a few different lines of evidence. There are 3 isotopes of carbon found in carbon dioxide. Depending on the source, they’re found in different ratios, which provides a fingerprint of the source. It allows us to distinguish between sources like volcanoes or the oceans vs. burning of fossil fuels. We’ve measured the changing isotopic ratio of atmospheric carbon since the 1950s and it shows a clear trend towards fossil fuel derived carbon.

    Because burning of fossil fuels consumes atmospheric oxygen, we can also trace the source of CO2 by measuring oxygen levels in the atmosphere. For every 1 new Co2 molecule we add to the atmosphere through combustion, we lose 1 O2 molecule. We have been tracking this loss of atmospheric O2 which also confirms combustion as the source of most of the new CO2.

    Finally, we tend to keep good records of the fossil fuels we extract and use since they’re very valuable. That allows for very rough estimation of how much CO2 we add to the atmosphere. Even given the uncertainty in the capacity of natural sinks, it’s quite clear that what we emit is more than double the excess capacity of all known sinks, meaning we expect just from theory alone that we should be increasing atmospheric CO2

    4. Measurements of downwelling radiation at the earth’s surface and outgoing radiation at the top of the atmosphere over time show that less energy in the part of the spectrum absorbed by CO2 is escaping into space and more is being re-emitted towards the ground. That’s unmistakable evidence that CO2 is having the expected greenhouse effect and that the effect is increasing over time.

    Those simple facts alone tell us that we should expect warming from our use of fossil fuels. Scientists realized this more than 100 years ago- long before the trend was even apparent. Now the trend is unmistakable, the question becomes how can we tell the difference between a trend driven by greenhouse gases vs. other known forcings. There are several ways to do that.

    1. Look at the speed, temporal, and spatial patterns of the warming.

    The speed of the warming allows us to quickly rule out things like orbital eccentricity or the tilt of the earth’s axis, which are the major drivers of the planet’s glacial/interglacial cycles. These changes take thousands of years to occur, so are much too slow to explain the current warming.

    If changes in the sun’s output were the main driver, temperatures should be increasing faster during the day, when the sun is shining. Increased output of the sun can’t warm the side of the planet that’s facing away from it. What we observe is that nighttime temperatures are increasing faster than daytime temperatures. This indicates that whatever is causing warming acts day and night.

    Also, if the atmoshere was being warmed from the changes in the sun, the trend should be highest at the top of the atmosphere where the energy is first being absorbed. An enhanced greenhouse effect on the other hand should cool the top of the atmosphere and warm the bottom since less energy is escaping from the lower layers to the top. The latter is what we actually observe.

    2. Look at data on forcings and see what can be ruled out based on trends and magnitude.
    We measure several parameters of the sun’s output. If the sun is to blame, there should be a secular increase over the time-period of the warming trend (i.e. more than just the cyclical changes). There is none.

    If it’s volcanoes we should see a measurable increase in vulcanism over the time-period of the warming trend. There is none (not to mention it’s hard to explain how volcanoes would warm the planet, yet our emissions which are a few orders of magnitude greater on an annual basis don’t).

    If it was oceanic cycles we should see not only a trend in those cycles, but a decrease in the ocean’s heat content. We don’t see either.

    There is a trend in orbital forcings, but there are several problems. For one, it’s a cooling trend. Two, it’s such a small magnitude that it can’t account for any change on decadal timescales.

    The bottom line is this. We know that CO2 should cause warming. We know that it’s trapping extra energy. We know that that effect is of the correct magnitude to cause the trend we’re seeing and began at roughly the right time to explain the trend. The simple explanation is that CO2 is causing the observed warming. If it isn’t, we’re forced to accept a much more complicated explanation in which
    1. Some unknown forcing is hiding the expect effects of CO2.
    2. Some unknown forcing is simultaneously producing warming that is consistent with the magnitude, timing, and pattern of warming expected from CO2.
    3. Neither of these forcings played a significant role during other parts of the planets history, such as the ends of other interglacials when CO2 clearly had an amplifying effect.

  148. Jeremy

    I beleive the debate is not whether it’s warming or cooling but whether or not it is anthropogenic : of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature.

    Discuss.

  149. Mike G

    And at the same time the theory of man made global warming still hasnt found the hot spot on top of the equator which validates with data, not man made computer models, that the theory is real or not.

    A few things-
    1. The models and observations are in agreement within their margins of error. There’s a big difference between saying that the agreement between models and data is inconclusive and your implication that they disagree.

    2. The equatorial hot spot is expected under warming of any kind. It’s not specific to anthropogenic or greenhouse warming. If it’s really not there then either it’s not warming or our understanding of basic atmospheric physics is hopelessly flawed (yet still manages to predict lots of other phenomena very well). A simpler explanation is that the data just isn’t good enough to tell whether it’s there or not.

    3. The models and observations have been at odds on this issue for a long time. It has been issues with calibration of the observational data, not the models, that have been found to be the cause of most of the disagreement that has been identified so far.

    For those who don’t remember, In 2007 NASA (the source of this data) admitted they had made mistakes in their temperature recording process. NASA reported that through 2006 the hottest year had been 1934, 1998 was second, 1921 was third and 2006 was fourth. Maybe the ‘scientists’ should actually check their data

    Maybe you should check their data. 1934 was the hottest in the continental US, not globally. We are discussing global averages.

  150. Blargh

    Mike G: A truly excellent post! Kudos, sir. :)

  151. So, here’s my takeaway: Global temperatures have been rising, the chart indicates, for a century. If we assume this is human caused, it means that we exceeded the capacity of the Earth to absorb greenhouse gasses in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Thus, to actually REDUCE global warming, and not merely slow down, slightly, the rate at which the rate of global warming increases (no, that’s not a redundancy… think about it), we need to reduce our output of greenhouse gasses to pre-industrial levels, and if the point at which Earth become uninhabitable is as near as many predict it is, we will need to do so *quickly* — in the span of a generation or two.

    This will never be accomplished by mass consensus. Only an extremely powerful force could impose this in the time required.

    Likewise, it won’t be pretty. The 8 to 10 billion people who will be alive when the decision is made to cut back industry won’t like what will be required… since it will mean most of them will die. You can’t support ten billion people with 1800s levels of industry. Furthermore, because we won’t lose our knowledge of basic sanitation and vaccination and so on, once the population has been reduced to a manageable billion or less, it will need to be KEPT small.

    If the choice is to kill 9 billion or face the extinction of everyone, it’s not a hard choice, really… but the kind of people who will make that choice and then carry out what must be done won’t be the kind of people we admire or want to be around.

    It should also be considered that, when this choice is made, who do you think will be making it and carrying it out? The power to enforce this kind of authority rests, ironically, only in those nations with the advanced industrial infrastructure that caused the problems in the first place, and within those nations, control of that infrastructure rests with a small and well-entrenched minority of the population.

    Or, in other words, if you’re in the 99%, it’s in your interest that the 1% deny global warming as long as possible. If we’re lucky, we’ll have died of natural causes before anyone decides to REALLY get serious about solving the issue and saving humanity.

    (Of course, it it’s not human caused, we’re screwed even worse, unless the trend naturally reverses itself, which seems unlikely. So the best-case scenario is anthropogenic global warming which can be reversed only with the deaths of 90% of the human race in the span of a generation. The WORST case scenario is that 100% of the human race die, either because no one is willing or able to commit near-genocide, or because human activity isn’t a primary driver and altering it has no impact on global trends.)

    Given all that, I think you’ll understand why I’m not really going to feel any angst over my “carbon footprint”. The facts do, indeed, speak for themselves, and any individual action made to “reduce global warming” is pathetic, self-serving, narcissistic delusion of the worst order. We are, as the graph shows, as the science proves, far beyond the point where any kind of “treaty” or “protocol” will do anything, not even delay the inevitable long enough to hope someone finds a better solution. We have two choices — kill 90% or let everyone die. I’m more than certain I’ll be in the “Expendable” 90%, as I have no personal power or wealth, and no irreplaceable skills. I intend to enjoy the fruits of modern technology until I no longer can, since no amount of personal lifestyle change or lobbying for a “democratic” solution is going to do a damn thing. Eat, drink, and be merry, people. You really do have no other choice. The facts of science, and the facts of human politics, come together to form one very inescapable conclusion. (Caveat: Someone might speculate about a miracle carbon-scrubbing technology or some such, but how long can we wait for such a miracle to occur? The point of no return is pretty soon.)

  152. On an unrelated note, it’s hilarious (and a bit sad, but more hilarious) to see how many people are talking about “The scientists” (i.e., “the scientists invented kudzu!” or “the scientists said the Earth was shaped like a burrito!”) as if there’s some sort of great big International Scientist Union and they all get together to decide what to do each year or what theories are going to be accepted.

    Sorry, folks. I love White Wolf games as much as anyone, but there is no Technocracy, and reality is NOT consensual. Which is a pity, because I’d really like to be a Son of Ether.

  153. Mikec

    It’s always amusing to listen to a cult member belittle a skeptic. The cultists are so sure that they’re right and that everyone knows it, yet their numbers are rapidly shrinking. Global warming doesn’t even break the top 10 when people are polled on their concerns. But enough giggling at the cult members. We’ve been measuring temperature for about .000000000001% of the planets life. It’s like wandering down to the Jersey shore, dipping a dixie cup in the Atlantic, and declaring that your sample is representative of the worlds oceans. Then you have the “30 billion tons of carbon.” You can find so many figures your head will spin, all from “scientists,” with discrepancies of BILLIONS of tons. The only thing they have in common is that they’re all utterly made up. Still, if one accepts the figure proffered in this silly article, it amounts to about 3% of CO2. The rest occurs naturally. Finally, for all the talk about concensus among scientists, I’ve found that an awful lot of real scientists think this is junk. Many “climate scientists” aren’t scientists at all. They’re economists, sociologists, etc.. Much like the myriad bogus figures, the only thing they share is a willingness to create the results that will keep the funding rolling in.

  154. Anchor

    Damned straight, Mike G. It’s fascinating how deniers figure that doing nothing won’t cost anything or less than doing something to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. I guess they figure that spending money on ourselves (you know, as an investment spurring economic growth through technological innovation and job creation, etc) by implementing proactive steps to help preserve the global environment is more wasteful than allowing increasingly volatile weather and coastal flooding to lay waste existinfg human assets as well as allowing entire ecosystems of inestimable worth crash irretrievably. Even when some fence-sitters come around to admitting the planet is warming, they are still resistent to the obvious: that what humans inadvertantly spoil, they may also rectify, clean up their act and prosper by achieving a new equilibrium devoted to sustainable and responsible stewardship of the planet. Popular denialism is a very bizarre attitude cultivated and nurtured by multinational corporate interests looking ONLY at their short-term bottom-line profits, who oddly spend BILLIONS to maintain the costly mass brain-washing. Once it takes a stranglehold on the individual, it robs them of independent thinking and replaces it with a dogmatic mindset that is almost impossible to cure. (Denialists are notorious at dismissing the arguments based on the evidence of data, for example). It breeds an erroneous view of long-term economic consequences and fosters a baloney definition of cost. The irony is that the burden of the denialist mindset is ultimately bought and paid for not by the corporations, but by the public on whom the corporation passes on the cost. It is sinister social engineering and can be characterized as a form of mass-insanity. Whatever it is, it isn’t “conservatism”, but something hideously opposite. Irresponsible. Dysfunctional. Laziness. Slovenliness. And they let their Pride show shamelessly.

  155. Matt

    @94 Al: You provided the absolute scariest phrase yet posted on this entire thread, more frightening than climate change, carbon taxes, global catastrophe and Rush Limbaugh combined: “over educated”. Are you actually arguing that there’s a point at which a person (or society as a whole) should STOP trying to educate themselves and learn??? You do understand that science is a tool by which we continually educate ourselves, right? Or is that a concept that is beyond the point that you deem we should have stopped filling our mind with new ideas? Educational and technological achievements in the U.S. are being outpaced by other countries more and more each year, and it’s statements like yours that point out the exact reason why: We are treating education and educated people as “elite” pariahs, rather than treating our ability to continue to learn as a unique opportunity to better ourselves and our world. Do the wealthy decide to stop trying to earn money? Does a successful sports team decide to stop winning? Then why in the world should an educated person decide to stop learning? Just so they can avoid being considered “over educated” by Al, the random internet commentator? No thank you. I’ll continue to make every effort to discover new facts, theories and insights, even if they contradict my own long held beliefs, and you, Al, can continue to resent, doubt and fear me.

  156. tmac57

    It looks like denialism is now morphing into fatalism,and nihilism. To the ‘why bother,we’re already doomed’ crowd,please realize that every molecule of CO2 that enters the atmosphere increases the problem. Anything that reduces that will make a difference,and small actions when replicated by the billions,can have an effect.We cannot stop CO2 emissions overnight,but every reduction now buys us more time.We are committed to 400ppm,but do we really want to throw in the towel and head for 700 or 800 ppm? No one is asking you to give up modern life,just do something conservative: Turn down your thermostats and put on more clothing,drive less when you can,replace your auto with something more efficient when it’s feasible,eat less meat,insulate your home more,buy your electricity from 100% renewable provider if that’s an option in your area.Just friggin’ do something positive instead of spreading your negativity.

  157. @157 Mikee: Given the fact that every statement you made in that post is utterly and laughably false, why should we listen to you, exactly?

    @159 Matt: Al: You provided the absolute scariest phrase yet posted on this entire thread, more frightening than climate change, carbon taxes, global catastrophe and Rush Limbaugh combined: “over educated”. Are you actually arguing that there’s a point at which a person (or society as a whole) should STOP trying to educate themselves and learn??? You do understand that science is a tool by which we continually educate ourselves, right? Or is that a concept that is beyond the point that you deem we should have stopped filling our mind with new ideas? Educational and technological achievements in the U.S. are being outpaced by other countries more and more each year, and it’s statements like yours that point out the exact reason why: We are treating education and educated people as “elite” pariahs, rather than treating our ability to continue to learn as a unique opportunity to better ourselves and our world. Do the wealthy decide to stop trying to earn money? Does a successful sports team decide to stop winning? Then why in the world should an educated person decide to stop learning? Just so they can avoid being considered “over educated” by Al, the random internet commentator? No thank you. I’ll continue to make every effort to discover new facts, theories and insights, even if they contradict my own long held beliefs, and you, Al, can continue to resent, doubt and fear me.
    THIS! ^

    @155 Lizard: That’s… Well, that’s a new take on it. Not one I particularly like, but… Um… Hm.
    I need a hug!

    Seriously though, do you really think it’s a case of “90% die or everybody does”? Why not just try to take things as they come and hope we can pull it off?

  158. Chris Winter

    To all those people who are hip to the worldwide conspiracy: Yep. That’s it. You got us. You found us out.

    We are plotting to destroy the world’s economy. And when we succeed, we’ll all live happily ever after — with our stone knives and bearskins.

  159. @Chris Winter: Stop it, you fool!!! You want me to tell the Conspiracy Elders on you? I still stand to gain millions of dollars from our evil scheme! These millions of green pieces of durable cotton paper will be great for insulating my cave once society collapses!
    Ahem. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

  160. Messier Tidy Upper

    To be honest, given last years record breaking droughts and fires in the USA :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VMpes8EyIw&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=5&feature=plpp_video

    & here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVh7z-0oo6o&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=10&feature=plpp_video

    Plus last year’s very near record low arctic sea ice extent :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRc_9nNTZg0&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=8&feature=plpp_video

    (NB. Yes, Greenman3610-Pete Sinclair may be imperfect when it comes to his unreasonable anti-nuclear stance but his videos on Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating are still pretty durn good. IMHON.)

    I’m rather surprised 2011 wasn’t hotter than “only” ninth on the hottest years list. I half-expected (well quarter expected at least) it to be the hottest year of all breaking or tying the record set in 2010.

    Looking at this more deeply, I’d actually love to see the full 130-year data-set with years listed in order of temperature from hottest to coldest or at least an extended list down to top twenty or thirty years. I wonder when the most “Top Ten Coldest Year” was and what that *Coldest* Top Ten Years list looks like?

    HIRGO is reality. This is only part of the evidence – and the signs seem to be heading towards worse case scenarios rather than better ones. Far from the IPCC “exxaggerating” teh rate and severity of Global Overheating, it looks much more like its being underestimated. If you don’t believe me, watch the Arctic sea ice clip again – esp. the graph at the 2 min 40 second mark.

  161. tim Rowledge

    It looks like denialism is now morphing into fatalism,and nihilism.

    … because that lets them keep on doing what they do.

    See how “it’s not happening” changes to “we said it was happening all along but it’s nothing to do with us” moves to “it’s always been happening, we can’t change it now, so let’s keep on”.

    And for those that think ‘global warming’ means everywhere will get a nice mild couple of degrees warmer and that’s it; let’s forget all the actual reality of complex weather systems and rapid change and assume you are right and it just gently warms up everywhere – consider the equatorial regions where it is already kinda hard to live. Think of the number of nations in that area that have large armies or even nukes. Consider what might happen if they decide to move north/south a bit to get back to their comfort temperatures… Think of all those nasty dark-skinned people moving in on your pasty-white land. Now do you want to do something positive?

  162. flip

    One thing all the above “it’s not going to hurt us” and “it’s not happening” commenters have in common: lack of data. They’re just like creationists: attempts to poke holes in the science, but have none of their own. I have given up caring about debating all the various canards. It’s quite clear none of them will bother reading the posts, accompanying data/links, the replies to their comments, nor their own selves in order to determine they simply have no opposing data. Creationists are only slightly more enjoyable to debate because at least their claims are more patently ridiculous. (I will admit #77 came up with one that I haven’t heard before)

  163. Messier Tidy Upper

    @143. Garrett Says:

    So, I have one question, and it is an honest question, and not one trying to be a denier or whatever, I can see that we are getting hotter. What does it mean if in the next 5 or 10 years the temperature continues to level off or drop?

    Well that would depend on a few things.

    If the temperature drops off or levels then it could be because we’ve had a nuclear war and are suffering the nuclear winter effect that Carl Sagan among others studied.

    Or we could have had a supervolcano erruption – yellowstone maybe – that has pumped cooling gases and dust intothe atmosphere &, oh yeah, killed a whole ot of people and wrecked massive destruction on us all.

    Or maybe we’ve entered an unusally sharp and harsh downturn in solar activity.

    But, y’know, I really, really, don’t think we’re going to see any leveling off or cooling of global average temperature happen and if we do I’m sure a lot of climatologists will quickly explain why.

    There isn’t any good reason to think such a levelling off or cooling trend will happen as far as I’m aware and plenty of good reasons to think – & act – otherwise. Because its looking almost inevitable given the thermal inertia issue that we’re going to keep over-heating fast and we’re currently tracking or even exceeding the worse, hotter end of the climate model predictions.

  164. Messier Tidy Upper

    @143. Garrett (continued) :

    If the trend begins to fall, would that be attributive to better knowledge about the situation? .. [snip] .. If not, does that mean that this really just is a planetary cycle?

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hs4KVeiAU&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLA4F0994AFB057BB8

    & also :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9ob9WdbXx0

    Plus :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0HGFSUx2a8&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=67&feature=plpp_video

    Among many others – at least for that last line.

    Do we have any measured information that says that humanity has been taking steps to lower it?,

    What sort of information do you want specifically?

    Have we been taking steps to lower HIRGO? Well, yes and no, some individuals, groups and nations have been and are trying to constantly whilst others like the climate contrarian lobby have vehemently opposing their efforts to do so.

    Has this had any effect on global average temperatures? Well, its a but hard to tell – there’s a lot of intangibles at play and it may well take quite a while for any climatic effect of measures we’ve just started undertaking to become clear.

  165. Messier Tidy Upper

    @15. Pete Jackson :

    The warming has stalled since 2001 even though there were both El Niños and La Niñas in that period.

    Bzzzt. Wrong. The warming has NOT stalled – 2005 & 2010 were joint hottest years accoring to NASA among others :

    http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jan/HQ_11-014_Warmest_Year.html

    and well, see the title of this post. 2011 as #14. Chris said earlier here is :

    .. not only the 9th hottest year on record, but also the hottest La Nina year on record.

    So that “stall” claim is just flat-out false and a stale climate canard that keeps being pushed despite constant debunking.

    The sea level rise has stalled also, according to a post by the BA last year.

    No. Sorry, that’s again just wrong. You might want to listen to what actual oceanographers say :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHrVOnLKjuQ&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=1&feature=plpp_video

    before erroneously making asertions like that.

    This :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/08/26/sea-level-rise-has-slowed-temporarily/

    is almostcertainly the article you refer to there and it doesn’t quite say what you seem to think it does.

  166. Continued @15. Pete Jackson :

    The sea level rise has stalled also, according to a post by the BA last year.

    I’ve linked what is almost certainly the article you refer to there to my name here and if you click on it you’ll note that it doesn’t quite say what you seem to think it does.

    Part of what the Bad Astronomer did say there was :

    Does this mean the drop in sea level indicates global warming has reversed?
    Nope. [Emphasis added – ed.] El Niño and La Niña conditions are cyclical, swapping every few years. As global warming continues, the sea levels will rise steadily, but superposed on top of that are the effects of short-period oscillations like El Niño and La Niña. … [snip] .. I expect we’ll be hearing from global warming deniers who will tout this finding as more proof that climate change isn’t happening. I want to head that off at the pass. These data show that the world’s weather does change on a short time scale, but once you account for that, the imprint of global warming is still there, still real, and still affecting us all.

    So, there’s no actual stall as such & the BA isn’t claiming there is one. Nor are the researchers who did the actual work there.

    It’s just the predictable “noise” from the La Nina-El Nino cycle superimposed on a trend of rising sea level. Much as we may wish otherwise.

    That claimed ‘stall” in fact results from increased precipitation from the ocean including & linked to severe floods that hit Northern Australia with devasting consequences.

    I guess, being charitable, that you just didn’t read or remember that right, right?

  167. @160. tmac57 :

    It looks like denialism is now morphing into fatalism,and nihilism. To the ‘why bother,we’re already doomed’ crowd,please realize that every molecule of CO2 that enters the atmosphere increases the problem. Anything that reduces that will make a difference,and small actions when replicated by the billions,can have an effect.We cannot stop CO2 emissions overnight,but every reduction now buys us more time.We are committed to 400ppm,but do we really want to throw in the towel and head for 700 or 800 ppm? No one is asking you to give up modern life,just do something conservative: Turn down your thermostats and put on more clothing,drive less when you can,replace your auto with something more efficient when it’s feasible,eat less meat,insulate your home more,buy your electricity from 100% renewable provider if that’s an option in your area.Just friggin’ do something positive instead of spreading your negativity.

    Agreed & seconded by me. :-)

    There’s a clip linked to my name here by hydroclimatologist & new NCSE board member Peter Gleick. The bit at the 11 minute 15 seconds mark is especially relevant here – this coming via Greg Laden’s blog. (Scienceblogs site version – the Deltoid blog there is also a good resource when it comes to Global Overheating too.)

    I don’t think – & really hope – HIRGO won’t be as bad as some of the apocalpytic scenarios such as that suggested by (#155.) Lizard would have us believe. But make no mistake it will be bad and lead to a lot of human suffering and ecological and other damage.

    There’s an analogy I’ve used before and I’ll use it again here :

    Imagine you’re in a car that’s spedding along a highway and you’ve skidded off the road. You’re heading for a wall and an inevitable crash.
    Do you apply the brakes and slow the car down reducing the impact speed?
    Do that and you’ll still be hurt, still have a damaged car but almostcertainly much less badly.
    Or do you slam into the wall without taking any action to reduce the likely harm.
    Which may well kill you ad willprobably write off your car.

    Please think about that for a second before that just shrugging, saying “we can’t do nuthin’ so we’re not even goanna try..”and giving in to gloom as your best answer.

    Oh and remember riding in the back of that car are your children, your familyand loved ones and lots of other peoples childrne and families too.

    One last thing :

  168. Infinite123Lifer

    Firstly, I am not sure which matters more or less on the matters at hand here:
    my input or my output?

    (i should grab a hat and leave while one is available but I am really not that good, so I wont.)

    Secondly, with regards to all the talk about sea walls. . .

    “building sea walls up at a rate of 10mm a year isn’t a huge ask”

    “i’d agree that building up existing sea walls by 10 mm per year is not a huge task”

    “You might be able to build seawalls against rising seas,”

    and finally and my favorite

    “Building seawalls around cities is not a solution to sea level rise.”

    I concur. Coastal living is dangerous with walls or no walls. I enjoy thinking about people who are thinking about building directly on the coast, any coast. I think they are living Life on the edge, hopefully to the fullest, daring to tempt the fates. Not that anybody cares about studying seawalls at a time like this but…

    http://climatetechwiki.org/content/seawalls

    Thirdly I am bi-polar;) no seriously. Which makes this whole who do I truly listen to an excruciating read.

    “Let’s just not give in to the fanatics on either side.”

    “The meek shall inherit the earth… after its been shat out by lions.”

    “Think for yourself. Question authority.”

    “We are collectively too stupid to realize the extent of the damage we’re doing”

    “Seriously, we’re all gonna fry”

    “The ship has sailed. The parrot is dead. Deceased. Passed on. So get over it.”

    OK, I am over it. OK, now I am not. No seriously all jokes aside: my Not Otherwise Specified Bi-Polar Disorder contemplating what “TO DO” about all this information is probably causing me to type all of this. (I probably wont ever get to take my hat, damn it)

    “This man-made global warming debate is so worthless, and I’m not taking sides.”

    -and your on that side now

    “Or, in other words, if you’re in the 99%, it’s in your interest that the 1% deny global warming as long as possible”

    -that is so. . . that is so. . . so had to read that one a few times. How nice.

    “So, I have one question, and it is an honest question, and not one trying to be a denier or whatever”

    -people have been shot for less :)

    “Has anyone ever explored the possibility that more heat may be rising from the earths core?”

    -Hello, they figured that out with unobtanium in a movie years ago

    “There isn’t any good reason to think such a leveling off or cooling trend will happen”

    -C’mon Mess! I can do it. Oh wait, your referring to the planet, not me.

    Once again I leave without a hat and maybe lost my shirt and shoes in what could only be considered my own personal fray. Ahh, AGEEDUBU it. All those cars, all these people, all this square mileage, all this pollution, all this Nature. The world is either not as big as I once thought it was or I fail to grasp its immensity entirely.

  169. Aaarrgh! Typos & running out of editing time. Sorry y’all. :-(

    Make that :

    *****

    I don’t think – & really hope – HIRGO won’t will be as bad as some of the apocalpytic scenarios such as that suggested by (#155.) Lizard would have us believe.

    *****

    One last thing : To all the climate contrarians here :

    What evidence please would be enough to convince you?

    What would it take for you you to be convinced that Human induced Rapid Global Overheating is real and the 98% of climatologists who support that consensus are correct?

    If there is something that would convince you then please say what it is.

    If there’s *nothing* that would convince you, well, then pretty much by definition you’re really NOT a “skeptic” at all but a climate denier instead.

    PS. Please, climate contrarians, please, before you comment in future check your planned arguments by looking at the Skeptical Science site that (# 62.) Derek (2012, January 20th at 2:36 pm) has provided for you and seeing whether the things you’re going to say are going to make you look very silly as they’ve been repeatedly debunked already first. Really.

    PPS. Adelaide, my hometown has had its hottest start to a New Year for a very long time if not ever this year. its 36 degrees celsius today – and the same is predicted for tomorrow too. Just typical Aussie summer weather perhaps – but also part of an upward, worrying trend.

  170. Infinite123Lifer

    Of course, there are no hats to take in here are there?

    It really is a matter of whats best for the people of the world. Although that discussion is (universally) Earthboundingly flawed, since the humans are doing the discussing and at the very best we tend to agree to disagree. However, it is our strength that we question, and in that questioning we do come to agree on many many things. Science was born from the question, and will never die by the question. Of course, science could give us (and might have already) the tools to eradicate ourselves but still even then it would have succeeded at interpreting what is real.

    What am I saying essentially? Arguing about stuff works out in the long run. Eventually we all come together and go. . .

    Yes,

    Communication

    1+1=2

    We go around the Sun!

    Those ARE fossils on the mountaintop!

    The Universe is expanding!

    And so on and so forth until observation can no longer produce interpretation, which it sounds like happens a lot in certain folks sometimes.

    So, when are we all going to come together and agree . . . sounds like the “we” (the climatologists) already did. But how do I know if I am communicating to you or if one plus one equals two or if the Earth orbits the Sun or if those really are fossils on the mountaintop or if the whole darned Universe is expanding or if humans have unnaturally altered the bio sphere?

    “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” ~Author Unknown

  171. Didn’t read all the responses, yet. But Fabio wrote:

    How can we be sure this is not just a VERY LONG cycle?

    That is exactly what it is; polar ice caps are atypical for Earth, but instead of change occurring… say, during the Oligocene, it will happen in generations. And, it will be catastrophic. If the geologic record tells us anything, it is that rapid change results in catastrophic consequences for biocoenosis.

  172. Gnoll110

    For those arguing about sea level raise and what “low elevation coastal zone” means.

    Estimates of the water contained in all three ice caps is commonly said to be equal to 70 metres of sea level raise. I’ve seen figures ranging from 50 to 80 metres. What’s at stake, long term.

  173. George Nixon

    There is no reasonable doubt that all animals are assisting to warm our planet and do so by the metabolism of the food eaten. Human animals also contribute excessively by the fires we light for many reasons including for keeping warm. Every tank of fuel we burn in our motor vehicles results in heat and hot gases being liberated to the atmosphere and CO2 may not be of most concern. If for brevity we disregard all other warming caused as the results of human endeavour, and concentrate on the question regarding the magnitude of CO2 warming of our planet, then the claim to be correct, that CO2 is the main cause of resent warming requires that the science is beyond doubt. That assumption cannot be maintained for many reasons including the following: our knowledge regarding the affects of CO2 is only an evolving science. All that can truthfully be stated is that we know that gas has a warming affect.
    Science compared to the Dark Ages has come a long way, however and presently, science can tell us little concerning the fundamental dynamic nature of gravity, and according to the late Professor Einstein, gravitation is only an illusion. It would appear that the much valued law of the conservation of energy is being ignored when the affects of gravitation on matter is being examined. And no, we are not being scientific when we refer to the pull of gravity or gravitational pull. Science has been taken hostage by the need to influence the politician; also by the pursuit of the spectacular. CO2 as the principal cause of resent warming has its authority based on fear of calamity by references to Venus and on sciences inability presently to provide other compelling reasons.
    With regards to global warming, my 68 years of involvement with physics (I am self educated by the assistance if the Feynman Lectures on Physics and many other publications) requires that there is a Gravitational Thermal Effect the magnitude of which varies in conformity to any slight changes of gravitation. Dependent on the Earth’s direction of motion to other bulk bodies, the affect can be either warming or cooling. The effect referred to could be validated by placing a thermometer deep within a disused section of a mine. The thermometer would need to be capable of recording slight changes to the infrared and be protected from air currents. I would expect that the rotation of the Earth relative to the position of the Moon and Sun would coincide with the recorded changes to the infrared. My confidence in the physical existence of the gravitational thermal effect is bolstered by the works apparent ability to explain all anomalies known to myself. With regards to the two Pioneer anomalies, NASA did not reply to my offer to supply a copy of my work.

  174. flip

    I just read through the lot of the comments (my previous comment at #166 was before that)… and boy, was I right. Everything I read anti-AGW was creationist tactics of poking holes and no evidence of their own. And a lot of really crazy ideas about what’s really going on. False dichotomies, strawmen, repeated debunked concepts, etc etc. And an amazing amount of selfishness.

  175. tmac57

    Messier Tidy Upper-Thanks for the 2nd . I always enjoy your comments here.
    I liked the interview with Peter Gleick,and I am very happy that NCSE has joined the fight to promote education about AGW (HIRGO).They have been remarkably effective defending the science of evolution in the classroom.I have heard two interviews with Eugenie Scott recently, explaining why they took on climate change.
    I am also a big fan of the Skeptical Science blog.They are becoming a juggernaut of a resource to counter the misinformation tropes of denialists,and I put them on my Christmas donations list last year,and I encourage others that agree with them to help them out if you can afford it.
    I put that in the category of ‘doing friggin’ something’ :)

  176. Martin

    Pick a date, say the start of 20th Century. And lets guess what the media was has been saying from that time:

    It’s the End of the World! The Germans are coming. (World War I)
    It’s the End of the World! Spanish Flu
    It’s the End of the World! The Germans are coming again. (World War II)
    It’s the End of the World! Reds under the Bed
    It’s the End of the World! Nuclear war
    It’s the End of the World! HIV
    It’s the End of the World! Terrorists.
    It’s the End of the World! Bird Flu
    It’s the End of the World! Swine Flu

    and lets not forget the current
    It’s the End of the World! Climate Change

    Can no one else see that pattern?? How about analysing the continual stream of “It’s the End of the World!” type stories published?

    I would be more inclined to act on your research if it’s wasn’t continually cloaked with the propaganda message “It’s the End of the World!”

  177. halfgold

    Repeat after me: Correlation is not causation.

    The global warming hypothesis may be (probably is) correct. A lot of very knowledgeable people agree with it. There certainly is a great deal of evidence to support it. But…

    We cannot do controlled experiments to prove or disprove it. This is the essence of scientific knowledge. There is no way in this scenario to measure what is happening against a control. Absent that, it is and will remain an unproven (but increasingly probable) hypothesis.

    Unless someone has access to another earth whose conditions to 1900 match ours, and whose conditions after 1900 diverge only in the case of greenhouse gases, we cannot prove that increased greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the increase in recorded global temperature.

    Humans may be causing global warming, but it is unprovable. Without experimental verification, all we have is correlation, and correlation is not causation.

  178. Muzz

    Martin, why have you made such a dumb list to make that point? Seriously, are you suggesting that people should have just relaxed at the sight of up to 100 million people dying of the flu? It’s just scaremongering is it? Pretty big number that. Those 100 million probably thought it was something to worry about.
    There’s nothing alarming about Nazi expansion in WW2 either, oh no. The Eastern front was secretly a picnic. Stalingrad, merely an extended festival of two cultures.
    HIV kills 2million people a year. Nothing to worry about there.
    After Spanish flu, there’s no reason at all to be worried about global pandemics either. That’ll never happen. If it does it’ll just kill 100million people who aren’t me, so no biggie.
    The real issue is the media saying scary things! That’s much more important than thinking for yourself about issues. No, what you want to do is group them together in spurious ways and say something eminently logical like ‘ Eh, see. There’s fuss. And because sometimes in the past the fuss didn’t turn out to be quite as big a deal as they made it sound (sometimes because of the fuss) therefore I am safe in ignoring fuss.
    Well that is a heuristic almost ingenious in its brainlessness.

    Yeah you could say the media have been known to hype and cry wolf about, oh, everything. But you remember how the boy who cried wolf actually ends right? The untold story there is in real life the boy doesn’t get in trouble and if you ignore him altogether one day your sheep get eaten. If the boy misbehaves you spank the boy, but you still got to check on the sheep.

  179. @183 Muzz: Yeah you could say the media have been known to hype and cry wolf about, oh, everything. But you remember how the boy who cried wolf actually ends right? The untold story there is in real life the boy doesn’t get in trouble and if you ignore him altogether one day your sheep get eaten. If the boy misbehaves you spank the boy, but you still got to check on the sheep.

    This! ^

    And just to reiterate what you said, none of the things Martin mentioned (save nuclear war*) were “hyped” as being “The end of the world” (literally). Bad, yes, but generally speaking, they turned out to be at least as bad as they were initially feared to be. In some cases, they were far worse. If Martin’s thesis is that “People have worried about other stuff in the past, and the human race survived (albeit with hundreds of millions of deaths), therefore global warming is nothing to worry about,” then I’m going to have to put on my massive-understatement pants and say “I’m not so sure about that.”

    *We also came extremely close to nuclear war on several occasions, closer than most people realize. Google “nuclear close calls” – there were at least four cases where the decision of one person was all that stood between us and global nuclear war

  180. @182 halfgold: Humans may be causing global warming, but it is unprovable. Without experimental verification, all we have is correlation, and correlation is not causation.

    There are cases where the “ideal” scientific method has to be modified for practicality’s sake. Yes, we have no “control” Earth to observe, which would be the ideal textbook experiment. But by pursuing literally thousands of different lines of evidence, we can eventually make up for the potential deficiencies inherent not having that ideal control. And this is hardly the only field where this is the case. Astronomy, for instance. We can’t watch a single star be born and die, but we CAN observe many, many stars at different stages of their lives, to get a good idea of how stars evolve. And we can even look at other planets in our solar system (specifically Venus and Mars) to see how they absorb and emit solar radiation, and in doing so learn more about how planetary atmospheres function with regard to their “energy balance”.

  181. tmac57

    halfgold-To add to what Joseph G just said, what you are proposing is the denialist tactic of demanding an impossible standard of evidence,so that AGW can be rejected no matter what. When many multiple lines of evidence all correlate with CO2 being the main forcing,and the known physics supports it,at some point it just becomes perverse to continue to reject the theory…perverse AND dangerous.

  182. Blargh

    And to add to what tmac57 just said, (re-)read Mike G’s post (#151). It explains just how we can know that it’s CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) that’s behind the warming.

    (Oh, and watch Potholer54’s videos, but I’ve said that already)

  183. Anonymous

    I’m totally with flip at #167. These threads used to be entertaining (in a macabre sort of way), but now they are just tedious. Any global warming thread for the past year or two has been like a dog whistle for every conspiracy theory loon from WUWT, CA, Bishop Hill, et. al. Complete waste of time trying to explain anything or link to anything, because these cretins won’t even bother to read it. Their ideologically-driven little pea brains (meow!) are already made up. And they all contradict each other with their pseudo-scientific pet theories. How quaint, but rather bizarre that they don’t even twig that.

    And… every AGW thread is like a combination of Fifty First Dates and Groundhog Day. They don’t even bother to read through the thread before posting. Oh goody, let’s try to explain *again* in a few paragraphs what it took me two years of solid reading to comprehend.

    Kudos to the likes of TheBlackCat, Nigel Depledge, and others who seem to have infinite patience trying to reach those who may still be sitting on that AGW fence. But I’m done here. I will lurk for the LOLs, but let Nature do the talking from now on.

  184. Andre

    I think the fact that everyone is worrying about feeding 9 billion people by 2050 and the “oh so scary” global warming/climate change is pretty funny. Its never going to come to any of this. WW III is going to break out soon and there will be several (hopefully 3 or 4) billion less people in the world anyways. So quit your bitchin, work on that fire control and hope your one of the survirors cuz I sure as hell am going to be :).

  185. Hugh Jassman

    I would like to see an earth temperature chart for the past 2000 years. Everything i’ve seen always starts at 1800’s or so.
    See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

  186. Messier Tidy Upper

    @74. Dale C :

    Here’s the problem with the “science.” If your goal is to reduce global warming, then you have to attack the root of the problem. Humans do contribute to global concentrations of CO2, but even if you account for all human activity, that contribution only amounts to 3.207% of all greenhouse gas concentration. BUT, these numbers ignore the reality that there is a FAR more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, and it exists in quantities so vast dwarfs CO2′s greenhouse effect. That potent greenhouse gas is H2O—water vapor. When you add water vapor to the models, man made CO2 contributes only 0.117% to the overall greenhouse effect. So… if you know the Earth is warming and you want to do something about it, do you attack 0.117% of the problem, ignoring the REAL gas that’s holding all this heat, or do you attack the actual problem? The answer is dead obvious, but nobody is trying to scrub water vapor from the air.

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAtD9aZYXAs&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=50&feature=plpp_video

    for a great debunking of that climate crock. You’re welcome. :-)

    @111. Richard Cheese : “We’re holding back the next ice age. Everyone calm down.”

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQHqgdvXTxE&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=2&feature=plpp_video

    For a clip that demolishes that crock. Again, you’re welcome.

    @ 182. halfgold :

    Unless someone has access to another earth whose conditions to 1900 match ours, and whose conditions after 1900 diverge only in the case of greenhouse gases, we cannot prove that increased greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the increase in recorded global temperature.Humans may be causing global warming, but it is unprovable. Without experimental verification, all we have is correlation, and correlation is not causation

    Proof? Well, beyond reasonable doubt – yes – see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9SGw75pVas&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=44&feature=plpp_video

    For the evidence. Guess what – you’re welcome too. :-)

    PS. Thankyou, Peter Sinclair / Greenman3610 for making this so easy. ;-)

  187. @77. Bob K. : “Has anyone ever explored the possibility that more heat may be rising from the earths core?”

    That would imply a major dramatic upswing in volcanic activity wouldn’t it?

    Have we seen such activity – y’know supervolcanoes erupting left right and centre?

    Nup.

    (Oh & volcanoes actually *cool* the planet rather than heat it as the link attached to my name here shows as it debunks the notion volcanoes have been doing anything unusual lately.)

    Can you suggest any plausible reason or proposed mechanism that would cause such unusual activity from the Earth’s core at this particular time?

    Can you point to any papers or supporting evidence for that specific hypothesis?

    Can you point to any evidence at all in support of that claim other than the rise in global temperatures already neatly and consistently explained by the Human Induced rapid Global Overheating theory?

    No, I didn’t think so either. :roll:

    Still, thankyou for playing.

  188. @190 Andre: A couple of questions: First, does wifi propagate through reinforced concrete, or are you restricted to using your laptop indoors? Also, are you able to receive 3G outside your bunker, or did you manage to get a cable line out there?

  189. David

    If you want proof of climate change, you should live where I live, in Canberra Australia. We have been having snow in summer and then just the other day, we get a months worth of rain in less than a half-hour. Our weather is now like tropical Darwin. Last year, we had the coolest summer in 50 years. I was in Melbourne on Christmas Day when we had hail larger than golf-balls. To fully understand if humans are causing climate change, you need to understand the oil cycle and the conditions in which it was created. By looking at fossilised leaves, it is possible to extrapolate the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. About 55 Myo, the amount of CO2 was more than 3-4 times what it is today. What do you think the climate was with all that CO2. Well for a start, global average temperatures were more than 8 degrees hotter than today and there was no ice caps, and as a result there were no ocean currents. With no ocean currents, vast areas of the ocean turned into a toxic swamp full of algae. Over millions of years the algae would die, and fall to the bottom, acting as a carbon sink and slowing removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Over further millions of years, the rock is compressed and heated and finally forms oil source rock. What we are doing now, is to extract the oil, burn it and release back into the atmosphere the carbon that the algae took so long to capture. We are now in fact engineering the atmosphere so that we will start the next formation of oil source rock. We have enough carbon stored in the ground to cook the planet several times over.

  190. Messier Tidy Upper

    @181. Martin :

    Pick a date, say the start of 20th Century. And lets guess what the media was has been saying from that time:
    It’s the End of the World! The Germans are coming. (World War I)
    It’s the End of the World! Spanish Flu
    It’s the End of the World! The Germans are coming again. (World War II)
    It’s the End of the World! Reds under the Bed
    It’s the End of the World! Nuclear war
    It’s the End of the World! HIV
    It’s the End of the World! Terrorists.
    It’s the End of the World! Bird Flu
    It’s the End of the World! Swine Flu
    and lets not forget the current
    It’s the End of the World! Climate Change
    Can no one else see that pattern?? How about analysing the continual stream of “It’s the End of the World!” type stories published? I would be more inclined to act on your research if it’s wasn’t continually cloaked with the propaganda message “It’s the End of the World!”

    Who is actually saying the world is going tend here please? Citations needed. :roll:

    Climatologist are warning us not of some Rapture-style apoclypse, not of some generalised Armagedon but of particular predictable consequences that will cause immense human suffering, death and harm to the future if we act in certain ways eg,. continuing to pump Greenhouse gases (GHGs) into our atmosphere at a rate that is unsustainably fast in terms of nature tidying it up again.

    What the climate scientists are saying is based on good evidence and decades of meticulous reserach. Science works. You’re on a computer reading a blog about just how well science (esp. astronomy) works in giving us amore accurate understadning of reality. HIRGO is science – and reality. I wish it wasn’t – just as I wish we could travel FTL now – but it is.

    Also are you saying WWI, WWII and the Cold War and so on were not real serious problems that affected a lot of people’s lives extremely negatively?

    Are you really saying we shouldn’t pay attention to, study and try to avoid things like swine flu and avian flu epidemics? Or for that matter we shoudn’t worry about terrorism and the various plans our varying ideological enemies have for destroying our civilisation?

    If so, well, that’s just plain stupid.

    @151. Mike G :

    … The bottom line is this. We know that CO2 should cause warming. We know that it’s trapping extra energy. We know that that effect is of the correct magnitude to cause the trend we’re seeing and began at roughly the right time to explain the trend. The simple explanation is that CO2 is causing the observed warming. If it isn’t, we’re forced to accept a much more complicated explanation in which :

    1. Some unknown forcing is hiding the expect effects of CO2.

    2. Some unknown forcing is simultaneously producing warming that is consistent with the magnitude, timing, and pattern of warming expected from CO2.

    3. Neither of these forcings played a significant role during other parts of the planets history, such as the ends of other interglacials when CO2 clearly had an amplifying effect.

    Re-quoted for truth. Spot on, well said & seconded by me. Excellent comment. :-)

    @180. tmac57 : Cheers for that! :-)

  191. Messier Tidy Upper

    @27. timmy :

    OK, so what I am seeing from both sides of this argument is that we all agree the climate is changing.

    Not quite. Or at least the “we’re cooling down or haven’t heated up now” zombie climate canard still seems to be circulating around like bad smell despite all the observed evidence and continual debunkings.

    What we don’t agree on is how that change will affect the planet in the future. Are we talking shorts in February? Or full-out, drinking your own pee, Waterworld? So, if you agree the climate is changing, but don’t think it will be that bad, does that make you a denier?

    I prefer to use the term climate contrarian myself – but kinda, yeah.

    You see the evidence from the experts certainly makes a very convincing case that, yes, globally on average the change to a far hotter climate will be a very negative and costly one in terms of lives as well as property & environmental damage – see :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives-intermediate.htm

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE6at2IEUOU&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=34&feature=plpp_video

    featuring palaeo-climatologist Richard Alley & dinosaurs.

    As a matter of fact, it has been seriously argued by some scientists that we are currently living in the middle of a mass extinction event that we are causing and its very hard to call that a “good” thing isn’t it?

    And it seems like the “deniers” are being more civil with their arguments than the… er… non-denialists? warmists? Being nice always scores points with me.

    I hope you find this nice enough for you. I always try to be rational, helpful and polite here. I would, however, dispute your assertion that that is the case and humbly request supporting evidence for it.

    @55. Miguel :

    So…could you also post a graph on the temperature in neighboring planets compared to earth?, say. Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto…just a few….just asking..I don’t want to have a one sided opinion…I want more data.

    Very well please enjoy this clip :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXgiml5UwM&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=53&feature=plpp_video

    dealing with that myth. Its not a graph but it does give you the necessary information in an entertaining and rather beautiful way in my view. It’s my favourite clip out of that whole series, actually so thanks for giving me the opportunity to post it for y’all! :-)

    Distilled down to its essence, the other planets aren’t all warming, there are many uncertainties over exactly what’s happening for climates on other worlds and otherplanets are affected by various factors that are quite different from earth eg. far greater orbital eccentricties, radically unearthly atmospheric compositions and unusual surface-atmosphere interactions such as planet-wide dust storms.

  192. Andreas H

    Maybe I am too late to the party. But there are always a lot of smart guys here in the comments so I give it a try.

    A couple of weeks ago I read about a British study that was studying the long term effects of global warming. Especially the influence of the long cycles between warming periods and ice ages. To their own surprise they found out that the global warming that is occurring now could push back the next “scheduled” ice age and ultimately stabilize our current period of relatively mild and stable climate.

    Ultimately endless warming would cause a lot of problems but glaciation through a new ice age would certainly be much, much worse.

    While I am a strong supporter for most proposed actions against global warming as they have a ton of beneficial secondary effects (air quality, preservation of forests, reducing dependence on fossil fuels) it might be the more prudent approach to look into climate control itself. Both an ice age or prolonged global warming would end in disaster. But I think should we need some emergency climate “control” it would be much easier to cool down our planet than to heat it up. Blocking enough sunlight would probably do the trick to cool the planet down but heating it up seems a much longer and more complicated process. You might argue that we are already heating up the planet, but it is a relatively slow process and should an ice age arrive it might be too slow, unreliable and hazardous to pump green house gases in to our atmosphere while blocking out sunlight seems somewhat straight forward. I guess if financial and political concerns would be eliminated building some sort of “shield” that blocks a certain percentage of sunlight should be already technically possible.

    Well that’s just me rambling, I kind of just wanted to know if some people have some insight to said study. Here is a link to a Huffington Post article on the study:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/09/global-warming-is-delaying-ice-age_n_1194049.html

  193. flip

    @188 Anon

    Thanks for agreeing with me. :) And I’ll agree with you back, re:

    Kudos to the likes of TheBlackCat, Nigel Depledge, and others who seem to have infinite patience trying to reach those who may still be sitting on that AGW fence.

  194. Tony Mach

    Nice error bars. All the way back to 1880. Really cool.

  195. Why do so many people who either have no scientific training, or who are trained in other fields, think they’re equipped to refute the findings of the world’s climatologists? When it comes to, say, advanced chemistry, or particle physics, or paleobotany, they defer to the actual experts — so why not with climatology?

  196. Paul

    I forget, what temperature should the earth be? Maybe if we kill all the humans we can get to that temperature. Just a thought.

  197. aquanerd

    @ Zucchi

    Because these people only regurgitate what their Republican constituents say.

  198. Chris Winter

    @Zucchi: Because it hits them where they live, or they think it does. Their reasoning (really more like a panic reaction, IMO) is like the response to the anti-nuclear movement of the 1960s and 1970s (paraphrased): “Those people want us to freeze in the dark.”

    People arguing against doing anything about global warming claim that it means the immediate end of fossil fuel use, or at least an enormous rise in fuel prices.

    These positions are equally incorrect.

  199. Dale C

    @ 192 Messier:

    Well, that’s a neat little video clip. Like all global warming doomsayers, it makes a fundamentally wrong assertion that anyone who isn’t on the global warming bandwagon secretly *knows* we’re wrong, but we’re just arguing to be contrary. That’s a foolish and dangerous assumption. I don’t assume that you think I’m right but won’t admit it—I’m certain that you believe what you’re saying. I don’t try to defend my point of view by assuming that you’re just throwing up a childish denial. You shouldn’t either.

    Meanwhile, the video goes through all the same talk that doomsayers spread, and it *mentions* some science, but doesn’t actually provide any way to fact check 95% of what’s said. I can edit Carl Sagan into a video to tell you you’re a fool too, but 1) that doesn’t make me right and 2) that doesn’t make you wrong—it just makes the person who made the video feel clever by diverting scientific inquiry over to amusement.

    Show me science and I will debate. Show me a childish knee jerk distraction and I will walk away, laughing quietly. Whatever point you have, valid or not, gets lost when you resort to treating your opponent as a fool. If the doomsayers are correct, they have sadly lost their credibility because as a group, they cannot debate the issue without treating the opposing view like children.

    But clearly, I do not think the doomsayers are correct. Not that it matters, because there’s not actually a debate happening here.

  200. Daffy

    “Show me science and I will debate.” Did you read any of this thread?

    “Doomsayers” Your use of this derogatory term suggests that your mind is made up and you have no interest in debating science in the first place.

  201. Dale C

    Daffy:

    My comment was directed at Messier and the video that was put up as “proof” that my point of view was invalid. I do not consider the term “doomsayer” to be derogatory; after all, if those who believe in man made climate change are correct, we are in fact looking at a doomsday scenario.

    I’m not trying to insult you, or even Messier. I am asserting that this whole argument is based on 99% emotion and 1% scientific method. You disagree, and I can respect that. As long as the respect is mutual, I can respect you without believing your point of view. And in general, I think the whole climate change community would fare far better if they took the same respectful position of backing their argument without attempting to belittle their opponents.

  202. Nicholas

    To those who keep whining about each person being incapable of making more than an infinitesimal change in their carbon footprint:

    I did a quick carbon calculator and found myself sitting at around 25 metric tons of CO2 per year right now. National average seems to be listed at around 20 for the US. This seems about right as I recently went from a one person household to a four person household and am still trying to teach the kids about energy conservation. Not to mention the web servers I run for my small business.

    So where does that come from:

    9 tons comes from electric and natural gas. Primarily heating and cooling the house, running computers, and lighting the house. Standard incandescent bulbs can be replaced with CFLs requiring 72% less power, or LEDs saving even more. Computers are in use about 10% of the time, though much of their idle time will be in power saving mode cutting consumption by 70%, so if we shut them off when not in use we can assume a 70% savings. And I’m sure it would be difficult to match those savings by simply limiting furnace/AC use in the summer and winter, but I don’t think 50% is too unrealistic. That brings me to somewhere around 4 tons. We could probably cut that down to 2-2.5 if we could switch to a renewable energy source (wind, solar, nuclear, etc).

    Cars contribute another 9 tons, most of which is coming from our AWD full-size sedan. Tesla has begun production of their Model S which now retails for under $50k (and saves at least $4k/year in gas, adding to affordability). This is well within reach of the average person and we plan to order at least one soon. Assuming we could charge these off a renewable energy source that would eliminate at least 8 tons, leaving us at 1 for transportation.

    The remaining 7.5 come from secondary/other sources. According to CarbonFootprint.com I could drop 4 tons by simple lifestyle changes that don’t seem too extreme to me. This leaves me at 3.5 tons.

    These changes could be reasonably enacted in my life within 24 months (probably much quicker, but we’ll go with some caution in my estimate). In that time I’ve reduced my footprint from 25 tons of CO2 per year to 7, assuming I could gain access to a renewable energy source (which I hope we’re all lobying for). That’s over a 70% reduction!

    I’m having difficulty finding numbers for residential/personal output vs commercial/industrial output within the confines of my lunch break, but some brief Googling seemed to indicate it was approximately 1:2, at least for my state. Using that assumption, making simple changes like those I described above, simply on a personal level with virtually no commercial, industrial, or political changes, would reduce our overall carbon emissions by almost 25%.

    Yes, I know I used a lot of estimates and simplifications, but just about every one of them was conservative in nature. I really don’t think you can argue that we, personally, cannot make a difference and have a leg to stand on. We can, and should, regardless of others’ actions.

  203. @ 203 Zucchi: Why do so many people who either have no scientific training, or who are trained in other fields, think they’re equipped to refute the findings of the world’s climatologists? When it comes to, say, advanced chemistry, or particle physics, or paleobotany, they defer to the actual experts — so why not with climatology?

    I wonder about that, too. Why, out of the vast and wonderful menagerie that is science, do people (people with no relevant credentials, to boot) specifically target climate science to attack*? I’ve always found that highly instructive. If the people attaching climatology were also trying to find flaws in, say, quantum mechanics or materials science or genetics, then I’d say bravo! Investigation and critical evaluation is the lifeblood of science. But somehow none of these people take any interest in any field but climatology. It’s uncanny.
    It’s almost like there’s a huge, well-funded industry campaign designed to divide and confuse people, which is being aided by the fear and resistance to change of a certain segment of our population.
    Weird.

    *Well, ok, evolution gets singled out too, by the religious fundamentalists

  204. @208 Daffy: Now, now. If we can call people who deny the preponderance of evidence “deniers” (and I certainly will), then they can call us doomsayers :)
    It’s more accurate than “alarmists”. The stakes are pretty high, after all.

  205. flip

    @211 Joseph G

    My guess is that it’s about “freedom”, aka taxes. Most comments critical about the science always seem to end up in a conversation about money (jobs/taxes/infrastructure) or freedom and the perceived restrictions any action might have on that person’s lifestyle.

    Certainly a generalisation, but it’s definitely a common thread. I’d guess that the FUD on the subject has included a lot of misinformation about what various schemes (ie. carbon trading) would do and how they would work; as well as ignoring past schemes that have and do work (ie. CFCs). That’s the only way to make the issue seem ‘personal’ if you ask me; 1 or 2 degrees of temperature change on a local level probably doesn’t make anyone that interested in doing something about it, whether for or against (much like creationism, “if I don’t see it happening, it doesn’t exist”, ignoring the fact that evolution is too slow in most cases to see it happening). So to get people riled up enough to make sure things stay the same, FUD makes it about the pocket. And what’s more conservative in the US than taxes and keeping the government out of one’s pockets?

    The sad thing of course is that it will affect money/freedom either way. However, doing something about it will make things better in the long run.*

    *Yeah, this comment is aimed less at you and more at the others.

  206. Gene

    Joseph,
    You don’t have it straight at all. All of the climate models predict that it is too late and has been too late for half a century. The facts are clear that it is too late for humans to halt the rise of CO2 and have any significant impact on global warming on a time scale that is significant to human civilization. The time to act on CO2 levels was a hundred years ago!

  207. Andre

    @194 Joseph G I actually have printed copies of all the internetz I don’t need to be connected :). Whats the worst that could happen? Would someone point out how bad this whole global warming/Climate change thing could possibly get. I mean seriously say 95% of the world population doesnt make it. So what?

  208. tmac57

    Gene #214- My response to that way of thinking is at my comment #160.
    You are part of the problem.Try being part of the solution instead.

  209. Gunnar

    @Dale C:

    If you really think that the case for AGW is 99% based on emotion and only 1% on evidence, you simply haven’t taken an honest or comprehensive look at the evidence that has been so abundantly provided. I find it both sad and laughable that so many of the “AGW contrarians” (including you) who have posted in this thread invariably make fools of themselves posting arguments that have already been abundantly and devastatingly refuted earlier in the thread. If you would just read the evidence provided in the previous posts before posting here, you could save yourselves a lot of embarrassment!

  210. Gunnar

    @Gene:
    “Joseph,
    You don’t have it straight at all. All of the climate models predict that it is too late and has been too late for half a century. The facts are clear that it is too late for humans to halt the rise of CO2 and have any significant impact on global warming on a time scale that is significant to human civilization. The time to act on CO2 levels was a hundred years ago!”

    So what are you suggesting? That since it is too late to avoid crashing into the wall (to borrow MTC’s analogy), our only reasonable recourse is to keep our foot firmly on the accelerator until we crash, instead of applying the brakes in an attempt to slow down as much as possible to minimize the impact and maximising our chances of surviving it?

  211. It was warmer in the Jurassic period than it is today.

    Therefore, if global warming continues, we will get DINOSAURS!

    Tell me that won’t be awesome!

  212. @210 Nicholas: That’s interesting. I should try looking at my footprint. I have sort of an old car, so that certainly won’t help, but once I get a decent job I’m planning on getting a TDI (hopefully one that can run on biodiesel). I’m also looking for places I can get to work without a car, at the moment. But yeah, you bring up a good point. A lot of energy use is easy to painlessly avoid once you pay attention. Once I looked around, I realized how often I left the TV/lights on when leaving a room, and how often others leave lights on (that I can turn off). Of course I turn them off, but the geek in me wants to figure out some kind of smart computer-controlled automated system :-P

    And my mom works at a lighting company place, and she keeps showing me nifty new low-power lighting systems that I had no idea existed. She even installed a bunch of solar lights to illuminate the area in front of her house. Completely automatic and maintenance-free.

    @213 flip: My guess is that it’s about “freedom”, aka taxes. Most comments critical about the science always seem to end up in a conversation about money (jobs/taxes/infrastructure) or freedom and the perceived restrictions any action might have on that person’s lifestyle.

    I think you probably hit it on the head. One thing we love to death in America is freedom, and we love it so much we’re willing to do really stupid things in order to preserve some pretense of it (for instance, having the freedom to choose which health insurance company gouges you relentlessly and then tosses your ass out on the street the second you get sick and actually need them).

    The sad thing of course is that it will affect money/freedom either way.
    Indeed. I’m sure most people would value the freedom not to starve to death because severe weather conditions have pushed the price of food through the roof.

    @214 Gene The time to act on CO2 levels was a hundred years ago!
    Eh? 100 years ago CO2 emissions were tiny compared to today. I don’t see how that follows. Others have used the example of applying the brakes before hitting a wall. Maybe we can’t avoid the wall, but would you rather hit it at 70 mph or 35?*
    *Keeping in mind that kinetic energy increases with the square of velocity

    @215 Andre: Joseph G I actually have printed copies of all the internetz I don’t need to be connected
    How lame is that!? Shoot, you’re going to miss all the new internet memes! Er…
    Ok, that’s actually a pretty good idea ;)
    Srsly, how big is the building you store all that paper in? I’m picturing something like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  213. Messier Tidy Upper

    @207. Dale C :

    @ 192 Messier: Well, that’s a neat little video clip. Like all global warming doomsayers, it makes a fundamentally wrong assertion that anyone who isn’t on the global warming bandwagon secretly *knows* we’re wrong, but we’re just arguing to be contrary. That’s a foolish and dangerous assumption.

    Where exactly does it do that?

    I don’t assume that you think I’m right but won’t admit it—I’m certain that you believe what you’re saying. I don’t try to defend my point of view by assuming that you’re just throwing up a childish denial. You shouldn’t either.

    I’m not assuming your throwing up a childish denial. What I was doing in #192 was refering you to this youtube clip :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAtD9aZYXAs&feature=player_embedded

    that debunks your claim – which has been repeatedly made and debunked by those in the camp disagreeing with 98% of climatologists – that water vapour is more important than carbon dioxide when it comes to the issue of HIRGO. (Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating.)

    That was just one source I could have refered you to – fr’ex there’s also :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

    among others but it was a source that I thought made its points in an entertaining and clear manner.

    Meanwhile, the video goes through all the same talk that doomsayers spread, and it *mentions* some science, but doesn’t actually provide any way to fact check 95% of what’s said.

    Oh I think it does. Didn’t you see the links at the botton – click on the “show more” tab at the desciption? For example from that original clip is a link taking you here :

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/04/water-vapour-feedback-or-forcing/

    which is a site run by climate scientists and which has further links to actual studies and papers and enables you to comment and interact with the climate scientists directly.

    I can edit Carl Sagan into a video to tell you you’re a fool too, but 1) that doesn’t make me right and 2) that doesn’t make you wrong—it just makes the person who made the video feel clever by diverting scientific inquiry over to amusement.

    Actually the Carl Sagan quote isn’t “you’re a fool” at all. What Sagan says there (4 minutes 20-30 secs mark) is :

    “these ideas are almost certainly wrong.”

    The idea referred to there is the common formerly held mis-understanding that H2O saturates the long range spectrum leaving Co2 no energy to absorb and the clip goes on to explain why its wrong and the history behind it. The water vapour saturation claim was shown to be wrong in August 1953.

    The exact same Carl Sagan quote is repeated again (5 min 40-50 sec mark regarding the erronous idea that cloud feedbacks will bring the atmosphere back into thermal equilibrium. Again the clip explains why that is referring to actual scientific papers which are shown complete with authors and titles. F’rex :

    Title : Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low Level Cloud Feedback authors : Amy C. Clement, Robert Burgman, Joel R. Norris

    Source : Water Vapor and Climate – Climate Denial Crock of the Week, Youtube clip paused at the 5 minute 49 second mark.

    Sagan isn’t calling anyone a fool – he & greenman3610 – are just noting that certain ideas are indeed wrong and then explaining why and how we know. Using science.

    Show me science and I will debate. Show me a childish knee jerk distraction and I will walk away, laughing quietly.

    I thought I was showing you the science there presented in a simple and entertaining way maybe but the science nonetheless. Oh well, I guess you are debating so ok.

  214. @ ^ D’oh! Blockquote fail and too little editing time. Make this :

    ***

    The exact same Carl Sagan quote is repeated again (5 min 40-50 sec mark in the clip linked to my name this comment)regarding the erronous idea that cloud feedbacks will bring the atmosphere back into thermal equilibrium. Again the clip explains why that is; referring to actual scientific papers which are shown complete with authors and titles. F’rex :

    Title : Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low Level Cloud Feedback authors : Amy C. Clement, Robert Burgman, Joel R. Norris

    Source : Water Vapor and Climate – Climate Denial Crock of the Week, Youtube clip paused at the 5 minute 49 second mark.

    Sagan isn’t calling anyone a fool – he & greenman3610 – are just noting that certain ideas are indeed wrong and then explaining why and how we know. Using science.

    Show me science and I will debate. Show me a childish knee jerk distraction and I will walk away, laughing quietly.

    I thought I was showing you the science there – presented in an entertaining way maybe but nonetheless. Oh well, I guess you are debating, so ok.

    Whatever point you have, valid or not, gets lost when you resort to treating your opponent as a fool. If the doomsayers are correct, they have sadly lost their credibility because as a group, they cannot debate the issue without treating the opposing view like children.

    FWIW. I’m NOT calling you a fool. Nor is Carl Sagan and even Greenman3610 isn’t calling you one there. Climate denier is perhaps a bit harsh a term but have you considered that it may well not apply to you? If the shoe doesn’t fit then don’t wear it.

    (Greenman3610 is debunking various “crocks” the climate deniers spout and explaining *why* they’re crocks. The guys not perfect, his approach wouldn’t necessarily be mine and I don’t agree with everything he writes but I do think those clips are generally pretty good.)

    What I’m saying is simply that your water vapour claim earlier is wrong and showing you *why* that’s the case with supporting evidence.

    If you feel you’ve been made a fool of for believing something like that then, hey, join the club. I was once a climate contrarian myself. I’ve been a fool in the past and done and said stupid things at times and human nature being what it is, probably will do again. Foolishness is part of life and we’re all fallible humans.

    But clearly, I do not think the doomsayers are correct.

    Why not? What are you basing your judgement on? What facts or logic have lead you to that position?

    Not that it matters, because there’s not actually a debate happening here.

    Well, I think there is. I’m happy to keep debating and discussing and debunking here and to do so reasonably and politely. I hope you feel the same way and am surprised and saddened that you apparently don’t. :-)

  215. Messier Tidy Upper

    @209. Dale C January 23rd, 2012 at 10:30 am :

    My comment was directed at Messier and the video that was put up as “proof” that my point of view was invalid. I do not consider the term “doomsayer” to be derogatory; after all, if those who believe in man made climate change are correct, we are in fact looking at a doomsday scenario.

    Hmmm .. Saying things may get very bad in the future becase of HIRGO isn’t necessarily saying the world will end or we’re all doomed. Accepting that the climatological consensus is reality jsuta s evolution and gravity are isn’t necessarily “doomsaying” if it means we work towards avoiding the worse consequences of HIRGo if we can. “Doomsayer” may not be derogatory term by pure definition but isn’t exactly a complimentary one either.

    I’m not trying to insult you, or even Messier.

    Thankyou for that then. I’m not trying to insult you either.

    I am asserting that this whole argument is based on 99% emotion and 1% scientific method.

    Really!? I’m not trying to insult you but really?!

    What possible evidence or justification do you have for saying that?

    How much do you actually know about the HIRGO issue and where do you source it from to think that?

    Why on earth would you make that claim given the scientific knowledge and publishing records of the thousands of scientists in many disciplines from physics to oceanography to biology?

    You disagree, and I can respect that. As long as the respect is mutual, I can respect you without believing your point of view.

    Respect, in my view, is earned. You get a certain level of basic respect as a fellow human being and beyond that you gain or lose my respect based on your deeds and words.

  216. Finally for now :

    And in general, I think the whole climate change community would fare far better if they took the same respectful position of backing their argument without attempting to belittle their opponents.

    You (Dale C #209) mentioned mutual respect earlier.

    When the opponents of the HIRGO climatological consensus do things like this :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/05/hate-mail-climategate

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-04/death-threats-sent-to-top-climate-scientists/2745536

    (Oh & click my name for another source on that too – the part at the 1 minute, 45 second mark is particularly charming – not. :-( )

    & even politico-cultural allies who happen to believe in Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating get treated like this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHYhovvLQyc

    Then is it surprising if climatologists who have their lives threatened and who get hounded and harrassed in many ways and called some exceedingly nasty and entirely unjustified names are sometimes less than entirely respectful towards their opponents on this issue?

    Whether or not you accept the consensus of modern climatologists, I hope you agree that appalling threats of death and violence and vicious attacks on the scientists doing their jobs as best they can is utterly unacceptable.

  217. Andre

    @Joseph G 220

    I Printed it all on bible paper so it actually only takes up an acre or so. :) Who would have thought that it would take 10 thousand acres of rainforest to fill my 1 acre library? Weird huh?

    But this whole thing is getting a little out of hand. The stupid thing is that most of the people on here wouldn’t be man enough to argue face to face, they hide behind computer screens.

  218. @224 Andre: But this whole thing is getting a little out of hand. The stupid thing is that most of the people on here wouldn’t be man enough to argue face to face, they hide behind computer screens.
    I would! But then, you’ll notice I try not to be too insulting or confrontational.
    I try to post under the assumption that I might actually meet the people I’m talking to, so I shouldn’t write any checks that my ass can’t cash :D

  219. Andreas H

    My last comment was blocked for a long time, awaiting moderation (I guess because of the link) so it seems like it was buried under some new comments.

    So I am just going to shamelessly point it out one more time, as I would really like some insight to the whole topic. It is comment #198 with same username (Andreas H). It is about a British study that found out that global warming could delay or eliminate the next ice age and therefore at least in the long run contribute to a more stable and mild climate.

    Important side-note, they did not argue that rampant warming would be good, actually if I understood the study correctly current levels would already be high enough to delay the ice age. So it is by no means an argument that we should be doing nothing against global warming, but more a point that general artificial influence in “climate control” both for heating and cooling could be necessary for our species to survive long-term.

  220. Dale C

    @ 217 Gunnar:
    I don’t assert that 99% of climate science is emotion. I assert that 99% of the discussion is emotion when it should instead be focused on the science. As for your own assertion that my points had already been disproven earlier in the thread, that’s basically the definition of an argument. To you the information to provide is proof. To me it’s hogwash. But in fairness, to you my own argument is hogwash. We disagree. I respect that.

    @ Messier:
    You’ve provided a great deal of support for your point of view today, and I appreciate that. Today I find myself swamped at work and in all honesty, I don’t have time to review it all. It would be dishonest and irresponsible for me to discuss any of it without actually checking it out first. So instead of simply disappearing from the conversation, I’m going to do what a gentleman is supposed to do when he’s not prepared enough to debate: I concede defeat. Today you have backed your assertions better than I have the time resources to discuss. We disagree, but I hope we can disagree respectfully.

    However, having said that, I would like to make specific note of your mention of the threats against climatologists. Such threats happen to researchers on both sides of the debate. Like you I know that regardless of anyone’s point of view, such threats are not only unacceptable, they are criminal and should be punished.

    Generally, I find that when people disagree, emotions get high and, even when there’s good science or logic available to support the opposing points of view, a lot of rhetoric and half-baked commentary gets thrown into the discussion, muddling the search for truth. Yes, I’m a “denier,” but I remain scientifically open minded enough to review the data, even if I ultimately disagree with the conclusions.

    I wish each of you the best of days, and I apologize for adding more emotion than substance to this discussion.

  221. tmac57

    Dale C- I am so happy to see that you are open minded enough to investigate the facts,and I understand that being insulted can turn you away from an argument.With that in mind,I urge you to go to the Skeptical Science blog,as has been mentioned multiple times in this thread.They have a no ad hominem policy,and they really do try to keep the discussion as civil as possible,and focus on the science.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    Good luck to you. :)

  222. Gunnar

    @Dale C:

    What is the basis for your conclusion that the evidence supporting the reality of AGW is hogwash? You didn’t provide any refuting evidence whatsoever that we could examine and evaluate. As far as anyone can tell, your assertion that the supporting evidence is “hogwash” is nothing but a flat, unsupported assertion!

    And your assertion that 99% of the discussion supporting the reality of AGW is emotion is every bit as mistaken as asserting that 99% of climate science is emotion. If there is an over-reliance on emotion, it is on the part of the AGW deniers, as far as I can see. Having read most of the evidence provided by and linked to by those who have presented the case for AGW on this thread, it is clearly obvious to me that their discussion is very sharply focused on the science!

    Emotionally, I very dearly wish that AGW were not a reality and not anything to worry about. It is only because I am willing to set aside emotion in favor of reason that I have come to be convinced that AGW is a very real concern that needs to be vigorously addressed as soon as possible! So don’t you dare accuse me of letting my emotions override my reason on this issue!

  223. Dale C

    Gunnar:

    I am fairly confident that most everyone here is both intelligent and informed. The fact that we disagree is primarily a function of what information we give weight to.

    However, as I stated earlier, I’m not in a position to be able to defend my stand due to work deadlines. And please understand that this not a veiled assertion that if I had the time, I would be the “winner” here. As I said to Messier, I must concede in our discussion. Therefore, I let your rebuttal stand as the closure to our talk.

    I prefer to “lose” peacefully and open-mindedly than to argue blindly. I may be back to this discussion when work lets up, but I won’t drag the topic back up if the conversation has died down. In either case, thank you for your conviction on behalf of the Earth. The world needs more people like yourself who take their concerns to heart and work toward change that betters us all.

  224. A couple of things (this far from addresses everything posted, but hits a couple of major issues)

    I often see people mentioning a 10 year stall in global temperatures (eg Peter Jackson 15). It is not terribly meaningful to extrapolate these trends far into the future. There is simply too much variability on that time scale to pick out a signal. This question was explored in a paper called “Is the climate warming or cooling?”. The authors find that there is a fairly high probability of a negative trend on the decade scale, even in the face of long-term observed and simulated warming trends. This article discusses the paper and its implications.
    http://topologicoceans.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/did-chaos-theory-kill-the-climatology-star/
    Why this internal variability exists is an interesting question, and has to do with the sun, internal cycles like ENSO, and a number of other factors; it doesn’t negate the expectation of continued warming, however. Similar reasoning finds objections in extrapolating a slight pause in sea level rise. This is a common, but IMHO statistically uninformed argument that you often see in arguments against the impact of CO2 on the environment; it has been used to fallaciously argue against the severity of ocean acidification, for example (eg, http://topologicoceans.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/john-everett-part-ii-5-significance-junkies/ )

    RadWaste, 4, suggests that observed warming is due to urbanization. Although it is true that cities are generally warmer than the nearby countryside, the warming trend is often the same in both places. One way you can see this is by removing the systematic difference between the two sites by looking at the temperature anomaly at each site, which can often be very similar. Here’s an example: http://topologicoceans.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/temperature-anomalies/

    VinceRN, 8, claims that ”I don’t think measurements taken at the end of the 19th century belong on the same chart with those taken at the dawn of the 21st. The number of measurements taken back then were a tiny fraction of a percent of those taken today, they were taken in only a tiny fraction of the locations, and their accuracy was widely variable and in all cases far less than our worst accuracy today. That little uncertainty bar just doesn’t do it.’ However, they provide no justification for this claim, other than their personal incredulity. Considerable time and effort was invested in developing these data; do you have a particularly good reason for doubting their reported uncertainties? Although there were fewer instrumental stations, there were still a lot – it wasn’t that long ago, and there was widespread international transport & business. Average temperatures can further be inferred from relatively long -distance correlations. Also, relatively large numbers of even very shakey data can give surprisingly good results – check out this article for a good example: http://web.archive.org/web/20080402030712/tamino.wordpress.com/2007/07/05/the-power-of-large-numbers/

    Andrew W, 9, says that they “scientific, as opposed to ideologically motivated, arguments that present a conclusion of climate catastrophe from present or near future CO2 equivalent GHG concentrations.” There are plenty of examples; one is the mass bleaching of corals, which can be credibly attributed to increasing ocean temperatures (ocean acidification makes the problem worse). Coral reefs provide millions with essential ecosystem services like food; their degradation is a serious concern. Another example is the ongoing pine beetle crisis, which can also be credibly attributed to climate change: http://sarcozona.org/2009/12/31/this-is-what-climate-change-looks-like-2/
    This link addresses another point raised in other places in this thread, such as Andrew W, 9 (‘changes will happen at a rate that is slow enough for Human societies and the natural environment to adapt to, the overall rate of change will be nothing like that which we have seen imposed on the planet through the effects of Human expansion over the last 200 years’), and again in #23 (‘because an average change of 2C isn’t going to be very devastating, some crops will replace other crops, thus far the warming hasn’t led to major local climate changes.’) It is important to keep in mind that the rate at which environmental change takes place is at least as important as the actual values these variables take. There are very real upper limits to the rate at which populations and ecosystems can respond to environmental change – it takes *time* for forests to migrate. When the environmental change takes place faster than adaptation, migration, or evolution can act, we have a recipe for disaster. Contrary to Andrew W’s assertion, current changes are taking place at a geologically rapid rate; indeed, their sheer speed makes difficult finding geological analogs to today [ http://topologicoceans.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/john-everett-part-4-4-has-this-happened-before/ ] This also argues against comparisons to the Medieval Warm Period (eg, John Smith, 44) – the MWP was most likely slightly cooler than today, but if it was comprable, it took place slower than today’s warming. (While it was great for some parts of Europe, it also entailed megadroughts in what is now the American Southwest, which obliterated the advanced civilizations living there.)

    JeffR, 33, suggests that the sun is responsible for observed warming – but there are a number of facts which contradict solar warming but are explained by greenhouse warming. One is the cooling of the stratosphere ( http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/stratosphere ). Others are winters warming faster than summers and nights warming faster than days. Additionally, satellite measurements of solar activity show no trend that could explain the observed warming – if anything, the sun should be cooling! Although he mentions orbital changes, these take place very slowly, and thus don’t agree with the observed rapid warming.

  225. However, while I found some of the talking points mentioned above to be problematic, I was most upset by Mememine69’s comment, 19. As a supporter of OccupyWallStreet and an active participant in my local affiliate, I have more than a few bones to pick. First of all, on what basis do you speak for OWS, Mememine69, when you say “Occupywallstreet does not support climate change belief “? Was this a position that the General Assembly agreed upon? If so, which GA? If not, where do you get off attaching this viewpoint to OWS? The Occupy movement has been characterized by strong adherence to process, and I have gone out of my way to separate my viewpoints from those which the group has collectively endorsed (the opinions presented here, for example, are mine, not those of OWS or OccupyDurham.)
    You claim that you would expect scientists to be panicking and protesting. Maybe that’s what they *should* do, but the fact is that human nature doesn’t lead you to expect them to. I recently read an essay on writing convincing SciFi which put it very well: ‘[What happens in bad scifi is t]he “president” threatens us with “nuclear war,” and driven frantic by the fear of “death” we rush out to “buy consumer goods.” When in fact, what really happens is that you turn off the TV, eat something, and go for a walk, with infinitely many thoughts and perceptions mingling with infinitely many inputs.’ [Rudy Rucker’s Transrealist Manifesto] Your broad claims of no involvement by scientists is also incorrect: I fancy myself a scientists and have been protesting for economic and social justice as well as for environmental issues, since long before Occupy arrived on the scene (yeah, yeah, #OccupyHipster). I’m not the only scientist in OccupyDurham, and we have in fact had several events around the CO2 problems [eg, http://occupydurham.org/2011/12/20/second-really-free-market-brings-community-needs-environmentalism-to-the-forefront/ ]. Additionally, if you are involved in OWS, you surely are aware of the numerous barriers between the typical person and political action: school, kids, fear of arrest, professional implications, etc. These barriers are if anything higher for the scientist and especially the climatologist, many of whom have received death threats and ‘lesser’ forms of harassment [eg, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/06/australia-climate-scientists-death-threats ]. Given those disincentives, it is surprising that so many scientists *have* taken drastic political action, and just as surprising that Mememine69 ignores them. Dr. James Hansen, for example, has been arrested participating in direct action for climate change; he has received harsh professional criticism for doing so and after ‘ClimateGate’ he has needed police escorts when he gives talks, thanks to death threats that he receives.
    The entirity of Mememine69’s rejection of climatology seems to rest upon a glaring logical fallacy: If empirical claim X might be construed as suggesting political action Y, and I personally don’t like Y, then X must not be true. Mememine69 doesn’t like carbon-trading, therefor climate science is wrong. On top of this inane ‘reasoning’, Mememine69 ignores the scientists critical of such schemes (Hansen, for example) as well as the fact that when scientists have taken action, it is not in favor of multinational carbon tax & trade schemes, but in opposition to further emissions, which is the real problem (Eg, Hansen). It is similarly puzzling that Mememine69 thinks that Occupy and climate activists are at odds – it seems to me that they would be natural allies! The biggest barrier to meaningful climate legislation is the industrial and corporate influence on politics [eg, Smoke, Mirrors, and Hot Air – UCS]. This should dovetail with OWS’s demands for the removal of money from politics and an end to corporate personhood!
    Most saddening was Mememine69’S remarks suggesting that science makes itself necessary by causing problems for it to solve: ” science also gave us the pesticides that poisoned the environment originally making environmentalism necessary in the first place.”. This is, frankly, crap, the sort of antiscientific crap that is sadly popular in some liberal and radical circles. Science is descriptive, not perspriptive. There is nothing in the medical science of how bones heal that tells us that we *should* treat broken bones, rather than let the injured suffer. We treat the injured because that’s a nice thing to do. Obviously, sometimes people use science in ways that are destructive or just plain mean, but that is a fact of human nature and sociopolitics, not some characteristic of science. Mememine69 mentions pesticide pollution, but their blaming of science for it is just plain wrong. It was industrialists who sprayed DDT everywhere; it was scientists who rang the alarm bells. It was corporations who fought evidence that CFCs were harming the ozone layer; it was scientists who fought back. It was also scientists who brought Mememine69 the purification techniques which bring them clean water, a resource that many in the world would quite literally kill for, and which climate change may well threaten. (And if you think that only technology and industry make water unsafe to drink, you are sadly out of touch with the nature you are romanticizing.)
    So I have to ask: Since Mememine69 expects scientists to openly protest and associate with OWS, surely they wouldn’t mind identifying *themselves* and showing their association with Occupy? My involvement is a matter of public record and documented above. But until they provide some reason to believe that OWS has rejected climatology, I think they can be disregarded. And if they can’t show any actual association with Occupy, I would go so far as to suggest shenanigans.

  226. Infinite123Lifer

    Doh! Cell phone mishap. Nothing to see here folks. I don’t know if its possible to delete a post once you accidentally or otherwise submit.

  227. flip

    @220 Joseph G

    I think you probably hit it on the head. One thing we love to death in America is freedom, and we love it so much we’re willing to do really stupid things in order to preserve some pretense of it (for instance, having the freedom to choose which health insurance company gouges you relentlessly and then tosses your ass out on the street the second you get sick and actually need them).

    I find America’s obsession with freedom odd. Although I’m all for freedom, I do think that certain sections of America worry about it too much; as if there’s a vaccum and only freedom exists and social obligation or state/federal/global problems don’t exist. I love the fact that my freedom of choice for healthcare is better off here in Australia than in the US, where health insurance is often tied to an employer despite their protestations that it’s somehow more freedom-based.

    Indeed. I’m sure most people would value the freedom not to starve to death because severe weather conditions have pushed the price of food through the roof.

    Yep. But that will only affect “those people over there” and not the denialists at all. I love how often they forget that plenty of coastal people will see the brunt of it, as if those thousands of Pacific islands – amongst other places – simply don’t exist. It’s like they’ve never seen a map. Or a farm. Or drought-striken areas. A local lake near my town dried up entirely for a few years. There were large trees in the middle of the lake, buried in the water. Normally, we’d only see the tips of the dead branches. During the drought, we walked right up to the tree and stood on its roots. (I’m talking about trees 10 or so metres tall) We could walk to the other side of the lake, a kilometre away; and keep walking up the bed all day. It’s a devastating picture, because our water supply had also dried up, and the area was home to a lot of wildlife and sheep farming too. This is all too common an event in Australia, where farmers are seeing crops, cattle, sheep, etc either dying from drought or dying from flooding. That’s the frustrating thing in this whole saga, that we will get too much wild weather of both extremes.

    @229 Dale C

    I may not agree with your point of view, but I have to say, considering the number of defensive and unwilling commenters at this blog:

    All we ask is that people consider the information presented; many times they just shout and fume and don’t bother. Thank you for being honest and decent enough to discuss respectfully. It shows a higher calibre of response than normally given in these AGW threads. I wanted to point it out because of that fact.

  228. @ ^ flip – January 24th, 2012 at 6:38 pm :

    @229 Dale C

    I may not agree with your point of view, but I have to say, considering the number of defensive and unwilling commenters at this blog: All we ask is that people consider the information presented; many times they just shout and fume and don’t bother. Thank you for being honest and decent enough to discuss respectfully. It shows a higher calibre of response than normally given in these AGW threads. I wanted to point it out because of that fact.

    Well said & seconded by me. :-)

    @232. Dale C :

    Gunnar: I am fairly confident that most everyone here is both intelligent and informed. The fact that we disagree is primarily a function of what information we give weight to. However, as I stated earlier, I’m not in a position to be able to defend my stand due to work deadlines. And please understand that this not a veiled assertion that if I had the time, I would be the “winner” here. As I said to Messier, I must concede in our discussion. Therefore, I let your rebuttal stand as the closure to our talk. I prefer to “lose” peacefully and open-mindedly than to argue blindly. I may be back to this discussion when work lets up, but I won’t drag the topic back up if the conversation has died down. In either case, thank you for your conviction on behalf of the Earth. The world needs more people like yourself who take their concerns to heart and work toward change that betters us all.

    That was gracefully, rationally and politely said. Thankyou. Your comment there – & # 229 also – means you have risen in my esteem, FWIW. :-)

    @14. Chris :

    One thing you forgot to mention that helps bring the point home. It’s not only the 9th hottest year on record, but also the hottest La Nina year on record.

    A good NOAA graph displaying and confirming that fact is linked to my name for this comment. Seems the blogger there enjoys the BA blog too. :-)

  229. Nigel Depledge

    OK, I’m late to the party, but it’s an AGW thread, so not much has changed . . .

    Dale C (229) said:

    As for your own assertion that my points had already been disproven earlier in the thread, that’s basically the definition of an argument.

    Not really. An argument is a connected series of statements designed to set forth a proposition.

    Most AGW-deniers merely engage in contradiction.

    To you the information to provide is proof. To me it’s hogwash.

    I’d be interested to know why you think the data and arguments that have convinced the scientific community that AGW is real are “hogwash”.

    For example, do you doubt that temperature records show a sharp upswing since the 1970s (that is so often called the “hockey stick” graph)? If so, why? Have you examined the primary literature to reach your conclusion, or do you rely on secondary sources?

    Do you doubt that historic temperature proxies show a correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global average temperature? If so, why? Have you examined the primary literature to reach your conclusion, or do you rely on secondary sources?

    Do you doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? If so, why? Have you examined the primary literature to reach your conclusion, or do you rely on secondary sources?

    Do you doubt that most of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is anthropogenic? If so, why? Have you examined the primary literature to reach your conclusion, or do you rely on secondary sources?

    Do you doubt that glaciers and sea ice worldwide are decreasing in volume? If so, why? Have you examined the primary literature to reach your conclusion, or do you rely on secondary sources?

    Do you doubt that 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000? If so, why? Have you examined the primary literature to reach your conclusion, or do you rely on secondary sources?

    To my mind, there are only two ways to go in a debate over something as complex and subtle as Earth’s climate. Either (1) you take the time and trouble to understand the system for yourself, and to understand the methodologies used in acquiring and analysing the data that support the AGW conclusion from the primary literature (i.e. you become a climatologist), or (2) you accept the conclusions of experts who have studied this stuff for decades.

    To do anything else is intellectually dishonest.

    I have read many criticisms of climate science, and none of them has given me the impression that the author has taken the trouble to understand Earth’s climate in any depth. OTOH, I don’t have the time to delve into the climatology literature to understand it for myself, so I accept what the experts tell me, in the same way I expect them to accept what I might tell them about biochemistry (such as, for example, the consequences of perturbations to the MAP kinase signalling cascade, or the role of Cdx2 in embryonic patterning, or the catalytic activity of dUTPase).

  230. Nigel Depledge

    tmac57 (230) said:

    Dale C- I am so happy to see that you are open minded enough to investigate the facts,and I understand that being insulted can turn you away from an argument.With that in mind,I urge you to go to the Skeptical Science blog,as has been mentioned multiple times in this thread.They have a no ad hominem policy . . .

    It looks to me like you are conflating argumentum ad hominem with abuse.

    An example of abuse would be : “You’re an idiot!”

    An example of an ad hominem argument would be : “You have stated a preference for blue cheese*, therefore your opinion on AGW is worthless”.

    Do you see the difference?

    * I will note here, of course, that blue cheese is evil and therefore that anyone who likes it is suspect in any number of ways, but that does not change the fact that it’s an ad hom argument.

  231. Nigel Depledge

    Dale C (232) said:

    I am fairly confident that most everyone here is both intelligent and informed. The fact that we disagree is primarily a function of what information we give weight to.

    I disagree.

    There is a great deal of misinformation put out by a subset of the AGW-deniers, so the only reliable source of information about AGW is the primary climatology literature, and the expert climatologists who are familiar with that literature.

    I do not see how it is possible to be informed about GW and still maintain that climatologists are just making it up, or that their conclusions are “hogwash”. In my book, that’s a prime example of being misinformed.

    In short, any disagreement over whether or not AGW is a real phenomenon is not among the equally well-informed. It is between the informed and the misled. If you choose to give weight to anything other than the peer-reviewed primary literature on the topic, then more fool you, say I.

  232. tmac57

    Nigel-I did mean abuse not ad hom argument,(although that would also be unacceptable). That is what their policy explicitly states:

    The editors will delete:

    “Rants about politics, ideology or one world governments. Keep it to the science.
    Use of ALL CAPS. You can’t have a civil, constructive discussion if you’re shouting.
    Off topic comments. Stick to the subject at hand. If you have something to say about some other topic, use the Search form in the left margin to find the appropriate page then have your say there.
    Personal insults of other commenters.
    Ad hominem attacks of any sort.
    Copying and pasting content from your own earlier comments. If you wish to refer to earlier comments, you can hyperlink directly to them. To make this easier, note that with each comment, the date/time is a hyperlink. If you link to this URL, clicking on the link will take you directly to that part of the page.
    And yes, I am aware that there are past comments that break these rules. As time permits, I will be going through old comments deleting inappropriate comments – from both sides of the debate.”

    They have a relatively strict comment policy,but I find that it makes debate on that site much more productive than what I have seen on most other climate change blogs.

  233. pete J

    Spectacular claims require spectacular evidence.
    My biggest complaint is the group of politicians, journalists, activists, lobbyists,… that are claiming we are just a few decades from the collapse of civilization.
    I deny that we are headed for collapse and more importantly I deny that anyone can predict the future with any accuracy.
    Is warming occurring (due to a variety of factors), it seem clear to me that it is.
    Are the predictions that our civilization is doomed true? I fail to see the evidence that this is true.
    Where are all the terrible outcomes that were predicted for today 10 years ago by the same groups?

  234. @242 pete J: Fair enough, but we have to be careful that we’re having the same discussion. We’re talking about scientists observing climate change in the present, period. What the long-term consequences of climate change will be is a related, but separate, debate. Others will take the scientific observations and extrapolate scenarios, these may be realistic or not, depending on who’s doing the extrapolating.
    Also, I don’t believe anyone ever said anything about the collapse of civilization. That smells suspiciously like a straw man to me. Things can get awfully bad without leading to an apocalypse.

    On a worldwide scale, millions dying wouldn’t necessarily lead to anything remotely approaching a societal collapse… But that doesn’t mean it’s anything to sneeze at, either. And considering the sorts of famines, epidemics, and disasters (the SE Asian tsunami, for instance) that have recently afflicted humanity without the assistance of climate change, it’s clear that it won’t take a tremendous shift in climate to indeed cause deaths numbering in the tens of millions.

  235. Nigel Depledge

    @ tmac57 (241) –
    Thanks for the additional info.

    It looks like the editors have conflated ad hominem arguments with abuse and insults.

  236. Nigel Depledge

    Pete J (242) said:

    My biggest complaint is the group of politicians, journalists, activists, lobbyists,… that are claiming we are just a few decades from the collapse of civilization.

    Who has said this, where and when?

    Certainly AGW is a serious threat to our way of life if we don’t do something about it. But some people (mostly in Europe) are doing things about it. I don’t think anyone has seriously claimed that civilisation is doomed.

  237. TheFinalWord

    I think it’s funny that anybody denies the fact that Climate Change IS taking place. The funniest part is that we’re arguing over whether or not we, as a species, want to survive into the next century or do we want to pollute our air, water, and land so bad that it becomes unlivable. To me the option seems clear.

    It is also funny that people in these comments ask and question the validity of the graph and skip over the part of the article that states that 97% of all world scientists that deal with Climate Change agree that it is taking place and caused by man. It’s kind of hard to dispute that, huh? Funny how so many deny the workings of science when it makes up such a huge part of our everyday lives. Such as the machine that discovered your loved ones cancer. A scientist invented it. But it was probably wrong, right? How about the guy on your local news who makes use of all that weather equipment that predicts the weather? Yeah, he didn’t know the hell he was talking about, it was sunny when he said a hurricane was coming ashore. *RollingMyEyes*

    Man, if we cannot even choose to save ourselves maybe we’re not worth saving.

  238. Gene

    Gunnar:
    So what are you suggesting? That since it is too late to avoid crashing into the wall (to borrow MTC’s analogy), our only reasonable recourse is to keep our foot firmly on the accelerator until we crash, instead of applying the brakes in an attempt to slow down as much as possible to minimize the impact and maximising our chances of surviving it?

    This car analogy is absurd. No scientist would compare a car crash that occurs in seconds to a gradual transition that will take place over hundreds of years. No scientist should recommend pissing into a hurricane. There is no logic or facts behind your assertions only emotion.
    The facts are the planet is warming. It is going to warm no matter how you live your life. These so called “brakes” that you want to fantasize about applying do not exist.

  239. WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

    I am sure that there are 1000’s of reasons that the article is wrong, the scientitsts behind it are idiots, and the journalist that wrote it has an agenda. However, the public will read the article….and then have the nerve to question the ‘science.’

    This is your problem. Articles like this, citing reputable sources, and seem to contradict the hyperbolic headline contained on this page. When people see this differences…they ask q

  240. NothingToSee

    Unfortunately, I had a family emergency that took me away from this article…just when it was getting fun.

    @ Daniel J. Andrews – THANK YOU for providing a great response to some of my questions posed on the 21st. What you say makes sense…and frankly, gives me something to really think about.

    @MUZZ: …”“I don’t like this tone/this could all be wrong!”” Nope, I never said that…not once. If you see an argument every where you look, then perhaps your problem is in the mirror. I sincerely wanted to understand a number of things.

  241. Spicoli

    A strawman argument is a logical fail. This article is one big strawman argument. That’s not a very good way to go when claiming to be supporting science.

  242. John G

    The earth is warming. It’s a fact. Dec 21st 2012 is almost here.
    ]
    Trying to tell the majority of the human race about global warming is like trying to tell them that it is a waste of time to elect a new president.

    After decades of the same crap going on in the USA they still believe that the president calls the shots. Even the people who lost their life savings don’t understand that WALL STREET controls everything. Who is president is makes no difference.

    It has always amazed me that the most educated people have the hardest heads and don’t believe anything even when it is shoved in their face.

    Thanks for trying.

  243. Bob Jones

    There’s actually quite a lot wrong with that chart. It wasn’t until the 1970’s when we really started trying to check temperatures. Most temperature data before then comes from cities, which *obviously* have gotten warmer as electricity, population density, and motor vehicles came into play. The data *now* is flawed because we try to strip the cities out. As someone who does research (literally my full time job) on pollution’s effects, the .6 degree change over the last 30 years is easily within the tolerance of the model. That’s why people show the 130 year chart: it puts it outside the magic 1.5 degree marker we typically use.

    Anyone telling you that humans are OBVIOUSLY affecting the world is mistaken. If we, the scientists working with the government (while I’m not with NASA, we do work with them on this) can’t tell you with any certainty, why would you think a blogger or politician can? Most of us agree the world is warming, but the period we agree on is only a little more than a decade, and the reasons for it are TOTALLY unclear.

    People need to hold their horses. We’ll get you an answer, just give us some time.

  244. Hi all !
    Swings in temps both during winters and sumers in various parts, extreme colds to extreme heat shows something is going on. Deniers? I deny that it is puny mankind doing this that’s all.
    Only have a Bio degree in premed so no climate science (and that’s from 1970 )
    Why does it seem that data on the sun’s ( what gives us heat ??-clue-the orange dwarf we are neighbors of) output is not highlighted in studies???
    If the sun is generating more radiation and CME’s of course it is going to heat up here. Hasn’t the Ice Cap on Mars melted also ??? yes or no.
    Any clue here ?
    Also, the region of space we are traveling through as our solar system moves in the galaxy and the galaxy through space-what about the dark matter and energy ??
    Wake up.
    Thank you
    John

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