With Climate Journalism Like This, Who Needs Fiction?

By Tom Yulsman | September 9, 2013 1:34 pm

A screenshot of the top of a global warming story in The Mail yesterday.

The headline and bullet points above accompanied a story over the weekend by David Rose in the U.K. newspaper the Mail. It now seems to be gaining traction elsewhere in the media, including in a story in the Telegraph (which seems to be largely copied from the Mail), and this item on MSN Now.

Let us count the ways that the headline and story violate the principles of journalism I will be discussing with 130 eager young undergraduates this afternoon in a class I teach at the University of Colorado. Literally. That’s the purpose of this piece.

Rose writes the following at the top of his story:

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013. Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.

Rose uses the recovery in Arctic sea ice since last year’s record low extent as evidence to bolster the main points of his piece: that global warming has stopped, and that we appear to be entering into a long-term cooling trend.

Let’s put aside Rose’s apparent ignorance of the difference between Arctic sea ice and an “ice sheet” (the latter, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, being glacial land ice extending more than 20,000 square miles). He is correct that the geographic extent of this year’s Arctic sea ice is greater than last year’s. But he cherry picks information to support his claim rather than provide readers with a full picture.

Here’s what the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported five days ago about Arctic sea ice extent for August 2013 — namely that it is:

…1.03 million square kilometers (398,000 square miles) below the 1981 to 2010 average for August, but well above the level recorded last year, which was the lowest September extent in the satellite record. Ice extent this August was similar to the years 2008 to 2010. These contrasts in ice extent from one year to the next highlight the year-to-year variability attending the overall, long-term decline in sea ice extent.


Rose completely ignores that latter point about year-to-year variability. The thumbnail at right is a graphic from the NSIDC showing both the variability and the long-term trend. Click on it for a larger version.

Of course we can’t say for sure whether next August will bring more or less sea ice than it did this year. But in his story, Rose implies that one year kills a 35-year trend. That’s not journalism. It’s activism.

If the past is any guide to what may happen in the future, this animated gif, from the website Skeptical Science, may provide some insight:

The portions marked in red show when Arctic sea ice extent at the end of September was greater than the previous year.

As the caption accompanying the graphic puts it:

Many factors affect the annual summer decrease in Arctic sea ice extent, and it is illogical at best to claim any “trend” by cherry-picking only brief periods of data.  The obvious true long-term trend in Arctic sea ice extent (red second-order polynomial curve fit) is that it is declining at an accelerating rate.

Another way to contextualize what has happened this summer is to compare it to recent years. Click on the thumbnail at left for a graph that does just that. It shows August sea ice extent for the past six years. Seen in this context, 2013 obviously doesn’t look anything like last year’s astonishingly low extent. But it is very much like recent years — all of which were below the long-term average.

While relatively cool temperatures prevailed this summer over the central Arctic, the National Snow and Ice Data Center is reporting that a “large hole” has opened in the ice near the North Pole.

According to NSIDC, “Small areas of open water are common within the ice pack, even at the North Pole, as the ice pack shifts in response to winds and currents, resulting in cracks (called leads) in the ice. The current opening seen in our satellite imagery is much larger.”

The animated gif below offers two views of this apparent stretch of open water:

An animated gif mapping Arctic sea ice concentration in the first frame, and a mosaic of satellite images of the same area in the second, both from Sept. 2, 2013. (Sea ice concentration: NSIDC; Arctic mosaic: NASA; Animated gif: Tom Yulsman)

The colored map shows the concentration of Arctic sea ice, as measured by the the AMSR2 satellite instrument. The second frame in the animation is a mosaic of images from NASA’s Aqua satellite. Both are centered on the North Pole. Look above and to the right of the North Pole for the apparent area of open water.

I won’t commit the same journalistic sin as David Rose of the Mail by implying that this says something significant about what will come next in the Arctic, or that it is some sort of symptom of global warming. But I also won’t hide it from you in the interest of activism, as Rose did.

Source: Polar Science Center

Rose also failed to mention another important factor: the volume of Arctic sea ice. Up until now, we’ve been looking at the geographic extent of the ice cover — how many square miles of ocean is covered by floating ice. If you want the full picture of what’s happening to Arctic sea ice, you have to consider volume as well. Click on the thumbnail at right for a graph showing how it has evolved over time.
Once again, the trend is far from a straight line. There are ups and downs related to year-to-year variations in conditions. But the trend is pretty clear.

That said, please consider an important caveat from the scientists who created the graph:

Sea ice volume is an important climate indicator. It depends on both ice thickness and extent and therefore more directly tied to climate forcing than extent alone. However,  Arctic sea ice volume cannot currently be observed continuously.  Observations from satellites, Navy submarines, moorings, and field measurements are all limited in space and time.

In other words, observations alone are insufficient to get a full picture of sea ice volume. So the researchers use a computer called “PIOMAS” to estimate it. In its numerical simulations, the model uses a variety of actual observations as inputs. And it is “validated through comparisons with observations from U.S. Navy submarines, oceanographic moorings, and satellites.”

For all of the details and caveats, go here and see “Model Validation and Uncertainty.”

By now, I’ve no doubt lost most readers with all of this detail. Which of course highlights the difficulty of trying to do a journalistically responsible job on a story like this. To provide proper context, and to highlight the uncertainties along with the findings, requires quite a bit of explanation, not all of it terribly compelling. By comparison, waving one’s arms in the air is far easier.

I’ll conclude by tackling Rose’s main point: that the Earth is cooling.

He makes all sorts of claims, including that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is convening an “emergency” meeting to discuss it in advance of the release of the next IPCC report. And he quotes two scientists in order to bolster his claim that the globe is cooling, or at least that there is greater uncertainty now than there was in previous years.

Much can be — and has been — written on the global cooling meme. My friend and colleague Andrew Revkin wrote about it here, and I urge you take a look at his balanced and nuanced view. In his piece he quotes a number of scientists, including Ben Santer at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Here’s part of what Santer said:

The bottom line is that the identification of human effects on climate is a signal-to-noise problem. A human-caused warming signal is embedded in the rich, year-to-year and decade-to-decade noise of natural internal climate variability. Scientifically, we never had the expectation that there would be some monotonic warming signal in response to slow, human-caused changes in greenhouse gases, with each year inexorably warmer than the previous year.

To conclude, here is a way to visualize Santer’s point:

Source: Skeptical Science

This is another useful animated gif from Skeptical Science. It shows in green how the global land surface temperature has departed from the long term average. Linear trends have been applied to the timeframes 1973 to 1980, 1980 to 1988, 1988 to 1995, 1995 to 2001, 1998 to 2005, 2002 to 2010, in blue. As well as 1973 to 2010 (red).

The point is that warming can stall, and temperatures can even cool, over a period of years — even as the long-term trend is one of warming.

Time will tell whether we’ve entered something different. But we don’t know yet, despite what David Rose said in his irresponsible story.

  • DoRightThing

    Here’s the latest Arctic Death Spiral showing the change in volume of sea-ice. Notice the slight uptick for the last few months.
    Compare against the trend and previous variations.

    Here’s also the famous ice-cube video, tracking the line of minimum volumes from 1979 to 2012 – the trend is terribly obvious.
    http://youtu.be/YgiMBxaL19M

    • Kehvan

      Death spiral?

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      I note that between 1980 and 2000… 98 any way… there was very little measurable change. The last 13 years have seen drastic reduction, but it certainly makes me contemplate if it is a situation where temporary conditions masked a long term phenomenon for 20 years or if we are simply witnessing a short term effect at present.

      • John Russell

        What you’re seeing is actually a logarithmic curve: it starts slowly and accelerates downwards.

        It’s highly unlikely to be a short term trend while ever greenhouse gasses continue to build in the atmosphere at their current rapid rate. Most causes of natural variability — such as the cycles in orbit and angle of the Earth to the sun — are of low frequency* (hundreds to thousands of years) whereas the climatic changes humans are bringing about are not cyclical and are happening over a much faster rate (decades).

        *Natural changes that are fast acting would be such things as volcanoes and major meteor strikes. Cyclical natural changes like ocean oscillations tend to be discernible over 5-15 years. The sea ice loss over the last 30 years of satellite records is only explained by human influence on climate.

        • Jessica Darko

          You’re so full of nonsense that you can’t even discuss the issue. You presume your conclusion which means you can’t make an argument.

          IR Absorbiton of carbon dioxide is lower than water vapor, and water vapor exceeds CO by orders of magnitude…..

          which means your “argument” is nonsense. Of course, you’re too ignorant of science to accept it, I’m sure.

          Your position is based on ideology, not science.

    • agnes debinski

      How come we don´t get to see more of these (self-explanatory graphs on global warming as well as other climate changes) in newspapers? I do think that´s a pity.

      • jbinsb

        One reason is that newspapers are forever locked into this “balanced reporting” myth. It’s very much like a man leaping to his death from a 10-story building. Hundreds of people saw him jump, and firemen on the roof tried to talk him down, but he jumped anyway. But one guy insists “he was pushed.” In the journalistic parallel to climate change coverage, the story would give equal weight to these two perspectives. “Hundreds of people saw a man jump to his death from the top of a ten-story building, but one man insists he was pushed.” And that one man’s dissenting opinion would merit equal coverage as that afforded to the witnesses to the suicide.

  • John Russell

    It’s very clear from all the instances of David Rose’s articles in the Mail on Sunday that he’s deliberately misrepresenting the facts. For instance, in his latest article he refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) being forced “to hold a crisis meeting.” Ed Hawkins (a climate scientist and IPCC author) tweeted, “I told David Rose on the phone and by email on Thursday about the IPCC process and lack of ‘crisis’ meeting.” [ https://twitter.com/ed_hawkins/status/376642382290489344 ] In spite of being corrected — and with no evidence — Rose still went ahead with his claim.

    It would be interesting for your students to track the way Rose’s latest collection of climate denial memes reverberates around the sceptic blogosphere over the next month or two. If it’s anything like his last article, if you carry out a search, the first sentence in his article will make 50,000+ hits within a few weeks. Frightening!

    • Tom Yulsman

      Thank you John. One of the reasons I wrote this, despite a vow to withdraw from the climate wars, was that I wanted something out that there people could to refer to if they had any interest in the truth.

      • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

        Fighting misinformation is not the same as advocating a position. I personally like the idea of finding and addressing comments from both sides that share the same logical fallacies.

        This way it can’t be viewed through the lens that you are simply an activist. All you are doing is teaching people how to think critically.

      • Jessica Darko

        The truth is, the IR absorption of carbon dioxide is less than water vapor, which disproves global warming theory. This whole article and position is a rejection of the truth– because it supports your political ideology.

        You know nothing about the science, yet you claim to have a monopoly on it. Very convenient… decide unilaterally that you have the science on your side and then you can just ignore the science and call people names.

        Of course, your need to write articles like this whose sole purpose is name calling shows you know the science is not on your side and you wish to convince people simply by demonizing the opposition.

        • John Russell

          Your ad hominem attacks are rather tiresome, Jessica. Can I refer you to my response to your previous comment?

        • jbinsb

          This is a well-informed, balanced, informative article. Seems you are too blinkered to see that you are doing what you accuse the writer of doing. Where is the name-calling? Where is the demonization. As a professor I know says, “You can deny the science, but that doesn’t make the science go away.”

    • DoRightThing

      A lie can be all over the world before the truth has even got its pants on.

    • agnes debinski

      Could somebody please help me delete my comments that turn up as “guest comments” several times in a row? I had troubles with uploading my comment and something weird happened – something I had deleted reappeared as guest comments. I guess my computer was exhausted too and I think both of us messed up somehow. Could you guys help me delete them (for some reason I can´t)?

  • John Zulauf

    As an engineer there are serious technical issues with your presentation. The concept of fitting a polynomial to a time series as noisy as the sea ice curve is utter nonsense. You draw the readers eye to an exaggerated long term, endemic in all such curve fits.
    You do your readers a disservice posting it, and undercut your own point by referencing it with identifying the issues with it.

    As for the need for context — 100% agreed. Yet, you only provide *recent* context, ignoring many publications indicating that long term variation of Arctic Sea ice throughout the Holocene is at least as great as current variation, presenting a false impression of “the unusual.” (in effect the same error as the article you are critiquing).. Additionally missing context are the findings (specifically discovered since the 2007 record lows) that changes in circulation and Arctic Ice *export* not melting due to higher Arctic temperatures account for a great deal of the sea ice loss.

    Finally, by choosing to include the mocking “according to skeptics” posts from SkS, you participate in both “ad hominem” and strawman argument. Neither of which would seem to be best journalistic practices to convey to your students.

    • MikeH

      Mocking stupidity seems appropriate to me.

      And like Rose, you make numerous claims without evidence. Claims that are made without evidence can be rejected without evidence. Try harder next time.

      • John Zulauf

        MikeH you need me to do your googling for you? http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/10/historic-variations-in-arctic-sea-ice-part-ii-1920-1950/

        “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

        http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html

        • MikeH

          You have grabbed a couple of links which do not support your claims.

          The second link to NASA discusses the mechanism behind the record low in 2007 and does not support you or the climate cranks like Rose at all.

          Were you hoping that I would not read them?

          From the NASA link

          “Between winter 2005 and winter 2007, the perennial ice shrunk by an area the size of Texas and California combined. This severe loss continues a trend of rapid decreases in perennial ice extent in this decade.”

        • SkyHunter

          Judith Curry’s blog is not a valid citation.

          What was asked for was statistical evidence that modern sea ice extent and volume are not unusual.

          Since the warm Atlantic current that feeds the Arctic ocean has warmed 3.5F over the past century, and is 2.5F warmer than it was in the MWP. IE the water feeding into the Arctic is warmer than at any time during the past 2000 years.

          Specious arguments about weather patterns do not constitute evidence of “natural variation” over-riding the increase in radiative forcing from CO2.

      • Jessica Darko

        Yes, anything that doesn’t agree with your mindless political position is “Stupidity”… including actual science.

        Here’s the problem, you know nothing about the science but you think you have a monopoly and so aonyone presenting actual science you assume is stupid.

        You are deliberately keeping yourself stupid by refusing to think.

        But then, this is the modus operandi of leftists, as Ayn Rand proved in Atlas Shrugged.

        You can’t make scientific arguments because you’re carefully keeping yourself ignorant…. so you call people names.

        Oh, so impressive!

        • stray_bullett

          Are you really citing Ayn Rand??? Well that proves you’re a lunatic crank. Just as Ayn was.

        • MikeH

          “as Ayn Rand proved in Atlas Shrugged.”

          Jessica does not realise that “Atlas Shrugged” is a novel, a work of fiction.

          This has to be a joke comment surely. No one can be that dumb.

        • Roman Berry

          A novel, just a story that was an absolute work of fiction, “proved” something…other than the author’s ideology? Really?

    • Michtou

      The fact that you’re an engineer doesn’t impress me one bit, any more that Micheal Chriton’s novel ranting against climate change believers did (he was an MD).

      • Buddy199

        And Al Gore was what again?

        • SkyHunter

          Who besides you is appealing to Al Gore’s authority?

        • Michtou

          Al Gore made a movie on climate change…but he didn’t do the science, nor did he claim to do the science. He brought in climate science experts.Not engineers (civil? computer? electrical? architectural? aviatic? ) nor MDs, nor people who work on TV as weathermen but haven’t even studied meteorology.

      • John Zulauf

        whether you’re impressed or not, higher order polynomial curve fitting is problematic, and must be used with care, and any trends past the end of data treated with skepticism.

        http://kobus.ca/seminars/ugrad/NM5_curve_s02.pdf (see “underfit/overfit”)

        • MikeH

          Tell that to Uncle Roy Spencer the polynomial king!

        • John Russell

          Only someone who denies that the rise in greenhouse gasses results in a trend towards polar ice melt would make that point. But the graph does not exist in isolation — it’s just one of many lines of evidence to support the view that humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented rate.
          http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators

    • http://intentionallyhomeless.org/ Gold

      “The concept of fitting a polynomial to a time series as noisy as the sea ice curve is utter nonsense.”

      What would you recommend?

      I’m not an engineer but it appears to me that the presented curve accurately represents the trend.

      • John Zulauf

        Anything higher order than linear should match some known physical or statistical aspect of the modelled data (for example known asymptotes (capacitance curves), attenuation, amplification or periodicities to support the use of hyperbolic, exponential or sinusoidal basis functions.

        Without this you’re likely “adding data” (i.e introducing error). Better fitting techniques beyond linear would be any of several multi-tap filters (from simple moving averages, to things like Butterworth, Kalman, etc — though these should also be matched to the system being averaged), noting of course that for an N tap filter either the last N (running) or N/2 (centered) periods cannot be fit.

        But that brings one back toward the problem of polynomials, they tend to exaggerate boundaries… leading the eye to extrapolate what the fit provides, but may have no meaning to the data being fit.

        (from teaching numerical methods, a few years of doing motion capture for animation, as well as various less entertaining numerical gigs over the last 30 years :) )

        • http://intentionallyhomeless.org/ Gold

          The data is out there. Why don’t you grab it and run your recommended method(s) over it and see how it looks?

          It sounds like you have the skill set.

        • stray_bullett

          Squishing math engineering science into climate science (regardless of what side you’re on) is remarkably poor science indeed. The data can be shown in any sort of method, but the facts don’t change. You’re more than welcome to your own theories, but not your own facts.

          • John Zulauf

            The current observable *facts* aren’t alarming, it is only the squishing of the math, to produce “hockey sticks”, “unprecedented”, “death spirals” and “runaway” warming the creates the alarm.

            Facts are, the world is warm, it was colder, and it’s been warmer several times during the holocene. Colder periods are historically bad (starvation etc.) for humans. Warmer periods match some of the most dramatic moment in civilization. Arctic ice has been declining over the last 30 years, it’s been as low before, and even lower (and even absent in prior interglacials). Facts are that low years match high amounts of ice *export*. Fact is that this years ice growth has as little to do with global temperature change as the low year in 2007 did. It’s all about storms, current, and export — 2007 had them, 2013 didn’t.

            http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/new-paper-recent-wind-driven-high-sea-ice-export-in-the-fram-strait-contributes-to-arctic-sea-ice-decline-by-smedsrud-et-al-2011/

    • Tom Yulsman

      Sorry John that you think I’ve participated in ad hominem attacks. Please point to an ad hom in my post and I will delete it.

      The truth is, there isn’t a single one. So if you don’t like the language used by Skeptical Science, I would ask that you take it up with them. I posted graphics that they prepared to help me make an important point. But I get it. When you don’t like the message (my post), why not attack the messenger (me), especially when you don’t really have much of a substantive critique of what I actually wrote?

      As for the polynomial curve, I’ll take your word for it. But do you dispute the essential point made in the graphic that one can find numerous periods when warming paused or temperatures cooled within the long-term warming trend?

      Concerning the even longer term context, thank you for providing that information. Sorry that you felt this misleading. But the point of my post was not to write a feature article on Arctic sea ice. It was to point out the shoddy — actually, non-existent — journalism of the piece in the Mail.

      Concerning your point, you may be referring to two research papers, one which describes changes in sea ice in the eastern Chuckchi Sea, as determined from sediment cores drilled in one location. (Here’s the paper: http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/mckay_etal_CJES_08.pdf) If you feel confident in drawing firm conclusions about the entire Arctic Ocean Basin based on this, more power to you.

      The other paper appeared in the journal Science (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6043/747.abstract), and it found that when the climate was warmer during the Holocene Thermal Maximum, Arctic sea ice extent appears to have been lower than it is today. Now there’s a hot news flash! When it was warmer, sea ice shrank. I never would have thunk it.

      In all seriousness, you look at this and conclude that the current warming and shrinkage of sea ice is entirely naturally — simply because it happened in the past. But I’ll draw my conclusions from scientists who actually study these phenomena and subject their findings to peer review. They draw different lessons from records of past climate: Namely, that they give us a clearer picture of how our experiment with the climate system is likely to turn out.

      And yes John, climate has changed in the past all on its own. But now climate is subject to a new forcing — us — and science is documenting how it is responding.

      • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

        You, sir, are a virus! Virus I tell you!

        Figured it was getting late enough you wouldn’t get your requisite invective for the evening.

        • Tom Yulsman

          Settle down now. ;-) (FYI everyone: Virus reference is to the Matrix…)

          • agnes debinski

            Could somebody please help me delete my comments that turn up as “guest comments” under my comment (pretty much the same comment several times in a row)? I had troubles with uploading my comment and something weird happened – something I had deleted reappeared as guest comments. I guess my computer was exhausted and so was I and I think both of us messed up somehow. Could someone help me delete them (for some reason I can´t)?
            Perhaps Mr. Tom Yulsman could help me delete those comments? (I think he mentioned being able to delete comments).

      • John Zulauf

        Tom. It’s warmer than it used to be. I’ve never argued it isn’t. The argument is about causality. Cherry picking the last thirty years and pointing with alarm fails to inform your readers, or provide support for concerning level of anthropogenic contribution to warming.

        SkS strawman attempts to discredit skeptics by pointing to their alleged misperceptions in a mocking way. It uses “skeptics” (note the quotes) as contrasted with “realists”. It is ad hominem and you used it by editorial choice.

        I’m not attacking it, I’m critiquing your editorial choices.

        • MikeH

          “Cherry picking the last thirty years …”

          And he says it with a straight face. You cannot go anywhere on the internet at the moment without a climate crank claiming that “warming has paused” based on cherry picking the temperature record from 1998.

          You sir are a fraud.

          • John Zulauf

            Ad hom… Wow, well played. I guess I lose then.

            So, which is it? Using short term data for climate claims is or is not valid. (pick one) You claim that 30 years (short in terms climate history) is vaild, but that 15 years isn’t. I go for *neither*. Note that the best long term records have no better than 100 year resolution… (feel free to google it yourself this time)

            As for climate “cranks” I guess that would include Phil Jones apparently.

          • SkyHunter

            See how he cherry-picked a specious argument on Curry’s denier blog about weather patterns in the Arctic in 2007, and offers it as evidence that the 80% loss in sea ice volume is “natural variation.”

        • DoRightThing

          OK, well let’s have a look at a longer record by Kinnard et al, 2010.
          What is happening now can not be explained by natural factors alone.

          • xmarkwe

            Kinnard’s hockey stick is interesting …. but does it match reality?

            Is there a reason the IPCC tends to chart Arctic ice extent from 1979 and not 1971?

            I wonder where National Geographic sourced this map they published in 1971?
            http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/arctic-ice-growth-since-1971/

            And the Arctic ice extent graph that the IPCC published in their First Assessment Report DOES go back to 1971, and seems to match the Nat Geo 1971 map.
            http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_full_report.pdf

          • John Russell

            Actually there’s no conspiracy or cherry-picking associated with a start date of 1979 — that would be the date when the satellite record first started.

            In fact recently more satellite data became available when military satellite photographs from the sixties were pieced together. And wadya know: the Arctic sea ice extent trend is even greater when September 1964 is included. I’ll take that data over anything Steven Goddard cooks up. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22271972

          • xmarkwe

            “…cooks up…” ?!

            A Nat Geo map, and a chart from the IPCC’s own FAR? No cooking required at all.

            Point taken re the satellite era …. but constraints on using earlier data did not seem to apply to those who would happily splice spiky instrument data onto proxy data which has been mathematically smoothed on top of being naturally smoothed.

          • Dcoronata

            Ice isn’t just a two-dimensional object, that’s why satellite or even direct mapping data isn’t as sensitive as NASA’s GRACE which attempts to measure the actual mass.

          • John Russell

            I agree: but the GRACE satellites were launched in 2002, so it’s rather early to declare firm trends just based on GRACE data. Of course, when we combine the 30+ year extent trend and the GRACE volume data together, the overall trend of dramatic loss is unequivocal to all except those that seek to obfuscate and deny.

          • Dcoronata

            To be even more correct, the Antarctic is so removed from the rest of the world due to the Antarctic ocean, that it might take centuries for it to catch up. OTOH particulates (soot, “black carbon”) have changed the albedo which will cause more absorption of sunlight.

          • xmarkwe

            GRACE has its share of problems, one of which is identifying the extent of the GIA adjustment.

            ie, it has some difficulty telling ice from rebounding rock. (extensive modelling required, and the GRASP COSPAR project proposed).

            Nicely explained on SKS.
            http://www.skepticalscience.com/Weighing-change-in-Antarctica.html

            GRACE data are still being collected but the mission has now begun to rundown. With a much-needed GRACE follow-on mission being planned and expected to launch around 2017, observation and modelling of Antarctic GIA will continue to give us insights into the ice sheet history – from the LGM through to the present – and hence provide the context for any future changes.

            More details here: http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/3703/2012/tcd-6-3703-2012.pdf

          • SkyHunter

            Is there a reason the IPCC tends to chart Arctic ice extent from 1979 and not 1971?

            That is the satellite era, the most accurate record. Adding 8 years of arbitrary data would make no sense.

          • SkyHunter

            Since National Geographic does not do their own research. Posting a single map without context is meaningless. The fact that you are citing a denier blog, instead of the NatGeo article it is from is evidence that you have been sucked in by the charlatans.
            My advice to you is quit now, before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.

          • xmarkwe

            “…Adding 8 years of arbitrary data would make no sense…”

            Yet others seem to have had no issues with tacking recent instrument data onto smoothed proxy data to create hockey sticks.

          • SkyHunter

            Uh, you understand that proxy data is a converted to temperature, and instrumental records are also temperature?
            Why do you not have a problem with combining tree rings, ice cores, marine sediment cores and stalactite data, which is second order evidence, yet object to the modern instrumental record, which is first order evidence?
            Can you see how ridiculous that argument is?

          • xmarkwe

            You may be missing the point.

            Proxy data is smoothed. Instrument data is not.

            Proxy data could well be concealing spikes equivalent to that seen in instrument data, spikes which are being proclaimed “unprecedented!”

            There is also the issue of exactly where the proxy data splices onto the instrument data. You will recall Briffa’s ‘hiding the decline’ which was about ditching proxy data which did not merge in with instrument data.

            But, to use your argument, ice extent is measured in square kilometers, both in and prior to the satellite era. Surely it would be similarly legitimate to append the per-satellite data of the early 1970s which show an ice extent similar to today’s?

          • SkyHunter

            Nonsense. The proxy data in MBH99 is annual, as is the instrumental data. The proxy data has a greater margin for error since it is second order evidence. The only criticism was that, even though it was explained in the text of the paper the truncated instrumental record was not clearly labeled on the graph.
            Briffa didn’t “hide the decline”, he was the one who discovered the divergence problem.
            Yes it would be legitimate, and in fact, it has been done. And the 1970′s Arctic sea-ice extent was not similar to todays.

          • xmarkwe

            Sorry, you are wrong. Well, perhaps partially correct, Briffa did discuss the divergence problem, but then it was he who provided Mann with the truncated chart.

            http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-heartland_2010.pdf (Sorry, it is a speech made to Heartland, but is a masterful investigation, and I am sure you will find it interesting). (Figs 5 and 6)

            And simply presenting Kinnard’s reconstruction again is not very convincing when that is what I was querying in the first place.

          • SkyHunter

            I am familiar with McIntyre’s specious nonsense. If it were worthy of note it would be published somewhere other than the pseudo-scientific denier-sphere.
            Mann’s reconstruction, which was the first ever, is likely the most scrutinized piece of research in the history of science and it has been vindicated and found robust by everyone except a handful of deniers.
            The divergence problem, was well known.
            Why would Mann include proxy data that was known to be corrupted?

          • xmarkwe

            I’d be interested if you could detail which parts of McIntyre’s detailed analysis is nonsense.

            All those charts and publications exist, and were published at the times discussed.

            I can see no errors.

            You can deduce yourself what may and may not have been known.

            And the leaked emails certainly reveal some interesting background discussions and prevailing attitudes:

            Mann demanded that Briffa withdraw even very slight criticism editor of Science, saying that it was “Better that nothing appear, than something unacceptable to us” Mann’s supervisor, Raymond Bradley, immediately disassociated himself from these demands, which he described as “amazingly arrogant” dispute with a non-apology to Jones and Briffa. Bradley’s private comment: “excuse me
            while I puke”.

            Mann to Sciencemag Apr 18, 1999 0924532891.txt)
            “Better that nothing appear, than something unnacceptable to us“ (99. 0924532891.txt)

            Bradley to Sciencemag Apr 18, 1999 I would like to diasassociate myself from Mike Mann’s view that “xxxxxxxxxxx” and that they “xxxxxxxxxxxxx”. I find this notion quite absurd. …As for thinking that it is “Better that nothing appear, than something unacceptable to us” …..as though we are the gatekeepers of all that is acceptable in the world of paleoclimatology seems amazingly arrogant to a Science editor. (99.0924532891.txt)

          • SkyHunter

            It would be easier to detail what he got right.
            But I will play.
            His entire criticism is based on the premise that because tree growth did not respond to warming in the latter half of 20th century, they may not have responded to warming during the MWP.
            If tree rings were the only proxies used, he might have a point. But since all the other proxies responded to warming in both the MWP and the modern warming, continuing to argue under a false premise is a fallacy.
            An argument based on a false premise is a false argument.
            Ten years ago, even five years ago, I might have given McIntyre the benefit of the doubt. But he has been exposed as a liar so many times he has no credibility.

          • xmarkwe

            Not at all. He does not mention that in this paper.

            I am not sure what explanations are put forward by others, or that McIntyre has opined elsewhere on the ‘divergence problem’, but that is irrelevant here.

            http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-heartland_2010.pdf is simply a discussion on the divergence problem, the publications and discussions at that time, and the background email discussions on the issue.

          • SkyHunter

            Look, if you are not even going to bother to read and comprehend what you cite, then this discussion is fruitless.

            For most analysts, the seemingly unavoidable question at this point would be – if tree rings didn’t respond to late 20th century warmth, how would one know that they didn’t do the same thing in response to possible medieval warmth – a question that remains unaddressed years later.

            And citing a different specious paper is dishonest. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that it was an honest mistake.
            That is the most time I have spent on McIntyre’s ClimateNonsense blog in years, and I must say it is even worse than I remember.

          • xmarkwe

            It is certainly the question that anyone would ask, and it has not yet been answered.

            But that is not his premise.

            His premise is that the science is not quite as certain as it is made out to be.

          • SkyHunter

            No kidding?
            Of course that is his premise, he got the memo.

            “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,”
            “Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”

          • xmarkwe

            Well, I am happy to see we do agree on what his premise was. I’d also expect that anyone would find it an indisputably logical one.

            Politics. Unfortunately forces tend to decide to take a position on one side or the other. I am always surprised at politicians who do not grab tax/slushfunds/bureaucracy opportunities like this with both hands. I’d say pleasantly surprised, except I don’t believe the motivation in either side of politics is actually ever about science.

          • SkyHunter

            Was there ever any doubt?
            I mean, it is not like the memo doesn’t exist.
            You have seen the man behind the curtain. Time to stop believing in the all powerful Oz.

          • xmarkwe

            Aha! A conspiracy theorist. So you think there is a vast, well funded conspiracy to hide ‘the truth’?

            Or do you think it more likely people look at the complexity of the systems they are trying to model, and the complexity of the methods of measurements taken, and think; “Are they really that certain of their science?”

          • SkyHunter

            No, there is a vast well funded conspiracy to keep burning fossil fuels.
            Those were valid questions 30 years ago. Today they are jut a way to obfuscate.

          • xmarkwe

            30 years ago? All settled then?

            ARGO – mostly deployed up to 2003
            GRACE – launched 2002
            GRASP – not yet launched…

            All to answer questions, and refine measurements.

          • SkyHunter

            No, I meant the question as to whether or not human CO2 emissions were forcing climate change. The evidence over the past 30 years has put that question to rest. Now we need to try and cope with the biospheres reaction to the largest excursion of carbon, in a single century, in the 4.5 billion year geologic record .

          • John Christian Lønningdal

            Read “Merchants of Doubt” by Naomi Oreskes. It explains plainly that the doubt business is a well funded campaign from the fossil fuel interests. Why do you defend their starting point? Why trust science to give you iPhones, but not this particular branch of science? Do you question the existence of gravity and the scientific explanation to how it works? Science is not political – its merely trying to describe the reasons for how things work.

          • SkyHunter
          • xmarkwe

            Re tree rings and divergence problem: re references above;

            Cook et al 1997 deals with divergence in the opposite direction (increased recent growth) and provides a mathematical solution.

            Bungen et al 98 (paywalled) reckon they have sorted it out mathematically too, yet say “Here, we refer to both of these findings as the ‘divergence problem’ (DP), with their causes and scale being debated” They discuss the problem found in the Yukon, Siberia and Alaska, and then go ahead to point out they don’t see similar problems in the Alps.

            D’Arrigo 2006 seems to think it is still up for debate:

            “The causes, however, are not well understood and are difficult to test due to the existence of a number of covarying environmental factors that may potentially impact recent tree growth. These possible causes include temperature-induced drought stress, nonlinear thresholds or time-dependent responses to recent warming, delayed snowmelt and related changes in seasonality, and differential growth/climate relationships inferred for maximum, minimum and mean temperatures.

            Another possible cause of the divergence described briefly herein is ‘ global dimming ’, a phenomenon that has appeared, in recent decades, to decrease the amount of solar radiation available for photosynthesis and plant growth on a large scale.

            It is theorized that the dimming phenomenon should have a relatively greater impact on tree growth at higher northern latitudes, consistent with what has been observed from the tree-ring record. Additional potential causes include “end effects” and other methodological issues that can emerge in standardization and chronology development, and biases in instrumental target data and its modeling. Although limited evidence suggests that the divergence may be anthropogenic in nature and restricted to the recent decades of the 20th century, more research is needed to confirm these observations.

          • SkyHunter

            You are tilting at windmills. The mere existence of the papers I cited, which themselves cite research dating back to 1995, refutes McIntyres lie, that the question is not being asked, or there are not any answers.
            The divergence effect is unique to the last half century, that much is clear. McIntyre is deliberately spinning the narrative to rise questions and doubt, where little exists.
            No matter what the cause, or combination of causes, reconstructions without tree rings yield similar results.
            This whole argument is a red herring.

          • SkyHunter

            What McIntyre is doing in the Heartland presentation is constructing a narrative, a story. He is a very good storyteller, and if you like the story, you will believe it.
            But is has little resemblance to the historical reality.

          • xmarkwe

            Well, you could ignore the narrative, and read the relevant publications and emails and draw your own conclusion.

            McIntyre’s premise, by the way, is simply that the science is not quite as certain as it is made out to be.

          • SkyHunter

            I have already done just that, years ago.
            Where have you been?

          • DoRightThing

            “Masterful”, because Climate Fraudit just echoes what you appear to be so desperate to believe?

            Peter Sinclair deals with the nothingburger of climategate very well:
            http://youtu.be/tz8Ve6KE-Us

            PBS: Skeptic No Longer Doubts Human Role in Global Warming
            http://youtu.be/7BanPvuodgQ

          • xmarkwe

            Nevertheless, the emails provide insight into the poiitics of the discussio at the time. Briffa seems to me a decent character caught up in the pressure:

            Mann: Keith’s series… differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series. (Sep 22, 1999, 0938018124.txt)

            Briffa: I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple… [There are] some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter. (Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

            For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. (Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

            Mann: So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. [Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being "warmer" than the Jones et al and Mann et al series??

            We would need to put in a few words in this regard] Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder! (Mann Sep 22, 0938018124.txt)

            http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-heartland_2010.pdf

          • xmarkwe

            More interesting insights on emails and cherry picking. From McIntyre.

            Rosanne D’Arrigo presented the NAS panel with a slide entitled “Cherry Picking”, in which she attempted to defend the reconstructions from criticisms of biased proxy selection.

            D’Arrigo observed: You have to pick cherries if you want to make cherry pie. She presented a figure from her reconstruction which had a late 20 century discrepancy between proxies and temperature -though not as striking as the Briffa discrepancy.

            Panelist Kurt Cuffey asked her about it; D’Arrigo answered “That’s the ‘Divergence Problem’”.

            Cuffey asked how you could rely on proxies to register possible past warm periods if they weren’t picking up modern warmth. D’Arrigo could only say that the matter was being studied.

            Follow up emails stemming from this incident:

            Alley,March 8, 2006. …. if the NRC[NAS] committee comes out as being strongly negative on the hockey stick owing to [D'Arrigo's] talk, then the divergence between IPCC and NRC will be a big deal in the future regardless. The NRC committee is accepting comments now … As I noted, my observations of the NRC committee members suggest rather strongly to me that they now have serious doubts about tree-rings as paleothermometers (and I do, too…at least until someone shows me why this divergence problem really doesn’t matter) 668.141849134.txt

            Overpeck,March 8, 2006. I’m hearing about D’Arrigo’s splash from other sources (Richard Alley) – I hope Keith et al have good counter arguments. 669.1141930111.txt

            Briffa: ….the issue [the Divergence Problem] needs more work, this is only an opinion, and until there is peer- reviewed and published evidence as to the degree of methodological uncertainty , it is not appropriate to criticize this [D’Arrigo’s] or other work . For my part, I have been very busy, lately with teaching and IPCC commitments, but we will do some work on this now, though again lack of funds to support a research assistant do not help. It was my call not to “overplay” the importance of the divergence issue, knowing the subtlety of the issues, in the forthcoming IPCC Chapter 6 draft. This and the divergence problem are not well defined, sufficiently studied, or quantified to be worthy of too much concern at this point.

            http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-heartland_2010.pdf

          • John Christian Lønningdal

            So your point is that in 20 years time the ice could be fully recovered in the Arctic? And this loss is only noise? And if we had been 1000 years into the future looking for proxy data of ice extent today (assuming all records were lost) we would have missed this dip in ice loss because it was “smoothed”?

            I get that a lot of denier blogs keep going on about this – from the fact that they do not accept the reasons why the ice is going. Why, you really only have to look at the temperature record in the Arctic (both sea and air) – to understand its going now because of warming. And the whole point of the climate science is that it is confident this warming is caused by elevated CO2 levels.

            Would the 1000 years in the future proxy data of today also miss the temperature rise we have experienced? Or the elevated CO2 levels?

          • Jessica Darko

            Yes, anything that disagrees with you is “arbitrary”.

            But of course, the IPCC– a political organization, when it presents its propaganda, you call it “science”.

            funny how, when reality doesn’t fit your ideology, you guys always change the goalposts.

            I’ve seen nonsense charts going back thousands of years from you…. which is fine when it shows the result you want, but not “accurate” when it doesn’t.

            Hypocrisy much?

          • SkyHunter

            If you have a problem with the evidence I provide… why don’t you provide some of your own?
            If you have a complete and robust 30 year record, why arbitrarily add another 8 years of not very robust data?
            In other words, what would be the reason for tacking on 8 years?

          • xmarkwe

            There is also the issue of retreating glaciers in Greenland, and the Canadian archipelago just now uncovering plants and trees which they engulfed 400 years ago at the start of the Little Ice Age…. I see no indication of those events on Kinnard’s sea ice extent charts.
            http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/plants-brought-back-life-after-400-years-under-glacier.html

            Here is some interesting information on Alpine glaciers:

            http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/the-coming-and-going-of-glaciers-a-new-alpine-melt-theory-a-357366.html

            Quote: “The Alpine glaciers are shrinking, that much we know. But new research suggests that in the time of the Roman Empire, they were smaller than today. And 7,000 years ago they probably weren’t around at all.”

          • Tom Yulsman

            Many thanks for this! Very useful.

          • Jessica Darko

            Yes, anyone who can write a loop that progressively adds or subtracts from actual data over the years is “very useful” for you who don’t care about unscientific results. Mann et. all.

            All you want is a computer function that makes a graph that fits your ideology and you think that’s science.

            You’re a fraud.

          • Tom Yulsman

            Name calling again.

          • Roman Berry

            All you want is a computer function that makes a graph that fits your ideology and you think that’s science.

            Someone who posts that “Atlas Shrugged” was actual “proof” of “leftist ideology” and follows it up with “All you want is a computer function that makes a graph that fits your ideology and you think that’s science” is either great at satire or without a clue. Assuming the first, ever consider becoming a comedy writer?

          • John Zulauf

            or you could see what non-climatologists think of the statistics. Automatically flipping correlations gives nice flat sticks, while the training period preserves the desired blade. It’s a technique the will create hockey sticks out of noise. (as is well documented, and even admitted to in the Climategate emails).
            http://climateaudit.org/2011/12/05/kinnard-arctic-o18-series/

          • klem

            Why not?

        • SkyHunter

          The deniers want to be called skeptics. Even though a skeptic would offer an alternative hypothesis. They like you, offer no alternative, just denial of the evidence.
          Hence the term climate science denier, because you deny 150 years of climate physics, which are the same physics used in all the other physical sciences, it is just that when you apply text book physics to climate, the most powerful interests in the world are threatened financially.
          So you and others like you deny the empirical reality because to admit it would mean you would have to make different decisions, and you simply don’t want to.

          • xmarkwe

            I don’t want to be called anything in particular. It does not worry me. I perhaps consider myself a ‘questioner’, as apposed to the school of ‘believers’. I respect those who do read up and research these topics, but am astounded by the number of people who don’t, and simply take the approach “Well, if that is what they say, it must be true!”.

            But, skepticism is just a word. I am not quite sure why every discussion includes a few who feel they must use dispute the application of the word ‘skeptic’, must accuse ‘big oil’ of financing every question, and decide that the only explanation for questions on certainty must be motivated by a belief in a conspiracy theory.

            Being pedantic here, but one can even be skeptical of the fact the world is not flat. There is no requirement that the skeptic be correct.

            But as a point of definition, it is not even necessarily a praiseworthy thing to be a skeptic:

            skep·tic also scep·tic (skptk) n.

            1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.

    • John Christian Lønningdal

      There is nothing wrong with drawing a trend line, linear as well as polynomial with regards to both warming and ice loss. Most scientists always include error deviations in their graphs as well. IPCC still work with models showing the Arctic is ice free mid century, although the melt seems to accelerate dramatically. The word “accelerate” generally means its no longer moving in a linear fashion so a polynomial is perhaps more fitting then. I suspect we will see an ice free Arctic within 2020 with the rate of melt we are seeing. Remember that ice volume is a better indicator than ice extent as well. You could probably cover a very big area with 10cm thick ice, but the volume would be very low. Thin ice is more prone to breakup from weather and can melt away very quickly in warm weather.

      You come across as a classic denier troll, but trying desperately to be intelligent about it (even mentioning you are an engineer as if that strengthens your credibility).

      • John Zulauf

        Nice ad. hom. Any higher order curve fit *must* end well before the end of the data, or the higher order fit will exaggerate the noise. (but you knew that, right?) Local spline fits can be useful, but can also introduce false information into the apparently. SkS (as is their wont) choose the most alarming presentation. For a good survey of presenting as data vs. for alarming effect, I recommend (highly) Burt Rutan’s (now *there* is an engineer!) presentation re: climate change.

        As for “desperately trying,” not “to be intelligent”, but to be patient. The level of nonsense and sheer error that flows from places like SkS tries my patience to explain to people that they’re are being credulous and played emotionally.

        As for credibility, alarmist seem to value “authority” over accuracy (c.f. Mann vs. McIntrye and McKitrick), so I’m attempting to pander to your prejudices. Sorry I’ve failed you. Maybe we can talk again after Curry’s next paper on models, trends, and natural variability, or you could review Lilgren’s *rejected* paper (and the rationale of the reviewers) on the failure of the models to predicted.

        To the point of sea ice… the correlation with changes in currents and winds on ice export is clear… you can watch it happen on the satellite images (the 2007 images are really quite compelling). Given that the last “zero ice” prediction was 6 years, I’ll wager a large iced latte that your 7 year prediction is just as good. The author can find me, and know I’m good for it.

        Or you can keep on the blinders, and throw the occasional ad. homs. if it makes you more comfortable.

        • John Christian Lønningdal

          Sorry for the ad. hom. Just couldnt resist. :)

          I perfectly accept that for any statistic to have any meaning you need a large sample, but the extent data before satellite records have some meaning too and they seem to say that these past 20 years are a serious anomaly. When you combine that with a rise in sea and air temperatures it sort of explains why its going away.

          So I hope you agree that the ice IS going away? Or are you questioning that? If so what is the reason for why it should miraculously recover?

          If the question is when its all gone, even you can see that there is great variation. Recall that the record melt last year was huge so if a similar one happens when it has “wiggled” is way down to that minimum as the new normal we can see almost all the ice gone suddenly.

          I also do believe we are experiencing an exponential decline, hence there is reason to believe its gone sooner than earlier models predict.

          This time I’ll leave the ad homs for others. :)

          • John Zulauf

            Thanks for that. Agree to disagree agreeably. You accept the latte (or the price of a latte to the charity of your choice) bet?

            Certainly the sea ice has declined during the satellite era. For a system as massive as this, 30 years seems too short for predictions (especially with 60 year ocean cycles that have been identified). Also, the paleostudies show it’s not unprecedented in the holocene, and anecdotally even within the last hundred years (c.f. early 20C “Northwest Passage” journeys, and newspaper accounts http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf).

            I think we’re viewing the same data, but with precedent in natural variation and an utter lack of validation in the models… I’m not alarmed, and you seem to be. IMHO (or perhaps IMNSHO) here are better things, like the sub-Saharan orphan crisis, clean water, and bio-diversity we could be better spending our energy and angst on.

          • John Christian Lønningdal

            Well, first I think the average global temperature is THE most important thing we should be focusing on, as there is no second life like in a Mario game. We really only get one shot at getting this right. I guess its called risk management.

            I guess you believe like many others that CO2 has no effect on the temperature? Even if the ice was gone, e.g. right after we came out of the last ice age (start of Holocene at the warmest), there is another piece of the puzzle that cant be ignored, that CO2 levels are 100ppm higher now compared to back then. So while natural forcings through Milankovich and a buildup of CO2 and vegetation might have shot up the temperatures at current levels (although most proxys show we are already higher than the warmest point in the start of the Holocene) – there wasnt a high enough CO2 for a complete melt of all glaciers and methane releases which should also be happening, resulting in major heating from the added greenhouse effect from it.

            So this time it “is different” than all the natural variations – and that is an artificially high amount of CO2 from burning of fossil fuels. In my opinion there really is no good explanation besides the CO2 component. This is why its so important that we seriously consider what our actions are with regard to emissions as the really only way to find out if it has an effect is to:

            A) Continue pumping CO2 and possibly trigger extinction of 50%+ of all species from massive warming – flooding of coastal cities – serious drought problems – a human catastrophy
            B) Stop pumping out CO2 and see if the temperatures are going down in which case we were right and have possibly prevented a serious disaster (no doubt it will warm quite a lot from 400ppm already – or 5-600ppm which it comes up to when we have moved away from fossil fuels).

            A benefit of B is that we also secure a better energy future through renewables instead (or algae based biofuel). So in my view its a win-win situation to stop CO2 emissions and transition off fossil fuels.

          • John Zulauf

            Of course CO2 has impact, but the models that predict A) aren’t validated (and are approaching falsification), even the consensus sensitivity is heading lower, the feedbacks when measured aren’t positive as was predicted, the catastrophic claims aren’t supported from the peer reviewed literature (it’s all in in the ‘grey’ literature), and c.f. Dr. Pielke Jr. B) isn’t going to happen.

            So from a policy question point of view, we have to ask ourselves, given that CO2 production *isn’t* going to slow (until we have some *fundamental* energy breakthrough, the current renewables aren’t even close), what are ways we can make our societies more robust for potential climate change, and how can we protect the ecosystems at greatest risk from *various* threats. (I hope we can agree that knocking down rainforests for sugar cane alcohol is a bad idea even if it *is* carbon neutral.

  • Dcoronata

    Reporters lying about climate change…
    I’m shocked, shocked!

    • Jessica Darko

      The very name “climate change” is itself a lie— after Global Warming is disproven. you liars changed the term you were using.

      • Dcoronata

        There is a reason for the name change- it isn’t just temperature that is changing, it is precipitation patterns, sea levels, the melting of permafrost (I guess the prefix “perma” no longer applies) and increased wildfires.

      • SkyHunter

        Science has always called it climate change. Global warming is only one aspect of climate change from CO2 forcing.

        And it was your side, the Republicans who changed the term after getting the Frank Luntz memo.

        • Roman Berry

          In the parlance of the sports boards, +1

          • agnes debinski

            Hello everybody, who is in charge of the comments here? Could somebody please help me delete my comments that turn up as “guest comments” several times in a row? I felt certain I had deleted them, but now they´ve reappeared as guest comments. I must have been very tired, when that happened to me somehow. Looks like an embarassing mistake I must get rid of. Cheers, Agnes

        • Guest

          I´m a graduate in social
          sciences (average grade: B). So I´m not an engineer and I am not a genius, and I
          am not as smart as most scientists here on Discover. But I´m clever enough to
          comprehend the content of graphs, as I presume most smart people would be! And
          these graphs do prove, that Global Warming not only exists, it´s an actual
          problem we´ve got to face!

          I would like to add, that I´m smart enough (look at me, I´m so smart today! :-) ) to be able to acknowledge those scientists, who are wiser than me. This ability requires intelligence.

          I happen to know due to personal experience and due to what other people went through (I happen to know social scientists, who have been successful as counsellors e.g. for decades, who also think so), that only fools (people who
          are socially stupid, while they may actually be relatively intelligent people and/or well educated) disapprove of other people´s superior knowledge (as well as all sorts of qualities other people possess)!

          Speaking of smart people: There are so
          many clever people out there, who read graphs and think in scientific ways. These are dangerous times for the conservatives (in the USA you would call them Republicans), as they prefer people to remain too scared to draw their own conclusions. Also, they would like people to be as submissive towards the wealthy ones as they used to be a hundred years ago.

          In order to accomplish that, they act, as if they had a right to be offensive and generally disrespectful to people, who aren´t wealthy. (Of course they don´t!)
          Ironically, their perception of themselves is, that they (the conservatives) are awfully nice people (while “lefties“ are “environmentalists“, who “misbehave“:-) – according to the conservatives anyway) and that they are lovely and decent folks, who are upholding valuable “traditions“ (we – “the lefties“ – don´t have any traditions of course, we just “pretend” we do :-) – so we can have holidays :-) ).

          I would like to be able to believe, that not all wealthy people have a nasty attitude to others
          (as I hate to generalise), but I can´t think of ONE example to prove that exceptions of that kind do exist. If you can, please let me know.
          I would mention it in my next comment.

          What still bugs me is the
          following: How can anybody, who is capable of comprehending research results,
          deny Global Warming? I guess you´d have to be a rich conservative person to do such a thing. IF the conservatives accepted the fact, that there are climate changes, that Global Warming is a part of those, and that all climate changes
          including Global Warming need to be taken seriously, then they could provide the world with truly compelling argumentation (instead of offensive remarks!) – just for a change (!) – and lots of smart people would be
          impressed. But I suppose being true blue conservatives, they would rather grow a tail than
          admit, that they´ve picked the wrong way to go!

          And so I ask myself: Was our sociology lecturer right, when she claimed too much money leads to too much power and an overload of power leads to the mistreatment of the social environment or in other words to the abuse of individuals and/or minorities? The lecturer´s
          claim was correct. I guess she forgot to add the following:

          Too much money combined with too much power also leads to the abuse of Mother Nature.

          Will certain people ever realise, that we owe respect and gratitude to our planet, as we make use of all of nature´s marvellous capacities, so we can lead a comfortable life?!

          What really hurts me personally, is that all people are bearing the consequences of climate changes including Global Warming – and not just the rich guys, who caused most of it!

          Don´t believe me? OK, then who exactly enjoyed lots and lots of so called “(ship) cruises“, (I haven´t been to one and never will be! Even if I will be able to afford such things one day, I will always respect our environment too much to mess up like that!), which
          do more harm to the ocean and the environment, than any non-wealthy individual
          could cause in an entire life time?! Driving several cars just to show off with
          them is not exactly respectful towards the environment either. And wasting lots
          of energy – by leaving lights and TV sets turned on all over the place – and
          water while not caring about it, just because you get tax cuts anyway: That´s just the kind of stuff they do, those rich people. And instead of bearing the responsibility for their mistakes, those rich guys continue pointing their finger at far from
          wealthy people, while denying the most obvious facts:

          They would just go: “Look at
          them, they invented Global Warming! There is no problem! They are the problem!“
          Their strategy reminds me of a nasty child, who would beat up his/her little
          sister and then say to his/her parents: “How dare she say I hit her??? She´s a
          liar! She´s so clumsy! She stumbles and hurts herself all the time! And then
          she tells everybody I hit her!“

          Doesn´t the world ever get
          tired of this sick victim and perpetrator game? And when will people realise, that
          “the not at all wealthy ones“ (people like me and you!) constitute the majority
          of every nation in the world and being a member of the majority, you could
          actually control the rich minority, if you made up your mind on finding ways to
          do that? This is how democracy is supposed to work! The majority of people could
          make the rich minority stick to all sorts of rules – including laws, that help
          them respect Mother Nature!

          Speaking of nature: When
          have you guys enjoyed nature´s clear and cool water or viewed the beautiful sky
          it offers us? When have you seen your last sunrise? Or at least a sunset? Most
          of you love nature, so why not enjoy it – just to remind yourself what exactly you are fighting for? (I certainly will!)

          • agnes debinski

            Dear Tom Yulsman, could you please help me delete the mess up there (the same comment that is turning up several times)?
            I had deleted these comments, but somehow they turned up here anyway. I either had a computer virus at that time (I may still have it), or I made a mistake, or perhaps my computer was just as tired as I was. (Anyway, I´ve learned my lesson: No more commenting late at night. Weird things happen.)

        • Guest

          I´m a graduate in social
          sciences (average grade: B). So I´m not an engineer and I am not a genius, and I
          am not as smart as most scientists here on Discover. But I´m clever enough to
          comprehend the content of graphs, as I presume most smart people would be! And
          these graphs do prove, that Global Warming not only exists, it´s an actual
          problem we have got to face!

          I´d like to add, that I´m
          smart enough (look at me, I am so smart today! :-) ) to be able to acknowledge
          those scientists, who are wiser than me. This ability requires intelligence! I
          happen to know due to personal experience and due to what other people went
          through (I happen to know social scientists, who have been successful as
          counsellors e.g. for decades, who also think so), that only fools (people who
          are socially stupid, while they may actually be relatively intelligent people
          and/or well educated) disapprove of other people´s superior knowledge (as well
          as all sorts of qualities other people possess).

          Speaking of clever (and not
          so smart) people: These days clever folks are all over the place: There are so
          many people, who can and do read graphs and think in scientific ways. These are
          dangerous times for conservatives, as they seem to prefer people to remain too
          scared to draw their own conclusions. Also, they would like people to be as submissive
          towards the wealthy ones as they used to be a hundred years ago. In order to
          accomplish that, they act, as if they had a right to be offensive and generally
          disrespectful to people, who aren´t wealthy. (Of course they don´t!) Ironically,
          their perception of themselves is, that they (the conservatives) are awfully nice
          people (while “lefties“ are “environmentalists“, who “misbehave“) and that they
          are lovely and decent folks, who are upholding valuable “traditions“ (we – “the
          lefties“ – don´t have any traditions of course, we just pretend we do :-) ). I
          would like to be able to believe, that not all wealthy people have a nasty
          attitude to others (as I hate to generalise), but I can´t think of one example
          to prove that exceptions of that kind do exist. If you can, please let me know.
          I will mention it in my next comment.

          What still bugs me, is the
          following: How can anybody, who is capable of comprehending research results,
          deny Global Warming? I guess you would have to be a rich conservative person to
          do such a thing. If the conservatives accepted the fact, that there are climate
          changes, that Global Warming is a part of those, and that all climate changes
          including Global Warming need to be taken seriously, then they could provide
          the world with truly compelling argumentation and lots of smart people would be
          impressed. But I suppose being true blue conservatives, they would rather grow
          a tail than admit, that they´ve picked the wrong way to go!

          And so I ask myself: Was our
          sociology lecturer right, when she claimed too much money leads to too much
          power and an overload of power leads to the mistreatment of the social environment
          or in other words to the abuse of individuals and/or minorities? The lecturer´s
          claim was correct. I guess she forgot to add the following:

          Too much money combined with
          too much power also leads to the abuse of Mother Nature.

          Will certain people ever
          realise that we owe respect and gratitude to our planet, as we all make use of nature´s
          marvellous capacities, so we can lead a comfortable life?!

          What really hurts me
          personally, is that all people are bearing the consequences of climate changes
          including Global Warming – not just the rich guys, who caused most of it!

          Don´t believe me? OK, then
          who exactly enjoyed lots and lots of so called “(ship) cruises“, (I haven´t
          been to one and never will be! Even if I will be able to afford such things one
          day, I will always respect our environment too much to mess up like that!), which
          do more harm to the ocean and the environment, than any non-wealthy individual
          could cause in an entire life time?! Driving several cars just to show off with
          them is not exactly respectful towards the environment either. And wasting lots
          of energy (by leaving lights and TV sets turned on all over the place) and
          water while not caring about it, just because you get tax cuts anyway – well that´s
          just what they do, those rich people. And instead of bearing the responsibility
          for their mistakes, the rich guys continue pointing their finger at far from
          wealthy people, while denying the most obvious facts:

          They would just go: “Look at
          them, they invented Global Warming! There is no problem! They are the problem!“
          Their strategy reminds me of a nasty child, who would beat up his/her little
          sister and then say to his/her parents: “How dare she say I hit her??? She´s a
          liar! She´s so clumsy! She stumbles and hurts herself all the time! And then
          she tells everybody I hit her!“

          Doesn´t the world ever get
          tired of this sick victim and perpetrator game? And when will people realise, that
          “the not at all wealthy ones“ (people like me and you!) constitute the majority
          of every nation in the world and being a member of the majority, you could
          actually control the rich minority, if you made up your mind on finding ways to
          do that?! This is how democracy is supposed to work! The majority of people could
          make the rich minority stick to all sorts of rules – including laws, that help
          them respect Mother Nature!

          (Speaking of nature: When
          have you guys enjoyed nature´s clear and cool water or viewed the beautiful sky
          it offers us? When have you seen your last sunrise? Or at least a sunset? Most
          of you love nature and appreciate nature, so why not enjoy it – just to remind
          yourself what exactly you are fighting for? The way I see it, you guys should
          reward yourself for fighting for the environment – by enjoying the inner peace,
          relaxation and this feeling of living in harmony with nature, that you can only
          gain by spending some quality time outside. Go for it, why don´t you? I
          certainly will!)

        • Guest

          I´m a graduate in social sciences (average grade: B). So I´m not an engineer and I am not a genius, and I am probably not as smart as most scientists here on Discover.

          But I´m clever enough to comprehend the content of scientific graphs. And these graphs do prove, that Global Warming not only exists, it´s an actual Problem we have got to face.

          I´d like to add, that I´m smart enough (look at me, I am so smart today! :-) ) to be able
          to acknowledge scientists, who are wiser than me. This ability requires intelligence. I happen to
          know due to personal experience and due to what other people went through (e.g. social
          (social scientists, who have been successful
          counsellors for decades, who also think so), that only fools (people who are socially stupid, while they may be relatively intelligent people and/or
          well educated folks) disapprove of other people`s superior knowlege (as well as all sorts of qualities other people possess). These days there are lots of clever people, who read graphs
          think in scientific ways. These are dangerous times for conservatives, as they prefer people to
          remain too scared to draw their own conclusions. Also, they would like people to be as submissive towards the wealthy ones, as they used to be a hundred years ago. In order to accomplish that, they act, as if they had a right to be offensive and generally disrespectful to people, who aren´t wealthy. (Of course they don´t!) Ironically, their perception of themselves is, that they (the conservatives) are awfully nice people (while “lefties“ are “environmentalists“,
          who “misbehave“) and that they are lovely and decent folks, who are upholding valuable “traditions“ (we – “the lefties“ – don´t have any traditions of course, we just pretend we do :-) ). I would like to be able to believe, that not all wealthy people have a nasty attitude to others (as I hate to generalise), but I can´t think of one example to prove that exceptions of that
          kind do exist. If you can, please let me know. I will mention it in my next comment. What still bugs me, is the following: How can anybody, who is capable of comprehending research results, deny Global Warming? I guess you would have to be a really stubborn person to do such a thing. If the conservatives accepted
          the fact, that there are climate changes, that Global Warming is a part of those, and that all climate changes including Global Warming need to be taken seriously, then they could provide the world with truly compelling argumentation
          and lots of smart people would be impressed. But I suppose being true blue conservatives, they would rather grow a tail than admit, that they´ve picked the wrong way to go! And so I ask myself: Were our sociology lecturers right,
          when they told us too much money leads to too much power and an overload of power leads to the mistreatment of the social environment or in other words to the abuse of individuals and/or minorities? The lecturers claim was correct. I
          guess they forgot to add the following: Too much money combined with too much power also leads to the abuse of Mother Nature. Will certain people ever realise, that we owe respect and gratitude to our planet, as we all make use of nature´s marvellous capacities, so we can lead a comfortable life?! What really hurts me personally, is that all people are bearing the consequences of climate changes including Global Warming – not just the rich guys, who caused most of it. Don´t believe me? OK, then who exactly enjoyed lots and lots of so called “(ship) cruises“, which do more harm to the ocean and the environment, than any
          non-wealthy individual could cause in an entire life time?! Driving several cars just to show off with them is not exactly respectful towards the
          environment either. And wasting lots of energy (by leaving lights and TV sets turned on all over the place) and water while not caring about it, just because you get tax cuts anyway (even for the enery and water you use up – regardless of how much you use) – well that´s just what they do, those rich people. And instead of bearing the responsibility for their mistakes, the rich guys continue pointing their finger at far from wealthy people, while denying the most obvious facts: They would just go: “Look at them, they invented Global Warming! There is no problem! They are the problem!“ Their strategy reminds me of a
          nasty child, who would beat up his/her little sister and then say to his/her parents: “How dare she say I hit her??? She´s a liar! She´s so clumsy! She stumbles and hurts herself all the
          time! And then she tells everybody I hit her!” Doesn´t the world ever get tired of this sick victim and perpetrator game? And when will people realise, that “the not at all wealthy ones“ (people like me and you – and most people in general!) constitute the majority of every nation in the world and being a member of the majority, you could actually control the rich minority, if you made up your mind on finding ways to do that?! This is how democracy is
          supposed to work! The majority of people could make the rich minority stick to all sorts of rules – including laws, that help them respect Mother Nature! (Speaking of nature: When have you guys enjoyed nature´s clear and cool water – or viewed the beautiful sky it offers us? When have you seen your last sunrise? Or at least a sunset? Most of you love nature and appreciate nature, so why not enjoy it? – I certainly will.)

        • Guest

          I´m a graduate in social
          sciences (average grade: B). So I´m not an engineer and I am not a genius, and I
          am not as smart as most scientists here on Discover. But I´m clever enough to
          comprehend the content of graphs. And these graphs do prove, that Global
          Warming not only exists, it´s an actual problem we have got to face. I´d like
          to add, that I´m smart enough (look at me, I am so smart today! :-) ) to be able
          to acknowledge those scientists, who are wiser than me. This ability requires
          intelligence! I happen to know due to personal experience and due to what other
          people went through (I happen to know social scientists, who have been
          successful as counsellors e.g. for decades, who also think so), that only fools
          (people who are socially stupid, while they may actually be relatively
          intelligent people and/or well educated) disapprove of other people´s superior
          knowledge (as well as all sorts of qualities other people possess). These days clever
          folks are all over the place: There are so many people, who read graphs and
          think in scientific ways. These are dangerous times for conservatives, as they
          seem to prefer people to remain too scared to draw their own conclusions. Also,
          they would like people to be as submissive towards the wealthy ones as they
          used to be a hundred years ago. In order to accomplish that, they act, as if
          they had a right to be offensive and generally disrespectful to people, who aren´t
          wealthy. (Of course they don´t!) Ironically, their perception of themselves is,
          that they (the conservatives) are awfully nice people (while “lefties“ are “environmentalists“,
          who “misbehave“) and that they are lovely and decent folks, who are upholding
          valuable “traditions“ (we – “the lefties“ – don´t have any traditions of
          course, we just pretend we do :-) ). I would like to be able to believe, that
          not all wealthy people have a nasty attitude to others (as I hate to
          generalise), but I can´t think of one example to prove that exceptions of that
          kind do exist. If you can, please let me know. I will mention it in my next
          comment. What still bugs me, is the following: How can anybody, who is capable
          of comprehending research results, deny Global Warming? I guess you would have to
          be a rich conservative person to do such a thing. If the conservatives accepted
          the fact, that there are climate changes, that Global Warming is a part of
          those, and that all climate changes including Global Warming need to be taken
          seriously, then they could provide the world with truly compelling argumentation
          and lots of smart people would be impressed. But I suppose being true blue
          conservatives, they would rather grow a tail than admit, that they´ve picked
          the wrong way to go! And so I ask myself: Was our sociology lecturer right,
          when she claimed too much money leads to too much power and an overload of
          power leads to the mistreatment of the social environment or in other words to
          the abuse of individuals and/or minorities? The lecturer´s claim was correct. I
          guess she forgot to add the following: Too much money combined with too much power
          also leads to the abuse of Mother Nature. Will certain people ever realise that
          we owe respect and gratitude to our planet, as we all make use of nature´s marvellous
          capacities, so we can lead a comfortable life?! What really hurts me
          personally, is that all people are bearing the consequences of climate changes
          including Global Warming – not just the rich guys, who caused most of it! Don´t
          believe me? OK, then who exactly enjoyed lots and lots of so called “(ship) cruises“,
          (I haven´t been to one and never will be! Even if I will be able to afford such
          things one day, I will always respect our environment too much to mess up like
          that!), which do more harm to the ocean and the environment, than any
          non-wealthy individual could cause in an entire life time?! Driving several
          cars just to show off with them is not exactly respectful towards the
          environment either. And wasting lots of energy (by leaving lights and TV sets turned
          on all over the place) and water while not caring about it, just because you
          get tax cuts anyway – well that´s just what they do, those rich people. And
          instead of bearing the responsibility for their mistakes, the rich guys continue
          pointing their finger at far from wealthy people, while denying the most
          obvious facts: They would just go: “Look at them, they invented Global Warming!
          There is no problem! They are the problem!“ Their strategy reminds me of a
          nasty child, who would beat up his/her little sister and then say to his/her
          parents: “How dare she say I hit her??? She´s a liar! She´s so clumsy! She
          stumbles and hurts herself all the time! And then she tells everybody I hit
          her!“ Doesn´t the world ever get tired of this sick victim and perpetrator
          game? And when will people realise, that “the not at all wealthy ones“ (people
          like me and you!) constitute the majority of every nation in the world and being
          a member of the majority, you could actually control the rich minority, if you
          made up your mind on finding ways to do that?! This is how democracy is
          supposed to work! The majority of people could make the rich minority stick to
          all sorts of rules – including laws, that help them respect Mother Nature! (Speaking
          of nature: When have you guys enjoyed nature´s clear and cool water or viewed
          the beautiful sky it offers us? When have you seen your last sunrise? Or at
          least a sunset? Most of you love nature and appreciate nature, so why not enjoy
          it? – I certainly will.)

        • agnes debinski

          I´m a graduate in social sciences (average grade: B). So I´m not an engineer and I´m not a genius, and I am not as smart as most scientists here on Discover. But I´m clever enough to
          comprehend the content of graphs. And these graphs do prove, that Global Warming not only exists, it´s an actual problem we have got to face. I´d like to add, that I´m smart enough (look at me, I am so smart today! :-) ) to be able
          to acknowledge those scientists, who are wiser than me. This ability requires intelligence. I happen to know due to personal experience and due to what other people went through (I happen to know social scientists, who have been
          successful as counsellors e.g. for decades, who also think so), that only fools (people who are socially stupid, while they may actually be intelligent people and/or well educated folks) disapprove of other people´s superior
          knowledge (as well as all sorts of qualities other people possess). These days there are so many clever people, who read graphs and think in scientific ways. These are dangerous times for conservatives (“Republicans”), as they prefer people to remain too scared to draw their own conclusions. Also, they would like people to be as submissive towards the wealthy ones as they
          used to be a hundred years ago. In order to accomplish that, they act, as if they had a right to be offensive and generally disrespectful to people, who aren´t wealthy. (Of course they don´t!) Ironically, their perception of themselves is, that they (the conservatives) are awfully nice people (while “lefties“ are “environmentalists“,
          who “misbehave“) and that they are lovely and decent folks, who are upholding valuable “traditions“ (we – “the lefties“ – don´t have any traditions of course, we just “pretend” we do, so we can have holidays :-) ). I would like to be able to believe, that not all wealthy people have a nasty attitude to others (as I hate to generalise), but I can´t think of one example to prove, that exceptions of that kind do exist. If you can, please let me know. I will mention it in my next comment. Anyway… How can anybody, who is capable of comprehending research results, deny Global Warming? If the conservatives and other deniers accepted the fact, that there are climate changes, that Global Warming is a part of those, and that all climate changes – including Global Warming – need to be taken seriously, then they could provide the world with truly compelling Argumentation and lots of smart people would be impressed. But I suppose being true blue conservatives and/or deniers, they would rather grow a tail than admit, that they´ve picked the wrong way to go! And so I ask myself: Were our sociology lecturers right, when they claimed too much money leads to too much power and an overload of power leads to the mistreatment of the social environment or in other words to the abuse of individuals and/or minorities? The lecturers claim was correct, of course. I guess they forgot to add the following: Too much money combined with too much power also leads to the abuse of Mother Nature! Will certain people ever realise that we owe respect and gratitude to our planet, as we all make use of nature´s marvellous capacities, so we can lead a comfortable life?! What really bugs me, is that all people are bearing the consequences of climate changes including Global Warming – not just the rich guys, who caused most of it! Don´t believe me? OK, then who exactly enjoyed lots and lots of so called “(ship) cruises“, which do more harm to the ocean and the environment, than any non-wealthy individual could cause in an entire life time?! Driving several cars just to show off with them is not exactly respectful towards the environment either. And wasting lots of energy – by leaving lights and TV sets turned on all over the place – as well as water, while not caring about it, just because you get tax cuts on any amount of energy and water you use up – well that´s just what they do, those rich people. And instead of bearing the responsibility for their mistakes, the rich guys continue pointing their finger at far from wealthy people, while denying the most obvious facts. They would just go: “Look at them, they invented Global Warming!
          There is no problem! They are the problem!“ Their strategy reminds me of a nasty child, who would beat up his/her little sister and then say to his/her parents: “How dare she say I hit her??? She´s a liar! She´s so clumsy! She stumbles and hurts herself all the time! And then she tells everybody I hit her!“ Doesn´t the world ever get tired of this sick victim and perpetrator game? And when will people realise, that “the not at all wealthy ones“ (people like me and you – and most people in general) constitute the majority of every nation in the world and being a member of the majority, you could actually control the rich minority, if you made up your mind on finding ways to do that? This is how democracy is
          supposed to work! The majority of people could make the rich minority stick to all sorts of rules – including laws, that help them respect Mother Nature! (Speaking of nature: When have you guys enjoyed nature´s clear and cool water or viewed the beautiful sky it offers us? When have you seen your last sunrise? Or at least a sunset? Most of you love nature and appreciate nature, so why not enjoy it? – I certainly will.)

      • Tom Yulsman

        It would seem, Jessica, that you like to project your own behavior on to others. In your previous comment you excoriated me for “name calling,” when in fact I did no such thing. And here you engage in it brazenly. Have you no shame?

        As for the substance of your point: global warming = an increase in the average temperature of the globe. Climate change = the specific changes that occur as a result of that buildup of energy.

      • jbinsb

        Wow, you are a bit “out there,” Jessica, aren’t you? I love how you previously addressed the so-called “name-calling” in the article, when there is none, and now you resort to calling an entire group of informed people “liars.” I’m afraid the Internet word for you is simply “troll.”

  • xmarkwe

    Cherry-picking seems to come with the territory in the climate debate.

    I notice in the article above no mention of the satellite era near record sea ice extent being seen now in Antarctica…?

    • Alan Smith

      As a grad student in aerospace engineering focusing on satellite navigation, I feel qualified to point you towards data obtained by the JASON, JASON 2, and GRACE satellites. All of these sources show conclusive proof that ice/sea level changes (decreases and increases respectively) are occurring at an unprecedented rate. GRACE, specifically, has been doing some very interesting work since they (the pair of satellites) can actually track the MASS loss from melting ice. This mass change corresponds to changes in gravitational anomalies – a clever way to glimpse into climate changes.

      There was satellite information (from the University of Alabama, Huntsville) which initially supported a “cooling trend in the atmosphere.” But evidently, the researchers (remote sensing folks and not astrodynamisists) did not take a statistical orbit determination course to understand that orbital decay is a very real phenomenon. After corrections in their data, their measurements began to support the conclusions drawn by historical analysis and related models.

      • Tom Yulsman

        Thank you Alan.

      • xmarkwe

        Thank you Alan.

        Satellite navigation is well above my pay grade, and I greatly admire the intricacy of the calculations and the complexity of the issues they must deal with.

        For instance, I do know that Grace has its (their?) share of problems, and Jason I and II more so, and thus the requirement for the proposed GRASP project; to make up for some of the shortcomings of the current crop.

        I see in the GRASP_COSPAR_paper.pdf that the proposed craft will provide “ultra-precise positioning of its set of geodetic sensors, both relative to each other, and absolutely in the Terrestrial Reference Frame (TRF).” … providing positional accuracy of 1 mm … ie, we don’t have that presently.

        Currently, to partially resolve this TRF frame problem, a myriad of algorithms are needed to combine data from TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 SLR & DORIS and also include data from the GPS satellites, which were never designed for this job. There have been a number of corrections and adjustments over the years.

        While I admire the efforts, skill and dedication of these scientists, I do harbour a few doubts about the accuracy of such intricately extracted data. I’d be pleased if you could provide me some reassurance.

        • xmarkwe

          Gee, how can 4 of you vote down a post which only shows factual details?

          Inconvenient truths, perhaps?

    • John Russell

      So as a response to your perception of cherry picking …you want to cherry pick the Antarctic sea ice data? What in the middle of winter when it’s dark and well below freezing down there?

      All we need to know about Antarctic sea ice — which melts away almost in its entirety every summer and is therefore pretty irrelevant — is here: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/sea_ice_south.php

      The reason why there has been a small increase in winter Antarctic sea ice extent is explained in the link that follows but basically it’s because of the increased melting of land ice which makes the sea surface layer less salty — thus it’s easier for ice to form. http://phys.org/news/2013-04-contend-antarctic-sea-ice-due.html

      • DoRightThing

        Also, increased sea-ice in winter helps to keep heat in the ocean.

      • xmarkwe

        Antarctic sea ice due to ice cap melt?

        What you have there is a plausible hypothesis, with little data and no proof other than some modeling.

        Perhaps it is so, but IF the Antarctic ice cap is in fact melting, there seems to be very little evidence of an acceleration.

        ie (logic need here chaps) .. if the same volume of ice cap melt occurs each year, and goes into supposedly warmer seas, why is the antarctic sea ice extent growing year on year?

        see below:
        Modeling Challenges
        Results due to Antarctic ice range from lowering sea levels by 6 centimeters to a 14-centimeter increase. The 2007 report forecast a reduction of 2 centimeters to 14 centimeters, due to higher snowfall than surface melt. The UN said in the earlier report that its understanding of how the southern continent loses ice from glaciers flowing into the sea wasn’t good enough to include in its prediction.

        The authors of the latest report said there has been
        “substantial progress in ice-sheet modeling” since 2007. Even so, there remain “significant challenges” in modeling Antarctic glaciers and ice sheets that terminate at the sea, and the forecast for their
        contribution to sea levels by 2100 was the same across all different emissions scenarios examined, unlike with Greenland.
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-05/ice-melting-faster-in-greenland-and-antarctica-in-un-leak.html

        • John Christian Lønningdal

          Little data? Modelling? The Grace satellites clearly shows loss of mass on Antarctica. So you then have to use a bit of lateral thinking, where does the melted water from Antarctica go?

          • xmarkwe

            Bear in mind GRACE measures gravitational anomolies by the changes in distance between two satellites following the same orbit. Ie this would seem a simple way to measure ice if the earth were a rigid sphere with no isostatic rebound and no oceans: these must be modelled.

            Lots of modelling: This below from Greenland, but should suffice to show the complexity:

            from

            http://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/615/2013/tc-7-615-2013.pdf

            … we use monthly GRACE gravity fields.. Each monthly field consists of a set of spherical harmonic geoid coefficients up to degree and order 60. We replace the GRACE C20 coefficients with C 20 coefficients inferred from satellite laser ranging (Cheng and Tapley, 2004), and we include degree-one coefficients computed as described by Swenson et al. (2007) (coefficients provided by S. Swenson).

            We use model results from A et al. (2012) to remove contributions from glacial-isostatic adjustment (GIA): the Earth’s viscoelastic response to past ice mass variability.

            Those 5 GIA results were computed for a
            compressible, spherically symmetric Earth, and were based on the global ICE-5G model and VM2 viscosity profile of Peltier (2004).

            We compute the temporal mean of the monthly fields and subtract that mean from each field, so that the residuals represent the monthly departures from the mean.

            We convolve each monthly residual field with a Greenland averaging kernel, as described 10 by Velicogna and Wahr (2006), to obtain an estimate of Greenland mass-per-area in units of cm of water, averaged over the ice sheet.

            Because any such convolution causes a loss of signal, we multiply each monthly mass-per-area estimate by a scaling factor to obtain variations in the total mass of the ice sheet (in Gt) about its temporal average.

            The scaling factor is computed as described by Velicogna and Wahr (2006), and is determined by applying this analysis procedure to several simulated, but plausible, ice loss patterns.

    • SkyHunter

      The Antarctic sea ice is growing because the Antarctic ice sheet is melting.

      • xmarkwe

        Antarctic sea ice is growing because the Antarctic ice sheet is melting…

        A plausible hypothesis … not a fact.

        • SkyHunter

          If you are going to challenge that hypothesis, you must come up with a null hypothesis to falsify it. Here are some facts, feel free to cite others.
          What is the null hypothesis that exlains away these facts?
          Fact: The Antarctic ice sheet is losing mass. (melting)
          Fact: Fresh water is lighter than salt water.
          Fact: Fresh water freezes at a lower temperature than salt water.
          Fact: When glaciers melt, the fresh cold meltwater runs of into the surrounding water.
          Fact: Being lighter and colder the fresh runoff will freeze faster.

          • xmarkwe

            If you are going to challenge that hypothesis, you must come up with a null hypothesis to falsify it.

            Why so, good sir?

            But, nevertheless, here you go:

            Increased cap melt adding to sea ice area is plainly and simply a hypothesis, Antarctic ice cap mass and temperature data is in some question, and it is quite possible that the Antarctic ice cap is NOT losing mass, or at the very least only losing the same amount each year. While some data has the Antarctic Peninsular warming, most data has the rest of the cap cooling.

            Alternative hypothesis: Antarctica may be cooling.

            You surely should consider that possibility. The IPCC apparently does: ……Results due to Antarctic ice range from lowering sea levels by 6 centimeters to a 14-centimeter increase.

          • SkyHunter

            Because it is the scientific method.
            Your hypothesis rests on your belief that the data is in question.
            What evidence do you have?
            The last IPCC published estimate, AR/4 in 2007, was 1993 – 2003 and 1961 – 2003.
            Hardly relevent to current conditions.
            Are you familiar with the concept of “specious argument”?

          • xmarkwe

            Your hypothesis rests on your belief that the data is in question.

            No it doesn’t. The uncertainties in the data cover the possibility of my hypothesis being correct.

          • SkyHunter

            You are citing 10 to 50 year old data in order to make a point about current conditions. IE, you are making a specious argument.
            Here is the 2012 reconciled estimate of the data.

            Between 1992 and 2011, the ice sheets of Greenland, East Antarctica, West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by –142 ± 49, +14 ± 43, –65 ± 26, and –20 ± 14 gigatonnes year−1, respectively.

            So remove Greenland, and your best case; if every region is just within the 95% uncertainty, is +12 per decade. And since ice sheet growth is a function of both precipitation and temperature, a warmer ocean provides more precipitation. Therefore using ice mass growth a proxy for temperature, when there are more accurate instrumental records is specious at best.

          • xmarkwe

            Re temperatures: Doran 2002 (author comment to the NYT – in summary, he says, “yes, some cooling then, but it was due to the ozone hole, and models show it should warm from now on”)

            “… our results have been misused as “evidence” against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel “State of Fear”… Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1966 to 2000.
            But during that period, the rest of the continent was warming. And climate models created since our paper was published have suggested a
            link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent. These models, conspicuously missing from the warming-skeptic literature, suggest that as the ozone hole heals —
            thanks to worldwide bans on ozone-destroying chemicals — all of Antarctica is likely to warm with the rest of the planet

          • SkyHunter

            And what does the 1966-2000 period have to do with the 2012 and 2013 record sea ice extent?
            And did you miss the part, just before the part you bolded?

            “… our results have been misused as “evidence” against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel “State of Fear”…

          • xmarkwe

            …what does the 1966-2000 period have to do with the 2012 and 2013 record sea ice extent?…

            Seems to have been a constant year on year increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979.

            http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

            But while it is easy to find media stories on Antarctic warming, it is difficult to find long term, continent wide temperature data.

          • DoRightThing

            Antarctic is miles high, it is also very very cold, and the interior won’t warm up enough to melt for millennia or even millions of years.
            However, as the warming ocean nibbles more aggressively at glacial calving fronts, the flow of ice from the interior accelerates, and this has little to do with the ice sheet temperature. Very cold ice still flows.
            This is how Antarctica is losing mass.

          • xmarkwe

            DRT – correct.

            Except note there is as yet no evidence of acceleration of Antarctic ice cap loss (other than modelled).

            Recent estimates of annual loss are pretty low – and derivation of these is incredibly complex (AIS mass balance of −103 ± 23 Gt yr)
            http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/3703/2012/tcd-6-3703-2012.html (Thanks SH)

          • DoRightThing

            There needs to be more research in basal melt of glaciers in response to warming oceans, but surveying and following up with remote submarines is expensive and difficult, but there are indications that it is happening.

            Accelerated ice discharge from the Antarctic Peninsula following the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf
            http://web.ist.utl.pt/~nuno.j.aniceto/documents/RignotetalGRLPeninsulaAccel.pdf

            Pine Island Glacier
            http://www.antarcticglaciers.org/glaciers-and-climate/pine-island-glacier/

            Oceans melt Antarctica’s ice from below
            More than half of melting occurs at just ten small ice shelves.
            http://www.nature.com/news/oceans-melt-antarctica-s-ice-from-below-1.13200

            There are many more links to be found. Search for antarctic basal melt.

          • SkyHunter

            Still not comparing apples to apples, but even so, since the ice sheet is shrinking, especially in the last decade, the data is consistent with my hypothesis, not yours.
            Especially when you include the most recent Antarctic temperature records, which show the Antarctic is warming, not cooling.
            So your data fits my hypothesis, while direct empirical measurements of temperature falsify yours.

          • xmarkwe

            As I noted above, measurement of the supposed ice loss is a very complex thing. One erroneous assumption, measure or model could change that result.

            From the reference you so kindly provided:

            Note Fig. 4. gives some indication of the complexity: GRACE estimates apparent ice mass change to GIA at about 118 Gt/year (eyeballed) and GPS estimates it at about 30 Gt/year. The authors use a combination of these in their calculations: 48 ± 18 Gt yr.

            Fig 4. Distribution of the rate of apparent ice-mass change (Gtyr −1) induced by the GIA, obtained by constraining the ensemble of per-sector combinations (995328 samples) with GPS, GRACE, and both data sets (GRACE & GPS comb.). The apparent ice-mass change is calculated by applying the gravimetric inversion method for the present-day ice-mass changes to each estimate of the GIA-induced gravity field.

            http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/3703/2012/tcd-6-3703-2012.html

          • SkyHunter

            Every aspect of climate science is a complex thing. That is why it has been so easy to convince people that there is uncertainty about CO2 forcing. There is uncertainty, climate sensitivity is 2C to 4.5C per doubling. That is 2.5C of uncertainty. But even the low end, which is 5% probability, is still catastrophic to the ecosystem.

          • xmarkwe

            Chart GRACE GIA etc

    • Dcoronata

      Sea ice is not the same as above sea-level ice. As the glaciers melt, and as icebergs break away they enter the Antarctic ocean.

      Where else is it going to go?

  • Guest

    “violate the principles of journalism”

    Not enough lies, blood and breasts then?

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      plenty of misinterpretation and misinformation. I’m anything but an alarmist, but that report was a hack job.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Guest: The principles are a bit different between the U.S. and the U.K. I’m sure some of my compatriots here in the U.S. would be quite happy with more lies, blood and breasts.

  • agnes debinski

    Thank you lots for your courage to display, what certain journalists and wannabe journalists are well capable of – manipulating facts and/or people, so they can point their finger at a certain theory and/or person, while deranging the truth entirely! The trouble with lots of journalists and wannabe journalists (such as students of journalism), is that they´ve got a “win or lose mentality” and that they assume they are “winners”, whenever they create a “loser” by manipulating facts and/or people. They (these journalists and wannabe journalists) are the actual losers. After all individuals, who have the psychological need to subvert facts and/or other people´s reputations/lives, must be awfully miserable indeed!
    People who make a living (or are looking forward to being persons of that kind) by messing up the truth, so they can do harm to others, might as well get away with – what exactly? Well anything, the way they see it! So let´s not be overly surprised, when some journalists decide to have a go at Global Warming! One thing that does astonish me, is the ethical impact, that does still exist on our planet – that there are people, who do have the guts to actually say the truth by attacking the attackers! Well done, if I may say so! Oh and please do let me add: Of course not all journalists and not all wannabe journalists are the kind of people as described above! But isn´t it about time the ones who are should bear the one thing they are afraid of the most – the truth about themselves?!

  • Sam Thomas

    Live in fear silly goyim ! Who is Behind the Climate Change Hoax? http://thezog.info/who-is-behind-the-climate-change-hoax/

    • Tom Yulsman

      I debated whether I should delete this offensive comment. But I think I will leave it in the interest of shining a sterilizing light on hate and stupidity. (Warning: The link takes you to a page the blames the Jews for everything that’s wrong in the world, including the alleged climate change “hoax” — since, of course, so many climate scientists are Jewish.)

      • John Zulauf

        I understand why you left it and the internal debate, and while I hate providing a link to that persons hate site… conspiracy minded antisemitic junk needs to be exposed for what it is.

        Any way to make the link unclickable and simply note what it is?

        • Tom Yulsman

          I’m not sure. I can probably edit it out. But I think I’ll leave it. Because for those who are amenable to such messages, there’s nothing that I can do anyway. And for those who are not but think that this kind of stuff has gone away, I’m thinking it is better to see the actual hateful thing, rather than just read a description of it.

          I also want to say that this transcends any of the issues and divisions the rest of us have had here. It has absolutely nothing to do with those issues and differences of opinion, in fact. I just want to state that for the record. This is about hate — and exposing it. Period.

    • John Zulauf

      You Mr Thomas are a despicable person. Such utter nonsense has no place in disagreements about complex geophysical systems, journalism or any other topic (except perhaps examples of despicable behavior).

      • Tom Yulsman

        Amen brother.

  • hugh

    I would like to make one point only, and note that although the
    article is great in its description of media misreporting and
    misrepresentation (deliberate or otherwise) it appears – and I may be
    wrong – to have fallen for the climate change deniers ploy of having
    “skeptic” confused with “disbeliever”.

    There are very different beasts, and a skeptic is NOT a disbeliever.

    I’m happy to be called a “Climate Change Sceptic” (I’m in the UK), but leave anyone that then refers to me as a “Climate
    Change Disbeliever” with a bloody nose after the change the word.

    A disbeliever… disbelieves. That’s pretty straightforward.

    A sceptic, however, is one who who does not accept something on say-so or belief, but ask for evidence and proof. And we have have evidence and proof of AGW, even if disbelievers choose to ignore or misrepresent it.

    And which clearly shows a disbeliever is not a sceptic.

    Thank you.

    • DoRightThing

      No need to beat about the bush. Denier is the proper word for one who refuses to accept overwhelming evidence.
      In the case of climate denial, it is almost exclusively financially motivated ever since the right wing engraved in stone:
      “Thou shalt not accept the science of climate change, because it may reduce profits”.

      • John Russell

        I think denial is more subtle than just being financially-motivated, Andy (even though there’s an element of financial motivation for many people). I say this because I know a relatively poor anarchist who is in rabid climate denial. For him it’s a hatred of authority that is the drive.

        For most ordinary people who deny, it’s the idea that if they have to accept climate change they must also accept the need to cut back on things they enjoy — like driving a gas-guzzler, flying off on cheap package holidays and undertaking other pleasurable activities that squander fossil fuels.

        I agree that ultimately denial is ‘oiled’ by the profit motive; because it’s invariably big dirty profitable businesses — usually involved in digging and/or pumping stuff out of the ground — who finance and encourage the ‘denial’ industry. But they couldn’t get away with it unless their message fell on the receptive ears of ignorance.

        • DoRightThing

          True, John.. there are always exceptions, but poor anarchists would never have the influence that the richly shadow-funded denial industry enjoys.
          If voters were more educated, and if integrity was valued more in our culture, perhaps this crazy situation would never have arisen, and oil companies/governments would adapt/diversify instead of continuing to allow their addiction to dictate our road to ruin.
          Changing corporate behaviour will be as easy as teaching crocodiles to farm fish sustainably.

          • jbinsb

            Right, all the more reason for the Supreme Court to have lifted virtually all limits on political funding.

        • xmarkwe

          According to environmentalists, the climate debate is David against Goliath. They fancy themselves in the role of David and believe they’re losing ground because they’re up against a well-orchestrated, funded-by-the-fossil-fuel-industry campaign.

          [...] In the entire world there’s a grand total of one organization solely devoted to discussing climate change from a skeptical perspective: the UK’s Global Warming Policy Foundation. …. staffed by ….two people.

          …. Heartland Institute and other conservative US think tanks have played a role in this debate. But climate is a small part of what those groups do with their time and relatively meager budgets.

          Compare that to the green side of the climate debate. ..[...].. The David Suzuki Foundation has offices in four Canadian cities,including nearly 60 employees in Vancouver. …[...]… The chairman of the
          board there isn’t a scientist but the head of a public relations firm.
          …[...]… Greenpeace is now so lavishly funded it recently purchased a custom-built, £14 million ($22 million) yacht.

          …[...]… The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
          has nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars at its disposal annually is active in more than 100 nations has offices
          everywhere you look, including 11 in Pakistan alone …

          The WWF is so stinking rich that last week we learned it has hired Clear, a strategy consultancy owned by M&C Saatchi, “to focus on developing its brand in Australia.”

          http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/05/19/the-playing-field-isnt-remotely-level/

          • jbinsb

            You’re forgetting the large corporate structure, the Kock brothers, Senator Imhofe and others of his ilk, Fox News.

      • xmarkwe

        Ha ha ….perhaps a bit of an insight into the subconscious there!

        I thought the vast majority were in the warmist camp? They seem to be in a distinct minority in the cartoon.

      • Buddy199

        Al Gore seems to have personally profited very nicely from his climate schtick.

        • c3033

          Here here!! Tom Yulsman also has a job in Boulder (and with this magazine) because of his support of said schtick. The science of MAN MADE change is not proven. Seems like ol Tom should read former Boulderite Professor Judith Curry, now at GTech.

          • jbinsb

            So if a man makes any money at his profession, which in Gore’s case, in recent years, has been to work to make changes that would mitigate climate change, then what he says is “schtick” and, ipso facto, unfounded garbage. Is that what your saying? If so, that’s some whacked logic.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Thanks for your comments Hugh. I appreciate it. And I do think there is a valid distinction between “skeptic” (sorry for the American spelling!) and “denier.” I have reluctantly come to embrace the latter as a legitimate term to describe people who will, in the face of all evidence, deny everything science tells us about the climate. They truly do flat out “deny” facts and well-documented findings because of an agenda or extreme bias or both.

      I say I was reluctant to use the term “denier” because of the use of the word in reference to people who say the Holocaust never happened. But in the climate change debate, “denial” and “denier” do have specific meanings that apply in many cases. That said, I still try to differentiate.

      Skeptics, as you say, are a different breed. Skepticism is a major virtue in science and engineering. And journalism as well. (As I tell my journalism students, “If your momma tells you she loves you, check it out.”)

      • xmarkwe

        Skepticism is a major virtue in science and engineering. And journalism
        as well. (As I tell my journalism students, “If your momma tells you she
        loves you, check it out.”)

        Skepticism is skepticism, you can’t just hijack a word! And anyway, it is not always regarded as a favourable thing.

        As a teacher of journalism you should at least check out the definition:

        skep·ti·cism also scep·ti·cism (skpt-szm) n.

        1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety.
        a. The ancient school of Pyrrho of Elis that stressed the uncertainty of our beliefs in order to oppose dogmatism.
        b. The doctrine that absolute knowledge is impossible, either in a particular domain or in general.
        c. A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty.
        3. Doubt or disbelief of religious tenets.

      • xmarkwe

        Another definition:

        skep·tic also scep·tic (skptk) n.

        1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
        2. One inclined to skepticism in religious matters.
        3. Philosophy
        a. often Skeptic An adherent of a school of skepticism.
        b. Skeptic A member of an ancient Greek school of skepticism, especially that of Pyrrho of Elis

      • John Russell

        It’s quite possible to refer to ‘people in denial’ without using the term ‘denier’ — a noun that so many people who deny get upset about, for the reasons you mention, Tom. I also use ‘contrarians’ and ‘fake sceptics’ when appropriate. ‘Fake’ to differentiate them from the genuine sceptic which, as you suggest, is what we should all be all the time.

        Most people I know — self included — started out being sceptical of the idea of humans warming the planet. Overwhelming evidence eventually won us round. This is something most people in denial don’t realise.

  • Jessica Darko

    Global Warming is disproven. To pretend otherwise is to reject science. That’s the problem- you believe in your political agenda, and your ideology claims you have a monopoly on science, so you think you don’t have to know anything about the actual science.

    That’s why ideologues like you call people who talk about science “deniers” because they’re supposedly “Denying” your ideology… by taking the scientific viewpoint.

    this is just another article of propaganda to bash those who stick up for science, written by someone who either is ignorant of science or chooses politics over it.

    So, shame on you, you are incapable of thinking rationally, and you are an evil person, spreading your anti-science position.

    • happyfish

      Great satire!

    • John Russell

      Jessica, you’re so clearly struggling to understand the science (pls refer back to my first answer to you, above). I wish I could help you but your mind is so closed it must hurt.

      I don’t normally stoop to a response that borders on the ad hominem, but you’ve dished out so much to me and others above that I plead justification. You really are a classic case of denial.

    • DoRightThing

      Classic projection of how only *you* see the world.
      Physics does not care.
      Science is not an ideology, it is a methodology.
      Facts exist completely independent of belief, and independent of whether we even exist to observe them.
      I suggest you watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos for a good introduction.

    • SkyHunter

      What is the null hypothesis that disproves the AGW theory?

      We don’t claim to have a monopoly on science. We just agree with the science, like every science institution in the world, including the the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

      Well, it is a weasely statement, but at least they don’t deny it anymore.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Jessica: If my writing a story like this for a blog makes me evil, then what would you call Mr. Thomas, who in comments and a link above said that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Jews?

    • Roman Berry

      That’s why ideologues like you call people who talk about science “deniers” because they’re supposedly “Denying” your ideology… by taking the scientific viewpoint.

      What exactly is your ‘scientific viewpoint’ and where is the data it’s based on? Also, why is it that the vast, vast majority of climate scientists who are working with very large datasets and models based on that data completely disagree with you?

  • Buddy199

    The climate “war” isn’t fueled by scientific disagreement, it’s fueled by political disagreement. The solution proposed by AGW proponents always boils down to: more government spending, more regulation, more taxes. The same solution central planners have for every problem it seems from hunger and poor public education to male pattern baldness. Central planners never realize that their one size fits all answer is of limited effectiveness. Quite the opposite, if it doesn’t work, do twice as much! AGW skepticism is much more about the solution proposed than about the science itself.

    • SkyHunter

      That is true. Except one side has abandoned the science to fit their policy.
      The reality is this; there are $5 trillion dollars worth of fossil reserves already on the books. That means they are already valued in the stock price of the company with the rights to those reserves. When the world says we are only going to burn 20% of those reserves… What do you think will happen to the stock price of those companies?

      • Buddy199

        A couple of points. First, ignoring science is not the preserve of one side or the other. I would bet that a very large percentage of AGW proponents also go along with the anti-science, anti-GMO nuttery. Second, “the science” is not a monolithic concept in any field, particularly in climate research. There’s a body of evidence that’s pretty solid, a large portion that’s somewhat so but needs more work, and the portion that’s still very thin. Skepticism takes into account those nuances. Fossil fuel use isn’t driven by a few large oil companies conspiring against a windmill economy. It’s a matter of physics and chemistry. Also, economics and public demand. Until there’s an alternative source that’s cheaper, more convenient and energy rich as fossil fuels their use won’t be abandoned, no matter what central planners decree.

        • DoRightThing

          There is an alternative. What’s needed is the will.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx0pTz-Qc40

          • Buddy199

            Solar, maybe, some day. It would require an exponential breakthrough in technology and economics to make it more attractive than fossil fuel.

        • SkyHunter

          That is a false equivalency. Vaccinations, GMO, etc are not the same thing as making the Earth uninhabitable for 90% of existing species.
          While I agree that all of us are prone to anchoring suggestions in our memories to influence our decision making. Critical thinking is encouraged on the left more than it is on the right.
          Everything I know is wrong. When I discover why I am wrong, I don’t compound my mistake by denying it.

          • Buddy199

            It’s exactly equivalent; you either adhere to the science or you don’t. The anti-GMO crowd are completely on the other side of scientific fact.

            “Vaccinations, GMO, etc are not the same thing as making the Earth uninhabitable for 90% of existing species.”

            This is an example of the superior critical thinking encouraged on the Left? Please cite your evidence – peer reviewed studies – that 90% of species will be threatened with extinction. What this is is a perfect example leftist smugness. They alone possess the Truth, Goodness and Intelligence; anyone who disagrees is either ignorant, evil or insane. They only ideas they are actually open to are the comfortable, familiar ones they hear in their ideological echo chamber. Step outside your box, you’d be amazed how many good ideas and intelligent people there are out there.

          • SkyHunter

            How is the anti-GMO crowd on the opposite side of facts?
            When was the scientific debate settled on that?
            The vaccination scare was a good example of left-wing cognitive dissonance, but GMOs are not settled science, even though I have seen examples of bad science from both sides on the GMO issue.
            I base that opinion on Paleo-history and what I know about biology. Whenever there is a large excursion in the climate cycle, it is associated with a major extinction event.
            It is basic chemistry. The chemical soup that current lifeforms are evolved too has been altered beyond anything seen in the geologic record.
            That to me is not on the same par as protecting the herd immunity for chicken pox.
            BTW – You don’t know me, so drop the “step outside your box” ad hominems, and I will refrain from ridiculing you.

        • John Christian Lønningdal

          You cant compare whats essentially the question of survival for the majority of species to the GMO discussion. The question you have to ask yourself is how did we get to this position where greenhouse gases can be a problem, and how tightly is it bound to the economic and population growth on the planet? Surely these aren’t easy problems to solve, but our fundamental dependence on fossil fuels is certainly a place to start and that is definitely a political issue as it affects so many businesses and the way we live.

          The same way you could argue that GMO is rather than being a core problem its basically “patching” of the real problem – increased drought from AGW and increased population from surplus.

          Wouldn’t it be better to fix this at the root of the problem so we don’t have to engineer and patch our civilization so it can keep up for a another century?

          Also there is a general problem with GMO and that is the same as any mono-culture – it becomes very fragile to changes like new diseases or climate. Variation within one species has been one of the stronger points of survival for any living thing on this planet. So the problem lies at the fundamental level of perhaps not messing with evolution and respect that the reason we are here is because of this inherent biological variation?

          But for even GMO to have any future (no doubt it will be an important part of the future to feed a growing population) we need to make sure that the planet has a livable temperature so that anything can grow on it no matter what nature throws at us.

          • xmarkwe

            There is no indication of any statistical increase in droughts to date.
            The ‘increase’ is theoretical and modeled.

  • DoRightThing

    Thom Hartmann also picks up on David Rose’s nonsense:
    Politically Corrected – The Daily Mail on Climate Change
    http://youtu.be/aFiCRcJaHjo

    • SkyHunter

      Thom Hartmann is great!

  • simon callaghan

    go back a few hundred or thousand years and see what your gif map says, whos only telling the bits that suits them now.

  • Matt Stephens

    Very interesting article! Well balanced and well written, debunking every question I had.

  • CrusadaB

    That was so not something the average person could follow. Contradictory statements in every other sentence. The world does not have a fever. It is its own doctor. India and china biggest polluters in the world. Let’s see those statistics and the devastation they are doing to their countries. Africa too. US is the most beautiful country in the World. We have cleaned up to the point of insanity.

  • Andyj

    I fully understand and believe in global warming but doing the numbers on IR absorption I cannot put the numbers to any of mans efforts that have made a tap of difference. 0.004% C02 is 96% absorption within the C02 Bands 100% C02 will add 4% to the bandwidth. Water is another factor, it barely cares what the frequency is and if we have high altitude ice then we discount C02 absorption entirely because it’s dark in those bands.

    We have climbed out of the LIA. We have now peaked out on warming for longer than our children have been alive.

    It means the heater has not been getting hotter yet the room is still warming up.

    Neither does the accusation our oceans have been going acidic mean anything because the junket monsters who fly the world from resort to resort to find global warming have swam in a coral reef full of their own sewage. Corals and diatoms formed when CO2 was far, far higher than these days.

    The Earth is cooling and dying. We are part of nature, re-unlocking the carbon cycle – the life cycle!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoclimatology

    Sure, call me a denier but the irony is not on me because the believers are in denial of the facts.

  • A Tolk

    The real shame is that both sides are no longer treating the issues with science, but both have entrenched themselves in quasi-religious believes. The predictions of the recent years are simply wrong, which means the underlying hypotheses were falsified. But only because point predictions are wrong, the story in itself is not wrong, but needs to be revisited. We need better models that are based on empiricism, not story telling of global warming or global cooling. Data, correlation, functions, predictions, observations, validation or falsification … end of stories (for both parties) …

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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