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Old 05.08.2008, 10:14
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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As a scientist, albeit a biologist, I have always been condition to question perceived scientific dogma. In my opinion, there is enough argument, evidence and research articles which contradict the IPCC conclusions and Gore's bombastic declarations. Global Warming advocates are always stating that the evidence is incontrovertible, yet even doing the most basic search, you will find peer-reviewed research papers which don't buck the trend. My conclusion is that the jury is still very much out on this issue, yet we are constantly bombarded by the "party line" from the governments, news items, even bloody car commercials for pete's sake! Surely we would be better off, diverting all these precious funds to fighting worldwide poverty and disease, tangible, recognisable problems, rather than sinking it into an ill-conceived research black hole.
Just consider these points; solar activity, water vapour, sulphur, carbon particles, CO2 / heating cause and effect, tree-ring data, perceived lack of warming since 1998, the "hockey stick" data, natural climate cycles etc etc. Are you really willing to divert all those precious funds to inflate the egos of politicians worldwide?
The point is 'Global Warming', now re-branded as 'Climate Change', cannot be conclusively proved until it has happened.

Just as with bird flu through rogue asteroids to the millennium bug there are potential is disasters at every turn according to the media and politicians. Disasters bad enough to wipe all life from the planet or at best put the world back to the stone age.

We are advised we ignore them at our peril, but can in reality do little, if anything, about them. 99.9% of us cannot tell what is a real threat and what isn't. I guess this is how life is and will be in the 21st century...
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  #542  
Old 05.08.2008, 10:18
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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As a scientist, albeit a biologist, I have always been condition to question perceived scientific dogma.
So as a biologist you question the scientific dogma of Evolution?

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In my opinion, there is enough argument, evidence and research articles which contradict the IPCC conclusions and Gore's bombastic declarations. Global Warming advocates are always stating that the evidence is incontrovertible, yet even doing the most basic search, you will find peer-reviewed research papers which don't buck the trend. My conclusion is that the jury is still very much out on this issue, yet we are constantly bombarded by the "party line" from the governments, news items, even bloody car commercials for pete's sake! Surely we would be better off, diverting all these precious funds to fighting worldwide poverty and disease, tangible, recognisable problems, rather than sinking it into an ill-conceived research black hole.
It would be nice if you could provide references to these papers which don't buck the trend. The climate science community is in agreement, for the most part, about Climate change occurring. We're just squabbling over the magnitudes, and trying to reduce the uncertainties in the projections of future climate.

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Just consider these points; solar activity, water vapour, sulphur, carbon particles, CO2 / heating cause and effect, tree-ring data, perceived lack of warming since 1998, the "hockey stick" data, natural climate cycles etc etc. Are you really willing to divert all those precious funds to inflate the egos of politicians worldwide?
Do you honestly think that these points haven't been studied. Read a little back on the thread for Solar activity. Water vapor as well. What about Sulfur? What about Carbon Particles? You are listing topics, but have not provided any substantive argument about any of them "not bucking the trend". I'd be happy to address any questions you have, but you don't seem to be asking questions.

As for diverting precious funds, what are you blathering about? Research funds are pretty scarce (in the US environmental science budgets have been slashed. NASA Earth Science took a big hit, because it was decided that we're going to do a manned mission to Mars), so I'm not sure how diverting precious funding inflates egos of politicians worldwide.
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  #543  
Old 05.08.2008, 10:55
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The point is 'Global Warming', now re-branded as 'Climate Change',
It's not that it's been rebranded, it's simply that "climate change" is a more appropriate term that accounts for other changes in the climate system, in addition to temperature increases, which is all that Global Warming applies to (Examples of other changes include things such as storm frequency or storm intensity).
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  #544  
Old 05.08.2008, 19:31
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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It's not that it's been rebranded, it's simply that "climate change" is a more appropriate term that accounts for other changes in the climate system, in addition to temperature increases, which is all that Global Warming applies to (Examples of other changes include things such as storm frequency or storm intensity).
And local effects such as the shutdown of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation.
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  #545  
Old 05.08.2008, 19:57
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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As a scientist, albeit a biologist, I have always been condition to question perceived scientific dogma.
That's also known as scepticism and is very healthy.

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In my opinion, there is enough argument, evidence and research articles which contradict the IPCC conclusions and Gore's bombastic declarations.
How many of these publications are peer-reviewed?

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Global Warming advocates are always stating that the evidence is incontrovertible, yet even doing the most basic search, you will find peer-reviewed research papers which don't buck the trend.
Did you mean to say "which do buck the trend"?

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My conclusion is that the jury is still very much out on this issue, yet we are constantly bombarded by the "party line" from the governments, news items, even bloody car commercials for pete's sake! Surely we would be better off, diverting all these precious funds to fighting worldwide poverty and disease, tangible, recognisable problems, rather than sinking it into an ill-conceived research black hole.
I respect your conclusion, but I don't agree with it.

And I would appreciate it if, as a scientist, you were to point at some rational arguments and peer-reviewed literature to support your standpoint. At present your view seems to have been derived via "media" articles. Journalism is not a model of objectivity or accuracy.

As I am getting tired of saying, "go as close to the data as you can". If you are a scientist, you owe yourself at least that much.

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Just consider these points; solar activity, water vapour, sulphur, carbon particles, CO2 / heating cause and effect, tree-ring data, perceived lack of warming since 1998, the "hockey stick" data, natural climate cycles etc etc.
Unfortunately, these false claims are still repeated by those who have a vested interest in distorting the picture. Here are some, mentioned because I happened to know where to look:

water vapour

hockey stick

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Are you really willing to divert all those precious funds to inflate the egos of politicians worldwide?
Excuse me, but I don't think politicians are actually interested in this issue other than to avoid having to do their jobs. And what funds, anyway? Facts and figures please.
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  #546  
Old 05.08.2008, 22:55
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The point is 'Global Warming', now re-branded as 'Climate Change', cannot be conclusively proved until it has happened
Do I understand you right? You suggest that we should wait until the earth has warmed up by 6 degrees centigrade and then do another assessment whether or not global warming has happened?
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  #547  
Old 05.08.2008, 23:03
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Do I understand you right? You suggest that we should wait until the earth has warmed up by 6 degrees centigrade and then do another assessment whether or not global warming has happened?
No. I didn't say that. I said it "cannot be conclusively proved until it has happened".
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Old 06.08.2008, 00:22
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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No. I didn't say that. I said it "cannot be conclusively proved until it has happened".
Global warming is already happening.

Haven't you heard about the opening of the Northwest Passage?

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The North-West Passage – the sea route running along the Arctic coastline of North America, normally perilously clogged with thick ice – is nearly ice-free for the first time since records began.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...ernationalnews
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  #549  
Old 06.08.2008, 08:22
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Global warming is already happening.
Then why is it now called 'Climate Change'? And why can't scientists agree on it. Even reading this thread there are sharp disagreements.

I have no scientific knowledge and I want to help the environment and cut down my use of carbon (if that is a good thing??). But like 99% of the non-scientific public I am total confused by it all...
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Old 06.08.2008, 08:44
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Then why is it now called 'Climate Change'? And why can't scientists agree on it. Even reading this thread there are sharp disagreements.
It is called Climate Change, because the temperature increase we are experiencing is only one of the ways the climate is changing.

Human activities have changed the climate system. Driven, to a large extent, by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, the climate system traps more energy in the system. Some of this excess energy is expressed as an increase in temperature. But some of the energy can also go into things like increased evaporation of water due to higher temperature, some of it can go into more intense storms. Temperature is not the only outlet for excess energy, and with the many other effects of a changing climate besides just Temperature increases, the term "Climate Change" is more inclusive of the other effects. Global warming is one (albeit large) part of Climate Change.

The sharp disagreements you're referring to do not exist to the same extent in the scientific research community. Most of the disagreements on the forum are a mixture of misinformation poor media representation of the actual issues.

I will readily admit, as a scientist who studies the Atmosphere, that we have very little training in communicating with the general public about scientific results and implications. (on the flip side the media typically has no scientific training, and I often cringe when I see news reports where they completely bungle what was carefully explained to them by scientists.)
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Old 07.08.2008, 11:26
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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...
I have no scientific knowledge and I want to help the environment and cut down my use of carbon (if that is a good thing??). But like 99% of the non-scientific public I am total confused by it all...
Anything that tries to reduce "waste" of resources of any kind is di per se "good".

Idling motors, light bulbs left running, TV sets blaring while nobody is watching / listening (pet peeve of mine), etc etc. Lay on millions of un-heroic, common sense, actions and you start to see meaningful impacts, which at a later stage develop into full-fledged trends. Our very human problem is that from our very limited perspective we have no visual external confirmation of the "goodness" of these actions, and we don't derive any apparent benefit.

The benefits, for way too many people, need to show in form of hard cash in significant amounts or in form of inequivocably strong, materially tangible, results. Things that happen over time, that creep up on you, just aren't perceived as benefits (or threats).
IMHO this shows very well for example, in the amount of young kids who suffer from bronchial asthma (?). Just anedoctical evidence amongst friends and acquaintances shows an incidence of 20-30% of affected small children but the general public just doesn't seem to notice, because it's a trend that is growing too slowly to be perceived by the general public as a threat.

And viceversa "good trends" are just taken for granted, as if "it's always been like this". Lake Como in the 70s used to be an open air cesspoll - chemical drums could be seen bobbing on the waves, and industrial sludge from the textile industry would paint the water in iridescent greens, blues, reds
Nowadays the lake looks almost "pristine", and the casual observer won't make the connection between then and now and what has actively done in the meantime in order to attain the current state of things.....

Paul
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Old 10.08.2008, 11:17
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Eat a Kangaroo to save the planet
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  #553  
Old 10.08.2008, 15:18
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Oh, yeah, and for all that still don't quite believe in global warming and climate change - Your time it running up:

in ~100 months or so

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karin-..._b_117413.html
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Old 10.08.2008, 21:35
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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No. I didn't say that. I said it "cannot be conclusively proved until it has happened".
Climate change/ global warming is an ongoing process.

As someone who is convinced that "something bad is happening now", and it is caused by human activity, may I ask what you would consider to be proof that it is happening/ has happened?
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  #555  
Old 10.08.2008, 21:59
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Climate change/ global warming is an ongoing process.
What does "ongoing process" mean exactly?

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As someone who is convinced that "something bad is happening now", and it is caused by human activity, may I ask what you would consider to be proof that it is happening/ has happened?
I'm not sure who is convinced.

But to try and answer your question, I would like to see a united scientific proof that
a) it is happening (I think it probably is) and
b) that we are able to make the slightest difference by turning off lights etc. I know it make sense on the electricity bill, but will it actually make a blind bit of difference to climate change??
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Old 10.08.2008, 22:59
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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What does "ongoing process" mean exactly?
I meant that it is not as if one day someone holds a press conference and says, "OK. The thing we were measuring has just given us a value of X. That means global warming has happened. We can all go home now."

Atmospheric CO2 concentration is increasing and accelerating, global temperature continues to increase as does mean sea level and the acidity of the oceans. Greenland's and the Antarctic's glaciers march faster toward the sea. As these numbers (and others) continue to change in the wrong direction, the effects of ACC become worse. As I'm sure you've read somewhere else, if we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, there is 1 - 2 degrees Celcius of temperature increase "stored up" in the planet already.

Not sure if I've answered your question.

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I'm not sure who is convinced.
Do you mean you are not sure which experts are convinced and which not?

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But to try and answer your question, I would like to see a united scientific proof that
a) it is happening (I think it probably is) and
I'm not sure what you mean by "united". Do you mean the concepts should be united (unified?) ? Or do you mean that scientists should be united in support for "a theory of global warming"?

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b) that we are able to make the slightest difference by turning off lights etc. I know it make sense on the electricity bill, but will it actually make a blind bit of difference to climate change??
Mathematically, it does make a difference. But does it make enough of one?

How about this as an expert's answer to your question?

I DO advocate switching off electrical gadgets

In the comments there is a poster who seems to think that it's not worth it to switch off appliances because he will lose money. If his attitude was genuine I despair.

I think it is a question with a subjective answer. I have friends who say "I think it's already too late." and leave the lights on. Despite the financial folly of needlessly giving one's money to a power company. More despair.
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  #557  
Old 11.08.2008, 06:32
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

¨
we seem to concentrate on C02 quite a bit on this thread, but there are other contributors (IMO) that should be discussed. Methane for example.

Large Methane Release Could Cause Abrupt Climate Change As Happened 635 Million Years Ago

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An abrupt release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, about 635 million years ago from ice sheets that then extended to Earth's low latitudes caused a dramatic shift in climate, triggering a series of events that resulted in global warming and effectively ended the last "snowball" ice age, a UC Riverside-led study reports
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According to the study, methane clathrate destabilization acted as a runaway feedback to increased warming, and was the tipping point that ended the last snowball Earth.
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These same methane clathrates are present today in the Arctic permafrost as well as below sea level at the continental margins of the ocean, and remain dormant until triggered by warming.
apparently areas of permafrost are showing increases of temperature, resulting in this "locked" methane being released in the atmosphere.

Discusss science dudes .....
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Old 11.08.2008, 08:14
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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¨
we seem to concentrate on C02 quite a bit on this thread, but there are other contributors (IMO) that should be discussed. Methane for example.
IPCC talk about "CO2 equivalent" and publish the graphs/ tables of actual non-CO2 emissions in their reports. I can provide a link if you are interested.

"Snowball Earth" is still controversial, no? The first time I heard of it was in this Scientific American article (PDF). Be great if it was true.

The "methane escaping from the permafrost" is a real possibility, either as clathrates destabilise, or as methane is produced while the rapidly warming ground decomposes.

Methane clathrates are a truly amazing possibility! Imagine seeing one of those things boiling up out of the water and flying across the sky?
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Old 11.08.2008, 08:36
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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IPCC talk about "CO2 equivalent" and publish the graphs/ tables of actual non-CO2 emissions in their reports. I can provide a link if you are interested.

"Snowball Earth" is still controversial, no? The first time I heard of it was in this Scientific American article (PDF). Be great if it was true.

The "methane escaping from the permafrost" is a real possibility, either as clathrates destabilise, or as methane is produced while the rapidly warming ground decomposes.

Methane clathrates are a truly amazing possibility! Imagine seeing one of those things boiling up out of the water and flying across the sky?
well for any disbelivers of global warming theories :



I would like to hear a rational explanation.

BoB, the whole methane piece was kicked off for me by Iain Stewart, who is currently running a programme on Sunday evenings on BBC2 ... he is a Snowball advocate.

The website to go along with the programme is here on the Plymouth University website

Yesterday, he was in Siberia, digging in frozen lakes & flare burning methane gas trapped in the ice. Basically, with temperatures rising (3°c in the last 10 years), the permafrost layer is slowly decomposing & dropping into these lakes. Further decomposition of the plant matter is generating vast quantities of methane gas, it was amazing to watch him light these flares off.
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Old 11.08.2008, 10:52
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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IPCC talk about "CO2 equivalent" and publish the graphs/ tables of actual non-CO2 emissions in their reports. I can provide a link if you are interested.

"Snowball Earth" is still controversial, no? The first time I heard of it was in this Scientific American article (PDF). Be great if it was true.

The "methane escaping from the permafrost" is a real possibility, either as clathrates destabilise, or as methane is produced while the rapidly warming ground decomposes.

Methane clathrates are a truly amazing possibility! Imagine seeing one of those things boiling up out of the water and flying across the sky?
Methane getting out of the perma frost is certainly a contributor to global warming and god behold if that all came loose. But what gets it out in the first place is the abnormal high concentration of C02 gases which are due to interference of mankind.

It's as if you were shooting somebody and then blaming it on the bullet.
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