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HowMany
Joined: Mar 22, 2013
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February 25th, 2015 at 11:33:02 AM permalink
Stephen Schneider - Climate Scientist and EXPERT.

He appeared in the documentary "The Coming Ice Age" 1978. He said, "We are entering another an ice age. It will happen within our lifetime."

He later became Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University, and the he said, "Global Warming is the biggest threat to mankind."

Of course, Mr Schneider won't change his mind again - he's dead.
bobsims
bobsims
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February 25th, 2015 at 11:52:48 AM permalink
Quote: harvson3

That's not really true. Sea level rise at Virginia Key, just south of South Beach, has been recorded.
http://grist.org/cities/miami-sea-level-rise-climate-change/



I just personally know too many people who began going to Miami Beach in the 50's and when you ask them if the ocean has moved up they laugh in your face and look at you like you're on dope. I myself can attest to 40 plus years.
Wake me up when Collins Ave. is under water. Doubt it will be in the next thousand years.
bobsims
bobsims
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February 25th, 2015 at 12:00:11 PM permalink
Quote: cmc0605

I do climate science. That's the field I am actively engaged in research in, and if I could show that global warming was not happening and was not predominately caused by humans, I'd be famous and win a nobel.

The approach in grant writing is to say something is important but so uncertain that we need more study. The incentive for an individual is to overturn current thinking.

The fact is that global warming is happening, and can be attributed with high confidence to extra CO2 in the atmosphere. The physics underlying the problem is over 100 years old and is on the same footing as any other scientific principle. Although the atmosphere is complex (like the study of stars and black holes and everything else) we actually do know some stuff.



OK. Kindly explain to me, if the science "over 100 years old" why as a boy in the 70's I saw the "scientific consensus" on TV, books, newsmagazines and Nat. Geographic that there was a "Coming Ice Age"?

http://content.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,944914,00.html
harvson3
harvson3
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February 25th, 2015 at 12:09:16 PM permalink
You stated that the level hasn't risen. I showed that it has, according to measurements taken over time by a Univ. of Miami researcher.

(Here's another article, published yesterday, about the same phenomenon in the northeast: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150224/ncomms7346/full/ncomms7346.html)

Your answer is that you know some people who know things about Miami Beach, and because a significant rise hasn't yet happened, then it's not going to happen.

I'm not convinced by anecdotes and logical fallacies.
harvson3
harvson3
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February 25th, 2015 at 12:13:36 PM permalink
Quote: bobsims

OK. Kindly explain to me, if the science "over 100 years old" why as a boy in the 70's I saw the "scientific consensus" on TV, books, newsmagazines and Nat. Geographic that there was a "Coming Ice Age"?

http://content.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,944914,00.html



The vast majority of scientific research in the 1970s predicted a warming climate.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm
cmc0605
cmc0605
Joined: Jul 25, 2013
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February 25th, 2015 at 1:42:39 PM permalink
Quote: reno

I'm generally sympathetic to the theory of climate change. Your professional field involves thousands of scientists working at hundreds of universities across dozens of languages, and for them to all be organized into a giant conspiracy/hoax is difficult for me to swallow. It's much more likely that the Earth is warming.

Nevertheless I have questions. Here are four:

1) Apparently the planet has warmed by about 0.7 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. To the layman, this seems a rather small, insignificant change. Why should we worry about a rise of just 0.7 degrees?

2) As the Earth warms, we've been told to brace ourselves for more (tropical) storms of greater intensity. But the past few hurricane seasons have been noticeably quiet in North America. Is there a relationship between climate change and storm frequency/strength?

3) What's the biggest worry (for humans)? That the ice caps will melt and the coasts will flood? That tropical diseases (malaria, etc.) will spread? Droughts? Agriculture disaster/famine?

4) Do you ever have any doubts that perhaps the current temperature rise is merely a coincidence? Temps go up, temps go down, maybe it's all just part of the natural cycle?



Hi, thanks for the good questions.

On (1), I like to think of climate change problems in "ice age units" (after this good cartoon)...the point being that "global average temperature" (which is admittedly a rather obscure concept until you think about this stuff for too long) actually does not change very much, which contrasts with our intuition with respect to daily weather for example. 4-5 Celsius (multiply these numbers by 1.8 to get Fahrenheit) degrees colder is roughly the last ice age. 5 degrees warmer is roughly the Cretaceous or Eocene (many tens of millions of years ago) when you don't have much polar ice at all. These numbers get inflated by a factor of two or three in continental interiors and polar regions.

There's certainly been some better effort in recent years to make some contact with these sort of numbers and things we care about, for example the increased frequency of what would currently be a 2 or 3 standard deviation anomaly at some location (e.g., a heat wave). Much of what we actually care about is related to precipitation as well, not just temperature, and we know of several robust responses in the hydrologic cycle that matter. It's not the end of humanity of course, but when you move the climate of New York to something like that of Georgia, or melt enough sea ice to change geopolitical dynamics, or turn the climate we've experienced for over 10,000 years (since agriculture and civilized society) into something like that of what Earth had 3 million years ago, then it's socio-politically relevant and relevant for other species that are sensitive to climate. The claim I make (and I suspect most people thinking about this clearly) is that we ought to actually care about that and make choices based on sound science and risk management, not dismiss it with wishful thinking or act like the world is ending tomorrow.

On (2), the current thinking is typically that tropical storms get a bit less frequent in a warmer tropical atmospheric environment but the strongest storms get a bit stronger. There's still some debate on this though, and detection in observations is difficult because the year-to-year variability is much larger than the expected trend. In gambling language, looking at tropical cyclone trends over a few years (and in one locale) is like claiming to have established the expected return for a player in blackjack by analyzing 10 hands. This is in contrast to the global-mean temperature trend, for example, which is well outside the expected range of natural variability. Personally, I don't view tropical cyclone changes as the most robust or most serious issue in climate change, and certainly the basic framework for what we know about why climate is changing can be decoupled from the question of how tropical cyclones will change.

I think I've touched on (3) and there's a lot of literature on this. Ultimately, what you worry about depends on your location and values. In regions like that of the Sahel, which sit right on the northern edge of peaks in tropical rainfall, any tendency for that peak to move a bit south could cause massive drought and political unrest (as it did in the second half of the 20th century). Ice loss will affect people at the poles and on coastal regions, but probably not too much in Chicago. If you're in Russia, you're probably happy to get some warmer winters. A lot of things change though in the circulation and hydrology even if you warm the atmosphere uniformly by a few degrees , so those need to be monitored.

On (4), there's a lot of work on the attribution problem in climate. It does not rely explicitly on correlations between CO2 and global temperature. The simplest answer to your question would be simply to acknowledge the basic and well-understood physics that links global temperature changes to CO2. It would be nice to have an easy way to get around that (and I'd love to show it wrong) bu that is just not how our atmosphere works, or any other planetary atmosphere for that matter (Venus is a limiting case of an extreme CO2 greenhouse effect). The next part would be to engage in some detective work- there's actually only a few candidates that could fundamentally change Earth's energy balance in such a way as we've observed, for instance changes in solar activity, but then we have satellites that show no trend in solar output for well over 50 years. We also know of various "fingerprints" associated with enhanced solar activity- for example a warming everywhere in the atmosphere, whereas CO2 warms the surface and most of the atmospheric column, except near the top of the atmosphere which cools. That's what we observe and was a prediction going back to the 1960s. Other "big picture" predictions and some history of the problem are in this excellent AGU talk a few years ago.

It's easy to do lip service to the notion of "natural cycles" but whatever these cycles are, they need to obey the laws of physics. For example, any "cycle" that takes heat out of the ocean and warms the atmosphere needs to also show up as some cooling in the ocean. We actually don't see much evidence for unexplainable "cycles" in the modern or past climate record- there is internal variability (El Nino, etc) and "forced" variations (from volcanic eruptions, orbital changes, etc). These things have different associated timescales and different fingerprints/impacts, and despite the complexity and unknown problems in atmospheric dynamics, there is an elegant and emergent simplicity in the responses we see to these things that may not be intuitive.
PBguy
PBguy
Joined: Sep 4, 2013
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March 14th, 2015 at 1:27:18 AM permalink
I found this interesting and some of you may too:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565
bobsims
bobsims
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March 14th, 2015 at 8:29:41 PM permalink
Quote: PBguy

I found this interesting and some of you may too:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565



Somebody needs to tell the investors spending billions in Miami construction that the Chicken Littles say they are going to sink any day now.
cmc0605
cmc0605
Joined: Jul 25, 2013
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March 21st, 2015 at 6:57:28 PM permalink
Quote: PBguy

I found this interesting and some of you may too:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565



The very first sentence is an irritating strawman. Like astrophysics, geology, biology, etc no one says "climate science is settled." What people do say is that the basic physics required to understand why CO2 does, and will, make the planet warmer is in fact settled.

The rest just shows he has no understanding of the basic science, or at least is so poorly framed that the lay reader is left with the completely wrong impression. It is true, for instance, that "sub-grid" processes (e.g.. cloud microphysics) must be parametrized, but this is a distraction from the salient point.
PBguy
PBguy
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March 25th, 2015 at 1:11:08 PM permalink
Quote: cmc0605

The very first sentence is an irritating strawman. Like astrophysics, geology, biology, etc no one says "climate science is settled." What people do say is that the basic physics required to understand why CO2 does, and will, make the planet warmer is in fact settled.

The rest just shows he has no understanding of the basic science, or at least is so poorly framed that the lay reader is left with the completely wrong impression. It is true, for instance, that "sub-grid" processes (e.g.. cloud microphysics) must be parametrized, but this is a distraction from the salient point.



In a news story about Al Gore's testimony in front of Congress in 2007, NPR wrote "The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers." But Al Gore didn't say that. It's not a quote. At best it's a summation of his remarks. Unfortunately it ends up being basically an urban legend that he said it.

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