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The All Things Global Warming / Climate Change / Climate Disruption Thread


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#1 LFC

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 05:48 PM

By DSP's suggestion, I'm starting this thread as a running discussion about man mad climate change. I'm posting in the Political forum because the science is, by and large, settled and at this point is simply becoming more accurate and overwhelming. As a result, any "debate" about the science can be seen as political since it's absolutely not scientific. Debate about what should be done is certainly a wide open topic at this point, but that's obviously very political.

I'll start out by addressing a recent comment on another thread:

View Postdsp, on 03 June 2014 - 04:29 PM, said:

It's not that simple. Silver definitely knows what he's talking about when it comes to statistical models used to make predictions. Climate scientists make heavy use of such models. Of necessity, they must incorporate assumptions and methodological choices -- things that require judgment and could end up being wrong -- into the climate models.

In addition, according to one non-denialist expert at MIT quoted by Silver, said climate models are error prone because they use millions of lines of code. Another expert quoted by Silver said the worldwide track record for model-based prediction shows the more complex the model, the worse the prediction outcomes. Climate models are very complex, so make of that what you will given the track record for other models. Silver also made this point about the the IPCCs climate models which I found interesting:

Simply put, models have actually been doing a pretty good job of predicting global temperature increases:
http://www.skeptical...mate-models.htm
http://www.realclima...ion-comparions/

"There could be bugs in the code!" and "models are very complex!" are typical smokescreen positions that desperately attempt to cast doubt, ANY doubt possible, on the science without acknowledging that for multiple decades they've actually been quite correct about the warming trend (though some models apparently have been too conservative).
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#2 Traveler

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:02 PM

Hey dsp, hop on over to heartland to see what LFC and I are talking about. We need the skeptics to at least try, and you are elected. :)
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#3 J-CA

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:39 PM

Posted Image
Who else has their money on the top of the grey being the model's actual middle projection and everything below it being the cover-your-butt fudge-factor?
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#4 Traveler

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:18 PM

Sea level rise is confounded by land rebound after the ice sheets melted. While it raises the formerly ice covered land inland, surprisingly it lowers it at the coasts. FLA and much of the E. USA has this problem. They are sinking every year as much as the overall oceans are rising, so they get the double whammy. Furthermore, the Antarctic ice sheet collapse is gonna make even those predictions mighty rosy.

J-CA, can you give a link to that chart? While I concur there is a CYA element involved, I have never seen observed data so close to the upper bound of a model.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#5 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:42 PM

The observed hugging the upper bound makes me think the models are too conservative.
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#6 Traveler

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:59 PM

Which is exactly what J-CA (and I) were saying, in different terms. Note carefully the nonlinearity in the trends prior to and after 1990. Not a good sign at all. Florida is toast. And everyone knows it except Rubio. No dikes can work because all the water comes in through the porous bedrock. They are dead in the water. Literally.

Indy, can you think of a way to profit from this very sure thing bet?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#7 AnBr

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:45 PM

View PostTraveler, on 04 June 2014 - 05:59 PM, said:

And everyone knows it except Rubio.

I think he knows, just doesn't give a rat's ass for the state he represents. That is why so many of the Republicans are now saying "don't ask me, I'm not a scientist" as it becomes more and more obvious to even the thickest skulled knuckle draggers that a whole bunch of them are toast. You know, plausible deniability.
"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

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Second inaugural address January, 1937

#8 J-CA

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 10:55 PM

View PostTraveler, on 04 June 2014 - 05:59 PM, said:

Indy, can you think of a way to profit from this very sure thing bet?
I'm going to go big into stilts!

The image above was from here: http://www.skeptical...mate-models.htm
Which cited this: http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.com/
You can find the image on page 39 of this: http://www.ccrc.unsw...gnosis_HIGH.pdf
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#9 Traveler

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 06:55 AM

And for the 1/6 of the planet relying on snowpack for their water, things don't look good.

Quote

The team studied 420 basins. They found that "as the fraction of precipitation falling as snow increased, so did stream flow. Then they focused on 97 basins for which snow made up more than 15 percent of a winter's precipitation. The pattern repeated, with these basins showing evidence of being quite sensitive to changes in the rain-snow mix," the report said.
The effects of global warming need only be minor in order for the snowmelt patterns to change. "Global warming is very likely to reduce the amount of snow significantly in snow-affected catchments, even if temperatures rise only two degrees Celsius. The new research suggests that the amount of water in rivers will be reduced as a result of the decrease in snow," the researchers said in the release.


"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#10 indy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:27 AM

View PostTraveler, on 04 June 2014 - 05:59 PM, said:

Indy, can you think of a way to profit from this very sure thing bet?

Gondolas? Works for Venice.

#11 dsp

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 08:20 AM

So that we don't talk past each other, I'm going outline how I think about the issues in general.

1) I'm not a "climate denier." I accept AGW is happening.

2) The "denier" label is overused. If someone disputes that a cap and trade policy is a good solution for emissions, that fact doesn't necessarily make the person a denier. Disagreement with liberal policy ideas is not the same thing as denial.

3) The honorable word "skeptic" has been ruined by people determined to make the word synonymous with denier. In my experience, the guilty parties are mainly ideologically motivated, liberal pundits and public intellectuals without science training and a political agenda.

4) Nate Silver uses the term "healthy skepticism," basically a person who accepts AGW is happening but is appropriately skeptical about some particular point or other, and who does not veer into claims AGW is not happening at all.

5) Nate Silver, not Heartland or any other RW org, put me onto the points about the models. Silver has math training. His specialty is directly relevant to a key aspect of the debate: the reliability of models for making accurate predictions. My points about the models are from The Signal and The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail But Some Don't, Chapter 12, "A Climate of Healthy Skepticism."

6) I went back and looked at that chapter. Silver quotes one specialist affiliated with Heartland. He also quotes Michael Mann, among others, on the other side. I'm not going to make up my mind about Heartland until I can do more research. Meanwhile, I trust that Silver has enough expertise and judgment not to quote a person with no credibility at all on the topic.

#12 LFC

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 08:48 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 04 June 2014 - 10:55 PM, said:

I'm going to go big into stilts!

Yepper. It's the American way!

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 J-CA

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:26 AM

There is something in Nate Silver's climate chapter for everyone, but the overall message is actually that the models are good and getting better. The most important point he makes is that greenhouse gas levels need to be part of your model in order for it to predict accurately when "hindcasting" (verification of a model against known scenarios with real data). This means that the models have the right general picture of how the climate system works, doubting them by a degree or two over a few decades is immaterial, they are already good enough to predict correctly that we are screwed.
I am the burrito until someone hands me to a philosopher.

#14 LFC

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 09:38 AM

At this point, I think you are playing the victim card and just looking for ways to take offense due to those nasty liberals.

View Postdsp, on 05 June 2014 - 08:20 AM, said:

2) The "denier" label is overused. If someone disputes that a cap and trade policy is a good solution for emissions, that fact doesn't necessarily make the person a denier. Disagreement with liberal policy ideas is not the same thing as denial.

The denier label is actually used quite accurately. Show me some serious discussions where people present alternatives to cap and trade, but they get slammed as "deniers". Now if all they do is say "I believe in man-made global warming but, but, but ... CHINA! INDIA! There's nothing we can do!" then they are denying something else completely. Still, it's just another brand of denial, something I've been predicting for years would occur.

View Postdsp, on 05 June 2014 - 08:20 AM, said:

3) The honorable word "skeptic" has been ruined by people determined to make the word synonymous with denier. In my experience, the guilty parties are mainly ideologically motivated, liberal pundits and public intellectuals without science training and a political agenda.

I'm sorry, but you are flat out WRONG! The honorable word "skeptic" has been ruined by denialists claiming to be skeptics. Do a bit of research on the leading denialists out there like Christopher Monckton, Anthony Watts, Richard Tol, Heartland Institute, etc. Here are a good sources for you to grasp what real skepticism actually is and how the denialists have co-opted and destroyed the meaning of the word "skeptic", NOT "people determined to make the word synonymous with denier." (Well, actually I may be totally wrong. The deniers calling themselves skeptics ARE trying to make the words synonymous for their own purposes.)

http://www.realclima...a-real-sceptic/
http://www.skeptical...al-science.html


View Postdsp, on 05 June 2014 - 08:20 AM, said:

4) Nate Silver uses the term "healthy skepticism," basically a person who accepts AGW is happening but is appropriately skeptical about some particular point or other, and who does not veer into claims AGW is not happening at all.

5) Nate Silver, not Heartland or any other RW org, put me onto the points about the models. Silver has math training. His specialty is directly relevant to a key aspect of the debate: the reliability of models for making accurate predictions. My points about the models are from The Signal and The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail But Some Don't, Chapter 12, "A Climate of Healthy Skepticism."

6) I went back and looked at that chapter. Silver quotes one specialist affiliated with Heartland. He also quotes Michael Mann, among others, on the other side. I'm not going to make up my mind about Heartland until I can do more research. Meanwhile, I trust that Silver has enough expertise and judgment not to quote a person with no credibility at all on the topic.

You're sounding like you believe climate scientists have no skepticism. On the basics, they really don't. Why? Overwhelming evidence. That's how science works. On specifics they have many. And I'd love to know who the "one specialist affiliated with Heartland" is so I can see if Silver understands the source he selected. BTW, does Silver note just how right the climate scientists have been on the big trends like global temperatures, sea level rise, loss of polar and glacial ice mass, etc.?

There are many specific things being debated and studied further in climate science today, and that's good and necessary. The problem is, they aren't really being debated in the political world, only the scientific world. And those who don't want to do anything about the problem now (mostly due to profit motives) have no interest in the separation of settled science and real skepticism, even though they call themselves "skeptics".

Simply put, you're pissed off at the wrong people.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#15 Rabiner

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:53 AM

Yea, I was gonna say the same thing LFC. The reason "skeptic" means "denier" is because conservatives who are really climate change deniers use the word "skeptic" to make it sound like they're less rigid about their lack of acceptance of the science. The problem revolving around climate change and government action is the large number of people who are unwilling to accept the science and then start with the premise of "what should we do to solve this?" as opposed to rejecting the science and saying "is this really happening?". You won't be constructive to the first question without first answering the second.
Government in particular has an obligation to dismiss any employee who claims a right to discriminate against citizens. - Garret Epps

#16 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 11:12 AM

One of my favorites is the denier screening (typing in all caps) "FOLLOW THE MONEY!", mesning grants for studies of climate change. 'Cause the carbon fuel extraction industry is all non-profit, don'tcha know.
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#17 Traveler

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 12:44 PM

Bad news for LNG, or NG at all for that matter.

Quote

An explosive new report from the U.S. Department of Energy makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources.
That is, if one uses estimates for methane leakage based on actual observations.
This is the same conclusion I reached back in 2012, based on
  • Emerging analyses of how even a relatively low leakage rate in the natural gas production and delivery system negate its climate benefit, and
  • A 2009 EU report on how the energy-intensive liquefaction process and transportation further increase LNG emissions.
Again, natural gas is mostly methane, and some 86 times (to as much as 105 times) better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
One of the country’s leading experts on natural gas leaks told me, “a close reading of the DOE report in the context of the recent literature indicates that exporting natural gas from the U.S. as LNG is a very poor idea.”

I have been following this for a while, but never realized it was this bad. So it looks we have really cooked our goose now, given the trillions of cubic feet processed worldwide. Note also that Russian NG is supposedly better, largely because it avoids the liquifaction and transport losses. This is a major bummer.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#18 AnBr

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

Everyone knows that Exxon-Mobil had nothing at stake when they published their study that seems to be the root source for nearly all denialists claims. It's all those damned thousandaire climatologist.
"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#19 J-CA

    Probably in one of my drunken stupors..

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:28 PM

The problem I have with methane leak analysis is that I can't find anyplace that clearly identifies the trade off with carbon.
Methane is gone in 10-12 years, carbon dioxide is gone in anywhere from 20 to thousands of years. Methane is 80-100 worse for trapping energy.
I have no idea what is a reasonable compromise between CO2 and methane.
I am the burrito until someone hands me to a philosopher.

#20 Traveler

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 01:38 PM

Great points. Also, what are the relative amounts involved? Seems to me CO2 is discharged at many, many orders of magnitude greater. However, the IPCC notes that ruminants and termites are a major source of AGW from methane.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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