Tag Archives | Climate Change

Top Ten Good Skeptical Arguments Against Global Warming: Roy Spencer, PhD

Picture: Victor Korniyenko (CC)

Picture: Victor Korniyenko (CC)

Climatologist, author, and former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer offers ten good skeptical arguments against global warming. Raw Story published a response to this via The Guardian, if you’d like to read it.

via Top Ten Good Skeptical Arguments « Roy Spencer, PhD.

As suggested by a friend, I’m following up my Top Ten bad global warming arguments list with a Top Ten good arguments list. These are in no particular order, and I might have missed something important.

These ten were just off the top of my head….there’s no telling what might be lingering deeper in my brain.

I have avoided specific alternative causal mechanisms of natural climate change, because I view them individually as speculative. But taken as a whole, they represent a class of unknowns that can’t be just swept under the rug just because we don’t understand them.

For some reason, all of these ended up being phrased as questions, rather than statements.

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The myth of the 97% climate change consensus

97-percent-250x247

Image Credit – jpopasia.com

Via Wattsupwiththat.com and Online.wsj.com

What is the origin of the false belief – constantly repeated by President Obama, the media and others – that almost all scientists agree about global warming?

Claims continue to be made that “97% of scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” That’s what Secretary of State John Kerry told graduating Boston College students. It’s what President Obama said in his State of the Union address and a recent tweet.

There’s just one problem – aside from the fact that this assertion is being used to help justify policies and regulations that are closing down fossil fuel power plants and crippling our economy. The claim is completely bogus. As Heartland Institute president Joe Bast and climate scientist Roy Spencer make clear in this article, the papers used to create and perpetuate the 97% claim are seriously and fundamentally flawed. The alleged consensus simply does not exist; much less does it represent anything remotely approaching 97%.

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Global Extinction Within One Lifetime?

Picture: Victor Korniyenko (CC)

Picture: Victor Korniyenko (CC)

From 2012, Michael Brown writing at the Ecologist:

It is now widely accepted that human-induced climate change is a potentially dangerous issue. In a  year (2012) when 15,000 temperature records were set in March alone and many freak weather patterns continued to cause drought and flooding across the globe the danger seems increasingly real and undeniable.

The latest addition to these concerns is the release of methane gas from the Arctic permafrost. Recently it was announced that the Russian research vessel Academician Lavrentiev had made discoveries of hundreds of methane gas eruptions in a 10,000 square mile area of the Arctic Ocean. Russian researcher Dr Igor Semiletov stated:  “These are methane fields on a scale not seen before. We found more than 100 fountains, some more than a kilometre across. The emissions went directly into the atmosphere.”

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is estimated to be about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).

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Physics Professor Says That Odds that Global Warming Is Due to Natural Factors Nil

There: That’ll settle that argument. Right?

Via E! Science News:

Author:  Robert A. Rohde (CC)

Author: Robert A. Rohde (CC)

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy. The study, published online April 6 in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Rather than using complex computer models to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lovejoy examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis: that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature.

“This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says. “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

Lovejoy’s study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability.

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The Climate Change Deniers Have Won

PIC: Greenpeace China (PD)

PIC: Greenpeace China (PD)

What’s with the “let us hope” bullshit?  Nick Cohen writes at the Observer:

The American Association for the Advancement of Science came as close as such a respectable institution can to screaming an alarm last week. “As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do,” it said as it began one of those sentences that you know will build to a “but”. “But human-caused climate risks abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.”

In other words, the most distinguished scientists from the country with the world’s pre-eminent educational institutions were trying to shake humanity out of its complacency. Why weren’t their warnings leading the news?

In one sense, the association’s appeal was not new. The Royal Society, the Royal Institution, Nasa, the US National Academy of Sciences, the US Geological Survey, the IPCC and the national science bodies of 30 or so other countries have said that man-made climate change is on the march.

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Journal Pulls Paper Due to “Legal Context” Created By Climate Contrarians

GLOBAL WARMING / CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX

GLOBAL WARMING / CLIMATE CHANGE IS A “HOAX” (Photo credit: genetew)

Some anti climate change “conspiracy” theorists blame everyone but themselves for looking bad. A strange loop happens, then another strange loop, and then academic freedom is limited.

via ars technica

The initial paper produced results that weren’t entirely surprising. By surveying visitors to climate blogs, its authors found that free-market fans tended to reject scientific findings that had potential regulatory implications, something that’s been found by a variety of other researchers. But it also found that there is a population of people who doubt scientific findings simply because they tended to doubt nearly everything, ascribing a variety of things—the Moon landings, the World Trade Center attacks, etc.—to conspiracies. This might seem surprising, but the results held up when the same authors extended the study to the US population in general.

What’s probably less surprising is that some of the subjects of the initial paper responded with a new set of conspiracy theories, focused on the paper itself.

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Global Warming Will Cause Widespread Conflict, Displace Millions and Devastate Global Economy

Alicante(30-09-1997)Coming soon! The Independent reveals the latest findings of the UN’s IPCC in advance of its next report, and it is depressing reading indeed:

Climate change will displace hundreds of millions of people by the end of this century, increasing the risk of violent conflict and wiping trillions of dollars off the global economy, a forthcoming UN report will warn.

The second of three publications by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due to be made public at the end of this month, is the most comprehensive investigation into the impact of climate change ever undertaken. A draft of the final version seen by The Independent says the warming climate will place the world under enormous strain, forcing mass migration, especially in Asia, and increasing the risk of violent conflict.

Based on thousands of peer-reviewed studies and put together by hundreds of respected scientists, the report predicts that climate change will reduce median crop yields by 2 per cent per decade for the rest of the century – at a time of rapidly growing demand for food.

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Volcanoes Contribute to Recent Global Warming ‘Hiatus’

Pic: "Volcano" Lionel Walden ca. 1880 (PD)

Pic: “Volcano” Lionel Walden ca. 1880 (PD)

Volcanoes, the cause of global warming?  Au contraire, they’re an antidote!  Via ScienceDaily:

Volcanic eruptions in the early part of the 21st century have cooled the planet, according to a study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This cooling partly offset the warming produced by greenhouse gases.

Despite continuing increases in atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, and in the total heat content of the ocean, global-mean temperatures at the surface of the planet and in the troposphere (the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere) have shown relatively little warming since 1998. This so-called ‘slow-down’ or ‘hiatus’ has received considerable scientific, political and popular attention. The volcanic contribution to the ‘slow-down’ is the subject of a new paper appearing in the Feb. 23 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Volcanic eruptions inject sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere. If the eruptions are large enough to add sulfur dioxide to the stratosphere (the atmospheric layer above the troposphere), the gas forms tiny droplets of sulfuric acid, also known as “volcanic aerosols.” These droplets reflect some portion of the incoming sunlight back into space, cooling Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere.

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Researchers Warn Against Abrupt Stop of Geoengineering Method

Pic: BeckyQ (CC)

Pic: BeckyQ (CC)

It could be dangerous if we start injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere to curb global warming and then suddenly stop.

Via EurekaAlert:

As a range of climate change mitigation scenarios are discussed, University of Washington researchers have found that the injection of sulfate particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and curb the effects of global warming could pose a severe threat if not maintained indefinitely and supported by strict reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The new study, published today, 18 February, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, has highlighted the risks of large and spatially expansive temperature increases if solar radiation management (SRM) is abruptly stopped once it has been implemented.

SRM is a proposed method of geoengineering whereby tiny sulfate-based aerosols are released into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight and cool the planet. The technique has been shown to be economically and technically feasible; however, its efficacy depends on its continued maintenance, without interruption from technical faults, global cooperation breakdown or funding running dry.

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An Insider’s Story Of The Global Attack On Climate Science

The Denial of Saint Peter

The Denial of Saint Peter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)(PD)

This article explains how NZ tax payers will likely have to foot the bill for the antics of doubt mongers.

via ars technica

An epic saga of secretly funded climate denial and harassment of scientists.

A recent headline—”Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss“—marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly funded climate denial, the harassment of scientists, and a tying-up of valuable government resources in New Zealand.

It’s likely to be a familiar story to my scientist colleagues in Australia, the UK, the US, and elsewhere around the world.

But if you’re not a scientist and are genuinely trying to work out who to believe when it comes to climate change, then it’s a story you need to hear, too. Because while the New Zealand fight over climate data appears to finally be over, it’s part of a much larger, ongoing war against evidence-based science.

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