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Climate Change: The Megathread - Read Post #1 before posting

  • #2
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,367 mod Macha


    The issue of climate change and how much humans are contributing is a subject that comes up frequently in this forum. The debate can take over other threads and so we are creating this megathread for all debate on the science of climate change. Discussion of the scientific consensus on climate change outside of this thread is not permitted and all other threads started for this purpose will be locked.

    The current scientific consensus (as per the IPCC):
    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level.

    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.

    While the details of climate change science beyond this consensus are debatable, please keep this debate within this megathread or make use of the Environmental Science forum.
    Tagged:


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Comments

  • #2


    Well thats the first point that always stuck out at me that seems to have since been rectified: When this issue came into the mainstream it was "Global Warming", and there were alarmists out there telling us about our Waterworld future and all this hyperbole. The science is still being substantiated and now it's called "Global Climate Change".

    But of course! Reminds me of Sean Hannity over on FOX. That complete tardmuppet:



    Of course in my observation we've been having record-high summers and record-low winters. See Snowmageddon; and this infograph showing the number of heat records shattered across the United States in July: http://gizmodo.com/5828421/july-broke-almost-9000-heat-records/gallery/1?preview=0


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    :D great link
    It does raise the issue of terminology, that's often mistaking posted in S&EI forum


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    Very interesting video, a bit scary to be honest. But Rifkin has some good solutions, if only us humans could get our act together and see the big picture.




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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14768574


    It's not that big a story in its own right. The significant part is that the paper that delighted climate change sceptics by declaring that the IPCC's projections of temperature rise were too high has now been pretty much completely discredited.


  • #2


    Good news Ireland is fourth lowest risk country in World from climate change according to this anyway?

    A new global ranking, calculating the vulnerability of 170 countries to the impacts of climate change over the next 30 years, identifies some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, including India, as facing the greatest risks to their populations, ecosystems and business environments.
    The new Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), released by global risks advisory firm Maplecroft, enables organisations to identify areas of risk within their operations, supply chains and investments. It evaluates 42 social, economic and environmental factors to assess national vulnerabilities across three core areas. These include: exposure to climate-related natural disasters and sea-level rise; human sensitivity, in terms of population patterns, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflicts; thirdly, the index assesses future vulnerability by considering the adaptive capacity of a country’s government and infrastructure to combat climate change.
    The index rates 16 countries as ‘extreme risk,’ including nations that represent new Asian economic power and possess significant forecasted growth. Bangladesh (1), India (2), Philippines (6), Vietnam (13) and Pakistan (16) all feature in the highest risk category and are of particular importance as they are major contributors to the ongoing global economic recovery and are vital to the future expansion of Western businesses in particular.
    “These countries are attracting high levels of foreign investment from many multinational organisations,” said Principal Environmental Analyst at Maplecroft, Dr Matthew Bunce. “However, over the next 30 years their vulnerability to climate change will rise due to increases in air temperature, precipitation and humidity. This means organisations with operations or assets in these countries will become more exposed to associated risks, such as climate-related natural disasters, resource security and conflict. Understanding climate vulnerability will help companies make their investments more resilient to unexpected change.”
    Other countries featuring in the ‘extreme risk’ category include: Madagascar (3), Nepal (4), Mozambique (5), Haiti (7), Afghanistan (8), Zimbabwe (9), Myanmar (10), Ethiopia (11), Cambodia (12), Thailand (14) and Malawi (15). According to Maplecroft, the countries with the most risk are characterised by high levels of poverty, dense populations, exposure to climate-related events; and their reliance on flood and drought prone agricultural land. Africa features strongly in this group, with the continent home to 12 out of the 25 countries most at risk.

    snip---
    There are 11 countries considered ‘low risk’ in the index, with Norway (170), Finland (169), Iceland (168), Ireland (167), Sweden (166) and Denmark (165) performing the best. However, Russia (117), USA (129), Germany (131), France (133) and the UK (138) are all rated as ‘medium risk’ countries, whilst China (49), Brazil (81) and Japan (86) feature in the ‘high risk’ category.


    ccvi_map.jpg
    http://maplecroft.com/about/news/ccvi.html


  • #2


    Here we go again. I realise there is a thread for Climate Change discussion so if the mods wanna move this they can but something tells me another full blown thread is on the line with these delicious quote mines.
    /// The IPCC Process ///
    <1939> Thorne/MetO:
    Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical
    troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a
    wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the
    uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these
    further if necessary [...]
    <3066> Thorne:
    I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
    which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
    <1611> Carter:
    It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much
    talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by
    a select core group.
    <2884> Wigley:
    Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive [...] there have been a number of
    dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [...]
    <4755> Overpeck:
    The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s
    included and what is left out.
    <3456> Overpeck:
    I agree w/ Susan [Solomon] that we should try to put more in the bullet about
    “Subsequent evidence” [...] Need to convince readers that there really has been
    an increase in knowledge – more evidence. What is it?

    Was that a big enough quote wall?


  • #2


    Malty_T wrote: »
    I just saw this on the BBC website - doesn't seem to be much to it, but I'm sure we'll see some creative interpretations all the same.
    Malty_T wrote: »
    I realise there is a thread for Climate Change discussion so if the mods wanna move this they can but something tells me another full blown thread is on the line with these delicious quote mines.
    We had a thread on the original "Climategate", but it's probably ran it's course by now. We'll leave this discussion here for the time being.


  • #2


    Malty_T wrote: »
    Here we go again. I realise there is a thread for Climate Change discussion so if the mods wanna move this they can but something tells me another full blown thread is on the line with these delicious quote mines.



    Was that a big enough quote wall?

    It's interesting that no one has bothered to get into this, in the way that previously it would have generated a lot of debate. I suppose the evidence produced is so clear, that many here don't need further discussion.


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    easychair wrote: »
    I suppose the evidence produced is so clear...
    Evidence of what exactly?


  • #2


    djpbarry wrote: »
    Evidence of what exactly?

    Thats up to each of us to decide for ourselves, I assume.


  • #2


    easychair wrote: »
    Thats up to each of us to decide for ourselves, I assume.

    [mod]Enough of this guff. Either debate in plain English without descending into relativism or don't post please.[/mod]


  • #2


    It has always seemed to me that the subject of climate change/global warming should be taken seriously, and if in doubt we should err on the side of caution. It has become increasing obvious, however, that some or many scientists involved and leading the case for climate change/global warming are not always as scrupulous, or as honest, as they should be, and in some cases have been downright dishonest to skew the facts and evidence to make their case seem more than it was.

    The first concerns were raised with the exposure of the “hockey stick” graph, a graph on which many scientists based their predictions, and which was, essentially, shown to be worthless and created out of a small amount of virtually meaningless data. Then the Climategate emails were exposed, which showed how data was manipulated, and how scientists, men who were supposed to be impartial and interested in finding the truth, stopped at nothing to discredit anyone who challenged what they called, in the emails, “the Cause”. Scientists look at evidence, and when scientists manipulate evidence and discredit those who have different evidence, alarm bells start to ring.

    Perhaps the most worrying of all was that the IPCC, a body entrusted by the world to find the truth, was exposed as a body who manipulated data and whose reports had not been based on science, but often on scare stories dreamed up by environmental activists.

    A further example of this was the scandal that emerged last week, with the release on the internet of various documents from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago think-tank long vilified by the scientists who were making claims based on bogus data, for organising conferences attended by hundreds of distinguished scientists from across the world who dared to be sceptical of the orthodoxy.

    Global temperatures have failed to rise as the computer models, upon which the whole scientific claims were based, said they would. The whole climate change/global warming argument is looking more and more shaky, and even if they are eventually proved right, those scientists who have manipulated data and used bogus evidence should be ashamed of themselves for bringing the whole subject into near ridicule.

    My hope is that we can learn the lesson to “believe” less and know more.


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    analyst2 wrote: »
    ...those scientists who have manipulated data and used bogus evidence should be ashamed of themselves...
    Name one such scientist.


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    Dr John Christysaid: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report.”


  • #2


    analyst2 wrote: »
    djpbarry wrote: »
    Name one such scientist.
    Dr John Christysaid: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report.”

    John Christy disagrees with the AGW hypothesis. Are you saying he manipulated data and is using evidence by suggesting that the majority of the scientists involved with the IPCC don't agree with AGW hypothesis?


  • #2


    analyst2 wrote: »
    Dr John Christysaid: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring...
    Which scientists? Lets have some names. We'll overlook for the moment the fact that Christy himself does not dispute that the planet is warming.


  • #2


    djpbarry wrote: »
    Which scientists? Lets have some names. We'll overlook for the moment the fact that Christy himself does not dispute that the planet is warming.
    How bout instead of this interrogative, threatening style of questioning we just see a polite rebuttal, quoting the findings of multiple investigations into the Climategate scandal?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy#Independent_Climate_Change_Email_Review


  • #2


    Half of the USA now believe that the threat of Global Warming has been exaggerated, and fewer Americans are concerned about the threat posed by global warming. In the UK only 31% now believe Climate change is definitely a reality.

    Tim Wirth, a former Colorado senator said the scientists who worked on the IPCC report were woefully outmanoeuvred in PR by business groups which have the funds to employ legions of lobbyists and communications experts. "It's not a fair fight," he said. "The IPCC is just a tiny secretariat next to this giant denier machine."

    "...in the absence of green leadership from the Prime Minister, the centre of gravity of the Conservative Party has been sliding back to climate-change scepticism..."

    Why is the world becoming more skeptical about the issue?


  • #2


    You would have to tell us, I suppose.

    Do you have a link for your article? You are violating copyright law by plagiarizing your source.


  • #2


    With kudos to Mike65,

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/08/glaciers-mountains
    The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.
    The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.
    The study is the first to survey all the world's icecaps and glaciers and was made possible by the use of satellite data. Overall, the contribution of melting ice outside the two largest caps – Greenland and Antarctica – is much less than previously estimated, with the lack of ice loss in the Himalayas and the other high peaks of Asia responsible for most of the discrepancy.
    Bristol University glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber, who was not part of the research team, said: "The very unexpected result was the negligible mass loss from high mountain Asia, which is not significantly different from zero."
    The melting of Himalayan glaciers caused controversy in 2009 when a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change mistakenly stated that they would disappear by 2035, instead of 2350. However, the scientist who led the new work is clear that while greater uncertainty has been discovered in Asia's highest mountains, the melting of ice caps and glaciers around the world remains a serious concern.
    The scientists are careful to point out that lower-altitude glaciers in the Asian mountain ranges – sometimes dubbed the "third pole" – are definitely melting. Satellite images and reports confirm this. But over the study period from 2003-10 enough ice was added to the peaks to compensate.
    The impact on predictions for future sea level rise is yet to be fully studied but Bamber said: "The projections for sea level rise by 2100 will not change by much, say 5cm or so, so we are talking about a very small modification." Existing estimates range from 30cm to 1m.
    This bit I found very interesting:
    The reason for the radical reappraisal of ice melting in Asia is the different ways in which the current and previous studies were conducted. Until now, estimates of meltwater loss for all the world's 200,000 glaciers were based on extrapolations of data from a few hundred monitored on the ground. Those glaciers at lower altitudes are much easier for scientists to get to and so were more frequently included, but they were also more prone to melting.
    The bias was particularly strong in Asia, said Wahr: "There extrapolation is really tough as only a handful of lower-altitude glaciers are monitored and there are thousands there very high up."
    The new study used a pair of satellites, called Grace, which measure tiny changes in the Earth's gravitational pull. When ice is lost, the gravitational pull weakens and is detected by the orbiting spacecraft. "They fly at 500km, so they see everything," said Wahr, including the hard-to-reach, high-altitude glaciers.
    "The new data does not mean that concerns about climate change are overblown in any way. It means there is a much larger uncertainty in high mountain Asia than we thought. Taken globally all the observations of the Earth's ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction."
    While I definitely feel Global Warming is certainly a live issue it's an interesting point, that a lot of the data and estimates we've heard over the years are at least based in part, on pretty wideband extrapolations. According to the article this was done by using data from less than 1% of all glaciers to produce estimates from those glaciers, and as mentioned these glaciers sampled were not in proportion to the conditions found on the majority of earth's glaciers. from that I guess is where scientists say in 100 years we'll be living in Waterworld, or Florida won't exist, etc. /exaggeration

    Hardly damning for the science, but it means the figures et all are thrown a bit off. As the article maintains, the data still trends in the direction of Global Warming, though the rate of change is a little less certain. Also bear in mind this study is focused on water levels and ice reserves, not global mean temperature or atmospheric content.


  • #2


    I suppose to many ordinary people, the situation is they no longer seem to buy it. Perhaps it's because the Chicago Carbon Exchange closed down due to lack of interest, maybe it was the 'climategate' emails which many believe showed that the scientists involved manipulated data, and supressed dissent. Either way ordinary people's confidence that they were being told the truth by these same people, was shaken.

    The IPCC was once regarded as the world authority on climate change, but the discovery that its reports could not be relied on and contained predictions based not on science but seemingly on claims simply dreamed up by environmental activists shook many ordinary peoples faith in the IPCC to the extent than many no longer believe its predictions.

    Perhaps these events have something to do with many ordinary people feeling mislead by these tactics and why so many simply disbelieve the whole thing as a result.


  • #2


    elmex wrote: »
    The IPCC was once regarded as the world authority on climate change, but the discovery that its reports could not be relied on...
    You're dismissing the entire series of reports as unreliable on the basis of one error?


  • #2


    djpbarry wrote: »
    You're dismissing the entire series of reports as unreliable on the basis of one error?

    I had hoped I had not dismissed anything.

    My post was about confidence in the organisations, such as the IPCC, being eroded in the eyes of many, and not about dismissing reports.

    It may not be fair, but the drip, drip, drip of claims which were exaggerated, or which were simply false, or which were based on dubious evidence, seems to have eroded confidencr or interest in the issue amongst the public.

    While I have little doubts that we can argue the merits of "himalayagate" or "africagate", claims made about the Netherlands being below sea level, the hockey stick graph and so on, thats not the point of my post, which was that many have lost confidence in the issue to the extent they no longer believe what the IPCC says.


  • #2


    elmex wrote: »
    I had hoped I had not dismissed anything.
    You said the IPCC reports could not be relied upon - that's a dismissal.
    elmex wrote: »
    It may not be fair, but the drip, drip, drip of claims which were exaggerated, or which were simply false, or which were based on dubious evidence, seems to have eroded confidencr or interest in the issue amongst the public.
    Following the discovery of the error relating to Himalayan glaciers, elements of the media, such as the Sunday Times' Jonathan Leake, began scouring the IPCC reports in search of further errors. While Leake and his pears have claimed other inaccuracies exist, all such claims were found to be (largely) baseless.
    elmex wrote: »
    ...many have lost confidence in the issue to the extent they no longer believe what the IPCC says.
    I doubt that is the case. I would argue that those who have no confidence in what the IPCC says never had any confidence in what the IPCC ever said, as they do not wish to accept the evidence presented.


  • #2


    djpbarry wrote: »
    You said the IPCC reports could not be relied upon - that's a dismissal.
    Following the discovery of the error relating to Himalayan glaciers, elements of the media, such as the Sunday Times' Jonathan Leake, began scouring the IPCC reports in search of further errors. While Leake and his pears have claimed other inaccuracies exist, all such claims were found to be (largely) baseless.
    I doubt that is the case. I would argue that those who have no confidence in what the IPCC says never had any confidence in what the IPCC ever said, as they do not wish to accept the evidence presented.

    What I said was that the numbers of those who no longer believe it are increasing. Your doubts seem to contradict the findings of a gallup poll last year, which concluded “…Gallup's annual update on Americans' attitudes toward the environment shows a public that over the last two years has become less worried about the threat of global warming, less convinced that its effects are already happening, and more likely to believe that scientists themselves are uncertain about its occurrence. In response to one key question, 48% of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated, up from 41% in 2009 and 31% in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question…”

    It would be good to hear the argument you say you would argue, given the evidence from Gallup that, since 1997, 17% more Americans believe that the threat is generally exaggerated.


  • #2


    elmex wrote: »
    ...17% more Americans believe that the threat is generally exaggerated.
    Unless those Americans are referring specifically to exaggerations from the IPCC, which I don't think they are (based on the use of the term "generally"), then it doesn't really support your previous point.

    But anyway, why does it matter? Should public confidence in science be taken as some sort of indicator of legitimacy, regardless of how informed that public may or may not be?


  • #2


    elmex wrote: »
    …many have lost confidence in the issue to the extent they no longer believe what the IPCC says.
    djpbarry wrote: »
    I doubt that is the case.

    In light of the Gallup poll, do you still doubt that is the case?


  • #2


    elmex wrote: »
    In light of the Gallup poll, do you still doubt that is the case?
    Eh, yes - I just explained why: the poll doesn't support your claim that many people "no longer believe what the IPCC says".

    And I'm also wondering why it matters? You're implying that if people don't believe what the IPCC says, that undermines their reports? Why?


  • #2


    elmex wrote: »
    I suppose to many ordinary people, the situation is they no longer seem to buy it.

    I read an article in the Guardian which said the same is true for the UK.

    "The proportion of adults who believe climate change is "definitely" a reality dropped by 30% over the last year, from 44% to 31%, in the latest survey by Ipsos Mori.

    Overall around nine out of 10 people questioned still appear to accept some degree of global warming."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/british-public-belief-climate-poll


  • #2


    djpbarry wrote: »
    Eh, yes - I just explained why: the poll doesn't support your claim that many people "no longer believe what the IPCC says".

    What interests me about the polling is what it it does show, which is a significant shift in opinion, and that shift says that "48% of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated"

    I don't imagine that those people believe the IPCC but disbelieve everyone else, as the poll doesn't say, but if you want to argue that case then I'll certainly try to facilitate you.
    djpbarry wrote: »
    And I'm also wondering why it matters?

    As we have seen in Queensland in the last week, the Labour government was annhilated in the polls, attributed largely to its commitment to a carbon tax.

    Why it matters is because individuals have votes. And if a large number of individuals, as the polls show, believe that the threat from global warming is exaggerated, then they are likely to do as the voters in Queensland has just done, and kick any political party who wants to impose taxes on them in the name of climate change.

    I think I am right to say that Australia is the first country in the world where unpopular environmental policies have become a political game-changer, and that is why it matters.


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