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JerrySeinfeld

Globe Cooled 0.7C in 2007

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I've seen that chart a number of times before used by other people trying to make a case against anthropogenic climate change!
It was produced by a C.R. Scotese who has no interest in the GW debate - he is just a geologist that analyzes the available data. The fact is there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature in the geological record. Alarmists who claim otherwise simply cherry pick the times when CO2 and temps happen to be moving in the same direction and *presume* that CO2 must be the driver.
it proves no connection between CO2 and the greenhouse effect -- something we learned was real 35 years ago in high school science class - and long before there was a global warming controversy.
What I learned in science is one must look at the data. CO2 is a greenhouse gas an probably has some affect on temperature, however, that observation does not mean that CO2 is a major climate driver responsible for large swings in the earth's climate. Nobody believed that before the GW hysteria and nobody will believe once the real weather discredits the alarmists.
Our results demonstrate that pCO2 ranged between 1000 to 1500 parts per million by volume in the middle to late Eocene, then decreased in several steps during the Oligocene, and reached modern levels by the latest Oligocene.
Matches the chart I gave you.
The fall in pCO2 likely allowed for a critical expansion of ice sheets on Antarctica and promoted conditions that forced the onset of terrestrial C4 photosynthesis.
Nothing but an opinion unsupported by the facts when one looks at the complete history of climate changes.
it Here we present a CO2 record based on stomatal frequency data from multiple tree species. Our data show striking CO2 fluctuations of ≈600–300 parts per million by volume (ppmv).
The stomatal data are rountinely ignored by alarmists because they suggest that CO2 levels in the recent past were much larger than today.
it Major changes in Miocene terrestrial ecosystems, such as the expansion of grasslands and radiations among terrestrial herbivores such as horses, can be linked to these marked fluctuations in CO2.
Pure speculation based on their presumption that CO2 is a major driver of climate.
Did it ever occur to you that climate is a very complex interactive system, and one factor such as 1.5% CO2 levels that may benefit some plants will have catastrophic effects elsewhere?
Did it ever occur to you that the planet is an amazingly stable system that could not be that way unless there were a number of negative feedback mechanism that compensate for perturbations whether they come from animals, plants, meteors or volcanoes.
I'll give you one example that it being widely discussed already: the increasing acidification of the world's oceans. There is an inverse relationship between the amount of oxygen sea water can absorbe when it increases the amount of absorption of carbon dioxide, and this leads to greater acidification that is wiping out coral reefs all around the world already.
BS. Coral evolved in a much higher CO2 environment and it will survive fine. Other studies show that coral can adapt to higher CO2 levels.
The warming caused by higher CO2 levels is melting the Polar Ice Caps
So bud. The polar ice caps are melting because of warmer ocean currents. We have no idea whether these currents are natural oscillations or the result more CO2. This chart of Greenland temperatures over the last 6000 years demonstrates that the current arctic temperatures are NOT unusual: http://mclean.ch/climate/Eye_opening.htm
A hypothetical problem? Our world will be thrown into a catastrophe if we keep blindly following the same course we're on now, and the people who are living on the margins, are already suffering real effects of climate change since they are the ones least able to afford the rising costs of food caused by increasing floods and droughts; and they are in a disadvantaged position to be able to afford to build homes that can withstand hurricanes and cyclones, and also have fewer options of moving to safer areas away from coastal flood plains.
ROTFL. You really believe this tripe? The sea level has been rising since the last ice age. It is expected to rise another 30cm over the next 100 years no matter what happens to CO2. The IPCC AR4 predicts that the worst case scenario is 1m - something that can easily be delt with.. Floods and droughts have always happened and always will happen and there is no evidence that they are happening more frequently. Edited by Riverwind

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It was produced by a C.R. Scotese who has no interest in the GW debate - he is just a geologist that analyzes the available data. The fact is there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature in the geological record. Alarmists who claim otherwise simply cherry pick the times when CO2 and temps happen to be moving in the same direction and *presume* that CO2 must be the driver.

Which doesn't answer the question of why the chart you provided was taken from a research paper led by Mark Pagini, published in Science Magazine, and they see the chart as correlating a drop in CO2 with the formation of the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

What I learned in science is one must look at the data. CO2 is a greenhouse gas an probably has some affect on temperature, however, that observation does not mean that CO2 is a major climate driver responsible for large swings in the earth's climate. Nobody believed that before the GW hysteria and nobody will believe once the real weather discredits the alarmists.

You're wrong to state that "nobody" believed that increased CO2 levels would affect the climate 30 or 40 years ago. There was more limited information available at the time, and expert opinion at the time was divided between four possible scenarios for the future:

1. rising CO2 levels would cause global warming because of the greenhouse effect.

2. rising CO2 levels would increase cloud formation and block out sunlight, and cause the Earth to cool.

3. the greenhouse effect and increased cloud formation would cancel each other out to make temperature changes negligible.

4. both effects wouldn't be strong enough to impact on the Earth's climate.

Even back then, there were scientists concerned that human activity was having an effect on the world's climate -- there just wasn't enough information available to draw any definitive conclusions.

Matches the chart I gave you.
It's the same chart!
Nothing but an opinion unsupported by the facts when one looks at the complete history of climate changes.

Opinion? How did they get this paper published if they're just giving opinions without evidence to back up their claims? You say the chart shows no evidence of a correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperatures, but a team of scientists use that same chart as evidence to prove that declining CO2 levels lowered temperatures enough to allow the formation of glaciers since the Oligocene Era -- so who are we supposed to believe here, you or the people publishing the research?

Have you ever tried to contact them directly and dispute their claims? The general rule of thumb when dealing with scientific or technical subjects is to favour the consensus of expert opinion. There are always a few cranks in every scientific field with outlandish theories, and every once in a while the heretics are on the right track and have had valid reasons to break with the common wisdom of the time, but if they can't convince their peers, the rest of us are going to assume they don't have a strong case to begin with.

Pure speculation based on their presumption that CO2 is a major driver of climate.

Here we go again! Have you ever written to the journals like Science or PNAS to challenge some of the research papers that they have published? If not, the climate change skeptic movement starts looking like the intelligent design movement -- which does no research or testing of their own, and concentrates on presenting their case before a largely uninformed public, instead of trying to convince other scientists working in the same fields.

Did it ever occur to you that the planet is an amazingly stable system that could not be that way unless there were a number of negative feedback mechanism that compensate for perturbations whether they come from animals, plants, meteors or volcanoes.

No! Because the planet is not a stable system! There have been wild fluctuations in the Earth's climate in the past - from Snowball Earth to a number of occasions when the entire planet was free of ice and covered with tropical vegetation. And the number of mass extinctions that were primarily caused by natural changes due to plate techtonics and formation of flood basalt plains, show that this world is far from the self-regulating mother-earth goddess that some believers in the Gaia Hypothesis would like to imagine!

Some of the negative feedback systems, such as the carbon sequestration done by the world's oceans, is increasing acidification and harming marine life - especially corals. And according to E.O. Wilson, there is nothing to stop that negative feedback loop from all of a sudden turning into a positive feedback loop and dumping all of the absorbed carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

BS. Coral evolved in a much higher CO2 environment and it will survive fine. Other studies show that coral can adapt to higher CO2 levels.

Then why are they dying?

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Which doesn't answer the question of why the chart you provided was taken from a research paper led by Mark Pagini, published in Science Magazine, and they see the chart as correlating a drop in CO2 with the formation of the Antarctic Ice Sheets.
So what? The chart shows other times when temps increased while CO2 decreased or vise versa. You cannot build a credible theory by only looking at the data that supports your hypothesis - you got to look at all the data and explain why the contradictions exist. In fact, this is the exact argument used by alarmists to dismiss connections between the sun and climate.
Even back then, there were scientists concerned that human activity was having an effect on the world's climate -- there just wasn't enough information available to draw any definitive conclusions.
And there still is not enough information to draw definitive conclusions.
Opinion? How did they get this paper published if they're just giving opinions without evidence to back up their claims?
Many climate science papers consist of an analysis of inconclusive data and then conclud by making educated guesses about the cause and effect relationships. This is true of skeptical papers as well as alarmist papers. Making guesses is not necessarily wrong but it is important to distinguish between the facts and the opinions. You quoted opinions and not facts.
Have you ever tried to contact them directly and dispute their claims? The general rule of thumb when dealing with scientific or technical subjects is to favour the consensus of expert opinion.
Sure. But when it comes to a politicized topic like climate science where skeptics are publicly attacked for their views the no one can reasonably say the consensus is based on anything more than intimidation and peer pressure.
No! Because the planet is not a stable system! There have been wild fluctuations in the Earth's climate in the past - from Snowball Earth to a number of occasions when the entire planet was free of ice and covered with tropical vegetation.
The snowball earth theory is disputed. The greenhouse earth allowed life to thrive.
Good olde fashion pollution?

Pop question: which is a better use of taxpayer money:

1) Building a sewage treatment plant for Victoria

2) Paying offsets to make Victoria "carbon free".

Choosing 1) should be obvious but in a CO2 obsessed world dumping raw sewage into the ocean is less of a concern.

Edited by Riverwind

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Is it the belief of some that there is no limit to the amount of CO2 that can be released by humans without causing some change?
Humans affect climate in a multitude of ways and there is no doubt that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some warming. What we don't know is how much warming CO2 causes and (more importantly) we don't know whether this warming will be good, bad or inconsequential.

That said, action on CO2 could be justified even with our limited knowledge if the cost of action was manageable. The problem is emitting CO2 is as necessary as breathing and policies designed to eliminate CO2 emissions will either be too weak to have any effect or cause more harm than good.

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So what? The chart shows other times when temps increased while CO2 decreased or vise versa. You cannot build a credible theory by only looking at the data that supports your hypothesis - you got to look at all the data and explain why the contradictions exist. In fact, this is the exact argument used by alarmists to dismiss connections between the sun and climate.

What I want to know (and you haven't answered yet) is what the experts in statistical charting and climatology see when they look at those charts. To someone like me, you can make a case that there is no correlation between the CO2 measurements and the estimated global temperatures -- so what are the experts seeing that the layman doesn't?

My suspicions are aroused by this sort of demonstration with no info behind it, because this is the sort of tactic used by creationists and I.D. theorists to promote their claims.

One example I came across on another forum a couple of years ago was when a chemical engineer, who somehow was also a young-earth creationist, posted anatomical drawings of modern apes side by side with some of our hominid ancestors to try to advance a claim that these hominids weren't really human. And just as with that chart, there was no background information accompanying his research taken from creationist books and websites.

When I did a little ferreting around to learn a little about how paleontologists analyze fossil evidence, I discovered that they had two conclusive reasons for classifying the skulls and skeletal bones as belonging to upright walking apes:

1. the cavity at the base of the skull where the spinal column is connected, is located near the back of the skull in non-bipedal apes such as chimpanzees and gorillas, whereas these early hominid skulls that otherwise appeared ape-like, had the opening at the base, in the same location as modern humans.

2. the hip-bones of non-bipedal apes are narrower and longer than the human pelvis -- and the hominid pelvis had the same wider, rounded shape as ours, that anatomists tell us is necessary to maintain bipedal locomotion.

It didn't take long for a pattern to emerge: The creationists had no intention of providing in-depth analysis or educating the public, since their case depended on the uninformed intuitions of their target audience.

I've seen the same type of strategy used by the so called pro-life movement, and when I hear guys like Charles Adler on the radio (who's totally in the tank) highlight with a yellow marker, every time we have a cold day and use it to launch into questioning evidence for climate change (especially if has yet another interview with some idiot like Tim Ball), then I start questioning whether these skeptics are really interested in science, or just want to focus on keeping the public confused and complacent.

Many climate science papers consist of an analysis of inconclusive data and then conclud by making educated guesses about the cause and effect relationships. This is true of skeptical papers as well as alarmist papers. Making guesses is not necessarily wrong but it is important to distinguish between the facts and the opinions. You quoted opinions and not facts.

If there was a 50/50 chance that we are forcing climate change in a very short period of time on the geological scale, I would prefer to err on the side of caution and take steps to reduce the human contribution to rising CO2 levels, rather than chart a course towards another global mass extinction 50 to a hundred years from now!

Sure. But when it comes to a politicized topic like climate science where skeptics are publicly attacked for their views the no one can reasonably say the consensus is based on anything more than intimidation and peer pressure.

I see a whole lot of attacks on the IPCC and scientists who advance the case for taking action against anthropogenic climate change, it doesn't stop them!

The snowball earth theory is disputed. The greenhouse earth allowed life to thrive.

It doesn't have 100% acceptance, but the theory that the Earth went through a long period where the entire planet was covered with glaciers, is growing in popularity and its proponents have rebuttals for the objections of the theory's critics; and the alternative explanations for widespread low-altitude glaciation before 500 million years ago have many weaknesses of their own that stand in the way of becoming generally accepted by geologists.

I didn't say ocean acidification is the only reason why marine experts believe that corals are being destroyed. You linked one of the reasons why the reefs are being destroyed, but at the bottom of the page, you'll find this when you open the tab:

Even the clams and corals that live at the bottom of the sea are affected by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That’s because there’s a greenhouse gas that is getting into the ocean. Carbon dioxide gets into the air when we burn oil, coal, and gas. And it can become dissolved in seawater. This makes the oceans more acidic, which could spell trouble for ocean life because the mineral of their shells dissolves in acid.

Seawater has become only slightly more acidic over the past 150 years. It will get more acidic in the future, but very slowly. Even this small change can make a big difference for many different types of ocean life.

Pop question: which is a better use of taxpayer money:

1) Building a sewage treatment plant for Victoria

2) Paying offsets to make Victoria "carbon free".

Choosing 1) should be obvious but in a CO2 obsessed world dumping raw sewage into the ocean is less of a concern.

That would qualify as a false dilemma since their is no reason why a modern city shouldn't be able to afford to build or update its sewage treatment facilities! If you follow the logic of that false choice, you will have clean effluents flowing into the harbour until the time comes when catastrophic climate change causes mass extinctions.....and then an empty city would have no more use for that nice, modern sewage treatment plant!

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Humans affect climate in a multitude of ways and there is no doubt that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some warming.

The problem that you haven't addressed is that there is no indication that the human-added component will level off or better still, decrease without some action taken to force change, either through taxing or penalizing greenhouse gas emissions, or through the economic collapse they we have just started into because of unrestrained debt-financing.

So, a worldwide recession may be able to do what politicians and policy-makers are unable or unwilling to do! But what about when the economy rebounds? Russia has been able to easily meet their Kyoto targets because they were set based on the Soviet economy before the bottom fell out! Now that their economy is rebuilding and their carbon footprint is increasing to the level where they will have to make some decisions about whether or not to make a serious attempt to meet their targets.

We will be in this situation again in a few years, maybe even sooner, since falling oil prices will act as an incentive to increase oil use.

What we don't know is how much warming CO2 causes and (more importantly) we don't know whether this warming will be good, bad or inconsequential.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that like most things, there is a limit to how high atmospheric CO2 levels can rise before life-as-we-know-it is wiped out!

That said, action on CO2 could be justified even with our limited knowledge if the cost of action was manageable. The problem is emitting CO2 is as necessary as breathing and policies designed to eliminate CO2 emissions will either be too weak to have any effect or cause more harm than good.

How much are you willing to spend to save your life, or in this case, to save the lives of your grandchildren and great grandchildren?

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What I want to know (and you haven't answered yet) is what the experts in statistical charting and climatology see when they look at those charts. To someone like me, you can make a case that there is no correlation between the CO2 measurements and the estimated global temperatures -- so what are the experts seeing that the layman doesn't?
The alarmists explain away the inconsistiencies by claiming "the error bars on the CO2 data are large so we don't know what was really going on". This would be reasonable answer if it was used consistently. e.g. if the data is so poor that we cannot draw conclusions from the periods where CO2 and temperature are anti-correlated then the same data cannot be used to support a theory that CO2 drives temperature. That is why you cannot point to some event that happened 100 million years ago and claim it has any relevance today - we simply do not have the data know one way or another.

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Russia has been able to easily meet their Kyoto targets because they were set based on the Soviet economy before the bottom fell out! Now that their economy is rebuilding and their carbon footprint is increasing to the level where they will have to make some decisions about whether or not to make a serious attempt to meet their targets.
The "consensus" among Russian scientists is GW is mostly natural. More importantly, many Russians like the idea of a warmer country and are not likely to be concerned about GW even if it was man made. Lastly, Russia also is a oil/gas exporter so they don't want the world to become less dependent on these commodities. Bottom line: Russia will tell the West to take its carbon caps and shove them where the sun don't shine.

Incidentally, in the 50s and 60s many Russian officials in Siberia had an incentive to exaggerate the cold because it would result in higher subsidies from Moscow. When the USSR collapsed this incentive when away. The Russian stations make a significant part of the temperature record that is used to show that GW is occurring.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that like most things, there is a limit to how high atmospheric CO2 levels can rise before life-as-we-know-it is wiped out!
We know from past history that life can survive find with CO2 levels >1000ppm. Even if we burned every drop of coal and oil we would not increase the CO2 levels much beyond 600-800ppm.
How much are you willing to spend to save your life, or in this case, to save the lives of your grandchildren and great grandchildren?
How much are you willing to spend to protected your grandchildren from an alien invasion? Edited by Riverwind

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How much are you willing to spend to protected your grandchildren from an alien invasion?

This is an ignorant thing to say as you clearly don't understand the gravity of the situation. The problem isn't necessarily directly related to humans. Other living things, that we depend on, are in danger. We some how believe that we are not part of nature... that we have ultimate control over what happens to us on this planet. This is simply not so. There are complex relationships that exist between ALL living things and if those relationships are hurt, we will inevitably be hurt as well.

The problem lies in the fact that some people don't WANT to believe that we are causing the problem because it will affect the economy. (As if we wouldn't find new industries to supply jobs anyway). This completely lacks an understanding of the fact that the economy is something created by us... we existed for a LONG time before we created the notion of money came to be.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

Upton Sinclair

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This is an ignorant thing to say as you clearly don't understand the gravity of the situation.
I understand the situation perfectly well. We have a number of scientists whose livelihood depends on government funding of super computers required to run the climate models. These scientists discovered that making predictions of a catastrophe was an excellent way to ensure a steady stream of funding. These modellers are popular with the wider science community because scientists interested in the "mating habits of squirrels" quickly realized that studying the "the effects of climate change on the mating habits of squirrels" was much more likely to be funded. Best of all, thanks to the joys of "cognitive dissonance" these scientists actually came to believe their predictions of disaster because, after all, they are scientists and could not possibly say things that they did not "believe". Unfortunately, most people don't realize that scientists are quite capable of fooling themselves in to believing something that is not true - just like all of the financial wizards on wall street fooled themselves into believing there was little risk in their derivatives based investment strategy.

Now I realize many people seem to think that scientists are these infallible creatures that would never me motivated by self interest. My question is for you: where is your evidence of such altruism?

Before answering I suggest you read this: http://www.economist.com/science/displayst...ory_id=12376658

According to a new analysis. With so many scientific papers chasing so few pages in the most prestigious journals, the winners could be the ones most likely to oversell themselves—to trumpet dramatic or important results that later turn out to be false. This would produce a distorted picture of scientific knowledge, with less dramatic (but more accurate) results either relegated to obscure journals or left unpublished.

...

The group’s more general argument is that scientific research is so difficult—the sample sizes must be big and the analysis rigorous—that most research may end up being wrong. And the “hotter” the field, the greater the competition is and the more likely it is that published research in top journals could be wrong.

There also seems to be a bias towards publishing positive results. For instance, a study earlier this year found that among the studies submitted to America’s Food and Drug Administration about the effectiveness of antidepressants, almost all of those with positive results were published, whereas very few of those with negative results were. But negative results are potentially just as informative as positive results, if not as exciting.

In other words, "sex" sells science just like it sells everything else.

Given that context the only responsible position is to *assume* that the consequences of climate change are being exgarrated and try to figure where the truth really is since global warming it is unlikely to be a total hoax.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

Upton Sinclair

I am really curious why you refuse to accept the possibily that quotation applies perfectly to scientists who depend on government funding for research grants. Edited by Riverwind

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I understand the situation perfectly well. We have a number of scientists whose livelihood depends on government funding of super computers required to run the climate models. These scientists discovered that making predictions of a catastrophe was an excellent way to ensure a steady stream of funding. These modellers are popular with the wider science community because scientists interested in the "mating habits of squirrels" quickly realized that studying the "the effects of climate change on the mating habits of squirrels" was much more likely to be funded. Best of all, thanks to the joys of "cognitive dissonance" these scientists actually came to believe their predictions of disaster because, after all, they are scientists and could not possibly say things that they did not "believe". Unfortunately, most people don't realize that scientists are quite capable of fooling themselves in to believing something that is not true - just like all of the financial wizards on wall street fooled themselves into believing there was little risk in their derivatives based investment strategy.

Now I realize many people seem to think that scientists are these infallible creatures that would never me motivated by self interest. My question is for you: where is your evidence of such altruism?

Given that context the only responsible position is to *assume* that the consequences of climate change are being exgarrated and try to figure where the truth really is since global warming it is unlikely to be a total hoax.

I am really curious why you refuse to accept the possibily that quotation applies perfectly to scientists who depend on government funding for research grants.

First of all, your use of the term cognitive dissonance is incorrect. Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort one feels from holding two contradictory ideas. Some people alleviate this discomfort by either trying to justify their actions/attitudes or by changing their attitudes/beliefs. The notion that scientists would allow themselves to believe something because funding depends on it might be a phenomenon by some other name, but it's not cognitive dissonance.

And just to correct you, global warming is not being disputed. The cause of it is.

Now, I don't think anyone views scientists as infallible. If they do, they're doing themselves a disservice. People in white jackets aren't always right and YOU'RE right in saying that scientists are just as vulnerable to the pressures that, for example, politicians experience from campaign contributors. It is entirely possible that some scientists exaggerate results in order to maintain/gain funding.

What I find interesting is that you think that scientists are more likely to do so than other people with vested interests in the dispute. Some scientists are funded by oil companies or others whose products create much pollution. These scientists are obviously encouraged to arrive at conclusions that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. And given the power of some of these energy companies, you'd think that government employed scientists might be encouraged to arrive at similar conclusions.

Why do you use the word 'altruistic' when making your assumption of the image people have of scientists? I think YOU have a skewed view of them. Particularly because it's a pretty large (and clearly unnoticed by yourself) contradiction to assert that the scientists who believe we're causing climate change are influenced but those who find that we're not are not. Scientists are by no means altruistic in their work as this would not result in 'science' my friend.

Experiments are designed first by observing some phenomenon, hypothesizing as to the cause, developing an experiment that is aimed at REFUTING the hypothesis. Once the experiment is carried out, if the hypothesis is not refuted, it is still plausible. The more times we can't refute a hypothesis, the more confidence we have in that hypothesis. Have a read of Karl Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations". So, in reality, we know that nothing can be "proved" to be so. All we can really do is prove things to be NOT so. Scientists are, generally, not interested in anything beyond learning. That's all science is... it's a mode of inquiry.

Have a read of some peer reviewed articles to see just how valid the conclusions are. I'm sure you'll find many that are and many that aren't. But you can't brand all scientists as sharing a certain tendency such as doctoring their results to maintain funding. If you want to dispute the research, dispute the research. Ad hominem attacks don't do anything to help your cause. Attack the use of models that make large assumptions, challenge the idea that CO2 is a significant green house gas, but don't attack the people who are making the claims. That's weak.

My quote does apply to everyone equally. I don't think scientists are immune. But I tend to think that some people have more to lose than environmental scientists have to gain.

You seem to not have a good understanding of how science works and how funding is determined. You are a perfect example of a person who doesn't want to believe something (or understand it) because of money. I have already said that I'm on the fence about the cause of global warming, but I'm not closing my mind to possibilities based on ridiculous external factors. You want to talk science, talk science. Don't throw weak attempts at politics and psychology out there!

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What I find interesting is that you think that scientists are more likely to do so than other people with vested interests in the dispute. Some scientists are funded by oil companies or others whose products create much pollution.
If there is a scientist funded by an oil company making claims I would view their claims with just as a much skepticism. That said, GW activists will automatically smear anyone who disagrees with the consensus view as "funded by oil companies". They have been so successful in their smears that most people assume the claims are true even when they are outright falsehoods or so tenuous to be irrelevant. However, even if someone has no direct conflicts of interest there are plenty for reasons why someone might convince themselves that a falsehood is true.

My point was the scientific establishment has its own biases and prejudices and this likely means the consequences of GW have been exaggerated. That does not mean that those who oppose the establishment should be assumed to be unbiased and correct.

Experiments are designed first by observing some phenomenon, hypothesizing as to the cause, developing an experiment that is aimed at REFUTING the hypothesis. Once the experiment is carried out, if the hypothesis is not refuted, it is still plausible.
Agreed. But the problem with climate science is we cannot conduct any experiments. We have one experiment and we are living it. Unfortunately, too many people have convinced themselves that climate models are experiments that can be used to refute a hypotheses. They aren't. They are just fancy calculators that check that the math has been done right but they cannot demonstrate that the equations have all of the required factors. That is why I put a lot of weight on the real data. The real data for a number of important metrics (surface temps, tropospheric temps, ocean heat content, sea level) suggests that amount of warming caused by CO2 has been over-estimated by the models. Furthermore, there are climate scientists producing peer reviewed research that explains why the effect CO2 may have been over estimated.
Scientists are, generally, not interested in anything beyond learning. That's all science is... it's a mode of inquiry.
I agree that is what science is, however, there is a huge gap between what science is and how it is practiced in disciplines like climate science where it is impossible to conduct real experiments that can be used to verify or refute a hypotheses.
Have a read of some peer reviewed articles to see just how valid the conclusions are. I'm sure you'll find many that are and many that aren't. But you can't brand all scientists as sharing a certain tendency such as doctoring their results to maintain funding.
There is a huge difference between "doctoring results" and "unconscious bias". I don't think anyone is deliberately falsifying results but I think most scientists working in climate science today choose to interpret ambiguous data in ways that support the consensus. In a different political climate they likely would have looked at the same data in a different way. The last point is important because in climate science there is very little data tha unambiguously supports a specific interpretation - all data is subject to interpretation which allows the biases of scientists to affect the results (this cuts both ways btw).
Attack the use of models that make large assumptions, challenge the idea that CO2 is a significant green house gas, but don't attack the people who are making the claims. That's weak.
Detailed technical arguments on why the climate models can't be trusted don't mean much to someone who does not have any scientific background. For some people, it is necessary to explain why the scientific consensus could be wrong.
You seem to not have a good understanding of how science works and how funding is determined. You are a perfect example of a person who doesn't want to believe something (or understand it) because of money.
Really? That is a rather big assumption. I used accept the concensus view until I went looking for some realistic data on sea level rise a year or so ago. When I read the skeptic claims I tried to verify or refute them from other sources and I was quite surprised to find that many (but not all) have a lot of merit. In many cases, the "sceptics" do not dispute the premise that man is altering the climate but they feel the science that tries to pin the entire blame on CO2 is not justified given the data. I have also been disgusted by examples of influential climate scientists using dubious methods and then refusing to acknowledge the errors after they have been pointed out. The refusal to acknowledge errors in influential papers is the one of the reasons why I think the climate science community cannot be trusted to look at evidence objectively at this point in time. Edited by Riverwind

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The alarmists explain away the inconsistiencies by claiming "the error bars on the CO2 data are large so we don't know what was really going on". This would be reasonable answer if it was used consistently. e.g. if the data is so poor that we cannot draw conclusions from the periods where CO2 and temperature are anti-correlated then the same data cannot be used to support a theory that CO2 drives temperature. That is why you cannot point to some event that happened 100 million years ago and claim it has any relevance today - we simply do not have the data know one way or another.

Thanks! I think I vaguely recall that dispute over statistical error bars in other debates over ancient climate data and computer climate modeling, but knowledge of the past is growing all the time! We are learning more and more about past climate conditions as more information is gathered and analyzed, so you can't just write off events of the distant past as unknowable!

A good example of how much more accurate the study of ancient rocks has become is contained in the discovery ten years ago, of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum -- a brief, warming event, when Earth's average global temperature spiked 6 degrees Celsius, killing off sea creatures and causing temperatures to reach more than 45 degrees Celsius in the tropics -- hot enough to kill off all plant and animal life within 30 degrees latitude of the Equator!

Past major mass extinctions like the K/T and P/T may have created the most devastation, but the more rapid climate change of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, may be the more relevant to our situation today, especially considering that today’s rate of increase of CO2 is about 30 times greater, so we are mere decades away from testing the ability to function of major climate feedback loops. Staying on our present course is a wreckless game of Russian Roulette with the lives of future generations hanging in the balance!

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The "consensus" among Russian scientists is GW is mostly natural. More importantly, many Russians like the idea of a warmer country and are not likely to be concerned about GW even if it was man made. Lastly, Russia also is a oil/gas exporter so they don't want the world to become less dependent on these commodities. Bottom line: Russia will tell the West to take its carbon caps and shove them where the sun don't shine.

Yes, I figured they were putting their own interests ahead of the welfare of the world as a whole, so no surprise that they, like the OPEC nations and the oil-company-sponsored administration in the Whitehouse, want to maintain the status quo of oil dependency for as long as possible!

How are the Russians going to feel about their "warmer country" when permafrost starts melting on a large scale (just like our North) and releasing massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere to accelerate the warming process?

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We are learning more and more about past climate conditions as more information is gathered and analyzed, so you can't just write off events of the distant past as unknowable!
When it comes to predicting the future our knowledge of the distant past is too sparse to be useful. The fact that old data is re-interpreted to suit the "theory-du-jour" does not mean that we have anymore certainity.

From the wikipedia entry on the PETM:

The increase in mammalian abundance is intriguing. There is no evidence of any increased extinction rate among the terrestrial biota. Increased CO2 levels may have promoted dwarfing[27] - which may (perhaps?) have encouraged speciation. Many major mammalian orders, including the Artiodactyla, horses and primates, appeared as if from nowhere, and spread across the globe, 13,000 to 22,000 years after the initiation of the PETM.[27]
You might want to read that a few times because it effectively destroys your argument that the PETM was bad for mammals and primates. If anything, the record suggests that the PETM is what triggered the evolution of primates.
Past major mass extinctions like the K/T and P/T may have created the most devastation...
The link between CO2 and those events is pure speculation. In fact, CO2 can't explain the observed PETM warming as it is so we know other factors are work. If we don't know what those factors are it is dishonest to claim that we know CO2 is connected. Edited by Riverwind

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When it comes to predicting the future our knowledge of the distant past is too sparse to be useful. The fact that old data is re-interpreted to suit the "theory-du-jour" does not mean that we have anymore certainity.

What they do show is that the Earth's biosphere is more complicated and fragile than previously believed! Our understanding of climate is based on an interlude of unusually stable climate patterns during this latest interglacial period. Even without considering our impact on the climate, it's questionable how well modern civilization (especially modern mechanized agriculture) would adapt to past dramatic swings in temperature and weather patterns. So, during this pleasant interlude between ice ages, if we are forcing climate in the direction of catastrophic events like the PETM, it's already a given that the Earth is not going to support a human population of 6 or 7 billion.

Even if things are fine where we are, do you think we are just going to skate by while massive carnage and famine is going on in the rest of the world? I doubt it? In the past, it has been these kind of events that have caused massive migrations and their accompanying barbarian invasions -- such as when the Huns came pouring out of Asia to look for new territories to conquer.

From the wikipedia entry on the PETM:

You might want to read that a few times because it effectively destroys your argument that the PETM was bad for mammals and primates. If anything, the record suggests that the PETM is what triggered the evolution of primates.

It is only good for mammals if you're looking at the overall picture. The evidence for dwarfing and mass migrations due to extreme heat in the Tropic latitudes indicates that it wasn't just sea life that was under stress, but terrestrial animals were also in a life or death situation.

So, 55 million years ago, mammals as a group, were finally the big winners and were able to adapt to the sudden changes that made other animals extinct, and become the dominant class of animals on the planet; that's no reason to assume that the same thing will happen this time!

Preliminary evidence of the extinction cycle that we HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO UNDERGO indicates that niche mammals, such as those that have adapted to the Arctic, are in the greatest danger of dying out:

Current global warming has already caused extinctions in the world's most sensitive habitats and will continue to cause more species to go extinct over the next 50 to 100 years says a new study published in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics by a University of Texas at Austin biologist. The study, Dr. Camille Parmesan, an associate professor of integrative biology, also showed that species are not evolving fast enough to avoid extinctio

Parmesan found that the most dramatic impacts of climate change on biodiversity are seen in species restricted to niche habitats and small ranges, like polar regions and mountaintops.

"We are seeing stronger responses in species in areas with very cold-adapted species that have had strong warming trends, like Antarctica and the Arctic," said Parmesan. "That's something we expected a few years ago but didn't quite have the data to compare regions."

While some species will decline as climate changes, some species will migrate and thrive under new conditions, she says.

Parmesan's work shows that while some species—especially those with short generation times like insects—are evolving in response to climate change, they are not evolving in ways that could prevent extinction.

The link between CO2 and those events is pure speculation. In fact, CO2 can't explain the observed PETM warming as it is so we know other factors are work. If we don't know what those factors are it is dishonest to claim that we know CO2 is connected.

It doesn't say that the cause was all from rising CO2 levels! There is also strong evidence for a sudden release of methane trapped in deep ocean waters. But the Wiki article notes that the ocean waters would have had to warm slightly to precipitate the release of trapped methane.

It is just one more example of how an increase in global temperatures could cause even more deadly changes to be unleashed.

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What they do show is that the Earth's biosphere is more complicated and fragile than previously believed!
The question at hand is whether CO2 is a major driver of climate change. These past climate change events are interesting but ultimately irrelevant to your point if there is no credible evidence that CO2 was the major cause. As I pointed out before, the best information we have about the *complete* history of climate suggests that CO2 is a bit player and any climate changes that did occur were caused by things other than CO2. You do not make your case stronger by only looking at the short period where the data happens to support your preconceptions. If the data where CO2 and temps are anti-correlated is too vague to draw conclusions then the data where they are correlated is also too vague to draw conclusions.

In fact, cosmic ray-cloud cover theory provides a much better match to the historical record than CO2. If you look at that paper you will see that PETM occurred during a period where a small number of cosmic rays were reaching the planet.

What It is only good for mammals if you're looking at the overall picture. The evidence for dwarfing and mass migrations due to extreme heat in the Tropic latitudes indicates that it wasn't just sea life that was under stress, but terrestrial animals were also in a life or death situation.
You are just making stuff up now. The PETM "extinction" was largely limited to ocean creatures. Mammals did fine and the record suggests that the PETM created the conditions that allowed humans to evolve in the first place. From my point of view this is evidence that we as a species have absolutely nothing to fear from higher CO2 levels and/or temperatures.

Ultimately, that is why I think this climate panic is baseless. Even if CO2 is the cause of warming humans are extremely adaptable creatures and we will survive.

It is just one more example of how an increase in global temperatures could cause even more deadly changes to be unleashed.
It is fairy tale dreamed up by some scientists based on very limited data. There are many other possible fairly tales that also fit the limited data which means there is no reason to assume that the scariest fairy tale is most likely to be true. Especially when the other fairy tales do a better job of explaining the complete historical record. Edited by Riverwind

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Is Dion reading this as he prepares to increase the cost of energy ...for what reason?

Full Article

Why does the media jump all over a tornado in witchita or hurricane on the gulf coast (wow - what a revelation) as an example of "wild wacky weather" and evidence of global warming, yet they completely ignore a report from NASA clearly showing the planet cooled and hasn't warmed at all in more than 10 years? Just wondering.

I mean, regardless of whether or not you've already drunk Al Gore's kool-aid, shouldn't this at least be the headline on every major network for at least one night? Given the panic we're being fed, why can't this FACT be on my evening news on TV?

Yah you know this is an unbiased news site when you see a headline like.

"Election '08: No one's vote should be swayed by Gen. Colin Powell's long-expected Obama endorsement. Like other self-serving, 11th-hour Obama supporters, his reasons couldn't be shallower"

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The question at hand is whether CO2 is a major driver of climate change.

No, the question is can we keep adding to CO2 levels year after year and expect that it will have no effect on climate? Past surges in CO2 and methane levels were from temporary sources such as volcanoes, but human-produced sources will keep on increasing if uncontrolled, at least until civilization collapses.

World carbon dioxide levels highest for 650,000 years, says US report· Rise in chief greenhouse gas worse than feared· Earth may be losing ability to absorb CO2, say scientists

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RW, I think you'll enjoy this one!

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story....52-48c97f8ae623

It shows that "deniers" are making progress.

Yeah, there making progress allright, sending us to hell in a handbasket! The National Post has been in the tank with the oil companies on the global warming issue right from the start, so it's no surprise that their columnists are still shaking the trees looking for climate change skeptics.

Did you read the article? If Lorne Gunter believes this:

"Man-made global warming is junk science," explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ? This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."

maybe he can explain why atmospheric CO2 levels have increased 36% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and don't show any sign of leveling off. Maybe he forgot to add compound interest!

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Yeah, there making progress allright, sending us to hell in a handbasket! The National Post has been in the tank with the oil companies on the global warming issue right from the start, so it's no surprise that their columnists are still shaking the trees looking for climate change skeptics.

Did you read the article? If Lorne Gunter believes this:

"Man-made global warming is junk science," explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ? This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."

maybe he can explain why atmospheric CO2 levels have increased 36% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and don't show any sign of leveling off. Maybe he forgot to add compound interest!

Aren't you confusing two sources? Gunter's quote specifically names "worldwide MANMADE CO2 emissions". YOUR statement simply refers to CO2 levels as a whole, with no reference as to where they are coming from!

You appear to be making the assumption that all the CO2 increase is manmade. Proof?

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Aren't you confusing two sources? Gunter's quote specifically names "worldwide MANMADE CO2 emissions". YOUR statement simply refers to CO2 levels as a whole, with no reference as to where they are coming from!

You appear to be making the assumption that all the CO2 increase is manmade. Proof?

Do you have an alternative explanation for the increase in CO2 levels? This article in New Scientist points out that even a small increase in carbon dioxide (especially an exponential increase that rises each year) is enough to tip the overall balance:

Ice cores show that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have remained between 180 and 300 parts per million for the past half-a-million years. In recent centuries, however, CO2 levels have risen sharply, to at least 380 ppm (see Greenhouse gases hit new high)

So what's going on? It is true that human emissions of CO2 are small compared with natural sources. But the fact that CO2 levels have remained steady until very recently shows that natural emissions are usually balanced by natural absorptions. Now slightly more CO2 must be entering the atmosphere than is being soaked up by carbon "sinks".

Human emissions of CO2 are now estimated to be 26.4 Gt per year, up from 23.5 Gt in the 1990s, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in February 2007 (pdf format). Disturbances to the land – through deforestation and agriculture, for instance – also contribute roughly 5.9 Gt per year.

About 40% of the extra CO2 entering the atmosphere due to human activity is being absorbed by natural carbon sinks, mostly by the oceans. The rest is boosting levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

And there is an interesting way to identify the sources of CO2 that climate change skeptics never mention:

How can we be sure that human emissions are responsible for the rising CO2 in the atmosphere? There are several lines of evidence. Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago. They therefore contain virtually no carbon-14, because this unstable carbon isotope, formed when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, has a half-life of around 6000 years. So a dropping concentration of carbon-14 can be explained by the burning of fossil fuels. Studies of tree rings have shown that the proportion of carbon-14 in the atmosphere dropped by about 2% between 1850 and 1954. After this time, atmospheric nuclear bomb tests wrecked this method by releasing large amounts of carbon-14.

Volcanic misunderstanding

Fossil fuels also contain less carbon-13 than carbon-12, compared with the atmosphere, because the fuels derive from plants, which preferentially take up the more common carbon-12. The ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters is steadily falling, showing that more carbon-12 is entering the atmosphere.

So even if humans only contribute 4% of CO2 emissions, that's all that's needed to tip the balance if the extra carbon can't be sequestered by natural carbon sinks. These mechanisms can't cope with the extra CO2 we're putting out, especially when the human-produced contributions keep rising year after year.

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Weird how that when I went to the Goddard Institute site I found the following:

2007 Was Tied as Earth's Second-Warmest Year

Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth's second warmest year in a century.

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20080116/

Just worth repeating, that's all.

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