free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 345. NO WARMING SINCE 1998

Saturday, April 05, 2008

345. NO WARMING SINCE 1998

Continuing my tangent on global warming, I loved the disconnect between the following items.

First up, we have Ted Turner pouring on the bullshit on the Charlie Rose show:
Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll have eight degrees -- we'll be eight degrees hotter in 10 -- not 10, but in 30 or 40 years. And basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died, and the rest of us will be cannibals.
Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state like Somalia or Sudan, and living conditions will be intolerable.
The droughts will be so bad, there will be no more corn growing. It will -- not doing it is suicide.(Sources: text and video)
This is precisely the sort of non-quantitative, asinine alarmism that makes global warming the cult it is. The overall impression, from my perspective, is that Ted Turner is just another irrelevant old fart -- like Deffeyes and Lovelock -- making a last ditch grab for the headlines by making catastrophic predictions.

Nice try Ted, but let's compare your senile drivel with the quantitative realities:

1) "Yet Kyoto matters little for the climate. Even if all countries had ratified it (the United States and Australia did not), and all countries lived up to their commitments (which many will have a hard time doing) and stuck to them throughout the 21st century (which would get ever harder), the change would have been miniscule. The temperature by 2050 would be an immeasurable 0.1°F lower and even by 2100 only 0.3°F lower. This means that the expected temperature increase of 4.7°F would be postponed just five years, from 2100 to 2105." (Source: Cool Itby Bjorn Lomborg P. 22, citing Wigley, T.M.L. (1998). The Kyoto Protocol: CO2, CH4 and Climate Implications. Geophysical Research Letters, 25(13), 2285-2288.)

2) The UN itself concedes that global temperatures haven't risen at all in the last 10 years.
by JD

57 Comments:

At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 12:45:00 AM PDT, Blogger FR said...

Does anyone else think that while we're debating GW endlessly, advances in technology will make other energy sources cheaper, rendering the debate pointless as the free market chooses nuclear and/or solar and/or wind and/or geothermal and/or wave, etc, over coal?
I only mention coal because oil and natural gas are already too expensive.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 4:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger bc said...

I think Ted Turner, like James Lovelock, is just one of those old guys who paint a bleak future to sweeten the pill of their own death.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 4:51:00 AM PDT, Blogger bc said...

2) The UN itself concedes that global temperatures haven't risen at all in the last 10 years.

Actually it would mean that only 11 out of the last 14 years have been the hottest on record. After some very hot years, it would not be suprising to get some years nearer the long term average.

It is fair to say that the climate is not completely understood, nor may it ever be predictable on a year by year basis. But the uncertainty works both ways, the climate may not warm as much as expected, but also it could warm much more or more rapidly than expected.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 6:27:00 AM PDT, Blogger Fernando said...

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/4/175028/329

(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide)

Objection: Global temperatures have been trending down since 1998. Global warming is over.

Answer: At the time, 1998 was a record high year in both the CRU and the NASA GISS analyses. In fact, it blew away the previous record by .2 degrees C. (That previous record went all the way back to 1997, by the way!)

According to NASA, it was elevated far above the trend line because 1998 was the year of the strongest El Nino of the century. Choosing that year as a starting point is a classic cherry pick and demonstrates why it is necessary to remove chaotic year-to year-variability (aka: weather) by smoothing out the data. Looking at CRU's graph below, you can see the result of that smoothing in black.

Clearly 1998 is an anomaly and the trend has not reversed. (Even the apparent leveling at the end is not the real smoothing. The smoothed trend in 2005 depends on all of its surrounding years, including a few years still in the future.) By the way, choosing the CRU analysis is also a cherry pick -- NASA has 2005 breaking the 1998 record, though by very little.

Now, this is an excusable mistake for average folks who do not need the rigors of statistical analysis in their day jobs. But any scientist in pretty much any field knows that you cannot extract meaningful information about trends in noisy data from single-year end points. It's hard to hear a scientist make this argument and still believe they speak with integrity in this debate -- seems more like an abuse of the trust placed in them as scientists. Bob Carter is just such a voice, and was the first to trot out this argument in an article in the Daily Telegraph. Since then it has echoed far and wide and been used by Richard Lindzen as well as a host of skeptic websites.

Interestingly, Bob Carter seems to know what he is doing. He tries to pre-empt objections in his article by insinuating that any choice of starting point (say, 1978) will just be a cherry pick with the opposite motive! But cherry picking is about choosing data for the sole purpose of supporting a pre-conceived conclusion. It is not the simple act of choosing at all. One must choose some starting point. In the case of his example year, 1978, it's often chosen simply because it is the first year that satellite records of tropospheric temperatures were available.

So what choices are there? What are the reasons for those choices? What conclusions we can draw from them?

1. As mentioned above, you could choose to examine the last 30 years -- that is when both surface and tropospheric readings have been available. We have experienced warming of approximately .2 degrees C/decade during this time. It would take a couple of decades trending down before we could say the recent warming ended in 1998.
2. You could choose 1970 in the NASA GISS analysis -- the start of the late 20th century warming, and as such a significant feature of the temperature record. The surface temperature over this period shows .6 degrees C warming.
3. You could choose 1965 in the CRU analysis -- when the recent warming started in their record. It shows around .5 degrees C warming of the smoothed trend line.
4. You could choose 1880 in the NASA record -- it shows .8 degrees C warming.
5. You could choose 1855 in the CRU record -- it shows .8 degrees C warming. As with the trend above, we can not say it is over without many decades more data indicating cooling.
6. You could choose to look at the last 500 years in the bore hole record analysis -- that is its entire length. It puts today about 1 degree C above the first three centuries of that record. In that kind of analysis, today's record will be hidden from view for many decades.
7. You could choose to look at the last 1,000 years, because that is as far back as the dendrochronology studies reliably go. Then the conclusion is:

Although each of the temperature reconstructions are different (due to differing calibration methods and data used), they all show some similar patterns of temperature change over the last several centuries. Most striking is the fact that each record reveals that the 20th century is the warmest of the entire record, and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.

8. You could choose to look at the entire period of time since the end of the last ice age, around 10,000 years ago. Then the conclusion is that GHG warming has reversed a long and stable period of slight downward trend, and we are now at a global temperature not experienced in the history of human civilization -- the entire Holocene. It will be many centuries until such a long view of today's climate is available. The situation is a bit more urgent than that!

That about covers any period of time relevant to today's society. "It has stopped warming" is only supported by selecting a single year out of context and using a seven-year window to look at multi-decadal trends in climate. That's a classic cherry pick.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 7:45:00 AM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

Just goes to show that pat answers will do you wrong. Always a skeptic is sometimes wrong.

I break it out as GW more proven, PO much less so.

And I think I have a useful way to distinguish between the two: GW is science. It builds up from testable chemical and physical phenomena we can play with in the lab. It scales, as physics, to the wider world. At the basic question of "do certain gases warm the world" it is rock-solid, though the math gets harder as you try to refine how much warming.

On the other hand, PO is a problem in the economic domain. It is all about human actors, their choices, and the feedback amongst them, in resource markets, over a century or more.

We can do prediction in science, we can't do it in economics, and there lies the difference between GW and PO.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 8:00:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"At the basic question of "do certain gases warm the world" it is rock-solid"

If the GHG science is "rock solid", so it should be able to tell what warming (with some tenth °C uncertainties) a doubling of CO2 would cause, no ?
If it can't, so the "rock solid" claim is just hand waving.

Cheers, Demesure.

"There are claims of accuracy", Langmuir law of bad science.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 8:10:00 AM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

You are trying to split my comment in half, which is probably why you split my sentence in half ;-)

That's always a give-away.

The combined thought is important though, because those who would sow doubt try to undermine the first part (warming) with the second part (precise predictions of outcome).

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 8:14:00 AM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

I thought of a parallel ... if I personally take up smoking at this moment in my life, and smoke a pack a day, can you tell me, demesure, the impact on my lifespan?

If you can't does that mean smoking is a good idea for me?

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Bob Wallace said...

Global warming and peak oil are both products of the scientific method.

We consider the data we have available and form the best theory possible given the strengths and weaknesses of that data.

There seems to be adequate data to show that the Earth is warming and that the warming has been occurring over several decades.

There seems to be adequate data to show that the era of cheap (easy to extract) oil is over.

Either of those theories could be replaced by better theories as more data is produced.

That's the science of it all.

Then there's the 'future gamble' issue.

Global warming could bring us a world of hurt.

We could see many of the world's rivers dry up causing a mass migration such as we've never before experienced.

We could see the world's population forced away from the equator and toward the polar extremes. And don't forget that both Africa and South America get a lot thinner as one moves south.

We could see a massive release of methane which would wipe out most of mere mortals. Only those with 'secure undisclosed locations' might survive to breed.

Given that global warming is only somewhat likely does it make sense to bet against it?

Same with peak oil.

Perhaps there's a huge yet to be discovered ocean of oil under the polar cap.

Perhaps not.

And that will mean that over time many of us will be priced out of the fuel market and will watch our standard of living begin to circle the bowl.

Does it make sense to bet against future petroleum shortages?

Seems to me that we need to change our collective behavior in ways that reduces our greenhouse gas emissions and finds new ways to power our lives.

We're really lucky in that working on either problem generally helps with the other.

And fixes some other messes as well.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 11:22:00 AM PDT, Blogger bc said...

What I find odd... Both PO and GW in the strict sense are well founded theories based on observed data. By "strict" I mean the limited conclusion of human induced warming/production peak.

Technically, GW is a product of science whereas PO is straightforward logic, but that does not matter. From my point of view, a "reasonable" person would accept both. Yet there are many people who reject one or both, based on the weakest of counter arguments.

The second odd thing, is that given these reasonable conclusions, people construe all manner of wild predictions. From "breeding pairs in the Arctic" to "Olduvai gorge", these predictions go way beyond what can be justified scientifically. The accuracy of such predictions is tiny, yet they are asserted as "inevitable".

In the words of Real Climate "some hysteria is justified". However, this is also counter productive, it will put off people who are moderate. The nature of the debate is to split people into opposing camps.

I suspect the reason for all this is that while reality has multiple probabilities, actions tend to be binary. You need a "yes/no" to act.
When humans were in small tribes, this was useful when faced with a decision. The "run for the hills" group could go off to the hills, and "settle in the plains" group could do their thing. Time would prove which group were correct. The important thing is that the options were covered, so one group would have a chance of survival.

Today, migration is less of an option. Instead the debate is a competition for "mindshare", something more abstract. The problems are also more global, so we don't have the luxury of splitting into groups. CO2 emissions affect everyone, as do rising energy prices for those connected to the global market.

In this era, decisions based on best probability are more suitable. The "yes/no" style of debate tends to stalemate, and inaction.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 12:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous kolm said...

Well, if Ted Turner would have spoken out against Nazi germany, that would surely been proof that it is demonized and misunderstood.

Come on. Climate science is a rather mature science, albeit strongly heuristical in nature.
As a professor for probability and statistics with some interest in the subject, I can assure you that the heuristical basis for climate change very strongly supports the gist of the proposed theoretical models. There is quite some uncertainty, since the world is incredibly complex in its feedback mechanisms and free parameters abound; however, the very best guess of the very best scientists dedicated to this subject (and believe me, many of them are really bright guys and thought long, hard and completely open-mindedly about the subject) is that climate change is real, that it is man-made and that its consequences could be quite harmful.

I really appreciate a lot of your posts, since you sometimes nail down inconsistencies with facts and reason. On climate change, however, your posts are of a lousy, Bill O'Reilly type of quality. "Idiot says climate change happens, so it's proof it's all nonsense."

Concerning the "no-warming since '98", this is (a) a trivial fact known to all scientists in the world, (b) already incorporated in all model fittings, and leading to the predictions you can read in IPCC. If you can't grasp the idea that this is already part of all models, and that they still say something different about long-term trends, this is, frankly, a problem of yours ['98 was an isolated peak, just as they happen time and again, and this means nothing at all in a noisy time series]. I urge you to go to realclimate.org, where you can find tons of articles trying to break down climate science to the common man.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 1:04:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"The combined thought is important though, because those who would sow doubt try to undermine the first part (warming) with the second part (precise predictions of outcome)."

Odograph,
I didn't ask a "precise prediction of outcome".
I asked a precise physical and scenario-independent question: "what warming in °C (with 95% confidence interval) would be caused by a doubling of CO2". If a "rock solid" science can't reply that, is it still legitimate to call it "rock solid" ?

It's not a futile question since many questions depend on that, like "what warming a total Kyoto compliance would prevent", "what warming would be avoided if all cars are forbidden in GB"...

If people are asked to reduce their emissions, they must be informed of the estimated results of their action.
Please, use the "rock solid" science and reply to my basic question.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 1:26:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"['98 was an isolated peak, just as they happen time and again, and this means nothing at all in a noisy time series]. I urge you to go to realclimate.org, where you can find tons of articles trying to break down climate science to the common man."

Kolm,
98 was an isolated peak, but it has not prevented the IPCC to state in its 2001 Summary for Policymakers that "1998 is likely to have been the warmest year of the millenium" while its experts were well aware that it was due to a NATURAL el Nino.

So a natural warming can be highlighted in an official report about warming read by all policymakers of the world but a cooling from 2002 to 2008 is not worth mentionning ?

BTW, realclimate.org has been first set up by Mann to salvage his now broken hockey stick and blogged by scientists who will lose their job, their credibility, their funding... if the AGW theory go bust. So I urge you to take their anti-skeptics rants with a big grain of salt.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 4:32:00 PM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

FWIW, I have a fuzzy belief in something fuzzily like PO.

The reason I enjoy POD is that I think those with definite beliefs in definite futures are around the bend.

Note to "PO as science," remember that the inputs to Hubbert's method are production data ... as pure an economic measure as you can ever find.

Sure, a "top" might be likely, but there is nothing actually scientific that can predict a "peak" versus a "plateau."

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 5:19:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Bob Wallace said...

"Sure, a "top" might be likely, but there is nothing actually scientific that can predict a "peak" versus a "plateau.""

If you mean "peak" in terms of a sudden disappearance of oil and a cataclysmic crashing of civilization....

Sure, we've got enough data to say that the black, black future that doomers present to predict that to be an unlikely event.

We know that there's lot of oil left. It's just going to be harder to bring to market which will increase the price which will effect the market.

From there it's pretty easy to predict that we will see a combination of conservation and alternative fuels.

Kind of a no-brainer since we're already seeing both happening.

Big cars/trucks aren't selling, small fuel efficient cars are.

Extraction from the Canada oil sands is happening and food is being converted to fuel. (Both bad developments, IMHO, but to be expected.)

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 5:32:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Al Fin said...

Global warming and peak oil have both grown far beyond their scientific components to become religions.

True believers in religions are not the ones to consult about the science. They are already gone.

Fortunately, there are some people outside the religion who are still looking at the science dispassionately.
;-)

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 6:31:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Bob Wallace said...

Global warming denial seems to me to be not a religion, but a political stance.

It seems that the right/far right is determined to disprove/deny global warming for no other reason than it was first talked about by people they perceive to be on the left.

Peak oil panic, that seems to be more a psychological issue.

There seems to be some sort a condition that causes people to relish the idea that a huge catastrophe is about to befall mankind.

I've been watching a series of these panic stricken predictions since the Dow approached 2,000, which was supposed to cause the onset of the end of the economic world.

The religious folks are busy with other 'end of the world' scenerios. They can't be bothered with oil or heat... ;o)

(Anyone else finding this verification thing busted?)

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 6:31:00 PM PDT, Blogger mfp said...

@Bob Wallace

"There seems to be adequate data to show that the era of cheap (easy to extract) oil is over."

Yes and that statement could have just as easily have been made in 1982.

But that is not what peak-oil says. That is what you feel comfortable taking from it.

Standard peak-oil theory as practiced by Deffeyes and the online community that has sprung up on several well-known websites, posits that production of conventional crude oil will peak between 2005 and 2012, will follow rougly the path of a bell curve and will decline symmetrically at approximately the same rate it increased. That the peak will occur at the halfway point of historical global reserves production.

Standard peak-oil theory does not allow for economic consideration. In fact, in every case, it brushes any consideration aside. Read Deffeyes' books to see this.

I agree with odograph, however, one doesn't need to even bring economics and our inability to predict in this field into the picture.

We Just Can't Predict

Oil production from month to month is inherently random and unpredictable for all the reasons odograph stated and many more.

And if you cannot predict production next month you can't do it for 5 years down the road.

If you don't want to believe this and you really believe in the data and the theory, then try predicting oil production next month.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 6:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger mfp said...

@Bob Wallace

"Global warming denial seems to me to be not a religion, but a political stance.

It seems that the right/far right is determined to disprove/deny global warming for no other reason than it was first talked about by people they perceive to be on the left."

I agree. And yet there seems to be a growing group of intellectuals who can see that the movement for GW is tainted by an equally political push from the left.

Global Warming: A Climate of Fear

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 6:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Objection: Global temperatures have been trending down since 1998. Global warming is over.

I'm not drawing the conclusion that global warming is over, or that global warming hasn't occurred, or is not occurring. I'm simply pointing out the disconnect between:

1) The temperature is going to rise 8 degrees in the next 10... er um... 30 years.

AND

2) The temperature hasn't risen at all in the last 10 years.

If the temperature is going to rise 8 degrees in the next 30 years, it's going to have start getting busy.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 7:25:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Bob Wallace said...

"And yet there seems to be a growing group of intellectuals who can see that the movement for GW is tainted by an equally political push from the left."

I'd say that group is very insignificant in size and unlikely to gain much traction in the great debate.

Personally I think it's long past the time that we should have gotten off the oil teat for reasons of health (pollution), economics (shipping our wealth offshore), and the environment (surface mining).

To the extent that global warming concern helps us find the motivation to make the needed changes, I welcome it.

But I welcome only the concern. I certainly don't welcome the problem and I doubt that anyone else does either.

Is there a left-side panic over global warming?

Sure.

On both sides of the political divide you find an assortment of the unrealistic, the panic stricken, even the purely stupid.

At this point I don't see the left-wing loonies as driving much of the decision process.

Unlike the right wing deniers who have much more influence over mass media and right wing politicians.



--

Month to month prediction of the oil supply is not possible.

That's why we have reserves.

--

The train may well arrive at the final destination on time.

The fact that it's been sitting in the local station for the last ten minutes is irrelevant.

No one predicts a smooth curve.

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 7:31:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Bob Wallace said...

"Does anyone else think that while we're debating GW endlessly, advances in technology will make other energy sources cheaper, rendering the debate pointless as the free market chooses nuclear and/or solar and/or wind and/or geothermal and/or wave, etc, over coal?
I only mention coal because oil and natural gas are already too expensive."

In general, yes.

Wind and solar are starting to challenge coal. Tidal should be right in there with them.

But the changeover might not be fast enough. We should at the same time be investigating methods for removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.

Just in case....

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:07:00 PM PDT, Blogger mfp said...

"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."

-Yogi Berra

 
At Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 11:55:00 PM PDT, Anonymous kolm said...

demeasure:

Kolm,
98 was an isolated peak, but it has not prevented the IPCC to state in its 2001 Summary for Policymakers that "1998 is likely to have been the warmest year of the millenium" while its experts were well aware that it was due to a NATURAL el Nino.


I don't read executive summaries for politicians. They are always bullshit, one way or the other, because you cannot communicate scientific arguments to a poltician. That does not render the scientific arguments laid out in the body invalid. Yes, pointing to the 98 value as it would, in itself say anything is bullshit (and more than a few climate scientist, I was told, were very angry with the way of presentation of this value in the summary).

Regarding to realclimate.org, those people are mostly scientists. Which simply means they argue about scientific theories with scientific methodologies. They don't have to be right, but their niveau is miles above most critics; they lay open the (consistent and prediction-capable) models and theories, for anybody to pick apart.

Strangely, almost nobody really does it. Instead, climate sceptics mostly insist on bogus arguments which might appeal to republican senators (like 'no warming since '98').

Bottom line, the models they have are the best climate prediction models on the market with respect to tests on several distinct historical timelines (and yes, they know about the perils of overfitting); those models forecast significant rises in average surface temperature; finally, those models, if tested in short-term prediction (read: the 10 previous years) were, if anything, too low in prediction. You build a better universally fitting model which includes no warming trend, you'll get attention.

By the way, most of those guys at realclimate have tenure; they won't lose their job no matter what. [Not that such ad personam attacks are of any significance, just saying.]

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 12:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

On climate change, however, your posts are of a lousy, Bill O'Reilly type of quality. "Idiot says climate change happens, so it's proof it's all nonsense."

I choose my words carefully, and I don't recall making any such claim. I'm not challenging the reality of global warming. I agree with you that the data clearly shows that the earth is warming. I am, however, agnostic on the exact causes of the phenomenon. Those who claim that humans are the cause say that, even if we ceased all carbon emissions tomorrow, the temperature would continue to rise for the next 150 years. Those who claim that humans are not the cause say exactly the same thing. So there doesn't appear to be any great empirical difference between the two theories. They aren't even distinguished by the most decisive experiment you could conduct.

What I did say is that global warming is a cult, and I stand by that. I have two reasons why:

1) People like Ted Turner. He goes on the air, making ridiculous statements which aren't supported by any science or consensus. And what's your response to that? Did you criticize him for it? Did mainstream sources criticize him for it? Did the folks over at realclimate.org criticize him for it? The answer is no. In fact, you attack me for bringing it up. Global warming alarmists tolerate people like Turner because your #1 priority is the agenda, not the science -- and if lies and exaggerations are what is needed to forward the agenda, so be it. That is cultish, anti-scientific behavior.

2) Global warming alarmists are militant that we need to do something, but it turns out that "doing something" (under any reasonable interpretation) will have a completely negligible effect, as I pointed out in the post. Predictably, no one stepped up to the plate and refuted that. Instead, you refuted things I never said like "Climate change is not real". So try again, please, kolm, and address my actual point this time. Show me, with the quantitative calculations, where Lomborg is wrong. Show me the quantitative benefits of measures like carbon trading or the Kyoto Protocol (which even Japan isn't following). Or alternatively, tell me why it is so urgent to implement policies which will have basically no measurable beneficial effect, as pointed out by Lomborg. You are trying to posture as the voice of science and reason, but you are: a) putting on blinders and ignoring the calculations which show that any realworld carbon emissions reduction program will have a completely negligible effect, and b) saying we urgently need to implement "solutions" which will have essentially no effect on the problem. You're just making quasi-religious ablutions and gestures. It is very cultish to say that we must do something which has such a small degree of practical impact.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 12:36:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Regarding to realclimate.org [...] they lay open the (consistent and prediction-capable) models and theories, for anybody to pick apart.

Strangely, almost nobody really does it. Instead, climate sceptics mostly insist on bogus arguments which might appeal to republican senators (like 'no warming since '98').


As I pointed out, I referenced "no warming since 1998" due to the vivid disconnect with Turner's hysterical prediction of an 8 degree rise in 10... er, ahem... 30 years. I did not reference it as proof that global warming is not real.

Also, your characterization of skeptics is quite biased and misleading. Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has done excellent quantitative work, and his respect for the raw data and numbers is beyond question. In fact, it's ironic that you say Mann et al. "lay open the models" considering the difficulty that McIntyre encountered in trying to get Mann's data and source code:

"One point of contention relates to McIntyre's requests for Mann to provide him with the data, methods and source code McIntyre needed to "audit" MBH98.[19] Mann provided some data and then stopped. After a long process - in which the National Science Foundation supported Mann - the code was made publicly available [20]. It happened because Congress investigated after an article in the Wall Street Journal [21] detailed criticisms raised by McIntyre.[22] Congress was especially concerned about Mann’s reported refusal to provide data."Source

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 12:57:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

demesure: It's not a futile question since many questions depend on that, like "what warming a total Kyoto compliance would prevent", "what warming would be avoided if all cars are forbidden in GB"...

If people are asked to reduce their emissions, they must be informed of the estimated results of their action.
Please, use the "rock solid" science and reply to my basic question.


Way to hit the nail on the head, demesure. Welcome to POD.

This is the whole crux of the issue, and somebody needs to step up to the plate and answer those questions. I won't be holding my breath though. Whenever these question arise, the much-vaunted rock-hard quantitative science of global warming wilts into a flaccid weenie of artful dodging, and quaint analogies about cigarette smoking and people falling out of buildings.

For all you true believers, here's the quantitative reality again, in case you missed it the first time. You may want to don your official cult blinders:

"Yet Kyoto matters little for the climate. Even if all countries had ratified it (the United States and Australia did not), and all countries lived up to their commitments (which many will have a hard time doing) and stuck to them throughout the 21st century (which would get ever harder), the change would have been miniscule. The temperature by 2050 would be an immeasurable 0.1°F lower and even by 2100 only 0.3°F lower."

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 6:39:00 AM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

It's a powerful human turn-off when "crazy people" believe a thing. We develop distaste for an idea, and associate it with some group we've selected who believe in it.

Human beliefs are social.

But that doesn't always serve us well. If we allow ourselves to be turned off on issues of fact, just because crazy people believe the facts, we are ... even crazier.

I wouldn't disbelieve gravity just because my political opposites(*) believe in it.

And neither can I disbelieve that CO2 gas in an atmosphere traps heat, and that all else being equal, more CO2 means more heat retention.

* - if I'm a moderate who are my opposites? Perhaps extremes on both sides. Amusingly, extremists on both sides see me as "the other" ... maybe a litmus test of where they actually are.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 9:18:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"And neither can I disbelieve that CO2 gas in an atmosphere traps heat, and that all else being equal, more CO2 means more heat retention."

Odograph,
Neither can I. I have no problem believing CO2 traps heat. BTW, it's not a very subtile strawman since you'll have hard time singling out a skeptic that doesn't believe that.

But I have a problem that a supposedly "rock solid" science can't tell what warming would be caused by a doubling of CO2.
Something is just plain wrong.

Maybe that's why the "rock solid" science needs a $300 Million ad campaign set up by Al Gore to "educate" people ?
Or maybe (just a wild assumption) the science is not "rock solid" at all, who knows...

Cheers, Demesure.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 1:25:00 PM PDT, Anonymous KarenRei said...

JD,

Weren't you just corrected the other day about your "temperatures will keep rising" comment? Wasn't it pointed out to you that the predictions you cite state that the temperature will rise 0.6C over the next century if there were no more emissions, but the *lowest* prediction for if emissions continue was 1.8C, more if they continue to grow? If so, why are you repeating the exact same fallacious argument again?

You do realize *why* temperatures will continue to rise, don't you? I'm going to assume the answer is "no". It's thermal inertia. It's not that forcings are expected to change significantly if we stopped emitting greenhouse gasses; it's that the ocean is holding back climate change. It will take many years for the temperature of the ocean to reach a new equilibrium (and thus stop dragging temperatures down). Keep emitting greenhouse gasses, and the equilibrium point rises significantly.

Secondly, you are at odds with the science. You may not like this fact, you may dispute this fact, but there are approximately 40-50 scientists in the field who deny anthropogenic warming at last count (most of them rather mildly), and there are *several thousand* who accept it. Every single reputable scientific orgnization in the world who has a stance on this issue supports the consensus position, with the exception of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which has now moved from "opposed" to "neutral". Like it or not, you *are* at odds with the science.

How many peer-reviewed papers on the subject have you read? No, seriously -- I'd like to know. You consider yourself educated enough on the subject to challenge the consensus position. Let's take the main "skeptic" source for warming, the sun. The IPCC cites about 50 papers on this topic. How many of them have you read?

Zero, right? Probably read a couple things in the popular media and decided you're now an expert, right?

Get back onto topics that you're not out of your depth on, please. You're driving people away. If you want to talk about global warming, you're going to need to read the peer-reviewed literature, and not just a cherry-picked smattering of it. And there's a lot of it out there, so you better get started. If you don't want to do that, at least read the IPCC WG1 technical reports front to back so that you at least have read *summaries* of what papers are out there.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 1:37:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@karenrei -

I'm guessing you didn't read this in the article I posted. Or the article.

"One way critics are silenced is by accusing them of ignoring “peer-reviewed science.” Yet oftentimes, peer reviews are nonsense. As anyone who has ever put his nose inside a university will know, peer review is usually a mode of excluding the unexpected, the unpredictable, and the unrespectable, and forming a mutually back-scratching circle. Through the process of peer review, of certain papers nodded through by experts and others given a red cross, the controllers of the major scientific journals can include what they like and exclude what they don’t like. Peer review is frequently a way of controlling debate, even curtailing it."

-mfp

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 2:14:00 PM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

Demesure, for future reference, you bore me when you go there.

No reasonable person would believe that all true things are calculable, and than anything incalculable is false.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 2:16:00 PM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

(Again, for redundancy, the effect of smoking on my lifespan is incalculable. Even to silly and arbitrary ranges, as in "all I'm asking for is a month?" That does not "break" the smoking to health relationship, for anyone but fools.)

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 4:02:00 PM PDT, Anonymous KarenRei said...

Anonymous:

Peer review is the foundation of all modern science. It's not perfect, but it is by far the best thing we have. If you have some papers that failed peer review that you think failed due to a bias, by all means, present them. Note that this doesn't mean that those that *did* pass peer review are any less relevant. Finally, I'll add that the 40-50 or so scientists in the field who disagree with the consensus position (held by the other several thousand scientists in the field) seem to have no trouble getting published; they're actually quite prolific. So, really, your argument falls flat right there.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 4:09:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"it's that the ocean is holding back climate change."

Karenrei,
What do you mean by that ?

"Every single reputable scientific orgnization in the world who has a stance on this issue supports the consensus position, with the exception of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which has now moved from "opposed" to "neutral"."

The American Association of State Meteorologists is skeptical. And they know more about climate than any scientific organisation of the world.
Anyway, science is not based on consensus. You find consensus in politics or economics but it's not science.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 4:21:00 PM PDT, Blogger UmassMenus said...

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/08/29/bjorn_lomborg/

Lomborg, first of all, believes in global warming. So, there you go with that reference.

2. Ted Turner owns media modules. Why you pick him ( or Gore ) as knowing scientist or analyst is beyond me. Are you going to quote Tom Brady or Michael Jordan on stock derivatives too while you're at it?

3. Lomborg is an economist. Since he is not a scientist, I don't know why their is no grain of salt attached to your blogs about people who aren't in the field analyzing it.

4. Even if it cools, warms, storms, droughts, it is CHANGE that screws stuff up. A change in 1 or 2 degrees wouldn't kill us, but it would cause madness for a lot of animals that can't take even the smallest of change too quickly.

It is if you decided to bench press 200 lbs. from 145 in a matter of 2 weeks. Do you know how many people would laugh at such a comment? Well, you are essentially creating the same analogy to global warming, regardless if there is a plus or minus scale at the end of the temperature.

Animals in plants don't like ANY temperature change. They die when it does. We eat animals that eat plants and we eat plants. I don't think that we could mess up the Earth but are you even able to hedge your bet against the possible loss of civilization?

Do I think it will happen? No. But do I think its possible if we are idle? Maybe? Shouldn't something be done if civilization has a chance to come unglued? I should think so.

If anything, you gotta put some common sense in your blogs. You always mention leftists and environmentalists, but what about ordinary joes ( which you claim to be ) that care about the Earth and would like to do something about it? C'mon! You make fun of leftist all day trying to debunk them but are forgetting that normal people with common sense read your blog and see nothing but your constant bickering of leftist.

Funny since the most famous Peak Oil advocate in our government is a republican, and so was Matt Simmons. Funny that there is a conservative evangelical movement to protect natural resources from being battered by unfettered capitalism:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/925svjzc.asp

This is only the cusp of the complexity of the issue, but it is apparent to a lot of people that climate change, not global warming, but understanding the climate should be of some importance. And that there is a difference between far-leftists and pragmatists.

If anything, come back to being a pragmatist and not a voice to debunk, and you probably will have better arguments.

 
At Monday, April 7, 2008 at 4:36:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"A change in 1 or 2 degrees wouldn't kill us, but it would cause madness for a lot of animals that can't take even the smallest of change too quickly."

Animals can stand >10°C of temperature differences between summers and winters and they would be mad with a 3°C/century change ?
Um err...

 
At Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 4:43:00 AM PDT, Anonymous luisdias said...

All the discussion is bunk. GW alarmists didn't calculate the impact that Peak Oil will have in its charts. The world doesn't need to do much to endorse Kyoto, the resource reality will be harsher than all these alarmists on constraining the choices of the countries into renewables.

It's just that we have no other choice. Either we let our economy die, or we choose renewables. There is simply no GW die-off scenario.

I couldn't care less of these cranks yelling their silly asses about the end is nigh stuff. People will change their behavior not because they're worried about the planet, but because the gas price will eventually go through the roof and they'll have no other choice.

It's an interesting time. Lots of opportunities for new crazy inventing stuff. I foresee a decade of ingenious inventions and engineering miracles along some social bumps and worries. In the meantime I really hope that the politicians give rise to a speech of hope and opportunity, empowerment. With that attitude, this generation will overcome the problems at hand, no doubt about that.

 
At Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 8:52:00 AM PDT, Blogger DB said...

As soon as I hear the words "peer review" my brain switches off.
It's like only "peers" have the ability to think. Whatever.

The other thing makes me laugh is that "global warming scenarios" as opposed to the science that co2 and methane trap gases as per beers law are just MODELS.

The same as the limits to growth model in fact.

Anyone who has done real science knows about chaos theory: it is inherently unpredictable and small changes have big effects.
How the hell do they expect to be able to make accurate predictions without including every single itty bitty butterfly in the amazon beat me.

But since I'm not a peer I will just come out and say it: the models are a crock.

 
At Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM PDT, Blogger Fernando said...

JD,

"I'm not drawing the conclusion that global warming is over, or that global warming hasn't occurred, or is not occurring. I'm simply pointing out the disconnect between:"

But you are cherry picking. You can always have said, "the trend extrapolates by x degrees in z years as said in source, thus disproving that alarmism", you just cherrypicked using a favorite denialist argument and somewhat undermined your own argument.

 
At Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 11:44:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymouse said...

It's like only "peers" have the ability to think. Whatever.

No, it's that peers *actually have the research background on the subject to point out glaring errors that laypeople wouldn't know*. It's a critically important aspect of research.

The other thing makes me laugh is that "global warming scenarios" as opposed to the science that co2 and methane trap gases as per beers law are just MODELS.

The fact that CO2 and methane trap infrared can be verified in any college chem lab (and any well-equipped high school chem lab). This isn't some radical theory hinged on some untested computer model; it's trivially easy to both demonstrate and measure. The *feedback* from these processes is what models are for calculating. And models aren't the only way to assess feedback, either.

Anyone who has done real science knows about chaos theory: it is inherently unpredictable and small changes have big effects. How the hell do they expect to be able to make accurate predictions without including every single itty bitty butterfly in the amazon beat me.

I actually have taken a graduate-level course on chaotic dynamic systems, and you clearly haven't, because if you had, you'd be aware of convergence, and how convergence is a testable hypothesis. I have virtually no ability to tell you whether it's going to be raining in a month, but I can get you quite a close prediction for the average rainfall totals over that month. The results of chaotic processes *converge* to a predictable result.

And for another post:

The American Association of State Meteorologists is skeptical. And they know more about climate than any scientific organisation of the world.
Anyway, science is not based on consensus. You find consensus in politics or economics but it's not science.


I assume you mean "State climatologists", not "State Meteorologists"). They're neutral, not opposed (their argument was that we need to prepare for all scenarios, not just warming, and they don't deny anthropogenic affects on climate ("The AASC recognizes that human activities have an influence on the climate system."), and haven't released a statement since 2001, which is an awful long time in the rapidly advancing field of climate science. I should also add that state climatologists are *appointed* by politicians in each state. And even still, they're anything *but* deniers. Full statement here:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/aasc/aascclimatepolicy.pdf

Now, contrast that to the ones that are outright supportive of the consensus position: the IPCC, the Joint Science Academies, the InterAcademy Council, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the US National Research Council, the American Meteorological Society, the Royal Meteorological Society, the World Meteorological Association, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics, the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society, the Federal Climate Change Science Program, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London, the American Quaternary Association, the Geological Society of America, the American Chemical Society, the Federation of American Scientists, Engineers Australia, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, the European Geosciences Union, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, the International Union of Geological Sciences, the International Council for Science, and the European Science Foundation.

Two neutrals, *zero* opposed, and 30 supportive. And one of the neutrals is from 2001 and composed of people appointed by politicians, and the other an association of petroleum geologists.

Once again, if you have any reputable scientific organizations who *oppose* the consensus position, please state them.

Of course, organizations aren't the only way to look at it; you can also look at surveys of the scientific literature. Once again, however, that wouldn't help you any, as they come to an even more extreme split than that. Check out the most recent peer reviewed one, for example -- Oreskes, 2004. Or, for that matter, the IPCC, since that's basically what they do -- sum up the peer-reviewed literature.

 
At Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 6:25:00 PM PDT, Blogger al fin said...

Actually, the left loonies are completely in charge of the global warming crusade and bandwagon. That's what is drawing an accelerating number of skeptics from outside the "true believing" inner circle of climate jerkers to express their caution about the runaway train of quasi-religious believers.

It's just gonna get worse until the clima-vangelists start acting like scientists again.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 1:57:00 AM PDT, Blogger DB said...

anonyfool,

It appears that your arrogance doesn't allow you to actually read what other people write:

"The fact that CO2 and methane trap infrared can be verified in any college chem lab (and any well-equipped high school chem lab). This isn't some radical theory hinged on some untested computer model; "

Go back and read what I actually said. Here's a tip for you:
The MODELS are way off base.

Oh and do deign to explain "convergence" to us mere mortals will ya?

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 5:53:00 AM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

I've said this elsewhere, but after reviewing this thread, I'll say it again:

The denialist arguments have denigrated to ankle-biters.

There is nothing here that can actually threaten the man (that global warming is in a broad sense happening), some just get off gnawing on his ankles ("look, Ted Turner!").

Or, the most common ankle-biter above, "models are not perfect!"

Of course they are not perfect, but you are peddling a strange choice. Given that heat-trapping by greenhouse gases is completely reasonable, what do you do?

Do you refuse to model it because models are not "perfect?" And do you therefore take whatever outcome you get?

Or do you accept an ongoing process of study, and action plans, evolving with our understanding?

Obviously the sub-text of the ankle-biters is that we must take whatever we get. That is crazy.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 5:59:00 AM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

Just to state it, the reasonable thing is to make, and begin, tentative plans based on our current understanding.

We can evolve those plans as our understanding evolves.

(Extremists on both sides offer straw-men of best/worst but those are not really very useful.)

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 7:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

odograph,

You're in a state of truly pathetic denial.

Here's the only thing you need to know, and it comes right out of the peer-reviewed literature (citation: Wigley, T.M.L. (1998). The Kyoto Protocol: CO2, CH4 and Climate Implications. Geophysical Research Letters, 25(13), 2285-2288.):

Even if all countries had ratified [the Kyoto Treaty] (the United States and Australia did not), and all countries lived up to their commitments (which many will have a hard time doing) and stuck to them throughout the 21st century (which would get ever harder), the change would have been miniscule. The temperature by 2050 would be an immeasurable 0.1°F lower and even by 2100 only 0.3°F lower.

You and many other people in this thread cannot refute this fact, and in fact you can't even seem to talk about or face it. Your strategy seems to be: "let's keep changing the subject, and hopefully it'll go away."

It's not going to go away. It's out of the bag, and I'm going to stay on point.

"Ankle-biters"... shit. I'm punching you right in the face with this Wigley article, and you weenies haven't got a single thing to punch back with. You're just dodging and running for cover.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 7:53:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Demesure said...

"Running for cover" or play the blame game.

BTW, ever since JD has gone overtly skeptical, seems there is a massive conversion trend, lol (here or here)

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:12:00 AM PDT, Anonymous fugeguy said...

Call me a doomer but time might be getting short. Good time to stop debating whether monetary policy, GW or PO will pop first and do something to prepare.

- fuge

Oil Rises, Gasoline Climbs to a Record, on U.S. Supply Decline

By Mark Shenk

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601072&refer=energy&sid=aZNVdNXWjGz8

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose above $111 a barrel in New York and gasoline surged to a record after a government report showed that U.S. supplies unexpectedly dropped.

Crude oil inventories fell 3.15 million barrels to 316 million last week, the first decline since February, the Energy Department said. A 2.3-million-barrel gain was forecast, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Supplies of gasoline and distillate fuel, including heating oil and diesel, also fell.

``The crude stock draw was obviously the big surprise and leaves supplies too tight for comfort,'' said Antoine Halff, head of energy research at New York-based Newedge USA LLC. ``Refineries are operating at a very low rate and we still didn't get an inventory gain.''

Crude oil for May delivery rose $2.71, or 2.5 percent, to $111.21 a barrel at 10:50 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 81 percent from a year ago. Futures prices rose to a record $111.80 a barrel on March 17.

Gasoline for May delivery climbed 5.8 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $2.8084 a gallon. Futures reached $2.8228, an intraday record for gasoline to be blended with ethanol, known as RBOB, which began trading in October 2005.

U.S. pump prices are following futures higher. Regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 1.2 cents to a record $3.343 a gallon, AAA, the nation's largest motorist organization, said today on its Web site.

Refineries operated at 83 percent of capacity last week, the Energy Department report showed. Plants used 88 percent during the same week last year. Refiners operated at 82.2 percent in the week ended March 21, the lowest since October 2005, the department said.

The Energy Department released its weekly report on inventories at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

Brent crude for May settlement rose $2.31, or 2.2 percent, to $108.65 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. Futures reached a record $108.02 a barrel on March 14.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: April 9, 2008 11:00 EDT

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 10:18:00 AM PDT, Anonymous KarenRei said...

Go back and read what I actually said. Here's a tip for you:
The MODELS are way off base.


Oh, hey, "proof by shouting". I'm convinced.

Given that you don't seem to even understand what the models are gathering, or how the models are hardly the only line of evidence studied...

Oh and do deign to explain "convergence" to us mere mortals will ya?

Take a fair coin. Can you predict what the outcome is going to be? Only with a worthless 50/50 chance, right? Now flip that coin N times, where N approaches infinity. I can tell you offhand with a high degree of certainty (and the higher N is, the greater the degree of certainty), that you will get 50% heads and 50% tails. A chaotic process -- the heads/tails selection -- has converged to a single solution -- 50% heads, 50% tails.

Now, let's say that we didn't know that we're dealing with a fair coin. In fact, let's say that we don't even know whether the coin is memoryless; for all we know, perhaps the coin has a small chance of getting locked into a state that will give heads increasingly often until it's always returning heads. How could we tell if this chaotic process converges or diverges? The answer is simple: trials. The more trials you subject a chaotic system to, the higher the confidence interval with which you can say that the results will converge or diverge. Now, we can't keep subjecting the entire planet to trials, but we have two effective alternatives: one, models, which have become incredibly advanced and can, pretty accurately, predict long term climate trends the world over when fed historical data that match the historical results (validation). Secondly, we can look at the historical results, finding trials where the initial conditions were the same and looking at their outcome to detect convergence or divergence. Furthermore, we need not look at the world as a whole; individual systems can be tested independently. Given a set of source conditions, will it always average having a wet year in Missouri, or will every so often Missouri end up dry? What is the probability and confidence interval of it ending up wet? Scenarios like this can be more easily tested, and then the results can be applied to analysis of the global situation, retaining the confidence intervals and probabilities.

Continuing on: Your fundamental problem is that you are confusing "chaos" with "noise". Our universe is jam-packed full of chaotic systems for almost every aspect of every level of our reality. Yet, the universe isn't "noise"; it's actually quite orderly. This chaos produced things like crystals, harmonic orbits, and so on. To cover this, we need to introduce a new term: the phase-space attractor.

Look at the Mandelbrot set -- a classic fractal, stunningly beautiful in its simplicity of design yet complexity of its results. Here's the fractal as a whole:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Mandel_zoom_00_mandelbrot_set.jpg/800px-Mandel_zoom_00_mandelbrot_set.jpg

And here's an extreme closeup of a miniscule region deep inside of it:

http://www.joachim-reichel.de/software/fraktal/mandelbrot_large.png

What formula creates this? It's a very simple chaotic algorithm. The graph is the complex plane, so you have a real axis (horizontal) and an imaginary axis (vertical). A coordinate, then, can be presented as x + y * i. Well, to make the Mandelbrot set, you take the complex coordinate and come up with a new complex number, which is your original coordinate squared plus some constant. You keep repeating this until your new number either *converges* (has repeated so many times that you can be convinced it's going nowhere) or *diverges* (has become so large that it's now outside of a given bounding box, and you can be assured it'll continue on to infinity). If it converges, you color it black; it's part of the set. If it diverges, you traditionally assign it a color based on how many cycles it took to get there.

Now, how is such a simple chaotic formula giving such a ridiculously complex shape? The answer is that it's a phase-space attractor. "Phase-space" consists of all of the possiblities that exist. An "attractor" is a chaotic system that, given enough time, converges to a dynamic system that even disturbing a value will end up with the value returning back to the dynamic system. Picture, for example, an IFS or Flame fractal, following the drawing point around. You can start it anywhere on the phase-space, but it'll ultimately end up tracing out the path of the fractal.

The same applies to the Mandelbrot set. Throughout the set, there are infinite attractors, increasingly smaller and smaller. A coordinate may end up in an attractor because its square plus C is increasing close to a fixed value (attracting cycle of period 1). It may end up in an attractor because its square plus C gets increasingly close to another number, whose square plus C gets increasingly close to the original number (attracting cycle of period 2). You can have any period for your attractor cycle; the point, however, is that anything in the "black" -- part of the set -- has converged to a cycle of a given period from which it can never escape by repeating the same formula, while anything not black is ultimately doomed to diverge given enough applications of the formula. And, for any point in the phase space, we can tell whether it is convergent (in the set) or divergent (not in the set) with high probability simply by completing sufficient iterations.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 10:37:00 AM PDT, Anonymous KarenRei said...

Here's the only thing you need to know, and it comes right out of the peer-reviewed literature (citation: Wigley, T.M.L. (1998). The Kyoto Protocol: CO2, CH4 and Climate Implications. Geophysical Research Letters, 25(13), 2285-2288.):

Even if all countries had ratified [the Kyoto Treaty] (the United States and Australia did not), and all countries lived up to their commitments (which many will have a hard time doing) and stuck to them throughout the 21st century (which would get ever harder), the change would have been miniscule. The temperature by 2050 would be an immeasurable 0.1°F lower and even by 2100 only 0.3°F lower.


Once again, JD, thank you for demonstrating why people who aren't versed int the literature shouldn't take such adimant positions against the scientific consensus. You also make me seriously question whether you've ever read this paper.

First off, you cite Wigley, and ignore the fact that Wigley *staunchly attributes warming to human activities*. Wigley is only critical of Kyoto, showing that it *doesn't do enough*, particularly in developing countries. Even still, Wigley calls the effects of Kyoto "small, but nonetheless important as a first step towards stabilizing the climate system."

Let me reiterate: Wigley is criticizing Kyoto as *Not Doing Enough*. And hey, why stop at Wigley 1998? Why didn't you bother to read, say, Wigley 2005?

Even if atmospheric composition were fixed today, global-mean temperature and sea level rise would continue due to oceanic thermal inertia. These constant-composition (CC) commitments and their uncertainties are quantified. Constant-emissions (CE) commitments are also considered. The CC warming commitment could exceed 1°C. The CE warming commitment is 2° to 6°C by the year 2400. For sea level rise, the CC commitment is 10 centimeters per century (extreme range approximately 1 to 30 centimeters per century) and the CE commitment is 25 centimeters per century (7 to 50 centimeters per century). Avoiding these changes requires, eventually, a reduction in emissions to substantially below present levels. For sea level rise, a substantial long-term commitment may be impossible to avoid.

Oh, wait, that would have ruined your argument, wouldn't it? What about his conclusion?

The CE results reinforce the common knowledge that, in order to stabilize global-mean temperatures, we eventually need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to well below present levels. The CC results are potentially more alarming, because they are based on a future scenario that is clearly impossible to achieve and so represent an extreme lower bound to climate change over the next few centuries.

You're trying to argue that we "can't do anything". Wigley is arguing that we're *not doing enough*, but that if we *do take drastic action*, we can stabilize global mean temperatures.

If you're such a Wigley fan, perhaps you should actually get yourself a brief background from him on the thermal inertia of the oceans and *why* temperatures will keep rising in the absense of continued emissions, but why continued emissions make it worse:

http://www.isse.ucar.edu/climatehealth/2004/presentations/Wigley.pdf

It's only two pages. You'd at least read that so you could be informed on the topic, wouldn't you? Of course, Wigley is only one of the many scientists in the field, and there are many papers on the topic. But you apparently thought that this one supported your view the most. Try again.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 10:39:00 AM PDT, Blogger bc said...

As a fan of science, I am loathe to side with GW skeptics, but I am forced to largely agree with JD.

GW science is dangerously cult like - dangerous for good science that is. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the science, and if GW does not turn out the way alarmists are predicting, it will set back science a long way in the public view. The science will fix itself, but the public will not be so understanding.

The big flaw in the IPCC models are their assumption of fossil fuel reserves, which are way optimistic. (Oddly the skeptics overlook this major flaw and play soundbite science). However, if you mention this flaw at realclimate.org, you get a rather curt "the IPCC figures are correct". That is not good science.

JDs other point is equally compelling. Ask the question, "how many people will die from GW?" and the number is surprisingly low. We are talking a few million. Lomberg would seem to have a good point, should the money be better spent helping the billions already at risk from other causes?

I think these are legitimate questions to ask, but unfortunately the debate has become so polarised that appearing to question "the science" (which I don't) tags you with the denier label.

The key player is the USA. Should they decide that mitigating GW is in their economic interest, they will push through global action. Otherwise, little will happen. In fact, the EU policy of promoting biofuels is likely to make things worse.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 5:50:00 PM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

JD, translating the science into a point argument about a particular treaty is not particularly bright.

If you can't consider the science independent of the politics, you have a problem.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 6:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

BTW, Tyler Cowen has pretty good rational-libertarian cred, and he's on the right page.

Why can't others separate science, risk, and action into appropriate phases of discussion?

Why is it always "no warming since 1998" toggling back and forth with "by 2100 only 0.3°F lower" ... higher, lower, the ankle-biters are all over the map making disconnected and irrational arguments.

 
At Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 6:09:00 PM PDT, Blogger odograph said...

Oh (triple) you might see at MR that I tend to hand out this link to Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Science, discussing global warming.

It's always amusing that the back-thread ankle-biters think they have better science chops, and a better scientific understanding, than Ralph.

 
At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 3:20:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You state that the "UN concedes" that global warming isn't actually happening - but the article that you refer to states clearly that UN scientists believe that global temperatures are rising. Obviously, you are not worth the time it took me to read that far! Good bye.

 
At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 3:45:00 AM PDT, Anonymous luisdias said...

And yet, these idiots keep ignoring the glaring obvious: Kyoto protocol or any other protocol or action by any government will be inconsequential and inneficient.... and totally unnecessary. The public debate is bogus and a waste of time.

Peak Oil, and eventually Peak Gas and Peak Coal will do far more good to the GW cause than anything else, and it will simply avoyd the hellish scenarios put forth by IPCC, the majority of which rely on the most optimistic scenarios of CERA's account of carbon resources. IPCC is incredibly cornucopian about oil and its cousins.

If anything, politicians should grab the NASA's fear mongering as a political opportunity to change some policies regarding fossil fuels, and make it appear it is "GW concerned", giving them all a fresh green look.

Right now, politicians around the globe are all already waking up to the fact that the next extraordinary "Saudi Arabia"-like energy glut is just around the corner and is called Conservation.

 
At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 5:03:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

karenrei,
You and Wigley say we will need to go way beyond Kyoto, and make much deeper cuts. So what's your plan for doing that? Most of the countries which signed Kyoto aren't going to meet their obligations:

"Some, such as Italy and Canada, are raising doubts about the sacrifices required. Britain admits it may not reach its target, while Japan flat-out says it can't reduce emissions by the expected amount, which is 6 percent below the 1990 levels." Source

If countries can't even do Kyoto, how are they going to go way beyond Kyoto? I'll keep an open mind. Please explain it to me.

Also, I'm not saying we can't do anything about global warming. I'm saying we shouldn't do anything about global warming unless the benefits outweigh the costs. So the best approach is probably to do nothing, and pump more money into geoengineering research. Artificial volcanos and similar cooling techniques will be perfectly safe because current climate models fully capture all relevant aerosol processes, and this will allow us to predict the temperature effects of geoengineering centuries into the future.

 

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