T Nation

Intimidation of Global Warming Skeptics

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Are you trying to tell me, somehow, that I don’t read or view widely enough?

Or, somehow, are you trying to say that the program lucasa referenced wasn’t a politically motivated rebuttal?

Or are you just bitter because you’re cold with all this global warming going on?[/quote]

I’m really trying to talk in general. There can be no doubt about the fact we are pumping tons of shit into the atmosphere. There can be no doubt we are polluting like mofo’s.

There can be no doubt about the science with respect to reflection of infrared energy by certain types of compounds. The doubt is within the capacity of the Earth to adjust to our abuses.

Some people feel it will be fine, while others are concerned we could really cause ourselves some strife. You don’t have to deny the entire concept in order to second guess the expected results… and it would make you sound a lot less politically motivated.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
M. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

I guess what I’m saying is that some awfully smart scientists aren’t with the supposedly omniscient juggernaut that is the claimed majority consensus.[/quote]

Just as an aside, you do realize that these days the MIT’s credibility is almost non-existent? I know, I might be biased (there is some bitter rivalry between Stanford and the MIT) but in the past decade or so MIT professors have been heavily criticized and attacked by academics all over the World for abandoning science and engineering and becoming mercenaries, doing anything to get attention and funding…

… and before Zap says it: yes, academics are catty, but when there is so much at stake, people become catty.

And finally, BB, before you feel your Boston pride insulted, and also to show there is respect among academics, HARVARD ROCKS! Seriously, over here at Stanford GSB we all have a great relationship with Harvard and we constantly have to work hard to reach the bar they set. Although I have closer friends at Princeton, the Harvard guys still constantly blow my mind.

I think it’s safe to say the estimates vary widely. Here’s an interesting article on the phenomenon underlying any rise in sea levels, glacial melting (focused on Greenland and Antarctica):

http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V9/N13/EDIT.jsp

Highly Over-Hyped: Greenland’s and Antarctica’s Impacts on Sea Level

Volume 9, Number 13: 29 March 2006
In the 24 March 2006 issue of Science, a number of commentaries heralded accelerating discharges of glacial ice from Greenland and Antarctica, while dispensing dire warnings of an imminent large, rapid and accelerating sea-level rise (Bindschadler, 2006; Joughin, 2006; Kerr, 2006; Kennedy and Hanson, 2006). This distressing news was based largely on three reports published in the same issue (Ekstrom et al., 2006; Otto-Bliesner et al., 2006; Overpeck et al., 2006), wherein the unnerving phenomena were attributed to anthropogenic-induced global warming, which is widely claimed to be due primarily to increases in the air’s CO2 content that are believed to be driven by the burning of ever increasing quantities of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil. But does all of this make any sense?

Consider the report of Ekstrom et al., who studied “glacial earthquakes” caused by sudden sliding motions of glaciers on Greenland. Over the period Jan 1993 to Oct 2005, they determined that (1) all of the best-recorded quakes were associated with major outlet glaciers on the east and west coasts of Greenland between approximately 65 and 76?N latitude, (2) “a clear increase in the number of events is seen starting in 2002,” and (3) “to date in 2005, twice as many events have been detected as in any year before 2002.”

With respect to the reason for the recent increase in glacial activity on Greenland, Clayton Sandell of ABC News (23 March 2006) quotes Ekstrom as saying “I think it is very hard not to associate this with global warming,” which sentiment appears to be shared by almost all of the authors of the seven Science articles. Unwilling to join in that conclusion, however, was Joughin, who in the very same issue presented histories of summer temperature at four Greenland coastal stations located within the same latitude range as the sites of the glacial earthquakes, which histories suggest that it was warmer in this region back in the 1930s than it was over the period of Ekstrom et al.'s analysis. Based on these data, Joughin concluded that “the recent warming is too short to determine whether it is an anthropogenic effect or natural variability,” a position that is supported – and in some cases even more rigorously – by numerous scientists who have researched the issue, as noted in the following brief synopses of some of their studies.

Hanna and Cappelen (2003)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V6/N9/C1.jsp ), determined the air temperature history of coastal southern Greenland from 1958-2001, based on data from eight Danish Meteorological Institute stations in coastal and near-coastal southern Greenland, as well as the concomitant sea surface temperature (SST) history of the Labrador Sea off southwest Greenland, based on three previously published and subsequently extended SST data sets (Parker et al., 1995; Rayner et al., 1996; Kalnay et al., 1996). Their analyses revealed that the coastal temperature data showed a cooling of 1.29?C over the period of study, while two of the three SST databases also depicted cooling: by 0.44?C in one case and by 0.80?C in the other. In addition, it was determined that the cooling was “significantly inversely correlated with an increased phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) over the past few decades.”

In an even broader study based on mean monthly temperatures of 37 Arctic and 7 sub-Arctic stations, as well as temperature anomalies of 30 grid-boxes from the updated data set of Jones, Przybylak (2000)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V3/N24/C1.jsp ) found that (1) “in the Arctic, the highest temperatures since the beginning of instrumental observation occurred clearly in the 1930s,” (2) “even in the 1950s the temperature was higher than in the last 10 years,” (3) “since the mid-1970s, the annual temperature shows no clear trend,” and (4) “the level of temperature in Greenland in the last 10-20 years is similar to that observed in the 19th century.” These findings led him to conclude that the meteorological record “shows that the observed variations in air temperature in the real Arctic are in many aspects not consistent with the projected climatic changes computed by climatic models for the enhanced greenhouse effect,” because, in his words, “the temperature predictions produced by numerical climate models significantly differ from those actually observed.”

In a study that utilized satellite imagery of the Odden ice tongue (a winter ice cover that occurs in the Greenland Sea with a length of about 1300 km and an aerial coverage of as much as 330,000 square kilometers) plus surface air temperature data from adjacent Jan Mayen Island, Comiso et al. (2001)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V4/N31/C1.jsp ) determined that the ice phenomenon was “a relatively smaller feature several decades ago,” due to the warmer temperatures that were prevalent at that time. In fact, they report that observational evidence from Jan Mayen Island indicates that temperatures there actually cooled at a rate of 0.15 ? 0.03?C per decade throughout the prior 75 years.

More recently, in a study of three coastal stations in southern and central Greenland that possess almost uninterrupted temperature records between 1950 and 2000, Chylek et al. (2004)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V7/N12/EDIT.jsp ) discovered that “summer temperatures, which are most relevant to Greenland ice sheet melting rates, do not show any persistent increase during the last fifty years.” In fact, working with the two stations with the longest records (both over a century in length), they determined that coastal Greenland’s peak temperatures occurred between 1930 and 1940, and that the subsequent decrease in temperature was so substantial and sustained that then-current coastal temperatures were “about 1?C below their 1940 values.” Furthermore, they note that “at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet the summer average temperature has decreased at the rate of 2.2?C per decade since the beginning of the measurements in 1987.”

At the start of the 20th century, however, Greenland was warming, as it emerged, along with the rest of the world, from the depths of the Little Ice Age. What is more, between 1920 and 1930, when the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration rose by a mere 3 to 4 ppm, there was a phenomenal warming at all five coastal locations for which contemporary temperature records are available. In fact, in the words of Chylek et al., “average annual temperature rose between 2 and 4?C [and by as much as 6?C in the winter] in less than ten years.” And this warming, as they note, “is also seen in the 18O/16O record of the Summit ice core (Steig et al., 1994; Stuiver et al., 1995; White et al., 1997).”

In commenting on this dramatic temperature rise, which they call the great Greenland warming of the 1920s, Chylek et al. conclude that “since there was no significant increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration during that time, the Greenland warming of the 1920s demonstrates that a large and rapid temperature increase can occur over Greenland, and perhaps in other regions of the Arctic, due to internal climate variability such as the NAM/NAO [Northern Annular Mode/North Atlantic Oscillation], without a significant anthropogenic influence.”

In light of these several real-world observations, it is clear that the recent upswing in glacial activity on Greenland likely has had nothing to do with anthropogenic-induced global warming, as temperatures there have yet to rise either as fast or as high as they did during the great warming of the 1920s, which was clearly a natural phenomenon.

It is also important to recognize the fact that coastal glacial discharge represents only half of the equation relating to sea level change, the other half being inland ice accumulation derived from precipitation; and when the mass balance of the entire Greenland ice sheet was most recently assessed via satellite radar altimetry, quite a different result was obtained than that suggested by the seven Science papers of 24 March. Zwally et al. (2005)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V9/N10/C2.jsp ), for example, found that although “the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins,” it is “growing inland with a small overall mass gain.” In fact, for the 11-year period 1992-2003, Johannessen et al. (2005)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V8/N44/C1.jsp ) found that “below 1500 meters, the elevation-change rate is -2.0 ? 0.9 cm/year, in qualitative agreement with reported thinning in the ice-sheet margins,” but that “an increase of 6.4 ? 0.2 cm/year is found in the vast interior areas above 1500 meters.” Spatially averaged over the bulk of the ice sheet, the net result, according to the latter researchers, was a mean increase of 5.4 ? 0.2 cm/year, “or ~60 cm over 11 years, or ~54 cm when corrected for isostatic uplift.” Consequently, the Greenland ice sheet experienced no net loss of mass over the last decade for which data are available. Quite to the contrary, in fact, it was host to a net accumulation of ice, which Zwally et al. found to be producing a 0.03 ? 0.01 mm/year decline in sea-level.

In an attempt to downplay the significance of these inconvenient findings, Kerr quotes Zwally as saying he believes that “right now” the Greenland ice sheet is experiencing a net loss of mass. Why? Kerr says Zwally’s belief is “based on his gut feeling about the most recent radar and laser observations.” Fair enough. But gut feelings are a poor substitute for comprehensive real-world measurements; and even if the things that Zwally’s intestines are telling him are ultimately proven to be correct, their confirmation would only demonstrate just how rapidly the Greenland environment can change. Also, we would have to wait and see how long the mass losses prevailed in order to assess their significance within the context of the CO2-induced global warming debate. For the present and immediate future, therefore, we have no choice but to stick with what the existent data and analyses suggest, i.e., that cumulatively since the early 1990s, and conservatively (since the balance is likely still positive), there has been no net loss of mass from the Greenland ice sheet.

The set of Science papers and associated news reports also make much of recent ice discharges from Antarctica, particularly along the Antarctic Peninsula, which has warmed more than any other place on earth over the past fifty years. Little to nothing, however, is said about the fact that the great bulk of the continent has actually cooled over this period, which as in the case of Greenland has also been demonstrated by numerous researchers, as outlined below.

In a study of the entire continent, Comiso (2000)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V3/N12/C1.jsp ) assembled and analyzed Antarctic temperature data from 21 surface stations and from infrared satellites operating from 1979 to 1998. The temperature trend derived from the satellite data was a cooling of 0.42?C per decade, while the trend derived from the station data was a cooling of 0.08?C per decade, which led Comiso to state that these negative temperature trends were “intriguing, since during the same time period a general warming is being observed globally,” and to note that “the slight cooling detected in the entire Antarctic region is compatible with a slightly positive trend in the sea ice extent that has been observed from passive microwave data.”

Doran et al. (2002) ( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V5/N5/C1.jsp ) measured a number of meteorological parameters in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica between 1986 and 2000, comparing what they learned with what happened concurrently over the rest of the continent, the climatic record of which stretches two additional decades back in time. Over the 14 years of their intensive measurements, the McMurdo Dry valleys cooled at the phenomenal rate of 0.7?C per decade. This dramatic cooling, in the researchers’ words, “reflects longer term continental Antarctic cooling between 1966 and 2000.” In addition to sharing the same cooling trend, most of the 14-year cooling in the dry valleys occurred in the summer and autumn, just as most of the 35-year cooling over the continent as a whole (which did not include any data from the dry valleys) also occurred in the summer and autumn; and Doran et al. note that this multi-faceted “compatibility with the dry valley data increases the validity of the analysis.”

As for the significance of their findings, Doran et al. say that the continental Antarctic cooling documented in their paper “poses challenges to models of climate and ecosystem change.” Climate models, as they note, not only predict that global warming should have been occurring over the period of their study, but that there should have been “amplified warming in polar regions.” To instead find dramatic cooling (which is about as different from amplified warming as one can get) especially in one of the two places on earth where the climate models are thought to be most correct, represents about as clear-cut a refutation of the predictions of the climate models as one can imagine.

Taking a slightly longer view of the subject, Turner et al. (2005)( http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V8/N24/C1.jsp ) used a “new and improved” set of Antarctic climate data – which is described in detail by Turner et al. (2004) – to examine “the temporal variability and change in some of the key meteorological parameters at Antarctic stations.” In doing so, they found the warming at low elevations on the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula to have been “as large as any increase observed on Earth over the last 50 years,” which at the Faraday (now Vernadsky) station amounted to about 2.5?C. However, they say that “the region of marked warming is quite limited and is restricted to an arc from the southwestern part of the peninsula, through Faraday to a little beyond the tip of the peninsula.”

With respect to the bigger picture of the vast bulk of the continent, the nine climate scientists remark that “of the 19 stations examined in this study for which annual trends could be computed, 11 stations have experienced warming over their whole length, seven stations have cooled, and one station had too little data to allow an annual trend to be computed.” Considering that four of the stations that warmed are associated with the Antarctic Peninsula, however, there is little that can be said about the temperature trend of the entire continent, which issue they skillfully skirt. However, they do report “there has been a broad-scale change in the nature of the temperature trends between 1961-90 and 1971-2000.” Specifically, they report that of the ten coastal stations that have long enough records to allow 30-year temperature trends to be computed for both of these periods, “eight had a larger warming trend (or a smaller cooling trend) in the earlier [our italics] period.” In fact, four of them changed from warming to cooling, as did the interior Vostok site; and at the South Pole the rate of cooling intensified by a factor of six.

These observations reveal that over the latter part of the 20th century, i.e., the period of time that according to climate alarmists experienced the most dramatic global warming of the entire past two millennia, fully 80% of the Antarctic coastal stations with sufficiently long temperature records experienced either an intensification of cooling or a reduced rate of warming; while four coastal sites and one interior site actually shifted from warming to cooling.

In light of these facts, it is clear there is a serious disconnect between reality and the virtual world of climate modeling; and since everything else in the 24 March 2006 set of glacial ice Science papers pertains to climate modeling, there is not much else that need be said about them … except, perhaps, to note that the modeling pertains primarily to the prior interglacial, which makes it essentially meaningless for two additional reasons. First, if the models can’t replicate what happened in earth’s polar regions over the past few decades, there’s surely no reason to give any credence to what they tell us about something that occurred 130,000 years ago. And second, one can easily get the right answer to a computational problem for any number of compensating wrong reasons, so that even a “correct” replication does not imply that the mechanics of the modeled phenomenon are correctly understood.

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

References
Bindschadler, R. 2006. Hitting the ice sheets where it hurts. Science 311: 1720-1721.

Chylek, P., Box, J.E. and Lesins, G. 2004. Global warming and the Greenland ice sheet. Climatic Change 63: 201-221.

Comiso, J.C. 2000. Variability and trends in Antarctic surface temperatures from in situ and satellite infrared measurements. Journal of Climate 13: 1674-1696.

Comiso, J.C., Wadhams, P., Pedersen, L.T. and Gersten, R.A. 2001. Seasonal and interannual variability of the Odden ice tongue and a study of environmental effects. Journal of Geophysical Research 106: 9093-9116.

Doran, P.T., Priscu, J.C., Lyons, W.B., Walsh, J.E., Fountain, A.G., McKnight, D.M., Moorhead, D.L., Virginia, R.A., Wall, D.H., Clow, G.D., Fritsen, C.H., McKay, C.P. and Parsons, A.N. 2002. Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response. Nature advance online publication, 13 January 2002 (DOI 10.1038/nature710).

Ekstrom, G., Nettles, M. and Tsai, V.C. 2006. Seasonality and increasing frequency of Greenland glacial earthquakes. Science 311: 1756-1758.

Hanna, E. and Cappelen, J. 2003. Recent cooling in coastal southern Greenland and relation with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters 30: 10.1029/2002GL015797.

Johannessen, O.M., Khvorostovsky, K., Miles, M.W. and Bobylev, L.P. 2005. Recent ice-sheet growth in the interior of Greenland. Science 310: 1013-1016.

Joughin, I. 2006. Greenland rumbles louder as glaciers accelerate. Science 311: 1719-1720.

Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kistler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woollen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K.C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetmaa, A., Reynolds, R., Jenne, R. and Joseph, D. 1996. The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 77: 437-471.

Kerr, R.A. 2006. A worrying trend of less ice, higher seas. Science 311: 1698-1701.

Kennedy, D. and Hanson, B. 2006. Ice and history. Science 311: 1673.

Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Marshall, S.J., Overpeck, J.T., Miller, G.H., Hu, A., and CAPE Last Interglacial Project members. 2006. Simulating Arctic climate warmth and icefield retreat in the last interglaciation. Science 311: 1751-1753.

Overpeck, J.T., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Miller, G.H., Muhs, D.R., Alley, R.B. and Kiehl, J.T. 2006. Paleoclimatic evidence for future ice-sheet instability and rapid sea-level rise. Science 311: 1747-1750.

Parker, D.E., Folland, C.K. and Jackson, M. 1995. Marine surface temperature: Observed variations and data requirements. Climatic Change 31: 559-600.

Przybylak, R. 2000. Temporal and spatial variation of surface air temperature over the period of instrumental observations in the Arctic. International Journal of Climatology 20: 587-614.

Rayner, N.A., Horton, E.B., Parker, D.E., Folland, C.K. and Hackett, R.B. 1996. Version 2.2 of the global sea-ice and sea surface temperature data set, 1903-1994. Climate Research Technical Note 74, Hadley Centre, U.K. Meteorological Office, Bracknell, Berkshire, UK.

Steig, E.J., Grootes, P.M. and Stuiver, M. 1994. Seasonal precipitation timing and ice core records. Science 266: 1885-1886.

Stuiver, M., Grootes, P.M. and Braziunas, T.F. 1995. The GISP2 18O climate record of the past 16,500 years and the role of the sun, ocean and volcanoes. Quaternary Research 44: 341-354.

Turner, J., Colwell, S.R., Marshall, G.J., Lachlan-Cope, T.A., Carleton, A.M., Jones, P.D., Lagun, V., Reid, P.A. and Iagovkina, S. 2004. The SCAR READER project: towards a high-quality database of mean Antarctic meteorological observations. Journal of Climate 17: 2890-2898.

Turner, J., Colwell, S.R., Marshall, G.J., Lachlan-Cope, T.A., Carleton, A.M., Jones, P.D., Lagun, V., Reid, P.A. and Iagovkina, S. 2005. Antarctic climate change during the last 50 years. International Journal of Climatology 25: 279-294.

White, J.W.C., Barlow, L.K., Fisher, D., Grootes, P.M., Jouzel, J., Johnsen, S.J., Stuiver, M. and Clausen, H.B. 1997. The climate signal in the stable isotopes of snow from Summit, Greenland: Results of comparisons with modern climate observations. Journal of Geophysical Research 102: 26,425-26,439.

Zwally, H.J., Giovinetto, M.B., Li, J., Cornejo, H.G., Beckley, M.A., Brenner, A.C., Saba, J.L. and Yi, D. 2005. Mass changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and shelves and contributions to sea-level rise: 1992-2002. Journal of Glaciology 51: 509-527.

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:
M. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

I guess what I’m saying is that some awfully smart scientists aren’t with the supposedly omniscient juggernaut that is the claimed majority consensus.

hspder wrote:
Just as an aside, you do realize that these days the MIT’s credibility is almost non-existent? I know, I might be biased (there is some bitter rivalry between Stanford and the MIT) but in the past decade or so MIT professors have been heavily criticized and attacked by academics all over the World for abandoning science and engineering and becoming mercenaries, doing anything to get attention and funding…

… and before Zap says it: yes, academics are catty, but when there is so much at stake, people become catty.

And finally, BB, before you feel your Boston pride insulted, and also to show there is respect among academics, HARVARD ROCKS! Seriously, over here at Stanford GSB we all have a great relationship with Harvard and we constantly have to work hard to reach the bar they set. Although I have closer friends at Princeton, the Harvard guys still constantly blow my mind. [/quote]

Actually, my dad is a Stanford alum, so I don’t mind tooting their horn.

I don’t know about the mercenary stuff, but MIT scientists have definitely figured out how to start companies with their ideas – and MIT has figured out licensing very well. Of course, so has Stanford. I’ve done work for start-ups with scientists coming out of both schools, and let me tell you, it’s much nicer dealing with the licensing departments at Stanford and MIT than with, say, Syracuse, which doesn’t have nearly the experience nor the understanding w/r/t the deal economics.

[quote]hspder wrote:
lucasa wrote:
So, .4 mm in a year. Wow, so the whole ice sheet raising the ocean twenty feet would take 15,000 yrs. Right? Better start moving inland now. If it were any other profession doing similar things people would laugh.

.4 mm in a year is the most insanely optimistic estimate I’ve read. For a more balanced one:

http://yosemite.epa.gov/OAR/globalwarming.nsf/content/ClimateFutureClimateSeaLevel.html

"
Along the coast of New York, which typifies the US Coast, sea level is likely to rise 26 cm (10 inches) by 2050 and 55 cm (almost 2 feet) by 2100.
"

… and before you claim that 10 inches by 2050 is nothing to worry about… having to count in one foot more during a storm surge is more than enough to cause widespread, severe problems and billions of dollars in damages and lost revenue.
[/quote]

  1. .4 mm is an estimate of reality not a projection of the future like the EPA reports. Not that the two aren’t comparable, but the way you’re comparing them dismisses a measurement in favor of a projection.

  2. If it’s the most optimistic you’ve heard, then you’re not even paying attention to your own sources:

“An EPA study solicited the opinions of 8 US glaciologists on the vulnerability of this ice sheet. All but one concluded that Antarctica is most likely to have a negligible contribution to sea level over the next century. Nevertheless, they all agreed that there is some risk that a catastrophic collapse of the ice sheet could occur over a couple of centuries if polar water temperatures warm by a few degrees. Most of the scientists estimated that such a risk had a probability of between 1 and 5 percent. Because of this risk, as well as the possibility of a larger than expected melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the EPA study estimated that there is a 1 percent chance that global sea level could rise by more than 4 meters (almost 14 feet) in the next two centuries.”

The experts you cited don’t necessarily believe 2 ft. in two centuries. And if I’m not mistaken, you said;

“It is a fact that eventually they will break away and the sea level will rise.”

  1. Did you read the article? IMO, You act as if they were trying to be conservative, it was titled “Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Melting Rapidly New Study Warns Of Rising Sea Levels”.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I don’t know about the mercenary stuff, but MIT scientists have definitely figured out how to start companies with their ideas – and MIT has figured out licensing very well. Of course, so has Stanford. [/quote]

I’m not questioning that. We need money in order to continue to be one of the top, and most widely recognized, Universities in the World, and we do our best to set examples.

However, the MIT’s SCIENTIFIC credibility has been frequently questioned in the past few years, rising concerns that some of the papers and studies coming out from their ranks are heavily fabricated, with obvious political intent – be it to stir the pot and cause controversy or because some donations are dependent on it. When institutions are “falling from grace”, those things tend to become more and more frequent.

I believe there was fundamental cultural shift in the last 10 years and I sincerely doubt they’ll ever go back to having a name that is respected in the Academic community.

[quote]lucasa wrote:

  1. .4 mm is an estimate of reality not a projection of the future like the EPA reports. Not that the two aren’t comparable, but the way you’re comparing them dismisses a measurement in favor of a projection.[/quote]

Measurements are about the past. We’re discussing the future, and that’s what projections are about.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
2) If it’s the most optimistic you’ve heard, then you’re not even paying attention to your own sources:[/quote]

I am paying attention to my own sources. Did you actually look at the chart? Did you read the part where it says that the rise in the US Coast will be higher than the average?

[quote]lucasa wrote:
The experts you cited don’t necessarily believe 2 ft. in two centuries. And if I’m not mistaken, you said;

“It is a fact that eventually they will break away and the sea level will rise.”[/quote]

You’re mixing two separate problems; one, is the melting of the ice caps IN THE POLES, which BY ITSELF is estimated to cause the 10" rise by 2050. The other, completely separate problem, is the breaking away of ice sheets, which will cause an ADDITIONAL 2 ft rise – eventually. EVENTUALLY. I did not say “in the next X years”.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
3) Did you read the article? IMO, You act as if they were trying to be conservative, it was titled “Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Melting Rapidly New Study Warns Of Rising Sea Levels”.[/quote]

They were being conservative, even if they were not trying. I’m not “acting as they were trying to be conservative”, I’m just pointing out what I said: it is the lowest number I’ve seen.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
hspder wrote:

People are incredibly stupid. They gamble even when the odds are firmly against them. How else do you explain casinos?

By your rationale, anyone who lives in Northern California fits this description. [/quote]

I noticed the same thing.

[quote]hspder wrote:

Measurements are about the past. We’re discussing the future, and that’s what projections are about.[/quote]

So you’re eschewing the measurement in favor of a model? A model that they are correcting with the report that you cite. A model that is now 11 yrs. old. And your at Stanford right? :slight_smile:

Yeah, I saw the chart, I also read the words on the page instead of looking at the pretty pictures, and I followed the links too. I’m also looking at both sources, let’s see, the decade old source (yours) says;

“The estimates of sea level rise are somewhat lower than those published by previous IPCC assessments, primarily because of lower temperature projections.”

So they were wrong in the past, they’ve fixed they’re mistakes (in 1995) and put up ‘new’ projections, you’re using this source to argue with data from measurements from '02-'05 which the author, in various places claims;

“This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline.”

Why don’t you quit looking at the parts you want to see and read the whole thing? I’m not saying it doesn’t/won’t happen (Actually, I’m looking at the data that says the ice is melting.) I’m just saying that there’s lots of ambiguity in stuff that should be firm if we’re going to go forward. The ‘intelligence’ around global warming and our capability to do/undo anything is less firm than WMDs in Iraq and (I assume) will require much, much more to fix. Hell, a decade ago there was large dissent about whether it was even happening.

No, I’m not, the problem isn’t tomayto/tomahto, it’s what the fuck is actually happening where and when, and what do we do about it. And as you say most of the data can’t get the first part straight.

[quote]They were being conservative, even if they were not trying. I’m not “acting as they were trying to be conservative”, I’m just pointing out what I said: it is the lowest number I’ve seen.
[/quote]

Maybe you misunderstood me, the number given was .4 mm/yr. and the title says, “Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Melting Rapidly New Study Warns Of Rising Sea Levels”, IMO the title is sensationalizing/misrepresenting the data and even the article itself. My point wasn’t so much that whether they were actually being conservative or not, but that the data is miniscule enough for one expert in the article to say, “One person’s trend is another person’s fluctuation.” and depending on your source, .4mm/yr. is below average for the last 5000 yrs. and the title says nothing about scientific dissent, fluctuation, trends, accuracy, certainty, etc. The science isn’t clear cut, the experts and data aren’t clear cut, but the spin placed by the writers (in this case) is.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
Why don’t you quit looking at the parts you want to see and read the whole thing? I’m not saying it doesn’t/won’t happen (Actually, I’m looking at the data that says the ice is melting.) I’m just saying that there’s lots of ambiguity in stuff that should be firm if we’re going to go forward. The ‘intelligence’ around global warming and our capability to do/undo anything is less firm than WMDs in Iraq and (I assume) will require much, much more to fix. Hell, a decade ago there was large dissent about whether it was even happening.[/quote]

Are you really comparing this to the decision of going into Iraq or not?!?!?!

Alternative fuel sources AND protection of the coasts are an investment – and, if well done, can even be a very profitable investment (in the sense that it might create jobs, provide stability, create patents and concepts that US companies could sell abroad, etc.). If planned, the amount of money involved will be predictable. It will NOT require MORE to fix. It will require much less, in fact – quite possibly even a large return on the investment.

A war is much more unpredictable and causes loss of life. Even GWB and Rumsfeld have admitted as much – that they have no idea when it’s going to end, how many people will be needed and how many will die.

There is simply no comparison.

I see now the reason we’re in such different pages is that you seem to believe that playing the Russian Roulette is a good idea. After all, you only have a 1 in 6 chance of getting killed, so let’s go for it!

Let me guess: you also don’t believe in insurances?

[quote]lucasa wrote:
So you’re eschewing the measurement in favor of a model? A model that they are correcting with the report that you cite. A model that is now 11 yrs. old.[/quote]

The chart is based on a study from 2001. Read the caption. The only part that is 11 yrs old is one of the links that the document provides.

[quote]hspder wrote:

Are you really comparing this to the decision of going into Iraq or not?!?!?![/quote]

Yes, was typing it in black and gold not clear enough for you?

  1. If it doesn’t pay off financially, it’s not an investment.

  2. Here,
    http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001syr/large/08.23.jpg
    http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001syr/large/03.17.jpg

These people are in favor of establishing policy for environmental change and they talk about costs in trillions of dollars. However, given their abilities, they would project trillions in cost, see thousands in profit, say they were off, and just revise they’re model.

  1. It’s not really a question of whether it will be profitable or not, people will be working, earning, and providing either way. (One) Question is, which way will allow them to be more able to work, earn, and provide? Are you actually trying to assert that economic policy centered around the environemnt will be more profitable that one centered around profit? Since we’re just making up scenarios, what if all the time, money, and brainpower we’ve put into fuel cell cars has cost us chemical discoveries that solve the problem?

[quote]A war is much more unpredictable and causes loss of life. Even GWB and Rumsfeld have admitted as much – that they have no idea when it’s going to end, how many people will be needed and how many will die.

There is simply no comparison.[/quote]

You’re right, there’s no comparison between the two, you clearly see reality in a better light than the rest of us.

[quote]I see now the reason we’re in such different pages is that you seem to believe that playing the Russian Roulette is a good idea. After all, you only have a 1 in 6 chance of getting killed, so let’s go for it!

Let me guess: you also don’t believe in insurances?
[/quote]

Actually, you don’t see. I’m not against making cars more efficient or coal/nuclear/solar/wind power any cleaner, just do it to make cars efficient and energy cleaner, not to avert ‘world-wide catastrophe’.

And are you really going to compare personal feelings about insurance and Russian Roullette to fiscal policy and global ecology?

http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001wg1/large/11.02.jpg

If anything, it’s like playing Russian Roulette at 100 m, a decade after the discovery of gunpowder.

And I apologize, you are right, the graph that’s loosely cited, has an unexplained blue swath across the middle, and doesn’t agree with your assertions (~.05-.2 m by 2050) is from 2001. I was an ass for assuming you were pulling data from the only one of four links that worked and actually tied directly to a primary literature source. I must’ve gotten hung up where the EPA dropped the IPCC projections in favor of their own and then you quoted the EPA. My mistake.

[quote]lucasa wrote:

  1. If it doesn’t pay off financially, it’s not an investment.[/quote]

By which definition? The one you just made up?

Not that it is really material to the discussion, but if that definition was true, nobody would use the word “invest” when describing the purchase of stock, stock options or futures, since there is a fairly big risk of losing money. Or even of buying a house, since, again, there is a risk of losing money.

Even FDIC-secured savings accounts might NOT turn a profit, since the APR might be lower than the inflation (and the inflation can spike), and, even if it matches, you might still lose money because you’ll pay tax on the interest earned (irrespective of the inflation).

So, what is, by your definition, an investment?

[quote]lucasa wrote:
3) It’s not really a question of whether it will be profitable or not, people will be working, earning, and providing either way. (One) Question is, which way will allow them to be more able to work, earn, and provide?[/quote]

You really don’t understand the most basic Macroeconomic principles, do you?

Our GDP is not dependent exclusively on the amount of work we perform internally. It’s about how much each hour is worth – including, how much it is worth for OTHER countries.

I could go on about the details, but I’ll repeat only the most obvious part: if, through research and development, the US gains the leading edge on environmental research, the amount of money we can make by selling the technology to other countries goes far beyond any cost it will have in the beginning. We clearly have the brainpower and the resources to do it.

That would be a NEW, extremely profitable revenue stream.

But sitting on our butts and allowing the Europeans and the Japanese to maintain the lead, we’re allowing them to get all the money that WE could be making… The further behind we are, the least money we can make from it, and, worse, the bigger a potential loss – we might even end up buying it from them!

[quote]lucasa wrote:
Are you actually trying to assert that economic policy centered around the environment will be more profitable that one centered around profit?[/quote]

What you fail to comprehend is that what might give you the highest profit in the short term might actually make you lose money in the long term. That’s why there is something called “short term investments” and ANOTHER thing called “long term investments”.

My assertion is that protecting the environment will yield the best possible economic outcome – LONG TERM.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
Since we’re just making up scenarios, what if all the time, money, and brainpower we’ve put into fuel cell cars has cost us chemical discoveries that solve the problem?[/quote]

You win some, you lose some – that’s how investment works. But we need to remain committed.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
Actually, you don’t see. I’m not against making cars more efficient or coal/nuclear/solar/wind power any cleaner, just do it to make cars efficient and energy cleaner, not to avert ‘world-wide catastrophe’.[/quote]

First of all, Global Warming is not just about energy sources. There are many more variables to the problem. On the other hand, making cars more efficient or looking at alternative fuel sources is essential even irrespective of the Global Warming problem – it’s just that our dependency on oil is causing a multitude of problems that are just going to get worse.

I agree that focusing on the “world-wide catastrophe” is silly. However, if you go back to my first post in this thread, my point was that if that’s what’s required to get people to pay attention, so be it… Apparently telling them it’s a good investment didn’t work, so maybe putting some fear into their minds will…

[quote]lucasa wrote:
If anything, it’s like playing Russian Roulette at 100 m, a decade after the discovery of gunpowder.[/quote]

The Earth’s atmosphere is a chaotic system. Actually, it’s the prime example of one. The other example is Economics, and hence my interest for it.

Systems that exhibit mathematical chaos are deterministic and thus orderly in some sense, however the properties of chaotic systems make both measurements, models and predictions extremely difficult, mainly because small changes in conditions produce large changes in the long-term outcome.

By observing that past predictions have been revised many times – lower – you did correctly realize that these predictions are not completely to be trusted. However, where I think you are making a mistake is in assuming that they will continue to be revised lower, or, at least, never higher.

That assertion is fundamentally against the scientific principles behind a chaotic system; the fact is that we do not really know. Nor we ever will. We can make predictions with certain levels of assurance, but the fact is that we will never be 100% – possibly, not even 50% sure – of absolutely anything, because, again, extremely small changes today will blow up to large changes in the future – the popularly known “Butterfly Effect”.

We can only assign probabilities to certain events and continue to revise them – but please understand that something that can have a 1% probability today, might be re-assigned a 50% probability in 10 years and a 100% probability the day it happens… :slight_smile:

The thing is: you always want to improve your odds – however low they are – if you can, even if it costs money. There’s the example of insurance, but there are other examples, like Airbags. I mean, by your line of thought, Airbags are a waste of money, since your odds of ever needing them are actually pretty slim.

[quote]hspder wrote:

By which definition? The one you just made up?[/quote]

Or just about any dictionary or even the way you use the term later on in your arguements.

[quote]Not that it is really material to the discussion, but if that definition was true, nobody would use the word “invest” when describing the purchase of stock, stock options or futures, since there is a fairly big risk of losing money. Or even of buying a house, since, again, there is a risk of losing money.

Even FDIC-secured savings accounts might NOT turn a profit, since the APR might be lower than the inflation (and the inflation can spike), and, even if it matches, you might still lose money because you’ll pay tax on the interest earned (irrespective of the inflation).

So, what is, by your definition, an investment?[/quote]

Once again, was typing it in black and gold not clear enough for you?

Here:
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=investing
invest- v. To commit (money or capital) in order to gain a financial return


investment- n. the outlay of money usually for income or profit

With all of the examples you named, payoff is more certain and capital more available than compared to say, the Kyoto Protocol. People don’t call gambling an investment, the difference is probability of payoff.

[quote]You really don’t understand the most basic Macroeconomic principles, do you?

Our GDP is not dependent exclusively on the amount of work we perform internally.

It’s about how much each hour is worth – including, how much it is worth for OTHER countries.[/quote]

Umm… You’re the one who needs to go study macroeconomics;

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gross%20domestic%20product
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/gross%20domestic%20product

[quote]I could go on about the details, but I’ll repeat only the most obvious part: if, through research and development, the US gains the leading edge on environmental research, the amount of money we can make by selling the technology to other countries goes far beyond any cost it will have in the beginning. We clearly have the brainpower and the resources to do it.

That would be a NEW, extremely profitable revenue stream.

But sitting on our butts and allowing the Europeans and the Japanese to maintain the lead, we’re allowing them to get all the money that WE could be making… The further behind we are, the least money we can make from it, and, worse, the bigger a potential loss – we might even end up buying it from them![/quote]

Umm… If you actually looked at this graph;

http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001syr/large/03.17.jpg

You would see that we are the ones separating our GDP from CO2 most rapidly. If the Japanese do manage to beat us, we may not even need the technology and if we do, we’ll be the ones with the capital to make it work.

[quote]What you fail to comprehend is that what might give you the highest profit in the short term might actually make you lose money in the long term. That’s why there is something called “short term investments” and ANOTHER thing called “long term investments”.

My assertion is that protecting the environment will yield the best possible economic outcome – LONG TERM.[/quote]

I’m well aware of what your assertions are, and they require lots of big ifs based on data that is internally conflicted, varies wildly, and is sometimes/often cherry-picked. Let me ask you this, don’t you wonder why the EPA site you posted that was supposedly updated Jan. 7 of 2000 cites an IPCC study from 2001, and then proceeds to use data from their study from 1995?

I’m not claiming intentional impropriety on their part, but looking past 2001 projections to your own 1995 estimates is not good science.

Yeah, except one way, I get to keep my money in my pocket. Here’s your golden quote and I’ll put the best part in bold:

So we should foster a scientific attitude centered around exaggerated claims and sensationalism? Weren’t you criticizing MIT for being mercs?

This statement is tautological, if it exhibits a specific kind of ‘chaos’, then it is deterministic and therefore capable of being modelled. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exhibit that specific kind of chaos and therefore doesn’t fit the modelling. And now I know you’re talking out of your ass. (To be fair, I’m no guru.)

The direction of revision is irrelevant. The accuracy and precision are my concern. The constant revision is right, but when large portions of the community hypothesize ice sheet growth and the newest and latest data says shrinkage. Are you really ready to start slashing budgets and diverting funds?

Once again, my point isn’t that the system is chaotic and incapable of being modelled. My point is, success in modelling is dependent on validation and verification (ask any engineer). And very little validation/verification is going on in climatology right now.

I agree, and ideally with good modelling, you get to the point where you can fire a rifle one mile, launch ICBMs, put men on the moon, predict who should take which drugs, who should have surgery, etc. All of these sciences have matured to that level. Look at the numbers and scince around Bextra and put the ecological science up next to it and see how starkly contrasting the precision and accuracy are;

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0603/S00067.htm

[quote]The thing is: you always want to improve your odds – however low they are – if you can, even if it costs money. There’s the example of insurance, but there are other examples, like Airbags. I mean, by your line of thought, Airbags are a waste of money, since your odds of ever needing them are actually pretty slim.
[/quote]

You always want to improve your odds? Now who’s gambling? I knew if we talked long enough, you’d give me a perfect example, airbags are it. They are not mandated by law, yet the majority of vehicles have them or make them available. Even then, they still kill people who are wearing their seatbelts and kids in carseats.

They even come with off switches. Airbags often are a waste of money, the difference is, the amount of capital involved relative to the payoff as well as the opportunity cost of that lost capital.