[LINK] the weather makers
kim.holburn at gmail.com
Sun Apr 8 19:43:59 EST 2007
The data on sea level rise comes from :
Weart, S. R. 2003. The discovery of global warming : New Histories of
Science, Technology and Medicine. Harvard University Press.
On 2007/Apr/08, at 10:31 AM, Stewart Fist wrote:
> Kim writes:
>> I have a question for you: what would it
>> take for you to believe that global warming is actually happening?
> You've missed the whole point Kim.
> I do believe that global warming is happening -- because that is
> the one
> measurable change that scientists agree upon
> But global and regional temperatures change all the time. It warms
> then it
> cools. It warms here, while it cools there.
> It's not easy to measure temperatures on a global scale -- and its
> not sure
> that the measurements we take today are comparable with those that
> taken 100 years ago with glass-and-mercury thermometers. But while
> scientists say they can measure this warm change, I have to accept it.
Much of this comparative data comes not from actual measurements but
tree rings, drill cores etc.
> When it does warms (even in the remote past) apparently the levels
> of CO2 in
> the atmosphere increase -- and when the levels of C02 increase it
> gets warmer. So this is a reinforcing system. But if this were an
> cycle (with nothing counteracting the heating), then the world
> would head
> off into an irreversable episode of every-increasing global
> heating. But
> there's no evidence that this has happened in the past.
Yes it has happened a couple of times apparently. The most recent
was the clathrate release 55 million years ago. That was when a huge
amount of clathrates - frozen methane was released into the
atmosphere and it marks the boundary of the Paleocene and Eocene and
is an enormous extinction event.
> I think Flannery is a good science promoter and museum
> administrator, and an
> excellent popular science writer. But he is only acting as a
> science writer
> when he writes outside his own field, and therefore shouldn't be
> into unquestioned secular sainthood.
> I also agree that many professional climate deniers owe their
> public stance
> to the generous funding of the energy industry. But that doesn't
> make every
> 'denier' automatically corrupt.
Very true and it is the duty of scientifically minded people to be
> Despite the fact that scientists and lay people holding unpopular
> views on this, constantly get told they are idiots - there are
> plenty of
> top-class independent scientists who hold a position very similar
> to mine.
Agreed but often they haven't see all the data outside their own
field. Some of the data sets Flannery talks about in his book took
decades to be explained and shown to be linked to global warming.
> 1. I agree that if the consensus of metereological opinion is that
> the earth
> is warming, then we have to accept their evidence and act on it.
> But we
> have the right to ask: Ddo they really know? Have they measured in a
> consistent and accurate way?
It's not just meteorological data. It includes, biological data,
ecological data - change of habitats - retreat of alpine and arctic
habitats for instance, paleological data and much more.
> 2. I don't agree that this means they know what has caused the
> increases -- this is opinion or speculation, based on some good
> probably (but not overwhelming). I want to know how they define
> what are
> the proportional contributions of man-made and natural causes. I
> think this is anything more than educated opinion -- and some good
> disagree with the majority.
I think it has been proved. Before the Montreal Protocol Dupont ran
a huge campaign in favour of CFCs which ultimately failed. Big oil
using techniques from big tobacco has put huge amounts of money into
very, very subtle astroturfing messages like : "there is no causitive
link between CO2 and global warming", "There is no proof, there is
no warming", "climate and weather are too complex", "climatologists
are not real scientists", etc. etc. I think you have to be
extraordinarily careful not to take up those messages.
> If they did know how to apportion this, and what caused the natural
> component, then they could explain the history of climate change. They
I believe they can.
> 3. Just because a theory becomes fashionable, doesn't mean it is
> right (nor
> does it mean that it is wrong, either of course). It just means
> that those
> who disagree and still want study grants, tend to keep their heads
> down and
> keep silent. Popular science often acts as a suppresser of open
Yes, absolutely. In this case considering the money and forces
arrayed against global warming theories I think this is unlikely.
> In the case of climate change, a number of scientists have kept
> their heads
> down for years -- ever since the 1962 Rio Summit made this a
> political and
> economic issue in scientific circles.
Yes when there is that much political and economic force focused on
something there is a lot of shit and things get very turbid.
> 4. The secondary projections that arise from this warming -- sea-level
> rises, ice-cap collapse, long-term droughts, starvation,
> extinctions of
> species, islands disappearing, etc. etc, -- are yet another level
> from the science, which is itself in dispute. All this is even
> abstracted from any real evidence.
No, that is the point of this book, these are happening. They are
not in dispute.
> 5. And my main point, is that computer processing of massive
> amounts of
> contemporary data is not a substitute for real evidence and logical
> arising from provable events in the past.
I have worked extensively with researchers in completely different
fields to climate change: mathematics and engineering. The fact is
the computers are now a standard tool in many, many fields of
science. For collaboration, communication, replacing libraries and
for simulation. They are just a tool, like pen and paper. This is
peer-reviewed science and in some ways while we have to look at the
tools, it is the people that are important.
And like all scientific models, they are wrong, the question is by
how much and which direction. In New Scientist there was an article
recently about computer simulations of cod numbers in the Grand
Banks, Canada. For years the simulations said there was enough cod
to last forever, until suddenly there wasn't any cod left and there
is no sign of recovery. (New Scientist 17 March 2007, P53 <http://
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Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
-- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961
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