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back to article IPCC's 'evil twin' launches climate change sceptic's creed

A group of dissident scientists and climate researchers has affirmed that there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity cause climate change, and has called on world leaders to abandon all efforts to reduce emissions "forthwith." Issued last week at the close of the International Conference …

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Background info on The Heartland Institute

I see that the Heartland Institute, which is behind that report, also opposes tobacco control measures, and is funded by the tobacco and oil industries:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute

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Nullius in Verba

And SourceWatch is...? A couple of Dave Sparts with broadband.

There is something McCarthyite about these Global Warming fanatics. I see they're very quick to smear the people who make opposing arguments, but never tackle the arguments themselves.

"Nullius in Verba": Take nobody's word for it.

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Boffin

NIPCC

Standard climate change denier stuff, then. They basically say that all climate scientists are stupid or corrupt - they apparently don't include negative feedbacks or solar irradiation in their calculations or models.

It's nonsense that there is no consensus. However, "consensus" doesn't mean "unanimity". The world's scientists are almost never unanimous. There are even some that disbelieve General Relativity, or Quantum Mechanics etc. That doesn't mean that these aren't good, accurate models of the world. Just like climate change.

Besides, if the sceptics are right and the world is warming because of non-anthropogenic factors, that's actually a bigger problem. If human influence is so weak, it means that we're going to have to make _greater_ efforts to stop climate change, not less. That is, if human-caused CO2 levels have a smaller effect than is generally thought then we have to reduce emissions by a lot more than is generally thought if we want to stop a particular amount of warming!

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Anonymous Coward

I fail to see the link

So they're saying this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Solar-cycle-data.png

Is the cause of this?:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

And not as widely believed that this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide.png

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Coat

IPCC

The IPCC is a political organisation, and it's primary role, like all unelected(or elected for that matter) political organisations is to justifiy its own existance. Therefore it will not be interested in research that doesn't fit in to it's political agenda.

We will spend Billions of Dollars/Euros on measures that will probably not make much difference to the climate, and very little on helping those most at risk from any change, ie the poor in less developed countries. Those who set themselves up trading carbon credits will make a fortune, will that help the climate, no.

Enough of the 'consensus' BS. Science is not decided by committee, but by hard facts. The Quantum theory was very unpopular when it was first proposed in the beginning of the 20th Century and it has survived many attempts to shoot it down. That's how science should work. I want to see this with climate science as well.

There is much attempted surpression of dissenting voices and this has to stop. Argue the science, stop the Ad Hominem attacks when someone has a contrary view. Force the likes of Prof. Mann and his hockey stick to fully publish not just the data but the methods and programs they used to produce their results.

In the end I have no personal stake for or against the theory of Anthropomorphic Global Warming, I just want to see a scientific debate and not a political one.

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Happy

RE:Nullius in Verba

Here Here,

Less of the climate change piffle.

Just a good way for governments to raise more tax. The price of petrol is bloody ridiculous because it's taxed to death by our crappy government.

How I long for an independant Scotland! it's our oil so why dies it cost so much?

Vive la révolution!

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Al Gore has made 35 million off of the IPCC hysteria

Al Gore has made 35 million off of the IPCC hysteria.

"Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore left the White House seven years ago with less than $2 million in assets, including a Virginia home and the family farm in Tennessee. Now he's making enough to put $35 million in hedge funds and other private partnerships."

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a7li9Nhmhvg0&refer=home

The amount of money at stake for the AGW chicken littles is probably 1,000,000 more than the Heartland Institute has spent.

If you wish to read up on the so-called warming, this is a good place to start.

http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

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@John

If climate change is indeed a natural phenomenon, why should we be trying to stop it? If we caused it then I would expect we would need to do something to reverse our changes, but if it has absolutely nothing to do with us, if our effect is immeasurable, why should we presume to stop it? Are you going to claim that we know the ideal temperature of the planet?

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Unhappy

like what is the causing it?

The problem is we can't have a rational discussion about the topic anymore, if you get research grants to prove a theory your hardly going to bring in data that doesn't fit.The ice core data tells them that Co2 has historically gone up after the warming has occured so how does that fit? So much of this needs to be looked at with a far more open and neutral prospective than is currently being done and as usual too many agenda's

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@Adrian

Etymology of "politician":

Derived from "Polis" meaning "City". Politician therefore someone who acts for the city. Other derivations produce "polite" (how you should act in a city) and "policeman" (man/protector of the city).

So how is it bad that it's political, given that it must convince politicians and the majority of people who live in the urban areas?

Would it be better if they were Voodoo?

What should the IPCC be?

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Anonymous Coward

climate change...

"They basically say that all climate scientists are stupid or corrupt - they apparently don't include negative feedbacks or solar irradiation in their calculations or models."

But they DO have a point that there is more to climate change than just Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere. As for Scientist corruption, they all have someone backing and funding their research for a specific aim.

The fact is climate change has hit the media in a big way and the whole thing has gone political due to lobbyists. Climate change was around before humanity popped up or engaged in heavy industry and it would be there even if humans had no industry at all. The real crux of the issue is that all these scientists (pro or anti) are studying computer models assuming they can predict how the atmosphere should behave. Never mind the fact that the atmosphere is so complicated we cannot predict the weather for tomorrow much less long term climate. (I also recall a story that those climate models couldn't even predict what climate trends we HAVE had in recorded history)

Reducing our emissions though is a good aim and I will not argue against reducing our impact on the environment as humans, but climate change has always been around and it has been more extreme in its changes in the past than it has in the centuries man has been around.

I just get bored of always hearing about it.

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Re: John

"Besides, if the sceptics are right and the world is warming because of non-anthropogenic factors, that's actually a bigger problem. If human influence is so weak, it means that we're going to have to make _greater_ efforts to stop climate change, not less. That is, if human-caused CO2 levels have a smaller effect than is generally thought then we have to reduce emissions by a lot more than is generally thought if we want to stop a particular amount of warming!"

This goes right up to the top 10 of the most stupid things I have ever read! If the sceptics are right and human influence is so so weak that it hardly registers then it would be absolutely pointless to waste resources trying to lessen the overall effect. A bit like not pissing in the ocean in order to avoid sea level rising when the tide is coming in.

Secondly - there's absolutely no chance what so ever that humans will ever stop climate change and that has nothing to do with whether humans are causing the current global warming or not. The climate will ALWAYS change as long as there is a climate. Humans can lessen their impact but the only way for mankind to stop affecting earth's climate is to pack up and leave earth completely.

The "standard climate change denier stuff" as you call it actually originates from the "humans causing everything" group. How many "deniers" have been accused to be on the payroll of oil companies or the car industry or other heavy industry? It's still standard stuff for most members of The Church of Al Gore. These relentless accusations actually made me start thinking that if this is the main argument for human-caused global warming then maybe this is just another "the earth is flat" argument, if you believe otherwise then you are nothing more than a heathen and should swallow the "truth" without thinking independently.

Now that accusations of corruption have started to flow in the opposite direction the medicine doesn't taste quite as good to those that started administering it.

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Boffin

Its the next economic revolution

Now the developed world has finally realised it no longer produces anything and the whole economy is pretty much a service industry selling things manufactured in other parts of the globe we need to create a new industry because some day soon the developing world will decide to sell it for itself.

That new industry is called the "Green Industry".

We go around the world selling consultancy services to other nations telling them not to develop the way we did because it will destroy the planet. We will develop new ways to promote environmental sustainsability even if they are wrong.

While we still spark up coal fired power stations, drive 4 litre 4x4's or jags, force kids to go to schools on the other side of town by car and concrete the entire country so everyone can live on their own.

Al Gore is aiming to be the Henry Ford of the Green Industry. He saw the opportunity and got in there early and is reaping the rewards.

This is the environmentalists millenium bug.

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Joke

I also understand...

That whilst they accept there is circumstancial evidence to prove the world is round, they insist that folk fall off the edge all the time, their spokesperson is doubting Thomas, and their logo is an osterich.

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@Chris Morrison - Independent Scotland

Very funny, that old "it's our oil" argument.

The North Sea isn't part of Scotland, it's a sea.

Part of the reason your petrol is so expensive is because the government has to collect enough tax to subsidise every Scot to the tune of £1500 a year under the Barnett formula.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/05/nscots105.xml

Next you'll be telling me Sean Connery doesn't live in Barbados and didn't accept a knighthood off the Queen.

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Unhappy

Misunderstood

I expect to hear from the NIPCC that Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, & Slobodan Milošević, were just mealy misunderstood by the rest of the world!

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Missed point, missed opportunity...

The problem with all this is that while people are arguing about Global Warming is man made (It is! It isn't! 'Tis so! 'Tisnt! Liar! You're the liar! etc etc) we're all rather missing the point that we *cannot* go on using energy and resources as if they were limitless.

We need more efficient forms of energy and resource usage whether what we are doing affects the environment or not, because otherwise we are going to run out and we'll have missed the opportunity to have done something about it.

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Stop

Ha ha ha

It's always so funny to read the responses to an article that comes out mentioning that there might be another side to the discussion. There are a few things worthy of mention. The vast majority of articles cited in the IPCC reports only claim that climate change exists. The number of articles that actually address the human link are rather sparse. Anthropogenic climate change is by no means a consensus opinion, and even if it was, opposing views in science are key.

To John. The other side of an argument is probably the most important side to address when trying to prove your point. Just trying to shoot the messenger isn't scientific process. Looking at data from both sides, and trying to accurately assess the quality of it is good scientific process. Many of the best experiments showing relativity to be a strong theory are experiments that go looking for things to disprove it. For example, a famous experiment measures the speed of light perpendicular and parallel to the equator. If Newtonian mechanics hold, then the speed of light will be different in each direction, if Einsteinian mechanics hold, then the speed will be the same.

And To Graham Marsden. We need research into new energy sources, but this is the beauty of a market economy. I remember being taught at school in the early 80s that we had 20 years of oil left in the world. Officially, in accordance with what I have learnt, we should have run out of oil completely years ago. Oil use has gone up since then, and we still have more proven reserves that we can expect to use in the next 20-30 years, and more keeps getting discovered. We aren't going to run out of fuel in the near future, that's for sure. But the nice thing with a market economy is that as oil becomes a more rare commodity, it becomes more expensive (look at today's oil price for example). As it becomes more expensive, alternatives become more and more viable. In the end, oil gets completely replaced.

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@Paul M, others claiming 'mccarthyism'

You ought to have a look at this outfit's website.

They do have a page devoted to spin control on smoking. They're also in mourning for rightwing codger Bill Buckley. (emphysema, no?)

http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=10594

It's very amusing to hear people say "stop with the ad hominem attacks, reply to their statement" - well, I just read the statement. There's no data to argue with. It's a bunch of assertions. You may not like the IPCC report, but it has footnotes, and explains where its data are coming from.

I was reading this statement because I was hoping for some information on who the signatories were. None is forthcoming. How many people? How many were scientists? One press account I read called it about 15 scientists, total. The person who's listed as the Executive Director of the Climate Science (sic) Coaltion is ... not a scientist. .

Finally, for those who want the evidence to be ironclad before anyone does anything: there's a risk/benefit you have to be willing to sit and think about. Let's assume for now that *neither* side is 100% sure of their position. Let's further assume that there's a 1:10 chance of the climate change skeptics being correct (that's very generous, once you step out of the IT libertarian echo chamber and into the real world). How much will it cost us if we act now? How much will it cost us if we wait 30 years and then need to act? How much do we actually save by doing nothing?

Changing industrial policy is like turning a ship -- it's far more difficult to do if you need to do it quickly than if you start early.

And finally for the folks who just hate the carbon trading schemes: I agree, I'd much rather see draconian, ironclad cuts. I'd like to see ordinary citizens equipped with Stingers and stationed at airports ready to stop aircraft whose engines have started. I'd like to see executives from every auto company selling a sport utility vehicle forced to tow it a mile a day using hooks fastened to their nipples.

Two points: first, you don't want these to become commonplace opinions. Hell, *I* woudn't wnat these to become commonplace opinions; surely I'd be found guilty of an eco-crime sooner or later.

Second, even I have to admit that the trading in sulfur dioxide emissions in the US has done a great deal to improve the situation with acid rain and its effects on plants and fish. (And those who claim - there are still those who do - that acid rain was a hoax? Why is it that the trading system for the emissions helped so much, then?)

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Black Helicopters

Why worry!!

Methinks carbon emissions will be the least of our problems once the oil starts to run dry.

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@ John

You say that there's a consensus on Global Warming as though that's important. It isn't. All it means is that a large number of scientists are in agreement. It doesn't mean that they are right. I'm sure we can all think of many cases where there was a scientific consensus that turned out to be wrong.

I might add, also, that although the only greenhouse gas the computer models consider is carbon dioxide, it's not only not the only one, it's not the biggest one. That honor goes to water. Not one, single computer model takes it into account, because it makes the model too complex. Maybe that's why none of them can predict the present if you start from twenty years ago. Once they can do that, I'll start thinking that their predictions of the future are nothing more than crystal gazing.

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Go

www.icecap.us

The best site on climate change that I've found is http://www.icecap.us It covers the scam from all angles and is updated daily. Make sure you don't miss some new articles that appear half way down the page.

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@John

Quote

It's nonsense that there is no consensus. However, "consensus" doesn't mean "unanimity". The world's scientists are almost never unanimous. There are even some that disbelieve General Relativity, or Quantum Mechanics etc. That doesn't mean that these aren't good, accurate models of the world. Just like climate change.

Endquote

You were doing all right there, until the last sentence. It's true that there are credible scientists who disbelieve these theories (Relativity and Quantum Mechanics), but you won't find many that accept that (for example) gravity operates on an inverse-cube law. That's because both theories make testable predictions about the universe that have been validated by experiment (in the case of QM to better than 12 sig figs) - so anyone suggesting that they are wildly inaccurate (except under the most extreme conditions) would (rightly) be laughed out of court.

Compare this with global climate models. They make no testable predictions (except ones that can be tested in a few decades time) and all the models are based on a large number of free parameters, slight tweaking of which can make the models produce virtually any desired result. In such circumstances, the 'climate science' is wide open to political manipulation (by either side) and a political organisation such as the IPCC is pretty much a guarantee that such manipulation will take place.

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Earth holds intelligent life after all

Damn!!! Just as I was coming to the conclusion that there was no intelligent life on Earth, this group (The NIPCC) come along to confound me.

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Re: like what is the causing it?

"if you get research grants to prove a theory your hardly going to bring in data that doesn't fit"

So please show where the IPCC or meteorological offices/research systems are being paid with "please prove this theory"?

It has happened with the ant-AGW side (a grant given if someone prints a paper showing that AGW isn't true was posted, google it).

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@ Graham Dawson

You ask why we should we try to stop it. How about the fact that, if sea levels rise, they'll swamp quite a lot of (a) important and expensive cities and (b) important and expensive agricultural land? Climate change is a very simple proposition. If it happens, the consequences for human beings, especially those of us dependent on sophisticated and complex industrial systems, will be dire.

The basic science is incontrovertible. CO2 is a greenhouse gas - it prevents heat leaving the Earth. More CO2 therefore means a warmer climate. This isn't the question. Only the extent of the effect is debatable.

"Are you going to claim that we know the ideal temperature of the planet?"

Well, we know that changing the temperature of the planet far from what it is now would be very bad for us. Sure, Life would go on, but human beings would have a rather less pleasant time of it than we have for the past couple of hundred years.

Sure, it's a somewhat selfish viewpoint but why shouldn't we act to make our tenure on the planet sustainable? Or do we not care what our children will inherit?

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Re: like what is the causing it?

Science is based on people coming up with new and radical ideas - with the facts to back them up. If there was this mysterious conspiracy building castles of climate change in hot air then, without a shadow of a doubt, there would be hordes of young scientists publishing acres of results showing that this was fraud. They'd be out there, making their reputations.

But they aren't there at all. Because the evidence we have points to anthropogenic climate change as real. The real question is about the _size_ of the effect, not whether there is one.

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@uncredited

"This goes right up to the top 10 of the most stupid things I have ever read! If the sceptics are right and human influence is so so weak that it hardly registers then it would be absolutely pointless to waste resources trying to lessen the overall effect."

Really? Then you haven't thought about it much.

If climate change happens then our society is in serious trouble. The greater the change, the greater the trouble. And we're not talking 300 years from now - we're talking 30. In our lifetimes, potentially.

The sceptics are in the great minority in the scientific community. Not because everyone else has been bought off or something, but because the evidence points rather strongly in the direction of anthropogenic change. If it takes extraordinary measures to influence the climate then we'd better prepare to take them. And there are serious proposals for extraordinary schemes - orbital sunshades, dust clouds to shade the Earth, atmospheric seeding and more. It's just that these are even more expensive than cleaning up our emissions.

At worst, you can accuse those trying to do something about it of optimism.

That's better than fatalism or apathy.

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Anonymous Coward

Arguments

I believe that many people are misguided when it comes to G-warming. We need to study the arguments for G-warming and talk to real climate scientists. Scientific truth is not determined by politics, public opinion, or economics.

http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

If you wish to interact with real climate scientists please visit:

http://www.realclimate.org/

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C'mon, folks, talk about DATA

Facts are clearly harder to gather and vet than opinions. Look at the comments above: one beautiful set of facts ("I fail to see the link"), and a couple dozen fact-free comments about method and bias.

People who deny climate change is occurring are just in-credible, because of many undeniable global effects which can only occur in the presence of long-term, large-scale warming:

1) Ice sheets and glaciers receding

2) Polar ice melting

3) A temperature minimum below the surface of old boreholes

4) Springtime advancing

Granted, "proving" that this warming is caused primarily by CO2 is harder, but to deny the warming itself in the face of these effects is plain silly.

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Happy

It doesn't matter

I agree with Graham Marsden. Whether or not you believe in the environmental motivation, you should be adopting a great deal of their agenda. Look at it: if the market had an inkling that W. or others had a *plan* to get us off oil, then the price wouldn't be speculated into the stratosphere as it is now.

There are too many reasons to smartly regulate energy consumption not too, even if you don't believe in warming.

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NASA has no doubt

Uncredited wrote: "The 'standard climate change denier stuff' as you call it actually originates from the 'humans causing everything' group. How many 'deniers' have been accused to be on the payroll of oil companies or the car industry or other heavy industry? It's still standard stuff for most members of The Church of Al Gore. These relentless accusations actually made me start thinking that if this is the main argument for human-caused global warming then maybe this is just another 'the earth is flat' argument, if you believe otherwise then you are nothing more than a heathen and should swallow the 'truth' without thinking independently."

I really don't want climate change to be anthropomorphic, if only for the sake of my young daughter's generation, but what advantage is it to NASA to say that it is? They can see that the Earth is not flat, and state unequivocally that we are to blame:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/GlobalWarmingQandA/

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Alert

Now Read This....

When you look at the ice core data you see the correlation of CO2 and tempurature and further, in the last 400,000 years CO2 levels were never above about 280 ppm, today we are above 383 ppm of CO2. If you view the top link below, note the Historical Variation section. Climate Change is more about how we survive than if, which is the biggest argument regarding the consumptiongrowth model.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earths_atmosphere

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide.png

There is no doubt other variables to the climate change equation exist, including solar effects, but so far they appear to only account for about 1/5 or 1/3 the global tempurature rise at best, if the theory is sound.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Solar-cycle-data.png

see the last paragraph towards the end.

I like the Earth as it *normally* is, the carbon polluting "terraformers" can move to Mars and burn all the fuel they like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming

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Yep.. more of the same..

Anyone who disagrees with 'MAN MADE climate change' then its out with the 'they must be part of such an EVIL organisation bent on killing small children and defenceless endangered animals' or 'well you must just love Hitler then!' argument, despite countless accounts on this website and other mainstream media outlets of scientific studies pointing that MAN MADE climate change is a myth. And sorry for having to capitalise MAN MADE but if you say you disagree, it suddenly turns into that you simply don't believe in climate change at all, as if you put it in the same realms as fairies & elf's.

I'm all for energy efficiency, but all these originations ever seem to come up with is, "We need to TAX this, and we need to TAX that" and since when has tax ever solved a problem. Kind of the 'to many cars on the roads' argument, they added more tax and the out come, more cars than ever before.

This seem more of a burden that a fix, and looks especially more like a guilt trip to those poorer nations who have only just started industrialising.

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Coat

At last

Graham Marsden has hit the nail on the head, whether or not we are the sole cause or part of the cause or none of the cause of climate change makes no difference to the fact that we need to rein in our never ending and increasing depletion of the planet's resources.

Another point is that climate change is happening and the arguments now should be about how we as a society (global) are going to either live with it or even as a society, survive it. It appears to me that most of the naysayers here are merely trying to justify their own lifestyles and find reasons to avoid ever having to live in a manner that is responsible ecologically and considerate of the rest of the human race.

It will be interesting to see how many King Canutes will be standing in neck deep water refusing to believe that the ice caps and glaciers are melting.

Mines the life jacket

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Alert

In a nutshell

To summarize and put things in basic terms, CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for upwards of a hundred years. Each successive year of continually increasing amounts of emissions builds on the hundred previous. If emissions aren't counterbalanced by sinks, the system is thrown out of equilibrium, resulting in changes to temperature, humidity, ocean alkalinity, and so on. Water vapor on the other hand, while being a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, is cycled through the atmosphere in a period of days.

As human emissions of CO2 have risen and continue to rise, the climate system is responding. The oceans, having not reached a saturation point, actually absorb about 50% of all human CO2 emissions. If this were not the case, the rise in atmospheric CO2 would be markedly greater than what has been observed to date. However, the continued rise of atmospheric levels of CO2 illustrates that the natural sinks can't keep up with global emissions. Rising temperatures illustrate that the negative feedbacks can't either.

The scary part being that at least two studies in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals (Science and the Journal of Geophysical Research) have found that the ocean's ability to absorb additional amounts of CO2 is slowing.

It's never been about the consensus but about the underlying scientific data that supports it. The issue with the skeptical crowd is the absence of a viable alternative explanation. At least they've given up the ghost of attempts to say there is no warming at all. However, criticisms abound with generic references to natural cycles with no specifics. If current warming trends cannot be attributed to manmade global emissions (the elephant in the room), to what can they be attributed? It's not solar cycles or galactic cosmic rays or orbital obliquities and eccentricities or tectonic plate shifts or volcanic activity or 1,500 year cycles (that are about 600 years off schedule) or ocean currents or dust storms, so what is the culprit? Still waiting for the skeptic crowd to provide a cogent and supportable argument that withstands scientific scrutiny over any reasonable period of time. None has been forthcoming.

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@Joe Zeff

Doesn't mean they're wrong, either.

Look at the evidence and base on that if the appeal to authority doesn't work for you. You definitely haven't had any look at it because your tripe about water being ignored is complete bollocks: the last five years have been concentrated on a combined climate model, including the ocean and atmospheric systems. Even before then, the H20 was a positive feedback mechanism included in ALL climate models. It isn't a driver because how can you get water to stay in the air long enough to influence climate (as opposed to weather)? By increasing the temperature of the atmosphere. If water was good enough to drive itself, we'd be in a 100% vapour atmosphere. Because the problem with water is it rains out when it's not in equilibrium within a week or two.

CO2 out of equilibrium will last decades to millenia before being taken back in to the stores (plants, ocean acidification, rock sequestering, et al). That's plenty time to affect climate and change the equilibrium of water vapour in the atmosphere (thereby increasing the temperatures more).

Joe, in short you're spouting bullshit you've heard from elsewhere and not bothered to think it through because it reinforces your prejudices.

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Joke

4 questions & simple math

I have supported rmi.org for more than 2 decades so I'm not a "denier" and I am concerned about the planet and most importantly I use 1/3 the water, 2/3 the electric that is average for my city. Unlike Al Gore who has 5 houses and 1 of them is a 10,000 square foot monster that uses more electricity in a week than I do in 8 months.

No I don't sit in the dark and freeze. So now you know where I'm coming from.

Man made global warming is a joke to tax people and anyone who thinks there is real science behind it please get a grip. Go to climateaudit.org and see what hoops they had to jump through just to get the raw data behind the MBH studies. I thought science was supposed to put out ALL data for everyone to replicate.

So on to the 4 little questions. Please ask these of all people who want to tax you and limit carbon emissions.

Q1) What is the most prevalent and powerful greenhouse gas?

A1) Water vapor.

Q2) What percentage of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor?

A2) This is a big one that in 6 years of asking I've not got a straight answer on. You would think that they could get a number together but you get "scientists" saying everything from 65 to 95 percent.

Q3) How much CO2 from all sources goes into the atmosphere each year?

A3) 180 - 200 billion tons.

Q4) How much CO2 does mankind put into the atmosphere each year?

A4) 6 - 7 billion tons.

Now for the simple math. Lets take a middle number for water vapor say 80% of the greenhouse effect. Take the highest number for #4 and the lowest number from #3.

We are 3.9% of the CO2 and 0.78% of the total greenhouse effect.

So lets ignore GMO foods, mercury, lead and groundwater depletion and waste our money fixing a phony problem. Brilliant! And lets make the idiots pay for it. Even more brilliant! And lets convince them all that it is their fault and have them attack anyone who can still do basic math.

Wake up. This is high school math people. Can you say "divert all the enviromentalists' attention from the real problems"?

This joke is getting tired. 75 tons of mercury dumped into the environment in North America each year and it isn't the worst on the planet by a long shot and we are having an argument over CO2??? WTF mate?

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Next up from NIPCC

More incontrovertible facts from NIPCC

- smoking extends life expectancy by 30 years

- driving a fast car makes your penis grow longer

- depleted uranium improves crop yields

- burying your head in the sand stops bad things happening to you

Who needs data when you can just make shit up...

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Anonymous Coward

To Mark

"Because the problem with water is it rains out when it's not in equilibrium within a week or two."

We are talking about water vapor not droplets.

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Its the Environment, stupid

OK, here's the deal with science. The reason we need the scientific process is because most people (and I include plenty of scientists) form quick, instinctive and predjudiced opinions about highly compelx issues of which they know very little and then go around telling everyone who will listen how their pet misunderstanding is the truth and how evereyone else is completely wrong. Almost all of those who read about climate change and most of the people who write about it for newspapers and on-line journals like El Reg do not understand the science of climate change and have neither the inclination nor the ability to analyse the data to determine their own valid opinions.

Many of those who think they understand the science do not, and many who do understand the science only understand it in patches. These people are even more open to delusion - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - as they honestly believe they know what other people do not. Individual group of scientists and their journalistic champions are often overly focused on their own little bit of the field and overplay the importance of their own favoured climate change effects. That is why science is a group activity, why a majority consensus is important and why a unanimous consensus is impossible.

Take any bleeding edge field of science and a significant proportion of what we believe now will turn out to be either quite wrong or very wrong. The thing is, it is also pretty likely that quite a lot of the stuff we think is going on actually is. If the larger part of the climatology field says we are probably contributing to climate change, then we probably are. Science has a remarkably high success rate considering how subjective human thought is, and so It is our duty to support this climate change idea. Yes, we still need to encourage science to be open, self correcting and constructive, but this means we must avoid forcing scientists into making rash statments and sweeping claims just to catch our attention. If you really dig down into the science communities then you see a very different world to the one portrayed in the media (BTW I'm not talking about drugs research here, as this, strictly speaking, isn't actually science). Its much more thoughtful and carefull than anything in the world of politics or the media, and as a community they take much greater effort to be self-regulating than any other field of human endevour.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that only a few years ago it was the supporters of the 'man-made climate change' hypothesis who were calling foul and claiming that there was a government conspiracy against them. Now that the political wind has changed direction the conspiracies are all suddenly pointing the other way. This itself probably says more about the public's and the media's inability to deal rationally with science than anything else. We'd much rather believe there is a conspiracy against us than accept that we are largely ignorant about most things and so may well be wrong about the ideas that are important to us.

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Anonymous Coward

@Simple maths

"Q1) What is the most prevalent and powerful greenhouse gas?"

"Q2) What percentage of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor?"

"Q3) How much CO2 from all sources goes into the atmosphere each year?

.. etc.

Q. Is Co2 a greenhouse gas?

A. Yes it is.

Q. Is it increasing?

A. Why yes it is.

Q. Is the increase in CO2 man made?

A. Oh yes.

Q. What percentage of this extra *unwanted* temperature rise is due to us?

A. All of it. Without us digging up and burning fossil fuels the planet is slightly carbon negative (over time it sequesters carbon into fossil fuels).

Q. Is Solar activity responsible?

A. No, solar activity cycles are declining.

Q. Is water vapour the problem?

A. Indirectly, the hotter it gets, the more water vapour there is too.

Q. I heard that natural CO2 output is the biggest CO2 output, so are rotting trees to blame?

A. No, that's ignoring the CO2 the tree takes in as it grows. They're net negative on CO2.

Q. Is Al Gore to blame?

A. He shares 1/6 billionth of the blame like the rest of us.

Q. Is the temperature rise in dispute?

A. Nah, even the skeptics have given up on that one.

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Paris Hilton

Sigh...

...this is really really boring.

1. The climate is changing - not hype, not speculation, not conjecture, but data.

2. CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing rapidly. Regardless of any effect on the climate, it is acidifying the oceans which might have an impact on sea life.

3. Fossil fuels are finite and we are using them ever more quickly.

It makes sense to stop altering a system we don't fully understand by pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.

It makes sense to stop acidifying the oceans.

It makes sense to reduce the amount of finite fossil fuels we use.

I don't care what you believe about climate change, its just a belief. No belief in climate change will make it happen, no belief that it is a myth will stop it.

The case for developing different types of energy based on renewable resources is overwhelming. Solar is the only one that will really provide enough energy, but not the current photovoltaics which consume far more energy to produce than they ever return. Wind, wave, tide might help short term, ground source heat pumps return no savings, nuclear is a complete joke. We need to cover large areas of desert with cheap, simple solar capture technology. That will include growing algae in tanks to produce liquid fuels. End of story, now lets do it.

Paris because I am as sick to death of this "debate" as I am of her.

Now shout at me.

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Anonymous Coward

4 questions & simple math - Ah the old water vapour argument!

"Q1) What is the most prevalent and powerful greenhouse gas?

A1) Water vapor.

No it is just the most prevalent.

Q2) What percentage of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor?

A2) This is a big one that in 6 years of asking I've not got a straight answer on. You would think that they could get a number together but you get "scientists" saying everything from 65 to 95 percent."

True... but misleading.

You need to differentiate between feedbacks and forcings. Water vapour is a feedback process. In other words the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere depends on the climate, excess water falls as rain. Carbon dioxide is a forcing, excess CO2 does not cycle out of the atmosphere very quickly, so the heating it causes actuallly feeds back into the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere (among other things) increasing the effect.

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Anonymous Coward

4 questions & simple math - Check your figures

We burn 6-7 Billion tons of carbon. Burning 7 billion tons of carbon will produce 26.7 billion tons of C02.

"Q3) How much CO2 from all sources goes into the atmosphere each year?

A3) 180 - 200 billion tons."

True - but again misleading. Natural emissions tend to be balanced by natural absorbsion.

http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/dn11638

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Flame

Re: 4 questions & simple math

“Q3) How much CO2 from all sources goes into the atmosphere each year?

A3) 180 - 200 billion tons.”

And how much is taken out of the atmosphere each year? You seem to have failed to include this in your calculations…

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Alert

To Anonymous Coward

Your arguments concerning the comparative volume of human emissions to natural sources and the relative strengths of water vapor versus CO2 as greenhouse gases are both non-starters.

Water vapor is not a climate driver. It is a feedback mechanism. As mentioned earlier by myself and others, water vapor is cycled through the climatic environment in a matter of days. It simply does not have the atmospheric longevity to drive climate over long periods of time. However, it can very effectively amplify other climate drivers such as CO2 which can remain in the atmosphere for a hundred years or more.

As for CO2, comparing volumes of emissions from natural sources with human sources also does not support your premise as it is the human emissions that are driving up the overall relative composition of CO2 in the atmosphere. Unless there has been a massive and ongoing release of new CO2 by natural sources during the industrialized period (there hasn't), the climate has already adapted to, compensates for, and is in balance with the levels of natural emissions.

Imagine a huge scale with natural climate influences on the left side and the Earth's climatic reactions on the right. So, on the left you have your massive natural CO2 emissions and other GHGs along with solar variability, tectonic and volcanic activity, orbital variations and so on. On the right, you have atmospheric, land, and ocean temperature, relative humidity, ocean alkalinity and so on. Based on changes to the left, the right changes to balance. The amounts on each side may vary through time, but the system strives to keep the balance throughout.

Now, mankind adds a small weight of additional CO2 to the left side. It's paltry compared to the existing weight on the system from natural sources. At first, the system's reaction is negligible and indistinguishable. However, the weight stays there for a hundred years. The next year, mankind adds another weight, adding to the one from the previous year. The next year, another weight. The next year, another, and so on. This continues for a hundred years before that first small weight is removed. It would be bad enough if the weight remained the same each year, but it doesn't. Each year, the weight added by mankind grows. Each, taken individually, can be dismissed, but, taken cumulatively, they are causing the system to react, your four questions not withstanding.

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Alert

Take a step back

For the sake of argument, lets just say that humans don't cause climate change. So how do we stand to benefit from reducing the burning of fossil fuels?

Carbon Dioxide is not the only thing produced with we burn fossil fuels and other carbon based fuels such as wood. There are a whole host of nasty chemicals which are released into the atmosphere which are toxic to life on Earth, not to mention the particulate pollution which cause respiratory diseases.

So by abandoning the burning of carbon based fuels and switching to cleaner energy sources, we are also reducing these other toxic substances which we know for a fact cause disease and death, acid rain and acid oceans. Even if there is no human caused global warming (and I tend to believe we do the overwhelming majority of scientists who agree than the handful who don't) we still benefit from having cleaner air to breath.

No matter which way you swing, we still win by switching to cleaner energy. Or are you skeptics telling me you WANT to breath that shit into your lungs?

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Boffin

Water Vapour

So was I, AC.

Water Vapour deposits around a small gainn of dust (nucleating source) and falls down as rain. But if the air is higher than about 30deg, some of that water droplet will turn into vapour.

Sauration of water vapour is where the rate of evaporation can no longer keep up with the droplet formation. The drops get bigger and bigger as watervapour gets more prevalent and eventually falls out as rain.

Uplift of air can cause the air to become supersaturated and rain out more water, leaving the air dryer than it should be (and the ground wetter) when the air returns to its normal weather. I.e. frontal rain, convective rain or ororgaphic (going uphill) rain.

It is impossible to keep water vapour over saturation point even where there is no uplift for more than a little while.

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Paris Hilton

Re: 4 questions & simple math

Self selection of the response by suitable editing of the questions.

Surely we've all seen "Yes Minister" here? We know how that goes?

A1 is irrelevant: water isn't a driving force. It rains frequently, normalising the effect of water vapour increases. It is a positive feedback, but NOT a driver.

A2 is irrelevant: we'd be 50deg cooler without ANY GHG and nights will be FREEZING. The effect is why desserts (little water) get much cooler at night. Because of #1 above, water isn't a driver. What it can do is make a 0.1deg change from CO2 amplify to a 0.2Deg change.

A3 is irrelevant: you're not including the natural sinks. For each leaf that falls and decays, making CO2, another leaf grows, soaking up CO2. How much NET change is there, and how much is it we do is the question. You didn't use it because it doesn't prove your point. I really thought people here knew better: moderators, drop this sort of drivel!

A4 is irrelevant because how does that 6-7bn tons relate to the net change in CO2? But you didn't use net, did you

Your conclusion is therefore erroneous because you're mixing your effects up.

In any case, without H2O vapour, we'd be 50deg cooler and 1% of that is 0.5deg. When all you need is 3deg to change to a world that cannot support human civilisation, 0.5 is quite large.

The joke here is you and your brain.

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