The refusal of the global temperatures to rise as predicted has caused much angst among academics. "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't," wrote one in 2009. Either the instruments were wrong, or the heat energy had gone missing somewhere. Now a team of …
"the level of scientific understanding was low."
That has to be the truest statement I've seen on the subject so far. On either side.
It seems there is some form of admittance from those in the article that it's quite hard to explain exactly what we're witnessing and where the "missing energy" went. Probably not a great idea to cripple the economy with taxes in relation to it then, no?
Anonymous as I don't want to wake up and find a 30m windmill in my back garden - mainly because I can't afford to subsidise another one.
A few guys have got a new equation that matches the new dataset, so we can say THAT is what is happening (ignore the earlier equation that went with the earlier dataset).
This is great until along comes an even newer data-set, and then the cycle can continue again.
Meanwhile the reality seems to be that there are soooo many things that affect the results, and most are so hard to measure, we still don't know. (I remember reading someone's assertion that the variability in the sun's output can't affect the temperature on Earth, despite the fact that most of the heat on the planet comes from the sun).
I am not sure it's relevant to apply statements like "the level of scientific understanding was low" to sides here; the level of scientific understanding will likely depend on the level of scientific training, and the specialism of the scientist (naturally constrained by the level of scientific knowledge).
Just because politicians, reporters, economists, commentards, etc know sod all doesn't really tell you much about the level of scientific understanding where it counts. Unless you consider the "climate debate" a propaganda battle instead of a best available analysis of the current situation.
But not low enough to stop the Aussie taxing
The bloody Aussie Labor and Greens have just agreed to a major carbon tax based on "the level of scientific understanding was low."
As an Aussie denizen I'm going to be shafted every-which-way till Sunday based on low understanding by the 'clever' classes
FFS My only recourse is pointless letters to MPs or standing in the unseasonally bad rain and cold to let the Greenies and Labor pollies know what a stupid decision they are making
Low understanding of science
Is what I get whenever the register gives its rather biased views on climate change. The effect of aerosols is well known, but to some people, such as journalists with an axe to grind, a new paper adding it into an existing model becomes news. Look at the records going back to the world wars, you will see cooling caused by the increase in aerosols, look at massive volcanic activity. Look at the heating effect after 11th Sept 2001 over the USA when the aircraft contrails disappeared, and the albedo reduced.
Many scientists, for example Salter (of the underfunded and backstabbed duck fame) are now working on increasing albedo with aerosols by vapourising seawater (yes making fog). There are also proposals to disperse at high level nano-particles of Titanium Oxide and do the job like that, there is even a patent for that bit of silliness.
I do wish journalists had a clue when they write about some paper, and knew of the context and background.
Re AC 13:17
"Just because politicians, reporters, economists, commentards, etc know sod all doesn't really tell you much about the level of scientific understanding where it counts."
There is not a single person on this planet who can tell you how global temperature works. Is that clear enough for you? No one, not scientists, not engineers, not the politicians at the IPCC can tell you, because no one knows.
>>I remember reading someone's assertion that the variability in the sun's output can't affect the temperature on Earth, despite the fact that most of the heat on the planet comes from the sun.
Well, off the top of my head, that's plausible if the variability is at frequencies (or energy levels, whatever) which don't much affect the Earth's temperature.
I don't think that's true, though.
Don't worry neil 15
Some people it appears would prefer not to listen to scientists when if it concerns something big, scary, complex, and possibly calamitous. Some would prefer to clutch at every straw, every gap, every scientific disagreement, every counter argument no matter how specious as a reason it's all some vast conspiracy. Or something.
It's really no different than the tactics employed by creationists, 9/11 "truthers", or holocaust deniers. They are confronted with a vast amount of scientific evidence so the the same tactics spring up time and time again - quote mining, pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, compiling lists of "experts" who oppose the findings and so on.
The LA Times featured cold fusion in '89 before its debunking. Greens were aghast!
“It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of "Climate Change Denial")
“Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA Times)
“It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
“Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)
CLIMATEGATE 101: "For your eyes only...Don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone....Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that." - Phil "Hide The Decline" Jones to Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann
Here I present A Global Warming Digest:
-=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)
While other people...
relish something big, scary, complex, and possibly calamitous because it gives them a new windmill to tilt at and they will grasp every straw, every gap, every scientific disagreement, every counter argument no matter how specious as a reason to claim their windmill and so their crusade against it is bigger and more important.
Look at me I'm campaigning to save the entire planet, look at you trying to destroy the entire planet, Gosh I feel good about myself and so much superior to you.
Sadly the world has far too many of these Don Quixote fuckwits.
"Some people it appears would prefer not to listen to scientists when if it concerns something big, scary, complex, and possibly calamitous"
Well, you see that is the problem isnt it, because for every scientist that says one thing there is another that says the opersite, so using your own argument against you, you too are not listening to scientists when if it concerns something big, scary, complex, and possibly calamitous
So which group is right? nobody can answer that because if they could then there wouldnt be a debate
The true answer is somthing like the ultimate questions of life, why do we exist, does God exist, whats our purpose in life, everyone has an opinion but nobody has the answer.
To tax me because of an opinion that may not actually be right is not funny, just as im sure you wouldnt want to be taxed on something you didnt beleive it, politics and theory have no place being together.
whoops, im debating with you and after a second read i think we're on the same side....ah well sorry bout that if we are :)
It's getting BETTER all the Time!
One thing for certain, our understanding of climate dynamics is much more precise due to computer modeling (supercomputers) and this gives a higher degree of confidence than years past. This issue here is if China and others end burning coal and the soot is removed, the masked cooling will end and a greater spike in temperatures is realized.
The injustice of the China blame game is much of their fossil fuel energy is burned to export goods to the United States and other countries, so really it is our pollution! Yet the USA has been the major player that is stopping any world agreement...SHAME!
Global Warming (or lack there of)
There is just too much data and what we have is incomplete as there are 1000's of volcanos that are at best accounted for loosely. The scientists have a pretty good handle on the global warming do not get hung up on the small stuff as they say.
The data suggests X. The scientists are paid to come up with what X is. They have a reasonably solid foundation to suggest what is going to happen. Do not expect exactness with a subject like global warming. There are just too many variables and with variables comes a little exactness.
DO you get upset when the boss calls you up and says to you your expense report is bad fix it. Now is it because its to high or to low? You pretty much have to follow the bosses lead. If you saw him out at 1 dinner its a safe bet he went out another 4 times. Then of course you have toi figure out what the tab was at 3 other restaurants you have no idea what he went to. So you make a best guess based on what you know his habits are. Global warming is more of an exact science than tabs but then you get the idea.
It in the oceans
Energy in the oceans showing increased temperature = energy gain, paper abstract
and graph from the paper (for easy access)
At the end of the day, if sea level rise models are right or wrong this is minor (until and if we get massive ice melting, when that factor will overwhelm other inputs/outputs). The ocean temperature shows where the energy is going.
...and nobody who is actually working in the field of climate science, or in the teams who analyse global temperatures thinks they are "flat" or "falling". +0.7C (since 1960) indicates they are rising, and continue to rise.
Oh sure you can cherry pick some dates or one instrument, ignoring data that doesn't fit the "lets just keep on using up coal/oil/gas as fast as we possibly can" ideology, and pretend temperature is flat. And you can probably get some nice funding or lots of exposure in The Register and other places where global use-it-up-faster enthusiasts wait for crumbs of hope from economists, lords, and other notable scientists.
Here is how to create your own fake dataset if you want to get published in a friendly journal. Its easy, just pick a convenient start date (a hot year is good) and go from there. Extrapolate away!
And some information from actual scientists with expertise and the time to do the job properly on sea level rise.
The Reg's coverage of this topic is garbage and has been for some time.
The main problem with this amount of mis-information is that it makes it difficult for scientist to actually tell the truth - most believe that the situation is much worse than they are reporting but they feel they have to stick to absolutely the most conservative figures because the public (and therefore politicians) simply won't swallow the very real possibility that things are could be much worse.
Essentially, it has become hard to get any action even on the most likely scenarios and utterly impossible to get any contingency planning for less likely but more serious possibilities. All because some people want every scientific study and instrument everywhere in the world to give the same results, That's a low understanding of science for you.
"Well, you see that is the problem isnt it, because for every scientist that says one thing there is another that says the opersite, so using your own argument against you, you too are not listening to scientists when if it concerns something big, scary, complex, and possibly calamitous"
It's not 1:1 opposition, more like 99:1. Of course you will have scientists who are in disagreement and maybe that 1 person in 100 is the guy who holds the answer. That's the great thing about science - it's self correcting. Someone advances a hypothesis, that hypothesis can be tested, if it tests positive it becomes a theory. In turn it may be replaced by a better model. Duff hypotheses and conjecture get dumped.
What science doesn't do is what most anti-global warmers do which is latch onto one quote, or one study, or one gross oversimplification of the problem (e.g. conflating weather with climate) and place undue weight on that study / quote as if it cancels all the others out. As if because every single scientific paper in existence doesn't point the same way that there is a "debate" or a "controversy". That isn't science, it's pseudo science and unfortunately what happens all the time.
In the case of this study I expect climate scientists are as intrigued by the study as much as anybody and doubtless it will spur further research first to test the results, to incorporate the effects into models, and to make predictions based on what effect it may have in the long and short term. I expect that emitting sulphur dioxide does have some short term effect on the climate, but obviously coal is not finite, and is it really a good idea to kill plant and animal life given that is what acid rain does.
"So which group is right? nobody can answer that because if they could then there wouldnt be a debate"
And here's the problem. Science isn't a debate. I could debate all day with an opponent in front of a large audience about the sex of my hamster. We could take a vote on it. Maybe my hamster will be voted to be a girl. That won't alter reality one little bit. Science is about making observations and testable predictions based on those observations. I would trust scientists to make those predictions far more than I would some armchair denialist. And that's what it boils down to. I would have thought people interested in computing would recognize that more the general public but judging by the number of downvotes apparently this is not the case.
It's too late to start building an ark once the rains come.
Is this article based on a peer reviewed scientific study. If not, than journalists should state when presenting a 'balanced' view. I want to know how much credibility to give to this article, otherwise it is just useless noise in the debate.
Lump all the nutters together
You just lumped Climate Change Deniers with Truthers. I know people who don't believe in Man Made Global Warming who happen to agree with the official version on 9/11.
In many cases as with Creationists there are huge problems with the official Darwin version. The fact that that there are huge problems with the Creationists argument does not mean Darwin was spot on.
With Global Warming the official line is that "if this does turn out to be real we will be glad we took action now rather than waiting until it was too late". The problem with that is the obvious doubts this leaves. These are glossed over with rhetoric.
Can things be as bad as you say? Reg was saying how lucky we all were that Fucushima was so mild and how it proves we should all have more Nuke power plants if that's the worst that can happen.
As a warmist you probably love nuclear too and think that Fucushima was mild and nothing to worry about yet you want us to worry about Global Warming?
If they understood the implications,
why weren't the corrective factors included in the original model, and the appropriate pieces of data fed into it?
No, wait I'll tell you: because doing so would have undermined their political objectives.
Even if not peer-reviewed,
the referenced article is better science than anything coming out of CRU. It meets the actual requirements of science: it is falsifiable (as opposed to an article of faith like the warminsts), the data are fully published, and anyone can review and replicate the experiment to confirm the results.
Soaking the mining companies for money is a great idea anyway. If they can afford a load of TV ads complaining about the tax, they can afford the tax itself. These mostly foreign-owned companies can bloody beg for permission to strip out our minerals and flog them to the chinese, as far as I care. You really think they'll just pack up and go home if there's a tax hike? a) They won't, and b) so what if they do? The minerals will stay there, and become more and more valuable as time goes by.
People have this odd idea that money taken as taxes simply vanishes. It doesn't - it goes pretty much straight back into the economy, and anyone who thinks that government spending doesn't count as part of the economy is an idiot.
Likewise, people who think that governments "waste" money have no idea what a circus private enterprise tends to be. At least governments don't pay 50-million-dollar bonuses to people who fail at their jobs.
Damn libertarians. Idiots.
but again, that is the problem, its not about cherry picking dates, there is ample evidence from leading climatologists that say, yeah in 'places' its warming up, but in others its cooling down, yeah some ice is melting is some areas, but in other areas its increasing.
Science is an absolute, your right but only when taken with all the facts, and the issue here is that different groups will use different facts when it suits them
Personally im not saying the world isnt warming up, what I personally think is that its very little to do with man made CO2, i cant remember the exact numbers for this as i am at work, but there is something like a 200-500 year lag when you look at average world temps compared to CO2 levels, and the intresting part is, that whilst CO2 continues to increase temps start to decrease. So for example, the temp increases THEN CO2 levels increase as well which suggests that CO2 levels increasing is as a result of a rise in temperatures, not the reason for.
which actually makes sence when you think about it given that the largest CO2 scrubbers on the planet (of which our world is largely made up off) doesnt work as efficiently in warmer climates. To complicate issues further strong winds have a negative effect on this CO2 Sink as well, and wind i am fairly sure is largely created by the sun, and also cool/hot air moving over and around the poles/equator, so large chunks of ocean are performing a bit less than usual which again suggests why CO2 levels maybe increasing, its a HUGE system, and the whole thing needs to be considered, not just CO2
I am totally up for not needlessly polluting the world, absolutely without a doubt, what i strongly disagree with is the way the issue has been politicalized without propper understanding. Some twat telling me we need to cover the countryside with giant windmills to save the world is just laughable as its been completely exploited by those wanting to make money. I mean, look at the whole Y2K bug, people made an absolute mint out of that because it was not fully understood and people went mad.
You want to save the world Mr Windmill man, good for you, so you wont mind doing that without a profit then? of course they wont want that, companies are in the business of making money and the climate issue is a gold mine.
As i said, lets do what we can when we can, lets not go mad especially since nobody actually knows the full story, ive not heard one scientist who says sea levels are rising because of CO2 state what the increase in surface of the water will do to CO2 levels? why? well im guessing because increasing surface area will help reduce CO2 / temps which goes against their argument. Thats not to say it wont happen like that, but the general public will get confused with a slightly mixed message on something they know nothing about thats been broadcast by media whos sole intention is to make headlines....
All a bit fishy me thinks ;)
"the level of scientific understanding was low."
So basically, all summed up, putting it all together, gathering in the info, correlating all the facts....we still don't really have a solid handle how this big old ball of rock and water works but we'll keep you posted if anything comes up!
Re: "the level of scientific understanding was low."
"we still don't really have a solid handle how this big old ball of rock and water works"
Of course we don't, but getting a gradual handle on it is what science is all about. The level of understanding of science itself is low, apparently, every time someone spouts stuff about "those poncey scientists and their stupid long words and affluent lifestyles" but what should we expect when we have the equivalent of the guy peeling the banana in the zoo's monkey house doing so every week. He just needs to stand there now and the mayhem takes care of itself.
"the level of scientific understanding was low."
"we still don't really have a solid handle how this big old ball of rock and water works but we'll keep you posted if anything comes up"
Correction: "we still don't really have a solid handle how this big old ball of rock and water works but we'll still carry on basing billions of dollars worth of industry crippling taxes and regulations on it, and wasting further billions on inefficient ineffective renewable energy technology instead of using cheap massively abundant fossil fuels"
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
Correction: "we still don't really have a clue about how this big old ball of rock and water works but we'll still carry on basing billions of dollars worth of industry crippling taxes and regulations on it, and wasting further billions on inefficient ineffective renewable energy technology instead of using cheap massively abundant fissable materials"
@The Fuzzy Wotnot
Exactly. Or to summarise even further: science.
Getting a gradual handle and a little bit of knowledge...
Like when Doctors were getting a handle on mental health, widely believeing that electrocuting peoples brains and cutting bits out of it were good ideas, or when scientists were gradually getting a handle on radioactivity, glowing paint was fun - especially when you painted your teeth... yep a little bit of knowledge is definately a safe and secure place to be. A full and complete understanding will surely come when someone turns round and says "oh sh*t, all the things we thought would help have actually CAUSED the catastrophe, not prevented it..." My advice... leave well alone until you know what you're doing. Of course this doesn't preclude ceasing the unstoppable raping and pillaging of the earths finite resources, and pollution everything in sight.
And how do you suggest that we recognise it when we get to the point that we "know what we're doing"? I'm sorry, science doesn't work that way, you don't suddenly get to a point when you can say " aha!, NOW I know how it works". Knowledge, unlike dogma, is gained gradually. And while a high level of confidence is possible, certainty isn't. We always work on a best guess footing.
Actually, that's not only science, that's life for you! Try suggesting nobody should have kids until they "know what they're doing"... Good luck with that.
yeah and they
thought they had a better understand and agood handle of yellow stone park, look what a mess that turned in too, we start farting around with something as important as the climate without having a full understanding then we run the very real risk of making a bigger mess, and nobody can argue against that because nobody has a full understanding there for we cant possibly know what will happen. Instead of pissing in the wind so to speak we should dump all this money in to research.
just seen this over on the BBC news site too - such an epic facepalm. they'll be saying they got it wrong and CO2 is actually good next...
I wish they'd just shut the hell up about the whole subject until somebody figures out, conclusively, at least a tiny faction of what the hell is going on.
at the moment, all climate stories are effectively bollocks.
"they'll be saying they got it wrong and CO2 is actually good next..."
It's called "plant food" and goes along with dihydrogen monoxide.
"at the moment, all climate stories are effectively bollocks"
Except for the ones who say that the Earth is warmed by the sun and the temperature is a function of solar activity. The media calls them "deniers" but they prefer the term "real scientists".
On no!! POISONOUS CHEMICAL!
It's not harmful in small quantities, but ingesting more than 10Kg or so at once will probably have all sorts of dangerous and toxic effects.
So how come the temperature rises when the solar activity is stable?
That's called denial
Bullseyed- I am
with you all the way on this mate.
Also could do with more sun, it's cold and wet here at present (East Coast ,North Island-New Zealand).
Well, you have a few choices here:
1. You misread the data.
2. You lied about the data.
3. You were smoking something that isn't even legal in The Netherlands before you read the data.
Because the data are in point of fact not stable, and correspond well with the warming and cooling trends. As is proven out be similar warming and cooling trends on Mars and even Pluto.
solar output has been flat for decades.
There are not similar warming and cooling trends on mars and even pluto. I recommend you do a quick google search
How quickly they forget! I remember the 70's, when we were worried that particulates in the atmosphere were going to cause a new ice age (if over-population didn't get us first). We would go out in a blaze of glory, as those emissions would create magnificent sunsets.
Then, in the 80's, we realized that those particulates were not just cooling and beautifying the Earth, but they were causing acid raid, acidifying and killing lakes, trees, etc. Here, in the States, we largely got a handle on that and the effect moderated to ignorability.
Now we worry about climate change (or, as the uninformed and self-interested like to call it, global warming). Even though we can say with certainty that anomalous conditions with ominous portents have become more and more apparent in recent years, and that man has pumped an extra large dose of unnatural emissions into the atmosphere for around 150 years, with no sign of genuinely slacking off, "the level of scientific understanding [is] low."
The fact is, we're dealing with a complex system, here — more complex than anything we've had to deal with before. The idea that we're dealing with a simple problem (ie: warming vs. cooling) misses the point entirely. We are dealing with multiple variables, folks, and you know that you can solve such problems only in terms that incorporate one or more variables — no perfect solution that answers all questions is likely possible.
That said, if we are to live up to the name 'homo sapiens,' we ought to proceed with prudence over self-interest and immediate gratification. There are ways to arrange things so we can get most of what we want and need without being so wasteful.
Old guys don't understand. The youngsters don't remember.
This is cool news. Sulphur and aerosols cause cooling. So going back further in time, London in the '50s used to get thick smog due to pollution from coal burning. So did other cities. People died.
So we introduced clean air acts and low sulphur coals for domestic use. People moved away from coal-fired domestic heating, emissions of SO2 and aerosols decreased. The air got cleaner. Co-incidently, it warmed, which may or may not be related to improvements in air quality. Actually, scratch that, it must have been CO2.. I've got some carbon offsets to offload. Joke alert cos it's climate science.
Remember Y2K was going to end the world
There is an Alex Jones rant from 1999 before he predicted 9/11.
Y2K was going to end the world as nukes would be launched and VCRs would malfunction whilst toasters would be OK.
I single handedly fixed all the Y2K bugs in 1999 and saved the world.
OK, I fixed a couple in my code but was the world saved due to our efforts or was it never going to be a major problem.
Same with Global Warming, you are claiming that Acid Rain and I expect the Ozone Layer were saved by mans actions.
Re: complex system
Agreed. And the point we "deniers" are trying to make is that when the system involves 10,000 variables, it is pointless to concentrate on only one of them, particularly when you have identified at most 50 of the variables.
the significant variables are the most obvious ones. It's been decades and the list of significant variables hasn't changed. We can quite validly make calculations at this point.
Unfortunately the AGW debate has little to do with science
each side has already made up their minds on what the results will show the causes to be so they make sure that is what happens.
"each side has already made up their minds on what the results will show the causes to be so they make sure that is what happens"
Sadly one side has taken a look at all the evidence, developed hypotheses and models, produced predictions that can be demonstrated to be accurate, and produced further hypothese.
The other side had paid advertisers to aim dis-information at (quote) 'poorly educated males' with remarkable results.
Re: that can be demonstrated to be accurate,
Sorry the whole article was that the predictions were not accurate so needed to be modified.
Therefore how do we know the new ones are any better?
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