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back to article Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest EVER recorded, global warming is NOT eroding it'

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey say that the melting of the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica has suddenly slowed right down in the last few years, confirming earlier research which suggested that the shelf's melt does not result from human-driven global warming. The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica …

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Boffin
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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: *cough*

Tell us, do you know the difference between Australia and Antarctica?

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Anonymous Coward

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According to those who believe in AGW "weather isn't climate", so what's the link with the weather in Australia?

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This illustrates one of the worst tendencies of alarmism: the assumption that *any* instance of temperature increase is caused by AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming), with *no* attempt to actually test that assumption. It is only when the catastrophist assumption is counter-indicated that any attempt is made to find an explanation -- and then the purpose of the explanation is to save the contradicted theory.

Observations of a glacier melting, or Oz having a warm year, or the Arctic ice cap retreating, are taken *by themselves* as sufficient evidence of AGW. This is much in the same way that old-style Marxists take every instance of labor unrest as a sign of the coming Revolution, or religious Apocolyptoes take every bit of bad news as signaling the start of End Times. Only when an observation seems to falsify the orthodox theory does one need to look any further, and the reason to do this is to explain it away. Then, of course, believers discover that La Nina did it, or "regional wind patterns", or whatnot.

Need one point out that science proceeds by strong tests and attempted falsification? AGW catastrophists avoid strong tests and try to protect their theory from falsification. If system integration testing proceeded using catastrophist methods, we'd be producing lists of thousands of successes and deep explanations of why we can ignore those few dozen failures. Come to think of it, that explains ObamaCare...

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Aussie is the only place that's getting hotter!

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2013 confirmed as Australia's hottest year on record.

Reliable records stared in 1910. The first colonies were

established in the late 1770's and indigenous occupation

existed long before that. Now prove that 2013 is hotter and

significant.

AussieBear.

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Tell us, do you know the difference between regional and global?

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Record in US last year too

http://www.motherjones.com/files/blog_us_temperature_2012.jpg

Ironically Australia and the US are two countries full of climate skeptics!

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Australia constitutes 1.5% of the planet's surface - i.e. not a large sample.

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Australia covers only 1.5% of the Earth - not a very large sample. The US (about 1.8% of the Earth) had quite a cold 2013.

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> Do you know the difference between Australia and Antarctica?

Errr ... England might avoid a Test Series whitewash against Antartica?

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Pint

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The *worst* thing is the death of The Scientific Method at the hands of the AGW Alarmists. They *repeatedly and consistently* invoke the rhetoric of religious fanaticism into the debate at all levels. Anyone that dares to point out even the most obvious flaws in their logic or evidence is labled a "denier" and accused of "disbelief". They're no better than any other religious extremist, going right back to the Spanish Inquisition. It's a very poor scientist that ever dares to attempt to shut down debate. The AGW crowd are consistent in this.

Lewis Page's page 2 pretty much nailed it. We can accept that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, while much of what is claimed to follow is deeply, deeply flawed. Their computer models are garbage; they need to read Chaos. They've got zero skills on performing Cost Benefit analysis. Their arguments are flawed. They ignore the Low Hanging Fruit, while mandating Haiur Shirts and Greenwash BS. All this is fine. Invoking religious rhetoric and attempting to murder The Scientific Method is criminal.

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Holmes

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Tell us, do you know the difference between regional and global?

Good question. Does Lewis?

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2126 miles or 3426 km, Hobart to Casey Station... NZ is a bit closer.

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You may want to check out the skepticism in the British press and review the studies by the Danes and Russians that believe there will be a cooling period due to reduced solar activity through at least 2035. Maybe more than the US and Australians would prefer real replicable research instead of the hysteria pushed by the IPCC, Al Gore, East Anglia and Mann.

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Ahem. Oz has been having record high years - out of 200 or so - for a while now. Glacier melting is extremely well documented. As is Arctic sea ice reduction. There certainly seems to be (no, I haven't *actually* done a statistical analysis on it) plenty of evidence that tropical storms are getting stronger, and even in good old Blighty it would appear that extreme weather events are becoming more common.

<blockquote>Need one point out that science proceeds by strong tests and attempted falsification? </blockquote>

One need not. But the discussion about climate change isn't pure science - and on the science front I think the results are pretty clear cut: The climate *is* changing, and it's pretty obvious that human production of CO2 and other greenhouse gases plays a big part.

The other principle that should be considered is risk management. When you become aware of a risk, you should adjust your behaviour according to the consequences - as a bad first approximation: probability * impact.

Given that, are *you* happy that your pension portfolio is going down by 70% due to climate change? Maybe it's a 1 in 10 chance...or 1 in 5... or 1 in 1. Now, I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking "What are the odds, really" Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is a cataclysmic change in the climate, and if it goes seriously wrong everyone on the planet is fucked, you've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?

Me? I'm bad at predicting probabilities. I like to minimise my maximum regret.

<blockquote>Come to think of it, that explains ObamaCare...</blockquote>

Of course, if I'd read to the end of your comment, I could have saved myself the effort of a reasoned response, since you're clearly immune to logic, sense, reason and evidence. Still, someone else may benefit from my lecture.

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2013 being hotter than any other year since 1910 doesn't strike you as significant?

Don't you think someone since 1770 would have recorded thermometer-melting temperatures if they had occurred at the time? I mean, you ozzies are tough, but ignoring temperatures of 45+ in a full woollen governors uniform seems unlikely.

At least the journal would have noted something suitably pithy."Not as cold as yesterday. Took G&T at 10 to warm up."

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If you think 1.5% doesn't constitute a large sample, you clearly know nothing about statistics.

But I'm very happy that you feel entitled to distribute your uninformed opinion with vigour on the internet.

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No.

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Happy

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Ironically, how many icebreakers are now stuck in sea ice in _summer_ south of Oz ? A little reading indicates hottest since 1910 in places around South Oz. Anyone who has been to the Alice or west Qld in the preWet, will know adding another degree or two makes little difference. Still nice to see some serious research that looks like answers, not slogans.

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@ gazthejourno: No, no. I've got this one.*

Mahatma Coat you do know that:

1. A single season weather does not make climate.

2. That's only Australia. You need the average over the entire surface of the globe, not just a little region of it. I mean, your continent is barely 7% the size of Europe and Warmists write off the entire Little Ice Age as a "regional" event.

*Your point is valid and obvious, but I want to the chance to play by Alinsky's rules. It's so much more fun to be using them than being abused by them.

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Well said. I have participated in U.S. Department of Energy sponsored meetings and at lunch during one of them I listened to a social scientist next to me launch in to explanations designed "to save the contradicted theory." It was delivered with such approbation that, from my limited personal observations, the policy making surrounding global climate change appears increasingly justified by pseudo-science.

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Although what I am about to write is anecdotal, read the following.

I worked, served with the British Antarctic Survey at Halley Bay, Base "Z" in during the years of 1961 and 1962

Our location was at 76.25 S. 26.25 W.

Our Chief geologist at that time was Dennis Ardus, yes, that Dennis Ardus of Royal Geological Society fame, who estimated that the Northward movement of the Ice Shelf was about 400 Metres a year. Remember, no GPS in those days.

This year the Ice Shelf edge is about 75. Deg S. A movement North of about 69 mile, Some melting

At 700 feet thick, that is a fair amount of sea water displacement would you not agree ???

And why, in this forum, do you need to heap abuse on a person with whom you disagree.

Incidentally, Arctic Ice is at record levels. Polar Bears are running rampant up there.

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Sun cycle 24 is at 100+ year lows and what is worse is cycle 25 and it portends Maunder Minimums like cooling for the planet

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The fact that all climate models are wrong and that any teenager alive today hasn't seen warming and in fact has seen slight cooling since 2007 is how badly science has been perverted by the Al Gore crowd. The models ignore water vapor and consider our sun as a constant source of energy. Now they can't explain the 17+ years without warming. Meanwhile our sun is declining into its 200 year cooling cycle. I do fear global cooling when we are in the teeth of cycle 25!

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Mother Jones? you may as well linked to Media Matters......

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wjr

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The large or small sample size comments are not relevant statistically. A 1% sample in terms of area would be quite significant if and only if that 1% consisted of a large number of sub samples taken randomly over the entire data universe. Using a sample of continuous area from a single region is both poor statistics and poor science.

Which brings up the real criticism of global warming "science". Modeling is not science. Modeling is a tool used to generalize a system in order to make that system predictable (parenthetically, one definition of science is the ability to predict). In order to model one needs two conditions. The first of these is to have a large enough data set to, at least, reasonably suggest that the data set is exhaustive -- i.e. the data set more or less covers the entire system to be modeled.

Secondly, once a candidate model is constructed, the model needs to be able to recapitulate prior events. In other words if we know the initial conditions of a past event then the model needs to be able to predict (reasonably) the known outcome of that event.

In neither case has this been done by the climate change community to my knowledge. Indeed, it might not be possible to do.

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200 years of recorded temps? You have conviently forgotten the years pervious...MILLIONS OF THEM!

"Ahem. Oz has been having record high years - out of 200 or so - for a while now. Glacier melting is extremely well documented. As is Arctic sea ice reduction. There certainly seems to be (no, I haven't *actually* done a statistical analysis on it) plenty of evidence that tropical storms are getting stronger, and even in good old Blighty it would appear that extreme weather events are becoming more common"

Point 1 - Forgive me but ALL --- every article, every "scientist", every activist - I have ever read, listened to, or DEBATED -- has BLATANTLY left out that this earth has under gone some DRASTIC changes in climate over it's estimated lifetime (SOURCE 1). I dare to be alive when all continents were pushed together know as Pangia and the great line of volcanoes started pushing it apart to now create the great mountain range under the Atlantic ocean. What do all the supporters of AGW say about that? Where were humans then? We were but mere blips on the evolutionary chain. AND the last great ICE age Geologists state that the climate had some "ABRUPT" disruptions and oscillations in to that went from 80,000-18,000 years ago (SOURCE 2)...that's a difference of 62,000 YEARS! And y'all want to go on just 200 years of RECORDED temps! As my "friend" across the pond would say, "RUBBISH!!!!"

Some scientists are even saying we may have experienced a "mini-ice age" that lead to (14th century AD - 19th century) drastic changes in temps in Europe over a few hundred years (SOURCE 5). Evidence the failing of crops, famine, and the black plague. FORGIVE ME AGAIN AGW advocates but I don't believe WE, humans started the industrial age until Brittan in the late 1700's (SOURCE 3).

Point 2 - Solar Science is still in its infancy. We have just recently been able to closely study the Sun, it's cyclic sun spots, and the massive solar flares that bombard our little planet. We are still unsure just how much this thing (the SUN) effects our satellites let alone our "weather" and climate. We now have better resolution cameras to see more accurately (circa 2013 SOURCE 6) Some of these phenomena that we still don't fully understand. Give it 50 years and we'll be 10,000 more times accurate than now. And these Solar Scientists may just laugh at our mundane belief that CO2 is hurting the planet. It may just be building up our atmosphere to insulate us from major solar winds and flares...who really knows?

YOU conveniently forget the MILLIONS of years of climate this earth has undergone. (SOURCE 4). You turn a blind eye to any conflicting scientific evidence. Page 2 really does state it all correctly. If you follow the money ..."global warming" is a political ploy to warp your minds and get money and/ or support out of you to pad Politicians pockets and give them some dooms-day rhetoric to distract you from real problems we currently face. What have they ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED GLOBALLY to STOP/REDUCE CO2 emissions?

Please, please, please STOP this nonsense! Look OUTSIDE your moment of existence on this planet to realize there is WAY more to our PHENOMENAL planet and SOLAR SYSTEM than ANY of you humans will EVER understand let alone solely influence.

SOURCE 1: http://www.nps.gov/iatr/index.htm

A mere 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age, much of North America lay under a huge glacier. Mammoths, saber tooth cats and cave lions roamed the earth! Some of the best evidence of this glacier is found in Wisconsin such as the state’s many lakes, river valleys, gently rolling hills, and ridges. The nearly 1,200 mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail, established in 1980, traces the glacier's edge.

SOURCE 2: http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/abrupt-climate-change-during-the-last-ice-24288097

Unlike the relatively stable climate Earth has experienced over the last 10,000 years, Earth's climate system underwent a series of abrupt oscillations and reorganizations during the last ice age between 18,000 and 80,000 years ago (Dansgaard 1984, Bond et al. 1997, 1999). These climate fluctuations were first discovered when scientists reconstructed past temperature variability over Greenland by analyzing tiny changes in the relative abundance of the oxygen-16 isotope versus the oxygen-18 isotope (noted as δ18O and reported in parts per thousand) in ice cores recovered from Greenland glaciers. Each successively deeper ice layer represents a snapshot of Earth's climate history from the past, and together, the oxygen isotope record told a story of abrupt, millennial-scale climate shifts in air temperatures over Greenland between extremely cold stadial conditions and relatively mild interstadial periods during the last ice age (Figure 1) (Alley 2000, Alley et al. 2003). There are twenty-five of these distinct warming-cooling oscillations (Dansgaard 1984) which are now commonly referred to as Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, or D-O cycles. One of the most surprising findings was that the shifts from cold stadials to the warm interstadial intervals occurred in a matter of decades, with air temperatures over Greenland rapidly warming 8 to 15°C (Huber et al. 2006). Furthermore, the cooling occurred much more gradually, giving these events a saw-tooth shape in climate records from most of the Northern Hemisphere (Figure 1).

SOURCE 3:http://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution

The Industrial Revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, was a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the late 1700s, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines. Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production. The iron and textile industries, along with the development of the steam engine, played central roles in the Industrial Revolution, which also saw improved systems of transportation, communication and banking. While industrialization brought about an increased volume and variety of manufactured goods and an improved standard of living for some, it also resulted in often grim employment and living conditions for the poor and working classes.

SOURCE 4:http://www.geosociety.org/positions/position10.htm

The geologic record contains unequivocal evidence of former climate change, including periods of greater warmth with limited polar ice, and colder intervals with more widespread glaciation. These and other changes were accompanied by major shifts in species and ecosystems. Paleoclimatic research has demonstrated that these major changes in climate and biota are associated with significant changes in climate forcing such as continental positions and topography, patterns of ocean circulation, the greenhouse gas composition of the atmosphere, and the distribution and amount of solar energy at the top of the atmosphere caused by changes in Earth's orbit and the evolution of the sun as a main sequence star. Cyclic changes in ice volume during glacial periods over the last three million years have been correlated to orbital cycles and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, but may also reflect internal responses generated by large ice sheets. This rich history of Earth's climate has been used as one of several key sources of information for assessing the predictive capabilities of modern climate models. The testing of increasingly sophisticated climate models by comparison to geologic proxies is continuing, leading to refinement of hypotheses and improved understanding of the drivers of past and current climate change.

SOURCE 5:http://www.eh-resources.org/timeline/timeline_lia.html

The Little Ice Age is a period between about 1300 and 1870 during which Europe and North America were subjected to much colder winters than during the 20th century. The period can be divided in two phases, the first beginning around 1300 and continuing until the late 1400s. There was a slightly warmer period in the 1500s, after which the climate deteriorated substantially. The period between 1600 and 1800 marks the height of the Little Ice Age. The period was characterised by the expansion of European trade and the formation of European sea born Empires. This was directly linked to advances in technology harnessing more of nature's power and towards the end of the period fossil-fuelled power. These two hundred years also saw the specialisation of agricultural regions, which produced specific products for local and international markets.

SOURCE 6:http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/astrophysics/iris-eyes-the-sun-shakes-up-solar-science

New high-speed, high-resolution spectrographic images from IRIS reveal the structure and motion of the Sun's little-understood transitional region with never-before-seen detail.

The first images from NASA’s latest solar observing satellite are in, and they show unprecedented detail—and unexpected complexity—in the roiling lower layers of the Sun’s atmosphere. Already, the images have revealed a previously-unseen fibrous inner structure of many solar features, including the familiar earth-size prominences that can erupt into solar flares and the less-well-known, 500-kilometer-wide spicules that jet up into the corona at speeds of 20 km/s.

Although the data has just started to come in, the early results are enough to challenge the current numerical models of solar behavior.

The pictures from the IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) Observatory, launched 27 June this year, capture images that are sharply defined in space, time, and wavelength. The instrument combines an ultraviolet telescope with a high-precision spectrograph. The imager can resolve solar features 250 km in diameter (see the comparison photos below). The spectral data is used to calculate the atmosphere’s temperature and, thanks to Doppler shifts, its detailed motion (to within one kilometer per second).

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Re: *cough*

"2013 being hotter than any other year since 1910 doesn't strike you as significant?"

Statistical blip amongst only 100 year of stats, for an area that represents 1.5% of the earth's surface. Not proof of global warming, merely unusual weather.

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Nah those penguins really know hot to get swing of an icy wicket

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"Oz has been having record high years - out of 200 or so - for a while now. Glacier melting is extremely well documented. As is Arctic sea ice reduction."

Arctic Ice! Glad you mentioned that. Antarctic sea ice *growth* is also extremely well documented. You don't count that, however, because, well, you know, regional winds or something. Yet you count Arctic ice *shrinkage* without bothering to see if they might have regional winds or something there too. No need to look. You have the right answer already!

When you test software, what happens when you do this? For instance, when an aggressively careerist Big Boss pressures your team into passing it because a failure would hurt his promotion? He'll want you to :

-- list all the tests that went as expected and

-- ignore (or explain away) the ones that didn't.

This actually happens, as you should know, and likely happened with ObamaCare. And it causes the test-based predictions to not reflect reality.

And that's what's happening with AGW Catastrophism Theory.

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"If you think 1.5% doesn't constitute a large sample, you clearly know nothing about statistics."

It's not a sample at all. Size doesn't matter. Randomness matters.

A sample would require random points from all over the globe, with no selection bias. This means that a point in the open Pacific Ocean or on the Antarctic continent has exactly the same chance of being picked as a point in Western Europe or Eastern North America.

And unless you meet the base assumptions of the theory of probability you haven't done the minimum necessary to make any claim stronger than, "what an interesting factoid."

This makes AGW Catastophism Theory, as presented to the public, nothing more than a series of interesting but untested (see above) factoids.

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Anonymous Coward

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As their population grows so does the amount of hot air...

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Facepalm

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@kraut. Dear Sir, they did get those temps at the time of the First Fleet. A well calibrated thermometer placed where the Sydney Harbour Bridge is now. See Watkins Tench. Oh, and ElReg last year. As hot as last year before the dreadful industrialisation really got going. And as someone whose residence was in sight of and downwind from last years local big bushfires, I am most interested in climate, changing or not.

I recall that Tench observed birds dropping dead from the sky. Only fruit bats have dropped dead so far this year. A few more horses might not get Hendra then, so thats alright.

As for mad Poms and wool suits, they did it at Port Essington on Coburg Peninsular Northern Territory in real serious tropics mid 19th century. Flown low over abandoned site. How they lasted 15 minutes in a hot humid swamp on hot rocks, let alone years, has me stumped. Must be something in Yorkshire pud and not in pickled cabbage :-)

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"2013 being hotter than any other year since 1910 doesn't strike you as significant?"

Wow.

Given less than 100 years of data, is it really that unexpected to hit a record low/high?

BTW: They refer to their doomsday prophecy as "climate change". Would you say the climate in Australia has changed since 1910?

If you want something to worry about, worry about what happens in case the temperature decreases. Many of us won't survive such an event.

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I forgot to mention: Sydney was quite warm back in 1790: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/14/global-warming-it-was-warmer-in-sydney-in-1790/ -- I hope you realize how difficult it is to measure average temperature across an entire continent and just how significant the lack of historical data is.

"Don't you think someone since 1770 would have recorded thermometer-melting temperatures if they had occurred at the time?"

Yes, I think someone did just that.

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Re: 200 years of recorded temps?

You may have a (cold) beer from me for that!

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Re: *cough*

And Hell Michigan just froze over.

Today is going to be a cold day in Chicago.

Sub zero temps F. Not C. Plus windchill.

We've also had more snow than usual.

Guess by your logic, we are going in to a nice age.

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Headmaster

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"But the discussion about climate change isn't pure science"

Actually it isn't science at all. In science, you run experiments to test your hypothesis. This doesn't happen in climate science because it isn't possible to create an experimental system big enough.

Climate science is more closely related to a religion, with an official doctrine (anthropocentric global warming) and punishment of heretics (an Australian research proved the ocean wasn't rising and got fired for his troubles).

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Headmaster

Re: *cough*

"If you think 1.5% doesn't constitute a large sample, you clearly know nothing about statistics"

Actually I do know about statistics. 1.5% is far too high. Ie, it is an outlier or anomaly and needs to be discarded as the bad data it is.

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Holmes

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"Which brings up the real criticism of global warming "science". Modeling is not science"

Modeling is a tool which simplifies a real-world system into one that can be mathematically studied and predictions made from that understanding. The trouble is, when you model complex real-world systems such as economics and climate, you lose too much fidelity if you create a system you can understand. But if you keep all the complexity, you lose the ability to create useful predictions. In other words, all you get out of your model is noise.

And it gets worse if you model is designed to prove a point, instead of understand what is happening.

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Headmaster

Re: attempting to murder The Scientific Method

How?

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Re: *cough*

"Anyone that dares to point out even the most obvious flaws in their logic or evidence is labled a "denier" and accused of "disbelief". "

You mean like the climate skeptics further down the thread who meddle myths like:

-Scientists in the 60s predicted an ice age was coming then they did an about face and change it to global warming (false).

-The climate of mars has changed in lockstep with the climate on Earth (false) proving that it's the Sun that is the cause (false)

-CO2 rise is caused by temperature not man (false) so man can't be causing warming

-A recent expedition to the Antarctic was going there to prove the ice had melted (false)

Do you see why climate skeptics might be called deniers when they churn out such a plethora of *false* statements that are *coincidentally* all geared towards mocking the idea of man-made global warming?

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Re: *cough*

Interesting observations from someone who seems like they should know what they're talking about.

Then you add:

> Incidentally, Arctic Ice is at record levels. Polar Bears are running rampant up there.

Which simply isn't true, unless your idea of "record levels" is "since 2009".

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Anonymous Coward

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You have a bizarre view of what characterises science then - you have just ruled out astronomy, almost all the earth sciences, meteorology, ecology, a lot of zoology and a whole lot more. You do know that not all science happens in a test tube?

I do find it bizarre how somehow actually going out and measuring things and modelling is equated with religion, while blind trust in an article you read in the daily scream is rational.

And as for your Australian researcher, sceptic and fired <> fired because of being a sceptic, or are you suggesting that sceptical thought should allow you carte blanche to fiddle your expenses?

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Anonymous Coward

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One need not. But the discussion about climate change isn't pure science - and on the science front I think the results are pretty clear cut: The climate *is* changing, and it's pretty obvious that human production of CO2 and other greenhouse gases plays a big part.

pretty obvious????

I think you will find the climate is changing due to lack of unicorns.

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>Modeling is not science

*Ahem* Science is entirely a model. Science builds a model of the universe, which can then be compared with observation.

Saying that 'modeling is not science' is like saying finance has nothing to do with money.

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Anonymous Coward

Here since the ice age

and the earth has been warming since, 30 years of measuring do not undo 500,000 years of natural phenomena

Lewis is not evil

do i get moderated? :)

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Re: Here since the ice age

How about 150 years of direct measurements coupled with estimates based on multiple climate proxies going back thousands of years?

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Re: Here since the ice age

Personally I am glad it slightly warmed up from the little ice age. Today our climate is much colder than the Holocene Optimum, Minoan warming, roman warming and the Medieval warming

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