The Met Office, home of UK weather soothsaying, is getting its climate research budget chopped by a quarter after the Ministry of Defence ended financial support to focus on "current operations." A loss of £4.3m ($7m) funding will hit the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change, according to the science journal Nature. The …
@AC 08:42 You are correct and SO2 was wrong, I was meaning NO2 and the other non-carbon emissions from aircraft which affect upper atmosphere balances. Blame it on lack of sleep :)
@CTG - I don't think the US is the be-all and end all (for the record, I don't even live there). My point with regards to surfacestations is that what has happened to stations in the US can be extrapolated to have happened around the rest of the world as well, and there is unlikely to be proper compensation applied to the data on a world wide basis. With people such as the head of the NCDC publicly praising his work as valuable, yes, I do consider it a reliable source for information on the potential microclimate effects.
With regards to sea surface temperature measurements, my complaint is that they only really date back as far as 1856 gaining increasing accuracy over the last half century, and satellite observations have only happened since the 1980s. On the other hand, I admit the older data is being steadily refined and a lot of measurement bias is being compensated for. Still, it is only over a very short timeframe, and records information following the end of the little ice age. Of course it will show a rising trend.
Incidentally, can you tell me what caused the LIA? Was it a blip? What is the trend in temperature over the last five thousand years and what should our temperature be now if the LIA isn't considered?
What I strongly object to is the insistence that 'the consensus of climate scientists' know what is happening and why. The whole point of scientific debate is that it should be exactly that - there should be people presenting arguments in favour of all possible causes, and dissenting views must be tolerated. They may be wrong, but I will defend to the death their right to try and prove it.
Insert irrelevant statement about corporate and university politics and changes in what research gets more funding here.
Um, no. GHGs are the ones that block outgoing IR radiation. SO2 has the opposite effect by acting as an aerosol that blocks incoming solar radiation at shorter wavelengths. Now, when S02 gets into the atmosphere, it tends to precipitate as H2SO4, as the AC pointed out. This is commonly known as acid rain. Regardless of its effect on radiative balance, once the precipitated H2SO4 hits the ground, its effects are all too obvious.
This is why several international treaties were put in place to eliminate SO2 emissions. These treaties took effect from the end of the 70s. This is also why the temperature record shows a relatively stable period from about 1940 to 1970 - the underlying warming trend caused by CO2 emissions was being masked by increased SO2 emissions due to large amounts of dirty coal and oil being burnt during that period.
SO2 and CO2 are not the same thing at all. It is certainly not at all reasonable to call SO2 a GHG, because it is not a GHG. Calling SO2 a GHG would be like calling alcohol a stimulant, i.e utter bollox.
What about the big hot thing?
@AC Also before you bring it up, yes I am aware that ozone is itself a GHG and the ozone layer acts to increase absorbtion & raise the temperature.
But to elaborate on the point I had initially mentioned in passing with E(in) = E(out)+ E(abs)
E(in) is the total amount of solar energy entering the atmosphere
E(out) is the amount that is directly reflected back into space again due to the albedo (~30%)
E(abs) is the amount that is absorbed and later radiated back out as heat (~70%)
The fundamental thing is that the total amount entering always matches the total amount leaving. The difference for us is in what percentage the balance lies. More reflection, cooler climate. More absorbtion, warmer climate.
See http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/radiation_facts.html for more details
The big point which often seems to get overlooked is that increasing the amount coming in will naturally increase the amount that must leave, and since our albedo is fairly constant that means the temperature will rise until the albedo changes to bring things back into balance, whether through increasing from water clouds, or forest fires or whatever..
What attention is being put towards studying increases/decreases in solar activity since CO2 became the be-all and end-all of climate change?
I don't think there is a problem with people providing alternate points of view. I just think that if people are going to question a scientific theory, they should do it with science. Watts' pretty pictures are just pretty pictures. They do not constitute science. If he actually had some solid, statistically significant evidence that there was a problem, he would be listened to. But to say that you can extrapolate his results to the rest of the world is just laughable.
Just think about what he is saying. If a temperature recorder is situated next to an air conditioner, why would it show an *increasing* trend in temperature over the years? Air conditioners have not been around forever, so the temperature record for each site that is next to one should show a step change in temperatures at the time when the air conditioner was installed. But they don't, they just show the same gradual increase in temperatures that temperature stations in the middle of nowhere also show, that temperature stations all around the world show, because global average temperatures are increasing.
Show me some actual science that contradicts the AGW theory, and I will listen to you. The one thing that climate scientists and skeptics have in common is that they would all love the AGW theory to be wrong. But it isn't.
You really need to broaden your reading. One of the common memes put about by the denialist spin campaign is that "climate scientists believe that CO2 is the only cause of the greenhouse effect, and ignore all other possible sources like the sun". This is completely untrue.
Climate science is very clear that the greenhouse effect has multiple components. The biggest source of the effect is actually from water vapour. Then there is the effect from trace gases like CO2, CH4 etc. The effect is then further modulated by solar activity (i.e. the sunspot cycle) and internal negative and positive feedbacks from oceanic oscillations and the like.
Now, in the absence of any one of these factors changing significantly, the climate would still exhibit a lot of noise, as all of the various factors play off against one another. But since the 19th century, one of the variables has been steadily increasing - CO2. Result? Temperatures have also increased, exactly as the greenhouse theory predicts.
Solar activity has been pretty much constant over the last 6 or 7 solar cycles (i.e. 70 or 80 years), whereas temperatures have climbed steadily over that period. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that incoming energy from the sun has increased during this period of temperature increases, so it must be something else, i.e. CO2.
And once again someone misses my point that we are still talking about different timescales.
'Since the 19th century temperature has been steadily increasing' Yes, we came out of the little ice age, so temperatures went up. You talk of the last 70-80 years as being a significant amount of time, but the problem is that we actually don't know what the temperature *should* be without anthropogenic influences.
We don't know what caused the little ice age. We don't know if the medieval warm period was normal or out of the ordinary.
Take a look at the graph at http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_01/
It is a record of a particular isotope of oxygen found in greenland icesheets and gives a good idea of temperature changes. Spot the trend? Over the last 250k years the variation has been getting more severe compared with earlier. The highs are higher and the lows lower than at say 500k years. We also don't know why this is. What you do see though is that our current temperature is abnormally high when compared with the historical record, but roughly equates to the 125k year high.
By referring to solar output, I'm talking about a process of centuries and more not decades - did the amount of solar input change between 1000 & 1400, or 1400 & 1800? The data is rarely published outside of university circles so I can't say.
The first thing I learned about graphs in statistics is that they are usually biased to promote or hide something. Look for changing scales, asymmetric axes, and particularly choosing beneficial points of origin. I can't find it now, but regularly reprinted are temperature graphs where the timescale is logarithmic or keeps changing timescales, so the variation in the last 1000 is shown as being more extreme than the 500k years beforehand. Transposed onto a graph with a constant timescale, and the variation becomes much more regular.
Simplistic comment is everyone lies somewhere, the issue is keeping an open mind to all possiblities until they can be definitively ruled out and I find most of the ideas on the 'denial' side of the fence are being shouted down rather than proved wrong because actual proof for or against is harder to obtain.
I'm not actually in favour of either side in this debate, I'm supporting contrary views on here because the majority of people won't consider them.
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