The rate at which ice is disappearing from Greenland and Western Antarctica has been seriously overestimated, according to new research. Contrasting estimates of Greenland ice melt. Previous analysis in blue: New in red. The colour bands represent uncertainty. Credit: Nature Geoscience 'Deviates rather sharply from general …
Re: Forget the science
Granted, I have not yet lived quite a half decade, but I recall when I was about 12 reading in one of those environmentally aware nature magazines that parents bought for their kids about how we were guaranteed to run out of oil within 70 years, and how within 25 it would be unreasonably expensive for the average person to buy what little quantities were still available. We are more than a decade past that point and the only thing so far that has made gas unreasonably expensive for the average person to buy has been political interference in the production of oil.
Re: Forget the science
"Granted, I have not yet lived quite a half decade,"
Half century, surely!
"but I recall when I was about 12 reading in one of those environmentally aware nature magazines that parents bought for their kids about how we were guaranteed to run out of oil within 70 years, and how within 25 it would be unreasonably expensive for the average person to buy what little quantities were still available."
So it was scaremongering, was it? In fact, I remember being taught about the limited lifespan of coal, oil, gas reserves at school, and I doubt that Thatcher was on a green kick, somehow. The only thing at play here is the usual inability to predict the future: people didn't think that there'd be much more oil that easily found, but the exploration techniques have obviously improved over time to make certain oil discoveries viable.
"We are more than a decade past that point and the only thing so far that has made gas unreasonably expensive for the average person to buy has been political interference in the production of oil."
You can argue that the only reason the US imports so much tar/shale-based oil from Canada is because it gives a degree of flexibility in the oil supply, lessening political considerations and constraints, and if only everyone in the Middle East would just settle down and sell oil at cost then we'd all be OK, but the fact is that new exploration does need to enter new and more difficult/dangerous places (in the general, not political sense). Whether the Saudis have a clearance sale on oil or not, the industry would ultimately need to do deepwater drilling in places like the Arctic, which isn't a walk in the park by any means, even if the technology gets developed to do it in a not completely reckless fashion.
The sensible thing to do is to consider that releasing gigatonnes of stored carbon into the atmosphere is probably not a wise move (naysayers should consider things like ocean acidity alongside the greenhouse effect) and that doing most of your energy shopping with one industry is a good way of channelling money through a single pipe with plenty of opportunities for corruption and generally bad stuff. The oil business knows that giving oil away now and then hiking the price is bad for business, so it's obviously going to walk a fine line between undercharging and provoking price shocks and overcharging and making people look for something else.
What's most interesting is how easy it is to keep everyone coming back to the pump even as prices rise to supposedly record levels, and how easily people can be coerced into deriding even the possibility of alternative sources of energy.
What about Erik?
It seems to be a matter of faith with climate scientists that Greenland has been covered in ice for millenia. However historians tell a different story. The coast at least was not icebound even a thousand years ago. It was the Vikings who called it Greenland (or Vinland at any rate) because it's coast was green, covered in vegetation, as distinct from their previous landfall - Iceland - which was pretty barren.
That the Vinkings reached north america is accepted by most as fact now. Erik the Red and his boys established staging posts in Iceland and Greenland they didn't just sail straight from Scandinavia to what is now mainland Canada. So they knew the territory. If they say it was green I'm happy to accept their word over that of a bunch of climate scientists who have demonstrated quite a startling ability to bend the truth over the last few months.
Yeah, Greenland - the paradise of the North...
That they called it "Greenland" was more spin than truth, to attract settlers. Life was always marginal. Read Diamond's "Collapse" for a short introduction.
BTW, Greenland's South coast isn't currently icebound anyway.
I thought the medieval myth was that the Vikings, lacking GPS in the 9th Century, got Iceland and Greenland mixed up. Hence the apparent odd names we're left with today.
Either that, or calling it Greenland was a piece of PR by Erik the Red, to encourage, Icelandic Vikings to colonise what was, in the 10th century, a frozen hellhole.
So: Norse Sagas or Climate Scientists - choose your weapons and take your sides ....
>>"It seems to be a matter of faith with climate scientists that Greenland has been covered in ice for millenia. "
So they *all* claim it was /totally ice-covered/ until the last few decades?
As you're such an expert on what they think, maybe you could show us where they say that, and also when they variously claim it started to become inhabitable.
Obviously, if any of them do think it was totally covered in recent centuries, they must presumably also have some thoughts as to when that stopped being the case.
Honestly, it's a wonder how anyone thinks they have the right to call themself a scientist when there are anonymous geniuses like you around.
No doubt you can accurately reconstruct the entire climate history of an area on the basis of your totally unbiased interpretations of a few placenames.
The idea that Erik called it Greenland as some sort of PR is purely based on the opinion of a few academics. Firstly there is the question of what he would gain by encouraging others. If he were looking for trading opportunities, as is widely believed, then he wouldn't want to encourage others to go the same way. Quite the opposite. Secondly there is the question of Iceland, had he wanted to encourage others to follow him then he would have given that a
Oh and how could he have got Iceland and Greenland confused, unless he knew they were both there? And since Iceland was pretty much the same barren volcanic lump then as it is now it's unlikely he would have called that Greenland isn't it?
Lacking GPS? OK so it's not so easy as using a Tomtom* but Viking navigation techniques were somewhat more accurate than those used by Columbus some 500 years or so later.
*Although Viking navigation seldom sent them up a private driveway in the belief that it was a public road.
"what was, in the 10th century, a frozen hellhole"
And thanks to the latest bit of "climate research", we now know it's going to stay this way for even longer!
"Viking navigation seldom sent them up a private driveway in the belief that it was a public road."
1. The Vikings were rather prone to going up private driveways, en route to pillage, burn, rape etc etc. Hence some portion of the differential distribution of the ABO blood group genes around England.
2. The Vikings came from an area where it is currently, and I think since this derives from tradtion would have been at that time, the case that travellers may go up roads others might consider private, in order to travel.
However, that posting was relatively logical, correct and well-informed by the standards of the crap posted by most people in this page. Look something up guys.
Re: What about Erik?
"It seems to be a matter of faith with climate scientists that Greenland has been covered in ice for millenia."
The only articles of faith in question here are those floating around in your head. There is some pretty good reasoning behind the idea that the huge layer of ice covering most of Greenland didn't build up over the last thousand years.
"However historians tell a different story. The coast at least was not icebound even a thousand years ago."
Greenland has a pretty long coast, and as others point out, it's not completely icebound now.
"It was the Vikings who called it Greenland (or Vinland at any rate) because it's coast was green, covered in vegetation, as distinct from their previous landfall - Iceland - which was pretty barren."
Have you been to either of these places? Iceland isn't some rock in the ocean, you know, and it probably got its name because of the many glaciers visible from the coast. And the greenness of Greenland only supported a limited grazing season for the livestock the Vikings took with them to Greenland: it wasn't lush jungle.
"That the Vinkings reached north america is accepted by most as fact now."
And this is pertinent because...?
"Erik the Red and his boys established staging posts in Iceland and Greenland they didn't just sail straight from Scandinavia to what is now mainland Canada."
No-one is claiming that they did.
"So they knew the territory. If they say it was green I'm happy to accept their word over that of a bunch of climate scientists who have demonstrated quite a startling ability to bend the truth over the last few months."
So you're willing to misinterpret the names given to two land masses on the basis of a deficient understanding of the historical and current geography of those places? Who's bending the truth now?
ssshh.... don't confuse the hippies with facts.
"""It seems to be a matter of faith with climate scientists that Greenland has been covered in ice for millenia. However historians tell a different story."""
Don't confuse the hippies with historical facts. It's not a matter of how badly (or even if) bad stuff is happening, it's whether or not there is a possibility of bad stuff happening is what freaks them out.
Sure telling them that historically the mid-evil warming period allowed farmers to grow crops like grapes far further north then previously possible may seem like it would help them understand how the world climate works.... but that it is irrelevant because it MAY not actually work like that.
Sure telling them that the tree ring data that was used to draw the 'hockey stick' graphs turned out to have been a extremely regional phenomena, but it's the possibility that it COULD be a problem makes it worth doing something about and ruining the lives of millions of people through massive government interference with the economy.
Sure telling them that Carbon Dioxide is only about 0.038% and all of human activity may have rose that to about 0.03802% or 0.03805% and though even though carbon dioxide does actually contribute to global warming the amount of carbon released and STAYING in the atmosphere is still in trace amounts and human activities could only really cause a minute amount of change; even with the best estimates. That may be a fact, but it may still be a possible problem in 200 years so freaking out about it now is the only possible solution.
Sure telling them that a great deal of carbon is released due to deforestation caused by subsistence farmers that do not have the knowledge, economics, or technical ability to actually cultivate the land in a way that makes their farming sustainable and the best way to stop deforestation will be to improve the economic livelihood and education of people living in rain forest areas. Teaching them modern farming techniques, modern chemicals, modern cultivated/domesticated plant species, etc etc.
To hippies that is 'not natural' and therefore 'dangerous' and the only solution is to let those people starve to death while freaking out about people driving cars that are slightly too large and trying to make plastic bags illegal. Because that will save the planet.
The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth's atmosphere is approximately 390 ppm (parts per million) by volume as of 2010[update], and rising by about 1.9 ppm/yr
I have a source, you don't, apparently:
I have a degree in chemistry, so stfu.
But not maths it appears
Thats 0.390% which is virtually the same number as he suggested.
So, AC with a chemistry degree, you're actually agreeing with the original poster here? Only he stated C02 made up 0.038%, citing it as a very low figure. You however contest that it is in fact 0.00039%, thereby aiding his argument, and the figure of increase is even lower?
Where in the name of holy hell did you get your chemistry degree? The online univercity (sic) of Hooville?
>>"Thats 0.390% which is virtually the same number as he suggested."
a) If correcting people's maths, it's probably best not to lose a zero after the decimal point.
b) If responding to a post with a link, it might be worth trying to understand why the link is there, even if that might involve the difficult issue of considering someone's opinion other than your own (I'd suggest the 'and rising by 1.9ppm/year' might be significant)
c) If implicity trying to defend an original poster, it's probably worth trying to understand whether that poster is actually making any kind of sense, assuming that is within your capability.
The original post seemed to be claiming (on the basis of no particular evidence) that all combined human effects on CO2 levels are so small as to be effectively unmeasurable, which seems a bizarre claim, since even the fossil fuel companies don't seem to be trying that argument, let alone the overwhelming majority of more or less honest AGW skeptics.
Not only that, but the original post was simultaneously claiming that humans have no real effect on CO2 levels, but also that the activities of some humans release loads of CO2.
@yet another anonymous mathematician
>>"So, AC with a chemistry degree, you're actually agreeing with the original poster here? Only he stated C02 made up 0.038%, citing it as a very low figure. You however contest that it is in fact 0.00039%, thereby aiding his argument, and the figure of increase is even lower?"
Making it very simple:
100% -> 1,000,000ppm
10% -> 100,000ppm
1% -> 10,000ppm
0.1% -> 1,000ppm
0.01% -> 100ppm
so 0.039% is 390ppm.
Which you would, of course, have noticed if you'd bothered to read the link he posted.
As for the figure for CO2 being 'very low', from your performance so far, I'm not entirely sure you're really qualified to comment on the meaning of any particular figure.
>>"Where in the name of holy hell did you get your chemistry degree? The online univercity (sic) of Hooville?"
Wherever it was, I think I'd rate it rather higher than the place you got your maths degree.
May I most heartily thank...
...the entity who has been running through the thread downvoting posts that they'd rather didn't exist, even when those posts are so narrowly defined and factually-based that they couldn't really hope to argue with them without looking like an idiot.
Especially given the general subject of the thread, though the irony of your actions may well have completely passed /you/ by, it is pretty apparent to many people here, and is also touchingly amusing.
It's so nice that there's a mechanism around to allow even those who can't contribute in writing to participate, and let the world know of the depth of anger that genuinely exists in their bedroom.
Seriously speaking, for people who have genuine and honest concerns about either specific items of climate science, or actual or suggested political policies, the actions of knee-jerk fingers-in-ears deniers must be as frustrating as the actions of the scientifically illiterate fringes of various green organisations must be to people who have rational concerns about the environment.
True, but he does seem to be more somewhat more clueful
than the moron who said volcanoes produce less CO2 than mankind has over his history of burning fossil fuels (although I think I am going have to take up calling them "fossilized" fuels just for fun of it) when it is the reverse which is true and routinely mentioned on the Discovery Channel Mega Disaster episode about super volcanoes.
I guess a lot there depends on exactly how things are specified - per specific year, per specific time period, etc.
I'm sure that people being choosy enough could come out with a vast range of 'true' comparative statements, which (especially if described insufficiently accurately) could no doubt then be exaggerated into an even wider range of bogus statements.
It's really down to why anyone is asking the question, and whether they are prepared to be specific enough about exactly what they're saying, and what they claim it means.
If someone hasn't been specific, then it's probably best not to draw too solid a conclusion form their claims.
If someone, when asked, still fails to be specific about what they're really saying, that is likely to be because they're either honestly uncertain about what they meant, or they were trying to be deceptive.
It seems that in recent times, annual fossil-fuel-sourced CO2 output is something like 100x larger than the highest estimates of volcanic CO2 output.
How much CO2 supervolcano eruptions or flood basalt events might release, while possibly being very interesting, isn't actually relevant if the question being asked is "What are the current/recent influences on atmospheric CO2", which seems to be a typical kind of question if the issue is potential human effects on climate in recent decades/centuries.
Re: ssshh.... don't confuse the hippies with facts.
"Don't confuse the hippies with historical facts. It's not a matter of how badly (or even if) bad stuff is happening, it's whether or not there is a possibility of bad stuff happening is what freaks them out."
When "the facts" are actually some uninformed musings along the lines of "Greenland was *all* green - Erik the Red sez so", substituting actual historical facts with new age fantasies, I think you ought to be careful who you label as "hippies".
"Sure telling them that a great deal of carbon is released due to deforestation caused by subsistence farmers that do not have the knowledge, economics, or technical ability to actually cultivate the land in a way that makes their farming sustainable and the best way to stop deforestation will be to improve the economic livelihood and education of people living in rain forest areas. Teaching them modern farming techniques, modern chemicals, modern cultivated/domesticated plant species, etc etc."
So, "sustainable" farming is about "modern chemicals", is it? Have you any idea where we get the plethora of "modern chemicals" used in your flavour of "sustainable" farming? In fact, in various regions people would be doing genuinely sustainable farming if it weren't for the "developed world" demand for narcotics, but no, let's patronise them for a bit.
"To hippies that is 'not natural' and therefore 'dangerous' and the only solution is to let those people starve to death while freaking out about people driving cars that are slightly too large and trying to make plastic bags illegal. Because that will save the planet."
And now you're off in your own bubble, albeit not one made of plastic, where you can act out both sides of your debate with glove puppets: "The actual debate be damned - I can win this one!"
The title says it all.... Case Closed!
Good luck being heard about that, in Washington
There's too much political legacy* invested in global warming speculations, far too much for people to hear the basic of the science of the matter over the din of loud opinion. Good luck, though! Perhaps some folks in the political hotbeds of the world will eventually be able to make some reasonable sense out of news like this.
* including "warm fuzzy" legacy, the unknown factor in so many popular decisions...
Mine's the one with the Thoreau book in the pocket.
Presumably you're not suggesting that 'More accurate rate of icecap melting determined' is an argument against the existence of /any/ warming-related melting?
Nice and simple
Yes, we are in a period of global warming, it started, at the beginning of the end last ice age, of which there have been not less than 16 since the creation of the earth! this global warming period will continue until the beginning of the next ice age.
like someone posted above, human being place too much importance on themselves. Climatology is the great fraud of man kind, that is all, have a nice day.
making it all a wash
all that ancient CO2 stored under ground in the form of hydrocarbons is getting pumped out of the ground at billions of barrels per day, replacing that with water will take care of the added water from melting ice. And putting all that CO2 back into the air is just going to make it much more comfortable for everyone above 20 deg or so LAT. What's the big deal?
A point to ponder
"(Floating sea ice, like that which makes up most of the Arctic cap apart from Greenland, is less of an issue as its melting doesn't affect the sea level.)"
A thought occurred to me after reading this sentence. Water expands when it changes from a liquid to a solid. When it melts, the water will occupy less volume than the floating sea ice did. That means the oceans will actually have _more_ room to hold meltwater from land ice, causing sea levels to rise even less than predicted. Or is my grasp of physics completely wonky?
Good news, even for folks worried about climate change.
Should we not be happy that one measure of the supposed climactic impact of human-originated CO2 has been overestimated?
I still "believe" that climate change is happening, but the more time we have to get our bearing, settle our scientific disputes and figure out adaptation strategies, the better.
Reality is that 20 yrs ago, the words "climate change" would have meant diddly to anyone on the street and little to many scientists. The biggest polluters are generally democratic Western countries, because we are basically more efficient economically. It'll take a while, more science, more data and probably more obvious problems, before voters are ready to change their consumption and voting patterns.
A series of quick major catastrophes might do the trick as well, but only an idiot would wish for that.
Would also help if the IPCC guys took their PR more seriously and more scientifically. i.e. no more trivially wrong wolf crying about vanishing Himalaya glaciers and the like.
p.s. If climate change turns out to be a mirage, I will on the first flight to Tahiti, dumping CO2 outta my 747 all the way.
Given the effects of global warming on such things as coral reefs, and, far more importantly, rice yields, that we may not be facing coastal flooding quite as soon as expected seems to me to be a rather minor detail. If there were no way to avoid global warming without devastating economic consequences, I could understand ignoring it for as long as we could get away with. But that isn't the case: there's such a thing as nuclear power.
How to save the planet
What I can't understand is if all these people want to 'save the planet' why don't they just turn their computers off ? Would save everyone a lot of bother.
To all you blind chaps
When I was 7, 8 and 9 I used ice-skate on the canals in Northern Germany every year and this was 25 years ago. they have not been able to do it since the late 1980's because the ice is too fin. All over the place you paintings of children skating on the canals dating back to the 19th century.
2003 was the hottest summer in France ever recorded.
Europe used to be thick forest, we cut all the tress, but that did not matter much, until we used coal and later oil at industrial levels - since the planet is getting hotter in places. The pace is accelerating and will continue to until every chinese family has a car they can afford. Forest fires are not an issue, the role trees were playing for centuries was to transform CO2 into O2 - reversing the effect. Trees had millions of years of advance on the animal kingdoms production of CO2 and CH4. Now, deforestation is taking place across the globe, mostly in Aisa and south America - this is bad news, guys. Bio fuel used extensively across South America is also not good, because more CO2 is poured into the atmosphere with ever less tress to absorb it.
Now you can say the scientists are getting the figures wrong, the ice is not melting fast enough bla bla bla .,... the effects are undeniable and we need to react - if we start early, we might not even notice a difference in our lifestyles.
It is undeniable that this is taking place, CO2 along with CH4 (from intensive farming) as well as other gases are known to cause this. We need to act. Our USian friends are also getting hurricanes that get more frequent and stronger every other season ... You act as if you were on the Titanic: sir, don't worry the ship is unsinkable ... until it is too late.
We managed to control CFG somewhat, lets do the same for CO2.
Blind leading the blind
"2003 was the hottest summer in France ever recorded."
Not necessarily the hottest it's ever had. The end.
The North Pole used to be balmy in Dino-time and we weren't to blame. Doesn't mean we want to put it back to that state.
France was under big ol' sheets of ice at another time. Doesn't mean we want to want to put those back there. Oh, wait...
In summary, in mid 2010, we have a NASA correction for NASA figures published a whole year earlier.
Forgive me if I didn't turn on the news that day, but I somehow failed to notice the massive extra urgency given to worldwide climate change amelioration plans (especially the well-known world-leading ones from those guys in Washington) by last year's initial figures.
What exactly did those figures end up doing, so what should corrections end up undoing?
Standard red herring argument
Seems to cover this quite nicely.
On a more serious note, why has the Reg decided to position itself in a position contrary to 98% of climate scientists?
El Reg and scientists
El Reg has long taken the waste water out of scientists. This is perhaps because Computing is really more of an engineering discipline than a scientific one, and an engineer only believes a scientific theory when he has built something that successfully uses the theory.
>>"El Reg has long taken the waste water out of scientists. This is perhaps because Computing is really more of an engineering discipline than a scientific one,"
Well, there are engineers, and then there are journalists.
From looking at the general media, it seems that even journalists with zero scientific understanding are quite happy to write about science as if they understood it, or complain about what 'The Scientists' are doing, as long as they think there's a market for what they write.
The fact that someone is being somewhat hostile to science isn't necessarily an indication that they understand what they're talking about.
Ultimately, you have to judge a journalist on how informed and even-handed they seem to be being, and whether they seem to be saying more than the odd thing that flags up as either irrelevant, misleading, or wrong.
As for engineers v. scientists, most of the engineers I know seem pretty open to science - not necessarily jumping on every speculative bandwagon on the fringes of theoretical physics, but neither stomping round with a smouldering inferiority complex or multiple chips on their shoulders.
At least, that's true for the engineers who are still doing engineering.
Replying using standard red herring argument
Ah the old 98% of climate scientist agree myth......... Someone's been listening too much to the Big Green spinmeisters perhaps???
re El Reg and the scientists
"This is perhaps because Computing is really more of an engineering discipline than a scientific one, and an engineer only believes a scientific theory when he has built something that successfully uses the theory."
or maybe it's just an adjunct of the Salem Hypothesis:
I feel there's been a major shift in editorial direction and style - Andrew O seems to have set the agenda and it's moved to some pretty extreme and frankly irrational viewpoints. They seem to prefer to get their climate science from economists and geologists. Or site single author papers as authorities, not the raving of cranks that they are.
Another inconvenient truth
The sky is not falling. Goldilocks does not exist. Man-made global warming is a myth.
And in other news - Al Gore gets a new mention http://tinyurl.com/29gy7ya Now that is what I call "inconvenient".
I particularly like "... the global warming huckster that flies around the planet on private jets and lives in a home that consumes 45 times the energy of the average American ..."
Too many people.
Until that great big leering elephant in the room is addressed, everything else is a futile waste of time which will only delay the inevitable. It's astonishing how many climate campaigners and scientists never, ever talk about it.
>>"It's astonishing how many climate campaigners and scientists never, ever talk about it."
It's also astonishing how many /other/ people never talk about it either.
Typical media stories about famine in a given country where the population is now far larger than the last time they had a famine there almost never point out that if food supply is marginal, having a continually and rapidly increasing population is not merely asking for trouble, but is pretty much guaranteeing it.
Frequently, even the fact that the population has doubled or more in a generation or two isn't even mentioned, as if the problem was entirely down to failures of food distribution and nothing to do with having many more people to feed.
Such population increases are likely to be a problem for the places involved even in the absence of any human-induced climate change, and quite possibly a serious political problem for other countries as well.
Page = Plank
The Register is becoming the IT version of The Sun, and Lewis Page is the worst culprit. You may as well replace the headline on all his stories with "Good. News. Ruined".
Anyway, why did Page completely skip over and ignore the first paragraph of the report from Nasa?
"Global temperatures are increasing. Sea levels are rising. Ice sheets in many areas of the world are retreating. Yet there’s something peculiar going on in the oceans around Antarctica: even as global air and ocean temperatures march upward, the extent of the sea ice around the southern continent isn’t decreasing. In fact, it's increasing."
Maybe because (apart from the last four words) it doesn't fit in with his crazy belief system? Maybe like a writer for the Sun, he just craves attention? I suppose ultimately, it is easier to ignore the article (apart from those four words) and use it as another prop to his ignorance?
facts, who needs them
from the link:
"we have found a glacial isostatic adjustment model that deviates rather sharply from general assumptions. But at present there are too few data available to verify this independently"
So they made up this model, but it doesn't have any supporting data. Never mind everything is ok now.
AGW is happening in which case we should stop polluting the planet
AGW isn't happening, in which case we should still stop polluting the planet.
We Open University Environmental scientists already knew that
But no one listened;
It was on the telly and the BBC news too,
so who's got egg on their face now, eh?
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