Whence Comes Global Warming

GOREZILLA.serendipityThumb Whence Comes Global WarmingThe debate over global warming continues apace. On one extreme are those who deny global warming is, in fact, occurring, pointing to abnormally cold weather in the Midwest and snow in Phoenix. On the other extreme are those who have concluded that it is the existence of man that is the cause of global warming and that unless we either leave the planet or revert to caveman status, the end is surely near. A pox on both your houses.

There is statistical confirmation that the average ambient temperature has been rising — that is a fact. In contrast, the assertion that greenhouse gases (burning carbon based fuels) are the primary cause of global warming is a theory — not a fact. In fact, the recent report by an international gathering did not conclude that global warming was caused by greenhouse gases but rather concluded that all of the measured global warming could not be attributed to natural causes. That is vastly different than what is portrayed in the major newspapers.
I’ve read about as much about these facts and theories as an old retired lawyer can and I have to admit that I am confused. So could we, just once, have the following questions answered:

Let’s start with the fact of global warming:

1. Where are the stations that measure the ambient temperature of Earth?
2. What percentage of those stations are located in or adjacent to major urban areas (Let’s use areas where there are 50,000 residents or more as the definition of “urban areas”.)
3. Is there any difference between the rate of growth in warming in the urban areas versus rural areas?
4. Given that the vast majority of the Earth’s surface is either water or rural (lightly populated) areas, what ratios were used to adjust for the difference between the growth in warming for urban areas and all other areas?
5. How long has this cycle of global warming been going on?
6. Has the rate of global warming accelerated since the advent of the Industrial Age?
7. When was the last period during which Earth experienced similar warming?
8. What was the cause of the last period of warming?

For those who argue that global warming is merely cyclical, then it would mean that there are periods in history in which the global warming cycle has occurred previously. If those periods preceded the Industrial Age, it would suggest that causes other than greenhouse gases can impact global warming. If global warming has not accelerated since the advent of the Industrial Age, it would suggest that greenhouse gases are not the primary cause since carbon based fuels were not in use prior to the Industrial Age. If there is a significant difference in the ambient air temperature between urban areas and all other areas it might suggest that “global” warming is modest while the “urban” warming is a cause for concern.

And then the disappearing icecaps. In order for the scientists to know that they are melting, they must have measured them both for area and depth. Having done that, the scientist should be able to convert those lost volumes into cubic feet of water that has been converted from ice.

Okay. So here are the questions:

1. How long have the polar icecaps and glaciers been melting?
2. If the polar icecaps have been melting since prior to the advent of the Industrial Age, what caused that melting?
3. Has the rate at which the polar icecaps are melting increased since the advent of the Industrial Age?
4. Where did the water go?
5. Does the volume of water generated from melting polar icecaps equal the volume of water necessary to account for the actual rise in the oceans’ surfaces? If not, why?
6. Are there other areas of the planet in which the ice packs are growing, in either area or depth? If so, how does that volume equate to the volume of ice lost at the polar icecaps?

These aren’t difficult questions to answer. They can help all who are puzzling over the issue of global warming to sift the wheat from the chaff. The point here is that global warming is not the exclusive province of the scientists and the academicians. It is for us, the body politic, to understand and respond accordingly.

The most interesting part of this international study states that you can shut down new emissions completely and it still won’t make any difference for two hundred years — well beyond the time for those advocating dramatic change to take responsibility for their mistakes.

tt twitter big4 Whence Comes Global Warming tt facebook big4 Whence Comes Global Warming tt linkedin big4 Whence Comes Global Warming tt reddit big4 Whence Comes Global Warming

Posted by at 07:05 | Posted in Measure 37 | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Steven Plunk

    Now that many say the debate is over we can actually assume the the debate has just begun. One sure sign of shaky science is one side’s aversion to open discussion. We certainly have it here with global warming scaremongers stifling debate with a variety of methods. Equating sceptics with halocaust deniers is the most shameful tactic but not an unexpected one.

    Our esteemed Governor has jumped into the fray with his attempt to control the state climatologist. This is another example of why sceptics should be on guard, the politicalization of the issue by those on the left. The Governor’s move has certainly cemented my opinion of him as weak minded and opportunistic.

    This debate must be continued and not only on the science but also on the human cost of the measures proposed to reduce CO2. We could easily kill millions in a futile attempt to control our environment.

  • Clay Fouts

    “global warming is not the exclusive province of the scientists”

    I don’t know how you can square this statement with reality unless you believe that the power of fantasy works better than tools of measurement. Any data to which we as lay people will have access will come from scientists and academics. Our understandings depend on them. Sure, we as political agents can choose to heed or ignore conclusions that come from that data, but we cannot possibly expect to make informed decisions without relying on the work of scientists.

    It’s not some elitist club. Scientists have spent the past 500 years refining their system for winnowing out falsehood. It’s not an exclusive system… Anyone can participate, but you have to use and build from the methodologies that have been proven useful since the dawn of the Enlightenment.

    At any rate, data and conclusions pertaining to nearly all of your above questions exists. A cursory reading of the lay material on the subject would educate you to that fact. Unless you wish to focus exclusively on the small but well funded cadre of Exxon-subsidized “scientists”, all of those conclusions solidly point to anthropogenic climate change. As a representative of your citizenry, it’s at their peril that you pretend to have any expertise whatsoever on this matter. I wouldn’t trust someone trained as welder to fly a plane or someone trained as a pilot to put the plane together! If you’re not willing to seek the education and training to actually be a scientist, leave it up to the people who are.

    • Jay Bozievich

      Clay,

      There is a new book out, “Shattered Consensus” by Patrick J. Michaels that has 10 chapters each written by a different SCIENTIST questioning the anthropogenic global warming “consensus”. I suggest you buy a copy.

      The discussion of how scientific data and character attacks are being used in this debate is definitely not the exclusive province of scientist. I notice you dismiss scientist that disagree with your prejudiced conclusion as “Exxon-subsidized”, instead of using data to disprove their opinions.

      The next thing the members of the Church of Anthrogenic Global Warming will do is to compare those of us that do not believe it is a dire enough crises to justify the complete distruction of our modern economic system with Holocoust Deniers. Oh yeah, Ellen Goodman has already done that!

      You guys remind me of the Catholic Church trying to stifle those that did not believe the Heavens circled the earth, close off all real debate with cries of “Heritic!” and threaten to excommunicate those that disagree. (George Taylor for example.)

      • Clay Fouts

        Funny how these “SCIENTISTs” can only get their “research” published in the lay press because the body of scientific peers that has made possible the thought and engineering responsible for the Industrial Revolution, modern medicine and sending humans to the Earth’s moon thinks that their ideas and methodologies don’t pass muster. It’s up to you, of course, to think you know better. It’s your choice. Politicians, however, have a different standard to uphold and should weigh strongly the input of actual, reputable experts when trying to craft public policy.

        I don’t use “Exxon-funded” as a dismissive, ad hominem attack. I use it as a descriptive handle for a quality that these folks share: They nearly all receive money from industry giants who stand to lose a lot if the results of climate science are taken to heart. That fact in and of itself does not in any way disqualify their findings, but when taken in the context of the other fact that they can’t get their findings published leads one to further question the validity of this type of inquiry.

        • Jay Bozievich

          Clay,

          As one of those engineers that are making our modern standard of living possible, I am more than just a lay person commenting on this subject and the current state of science.

          As to whether a scientific opinion has more weight because it is “peer reviewed” is not relevant is today’s politically charged use of science. Organizations that control what are considered “peer review” are often the beneficiaries of funding to support a specific theory. If a scientist presents a theory or conclusion with data to suppot it, should that theory be dismissed because it did not appear in a UN or EPA funded journal? Copernicus did not get peer approval of his theory that the earth moved in the Heavens and now it is generally accepted as fact.

          If you are going to preface some scientist as paid by Exxon, then you also need to identify who is funding the other scientist. Are they funded by uninterested entities or do they have something to lose if global warming is not as big a threat. Will their contributions dry up? Will they lose political power?

          It is sad that science has become so politicized, I wish everyone would step back and look at this with fresh eyes like Larry’s original post was trying to do. Unfortunately, this has become a lever for some to use to gain political power to impose their vision of the world.

          The worst thing is the attempt by many to cut-off any debate or re-examination of the theory by stating that “the argument is over”. It sounds alot like an extreme fundementalist religious sect insisting there is no other true religion than theirs and that “the argument is over.”

          Welcome to the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming! Doubters will be excommunicated and shunned!

          PS. I have never recieved any money from Exxon or any other oil, coal or gas company, but I am open to any donations they wish to send my way! Shoot, a free tank of gas for my Volvo would be great!

          • Clay Fouts

            “Are they funded by uninterested entities or do they have something to lose if global warming is not as big a threat.”

            Please, do share your ideas of the corrupting monetary connection between peer-reviewed climate change science and… the omnipotent solar power industry? The powerful cadre of savvy investors who have “put” options on Exxon stock? I just don’t see it.

            The peer-review network is funded primarily by universities and politically disinterested scientific institutions. Scientific journals aren’t refusing to accept the naysayers’ articles because of their conclusions; they refuse them because of their methodology, quite often with lengthy and public critique describing exactly why their research doesn’t meet quality control standards. It’s your choice to dismiss this fact as “political bias” if it makes you feel better.

          • Chris McMullen

            Yeah Clay, there’s no money on the environmental movement. None whatsoever.

            Has Michael Mann released HIS entire hockey stick methodology and algorithms yet? Funny how he dismisses McIntyre and McKitrick’s work so indecisively.

            Oh, and can you explain to all us lay persons why the ice caps on Mars are shrinking?

  • Steven Plunk

    Mr. Fouts,

    I think you misunderstand the statement. The point being made is once we have a solid understanding of what causes global warming and what can be done to deal with it and how much it will cost then it is up to the public and the elected representatives to choose a course of action.

    For example, what if it is determined that we have passed a tipping point and we cannot effectively stop a warming of 5 degrees over the next one hundred years. If cannot stop it then why would we reduce world economic growth that would yield no results? Keep in mind economic growth is what fuels the great advancements in science like vaccines and disease resistant food plants. Economic growth allows us to reduce infant mortality rates and keep older people warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The trade offs should be determined by the people not a select group of unelected scientists.

    Scientists have a duty to educate and inform the public. Scientists do not occupy a higher moral or intellectual level when it comes to policy decisions. I am afraid many have elevated themselves to that position.

    While you only want a pilot to fly the plane the airline is run by those with business degrees who make the flight possible. The people represent the management of humanity and should make the decisions, not the scientists.

    Perhaps you could address the points made by Mr. Huss. Doing so would help educate many of us who still see the issue as unresloved. Your point regarding the evolution of science and it’s methods is well taken. Unfortunately global warming science has not followed the classical model of scientific enquiry. Because of that sceptics like myself are very uncomfortable with where this is going.

    • Clay Fouts

      “The people represent the management of humanity and should make the decisions, not the scientists.”

      This is a very important distinction to make. However, it doesn’t appear to be one that Mr. Huss is making. Save for a final one wondering whether we can do anything to reverse climate change anyway, he’s asking scientific questions, not political questions. They all question the validity of the results of climate science. I’m not arguing that we should change our government into meritocratic panel of experts, but we should leave science to the scientists. We can choose policy according to our own values, and we are free to choose our values as we like. We are not free to dismiss scientific results because we don’t like them or simply think we know better. Fact is, in general, we don’t.

      As far as resources that seek to explain the results and methodologies of climate science, the difference between “weather” and “climate”, and address how global temperature measurements are controlled for heat island effect, I recommend: http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/03/guides-by-category.html
      and the more technical: http://www.realclimate.org/

      • Steven Plunk

        Mr. Fouts,

        Thank you for your response. I appreciate those who approach public policy disagreements with civility.

        I followed your advice and checked the links to cited. While both are interesting each has the same built in deficencies that result in scepticism. The blog author himself points out he is a layman with a layman’s understanding of the issue. A look at his profile exposes an extreme leftist bias. While this can fall into the trap of ignoring the message because of the messenger I see this differently. Far from being an unbiased sourcde of information his political agenda undermines his reliability.

        The realclimate website includes as contributors Mann of the famous hockeystick projection. I can think of no other single scientist who has more at stake in this debate. The problem with the “hockeystick” is Mann will not release computer code information used in the modeling. This failure of disclosure, in many opinions, nullifies his work.

        Both sites are interesting but not convincing when subject to competing ideas and hypothesis.

        There are still too many questions for this to be settled science let alone settling the policy path we must choose.

        One of the things that most disturbs me in this debate is the urgency AGW proponents have attached to the debate. In a world billions of years old they are talking about something having to be done immediately in order to save the planet. That urgency makes this smell of political-sociological manipulation rather than science. It is not the first time science has been used in this manner and I doubt the last.

        If this thing is worth dealing with then I expect another ten or twenty years of study is worthwhile.

        • Clay Fouts

          “Far from being an unbiased sourcde of information his political agenda undermines his reliability.”

          Yes, he’s a layperson who is compiling information he’s gleaned from peer reviewed sources. He cites these sources where relevant. You can read them yourself and see if your conclusions differ. His personal values may be what motivate him to do all the work to make this compilation, but the material he cites is politically neutral.

          Same with RealClimate. RealClimate itself is not a peer-reviewed journal. Many of the people whose writing appears on that site also get published in journals, but the material on there is a compilation from other sources. It matters very little if Michael Mann’s research is completely bogus. His research is but one element among many that all point to anthropogenic climate change. His famous “hockey stick” indicates that the world is quickly getting warmer, at a rate faster than at any point in the past several hundred thousand years. No one — not even Exxon — denies this any longer as it’s been corroborated by other sources and techniques.

          The science is settled. The recent IPCC report, one of the most peer-reviewed documents published ever, states that at least 90% of the climate change currently underway can be attributed to human causes. It does *not* say that we’re 90% sure that climate change has human causation, as some sources like to spin it. We know that we’re causing it. The only point of debate is whether or not we’re causing that remaining 10% and whether or not we can do anything useful at this point to reverse the process.

          This isn’t about saving the planet. It’s about saving its inhabitants… primarily, us. The planet will chug along just fine without us, just like it did four billion years ago. The degree to which the only resistance to this science comes from heavily monied, vested interests is what really smells.

          • http://www.DebunkingPortland.com jim karlock

            * Clay Fouts* Same with RealClimate. RealClimate itself is not a peer-reviewed journal. Many of the people whose writing appears on that site also get published in journals, but the material on there is a compilation from other sources.
            *JK:* Here is a little gem from RealClimate:
            At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations. These terminations are pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages that happen every 100,000 years or so. realclimate.org/index.php?p=13

            The text goes on to explain how we do not know what starts global warming, but AFTER 800 years of warming, CO2 continues the warming.

            GOT THAT: We do not know what starts past Antarctic warming. On one of your favorite sites.

            * Clay Fouts* It matters very little if Michael Mann’s research is completely bogus.
            *JK:* It matters a great deal, because his hockey stick is the most impressive looking “evidence” that you believers have. In fact it was thoroughly debunked by the NAS. Mann didn’t even get the name of the statical process he used right. Bristle cone pines were known to be unreliable temperature indicates, but he used them anyway. If they are removed from his data set, the hockey stick disappears into ordinaryness.

            * Clay Fouts* His research is but one element among many that all point to anthropogenic climate change.
            *JK:* Much of it based on the same false methods that Mann used. See the NAS report and the Wagman paper on the statistical errors.

            * Clay Fouts* His famous “hockey stick” indicates that the world is quickly getting warmer, at a rate faster than at any point in the past several hundred thousand years.
            *JK:* The famous “hockey stick” is, at best, a major blunder, at worst, a clever fabrication.

            * Clay Fouts* No one — not even Exxon — denies this any longer as it’s been corroborated by other sources and techniques.
            *JK:* See saveportland.com/Climate/index.html

            * Clay Fouts* The science is settled.
            *JK:* That is an outright lie.
            *Science is almost NEVER settled.* For instance, new research is showing that the sun is a better fit to past temperatures than CO2. Further a lab experiment shows that cosmic rays can influence clouds. I am under the impression that there has NEVER been a lab experiment proving that CO2 actually causes warming. Further H2O gas has more warming effect than CO2 due to there being much more of it.

            * Clay Fouts* We know that we’re causing it. The only point of debate is whether or not we’re causing that remaining 10% and whether or not we can do anything useful at this point to reverse the process.
            *JK:* Pure BS

            Thanks
            JK

          • Clay Fouts

            *JK (who still won’t deny receiving money to spread his disinfomation):* “The text goes on to explain how we do not know what starts global warming, but AFTER 800 years of warming, CO2 continues the warming.”

            I already responded to this drivel elsewhere: http://commissionersam.com/node/2071#comment-31636

            *JK (who still won’t deny receiving money to spread his disinfomation):* “Pure BS”

            Whomever is paying you sure is not getting their money’s worth. An uppity 4th-grader could cut this level of critique for free!

  • Tim Lyman

    1. The IPCC report has not yet been released and is not scheduled for release until March. What has been released is a “summary for policymakers” (a propaganda piece, as all policymaker summaries are) written not by a large group of scientists, but by a small (16) group of political appointees, almost none of whom are scientists, and all of whom are enjoying a first class ride on the global warming gravy train. This is the same group that axed an entire chapter from the 1998 report because it did not support the human caused global warming theory.

    2. Michael Mann is a fraud and should be driven out of the scientific community for deliberately presenting fraudulent research to advance a political agenda (the “Hockey Stick”). That he is still highly respected within the pro human caused global warming community speaks volumes about their level of scientific integrity and their willingness to put politics ahead of science.

    3. The science is very far from settled. Science is not determined by consensus. 500 years ago the scientific consensus was that the earth was flat and was the center of the universe. In much the same way leftist scientists treat those with whom they politically disagree today; dissenting scientists were ostracized and demonized. One of the worst sins of the human caused global warming scientists is that they refuse, for the most part, to even look at other possibilities. This is just plain foolish.

  • Clay Fouts

    “500 years ago the scientific consensus was that the earth was flat and was the center of the universe.”

    And in 500 years — if anyone’s still around — they’ll be saying the same thing about ACC naysayers.

    “One of the worst sins of the human caused global warming scientists is that they refuse, for the most part, to even look at other possibilities.”

    Examples?

    • chris McMullen

      Read this and educate yourself, Fouts. Peer review is not all cut and dries as you think.

      http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Pope_L.pdf

      • Clay Fouts

        A grudge match between professionals? And other people are gossiping about it? Who’da thunk it? The obvious answer is to ask Exxon to settle the matter. That will provide balance.

        I never said peer review was cut and dry and represented the perfection of human knowledge. Just like a democratic republic, it has its limitations. But success is your proof, and peer review has proven to give the best, most reliable results. This is especially the case when compared to the “corporate sponsorship” model.

  • Jerry

    You crazy fools! It is the SUN that is most responsible for the recurring temperature variations we have on earth. We have had much more extreme variations in our past – regardless of any greenhouse gases. To think man can be so powerful is folly.
    If you want to curtail your activities to reduce greenhouse gas, go right ahead. Just don’t mandate it for me when it will not do anything to help.

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)