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Climate Change

By John Hargreaves 4 September 2014 99

island-stock-020914

Just to open the batting… did anyone notice the Canberra Times article page 7 entitled “Aid for island nations hit by warming a moral duty”?

It contains a picture of an island under water. Yeah right. This is a picture of a swimming pool in an island resort, the Sheraton Fiji (I think) has one such swimming pool. There is a snack bar at a level where you swim up to it to get snacks and drinks. Don’t let a fact get in the way! Sprung CT!

The article however, does raise some concerns. This is a really big issue for the islanders.

I went to Kiribati in 1998 as part of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association gig. I was a newly minted MLA. The conference taught me heaps about parliamentary procedure and purity but enough of that some other time.

Talking to the locals, I found that they had three big concerns.

The first was power – they ran their power off diesel generators and they had to have the diesel delivered by sea. Always a bit precarious.

The second was water. Although surrounded by sea water, rainfall was not all that plentiful and they had often to rely on imported water.

But the biggest concern they had was rising sea water. The Island of Tarawa was only a metre and a half or so above sea level and a decent tsunami or king tide would wash clean over the island.

However, they were really concerned that the rising of sea levels would eventually see their island submerged.

The conference discussed what next. One issue was… what could be done to save the island. Answer – nothing. A climate sceptic from New Zealand thought it was just a natural evolutionary thing and nothing to do with global warming exacerbated by mankind. I disagreed.

Another issue was … who was responsible and what should they do to help. This caused the cats to scatter!

Most blamed the industrialized nations of China and the US. Others blamed the whole world saying that the UN should co-ordinate a rescue package and that the member countries should chip in to pay for it. Yeah right again. The US is always behind in its payments to the UN anyway!

The same thoughts were shared with me when I visited Vanuatu with my grandsons’ footy team, New Caledonia when I went there for a holiday. And these are only some of the islands I have visited and talked to the locals about stuff.

Any thoughts?

What’s Your opinion?


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HenryBG 11:57 am 14 Sep 14

CaptainSpiff said :

HenryBG said :

And yet…every single national science agency agrees with me.

This is a typical AGW-believer response. When asked for evidence, you come up with an appeal to authority.
.

When I want open heart surgery, I will rely on a cardiac surgeon.

Presumably, you’ll be asking your local plumber, or whoever happens to have opinions that reinforce your own beliefs.

Luckily, that’s not how science works. Referring to established scientific facts is not an example of the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority” that you refer to. This is typical for deniers – a very poor grasp of logic, and constant misuse of logical markers. This is because climate science denial is very clearly associated with poor education and lack of intellect.

The person exhibiting “believer” behaviour here is yourself: you reject the expert, professional opinions of every national scientific academy on this planet, and you reject the basic, accepted scientific facts.
Why do you reject these? Personal belief.
Luckily, science doesn’t work that way – if somebody wants others to believe an idea, s/he’s going to have to provide plenty of evidence.
And evidence is precisely what the denier mob has none of. Not a skerrick. It’s all

“the greenhouse gas effect of doubling CO2, based on physics, is calculated to be somewhere between 1 and 2 degrees. There’s nothing to debate there,”

“No debate”?

This is what the science says:
“likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5 °C with a best estimate of about 3 °C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5 °C. Values substantially higher than 4.5 °C cannot be excluded,”

Looks like plenty of debate to me.

So, why would you state something that is clearly not true?

What I suspect you have done is you have confused “radiative forcing” with “climate sensitivity”.
“Climate sensitivity” is the net effect on climate, with all the feedbacks calculated in.

CaptainSpiff 9:44 pm 13 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

And yet…every single national science agency agrees with me.

This is a typical AGW-believer response. When asked for evidence, you come up with an appeal to authority.

If the science is so strong, why not present it, rather than appealing to an authority?

I wonder if you understand that the greenhouse gas effect of doubling CO2, based on physics, is calculated to be somewhere between 1 and 2 degrees. There’s nothing to debate there, it’s just a bunch of equations. As you can probably appreciate, a moderate warming of 1 to 2 degrees is not really cause for concern, certainly not the hand-wringing antics of the AGW crowd.

What AGW theory proposes however, is that this moderate warming will be significantly amplified by feedback effects on water vapour, and that’s where the ridiculously vague projections of 1.5 to 8 degrees of warming come from. It’s generally accepted that the feedback effects are poorly understood – and yet here we have massive warming scenarios based almost entirely on feedback effects.

You also seem to think that the climate system is well understood in terms of input and output. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we had such an understanding, we would have climate models today that would accurately match past trends and accurately forecast future trends. We have nothing of the sort. IPCC projections deviate more and more each year from measured trends.

IPCC apologists like yourself prefer to explain this deviation by saying that the heat is going into places that we can’t measure. Well, how convenient… So here we have science based on a hypothesis that is impossible to either validate or invalidate. One also has to wonder, if our understanding of climate is as complete as you say, how come we didn’t know in advance that this would happen?

HenryBG said :

The bottom line is that you are setting the weight of advanced, professional scientific research and analysis up against some rather crude and clunky poorly-thought-out objections to that science. You quite simply are not in the same intellectual league as the people whose ideas you are criticising.

Yet another appeal to authority, I note.

As I’ve written previously, there’s nothing wrong with appealing to authority, but you have to concede that doing so makes this a political argument, not a scientific one. It also solidifies the case that the science is weak. Strong science doesn’t need consensus or appeal to authority – it can stand on its own legs.

dungfungus 5:02 pm 13 Sep 14

Scoring after latest round:
Captain Spiff +10
Henry BG -1

HenryBG 4:20 pm 13 Sep 14

CaptainSpiff said :

HenryBG said :

CaptainSpiff said :

So the scientific evidence for AGW consists of a selection of computer models,
.

No, that isn’t it.

Some nice simple explanations have been provided on this thread. Go back up and study them

Reading your own posts, you seem to think that:

1 – Evidence of a warming globe is evidence of CO2 induced warming.
2 – CO2’s property as a greenhouse gas means it’s increased concentration must be causing the observed warming.

(1) is just silly.

And yet…every single national science agency agrees with me.

Why *is* that, do you think?
Do you suppose there is a chance that you do not understand the science that underpins this opinion?

Above, you say “it’s silly”. However, seeing as it is in fact true, then what is it that you are missing?

There are two things you seem desperate to “not get”.

1/ If there is a changing climate, there must be a reason for that changing climate. The Earth doesn’t just spontaneously get hotter or colder, Earth is a system and there are outputs and inputs. Change the outputs and or the inputs and you change the equilibrium temperature.
So…*what* is currently changing?
There are lots of things that have changed the Earth’s climate over the last few billion years:
– changing distance to the Sun
– changing output from the Sun
– increased vulcanism causing solar shading
– meteorite strikes, causing solar shading
– changing Earth albedo, reducing solar input
– changing atmosphere, increasing/reducing Earth radiation emission

So what is changing *today*? Not vulcanism, and not the Sun.

The only thing that is currently changing is the Earth atmosphere, through the addition by humans of CO2, CH4, and some other potent greenhouse gases.
That is what is changing *today* and *that* change, which is obviously a change that causes climate change, is obviously the cause of current climate change.
(It is necessary to spell this out to people who are in total denial.)

The other thing you are desperate to reject is the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect. This is 100% established, factual, science. You just don’t *get* to reject it, you would have to disprove it, and that’s obviously not going to happen. So you can question whether adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming all you like, you will never change the fact that it does. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and basic physics shows that it traps heat.

One final misconception you seem to have is that there should be some linear relationship between CO2 *emissions* and our temperature measurements. I’ve read this particular silliness before – I can’t remember where, but it was an invention by one of the fossil-fuel lobbyists who do no research but publish lots of misinformation in order to influence public opinion and hence government policy.
Changing the atmospheric composition as we have creates an imbalance between incoming radiation and outgoing radiation. This means that heat is accumulating on Earth and will continue to accumulate until equilibrium is re-established.
Not all this accumulating heat is going to cause any increase in temperature
and
Not all this heat is going to places where we actually have thermometers

The bottom line is that you are setting the weight of advanced, professional scientific research and analysis up against some rather crude and clunky poorly-thought-out objections to that science. You quite simply are not in the same intellectual league as the people whose ideas you are criticising.

CaptainSpiff 3:17 pm 13 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

CaptainSpiff said :

So the scientific evidence for AGW consists of a selection of computer models,
.

No, that isn’t it.

Some nice simple explanations have been provided on this thread. Go back up and study them

Reading your own posts, you seem to think that:

1 – Evidence of a warming globe is evidence of CO2 induced warming.
2 – CO2’s property as a greenhouse gas means it’s increased concentration must be causing the observed warming.

(1) is just silly. It’s incontestable that the earth has been warming for at least the last 150 years, and with a similar on and off trend during that whole period. We have glacier records going back hundreds of years, and receding the whole time, not just the last 50 years. Evidence of a warming climate is only just that – evidence of a warming climate. If you want to implicate CO2 emissions, faith is not enough – some sort of evidence is needed. You’ve claimed that computer models do not constitute evidence – so what does?

2) There are many factors affecting the climate. You seem to think that CO2 emissions are a control knob for the climate system – turn it up for more warmth, turn it down for less warmth. This simplistic view completely ignores other climate factors, not to mention feedback effects, and is roundly contradicted by temperature records of the last 50 years, which do not demonstrate a correspondence to CO2 emissions. CO2 concentration has risen in a linear fashion, while global temperature has continued the generally rising, on-and-off trend it had before CO2 emissions became significant.

Transitioning from fossil fuel to renewable energy is great, but that transition has to be made in a rational and realistic way. Part of being realistic, is to concede that science currently does not know the effects of CO2 emissions on the climate system. The climate was changing before CO2 emissions came into play, and it will continue to change now and in the future, one way or another. The current rate of change does not exceed previous rates of change – in fact temperature measurements have shown a flat trend now for the last decade and a half.

HenryBG 1:29 pm 13 Sep 14

Aha! There’s a thing called the “World Glacier Monitoring Service”.

Sounds like exactly what we need.

http://www.geo.uzh.ch/microsite/wgms/

http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/pdfs/5.pdf

Picture:
http://nsidc.org/glims/glaciermelt/images/graph1.gif

Alternative graphic:
https://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/images/global-glacier-mass-balance-2012.jpg

Clearly, whoever told you that glaciers are growing wasn’t telling a story reflected in the facts.

HenryBG 12:26 pm 13 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

From Physical Geography, William Morris Davis, Professor of Physical Geography in Harvard University, published 1898:
“The length of glaciers is found to increase and decrease slowly in successive years. For a time they lengthen or advance; then they melt back or retreat; the change being completed in the Alps in a period of about thirty-five years. This is believed to result chiefly from a variation in the snowfall.
A change of snow supply is sooner indicated by a variation in the end of a short than of a long glacier; hence all the glaciers of a mountain range do not vary together.”

From: http://hydrologynz.co.nz/downloads/20071015-094857-JoHNZ_2001_v40_2_Chinn.pdf please read the section titled Ongoing Snowline Monitoring which I will quote from.
“……the data collected have shown that the trend of glacier recession (New Zealand) over the past 100 years has reversed, with the glaciers showing inferred positive balances in most years since 1978.
Currently, all except a few glacier fronts are thickening and advancing”

It’s easy to find the populous stuff about so called climate change on the internet but the truth takes a a bit longer.
Now I have demolished the myth about glaciers disappearing I will look at the other false claims of the alarmists and report back.
Factoid indeed.

Do you think – just maybe – that there might be a more uptodate source than your 100-year-old textbook?

The National Snow & Ice Data Centre is good:
http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/glaciers/questions/move.html

And contrary to your odd link and its claim that “most glaciers are advancing”,
http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/glaciers/questions/climate.html
“Since the early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been retreating at unprecedented rates. “

Now, checking the link you provide, I find it says the following:
“Over the last century, New Zealand glaciers have shortened by an average of 38%…Associated with this retreat there has been a loss of 23% to 32% of glacierised area…making the 1990’s extent of glacier ice probably less than it any time of the past 5000 years.”

So, not only is your link *not* about the current situation of the world’s glaciers, it isn’t even consistent with what you say it says..

dungfungus 11:18 am 13 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

CaptainSpiff said :

So the scientific evidence for AGW consists of a selection of computer models,
.

No, that isn’t it.

Some nice simple explanations have been provided on this thread. Go back up and study them

One would need a long sabbatical to analyse those “simple explanations”.

HenryBG 7:52 pm 12 Sep 14

CaptainSpiff said :

So the scientific evidence for AGW consists of a selection of computer models,
.

No, that isn’t it.

Some nice simple explanations have been provided on this thread. Go back up and study them

dungfungus 6:11 pm 12 Sep 14

CaptainSpiff said :

HenryBG said :

When you hear people complaining about “climate models”, this is what they are complaining about – research into sensitivity. After analysing past data to discover relationships between various variables and temperature outcomes, these researchers have to create a model that tracks all these variables, then input a time-series of values for each of these variables and then adjust their algorithm so that it hindcasts correctly.

So the scientific evidence for AGW consists of a selection of computer models, programmed according to the consensus position, then tweaked through hindcasting to confirm that same consensus position?

Isn’t it a worry that when projected forward past the fitted hindcast period, these same models are unable to track observed climate trends?

Does science today have a physical model for how the global climate system works? What are the feedback effects, what sign are they, and what magnitude?

The sensitivity is estimated at 1.5 to 8 degrees – don’t you think that’s pretty vague?

Without an underlying coherent physical model, using computer models to predict climate is like using computer models to predict financial markets. There can be some short-term predictive success, more due to luck than anything else. On any longer time scale, the chaotic and complex nature of the system means unanticipated and unpredictable factors will soon overwhelm the model.

One needs either considerable faith, or considerable trust in authority, to think of climate change as settled science.

On the subject of climate change modelling, there are hundreds of software applications available on line which will enable anyone (student preferably) to predict the same as climate research scientists.
http://edgcm.columbia.edu/
Nice little earner for somebody.
What was it I was saying about carpetbaggers earlier on this thread?
As I also said earlier, who needs more scientists?
I’ll activate the force-field now to diffuse the incoming death rays.

CaptainSpiff 10:30 am 12 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

When you hear people complaining about “climate models”, this is what they are complaining about – research into sensitivity. After analysing past data to discover relationships between various variables and temperature outcomes, these researchers have to create a model that tracks all these variables, then input a time-series of values for each of these variables and then adjust their algorithm so that it hindcasts correctly.

So the scientific evidence for AGW consists of a selection of computer models, programmed according to the consensus position, then tweaked through hindcasting to confirm that same consensus position?

Isn’t it a worry that when projected forward past the fitted hindcast period, these same models are unable to track observed climate trends?

Does science today have a physical model for how the global climate system works? What are the feedback effects, what sign are they, and what magnitude?

The sensitivity is estimated at 1.5 to 8 degrees – don’t you think that’s pretty vague?

Without an underlying coherent physical model, using computer models to predict climate is like using computer models to predict financial markets. There can be some short-term predictive success, more due to luck than anything else. On any longer time scale, the chaotic and complex nature of the system means unanticipated and unpredictable factors will soon overwhelm the model.

One needs either considerable faith, or considerable trust in authority, to think of climate change as settled science.

HenryBG 11:04 am 11 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

I am starting to tire from your model-dependent realism theories topped with lashings of fallibilism.

In science, a “theory” is an explanation for a set of observations, which explanation isn’t contradicted by any known facts. In other words, in science, a “theory” is a True description of reality.

The atmospheric greenhouse effect, for example, is a theory that describes the physics whereby certain atmospheric gases’ absorption spectra act to trap heat on Earth, which would otherwise escape to space. In the absence of the atmospheric greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature of Earth would be -18degreesC, instead of the +15degreesC it is thanks to the atmospheric greenhouse effect.
This theory was devised over 150 years ago, and it is absolutely sound, with no contradicting evidence.

From this theory, it is predictable that an increase in greenhouse gases should cause in increase in average surface temperature. Of course, confounding factors (such as an unknown negative feedback) could disprove this prediction.

Many groups of scientists have therefore conducted research into the precise warming response that would be caused by an increase in various greenhouse gases. They call this research into “climate sensitivity”, and to assist the conversation, it is generally expressed as, “warming caused by a doubling of CO2, from pre-industrial levels”.
All the research into this question reveals a predicted range of climate sensitivity of between 1.5degrees and 8 degrees, with the most likely range being 2-3 degrees.
Graphically displayed here: http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/thumbs/climate.2009.41-f1.jpg

When you hear people complaining about “climate models”, this is what they are complaining about – research into sensitivity. After analysing past data to discover relationships between various variables and temperature outcomes, these researchers have to create a model that tracks all these variables, then input a time-series of values for each of these variables and then adjust their algorithm so that it hindcasts correctly.

These climate models say nothing about the reality of the atmospheric greenhouse effect physics, and they say nothing about real-world observations, they are merely an exercise for testing complex relationships between future combinations of potential conditions that will affect the Earth’s radiative balance.
So now you know: anybody who professes disbelief in climate physics and moans about modelling is a person who doesn’t actually understand the subject at hand.

One of the very earliest attempts was made in 1981:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen#mediaviewer/File:Hansen_2006_temperature_comparison.jpg

Some of the very worst attempts at modelling climate sensitivity are illustrated here:
http://static.skepticalscience.com/pics/Predictions1976-2011.png

dungfungus 9:54 am 11 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

If “the science is settled” why do we need more scientists?

To settle even more science.

According to Dungfungus we should have stopped at the invention of firesticks.

Aside from the fact that I said nothing of the sort,

It is eminently clear that by questioning the need for any more science, you expressed precisely the idea that I articulated for you.

Of course the real issue here is the first half of your logically fallacious proposition,
but it has become clear that you are not communicating in good faith, therefore my pointing out the errors in your argument is still having no effect on your continuing erroneous exposition.

I am starting to tire from your model-dependent realism theories topped with lashings of fallibilism.

HenryBG 7:21 am 11 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

If “the science is settled” why do we need more scientists?

To settle even more science.

According to Dungfungus we should have stopped at the invention of firesticks.

Aside from the fact that I said nothing of the sort,

It is eminently clear that by questioning the need for any more science, you expressed precisely the idea that I articulated for you.

Of course the real issue here is the first half of your logically fallacious proposition,
but it has become clear that you are not communicating in good faith, therefore my pointing out the errors in your argument is still having no effect on your continuing erroneous exposition.

HenryBG 8:42 pm 10 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

The warmists prefer blind faith to anything which may be seen and observed directly.

Weirldy, that’s not how science works.

And even more weirdly, science says the “warmists” are on the right track, whereas in your corner all we see is Exxon and the tobacco-lobbying Heartland Institute. And a couple of kook-blogs on the internet.

dungfungus said :

It’s almost a religion with people like Tim Flannery and Al Gore (neither are climate scientists) as the high priests.

Is that a parody, or completely unconscious humour?

dungfungus 4:27 pm 10 Sep 14

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

If “the science is settled” why do we need more scientists?

To settle even more science.

According to Dungfungus we should have stopped at the invention of firesticks.

Aside from the fact that I said nothing of the sort, it is timely to look at the history of firesticks as without the reliability of base load electricity generated by fossil fuel we may have to use them.
http://www.endeavourferngully.org.au/?page_id=297

dungfungus 3:42 pm 10 Sep 14

CaptainSpiff said :

HenryBG said :

CaptainSpiff said :

What you’re calling the ‘denial’ side I would call the realist side.

You can call it that if you like, but that just makes you wrong.

As we have conclusively demonstrated over the past week, the denialist position is based on opinions that are not even remotely based on reality.
The denialist position is also based on strenuous efforts made to ignore real facts when they are presented.

This is rather typical of pro-AGW argumentation – “you’re wrong so you should just go away”.

As for conclusive demonstrations:

What scientific evidence is there for determining how much of observed climate change is due to natural factors and how much is due to CO2 emissions?

I wonder if you can point us at a computer model that accurately predicts global climate change?

Can you show what is different about the last 50 years of warming (which IPCC claims is manmade), and the 100 or so years of natural warming that preceded it?

What does science have to say about the lack of warming over the last decade and a half?

Like most convinced AGW supporters you will now surely fall back on a consensus or authority based argument, rather than talk about evidence. That’s fair enough, but you have to concede that doing so makes this a political argument, not a scientific one.

It’s interesting that in a field that is claimed to be so settled, it’s defenders still prefer to talk about consensus and authorities, rather than about the underlying evidence.

The warmists prefer blind faith to anything which may be seen and observed directly.
It’s almost a religion with people like Tim Flannery and Al Gore (neither are climate scientists) as the high priests.

HenryBG 2:34 pm 10 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

If “the science is settled” why do we need more scientists?

To settle even more science.

According to Dungfungus we should have stopped at the invention of firesticks.

HenryBG 2:33 pm 10 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

It appears that “climate” scientists are working to the script. The scriptwriter is the UN’s IPCC

Apparently you don’t know what the IPCC does. It certainly doesn’t write any “script” – completely the opposite. The IPCC’s job is synthesis.

Maybe you could read a bit about the IPCC and then read their latest report, in order to be able to provide informed comment on what it does?

http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/

I always understood the word meaning of “synthesis” as “”to make up by combining parts or elements”
Something that is “synthetic” is a product of “synthesis”.
The word meaning of “synthetic” is “something artificially made”.
I find I am in agreement with you about what the IPCC does then.

Perhaps you would develop a far better grasp of this discussion were you to focus on understanding the facts rather than indulging in pointless semantic excursions?

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