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Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Evidence of global climate change carried on wings of migratory birds

March 15, 2007

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Robins are traditionally a harbinger of spring, but it is not unusual to see them in this area throughout the winter. In a pattern noted over the last five to 10 years, many migratory birds are leaving the area later in the fall and returning earlier in the spring.

Robins are traditionally a harbinger of spring, but it is not unusual to see them in this area throughout the winter. In a pattern noted over the last five to 10 years, many migratory birds are leaving the area later in the fall and returning earlier in the spring.

Stan Roth looked outside a window in his house last week and couldn't believe what he saw.

Spotting a broad-winged hawk at this time of year was an unexpected sighting. That it was seen in Lawrence was even more unusual.

"It was so surprising," Roth, an avid bird watcher, said.

The sighting is so rare that when Roth sent an e-mail about it to state bird watchers, he was greeted with some skepticism.

But it has been that kind of bird-watching season during the past couple years in Lawrence.

Birds have migrated back to the area sooner than they did 10 years ago, and some local bird enthusiasts report seeing birds they don't ordinarily see.

Bill Busby, associate scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey, said he noticed little blue herons - not the big ones - nesting near Lawrence.

Since the bird more commonly breeds in warmer southern states, seeing a little blue heron nesting in Lawrence was unusual.

"That's the first to my knowledge that's ever happened," Busby said.

As for the timing of the birds' migration, some suspect that changes in weather patterns could be responsible.

"We're experiencing climate change all over the world," Roth said. "Whether they call it global warming is a whole other issue, but the change in climate is being expressed in delayed migration in the autumn and earlier migration in the springtime."

Busby said earlier migration in some species of birds has been a gradual pattern during the past five to 10 years.

This year has been roughly on par with that migration pattern.

"If anything, they've been average or late this year," Busby said.

If it seems as though there are plenty of birds that fly around the Lawrence area, it's because Kansas is one of the prime areas where birds migrate each year.

That keeps the legion of bird-watchers in the state happy each spring.

"Even though we don't have a coastline or tall mountains, given that we're landlocked, we're about the best place in the country," Busby said.

Comments

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Here we go...

This is a natural phenomenon and all attempts to raise awareness are deemed propaganda and "junk" science.

There is massive amounts of evidence, massive amounts, to show that this current trend of increasing temperatures is far greater then anything in the past few centuries.

Because there are a few scientists, one or two who argue that this is natural occurrence they claim that there is conjecture regarding this issue. The jury is still out defense.

Well with last years international conference on the issue completed and the consensus in that global warming is real and that humans are "most likely" the cause clears up the debate as far as I am concerned.

The world is getting warmer and human industrial, agricultural, and domestic practices (automobile transportation) are causing it. Just because Al Gore decided to create a platform does not make it political, nor does it make it an attacking point for the right.

Take a trip to LA, Beijing, Shaghai, or Delhi and you will see the first hand effects of human activity on the earth.

boulderite 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, not to mention that those few scientists are paid by big oil to be critics of global warming. One of them is even the same guy big tobacco paid millions in the 70s and 80s to convince us smoking doesn't cause cancer (oh, you still believe that too?).

http://www.net.org/warming/skeptic.vtml

It's really sad to see big oil's massive profits have the ability to sway public opinion. I wish McDonald's would tell me eating their hamburgers was good for my heart so I could start doing that again.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5425355

nut_case 7 years, 9 months ago

Today we have an article claiming, "The world is getting warmer and human industrial, agricultural, and domestic practices (automobile transportation) are causing it."

Yesterday we had an article claiming - "Schwager said bees didn't store enough honey in the fall and the winter was long and cold."

Warmer?!?!, colder?!? yes?!? no?!?! If there wasn't so much money involved, it would almost be laughable.

boulderite 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, big government... that makes a lot of sense. The same big government that's ordered all it's scientists to not talk about global warming or the polar bears. Sounds like a real conspiracy to me. I'm sure the government scientists get paid just as much as the oil company's scientists and are encouraged to make up global warming.

http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/m-news+article+storyid-21021.html

You should also not point out one case of somewhere being colder than normal and say global warming isn't real. Look at the earth as a whole (not just your backyard) and make a decision.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

The most recent gathering of scientists who have researched this issue concluded with a very strong statement that human activity had caused the rise in temperatures - I believe it was more than a 90% probability, which is huge for scientists.

This gathering was an international group of scientists with no particular allegiance politically or otherwise, as far as I know.

Ice found in the Arctic was found to have residue from human activities in it.

The hottest temperatures on record are being experienced now (and in the immediate future).

What more evidence do we need??

When we stopped using CFC's in aerosol cans, the ozone layer started to regenerate and is (I believe) almost completely intact now.

That would indicate to me that our activities have a significant impact on the earth, and that it's time (way past, actually) to act to reduce global warming.

salad 7 years, 9 months ago

"both sides of the issue" ??? What "other" side of the issue is there? We're responsible for all CO2, it makes the planet warmer, end of story. That, however, is not the crux of the issue. The point is that we don't need to invent anything new to fix the problem; we have all the technology we need to reduce green house gasses, we simply lack the will. BTW, if you drive a big pick-up truck or SUV, you ARE the problem.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

And, in theory, the government is a far more unbiased entity than private industry, so their studies should be better.

Of course, when the president sends reports back to the EPA and makes them delete segments he doesn't like, when our highest officials are closely tied to industry, etc. then the government is not acting as it should to protect the public.

JohnBrown 7 years, 9 months ago

Science tries to get at the truth, not a consensus. What's alien to most non-scientists is how that process of trying to get to truth is done: by falsifying null hypotheses. Huh?

Example: Null hypothesis: all swans are white. Data: everywhere I have looked all I found were white swans. Interpretation: The "all swans are white" hypothesis has not been FALSIFIED, yet I have not yet seen EVERY swan in the universe.
Conclusion: no definitive conclusion can be drawn, but the perponderance of observations SUGGESTS the null hypothesis MAY be true.

Please note, with only one observation of finding a black swan somewhere you can easily PROVE the null hypothesis wrong. But no matter how many white swans you find, you cannot PROVE the null hypothesis is correct (unless you have sampled every single swan in the universe).

"Finding the truth" is a lot like sculpting a marble block. In both cases, the final statue, and the "truth" is what's left after you have removed all the unnecessary marble and falsified all the falsifable null hypotheses.

For most people, its much easier to just believe what you believe, and not fuss with all the details that both science and sculptors have to deal with.

mick 7 years, 9 months ago

The American Enterprise Institute was offering scientists and economists $10K each if they would come out against global warming (The Guardian, Feb 2, 2007.) At least 20 members of this White House are members of the AEI. Newt Gingrich will be the next Republican nominee and he's a member of AEI.

KUDB99 7 years, 9 months ago

Dambudzo....such a right wing schmuck.....

People like you will be single handedly responsible for the complete inaction taken by our government on climate change. You site (in your case, nothing) a few paid scientists who would endorse that the sky is pea green, if you pay them enough, as sources. This is only designed to muddy and cloud the issue just long enough to squeeze a few extra drops of oil money out of the public, b/f they are finally required to change to renewable energy.

Now, in the defense of people like you, one should not blame the sheep, if the shepherd is an idiot. I don't think you are purposely malicious, just not too bright.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Good link, orchid.

A scary future, if we don't do something now.

Sasquatch, didn't you read the next sentence of my post?

Colleges, not college's.

Universities, not University's.

Aren't any federal grants, not isn't.

The fine points of science make it hard, if not impossible, to prove any affirmative statements.

And, while it seems surprising that our activities could have such a momentous effect in such a short time, I believe it is happening. Our population is immense, and our technological advances have been staggering. We were in fact destroying the ozone layer with CFC emissions.

Finally, why not try it and see? What's to lose by practicing a little more mindfulness, reducing our CO2 emissions, etc?

salad 7 years, 9 months ago

The point is, we CAN change things, and without much disruption to our daily lives. Cases in point: 1.) Hole in the ozone: hear much about this anymore? No, that's because banning CFC's has pretty much fixed the problem, and even though your car's A/C might not be quite as cold on r-134a as r-12, no one seems to mind the difference. I don't. 2.) Pollution: Lake Erie was so polluted before the clean air and water act that it actually caught fire at the Cuyahoga river on July 22, 1969. It's now one of the cleaner bodies of water in the US. What did you have to give up for this to happen. maybe a couple cents at the pump and on your energy bill. 3.)Harmful chemicals: Did you know that in the last 120 years humans have created over 100,000 chemical compounds that did not previously exist on earth naturally. Many of these are bad for the ecosystem, like DDT. Banning DDT and putting the Bald Eagle on the endangered species list has rebounded the population to the point they're about to become de-listed. I see them all the time at Clinton and Hillsdale lakes. Total impact to my life to make this happen:zero.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Nut Case,

First of all, the article didn't make the claims, "The world is getting warmer and human industrial, agricultural, and domestic practices (automobile transportation) are causing it."

...it was me, actually.

And for those arguing that there is some what of a debate going on in the realm of climatologists, there isn't, to be frank, there are probably 10-12% of the science community that believe that the current trend "global warming" is a natural phenomenon. The rest of the Climatologists, Geologists, Botanists, and Biologists about 90-88% have identified it as a man-made scenario.

Before I go any further, let it be known that I work for an environmental non-profit group that shall remain nameless for now. We are not funded by "big government," nor are we profiting of this data either. There is no massive leftist conspiracy to scare the world into conserving resources.

People, and rightfully so, are concerned about the current state of the natural world. That is all. Nothing else other then people concerned about the status of our oceans, mountains, valleys, and plains.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"Ice found in the Arctic was found to have residue from human activities in it."

"What more evidence do we need??"

Ice found in the Arctic. Is this a joke? I would imagine one could find "residue" from human activities most everywhere. Including the moon! That is not evidence for global warming/cooling. That is evidence we pollute everywhere. That should be looked at. To say that we are causing global warming is silly. If our activities do not cause climate change, then polluting the environment is justified?!!

http://www.mosnews.com/news/2006/08/25/globalcooling.shtml "Global cooling could develop on Earth in 50 years and have serious consequences before it is replaced by a period of warming in the early 22nd century,"

Something maybe more credible: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15391426/site/newsweek/

As far as the ozone layer, I thought recently it was reported a big hole over Antarctica.


Ok, some people dislike Bush because he attacked Iraq for weapons of mass destruction. I thought it was apparent he was attacking Iraq because Saddam was a bad person. I thought it was quite apparent he only claimed weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to get the rest of the nation on board. I believe everyone agrees with that now.

So, if Bush will attack a country by making false claims to get everyone behind him, would it be that far of a stretch for the government / UN / whatever to push for an alarmists' strategy in order to get everyone behind them for accomplishing some goal?

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_hole

"Ozone depletion also explains much of the observed reduction in stratospheric and upper tropospheric temperatures.[5][6] The source of the warmth of the stratosphere is the absorption of UV radiation by ozone, hence reduced ozone leads to cooling. Some stratospheric cooling is also predicted from increases in greenhouse gases such as CO2; however the ozone-induced cooling appears to be dominant."

Does this mean that increased ozone leads to warming?

If nothing else, the link emphasizes my point that global climate has great complexities and for us to imagine we now know everything there is about the climate and the future climate makes no more sense than looking back at the global alarmists of the 70's.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 9 months ago

Climate change is the correct term; although, in this instance, it is an overall warming of the globe. Skeptics, for goodness sakes, look around you and try to comprehend this as a trend. Loaded dice still shoot craps, just not as often. Migratory patterns of birds are just one symptom. I grew up on southern Missouri after having spent a few years in central Texas. I knew armidillos from Texas, but 35 years ago, it was too cold in Missouri for them; now they are here. Ask the farmers in western Kansas whether they are having to irrigate more than their fathers did. There are too many examples to list here. Change is already on the wind and it will continue.

Climate change's primary danger is not that we'll have to user our air conditioners more and our heaters less; it is that it adversely affects our ability to raise crops. The U.S. is lucky in that it most often has a food surplus, but try to imagine paying $5 for a loaf of bread, or worse, try to imagine what will happen when a few billion hungry, desperate Chinese, Indians, and Russians start looking around for a solution to their food shortages.

I caught a post on one of the skeptic web pages about how humans breath out way more CO2 than automobiles exhaust and so industry and cars couldn't possibly be to blame. Idiot. Plants and animals merely cycle through the CO2 already the biosphere. Getting energy from fossil fuels takes carbon sequestered for millions of years underground and releases that into the biosphere in the form of CO2.

I hear about plans to collect and store CO2 emissions underground. Hmm, not sure, but if you think about this from a thermodynamics and entropy perspective, taking carbon from the ground, burning it, and storing it back underground sounds like a loosing proposition. Not to mention that, in addition, you have to store twice as much oxygen as the carbon that you burn. Although, in the case of oil, the overal effect might be simply that hydrogen is released into the biosphere.

While I'm convinced that humans are causing the warming trend, that is only interesting from a perspective of mitigation. A question more important in my mind is that, regardless of cause, change is coming; how much change and how do we deal with it, that is the primary question.

Mitigation should be a major factor in dealing with the problem, of course. Not doing anything to slow the warming trend is like not listening to your doctor when he tells you that you are headed for a heart attack. (I got that from somewhere else, but it stuck with me.)

mick 7 years, 9 months ago

The polar ice caps have subsided in fairly recent history. Look at the Piri Reis map which clearly shows the Antarctic coastline. However, human activity is greatly affecting the current warming and the consequences are dire. I agree with R_T that our culture has been vastly dumbed-down but I think that people intuitively know that the forces for greed in our world are responsible for the non-sustainable lifestyle which has been foisted upon us. What is worse than being "dumbed down" is being brainwashed into an ultra right wing Republican wacko who will vote in favor of greed against one's own best interests

Flap Doodle 7 years, 9 months ago

I will give up my 20 room mansion and my private jet.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 9 months ago

Can't remember exactly the quote, but DesCarte, who gave us, "I think; therefore, I am." and held everything else as suspect also gave us the axiom, that, few things (nothing?) in life are certain; in practice, it's best to take your best guess/estimation, and act on it as though it were known with certainty.

Parting shot: One of the things I found disturbing about the IPCC report is that "government officials" are editing it after the scientists are done. Why, and what good can come from that?

nut_case 7 years, 9 months ago

If everyone is serious trying to curb global warming, why not target the #1 greenhouse gas - water vapor, which is by most accounts responsible for 90-95% of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere?

We humans like to thing we are big, bad, and important, but really, factored in against the billions of acres of decaying plant/animal material on land and at sea, plus the humidity wafting off of about 140 million square miles of ocean, we hardly kick up a breeze on the global CO2 meter, which is itself a minor player in the greenhouse gas party.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"Like with evolution, quit trying to act like there is any debate in the scientific community. There IS NO DEBATE among professional climatologists. Get over it. You, the layperson, have NO TRAINING to claim otherwise. Let the pros do their jobs, and listen to them."

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Science is above debate. Any scientists who don't agree are not "true" scientists.

Big brother says so, therefore blindly accept it.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Shelby 7 years, 9 months ago

I can almost see the bulging vein on Reality_Check's forehead getting ready to burst.

salad 7 years, 9 months ago

Nut-case, your understanding of what a greenhouse gas is and what it does is incorrect. Water vapor does not act as a green house gas.
You are also wildly incorrect in your assumption that humans play so small a role in comparison to global processes. We ARE a global force, and yes, we ARE big and bad. Nut-case by itself may be a puny and insignificant troglodyte, but 6 billion nut-cases are not. Oh yeah, decaying vegitation REMOVES carbon from the environment. Given enough time, pressure, and heat it turns into oil, peat, and coal. Burning it puts the carbon BACK into the environment.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Kansas the only state in which evolution and "global warming" are still debated.

I think this needs to be the new bumpersticker. What do you think?

...Oh, one more thing. The natural rate of CO2 released into the atmosphere is calculated at 2/3 of the rate that humans are releasing. So, the argument that the ocean and decaying biomass is more of a cause then human industrial, agricultural, and domestic (autos) use is absurd.

drake 7 years, 9 months ago

Actually preebo the human CO2 rate vs. nature is less than 1%. You are definitely one of the Kool-Aide drinkers.

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

Flap Doodle 7 years, 9 months ago

"A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment. " http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=032001SLB2HS (yes, I know that somebody will pop up & say that exterme cold temperatures at one location does not invalidate the theory of global warming)

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

What you all fail to realize that the natural balance of greenhouse gases emmited in the air via "natural" sources allow for our steady temps. If not we would be like Mars or Mercury. However, with the increased amount emmited via human sources we will more then likely end up like Venus, which has an extremely dense atmosphere, thereby increasing temps at an alarming rate.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

The earth has existed long enough to deal with the existence of natural phenomena, but when man has leapt so far so fast with no concern with the world around it, it becomes a bit frightening.

salad 7 years, 9 months ago

Prospector, actually, you are incorrect. I stand by my post. Living creatures cycle CO2 and O2. By your logic, then there would be no oil, gas, coal, or peat; decaying things would simply go POOF! and disappear over time: they don't. So I think you fail biology, I got an "A" in organic chemistry, which is concerned with Carbon compounds: things like alkynes, alkaloids, etc...NOT biological carbon fixing processes. The only thing you are correct about is that living things fix carbon, but the vast majority of it stays fixed when they die; like 99.9% by mass. Water is STILL not a green house gas, and if you understood its thermodynamic properties and things like heat of fusion and vaporization, you'd get this.

drake 7 years, 9 months ago

And the earth has also seen much warmer temperatures than this.

The fact that this current warming cycle has happened during the same time that humans populate it is purely coincidental.

Think for yourself preebo, it really doesn't hurt.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Prospector,

Thank you for proving my point. "Geological Time," thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions. THE REAL BOTTON LINE it is not in a few years or a couple of decades.

I challenge you to find evidence of a time where Earths climate has changed at the rate it currently has. Good luck, but I am willing to wager that you can't, because there has never been a time on record where change has occured at this rate.

If you insist on arguing semantics regarding change then you my friend will continue to be in the waning minority, wake up before it is too late.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

Drake,

When the world was much warmer man didn't exist.

preebo 7 years, 9 months ago

...isn't that the point. If we are to ensure our species existence into the future shouldn't we undertake practices that will do nothing but give mankind a better chance at it?

drake 7 years, 9 months ago

What practices are you are you promoting?

We have no control over natural CO2 and what is not attributed to nature is so miniscule that it is not even feasible to lower it. Again, humans produce less than 1% of all CO2.

drake 7 years, 9 months ago

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring about?" - Maurice Strong

Maurice Strong is partners with Algore in his carbon credit scam.

drake 7 years, 9 months ago

...this is the true goal of these people.

boltzmann 7 years, 9 months ago

There is some real confusion here about the role of water vapor in the greenhouse effect and in global warming. Most of it is due to statements by both sides that, while technically true, omit important information that speaks to the relevence of the statements to the actual problem.

First the greenhouse effect is not the same as global warming.

The greenhouse effect is the additional warming of Earth (or any planet) due to the presence in the atmosphere of gases that absorb IR radiation. The molecules of these gases must posses vibration modes that possess a dipole moment. N2 and O2 don't so they are not greenhouse gases. CO2, H2O, CH4 do and thus contribute to this effect.

Global warming is the change in the average temperature of the earth due to changes in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Global warming is the change in the greenhouse effect, not the effect itself.

(continued on next post).

boltzmann 7 years, 9 months ago

(Post continued)

Here are some facts

1) Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. It contributes the dominant contribution to the total greenhouse effect. In terms of contribution per molecule, it is a more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, but is less effective than CH4.

2) Even though it is a powerful greenhouse gas, water vapor is NOT the dominant factor in global warming. The reason being that the conditions on Earth are such that we are on the liquid-vapor coexistence line in the phase diagram of water - liquid water and water vapor both exist simultaneously on Earth. This coexistence means that the average vapor pressure of water in the atmosphere is a constant that depends upon the average temperature. If we add water vapor to the atmosphere somehow, the system compensates through condensation to restor the proper vapor pressure. No matter what we do, the average vapor pressure of water will not change. So, to first order, water vapor does not contribute to global warming because its concentration is fixed. Thus, CO2 and to some degree CH4 (methane), make the dominant contribution to global warming. Both of these substances only exist in the gas phase at Earth temperatures. We add CO2 or CH4 to the atmosphere it tends to stay there unless taken up by plants or dissolved into the ocean (which does happen, but to a small degree).

3) Water vapor does have a second-order effect on global warming however, through a couple of feedback mechanisms. As the concentration of CO2 increases, the average temperature of the atmosphere increases. At this increased temperature, the vapor pressure of water (proportional to the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere) will increase - because H2O is a greenhouse gas this will lead to a further increase in the temperature - a POSITIVE feedback mechanism. However, this increase in the H2O concentration driven by global warming can also cause the formation of greater cloud cover which acts to reflect sunlight and cool the earth - this is a NEGATIVE feedback mechanism. The relative strengths of these feedback mechanisms are perhaps the source of the largest uncertainties in the global warming mechanism.

So the statements

a) water vapor is not a greenhouse gas and b) water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, therefore we should not worry about CO2.

are both false and overly simplistic.

drake 7 years, 9 months ago

Holy crap man.

I would argue with you if I could understand what you just said.

You are too smart to be on this website.

boltzmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Sasquatch34,

Scientists have been monitoring CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere for quite a while. If Mount Pinatubo emitted as much CO2 as you say, why wasn't there a noticable spike in the data around that time?

boltzmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Sasquatch34,

 Your link really has nothing to do with my question. You claimed that "In 1991, the volcanic eruption at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines put more carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere than did the whole human race during the most recent century of the industrial era". 
 Nowhere in the link you gave , which was for the most part a reasonable student summary of the effect of Mount Pinatubo on climate, is such a claim made. The fact that Pinatubo releases some CO2 is not in dispute, however, the claim you made that the amount of CO2 is exceeds the anthropogenic CO2 is not justified. If that were the case, the CO2 sensing stations that track global CO2 concentrations would have shown a large spike in 1992, but no spike is seen in the data.

boltzmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Two comments about the Gallup poll that is being quoted right and left here [actually mostly right ;)]....

1) I am unable to locate any reliable source information about this poll, so I have some doubts of whether the numbers are being reported accurately. I found statements on the web that say that the numbers were quite different; however, without raw source information it is hard to tell what is correct here.

2) Even if the poll were true, remember that this poll was in 1991, when the science of climate change was quite young. It is not surprising that at that point if you asked a climate scientist he/she would express doubt that the case for global warming had not yet been adequately made, as in the year 1991, the case had not adequately been made. I think that a thoughtful climate scientist at that point would have to answer that way in all honesty. If, however, you did the same poll now I would expect the results (if the results reported here about the poll were indeed valid - not being able to locate any source data gives me pause) to be dramatically different. Both of these organizations the AMS and the GPU have released official statements that state that the Earth is indeed warming and that human activity is the likely cause. I would seriously doubt that those statements would be made over the objections of the majority of their members.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"There were significant climate changes before humans were around and there will be non-human causes of climate change in the future." (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2006"

As some would say, sounds like there's no debate to me!

I guess it just depends what bits and pieces one grabs as to whether there's a "debate" or not. I would think most things are open for debate. When things are no longer open for debate, it no longer is science, but a dogma system.

Kodiac 7 years, 9 months ago

"A letter sent to the Canadian Prime Minister on April 6 of this year by 60 prominent scientists who question the basis for climate alarmism, clearly explains the current state of scientific knowledge on global warming. -- right_thinker

Wow! that sounds really definitive doesn't it right_thinker.

I am curious though about those 60 "scientists", aren't you. Wonder if any of them are being supported by Exxon Oil or any major coal/gas companies. I think you might be surprised with what you find. And no I am not a firm believer in conspiracy theories and I haven't dragged out my aluminum hat just yet. But I do think there is something about the idea that those who stand to lose a lot will try everything they can to stop or slow their losses including bankrolling some "prominent scientists". Dig a little deeper and follow the money RT.

And as our little version of Ms Eternal Sunshine (Gr) says, we have to debate debate debate. Don't want dogma here she says. I can just feel that warm sunshine being blown up my ....

salad 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Boltzmans explanation, and that's precisely the point I was getting at, so let me clarify: Water vapor is not a greenhouse gas...we count. As for proving you wrong about climate record prospector? Well, pretty much every ice core taken from all over the world at many different glaciers and depths provide an accepted record of climate for as much as 700,000 years into the past. Inconvenient Truth touches on this fact, but Gore does not talk about mud cores from oceans and lakes around the world that also support the ice core record of earths climate past. But hey prospector, thanks for lumping us all in with chicken little, which is not the case, my point is that we can reverse the change without much sacrifice. Boltzman mentions water vapor in regard to earths natural control system, which is my area of expertise (control systems). Without such a lengthy post as Boltzman, let me suffice to say that altering the wrong control coefficient by a tiny amount can lead to rapid and violent instability. Seeing what happens to a much simplier system than the earth when you screw it up, I vote that we not take our chances, when it's not that hard to keep within the parameters we know work here on earth.

boulderite 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm glad to see there was such a good debate on this today. I hope some of the facts and links provided here were enough to get some people who may have been buying into the slanted reports to think about the issue from a more unbiased view.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Just a couple of thoughts:

One - science cannot provide 100% ironclad proof of anything - it can merely say that a certain hypothesis has not been disproved.

This doesn't mean it's all a matter of faith and belief though - it means that certain hypotheses fit with existing observations more closely, have no glaring flaws, and have not been disproved.

These are thus more likely to be accurate - that's the business of science - providing more and more accurate views.

When a 90% majority of scientists (without particular allegiances) conclude that human activity is a very likely cause of global warming, that's fairly convincing to me.

Allegiance to an environmental group is not the same as allegiance to an oil/gas company. Since oil/gas companies stand to lose money if conservation is put into place, cars are made more fuel-efficient, etc. they have a clear financial motive in play. Environmentalists are generally concerned about the health of the planet.

In fact, if we all followed a more environmental path, the environmentalists might be out of a job :-)

Making this a political issue seems to me to be a mistake - all Americans (and in fact all other humans and animal species) will be affected by our decision and actions in this regard.

Boltzmann's clear and informed posts are a pleasure to read.

Final thought:

If we change our activities towards conservation, etc. and the environmentalists are wrong, we've only lost a little profit for the oil companies.

However, if we don't change our activities and they're right, we're in much bigger trouble.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the all knowing Kodiac can provide us with a list of scientist's thoughts on global warming and where their source of funding comes from.

Follow the money, Kodiac.

========

"When a 90% majority of scientists (without particular allegiances) conclude that human activity is a very likely cause of global warming, that's fairly convincing to me."

What if 90% majority of scientist said the solar system revolved around the earth?

"Environmentalists are generally concerned about the health of the planet."

Just because environmentalists aren't mostly motivated by money, doesn't mean they aren't politically motivated.

"If we change our activities towards conservation, etc. and the environmentalists are wrong, we've only lost a little profit for the oil companies."

Just because global warming isn't being caused by humans isn't any reason to throw out conservation. The two are separate issues. We shouldn't depend upon big oil. But the reason isn't that we are going to cause global warming or cooling, but because of a number of relevant issues that DO cause environmental problems and dependence upon imports.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Wasn't it scientific observation which showed that the Earth revolves around the Sun?

My point about allegiances was a response to an earlier post claiming allegiances to environmental groups cast doubt on scientists' opinions.

There are certainly many other reasons to be mindful and practice conservation.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

This debate reminds me a little of an argument my mother (very smart) used to make about science not being able to "prove" that smoking caused cancer.

It seemed to me that she was very interested in a very small point, and somehow ignoring the larger and more important ones.

BTW, she smoked heavily for 40 years and got lung cancer.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"Wasn't it scientific observation which showed that the Earth revolves around the Sun?"

May be, but one would think for one, Tycho Brahe, and I heard others, made observations. He was an astronomer and said the sun revolved around the earth.

Assuming this to be true, my point was, that scientists thought one thing, then found out they were wrong. In the 70s, they thought the earth was cooling, but then realized they left out some calculations, and decided it is now warming.

Do you think it is now reasonable that they fully know everything there is about global climate and a few years later down the road they won't find out that 90% of them were wrong?

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Doesn't it seem that there is an improvement in their findings over time?

What is the harm in modifying our practices to help prevent damaging our environment?

If it's really out of our control, then so be it, but let's at least try.

On the other hand, if we have the potential to prevent catastrophic changes and do nothing, we're up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

And have no one to blame but ourselves.

Also, we may not ever fully know everything about anything, but that's no reason to do nothing.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

And, again, what would you base your view on, if you discount what seems to be a fairly impartial scientific consensus?

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"If it's really out of our control, then so be it, but let's at least try."

"if we have the potential to prevent catastrophic changes and do nothing, "

I say, to stop the elephants from stampeding Lawrence, you need to give me all your money. If the elephants still come, then so be it, but at least you tried. If you have the potential to prevent the trampling, but do nothing, what kind of citizen are you? You may object that scientists aren't in agreement, but I believe they are in agreement that elephants could trample Lawrence if given the opportunity. Therefore, you can make deposits in the swiss bank account number, 121212.
(And if you think that's a swindle, check out the above link. Or consider the global warming industry = carbon credits)

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Prospector,

No.

The analogy with Iraq is astonishing to me - the situation there developed because the administration willfully ignored/spun the available evidence in order to pursue the war for political reasons.

This is similar to large oil companies ignoring/spinning scientific evidence in order to pursue their profits.

And, one more time, if you ignore the available scientific evidence/view, what will your opinion be based on?

It will not cost the average person anything to conserve resources, in fact it will save money. Use less, spend less. It may decrease the unbelievable, record high profits of the oil companies (about $35 billion at last count), and affect some of the stock market, but that's ok with me.

Haven't we learned anything from CFC's and the ozone layer? Our use of them was destroying it, and when we banned them, we helped it to heal, thus preventing major problems.

Given our technological advances and population explosion, I'm not sure that I agree that what's going on now must explain what happened before to be credible.

Are Americans really so self-indulgent that we are unwilling to modify our activities a little bit for the greater good? If so, we deserve the criticism which we receive.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"the administration willfully ignored/spun the available evidence in order to pursue the war for political reasons."

And creating panic, manipulating the people, selling them "carbon credits", is not an incentive?!

"And, one more time, if you ignore the available scientific evidence/view, what will your opinion be based on?"

Facts & not politics. Facts & not global hysteria.

"It will not cost the average person anything to conserve resources, "

What moronic logic. It won't cost the average person to hop on one leg. But that's no sign it should be done to prevent global warming/cooling. If an action saves the average person money, why aren't they already doing it?

"Haven't we learned anything from CFC's and the ozone layer? Our use of them was destroying it, and when we banned them, we helped it to heal, thus preventing major problems."

Healed? Oh yeah? Not according to the global alarmists. "The ozone holes over the polar regions are currently as deep and persistent as ever observed," http://www.physorg.com/news4533.html

"natural atmospheric processes will repair the ozone layer to 1979-1980 levels around 2065." http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/ozonelayer.html

"I'm not sure that I agree that what's going on now must explain what happened before to be credible." I think there's the problem right there! If you don't agree that modeling can explain past history, how could you agree it can explain the future?

Tell you what. For you to even come across as pretending to be credible and warranting more thought than a "chicken little, planes are going to fall out of the sky because of clocks changing" type of person, provide us something to even discuss. For example:

What is the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere. What amount of that carbon do we produce. (And give them in the same units - don't be misleading by giving one in weight and the other in concentration.) Of the part of carbon we produce, what amount does that affect temperature, and if we stopped all production, what amount would that affect temperature.

Isn't that reasonable?

Mind you, I and others have already found some of that and posted them. Maybe you can find something else. Then, you would be open for discussion.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

We must all start hopping on one leg! We must stop this global warming. Because we are failing to hop on one leg, it is now causing Mars to warm! Yes. I just heard that other planets in the solar system are warming. It must be because of us rather than the "solar" of the solar system.
There's a "consensus", you know.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

This will be my last post and then I'll give up here.

People buy SUV's which get ridiculously low mileage even though they could buy more efficient cars.

People waste resources and money all of the time in this country.

Do you really think that companies selling "credits" are going to make anywhere near the profits of the large oil companies?

The concept of those as I understand it is to provide pollution-free energy to balance one's use of polluting energy. Sounds reasonable to me.

Facts and figures must be interpreted in order to make sense of them.

I will not discuss anything further with gr - I don't think that someone whose idea of discussion is name-calling is worth my time.

prospector,

You seem intelligent and thoughtful - I'm glad you'd like to help the less fortunate around the globe, and are pro-conservation.

I agree one should think critically about issues. One of the most disturbing aspects of our current society is the failure to do just that.

My final thought:

The best way to find out who's right about this would be to implement strategies designed to slow warming and see if they work.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"People buy SUV's which get ridiculously low mileage even though they could buy more efficient cars."

What about people who buy other vehicles which get low mileage? What about those who fly in airplanes? I hear those make SUV drivers look like they don't consume any energy.

"Do you really think that companies selling "credits" are going to make anywhere near the profits of the large oil companies?"

Small time criminals are better than big time criminals?

"I don't think that someone whose idea of discussion is name-calling is worth my time."

Name calling? where? Or is it criticizing your logic? Such as this:

"The best way to find out who's right about this would be to implement strategies designed to slow warming and see if they work."

How about implementing strategies designed to speed warming (as if that were possible!) and see if they work? Makes as much sense.

Guess no thoughts on why Mars is warming?
I know, our fault, too.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

gr,

Since you managed to keep the insulting names out of that post, I will answer it.

My first point was in response to your suggestion that people generally act in intelligent ways to save money. It seems clear that many do not. SUV's are just one example.

Next, my point is that comparing small companies that are attempting to reduce pollution with large oil companies is an odd comparison.

The increase in temperatures on Earth is of far greater importance to humans and animal species on this planet than the temperature of Mars. Whether one agrees about the cause or model of how it is happening, it has already affected many living creatures on the planet.

If reducing our levels of pollution will help, why not try it?

If in fact this is due to some sort of ongoing cycles, or an increase in the temperature of the sun, then we will most likely fail.

I'd like to try though, for the sake of our children/grandchildren/myriad other species of life on the planet.

What's the downside?

Linda Endicott 7 years, 9 months ago

I've always found it interesting that one of the most effective ways to slow pollution, and also our dependence on oil; mainly giving up your cars, is always met with violent protest.

Yet you want to alarm everyone about global warming, without giving up any of your own personal creature comforts.

People used to walk all the time. What would be the big deal?

I like the convenience of my car, but if I had to choose between my car and destroying the earth, I'd give up the car.

How about you?

(Although I don't think global warming is as big a deal as a lot of people think. We haven't really been taking measurements on a regular basis for long enough to be able to tell if it's due to pollution or if it's part of a natural cycle.)

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

"The increase in temperatures on Earth is of far greater importance to humans and animal species on this planet than the temperature of Mars. Whether one agrees about the cause or model of how it is happening, it has already affected many living creatures on the planet."

Okayyyy.

The rest of the planets may be warming. Not likely we are causing them to warm. But yet, we can have some affect of preventing our planet from warming!?

Better start hopping on one leg. What's the downside?

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

gr,

You have my permission to hop on one leg, since you seem very interested in that activity.

crazy,

Buying more fuel-efficient cars, driving less, carpooling, public tranportation are all things which environmental folks support and practice.

My wife and I have moved into town, and drive far less than previously. In fact, I don't have to fill up my car more than about 1x/mth.

We're also replacing our incandescent bulbs with compact flourescents, and try to practice conservation and moderation in our daily habits.

The international group of scientists recently published their findings - in brief, they said it's not too late, but later than most people think. In addition, they published a scenario if nothing is done which is quite alarming. The "doomsday clock" which has been around since the Cold War has been adjusted based on global warming issues.

I think we ignore such information at our own risk.

According to the scientific community, reducing our CO2 emissions will help. Let's do that and see what happens.

It seems more likely to me that it may be effective than hopping on one leg - of course, I'm going to stop trying to convince gr - that's clearly a losing battle.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 9 months ago

"Buying more fuel-efficient cars, driving less, carpooling, public tranportation are all things which environmental folks support and practice." Well, except for Al Gore.

gr 7 years, 9 months ago

jafs,

You have my permission to reduce your pollution levels since you have great interest in that activity.

Enjoy.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

gr,

I take that to mean that, like many Americans, you are uninterested in reducing your consumption of essential resources and pollution of the environment.

It is a sad comment on this country, and part of why the rest of the world doesn't hold us in high esteem.

Until legislation is passed regarding these things, you are of course free to be as selfish, short-sighted, and wasteful as you wish, provided you can afford it.

gr 7 years, 8 months ago

"I take that to mean that, like many Americans, you are uninterested in reducing your consumption of essential resources and pollution of the environment."

That's a false statement and unsubstantiated.

Just because I disagree that global warming is caused by humans, you cannot conclude I am not for reducing consumption and pollution.

You are making up a falsehood, tying in a good thing, saying if we don't support your falsehood, we are doing a bad thing.

Then you appeal to emotion and exaggeration.

Not related.

But, it does indicate you are motivated by an agenda.

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