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Archive for Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Climate picture

September 25, 2012

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To the editor:

With summer’s heat behind us, it’s a good time to reflect on the emerging picture of our climate. The National Climate Data Center says this was the third-hottest summer in the U.S. since 1895, and more disturbing: ALL of the 10 hottest global sea and land temperature anomalies since 1880 have occurred since 1997. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control 2012 report concludes that extreme weather intensity and frequency is increasing, including both catastrophic flooding and droughts like the one we’re still in.

At www.Climate.gov you can monitor the changing carbon dioxide levels, ocean heat, acidity and sea levels, shrinking arctic ice and glaciers. The American Meteorological Society released a statement last month that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and that “(a)voiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. The ongoing warming will increase risks and stresses to human societies, economies, ecosystems, and wildlife through the 21st century and beyond, making it imperative that society respond to a changing climate.”

Every major scientific organization agrees. Fossil fuels are the major source of greenhouse gases. The G20’s “Analysis of the Scope of Energy Subsidies” estimates that fossil fuels receive $400 billion to $500 billion annually. Our political leaders need to show some real leadership and question this practice. Another promising possibility is a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend returned directly to the people, who can then choose to support low-carbon energy sources. The longer we wait, though, the more expensive and less effective it will be.

Comments

SageonPage 1 year, 11 months ago

Remember that childhood story about Chicken Little? I'm often reminded of that when I hear the shrieks and wails of the eco-terrorists from the looney left. The ebb and flow of a dynamic earth is nothing to lose our heads over. God gave us fossil fuel to use and to make life better with, we are doing so. What do the 'chicken little's of the left do with the ever INCREASING glaciers happening now? http://www.iceagenow.com/List_of_Expanding_Glaciers.htm

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

What a crock. You need to look at some real data, which shows exactly the opposite: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7386/full/nature10847.html

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SnakeFist 1 year, 11 months ago

Please read a book or take a class and learn about communism so you can stop throwing it around like you know what it means. You really have no credibility whatsoever.

And frankly, Senator McCarthy, you're just showing how old you are: Communism stopped being a scary monster a long time ago.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

The science behind the issue of climate change is far from shrieking; if anything, climatologists have been overly conservative about what we may be facing, as evidenced by their underestimating the rapidity of arctic ice melt in their 2007 predictions, etc.

The fact that you choose to ignore the Nature article that objectively reports the data from the GRACE satellite that showed an annual 150 million ton loss of ice every year from 2003 to 2010 speaks volumes.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

I dunno, something about increasing the extreme weather events from effecting 1% of the globe in the past, to around 10% currently, to who knows where in the future, maybe? Or maybe the fact that primary productivity of plants (read: their ability to grow) is actually dropping off due to limitations in useable water and excessive heat, which means that they can't utilize that increased CO2? Or maybe the 1 meter minimum sea level rise by 2100, resulting in displacement of hundreds of millions of folks around the world and the political and economic ramifications of that? Losing ice is part and parcel of all of that, and if you don't understand that, I'd be happy to connect the dots for you.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

"But if the ice is melting we would get more not less water to circulate in the atmosphere. So you have no real point to offer....."

Tell that to the 7 1/2 million folks who live in Lima, Peru upstream from the Andes, or the tens of millions who live along the Nile, or the hundreds of millions who live downstream from the Himalaya mountains, all of whom are dependent on glacial melt to supply their water needs. When those glaciers are gone, are you going to haul the water for them? That is to say nothing about the western half of our own country which is heavily dependent on snow melt to meet their water needs as well.

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asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

Do you really believe it didn't rain on earth? Sorry to tell you, but rain is what helped create life on this planet to begin with. The rain, along with the tides, created chemical reactions in the oceans that spurred the creation of the first micro-organisms. You are blatantly ignorant. Why can't you admit that humans are harming the earth? It's not that hard to see, even if you don't agree with global warming. How about the pollution in our rivers and oceans? Your vision of god may have given mankind resources on earth to use, but he/she also gave us the responsibility of taking care of the treasure he/she/his noodliness gave us (earth).

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SnakeFist 1 year, 11 months ago

Like the connection between CFCs and the degradation of the ozone layer, or between sulfer dioxide emissions and acid rain, or tobacco and cancer - all of which were denied for decades by uneducated conservatives? You have no credibility on issues of science.

But given that you pump gas for a living, I'm not surprised that you're defending the use of fossil fuel.

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SnakeFist 1 year, 11 months ago

I have degrees in both engineering and science. Now fill'er up, boy!

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Trumbull 1 year, 11 months ago

What kinda degree do you have SageonPage?

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SnakeFist 1 year, 11 months ago

I can't imagine how embarrassed you must feel. But its not too late, classes are enrolling now.

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asixbury 1 year, 11 months ago

What real points did you bring to the discussion? You regurgitated nonsense religious beliefs, but not actual scientific facts. You are the one looking silly now.

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mcallaigh 1 year, 11 months ago

the great Phillips Morris job creators did for quite a while genius

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Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

"Eco-terrorists from the looney left."

Yet more meaningless nonsense from sageonpage.

Yet more proof that those with no understanding (apparently sageonpage is now a climate science expert, who spends his time not doing science but commenting on ljworld.com, go figure) and no ability to discuss topics like adults resort to nonsense slogans and defamation.

Sad.

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Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

If these same followers of the global warming lie were alive in Lawrence a half million years ago, it would have been a daily occurrence to hear one of them say "Ooga booga, big ice cube fall from glacier into Kaw. We must extinguish campfire now! Ooga booga.".

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 11 months ago

How many humans were there in and around Lawrence a half million years ago? I know the number building campfires was exactly zero, which would be the same number of humans on the entire North American continent. If your knowledge of global warming is the same as your knowledge of human migrations, perhaps you should sit this argument out.

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beerbaron03 1 year, 11 months ago

you SO sound like a 13 year old girl. Like, oh my god.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

And it always helps to have the data, the analyses, the conclusions and the scientific community on your side. Folks can make personal decisions to change their lifestyles to address the issue that faces mankind; indeed now is the time for innovation to flourish to find solutions.

If what the scientific community is concluding is wrong, and we make changes to get away from the diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, what is the downside? And if the scientific community is right, we could potentially avert a real disaster, or at least mitigate the worst effects.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

And so what is your point? How does that distinguish climatology from any other major scientific endeavor? Is the government a major funding source for most if not all research in astronomy, physics, biology, the social sciences, and the applied sciences?

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Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

Any day you want to sit down and take a true IQ assessment, I'll be happy to sit next to you and take the same test and compare results.

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deec 1 year, 11 months ago

How many Nobel Prizes have you won for physics?

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somedude20 1 year, 11 months ago

None and it sounds like this person did not make it out of high school either. "I graduated from the school of Hardknocks, but not learning much...."-Sage

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mcallaigh 1 year, 11 months ago

uuummm, slightly new here but you seem like the classic radical ideologue (ideology first, facts second) self proclaimed street genius with no schoolin'.

No offense, but quit calling other people names. Get some courage, be a man and own your nutty ideas.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 11 months ago

We don't need no science. We have ideology that allows us to get anything we want merely by repeating the right incantations (along with the proper clicking of heels, of course.)

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Trumbull 1 year, 11 months ago

No we're not. It will be those who come after us who are gonna have problems.

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somedude20 1 year, 11 months ago

Well, we all will die at some point and that is about the only fact of life!

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Trumbull 1 year, 11 months ago

To those who think man can have no damaging impact on climate and/or our environment, I point to the Dust Bowl era of the 30's. Soil erosion helped by farming practices created devastating dust storms that were so bad it altered much of the midwest for the better part of a decade.

But here is the hope. Man can also make changes for the better, as the US did when it implemented better land management policies.

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Trumbull 1 year, 11 months ago

From Wikipedia: The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands in the 1930s, particularly in 1934 and 1936. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent wind erosion.[1] Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds.

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beatrice 1 year, 11 months ago

We don't know what caused the Dust Bowl?????

Holy crap, some people need to retake American history.

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SnakeFist 1 year, 11 months ago

Isn't it strange how uneducated uber-far-right conservatives, like SageonPage, have opinions about absolutely everything? Even worse, they insist they're absolutely correct and the experts - people who have studied these things for decades - are not only wrong but purposefully misleading everyone. The incredible arrogance of a group that thinks Sarah Palin is an intellectual star never ceases to amaze me.

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SnakeFist 1 year, 11 months ago

So scientists are all untruthful, but Rush Limbaugh, who sells anger and contrarianism by manipulating the uneducated, is trustworthy? Wow. Apparently, the "school of hard-knocks" lost its accreditation a long time ago. The fact that Palin and Limbaugh appeal to you says a lot about your lack of thinking skills.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

The Antarctic is warming, there have been changes in salinity, and there has been more precipitation (snow) which is a result of warmer water.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/08/100816-global-warming-antarctica-sea-ice-paradox-science-environment/

It's an apples and oranges comparison, and you are demonstrating a tendency to ignore information which is available, but counter to your position.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

You think showing the winter time increase in Antarctic ice mass demonstrates that global warming is a hoax? How about trying to read this article one more time that shows planetary ice mass dropping instead?

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7386/full/nature10847.html

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

No, and it really is not that hard to follow that it is more important to look at the ice mass changes planet-wide over 7 years rather than just looking at a seasonal change in one part of the world. Get it?

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Because ice lost is one significant impact of global climate change. The consequences literally ripple out from there, including consequent sea level rise, a reduction of the earth's albedo, meaning even faster warming, changes in salinity in the oceans that can affect circulation patterns and even local weather, and on and on. I have no idea how you work dishonesty into that scenario--it's just the way our planet works.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

And how does that change the satellite data from GRACE that shows planetary ice mass loss to the tune of 148 gigatons per year between 2003 and 2010? I suppose the satellite is fudging too?

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

If you bothered to read the himilayan glacier controversy, you'll find out that it was the scientific community that threw out the fudged data as soon as it was uncovered, not some journalist. And once again, it does not change the fact that planetary ice mass is shrinking significantly due to climate change--you don't need the fudged data to prove that since there are many other more reliable measurements of that.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

For once you got it exactly right. All articles submitted to the journal Nature are vetted and peer reviewed by recognized experts in the field whose job is to punch holes in the data and analysis. It is approved once it is proven to be above reasonable reproach, which can mean it can go through several revisions before it meets this high criterion.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

My understanding is that the data was not fudged, it was just mistaken, if we are talking about the same. A trend in low altitude glaciers was extrapolated to higher altitude glaciers, basically because reaching the higher ones was too hard or too expensive. Gravity metrics were employed, and a correction was made.

If Liberty_One is talking about the same Himilayan mountains, he has spun an honest mistake into a purposeful deceit.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Yeah, and your little conspiracy theory about the Medieval Warming Period has thrown the entire scientific community off so that they were somehow hypnotized to increase sea level data, increase ocean heat and acidification levels, increase greenhouse has levels, spike temperature and precipitation data in the past decade to show that they are the hottest on record, manipulate climate models and on and on.

Truely breathtaking!

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Pick a month, any month: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/1

Alternatively, look at the data-based evidence on any number of fronts: http://www.climate.gov/

Since your source seems to be the British journalism realm, not science, I'll offer you a much more data-driven analysis of your assertion: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

You know, just because you sling a lot of mud all at once doesn't change the fact that it's still mud. Try this on for size: http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2012/03/michael-mann-the-hockey-stick-and-the-climate-wars/

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Your proof? You somehow figured this out differently than the 6 independent investigations that came to the opposite conclusion? Really??? Using what information? liveleak?

Guess that speaks for itself.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

wow. First of all, he did not work on his own. Secondly, I suggest you read the investigations and subsequent exonerations as to why the Canadian mathematician critique did not hold water, among the huge, complicated series of events that unfolded. Wikipedia has a nice summary of the complex story that is way to long to go into on this comment list. Thirdly, I strongly suggest you read "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: dispatches from the front lines." It might help you get over your feelings that something is being pulled over your eyes.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

You are giving a link to "Climategate" that was written in 2010? Before the 6 independent investigations that exonerated the East Anglia research center and the major players of any wrongdoing?

Now THAT's selective memory!

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Bottom line: the temperatures and data provided to researchers around the world was valid. Furthermore, refinements continue and data is added that only bolsters the conclusion that global climate change is real and is being driven by human activities.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

And Al Gore has his degree in what? And what peer-reviewed scientific journal article is his research published in?

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

You want me to admit that politicians lie? OK. I'll admit that. Now will you admit to me that the scientific evidence for humanity's impact on the climate is overwhelming, and that climate change is occuring, and will only get worse unless we change the way we produce our energy, clear the land, etc.?

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Liberty275 1 year, 11 months ago

So it may be gone 2 years and 3 months, from now? I'll keep an eye on the polar ice and the "a! gore" you speak of and try to determine the extent of his psychic ability.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

Tell us Liberty, what exactly do you know that has been overlooked by the last 100-150 years of research?

Every one of your claims is a zombie that should have quit walking around years ago. It is only people like you who are afraid to believe that something bad will happen to them, and that they are responsible for their own fate that keep bringing them up.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

So, nothing on the what-you-know-that-hasn't-already-been-covered front?

What we need is an international agreement similar to the Montreal Protocol. Tell us, did that result in one world government?

Odd that you claim it is the state that is lying to us when it is the majority of politicians who tell us the climate scientists don't know what they are talking about.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

So, what you are saying is that you'd rather believe in a world-wide conspiracy than the basic physics which dictate that more CO2 leads to more energy retention. Just because you don't understand the science does not mean it isn't so.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

I think you just raised global temperatures 1 degree Celsius singlehandedly. Watch where you point that hot air.

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Alyosha 1 year, 11 months ago

Why do you even bother? The inanity of this post is laughable.

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deec 1 year, 11 months ago

Translation: I'm not going to post links because my sources are not credible.

This seems like an eerily similar posting style to some other posters who aren't around anymore. Weird.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

Svante Arrhenius predicted that man's CO2 emissions would eventually warm the planet 100 years ago. Wondering why you are talking about Al Gore.

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headdoctor 1 year, 11 months ago

This is at least the second round. Kansasblowsmeaway didn't last long this morning on another thread.

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georgeofwesternkansas 1 year, 11 months ago

Hey, my dad has a full set of tools, lets go make a Carbon Atom.

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Armstrong 1 year, 11 months ago

Tange it looks like you now have a challenger for most Youtube posts. What are you gonna do ? C'mon man !

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words 1 year, 11 months ago

Distraction plain and simple Distraction. Let's take a look at what is going on in the world. It's not climate that will be are doom.

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words 1 year, 11 months ago

Distraction plain and simple Distraction. Let's take a look at what is going on in the world. It's not climate that will be our doom.

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David Reynolds 1 year, 11 months ago

Eco-warriors attention! Research released in 2009 shows that atmospheric levels of CO2 have effectively remained unchanged since the advent of the industrial revolution, 1860.

Scientists (The report's author, Wolfgang Knorr) at Bristol University in the UK say that, despite rising emissions, the world is still able to store a 'significant' amount of greenhouse gases in its oceans and forests and has continued to absorb more than half the carbon dioxide produced by humans over the last 160 years.

This is despite emissions of CO2 increasing from two billion tonnes a year in 1850 to the current 35 billion tonnes. The report is based on historical records taken from Antarctic ice core samples rather than unreliable climate models.

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deec 1 year, 11 months ago

He also said his findings are no excuse not to act. He also said climate change is real and man-made.

http://jonesthenews.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/bristol-research-does-not-support-climate-change-denial/

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

citizen, Nobody said that our planet couldn't absorb all of the released CO2--as Knorr reminds us, half of the emissions are currently being absorbed already. But what does that mean? It means that half is not being absorbed immediately, hence the Keeling curve that shows each succeeding year accumulating more and more CO2 as a percentage of the atmosphere. The planet will catch up eventually, reabsorbing it all back, no problem--except it will take a few hundred years for a majority of the rest to be reabsorbed, and a thousand years or so more to catch completely up, according to best estimates. In the meantime, all the climate change consequences, including melting ice and consequent water shortages, sea level rise and consequent population displacement, ocean acidification and consequent ocean productivity die-off, etc. will occur. Geologically speaking, the earth has seen much worse. Humanity-speaking, it would be the greatest challenge it has faced.

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notaubermime 1 year, 11 months ago

"Research released in 2009 shows that atmospheric levels of CO2 have effectively remained unchanged since the advent of the industrial revolution, 1860." Then it runs against a number of different sources of peer-reviewed data. Additionally, direct atmospheric measurements at Mauna Loa would greatly disagree with any statements that atmospheric CO2 is not changing.

"the world is still able to store a 'significant' amount of greenhouse gases in its oceans and forests" The ability of the oceans to store atmospheric CO2 is inversely proportional to the temperature of the oceans. As the ocean temperatures rise, the oceans could either face a reduction in CO2 storage, if not becoming a source for atmospheric gases. The ability of forests to store CO2 is proportional to the amount to which they grow. Established forests do not absorb much CO2, it is only as forests spread or increase in age that they will add CO2.

Additionally, the carbon and methane locked in methane hydrates and permafrost are a wildcard with respect to how stable these potential sources of greenhouse gases will remain as the climate warms.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

"Research released in 2009 shows that atmospheric levels of CO2 have effectively remained unchanged since the advent of the industrial revolution, 1860."

CO2 around 1860: 287 ppmv CO2 this year: ~390 ppmv

How do you see this as effectively unchanged?

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David Reynolds 1 year, 11 months ago

The point is "Green House Gases" & specifically CO2 are not the issue. CO2 still composes only about .035%-.04% of the gas elements in the atmosphere. Nitrogen & oxygen make up about 99% of all the gas elements in the atmosphere. Thus CO2 is not the problem he mentions.

That said, do we need to clean things up, you bet. But lets just do it in a sensible process where real results can be achieved effectively, economically and as speedily as possible, yet not under the cloud of hysteria.

With regard to man made we can trade reports, but that gains nothing.

Standing back we can note that the earth has had violent temperature for various reasons, most not man made, during earth's history. I suppose during the 30's we thought there was global warming yet by the 70's we were predicting another ice age.

Al Gore is going to have another show titled "Dirty Climate", he changes the name of his cause every year or so. He is excited about getting his green house gas $ via trading credits.

Society just needs to act responsibly.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 11 months ago

"CO2 still composes only about .035%-.04% of the gas elements in the atmosphere. "

And one ounce of botulin toxin can kill tens of thousands of people. But since it's only one ounce, it can't really be dangerous, right?

And it takes a really small quantity of plutonium to make a nuclear bomb, so it can't really be all that dangerous, right?

Satirical questions aside, when you start your post with such a breathtaking exposition of ignorance about the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere, there is really no point in reading any further.

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David Reynolds 1 year, 11 months ago

Tell me just another bozo, if CO2 is not changing significantly in the atmosphere in terms of % content, how is CO2 more of a problem today?

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

"Nitrogen & oxygen make up about 99% of all the gas elements in the atmosphere."

To point out the obvious, these two gases do not interact with the infrared that the earth emits, and CO2 does. In other words, they are not greenhouse gases, and you have no idea what you are talking about.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 11 months ago

"I suppose during the 30's we thought there was global warming yet by the 70's we were predicting another ice age."

No, in the 30s there was not enough data to tell the difference between natural variation and the human influence signal. In the 70s, a handful of scientists thought that the effect of industrial aerosols would dominate the CO2 effect, while the majority did not. The cooling story made more media coverage, but that was about it. Based on the data available in the 70s, it was not clear at first which was correct. Of the cooling camp, Stephen Schneider discovered that he had made a mistake in the calculations and retracted his article, but the media outlets didn't make as much noise about the retraction as they did about the original article.

Here is what the data looked like at the time: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/to:1975/mean:131

And here is what they look like today: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:130/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/plot/pmod/scale:0.2/offset:-273.6/plot/gistemp/from:1995/trend/plot/pmod/from:1986/scale:0.2/offset:-273.6/trend

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Mike Ford 1 year, 11 months ago

um....leader of the trolls....your Britaingate assertions were debunked but you still repeat them as if rush didn't end at 2pm today on KMBZ. When does dumb hit the wall of denial and accept reality? I know of probably 40,000 Inupiat peoples in Alaska, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Greenland who love to take denying trolls along with Senator James Inhofe and tie all of you on a piece of diminishing sea ice and see the denying cowards howl for help.....I wish you could faces the consequences of your denial firsthand.....

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Tusch, In case you haven't seen it, there is a really good piece written by a 20 year old Inuk from Nain, Nunatsiavut, who talks about some of the dramatic changes that are occuring in the land where she lives: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Inuit-Climate-Change.html

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

It's pretty clear you didn't even bother to read the well written piece by this articulate young woman; otherwise you would have seen the references to the knowledge of her elders, her uncle, working in an effort by the entire community, in collaboration with scientists, to get a better handle on the rapid changes going on and how both science and tradition can help these folks adapt. Goody indeed: were we so lucky to have our local elders and scientists so respected and the community united to address the real challenges that lay ahead by the reality of climate change!

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 11 months ago

Seems that after all the heat of argument displayed in the comments above, that the points in this LTE still stand. There was no serious threat to the legitimacy of the data provided up by the websites listed, nor any more compelling alternatives offered to supplant the conclusions of those various scientific organizations. The need for leadership to stand up and formulate an effective response while there is still time is the only open question; that and the voters' willingness to hold their representatives' feet to the fire.

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