Climate Politics – Basics

PART 1

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Climate change has taken on apocalyptic status in some circles and the dyer warnings have reached the point where if something isn’t done RIGHT NOW! the planet and all life will be lost. There is no debate, the science is settled, or is it? Are there no credible scientists oppose the theory, surely scientists all over the world are continuing to study climate and what effects it.

Al Gore, in the Financial Times has discourage any further study by saying that the debate is settled. Is it?

“Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.”

The framing, or language of this debate has turned from one of scientific skepticism and debate, to one of philosophical ideology. There are a couple of  key indicators that suggest this,

  • Skeptics of  global warming due to human activity are often accused of being “deniers”.
  • Skeptics are threatened, demeaned and personally attacked. Bullied or shamed into submission.
  • Often skeptics are asked if they “believe” humans are effecting climate.

Washington Times; “Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of climate change’s loudest activists, said there should be a law that lets authorities punish skeptics and deniers”

Newsweek; SHOULD CLIMATE CHANBGE DINIERS BE PROSECUTED? “Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) op-ed “urg[ing] the U.S. Department of Justice to consider filing a racketeering suit against the oil and coal industries for having promoted wrongful thinking on climate change”

Boston Globe; Ellen Goodman; “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers”

Huffington Post; “This Is EXACTLY How Climate-Change Deniers Sound To Normal People…It’s brilliant, and you should watch it and send it to all your climate change-denying friends.”

Even when proponents of global warming label opponents with the term skeptic, it is in the context that somehow skepticism undermines credibility. All scientists are skeptics, it is a basis of scientific examination. When scientists and the public were moderate on the man made global warming hypothesis, proponents of the hypothesis, like Gore, turned to expressions like “unbelievers” and “Deniers”. These terms are philosophical in nature not scientific vernacular.

The term “Denier”, denotes ignorant opposition and disbelief. Often the liberal media will frame a question in this manor; Do you “believe” the earths warming is due to human activity? Unfortunately, too many accept the premise of the question without objecting to its inference. Belief is a philosophical state of mind, not a scientific position.

Another false premise is the proclamation that an overwhelming number of scientists agree Global Warming / Climate Change is a fact. There are flaws in the argument as well as nuances that must be considered and How do we know that perceived consensus doesn’t equate right?

  • Climate change is nothing new. Though large numbers of scientists agree climate is changing, it always has, they don’t all agree the cause is anthropomorphic. You just have to be careful how the argument is framed. For example, Hillary Clinton this month said the following reported by Breitbart News; “

“Most people in America–92 percent the last I checked…support these common sense measures–universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, closing the online and Charleston loophole, and doing whatever we can to appeal the immunity from all liability that gun makers and sellers have.”

At at first blush, she is insinuating that 92% of Americans are for                   suing Gun makers and sellers for improper use of their products,                   when in actuality, that number though inflated, only pertains to                     back ground checks. This is a tactic is deployed to introduce                             pressure by suggesting a consensus of your peers. Wrap your agenda             in with some truth to ad credibility and plausible deniability to your               argument. The same political strategy is used for climate change. Of             course the vast majority of scientists agree climate change is                           happening. What they don’t agree on is why. So consensus is                           dragged out to lend artificial weight to the argument.

  • 1857 Supreme Court Decision; Dred Scott v. Sandford. The consensus was African Americans were property not citizens.
  • In 1922 the consensus was that continents were fixed, until Alfred Wegener who was a skeptic (Denier), argued continental drift theory, which led to the modern science of plate tectonics. Wegener was ridiculed and his ideas were dismissed as “delirious ravings” (Smithsonian). Like today, he was personally attacked and discussion was shut down.
  • In the 19th century scientists accepted that human activity caused rain. Called the “rain follows the plow” theory, Charles Dana Wilber arrived at his conclusions because of anomalies in weather that coincided with human settlements, falling for the logical fallacy, correlation equals causation.

Climate science is in geological terms, minutes old. Is there irrefutable data that categorically and indisputably confirms that the catastrophes predicted will occur if Co2 emissions are not reduced? Could some scientists be falling for the same logical fallacy, again? Are these apocalyptic forecasts supported by irrefutable empirical data, or are climate models derived from a mixture of guess work and hand picked data?

This blog does not intend to end the argument by proving one way or another. I am hoping however, that careful and critical investigation of the arguments may unmuddy the waters sort of speak.

Here is some basic data;

  • Co2 concentration in the atmosphere as of 2014 is 389.55ppm (.00039), which is 0.039% of earths atmosphere. 10,000ppm equates to just 1% of earths atmosphere. Since about 1910 the Co2 has risen about 100ppm or 0.01%. Given that Co2 is essential for life on the planet, you have to ask yourself, is there a scientific certainty beyond any debate, that .0004 of the earths atmosphere is enough to change the planets climate? Has science ruled out cloud cover, the sun, earths orbital variations and the earths natural climate variations over the millennia? Many scientists are skeptical.

co2 chart

  • Is carbon dioxide a poison? No, humans exhale it, plants need it for photosynthesis, with out which life on the planet would die. Despite what the U.S. EPA says, Co2 is vital to life.
  • Climate satellite data sets show there has been no warming since 1998. This is hotly disputed after scientists recalculated historical data, making it cooler int he past, effectively wiping out the hiatus. Though, Physics.org, says this about the temperature pause;

“The inconsistencies existed only in terms of the model’s ability to explain decade-to-decade variability, such as why global mean surface temperatures warmed quickly during the 1980s and 1990s, but have remained relatively stable since then.”

  • No statistically significant warming. The chart below, physics.org and Phil Jones comments support there has been no statistically significant warming in the 35 years previous to 2010. By significant, he means that the increases over the decades have not increased to the degree where any assumption or predictions can be drawn. 1860-1880 had a greater increase than 1975-2009. Given inaccuracies on the measuring equipment even today, differences in numbers over decades are not significant when factoring in error margin specifications of the recording equipment and method of collection.

phil no significan warming

  • Scientists have since gone back and readjusted the temperature data and recently a study was published stating there has been no hiatus in global warming.
  •                temperature data is collected from ground stations, then the data is entered into a computer modeling algorithm written by a global warming scientist. The algorithm takes into account many ambiguous factors and outputs what is called, the actual adjusted temperature data.
  • Arctic/Antarctic sea ice has only been recorded since 1981. Statistically speaking, not enough time to make any conclusions or connections to Co2. Arctic Ice Extent; On September 17, 2014 Arctic ice dropped to 5.02 million square kilometers, only two days later than the 34 year avg. The North West Passage remained closed with ice this summer even though the Arctic maximun extent has been dropping year after year.
  • Antarctic ice continues to grow and the maximum sea ice Sept. 22, 2014 broke another record by adding 800,000 square kms. NASA satellite data, showed a net gain of 112 billion tons per year of ice between 1992 and 2001 and 82 B/yr between 2003 and 2008. Scientists have no clue why the Arctic is diminishing and Antarctica is growing.

arctic sea ice

antarctic

  • Satellite data, is not used by NOAA. Satellite data does not show any significant warming trends for the past 18. Some scientists say the satellite data is wrong because of conversions needed to arrive at temperatures. Surface based sensors are subject to a plethora of variables and calculations as you will see a little further down the page.

RSS satellite data

  • Temperature rise is not calculated by simply comparing thermometer data over decades. Here is an excerpt from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) PDF on the evaluation of climate models. You may wonder as do I, how they can be confident of prediction accuracy, decades in advance down to a couple of degrees C, with so many parameter values subject to error.

“9.6.5 Sources of Model Errors and Uncertainties In addition to issues related to resolution and model complexity (see Section 9.6.3), errors and uncertainties arise from observational uncertainty in evaluation data and parameterizations (see Box 9.3), choice of model domain and application of boundary conditions (driving data). In the case of SD, sources of model errors and uncertainties depend on the choice of method, including the choice of the predictors, the estimation of empirical relationships between predictors and predictands from limited data sets, and also the data used to estimate the predictors (Frost et al., 2011). There are numerous different SD methods, and the findings are difficult to generalize. Small domains allow less freedom for RCMs to generate the small-scale features that give rise to added value (e.g., Leduc and Laprise, 2009). Therefore large domains –covering entire continents– have become more common. Køltzow et al. (2008) found improvements with the use of a larger domain, but the RCM solution can become increasingly ‘decoupled’ from the driving data (e.g., Rockel et al., 2008), which can introduce inconsistencies. Large domains also introduce large internal variability, which can significantly contaminate interannual variability of seasonal means (Kanamitsu et al., 2010). Techniques such as spectral nudging (Misra, 2007; Separovic et al., 2012) can be used to constrain such inconsistencies (Feser et al., 2011). Winterfeldt and Weisse (2009) concluded that nudging improved the simulation of marine wind climate, while Otte et al. (2012) demonstrated improvements in temperature and precipitation. Nudging may, however, also lead to deterioration of features such as precipitation extremes (Alexandru et al., 2009; Kawazoe and Gutowski, 2013). Veljovic et al. (2010) showed that an RCM can in fact improve the large scales with respect to those inherent in the boundary conditions, and argued that nudging may be undesirable. The quality of RCM results may vary according to the synoptic situation, season, and the geographic location of the lateral boundaries (Alexandru et al., 2007; Xue et al., 2007; Laprise et al., 2008; Separovic et al., 2008; Leduc and Laprise, 2009; Nikiema and Laprise, 2010; Rapaić et al., 2010). In addition to lateral boundary conditions, RCMs also need sea surface information. Few studies have explored the dependency of RCM results on the treatment of the SSTs and sea ice, although Koltzow et al. (2011) found that the specification of SSTs was less influential than was the domain or the lateral boundaries. Woollings et al. (2010a) investigated the effect of specified SST on the simulation of the Atlantic storm track and found that it was better simulated with high-resolution SSTs, whereas increasing temporal resolution gave mixed results. As is the case in global models, RCM errors are directly related to shortcomings in process parameterizations.”

  • NASA 2014 warmest year in history? They didn’t mention something in the press realease according to the news site MailOnline; NASA ANNUAL GLOBAL REPORT 2014

“The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.

In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.

The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.

Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.”

 

nasa 2014 warmest

  • Polar Bear Population; Is it declining or growing? Polar bear expert Dr. Susan Crockford, a zoologist from the University of Victoria in British Columbia Canada, where she earned her PhD. and is an adjunct professor there with more than 35 years experience in the field. HERE is her website where you can view in detail the controversy over bear population estimations. Crockford and others, say the Polar bear has made a comeback and the population is stable. The population is not threatened by alleged global warming
  • As you dig into the science it is plain to see there is a wide range of variables and an exponential error margin when predicting global temperatures decades in advance by calculating trace elements down to 0.00039 ppm. Yet, Obama and others say, we have to act now to save the planet.

In my next blog I will look at the strategy to convince the public that 16.5 trillion of our tax dollars is a bargain to stave off the an extinction event. Is it about the planet, or could it be about money and control?

 PART 2

 

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