Solar variability and terrestrial climate

January 11, 2013 by Tony Phillips, NASA

These six images from SDO, chosen to show a representative image about every six months, track the rising level of solar activity since the mission first began to produce consistent images in May, 2010. The period of solar maximum is expected in 2013. The images were taken in the 171 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.
(Phys.org)—In the galactic scheme of things, the Sun is a remarkably constant star. While some stars exhibit dramatic pulsations, wildly yo-yoing in size and brightness, and sometimes even exploding, the luminosity of our own sun varies a measly 0.1% over the course of the 11-year solar cycle.

There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), "The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate," lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that can make itself felt on our planet.

Understanding the sun-climate connection requires a breadth of expertise in fields such as , solar activity, and , physics, and even terrestrial history. No single researcher has the full range of knowledge required to solve the problem. To make progress, the NRC had to assemble dozens of experts from many fields at a single workshop. The report summarizes their combined efforts to frame the problem in a truly multi-disciplinary context.

One of the participants, Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and at the University of Colorado, pointed out that while the variations in luminosity over the 11-year amount to only a tenth of a percent of the sun's total output, such a small fraction is still important. "Even typical short term variations of 0.1% in incident irradiance exceed all other energy sources (such as natural radioactivity in Earth's core) combined," he says.

Of particular importance is the sun's extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, which peaks during the years around . Within the relatively narrow band of EUV wavelengths, the sun's output varies not by a minuscule 0.1%, but by whopping factors of 10 or more. This can strongly affect the chemistry and thermal structure of the upper atmosphere.

Several researchers discussed how changes in the upper atmosphere can trickle down to Earth's surface. There are many "top-down" pathways for the sun's influence. For instance, Charles Jackman of the Goddard Space Flight Center described how nitrogen oxides (NOx) created by solar energetic particles and cosmic rays in the stratosphere could reduce ozone levels by a few percent. Because ozone absorbs UV radiation, less ozone means that more UV rays from the sun would reach Earth's surface.

Isaac Held of NOAA took this one step further. He described how loss of ozone in the stratosphere could alter the dynamics of the atmosphere below it. "The cooling of the polar stratosphere associated with loss of ozone increases the horizontal temperature gradient near the tropopause," he explains. "This alters the flux of angular momentum by mid-latitude eddies. [Angular momentum is important because] the angular momentum budget of the troposphere controls the surface westerlies." In other words, solar activity felt in the upper atmosphere can, through a complicated series of influences, push surface storm tracks off course.

Many of the mechanisms proposed at the workshop had a Rube Goldberg-like quality. They relied on multi-step interactions between multiple layers of atmosphere and ocean, some relying on chemistry to get their work done, others leaning on thermodynamics or fluid physics. But just because something is complicated doesn't mean it's not real.

Indeed, Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) presented persuasive evidence that solar variability is leaving an imprint on climate, especially in the Pacific. According to the report, when researchers look at sea surface temperature data during sunspot peak years, the tropical Pacific shows a pronounced La Nina-like pattern, with a cooling of almost 1o C in the equatorial eastern Pacific. In addition, "there are signs of enhanced precipitation in the Pacific ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone ) and SPCZ (South Pacific Convergence Zone) as well as above-normal sea-level pressure in the mid-latitude North and South Pacific," correlated with peaks in the sunspot cycle.

Space-borne measurements of the total solar irradiance (TSI) show ~0.1 percent variations with solar activity on 11-year and shorter timescales. These data have been corrected for calibration offsets between the various instruments used to measure TSI. Credit: Greg Kopp, University of Colorado

The solar cycle signals are so strong in the Pacific, that Meehl and colleagues have begun to wonder if something in the Pacific climate system is acting to amplify them. "One of the mysteries regarding Earth's climate system ... is how the relatively small fluctuations of the 11-year solar cycle can produce the magnitude of the observed climate signals in the tropical Pacific." Using supercomputer models of climate, they show that not only "top-down" but also "bottom-up" mechanisms involving atmosphere-ocean interactions are required to amplify solar forcing at the surface of the Pacific.

In recent years, researchers have considered the possibility that the sun plays a role in global warming. After all, the sun is the main source of heat for our planet. The NRC report suggests, however, that the influence of solar variability is more regional than global. The Pacific region is only one example.

How incoming galactic cosmic rays and solar protons penetrate the atmosphere. SOURCE: C. Jackman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, “The Impact of Energetic Particle Precipitation on the Atmosphere,” presentation to the Workshop on the Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate, September 9, 2011.

Caspar Amman of NCAR noted in the report that "When Earth's radiative balance is altered, as in the case of a change in solar cycle forcing, not all locations are affected equally. The equatorial central Pacific is generally cooler, the runoff from rivers in Peru is reduced, and drier conditions affect the western USA."

Raymond Bradley of UMass, who has studied historical records of solar activity imprinted by radioisotopes in tree rings and ice cores, says that regional rainfall seems to be more affected than temperature. "If there is indeed a solar effect on climate, it is manifested by changes in general circulation rather than in a direct temperature signal." This fits in with the conclusion of the IPCC and previous NRC reports that solar variability is NOT the cause of global warming over the last 50 years.

Composite averages for December-January-February for peak solar years. SOURCE: G.A. Meehl, J.M. Arblaster, K. Matthes, F. Sassi, and H. van Loon, Amplifying the Pacific climate system response to a small 11 year solar cycle forcing, Science 325:1114-1118, 200.; Credit: AAAS

Much has been made of the probable connection between the Maunder Minimum, a 70-year deficit of sunspots in the late 17th-early 18th century, and the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters. The mechanism for that regional cooling could have been a drop in the sun's EUV output; this is, however, speculative.

Dan Lubin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pointed out the value of looking at sun-like stars elsewhere in the Milky Way to determine the frequency of similar grand minima. "Early estimates of grand minimum frequency in solar-type stars ranged from 10% to 30%, implying the sun's influence could be overpowering. More recent studies using data from Hipparcos (a European Space Agency astrometry satellite) and properly accounting for the metallicity of the stars, place the estimate in the range of less than 3%." This is not a large number, but it is significant.

The yearly averaged sunspot number for a period of 400 years (1610-2010). Credit: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion. (Note: Penn and Livingston were not participants at the NRC workshop.)

"If the sun really is entering an unfamiliar phase of the solar cycle, then we must redouble our efforts to understand the sun-climate link," notes Lika Guhathakurta of NASA's Living with a Star Program, which helped fund the NRC study. "The report offers some good ideas for how to get started."

Solar variability and terrestrial climate
This image of the Sun's upper photosphere shows bright and dark magnetic structures responsible for variations in TSI. Credit: P. Foukal, Heliophysics, Inc.

In a concluding panel discussion, the researchers identified a number of possible next steps. Foremost among them was the deployment of a radiometric imager. Devices currently used to measure total solar irradiance (TSI) reduce the entire sun to a single number: the total luminosity summed over all latitudes, longitudes, and wavelengths. This integrated value becomes a solitary point in a time series tracking the sun's output.

In fact, as Peter Foukal of Heliophysics, Inc., pointed out, the situation is more complex. The sun is not a featureless ball of uniform luminosity. Instead, the solar disk is dotted by the dark cores of sunspots and splashed with bright magnetic froth known as faculae. Radiometric imaging would, essentially, map the surface of the sun and reveal the contributions of each to the sun's . Of particular interest are the faculae. While dark sunspots tend to vanish during solar minima, the bright faculae do not. This may be why paleoclimate records of sun-sensitive isotopes C-14 and Be-10 show a faint 11-year cycle at work even during the Maunder Minimum. A radiometric imager, deployed on some future space observatory, would allow researchers to develop the understanding they need to project the sun-climate link into a future of prolonged spotlessness.

Some attendees stressed the need to put sun-climate data in standard formats and make them widely available for multidisciplinary study. Because the mechanisms for the sun's influence on climate are complicated, researchers from many fields will have to work together to successfully model them and compare competing results. Continued and improved collaboration between NASA, NOAA and the NSF are keys to this process.

Hal Maring, a climate scientist at NASA headquarters who has studied the report, notes that "lots of interesting possibilities were suggested by the panelists. However, few, if any, have been quantified to the point that we can definitively assess their impact on climate." Hardening the possibilities into concrete, physically-complete models is a key challenge for the researchers.

Finally, many participants noted the difficulty in deciphering the sun-climate link from paleoclimate records such as tree rings and ice cores. Variations in Earth's magnetic field and atmospheric circulation can affect the deposition of radioisotopes far more than actual solar activity. A better long-term record of the sun's irradiance might be encoded in the rocks and sediments of the Moon or Mars. Studying other worlds might hold the key to our own.

The full report, "The Effects of on Earth's Climate," is available from the National Academies Press at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13519

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Shootist
2.7 / 5 (27) Jan 11, 2013
There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate.


Boffins just discover Sun affects climate.

Too funny.

VendicarD
Jan 11, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
cantdrive85
2.4 / 5 (25) Jan 11, 2013
Who'da thunk it? The Sun? Nah, couldn't be.
full_disclosure
2.6 / 5 (30) Jan 11, 2013
ShooTard didn't read the article.

How Tard of him.



Poster boy for intolerance....

This is how the retreat continues. Inch by painful inch. Those who are invested in CAGW will do anything to avoid the rout that they know is round the corner. Just you see. Inch by painful inch.

Carthago delenda est.
Anda
3.3 / 5 (12) Jan 11, 2013
Full_disclosure. The intolerant is the first comment. So yours is ... Strange. ... Cartago
Claudius
2.9 / 5 (19) Jan 11, 2013
Finally some sanity. Not much, just a bit.
Maggnus
3.3 / 5 (22) Jan 11, 2013
Nice cherry pick there Shootist! Typical of course, given the gist of the article is that the sun may be entering a period of low activity that may rival the low activity of the Maunder Minimum. So, as the sun's activity is lowering, and the climate should therefore be cooling, perhaps one of you could explain why it is instead heating up?

One cannot help but wonder how much more it would have warmed but for the cooling from the lower solar activity.
philw1776
3.6 / 5 (14) Jan 11, 2013
Maybe the Earth is still warming from being in an interglacial period? I would not expect warming to be linear. Most natural processes have aspects of chaotic behavior superimposed on trends. Add in the effects of civilization, paved roads, cities, heat islands, etc. and we should have an increasing warming trend. Perhaps a solar minimum will reduce that. Data is still to noisy to be definitive.
Maggnus
2.7 / 5 (16) Jan 11, 2013
Maybe the Earth is still warming from being in an interglacial period? I would not expect warming to be linear. Most natural processes have aspects of chaotic behavior superimposed on trends.


Except that we should be now moving towards a cooling trend, as the interglacial we're currently in should be drawing to a close. Instead, it is warming. Significantly.

Add in the effects of civilization, paved roads, cities, heat islands, etc. and we should have an increasing warming trend. Perhaps a solar minimum will reduce that. Data is still to noisy to be definitive.


These are, at best, miniscule beside the warming resulting from CO2 loading in the atmosphere.

Try again?
Sanescience
3.7 / 5 (12) Jan 11, 2013
If the elements of climate change could be physically modeled in short human scale time periods we would be in what might be the S.W.A.G. phase of understanding. Which would make all this posturing about one theory or another seem like hubris.

But sadly were not, and since the time scale means we are still cave men trying to characterize the "gods" of climate change, we see patterns in tea leaves more than we appreciate the complexity of what we are trying to understand. It is just how the human psyche is built.
GSwift7
2.9 / 5 (10) Jan 11, 2013
maggnus:

Where did you read that solar activity has been low enough that it should have caused cooling?

Here's a link to the wiki on solar cycles:

http://en.wikiped...ar_cycle

The prediction that we MAY be headed into a minimum is rather controversial at this point, so I think you're jumping the gun a bit by trying to attribute anything to us being in a minimum.

Also, in regard to our current interglacial ending, where did you read that?

I've never seen anyone say that there's evidence that our interglacial has come to an end. Here's the wiki in interglacials:

http://en.wikiped...rglacial

Once again there's a chart that doesn't agree with your statements.
GSwift7
2.9 / 5 (11) Jan 11, 2013
philw:

Maybe the Earth is still warming from being in an interglacial period? I would not expect warming to be linear. Most natural processes have aspects of chaotic behavior superimposed on trends.


Take a look at the page on interglacials in my previous post. There's a graph at the top with three different proxy records. The top two are isotope temperature proxies. Neither of them show a clear trend up or down. The third is an inverted global ice volume plot. That one is hard to interpret because it's not straight forward. Ice volume also follows precipitation, and ice melt lags temperature (raise the temp above freezing, then it might take 1000's of years to melt the ice). So the ice melt plot makes it look like there's a currently increasing interglacial trend, but that may not be the case.

As for global warming preventing an ice age, that's probably wishfull thinking. When an ice age starts, the oceans suck up co2 like crazy due to increased solubility.
Claudius
3.4 / 5 (17) Jan 11, 2013
Instead, it is warming. Significantly.


So you disagree with Phil Jones that there has been a plateau in global temperatures for the last 16 years?

Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia:

"We don't fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans, and because we don't fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming."

The data does suggest a plateau, he admitted, and without a major El Nino event – the sudden, dramatic warming of the southern Pacific which takes place unpredictably and always has a huge effect on global weather – "it could go on for a while".

http://notrickszo...ent-on-h
extinct
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2013
so long as it's clever-egomaniac-versus-clever-egomaniac in these comments, the comments will continue to be a distraction. fact: nobody knows what the next solar cycle will be like. not even the lovechild of Einstein crossbred with Newton crossbred with (insert your favorite scientist). we will all know the stats once they happen in real time, and not one second earlier. to take it a step further: we cannot even accurately predict earth's weather 5 days from now (i'm speaking only of weather, not of climate), let alone predict the amplitude of an 11-year cycle of a fireball 93 million miles away, so let's not kid ourselves. with 21st century humanoid technology, knowledge is only attained & gained *retrospectively*, after the solar cycle has come, has been measured, and has gone.
Caliban
2.8 / 5 (13) Jan 11, 2013
So, the denialista think to use this common-sense, integrative approach to do a better job of exploring relationships and building better models to more accurately quantify solar input into the global climate system as some new, ground-breaking work?

This was a CONFERENCE, attended by the researchers ALREADY INVOLVED IN ONGOING RESEARCH. Trying to find ways to better collaborate(goddam socialists!) in developing a more complete, nuanced understanding of the Solar contribution to global climate.

But you jaggoffs are already trying to distort this into some kind of only-just-now-redressed omission in AGW research methodology. The only "inch by painful inch" withdrawal you are going to experience is that of the Fossil Fuel Industry removing its funding member from your oh-so willing backsides.

Lastly, if solar cycles drive warming and cooling, then we would see a regular, cyclical pattern in global temperature over ANY dataset of more than a couple of decades, yet we DO NOT.

StarGazer2011
2.9 / 5 (15) Jan 11, 2013
for the record NOBODY claims there has been any warming since 1998 except big-green activists with their billions of dollars of taxpayer funding. The CAGW priests are desperately trying to distract the public from the lack of warming by concentrating on 'extreme weather' and hoping people are too stupid to notice the bait and switch.
Caliban
3 / 5 (12) Jan 11, 2013
for the record NOBODY claims there has been any warming since 1998 except big-green activists with their billions of dollars of taxpayer funding. The CAGW priests are desperately trying to distract the public from the lack of warming by concentrating on 'extreme weather' and hoping people are too stupid to notice the bait and switch.


For the record, you are full of shit. During that time period, the delta has been small, but still positive. Besides, this year blows any claim of "no warming, maybe cooling" right out of the water.

Go soak your microcephalis in a bucket of PAHs.

GSwift7
3 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2013
for the record NOBODY claims there has been any warming since 1998 except big-green activists with their billions of dollars of taxpayer funding. The CAGW priests are desperately trying to distract the public from the lack of warming by concentrating on 'extreme weather' and hoping people are too stupid to notice the bait and switch


I'm not an extremist for either side, but I can say that this kind of language isn't helping your cause.

Same goes for the responses to your statement from the 'other side'.

You make yourselves sound like petulent children making raspberries and calling names at each other.

The story above is about a conference of experts who were gathered to talk about a subject that hasn't gotten much research attention yet. As I understand it, they said that there are thing happening that we know are happening but we don't have quantities for yet. They could be either positive, negative or neutral. This isn't in any way in opposition or in support of your side
The Alchemist
2 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2013
I resent on all your behalf that its takes an epic comprehension to understand this. I created a working predictive model 30 years ago: The first order effects of: Sun activity (more heat), greenhouse effect (better insulation), more heat from fossil fuels is not Global WARMING at all, but polar melting, and you'll notice, those other effects mentioned in the article. The melting is having less of an effect; glaciers are farther away, drain over more land and have less surface area.
Certainly there'll be some warming, and some cooling, but nothing drastic, just like we've experienced! You gotta remember: 30 years ago...
@Caliban, it's not like you to be so reactionary. Certainly the years near Y2k were hot and sunspot years, as is now. I keep telling you all the GW is full of those who would mislead, speaking of... This made getting good data on CO2 effects challenging: You want I should post it here on the other page?

A waning Sun is music to my model's ears.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2013

The story above is about a conference of experts who were gathered to talk about a subject that hasn't gotten much research attention yet. As I understand it, they said that there are thing happening that we know are happening but we don't have quantities for yet. They could be either positive, negative or neutral. This isn't in any way in opposition or in support of your side


Thanks for paraphrasing the analysis I had just made, swifty. Although I believe that you put much too fine a point on it.

In any event, maybe you succeeded in getting through to alchy.

Judging from alchy's response, however --I think not.

Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2013
I resent on all your behalf that its takes an epic comprehension to understand this. I created a working predictive model 30 years ago: The first order effects of: Sun activity (more heat), greenhouse effect (better insulation), more heat from fossil fuels is not Global WARMING at all, but polar melting, and you'll notice, those other effects mentioned in the article. [...] @Caliban, it's not like you to be so reactionary. Certainly the years near Y2k were hot and sunspot years, as is now. I keep telling you all the GW is full of those who would mislead, speaking of... This made getting good data on CO2 effects challenging: You want I should post it here on the other page?

A waning Sun is music to my model's ears.


Alchy,

Prolly a good time to update your data and get current. New Knowlege, Enhanced Understanding, Broader-based Modeling have all lead to a better comprehension of mechanics involved in AGW.

Don't be unregenerate --embrace the Truth!

Claudius
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2013
claudius: "So you disagree with Phil Jones that there has been a plateau in global temperatures for the last 16 years?"

I agree with Phil Jones - the record is very clear. Do you agree that the ice sheets continue to melt...


That's what Phil Jones more or less said:

"...though five years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him 'worried', that period has now become 20 years."

And if global temperatures continue to plateau, that period will be extended even further. It seems theory trumps data.

Egleton
3.2 / 5 (9) Jan 12, 2013
Climate change is a plot by the New World Order to enslave everyone.
Australia is going into an Ice Age.
No wait! I think I have heat stroke.
Claudius
2.3 / 5 (12) Jan 12, 2013

Don't be unregenerate --embrace the Truth!


So we have AGW proponents who when faced with the situation that global temperatures have plateaued for 16 years deny its significance. (Or even claim it has been increasing, significantly.) When we all know that if global temperatures had been increasing it would have been pointed to as conclusive proof.

I think AGW now qualifies as one of the major religions of the world.
VendicarD
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
Correct.

"The Sun? Nah, couldn't be." - cantdrive

Observed changes in solar TSI are not sufficient to explain the current warming, and in fact declined during the period that shows accelerated warming.

Further, there are no related changes observed on other planets.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2013
Can Tard boy show me where this plateau is?

http://www.woodfo...97/trend

I can't see into his delusional mind.

"So we have AGW proponents who when faced with the situation that global temperatures have plateaued for 16 years deny its significance."
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2013
I don't see a 20 year plateau either.

http://www.woodfo...93/trend

Claudius needs to see a psychiatrist.

"...though five years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him 'worried', that period has now become 20 years." - ClaudiusTard
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2013
Well, retreat is certainly being made a lot easier in my area where today winter highs will be 14'C higher than normal, and tomorrow 15'C warmer than normal.

Last winter was entirely non-existent.

"This is how the retreat continues. Inch by painful inch. " - DisclosureTard

Perhaps DisclosureTard doesn't know what the word retreat means.

Cut and Run Republicans have always had to redefine the word in order to hide their cowardice.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2013
We are all impressed that you managed to fit an entire climate model into the 4k memory of your Vic20.

Did your model look something like this.

10 t=25

20 For a = 1 to 300 step 1
30 t1 = t plus .0000001 * a
40 print "year",t1,"Temp",a
50 next
60 end

Perhaps your model was more sophisticated and you used

30 t1 = t-1 plus rnd(0)* 2 -1 .00000001*a

"I created a working predictive model 30 years ago:" - Alchemist
VendicarD
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
It appears that StarTard is living in some alternate universe.

Perhaps it's the negative energy StarTrek universe where Spock has a beard and Sulu isn't gay.

"For the record NOBODY claims there has been any warming since 1998 except big-green activists" - StarTard

http://www.woodfo...93/trend

http://www.woodfo...93/trend

http://www.woodfo...93/trend
VendicarD
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
Given that the earth has been cooling since the start of the current interglacial, one wonders what this "warming from the beginning" is that Philw is nattering about.

"Maybe the Earth is still warming from being in an interglacial period?" - Philw

Perhaps Philw has been looking at the temperature record over the last 12,000 years while standing on his head.

Here is an interesting plot.

http://www.global..._Rev_png

Where is the "still warming" in that plot, Philw?
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2013
I don't see a 20 year plateau either.

http://www.woodfo...93/trend

Claudius needs to see a psychiatrist.

"...though five years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him 'worried', that period has now become 20 years." - ClaudiusTard


It is a 16 year plateau. Read my message again. If you start your plot at around 1997, it is a plateau.

Perhaps you think Phil Jones needs a psychiatrist, he admits it is there.
Claudius
2.6 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2013
But still - what is your point?


I could also point to large increases in global temperature when anthropogenic CO2 was not a factor. The point is that if anthropogenic CO2 is driving all of the increases in global temperature, it should increase during times when CO2 levels have been increasing, such as during the last 16 years.

The point is that since climate change is not explained by anthropogenic CO2 increases, it should not be a cause for alarm, and certainly not a cause for exorbitant and costly steps to decrease the amount of CO2 produced by humans.
Claudius
2.3 / 5 (9) Jan 12, 2013
But the trend is up.


For most of the 100 year history you are pointing to, anthropomorphic sources of CO2 were miniscule. Most of the warming trend you point to is due to factors independent of man. More significant is the lack of warming when anthropomorphic sources of CO2 have been the greatest, in the last 16 years.

I will not descend to the schoolyard level of puerile ad hominem attacks. You weaken your own argument by descending to that level.
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
Don't be unregenerate --embrace the Truth!


We don't disagree on the truth, just the supporting details... & the truth is this: WARMING will be an arguable phenomenon ...until the ice caps are too small to regulate temperature. Then no one will argue the warming.
Warming will be an arguable phenomenon... with people showing up trends, down trends, no trends, trends that are linked to gophers, all back by respectable experts. As we have seen since before I was concious.
Until then, it's not the heat it the humidity (if you're near the sea with the winds) or the dryness if you're not, it's more but less powerful hurricanes, it's... many other phenomenon that the Earth dumps heat into instead of temperature. Like the equipartition theorum, energy goes equally into all available states/degrees of freedom. When you heat a bowl of ice, it melts, but the temperature remains 0 C, until it is all gone.
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 12, 2013
New research is showing that we can have carbon neutral energy, at current energy costs - wow - what a concept - people looking for solutions - instead of morons advertising their ignorance on the internet.



Solution to what? If anthropogenic CO2 production is not a significant cause of climate change, reducing CO2 emissions will do nothing to change the climate, whether it is more expensive or not.

If the climate is going to change, it will do so without our influence, as it always has. Best to adapt to it. Trying to change it by reducing carbon emissions is going to be futile.
GSwift7
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2013
Why do you think it has to be about sides Gswift?


It shouldn't be, but it is. There's just too many people with financial interests in this now, and they throw around a lot of emotional rhetoric and propaganda. It doesn't help the science.

The actual science is really kinda cool, and it's so complex that it offers a virtually never-ending source of reading and thought for people like us.

In any event, maybe you succeeded in getting through to alchy.Judging from alchy's response, however --I think not


Yeah, you're better off disregarding crackpots and extreemists. You can't talk about breeding horses when the other guy is talking about how he thinks horses can fly.

Claudius needs to see a psychiatrist


Have you read any of your own comments? You sound like a really dangerous person to me.
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
@Vendicar-25 years ago we had to use our noggins not computers for models.
Even today I always think of the coke Mod&Sim of the polar bears, where the computer brains had the bears dragging the tree the wrong way. http://www.youtub...xPoZgiJE
Sadly it is an error I've found with many M&S-ers: They inflict their assuptions, approximations, and bad physics on the unknowing.
la7dfa
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
It will be interesting to see what impact the reduced solar activity will bring. In general the temperature only varies 0.1C from solar maximum to minimum. It seems we have already passed maximum of cycle 24. http://www.solen....cles.png
Maggnus
3 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2013
Where did you read that solar activity has been low enough that it should have caused cooling?


I said no such thing, but nice attempt to put words in my mouth. If the article above is correct, the our star may be moving into a minimum that may equal the Maunder Minimum. If that is correct, then we should be seeing a reduction in total solar output. Can you extrapolate from there?

Also, in regard to our current interglacial ending, where did you read that?


There is a lot of study of the causes of past glaciation, including studies which suggest that historically the period of warmness which we have been enjoying for the last few thousand years should be ending, assuming the pattern of the last 500,000 years continues (see Berger and Loutre, (1991),Peltier(1994)or Kawamura et al.( 2007)for eg.) Patterns of glaciation suggest that we are actually in a very brief pulse of warmth, and that this period should be ending, assuming past pulses are a guide.
Maggnus
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2013
See also The Current Major Interglacial by L. David Roper which gives an excellent overview of our current understanding of both glaciation and inter-glacial periods.

There are also suggestions of a 1300 year pattern of "mini-iceages" the last of which correspondes to the Maunder Minimum, which was 1300 years ago. (See Perry & Hsu (2006). I find it hilarious that there is actually a group called Ice Age Now which denies global warming because it goes against its cetral message that we are entering a new ice age!

Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2013
As for global warming preventing an ice age, that's probably wishfull thinking. When an ice age starts, the oceans suck up co2 like crazy due to increased solubility.


Actually, this is possibly the only good thing that may have arisen from global warming. While we will probably have a new period of glaciation, it will likely be significantly reduced because of CO2 loading in our atmosphere. (See here: http://news.natio...ge.html) Over the long term. our ancesters may actually thank us! So GW7 you can do some of your own research now.

When you do, perhaps you can elucidate on your suggestion that the oceans will be more soluble? Are you taking into account the CO2 loading they have already undergone?
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2013
Crap, typo the Maunder Minimum was 300 not 1300 years ago.

"Most of the warming trend you point to is due to factors independent of man. "

Djr stated correctly that you have no evidence to support this statement, but I would go one further and say there is, in fact, much evidence that the warming trend is the direct result of man's actions.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2013
So you disagree with Phil Jones that there has been a plateau in global temperatures for the last 16 years?


No, I disagree with your weak attempt to spin it to mean something it doesn't.
VendicarD
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2013
Odd. I didn't see a 16 year Plateau when I posted this earlier (above), and I still don't see it.

http://www.woodfo...97/trend

"It is a 16 year Plateau" - ClaudiusTard

Is it that ClaudiusTard just magically forgot to look at the plot or is it that ClaudiusTard simply ignores all facts that contradict his ideology of self imposed ignorance?

VendicarD
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2013
ClaudiusTard now implies that CO2 is the only factor that can alter global temperature.

I presume he wishes to claim that if there are other factors then CO2 can not be the driving factor today.

"I could also point to large increases in global temperature when anthropogenic CO2 was not a factor." - ClaudiusTard

His logic is pre-kindergarten nonsense of course.

Science has identified and quantified all primary drivers of the Earth's climate as well as all primary and secondary feedbacks.

Combining all drivers in back of the envelope calculations produces the observed warming.

Combining all drivers and feedbacks in physical models produces essentially the same results but with greater precision.

This leaves Claudius to speculate that Bigfoot or UFO's or invisible sunlight is causing the earth to warm and that magically the CO2 that science tells us must be warming the planet produces no effect what so ever.

Anf of course if CO2 produces no effect, then all of cont.
VendicarD
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2013
cont.. Radiative physics as known by science is all wrong. But since virtually all modern science is based upon radiative physics, then it would have to be all wrong as well.

So Claudius is saying that all of modern science is one gigantic failure because he has faith that some invisible force, like Bigfoot is causing the earth to warm, rather than CO2.

What a Moron. He even thinks that an observee .1'C rise is a plateau.

http://www.woodfo...97/trend

Filth
VendicarD
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2013
Not all burning houses are explained by matches.

"The point is that since climate change is not explained by anthropogenic CO2 increases" - Claudiustard

So you conclude that a burning house can not have been caused by a lit match.

Idiocy.

Educate yourself Moron..

http://vimeo.com/34099316
VendicarD
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2013
The first digital climate models were run in the early 1970's, around 40 years ago.

"25 years ago we had to use our noggins not computers for models." - Alchemist

When you start a post with a fact that is pulled out of your ass, do we really need to continue reading the moronic filth that follows?

Nope.

Badforu
1.3 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2013
The complexities of our existance is amazing. Any one thing different changes everything.

I do have a problem with the sun cycle chart. Theres no way they have any records worth giving credit to anyone for sun research before the 1900's. Then very little till the 50's then it strarted to pick up. So what is a normal sun cycle? how stable it is, is amazing.
yyz
5 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2013
"Theres no way they have any records worth giving credit to anyone for sun research before the 1900's."

Daily solar observations have been carried out at the Zurich Observatory since 1849 and adequate observations of earlier solar activity are available to ascertain the reality of the Maunder Minimum from ~1645-1715: http://solarscien...le.shtml

And since 1874 the Royal Greenwich Observatory has made daily observations of the sun (available here): http://solarscien...ch.shtml

The Zurich and RGO records are a couple of the best known series of solar observations that pre-date 1900, though many others exist.
Pkunk_
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 14, 2013
Piers Corbyn has been saying for decades @ weatheraction that the biggest effect on the global weather is quite naturally the Sun. When the sun sneezes , the Earth catches a cold. And his system @ weatheraction is more accurate than the UK Met office by an order of magnitude.
And over @ climaterealists they have been saying the same thing for years (you can't google the real site since it is anti-AGW so it is mysteriously censored from google search results).
The effect of CO2 to global "warming" is so pitiful it isn't even worth considering.
runrig
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 14, 2013
Piers Corbyn has been saying for decades....@weatheraction is more accurate than the UK Met office by an order of magnitude.


I'm sorry but this is pure bunkum. I met Mr Corbyn some 30 or so years ago and we know no more about his "forecast technique" than we did then. He is quite frankly a joke in the weather community. Have you read his forecasts? How is it possible to fix weather to within days over periods of months ahead. Clue: it isn't. He hasn't got a super computer or access to the worlds weather data in real time to use it. Perhaps he refers to past records? Look at tea leaves? In the early days, at least, he used to issue maps, parceling out the UK ( a small country ) into multiple regions and give separate weather for each - I mean mutually exclusive events like foggy weather close by wind affected areas ( for eg. ). Like I said the guy is a joke - just like Monckton. So far gone he probably believes he is brilliant.
PS: Orders of magnitude"?? Evidence please.
Claudius
1.3 / 5 (8) Jan 14, 2013
@VendicarD @dir

"Unfortunately, sometimes one person may use an ad hominem argument. An ad hominem argument consists of replying to a person's argument by merely attacking the character of the person making the argument. An ad hominem argument is also called a personal attack or an irrelevant insult. For example, if Joe claims that the sky is blue, Bob would be making an ad hominem argument if he responded by saying, "No, it isn't because you are an ugly moron."

An ad hominem is a fallacy, and it is illogical. Worse yet, it may cause the discussion to break down into an unproductive name-calling contest.

Remember, the point of philosophical discussion is to have productive and constructive discussions about philosophical topics; it is not to have name-calling contests and insult each others' personal qualities."

http://onlinephil...mp;t=398
Claudius
1 / 5 (7) Jan 14, 2013
No, constructive dialog is impossible when the primary response is personal insult, apparently because someone disagrees with you. In a civil discussion, I would be more than happy to engage in constructive dialog. I might even learn something. However, firing a personal attack broadside as your first response ends the discussion immediately.

From my experience, aside from the uncultured nature of ad hominem arguments, someone who resorts to such rhetoric has an empty quiver and nothing to contribute anyhow.
Claudius
1 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
"So again I ask you - what are your credentials for critiquing the work of an army of scientists who are devoting their lives to this subject? I have none - which is why I just argue for respecting their hard work."

Years of education in the sciences. An undergraduate in physics, a doctorate in a health science. One develops an affection for the sciences as a result. I am not a climatologist, but I am able to see when science is being distorted for political purposes, and it offends me.

As for the "army of scientists" I am not impressed. I do not respect authority, mainly because it is a fallacy to be guided by it, but also from a lifetime of experience (I am a senior.)

I was, at first, an adherent of the AGW philosophy. I believed CO2 was causing global warming. I have changed my mind in recent years because there is a better explanation for what is happening.

(cont.)
Claudius
1 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
You responded to my comment that Phil Jones has acknowledged there has been a plateau in global temperature for about 16 years now. Someone responded with a graph with a regression line for the last 20 years, implying that Phil Jones didn't know what he was talking about. Yet if the regression line were done for the period in question, it does seem to plateau. At a time when CO2 levels were significantly increasing. This is a contradiction to the AGW hypothesis in which increasing CO2 levels should be increasing global temperature. It isn't.

Then you responded with the 100 year trend, which to me seemed like a distraction from the main point. I pointed out that the first half of the graph had significant increases during a time when CO2 production was insignificant, and could not have been a factor. This was met with ridicule. Yet it takes little effort to show that my statement was correct.

(cont.)
Claudius
1 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
So I did not bother to respond. If you are truly unable to find a source for this, here is one: http://www.c2es.o...storical

So you can see that CO2 production before 1950 was far less than what is currently measured. Yet during that time, global temperatures were increasing significantly. Then, as CO2 levels began to become more significant, global temperatures plateaued for several decades. I thought this was well known, and didn't feel the need to respond to what seemed like a distraction.

In any case, I am anything but anti-scientific. I feel that science must be skeptical in order to function. I find the current "herd" mentality in science to be anathema, and feel this is the result of political influence. If anything, I am trying to defend science by pointing out logical inconsistencies in the hypothesis, yet this is met with derision because of the "army" of opinion that somehow is supposed to have weight in the argument; a fallacy.
Claudius
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
We can disagree about whether I support science. Intelligent people can disagree. Without resorting to insult. Much nicer that way, as it enables discussion.

Another factor in my analysis is not just that temperatures have increased when anthropogenic CO2 levels were much lower, or failed to increase when it was much higher. You are correct, there is a correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures. But from what I have seen, the correlation is that after global temperatures increase, CO2 levels increase. The AGW hypothesis is that CO2 levels are increasing and causing an increase in global temperature, but this isn't the case. This is my source: http://www.scienc...12001658
runrig
5 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
here is one: http://www.c2es.o...storical So you can see that CO2 production before 1950 was far less than what is currently measured. Yet during that time, global temperatures were increasing significantly. Then, as CO2 levels began to become more significant, global temperatures plateaued for several decades.[/q}
Claudius: From the same site you quote http://www.c2es.o...co2-temp Shows the correlation between global CO2 and temp. The "stall" in temp rise was due to atmospheric pollutants and all other variation in the temp curve can easily be explained by climate variation eg ENSO, Solar. The period prior seeing only a weak CO2 rising signal and easily being swamped by same. Please see this graph to appreciate the necessity to view tings over at least 30 yrs to factor out climate variables to leave the CO2 signal intact. http://forum.slow...3744414;
runrig
5 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
here is one: http://www.c2es.o...storical So you can see that CO2 production before 1950 was far less than what is currently measured. Yet during that time, global temperatures were increasing significantly. Then, as CO2 levels began to become more significant, global temperatures plateaued for several decades.
Claudius: From the same site you quote http://www.c2es.o...co2-temp Shows the correlation between global CO2 and temp. The "stall" in temp rise was due to atmospheric pollutants and all other variation in the temp curve can easily be explained by climate variation eg ENSO, Solar. The period prior seeing only a weak CO2 rising signal and easily being swamped by same. Please see this graph to appreciate the necessity to view tings over at least 30 yrs to factor out climate variables to leave the CO2 signal intact. http://forum.slow...3744414;
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 15, 2013
The AGW hypothesis, is that anthropogenic CO2 is the most significant factor in increasing global temperature. If this is correct, we should be seeing global temperature increasing as a result of increased CO2 production. Yet the evidence is that this is not the relationship. The article I cited concludes: "Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions." To my mind, this discredits the AGW hypothesis alone. Obviously global temperatures are responding to other influences, and anthropogenic CO2 has a minor impact on global temperatures, if at all.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 15, 2013
"The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is closely related to global temperature." from your source.

The question is: does carbon dioxide cause increases in global temperature? Is CO2 the most significant factor? There is also a strong correlation between solar activity and global temperature, as the article we are commenting on weakly affirms. Which one is more significant? Couldn't it be possible that solar activity is increasing global temperature which is then increasing CO2 levels? Why conclude that anthropogenic CO2 is driving an increase in global temperature and that the sun plays a minor role? To me the first hypothesis makes much more sense. The correlation between CO2 and global temperature isn't necessarily cause and effect. It makes no sense that CO2 is the driving force when it is lagging changes in global temperature.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 15, 2013
@runrig The article you referenced http://www.c2es.o...co2-temp states: "As the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased, so has the average surface temperature of the Earth." Yet the statement could be rephrased to say "As the average surface temperature of the Earth in the atmosphere has increased, so has the concentration of CO2." And this would be more accurate, according to http://www.scienc...12001658
Maggnus
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 15, 2013
my comment that Phil Jones has acknowledged there has been a plateau in global temperature for about 16 years now.


Claudius, this is a disingenuous and incomplete quote, and is being used by you to try and trumpet a position that is not taken by Dr Jones. That's called hypocrisy.

You claim to have an undergraduate degree and a doctorate, yet you ignore and debase the very scientific method that you claim to have been trained to use. Your claims have a strong odour of falsehood.

The scientific evidence is overwhelming over a broad and diverse number of disiplines. Yet you continue to cherry pick data or, failing that, expouse a nebulous conspiracy of "them" trying to fool the rest of us for some undefined reason. How, pray tell, is that scientific in the way that you have claimed to have been trained?
Claudius
2 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
and their conclusion is that the primary driver of the current warming trend - is human created C02.


There is controversy over that conclusion. Some climatologists have a different hypothesis. We are going to disagree about which hypothesis is more correct. That is the scientific method. To say that we should accept conclusions without critical thought is about as unscientific as I can imagine.

Claudius
1.8 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
my comment that Phil Jones has acknowledged there has been a plateau in global temperature for about 16 years now.


Claudius, this is a disingenuous and incomplete quote, and is being used by you to try and trumpet a position that is not taken by Dr Jones. That's called hypocrisy.


Phil Jones acknowledged that a plateau exists. That supports the position, which is why I brought it up. That he does not think the plateau is significant does not make the plateau go away. I was not trying to maintain that Phil Jones has had an epiphany and now no longer supports his previous position.
Claudius
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
"As the average surface temperature of the Earth in the atmosphere has increased, so has the concentration of CO2"

And where did that C02 come from?


Biological activity?

What caused the surface temperature to increase?


The Sun?

Do you see the very basic flaw in your logic?


Not yet. Keep on trying.
Maggnus
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
Some climatologists have a different hypothesis.


Really? Who?
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
Some climatologists have a different hypothesis.


Really? Who?


Do you really think that there is 100% consensus among climatologists?

"Dr. Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and one of the world's leading climatologists."

And before you bring it up, I know he has been the subject of personal attacks about ties to oil corporations or other subjects he has opinions on. I have not been persuaded about any of these allegations, they do not stand up to scrutiny. However, what he has to say makes better sense to me.

There are others, all have been subject to personal attacks. This makes some people afraid to voice their opinions.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
What caused the surface temperature to increase?

The Sun?


Did you even read the article that this discussion is about? You know, this one that says the Sun's activity is DECLINING!?!

Do you know how climatologists distinguish anthropogenetic CO2 from all other sources? Your very answers to djr's questions belie your claim of scientific training.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
Do you really think that there is 100% consensus among climatologists?


There is broad concensus, yes. 100%? There are always holdouts. There are even some who believe the earth is flat.

Dr. Lindzen agrees that there is an anthropogenetically caused rise in CO2 levels, and that these levels are causing temperatures to increase. What he doesn't agree with, is what the extent of that rise is. He argues that the models mostly do not account enough for cloud reflectivity and other counters to the overall trend of temperature rise.

That means, contrary to your attempt to present it differently, that he agrees with the consensus, he just feels that the rise will be less than what is commonly believed. Which is more hypocrisy on your part.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 15, 2013
"The Sun?"

And where are your sources to support this amazing hypothesis?

http://hyperphysi...act.html

Here is a chart of C02 levels over the past 400,000 years. http://en.wikiped...0kyr.png Please not the recent spike (this is clearly new information to you).


The recent spike seems to mirror past activity when anthropogenic sources of CO2 were lacking.

Now again - where are your sources to support the claim that this spike is caused by biological activity.


http://micro.corn...tter.cfm

What has changed in the last 200 years - that forced atmospheric C02 to spike so dramatically? I would ask for similar support for your 'sun' hypothesis.


During the carboniferous period CO2 was 3 times higher. What caused that?
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 15, 2013
Did you even read the article that this discussion is about? You know, this one that says the Sun's activity is DECLINING!?!


Of course. Perhaps that explains the plateau? Want to bet that if the Sun's activity increases temperatures will begin to increase again?

That means, contrary to your attempt to present it differently, that he agrees with the consensus, he just feels that the rise will be less than what is commonly believed. Which is more hypocrisy on your part.


Actually, I agree with him. And he does not agree with the consensus that we should embark on a crash program to reduce CO2 emissions, or that by doing so we can control global temperature. He maintains that there may be some very small anthropogenic influence, but that it isn't cause for alarm. If that is the consensus, then I am in agreement with the consensus.
Maggnus
3.5 / 5 (6) Jan 15, 2013
Want to bet that if the Sun's activity increases temperatures will begin to increase again?


Flippancy. Typical.

Ok so you've managed to come up with one discredited climatologist who admits he misread the data he used to arrive at his conclusion. And you've once again referred to this nebulous conspiracy that you seem to think exists. And you`ve even managed to agree, in a round about way, that anthropogenetic CO2 increases are occurring and causing some amount of heating.

But, in your estimation, it`s not "cause for alarm". Tell me, Mr I`ve got a doctorate, can you point us to any science that supports your position?
VendicarD
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
Global warming over the last 20 years... 0.27C

http://www.woodfo...93/trend

"...though five years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him 'worried', that period has now become 20 years." - ClaudiusTard

First: Phil Jones didn't say that.

Second: even if he did, he would have nothing to worry about since the data shows significant warming over the last 20 years.

Poor ClaudiusTard. He just isn't smart enough to know how to read a graph.

Basic arithmetic skills are alien to him.
VendicarD
4 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
What Plateau?

http://www.woodfo...93/trend

"Perhaps that explains the plateau? " - ClaudiusTard

Are you talking about the plateau that exists only in the denialist anti-universe?
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
From the article:

"If there is indeed a solar effect on climate, it is manifested by changes in general circulation rather than in a direct temperature signal."


from Claudius:

The question is: does carbon dioxide cause increases in global temperature? Is CO2 the most significant factor? There is also a strong correlation between solar activity and global temperature, as the article we are commenting on weakly affirms. Which one is more significant?


Since the article does, in fact, NOT say that the solar activity is strongly correlated with temperature, then I would say that CO2 is the driver for Global Warming. And it HAS continued to warm, unabated, over the last 1.5 to 2.0 decades.

This "plateau" you morons are so fond of imagining simply does not exist.

Furthermore, such periods of relatively stable temperature are pretty much to be expected in a complex thermodynamic system being heated. "Stability", RAPID CHANGE, "stability", RAPID CHANGE, --REPEAT.

Maggnus
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 15, 2013
@ Caliban - Well said!
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (5) Jan 16, 2013
The first digital climate models were run in the early 1970's, around 40 years ago.

"25 years ago we had to use our noggins not computers for models." - Alchemist

When you start a post with a fact that is pulled out of your ass, do we really need to continue reading the moronic filth that follows?

Nope.


Really, is that moronic filth? Or what you said in return. You obviously never used a model from back then, even now, it;s usually just plain easier to use pen and paper.
With models, you get errors from the programmers' approximations, lack of understanding, lack of model scope, and, of course, bugs and programming errors. All of which the one viewing the model doesn't have party to.
If you want to argue that one, I think you should hop on your Enterprise 1701-D and leave the planet.
(Translation: '1701-D is a Sim of something that doesn't exist, but looks pretty real, and pretty cool.)
Let's see if you're big enough to accept this comment...
Cordially, -TA
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (5) Jan 16, 2013
You know, in some ways this is a great article, but really, we are at a solar max, and temperatures are high. It is not too confusing.
The Earth is struck with a certain amount of energy ranging in frequencies. This is reflected and absorbed. The absorbed is used, transformed into heat, or used and transformed into heat. Thermal maps from space show us the gross-in and gross-out. The mean temperatures gives us a baseline for state(s). Tracking humidity... this isn't that complicated, germane effects seem to be rapidly convergent. I'm going to go create a pen & paper model and get yet another perspective for analysis. Neat-o!
Claudius
1 / 5 (6) Jan 16, 2013
Here's a new question.

Is anthropogenic global warming or climate change (caused by man) a falsifiable theory?
Claudius
1 / 5 (6) Jan 16, 2013
Well, that is an observation of past events, not a theory or hypothesis.

So, for instance the following statement is not a theory or hypothesis that can be falsified: "global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming." - James Hanson

Because it is a matter of opinion rather than an explicit theory, with a well-defined mechanism and falsifiable predictions.

In order to be a theory, it must make falsifiable predictions. It would be helpful to have a set of rules to make predictions with, then test to see if the theory works. Then perhaps we can see if it has any merit.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 16, 2013
You and I don't have the resources to test this hypothesis. So - either do what we do in every other area of life (medicine for example) - and be willing to accept that the scientists are doing what they know how to do...


To me this sounds like accepting something on faith.

I brought up the idea of a clearly stated theory that can be falsified, since the current AGW paradigm does not seem to accept contradictory evidence as falsification. When predictions go awry, as they have been, they are explained away. We just need better models, they will say. Or, when pointed out that CO2 levels admittedly lag behind temperature changes, it is simply dismissed, or we are asked to simply accept the "scientific consensus" that we are somehow unable to understand because there are "so many variables".

Since I actually hold science in high esteem, it saddens me to see this.

Claudius
1 / 5 (6) Jan 17, 2013
I guess you and I see science very differently. I see formal science as a group activity.


Yes, I see science as a search for truth, quite different indeed.

My first approach to this was incorrect. In order to falsify a theory, you need a theory to falsify. The problem with this AGW business is that it is not a theory, but a set of observations and computer models. There is no proposed mechanism, are no testable predictions. If the computer models fail in their predictions, it is just a matter of improving the models, not examining the validity of the theory, since there is no theory to examine. If there is contradictory evidence, it is rejected because it does not fit the computer models. This allows a situation in which one is asked to believe the conclusions of an army of scientists making predictions based on a nebulous set of assertions which can never be falsified. That is religion masquerading as science.

Habeas theoria.
Claudius
1 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2013
I read your reference on Feedback. It contains a number of "scenarios" in which greenhouse gasses may be released. It is not a theory of anthropogenic global warming. It does, however, make the interesting point that methane is 72 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2, and that water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas.

Since I read your reference, why don't you read this one:

http://lrak.net/g...ming.htm
Claudius
1.3 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2013
It is really amazing how sure you are in your conclusions about me. From my point of view incorrect, but that is not important. In any case, we shall see what happens with all this, and maybe when the dust settles will find out who was right. Good luck and best wishes.
VendicarD
5 / 5 (3) Jan 17, 2013
Global temperatures have been falling from the last solar minimum until now.

"we are at a solar max, and temperatures are high" - Alchemist

You do know that don't you?

VendicarD
4 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2013
Predictions
Global temps must rise
Oceans must expand
Glaciers must melt
Ice caps must melt
Sea Water must become more acidic
Animals will be observed to migrate north
Storm strength will intensify
Extreme weather events will increase in frequency.

etc. etc. etc.

All observed.

"In order to be a theory, it must make falsifiable predictions." - ClaudiusTard
VendicarD
4 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2013
Yup. You pulled that ignorance right out of your backside.

"Really, is that moronic filth?" - Alchemist

It remains moronic, Filth.

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