Category Archives: AGW comments

What the scientists really think about climate change.

 

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Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s on a farm in a small town, I spent most of my spare time outside playing riding around on my bike with my friends, and also helping out in the family business. I never really watched a lot of television but when I did I loved to watch The Curiosity Show with Rob and Dean. For those unfamiliar, here is a random clip from one of their shows.

It was this show that really got me interested in Science. Rob and Dean had a way of making science exciting and they did this through effective communication. They could explain what they were doing and make it exciting and relevant. What young kid watching the above example wouldn’t get excited about blowing the lid off something? All that nitrogen gas was also cool and creepy.

The other show I never missed was Why is it So? with Professor Julius Sumner Miller. Here was a guy who could have been typecast into any Hollywood movie or television drama as a stereotypical nutty professor. He was brilliant, not so much because he could communicate effectively (which he obviously could) but because he was so passionate about science and self-assured and this really came through. I was left in no doubt about how he was feeling at any given moment. Recently I have become re-acquainted with Miller and have spent many hours on YouTube watching grainy copies of Demonstrations in Physics. One of my favourites was his lecture on Bernoulli. It is classic Sumner Miller and it will leave you in no doubt about his passion for physics and ability to effectively communicate. I particularly enjoy his language. His “common enchantment” is on show.

Fast forward 30 something years to today and one of my biggest laments in science is the unwillingness of scientists to really express their personal feelings about the science they are doing. Scientists are for some reason almost expected to maintain the dispassion they apply to the scientific method throughout all aspects of their life or at least to keep their personal feelings out of the public eye, especially if they are negative. Perhaps I’m generalising a bit here but it is the impression I have gotten over the years, especially where climate science is concerned. I’m not a climate scientist and I am really pissed off about the lack of action. I am really pissed off by the bullshit “arguments” put up by non-experts. I am pissed off with the media giving false balance to these morons. When I see charlatans from fossil fuel funded think-tanks on my television I want to throw something. I will throw my hands up in the air and wonder why the climate scientists are not being heard? Why aren’t they putting a human face on their findings? I know they are all passionate about their science and they have to be tearing their hair out at the prospect of what we are doing to our world.

Well, with our new dysfunctional, fossil fuel funded, climate change denying, anti-science, fossil-filled conservative government destroying renewable energy initiatives, dismantling key climate institutions, removing the only demonstrable method of reducing CO2 emissions, dishing out corporate welfare to billionaire miners and removing environmental impediments to their business interests, it seems some Australian climate experts are finally putting their thoughts in the public domain.  Joe Duggan, a master’s student in science communication at the Australian National University’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science has asked the experts to write down their thoughts and has put them on his blog. It makes for some sobering reading.

Check it out here.

 

 

 

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Diabolical Wind Turbine Rays

I’d like to thank Dave Clarke for directing me to his webpage in one of his comments here…and for giving me some new terminology to use…. diabolical wind turbine rays….

Please visit Dave’s page here.

 

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A remarkably accurate global warming prediction, made in 1972

I don’t know about my readers, but I am sick to the back teeth with uneducated idiots sitting at their computers typing bullshit feelpinions about their (I’m being generous) perception of climate science, using the argument that because the science is imprecise, nothing should be done to reduce carbon emissions.  Like other concern trolls, they try to give the impression of reasonableness, but are they? Is it reasonable to reject a consensus of 97% of experts that are 95% certain there is a serious problem, while insuring their houses and vehicles against accidents that only have a 1% or less chance of occurring, according to experts? It’s a bizarre position to take especially when the consequences of taking no action against climate change are far more serious. It’s idiotic.

But to the notion that climate systems are poorly understood and the predictions inaccurate. Dana Nuccitelli writing for the Guardian discusses a 1972 Nature paper from John Stanley Sawyer which has proven remarkably accurate.

 

John Stanley (J.S.) Sawyer was a British meteorologist born in 1916. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1962, and was also a Fellow of the Meteorological Society and the organization’s president from 1963 to 1965.

A paper authored by Sawyer and published in the journal Nature in 1972 reveals how much climate scientists knew about the fundamental workings of the global climate over 40 years ago. For example, Sawyer predicted how much average global surface temperatures would warm by the year 2000.

The increase of 25% CO2 expected by the end of the century therefore corresponds to an increase of 0.6°C in the world temperature – an amount somewhat greater than the climatic variation of recent centuries.

Remarkably, between the years 1850 and 2000, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels did increase by very close to 25 percent, and global average surface temperatures also increased by just about 0.6°C during that time.

Sawyer also discussed several other important aspects of the Earth’s climate in his paper. For example, he addressed the myth and misunderstanding that as a trace gas in the atmosphere, it may seem natural to assume that rising levels of carbon dioxide don’t have much impact on the climate. Sawyer wrote,

Nevertheless, there are certain minor constituents of the atmosphere which have a particularly significant effect in determining the world climate. They do this by their influence on the transmission of heat through the atmosphere by radiation. Carbon dioxide, water vapour and ozone all play such a role, and the quantities of these substances are not so much greater than the products of human endeavour that the possibilities of man-made influences may be dismissed out of hand.

Sawyer referenced work by Guy Callendar in the late 1930s and early 1940s, in which Callendar estimated that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased by about 10 percent over the prior 100 years (an impressively accurate measurement, as current estimates put the increase during that time at about 9 percent). Sawyer also referenced the Keeling Curve, which included continuous reliable measurements of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere beginning in 1958.

Compared to measurements of human carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, Sawyer noted that only about half of those human emissions were remaining in the atmosphere. The other half, climate scientists had concluded, were being absorbed by the oceans and the biosphere. Sawyer wrote,

Industrial development has recently been proceeding at an increasing rate so that the output of man-made carbon dioxide has been increasing more or less exponentially. So long as the carbon dioxide output continues to increase exponentially, it is reasonable to assume that about the same proportion as at present (about half) will remain in the atmosphere and about the same amount will go into the other reservoirs.

Indeed, over the past four decades, human carbon dioxide emissions have continued to increase more or less exponentially, and about half has continued to remain in the atmosphere with the other half accumulating in natural reservoirs. The carbon dioxide being absorbed by the oceans has contributed to the problem of ocean acidification, sometimes referred to as “global warming’s evil twin.”

Climate scientists also had a good idea how quickly carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would continue to rise as a result of human activities.

Bolin has estimated that the concentration of carbon dioxide will be about 400 ppm by the year 2000. A recent conference put the figure somewhat lower (375 ppm).”

The latter prediction at the referenced 1971 conference on “the Study of Man’s Impact on Climate” turned out to be quite accurate. In 2000, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were measured at about 370 ppm.

In his paper Sawyer discussed the predicted impacts resulting from a continued rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. He noted that directly “it might make some vegetation grow a little faster,” which is generally true, although the situation is complicated. Sawyer noted that rising carbon dioxide levels would cause an increased greenhouse effect, and the associated warming would lead to more evaporation and more water vapor in the atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas itself, that rise in water vapor would act to further amplify human-caused global warming.

…if world temperatures rise due to an increase in carbon dioxide, it is almost certain that there will be more evaporation of water–the water vapour content of the atmosphere will also increase and will have its own effect on the radiation balance.

Sawyer referenced a 1967 paper by Manabe and Wetherald, who had calculated that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would by itself cause approximately 1.3°C global surface warming, but that warming would be amplified by a further 1.1°C due to rising water vapor concentrations if the relative humidity were to remain constant. Observations have indeed unequivocally shown that water vapor strongly amplifies human-caused global warming, for example as found in a 2009 study by Andrew Dessler and Sun Wong from Texas A&M University.

Sawyer also discussed that melting ice and snow in a warming world would act to amplify global warming, but suggested that increasing cloud cover might dampen global warming and act to regulate the global climate. However, recent research has shown that clouds may actually weakly amplify global warming as well. Sawyer also understood that significant global warming would cause changes in weather and wind patterns around the world.

All in all, Sawyer’s 1972 paper demonstrated a solid understanding of the fundamental workings of the global climate, and included a remarkably accurate prediction of global warming over the next 30 years. Sawyer’s paper was followed by similarly accurate global warming predictions by Wallace Broecker in 1975 and James Hansen in 1981.

This research illustrates that climate scientists have understood the main climate control knobs for over four decades. Perhaps it’s about time that we start listening to them.

Here’s to that. Original article here.

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Black Swan and denial

One of my favourite Youtubers is Derek with his channel Veritasium. He has a PhD in science communication and all of his videos exploit his expertise in this area. He likes to present a problem to random people and see how they solve it, usually demonstrating the weaknesses in human nature when it comes to laypeople understanding science. This next video is one of his good ones…

and that is the difference between scientists and climate change deniers. The latter tend to suffer from confirmation bias and lack the objectivity, intellect and courage to challenge their predetermined beliefs and also unlike the people in this video who eventually found the solution, refuse to accept any possibility that they are wrong.

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“an ignorant schlemiel”

I haven’t done one of these for awhile but on reading this person’s comment, I had to reproduce it and have done so below. It was made in response to a story in the Guardian where it was revealed that Tony Abbott’s visit to drought stricken farmers resulted in him further demonstrating his denial of the science underpinning anthropogenic climate change and global warming.

“The belligerent ignorance of this fool of a PM Abbott knows no bounds. Only yesterday Kerry’s choice of Indonesia, our closest neighbour, to launch a new campaign on carbon abatement from a Foreign Secretaries platform had a pointedness directed at the Abbott and co.’s attempts to dismiss the challenges of GHG and then cover himself with duplicitous attempts with a proven fraudulent and ineffectual program of Direct Action at great expense the nation’s budget.
Not only does this man, together with a small band of moronic and nescient neophytes belligerently confront the developing move to action by the major emitters, led by the US, he adds to his corrupt culpability by leading our own farmers into a calamitous and fraught future built on his illogical and damnable rejection of all the science available.
Today some of our unfortunate farmers are impacted by the unreliability’s of rain and weather in a neutral Enso. Recently members of the MET have given a 75% probability of an El Nino developing in the next six months.
Meanwhile scientist’s are identifying the impact of the degradation of the ‘dimming effect’ on our weather patterns while at the same time gather further understanding of the implications of changing patterns and velocity of equatorial trade winds. All of which offer us all a greater understanding of the perils we confront from inaction to remedy the causes.
I would recommend to any farmer to add the reading of the http. /www skepticalscience.com. to their daily MET department downloads while they prepare their budgets and projections of the future Abbott response is to embark on insulting our closest ally while committing the national budget to endless expenses and encourage the delusion that these farmers have a reliable future built on irrelevant past experiences.
The man, and many of his supporters and disciples, is an ignorant schlemiel who will cause these hard working farmers nothing but grief with his corruption of the science and his fraudulent promises.” Mike Flanagan

Mike has hit it right on the head here but as usual, the ignorant and idiotic were quick to join in the conversation. Feel free to go and check it all out. Wear headgear. I will leave you with a classic example of a positive feedback loop as described by another clever commentator.

A future with decreasing rainfall levels means there will be much more sand into which the likes of Mr Abbott can stick their heads. Redsaunas

Original article and comments here.

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Why that guy youknow hates renewable energy

pinched from Ketan Yoshi at limitednews.com.au

The carbon pricing mechanism was a funnel for vast menagerie of political discontent on display in July, 2011. Source: ABC News

Two and half years ago, I was trying to improve a sausage. I was at a barbecue, and my primary goal was finding some mustard for the tube of meat I’d just sourced from the grill. In the process, I befriended a fellow hunter/gatherer, and we chatted as I distractedly prowled for condiments.

When we reached the inevitable lull in conversation, he asked me what I do for a living. “I just started working in the wind industry”, I declared, with a smirk smattered with pride. His demeanour shifted noticeably, as if realising he’d wandered into the women’s bathroom by mistake. “Wind farms, eh. Pretty inefficient, I’ve heard” he growled, staring coldly back at me. A deer in the headlights of his unexpected disapproval, I smiled, aborted my mustard-hunt, and….

read the rest here

 

 

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Why climate change defeats our short-term thinking – On science, religion, politics and ideology | Judith Brett | The Monthly

Sometimes we come across short essays or other pieces of writing that are so well written, they present our own thoughts perfectly such that it is impossible to see any other way of saying what they have said. This is one such piece. Please share this widely.

My only criticism is that Judith Brett could have used an alternative title. My suggestion “The cognitive deficiencies of climate change deniers and why their mental disability will affect future generations.”

Why climate change defeats our short-term thinking – On science, religion, politics and ideology | Judith Brett | The Monthly.

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Filed under AGW comments, Climate Change, idiot politicians, Uncategorized

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