Climate Change skeptics? [ot]

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Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Aug 15, 2014 - 03:01pm PT

http://sites.uci.edu/energyobserver/2013/02/08/climate-change-suffering-adaptation-and-mitigation-and-their-funding/
TLP

climber
Aug 15, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
Though b2 is right, there is no reason anyone should necessarily know of Roger Brown, and that totally wouldn't matter for how you respond, it happens that lots of us do know of Roger and never miss an opportunity to post up: Thanks, dude!

But back on topic, clouds are one of many different feedbacks, negative and positive, from energy input to the climate system. Even just the one thing, clouds, is complex itself: they do indeed trap some re-radiated heat, but they are white, so they reflect some energy too. The water molecules are a "greenhouse gas" themselves. Climate is without a doubt the most complex system humankind has ever tried seriously to figure out, and we're only part way there.

A few thoughts on some of the bits b2 mentioned: it is true that some plants photosynthesize more if you hold everything constant but just increase the CO2 concentration, but this is not going to matter much for several reasons. One is that we are clearing so much vegetation (resulting in both a lot of carbon release from decomposition and burning) and this is not slowing down any time soon. Another is that other parameters won't just stay the same. As temperature rises, water stress rises, which indirectly reduces photosynthesis. Plus, some plants just have a temperature optimum and photosynthesis starts going down as it is exceeded, even with plenty of water and CO2. So, the idea that the plants will just take care of everything is wrong.

It's really tiresome and useless to keep seeing these posts about CO2 being much higher in the past and Earth didn't turn into Venus. In fact, there WERE giant disruptions of global ecology at those times, which if they were repeated today would be absolutely cataclysmic for human society. There are billions of people living in the tropics. If these became significantly less suitable to support agriculture, they'd be wanting to move to the temperate zone and far north, right away. Take the current stink about a few tens of thousands of kids, OK, even say we're talking about the mere 12 million or something illegal but actually present foreigners in the U.S., now multiply that up to be a couple of billion, and you can imagine that it would be a really really big problem for growing zones to shift. Whatever the Earth's climate was doing prior to, say, the last Ice Age, and maybe even just the past 1000 years, is just plain irrelevant to the whole discussion.

One also sees statements that it's all a matter of solar radiation. Bottom line is, using the exact same scientific review articles, with hundreds of references cited, that have been linked on this very thread by the folks making these statements (thanks for the link, Rick), the only rational scientific conclusion is that solar variation is not that big of a deal to the present situation.

The part of the system that is way less understood than we'd like is oceanic circulation (up and down, not just the swirling around) and the ocean-atmosphere interactions. There are thousands of posts here about the temporary flatness in the global surface temperature (which, it isn't actually that flat if ALL global data are considered, but let's not go there right now). But I haven't seen a single post contesting the clear upward trend in heat content of the oceans, continuing uninterrupted right to the present year. And it's a HUGE amount of heat energy. How it manages to be getting there, and why the ocean and lower atmosphere don't track closely, isn't well understood. But the oceans are the major part of planet Earth, so the ocean data definitively prove that global warming is occurring. Period. Anyway, as someone who provisionally believes the current crop of climate models are mostly right, I'd say the ocean part of the system still needs a lot of 'splaining.

Hope that's at least minimally helpful. And again, thanks!

Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Aug 15, 2014 - 06:39pm PT
blahblah,
No offence taken, and thanks for the time spent to compose your answer. You sound like a person that understands the climate change issue.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2014 - 07:14pm PT
Yo, blahblah, I know ur comment was toung-in-cheek, so was my response; just a little ribbin'.


But this sh#t here from TLP:


Though b2 is right, there is no reason anyone should necessarily know of Roger Brown ...

Man, oh man, that's just not gonna stand!



You're curious about a fellow bro, go ahead and click on his name, then look up the posts the cat has made to the forum. Then bow down,
because our Roger Brown is as crusher as they come. And the work that he does, it's for our climbing community, man, and for the most part
it's a thankless task. You should feel lucky to be able to stand next to him at all.

See here, just a few nuggets:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2168012&msg=2168012#msg2168012

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1850876&msg=1850876#msg1850876

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=416368&msg=1980183#msg1980183

Nice to see ya posting here Roger.
:- Kelly
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Aug 15, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
Now aren't you the slippery rascal Ed. It appears you went to Bill Clintons school of is ism, so maybe a political career is on your cards post scientific career.

However, you can't have it all to your satisfaction at the expense of bending or even breaking the intent of your little comical graphics. Of course the individual time series, since they are an average of themselves zero out , no contention there. But your intent was to compare the time series to each other as measured against your mysterious baseline to claim a trend for warming in the 2000-2013 series instead of plotting the Chiefs requested linear trend for the 2005-2014 time frame. There is baseline you are comparing it to to claim a trend, and once you identify that baseline that is from NOAA ,or not, each series exceeding 30 years is a trend of long term weather temps better known as climate. What is your baseline? I also find It disingenous to the scale of your typical politicians practice to claim that the Chiefs linear projection of the so far short temp trends fail when all GCM's and climate scientists predictions also fail. Take your hero James "the kilt" Hansen for instance; your claim that his scenario C closely tracks the "altered" contemporary temp history is complete b.s. since he was projecting that temp for the lowest CO2 emission scenario which we missed by a huge margin, even exceeding the do nothing highest emission scenario by a good margin.

TLP, glad to be of service with the informative link(s) you liked. What convinces you, other than unsubstantiated hearsay, that the oceans are currently gaining a substantial amount of heat. Also, if they are gaining heat during periods of increased atmospheric heat (from increased TSI or whatever) why would this spell trouble? Is there never to be a cooling again, during which time the oceans cool?




Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Aug 15, 2014 - 07:20pm PT
Does this indicate much "understanding" ?

in reply to "The deep oceans continue to gain heat. . . . "
May 12, 2014 - 02:37pm PT BlahBlah posted:
Sweet! I guess this means we can keep on burning whatever we want with little fear of any negative repercussions, as those deep oceans are pretty darn big and, well . . . deep!

Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Aug 15, 2014 - 07:30pm PT
CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3
carbonic acid
which is why the ocean is becoming more acidic
so you best like eating jellyfish
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2014 - 07:36pm PT
Hehe, he said "acid."
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Aug 15, 2014 - 07:45pm PT



the longer you wait to start, the larger the reduction rate has to be

see time 40:00 of
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn3_hviRfdU
for an explanation

or

www.climate.unibe.ch/~stocker/papers/stocker13sci.pdf


As the emissions scenarios considered here illustrate, even well-intentioned and effective international efforts to limit climate
change must face the hard physical reality of certain temperature targets that can no longer be achieved if too much carbon has already
been emitted to the atmosphere. Both delay and insufficient mitigation efforts close the door on limiting global mean warming permanently.
This constitutes more than a climate change commitment: It is the fast and irreversible shrinking, and eventual disappearance,
of the mitigation options with every year of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
www.climate.unibe.ch/~stocker/papers/stocker13sci.pdf
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 15, 2014 - 08:40pm PT
ah rick, I have used The Chief's prescription, take the linear trend for 9 years and extend it into the future...

doesn't seem to work...

however, if you look at the climate models, they seem to do a fine job, certainly a lot better than The Chief's

Credit: Ed Hartouni
that would be the green line...

if you want me to change the 1961-1970 baseline to be the same as the 2005-2014 baseline, then The Chief still fails, only by -2.7F

the baselines for all the temperatures are common in what I've plotted.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Aug 15, 2014 - 08:54pm PT
As I said, you have a future in politics Ed. You would make a fine (mis) representative.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2014 - 09:12pm PT
If anybody is interested, that Tom Brokaw series on The Discovery Channel (posted a few pages back) is pretty darn interesting.
Even in just the first 5 minutes, you see a lot.

Man, the color of that blue in those glaciers--impressive! TFPU!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2014 - 10:36pm PT
Powerful video Bruce.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Aug 16, 2014 - 06:11am PT
You have doomed your children & grandchildren to a world of suffering because you ignored your best & brightest citizens.

It is too late to stay under the 2C target.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/1402277-global-warming-2-degree-target/

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/03/un-2c-global-warming-climate-change

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoiding_dangerous_climate_change

http://www.rtcc.org/2013/12/03/james-hansen-2-c-temperature-rise-would-be-disastrous/

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n1/full/nclimate1783.html

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110504/full/473007a.html

http://www.whatnext.org/resources/Publications/Volume-III/Single-articles/wnv3_andersson_144.pdf



http://www.bris.ac.uk/cabot/documents/anderson-ppt.pdf
http://www.bris.ac.uk/cabot/documents/anderson-transcript.pdf
TLP

climber
Aug 16, 2014 - 09:42am PT
Whoa, Kman, I certainly wasn't dissing Roger Brown in the remotest way. He's one of the handful of most stand-up excellent people there is, period, and right up there with Jello and a couple others as the guys I'd most like to meet and personally express my admiration and appreciation. But a lot of ST posters are not climbers (or current climbers), surprising as that may sound, and outside our little circle who pursue this inane activity, there is hardly a one of us who is more widely known. Anyway, I'll say it again, I never miss an opportunity to post up huge thanks to Roger and all those folks who are replacing dubious bolts with such dedication and good judgment about not going overboard. My 2c.

Rick, in case you are not aware of them, here are some sources. NOAA summarizes ocean heat and salt content information here: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
"Thermosteric sea level rise" means, water takes up more volume when it warms up, so this correlates tightly with the temperature. Water has a high specific heat compared with any gas (or mixture of gases, like air), so a small difference in water temperature represents a bigger difference in heat content than that same number of degrees (or thousandths) difference represents in the atmosphere.

The most recent published papers that NOAA's figures are based upon are cited below, (though they're updated as new ocean temperature data is always coming in, and the timeline for peer review and publication is a couple of years, so even the 2012 paper cited below treats data only through 2010):
J. I. Antonov, S. Levitus, and T. P. Boyer. 2005. Thermosteric sea level rise, 19552003. Geophysical Research Letters 32: not sure of page numbers; free pdf on line.

S. Levitus, J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, O. K. Baranova, H. E. Garcia, R. A. Locarnini, A. V. Mishonov, J.
R. Reagan, D. Seidov, E. S. Yarosh, and M. M. Zweng. 2012. World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (02000 m), 19552010. Geophysical Research Letters 39: not sure of page numbers; free pdf on line. This source, by the way, includes this statement right in the Abstract (discussed in much more detail within): "The World Ocean accounts for approximately 93% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955." People love sound bites, there's one to chew on.

And there are numerous additional papers on this going way back before anybody had hardly even heard of atmospheric CO2 rise due to human activity.

If you meant to imply that the entirety of all published scientific literature is unsubstantiated hearsay, well, I guess you are free to believe that if you wish. But it would then seem puzzling that you even bother to read anything, least of all anything written about the sun - talk about difficult to substantiate. Anyway, there are some sources, I have confidence that they are believable, and am not able to design, build, test, and deploy an array of sensors to substantiate their data.

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 16, 2014 - 09:58am PT
Cool TLP. Again, my post was mostly tongue-in-cheek, just trying to give Roger a pump on a thread where he's likely an unknown.
Often, sarcasm doesn't translate in txt.

Cheers,
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 16, 2014 - 10:07am PT
I have been pondering rick's accusation of "misrepresenting" the data... he asks

What is your baseline?


which I generally define. My baseline for those plots is the NOAA baseline, which I stated, but it is a good question. Unfortunately, rick and others don't actually understand what it means, or what the anomaly definition means. This misunderstanding results in rather bitter accusations of data "manipulation." Of course, if the accusers could perform the calculations, they could actually check to see if there were a manipulation, but they cannot.

This also leaves them open to be manipulated by others who share their own particular point-of-view.

I provided a link to the data that I am using:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&datasets%5B%5D=climdiv&datasets%5B%5D=cmbushcn¶meter=anom-tavg&time_scale=12mo&begyear=2000&endyear=2014&month=7

for which I'm plotting the "average temperature anomaly" for the data set they refer to as "CLIMDIV." I chose that data set because it is continuous throughout the 20th century.

I've also chosen to average over the year from July to August, so the temperature anomaly is an annual average, you can select this, but the link above creates the exact data set that I am using. If I am being "misleading" or "misrepresenting" in anyway, it is, in principle, easy to check what I did and to demonstrate that I have made an error.

Going to the page I linked you'll find another link labeled "Background" which takes you to a page that describes how the data were created:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/background

and it states that the "baseline" for the anomaly is the thirty year period from 1981-2010. That is, they average the values over that period of time and subtract that average value from all the values.

So the "anomaly" is the difference of the observed temperatures and the average value of temperatures from 1981-2010.

There is no meaning to this difference, we could do it for any period of time. What it allows us to do is to treat all the data sets in the same way, in particular, the data from simulation. Simulations produce a temperature time series from which a temperature anomaly can be calculated by taking the average of the output of the same time period and subtracting it from all the temperature outputs, then plotted to be compared.

Note that the 0F on the plots I provided means that any temperature that equals the average temperature of the 1981-2010 average would be zero. This doesn't mean that there was no climate change, rick doesn't understand this.

When I check the values that I have in my table, the average from 1981-2010 is -0.005F, which is not zero. While it is close to zero (and wouldn't effect any of my plots above, you couldn't see the difference between -0.005F and 0F on the graph) I suspect it is because the process that NOAA describes is done monthly, and I've averaged all the monthly values into a single number.

Now scientists struggle to make their point clear in a confusing landscape filled with data. What is true is that they should explain (or be able to explain) how they came to the particular representation. In particular, to answer the criticism that they have over simplified a complex situation and have drawn an erroneous scientific conclusion from that simplification.

Here is a much more complex graph. I've shown all the data points in the NOAA data set, I have not shifted the baseline from the NOAA definition. I've also added the effect of shifting the climate model output to have 0F anomaly at the 1981-2010 average, the orange dashed line that sits just under the green line.

Credit: Ed Hartouni

You can see that the 1961-1970 linear trend line departs from the temperature anomaly values by 1990, being -2F to -3F off, a huge number. The Chief is asking us to consider doing the same thing for the 2005-2014 data. He rather aggressively asserts that the linear extrapolation into the future is "correct". Interestingly, we can do this exercise throughout the time series and find examples where there are large disagreements both high and low, and even some that agree with the time series.

But the linear time series can be thought of as a "model" of climate. That model assumption is that the rate of change of the temperature anomaly is constant in time. And there is no theory of the Earth's climate for which this simple model assumption is correct, as demonstrated by comparing it with the data.

Instead, we have rather complex models that take into account all the various details, as we know them, and calculate the state of the Earth's climate. These models are hierarchical in the sense that they explain the big variations first, and then are refined to include smaller variations as we understand them. Some of those variations are driven by stochastic processes that we can't forecast, volcanic emission of aerosols is one, solar variation another. The aerosols may represent a large fraction of the remaining variation taking place on the decadal time scale. Solar variation is still thought to be a very small component (it doesn't vary much, and the indirect mechanisms, like galactic cosmic ray modulation doesn't seem to be very significant).

Right now, understanding the energy flow in the oceans has become an important area for explaining the remaining variations.

The green line in the plot shows the natural variations that were known to drive the climate. The CO2 emissions are included, as well as a model for future emissions (where that is needed). And the model follows the trends in the data.

The models are consistent with the data over 140 years.

Note that we can use a higher order polynomial to fit the data, what The Chief does, but instead of a "first order" polynomial, use a polynomial whose order matches the number of points we have. We get a plot like this:

Credit: Ed Hartouni

Now every point is intersected by our "model" line (light blue), but that line is nonsense, it doesn't represent the observed temperature anomaly (the large swings in the anomaly at the beginning and the end of the time series didn't happen), and the coefficients of the polynomial are not related to any physical process. I know this is very advanced for most of you, it is rather elementary for most trained scientists. Fitting a line to data points doesn't provide much insight into what the physical system is doing. There has to be a "theory" for the line you're fitting.

So we expect variation between the data and our theory. That variation determines the accuracy and the precision of our theory's prediction.

There are variations in the climate which are not captured in the models. That is apparent in the spread of the data around the model, the green line doesn't intersect each data point. This spread can be characterized, but it represents the year-to-year variation (in this plot) which we'd call "weather." Averaging the "weather" over at least 30-years is what we call "climate."

However, the 30-year definition is somewhat arbitrary since there is no theory that provides this as a hard and fast limit. When the climate is changing rapidly, that change is noticeable on a shorter time scale.

In the past, the climate changed rather slowly, and many model calculations were done in 100 year steps (or longer). This would completely miss the most recent changes. We argue about 30 year steps, but 10 year steps show the recent climate change very well too.

The most recent IPCC report had the temperature anomaly plotted averaging over 10 years:
from the summary report of the IPCC AR5
from the summary report of the IPCC AR5
Credit: Ed Hartouni

the empirical choice of the time to average is defined by the rate of change of order the variation of the anomaly value.

We can go into how to calculate the variance of the data, a measure of the spread, but what is important is the physical idea. That is, the climate is changing fast enough that even with the large variation of weather, the changes to the "climate" (the "average weather") are now noticeable on a time scale of a decade.

The "hiatus" is an indication of a variation in our understanding of climate that is driving a lot of research. That is because of the sense of the climate scientists that they can understand and explain it... in so doing, they will be able to forecast on a smaller time step.

These decadal forecasts are important to us on many levels, city planning, state and regional planning, federal and hemispheric planning of infrastructure all benefit from accurate climate forecasts. It is clear that we cannot just assume the future will be like the past, which is the basis of this planning today. A "100 year flood" doesn't mean the same thing today as it did in 1960.

Because of the importance to planning, climate science research will continue to receive support by the federal, state and local governments. Given the performance of The Chief's model, and the climate models, I suggest that the climate models are a much better representation of the future. That isn't just an opinion, as the plot above demonstrates.

The climate models also have the feature that we understand why the climate is changing. Dealing with the implications of that understanding is a matter of serious policy debate.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Aug 16, 2014 - 11:39am PT
TLP

climber
Aug 16, 2014 - 01:03pm PT
Thanks Ed, nice post about the general practice relating to fitted curves, lines, and making sense out of data. I do some kind of semi-scientific objective work for pay, and it's always good to read these concise bits from those whose work requires this stuff to be used intensively. Oceanographers have a great puzzle to work with: we know there are these huge oscillations, and that they're vaguely cyclical, but not quite regular enough for it to be obvious how to explain them. But when the whole set of inputs and transformations get sorted out, there will be a complicated but elegant set of functions that explain most of that variation. Cool subject.

All good, K, the hint of humor did come through from "that sh*t just can't stand," just wanted to be absolutely clear that the I'm in the huge camp of total positivity about Roger and the whole crew that do all that thankless work, solicit opinion about judgment calls, all that. It makes me want to get back on the full time routine and man up enough to try some of those totally hairball routes that they've fixed up, with the confidence that the bolt I could take an 80-footer onto won't go thup and send me on down to another zip code. Let's all go get some!
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Aug 16, 2014 - 04:17pm PT
Pondering my accusation of your data manipulation, my ass Ed. The data you use has already been skillfully handled (manipulated) by NOAA and other radical enviromentalist infested government organizations to the point it deviates substanially from the historical record raw data. What I clearly said is you, just like a politician, misrepresented your intent in the interchange between The Chief, yourself and me over his request for a linear trend plot of the u.s. temp trends over the period 2005-2013. In post 26385 you introduced your three time series average deviation from unidentified baseline ( now finally defined by you as 1961-1970) as the trend request of the Chief. I then asked is this a trend plot? Too which you answered " they are trend plots" Iin post 26394. Well, they are not trend plots, rather just averages of deviation from normal baseline temp. Only in comparison to each other can any trend be plotted in another graph plotting a slope. Yet you represented this as your answer to the The Chief knowing full well it didn't plot a trend line for the steep decline of 2005-2013. And on and on you deflected, a real three ring circus till The Chief bowed out in disgust.
Only after his departure did you finally plot his desired trend line showing the steep decline of 2005-2013. It was quite politically skillful how you rejected his assertion of the beginning of a climate trend because of insufficient elapsed time according to standard thirty year definition, while defending Chiloes, meant to sensationalize CC temp measuring series comparison versus observation presentation, and introducing a non trend average plot showing above baseline average anomaly as a trend. Well done, you won that little skirmish, but insufficient time is left for you CAGW folk to win the war and institute your desired radical agenda. You see Ed, you folks had an unpredented grand maximum of solar activity on your side through the nineties, but you have since lost your cover as solar activity declines to lows not seen in a couple hundred years. From here on out its just going to get colder, till you guys blowing hot air up our asses are run off stage and out of town. Maybe even sooner if the political pendulum swings from a dusgruntled public.

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