Climate Change skeptics? [ot]

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Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 2, 2015 - 12:52pm PT
I'll risk embarrassing some with more facts. The last interglacial
was warmer than our present one.

Dude, who on Earth told you that somebody would be embarrassed to hear the last interglacial was warm? Seriously that's a question, did you read somewhere that the warm Eemian would be news to climatologists?

For the curious, from Why Was the Eemian So Warm?

In the previous installment of this series on the Last Interglacial; also known as the Eemian in Europe, we learnt that it was a period that was warmer and wetter, with smaller ice sheets and higher global sea level. Three of the the key factors in determining the conditions that existed during the Last Interglacial are:

* Changes in solar insolation, which is a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area in a given time commonly expressed as average irradiance in watts per square meter (W/m2).
* Changes in the concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
* Changes in the albedo of the Earth, which is a measure of how much energy from the Sun is absorbed due to changes in reflectivity of the Earth's surface, such as from changes in snow and ice cover.

The IPCC Assessment Report 4 describes palaeoclimatic proxy evidence from the Last Interglacial, which estimates that the largest warming then was in northern Greenland and Eurasia of ~3 to 5oC, though some individual sites may have been even warmer. Models have determined that much, if not all this warming can be explained by increased insolation from orbital forcing as the Earth travels around the Sun, shifts its axial tilt and changes the amount of eccentricity in its orbit in regular cycles; effectively acting like a long-term climate pacemaker. In itself, this additional warming from the Sun is too small and too regional to fully explain all the observed warming during the period. It's likely that lowered albedo, increasing CO2 and other carbon feedbacks have amplified this warming from the orbital pacemaker.
son of stan

Boulder climber
San Jose CA
Mar 2, 2015 - 01:00pm PT
Malemute I agree. You making fun of this self-centered priss for her
drama queen antics over melting ice-cubes. All about her and her
feelings and we should validate her Arctic psychosis by buying her
iceberg porno.


Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 2, 2015 - 01:08pm PT
Cool photography though. Or do you sneer at that too?
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
Mar 2, 2015 - 01:12pm PT
She wasn’t thinking about climate change then, but as the newest artist-in-residence at Denali National Park in central Alaska, it’s top of mind now. On her last Arctic sailing in 2011, she says there was almost no ice.

"There was nothing on the radar for ice," she said. "We could have kept going [to the North Pole], if we had enough fuel. It just shouldn’t be."

Silly faux drama.



http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=53108

Chiloe - Very nice pics. Beautiful photography. But the underlying message reminds me of this classic.



Last I heard, the polar bear population is doing fine.

Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Mar 2, 2015 - 04:18pm PT
Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought

There is evidence that the 2007−2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers. Century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results, strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007−2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone. We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/23/1421533112.abstract
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Mar 2, 2015 - 04:20pm PT
We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.

Hanging your climate change creds on that 'fact' will get you laughed at. But have at it.

DMT
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Mar 2, 2015 - 08:04pm PT
Global Warming Brought on California's Severe Drought
http://www.livescience.com/50013-california-drought-climate-change.html
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/23/1422385112
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 2, 2015 - 08:21pm PT
This is an important paper, referred to upthread

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14240.html

Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010


D. R. Feldman, W. D. Collins, P. J. Gero, M. S. Torn, E. J. Mlawer & T. R. Shippert

The climatic impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is usually quantified in terms of radiative forcing1, calculated as the difference between estimates of the Earth’s radiation field from pre-industrial and present-day concentrations of these gases. Radiative transfer models calculate that the increase in CO2 since 1750 corresponds to a global annual-mean radiative forcing at the tropopause of 1.82 ± 0.19 W m^−2 (ref. 2). However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2. Here we present observationally based evidence of clear-sky CO2 surface radiative forcing that is directly attributable to the increase, between 2000 and 2010, of 22 parts per million atmospheric CO2. The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska—are derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra3 together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations4. The time series both show statistically significant trends of 0.2 W m^−2 per decade (with respective uncertainties of ±0.06 W m^−2 per decade and ±0.07 W m^−2 per decade) and have seasonal ranges of 0.1–0.2 W m^−2. This is approximately ten per cent of the trend in downwelling longwave radiation5, 6, 7. These results confirm theoretical predictions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect due to anthropogenic emissions, and provide empirical evidence of how rising CO2 levels, mediated by temporal variations due to photosynthesis and respiration, are affecting the surface energy balance.



the researchers actually measure the "downwelling" radiation as a function of time to calculate the radiative forcing due to various components of the atmosphere. They directly measure the CO2, taking into account the measured contributions from many different factors. They also have a calculation of the radiative transport in the atmosphere.

The observations took place over 10 years and the result is their Fig. 4 a and c (for the two sites they observed):

Credit: Feldman, et al. "Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010."
Figure 4 | Time-series of surface forcing. a, Time series of observed spectrally integrated (520–1,800cm21) CO2 surface radiative forcing at SGP [Southern Great Plains] (in red) with overlaid CT2011 estimate of CO2 concentration from the surface to an altitude of 2km (grey), and a least-squares trend of the forcing and its uncertainty (blue). c, As for a but for the NSA [North Slope of Alaska] site.

The concluding paragraph:

Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations between 2000 and 2010 have led to increases in clear-sky surface radiative forcing of over 0.2Wm^-2 at mid- and high-latitudes. Fossil fuel emissions and fires contributed substantially to the observed increase20. The climate perturbation from this surface forcing will be larger than the observed effect, since it has been found that the water-vapour feedback enhances greenhouse as forcing at the surface by a factor of three28 and will increase, largely owing to thermodynamic constraints29. The evolving roles of atmospheric constituents, including water vapour and CO2 (ref. 30), in their radiative contributions to the surface energy balance can be tracked with surface spectroscopic measurements from stand-alone (or networks of) AERI instruments. If CO2 concentrations continue to increase at the current mean annual rate of 2.1 ppm per year, these spectroscopic measurements will continue to provide robust evidence of radiative perturbations to the Earth’s surface energy budget due to anthropogenic climate change, but mediated by annual variations in photosynthetic activity. These perturbations will probably influence other energy fluxes and key properties of the Earth’s surface and should be explored further.



So we find that over the past 10 years the radiative forcing due to CO2 increases has been exactly as one would expect, increasing. This is the result of other analyses presented on this thread and actually worked through in detail.

rick's objection is rather silly (even if true) as the surface temperature of some location on the Earth is governed by regional influences that are large. The dynamics of those regional influences is ultimately driven by the energy balance, and as this paper shows directly, the CO2 increases are increasing the "downwelling" energy. On a global average, the temperatures are going up.



Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Mar 2, 2015 - 08:31pm PT
Science Denialists Have Delayed Action On Climate Change: Soon vs. the Hockey Stick

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/03/02/science-denialists-have-delayed-action-on-climate-change-soon-vs-the-hockey-stick/

rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Mar 2, 2015 - 10:43pm PT
The three fold amplification from water vapor feedback hasn't been demonstrated Ed. In fact, evaporation, convection, storm cell formation with condensation and rain, and albedo increase from the same cloud formation seem to put the overal warmth Induced water cycle slightly to the negative side of the feedback ledger. Also of note is the choice of end and start dates. 2000 was a strong La Nina year and 2010 a moderate El Nino year. Would be interesting to know how much of that .2wm2 increase was the result of the beginning and ending years. Alaska was definitely In a pronounced cooling trend during those study years and I believe that minus the maladjustments the lower 48 had been In a 70+ year cooling trend. So, was the downwelling IR (somehow directly Identified as from anthropogenic CO2 release) they claimed to measure not able to warm the surface atmosphere? Did you pay to get through the paywall?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 2, 2015 - 11:13pm PT
rick, you really don't understand the importance of that paper... it is a direct observation of the CO2 forcing, the signal corresponds with the increased CO2 concentration and the trend in the forcing is exactly what indirect methods see also.

As far as effects of all those other things, you need to provide some documentation (you won't, though) as I believe the net effect is a positive feedback. The citation from the paper is:

28. Philipona, R., Durr, B., Ohmura, A. & Ruckstuhl, C. Anthropogenic greenhouse
forcing and strong water vapor feedback increase temperature in Europe.
Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L19809 (2005).

which you can find here:
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Atsumu_Ohmura/publication/248814830_Anthropogenic_greenhouse_forcing_and_strong_water_vapor_feedback_increase_temperature_in_Europe/links/53fcea970cf22f21c2f521ff.pdf

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L19809, doi:10.1029/2005GL023624, 2005

Anthropogenic greenhouse forcing and strong water vapor feedback increase temperature in Europe

Rolf Philipona, Bruno Dürr, Atsumu Ohmura, and Christian Ruckstuhl

[1] Europe’s temperature increases considerably faster than the northern hemisphere average. Detailed month-by-month analyses show temperature and humidity changes for individual months that are similar for all Europe, indicating large-scale weather patterns uniformly influencing temperature. However, superimposed to these changes a strong west-east gradient is observed for all months. The gradual temperature and humidity increases from west to east are not related to circulation but must be due to non-uniform water vapour feedback. Surface radiation measurements in central Europe manifest anthropogenic greenhouse forcing and strong water vapor feedback, enhancing the forcing and temperature rise by about a factor of three. Solar radiation decreases and changing cloud amounts show small net radiative effects. However, high correlation of increasing cloud-free longwave downward radiation with temperature (r = 0.99) and absolute humidity (r = 0.89), and high correlation between ERA-40 integrated water vapor and CRU surface temperature changes (r =0.84), demonstrates greenhouse forcing with strong water vapor feedback.

...

[11] Stand-alone MODTRAN radiative transfer model calculations show a +0.26 Wm^-2 annual mean longwave downward forcing for the 12 ppm CO2 and other greenhouse gas increases in Europe from 1995 to 2002, apart from water vapor. The experimentally determined LDR_cf,Ts,Us is quite close to this expected forcing at least for eight of the months and the annual mean. Hence, even though the change of the annual mean of LDR_cf,Ts,Us barely reaches the 1σ confidence level, anthropogenic greenhouse forcing can be experimentally observed. Higher statistical significance is reached for the measured forcing of all greenhouse gases LDR_cf,Ts, with +1.18(0.7) Wm^-2, where the dominant water vapor forcing accounts for 70% or 2.4 times the anthropogenic forcing.

Credit: Philipona, et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L19809, doi:10.1029/2005GL023624.
Figure 4. Temperature- (left) and integrated water vapor (right) changes in C, respectively percent, from 1995 to 2002. Decreasing changes are shown in blue, increasing changes in red (ERA-40 reanalysis data from ECMWF).
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 3, 2015 - 09:32am PT
We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.

Hanging your climate change creds on that 'fact' will get you laughed at. But have at it.

Dingus, I don't think anybody is hanging their credentials on a fact here--the paper says this:

There is evidence that the 2007−2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria.

It's not a stretch to say that a warming planet will ignite conflicts over water and food supplies. One fact, these types of conflicts have been predicted as a result of climate change. Here, they are stating that it's possible we're already seeing this effect in action.

Again, it's a case of directly linking an event to climate change. I don't believe anybody is saying there is 100% proof of cause and effect. But there are some links that are hard to ignore.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 3, 2015 - 09:56am PT
Willie Soon is back in the news today, having released a statement declaring his victimhood. This statement was released through the political Heartland Institute, not through the scientific Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is currently under investigation for having failed to disclose possible conflicts of interest (fossil-fuel industry support) for at least 11 research papers arguing the fossil fuel industry is blameless. Eight of these papers were published in journals that explicitly require such disclosure as part of their submissions policy.

Soon's statement attacks his critics and defends his honor in general terms, without specifically addressing those particular papers and journals. Gliding past the the prominent "Conflict of Interest" or "Sources of Funding" statements that come up before you can hit *send* to submit your paper (literally, the websites won't let you hit send until you fill this out), Soon writes about some other set of standards in his own mind:
In submitting my academic writings I have always complied with what I understood to be disclosure practices in my field generally, consistent with the level of disclosure made by many of my Smithsonian colleagues.

In an earlier post I noted that a greater scandal is the quality of his research, heavily promoted for its politics while negatively impressing scientists. Still, non-disclosure unlike low-quality science is a pretty clear-cut violation. His statement today declares that "many of my Smithsonian colleagues" do it too; I can't tell whether that's an effort to spread the blame or a veiled threat to take others down with him.

It does seem notable that the current scandal blew up after FOI documents were obtained by Greenpeace, instead of being noticed long ago by administrators who were cashing the checks and keeping the books at the Harvard Smithsonian Center. The Center's role in all this could eventually become a larger part of the story as well. Ideally that will emerge from their own internal investigation.
TLP

climber
Mar 3, 2015 - 10:28am PT
We conclude that human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.

Hanging your climate change creds on that 'fact' will get you laughed at. But have at it.

Only by those with no knowledge of ancient history. I remember reading, or hearing in history class, a full 50 years ago, thus long before the present awareness of climate change, that it was a major factor in some ancient-era wars. I'll post up a reference if I can readily find one.

The contribution of the drought to current events in Syria is undeniable, though it is not as simple as one cause and the effect. Another essential contributor was the government's unwillingness to do anything by way of relief in agricultural areas, causing a wave of migration of working age people to cities, which then reached critical mass and exploded. There's some good scholarship on the whole Syrian episode if one searches for it.
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
Mar 3, 2015 - 10:33am PT
EdwardT, how do you expect anybody to give a hard number on money spent contradicting AGW, considering a lot of the money spend on denying climate science is dark money. Please elaborate how you would go about researching this amount.

My issue with denier funding is opponents frequently talk about "the vast sums of money" being spent denying global warming.

When asked to support their claims, we're treated to disingenuous stories like Bruelle's claim of $900 million in funding, which is nothing more than a total of conservative groups' budgets, conveniently ignoring how much goes to "denier" efforts.

Or we get smoking gun reports, like the leaked Heartland documents, showing financial support of "deniers" to the tune of 400K/year. Heartland frequently gets labelled as a leading supporter of denial efforts. And they spend a whopping $400K/year on the cause. Not really that damning.

Or "Dark money", which comes across as another convenient excuse. The non-profits funding denier efforts may not have to disclose where the money comes from, but I think they have to report where it goes. Maybe I'm wrong.

When it comes to backing denier funding claims, we get fuzzy math, cherry-picked (read: minor) examples or the amorphous dark money.

On a side note, I wonder why the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has not been subjected to the same criticisms as Willie Soon.

* Edited 3/5/15. Changed 1 million dollar figure to a more accurate $400k.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 3, 2015 - 10:37am PT
I wonder why the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has not been subjected to the same criticisms as Willie Soon.

criticism for what?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 3, 2015 - 10:37am PT
There's a long literature of historical studies noting the roles played by drought in many ancient civilizations including those of pre-Columbian America. Drought and crop failures are widely agreed to affect other calamities such as the fall of states, large-scale migration, and civil or interstate war.

Despite DMT's incredulity I don't see why that pattern should not hold today. So do modern droughts reflect greenhouse warming? That's what researchers are asking, and whatever evidence they've got is presented in their papers.
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
Mar 3, 2015 - 10:39am PT
criticism for what?



or

k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 3, 2015 - 11:48am PT
^^^^ Nice dodge.




Heartland frequently gets labelled as a leading supporter of denial efforts. And they spend a whopping 1 million dollars/year on the cause.

Where did that $1M number come from EdwardT? Sounds very low, considering this that I posted earlier:

Heartland receives money from approximately 5,000 individuals and organizations, and no single corporate entity donates more than 5% of the operating budget,[62] although the figure for individual donors can be much higher, with a single anonymous donor providing $4.6 million in 2008, and $979,000 in 2011, accounting for 20% of Heartland's overall budget, according to reports of a leaked fundraising plan.[63]

Admittedly, this doesn't identify the total they spend on their climate change position, which is difficult to guage when it comes to the private think tank.
monolith

climber
SF bay area
Mar 3, 2015 - 12:52pm PT
In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/mar/02/fossil-fuel-industry-caught-taking-a-page-out-of-the-tobacco-playbook?CMP=share_btn_tw
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