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Earth NASA Science

Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All? 747

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flame-war-begin dept.
carvalhao writes "The Register reports on a study from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that claims that new climate models that account for the effects of increased CO2 levels on plant growth result on a 1.64 C increase for a doubling of CO2 concentrations, a far less gloomy scenario than previously considered."
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Doubling of CO2 Not So Tragic After All?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:05AM (#34497202)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification stop calling the huge change taking place "global warming" that make it sounds like nice cozy sauna. The effects are much more complicated.

    • by Genda (560240) <mariet.got@net> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:36AM (#34498730) Journal

      This is exactly right, sequestering energy in a highly complex system with millions or billions of feedback loops, produces effects which are difficult to predict and are not intuitive. Increasing energy causes chaotic change. The Thermodynamicist Prigogine spoke of dissipative structures. Adding energy to steady state systems has little effect as the system absorbs the energy up to it's limit, and which point the system becomes perturbed, and goes into chaotic fluctuation (and continues to do so until it arrives at the next steady state.)

      Ocean acidification is reflective of a fundamental change in global environment. The "Rise of Slime" [sciencedaily.com] is a powerful indication that the chemistry and biology of our oceans is going through a revolutionary transformation. Even fresh water lakes are showing increasing signs of anaerobic bacterial growth, expanding growth of both cyanobacteria and blue green algae, and acidification.

      The accurate term now is climate and ecological change. The wise woods-man knows not to defecate close to where he masticates. It's time the species got that lesson, and stopped using the world we rely on as a toilet. The growing changes indicate wild swings and a system slipping into chaos.

    • by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @09:20AM (#34500080) Journal

      Ocean acidification is even more BS than global warming.

      We know atmospheric CO2 was hundreds of times higher when this planet had corals and shellfish. Our oceans are alkaline and it would take a tremendous amount of acid to change them just 0.1.

      Ocean acidification is even less studied than GHG. It didn't even exist until a year or two ago.

  • Hopefully (Score:2, Insightful)

    by baresi (950718)
    Hopefully reports like this are taken as good news not fuel for the skeptics and deniers. Good news because we have a better chance and perhaps more time at managing with increased CO2
    • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:16AM (#34497264)

      Hopefully reports like this are taken as good news not fuel for the skeptics and deniers.

      Doublethink detected!

      So the deniers are always wrong? Even when the proponents change their models to reveal that they were right?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by baresi (950718)
        You deduced 'always' from my one liner? Any way...No. to answer your question The point is there is plenty of evidence that it is happening, varying degrees of urgency or lack thereof does not change the overall message and science
        • Re:Hopefully (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gustgr (695173) <rondina@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:48AM (#34497454) Homepage

          It's happening all right, but I still have my doubts if it is happening due to man or if it's part of some unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp yet.

          • Re:Hopefully (Score:4, Interesting)

            by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:00AM (#34497826)

            It's happening all right, but I still have my doubts if it is happening due to man or if it's part of some unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp yet.

            It's not an unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp. We HAVE grasped it. It's just that Al Gore and friends and politicians who like to hop on the green bandwagon and people who think being "green" is going to stop global warming refuse to believe it.

            Now, that's not to say that being "green" (whatever the fuck that means) is a bad thing. There's plenty of other things that can be stopped by producing less emissions, including lowering the amount of smog in the air and indirectly reducing our dependance on foreign energy sources (because god forbid we drill for oil off OUR coast). Global warming just isn't one of them, and this apocalypse that's going to happen in 10 years if we don't drastically alter our energy habits... simply won't.

          • Re: Hopefully (Score:5, Informative)

            by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:02AM (#34497828)

            It's happening all right, but I still have my doubts if it is happening due to man or if it's part of some unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp yet.

            It is of course always possible that something we don't understand is going on, but the physics of greenhouse gasses seems to be quite well established. There doesn't seem to be a lot of need to look farther, unless you just don't like the unavoidable conclusion.

          • by jandersen (462034)

            It's happening all right, but I still have my doubts if it is happening due to man or if it's part of some unknown cycle of Earth which is too complicated for us to grasp yet.

            But surely you see that if it is because of what we do, it is actually more encouraging that if not; because if it is something we do, then there is a chance that we can stop doing it, but if it isn't, then we are powerless.

            Also, the important thing has always been that it is happening and we have to do something. If we are causing it, then we have more options as to what we do. The big problem we have with the climate deniers is that their only interest is to stop us from doing anything that will hurt thei

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by icebike (68054)

          Well actually, it would seem the overall message and the science will have changed rather significantly if this study proves close to the mark.

          With a couple more centuries before dangerous warming takes place the situation changes drastically. Alternative energy supplies and improvements in scrubbing technology have time to advance in two hundred years. (And the increasing cost and scarcity of fossil fuels might have something to do with it as well).

          To say nothing of the modeling capability.

          (This is not t

      • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:57AM (#34497514)

        So the deniers are always wrong? Even when the proponents change their models to reveal that they were right?

        Who has been proven to be correct? Which deniers have ever stated that doubling CO2 will result in a 1.64C rise? I doubt anyone has said that before. Instead we get a range of responses, such as:

        • an increase in CO2 doesn't result in an increase in temperature
        • the Earth is actually cooling
        • temperature rises precede CO2 rises
        • it's all natural and not man-made

        You can't keep guessing at a thousand different outcomes and then claim success when one of those guesses comes true. It is just not scientific. It is the same as trying to claim you have ESP because you can accurately predict the outcome of a coin toss 50% of the time.

        • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:46AM (#34498044) Journal

          You can't keep guessing at a thousand different outcomes and then claim success when one of those guesses comes true.

          I guess my question for you is, why is it so important to you that the factions be in lockstep and monolithic thinkers? The science is not settled, and I don't think ANYBODY would argue that we have an even remotely complete understanding of environment/climate. Not all the "deniers" as you choose to call them believe the same thing. This is pretty standard for any academic field...and what's wrong with that? Furthermore, of your propositions, are any of them mutually exclusive?

          For instance, nobody at all argues that human industry has not emitted CO2 over the last 200 years... but how much compared to natural sources? Some people argue that point. Is that mutually exclusive with CO2 not impacting temperature as a causal factor? Are either of those in opposition to CO2 levels responding to global temperature changes? Obviously if those are your arguments, they're not inconsistent with each other.

          I read "skeptic" blogs and "established science" blogs on climate change, and frankly I don't know enough to judge much of any of the science, math, or methodology on the merits. I do see a lot of behavior that makes me skeptical about members on both sides. Climate Audit I think has jumped the shark, but the blog's purpose--to get scientists to open up their data, code, and methodology seems perfectly reasonable, and objections (or, the way SOME scientists have responded) to those things do make me question motivations, etc.

          • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bhiestand (157373) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:50AM (#34498292) Journal

            I guess my question for you is, why is it so important to you that the factions be in lockstep and monolithic thinkers?

            Speaking for myself, not the GP, but my main complaint is that most of the deniers I've interacted with aren't even in lockstep with themselves. They vacillate between arguing that the planet is cooling, that the planet is warming naturally due to solar cycles, and that the rising temperatures are causing rising CO2. If you point out the flaws in their argument, many will go on to claim that it's all a socialist conspiracy to redistribute wealth, restrict freedom, and get more research money.

            My main concern is that the majority of deniers DON'T seem to have a cohesive, intellectually honest argument. Their most outspoken leaders frequently misrepresent both science and politics (ala "Climate Gate").

            Not all the "deniers" as you choose to call them believe the same thing. This is pretty standard for any academic field...and what's wrong with that?

            Other than my point above, I'll also add that very few of the deniers actually currently do research related to the field. I've seen some very prominent MDs and electrical engineers argue that climate scientists are clueless, but within the field there is very little variance. The vast majority of papers I've seen on the subject say, "Oh, I agree with your methodology and conclusions, but you got this little piece slightly off. You need to reconsider this little piece of your model and make an adjustment of 0.003 here." If anything, the field itself is far less divided than many others.

            For instance, nobody at all argues that human industry has not emitted CO2 over the last 200 years... but how much compared to natural sources? Some people argue that point.

            All available evidence shows that they are wrong. We have multiple lines of evidence, and all signs point towards the preponderance of CO2 and GHG level increases being caused by human activities.

            ...and frankly I don't know enough to judge much of any of the science, math, or methodology on the merits.

            Hey, now we can agree! Very few people know enough to judge the conclusions of a multidisciplinary area like climate modeling. Those who DO know enough are already working in the field. Even retired climatologists may not be trustworthy sources because they may not be keeping up with modern advances ("The evidence sucked when I retired in 1980, therefore it must be false.").

            Knowing this, we usually look at a consensus. Every good survey or report I've ever seen has shown an overwhelming consensus within the field that anthropogenic climate change is real. Every survey/petition/letter I've seen proclaiming the opposite has been flawed by including MDs, EEs, DDSs, and other "sciencey" fields to gather more signatures.

            Even ignoring a consensus, the conservative approach is to limit emissions until you know with high confidence that emissions are safe. People are trying to establish a 1% confidence level for AGW when they should really be establishing a 1% confidence level for emissions being safe.

            • Your very classification of someone as a denier means you've already decided that they are not rational humans who consider well-reasoned arguments. Why would you bother making a well-reasoned argument (and accepting that maybe YOU have flaws in your argument, which cause it to be rejected)? You've already decided the outcome of your interaction with these so-called deniers, yet act as if the outcome was due entirely to their mindset. It's sickening to read paragraph after paragraph of this "deniers this, d
    • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Robert Bowles (2733) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:16AM (#34497268)

      Skepticism, I'd argue, is inherently good. Being environmentally conscientious should be a result of good science to be meaningful, not of being on the populist "team green". The moment we take a critical eye off our own views is the moment that our causes lose meaning.

      • by baresi (950718)
        Yes skepticism is good but don't confuse ideology hidden behind skepticism. Critical eye, of course always
        • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sir1real (1636849) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:46AM (#34497430)
          There's nothing wrong with ideology. Skepticism is an ideology. Without ideology we wouldn't have the scientific method.
          • Re: Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @02:13AM (#34497878)

            Without ideology we wouldn't have the scientific method.

            I find it strange that people think the scientific method is based on a philosophy or ideology. What scientists do is no different from what us common folk do when we debug a program or try to fix a mechanical system: you notice something funny (program gives wrong result, car won't start, water rising in basement) so you or the called-in expert speculates on the cause and then proceed on the basis of that speculation. If the facts don't bear it out, you pause, scratch your head and come up with a new speculation. Repeat as needed.

            AFAICT even the most uneducated of us operate the same way in whatever we do. I suspect it's instinct, or at least such a basic result of the exercise of intelligence that no intelligent species could avoid operating that way.

            • by catbutt (469582)
              Yes, but there is certainly some ideological differences between those who rigorously demand evidence and insist on controlling for cognitive bias, and those who are more prone to accept things on intuition and hearsay.
      • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater&gmail,com> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:32AM (#34497382) Homepage

        This. Someone afraid of skeptics, and lumping them with the deniers, is someone pushing a religion, not someone interested in science.

        • Re:Hopefully (Score:4, Insightful)

          by IICV (652597) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:28AM (#34497684)

          I've yet to see an anthropogenic global warming "skeptic" who wasn't just a denier JAQing [rationalwiki.org] off. I mean seriously, what is there to be skeptical about? What part of the IPCC Working Group 1 report is wrong? The Earth is getting warmer, it's due to our carbon emissions, and all that's left to argue about is what the impact will be.

          You can kinda sorta be "skeptical" about how negative of an impact that will be, but again I've yet to see anyone who's managed to make a good argument that more carbon and warmer average temperatures will somehow be good for us in general. And no, "carbon is plant food!" [youtube.com] is not a good argument.

          • Plenty (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:59AM (#34498826)

            The climate change thing is sold as a whole package, a "You believe all of this or you are a DENIER!" kind of thing. However it is really a series of arguments, and at each level someone might have questions. Even some of the basics there can be some questions about. I mean the most basic is "The Earth is getting warmer, outside of any currently known cycles and over a longer period of time." Ok, pretty strong evidence here, but still there is things to look in to. The temperature recording stations have not been controlled and monitored the way we might hope, the record is not as accurate as we would like. Probably nothing that affects any results but in good science you don't write shit off just because it might be inconvenient. That doesn't mean "Look we found a potential inaccuracy, throw it all out!" but it also doesn't mean that questions shouldn't be looked in to.

            A bigger things to question would be all the dire predictions, that a couple degrees in temperature rise leads to massive problems, massive loss of life and so on. This really doesn't have any good evidence and is pretty close to fear mongering. Yes I'm aware there are computer models, appreciate that means nothing. You can make a computer model to say whatever you want, a model is only good if it accurately models things, if it has proven predictive power. There is a lot to question in the "Warming means our DOOM," part of the argument.

            An even bigger question would be that in the case that is correct, that cutting emissions is the thing to do. The reason is best as we can tell the Earth has been much warmer, and colder, in the past than it is now. So real good chance that happens again, to think that we are in some magic time of stability where all variation has stopped would be extremely silly. Thus sooner or later, no matter what we do, the temperature will almost certainly shift multiple degrees. If that is truly going to be deadly to us, then the concentration needs to not be on what is causing this change, but how to survive such a change. It does no good to make drastic cuts to emissions and stop this change (presuming that it would indeed stop this change) only to then get hit with a change that humans DIDN'T cause and thus can't stop.

            You can very well accept many of the fundamental ideas (like that the Earth is getting warmer) and yet still question the conclusions and policy propositions. This idea that it is part and parcel, that you have to accept EVERYTHING, all the premises, all the conclusions and all the policy without question or your are a DENIER is false. It also leads one to question what the hell is going on. A student of human behaviour immediately recognizes that tactic: That of a con man. That is how people peddling fake crap, religions, and other things that don't stand up to scrutiny do it. They present their show and shout down anyone who questions it at all. They attack people who question because they know their argument does not stand up to questioning. Only blind acceptance of the entire package is acceptable, anything else draws hostility.

            As such one may wonder why this is done with regards to climate change. It makes some of us nervous.

          • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TheUglyAmerican (767829) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @06:47AM (#34499026)
            The science has been overcome by the politics. Let's take anthropogenic global warming as fact. What next? Obviously the offending anthropogenic behavior must be controlled. This leads to an increase in wealth and power for a select few; the natural evolution of institutions.

            At this point I don't care about the science. The politics must be stopped.

            When big government and big science collude, we all get screwed.
      • Re:Hopefully (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tenchikaibyaku (1847212) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:09AM (#34497608)
        Skepticism is good. Denial in face of a mountain of evidence is not.
    • Hopefully reports like this are taken as good news not fuel for the skeptics and deniers. Good news because we have a better chance and perhaps more time at managing with increased CO2

      Unfortunately, the ongoing meltdown always turns out to be happening faster than the gloomy prognostics prognosticated.

      And of course, the deniers already take *everything* as evidence for their views, so the chance that they won't seize on this is essentially non-existent.

  • by Rockoon (1252108)
    All of those previous models are crap, but so too is this one most likely crap.

    None of the climate models have shown skill at prediction, which is the only objective measure by which to conclude that a model is not crap.

    Until they can do that, its crazy to formulate policy based on model results. You wouldnt get in an airplane designed by model results as crappy as these.
    • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:46AM (#34497432) Journal
      Climate models != Weather models.

      Weather models (which can easily be objectively checked via existing and coming weather patterns) are an attempt to describe the weather on small scale in great detail)

      Climate models (which cannot easily be objectively checked via weather data) are an attempt to describe the average weather in an area over a large period of time. The only evidence for or against is over periods of hundreds to thousands of years as regional or even global averages.

      The simple fact is climate models have not existed long enough for them to be checked with any great statistical significance, and they are at a huge disadvantage from human nature because people use weather fallacies to discredit climate all the time.

      Just because a climate model predicts lower-than-normal wind patterns, doesn't mean the windiest day on record for isolated regions can't happen during that period without invalidating the model. Just because a climate model predicts periods of colder-than-normal climates, doesn't mean the hottest day on record for isolated locations can't occur during that period without invalidating the model. Just because a climate model predicts cloudier-than-normal patterns, doesn't mean the sunniest stretch of weather on record for some regions can't occur during that period without invalidating the model.

      This is exactly what happens on a daily basis though. We have an idea that short-term climate models are getting closer and some are more accurate than others, but we don't have enough data to show statistical significance to even decade-length climate models. If you get to century-or-greater climate models, we have historical data and estimations to work off of, but no empirical "check" data to work off of.

      The mere suggestion that climate models are not accurately predicting shows you are suffering from this exact same fallacious logic.
      • The simple fact is climate models have not existed long enough for them to be checked with any great statistical significance

        Yet you think that even pretend projections can be got with a hundred or so years of weather data?

        Car analogy time. What you are trying to do is roughly similar to me standing by the side of a road with blinders on and predicting the eventual destination of the cars that pass by without even turning my head.

        There is absolutely no way to check your model, furthermore you are trying to model something that we only understand in the barest of ways. There are so many unknown variables and such a huge amount of

      • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:36AM (#34497724) Homepage

        Models are garbage, even hindcasted.

        Peer reviewed study here: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a928051726&fulltext=713240928 [informaworld.com]

        End of story. We should not be making any decisions based on faulty models, and all of the models in use can't even accurately predict the weather that's happened in the past, with verifiable data.

    • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:51AM (#34497464) Journal
      The first real demonstration of climate model skill was in the 1960's when models predicted the counter intuitive phenomena of stratosphereic cooling. The next significant demonstration was when models in the 80's predicted the phenomena of polar-amplification. Both these phenomena were predicted by models before they were confirmed with observations. As for predicting the global average temprature trend the observations have been well within the error bars of model predictions since the 1970's.

      "You wouldnt get in an airplane designed by model results as crappy as these"

      Hate to break this to you but you already do, climate models work on the same finite element algorithims as any other engineering model does when there is no anylitical solution to the equations. Computers have been doing this type of numerical analysis since they were first invented and took over the job of producing artilery tables. Such methods have revolutionised both science and engineering over the pats 50yrs to the point that no major engineering project would dare contemplate not using them.

      Are they perfect? - Of course not but imperfect certainly does not mean useless, if it did all of science would be useless.
  • The second-linked FA:

    Increase in precipitation contributes primarily to increase evapotranspiration rather than surface runoff, consistent with observations, and results in an additional cooling effect not fully accounted for in previous simulations with elevated CO2.

    And what if it the precipitations don't increase? Or don't increase enough in areas with vegetation (like mid of the ocean)? Or if the precipitations are high enough to flood and drown the vegetation? What about precipitations during winter?

    Yes, yes, yes...the simulation is sooo more precise: it predicts a value with 0.3C lower than the older models. But... errr... what about the confidence levels of the modeling? (not that the older models would have one ready).

  • Error Bars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:17AM (#34497282) Journal
    1.64DegC is still within the error bars for climate sensitivity that have not significantly changed since the 1970's; ie: 3.0DegC +/- 1.5 degC for a doubling of CO2.

    The abstract itself claims: "By accelerating the water cycle, this feedback slows but does not alleviate the projected warming, reducing the land surface warming by 0.6C. Compared to previous studies, these results imply that long term negative feedback from CO2 induced increases in vegetation density could reduce temperature following a stabilization of CO2 concentration." [My emphasis] - In other words nature will suck up our excess if we stop pumping into the atmosphere faster than she can cope with it, which has been the assumption for many years.

    Disclaimer: I'm not rubbishing the study I think it's a valuable in the effort to reduce the above mentioned error bars. However despite the inference of the summary it does not change the risk assesment one iota.
  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:19AM (#34497300) Homepage Journal

    Yah! Finally! Some is asking the right question. Here are the wrong questions:

    1) Is the climate warming or cooling?
    2) Are humans responsible?

    Here are the right questions:

    3) What's going to happen that's so bad we have to "do something about" now?
    4) When is that going to happen?

    Maybe you need to answer the first two questions to answer the last two but if no-one is asking the last two then we're likely to run off half-cocked and implement political policy that does more harm than good. (see, for example, cap and trade).

    • by Namarrgon (105036) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:48AM (#34497444) Homepage

      1) Is the climate warming or cooling?
      2) Are humans responsible?

      Addressed by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group I [www.ipcc.ch].

      3) What's going to happen that's so bad we have to "do something about" now?
      4) When is that going to happen?

      Addressed by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group II [www.ipcc.ch].

      WGI establishes the physical basis of anthropogenic climate change. AFAIK this is has not been convincingly challenged. WGII attempts to quantify the results, which is of course harder to pin down (and included a notorious inaccuracy [skepticalscience.com] or two). This new study will doubtless help refine the WGII predictions further.

    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:52AM (#34497474)

      3) What's going to happen that's so bad we have to "do something about" now?

      Climate is going to shift; species are going to go extinct; agricultural and hydraulic "haves" are going to become "have-nots", and vice versa; nations will have new things to fight about; we're going to have to move all our coastal cities to higher ground; maybe a few other odds and ends.

      4) When is that going to happen?

      It's in progress now. Don't know when the shooting is going to start, but the effects seem to consistently outrun the predictions, so you should expect the shooting to start sooner rather than later.

    • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:07AM (#34497590) Journal
      The existing cap and trade system for sulpur emmissions implemented (and personally spearheaded) by Ronald Regan in the early 1990's has been an outstanding sucess at reducing acid rain. The scheme is international, based on sound science and free market ideals, I don't see what's to dislike other than paying more for your electricity if you choose a provider that insists on using antiquated technology.

      The four questions you raise have been discussed ad-nausem for the last 20yrs, your "finally" comment only serves to demonstrates you haven't been paying attention to the science or the politics.
    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:10AM (#34497618) Homepage Journal

      No, the only worthwhile question is:

      If we stop spewing so much CO2 (and equivalent) into the sky, will the climate stop changing as rapidly as it has been the past few decades?

      We have absolutely no science that says "No", and plenty that says "Yes". Reducing our GHG emissions will protect the relative stability of the climate upon which our civilization depends. With far better certainty that we ask to do anything else we do on the scale of the globe or billions of people.

  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:27AM (#34497328)
    A doubling of atmospheric CO2 partial pressure above a water surface will acidify it by approx. 0.2 pH units. (ref. [wikipedia.org])
  • by bunbuntheminilop (935594) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:27AM (#34497336)
    If the last century is to go by, I doubt we're going to see an increase in vegetation anytime soon. We've already lost 20% of the Amazon since 1970.
  • I don't care if the models are good or if they're bad. This is because I was brought up to believe that every action we take has consequences. Some of those consequences may be bad. Some of those consequences may be good. But something happens as the result of our actions. Now if the models are good and they're predicting nasty consequences, then clearly we must act otherwise people will die and there will be mass migrations of displaced populations that will come knocking at our doors. But some argue
    • by Burnhard (1031106)
      Yes. The precautionary principle v the law of unintended consequences. Both apply to either side of the debate, believe it or not, so it's not really the kind of argument you can come to a conclusion about.
  • by spike hay (534165) <blu_ice.violate@me@uk> on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:40AM (#34497404) Homepage

    They have a pretty crazy AGW-denier agenda. Models have long taken into account the effects of plant growth

  • by regular_gonzalez (926606) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @03:33AM (#34498226)
    Just want to verify that everyone who is full-on convinced about the negative effects of climate change is a vegetarian. At this point it's essentially [csmonitor.com] indisputable [time.com] that eating meat -- particularly beef, but all meat due to second order effects aside from methane (increased fuel usage for the additional grain required to grow animals, etc) -- is a significant factor in greenhouse gas production. If every American became vegetarian, the reduction of greenhouse gasses would be greater than swapping out every SUV for an electric car. So, those of you pilloring consumers, government, or industry -- you've already made the switch, right? Cause you wouldn't want to be hypocritical.
    • by dachshund (300733)

      Just want to verify that everyone who is full-on convinced about the negative effects of climate change is a vegetarian. ... you've already made the switch, right? Cause you wouldn't want to be hypocritical.

      Well, we all know that on the Internet hypocrisy is the greatest and most venal sin. And you've opened my eyes to the fact that people are selfish and screw around, so that absolutely makes it ok for us to double the level of atmospheric CO2. This logic couldn't be more solid.

      The truth is that people

  • by qmaqdk (522323) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:36AM (#34498728)

    There's nothing like a climate debate to revamp people's passion for scientific scepticism. Oddly it doesn't seem to happen with other topics. Let's recap:

    Burnhard (1031106) calls ocean acidification a "ridiculous Green bandwagon" and lumps it in with other "idiotic claims" [slashdot.org]. Modded interesting.

    Rockoon (1252108) states that "All of those previous models are crap, but so too is this one most likely crap." [slashdot.org]. Modded insightful.

    Mashiki (184564) lets us know that "Models are garbage, even hindcasted." [slashdot.org]. Modded interesting.

    Let me add further scepticism: Unless you cite a paper that you published in a peer-reviewed journal to back up your claim, you don't get to dismiss models that have been accepted in peer-reviewed journals.

    • by Burnhard (1031106) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @06:58AM (#34499072)
      In Climate Science, "peer review" is more a guarantee that spelling errors have been corrected and that the gate-keepers are keeping the journal "on message" than it is a guarantee of correct methodology and/or conclusions. Two examples spring to mind: Mann's hockey stick and Steig's Antarctic warming paper. Both of these have had front-page placement in Nature and both of them were unmitigated bollocks. So no, on this issue particularly, peer review is more about censorship than it is about truth.

      Obviously OA is the next big Green scare. I can't believe you're such an idiot as to not see this for what it really is: political activism.
      • by Namarrgon (105036)

        Still not seeing any citations, but perhaps you should be reviewing your own examples. The hockey stick has been confirmed by multiple independent lines of evidence:

        McIntyre 2004 [agu.org] claimed that the Mann 1999 [psu.edu]'s hockey-stick graph shape was a result of the analysis method used (principal components analysis), and was not statistically significant. However, the National Center for Atmospheric Research reconstructed (Wahl 2007 [ucar.edu]) the graph using a variety of techniques (with and without principal components analysi

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