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Earth Science

Why Groundwater Use May Not Explain Half of Sea-Level Rise 244

Posted by Soulskill
from the science-is-complicated dept.
New submitter Sir Realist writes "A recent Slashdot scoop pointed us at a scientific study that claimed 42% of global sea-level rises could be due to groundwater use. It was a good story. But as is often the way with science, there are folks who interpret the data differently. Scott Johnson at Ars Technica has a good writeup which includes two recent studies that came to remarkably different conclusions from mostly the same data, and an explanation of the assumptions the authors were making that led to those differences. Essentially, there is some reason to think that the groundwater estimates used in the first study were too high. However, that's still under debate, so it's worth reading the whole argument. Scientific review in action!"
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Why Groundwater Use May Not Explain Half of Sea-Level Rise

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  • Scientific review (Score:3, Insightful)

    by x0 (32926) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:55PM (#40311869) Homepage
    So, we can review groundwater/sea-level scientific studies, but 'Climate Change' is a done deal.

    Got it...

    m
    • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:06PM (#40312033) Homepage

      Or maybe it is simply that all peered reviewed papers get reviewed. And it is simply that climate change is a fact and it is happening ~ like we believe it is so all reviews of those papers turn up no problems.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If you'd care to have a look at the literature, you'd see constant reviewing of all models, of all parameters, of all proxies. In contrast to just repeating the same old talking points, that would take effort, though, wouldn't it?
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:07PM (#40312053)

      So, we can review groundwater/sea-level scientific studies, but 'Climate Change' is a done deal.

      It's a scientific fact that global warming is real. There is no debate, and no controversy, there. We've got too many satellites confirming it, along with thousands of ground stations and the upward trend is undeniable.

      It's still up for discussion why it's happening or what it will eventually mean for us. Ethical scientists generally take the side of "Until we can predict with some confidence what will happen, we should do what we can to limit the impact," similar to the ideal behind the Hippocratic oath. Our present models, understanding, and theories point to rising sea levels, melting ice caps, and heating to the point where much of the ariable land along the equator will no longer be able to sustain industrial farming.

      We're already seeing some of the effects of this rapid heating (in geological terms); In Japan, native moss is no longer used at several Zen shrines because it's become too warm for them to survive. Coral reefs are undergoing a mass-extinction event, and we are seeing weather patterns which roughly correspond to modelling predictions for a warmer Earth. If these trends continue, life will become increasingly inhospitable to humans. While long-term predictions aren't reliable, it is almost certain the Earth of 200 years from now will have a radically different climate than the Earth of today; We are directly responsible for this planet entering a new geological age with as much speed and force as the Cretaceousâ"Paleogene extinction event.

      The debate really doesn't center on whether or not these things happen; The choice faced by our generation is not whether or not life after climate change is possible, but what kind of life it will be.

      • by x0 (32926)

        The choice faced by our generation is not whether or not life after climate change is possible, but what kind of life it will be.

        QED

        m

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by C_amiga_fan (1960858)

        >>>It's a scientific fact that global warming is real. There is no debate, and no controversy

        How come it's getting colder over the last decade with record levels of snowfall and cooler-than-normal summers? (I had heard by 2010 we wouldn't even know what snow is in Great Britain.)

        • Re:Scientific review (Score:4, Informative)

          by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotmaiLIONl.com minus cat> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:29PM (#40312315) Homepage

          >>>It's a scientific fact that global warming is real. There is no debate, and no controversy

          How come it's getting colder over the last decade with record levels of snowfall and cooler-than-normal summers? (I had heard by 2010 we wouldn't even know what snow is in Great Britain.)

          Over here in Finland it is actually getting a lot warmer than it used to. For several years now the temperature can be above zero even in January, but when I was a child that would have been totally unheard of; back then the temperature could drop as low as -35 degrees Celsius where I lived in.

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            Over here in Finland it is actually getting a lot warmer than it used to. For several years now the temperature can be above zero even in January, but when I was a child that would have been totally unheard of; back then the temperature could drop as low as -35 degrees Celsius where I lived in.

            Over here in Canada, the temperature could drop like that too. It could also be much colder than that. And much warmer. In fact we had a much warmer winter than average, last winter we had a much colder winter than average. In fact 50 years ago, seeing 10m snowdrifts and 8m of snowfall in a 1 day period were very common where I live. Not so much now, but last year we had it too(Southern Ontario). People leaving from their second story windows? Yep that was common 60-70 years ago too, happened last yea

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by andy16666 (1592393)

          >>>It's a scientific fact that global warming is real. There is no debate, and no controversy

          How come it's getting colder over the last decade with record levels of snowfall and cooler-than-normal summers? (I had heard by 2010 we wouldn't even know what snow is in Great Britain.)

          They don't. Global temperatures continue to show a rise, despite certain local climate variations.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          How come it's getting colder over the last decade with record levels of snowfall and cooler-than-normal summers? (I had heard by 2010 we wouldn't even know what snow is in Great Britain.)

          Weather != climate. In fact, global warming has been shown to make weather more extreme - more hurricanes (a nice big hurricane can cool the ocean by a couple of degrees - it is a big heat engine after all). Summers will be hotter, drier, winters will be colder, snowier, etc. In fact, the melting ice cap has an interesting

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Because it's not.

          Shut up already.

        • Re:Scientific review (Score:4, Informative)

          by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:51PM (#40317299) Homepage

          How come it's getting colder over the last decade

          Whoever told you that was lying to you. They cherry-picked the year 1998 for a two-point comparison because it was anomalously high. If you picked 1997 instead you'd see warming way above predictions. But that would also be a lie. That's why climate scientists don't do that, and instead use rolling averages to find the underlying trends.

        • by Livius (318358)

          Because precipitation snow or rain - increases with increasing temperature. And it comes down as snow if the temperature goes up as long as it's still below freezing. If the temperature goes from -10 to -5, it still snows, but the amount of snow goes up.

          But I'm guessing you knew that already and just asked the question in bad faith.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's still up for discussion why it's happening or what it will eventually mean for us. Ethical scientists generally take the side of "Until we can predict with some confidence what will happen, we should do what we can to limit the impact," similar to the ideal behind the Hippocratic oath.

        My concern here is that without being able to predict the outcome with confidence it is not possible to determine what action will "limit the impact". What we need to do is to verify the models by predicting a future change and see if it happens as predicted. If so the model used is "good enough" and we can see if limiting carbon emission makes things better or worse.
        We also have to get ridf of the myth that climate is something stable. The earth is on a journey from creation to end. No year will ever be th

        • by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:53PM (#40312621)

          Mod AC up. While more of an engineering exercise, this is more than likely the correct course of action.

          We have to say for certain that given a certain subset of data, with X variables factored in, we can validate Y over a certain time frame.
          This would tell us the following;

          1. Is our science correct?
          2. Are our predicted results accurate?
          3. What factors occurred during this time frame that could have favored or skewed our estimates?
          4. What should we do next?

          Right now, the problem with AGW\Climate Change science is that it works like this;

          1. Scientists gather data
          2. Peer review takes place - "data only".
          3. Scientific community finds potential "cause data".
          4. Peer review takes place - "data only".
          5. Scientific community makes recommendation based upon 2 different datasets (problem dataset, cause dataset)
          6. Politicians scream and legislate based on #5.

          • by Doc Ruby (173196)

            Wrong. Climate scientists have clearly identified the rising CO2 (and its equivalents: GHGs) concentrations in the atmosphere as the mechanical cause of the climate change, driven by overall average warming. Climate scientists have further clearly identified a reduction in the GHG concentrations produced as industrial waste as a way to cause abatement of the recent changes.

            That is the science. Politicians who scream and legislate mostly legislate based on bribes and threats from global polluters, when the a

            • by Kr1ll1n (579971)

              Except for the whole "Do a long term (minimum 10 years should be sufficient) test". That is exactly what is missing. Currently, the majority of estimates and projections have been wrong, which means there is an unseen variable, and it is not being factored in, assuming the science is correct.

              Currently we hear the screams of "global meltdown in 5........4..........3.........2..........Oh, shit, wait, not yet, but it's definitely coming and the world will never be the SAME!!!!!!" and we go back to the same da

              • by Apuleius (6901)

                "1. Controlled tests"

                We do not have spare planets to experiment on. Ergo, controlled tests in climatology are impossible.

                But, by that standard, you can also dismiss meteorology, archaeology, economics, astronomy, and lots of other fields of science.

      • Re:Scientific review (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bigby (659157) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:29PM (#40312309)

        I followed and agreed with your first two paragraphs. Even the first couple sentences of the 3rd paragraph. Then you went crazy.

        Inhospitable? You know the earth has been much warmer with humans living on it? Earth had a radically different climate 200 years ago, and 200 years before that, and 200 years before that. Define "radical" please.

        Then you finish with "we are directly responsible". That is the part being questioned. Not that the earth is warming, but the cause. You conveniently failed to bring that part up in your first two paragraphs. You even say "it's still up for discussion why it's happening". Did you come to the conclusion while writing the paragraphs in between?

        Then you finish by saying earth will not be inhospitable. What is your opinion here???

        • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:47PM (#40312567)

          Define "radical" please.

          The rate of change is important. Toss me a baseball and I'll catch it, whip it at my head and I probably won't.

          We generally don't know the rate of change that previous global climate changes had, but the rates that we're seeing today would be equivilent to the ice age ending in a matter of decades or at most a couple centuries. 1.5 degrees so far might not sound like much but when look at the global scale that is a big change.

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @02:11PM (#40312817)

          They start with the statement of "It is a scientific fact that global warming is happening," which is true. That the Earth is getting warmer outside of known cycles is a claim of fact, something you can measure, and measurements show it is indeed correct. No problems there.

          However the problem then starts that they make a bunch of other claims, such as that if the warming continues Earth will be inhospitable, and so on, and want to claim that is all scientific fact too. No, not so much. That things will get worse would be an assertion or judgement call that would be based on a bunch of theories and hypothesis about what will happen if the warming continues. It is the kind of thing that is actually up for a lot of debate since you have to evaluate all the different theories of what might happen, how well supported they are, and then pass a judgement call as to if it would be better or worse.

          Thing is, they present it as just something you have to accept part and parcel. A situation of "If you deny any of this, you are denying the facts." No, not really. Anyone who says the Earth isn't warming is denying facts, unless they can show how the measurements that we use to reach that conclusion are flawed (given the measurements are world wide and spanning a century, it is possible, though unlikely, the conclusion is incorrect). However from that it does not automatically follow that things will be horrible.

          • by steelfood (895457)

            They start with the statement of "It is a scientific fact that global warming is happening," which is true. That the Earth is getting warmer outside of known cycles is a claim of fact, something you can measure, and measurements show it is indeed correct. No problems there.

            But it's a bit more than "warming". That's where everybody gets held up. They think "warming" and automatically equate it with a temperature rise.

            Yes, there is a temperature rise. But the temperature rise is a symptom, not the disease, so to speak. The overall temperature rise is a result of there being more energy in the system (our planet's climate). How much of that extra energy translates to how much temperature rise is an equation left to the scientists.

            There are other symptoms of having energy in the

        • Inhospitable? You know the earth has been much warmer with humans living on it? Earth had a radically different climate 200 years ago, and 200 years before that, and 200 years before that. Define "radical" please.

          No, the Earth has NOT had radically different climate change since the end of the last ice age... that's about 20,000 years of a pretty steady and unchanging climate. There have been a few glitches caused by volcanic eruption and the like, but it's always returned to baseline. Climate change has only really accelerated in the past 50--100 years, which is a drop in the bucket compared to that amount of time. Scientists are already pointing to climate changes observable within a single person's lifetime. In g

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Earth did not have a radically different climate 200, 400 or 600 years ago. It had a radically different climate 13-25 thousand years ago, when there were kilometer thick ice sheets across the places most populated today. That was inhospitable, even though humans lived through those millennia. We should do what we can to avoid returning to those bleak times.

          Especially since the changes now will destabilize a world packed with people and WMD. Climate change today among modern humans could easily cause us to

      • When I read your second paragraph, I was really ecstatic for a minute there. You hit the nail on the head that so many climate change prophets are attacking with screwdrivers. There is a huge difference between the very well-demonstrated rising temperature and the significantly hazier predictions of future states based on extremely complicated and chaotic models. But based on very simple arguments, our actions are _likely_ to have an effect, and so doing what we can to minimize that possible effect is rat

        • by riverat1 (1048260)

          In the field of risk management the hazier the risks the more value there is in trying to avoid them. If you know well what the risks are you can plan for them effectively but if the risks are not clear but could potentially be bad then you invest more in trying to avoid them.

      • FACT: Earth didn't always have CO2 in atmosphere
        FACT: Over time CO2 has increased
        FACT: Earth didn't always have complex life
        FACT: Over time complex life has increased

        THUS: The more CO2 we have in Earth's atmosphere the more abundant and complex life we have.

        I'd make you a pretty graph but I'm too lazy, instead I'll describe it: It involves two correlated lines closely mirroring each other upwards.

        There take that!

        Is that the whole story? Probably not.

        • by riverat1 (1048260)

          I think you have that a bit backwards. Around 500 million years ago when complex animal life was first developing the atmospheric level of CO2 appears to have been around 5000 ppm. Since then it has generally been on a downward trend reaching lows around 180-280 ppm in the past million years.

      • by Lisias (447563) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @03:08PM (#40313733) Homepage Journal

        It's a scientific fact that global warming is real.

        As the Earth being the center of the Universe was, once, another scientific fact.

        Every single scientific fact is prone to scrutiny and refutal. Every single one.

        We can assume that some scientific facts are insanely unlikely to be refuted (Gravity Law, for the sake of my balls and despair of my girlfriend's boobies, are one of them). But never, ever, assume any "scientific fact" above any controversy or debate.

        Dogmas have no place here.

        • Re:Scientific review (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:17PM (#40314725) Homepage Journal

          No, the geocentric theory was not science the way we practice it today. It was biblical theology, dressed up to look like what passed for science before science was science.

          Yes, in the future we'll have even better science about climate. It will be more precise, but the accuracy of current climate science saying "human pollution is increasing the Greenhouse Effect, overall warming the Earth and changing the climate" will not be changed. Because current science is good enough to state facts, even if their precision can always be improved. We can tell the difference between -1, 0 and +1, even if we can't always tell the difference between +1 and +1.1 .

          Of course we should also debate and challenge the science, especially science this important. That's how we make both the facts more precise and the science itself better at investigating. But there's not going to be any disproof of climate change science. This isn't 1955, when the science wasn't based in enough data and repeated studies to be reliable. It's reliable.

          Saying that there shouldn't be controversy about whether humans are changing the climate with our pollution isn't dogma. It's merely recognizing scientific fact. And defending it from the people who will say anything to undermine it, though they can't say anything scientific.

          • I hate to defend geocentrism, but it certainly was science. Given the evidence of the sun, moon, planets, and starts pretty clearly moving across the sky in a revolving fashion, what scientific explanation would you come up with? Was every astronomer prior to Copernicus not actually a scientist?

            When people proposed the heliocentric explanation, the church intervened and said that the Earth is the center of the universe for theological reasons, and that was certainly not scientific.

        • But never, ever, assume any "scientific fact" above any controversy or debate. Dogmas have no place here.

          There's no assumption, I just get tired of arguing with morons. I mean, yes, I could entertain the 'controversy' of evolution, but I would succeed only in wasting my own time, and adding not a lick of knowledge or wisdom to humanity in the process. Likewise, while there may be a debate to be had with climate change, I grow tired of dealing with morons who wish to argue every single nuance, because they've already made up their minds and now they're off on some big effort to assimilate everyone else into thi

          • by Lisias (447563)

            The Earth has got cooler and warmer before, and that time was not out fault.

            There're a lots of evidence that our presence is affecting out habitat, but there're also evidence that Earth has a recurrent cycle of Ice Eras and Warm Eras - and nobody could prove, yet, that this is not what happening now: a transition from one Era to another.

            Of course we're polluting our biosphere to a level where our extinction here will be inevitable. We're facing the ending of our sources of drinkable water. We're facing the

            • by Lisias (447563)

              While the phrase "Get used to that" can be used in the context to deliver the intended concept, it came to my attention that in US English that same phrase can be used to do it in a harsh or perhaps pejorative way.

              It's not my intention.

              What I mean it to deliver is a Stoic, conformist intention: as something not that good that we must endure in order to get something good.

              Sorry if that intent was not fulfilled in my previous post.

      • by bobbied (2522392)

        It's still up for discussion why it's happening.

        We are directly responsible for this planet entering a new geological age with as much speed and force as the Cretaceousâ"Paleogene extinction event.

        I'm struck with the contradiction in what you posted. Why is still an open question yet you assume "We are directly responsible?"

        For the sake of argument, I'll stipulate that Global warming is happening. However, we do NOT know, for sure, that man is the cause of it, or that we can do anything about it. It may be time to start planning for a warmer earth, but unless we KNOW that specific human activity is actually causing the issue we need to carefully consider all the impacts on what we do. Incomplete u

    • by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:18PM (#40312163)

      Any individual study can be reviewed at any time. This rarely has any significant impact on the consensus formed by the weight of all other existing related studies. If there are two interpretations of a study based on two different sets of assumptions, the question can be resolved by testing the assumptions. The fact that a single study is ambiguous does nothing to cast doubt on the remaining vast preponderance of scientific studies which unambiguously indicate that climate change is both real and man made.

      'Climate Change' is a done deal

      The scientific community has overwhelmingly agreed that Climate Change is occuring, and that there is a greater than 90% chance it is man-made. [wikipedia.org]

      That this is the consensus is a cold, hard, unambiguous fact. If you want to believe that climate change is not real, or not man-made, the only remaining avenue of rationalisation is that the scientific community a wrong or lying for some reason. This puts climate change deniers on the same ground as creationists.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by C_amiga_fan (1960858)

        At one time it was the scientific consensus that light was a wave, and that it traveled through a medium called "ether" that filled the gap between the sun and the earth. 99% of scientists believed this.
        They were wrong.
        Consensus doesn't really mean much..... read "Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn. Learn about paradigm shift; how an entire generation of scientists can believe with absolute certainty a false fact.

        • Re:Scientific review (Score:5, Informative)

          by icensnow (932196) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @02:07PM (#40312783)
          The idea that light was a wave moving through the ether was consistent with all available data, especially given the limitations of 19th century measurement, until the Michelson-Morley experiments. Maxwell's equations are still consistent with pre-relativity understanding, and I certainly had to learn how to work with them. The old way of thinking is not so much wrong as limited to a certain level of measurement, just as with Newton's laws and pretty much everything else before relativity and quantum mechanics. The old ways of thinking are still useful and generally correct within their assumptions. I begin to think that we need some kind of Godwin's Law against bringing up Kuhn and paradigms in an actual scientific discussion -- it seldom leads anywhere useful but usually is used just like this post to say "just because everyone who knows something thinks so doesn't mean it's right."
          • >>>The idea that light was a wave moving through the ether was consistent with all available data, especially given the limitations of 19th century measurement

            Well the same is true today, in regards to the limitations of globe-wide measurements. There is a ton of uncertainty there. (They can't even make-up their minds how much groundwater levels have dropped.)

            • by Chris Burke (6130)

              >>>The idea that light was a wave moving through the ether was consistent with all available data, especially given the limitations of 19th century measurement

              Well the same is true today, in regards to the limitations of globe-wide measurements. There is a ton of uncertainty there.

              Okay, and when alternative hypothesis are not consistent with the available data even given the uncertainty, that tells you something about them.

        • by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Right, so there's never anything that's a scientific fact, because in the past rudimentary science was prone to assertions. Wrong.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      One is one paper, the other is scientific consensus. Please troll elsewhere.

    • by Doc Ruby (173196)

      We still review gravity studies, even though we've know that gravity is a done deal for centuries.

      You don't know what science is. Stop talking about it in public.

    • by riverat1 (1048260)

      So, we can review groundwater/sea-level scientific studies, but 'Climate Change' is a done deal.

      You're just behind the times. The sort of review the the groundwater/sea level studies are undergoing was occurring 20 or 30 years or more ago in regards to CO2's role in the climate.

    • The "contraversy" started when alternative energies that don't produce much carbon dioxide started to get a foothold in markets and threaten established companies that could afford some highly amoral PR groups.
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:55PM (#40311879) Journal
    As soon as a politician with no scientific qualifications weighs in, however, I reserve the right to be annoyed.
  • Interesting Theory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ferretman (224859) <ferretman@@@gameai...com> on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:59PM (#40311959) Homepage
    We certainly HAVE pumped a lot of groundwater out and I presume most of it ends up in the atmosphere or the oceans one way or the other.

    Glad to see REAL scientists questioning AGW tenets.

    Ferret
    • by s.petry (762400)

      Wow, do people ever think any more? Okay, we pumped ground water out. Did it stop raining? Did the processes for saturation suddenly stop working? Did all of the ground water magically vanish that we were pumping out, rivers all dried up, and shit we all live in a desert now?

      As of about five years ago, you should immediately have known that "Science" no longer means Science. What you read is from an agenda, and not Scientists.

      Honestly, I feel really bad for Scientists that want to do real science. The

      • by bbecker23 (1917560) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:25PM (#40312257)
        The issue is actually pretty similar to that with declining returns in oil production. Groundwater replenishment is certainly still happening. Similarly, the processes which produce oil are still occurring. The issue is that we are consuming much faster than we are replenishing. Groundwater, depending on the depth of the aquifer and the material in which it exists, can take years to thousands of years to be replenished. Oil takes millions.

        The reason that ocean levels might rise from groundwater is that we are bringing it up faster than it can go back down. All that water has to go somewhere.
        • by s.petry (762400)

          Which of course becomes a contributing factor, but it's painfully obvious that it's not the only reason for the rise. Ice loss in the Arctic and Antarctic have much more bearing than ground water as the article tried to state. Those do not include Glacial loss, permafrost loss, etc...

          If anything, I think the Global Warming issues point at an immediate problem we have with the Scientific community (by no way is that statement intended to blame the Scientists directly). Instead of doing "Science" they are

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Hatta (162192)

            What agenda do you think climate scientists are working for? If climate scientists were catering to the powerful, wouldn't they be publishing data and models that the oil industries like?

            The fact that there is such strong agreement among climate scientists in the face of such powerful and wealthy opposition is a very good indication that they are not in fact serving an agenda.

            • by s.petry (762400)

              There are at least 2 distinct lobby groups. Polluters, and GW. The GW group also breaks down in to two more groups. The natural and man made.

              Each has their own funding and support, and each publishes reports based on biases that tend to show that the opinion they receive funding from is correct.

              I think you are making a mistake in thinking that Money can only come from one source. You also make a second mistake, in that the creation of controversy has no financial gain.

              • by Hatta (162192)

                Obviously, the oil industry is huge and has a lot of money to put into research that would benefit it. However, the overwhwelming majority of the research out there supports the AGW hypothesis. Therefore, if you are correct and science is primarily agenda driven, the AGW group must have even more money than the oil industry.

                Where do those funds come from, and how is creating controversy profitable for the group that provides the funding?

                I mean, it's conceivable that creating controversy could be profitab

                • by s.petry (762400)

                  Sorry, you are going to have to search for it since I'm lazy at the moment (actually to swamped with other things). This was a big internal discussion at my last work place, and a person was able to track down many of the funding sources. Greenpeace was one, and of course Oil and Coal were big ones.

                  The controversy I'm talking about is not quite the same as it seems you are thinking. Example: If I make a shitload of money polluting and you say it's bad, having a controversy allows me to keep polluting an

                  • by Hatta (162192)

                    Greenpeace was one

                    Greenpeace's total budget is around10 million per year [activistcash.com]. How is it that they can influence the overwhelming majority of climate research?

                    If climate science is primarily agenda driven, and climate science is overwhelmingly in favor of AGW there must be a group out there that profits from the fabrication of data for the AGW hypothesis and has more money than the oil industry. I don't see any candidates.

                    The controversy I'm talking about is not quite the same as it seems you are thinking. Exa

                    • by Hatta (162192)

                      Apologies, the Greenpeace US budget is around 10 million/year. Globally it's 360 million. I should have read more carefully.

                      I will point out that 360 million is still peanuts compared to the oil industry. If money speaks louder than facts in climate science, why is the consensus not what the oil industry wants to hear?

                    • by Magius_AR (198796)

                      . If money speaks louder than facts in climate science, why is the consensus not what the oil industry wants to hear?

                      Bias plays a role as well. Oil-friendly individuals don't exactly pursue careers in climate science.

            • by Magius_AR (198796)

              What agenda do you think climate scientists are working for? If climate scientists were catering to the powerful, wouldn't they be publishing data and models that the oil industries like?

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_commercialization#Renewable_energy_industry [wikipedia.org]

              Renewable energy investment increased 51 billion dollars in one year. Hint, someone got richer there.

    • by guises (2423402)
      I know this is Slashdot and you didn't read the article, so let me help you out:

      Other researchers in the field can spot dodgy methods in a paper like the mascot in a cereal box knock-off of Where’s Waldo? Scientists know that every study is imperfect or incomplete in some way and are especially skeptical of results that contradict—rather than build upon—the existing science. When lots of data has been published supporting one conclusion, and then a single data set points in a different direction, the most likely explanation is that something is wrong with that rogue data set.

      The thrust of the matter is that there have been several other previous studies on the effects of groundwater contribution to sea level rise, all with conclusions in roughly the same (low) ballpark. Then a single study comes along with wildly different results and that's the one which gets heavily reported on in popular media. I don't know who the real scientists are in this case (and you don't either), but we'll see if the new

  • I could have told you that 42% 1/2.
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:34PM (#40312401)

    I think a 3rd grader better review all this data, because according to the current grade-school curriculum, water evaporates, condenses into clouds, rains, fills lakes, rivers, aquifers, etc, and then evaporates again in a seemingly recurring cycle.

    With global warming, shouldn't the rate of evaporation increase causing more water to evaporate, increasing cloud cover and rain and filling up groundwater reservoirs?

    Doesn't more cloud cover block the suns heat thus reducing Global warming?

    I know everybody thinks the world is going to sh*t and we are living in Hell and the planet will be destroyed in a matter of decades, but I find it hard to believe that after a few billion years of water evaporating, condensing and raining that suddenly this basic concept of a global ecosystem some-how no longer applies.

    If a 3rd grader can just step up figure this sh*t out for us cause obviously the "scientific" community doesn't have a f*cking clue

    • Is this a troll? Do you actually believe it's reasonable to attempt to refute current scientific studies with 3rd-grade textbooks?

      No matter what folk personally believe (or want to believe), does it not seem inappropriate simply to assume scientists specifically or in bulk are simply stupid? Is it not more productive to maintain an inquisitive approach and ask yourself what you might be lacking in your own understanding?

      Now, to the actual point, your trite reference to elementary school understanding of t

      • I'm not convinced that this was a troll. I think that we might get told that we were trolled, but it's not far enough out of line with the AGW denying comments I've seen here lately. :/

    • by buglista (1967502)
      THANK YOU!

      Please, someone tell the British Meteorological Office that water evaporates, forms clouds and this can lead to occlusion of the sun at times. I'm sure they'll be EXTREMELY GLAD that someone bothered to mention it to them.
    • by pk001i (649678)
      Strawman much?

      Although I do not know these scientists personally, I have a hunch that they understand the water cycle, and still believe that water evaporates. The groundwater is constantly recharging, it is just that we are removing the groundwater faster than it can recharge. This recharge deficiency could be due to a number of things, we could simply taking out too much water, or we could have altered the recharge mechanisms. Calculating how much water we take out is easy, but understanding all the
      • Well put.

        May I, just from personal curiosity, ask in what particular field of geophysics you work? I used to share the building with our geophysics guys while I did my PhD in biochemistry. They were not so helpful on ecosystem questions, though - they were mostly concerned with high-pressure metamorphic stuff trying to model it in their diamond-stamp-huge-arse-pressure-press ;)

    • Well, here's something that they neglect in 3rd grade: extra heat does cause evaporation, but it also changes the atmosphere's capacity to hold water. This is something that's readily observable in most climates as the seasons change, and we tend to look at it just as a local change that affects our comfort.

      As AGW deniers seem to love pointing out, the most potent greenhouse gas is actually water. It stores heat exceptionally well. So if the atmosphere is warmer (on average), then it's holding more water. T

  • Yes, this is scientific review in action.

    And it's Slashdotters tagging it with "manbearpig", too. People whose "science" is really "politics" is really "ideology" is really "cartoons" is really stupid. And they have the same vote you do.

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk

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