Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming 605

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the if-you-say-so dept.
mdsolar writes with a tidbit from the New York Times on global warming: "The percentage of the earth's land surface covered by extreme heat in the summer has soared in recent decades, from less than 1 percent in the years before 1980 to as much as 13 percent in recent years, according to a new scientific paper. The change is so drastic, the paper says, that scientists can claim with near certainty that events like the Texas heat wave last year, the Russian heat wave of 2010 and the European heat wave of 2003 would not have happened without the planetary warming caused by the human release of greenhouse gases. Those claims, which go beyond the established scientific consensus about the role of climate change in causing weather extremes, were advanced by James E. Hansen, a prominent NASA climate scientist, and two co-authors in a scientific paper published online on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 'The main thing is just to look at the statistics and see that the change is too large to be natural,' Dr. Hansen said in an interview."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:12AM (#40903865) Homepage

    Because, as always, peer-reviewed work is to be scoffed at while wild un-peer-reviewed claims by TV weathermen are to be taken at face value.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DeathToBill (601486) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:13AM (#40903879) Journal

    Calm down and stop throwing toys, both of you.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:14AM (#40903899)
    Look at the abstract. This isn't arguing about the accuracy of fractional degree measurements at individual weather stations: it is about > 3 sigma events over >10% of the Earth's surface, quite large changes and exactly the kind of thing that would be expected if more energy was being added to the atmosphere. For years the climatologists have been trying to explain that adding energy doesn't simply make everything slightly warmer, but will have effects larger in one place and smaller in another. This study tends to bear that out and emphasises that the extremes are over large land masses - again as would be expected. I am rather glad I live close enough to the Atlantic to be affected by Atlantic weather patterns, but far enough that we rarely get the worst of the storms, even though I am going to have to put in extra soil drainage in October.
  • Personal attacks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:19AM (#40903933)

    Wait for the dirty tricks and personal attacks to begin.

    The fossil fuel lobby won't take such a show of flagrant anti-rich, anti-1% dissent lying down.

    Like the poor fool who dares to step between the pigs and their swill, this fellow is gonna get mauled.

  • Eh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:21AM (#40903939)

    The main thing is just to look at the statistics and see that the change is too large to be natural

    Don't underestimate nature, it has a habit of killing those that do.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:26AM (#40903967) Homepage

    Wow, combining "un-peer-reviewed claims by TV weathermen" with "wikipedia" with "proof by ghost reference" [google.is] (worst heat wave != most days over 37.8C in a place which already has an average January high of over 41C), whose closest resemblance to saying what he claims it says is a reference to a non-peer-reviewed web page from before the heat waves in question discussed by this paper.

    Wow, I'm totally sold now, thanks for linking that!

  • by dbet (1607261) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:28AM (#40903979)
    Really? And what are the Republicans in China and India doing? How about Europe? It's *Global* Warming, and unless you don't use energy derived from burning fossil fuels, you're just as responsible. And I don't see a slow down or reverse of the trend without a massive change in technology over a very short time.
  • by marjancek (1215230) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:32AM (#40903993)

    How did people think we could dump that much energy into any system and it would not make a difference?

    Well, that's weird: people commenting without having an idea about the issue.
    We dumping energy into the system?

    We are not giving [so much] energy into the system; we are just pouring green-house gases into the atmosphere, which in turn stop the planet from loosing energy at the rate it has dissipated it before. That's called green-house effect, because it acts as the glasses in a green house, preventing the heat from leaving the system, and increasing the average temperature.

    It is not about human turning their air conditioners on and heating the atmosphere; it's about burning gas/coal/petrol to generate energy for those air conditioners (and cars, airplanes, industry, etc.) and increasing the level of green-house gases.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:33AM (#40904009)
    In addition to this parental and, yes, proper advice: Go read some books in stead of throwing toys.
    There are good arguments for and against manmade global warming, and personally I think there is no such thing as MMGW.
    Thing is; there is no way of telling just yet. It is just a way of predicting the future, and there is no such business. The models are only as good as the information (=pre-assumptions) one puts in there, and then there is a huge lag of possible parameters in all those models.

    One thing one could say is: There was no global warming in the last 10 years.
      - But maybe that was just a temporary 'plateau', and it will continue to rise even further;
      - But maybe this is a 'top pattern' and things will cool down now;
      - But maybe the data was corrupted;
      - But maybe the models of tomorrow are much more accurate
    In short; it is a bit to much:"*staring at handpalm, gipsy-accent* There will be a dark lady in your life! And great fortune as well!". We will know what the weather will be in 20 years after 20 years have gone by. The rest of all the people who (think they) can predict the future: GO BUY LOTTO TICKETS YOU IDIOT!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:35AM (#40904019)

    The only thing we normal people can do on an individual basis is try to live our lives in the most sustainable way possible. Of primary consideration is the location of where to live, as forest fires, flooding, drought, heat waves, and hurricanes are all increasing in magnitude. Sustainabble energy is important, as is renewable energy. Possessing a generator and solar array is essential, not only do they lower electricity bills, but they ensure life wil not be disrupted by outages. Similarly, storage and conservation of drinking water is also useful. Planting a decent size garden now days can save a family hundreds or even thousands dog dollars a year in food costs.

    If one lives in an urban environment (as a majority of humanity now do), live within your means and build up a saving account to deal with unforeseen incidences (disasters, outbreaks, ...anything goes these days!). It pays to be prepared, one cannot say they were not warned. No need to turn into a gun nut and go all survivalist stocking 10 years of food in ones basement, but we clearly need to reevaluate how we live on a daily basis.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:37AM (#40904031) Homepage

    The rest of all the people who (think they) can predict the future: GO BUY LOTTO TICKETS YOU IDIOT!!!"

    I bet you that it will get dark tonight, and then brighten up again tomorrow. Care to take my bet, or want to modify your broad-based claim?

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcvos (645701) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:50AM (#40904133)

    Do you realize that the underlying theory, the greenhouse effect, goes back 100 years? Global warming is not a new idea. 50 years ago there were people predicting that extra CO2 would cause temperature to rise. In the last 2 decades, we've seen the start of that, and it fits the theory quite well. Of course the earth is an incredibly complex thing, and there are millions of factors that also have some impact, but the foundation is pretty solid.

    Considering that we know that CO2 traps heat, and we know that CO2 levels have gone up, and we know that global temperature has gone up, you need to come up with a really solid alternative explanation if you want to flat out deny a causal relationship between these facts.

  • by mellon (7048) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:52AM (#40904147) Homepage

    That's _not_ the only thing we normal people can do. We can learn to reject propaganda. We can pay attention to who we elect, and judge them on the basis of what they do, not what they promise to do. And we can find fellow citizens who also want a better world, and debate with them. People will tell you that this can never happen, and this can never work, but it is the only way change ever happens in a society: from the bottom up. And it has happened many times before. Don't let the no-hopeniks convince you to give up.

    This is not to say that any of what you have said above is wrong—just that it's not the only thing you can do.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:52AM (#40904149) Journal

    It's better than that. Take this chart [forgottenliberty.com] for example (This chart has been photoshopped! Simpsons did it!). This chart shows that we're coming out of a global cold period and haven't yet broken the global hot averages. Mind you the chart is inaccurate: back before the past 100 or so years, we only have 30 year averages. That means the ridiculously hot "medieval warm period" shows data points for averages over 30 years: we can at least take on faith that some years were that hot; more likely some years were hotter, perhaps drastically hotter (unlikely given the period of stability; I would say mildly hotter).

    The basic claim Hansen made is that we're facing almost certain man-made global warming, and coming out of an ice age has nothing to do with it. That temperatures have been rising since 1700 and that it's been hotter before don't seem to have occurred to him.

    It's a hilariously distant leap of logic. Real scientists will try to correlate power output, fuel burned, soot and CO2 and methane and water vapor in the atmosphere, etc with their heat-trapping and heat-reflecting effects, and show a model that then predicts weather pattern changes based on these things. If that model holds, global warming due to such factors; if it doesn't, then global warming is possibly real (look, it's getting hotter) but the idea of it being caused by human meddling with the atmospheric composition is a myth. That's how science works: we see these things, hypothesize these effects, then point at the changes and say this is what will happen... it happens, we're right; if not, we try again.

    That in mind, global warming science is a lot of double-think bullshit. The scientists can't get the model to work quite right, and keep changing it. We're learning new things all the time, and refining our understanding of all this stuff... but while we don't understand it and are continuously wrong in our predictions, we swear that we see proof about some fuzzy concept in front of us. That's not science, it's religion. Cult of global warming.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:52AM (#40904153)

    Spoken like a true Republican.

  • by mellon (7048) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:55AM (#40904195) Homepage

    My favorite solution to global warming is to tax carbon use and redistribute the proceeds evenly, creating a market incentive for people to stop using carbon. This neatly addresses the externality of carbon use, requires no special bureaucracy, and obsoletes itself as carbon use declines, while at the same time not unfairly penalizing people who are stuck using carbon fuels now.

  • Moderation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeathToBill (601486) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:56AM (#40904203) Journal

    Someone needs to take a long, hard look at the moderation of climate threads on /. Quoting from the moderation guidelines:

    Try to be impartial about this. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down.

    I'm not taking sides either way in the climate debate; I'm saying that sceptics are moderated down because the moderators disagree with their point of view. At least one comment here already has the score '0 Flamebait' when I'm pretty sure the author of that comment posted what he posted because he honestly believes it, not because he's trying to stir up a flame war. Another comment is titled, 'Before the trolls start...', immediately branding anyone who disagrees with the author as a troll. They're not, they just disagree with you. Build a bridge and get over it.

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:57AM (#40904219) Journal
    1 degree temperature difference doesn't cause drought. Drought is caused by it raining in the wrong place. It's always gonna rain ... in the desert it rains on the other side of the mountain. If the wind blows all the rain clouds north, or jetstreams take them west and over your farmland FOR A YEAR, it doesn't rain on you. Changing weather patterns can change the way the wind moves, changing where water vapor concentrates and preventing it from raining in an area; if it didn't rain the planet would turn into Venus (high humidity everywhere), but of course it'll just rain somewhere else. Over the ocean is a good, useless place for rain to go.
  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by smg5266 (2440940) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:07AM (#40904309)
    I sort of agree with this. I think that the generalized idea of extra C02 is very hard to argue against. It seems pretty basic so I'm not surprised that the vast majority accepts global warming to be at least partially man made. I'm still somewhat skeptical of climate models though. As you'll often hear in computational science, shit in = shit out. CFD and other techniques used to make these predictions are still somewhat immature (although advancing pretty quickly). So as of right now when I hear very specific claims such as "this weather pattern was absolutely caused by global warming", I'm definitely going to be suspicious.
  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:07AM (#40904311)

    Some things are easier to predict than others.

    And in the minds of some religious fanatics, not even the ground you walk on is a safe bet.

  • peer reviewed? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kenorland (2691677) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:10AM (#40904341)

    Hansen is a PNAS member, meaning he can either skip peer review entirely or pick his reviewers. Even if the review process had been rigorous, peer review guarantees nothing about the correctness of a paper. Peer review simply means that the paper passes basic quality standards and editorial policies for the publication in question. If you want to judge by external factors, none of the authors are statisticians, so their statements about statistical anomalies amount to little more than opinion.

    I don't know whether the hot summers have been due to global warming; I tend to believe so. But to claim that as a fact, I'd certainly like a valid statistical analysis from someone qualified to make such an analysis, not from a climate hack like Hansen.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:10AM (#40904343)

    What's so terrible about wanting to ban abortion? It's such a barbaric and grisly practice.

  • by siddesu (698447) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:19AM (#40904427)
    Change is only possible if the costly behavior that leads to a better outcome can be enforced. If it cannot be, then the people who voluntarily adhere to a "sensible" behavior will lose out, and those who act irresponsibly will benefit. Hence, most people will engage in the "irresponsible" pattern, and the behavior of the "good" people will not have a significant impact.
  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jodido (1052890) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:22AM (#40904457)
    If you don't like it don't have one. Otherwise none of your business.
  • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:26AM (#40904509)
    As an outside observer, I'd say they didn't have much influence on environmental policy (and I'll ignore the extra baggage you've thrown in about war in an attempt to muddy the issue). Those "liberal" environmental policies that give you guys better air quality than shitholes in China came in thanks to Nixon. It seems Democrats got blocked every time they tried something similar even if both parties thought it was a good idea.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:31AM (#40904567)

    I'm posting this AC, because even mildly questioning GW dogma on /. is a sure way to drain your karma into oblivion (the last time I did, I got modded down from excellent karma to poor--for just TWO posts MILDLY questioning GW).

    Anyway, AFAICT, the GW hardcores seem to have developed a bulletproof form of "science" where their model CANNOT, by its nature, be disproved. Why? Because all contradictory evidence has been appropriated into the model in such a way that it is impossible to cite any weather pattern or trend that contradicts it.

    Is there a heat wave? That's global warming. Cold wave? That's produced by the extremes caused by global warming. Mild wave? Well, that just shows that climate is bigger than individual weather patterns. Tornados, hurricanes, etc.? Global warming. Lack of tornados, hurricanes? Again, individual weather patterns don't contradict global warming.

    See what I mean?

    The extremes of GW to me look more like a religion now than a science. I've seen religions create this same sort of bulletproof cage around themselves. But that is NOT what science is supposed to be about. Science is supposed to be about accepting the possibility that evidence could one day overturn your particular theory or model. Even greats like Newton had to face that (though he didn't live to see it). It's not supposed to be about millenialist/apocalyptic fear-mongering, religious dogma, or viciously attacking everyone who dares question your hypothesis as an unbeliever who should be excommunicated.

    Again, posting AC so as to avoid excommunication.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:34AM (#40904607) Homepage Journal

    The bit I love is the fact the same people who use the term "statist" tend to also be the people who use the term "State's Rights" and consider it a positive term, apparently not realizing the link between the two words.

    And before I get flamed, yes, I'm aware people who approve of "States Rights" are simply choosing States against Federal or individual rights; in other words picking which government slips on the shackles over your ankles.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tbannist (230135) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:41AM (#40904683)

    Take this chart [forgottenliberty.com] for example

    That chart looks like it's been mislabelled or doctored, depending on how charitable you want to be to Spencer. Here's a video [youtube.com] explaining the provenance of several such errors.

    Real scientists will try to correlate power output, fuel burned, soot and CO2 and methane and water vapor in the atmosphere, etc with their heat-trapping and heat-reflecting effects, and show a model that then predicts weather pattern changes based on these things.

    There are a lot of "real scientists" doing exactly that, Hansen is taking a different approach to tackle the "is this global warming or nature" question. It's still science, even if you disagree with the results.

    That in mind, global warming science is a lot of double-think bullshit. The scientists can't get the model to work quite right, and keep changing it. We're learning new things all the time, and refining our understanding of all this stuff... but while we don't understand it and are continuously wrong in our predictions, we swear that we see proof about some fuzzy concept in front of us. That's not science, it's religion. Cult of global warming.

    From that paragraph, it's clear you don't either understand science and/or don't understand religion. It seems to me, that "learning new things all the time and refining our understanding of this stuff" is clearly science and clearly not religion.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SlippyToad (240532) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:44AM (#40904723)

    There are good arguments for and against manmade global warming, and personally I think there is no such thing as MMGW.

    Really? Let's see your data, genius.

    One thing one could say is: There was no global warming in the last 10 years.

    If you're a complete moron, that is.

  • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:50AM (#40904795)

    Look at the abstract. This isn't arguing about the accuracy of fractional degree measurements at individual weather stations: it is about > 3 sigma events over >10% of the Earth's surface, quite large changes and exactly the kind of thing that would be expected if more energy was being added to the atmosphere.

    Exactly what you would expect on what basis? Climate models are notoriously inexact in their predictions, and lower-latitude effects of this magnitude have not to best of my knowledge been predicted in any detail by any strong GCM. The paper certainly doesn't cite any.

    What the paper does do is ask, "How can we maximally mix politics with science so that we can convince people the global climate change is real and that governments therefore must enact a bunch of policies that we are ideologically committed to regardless of the climate situation?"

    Every climate change denier is going to take this paper for exactly what it is: cherry picking data (the 1951-1981 baseline in particular) and special-pleading on hypotheses (assuming a Gaussian distribution of temperature anomalies over the long term) and invoking the author's favoured explanatory hypothesis for no other reason than it is their favoured explanatory hypothesis.

    There is no strong reason to expect that a 30-year baseline in the mid-20th century is in any way representative of normal climate variability over the past few thousand years, and many reasons to believe it is not. If you were to apply this baseline to the Little Ice Age or the Medieval Optimum you might equally well conclude that something was terribly amiss.

    There is no reason to assume that long-term climate variability has a Gaussian distribution. Climate is full of nonlinear effects and mode shifts independently of human activity. We can see these mode shifts clearly in the past climate record, often resulting in sudden changes in temperature in specific locales over very short timescales.

    There is REALLY no reason to assume that "simply because this is a larger change than we see in our 'natural' baseline it MUST be caused by humans." Anyone who accepts this argument should also accept the equally bogus arguments that if something is not explicable by current science it MUST be caused by God. This is purely religious thinking, in which the conceptual scheme of the reasoner is given vast and completely unjustified ontological weight.

    There is some good science in what the authors are doing in this paper, but their blatant, unabashed attempt to politicize the science from the word go does tremendous damage to the reputation and neutrality of science. They aren't making any kind of case for extreme climate change: they are simply assuming it and asking, "How can we convince people it's real?" That's not science. It's politics, and politics of a kind usually played by the other side in the climate change debate.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:51AM (#40904799) Homepage Journal

    A lot of the proposals have to do with changes in land use, and specifically abolishing the outlawing of mixed and high/medium density development zoning you get in the US at the moment. While many people, even with the choice to live close to the businesses that serve them, will still insist on living in the middle of nowhere, the fact is a lot of us would choose to live in such neighborhoods if they were available and - with supply being increased - were no longer horrendously expensive.

    That's one major policy change that would make a difference. Not everyone wants to drive a friggin' car just get a gallon of milk, and very few people want to spend 2-3 times as much on groceries as they would in a country where land, and therefore the transportation of commodities, is planned more effectively.

    The problem right now is that the far right has successfully painted the entire process of dealing with climate change as something that would reduce choice and force people to give things up. The reality is that there are plenty of policy changes the US government can make that would increase choices and result in a massive reduction in the amount of CO2 emitted.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mSparks43 (757109) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:53AM (#40904817) Homepage Journal

    Indeed, you obviously aren't making it very well.

  • Yes I do. So what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:04AM (#40904907)

    Or can't you answer the question and have to distract to avoid answering?

    If the temperatures were 1C cooler, would the heatwaves be less severe or not?

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:08AM (#40904945)

    Because all contradictory evidence has been appropriated into the model in such a way that it is impossible to cite any weather pattern or trend that contradicts it.

    I suspect you were modded into oblivion because you don't understand the difference between climate and weather, data and anecdote, and continuously refining a model to fit new data and making shit up.

    And that's just from one sentence.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jkflying (2190798) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:15AM (#40905015)

    Once we have a perfectly reliable, free and easy form of contraception, and rape doesn't happen, then, maybe, I'll agree with you, but only in cases where there aren't medical complications.

    And what's worse: having an abortion or having a child which grows up in poverty and is neglected, abused and has more kids who won't be taken care of?

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gtbritishskull (1435843) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:24AM (#40905085)

    There is nothing wrong with banning abortion, as long as you don't take away a woman's liberty in the process. I would be fine with banning abortions if the anti-abortion coalition (Republican party, churches, or whomever - just not the government because we can't afford it) would set up "non-abortion clinics" that would induce labor instead of performing an abortion. That way a woman could keep her liberty (old white men would not be forcing her to carry a child to term that she does not want). Of course, the anti-abortion coalition would be financially responsible for ensuring that the children they deliver are taken care of until they become self-sufficient adults. And, if they have any health problems due to being born early then the anti-abortion coalition would be responsible for their healthcare (we shouldn't socialize those costs into Obamacare).

    Though, Republicans would never agree to this because it is contrary to their values. The main two are "socialize risks and privatize rewards" and "every life is precious until it is born, then it is a leech on society and we should let it die".

    Democrats also want to get rid of abortions. But, they don't want to ban them. They want to make them unnecessary by making it possible to only get pregnant if you want to. Republicans, on the other hand, love unwanted pregnancies. And STDs. They are God's punishments for having sex. That is why they hate both birth control and abortions. You are circumventing God's will that you be punished with a child. If you don't believe me, look up the controversy over the HPV vaccine. They don't want to prevent cancer in girls because that is one of the ways that girls are punished for having sex. If there is not the risk of cancer, then more girls might have sex, so we can't give them the vaccine.

    Same as why they are in favor of allowing abortions in the case of rape. They don't want to punish that woman with a child because she didn't do anything to deserve to be punished. If they truly believed that the child is a life, then they would not want to kill the child for the sins of its father.

    I personally believe that all children are a gift, and that if you are using them as a punishment then you are doing it wrong.

  • by Aphoxema (1088507) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:29AM (#40905135) Homepage Journal

    The point was that the energy to raise global temps doesn't come from human activities, it comes from the sun. The difference is now in the process by which the sun's energy is radiated back into space.

    We're releasing energy stored over the course of 150 million years, there's a lot of sunlight in that oil, coal and wood. The funny part is we're releasing this energy to do things that are believed to cause less energy to radiate back into space (for the time being).

  • by jkflying (2190798) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:34AM (#40905209)

    Explaining things in terms of physics is not denying evidence. You obviously didn't understand the basic concept of global warming beyond the name. Increased temperatures, on average, doesn't mean everywhere increases uniformly. It means there is more thermal energy in the atmosphere, making stronger hurricanes, stronger heat waves, stronger storms.

    It's a bit like taking a pool and having more people swim in it. Sure, the pool will be slightly fuller, on average, due to the displacement, but it will also have more waves and more of the water will then splash over the sides. Of course, sometimes, at certain locations, the water will be lower due to troughs in between the wave peaks. If you're trying to live your life on the edge of the pool, having exactly the right number of people in the pool will make sure you get exactly the right amount of splashing for watering your crops, but not so much as to have your house washed away. However, if your way of life involves breeding new people to throw into the pool and swim, it's not that hard to realise that eventually your way of life will have to change. In this analogy, the name to the phenomenon would be called "Pool Filling", and that the people we are throwing into the pool to swim are just going to sit there or get out is the assumption you are making. Global warming denialists are saying "But at my edge of the pool, right now the water is *lower* than it was, so it must be false", and you are believing them.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cusco (717999) <brian...bixby@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:37AM (#40905253)
    The scientists can't get the model to work quite right, and keep changing it.

    So you look at a computation so complex that it takes multiple CPU-centuries to calculate wasn't 100% accurate the first time and the inputs weren't 100% complete at the very beginning, and you're surprised that it didn't create a 100% accurate solution on its first run? Don't you think that your expectations were just a tad high?

    **OF COURSE** they keep changing it. They keep finding new ways to add additional data streams, better algorithms, new sources of data, additional variables to account for, etc. I'd start to wonder if they DIDN'T change it (them actually, there are various models in use). This is Science, not Scientology.
  • by spidercoz (947220) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:41AM (#40905301) Journal
    How many consecutive "local anomalies" will it take for you to acknowledge a distinct pattern of increasing dynamism?
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:51AM (#40905425) Homepage Journal

    further still, you misunderstand what states' rights is and how it applies. it has nothing to do with giving the government power. in fact, it has a lot more to do with reducing government powers, by marginalizing their scope. it is a process, not an end.

    Thanks for the pretty lecture, but you, apparently, have confused your idealistic views of what the terms should mean with how they're used in practice.

    To spell it out for you. Statist is almost always used to mean "Any view that holds the government should do anything about anything." You can see this in the originator of this thread, a pseudo-libertarian rant that ascribes any conventionally proposed government action against AGW to be "statist". "I'm enlightened", sayeth the poster, "I can see there are non-statist things we can do too!" Well, great. Because the conventionally proposed government actions have to do with tradable CO2 production quotas and low wattage lightbulbs. Now you can make an argument, if you so wish, that this has to do with a subset of governments involving "elites", but leaving aside the misuse of the term to the point that it's meaningless in discourse in 2012, the fact is "statist" here simply refers to a proposal that the government use its power in any way whatsoever.

    Which is how it's always used. Except perhaps in your own writings. Good for you, but epic fail on ignoring how everyone else is using it.

    "States rights". That refers, objectively, to the proposal that States should be able to pass any damned law they wish, and fuck individuals, and especially fuck the Feds if the Feds try to restrict this in any way whatsoever. Now I can prove this quite easily, and I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this term isn't about "limiting" government through scope, but by "empowering one government at the expense of other people and governments".

    How? Well, the defining issue as far as States Rights go is not the ability to regulate CO2 production, or sell low wattage lightbulbs - although, like the latter, it does cover degrees of whiteness.

    No, the defining States Right issue is race, and the audacity of the Federal Government to trample upon the God-given right of every State to treat Black people like shit. Slavery? States rights! (Funnily enough, the right of a state to refuse to return slaves is never considered a "States Rights" issue by those who use the term.) Opting out of the Union because the other States aren't helping Slave States enforce slavery? "States Rights". Jim Crow? "States Rights". Preventing black people from getting edumicated? "States Rights". Clamping down on Civil rights marches? "States Rights". Preventing black people from voting? "States Rights".

    Now, to be fair, the same people will occasionally use it elsewhere, but rarely in any way that suggests individuals be empowered first and foremost, and the Federal government limited with State governments given limited powers that respect individuals. No, it's pretty much a straightforward "Wah! Wah!! The Federal Government says my State has to stop purging its voter rolls of people with funny names. Its time for States Rights FTW!"

    Again, that's how it's used. Except perhaps in your own writings. Good for you, but epic fail on ignoring how everyone else is using it.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tbannist (230135) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @10:26AM (#40905807)

    There are good arguments for and against manmade global warming, and personally I think there is no such thing as MMGW.

    I wish that were true, but there aren't any good arguments against manmade global warming. That was what actually convinced me it was real.

    There was no global warming in the last 10 years.

    This is a common error [skepticalscience.com], frequently made be people who don't understand mathematics and graphs. As long as there is random noise in data, there will always be "plateaus" where things look stable but the underlining trend continues. In the case of global warming, if you try you can actually find a series of continuous downward slopes so that any year of the temperature record can appear to be part of a declining trend, while actual temperatures rise consistently. This is sometimes called going down the up escalator [skepticalscience.com]. I think it's a type of confirmation bias, where people only look for the trends that confirm their pre-existing views. The particular reasons temperatures look stable over the past decade are known (Weak El Ninos, increased sulfur emissions from China, below average solar activity and above average volcanic activity) and known to be short-term effects. Furthermore, satellites can measure the energy surplus the planet is accumulating. We know from those satellites that more solar energy is entering than is leaving, and that it hasn't changed.

    It's unfortunate that this isn't actually isn't any room for debate, but the amount of evidence supporting Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) means that only laymen who refuse to accept the consequences of AGW continue to dispute the issue. You may recall even the CEO of Exxon says AGW is real and he has billions of reason to deny it is happening. The actual scientists have a remarkably high level of confidence (97% of researchers in the field agree with 2% undecided) that AGW has been occurring for decades. I wish it was not happening but wishing doesn't make it true. There are, of course, uncertainties in what exactly will happen in the future, but some things are predictable, especially in broad strokes. We know leaving a pot of water on a hot burner will eventually cause it to boil, even if we can't predict the exact second that it will boil over.

  • Re:peer reviewed? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @11:08AM (#40906269) Journal
    You can look at the statistical choices made right here [pnas.org], in the full paper. It's great that he published it in an open place.

    I can see a few places with potential for error:

    *) The period chosen is very short. Going from 1950 to present isn't a very long time for measuring, especially when you divide it into two pieces.
    *) Given a small enough piece of data, it's easy to divide it and find trends that show your point. You see AGW opponents do this a lot by saying "It's actually cooled since 1997." It's 100% true, but doesn't matter. I'm not saying Hansen has done this, but it's an easy trap to fall into (even accidentally) and should be checked.
    *) The method of defining 'extreme' can make a huge difference in a paper like this.
    *) Even if the first statistical analysis is correct, it's a jump to say that Moscow 2010 heatwave was caused by CO2. They'll need to back that up.
    *) If the Watts study proves to be correct, that could invalidate this entire paper (statistics performed with poor data = garbage)

    And now I'm off to read the paper.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @11:09AM (#40906279) Homepage

    The problem is that when you give money to the government like that, the effectiveness plummets.

    No. Giving money to an ineffective government causes effectiveness to plummet. The correct lesson to draw from that is not "never give money to the government", however, but rather, "make sure your government is effective". I think that is the nuance that Republicans miss when they decide to drown everything in the bathtub.

    There are some things (like selling autos and consumer electronics) that private industry is better at, and other things (like basic research, the military, and health care) that government is better at. We should use the best tool for the job in each case.

  • Re:Hansen again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... x.com minus berr> on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @11:14AM (#40906333) Homepage

    So as of right now when I hear very specific claims such as "this weather pattern was absolutely caused by global warming", I'm definitely going to be suspicious.

    I think the claim here is more 'statistically, this weather is almost impossible to have happened without being caused by the warming'

    I think that's a reasonable claim. It's sorta 'As a doctor, pinpointing the exact cause of long term health problems is difficult, but statistically, your ten heart attacks last year are likely to be due to you eating a pound of bacon every day'.

    Yes, any specific amount of heat might be due to anything. Pockets of extreme heat does happen randomly, for no reason we can determine.

    But this much? This fast? This long? The odds of that happening without something causing it as very low. Something has clearly changed. And the obvious change is, well, obvious.

    And exactly what predicted.For several years I, at least, have been hearing 'The problem with global warming isn't just gradually increasing the temp and sea level. The problem is wild swings in weather.' Well...here's one of them. (And boy will hurricane season this year be fun. Hurricanes are due to the amount of warm water on the surface and cool water below, and guess what long-term heat waves do. So, yeah, lots of fun coming up.)

    Now, there could be some other cause out there, something else that happened that cuases heat waves. But as global warming deniers have been looking for quite some time for another explanation of the _gradual_ warming we've had, and constantly failed to find it, it seems unlikely that there's some other explanation of this heat wave that's been overlooked.

  • by IICV (652597) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @11:14AM (#40906335)

    Well there's a reason why people have taken to calling the Republicans "the party of No" - their strategy in the last few decades essentially seems to have been "block every Democrat proposal when they have the power, then campaign on the fact that the Dems didn't accomplish anything".

    I mean, just look our current health care reform that the Democrats had to fight and plead for and still got no Republican votes. The Republicans were adamantly against it, despite the fact that it was largely based on a Republican proposal from the 90's (when it seemed like First Lady Hillary would push for true, single payer universal health care).

    They've just gone nuts, their entire political strategy seems to have devolved into a toddler's temper tantrum.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @12:17PM (#40907169) Homepage

    Here's the problem with cheap cynicism: eventually it becomes self-fulfilling. People who don't demand good government won't expect to get it, and when they don't get it they won't punish those who failed to deliver it.

    Lazy politicians will take advantage of this because it's always easier to lower people's expectations than to actually deliver results. Left unchecked, that leads to a downward spiral (poor results -> apathy -> corruption -> poorer results), examples of which can be seen in any number of countries. It's not inevitable, however -- it's a choice the country's people make, regarding what levels of performance they will or will not put up with. America didn't go to the moon, or win WW2 or the cold war on the strength of cynicism -- and if those days are behind us now, it's because we chose that path.

  • Re:Moderation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GauteL (29207) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @02:05PM (#40908453)

    "I'm saying that sceptics are moderated down because the moderators disagree with their point of view"

    No. They are modded down because they argue against evidence without bringing evidence of their own to the table. An argument with evidence is informative. An argument without evidence is at best uninteresting in the context of global warming, and at worst trolling.

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

Working...