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Norwegian Study: Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared 468

Posted by timothy
from the don't-question-your-questions dept.
Numerous news outlets are reporting the findings of a study from the Research Council of Norway — a government agency — which concludes that (in Bloomberg's version) "After the planet's average surface temperature rose through the 1990s, the increase has almost leveled off at the level of 2000, while ocean water temperature has also stabilized." The New York Times' Dot Earth blog offers some reasons to be skeptical of the findings.
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Norwegian Study: Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared

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  • Re:Surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @10:18AM (#42707273)

    Since the vast majority of people at the South Pole are Scientists and support staff, I'd guess they would be pretty upset if temperatures rose by 40 degrees.. especially since if "Earth temp" rose, that would be average temp and the poles would get a significantly larger share of that than the equator.

    I'm guessing they'd be upset because some of them are there to actually study ice and cold and glaciers.Also, the vast majority of scientific opinion is that climate change IS happening and it's man-made, and I'm guessing that they're going to have the general opinion that it's "not a good thing".

    That much warming and everyone within ~50 miles of the current shoreline of the oceans of the world would need to start commuting to work in scuba gear. (With exceptions for some local geography that can handle a 200' rise in sea levels that would happen if the South Pole and Greenland ice sheets got hit by that much warming (pretty much a total melt of all the glaciers and ice caps).

    Maybe a few mountain climbers wouldn't mind... would maybe make Everest a bit more comfortable to summit - then again, such drastic change would likely F*** up the world's weather patterns so much that it's hard to tell what the result would be.

    I seriously wouldn't want to take the chance.

    And yes, I know that a 40 degree warming is NOT on even the most dire climatologist predictions - I was just extrapolating on your example.

  • Re:Surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:01AM (#42707539)

    you commit the fallacy of "asserting the consequent". Overwhelming evidence? you mean like the claimed "record high temperatures" in Australia which actually are just a cyclical repeat of 1972, but for a fraction of a degree difference that is only due to more sensors and heat islands? Or the temperature rises and melting in western antartica which are more than offset by the increased formation in the MUCH LARGER east?

  • Re:Poor summary (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:05AM (#42707559)

    So has the IPCC stopped taking talking points from environmental groups at face value yet and publishing them as scientific fact? My bets lay to no. And until that stops it's not a credible organization.

    captcha: airlocks

  • Re:Surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Redmancometh (2676319) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @11:42AM (#42707823)
    Agreed! But I also think it's ridiculous that people say they have proof either way. The models arent old enough yet to have realized concrete predictions. The models old enough are from the "global cooling" era. I think it's obvious climate change is occurring. The question is how much of it is a result of geological processes? Deforestation messing up the water cycle, nitrogen cycle, and carbon cycle? Plants reflect infared light like a mirror could that be a factor? Ocean pollution killing off plankton and algae could have an impact! We're ALSO at the 11 yr peak of the solar cycle which seems as if it could have an effect. I dont think think I need to give evidence for the other side. I believe most of us are intimately familiar with it. Isnt that enough to at least say its a debate?
  • Re:Poor summary (Score:2, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:27PM (#42708227) Journal

    If so then there is a chance that we can get off of carbon based fuels before we hit the tipping points.

    Which of course is making the assumption that there even is a tipping point, which isn't clear.

  • Re:Petroleum bias (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jurgen (14843) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @12:33PM (#42708297)

    I'm not saying their numbers are "fudged". But science isn't as objective as scientists would like us to believe, especially when it's about systems as complex as the earth's climate. Scientists's subconscious biases affect their results... there has actually been a bunch of research showing THAT in recent years. In this particular case I think the scientists in question saw what they wanted to see in the uncertainties inherent in the data.

  • Re:Surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:21PM (#42708653)

    [quote]Do you know what the problem with that argument is? The problem is that regardless of what the magnitude of anthropogenic global warming actually is, it *started* with substantial political and corporate interests framing it as certain and apocalyptic.[/quote]

    Actually when scientists first started warning that the consequences of CO2 could be extreme and dire there where no political interests interested at all in the topic. Fouriers warnings in the 1870s about the greenhouse effect where pretty much ignored until the early 1900s when data started to come in that the infrared absorbsion properties of CO2 he had observed in the laboratory and he postulated would affect the atmosphere where turning up localized around roads and automobile heavy areas. From that point CO2 climate change was pretty much confirmed in theory and observation but still a bit abstract until later in the 1900s when new data found that some of the droughts and changes in arctic and oceanic conditions where directly caused by it.

    Unfortunately the other thing that happened in the 1900s was a growth of anti-science activism around creationism and various health kookery, and some of this bled over into physics denialism which found an apreciative audience amongst conservative audiences who had decided that tempering the carbon economy was "socialist". And now here we are with half the planet insistent on denying the evidence in front of their eyes.

    We've had nearly a 150 years of physics to get here, and now its "political interests" that are making the carbon molecules absorb infra red.

    Well congratulations conservatives, it wasn't us scientific folk that decided atoms have a liberal bias, you goons.

  • Re:Surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultranova (717540) on Sunday January 27, 2013 @01:51PM (#42708863)

    The simple fact that anyone who produces evidence to the contrary is automatically suspect is perhaps THE biggest problem with the entire climate change debate.

    No, the biggest problem is that there are economic interests involved. The "debate" is between evidence and special interests, in the same way as, say, the evolution vs. creationism "debate". The main difference is that accepting the evidence with regards to climate change implies a need to concrete action - specifically, giving up fossil fuels, which is going to be very painful - which is why more people are willing to delude themselves there.

    Norwegian studies about global warming are as credible as tobacco company funded studies about the effects of smoking, and for the same reason.

  • Re:Look at the data (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27, 2013 @03:44PM (#42709609)

    If these are the questions that you're asking now that you don't believe the "global warming narrative," you clearly didn't have a very thoughtful basis for your original belief either, if you're indeed being truthful about your personal conversion, which I must say that I found doubtful. Honestly, I would have expected a heck of a lot more thought out of an astrophysicist.

    What is of concern is not prehistoric change and long-term trends. There are many ways to influence a physical system and the concern is about very recent, very rapid change that is human-induced. It doesn't matter if there have been different past driving forces, or that there is a very slow, long-term trend. If we're causing a much larger, much faster change with our present activity, none of the distractions that you mention are particularly relevant.

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