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Earth Science

New Research Forecasts Global 6C Increase By End of Century 746

jamie writes with this snippet from the UK's Independent: "The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. ... [The study] found that there has been a 29 per cent increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel between 2000 and 2008, the last year for which figures are available. On average, the researchers found, there was an annual increase in emissions of just over 3 per cent during the period, compared with an annual increase of 1 per cent between 1990 and 2000. Almost all of the increase this decade occurred after 2000 and resulted from the boom in the Chinese economy. The researchers predict a small decrease this year due to the recession, but further increases from 2010."
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New Research Forecasts Global 6C Increase By End of Century

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  • 6C ? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jdb2 ( 800046 ) * on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:28AM (#30193140) Journal
    For those to lazy to multiply, that's a 10.8 degree Fahrenheit increase in the mean global temperature.

    Sounds pretty alarming.

  • Register story (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dartz-IRL ( 1640117 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:31AM (#30193168)

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/20/cru_climate_hack/ [theregister.co.uk]

    Relevant to this story.

  • by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:45AM (#30193262)

    CO2 is a molecule, containing one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. One CO2 molecule is indistinguishable from another[*], so in principle no there is no test to determine whether any particular CO2 molecule coems from a fossil fuel or from another source.

    The obvious thing to do however is to measure and estimate the amount of man-made CO2, by summing up the CO2 emitted by smoke stacks, agriculture, forest clearing etc. Given this, I don't think anyone denies that the CO2 increase in the atmosphere comes from any natural source. In fact, so far the inceases in CO2 in the atmosphere has been less than humans have been emitting, due to some natural carbon sinks. For example, small amounts of carbon (but huge on a planetary scale) get dissolved in the oceans. These sinks have limits though, when the natural carbon sinks start to saturate it will only make the problem worse.

    [*] Ok, a pedant might argue that it has some internal degrees of freedom, nuclear hyperfine levels etc, that are irrelevant here.

  • by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:49AM (#30193292) Homepage

    [*] Ok, a pedant might argue that it has some internal degrees of freedom, nuclear hyperfine levels etc, that are irrelevant here.

    Actually, you needn't look to such minute differences. Different isotopes do react at slightly different rates, so biological processes often enrich molecules in one isotope over another. I don't know of any way to use this to trace CO2's source, but it has been used to chemically trace the earliest appearances of photosynthesis on Earth, for example.

    That said, your post is right: you can reasonably accurately measure and sum the man-made carbon sources.

  • by WiFiBro ( 784621 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:50AM (#30193296)

    "For many years to come one will wonder if the data presented to support claims such as this has been "tricked" to conform to someone's belief instead of representing reality."

    No, for many years the oil industry will keep paying supposed grassroot organisations to spread uncertainty and doubt about this issue. Especially in the US many non-climate-specialists want to believe it or they Way of Life (TM) would be seriously modified.

    The trick is just a word used in a private mail to indicate a nice method. It is not meant to indicate faking.
    The way they cherrypicked these mails, they must have been studying the way of creationists...

  • by wakaranai ( 87059 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:53AM (#30193316)

    You can measure the ratio of different types of carbon in tree rings.

    What has been found is that 13C/12C ratios are the lowest they've been for 10000 years, and that there is a sharp decline starting in 1850.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/ [realclimate.org]

    RJ Francey et al, Tellus 51B, pp.170-193, 1999

  • by Rising Ape ( 1620461 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:55AM (#30193332)

    Isotopic composition is a good test. For fossil carbon, all of the C-14 will have decayed, so if the fraction of C-14 has gone down over time then that's a good indicator that the increase is from a fossil fource.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:59AM (#30193366)
    Only those who read one sentence, and never bother to read anything else. Some of the data from a previous paper was found to be faulty, and a method of adjusting to show a longer term trend based on several data source was required. Not only is this not unheard of, it is a routine technique in studies where some data cannot be duplicated -- such as a temperature reading.

    Speaking of warping science to conform to a belief, why is it that so many people are so eager to believe global warming skeptics? Methinks it is because they do not want to believe that something as innocent as driving a car could be a problem.
  • by perrin ( 891 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:11AM (#30193472)
    It is not only the estimates of temperature increase that are rising, but so are the uncertainties. We know very little about how the feedback cycles work once the temperature changes so many degrees, and we know next to nothing about how they work when faced with such quick changes. We do not know how much methane hydrate [wikipedia.org] there is stored on the ocean floor, but we do know there is a lot of it and that an eruption [wikipedia.org] of it 55 million years ago was at least in part responsible for a 6 degree C rise in global temperatures. It is also thought that the biggest mass extinction event ever [wikipedia.org] was caused by massive volcanism and methane hydrate release. There is plenty of evidence that large parts of the ocean can and have previously become anoxic [wikipedia.org] during climate changes. This is really bad news not only for everything that lives in the ocean, but also for us since a large part of our food supply comes from the ocean.

    Basically, we are getting into a territory where all bets are off, and it is not good news for humanity. I am linking to wikipedia since that is good place to start to read up on this stuff and find links to the actual research.
  • by AnotherUsername ( 966110 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:13AM (#30193494)
    One thing to remember, however, is that the carbon that is being dissolved into the oceans is doing huge amounts of damage to the ecosystems there. While the oceans have always pulled carbon into it, the vast increase in CO2 has led to the oceans becoming more acidic, which can cause the coral reefs to dissolve, which will lead to the destruction of the habitats of thousands of kinds of oceanic creatures, doing massive damage to the global ecosystem.
  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:18AM (#30193522)
    Yes, in the past, the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lagged behind temperature increases [newscientist.com]. But that does not mean that an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide cannot cause an increase in temperatures now. After all, digging up billions of tons of fossil fuels and burning them is not something that has happened in the past. And we know it's not an increase in solar output causing the warming we've observed [newscientist.com].
  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:21AM (#30193550)
    What I do understand is that he is comparing things that aren't comparable. He inferred temperatures using one measurement metric and, since that measurement metric wasn't convenient in a specific interval, mixed that data with data from a completely different measurement method in that interval. Then he uses that to extrapolate global trends based on inconsistent data.

    What makes him think that since the measurement method is unreliable for the last 20 years, it is reliable for the rest of the time period hundreds of years back? It throws his entire theory out of the window. He is doing specious reasoning by cherry picking the results that fit his theory better.

  • Re:The hack (Score:5, Informative)

    by saltydogdesign ( 811417 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:27AM (#30193598)

    That's not what we "learned." The information coming from the hacked emails is ambiguous at worst and probably tells us nothing more than that scientists are humans. There's no serious evidence of falsifying data. If you believe there is, out with it, please.

  • by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:33AM (#30193650) Homepage

    Uh, what does that fluctuation in that plot prove? The change is less than a W/m^2, if I'm doing my math right (out of a total insolation of 1300 W/m^2) and x-rays and EUV don't make it to the surface of the Earth anyway. (This is why astronomers keep launching those telescopes into space, remember.)

  • Re:6C ? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mister_dave ( 1613441 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:34AM (#30193660)

    Alarming, or alarmist?

    Global warming stopped in 1998 [bbc.co.uk], and we're now getting predictions for twenty years of global cooling [newscientist.com].

  • by Azureflare ( 645778 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:39AM (#30193694)
    Why do people use the term Global Warming. It is a misleading term that does not properly identify what is happening to our planet. The fact is that the atmosphere is variable and will continue to fluctuate in terms of average temperature.

    The real problem we are facing is rising sea TEMPERATURES. Here's just one technical article that studies the effects of rising sea temperatures on phytoplankton on Australia's coastline: http://www.int-res.com/articles/feature/m394p001.pdf [int-res.com] If you search the http://www.int-res.com/ [int-res.com] site you'll find a lot more really technical research articles that are great reads if you like this stuff :)

    Rising sea temperatures mess up the sea currents and make fish search out better habitats (or die), perhaps because of the rising temperature itself, or maybe because their food supply is damaged (due to phytoplankton dieoff). If something doesn't change soon, we are in danger of losing vast populations in the ocean. This will have huge repercussions on our global food supply.

    In the end, it doesn't matter if we are the ones causing it, or the sun is. Who cares. It is a complex system, and you can prove, through science, that carbon emissions directly affect sea temperatures. Maybe it's miniscule. Maybe it's not, but we have to do something or we are in severe danger of entirely losing our oceans.

    Imagine if the seafood industry went belly up. It would cause a worldwide depression the likes of which we have not seen or dreamed of, especially for areas that depend heavily on the ocean for their nation's food supply.

    AT THE VERY LEAST, if we are not going to reduce carbon emissions or whatever we can to reduce the effect on oceans, we need to have an actionable plan for what to do once the oceans die. Because it will happen if this trend continues. Having a plan doesn't mean it's going to be used, but we need to be able to continue functioning as a species if it does!
  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:41AM (#30193718)
    The prediction of an increase in concentration in carbon dioxide predates the 1970s. Arrhenius first predicted it in the 19th century [wikipedia.org]. That's why Keeling [wikipedia.org] started measuring the concentration on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the 1950s. In 1979, the Jason Committee [washingtonpost.com] predicted a doubling in the concentration of carbon dioxide and a warming of several degrees Celsius by 2035. At this point, we have decades of data confirming these predictions.
  • Re:Falsibility. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:49AM (#30193760)

    Why? It has "hackers", tech, science, controversy... All the ingredients of a good topic. So - why vote it *down*?

    Having read your submissions, the fault, dear brutus, lies not in the stars but yourself. Your submissions are horribly written.

    Just because you are being shot down does not imply conspiracy, hard as that is to believe.

  • Re:A total farce (Score:3, Informative)

    by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:50AM (#30193770)
    The consensus among climatologists is that we'll see warming over the next century. You can see the results of Peter Norvig's experiment to determine if there is a consensus on global warming [norvig.com] and a survey which shows that 97% of active climatologists agree humans are causing warming [cnn.com].
  • by pydev ( 1683904 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:59AM (#30193844)
    I suggest you first look up Isotopic signature [wikipedia.org]. Then, you might have a look at the article on the Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org].
  • Re:Falsibility. (Score:5, Informative)

    by fotbr ( 855184 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:00PM (#30193848) Journal

    Or it might be because it already hit the front page on Friday:
    http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/20/1747257 [slashdot.org]

  • by vsage3 ( 718267 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:00PM (#30193850)
    This isn't a case of correlating multiple measurement techniques that suggest the same thing. In fact, it was quite the opposite: the authors stitched together data that showed what they wanted it to show and threw out the rest.
  • Re:Falsibility. (Score:3, Informative)

    by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:01PM (#30193858)

    Really it's all negative? So when it gets warmer and the snow near the poles melt, reflecting less light and heating the earth, that's negative?

    And when the permafrost melts on all the bogs over in old soviet and china territories, releasing tons of pent-up greenhouse gasses, that's negative?

    Do some research.

  • by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:23PM (#30194054)
    Right, I also found http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm [skepticalscience.com] which contains a good explanation of isotopic measurements of atmospheric carbon.
  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:31PM (#30194126) Homepage

    +1 informative. Next question:

    How come the world temprature has dropped half a degree since 2000?

    Look at the data.

    Here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png [wikipedia.org],
    or here [wordpress.com]
    or here [nasa.gov].

    Examine the data, and get back to me with the answer to this question: based on the data (and not on the opinions of some pundit telling you what to think), would you personally sign on to a statement that the global average temperate is dropping?

  • Re:Hoax? (Score:5, Informative)

    by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:47PM (#30194264)
    Honestly, i don't get the 'hoax' tag, the doom&gloom tag or even fear mongering could be seen as appropriate, but hoax?

    Some emails were leaked on Friday from the climate research unit at the university of East Anglia. In about 150 megabytes of text, it turned out that in one of the emails, one of the researchers used the word 'trick' to describe some unspecified method of statistical analysis he had used on some dataset, and mentioned that it would 'hide the decline'. Everyone immediately saw that obviously this trick was dishonest and the decline in question was a real decline in temperatures, and it means that the entire field of climate science has been perpetrating a decades-long hoax on the world, and Al Gore should be tried for treason. Because you don't need any kind of context to know exactly what the word 'trick' refers to and what 'decline' is being hidden and why; your pre-existing political beliefs tell you all you should need to know.

    That's why articles about climate change can expect to be tagged with such things for quite some time into the future.

  • by Stephan Schulz ( 948 ) <schulz@eprover.org> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:51PM (#30194296) Homepage

    True, I had completely forgotton about isotopes. But I'm doubtful that you could turn this into a useful test of atmosphereic CO2 composition

    Well, you can. Fossil fuel has (nearly) no C14, as C14 is generated in the atmosphere and decays quickly. Fossil fuel has very little C13, as biological processes in most plants prefer C12 to C13, and fossil fuels are created from previous animal (i.e. recycled plant) and plant matter. Yes, the total carbon flux is much bigger than the human contribution, but we can measure isotope ratios very precisely. This was predicted and measured quite a while before global warming became a significant concern, as it also puts C14 ages off if not corrected for. See Suess effect [wikipedia.org], named after the chemist who described this in the 1950s.

  • by Ambitwistor ( 1041236 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:57PM (#30194368)

    Interesting that a historically rather serious recession can only cause a small decrease.

    That's because recessions are not economically efficient ways to lower carbon emissions. They don't address the energy sector specifically, they don't specifically target low-emissions technology development or efficiency measures, etc. They just indiscriminately suppress economic activity, and obviously have effects far beyond the carbon-related sector.

    For more on the economics of climate policy, see here [thebigmoney.com] and here [yale.edu].

    It seems like cutting CO2 back to the levels needed to stop global warming would require or cause a much more serious recession.

    That's probably true, which is why nobody is proposing to cut CO2 levels to stop global warming. Or at least, not stop it at current temperatures. Most want to stabilize it at 2 C above pre-industrial. That will still have serious costs (as would unstabilized climate change), but if appropriately designed to specifically promote low-carbon activity, it's not going to create a severe recession; see the above links.

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @12:58PM (#30194390)

    Computer modelling has added nothing to this. No computer model had produced better results than simply drawing a straight line through the graph.

    What computer modeling has added is that there are not subtle effects that were not in the simpler models that will significantly alter the warming. For example, it has been hypothesized that certain types of clouds will cancel out most of the warming, or that other types of clouds will cause even more warming that previously predicted. The newest models and data show that the previous predictions are pretty accurate.

    As far as your assertion that these models are untested, you completely wrong. These models have predicted warming for over a century, and we've been seeing that warming since the 1970s. We have decades of evidence that confirm the models. The fact that people continue to say the models are "untested" is why we need to have more stories about the matter.

  • by AnotherUsername ( 966110 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @01:00PM (#30194412)
    How about http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8233632.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Or maybe http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=a5LmlZgQzoPQ&refer=australia [bloomberg.com]

    And http://www.azocleantech.com/details.asp?newsID=3740 [azocleantech.com]

    Then there is http://ecobridge.org/content/g_evd.htm#Disintegration [ecobridge.org]

    Also http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/07/29/coral-reefs-glue.html [discovery.com]

    Of course there is also the http://www.coral.org/resources/about_coral_reefs/threats_to_coral_reefs [coral.org]

    I could go on, but I have a feeling that it still wouldn't convince you. Global Warming is not a myth. True, the Earth does go through cycles. I don't dispute that. However, the rate of climate change is far faster than previous cyclic rates. The rate now versus that of the pre-industrial age is much, much faster. The global ecology cannot adapt fast enough to the change. What used to take thousands of years now takes hundreds, and increasingly, decades. There is plenty of research all around to find. Pretty much the only studies that disagree with the idea of global warming are those that are done by the oil companies and their allies.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @01:12PM (#30194520) Journal

    Yes. But then I'm looking at this chart: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:65_Myr_Climate_Change.png [wikimedia.org]

    And this chart shows the Earth is at its coldest point in the last 500 million years:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Climate_Change.png [wikimedia.org]

  • by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @01:16PM (#30194554)

    How does it stand to reason?
    Methane and cyanogen levels were enormously higher during the immediate post Hadean era, and remained somewhat high all the way to the precambrian. Does that say anything about modern life-forms tolerances for Cyanide? Oxygen levels were lower in the Cambrian, does that mean that modern life could get by just fine on 11% atmospheric O2? They reached 24% or so during the Jurassic. Does that mean modern forests wouldn't have massive wildfire problems if they rose that high again in your lifetime?
          If you're going to throw around nebulous terms such as "the past" and "higher", don't you think you should know how long in the past, or how much higher, before you try to reason about it.

  • A Scientific Protest (Score:2, Informative)

    by phoenix321 ( 734987 ) * on Sunday November 22, 2009 @02:32PM (#30195118)

    The first chart is nice, but it tells only a litte, because we don't have an absolute scale. It shows an increase, but I'd rather like to see it unnormalized - on the *Kelvin* scale, I might add.

    Fact: Celsius and Fahrenheit are convenience units only, because they cannot show any ratio at all. A room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius is NOT the double of 10 degrees Celsius. Boiling water (1 liter at 100 C) does not contain 5 times the energy of the same amount of water at room temperature (1 l at 20C) - this is often overlooked when using Celsius or Fahrenheit based units.

    Since the graph shown is normalized but conspicously omits its average or center. Now I assume the world average temperature is somewhere in the range of 10 to 20 degrees Celsius, but the exact value doesn't really matter as we will see right now.

    We have a delta-t = 1 Kelvin with a base average of t-0 = [258; 268] K over a solid 100 years. If the world temperature average was 258 Kelvin in 1880, it is 259 Kelvin in 2000.

    Fact: That means we have, on average, a temperature increase of 1K per 100 years, or an increase of 0,39 percent over ONE HUNDRED years.

    Fact: Every year, the temperature rose on average 0.01K or 0.0039 percent.

    Fact: Temperature differences of less than 0.01 K require very sensitive equipment to be measured correctly.

    Question: did we had such sensitive equipment deployed worldwide back in 1880 or in 1960?.

    Fact: For the age 1880 to 1960, all temperature gauges had to be read optically and written down manually.

    Error range estimate: assuming we had 200 worldwide temperature stations with each of them submitting 365 daily averages to be computed into one year's average. (for a limited temperature station coverage in 1880-1960, before mass production of electronics made that point moot) - so we get 73'000 temperature values to calculate the yearly average temperature.

    Let's imagine that out of 73000 temperature readings only 3 values were only 1 degree Celsius off. The person reading the temperature scale made an error and incorrectly reported 21 degrees when the true daily average was 20 degrees.

    If we have 3 erroneous readings out of 73000, the error is 50% higher than the assumed increase in global temperature.

    73000 readings throughout one year, distributed around the globe, done by lab assistants, students using whatever equipment they have. I would be highly suprised if more than 70000 of them are within a 1 degree range of errors.

    So we have another
    Fact: for all years up until around 1960, the margin of error is at least 50% higher than the presumed signal.

    Only one single reading being off only one single degree could account for half the yearly's supposed temperature increase. With the signal being equal to an of 2 degree error in 73000 readings, all statistical and scientific results are to take with a very large grain of salt.

    A temperature increase of 0.01K is probably less than the radiated body heat of a small bird resting somewhere near the sensor.

  • Re:The hack (Score:4, Informative)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @02:37PM (#30195152)
    How about this story [squarespace.com]. The emails hint at two crimes, tax evasion in Russia and deleting data to dodge a freedom of information request (Jones did happen to "lose" the data and was unable to fulfill a freedom of information request. If the email is true, he discussed deleting the data prior to the "accident").

    Moving on there are several instances where the emails imply manipulating the data to reduce undesired features like the Medieval Warm period or recent cooling. And they of course attacked several journals that published certain rivals.

    If these emails turn out correct, it shows a serious disregard for the scientific process among a number of top researchers in the field, opens up a void in historical world temperature measurements (Jones and Mann apparently owned most of the data for that), and perhaps even jail time for someone.
  • by Graff ( 532189 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @02:43PM (#30195214)

    Using multiple independent methods and combining their results is a good thing, because it avoids experimental error and potential systemic biases that exist in every observational setup.

    This is definitely not a good thing.

    Yes, it is good to validate one group of results gathered through one method by comparing them to another group of results gathered by another method. The problem is when you combine the two sets of data together. It is very easy to produce odd artifacts that way and it should be avoided at all costs. Differences in sample sizes, data collection methods, instrumentation, and other unknown and unintended introduced variables means that the combined data set is often much less accurate than the individual data sets.

    The correct thing to do is to take each data set, analyze them separately, do your best to characterize the sources of error in each set of results and THEN compare the two sets. Then you can at least have a proper understanding of the strength and weaknesses of each data set with less hidden sources of error.

  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @02:57PM (#30195300)
    There was 4.7 times more CO2 in the atmosphere during the Jurassic period than now. Besides most CO2 does not come from fossil fuel burning. Natural sources are 20 times greater than sources due to human activity. CO2 is not poisonous. We are at a greater risk from an impact event such as the one at Tunguska than something like this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 22, 2009 @03:23PM (#30195488)

    While I'm no expert, surely the complex reactions inside an engine or other man-produced CO2 maker attach other things to the CO2 that give it away as man-produced CO2 rather than naturally occurring CO2. Can anyone confirm?

    Nope. "C" means one carbon atom; "O2" means two oxygen atoms.

    "Attaching things" to CO2 makes it a molecule of something other than CO2.

  • Re:The hack (Score:2, Informative)

    by KitsuneSoftware ( 999119 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @04:44PM (#30196166) Homepage Journal

    If you're not guilty, why are you hiding?

    Rough guess, data awaiting publication — If I understand correctly, that's the academic equivalent to keeping things secret until you patent them. The more raw data you have to yourselves, the more papers you can write about that data set before other academics get there, and that's what your promotion prospects are based on. If you stall on a FOIR, you get richer.

  • by sams67 ( 880846 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:13PM (#30196826) Homepage
    There is a natural variability that correlates to several known processes. There have been dips and peaks of greater magnitude since the start of the industry and beyond. The long term clear is very though; http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/ [nasa.gov] and fits well with the increasingly accurate climate models that have been refined over time to include these know processes.
  • Re:The hack (Score:5, Informative)

    by deacon ( 40533 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:36PM (#30197038) Journal

    # Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)

    # Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!

    # Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as "cheering news".(1075403821)

    # Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)

    from here:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/20/climate-cuttings-33.html [squarespace.com]

  • Silly question (Score:5, Informative)

    by Capsaicin ( 412918 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:33PM (#30197790)

    How come the world temprature has dropped half a degree since 2000?

    It hasn't.

    It is highly questionable whether this "pause" is even real. It does show up to some extent (no cooling, but reduced 10-year warming trend) in the Hadley Center data, but it does not show in the GISS data, see Figure 1. There, the past ten 10-year trends (i.e. 1990-1999, 1991-2000 and so on) have all been between 0.17 and 0.34 C per decade, close to or above the expected anthropogenic trend, with the most recent one (1999-2008) equal to 0.19 C per decade - just as predicted by IPCC as response to anthropogenic forcing.* [realclimate.org]

    According to the GISS data (which takes the polar temperatures into consideration) the decadal trend over 1998-2009 is +0.19C! In light of the fact that the largest increases in temperatures have been observed at the poles, can you understand how a methodology which ignores polar temperatures might not give an accurate global picture of warming?

    More importantly do you understand why your question, were it even true, is largely meaningless? If you don't yet understand that comparing the temperatures over a very few of the hottest decades on record (the 1990s and 2000s) has no significant bearing over a record stretching back a century and a half, I suggest you compare the last two decades to the 1890s and 1900s.

    And how are world leaders likely to respond if the temperature drops during the 2010s?

    Sadly the science tells us that is extrememly unlikely happen. But even if it did, world leaders should respond by accepting the advice of those who understand the statistical significance of any observed falls in trends as against the entire instrumental record. Perhaps you should work at gaining some such understanding yourself?

  • by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @10:55PM (#30198772)
    http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/lassen1.html [tmgnow.com]

    http://www.junkscience.com/GMT/index.html [junkscience.com]

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/images/AR4WG1GlobalMeanTemp.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/global-temperature.html&h=384&w=567&sz=86&tbnid=ZkCq3VjJqZA8xM:&tbnh=91&tbnw=134&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dglobal%2Bmean%2Btemperature&usg=__5O0QbT0FvssTY0dQkkMAt750tg8=&ei=vfcJS-jjMqGNtgennMj-Bw&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=4&ct=image&ved=0CBgQ9QEwAw [google.com]

    There are other graphs that show more data, if you actually want to look. The sun's activity is directly linked to the drop you're talking about, but the global daily mean temperature over the last few decades shows that it keeps climbing upwards, accounting for drastic spikes that correspond directly to solar activity.

    So yes, it's a very serious man-made threat. Unless there's some invisible pink unicorn farting out heat in an amount that would be more influential than the sun. Note that the junk science link shows data for a whopping 3 years and concludes its hypotheses based on that, whereas the NASA link shows data for hundreds of years, with obvious cycles present, which correspond to the first graph.
  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) * on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:31AM (#30199950) Journal
    "Even while different parts of both antarctic and arctic icepack are thickening."

    Yes, the ice is thickening anywhere around the poles with an altitude greater that 3000 meters, ie: central Greenland and the Antartic ridge. Everywhere else the ice is shrinking in both area and volume (including temprate glaciers above 3000 meters such as those that feed the great river systems of India and southern china). this is inline with model predictions going back to the late 80's. Another phenomena that was predicted by models in the 80's and has since been observed is a phenomena called "polar amplification", ie: the poles warm up faster than the rest of the planet.

    "To diverage off topic a bit --several small islands around Greenland in 1950 were not connected to the mainland via ice. Between 1960 and 2003(?) the islands were covered and connected by ice. Now once again they are not covered by ice and that is evidence of DOOM? No."

    Of course not but that's because your story is an irrelevant anecdote, NASA (the organisation, not just one of it's scientists) are now predicting an ice free artic sea to occur in summer of 2012-13, so we don't have to wait long to find out. If as I suspect NASA's observations and models are correct then an ice free Artic goes hand in hand with dustbowl conditions in the midwest.

"It ain't over until it's over." -- Casey Stengel