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Government Science

India Ditches UN Climate Change Group 403

Several readers have told us that the Indian Government is moving to establish its own group to address the science of climate change since it "cannot rely" on the official United Nations panel. "The move is a severe blow to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) following the revelation parts of its 3000 page 2007 report on climate science was not subjected to peer review. A primary claim of the report was the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, but the claim was not repeated in any peer-reviewed studies and rebuffed by scientists. India's environment minister Jairam Ramesh announced that the Indian government will established a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor climate change in the region. 'There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism,' Ramesh said. 'I am for climate science.'"
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India Ditches UN Climate Change Group

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  • by DavidR1991 ( 1047748 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:24PM (#31040412) Homepage

    The WHO hyped up a potential pandemic to stop it becoming a pandemic. If you're informed about something (i.e. a disease) you can deal with it, inform others, get help etc. If you're in the dark, have zero information and have no idea what's afoot, the chances are you'll ignore any problems, unintentionally assist the spread of the disease and... bang. You have a catalyst. Keeping it hyped kept people vigilant

  • Re:cold and ironic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:24PM (#31040416)

    And speaking of global warming, isn't this this coldest winter on record?

    Hmm...any unusual weather patterns? So. Cal was having an unusually cold winter. But conversely Alaska was unusually warm. Were, say, Iceland or Greenland having unusual highs?

    Yeah, sadly that part requires research instead of ZOMG ITS COLD!!

  • by adosch ( 1397357 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:31PM (#31040498)

    A primary claim of the report was the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, but the claim was not repeated in any peer-reviewed studies and rebuffed by scientists.

    Who would blame India for not having faith and carrying out their out climate study with an in-house panel? Did the IPCC not botch the initial rreport [sistertoldjah.com] because someone did the School of Office Space decimal point shift in the math dealing with the melting factor of the Himalayan glaciers? I guess some counties feel that if they want something done right, they'll do it themselves. Cant' fault India for that.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:41PM (#31040582) Journal

    Take Russia. It also regularly disputes AGW claims.

    At the same time, it coincidentally happens to be a major oil exporter, and world largest natural gas exporter. Its economy to a large extent depends on worldwide demand for those resources - oil alone accounts for 40% of all exports.

    Internally, most (~65%) power is generated by coal and gas plants. The USSR had a long-term program for replacing those with hydro and nuclear, for resource conservation and environmental reasons, but that only got 1/3 way through - and Russia cannot afford to proceed with that anymore, and is actually struggling [wikipedia.org] to maintain the Soviet legacy.

    Oh yes, also, if AGW models are actually correct, then Russia will benefit in many ways. One is that warming up Siberia will create large new swaths of habitable lands. Another is that same changes, as well as melting of ice in the Arctic, will provide for much easier access to extremely rich natural resource deposits which are currently very hard (and in many cases economically unfeasible) to develop.

    That's quite enough dots to connect them.

    Now, I wrote about Russia, because I actually wrote about it - but are China and India any different? At the very least, they all still heavily rely on fossil fuels to power their industrialization, and cannot afford to stop there no matter the consequences. And - surprise! - China historically had been dismissive of AGW. I don't know much about past India stance on this, but it would seem that them joining the club would be expected, purely for political reasons.

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:35PM (#31041124) Homepage

    Let's look at "fluff.info", shall we?

    Here, apophenia kicks in, and after you've seen that BPM and GDP are correlated, you'll have no problem inventing a model for it.

    The first problem with that argument is that the hypothesis of CO2 causing warming came from *before* worldwide datasets were even availabl3e. It was first proposed in the late 1800s based on laboratory experiments showing that some gasses absorb heavily in the infrared range but minimally in the visible range. Secondly, "you'll have no problem inventing a model" for how beats per minute of a Billboard 100 song affects GDP? Really? Um, no.

    There's also the problem that it is very difficult to write down a model for which there isn't another model with the causation the other way `round

    Which is ludicrous in the context of CO2, since we can measure isotopic ratio changes (indicating the change in old carbon versus fresh carbon) and have good accounting for human inputs to the system versus sources and sinks. Is warming supposed to make us want to dig up more coal?

    Without a model to say anything about the extra variables

    Too bad we have nothing more than first principles itself to rely on...

    (Actually, we do have other things beyond first principles as well! But that's another story)

    For example, for many types of game, if you have two players repeating the game a thousand times, the distribution of actions that player one took will have nothing at all to do with the distribution of actions that player two took

    If you're using that as an analogy for global warming, it corresponds to claiming that the laws of physics have changed. Fat luck with that.

    And seriously -- do you honestly think that statisticians aren't involved in these papers? Really?

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:42PM (#31041182) Homepage

    One major volcanic eruption would affect global climate more than any variance in solar activity, and much more than any supposed "man-made climate change" with drastic amounts of particulate matter being expelled into the atmosphere that utterly dwarf the impact of all of us.

    If by that you mean supervolcanic eruption, yes.
    If by that you mean major but ordinary volcanic eruption, no. Not even close. Even the worst conventional eruptions cause a couple year blip. And it's only temporary masking of the greenhouse effect, not actual reduction of the greenhouse effect.

    Oh, and for the record: volcanoes primarily cool by ejecting SOx into the upper atmosphere, not PM.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:44PM (#31041726) Homepage Journal

    Questioning global warming / climate change is a near sure way to get modded down.

    He says, in a comment modded to +5.

    Taking the pose of the Bold Rebel Speaking Truth To Power is in fact a sure way to get modded up, on just about any topic. Of course it doesn't matter if it has any relation to reality. Just start your comment out with "I'll get modded down for this, but ..." or "This may not be politically correct of me, but ..." and a bunch of Rugged Individualists Exactly Like You will be there to reward you.

  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <[falconsoaring_2000] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:08PM (#31042370)

    to suppose we should spend billions of dollars on fixing a potential non-problem, trusting in what we know to be bad science, that's just fucking bullshit.

    And not to do anything about a potential catastrophe is fucking bullshit as well. No, to do something without having understanding isn't good but sitting on your ass isn't good either.


  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:08PM (#31042374)

    No. They're not. Oceanic effects of solar radiation alone, and their effects on climate, are filled with some very complex models that are _not_ complete. It's like the difference between E=MC2 and designing a fusion power plant: a lot of theory and modeling and testing lie in between, and the systems are very difficult to run full-scale tests or gather long records of extremely accurate data for.

    Reasonably well understood? Sure. But complete understanding. Be honest about it.

  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <[falconsoaring_2000] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:19PM (#31042452)

    try reading the linked and even copied article above... and possibly weep into the beverage of your choice..........

    Why don't you do the same? You link to a newspaper that denies Climate change while I link to a science magazine. Gee, I'll believe in science first. Oh, and I did read the "Telegraph" article.


  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:55PM (#31043060) Journal

    Mark me troll ALL you want, but don't be surprised when those in favor of AGW get run out of congress on a rail in 2010. Mark my words, after AIG and TARP folks are sick of "enlightened self interests" making policies that take money out of their pockets, and with Goldman Sachs [earth2tech.com] setting themselves up to make so much money off the "carbon credits" scam that robber barons would blush,

    And with Al Gore [wnd.com] paying himself carbon offsets from the company he is profiting from so he can blow whatever he wants? Well you might as well hand the republicans the keys to congress and the White House now. Don't forget to turn off the lights on your way out, wouldn't want to waste energy now.

  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <[falconsoaring_2000] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:17AM (#31043194)

    lol... it doesn't deny climate change, what it does do it show where source material came from

    And my science link didn't sat where it came from? If you want me to believe that then you didn't read it.

    also i think you'll find that little things such as the CRU data leak which showed them to be a bunch of number fiddling and lying turds also throw doubt on the human cause of any climate change.

    Where did I say anything about CRU? Without googling it I don't even know what the CRU is.

    now where you have people fiddling numbers and using dubious sources i think it's not unreasonable to have reasonable doubt.

    Oh, I agree. Let's take for instance where deniers are saying we're in a cooling trend. If fact the 2000s were the hottest decade [climateprogress.org] on record. The only way to make it look like there's been some cooling is by using 1998 as the starting date. Because of El Nino that was a hot year and temperatures spiked as shown by this graph [wikipedia.org]. There is no cooling, in fact the 2000s was the hottest decade [climateprogress.org].

    however i think it you google a little you will find the net awash with 3660 hits for "IPCC student dissertation climbing magazine"

    And if you google Syed Hasnain new scientist magazine ipcc [google.co.uk] you'll find about 200,000. The first one is the link I provided with the two following also from "New Scientist". I don't know, maybe they were both used, so I'm willing to let that go for now.

    there also happens to be an ASSLOAD of people making truckloads of money out of ittwinned with a mass of rank hypocrisy

    And just as above, about "people fiddling numbers", there are lots of people who could make tankers full of money out of disproving Global Warming. Coal, petroleum, and other fossil fuel industries stand to lose a lot of money if their products are regulated and or taxed. Now which has the deeper pockets, Exxon-Mobile or Greenpeace?

    Now I'm not saying we have to do whatever it takes to stop Global Warming. I don't even like that term and prefer Climate Change. What I would like to see is alternative energy sources developed and for the US to work on them before we become has-beens. While China is busy building new coal fired power plants they are also busy building massive wind farms and installing solar energy systems. Mexico and the Philippines are using geothermal energy and so can the US. By one estimate, SciAm's A Solar Grand Plan [scientificamerican.com], solar energy can provide 69% of the US's electricity and 35% of it's total energy by 2050 using just a part of the Southwest. And the NREL's Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the Unites States [nrel.gov] lays out the wind potential of different areas of the US. The Rockies from Canada to northern Texas for instance contain enough potential energy to supply all 48 continuous states with electricity. However they aren't the only places. On the West Coast from British Columbia to Southern CA then east through AZ and NM to west Texas there's good wind sites. To the east from the Appalachians in the south up through the Northeast there is good wind potential both on-shore and off-shore. NIMBYs, notably the deceased Ted Kennedy, did whatever they could to stop offshore wind farms. In 2007 California, already mentioned for solar and wind power, got 4.5% of it energy from geothermal sources [ca.gov].

    Also don't

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:12AM (#31044198)

    Let me fix that for you:

    1) Cherry-pick the coldest year they can as the starting point (1850 -- the end of the Little Ice Age) and use that as a starting point.
    2) Pick a higher subsequent year and use that as an end point (1998 -- one of the most intense El Nino events on record). See the huge one-year spike in 1998? That's what they're picking as their ending point

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"