Climate Change: Fact or Fiction

Huge

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Ha, righto. I'll play until I get abused...

I'm not a scientist, but I am an engineer - so I do know a thing or two about maths/stats/academicia/etc. I can generally follow most scientific papers, and love reading - even if its dry! Research is my thing...I tend to get mindly obsessed with a certain topic and research the hell out of it until I feel I've learned everything I care to. I believe in knowing a little about a lot of things. I know how stats can be tortured to give an inaccurate picture and I believe I have a pretty good BS filter.

In the mid-2000's, a work colleague introduced me to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". I was horrified - and immediately began researching everything I could find. Especially diving into the nuts and bolts of things, rather than relying on the media which I had already grown to distrust by that stage. It wasn't long before I started finding all kinds of flaws - inaccuracies, exaggerations, circular reasoning, throwing out data which didn't match the theory, the lack of an ability to replicate which is literally at the heart of science. I was stunned - why was this science not held to the same standards as I'd been taught in my engineering training?

Long story short, the more I researched, the more I grew to doubt that we could even tell if anything catastrophic was actually happening...and nothing I have seen since has convinced me otherwise. I have spent thousands of hours going through scientific journal papers, reports, studies, supplementary material. I have downloaded hundreds of GB of data and run my own studies and stats and checks. I'm not saying all the science is bad, by any stretch, but there is a significant proportion that barely stands up at best. This is true for many branches of science, by the way, not just climate science...health/medicine is actually another particularly bad one too.

Before we continue the conversation I think it's very important to have confirmed definitions for the various terms in use - because they all mean something different to different people. Huge Huge - would you like to provide your definition of "climate change" for me, so we're sure that we're talking about the same thing?
- Merged



I also hope you evaluate evidence that supports your view with the same rigour? It's natural to have bias; we're only human after all, and that's exactly what the scientific method is supposed to help remove - our own fallibility! But that only works if done right.

I believe "climate change" is too broad a topic to just say "yes" or "no" to, btw. There are so many facets and components and moving parts... Each area/topic needs to be considered on its own before trying to form a bigger picture.
What a great reply !!!

I like how you established your position first. By that I don't mean your view but I hope we can agree it means your qualifications! If I read it correctly you say your starting point was Al Gores pile of drivel. I agree with your conclusions about him and his offerings. I've not watched anything by him but I have read some of the claims he made and looked into the evidence he alleges supports his views.

I don't care about Gore. I don't care about the crazy extremes of the debate. I rely on two things. Firstly, if you take thimble after thimble of water from an Olympic sized swimming pool you will eventually empty the pool. Humanity has been been doing just so at an ever increasing rate and it's inevitable that we will run out of resources. Secondly I'm not the only person who has worked that out! Much better qualified people, like yourself started paying attention years ago and their research, by and large is reliable.

What we do with or rather how we interpret the mountains of complex data is for me the biggest sticking point. I don't think there's any doubt at all that the trillions of tonnes of gases we've added to the atmosphere are making a difference or having an impact on what I believe was a finely balanced system. I know that system is huge and to alter it significantly would require a massive imput OR a constant and gradually increasing smaller imput. I think the latter has happened and continues to happen much like the thimble in my analogy.
 

Sirlee oldman

NRL Player
1,323
1,675
Ha, righto. I'll play until I get abused...

I'm not a scientist, but I am an engineer - so I do know a thing or two about maths/stats/academicia/etc. I can generally follow most scientific papers, and love reading - even if its dry! Research is my thing...I tend to get mindly obsessed with a certain topic and research the hell out of it until I feel I've learned everything I care to. I believe in knowing a little about a lot of things. I know how stats can be tortured to give an inaccurate picture and I believe I have a pretty good BS filter.

In the mid-2000's, a work colleague introduced me to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". I was horrified - and immediately began researching everything I could find. Especially diving into the nuts and bolts of things, rather than relying on the media which I had already grown to distrust by that stage. It wasn't long before I started finding all kinds of flaws - inaccuracies, exaggerations, circular reasoning, throwing out data which didn't match the theory, the lack of an ability to replicate which is literally at the heart of science. I was stunned - why was this science not held to the same standards as I'd been taught in my engineering training?

Long story short, the more I researched, the more I grew to doubt that we could even tell if anything catastrophic was actually happening...and nothing I have seen since has convinced me otherwise. I have spent thousands of hours going through scientific journal papers, reports, studies, supplementary material. I have downloaded hundreds of GB of data and run my own studies and stats and checks. I'm not saying all the science is bad, by any stretch, but there is a significant proportion that barely stands up at best. This is true for many branches of science, by the way, not just climate science...health/medicine is actually another particularly bad one too.

Before we continue the conversation I think it's very important to have confirmed definitions for the various terms in use - because they all mean something different to different people. Huge Huge - would you like to provide your definition of "climate change" for me, so we're sure that we're talking about the same thing?
- Merged



I also hope you evaluate evidence that supports your view with the same rigour? It's natural to have bias; we're only human after all, and that's exactly what the scientific method is supposed to help remove - our own fallibility! But that only works if done right.

I believe "climate change" is too broad a topic to just say "yes" or "no" to, btw. There are so many facets and components and moving parts... Each area/topic needs to be considered on its own before trying to form a bigger picture.
Whether we agree or not I just want to say thanks for being part of the conversation.
 

LittleDavey83

NRL Player
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Bundy
Huge Huge, thank you - excellent response! I appreciate good conversations, on any topic, and am quite happy to discuss anything with civility, even those topics generally considered taboo in 'polite' conversation...actually, especially those... I appreciate you clearly stating your thoughts - it's a critical first step in a conversation/debate that is often overlooked, so you end up with people talking past each other and getting frustrated.

I agree with your thimble statement - over time, a little applied consistently becomes a lot. That's a fact of life!! And why persistence in the face of adversity can be a good quality...but I digress. I'm not going to get into the resources debate because it's tangential to "climate change"...related, of course, most things are, but it's a whole different topic in itself..!!

I agree we have a mountain of complex data...and as someone who has spent countless hours analysing just a small fraction of that, I can tell you that it's overwhelming!! Just try and look into your local temperature record, for one...go to the BoM site, pull the 'raw' information (daily max and min temps), compare it to the adjusted temps (homogenised and quality controlled), look at any site changes, equipment used, etc etc etc...trying to pull a consistent long-term temperature record from any location is a mission in itself, let alone on a global scale.

BUT - and this is where we start to disagree... The mountains of data we do have, are in my opinion, insufficient to gain much of an understanding of anything. I'm not just pulling the 'uncertainty' card here and claiming that makes everything else null and void, but we only have so much information, and for so long. As an example - the satellite era of measurements etc is generally taken as 1979...40 years ago. There are known 60-odd year oscillations (among so many others) in the global climate due to external influences, and we're only really looking at everything for a part of that time. In signal analysis, you typically need (from memory) 2.5 cycles of data to be able to remove the cyclical elements of your readings and make conclusions with any kind of certainty...and the longer the better. Now, I'm also not saying that we should 'do nothing' and carry on as usual simply because our data is incomplete; but it does need to be taken into consideration. An example is if you visualise a sine wave...if you put a trend line to the start of the upward swing, you have an accelerating trend; similarly for the downslope. Any trend plot period that is not precisely aligned with full cycles will show a trend of some sort...a trend which is completely spurious, of course, because the trend line of a sine wave is zero all the way.

Another related concern I have is the splicing of modern temperature data onto paleo data - temperate derived from tree rings, ice cores, etc - and claiming that the current RATE of change is unprecedented. This is a fairly common claim and to me it just does not stack up, and for a very simple reason: what's the resolution of the paleo data? My analogy is this: plot your location's daily average temperature swings on a graph, then add the monthly averages. You'll notice immediately that the fluctuations are slower and less extreme, this is what happens with lower resolution data. In some studies, the resolution is 100 years - that is a single data point for 100 years. In most it's actually worse - 300 years plus. There's a host of other technical issues as well, but at the end of the day I'm sure most people would understand that if you plot a 100-year average global temperature for a few thousand years and then add high-resolution annual or monthly temperature to the end, what appears to be a pretty stable graph begins fluctuating wildly. That doesn't in any way mean that anything unprecedented is happening; if you use a single data point for the last 100 years it's nothing unusual at all!! What it means in actuality is that there's the possibility of short-term extreme temperature excursions which could have easily been more extreme than anything we're seeing currently - completely naturally. We just don't know if anything is changing faster than ever before because we don't have the data - which doesn't seem to be widely understood. We forget that our modern Western society has only been around for such a short time.

Getting back to your post, I unfortunately also disagree on the "finely balanced system". Not trying to be snarky, but...do you have evidence for that claim? The world is a big place, HUGE (tee hee) beyond comprehension. Humans' additional emissions of carbon dioxide are dwarfed by the natural flux in and out of the natural carbon sinks...which you obviously accept, given the thimble analogy :) However it's not as simple as "we're increasing the carbon dioxide in the air therefore the world must heat up", like "if you continue to take water from the pool it will eventually empty". There are caveats, like (for your pool example), "rain will set back our emptying efforts indefinitely". Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere only absorbs energy in certain wavelengths - the same is true for all atmospheric components. Carbon dioxide actually has a relatively narrow band of absorption. In addition, the major carbon dioxide absorption wavelengths mostly overlap with those of water vapour - which is far more prevalent in the atmosphere - so its effect is reduced from theoretical values. In addition again, the warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is (approximately) logarithmic - the first 100 parts per million in the atmosphere is responsible for something like 90% (from memory) of the total effect...so the higher increases seen, the smaller the effect per unit. For your thimble analogy, that's like starting the pool emptying with a skip bin and going through various container sizes, reducing in size, until you get to your thimble which also reduces in size every time you use it...

I could go on for hours but this is long enough..!! I hope it gives people some food for thought. There's plenty more to discuss, of course, but that's a starter. I'd like to think I've introduced people to some new information they may not have known about before.

Whether we agree or not I just want to say thanks for being part of the conversation.
Thank you! That's appreciated.
 
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Huge

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Huge Huge, thank you - excellent response! I appreciate good conversations, on any topic, and am quite happy to discuss anything with civility, even those topics generally considered taboo in 'polite' conversation...actually, especially those... I appreciate you clearly stating your thoughts - it's a critical first step in a conversation/debate that is often overlooked, so you end up with people talking past each other and getting frustrated.

I agree with your thimble statement - over time, a little applied consistently becomes a lot. That's a fact of life!! And why persistence in the face of adversity can be a good quality...but I digress. I'm not going to get into the resources debate because it's tangential to "climate change"...related, of course, most things are, but it's a whole different topic in itself..!!

I agree we have a mountain of complex data...and as someone who has spent countless hours analysing just a small fraction of that, I can tell you that it's overwhelming!! Just try and look into your local temperature record, for one...go to the BoM site, pull the 'raw' information (daily max and min temps), compare it to the adjusted temps (homogenised and quality controlled), look at any site changes, equipment used, etc etc etc...trying to pull a consistent long-term temperature record from any location is a mission in itself, let alone on a global scale.

BUT - and this is where we start to disagree... The mountains of data we do have, are in my opinion, insufficient to gain much of an understanding of anything. I'm not just pulling the 'uncertainty' card here and claiming that makes everything else null and void, but we only have so much information, and for so long. As an example - the satellite era of measurements etc is generally taken as 1979...40 years ago. There are known 60-odd year oscillations (among so many others) in the global climate due to external influences, and we're only really looking at everything for a part of that time. In signal analysis, you typically need (from memory) 2.5 cycles of data to be able to remove the cyclical elements of your readings and make conclusions with any kind of certainty...and the longer the better. Now, I'm also not saying that we should 'do nothing' and carry on as usual simply because our data is incomplete; but it does need to be taken into consideration. An example is if you visualise a sine wave...if you put a trend line to the start of the upward swing, you have an accelerating trend; similarly for the downslope. Any trend plot period that is not precisely aligned with full cycles will show a trend of some sort...a trend which is completely spurious, of course, because the trend line of a sine wave is zero all the way.

Another related concern I have is the splicing of modern temperature data onto paleo data - temperate derived from tree rings, ice cores, etc - and claiming that the current RATE of change is unprecedented. This is a fairly common claim and to me it just does not stack up, and for a very simple reason: what's the resolution of the paleo data? My analogy is this: plot your location's daily average temperature swings on a graph, then add the monthly averages. You'll notice immediately that the fluctuations are slower and less extreme, this is what happens with lower resolution data. In some studies, the resolution is 100 years - that is a single data point for 100 years. In most it's actually worse - 300 years plus. There's a host of other technical issues as well, but at the end of the day I'm sure most people would understand that if you plot a 100-year average global temperature for a few thousand years and then add high-resolution annual or monthly temperature to the end, what appears to be a pretty stable graph begins fluctuating wildly. That doesn't in any way mean that anything unprecedented is happening; if you use a single data point for the last 100 years it's nothing unusual at all!! What it means in actuality is that there's the possibility of short-term extreme temperature excursions which could have easily been more extreme than anything we're seeing currently - completely naturally. We just don't know if anything is changing faster than ever before because we don't have the data - which doesn't seem to be widely understood. We forget that our modern Western society has only been around for such a short time.

Getting back to your post, I unfortunately also disagree on the "finely balanced system". Not trying to be snarky, but...do you have evidence for that claim? The world is a big place, HUGE (tee hee) beyond comprehension. Humans' additional emissions of carbon dioxide are dwarfed by the natural flux in and out of the natural carbon sinks...which you obviously accept, given the thimble analogy :) However it's not as simple as "we're increasing the carbon dioxide in the air therefore the world must heat up", like "if you continue to take water from the pool it will eventually empty". There are caveats, like (for your pool example), "rain will set back our emptying efforts indefinitely". Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere only absorbs energy in certain wavelengths - the same is true for all atmospheric components. Carbon dioxide actually has a relatively narrow band of absorption. In addition, the major carbon dioxide absorption wavelengths mostly overlap with those of water vapour - which is far more prevalent in the atmosphere - so its effect is reduced from theoretical values. In addition again, the warming effect of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is (approximately) logarithmic - the first 100 parts per million in the atmosphere is responsible for something like 90% (from memory) of the total effect...so the higher increases seen, the smaller the effect per unit. For your thimble analogy, that's like starting the pool emptying with a skip bin and going through various container sizes, reducing in size, until you get to your thimble which also reduces in size every time you use it...

I could go on for hours but this is long enough..!! I hope it gives people some food for thought. There's plenty more to discuss, of course, but that's a starter. I'd like to think I've introduced people to some new information they may not have known about before.



Thank you! That's appreciated.
Well, that post takes a lot of time to go through and I have done so. No, I am not able to debate each point as I am limited in expertise and resources. You'll probably concede much greater minds than ours have access to your evidence and doubtless have taken into account the points you raise. Some may even agree with you but in all honesty you'd have to think it would be vainglorious to imagine only you has truly been insightful enough to understand the complexities. I don't think that's where you are.

I'd strongly disagree with you that the earths atmosphere is not a finely balanced system. When considered over billions of years it simply must have settled in one state or another for very long periods. These periods may have been millions of years in duration with precisely the same mixtures/ratios. They may have been shorter too and measured in mere tens of thousands but nonetheless still stable and relatively unchanging.

You cast doubt over the ice core, tree ring data yet it's congruency is stunning. Known eruptions are reflected in both and these two data sets point to a reliable methodology for atmospheric analysis. Of the two quite obviously the ice cores go further back in time but we have no reason to think they suddenly become unreliable simply because we cannot corroborate the evidence.

If whole organizations of highly specialized and trained people are pouring over the data they will inevitably find anomalies and in the true spirit of science they will drag them into the light and examine and test every single detail yet there hasn't been a smoking gun found which invalidates the rest. There's no evidence to conclusively prove that the changes we currently see are natural and in fact, nearly 200 of the world's finest institutions and literally tens of thousands(now hundreds of thousands) of highly trained specialists are convinced the current climatic changes are undoubtedly caused by humans.

I simply have to accept the evidence until I have just cause to reject it. Does that mean I shouldn't question or be sceptical? No but the time to believe a thing is when sufficiently strong evidence is presented and the climate deniers have not provided that.
 

Jason Simmons

NRL Player
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I understand your position quite clearly, you are not a denialist although you use the tools provided in the kit. You believe the changes and staggering records being set, planetwide are both natural and influenced ever so slightly by human activity. You seem to believe it's not happening at a particularly fast rate and all those dopey scientists are simply exaggerating. You base this on 'clouds' and their unpredictable nature and I'm betting it's a ludicrous claim made a short while ago.

When the bullshit clouds conjecture was put out there recently it was touted as scientific evidence but no, it wasn't a study and wasn't peer reviewed. It was a 4 page essay with a bunch of unproven claims and junk science. It was rubbish and it has been debunked but denialists were running around saying 'look here, valid scientific study proves the changes aren't really that bad because clouds'.

I reckon the clever approach is this: discount the extremes in the claims, listen to the teeming majority of the scientific community. Few scientists are claiming the absolute catastrophe end and none are claiming it's not real. You cannot find

Porporato and first author Jun Yin, a postdoctoral research associate in civil and environmental engineering, found that not accurately capturing the daily cloud cycle has the sun bombarding Earth with an extra 1-2 watts of energy per square meter. The increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Age is estimated to produce an extra 3.7 watts of energy per square meter. "The error here is half of that, so in that sense it becomes substantial," Porporato said.
Published in 2018.
 

Huge

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Published in 2018.
Yep, just like I said right back at the beginning. You are again referring to the paper that was released on arVix.org which was not peer reviewed and wouldn't stand up to peer review. It has been investigated and given serious scrutiny and found to be baseless. It is often trotted out by climate change denialists and described as 'a study has revealed, blah blah, blah' . It's noise and baseless and I correctly noted that the first time you presented it. I was aware of it more than a year ago.
 

Jason Simmons

NRL Player
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Yep, just like I said right back at the beginning. You are again referring to the paper that was released on arVix.org which was not peer reviewed and wouldn't stand up to peer review. It has been investigated and given serious scrutiny and found to be baseless. It is often trotted out by climate change denialists and described as 'a study has revealed, blah blah, blah' . It's noise and baseless and I correctly noted that the first time you presented it. I was aware of it more than a year ago.
Not sure if that is the one you referred to, that paper was released at Princeton, but I’m happy to have a look at any of these ‘investigations’ of those claims that show it to be ‘baseless’, though that may be you paraphrasing rather than directly quoting. I would be astonishingly surprised if they did actually state these claims were ‘baseless’ given the substantial acknowledgement among climate change reaearchers of the difficulties in modelling the effects of clouds and aerosols and the margins of error they cause, though I completely understand why you might want them to...

And where has @holdzy gone all of a sudden? Someone here is discussing “his” science and immediately he leaves...

Another “surprise”...
- Merged

And just to reinforce my last point.

 
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LittleDavey83

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Bundy
Well, that post takes a lot of time to go through and I have done so. No, I am not able to debate each point as I am limited in expertise and resources. You'll probably concede much greater minds than ours have access to your evidence and doubtless have taken into account the points you raise. Some may even agree with you but in all honesty you'd have to think it would be vainglorious to imagine only you has truly been insightful enough to understand the complexities. I don't think that's where you are.

I'd strongly disagree with you that the earths atmosphere is not a finely balanced system. When considered over billions of years it simply must have settled in one state or another for very long periods. These periods may have been millions of years in duration with precisely the same mixtures/ratios. They may have been shorter too and measured in mere tens of thousands but nonetheless still stable and relatively unchanging.

You cast doubt over the ice core, tree ring data yet it's congruency is stunning. Known eruptions are reflected in both and these two data sets point to a reliable methodology for atmospheric analysis. Of the two quite obviously the ice cores go further back in time but we have no reason to think they suddenly become unreliable simply because we cannot corroborate the evidence.

If whole organizations of highly specialized and trained people are pouring over the data they will inevitably find anomalies and in the true spirit of science they will drag them into the light and examine and test every single detail yet there hasn't been a smoking gun found which invalidates the rest. There's no evidence to conclusively prove that the changes we currently see are natural and in fact, nearly 200 of the world's finest institutions and literally tens of thousands(now hundreds of thousands) of highly trained specialists are convinced the current climatic changes are undoubtedly caused by humans.

I simply have to accept the evidence until I have just cause to reject it. Does that mean I shouldn't question or be sceptical? No but the time to believe a thing is when sufficiently strong evidence is presented and the climate deniers have not provided that.
I appreciate your time to wade through my rambling! That took some time to write as well haha... I'm certainly not about to sit here and say I understand the complexities of it all...on the contrary, that's exactly my opinion - that the whole topic is so complex that we don't have the data nor the computer power to make any firm conclusions about what may or may not happen some 50-100 years in the future. We can speculate and make best guesses, sure. But speculation in the 1930's about what life would be like now would be so ridiculously wide of the mark it's not funny, they wouldn't have dreamed of having the life that we do now.

On the finely balanced thing...unfortunately, in my opinion, you have it the wrong way around. If the earth system were in such a precarious state, any small change would upset the balance - asteroids, volcanoes, changes in the sun, etc. Instead, it's remarkable how STABLE the earth system actually is! Especially considering that it's not even a closed system and is subject to outside influences from space. Sure, it oscillates between glacials and interglacials on huge timescales, but that suggests that it's a system which has two steady states - both of which include huge feedbacks which support the stability of the current state despite constant changes in energy input to the system due to the earth's rotation around the sun and its own axial movement. There is simply no evidence to support your view that the earth has had long periods of no change, in fact all the evidence points in the exact opposite direction - everything is constantly changing!!

Oh I'm not casting doubt over the paleo records, they are valuable and realistically all we have to work from. Lake sediments, tree rings, ice cores, pollen records, etc. There's a multitude of different mechanisms and they all have value. But at the end of the day they are only so useful and we can only glean so much from them. They are complex and there's a lot of issues with them - some researchers have actually been found to be using certain ice core records upside-down, whoops - and they are in no way comparable to any modern systems we have in place now. That was more my point, not so much that they're unreliable, though they are limited.

You make an argument to authority - have groups of scientists never been wrong before? There are stories throughout history of scientists trying to break through the orthodox view of the day - Einstein? Darwin? Newton? I'm not making the argument that because so many scientists are in support of "climate change" (still undefined, too, by the way, so it's meaningless at this point) that it's false, because that would obviously be similarly ridiculous and probably even more so. But simply because a lot of people believe it, does not in itself make it true, and I'm sure you're aware of that! Unfortunately, you also have the scientific method backwards - "climate change" is currently a theory. There is also no evidence to conclusively prove that there is anything unnatural, or dangerous, about our current global climate. Attribution studies typically use models run with and without human carbon dioxide emissions to "prove" that changes must be due to the CO2...but that doesn't actually prove anything at all except that the modellers believe that the changes must be due to CO2 and their models reflect that. It's circular reasoning.

This is a bit of a difficult discussion to have, though, without first defining "climate change" - would you care to share what your understanding of the term and what's happening is?
 

LittleDavey83

NRL Player
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Bundy
Oh, and clouds...they are "parametised" in the models, which basically means fudged because they can't be modelled. Grid squares in the best models are like 100kmx100km, and clouds operate on a much smaller area than this, therefore they can't be modelled. To complicate things further, clouds of different types and at different heights an in different parts of the globe have differing effects - some negative, some positive - and we do not have a good handle on them. To go another step further, the effect of clouds is so prevalent that even a small change in cloud cover can have an effect on global climate far in excess of that expected from rising atmospheric CO2. And we don't have good data on clouds since before the satellite era, so again, 40 years at best.

There are theories being proposed at present about clouds and climate which warrant further investigation. Date shows that typically there's an exponential increase in cloud once sea surface temperatures reach 26*C, and there's a "hard limit" of about 30*C sea surface temperature - it's hypothesised this is due to clouds. The global atmosphere is a huge heat engine, with energy pouring into the tropics and being both circulated towards the poles as well as sent back up to space; for an example, think of the massive amounts of heat transferred from the surface to the top of the atmosphere by even a small thunderstorm, let alone a cyclone, and obviously these can't be modelled. There is growing evidence that clouds may modulate the energy input to the system via cloudiness the tropics, which appears to be an emergent phenomena (which just means it only kicks in under certain conditions, such as sea surface temperature). This may be one of the methods via which earth keeps its extraordinary stability during interglacial periods like the present, preventing "runaway warming" due to any influences.

But again, I'm rambling!! If you can define "climate change" and what you believe is happening, we can follow that train a bit more easily :)
 
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Huge

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Ok. You seem to be reading the words okay but not understanding them in certain sections. No, I don't mean everywhere!

You say there's no evidence that there's been long periods of no change.
You then claim how 'stable' the system is!!
Further you say it has 'two states'. Given it's billions of years old that suggests it spends a great deal of time in either one of the two.

It's a finely balanced system. The composition of the gases in our atmosphere have altered over the billions of years and the science around that seems settled. The changes appear to have been dramatic at first and I'm referring to the period after the crust cooled through the stromatolite period (ongoing!) and onwards until a steady state was achieved.

Yes, it's true that things are changing constantly but the atmospheric changes were at a glacial pace. In fact I'd argue much much slower than that. I believe as I said before that the balance, the exact combination of gases would at times have been, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same for millions if not tens of millions of years. There would also have been periods where changes occurred and the records do indeed show that. Meteor strikes, volcanic eruptions lasting thousands of years, the Siberian traps and other events involving changes within the Suns life.

Yes, changes have occurred and some have been significant no doubt but you don't appear to grasp the timescale. The atmosphere doesn't change on a daily or weekly basis, it's not even yearly. Sure you could argue a volcanic eruption changes it but even such a blast would alter it only infinitesimally. When I describe it as finely balanced I'm not arguing it is unchanging but that it does remain in precisely the same mixture or state for what humans would consider huge time periods.

It's known that the planet has had periods of massive glaciation and even snowball earth and the atmosphere has been through many changes since it's fiery beginning but to say it's constantly changing is misleading given the time scale over which these changes occur.

I believe the Earth has been in a relatively stable condition for hundreds of thousands, more likely millions of years. The mixture of gases remaining unchanged for long enough for human life to steadily evolve. As you no doubt agree evolution requires time and exactly how much or the rate at which it occurs is still undetermined. We do know it takes a long time by human life standards. I seriously doubt life on earth could have withstood dramatic atmospheric change and I believe it had to be stable for huge periods. A finely balanced state.

Well, for a 150 years or more we've been changing that balance. With another poor analogy I'll make my point. It's like combining the ingredients of a cake. Some ingredients are tiny in proportion to the rest yet make a world of difference. A little is just right but too much spoils. We've been adding one such ingredient to the atmospheric mix and now it has started to spoil.
 

LittleDavey83

NRL Player
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880
Bundy
Ok. You seem to be reading the words okay but not understanding them in certain sections. No, I don't mean everywhere!

You say there's no evidence that there's been long periods of no change.
You then claim how 'stable' the system is!!
Further you say it has 'two states'. Given it's billions of years old that suggests it spends a great deal of time in either one of the two.

It's a finely balanced system. The composition of the gases in our atmosphere have altered over the billions of years and the science around that seems settled. The changes appear to have been dramatic at first and I'm referring to the period after the crust cooled through the stromatolite period (ongoing!) and onwards until a steady state was achieved.

Yes, it's true that things are changing constantly but the atmospheric changes were at a glacial pace. In fact I'd argue much much slower than that. I believe as I said before that the balance, the exact combination of gases would at times have been, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same for millions if not tens of millions of years. There would also have been periods where changes occurred and the records do indeed show that. Meteor strikes, volcanic eruptions lasting thousands of years, the Siberian traps and other events involving changes within the Suns life.

Yes, changes have occurred and some have been significant no doubt but you don't appear to grasp the timescale. The atmosphere doesn't change on a daily or weekly basis, it's not even yearly. Sure you could argue a volcanic eruption changes it but even such a blast would alter it only infinitesimally. When I describe it as finely balanced I'm not arguing it is unchanging but that it does remain in precisely the same mixture or state for what humans would consider huge time periods.

It's known that the planet has had periods of massive glaciation and even snowball earth and the atmosphere has been through many changes since it's fiery beginning but to say it's constantly changing is misleading given the time scale over which these changes occur.

I believe the Earth has been in a relatively stable condition for hundreds of thousands, more likely millions of years. The mixture of gases remaining unchanged for long enough for human life to steadily evolve. As you no doubt agree evolution requires time and exactly how much or the rate at which it occurs is still undetermined. We do know it takes a long time by human life standards. I seriously doubt life on earth could have withstood dramatic atmospheric change and I believe it had to be stable for huge periods. A finely balanced state.

Well, for a 150 years or more we've been changing that balance. With another poor analogy I'll make my point. It's like combining the ingredients of a cake. Some ingredients are tiny in proportion to the rest yet make a world of difference. A little is just right but too much spoils. We've been adding one such ingredient to the atmospheric mix and now it has started to spoil.
Hmmm. I think we're talking about slightly different things. When I say the earth system being relatively stable I don't necessarily mean long periods with no change, and certainly not that the composition of the atmosphere remains stable. That's just not true - global CO2 levels change by about 3ppm between the northern hemisphere summer and winter purely because of plant growth!! As for the longer term, I've attached a graph from the British Antarctic Survey website below showing the changes in CO2 alone (and a temperature proxy), inferred from an ice core in Antarctica, over the past 800,000 years. That shows atmospheric CO2 fluctuating between about 170ppm and 290ppm, so clearly the composition of the atmosphere is not stable on the massive timescales you're talking about:


The assertion that we're adding too much of something which is 'spoiling' our atmosphere is what I'd like to focus on though. You're right, CO2 is tiny in proportion to the rest - we're currently at about 400ppm, parts per million. That's 0.04% - which in and of itself doesn't mean a lot. The link between atmospheric CO2 and higher temperatures is clear. Human activities produce about 3-4% of the total global annual carbon dioxide emissions, dwarfed by natural sources. Of that additional say 4%, the current science tells us that about 50% will be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and another 30% over the next century or two, with only 20% lingering any longer than that. Again, this doesn't mean a lot as obviously we are upsetting the natural, rough balance between CO2 sources and sinks, I just want to give people an idea of the numbers (some people like numbers).

The impact of the increased CO2 however is what is important. The basic warming effect of doubled atmospheric CO2 is about 1.2*C, this has been studied to death. What drives the catastrophic predictions of 4*C+ global temperature increase is the expected feedbacks which may occur as a result, predominantly atmospheric water vapour increase. This is what's called climate sensitivity, and is a hotly contested topic in the scientific literature. Over time, studies researching climate sensitivity are continually lowering the likely figure - this is good, as a lower sensitivity means a smaller temp rise for a given CO2 rise. It also means that the most catastrophic predictions become implausible given that they rely on a high sensitivity. The good news is that the best current estimates are somewhere around 60-65% of the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report, which means expected warming is about 35-40% lower than was expected. The bad news is that every time the global climate models are updated with more accurate physical processes, their estimate of climate sensitivity increases and their predictions get further away from our observed reality...which indicates something is likely to be wrong with their fundamental structure, since we observe the opposite. And yet these models are the basis of the claims of doom because they're the best we have, so we should listen to them...I just don't buy that.

And this is why I wanted to define "climate change". I believe the climate is changing. I believe at least some, possibly the majority of that change over the past 200-off years is due to human influences. Not solely related to CO2, however - land use is another obvious one, and there's other ways as well. I don't believe however that the predictions of global catastrophe are likely, and I also believe that a small amount of warming may in fact be net beneficial for our world as a whole (studies do show this). It's a topic that is highly nuanced, highly complex, with massive uncertainties, and it should be possible for people to discuss and agree or disagree on each point in relation to the whole. I can't stand the cries of "warmist!" and "denier!", they just simplify the whole thing into a "yes" or "no" black/white issue and it's just not that simple!

I also resent the politicising of the entire thing...take the 2*C target as a prime example. There is nothing remotely scientific to point to global calamity if we experience a temp rise of 2*C above pre-industrial. It was - literally - a figure plucked out of the air by a scientist for a politician's easy consumption...yet now it's turned into the holy grail. People seriously believe that if the global temperature passes 2*C above pre-industrial - and we're basically halfway there at this point - that the world will literally end. It's patently absurd and with zero scientific backing.
 

Huge

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Hmmm. I think we're talking about slightly different things. When I say the earth system being relatively stable I don't necessarily mean long periods with no change, and certainly not that the composition of the atmosphere remains stable. That's just not true - global CO2 levels change by about 3ppm between the northern hemisphere summer and winter purely because of plant growth!! As for the longer term, I've attached a graph from the British Antarctic Survey website below showing the changes in CO2 alone (and a temperature proxy), inferred from an ice core in Antarctica, over the past 800,000 years. That shows atmospheric CO2 fluctuating between about 170ppm and 290ppm, so clearly the composition of the atmosphere is not stable on the massive timescales you're talking about:


The assertion that we're adding too much of something which is 'spoiling' our atmosphere is what I'd like to focus on though. You're right, CO2 is tiny in proportion to the rest - we're currently at about 400ppm, parts per million. That's 0.04% - which in and of itself doesn't mean a lot. The link between atmospheric CO2 and higher temperatures is clear. Human activities produce about 3-4% of the total global annual carbon dioxide emissions, dwarfed by natural sources. Of that additional say 4%, the current science tells us that about 50% will be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and another 30% over the next century or two, with only 20% lingering any longer than that. Again, this doesn't mean a lot as obviously we are upsetting the natural, rough balance between CO2 sources and sinks, I just want to give people an idea of the numbers (some people like numbers).

The impact of the increased CO2 however is what is important. The basic warming effect of doubled atmospheric CO2 is about 1.2*C, this has been studied to death. What drives the catastrophic predictions of 4*C+ global temperature increase is the expected feedbacks which may occur as a result, predominantly atmospheric water vapour increase. This is what's called climate sensitivity, and is a hotly contested topic in the scientific literature. Over time, studies researching climate sensitivity are continually lowering the likely figure - this is good, as a lower sensitivity means a smaller temp rise for a given CO2 rise. It also means that the most catastrophic predictions become implausible given that they rely on a high sensitivity. The good news is that the best current estimates are somewhere around 60-65% of the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report, which means expected warming is about 35-40% lower than was expected. The bad news is that every time the global climate models are updated with more accurate physical processes, their estimate of climate sensitivity increases and their predictions get further away from our observed reality...which indicates something is likely to be wrong with their fundamental structure, since we observe the opposite. And yet these models are the basis of the claims of doom because they're the best we have, so we should listen to them...I just don't buy that.

And this is why I wanted to define "climate change". I believe the climate is changing. I believe at least some, possibly the majority of that change over the past 200-off years is due to human influences. Not solely related to CO2, however - land use is another obvious one, and there's other ways as well. I don't believe however that the predictions of global catastrophe are likely, and I also believe that a small amount of warming may in fact be net beneficial for our world as a whole (studies do show this). It's a topic that is highly nuanced, highly complex, with massive uncertainties, and it should be possible for people to discuss and agree or disagree on each point in relation to the whole. I can't stand the cries of "warmist!" and "denier!", they just simplify the whole thing into a "yes" or "no" black/white issue and it's just not that simple!

I also resent the politicising of the entire thing...take the 2*C target as a prime example. There is nothing remotely scientific to point to global calamity if we experience a temp rise of 2*C above pre-industrial. It was - literally - a figure plucked out of the air by a scientist for a politician's easy consumption...yet now it's turned into the holy grail. People seriously believe that if the global temperature passes 2*C above pre-industrial - and we're basically halfway there at this point - that the world will literally end. It's patently absurd and with zero scientific backing.
Mmmm, starting from last. You make quite a few assertions without any supporting evidence and then proceed to attack them. We all know what type of argument that is!!
I'll give a couple examples of this.

"The bad news is that every time the global climate models are updated with more accurate physical processes, their estimate of climate sensitivity increases and their predictions get further away from our observed reality"

How do you know this? You assume you know what specialists in the field do. Further, there are literally thousands of climatologists/specialists involved in climate modelling yet you assert each and every one of them makes the same mistake that you, self confessed amateur can plainly see!!! Can you not see that you're being just a tad conceited? Do you genuinely think all of these people(not part timers!!) make the same mistake? Really?

"People seriously believe that if the global temperature passes 2*C above pre-industrial - and we're basically halfway there at this point - that the world will literally end. It's patently absurd and with zero scientific backing"

Now that's quite a claim!!! Of course it's absurd and that's the main reason you put it up there, to knock it for six!! There are some people who no doubt believe that just like there's some who believe there's secret Nazi moon bases on the dark side of the moon. What's your point here? Mainstream science/scientists are not making these catastrophic predictions.

Sure you can find the odd extremes, the outliers but despite the disproportionate coverage they receive because they make the extreme headline grabbing statements they are the exception. I've listened to many reputable climatologists and authorities and while they emphasise the importance of action they generally say they're unsure of the future changes.

What do I class as climate change? Well, as you acknowledge it's a complex issue and I'm not qualified to define it. I will say a world where new records are being set in every single country in every new year is a world going through climate change. I appreciate you've put time into understanding the complexities and you may be better informed than many due to that but I think you've convinced yourself of a position without genuine justification. You think I make an appeal to authority but no, I do no such thing. I say that the world's finest minds are focused on the problem with the best resources the world can muster. If anyone is best suited, they are. With that in mind I say 'who better to guide us'? Only an idiot would conclude from my statements that I believe everything I read or hear, no I remain sceptical but I'm going to go with authorities on this just as I would if it was an issue with my heart, I'd be guided by the best advice of the medical profession whose specialty was the heart.
 

LittleDavey83

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Mmmm, starting from last. You make quite a few assertions without any supporting evidence and then proceed to attack them. We all know what type of argument that is!!
I'll give a couple examples of this.

"The bad news is that every time the global climate models are updated with more accurate physical processes, their estimate of climate sensitivity increases and their predictions get further away from our observed reality"

How do you know this? You assume you know what specialists in the field do. Further, there are literally thousands of climatologists/specialists involved in climate modelling yet you assert each and every one of them makes the same mistake that you, self confessed amateur can plainly see!!! Can you not see that you're being just a tad conceited? Do you genuinely think all of these people(not part timers!!) make the same mistake? Really?

"People seriously believe that if the global temperature passes 2*C above pre-industrial - and we're basically halfway there at this point - that the world will literally end. It's patently absurd and with zero scientific backing"

Now that's quite a claim!!! Of course it's absurd and that's the main reason you put it up there, to knock it for six!! There are some people who no doubt believe that just like there's some who believe there's secret Nazi moon bases on the dark side of the moon. What's your point here? Mainstream science/scientists are not making these catastrophic predictions.

Sure you can find the odd extremes, the outliers but despite the disproportionate coverage they receive because they make the extreme headline grabbing statements they are the exception. I've listened to many reputable climatologists and authorities and while they emphasise the importance of action they generally say they're unsure of the future changes.

What do I class as climate change? Well, as you acknowledge it's a complex issue and I'm not qualified to define it. I will say a world where new records are being set in every single country in every new year is a world going through climate change. I appreciate you've put time into understanding the complexities and you may be better informed than many due to that but I think you've convinced yourself of a position without genuine justification. You think I make an appeal to authority but no, I do no such thing. I say that the world's finest minds are focused on the problem with the best resources the world can muster. If anyone is best suited, they are. With that in mind I say 'who better to guide us'? Only an idiot would conclude from my statements that I believe everything I read or hear, no I remain sceptical but I'm going to go with authorities on this just as I would if it was an issue with my heart, I'd be guided by the best advice of the medical profession whose specialty was the heart.
Righto - I thought what I'd said would be generally easy enough to find with a few minutes of research, since it's not really groundbreaking. So, here's some sources. The climate models running hotter each generation as they incorporate more accurate parameters is well-known. From ScienceMag, published I believe by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an article from April last year:
In earlier models, doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) over preindustrial levels led models to predict somewhere between 2°C and 4.5°C of warming once the planet came into balance. But in at least eight of the next-generation models, produced by leading centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France, that “equilibrium climate sensitivity” has come in at 5°C or warmer. Modelers are struggling to identify which of their refinements explain this heightened sensitivity before the next assessment from the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the trend “is definitely real. There’s no question,” says Reto Knutti, a climate scientist at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. “Is that realistic or not? At this point, we don’t know.”

Many scientists are skeptical, pointing out that past climate changes recorded in ice cores and elsewhere don’t support the high climate sensitivity—nor does the pace of modern warming (my emphasis added). The results so far are “not sufficient to convince me,” says Kate Marvel, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. In the effort to account for atmospheric components that are too small to directly simulate, like clouds, the new models could easily have strayed from reality, she says. “That’s always going to be a bumpy road.”

Builders of the new models agree. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey—the birthplace of climate modeling—incorporated a host of improvements in their next-generation model. It mimics the ocean in fine enough detail to directly simulate eddies, honing its representation of heat-carrying currents like the Gulf Stream. Its rendering of the El Niño cycle, the periodic warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, looks “dead on,” says Michael Winton, a GFDL oceanographer who helped lead the model’s development. But for some reason, the world warms up faster with these improvements. Why? “We’re kind of mystified,” Winton says. Right now, he says, the model’s equilibrium sensitivity looks to be 5°C.

Developers of another next-generation model, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, wonder whether their new rendering of clouds and aerosols might explain why it, too, is running hot, with a sensitivity in the low fives. The NCAR team, like other modelers, has had persistent problems in simulating the supercooled water found in clouds that form above the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. The clouds weren’t reflective enough, allowing the region to absorb too much sunlight. The new version fixes that problem.

Late in the model’s development cycle, however, the NCAR group incorporated an updated data set on emissions of aerosols, fine particles from industry and natural processes that can both reflect sunlight or goose the development of clouds. The aerosol data threw everything off—when the model simulated the climate of the 20th century, it now showed hardly any warming. “It took us about a year to work that out,” says NCAR’s Andrew Gettelman, who helped lead the development of the model.
I encourage you to read the article, it's short but definitely interesting. It gives an insight into the massive complexity involved. There's also a scientific paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters this month which states:
Equilibrium climate sensitivity, the global surface temperature response to CO
urn:x-wiley:grl:media:grl60047:grl60047-math-0001
doubling, has been persistently uncertain. Recent consensus places it likely within 1.5–4.5 K. Global climate models (GCMs), which attempt to represent all relevant physical processes, provide the most direct means of estimating climate sensitivity via CO
urn:x-wiley:grl:media:grl60047:grl60047-math-0002
quadrupling experiments. Here we show that the closely related effective climate sensitivity has increased substantially in Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6), with values spanning 1.8–5.6 K across 27 GCMs and exceeding 4.5 K in 10 of them. This (statistically insignificant) increase is primarily due to stronger positive cloud feedbacks from decreasing extratropical low cloud coverage and albedo. Both of these are tied to the physical representation of clouds which in CMIP6 models lead to weaker responses of extratropical low cloud cover and water content to unforced variations in surface temperature. Establishing the plausibility of these higher sensitivity models is imperative given their implied societal ramifications.
I'm not making this up. I don't assume I know what the specialists in the field do. I'm repeating their own admissions that the models are running hotter due to more accurate inclusions, and they don't know why. As for my observation that the predictions get further away from our observed reality, that's mentioned in the first article linked above. Here's 2 graphs showing (a) the previous generation of models' (CMIP5) modelled temperature trends at the surface, during the satellite era 1975 - 2015, with the actual observed temperature trend over the same period dashed in red:


And (b) a different representation of the previous generation of models vs observations, namely the transient climate response which is closely related to the climate sensitivity I wrote about lastnight:


It's clear to see they generally'run hot', and with the information above that the CMIP6 generation run significantly hotter again, then logically they must diverge further from our observations. Again, this isn't a conceited strawman argument like you presume, it's what the science tells us - and the scientists themselves! Not that you'd know it from the media coverage though.

On the second point, yes, climate scientists are typically not claiming the world will end if we surpass 2 degrees above preindustrial. I didn't realise you were only talking about climate scientists; I wasn't. There are people choosing not to have kids because of the 'world they will grow up in' (I paraphrase). "Eco-anxiety" is becoming a real mental health issue particularly among late teens and young adults...kids thinking they have no real future because of the impending catastrophe, so why bother trying in life. Poor Greta has claimed “I am 16 years old...I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations…Now we probably don’t even have a future anymore.” These aren't strawmen, the reality of what I'm saying is easily discovered with a quick Google search. I find that incredibly distressing, because as shown above (which is not widely known, obviously) - the catastrophic predictions, which are almost without exception in the domain of the very hottest and wildest modelled predictions, are so very unlikely to occur, that allowing kids to believe their future 'has been stolen' or that they have no positive future is almost tantamount to child abuse in my eyes. But in any case, I'm glad you don't sign up for the extreme catastrophic claims; I know the nuances and uncertainties are difficult to explain and I know that catastrophe sells papers and clicks, but the media don't help themselves (or anyone else) with their overblown hyperbole.

With all due respect, and I do appreciate this conversation, but while I agree that records being set (I presume you refer to high surface temperatures) in each country in each year is certainly an indication of climate change...it does not tell us anything about whether that is normal or not. It doesn't tell us anything about whether humans are responsible or not. The fact that the global climate is warming, in and of itself, does not mean anything except just that - the global climate is warming, and that is something we agree on. Without even getting into the argument about the reliability of temperature readings (again a whole new topic), the climate could be warming from anything and we would still see the same thing. I appreciate that you accept the word of the professionals in the field...our world is so complex, we trust the advice of experts every single day in any hundreds of ways. We have to, we have no choice, but that's still an argument to authority. And when the topic becomes political instead of scientific - with talk of global wealth distribution, suspension of democracy, complete restructuring of our society, etc - then I believe it's more important than ever that the science behind that is questioned and proven beyond doubt. That hasn't happened, we're still at the "hypothesis" stage of the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.
 
Last edited:

lynx000

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Righto - I thought what I'd said would be generally easy enough to find with a few minutes of research, since it's not really groundbreaking. So, here's some sources. The climate models running hotter each generation as they incorporate more accurate parameters is well-known. From ScienceMag, published I believe by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an article from April last year:


I encourage you to read the article, it's short but definitely interesting. It gives an insight into the massive complexity involved. There's also a scientific paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters this month which states:


I'm not making this up. I don't assume I know what the specialists in the field do. I'm repeating their own admissions that the models are running hotter due to more accurate inclusions, and they don't know why. As for my observation that the predictions get further away from our observed reality, that's mentioned in the first article linked above. Here's 2 graphs showing (a) the previous generation of models' (CMIP5) modelled temperature trends at the surface, during the satellite era 1975 - 2015, with the actual observed temperature trend over the same period dashed in red:


And (b) a different representation of the previous generation of models vs observations, namely the transient climate response which is closely related to the climate sensitivity I wrote about lastnight:


It's clear to see they generally'run hot', and with the information above that the CMIP6 generation run significantly hotter again, then logically they must diverge further from our observations. Again, this isn't a conceited strawman argument like you presume, it's what the science tells us - and the scientists themselves! Not that you'd know it from the media coverage though.

On the second point, yes, climate scientists are typically not claiming the world will end if we surpass 2 degrees above preindustrial. I didn't realise you were only talking about climate scientists; I wasn't. There are people choosing not to have kids because of the 'world they will grow up in' (I paraphrase). "Eco-anxiety" is becoming a real mental health issue particularly among late teens and young adults...kids thinking they have no real future because of the impending catastrophe, so why bother trying in life. Poor Greta has claimed “I am 16 years old...I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations…Now we probably don’t even have a future anymore.” These aren't strawmen, the reality of what I'm saying is easily discovered with a quick Google search. I find that incredibly distressing, because as shown above (which is not widely known, obviously) - the catastrophic predictions, which are almost without exception in the domain of the very hottest and wildest modelled predictions, are so very unlikely to occur, that allowing kids to believe their future 'has been stolen' or that they have no positive future is almost tantamount to child abuse in my eyes. But in any case, I'm glad you don't sign up for the extreme catastrophic claims; I know the nuances and uncertainties are difficult to explain and I know that catastrophe sells papers and clicks, but the media don't help themselves (or anyone else) with their overblown hyperbole.

With all due respect, and I do appreciate this conversation, but while I agree that records being set (I presume you refer to high surface temperatures) in each country in each year is certainly an indication of climate change...it does not tell us anything about whether that is normal or not. It doesn't tell us anything about whether humans are responsible or not. The fact that the global climate is warming, in and of itself, does not mean anything except just that - the global climate is warming, and that is something we agree on. Without even getting into the argument about the reliability of temperature readings (again a whole new topic), the climate could be warming from anything and we would still see the same thing. I appreciate that you accept the word of the professionals in the field...our world is so complex, we trust the advice of experts every single day in any hundreds of ways. We have to, we have no choice, but that's still an argument to authority. And when the topic becomes political instead of scientific - with talk of global wealth distribution, suspension of democracy, complete restructuring of our society, etc - then I believe it's more important than ever that the science behind that is questioned and proven beyond doubt. That hasn't happened, we're still at the "hypothesis" stage of the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.
I appreciate the depth of your research, I have enjoyed reading your thoughts.
 

Huge

State of Origin Rep
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Righto - I thought what I'd said would be generally easy enough to find with a few minutes of research, since it's not really groundbreaking. So, here's some sources. The climate models running hotter each generation as they incorporate more accurate parameters is well-known. From ScienceMag, published I believe by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an article from April last year:


I encourage you to read the article, it's short but definitely interesting. It gives an insight into the massive complexity involved. There's also a scientific paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters this month which states:


I'm not making this up. I don't assume I know what the specialists in the field do. I'm repeating their own admissions that the models are running hotter due to more accurate inclusions, and they don't know why. As for my observation that the predictions get further away from our observed reality, that's mentioned in the first article linked above. Here's 2 graphs showing (a) the previous generation of models' (CMIP5) modelled temperature trends at the surface, during the satellite era 1975 - 2015, with the actual observed temperature trend over the same period dashed in red:


And (b) a different representation of the previous generation of models vs observations, namely the transient climate response which is closely related to the climate sensitivity I wrote about lastnight:


It's clear to see they generally'run hot', and with the information above that the CMIP6 generation run significantly hotter again, then logically they must diverge further from our observations. Again, this isn't a conceited strawman argument like you presume, it's what the science tells us - and the scientists themselves! Not that you'd know it from the media coverage though.

On the second point, yes, climate scientists are typically not claiming the world will end if we surpass 2 degrees above preindustrial. I didn't realise you were only talking about climate scientists; I wasn't. There are people choosing not to have kids because of the 'world they will grow up in' (I paraphrase). "Eco-anxiety" is becoming a real mental health issue particularly among late teens and young adults...kids thinking they have no real future because of the impending catastrophe, so why bother trying in life. Poor Greta has claimed “I am 16 years old...I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations…Now we probably don’t even have a future anymore.” These aren't strawmen, the reality of what I'm saying is easily discovered with a quick Google search. I find that incredibly distressing, because as shown above (which is not widely known, obviously) - the catastrophic predictions, which are almost without exception in the domain of the very hottest and wildest modelled predictions, are so very unlikely to occur, that allowing kids to believe their future 'has been stolen' or that they have no positive future is almost tantamount to child abuse in my eyes. But in any case, I'm glad you don't sign up for the extreme catastrophic claims; I know the nuances and uncertainties are difficult to explain and I know that catastrophe sells papers and clicks, but the media don't help themselves (or anyone else) with their overblown hyperbole.

With all due respect, and I do appreciate this conversation, but while I agree that records being set (I presume you refer to high surface temperatures) in each country in each year is certainly an indication of climate change...it does not tell us anything about whether that is normal or not. It doesn't tell us anything about whether humans are responsible or not. The fact that the global climate is warming, in and of itself, does not mean anything except just that - the global climate is warming, and that is something we agree on. Without even getting into the argument about the reliability of temperature readings (again a whole new topic), the climate could be warming from anything and we would still see the same thing. I appreciate that you accept the word of the professionals in the field...our world is so complex, we trust the advice of experts every single day in any hundreds of ways. We have to, we have no choice, but that's still an argument to authority. And when the topic becomes political instead of scientific - with talk of global wealth distribution, suspension of democracy, complete restructuring of our society, etc - then I believe it's more important than ever that the science behind that is questioned and proven beyond doubt. That hasn't happened, we're still at the "hypothesis" stage of the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.
Okay, I appreciate you have some data to back your claim and the more refined data did lead to hotter projections than expected in some very competent professionals models. It may also be true they couldn't readily find an explanation. These things are hardly reassuring and highlights the need for even more intense study, something we
both agree on.

I vigorously disagree that I'm appealing to authority which apparently only one of us is doing when mentioning the experts in the field. I notice you keep quoting those same experts when they support your views on a topic yet yours is not an appeal to authority. I, we don't have a choice about who is the best qualified to know and therefore whose advice to heed but those authorities and experts are our current reality. I don't see the value in second guessing and criticism that you apparently see.

No scientists/climatologists etc are claiming it's all natural and nothing to see here and if they are, they're full of shit because according to your view, we just don't know.

My view is primarily based on my observations. A few of these are quite obvious and I'll mention them here. We know humans have removed vast swathes of forests with some estimates being as high as 60%. It follows that that at leasts halves the forests imput output. (Increased CO2 levels pose a threat to phytoplankton which are somewhat surprisingly much greater contributors than forests to our oxygen supplies) We've added trillions upon trillions of tonnes of gases to our atmosphere. We've created sprawling cities which we now know add a significant amount of heat to the atmosphere.

These are a few things I have observed as a layman with the exception of the bracketed section, that was something I learned much later. Those few things combine to convince me that humans have changed what I believe to be a finely balanced system. I really don't need to 'appeal to authority' to know we've changed things yet I readily acknowledge I don't know by how much. That's where the experts play their role. I've already said I don't simply accept everything I'm told and I reject the crazy extremes but the more moderate claims of the scientific community are still dire.

They may be unsure of the future and imprecise with prediction and modelling but from what I've seen, read and heard they're certain the outlook is frightening. I think it's more likely that Thunberg will be proven correct and I believe the youth are justifiably frightened.
 

LittleDavey83

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880
Bundy
Okay, I appreciate you have some data to back your claim and the more refined data did lead to hotter projections than expected in some very competent professionals models. It may also be true they couldn't readily find an explanation. These things are hardly reassuring and highlights the need for even more intense study, something we
both agree on.

I vigorously disagree that I'm appealing to authority which apparently only one of us is doing when mentioning the experts in the field. I notice you keep quoting those same experts when they support your views on a topic yet yours is not an appeal to authority. I, we don't have a choice about who is the best qualified to know and therefore whose advice to heed but those authorities and experts are our current reality. I don't see the value in second guessing and criticism that you apparently see.

No scientists/climatologists etc are claiming it's all natural and nothing to see here and if they are, they're full of shit because according to your view, we just don't know.

My view is primarily based on my observations. A few of these are quite obvious and I'll mention them here. We know humans have removed vast swathes of forests with some estimates being as high as 60%. It follows that that at leasts halves the forests imput output. (Increased CO2 levels pose a threat to phytoplankton which are somewhat surprisingly much greater contributors than forests to our oxygen supplies) We've added trillions upon trillions of tonnes of gases to our atmosphere. We've created sprawling cities which we now know add a significant amount of heat to the atmosphere.

These are a few things I have observed as a layman with the exception of the bracketed section, that was something I learned much later. Those few things combine to convince me that humans have changed what I believe to be a finely balanced system. I really don't need to 'appeal to authority' to know we've changed things yet I readily acknowledge I don't know by how much. That's where the experts play their role. I've already said I don't simply accept everything I'm told and I reject the crazy extremes but the more moderate claims of the scientific community are still dire.

They may be unsure of the future and imprecise with prediction and modelling but from what I've seen, read and heard they're certain the outlook is frightening. I think it's more likely that Thunberg will be proven correct and I believe the youth are justifiably frightened.
Thanks Huge Huge - I really have appreciated the civil conversation, it's too rare these days, especially when it comes to a topic as emotive and politicised as climate change.

I think we need to agree to disagree, because as far as I can see our fundamental beliefs are what causes us to differ in opinion. And that's okay!! I do agree with a lot of your observations, by the way...deforestation is in my opinion a massive issue, as is real pollution (though not necessarily "carbon pollution", whatever that means) etc etc. I believe we should take much better care of our environment than we typically do, on a global scale. These things are self-evident to the vast majority of people, I would hope!! And definitely a point we generally all have in common. I also appreciate that you take the extreme predictions with a grain of salt, surprisingly a lot of people don't seem to question things that have my BS meter absolutely screaming (multiple metres of sea level rise in the next 80 years as an example). Unfortunately the frightening outlooks are a result of the worst cases in the uncertain and imprecise modelling which as you say, doesn't inspire confidence.

I guess where we differ though is that you see the world as in a fine balance that we're upsetting, and that there will likely be huge negative consequences of that. I tend to believe the world's capacity to absorb change outweighs the changes we're making via emergent phenomena, and while we're no doubt having an impact, that impact is not all negative nor is it likely to be catastrophic. I don't believe the youth of today should be frightened. I believe we do need to make changes to our consumption-focused energy-intensive lifestyle, however I don't believe we are on such a short timeline that we need to jump in the deep end and throw our way of life away completely. I have faith in technology and human ingenuity to solve whatever problems arise, as we have throughout history.

Thank you again for the coonversations! And if there's any particular area or topic you or anyone else would like to delve into, I'm more than happy to have those discussions :D
 
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Huge

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Thanks Huge Huge - I really have appreciated the civil conversation, it's too rare these days, especially when it comes to a topic as emotive and politicised as climate change.

I think we need to agree to disagree, because as far as I can see our fundamental beliefs are what causes us to differ in opinion. And that's okay!! I do agree with a lot of your observations, by the way...deforestation is in my opinion a massive issue, as is real pollution (though not necessarily "carbon pollution", whatever that means) etc etc. I believe we should take much better care of our environment than we typically do, on a global scale. These things are self-evident to the vast majority of people, I would hope!! And definitely a point we generally all have in common. I also appreciate that you take the extreme predictions with a grain of salt, surprisingly a lot of people don't seem to question things that have my BS meter absolutely screaming (multiple metres of sea level rise in the next 80 years as an example). Unfortunately the frightening outlooks are a result of the worst cases in the uncertain and imprecise modelling which as you say, doesn't inspire confidence.

I guess where we differ though is that you see the world as in a fine balance that we're upsetting, and that there will likely be huge negative consequences of that. I tend to believe the world's capacity to absorb change outweighs the changes we're making via emergent phenomena, and while we're no doubt having an impact, that impact is not all negative nor is it likely to be catastrophic. I don't believe the youth of today should be frightened. I believe we do need to make changes to our consumption-focused energy-intensive lifestyle, however I don't believe we are on such a short timeline that we need to jump in the deep end and throw our way of life away completely. I have faith in technology and human ingenuity to solve whatever problems arise, as we have throughout history.

Thank you again for the coonversations! And if there's any particular area or topic you or anyone else would like to delve into, I'm more than happy to have those discussions :D
Back at you. I'm a bit more pessimistic than you quite obviously. Your faith in the Earths capacity is laudable (ha, ha I thought about saying adorable but didn't want to be a smartarse😇) Your belief that the world can absorb these man made influences is simultaneously incorrect and correct depending on time scales. Over huge timescales the Earth won't care one bit and we could cut down every tree, poison the oceans and kill all the wildlife and despite these wrongs the Earth over the next million years would rebuild itself in some new fashion.

Over much shorter time spans I think it will be a very different scenario. These are the time spans that really concern us. Yes, concerning the balance we will have to agree to disagree. I think your belief that the earth can accommodate the pollution etc is somewhat naive and based on the pace of the subtle changes that I'm certain are occurring. You haven't noticed anything change during your lifetime or if you are aware it's most likely because some scientists had data published and it caught your eye.

I believe we started to change a finely balanced system at the beginning of the industrial revolution and we've steadily increased our use of finite resources ever since. Despite the size of the earths atmosphere it doesn't have infinite capacity to clean our muck and that same muck is disrupting it's capacity to safely house us. Sure by how much is up for debate but the fact it's happening is not seriously questioned anymore. Worldwide our finest minds are urging change and you can call it an appeal to authority if you wish but I am choosing to heed the warnings.

No, I don't urge changing society tomorrow or this week, I do however think Thunberg was right when she lambasted greedy world leaders for fucking about with trade, important as it is when they should be prioritizing a healthy world.
 

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