Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution

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“The decadal land-surface average temperature using a 10-year moving average of surface temperatures over land. Anomalies are relative to the Jan 1950 – December 1979 mean. The grey band indicates 95% statistical and spatial uncertainty interval.” A Koch-funded reanalysis of 1.6 billion temperature reports finds that “essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

he Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) is poised to release its findings next week on the cause of recent global warming.

UPDATE (9 pm): A NY Times op-ed by Richard Muller, BEST’s Founder and Scientific Director, has been published, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic.”

Here is the money graf:

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

 

Written By: Ron Fromm
continue to source article at thinkprogress.org

87 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a staggering delusion to think that, from a few thousand years ago, the environment due known chemicals that humans of their day output is in any way unaffected when compared to the massive chemical activity of humans today. Yet the increase goes on regardless. This lifes hunt always takes priority over a time when we won;t be here to suffer the consequences. 

    Market forces tell us this even about next day life of humans let alone next generation!!

  2. This news is all fine and dandy, but people who deny climate change don’t give a rats ass about evidence.  In fact, if people who deny climate change cared about evidence, there would be no people who deny climate change.

  3. I have been a believer in global warming ever since Al Gore invented it, among other things too trivial to mention here on the Internet.

    But as tboulay mentioned, evidence to climate change deniers (or creationists) is the worst kind of proof and carries no weight.  I think the only way to sell the concept is to stop all the research and repackage the whole program as a groundless conspiracy theory.

    But I’ll join that fight later.  As one who recently had to move from South Carolina to Michigan (and will be here for a few years), I not only believe in global warming, for the nonce, I think I’m for it.

  4. You’re missing the point that it’s deniers who have announced this evidence; they’ve felt no choice but to admit that, if anything, the IPCC understates the severity & anthropogenic origin of this problem.

  5. First, the biggest problem with most conservative
    republican right wing climate change deniers is that they view this planet as
    disposable, when Jesus returns triumphant in the sky there will be a new heaven
    and a new Earth, boom climate change issue solved, simple as that.  No need to reduce CO2 emissions, no need to
    help the starving children in Africa because the sooner they die the soon they
    get to be with Jesus.  At least this was
    my line of reasoning when I believed that Jesus was going to clean up after us.

    Second, I have a question, I am finishing up a course
    on environmental science and have been doing some research into the climate
    change issue and I’m seeing predictions like a 2 degree c temperature increase
    will be a death sentence for most of Africa and that at this point 2 degrees is
    inevitable.  I’m learning all about
    tipping points and positive feedback loops and arctic tundra releasing methane
    hydrates and gigatons of additional Co2 and Ch4 on top of the gigatons of Co2 which
    will be released from the burning of fossil fuels before 2100.  So how fast, how soon and how bad is it
    really going to be, because I’m seeing numbers like 800 – 900 ppm of Co2 and 6
    degrees by 2050 and then it all goes to hell in a hand basket from there.  Please tell me that I am over reacting and
    that there is no way its really that bad, who’s numbers do you have any
    confidence in, its not like I’m a climatologist.
    Bottom line, how FUBARed are we?

  6. Muller’s conclusions about the ramifications of global warming seem absurdly tame considering the potential risks to our planet and life on it. Does he really think we will be having a reasonable debate on what to do next when mass starvation starts and climate refugees begin  moving en mass? It will be to late to debate; even if we find a way to turn off the heat switch; it will take centuries to re-balance global temperatures. Many nations can’t get along today when things, climate-wise, are still pretty good. Mankind will behave better when we cross the tipping point? I don’t think so.

  7. Mankind also is also prone to deny deforestation has anything to do with extinction of species or that mankind should indeed give a rats arse about this. It does this by debilitating the lower classes so much that it is they who become responsible for the direct vandalism whilst the financial markets simply disclaim all responsibility by sitting in luxurious surroundings proclaiming themselves absent the scene of the crime.

    It’s an accountant – lawyer lifestyle thing.

  8. I expect that within the next century, many enlightened governments (no, that is not an oxymoron) will make good faith efforts to limit the causes of global climate change, but that it will well and truly be too late. The social and political events will catch up with most of them and I foresee a significant drop in species and human population, by famine, natural events, and warfare. The ones who will be left will be those rich enough to insulate themselves, with well protected homes and resources. I think they know this and that’s why they don’t much care. They and their descendants will be just fine. 

  9.   Our Berkeley Earth approach used sophisticated statistical methods
    developed largely by our lead scientist, Robert Rohde
    , which allowed us
    to determine earth land temperature much further back in time. We
    carefully studied issues raised by skeptics: biases from urban heating
    (we duplicated our results using rural data alone), from data selection
    (prior groups selected fewer than 20 percent of the available
    temperature stations; we used virtually 100 percent), from poor station
    quality (we separately analyzed good stations and poor ones) and from
    human intervention and data adjustment (our work is completely automated
    and hands-off
    ). In our papers we demonstrate that none of these
    potentially troublesome effects unduly biased our conclusions.

    They have now confirmed what the rest of us knew anyway, despite funding from those who wanted different pronouncements.  Like YE creationists becoming IDiots, watch out for devious rearguard rewriting of denial arguments.

    However,  “statistics” and “automated systems” are sciency-technology stuff which is difficult to explain to denial-dummies so there will be plenty of conspiracy theorists remaining.

    The coal-miners, oil-burners and gas-frackers, will no doubt employ PR advertisers and politicians, who don’t give a damn about science or honesty, to carry on disputing the evidence, and cherry picking misleading bits of it.

    ( Think of the profitable “benefits of global warming” – oil & gas-rigs, and mines, can be built where Arctic ice has retreated and large oil-tankers can now take shorter routes through the dangerous Arctic Ocean in summer.)

  10. Listen very carefully, and you may be able to detect the sound of this winging its way to my MP; whether or not he, for it is a he, is a doubter or not is beyond my ken, but I like to be thorough.

  11. The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic –
    Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of
    hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up;
    likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding
    ice, and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035. And it’s
    possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years
    ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum,” an
    interval of warm conditions known from historical records and indirect
    evidence like tree rings. And the recent warm spell in the United States
    happens to be more than offset by cooling elsewhere in the world, so
    its link to “global” warming is weaker than tenuous.

    This mixture of strawman arguments, misleading unsupported assertions, and irrelevant issues, could be indicative of some of the stuff we can expect to see as diversionary denial!

    If you look at the comments on the other link, the question has to be asked: if, by confirming the obvious and undeniable science, people whose earlier claims have been thoroughly debunked and discredited are trying to gain academic standing & credibility for their next devious ploys???

    and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035.

    No mention of the fact that they and most of the world’s glaciers are melting at an enormous rate.  Just the old unscientific guess of a wrong date for when they will be gone!

    @link:disqus  Comment –

    Icarus says:

    My biggest problem with this result is that Muller has previously demonstrated himself to be dishonest and deceitful.  Why should we accept his study just because it confirms what we already knew from numerous different (trustworthy) sources and multiple lines of evidence? I think the right thing to do, as AGW realists, would be to dismiss it on the basis that Muller has destroyed his own scientific reputation. Let’s ignore Muller’s study and focus on scientists who can be trusted.

  12. As far as I can tell, very, unless we make a huge amount of effort over the next 8-10 years to radically change everything we do, how our society works, our energy sources, our population control.  In other words: we’re probably screwed.

  13. Not optimistic about our future. Not one political leader in a position of power is doing anything. They didn’t even go to Rio. I suspect Gaia is about to give us a good kicking. We seem to be in a rush to burn as much fossil fuel as quickly as possible. Maybe we will be coming to a time when direct action is the ony way forward. We are already seeing resource wars and skirmishes all over the planet at a time we are severly cutting our defence budget. Gideon and his crew are pushing the commy green agenda to the back burner and the US is fixated with drill baby drill. The Chinese however are trying to buy as many natural resourses as possible. It’s bound to end in tears.

  14.  I’ve heard a few people change their tune, including some family members. We had the strangest, mildest winter ever and it woke up some people. The problem is…corporations are running the show and will continue on, business as usual. Any politician who challenges this is seen as “unamerican” socialists, against the creation of jobs, etc.

  15.  a man can dream… I just wish we could all live a thousand years so I could gloat over reports like:

     “yet again, today another republican tried to walk outside only to burst into flame.  When reached for comment Pat Robertson murmured something about having told us so, the gay agenda and gods wrath, before his internal organs melted.”

    dammit, that just kind of depressed me a little, even when we are proven right on climate change the religious will still claim it as gods work.

  16. I’m a Climate change skeptic cynic.

    I am sure certain people have been selling high carbon assets and buying low carbon assets, cloaked in a “climate denial” smokescreen to get both a good selling price and a good buying price, until they have positioned themselves in the market to make a killing when the smokescreen is finally penetrated.

    They may have underestimated the stubbornness of their proletariat.

  17. >Please tell me that I am over reacting and
    >that there is no way its really that bad, who’s numbers do you have any
    >confidence in, its not like I’m a climatologist.
    >Bottom line, how FUBARed are we?
    No-one can tell.  Humanity will survive, but substantial death and destruction will become part of life.  We have been through this kind of thing before.  It could be a population reduction on the scale of the Black Death, say 30-40%.  In a tragic irony, the prospect of developing countries adding to global warming would be unlikely, as there will be few developing countries left, they will be largely uninhabitable.

  18. As to my earlier post, sorry, no extra bedrooms. And, yes, I wish Larry Ellison was a personal friend of mine, but alas…
    Anyway, was trying to be ironic, not give away the big secret of the super-rich LOL. You know, back when people would go to Hawaii during the WINTER. We now have to come here for the SUMMER. And, yes, the weather is amazing here. I haven’t run the air conditioner or the heater since I’ve been here.

  19. Your last sentence should have been ended with   …too trivial to mention here on the internet which Al Gore ALSO invented. Too funny.

    But, I think you’re right. As Sam Harris says, how do you use evidence to convince people when those people do not value evidence.

  20. Well thanks for the consensus, I have very little
    faith in human nature, humans are herd animals but they are also greedy, nature
    is a hard mistress, are real bitch. I suppose what bothers me the most morally
    is that I can see this coming catastrophe, I wish that they could see what we
    can see as plain as day, I would rather know that this is coming than be
    ignorant of it.  You know what the
    ultimate irony is about global warming, I rejected religion and the idea that
    these are the “last days” only to find out that these might well be the last
    days after all, poetic justice?

  21. Have there been any technological efforts to cleanse the environment? I mean, like brushing teeth. We don’t try to minimize the amount we eat so that our teeth are cleaner… we simply use a brush and toothpaste afterwards (i.e. technology).

  22.  

    davem – From http://wattsupwiththat.com/ :

    It’s probably going to take ANTHONY WATTS quite some time to hide, delete, and disown the previous debunked denial crap, and then work out some new up-dated more credible pseudoscience denial crap to replace it!

    There was a discussion on WATTS congratulations of the gas-fracking industry’s and AGW denier’s active apologist and failed banker, Matt Ridley – in November 2011.

    - (Thank you Matt Ridley) http://richarddawkins.net/arti

  23. drai -  Have there been any technological efforts to cleanse the environment? I
    mean, like brushing teeth. We don’t try to minimize the amount we eat so
    that our teeth are cleaner… we simply use a brush and toothpaste
    afterwards (i.e. technology).

    A whole fistfull of toothbrushes won’t cleanse you mouth, if you keep shoveling in cow manure with a  5 ton bucket on a JCB.

    The only effective way to “cleanse” the atmosphere is to reduce the pollution to a level where natural recycling stabilises the situation. 

    We are already decades late in starting this, due to the political obstruction from the fat-cats of obsolete polluting industries, the deliberate  lies of carbonaceous luddites, and the fatalism of the “god will protect us” regardless of our stupidity,, brigade!

    There have been some proposals for alleged “technical solutions” but none of these are credible or properly thought through.  Most are ridiculosly too small to have any useful global effect, incredibly expensive, and most would cause more environmental damage than they would cure.  The answer is to leave all the excess the carbon in the ground, and use available new technologies.

  24. There is research into geo-engineering that’s (as far as I’ve seen) directly or indirectly funded by the industry, but it’s primarily greenwashing. None of the ideas that I’ve seen are really practical. There are no viable alternatives other than substitution of other sources for energy supply. The output of those technologies is steadily increasing as they develop. Don’t buy the idea that they can’t ever produce enough power. Hydrogen is a non-starter too. Again, it’s just PR akin to the freaky concept cars that (used to) get wheeled about to shows.

    Also needed are increases in efficiency and emission reduction in all sectors (industry, forestry,  agriculture, transport, buildings and waste management). The latter may benefit from some techniques such as sequestration, but the existence of the technology is not sufficient if it costs extra to use it. In those cases regulation is required to force the tech to be used. However, this is undermined by undemocratic “free trade” treaties preventing the law being enforced for the production of many goods.

  25. I see what you’re getting at, but they’re making a killing on things like fracking just now. As the resources run out, the price goes up, which provides more money to get laxer legislation to squeeze less and less out more dangerously, since the process is now cheaper and so more profitable, allowing more lobbying… What you describe is probably intended as the back-up plan for when things get desperate enough. They don’t seem to have considered what will happen if that happens too late to be reversible: or if they have they’d be guilty of mass murder in the same class as the Rwandan genocide or Nazi war crimes, even if an extinction event is somehow averted. Perhaps they just think it’s not going to happen in their lifetime, and so don’t care. I’ve heard it called intergenerational tyranny: a tax on future generations without representation in the present.

  26. Evidence? Like that for Al Gore saying that? He never did… I can dig up the article the made up claim is based on if you like. What he did do is get critical legislation through for government funding of the expansion of the internet at a time when various large companies were trying to carve it up into walled gardens. Obviously that can’t be true as it would mean the government did something useful. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good bit of ideology. I’m sure there’s a Bloomberg, Forbes or WSJ article to explain how the exact opposite happened.

  27. But have you seen Hawaii’s trash problem? I was shocked at their lack of a recycling program. They have no choice but to simply trash plastic.I was feeling really guilty that my shaved ice containers were plastic with no way of recycling.

    When I traveled from North Maui to the south part of the island, a local gave me short cut directions from Up Country which cut through a section which I call the heart or aorta. (if you look at the island it is shaped like the head and upper torso of a woman.) Unfortunately this was the island’s dumping ground. Miles and miles of smelly trash. (Oh the stench!) blue plastic trash bags stuck to tree branches. I was in paradise and it was clearly troubled, very troubled. When someone tells me they are going to Maui, I tell them to avoid this area at all costs lest they want to ruin their honeymoon or idealized view of Hawaii.

    My guess is that Lanai cannot be much better, unless they are dumping trash into the ocean or shipping it elsewhere.

    You can’t be sure something is going on. Buying up Lanai could be like the Robinson family buying up Kauai 150 or so years ago.

  28.  

     Formosan Bear
    Now for some real science:http://wattsupwiththat.com/201

    REAL SCIENCE ??  FROM A WELL KNOWN PSEUDOSCIENCE DENIALIST WEBSITE???

    Oh dear! another smug cherry-picking denialist who has spent zilch time studying the subject and has no grasp whatever of the science involved, but is grasping at nonsense  stamped with someone’s false authority! – probably spoon fed from media stooges, or from scientific illiterates on pseudoscience websites like the one above.

    Hands up everyone in the room who is smarter than Freemon Dyson … (a freethinker if ever there was one)

    On climatology, that would be anyone who knows informed evidenced science from wild speculation.  Every modern climatologist in the world knows more about global climate than Dyson’s long out-dated ill informed wild speculations!

    . Around 1979, Dyson worked with the Institute for Energy Analysis on climate studies. .. ….

    Dyson is well-aware that his “heresy” on global warming has been
    strongly criticized. In reply, he notes that “[m]y objections to the
    global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts,
    about which I do not know much,
    but it’s rather against the way those
    people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of
    them have. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F

    Yeah!  Those damned intolerant scientists (thousands of them and 97% of climate experts) who have spent years of diligent work researching and cross-checking evidence on the subject, dismiss unevidenced twaddle from those who do not know much about the subject!

    Perhaps you can spot the “REAL SCIENCE”!

    You follow the consensus and bleat incessantly without ever bothering to think critically.

    You really should look in the mirror!  Many of us have spent a great deal of time looking critically at the evidence – just like the huge consensus of climate experts!

    Is there a scientific consensus on global warming? – 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming . http://www.skepticalscience.co

  29. How, exactly, does “natural recycling” work?

    There is a carbon cycle recycling the Earth’s CO2 into and out of the Earth’s crust and oceans.  Huge quantities of atmospheric CO2 have been extracted from the atmosphere in the past and buried as coal, oil, gas, peat and rocks such as limestone and chalk liberating oxygen in the process.

    There is also a lot of carbon in living matter such as trees and much CO2 dissolved in the oceans.

    The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. It is one of the most important cycles of the Earth and allows for carbon to be recycled and reused throughout the biosphere and all of its organisms. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C

    Volcanoes cook CO2 out of rocks and humans create billions of tons of it from burning fossil fuels.

    Humans emit 100 times more CO2 than volcanoes. http://www.skepticalscience.co

    The solid Earth contains a huge quantity of carbon, far more than
    scientists estimate is present in the atmosphere or oceans. As an
    important part of the global carbon cycle, some of this carbon is slowly released from the rocks in the form of carbon dioxide, through vents at volcanoes and hot springs.

  30. There were some earlier discussions of AGW & new technologies here:-
    Water-cooled nuclear power plants aren’t the only option By ALAN4DISCUSSION
    http://richarddawkins.net/disc

    Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable – http://richarddawkins.net/disc

    Harness the Sea – National Geographic June 2011- Tidal / Wave power generation – http://richarddawkins.net/disc

    Solar thermal systems look good in sunny climates – http://richarddawkins.net/comm

    There are also efficiency ideas for better uses of energy:-

    Low Energy House – What is Super Insulation?- http://www.lowenergyhouse.com/

    Environmentally designed buildings and developments will greatly reduce energy demands.  Costs can be kept down by dealing with installations at the design stage and integrating them in the initial construction.
    (I am sorry I have not found a more up-to-date link on this green service area, which is now up and running.)

    Britain’s Greenest Service Area to open in Wetherby – 10 March 2008 – http://www.moto-way.com/about-

    The greenest motorway service area in Britain will open for business this summer near Wetherby.

    The site, owned and operated by Moto, the country’s biggest service
    area operator, will use the very latest technology to cut power
    consumption and reduce carbon emissions as well as providing ponds and
    woodland for wildlife habitats.

    When completed, the service area – at junction 46 of the A1(M) – will
    set industry standards for environmentally responsible and sustainable
    developments.

    - Heat and cooling for the service area’s main building will be provided by ground sourced heat pumps.
    - Ventilation will be by natural means.
    - Water will be heated by a solar panel array augmented by heat exchangers and a highly efficient gas-powered condensing boiler.
    - An extraction borehole will provide water for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation.

    - The ground sourced heat pumps take advantage of the natural constant temperature of the earth a few metres down – between 11° and 12° Centigrade – to produce low temperature hot water for heating in winter and cold water for cooling in summer.

    - This energy from the ground is collected in a series of 100 metre-deep looped boreholes located beneath the car park. Circulating water through this looped pipework brings about an exchange of heat between the ground and the water which will provide 75 per cent of the building’s heating and cooling requirements.

    The positioning of the MSA amenity building also plays a part in its heating and ventilation by taking advantage of its west-facing orientation and the prevailing south-westerly wind direction.

    A solar panel array on the flat-decked roof above the kitchens and
    plant room will provide 10 per cent of the domestic hot water supply,
    backed up by heat exchangers and a highly efficient gas powered
    condensing boiler.

  31. The Koch brothers and their shill Richard Muller, knew all along that global warming was a threat.  There is science to support it dating back to the 1800s.  There was no doubt about CO2 levels. They were doing a “Can I do it until I need glasses”.  They wanted to make profits from greenhouse gas emissions as long as possible. They finally realised they had pushed it too far.  It is amazing how the opposition to climate change science has vapourised.  All kinds of publications are doing articles on climate change now the Koch brothers have given the green light. All three of them are planetary traitors.  I hope some day they are all locked up for the rest of their miserable existences.

  32.  I would seem to me that they have a plan to turn this around somehow with some logic they are sure their followers will believe (meaning the gullible Tea Party and Republican electorate).

    They’ve denied the evidence before (and it was just as strong as this new evidence they’ve found), so I can’t (easily) believe that this finding will make them change their tune.

    After all, their denying isn’t about real skepticism, it’s about corporate interests and greed.

  33. Useful idiots of the world unite! You do realise that duped or not any suggestion of ‘changing’ the way ‘society’ uses resources implies taking control of said ‘society’. I fail to see the difference between the evil Koch brothers et al, who are constantly labeled the exploiters extrordinaires, controlling some cabal to enrich themselves, and any other group no matter its motivations, with the same level of control.
    While it may be that the surface temperature average is currently trending higher, there is plenty of scientific evidence that the earth has had fluctuating average surface temperature prior to the evolution of mammals, during mammalian existence and I suspect(tho unscientifically) the will be flucuations post mammlian life.

  34. Hi. I got information about global warming around many viewpoints in an Android app named “Skeptical Science” saying asserts of skeptics and replies of scientists, generally confirming human action causing climate change. I hope more sources will denounce and prove it publicly. Personnally I am very convinced.

  35. I think it is important to remember (it’s also important to be clear but I’ll let that go with you) that every species will do the same thing and “man” has been doing the same as far back as we can see. It’s not just the “chemicals” (water?) of modern man. Did you notice the recent research on aboriginal effect on mega fauna 70,000 years ago?

    The real problem is that now we can do it on a mass scale that affects the entire planet! So just more of the same old thing that has been happening since life began – oh shit.

  36.  That sounds convincing to me, tadmjobes.

    I am now officially a member of the “Climate Change Skeptic Brigade”.

    Stupid climatologists- it’s all so obvious to me now that it’s just a hoax so Liberals, instead of Conservatives can make the lion’s share of the profits for supplying the world populace with it’s energy needs. Stupid me (hit’s head) WHY didn’t I see that before!

    I always knew the science community was beholden to evidence- oops (heh-heh) I mean beholden to the worldwide Liberal Cabal.

  37. Scientists of this ilk are beholden to their research grants, it’s the only way they can make money. If there is no “consensus” they will all (everyone claiming consensus) lose their livelyhood, sounds like good reason to stand shoulder to shoulder.

  38. But just as an aside ,what do you think about the evidence of climate change occurring over and over again prior to mammals’ existence? You know how about some comment on science and logic, not just blather about the “correct” position on the ya know science.

  39. You really should get some valid scientific information from reputable scientists rather than doubts generated by political charletans and scientific illiterates!

    tadmjones  Scientists of this ilk are beholden to their research grants, it’s the only way they can make money. If there is no “consensus” they will all (everyone claiming consensus) lose their livelyhood, sounds like good reason to stand shoulder to shoulder.

    Anyone who knows anything about science knows that scientists challenge errors on each other’s work in peer-reviews.  It is the pseudo-science denialists who copy misleading rubbish like this assertion, from each other.

    There is not a single scientific body anywhere in the world which disputes that man-made global warming is caused by humans burning fossil carbon. ….  and they have ALL looked at the historical temperature fluctuations from geolological records, ice-cores, astronomical Milankovitch cycles – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M… – and historical volcanic eruptions etc.

    tadmjones
    But just as an aside ,what do you think about the evidence of climate change occurring over and over again prior to mammals’ existence? You know how about some comment on science and logic, not just blather about the “correct” position on the ya know science.

    I take it, your study of the subject did not extend to reading this link on my recent comment which explains the science in detail and covers the basics of climatology!

    Alan4discussion – Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable – http://richarddawkins.net/disc

    It is a feature of deniers, that they think climate specialists are as ignorant of planetary science as the deniers themselves.  It is also a feature that they fail to study or understand at most basic(schoolboy) level.

  40. While it may be that the surface temperature average is currently
    trending higher, there is plenty of scientific evidence that the earth has had fluctuating average surface temperature prior to the evolution of mammals, during mammalian existence

    … and it does not occur to you that the world’s specialist climatologists worked out these details BEFORE looking at the added effects of 200 years of burning billions of tons of carbon?

    and I suspect (tho unscientifically) there will be flucuations post mammlian life.

    .. and if you had bothered to look as far as Wikipedia, you could have easily found a 420,000 year ice-core temperature/CO2 record and the underlying Milankovitch predictions for the next 800,000 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M

  41.  “death and destruction will become a part of life.” Agree – and then denial will set in after all ” it was the fault of previous generations, my own bad habits cannot be big enough to be responsible for these deaths.”

    We are pampered in the western world – our animals are treated better than children in many countries. We turn on the faucet, take a few sips, then dump the rest. We flush the toilet, pop something in the microwave, turn up the AC or heat. Even someone else butchers our food.Surgeons and doctors care for our health when in need.  We are far removed from the challenges when facing nature, so we have survived to a population large enough to cause problems.

  42. tadmjones
    Well gosh I hope they lick this problem just like they fixed the ozone and that pesky acid rain.

    First we need to do something about this:

    The amount of coal burned during 2007 was estimated at 7.075 billion short tons., or 133.179 quadrillion BTU’s.[66] This is an average of 18.8 million BTU per short ton. In terms of heat content, this is about 57,000,000 barrels (9,100,000 m3) of oil equivalent per day. By comparison in 2007, natural gas provided 51,000,000 barrels (8,100,000 m3) of oil equivalent per day, while oil provided 85,800,000 barrels per day.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal

    The situation with “ozone hole” has improved, since the banning of the pollutants which were causing the problem, and the compulsory recycling of refrigerants.

    The acid rain problem has been fixed locally where the open burning of sulphurous coal has been prohibited.  It is still a serious problem globally and in some geographical areas.  There is an additional problem of ocean acidification from dissolving increasing levels of atmospheric CO2.

    There was a discussion about this SO2 pollution in July 2011: http://richarddawkins.net/arti… –
    NOAA study suggests aerosols might be inhibiting global warming

    The Earth keeps on breaking temperature records:-

    http://richarddawkins.net/arti… – The globe experienced the seventh warmest June since record keeping began in 1880. The Arctic sea ice extent was the second smallest extent for June on record.

  43. Believe it or not I have a fair understanding of the science invovled with the study of the global climate. And by that I mean, as a lay person I certainly can appreciate the ‘maths’ but certainly can not interpret the data. I understand that there should be no pejorative connotation assosciated with the use of the word theory. That being said, if the premise was granted that human activity has indeed had an effect on global climate, what then?
    Human activity is certainly natural, humans and our activities are part the ecosystem. If predictions are true(to what extent, I am sure climatologists would agree  at this stage of understanding are hard to define), what actions, if any, should be taken?
    Is the ideal situation that all anthropogenic carbon redistribution be halted? Is it the only solution?

  44. As you pointed out, affecting the entire planet is a completely different thing than wiping out select species. If this persists, the effects on life on earth are going to be devastating. 

  45. Human activity is certainly natural, humans and our activities are part
    the ecosystem.

    The activities of yeast cultures in barrels of fruit juice are natural and part of their ecosystem.  They exploit the resources until there is nothing left to exploit and then die picked in their natural waste products (alcohol).  The question is, “Do humans collectively have more intelligence and foresight in planning their future than the yeast?”

    If predictions are true (to what extent, I am sure
    climatologists would agree  at this stage of understanding are hard to
    define),

    Many key issues are absolutely clear, – such as the working of the greenhouse effect, the measured levels of atmospheric CO2, the geological timescales that these effects take to work through, and the consequences in past earth history from certain CO2 levels being reached.

    The arguments are about how much warming will happen in the next hundred years, BECAUSE WE DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH CARBON HUMANS ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO BURN IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS.  (This is because a lack of common agreed political objectives and a will to implement them.)

    When nit-picking denialists claim that computer climate models disagree, they disagree on details – such as “which part of Norway will get lots of extra rain as the climate warms”, and how soon this will happen.. – NOT “if temperate high latitudes will get more rainfall”! – That is very clear, as is an increase in floods and droughts elsewhere.

    what actions, if any, should be taken?
    Is the ideal situation that all anthropogenic carbon redistribution be halted? Is it the only solution?

    The best available solution is to reduce the burning of fossil carbon as quickly as possible, and scrap obsolete technologies.  It may already be too late to stop feed-back climate escalations, the cost of which will be thousands of times more expensive and damaging than making the necessary changes..  Some predicted climate changes seem to be already happening.

    There are non-polluting technologies available, and persuading governments and bankers to prioritise investment in their development should go ahead once we get the carbonaceous con-men, their political stooges, and industrial Luddites out of the way.

    I have already given various examples of these on a selection of links, with more linked on earlier discussions.

    Briefly they are:

    Energy efficient buildings with much better heat management systems, electrical generation from solar thermal, & solar photovoltaic, tidal turbines and barrages & wave power, wind power, hydroelectric power, and nuclear generators (preferably thorium or advanced gas-cooled reactors), and a reduction in wasteful consumption as a life-style.
    Hydrogen fusion reactors may be a future possibility, as may orbital satellite reflection of sunlight.

    There is a lot of subject material with which lay people may not be familiar.  That is why we should avoid distractions from ignorant denialists (or ignorant journalists) and concentrate on scientific evidence and solutions to identified problems.

  46.  Hi Bertrand!

    I got information about global warming around many viewpoints in an
    Android app named “Skeptical Science” saying asserts of skeptics and
    replies of scientists, generally confirming human action causing climate
    change.

    Skeptical science has an excellent website with a whole range of scientific answers at many levels of understanding.  – http://www.skepticalscience.co… -  It not only provides a background to the subject, but refutations of many denialist misleading claims, lies, and attempts to blind with science or pseudoscience.

    Genuine scientists are sceptical in questioning research to get researchers to present supporting evidence.  Pseudo-sceptic denialists (posing as scientific sceptics) are only interested in cherry-picking misleading items or repeating lies from other denialists, which support their preconceived (usually simplistic) ideas.  They are very like Young Earth Creationists.

    It is important to move on to practical changes which need to be put in place, rather than allow ourselves to be side-tracked into pointless arguments with assertive ignoramuses, who are stooging for the carbon salesmen.  There are urgent agendas which need to move forward.

    You will see from my earlier comment (in reply to Guest), that I am quickly dismissive of such time wasters who have nothing to contribute to the debate.  (Honest questions are a different matter – we are all ignorant about some things.)

  47. For those of you who like a visual……I decided to see what would happen if the upward trend on the chart continued on… Yes, I know…it doesn’t take into account the growing population  – nor the economic growth of countries like China….

  48. Your post is very enlightening, you apparently equate humans and yeast, funny too the example you stated would have to have been engineered by design (barrels of fruit juice aren’t metaphysically given) so really apples to oranges. The second premise is just as telling that humans need to act collectively.
    While water flowers tonight I had a thought or two, basically I noticed that when we plant our annuals I do not need to add soil yet the plants grow, where does the “stuff” come from that eventually becomes the plants? Which lead me to remember that one of the causes of global warming was deforestation, presumably from the added effects of removing the living trees from continuing to utilize carbon , there by reducing carbon absorption at surface level, and the onetime burning and release of the accumulated carbon within the plants into the atmosphere. I further wondered how much a rainforest weighs. I wondered if it were then possible to calculate how much carbon slower growing mature trees absorb if left in place, with the thought that perhaps the crops and grass lands that were planted in place of the trees absorbed more carbon given that they are harvested and replanted. Just silly thoughts from a lay person.
    Anyway none of the thoughts I had lead me to the idea the humans are meant to be controlled by those who know better, even if it was good for them, of course good for them meant clinging to existence and acting as if they were interchangeable with a yeast colony.

  49. I’m not sure in the whole scheme of things “the effects on life on earth are going to be devastating.” I have no fear what-so-ever that LIFE will persist, just not life as we know it. Ask a dinosaur, then ask a bird or a small mammal and you will find the general consensus is for life now not before. 

    I’m for the status-quo but that’s my self centred view, perhaps we’re just holding up the real fun?

  50. Given you are a rational thinker(alan4discussion) , hypothetically, if it were shown scientifically that the rise in atmospheric levels of co2 were the result of nonanthropogenic processes you would not recommend that humans cease being human, yes? Meaning there would no longer be a need to control others, perhaps just focus on the reproductive systems of termites.

  51. And just to be clear re climate change there is no know period in earth’s geologic history where estimated atmosphereic levels of carbon were higher than current estimates and concurrently registered cooler mean temperatures as estimated on land masses, which constitute less than thirty percent of the surface area of the planet?

  52. Your post is very enlightening, you apparently equate humans and yeast, funny too the example you stated would have to have been engineered by design (barrels of fruit juice aren’t metaphysically given) so really
    apples to oranges. The second premise is just as telling that humans need to act collectively.

    You seem to be missing the point.  Yeasts in barrels operate in the same way as yeasts on windfall fruit.  They are just easier to measure in barrels.  The point was that in terms of environmental planning, some humans have an intelligence level equivalent to that of yeast.

    While water flowers tonight I had a thought or two, basically I noticed that when we plant our annuals I do not need to add soil yet the plants grow, where does the “stuff” come from that eventually becomes the plants?

    That would explain why you are having difficulty understanding planetary CO2 recycling systems.

    Apart from a few traces of fertilising chemicals, soil merely provides plants with support and access to water.  The carbon in their starches, sugars and wood, comes from the CO2 in the air, not the soil.

    Which lead me to remember that one of the causes of global warming was deforestation, presumably from the added effects of removing the living trees from continuing to utilize carbon , there by reducing carbon absorption at surface level, and the onetime burning and release of the accumulated carbon within the plants into the atmosphere.

    Tropical forests are indeed a major factor in absorbing and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  The other is main one is marine plankton.
    (see my link and comment on the carbon cycle – in reply to drai.)
    Your other comments are on subjects which have been well studied by scientists.

    Anyway none of the thoughts I had lead me to the idea the humans are meant to be controlled by those who know better, even if it was good for them,

    You do not seem to understand how leadership and expertise in a technological society works.

    Your options are controlled by expert scientific decisions, every time you, cross a bridge, enter a modern building, switch on an electrical device, use a vehicle, use a water supply, or for that matter use a computer. All the rules on designing these are decided for you.

    There are third world countries where decisions on such matters to not use expert scientific advice but they have poverty everyday danger, regular disaster areas as systems persistently fail.  There are also gross failures in developed countries where “cowboy operators” or corrupt or incompetent politicians decide to ignore expert scientific guidance.

    (New Orleans Katrina flooding, Exxon Valdeez wreck, Deepwater Horizon oil-spill,  Piper Alpha fire,  Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster etc)

  53.   tadmjones

    hypothetically, if it were shown scientifically that the rise in
    atmospheric levels of co2 were the result of nonanthropogenic processes
    you would not recommend that humans cease being human, yes? Meaning
    there would no longer be a need to control others,

    ??????????????
    Ther rise in atmospheric CO2 is proved beyond doubt to be from human activity.  C + O2 = CO2.  I have quoted the billions of tons of carbon being burned.  Do you not understand basic chemistry?  The Earth’s re-absorbtion mechanisms cannot cope with this massive additional level of CO2 release.  You are looking very much like someone in denial!

    Humans ARE controlled in political, commercial and social communities – whether you recognise this or not.

  54. QuestioningKat
    For those of you who like a visual……I decided to see what would happen if the upward trend on the chart continued on…

    If temperatures reach trigger points for feedbacks, an irreversible “clathrate gun” breakdown could be triggered.

    The Permian–Triassic extinction event (the Great Dying) may have been caused by release of methane from clathrates. 96% of marine species were wiped out.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A

    The Arctic region is one of the many natural sources of the greenhouse gas methane.[1] Global warming may accelerate its release, due to both release of methane from existing stores, and from methanogenesis in rotting biomass.[2] Large quantities of methane are stored in the Arctic in natural gas deposits, permafrost, and as submarine clathrates.
    Permafrost and clathrates degrade on warming, thus large releases of
    methane from these sources may arise as a result of global warming.[3][4] Other sources of methane include submarine taliks, river transport, ice complex retreat, submarine permafrost and decaying gas hydrate deposits

    As well as rotting biomass, extensive peat fires are becoming more common as parts of the Arctic dry out.

    For a worst case scenario:-

    The clathrate gun hypothesis suggests an abrupt climate change due to a massive release of methane gas from methane clathrates on the seafloor. It has been speculated that the Permian-Triassic extinction event[26] and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum[27] were caused by massive clathrate release. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R… 

  55.   And just to be clear re climate change there is no known period in
    earth’s geologic history where estimated atmosphereic levels of carbon
    were higher than current estimates and concurrently registered cooler
    mean temperatures as estimated on land masses,

    There are some cherry picked examples on denialist websites, which are meant to waste everyone’s time addressing their deceptions and schoolboy misunderstandings of time lag effects after major volcanic eruptions of CO2, while the follow-on warming took place gradually.  The sheer mass of oceans also causes considerable time lags in effects showing up.  (A kettle does not boil 5 seconds after being switched on! – Nor does it become cold 5 seconds after it is switched off!)

    The primordial Earth of course had huge levels of atmospheric CO2 before photosynthetic organisms locked up the carbon and provided for the first time an atmosphere with free oxygen.  (Mars still has a CO2 / nitrogen atmosphere.)

    I have given a lot of information on this discussion.  I suggest you read it carefully.

  56. I think you really believe there is a re-absorbtion mechanism, and I do not think it is very scientific to use the phrase massive and additional the way you have.
    I think the data graphs are really well done though, but I am pretty sure the people who made them really think there is a re-absorbtion mechanism.
    Even if what they say is true(big big doubter over here) what then? The only way to achieve the solutions you speak of is to implement the the political will you seem to favor. And thats way more frightening the having to rebuild New Orleans say about five miles from its current location. To paraphrase Churchill, more powerful than the armies of the world is an idea whose time has come, and you and your ilk are really pushing this one. Useful idiots unite!

  57. tadmjones
    I think you really believe there is a re-absorbtion mechanism, and I do not think it is very scientific to use the phrase massive and additional the way you have.I think the data graphs are really well done though, but I am pretty sure the people who made them really think there is a re-absorbtion mechanism.

    Perhaps you should have looked at the figures I gave on the “massive” burning of billions of tons of carbon per year, and the chemical formula of CO2.

    At some points, I thought you were interested in learning some science, despite the poor knowledge of the the subject, but it seems you are just playing silly games.

    There is not A RE-ABSORBTION RE-EMMISSION mechanism. there are several of them, involving plants, forests, peat-bogs, marine biology,  chemical reactions in rocks. plate-tectonics and volcanism.

    Actually I am a biologist and planetary scientist, but the problem with your non-acceptance of the re-absorbtion mechanism of the carbon cycle, is that it is not advanced planetary science or advanced geology, it is basic school-boy text-book geography, which you do not understand.

    There therefore seems to be little point in discussing the matter further or offering you university level explanations about carbon isotopes, until you read some school level textbooks and educate yourself.

    This site is for scientific discussion, where we discuss how proven  science works, not if it works.

    And that’s way more frightening the having to rebuild New Orleans say about five miles from its current location.

    You simply have no idea of the scale of astronomical/geological events, or time-scales involved.

    BTW The multiple reasons why New Orleans is in the wrong place (on land which is sinking into the sea under its own weight), or of the ignored multiple warnings and poor decisions which contributed to the people’s problems and its flooding. ( Such as the ignored warning one year before as to how deep the water would be when it happened.)

    National Geographic predicted New Orleans disaster the year before it happened.  Nevertheless the authorities were utterly unprepared. – http://ngm.nationalgeographic….
    It’s what happens when people in authority decide to ignore scientific advice, because it scares them.  The reports are worth a read.

    The effects on one city however, are tiny in comparison to potential global changes – as evidenced from past history of the planet.

  58. tadmjones
    heh ‘cherry picked’ look at your cut and paste of my comments, seems you left a thing or two out, obviously the notions you find useless.

    The term is “irrelevant”!

  59. tadmjones
    Believe it or not I have a fair understanding of the science invovled with the study of the global climate.

    Your comments have shown that this is not correct.  You are failing to grasp the basic chemistry of photosynthesis and the carbon cycle, and have produced no responses showing interest in, or understanding of, the links I provided.

  60. The thing I notice in this exchange is the lack of political comments. What is it you as an individual think should be done with this knowledge, by that I mean the facts of anthroprogenic climate change.
    What should happen starting tomorrow?
    Do I have the option of continuing to leave my carbon footprint?

  61. What should happen starting tomorrow?
    Do I have the option of continuing to leave my carbon footprint?

    People are going to have to change  (before or after the oil runs out, and before or after they have wrecked the climate over substantial parts of the world), so the sooner we start the better.

    I have put comments and link after link explaining the new technologies which should be replacing CO2 polluting power generation industries.  The first examples of these are already up and running. – in places all over the world.

    Like I said, you need to read the information which is already here!

    The Earth has recovered from massive (volcanic) CO2 increases in the past, but large proportions of its life went extinct and it took 100,000 years+ to recover.  These are not good options.

  62.  

    Is there any evidence that the planet mars’ surface temperature is currently increasing or experiencing any change .

    Other planets have varying temperatures with seasons and their own Milankovitch cycles.  CO2 on Mars seasonally turns to CO2 snow at the poles, and back into gas in the summer. This causes massive dust storms.  Water is a rock on Mars (and on other outer planets and their moons).

  63. That’s true, but the people who buy this stuff are often about identity and conformity. If something is said by one of their “own” (i.e. someone who exhibits the right tribal signifiers: hence the talk about having a beer with the dry Bush), it is given greater weight and cannot so easily be outright denied as the machinations of the enemy/The Enemy or simply lies and/or exaggeration. So something like this can create a propaganda problem. The shills and true believers won’t change, no, but they’re a sliver of the people who’ve accepted their nonsense.

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