atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#707: Global warming is unequivocal!

BBC News has answers for the claims of skeptics.

Claim: "Instruments show there has been some warming of the Earth's surface since 1979, but the actual value is subject to large errors...."

Answer: "Warming is unequivocal." Translation: Shut up you jerk.

Claim: "Since 1998 - almost a decade - the record, as determined by observations from satellites and balloon radiosondes, shows no warming."

Answer: 1998 was particularly warm and it's not fair of you to cherry-pick data. (But it's all right for us to do that.)

Claim: "The beginning of the last Millennium saw a "Mediaeval Warm Period" when temperatures, certainly in Europe, were higher than they are now."

Answer: "There have been many periods in Earth history that were warmer than today.... Whether those variations were caused by solar forcing, the Earth's orbital wobbles or continental configurations, none of those causes apply today. Evidence for a Mediaeval Warm Period outside Europe is patchy at best...."

Where else were people keeping written records of things, outside of Europe? Africa? The Americas? We know that China was. Who else? There's no "evidence" because there aren't written records from most parts of the world from that era. This is a disingenuous argument at best.

What I really like about this is that "...none of those causes apply today." That's right. All the warm periods of the past were caused by natural forcings, but those immediately stopped when we started using fossil fuels. (WTF, why don't you just say "when Reagan was elected" and get it over with?)

Claim: "Computer models are the main way of forecasting future climate change. But despite decades of development they are unable to model all the processes involved,..."

Answer: "Models are simply ways to quantify understanding of climate."

This is a bald-faced lie. We have been told many times that the computer models prove global warming is taking place. They are frequently held out as "proof".

"All of the robust results from modelling have both theoretical and observational support." Except that if you feed the models historic data they never even approximate historic conditions. Given a starting point somewhere prior to the Medieval Warm Period, for example, no model will show anything like it, nor will the models show the Little Ice Age which followed it.

And the models don't model forcings caused by water vapor. They only approximate them.

Claim: "5. THE ATMOSPHERE IS NOT BEHAVING AS MODELS WOULD PREDICT" (all-caps theirs)

Answer: "Within the uncertainties of the data, there is no discrepancy that needs to be dealt with."

Translation: There is warming, so shut up you oil company stooge.

Claim: "6. CLIMATE IS MAINLY INFLUENCED BY THE SUN" (all-caps theirs)

Answer: "As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and possibly a small negative trend), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends."

Except for the inconvenient fact that it can. Temps trended downward in the 1970s, for one thing. Most of the warming from the 20th century--0.5°C--occurred before 1940.

Claim: "7. A CARBON DIOXIDE RISE HAS ALWAYS COME AFTER A TEMPERATURE INCREASE NOT BEFORE" (all-caps--well, you know.)

Answer--emphasis mine: "This is largely true, but largely irrelevant."

Wait, wait, wait! How can that be "irrelevant"? If carbon dioxide rises after a temperature increase how the hell is it causing global warming?

This answer of theirs as much as says that climate change in the past was caused by "wobbles" in the Earth's orbit. Now, however, it's because of man-made carbon dioxide?

And, by the way, the "wobbles" theory is a good one but not proven, and we still don't know why the Earth's climate went through such dramatic changes in the past.

Claim: "8. LONG-TERM DATA ON HURRICANES AND ARCTIC ICE IS TOO POOR TO ASSESS TRENDS"

Answer: ...

I don't know of anyone who is making this argument. In fact, "global warming skeptics" such as myself cite a few facts from the historical record, such as a) the fact that the high part of the hurricane activity cycle is just ending; and b) there are historical records of people sailing ships across the Arctic Circle, indicating that "arctic ice" has not always covered the entire stinkin' pole.

Claim: "9. WATER VAPOUR IS THE MAJOR GREENHOUSE GAS; CO2 IS RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT"

Answer: "The statement that water vapour is "98% of the greenhouse effect" is simply false. In fact, it does about 50% of the work; clouds add another 25%, with CO2 and the other greenhouse gases contributing the remaining quarter."

Okay, let's look at the proportions:

Water vapor: 2-5% of the atmosphere
Carbon dioxide: 0.78% of the atmosphere

So: 0.78% of the atmosphere is responsible for 25% of the warming of the atmosphere? This is the figure for present-day? (I lumped "water vapor" and "clouds" together because...well...what are clouds made of?)

Wait, "clouds" are 25% of the greenhouse effect? I thought clouds--which are white on top--reflected a lot of sunlight. I thought that if there was more crap in the atmosphere it would get colder--remember "nuclear winter"? More clouds means a higher reflectivity means less sunlight gets to the surface, and that generally means cooling. But the contribution of clouds to global temperature are poorly understood at best.

This answer also makes another bald-faced lie when it claims that the "The fact that water vapour is a feedback... is included in all climate models."

The fact is that carbon dioxide is the weakest greenhouse gas in our atmosphere and it comprises only 0.78% of the atmosphere to boot.

...

Their final claim is--I don't know what the hell that's about. Who is trying to deflect global warming BS with more BS about AIDS and poverty? I certainly am not.

They lumped a lot of stuff into claim #10, including stuff about the Kyoto Protocol not working. Their answer? "Arguments over the Kyoto Protocol are outside the realms of science...."

That's awful convenient.

* * *

And all of this sidesteps the main point of the entire issue.

There is no argument from anyone (with any sense) that the climate is changing. It has always changed, and it always will change.

"Global warming skeptics" such as myself contend that we don't know what is going on. The people who wrote that article, the people who agree with Al Gore, they insist that we do know with absolute certainty that man-made carbon dioxide is causing an apocalyptic rise in global temperatures--when there isn't even any "unequivocal" proof that carbon dioxide effects global temperatures much at all.

We know that the Earth has been both warmer and cooler in the past than it is now. We don't know why.

We know that the Earth warmed 0.5°C in the 20th century, with most of that warming taking place before 1940. We don't know why.

"Global warming skeptics" such as myself think that it's potentially disastrous, economically, to make policy based on what we do currently know about the Earth's climate, and how it changes over time.

We know that our atmosphere currently contains 378 ppm of carbon dioxide, and that the rise correlates to the beginning of the industrial age. But we can't look at a sample of air in a microscope and count the tags on the molecules: "See, a third of these are from man-made sources!" We don't know (we only think) that the rise in carbon dioxide is from man-made sources; and even assuming it is, it's a 33% rise in 0.78% of the atmosphere.

All sources annually dump 206 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Of that, six billion tons come from man-made sources. That's about three percent.

And so what is 3% of 0.78%? It's 0.0234%.

The temperature forcing from 0.0234% of the atmosphere is causing catastrophic climate change and we're all doomed.

Yeah. Sure.

UPDATE:



Found that while looking at Boortz today. Heh.
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