Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Times goes skeptic big time

The UK's Sunday Times has taken the plunge and dedicated its Section 4 to this headline:
[Why everything you think you know about global warming is wrong]

For an almost readable copy, click on the image at this location

Quote:
"So not only is carbon dioxide plainly not poisonous, but changes in carbon dioxide levels don't necessarily mirror human activity. Nor does atmospheric carbon dioxide warm the earth: ice-cap evidence shows that over the past several hundred thousand years, carbon dioxide levels have risen after arise in temperature, not the other way around."
Not all that is written in the article is necessarily of the same value as that quote, but at least the main message is clear:

Carbon dioxide is innocent of all it has been accused of by alarmist zealots. Let's hope the children get that message!

Next stage is to relieve water vapour of its role as a major greenhouse gas, but that will take a little longer ....
...
Hans Schreuder

15 comments:

MW Smith said...

To the extent the quote is true, the way it applies in the current situation makes the climate change problem worse, not better. Throughout the entire "several hundred thousand years" he is talking about, each global warming was the ending of an ice age or mini-ice age. When an ice age ends, great areas of frozen tundra in the northern hemisphere thaw. This thaw causes billions of tons of dead plant life to rot, releasing hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Thus, the COS appeared AFTER the warming after each ice age or mini-ice age over the "past several hundred thousand years."

But throughout that same several hundred thousand years, there weren't 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet pumping hundreds of millions more tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. There was no industry on Earth at all because there were no human beings on Earth at all.

This time is different. This time, there are 7,000,000,000 people on the planet, all pumping out hundreds of millions of tons of CO2, AND the northern tundra is thawing because of the warming. When it does, all that vegetation will rot again, and the warming will be much more extreme.

Robert of Ottawa said...

You seem to be missing the point MW Smith.

If natural changes do happen, how are current changes not natural today?

Oh, but this is different, the world is going to end, you say. How? Those "millions of tons" is just 4% of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

The article also mentions exactly what I noticed in the IPCC 4th report - it is peppered with statements like: "since the science of the effect of clouds and water-vapour is not well understood, it will not be included in the figures or climate models". If this is the case, HOW can they accurately predict the long-term effects, local effects, and complex absorption, or changes in glacial activity (i.e. the change in PPM figures of the C02 as the SOLE CAUSE??) TDAVIS

Richard Treadgold said...

When it does, all that vegetation will rot again, and the warming will be much more extreme.

Not a bad theory, however it will not rot again, as it cannot rot twice. New vegetation might rot.

Of course, since the carbon in the vegetation was recently drawn from the atmosphere, it is simply returning to where it came from.

It's called a cycle: the carbon cycle. Over millions of years, the earth is gradually sequestering the atmospheric carbon dioxide in soils and ocean sediments and the little extra we put out makes hardly any difference.

The warming will not be extreme, since doubling the present level of CO2 adds only about 0.6°C. Doubling that again will achieve perhaps 0.4°C, less for the next doubling, less for the next, and so on. Nothing to get excited about.

But doubling becomes more and more difficult and time-consuming. There's not enough fossil fuel for us to burn to keep doubling it and if there was it would require several hundred years.

There's also a possibility of considerable negative cloud feedback (reducing temperature), as reported recently, which would reduce these figures.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold,
Convenor,
Climate Conversation Group.

MW Smith said...

If natural changes do happen, how are current changes not natural today?

First, the occurrence of natural changes doesn't imply that all changes are natural, so your "if p then q" question is badly put. Of course, natural changes happen. If natural changes didn't happen, nothing would exist. But unless you classify changes caused by humans as natural changes, then if humans are contributing significantly to climate change, the climate change is not natural, to that same extent.

But I answered your question in my first response. This warming, unlike all the others that occurred before it, is occurring in the presence of seven billion humans pumping hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air each year. This is occurring before the appearance of the CO2 that the warming will release as the frozen tundra thaws.

MW Smith said...

Not a bad theory, however it will not rot again, as it cannot rot twice. New vegetation might rot.

Thank you. It's not my theory. It is what scientists who study the tundra have been saying all along.

And we are talking about the frozen vegetation that is currently there, of course.

It's called a cycle: the carbon cycle. Over millions of years, the earth is gradually sequestering the atmospheric carbon dioxide in soils and ocean sediments and the little extra we put out makes hardly any difference.

You know this how, exactly? I explained why Fred Singer's argument can't be used to establish your point here. The problem is not the total amount of CO2 but that we are agents of releasing too much of it in too short a time. If it happened "Over millions of years" as you put it, the human race would evolve to cope with it. But it is not happening over millions of years this time; it is happening over a few decades.

DocuBuilder said...

MW Smith
Where exactly is the warming now other than in manmade models. Why didn't the models predict the cooling that we have been experiencing for the last decade. As for the thawing tundra, what tundra are you speaking of? If its up in Alaska,Canada etc, its getting colder up there and it won't be thawing anytime soon. As for CO2 concentrations you missed the point, the more you pump in the less effect it has in terms of warming.

MW Smith said...

Where exactly is the warming now other than in manmade models.

First, the manmade models (sic) are models built from the laws of physics. These models are built by physicists, not by non-scientists like Al Gore. So your question reduces to "Where is the warming now except in the predictions of the laws of physics?"

But the effects of warming are being seen. The glaciers are melting; the icecaps are melting; the droughts are getting worse, and the floods are getting worse. The intensity of hurricanes is increasing. Insect born diseases are moving out of the tropics. There are others.

Why didn't the models predict the cooling that we have been experiencing for the last decade.

Here is part of the explanation:

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/sep/HQ_06318_Ocean_Cooling.html

But no one said this would be a monotonically increasing process.

As for the thawing tundra, what tundra are you speaking of? If its up in Alaska,Canada etc, its getting colder up there and it won't be thawing anytime soon.

It is thawing, and it is not getting warmer up there:

http://climate.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=175

...and:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/polar_thin.html

As for CO2 concentrations you missed the point, the more you pump in the less effect it has in terms of warming.

Really? Are you referring to models based on physics? Which models are they?

DocuBuilder said...

MW.

You didn't answer the first part of the question, why didn't they predict the cooling and as for things being seen, well i can take pictures and put a caption under it saying look we're heating up and melting away. As for Hurricanes i haven't SEEN any as of late and even if they do develop, you can't tell me the intensity has increased with a straight face. Certainly the property damage has since more and more people live by the coast.

As for droughts, floods,famine and head lice and the such, much of it has to do with land use, development and goverment programs around the world,e.g. brazil and the policies it put forth to make it worthwhile to clearcut for a couple of years, By the way how do you explain the greening of the Sahara?? I could go on.

Icecaps are not melting, the western ice sheet of Antartica might be shrinking but ice extent on the whole for the continent is increasing. As for where Santa lives if you look at ice levels for a longer horizon such as 1900-2007 its decrease is less dramatic and has actually increased since 2007.As well as there are peer reviewed studies that think wind and ocean currents have more to do with the Arctic melting than the touted GW.

Glaciers shrinking, some are and some are advancing, it depends on the level of accretive snowfall at the top. You can have warmer temps and heavy precip and have advancing glaciers as well as lower temps, lower precip and retreating glaciers so that is totally useless in making a case.

Lastly, please explain how tundra thaws when it gets colder?
I can't take it anymore.

MW Smith said...

You didn't answer the first part of the question,

Yes, I did. The models are about the trend. The trend is not monotonic. You can see this from the graph of the average temperature. It fluctuates from warming to cooling back to warming, and so on, but the warming trend remains in effect. We are not in a cooling trend. The models predict the trend, not the fluctuations. As far as the models are concerned, the fluctuations are noise.

as for things being seen, well i can take pictures and put a caption under it saying look we're heating up and melting away.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/seaicemin09.html

NASA's "pictures" taken by it's satellite instruments carry a lot more weight than that. But if you are only going to accept the data that validates your desired conclusion, then you will dismiss NASA's work as well. You can do that, but it isn't science. That's what Fred Singer is doing, too. So you are in good company.

As for Hurricanes i haven't SEEN any as of late and even if they do develop, you can't tell me the intensity has increased with a straight face.

Yes, I can:

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/24452

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/sep2005/warm-s13.shtml

Icecaps are not melting, the western ice sheet of Antartica might be shrinking but ice extent on the whole for the continent is increasing.

The icecaps are melting (see the link above), and the local increase in Antarctica has been explained by an increase in snowfall there, due to... wait for
it... the warming trend.

Glaciers shrinking, some are and some are advancing, it depends on the level of accretive snowfall at the top.

That's right! And in areas where for much of the winter the air is too cold and dry for snow, the warming trend actually increases the snowfall.

Lastly, please explain how tundra thaws when it gets colder?

It doesn't, of course. See above.

Fen said...

The models are about the trend. The trend is not monotonic. You can see this from the graph of the average temperature. It fluctuates from warming to cooling back to warming, and so on, but the warming trend remains in effect. We are not in a cooling trend. The models predict the trend, not the fluctuations. As far as the models are concerned, the fluctuations are noise.

I think you're trying to say that the pattern is an sine wave that is ascending.

The problem is your reliance on models. They are junk.

darrell said...

> As far as the models are concerned, the fluctuations are noise.

Perhaps. But as far as reality is concerned, the fluctuations are reality.

MW Smith said...

I think you're trying to say that the pattern is an sine wave that is ascending.

I'm not. I meant what I wrote. The fluctuations are noise; the trend line indicates a warming trend.

The problem is your reliance on models. They are junk.

Your revelation will come as quite a shock to scientists everywhere. If their models based on the laws of physics are junk, they will all have to down tools and go home.

MW Smith said...

Perhaps. But as far as reality is concerned, the fluctuations are reality.

Yes, and so is the trend. The trend is what indicates global warming or global cooling. At the moment, it clearly indicates global warming.

Philip Machanick said...

To those who think it's cooling: we are in the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century, and have just exited a La NiƱa. The last couple of years' averages should have been at or near 100-year lows. Instead, they were close to the highest temperatures in the instrument record.