Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Climate change is a security threat (Score 5, Informative) 417

Ah, I see you've been hitting the full "Amateur Denier Circuit". One by one!

1) oppressing scientists who disagree with them

By "oppressing", you mean "badmouthing them in -private- emails, and arguing against their papers (which they think are unsound) in public review". Contrast with, say, the Bush administration actively blocking global warming materials from being mentioned in reports and threatening to fire scientists who go public.

2) ignoring data that doesn't suit their agenda (such as ignoring 75% of the temperature recording stations in Russia)

Your "science" in this case comes from a Russian equivalent of the Heritage Foundation -- the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis. As with most amateurs, they don't know what the heck they're talking about (and failed to get several papers past peer review because of it).

Contrary to what most amateur deniers believe, the MET office's dataset is NOT simply an average of the readings of all land stations. Why? Because of precisely something that the deniers criticize the surface stations for -- they're not all good! In fact, some of them are run-down pieces of junk. Deniers love to post pictures of these, naively assuming that they're all just averaged in.

The process of building up a climate dataset from such sources has a number of steps. First off, you need to figure out just how closely temperatures are correlated over various distances. I.e., if you're in a heat wave in NYC, you're probably also in a heat wave in Philadelphia, but not necessarily in Los Angeles. Secondly, for each datapoint, you analyze that region with its correlation factor and look for discontinuities in your station record. You also look in abrupt changes in station readings to detect faults or changes in the station's surrounding that affect its accuracy or introduce various biases. Bad stations are either eliminated or detrended. Most importantly, this is all done in an automated manner.

After all of this, you do numerous studies to make sure that you're eliminating such errors properly. For example, one approach involves keeping a reference network of closely monitored stations in ideal conditions and comparing the results you get on the reference network to those you get on the broader network. Another involves comparing the results from windy days to those of calm days to see whether the data is being contaminated by the urban heat island effect (which varies with wind). And so forth.

In short, the elimination of a large number of stations is *part of the process*. But what you need to know is that it's done in a fully automated manner that has been subjected to extensive peer-review.

blatantly alter data to show the outcome they desire (such as the one scientist who's email showed that he added X amount to the recorded temperatures to show an upward trend)

You're referring to this:

"From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,,
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,
Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim's got a diagram here we'll send that either later today or
first thing tomorrow.
I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps
to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
1961 for Keith's to hide the decline. Mike's series got the annual
land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray."

First off, check the date. You're arguing about something that's a *decade old*. Secondly, "Mike's nature trick" and "the decline" are about a dendrochronological anomaly in which the data series after 1961 deviated from the instrumental record. The paper where he got most of his data from actually *pointed out* this anomaly and said not to use the data after 1961, that it's invalid (seriously, which do you think is correct: the tree rings or thermometers?). The "nature trick" was to substitute the actual temperatures after the dendrochronological record becomes invalid.

If you're curious about the details of the anomaly, I can go into it with you; it wasn't well understood in 1999, but has been researched extensively since then. Dendrochronology studies of climate are extremely complicated and take extensive background in the subject to work with; even most professional climatologists who don't specifically focus on it generally feel unqualified to review papers on the subject. It's absolutely not something for amateurs who've never read a paper. Boreholes are now preferred over dendrochronology, as they give better results and are less opaque)

I think the burden lies with you to show that there actually IS real evidence and that not all pro-global warming scientists are lying scum with a political agenda.

The criticisms for the CRU SwiftHack emails mainly focused on two scientists -- Mann (for that pathetic misreading of the "nature trick" line) and Jones (for advising others not to release data to denier amatuers making frivolous FOI requests -- people usually don't mention that Jones used to respond to the requests until one of them tried to get the FBI to arrest his partner). And even though said criticisms are, when you know the context, pure bunk, let's just say that Mann and Jones are totally discredited beyond a shadow of a doubt. Well, then, that's two down, and about a thousand to go. Get started.

As for CO2 and "greenhouse gasses", I recall reading research findings that there have been no changes in upper atmosphere temperatures -- which is exactly what "greenhouse gasses" would cause (heat is trapped and the upper atmosphere warms first, then things below get warmer)....

Now instead of quoting a conservative Russian think tank, you're now quoting a viscount -- way to move up in the world! Yes, Monckton's non-peer-reviewed "hot spot" garbage. First off, Monckton just throws away 2/3rds of the direct radiative forcing of CO2 -- something that is readily calculated via first principles by radiative transfer codes, as well as is being readily measured. He then mixes up the forcing effect of just 2xCO2 ("Charney Sensitivity") with the forcing effect of 2xCO2 + feedbacks. This artificially and significantly decreases the effect of feedback. He goes on to make about half a dozen errors that would have caused the paper to be thrown out on peer-review on their own accord. In short, all of his numbers are complete nonsense.

There is no tropical upper-tropospheric "hot spot" signature for GHG warming. No peer-reviewed paper has ever forecast that. The one surface/upper troposphere signature that has been forecast that can distinguish GHG warming from solar warming -- and it's not a very strong one -- is that the tropshere as a whole generally warms under a solar-forced scenario, while the upper tropshpere warms little under a GHG scenario, and can actually cool.

thus showing that there is no such thing as a "greenhouse gas" because the "greenhouse effect" only occurs in actual greenhouses, NOT with the entire planet.

Riiight. And Venus is so much hotter than its radiative equilibrium temperature because......?

Comment Re:Climate change is a security threat (Score 1) 417

Yes, you are right. I don't care what their opinion is, I want to see the evidence.

Boy, too bad we don't have things called "journals" that contain many thousands of research papers on various aspects of the topic so that you could read what they all have. Sure sucks that "journals" don't exist...

Meh, conjecture and amateur disbelief without having read any actual research papers (let alone thousands of them) is probably better, right?

Comment Re:Climate change is a security threat (Score 4, Insightful) 417

Remember that you implied some sort of danger, so you cannot possibly be talking about sea level rise: IPCC gives lowball of 19cm and highball of 59cm over 100 years, or between 0.19cm/year and 0.59cm/years. Might happen, but its not a threat to human life. Just walk away, folks.

The next IPCC report will almost certainly have a higher forecast, as the research that's come out since then has shown those numbers to be significant underestimates. Expect a median forecast of about 1m in the next report. And the rate speeds up over time; the equilibrium rise for a 2C warming, historically, appears to be 6-9 meters.

Maybe you are talking about drought? No, rainfall will increase if it gets significantly warmer.

Both flooding *and* drought are forecast to increase (on average) in a warming world. Which you're likely to get depends on where you are; some regions will get both. Yes, you're absolutely right that warmer SSTs = more precipitation. But warmer surface temperatures also mean faster evaporation (dessication of soil, plants, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, etc). It also means less snow pack, meaning river flows will vary more dramatically between seasons (ice keeps many important rivers from drying out during the summer).

Heat stroke? OK maybe, but offset by less hypothermia.

Heat stroke, hypothermia, drought, and sea level rise -- that's all you've got? How about greater range for malaria and dengue-fever carrying mosquitoes? The spread of pine bark beetles? The loss of almost all of the world's coral? The loss of keystone species of calcium carbonate-shelled microorganisms? The complete loss of habitat for arctic sea ice-dependent species? Increased risk of extinction for 20-30% of species studied? More rapid intensification of hurricanes (i.e., less warning)? Increased risk of wildfire? Increased growth of ragweed? Increased spread in seaborne pathogens like V. parahaemolyticus? Increasing risk of drought and flood causing more crop failures (and the consequences of that)? Radical changes in ecosystems, including thousands of species of plants and animals already found by studies to be migrating poleward? Seriously, I could spend all day on this.

It's not that a warmer climate is somehow a "worse" climate; it's a climate that neither life on this planet nor the way we've laid out our non-mobile infrastructure is adapted to.

Humans will adapt, esp. us in the first world who have the resources for it. But this will come at the cost of economic growth; we'll be spending our resources to break even (for a random example, to get water to the increasingly-dry and already water-unsustainable desert southwest). Humans in poorer regions will have a harder time of it, and non-human species will suffer the most. We're basically recreating the PETM.

Comment Re:Climate change is a security threat (Score 1, Insightful) 417

I actually disagree with you on your assessment of the risk, there is no really good scientific evidence of a threat from CO2 (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence of a link).

Yeah, who cares what those rubes at the science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the UK, the US, and many others have to say? (every national science academy statement being in agreement, none opposed)

Slashdot Top Deals

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