Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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 In fact, we do know [Re:We're not doomed.] (Score 1) 371

The science is pretty solid: the average temperature of the world is getting warmer, we know what it causing it, and there will be effects, some of which will be negative.

Meh. Blowing away mod points for this but statements like this is what keeps keeps the deniers in business. No. We do NOT know what is causing it.

Well, except that you're wrong. We do know what is causing the temperature rise. We know this for multiple reasons, not the least of which is by analyzing and ruling out alternate causes based on data. There are no proposed alternate explanations that fit the data. None. This is the way science is done: a hypothesis is accepted when you can rule out the competing hypotheses based on evidence. Greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere fits the data. No other hypothesis does.

To fit just one of the many many data sets, the measured global temperature data (and you do know that heating has to fit data such as diurnal variations and measured downwelling infrared, not just global temperature, right?), let me remind you of the constraints a hypothetical alternate hypothesis would have to fit:
(1) It would have to explain why the greenhouse gasses are not heating the atmosphere,
(2) It would have to propose a different mechanism to explain the measured temperature rise that just coincidentally fits the models
(3) It would have to come up with an explanation for why the amplifier required in step (2) does not apply to the greenhouse effect.
*footnote 1: and the measured temperature rise fits the model very well. The denier community repeatedly claims it does not, but this denial is done by cherry picking of either the data or the models.
*footnote 2: item 2 will require an amplification mechanism, because we measure the input to the climate (solar energy, etc.) and know that the unamplified input can't explain the rise.

Many people have been looking for such an alternate hypothesis for several decades now. None have been found that haven't been quickly ruled out be measurements.

If we did, we could model it accurately.

No, if you mean "if we knew what caused it the error bars on the prediction would be zero," that's an assertion going one step too far. You can know the cause of something and nevertheless still have error bars on predictions. The remainder of your post is accurate:

What we do know for certain is that CO2 keeps heat trapped in the atmosphere. We are adding LOTS of CO2 to the atmosphere. The atmosphere is part of a chaotic and finely balanced system. CO2 is adding heat to that system (so we do actually know some of what is causing the heating). In summary: We know that we are altering a system and by how much. We are unsure of other factors, some are even still unknown (how does the ocean absorb heat, distribute it, and eventually release it). Regardless of the unknowns, the facts that we do know indicate that our current practices are affecting the heat status of the planet.

Is heating of the planet a problem? That is not for Science to say. Science deals with facts and theory, not judgements. My personal opinion in all of this is that we need to be concerned about our "waste" products to ensure that the planet (the only place we can currently live) remains a livable location.

Comment What we don't know [Re:We're not doomed.] (Score 1) 371

But this is not the science we're talking about when we say there's scientific consensus about the greenhouse effect.

Runaway effects like melting perma frost, CH4 release and other stuff, that is exactly the science we are talking about. Hence we have no real clue and no way to estimate if we might experience a dramatical effect/result/disaster in 10 or 30 years.

If everything proceeds like it does now, it might take 100 years till mankind is in trouble, however one thing is certain: not everything will proceed like now.

If your main point here is "there may be even worst effects that we don't yet fully understand, and some of these effects could be triggered on short time scales," I won't disagree with that.

Comment 400 is no red line [Re: No complaints here] (Score 1) 371

Give me a citation to one of these purported "red lines" that you are talking about, specifically what the line was, what the predicted consequences of crossing it was, and when the predicted consequences would occur.

400PPM is the most recent one that passed

Precisely what was predicted to happen when 400 was passed? Citation needed.

400 ppm is clearly a number that was picked because it is a multiple of 100. It's milestone, not an example of "this is a final red line. Cross this and we are DOOMED".

Comment Re:Skepticism and denial (Score 2) 371

Wow, unusual to see thoughtful, reasoned commentary on trigger-button issues.

I think you may be overly pessimistic. At its heart, this is a technology problem, and it turns out that humanity is actually very good at solving technology problems. The alternate energy technologies are getting better and better.

I think that there won't be one solution, there will be many solutions, and they will be implemented-- slowly, but incrementally-- because the techolology will do the job.

An example case is CFC useage. When it was realized that halocarbons catalyzed destruction of the ozone layer, there was just as much skepticism as there is about greenhouse gasses, which was slowly overcome by patient gathering of data (unlike the greenhouse effect controversy, where no amount of data seems to be enough). But, here's the interesting thing: CFC production dropped well before any regulations or laws were passed to limit CFC emissions into the atmosphere (the "Montreal protocol"). They dropped because industry looked for alternate ways to do the job that the ozone-destroying halocarbons did, found them, and implemented them.

Sometimes we do get it right.

Comment Adjustments [Re:Revised headline] (Score 1) 371

You do know that all of the adjustments to data are documented, and the source code is public, right?

You do know that all of the previous data is still archived, and you can look at it, right?

You do know that the much-vaunted changes are small, and make no difference to the ultimate conclusion, right?

You do know that many different groups have looked at the data independently and gotten the same result, right? https://www.skepticalscience.c...

Comment Alternate hypotheses mostly ruled out by data (Score 1) 371

There are alternative hypothesis if you wanted to search for it (solar cycles, plate tectonics/volcanoes, cosmoclimatology, etc.).

Indeed there are. And these have all been examined in great depth, and shown to not explain the data.

Read the literature. Or if you don't want to read the literature, read a popular summary. This one, maybe:

Comment Methane [Re: No complaints here] (Score 5, Informative) 371

[ in reply to the question "Name one other factor in climate change that's even close to CO2."]:

Source Not sure if source is valid, but numbers are close to what I have seen before.

Equal to CO2? No
Methane 25x
N2O 298x

Yes, but that's the effect per unit mass emitted. The effect on climate change will be the warming potential multiplied by the amount emitted, and in that respect, carbon dioxide-- from fuel burned in billion ton quantities-- is the clear leader. Amounts emitted are there a different tab on the site you linked as your source: https://climatechangeconnectio...
Or, look here:

But you can't tax cows,

Sure you could.

and farmers are a big lobby for Congress, so you ignore the methane. If you really cared you would be working on methane more than CO2.

methane emissions are also important, and people looking at responses to greenhouse emissions do, in fact, also look at how to reduce methane emissions.

The fact that you go after CO2 gives away your political agenda and shows that you don't really care about the science.

No it doesn't. It shows that people are looking most closely at the largest effect.

In fact I bet you didn't even know about methane. Gotta wonder when a "denier" knows more about the science than you do. According to you all I haven't ever looked at the science even half as much as you, but here I am giving facts you didn't know about.

Wrong on all counts. If you would actually read some of the literature, you'd see methane discussed in great detail. Including in the sites you list.

Comment No red lines [Re: No complaints here] (Score 1) 371

How many red lines have we crossed? More than Obama drew, and that's quite a few. But there always seems to be some Envirowackos standing there saying, "THIS is the final red line. Cross this and we are DOOMED!"

We're not doomed. The anthropogenic component of the greenhouse effect is warming the world slowly. This is real, and the science is getting to be well understood, but quit saying we're "doomed". We're not "doomed."

Give me a citation to one of these purported "red lines" that you are talking about, specifically what the line was, what the predicted consequences of crossing it was, and when the predicted consequences would occur.

Comment Skepticism and denial (Score 5, Insightful) 371

Honestly, I've never seen such outright hatred displayed by the skeptics.

Yes, I've never before seen such outright hatred as that displayed by the "skeptics", either. It's pretty frightening. But the thing of it is, they're not skeptics: they claim that they're skeptics, but this is a peculiar one-sided "skepticism": no matter how much evidence you show them that the scientists know what they're doing, or how patiently you answer their arguments, they ignore it, but even the most absurd attacks on the science they jump on and believe absolutely, saying "look! It's all a hoax! It's a fraud! Lock them up!"

They're usually just asking for evidence and unmodified data, like good scientists strive to do.

That would be science. But when they then don't pay the slightest attention to the reply-- because they're trying to spread doubt, not actually asking for answers-- that's not skepticism: that's denial.

Comment Re:We're not doomed [Re:We're Doomed.] (Score 1) 371

The total change might take a century. As in: average temperature is ow X and in 100 years Y. Or sea level is now L1 and in 100 years L2. But there are small, localized, changes as in Syria/Iraq, that happen over the course of 3 to 5 years.

Right. But there are always small localized changes that happen over the course of 3 to 5 years; droughts, floods, warm years, cold years. Some of which have indeed been devastating. But the human-greenhouse-gas-induced part is global climate change, not the "small localized changes".

Then again, if for them reason push comes to shove, as with the ice on Greenland (a Vulcano, e.g.) and the whole ice drops into the ocean over the course of a couple of years, then mankind has a problem, a serious one.

The greenhouse effect warming isn't going to melt the Greenhouse ice in "a couple of years". Look, you're accusing others of ignoring the science; don't ignore the science yourself. The greenhouse effect is a long term effect. It is not an effect where sudden changes happen.

One is for sure: the seal level rise won't be a constant X mm per year, but change rapidly due to "weather" or other reasons we don't think about now.

Of course. But weather is not climate. We tell that to the deniers every time there's a cold week in summer. Weather is not climate.

Same for agriculture areas that suddenly, over the course of a few years, get wiped out. Even if they can be "reused" for other fruits/crop. You can not switch from grapes to olive oil in a course of 10 years ...

Neither grapes nor olives are among the staples supplying the world with food.

Or we have a runaway effect because of melting perma frost and releases CH4 ...

Now, that possibility is something that legitimately ought to frighten people. But this is not the science we're talking about when we say there's scientific consensus about the greenhouse effect. This is the "here's something important we need to study and learn more about" science.

There are thousands of things thinkable that can turn extremely bad in an surprisingly short time period.

Of course. But by "unthinkable", what you're now saying is "maybe there's something else that we don't know about." Fair enough. But I was talking about the science we do know about, which is: the world is getting warmer, we know what's causing it, and the cause is the anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

But: likely you mean with "mankind" the few people rich enough to relocate any time ... those might survive, until they meet a mob thinking different.

I'm not actually sure what you're saying here. I was addressing the statement "we're doomed." Rich people are a tiny fraction of the planet. I suppose it's true that they're not doomed-- at least by environmental change-- but that's not terribly relevant.

Comment Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence... (Score 3, Informative) 371

Climate != Weather.... Weather != Climate.... Just because it's warmer today or this year, doesn't mean the climate is doing the same thing. If it keeps happening for a few years in a row, THEN one might be able to start making that argument

Correct. One warm year is weather. Two warm years is happenstance. A series of warm years, globally averaged, though, and you start thinking it's climate. A series of warm years is what has been happening.

Comment We're not doomed [Re:We're Doomed.] (Score 3, Insightful) 371

We're not "doomed'. The climate is changing. The science is pretty solid: the average temperature of the world is getting warmer, we know what it causing it, and there will be effects, some of which will be negative.

But on a human scale, this is a long term effect: things will change slowly. If this keeps up for a century, the world of the 2100s may be very different from the world we see now. But that's a century away.

On a geological scale that is quite fast, but that's not the scales humans deal with. We're not doomed (or, at least, no more doomed now than we ever were.

Comment Re:Junk Science (Score 4, Informative) 371

Until they can show peer reviewed research showing climate change, I'm not believing it.

It's a Chinese hoax.

Here's the google scholar result, 1.4 million hits: Is that enough?

Here's a summary of the peer-reviewed science:
and here's another:

I have the opposite question: is there any peer-reviewed research showing a credible alternative hypothesis to the greenhouse effect hypothesis? If so, I haven't seen it.

Slashdot Top Deals

A sine curve goes off to infinity, or at least the end of the blackboard. -- Prof. Steiner