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THE QUESTION

Is climate science trustworthy?

Recently, a U.N. scientific report was found to have included a false conclusion about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. That followed the release of stolen e-mails last year, which showed climate scientists commiserating over problems with their data. Is there a broader meaning in these two incidents, and should they cause the public to be more skeptical about the underlying science of climate change?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on January 28, 2010 9:00 AM
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vze4k4bh Author Profile Page :
 

some of The same people who say that there is no climate change, then go on to say that the climate has always been changing so what is the big deal.

Can we predict the weather? no
So can I safely assume that there is no weather?

So can I safely assume that it will not snow this winter or it will not be warm this summer?

Since I cannot predict the weather, there must be a good chance that my conclusions are accurate.

 
Nymous Author Profile Page :
 

Here's the number one thing people need to know about climate change:

The primary effect of 'global warming' and 'climate change' is change in weather patterns and the intensity of weather. Greater instability means more extremes in weather. Even ice melt is molasses slow and not even in the same ball park as the threat from extreme weather today.

When I took the time to check up on Katrina before it made landfall, after I looked at it I called my family and friends and told them to go fill their gas tanks that evening. I then went and did that myself. The people who I called thanked me for it.

Drought, record heat, record cold, heavy storms, no storms, record storms, & extreme weather are the things people have to worry the most about. The oceans rising well, not a lot to be done about that.

What worries me is frozen methane cooking off. That has the potential to extraordinarily bad. There are tipping points with it happening too, and I think we need to pay more attention to them than we are. In the Northern American hemisphere, the USA & Canada have to look at these seriously vast repositories of frozen gas. It's flammable too, just to make things interesting. I'm not real sure why we aren't looking at using it as fuel & reducing the risk of it vaporizing into just being a greenhouse gas.

 
Nymous Author Profile Page :
 

Climate science is not at all easy stuff. It will never be "settled" science because the climate is in a constant state of change. Even any sort of a "steady state" represents change.

As a part of actual learning, people will make mistakes. We will learn new things that refine our understanding of what is happening.

I checked into the stolen climate emails, and it turned out that the people involved had actually published their frustrations and misgivings with what they were doing. To see notes in the code indicating the author knew he was working with manipulated data after those steps were taken does not seem to be exactly the scandal people wanted it to be.

That aside, just because this one set of people did some screwy work with a data set does not mean that all people working in climate related sciences use bad data, or engage in fraud of any sort. What is absurd is that any pontificating blow hard would suggest otherwise.

Unlike most people who're going to respond to this issue in some form, I've actually done weather modeling work. I know it's incredibly difficult work to do. Everyone who I worked with had nothing but the highest ethics about their work, and the integrity of what they were doing.

So the result is I don't have any respect for ignorant people who engage in vicious slander on a subject they want to disbelieve in.

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

Context: What the IPCC "experts" either got wrong or can't document.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/dispute-weather-fraud

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

Context: Why the stations location matters.

Simple explanation of what is being contested in the data set. If a temperature recording station is installed or located incorrectly, it skews the results.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/on-weather-stations-and-climate-trends/

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

Context: if you can read simple sentences, this spells fraud.

"Leaked climate change emails scientist 'hid' data flaws"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese

 
washpost18 Author Profile Page :
 

washpost18 wrote: "Great, you can copy/paste. Can you explain them? Can you provide any context? Can you demonstrate that you're not operating from a position of ignorance?"

Alvinjh responds: "If you need to have comments life this explained, you are not able to participate in a meaningful discussion anyway."


So that would be a 'no' to explaining them, 'no' to providing context, and a resounding 'yes' to your operating from a position of ignorance.

I'm more than capable of participating at a more meaningful level with someone who isn't so demonstrably motivated to be dishonest by their ideology. Thus far you aren't worth the effort.

 
twm1 Author Profile Page :
 

It sure would be nice to have more commentary by people with actual credentials as scientists with expertise on this issue. Only one seems to clearly fit this description, an oceanographer. Others are affiliated with corporate interests who have a clear economic stake in denying climate change. Ben Lieberman is affiliated with Heritage Foundation and is identified on their site as being trained as a lawyer and an accountant. Is this the best the Washington Post can do?

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

washpost18--
"I would like to see the climate change happen so the science could be proved right."

Dr. Phil Jones

If you need to have comments life this explained, you are not able to participate in a meaningful discussion anyway.

These are just my opinions, but apparently others seem to share similar concerns.

I will look forward to the results of an inquiry that Parliament will hold into the activities of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. I believe time will reveal a lot more about the subject.

We'll see won't we.

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_technology/s_t_pn14_100122.cfm

 
washpost18 Author Profile Page :
 

Alvinjh Author Profile Page : "Here are just a couple of the damning emails. They are easy to find if you look."

Great, you can copy/paste. Can you explain them? Can you provide any context? Can you demonstrate that you're not operating from a position of ignorance?

 
_BSH Author Profile Page :
 

"The science is settled" is the biggest lie told by any politician in the past decade. Climate is vastly more complicated than any of the "scientists" tweaking their models can grasp, and every indication available indicates that they are cherry-picking their data. Heck, the Met Office in the UK doesn't even HAVE data; they discarded the real data and only have temperature records modified as they saw fit (and nobody can review their modifications, so peer review and replication is right out the window).

The fact is that nobody has any clue what effect human activity has on climate. Maybe human activity changes climate 80% from what it would otherwise be, or maybe 10%. This is not a sound basis for any public policy conclusions. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.

 
muawiyah Author Profile Page :
 

DOLPH924 ~ "emails from long ago"

Some of them were prepared within a few months of their release recently.

You are peddling propaganda and that does not support "science", just bureaucrats and what an old friend of mine who is a real scientist called "Political 'Scientists'"

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

“Seems like a perfect time to repeat myself:
"Here's an easy first derivative filter you can apply though - if a given article is about science and some random commenter brings up the existence of some nefarious "agenda" as a reason to disbelieve whatever is being discussed but provides no hard evidence..”

Here are just a couple of the damning emails. They are easy to find if you look.

I took it for granted that someone commenting here would have at least read a few of them. Perhaps not; so here is some hard evidence for someone who simply repeats themselves…


At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:
Mike, I presume congratulations are in order - so congrats etc !
Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? - our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !


From: Phil Jones
To: santer1@XXXX
Subject: Re: A quick question
Date: Wed Dec 10 10:14:10 2008
Ben,
Haven’t got a reply from the FOI person here at UEA. So I’m not entirely confident the numbers are correct. One way of checking would be to look on CA, but I’m not doing that. I did get an email from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails - unless this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable! McIntyre hasn’t paid his £10, so nothing looks likely to happen re his Data Protection Act email.
Anyway requests have been of three types - observational data, paleo data and who made IPCC changes and why. Keith has got all the latter - and there have been at least 4. We made Susan aware of these - all came from David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything to do with our core business - and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey here!

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

Repeat yourself then. I can simply post emails from conspirators. I could post a lot of direct and very relevant emails from one advocate to another. Like this one:


VERBATIM
From: Tom Wigley [...]
To: Phil Jones [...]
Subject: 1940s
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:25:38 -0600
Cc: Ben Santer [...]
Phil,
Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that theland also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know).
So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean – but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips—higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.
Removing ENSO does not affect this.
It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.
Let me go further. If you look at NH vs SH and the aerosol effect (qualitatively or with MAGICC) then with a reduced ocean blip we get continuous warming in the SH, and a cooling in the NH—just as one would expect with mainly NH aerosols.
The other interesting thing is (as Foukal et al. note – from MAGICC) that the 1910-40 warming cannot be solar. The Sun can get at most 10% of this with Wang et al solar, less with Foukal solar. So this may well be NADW, as Sarah and I noted in 1987 (and also Schlesinger later). A reduced SST blip in the 1940s makes the 1910-40 warming larger than the SH (which it currently is not)—but not really enough.
So … why was the SH so cold around 1910? Another SST problem? (SH/NH data also attached.)
This stuff is in a report I am writing for EPRI, so I’d appreciate any comments you (and Ben) might have.
Tom.


As someone who has worked in the field for many years with respected meteorological organizations I find this very revealing.

Had I (or a colleague) written a similar email and it had come to light in any kind of a quality review, it would have been rightly construed as evidence of a bias, it would have alarmed the quality control people and would have led to an inquiry about any of the data I had gathered or worked on.

But, that's just me and the type of people I worked with--I'm sure you have much more experience and will repeat some pithy comment with arched eyebrows knitted together knowingly. The Jon Stewart of the commentary page.

 
Frank57 Author Profile Page :
 

"...should they cause the public to be more skeptical about the underlying science of climate change?"

This question itself is ridiculous.

Science is all about being skeptical. The problem is that most ignorant people don't understand this basic concept, and treat science as some sort of religion, just as they treat everything else like a religion.

Science is nothing more than a way to investigate nature and to gather evidence that allows us to make some sort of conclusion. It has been incredibly successful in helping humanity crawl out of the dark ages.

This very basic concept is lost on millions of Americans, but you can bet it's not lost on the peoples of China or India, who are nailing our coffins together while we debate such moronic garbage.

 
washpost18 Author Profile Page :
 

Seems like a perfect time to repeat myself:

"Here's an easy first derivative filter you can apply though - if a given article is about science and some random commenter brings up the existence of some nefarious "agenda" as a reason to disbelieve whatever is being discussed but provides no hard evidence to back up this accusation, you can accept with fairly high confidence that the person is most likely both paranoid and ignorant of the underlying science."

 
Alvinjh Author Profile Page :
 

Being skeptical is exactly the right response.

The whole complex subject of weather and climate is extremely complicated and has been driven by a cable with interconnected political ties and an agenda.

Dissent from credentialed, knowledgeable critics has been quashed by a conspiracy, directed from the center of the so called “elite” scientists at the head of the IPCC. Dr. Phil Jones own words attest that is not hyperbole.

Reporters have acted the part of stenographers, simply reporting the positions dictated by Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Phil Jones and Dr. Michael Mann as well as their policy recommendations.

The complicity between the major news reporting organizations and the core of the global warming advocates is nothing short of astounding. The reason it has blown up recently, is because of the focus on Copenhagen; a world conference which was supposed to dictate the terms and conditions for much of the planets economic and political future was the first place where contradictory assertion were widely reported, due to the pilfered emails. Since then, many more stories have emerged concerning older reports the IPCC published. There is now some interest in reviewing those reports with some skepticism.

Shouldn’t the major press corps be ashamed? If the subject was less serious, and the consequences less universal this would almost be laughable.

 
washpost18 Author Profile Page :
 

Spidermean? Jesus called, left a message for you. "STFU cretin." Mean anything to you?

You're welcome.

 
spidermean2 Author Profile Page :
 

Again, the science of climate change is faulty because a big part of it came the the idiotic science of EVOLUTION.

Evolution is not harmless. It became the main engine of other stupid ideas like communism, atheism and now global warming.

Somebody said that evolution is 150 years of science. Yup, 150 years of ignorance coz up to now, nothing came out from it than can be used by engineers. On the other hand, it's been used by idiots to support their more idiotic ideas like communism, atheism and global warming.

 
FredinVicksburg Author Profile Page :
 

Snow and Ice scientists are associated with the International Association for Cryospheric Sciences (IACS). A link to their Web page can be found at
http://www.cryosphericsciences.org
The Web page provides a link to the book "Snow and Climate" which provides extensive information.
I would note the much of climate change is in the form of climate variability. Global warming (which is not the same everywhere) is associated with changes in ocean temperatures, changes in the jet stream, etc., which (among other things) changes rainfall patterns. Various aspects of climate variability are being studied to determine cause and effect.
IACS is part of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) which will hold an international scientific assembly in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011.

 
thuff7 Author Profile Page :
 

spidermean2 wrote:

"I am an engineer and I can prove that what happened with that garguantuan iceberg chunk separating can be replicated in the lab."

It must be an incredibly big lab.

 
thuff7 Author Profile Page :
 

We won't have a clearer understanding of climate science unless the scientists themselves lead the discussion in the public domain. But the discussion has been hijacked by wannabes like Al Gore who continues to take credit for the hard work of thousands of scientists or by raving lunatics like the previous post (Spidermean2) who thinks ice melts when temperature gets colder.

Science is to complicated to be debated by people who have absolutely none of the fundamental skills required to understand it.

But I do think it is telling that those people who doubt the science are the same ones who want to slash funding for research and education.

 
mike21 Author Profile Page :
 

The real -- and completely related -- issue is fossil-fuel energy conservation and improved efficiencies. There really isn't a good argument, from any 'side', that conserving energy, increasing energy efficiencies, and using some 'alt' energy is a bad idea. Thus, the global warming champions should not be using global warming as a justification, but the above stuff instead. Wise up.

 
dolph924 Author Profile Page :
 

This flap about e-mails from long ago is just so much smoke being blown by the Coal and Oil companies, trying to keep us from acknowledging the clear facts. Remember the tobbaco company "scientists" assuring us first that cigarettes were unconnected to lung cancer? This is more of same. No peer-reviewed studies by actual scientists have shown anything other than that global warming is real and that emissions from cars and coal-burning furnaces are a big factor.

 
tkennedy2 Author Profile Page :
 

It should be noted that the US press - WaPo, NYT, et al, is way behind on this. In Great Britain, Australia, and even India, the mainstream media is providing readers real investigatory stories on ClimateGate, GlacierGate, etc.

I'm not sure why this is happening, I suspect many of the environmental journalists are way to connected to the Al Gore/James Hansen crowd.

It's sad and a real weakness of mainstream journalism - thank god for the internet!!

 
washpost18 Author Profile Page :
 

Wrong question; too narrowly focused. The more correct question is should people be more skeptical and the answer is yes.

What's clear from the online debate is that the general population of commenters have no idea how to evaluate the credentials or claims of any quoted alleged authority. The lack of any supporting documentation in most articles published by the news for the purpose of independent fact checking doesn't help matters.

Here's an easy first derivative filter you can apply though - if a given article is about science and some random commenter brings up the existence of some nefarious "agenda" as a reason to disbelieve whatever is being discussed but provides no hard evidence to back up this accusation, you can accept with fairly high confidence that the person is most likely both paranoid and ignorant of the underlying science.

 
petercapitolhill Author Profile Page :
 

Truly a new low for the Washington Post, providing legitimation for ignorant climate change deniers and industry frontmen.

 
SUBLIMEWOODY Author Profile Page :
 

It's pretty obvious to everyone except Birkenstockers, that nothing credible ever comes out of the uber corrupt U.N. Absolutely nothing. The organization and all those in it care about one thing: money and power.

 
silencedogoodreturns Author Profile Page :
 

I have a better question....when is the Post actually going to do a story on the fraudulent business that "global warming" has become. When is the Post even going to cover the new scandals over not-so-melting glaciers and the UN's coverup?

It would appear that as along as Juliet Eilperin has the environmental desk, these stories will continue to be spiked in favor of her advocacy "journalism." Compare the Post coverage to that that can be found in any London newspaper, and it is very embarrassing for the Post.

 
Common_Cents1 Author Profile Page :
 

It's when the global warming---yup, they've changed their branding to 'climate change' but its the same crowd; same premises; same out of body predictions of crop failure, famine, shoreline erosion, increase of hurricanes, and of course, a continued warmed as more and more CO2 fills the lower atmosphere.

In Maine, we've had bumper crops, record cold, record snowfall, none rapid increase in ocean levels beyond what's been happening for the last 141 years when lighthouses started keeping records; and no hurricanes.

What a bunch of bozos with science backgrounds; filled with left wing propaganda and indoctrinated to link corporate capitalist America to destructive climate change.

...eats a blueberry pie, relishes in the 99 cent shrimp from another record crop; looks forward to baking a pie with the record crop of apples using maple syrup from the record crop; and then walking the beaches to see the shifting sands as a new beach builds up at Popham Beach State Park.

 
1911a1 Author Profile Page :
 

The supporters of the global warming seem to be leftists, weirdos, freaks, and other lower forms of life. Those not buying into the 'climate change' fraud are normal people.

 
FredZuber Author Profile Page :
 

It depends.

You want to know if climate science, or any kind of science is trustworthy. Who do you ask? Do you ask the public who, in general, doesn’t have enough scientific background to make an informed decision? They can’t even pick out who to listen to for that kind of information. They’ll listen to talk show hosts, who have an agenda. They’ll listen to their politicians, who don’t have a clue. They’ll listen to the corporations, who are lying to them. Do you think they take the time to read any of the report, let alone understand them? Do you think they do the research necessary for listening to a reliable source? Like it or not, scientists have been able to sort things out, even it takes a while. Unfortunately, with climate science, we’re not sure how much time is available for the solutions to be found and implemented. Those who deny the results of the research aren’t much different from Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

 
barferio Author Profile Page :
 

DwightCollins wrote:

people will profit from climate change and that makes it a fraud upon the people of the earth...

Let's go with that. What about Haliburton profiting off of the war in Iraq? What about your republican masters profiting from that war ...

 
ragorama Author Profile Page :
 

When we buy a car, we buy insurance in case there is an accident and not because we plan to have an accident. Climate change is an insurance problem and just as there is a certain level of certainty that we will have an accident just by being on the road, there is a probability that we are changing climate and damaging the planet by changing land and burning fossil fuels. These hyped up charges of dishonesty are hopefully just potholes on the road that we can avoid to get to our common destination safely without leaving behind any roadkills.

Raghu Murtugudde

 
dnjake Author Profile Page :
 

I earned a PhD at one of the world's top scientific institutions. I also have substantial formal scientific training in an exceptionally wide range of scientific subjects. How trustworthy is climate science? I don't know. I am not an expert in climate science. So I don't have any direct capability to evaluate its quality. Are there any credible scientific experts that I can rely on for an evaluation of the work? I don't know. It is clear that almost everything written in the media is hearsay. It is also clear that the subject has become politicized to a degree that makes evaluation of the quality of the expert evaluations very uncertain. What is obvious is that the climate system is very complex. It appears very unlikely that anyone really has the level of understanding of how it works that is required to reach confident scientific conclusions. Nobody even appears to claim to have the level of knowledge needed to engineer any kind of solution that could reliably be expected to stabalize the climate. On the other hand, those who think that human beings can simply continue to indulge our greed without any worry about our impact on our environment are in a state of denial. So are those who expect the future to be some endless extrapolation of recent human experience. Some time in the next hundred years or so some mixture of our successes and our failures will bring humanity into a period of crisis that will be difficult to control and very possibly will produce a major conflict over the direction of humanity's future. Whether climate change is at the leading edge of that process remains to be seen. All we can do now is try to learn more and make some effort at getting more control over the waste we are releasing into our environment.

 
dnjake Author Profile Page :
 

I earned a PhD at one of the world's top scientific institutions. I also have substantial formal scientific training in an exceptionally wide range of scientific subjects. How trustworthy is climate science? I don't know. I am not an expert in climate science. So I don't have any direct capability to evaluate its quality. Are there any credible scientific experts that I can rely on for an evaluation of the work? I don't know. It is clear that almost everything written in the media is hearsay. It is also clear that the subject has become politicized to a degree that makes evaluation of the quality of the expert evaluations very uncertain. What is obvious is that the climate system is very complex. It appears very unlikely that anyone really has the level of understanding of how it works that is required to reach confident scientific conclusions. Nobody even appears to claim to have the level of knowledge needed to engineer any kind of solution that could reliably be expected to stabalize the climate. On the other hand, those who think that human beings can simply continue to indulge our greed without any worry about our impact on our environment are in a state of denial. So are those who expect the future to be some endless extrapolation of recent human experience. Some time in the next hundred years or so some mixture of our successes and our failures will bring humanity into a period of crisis that will be difficult to control and very possibly will produce a major conflict over the direction of humanity's future. Whether climate change is at the leading edge of that process remains to be seen. All we can do now is try to learn more and make some effort at getting more control over the waste we are releasing into our environment.

 
Jimbo77 Author Profile Page :
 

The climate hoax deceivers have been exposed! Their obvious motive is primarily money but also ideology.

 
longjohns Author Profile Page :
 

Well. The question is what do we mean by science. There are descriptive sciences and predictive sciences. Descriptive sciences are more primative but it is also where things start. Modern biology, chemistry and physics all started there. Physics is probably the most advanced but there are many areas of physics where descriptive studies are still the rule.

For instance, we are pretty good at predictive science when it comes to firing rockets. We are no good at it when it comes to predicting how to make high-temperature superconductors.

Most of biology is still trial-and-error. Certainly all of medicine is mostly trial and error.

Climate science is mostly observational. It is just longterm weather prediction. We're not too good at weather prediction so it is natural to say that climate science is inexact. Don't get me wrong. Long term trends are sometimes more easily predictable. Nevertheless, it is foolish to say with certainty that we know how to manipulate climate either for the worse or for the better.

But it is all better than predicting the economy.

 
Wanderer13 Author Profile Page :
 

Until the Copernican theory, the sun was believed to rotate about the earth. Devious, tortured mathematical models (epicycles, combinations of circles within circles) were devised to explain deviant phenomena (like retrograde motion). Once Kepler figured out that planetary orbits were ellipses, with the sun at one foci, everything fell into place. Of course, they still didn't know WHY (that had to wait for Newton).
It should now be apparent that "climate science" involves far more variables than planetary motion, and that current theories do not explain its complexity. Further, it should also be apparent that there have been many studies (and scientists) who have falsely claimed to understand and explain exactly what's happening, what's causing it, how far it will change and how fast.
Until the current crop of climate scientists admit that their theories are at best partial and subject to change as better information develops, they will gain no respect. It would help if they would quit making outlandish claims that aren't supported by the data, quit losing / selectively ignoring / falsifying data through tortuous mathematics, and in general quit demanding we commit economic suicide because their unsupported models and wild guesses require it.
"Religion is the opiate of the masses" -- K. Marx
"Environmentalism is the new religion of the intelligentsia. Bureaucracy comes in a close second." - J. Wright

 
CalP Author Profile Page :
 

Since the earth is more than 5 billion years old (or young), and we obviously do not have sscientific records of all the changes the earth has experienced in that time, including the number of times that the warming and/or cooling effects of the earth have occurred, then I agree that climate science is not as reliable as we might want it to be.

However, we can certainly relate to what is observable. We know that the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro have receeded, we know the same thing is happening to mountains in S. America, and we know that glaciers are melting in other places and that icebergs are melting and breaking apart. We know that these things are not happening because the earth is getting colder. There was concern about loss of Artic ice and then we were told that there was more ice than before; however, we have, more recently, been advised that the thickness of the ice as seen from space was misinterpreted and that what is present is "rotten ice" that is not able to provide the same support as normal ice of a similar thickness.

One problem with the facts and realities of climate change is the attitude of the media that seems to think that the results of global warming would be a heating up of the entire globe. I think that serious scientists have concluided that global warming would result in unpredictable weather patterns around the globe, and we are certainly experiencing some of this currently. The Turin winter olympics had some trouble with the availability of snow, currently, Vancouver, Canada is concerned about the availability of snow for the 2010 olympics; while in parts of Ontario, Canada we are experiencing a snowless winter while the U.S. is experiencing a very odd cold and snowy winter in several places. Added to this are experiences all over the world that are not normal, so it is very possible that we are already experiencing the effects of global warming as a result of man's activities over the past years.

 
B2O2 Author Profile Page :
 

Good grief, look what humankind's future chances is up against...

GMDIM wrote:

"Let’s be scrupulous in our use of "science." Compare so-called climate science with physics or chemistry."

Climate science *includes* the physics and chemistry of the earth's systems. There are thousands of physicists and chemists working in the field. Your statement is akin to "compare so-called medical science with biology or biochemistry...".


"Sure, there are plenty of disputes in the latter, too, but nothing like the disarray in the former."

Yeah, huge "disarray" in climatology these days. Only 97% of the people doing research in the field agree that humankind is driving this. (You wouldn't know it though from listening to talk radio, would you?)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090119210532.htm

 
ambutt13 Author Profile Page :
 

Excursions of ten days totality on Kolhoai glacier of Kashmir without any professional expertise & aim to grab more funds was the sole motive of m/sPachuri,Hasnain&lal.They should provide the account & be sacked from IPCC assignment

 
adrienne_najjar Author Profile Page :
 

thanks to our third world education system, the public is so stupid it isn't qualified to be skeptical or otherwise. They need to go back to watching American Idol, drinking beer, eating doritos, and shopping aimlessly.

 
win_harrington Author Profile Page :
 

Big Science will say anything to get the next government grant.

 
DwightCollins Author Profile Page :
 

people will profit from climate change and that makes it a fraud upon the people of the earth...

 
andrebudianto Author Profile Page :
 

I'm sorry I feel of playmate of the player caused IPCC in circumstances..

 
dotboy10 Author Profile Page :
 

Climate debate aside...why shouldn't we not want to take care of our planet?

 
khote14 Author Profile Page :
 

"...and should they cause the public to be more skeptical about the underlying science of climate change?"

Always be skeptical, that's science. But there's a difference between denial and skepticism. The believers don't know the difference.

The scientists better get their act together, if they really believe this to be true. Most of these people won't believe it if you stick their nose in it, but more people will accept that something needs to be done if you can prove it to them.

Of course, you may have to teach them what "proof" actually is, how it works. I mean, look at what they believe already. They've attached their religious beliefs to this issue, and you ain't gonna be able to fix that.

 
gmdim Author Profile Page :
 

Let’s be scrupulous in our use of "science." Compare so-called climate science with physics or chemistry. Sure, there are plenty of disputes in the latter, too, but nothing like the disarray in the former. At best, climate science is like some parts of psychology and sociology: compilations of observations and then daring speculations about how they might be understood. Think of observations of child learning and then far-reaching advice about how to raise and educate children, or of observations of the inner city and then far-reaching advice about how to deal with problems there. They all are valuable and perhaps some day will deserve the respect physics and chemistry receive today. But it would be foolhardy to enforce national rules about child-raising or inner city administration on the basis of such undeveloped sciences. It is even more foolhardy to commit to spending trillions of dollars on projects suggested by climatologists.

 
donnolo Author Profile Page :
 

Suppose hackers got hold of *your* email. All of it, every message you ever sent and received. And suppose those hackers were ill disposed toward you. Suppose they cherry-picked that e-mail trove, looking for ways to make you look like a criminal or a liar.

Aren't the chances pretty could that they'd find something that would embarrass you?

 
barferio Author Profile Page :
 

Try using a Pascal's Wager kind of argument with these people, it seems to have convinced them that the religion of their parents is true. What if global warming is true?

Well, of course it won't work. The goobers, rubes, and faithists already have preconceived ideas about scientists - look at this spidermean character, I mean, could you ask for a better example of what the world of reason is up against?

 
B2O2 Author Profile Page :
 

EDBRYONADAMS,

There was a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters about 6 months ago explaining the last 10-12 years of the temperature record. Basically, the combination of the strong El Nino year in 1998 (which caused a temperature spike on top of the slowly rising trend), coupled with a down period in the solar cycle since then, has created this illusion (well, real, but a dampening of the underlying trend) of flat temps for the past decade.

If the analysis in that paper is correct, we are also in for another steep upward climb again, as the solar cycle kicks back into rising, and the masking effect of that 1998 spike fades from the picture.

Paper is subscription-only (many journals are), but here is a media write up of it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/27/world-warming-faster-study

 
B2O2 Author Profile Page :
 

The only "broader meaning" to take from this is that climate "skeptics" (many of whom aren't skeptical at all, but are prentending to be so for the public benefit of their patrons/clients in the oil industry) are desperate. The writing is on the wall with the cavalcade of consensus in the climatology community (none of which has been the slightest bit dented by the manufactured, out-of-context reaction to the hacked emails) all pointing to human causes. We just completed the warmest decade on record, and we are still climbing.

Industry stands to gain billions in profits for each month that they can confuse, obfuscate and confound the public. That's something they have done quite well for over a decade now, thanks to a nearly science-illiterate American public (the rest of the world doesn't seem to have much problem grasping that scientists have more authority on science questions than industry does - it's just the good ole US of A where that is a radical proposition).

 
edbyronadams Author Profile Page :
 

Now, there is this.

online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704194504575031404275769886.html

"Climatologists have puzzled over why global average temperatures have stayed roughly flat in the past decade, despite a long-term warming trend. New research suggests that lower levels of water vapor in the stratosphere may partly explain the anomaly."...

"Nor do current warming models fully account for all the complexities of water-vapor shifts in the stratosphere. And scientists have yet to pin down why cold point temperatures in the tropics fell in the past decade"

 
FadingFast Author Profile Page :
 

It is unfortunate that people on both sides of the global warming issue bring Darwin and evolution into the discussion. A century of biological research supports the theory of evolution. Although there is always debate amongst evolutionary biologists about the details, there is truly no disagreement about the fundamentals. It is confirmed science; whereas climate science is young and immature (some of its devotees seem immature as well as displayed by the CRU emails). The oft repeated statement that climate change is settled science is simply untrue, especially now that we see the manipulation that has occurred in many aspects of the research and "expert" pronouncements.
There is no valid comparison with evolutionary theory or research. Please leave Darwin out of the discussion.

 
edbyronadams Author Profile Page :
 


This is an interesting time for those who figure we must act to suppress ghg releases to avoid a catastrophe in the future. It seems that many trends are reaching a head. The supply of petroleum is acting as a brake on the global economy. Without growth, people are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to slow ghg emissions.

The problem with the glacial retreat prediction and the revelation of politics playing a part within the scientific community merely hardens faith positions of the warming deniers. So has a cold winter. This wouldn't matter so much if we had a robust economy but it makes the political problems associated with acting on ghg suppression insurmountable for a time.

The administration is making face saving procedures in the way of promises that it will not be able to keep to the public and the international community.

 
bill_in_damascus Author Profile Page :
 

To me, the biggest misconception is the true nature of the movement. It is not "Save the Earth," rather it is "Save the Humans." Irrespective of the cause of global warming (whether man-made or cyclical), the Earth is getting warmer. The Earth will be just fine - we are here just a moment in Time. The real question is how to respond to the change to preserve the future of our Civilization and Humanity in general.

 
spidermean2 Author Profile Page :
 

Charles Darwin is a Theologian and Dawkins is a zoologist. Clearly these people have no actual background with regards to pure science unlike engineers who deal with pure science.

Like global warming, Darwinian Evolution is a sham.

 
spidermean2 Author Profile Page :
 

Iam an engineer and I can prove that what happened with that garguantuan iceberg chunk separating can be replicated in the lab.

The phenomenon means that what we have is a dip of temperature in Antartica.

I don't want to explain it here. I want the idiotic "scientists" to think for themselves why it happened.

 
spinsandjumps Author Profile Page :
 

The broader meaning is that the public and the US public in particular is vastly undereducated in science. I need to offer no further proof than Spidermean2's comment above. That is a truly sad and powerful commentary on where our country is headed if folks like that get public platforms.

We need to get our children (and ideally those adults for whom all hope is not yet lost) scientificaly literate so that they don't relay on journalists who have no discernable background in the scientific topics they report on to tell them what to believe. The public has to know enough so that they may review the facts themselves and not rely on pseudo/political/popular experts like Al Gore and company, who have no scientific background themselves. Additionally the journalists who report these topics need to get themselves educated and/or go directly to the experts if they don't, or backoff and allow those who do understand the real issues to report them.

 
spidermean2 Author Profile Page :
 

What happened in Antartica when a big chunk of ice floated towards Australia is a clear indication that there is no global warming. The phenomenon means we have is a dip of temperature in Antartica. If it becomes a trend, we would experience a colder climate.

Climate scientist are all idiots because they all believe in Darwinian Evolution. They are jumping from one idiocy to another.

 
 
 
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