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Old 10-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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BBC: What Happened to Global Warming?

What happened to global warming?

By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on?

Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.

They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is the evidence for this?

During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly.

Sceptics argue that the warming we observed was down to the energy from the Sun increasing. After all 98% of the Earth's warmth comes from the Sun.

But research conducted two years ago, and published by the Royal Society, seemed to rule out solar influences.

The scientists' main approach was simple: to look at solar output and cosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare those trends with the graph for global average surface temperature.

And the results were clear. "Warming in the last 20 to 40 years can't have been caused by solar activity," said Dr Piers Forster from Leeds University, a leading contributor to this year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees.

He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.

He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.

If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.

Ocean cycles

What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores.
“ In the last few years [the Pacific Ocean] has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down ”

According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated.

The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).

For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.

These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.

So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.

Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling."

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature.

But those scientists who are equally passionate about man's influence on global warming argue that their science is solid.

The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, responsible for future climate predictions, says it incorporates solar variation and ocean cycles into its climate models, and that they are nothing new.

In fact, the centre says they are just two of the whole host of known factors that influence global temperatures - all of which are accounted for by its models.

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.

What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.

To confuse the issue even further, last month Mojib Latif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.

Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climate modellers.

But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.

So what can we expect in the next few years?

Both sides have very different forecasts. The Met Office says that warming is set to resume quickly and strongly.

It predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record (1998).

Sceptics disagree. They insist it is unlikely that temperatures will reach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It is possible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period of global cooling is more likely.

One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it is hotting up.


Story from BBC NEWS:
BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | What happened to global warming?
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it is hotting up.
you silly brits!!!

seriously, guys, my car is idling out in the driveway and i'm not even sitting in it. i just let it run sometimes, you know, for shits!
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:58 PM   #3
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good call. besides making biological weapons in my basement, i try to leave my car running as much as possible too.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:07 PM   #4
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I buy hundreds of gallons of gasoline at once in large (contraband) tanks that I bought in Latin America... I then burn that gasoline on my front driveway for heat, because all that energy my electric heating system uses is awful for the environment.
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:44 AM   #5
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i bought a big laser so i could blast holes in the ozone layer myself

(the laser runs on kittens and produces 500 tons of methane every second.)
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:45 AM   #6
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i fly everywhere. the other day i needed some milk, so i flew to switzerland to buy a cow.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:40 AM   #7
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Se7en, if nothing else, I'll have the noise police (ie. me) onto you for idling your car for no good reason. I'd say that the violence situation in your street is about to heat up.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:05 AM   #8
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Se7en, if nothing else, I'll have the noise police (ie. me) onto you for idling your car for no good reason. I'd say that the violence situation in your street is about to heat up.
kieran, i've now removed the muffler and am revving the engine for no good reason! what now? what?! YOU tell ME!
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:00 AM   #9
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I hope you are also having your 10,000 watts hi-fi stereo amped up with cheap techno. Otherwise you could as well stop the engine.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:06 AM   #10
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i eat 5 full plates of beans a day so i can fart as much as the cows that supposidly raise co2 levels.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:43 AM   #11
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I wonder how big this guy's carbon footprint is?

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Old 10-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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cognitive dissonance knows know bounds. that's why i've now jacked my car up on cinder blocks and am burning the tires to protest kieran's insistence that pollution is harmless. i won't rest until he is coughing blood.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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This is pretty funny:



Some counter propaganda:



It's nice to see some competition of ideas out there instead of blind hypocritical monism. The green movement isn't trying to stop idling of cars but are trying to change the economy without a cheap green alternative to gas, coal and nuclear. They hope that when the hardship happens a new alternative will spring up. Until then we are just supposed to eat the taxes. It's convenient to attack coal companies and energy companies but they are just supplying a demand and in turn they will pass their costs onto us until this new miraculous technology appears.

I really want to see Prince Charles and Al Gore downsize their lifestyles first before they tell the middle class to cut back. People are struggling to pay their bills and that's if they have a job.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
This is pretty funny:



Some counter propaganda:



It's nice to see some competition of ideas out there instead of blind hypocritical monism. The green movement isn't trying to stop idling of cars but are trying to change the economy without a cheap green alternative to gas, coal and nuclear. They hope that when the hardship happens a new alternative will spring up. Until then we are just supposed to eat the taxes. It's convenient to attack coal companies and energy companies but they are just supplying a demand and in turn they will pass their costs onto us until this new miraculous technology appears.

I really want to see Prince Charles and Al Gore downsize their lifestyles first before they tell the middle class to cut back. People are struggling to pay their bills and that's if they have a job.
Competition of ideas is fine provided the best idea wins. The reality is there are only a certain number of people with the qualifications and expertise to adjudge whether anthropogenic climate change is happening or not - and the vast, overwhelming majority of those agree that it is. In the internet age what we now seem to have is the democratisation of 'ideas' to the extent that any idiot mouthing off on a blog is to be given the same credence as people who actually devote their life careers to the subject.

The UK's most prominent climate change sceptical journalist, Christopher Booker, for example, has no scientific qualifications whatever. Bjorn Lomberg, a prominent global warming sceptic, is an economist, not a scientist. Of course, Gore is not a scientist either, but he has better scientific backing than the other side of the debate.

Some of the loudest voices in the climate change sceptics' camp seem to have no scientific expertise - and granted, to some extent, this also applies to some of the loud voices on the other side, e.g., George Monbiot's unnecessary personalised attacks on people who disagree with him, e.g. his campaign to discredit David Bellamy. In turning his blog into a hitpiece on a elderly botanist, Monbiot, even though he might have science on his side, ends up discrediting himself and the movement he supports.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-change-denier
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:16 PM   #15
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There are peer reviewed journals on both sides so I don't think the competition is over. If Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer are destroyed by the evidence then we could see something of a scientific consensus. As of yet they are publishing more works showing that the IPCC is 6 times off the mark and they still don't have a marker for longer term anthropogenic warming. How much is natural and how much is us? This has not been definitively proved yet.

We even have geologists and climatologists weighing in now talking about C02 as being green :



CO2 Science

Then you get the economics and statistics side of it (how do we interpret data without statistics?) which is just as important. If there is no replacement for fossil fuels then are the Al Gore types going to admit that our standard of living has to decrease? This is a moral argument. Can we tolerate warming while we get wealthier and adjust (including the 3rd world) or are we going to have to shrink the middle class and tell the 3rd world to stop developing and fill Al Gore's green businesses with license money? Having Prince Charles talking about the environment just adds to the suspicion people have that Marxists and environmentalists have allied to create another middle ages where the important people who administer the bureaucracy have the high standard of the living and the rest get the shaft. So even if the Al Gore types are right we can't just say "to hell with wealth" and not expect hardship for people. Maybe if we have some cool new Star Trek gadget that can create energy without CO2 emissions then we can quickly move in that direction and still expand our standard of living. Until I'm as wealthy as Al Gore (in my dreams) I will continue to expand my standard of living with no guilt.

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:22 PM   #16
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I've basically said that conservative goals of energy independence and liberal goals in favour of environmentalism share the same solutions. I'd also argue that, even if pollution wasn't leading to global warming, nobody wants to live in a filthy world.

We are fortunate to be living in a time where we are capable of solving the conflict between progress and the environment--e.g., the philosophical contradiction between Locke and Rousseau that has longed defined the American national consciousness. It would be a shame if the usual political bickering ruined this opportunity in favour of inaction. That inaction, as we see, led to $147/bbl oil not so long ago, and we'll see it again and again until we do something about it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:01 PM   #17
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2009 marks the 4th consecutive year of a mild or nonexistent Atlantic hurricane season.

Not exactly matching up with Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' predictions of "more frequent and severe hurricanes."
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:35 PM   #18
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this thread was more fun when we were all joking.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:57 AM   #19
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I've basically said that conservative goals of energy independence and liberal goals in favour of environmentalism share the same solutions. I'd also argue that, even if pollution wasn't leading to global warming, nobody wants to live in a filthy world.
But but but there's sooooooooooo much money to be made by maintaining the status quo! Just think of all that poor coal and oil still trapped helplessly in the ground. Think of it as if it's a huge pile dollar bills down there.


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It would be a shame if the usual political bickering ruined this opportunity in favour of inaction. That inaction, as we see, led to $147/bbl oil not so long ago, and we'll see it again and again until we do something about it.
But inaction is the whole point. As long as there's coal and oil in the ground, there will be "evidence" against climate change. It's not a coincidence that those arguing the most strongly against climate change are those who have a vested interest in preventing any steps from being taken to combat it.

Think about it. You sell something that everyone needs, and that is not going to last forever, and for which the demand is increasing. Someday it's going to run out, so your options are 1) find a replacement for said product NOW, and smoothly transition to it, or 2) wait until there is almost none left so that the prices go through the roof and make a bazillion dollars and be in a position of power because you control said product.

What savvy corporate type is going to choose door #1?

As long as there is money to be made off the status quo, expect these arguments to continue indefinitely.


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this thread was more fun when we were all joking.
That much is certain
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:12 AM   #20
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I've basically said that conservative goals of energy independence and liberal goals in favour of environmentalism share the same solutions. I'd also argue that, even if pollution wasn't leading to global warming, nobody wants to live in a filthy world.

We are fortunate to be living in a time where we are capable of solving the conflict between progress and the environment--e.g., the philosophical contradiction between Locke and Rousseau that has longed defined the American national consciousness. It would be a shame if the usual political bickering ruined this opportunity in favour of inaction. That inaction, as we see, led to $147/bbl oil not so long ago, and we'll see it again and again until we do something about it.
$147/bbl oil had more to do with futures traders (I know some who day traded as a job) and low interest rates for easy borrowing allowed the price to increase too high. Not all oil purchases are for usage. That's why regulation to prevent stupid day traders from gambling with cheap debt on the market would make the market much more efficient. Also because of an oil cartel we won't have a free market with oil until a replacement comes along. The prices are heavily manipulated.

C02 hasn't been proven to be "filthy". Yet government bureaucrats are saying it is. Nobody wants to live in a poor world and we are not close to solving the difference between Locke and Rousseau. The only technology I've seen that consumes C02 and creates octane is only in the lab and Craig Venter hasn't been able to take this bacteria to a level that can produce enough octane commercially. Cap and trade has been abandoned elsewhere because higher energy prices slows growth which is needed for new generations to get jobs. If you want to see change we will need further research into renewable energy which exists without cap and trade. Even government funding in research would be less costly than putting coal workers out of work and then giving them a tax credit.

It's fun for tenured and pensioned intellectuals to play God with the economy and come up with unrealistic overly abstract ideas that hurt people. But wait isn't the history of distant bureaucrats hurting people for a great abstract cause typical in the 20th century? It's easy to hurt people when you are far away from them. I can't say it better than this guy:



All these "green" projects look like religious rituals to me. They are just there to make people feel less guilty and some people actually get so egotistical (especially indoctrinated school kids) they think after screwing in a light bulb that they can be Hitler youth telling adults what to do even if they haven't paid a bill in their lives. I already remember having a discussion with an uber-left-wing anthropology teacher who was into the Kyoto protocol when it was new and she was talking about how we would have to have emissions like Africa to stop C02 increases. Who want's Africa's economy? Even Africans are tired of enviros tell them they can't develop like us. The only technology we could have adopted to even come close would have been to build lots of nuclear powerplants and politicians in the west have been going in the opposite direction and closing plants and trying to prevent more from being built. And this is all based on the premise that the climate is very sensitive to C02 when it hasn't been proven yet. The deniers aren't just in blogs they have peer-reviewed research. We shouldn't smash jobs in a recession only for the hope of a new technology to save the day. Humans are a part of nature and have always tried to make their lives better by using the resources of the planet for ourselves because deep down we know that there is no "mother earth" and the planet is totally indifferent to our existence and we have to adapt. To conservatives, those guys like in the book "Into the wild" and the documentary "Grizzly Man", look incredibly stupid. They are just a bunch of Homo sapiens sapiens walking in the wild with mental projections of a paradise and finally meeting REAL nature raw tooth and claw. You make a mistake and eat the wrong plant, you die. You hang around Grizzly bears, you get eaten. It's not a mistake that when the west started getting wealthy, the nature romantics started waxing eloquently about returning to nature. It's easy to be a romantic philosopher when you have modern technologies to ease the burden.

I can't believe my Anthropology teacher actually believes that a hunter and gatherer lifestyle yields more food variety than modern supermarkets. These people are Ph. Ds.
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