A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Friday, February 24, 2006

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There's Global Warming on Mars Too

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic guide)

This article has moved to ScienceBlogs

It has also been updated and this page is still here only to preserve the original comment thread. Please visit A Few Things Ill Considered there. You may also like to view Painting With Water, Coby Beck's original fine art photography.

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45 Comments:

  • At June 16, 2006 8:20 AM, Blogger drakaan said…

    Not to be a pain, but the sun may well have something to do with climate change, and those careful observations are saying that its output has increased over the past century or so (don't believe me, believe the Max Planck Institute):

    Linkage

     
  • At June 16, 2006 9:00 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi drakaan,

    Yes, I am aware of the study that this news article misrepresents (and have discussed that article a few times on sci.environment). Possibly 10-30% of warming since the 1980's is due to solar. These findings are not widely accepted yet, nor have they been discredited. This does not really change all that much in the big picture. The currently accepted attribution for 20th century warming includes about 50% solar in the early 20th century. Even the Plank Institute's data shows almost no trend in the latter part of this century (this is Dr Solanki's institute and he is the lead author of the study that Daily Telegraph article is reporting on).

    You might be interested in this article about the general claim your article makes, that GW is caused by the sun.

    Thanks for the comment, I added a link to my "It's the Sun" article in the OP.

     
  • At July 07, 2006 9:34 AM, Blogger Joel Monka said…

    It's not one spot on Mars, but many, and evidence of more severe weather as well- NASA released information on this last September. Then in May of this year NASA released evidence of climate change on Jupiter- it has grown a second "Red Spot" mega-hurricane larger than the Earth itself, and dozens more "white spot" hurricanes- here are two of the many articles:
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060505.html
    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060504_red_jr.html

     
  • At July 07, 2006 1:42 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Joel,

    I would be interested in seeing the evidence from Mars you mention. I am aware of the new storm on Jupiter, it is very interesting and of course the proposed causes are very speculative. I take it then that you consider Rita and Katrina and the record 2005 season as evidence of global warming on Earth?

    If this storm on Jupiter is indeed a sign of climate change, and this climate change is indeed global, and this global change is indeed warming, the fact remains that the only commonality between earth and jupiter is the sun. The sun has not shown any significant trend in the last several decades and is not the cause of today's earthly changes. Don't forget that surely on Jupiter, as on Earth, the climate is always changing.

    Thanks for the comment and the URL's, APOD is great, isn't it?

     
  • At July 09, 2006 5:27 PM, Blogger Joel Monka said…

    Here are some of the articles on Mars I mentioned:
    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13166
    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Odyssey_Studies_Changing_Weather_And_Climate_On_Mars.html
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011207070305.htm
    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/mars_snow_011206-1.html
    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,48895,00.html

    As to Rita and Katrina, I think it's just as possible it was a simple roll of the dice. I live in a tornado zone, and we're way down this year on our tornado count (I'm not complaining, mind!)- I'm not assuming any trends.

    shameless plug- I'll be posting a essay on the subject on my own blog, CUUMBAYA soon

     
  • At July 09, 2006 5:50 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Joel,

    Two of those are the same story, about how there seems to be too much water ice at one of the poles to be at an equilibrium state (that would be a conclusion based on a climate model, BTW), the others are all about the change in polar CO2 ice. You do realize that these articles compare the apparent changes there to the ice age cycles on earth, don't you? In other words, there is no evidence in anything you have offered to contradict anything I wrote in this post. What may be happening on Mars has nothing to do with what is happening on earth.

    BTW, did you get my point in asking about what you think the most recent record hurricane season means? Why do you accept one storm on Jupiter as evidence of a global climate change but not a record 28 tropical storms on earth? Why don't you think that new red spot is just a roll of the dice? I don't accept either as conclusive of anything, BTW.

     
  • At July 10, 2006 7:18 AM, Blogger Joel Monka said…

    I don't find either sets of storms conclusive, either, although Jupiter's weather has been more stable than Earth's, at least at the mega-level we can see. It just seems logical that the shift from stable to unstable might be more dramatic than the shift from unstable to slightly more unstable. And I never questioned that last year was a bad year for hurricanes- but then, the last 50 years have been lighter on category 3 and above than the 1900-1950 years were.

    I'm quite cautious on this issue because I am old enough to remember the Global Cooling scares. I know that's downplayed nowadays, but at the time, it was claimed there was general consensus, and articles co-signed by hundreds of scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, were circulated and published.(some of the signers of those letters are also signers of various Global Warming papers today) Doubters were sneered at as hacks willing to see the planet covered in glaciers for political advantage. I'd like to see the American Meteorolgy Association get on board, for example, which they have not. I'd like to see estimates of the effects to be expected that are a little more precise than a rise in sea level of somewhere between 8 inches and 20 feet somewhere between 50 and 500 years. I'd like to see solutions that are based on reducing the total World emissions, if emissions are the trouble, which the Kyoto accords do not- they would lower the G-8 emissions, while allowing China and the Third World to run wild.

     
  • At July 10, 2006 8:11 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Joel, why do you think Jupiter's weather has been stable? Just because the Great Red Spot is centuries old? It is *one* storm. All these global conclusions from a single bit of very coarse information? I don't think your assertion about cat 3 hurricanes on earth in the early 20th is correct either.

    I don't know where you are getting your information about the 70's cooling predictions. Please show me these articles signed by hundreds of scientists, I don't believe you can, but if you could I would have to change this article and let the folks at Real Climate know they have to change alot of what they also say about that issue. Evidence of "doubters sneered at as political hacks willing to see the planet covered in glaciers" would be appropriate for you to supply too, though a single article signed by Nobel Prize winners is quite enough to score a good point here. If you can't find any of that, I really recommend that you revisit everything you think you learned about the global warming issue from whatever source has fed you this "cooling scare" misinformation.

    FYI, the American Meteorological Society is on board .

    Sea level rise is very difficult to predict because so little is known about the behaviour of icesheets in a warming climate. While I absolutely agree it would be very nice to know exactly what will happen, in risk management one does not demand perfect knowledge before avoiding potentially severe negative consequences. (You are of course extremely exagerating the uncertainty, I should point out).

    Kyoto is intended as a multi-stepped program, modeled on the very successful Montreal Protocol about CFC's, and all countries would have to control emissions. It is only this initial phase, successfully undermined by the US, that was exempting India and China. You can read more about that here.

     
  • At July 11, 2006 7:44 AM, Blogger Joel Monka said…

    I wasn't fed stuff on Global cooling, I was an adult debating the issue back then. I don't have the materials still collectd- I hadn't expected back then to need them 30 years later- but I'll see what I can find.

     
  • At July 11, 2006 11:19 AM, Blogger Joel Monka said…

    I checked out the Real Climate article, and it seems they missed a few articles, like:
    Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation."
    Science Digest (February 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age."
    The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect," Aug. 27, 1974)
    New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age."
    The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable"
    The New York Times (Aug. 14, 1975) reported "many signs" that "Earth may be heading for another ice age."
    Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned about "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation."
    "Continued rapid cooling of the Earth" (Global Ecology, 1971)
    ...could herald "a full-blown 10,000-year ice age" (Science, March 1, 1975).
    The Christian Science Monitor reported (Aug. 27, 1974) that Nebraska's armadillos were retreating south from the cooling.
    and this quote from 1972:"We simply cannot afford to gamble. We cannot risk inaction. The scientists who disagree are acting irresponsibly. The indications that our climate can soon change for the worse are too strong to be reasonably ignored."

    I found those in just a few minutes; I don't have the full articles, some of those magazines are out of print, although the State library has them- if necessary, one could get prints. I just wanted to show that it was a much bigger deal than Real Climate indicates; anyone who lived through those years and had even the slightest interest in current affairs remembers it. I'll keep looking for that letter signed by the list of scientists that was sent out about Global Cooling, but it will take longer to find, as it will involve a newspaper search.

     
  • At July 13, 2006 8:27 PM, Anonymous smijer said…

    Joel, sorry for the late reply on your comment. You only quoted one peer review publication in defense of the idea that scientists were adamanant that we were embarking on a new ice age in the '70's. The others were all non-academic... I should also note that you found your way here from the comments on my web-site where I consciously brought to your attention you that the popular press of the 1970's (as opposed to the sceintific community) had sensationalized the myth of a "global cooling" consensus.

    You attributed this paraphrase to Science, Dec 10, 1976:
    warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation."


    The actual quote from that article tells a much different story:
    A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next several thousands years is towards extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.

    I don't know if Science Digest's actual quote was as irresponsible as you portray it, or even if those from the remainder of your quotes were. Science Digest is not an academic publication, and if it did report irresponsibly on the science of the day, it was not alone among scientific-interest popular magazines that did so. Either way, I think the point is still very clear: the sources you rely upon to support the theory that 1970's climate scientists had reached consensus on global cooling and that they had "sneered at as hacks willing to see the planet covered in glaciers for political advantage", are unreliable, partisan sources - willing to decieve you about the state of 1970's science in order to garner your skepticism of current climate science.

     
  • At July 13, 2006 11:06 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Thanks for that smijer. I am in the midst of a family emergency so could not take the time to reply.

    I think what you have revealed about the single scientific quote that Joel offered makes it pretty unnecessary to look too hard at the popular press quotes.

     
  • At September 11, 2006 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I see a repeated argument in these "proofs": The cause for XXX effect is not known, while in this case we KNOW that CO2 emissions are the cause for global warming. But that's exactly the point in dispute!!!
    Few argue there's been no global warming in the past few years. What's being discussed is if this is an actual trend and there's a cause-effect correlation with CO2 emissions and human action.
    Using the argument that we KNOW that CO2 emissions are the cause for the global warming trend to prove that CO2 is the cause for global warming and that warming is a long term trend is just circular reasoning.

     
  • At September 11, 2006 8:15 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Anonymous,

    You missed the point, which is in this case we know what the cause is not, namely the sun. GW on earth and Mars, if it is to imply anything about the current debate, is supposed to demonstrate that the sun is the root cause.

    What's being discussed is if this is an actual trend and there's a cause-effect correlation with CO2 emissions and human action

    This discussion is over in the scientific arena.

     
  • At November 14, 2006 1:35 PM, Anonymous David Summers said…

    This means that for the last thirty years, while the temperature has been rising fastest, the sun has shown no trend.

    OK... but you said earlier (in the H2O section) that there is a large lag between energy input and temperature stabilization (which only makes sense). Further, you state that H2O provides a positive feedback effect, greatly amplifying the effect of small changes in energy absorption (via CO2) - but that also would amplify changes in energy input.

    So we have a system that takes a long time to achieve equilibrium. We increase the input energy in a step, going from 1X to 1.01X with no further increases. The system will demonstrate a steady rise in temperature, and because of the positive feedback from H2O this temperature rise we be exponential.

    So how do we know that this is not what we are seeing?

    To answer this question (and the H2O question, really) it would be nice to have an estimate of the time constant for Earth's thermal mass and insulation properties (as in, how long does it take the Earth's global temperature to adjust to a stimulus).

     
  • At November 14, 2006 2:40 PM, Blogger coby said…

    This means that for the last thirty years, while the temperature has been rising fastest, the sun has shown no trend.

    OK... but you said earlier (in the H2O section) that there is a large lag between energy input and temperature stabilization (which only makes sense). Further, you state that H2O provides a positive feedback effect, greatly amplifying the effect of small changes in energy absorption (via CO2) - but that also would amplify changes in energy input.

    Be careful not to confuse response with equilibrium response. The temperature will respond to a forcing immediately, but in the face of a fixed new forcing will not *stop* responding for several decades. You are right that H2O and any other feedbacks would factor in. But we are now in the realm of detail that requires the formulas and the actual measurements. I am not aware of any scientific sources that have numbers supporting insolation changes as the largest 20th century influence or a significant late 20th century influence.

    To answer this question (and the H2O question, really) it would be nice to have an estimate of the time constant for Earth's thermal mass and insulation properties (as in, how long does it take the Earth's global temperature to adjust to a stimulus).

    You may be interested in this part of the TAR.

    Thanks for the interesting comments!

     
  • At February 11, 2007 8:53 PM, Blogger ASM826 said…

    I remember "Global Cooling" in my textbooks in the late 1960's. Drawings of the Army setting up lasers powered by nuclear generators to try to hold back the glaciers. Now it's "Global Warming". Next year we'll go back to "Planet Killer Asteroids". Whatever sells the papers and magazines. It's the Chicken Little Syndrome. One short span of data shows a warming trend and hysteria results.

     
  • At February 11, 2007 10:06 PM, Blogger coby said…

  • At February 13, 2007 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    human made Global warming beleivers seem to always forget that in Science, you need to use the scientific method. There is no way to calculate error bands when running computer models on climate change. In addition, there are vast disagreements about how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. Whethear programs that are used in the climate change models fail to take in to consideration things like cloud cover. In addition, it is impossible to know the future sun activity. In other words, how can we be sure that CO2 is the cause of the increase in global tempeture. Some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but this is a step that Global warming advocates miss. They try to take the cause/effect arguement off the table. Just because they both have an up trend does not mean there is a relationship. For example, when the road is soft and tarry, the infant mortality rate increases. One could falsely conclude that this means that the soft tar on the road causes infant mortality, but this is absurd. The real laugher in this column is that the author believes that ice warming on mars is insignificant to the global warming debate. Of course, none of us will feel the effects of global warming destroying the planet. These theories always seem to be far in the future (our childrens children etc.). The reason for this is so that these phony global warming scientists can claim catastrophic results without any accountability. Well, if the author of this piece really believes in man made global climate change, I would suggest buying up soon to be beach front property in alaska.

     
  • At February 13, 2007 1:44 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "There's Global Warming on Mars Too":

    there are vast disagreements about how much CO2 is in the atmosphere

    No, there aren't. The CO2 concentration and its trend are extremely well supported and uncontentious.

    Whethear programs that are used in the climate change models fail to take in to consideration things like cloud cover.

    Please see this article.

    In addition, it is impossible to know the future sun activity. In other words, how can we be sure that CO2 is the cause of the increase in global tempeture.

    This is illogical: because we can't know the future we can't understand the past and present? Read this.

    Just because they both have an up trend does not mean there is a relationship.

    Please read this.

    these phony global warming scientists

    This might help.

     
  • At February 20, 2007 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is quite rich. One hundred years of weather station temperature data all over the globe and these guys still don't buy it. Three photos of one piece of ice on Mars and they have no doubts! As for Pluto, it hasn't even completed one orbit in the 150 years we've been reading the thermometers here on Earth! Still, avoid the temptation to laugh out loud...

    _______________________________

    If you are going to dig into Martian temperature records, then dig into Martian temperature records. Don't fly all over the place and bring the kitchen sink into the arguement.

     
  • At March 04, 2007 4:41 PM, Blogger Jim said…

    http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/7/12/2

     
  • At March 21, 2007 3:56 PM, Blogger Jamie said…

    "Rich", anonymous? I think some very well-thought points have been brought up here. We've "known" many things in the past with about the same reason: that demons caused sickness, that bleeding people makes them better, and that a little cocaine in your drink never hurt anyone. I'm a supporter of having full facts. Unfortunately, in the atmosphere surrounding the global warming debate -- and it is still a debate -- dissident voices are being stifled. The idea of global warming is taking on the affect of an apocalyptic cult, not a well-considered scientific argument. Right or wrong, that's dangerous.

     
  • At April 15, 2007 10:10 AM, Blogger Brett said…

    Although the Earth's Global Warming may be a combination of man-made and natural causes, the scientific evidence is incontrovertible that our species is playing a major role tracing back to the Industrial Revolution.

     
  • At June 20, 2007 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't pick on the guys who say the planets are all getting warmer too. They didn't know they were messing up the global warming guys party. Now you are making them make up all kinds of goofy reasons why the planets are all getting hotter - they are trying to bend their knees, don't rub their face in the dirt anymore than necessary please.

     
  • At June 20, 2007 9:06 AM, Blogger coby said…

    as much fun as it is to discuss science with somone who thinks the journal Nature and Rush Limbaugh are equally legitimate sources, I think I will decline...

    Thanks for the commnt.

     
  • At June 28, 2007 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Back to Basics
    Quite the debate here, all new to me but topic seems crucial.

    Yes Earth is warming, no question and yes, humans are making things warmer/ worse. But its cucial to determine what would happen if every last human were shot dead. To the temperature that is! If the sun really is the cause, warming would presumably continue, perhaps even accelerate due to increased (darker) reforestation. I understand in the past, much warmer periods triggered increased CO2 as an effect not a cause. In this case, Kyoto would have been useless, even counterproductive in distracting us from the true cause (the sun) and diverting effort from more accurately targetted action (reducing insolation?)

    Surely it is responsible to consider this possibility rather than dismissing it almost out of hand.

    Surely solar insolation can/should be determined ASAP to settle this critical debate.

    And while I'm all for cutting back on our profligate wastefulness, surely a specialized economy like Canada's should not wreck itself trying to meet a flawed agreement that ignores this specialization, at least until such a crucial question is settled so as to remove reasonable doubt.

    In my mind, in the face of serious cost and dislocation, the doubt factor is growing not receeding. Time to tread very carefully, despite abundant zealotry from the mostly self interested.

     
  • At June 29, 2007 8:37 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Re: Back to Basics,

    You are absolutely correct that the possibility of solar influences on the current climate change should be very seriously examined. Rest assured it has been. This article is strictly about the red herring argument of climate change on Mars. Please go here for a more detailed response to solar frcing in general. Be sure to check the references!

    The IPCC has done a great deal of work on the whole question of attribution, CO2 was never blamed out of hand and every other conceivable factor is being carefully considered.

    Thans for the comment.

     
  • At July 20, 2007 3:43 PM, Anonymous Bob said…

    The IPCC did do a lot of work on climate change. Then the government officials came in and changed words like "possibly" to "definitely....

    I have read a large number of scientific journals for and against climate change. I have read published reports that see levels are dropping in numerous tropical islands (granted by centimeters) and I have read published reports stating that ice sheets are melting.

    I have read suggestions that the climate isn't 'actually' increasing in temperature (due to parts of the southern hemisphere decreasing in temperature) and that the climate is just moving in line with the current "magnetic switch"

    I have read thousands of published scientific journals/reports/arguments and it just lead me to believe that we really don't have a clear idea of the cause for the climate change.

    Please don't ask me to give links to these various items referred to, they are all in the public domain and easily found. All I really wanted to say was I have found all the comments posted an interesting read. Keep up the good work all.

     
  • At July 20, 2007 4:09 PM, Blogger coby said…

    The IPCC did do a lot of work on climate change. Then the government officials came in and changed words like "possibly" to "definitely....

    Actually this is 180o wrong. Gov'ts pressured the IPCC to water down their conclusions.

    I have read a large number of scientific journals for and against climate change. I have read published reports that see levels are dropping in numerous tropical islands (granted by centimeters) and I have read published reports stating that ice sheets are melting.

    There is no modern scientific research showing global sea levls are not rising. Local changes can be caused by seismic activity, isostatic rebound and sinking ground.


    I have read suggestions that the climate isn't 'actually' increasing in temperature (due to parts of the southern hemisphere decreasing in temperature) and that the climate is just moving in line with the current "magnetic switch"

    You have not rad this in any peer reviewed journals.

    I have read thousands of published scientific journals/reports/arguments and it just lead me to believe that we really don't have a clear idea of the cause for the climate change.

    Strange. All the current research is virtually unanimous on the existence of an anthropogenic signal in the undisbutable warming trend. Coule you provide a couple of examples of research that...

    Please don't ask me to give links to these various items referred to...

    ...oh. Never mind.

     
  • At July 28, 2007 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We know that ice ages are cyclical in nature. That has been well established, even if real scientists are still studying it - as real scientists should continue to study things (Hell, there are folks still studying GRAVITY). Aside from volcanic activity over the eons that has sometimes added to or sometimes mitigated the effects, the cycles of the sun, cycles of cosmic rays, and cycles of our own orbit actually correlate nicely with the cycles of ice ages. Correct? (You can find this info in middle school science textbooks it has been studied so well)

    So if ice ages are cyclical, why isn't logical to think that, just maybe, the warming periods in between are part of the same cycles? Haven't I heard some whisperings about the Little Ice Age that just ended less than 200 years ago? Wouldn't it be expected to see some warming after that? Otherwise, how would we know it ended?

     
  • At July 28, 2007 3:20 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Anonymouse,

    You should have a look around this site, all your questions are well answered.

    Thanks for the comment!

     
  • At August 12, 2007 10:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said…

    I am hearing that five bodies are showing warming trends, not just Mars. I have seen Jupiter and Pluto cited specifically. Is anything in the solar system cooling? I suspect that there is some delay time in the effect of solar irradiance. Max Planck data shows increase from 1860, but not recently. Do we have any estimates from before 1860? Did comet impacts have any effect on Jupiter climate?

     
  • At August 12, 2007 4:16 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi jj,

    Have a look at this article. Unfortunately the Nature article refered to is not available anymore without a paid subscription, but my post touches on the major points though the extra detail was very informative. Very briefly:
    - Jupiter: regional changes, warming equatorial regions
    and cooling polar regions
    - Triton: warming due to its orbital positions
    - Saturn: not warming, just new observations showing
    a (not new) huge polar cyclone
    - Pluto: warming because it is still summer
    - Mars: warming according to models that include observed albedo
    changes; at least warming in the southern hemisphere maybe
    due to its own orbital cycles like Earth's Milankovich cycles.

    I have also seen Jupiter's Enceladus included in the list of warming bodies, but this is completely wrong as the strange thing about Enceladus is it is much warmer than it should be not that a trend has been observed. The hypothesized reason is extreme geothermal activity. I don't know about any global effect on Jupiter from comet impacts, but would find it surprising given the thick and opaque atmosphere and non-solid surface, very different from earth.

    I don't know about any cooling bodies in the solar system, it would be useful rebuttal material. I would expect some, most likely for the same orbital reasons others are warming.

    Re early solar trends, my impression is that these are still uncertain and the subject of alot of research but various estimates do exist on various timescales, I don't have any suggestions about where to view them.

    Thanks again for the comments!

     
  • At September 22, 2007 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Then if we humans are causing "global warming" what caused the last ice age? When glaciers were covering Ohio was it lack of carbon dioxide?

     
  • At October 04, 2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This shit never stops, first it was the new ice age, then it was 'holes in the ozone' 'holes in the ozone', now we are all going to melt or drown when we visit Shea Stadium. Hell we can move our coconut production to Nova Scotia. One thing never changes, when the scientists of 'today' look back at the 'science' fifty or one hundred years ago - they laugh so hard the Coke comes out of their nose.

     
  • At November 18, 2007 11:23 AM, Blogger Philip Machanick said…

    Anonymous: "Then if we humans are causing "global warming" what caused the last ice age?"

    If we humans are felling trees with chain saws, why aren't all the trees that ever lived before the industrial age still standing?

    Humans are not the only influence on the climate ssytem; this does not mean they can never be an influence.

    Don't they teach logical argument in elementary school any more?

     
  • At November 18, 2007 12:14 PM, Blogger Philip Machanick said…

    I looked for the Mars warming aticle at Nature (fortunately I have a univerity log in). Only two data points were analysed: 1976–78 and 1999–2000, as representing different cases for dust storms. I don't see how anyone can claim that this represents a "trend": the authors certainly don't.

    For those who can access it:
    Lori K Fenton, Paul E Geissler, Robert M Haberle. Global warming and climate forcing by recent albedo changes on Mars, Nature vol 446 no. 5, April 2007,pp 646-649 doi:10.1038/nature05718oi:10.1038/nature0

     
  • At December 22, 2007 3:48 AM, Blogger Will Nitschke said…

    "The only evidence out there that I am aware of is a series of photographs of a single icey region in the southern hemisphere that shows melting over a two year (~1 martian year) period."

    Yeah why should any of us believe mere photographs of things we can see with our own eyes, when they get in the way of our core beliefs!? ;-)

     
  • At February 28, 2008 6:55 AM, Blogger barry said…

    Hi Coby,

    thought you might like to add some information to your top post. It seems Uranus may be cooling.

    http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~layoung/eprint/ur149/Young2001Uranus.pdf

    If I may suggest some points to obviate some rebuttals I'd expect.

    If you're going to discount Uranus data as being too little to work with, it's required that you establish that the data for other planets/moons in the solar system is 'enough'. Having read the posts through here, it seems this won't be a simple task!

    If you're going to say Uranus is cooling due to local influences, then you need to demonstrate this is not the case with the other planets/moons (I've read fairly extensively on the one's listed here - this one's not doable either, as long as one is being intellectually honest).

    Solar variation hitting the upper atmosphere of the Earth fluctuates by 0.1% (of total 1366 Watts per meter squared). This will be much less at greater distances. To convert to temperature, you need to know the thermal mass of the body being measured. (In case anyone is actually interested in trying to 'prove' solar variation is responsible for planetary/lunar temperature changes)

    Or you could just leave it simple - a cooling Uranus explodes the myth that the solar system is being heated by a hotter sun. The rest is in case anyone attempts to make a case against that.

    Ultimately, I think Uranus' temperature tells as as much about our own climate as any other planet/moon - that is, nothing.

    Cheers,

    barry.

     
  • At March 01, 2008 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very interesting posts... What about the AOL article on March 1, 2008 saying that there has been "a sharp drop in the globe’s average temperature" during the last year?

     
  • At March 02, 2008 10:51 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Climate is generally defined as an average of weather patterns over 30 years, so the change from a single year to anoher is just weather and tells you nothing about climate change. The very smallest useful metric is, say, a five year trend. Have a look at NASA's global temperature graph and pay special attention to the red five year mean line:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    (note it ends 3 years ago, it is not yet possible to know where todayès 5 year mean is)

    Thanks for the coment!

     
  • At March 03, 2008 9:23 PM, Blogger barry said…

    Re: Anonymous, March 01, 2008 11:33 PM

    What about the AOL article on March 1, 2008 saying that there has been "a sharp drop in the globe’s average temperature" during the last year?

    According to GISSTEMP, 2007 was slightly warmer than 2006.

    I don't think I've read the AOL article, but I suspect it is based on a post from Anthony Watt's blogsite.

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/january-2008-4-sources-say-globally-cooler-in-the-past-12-months/

    What Watts has done is taken the temps of the unusually high Jan 2007 and the unusually low Jan 2008, to get a global temperature drop of 0.64 degrees Celsius. In effect, the two largest, opposite anomalies in a 12 month scenario were picked as the start and end point.

    January 2007, according the graphs posted by Watts (based on GISSTEMP, HADCRU etc), is probably the 3rd warmest month (globally, not US) since 1888. January 2008 was probably the 9th coolest month since 1888.

    Essentially, the data has been cherry-picked, but even Watts doesn't claim this represents a climate trend. Here is a disclaimer he added to the bottom of the post.


    UPDATE AND CAVEAT:

    The website DailyTech has an article citing this blog entry as a reference, and their story got picked up by the Drudge report, resulting in a wide distribution. In the DailyTech article there is a paragraph:

    "Anthony Watts compiled the results of all the sources. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year time. For all sources, it’s the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down."

    I wish to state for the record, that this statement is not mine: “–a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years”

    There has been no “erasure”. This is an anomaly with a large magnitude, and it coincides with other anecdotal weather evidence. It is curious, it is unusual, it is large, it is unexpected, but it does not “erase” anything. I suggested a correction to DailyTech and they have graciously complied.

     
  • At March 06, 2008 7:55 AM, Blogger barry said…

    I'd like to qualify something I wrote above:

    Ultimately, I think Uranus' temperature tells as as much about our own climate as any other planet/moon - that is, nothing.

    I mean that there is no direct comparison to be made. Looking at various climate factors on other planets may help us to understand our own - for example, Venus has 95% percent CO2 in its atmosphere. So does Mars. However, Venuses atmosphere is much thicker than ours, and Mars much thinner. What can be looked at is the absorption properties of CO2 under different concentrations and pressures etc, which can inform us of how CO2 may function in Earth's atmosphere at different concentrations and atmospheric pressure. For example.

     
  • At July 11, 2008 10:55 PM, Blogger yezi said…

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