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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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In The Eye of the Hurricane Debate?

Via Roger Pielke Jr's Prometheus blog I note a recent statement that is signed by big names from both sides of the very heated and contentious debate over hurricane intensity and its relation to Global Warming.

It quite rightly notes that this debate is not critically relevant to policy decisions whose primary consideration is reducing loss of life and property damage from hurricanes. This is for the very simple and very clear reason that the overwhelming factor in the huge increase in US hurricane destruction over the recent decades is the pattern and manner of coastal development. To put it bluntly, people are chosing to move into high risk areas, they are not building structures that can withstand the inevitable storms, and government policy is underwriting these foolishly high risks.

Roger correctly applauds this statement as an example of feuding scientists putting aside scientific disagreements in an effort to clarify for policy makers what the socially relevant issues really are.

Hear, hear.

Now, wouldn't it be wonderful to see this same kind of joint declaration from the warring parties in the Hockey Stick debacle? How about a statement saying clearly for the record that regardless of the level of confidence of MBH98's conclusions, the IPCC's conclusions that 20th century warming is real and anthropogenic and its assessment of the dangers of further warming all have nothing to do with how warm or global the Medieval Warm Period was or was not.

It is my understanding that Climate Audit has in fact acknowledged this already.

I think the fact that this has not happened in the many years of this gloves-off, bench-clearing, jerseys-pulled-over-the-heads brawl illustrates the difference between a sincere scientific disagreement and a public relations misinformation campaign.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

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Connecting Dots

Are these items related?

From the New York Times in late January:
In several interviews with The New York Times in recent days, Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet."

From the New York Times today:
In early February, [NASA's mission] statement was quietly altered, with the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet” deleted.


Friday, July 21, 2006

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Laugh or Cry

Via ThinkProgress, you can see with your own eyes that James "Global Warming is a Hoax" Inhofe is not a satiric cartoon character after all, as one might have reasonably thought. He is actually a real live United States Senator, honorable and all that, who thinks that the IPCC report "used one scientist"(try hundreds).

Some other gems: he thinks "Gore is full of crap" (he's not) and he thinks "all of the recent science ... confirms that [he] was right" that Global Warming is a hoax (another freedom is slavery moment)

The show is Glenn Beck's, btw. Another quality episode brought to us by the "Liberal Media".

Go watch the video or read the tanscript:

BECK: Senator James Inhofe has been very vocal in saying that a lot of the statistics used by proponents of the man-made global warming theory are either misleading or just plain wrong. In fact, I think he said on my radio show earlier today that Al Gore was full of crap.
Now, from Washington, D.C., Senator James Inhofe.
As I pointed out to the radio listeners, you`re a pretty brave guy, because, you know, if you come out against global warming you`re either a nut job or you`re just clearly in bed with big oil, and thus you should have no credibility.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Yes, well, you know, I have to say this, and I`d say that probably 75 percent of the viewers that are watching this right now have bought into this thing, this global warming thing, in saying that it was manmade gases. And I was the same way 3 1/2 years ago when I became of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. And so I thought — right then, you might remember the Horton econometrics survey…

BECK: Oh, who doesn`t?

INHOFE: … that came out. And they said how much it would cost America if we signed onto the Kyoto treaty, about $2,750 per family per year in the price of energy and all that. Anyway, I saw that, and I thought, “Well, it`s my responsibility as a chairman to make sure that the science justifies this kind of loss.” And the more I checked into it, the things started with the United Nations, the International Panel on Climate Control, and they used one scientist. And his name was Michael Mann, the famous hockey stick — remember that — where he plotted the temperatures that went all the way across on a horizontal line, then you got to the 20th century and it started going up. Well, one thing they forgot to do is put in the medieval warming period, which was from about 900 to 1400 A.D., when it was warmer then than it is now.

BECK: Well, and here`s the thing. When you see…

INHOFE: So in all of the recent science, as I`ve mentioned on your radio show, it confirms that I was right on this thing. This thing is a hoax.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

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Debating an Ann Coulter Fan

Commenter georgesdelatour asks me:


includes the comment: "Any time you want to put me up to debate “climate change” with a “scientist” I’m happy to do it."

Would YOU do it?
As I have previously disclosed, I am not a climate scientist, but I would indeed accept this challenge.

Georges? Send him over, and let him take the first shot. If Mark wishes to, he could start with what problem he has with the following factual statement:

"The earth has warmed rapidly over the last century and it is due primarily to anthropogenic GHG emissions"


Thursday, July 06, 2006

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GWAG (Global Warming Acronym Guide)

Scientists love their jargon. On top of that they tend to be lazy typists. This leads to a ton of acronyms that each could mean a dozen things depending on the context.

In the context of the climate change issue, here is a quick list of some of the more common global warming acronyms:

  • AGW - Anthropogenic Global Warming
  • AMO - Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
  • AOGCM - Atmosphere-Ocean couple GCM
  • BC - Black Carbon
  • CS - Carbon Sequestration
  • CCS - Carbon Capture and Storage
  • DJF - Winter (December, January, February)
  • EAIS - East Antarctic Ice Sheet
  • ENSO - El Nino Southern Oscillation
  • GCM - Global Climate Model or General Circulation Model
  • GHE - Green House Effect
  • GHG - Green House Gas
  • GIS - Greenland Ice Sheet
  • GW - Global Warming
  • GWP - Global Warming Potential
  • IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • IR - Infrared Radiation
  • ITCZ - Intertropical Convergence Zone
  • JJA - Summer (June, July, August)
  • LW - Long Wave
  • MBH98 - Mann, Bradely, Hughes 1998 "Hockey Stick" reconstruction
  • MAM - Spring (March, April, May)
  • NAO - North Atlantic Oscillation
  • NH - Northern Hemisphere
  • PPM - Parts per Million
  • PPMV - Parts per Million by volume
  • SAR - Second Assessment Report from the IPCC
  • SH - Southern Hemisphere
  • SL - Sea Level
  • SLE - Sea Level Equivalent
  • SLR - Sea Level Rise
  • SON - Autumn (September, October, November)
  • SRES - Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
  • SST - Sea Surface Temperature
  • SW - Short Wave radiation
  • TAR - Third Assessment Report from the IPCC
  • THC - Thermohaline Circulation
  • TOA - Top of the Atmosphere
  • UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • WAIS - West Antarctic Ice Sheet

(the list will be greatly expanded and alphabetized shortly. Requests will be added immediately)

Here is a monstrously exhaustive list that I have no intention of reproducing here, I'll settle for the most common and important few.