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A 2.4-degree C rise by 2020? Probably not

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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earthClimate change is happening faster than scientists’ predicted. Meltdowns in Greenland and Antarctica are well ahead of climate science projections and overall warming continues to accelerate—we have just endured the hottest year and hottest decade on record. About the only thing that isn’t happening faster than expected is increasing concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, still steadily ticking upwards by roughly two parts per million (ppm) per year.

Now, a new study from the Argentina-based Fundacion Ecologica Universal suggests that if the world continues to burn fossil fuels and emit CO2 at its present pace, atmospheric concentrations will reach 490 ppm by 2020—up from roughly 390 ppm today. Extrapolating that directly into heat, the study suggests global average temperatures would rise by 1.4 degrees Celsius in the next nine years alone—more than six times faster than present warming. The researchers move on then to their real concern: the impact of all the heat on food crops (not good), hence the study’s title: "The Food Gap." (pdf)

The only problem is that increasing concentrations of CO2 don’t translate instantaneously into warming. In fact, greenhouse gases take time to trap the sun’s heat and warm the globe—the main reason we have built up a store of trouble for the future with more than a century of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the average temperature of the planet for the next several millennia will likely be determined this century by those of us living today and how much fossil fuel burning and deforestation, among other things, we choose to engage in.

Our content partner Climatewire reported on this study, including caveats from climate scientists not associated with it questioning its assumptions and noting the timing problem. We posted the Climatewire story on Wednesday morning, then took it offline Wednesday evening after we learned about the study’s significant criticism and republished it Thursday with an explanatory editor’s note. Climate scientists and climate contrarians alike are denouncing the study for its aggressive assumptions about the potential pace of climate change as well as its impacts on agriculture and hunger. Climate experts such as NASA GISS’s Gavin Schmidt have called the kind of warming the study suggests impossible. And Eurekalert, the science news clearinghouse of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), went so far as to retract a press release touting the study, calling it "erroneous" for "report[ing] a rate of global warming inconsistent with other respected sources of information regarding global climate change."

That is as it should be, part of the process of science correcting itself. Scientific American continues to monitor and clarify that critical process.





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  1. 1. E-boy 2:40 pm 01/22/2011

    In point of fact, I am well aware of the evidence supporting climate change.

    If you know something climatologists don’t perhaps you should publish your evidence in a journal? I find it hard to believe that you can honestly call going with the scientific consensus on this issue being outrageously biased. No one claims (not even sciam) to be 100% sure the warming trend is anthropogenic. What they do claim is they are reasonably sure that is the case. Nor, do most scientists make much in the way of claims about precisely what the consequences of global warming will be short or long term. Again, they simply don’t know. What they do know is that the odds of a random change in a highly complex system being good are vanishingly small. The odds are somewhat better for neutral results, and pretty blasted high for negative ones.

    Link to this
  2. 2. E-boy 2:44 pm 01/22/2011

    Ugh… Forgive my last reply. I think we’re on the same page. I missed a few of your quotations.

    apparently I was preaching to the choir. :-) Don’t let the trolls get you down man.

    Link to this
  3. 3. dieselpop1 3:00 pm 01/22/2011

    In 2007 a disastrous drought was caused by global warming. In 2010 a disastrous flood was caused by global warming. Both have happened previously including events a hundred years ago or so, but today they’re caused by global warming. This is all covered by the generalization that GW will cause extremes of weather.

    Link to this
  4. 4. Trent1492 3:15 pm 01/22/2011

    @Diesel Pop,

    Allow me to try this same line of reasoning to a different phenomena:

    Forest fires have occurred on the planet long before humanity was around, thus forest arson is impossible.

    "This is all covered by the generalization that GW will cause extremes of weather."

    Can you tell me why you think that if you pour more energy into system we should not expect more energetic events?

    Link to this
  5. 5. Trent1492 3:17 pm 01/22/2011

    @ E-boy,

    We kewl. :)

    Link to this
  6. 6. E-boy 3:38 pm 01/22/2011

    Let me take that a step further. "It’s getting colder in some places so global warming can’t be happening".

    Here’s the deal. "GLOBAL" is the key word. It’s an average of the whole planet’s temperature. Global warming really will make some places colder. It will also make some places dryer and some wetter. Virginia, where I live, is in very real danger of getting substantially colder if models of climate change are right about what melting polar ice will do to the conveyor currents. Those currents moderate climate in parts of Europe and also on the U.S. East coast. Should conveyor currents fail do to massive amounts of cold fresh water being dumped on top of it by melting ice caps Virginia can expect Boston like winters.

    You talk about these generalizations as though there were some non-existant either or situation. The fact is, and plenty of evidence exists for this fact if you would bother to let go of your self righteous kick and actually do your homework you might see it, that global warming can cause droughts, and flooding, and even more snow in many areas as well as balmier weather in still other areas.

    Where I grew up I used to be able to see glaciers in nearly every direction I cared to look at the height of summer. Last time I went back. I could see one. That area depends on glacial run off for it’s agricultural practices. Won’t be long now before that way of life is gone with the water. Funny how folks back home are so conservative except where it comes to environmental issues. They’ve had to learn the hard way repeatedly and now they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. "Why?" You might ask. Well, it’s simple. They were told what would happen. Initially they didn’t buy it and then they watched bad things happen just as predicted. Sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit worse, but close enough to drive the point home. Take a trip up the Wyoming/Idaho/Montana area and ask around. You won’t find many doubters up there.

    Link to this
  7. 7. robert schmidt 4:34 pm 01/22/2011

    @dieselpop1, that B.S. is old and tired. If you are going to spout off on something, is it too much to ask that you check your facts and make some effort to see if your idiotic statement has been already addressed? Based on your comment it is absolutely clear that you have no clue what you are talking about. You must be aware that you have done no research on the subject. How in the world did you think you had anything to offer to this discussion? Do you really think that a subject as complex as climate can be understood purely through your biased world view? Show some humility people! Before sharing your ignorance with the world ask yourself what due diligence have you done to ensure your ideas are not full of crap?

    Link to this
  8. 8. Trent1492 12:04 am 01/23/2011

    Does everyone remember Carlyle’s accusation that environmentalist some how caused the flooding in Queensland to be far worse than necessary? Please, take a look at this news report from OZ.

    Wivenhoe Dam ‘eased the Brisbane flood’
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/wivenhoe-dam-eased-the-brisbane-flood/story-e6freoof-1225990080599

    FTA:

    "Seqwater figures, distributed before yesterday’s royal commission was announced, show the dam produced a marked reduction in the flood passing through Brisbane."

    How many lies must be told before we all realize that these anti-science types have no credibility?

    Link to this
  9. 9. Carlyle 1:05 am 01/23/2011

    Thank you choran. It is tiring trying to argue with ideologues or religious fanatics. You will notice I am sure, that even were the alarmists correct, the solutions they propose would be as a snow flake in hell. If they were genuinely concerned about the planet & the energy poverty of much of the world, they would be demanding the only measure that could perhaps make a flurry of snowflakes in hell difference. Nuclear power is the only thing that can make a significant difference to carbon based fuel consumption yet at the same time help lift the underdeveloped world out of poverty. My home town has just been devastated by a preventable flood. As per post No 1 in this string, both the death toll & the number of billions of dollars in damage is still rising & can be largely lain at the feet of the alarmists who convinced public authorities that rather than the Wivenhoe dam being used as a buffer, it should retain the water captured in a previous wet weather event because they were told wet weather would become a rarity in Queensland, Australia & the precious water should be retained. Now of course they are claiming the flood is further evidence of climate change. This despite ample evidence of periodic floods in this part of the world, as well as drought. Both historic features of the Australian weather. There is no point in trying to convert the ideologues but those who have an open mind need to hear the rational counter arguments. Fortunately, the very shrill nature of the AGW crowd is having the fingernails on blackboard effect on the more rational. There cause will collapse but at a terrible cos,t as can be demonstrated here in Brisbane.

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  10. 10. Carlyle 1:29 am 01/23/2011

    More than 80 per cent of the flood in the Brisbane River at its peak last Thursday was the direct result of the release from Wivenhoe, the city’s flood shield, of up to 30 per cent of its capacity, according to official data obtained by The Australian. The data shows that, without the unprecedented and massive release at a peak rate of 645,000 megalitres a day from the dam on Tuesday, January 11, the flooding in Brisbane would have been minimal.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/queensland-floods/queensland-announces-commission-of-inquiry-into-devastating-floods/story-fn7iwx3v-1225989885254

    Link to this
  11. 11. Trent1492 2:00 am 01/23/2011

    @Carlyle,

    "You will notice I am sure, that even were the alarmists correct, the solutions they propose would be as a snow flake in hell."

    Why is that Carlyle? Humanity created the problem why can it not fix it?

    "Nuclear power is the only thing that can make a significant difference to carbon based fuel consumption yet at the same time help lift the underdeveloped world out of poverty."

    The above looks like a statement of ideology not fact. Can you tell me how nations such as Niger are to afford 10 and 15 billion dollar plants? Where do they get the skilled personnel and how do they afford waste management? The fact remains that after 60 years of promise the nuclear power industry on the whole planet is not profitable and depends utterly on state actors.

    " My home town has just been devastated by a preventable flood. As per post No 1 in this string, both the death toll & the number of billions of dollars in damage is still rising & can be largely lain at the feet of the alarmists who convinced public authorities that rather than the Wivenhoe dam being used as a buffer, it should retain the water captured in a previous wet weather event because they were told wet weather would become a rarity in Queensland, Australia & the precious water should be retained."

    Fact here is news report of from Australia showing the first release of water from the Wivenhoe dam in 10 years:

    From a Report in October of last year:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/10/10/3034276.htm

    "For the first time in nearly 10 years, the flood gates at Brisbane’s Wivenhoe dam have been opened after a recent deluge of rain filled it to capacity."

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/10/10/3034276.htm

    Why lie Carlyle? They were releasing water because the reservoir had reached capacity back in October.

    Link to this
  12. 12. Carlyle 2:36 am 01/23/2011

    As usual you cherry pick & have a tantrum should anyone dare to point out that there is another side to the argument. Yes they were releasing water but not at anything like the volume that circumstances called for. I suggest you (& other readers) read the full articles & comments, both on your link to The Courier Mail & my link to The Australian. You will find arguments from both sides of the debate as on this site. If you consider both sides it is remotely possible that you might learn something. Naturally even though the AGW crowd are adamantly apposed to new dams, they take no responsibility for their influence over the operation of those we have & are leaping to the defence of those responsible for the management of Wivenhoe. Their position is more confusing than the missing cats smile.

    Link to this
  13. 13. Trent1492 4:26 am 01/23/2011

    @Carlyle,

    "As usual you cherry pick & have a tantrum should anyone dare to point out that there is another side to the argument."

    Shorter Carlyle: How dare you point out inconvenient facts. It is rude.

    "I suggest you (& other readers) read the full articles & comments, both on your link to The Courier Mail & my link to The Australian. You will find arguments from both sides of the debate as on this site."

    I stick with the facts not what a bunch of nitwit commentators say on a blog. Here are the facts:

    Fact: Contrary to your claim the dams in the region did release water long before January. This is a fact. Just acknowledge it.

    Fact: Yo have only presented speculation.

    "Naturally even though the AGW crowd are adamantly apposed to new dams, they take no responsibility for their influence over the operation of those we have & are leaping to the defence of those responsible for the management of Wivenhoe."

    I like how you present an entire scenario like it was fact. Do you often go around asserting speculation as a fact? How is that working out for you?

    :Their position is more confusing than the missing cats smile."

    You know what is blatantly obvious? You have not a clue what you are talking about. I mean, really, I present facts such as on posts 10 and 11 on this thread and you lot pretend it never was presented. It is like watching a two year old close its eyes while reaching into the cookie jar. The child thinks that if it can not see you, you can not see it getting the cookie. Pitiful.

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  14. 14. Carlyle 5:05 am 01/23/2011

    It is tempting to defer to your superior wisdom & knowledge. Particurlarly after reading your reasoned arguments in post No.14 where you stated, "Human activity now overwhelms what the sun does".
    I had totally overlooked this ‘fact’. Pardon my ignorance.

    Link to this
  15. 15. robert schmidt 9:15 am 01/23/2011

    @Carlyle, "Pardon my ignorance" difficult to do since that is all you have to offer. One can always identify the fanatic by the way they employ a different burden of proof for their "evidence" than for their opponent’s. You have presented no evidence, just made up scenarios and accusations yet you expect that to have more relevance than actual evidence. Of course using the terms "alarmist" should generally be enough to convince others of your point of view. Next time you go to see a doctor and he expresses some health concerns please call him an alarmist and ignore his advice. We wouldn’t want you to be both ignorant and a hypocrite.

    Link to this
  16. 16. Trent1492 12:19 pm 01/23/2011

    @Carlyle,

    "I had totally overlooked this ‘fact’. Pardon my ignorance."

    Facts:

    We can and have been measuring the total solar irradiance (TSI)of the sun for decades with satellites. Here is the NASA web page for that data:

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_data.htm

    And what has that and other satellite measurements found? Nothing.

    "Recent Oppositely Directed Trends in Solar Climate Forcings and the Global Mean Surface Air Temperature."

    http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/464/2094/1367.abstract

    From the abstract:

    "The conclusions of our previous paper, that solar forcing has declined over the past 20 years while surface air temperatures have continued to rise, are shown to apply for the full range of potential time constants for the climate response to the variations in the solar forcings."

    See how that works? I just cited to you the data set and then just one of many analysis that have examined that data and eliminates the Sun as a culprit. Further, in post 10 I cited other facts that falsifies the solar hypothesis. Those falsifications of the solar hypothesis were predicted decades and in some cases over a century ago.

    Then again perhaps you disagree. Can you provide a empirically based peer reviewed explanations for the following phenomena?

    1. The stratosphere is cooling while the troposphere warms.

    2. Nights are warming faster than days.

    3. The higher latitudes are warming faster than the lower ones.

    You do not get to ignore these observations of reality.

    "Facts are stubborn things"

    John Adams

    Link to this
  17. 17. Carlyle 5:07 pm 01/23/2011

    My contention was & is, "Alarmism is responsible for billions of dollars in wasted expenditure & even loss of life".
    Billions have been spent on solar, wind, wave & numerous other schemes that almost without fail have failed to meet the claims made by their advocates & have had a barely measurable efect on carbon based energy production & never will. As for lives lost, I consider the starvation of who knows how many people who could have been fed but for the opposition by the ill informed to GM food production. There are countless other examples. I see no point in detailing counter evidence to your other claims as you & your ilk have closed minds. Even if they were not, the capacity to see all sides of an argument is non existent due to lack of space.

    Link to this
  18. 18. robert schmidt 8:50 pm 01/23/2011

    @Carlyle, "Alarmism is responsible for billions of dollars in wasted expenditure" what an idiotic thing to say. People’s fear for their health is responsible for billions of dollars of medical expenses every year! I guess it would be better if people weren’t concerned for their health.

    "Alarmist" is just another one of those words for the denialist lobby to hang their hats on, like "elitist". It is designed to generate a bias while hiding the fact that there is no substance to their claims. You, on the other hand, have done a great job of showing your lack of substance. The Heritage Foundation needs to groom you a bit more.

    "have had a barely measurable efect on carbon based energy production & never will" can you prove that or are you AGAIN expecting everyone to turn on your idiotic opinions? We are just at the beginning of trying to solve the problem so evaluating the effectiveness at this time is like asking someone after they have just swallowed an aspirin if their headache is gone.

    "I see no point in detailing counter evidence to your other claims as you & your ilk have closed minds." in other words you have NO evidence. You are ignorant about the subject, seemingly incapable of forming a rational argument yet burdened with these unfounded but nevertheless incontrovertible opinions and think the world should act on them without question. I guess it is because the B.S. is coming from your mouth that it means more than all the careful research being done by thousands of people who have actually taken the time to understand the issues. Facts are obviously no match for your intuition. Here’s a tip, when and if you actually every know something that is of value, please share, otherwise please listen and learn.

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  19. 19. Trent1492 12:29 am 01/24/2011

    @Carlyle,

    "My contention was & is, "Alarmism is responsible for billions of dollars in wasted expenditure & even loss of life".

    I am perfectly aware of your thesis it is just that you have failed to provide any evidence that stands up to scrutiny.

    "As for lives lost, I consider the starvation of who knows how many people who could have been fed but for the opposition by the ill informed to GM food production."

    I want to make an early nomination for Carlyle to receive 2011′s Goal-Post-Moving award. He has demonstrated great resiliency in repeated efforts to move on to new talking points after earlier ones are demolished. Bravo Carlyle! /s

    Link to this
  20. 20. Carlyle 2:16 am 01/24/2011

    It is too tedious swapping ‘proof’ to counter ‘proof’. I have done it plenty of times previously & found I was wasting my time arguing the toss with ideologues. People who claimed they knew the science in solar for example who denied the validity of the Carnot cycle when converting heat energy into mechanical energy. I call them Mobius Loops. They are stuck in two dimensions. "The Möbius strip has several curious properties. A line drawn starting from the seam down the middle will meet back at the seam but at the "other side". If continued the line will meet the starting point and will be double the length of the original strip. This single continuous curve demonstrates that the Möbius strip has only one boundary". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip
    For anyone who genuinely wants to educate themselves there are plenty of eminent scientists who do not agree with the dooms day view & who have argued point by point against the ‘proofs’ trotted out by the most voluble correspondent above.
    If you want information on nuclear energy, there is no point in going to the anti crowd alone. Go to the industry organisations too. For pro & con positions on AGW & papers by experts in the various fields from astronomy to ice cores, the blog site Watts Up With That is a good starting point.
    You will be able to judge the maturity of those who have objected to my posts for yourselves. This is my last post on this string.

    Link to this
  21. 21. Postman1 12:23 am 01/25/2011

    Apache- Well said my friend. From a Cherokee who agrees. Mankind is not nearly as powerful as some think we are. Mother Earth and Father Sun are the true and only controllers of our climate.

    Link to this
  22. 22. Postman1 12:32 am 01/25/2011

    Here s an interesting post concerning a consensus on global warming:
    http://www.petitionproject.org/

    A large number of well educated experts are included. I also suggest judithcurry.com.
    Good reading.

    Link to this
  23. 23. Postman1 12:47 am 01/25/2011

    Carlyle- Just a suggestion, but maybe the Aussies who have been hurt should file a massive multi-billion dollar lawsuit against those who caused the flooding? Just a thought, but maybe you can get Al Gore’s beach house, or all his receipts from his green schemes.

    Link to this
  24. 24. llewellyn 11:34 am 01/25/2011

    Like an old comfortable shoe, this topic has run through my fingers and keyboard so many times now, that I’m surprised I feel compelled to address the issue yet again. All too often I hear folks discussing the weather and leaping to astounding and absurd conclusions about global warming.
    The truth is, I can understand the confusion. While the talking heads jabber and issue proclamations about global warming, my neighbors are struggling through a hard winter that’s bringing some absolutely stinking cold days. To see snow falls like we have, and the well below zero temperatures that seem to drag on forever, it’s tough to sell someone on the idea that our planet is warming up.
    We all hear stories about the polar regions apparently undergoing substantial warming, with odd and sometimes alarming news coming from both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. World wide, alpine glaciers are going to h*## in a hand basket. The ice up north and up high is telling us that it’s too warm to continue conducting business as ice, but in most places where people live, the weather isn’t getting warmer and nicer. Instead, some spots seem to be growing cooler. Many places are experiencing way nastier weather than previous generations have ever seen. 100 year records are falling like dominoes. In some of those places, it really is heating up, but the rains, or the tornadoes, or the dust storms are getting so out of hand that it’s just no fun anymore. The weather is tearing us up. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that agriculture is at stake world wide.
    So, just what the dickens is going on?
    Well, it’s not too complicated actually. The science behind the idea is sound. We really are changing the global climate, because we are adding huge amounts of energy to the atmosphere. Sadly that does not immediately equate to extra heat as we commonly understand it. Don’t order those flip flops and shorts just yet. You can stand around and watch the thermometer for as long as you want, and if you live a long long time, you will notice the overall average temperature rise faster and faster, but you’ll be way more impressed much sooner by the storm that just put your chicken coop in the neighbors tree, or the January rains that just washed out the bridge to town, or the May blizzard that just pinned you down when your wife had to deliver a child.
    This process is adding energy to the atmosphere. That means it’s going to get pretty feisty. It can dissolve way more water and carry it a lot farther than it did before. It can suspend more things in the air for longer periods of time than before. It can move more stuff faster over longer distances than before. It stirs the oceans with more vigor, and ever so slowly provides energy to the water world too. It’s a change from the relative stability we have enjoyed for some time now. It is instability. It is searching for a new, more comfortable higher energy configuration than the one we grew up with. Eventually, it will settle down in new digs, with a more energetic ocean and atmosphere stirred up to some new speed we haven’t seen before. Nobody knows for sure what that will look like.
    So the next time you hear about “global warming” think about a bunch of kids on sugar. Things are getting more rambunctious.
    Global warming was a poor choice of words.
    Funny thing though, the heat is on.

    Link to this
  25. 25. justanobody 2:04 pm 01/25/2011

    @Trent1492
    The current Modern Solar Maximum, with the exception of the last few years (5 years?), has, in fact, corresponded with higher temperatures we have seen. Also, with the exception of the first part of the decade and 2010(there is some reason be skeptical about this as well http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8211948/Its-the-hottest-year-on-record-as-long-as-you-dont-take-its-temperature.html)
    we have been in somewhat of a cooling phase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.svg).

    So I definitely hear your evidence regarding squelching the solar irradiation hypotheses (links please), but I remain, as yet, unconvinced. I understand the science to some degree, but I have problems with the premise on which the science is based.

    Look, Trent, maybe you’re right. But you will never convince anyone with your evangelical-like, preachy techniques and passion towards such a soft science. Please post your resources, ’cause you just ain’t got me convinced yet.

    Link to this
  26. 26. justanobody 2:12 pm 01/25/2011

    For claims 1, 2, and 3, please post your resources for those claims.

    Link to this
  27. 27. Pazuzu 4:52 pm 01/25/2011

    Most of these comments are totally useless because the authors are so emotional they don’t bother to proofread before they post. It’s more than distracting to slog through obvious blunders: the comments are frequently so badly written that the meaning is unclear. The flowery adjectives, snide references and angry tone make much of this discussion not helpful. Even Trent1492, who at least tries to adduce empirical evidence, has lots of typos and sarcastic comments that distract from the discussion.

    When I was active as a college professor I’d send any essay as badly written as most of these comments back to a student with the remark "Don’t expect me to be the first and last person to read this."

    I had hoped that I would get a better scientific understanding of the world from reading these articles and comments. For example, I’d like to know more about the problem of the dams in Australia that Carlyle and others wrote about. But those comments are so full of anger that they distract from credibility.

    Link to this
  28. 28. Pazuzu 4:57 pm 01/25/2011

    Thank you, Llewellyn, for a thoughtful comment and for having read it yourself before you posted it.

    Link to this
  29. 29. Trent1492 12:56 pm 01/26/2011

    @Carlyle,

    "It is too tedious swapping ‘proof’ to counter ‘proof’."

    A. Science does not operate terms of proof, but evidence. This is not a pedantic point either, evidence allows for revision and room for refinements. Proofs are what is used in mathematics, coin collecting, and alcohol.

    B. If you can not be bothered to offer up evidence for your assertions why are you here?

    "People who claimed they knew the science in solar for example who denied the validity of the Carnot cycle when converting heat energy into mechanical energy. I call them Mobius Loops. They are stuck in two dimensions."

    You really are making no sense here. Why are you denial of the evidence?

    "For anyone who genuinely wants to educate themselves there are plenty of eminent scientists who do not agree with the dooms day view & who have argued point by point against the ‘proofs’ trotted out by the most voluble correspondent above."

    Why do I get the feeling that you call anyone who agrees with your position "eminent"? Surveys have been conducted of geophysicists and found that 97% of them agreed with the statements that the Earth is warming and it is human induced:

    Last year a researcher a surveyed climate scientist and found the following:

    "Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate
    researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i)97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and
    scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers."

    Expert Credibility in Climate Change:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/22/1003187107.abstract

    But if you prefer we can compare the CV’s between the "skeptics" and those who are not.

    Most Cited Authors in Climate Science:
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/

    "pro & con positions on AGW & papers by experts in the various fields from astronomy to ice cores, the blog site Watts Up With That is a good starting point."

    That you cite the anti-science site Watts Up With That as a credible source is a tell-tale of deep ideological commitment to denial. Doubt it? Then take a look at the Blog Open Mind and its deconstruction of Mr. Watts’ anti-science:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/

    Link to this
  30. 30. Trent1492 12:59 pm 01/26/2011

    @Postman,

    "Mankind is not nearly as powerful as some think we are. Mother Earth and Father Sun are the true and only controllers"

    The evidence says different does it not? I am sorry but your ideology is trumped by reality.

    Link to this
  31. 31. Trent1492 1:21 pm 01/26/2011

    @Just Any Body,

    "The current Modern Solar Maximum, with the exception of the last few years (5 years?), has, in fact, corresponded with higher temperatures we have seen."

    No it has not. I have already provided peer reviewed evidence debunking this. Here take a look at these graphs derived from the TSI database and the temperature record from NASA’s GISS:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

    "Also, with the exception of the first part of the decade and 2010(there is some reason be skeptical about this as well http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8211948/Its-the-hottest-year-on-record-as-long-as-you-dont-take-its-temperature.html)"

    Hold it. In one sentence you say temperature is correlated with solar activity then in the next you post up a newspaper editorial that claims that the temperature record is unreliable. Which is it? If the temperature record is unreliable then you can say nothing about whether the temps are rising or falling. If, on the other hand, you think they are reliable then you must reject Christopher Brooker’s accusation that the temperature record is unreliable. The one thing you can not do is have it both ways. So make a choice.

    Link to this
  32. 32. Trent1492 2:05 pm 01/26/2011

    @Just-Any-Body,

    "For claims 1, 2, and 3, please post your resources for those claims."

    No problem.

    Claim #1
    "The stratosphere cooling while the troposphere warms. This is a direct falsification of the solar hypothesis. You know, the Sun being 98 million miles away, it is rather difficult to by pass those other layers of the atmosphere. A prediction, btw, made in 1967."

    Prediction:
    Manabe, S., and R. T. Wetherald, 1967: Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 24 (3), 241-259.

    And then in 1980 again a more refined model makes the prediction:

    Manabe, S., and R.J. Stouffer. 1980. "Sensitivity of a global climate model to an increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere." Journal of Geophysical Research 85, 5529-5554.

    http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/1980/JC085iC10p05529.shtml

    Observation:
    Thompson, D.W.J. and S. Solomon 2005. "Recent Stratospheric Climate Trends as Evidenced in Radiosonde Data: Global Structure and Tropospheric Linkages." Journal of Climate 18, 4785-4795.

    http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/ao/ThompsonPapers/ThompsonSolomon.pdf

    Claim #2
    Nights warming faster than days. Again, another falsification of the Solar Hypothesis. Do I need to explain this one? This feature of AGW was predicted back in 1896.

    Prediction:
    Svante Arrhenius, 1896b, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science (fifth series), April 1896. vol 41, pages 237-275.

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/1/18/Arrhenius.pdf

    Observation:
    Karl Braganza, Et Al, 2004, Diurnal temperature range as an index of global climate change during
    the twentieth century. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 31, L13217, doi:10.1029/2004GL019998, 2004

    http://www.met.sjsu.edu/~wittaya/journals/diurnalTempRange.pdf

    Link to this
  33. 33. Trent1492 2:14 pm 01/26/2011

    Claim#3

    The higher latitudes and particularly the Arctic region is warming faster than the lower latitudes. This is another falsification of the Solar Hypothesis. Think about this people: Where does a good portion of the Sun shine consistently reach the Earth? That is right the Tropics. While the lowering of the albedo (snow and ice melt) and the lack of water vapor in the Arctic means that CO2′s effect will be most pronounced here. A prediction made in 1896.

    Prediction:
    Svante Arrhenius 1896

    Observation:

    Goddard Institute of Space Studies 2011:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.B.lrg.gif

    This evidence can not be ignored, discounted, or ridiculed out of existence.

    Link to this
  34. 34. PabstyLoudmouth 11:53 pm 01/27/2011

    Really then why did they build a giant dam, get off your horse it is dead and tired. Don’t worry you will garner more support over the summer.

    Link to this
  35. 35. Trent1492 11:56 pm 01/27/2011

    @Pabsy Loud Mouth,

    What does a giant dam have to do with anything?

    Link to this
  36. 36. PabstyLoudmouth 12:34 am 01/28/2011

    That was way back at the very first comment on this story. You do know there is a reply button, right?

    Link to this
  37. 37. Trent1492 4:51 am 01/28/2011

    I do not know if you have noticed this yet, but you are not making a coherent message.

    Link to this
  38. 38. R.Blakely 4:04 pm 01/28/2011

    The third paragraph of the article needs a comment. If CO2 caused any more warming it would be evident immediately. For example, at night temperature drops by 5 degrees or more, which is evident every 12 hours. But CO2 has no effect on temperature because it really has no effect. CO2 already absorbs all 15-micron photons and CO2 emits very few photons. Increasing CO2 concentration thus has no measurable effect.
    Instead of CO2 we should worry about oxygen concentration since oxygen also absorbs infrared photons. Oxygen also scatters visible light and so it lowers global temperature in the daytime, and it raises nighttime temperatures.

    Link to this
  39. 39. R.Blakely 4:09 pm 01/28/2011

    As proof for my previous comment, a graph of absorption by various gases can be viewed at Wikipedia article Greenhouse Gas. Looking at those graphs, we can see that oxygen does absorb infrared photons, and so oxygen should be blamed for global warming instead of CO2. CO2 already absorbs all 15-micron photons and so it cannot absorb any more photons. Oxygen also scatters sunlight and so it causes cooling in the daytime.

    Link to this
  40. 40. Trent1492 5:30 pm 01/28/2011

    @R. Blakely,

    Why are you so dishonest? Why do you not realize that deliberately misleading people only destroys your credibility?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission.png

    "Looking at those graphs, we can see that oxygen does absorb infrared photons, and so oxygen should be blamed for global warming instead of CO2."

    Fromm the Wikipedia article that you recommended:

    "Late 19th century scientists experimentally discovered that N2 and O2 do not absorb infrared radiation (called, at that time, "dark radiation") while, at the contrary, water, as true vapour or condensed in the form of microscopic droplets suspended in clouds, CO2 and other poly-atomic gaseous molecules do absorb infrared radiation. "

    Again, why lie about something so easily debunked?
    Here is another quote from the article you recommend:

    "It is likely that anthropogenic warming, such as that due to elevated greenhouse gas levels, has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems. Warming is projected to affect various issues such as freshwater resources, industry, food and health."

    And again:
    "The Clausius-Clapeyron relation establishes that air can hold more water vapor per unit volume when it warms. This and other basic principles indicate that warming associated with increased concentrations of the other greenhouse gases also will increase the concentration of water vapor."

    And Again:

    "Although contributing to many other physical and chemical reactions, the major atmospheric constituents, nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), and argon (Ar), are not greenhouse gases. This is because molecules containing two atoms of the same element such as N2 and O2 and monatomic molecules such as Ar have no net change in their dipole moment when they vibrate and hence are almost totally unaffected by infrared light."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

    Why can you not be bothered to read what you recommend?

    Link to this
  41. 41. Trent1492 5:34 pm 01/28/2011

    "The third paragraph of the article needs a comment. If CO2 caused any more warming it would be evident immediately."

    No it would not. Say hello to thermal inertia.

    "For example, at night temperature drops by 5 degrees or more, which is evident every 12 hours. But CO2 has no effect on temperature because it really has no effect."

    Your speaking nonsense again.

    Link to this
  42. 42. Sisko 11:01 am 01/29/2011

    Trent1492– you continually show your superficial knowledge regarding climate change.

    1. The Australian flooding was ultimately caused by human mismanagement of infrastructure (their dams). The flooding in Australia was large but certainly not unprecedented as there have been larger floods multiple times in that area over the last 200 hundred years.

    The dam was mismanaged. It was held at 100% of its stated capacity before the flooding happened. Had they held back additional capacity for a flood damage to the area would have been minimized.
    http://www.seqwater.com.au/public/home

    2. There are absolutely ZERO climate models available today that can reliably predict what the climate will be like in any specific area years into the future.

    The only reasonable answer is for humans to prepare for the future by building appropriate infrastructure. Any other solution is economically idiotic.

    If the US took the steps Hansen recommends to reduce CO2 emissions (as an example) it would cost $1.5 trillion and would have a .008C impact on the climate…and that is if you use the IPCC’s numbers.

    Link to this
  43. 43. Pazuzu 11:22 am 01/30/2011

    I appreciate these useful comments, but I’m sorry you do need to explain (at least to me) why night is warming faster than day. What are the mechanisms involved?

    Link to this
  44. 44. Trent1492 1:39 pm 01/30/2011

    @Sisko,

    Sisko Says: 1. The Australian flooding was ultimately caused by human mismanagement of infrastructure (their dams). The flooding in Australia was large but certainly not unprecedented as there have been larger floods multiple times in that area over the last 200 hundred years.

    I always find it interesting that you think that I and others are simply going to take some anonymous person’s word as fact. Why you have this expectation is beyond me.

    Now, if I go to the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology I find the following:

    "It was the wettest December on record for Queensland and for eastern Australia as a whole, the
    second-wettest for the Murray-Darling Basin,.."

    And further on:

    "This followed an extremely wet spring, the wettest on record for Queensland, New South Wales, eastern
    Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin. The heavy late November and December rainfall followed a very wet July to October for Australia, meaning many catchments were already wet before the flooding rain. It was Australia’s wettest July to October on record and also the wettest July to December on record."

    Source: SPECIAL CLIMATE STATEMENT 24:
    An extremely wet end to 2010 leads to widespread flooding across eastern Australia
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/scs24.pdf

    Why do you persist in spreading such easily debunked misinformation?

    Sisko Says: The dam was mismanaged. It was held at 100% of its stated capacity before the flooding happened. Had they held back additional capacity for a flood damage to the area would have been minimized.
    http://www.seqwater.com.au/public/home

    Your assertion is not supported by the link you provided. BTW, those dams are still at 100% capacity and a graph of the Wivenhoes dam indicates that at one point it was way above 100%.

    http://www.seqwater.com.au/public/catch-store-treat/dams/wivenhoe-dam

    Again why do you engage in such easily debunked disinformation?

    "2. There are absolutely ZERO climate models available today that can reliably predict what the climate will be like in any specific area years into the future."

    This is a rather disingenous assertion since you do not believe that even the global models are accurate. Don’t you think this conversation should start at that level?

    Link to this
  45. 45. Trent1492 2:05 pm 01/30/2011

    Sisko Says: "The only reasonable answer is for humans to prepare for the future by building appropriate infrastructure. Any other solution is economically idiotic."

    Trent1492 Says: Tell me again, how building infrastructure is going to mitigate changing precipitation patterns? How are small and poor low lying and island nations going to cope?

    Sisko Says: If the US took the steps Hansen recommends to reduce CO2 emissions (as an example) it would cost $1.5 trillion and would have a .008C impact on the climate that is if you use the IPCCs numbers.

    Trent Says: Again unsupported assertion and the assumption that it only the U.S being asked to act or is acting. Why do you persist in this deception?

    Here is emission scenarios given by the IPCC. Please notice that Sisko never bother to tell us what emission scenario he is talking of and does not even to realize that the IPCC uses several different scenarios.

    Emission Scenarios:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/emission/index.php?idp=16

    Link to this
  46. 46. Trent1492 2:20 pm 01/30/2011

    @Lurkers,

    Please observe that Sisko has consistently misrepresented reality several times in one post. To further illustrate his dishonesty please consider that I have pointed out to him that his claim that "Had they held back additional capacity for a flood damage to the area would have been minimized."

    Now let us consider that eastern Australia had just experienced its wettest December in the record history and that at one point both the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams in the area as of January 12, were at 190% of capacity. In light of these incontrovertible facts what are we to make of the honesty of the likes of Carlyle and Sisko?

    Link to this
  47. 47. Trent1492 2:24 pm 01/30/2011

    OK, I know I am beating a dead horse here but I took an extra minute and found this news report from a local station dated January 12, 2011:

    "Currently, Wivenhoe Dam is at 190 per cent of capacity, down from 191 per cent overnight, reflecting the ease in the weather.

    Somerset Dam is now at 190 per cent."

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/floods/8195758/controlled-releases-at-wivenhoe-cut

    Link to this
  48. 48. Trent1492 3:37 pm 01/30/2011

    @Pazuzu,

    "I appreciate these useful comments, but I’m sorry you do need to explain (at least to me) why night is warming faster than day. What are the mechanisms involved?"

    Good question:

    Consider a couple of observations:

    1. Water vapor reacts almost instantly to temperature changes and has an atmospheric residency of less than two weeks. Also, water vapor is not a well mixed gas in the atmosphere and once your reach above the mid-troposphere the amount of water vapor dwindles to tiny amounts. While CO2 has a residency time measured in decades and is a *very well mixed gas.

    2. Considering the above, when the night falls, water vapor may: Condense out, or not be present hardly at all because the locale is a desert, high altitude, or just a low humidity reading. CO2, on the other hand, is still hanging around at many levels of the troposphere.

    What this means to the diurnal temperatures is that when the surface of the Earth radiates the heat it absorbed during the day, an ever increasing amount of CO2 will capture and re-radiate the emitted IR. This explanation also partially explains why we also see a cooling stratosphere and the higher latitudes are warming faster than the Tropics.

    If you are looking for a detailed and more comprehensive explanation of all that I have written I can suggest several sources.

    Skeptical Science:

    Empirically observed fingerprints of anthropogenic global warming.

    How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm

    10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/10-Indicators-of-a-Human-Fingerprint-on-Climate-Change.html

    Take note that they cite peer reviewed data and the threads are open so that your questions can be answered.

    * Perfectly Mixed? No.

    Link to this
  49. 49. Pazuzu 11:42 pm 01/30/2011

    Thanks, this was useful. I’m a formal linguist, not a physicist.

    Relatedly, have the outermost layers of the stratosphere and the mesosphere been cooling over time, indicating that the earth is radiating less IR energy to space, due to the greenhouse effect?

    An analogy I thought of to conceptualize this is to think of an actual greenhouse. If you close the glass windows on the roof, then the temperature right outside those closed windows will be cooler than it would have been if you had left those windows open. When the windows are closed, the IR is trapped indoors and serves to warm up the building, so less heat escapes to heat up the outside; when open, however, more IR can escape to warm up the layers of air immediately adjacent to the building. Is this a productive analogy?

    Also, please check this reasoning: The mesosphere, the layer where the IR generated by the planet goes out into space, would have to be cooling over time for the greenhouse effect to be having a growing effect. Less energy at the planet side of the interface between our planet and outer space means less energy escaping, and, since the planet at lower levels is demonstrably getting warmer, that increased heat can only be due to the greenhouse effect. If it were due to increased heat from the sun, then the mesosphere would get warmer over time.

    The preceding reasoning may be all wrong — I have no one in my life to check my thinking with. I hang out with linguists, and we argue about what’s the proper model for accounting for phonological patterns in the world’s languages. (If you’re interested, check my professional website at http://www.cunyphonologyforum.net).

    Again, I really appreciate your answering my questions. If this is totally garbled, please feel free to disabuse me — I really want to understand this. I get turned off by the emotion in many of these posts. Why do some disscussants care so passionately about what’s in each other’s heads? The reality of the planet is awesomely complex and sublimely beautiful, but she’s an imperious beauty. Even as our species is shooting ourselves in the foot, the planet goes on its merry way, challenging us to understand it. We fail to do so at our peril, but she really doesn’t give a rat’s ass, does she? Happily, the scientific method gives some tools to get some tantalizing glimpses of her incredible complexity and sublime beauty. I don’t do research in this field, but I can get the sense of this wonder by reading serious scientists who provide the valuable service of writing material for the public.

    Link to this
  50. 50. llewellyn 2:36 pm 02/4/2011

    @Trent1492 & Pazuzu
    Also, water vapor is not a well mixed gas in the atmosphere….

    Its is for this very reason that we have clouds. They are the difference between dissolved water, and water in suspension. (Think here, energy budget.) You can’t see water vapor, but tiny droplets in suspension are visible to us.
    Oddly, seismic tomography discloses a very similar thing apparently going on in the mantle. Mantle clouds? Mantle storms? Maybe, maybe not, but it would make a great grade B movie or maybe a name for a band.

    I’m not an atmospheric scientist, but I think any response to your green house analogy will have to include the fact that a more energetic atmosphere will try to expand too, since there is no physical lid on the container.* I would speculate, too that part of that adjustment to a new "density domain", (is there such a thing?), will involve way more dissolved water. Every pilot knows that wet air is significantly less dense than dry air.
    Just a little thinking out loud here.

    *If you still have them, fish out your old high school physics or chemistry text and sniff around the gas laws. I would have saved all of those excellent old books but the stinking dinosaurs ate some of them.

    Link to this

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