Recent Climate Change Study


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TL;DR: Tree ring data suggests Roman area temps were the same if not higher than temps in current decade...and has been warmer.


did you mean Roman area or Roman era? Just wanted to be clear.

Shadow Lodge

Not surprising. In the early- and mid-1900s there was worry of a global cooling phase leading to an ice age.

All things are cyclical. It's been hotter, it's been colder. Are humans helping? Probably not, we're likely making the extremes even more extreme and largely to push to reach them faster than we would naturally. But this is my problem with the "humans are responsible for global warming" theory - the fact that not too long ago we were worried about cooling rather than warming, and the fact that yes, the fluctuations of temperature have indeed been worse than now.


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Indeed. It's that very "mini ice age" that is the reason beer is the choice of beverage for Americans and not wine. Still, it's not wise to completely disregard humanity's possible effect on climate. We've made massive changes to the environment on a scale that no other species is capable of accomplishing. While saying we're solely responsible is hubris, to deny any possible effect is ignorant.

Shadow Lodge

Exactly. Moderation, even in theories =)


TheWhiteknife wrote:
did you mean Roman area or Roman era? Just wanted to be clear.

Lol, era of course. Bugger all.


Well I guess that's why at this point it's called 'climate change' instead of 'global warming'. Nobody will argue that the climate doesn't change. Well, somebody will, but...yeah.


We had a mini Ice age between 1550->1850


And science has proven that burning fossil fuels has no effect at all...


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A highly regarded expert wrote:
And science has proven that burning fossil fuels has no effect at all...

If by "science" you mean "a minority of scientists, all of whom are on energy company payrolls" -- and if you put "proven" in quotes -- then, yes, it has!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I stand by my statement that I don't know what effect we're having but we should be reducing the changes we make on the world regardless of that fact.


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Not sure what your point is Kryzbyn.

It is an accepted element of climate science that solar output is a major factor in global climate. It is in fact, by its very nature, the single largest factor.

However, you must understand that just because solar activity has an effect on climate, that it does not mean that levels of CO2 and CH4 do not have an effect. We are very sure(so sure in fact that outside of the kind of hedging of certainty found in science you might as well say "know for a fact") that these and other molecules have a profound effect on climate.

We also have fairly good reason to believe that the CO2 and CH4 produced by human endeavour are of a quantity that they raise the temperature independently of the solar forcing.

In other words. If we had the same levels of solar forcing that article describes now, the evidence tends to suggest that more energy would be retained within the atmosphere, likely resulting in a higher global average temperature.

Also, the reason for the use of global climate change rather than global warming has nothing to do with "Nobody will argue that the climate doesn't change. Well, somebody will, but...yeah."

It is just more accurate(as a by the by, it is actually much scarier prospect if you understand the implications.)

Global warming was always a bad term, because while changes in average global temperature is a likely outcome of increased or decreased energy within the atmospheric system, it is hardly the only one.

When people say words to the effect of "Nobody will argue that the climate doesn't change. Well, somebody will, but...yeah", it is my experience that what they actually mean is "Nobody will argue that the weather doesn't change. Well, somebody will, but...yeah."

Weather changes from day to day,and year to year, but the patterns of weather that make up climate largely stable. Climate does change, but it usually does so over periods measured in geological time. Swift and drastic changes to climate are far less common than the slow change over time

Change in climate means long term and global changes in weather patterns. It means areas once suitable for human habitation becoming desert or tundra, mass extinctions, floods and much more besides.

Now changes in climate can be natural. But that does not mean that they are desirable. Saying that 'it is natural and has happened before, so it can't be bad' would be an Argumentum ad Naturam.

Nor does this article do anything to detract from the fact that it is fairly likely that human generated green house gases are responsible for very steep rises in global temperature at a time of stable solar output.


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I didn't make a point. I just posted the study.
If it's been warmer before, then today's warming isn't solely Man's fault. That doesn't mean we don;t have an effect or can't have an effect. This also doesn't mean we as a species shouldn't be more careful with what we do.
What it does mean is the sky is falling mentality was not justified.
Cap n trade is not necessary.
To me, at least.


Not really accurate, though the distinction is a little arcane.

Let me try to explain.

You are confusing the factors that account for current average global temperature and source of the increase in global average temperature in the last thirty years.

They are separate issues.

What the study is evidence for is that temperatures have been higher(along with other climatic effects), and the implication is that solar output is part of why temperatures are at their current level.

What it has nothing to do with is the temperature increase over the last 30 years, which the vast majority of climate scientists have based upon the available evidence is driven by increased levels of Anthropogenic gases.

You are entitled to the view that cap and trade, or any other form of action to prevent climate change, is unneeded, but it is my understanding that this paper does not provide the ground for such a view.


It is also worth pointing out that you appear again to be falling into Argumentum ad Naturam. All that the fact that average global temperatures have been higher(and lower for that matter) really shows is that such a change is unlikely to cause the extinction of all life on earth.

It in no way means that it is fine that climate is going to change. Periods of large scale climate instability(from varying causes) key up with many significant mass extinctions. Any period of large scale climate change(man made or otherwise) is going to be very unpleasant for humanity, and ecologically disastrous for the planet.


How can it be based on that when there was a similar upward swing in temperatures before? It may not show that man isn't at all responsible for today's temperatures, but it doesn't substantiate that we are, either. At all.
It just basicly put AGW back to 'theory only' level, that's all. We need more data.


True. It will be unpleseant. Climate change probably killed the dinosaurs before, and it may kill us as well. How much we spend on carbon credits won't change that either. If we're destined to go out due to climate change, then that's how we'll go out. If we want to invest money into a 'weather controller' <COBRA!> then that would be a better use of our time, effort and money than pretending carbon credits/fines actually lower anthropogenic gases.
Again, I'm not saying that means we have free license to be a+&+$~%s, but the kind of rhetoric (zomg the poor polar bears) was way, way over the top.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

How can it be based on that when there was a similar upward swing in temperatures before? It may not show that man isn't at all responsible for today's temperatures, but it doesn't substantiate that we are, either. At all.

It just basicly put AGW back to 'theory only' level, that's all. We need more data.

So the study says that: It has been warmer before, and at that point it had nothing to do with carbon or methane emissions.

You are reading it as: Humans don't have an appreciable impact on the global climate.

I don't know how you're getting from A to C.

It has been warmer in the past due to solar forcing (or whatever). Did I miss evidence that THAT is what is causing the current climate change? Can it not be that the current trend (which is still far more RADICAL than the changes spoken of in the report, happening over a human lifetime) has nothing to do with solar forcing and everything to do with our carbon emissions?

No, anthropogenic climate change is a fact we're going to have to live and deal with. Not being 100% certain of something doesn't mean action doesn't need to be taken. Immediately.


Kryzbyn wrote:
If we're destined to go out due to climate change, then that's how we'll go out.

Aaaaand this is when we bring religion into things and start getting dirty, because there are millions of Amerrricans that believe this very thing. Why would we change our ways? The rapture is coming anyway. If its broken, god will fix it. Etc.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

How can it be based on that when there was a similar upward swing in temperatures before? It may not show that man isn't at all responsible for today's temperatures, but it doesn't substantiate that we are, either. At all.

It just basicly put AGW back to 'theory only' level, that's all. We need more data.

Right, so it's possible that it's been this warm during human history. There's no evidence that it's changed this fast. The theory behind climate change (atmospheric C02) still holds.

Meanwhile the global temperature continues to rise. The current theory suggests we've got dangerous levels of temperature increase already locked in no matter what we do, but I guess there's no reason not to pump more CO2 into the atmosphere as fast as we can. It's already going to be bad, why not make it worse? And there's always a chance we're wrong about it, so we might as well wait until it's really to late.
Let's study the problem for another 20 years or so.

The real problem with cap and trade is that it isn't anywhere near direct or drastic enough to accomplish what we need.


I'm not reading it that way, Meat. Read what I wrote.
I'm saying that up to this point, the supposition that AGW was causing our current temperatures. That can no longer be the supposition. It can be a theory, but not the baseline thought.

It's possible that AGW is responsible for our current temperatures.
There is simply no correlation in evidence. The current trend to warmer climes is happening according to schedule, it seems, and at about the same rate. If there was a drastic and sudden upswing after no extended period of cooling, then I could see where that correlation would be made. But it hasn't, and it doesn't.

I think all the talk about such things is good, as we're now looking more seriously into better ways to create or harness energy. This is cool! Efficient electric cars would be awesome.

Thinking we may not be having a giant earth shattering effect on the climate =/= we shouldn't try new things energy wise.


thejeff wrote:


The real problem with cap and trade is that it isn't anywhere near direct or drastic enough to accomplish what we need.

I also think cap and trade is a mind-bogglingly bad idea. So I think the 3 of us (if not more here) can agree on that point.

The question is what TO do.

If you haven't seen it already, there's a documentary on Netflix called Cool It. You and Kryzybyn should check it out. Very interesting. I don't agree with the dude 100% (or even 50%) but he tackles the problem from a different angle, which I dig.


Okay, time to pull out an analogy. If you have a set of scales and you put on it 50g of flour, and 25g of salt. The scale reads 75g.

If you add 25g of salt to the scale, the sale will now read 100g.

What drives the change in weight between 75g and 100g?

A. The flour.
B. the original salt.
c. the additional salt

The answer is c, the additional salt.

Over the last 30ish years, the levels of energy from the sun have stayed roughly stable, while the levels of CO2 have increased. Global average temperatures has risen in line with that increase in CO2.

Does that make more sense?

Now onto the theory comment. First off, the obligatory smartiepants joke.Theory

Evolution, just a theory.

Relativity, just a theory.
Cell Theory, just a theory.
This is one of the greatest misunderstandings out their, and a dangerous one.

When a scientist talks about theory, they are not saying that is just an idea they plucked out of thin air. A theory in science is a description of the interaction of a series of rules(scientific) and properties in nature, which is used to describe observable phenomena. They are predictive and must be compatible with all available evidence.

To describe something as a theory is about as close as you can come in science to saying something is certain.

Evolution might be a theory, but it is also a fact that evolution occurs. The theory describes the facts.

Saying something is theory does not mean it is just an unproven idea, without any basis, it is saying 'this idea is the most solid explanation for everything we know about the subject.'


meatrace wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
If we're destined to go out due to climate change, then that's how we'll go out.
Aaaaand this is when we bring religion into things and start getting dirty, because there are millions of Amerrricans that believe this very thing. Why would we change our ways? The rapture is coming anyway. If its broken, god will fix it. Etc.

If I am not going to do it, you certainly should no better than to do it. ;)


Is there any evidence that solar forcing is causing the current trend? I know the last decade or so has been in a solar minima, possibly suppressing anthropogenic effects, but that's a short cycle.

And this is a drastic and sudden upswing, on the geologic scale.

Remember, the science behind this is largely driven by theory and model. If we wait for it to be proven by actual drastic temperature changes, it'll be far to late.


It doesn't matter how much data we have - science will never 'prove' that global warming or climate change are being caused by the burning of fossil fuels until we can build a lab big enough to fit the planet in and reduce the number of variables affecting the weather.

Climate change is a risk managment exercise that uses scientific data. Climate change is not a scientific 'fact' to prove or disprove. We do have scientific proof that having more carbon, methane etc. in the atmosphere reduces the rate at which heat is lost to space. We do have scentific proof that the hightest temperatures on record occured when there was the highest amounts of carbon in the atmosphere. (Dinosaur times)

We need more data to 'prove' climate change is a distraction similar to 'look at the fuzzy monkey'.


I appreciate that, and I know how far into a study a hypothesis gets before it earns the theory moniker. It means there is data to suggest the hypothesis has merit. Theory is not supposed to be the end of the line though. If there is data out there that also may suggest the hypothesis may not be entirely accurate, then the theory is supposed to change to fit the new data, not remain as is, and be represented as fact. The hyposthesis as I understand it is: Man's presence is having an adverse effect on the Earth's climate. The theory is the gasses out put by our infrastructure and technology is the source of this adverse effect. Temperature data in the past seemed to justify this theory. Now the temperature data has changed, so now the theory needs to adjust a bit. Like "This could still be happening, but perhaps not at the rate or with the level of impact that we thought. We need more data."
This is all I'm saying.


meatrace wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
If we're destined to go out due to climate change, then that's how we'll go out.
Aaaaand this is when we bring religion into things and start getting dirty, because there are millions of Amerrricans that believe this very thing. Why would we change our ways? The rapture is coming anyway. If its broken, god will fix it. Etc.

LOL

That's not where I was going with that at all.
It was suggested that past climate changes, increases in heat, caused past extinctions. It could happen again. Nice, happy, natural law ELE, no God needed.


meatrace wrote:
thejeff wrote:


The real problem with cap and trade is that it isn't anywhere near direct or drastic enough to accomplish what we need.

I also think cap and trade is a mind-bogglingly bad idea. So I think the 3 of us (if not more here) can agree on that point.

The question is what TO do.

If you haven't seen it already, there's a documentary on Netflix called Cool It. You and Kryzybyn should check it out. Very interesting. I don't agree with the dude 100% (or even 50%) but he tackles the problem from a different angle, which I dig.

I'm always very skeptical of even popular science by people out of their fields. If they're just presenting actual researchers work, that's one thing.

This guy is a statistician and a political scientist. Reviewers have claimed that his work is, at best, seriously flawed.


I'll still check it out though. Never hurts to hear another view...


To quote someone else... "Oh HELL!!! A Cliff! A Cliff! Stop! We are heading for a cliff." We ARE affecting the environment around us and in a very negative way. Will the human race survive? Yes. Will we NOT enjoy what we have coming to us if we do not alter the negative impact that we are having on the world. Yep. As I was saying cliff up ahead. Proceed with caution.


thejeff wrote:


I'm always very skeptical of even popular science by people out of their fields. If they're just presenting actual researchers work, that's one thing.

This guy is a statistician and a political scientist. Reviewers have claimed that his work is, at best, seriously flawed.

It is flawed. But there are parts of the film that aren't political in nature.

The main thesis that I got out of it, which I've largely incorporated into my worldview, is this: our energy infrastructure needs to change. One reason why people are hesitant to change to solar, or wind, or what have you is none of them are going to be single source replacements for coal and/or natural gas. Nuclear is, and the simplicity of that solution (regardless of externalities) is appealing to those on the right. You hear this constantly "but solar can, at best, supply 17% of our energy needs" etc.

The truth is that Industrial Economy 2.0 needs to be renewable, sustainable energy and will be, by necessity, decentralized and varied. You may get 30% of your electricity from solar panels on your property (or on your building), another 40% from a wind farm a few miles down the road, and the remainder of it made up by increased efficiency in systems we already use (building more houses/buildings underground/into hills) and plain old conservation. For some. If you live on the coast you may rely on tidal power, etc.


meatrace wrote:
thejeff wrote:


I'm always very skeptical of even popular science by people out of their fields. If they're just presenting actual researchers work, that's one thing.

This guy is a statistician and a political scientist. Reviewers have claimed that his work is, at best, seriously flawed.

It is flawed. But there are parts of the film that aren't political in nature.

The main thesis that I got out of it, which I've largely incorporated into my worldview, is this: our energy infrastructure needs to change. One reason why people are hesitant to change to solar, or wind, or what have you is none of them are going to be single source replacements for coal and/or natural gas. Nuclear is, and the simplicity of that solution (regardless of externalities) is appealing to those on the right. You hear this constantly "but solar can, at best, supply 17% of our energy needs" etc.

The truth is that Industrial Economy 2.0 needs to be renewable, sustainable energy and will be, by necessity, decentralized and varied. You may get 30% of your electricity from solar panels on your property (or on your building), another 40% from a wind farm a few miles down the road, and the remainder of it made up by increased efficiency in systems we already use (building more houses/buildings underground/into hills) and plain old conservation. For some. If you live on the coast you may rely on tidal power, etc.

That much is certainly true.


Kryzbyn wrote:

I appreciate that, and I know how far into a study a hypothesis gets before it earns the theory moniker. It means there is data to suggest the hypothesis has merit. Theory is not supposed to be the end of the line though. If there is data out there that also may suggest the hypothesis may not be entirely accurate, then the theory is supposed to change to fit the new data, not remain as is, and be represented as fact. The hyposthesis as I understand it is: Man's presence is having an adverse effect on the Earth's climate. The theory is the gasses out put by our infrastructure and technology is the source of this adverse effect. Temperature data in the past seemed to justify this theory. Now the temperature data has changed, so now the theory needs to adjust a bit. Like "This could still be happening, but perhaps not at the rate or with the level of impact that we thought. We need more data."

This is all I'm saying.

Your previous statement suggested strongly that you didn't understand what a theory is.

Yes, science is self correcting, but this data doesn't significantly change anything.

The hypothesis isn't "Man's presence is having an adverse effect on the Earth's climate".

The primary hypothesis is "Man's activities is one of several factors that effects climate." With a secondary hypothesis of "current observed changes in climate are the result of man made CO2."

The primary hypothesis is supported by the findings, while the secondary hypothesis is unaffected by the findings.

You seem to be hung up on a Non Sequitur; namely that previous climate change caused by one thing means that climate change cannot be caused by another. I had hoped that the scales analogy would put an end to it, but that appears not to be the case.

So let me put it this way

Argument: Solar forcing can drive climate, so human activity isn't driving climate change.

Problem: The conclusion is false because human activity can drive climate change.


Rock on Kryzbyn!


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Again, that's not what I'm saying. I'm not saying either or, all or nothing.
I'm saying that the new evidence suggests that the level of rhetoric in 'An Inconvenient Truth' was way over the top, and this rhetoric was what drove the fear. Drove people to pass laws to make others use light bulbs that have mercury in them, which is arguably more dangerous than regular ones, so on and so forth.
I'm saying there wasn't enough evidence to do this, and now there is even less, apparently.


I believe that a persons opinion on climate change is determined emotionally before they ever hear any evidence, and that anyone who reads into it will develop an opinion consistent with their initial reaction to the concept.

People that either believe god wouldn't fail them or have a natural need for stability / belief in stability will discount climate change.

People with a natural inclination to believe that we are alone in the universe or that their isn't a plan for us, and that we can screw ourselves, will believe in climate change.

I don't think many people can be converted by evidence. Your mind is just too open to people telling you what you want to hear.


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cranewings wrote:

I believe that a persons opinion on climate change is determined emotionally before they ever hear any evidence, and that anyone who reads into it will develop an opinion consistent with their initial reaction to the concept.

People that either believe god wouldn't fail them or have a natural need for stability / belief in stability will discount climate change.

People with a natural inclination to believe that we are alone in the universe or that their isn't a plan for us, and that we can screw ourselves, will believe in climate change.

I don't think many people can be converted by evidence. Your mind is just too open to people telling you what you want to hear.

There's some truth in that and it applies to most subjects. Or at least controversial ones. I'd also say that people are heavily invested in believing anything that means they don't have to change their lifestyle. Or to quote Upton Sinclair “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

On the other hand, more people have come to accept it as the evidence has gotten more solid and the scientific consensus has come together.

On the gripping hand, there is an actual reality out there and in the end we'll have to deal with it. If the climate scientists are right, within a generation or so, everyone is going to believe in climate change, because it'll be obvious. By then it'll be too late to do anything but try to survive.


thejeff wrote:
On the gripping hand, there is an actual reality out there and in the end we'll have to deal with it. If the climate scientists are right, within a generation or so, everyone is going to believe in climate change, because it'll be obvious. By then it'll be too late to do anything but try to survive.

+1 to that. I feel sorry for my nieces and the kids of my friends. THEY will be the ones asking us "Why didn't you do anything about this?" and we will have very few good answers.


Everyone believes in climate change. It happens 4 times a year. It also happens in 50 to 500 and looks like 1000 year cycles. No one that I know of contests this.
The only unknown is the level of impact humanity's advancements have on the cylce.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
On the gripping hand

Nothing to add to your quote, but *slow clap* well played.


Kryzbyn wrote:

Everyone believes in climate change. It happens 4 times a year. It also happens in 50 to 500 and looks like 1000 year cycles. No one that I know of contests this.

The only unknown is the level of impact humanity's advancements have on the cylce.

I agree with that. I also feel that if the only thing that we CAN change is our impact, then we need to change what we can affect.


Sharoth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
On the gripping hand, there is an actual reality out there and in the end we'll have to deal with it. If the climate scientists are right, within a generation or so, everyone is going to believe in climate change, because it'll be obvious. By then it'll be too late to do anything but try to survive.
+1 to that. I feel sorry for my nieces and the kids of my friends. THEY will be the ones asking us "Why didn't you do anything about this?" and we will have very few good answers.

My nieces aren't asking my parents why they did nothing to stop the massive cooling that was predicted in the 70's.

I'm just saying.


Orthos wrote:
thejeff wrote:
On the gripping hand
Nothing to add to your quote, but *slow clap* well played.

I'm always looking for an opportunity to use that. They don't come around as often as you'd think.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
thejeff wrote:
On the gripping hand, there is an actual reality out there and in the end we'll have to deal with it. If the climate scientists are right, within a generation or so, everyone is going to believe in climate change, because it'll be obvious. By then it'll be too late to do anything but try to survive.
+1 to that. I feel sorry for my nieces and the kids of my friends. THEY will be the ones asking us "Why didn't you do anything about this?" and we will have very few good answers.

My nieces aren't asking my parents why they did nothing to stop the massive cooling that was predicted in the 70's.

I'm just saying.

The massive cooling predicted in the 70's was largely media hype. There was nowhere near the scientific consensus that there is for global warming.

There was a short term cooling trend which was noticed by some scientists and picked up on by the press, but by the mid-70s climate scientists were warning about warming due to CO2 in the atmosphere.
Unlike global warming, the cooling theory was just based on extrapolating temperature measurements. Which is what the current climate change skeptics think we should be focused on, not the actual science.


Haven't they found evidence suggesting that everytime a warming cycle happens, there is an increased mount of CO2 in the atmosphere? Aren't they still debating whether this causes or is caused by the increase in heat?


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The question: Is climate change real?
The Answer is yes,
but are we human responsible for it, NOT REALLY.

The planet has gone through numerous climate shifts since it was formed.
The mini Ice age from 1550->1850 was caused by a Volcano.

The Ice age that killed the Dino's was the result of a Meteor hitting the earth somewhere on South America's northern coastline.

Has the earth been heating up since the 1900's yes and no,
earth's temperatures were dropping from 1998 til about 2006-8, then they started rising again.
Hmm sounds like a solar cycle.

The climate follows cycles and his a complex interconnected system.
The cycles are likely based off a single cycle that contains numerous harmonics, likely also has a feedback system that makes it hard to predict when and how the climate changes.


All of the above is true, but it doesn't disprove humanity has an effect.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Haven't they found evidence suggesting that everytime a warming cycle happens, there is an increased mount of CO2 in the atmosphere? Aren't they still debating whether this causes or is caused by the increase in heat?

I believe there is evidence that there is an increase in CO2 when there is a warming cycle.

That should be terrifying. We know we are adding significant CO2 to the atmosphere, which will by itself cause warming. If there is a feedback loop causing even more carbon to be added when the earth warms, that may be in addition to what we're already emitting.

And then there's the methane trapped in permafrost or ocean bottoms.


It does not disprove it, but does show that it'll change no matter what we do.
In my opinion we add a few corn kernals to a corn comb in the scheme of things.

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