Posting in Environment
Two comprehensive climate studies have linked extreme weather events to human activity for the first time.
Extreme storms and flooding will become more commonplace due to the effects of climate change that's brought on by greenhouse gases, according to two new studies published in the science journal Nature.
The first study was a cooperative effort between a climate researcher at the University of Edinburgh, and the Climate Research Division of Environment Canada. Environment Canada implements the Canadian government’s environmental agenda.
Edinburgh University researcher Gabriele Hegerl told Nature that climate models have become sophisticated enough that researchers could now attribute intense precipitation events to the Earth’s rising temperatures.
The study examines how human activity is influencing how heavy rainfall becomes in Northern Hemisphere. Researchers showed the correlation by comparing rainfall totals over the past fifty years to multiple climate models.
Discover Magazine aggregated some of the responses that the study elicited from within the scientific community. University of Reading in England scientist Richard Allan said that the paper provides the first scientific evidence that humans are causing extreme weather events.
Allan praised the study’s methods for being “very rigorous” in an interview with the Washington Post. The research is easy to comprehend: a warmer atmosphere absorbs more water; more water means more intense storms.
A second study was conducted to determine whether England and Wales would be at greater risk of historic flooding events like what happen during the year 2000. It concluded that the likelihood of another recurrence has at been at least doubled by climate change.
Its researchers are affiliated with the several departments at the University of Oxford, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich, Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, the UK’s national weather service, and the risk management firm RMS.
Some of the same participants published a study in 2003, "Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003."
The scientists turned to a distributed computing project called Climateprediction.net to crunch the data for the flooding study. The project uses specialized software to power a global compute grid among a worldwide network of volunteers who donate their extra CPU cycle to climate science.
Disclosure: I work for ScaleOut Software, a company that sells middleware that can be used for grid computing.
The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that the researchers used a whopping 40,000 years of computing time, and ran climate models thousands of times (including those simulating a world without industrial activity), to find that global warming has made future flooding far more likely to occur.
Discover Magazine cited study coauthor Myles Allen, an Oxford researcher, from an article in USA Today. Allen acknowledged that damaging weather events have been naturally occurring phenomenon, but explained that the study quantifies how rising greenhouse gas levels may be making certain weather events more likely to happen.
My own observations are not quantifiable, but it seems that summer and winter storms in the Northeast U.S. are far more intense than in the past and are getting progressively worse. The occasional flooded basement and fallen limbs at my mother’s house is now a flooding basement and several downed trees.
The past two winters have been glibly referred to “Snowmageddon,” and are also far more severe than many others that I recall during my lifetime. My 92-year-old grandfather agrees with me; although, he is a climate change skeptic.
These studies go a long way toward explaining what is happening to the climate, and I’d like to see further research for more insight into just how frequently extreme weather events will occur.
It's perfectly legitimate to debate the best way forward, but it’s high time for the politicking, paranoia, personal attacks, and cheap shots against scientists to end.
Feb 16, 2011
Wait, the past two winters were the worst in your recent memory? Did you live on the East Coast during the blizzard of '96?!? I was only in school then but I got two straight weeks off plus another two of delayed openings in the DC area. Every other winter since then was a disappointment (as a schoolkid hoping for days of sledding) until last year and this (despite not getting days off). Other than that and the overzealous title, interesting article.
...are hardly a blip compared to the unfunded Social Security, Medicare and public worker pension liabilities, and, of course BO's spending spree. And our credit is already on its way to being destroyed. Just this week the markets are signalling that they will not be buying treasury bills at the low rates they have been. Yesterday, one major firm announced that they are actually going to divest themselves because of stability concerns. And as for inflation being "a time honored technique": Inflation is a tax that hits the poor the hardest; it's the progressives strategy for socking it to people whom they've fooled into believing that it's only "the rich" that will be made to pay; another benefit to progressives of our failed educational system that keeps the poor poor and ignorant. But this actually is relevant, perhaps not so much to "global warming", but to "environmentalism" at large; people who are poor, or getting more so over time will care less and less about their impact upon the environment. And it's still truly amusing that the best example you can give for "successful government" is Social Security, with it's obviously flawed mathematical model. It explains why you are so willing to believe the mathematical models based on little more than hypothesis for CO2-based warming.
Inflating our way out of debt is a time honored technique. That's what we did after the Vietnam War. We're doing it now to pay for GWB's unpaid for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (the first time in this countries history that we had a major war without raising taxes to help pay for it). As I said, if the US fails to make good on those notes that SS holds it destroys our credit and we're well on our way to being a 2nd rate country. But (to get back on subject) the effects of global warming will place severe strains on the global civilization and may well break it many ways. That would make our argument over SS moot.
...is by inflating the currency, which, by the way, is what they are starting to do. But even that will not work, as intentionally inflating the currency is just another form of tax that ironically hurts those on fixed incomes more than anyone else. (But fortunately for the political establishment, most of them are too ignorant to realize that) Either way, even my the most optimistic standards there isn't enough taxing authority of the federal government to make good on those notes. At some point, the tax rates will be so high that people will simply choose to no longer work withing the legal economy and we'll become Greece. (California is already 2/3rds of the way there with their pension situation) Then consider the actuarial imbalance of it all; when first conceived, relatively few people even lived long enough to collect from it. Today, longer lifespans see to it that not only most people live long enough to collect, but as many as half will live 20 or more years collecting. For 50 years, politicians have been unable to touch the "third rail" to correct this. This is perhaps the finest example of how government is unable to make hard decisions that must be made. It's no different for any other program. No matter. Either way, Social Security is an unsustainable Ponzi scheme that only continues to function as long as there are enough new players to pay to the old even when they realize that they themselves will never get to collect. Suggesting that it will all work out is at best head-in-the-sand, at suggesting that it's an example of "successful government" is simply absurd.
The only way that Social Security is bankrupt is if the Federal Government fails to pay back the money it has borrowed from the Social Security Trust fund. That would destroy "the full faith and credit of the United States of America". If that happens then we'll have lots more to worry about than SS as Treasury Bills will essentially become junk bonds. Medicare suffers from the same problems that most other health care systems in this country do due to the inflation of medical costs but if you ask their "customers" they profess better satisfaction with it than customers of most other systems. The only reason that Medicare appears costly is that it covers the cohort of people who generally have the highest medical costs. If we had Medicare for all the evidence from other countries that have a single payer system is that we would reduce our medical expenditures per person by nearly 1/2. Most other countries spend about 10% of their GDP on medical care, the US spends about 18% of its GDP and the overall results generally aren't better than the ones spending 10%. I'll be 60 in a bit over 1 year. I've been paying double into SS since the 1980's to build up the trust fund in order to cover me and the rest of the baby boom generation. Are you planning on stealing that money from us? Since Social Security is not an investment in the way you look at it saying it has a negative rate of return makes no sense. I doubt I'll live long enough to see the Maldives completely disappear or other effects from SLR to reach truly dramatic levels. But if you pay attention for long enough, like they do in scientific studies, it's obvious that things are changing in unusual ways that have largely been predicted by climate scientists. I think I understand where you are coming from too. Your economic ideology trumps any concession to physical reality. But Mother Nature always bats last and there's not a damn thing you can do about it when she comes to the plate.
...as examples of successful government? Um, you do realize that they are fundamentally bankrupt, don't you? You do realize that for people under 60, that the money taken into Social Security will actually have a negative rate of return? To argue that they are "successful" is as to say that Bernie Madoff's scheme was "successful" because his early investors got their money out before it all came crumbling down. I honestly hope that if you're under the age of 60, you've got retirement plans that do not rely upon Social Security in any meaningful way. Otherwise, you're going to be even more disappointed then when the Maldives fail to disappear. Now I understand where you're coming from. Charlie Sheen has a better grip of reality!
John, #52 Nice change of subject there. I asked you to cite examples of your statement: There is absolutely no "consensus" on if our current "warming" is reversible. What consensus that does exist suggests that we will be spending trillions to make but a couple hundredths of a percent difference; hardly worth the trouble. And you come back asking me to cite examples of well run government programs. Ok, both Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid operate on a fraction of the overhead that any comparable private system does and generally have better consumer satisfaction. The Veterans Health Administration is probably the most cost effective health care system in the country. The EPA has saved the country far more in costs than the expenditures necessary to comply with their regulations. Who said anything about killing programs? You originally asked "Why do you think that any other government mandated/ run policy would be any different or better?". I'll admit that there are tons of government programs that are redundant and probably useless but they often have strong political support. I can't find any reason to distinguish between R's and D's on that score. The retracted paper on SLR predicted a maximum rise of 82 cm by 2100. It put a hard cap on maximum rise that was later found to be unwarranted. The more generally accepted value now is 80-200 cm. SLR in the 20th Century was about 7 inches. There probably hasn't been 3 feet of SLR in a single century since the height of the last deglaciation over 8,000 years ago.
Just because something is run by the government doesn't automatically mean it will be poorly run. Why not look at each individual program to determine its effecatiousness. Congress currently has countless duplicate and zombie programs that will run forever. http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm? a=Files.Serve&File_id=73039811-667b-4620-811a- 69f7690e2360 Can YOU cite any example of where the government has shown any ability to kill any program that is either wasteful, inefficient, or just plain harmful? And again on sea levels: When the exaggerations are retracted, we're back to the 3-foot rise, which would be consistent with the average over the last 10,000 years.
John, #49 There is absolutely no "consensus" on if our current "warming" is reversible. What consensus that does exist suggests that we will be spending trillions to make but a couple hundredths of a percent difference; hardly worth the trouble. Care to back that up? Some of the things that have happened/are happening because of global warming are irreversible on time scales that make sense to most humans, others are not. Why not at least work on not making the problem worse? Just because something is run by the government doesn't automatically mean it will be poorly run. Why not look at each individual program to determine its effecatiousness. #50 LOL, the paper was largely retracted because of errors but not because it's prediction of SLR was in any way excessive. Here is the retraction: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n3/full/ngeo780.html See anything in there that says they overestimated the rise?
...is suspect as well: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/21/sea-level- geoscience-retract-siddall
There is absolutely no "consensus" on if our current "warming" is reversible. What consensus that does exist suggests that we will be spending trillions to make but a couple hundredths of a percent difference; hardly worth the trouble. I know your not a fan of ethanol, which is why I use it as an example. Why do you think that any other government mandated/ run policy would be any different or better?
John, I've never been a huge fan of ethanol, particularly in its big corn lobby manifestation. The problem with your "sound economics" is that the economics of fossil fuel use ignore many large external costs so they are artificially cheap. Sooner or later the bill becomes due and we'll all pay it. #47: It's never too late. It's not a binary on/off situation. The outcome of global warming due to humans changing the mixture of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is completely dependent on the level of those gases. The sooner we do something the less bad the outcome will be. As it stands now we are heading for a world of famine and war with BAU.
...it doesn't matter. Change is inevitable, even according to the "experts". Although there's little overall consensus, the prevailing view is that even if we were to totally cease adding CO2 to the atmosphere by noon today, it would be too late. The damage has been long since done. So, it appears that we will have to adapt to climate change anyway, which has always been my point. It was going to happen weather we gave up carbon altogether, or if the Chinese put another half-billion Hummers on the road.
...with changing from fossil fuels to renewable sources. In fact, I have always been for it. However, the big difference between me and most of the "green" world is that I insist that the "change" be driven by efficiency and sound economics. As you have seen me point out countless times, my favorite example of ethanol is a painfully clear example of "green" policy that ends up as being everything but "green". And now even after most of the "green" advocates (even Al Gore) publicly recognize our ethanol policy as a giant mistake, our current president who never misses an opportunity to talk about our "green" future double-downs on it, mandating that we buy even more of it! We'll never be rid of it! True, sustainable "alternative energy" will be an alternative that people will willingly invest in, and will willingly exchange fossil fuels for, because they are either more efficient or cheaper. The rest will end up like ethanol; totally subsidized "alternatives" that are actually worse than oil both environmentally and economically, and yet will be permanent because of the political/economic feedback loop subsidies create. No thank you. Oh, and too bad our friend quintasTiberius has left us. Today, I was planning on outlining the environmental ideas I'd consider if I had no moral compulsions against fascism in the name of saving the environment.
John, #44 Well, much of the "vast expanses of Canada" you are talking about are either thin acidic soil or permafrost that will melt into a bog and are not all that suitable for agriculture. And the winters will still be cold with short days, just not quite as cold as they are now. They are not deforesting the Amazon for corn. In Brazil they use sugar cane for ethanol production. It's a much better feed stock for that than corn is. I'm not particularly in favor of that either. I had a sense of irony when I read your line "So why is it that all change is bad?". If change isn't bad then what's wrong with changing from fossil fuels to renewable sources for our energy? By most accounts I've seen that's easier and cheaper than adapting the the climate changes we will get from anthropogenic global warming.
First: Yes, some areas will definitely suffer under "climate change". But other's will benefit. Think farming in the vast expanses of Canada. 2nd, arguments about changing coastlines are completely bogus. Coastal areas are the most temporary features on the planet, "climate change" or not. And some of the prognosis is at best, wrong, and at worst, an outright lie to support the warmist's political agenda: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10222679 So why is it that all "change" is "bad"? Change is inevitable, man- made or not. It just has to be sold as "bad" so that fascists such as quintasTiberius above can have their way with the rest of us. (Disclosure: I own neither a Hummer or oil stocks. Only the straw- men that quintasTiberius and those like him construct of me do that) Oh, and how ironic that it's our eco-agenda that is partially responsible for Amazon deforestization so that they can grow more corn to make of for the corn we now use to make ethanol instead of food to export. Just another example of the unintended consequences of the eco-fascist agenda.
The "famine" argument is bogus. Tell that to the farmers who lived in the "marginal regions" of the Midwest and the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl years. And that was a relatively short meteorological event. Now lets imagine a similar but permanent weather pattern change. The farmlands of Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc. turned into an American Sahara. Ditto for the great farm belts of Eurasia. And it will happen so relatively fast that there won't be nearly enough time to find alternative solutions. Result: FAMINE. And all so John can keep driving his Hummer and block any competition for his precious oil company stocks. Oh, I suppose we could always finish deforesting the Amazon basin. I'm sure that would make John happy.
John, #40 I don't think you really understand the magnitude of the changes we will see from global warming and ocean acidification with BAU. We're taking the planet to a climate regime that has never existed since the genus homo evolved, to a place that many species in existence today are not adapted for. There will be mass extinctions (it's already starting) and who knows where that all shakes out in the end. The wild weather that's been occurring around the world this past year+ is an expected result of the increase in energy and water vapor in the atmosphere from global warming. So, what do you think will be the benefits of global warming? Some areas may improve by some peoples judgment but it's going to be terribly disruptive of many of the systems our civilization has built up over the years. As far as SLR, 3 feet is considered the low end of current predictions with BAU. The IPCC/AR4 had a considerably lower number but also said theirs was a conservative estimate that didn't take into account potential dynamic processes that were poorly understood. Not too long after the AR4 report came out new research was published that pushed expected 2100 SLR to be in the 1-2 meter range with BAU. This is the generally accepted value now.
Why do the warm-mongers only focus on the negative? The "famine" argument is bogus. Although already marginal regions will undoubtably suffer, longer growing seasons and more rain means in increase in global agricultural output elsewhere. riverat1, the 3-6 feet number has always been considered extreme. 3 feet alone, which is at the high end of what is considered credible, would be consistent with the trend since the last ice age. And quintasTiberius, I'm glad you take responsibility for your "concentration camp" statement. (Since you put it in writing, it would have been silly for you to do otherwise) Please keep it up. It's revealing behavior like that which makes it all the easier to show people what the fascist warming agenda is really about.
John, #37 In 2100 sea level rise will probably be the least of our worries. Right now it appears it will be 3-6 feet (1-2 meters) but it won't happen fast enough to drown anyone except maybe when a storm surge catches them by surprise. But 10,000 years ago there wasn't much infrastructure to worry about. People could pretty much just pick up their belongings and move to higher ground. That's not so true now-a-days. The moral implications of vilifying reputable scientists and blocking action on reducing the causes of the current global warming will come back to haunt people like you. I think in 2100 most people will look back on the climate change deniers of our current era with the same revulsion that most people feel about pre-Civil War slave owners and Holocaust deniers today. The Earth is a large physical system that responds to the inputs it receives. It doesn't give a damn about any ideology. Woe unto us if we ignore that fact too long.
The biggest difference between you and I is that I have no desire to see my ideological opponents thrown in concentration camps as you do. No, all you desire is to see them die of famine or increasingly severe weather disasters or declining health or wars resulting from the former. As for fascist agendas, I think it could be argued quite eloquently that those like yourself who block progress and the improvement of society to protect their own positions and fill their own pockets are key components to such agendas. And I take full responsibility for using the term "concentration camps". I had thought to use "asylums", but that infers that the majority of people like yourself are insane. I'm convinced that's not true. Most of you are just interested in keeping the status quo as long as possible since you obviously don't give a damn about your children or their children.
10,000 years ago (approximately 9,850 years before the industrial revolution) sea level was approximately 300 feet lower that it is today. The Micronesians, had they been present would have been living on mountaintops. Sea levels have been rising long before the pyramids were built. Changing levels has always been a threat to civilizations who chose to establish themselves in low-laying coastal areas. The only difference industrialization has made is possibly accelerating the process by some barely measurable degree. But at least you now admit to your fascist agenda, even if you don't see the irony is accusing everyone else of doing the same. The biggest difference between you and I is that I have no desire to see my ideological opponents thrown in concentration camps as you do. I only wish them to look foolish, which you seem to do with little help from me.
...although I'd love to visit Micronesia, I have no interest in living there. But that's hardly the point. Of course that's the point, John. Because you know what's coming, and you refuse to acknowledge it, and you want to force the rest of us to ignore it as well. The very tactics used by the isolationists in the 1930's. And I feel free to use Hitler in my examples because it's people with your mindset who unleashed him on 6 million innocent Jews. Hitler was guilty as hell, but he had plenty of accomplices who not only sat back and did nothing, but readily hindered those who did see the looming danger. And now you want to repeat history with a far greater danger by calling the vast majority of reputable scientists liars and blocking any reasonable measures to stem the tide. So I think it only fair that you should be among the first to benefit from your obstructionist attitude. PS: As for David Suzuki's comments, If the British had thrown Neville Chamberlin out of office and replaced him with Churchill much earlier, how different history might have been. So yes, I agree with Mr. Suzuki 100%.
Well last year there were many record cool days in San Diego county, CA. Some going back to the 1890's and even the 1880's. And you think Dan Diego County, CA is a good proxy for the entire Earth why?
...although I'd love to visit Micronesia, I have no interest in living there. But that's hardly the point. It's your arguments that are; the idea that you feel the need to resort to eliminationist rhetoric to make them. You even brought up Hitler; the last refuge of the pointless scoundrel. Don't worry too much, you're in large, high-profile company. Think like supposed scientists like David Suzuki who feels free to say similar things like we should "put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there's a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they're doing is a criminal act...". This is the point at which you are no longer participating in "science", but politics. And large groups in politics tends to make weak cowards suddenly brave. That is what makes your Hitler reference ironic; You are, in fact, the one who above advocated "concentration camps" for those who disagree with you. In fact, all of the violent rhetoric, like Suzuki's comments and the "red button" videos produced by the British government comes from the proponents of anthropogenic warming. Look in the mirror. That's far more scary that a theoretical sea change.
@David Worthington ii) Who says there are "cooling temperatures?" Well last year there were many record cool days in San Diego county, CA. Some going back to the 1890's and even the 1880's
bbguy, #27 Yes the planet's climate had changed in the past. Scientists are busy ferreting out the reasons for those past changes. That's what paleoclimatology is about. At least part of the reason for changes in the past million years or so is Milankovitch Cycles and the feedbacks they generate. The obvious reason for the changes we are seeing now is the change in greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, particularly CO2. None of the other known climate changing factors are changing in magnitude fast enough to explain the current climate change. The change in CO2 levels we are seeing now is pretty obviously from human activities, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels that have sequestered the carbon in them from the carbon cycle for hundreds of millions of years. In the past there have been massive climate changes due to changing GHG levels, notably the PETM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petm). It's not impossible that we may discover in the future some major factor in climate that we don't know about. Science it always open to new discoveries. But given the extreme scrutiny the subject has received in the past 50 years or so it doesn't seem likely that we will find such a revolutionary factor. The basics of climate are pretty mechanical in nature. There is a level of energy input from the sun, primarily in the visual light range, that gets captured by the Earth's atmosphere and surface that is balanced by energy re-radiation, primarily in the infrared range. The greenhouse gases and aerosols (clouds, dust, SO2, etc.) in the atmosphere modify that infrared energy output producing the temperature levels we see on the planet. The rest is just details.
I'm afraid you're wasting your breath klassman6. bbguy's argument has been debunked countless times before. While he is actually right about the planet going through such cycles many times, as with all naysayers, he conveniently ignores that mankind's activities have managed to compress the process exponentially and, thereby, exponentially increasing its severity. It is precisely this highly compacted time frame that decisively proves humanity's contribution. But bbguy and JohnMcGrew are obviously descended from a long line of isolationists and obstructionists whose biggest claim to infamy was enabling Hitler to become the greatest menace to the human race in history . . . . . . until now.
Sorry John, again, but you obviously don't read what you so boldly rewrite (typical skeptics' blindness). If there is no climate change, as you and you're ilk maintain, then you would have nothing to fear in living in Micronesia or the Arctic. If you do sink, it must mean that you were wrong and your archaic obstructionist attitude would be your own undoing. You'll take us all with you, but at least you would be the first to go.
bb, If your car doesn't work because your battery died, does the next time it doesn't work mean that the battery is the cause? It amazes me that folks can understand this but turn around and don't seem to understand that on a planet whose complexity leaves an automobile's complexity in the dust, that many different things can lead to similar outcomes. And the evidence is very clear that our capacity to release geologically sequestered carbon at rates beyond the planet's carbon sinks' capacity to absorb it as fast as we are releasing it is causing climate change. Perhaps it is you who needs to look under the hood and study the dynamics of the planetary net energy balance in order to see why the little temperature gauge on your dashboard is going up.
What explains the climate change recorded in the geologic record before humans could possibly have had any influence? If an honest and unbiased review is done of this and other natural records, it becomes amazingly obvious that the world's climate has never been constant. In fact, it has undergone some pretty wild swings with no help from us. I just wish people would stop absorbing whatever is fed to them and start thinking for themselves.
The difference is I would hope the naysayers would perish by their own hands (or lack of action). That's hardly what you said a mere 3 posts above: I believe all remaining skeptics should have their names recorded, and they should be shipped off to concentration camps, preferably on islands in Micronesia that are disappearing beneath rising oceans or to the melting ice shelf in the Arctic. Like the taxpayer funded idiots who made the "button" video, you've just demonstrated that your agenda is based more upon politics and emotion than hard science.
Sorry John. The difference is I would hope the naysayers would perish by their own hands (or lack of action). I just don't appreciate you taking the rest of us with you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATTknP8t7JU Submit to his political agenda, or he'll start pushing little red buttons. Unfortunately, there are lots of totalitarianistic people who agree with hum. Thank God his opinion doesn't matter.
I believe all remaining skeptics should have their names recorded, and they should be shipped off to concentration camps ... Nah, just put them in stocks in front of the courthouse so we can ridicule them.
I have had it with climate-change skeptics. They are either too greedy or too ignorant to see the writing on the wall. Virtually every reputable scientist in the world with any decent climatological experience, as well as a growing number of energy and oil companies, recognizes that mankind is seriously affecting the planet's climate. No amount of data or study is going to convince the bull-headed. I believe all remaining skeptics should have their names recorded, and they should be shipped off to concentration camps, preferably on islands in Micronesia that are disappearing beneath rising oceans or to the melting ice shelf in the Arctic. If you think that's harsh, I'm sorry, but anyone who obstinately stands in the way of taking steps to reduce man's harm to the planet, in the face of mountains of evidence, deserves nothing less.
zackers, #19 You think the claim that "man caused global warming" is an assumption but there is plenty of evidence to back it up. If there were no greenhouse gases (natural or human produced) in the atmosphere the average temperature on the surface of the Earth would about 0 degrees Fahrenheit instead of about 58 F. This is well established science. The most important GHG's are water vapor, CO2 and methane. Clouds are also a major factor. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen from about 280 ppmv in 1830 to about 390 ppmv in 2010, a nearly 40% increase, after being about 280 ppmv for the last 10,000 years. The year to year rise of atmospheric CO2 is 40-50% of the total amount of CO2 released by human activities. That is powerful evidence that the rise in CO2 is due to humans. There is other evidence such as the ratio of C12/C13 that point to human burning of fossil fuels for the CO2 increase. In the absence of changes in other known factors that affect climate those two things are powerful evidence that most of the global warming is due to human activities or feedbacks from those activities. The evidence is strong enough now and has been studied for long enough that you need to present some actual science that refutes it. Just saying we don't know enough to say is not good enough. The papers weren't addressing whether the warming came from humans or not but how temperature changes have affected precipitation patterns. If you want to read the paper your nearest university library should be able to get a copy of the Journal it was published in for you. Sometimes it takes a little effort to find a paper published in a Journal but it's doable if you want it.
Thermoguy, #18 Of course the Sun is the source of all of the heat/energy that matters regarding the climate system. But you could take all of the 158 deg. F building sides or roofs in the world and they don't amount to a hill of beans regarding global warming. They just don't cover enough of the Earth's surface to matter that much. Remember, over 70% of the Earths' surface is covered by water where there are no urban heat islands.
From the paper's abstract, this prediction simply relies on the fact that as the earth's atmosphere heats up, it stores more water. It assumes that the cause of this heating is due to man's influence and says it is proven simply because they can come up with computer models of man-caused global warming fit the precipitation patterns of the last 50 years or so. There apparently is no consideration or refutation of the hypothesis that natural warming of the earth could have caused the same effect (of course, I don't know this for sure since even though this paper was largely funded by taxpayers, its contents are not freely available to the public).
They are looking for a source of heat and unfortunately climate science is blind as can be. Building and energy professionals use calculators in science, we couldn't see temperature. Solar radiation burns skin and it is burning buildings. On January 23, 2011 it was 39 deg. F and solar exposed sides of buildings were 158 without producing emissions. http://thermoguy.com/urbanheat.html
The study examines how human activity is influencing how heavy rainfall becomes in Northern Hemisphere. Researchers showed the correlation by comparing rainfall totals over the past fifty years to multiple climate models. #16, looks like they did look at precipitation totals in that study. What makes you think they don't have precipitation data? That's a standard measurement at a weather station.
The title of the piece Studies prove link between human activity and extreme weather events is irresponsible and inappropriate. Before we take studies like these seriously we need to see DATA that shows that there really has been a rise in precipitation over a reasonably long period, say the last 100 years. I know of no such data that supports this position. If such DATA does not exist, no amount of trendy computer modelling will help one way or the other to resolve this issue. Dont forget that computer models simply reflect scientific hypotheses that await verification - by matching them against real world DATA - which, I claim, we do not have.
There is not a doubt that we are affecting the planet in a way that will be our undoing with life as we know it... But, there are extremes in both directions, or we would not have statistics which change over thousands of years.... The Politics change??? The slandering stop??? Not as long as somebody is making money from trashing the earth and the crooked politicians are still in office.....
David is too young. The last two winters in the northeast US remind me of my youth and young adult hood. Just reverting back to the mean from the easy winters of the past couple decades.
Comments 8 and 10 are right. The title is greatly misleading. There is a big difference between offering proof and proving. We absolutely need more of these kinds of studies, and we absolutely need to be aware that we face greater likelihood of unusual and even catastrophic weather events. The only thing these studies prove is that there is more proving and discovery to do, and compelling urgency to keep at it.
"...it?s high time for the politicking, paranoia, personal attacks, and cheap shots against scientists to end. It's not going to end any time soon. The opposition is political in nature. They have no way of attacking the science so they have to attack the character of the scientists who are doing the science. Sooner or later the reality of the situation will catch up with enough people that the opponents will fade away and those who continue to cling to their notions will be considered crackpots. I just hope it's not too late for all of us. David, the "cooling temperatures" meme is one of the mantra's on the denier side. Because 1998, with its exceptional El Nino, is still the hottest year in the HadCRU record (the same CRU of the infamous "climategate" emails) they think it's been cooling since then. Of course the NASA/GISS and NOAA records show 2005 and 2010 are tied for the hottest year on record and based on all of the factors that are coming together 2012 (or possibly 2013) will likely set a new record for global temperature.
Because this study compared actual data with climate models (that are by definition incomplete, and may be flawed), I think a better title would have been "Studies demonstrate link ..." or "Studies confirm link ...". I am among those who believe that humans have changed the climate, and that the only real debate should be by how much (vs. how much might be caused by natural processes). But I can understand why some people remain skeptical when headlines proclaiming "proof" and "truth" are really describing probabilities and "best current model". Add to that the fact that many of the climate change doubters are religious conservatives who have a very specific conception of "truth". So we should all make an effort to use scientific terms to define our results and avoid absolutisms and any overlap with common religious terminology.
@Margaretl i) one of the studies is titled, "Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes..." Am I missing something? ii) Who says there are "cooling temperatures?"