By Laura Shin
Posting in Environment
Climate scientists used to say that climate change can't be blamed for any one weather event -- until a recent study, which says it is the culprit of some recent heat waves.
But a prominent NASA climate scientist and advocate for policies to combat climate change, James E. Hansen, has now come out with a paper that upends that scientific conventional wisdom.
Using a statistical analysis, Dr. Hansen, the head of NASA's Godard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, and his colleagues found that specific heat waves of recent years -- the Texas heat wave in 2011, the Russian heat wave in 2010 and the European heat wave of 2003 -- were so out of line with what had traditionally been considered natural variability that they must have been directly caused by climate change.
Additionally, he published an op-ed in the Washington Post asserting that once this summer is over, the U.S. heat wave and drought will also likely be found to be a direct result of climate change.
"I don’t want people to be confused by natural variability — the natural changes in weather from day to day and year to year,” Dr. Hansen said in a press release. “We now know that the chances these extreme weather events would have happened naturally — without climate change — is negligible.”
The paper has divided climate scientists for two reasons: One is simply Dr. Hansen's visible role as an advocate for action to mitigate climate change. The other is the fact that the paper did not rely on climate science to pinpoint climate change as the cause of these heat waves but simply on math and statistics.
Some felt he had come up with a new way to understand climate extremes and others asserted that he had simply put a new spin on old data.
The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at how temperature varies within a season, and how that variability is changing.
Dr. Hansen and his co-authors, who included Makiko Sato, also a NASA scientist at the Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and Reto Ruedy, of Trinnovim LLC, which provides scientific support for NASA, looked at the climate variability of the years from 1951 to 1980, and contrasted that against the variability of the years since.
They compared how much of the earth's land surface was under what would have been considered extreme heat from June through August of each year.
- From 1951 to 1980, only 0.2% of land surface experienced these heat waves.
- But in the years 2006 to 2011, 4% to 13% of land surfaces experienced extreme heat.
They concluded that the heat waves during those years would not have occurred were it not for the greenhouse gases warming our planet.
Therefore, the paper did not show, using climate science, how climate change caused each of those events, but instead looked at the likelihood of these events happening without the presence of climate change and decided that climate change was the only plausible cause for them.
Good science? Or spin?
Scientists were split on whether they agreed with the way Dr. Hansen and his co-authors reached his conclusions.
Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia told the Associated Press that the study reframes the way we think about extreme weather in relation to climate change:
"Rather than say, 'Is this because of climate change?' That's the wrong question. What you can say is, 'How likely is this to have occurred with the absence of global warming?' It's so extraordinarily unlikely that it has to be due to global warming."
But not all scientists were so convinced. Peter Stott of the U.K. Met Office, who co-authored a landmark study on the 2003 European heat wave, had previously found that global warming made it much more likely this type of heat wave would occur, but still attributed some of the cause to natural variability.
Other scientists not involved in the study, pointed out that that the increase in heat extremes demonstrates an overall shift toward warmer global average temperatures, not a change in climate variability.
“The one stretch in the paper is in the linking of the increase in areal extremes to an increase in climate variability,” Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist who works with Dr. Hansen at GISS, told Climate Central.
What do you think? Did Dr. Hansen come up with a new way to understand climate variability or did he just tell a new tale using old data?
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Aug 12, 2012
Because we ran out of replies I'm starting a new thread to reply to John McGrew. What does Michael Mann have to do with any of this? His work is merely corroborating evidence not fundamental to climatology. You may think 1 or 2 degrees C of warming is nominal but when you calculate the total amount of energy required to produce that much temperature rise on Earth it's an immense number. There may be a lot of divergent opinion of where all this ends up. There are no known similar warming episodes in the past to compare to. Triggering a new glacial period is not something that serious scientists consider likely. It could be if the Gulf Stream shuts down that Western Europe could become considerably cooler but the total energy in the system would still be increasing. Some aspects of the warming we've produced already are not reversible but if we stop adding to the GHG load of the atmosphere we will quit making things worse at an accelerating rate. A robust solar power grid is distributed to cover a wide area. You may have a front 100 miles long but perhaps it's only 10 or 20 miles wide. And where do I file my paperwork to get on the government grant gravy train?
The world is in more trouble than we know, we couldn't see it before. We have all the laws to build sustainably, we design in calculators. Here is what we missed in the infrared spectrum with building development close to boiling temperature with solar interaction while we react to the symptoms with massive energy waste and more emissions. http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=88
I really appreciate the fact that Dr. Hansen was not a part of the NASA team that landed Curiosity on Mars.
Is polution part of the Climate Change model. Again I make the point that the world is coming out of an ice age that ended JUST 11,000 years ago, a twinkle of time in the grand scale of things. The planet is an ever changing set of complex nutural rules, that run in cycles. Polution is the one thing we could reduce and monitor. It is good that the Global Warming debate is open and running to keep the World warm with all that hot air. Green is good but Greed is bad. I would like to see Greener power World wide, so why is wave power so slow in its implementation.
As someone else here pointed out, a study that claims changes in a millenia long cycle by looking at a 30 year window cannot possibly be reliable. Hansen has long since lost all credibility. He finally dropped completely off the credibility radar when he was caught fudging the GISS historical temperature record. Now he is just a shrill, hysterical, old man.
Dr. Spencer spells out UHI and other statistical methods not taken into account in his recent blog.. http://www.drroyspencer.com/ Casting doubt on whether July was the "hottest ever!" .
[quote]Every month since climate gate there are more scientists openly questioning the validity of man made climate change.[/quote] Really, "Hates Idiots"? Let's have their names. I say put up or shut up. Actually, the trend is in precisely the opposite direction. For example, former climate change denier Dr. Richard Mueller, whose research has been supported to a large degree by the conservative Koch Brothers, recently announced that he has ceased to be a skeptic and now agrees that global warming is real and is caused primarily by human activity. [quote]CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. Im now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.[/quote] Richard Mueller, [q]The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic,[/q] nytimes.com, July 28, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all Mueller went on to provide the following summary of the findings of his research team at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project: [quote]"Our results show that the average temperature of the earths land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases."[/quote] It looks like the attempts of the Koch brothers and other conservative truth deniers to buy their own set of facts on global warming just blew up in their faces. Thank goodness Mueller has some integrity. I understand that 40 percent of his funding came from the Koch brothers. I doubt that he will ever receive any more of their filthy lucre again. The real cabal that has been spewing vicious lies about the state of research on global warming is the one formed by the Koch brothers, Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Fox News and other deniers and perverters of the truth.
The main problem with the subject of climate change and global warming is that the earth is too complex to draw conclusions. But we do know that we are experiencing extremes on many parts of the planet. You could say that the extremes are happening more frequent but that the trend "is" the frequency of extremes not necessarily hotter or cooler. What about the oceans? Acidification due to CO2 absorption? Death of life and disappearing species in the oceans and above? What about the air we breathe containing pollution from burning coal? What about the ice mass of the poles disappearing and increasing sea level? Well these all contribute to what we can both agree on and that is the quality of life. That is the team we are both on. If we focus on ways to improve the quality of life then we might actually prevent more weather extremes. But in the end it does not need to define a theory about climate change. It is the more immediate results like survival of seafood, maintaining ozone so that we can handle exposure to the sun. Preventing the droughts, the floods, the melting ice are all things we can start doing locally by fixing our local energy etc. The US has over 4000 coal plants. Does your state have any? Teach yourself about nuclear energy because it is a truly emission free source of energy. The quickest and cleanest way to turn around the effects of green house gas is to replace the coal plants with nuclear. Also to replace gas vehicles with electric vehicles is more sensible when the electricity needed for charging the batteries is not a contributor to green house gases or continued use of coal burning as an energy source.
In the early part of the 1900's, we were just emerging from a little ice age (LIA). In school many years ago, I was told that the earth had 'suffered' many climate changes (ice ages). So what are we being told now? Suddenly we are responsible for climate changes? I think not! Man was not responsible for them before, and we are not now. This is not to say that we cannot do things better. We are recycling, being more conscious about pollution etc. We are, and should be, doing things better ~ be better stewards to our planet and it's resources. The unfortunate part to this, is that some government types have taken it and decided that we should be taxed on it. Little (if any) of the taxes raised will do anything to stop it.
Politicians speaking hot lies. :) Which are exempt from false advertising law! Those of you in denial that weather patterns are changing--esp. those talking 'natural variability,' miss the point. Well such changes are certain to be partially human activity, the danger exists regardless of cause. Humans deforested what is now Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, N.A. Mississippi river to Pennsylvania and much of the Amazon basin. Fact. These in and of themselves contributed to major changes in weather patterns, other similar removal of vegetation around the world also contributes. Regardless of cause, weather patterns are changing, and changing significantly more rapidly and violently than historically. Much of this is in the Equatorial Zone, where a huge percentage of humans live, and a large amount of food is grown. Which would you rather do: die while saying 'it's not my fault!' or trying to make things better? Many times in the past people have discovered the hard way that money and wealth are poor replacements for air, water and food.
"The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. It was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896." [Wikipedia - Global Warming] It's not a cabal. It's not lies. It's not a world-wide impossible hoax. And it's definitely nothing new. Gore didn't invent it but he did bring Global Warming into the public spotlight where it belongs. Get down from your lofty denier high horses before you take a hard tumble to reality and hurt yourselves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/ http://berkeleyearth.org/movies/
This guy is making a study of our planets climate change and he is only going back to the year 1951? Come On! Go back a billion years and you can see that this planet has had climate changes both high and low many times worse than what we are seeing now. More paid political BS. I suppose Hansen would blame the dinosaurs for craping to much for their own extinction, since we weren't there to blame. I won't use Dr. in front of Hansen's name, because they should take his doctorate away for this sham! Somebody is looking to put alot of "Green" into their pockets using these lies!
It's true that it's been extraordinarily hot this summer in most places. But apparently Hansen is ignoring natural climate cycles. The truth is that the climate exhibits variations that the hockey stick crowd deny exist. The climate pattern this year matches global ones that occurred in the 1930s dust bowl and during the 1950s. Most people alive today do not remember that these were also periods of above average heat and drought. We had the same kinds of crop failures and the same weather patterns with regard to hurricanes. In fact, in places where records were broken this summer, most of the records that were broken were set back in the 1950s during the previous drought -- by about the same 1 or 2 degF that is the average global temperature increase we see today over the past decade or so. Hansen uses averages over the period 1950 to 1980. While the '50s were hot, it cooled off significantly during the late '60s and '70s. Remember that the '70s were the time period when we worried about another ice age? As a result, averages taken over this period completely ignore shorter minor climate patterns that are very real.
[i]They concluded that the heat waves during those years would not have occurred were it not for the greenhouse gases warming our planet.[/i] Again, a rather bold statement that cannot be verified through scientific means. At least these conclusions are arrived at directly with data instead of contrived models build upon preconceived conclusions that selectively use data to confirm themselves. And of course, this only make headlines because we've just been through a heat wave and drought. We all know that the next time a cold wave hits, that we'll be reminded by these same people that "weather is not climate".
Mark Twain astutely noted that there are "Lies", "Damned Lies" and "Statistics" . I note that AlGore used statistical "tricks" to correlate global warming and CO2 content. He just neglected the time lag in the atmomspheric CO2 content to match it up with the temperature. Statistics and Politics are very much alive in Big Science. Don't believe for an instance that they (the scientists) are completely objective and "above the fray"
There may be a heat wave in one area, and there may be a cool spell in another. Even though Texas had record heat in 2011, July 2007 was the coldest July ever in central Texas, and December 2009 was the coldest since 1924. Eastern Europe had record cold this past winter. It's not just heat waves.
It is good to know that there seems to be an active scientific debate about the reports conclusions. Such a debate could not happen just a few years ago because any one who questioned the science were vilified by the global warming community. Scientists risked their careers if they voiced concerns. We now know that suppression of discussion was in large part a coordinated effort to silence what were perceived as opposition views and thoughts. An effort we now know was largely coordinated by the cabal at East Anglia. With the cabal exposed an honest debate can now happen. Every month since climate gate there are more scientists openly questioning the validity of man made climate change. A debate which will either disprove or lend credibility to the report and find the truth. Which is at the heart of all honest science. Finding the truth.
More climate crisis fear-mongering of the voterâs children all but ensures a President Romney and the IPCC has NEVER said that climate change crisis was certain, only that a crisis was "likely" and âprobableâ etc. Too bad exaggerating isn't a crime, yet. The planet is melting.........maybe? To real progressives and real planet lovers, the worst crisis imaginable certainly needs more than a bunch of maybes. When the scientists say in one voice that it's going to happen and not just may happen, count the former believer majority back in. -Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.mminent, count us back in. -Obama has not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses. Scientists are lab coat consultants and gave us pesticides and glowbull dooming and climate change has done to journalism what naughty priests did for religion.
...because apparently in the academic and climate community, that is all that is required to make your arguments infallibly legitimate: [i]This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research... Had Dr. Mann's conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions... Clearly, Dr. Mann's reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field.[/i] (From the Penn State non-Investigative Report regarding the ClimateGate scandal, http://live.psu.edu/pdf/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf) So basically, there's no need to actually question anyone's practices, research or methodologies because the [i]success in proposing research, and obtaining funding[/i] alone is proof that they are legit. (That's hardly the charitable attitude that the warm-mongers have regarding any science to the contrary funded by anyone else) Just a casual browse of "expert" opinions on global warming has temperatures increasing anywhere from 5C to near nothing. But you say it yourself that [i]There are no known similar warming episodes in the past to compare to.[/i] Perhaps that's why they feel the need to make so much of it up.
Hi abear4562, In the study, they lay out four reasons for choosing the period 1951-1980. 1. It was a period of stable temperatures, in contrast to the warming of recent decades. 2. It is recent enough for older generations, such as baby boomers, to remember. 3. The climate then was in the Holocene range, meaning that it is the climate that the natural world and civilization are adapted to. 4. They have used this period for scores of other publications, so it is the best period to use for comparisons with prior work. As for your claim that a 30-year window is too short compared to a millennia long cycle, I suspect they also chose it because their records for this time period are much more reliable than records that would stretch farther back. Laura
They're just part of the apparatus that is meant to propagate this stuff. It all started here about the time that Viacom took over CNET.
UHI is yet another regional impact that is understated and cannot be adjusted for by the data manipulation techniques frequently used by climate scientists. One global warming report after another talks about discarding LOW temperature anomalies, but never taking out high temperature anomalies. Why? There is one local government sensor that weatherman ignore because it is never right. It is located on the south face of a building near an exhaust vent for the heating system. If the wind blows the right way on the coldest winter days it can read as high as 70 degrees F. The appropriate authorities have been repeatedly contacted, but it has not been relocated. It has become a running joke. For a laugh in mid winter reporters will tell people to go to X because it is a balmy 65 today.
Why the temper tantrum demanding names? Do you want to punish them? Why are you so angry over scientists having an open discussion on the topic? Do you want to go back to the oppressed environment where no one questioned the science? That is kind of narrow minded, or you lack conviction in your beliefs. Your attitude and tone in this thread makes me think you have connections to East Anglia. I hope East Anglias 8 ball pool team has more integrity then their science department. Have a nice day.
The pollution from coal is the only one that CAN be directly attributed to man. What gets me bent is that we are wasting time and effort fighting over coal power plants in the US that have 1990s era scrubbing technology over CO2 concerns while China and India flood the skies with rancid smog from thousands of largely unfiltered coal power plants. While the UN and global warming proponents squabble over CO2 emissions some very real pollutions are killing people and poisoning our food supplies. Mercury levels in global fish stocks are rising. How about they focus some effort on the real, proven pollutions of lead, mercury, sulfur and a host of other toxic materials being pumped into the air every day. If they really cared about the planet they would focus on undisputed problems.
And that is CO2. NEVER, in ANY history we can divine, has the atmospheric CO2 burden been what it is now (those who say it has are LYING). No matter what, It will now take at least a century, for it to come back down to what it was in the early part of the Twentieth Century. CO2 traps heat, plain and simple. Inject CO2 into an air sample, and suddenly that air sample will not pass heat through. We are now in the middle of such a change, and it involves our ENTIRE atmosphere. It's like wrapping up in a "space blanket" on a hot day. I live in Alaska, and I know its getting hotter. How many more heat waves will it take, till you figure it out too?
And I'll even give you that I agree deforestation is a far larger contributor to a change in regional weather patterns than any alleged CO2 emissions based warming. But multiple regional changes worldwide do not necessarily reflect a global source of the problems. Every time people bring up the shrinking glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro and blame global warming I remind them that annual rainfall, and mountain top snowfall, in the area has dropped in line with the increasing deforestation of the surrounding region over the past 60 years. The average amount of snow melting every year has not changed, but when the snow fall drops to near zero the glaciers will shrink. The Maldives is another place blaming global warming for what are self inflicted problems brought on by over development. The dust storms of the 1930 were caused by poor farming practices and a drought that hits the area on a regular basis. Many of those flawed practices are little changed since then and the droughts come back. Some areas are worse because larger farming equipment has expanded the reach of the plow. And what do we have this year? Massive sand storms have hit the American southwest because fields were plowed and crops failed in the dry earth which let the top soil get caught by the wind. Coincidence? I think not. It is history repeating its self until people learn from it. Until people stop blaming phantoms and confront real local and regional issues the problems will only get worse.
I am glad to see real discussion to find the truth.. I am saying that we should let the scientific discovery and discussions return. No matter where it takes us. The true scientific process was stifled by those in the global warming community who admittedly worked as a coordinated group in a coordinated effort to launch multi point counter arguments intended to professionally discredit those who challenged their statements on manmade global warming. It was proven and admitted that they, the group at East Anglia, distributed data, QUESTIONABLE MASSAGED DATA in a few cases, to multiple people in their group so that the multi point rebuttal would be consistent. That meets the definition: cabal [ k bl ] 1. group of plotters: a group of conspirators or plotters, particularly one formed for political purposes 2. secret plot: a secret plot or conspiracy, especially a political one If each scientist had written their own rebuttals based on their own work we would not be having this discussion. The fact that it was a coordinated effort to distribute a consistent argument based on consistent, and sometimes questionable, data is what makes it qualify as a plot. Accepting the facts is a personal problem you must deal with. Negative votes means I struck a nerve. Sweet.
Hi foolmeonce, The authors chose the period 1951-1980 because it was during a time of climate suitable for human life. They said this in the study -- I didn't mention it because when most people talk about mitigating climate change, they mean so that the climate stays acceptable to human life. I chose not to state what I thought was obvious. While the planet can withstand any climate -- one fit for dinosaurs or one fit for us -- we're a bit fussier. Laura
Hansen's paper incorporates natural variability. It shows the normal distribution of natural variability and shows statistically how it has broadened and shifted toward the hotter end of the scale over the past few decades.
HI, There has always been that debate. You just never heard it before. There was never a "cabal" to suppress debate, just to suppress unscientific arguments that were a waste of the scientists time. Meanwhile the evidence that they were right all along just keeps piling up with little or no countervailing evidence.
You are presuming that accepted practices include a bias toward global warming to the detriment of the scientific truth. I think you need to provide some solid evidence for that, not just a bunch of hand waving. As I have said in other posts these scientists are smart guys. They have to know that if they are perverting the science dishonestly for political reasons they will be found out sooner or later and their scientific reputations will be destroyed. If science is a search for objective truth then any deception will be discovered eventually. So that conspiracy theory just doesn't hold water for me.
- - I suspect they also chose it because their records for this time period are much more reliable than records that would stretch farther back. - - That does not change the facts. There is plenty of evidence to support marking distinct natural warming cycles over the past million years. To study only 30 years and try to speculate what will happen over the next 50 years is a joke. The earths natural process are measured in decades, centuries and millennia. 30 years is hardly a single click of the geologic clock.
Wow, your reply to my post went up almost immediately. You seem to be a right wing troll who has nothing to do but lurk around this website and attempt to convince readers that there is a great deal of turmoil and controversy among climate scientists over the reality of global warming. I would like for you to produce the names of scientists who support your point of view so that I can read their positions and determine for myself how much credibility they have. I certainly am not going to give any credence to your second-hand hearsay claims that hordes of mainstream scientists are flocking over to the side of the deniers. So I again say put up or shut up. Your screeds against honest scientists who test the environment and report their findings that the planet is, in fact, warming won't budge me even an inch. Only facts reported by actual climate scientists can do that. I notice that you had nothing at all to say about the defection of Richard Mueller from your side. I suppose there really is very little you can say about it because it is what it is. Ties to East Anglia? In the immortal words of Maynard G. Krebs, "Surely you jest!" I have no ties to anyone in East Anglia. I am a mortgage refinance signing agent from coastal Georgia, USA. I am not even sure where East Anglia is, beyond its being located somewhere in England. Be that as it may, your ad hominem attacks on them show how low you are willing to sink. By the way, while we are talking about allegations of corruption, it would not surprise me to learn that you have ties to the Koch brothers yourself and are actually on their payroll. Do they pay you a generous stipend to sit around all day trying to sow confusion about global warming on sites like this? Is that how you can afford to spend so much time lurking around this website all day long? Oh, while we are on the subject of simple questions, do you think Sen. Inhofe's attitude on global warming may have softened since his state recently tied the record for hottest day ever (i.e., 113 degrees on August 3, 2012 and August 11, 1936) and broke the record for hottest 3 consecutive days ever (i.e., 112.33 degrees on 8-1, 8-2 and 8-3-12? http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=climate-okc-heatwave. Despite living in the deep South, I personally cannot comprehend routinely experiencing temperatures in excess of 110 degrees. Nevertheless, it would not surprise me if that is, indeed, where we are headed.
Coal is one of many pollution sources from man... Cars, plastic factories, chemical factories, trains, cruise ships, deforestation, etc. We need to take action on all fronts and try to return this planet to a much healthier and better place for everyone. Yes, we need a global focus on all countries. But it all has to start somewhere. Why not here? Nuclear is not the answer, it is incredibly dangerous and we have no real way to deal with the spent fuel. As global warming continues, out climate become more volatile and more hostile. As we all saw in Fukushima, bad things can happen when natural disasters come into contact with nuclear reactors. Before you go off on new reactor technologies like PRISM reactors (aka integral fast reactors, aka liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor). The technology is not proven, it's only conceptual at this point. There are a ton of safety concerns and they may never be able to get it to work properly (liquid sodium suffers spontaneous combustion with water, produces a lot of hydrogen and is incredibly explosive. Explosive and radioactive are not a good combination). But I am open to the possibility provided we can make them safe (keep in mind that currently, there are not safe reactors in the world) Think about this for a moment... What if every roof top in the US was solar? I'm not talking about solar panels, I am talking about solar shingles. The entire roof, direct and indirect, (panels could be used on flat roofs). All we would need to do is introduce a building code/rule that states all new construction must have a solar roof and all re-roofing must be solar. In 50 to 70 years, every roof top in the US would be producing electricity, far more electricity than we currently produce (but we would need it to power all the electric vehicles and electric trains)
Lightning Joe, I appreciate your posts and generally agree with them but I have to correct a couple of things you said in this one. First, as far as the CO2 level, it's accurate that at no time during human occupation of the Earth (about 2.5 million years) has CO2 in the atmosphere been this high but it probably was this high sometime between 15 and 20 million years ago and in the very distant past (about 100 million years ago and earlier) it probably was much higher, in the 2000 ppmv range. Second, scientists have said that once we stop increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere it will take over 1000 years for natural processes to reduce the level of CO2 back to pre-industrial levels.
"Coincidence? I think not. It is history repeating its self until people learn from it." ...And the history now repeating itself is that people will always let their opinions be railroaded by those who would deny the necessity of change. Sooner or later, if you don't die first, you will see that we need to change our energy usage patterns. But I expect it will be far too late, by the time that happens.
You can't point out how scientists "conspire" (to do actual, um, science), without holding deniers to the same standards. THAT is what science is, is always using the same measures. The data must be real, must be relevant, and must fit the models. Data and modeling results done by real CLIMATE SCIENTISTS fit this model. So called "science" from the deniers' camp does not. For one thing, they are hardly ever climate scientists -- but meteorologists, geologists, economists, and of no scientific standing whatsoever. The CLIMATE SCIENTISTS overwhelmingly agree: the climate is changing, and WE did it. As for "proven and admitted?" You are listening to FAUX again.
And yet the recent BEST report agrees with the data you refer to. The only people who find it questionable are those who are ideologically opposed to the findings of climate scientists. It really baffles me that people think scientists would pervert their findings for political reasons. They're smart enough to know that sooner or later some other scientist will discover their dishonesty and destroy their scientific reputations. It's just not believeable that so many of them would take that chance.
If you read the emails they coordinated efforts to discredit and discourage anyone from challenging their assertions. If there was no cover up, why would one of them use his scientific credentials to remove over 3,000 internet references to the Medieval Warming Trend from Internet sites as diverse as Wikipedia and university online libraries. The bias media has gone to great lengths to suppress what came out, but it is out there if you really want to find it. This is an old discussion. I am really getting bored with people claiming NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG.
I think you're reading what you want to see into the report. To quote your quote of the report: [i]Had Dr. Mann's conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions...[/i] Mann has the respect of his peers because his findings have held up well under scrutiny. He has done pioneering work in the field of paleoclimatology. He's been investigated several times by different entities and has never been found to have done anything substantially wrong. What makes you think Hansen is abandoning climate modeling as a valid investigative tool? It's been years since he has been directly involved in maintaining the GISS Model E code but he's still the head of the GISS and so presumably has major influence on what is done with it. Models of any kind are just tools to measure how well our scientific understanding of a topic fits the real world. Hansen's original model from the 1980's and others developed since then have held up well compared to real world observations. Is that another case of you reading what you want into it?
Did you not read the official non-report? Nobody's going to bother because they're too successful at securing funding. [i]That's what their report really says.[/i] And they have been "found out". That's why Hansen is wisely changing tactics and is moving away from the "climate modeling" model. Just like it was with the football team, as long as the money keeps coming in, nobody is going to rock the boat.
Hi, I said this to another commenter -- you're right that the planet has its own cycles and that those cycles are natural for the planet. What people are usually trying to stop when they talk about mitigating climate change is the transformation of the planet's climate into a climate not suitable for human life and civilization. If the climate does change so much that it is no longer fit for us, then the planet will go on just fine as it has for eons. So, yes, Hansen is specifically choosing years that don't include all the warming cycles the planet has ever endured. But he's excluding them on purpose -- he focuses on the Holocene era, to find out how the climate that has historically sustained human life is changing. Laura
Did I mention nuclear somewhere? And you have my view on solar a bit twisted from reality. I have long said solar is not a one size fits all solution for the entire nation. BUT. I have said that where local conditions permit I am a supporter of affordable solar on homes as part of a distributed grid that might someday move us away from the need for big power plants. Another BUT is that an affordable power storage method must be developed for affordable solar, or affordable wind as appropriate for the local weather, to ever be part of a 24/7 power solution. While solar on every roof top is not practical as previously mentioned, I do think a significant number of homes should have it if a few southern US states started mandating, where applicable, some form of solar hot water or PV solution as part of new construction building codes. Even a few hundred thousand modest solar hot water systems would produce a large reduction in power consumption. Such a mandate would be a boon to the solar industry and should drive technology improvements, competition and eventually, hopefully, prices down with the higher volumes of sales. It would be a great opportunity to encourage local solar production through tax breaks to consumers if they buy Made in the USA. I say consumers to give companies an incentive to put out a good producut, but more importently to put the money directly in comsumers pockets and let them decide what company gets their business. Instead of the government picking what companies gets money without a proven product. In addition, common sense net metering laws need to be created / strengthened to provide incentive for people to install home PV while not punishing the grid power providers who have to bridge the overnight gap in solar power until the storage requirement is met. While the issue of renewable power is large in scope and lengthy to implement, the actual path to using more renewable power is not as difficult as many think. It just takes a little thought and a lot of planning.
If fact, as much of a "consensus" that exists regarding the anthropocentric nature of global warming, absolutely no consensus exists regarding where it is going, or even if it is. Opinions diverge everywhere from extreme heat to triggering the next ice age. And just as divergent are the opinions on if it's even stoppable or reversible. As for clouds and the grid: A single cloud wouldn't be, but a cloud front certainly would. I my neck of the woods, moving fronts extending over 100 miles are standard during A/C season, and would wreak havoc on a grid that was not balanced. This is why for a "smart grid" as currently envisioned without standby power would have to be empowered to turn off people's A/C; something that would be highly unpopular and something the smart grid advocates go out of their way not to mention publicly. And yes, an intelligent reader would notice our differing styles. What I want to know is where I file my paperwork to get my check from the Koch brothers.
Calling the warming that has occurred "nominal" just shows you don't really understand the depth of the problem or that the problem will continue to get worse in the future until we do something about it. That "nominal" heating means the oceans are absorbing energy at a rate greater than 2 Hiroshima bombs per second. (1 Hiroshima = 67 terrajoules). A single cloud is not much of an issue in a distributed system as solar power is. It certainly would change the demand level. Where do you think the heat we need AC for comes from? It's pretty easy to tell the difference between you and HI. There is a distinct difference between your posts. But then maybe you are one person, just bi-polar ;)
All I've argued that there are many elements at play here, and CO2 is not exclusively responsible for the nominal heating that has occurred. As for solar being perfect for "peak loads", I dispute that. The grid requires nominal balance in order not to collapse. (as demonstrated multiple times in India last week) A single cloud passing overhead immediately changes output on a local level whereas it does not change consumption levels. Without a viable storage mechanism to moderate these imbalances, wide-spread panel deployment cannot work. As for the confusion above, I suspect that i8thecat4 is under the impression that Hates Idiots and I are one-and-the-same, and are paid by the Koch brothers by the identity. He is unable to conceive that there might be more than 1 person intellectually operating outside of the consensus collective, or "cabal" as HI pointed out above.
Even such climate contrarians as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer agree that increasing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere will have an effect. They just think there are other factors that will counter the effects of CO2. They haven't had much luck finding those other factors. Since the greatest demand for electricity is generally in the middle of the day, especially during air conditioning season solar power is perfect to help cover those peak loads. BTW, I was confused by the McGrew bit myself.
Granted, tax dollars via federal/state/local incentives may not be the answer. Let the deniers continue to invest in outdated sources of energy. Proven as these funds dry up, but the industry is already pivoting with 3rd party leases. Solar PV is going nowhere and BIPV with municipal codes will certainly help, but not holding my breath. Always remember panels need cleaning & maintenance just like your windows and lawns. Ensure optimum.watts with regular cleaning.
First off, I don't know why you are addressing me instead of Hates Idiots. But I do agree with him/her that the religious fanaticism with CO2 is causing us to lose focus on forms of pollution that mankind actually and factually is responsible for. Each and every year, China expands their coal-fired electrical grid by the size of Great Britain's. And they aren't particularly concerned about mandating the kind of expensive scrubbing technology we mandate. We could shut down our grid tomorrow, and it won't make much of a difference. Second, mass deployment of solar is pointless until storage technologies evolve that address the base load problem. Mandating solar panels/shingles/etc as well as windmills is waste of resources. The problem is that it's tough for politicians to get accolades for investing in something that few people understand or can see, or can stand in front of for photo ops. So until more people "get a clue", we'll continue to waste billions of other people's money on crony capitalist solar factories and farms and make the Chinese richer as they continue to burn coal with total abandon.