Whither the Earth's Temperature Now?

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It's getting cold outside. How cold? As Daily Tech reports:

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile—the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C—a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down

Of course, one can always find anecdotal evidence for warming too. See, for example, this Reuters story that notes:

The warmest winter ever recorded in Finland may boost grain crops as the growing season is likely to be longer than usual, experts said on Thursday.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute said the December-February period was the warmest since records began more than 100 years ago, with average temperatures about 5 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) higher than usual.

Temperatures averaged above freezing point in southern Finland this winter. The balmy weather was partially due to global warming, meteorologists have said.

Southern and southwestern parts of the Nordic country known for its harsh Arctic winters had snow cover for only 20 days, well below the more than 70 usually.

Happily, as I reported from the U.N. Climate Change conference in Bali, the U.K. climate modeling research group, the Hadley Centre, has now given us something of a benchmark by which to judge climate model predictions. To wit:

Most interestingly, and to its credit, the Hadley Centre has now gone out on a risky prediction limb. The Centre has combined its weather prediction model with a climate change model to make definite forecasts about the world's climate for the next decade. To wit: "We are now using the system to predict changes out to 2014. By the end of this period, the global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 degrees Celsius compared to 2004, and half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year, 1998." Since various temperature records—surface, satellite and weather balloons—have shown a temperature trend that increases at about 0.2 degrees per decade or less, this is a truly bold prediction.

One further climatological note, I will be covering the Heartland Institute's International Climate Change Conference in New York next week.

Hat tip to RS Davis over at Freedom Files for the Daily Tech link.

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  1. This is a bunch of BS, Ron. Remember that one time that you changed your mind about global warming? Yeah, what about that, huh? What about that?

  2. WARNING! ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE!

    Where I live we haven’t had a big snowstorm since January 2000. We used to get one every 2-3 years, so I had no idea there was that level of cooling.

  3. In before joe.

  4. 84 degrees and sunny today

  5. Of course, one can always find anecdotal evidence for warming too.

    What??? Did you not read the second half of the paragraph you cited?

    But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

    These are not “anecdotal” evidence.

  6. You’re just a shill for Cold Miser!

  7. Here on Long Island, it’s way colder today than yesterday. In fact, over the last 5 months, I’ve seen a steep decline in temperature.

  8. True it’s anecdotal evidence, and certainly not evidence of a longer term trend, but of course whenever the weather is unusually warm, the talking heads almost always link it to global warming.

    So it works both ways. And it’s freezing in NYC today, so take that Al Gore.

  9. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

    So, not just anecdote.

    The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years.

    Did any of the climate models allow for or predict anything like this?

    By the end of this period, the global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 degrees Celsius compared to 2004

    So, they’re predicting that the average temperature in 2014 will exceed that of 2004 by less than half as much as the temperature decrease that we saw last year?

  10. I have 6′ snowbanks lining my driveway, and I’m not even in a snowy part of the Northeast. I can’t wait for Global Warming to return.

  11. As of three minutes ago, Bridger Bowl, where it is currently snowing (as it is at my house) shows 274 inches of snowfall for the year, which is a lot more than last year. People are telling me the snowpack is at or near historical average, for the first time in years.

    Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!

  12. Here in the mountains of Northern Arizona, this winter has been the best we’ve had since 1996. There has been snow on the ground since Nov., and even Castle Rock cut will be open this summer (but alas, high lake levels also mean fewer sandy beaches.)

    I just want to extend my congratulations to the AGW zealots. Ya did it, kids! Good on you!

    Can I keep my incandescent bulbs now? Please?

  13. What is this Daily Tech site?

    From Daily Tech:

    Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming
    … All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

    From the NASA GISS site, one of the sources for the column:

    The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis.

    Sounnds like the level of credibility we’ve come to except from the denialists.

  14. RC Dean:

    Did any of the climate models allow for or predict anything like this?

    The Hadley Centre model predicts that global temperatures will plateau or decline slightly for the next couple of years due to natural forcings in the Southern Ocean and Pacific. We’ll see.

  15. File under “too good to check.”

  16. I’ll be skiing in a t-shirt in a couple of weeks, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

  17. That GISS site is pretty sweet.

    Check this out.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/Fig1_2007annual.gif

    What strikes me is the way the line keeps going up and down over short periods of time, but very clearly traces a distinct upward arc over a longer period of time.

  18. As of three minutes ago, Bridger Bowl, where it is currently snowing (as it is at my house) shows 274 inches of snowfall for the year

    Hello from Missoula, P Brooks!

  19. So, speaking of bets, looking at that chart, where would YOU put the over/under on temperature change over the next decade?

  20. What strikes me is the way the line keeps going up and down over short periods of time, but very clearly traces a distinct upward arc over a longer period of time.

    I made that same argument to you yesterday about rising income in Vietnam. You are a bull-headed lump of penis shit.

  21. Did any of the climate models allow for or predict anything like this?

    Yes. The solar models.

    “We are now using the system to predict changes out to 2014. By the end of this period, the global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 degrees Celsius compared to 2004, and half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year, 1998.”

    Didn’t we already determine that 1934 was hotter than 1998?

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html

    The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis.

    Yes, it started out very warm and then had the biggest drop ever recorded. The difference between “warm relative to other years” and “temperature drop during the year” apparently escapes you.

    And of course, the GISS data is rife with flawed measurements.

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/

    That’s about the level of accuracy we’ve come to expect from the warmenists.

  22. Nothing adds credibility to a scientific conference like having Tim Slagle as an opening act.

  23. Sounnds like the level of credibility we’ve come to except from the denialists.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C.lrg.gif

    Ouch. That one has to hurt joe.

  24. RC Dean: See also Hadley prediction for 2008:

    Global temperature for 2008 is expected to be 0.37 ?C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 ?C, the coolest year since 2000, when the value was 0.24 ?C.

    Joe, so you have data saying that average temperatures haven’t fallen steeply?

  25. Monthly temperatures, joshua?

    Really? MONTHLY?

    That’s so cute.

  26. Isn’t this a confirmation of ice cube theory?

  27. How many ice ages have we had? Could it be there is a macro-level heating and cooling cycle that our 100 years of data is insufficient to cover?

  28. Joe,

    I think you are mixing measurements. The “drop over a year” is the tempature in January 07 versus the temp in January of 08. The warmest year for 07 is talking about 07 as a whole. What seems to have happened is 07 starts out very warm and drops as the year goes on giving us a much colder temp in January of 08 versus January of 07, thus the drop. However, since it started high and droped, the average for 2007 in its entirety is still high.

    The solar scientists have been saying for a while that the temp is going to start to drop. It is a much simpler and more elegant theory than antropromorphic global warming. But it doesn’t feed our narisism.

  29. Ron Bailey,

    I’m not saying that at all. Over a period lasting some single-digit number of months, there has a been a sharp drop in temperature.

    You can similar drops over year-long periods ont the GISS chart, too. Hence, my comment: What strikes me is the way the line keeps going up and down over short periods of time, but very clearly traces a distinct upward arc over a longer period of time.

    On the very cutting edge of theoretical statistics, this is called “noise.”

  30. Could it be there is a macro-level heating and cooling cycle that our 100 years of data is insufficient to cover?

    “No, because we caused, God said it, I believe it, end of story.”
    — Al Gore

  31. Leftists love the idea of global warming because it gives them excuse to expand the regulatory state.

  32. On the very cutting edge of theoretical statistics, this is called “noise.”

    On the very cutting edge of smug narcissism and condescension, you are called “joe.”

  33. On the very cutting edge of theoretical statistics, this is called “noise.”

    That’s funny, I’ve been hearing that same argument for years. I thought calling data trends noise was “denialism.”

  34. Global warming is a myth fabricated by a well-known intelligence service to sell summmer clothing and swim wear. The myth is not being pushed by any particular enthno-religious community per se, of course, but by a state that may or may not have the support of a certain ethno-religious community, all members of which must not be blamed (just the bad ones). Always ask cui bono? But summer clothing and swim wear are mostly made in China, you object. Aha! Ever heard of Kaifeng? Look it up. Don’t be taken in. This global warming crock is a product of a certain Ahmen corner in the U.S. Congress. The neo-con war in Iraq is child’s play compared to this hoax. Once we’ve all bought our seersucker suits and bikinis, it’ll be a new Ice Age coming, and the Holywood-controlled fur industry will be the cui getting the bono. Stuff doesn’t just happen, so think twice before you blame yourself for stuff. Do you wonder why you failed miserably at schoo? Find out who didn’t fail, and you’re on the right track. Who gained, and what was she wearing? Probably not a bikini.

  35. Also I can’t be the only one thinking that Al Gore, using his own graph as evidence, got his cause-effect relationship mixed up in that movie.

  36. Baron Russo,
    Double the dosage.

  37. Speaking as someone who has spent a lot of time trying to extract data from noisy signals: stop. Everyone. You’ll just make your head hurt.

  38. Actually, John, rather than being confused on that point, I made it myself, above.

    As for the solar theory, the records of greater solar activity don’t match up with the surface- and atmospheric-temperature data very well over the past centure. That’s probably why IPCC 4 stated with such a high level of probability that solar activity cannnot explain the changes.

    PS, did you check out the global temperature-deviation map in that link? Think of how dramatically hotter the first six months of the year must have been for the map to still be so red and orange, even after the multi-month drop in temperatures. It must have been much more dramatic than the plunge, in order not to have been a wash. Now THAT would make a good story for a science correspondant.

  39. I thought calling data trends noise was “denialism.”

    It depends on the size and consistency of the data trend. Take a look at that chart I linked to. See the ups and downs from year to year? That’s noise.

    See the overall upward trend? That’s not noise.

    See how there was a plateau in the middle of the century, and then it started climbing again? That is probably not noise, but a real mini-trend within a larger trend.

  40. Ron, who’s paying your way (transportation, hotel fees, meals) to the Heartland Conference?

    Plus, it’s rather steep fees for journalists to attend?

  41. More fun with looking at where the data actually comes from.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/

    http://surfacestations.org/

  42. The overall temperature trends in the data since 1998 have been essentially flat. Naturally, skeptics say that means catastrophic global warming isn’t happening. Climate militants, on the other hand, retort that 10 years of data are not enough. Which is why the Hadley Centre prediction that I referenced is so useful and intriguing.

  43. Baron Russo, if you start a cult I am so in – but only if I get to wear an overflowing robe and initiate all the nubile young women. Also, can we find a way to work the Jews into the manifesto? Thanks.

  44. Anecdotally, I can say that Chicago was much colder last year. We had a good three week period or so where it never got above 15, and bunch of nights below zero. The river froze all the way back to Wolf Point.

    More snow this year (a crapload more), but not as cold overall.

  45. I’ve been watching a Teaching Company lecture series on archeology/paleoanthropology, and the lecturer mentioned past and current warming, with a particular note on how it affected us in the past. He was rather neutral on the anthropogenic cause argument (for today, that is), but he did note something interesting. Apparently, a warming trend can cause a long period of bitter cold (he explained why, can’t remember right now). As a result, whether we continue warming or plunge into a major cooling period, the debate isn’t going away.

  46. Whither the Earth’s Temperature Now?

    First something about Mississippi “taint” spilling, then this?

    There must be an URKOBOLD pool going on at the office.

  47. Joe,

    Do you seriously think of Global Warming skeptics as “Denialists”?

    C’mon you’re bigger than that . .

  48. Only a militant would say that you get a better result from 100 years of data than from 10 when discussing an event that occurs over the course of decades.

    Do these militants tuck their fatigues into their combat boots like that guy in the Clash?

  49. Is this why Congress is trying to raise the price of oil, so they can take credit for cooling the earth?

  50. Taktix?,

    Paid promotions.

  51. David Appell:

    Reason Magazine is paying my travel expenses. Are you coming?

  52. How come people aren’t concerned about tectonic drift? Earthquakes, tsunamis, North America smashing into Europe!

    We must do something to stop this catastrophe.

  53. Matthew,

    I reserve the term “skeptic” for people who are skeptics. People who assert that a six-month sample refutes a 100-year sample are not skeptics.

    Do you see the “skeptics” expressing any skepticism about the report on Daily Tech?

    If you’re only “skeptical” of data that doesn’t confirm your beliefs, you don’t get to call yourself a skeptic.

  54. joe,

    The time period is arbitrary. So if you like a trend, you can make a graph over a period of time where it’s not noise.

    Plus, the surface measurements get an upward bias over time because buildings and asphalt are put nearby them.

  55. Bingo,

    I must destroy Europe. It obstructs my view of Asia.

  56. lol at joe getting his shorts up in a bunch over the use of the word “militants”, but has no problem with throwing the word “denialists” around.

  57. serious question: suppose we are able to determine that the effect of greenhouse gases on the world’s temperature(s) is so outweighed by some other macro-scale non-anthropogenic influences as to be rendered negligible (with regard to temperature shifts). aren’t there other climate effects from all that carbon-burning? are there non-climate detrimental effects to humans and other parts of the environment, like lower air quality (beijing e.g.)?

    what other problems are associated with it? also, even if global warming isn’t going to happen significantly, or if it is but it turns out not to be a problem for us in and of itself, how does this affect how we think about other effects (usually denoted by negative labels) of modern civilization on the earth, like non-biodegradable garbage dumps, soil erosion, monoculture, deforestation, overfishing, declining water tables, water pollution, ozone layer hole, extra power distribution/communications-induced E-M radiation etc?

  58. Do you see the “skeptics” expressing any skepticism about the report on Daily Tech?

    I could have sworn some guy named joe was posting all kinds of skepticism about it.

  59. Tall Dave,

    So if you like a trend, you can make a graph over a period of time where it’s not noise. Well, not quite. You can make a graph over a period of time that makes it LOOK like it’s not noise. For example, I could cherry pick a one-year period that ended with an unusual cooling trend and make it look meaningful. It would still be noise if it was an unusual period during a larger trend.

    I think the observation about heat-islands is interesting, but unless those heat islands are causing real global warming, and not just localized changes, then the atmospheric temperature measurements would seem to refute the notion that the increase in temperatures observed at the ground stations is not real.

  60. 10 or 100 years is “noise” over a period of 1000 years.

  61. Even if there is a significant warming trend, there’s little that we can do about it. Even if we could cut emissions growth by a significant percentage (which is extremely unlikely), the climate models don’t predict much of a change in the warming trend. Also, this assumes that the climate models are accurate, a claim about which I am highly skeptical.

    I’m all for reducing pollution, within reason. Government mandated light bulbs and unrealistic CAFE standards to meet subjective emissions goals are definitely not the way to go about it, though.

  62. Bags | February 28, 2008, 3:12pm | #

    lol at joe getting his shorts up in a bunch over the use of the word “militants”, but has no problem with throwing the word “denialists” around.

    I do tend to get militant in my insistence on precision in terminology.

  63. Who cares? What difference does it make in the end?

  64. Al Gore the Global Warming Whore may be upset by evidence of this disturbing cooling trend.

    Here in the generally crappy climate mid-west USA, this is probably the coldest winter overall that I can remember in a long time, in that it has stayed cold more consistently and longer. The winters have been fairly cold and snowy here for the last 4 – 5 yrs., but before that there seemed to be several consecutive years of milder than norm.

    There is good scientific evidence that the climate has bounced up and down and all around for as long as we can record back with ice core samples or whatever, and apparently it continues to do so.

    I myself have given up on the once seemingly golden promise of global warming. Just less than a decade ago, I had visions of growing coconut palms in my back yard here in Northern IN, but now here I am freezing my ass off once again. I’ve decided to call it quits here and move to a warmer climate very soon.

  65. I could have sworn some guy named joe was posting all kinds of skepticism about it.

    Yes, but I’m not a “skeptic.”

  66. Hey joe just fyi, considering we are talking about a planet that has been undergoing changes for at least 4,000,000,000 years, your 100 years is just about as statistically relevant as Ronald’s 10 years. In other words, its not relevant at all.

    I think its quaint that people think humans are able to alter the course of an entire planet based on 100 years of industrialization.

  67. You know, I have a solution to the global warming problem: wide scale genocide. Join myself and the Bilderberg Group in decimating the human population of earth and therefore petrolem consumption. Together we can restore the ecosystem to where it belongs. Don’t believe me? Read Ishmael and My Ishmael. It’s all there, man.

  68. I think its quaint that people think humans are able to alter the course of an entire planet based on 100 years of industrialization.

    Actually we could do it in about ten minutes, given enough simultaneous nuclear detonations.

  69. I read this yesterday:
    http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/02/27/here-comes-the-sun-again/

    And anecdotally speaking, the part of Colorado I live in feels much warmer this year than last. The snow on the ground is patchy at best, when last year there were 6′ drifts as tall as my head. Right now there is a nice breeze coming in from my window that really feels quite temperate and refreshing, unlike last year when it was really goddamn cold.

    I’m not really hard over one way or the other on global warming, but I think “anecdotal evidence” is a pretty argument about anything global warming-related.

  70. How come people aren’t concerned about tectonic drift?

    Because Rand McNally and the other “Big Map” corporation keeps funding studies that say the problem won’t affect us.

    Our children will suffer.

  71. It’s a noisy line graph. Reliable global temperature measurement is a very recent phenomenom. If anthropogenic global warming is a reality, we can still expect short term reversals. If anthropogenic global warming is not a fact we can still expect periods of warming. We are discussing something that noisily cycles up and down naturally over thousands of years.One year of cooling proves nothing. Thirty years of warming doesn’t prove a whole lot either. My thinking that global warming is real, hasn’t changed with this new data. I won’t swear to it. I swear to gravitation and evolution as facts.. I doubt the veracity of those that do.

    This ain’t rocket science. It’s much more difficult than that.

  72. I could have sworn some guy named joe was posting all kinds of skepticism about it.

    Yes, but I’m not a “skeptic.”

    Right, by your own definition you’re a denialist:

    If you’re only “skeptical” of data that doesn’t confirm your beliefs, you don’t get to call yourself a skeptic.

  73. joe,

    Just as skeptics should be skeptical of all data, “non-skeptics” should accept all data. To be consistent and all. You seem to be skeptical of some of the new data.

  74. dang it, TallDave, your point was better than mine.

  75. joe,

    The claim is factually accurate, although there isn’t much to be read into single year data either way.

    The data series is here and there is indeed a -.75 C delta between Jan07 and Jan08.

    This is mostly due to the fact that Jan07 is a high outlier and Jan08 looks like a low outlier, so which one you include in constructing your year will either make a large difference. Shift your interval one month foward and you have one of the cooler recent years. The choice of interval is arbitrary (GISS includes both J-D and D-N). This has been a legitimately cold winter – the last NDJ period has been the coldest comparable period since Nov 2000 – Jan 2001. The Jan outlier will probably make 2008 one of the colder recent years.

  76. Actually we could do it in about ten minutes, given enough simultaneous nuclear detonations.

    Not really – we’d all die, which will happen eventually anyway, and a few thousand or tens of thousands of years down the road, everything will be back to normal in the long-term sense.

  77. “10 or 100 years is “noise” over a period of 1000 years.”

    Hell, do I hear 12000?

    Why not 500000?

    And what, precisely, is the ‘global average temperature’ supposed to be? Looking at these charts and some of the others in the wiki articles it seems to me we might be too cold. If that’s the case, AGW might be just what we need.

  78. Sage: even a massive nuclear exchange would sort itself out eventually. Short of blowing up the planet or sterilizing the entire surface into carbon ash (a nuclear exchange would accomplish neither) life will regenerate itself eventually, even if it takes a million years (a hiccup in cosmological time).

    Also nuclear winter itself was based on a flawed model, but the US went ahead and presented it as fact because it gave them an advantage during the SALT talks. Click here if [citation needed]

  79. to step back for a moment: are people saying that there isn’t such a thing as anthropogenic pollution which is harmful to human beings and other currently living things? it seems like pretty much, no. or do we think that there is, but the effect is so small compared to non-anthropogenic sources that it won’t make enough of a difference? or that it is, but the effect has as much or more chance of being positive or neutral for life on earth as negative? or that it is, and will most likely make a drastic negative difference, but that it’s impossible for human society to do anything to change that course without destroying itself? if it is, and will most likely have a drastic negative impact if human behavior doesn’t change in the next few decades, what are our best realistic options? (don’t say ‘privatize every piece of earth’ because we all know that will not happen in the next 100 years, if ever.)

    i, for one, believe most in the last hypothetical, and propose unleashing private technological enterprise upon this in some way. does cap-n-trade (& similar systems for other types of pollution) economically incentivize it enough for that, or would massive govt-directed man-on-moon-style R&D be the best approach? i think we are on the road to fouling our planet to (at least) our own detriment, but that we are capable of fixing it, and turning off that road.

  80. Reason,

    getting scooped by Freedom and Shit again? First truck balls. (2 days) Then Ice Breakers.(4 days) Now this. (2 days).

    Tsk. tsk.

    Ever hear of an RSS feed?

    Just kidding (and shamelessly self-promoting).

    We love you guys!

    -Sue

  81. This is one of the most awsome-est threads ever. Watching joe scramble to deny any effect, using the same points that “deniers” and “skeptics” use–which joe routinely denigrates–is priceless.

    Next he’s going to say that short-term weather trends don’t mean anything. By which he’ll mean 1 year. But if you say that 10, or 100-year trends don’t mean anything because they are so short on a planetary scale, he’ll call you an idiot.

    This is fucking great.

  82. No, Bingo. That’s not correct.

    It IS statistically relevant FOR THE 100 YEAR PERIOD. It might not be for the 1,000,000 year timeframe.

    It’s some solace, I suppose, that temperatures would go back down and smooth out our warming if we disappeared, and that warming would appear to be so much noise, but since I take a human-centered persepctive, it’s only a small amount of solace.

  83. “It depends on the size and consistency of the data trend. Take a look at that chart I linked to. See the ups and downs from year to year? That’s noise

    See the overall upward trend? That’s not noise.

    See how there was a plateau in the middle of the century, and then it started climbing again? That is probably not noise, but a real mini-trend within a larger trend.”

    as a trader, i spend a LOT of time looking at charts, market profiles, supply/demand inbalances, etc. and the same concepts come up.

    what appears to be noise to one person is a tradeable “trend” or countertrend movement. and markets are fractal, and i suspect climate is as well.

    there is also a VERY well defined psychological tendency to try to assign patterns and meaning, to even randomly generated charts, as has been repeatedly proved.

    some academics deny that even IS such thing as a trend, but these are the same idiots who think efficient market hypothesis is valid, so they are idiots.

    what it comes down to is this. if you can make positive expectancy trades off a pattern on any timeframe, by definition it can’t be “noise” since you can trade it. if it was noise, then you couldn’t trade it profitably. the slippage and commissions would eat you up, as you traded what was for all intents and purposes to you – random.

    that’s really the test. it’s not a matter of how it LOOKS after the fact. it’s a matter of whther positive expectancy bets can be made about the future.

    so, are you reading the chart from right to left or left ot right?

  84. MattXIV,

    Thanks for making my point above better than I did.

    Joe,

    What the hell are you talking about? See MattXIV’s point above.

  85. By the way, it was in the 40’s this morning in Fort Lauderdale.

  86. robc, TallDave, picture the top of the line graph as me, and the bottom of that graph as “caring about your little word games.”

    While you can note some ups and downs, the trend is pretty clear.

  87. J sub D at 3:24 said just about all that needs to be said.

    Since he is urging caution about all the data, rather than just throwing rocks at data that is inconsistent with the AGW hypothesis, that makes him a (true) skeptic.

    Or, on Planet joe, a denialist.

  88. “that’s really the test. it’s not a matter of how it LOOKS after the fact. it’s a matter of whther positive expectancy bets can be made about the future.”

    True. If you were betting on January 08 temps based on trends, you would have lost.

  89. Episiarch,

    Could you point out the part where I denied that there was any effect?

    Would you like me to walk you through the debate so far? Maybe bring you up to speed on what “statistical noise” means?

    Good grief, THINK for second about something other than how awesome it would be if I was wrong.

  90. Apparently, a warming trend can cause a long period of bitter cold (he explained why, can’t remember right now).

    I think it has to do with disrupting the Great Conveyor Belt, the undersea “river” that carries tropical heat up through the North Atlantic. It’s the reason the south of France has such a warm, sunny climate despite having a latitude similar to Boston’s. The theory is that enough melting Arctic ice dumped into the conveyor belt disrupts it someway-or-other, so that global warming could paradoxically result in a much colder Europe.

  91. If I promise to live my life in a constant state of vague, unidentified fear and dread, can I sit out the next few FGC’s (Future Global Catastrophes)?

    I mean, I’m really kind of tapped out right now.

  92. When you have a mountain of data all pointing in the same direction, and it vastly outweighs the counterdata, a person with a healthy degree of skeptisim does NOT treat additional supportive data the same as the same amount of contrary data.

    If my thermometer tells me on July 21 that it is 80 degrees out, it is rational to think it is working. If it tells me it is 23 degrees out, it is rational for me to think there’s something wrong with it.

    Now, maybe I just happened to wake up on a very unusual day…but probably not.

    Treating those two data points as equally reliable is NOT rational, and not rationally skeptical.

    You KNOW this, people. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

    These silly arguments about how one should look at every bit of data with the same level of skeptism are not the statments of reasonable people arguing in good faith.

  93. J sub D | February 28, 2008, 3:24pm | #

    It’s a noisy line graph. Reliable global temperature measurement is a very recent phenomenom. If anthropogenic global warming is a reality, we can still expect short term reversals. If anthropogenic global warming is not a fact we can still expect periods of warming. We are discussing something that noisily cycles up and down naturally over thousands of years.One year of cooling proves nothing. Thirty years of warming doesn’t prove a whole lot either. My thinking that global warming is real, hasn’t changed with this new data. I won’t swear to it. I swear to gravitation and evolution as facts.. I doubt the veracity of those that do.

    This ain’t rocket science. It’s much more difficult than that.

    This seems to suggest, reasonably to me, that we don’t know much for sure here. i also *suspect* AGW is real. i would add that its existence (and that of associated negative effects for current life on Earth) is enough of a risk to warrant action of some kind. any suggestions on how best to act in the absence of clear measurements of the effects of our actions?

  94. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? In the end, we’re all going to die. And then what? Will we be worried about whooping cranes or the sea level?

  95. joe, if you think that it’s you being wrong that would entertain me, you don’t get it at all. I’m not going to wait the years to see if you are right or wrong. It’s watching you scramble like an egg in Death Valley that I enjoy. Please continue.

  96. Anyway, let’s not rehash the same, stale arguments I always win.

    Let’s find some common ground here.

    It’s encouraging that so many people have come around to recognizing that these surface- and atmospheric-temperature measurements actually are meaningful data. That’s an encouraging development. It demonstrates a newfound willingness among many to let evidence of warming and cooling influence people’s understanding of the climate change question, where there is usually a knee-jerk denial that “corrupt government-funded scientists with a political agenda” can be relied upon to provide reliable data.

    And that’s good. There’s really no place for the paranoid style of American politics in scientific questions.

    Can I conclude that this acceptance of reality is actually the beginning of a trend, and not just so much noise? I mean, you all wouldn’t just cherry-pick one bit of data to believe, and then dismiss other data sets from the same sources, depending on how whether it backs up your pre-existing beliefs, would you?

    Nah, you wouldn’t do that.

  97. Sure, Episiarch. I sure am in trouble here, what with the complete lack of difficulty I’m having explaining how statistical noise isn’t unusual in temperature readings.

  98. joe: Do you really think 100 years is enough to gauge planet-scale phenomenon?

    It really strikes me as similar to evolution deniers that say “well we haven’t seen evolution in action.” Large processes don’t happen over years, or hundreds of years. It takes millennia for trends to even begin to emerge.

    The only convincing dataset that I’ve seen shows that over large periods of time the planet goes through cyclical heating and cooling periods, before human beings even evolved. That is an undisputed fact. Over the next 10 years it could get hotter or it could get colder and chances are we can’t do fuckall about it.

    I’m not trying to be unreasonably stubborn here; the data that I’ve seen are just simply not convincing that human beings are capable of causing global warming or averting it. If you can show me otherwise that would be great, but keep in mind 100 years means nothing on a planetary scale.

  99. Anyone else here old enough to remember the global cooling scare of the 70’s? It was a scientific fact too, and anyone who didn’t except that, was ignorant or a tool of the corporate interests or both. You could not pick up a science magazine without finding a story about global cooling, usually accompanied be the scary illustration of the skyscrapers of Manhattan being swallowed up by the oncoming glaciers.
    It’s right out out the 1984 playbook: “Global is the problem it has always been the problem!” All to keep the population in a state of panic and ready to follow their masters without question.

  100. Being that the earth has a history of climate change longer than our existance, I’m skeptical of anything that says it’s our fault. Personally, I think it’s humans giving themselves more credit than they deserve.

  101. The truth of the matter is that the cause of global warming is in dispute, neither side has actually won the argument, so the debate continues. Anyone claiming one side is the winner isn’t paying attention to the whole argument.

  102. joe – before I bother to go look it up again… do you accept the data at the NASA GISS website? I don’t want to be bothered to find (again) that the current global warming trends have occurred at least 5 times before, to the same degree (pun intended) if you are going to come back and say “Yeah, but NASA GISS is just a bunch of denialists funded by Exxon” or some such crap. Do you trust their data?

    CB

  103. joe,

    I think my problem with your statements in these global warming threads is that you appear to be espousing certainty that many climatologists don’t have when it comes to the source of the current warming trend and the extrapolation of that trend into the future. The historical data makes it clear that there are a large number of variables that can cause a short-term (century or less) cooling or warming period.

    We could be the primary cause of the current warming, but we also could not be. I don’t think there’s anything to “win” here, since some skepticism about conclusions relating to complex chaotic systems is entirely reasonable. Besides, I think it’s hubris to assume that we can undo what we’ve set in motion, if we in fact are responsible. Better for us to adjust to the changes that come. Until we get domes and weather control, that is.

  104. Blah, blah, blah.

    Nobody knows the answer, so lets all speculate about things we know nothing about.

  105. i would add that its existence (and that of associated negative effects for current life on Earth) is enough of a risk to warrant action of some kind. any suggestions on how best to act in the absence of clear measurements of the effects of our actions?

    As I see it.
    If mankind is causing temperature to trend upwards, CO2 and methane emissions are the only credible explanations to date. Any attempt to mitigate global warming that we can rationally make is reducing the amounts of those gases in the atmosphere. Building nuke plants today would help. But the Greenpeacers would have a fit over that. Provide an economic incentive to replace fossil fuel with other energy sources. A global, enforceable, carbon tax would do that.

    Kyoto was a joke, I won’t even argue the point with people anymore. Even as a “first step” it’s a failure. China and India (>2 billion people) are not going to stop increasing their energy desires nor should they. So Glabal caps won’t work without the industrialized world cutting their energy use by 2/3 while limiting the emerging nations to 1/3 of what we are using today. That’s just to stay even.

    Any carbon tax scheme enforcement bring up so many problems it makes my head hurt. Who believes the Bush administration would be honest about it, much less Peru and China? I think it’s worth a shot, but I have serious doubts about it reducing energy use. I expect it will speed development of non-fosill energy development.

    One last note in this rambling, top of my head, discourse. Ask your favorite global warming fearmonger what rivers we should dam for CO2 free electricity.

  106. Bingo,

    Bingo | February 28, 2008, 4:07pm | #

    joe: Do you really think 100 years is enough to gauge planet-scale phenomenon?

    It depends on the scope of the phenomenon, and its duration.

    Do you think population growth from 1850-1950 is enough to gauge global population growth and make estimates about 1960-2000?

    Heck, I think internet-access growth rates from 1990-2008 are enough to make reasonable estimates about the growth of the internet over the next 20 years, globally.

  107. Cracker’s Boy | February 28, 2008, 4:15pm | #

    joe – before I bother to go look it up again… do you accept the data at the NASA GISS website?

    CB, I LINKED TO data from the GISS site. This chart, here:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/Fig1_2007annual.gif

    I think they are a fine source of data about global temperature trends.

  108. Pro Lib,

    I’m sorry if it comes off that way. I also often “appear to be” saying that Clinton’s budget bill caused the 90s boom when I point out that it did not cause the recession some predicted.

    But worldwide, climatologists and biologists DO express a high degree of certainty that global warming is happening, and that human CO2 emissions are the cause. Read the IPCC 4 report – most of the panel wanted to give a 99% certainly level to these statements, but to placate a minority, they bumped their certainty about the human cause down to 90%, IIRC. That’s a pretty high degree of certainty.

    I express great deal of certainty that the deniers’ constant trumpeting of their “proof” that global warming is a hoax is bullshit. That’s because their arguments are consistently bullshit, and I’m very certain of that.

  109. joe – Good. You believe their data.

    Now. Considering that 4 of the 5 earlier occurrances of this “global warming phenomena” happened well before humans existed, and the 5th occurred before human industrialization, then how can you POSSIBLY blame mankind for THIS period of global warming? If it’s man’s fault, please explain the first 5?

    Thanking you in advance, and eagerly awaiting your smug response, I remain, sincerely yours,

    CB

  110. Roger Maltz,
    The force is strong in you. Judging by our good friend Dr. Reed Noss’s statements and the Wildlands Project that fits into the UN Agenda 21 treaty (signed by George Bush)…it seems like a lot of other urban McCain/carbon-tax lbertarians want some depopulaton.

    How else do you depopulate 95% of the 6 billion people in the world? I understand that many of you are genuinely concerend about the environment. If we were really worried about pollution we’d talk about mercury pollution(from coal plants), Sulfer dioxide, fluoride and nitrogen oxide. These chemicals really do cause acid rain, retardation, killing all sorts of animals…and there are lots of technologies available to reduce the output of these deadly chemicals. When we focus on boogie man chemicals like CO2 which enhance plant growth…We are enjoying the idea that we can produce PR campaigns that actually lead otherwise intelligent people who consider themselves to be smart humanitarians, to advocate rasiing energy…and therefore food prices this is the best way to kill the two or three billion people who survive on less than a $1 a day.

    The best part of it is that after we kill a couple billion we will have the next poorest 2 billion begging us to take their remaining freedoms in exchange for government gauarantees of sufficient food. That is why I advised the Rockefeller family to fund a lot of these groups pushing the “CO2 is public enemy #1 line”.

  111. Let’s hear more from people that have anecdotal evidence of how hot/cold their town currently is. That’s always illuminating.

  112. Cracker’s Boy,

    There have been literally hundreds of megaton-scale explosions caused by natural phenomena (asteroids and comets) in the Earth’s history. How can I then conclude that the explosions in the South Pacific and northern China were human-induced phenomena? Very easilty, actually.

    If you are genuinely interesting in learing about why climatologists have so overwhelmingly concluded that anthropogenic global warming is happening, and why that consensus keeps growing as more data is gathered, there’s a great chapter in IPCC 4, which I won’t reproduce here.

    I hope that’s smug enough for you.

  113. robc, TallDave, picture the top of the line graph as me, and the bottom of that graph as “caring about your little word games.” While you can note some ups and downs, the trend is pretty clear.

    Awww. What happened to your militant precision on terminology?

    Just ignore the fact only my middle finger is raised at you. The overall trend of my other fingers clearly indicates this is just “noise.”

  114. Anyway, let’s not rehash the same, stale arguments I always win.

    LOL Your imagination must be a rich and wonderful place.

  115. I am genuinely interested in learning why YOU think man is responsible for THIS period of global warming. I’m not sure what that has to do with explosions in the Pacific, unless you are suggesting that meteor impacts are responsible for the earlier warm ups. (That would be interesting because those are usually credited with cooling periods, not warming.)

    By the way, did you see the news today about Michael Crichton’s new “Religion”?

    CB

  116. Well, I remain skeptical, though I’m willing to be convinced in the coming years. Not about the current warming trend, which I think is real enough, but about its causes and implications. And, perhaps most of all, about what we should be doing about it. Some caution is certainly warranted, since we really can do things like use up natural resources or screw up the environment, but I don’t see much value in taking radical steps of any kind at this juncture.

    If I end up posting from underwater in Tampa, I’ll admit error and demand satisfaction.

  117. Over a period lasting some single-digit number of months, there has a been a sharp drop in temperature.

    Which is exactly the point the article raised and you criticized.

  118. Cracker’s Boy | February 28, 2008, 5:18pm | #

    I am genuinely interested in learning why YOU think man is responsible for THIS period of global warming.

    For the same reason I think the new bridge over the river will hold my weight: Because the most reliable sources have concluded, through the application of sound scientific principles, that they can say with a very high degree of certainty that that is the case.

  119. joshua corning,

    Which is exactly the point the article raised and you criticized.

    No, that is not the point I criticized. I criticized the argument that that evidence falsifies anthropogenic global warming.

    I don’t dispute at all that we’ve had a cold winter. As a matter of fact, I’ve stated that the data demonstrating such was credible several times now.

  120. Do you see the “skeptics” expressing any skepticism about the report on Daily Tech?

    Anthony Watts did and he was the one who gave Daily Tech the fucking story in the first place.

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/january-2008-4-sources-say-globally-cooler-in-the-past-12-months/

    Jesus you are an asshole.

  121. Aw, now look at that. You had a perfectly valid point, almost like a respectable human being, and you just couldn’t help but throw in a gratuitous curse.

    I am way, way under your skin, aren’t I?

    Maybe it would be a good idea to get away for a little while, joshua. Get some perspective.

  122. Aw, now look at that. You had a perfectly valid point, almost like a respectable human being, and you just couldn’t help but throw in a gratuitous curse.

    I think i cus in a comment about lobster girl…

    Nothing really much to read into that accept i have a foul mouth…and am not ashamed of it.

  123. JOSHUA CORNING! YOUR LACK OF VERBAL CONTROL IS UNDERSTANDABLE, FOR THE URKOBOLD HIMSELF WAS HEARD TO SAY, “DAMN, THAT BITCH IS SWEET! VIKING MOOSE, HAVE HER ABDUCTED FOR THE URKOBOLD AT ONCE!” WHEN THE URKOBOLD ENCOMPASSED THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME.

  124. Because the most reliable sources have concluded, through the application of sound scientific principles, that they can say with a very high degree of certainty that that is the case.

    Really? Then why did the IPCC say they were only 90% certain?

    I’m a little more than 90% certain that bridges won’t collapse when I cross them, or I’d have great difficulty travelling.

    This is exactly the kind of exaggeration that the fearmongering AGW apocalyptics are constantly throwing around.

  125. This is fucking great.

    /agree

  126. “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it” used to be just a humerous Twain quotation. Now it’s not so funny as everyone jumps on the Stop Global Warming bandwagon.

    So the world gets hotter? It doesn’t care. However, humans who arrogantly believe that the climate we’ve had for the past few centuries is the only climate that we should have forever more, are idiots. If the world gets hotter, we’ll adapt. If the world gets colder, we’ll adapt to that, too. We always have. Sure, there’ll be some winners and some losers. Oh well.

    Why are we wasting our time, money and effort to try to effect change in something that: 1) we don’t even know if we can, and 2) we don’t know which direction to make the change?

  127. Too many comments to address directly, so I’ll make some general points:

    -The mechanism by which CO2 causes warming is pretty simple and well-understood. All other things being equal, adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will make it retain more heat.

    -GHGs aren’t the only thing. The reflectivity of the surface of the earth with regards to solar radiation (aka albedo) matters, as does the EM radiation output of the sun (which varies significantly both cyclically and randomly). The albedo is impacted by particulates in the atmosphere (which can come from volcanos or exhaust), cloud cover (which is also a function of the particulates), land use, and a lot of other things.

    -The impact of CO2 is the best understood part of all this.

    -Between all these phenomena, you have potential sources for significant warming and cooling on timescales both longer and shorter than the recent warming trend, but most of these phenomena are empirically observable and nobody has convincingly demonstrated an alternate mechanism for explaining the recent heating trend.

    -Models involve fits to historical data with a large number of degrees of freedom. They’re the best available tool for making a prediction, but their ability to make predictions hasn’t been validated by a long term comparison with observation. Checking a model against the data used to generate it is meaningless and the large number of degrees of freedom put them at risk for overfitting. This is a risk of large models in general, and the current models don’t show definitive signs of overfitting, such as radically changing results when fit to new data.

  128. Ron, I’m glad Reason is paying you way. Now I can believe what you write 🙂

    Unfortunately I can’t swing the travel expenses to NYC now that I live in Oregon, and that most mainstream outlets don’t take this conference seriously, I think.

    I’d be really interested to know how many reporters pay to attend this conference. Let us know, OK?

  129. So, speaking of bets, looking at that chart, where would YOU put the over/under on temperature change over the next decade?

    About the same decadal trend for Mars.

  130. Um . . . global warming denialists, could you not trumpet this too loudly? This is one year of data. Even if it’s true (which it appears to be), it could be just a blip on a long-term upward trend. If temperature starts trending downwards for four or five years, and no climate models can account for it, then you can start talking about how global warming is wrong. In the meantime, if you want to maintain any crediblity, don’t talk about one year trends. It’s called statistical variability.

    I hope that global warming is false as much or more than any of you do. But until there’s some good data disproving it, don’t jump all over it.

  131. “I do tend to get militant in my insistence on precision in terminology.”

    Joe, can you talk about anything other than guns?

  132. One year of data.

    Much ado about nuthin.

    Sad to see the vigor on this thread.

  133. “No, because we caused, God I said it, I God believes it, end of story.”
    — Al Gore

    There, fixed that for ya.

  134. If that’s the case, AGW might be just what we need.

    Jeez, some people just DON’T understand anti-Western leftist angst. It must be bad because it can be associated with Western civilization and capitalism. Which is why we exempt India and China from GHG reductions – it can never be their fault because they aren’t white westerners. Got it now?

  135. joe sez It’s some solace, I suppose, that temperatures would go back down and smooth out our warming if we disappeared

    Really joe, what’s the solace in that? And why would the environment suddenly behave in a way (smoothed out temps) that it never did before we invented the internal combustion engine? More like a load of millienarian bullcrap.

  136. joe sez But worldwide, climatologists and biologists DO express a high degree of certainty that global warming is happening, and that human CO2 emissions are the cause.

    Seriously joe, no scientist runs with this crap half as hard as the militant left does. Scientists are always skeptical, even about their own work; political activists are always certain they are right (and their opponents aren’t just wrong, but evil too).

    Read the IPCC 4 report

    You do of course mean the actual SCIENTIFIC report and not the POLITICAL summary, right joe?

  137. In the early years of the plant, The earth was a warm and happy place, most of its CO2 was atmospheric and this proved to be a rich source of food for photosynthetic life. As this life grew and evolved over billions of years, it was slowly depositing it’s life giving CO2 deep within the bowels of the plant. This depositing deep within the Earth,left the planets with less and less of their food, but they continued to draw it from the atmosphere, slowly cooling the once warm and tropical planet. The cooling became so profound that the tropics retreated to the only the lowest of latitudes, and ice (usually unseen anywhere on the planet) began to form in vast sheets at the poles. The cycle of cold gradually became worse and worse; with the vast ice sheets sometimes moving into the mid-latitudes for tens of thousands of years at a time. The Earth was in a death spin. The loss of carbon into the ground was turning Earth into Mars, a cold and bitter wasteland.
    As luck would have it, when the Earth was only a few ice age cycles from being completely frozen over, a new species evolved. One that dug deep into the earth and fed on the long buried carbon, releasing it back into the atmosphere. The more the humans fed, the more the earth returned to normal. This scared some of the humans. Having evolved and only lived when the Earth was abnormally cold; they didn’t realize that their actions, were not destroying the planet, but saving it from it’s self.

  138. I could have proof-read that a little more before submitting, but shit that good doesn’t happen without a few glasses of vino.

  139. nobody has convincingly demonstrated an alternate mechanism for explaining the recent heating trend.

    This should be no surprise, because nobody has ever figured out the mechanism for all the heating/cooling cycles our planet goes through.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Until you understand the baseline, you can’t even identify variations from the baseline, much less explain them.

  140. I hope that global warming is false as much or more than any of you do. But until there’s some good data disproving it, don’t jump all over it.

    grylliade,

    You are misplacing the “burden of proof”.

  141. YOUR LACK OF VERBAL CONTROL IS UNDERSTANDABLE

    You are mistaken URKOBOLt….it is not a lack of control…the “fuck” the “shit” and the “asshole” are written intentionally.

  142. I’m still waiting for the explanation that provides the IPCC with even that much certainty for the A in AGW.

    And what developing nation is willing to stall its economy in a vast experiment to see if we can impact the climate sufficiently to affect trends.

    The earth is still on the low side of its multi-millennial climate swings.

    What is the current yearly average temperature anyhow?

  143. Ron Bailey said:
    “The overall temperature trends in the data since 1998 have been essentially flat. Naturally, skeptics say that means catastrophic global warming isn’t happening. Climate militants, on the other hand, retort that 10 years of data are not enough. Which is why the Hadley Centre prediction that I referenced is so useful and intriguing.”

    huh? I took Statistics 101, I know how to compute a trend line. Are you actually looking at the trends, or are you playing ‘Connect the Dots’ in lieu of actual homework?

    Here, let’s look at the recent Trends in global mean temperature over the past couple decades in terms of slope-of-the line in 7 year mean averages:
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/giss-7yr.jpg

    This is sufficient to smooth out the noise from El Nino and la nina, as well as volcanic disruptions.

    There hasn’t been an ‘essentially flat’ year since ’92-’93 (Pinatubo). 2004 almost qualifies, but still has too much slope IMO. All years from 1994 on have had notably positive global temperature trend slopes; ie no negative slope years.

    As we do not have the temp data for ’08 yet, we cannot yet go beyond ’04 using a 7 year average. Maybe we can see this so called flatness on a 5 year average. My linked source doesn’t bother with such a short time period; but perhaps they should, given how often 5-year mean trend lines are brought out.

  144. “I’m still waiting for the explanation that provides the IPCC with even that much certainty for the A in AGW.”

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/109.htm#341
    Estimates of annual global emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production by Marland et al. (2000) span the period from 1751 through to 1997, reaching a maximum in 1997 of 6.6 PgC/yr (0.2 PgC/yr of this was from cement production). The primary data for these estimates are annual energy statistics compiled by the United Nations (2000). Emissions for 1998 and 1999 have been estimated based on energy statistics compiled by British Petroleum (2000). Emission factors (IPCC, 1997) were applied to consumption statistics (British Petroleum, 2000) to calculate emissions over the period 1990 to 1999. Emissions were then scaled to match the estimates for emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production from Marland et al. (2000) over the overlap period from 1990 to 1997. The scaled emission estimates, therefore, implicitly include emissions from cement production.

    we can also see the increase in isotope traces of CO2 isotopes unique to burning fossil fuels. ie non-isotopic Carbon bonded to isotopic oxygens. And then there is the blatant land use changes which release lots of otherwise stored natural CO2, this is measurable with various sensors too.

  145. Larswrote:
    “Anyone else here old enough to remember the global cooling scare of the 70’s?”

    funny you should say that…Recent study time:

    http://tinyurl.com/2lkooc

    “The supposed “global cooling” consensus among scientists in the 1970s – frequently offered by global-warming skeptics as proof that climatologists can’t make up their minds – is a myth, according to a survey of the scientific literature of the era.”

    and before I goto bed, this should settle the debate:
    http://tinyurl.com/2q9j9y

  146. Sam-Hec,

    You own these threads.

    juris…[yawn]

    RC Dean…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…just because you don’t understand the baseline doesn’t mean it isn’t understood.

  147. “Sad to see the vigor on this thread.”

    You’re too kind. It would be nice to actually read an intelligent debate without having to wade through all the muck thrown out by the likes of Jamie Kelley and Joshua Corning. Is one a clone of the other or just slightly different aspects – as in the many faces of Shiva? Anyway, I wish these Neanderthal children would go find someone else’s cave to sling poo from.

    This kind of thread demonstrates a danger of ideology. Sure, it’s a fine thing to lean libertarian (and I definitely tilt that way) but let’s not let our biases interfere with good reasoning, data, and interesting counter-arguments that come from a direction opposing our biases.

  148. RC Dean…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…just because you don’t understand the baseline doesn’t mean it isn’t understood.

    So, NM, just what is the theory that identifies and accounts for the drivers for historical temperature swings?

    I did overstate a little previously. You can identify a baseline without understanding it, but you until you can identify the variables that drive the baseline, you can’t isolate one variable and say it is driving the current trend.

    Speaking of the baseline, how do we explain all the pre-industrial warming trends that are no less pronounced than the one we are in now?

  149. Oops, clicked too soon. I should have said:

    Until you understand can explain the baseline, you can’t even identify explain variations from the baseline, much less explain them.

  150. Speaking of the baseline, how do we explain all the pre-industrial warming trends that are no less pronounced than the one we are in now?

    Which specific trend.
    Some are well understood and explained, others not so much.

    Just because you don’t know the explanations doesn’t mean they are not known.

  151. “trend” should be “swing”

  152. The answer is simple. We should put a carbon tax in place to increase the cost of energy. Food prices will double or triple and the 1 or 2 billion folks living on less than $1 a day will starve to death. Once we get rid of these people we can be assured that carbon output will be reduced considerably and we will see what happens to the Earth’s temperature. If we are wrong then so what, it was only 1 or 2 billion peasants and we still have a more beautiful planet. Anyone who disagrees is just not scientific like me and Ron Bailey.

  153. Anecdotal evidence is all but useless in determining changes in global temperatures.

  154. RC Dean,

    but you until you can identify the variables that drive the baseline, you can’t isolate one variable and say it is driving the current trend.

    Yes, causal reasoning is a very very difficult nut to crack in complex systems.

    However, when there is a well understood relationship between two of your variables, and one of them, let’s say co2, is clearly changing away from baseline and the related variable, oh let’s say temperature, is reacting just as predicted by the well understood relationship (within tolerance due to noise, etc…), it is not a bad guess to say that the well understood relationship holds in this situation and to infer that it is the mechanism driving your outcome (which conforms to what you know about the relationship between the variables).

    It takes more than this to definitively demonstrate a causal link, but probabilities are in your favor that you are looking at a good candidate.

  155. I will point out as well that there is no doubt about the source of the increased c02…it is caused by human activity.

  156. NM sez increased c02…it is caused by human activity.

    So, there’s never been other c02 increases linked with the past upswings of global temp? I’m not being sarcastic – I’m asking.

  157. “So, there’s never been other c02 increases linked with the past upswings of global temp? I’m not being sarcastic – I’m asking.”

    Contextually, Neu Mejican is clearly referring to the current highly anomalous CO2 increase, not previous increase.

    Previous non-human-caused increases were more often than not feedback responses to Milankovich cycles…feedback which preserved warming periods when the orbital cycles cooled down from their warming peaks. More rarely still are the non-human caused very large orbital strikes, super-duper volcanic periods, and sudden tectonic shifts messing with trapped methane; the current human-caused increase in CO2 most closely resembles these other catastrophic events in their suddenness and sheer volume of CO2. But the isotopes differences measured in the increased CO2 clearly point to human cause; that and the lack of current large asteroids impacts, and mega-vulcanism.

  158. But the isotopes differences measured in the increased CO2 clearly point to human cause; that and the lack of current large asteroids impacts, and mega-vulcanism.

    OK, but those really are cataclysmic events, not a source spread over 50-100 years of accumulation. But let’s stipulate the cause – why then exempt ANYONE (let alone the fastest growing sources) from reducing CO2? Obviously not because the science says to.

  159. juris,

    Sam-Hec covers it.

    I would point out that the mega-vulcanism is actually much closer to the current event than the impacts…the rise in c02 is spread out over decades…think of the Siberian Traps 250 million years ago (iirc).

    – why then exempt ANYONE (let alone the fastest growing sources) from reducing CO2? Obviously not because the science says to.

    I agree that we need to consider emerging economies in any plan to reduce emissions. But the biggest bang for your effort will be to reduce emissions in the economies that are the biggest polluters. This should, of course, be done in parallel with efforts to help the emerging economies grow in was that are less harmful.

  160. “grow in ways”

  161. Siberian Traps: As soon as I posted “decades” I said…Juris won’t get that I mean thousands of decades…

    The gigantic lava flow in Siberia lasted upward of a million years and flooded an area about the size of the lower 48 United States with layer upon layer of dark basalt lava – thousands of feet thick….As for exactly how the Siberian eruption could wipe out most life worldwide, it’s probably not simply by burying the Earth in lava or ash, says Lucas. Instead, it was likely a complicated series of events, involving dust, volcanic gases and how they conspired to wreak havoc on the global climate – perhaps even causing the oceans to become oxygen deprived (“anoxic”).

    “I still think that right now greenhouse warming and anoxia is the strongest interpretation” for why most plant and animal species died across the globe, said Keller.

    http://www.armageddononline.org/Casualty-by-Natural/known-super-volcanoes.html

  162. As soon as I posted “decades” I said…Juris won’t get that I mean thousands of decades…

    I would’ve given you a pass on that one, since I had already framed it in terms of 5 to 10 decades. But you’re right, I wouldn’t have assumed you meant thousands of decades since you didn’t say millenia.

    Although, again, you are pointing to something that happened in geologic time scale, which isn’t exactly comparable to the current situation either.

  163. “OK, but those really are cataclysmic events, not a source spread over 50-100 years of accumulation.”

    Geologically speaking the past 5-10 decades is on the scale of an ‘event’.

    “But let’s stipulate the cause – why then exempt ANYONE (let alone the fastest growing sources) from reducing CO2? Obviously not because the science says to.”

    I tend to promote my Libertarish approaches.

    In the category of CO2:

    End subsidies and other Market Protections for fossil fuel industries. Which just ends up ending corporate welfare entirely.

    Have the government(s) reduce their own objective CO2 emissions gradually over the next 20 years, and offset the rest..with those freemarket carbon offsetting services which are already out there. That should be enough subsidies for renewable energies; it ends when fossil CO2 emissions end.

    Apply an offset purchasing tariff on all imports and incoming travelers for all which cannot prove to be carbon neutral. This can be imposed gradually over the next 20 years. No need for complicated treaties involved. It ends when fossil fuel emissions end.

    These should be enough to provide leadership, innovation, and actual reductions without ruining anyones economy. No need for Absurdly Big Government Programs Which Won’t Work Anyway. Government assisted basic science should still be pursued…and not trampled on as it currently is.

    Controlling methane concrete/cement can be put under the umbrella of CO2 controls.

    Soot, Land and water management are trickier matters. I have for those no well thought ideas of mine as yet.

  164. juris,

    The thing about the Siberian Traps is that you had a million years of activity, but it was not continuous. Decades/centuries of flows, decades without flows, more on than off, co2 build up increasing over time…yadda yadda.

    But as Sam-Hec points out, the last two hundred years look like a spike on geologic time scales.

    For approaches to the problem, I like the ideas of Amory Lovin and company…

    They are very similar to Sam-Hec’s suggestions, but include more technological details.

    http://www.rmi.org/

  165. But as Sam-Hec points out, the last two hundred years look like a spike on geologic time scales.

    The Siberia Traps appears to be a very different thing from other volcanic and/or extra-terrestrial events. Those are even less duration, higher intensity incidents with long term [if not in geologic time] effects.

    One problem I have in general, is that this is an “anomolous” [per Sam] situation – and the analogous events are very different – thus making it very difficult to compare the two, both in theoretical/model terms, and in actuality.

    Complexity should lead to humility and skepticism, not self-assurance and arrogance. [Which are not faults being exhibited here, but are common in the larger AGW crowd.]

    Lastly, since this is a global problem, the solutions should be global – not exempting major, growing sources of GHG. That smacks of a political agenda that I alluded to previously. [Again, not your issue except by association. Kinda like, for a website named reason…]

  166. Juris,

    at this point would you say that your original question of, “So, there’s never been other c02 increases linked with the past upswings of global temp? I’m not being sarcastic – I’m asking.” has been answered?

  167. p.s.
    just to reiterate the two very basic ways in which past non-anthropogenic CO2 increases linked to temperature upswings occurred:

    As a slow feedback from Milankovich cycles, sustaining the original warming event forming a warm period. Gradual changes in the tectonic plates restrict or accentuate these cycles.

    And as result of violent [insert favorite violent action] preceding the warming.

    The current clearly anthopogenic CO2 release and consequent warming is more similar to the latter than the former. There are differences yes; but they are similar enough. And both should logically answer your original question. If not please carefully explain why.

  168. Enough for now. Thanks Sam & NM.

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