What do we know about climate change?

This video is excellent. Thanks to Tim Lambert for drawing it to our attention. It is also very recent, citing studies published this year. Very solid empirical science, but with some humorous intercuts.

Makes you wonder how anyone could be a skeptic, really…

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17 thoughts on “What do we know about climate change?

  1. Interesting what followed you, Ramana! Yes, it’s a great video — not hysterical, just good science.

  2. Excellent article in New Scientist: Jim Giles, “Why scientists must be the new climate sceptics.”

    This is a depressing time for climate scientists. They’ve spent over a decade battling oil industry propagandists who said that the world was not warming. By careful and persistent argument they dismissed the misinformation. Now all the old questions about the validity of climate science are being trotted out again. As one researcher put it to me: “Long-dead arguments have been dug up and are wandering around like zombies.”

    The source of the problems is been well documented: the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK, followed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s acknowledgement that it had published an exaggerated claim about the melting of Himalayan glaciers.

    Yet these are not the whole story. Yes, the UEA scientists and the IPCC made mistakes, but nothing in either case undermines the science proving that global warming is human-made. So why is the new wave of scepticism so vociferous?…

    Science needs to fight back, but not just by attacking its critics. Scientists need to reclaim the badge of “scepticism”. They need to show that although the essentials of global warming are settled, the field itself is alive with debate and revision, as all science should be. They need to tell the public that there are things in the science that are open for debate, even if those things do not detract from the case for action.

    Without a more open attitude, there is a real risk that the public’s doubts about climate science will deepen. And it can take years for a field to recover its standing once people feels that they have been mislead. It has happened in Britain with genetically modified crops and nuclear power. In this case, we cannot afford any more years of mistrust.

  3. Neil,

    Thanks for rescueing my comment and your reply.

    The truth is that most comments that I place on Global Warming support sites simply refuse to answer my polite and well referenced comments, hence my “blacklisting” by Akismet.

    However I followed your suggestions and watched your video and visited the site you recommended.

    To be honest and hopefully without predjudice, I felt that the video carried very little weight for the following reason. It quoted data for only the last 150 years. No-one in their right mind denies that there is climate change, its been going on since the world began, but what was ignored by the video was the fact that since 150 years ago we have been climbing out of what is known as the “little ice age” which began over the 13th-14th centuries.
    Now to check out Grist,org website I clicked on the “Medieval Warm Period” link and was surprised 1. that there appeared to be no references, 2. that it claimed it was a local event.

    Now I wonder if you will hear my answer out and watch some videos etc which I suggest, which would be only fair.

    Well first of all please read my blog http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com where you will find some uncomfortable truths about the MWP and check out some of these links.
    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/CookPalmer.pdf (MWP detected in N. Zealand.)
    Read “Grove, J.M. 988:The little ice age.by methuen
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/gh98230822m7g01l/ (MWP detected in China)

    The Medieval and other warm periods are important because they show that the world has been warm before, which disproves the Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming Hypothesis.

    This video if you have 80 mins to spare features some very well known scientists and one of the founders of Greenpeace. Please view. Because of the calibre of the people interviewed, I think it is very authorative.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5576670191369613647&ei=6KhjS9PZMJvu2ALEj6CjCA&q=the+great+global+warming+swindle#

    And remembering that the Anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming Hypothesis.
    is just that, an unproven hypothesis, I would like to explain to you my concerns.

    As an economist I believe the CO2 reductions and the transfers of wealth being advocated by the IPCC will have a profoundly negative effect on the world economy. So profound that I would expect starvation and poverty in all countries including our own.
    Now if this was all in aid of preventing the distruction of the planet, maybe it would be worthwhile, but we had BETTER BE DAMN SURE ABOUT IT.

    So to illustrate a good example of how hard it is to prove a hypothesis I suggest you watch the series of videos starting at the one below.

    You may think this is irrelevant but in this factual video, the pilots of the plane adopted a hypotheisis of the problem, their actions and subsequent events seemed to support the hypotheisis, but in the end they were tragically and terribly wrong. Yet at anytime they could have discovered the truth.

    We are in that situation with global warming right now. Nothing supports the hypotheisis, a number of facts disprove it.

    Cheers

    Roger

    • Hi Neil,

      Yes
      I have looked at your pages and watched your videos.

      It would be fair now if you looked at my site and checked out my references and watched my videos.

      I think the Garden under Sandet archaelogical excavation and the Schidejoch findings under the retreating glacier are concrete evidence that a lay person can clearly understand, that makes it impossible to explain away the MWP and earlier warmings. You have looked up the other references about the MWP being world wide? There are plenty more studies which support that as well if you would like more references.

      Did you catch on to the relevance of the aircraft crash videos? I think it illustrates very well what is meant by hypothesis.

      Also note that there is very little if any data on the human cost to the world and to us personally of attempting the IPCC’s guidelines for reducing carbon emissions.

      Already it appears we have food price rises because of the emphasis on palm oil taking up land that was formerly used for agriculture(and in some cases rain forest) which is causing starvation in some parts of the world.

      You see, I try to keep my mind open to facts, facts which have multiple references and research supporting them. Any assertions which have very poor references or none at all I am suspicious of.

      I do not indulge in name calling which is by the way evident in your videos, although as you can see by my blog, I am not loath to lampooning politicians.

      I think the whole world needs to take a similar approach.

      Cheers

      Roger

  4. I don’t disagree with your final remark.

    Perhaps between us we have given interested people plenty to get on with. They can make up their minds according to what they see here and elsewhere.

    Certainly we are unlikely to resolve the issues through comments like these.

    I must say it is actual books rather than websites that I have found in the end most persuasive. Call me old-fashioned. 😉

    Last year is when I really got stuck in: see my previous Floating Life blog.

  5. Neil,

    If you like books on the subject, I take it you have read Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ian Plimer’s book “Heaven and Earth”.

    Cheers

    Roger

      • Neil,

        I dont suppose you understand what the word “Emeritus” means then.

        Here is a brief resume’ of Ian Plimer which he chooses to publish. If you have any doubts about what is claimed here I suggest you take it up with Professor Plimer himself.

        “PROFESSOR IAN PLIMER (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide) is Australia’s best-known geologist. He is also Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He was Professor and Head at the University of Melbourne (1991—2005) and Professor and Head at the University of Newcastle (1985—1991). He was previously on the staff of the University of New England, the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University. He has published more than 120 scientific papers on geology. This is his seventh book written for the general public, the best known of which are Telling Lies for God (Random House), Mi/os-Geologic Historj (Koan) and A Short History of Planet Earth (ABC Books).
        He won the Leopold von Buch Plakette (German Geological Society), Clarke Medal (Royal Society of New South Wales), Sir Willis Connolly Medal (Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy), was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and was elected Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London. In 1995, he was Australian Humanist of the Year and later was awarded the Centenary Medal. He was Managing Editor of Mineralium Deposita, president of the SGA, president of IAGOD and president of the Australian Geoscience Council and sat on the Earth Sciences Committee of the Australian Research Council for many years. He is a regular radio and television broadcaster of science to the general public and has received the Eureka Prize for the promotion of science, the Eureka Prize for A Short History of Planet Earth and the Michael Daley Prize (now a Eureka Prize) for science broadcasting.
        Professor Plimer has spent much of his life in the rough and tumble of the zinc-lead-silver mining town of Broken Hill where an integrated interdisciplinary scientific knowledge intertwined with a healthy dose of scepticism and pragmatism are necessary. At Broken Hill, he is Patron of Lifeline and Patron of the Broken Hill Geocentre. He has worked for North Broken Hill Ltd, is director of CBH Resources Ltd, Ivanhoe Australia Ltd and Kefi Minerals plc and recently had a new Broken Hill mineral, plimerite Znfe4(PO4)3(OH)3, orthorhombic, named after him in recognition of his contribution to Broken Hill geology. Plimerite is insoluble in alcohol.”

        Cheers

        Roger
        http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

        • Thanks for that, Roger, and thanks for exposing links which may explain, for some, the side Professor Plimer takes on this issue — a history of working in the interests of the mining lobby. I do not doubt the veracity of Professor Plimer in his account of his own career. Thanks also for confirming, in the man’s own words, that he has never been a professor in the discipline you named. He is indeed currently in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide as a Professor of Mining Geology. If I were a Professor of English in the Faculty of Arts I would not be a Professor of Arts, would I?

          And thanks for informing me what “emeritus” means. As a university graduate I had no idea… As if…

          Of course I know who he is. I read and liked “Telling Lies for God” years ago.

          And as for Melbourne University: another Professor of note there (active, not emeritus) is David Karoly. “Professor Karoly is an internationally-recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in 2007, in several different roles. Professor Karoly was Chair of the Victorian Climate Change Reference Group in 2009-8. He is a member of the Australian High Level Coordinating Group on Climate Change Science and a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. Professor Karoly joined the School of Earth Sciences in May 2007 as a Federation Fellow funded by the Australian government. From 2003, he held the Williams Chair in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. During 2001-2002, he was Professor of Meteorology and Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University. From August 1995, he was Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology at Monash University until it closed in June 2000.”

  6. I’ve read extracts and articles by him, but not the book itself. Debunking Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth”leads to quite a few unimpressed reviews. Michael Ashley, professor of astrophysics at the University of NSW, may be a bit dismissive when he writes:

    …Plimer probably didn’t expect an astronomer to review his book. I couldn’t help noticing on page120 an almost word-for-word reproduction of the abstract from a well-known loony paper entitled “The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass”. This paper argues that the sun isn’t composed of 98 per cent hydrogen and helium, as astronomers have confirmed through a century of observation and theory, but is instead similar in composition to a meteorite.

    It is hard to understate the depth of scientific ignorance that the inclusion of this information demonstrates. It is comparable to a biologist claiming that plants obtain energy from magnetism rather than photosynthesis.

    Plimer has done an enormous disservice to science, and the dedicated scientists who are trying to understand climate and the influence of humans, by publishing this book. It is not “merely” atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics. Plimer’s book deserves to languish on the shelves along with similar pseudo-science such as the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken.

    He made an ass of himself on Lateline. That I saw for myself.

    (I did like his older book, Telling Lies for God.)

  7. Funny,

    Ive checked a lot of his references and they have always checked out so far.

    Maybe you should read it yourself and make up your own mind.

    Cheers

    Roger

  8. Neil,

    I think what you are implying is that your expert is better than mine because Plimer might have accepted funding from oil concerns at sometime in his career, whereas your expert is squeaky clean because he is only funded by the IPCC.

    Well you know what I think of the IPCC an organisation based on an unproven hypothesis.

    But unlike you, my conclusions come not from third parties, but out of my own ability to see reason and evidence.

    I dont put my trust in anyone in this matter, but I wish you luck with your faith in the IPCC. However I would be more impressed if I could see your brain at work.

    Cheers

    Roger

  9. How gracious, Roger. I suspect you are no more than I a person who has done first hand research as a climate scientist, which means both of us are reliant on what others say.

    As for my brain not working, I will leave that for others to judge.

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