Global Warming Discussion

Discussion in 'Alpine & Snow' started by Falls expat, Jun 30, 2015.

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  1. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I wondered if it were possible to have a reasoned and hopefully not heated debate of Global Warming , modeling, observations and arguments for and against.

    The reason I raise this is because I am a qualified Met and yet I find it difficult to reconcile some of the claims and counter claims that are out there in the media or even in scientific papers and wondered if I am the only one that has doubts about some of the pro global warming predictions and rhetoric and equally some of the anti global warming arguments.

    I know this is a passionate topic for some, but I want to deal in facts as much as possible rather than emotional unsubstantiated beliefs.

    Lets start with claims scientists have deliberately adjusted the observations to exaggerate GW. The Karl et al paper in the USA http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6242/1469 is controversial to say the least where they removed the Argo float records from the temperature data set to prove that the current 15-18 year "global pause" in temps http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/recent-pause-in-warming was actually false and that warming has continued.
     
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  2. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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    Let's not.
     
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  3. incogski

    incogski One of Us

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    ^lol

    But i think it would be good to have a place where golbal warming discussions go rather than having them pop up in other threads every so often
     
  4. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I guess what triggered my thoughts on this more recently was a discussion with a colleague who has a PhD in climate science related studies. She came out with old claims like the Sahel region of Africa is seeing long term drought due to GW, but like the global warming temperature pause, this is not true. Sahel rainfall has been steadily increasing in the last 15 years and the desert is receding again. She also claimed that Pacific islands are disappearing underwater, but again there is little evidence to support this apart from a few localised examples and in fact a recent NZ study found Tuvalu islands has increased in land area. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...h-kiribati-maldives-cyclone-marshall-islands/

    Personally I don't know what the exact impacts of GW will be and I favour a world without fossil fuels, but all I know is that here you have someone who is supposedly more informed on the subject than myself and much of the general public who does not even know that these old claims from the 1990s are false or at least not behaving as climate models suggested. I wonder how many other climate scientists there are out there that don't look at the observations on the ground or chose to ignore them?
     
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  5. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    As much as i'd like it to remain civil, experience on this and other boards tells me that it cant.
     
  6. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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    As long as all agree to limit bringing up the subject to this thread and this thread only, which they won't.
     
  7. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The pacific islands quote is a timely one, as i've spent some time in Tahiti in the past few months and whilst there did some reading on the origin of the islands. I was surprised to learn not how young they were, but how short (geographically speaking) their lifetime is. The rate of erosion that ends up killing the islands is staggering.
     
  8. Rush

    Rush Pool Room

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    It's interesting that some scientific organizations adopted the framing behind the 'pause' and now have institutional skin in the game to prove that it actually existed.

    Recently I've been quite amazed to see how ignorant climate scientists are regarding specific satellite data sets (such as GPS Radio Occultation data) and how they've been routinely used by Weather agencies for years.
     
  9. sbm

    sbm One of Us

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    I've always liked the distinction CC and the moderaters make here between weather and climate, and the general ban on climate discussion. I support it. I think it works great to make this forum informative and civil.

    Though I feel climate change is often an elephant in the room especially in season forecasting threads.

    Argue all you want, most of us are going to die without changing out minds in any meaningful way and our kids will have to deal with all the damages wrecked on the planet, one way or another, and it will not be pretty.
     
  10. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    ^ is why threads like this cant really work.
     
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  11. Rush

    Rush Pool Room

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    Additionally I've also found that younger climate scientists have a very narrow focus beyond their immediate research area.
     
  12. sbm

    sbm One of Us

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    For a while now I've thought the next breakthrough in climate science (and science in general) will be in psychology or neuroscience. We need better educational, debating, and argument techniques.

    We're just not smart or clear-thinking enough to deal with these long-term global issues. Even people whose opinions match the facts (as I can tell) are still full of bias and fallacy.
     
  13. Ian D

    Ian D Pool Room Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    What I struggle with is things looked at in isolation - eg atmospheric temperature. The Earth is a complete system, not a series of unconnected components.

    Consider placing a cold metal rod in a cold glass of water with ice floating in it and then placing it in a warm room.

    Initially the metal rod will warm a bit but then the rod will conduct that heat into the water and the water will warm a little and that will trigger ice to melt which will cool the water. Since the heat sink of the room is much bigger than the ice the warming of the rod will continue to transmit energy into the water and continue to heat resulting in more ice melt and so on.

    Net result is:
    After initial warming the temperature of the rod out of the water will stabalise
    The water will stablise at around zero as the ice melts
    ONLY WHEN all the ice has melted will the water begin to warm.
    ONLY WHEN the water reaches the temperature of the rod outside will the rod continue to warm.

    Given enough time the water and rod will equalize at the room temperature but a lot will happen in the mean time.

    There will be "pauses" and apparent heatings and apparent coolings but ultimately the heat energy of the system is rising and that is being seen in a range of ways.

    Looking at the atmosphere in isolation is ignoring the fact that the atmosphere is attached to a large and complex planet with a range of heat sinks and dynamic processes. Lack of atmospheric warming DOES NOT mean that the total energy of the system isn't rising and that is being played out in other areas.

    Islands like Tuvalu are complex. They change size and shape for a range of reasons. They have volcanic origins and as they move from the hot spot they tend to slump back into the ocean but other factors come into play as well. An ocean with more energy in it (heat) will increase in size and so expand but also will generate more energetic weather systems around it due to extra energy in the system.

    It is impossible to model with a simple model and one in isolation is always going to be wrong.

    There is however strong evidence that the planet AS A WHOLE is heating (ie has more energy, not necessarily a higher atmospheric temperature).

    It is non trivial and needs cross discipline study to really get a grasp on it.
     
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  14. Tanuki

    Tanuki Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting that wish for a debate grounded in facts and reason rather emotional debate and yet you introduce it with the debunked claim that 'claims scientists have deliberately adjusted the observations to exaggerate GW'.

    Nice debating strategy there
     
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  15. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok, let's see how we go.....

    Any pointy personal attacks will be deleted/edited, and culprits warmed.

    Usually, these GW threads last less than 2 pages, before ending up in CV.
     
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  16. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I agree PG. This is my experience as well dealing with Met PhD students and even professors at university. They nearly all had a very narrow focus of study and knew astonishingly little outside their speciality.

    And I suspect here lies a problem with the IPCC reports and papers written. It is like putting together a group multi disciplined sport people and putting them into a newly created game. They all have immense talent and ability but that does not make them great players overnight or a great team.
     
  17. incogski

    incogski One of Us

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    this is good

     
  18. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    Ok I was hoping to avoid this type of comment, but if you read my post correctly you will see that I did not make this claim, others have. I do however think there is reasoned argument to question why it is that after 15-18 years of unexplained pause in the global temperature rise that a single paper comes out of the blue to say that pause never existed and that this paper is then immediately accepted by the Obama adminstration as fact.

    It may indeed be fact, but if this were a paper that was written by the same author saying they have looked at the global temperature pause and found not only that the pause is happening but rather global cooling has occurred, then do you think the Obama administration would have accepted it so readily?

    This is my dilemma about all of this. There is so much confirmational bias on these reports when they are accepted or rejected that it is hard to sift through the garbage to find the truth.
     
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  19. warrie

    warrie One of Us

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    "that it is hard to sift through the garbage to find the truth." That's the dilemma.... W
     
  20. Rush

    Rush Pool Room

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    To make such a statement you first have to explain which temperature metrics you are referring to, and then define what you mean by a pause. It is a departure from a long-term trend over a 15-18 year period? Is it a decline in record annual temperatures?
     
  21. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    A good example of this was the ludicrous inclusion of the "Himalayan Glaciers will all be melted by 2035" in the IPCC report. This document was supposed to have been edited very closely word for word, yet this claim even to someone with basic knowledge air temperature with respect to altitude would know this is not possible from GW alone. So why was it included? I would argue that it looks like a team of individuals who don't question each other's imput very much.
     
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  22. DbSki

    DbSki Old n' Crusty

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    It might be convenient due to the lack snow to entertain climate change peccadillos here in the weather forum that is tightly moderate to weather only, for good reason, but at the expense of the integrity of the forum would be an un necessary commercial risk

    But that's just my opinion, I don't pay the bills around here.
     
  23. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    Well the UK Met Office Hadley centre global temp series is a well respected temp series and they have said there was a pause as I showed in the link above. I am aware of the GW skeptics argument that the Satellite based measurements are cooler than the land based measurements, but I am not qualified or have the knowledge to say whether one is more accurate than the other. However, the Hadley centre seems to think there is a pause and they are in agreement that GW is happening. So I think they giving a fairly balanced view.
     
  24. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    One of the big arguments that GW was not happening from the skeptics is that Antarctic Sea Ice is at record levels. Yet you see endless reports from the media and pro GW groups saying glaciers in Antarctica are losing mass etc etc.

    However, most GW studies show that the Poles are warming much faster than the equatorial regions. If this is true then the temp gradient is reducing and therefore the circumpolar westerly vortex has to retreat towards Antarctica. If the lows retreat towards the ice sheet then more snow is likely to be deposited on the outer fringe of the ice dome, hence more sea ice perhaps? The downside is fewer weather fronts impact southern Australia leading to lower rainfall and less snow.

    My point here is that I have not read anywhere that higher Antarctic sea ice areal coverage would occur in any GW paper or IPCC report. Yet for me it looks an obvious outcome assuming the warming is occuring as suggested.
     
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  25. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are probably a few here.
     
  26. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    Yes lots of albedo, depleted ozone and even sea ice micro organisms as culprits, but not what I think is the main reason which makes more reasonable sense to me.
     
  27. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Falls if you stick around and continue posting like this then this thread might actually have a chance. Enjoyable reading so far.
     
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  28. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    Further to the temp gradient argument above. How many times have we heard that GW will produce stronger more destructive storms in the media and from pro GW people, yet in the mid latitudes, if you reduce temperature gradient the jet stream will weaken and storms will become weaker. No so for the tropics, but here too we see Accumulated Tropical Cyclone Energy (ACE) falling in recent years, although this is probably more to do with temporary and regional SST changes. http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/accumulated_cyclone_energy.asp
     
  30. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I should have made it clear at the start before anyone assumes that I am a GW skeptic that I do believe in the science behind GW and increasing greenhouse gases. What I struggle with, is the biased reporting, claims and counter claims and also fairly blatant attempts to stop reasoned debate on the matter. I have engaged people on both sides of the argument and they mostly are so deeply entrenched in their beliefs that there is no room for debate or compromise.

    Referring to the PhD climate scientist I spoke about in a previous post above....... when I pointed out and proved via quotes and cited papers that what she was arguing was wrong or no longer valid....her response was "What would I (she) know ......I only have a PhD in the field".....which is implying that I have no right to question her due to lack of qualifications. I find this common in this whole GW discussion and dare I say it....it is not an uncommon behaviour academia in general.
     
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  31. Adamski

    Adamski Addicted

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  32. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are we talking about GW or are we talking about funding by oil companies, in the WEATHER FORUM?
     
  33. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are we talking about GW or are we talking about scientists, in the WEATHER FORUM?
     
  34. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    Perhaps, but instead of repeating the common oil company link mantra, can we see your evidence of this so we can make informed decisions on what weight of credibility the article has or not please? You may be right. I don't know.
     
  35. Ralph_implement

    Ralph_implement A Local

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    Like the globe?
     
  36. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Stay on topic.
     
  37. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    We know that the Earth has an energy surplus, the only satisfactory explanation is the rapid flux of paleo C into the atmosphere. We can do a pretty good job of modelling the past. We have done an OK job of modelling the future on a global extent on climactic time scales. We are bad at modelling the future on regional extents and smaller time scales.

    Falls I'm guessing if a lot of you concerns fall within the part of Climate Change we are worst at, regional extent and shorter time scales? I ask because of the examples you have raised and also because your discipline deals primarily with regional and smaller extents of the planet and time scales of days, weeks and seasons rather than decades?
     
  38. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just had a quick look at Lefsrund's paper being discussed in the article above. The aim of the paper was to examine why Petroleum Geoscientists have such a divergent opinion on climate change to the consensus amongst scientists who publish in climate related fields. The only people surveyed were members of APEGGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta). Their responses were more more skepitcal of climate science amongst older respondents and more accepting amongst younger respondents in line with normal demographic opinions of climate change. The paper summated that the values of the Surveyed Geoscientists had a greater impact on their opinion towards climate change than the science.

    James Taylor misrepresented the paper to advance the political aims of the Heartland Institute (He is their senior fellow for environmental policy).
     
  39. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I would like to see where we have done an OK job on modelling the future on a global extent on climatic time scales? Link?

    And what is a climatic time scale? I suspect it is large and therefore we could not possibly have predicted it yet as we have only had computers properly looking at this for the past 30 years at best.
     
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  40. NjB

    NjB Hard Yards

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    It would be so nice for this discussion to remain civilised. So tired of hearing one side of the story and the vitriol and abuse (from both sides). I automatically don't trust any person or source (ie MSM in general) that only every argues from one side and tells me to to stop discussing it because the science is settled. No true scientist would say that - only interest groups & politicians.

    Can't we all agree that carbon dioxide (not carbon!:axe:) is a greenhouse gas - the question is a matter of does it lead to a runaway positive water vapour feedback effect? If it does, is it smarter, financially at least, to adapt instead of throwing money away to stop it?
     
  41. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rahmstorf et al 2012
     
  42. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think the scientists need to develop better modelling of the impact clouds have on global warming. It's not nearly mature enough, a lot more science needs to be performed IMO.

    Case in point
    Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, added:

    “All we know about the effect of [carbon dioxide] is really based on climate models that predict how climate should be in 50 to 100 years, and these climate models cannot actually model clouds at all, so they are really poor. It’s a well-known fact that clouds are the major uncertainty in any climate model. So the tools that we are using to make these predictions are not actually very good.”
     
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    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  43. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I agree with this statement in bold totally. I would argue that the current GW forecast models are very close to failure given the extending pause in Global temps (see graphic below)

    So the science of climate modeling is certainly not settled. The science behind extra CO2 in the atmosphere acting as a warming source is not in question as this can be recreated in the lab and proved with absorption experiments. What is the uncertain bit is how the Earth reacts to this warming signal and that any climate forecast should at least contain error bars that realistically include climatic shifting events like lower sunspots or changes in the PDO, AMO etc. This appears to be not the case otherwise the extended record low sunspot period of around 2009/10 or and extrapolated the PDO cycle which is a relatively clear long term cycle linked to global temps are not included. There is a growing consensus that we are about to enter an extended period of lower sunspots, perhaps this should also be included by looking at global temperature changes in past events like the Dalton and Maunder Minimum.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150623/ncomms8535/full/ncomms8535.html

    [​IMG]
     
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  44. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    As someone who studied climatology in the early-mid 2000's, it would be interesting to compare my literature from then (I still have it all) with what is being given out now and see how it compares.

    My personal opinion is that we humans think we are a lot smarter and know a lot more than we actually do. We dont even understand all the possible feedback loops, nor how they interact, so how can we predict with any certainty how pushing will affect the rest? When you push or pull more than one you're talking even more complicated dynamics that you're playing with, we simply havent had enough time to figure out how they all work together as a system. At this point in our history I feel we are still just collecting data, that future generations will be able to use in a useful way. Climate moves over very long timeframes, much longer than the period we've been able to take accurate recordings. We are quite simply looking at a snapshot of our climatology and trying to predict what will happen in the future without a proper dataset to predict with any real certainty.

    I, like Falls, am not a climate skeptic. The science behind AGW is sound, you cant argue with that. We can take measurements that show that things humans do (as well as natural functions) change the climatic conditions of the Earth. But I sure as shit am not going to claim I am anywhere near qualified enough to make assumptions on what is going to happen in the future. The only thing I can say with any sort of certainty is that based on the current data collected and undeniable science, the Earth is in a warming phase at this moment in time. How much? I am not qualified to say. Dont confuse this with sitting on the fence. If I, we, had enough information to make an informed decision then I would, but I dont. We dont.

    Finally, I will say one thing. In my life, and not only with respect to climate, people tend to like the status quo, and are generally concerned with change. Any sort of change. The world has been changing since day dot, yes, I understand at different rates, but it has been in constant change.
     
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  45. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    I had a Twitter conversation with a guy who is an outspoken anti GW Twitter activist, but hides behind a false name and identity like many on Twitter. I just asked him why, if he was so adamant that GW was not happening or at least not as forecast that he hides behind false names. He said he was working as a climate researcher for a major University and that if he identified himself he would lose his job. Now whether this is true, I can not say. However,if it is then it is not the world of science as I think of it. You should be able to question everything no matter how solid the evidence looks without persecution or ridicule. The reality is very different though.
     
  46. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have 2 majors, Climatology and Chemistry. I chose to work in the chemistry field (OK my maths is not good enough to make it as a meteo) as a research chemist. After 7 years of being out of uni I can honestly say I am very glad I chose to keep climate as a hobby rather than a job.
     
  47. Rush

    Rush Pool Room

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    We discussed Antarctic Sea Ice in this thread. Unfortunately the link back to an older 2010 discussion (which discussed the IPCC AR4 projections) is now broken.

    In summary, early climate model projections from Princeton in 1992 showed the mechanisms how Antarctic Sea Ice could grow in a warming world. The older link also showed IPCC AR4 showed only small losses in Antarctic Sea Ice by the middle of the 21st century.

    EDIT : I found the 2010 link here containing excerpts from the IPCC AR4.
     
    #47 Rush, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  48. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    My background is in Aeronautical Engineering. There's what the models predict and then there's the empirical based tables you design and build stuff from.
     
  49. Falls expat

    Falls expat One of Us

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    Thanks for that. I figured this subject had been done to death before, but there are some interesting trends developing now which throw more doubt about the modelling.

    I think the key though is the IPCC projections still expected a sea ice loss (small) rather than record gains. This appears to be yet another under estimation or lack of understanding of the processes going on and hence probably why their temperature projections are way off so far as well.
     
  50. Rush

    Rush Pool Room

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    But earlier projections from the 1960's and 1980's have proved to be accurate. Perhaps your verification period isn't long enough?

    Here is an analysis of Hansens' 1988 projections which also contains a link to his 1981 projection.

    Gilbert Plass' 1956 predictions have also been shown to be accurate.

    The science of climate modelling is about as accurate as weather forecasting was in the 1980's IMO.
    The science of the Earth's sensitivity to changing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations is is settled however. It's in the paleoclimate record. As Ian Plimer says
     
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