Friday, December 30, 2011

Beginner's summary on global warming

Someone just asked about whether climate change was man made or natural, and as requested I provided a short summary based on the latest data, which I think everyone should copy and paste for future times when the same question is asked:


There are two single figures here which were used. First the sharp rise in CO2, albeit not from known sources as since discovered by Japan's Ibuki satellite. The jury's still technically out on that one. Secondly, if you didn't check behind it, a slight rise in temperatures for the same 150 year period.

After that it is literally all down to interpretation. Using logical methods rather than scientific (although the two should be the same they are not always) what would we say about the changes, from the temperature to the ice and sea levels, had CO2 not risen:

Temperature rise: 0.8C in 150 years
Sea level rise: 10 inches a century
Global ice level: Stable, although totally unbalanced from north (warmer) to south (colder).

Compare those with historical charts going back thousands of years, and you will see minus the red herring of CO2 figures they look almost flat, and definitely relatively stable. These figures have swung wildly by a few degrees a decade and up to 100 feet of sea level a century after an ice age, while remove the error bars and today's changes almost vanish altogether.

Therefore, like always, people have looked at the birdie and not the sniper pointing his gun or the pot of gold in front of you. The attention has always focused on the definitely unusual but clearly harmless (a 50% rise in 150 years has produced the above figures, and physics says a 100% rise would produce a 1C rise with no positive feedback, their trump card). However, observation and deduction are keystones of physics. We observe an experiment, one here which is well within a primary school science level of understanding, and say "If CO2 adds a degree to the average temperature by doubling without positive feedback, and the experiment is half run and it has added about half a degree, what do you expect the second half to show?"

I'll conclude my presentation here so as not to muddy the water with what are no more than background figures behind the main picture I have given.


rogerhootonofnuriootpasouthaustralia said...

Veteran BBC correspondent Michael Buerk on The Agitator December 16 2011.
“WHAT gets up my nose is being infantilised by governments, by the BBC, by The Guardian that there is no argument, that all the scientists who aren’t cranks and charlatans are agreed on all this, that the consequences are uniformly negative, the issues beyond doubt and the steps to be taken beyond dispute.
You’re not necessary a crank to point out that global temperatures change a great deal anyway.
A thousand years ago, we had a Mediterranean climate in this country (Britain); 200 years ago we were skating every winter on the Thames. And actually there has been significant rise in global temperatures for more than a decade now.
We hear a lot about how the Arctic is shrinking, but scarcely anything how the Antarctic is spreading, and the South Pole is getting colder.
I don’t need to be told things by officialdom in all its forms that are not true, or not the whole truth, for my own good.
I resent the implication that the exercise of my reason is “in appropriate”, and act of generational selfishness, a heresy. I want a genuine debate about the assumptions behind the more apocalyptic forecasts.
As recently at 2005, for instance, the UN said there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.
That was last year.”

rogerhootonofnuriootpasouthaustralia said...

If you haven’t already purchased these two excellent books then I urge you to either go to your local good bookshop and get them or order direct from the Australian publisher Connor Court Publishing.
Heaven + Earth (Global Warming; The Missing Science). By Ian Plimer.
And, How to get expelled from school. (A guide to climate change for pupils, parents and punters.) by Ian Plimer.
Professor Ian Plimer (The University of Adelaide) is Australia’s best known geologist. He is also Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

David said...

I read Michael Buerk's interview, one more on the good side, and sent him a copy of my article.

My mother wants a book on the basic science explaining why it's all garbage and there are so many around I'd probably need to flick through some before picking a good one. Hopefully yours will be there when I look.