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Is the globe really warming?

Is the earth warming? It sounds more and more unlikely, if you listen to the blithe rhetoric from global warming skeptics who claim that it isn’t, since the hottest year on record is 1998. It would be nice, though, if skeptics spent more time attacking real arguments as opposed to the straw men they prefer to mangle.

Given the complexity of earth systems, particularly the interaction between the atmosphere and the oceans, climate scientists aren’t expecting to measure a warming world in smooth, even, year-on-year temperature increases. Looking only at one-off peaks such as 1998 gives you a distorted view of global temperature. (That year, for example, saw a notably large El Nino effect, which transferred energy from the heat-storing Pacific Ocean into the atmosphere.) Instead, it’s longer-term trends that deserve attention.

For example: the World Meteorological Organization’s report on global climate released Thursday, which confirms NASA findings that the previous decade was, indeed, the warmest on record. And that fits into a longer-term trend: the 2000’s were warmer than the 1990s; the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, etc. Studies that examine heat content not just of surface air, but of the oceans, which can store lots of energy, look even more concerning.

It’s true that, when talking climate, it’s better to examine even longer-term scales than a mere few decades. Peaks and troughs could be many years long. Which is among the reasons climate scientists have done so much work constructing historical temperature records using measures such as tree rings. But at the very least, it would be nice for climate-change skeptics to resist running to the opposite extreme, citing 1998 or, even worse, Washington’s “snowmageddon” as evidence that the science is more suspect than it is.

By Stephen Stromberg  | March 26, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Comments

"that fits into a longer-term trend: the 2000’s were warmer than the 1990s; the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, etc.".
Were the 1790s warmer than the 1780s? Were the 1360s were warmer than the 1350s? Do you realize that 13000 years ago New York City was completely covered by the Laurentian ice sheet? The myopic view of "climate change" in the broader context of the last three million years of alternating glacial and interglacial periods is astounding.

"Given the complexity of earth systems, particularly the interaction between the atmosphere and the oceans, climate scientists aren’t expecting to measure a warming world in smooth, even, year-on-year temperature increases. Looking only at one-off peaks such ". Why do periods where there is no warming matter more than periods of time when there is no cooling? Why are some of the highest temperatures in modern history from around the world recorded in the 1930s? Why does the relatively small increase of a statistically insignificant greenhouse gas (compared to water vapor) trump all other factors that contribute to climate?

Posted by: gmfletcher12 | March 26, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Is the globe really warming" Since the climate is not static but changes over time if it is not warming right now it will eventually. Is the sky falling, that one is the real question.

Posted by: almorganiv | March 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

World climate changes. No argument there. The question really is whether change this time around is human caused or abetted. We've been prodigious in fouling water, land and air . . . why not the atmosphere?

Posted by: newsraptor | March 26, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The globe is indeed warming. You should put aside your skepticism and consider the evidence. Scientists with far greater acumen have studied, consulted, and agreed that the warming trends are both significant, rapid, and heavily influenced by human activity. Additionally, other reports and observations note that the effects are manifested in glacial and polar ice, in ocean surface and near-surface temperatures, in behavior patterns of wildlife, in tree and plant growth, in formation of clouds and weather patterns, and a host of related global systems. Each year, the measure of such changes grows, and if our somewhat limited understandings have any validity, we approach closer to the point where the changes become permanent and irreversible. It is unclear to me, sir, just what signs you are waiting for, since the trends I have mentioned were first noted some 40 years ago. Shall we "look" for a few more decades to be sure?

Posted by: Jazzman7 | March 26, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Another weak defense of Global Warming, another sign that come next year the entire hoax will be airbrushed from our memory.

This is how dupes slink off the stage.

Posted by: happyacres | March 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Stromberg makes the classic case of the AGW crowd. Reduce the argument down to whether or not we are in a slight warming period, when we well understand Earth's climate is not constant, pre-evil carbon using humans or or after we showed up. Attempt to make no attempt to substantiate what human component causes what % of warming. But call CO2 without a doubt the main evil that requires massive redistributionist changes to global economies and massive growth of State enforcement to "stop each human from overproducing this deadly pollutant".

Stromberg - (Of course he set up all who question this CO2 "Crisis!!" as deniers!!)

"Is the earth warming? It sounds more and more unlikely, if you listen to the blithe rhetoric from global warming skeptics who claim that it isn’t"

No, the "blithe rhetoric" is related to us not knowing what factor CO2 is in this latest slight global warming period. Or various people looking at economic numbers who say tripling US electric rates and imposing carbon taxes on every goods and services sector of the economy will be a massive job destroyer and standard of living lowerer....and do nothing if other nations continue to develop..which they have said they will do.
People aren't buying the folks that fly in on Western Gov't Official VIP and fly in on private jets to lecture them on how if they are prosperous they must become less prosperous (outside the Ruling Elites, 'natch)...or if they are in a developing country, learn to love their "health diets and elegant mud huts even more".

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | March 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

For hundreds of thousands of years ice blocked the northwest passage. In 2009 the ice melted, and now there's a viable shipping route worth millions.

What kind of evidence will you guys accept? If not from those nasty scientists, how about the shipping industy?

I'd love to hear someone rebut this. It's an entirely new shipping route!

Posted by: OnionVolcano | March 26, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Another ice age is a certainty. Because of the evidence of prior ice ages it is possible to reasonably predict when the next ice age will begin. Where in the geological record is there evidence of multiple periods of destructive warming?

Posted by: Lazarus40 | March 26, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Though the exact effects of global warming are very difficult to predict, the general "controversy" comes down to 2 questions.

Will doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere have A) absolutely no effect on climate or B) some effect on climate.

And which scenario is more likely,

A relatively small number of scientists, mostly funded by large carbon emmitting industries have funded studies and op-ed pieces to cast doubt upon global warming in an effort to protect multi-billion dollar industries.

or

Tens of thousands of scientists, the governments of over 100 countries, every US government agency (including DOD), thousands of non-profits, NGO's and Supranational organizations are engaged in a massive conspiracy to fake global warming, syphon research money and create an international environmental socialist government thereby stripping the freedom away from all Americans.

Which makes more sense to you?

Posted by: ELA5 | March 26, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Fraudulent presentation, using faked "Hockey Sticks", openly and agressively violating Freedom of Information requests and conspiring to squash dissenting views by corrupting the peer review process, that's the type of work that some climate scientists have done to mislead the public about the causes and affects of our ever changing climate.

The overwhelming paleoclimate evidence from around the globe is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was synchronous, world wide and much warmer than today. So much for the it's the "warmest on record" nonsense. It's the warmest every measured by a thermometer, but no where near the warmest when measured by other methods.

But the warmists and their aplogists have to deny that the MWP ever happened, because it means that their religous-like belief in AGW is exposed for the steaming pile of junk science that it truly is.

A thousand years ago, the Earth was warmer than it is today; before the social and industrial advances that have made modern people the healthiest and most prosperous in history. MWP deniers want us to believe that plant friendly, ocean cleansing and life giving CO2 is a bad thing to better advance their meglomanical desire to both boss around the developed world and further impoverish the poor while pocketing a lot of taxpayer money along the way.

If we are lucky, Mother Earth's temperature will return to those glorious levels in the past where Greenland was farmed by the Vikings and my ancestors, the Polynesian people, made important voyages of discovery across the Pacific in search of cooler temperatures. Siberia will become the world's food basket and the Sahara might bloom again as a warmer world brings more rainfall there.

Taxing carbon is not the answer to the ever changing climate.There is only one answer to changes in climate that has ever worked for humanity.

That is adaptation.

http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

Posted by: orkneygal | March 26, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

orkneygal:

Anecdotal evidence of wineries in England and farms in Greenland do not amount to a global assessment. Grapes grow in England right now, by the way.

Use of terms such as "junk science," "meglomanical" and "Deniers" does not help your cause. Manners, please, for those who do not follow the same talking points as you.

The Medieval Warm Period was real. It wasn't as hot. This is old news.

And if you truly are of Polynesian ancestry, you'd do well to think of the shrinking real estate in that part of the world when the seas keep rising.

Posted by: OnionVolcano | March 26, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

An NPR reporter asked a NASA scientist what should be done to keep the planets climate from changing and his unexpected answer was to ask her why she thought the current conditions are the "right" climate.
It exposed the unabashed hubris of the reporter to just decide that the earth should not change anymore as blithely as deciding you want Steak or Chinesse food for dinner. The interview with the NASA scientist went on and eventually she got around to a lament about destruction of habitat, and Islands potentially awash which, normally would evoke sympathy but I was sitting in my car channeling Will Smith in Independence Day thinking to myself, yea "welcome to earth".

Posted by: almorganiv | March 26, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

OnionVolcano-

You did not even look at the site I linked did you?

Afraid of looking at the overwhelming peer-reviewed paleo-climate excavation reports from around the globe? Unwilling to face the possibility that your claim of "anecdotal evidence" will be debunked for the denialism that it is by clear and unequivocal evidence?

Thorough, scientific excavations and measurements from New Zealand, Chile, Africa, Asia and Antartica, to name just a few cases, is hardly "anecdotal" and hardly confined to a small portion of the world.

There are dozens and dozens of papers listed on that site that clearly show the world-wide extent of the MWP and that it was warmer than today, without question.

But the MWP deniers have to maintain the myth that the MWP era was "not global" and "not warmer" else their entire theory of AGW collapses.


Posted by: orkneygal | March 26, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

OnionVolcano-

Sea Levels Rising?

More fairy tales from the MWP deniers!

Read the interview of Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner published in "Economics". Dr. Mörner is arguably the most experienced, respected and knowledgeable expert on sea levels in the world.

The main points of his interview are:

1. Sea Level varies over time with the Earth’s temperature. However from 1850 till now no measurable trend has been found. The graph of sea level for the last 150+ years is flat.

2. Modern Satellite Altimetey (which is the most accurate measure) also shows no increase in sea level.

3. IPCC Claims of raising sea levels are based on a fraud. This was accomplished by cherry picking tide measurements from instruments that were located on land that was known to be sinking. Specifically instruments in Holland and Hong Kong were placed on land undergoing substantial subsidence.

4. A key peace of high profile photographic evidence used by the media to depict sea level rise showed a before and after of very low lying island in the Maldives that supported one lone tree. The tree is now gone allegedly because of sea level rise. In reality the tree was torn down by a group of Australian Global Warming Activists.

http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/NilsAxelMornerinterview.pdf

Posted by: orkneygal | March 26, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

OnionVolcano-

RE: Arctic Ice

Your evidence of the Northwest Passage is anecdotal.

If you are going to comment about the extent of Sea Ice of you should learn about the scientific facts.

Currently the Arctic Sea Ice extent is in the same range as the baseline data and above that of when the Northwest Passage first "opened" in 2007.

If one were to use the Arctic Sea Ice extent for world temperatures, then one would have to conclude that it is colder today than when the Northwest Passage "opened". That means that 2009 could not have possibly been the warmest year on record. Which means something must be wrong with the way scientists are measuring surface temperature.

So, the logical conclusion from your claims about the Northwest passage is that something is wrong with the databases upon which all the warmists depend for their claims about global warming.

Personally, I don't think that Arctic Sea Ice extent is a good proxy for world temperatures, but since you do, you must therefore think that the world temperature databases are wrong.

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

Posted by: orkneygal | March 26, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe the facts quoted in this article have since been refuted by Climate Scientists themselves. What I have read in my local paper is: "There has been no measurable global warming in the past decade". In any event the simple act of watching the weather reports on TV during the past year or more has resulted in numberous reports of historically cold record breaking. Common sense anecdotal evidence.

Posted by: dickconant | March 26, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Have you all forgotten that the IPCC's Dr Phil Jones has been quoted as saying in a recent BBC interview that there has been no significant statistical warming of the planet for the past 15 years?

It's all over.

Posted by: steveig | March 27, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Earth is over 4 billion years old. 1998 was hottest on record? Whose record? Humans of course. "Records" kept for a few hundred years at most. A few hundred years of "recorded records" versus a billion years of earth history. A few hundred years is only .000000005 of earths history. To draw any conclusions whatsoever from this recent period is human arrogance at its worst. What about the effects of solar flares, volcanic gasses, volcanic ash, etc... which we have no control of??

The evidence of global warming is hardly clear cut. Some of you people, including the idiotic author of this story, treat global warming as if it is an indisputable fact. Sorry, this just isn't the case.

Now if you want to talk about the human impact on the globe from pollution, then you have something we can discuss and can actually do something about.

Posted by: savannah4 | March 27, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

" It would be nice, though, if skeptics spent more time attacking real arguments as opposed to the straw men they prefer to mangle."

Really both sides do that.

The warmers pick out an imaginary person who says it is not getting warmer and refuses to think someone could say "It is getting warmer now" and still think warming is good for us in some situations and bad in others.

It is not a two party discussion. There are many points of view and some may be correct.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 27, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

" It is unclear to me, sir, just what signs you are waiting for, .."

A. Changes in the orbit of the Earth
B. Change in the "solar constant"
C. Gas or dust clouds in interstellar space that move between Earth and the Sun
D. Other evidence of the ice age cycle.

Of course it is getting warmer.

But that is not the only factor to consider.

The ice age cycle seems to be independent of the warming of the atmosphere.

You got to think.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 27, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Just a couple of quick comments:

1) The scientific process demands accuracy and reliability, when those are missing, at any level, the entire research becomes suspect. It is essential to "attack the strawmen." This is very important when critical data goes missing.

2) The ignorance of those who suggest that only a few scientists, being paid by carbon producing firms are opposed to global warming is appalling. First, ten of thousands of scientists are very concerned about the accuracy of the current research, especially because of the billions governments are slated to spend to correct what may not be a problem. Second, what the "carbon producing" firms gave spent to try and bring some balance to this argument is literally a drop in the bucket to what governments have spent to try and prove the lie of global warming. Get your facts straight before you bloviate.

Posted by: brad333 | March 27, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I believe what he meant to say was that a careful review of our highly manipulated global temperature data base, after more careful scrubbing of data that don't fit our hypothesis, and disregarding all satellite data, we have astonishingly found that the last decade comes out the warmest....

Posted by: mgochs | March 27, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have had the opportunity to have watched, a couple week long scheduled hourly broadcast, on Climate change. The program fortunately was run on an Ontario Public broadcast channel ( TVO ). One would hope, because TVO is a public channel, advertisers or network executives, did not slant the subject, with their choice of guest, in their best interest. The science to a laymen, is very confusing. Most of what we seem to be hearing, is the result of computer modeling. I can tell things are different from what they used to be, as it does not snow that often in Toronto, and my heating bill does not go up as much every year, as it used to , which of course has little to do with how much natural gas I burn. The effect of varying rising temperatures based on geographic location, seem to be evident. Agriculture producers and people living dangerously close to sea level should make some adjustments. About all I got out of it.

Posted by: dangreen3 | March 27, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

No it's just the heat from Al Gore's red face.

Posted by: sam51 | March 27, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The issue isn't whether or not here is climate change; there is always climate change. The issues are: What role does CO2 play in the process; is it a cause or a result? And, what and/or how much of an impact can humanity play in forcing a different result? I, of course, don't believe that we can make a significant difference regarding climate change; although we can make a significant difference regarding pollution; which does not include CO2 ... essential for plant growth.

The focus on CO2 is having negative effect on pollution control. While the money being spent on climate change is not available for other, far more significant issues.

Posted by: brad333 | March 27, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Stromberg, you are obviously ignorant on this subject. Sorry your religion is collapsing in front of your eyes, that's got to hurt.

Posted by: jssmi765 | March 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

People may argue about detailed mechanisms and interactions, and policy decisions are certainly not straightforward, but there are two incontrovertible facts that should give even the most ardent skeptic some pause:

(1) The carbon dioxide molecule is very efficient at absorbing photons at infrared wavelengths, the dominant energy spectrum in which the Earth radiates outgoing heat. This has been known since the late 1800s.

(2) Anthropogenic activities are rapidly and substantially increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. This is to say nothing of human-induced increases in other good infrared absorbers such as methane and nitrous oxide.

These are not "arguments" up for debate; they are facts. There are certainly other factors that control Earth's solar insolation budget (Milankovitch cycles in the geometry of Earth's orbital parameters, for example), but to suggest that the composition of the atmosphere does not exert a first-order control on Earth's greenhouse effect reflects an uninformed view.

To one of the above points, the geologic record is replete with evidence for warm periods, not just ice ages. But to argue that we have nothing to be concerned about because warm periods have occurred before human industrial activities is, even from a pragmatic standpoint, questionable logic at best. Such changes in the past have occurred on million-year timescales, not the generational timescales on which we are currently perturbing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. This makes a big difference from the perspective of mitigation.

Warmer periods have occurred in the past, but if we were to transport Earth's current population and its latitudinal distribution to, say, the Cretaceous, coastal populations and near-equatorial populations would be decimated simply by physical factors (higher sea level, drought conditions).

There is a middle ground between claiming that "the sky is falling" and denying we have anything to be concerned about.

Posted by: crein003 | March 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@brad333

I often see this argument that because carbon dioxide is essential for plant growth (indeed, any autotrophic organism needs it), it should not be considered a pollutant.

This seems to me a rather strange argument that just sidesteps the issue. Plants need things like cadmium, chromium, and arsenic as well, but in very small amounts; these compounds become toxic very quickly. Would you suggest that we shouldn't regulate the release of chromium (a known carcinogen at high concentrations) from electroplating facilities because plants need it for growth? How does one define a "pollutant"? Does carbon dioxide need to be defined in such a way to be something worthy of regulation?

Finally, our addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has little effect on plant metabolism besides the effect of temperature. Carbon dioxide, in natural systems, is always in greater abundance than any other substrate necessary for plant growth - we aren't helping them out by increasing carbon dioxide "availability".

Posted by: crein003 | March 27, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I doubt if any literate person questions the existence of climate change. Over millenia, the global climate always has and always will undergo change. What we question is the honesty and accuracy of the science that claims the change we are encountering is man-made; that today's changes, such as they are, are not the naturally-occurring ones we may expect, but may be conclusively attributed to the industry of man. We won't credit the science fiction of Gore supporters - the world knows he's just a confidence man in this matter. We won't look to the UN - the world knows it has a global government agenda and will taint everything it touches to further that goal. Further, we also question the evidence that man can correct whatever changes are taking place. Honest science would convince us. Politicized science will not. Scare mongering will not.

Posted by: jpen | March 27, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The approach taken by people like Al Gore may not accomplish much, as it just preaches to the choir. And I would agree that alarmism and scare mongering are not productive. However, there is a mountain of "honest" science, dating back to the 1860s, that strongly (irrefutably, in the minds of many reasonable people who have devoted their careers to studying the issue) supports the link between human activity and changes in climatologically important atmospheric gases.

Little progress will be made of any research buttressing the notion of anthropogenic climate change is de facto labeled as "politicized".

It is important to recognize that this isn't an idea Al Gore came up with; it has been developing, as all good scientific ideas do, cumulatively for well over a century. And, despite a brief and rather one-sided debate about the "next ice age" during the 1970s, an idea which has subsequently been shown to have resulted from fundamental oversights in the numerical models, all we have learned since the 1850s has essentially supported the notion of human-induced changes to the climate system.

In other words, there was plenty of scientific evidence, and basic consensus on the major issues, long before this ever became a political hot-button issue. I'm not so naive as to think that there isn't a political element here, from the research that is promoted by NSF and other funding agencies to the way the peer-review process operates. Similar problems exist in all approaches to understand politically important issues - research into abstinence-only sex education, or standardized testing, etc. But to summarily discount an entire body of research because of this seems to me a little arbitrary.

Posted by: crein003 | March 27, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

First, I object to the phrase “blithe rhetoric from global warming critics.” How would you like to be known as a “stupid warmist?” Second, I have to straighten out his science. He relies on WMO report according to which the 90s were warmer than the 80s and so on. But according to satellite observations the nineties were not warmer than the eighties – the temperature just oscillated, up and down by half a degree for twenty years, but did not rise until the super El Nino of 1998 showed up. Yet this is not what you see when you look at global temperatures from NASA, NOAA and The Met Office. They show a steady rise – that “late twentieth century warming” in the eighties and nineties. I have analyzed these curves and discovered that they are all cooked. As in falsified. You can find out how that was done from “What Warming?” available on Amazon.com. The real warming started with the 1998 super El Nino. And as he already hinted, it was not carbon dioxide greenhouse effect but warm water that is responsible for it. It started with a storm surge in the Indo-Pacific region that brought a large amount of water from the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool to the head of the equatorial countercurrent near New Guinea. The countercurrent carried it across the ocean to South America where it ran ashore and caused the observed super El Nino. Its warmth was enough to raise the global temperature by twice as much as a normal El Nino would rise it. Its warm water lingered near shore and was responsible for the twenty-first century high – a run of six warm years, most near the top ten. Unfortunately for you warmists, that had nothing to do with carbon dioxide either – just that warm water from that IPWP. All this came to an end with a La Nina Cooling in 2008, signifying the resumption of the oscillating climate of the eighties and nineties that NASA, NOAA and the Met Office conveniently hid from us. These oscillations belong to the ENSO system in the Pacific and have existed ever since the Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea. They will be our future, not the imaginary warming from IPCC.

Posted by: ArnoArrak | March 27, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Historical evidence of sudden shifts in climate are everywhere, as is evidence of atmospheric change at these times. That Co2 levels are intricately tied to climate change must be a given fact considering the massive amount of science that's been devoted to the study of ancient atmospheres locked in ancient ice and rock.

One needs to merely consider what the release of gigatons of Co2 will do, through the burning of millions of years of stored Co2 in oil and coal in only a couple of hundred years, to understand that the weather is going to change.

Climate change is a certainty, how it will change and how quickly it changes are the only unknowns. Clearly nature rebalances itself as peaks of extremes ultimately cause an opposing reaaction that swings the pendulum back the other way, which makes predicting change with certainty difficult.
Suffice to say that sudden shifts in weather patterns, of any kind, should be avoided like the plague.

Posted by: icurhuman2 | March 27, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The core issue is not global warming/cooling nor even climate change,it is the ideology that humans can control global temperature levels within a certain range and where this view originates.The answer to that is found in astronomy in the late 17th century with a definite beginning with a specific individual insofar as his error give rise to the modelling/prediction agendas based on speculation rather than interpretation.Anyone familiar with the recent financial meltdown and the mathematical modelling that created it can also apply the same type of reasoning to climate and where we are now with this ridiculous idea of human control over temperature levels.

Posted by: gkell1 | March 28, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Here is a direct link to the WMO 2009 statement.

http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/wcdmp/documents/WMOStatement2009.pdf

Posted by: RobertGeneva | March 28, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Stromberg, you seem to be trying to adopt the main argument of the anti-AGW movement for your own purposes. Yes the earth's climate is a very complex mechanism which is what honest climate scientists have been saying for years but have been drowned out by the mob of true believers such as yourself and your simplistic models of what you think should be happening but hasn't. If the dire predictions of the true believers had come true then the entire U.S. Gulf Coast should have been a disaster zone by now from all those mega hurricanes that were to strike the area in the wake of Katrina. Instead we seem to have a climate just like we've always had. In all honesty we only have fifty years of good global climate data which dates from the start of the US and Soviet space programs. After that we have two hundred years of good data from selected data points in western Europe and North America. Past that we enter the world of interpreting ship's logs from up to four hundred years ago in an effort to "interpret" the climate of that time. Past that point we enter the realm of historical anecdote, tree rings, ice cores, varves and archeological evidence in an effort to create a picture of what the earth was like five hundred years ago. The problem, of course, is that like looking at a object that is getting further away the details start to blur and eventually all we can see is the faintest image of what was there in the first place. We can't forecast into next season accurately. That should be easy enough. We are expected to believe in archane and unprovable mechanisms for increasing the earth's temperature when the same scientists can still not explain how and why the regular glaciations which march across this planet occur.

No Mr. Stromberg, the problem is that if global warming is so obvious then why the need for such underhanded dishonesty like inventing or losing data, falsifying records, doing everything possible to attack anyone who disagrees. There should be no skeptics and none of these skeptics should be climatologists. But they are there and no one seems to be willing to answer their questions. What is the problem with these true believers that whenever they are questioned by skeptics they seem to run for cover and shriek about how unfair this all is? And what's wrong with skpetics anyway? Galileo and Copernicus were skeptics in their own time and went against the status quo. Perhaps it's time you stepped away from the mob and had a look at the world with open eyes.

Posted by: RockDoctor | March 28, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Arctic ice area is right at the 30 year mean - i.e. normal
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

Posted by: pkhenry | March 29, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Mount Pinatubo erupted and cooled the Earth for two years with it's plume of ash. If one volcano can alter planetary albedo, certainly 6 billion humans, some with the power of the atom(sun) could wipe the surface clean of all life.

See: Nagasaki, Hiroshima

Posted by: ender3rd | March 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This is a COMPLETE fabrication.

"

For hundreds of thousands of years ice blocked the northwest passage. In 2009 the ice melted, and now there's a viable shipping route worth millions.

What kind of evidence will you guys accept? If not from those nasty scientists, how about the shipping industy?

I'd love to hear someone rebut this. It's an entirely new shipping route!"

There NO NEW ROUTE. It takes only a few minutes on google to disprove this lie. But believers in AGW never check the facts, they just accept garbage science without an ounce of proof.

LOOK IT UP!!!!

Posted by: davidmichael1 | March 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a guy who gripes about Strawmen uses the Mother of all Strawmen to dismiss Global Warming Skeptics: "Is it really warming." I don't really care whether its warming or cooling. The Earth does this, it always has and always will. The question is whether human activity is the Primary cause of the current state of the Climate. This fact is very much in doubt, as any person who views the so called evidence will see there is plenty of room for reasonable doubt. Unfortunately for the AGW set, the burden of evidence is on them to prove their theory and they would much rather submit it to the court of public opinion, than to rigorously debate the Science with their peers who disagree with them. This is why they squashed papers that poked holes in their cherished theories. There are a lot of dollars and many reputations on the line for the supporters of AGW, including media types who have hyped this story to sell publications. It is a shame that people have such a penchant for scare stories. My personal view is that we should do everything in our power to be good stewards of the environment, but I do not believe that CO2 is a pollutant. Unless and until you can show me that CO2 causes harm, I would much rather we spend our money and efforts on removing and containing the real harmful substances we know of such as Cadmium, Mercury, Lead, etc. My worry about the Greens is that they will push us into alternative technologies that end up containing toxic batteries and other as yet unknown harmful substances in their zealous rush away from evil Carbon sources such as Oil and Gas. Lets not be blinded by ideology but consider what the long term consequences of our actions before we make things worse.

Posted by: michael_lyns | April 1, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Koch oil 47 million to disprove Global Warming ,Exxon/Moble 100ths off millions off dollars ,it must be that they have billions to lose if Global Warming is proven to be true!!

Posted by: pojoe | April 1, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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