Tag: Climate

AGW – summing up.

“If there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt!”

I opened the first post on Monday with the sub-heading: “Certainty is perfect knowledge secure from error or doubt.” going on to write that, “Whatever your views on the effect of man’s behaviours on our planet’s climate, it’s a long way from the logical idea of ‘2 + 2‘!”

Within that very strict definition, I remain unmoved.  The argument that mankind is the cause of the present change in the climate of Planet Earth is not certain!

However, if only life was that simple! The change in our planet’s atmosphere is possibly the most emotionally-laden topic of all time.  For some reason that quotation attributed to Hiram Johnson comes to mind, “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” because the supporters and deniers of AGW are engaged in what amounts to a verbal war.

Each side can draw on much information.

For example, a very recent article in The New York Times by their Justin Gillis offered this:

The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.

The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists. True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.

But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.

As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.

Rarely do they mention that most of the warmest years in the historical record have occurred recently. Moreover, their claim depends on careful selection of the starting and ending points. The starting point is almost always 1998, a particularly warm year because of a strong El Niño weather pattern.

Dan Gomez, a long-time friend of over 40 years and a regular contributor to items on Learning from Dogs, wrote in a recent email,

I’m not sure what is meant by “believer”, Paul.  The Universe unfolds as it should.  Because many have been led to “believe” that AGW is inevitable and that all the facts are the ‘Truth”, we’ve created a religious substitute, almost a new “industry” with significant “tithing” obligations, etc. (e.g. Cap and Trade). Presumptions and facts are being manipulated to fulfill the prophecy.

Interesting to note in our daily lives, that weather prediction is very good 24-36 hrs out.  This drops precipitously just a few days out.  More than 7-10 days is nearly impossible. Even though both Europe and the USA have decreased CO2 levels by multiple percentage points over the last 20 years, the rest of the world does not care and the impact is very problematic.  Recently, CO2 gas has increased overall but heat has not. In the past, warming has occurred followed by CO2 levels increasing. Global politics and redistribution of wealth schemes continue to interfere with common sense.

Let’s just deal with the facts as Science reveals its secrets. New information is discovered every day about the interaction of the  Earth/Sun/Atmosphere/Lithosphere/Hydrosphere. New information is learned every day about the Universe.  These are not closed subjects. Climatology, meteorology, geology and solar system dynamics will continue to shape the Earth’s future for millennia to come whether Man is involved or not.

There is much in what Dan writes that has me nodding my head; stimulates my recollection of what Luther Haave and Derek Alker wrote in 2009:

With the explosion of knowledge, particularly in the past 100 years, each of us has found it a requirement for being successful, and to being able to earn a living, to concentrate our knowledge in an ever increasingly narrow field. Just as we have come to expect others to defer to our expertise in our narrow area, we have come to assume that we need to defer to others who have a deeper comprehension of seemingly complex topics such as the science related to climate change. [Apologies, can’t find the web link for this.]

However, if we broaden the perspective from that tight definition of certainty to an analysis of probabilities, then it all changes for me and I can embrace the views so strongly put forward by Martin Lack.

For example, Martin left a comment on Monday, “ACD is not a matter of opinion or belief; it is a matter of probability. As such, all that matters now is the extremely high probability that the scientific consensus is real, reasonable and reliable.”  That comment included a link to a discussion on the website Skeptical Science, Is the science settled? Let me quote from that:

Some aspects of the science of AGW are known with near 100% certainty. The greenhouse effect itself is as established a phenomenon as any: it was discovered in the 1820s and the basic physics was essentially understood by the 1950s. There is no reasonable doubt that the global climate is warming. And there is also a clear trail of evidence leading to the conclusion that it’s caused by our greenhouse gas emissions. Some aspects are less certain; for example, the net effect of aerosol pollution is known to be negative, but the exact value needs to be better constrained.

What about the remaining uncertainties? Shouldn’t we wait for 100% certainty before taking action? Outside of logic and mathematics, we do not live in a world of certainties. Science comes to tentative conclusions based on the balance of evidence. The more independent lines of evidence are found to support a scientific theory, the closer it is likely to be to the truth. Just because some details are still not well understood should not cast into doubt our understanding of the big picture: humans are causing global warming.

In most aspects of our lives, we think it rational to make decisions based on incomplete information. We will take out insurance when there is even a slight probability that we will need it. Why should our planet’s climate be any different?

That, ultimately, delivers for me what truly counts.

I am not a scientist; just a Brit living in Southern Oregon trying to make sense of the world while I still have a functioning head and body – time is not on my side! 😉  The powerful common-sense in the sentence, “Outside of logic and mathematics, we do not live in a world of certainties.” is beyond argument.

In the year 2012, the total number of passengers carried by US Airlines and other carriers in and out of the USA was a staggering 815 million people. 815,000,000 people!

Remember the sub-heading from the start of this post!  “If there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt!” Years ago I heard that from Bob Derham, a long-time friend and a commercial airline Captain since the time God was a boy!  It’s that cautious, safety-focused attitude that has made airline transport such an amazing mode of transport for all those millions of passengers.

Should we not travel with the same cautious, safety-focused attitude on the ‘vehicle’ that carries every man, woman and child; every animal, plant and living thing: Planet Earth!

The answer is obvious – more than obvious!

Plus ça change – sequel

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).

As I wrote yesterday, “… out of curiosity I wondered what I had published a year ago, in early February 2012.  To my amazement what was published was as fresh and relevant as if it had been published today.

So here’s the second part of that trilogy of posts from February, 2012.  (It reads in its original form with the links and references unchanged.)

oooOOOooo

Climate, truth and integrity, part two

Continuing from Part One last Friday.

Last Friday I started re-publishing the wonderful comments that had appeared on Climate Sight in response to a question that I had raised, namely,

While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

If you are not familiar with those WSJ and Daily Mail items, then you will need to go back to Friday’s Post.

So moving on.

The third response was from chrisd3, here’s what he wrote,

Paul, here is the Met Office’s response, which begins, “[The Daily Mail] article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.”

Here is Deltoid taking David Rose apart on some earlier pieces:

And NASA never said anything about the Thames freezing over. Rose just made that bit up.

Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU:

From this, it is pretty clear why Rose chooses 15 years as his starting point: 1997-1998 was the time of the largest El Nino ever recorded, resulting in a huge temperature spike. Using that as the starting point for a temperature comparison is absolutely classic cherry-picking.

And in any event, you can’t say anything about trends in noisy data by simply comparing two arbitrary points. That is not a valid way to analyze the data (especially if you pick an obvious outlier as your starting point!). It is like trying to say whether the tide is coming in or going out by looking at the height of two waves. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to look at the long-term trend to remove the noise.

Let me take you to that Met Office response (and I’m republishing it in full).

Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.

For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.

“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record  for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”

Global average temperatures from 1850 to 2011 from the three individual global temperature datasets (Met Office/UEA HadCRUT3, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC)

Furthermore despite criticism of a paper published by the Met Office he chose not to ask us to respond to his misconceptions. The study in question, supported by many others, provides an insight into the sensitivity of our climate to changes in the output of the sun.

It confirmed that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The study found that the expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).  In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

Back to that response from chrisd3.  He offered this, “Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU.”  Here is that chart, remember we are looking at Global temperatures.

Global temperature trend

OK, between this Post and my Post last Friday, you probably get the message!  There were many other contributions and I could go on and on quoting the great responses I got, all of them uniformly saying there IS global warming unprecedented in recent years.  The message is crystal clear and those who wish to deny the evidence … well, I can’t come up with a polite term, so will just leave it at that!

My final contribution is from Martin Lack, author of the Blog Lack of Environment, and a good friend of Learning from Dogs.  Here is what he wrote in a recent email,

You may have seen my latest response to How much is most?

When I eventually saw your earlier comment, I was surprised and disappointed in equal measure because I almost feel that I have failed in some way. Let me explain:  Unlike ClimateSight and SkepticalScience, which both do an excellent job of focusing on the science of climate change, my blog is deliberately focused on the politics underlying the denial of all environmental our problems; including 2 key aspects to my MA dissertation, namely the political misuse of scepticism; and the psychology of denial.  See my How to be a Climate Change ‘Sceptic’  for more detail.

Therefore, although not specifically categorised as such, just about everything I have posted is traceable back to Paul and Anne Ehrlich’sBetrayal of Science and Reason (1996) and/or Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s Merchants of Doubt (2010).  For someone who does not currently go to any Church, I am remarkably fond of quoting Scripture so, if necessary, please forgive me but, as the Good Book says:  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Therefore, I do not think you should be surprised by the amount of misinformation and misrepresentation contained in the original WSJ Sixteen’s article; and/or the fact that denialist arguments are repeated no matter how many times they have been shown to be false.  Furthermore, I would warn against trying to summarise it all on Learning from Dogs.  This is definitely Book territory and, in addition to the two mentioned above, the market is already saturated by the likes of Climate Change Cover-up by James Hoggan and Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook.

With very best wishes for a fog-free future,

What to say to close these two Posts off?  Frankly, it’s difficult to know how to pitch it.  The science seems clear beyond reasonable doubt.  But if you are reading this and disagree, then PLEASE offer the science to refute the conclusions presented here.  I promise you that I will present it on Learning from Dogs.

So let me end with a simple photograph.

Earthrise

This is the photograph that wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called, “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”

The now world-famous photograph was taken by Astronaut William Anders from Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, a little over 43 years ago on December 24th, 1968.

As the Earth rose above the horizon of the moon, NASA astronaut Frank Borman uttered the words, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”  Bill Anders then took the ‘unscheduled’ photograph.

Now project forward 43 years to the year 2055 and play with the idea of what ‘pretty‘ planet Earth will be like for mankind and so many other species, including our longest companion, the dog, if we don’t get our act together pretty soon!

Cities and forests; the outlook

Just a couple of items that came through my ‘in-box’ in recent times.

From the Payson Roundup newspaper of the 9th October, last.

Southwest forests are already in the early stages of a mega drought brought on by climate change.

Southwest forests are already in the early stages of a mega drought brought on by climate change that will result in massive tree die-offs and sweeping changes in Rim Country forests, according to an analysis published in the scientific journal Climate Change.

Severe drought will dominate much of this century, creating stresses on forests not seen for more than 1,000 years, according to the research that used tree ring samples from 13,000 trees, historical rainfall records and computer projections of future climate change.

The shifts will likely dramatically shrink the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona, replacing pines with junipers at elevations like Payson and replacing junipers with chaparral and cactus at lower elevations.

The article concludes,

Unfortunately, the team’s climate prediction models suggest that within the next 40 years the region will fall deep into mega drought conditions. The models predict that even the wettest, coolest years in the late 21st century will exceed mega drought levels. In that case, the drought conditions of the past decade will prove the new normal rather than a bad stretch.

Williams noted that while winters in the past decade haven’t been exceptionally dry, summer temperatures have soared. As a result, the stress on the trees in the past 13 years has exceeded mega drought levels about 30 percent of the time — conditions not matched for the previous 1,000 years.

Now to a more positive message, this one from Climate Denial Crock of the Week for 10th October, 2012.

One of the clean little secrets about dealing with climate change, is that if we make our cities more efficient, and reduce their carbon footprint, we will also make them more resilient, quieter, more comfortable, more human scaled, more inviting,  and more fun.

For more on this story go to http://www.pbs.org/newshour/topic/climate-change/

As global temperatures rise, urban areas are facing challenges in keeping their infrastructure and their residents cool. Chicago is tackling that problem with a green design makeover. This report is part of our Coping with Climate Change series.

Climate, truth and integrity, part two

Continuing from Part One last Friday.

Last Friday I started re-publishing the wonderful comments that had appeared on Climate Sight in response to a question that I had raised, namely,

While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

If you are not familiar with those WSJ and Daily Mail items, then you will need to go back to Friday’s Post.

So moving on.

The third response was from chrisd3, here’s what he wrote,

Paul, here is the Met Office’s response, which begins, “[The Daily Mail] article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.”

Here is Deltoid taking David Rose apart on some earlier pieces:

And NASA never said anything about the Thames freezing over. Rose just made that bit up.

Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU:

From this, it is pretty clear why Rose chooses 15 years as his starting point: 1997-1998 was the time of the largest El Nino ever recorded, resulting in a huge temperature spike. Using that as the starting point for a temperature comparison is absolutely classic cherry-picking.

And in any event, you can’t say anything about trends in noisy data by simply comparing two arbitrary points. That is not a valid way to analyze the data (especially if you pick an obvious outlier as your starting point!). It is like trying to say whether the tide is coming in or going out by looking at the height of two waves. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to look at the long-term trend to remove the noise.

Let me take you to that Met Office response (and I’m republishing it in full).

Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.

For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.

“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record  for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”

Global average temperatures from 1850 to 2011 from the three individual global temperature datasets (Met Office/UEA HadCRUT3, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC)

Furthermore despite criticism of a paper published by the Met Office he chose not to ask us to respond to his misconceptions. The study in question, supported by many others, provides an insight into the sensitivity of our climate to changes in the output of the sun.

It confirmed that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The study found that the expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).  In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

Back to that response from chrisd3.  He offered this, “Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU.”  Here is that chart, remember we are looking at Global temperatures.

Global temperature trend

OK, between this Post and my Post last Friday, you probably get the message!  There were many other contributions and I could go on and on quoting the great responses I got, all of them uniformly saying there IS global warming unprecedented in recent years.  The message is crystal clear and those who wish to deny the evidence … well, I can’t come up with a polite term, so will just leave it at that!

My final contribution is from Martin Lack, author of the Blog Lack of Environment, and a good friend of Learning from Dogs.  Here is what he wrote in a recent email,

You may have seen my latest response to How much is most?

When I eventually saw your earlier comment, I was surprised and disappointed in equal measure because I almost feel that I have failed in some way. Let me explain:  Unlike ClimateSight and SkepticalScience, which both do an excellent job of focusing on the science of climate change, my blog is deliberately focused on the politics underlying the denial of all environmental our problems; including 2 key aspects to my MA dissertation, namely the political misuse of scepticism; and the psychology of denial.  See my How to be a Climate Change ‘Sceptic’  for more detail.

Therefore, although not specifically categorised as such, just about everything I have posted is traceable back to Paul and Anne Ehrlich’sBetrayal of Science and Reason (1996) and/or Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s Merchants of Doubt (2010).  For someone who does not currently go to any Church, I am remarkably fond of quoting Scripture so, if necessary, please forgive me but, as the Good Book says:  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Therefore, I do not think you should be surprised by the amount of misinformation and misrepresentation contained in the original WSJ Sixteen’s article; and/or the fact that denialist arguments are repeated no matter how many times they have been shown to be false.  Furthermore, I would warn against trying to summarise it all on Learning from Dogs.  This is definitely Book territory and, in addition to the two mentioned above, the market is already saturated by the likes of Climate Change Cover-up by James Hoggan and Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook.

With very best wishes for a fog-free future,

What to say to close these two Posts off?  Frankly, it’s difficult to know how to pitch it.  The science seems clear beyond reasonable doubt.  But if you are reading this and disagree, then PLEASE offer the science to refute the conclusions presented here.  I promise you that I will present it on Learning from Dogs.

So let me end with a simple photograph.

Earthrise

This is the photograph that wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called, “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”

The now world-famous photograph was taken by Astronaut William Anders from Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, a little over 43 years ago on December 24th, 1968.

As the Earth rose above the horizon of the moon, NASA astronaut Frank Borman uttered the words, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”  Bill Anders then took the ‘unscheduled’ photograph.

Now project forward 43 years to the year 2055 and play with the idea of what ‘pretty‘ planet Earth will be like for mankind and so many other species, including our longest companion, the dog, if we don’t get our act together pretty soon!

Global climate confusion, part two.

More on the many and varied approaches to this complex subject.  Again, a long piece which, dear reader, I hope you will stay with.

As I wrote in response to Per Kurowski’s comment on yesterday’s Part One of this article, ” I am reminded of the saying that in war the first casualty is truth. It ‘feels’a lot like that in this scenario.

Part Two isn’t attempting to indicate the truth, just the many opinions out there.

First, let me quote an email that Patrice sent to me late last night,

Hi Paul!

I think that the propaganda from the fossil fuel and other feudal plutocracies have confused the issue. The primary problem is not “climate change” (aka planetary heating/broiling).I am not confused, because it’s NOT about climate change. Climate change is a second order effect. It may, or may not happen, short term.

The gist of my essay is that climate change will NOT happen, short term, if the sun cools down spectacularly, as it did TWICE in the last five centuries (~ Little Ice Age).

The way to look at things correctly, thus, is CO2 POISONING. Even if the sun cooled down spectacularly, as I emphasized, the ACIDIFICATION of the oceans would proceed unabated. After killing the oceans, if the sun goes back to normal, the greenhouse would rebound enormously.

Although I did not speak of it in that particular essay, we now know the rate of CO2 in the atmosphere, through shell formation in the ocean, for at least 20 million years (and soon at least 100 million; the method should work for half a billion years!). Thus we know the level of CO2 equivalent is the highest in 20 million years (although some have claimed that transitory fluxes much higher than that have occured, from volcanoes; that would not be a problem, as a high flux does not allow storage in the oceans!)

Feel free to quote from this, I just thought of this formulation now, and it may help clarify matters (and it is clearly the idea of the essay).  BTW, let me emphasize that my essay explains why FLOODING, by no means certain on a proxymal massive scale, is, however a clear possibility. London under water seems even a near certainty on the scale of a century (but for enormous works, requiring huge energy!)

Patrice

OK, a useful footnote to yesterday’s piece.  But then if one goes back to Patrice’s original article on his Blog on 31st May, 2009 and reads the comments, you find this, (and I’m going to quote entirely from Mr Day’s comments).

Barry Day says

(QUOTE)What does this mean? We should be cooling down, because the sun’s output has been going down as much as an astounding 6% in some frequencies. But, nevertheless, the lower troposphere has been warming up (END QUOTE)

Ever heard of lag?

“New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.”

“This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.”  From Pysorg.com of November 10th, 2009.

Then Barry Day looks at earthquakes,

From EARTHQUAKES – WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM TRENDS?

“Apart from the “long-term” trends shown above, which show an ongoing persistent increase, it is perhaps more stark to record that earthquakes across the planet show a marked increase in activity since 1997. There are more major earthquakes occurring now, and this on an ever more frequent basis.”

From Worldwide Earthquakes [Magnitude 6 to 9.9] have increased by 47 percent in under 3 decades

“A total of  1,085 earthquakes measuring magnitude 6 or greater occurred between 1980 to 1989, averaging 109 per year over the decade. In the 1990s the decadal total increased to 1,492 averaging at 149 major earthquake  per year over the period.

Since January 1, 2000 [ see table below for the date and time] a total of 1,438 major earthquakes have so far occurred worldwide raising the annual total over the last 9 years to 160 with more than 12 and a half months to go to the decade’s end.

The increase from 109 to 160 major earthquakes per year in the 1980 to 2008 period translates to a rise  of 47 percent in just under three decades.” [This reference is dated December 13th, 2008, before the Japanese earthquake, Ed.]

The Barry Day goes on to highlight these references,

From MISTAKES IN IPCC GLOBAL WARMING CALCULATIONS

Abstract
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007. Here we show that the accurate value for climate sensitivity is 0.277 K/(W/m^2), which is 3 times smaller than the generally accepted value of 0.8 K/(W/m^2). Thus the climate change on doubling CO2 from 300 ppm to 600 ppm will be 1.0 degree, not 3 degrees. Because the IPCC data show that doubling CO2 will not double absorption of infrared radiation, the Beer-Lambert law is not being followed, because of diminishing returns after more-than-50% absorption.

[This is an extremely difficult essay for a non-scientist to follow.  All I can do is to include the source of the article, as below, Ed.]

This article by Roger Taguchi, 234 Knox Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1G 0K8, e-mail address rtaguchi@sympatico.ca, was posted on Monday Aug. 31, 2009.

Then just a small selection from other items posted by Barry (to see the full extent of Barry’s comments, do go to Patrice’s original post here).

Scientists stumble across huge underwater mountain 29 May 09 – Marine scientists have discovered a massive underwater volcano off Indonesia’s western coast. The 4,600m (15,000ft) mountain spans 30 miles at its base, with its summit some 1,300 meters below the surface. Its discovery was “completely unexpected.”
————–
Galapagos volcano erupts – lava flowing into the ocean 12 Apr 09 – Again, we have 2,150-degree lava pouring into the ocean – ten times the boiling point – and we keep blaming humans for heating the seas.
————–
Underwater volcano building new mountain 7 May 09 – “An active underwater volcano near the island of Guam erupts so frequently that it has built a new cone 131ft high (13 stories) and 984ft wide in just three years.
————–
Undersea volcanic eruption in Tonga heating the water? 19 Mar 09 – Sea Surface Temperature (SST) maps show a warm anomaly in the Tonga that extends off to the east. Is that a result of the underwater volcano, or just a coincidence?
————–
Underwater volcano erupts off Tonga 19 Mar 09 – Spectacular columns of steam and smoke spewed out of the seaabout 6 miles (10 km) from the main island of Tongatapu – an area where up to36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. Large
amounts of pumice from the volcanowill likely clog beaches on the southern coast of nearby Fiji islands shortly.
————–
Global warming may be caused by underwater volcanoes (Which I’ve been saying for years) 8 Dec 08 – A new study shows that the rise in land temperatures can be tied directly to increased heat and humidity coming from warmer oceans, which in turn may be caused solely by natural forces, including underwater volcanoes.
————–
Ocean Floor Geysers Warming The Seas (And we wonder why the oceans are warming) 22 Sep 08 – “It’s like finding Old Faithful in Illinois. When we went out to try to get a feel for how much heat was coming from the ocean floor and
how much sea water might be moving through it, we found that there was much more heat than we expected at the outcrops.”
————–
Geothermal heat may be melting the Greenland glaciers Nov 2007 – “Hansen’s model is wrong! In reality, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets occupy deep basins, and cannot slide down a plane. Furthermore glacial flow depends on stress as well as temperature, and much of the ice sheets are well below melting point.
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World’s deepest chain of undersea volcanoes to be explored 1 Sep 08 — Scientists at the National Oceanography Centre are set to explore the world’s deepest undersea volcanoes five kilometers beneath the Caribbean.
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‘Black smokers’ found in Arctic Ocean 4 Aug 08 – Jets of searingly hot water spewing up from the sea floor have been discovered in a far-northern zone of the Arctic Ocean, Swiss-based scientists announced Monday.
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Boiling Hot Water Found in Frigid Arctic Sea 24 Jul 08 – “Many miles inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found
vents of scalding liquid rising out of the seafloor at temperatures that are more than twice the boiling point of water.
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Undersea volcanic activity blamed for mass extinction 93 million years ago 16 Jul 08 – Researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, find evidence of underwater volcanism in rocks dating to a mass extinction 93 million years ago.
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Huge Underwater Volcanoes in the Arctic Ocean, but scientists see no significant connection to melting ice? 27 Jun 08 – The eruptions discharge large amounts of carbon dioxide, helium, trace metals and heat into the water over long distances, but scientists see no significant connection to melting ice.
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Giant Undersea Volcano Found Off Iceland (And we wonder why the oceans are warming) 22 Apr 08 – It’s an active volcano that rises about 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) above the surrounding sections, coming within 1,300 feet (400 meters) of the surface.
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Hawaiian volcano pumping more lava than usual into the ocean 5 Jul 08 – The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Saturday that Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is pumping more lava than usual into the ocean.
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Magma May Be Melting Greenland Ice
18 Dec 07 – I added another article to this posting
13 Dec 07 – Scientists have found at least one natural-magma hotspot under the Greenland Ice Sheet where heat from Earth’s insides could seep through,
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Arctic seabed afire with lava-spewing volcanoes 25 Jun 08 – Red-hot magma has been rising from deep inside the earth
and blown the tops off dozens of submarine volcanoes, four kilometers below the ice. And we wonder what is melting the ice.
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Underwater Volcanic Eruptions, Not Meteor, May Have Killed Dinosaurs New discovery validates theories in Not by Fire but by Ice 30 Oct 07 – “A series of monumental volcanic eruptions in India may have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, not a meteor impact in the Gulf of Mexico.

Then Barry adds another comment,

We’ve forgotten that this isn’t the first time our seas have warmed. Sea temperatures also shot upward 10º to 18ºF just prior to the last ice age.

As the oceans warmed, evaporation increased. The excess moisture then fell to the ground as giant blizzards, giant storms and floods (Noah’s Deluge type floods), and a new ice age began.

The same thing is happening today.

It’s not global warming, it’s ocean warming, and humans have nothing to do with it. Our seas are being heated, I believe, by underwater volcanism. Here’s why:

We are living in a period of vastly increased volcanism, said Dixy Lee Ray in her 1993 book Environmental Overkill, the greatest in 500 years. Eighty percent of all volcanism (say experts at NOAA) occurs underwater. Therefore, underwater volcanism should also be the greatest in 500 years.

Our seas, heated by underwater volcanism, are leading us directly into the next ice age . . . and we don’t even know it.
That’s what El Niño is all about. Warmer seas send excess moisture into the sky, leading to increased precipitation.
Worldwide flood activity is the worst since before Christopher Columbus. In Poland, it’s the worst in several thousand years. In the U.S., precipitation has increased 20 percent just since 1970. This is no coincidence.

When that precipitation begins falling in the winter, you have the makings of an ice age.

Here are some further references,

From the Nature website of 29th March, 2001,

South America’s oldest trees give up the ghost of climate past.

They’ve been dead for over 50,000 years, but South America’s longest-living trees still have a few tales to tell. A new study of the growth rings of partially fossilized trees in southern Chile hints that the global climate before the last ice age was rather like today’s.

Barry mentions Kavachi Island and I did a quick search and came up with this.

From Wikipedia,

Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the south-west Pacific Ocean. Located south of Vangunu Island in the Solomon Islands, it is named after a sea god of the New Georgia Group islanders, and is also referred to locally as Rejo te Kavachi (“Kavachi’s oven’). The volcano has become emergent and then been eroded back into the sea at least eight times since its first recorded eruption in 1939.

In May 2000, an international research team aboard the CSIRO research vessel FRANKLIN fixed the position of the volcano at 8° 59.65’S, 157° 58.23’E. At that time the vent of the volcano was below sea level, however frequent eruptions were ejecting molten lava up to 70m above sea level, and sulfurous steam plumes up to 500m. The team mapped a roughly conical feature rising from 1,100 m water depth, with the volcano having a basal diameter of about 8 km.

When the volcano erupted in 2003, a 15-meter-high island formed above the surface, but it disappeared soon after. Additional eruptive activity was observed and reported in March 2004 and April 2007.

Kavachi erupting May 14th, 2000.

Barry then looks as CO2 levels, he writes,

Carbon dioxide
If today’s rising carbon dioxide are caused by humans, what caused the dramatic rise in CO2 levels at the dinosaur extinction?

It was a matter of a moment’s search to find this, from Ice Age Now, Home Page here

If today’s rising carbon dioxide are caused by humans, then what caused the dramatic rise in CO2 levels at the dinosaur extinction? 

Research shows that there was “a sudden and dramatic rise” in carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere at the dinosaur extinction of 65 million years ago. A recent report attributes the rise in CO2 levels to an asteroid impact.
See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2038599.stm

I disagree. I think today’s rise in CO2 levels can be attributed to our warming oceans. After all, the oceans are known as a carbon dioxide “sink,” especially when the water is cold. 

But as the water warms up, it releases CO2 into the atmosphere. This happens in much the same way that a warm bottle of home-brewed root beer will release CO2. And if you give that CO2 no way to escape, the bottle will explode.

We’ve got it backwards. We’ve got cause and effect in reverse.

The CO2 is not causing global warming. Instead, our warming oceans are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

It’s not global warming, it’s ocean warming, and it’s leading us into an ice age.

Finally, Barry offers this,

No Global Warming
“Even with needed corrections, data still don’t show the expected signature of global warming,” says Dr. Roy Spencer, Senior Scientist for Climate Studies NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center.

Unfortunately, the URL that Barry included didn’t function.  But a quick search on the NASA website came up with this,

Contrary Thermometers

Scientists are working to understand why the lower atmosphere isn’t heating up as fast as some global warming models predict.

July 21, 2000 — The question sounds like a Zen koan: How could the globe be warming and not warming at the same time?

That’s the riddle posed to climatologists by satellite and radiosonde data which show that while the Earth’s surface has been warming over the past decades, the lowest layer of the atmosphere shows a weaker warming trend.

The measurements are surprising, because computer simulations of the world’s climate predict that the two lowest layers of the atmosphere — which together form the “troposphere” — should be warming faster than the Earth’s surface.

Read the full article here.  It’s well worth reading and concludes with these closing paragraphs,

Current models suffer from several shortcomings.

For example, clouds are not well represented by the models. The resolution of current models is too coarse for features as small as clouds, Spencer said. Yet clouds clearly play a crucial role in climate due to their influence on humidity, precipitation and albedo (the percentage of solar energy reflected back into space as light).

“The role of clouds is still regarded as one of the biggest uncertainties in global warming predictions,” Spencer said.

The ability of plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the role of soils have only recently been added to the models, and scientists aren’t confident yet of how the models portray these factors, Spencer said.

“While we know that vegetation takes up some of the carbon dioxide we generate from burning of fossil fuels, how that sink of carbon will change in the future is still pretty uncertain,” Spencer said.

Climate models are also limited by the computing power available.

“The global models would be much better if computers were much faster,” Spencer said. “Instead, a lot of approximations are made to make the models simple enough to do climate simulations over the whole globe.

“Unfortunately,” Spencer continued, “we know that many of the processes that are crudely represented are quite non-linear, and so have the potential to respond in unexpected ways.”

The Global Hydrology and Climate Center is a joint venture between government and academia to study the global water cycle and its effect on Earth’s climate. Jointly funded by NASA and its academic partners, and jointly operated by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Center conducts research in a number of critical areas.

Web Links

Global Hydrology and Climate Center — a joint venture between government and academia to study the global water cycle and its effect on Earth’s climate

Measuring the Temperature of Earth From SpaceEven with needed corrections, data still don’t show the expected signature of global warming

December 1997 is Coldest Month on Record in the Stratosphere

Is Earth’s Temperature Up or Down or Both?Scientist’s investigate reasons for temperature trend “disagreements” between layers of the atmosphere

schematic of layers of Earth’s atmosphere

Java tool for global atmospheric temperature mapsexamine atmospheric temperature features

The Global Hydrology and Climate Center

OK, that’s enough from me for today.  Clearly it would take a great time for a layman, such as yours truly, to go through all this material, and more, to determine the truth of it all, to the very best abilities of science.  For the verdict on whether man’s increased generation of CO2 in the atmosphere is having a global effect on the global climate should be in the hands of scientists.

Once science has shown cause and effect then, and only then, should politicians endeavour to offer the way forward for society.

Having said that, there is no reason at all for mankind to maintain the present disconnect from Planet Earth.  Even if the jury is still well and truly out in terms of the effect of CO2 on the atmosphere, the number of other issues that are just as important for our long-term survival are still prodigious.  There’s an old saying in aviation, “If there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt.”