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Thread: Stirring the pudding stick

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Stirring the pudding stick

    The title is a reference to a saying occasionally heard up in the southern Blue Ridge portion of the Appalachian Mountains and essentially refers to stirring up trouble.

    I'm using it wrt an assessment of some of the predictions made about global warming (now often referred to as climate change) back when it first surfaced as an issue in 1988. I've always remained neutral on the issue -- largely accepting that it is taking place at some degree (no pun intended) but has largely been hijacked by extremists who present worst case scenarios as inevitable and hypocrites like Al Gore who maintains a lifestyle that produces a carbon footprint similar to what a small town would cause.

    Anywho...

    From the "anti" side

    Source: Thirty Years On, How Well Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?


    James E. Hansen wiped sweat from his brow. Outside it was a record-high 98 degrees on June 23, 1988, as the NASA scientist testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources during a prolonged heat wave, which he decided to cast as a climate event of cosmic significance. He expressed to the senators his “high degree of confidence” in “a cause-and-effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.”

    With that testimony and an accompanying paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Mr. Hansen lit the bonfire of the greenhouse vanities, igniting a world-wide debate that continues today about the energy structure of the entire planet. President Obama’s environmental policies were predicated on similar models of rapid, high-cost warming. But the 30th anniversary of Mr. Hansen’s predictions affords an opportunity to see how well his forecasts have done—and to reconsider environmental policy accordingly.

    Mr. Hansen’s testimony described three possible scenarios for the future of carbon dioxide emissions. He called Scenario A “business as usual,” as it maintained the accelerating emissions growth typical of the 1970s and ’80s. This scenario predicted the earth would warm 1 degree Celsius by 2018. Scenario B set emissions lower, rising at the same rate today as in 1988. Mr. Hansen called this outcome the “most plausible,” and predicted it would lead to about 0.7 degree of warming by this year. He added a final projection, Scenario C, which he deemed highly unlikely: constant emissions beginning in 2000. In that forecast, temperatures would rise a few tenths of a degree before flatlining after 2000.

    Thirty years of data have been collected since Mr. Hansen outlined his scenarios—enough to determine which was closest to reality. And the winner is Scenario C. Global surface temperature has not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger-than-usual El Niño of 2015-16. Assessed by Mr. Hansen’s model, surface temperatures are behaving as if we had capped 18 years ago the carbon-dioxide emissions responsible for the enhanced greenhouse effect. But we didn’t. And it isn’t just Mr. Hansen who got it wrong. Models devised by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have, on average, predicted about twice as much warming as has been observed since global satellite temperature monitoring began 40 years ago.

    What about Mr. Hansen’s other claims? Outside the warming models, his only explicit claim in the testimony was that the late ’80s and ’90s would see “greater than average warming in the southeast U.S. and the Midwest.” No such spike has been measured in these regions.

    As observed temperatures diverged over the years from his predictions, Mr. Hansen doubled down. In a 2007 case on auto emissions, he stated in his deposition that most of Greenland’s ice would soon melt, raising sea levels 23 feet over the course of 100 years. Subsequent research published in Nature magazine on the history of Greenland’s ice cap demonstrated this to be impossible. Much of Greenland’s surface melts every summer, meaning rapid melting might reasonably be expected to occur in a dramatically warming world. But not in the one we live in. The Nature study found only modest ice loss after 6,000 years of much warmer temperatures than human activity could ever sustain.

    Several more of Mr. Hansen’s predictions can now be judged by history. Have hurricanes gotten stronger, as Mr. Hansen predicted in a 2016 study? No. Satellite data from 1970 onward shows no evidence of this in relation to global surface temperature. Have storms caused increasing amounts of damage in the U.S.? Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show no such increase in damage, measured as a percentage of gross domestic product. How about stronger tornadoes? The opposite may be true, as NOAA data offers some evidence of a decline. The list of what didn’t happen is long and tedious.


    The problem with Mr. Hansen’s models—and the U.N.’s—is that they don’t consider more-precise measures of how aerosol emissions counter warming caused by greenhouse gases. Several newer climate models account for this trend and routinely project about half the warming predicted by U.N. models, placing their numbers much closer to observed temperatures. The most recent of these was published in April by Nic Lewis and Judith Curry in the Journal of Climate, a reliably mainstream journal.

    These corrected climate predictions raise a crucial question: Why should people world-wide pay drastic costs to cut emissions when the global temperature is acting as if those cuts have already been made?

    On the 30th anniversary of Mr. Hansen’s galvanizing testimony, it’s time to acknowledge that the rapid warming he predicted isn’t happening. Climate researchers and policy makers should adopt the more modest forecasts that are consistent with observed temperatures.

    That would be a lukewarm policy, consistent with a lukewarming planet.




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    And from the "pro" side"

    Source: Listening to James Hansen on Climate Change, Thirty Years Ago and Now


    n June 23, 1988—a blisteringly hot day in Washington, D.C.—James Hansen told a Senate committee that “the greenhouse effect has been detected and is changing our climate now.” At the time, Hansen was the head of nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and though his testimony was certainly not the first official warning about the “greenhouse effect”—a report to President Lyndon Johnson, in 1965, predicted “measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate” in the decades to follow—it was the first to receive national news coverage. The Times ran the story at the top of the front page, with a graph showing a long-term rise in average global temperatures.

    This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of Hansen’s testimony, and it would be hard to think of a more lugubrious milestone. In the intervening three decades, nearly half of the Arctic ice cap has melted away, the oceans have acidified, much of the American West has burned, lower Manhattan, South Florida, Houston, and New Orleans have flooded, and average temperatures have continued to climb. Just last week, a team of scientists reported in Nature that the rate of melt off Antarctica has tripled in the past decade; as the Washington Post put it, “If that continues, we are in serious trouble.” (Were the Antarctic ice to melt away entirely, global sea levels would rise by two hundred feet; if just the more vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea levels would rise by about ten feet.) Also last week, scientists reported that most of Africa’s oldest baobab trees have died, probably because of climate change, and last month researchers showed that rising CO2 levels were reducing the nutrient content of rice, which is probably the single most important food source for people. Yet Washington continues to ignore the problem, or, worse still, to actively impede efforts to address it. How can this be?

    A possible answer, which seems to be the one that Hansen himself, at least in part, subscribes to, is that scientists are to blame. Hansen is now seventy-seven and retired from nasa. He recently told the Associated Press that he regrets not being “able to make this story clear enough for the public.” Many climate scientists seem similarly to believe that they are not good at conveying information to lay audiences, and, as a result, dozens of Web sites and several whole organizations have been created to help them communicate better.

    As someone who has interviewed a lot of climate scientists—including, on several occasions, Hansen—I can attest that, as a group, they are not particularly good at expressing themselves. (I once wrote a Profile of Hansen, and watched him lose even audiences predisposed to adore him.) But thirty years into the so-called climate debate—fifty-three years, if you go back to the report to L.B.J.—I also think it’s time to put this particular story line to rest.

    Back in 1988, just about the only information available on climate change was written in the dry-as-standard-deviations style of academic science. The following year, Bill McKibben published the first book on the subject aimed at a popular audience, “The End of Nature.” Since then, more generally accessible books have been written on the climate than even the most avid reader could possibly keep up with; these include kids’ books, comic books, and even a coloring book. Meanwhile, countless newspaper and magazine articles, television specials, and documentaries have appeared on the topic. Above all, climate change has become obvious. You don’t need to read or watch or hear about it; in many parts of the world, all you have to do is look around. The southwestern United States, for instance, is currently experiencing such a severe drought that water restrictions are in place and many national forests are closed. “Thirty years ago, we may have seen this coming as a train in the distance,” Deke Arndt, the chief of climate monitoring at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration center in Asheville, North Carolina, recently told the A.P. “The train is in our living room now.”

    Instead of using this anniversary to lament the failures of climate scientists, I’d like to propose that we use it to celebrate—well, “celebrate” probably isn’t quite the right word, but maybe recognize—their successes. Three decades ago, led by Hansen, they made a series of predictions; for the most part these have proved to be spectacularly accurate. That we, the general public, have failed to act on these predictions says a lot more about us than it does about them.

    I happened to interview Hansen last year, for a video project. I asked him if he had a message for young people. “The simple thing is, I’m sorry we’re leaving such a fsmiley bleep.gif mess,” he said. Could the message be any clearer than that?



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    Let the games commence

    I'm always still in trouble again

    You're by far the worst poster on TWeb -- starlight

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Global surface temperature has not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger-than-usual El Niño of 2015-16.
    I can say with a fair degree of certainty that this statement, from the anti editorial, is false. And it seems that it's the entire crux of their argument.

    EDIT: my guess is that either they're using the satellite record (which isn't actually the surface temperature), or arbitrarily cherry picking the year 2000 rather than, say, 1998 when Hansen testified, in order to get something that's almost but not quite statistically significant. Both of those are assuming that they're making the effort to be technically correct.
    Last edited by TheLurch; 06-23-2018 at 04:47 PM.

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    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Incidentally, for people interested in a detailed analysis of how Hansen's predictions are holding up to the data, the head of NASA's GISS has written a detailed blog post on it.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...ny/#more-21478

    The TL;DR in visual form:

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    tWebber HMS_Beagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLurch View Post
    I can say with a fair degree of certainty that this statement, from the anti editorial, is false. And it seems that it's the entire crux of their argument.
    Quite a bit of the anti article is demonstrably false. .

    For example, their claim about the Greenland ice sheets not melting significantly is 100% bogus. Greenland’s ice is melting much faster than we thought

    The claim that global warming isn't making hurricanes stronger / more destructive is false. The additional destructive power of Hurricane Harvey last year which clobbered Houston was conclusively linked to extra atmospheric moisture from AGW. Hurricane Harvey Links to Ocean Heat Content and Climate Change Adaptation

    The claim about the Lewis and Curry model being the new "correct" one is also empty propaganda. Judith Curry is well known for her anti-climate change stance and this latest work has not been accepted by the large majority of the climate community. Judy Curry’s attribution non-argument.

    Most of the anti article is standard boiler-plate climate change denier BS, the same garbage you get from anti-science websites like Watts UpWithThat.

  6. #6
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLurch View Post
    Incidentally, for people interested in a detailed analysis of how Hansen's predictions are holding up to the data, the head of NASA's GISS has written a detailed blog post on it.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...ny/#more-21478

    The TL;DR in visual form:
    If I understand it correctly it looks like the observations are between scenarios B & C (being slightly closer to B) which really isn't that far off what the anti story claimed (that scenario C is "closest to reality").

    I'm always still in trouble again

    You're by far the worst poster on TWeb -- starlight

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    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    If I understand it correctly it looks like the observations are between scenarios B & C (being slightly closer to B) which really isn't that far off what the anti story claimed (that scenario C is "closest to reality").
    I was mostly using that in reference to the claim that there's been no significant temperature change, but i now see i wasn't at all clear about that.

    If you read the article it came from, you'd find that the Hansen projections were made prior to the Montreal Protocol, and thus assumed significant CFC emissions. CFCs are greenhouse gasses, so we were on track for larger emissions at the time. Scenarios A and B reflect that, C assumes we limit their emissions. The WSJ editorial doesn't mention this at all.

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