Why global warming is not natural - U...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Global Warming and Other Environmental Threats: Why global warming is not natural - Update on Global Warming 2-19-2005
Author: admin
Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 2:29 pm
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February 19, 2005

Why global warming is not natural

By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent
Report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science

THE strongest evidence yet that global warming has been triggered by human activity has emerged from a study of rising temperatures in the oceans.
The rise in marine temperatures — by an average of 0.5C (0.9F) in 40 years — can be explained only if greenhouse gas emissions are responsible, research has shown. The results are so compelling that they should end controversy about the causes of climate change, one of the scientists who led the study said yesterday.

“The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over, at least for rational people,” said Tim Barnett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. “The models got it right. If a politician stands up and says the uncertainty is too great to believe these models, that is no longer tenable.”

Dr Barnett’s team examined seven million observations of temperature, salinity and other variables in the world’s oceans collected by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and compared the patterns with those predicted by computer models of potential causes of climate change.

Natural variation in the Earth’s climate, or changes in solar activity or volcanic eruptions, which have been suggested as alternative explanations for rising temperatures, could not explain the data collected in the real world. Models based on man-made emissions of greenhouse gases matched the observations almost precisely.

“What absolutely nailed it was the greenhouse model,” Dr Barnett told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington. Two models, one designed in Britain and one here in the US, got it almost exactly. We were stunned.”

Climate change has affected the seas in different ways in different parts of the world: in the Atlantic, rising temperatures can be observed up to 2,300ft below the surface, while in the Pacific the warming is seen only up to 330ft down.

Only the greenhouse models replicated the changes that have been observed in practice. “All the potential culprits have been ruled out except one,” Dr Barnett said.

The results, which are about to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, should increase pressure on the US Administration to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force this week, he said. “It is time for nations that are not part of Kyoto to re-evaluate and see if it would be to their advantage to join,” he said. “The debate is not — have we got a clear global warming signal; the debate is — what we are going to do about it.”

In a separate study a team led by Ruth Curry, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Connecticut, has established that 20,000 sq km of freshwater ice melted in the Arctic between 1965 and 1995. Further melting on this scale could be sufficient to turn off the ocean currents that drive the Gulf Stream, which keeps Britain up to 6C warmer than it would otherwise be.

Author: John
Monday, December 05, 2005 - 4:11 pm
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Where is this evidence? Where will it be published? I'm very interested.

I am, by nature, an environmentalist. I think we should sign the Kyoto Protocol. I am all for reduction of pollution. I am also a skeptic of any and all science, even if it agrees with my moral stances, as it is my job as a scientist.

The billions of years the earth has gone through cycles of heating and cooling with atmospheric/oceanic CO2 , species rising and falling...billions of years...billions of years...BILLIONS OF YEARS. Yes, we are going through a global warming period, no doubt. Yes, it will cause havoc to many people/ecosystems/etc... Is the burning of fossil fuels the sole cause? It's pretty ignorant to simplify such a cause considering the miniscule amount of time and proper data we've had to make such a sweeping statement.

Which came first? The CO2 or the heat? The ocean is one of the largest CO2 sinks on this earth...what happens to your soda when it gets warmer? Less fizzy eh? Also, the limiting factor of most plant's growth is CO2 ...sort of a buffer for atmospheric change. Now we just need to stop chopping all the damned forests down.

Don't want to get folks upset, I'm the devil's advocate. Just give it some critical thought for yourself. There are liars, damn liars, and statiticians. My friends get downright angry at me now if this subject comes up. It's like Obi Wan Keenobi once said "You'll find the things we hold onto the strongest are those of our own opinion." Well said Obi.


Author: Larry
Monday, December 05, 2005 - 7:46 pm
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Glad to hear you're "very interested" in the evidence for global warming, John. Google "evidence for global warming" and you will get 7 million references. Google "evidence for global warming" and you get 4 million hits. Use all your scientific training and powers of critical analysis to evaluate the numerous and increasing volume of studies. Then get a bucket and some sawdust to take immediate action for the Earth by composting your humanure. If there is human-induced unnaturally rapid global warming, you'll be part of the solution. If the warming trend is just a natural cycle, you'll avoid making it worse.

Author: John
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 7:53 am
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Hi Larry,

You'll always find what you want to find, it just may not be the truth. Google "Elvis is alive" and you'll come up with over 2 million references.

I do my part Larry, no need for the synicism. Just read the references (if you're really interested), study up on some Geology and you might also see that it's not exact science.

BTW, I'm not proposing a laissez faire attitude about our environment and our pollution, quite the contrary. I am a concerned, educated, environmentalist.

Author: Larry
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 6:17 pm
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Certainly the science of global climate change is not exact. Point granted. But there seems to be increasing evidence that various wasteful human activities may be accelerating widespread climate changes. There is enough official concern that delegates from many countries are convening in Montreal now to support the Kyoto protocol. Sure would be great if the US leadership stepped up to the plate with some positive contributions, rather than more stonewalling. Meanwhile, composting humanure is a positive step many of us can take beyond talk.

I made a little mistake in my Google searching yesterday. Evidence for global warming gets 7 million hits, evidence AGAINST nets 4 million. I checked out "Elvis is alive," you're correct, there were 2,100,000 hits. But "Elvis is dead" shows nearly 5 million! Granted, it's not peer-reviewed science, but the trends fit my perception.

Author: John
Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 9:31 am
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I agree with everything in your last post. My largest objective in responding was to point out that it is dangerous to talk as if scientific hypothesis is theory or even law.

Global warming is a theory, with many, many studies having shown the relative heating and cooling of the earth. That is a natural phenonenem. No question. The issue I have however, is most of the public assumes when they hear "global warming" that this is a unique, catastophic event that could be avoided if we all stop burning fossil fuels.

It had always cracked me up when you'd hear of a non-profit's sole cause is to "Stop Global Warming" ...good luck. We may (if we are accelerating the trend) slow the process, maybe...but we will never "Stop Global Warming". It's kind of like saying "let's stop the ice-age from happening again" or "let's stop the poles from shifting again, it'll be too much of a hassle".
Too many people are confused about the history of this earth.

That being said, I believe we should do all we can to cut emissions, participate with the Kyoto protocol, compost, recycle, and educate ourselves more about our planet. It is, after all, the same soil, water, air and shelter we need to stay happy, healthy and alive. I have made it my passion and my daily job to progress on such things.

People will often tell me, "Well, at least people believe that we should cut emissions, it can't do any harm" or "If the public is misinformed, wouldn't you want them to be on this side of the fence?". Well, yes and no. If we had everyone blindly beleiving that we are the sole cause of this occurance (global warming), and put all of our efforts, every day into cutting emmisions to prevent this from happening...and global warming still happened...? Wouldn't you maybe work toward a response for such a thing if you knew it was going to happen anyways? Instead of mass hysteria, shouldn't we start looking at things to do to work with nature and prepare? Global warming is occuring, and will continue to occur with or without us.

As far as searching Google for what you want...the trends are exactly what I would have suspected. The media is giving us just what we want. I have yet to see a newspaper article that intelligently discusses the history of natural cycles of the earth along with global warming ...that's not what we want to hear. Google will only find what is available to it including extreme liberals' and extreme conservatives' nut case web-blogs. Your perception of the truth should not be googled.

That being said, I do appreciate level-headed discussions of this nature. In general, people can get downright hostile if you encourage them to think outside of their already accepted views. Cheers, John

Author: admin
Friday, December 09, 2005 - 5:36 pm
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Why couldn't the changes and fluctuations in the planet's temperature over the eons have been caused by organisms that lived on the planet, perhaps ones that had grown out of balance (plankton, dinosaurs, algae, humans)? It is entirely plausible that the planet's atmosphere can be changed by the things that live on it - after all, those living things have largely created our existing atmosphere. Since it is the atmosphere that captures the heat from the sun, it stands to reason that changes in the atmosphere could be caused by life on the planet and that those changes could induce the planet to grow warmer (or cooler). If a life-form on the planet grows too much (or too little?), the resulting effect can be atmospheric change and thus global climate change. In other words, just because the climate has changed drastically in eons past, doesn't mean those changes were not caused by a species or group of species living on the planet at the time. If we are causing the current climate changes and are aware of it, we may be the first species to have achieved a level of self-awareness that could allow us to alter the course we have set the planet upon.

Author: John
Monday, December 12, 2005 - 8:49 am
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It's entirely possible; I won't dispute that. However, it could be: Solar activity, volcanic activity, disturbance in our orbit pattern, a change in the currents of the magma swirling around beneath us, and numerous other events that have happened over the eons.

If the changes in the planet's temperature were caused by population dynamics (entirely plausible), and we were able to control our emissions, and it, in fact, was our contribution of CO2 (13% contributor) that was causing this warming trend, well I supose we could stop global warming...but thats a lot of "ifs".

My point is, as I mentioned before, it is dangerous to talk of scientific hypothesis as theory or even law. Even so, science texts change every year. It's not the basket, I think, we should put all of our eggs in.


P.S. Not mentioned often...water vapor. How come we don't hear much of this gas contribution? It makes up for over 90% of greenhouse gases, it reflects back (to the earth) more solar radiation in the atmosphere than any other constituent, yet is seldom mentioned? It's just not as scary...and we can't pin it on something...and we can do very little to control it.

Author: AnnieLeighton
Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 6:15 pm
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Playing devil's advocate is a form of fence-sitting.
It's an easy way to feign interest in and knowledge about an issue while not having to exert oneself or to lose face.
Scientists are vulnerable to alienation from their kind if they back an unpopular theory.
Scientists are just as subject to parrotry and pack mentality as any other group. The more strongly a person identifies himself with a particular group, the more he has to surrender his objectivity, unique perspective, personal power and integrity; however, he becomes more valuable to the group.
Isn't it best to keep all this in mind when considering assertions from either iconoclasts or conformists? Knowledge disseminated from a single source or body is akin to propaganda if it can't or won't withstand scrutiny.
There are individuals who have stronger intellect, more common sense and keener vision on a topic, than an entire group designed to work on it.
Remember the emperor with no clothes and the unconformist child who simply stated so?
John said that he is a concerned, educated scientist. Seen from his perspective, that may be relatively true. More likely, he can't distinguish between memorizing the facts he was spoonfed in a classroom and the originality, initiative AND education of a greater mind. I've heard enough from the safe, smug masses. Now, I want to hear from the courageous.

Author: John
Monday, December 19, 2005 - 1:06 pm
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You tried so hard to sound smart, you lost me. In fact, you lost yourself in all of that garbage. What is it, other than slander, that you are trying to say? Contradictions abound in your post.

I am trying to discuss the topic described at the head of these posts. If you'd like to join the discussion, please do so.

Author: Herb
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - 2:32 pm
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I remain sceptical that man is the main cause. There is so much BS out there.

For example, a couple days ago I heard some global warming "expert" with new "scientific" findings say that we're facing climate change unlike anything in the past 2 million years.

What he failed to mention is that just a mere 10,000 years ago there was a continental glacier sitting over a great part of North America that was a couple miles thick!

Two million years nothing. How about only 10,000 years to find a RADICALLY different climate right here.

This planet's climate has never been stable but has been swinging back and forth and up and down since the dawn of time.

My 2 cents.

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