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Old 07-09-2013, 20:09   #16
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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Fortunately, there is enough natural gas (I am told) to power the world for a few centuries, and it is pretty clean. As with most energy sources, the challenge is distribution.
Can natural gas help tackle global warming? A primer | WASHINGTON POST
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1) Producing electricity from natural gas is less carbon-intensive than producing it from coal…
2) But the production of natural gas also emits heat-trapping methane…
3) If these methane leaks are high enough, the climate benefit from switching to natural gas dwindles…
4) Judging from existing research, natural gas appears to be an improvement over coal, though it’s still not clear how much…
5) It’s possible to plug those methane leaks and clean up natural gas further…
6) Natural gas is still a fossil fuel and can’t, on its own, avert significant global warming…
7) At the moment, cheap natural gas appears to be hindering the development of even lower-carbon energy sources…
8) Overall, natural gas can help tackle climate change if it’s part of a larger, more comprehensive climate policy
Natural Gas a Weak Weapon Against Climate Change, New Study Asserts | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
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Although natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, a new study argues that replacing all the world's coal power plants with natural gas would do little to slow global warming this century.

"There are lots of reasons to like natural gas, but climate change isn't one of them," said physicist Nathan Myhrvold, lead author of the new study. "It's worthless for [fighting] climate change, as far as we can tell."

The reason for that grim assessment: The carbon dioxide burden already is so large, and its lifetime in the atmosphere is so long, that even a switch to completely carbon-free electricity couldn't stop temperatures from rising over the next 100 years. Switching from coal to natural gas would cut the warming effect in 100 years' time by only about 20 percent, while switching to renewable or nuclear energy would slash the warming effect about two-thirds to three-quarters…

Compared to emissions from coal, "cutting emissions by a factor of two or three hardly makes a difference," he said. To avoid a significant amount of warming this century, he added, "you must cut emissions by a dramatic factor"—by ten or twenty times.

If over the course of 40 years the world switched all the coal power plants over to natural gas, generating half as much greenhouse gas per watt-hour of electricity, then the warming would slow—but only by a small fraction. In the natural gas scenario, the study calculated a range of warming trajectories for warming 100 years from now, with temperatures 17 to 25 percent lower than they would be if the world stuck with coal.

But the cut in the warming trajectory was far sharper for a switch to energy sources with near-zero emissions—such as nuclear, wind, or solar energy. The reduction in the temperature increase was 57 to 81 percent, according to the study models.

In reality, the world faces an even more daunting challenge than that outlined in the study, which assumed that future electricity use would stay at today's levels. Almost universally, projections call for the world's electricity demand to increase in the next century…
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Old 07-09-2013, 21:28   #17
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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First off Delfin, I read most of the previous posts on the subject and yours has to be the best so far from a quality viewpoint.

Second off, I have not read The Economist for the last couple of decades but whilst I lived overseas found it to be one of the better quality news magazines. I would certainly not hold the fact that it was published in The Economist against the article in any way. However I am a regular reader of New Scientist and tend to skepticism regarding anything it publishes regarding global warming or climate change.

The reason for this is that whilst The Economist article appears to proceed from a fairly agnostic viewpoint and discusses the various points of view and/or assertions in a fairly neutral manner my feelings regarding the New Scientist viewpoint is that it tends to be dismissive of any viewpoint other than the pro climate change.

The NOAA data is probably the only really reliable data we have on temperatures world wide, every thing else we have is either inferred or, even if directly measured using accurate instruments, acquired in too few places and often biased by local factors. The NOAA data, whilst it may be good quality data in that the instrumentation is good and the sample size sufficient to allow high confidence suffers from two defects; we just do not have it for a long enough period, and it does include a hiatus which should not be there according to the CO2 concentration history over the same period.

In my humble, lay persons, opinion the fact of the hiatus, and the lack of a widespread consensus amongst the climate scientists regarding the cause completely discredits the "settled science" hypothesis. We have just not done enough science on climate change to allow a high probability prognosis to be asserted at this time.

However, whilst this may be a valid assessment of the circumstances this does not excuse a lack of action on our part - waste in itself generates a moral hazard which is best avoided. Much of our, and most probably future, civilization depends upon products produced from hydrocarbons and the production of these is a far less wasteful process than burning them up for heat energy, particularly where we are able to recycle the base material.

Any attempt to have western societies regress to less bountiful life styles is doomed, there will always be segments of the body politic that will both resist and exploit the for and against arguments and enormous disruptions of social harmony will result from either segments gaining absolute supremacy.

At the moment we are involved in a fairly massive "renewables" experiment. Having been dependent upon them, and being cognizant of the very substantial contribution from conventional, shore based, energy sources required to both establish and maintain the "renewables" systems I depend upon to allow me to enjoy a reasonably comfortable lifestyle afloat for the last thirteen years, I am of the conclusion that the "renewables" experiment will fail and that you cannot run a modern civilization from these energy sources.

The existing sources of our energy requirements are fossil fuel, renewables and nuclear. Their unknown effect upon climate and the moral dimension of their wastage makes it desirable to significantly reduce dependance upon fossil fuels for energy. Renewables are limited in energy density and have serious environmental deficiencies - their is a serious moral dimension in that if you have farmed the valley for generations in an idyllic rural lifestyle, being hunted out so that city folks can enjoy the water and power from the dam is not particularly respectful of your rights as a community. The remaining practical source at this time is some aspect of nuclear.

The two great nasties in the history of nuclear power are Chernobyl and the ongoing Fukashima incidents - Three Mile Island and Selafield were relatively minor and in retrospect comparatively harmless incidents.

On the other side of the ledger from a viewpoint of accidents and incidents is the fact of the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, both those designed as explosives and those as transportation systems, which have existed or been in use since WW2. Considering the vast plethora of these devices and the intimacy of thousands of service men and women in handling living with and operating these devices one is obliged towards the opinion that in the proper settings we can safely handle nuclear technologies.

There is a need to allow the scientists to gain a proper understanding of the science related to climate change so that a true consensus, rather than a politically driven one, can be developed regarding the probable outcomes of fossil fuel generation of the energy civilization requires.

There is also a need to allow the nuclear scientists and engineers to further develop safe, efficient nuclear power and to establish knowledgeable and authoritative bodies and organizations to be responsible for the development of the philosophies, laws regulations and manpower organization to allow ongoing exploitation of safe nuclear power generation technologies.
You're right about the fact that NOAA data covers too short a period to draw definitive conclusions - it's only 30 years - but it is enough to address whether current climate modeling is accurate, which make predictions about temperature trends. These predictions have failed, and as the Economist notes, if the degree of failure continues, those models will have to be revised. The problem is that they are all based on what, at least for now, appears to be greater atmospheric sensitivity to CO2 than actually exists. And de-emphasizing CO2 as a factor in climate change undercuts current policies that are intended to reduce a greenhouse gas that, if it is shown to be not particularly significant a factor in climate warming, begs the question of why we are spending so much money to reduce it when that money could be spent doing some actual good.

And you are also quite right in noting that there is no "consensus" in scientific opinion about causes and degrees of warming, however much some would like to bolster a weak argument with appeals to authority. There are certainly scientists who believe men are responsible for current warming. But there are a great many scientists who question whether a trend in warming that began two centuries ago can be blamed on human activities of the last 50 years. Besides, science doesn't work by consensus - truth isn't decided by who can get the most grants, but by data. Right now, the data doesn't trend to support the significance of human activities as the cause of warming, which of course makes sense because compared to natural sources of CO2, human activities are hardly significant. Yes, human activities must have an effect, since we contribute to CO2 emissions. But whether that matters enough to worry about or not is the question, and there is no consensus on that subject.

I think you raise an important issue about attempts to "have western societies regress to less bountiful life styles" being doomed to failure. These attempts should be doomed, because when some people argue that the first world should should increase the cost of energy or change how we get energy to power our civilization as a crusade against "global warming", it essentially dooms third world inhabitants to more poverty and more death. Right now, mis-guided attempts to "reduce our carbon footprint" by mixing ethanol into gasoline has raised the cost of grain to the point where poor people around the world are genuinely suffering.

Bottom line, any rational solution to energy production is going to be opposed by some. Nuclear will be opposed because the kind of massive projects you have to build if you want to pay the cost of running the gauntlet of opposition can have problems, like Fukashima and Three Mile Island attest. As shown here, even natural gas will be opposed by some, as is fracking, as is clean coal technology, as is any solution other than, well, I guess I'm not sure what. I understand what some are against, but it is less clear what they are for, or whether whatever they are for can be implemented without the deaths of a lot of people who lack the resources to throw money at non problems and are more concerned about just feeding their families.
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Old 08-09-2013, 00:57   #18
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While it may irritate some because it undercuts the notion that a consensus exists with regard to AGW,

.
???

I didn't see anything i in that piece which suggested humans have not had a hand in heating the planet recently, did I miss something?

Doubts about sensitivity, ability to predict and where the heat has been going the past decade or so but nothing to suggest that humans are not involved at all, which is what , I believe, the consensus is in regard to.

Anyway, nice to see you have come round to the rest of science and now agree co2 is a greenhouse gas capable of warming a planet.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:07   #19
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And you are also quite right in noting that there is no "consensus" in scientific opinion about causes and degrees of warming,
Degrees maybe, very little doubt about human activity being a major driver.

From your link..

"Carbon dioxide itself absorbs infra-red at a consistent rate. For each doubling of CO₂ levels you get roughly 1°C of warming. A rise in concentrations from preindustrial levels of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 560ppm would thus warm the Earth by 1°C. If that were all there was to worry about, there would, as it were, be nothing to worry about. A 1°C rise could be shrugged off. But things are not that simple, for two reasons. One is that rising CO₂ levels directly influence phenomena such as the amount of water vapour (also a greenhouse gas) and clouds that amplify or diminish the temperature rise. This affects equilibrium sensitivity directly, meaning doubling carbon concentrations would produce more than a 1°C rise in temperature. The second is that other things, such as adding soot and other aerosols to the atmosphere, add to or subtract from the effect of CO₂. All serious climate scientists agree on these two lines of reasoning. But they disagree on the size of the change that is predicted."
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:12   #20
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

And while you all look up at the skies there are more children around your ankles than the world has ever seen. Starvation is going to sort out the human race. It's all built into the 'Gia' principle. (phonetic spelling 'cos I can't be bothered to look it up).
I've stopped looking after the planet. It'll last me out. While people buy fossil fuelled cars that exceed the national speed limits by several factors, and insist on flying fossil fuelled because they can't wait, or drive to the seaside, then why, as a child of the 2nd world war, should I waste my remaining time saving the world for them. Greedy people tend to find the cupboard is bare and the shops are empty. My grandad used to deliver groceries to the Yorkshire Hill Farmers. He was often the first other human face they had seen for three or more months. Life was hard but they knew they had to store and save their resources.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:25   #21
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Just came across this site with people who actually know what they are talking about but might have differing views in dialogue.

http://www.climatedialogue.org

Sort of exactly the opposite of an internet forum
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:43   #22
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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...And you are also quite right in noting that there is no "consensus" in scientific opinion about causes and degrees of warming, however much some would like to bolster a weak argument with appeals to authority.

... there are a great many scientists who question whether a trend in warming that began two centuries ago can be blamed on human activities of the last 50 years. Besides, science doesn't work by consensus - truth isn't decided by who can get the most grants, but by data.

...human activities are hardly significant. Yes, human activities must have an effect, since we contribute to CO2 emissions. But whether that matters enough to worry about or not is the question, and there is no consensus on that subject.

....attempts to "have western societies regress to less bountiful life styles" being doomed to failure. These attempts should be doomed, because when some people argue that the first world should should increase the cost of energy or change how we get energy to power our civilization as a crusade against "global warming", it essentially dooms third world inhabitants to more poverty and more death.

... Right now, mis-guided attempts to "reduce our carbon footprint" by mixing ethanol into gasoline has raised the cost of grain to the point where poor people around the world are genuinely suffering.
Ah. I see we're still in the mud-slinging, argument-distorting, BS-laden, evil climate-scientists part of the debate.

I must have read your opening post wrong. Sorry. Off to get some more mud.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:12   #23
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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Ah. I see we're still in the mud-slinging, argument-distorting, BS-laden, evil climate-scientists part of the debate.

I must have read your opening post wrong. Sorry. Off to get some more mud.
Do you object to the proposition that ethanol in gasoline has raised grain prices, or that increased energy costs are damaging to the third world?

Because of a massive 2013 summer increase in Arctic ice in the face of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, coupled with no warming for quite some time the "consensus" on warming seems to be getting shakier by the day.

Global warming? No, actually we're cooling, claim scientists - Telegraph

"A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century."

"The change in the predictions has led to UN's climate change's body holding a crisis meeting, and the the IPCC was due to report on the situation in October. A pre-summit meeting will be held later this month.
But leaked documents show that governments who fund the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes to the Fifth Assessment Report...
"

"Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, said: 'We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.'"
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:25   #24
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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Do you object to the proposition that ethanol in gasoline has raised grain prices, or that increased energy costs are damaging to the third world?
Not at all. But give credit where credit is due: the agri-corporations and their lobbies.

No greenie worthy of their "save the whales" bumper-sticker has ever advocated for the diversion of food-crops or prime agricultural land to producing ethanol. The idea was that ethanol could be produced from all the organic waste that already comes out of agricultural processing. But the big agricultural corporations finagled some subsidies and ran with it.

Being on top of the world heap, we have an obligation to provide the rest of the world with a cleaner and more efficient way to prosperity. Besides, renewable energy is the growth industry of the future. Why shouldn't we be in on it? Many Asian countries have already made serious investments and commitments; they're gonna eat the US's lunch in this field if we don't get off the dime.

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Because of a massive 2013 summer increase in Arctic ice in the face of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations...
I see. So if next year the arctic ice reaches a new low, will you concede that the AGW model was right all along?

We both know that it's gonna take longer than one month or one year to refine the models.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:35   #25
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Because of a massive 2013 summer increase in Arctic ice in the face of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations,
To put that into some perspective, the arctic ice might be up on last year but was still a million square kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 average for August.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:07   #26
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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...Because of a massive 2013 summer increase in Arctic ice ...
During the summers of 2012 and 2011 the area of Arctic Sea-Ice fell by a huge amount. This summer it has rebounded some, but is still far below recent norms. Furthermore, even though the ice area is greater this summer compared to the last two summers, the ice thickness continues to lessen compared to recent norms, which means that each summer the sea-ice is more susceptible to melting.



Arctic about to tip world climate change | UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS
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An international team of researchers has issued a stark warning about the perils the world faces in the near future because of mounting evidence confirming the carbon dioxide effects of a 5º C increase in the temperature of the Arctic Ocean.

Rapid melting of ice in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean last year showed catastrophic acceleration in 2012, qualifying the effects in the Arctic as “dangerous climate change” under the UN Climate Convention.

The researchers, from Australia, Norway, Spain and Sweden, conducted a series of eight cruises between July 2007 and July 2012 to assess the annual metabolic balance of Arctic plankton communities. This determines their role as carbon dioxide (CO2) sinks or sources and was resolved for the first time.

The five-year-long research revealed that the two-week spring algal bloom occurring each April, as the Arctic emerges from its winter darkness and the sea-ice starts to thin, is so productive it can fuel the food web for the entire year and remove significant amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere annually.

But experiments involving temperature manipulations conducted in the Svalbard Islands, about 650 kilometres north of mainland Europe, indicated that the plankton community switches from acting as a sink to becoming a source of atmospheric CO2 as seawater temperatures exceed 5º C…
More or less? Climate change explains ‘the ice conundrum’ | SCIENCE ALERT
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Arctic sea ice is disappearing at an unprecedented rate, reaching record lows in September 2012. Yet in Antarctica, the sea ice reached a record high in the same month. Is the expansion of Antarctic sea ice evidence against global warming, as some observers have suggested?

Recent studies suggest the answer is no, and that human activities are likely responsible for regional changes in Antarctic ice that rival those in the Arctic.

Summer melt of land ice on the Antarctic Peninsula has increased almost ten-fold in the past 600 years, and is now at its highest level in 1000 years…

They found that the coolest conditions on the Antarctic Peninsula and the lowest amount of summer melt occurred around 600 years ago, when temperatures were around 1.6°C lower than those of the late 20th century. At that time, the amount of annual snowfall that melted and refroze was about 0.5 per cent. Today, it is around ten times greater, with as much as 5 per cent of the annual snowfall melting each year…

‘Our results are representative of what’s happening on the Antarctic Peninsula, but not the whole continent,’ she cautions.

‘Across much of the continent, away from the coast, summer temperatures are still too cold for melting to occur. The peninsula is much warmer and [extends] into the Southern Ocean, where it is affected by the warm westerly winds that circle around Antarctica...’

A recent study2 has shown that the resulting changes in wind patterns over the Southern Ocean can explain most of the regional changes in Antarctic sea ice.

Another possibility is that melting of glacial ice around the edge of Antarctica might play a role in sea ice expansion.

‘Freshwater is buoyant and stays at the surface, freezing more readily than saltwater,’ explains Dr Rintoul. ‘An increase in meltwater might therefore result in an expansion of sea ice, as shown in a recent modelling study by Dutch scientists3...’
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:53   #27
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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Not at all. But give credit where credit is due: the agri-corporations and their lobbies.

No greenie worthy of their "save the whales" bumper-sticker has ever advocated for the diversion of food-crops or prime agricultural land to producing ethanol. The idea was that ethanol could be produced from all the organic waste that already comes out of agricultural processing. But the big agricultural corporations finagled some subsidies and ran with it.
Emmm, not so much....

Al Gore's billion-dollar mistake - SFGate


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I see. So if next year the arctic ice reaches a new low, will you concede that the AGW model was right all along?
The IPCC models predicted that Arctic ice would continue to decline. It hasn't. If the decline starts up again, it would be irrational not to acknowledge it, just as it is irrational not to notice the IPCC models have failed. Whether the previous ice loss was due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions is a question that remains. Since the ice loss has reversed this year and the emissions have continued, it's also somewhat irrational to see a causal link between the two.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:09   #28
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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During the summers of 2012 and 2011 the area of Arctic Sea-Ice fell by a huge amount. This summer it has rebounded some, but is still far below recent norms. Furthermore, even though the ice area is greater this summer compared to the last two summers, the ice thickness continues to lessen compared to recent norms, which means that each summer the sea-ice is more susceptible to melting.



Arctic about to tip world climate change | UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS
More or less? Climate change explains ‘the ice conundrum’ | SCIENCE ALERT
I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the warming of the planet that began when the 'Little Ice Age' ceased sometime around 1850 might continue. Clearly, an increasing number of scientists believe that warming trend may be ending, but time will tell. The advance of glaciers and pack ice that accompanied this climate minimum in the 17th century has been going in the other direction for awhile. Perhaps this year is an anomaly in a trend of warming that will pick back up again, as the IPCC models predict. Since those models haven't predicted what has happened so far, it doesn't seem too terribly outrageous to presume that they may be wrong. Again.

Perhaps they will be able to continue to fiddle with the models to try to get them to align with reality, but my presumption is that as long as they are heavily weighted towards atmospheric sensitivity to CO2, the fiddling will have to continue.
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Old 08-09-2013, 13:13   #29
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Re: Additional Climate stuff, but please stay calm

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...The IPCC models predicted that Arctic ice would continue to decline. It hasn't. If the decline starts up again, it would be irrational not to acknowledge it, just as it is irrational not to notice the IPCC models have failed. Whether the previous ice loss was due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions is a question that remains. Since the ice loss has reversed this year and the emissions have continued, it's also somewhat irrational to see a causal link between the two.
You never fail to astound me for your willingness to state that black is white, and white is black!

As you correctly stated, the IPCC models predict that Arctic summer sea-ice will continue to diminish. Arctic sea ice area, in fact, has indeed fallen, as advertised, but at an even faster rate then expected!! The following graph was created in 2010. Since then the sea ice minimum for 2012 smashed the records (again)!


Observed (red line) and modeled September Arctic sea ice extent in millions of square kilometres. Solid black line gives the average of 13 IPCC AR4 models while dashed black lines represent their range. The 2009 minimum has recently been calculated at 5.10 million km2, the third lowest year on record and still well below the IPCC worst case scenario (Copenhagen Diagnosis 2009).

I suppose it should be rational of me to expect you to now admit that your arguments have been irrational, but I don't think I am that irrational...
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Old 08-09-2013, 13:42   #30
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Whether the previous ice loss was due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions is a question that remains.
Not amongst those who know what they are talking about.

The only question is how much.

http://www.climatedialogue.org/melti...rctic-sea-ice/
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