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Old 17-09-2010, 13:57   #286
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. . . I don't think that there has ever been a period in history when so MUCH misinformation has been so freely available and so widely publicised. . . .
I smell a little "Churchill" maybe in that wonderful summary?

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You must be a political scientist if setting your mind ends up with "gas" from the upper orifice. For the rest of us what we eat turns to "gas" from the lower orifice.
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Old 17-09-2010, 15:03   #287
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I don't have a problem with research (as long as it can try to remain objective - really hard in todays world)

What I object to is the call for global redistribution of wealth which is what this Kyoto and carbon credit stuff is all about.

I am a giving person but I sort of also think I should be able to keep what I have worked for with my "giving" being voluntary and not forced.
I totally agree.

The hard part for some is to separate the science from the politics. The scientists are not in control of Kyoto. Or the media. Or big business. And almost everything people know about GW is coming from those sources. I am getting dangerously to start really talking politics, so once again, I'll shut up...

-dan
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Old 17-09-2010, 16:56   #288
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I smell a little "Churchill" maybe in that wonderful summary?
Unintentional I assure you, but now that you've pointed it out it's rather obvious.
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Old 19-09-2010, 01:28   #289
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Old 19-09-2010, 03:48   #290
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OK - it's DAFT QUESTION TIME......

If warming the globe less than 1* C over the last 200 years has caused a 40% decrease in plankton.... how did the plankton survive in historic times when the Earth was 5* C warmer?
It's a very good question.
a few minutes with google looking for historical population level of phytoplankton didn't come up with anything of interest.

Maybe they didn't. From wiki
Permian.
" It was the Earth's most severe extinction event, with up to 96% of all marine species[4] and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species becoming extinct; "

Though google did come up with this site

Marine plankton phenology and life history in a changing climate: current research and future directions ? J PLANKTON RES

I think any mass media reporting is too unreliable to take much notice of. But double edged sword, and more scientific journals are too boring and use too many big words for a lot of people to read, the daily drivel is a much easier source to get excited about. Not round here, of course, but in the general population
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Old 20-09-2010, 05:38   #291
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To scientifically measure something you have to have a standard that is acceptable to the entire scientific community. To measure distance the scientific community uses the meter and either a fraction or multiple of that standard.

To measure plankton (of whatever family, genus and species) there must be a standard. I can't say that I have 15,000 plankton per liter so when I find less than that there must be a mass depletion of plankton. What if I measure at different depths? Would I get more or less plankton per liter?

Standards are also why we have tape measures, yardsticks, micrometers, barometers, hydrometers, the standard day and varying temperature scales. They are to measure all other things by and compare differences.

Local climate changes cannot accurately be predict within 1.5 to 2.5 degrees difference in a 24 hour period. We can't predict with absolute accuracy the amount or even if precipitation will occur. All meteorologists can do is give the likelihood in percentages that rain may (or may not) occur. So, how can anyone say, with any degree of certainty, what the temperature of the earth will be in 10, 20 or 50 years?

I'm not saying we should not be vigilant and be better caretakers of this planet. On the contrary, I'm appalled at the amount of plastic and non-biodegradable trash in and on the shores of our oceans. I'm deeply concerned about the dwindling populations of aquatic life in the seas. I think humans have had an impact on the planet and we have become so arrogant that we presume we can measure it and possibly fix it. I think the environment is far more complex than we could possibly imagine.

I also think we should be skeptical of everything we read and hear, especially from politicians. If you cannot verify something or know it to be true then don't blindly trust the findings or the source.
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Old 20-09-2010, 05:53   #292
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... Local climate changes cannot accurately be predict within 1.5 to 2.5 degrees difference in a 24 hour period. We can't predict with absolute accuracy the amount or even if precipitation will occur. All meteorologists can do is give the likelihood in percentages that rain may (or may not) occur. So, how can anyone say, with any degree of certainty, what the temperature of the earth will be in 10, 20 or 50 years? ...
I know nothing about you, excepting your species.
I cannot predict what the state of your health will be 5 minutes/days/weeks from now; but I can predict, with a very high degree of certainty, what it will be within one hundred years.
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Old 20-09-2010, 06:40   #293
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Old 20-09-2010, 07:38   #294
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I know nothing about you, excepting your species.
I cannot predict what the state of your health will be 5 minutes/days/weeks from now; but I can predict, with a very high degree of certainty, what it will be within one hundred years.
That's a poor analogy GordMay. Humans generally don't live 100 years so predicting that someone will be dead in 100 years is a good bet. The climate, however, lasts as long as the planet and changes over time. There will still be a climate in 100 years but no one really knows what it will be like.

There's no shortage of guesswork, there's all sorts of computer models and they all contradict each other. Some predict cooling, some predict no change, some predict moderate warming etc.

The real problem is that we are only seeing a small part of a very long set of events. We have collected data over a hundred years or so and we are trying to guess the climate's interactions for the last 10,000 years and the next 1,000.

Look at a circle's edge close up and it looks like a straight line. If you only had a segment of a circle to deal with then you would be pushed to say whether it was part of a straight line, a sine wave, a circle, a parabola, etc. etc. We are extrapolating from a small set of data and that is inherently dangerous. 100 or 200 years is a long time for humans but it is nothing to the climate. Centuries of data looks a lot to us but really we need millennia of data and we do not have it.

How do we know that plankton has not been erroneously high over the last 200 years? Maybe it is now returning to it normal level, or maybe it was normal for the last 200 years and we now have a disaster on our hands. We cannot take one small piece of data and extrapolate from that and I'm assuming in this discussion that our current measurements - which all almost all done by proxy - are accurate.
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Old 20-09-2010, 11:38   #295
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That's a poor analogy GordMay. Humans generally don't live 100 years so predicting that someone will be dead in 100 years is a good bet.
...

So, let's try this one.

I cannot predict whether you will be alive tomorrow.

But it can be predicted fairly accurately, based on statistics, how many people will die tomorrow. How many will die during a particular month in a particular area - based on weather patterns. Etc., etc.

Long term patterns are much easier to predict than particular points.

-dan
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Old 20-09-2010, 14:19   #296
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The problem with the predictions of GW/CC/et.al. is that they are taking a microscopic (time-wise) data range and trying to predict the future 50 or 100 years from now.
- - However placing a bet that the climate is going to get warmer in the future is about as safe a bet as when standing in Death Valley and betting that most of the world is "uphill" from here. Here is an extract from: Paleoclimate VR

"When the Earth is in an Ice House phase, the Polar and Cool Temperate belts expand ( 0, 300, 630 million years ago). During Hot House times, the Arid and Warm Temperate belts expand (100, 200, & 400 million years ago)."

So it is a pretty safe bet that the planet is going to get warmer. We are coming out of the bottom of an ice-age climate so we can expect things to get a lot hotter.

P.S. There is a neat VR animated map in the first link that shows how the land masses moved of the millions of years.
You can see the temperature chart at: Climate History

According to that chart the planet can expect up to 10C higher temperatures, so 1C or 2C is not a big deal. And such a change is likely to get "lost" in the short time period "vibrations" of the overall trend. Just like there are daily highs/lows in the Stock Market but when you look at the long term trend you can see the market tending to overall go up or down. The GW/CC/et.al. group is locking in on a microscopic period of time and trying to out guess Mother Nature. Ain't gonna happen.
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Old 20-09-2010, 15:05   #297
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So, let's try this one.

I cannot predict whether you will be alive tomorrow.

But it can be predicted fairly accurately, based on statistics, how many people will die tomorrow. How many will die during a particular month in a particular area - based on weather patterns. Etc., etc.

Long term patterns are much easier to predict than particular points.

-dan
I would say that is a generalisation more than a trend. Trends are about guesing what we do not know rather than saying what we do know. For example, based on current population data, give me estimates accurate to 20% of the population of the USA in 50 years, 100 years and 200 years time. At today's population level a 20% error gives you leeway of 60 million people.

Our information on population is a lot better than our information about climate or oceans, but I'd bet that we would have a hard time saying whether the USA will have less people in 200 years time than it does today, never mind get the number right.

Many scientists have said that we know more about the moon that we do about the ocean. Given that sort of statement it is obvious that our knowledge of our own planet is partial at best.


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The problem with the predictions of GW/CC/et.al. is that they are taking a microscopic (time-wise) data range and trying to predict the future 50 or 100 years from now.
I'd agree with that. Over at Climate Audit they try and get environmental scientists to discuss their data and its accuracy. It is worrying how many of those scientists shun detailed analysis of their data.
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Old 20-09-2010, 18:26   #298
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Well, whether or not people have anything to do with it, taking another hit on our coral reefs is still pretty depressing

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/sc...er=rss&emc=rss
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Old 20-09-2010, 18:41   #299
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I would say that is a generalisation more than a trend. Trends are about guesing what we do not know rather than saying what we do know. For example, based on current population data, give me estimates accurate to 20% of the population of the USA in 50 years, 100 years and 200 years time. At today's population level a 20% error gives you leeway of 60 million people.

Our information on population is a lot better than our information about climate or oceans, but I'd bet that we would have a hard time saying whether the USA will have less people in 200 years time than it does today, never mind get the number right.
My example was a not an allegory. It is not a direct parallel. It was just meant to show that we can determine trends even in subjects where we cannot determine individual points. So the argument is flawed saying that since we can't predict the rain with accuracy, if follows that we can't predict the climate.


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Many scientists have said that we know more about the moon that we do about the ocean. Given that sort of statement it is obvious that our knowledge of our own planet is partial at best.




I'd agree with that. Over at Climate Audit they try and get environmental scientists to discuss their data and its accuracy. It is worrying how many of those scientists shun detailed analysis of their data.
If I was a scientist, I wouldn't give my data to climate.org, either. It is run by Stephen McIntyre.

From --> Stephen McIntyre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
McIntyre worked for 30 years in the mineral business,[3] the last part of these in the hard-rock mineral exploration as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies.[4] He was a policy analyst for several years for the governments of Ontario and of Canada.[5] He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. . When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003.[6]
However, of the multitude of questionable sites on the web, his actually has some credibility and often points out valid questions. In the end, I don't trust him. You'd have to read a lot to find out why. I have run across his name multiple times while reading papers where scientists defend their data and research from being misquoted or distorted. But, in support if what I have said in the first sentence of this paragraph, of all the critics out there, McIntyre is the only non-scientist to which I've seen scientists actually concede a few points.

-dan
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Old 21-09-2010, 02:45   #300
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My example was a not an allegory. It is not a direct parallel. It was just meant to show that we can determine trends even in subjects where we cannot determine individual points. So the argument is flawed saying that since we can't predict the rain with accuracy, if follows that we can't predict the climate.
Fair point

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If I was a scientist, I wouldn't give my data to climate.org, either. It is run by Stephen McIntyre.....
However, of the multitude of questionable sites on the web, his actually has some credibility and often points out valid questions.
That is the importance of McIntyre. Whether he is right or wrong, regardless of his past. As an agent provocateur if he gets the scientists to vigorously examine and validate their data then science and mankind will benefit. Science works best when its theories and data are challenged. For scientific progress, consensus can be a roadblock.
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