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Old 01-10-2010, 09:29   #376
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I had intended my submission of Bob Hughes's unconventional ideas to be "thought provoking", and apologise if it turns out to be merely "provoking".
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:14   #377
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What strikes me through this thread is that.
1 - There is some pretty good evidence that the phytoplankton is decreasing at about 1%/year.

2 - Photoplankton is a substantial chunk of the food chain foundation

3 - The reduction may be related to global warming.

4 - Some people are concerned that we should try to do something about global warming because is is such a slow and massive factor that it takes a lot of work to change one way or the other. These people would take the pain now to avoid more pain later.

5 - Other people are concerned that trying to effect the global temperature would cost so much that it would disrupt our current economy and life style. These people will avoid pain now because the later pain may never come, or they will be dead when it does.

6 - None of this really matters as the die is cast. We will spend all our time effort arguing to come to consensus. We have NO ability to change things whether we are the cause or not because we can not agree.

It's like being incontinent: maybe you have a medical condition and it's not your fault, maybe you are nutz and could change if you really, really wanted to, either way your still in a mess at the end of the day.



My 2 is that it is GW, we caused it, our kids and grand kids will suffer for it. I can prove it to some and will never convince others, not if they are up to their neck in water in Manhattan.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:57   #378
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The Lessons of Cold Fusion

In considering the integrity of scientists one must also consider the human aspect. The climate scientists are in essence drinking their own bath water. The premise of global warming feeds and amplifies itself through the funding and peer review seiving process. Much of the research is cast in the paradigm of global warming (think photoplankton counts.) If you are with the party line you get funding, publications, and are on the leading edge of science.

Imagine competing for funding every year to keep your laboratory and team of 5 or 10 PhDs that you have worked so hard to build. You have to be on the forefront of science. You need to be smart guys and be part of the smart guy club. Trust me everyone in science wants to be a member of the club.

Look back at the cold fusion debacle. That was global warming on a small scale. Pons and Fleischmann reported demonstrating cold fusion. Within a year a number of laboratories duplicated the results (I think between 10 and 20 labs.) Stanford and Georgia Tech most notably reported being able to demonstrate cold fusion.

To make a long story short 20 years later it is pretty clear cold fusion is yet to happen in the laboratory. Don't forget that cold fusion is easier to verify than mans contribution to global warming.

Here is an perfect example of how cold analytical scientists are turned by the pressure. They knew they would be left out of the funding, publications, prestige, and the club if they couldn't keep up. Huge pressure. So some way they got the results, had too.

Now just extrapolate the cold fusion mess to the present day global warming science. Same pressures. Same funding issues.

I don't know if present day global warming is man-made or part of a natural cycle. In fact, it's not clear to me that the planet is really warming. Consider, the planet was warmer a 500 years ago with less CO2.

I do know that there is nothing substantive that will be done about global warming no matter how much enlightened people want to save the planet.
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Old 01-10-2010, 14:06   #379
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... Look back at the cold fusion debacle. That was global warming on a small scale. Pons and Fleischmann reported demonstrating cold fusion. Within a year a number of laboratories duplicated the results ...
... Here is an perfect example of how cold analytical scientists are turned by the pressure. They knew they would be left out of the funding, publications, prestige, and the club if they couldn't keep up. Huge pressure. So some way they got the results, had too ...
The Pons & Fleischmann claims were mostly repudiated within months, and virtually all debate closed within the year (1989).
Nobody was turned by any pressure, nor were many (if any) fooled for long.
I think your narrative and conclusions totally misrepresent the debacle & it's implications.
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Old 01-10-2010, 14:47   #380
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The Pons & Fleischmann claims were mostly repudiated within months, and virtually all debate closed within the year (1989).
Nobody was turned by any pressure, nor were many (if any) fooled for long.
I think your narrative and conclusions totally misrepresent the debacle & it's implications.
Anyone that understood the implications of successful cold fusion was electrified. The technical world was cautiously optimistic. This was a big deal. Possibly the most important breakthrough in the history of man...virtually unlimited cheap power.

The repudiation was over the course of about 12+ months if I remember correctly.

The pressure was on everyone. Otherwise how could labs from Stanford and GTRI and others independently duplicate a result that never happened. It was an instrumentation error.

BTW, the debate still goes on (for some.)
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Old 01-10-2010, 14:52   #381
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Science is hard

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The Pons & Fleischmann claims were mostly repudiated within months, and virtually all debate closed within the year (1989).
Nobody was turned by any pressure, nor were many (if any) fooled for long.
I think your narrative and conclusions totally misrepresent the debacle & it's implications.
Gord is right. The real lesson from cold fusion is that science is very hard and it is easy to misinterpret the results. Cold fusion should not be an example of bad science (scientist do sometimes get things wrong) but rather how quickly the results were debunked is a great example of how the system works to make sure it gives reliable, peer reviewed, and reproducible results.


One more thing, climate science will get tons of funding whether its human related or natural and whether we can do anything about it or not. And the reason is because, for whatever reason, the climate is changing (I believe we have a consensus on that). This change will (might) have a significant impact on our environment and economy. So at the very least, if we can predict it, then we can prepare for it. That alone is reason enough to invest a few million dollars.

Would you chip in a dollar to find out if we should be worried for our agricultural industry in 20 years?
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Old 01-10-2010, 15:31   #382
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Interesting how are responses are different. ......
Please reread the first page of that report. They note two trends, the one you quoted and the one that concerns me. They are saying that we are swinging around some median point, but that median point keeps getting lower and lower.
I did not intend my comment to be viewed as an abstract of the article - it was merely a significant qualification about the content of the article. To me it "trumped" the later conclusions about the 1% decline which may be correct. The true problem is that the authors admit that they do not know how good their data is so we cannot be sure.

Look at the graphs. On many of the graphs the points are so scattered that you could draw almost any curve I please. I could easily draw curves using that data given that would support the opposite conclusion to those shown. When I handed graphs like that to my university physics tutor I was given "the lecture" and told to go away and come up with more reasonable results based on the data.

This report gives hints, not trends. Some areas, such as coastal regions, were excluded from the surveys because they have issues which interfere with the proxy measurements. That means that the predominant measures where taken in the "desert of the ocean" - an area known for decades at being poor in supporting marine life but it skews the result because it ignores areas where such plankton seem to be abundant. The Indian ocean show trends that differ markedly from the Pacific and the plankton levels in the arctic are not what the authors expected.

In short, this report contains a lot of qualification of the data quality, a lot of "ifs and buts" and a lot of graphs with a wide range of error. It is an interesting report and the work needs to be continued, but it is not as definitive as the media presented it where it seemed to be a proven fact that the oceans were emptying at a furious rate.
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Old 01-10-2010, 19:12   #383
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Sorry Minty but I still think you are missing the point.

Sure there is a lot of up and down but if you take a 1% annual decline, on average, run it out over 70 years you will have an overall 50% decline.

A 50% decline will be unmistakable, it will stand out over the noise.

Now it might be a 1.2% average decline (60% over 70) or it might be a 0.8% average decline (40% over 70) , but that average MUST stand out.

So..............what they are saying is that

WE CAN SEE FROM OUR DATA THAT THERE IS A 50% DECLINE. Lots of noise in the data. Not sure of the cause. There is an indication of a link to global warming.

I can only suspect that we are reading the article differently. Damn scientist have the darndest ways of saying things. But this is about as clear as they get. But there are no ifs, ands, or buts, about the 50% (thereabouts) decline.

Quote:
We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of, 1% of the global median per year. Our analyses further reveal interannual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends.
They are not saying the long term trend (1% decline/year) they are saying there is a lot of noise in the signal they don't fully understand. They are taking about the "global median" and "long-term trends." Averages and statistics. That is how they draw those curves through the data to looks like hash to us.

My apologies if I come across as pedantic or strident. No matter what the cause, such a decline should make anyone take pause.
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Old 01-10-2010, 20:03   #384
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funding issues.


I do know that there is nothing substantive that will be done about global warming no matter how much enlightened people want to save the planet.

I agree with your statement--almost!!! Nothing will be done because there is nothing substantive that can be done. Further, I am not willing to give one nickel to any cap and trade scheme that might come about because of environmental activism. And yes, many large companies including GE are on record to be in favor of cap and trade. Could there be a profit motive???

Consider Micheal Mann's so called "hockey stick" curve prediction way back in 1995 of oncoming disasters. It was not critically reviewed by his peers in teh climate community. Later Steve Milloy referred to it as the "Tree Ring Circus" in his book Green Hell. And then there was the climate email fiasco last fall between him and Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia. Peer review? No, just do anything that keeps the so called research money flowing.

There is no easy answer and a reliable answer will allude us for years to come. Because one shouts "The sky is falling............" does not make the sky fall.

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Old 01-10-2010, 21:49   #385
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If there really is a mass plankton die-off isn't possible that we are witnessing natural evolution? Isn't it possible that the rise and fall of mankind is just part of the natural order?
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Old 01-10-2010, 21:56   #386
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If everyone on earth stopped driving cars and heating their homes, if the survival tipping point would have been reached in 50 years without, it will now take fifty years and three months.
If we change what can be changed, cut back, and acted green without destroying our very way of life, it would be 50 years and 18 hours.
This is another reason why I call them climevangelists. They know this, and still they spout the crude they do about saving the world by our actions.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:01   #387
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The tipping point was probably reached some time ago.

The effects are not immediately obvious.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:55   #388
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If there really is a mass plankton die-off isn't possible that we are witnessing natural evolution? Isn't it possible that the rise and fall of mankind is just part of the natural order?
Oh, no, of course not.

We are not part of nature.

We are the custodians of nature.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:57   #389
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Further, I am not willing to give one nickel to any cap and trade scheme that might come about because of environmental activism.



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Me neither...................unless I could be part of the inner circle that gets the dough.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:04   #390
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Here is a nice collection of charts/graphs of what has been happening to world temperatures over the last 65 million years. And basically the overall trend is towards cooling, not warming.
The big picture: 65 million years of temperature swings JoNova

Below is one of the charts for Greenland Ice Cores over the last 10K years. What is important to is observe the huge "vibrations" or swings in temperatures between hot and cold during periods of hundreds to thousands of years. These swings are much larger than the present doom and gloom predicted "up to 2C." Of even more interest is the little red section of the graph at the bottom right edge of the graph where "present" is located. We are coming out of the "little ice age" and warming up back towards the earth's historically warmer periods. The AGW/ACC proponents are looking at that miniscule "up tick" and predicting the end of the world or at least their funding.
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