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What I Learned about Climate Change: The Science is not Settled

David Siegel discusses his current views on climate change and how he arrived at those conclusions. It is an excellent read, especially for someone that is open to scientific reasoning on why the science of climate change (or global warming) is simply not settled. In fact, if the science on global warming is settled, it would have to be concluded that man in the form of carbon dioxide production, has some but a slight influence on the climate.

Mr. Siegel claims that this paper supports ten statements. He then says that he will back those statements during the paper. Unfortunately, my reading is ineffective at substantiating his ninth statement. I tend to say that there is some pretty substantial evidence of destruction of reef systems by changes in the acidification of the ocean and there appears to be some linkage between acidification and levels of carbon dioxide.

Less feedback forcing than previously guessed at

Most of the long-term climate models show feedback from an increase of carbon dioxide that ultimately creates more carbon dioxide. The theory is that as CO2 increases, the temperature increases. As the temperature increases, it forces more CO2 to be released from CO2 sinks or it causes less CO2 to be absorbed. This extra CO2 causes a dramatic increase in temperature – which releases more CO2. Many of the models that predicted the end of world had this increase in CO2 and temperature. It really wasn’t the CO2 from man that was the problem, it was the tipping point that was reached by man’s CO2.

A Glacier Meltdown – The Himalayas and climate science.

An excellent opinion in the Wall Street Journal. It is absolutely amazing that there are so few media companies that try to get the story straight.

Last November, U.N. climate chief Rajendra Pachauri delivered a blistering rebuke to India’s environment minister for casting doubt on the notion that global warming was causing the rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers.

“We have a very clear idea of what is happening,” the chairman of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) told the Guardian newspaper. “I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”

Time for a Climate Change Plan B

Nigel Lawson has done a remarkable job of explaining the basic problem with limiting the use of carbon based fuels in our world today. His argument doesn’t really take a side on the merits of the science but rather on the realities of economics. His opinion recently showed up in the Wall Street Journal and I have taken the liberty to include selected parts here.  I suggest that you click through to read the entire article.

Lord Lawson was U.K. chancellor of the exchequer in the Thatcher government from 1983 to 1989. He is the author of “An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming” (Overlook Duckworth, paperback 2009), and is chairman of the recently formed Global Warming Policy Foundation (

Lord Turnbull’s comments

I thought that Lord Turnbull’s speach in front of the House of Lords on December 8, 2009 was very well done. It does an excellent job of praising many in the community for their efforts in addition to appropriately questioning the correct next action. As this is a public forum paid for by British taxpayers, I feel that I can include his complete comments here.

I especially like the realism in his comments about the exporting of carbon usage to China (or other less developed countries) and then blaming those countries for their dramatic increase. This is an issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of curtailing carbon output in any individual country.

John Stossel on climate change

John Stossel’s new show discusses global warming and climate change. John has been quoted on this site before. In general, Mr. Stossel takes a hard look at the various false representations that are presented to people and makes everyone think about their conclusions. I hope that his new show continues this tradition.

Is global warming a hoax?

Doug Craig over at recently published an article covering the abbreviated history of research regarding greenhouse gases and the history of our scientific understanding of them. He naturally skipped those researchers and scientists that discuss the cooling affect of aerosols.

Mr. Craig’s article is pretty typical of the problem in this debate for both sides. His article is filled with references to “hoax” in this discussion. Hoax is a word that is often referenced by some that doubt global warming predictions (or more precisely, the efforts to reverse the influence). In this case, Mr. Craig is making fun of it with the natural assumption that he thinks such people are fools for thinking it is a “hoax.”

A Tour of the Cryosphere 2009

I first saw this on Net-Cool which is a great site to subscribe to for finding really interesting things on the web.

This movie explains some of the reasons of concern for monitoring the increase in temperatures that we have felt since the 1960s.  It is very well done and enjoyable to watch.  Unlike An Inconvenient Truth, it admits that this is not pure imagery but some CGI has been done.

If you can handle the bandwidth, you will see better graphics here rather than watching the embedded YouTube video below.

Are the glaciers our fault?

I am often asked if the reduction of the size of glaciers is the fault of global warming. My standard answer is that I don’t know as the evidence is far from conclusive.

A case in point is a graph from the USGS fact sheet:

Two conclusions are fairly obvious from the above graph.  First, the size of glacier recession has been occurring almost since the time when we started measuring the size back in the late 50s.  The second is that the reduction seemed to increase rather rapidly in the late 80s and early 90s. If we draw a straight line to average the reduction from 1960 to 1975, we will see a totally different rate as compared to the line that averages 1980 to 2005.

Atmospheric Pattern Promoted Rapid Melt of Sea Ice in July has an excellent update on the status of the Arctic ice last month – July 2009.  Looks like the melting was pretty bad.

And here is an image from NSIDC (National Science and Ice Data Center) showing the current ice coverage and the median.

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