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Scientists flip-flop on Antarctic melting

I originally found this opinion in “The Detroit News” and so you can click through and read the entire article.  I really cannot explain this topic better than Mr. Taylor and I suggest that you read my highlights here and then read the full article if it is interesting to you.

Understand that Mr. Taylor works for the Heartland Institute which is known as being pretty close to the edge when it comes to rational discussion on this issue.  However, even people with extremely strong feelings on an issue are not totally wrong and need to be listened to. 

Is it too cold outside to have global warming?

There has been some talk in the press and on some of the blogs that it is too cold in the last couple years to have a global warming trend. Some even say that the warming trend is reversed and it is now going to get colder. There are a variety of people that discuss that the ice caps are re-freezing after having melted which signals that global warming is reversing. Some talk of a local low record that was set at some airport.

The reality is that much of this talk is about weather and not about climate. It is not possible to measure climate within a couple year span. It takes much longer than that to eliminate the various highs and lows from the trend so most climatologists suggest 5-10 years (or longer) before anything is really called climate.

Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says

CNN – December 16, 2008

This story about the rapid melting of ice in the major cold areas of the world (Greenland, Antarctica, and Alaska) needs to cause everyone concern. While the story doesn’t convincingly discuss the causality of the situation, it does point out that increased melting accelerates the planets warming due to loss of reflectivity of the “white” ice.

The article goes on to point out the increase of pine beetles which is theorized to be attributed to a warmer environment. It even goes so far as to predict the increase in sea level (ala Al Gore) by the end of the century based on this loss of ice.

In Science, Ignorance is not Bliss

Launch Magazine – July/August issue

Walter Cunningham is one of the astronauts of Apollo 7.  He writes about global warming in the latest issue of Launch Magazine and his comments bear considering.

Mr. Cunningham is important in this discussion because of his obvious intelligence and past leadership but also in his strong ability in analyzing scientific and political events and drawing conclusions.

What I find to be most compelling are:

  • his ridicule of climate models.
  • his discussions of correlation and causation.
  • the replacement of scientific discussion with emotional arguments.
  • the condemnation of Mr. Hansen – one of the early warning voices of global warming and an employee of NASA.

Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

The Independent – June 27, 2008

There is a very real chance that there will be no ice at the North Pole this summer. This is probably being caused by a “perfect storm” of several events including a slight warming of the Arctic Ocean, a slight warming of the air above the ocean, a change in ocean currents, a change in prevailing winds and possibly even the ozone layer.  It is important to note that this does not mean that there is no ice in the Arctic Ocean as it appears that the water off the coast of Canada and Greenland will be ice covered.

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist

The Guardian – June 23, 2008

Jim Hansen of NASA must have finally gone off the deep end.  While the man is probably brilliant, his call to put the CEOs of companies on trial for global warming is one of the most radical statements that I have heard in this global warming discussion. He states that he is 99% certain that carbon dioxide has already passed the safe level.

Mr. Hansen is certainly free to challenge the election of politicians and to speak on what he feels needs to be done.  However, when someone calls for radical measures such as putting CEOs on trial for high crimes against humanity, I immediately put him into the weirdo bucket and dismiss him as a heretic.

The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat

March 19, 2008 – NPR.com

I love a good mystery. I am a big fan of mystery and drama shows on TV and movies and voraciously read all of James Patterson’s books and similar mystery stories.  I do not think that I would spend billions (trillions?) of dollars on it though and that is what we are embarking on with the global warming mystery.

If you are reading this site then you are probably interested, concerned, or worried about predictions of the future regarding global warming. The reasonable method of predicting the future is to understand the present and the past and make some inference on how current trends will be affected into the future. This prediction for global warming is done with computers and I have repeatedly ranted on this site that our capability of developing these models is sub-standard.

Bush Wants to Beef Up Earth Monitoring

AP – February 4, 2008

The new budget for the US Bush Administration has additional scientific vehicles to better understand and monitor the world and its climate. While these improvements are good, I have repeatedly called for better efforts in computer modeling and analysis and these still did not receive the attention that they deserved.

One of the problems with the models employed is the sparseness of the data that they use and computing shortcuts that are employed. We need more points of data in the models that cover multiple distances off the planet and we need larger, faster, and more advanced computing power so that these data points can be left discrete for the entirety of the computing effort.

Tracking Carbon Trail To Find Why So Much Fills the Atmosphere

Wall Street Journal – December 28, 2007

I have written about the Carbon Tracker service before, but this recent article is very interesting in discussing the lack of understanding that we have in our atmosphere.

Where did all of the carbon go?  It is concerning that we are embarking on a global escapade to reduce, tax, and punish carbon dioxide production but we still can’t answer this very basic question! How does a nation effectively tax carbon production when scientists can’t even tell where 25% all carbon dioxide goes? This begs the question as to if we can appropriately tax the correct polluters and reward the correct sinks.

The Greenest Hypocrites of 2007

FOXNews.com – December 6, 2007

Steven Milroy is the author of Junk Science which is a great site for exploring more information on scientific concepts, particularly on global warming. He also writes a regular column for Fox.

In this column, Steve itemizes the top ten greatest “green” hypocrisies. Personally, I think he is stretching on several of them – especially number 4 since it is impossible with today’s current technology to truly have a worldwide active discussion without physically being co-located. Yes, it is easy to get half a dozen people together online but getting hundreds together is simply a nightmare and not easily handled with today’s bandwidths.