Assimilated by the Borg
Fear not! My editoiral independence is unchanged, and I still get to be called Stoat.
Taking science by the throat...[Feed] | QS (dead :-() | D (new) | RC | JF (P) | Jeb | SaB | RP Sr | bsd | JQ | CIP | het | mt | Ill
Scientists are people too. The money and perks available to IPCC people are extensive. If oil company scientists are unenthusiastic about GW, then it can be argued that IPCC scientists might be enthusiastic from the same kind of incentives.
[Response: The idea that there are vast wealth and perks to be made from climate science is wrong, and would raise a laugh (albeit a rather bitter one) from anyone "inside" - William]
[Response: Money and perks! Hahahaha. How in the world did I miss out on those when I was a lead author for the Third Assessment report? Working on IPCC is a major drain on ones' time, and probably detracts from getting out papers that would help to get grants (not that we make money off of grants either, since those of us at national labs and universities are not paid salary out of grants for the most part.) We do it because it's work that has to be done. It's grueling and demanding, and not that much fun, and I can assure everybody that there is no remuneration involved... RayPierre]
Using satellite radar interferometry observations of Greenland, we detected widespread glacier acceleration below 66° north between 1996 and 2000, which rapidly expanded to 70° north in 2005. Accelerated ice discharge in the west and particularly in the east doubled the ice sheet mass deficit in the last decade from 90 to 220 cubic kilometers per year. As more glaciers accelerate farther north, the contribution of Greenland to sea-level rise will continue to increase.
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Ironically, just as global warming scare-mongering reaches new heights, the global cooling hypothesis is making a come back. It should be recalled that the frightening images of imminent global warming disaster are of fairly recent vintage. After all, in the 1960s and 1970s various prominent climatologists held the view that it was not global warming that formed a mortal threat to humanity but global cooling.
Climate change is a serious and urgent issue... There is now an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that human activity is increasing the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and causing warming. We are already seeing significant impacts. There remain uncertainties about the nature and scale of impacts in the longer term, but the most recent science indicates that some of the risks are more serious than had first appeared. The problem is global in its cause and consequences. Greenhouse gases have broadly the same impact on the climate wherever in the world they are emitted. And in terms of its consequences, no region will be left untouched. But impacts will be unevenly felt throughout the world. Some of the most severe impacts will be felt in the poorest countries that are least able to adapt to the changes. The economic challenges are complex. At its most basic level, climate change is an externality: the emission of greenhouse gases damages others. But these costs will be felt over a long period and over the entire globe; their exact nature is uncertain; they interact with other market failures and imperfections; and those most affected – future generations – are not able to speak up for their interests. This points to a long-term international collaborative response. Effective collaboration will require a shared understanding of the incentives and institutions needed, and careful attention to the complex ethical issues involved.
It is a mistake to torture people. However, torture was regarded as a perfectly justified, legitimate way of producing evidence and it was therefore legally justified. Killing people over ideas, generally speaking, seems to us not to be a very good idea after 2,000 years of history ... and generally we disapprove deeply of this kind of purgation, but it seems to me it is possible to understand it within the context of its times and also to understand it within the sociology of religion, how communities react to threats which they regard to be dire or fatal.
This paper presents theoretical and modeling evidence suggesting that the atmospheric poleward heat transport can lead to a polar warming amplification (i) by redistributing part of the extra energy intercepted by the low-latitude atmosphere to high latitudes, and (ii) by strengthening the water vapor feedback in high latitudes. For an anthropogenic radiative forcing of 4 Wm/2, we illustrate that the dynamical amplifier contributes to about 1/4 (1/10) of the total high-latitude (global) surface warming in winter in a simple coupled atmosphere-surface moist radiativetransportive climate model. Budget analysis of the radiation fluxes at the top of the atmosphere derived from IPCC AR4 CGCM climate simulations seems to support the dynamical amplifier theory for the larger warming in high latitudes.
> I believe the IPCC genuinely constitutes a consensus, but I believe
> that the consensus severely understates the risks.
> There are several reasons for this. Notably:
> - models are tuned for small signal accuracy and can't capture
> large nonlinearities
I don't really understand what you can mean by this point. The models
perform reasonably well across a wide range of conditions including the
6C cooling at the last glacial minimum, the ~12C annual temperature
cycle (more at higher latitudes), not to mention the basic spatial
patterns in the first place. A 3C temperature rise is not large
compared to the range they've already simulated, and there are good
reasons to expect the models to be largely correct in broad detail.
> - carbon cycle exacerbating feedbacks are not sufficiently attended
> to, and are buried under the rug in the simulation scenarios
Carbon cycle feedbacks have been included in a number of models
(C4MIP), my understanding is that the effects are generally modest, and
even for the outliers it is not something that turns a mainstream
projection into a nightmare. One possible wildcard is a methane burp,
about which I know little but it does on the face of it seem worthy of
> - the IPCC seeks the most likely response of the system rather than
> the risk-weighted outcome, which essentially hides the worst cases
Um...no. That's simply not true. It describes the range of outcomes
(according to some rather vague probabilistic statements).
> - most scientists are conservative in personality and don't like
> making a big fuss, so shy away from clear statements of the enormity of
> the risk we face
Well...this may be true but even if so is highly misleading. It's not
"most scientists" who we hear, either in the media or through
assessments such as the IPCC. It's those scientists who make their
opinions forcefully enough who are heard, and I absolutely disagree
that this subset are conservative in personality and do not like making
My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease... The climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology lab of a hospital, have reported the Earth's physical condition, and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. I have to tell you, as members of the Earth's family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilisation are in grave danger... We are in a fool's climate, accidentally kept cool by smoke, and before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.
Unfortunately our nation [the UK] is now so urbanised as to be like a large city and we have only a small acreage of agriculture and forestry. We are dependent on the trading world for sustenance; climate change will deny us regular supplies of food and fuel from overseas.
...as the century progresses, the temperature will rise 8 degrees centigrade in temperate regions and 5 degrees in the tropics.
The exact magnitude of various forcings is uncertain. The new estimates you refer to for aerosols are larger than what some models use (the magnitude of what models compute, for example, for sulfate aerosols varies depending on the nature of their sulfur cycle models or types of sulfate aerosol concentrations they use) but not out of the range of uncertainty for aerosol forcing used across all of the more than 20 models currently being assessed in the IPCC AR4. This accounts for some of the range of model responses to the simulation of 20th century climate. Even with this uncertainty in aerosols, the GHGs are still the largest forcing by far, and are the big driver for late 20th century warming and estimates of 21st century warming. The latest simulations will be assessed in the IPCC AR4, but many modeling groups are publishing their latest findings in the peer reviewed literature now (for example, from our group see: Meehl et al., 2005: How much more warming and sea level rise? Science, 307, 1769—1772). 
Atmospheric aerosols cause scattering and absorption of incom
ing solar radiation. Additional anthropogenic aerosols released
into the atmosphere thus exert a direct radiative forcing on the
climate system 1 . The degree of presentday aerosol forcing is
estimated from global models that incorporate a representation
of the aerosol cycles 1--3 . Although the models are compared and
validated against observations, these estimates remain uncertain.
Previous satellite measurements of the direct effect of aerosols
contained limited information about aerosol type, and were
confined to oceans only 4,5 . Here we use stateoftheart satellite
based measurements of aerosols 6--8 and surface wind speed 9 to
estimate the clearsky direct radiative forcing for 2002, incorpo
rating measurements over land and ocean. We use a Monte Carlo
approach to account for uncertainties in aerosol measurements
and in the algorithm used. Probability density functions obtained
for the direct radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere give a
clearsky, global, annual average of 21.9 Wm 22 with standard
deviation, 60.3 Wm 22 . These results suggest that presentday
direct radiative forcing is stronger than present model estimates,
implying future atmospheric warming greater than is presently
predicted, as aerosol emissions continue to decline
The nuclear process emits 2-6 grams of carbon equivalent per kilowatt-hour, while coal, oil and natural gas emit 100-360 grams of carbon per kilowatt-hour .
A complete life-cycle analysis shows that generating electricity from nuclear power emits 20-40% of the carbon dioxide per kiloWatt hour (kWh) of a gas-fired system when the whole system is taken into account.
THE climate changes. It always has done and it always will. In the past 2m years the temperature has gone up and down like a yo-yo as ice ages have alternated with warmer interglacial periods. Reflecting this on a smaller scale, the 10,000 years or so since the glaciers last went into full-scale retreat have seen periods of relative cooling and warmth lasting from decades to centuries. Against such a noisy background, it is hard to detect the signal from any changes caused by humanity's increased economic activity, and consequent release of atmosphere-warming greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
People die. They always have and they always will... therefore we shouldn't worry about whether to fund the health service or worry about cars on the roads or terrorists, its just more or less death.
The third finding is the resolution of an inconsistency that called into question whether the atmosphere was really warming. This was a disagreement between the temperature trend on the ground, which appeared to be rising, and that further up in the atmosphere, which did not. Now, both are known to be rising in parallel.