[And now checking, I see Prometheus has this already]
Taking science by the throat...[Feed] | QS (dead :-() | D (new) | RC | JF (P) | Jeb | SaB | RP Sr | bsd | JQ | CIP | het | mt | Ill
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.