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New Research Forecasts Global 6C Increase By End of Century

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the yelling-match-begins-now dept.

Earth 746

jamie writes with this snippet from the UK's Independent: "The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. ... [The study] found that there has been a 29 per cent increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel between 2000 and 2008, the last year for which figures are available. On average, the researchers found, there was an annual increase in emissions of just over 3 per cent during the period, compared with an annual increase of 1 per cent between 1990 and 2000. Almost all of the increase this decade occurred after 2000 and resulted from the boom in the Chinese economy. The researchers predict a small decrease this year due to the recession, but further increases from 2010."

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How can they tell... (3, Interesting)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193102)

How do they know if the CO2 is from fossil fuels or from natural sources, is there actually a test for this?

Re:How can they tell... (5, Informative)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193262)

CO2 is a molecule, containing one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. One CO2 molecule is indistinguishable from another[*], so in principle no there is no test to determine whether any particular CO2 molecule coems from a fossil fuel or from another source.

The obvious thing to do however is to measure and estimate the amount of man-made CO2, by summing up the CO2 emitted by smoke stacks, agriculture, forest clearing etc. Given this, I don't think anyone denies that the CO2 increase in the atmosphere comes from any natural source. In fact, so far the inceases in CO2 in the atmosphere has been less than humans have been emitting, due to some natural carbon sinks. For example, small amounts of carbon (but huge on a planetary scale) get dissolved in the oceans. These sinks have limits though, when the natural carbon sinks start to saturate it will only make the problem worse.

[*] Ok, a pedant might argue that it has some internal degrees of freedom, nuclear hyperfine levels etc, that are irrelevant here.

Re:How can they tell... (4, Informative)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193292)

[*] Ok, a pedant might argue that it has some internal degrees of freedom, nuclear hyperfine levels etc, that are irrelevant here.

Actually, you needn't look to such minute differences. Different isotopes do react at slightly different rates, so biological processes often enrich molecules in one isotope over another. I don't know of any way to use this to trace CO2's source, but it has been used to chemically trace the earliest appearances of photosynthesis on Earth, for example.

That said, your post is right: you can reasonably accurately measure and sum the man-made carbon sources.

Re:How can they tell... (3, Informative)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193332)

Isotopic composition is a good test. For fossil carbon, all of the C-14 will have decayed, so if the fraction of C-14 has gone down over time then that's a good indicator that the increase is from a fossil fource.

Re:How can they tell.. isotopes (1)

kholburn (625432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193364)

This is complete rubbish. Carbon has 3 naturally occuring isotopes. There are differences based on the ratio of carbon isotopes.

Re:How can they tell.. isotopes (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193394)

See my previous reply. True, I had completely forgotton about isotopes. But I'm doubtful that you could turn this into a useful test of atmosphereic CO2 composition. Even if you can, does anyone argue about the source anyway? I don't see anyone arguing this point.

Re:How can they tell... (2, Informative)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193494)

One thing to remember, however, is that the carbon that is being dissolved into the oceans is doing huge amounts of damage to the ecosystems there. While the oceans have always pulled carbon into it, the vast increase in CO2 has led to the oceans becoming more acidic, which can cause the coral reefs to dissolve, which will lead to the destruction of the habitats of thousands of kinds of oceanic creatures, doing massive damage to the global ecosystem.

Re:How can they tell... (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193570)

+1 informative. Next question:

How come the world temprature has dropped half a degree since 2000? Even the Climate Change Congress now acknowledges this (quote: "temperature has plateaud"). Why?

And how are world leaders likely to respond if the temperature drops during the 2010s?

Re:How can they tell... (5, Informative)

wakaranai (87059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193316)

You can measure the ratio of different types of carbon in tree rings.

What has been found is that 13C/12C ratios are the lowest they've been for 10000 years, and that there is a sharp decline starting in 1850.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/ [realclimate.org]

RJ Francey et al, Tellus 51B, pp.170-193, 1999

Re:How can they tell... (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193340)

Yes, they can measure the concentration of the isotope carbon-14 [newscientist.com] . But even if we couldn't do so, what else do you think would make the concentration of carbon dioxide increase from about 285 ppm to about 385 ppm in just over 100 years?

Re:How can they tell... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193440)

what else do you think would make the concentration of carbon dioxide increase from about 285 ppm to about 385 ppm in just over 100 years?

I vote for legislatures releasing CO2.

Re:How can they tell... (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193512)

Isn't that how long we've been drinking carbonated Coca-Cola? It's all coming from the soda, I tell you! ;)

Re:How can they tell... (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193594)

No you have been letting your soda go flat! Next time drink it faster! And don't burp ;-)

Re:How can they tell... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193604)

Burning dead plants of course. i.e. Fossil fuels. Nobody denies that.

Re:How can they tell... (5, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193356)

I think they are basing the CO2 increases on fossil fuel use increases. I don't find the methodology in the article, but by looking at the number of new power plants going on line, and the number of existing ones, it should be pretty easy to get a fairly accurate number.

Regardless, it's a pretty depressing article. And it doesn't mention the methane hydrates that are starting to thaw and bubble up in the northern latitudes. That has the potential to push warming even higher and what is being forecast is already going to be disastrous to every living thing on the planet.

People around now are going to have things bad enough after the next few decades. After that, well, I hope you like Mel Gibson Road Warrior movies...

re Increase or decline? (1, Insightful)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193116)

I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline. source [americanthinker.com]

For many years to come one will wonder if the data presented to support claims such as this has been "tricked" to conform to someone's belief instead of representing reality.

Re:re Increase or decline? (2, Informative)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193296)

"For many years to come one will wonder if the data presented to support claims such as this has been "tricked" to conform to someone's belief instead of representing reality."

No, for many years the oil industry will keep paying supposed grassroot organisations to spread uncertainty and doubt about this issue. Especially in the US many non-climate-specialists want to believe it or they Way of Life (TM) would be seriously modified.

The trick is just a word used in a private mail to indicate a nice method. It is not meant to indicate faking.
The way they cherrypicked these mails, they must have been studying the way of creationists...

Re:re Increase or decline? (3, Insightful)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193318)

Try reading that again: "adding in the real temps [...] to hide the decline."

So, it is some kind of proxy for measuring the historical temperatures (in this case, tree rings), and this proxy data, for some completely different reason (pollution affecting the tree growth, for example??), shows a decline in the last couple of decades.

The real temperatures (ie, the ones that are actaully measured, like with a thermometer) show an increase, so use the real measurements for the final 20 years of the data.

There would be more of a problem if this wasn't disclosed somewhere. But even then, it is an argument about how the proxy data is presented. The real temperature data doesn't show a decline.

Re:re Increase or decline? (5, Insightful)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193322)

Response from the RealClimate website, here (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/#more-1853):

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

This will indeed cause certain people to "wonder". Especially people who do not have the faculties to properly understand the idiomatic uses of the English language, and people who are willing to take words and phrases of out of context, as well as people who are willing to formulate their opinions without considering the actual analysis and instead relying on secondhand hysteria generated by others who are also not willing to consider the actual analysis.

So it goes.

-Laxitive

Re:re Increase or decline? (5, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193550)

What I do understand is that he is comparing things that aren't comparable. He inferred temperatures using one measurement metric and, since that measurement metric wasn't convenient in a specific interval, mixed that data with data from a completely different measurement method in that interval. Then he uses that to extrapolate global trends based on inconsistent data.

What makes him think that since the measurement method is unreliable for the last 20 years, it is reliable for the rest of the time period hundreds of years back? It throws his entire theory out of the window. He is doing specious reasoning by cherry picking the results that fit his theory better.

Re:re Increase or decline? (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193366)

Only those who read one sentence, and never bother to read anything else. Some of the data from a previous paper was found to be faulty, and a method of adjusting to show a longer term trend based on several data source was required. Not only is this not unheard of, it is a routine technique in studies where some data cannot be duplicated -- such as a temperature reading.

Speaking of warping science to conform to a belief, why is it that so many people are so eager to believe global warming skeptics? Methinks it is because they do not want to believe that something as innocent as driving a car could be a problem.

Re:re Increase or decline? (4, Insightful)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193374)

Not that suspicious in itself - I've often used the word "trick" to refer to a clever shortcut with no deception whatsoever. A quick search of my email shows several uses of it in this way.

I don't know enough about this to say whether there's anything dubious or not, but that quote by itself doesn't say much.

Re:re Increase or decline? (1)

lumbricus (936846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193384)

It's been http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1451926&cid=30176822 [slashdot.org] said before but maybe it has to be said again:

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded "gotcha" phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the 'trick' is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term "trick" to refer to a "a good way to deal with a problem", rather than something that is "secret", and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the 'decline', it is well known that Keith Briffa's maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the "divergence problem"-see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while 'hiding' is probably a poor choice of words (since it is 'hidden' in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

Re:re Increase or decline? (4, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193470)

The politicization of climate data will prove to be a disaster in the long run. Everyone has an axe to grind.

Here's a link to some NASA data about temperature:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/ [nasa.gov]

Do we believe NASA when they say 2008 was the coolest since 2000? Is that just a tooth in the saw? Which trend to you believe? The one that shows temperatures generally increasing since 1880? Are the relatively flat temperatures between 1950 and 1980 an anomaly? Is it really correct to even assume the overall trend is anthropogenic? Or do we need to do some fancy footwork to make the data fit the hypothesis?

What we don't have is good, healthy debate.

Re:re Increase or decline? (4, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193582)

What we don't have is good, healthy debate.

If anything, that's the real black eye that the recent data swipe reveals. The emails between AGW scientists specifically mention bullying publications into not accepting/publishing papers that don't support AGW, and subsequently use the lack of published, peer-reviewed articles against those scientists whose conclusions differ from their own.

Falsibility. (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193132)

At least we now have some falsifiability in this.

IF the forecast temperature rise is 6C per century, then it is .6C per decade. Let's see what we have so far:

http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_decadal_trends [remss.com]

Unlike Hadley, RSS uses satellite data, is consistent, and is open. They DO report a current trend of .15K per decade. This is far lower than the forecast.

Re:Falsibility. (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193200)

IF the forecast temperature rise is 6C per century, then it is .6C per decade

Nonsense. This is only true if it's a linear relationship. Given that the greenhouse effect involves a complex feedback cycle, that is not a valid assumption.

Re:Falsibility. (1)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193312)

but it is a negative feedback, do some research.

Re:Falsibility. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193398)

It is not linear, which was the point. A temperature change over a century is not necessarily proportional to a temperature change over a decade within that century. The temperature change of two decades in that century are not necessarily equal.

Re:Falsibility. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193400)

Given that the greenhouse effect involves a complex feedback cycle, that is not a valid assumption.

I suggest everyone reads about ClimateGate (http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-25061-Climate-Change-Examiner~y2009m11d21-ClimateGate-emails-provide-unwanted-scrutiny-of-climate-scientists) and then provides his/her own
analysis that fits best with what you believe.

Science has become politics and hence can not be trusted anymore.

As to why etc. I'll leave that to some else.

Re:Falsibility. (2, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193562)

Karma be damned...

I've submitted the 'Climategate' story twice (1 [slashdot.org] , 2 [slashdot.org] , and it gets pushed down in the firehose. Why? It has "hackers", tech, science, controversy... All the ingredients of a good topic. So - why vote it *down*?

It's evident there is a 'leftwards' lean in a large part (if not the majority) of the subscribers of this site. So what does the unwillingness to discuss this story indicate - Denial? Suppression? A real 'inconvenient truth'? I don't know. Seems to me that it is a great Slashdot story, but here as elsewhere, certain partisans are doing what they can to make science more and more just an arm of politics and their particular belief system. That sickens me.

I think objectivity should be THE concern when it comes to an issue which is potentially as important as this one, where the stakes are so high. Not so, apparently, among a majority of other Slashdotters. :/

Re:Falsibility. (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193212)

Assuming linear interpolation. I think you may well be on your own there.

Re:Falsibility. (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193220)

They DO report a current trend of .15K per decade. This is far lower than the forecast.

Is there some reason you picked the Channel TLT data and not the, say, Channel TLS data which reports a negative 0.325 K/decade?

I'm no expert in any of this but the site you linked to seems to be satellite data for atmospheric temperatures. Not temperatures at the surface (which is really what we're concerned about, right? I have no doubt that the average temperature of the entire atmosphere of the earth has changed minimally -- if not been lowered erratically. The effects of what is happening on the ground are severely diluted when you include such a large volume.

Tell me, if you wanted to measure the temperature outside your house, would you consult a satellite measuring microwave transmissions or a thermometer adjacent to your house?

Re:Falsibility. (0, Troll)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193320)

"Is there some reason you picked the Channel TLT data and not the, say, Channel TLS data which reports a negative 0.325 K/decade? "

Actually the greenhouse gas theory does indicate a higher insulation value of the atmosphere, which logically means cooler temperatures at higher altitudes.

Re:Falsibility. (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193336)

Is there some reason you picked the Channel TLT data and not the, say, Channel TLS data which reports a negative 0.325 K/decade?

The TLT channel is for lower troposphere and it is, indeed, the closest to ground level.

Satellite temperatures are better for climate purposes because ground stations temperatures also pick up heat radiated from the ground and other buildings. Indeed, one of the great points of criticism made about global climate is weather or not the current level state of ground measuring statements is both consistent and accurate. I'd assume that they are not.

The satellite, because it is the same instrument and same methodology, is consistent, and so in my lay opinion, is the more reliable source of information when considering global climate trends.

Re:Falsibility. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193614)

Satellite temperatures are better for climate purposes because ground stations temperatures also pick up heat radiated from the ground and other buildings.

Sigh.

Re:Falsibility. (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193252)

Apply heat to a glass of ice and the temperature will continue read 0 degrees C until all the ice has turned to water. That doesn't mean there's more energy (heat) in the system.

- RG>

Re:Falsibility. (2, Insightful)

azgard (461476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193476)

Great analogy, but you wanted to say:

That doesn't mean there's not more energy (heat) in the system.

Re:Falsibility. (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193362)

Yes, and that's 0.06 per year or 0.06/365 per day. Sorry, but your "test" is simply not credible at all. There will always be natural variation on top of everything else.

Seriously??? (1)

Xeleema (453073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193136)

29 per cent increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel between 2000 and 2008

You have *got* to be kidding me? What about all this emissions stuff they've been strapping to my engine?

Those crappy "Eco-Friendly" disposable cups and cutlery my employer's been stocking up on?

The recycled-paper-everything?

The ethanol they've put in my gas?

Those tiny cars I have to dodge around the highways?

All this has been for naught?

To hell with the hippies and their soy meat, time to go light some tires on fire or something....

That's all different (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193160)

All the emissions stuff they have strapped to your engine are to control particulate emissions. The combustion, or the operation of the engine itself, is what they are after. IF anything, cleaning up the soot from your engine probably made asthma sufferers worse and also increased the planetary temperature because nature can deal with larger particulates better than it can the really tiny aerosols. So basically, in order to be able to have motive power and not have all of our buildings and trees stained black, we've torched the planet. The hippies screwed up, but so did we.

Woops.

Re:That's all different (1)

Xeleema (453073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193208)

The hippies screwed up, but so did we.

So...basically...we're all going to die, and take the planet with us, right?

That's deep, almost makes me want to find a quack doc and become "clinically depressed", maybe even start collecting payments, seeing as how I won't be able to work.

After all, I've got a *lot* more tires to burn now than I thought....

Re:That's all different (2, Insightful)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193342)

So...basically...we're all going to die, and take the planet with us, right?

It's certainly a given that we're all going to die, sometime. Hopefully not all at the same general time, but who knows.

My impression from this whole "climate change" thing is that coastline dwellers are screwed, as is anyone who lives on a floodplain (but that's usually an annual given), weather patterns are going to change dramatically enough that our capacity for predicting it will suffer (as if to say weathermen now have a bona-fide excuse for being shameless liars), and perhaps most importantly, regional "climate change," again from the change in weather patterns. What doesn't get flooded over with the melting of the ice caps will likely not bear much resemblance to what we know now. Deserts may become lush grasslands, while lush grasslands now might become deserts, simply due to changing weather patterns.

I can't claim to understand the specifics, but if a consensus of scientists are saying "we are fucked," then we are fucked, either because they're right, or because they're wrong and we'll base future decisions on faulty data and proclamations of doom.

Re:That's all different (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193382)

That's deep, almost makes me want to find a quack doc and become "clinically depressed", maybe even start collecting payments, seeing as how I won't be able to work

I see a great opportunity for a web site that diagnoses climate change depression and pays for the disability with a tax on liberal industries such as record companies, tv, and movies.

Re:Seriously??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193272)

It says "global..." but specifically, look in the general direction of China.

So no, it has not all been for naught, it's just been much less of a reduction relative to others (and much larger people group) increase.

Re:Seriously??? (0, Troll)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193450)

The problem with China is that it's a country that is run like a corporation, with the party officials the management (and the executives), the citizens the employees, and the corporations both domestic and foreign as shareholders. And like any big corporation, they generally believe they're infallible, too big to fail, always right, etc. Questioning them is like telling your boss that you know more about how to do his job that he does. Imprisonment is akin to being transferred to a dead-end position in a department nobody knows or cares about, and terminations are rather quite literal.

So for China to be the one major polluter, sure, look in their general direction, but don't expect to change their minds anytime soon, since they're not beholden to you, or anybody for that matter, except their profit margins and their shareholders.

As for us, or more specifically the United States, it isn't as much "blaming ourselves for this mess" even if we're largely responsible for creating the initial conditions that snowballed into the present mess, as it is a form of preventative maintenance to try to stem the flow even as China fucks it up for everybody, and we can't really do anything about it because China has our governments by the balls and isn't planning on letting go anytime soon.

Re:Seriously??? (0, Troll)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193324)

What about all this emissions stuff they've been strapping to my engine?

Won't help much if the Chinese make 10 cars for every car we make "green".

There was an article on here (or digg?) which showed photographs of the incredible water and air pollution in China. It looked worse than a third world country. I can believe they are responsible for most of the CO2 increase.

Re:Seriously??? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193466)

There was an article ... which showed photographs of the incredible water and air pollution in China. It looked worse than a third world country.

And who said being a second world country was any better than being a third world one?

Re:Seriously??? (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193504)

They may be responsible for most of the increase, but their per-capita emissions are still well below those of the west - half of Europe's and a quarter of the USA's.

As others have pointed out, the emissions equipment on cars isn't for reducing CO2, and probably increases it slightly due to loss of efficiency.

Re:Seriously??? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193370)

All this has been for naught?

No, it hasn't been for naught. Just think about what the emissions would have been if we haven't been trying to reduce emissions. What we need to do is much more to reduce emissions. We really haven't done much so far.

Re:Seriously??? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193428)

"All this has been for naught?"

Well, keep in mind that over the past decade, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of automobile and computer owners, and that an enormous number of cell phones have been manufacture. Just producing enough cars, computers, and phones to keep up with demand probably knocked the CO2 emissions up a few notches.

6C ? (3, Informative)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193140)

For those to lazy to multiply, that's a 10.8 degree Fahrenheit increase in the mean global temperature.

Sounds pretty alarming.

jdb2

Re:6C ? (3, Funny)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193182)

Yes, but what does that mean for the people who aren't to lazy to learn Celsius?

Re:6C ? (1)

whoda (569082) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193222)

It means they still might be too lazy to figure out what the change was in Fahrenheit.

Re:6C ? (0, Troll)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193236)

Sir... pssst...

Re:6C ? (0, Troll)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193256)

Just to make it more obvious i was only kidding, the article is in Celsius ;)

What's a Farenheit? (2, Interesting)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193306)

We think it might be the multiple of a groat, furlong and an acre foot.

I wonder whether there is correlation between those who still use Fahrenheit exclusively and those who pretend that there is no such thing as man made climate change...

Re:What's a Farenheit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193608)

If you honestly believe that whole "man made" climate change shit then why don't you do us all a favor in reducing your "carbon footprint" and here is how you can do it fuckwad. Go find a cliff or a bridge somewhere, then take your entire fucktarded family. Have all of them jump off to their deaths, and after that jump to yours. Then you will have achieved your so called goal and we won't have to put up with stupid little fucktards like you polluting the gene pool or whining about how captilaism is not fair and communism is fair.

In order to meet Christmas,shoes,handbags,ugg (0, Offtopic)

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The hack (4, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193152)

I sort of believe in climate change, but at this point in time, a day after we all got to learn that the top-institute for climate-change knowingly and willingly changed the numbers, lied... I can not take this serious. First I want to know how much has been fabricated and lied. After that, I might support this type of research again, but only after all the liars are banned from 'research'.

Re:The hack (3, Insightful)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193330)

I don't think Global Warming (as it was sold to us, no bait and switch Climate Change) is poor science at best. Too much money and politics are involved; when Al Gore and Goldman Sachs agree on something you know it's very very bad. GOOD SCIENCE is all I ask for, which mean never hear the words ''the debate is over''. Here is a link to an article from the WSJ on hacked emails showing scientists deliberately manipulating data to get results they want. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125883405294859215.html?mod=googlenews_wsj [wsj.com]

Re:The hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193438)

According to your logic, we should still be arguing over geocentrism. Science is about data, not debate. No reason in arguing over something well established by data.

Re:The hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193486)

And again, I see nothing in your link that says a word about fabrication or lying. (And the WSJ would certainly have gleefully said if there had been a whisper of fraud.) Spinning, yes. But does that surprise you? Scientists are people, not machines. This is precisely why a conspiracy to commit fraud is so unlikely.

University of East Anglia (3, Interesting)

cirby (2599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193346)

It's even better - the source cited in the story above is the CRU (funny how "University of East Anglia" started being the source when everyone found out that CRU was more than a bit corrupt) - the same people who just got busted with all of that leaked data and incriminating emails just this week.

So they apparently decided to double down on their predictions, instead of trying to pretend nothing happened - but hiding the provenance.

Anyone want to bet the lead author on the paper wasn't the lead author last week, and got "promoted" when the real researchers' names were tainted?

Re:The hack (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193416)

climate-change knowingly and willingly changed the numbers, lied

Having read that story, I saw no evidence that they lied or changed number. They discussed how to spin their results so as their findings wouldn't be used by the opposition to score political points and they discussed politics (including how to marginalize an opponent). But nowhere did I see evidence that they lied or fabricated numbers. Do you have proof that they did?

After that, I might support this type of research again, but only after all the liars are banned from 'research'.

Did you even support it in the first place? Your tone makes me suspect not and that the above sentence is a rhetorical flourish to make your refusal sound more reasonable.

Re:The hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193434)

Jesus, you effing idiot. Look up a few posts where it is nicely explained that those quotes were out of context, not meant in any way to hide contrary data, and don't mean in any way that the data these predictions are based on is falsified.

Learn something, you moron. Go read about how CO is a strong infrared absorber. Read about the actual mechanisms of greenhouse warming.

The data makes complete sense. The mechanisms make complete sense. You are just looking for an excuse to carry on.

Re:The hack (5, Informative)

saltydogdesign (811417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193598)

That's not what we "learned." The information coming from the hacked emails is ambiguous at worst and probably tells us nothing more than that scientists are humans. There's no serious evidence of falsifying data. If you believe there is, out with it, please.

Re:The hack (3, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193602)

Scientists, schmientists. It's all a big conspiracy by liberal scientists who foolishly rely on reason and observation, renouncing all faith in our energy industry, the Republican Party, and God Himself. Don't tell me what these idiot climatologists say; they are far too tainted by having studied this stuff for much of their adult lives. When Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, and Palin speak, we'll finally know the truth!

Because we all know.... (1)

nscott89 (1507501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193154)

that the weather forecast is always right.
Oh wait, I thought it was supposed to be raining today?!?

Re:Because we all know.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193218)

Because we all know that forecasting local changes in a chaotic system is easier than forecasting global trends.

Re:Because we all know.... (2, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193240)

You're confusing weather forecasting and climatology. They aren't the same thing. An analogy (not using cars this time): imagine you have a pot of water on the stove, and the temperature turned to a certain point. The weather forecaster is the person who predicts where the eddies and bubbles will be in this pot of water. Obviously this gets incredibly difficult for predictions more than a few seconds in the future. The climatologist, however, says "after X time, the temperature will have changed to Y", or "Put the lid on the pot, and the temperature will increase to Z".

Two quite different disciplines.

Re:Because we all know.... (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193328)

Hey, even if he is confusing them, weather forecasting has gotten much more accurate in our lifetimes. If you routinely use the weather forecast to plan an outdoor activity -- say, a daily bike ride, or a fishing trip, or whatever you as a unique individual care about in the great outdoors -- you must have noticed this improvement. I'm in my forties now and there are days when the weather forecast is so right on the money it is astounding.

Re:Because we all know.... (0, Troll)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193386)

Except the climatologist doesn't know how much heat is being added to the pot, what the composition of the fluid is within the pot, or even how much fluid is there... and still claims to make precise predictions based upon the imprecise data.

Or, more correctly, makes predictions like, "If nothing changes...." when, in fact, things are always changing. Increased CO2 in the atmosphere leads to increased plant growth, which decreases atmospheric CO2. Solar radiation changes in intensity. Changes in temp and amount of foliage change the level of water vapor in the atmosphere, changing the planet's reflectivity.

Tying a prediction like this to "just" an observed short-term increase in CO2 emissions (which, by the way, isn't a 29% increase in the amount of CO2, but the amount being emitted... without taking into account the amount being absorbed by other players in the ecosystem) ignores 99% of the data.

Register story (2, Informative)

Dartz-IRL (1640117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193168)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/20/cru_climate_hack/ [theregister.co.uk]

Relevant to this story.

Re:Register story (1)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193388)

That might not have been a "hack", see 'Stolen CRU emails: Who are the criminals behind the conspiracy theorists?' at http://www.desmogblog.com/stolen-cru-emails-who-are-criminals-behind-conspiracy-theorists [desmogblog.com]

Re:Register story (1)

Dartz-IRL (1640117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193508)

It's an interesting thing alright.

There're a lot of people who stand to lose a lot of money if climate change is proved to have non-anthropogenic origins.

This makes me think of the flooding in Ireland happening right now... a once-in-a-hundred-years flood which was quickly blamed on global climate change. When asked when the last such flood was, the answer was 'about 90 years ago'.

It's all so alarmist, so much like those fake antivirus programs that tell your all your secret info is being stolen by Russian crackers unless you pay Russian crackers for protection that will never work... it just grows less and less credible in my mind.

!Relevant (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193490)

There was no lying. People who already doubt the results pull a sentence out of context, demand that we all forget normal idiomatic uses of English words in that sentence, and then claim that it is an indication of falsified data. That is all, nothing to see here, move along.

The poor will die and the rich will go sailing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193176)

Unfortunately that's the way it looks from here, Vietnam a developing country which is almost all coastline.

Well as long as the methane clathrates don't thaw releasing their gigatons of methane we won't kill off ALL of the rest of the biosphere. (At least that's what my scientist friends are saying, we're far from that doomsday scenario). Still millions will die and millions of species will go extinct but most of us rich northern hemispherians (N. America, Europe, E. Asia) will do okay.

Glad that Florida will be underwater though. I guess Walt Disney knew better than all of us when he put the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow there. Now I know why he predicted we'd be living underwater!

Re:The poor will die and the rich will go sailing (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193468)

The methane clathrates are melting and methane is actually bubbling up in places in the oceans. One notable source is north of Japan.

As the oceans warm, that rate of release also increases.

Environmal Economists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193214)

he researchers predict a small decrease this year due to the recession, but further increases from 2010.

So now our environmental scientists are making economic forcasets

6C by the end of the century! (1)

Ekuryua (940558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193246)

And by the way, let's jump to conclusion, blame the chinese, after all, they love eating dogs who poop a lot, and that has to produce a lot of methane! Also as we all know, since 2000 all of china got big cars, and huge freezers, and use 250L of water per day.
It's also a known fact that since the advent of fuzzy computers, scientists have been able to run models so good they can predict climatic trends on a century basis. Now I even know where to be for my 50th birthday to see snow.(the last snow on earth apparently, because by then it'll be so hot even the poles will look like hell)

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain... (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193260)

nor to the statistician modifying data values.

Re:Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain. (1)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193372)

If this refers to the 'triks' dug out in private mails from so-called hack in the mailsystem of CRU -which actually shows signs of an inside job-, check the response at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/ [realclimate.org] . Hint: quotemining.

Re:Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193564)

And yet another idiot proves he can take quotes out of context and is too lazy to educate himself on what was actually being discussed.

See the posts above linking to the response from the people involved. Moron.

I'll be dead by then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193396)

But assuming I could live until the age of a thousand, what's the worst case scenario assuming things continue as they are? Since oil and coal came from living things, it seems there's a limit to how much burning it all could affect our atmosphere. I'm guessing most of it came from the atmosphere in the first place, and that living things were not combining carbon and oxygen from geological sources. Are we in for a doomsday scenario that wipes out all life [mangafox.com] ? It seems, at worst, things will get a bit warmer, and perhaps a bit wetter.

Reduced CO2 correlated with recessions (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193404)

The researchers predict a small decrease this year due to the recession, but further increases from 2010. "

Interesting that a historically rather serious recession can only cause a small decrease. It seems like cutting CO2 back to the levels needed to stop global warming would require or cause a much more serious recession.

In fact it's very noticable that now everyone is worried about a 30's style global depression pretty much everyone has stopped talking about cutting CO2 emissions in a follow up to Kyoto.

Not that Kyoto cut CO2 of course

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol#Increase_in_greenhouse_gas_emission_since_1990 [wikipedia.org]

World CO2 emissions went up by 38% from 1992 to 2007. The US refused to sign, India and China were exempt and in the EU

As of year-end 2006, the United Kingdom and Sweden were the only EU countries on pace to meet their Kyoto emissions commitments by 2010. While UN statistics indicate that, as a group, the 36 Kyoto signatory countries can meet the 5% reduction target by 2012, most of the progress in greenhouse gas reduction has come from the stark decline in Eastern European countries' emissions after the fall of communism in the 1990s

Re:Reduced CO2 correlated with recessions (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193514)

"It seems like cutting CO2 back to the levels needed to stop global warming would require or cause a much more serious recession."

Cause and effect fail? A recession forces people to reduce emissions, but it is not the only way to do so...

Wake me when a prediction comes true (5, Insightful)

hedgehogbrains (628646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193436)

'Climate models predict disaster' is not news. Climate model always predict disaster.

'1999 climate model validated by 10 years of actual data'. *That* would be news.

Re:Wake me when a prediction comes true (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193496)

If we're trying to prevent the disaster, it had better be news and we had better wake up well before is happens so we can prevent it. As for data validating climate models, that has been happening for decades. Remember? It's been in all the papers for many years. We've seen an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since that 1950s [newscientist.com] , and the warming that was predicted to cause since the 1970s [newscientist.com] . That's why we're trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Re:Wake me when a prediction comes true (1)

hedgehogbrains (628646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193524)

Could you add a link to the 1970s prediction please?

Timing (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193458)

I can't help but wonder why this report surfaced just before the Copenhagen talks.

It's almost like someone was trying to influence the outcome of those talks by dropping in a really dire prediction of the results if the talks didn't come out the way they wanted them to.

Not only the estimates are increasing... (5, Informative)

perrin (891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193472)

It is not only the estimates of temperature increase that are rising, but so are the uncertainties. We know very little about how the feedback cycles work once the temperature changes so many degrees, and we know next to nothing about how they work when faced with such quick changes. We do not know how much methane hydrate [wikipedia.org] there is stored on the ocean floor, but we do know there is a lot of it and that an eruption [wikipedia.org] of it 55 million years ago was at least in part responsible for a 6 degree C rise in global temperatures. It is also thought that the biggest mass extinction event ever [wikipedia.org] was caused by massive volcanism and methane hydrate release. There is plenty of evidence that large parts of the ocean can and have previously become anoxic [wikipedia.org] during climate changes. This is really bad news not only for everything that lives in the ocean, but also for us since a large part of our food supply comes from the ocean.

Basically, we are getting into a territory where all bets are off, and it is not good news for humanity. I am linking to wikipedia since that is good place to start to read up on this stuff and find links to the actual research.

Prediction depends on an unproven thesis (1, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193484)

A predicted 6 degrees Celsius rise in a century? Oh, how scary! Let's introduce onerous carbon-curbing measures.

But wait, the models that make these predictions all have CO2 as the driving factor behind climate change. The historical record shows, however, that the atmospheric CO2 concentration follows changes in global temperature instead of leads it. Not surprising: higher temperature -> oceans heat up -> less dissolved CO2.

Moreover, there is a perfectly plausible alternative explanation for what is causing the rapid climate fluctuations (historically going both up and down on a fairly short timescale): the sun. If you include the EUV and X-Ray bands of the spectrum, it becomes obvious that the sun's output changes much more than it is being given credit for: http://www.usc.edu/dept/space_science/sem_data/SEM%20Data%20Graphs/SEM_1996-2009.jpg [usc.edu]

Re:Prediction depends on an unproven thesis (5, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193522)

Yes, in the past, the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lagged behind temperature increases [newscientist.com] . But that does not mean that an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide cannot cause an increase in temperatures now. After all, digging up billions of tons of fossil fuels and burning them is not something that has happened in the past. And we know it's not an increase in solar output causing the warming we've observed [newscientist.com] .

Re:Prediction depends on an unproven thesis (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193536)

"A predicted 6 degrees Celsius rise in a century? Oh, how scary! Let's introduce onerous carbon-curbing measures."

I take it you've never tried to grow your own food? A few degrees can mean the difference between getting a juicy tomato or just a leafy vine.

Sulphur Dioxide to the rescue (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193520)

20 million tons generates approximately 0.5 degrees of cooling when in the upper atmosphere.
We'd have to loft 240 million tons of SO2, which could buy us time to clean up the CO2
Of course one would want some safety measure in case an actual volcano erupted.
So loft 200 tons.
Hot sulfuric acid and copper shavings, you could make it at home.

It doesn't add up... (1)

raengler (163676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193552)

I have a couple of issues with the article (actually more, but this is for starters...)
1. If the vast majority of increases is due to Chinese economic expansion, why are we targeting USA and EU for further cuts in emissions...ever heard of Pareto's law? Oh, yeah...the point of the Copenhagen meeting is to extract more wealth from the "rich" nations to give to the poor dictatorships...
2. If the melting of all the polar ice is going to occur, and sea levels will rise that much, seems to me the "highly desirable" location of the British Isles will be underwater...or is it going to preferentially not rise there? I note the cover of Algore's new book which was photoshopped to add four hurricanes (one of which is rotating the wrong direction) and the polar ice cap all "melted" in spite of snow and ice cover in extreme northern Canada, and finally Cuba completely submerged...(can't believe Algore would do that to his commie buddies)

How stupid do they think we are?

Clarifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193572)

The century ends after 23:59:59 on December 31, 2100AD (not the year before as some think)
2100 ad is not a leap year

6C is 108 decimal or l in ascii

Wine production (1)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 4 years ago | (#30193574)

Then maybe England and Sweden will be able to resume their wine production as they did before the Medieval ice age.

Do the science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30193600)

Make a chart yourself.
Chart the increase in Carbon Dioxide
and the temperatures you can get from Hadley CRU

If you make this chart, you'll find a poor correlation over the last decade, where this 28% increase in carbon dioxide occurred.

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