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Climate May Be Less Sensitive To CO2 Than Previously Thought

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the time-for-a-celebratory-bonfire dept.

Earth 413

a_hanso writes "A new study suggests that the effects of rising levels of carbon dioxide on temperature may be less significant than previously thought. 'The new models predict that given a doubling in CO2 levels from pre-industrial levels, the Earth's surface temperatures will rise by 1.7 to 2.6 degrees C. That is a much tighter range than suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report, which suggested a rise of between 2 to 4.5 degrees C."

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saved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38165998)

we are saved!

For a minute, then a greater menace will emerge (4, Funny)

nido (102070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166088)

Did you hear how Mother Earth is creating a new island [earthweek.com] in the canaries?

She's got it in for us, I swear. Nothing like putting a blowtorch [dailymail.co.uk] in the hidden depths of your oceans to screw with those gnats on the surface: "They think they're so important, I'll show them."

Re:saved! (2)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166102)

If true, this is good news. However, it could end up being bad news if this report gets twisted in support of the 'drill baby drill' crowd....

Re:saved! (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166152)

Like I keep repeating - there's only 40 years of oil left. That's a generous estimate that does not take into account growth. So drill baby drill can drill all they want, the total CO2 released from fossil fuels is just going to reach equilibrium faster. When the oil/coal is gone, it's gone forever.

Re:saved! (1, Troll)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166238)

I say we continue to pump CO2 into the air, use up all our oil, and see what happens at the end...

Because I am tired of "I told you so" people, when it is all based on theory and only good can come out of reducing CO2 by a few percentages.

Re:saved! (5, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166354)

Only good can come?
Are you sure of that?
Because I can see many things wrong with your statement.
Many bad and not so good things can come from Reducing CO2.
Cars cost more, jobs pay less, food and gas cost more.
Some businesses are getting seriously hurt. (Try making cement in California)

I can understand 5 year olds thinking that all is good and nice. You though are presumably an adult.
try some critical thinking.

Are the benefits realized by these reductions worth the cost?

I do not know. I think that further reductions may in fact not be worth the cost.

But of this I am sure.

Not only good comes from the reduction of CO2.
 

Re:saved! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166576)

What if a reduction in CO2 means a reduction in consumption of fossil fuels, and therefore a significant cost reduction, especially if oil-prices go up? What exactly will prevent another (possibly lasting) oil crisis? The oil is slowly but surely running dry, and certain (oil-dependent) countries are ready to fight over oil or use it as a weapon (just look at Iran; they are currently threatening to cut off the Strait of Hormuz, thus blocking not just their own but many other Middle-east countries oil export). It may be cheaper to rely on oil and gas at this very moment, but other energy sources, may well become cheaper in the (very near) future.

Re:saved! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166250)

Like I keep repeating - there's only 40 years of oil left.

While I find your argument of proof by repetitive assertion convincing, I think that 20 years ago there was only 30 years oil left. In another 40 years it may have reach 80 years left. Maybe there's more people repeating the opposite to you and it's actually driving the oil supplies upwards?

Re:saved! (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166320)

I think that 20 years ago there was only 30 years oil left.

We're digging 20,000 feet under ocean beds for oil now. Exactly how much oil do you expect there to be in the mantle?

Re:saved! (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166428)

Like I keep repeating - there's only 40 years of oil left.

While I find your argument of proof by repetitive assertion convincing, I think that 20 years ago there was only 30 years oil left. In another 40 years it may have reach 80 years left. Maybe there's more people repeating the opposite to you and it's actually driving the oil supplies upwards?

We have certainly reached "Peak Oil" - we are not increasing oil production in the face of increasing oil demand. We are going after harder to extract oil (oil sands, deep water oil), we ARE improving fractional production from existing wells through horizontal drilling and fracking and other methods but this serves more to make a long tail type of decline.

"Running out" of oil (or petrochemicals in general) is a more complex issue than can be stuffed in a sound bite. We will never run completely out of oil - there are thousands of 'stripper wells' pulling out a couple of barrels of crude oil per day and will do so for hundreds of years. But you can't run a major industrial economy on stripper wells. It will depend on a number of inter related issues - economic growth, conservation, solar / wind / hydro / nuc power, wars, etc.

But we;re already beyond 'cheap oil' - if that's any consolation to the planet.

Re:saved! (0)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166538)

Peak Oil is a largely politically driven fear. There is no proof of any future "end" of oil being available, or even any future net loss of oil production due to oil not being available.

^^^ Try and prove that statement incorrect. I would be very interested in actual proof that the world has no more oil available. Don't forget to look 20 miles into the Earth's crust, we can't ignore any potential new source, now can we?

History has shown every prediction thus far of us running out of oil to be incorrect. Those who own energy wells will do anything to make their product more expensive, even and especially pretending their resources is scarce and is running out.

Re:saved! (3, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166284)

Now this one really does require a citation. And oil doesn't just have to be pumped in the traditional manner. There are the tar sands in Canada that hold an immense amount of oil. There is fracking, and oil and natural gas reserves in the Arctic that are just being discovered. And if the antarctic ice shelf melts to any degree, who wants to bet that oil companies won't be buying off politicians in Russia, the U.K., and America to get rules changed to drill there. A whole new continent that hasn't been exploited. But first before I believe there is only 40 years of oil left I need convincing with published facts, and even then it would have to be pretty damned convincing.

Re:saved! (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166362)

Now this one really does require a citation

I know it's hard [googleityoulazyfuck.com] to live in the information age [cia.gov] and even harder to use a calculator and even harder when big numbers are involved, but there you go. Also remember China is growing 9% a year. That adds the demand of a country the size of Australia, every year. And that's just China.

Re:saved! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166448)

Just send them over to The Oil Drum [theoildrum.com] - a nice peak oil site with equations, graphs, charts and a reasonable amount of common sense.

Re:saved! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166482)

Meh there's no point. Anyway the market is proving better than anyone else what is happening with the world's oil supply. Every second there's a hint of economic growth, the price of oil goes shooting up. There's still a little slack left in the system which is why we're not seeing an exponential rise in oil prices - but soon. Another fair bit of evidence is the lack of desire to build new refineries by energy companies. Why? Because they know they will not use them.

Re:saved! (2, Informative)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166504)

Thanks for the link disproving the parent statement. 3rd hit: http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/oil/ [radford.edu] from which I quote:

“We are looking at more than four and a half trillion barrels of potentially recoverable oil. That number translates into 140 years of oil at current rates of consumption, or to put it anther way, the world has only consumed about 18 percent of its conventional oil potential.

Re:saved! (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166592)

Weasel words: "At current rates of consumption". Even if it were true that there is about 3 times more oil, you cannot ignore exponential growth. 2% is exponential growth. 70/2 = doubling every 35 years. But the average world economic growth is around 3%, which means the world economy (and thus oil demand) doubles every 70/3 = 23 years. Therefore "At current rates of consumption" is a load of horse-shit that is only good for THIS year. You will find that in 10 years there will be significantly less than "140 years" of oil left. There are formulas to work out exponentials, and they are left as an exercise for the reader.

Re:saved! (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166356)

Like I keep repeating - there's only 40 years of oil left. That's a generous estimate that does not take into account growth. So drill baby drill can drill all they want, the total CO2 released from fossil fuels is just going to reach equilibrium faster. When the oil/coal is gone, it's gone forever.

Well, unless the proponents of abiotic oil theories are correct...

Re:saved! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166514)

Then in that case we had better get very good very fast at fixing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Re:saved! (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166438)

But there are thousands of years of coal left.

Re:saved! (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166456)

No, there's 250 years of coal left - at today's consumption rates. Now what is going to happen when we run out of oil and rely on coal for absolutely everything we used to rely on oil for? You think that might affect consumption and demand a little? Then factor in growth, because we're proving that we are going to grow as a global population until we exhaust our environment.

Re:saved! (-1, Flamebait)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166104)

we are saved!

Which leads me to wonder about the bible. Is there a greenhouse effect associated with saintly christians in the clouds, post-rapture?

How does this change anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166008)

Not having RTFA, all this does is give a little more time to deal with the issues. We will be on a rising curve for atmospheric CO2 levels for the foreseeable future, so all the bad things will happen, but just on a more leisurely schedule.

Re:How does this change anything? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166108)

It doesn't, but the deniers will latch onto it for a new talking point. "Ha ha, they're not sure about the math, so they must have made it all up!" (brain explode)

Re:How does this change anything? (1)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166276)

Well at least we have more time than expected to deal with the consequences of climate change

(like building desalination plants for the droughts to come!)

Re:How does this change anything? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166290)

This is more evidence that contradicts the inner circle of "scientists" that brought us the agw theory.

The fun will be watching all the alarmists spin this as if they knew it all along. Like the cold weather they never predicted....FAIL

Re:How does this change anything? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166420)

Or a little more time to collect evidence. With all the effort going into climate research, 50 years from now we will have a pretty good guess of what's really happening.

Re:How does this change anything? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166564)

'When only one hypothesis is allowed as the explanation for climate change (e.g. 'the science is settled'), the bias becomes so thick and acrid that everyone can smell the stench'

“Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary,” -- Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office.

“I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run,” Thorne adds.

“Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC,” Wigley acknowledges.

“Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden,” Jones writes in another newly released email. “I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.” “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment]?” Jones wrote to Penn State University scientist Michael Mann in an email released in Climategate 1.0. “Keith will do likewise. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. I see that CA [the Climate Audit Web site] claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!

"How should we deal with flaws inside the climate community? I think, that “our” reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not especially honest.

"What is at issue is the uncritical zeal with which the industry siezed on the theory before its scientific value had been properly tested. In one go,they tossed aside dozens of studies which confirmed the existence of the MWE and LIA as global events,and all on the basis of tree rings –a proxy which has all the deficiencies I have stated above"

"It seems to me that you have the difficult problem of wearing two hats: one as the advocate of particular policies and viewpoints, and the other as an editor of a journal which aspires to be a neutral forum for policy discussion."

So much more... Your beloved Climate Scientists are nothing more than a collection of thugs pushing a failed theory with propaganda.

Excellent... (5, Funny)

RJBeery (956252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166010)

...let the rational, even-handed and emotionally detached debate begin!

Re:Excellent... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166062)

...let the pointless, look-at-me comments begin!

Re:Excellent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166220)

Well done sir, first point for you.

Re:Excellent... (3, Funny)

Xenolith (538304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166066)

YOU'RE WRONG! ... about there being rational debate.

Re:Excellent... (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166070)

But having to change is scary! Can't you just tell me a nice, comforting story about how we can all keep burning oil, gas, and coal forever?

Re:Excellent... (1)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166172)

But having to change is scary! Can't you just tell me a nice, comforting story about how we can all keep burning oil, gas, and coal forever?

How about I tell you a nice comforting story about how wind and solar power will solve all our problems instead?

Re:Excellent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166322)

Sure. That story sounds more plausible than the one about burning fossil fuels forever.

Re:Excellent... (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166390)

But having to change is scary! Can't you just tell me a nice, comforting story about how we can all keep burning oil, gas, and coal forever?

How about I tell you a nice comforting story about how wind and solar power will solve all our problems instead?

Sounds great, I'll light the candles.

Re:Excellent... (0)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166184)

I'm the fancy-schmancy 1%er who's going to say the article was written an oil industry shill without even reading it or evaluating its merits (or lack thereof). Now subsidize the solar panels on my third home, dammit!

Re:Excellent... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166324)

If you really want to be depressed: For a 1%er ... if getting a solar installation subsidy cost them even an hour of their time talking to their congresscritter, it would be a losing proposition.

Re:Excellent... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166242)

comforting story about how we can all keep burning oil, gas, and coal forever?

You mean it's never going to run out, ending all this debate once and for all? OMG I better get drilling, I need to tap into this infinite fossil fuel reserve that we're not halfway through.

Re:Excellent... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166326)

Between horizontal drilling, tar sands, and all those crazy offshore deposits, there really is a stupid amount of oil left out there. There is also a fracking lot of natural gas.

(Oblig. climate-discussion disclaimer: No representation is made as to whether this oil and gas ought to be drilled and burned, or as to the direct and indirect environmental consequences - oil spills, global warming, aquifer contamination, good old-fashioned soot, etc. Void where prohibited, and in the Volunteer State. Do not pass go; do not collect 200 lira. Eat more lentils.)

Re:Excellent... (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166574)

Yep, there is a lot of oil left. Now, how do you get it out of the ground - that's the rub. Even in a totally depleted, water soaked oil field, there is a metric shitload of oil under the surface. Just no way to economically bring it to the surface.

Same with Ultradeep oil in the Gulf of Mexico (and elsewhere). You stick a $2 billion dollar rig on surface, spend a long time drilling (and oopsie occasionally - dry holes and the unavoidable blowout) and you get a couple more million barrels for a few years (Deepwater plays tend to be smaller fields that go flat pretty fast because of the pressures and the geology). Keep doing that and you've driven the price of oil up to like $100 / barrel. Add increasing growth of Homo Industrialis and now oil is $150 / barrel. Fine, that gives the folks with the billion dollar oil rigs more economic room to drill in Godknowswhereistan (or Cleveland) but that brings home heating oil up to $5 / gallon. Fine, you say, just insulate. Oopsie, my income stream has been flat to going backwards over the past several years because the economy (which is only happy at constant to accelerating growth) isn't growing.

Get's complicated. There will always be oil (which is good - petrochemicals are wonderfully useful) but cheap energy may be a thing of the past.

And cheap energy is what has driven the Industrial Revolution so far.

Now, back to the original subject - we might have a few more years of breathing room. Maybe.

Re:Excellent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166346)

Oh yes a deep french thinker called King Louis the 15th, also Louis le bien aimé (when he became king, when he died they had to bury him during the night because the people really hated him).
He said "après moi le déluge" or "after me the flood" (wich was kind of true, after him they cut his son's head off (Louis the 16th or Louis the almost last, they kind of misplaced the 17th and the 18th could get some temp gig too in between revolutions).

So the moral is, just die early and all will be well (for some values of well).
And when the political setup of the "aristocracy" crashed during WWI one of the main driver of the blood bath was a bunch of generals in their 60th dreaming of life as it was in their 20s and not caring much about what would happen "after".

Our economical life today is largelly run by people who really do not care about what will happen in 20 years, they perfectly well know that they'll be old and with enough cash to pay the retierement home, and to hell with the you idiots "go off my lawn"...

Re:Excellent... (2)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166134)

How can there be a debate about scientific results? This always confuses me. One can have a debate about moral or ethical issues, but not about scientific results.

Well, how scientific ARE the results? (3, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166256)

This is the kind of thing [forbes.com] that tends to get the skeptics -- and those the GW proponents call "deniers" -- going.

Clearly, the process has problems; the data isn't as nailed down as many claim; the temperature rises not as predicted; the models flawed; the entire thing politicized to a notable degree. It certainly all seems worthy of paying attention to, when taken together.

Re:Excellent... (5, Insightful)

drosboro (1046516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166260)

How can there be a debate about scientific results? This always confuses me. One can have a debate about moral or ethical issues, but not about scientific results.

Then I would say your understanding of how science works is somewhat limited. We could have a debate about: a) whether the assumptions made at the outset were good assumptions, b) whether the data was collected in a reasonable way, c) whether the statistics were chosen and applied correctly, d) whether you've done a good enough job controlling other variables and excluding competing hypotheses, e) the magnitude and directionality of various sources of error, and whether they could confound the data, etc.

Not saying that these are problems with the study in question, but I've read studies in which each of the above (among other things) were certainly open for debate!

Re:Excellent... (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166318)

Methodology, interpretation, cause. Having scientific results that aren't open for debate would be astonishing, unless it's as simple as "dropping something out the window on Earth causes it to fall." Hell, I can already spot several things wrong with that statement (what about lighter than air objects?)

All scientific results have uncertainties, in measurements and in conclusions. Causation is always extremely tricky, and requires you to interpret the results in light of a certain scientific (and philosophical: you need principles too) framework, which is generally also open to debate. And of course an error in methodology could invalidate the entire thing, but you can only know if such an error exists if you know what you are showing and what the cause is (to some degree). In short, you can't not have debate.

Re:Excellent... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166338)

One can have a debate about either the accuracy of the results, or the interpretation of them.

It's easy... (-1, Troll)

jscotta44 (881299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166358)

...since the "scientific results" change on a monthly basis, combined with the yearly releases on how the "scientists" are doctoring the data or selectively releasing on the portions that support the result that they want to show - debating is very, very easy. Add to that the other side where scientists are doing the same thing, but support the opposing view, and you get wonderful conflict.

If either side actually released the complete data, with nothing hidden and both sides actually focused on finding the truth about the climate, we *might* be able to actually determine what is going on and if there is anything we can do about it – or even if we should do anything about it. After all, who says that today's climate is the best one for the earth? There are have been very many climate changes in the earth's history. Why do we think we have the right to pick one?

However, since there are people/power/money involved, there will be very few real facts that matter. So, we are back to debate and the people that get paid to do it.

Re:Excellent... (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166380)

I guess the Sun revolving around the Earth shouldn't have been debated either. It's a scientific result, Aristoteles said so!

Re:Excellent... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166384)

Really? That's sort of how science works. Experimentalists get raw data compare it with existing theories predictions, say that it either confirms or contradicts various theories. Theorists debate how to modify their models to conform to the new data and/or the set up of the experiment itself. There is a lot of debate in science and always has been.

Re:Excellent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166212)

...let the rational, even-handed and emotionally detached debate begin!

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT A DENIER WOULD SAY!

God damn deniers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166014)

Don't they know the science is settled?! I just can't stand these industry shills. Between the Koch brothers and Limbaugh dittoheads, there are too many deniers out there already. It is supremely irresponsible of these scientists to publish such an article.

Nuclear (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166022)

We should be switching to nuclear anyway, it's not about global warming, it's about the eventuality of the end of the age of oil. It will happen so it's better to be thinking about it now.

Re:Nuclear (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166082)

Why bother? Biodiesel from animal fat works just fine. Just render down all those fat Americans.

Re:Nuclear (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166288)

Don't braise me bro!

Re:Nuclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166178)

Nuclear replaces coal power plants, but what does it have to do with "the age of oil"? Oil is very rarely burned to generate electricity.

Re:Nuclear (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166296)

Oil is very rarely burned to generate electricity.

About 600 million [shipvehicles.com] vehicles running headlights, radios, fans, etc., beg to disagree.

More about oil re power generation (4, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166350)

Also, so does every gasoline and diesel fueled generator in the world, and that's probably a pretty hefty number.

See the thing is, if the gasoline and diesel burned in individual vehicles was instead burned in power plants, and fed to the vehicles as electricity, there would be a lot less consumption of gasoline and diesel overall, because those larger generation systems are a lot more efficient at getting power to the wheels, even given transmission line losses, charging losses, etc.

And, if the vehicles are electric, they become power-agnostic: you can "burn" anything.... oil, coal, nuclear, sunshine, hydro, congresscritters, and the cars don't have to change at all.

Ok, clearly, burning congresscritters would really be polluting, but the other stuff...

EVs make great sense. manufacturing them such that they serve us well in the roles we like to use them... we're not quite there. Soon, though, clearly.

Re:More about oil re power generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166434)

Just because it causes pollution, that doesn't mean it's not a good idea.

Re:Nuclear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166436)

Stupid fucks can't read.

He said "to generate electricity." It's burned to move the vehicles. The electricity is for the plugs, and you get to use a little for your toys. The word "to" is important even though it is just two letters.

Holy fuck, why don't they teach reading anymore?

Very little oil is burned to generate electricity. The statement is true. Only a stupid illiterate lying fuck would try to debate it by ignoring the purpose of burning the oil.

Re:Nuclear (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166274)

Anyone with a calculator that has a working divide button will realize that it's going to be over a lot sooner than most people think. Anyone who knows how to account for exponential growth in demand realizes that it's going to be even sooner than that. The first year that we are no longer able to meet our demand, we are going to feel it hard. And from that point, it's just going to get worse and worse every year thanks to diminishing returns.

Re:Nuclear (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166314)

There are energy sources besides nuclear.and fossil fuels. And there are huge market distortions, so it's not clear that the energy providers' prosperity is due to the merits of their company or product.

For example, the barriers to entry in those techs are huge, such that small businesses are locked out. Also, uneven subsidies corrupt the pricing and warp the balancing effects a free market would naturally have.

We should develop every technology we can, drop subsidies (or at least phase them out as their tech matures), tax their various externalities, and let the markets choose.

Re:Nuclear (4, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166394)

Actually, we should be working on energy efficiency.

Nuclear may be relatively safe but, when things do go wrong, we have to live with the consequences for a wee bit longer.

CO2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166048)

Causes my levels to rise

Less Sensitive No Problem (4, Interesting)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166052)

Confirming that anthropogenic CO2 does affect climate and proposing that the multiplier is slightly less than what others have suggested. Yawn.

Misinterpretation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166054)

I doubt that any previous report have said that the temperature will rise at least.
Any scientist who doesn't want to look like a fool would be sure to state as much as or something similiar to indicate that there is an element of uncertainty. The bastardization from "There is a slight possibility that this may happen." to "ZOMG ZOMG!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" is usually done by politicians or journalists that haven't learned the meaning of words like "can" and "may".

Let the informed battles begin (4, Insightful)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166072)

Denier: Ah hah! Told you all! Told you all!

Warmist: World is still getting warmer, which means we will all die

Skeptic: These are all extrapolations which are barely worth the paper they are written on

Denier: We need to stop with the environmental programs, they are killing the economy

Warmist: We need to stop polluting, the world is in jeopardy

Denier: It will cost trillion to "save" the world, and it might not even be saved. Anyone who wants to spend that kind of money on a crapshoot is an idiot

Warmist: Can we afford to take a chance? Our choice is trillions now, or quadrillions later. If you don't agree with me, then you are an idiot.

Skeptic: Anybody who wants to take drastic action on the currently available data is an idiot.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166132)

I don't see any "warmists" saying we're all going to die. Things will be unpleasant, and in fact millions may die, but there are always unpleasant things in life and millions die every year anyway. The world will go on even if we keep burning more fossil fuel every year until prices become unaffordable to the masses. It's just that according to the latest and best information we currently have, we can make life better by reducing energy use and ramping up production from energy sources that can last for many thousands of years. I guess that's not too alarmist enough to have a knee-jerk reaction to, though.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166186)

Idiot: These are all extrapolations which are barely worth the paper they are written on

There, fixed it for you. These certainly aren't "extrapolations" [realclimate.org] .

Re:Let the informed battles begin (4, Interesting)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166192)

Pollution is what's saving the planet from global warming.
See the Global Dimming [wikipedia.org] article on Wikipedia. There was also a NOVA episode [pbs.org] on the subject.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (2, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166258)

Thank you for that - I've tried raising the issue on several "skeptic" sites and am either ignored, or more frequently, deleted. I don't think people realize just what a predicament the burning of carbon-rich fuels presents, especially when they produced very fine soot. Both black carbon and CO2 are a problem that we must solve but the 1st slightly mitigates the 2nd, leading the uninformed and the "skeptics" to think there's no real problem.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (1)

Xenolith (538304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166330)

Aerosols fall out of the atmosphere in a couple/three years. United States and other western nations cleaned up in the 70s into the 80s, so aerosols aren't as much of a problem any more. It is becoming a problem in China and other booming industrial nations with no environmental constraints. Eventually they will get a clue, and clean up their act as well... or their boom will end.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166432)

The documentary on global dimming blamed it as one of the most likely causes of the Ethiopian famine of the mid-80s. I'll have to try to find info on how and where the cloud formations have to be to affect the monsoon rainfall patterns. I'm assuming that China and India weren't contributing as much then as they are today and they've probably grown to the point where they've offset the progress of the West in air quality. If this causes a dramatic shift in their own rainfall patterns, it's not just their boom that'll be in jeopardy, but their survival ( of their poorest, of course )

Re:Let the informed battles begin (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166246)

There are climate deniers, who think nothing should be done, and then there are economy deniers, who don't actually believe that their policies have economic cost (and may in fact praise them for "creating jobs").

If you're not one of the irrational extremists, you have to deal with them both (and will probably be called one when dealing with the other). It kinda sucks.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166446)

Funny. Remember the talking heads saying that the science is settled? Yet here comes along yet another study saying that the science is indeed not settled. To a point what I think bothers most opponents of the AGW theory is the belief that "we know all" rather than "we don't know enough." Global warming as it is, is akin to bridge building. You know the science about why something will or won't collapse, you don't take a guess on a wood bridge and watch as the first car going across plummets 150m into the canyon. With global warming, you don't even know if the bridge is made of straw.

And there's enough loose money floating on the pro-side from kickbacks, and unclaimed gifts along with monetary favors that anyone with an ounce of common sense should be saying well wait a fucking minute.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166580)

economy deniers, who don't actually believe that their policies have economic cost (and may in fact praise them for "creating jobs").

Fair enough, but the "economy deniers" I hear are usually on the other side of the debate though.

The Republicans in particular spout this meme that environmental policy is bad for the economy. It is a frustrating one because it is only true in the short term. In the long run, such R&D is usually good. Ask Toyota if making the Prius was a mistake. They developed it back when Ford, GM, and Chrysler were complaining to the Bush administration that raising the fuel efficiency standards would cost a million jobs. That was only true because they hadn't invested in the technology.

Keeping clean air and waterways helps the fishing and tourism industries. It reduces health care costs. It raises worker productivity.

(and may in fact praise them for "creating jobs").

True that they don't directly "create jobs." But companies not investing in tech means they fall behind and lose those jobs eventually.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (-1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166378)

I'm from Alaska. There, global warming is not theoretical, it is quite visible. Glaciers that took 10,000 years to form are vanishing in a matter of decades. Drastic action is what we've been doing to the environment by releasing levels of CO2 that the planet has only rarely heretofore experienced. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some violent emotion to vent.

Re:Let the informed battles begin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166426)

Re:Let the informed battles begin (2)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166516)

I'm from Alaska. There, global warming is not theoretical, it is quite visible.

The nice thing about anecdotes is that they are a good substitute for variable-controlled science, with a much smaller pricetag.

Speaking of anecdotes being more useful than science, I've heard that the polar bear population is doing well. Apparently, the Inuit hunters have seen a lot of bears, which is pretty much conclusive.

http://www.researchandpractice.com/articles/2-2/dowsley-1.pdf [researchandpractice.com]

Re:Let the informed battles begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166410)

Child: Can we have dinosaurs again if it gets warm enough?

Warmist: The oceans will flood the coasts and billions of people will die before you're as old as your parents.

Child: But, I can have a dinosaur then, right?

Re:Let the informed battles begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166494)

Wait, what?... The skeptic would be for doing nothing?

WTF kind of a skeptic is _THAT_? When did being skeptic (in the scientific term) mean you don't take reasonable steps in case one or the other side is true, a step that is rather obvious in need as the cost of betting on the anti-AGW side is extremely high.

The whole point of the skeptical movement was that one aims to judge the likelihood of something being true or false, and acting accordingly, rather than being a denier or warmist.

well if this pans out (0)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166092)

Its good news, sort of. Of course we still have to deal with the anti-climate change conspiracy theorists who believe that all the scientists in the world are in on a secret conspiracy to falsely convince us there is such a thing as global warming. They will only spin the study as proof that climate change is still a hoax.

On a more rational note, a rise of 1.7 to 2.6 degrees Celsius is still not good. However, it is much better than a rise of between 2 and 4.5 degrees C.

Re:well if this pans out (1, Insightful)

DuBois (105200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166188)

Nobody rational denies climate change. Many rational people deny human caused climate change. If there were empirical evidence for blaming humans, we'd have a debate. Lacking such evidence is the reason why there is merely a shouting match between irrationalists of all sorts.

Re:well if this pans out (4, Insightful)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166270)

Actually 1.7 to 2.6 due to a doubling of CO2 is fantastic. It means with the current trajectory we're only going to get the "expected" unavoidable warming (2 degrees C) even if we do nothing till 2050 or later.

Basically, we let Peak Oil kill off the internal-combustion engine automobile and ride out solar/battery improvements for stationary energy. It changes a lot.

Re:well if this pans out (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166442)

If we ran out of fossil fuels when we ran out of oil, global warming wouldn't be much of a problem. The problem is coal [wired.com] .

Re:well if this pans out (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166512)

I'm not that optimist. About 80% of fossil fuels is still in Earth. Granted, most of it is impossible to harvest today, but the industry is developing rapidly. We didn't have oil rigs 100 years ago, and I'm sure the industry will come up something to reach what's now impossible. Of course, these sources will be more and more expensive to extract, thus "peak oil" will be more like a gentle slope, as market forces will drive the economy away from the too expensive fossil fuels. The real question is, how much CO2 will be produced by that time.

Statistics (5, Insightful)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166174)

It's also a 66% confidence projection using a new climate model that has undergone peer review but probably not much other discussion in the community. It's interesting, but hardly definitive.

Models are based on insufficient data (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166248)

There are hundreds of things changing the temperature contantly and it's very hard to isolate the changes CO2 caused.

Re:Models are based on insufficient data (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166466)

Wait. I thought the science was settled. How can what you said be true? /sarc

Re:Models are based on insufficient data (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166570)

There are hundreds of things changing the temperature contantly and it's very hard to isolate the changes CO2 caused.

BLASPHEMER!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAGWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166278)

and in other news
Yet Another Global Warming Sham

A few points... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166280)

It's an interesting piece of work. There are two issues to bear in mind:
  - They are calculating climate sensitivity at the last glacial maximum. Climate sensitivity varies with temperature, so the sensitivity now may not be the same as the sensitivity at the LGM. It is entirely possible that both this study, and all the studies which put a higher value on current sensitivity, are both correct.
  - Even their most likely value of 2.3C only gives us about 15 years extra breathing space to sort out our emissions.
  - The UVic model they use is rather simplistic, and I'm not sure it reproduces 20thC climate that well. It would be interesting to see this work repeated with a model ensemble.

Sponsored by your local oil company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166292)

I'm not an extremist, but I always look at this sudden change of minds with skepticism.

In other news... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166352)

...Warmists actually publicly acknowledge the existence of hard ice core and geological data which shows a steady level of atmospheric CO2 over the last 15 million years which kinda trumps their six-month data spans - the data also shows midtide sea levels back then over a hundred feet higher than they are now [sciencemag.org] .

...Shills who paid attention in chemistry 102 manage to shout loud enough over the doomsayers and Greenparty nutjobs that the biggest carbon sink on the planet isn't quite at saturation yet [sciencemag.org] and won't be when the sun expands and the oceans boil off. Still, anything other than oil for energy is gonna hurt their bottom line so they're just gonna have to think of something else to scare the sheeple with. Buy solar, you're supporting terrorists, that sort of bullshit.

Can I throw in a bit of an incitement to mutiny here and suggest that we do two things:

1. Carry on as is as far as fossil fuels are concerned, maybe without the bombing of indigenes to the stone age (I heard Afghans excitedly twittering "Ooh, upgrade!!" just then, I swear)?
2. Use the time we have with our love affair with the black gold (it is limited, the Earth's crust is only 15 miles thick hence can only hold so much oil) to create a renewable energy infrastructure - so when it does run out we have a reliable fallback rather than having to resort to the utter waste of biomass inherent with resource wars?

Just a suggestion. I'll be round later for my Peace Prize.

c02 Not Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166360)

Given that the aristocracy, jointly with some mad scientists and military giants of the world, has managed to shred the magnetosphere, pummel the ionosphere and strip OUR Earth's defenses from the Sun with now heightened solar disturbances predicted to cataclysmically hit us next year and scorch the earth we all love or at least most of us love. Thanks for the memories.

I don't believe in man made global warming, but... (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166412)

2-4 degrees (f) does not seem like a big deal, but think of how you feels when your internal body temperature goes from (f) 98.6, to 101 degrees.

Re:I don't believe in man made global warming, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166470)

much like everyone else here you have never heard of the methane feedback loop.

Re:I don't believe in man made global warming, but (1)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166562)

2-4 degrees (f) does not seem like a big deal, but think of how you feels when your internal body temperature goes from (f) 98.6, to 101 degrees.

Are you saying that global warming will not impact reptiles?

Here's The Thing. (2, Insightful)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166480)

Hey, AGW people? Here's the bottom line. Read this carefully. Let it nourish your thought processes. You want to know why the general public hasn't panicked and fallen behind you in your crusade? Here it is.

Lets say we have many, many skilled scientists working on not one, but DOZENS of models that are constantly being refined and tinkered with. This has been going on for DECADES. They feed these models with thousands and thousands of hard, verifiable data points -- measurements from buoys, satellites, even ships at sea with calibrated instruments. Temperatures, pressures, atmospheric readings, all get poured into these models with loving care and infinite attention to detail. When using the models, another team of specialists carefully takes the average of these models, based on experience, to make cautious predictions.

They're called Hurricane Models. And even after DECADES of refinement, they still can't reliably predict the path of a storm past 3-5 days. They still can't reliably predict hurricane intensity AT ALL.

And you want us to believe that you can predict, WITH GREAT CONFIDENCE, that the Earth will be 10 degrees warming in so many years because of what mankind is doing?

"Oh, well, that's different," screams the AGW crowd. Maybe. But it does show the limitations of science, does it not? I appreciate everything that the hurricane forecasters have accomplished. They've saved a lot of lives. But there's a good, hard example of the limitations of ANY model that seeks to predict the behavior of a huge, complex, chaotic system.

What I'm desperately tired of is binary thinking: EITHER one believes the prevailing, dire theories about AGW and wants to take emergency action, OR one is an uniformed, reactionary dunderhead. (Or even worse, a Republican -- which I am NOT, by the way).

The question isn't whether the Earth is warming. I honestly don't know, but let's say it has. It's a long leap from that assertion to insisting that my barbeque grill is what's causing it. (More binary thinking: either you agree with us in all particulars, or you're no different from a Young Earth Creationist.) I need to be SURE before I repent and take the grill to the landfill. You haven't convinced me.

And here's the point: I AGREE that we need to reduce carbon emissions. Whether they're causing global warming or not, I'm tired of breathing stinky air in Birmingham, AL, if nothing else. (There's the "personal interest" angle.) Let's crush the stranglehold of Big Oil and find some real, green alternatives.

But I AM NOT going to allow anyone to wreck the global economy to achieve this. We can do it slowly and steadily, with planning and forethought. I'm not going to allow my government to enact some byzantine, "carbon credit" scheme that is, at the end of the day, just another boondoggle that lines the pockets of important contributors.

So: there you go, AGW proponents. Read it and learn, or begin with the condescending, sneering replies about how uninformed I am. It's really this simple: when your "scientists" finally achieve the ability to tell me, with at least 90% accuracy, that it will rain in my neighborhood next week, I *might* believe your claims about what's going to happen in the next century.

I think I'm being quite reasonable. :)

Re:Here's The Thing. (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166588)

Soot, by the way, has always been the worst human health hazard from burning coal, oil, etc... If you could eliminate particulate soot you can solve real human health problems and save lives. No one talks about it though.
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