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Little Ice Age: It Was Not the Sun

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the the-earth-wants-to-kill-us dept.

Earth 375

vikingpower writes "The Little Ice Age, lasting from the end of the Middle Age into the 17th century, may very likely have been caused by the combined effects of four major volcanic eruptions and increased sunlight reflection by increasing sea ice, the so-called Albedo effect. ... The University of Boulder has a press release with maps and photographs. Bette Otto-Bliesner, one of the scientists behind the 'volcano + sea ice' thesis, fields an earnest warning against drawing conclusions too quickly from this research: 'I think people might look at the Little Ice Age and think that all we need to save us from rising temperatures are some volcanic eruptions or the geo-engineering equivalent [...] But when you see what happened when global temperatures dropped by just one degree and you look at current predictions of six or seven degree increases for the future, you realize how precarious things are for life as we know it.'"

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University of Boulder? (3, Interesting)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949183)

Not the University of Colorado at Boulder?

Global meltdown, they say ... (-1, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949245)

Yeah, global warming that will melt everything

Pure, unadulterated fear mongering

Face with this sudden cold spell, what do you think those fear monger come up with ?

Oh, no, it's a "little ice age", it's only temporary, and it only happens because of "Albedo effect"

Sure ... like what they told us of how the ice of both North and South poles gonna melt, and how the island nations gonna disappear for good ... and so on, and so forth ...

Funny how those people can spew out their lies with all types of jargons mixed in

Re:Global meltdown, they say ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949703)

Re:University of Boulder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949391)

The People's Republic of Boulder?

Re:University of Boulder? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949443)

Not the University of Colorado at Boulder?

That's so fucking stupid that I don't even know where to begin.

Your post is bullshit gutter trash. It deserves a bullshit gutter trash response: NIGGERS!


Why do knee grows cry during sex? The mace.

Why do blacks always have sex on their minds? Their pubic hair is on their heads.

Why can't niglets play in sandboxes? The cats keep tryin to bury them.

Why is it cruel to give tootsie rolls to niglets? They'll probably bite their own fingers off.

Why do coons love to wear sports jerseys? So they can pretend tohave a job skill.

What do you say to a quadraplegic Mike Tyson? Nigger, nigger, nigger!


Admit it. You laughed. Who here has the balls to admit that? You know you laughed.

Re:University of Boulder? (0)

Noitatsidem (1701520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949673)

Sorry, didn't laugh. Your jokes are actually pretty bland, don't quit your day job bro.

Re:University of Boulder? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949607)

She works for UCAR (University Center for Atmospheric Research), which works jointly with NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research).

Re:University of Boulder? (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949629)

UCaB was already taken.

Of course. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949189)

After 5 billion years, the sun is basically in steady state. I would not expect to see fluctuations over the type of timescales that human beings exist on. Yes, the sun is slowly getting hotter, but that's a long term trend.

Maunder minimum was not the culprit [Re:Of course] (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949421)

After 5 billion years, the sun is basically in steady state. I would not expect to see fluctuations over the type of timescales that human beings exist on....

the sun is pretty steady, a middle-aged star, but there are still some small variations in solar intensity. The hypothesis was that the Little Ice Age was correlated with the solar "Maunder Minimum," a 75-year period during which the sun had no sunspots (and hence presumably was about 0.07% lower in brightness).

What this work did was put a good date to the start of the Little Ice Age; using radiocarbon dating to determine when the plants killed by the advancing glaciers died... and the dating shows the Little Ice Age began well before the Maunder minimum. The Maunder minimum didn't cause it, very definitely.

Re:Maunder minimum was not the culprit [Re:Of cour (4, Funny)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949585)

... and the dating shows the Little Ice Age began well before the Maunder minimum. The Maunder minimum didn't cause it, very definitely.

The only logical conclusion is that cold temperatures on earth somehow prevent sunspots. Which means, obviously, that global warming will blot out the sun due to a proliferation of sunspots caused by warmer temperatures here.

We're doomed!

Re:Maunder minimum was not the culprit [Re:Of cour (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949721)

Wait is this the same radiocarbon dating that has wild variances that can be wildly thrown off by the smallest of mistakes? Especially when using proxies that don't correlate to what you think they should?

Global Warming? Let the Intelligent Debate Begin! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949193)

No doubt this item will produce reasoned, well mannered discourse in droves! Pop some popcorn, enjoy the highbrow debate!

Re:Global Warming? Let the Intelligent Debate Begi (3, Funny)

evanism (600676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949231)

Canwedo it with beer and make it lowbrow?

Re:Global Warming? Let the Intelligent Debate Begi (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949277)

Canwedo it with beer and make it lowbrow?

You betcha.

O, better, perhaps (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949369)

make it Löwenbräu. [wikipedia.org]

Re:O, better, perhaps (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949487)

I prefer Bendërbrau [deviantart.com] .

We didn't really know how things worked before (0, Flamebait)

BeforeCoffee (519489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949211)

... and we don't really understand how they work now.

The sun's output did matter in the Little Ice Age. Sol doesn't put out constant energy, perhaps it was coincidentally at a low during that period and that contributed to cooling.

This climate system of ours is more complex and dynamic than the AGW devotees are willing to admit.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (4, Insightful)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949229)

It always astonishes me that on a geeky site like Slashdot with an audience that in theory puts such a high value on science, you get so many global warming denialists.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Funny)

evanism (600676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949239)

We deny that.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (3, Insightful)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949257)

Shouldn't all science be questioned? If we unanimously accept a scientific theory to be fact, is it still science?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949283)

> Shouldn't all science be questioned?

Yes - intelligently questioned by people who are qualified to criticize it. And who "question" it by doing their own research, investigation, hypothesizing and testing... which is not the same as digging up spurious out-of-context quotes and raising biased, uninformed objections for political reasons.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949521)

> Shouldn't all science be questioned?

Yes - intelligently questioned by people who are qualified to criticize it. And who "question" it by doing their own research, investigation, hypothesizing and testing... which is not the same as digging up spurious out-of-context quotes and raising biased, uninformed objections for political reasons.

And yet if these unqualified non-scientists believed in said theory, you would have no quarrel with them. Even though they don't believe it as a result of being qualified, doing research, investigation, hypothesizing, and testing (redundant after "investigation"?).

The unspoken, probably unacknowledged even by you, message here? "Don't question authority."

I never believed that science was meant to be a priesthood. Back when we had priesthoods and considered that normal, don't we call those times the Dark Ages? The moment you are told that you're not qualified and therefore have no business forming your own position, that's the moment you have established a priesthood.

I have an entirely different take. I think this science has a problem most sciences don't. We have only one planet that's practical to use for this model. We can't modify the system to test different variables in a rigorous way, and we can't compare what happens to a control group. There is too much uncertainty that there's no clear way to resolve. So, it becomes a political issue. It boils down to some authority's opinion concerning what makes the most sense. That's great fun when the authority is wrong, or there are multiple authorities who disagree with each other, or there's no positive way to rule those out.

If you don't understand that, you wind up passionately judging the stupidity of people you know nothing about, not because they demonstrated stupidity but as a feeble attempt at shutting them up. After all, they followed the "wrong" authority. Do you realize that popular ideas which people were absolutely certain about, and sometimes would have fought and died over, that anyone would have been ridiculed for doubting, have turned out to be wrong in the past?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949543)

> Back when we had priesthoods and considered that normal, don't we call those times the Dark Ages?

No. The Dark Ages are so called because we don't have very good records from those times. Not because of any religions practiced during those times.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949563)

Well, except for Satanic blood-sacrifice. And witchcraft. I almost forgot about that.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949771)

Parent post does nothing more than reveal the poster's bigotry.

He probably does not even realize that some of the persons he interacts with on a daily basis are Wiccans, Gardnerians, BTWs, hedge witches... and the list of contemporary witchcraft practictioners goes on and on. The thing is that witches, like most other neopagans, regard their practice as a personal thing, not something to flash about before the unbelievers like some Bible waving evangelical nutcase.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949539)

> Shouldn't all science be questioned?

Yes - intelligently questioned by people who are qualified to criticize it. And who "question" it by doing their own research, investigation, hypothesizing and testing... which is not the same as digging up spurious out-of-context quotes and raising biased, uninformed objections for political reasons.

See, that's the problem. Any scientist that questions it is immediately deemed unqualified or even unethical simply because they have bothered to question it.

Can you name a me a single AGW "denialist" that you deem to be qualified enough to have their theories and research taken seriously?

Exactly!

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949651)

Can you name a me a single AGW "denialist" that you deem to be qualified enough to have their theories and research taken seriously?

Yes. Richard Lindzen. If you ask for 2 it gets difficult ... there are a few "luke-warmers" though.

Now can you name me a single scientist who denies the existence of gravity, that you deem to be qualified enough to have their theories and research taken seriously?

Exactly!

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2)

debiangruven (576982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949295)

Anything some moron tries making you believe as stone cold fact without any evidence to back it up should be questioned.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949707)

So there's no evidence to back up global warming in your view?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949299)

So show me the science that presents real evidence for the anti change brigade!

Hmmmm? Weeeeeeeeeell? Anything other than another Mockington diatribe?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949317)

Shouldn't all science be questioned? If we unanimously accept a scientific theory to be fact, is it still science?

All science should be questioned but once consensus is reached for instance "There is a meteor heading for earth and will strike it in 3 months wiping out all surface life." you should probably act upon that if you know what's best for you. "Sure maybe all of our deep space instrumentation might be on the whack at the same time and sure it might be independently verified by every astronomical scientific society through repeated observation... but how do we reallllly know about space?"

Should we continue questioning the existence of the holocaust? Isn't it the job of historians to question and challenge preconceived notions about history?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (-1, Troll)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949347)

You skipped right over the part where consensus was reached that global warming was caused by man. Unless you are talking about Al Gores and his group of globalist cronie climate change experts that set up companies to make profit from it. They reached consensus among themselves long ago.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949657)

You skipped right over the part where consensus was reached that global warming was caused by man.

Here you go: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml [www.ipcc.ch]

Unless you are talking about Al Gores and his group of globalist cronie climate change experts that set up companies to make profit from it.

I see you don't care about facts. Don't bother reading the reports then. Talk radio tells you all you need to know.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (3, Insightful)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949743)

The only thing is, a meteor is an easily provable phenomenon. The factors are well known, and predictions can easily be made and verified. I can go and reproduce Newton's equations, or re-measure the speed of light, or retest hundreds of other theories that have been proven. These are not contested.

I have yet to see anybody make a verifiable prediction with regard to climate change on anything less than what will happen decades from now. If the science is so settled as claimed, shouldn't the scientists be able to isolate a few variables, and say that if this happens (with regard to sun activity, and any other variables they want to quantify) and lay down some solid numbers so we know what is predicted. Nothing like last year's after the fact statements that year's winter storms or tornado activity was caused by human activity.

I want real prediction that say if sun output is low, temperatures will be stable or slightly down. If sun output is average, temperature will be up .1 and if it's high temperatures will be up .25. If they want to add in modifiers for cloud cover, and other weather conditions and any other factors they can think of, great. Then if their predictions are accurate, we have some sort of confidence that they model actually takes into account all of the necessary variables. If the numbers come in significantly different than what they predict, then we know that the models are far from complete and the science isn't settled yet. Until I see the science actually giving us predictions that conform to reality, I choose to believe that the scientists don't haven't it all figured out. Extraordinary claims (like complete confidence in predictive powers concerning climate) require irrefutable evidence. Since these predictions haven't been made yet (since I'm sure they would be big news and nothing of the sort has ever been printed), and the time scale of all predictions concerns what will happen at mid or end of century, it's entirely possible that scientists are making claims that can't be falsified in their lifetimes.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949327)

The trouble is, most questioning of the science related to global warming is politically motivated. It's not, "Hmm this new evidence has come to light, what are its implications?" That's not to say it might not happen from the other side on occasion. The difference is, however, that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus when it comes to global warming -- not on every specific detail, but on the fact that it is a real thing and that it's related to human activity and that it's consequences are awful. We have a ridiculous situation where in the interests of media "balance" (not to mention a number of media outlets that have denialism as an editorial policy) you have crackpots and talking heads with no relevant scientific credentials presented given equal weight to prestigious scientific organisations. So it makes it look like there's some kind of real debate about the fundamentals, when there's really not.

When you are biased, you'll see everything as so (0, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949381)

The trouble is, most questioning of the science related to global warming is politically motivated.

The REAL trouble is, even when the questions are not politically motivated, the "Global Warming" fanbois will label the people with questions as "Anti-changers".

Re:When you are biased, you'll see everything as s (2)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949483)

I have never seen a case where they ask questions, their minds are made up already and no ammount of evidence/answers will change it. After all they might have to drive their SUV overcompensationveichles a bit less or something, and we cant have that!

Re:When you are biased, you'll see everything as s (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949581)

Amazing how you manage to make yourself seem a victim of the moneygrubbing AGW scammers.

There was actually some non-politically motivated criticism, and a group of scientists lead by a renowned physicist set out to double-check the work of AGW science (who had doubts regarding AGW) and sponsored by AGW doubters. What happened? Do you even remember or did you filter that out...

There was some questions on the issue of bias due to the sponsorship, yet most in the AGW community seemed to welcome the effort to independently verify claims of global warming. And what was the result? AGW was confirmed as happening.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

DrInequality (521068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949549)

No the real trouble is that it's clear that a lot of the climate change "science" is motivated by factors other than reaching the truth - especially personal careers and politics.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Insightful)

Ironix (165274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949333)

There's a difference between questioning a theory based on evidence to the contrary and questioning it simply because it is controversial. One of the few other scientific theories that seems to enjoy this distinction is the theory of evolution. However, you'd be hard pressed to find as many slashdotters making the same argument against that theory.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949395)

There are a lot of reasons to doubt that AGW will cause a disaster.

And honestly, you SHOULD doubt evolution, and let that doubt propel you to find the mountains of evidence that support it.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949477)

One of the few other scientific theories that seems to enjoy this distinction is the theory of evolution. However, you'd be hard pressed to find as many slashdotters making the same argument against that theory.

Actually, you will. Check any Slashdot story dealing with evolution, and you'll see a ton of comments pushing creationism (usually in its "intelligent design" guise) very often using the same "we should always question theories" argument. Sadly, almost none of these people seem willing to question the theory of gravity in the most obvious manner.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949727)

We can do experiments to test gravity. We can repeat those experiments under the same conditions, or varying selected parameters.

Both evolution and climate studies are based on extrapolation of results from other fields over huge periods of time, with relatively little ability to make predictions testable in reasonable time (climate due to SNR, evolution due to being damn slow). This doesn't mean they can't give us good results, but it does mean there will always be a lot more people disagreeing.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949393)

Reasoned questioning and debate based on scientific fact should alway she welcomed. I think the point the parent was trying to make is that we see, all too often on slashdot, debate that has little basis in fact.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949437)

Shouldn't all science be questioned?

Yes, but the problems with the deniers is that they don't listen to the answers.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (3, Insightful)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949595)

Shouldn't all science be questioned?

Yes, but the problems with the deniers is that they don't listen to the answers.

Terms like "denier" or "believer" have no place in this debate. Both imply an unwillingness to consider what is known and what isn't.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1, Troll)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949535)

Shouldn't all science be questioned? If we unanimously accept a scientific theory to be fact, is it still science?

If AGW is not a testable theory and it does not produce a falsifiable hypothesis, is it scientific at all?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2)

Coldeagle (624205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949575)

"Fact's" that aren't questioned...what's that called...umm.....oh yeah Faith! I thought faith and science didn't mix? I personally believe they mix together as well as toothpaste and orange juice..

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949625)

Science can only be validly questioned by science. Constructing another framework based on non science (e.g feelings, or dogma) and presenting this construct as if it falsified the science is simply nonsensical. It's like trying to debate in a language you made up yourself. It is just babble.

Therefore the fact that people do not like the implications of AGW does not, in anyway, make it less true. We are not choosing clothes from a rack. We are not debating whether the purple shoes will go with my slacks. And it's the implications that denialists do not like. Notably, no-one ever questioned Tyndalls experiment, nor whether the greenhouse effect was real until it became clear from the numbers that we needed to change our habits. Then suddenly, the whole theory was controversial.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949281)

The theory of anthropogenic warming is quite obviously crap. It only survives because it's a potent token of social status. If global warming were daggy, no-one would care about it.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

evanism (600676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949331)

Cool word score +5... Anthropogenic.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2, Insightful)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949305)

It always astonishes me that on a geeky site like Slashdot with an audience that in theory puts such a high value on science, you get so many ice age denialists.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949345)

To anyone that looks at the long-term ... it's obvious that the earth has been warmer before and colder before. Most, if not all, of the "global warming denialists" are not debating THAT argument. The debate is whether mankind (specifically America) is to blame for the "warming".

When you have people Al Gore shilling AGW, when he stands to make Billions of dollars off of it, it come across as insincere. When he tells his followers (and everybody else) that they have to drive electric cars ... yet he flies in his inefficient private jet ... it's just a little hypocritical.

I dunno ... I guess I'm one of those "denialists" that would rather drive a car that runs on oil (with great range), versus one that runs on coal (and can't leave the city).

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949523)

How do you make billions of dollars off of Global Warming (other than by selling more oil)?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949351)

It always astonishes me that on a geeky site like Slashdot with an audience that in theory puts such a high value on science, you get so many global warming denialists.

Someone interested in discussing science would not use words like "denialist" with the obvious intention of provoking an angry response. Pot, meet kettle.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1, Troll)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949511)

Someone interested in discussing science would not use words like "denialist" with the obvious intention of provoking an angry response.

Sorry, there's no other word that fits -- and no, "skeptic" doesn't cut it. Rationalwiki has a nice explanation [rationalwiki.org] of the difference. There's no reason to play nice with people who have the capacity to understand scientific evidence but refuse to do so.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949761)

Sure there is. If you want to defuse the politics of the debate and stick to facts because you are thoroughly convinced that the facts back up your side, you stick to them. You do not denigrate your critics through political-style mudslinging as that only gives credence to their claims that your position is not fact-based but politically-based (thus a grab for power, money, interns, etc.). You play nice with your critics because that way you fail to give them ammunition to use against you.

Of course, if you don't think that all the facts support your hypothesis, then, by all means, throw the mud. Because then it really is political.

(This applies regardless of the topic of debate, which is why I'm not actually mentioning the topic here, despite it being obvious in context.)

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949367)

It's because, being an American-located and -oriented site, it has a large number of American readers and posters (probably a majority). Where do you think all the deniers are?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949409)

Yes this is a good point. But it's kind of bizarre. Another commenter made the point [slashdot.org] that evolution is also 'controversial' in the US (but obviously not so much among the Slashdot crowd). I guess I just feel down that when it comes to this issue so many people consider themselves 'experts' because they read an article or two once.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949465)

The US is one of the few places where you'll find a lot of people who actually believe the earth is ~6000 years old, and Adam and Eve were literally the first two humans. Since many Americans believe this, even more believe that evolution is false. I've read that Turkey also has a lot of people who believe in Creationism. But there aren't many Turks on Slashdot, whereas there are tons of Americans here. Probably not that many that believe Creationism (but who knows how many do, but don't say so publicly?), but still many more than you'll find among the rest of the posting population here.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1, Troll)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949371)

All it took for me was learning that all their predictions are based on computer models. That alone made me extremely skeptical.

There is NO way some group of people have figured out all of the variables and equations that affect global climate. Garbarge in, garbage out.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949545)

Yeah, computer models suck. That's why airplanes keep falling out of the sky, why missiles never hit their targets, and why you can never get the temperature of the brew head on your espresso machine just right. Er, wait, you can do all of these things. Because of computer models.

Remember when the weather forecast was always wrong? It's been really remarkably precise recently when I've followed it, which I do a lot, because I enjoy outdoor sports. It's been scarily precise. Predictions a week out come true with astonishing regularity. This is weather, which is rapidly changing and chaotic, not climate, which is slow and relatively predictable.

The problem with your completely ignorant assertion here is that in fact the models do appear to be getting more accurate, not less. The debates are not over whether there is warming, but over how much, and what the effect will be, and how soon the effect will come. Nobody is debating whether it's coming except people who are making a short-term killing on carbon externalities.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949639)

Tracking all the airplanes on the planet, while precisely firing every missle ever manufactured and brewing the perfect espresso is nowhere near as phenominal of an accomplishment as claiming you've identified the exact cause of a 0.6 degree average warming over the entire planet over a 100 year period.

Regardless, I said was skeptical.. and I think I provided a valid reason to be. Of course I'm not an expert in this field... but that doesn't mean I have to take everything self-proclaimed experts say as gospel. If history shows us anything it shows an astonishing and consistent track record of smart people (for the day) getting shit dead wrong. Generation after generation then, instead of finding humility in this, smuggly assumes intellectual dominion over those that came before them. I see no reason to assume we've grown out of this hubris at all.

Ultimately I may be ignorant... but the mere assertion that there's 'consensus' is not enough for me to get on board. I'm sorry if that offends you.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949399)

GW !=AGW

This is like somebody asking you to prove that God doesn't exist. You can prove easily that God doesn't exist, but it's impossible to prove that god doesn't exist. They use this little semantic crevice to get their stupid traditions treated with respect.

I posted a little bit ago about the lack of a scientific consensus concerned AGW, and got modded troll. The response was that of course there is one, don't ask why, don't question authority, you're an idiot, -1 troll, etc. Ask someone about GW, and you'll get patient, comprehensive evidence. Why the difference in rhetoric?

Why has there been no tremendous effort to respond to the usual AGW criticisms? Why did the temperatures start going up before carbon levels did? Why are increased carbon levels sometimes said to be more strongly correlated with lower temperatures? How do we measure the amount of carbon we introduce compared to the rest of nature?

I like a response to these questions without people assuming I'm a troll. Trolling is semantically congruent with curiosity anyways.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949423)

There are at least 5 reasons I can think of for that phenomenon:
1. Some are shills for by the majorly carbon-emitting industries. There's no reasoning with this group, because they aren't here to reason or discuss, they're here to do their job of sowing doubt about whether global warming is real. Similarly, there may be commenters who aren't paid PR people, but work for these companies (e.g. a friend of mine who does geology on oil rigs for a living), for whom the "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it" truly applies.

2. Some believe that placing a high value on science involves being skeptical of anything not definitively proven. With anthropogenic global warming, because there's only 1 planet Earth (that I'm aware of) there's no way to definitely prove things one way or the other. This is true even if the vast majority of the research supports the theory that AGW is causing significant changes to the climate of the Earth.

3. Some are politically libertarian and tend to strongly oppose government action not concerned with enforcing contracts, protecting property rights, or preventing violent attack and/or sexual assault on a citizen. If AGW is true, and private enterprise can't or won't act to stop it, then stopping it requires significant government intervention in the markets, which dismantles the idea that libertarianism can solve all human problems. It's not dramatically different from a reaction you might get to a devout born-again Christian discovering definitive proof that Jesus never existed.

4. Some are unwilling to make the dramatic changes to everyday life that would be needed to reduce CO2 emissions in the short term. It would mean changes like having to move your home so you can commute to work without driving 30 miles, or having to put your washing machine on timers so the load runs at 3 AM rather than right now, or keeping your home at 55 F in the winter rather than the 70 F you find comfortable. Nobody wants to do that if they can think of a short-term alternative. This also manifests itself in an absolute faith that scientists and engineers will somehow come up with a solution that will solve the problem completely without requiring any kind of conservation effort.

5. Environmentalists have been guilty of overstating their case in the past, so some are reluctant to believe anything they say.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1, Insightful)

washort (6555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949661)

You left out an important one:

0) The people shouting loudest about how important this is stand to gain a significant amount of money, power, and public notice if people believe and act on their claims.

Analysis of incentives goes both directions. If you're a paleoclimatologist, which is more likely to advance your career? A report that says current climate variations fit the historical pattern and there's nothing anyone needs to do differently, or one that says that significant government regulation and societal reorganization is needed?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949763)

I hear proving a negative is easy

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949457)

It always astonishes me that on a geeky site like Slashdot with an audience that in theory puts such a high value on science, you get so many global warming denialists.

When it's hot, we are told, "See, it's Global Warming!"
Because when it's cold, we are told that weather is not climate.
When scientists does non-government funded research that supports "denialist", we are told to consider who's paying for the study (big oil, etc..)
When scientists government funds research that supports the "alarmists" and gives governments more power, we are told that scientists don't have an agenda.

No "denialists" has done anything as boneheaded as "hide the decline", so I can't compare it to anything. But try to be honest and imagine your outrage if a "denialist" had his email hacked and it showed that he was "hiding the rise" and trying to block opposing views from being published. You'd say that alone proves that all "denialists" are frauds. But since it was an alarmist, you say that it's taken out of context. Would you honestly say the same if the shoe were on the other foot.

The hypocrisy doesn't help either. The ones screaming the loudest are the ones in the biggest houses with the largest fleets of SUV and private planes. If they really bought the hype they were spewing, they'd be on a bike planting trees.

You also have to notice that the people who are screaming the loudest about global warming opposed big oil before global warming was a blip on the radar. I don't know if they believe because of the science or simply because the WANT to believe it so bad. We all want to believe that our plight in life sucks because some old, fat white guy with a cigar and longhorns on the front of his Cadillac is holding us down.

Sorry, but I smell an awful lot of bullshit and incompetence coming from the "alarmist" camp. Even if they are completely on the up and up and 100% on global warming, you have to admit the whole thing has been a disastrous comedy of errors. I wonder about the competency of some of these leading scientists that don't you don't put shit like that in email form.

Finally, it's the insults and the attempt to shut down the discussion that comes from the "alarmists". Al Gore says, "the debate is over". Others say, "We have a consensus", as if truth follows scientist majority. Then we have people like you who insult the intelligence of anyone who disagrees by saying that they know nothing about science or are just plain stupid.

So, you'll have to forgive me for being skeptical. Yes, I'm a conservative, but I'm not a climatologist, so my opinion does not really matter either way. Frankly, I am a climatological agnostic. I simply don't know. But being a conservative and not saying that I believe in AGW suddenly makes me "denialist" to people like you.

I'll probably get modded down for this comment and someone will tell me I'm wrong, even though everything I've posted is OPINION. But that's kinda how this site works. If someone disagrees with you and has mod points, they will mod you down, usually "overrated", in an attempt to silence views that differ from their own. But you didn't seem to understand how a site filled with such intelligent people could harbor those you think are so stupid, I thought I'd explain what makes us think that way. Intelligent people by their very nature are skeptics. And since absolutely nothing on this debate relies on my opinion, I can afford to remain skeptical with no ill effects.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

Jukeman (1522147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949557)

Incredibly well stated.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949665)

I'll probably get modded down for this comment and someone will tell me I'm wrong, even though everything I've posted is OPINION. But that's kinda how this site works. If someone disagrees with you and has mod points, they will mod you down, usually "overrated", in an attempt to silence views that differ from their own.

Proof?
(Score:0, Flamebait)

Global Warming Alarmists try to silence the opposition to prevent you from hearing any views that may disprove their own.

  If you disagree, post a reply.

From the moderator guidelines [slashdot.org] :
Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down.

(Although, my post was absolutely full of typos. It's hard for me to read and I wrote the damn thing!)

OOOhhhh yeh! (3, Interesting)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949473)

Same with anti vaccination loonies, and creationists, they all use the same tactics of internet circle jerk where one denialist site quotes another as a reference. The facts whilst interesting are considered irrelevant.

  I have got to the point where i dont even bother to challenge them anymore, as their objections are based in their self interest allowing them to ignore relevant facts and use nit picking irrelevancies to support their case.

For some reason what seem to be otherwise intelligent people here on Slashdot show a remarkable degree of stupidity on this issue. Then again a lot of them propound libertarian claptrap too, so I guess I shouldnt be too shoucked.

Re:OOOhhhh yeh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949517)

I might have to steal this to use against them this year. There will be a lot of arguments next summer and fall...

Thanks.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

Mannfred (2543170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949555)

Most people probably wouldn't deny that the climate keeps changing (e.g. Ice Age) but so far I've personally not seen credible evidence for the idea that mankind has much if anything to do with it - temperatures appear to have changed substantially even long before the industrial revolution. On balance it's probably natural for geeks (many of whom are naturally inquisitive) to question ideas which insist on substantial changes to our lifestyles with tenuous evidence behind them.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (4, Informative)

angry tapir (1463043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949619)

On balance it's probably natural for geeks (many of whom are naturally inquisitive) to question ideas which insist on substantial changes to our lifestyles with tenuous evidence behind them

To quote Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion; the last was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which in 2007 updated its 1999 statement rejecting the likelihood of human influence on recent climate with its current non-committal position.

And so all these organisations came to the conclusion that human activity is playing a key role in global warming without any "credible evidence" (to use your phrase)?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949355)

The sun's output did matter in the Little Ice Age.

And your evidence for this is...?

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

BeforeCoffee (519489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949569)

The sun's hot. Some days it's hotter than others. Some years, it puts out more energy than others. The solar cycle is not yet precisely predictable. Anytime you hear about a "surprising" this or that about the sun's output, don't just scratch your head and shrug. ANY fluctuation in predicted solar cycles/output should trigger loud klaxxon bells in the heads of the AGW disciples, but instead it's just crickets or shrugged shoulders. I'll leave the speculation on why there's crickets and not klaxxons to the reader.

See, in the real world, it is important that the sun's energy is not behaving like some static constant or not always falling into some reasonable range. I reject any computer climate simulation du jour that treats the sun's output as a one dimensional number/table/whatever.

And yeah, flamebait me down to -1, I only need snarky R3d M3rcury to read this... :P

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949509)

The sun's output did matter in the Little Ice Age. Sol doesn't put out constant energy, perhaps it was coincidentally at a low during that period and that contributed to cooling.

Some sort of ... er proof for your alternate theory might be useful.

This climate system of ours is more complex and dynamic than the AGW devotees are willing to admit.

If it is as complex as you say, I have to wonder why you are so comfortable making such bold predictions. Particularly given that you don't offer any evidence for you contradictory theory.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (1)

BeforeCoffee (519489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949631)

Is it a theory that the sun does not put out constant levels of energy? There's nothing bold about that, there's recorded data to back my statement up.

"The sun isn't predictable" is actually a huge problem for climate research, no? Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion, I don't claim to be climate scientist. I welcome your skepticism of my skepticism.

Please, educate me.

Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949781)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar-cycle-data.png [wikipedia.org]

Yeah? So where is our ice age?? Why is the planet warming faster than at any time in known history (and I'm talking about GEOLOGICAL records, not your house temperature 2 days ago)??

Must have been Martian pixie dust.

0.1% change over 10 year period is NOTHING as there is absolutely no correlation between Earth's average temperature and solar cycles. This solar forcing is the most retarded argument one can make. 1-2% change in earth temperature vs. 0.1% change in the sun output. In that case we would be long screwed, billions of years ago. I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader of 7-year old's picture books about how the earth formed.

But keep preaching your unfounded "theories".

It is rather quite sad as our stable climate is falling apart before our eyes while everyone closes their eyes and yells "LALALALA!!". Will you keep saying same bullshit in 10 years when north pole access will be by boat only?

so where you going with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949219)

we really need another chicken little story? i sure wish we could get the politics out of science and vice versa. the fact of the matter is they just don't know. they can put on their pointy little hats and point to their diplomas from their philosophically skewed homogenous little universities and the fact of the matter is they are full of crap. starting with a premise and then pursing facts that make the nonsense seem a little less ridiculous is for attorneys not scientists. we aren't trying to exonerate O.J. here. im just so tired of the lies and bull...

Re:so where you going with this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949249)

A post that says 'the fact of the matter' is unlikely to have any facts. Said twice it's 4 times as unlikely (it's an exponential formula).

Re:so where you going with this? (1)

Noitatsidem (1701520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949701)

Have any sources to cite? This seems interesting!

Re:so where you going with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949261)

im just so tired of the lies and bull...

Then stop talking already!

Keep changing the story (-1, Troll)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949309)

(and not based on new data either)
The old warmist line was that the Little Ice Age didn't happen. Now they're admitting it happened, but claim that the connection with the Maunder Minimum was mere coincidence. I imagine the next step is to say that it's related to solar output, but nothing else is...

Re:Keep changing the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949379)

Keep inventing stories. I have never heard of a sinle po-global warming person denying the existence o the little ice age.

1 Degree Change, sure, but what's the StDev? (2)

MarioMax (907837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949419)

I fail to see how a 1 degree average change can make any significant difference (In Phoenix, if one day the temperature ranges from 80-110 degrees F, and the next day it's 81-111 degrees F, you won't notice).

That said, one thing that's consistently missing is how much the standard deviation of the temperature changes. You might not notice a 1 degree standard deviation shift, but you will notice a 5 or 10 degree standard deviation shift.

Why is this data never present in global warming arguments? Any climatologists care to explain?

Re:1 Degree Change, sure, but what's the StDev? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949459)

"I fail to see how a 1 degree average change can make any significant difference"

If every day is 1 degree warmer or colder (just +1 degree, everywhere, no variation), you might not notice on any particular day, but you might notice that spring comes earlier or later, and you might notice your feet getting wet (or dry) because more ice is melting (or accumulating) at the poles and high altitudes.

What standard deviation are you looking for? Between locations on the planet? Daily? Monthly? Yearly?

Re:1 Degree Change, sure, but what's the StDev? (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949579)

The equinox happens twice a year and refers to the exact time when the sun crosses the celestial equator, causing day and night to be of equal length.
It has nothing to do with global warming

Re:1 Degree Change, sure, but what's the StDev? (5, Informative)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949603)

They do talk about it. You just (evidently) don't listen.

Global temperature increase shifts the atmospheric circulation cells, so that they land in different places. It shifts the jet stream, so that weather is carried to different places. It shifts oceanic currents; there's a big concern that global warming may actually result in a major drop in temperatures in northern Europe. There are many factors that decide what the temperature will be outside your house today; global warming is not the largest factor by a long shot. But where the Hadley Cells, Ferrell Cells and Polar Cells land has a big effect on the weather you experience, and that _is_ affected by global temperature increases in the one degree range. These effects aren't necessarily temperature increases; they are just as likely to be more energetic storms, or droughts, or floods.

However, it's also worth noting that 1 degree is currently considered a fairly unrealistic best-case scenario, because since we started trying to take some weak action to address Global Warming, China seriously ramped up the amount of coal they're burning, so atmospheric CO2 levels are going up faster than predicted.

Quick! Make the Green Barons Rich! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949445)

It's Global Climate Change for sure this time! Quick, hamstring all economic activity without reason or concern! Funnel all remaining activity through the hands of the rich assholes who developed and lobbied programs designed to let them take their cut! WE'RE ALL (except the smart green leaders) GOING TO DIE IF WE DON'T GO BACK TO BEAR SKINS AND STONE KNIVES (also excepting the smart green leaders) RIGHT NOW!

Pardon me if I take a less hysterical approach.

Re:Quick! Make the Green Barons Rich! (0)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949621)

Our economy is in the tank anyway because we've stopped manufacturing things. So if your big concern at the moment is money (which it is for a lot of people because of the poor economy), you might want to make yourself aware of the growth opportunities in the field... Most people who are into green tech want better tech, not less tech. My wife and I are building a house that we expect will use about 1/8th the energy a normal house uses for heating in the winter (we live in Vermont). The house will be a lot more comfortable to live in than a regular house, because we won't be heating the air as much, and the air will be fresher, because with a heat recovery ventilator we're actually getting more air exchanges than a leaky house, but using less energy. So it's just the opposite of wearing a hair shirt—we'll be more comfortable using less energy.

A much bigger problem (2, Insightful)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949489)

A much bigger problem is that western economies, having their medium exchange controlled privately, rely on perpetual (and infinite) economic growth to avoid deflation.

The second more important issue is that the west is continually building their economy to rely on an infinite (and cheap) supply of oil when it's quite clearly a finite commodity.

Fix these two world collapsing issues first.. and then worry about whether the planet's getting a little bit warmer or not.

Re:A much bigger problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949659)

The west? Motherfucker, wake up and look at that shit through the eyes of India and China and you'll see "the west" is a drop in the bucket of what's to come in short order. Bush knew this. That's why he rejected Kyoto.
 
You're just another sad bitch who wants to blame anything American or European. The fact of the matter is that much more intense consumers are already here today and they're just starting to rear their ugly heads.
 
You'll be begging for old fashion American socio-political dickering by the time it's all said and done.
 
Captcha? occupied

Re:A much bigger problem (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949687)

I think someone forgot to take their medication.

You can read 'the west' as 'western economic ideals' if that pleases you better.

"Volcanism" sounds like... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38949501)

...something catholic church would disapprove of.

Science is settled (1, Interesting)

Jukeman (1522147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949649)

I'm sure someone can help me on this; wasn't science settled on numerous things before? Like ulcers, smallpox, the earth was the center of Universe, D=RT (distance = rate times Time), Bird Flu will kill us all( new one every year). All these things were proved true and many more beliefs, and it was needed to be proven untrue- I know an oxymoron. Prove GW and quit with the name calling, to me, right now, it's just a religion.

Re:Science is settled (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949699)

Shock therapy, lobotomies, demonic possession, alchemy. The list goes on and on. Are you really surprised their insurmountable arrogance was bred into their children?

Re:Science is settled (1)

Jukeman (1522147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949767)

Demonic possession isn't true! What a relief. Liked your conclusion, never thought of it that way before. Next someone will disprove Astrology and Numerology; how will I face the next day.

Re:Science is settled (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38949787)

I see you're quickly being modded into oblivion. Questioning the orthodoxy, and going against doctrine has a tendency of doing that.

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