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Analyzing Climate Change On Carbon Rich Peat Bogs

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the bogged-down dept.

Education 163

eldavojohn writes "A new report (PDF) from Climate Central shows that climate change has been affecting some states more than others for the past 100 years. As you can see from a video released by NASA, things have become most problematic since the 70s. Among the states most affected is Minnesota, where moose populations are estimated to have dropped 50% in the past six years. Now the U.S. Department of Energy is spending $50 million on a massive project at the Marcell Experimental Forest to build controlled sections of 36 feet wide and 32 feet tall transparent chambers over peatland ecosystems. Although peat bogs only account for 3% of Earth's surface, they contain over 30% of carbon stored in soil. They aim to manipulate these enclosures to see the effects of warming up to 15 degrees, searching for a tipping point and also observing what new ecosystems might arise. The project hopes to draw attention and analysis from hundreds of scientists and researchers around the globe."

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Somewhat welcome news (4, Interesting)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332519)

In my country the previous government tried to silence scientists who suggested that there might be some problems on the horizon (specifically modelling around pacific islands and the likely population effects of AGW). The current government is somewhat more accepting - at least in public, whilst at the same time doling out public monies to the coal industry in private.

So in a sense the fact that scientists in the U.S are still able to openly conduct this sort of research is good news, even if the discoveries they make are bad.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332555)

It depends on the state. The North Carolina legislature, for example, has just thrown out any climate models that don't solely rely on historical data.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (1, Redundant)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332603)

Interesting.

So logically then, all forms of prediction based on simulations of the real world must be banned in NC. I can well imagine the following conversation:

Officer: Sir, do you know why I have pulled you over?

Driver: Uh, I'm not sure officer

Officer: What is that on your dash?

Driver: It's a GPS, I'm -

Officer: And what does it say?

Driver: Well, see the thing is, I'm from out of town and -

Officer: SIR! I asked you a question

Driver:.... It says my destination is Ansonville and it's 22 minutes away

Officer: Step out of the car sir, and place your hands on the roof

Re:Somewhat welcome news (3, Funny)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332635)

Driver: But it's OK! See, it's a Garmin "Ye Olde Trip Almanacke", and it's based only on trips made 100 years ago!

Officer: In that case, welcome to the Ansonville city limits, sir.

Sigh of relief.... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334507)

Whew...when I read the headlines, the mention of peat problems....I was terrified to think there were problems with the peat supply in Scotland!!!

Then, I read it was in the US, and had something to do with a few Moose dying off...

At least my Scotch supply won't be impeded!!!

Ahh....Balvenie!!!

Re:Sigh of relief.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40335343)

But moose drool is vital to the production of Scotch!

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332777)

He said climate models, so that doesn't make sense. Also, he said they have to be based on historical data, so an ETA model based on historical data would be fine anyway. Also, the implication would be that the officer could not use the model to decide how to act... so he wouldn't be able to arrest the driver.

So really, you probably botched that little illustration in every way possible.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (5, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332867)

Or your understanding is botched. The purpose of the law is essentially to prevent predictions form climate models being used in planning. See this similar mockup: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/blogs/republican/bill-bars-climate-models-in-projecting-sea-levels [thedailygreen.com] . It's the projection component of climate models which is specifically barred. In my illustration, this translates to using a GPS to predict when the driver will arrive in Ansonville. Do make this prediction, the GPS baselines various variables (speed, distance to travel, road data) and then predicts when the vehicle will arrive.

A climate model does the same thing but with many more dimensions. The legislation is based on the notion that climate doesn't change and hence historical trends will be sufficient for predicting future climate. This, as another poster accurately quipped, is like a GPS based on travel times from a 100 years ago.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333105)

The only difference is that GPS is actually pretty accurate when it comes to predicting arrival times.

Climate models do so bad at predicting that you're better off guessing.

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/06/13/junk-science-week-climate-models-fail-reality-test/

Re:Somewhat welcome news (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333551)

Wow, the fallacies come fast and strong with that one ;) My favorite is the deadpan "In region after region, if one model predicted a tendency toward more flooding, the other tended to predict drying," as if the two can't happen in the same region, and as if both aren't forecast predictions of a warmer climate. No, clearly a region must *only* flood or *only* experience drought! There's no way that the most intense precipitation events (the ones that cause flooding) can increase as moisture in the troposphere increases, and that evaporation rates and precipitation variability increases due to warmer temperatures as well as seasonal river flow rate variability increases due to reduced snow cover can occur, alongside already-being-observed northward shifts in the jetstream and other precipitation-pattern altering events. Definitely not! ;) Apparently he's picturing that people are predicting some sort of weird hybrid drought-flood instead of discrete drought events and flood events.

Anyway, no need to read an opinion piece by a solidly-in-the-minority individual; there are ample peer-reviewed studies on the accuracy of cliamte forecasts. Now, this comes with the caveat that in the 1970s and 1980s climate science was in its infancy, and even in the 1990s there was a lot that was still being learned. And, as appropriate, the science in these time periods made clear their level of understanding, just as it does now, including discussions of mitigating factors, margins of error based on the unknowns, and so forth. The IPCC reviewed these papers in the TAR [grida.no] . Among the "well-established" conclusions (the highest confidence category): "Coupled models can provide credible simulations of both the annual mean climate and the climatological seasonal cycle over broad continental scales for most variables of interest for climate change. Clouds and humidity remain sources of significant uncertainty but there have been incremental improvements in simulations of these quantities."

The section has 416 peer-reviewed references, pretty much the whole of the modern literature on the topic. The problem with cherry picking and making un-peer-reviewed claims - aka, that entire article you linked - is that it's basically the opposite of the scientific process. Cherry picking a broad field of research and making un-peer-reviewed claims can allow someone to make virtually *any* argument in virtually *any* field, with the errors only obvious to those who work in the field. Aka, another term for it is "propaganda".

And yes, both sides do this to try to sway the public. The difference is that only one side actually has the field consensus on their side as well.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334227)

Anyway, no need to read an opinion piece by a solidly-in-the-minority individual

In other words...LALALALALALA I don't want to hear it!

For fuck sake, open your mind to other ideas.

Here is a data set [wattsupwiththat.com] that wasn't cherry picked. Go ahead, check it out if it doesn't violate your sense of Tribalness.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334357)

Not only cherry picked (aka, of the countless papers on the subject, picking out the very few that support their point of view)... but it's not even peer reviewed.

Look, if you don't like how science works, just go ahead and say it: "I hate science". Just be honest about it and say it. Don't try to pretend like what you're doing is in any way accordant with science.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334605)

Ahh...not cherry picked, a complete data set, the largest and highest fidelity. And It has not even been mentioned except for a brief description in a few papers because it doesn't support the AGW mantra. Did you even RTFA?

Didn't think so. If you don't like the facts, just go ahead and admit you do everything on faith.

You can't ignore facts that you don't like like these guys did. [climateaudit.org]

The more I read about all this the more I don't trust the scientists. Then when you factor in that most of these folks came up in the 60;s, amid a general lowering of standards for everything, I get an even worse feeling. No less than Richard Feynman called "Climate Science" a Cargo Cult. Excuse me if I go with a giant in the scientific community rather than legions of grant grubbing, agenda driven trolls..

Re:Somewhat welcome news (2, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334801)

OK, so things are going to hell in a handbasket and if we continue burning pretty much anything we are all doomed. Right?

There is one huge problem with this. People are pretty subborn about strong beliefs. So much so that they tend towards behaviors that will induce other people with different beliefs to kill them and they go willingly to their deaths rather than abandon their beliefs. You know, the whole "Give me liberty or give me death" sort of thing. Joan of Arc, etc. Got it?

So where are the "climate martyrs?"

Let's start with with something simple: Resolved: Coal burning power plants will kill millions of people if not billions if they are not turned off right now. Can we agree with that? No? I thought this was pretty much settled science... Well, let's just pretend that this is an established fact in some people's minds, OK? So, if it is that critical to the lives of millions of people why are these power plants still operating? How many dedicated martyrs would it really take to shut down all the coal burning power plants in the USA and keep them that way for at least five or ten years? Fewer than 100 people, I assure you. Possibly only 10. Can we not find 10 people whose beliefs are strong enough in destructive (and fatal) human-induced climate change to do this job?

No, we cannot. There aren't 10 people that could get together and agree on this course of action. Now it is understood that humans do not work well together without a strong leader, and other than perhaps Al Gore there is no strong leader in this area. So we are clearly lacking leadership. But I would say that even more importantly we are lacking strong conviction. Early Christians were martyred by the hundreds because of a religious belief and often killed in incredibly bizzare and painful ways to make it obvious to the upcoming victims that this was not a course they wanted to pursue - and yet they did because of the strength of their beliefs. Nobody wrote about the undoubted thousands that repented, confessed and were excused from the "final proceedings" but it is certain that there were plenty of those. All we have records of are the multitudes that did not cast aside their beliefs.

It is also important to understand that should the climate be changing solely because of human induced causes that the folks (likely martyrs) that were to stop it - by destroying the fabric of the carbon-spewing economy we have - would be hailed as saints and saviors in a pretty short period of time. People would certainly be able to go proudly around saying that their parent, brother or sister was one of the few that tipped the balance in favor of human survival.

So where are the martyrs? Does no one have strong enough beliefs that they are willing to step up and take direct action? Apparently not.

The other side of this is, of course, that should a few people find strength in their beliefs and embark on a campaign of destroying the carbon-spewing economy and the climate still continued to shift in undesirable directions these people (and their relatives and offspring) would be considered destructive fools, traitors to the human race and causing unimaginable suffering in the name of a mistaken belief. I really do not think this would have any affect on folks with very strong beliefs but it is a sobering thought for the rest of us sitting around watching.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334831)

Wow, the fallacies come fast and strong with that one ;) My favorite is the deadpan "In region after region, if one model predicted a tendency toward more flooding, the other tended to predict drying," as if the two can't happen in the same region, and as if both aren't forecast predictions of a warmer climate.

... As if government planners can't use it to plan for the future. Oh, wait...

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333589)

The idea of the Financial Post decrying the accuracy of climate models gave me a big laugh this morning.

Call me back when their economic model accurately predicts the next big crash, because last I checked, they thought sub-prime mortgage CDOs were the new big thing just like everyone else did.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333763)

The climate models in use thirty years ago when I was at school told us that by now, up here around 56 degrees north we'd be buried under a mile of ice, and that equatorial Africa would have a climate similar to Central Europe.

The climate models in use twenty years ago when I was at university told us that by now, the Earth would be fried by intense UV because of the complete unstoppable destruction of the ozone layer, with arid deserts reaching from the Sahara to as far north as Denmark - where it wasn't all submerged under water from the melting icecaps.

The climate models in use ten years ago when I worked on data visualisation for - among other things - weather modelling told us that by now, we'd be experiencing unprecedented storms, hurricane-force winds all year round, and bitterly cold winters and blistering hot summers that kill off all the arable crops.

You'll have to forgive me if I don't entirely believe the climate predictions we hear today.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (3, Informative)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334099)

The climate models in use thirty years ago when I was at school told us that by now, up here around 56 degrees north we'd be buried under a mile of ice, and that equatorial Africa would have a climate similar to Central Europe.

Please provide a link to the model in question, as well as a peer reviewed paper from the 1980s predicting a mile of ice covering land masses at 56 degrees north.

The climate models in use twenty years ago when I was at university told us that by now, the Earth would be fried by intense UV because of the complete unstoppable destruction of the ozone layer, with arid deserts reaching from the Sahara to as far north as Denmark - where it wasn't all submerged under water from the melting icecaps.

Please provide a link to the models in question, as well as a peer reviewed paper from the early 1990s making those predictions.

The climate models in use ten years ago when I worked on data visualisation for - among other things - weather modelling told us that by now, we'd be experiencing unprecedented storms, hurricane-force winds all year round, and bitterly cold winters and blistering hot summers that kill off all the arable crops.

Please provide a link to the models and peer reviewed papers from 2002 which make those predictions.

You'll have to forgive me if I don't entirely believe the climate predictions we hear today.

You'll have to forgive me if I think that you are intellectually dishonest and fraudulent - given:

1. In the 1980s to prevalent view on global warming was the same as it is now, and models from the 1980s accurately predict the warming we've seen since.

2. *I* was in university (studying science) in the early 1990s and the prevalent view of global warming at the time was exactly as it is now. In the early 90s the hole in the ozone layer had been known for 20 years, and satellites accurately mapped it's extent and growth - and the effects of UV were well known and not exaggerated.

3. In 2002 the prevailing view on climate was exactly as it is now, and no predictions were made in 2002 abotu what would be happening in 2012, apart from what we have subsequently observed

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334177)

Climate Change Twaddle:

Here's your Climate Change [wattsupwiththat.com]

Interesting that a Google search doesn't really show anyone in the AGW crowds addressing this. Of course since the information is hosted at your favorite EEEEvvvvil denier site, cowards will ignore it because they can't bear their religion to be questioned. Of course, the AGW crowd will mod this into oblivion. As the Colonel says, "you can't handle the truth!"

If you are REALLY open minded and scientifically literate, you will address this instead of dismissing it outright.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334307)

"mod into oblivion"? Hello? If you post as AC, you start at zero. There's no need to moderate it to that point.

Are you open to the idea that WUWT is wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334687)

Or are you dismissing that possibility outright? You know, that it might be that one in a thousand papers are wrong (yours) when the other 999 (in the IPCC) are right, may be actually correct? Or is that unpossible?

You know what other models haven't been published? Ones from palaeontologists who have "proven" that mankind were alive at the time of the dinosaurs.

Re:Are you open to the idea that WUWT is wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334845)

This is data. Data is not wrong. It just is.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334195)

Because the Climate is controlled by three variables.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (2)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335021)

Oh Bullwinkle! You silly moose. Which part of A climate model does the same thing but with many more dimensions. did you not understand? Awwwwww shucks! Looks like you done it again [canned laughter]

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333207)

The waters in North Carolina had been basically steady for a century.
With all the CO2 added to the atmosphere in recent decades. Not the slightest measurable effect.

Some fellows said they had a model in which water levels would all of sudden start to grow, by 3 ft.

Why not by 300 ft?

Re:Somewhat welcome news (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333567)

That's not true; even the proponents of the bill admit that NC sea levels have risen. They want to constrain decisions, however, to the historic rate that the sea level has been rising, not the forecast rate, which is predicted to increase.

The Earth has a great degree of climate inertia. The ocean is basically a massive heat sink. Inertia means a slow start to acceleration followed by an increasingly rapid slope.

I have no clue who these "some fellows" you speak of are, or whether you're even talking about peer-reviewed research. Most of the models are predicting 1-2 meters of sea level rise by the end of the century. The steady-state sea level rise for the sort of 2050 temperatures being predicted, however, is about 8 meters higher than current, judging from previous sea level records matched with their corresponding historic temperatures. That will, however, take centuries to occur. Of course, the hotter the planet becomes, the faster it rises and the sooner that mark is hit. Note that sea level rise is not simply due to glacial melt, but also due to the fact that hotter water takes up more volume than colder water.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (2)

amck (34780) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333971)

It depends on the state. The North Carolina legislature, for example, has just thrown out any climate models that don't solely rely on historical data.

Not quite: they are ignoring all evidence of acceleration of sea-level climate rise. The sea-level rise has been accelerating, and expected by nearly all researchers to continue to do so (and models). The legislature has decided it would be more convenient if it didn't, and is dismissing all research that gives more than 15 inches of sea-level rise in 100 years (current consensus is 1 meter).
All the models are validated by historical data, and hence "rely" on it (and physics).

Re:Somewhat welcome news (3, Informative)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334263)

Accelerating? Are we speaking of the same ocean?

If anything, it has been slowing down over the last decade as global temperatures have stabilized, the net icepack (NH and SH) combined has actually grown, and even the NH ice coverage is within a fingernail's width of the thirty year mean.

People seem to be confusing the order in which science is done. Observations trump theory. When the theory is an elaborate one with many adjustable, essentially unknown parameters and little objective predictive skill, choosing to believe observational evidence instead of theoretical projection is sheer common sense. When (no matter what) the sea level isn't going to suddenly jump ten centimeters in a decade (where at most 1-2 cm is a lot more likely) spending massive amounts of money now to ameliorate what may never emerge as a problem later is again sheer common sense. In the meantime, the measured bond albedo of the Earth has increased by 7% over the last fifteen years, which corresponds to a roughly 2 C temperature drop due to reduced net insolation "off the top" as it were. This dwarfs the entire warming observed since the LIA. Just something to think about.

rgb (sitting on the NC coast, looking out the window at the water in Beaufort NC, where the tidal levels haven't significantly changed for years).

Re:Somewhat welcome news (5, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335135)

and even the NH ice coverage is within a fingernail's width of the thirty year mean.

Wrong. [noaa.gov]

When (no matter what) the sea level isn't going to suddenly jump ten centimeters in a decade (where at most 1-2 cm is a lot more likely)

Strawman [wikipedia.org]

the measured bond albedo of the Earth has increased by 7% over the last fifteen years,

Mistaking cycles for linear trends [njit.edu]

which corresponds to a roughly 2 C temperature drop due to reduced net insolation "off the top" as it were.

Total lack of data for that statement. I'm willing to check out any support you have, but just as a warning, a 2 C change due to change in bond albedo is basically impossible just based on the temperature data we have.

looking out the window at the water in Beaufort NC, where the tidal levels haven't significantly changed for years).

Yes, because eye-balling a waterline trumps actual measurements taken over the course of decades, and where significant seems to mean something completely different to you than to oceanographers - or anyone working with oceans.

Yes, you've indeed admirably proven your position with sources that are peer-reviewed, based on multiple and independent data sets, and you have demonstrated a strong understanding of basic physics, scientific principles and research methodology. /sarcasm

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334169)

It depends on the state. The North Carolina legislature, for example, has just thrown out any climate models that don't solely rely on historical data.

AKA, they pulled their heads from their asses. Given that ALMOST ALL AGW water level predictions to date have been PROVEN to be bullshit, only an absolutely fucking moron would even want to include that garbage data. Better to actually use the data which supports a position rather than just make shit up; which is exactly what they would be doing by including AGW prediction data.

So while you make it sound like a bad thing, factually, its a very, very good thing and a very, very smart thing.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334699)

As much as they are dumb for doing so, you might also phrase the same decision as, "The North Carolina legislature decided only to enact laws based on observable fact, tying legislation and regulation to empirical data rather than theoretical models".

hazards (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333129)

An unproven model (in the engineering sense) itself may still be more dangerous than the putative phenomenon. Yelling "fire" in an unlit theater might be an analogy.

Re:hazards (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333573)

Which is why there have been many dozens of papers published on model analysis, and everyone includes statistical confidence intervals and discussions of the known and potential unknown uncertainties.

Re:hazards (2)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333739)

yeah, people may be trampled while trying to get off the planet

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333139)

They're not just "openly" conducting the research, they're doing it with money from the government. So actually the situation is even better than you think. The government not only approves of what they do - it actually pays them to do it!

(Don't worry! This source of funding does not in any way influence the results. Honest. There's no pressure to produce results that help to get more grant money in the future.)

Re:Somewhat welcome news (4, Interesting)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333813)

They're not just "openly" conducting the research, they're doing it with money from the government. So actually the situation is even better than you think.

Yes - as I said, it is fortunate that in some countries research which contradicts the prevailing view of the government and it's financial 'contributors' (such as the Heartland Institute) is allowed to continue, at least outside of North Carolina. In Australia such intellectual honesty is not permitted - governments threaten errant scientists with a loss of funding, while denialists openly threaten their lives and the lives of their families.

The government not only approves of what they do - it actually pays them to do it!

"Approves" is not the word you are looking for - tolerates, for the time being, might be more realistic description

(Don't worry! This source of funding does not in any way influence the results. Honest. There's no pressure to produce results that help to get more grant money in the future.)

I'm not actually that worried about the big money affecting the science - various attempts have been made (e.g. Lindzen ) but failed. The big money owns the policy makers and will continue to do so despite the blindingly obvious truth that the science is giving us.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334419)

The Heartland Institute? That's a laugh. Weren't their accounts leaked last year? They don't have any money to contribute - they never have. They were scraping for just $1m in donations from their supporters. How many policymakers does that buy, do you think? Please, pick a better bogeyman.

Meanwhile, the project in the article here has a $50m budget. The big money doesn't seem to be in denialism.

Re:Somewhat welcome news (1)

Cryolithic (563545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334843)

In my country we muzzle scientists and require government approval before they can speak with any media. You'd think this was some dictatorship, but it's sadly Canada.

"15 degrees" of what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332567)

Please always provide a unit. Thank you.

Re:"15 degrees" of what? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332715)

Likely to be F, ie ~8 C / K

Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 years (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332597)

POLITICALLY SAVVY MOOSE

You can go to our official records here

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/mn.html

choose period Annual, 2004-2012

and check that Minnesota annual temperatures went DOWN by about 2 degrees, two centuries worth of change, downwards, in 8 years.

So those must have been politically savvy moose, who died of warmth while the temperatures went seriously down, and had their story surface just before elections...

And 15C heating, when during the last 10000 years temps varied by at most 4C, and we are in global cooling, satellites show, since 1998

The full satellite record, unedited, is here

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss-land

the 15C heating is really aimed at scaring children. Or those prone to go childish on this topic.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (4, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332677)

Or those prone to go childish on this topic.

My irony meter just exploded.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333083)

Watching the Deadliest Catch they said the annual Ice was the worst if not worse then in 1972.
We have seen higher then normal temps, followed by a week of below normal temps.

There is no doubt the planet is changing it has since it formed. The only problem I have are these studies, they come out and say one thing then recant on it. All you have to do is say the planet is changing, it has been this way since the start, we are trying to see if mankind has had an impact if so is this cycle being accelerated. We also want to explore what possibilities could become threats in the future, however WE SIMPLY do not KNOW?

I not denying climate change, I repeat I am not denying climate change. I am fed up with these idiot scientists, there are a host of possibilities there is no way around that, trying to pin down one thing after another then recanting on it, is the reason why people are not convinced!!

The way the measure temps is laughable, they are using city, or airport readings. It is a fact that these areas have 10+ degree temperature readings due to concrete and asphalt. If they took rural readings the temps may be within a more reasonable or accurate measurement. You also need to take into account the altitude!! Not just this but a number of things they have measured which have been heavily question or suspect. I blame scientists for this, it seems most are only in it to get there names out there, is it a reality that they are over reacting in order for us to get are head from betwixt are buttocks and pay attention, but it does not seem to be working.

Yes I am aware and cannot deny ocean temp readings.....

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (1)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333915)

"Watching the Deadliest Catch they said the annual Ice was the worst if not worse then in 1972."

In northern waters the worst ice comes right after the spring breakup when lots of icebergs drift south.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333183)

Really. Look, grown ups appear to believe that moose perished of warmth during a 2C cooling.

Maybe I was wrong to call it childish.

A child would be smarter than that.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333597)

You and your fellows should stop posting about the topic forever. You have no understanding of even the most simple concept.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332683)

The link you provided only lists temperature by month, which are you referring to? Isn't this the very definition of cherry picking data to prove your point? Why look at only an 8yr period when there is data going back to 1895?

If we can pick our point first and then choose the data, look at this study which says MN has experienced the highest temperature increase over the last 40 years. http://www.startribune.com/local/158771045.html

Nobody said the temperature has increased 15C, the article only says that is what the experiment is testing up to (actually it doesn't say 15C or 15F). This is standard engineering practice to stress test a system beyond the "norms" to simulate longer periods of time than is reasonable to test.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333163)

The moose were supposed to have died in the story, of warmth, during the last 5 years.
Just as it was getting colder and colder.

So looking at the last 8 years is reasonable.

Since the last 10000 years had a temperature stretch of 4C,

were they trying to find out what happens 40000 years from now? 26000 years ago there were Neanderthals around, so 40000 is not a blip.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333711)

If you had seriously read the article you might have noticed that they mentioned that fall temperatures have a significant impact on the moose because they don't eat as much when it's warm (they overheat too easily), and they need to bulk up in the fall to prepare for winter. So if warmer weather lasts longer then the Moose delay the start of the bulking period and not enough food may be left when they begin the bulking or they might not have enough time between the start of their bulking period and the first snows. Interestingly, looking at the last 5 years of fall temperatures they are all significantly above average and above the trend.

That's ignoring the exploding parasite populations which are also weakening the moose.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334311)

Why not go back a few thousand years? [wattsupwiththat.com]

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332817)

I don't know where exactly your figures relate to, but the 2011/2012 winter was the warmest I have experienced here. Of course I have only been here (in MN) for 10 years. It may have been different down in 'the Cities'.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333137)

The figures were the official temps in Minnesota. Measured with thermometers.

Were the last 5 winters, when the moose died, all so balmy?

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333585)

Picking a single start point and a single endpoint is essentially guaranteed to get you skewed results. That's like saying (after a cold spell hit), "Hey, it was 20 degrees colder today than yesterday - the temperature is dropping by 20 degrees a day! We'll be hitting absolute zero soon!"

The Daily Show did a great job of making fun of this sort of data cherry-picking.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (2)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333717)

Also, xkcd [xkcd.com] has covered it pretty succinctly.

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334361)

I'm wondering f the Daily Show has addressed this? [wattsupwiththat.com]

Re:Minnesota Temps wend DOWN during the last 8 yea (3, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333873)

So if it's true of Minnesota it must be true of every square inch of the planet. Your playing the blind men and the elephant game. You might as well stick your head out the door and if it isn't raining declare there's a drought. It's called cherry picking data, the very thing the right always accuses climate scientists of doing. Worldwide averages are what count. If instead of Minnesota you picked Alaska and based the percentage of increase for the rest of the country based on those observations the southern half of the country would be like the Equator. The climate is far too complicated to base any conclusions on a single area's temperature.

My two cents... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332599)

I seriously hope people reduce pollution for the sake of reducing pollution, regardless of whether it helps fight "climate change", "global warming", "intergalactic global warming", or whatever you want to call it. Regardless of the cause, cut pollution for the sake of cutting pollution.

I hope people take these studies with a grain of salt. There seems to be so much conflicting information out there as to what the cause is or how to reduce it, it seems hopeless. So I'll say this again. Cut pollution for the sake of cutting pollution.

Re:My two cents... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332717)

What is so conflicting about people pumping up 75million years worth of hydrocarbons, burning it all over a period of 200 years, releasing a shit load of greenhouse gasses in the process, and nature going out of whack because of it?

Everybody is trying to figure out what the possible consequences of this are going to be, some predicting the end of the world, others wondering what could possibly go wrong, we've been burning fossil fuel as fast as we can for the past 50 years, and we're still here, right? Wouldn't it be more conservative to play it on the safe side, and find a way away from our gasoline addiction, instead of trying to be the kind of conservative when keeping up the unrestrained growth, consumption, and related pollution? The fact that there are probable consequences of all of this pollution, especially on a scale as large as this, should encourage us to play it safe.

Re:My two cents... (5, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332897)

We've done a lot worse than just burn the coal and oil. Hell, most of the substances we use everyday just do not exist in nature and there are billions of pieces of plastic floating in the oceans that weren't there 50 years ago. You don't get mercury pouring into the oceans if you just leave a planet without intelligent life.

But, that aside, just what precisely do you think will change? You're going to stop the world using oils, plastics and fuels before they run out anyway? Not a chance. It will not happen. It took decades to convince people not to use CFC's in large quantities but we still use them, and only converted because it was legislated, enforced and (to be honest) wasn't that much of a hassle in the first place. Cutting out the large items is actually orders-of-magnitude more difficult and unlikely to happen. And, actually, enforcing a "veggie-only" law and outlawing meat for everyone would actually do more, be cheaper and be accepted just as much (i.e. virtually zero).

Anything we build to replace those plastics and oil that we used will also require HUGE quantities of exactly those at first in order to scale up to the point where we replace them. Don't believe the hype about "sustainable" plastics because they are pretty much unusable for all the things we NEED to use plastics for, and cost SO MUCH ENERGY we can only supply it by burning fossil fuels or uranium. It's the "electric car" phenomenon all over again - you're just shifting the use of those materials and energies somewhere else instead, not actually "saving" anything.

Pretty much the only viable solution, when you take human nature into account (and not just ordinary individuals, who can do more eco-friendly things than governments ever do, but just the fact that you can't convince a country to stop using oil any more than you can outlaw meat), is to let them burn it all off.

Do the damage now. Do it as fast as possible. Run it out. Leave us with nothing. Then the 200 years of damage is unlikely to do much (on geological scales) to the planet at all long-term, and we won't have any excuse for not doing things differently. We'd actually lose quite a lot of things we take for granted up to and including our own lives in some cases (you can't sustain population numbers like we have now without the medicine and energy use we currently have). But that's the only "logical" outcome when you look at how the world works.

Stop faffing about pretending that an extra few years of oil before we suddenly make everything eco-friendly is going to make ANY difference at all. Just burn the stuff now. All of it. Run out the plastics until the prices rises to stupendous levels and we're forced to go back to older ways (which included chopping down and burning tress, I'd like to point out), reduce the population, or revert society back to an age where people couldn't guarantee food for themselves, let alone homes.

The problems of eco-destruction are nothing to do with climate change, animal extinctions or anything else. The problem is that when we run out, you have instantaneous anarchy and a dark-ages effect of not being able to do 1% of the things we take for granted. But actually, the BIGGEST problem is that our population would be decimated worldwide almost overnight. We can't grow, transport, store and treat enough food to feed people without consuming oil and oil-products galore. And have you seen the amount of fertile land it takes to sustain one person in even a third-world country? There simply isn't enough.

So stop TRYING to pretend we can actually do anything practical which doesn't lead to the same population decimation +/- 5 years anyway, accept it and burn the damn stuff up now finding alternatives. Hell, if that means space missions to find more resources (e.g. methane or something else we can burn) and other places to live, then do it. Do it now. Stop hanging around and pissing away resources on eco-initiatives that DO NOT WORK while waiting until the point that there isn't enough fuel and oils to do such things in the first place.

It's not just about sheer energy, but that's a huge part of it, but specialist compounds that we absolutely cannot synthesize or replace outside of an oil-based industry. Use them while we have them and stop TRYING to conserve them, and just accept that population decimation can be delayed but not avoided.

Re:My two cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333045)

It's like those first airplane prototypes they pushed off a tall cliff.
You start to pick up speed, faster and faster. You feel the rush of the wind through your hair. "This is great! I'm flying!"

Yeah, flying like a brick... Until you hit the bottom of the cliff.

We've all been shoved off a huge fossil fuel cliff, the bottom of the barrel is getting closer, fast.

Even if we're able to level off, it will be at great cost. Crash and burn is the only other way out...

Re:My two cents... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333771)

In essence, the issue is sustainability. Regardless of whether burning oil or producing plastic is bad for the environment, the simple fact is there are limited raw materials and we are overly dependent.

Re:My two cents... (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334533)

Run it out. Leave us with nothing. Then the 200 years of damage is unlikely to do much (on geological scales) to the planet at all long-term

Releasing hundreds of millions of years worth of CO2 in 200 years is going to do more damage than releasing it in 2000 or 200,000. The problem isn't the CO2, all that CO2 came from the atmosphere at one point. The problem is a rapid change in CO2 causing rapid changes in climate that species do not have time to adapt to.

Re:My two cents... (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334571)

And you really think that oil etc. will last another 200 years, let alone 2000 or 200,000 (the last of which is the only one where you'll actually see animals start to "adapt" in any evolutionary term - i.e. all the dead animals haven't bred successfully).

Geological scales.

Re:My two cents... (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335145)

No, I expect humanity will choke itself on it's own wastes, like yeast in a jar of sugar water that eventually produces toxic concentrations of ethanol. That doesn't mean we should encourage it, even yeast isn't that stupid.

Re:My two cents... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333443)

Pollution is not the issue here. You can put all kinds of scrubbers on a smokestack and get pollution (sulfer dioxide, CFCs, CO, etc) down to minimal levels, but you will still be pumping massive loads of CO2 into the atmosphere. CO2 isn't considered pollution, it's just a natural molecule in the atmosphere like O2 and N2.

Winning hearts by confusing minds. (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333485)

Cut pollution for the sake of cutting pollution.

Problem is, a large number of people don't consider CO2 to be a pollutant [youtube.com] .

There seems to be so much conflicting information out there as to what the cause is or how to reduce it, it seems hopeless

Yep, life is messy and it's often hard to find a candle in the dark [wikipedia.org] , it's full of blatant self serving liars such as the one in the linked video who on the surface appear to be reasonable common sense folk, to deal with with this avalanche of intellectual dishonesty from proffesional propogandists, and avoid being drafted into their particular army of useful idiots [wikipedia.org] , you can either...
1. Pick the side that best matches your politics/religion/fetish/wallet/eye-shadow/whatever and then firmly plant your fingers in your ears and start humming loudly.
2. Try to appease both sides from a seat on the fence. That's just the starting position, until you get past it, it's the equvalent of "who cares, lets just all be friends". If you actually care about the issue go back and re-choose from option 1 or 3 only.
3. Attempt to understand the issue to the point where you can routinely spot bullshit from both sides of the emotional divide, then draw your own conclusions. (see sig for further details).
If you picked option 1, you can stop reading now and use a dart board to negate your (valid) concerns. The third option is a bitch. The modern world is extrodinary evidence that it gives the best answers but stubornly refuses to deliver absolute certainty about anything. It also requires humility, time, work and critical thinking so from a practical stand point every one of us goes for option 2 in the majority of cases. (if you were redirected here from option 2 the only way out of an infinite loop is to admit you don't care enough to throw a dart)

As always if you don't understand a subject the best place to start looking is here [wikipedia.org] . For a more nuanced understanding you need to look at what the scientific community are talking about [realclimate.org] . As a young man and HS drop out this is where I went wrong, I was interested in science and since the internet had not been invented, my next best option was the public library or the news stand.

All three sources of information on science conflate science with scams, speculation, and metaphysics. Even if you could somehow magically remove all the propoganda from amoral FUD factories trying to win hearts by confusing minds there is no way for an inexperienced amature-researcher to tell the difference between (say) Nature magazine and UFO monthly. So here is some advise from someone who desrted Uri Geller's army of useful idiots 32 years ago, and please feel free to use that grain of salt on it....

1. Find the primary source, if you can't, tag article as bullshit.
2. Compare the primary source to the article that lead you there, if they conflict, tag article as bullshit.
3. What is the track record of the primary source and is it peer-reviewed, ie: does it come from Nasa, the phycic hotline, or a random slashdot post such as this one?
4. Does other scientific literature from different primary sources confirm or debunk the claims?
5. Having done the above work in 1-4 you're now in a position where you actually have a reasonable understanding of the issue and you can pretty much ignore every thing other people say and make up your own mind confident in the knowledge you arrived at your position via reason.
6. Using the decision from 5 you can now apply it to any article discussing that particular 'talking point' and pretty much ignore them other than keeping an eye out for fundemental points you hadn't thought of (if that happens, goto 1.). On very,very,very, rare occasions something like this will overturn a fundemental pillar of a well established theory. Since you now have a clue about the subject you will also have a good chance of recoginsing these gems if you are fortunate enough to see one.
----
The one thing I can agree with creationst about is their slogan "teach the contraversy" because the first thing you learn when investigating the 'evolution contraversy' (from both sides) is that it doesn't exist in the scientific community. Same with AGW, there is no scientific contraversy in the statement "Human emmisions are causing the planet to warm, left unchecked the consequences will be catastrophic for our civilization(s)". What you are seeing is a manafctured contraversy specifically designed to win hearts and confuse minds. If you can learn to identify these artificial contraversies (and their main talking points [skepticalscience.com] ), then the world of science will suddenly start looking a lot like highly refined common sense.

Having said that, here's some irony for you. It was a magician that set me straight 30yrs ago, not a scientist. As I warned you above, life is messy. :)

Re:My two cents... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333649)

True, air pollution has much more serious effects on the environment than climate change, but it's not nearly as easy to market in the media than "the day after tomorrow"-style catastrophe scenarios with islands sinking to the bottom of the sea and stuff. Another problem is that reduction of air pollution and reduction of CO2 emissions are many times at odds with each other: for example, the catalytic converters on cars that neutralize the pollutants in the exhaust gas also reduce the efficiency of the engine, leading to more CO2 emitted.

Re:My two cents... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334237)

If there's no detrimental effect of the pollution, then it's not really pollution. Therefore, anyone who cleans up pollution isn't doing it merely for the sake of cleaning up pollution, but to avoid the detrimental effects that make it pollution.

Like they need another alarmist plot point (-1, Troll)

brainchill (611679) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332661)

Ok, climates chage, this happens. It happened before people and industry were here and it will continue to happen when we are gone. Deep ice core data even shows the similar increases in atmospheric CO2, etc during times that temperatures rise long before humans ever had industrial activities to create this effect ... it happens. No one has ever even proven conclusively whether these gases in the atmosphere are anything more than anecdotal evidence of human effect on the climate or even whether, for certain it's presence is actually a cause or an effect of climate change just that they appear to occur together. There are many ideas that try to prove that it's these gases that are trapping heat in the atmosphere but just recently (as reported on slashdot) it was proven that significantly less heat than was thought or expected was being trapped and most was being reflected and passed back out of the atmosphere ...... So here's the point I'm getting to ..... cleaning up trash, keeping the earth cleaner is never a bad thing but they are going significantly overboard and turning just this idea into a multi-billion dollar industry all of it's own and using it and regulations surrounding it as a method for controlling companies and altering their methods of production and it's gotten a bit out of hand. We need to understand that climates change and there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it .... if all of the people on earth disappeared this phenomenon would continue to happen so rather than trying to change it we need to learn to adapt to these changes.

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (5, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332749)

Atmospheric CO2 partial pressure is at an all time high (post industrial revolution) for as far back as we can measure.

You contradict yourself - first you say that deep ice core data shows that temperature rises and atmospheric CO2 concentrations are linked, then you claim that "no one has proven ... if they just happen to appear together". I'll save you the trouble - the former is the accurate statement, although it's not exclusive to CO2; any molecule that absorbs IR in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, which makes the biggest culprits CO2 and water vapour. There are many others that are considerably worse than CO2 (hundreds, sometimes thousands of times more potent as IR absorbers) that are mitigated by low concentrations.

It's very easy to demonstrate with a simple science experiment that you can do yourself at home with a plastic bottle, a thermometer, a stopwatch and a lamp. Seal the bottle then point the lamp at it and leave it for 10 minutes. Measure the temperature inside after this time has elapsed. Now open the bottle and breathe in and out, sealing your mouth around the neck for as long as you can manage it (until all the oxygen is gone) - ie, vastly increase the concentration of CO2 and water vapour inside the bottle. Seal it up and then wait for the temperature inside to fall to the same level as the air was in the first experiment (your breath will obviously be warm, so you want to start from the same air temperature). When it's back to the same level turn the lamp on and wait another 10 minutes and record the temperature. Record your results.

The chemistry of IR absorbing gasses is not controversial. It only seems to be when it's politically inconvenient. Suddenly the idea that CO2 absorbs IR radiation just because it's in the earth's atmosphere rather than in a lab setting is "merely anecdotal".

Most radiation that falls on the earth *is* reflected (our albedo is quite high), and even then, much of the re-radiated IR from the earth's surface is also lost to space - this is not new or controversial information.

"We need to understand climates change and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it" is probably the most hilariously inaccurate and naive statement I think I've ever read on slashdot. Not only is it one of the most ridiculous "head in the sand" conclusions drawn from a fundamental misunderstanding of basic science (if the first part of the comment is anything to go by), but it's contradicted by extensive evidence to the contrary by a number of widely famous examples. The most obvious of these would be the depletion (and subsequent re-establishment) of the ozone layer and the corresponding changes to the climate that were observed and reversed in response to human actions.

If all the people on earth disappeared the climate would indeed continue to change in response to events that occur - the only difference is that there would be no further changes from anthropogenic factors. The fact that it responds to natural changes does not mean that humans have no effect on it. Again, you seem to misunderstand the way that the climate works.

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334501)

Yet, it doesn't seem to have had had any effect. [wattsupwiththat.com]

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334561)

No serious person is arguing that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas. The argument surrounds the magnitude of feedbacks. If there were no feedbacks, then a doubling of CO2 would have a net increase of .6C in temperature. It is the things like increases in atmospheric water vapor and change in landmass albedo which are being debated.

The last 15 years of recorded temperatures have been mostly flat with a statistically insignificant level of global temperature change. Yet CO2 as continued to increase at the exact same rate.

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (5, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332769)

Ok,. climate changes. Within ten thousands of years. Climate change within 100 years didn't happen before except after catastrophical events like continent wide volcanism or a large meteorite impact. And you know what? After such events, regularly 50 percent or more of all higher lifeforms vanished. Those events occur about every 100 million years and are called major extinction events [wikipedia.org] .

In textbooks from the 1960ies, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was given at 280 ppm. When I was in school, we learned that the CO2 level in the atmosphere is 330 ppm. Today we are at 400 ppm. So we managed to increase the CO2-level for 40 percent within 50 years. And today we have the highest amount of coal, gas and oil usage in history, far higher than in the 1960ies, pointing to an even higher increase in CO2 emittance than ever. If you still believe, we can't change the world wide climate, you have to have very strong arguments for the contrary. Just some handweaving "It won't be that bad as predicted" won't suffice.

I live in the Alps. We have the lowest glacier coverage here since recorded history (which partly goes back to the Roman Empire). Ötzi the Ice Man [wikipedia.org] came uncovered after 5300 years in the ice of the glacier, because the glacier was at an all time low at that time -- obviously at least the lowest level since 5300 years. Don't give me anything of "anecdotical evidence", when we can measure the change.

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40335169)

Climate change within 100 years didn't happen before except after catastrophical events like continent wide volcanism or a large meteorite impact.

False: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dansgaard%E2%80%93Oeschger_event [wikipedia.org]

This false claim that the climate has never undergone a natural fluctuation comparable to the currently postulated anthropogenic one is actually kind of useful: it clearly identifies political hacks who don't care a tithe for science but who are either willful liars or inexcusably ignorant of the Earth's actual climate history.

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333269)

Ok, climates chage, this happens. It happened before people and industry were here and it will continue to happen when we are gone.

First they came for the peat bogs, and I did not speak out - because I was not a peat bog...

Re:Like they need another alarmist plot point (1)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 2 years ago | (#40334489)

"Ok, climates chage, this happens."

And when climate changes, fertile agricultural regions become infertile. Rainfall patterns change, making some regions prone to drought, or prone to flooding, or most joyfully, prone to both. Coastal regions have to be abandoned, putting millions of people on the move.

That's trillions of dollars in economic damage. Which is worth more than a dismissive "this happens."

Declining Meese Populations (4, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332685)

I wonder if the decline is real, or if it's a sampling error. From the paper:

We estimated moose numbers and age/sex ratios by flying transects within a stratified random sample of survey plots (Figure 1). Survey plots were last stratified in 2009.

Could the stratification of plots be a source of error? I am not sure. They did account for viability bias:

We accounted for visibility bias by using a sightability model (Giudice et al. 2012).

But, did they properly account for a number of other sources of error (e.g. migration; herd location; etc)? I'm not saying their method is flawed, just that I cannot tell from the paper whether or not other reasons for the change in data.

Re:Declining Meese Populations (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332785)

Quite possibly. It does seem like it would be very difficult to accurately determine error bars on those plots for exactly the reasons you suggested. Perhaps they were relying on other data that suggested migration was not a significant factor? They have mentioned other tracking methods; radio collars, for example, that they have also used.

Biodome's don't work (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332747)

This experiment seems to require them to measure what is in the biodome's atmosphere so I am assuming they are sealed off from the outside atmosphere. Thing is, nobody has ever managed to get a large sealed biodome to stay stable for more than about a year, without fresh air they turn into giant glasshouses full of rotting organic material. Perhaps this one will be different since there are no humans living in it but my prediction is it will rapidly collapse into a rather smelly single celled ecosystem. If OTOH it does work, it may turn out to be very useful for space exploration.

Re:Biodome's don't work (2)

Remco_B (14435) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333111)

From the article at minnesota.publicradio.org [publicradio.org] :

During the growing season, researchers will heat the air and soil inside the open-topped chambers. They'll also raise carbon dioxide levels, exposing plants and trees to the changes.

The chambers aren't biodomes since they're open at the top. This means there will be plenty of fresh air, but temperature and CO2 levels can be raised by adding heat and CO2.

THIS IS NEWS FOR HIPPIES !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332779)

I demand News for Nerds !! What nerd cares of peat and bogs ?? No nerd !! Only a hippie cares of peat and bogs !!

Re:THIS IS NEWS FOR HIPPIES !! (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333013)

I demand News for Nerds !! What nerd cares of peat and bogs ?? No nerd !! Only a hippie cares of peat and bogs !!

OK, here you go:

“Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one... stayed up! And that's what you're gonna get, lad: the strongest castle in these islands.”

Happy now?

It depends on the state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332813)

It depends on the state. The North Carolina legislature, for example, has just thrown out any climate models that don't solely rely on historical data.http://www.wnf-sourcing.com

We should change the way we use our planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40332909)

I'm from The Netherlands and we see our climate changing aswell. The seasons are much more unpredictable.

But if CO2 causes warming as they claim (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332935)

why do they also have to heat it?

Re:But if CO2 causes warming as they claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333181)

Because even though "the science is settled", the scientists still need lots more money to carry on doing lots of research to prove how just how settled it is.

If you want to know what happens to a peat bog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40335017)

If you want to know what happens to a peat bog when it's heated for a year, you have to heat a peat bog for a year.

How else would you do it? Computer models?

Other Factors (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333141)

Moose populations are probably a poor indicator, especially in areas near the edges of their normal habitat. These are affected by deforestation, marsh draining, and more importantly, do not mix well in areas that also have deer (or so I'm led to believe) due to a disease frequently found in deer feces.

No such thing as 'global warming' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333277)

www.climatedepot.com

Single-malt (1)

neuroklinik (452842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333295)

A long as these studies don't impact the production of my favorite, peaty single-malt Scotches... damn the environment, I need my Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Caol Ila!

FUCK THE UN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333345)

FUCK all the banks
FUCK all you pieces of shit who love the UN
FUCK all you democrats and republicans
FUCK the DHS, CIA, and NSA

law should say if you break your oath, you get chopped up in a tree chipper.

Review & Study Willi Smits' Borneo peat bog wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333361)

Smits claims to have changed the micro-climate above & slightly around his community's restored rain-forest reserve for Orangutans.

+ http://www.TED.com/talks/lang/en/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html

Cf Smits' TED talk on the motivation, construction, & unexpected climate effects of his reserve, and then look for updates,
to see it there are more or, at least, if the previously reported effects are continuing to occur there.

moose population down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333521)

Meanwhile it's said that elk population went up 50%.

GOP (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40333537)

No way they allow that experiment to yield dangerous results. The House will zero out that budget.

Re:GOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334279)

More childish crap. This is total shit science, this global scam for money warming. Junk science at its best. Again, the people who scream the loudest seem to still use cars, electricity and oxygen. Just go away idiots.

Please use proper terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333555)

I'm sick and tired of people throwing around carbon as if it were carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Stop being lazy. Use the full term. For that matter, differentiate between carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. These two gasses react markedly differently in the atmosphere. Use proper scientific terms if you are going to present this as a scientific matter. If you can't be bothered, carry on with your religion.

Lineral editors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333575)

The liberal editors of /. never get tired of this global warming shit. Get over it guys, move on to the next planetary danger.

Statistics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40333845)

"Although peat bogs only account for 3% of Earth's surface, they contain over 30% of carbon stored in soil."

I hate sentences like this. Don't compare apples and oranges. What % of the Earth's surface is soil? Then, what % of soil is peat bog? Don't jump that step to make your conclusions look more dire than they actually are.

I want to save the environment as much as the next guy. But I want to do it with sound logic, numbers, and reasoning, not deliberately inflammatory statistics.

shIt!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334427)

Obligatory Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40334757)

Including the majestic møøse

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