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Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

timothy posted about a month ago | from the look-for-barry-goldwater's-car dept.

Earth 136

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Once stashed in warehouses in Maryland and North Carolina, images and video captured from orbit by some of NASA's first environmental satellites in the mid-1960s are now yielding a trove of scientific data. The Nimbus satellites, originally intended to monitor Earth's clouds in visible and infrared wavelengths, also would have captured images of sea ice, researchers at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center realized when they heard about the long-lost film canisters in 2009. After acquiring the film—and then tracking down the proper equipment to read and digitize its 16-shades-of-gray images, which had been taken once every 90 seconds or so—the team set about scanning and then stitching the images together using sophisticated software. So far, more than 250,000 images have been made public, including the first image taken by Nimbus-1 on 31 August 1964, of an area near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Besides yielding a wealth of sea ice data, the data recovery project, which will end early next year, could also be used to extend satellite records of deforestation and sea surface temperatures."

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warehouse (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about a month ago | (#47817993)

is this from Warehouse 13?

Re:warehouse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818071)

High probability it was stashed in these warehouses as it may contain data that contradicts the AGW lemmings. This could be an enormous scandal that exposes the global warming corruption and brings down the entire cabal. (Hey, a guy can hope!) Captcha: betrayer

Re:warehouse (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a month ago | (#47818155)

Yeah. They used a look-into-the-future technology to determine that data collected and stored in the 60s might contradict your political paranoia 50 years later. It's the same tech they used to print Obama's birth announcement in Hawaiian newspapers because (again) they knew that one day a Kenyan would try to get elected to the White House.

Re:warehouse (1)

Sique (173459) | about a month ago | (#47818197)

No, as usual, things with no immediate use but too hardly earned to get thrown away get stashed until the time comes. And then forgotten. There is no cabal here. Guys can hope, but to hope natural laws change at will just to support the own ideology has the ring of futility to it.

Re:warehouse (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a month ago | (#47818203)

High probability you're a fucking moron.

Straight to the pointless debate (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47818013)

I read this article earlier.
Here's the things people are going to fixate on, without having near enough data actually genuinely analyze them.

The article states that Antarctic Ice was way larger in are in 1964 than it is today(or was in 1972, the until-now earliest satellite data date)
And the deniers are going to fixate on the fact that there were holes in the ice.

And since there's not a lick of expert analysis vis-a-vis the implications for climate change involved there, I can't bring myself to care, what some people on slashdot are going to conclude without the numbers.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0, Redundant)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about a month ago | (#47818157)

I read this article earlier. Here's the things people are going to fixate on, without having near enough data actually genuinely analyze them.

The article states that Antarctic Ice was way larger in are in 1964 than it is today(or was in 1972, the until-now earliest satellite data date) And the deniers are going to fixate on the fact that there were holes in the ice.

And since there's not a lick of expert analysis vis-a-vis the implications for climate change involved there, I can't bring myself to care, what some people on slashdot are going to conclude without the numbers.

Not to mention that if it doesn't go for how the AGW claimers want, then they'll just say the sensors were not accurate enough and write it off with the other side will point to the data as showing no AGW issues.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47818255)

Not likely since AGW is based on science, and scientific method. Where as deniers are just a bunch of dolts with no science behind them. Ask yourself this: How come AGW deniers never talk about the actual science?
They make post like you do: No evidence, no data, every scientist, every agency, every competing country are all in some conspiracy and only the enlightened few* can see 'The Truth!'

*get over yourself already

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818441)

This isn't just flamebait. http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | about a month ago | (#47818559)

Some of the sensationalist claims made by IPCC and ilk not scientific at all, and they've backpedaled on some of them in latest climate report

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818685)

Give one example of a 'backpedal'.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47820349)

IPCC AR5 WG1 dismisses the models outright as running "too hot" and replaces the data with "expert opinions".

You haven't read it - have you?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47820597)

You mean where they say "Observed changes in global mean surface air temperature since 1950 (from three major databases, as anomalies relative to 1961–1990) are shown in Figure 1.4. As in the prior assessments, global climate models generally simulate global temperatures that compare well with
observations over climate timescales (Section 9.4). Even though the projections from the models were never intended to be predictions over such a short timescale, the observations through 2012 generally fall within the projections made in all past assessments. The 1990–2012 data have been shown to be consistent with the FAR projections (IPCC, 1990), and not consistent with zero trend from 1990, even inthe presence of substantial natural variability (Frame and Stone, 2013)."

Is that where they dismiss the models outright? Perhaps *you* should read it.

Your claim does not stand up to scrutiny.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820493)

Once again you don't talk about AGW science facts, only you misunderstanding of a high quality science report.

BTW AGW and Climate change are different things. If you can not understand even that basic fact, then you have no hope of understanding the basic facts of AGW.

Re: Straight to the pointless debate (2)

James Buchanan (3571549) | about a month ago | (#47820743)

What part of conspiracy theory don't you get? Government classifies items,like pictures ,paper and other erratta on a daily basis, and ships it to warehouses, called NARA. There you have a chance to see it if its of the right item requested. Some one forgot to destroy this before it was found. Conspricy theory just say ooo! Mr. Carter, look what I found. Sometimes its right on the mark.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a month ago | (#47818199)

If you can't bring yourself to care, why did you post?

That aside, it's good that it was recovered, though it is, to be fair, still a snapshot in time. Now if they had something over multiple years from that period, we could get a better picture.

Nota Bene: "way larger" isn't exactly precise, especially given any competent chart on sea ice coverage over periods as small as a couple of decades. We've seen sea ice grow like crazy over the past two years, after all. ;)

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820551)

No we have not seen 'ice grow like crazy'. Not at all.
We have seen some more snow fall in some area, but the overall loss dwarfs that new snow fall.

Stop thinking surface, and start think mass.
Antarctica and Greenland are losing 450 billion tons of ice every year

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1, Troll)

lgw (121541) | about a month ago | (#47818239)

Well, as a skeptic, here's what bothers me:

The ground station temperature data has been quite thoroughly manipulated, always "adjusted" in the direction of confirming the theories of the researcher making the adjustment, Pardon my skepticism about that data.

The satellite data, however, has no such shadow over it. It's good, solid data - the sort of thing one expects in science. But now there's this new satellite data that must be "processed" to be understood. If it's just photographic evidence like ice coverage, then great - image processing techniques are commonly understood, and no one's going to be photoshopping in extra ice to create a fake trend. But if there's infrared data that researchers must "adjust", and then extend temperature graphs of "satellite data" backwards, then I'll be annoyed that the data source I trust has been mixed with adjusted data.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818491)

Aren't adjustments, done with scientific reasoning, just a form of processing?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a month ago | (#47818659)

Aren't adjustments, done with scientific reasoning, just a form of processing?

I dont know about the satellite data, but in the case of the surface record, there can be no scientific reason to adjust temperature measurements. Such measurements are the core of the science .. things are measured and the values are what they are. It is never scientific to process past measurements and then call them "corrected" (which is what the climate folks are doing with the surface record.)

I also dont know if all of these "corrections" are biased one way or the other, but surely if these "corrections" do not follow a normal distribution then that sheds a very ugly light on the whole process of "correction."

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about a month ago | (#47818895)

I dont know about the satellite data, but in the case of the surface record, there can be no scientific reason to adjust temperature measurements. Such measurements are the core of the science .. things are measured and the values are what they are. It is never scientific to process past measurements and then call them "corrected" (which is what the climate folks are doing with the surface record.)

That statement is false.

Science is the discipline of publicly testing ideas by systematic observation, controlled experiment, and Bayesian inference.

There are many reasons why one might get the idea that past temperature records have systematic inaccuracies that may require correction. The urban heat island effect is one large one, which tends to produce higher uncorrected temperatures over time. The phenomenon is simple in principle: cities generate heat, have more dark surfaces, and trap heat in buildings etc which gets re-radiated at night. Weather stations sited near cities have typically become increasingly surrounded by them over the past century, because cities have grown.

Ergo, the instrumental temperature record from many stations needs to be corrected downward to account for this effect, if we want to pull out the environmental temperature (what we are generally interested in.)

This is what we do all the time in science. We start with a raw instrumental measurement and then apply various theory-dependent corrections to infer the underlying quantity we are actually interested in. For example, at the LHC, physicists measure the raw detection rates of various particles in multiple detectors, and then correct them for known background rates etc (frequently using ancillary measurements in the same detectors to determine those rates) to infer the presence (or absence) of the Higgs boson.

What you are saying is "never scientific" is in fact the core of the scientific process, and it makes no difference if the original data were taken today or fifty years ago: they are open to justifiable correction by anyone who sees fit. If you have the idea that the corrections applied are unjustified, feel free to challenge them, but please don't go promoting your fallacious vision of what science is and how it works.

And by the way, if you are interested in what an analysis of the uncorrected instrumental temperature record looks like at one particular station, here is an example: http://www.tjradcliffe.com/?p=... [tjradcliffe.com]

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

cheater512 (783349) | about a month ago | (#47819115)

You don't 'correct' the data. The data that was collected is completely accurate in the context of being close to a city.
Accurate data + apply correction != accurate data.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (2)

blue9steel (2758287) | about a month ago | (#47819403)

That doesn't make any sense. Of course you correct the data, however you also publish the uncorrected data and the correction method you used so that others can verify your work.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (4, Interesting)

Garfong (1815272) | about a month ago | (#47819945)

Or another way of thinking of it is you're using the measured data to estimate a hidden variable which is what you're really interested in. E.g. in this case you have a number of measurements near cities, and you're trying to estimate the global/wide-area average temperature. So you apply a correction to get from city temperature to an estimate of the wide-area average temperature.

(This is mostly in response to GP).

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820637)

What correct means in this case is 'control for known variables.'

As an example. Suppose you have a thermometer above a surface that will make the thermometer read 2 degrees warmer.
You control the variable(correct). and subtract 2 degree for the appropriate times.

That is just a simple example i an ideal world with no other factors. Don't take it to e anything more than that.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a month ago | (#47820809)

But the temperature isn't 2 degrees cooler, it is exactly what the thermometer measured.

Yes cities are heat islands. But a heat island isn't a magical thing that makes thermometers read higher than reality.
You can't 'correct' the accurate measurement. It was that temperature at that location.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47819673)

The original, uncorrected data, was requested for 7 years via a FOIA request and ignored. Once a judge was getting involved and the requests could no longer be ignored, that original data was deleted rather than "risk peer review" by people that Phil Jones didn't like.

So claim its scientific all you want until you are blue in the face. Fact is, the "corrections" were done by a single group, who never shared their methods on how they did it, and refused to release the original uncorrected data, and deleted it rather than risk it being released via a FOIA request.

This is not scientific at all. This manipulated data was the basis for all early IPCC reports.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a month ago | (#47819961)

Science is the discipline of publicly testing ideas by systematic observation, controlled experiment, and Bayesian inference.

Changing the data that you observed decades after you observed it is not "systematic observation."

It is "doing stuff so that the systematic observations arent used"

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a month ago | (#47820253)

If you are measuring sea level from the same spot every year, and then later you find out that the spot you are on has been rising slowly over the years, you would be perfectly scientific in trying to account for the rise when using the now known-to-be-flawed data. The important thing is that you be open about what you did with the raw numbers so that others can see what you did.

Re: Straight to the pointless debate (1)

James Buchanan (3571549) | about a month ago | (#47820845)

So I can get the climate data fo9r St. Louis,by getting the data from New York and Los Angeles?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818757)

Aren't adjustments, done with scientific reasoning, just a form of processing?

GP referred to image processing [wikipedia.org] . An example would be a filter that improved contrast or made edges more visible. These are well-understood and repeatable. Also, nobody is talking about hiding the raw data, so you would be free to grab the raw data and try processing it yourself.

The temperature data records have been adjusted by government agencies (NOAA, NASA, GISS) and the adjustments seem to just be "fudge factors"; someone just changed the numbers. The changes might be justifiable, but (a) the changes were done very quietly, and (b) the changes mostly go the same way: the past always gets cooler and the recent decades always get warmer.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/18/hansens-nasa-giss-cooling-the-past-warming-the-present/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a month ago | (#47818549)

The ground station temperature data has been quite thoroughly manipulated, always "adjusted" in the direction of confirming the theories of the researcher making the adjustment

What would you expect to happen if there are correctable errors in the data and the theories are correct?

But now there's this new satellite data that must be "processed" to be understood.

The raw data should be open and verifiable against the original film so that anyone can double check the data and the conclusions. But somehow I don't think even that will be enough to convince the skeptics that the conclusions are correct.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a month ago | (#47818803)

What would you expect to happen if there are correctable errors in the data and the theories are correct?

What would you expect to happen if there are correctable errors and the theories are false, but the researcher was dodgy? Same result.

Data that doesn't allow you to distinguish these cases isn't scientific. That's the difference between "evidence" and "pleasing story", after all. Reproducibility is everything: the scientific method is built on the foundation that a skeptical opponent of your research can repeat your experiment (or measurement) and be forced to come around. If you're "adjusting" your data, the methodology you use is very much part of this process. The raw data should be presented, the method of adjustment should be presented, and the rationale for the method should itself stand against skepticism. (E.g., if a ground station went from rural to urban over time, others can compare similar situations and see if your adjustment was appropriate).

But if the raw data is destroyed? Well, pardon my skepticism.

(And if you think scientific researchers are perfect angels, not humans vulnerable to bias or outright cheating, take a look at the reproducibility of biochem synthesis journals some time. Eesh.)

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818881)

What would you expect to happen if there are correctable errors and the theories are false, but all the researcher s were dodgy? Same result.

FTFY

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

dak664 (1992350) | about a month ago | (#47819879)

NASA did destroy a large amount of imagery in the 1980s, despite a public outcry I certainly contributed to. The official line was that no one knew how to read the warehouses full of 7 track tapes to for conversion to CD (the 2400 foot tape could store 5 to 140 MB depending on density). The obvious reason was no one wanted to spend the money to replace all the classified pixels with innocuous ones. And so mankind lost a large amount of wealth.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47820977)

that a skeptical opponent of your research can repeat your experiment (or measurement) and be forced to come around.

Please, you can't even convince slashdot that the real 0.9... (with 9 being repeated infinitely) is equal to the real 1. And that is a mathematically verifiable truth. Even going back to the construction of reals from Peano axioms isn't going to convince them.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47820609)

I'm a little curious, so you think the aggregate of all climate data collected since the start of collection should all be stored indefinitely so it can be reverified? Do you have any idea how much data that is? Personally I think that would be great to have that level of retention. The problem is I don't think it was possible in the 80's, 90's or even 2000's. Only now is storage even starting to get cheap enough for this. 100TB in the 90s was pretty much unheard of, now I have 160TB in a 4U enclosure which cost something like 20k just for the hardware.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a month ago | (#47820917)

...I have 160TB in a 4U enclosure which cost something like 20k just for the hardware.

That's $125 per terabyte. Here [amazon.com] is 4.7TB for $19.45, which is $4.14 per terabyte.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about a month ago | (#47820969)

Oops, that's 0.47 TB for $19.45, which is $41.38 per terabyte.

Here [amazon.com] is 1.25 TB for $22.95, which is $18.36 per terabyte. You won't be able to fit 160 TB of that in a 4U enclosure, but maybe in a filing cabinet.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820669)

they are deniers, not skeptics. Skeptics apply critical thinking and make an effort to understand the science.
Deniers don't do either.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month ago | (#47818765)

What bothers me is: are these the same climate researchers who constantly sensationalize the magnitude and effects of climate change, and then come out and tell us they were lying because they didn't think we'd handle the truth being 10 times worse, and then "leak" sensationalized committee conclusions about how climate change has caused "irreversible damage" and "cannot be stopped" and tell us that they didn't mean for us to see that?

I won't be surprised when they leak that our climate change is threatening tourism for extra-terrestrials, who have threatened to annihilate human life if we don't correct it, and then come out and say, "That wasn't supposed to come out in public! We didn't want to say it's aliens, but... it's aliens."

The entire community of climate change science is filled with liars and bullshit who keep getting caught being liars spouting bullshit. I saw a report recently showing miles of Maryland coastal roads under 4 inches of water, claiming rising sea levels have started to draw the ocean inland and shrunk the coastline 20 miles back already, forcing people to abandon their homes and move to higher ground. Not "2 feet in the next century," not "Tropical Storm damage," no. They said the ice caps have already melted enough to put part of the state underwater, and that Maryland will be gone in 10 years.

So when some scientists pull something they magically found in a warehouse somewhere out of their ass, it bothers me.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820579)

You are not a skeptic. Skeptics use critical thinking skills. You are a denier who thinks they are skeptical.

"The ground station temperature data has been quite thoroughly manipulated, always "adjusted" in the direction of confirming the theories of the researcher making the adjustment, Pardon my skepticism about that data."
False.

" But now there's this new satellite data that must be "processed" to be understood."
Like ALL satellite data.

You really don't know what you are talking about. Why don't you turn your so called skepticism on those very claims?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a month ago | (#47818481)

Read the article:

" September 1964 covered about 19.7 million square kilometers—an area slightly larger than the United States and Canada together, and larger than that seen in satellite data from any year between 1972 and 2012."

Today is 2014, and antarctic ice (as shown by their photo), looks nearly *identical* to 2014, even after 50 years.

Do you deny that 2013 and 2014 exist, and that arctic ice has increased to the point that matches their observations in 1964?

Do you also deny that in 1966, there was a record low in ice extent?

"Similar data from another Nimbus satellite reveal a record low coverage of sea ice just 2 years later, the team notes."

Are you willing to take back your poorly backed argument now?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47819357)

Do you deny that 2013 and 2014 exist, and that arctic ice has increased to the point that matches their observations in 1964?

According to the source (http://cires.colorado.edu/news/press/2014/nimbus.html) the arctic ice extent was larger in the 1960's: In the Arctic, sea ice extent was larger in the 1960s than it is these days, on average. “It was colder, so we expected that...

The Antarctic ice extent is largely unchanged from the pictures in 1964. This is in line with the modern data that shows relatively steady Antarctic ice extent/area even while volume continues to shrink

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about a month ago | (#47820573)

Good catch, I like their visualization tool here: http://extranet.nsidc.org/Nimb... [nsidc.org]

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any similar visualization for the arctic.

I think the take away from their work shows just how much natural variability there was, even during a regime of significantly less CO2:

“And the Antarctic blew us away,” he said. In 1964, sea ice extent in the Antarctic was the largest ever recorded, according to Nimbus image analysis. Two years later, there was a record low for sea ice in the Antarctic, and in 1969 Nimbus imagery, sea ice appears to have reached its maximum extent earliest on record."

1964 high -> 1966 low -> 2014 above average

Since we have no 60s data regarding volume, I suppose that's an open question, but for antarctic extent to grow from 1966-2014 in the face of ever increasing CO2, points to some significant natural variability that overwhelms whatever influence CO2 might have.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (2)

ledow (319597) | about a month ago | (#47818523)

And until someone works out what we're supposed to do about it, we can all sit around and argue about whether or not we caused it. Like a bunch of people in a traffic accident swearing and shouting at each other and not one bothering to use the brakes. Sure, knowing it's us must lead us to find out why it's us, which might lead us to find out how we stop doing whatever-it-is.

Fact is, in EVERY discussion, every news story, every article, every paper I see, there's endless blame, "confirmation", etc. and yet not one bright idea about what to do about it.

Let's make it easy. I will happily take the assumption that we're somehow doing this. I'll even assume that how we THINK we're doing this is exactly how it's happening (that's not a given, by a long shot). And I'll assume that the catastrophic predictions are all correct.

Just quite what the fuck are we actually doing about it? What can we do about it? Does stopping doing those things actually hurt us more in the long run than the most dire of consequences otherwise (seriously, if we have to knock energy production down even a single order of magnitude, life changes forever for everyone on the planet)? What if all we can do is slow the change and not stop it? Is it then really worth all the huge, massive, political posturing, scientific research, bitching and arguing if all we can do is, say, buy ourselves an extra 10 years at ENORMOUS cost to our way of life?

Honestly, what kind of measures are we suggesting? How do we get international co-operation on those measures? What if we DON'T get international co-operation on those measures? How does that impact the average person, the average industry, the average production cycle? Are we going to have to abandon modern life and just-those-inventions that might save us (e.g. producing new large-scale energy projects) in order to survive at all?

I'm happy, as someone of a scientific mind, to entertain any amount of what-if's. But the ones that are never addressed boil down to "What if we're right?" And, to be honest, the answers I find from that are either scarier or more lacking than anything the doomsayers might chime in with about sea level rises, etc.

Whether or not I believe the evidence, the way it's handled, or the final conclusion, I still am interested in the suggested outcome. Because, in the AGW debate more than any, it seems to be a lot of political posturing to get someone to agree - to what? A complete absence of solutions. As such, I don't see the "profit" (intellectual or otherwise) in someone choosing any particular path beyond their own beliefs and this, more than anything, makes me question quite what we're hoping to get out of "winning" the argument.

Seriously. An utterly serious question. If we are right, what do we do, and how does that affect us? Because I believe (i.e. zero evidence) that, actually, the cure might be worse than the disease if it's this poorly researched and nobody's really got anything viable. If we can't point at something at say "If we spent more money on that, or researched this, or got those people to co-operate, it would solve the problem" then what - besides arguing about the cause - is ever going to change about the situation?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a month ago | (#47820357)

I believe it's the other way around: we're prevented from talking about changes because we're too stuck on the large number of people who insist that the answer is "do nothing because nothing is happening/it's not our fault/it'll all be OK," based on information that is usually outright wrong.

The short answer to "what do we do?" is "cut back on CO2 emissions". How we do that is a genuinely good question, since it breaks down into questions like "Who will cut, and how much? What will they do instead? How will we enforce it? Is it fair for some to cut more than others? Can a market-based solution help, or do we need something more extreme? Can we help developing countries that really need cheap energy to continue advancing?" The answers are complex, and hampered by the fact that this is an international problem rather than a local one.

There are things that can be done on a national level, especially in western countries, which have far higher per-capita CO2 production than elsewhere. We can encourage more fuel-efficient transportation and more carbon-efficient fuels. We can spend money on research for energy production which can't compete with fossil fuels today and won't turn a profit this quarter or the next. We can find ways to "price in" carbon emissions, to encourage people to shift towards more climate-friendly alternatives. And you can find ways to create carbon tariffs, so that we don't merely export carbon-producing activities to countries with smaller per-capita economies (and thus smaller per-capita CO2 production, even though they're selling off the results of that CO2 production to other countries).

These aren't easy, but they have been discussed, widely. The problem is that the discussions are utterly moot when the United States is unwilling to even consider them. It has the highest per-capita CO2 production (outside of a few oil producers and a couple of tiny countries that don't contribute much overall). (source [worldbank.org] )

There's a lot more discussion to have. But until we get past the sheer denialism, which is based on outright lies and paranoia, there's no hope of having it.

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820701)

Here is the thing.
Every time series discussion starts to happen, certain politician derail, misdirect, or blatantly stop the discussion.
It doesn't fit their constituent theology and/or ideology.

Since disease means the world will become too polluted and warm for human civilization, most main stream 'cures' won't be worse.

Re: Straight to the pointless debate (0)

James Buchanan (3571549) | about a month ago | (#47820967)

So how does taxing Americans to stop clean power, while sponsoring third world development of dirty power ameliate this?

Re:Straight to the pointless debate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818817)

Well, the deniers thought they had this well enough hidden so that it would never be found.

using sophisticated software (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a month ago | (#47818031)

>using sophisticated software

I wonder what that means. Is it more sophisticated than the software I use day to day? What makes it sophisticated?

Re:using sophisticated software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818077)

a sophomore in high school wrote it.

Re:using sophisticated software (-1, Flamebait)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a month ago | (#47818083)

It means it's already been modified by the eco-whackjobs to produce results that agrees with their other (obviously) manufactured data and craven plans to decimate the angelic and blameless fossil fuel industry with their fanciful notion that mankind could possibly have an effect on the environment.

Re:using sophisticated software (0)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47818295)

'I ain't gots no data, and I's can'ts be wrong, therefore everything is a conspiracy'

That what you sound like to every person who actually know the science.

Re:using sophisticated software (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a month ago | (#47818313)

I think you're perhaps misinterpreting the readings from your sarcasm detector.

Re:using sophisticated software (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820733)

I'll have Scotty redirect the Tachyon emitter to my sarcasm detector mains.

Sadly, there are people who would post what you posted without sarcasm.

Re:using sophisticated software (2)

JWW (79176) | about a month ago | (#47818195)

What makes it sophisticated?

Well my first guess would be geolocating the images to the proper location on the earth, projecting the data in to a digitized map grid projection and storing the data in a science archival format.

Re:using sophisticated software (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47818269)

It means new and complex.

It's a horrid term, but it's been used regarding software since the beginning of software.

Re:using sophisticated software (1)

sjames (1099) | about a month ago | (#47818503)

It never uses the wrong fork or puts it's elbows on the table.

It could be illegal. (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month ago | (#47818039)

These film were stored in North Carolina. It is actually illegal there [go.com] to predict sea level rise. There is some question about whether the law makers there banned the prediction of sea level rise or the banned sea level rise itself. But anyway these NASA scientists need to tread carefully in North Carolina.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a month ago | (#47818223)

From your cited article:

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue had until Thursday to act on the bill known as House Bill 819, but she decided to let it become law by doing nothing.

Priceless.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about a month ago | (#47818387)

Well when the majority is large enough to override the veto what is the point sometime? She did not sign it, that is enough to show the lack of support without wasting taxpayers money.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820751)

The problem with that is most people don't realize that's what's going on.
Frankly, I think she should have forced a veto in order to get more attention to those dumb asses.

Re:It could be illegal. (5, Informative)

clovis (4684) | about a month ago | (#47818331)

These film were stored in North Carolina. It is actually illegal there [go.com] to predict sea level rise. There is some question about whether the law makers there banned the prediction of sea level rise or the banned sea level rise itself. But anyway these NASA scientists need to tread carefully in North Carolina.

Total bullshit on the part of the media.
You've got to learn to not believe what reporters say. Read the actual bill.
http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/... [ncleg.net]

"The Commission shall direct the Science Panel to include in its five-year updated assessment a
comprehensive review and summary of peer-reviewed scientific literature that address the full
range of global, regional, and North Carolina-specific sea-level change data and hypotheses,
including sea-level fall, no movement in sea level, deceleration of sea-level rise, and
acceleration of sea-level rise. When summarizing research dealing with sea level, the
Commission and the Science Panel shall define the assumptions and limitations of predictive
modeling used to predict future sea-level scenarios. "

The first version of the bill was the one that the news picked up and, well, just plain made up bald-faced lies about.
Here it is:
"Historic rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios
of accelerated rates of sea-level rise unless such rates are from statistically significant,
peer-reviewed data and are consistent with historic trends. Rates of sea-level rise shall not be
one rate for the entire coast, but rather the Commission shall consider separately oceanfront and
estuarine shorelines."

See the part about not including 'acccelerated rates of sea-level rise"? That's the controversial part of the bill. By taking the most extreme sea-level rise predictions, some sea-side community was announcing a need for huge sums of money to prepare for the "predicted rise". The bill was simply saying that you had to use peer-reviewed data and historical trends.

I don't have a problem with the legislature requiring both historical and peer-reviewed data for predictions of sea-level rise, and I cannot imagine any scientist having a problem with that.

but, but, republithugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818609)

but, but, that can't be. Republithugs must deny peer reviewed data. They must have maniupualted the bill somehow.

Re:It could be illegal. (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month ago | (#47818629)

This was the original bill [nccoast.org] they were circulating. See the section 2e that mandates the use of linear interpolation? Limits the data set to post 1900? They were dropped only after getting nationwide attention.

These legislators have been slipping such clauses into the law all the time, and this time they got caught. Otherwise they would have happily forced the value of pi to be 3.0 exact.

Do you have problems with the legislators decreeing what interpolation technique the scientists must use? Limiting the data sets they might use? Or do you modify the bill after getting caught with hands in the cookie jar and then whip up prodigal quantities of false outrage?

Re:It could be illegal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818649)

No, that part was directing scientists to predict sea level rises or declines with only straight line curve fits.

Re:It could be illegal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818787)

> requiring both historical and peer-reviewed data

But the problem with that is that the vast majority of studies that show the worst predictions are by reasonable people rather than Republicans so they can't afford to be peer-reviewed. The Republican studies that have budgets in the millions do. Therefore by requiring studies to contain good data, you are in effect muzzling everyone that isn't a Republican. That is morally wrong. The Nazis used policies like that to keep anyone that wasn't a democratic socialist from publishing. The Republicans, yet again, are doing what the Nazis did.

Re:It could be illegal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818955)

I don't have a problem with the legislature requiring both historical and peer-reviewed data for predictions of sea-level rise, and I cannot imagine any scientist having a problem with that.

Christian scientists, maybe. Historical data are meaningless when you know with a certainty that there are factors present now that were not present in the past.

Re:It could be illegal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818997)

It pretty much says, "You can report about sea level change, but not if the predictions are really bad."

Re:It could be illegal. (3, Interesting)

ljw1004 (764174) | about a month ago | (#47819309)

Total bullshit on the part of the media... The first version of the bill was the one that the news picked up and, well, just plain made up bald-faced lies about.
Here it is:


"Historic rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios
of accelerated rates of sea-level rise unless such rates are from statistically significant,
peer-reviewed data and are consistent with historic trends."

Clovis, how do you reconcile the "first version" text you quoted with this one? http://www.nccoast.org/uploads... [nccoast.org]

These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time
period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate
future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.

This version of the text totally reverses your conclusions. Was this "linear-only" text earlier than the one you quoted? Or did it come afterwards, indicating that the legislative draft actually got worse over time?

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

dkman (863999) | about a month ago | (#47819867)

I have a problem with builder developing beach front property, selling it for a tidy profit, then 20 years down the line I have to pay for it when it's underwater and a disaster emergency is declared. Then insurance rates go up because of the billions of dollars lost. etc, etc
If you don't see that coming you haven't been on the Earth long enough or you've got your blinders on.
If you want to build on the coast that's fine, but call it a flood zone and get insured as such. I'd prefer you have enough sense to just not build there or build it up enough to handle a fair rise. A tidal wave is going to wreck your day either way.

Re:It could be illegal. (3, Insightful)

dywolf (2673597) | about a month ago | (#47818427)

It's modded funny, yet it's all too sadly true.
City and State planning commission folks wanted to be prepared, and incorporate future sea level rise into any future construction on the coast, such as docks, ports, etc. Anything that could be affected by rising seas.

So naturally the state legislature reacts by banning any such considerations or planning for the future and force all construction to stay in harms way. Which is absolutely idiotic. And frankly, it's a fundamental ethics violation for any civil or construction engineers to follow this law. knowing that it will directly put such projects at risk for future damage, the same as leaving out structural fireproofing or any other common safety practice.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

afidel (530433) | about a month ago | (#47818979)

I wonder how such a law would interact with federal mandates that DOT plan for sealevel rise or army corp of engineering projects that require the contractors to do the same? I'd assume that the supremacy clause would mean that the contractors/DOT would have to follow the federal regulations and they would be indemnified by the law being invalid as it is overridden by federal statute, but it certainly puts them in a pickle.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about a month ago | (#47820509)

There's not law that does what he says, so it's kind of a moot point!

And when it comes down to it, county commissioners, city planners, zoning officials, etc are neither bound by the availability of plans or the lack of plans. If anti-development commissioners are elected, they can vote against expansive development all they want, completely regardless of sea level rise estimates.

FWIW, I would be an anti-development commissioner!

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about a month ago | (#47820485)

Reference for where the state "bann[ed] any such consideration or planning for the future"? Not to a biased media source with no sources, please.

You're absolutely right. Things are always--necessarily--better when they are centrally decided and mandated. Fireproofing is an excellent example. Thank goodness for codes that required asbestos [wikipedia.org] , Tris [nih.gov] , and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [wikipedia.org] . Too bad those contrarians just want to stand in the way of progress.

Predictions based on flawed models (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818511)

Global Warming predictions are easy to make and apparently easy to forget.

Ice free arctic... nope
Increased storm activity... nope
Accelerated warming... nope
Accelerated sea level rise... nope

Your science doesn't match reality. Which actually is a good thing, unless you're reptilian.

Re:It could be illegal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818533)

The prelimiary results are that the ice levels now are greater now which implies the opposite. That is why this film needs to be buried and not released. It hurts the case for AGW.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month ago | (#47818781)

Trying to predict the future gets you sent to the third circle of Hell, where your head is turned 180 degrees and you're forced to walk backwards for all eternity.

Re:It could be illegal. (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about a month ago | (#47820403)

Talk about a biased article. I am NOT saying I agree entirely with what happened, but the reality is that there was a moratorium on relying on the previous (2010) sea level report which predicted 39 inches of sea level rise. New standards for prediction are to be decided upon by 2016. The new standards do not look past 30 years.

I personally do not believe that any climate predictions we have right now are worth shit 30 years out, so I don't have a problem with this.

The NC coast, being surrounded for the most part by outer banks (as opposed to sea islands) are an interesting case. Erosion has long been a problem, and will continue to be a problem. I dare say a bigger problem than sea level rise.

Oh well, I guess we'll see in thirty years!

only 16 shades of grey? (4, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a month ago | (#47818105)

They could have had a much more interesting picture if they had used 50.

Re:only 16 shades of grey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818277)

And then 50 shades darker.

Re:only 16 shades of grey? (1)

colfer (619105) | about a month ago | (#47819675)

coders go to 128

Re:only 16 shades of grey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47820279)

Your mom only goes to 69.

Re:only 16 shades of grey? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a month ago | (#47820483)

So Earth's not hot enough for you? Guess we need more global (bed)warming.

thanks (2)

micahraleigh (2600457) | about a month ago | (#47818149)

Glad to see something related to this topic that is not brimming over with pre-masticated opinions.

Will NOAA and the ABoM falsify those too???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818165)

The question we have to ask now is will NOAA and the ABoM falsify that data as well????

lulz

Too late for that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818173)

It's not like we can stop the melting, and even if we tried, other countries wouldn't care. Oh well.

Re:Too late for that. (0)

thaylin (555395) | about a month ago | (#47818397)

It seems like an impossible task, so lets not try....

Re:Too late for that. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a month ago | (#47818599)

you're confused, arctic ice extents now increasing last two years (from a rock bottom minimum since records started in 1970s, sure). Look forward to seeing the 1960s data.

Funny some of "the melting" in antarctica not due to AGW at all but volcanoes, some of those sensationalists need to reign it in, hurting the cause.

Re:Too late for that. (2)

Punko (784684) | about a month ago | (#47819225)

Summer Ice retreat in the arctic has never been more severe in our records. Ice thickness has similarly never been so low. The extent of winter ice is entirely a different matter. Its the difference between "weather" and "climate".

Re:Too late for that. (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about a month ago | (#47820513)

"Never" is an awfully long time, especially when you are talking about the climate. What actual timeframe are you talking about?

Re: Too late for that. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47819443)

Here's a paper from the group discussing sea ice extent in 1964, using the Nimbus data:
http://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/699/2013/tc-7-699-2013.pdf

LOL at "climate researchers"... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47818263)

... we all know what that means...
"Climate researcher" = "Fraudster"...

www.climatedepot.com

How much longer is this ludicrous bullshit going to go on? Carbon! Carbon! Carbon! Keep repeating the mantra!

Re:LOL at "climate researchers"... (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a month ago | (#47818459)

Crackpot Crackpot Crackpot Crackpot...there.

Make sure they keep the originals (1, Flamebait)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a month ago | (#47818917)

As anyone who has done VR panorama stitching can tell you, software can only do so much. The output will have some issues, like things not lining up quite correctly or colors being off in one section, etc. So you have do some Photoshop work to make it look good.

Kind of like the raw data vs. adjusted data issue. If they show you the massaged data to back up a claim, but then say they accidentally lost the raw data (or outright refuse to release it, as in some cases)... well then you know they're no longer in the realm of science but a religious crusade.

Re:Make sure they keep the originals (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a month ago | (#47820779)

" as in some cases"
Any case not involving bad faith? no? I thought not.

Even More Important... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47820275)

Paul McCartney called Elvis [beatlesbible.com] on that day.

Let me guess... (1)

spud_boy_65986534 (807093) | about a month ago | (#47820457)

...the new data shows it was even cooler in the 60s than we previously thought! More global warming!
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