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Climate Data Re-examined (updated)

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the rexaimining-the-data dept.

Science 784

An anonymous reader writes "An important paper that re-examines historical climate data was published on 28 October in the respected journal Energy & Environment. (The paper is also available here.) According to an article in Canada's National Post, the paper shows that a "pillar of the Kyoto Accord is based on false calculations, incorrect data and an overtly biased selection of climate records." (USA Today also has a story.) This paper will undoubtedly be controversial and should stir a vigourous data review." Update: 11/05 14:54 GMT by T : newyhouse points out a similarly contrarian 2001 Economist article by Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist .

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Biased environmentalists? (5, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394482)

Nooooooo!

Biased statisticians and economists? (0)

isfuglen (714922) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394500)

Noooooooooooooooo!!!

Re:Biased environmentalists? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394637)

It's official - Novell has confirmed it: KDE is dying.

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered KDE community when, recently, Novell bought the only Linux distribution to support KDE fully. Coming on the heels of the discovery that the hated SCO own a large part of TrollTech (controllers of the KDE project), this news reinforces what we've known all along: The KDE project is a squalid house of cards. The triple licensed Qt toolkit is a legal quagmire, and a minefield for commercial software developers, and now KDE's final commercial supporter, SuSE, is dropping it. The end is certain.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict KDE's future. The hand-writing is on the wall: KDE faces a bleak future. Things are looking very bad for KDE -- already Novell is training up its developers to work on GTK/GNOME and GNOME applications... not KDE. The only future for KDE is a few noisy and unpleasant zealots huddled around the dying embers of their codebase. They desperately try to convince themselves that it's not the end, that their dreams for world domination are still possible -- while occasionally howling in misery and frustration at more successful projects. A situation all too familar to those aquainted with the last days of the BSD projects.

FACT: KDE is dying.

Fuck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394484)

It is pretty hot down here. Malda and Michael like to suck my cock a lot, so I guess that doesn't help.

A Bunch of shills (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394489)

"just about the only journal which gives a platform to all sides of the global warming debate, especially on the policy issues".
Check out the funding behind this.

Re:A Bunch of shills (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394538)

Check out the funding behind this.

Noted, as a potential source of bias.

You seem, however, to have left out your scientific criticism of their methodology and results.

As that criticism will comprise 99% of your final grade it looks like you have some work to do if you expect to pass this course.

KFG

Re:A Bunch of shills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394573)

Uh, no. Extraordinary claims ("completely changes the debate over man-made global warming") demand extraordinary evidence. These folks have no credible reputation as environmental scientists that I am aware of, and their publisher appears to be entirely biased. ("Greenhouse Delusion" indeed.) I will believe that news organizations have been trolled and respond appropriately, unless credible scientists and scientific organizations support their claims. To do otherwise is to just waste my time and misdirect my effort.

Awesome position to take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394584)

Your position:

1) Any evidence to the contrary of what I believe is a product of corporate shilling and is inherently agenda-driven.

2) I will be convinced by credible scientists.

3) Anyone espousing (1) cannot fulfill criteria (2)

Re:A Bunch of shills (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394673)

Ah, and you were off to such a good start too (although pointing out some other potential sources of bias might have earned you a bonus point).

You seem, however, to have slept through the lecture on claims and proofs and merely cribed notes which you don't understand and thus fail to be able to distinguish an extraordinary claim ("I did my homework, but an Alien stole it from me after the anal probe") from a perfectly normal claim ("A clerical error fucked up the data").

Both require proof, of course, but the later proof can be handled through the simple expediant of comparing data sets and methodolgies. (Frankly, we haven't the stomach at this hour to review an anal probe proof)

But then you seem to be unable to distinguish between a publishers blurb and the actual paper, let alone the work the paper is based on.

Better luck next term.

KFG

This is Microsoft Excel's fault (4, Informative)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394629)

You seem, however, to have left out your scientific criticism of their methodology and results.

The original 1998 paper by Mann, Bradley, and Hughes [virginia.edu] was not in error. McIntyre and McKitrick screwed up their data when they published this paper. Somebody exported the raw data in the original paper to Excel but somehow exported 159 columns of data into a 112 column spreadsheet. M&M did not compare the spreadsheet and produced a "correction" to the original paper that was based on nothing but errors, since the full paleoclimatic data series of 159 columns is required to properly audit the analysis done in the 1998 paper. More information here [davidappell.com] and here. [davidappell.com] The world really is melting.

The authors of the original paper have already published a rebuttal [virginia.edu] to this M&M paper with further details about how M&M faithfully replicated neither the data nor the procedures in their audit.

Re:This is Microsoft Excel's fault (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394690)

Thank you Master Monkey.

Now this is the sort of work I expect to see in this class. The original paper, legitimate rebutals and even a link to the original raw data so that we may make proper comparisons and legitimately draw our own informed conclusions.

You should do well here. You may return to your seat.

KFG

Sounds familiar! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394490)

pillar of the Kyoto Accord is based on false calculations, incorrect data and an overtly biased selection of climate records
Sounds a lot like what's been happening here in the US... Rejection of the Kyoto treaty is based on false calculations, incorrect data and an overtly biased selection of cabinet members ;)

I know what will happen now... (2, Interesting)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394501)

GWB will use this as an excuse to drop the whole hydrogen economy thing and further increase America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Whether the climate gurus are right or wrong, this is a Bad Thing.

Re:I know what will happen now... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394563)

So: terrible catastrophes causing trillions of dollars in damage and hundreds of millions of deaths may be averted, and this is "a Bad Thing?"

Gee, thanks Zog.

Re:I know what will happen now... (1)

eheien (94444) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394582)

Out of curiosity, what dependence on Middle Eastern oil?

If you look at the Department of Energy statistics [doe.gov] (older statistics also available here [doe.gov] ), you'll see that the Middle Eastern countries which the US imports crude oil from (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria are the only ones in the top 15) comprise less than 20% of the US imports. Canada and Mexico together are over 30% of imports. Despite what most people think, the US imports oil from a wide variety of places. Please take a look at this before making more statements like that.

Re:I know what will happen now... (2, Insightful)

larsl (30423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394650)

I'll bet you a dollar that Europe would start competing for 'our' Mexican and Venezuelan oil supplies if Gulf production shut down.

reckon?

Re:I know what will happen now... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394588)

Ya and if the whole hydrogen economy thing wasn't complete BS, then that would be a trajedy.

It's as simple as this:

OIL = Energy source, source of plastics and construction material, and lubricants

Hydrogen = Not a energy source. It's sort of a chemical battery, the energy has to be produced somewere else, like a coal or petroleum powerplant.

Of course you could call it a hydroelectric/wind-powered/corn powered/cow-fart powered/solar powered ecomony, but that wouldn't have the same ring will it? Or fesability.

Re:I know what will happen now... (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394602)

This is a troll, right? You're purposely ignoring the whole 'the first car a child today learns to drive could run on hydrogen' initiative to troll people like me, right? You're ignoring the administration's doubling of spending on renewable-resources research in its first budget so I'll get mad and respond, right?

Re:I know what will happen now... (1)

helix400 (558178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394704)

GWB will use this as an excuse to drop the whole hydrogen economy thing and further increase America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Nice troll.

It's strange to hear you argue that we shouldn't be dependent on foreign oil...and then rip on GWB, one of your strongest allies for that cause. Anybody who follows the news knows Bush wants to decrease dependence on foreign oil to such a degree that he's willing to drill in Alaskan nature reserves.

Re:I know what will happen now... (2, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394724)

It's strange to hear you argue that we shouldn't be dependent on foreign oil...and then rip on GWB, one of your strongest allies for that cause.
Right. Because the easiest way to end dependence on foreign oil is to annex some places that have oil, making it not-so-foreign any more...

Only in Canada (4, Funny)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394503)

Now I don't want to respond to the article's claims, since that'll only spark a flame war I don't want to fight but:

Only in Canada does one see a graph with a flat line then sharp spike and instantly think "Oooo, a hockey stick!"

This just cracks me up because it is absolutely true of most of my Canadian relities, they are just nuts over hockey and I'm sure this doesn't strike any of them as the least bit odd comparison.

Re:Only in Canada (2, Funny)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394527)

Man I, for one, sure ain't thinkin' aboot hockey. It's fricken cold

So yeah, it's 2am and I'm checking a little weathernetwork just in case it's not too nasty out to go to the timmy's for a little coffee. The news is not good. Very not good. Ok, so -28 is bad but surely there's other people suffering bad weather too eh? So I check Calgary and it's -20. Hrmpf. weenies. Maybe Edmonton? -22. Well goodness... There's gotta be _somebody_ out there a little colder then hicksville^H^H^H^H^H^HOlds....

  • Grande Prairie: -18
  • High Level: -10
  • Whitehorse: -7
WTF?!?! What ever happened to simple arctic weather fronts? It's getting warmer the farther north I check...
  • Yellowknife: -15
  • Anchorage: +3
  • Rankin Inlet: -14
OMG. What is this? Anybody else feeling like the big guy upstairs slapped a 'kick me' sign on you back? Obviously this isn't just a cold front - all the damned cold got fed up with the north and came here. Man it's even only -7 in Winterpeg and only -17 in Churchill. They get polar bears in churchill. And it's 4 deg warmer in Rankin, more then 500km north.

All I can say is there's gonna be on pissed off guy if it doesn't hit the forecasted +6 on sunday.

I wish I could say the above is a little satire, but it's NOT . It's not even like I'm really far north either, being smack inbetween Edmonton & Calgary. Expedia says only 906km from Bozeman.

<sigh/>

Re:Only in Canada (1)

Demolition (713476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394565)

Does it make you feel any better knowing that it's about -35 in Blue River, B.C., right now? :-)

D.

Re:Only in Canada (1)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394623)

Why, as a matter of fact... :)

Re:Only in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394576)

Note to readers from USA: fiftyfly is using the degrees Celsius temperature scale. So although he or she is absolutely correct that fricken cold up there, it's at least not bad as a naive Fahrenheit-user might think.

Re: Only in Canada (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394587)


> Now I don't want to respond to the article's claims, since that'll only spark a flame war I don't want to fight

Shit or get off the pot!

Re:Only in Canada (0, Troll)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394626)

Now I don't want to respond to the article's claims, since that'll only spark a flame war I don't want to fight

Right. Much easier to start a flame war by bashing Canadians than by reading and responding to the actual article.

It's possible, after all (4, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394505)

It however doesn't mean that we should not pollute.
A friend of mine is prepairing a PHD in geology.
He often climbs on top of the Mont Blanc (4807m) where he analyzes the ice cap.
He found out that ther chemicals that impregnated the ice are similar only to the ones which emanates from the General Motors factories, in Detroit, US.
There is a serious issue, there.
It is not because it won't make rain more that it is not a bad thing.

Re:It's possible, after all (3, Insightful)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394516)

agreed, polluting is bad, but making huge policy changes and other expensive modifications without probable cause is also bad. I don't want to make changes because of some bad data, I want to make changes to better the planet. Not to advert some mythical killing of the planet which some said would happen at the "alarming rate" at which our temp was rising.

Re:It's possible, after all (4, Insightful)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394552)

The temperature is rising in an alarming rate....
Current earth models predict that at this rate around 2050 there will be a critical point reached where the greenhouse sink holes will break down and become greenhouse sources (breakdown of the amazon rain forest and far worse the release of methanhydrates from the ocean floor). At that point the process will accelerate itself and climate will change drasticly.

What this study shows is that it might not be man's fault but have a natural cause.
Fact remains that our current behaviour is driving this in some degree. It might be the main force or completly negligable. It might be the last little push to disaster.

Jeroen

Re:It's possible, after all (1, Insightful)

TheTreeFrog (721638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394664)

What I never hear discussed is why global warming is supposed to be a bad thing. Look at what global warming is supposed to do: slight increase in average atmospheric temperature, melting polar ice caps, increase in tropical climate zones, decrease in polar climate zones, and increasing sea levels.

From the point of view of every other species on the planet, aren't these good things? More shallow ocean area (where most marine organisms live), more tropical areas (where most land organisms live), and a return to the warmer temperatures more prevalent throughout most of the richer periods of Earth's evolutionary history. For the animals it's win win win.

For humans isn't it really just a straight cost/benefit analysis? Benefits of industrial CO2 emissions versus the costs from rising sea levels (Holland anyone?) and costs from having to relocate crop lands due to shifting weather patterns (remember melting polar caps means MORE overally rainfall - not worldwide deserts). It's a question to be answered but the problem with Kyoto was always that it crippled the First world economies (why no first world nation, not even signatories is even pretending to implement it) to very little actual effect.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that for the cost of Kyoto we could wall in all the coastal cities of the world, provide agricultural assistance to affected areas and still come out ahead.

But I guess straight economics isn't PC...
Seriously, why isn't Canada pumping out CO2 as fast as possible?

Re:It's possible, after all (1)

MisterMook (634297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394708)

Seriously, why isn't Canada pumping out CO2 as fast as possible?
Funny. I kinda thought that was the point of Celine Dion, but then again I might have just based my perceptions on biased data.

Re:It's possible, after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394525)

Whew. That's a relief. I was worried that all those chemicals on Mont Blanc originated from Kim Park's dry cleaners over on Center Street.

Kyoto and policies (2, Insightful)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394508)

The poblem with most of these policies is they put rules in place on 3rd world countries that can't afford to put in technology to fix the problems they have, then they sell of thier clean air units to other countries to make cash.

basically it works like this. every country has to make quotas. but the stupid thing is you can TRADE them. Lets say the US it polluting too much, it can buy "clean air quotas" from another country who doesn't pollute as much. It's kinda interesting but lame at the same time.

Re:Kyoto and policies (0)

isfuglen (714922) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394529)

It's kinda interesting but lame at the same time.

What's going to be interesting is to see what happens when the clean air quota selling countries decide they want to join in on the polluting fun and consequently refuse to sell their quotas. Would the US eventually go to war over this?

Re:Kyoto and policies (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394581)

No they will probably use another proven tactic for this: Ignore the rest of the world and be egocentric idiots

Jeroen

Re:Kyoto and policies (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394633)

It's kinda interesting but lame at the same time.

Funny, that's how I feel about reading and posting on slashdot....

Re:Kyoto and policies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394725)

The only reason why the trading policy got adopted is beacuse the US pushed it. Europe and most other countries were against it from the beginning.

Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (3, Insightful)

emkman (467368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394519)

We shouldn't stop protecting the environment just because some analysis was wrong. Its funny that we even need justification in the first place to preserve the planet.

Re:Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (3, Insightful)

Jan-Pascal (21029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394558)

The problem is that we do not know if keeping to the Kyoto agreements _is_ protecting the environment. This paper suggests that there is no evidence that climate change is human CO2 production. That means that the environment might be better off if we would spend the time, money and energy on other things than reducing CO2 output, like reducing water pollution. Or even if we would not focus on short-term CO2 reduction like storing CO2 under the sea.

Re:Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (1)

nicsterrr (529317) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394624)

It took millions of years for the world's oil to be created. Humans are desperately trying to burn it all in a single century.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that, irrelevant to environmental reports, sucking all the oil out in a single century is a stupid thing to be doing.

Re:Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394695)

we are already in the second century of burning oil

Re:Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (2, Insightful)

Simon Lyngshede (623138) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394707)

One the other hand, we don't know what will happen if we're not keeping to the Kyoto agreement. I see the main difference between the US and the rest of the western world as being willing to take a chance. The US focuses mostly on the fact that nobody can prove CO2 to be the cause of global warming. Europes main argument is that you can't prove that CO2 is not to blame. We're not willing to take the chance and tries to limit our C02 polution, just in case that CO2 is the bad guy. The US seems to don't give a damn about reducing CO2 polution until somebody proves it to be dangerous.

I don't understand how somebody care so little about the environment. If there is even the smallest chance that something could destroy our planet, we should try to avoid it, even if it is later proven to be harmless. If you're not sure, you shouldn't take the chance.

Re:Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (2, Insightful)

DCowern (182668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394710)

Here, here. While I'm definitely not a professional Earth scientist (i.e. in the broad field containing biology, geology, and their bretherin), I spent enough time studying geology to learn a few things from (mostly) non-biased, non-fanatical people who rely on more than FUD to make their assessments and I agree whole-heartedly with your interpretation of these results.

The fact of the matter is that the Earth does make rapid dramatic shifts in climate. For example, the magnetic poles could swap on us with very little warning. (In fact, I think we're overdue for such an event right now... it'll probably happen within the next few thousand years if I remember correctly.) Anyway, we should be figuring out how much we're changing the climate and taking /appropriate/ action.

If we're not hurting the environment that much and drastically reducing emissions is going to severely impact technological progress, slow or halt the development of third world countries, put millions of people out of work, and/or take money away from other more worthwhile environmental initiatives, it probably isn't going to be worth it. We should instead be focusing on technology to supplant current harmful technologies*.

The problem is that most of this kind of legislation is pushed by one of two kinds of extremeists; the doomsday environmentalists and the motown oil executives. Both of these groups feed off of pure FUD. Those that have a clue are rarely involved in the process (unless they've been paid off by one of the above groups).

Besides... even if we do pollute the Earth so badly that it becomes uninhabitable, geologic processes are extremely effective at cleaning such messes up. The earth would probably become habitable again in a couple tens of thousands of years and a race of super-intelligent cockroaches could succeed us as overlord of the planet. ;-)

* - Again, this really needs to be thought through. Now that we're to the point where we have the ability to analyse the impact our technologies have on the environment, we really need to use that ability. For example, I recently read an article about how hydrogen fuel cells could dramatically increase the size of the hole in the ozone layer due to the amount of free oxygen they'll contribute to the atmosphere.

Re:Kyoto treaty is still a good thing (2, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394620)

Its funny that we even need justification in the first place to preserve the planet.

No. What's really wanted by governments both in the US and here in Australia is a good line of flummery to justify not ratifying an arrangement to which they have already agreed.

Most individuals (one hopes) believe that reducing pollution is a Good Thing(tm). However, in countries where the big dollars control government policy, the real push is to keep burning the candle at both ends until there's nothing left to save.

Extraterrestrial signals explained! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394521)

Aliens, or an amorous ram [yahoo.com] ?

Re:Extraterrestrial signals explained! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394528)

GCHQ's in-house paper, the Daily Observer, said the noises were unlike anything staff had encountered before and an investigating team initially thought they were coming from spies or aliens.

Spies or aliens?

Spies I can understand. But what information do they have that we don't have that would lead them to believe that aliens were communicating with us? There's quite a leap of logic to go from strange sounds in a receiver to aliens are contacting us.

Who is really responsible?? (1)

UnAmericanPunk (310528) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394524)

This science is brought to you by the Bush & Cheney energy commission...

Re:Who is really responsible?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394598)

Ya screw all those damn texans from .co.uk

Interesting paper (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394530)

Questions:

1. Who are these guys. There are no affiliations listed and the research sponsor is not listed.

2. MBH98 is not the only paper. It was one of the first ones. After that more detailed research was done and it did not refute any of the claims.

3. Is the ice melt in the arctic a figment of my imagination?

4. Is the retreat of South American Glaciers a figment of my imagination?

5. Why doesn't NOAA put all the data for public consumption so that anyone can see who is right and who is wrong?

Re:Interesting paper (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394544)

Another question.

Some of the date exclusions in MBH98 are based on the current climat model for effects of climate change. Namely the exclusion of Texas and surrounding areas from calculations is justified as it will become less continental if average northern hemisphere warms up (europe should go more) due to the gulfstream becoming weaker.

As a result if you leave the texas values in you will smoothen the overall result as expected and as described by these guys. If you take them out you get a correct result.

Re:Interesting paper (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394561)

You may be interested to know that the Earth was warmer over the vast majority of its history.

CO2 levels are, over the long term, in decline. This has, among other things, resulted in the evolution of grasses, which are far more efficent with their use of CO2, than their predicessors.

We are at the serendipitious end of an ice age, it's stupid of us, with our short life spans, to assume the world was and should always be thus. It is the hieght of conciet for us to always expect it to be so.

First man thought the universe was immutable, and earth was at the exact center. Then we came to know that not only was it not at the center, neither was our solar system, or galaxy, and there wasn't really a center to speak of in any case. Now we just expect the Earth's enviroment to convienently, and indefinately hover at we have come to consider an ideal. Seriously, it's time we got over ourselves as a species.

You might be interested to know, that the raw data is considerable, for the most part not normalized, and if Joe Six pack has a beowulf cluster of supercomputers available to federate and interperate the data they would. But since the aliens only delivered supertechnology and not magic when they crashed we'll just have to make do with faking moon landings and tinfoil hats.

Re: Interesting paper (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394596)


> You may be interested to know that the Earth was warmer over the vast majority of its history.

Fortunately, we didn't have to live through those times.

Most of the universe is a hard vacuum, but I kind of like having the local fluke we call "the atmosphere".

Fuck conceit (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394597)

We are at the serendipitious end of an ice age, it's stupid of us, with our short life spans, to assume the world was and should always be thus. It is the hieght of conciet for us to always expect it to be so.
Regardless of whether it is natural or not if a change in climate will make the earth less hospitable to us and it is within our power to stop or lesson that effect it makes sense for us to do so.

Re:Interesting paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394632)

AC needs modding up

Re:Interesting paper (1)

thesupraman (179040) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394567)

Answers:

1. Sorry? are there errors in what they are pointing out?

2. This is not the only paper pointing out the opposite, either.

3. No, it's called a 'natural occurance' - that's the whole point.

4. No, see 3.

5. There is a LOT of 'public' data out there, but very few of the people who like to stand on their soapboxes are at all interested in facts - since they know better.

Ever wondered why we are seeing a rapid increase in solar activity? hmmm.. nah - THAT can't be relivant, it must be the fault of faceless companies!

Have a Nice Day.

Re:Interesting paper (1)

edhall (10025) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394645)

Ever wondered why we are seeing a rapid increase in solar activity?

As spectacular as the emissions of Xrays and charged particles from solar flares may be, they don't represent an overall increase in solar output. After all, increased "solar activity" also represents an increase in sunspots which are cooler areas of the Sun's photosphere.

-Ed

Re:Interesting paper (1)

kindofblue (308225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394595)

I think the question is not of global warming, but global warming due to human actions. I think there is agreement that global warming has definately been occurring, but the disagreement is whether 20th century CO2 production is responsible for it.

I would be thrilled to not have to care about CO2. Then a great reason to avoid fossil fuels is because everyone involved in oil production is a bunch of fucking assholes, Exxon, OPEC, Texans, terrorists or their apologists, take your pick...

Heck, if we have fuel cell based cars, then you could also drink the water from the exhaust of your car. It would be more pure than Evian. Screw the French too.

Re:Interesting paper (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394628)

Except where do you think we'll get the Hydrogen for our vehicles except (DUN DUN DUN) fossil fuels! Either from directly seperating it from them or using fossil fuel burning plants to use electrolysis on water to seperate the hydrogen.

Kudos on drinking fuel cell exhaust to spite the French. Any spiting of the French is a good thing. :)

Re:Interesting paper (1)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394668)

Yeah. Hopefully someday someone will invent some other way to generate power.

Oh, wait...

Re:Interesting paper (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394679)

The problem is though that the public is scared stupid by nuclear power (kinda needlessly), solar power isn't economical *yet* (been saying that for 20 years), people protest wind farms for killing birds, affecting wind patterns, and "looking ugly", hydroelectric power screws up the environment pretty bad by flooding otherwise unflooded areas... etc.

So yes, we've invented other methods of power generation, but they all have their problems that don't make them that feasible.

Re:Interesting paper (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394622)

1. Who are these guys. There are no affiliations listed and the research sponsor is not listed.

Who they are should be fairly irrelevant. The important question is: are they right?

2. MBH98 is not the only paper. It was one of the first ones. After that more detailed research was done and it did not refute any of the claims.

Can you give references?

3. Is the ice melt in the arctic a figment of my imagination?

The ice may well be melting. The question is why. This paper would seem to suggest that its not because temperatures are higher than we have ever seen before. Did the ice melt in the 1400s? If not, we have a very interesting conundrum.

4. Is the retreat of South American Glaciers a figment of my imagination?

see answer to previous question

5. Why doesn't NOAA put all the data for public consumption so that anyone can see who is right and who is wrong?

Indeed. It would help everyone.

This paper seems to be of a high quality: it references correctly, it explains what its doing, it limits its conclusions to the data and the results obtained. If you want to criticise it then criticise the science.

According to the latest research... (2, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394536)

... your vehicle's exhaust won't make any harm to the nature. You can try it: lock yourself in the garage and run the engine for an hour. You won't feel anything bad, serious, it's all harmless stuff, everybody knows that, right? D'oh..

Lame (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394547)

You're comparing filling a very small space with a very toxic poison to putting a tiny bit of pollution into a very vast atmosphere.

The analogy doesn't even come close to being correct.

I just had... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394546)

The best spank ever... Oh my god, yes that was da bomb

Global Warming (4, Interesting)

herwin (169154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394551)

About twenty years ago, there was a conference on global warming held at Caltech. The gist of the results presented was that adding energy to the atmosphere seemed to make it more chaotic. That doesn't imply local warming must occur, but rather that the weather becomes more unpredictable. I think we're seeing that now in the data.

Re:Global Warming (1)

befletch (42204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394630)

That doesn't imply local warming must occur, but rather that the weather becomes more unpredictable.

That is why people in this field generally refer to 'climate change' now, instead of the older term 'global warming'.

Good result, though hardly surprising (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394554)

The "hockey stick" graph has been roundly criticized for years -- and yes, legitimate scientists criticize it, not just "neo-cons" or whatever.

Unfortunately there is immense political pressure placed upon anyone who says something that could be seen as weakening the Kyoto protocol or the "global climate consensus." I expect the authors of this paper will see quite a lot of heat about this.

This is a shame, because the fact that the "hockey stick" graph is flawed absolutely does not imply that human-influenced global warming isn't a problem! Sure, people may misuse these results to argue that global warming is somehow disproven, but the potential misuse of a result is no reason to suppress it. On the contrary, pressuring people to keep quiet about their findings will only hurt the credibility of the entire field in the long run. So it is very good to see that this is published.

And remember -- there is no "final word" in science. The most vital element of science is results can be tested and disproven. Nothing is above criticism, including the hockey stick graph, this paper, and any other paper written about climate change or any other scientific subject. That is what science is all about.

eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394555)

I dunno.... I thought it was kind of odd that it's just now getting cold in San Diego. The climate has been rather fucked up the last couple years...at least from what I can tell.

The Political Climate... (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394556)

I wonder if the results are skewed because of mistakes, or if the numbers have been wilfully embellished. Neither would surprise me: almost every lobby group for every side of every issue, from Greenpeace to the car industry lobby, have been known to juggle the books a little in order to support their own beliefs. In some cases, outright fraud has taken place.

What scared me about Kyoto is not so much the conclusion that was drawn, nor the way scientists had arrived at that conclusion, but the zealous belief of many governments in these conclusions. In Europe, scientists or governments (the US) who were sceptical about the Kyoto paper became the brunt of scorn and vilification in the media. It again showed how deeply environmentalists have become entrenched in the decision-making bodies of government... it reminds me of the case where two scientists were fired from the Dutch government environmental agency, for publishing reports that proved the official line on acid rain was wrong.

The reactions to this article will tell us if the political climate has changed... if the policy-makers are still only accepting opinions that fit their own world view, or if we have a more open climate where scientific discussion rather than dogma holds sway.

Re:The Political Climate... (0)

ScouseMouse (690083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394601)

As a european, What scared me about Kyoto was the fact the politicials thaught they knew better than the majoraty of the scientific specialists who had been working on this for years, and the fact that the worlds biggest polluter decided they could ignore the majoraty of scientific opinion because it was inconvenient.

(Although precisely why they thaught that not doing anything about their own dependance on the middle east was not a good thing, escapes me at the moment)

Yes, there were desenters, but they were in a minority which means they still have to work to prove their case to the majority. (Thats the way these sort of science works BTW, Exactly the same thing happenned 50 years ago with the big bang theory)

While basic principles state that there *might* not be a problem (After all its impossible to prove any theory in Science), the majoraty of the thinking is that there *IS* a problem and to ignore the possibility is the height of arrogance.

Or to put it another way. Most people thing there is a problem. We need to do something about it before we kill ourselves.
If there isnt a problem, then doing something about it wont hurt.
Kudos to Californias car emission regulations BTW, Now if only more states where as forward thinking we wouldnt be having this argument.

I spotted one tiny mistake.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394562)

"Corrections to the Mann et. al. (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemispheric Average Temperature Series"
Energy and Environment 14(6) 751-772.
By Steven McIntyre & Ross McKitrick ...

They seem to have misspelt "Corporate right-wing crony apologist" there - otherwise fine..

Political fallout (5, Insightful)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394572)

Taking this referenced paper as being on the mark, do look at their corrected temperature graph. One can't say that the recent warming has been unprecedented based on that graph, but you could claim that there's been nothing like it in 500 years.

It seems almost certain that this news will be welcomed by certain governments (US, Australia, ...) as a good reason to dispute the need for CO2 emission controls. Yet they would still (IMO) be misguided. As evidenced by the hole in the ozone layer, human industrial activity can have significant long-term effects on the global environment. Given that we only have the one planet, it seems only good sense that we should be cautious when it comes to activity that has the potential to seriously change the environment.

The warming trend in the last 100 years may have very little to do with industrial emissions - but as yet we can't tell. That there is a correlation indicates we should err on the side of caution: if it is indeed a matter of causation, then we're essential pissing on our own future.

Regardless of quality of life issues, it makes sense as an economic one, when viewed in global terms. We will have to deal with the effects of climate change whether it be due to human activity or not, but if there is a significant component that we're responsible for, continuing in this behaviour is going to make a very large problem a great deal worse, with attendant very high costs to amerliorate it. It is risk management. Putting heads in the sand and saying that there's doubt about the link, does not make the risk of that link magically disappear. Even a 5% chance of the link being actual may be sufficient for a purely economic assessment to indicate that emissions should be sharply curbed.

If there were alternative policies being adopted by those governments against the Kyoto accords, then that would be an indication that their objections were based on more than short-term economic growth (or worse, given the somewhat incestuous relationships between governments and industry.) Yet Australia for example has not even managed to reduce its rate of growth of emissions (not the emission levels themselves!) to targets that had been set earlier.

If the Kyoto accords are not a step in the right direction, then the continuing increase of CO2 emissions is certainly not a preferable alternative.

Follow the money... (3, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394578)

A recent study by Arctic researchers showed that the polar ice cap isn't just shrinking in terms of land mass [bbc.co.uk] , it's shrinking in terms of depth too [bbc.co.uk] , by 4cm a year.

All that water's going somewhere, and that somewhere is the oceans. Global sea levels are rising, and you only have to look at the situation in Tuvalu in the Pacific [bbc.co.uk] or Venice, Italy [veniceinperil.org] to see that the threat of rising tides isn't a myth.

People can harp on about "not enough data" or "inconclusive evidence" all they want but if entire nations vanishing beneath the waves or historic cities sinking isn't a wake-up call then I don't know what is.

Frankly, there are some people who will bury their heads in the sand over this issue just as long as they can make a profit by ignoring it. Oil companies and big business are never going to recognise that they are part of the problem until the last possible moment, at which time they'll just shrug their shoulders and say "Who knew?", just like the tobacco industry before them.

But, unlike tobacco, this isn't a problem that will affect just a handful of people, or a problem that will be easily settled by the courts - billions in punitive damages are useless when your country is underwater. The last time I checked there wasn't a court on the planet that could push back the tides.

I'm sure there are dozens of readers out there that will right off this comment as yet more half-baked environmental doom-mongering but I find it funny that these same people will demand more money to scan the heavens for deadly meteors - it seems that extinction Armageddon-style is trendy but the possibility of extinction because of our own actions just isn't sexy enough.

If you really want to be objective about these issues try to look beyond the smoke and mirrors. Ask yourself how objective the research is - there are far more people out there funded by big business than you'd imagine. Ask yourself who stands to profit by presenting a negative picture of climate change? Who stands to lose if the problem is tackled head-on? And who stands to profit if it's ignored and the situation is allowed to continue unchecked?

Re:Follow the money... (1)

xxTYBALTxx (721636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394634)

Did you even read the article? How about any of the /. comments? No one's disputing that the earth is getting warmer. That's a given. What is at issue here is whether _humans_ contribute to that warming. This study seems to suggest that no, humans have no significant impact on global warming.

Re:Follow the money... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394658)

Are you trolling? Did you even read my post? Who paid for this research? Do they have an agenda?

The very fact that you believe that humans play no part in global warming astounds me. Ever heard of ozone depletion caused by CFCs, etc? Deforestation of the rain forests? Acid rain? Aren't those our responsibility?

Re:Follow the money... (1)

jap (24325) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394662)

Cribes. Have you thought about what happens if the ice near the North Pole melts? Compare it to having an icecube melting in a glass of water. The level of water will not, I repeat, will not rise. Thanks to our old friend Archimedes.

Wrt the ice at the South Pole, this might give rise to a sea-level change (however, no conclusive evidence has been presented that the icecap on the South Pole is melting ( that is because there's solid ground beneath that cap, and the load of the ice can cause the ground to compress or expand, so measurements are quite useless. Until you start doing fancy stuff like measuring gravitational constants from satellite missions etc.)

There are however, some flaws in the above reasoning: never underestimate the influence of gravity - that is, that block of ice known as the North Pole pulls water towards it, which causes higher than expected sea levels locally, but lower levels further away. Melting that ice makes this anomaly disappear, and so, even though the average level will not change, close to the Arctic Cap sea levels will *drop* when it melts. The other side of the world will have a problem with rising sea levels though.

Re:Follow the money... (1)

Chris Hodges (670481) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394700)

Have you thought about what happens if the ice near the North Pole melts? Compare it to having an icecube melting in a glass of water. The level of water will not, I repeat, will not rise.

Not much maybe, but the part that is currently above the surface will be spread out instead of concentrated in one small area. Much of the worry about (Northern hemisphere) melting is not concerned with the Arctic ice sheet (for the reasons you describe), but the Greenland ice sheet (which is, strangely enough, on top of Greenland). Also there is a large amount of water tied up in glaciers globally. Whether or not you think the Antarctic ice sheet is melting is open to debate - personally based on the evidence I have seen (though mostly a couple of years ago) I think it is.

Re:Follow the money... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394715)

Ice is less dense than water. So, an ice cube melting in a glass of water will cause the level of water to rise. If you don't believe me then try it.

Why do you think that a bottle of water (or beer, ok Coke) left in the freezer too long will crack its container? Put a bottle of Bud or a can of Coke in the freezer if you don't believe this either. Simple science: ice takes up more room than water because it has a lower density.

Imagine a glass that's got a cube of ice in it and water full to the brim. What will happen when that ice cube melts? The water will spill over the side of the glass, that's what will happen. The same thing is true with the polar ice caps and the oceans, just on a bigger scale.

Your Archimedes theory is flawed because you've failed to take into account the volume of the solid ice that is above the water level before it started, which is approximately 10 percent by mass. The rest of your post seems to be gibberish. For one thing, you don't seem to have a clue how gravitic forces work, which is a bit worrying as you profess to be an engineering student (according to your user page).

I see.. (3, Interesting)

adeyadey (678765) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394583)

I visited a Glacier in Norway once (at Olden) and they have actually signposted the glacier boundary at various previous times for the tourists - ie. "Glacier boundary 1850" etc.

I can tell you its a long climb from those points until you get to where the glacier is today..

Just because you can spot the odd anomoly in a bunch of data does not render the whole thing untrue..

If you read the article ... (1)

Robb (3753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394648)

You would see that they do not contradict the concensus that this century is warmer than the previous two centuries. They show that due to numerous errors in the data and how it was handled resulted in a much less convincing temperature profile. Notably the 20th century, while warmer than recent centuries was clearly not the warmest in the last millenium.

Basically they debunk the claim that current average temperatures are unprecedented in the last 500 years.

Ice Age? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394671)

And considering we're still technically in an ice-age, just on the receding end of one, this makes alot of sense that you'd see that.

Yes, the Earth is getting warmer, sort of... (been unnaturally cold the past four years where I live) but at the same time this should be expected. This always happens at the end of ice ages. They wouldn't be called 'ice ages' unless they were periods where the Earth was unnaturally cold.

this is how I see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394585)

There is a gorge with a rope streched out across it, and 6 ropemakers (experts) 4 are telling me the rope is not safe (the environmentalists) and 1 is unsure the other tells me it is fine to drive an SUV over it.

Better to err on the side of caution.

And also the temperature IS rising, and I don't mean to split hairs but by a certain hair splitting razor the simplest explination is that the major variable change has been human shit pumped into the atmosphere - combine that with "better to be cautious" and I think the DEFAULT should be environmental conservation.

One of the reasons people use the BSDs and Linux is secure communications to prevent government censorship.... but you say "there is hardly any government censorship"..... and you are right.... but it's about making sure the infrastructure is in place for when the shit hits the fan - being cautious. Because I tell you, if from Hitler's Germany "election" to dictatorship was a hop away then Bush + Oily co. and their "election" is only a hop and a skip.

Sure, make a tin foil hat comment, but believe you me the 21st century dictatorships aren't going to use overt force, they have TV. The don't need dissidents, there are terrorists. They don't need innocent till proven guilty, they need results in the war against terror.

How many fundamental rights have slipped away for a select few in the past few years? Too many, and "select few" ends up being applied to anyone they need to apply it to. This is a sad day for the the America we once knew.

American democracy is rotten, I don't know whether to spur you on to fight the rot or whether you should just let it go on into a pile of shit and help you fight the revolutionary war.

Where is the America I used to respect? She has fallen into shadow. "In god we trust" written on your currency, but the notes are gods unto themselves.

Trust not in god to bless america, you have to bless it for yourselves. I see so much self-hate in america, you should be proud - once one of the finest nations on earth. But you must force a change, I beg of you, before it is too late. A step away from democracy and freedom may not be a step right into facism, but it is a step away none the less.

Use your agency while you still can. You of all people who have so much agency compared to the rest of us are faced with the question of action. Should one act, or not act? What are the possibilities of the meaning of the action? How do you take action on issues so complex?

The first step, I believe, is to form groups -no, not stinking hippy drum circles or smiley glad-hand lobbyists but citizen's interest groups. Grassroots democracy. Like any good server, you have to view the logs - the public records - and hold errant processes accountable for their actions. If needs be, replace and upgrade them.

You have processes running that are violating their access rights. Judiciary processes have no write access rights directly to prisoners without going through the contitution/kernel.... check the core dumps and the logs (if they haven't been ushered away) and enforce the rules of your system or remove/upgrade the parts that are in violation.

Don't like proprietary code run you democratic processes! etc. etc.

If you had a cluster of 50+ computers (states) connected to 3 arms of government servers and something was fucking up. You wouldn't tackle it alone - you'd get freinds, make a plan, write new code. The frameworks and literacies for action are already there is OSS - unpaid collabrative work for a better world.

signing off,

Anonymous Coward

P.S. people will mod this "off topic" but in reality this whole shebang is connected - the principles of computer design connects to the philosophy of politics which connects to the economics and realities of caring for the environment, which connects to the very atoms that constitute our bodies from the food we eat. What is said in the footnotes, in the errata, in the appendix - in the scream against a sleeping democracy with the curtains on fire.... nothing can ever be offtopic in this field.

Great troll, but could be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394607)

Cut out about half of the points, especially the references to the server crap. Also, don't apologize for being off-topic, that's a moderator issue and your mentioning it doesn't do anything one way or the other.

Try to keep the length under 4 paragraphs and don't let the fish see "Click here for full article".

In short, you've got a winner here (I especially liked the "environmentalists are experts" bait), but it's a bit too long. Shorten it up and you could use this indefinitely.

Re:Great troll, but could be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394702)

Perhaps when posting anonymously you should be allowed to select between anonymous coward and anonymous troll as your name?

No, the point is there - with the environment it is better to err on the side of caution. We only have ONE earth, we don't get a second chance, caution is needed.

re: american democracy. I truly believe something should be done and american democracy does need a jump start, a shock or something. Democracy is rotting in the US, you barely have half your population voting. I would argue it is they (the non-voters) who must get involved and involve others lest some catastophe pitches us into a second dark ages.

Sure you could see it is a troll, but anyone who is opposed to a lengthy piece of opinion will label it a "troll" before engaging it on an equally deep level.

If I am a troll then I am trolling for democracy, and you sir the "talk but don't act and laugh it out of the way" type person I wish to speak to. It is you and your cynicism and self hate that I speak to.

I have been a huge critic of the US as a whole in the past, but I thought about it alot and I decided I am more patriotic for America than many Americans themselves. Nobody's perfect America has tons of blood on it's hands, but I ask you; who doesn't? That said, America has an awesome history of democracy, people fighting and dying for other men's freedom. This is not easily erased from the history books. America is both a great evil and a beacon of democracy. I urge Americans rather than be pessimistic to focus on the good parts, and duplicate them. This is the true path to taking action, not beating oneself up over past wrong-doings.

The very fact that I write this, as a non-american, should move some of you to act. I am not sucking up....I will never cowtow to you..... you are as a brother to me. And brother I ask you to be the person you once were, I remember him as bright, hopeful, idealistic, flawed but generally good.

There is no "arguement" to "troll" with to start a "flamewar" over, all I am asking for you to do is recognise the best in yourselves and be that best.

Not a troll, a concerned freind.

not strange (1)

mantera (685223) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394614)


After Canada's ratification of the treaty in late 2002, environmentalists had every reason to believe that few climate experts would dare continue to publicly oppose Kyoto's science, Russia would quickly ratify the accord and it soon would become international law. Instead, as illustrated at this month's World Climate Change Conference in Moscow, exactly the opposite has happened. The growing number of scientists who dispute the treaty's scientific foundation have become increasingly vocal, regularly pushing their case in the media as groundbreaking studies continue to be published that pull the rug out from under Kyoto's shaky edifice.

Sounds to me like the author of this story on USA today probably never did any scientific research or even understood the basic theory of it; it's entirely expected that they'd continue to dispute it even more. The whole function of science is to "disprove" rather than "prove" things, that's why you have that carefully crafted thing called the "null" hypothesis, that people agonize over for ages, and that sounds something like... "there is no difference between A and B" (simplification) that you set out to disprove, so that if you get a difference you calculate the likelihood that such difference was the result of chance, and if such likelihood is very small and chance very improbable then that's the best of your evidence. The whole idea of "scientifically proven" is such a complete misnomer, there's nothing that's "scientifically proven", it's more that it's "null hypothesis" is "disproven", which again is no certain terms and just an exercise in probability and correlation, in engineering it might be up to 99% and in medicine it might be as low as 80%.

The other thing is... those of you who might find this story interesting might wanna have a look at the controversial work of Danish Statistician Bjorn Lomborg [lomborg.com] and his book; "the skeptical environmentalist, measuring the real state of the world". Just notice two things... like the key figure in this study, an economist, lomborg was neither an ecologist or an environmentalist, and just like him, if you read the reply of Professor Mann who aims to discredit the work of the authors of this study with quite apparent anger, Lomborg's work has been disputed heavily, and he even had things physically thrown at him by an academic scholar when he was invited to speak at Cambridge.

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394615)

Yes, destroy all conservation areas, drill all the oil, fill athmosphere with pollutions.. all awful consequences are only made up by idiot hippies, statistics are wrong, nature can withstand anything!

How f***** stupid people are! This is not something where you need stastistics to proof consequences, YOU CAN SEE THEM WITH YOUR OWN EYES!

Whether climate change is happening or not.... (1)

gsdali (707124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394616)

and I believe it is.

There are plenty of other good reasons to reduce emissions, not least reducing consumption of precious and dwindling fossil resources. Oil is great, really great for making things from and we insist on burning it to get around and to heat ourselves. It doesn't grow on trees you know whereas trees, well, do [energy.org.uk] .

Don't even get me started on commercial aviation.

National Post (5, Informative)

befletch (42204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394617)

In case it isn't obvious, the National Post is a very right wing paper, at least in Canadian terms. That doesn't mean they are wrong, but they have a history of taking any opportunity to attack the Kyoto Accord.

As a case in point, I offer the title, subtitle and byline for the article:

Kyoto debunked
A pillar of the Kyoto Accord is based on flawed calculations, incorrect data and an overtly biased selection of climate records, an important new paper reveals

Tim Patterson
Financial Post

I would say, for instance, that a more cautious interpretation would be that an important new paper suggests flaws in the research, not that it reveals it. Particularly if I were a writer for a business & economics paper, not a climate change researcher. And then there is the title itself...

To give credit where it is due, he does tend to use the phrase 'climate change' rather than the older 'global warming', which is a more accurate description of what the body of research underpinning Kyoto actually suggests. Usually you can spot biased participants in debates like this by their choice of language.

Personally, I have never taken sides over whether climate change is likely to be a reality or not. I don't need it as a justification for my environmental leanings. I think there are many national security and economic justifications for taking such actions as improving energy efficiency throughout society without relying on theories such as climate change that are far beyond my ability to competently analyze. So go ahead and tear Kyoto apart if you care to, but don't use that as an excuse to increase dependence on Middle East oil, for example.

And I haven't seen a big appetite for new nuclear or coal power plants in the US as of late either.

Perspective (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394618)

What the paper says is that another paper might be wrong. It doesn't say there'll be no global warming, it doesn't provide an alternative climate theory. That's all fine for a scientific work - criticism is important. However it does not give us any indications whether releasing certain emissions into the atmosphere is safe for us.

What the Mann paper claims is that there is an observable trend showing global temperature increase. This is not by all means the only argument pointing to a danger related to releasing "green house gases". These are not affected if the Mann paper is found to be flawed. I think it's extremely premature to assume at this point that we have no problems.

both sides of the story (1)

gonerill (139660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394631)

Various blogs [crookedtimber.org] have been talking [calpundit.com] about this recently. It seems too early to say who's right here --- the original authors have issued a vigorous interim rebuttal [virginia.edu] [pdf] of the charges, so it's hard to say what's happening. But let's not let that get in the way of a good bit of enviro-sensationalism, eh?

Irrelevant (2, Insightful)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394638)

This is irrelevent anyway. Unless it says that continuing to exploit non-renewable energy at the current rate (or faster) and emitting carbon dioxide at the current rate is actually good for the environment.

People need to look at the big picture and stop arguing over the small print.

Does this result anger you? (1, Insightful)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394641)

When a man is wrong and won't admit it, he always gets angry. ~ Thomas Haliburton

I have found many people will get angry when you say that global warming isn't real. Are you one of these people?
Do you hold on so dearly to this notion that evidence to the contrary outrages you? Isn't this a symptom that just maybe you might be wrong?
When I look at any of the graphs used to back up the global warming story, I do not see evidence of warming. Usually the graphs are zoomed in and incorrectly based. People like to imagine that they can 'see' a signal in the noise just like the stock graphs on the nightly news. But its not there, it is an illusion. Weather is a chaotic system so you will see fluctuations. Fluctuations are indicative of nothing.
Making the case that just because there is no evidence of a problem that reducing CO2 emmisions is still a good idea is an invalid argument. There are many things that might be true but have no basis, such as the idea that you should give me all your money if you want to go to heaven. Taking action on imagined crisis is foolish.

Just because the neo-cons are assholes does not imply that everything they say is wrong. In this case, the evidence is on their side.

Climate change is peanuts (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394643)

It is of course obvious that earth currently is in the middle of the most swift mass extinction ever seen. The loss of 90% of species when the dinosaus went extinct was gradual and small compared.

Human activity do of course affect the climate, and the Kyoto agreement was a spit in the bucket trying to just slow this down. Was is a 5% reduction in the annual increase? That is still an increase in emissions! It's a joke, and not even that are we able to do.

No real change from the original conclusions (2, Interesting)

DamnYankee (18417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394649)

The researcher basically states that it was warmer in 1400 than previously estimated. I have read that the end of the Viking Age (~800-1100 AD) was mainly due to a large drop in global temperatures. The Viking colony in Greenland lasted until 1380 AD when the Summer thaw that allowed them to travel by ship stopped occuring, for example.

He does not refute the fact that it is getting warmer - and rapidly so. He simply says it was pretty warm in 1400 too, in contrast to prior conslusions. Note also that, according to his data, we have already reached his pre-1400 temperature levels and the trend continuing steeply upward.

Thank god I live in Sweden. We love global warming. Vroom vroom!

Damn Yankee
----------------------

Debunking already debunked (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394653)

See the authors' reply here
http://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/Mann/EandE PaperP roblem.pdf
and Kevin Drum's comment here:
http://www.calpundit.com/archives/002564.ht ml
"In laymen's terms, they say that their critics are completely full of shit and wouldn't know their ass from a hole in the ozone layer."

Attn. Global warming sceptics (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394663)

Please, save your fingers and don't bother posting your standard unsupported, pseudo-authoritative guff about climate change being due to solar flares. Special -5 to anyone trying to link the last week's CME frenzy with climate change.

My personal arbitary list of bookmark'd climate change stories now includes the "Polar Bears likely to become extinct as North Polar icecap will melt completely in summer".




  • http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast07sep _1 .htm?list98953
    http://earth.agu.org/revgeophys/sc hmit01/node8.htm l
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/america s/n ewsid_2137000/2137205.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/l ow/english/world/americas/n ewsid_1820000/1820584.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/l ow/english/world/americas/n ewsid_1375000/1375089.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/l ow/english/in_depth/sci_tec h/2002/boston_2002/newsid_1825000/1825283.stm
    htt p://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/europe/new sid_2019000/2019349.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/l ow/health/2168145.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/e nglish/sci/tech/newsid_ 1718000/1718183.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/eng lish/sci/tech/newsid_ 1804000/1804467.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/eng lish/sci/tech/newsid_ 1779000/1779619.stm
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/eng lish/sci/tech/newsid_ 1993000/1993832.stm
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/eng lish/sci/tech/newsid_ 1833000/1833902.stm
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/s ci/tech/3221795.stm
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/s ci/tech/3218961.stm
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/europe /2188407.s tm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/uk/england/n ewsi d_1661000/1661560.stm
    http://www.whoi.edu/home/ab out/whatsnew_abruptclim ate.html
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2002/ 15jan_gree nhouse.htm?list98953
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/us latest/story/0,1282,-2 161625,00.html
    http://www.observer.co.uk/internat ional/story/0,69 03,837058,00.html
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    http://www.nationalpost.com/search/story.html?f =/s tories/20020327/463946.html
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    http://slashdot.org /article.pl?sid=02/11/10/202123 6&mode=nested&tid=134
    http://science.slashdot.org /comments.pl?sid=40977& cid=4354856


human survival (0, Funny)

m1chael (636773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394680)

nature is sustainable. we bring oil to the surface (just an example) where it doesnt belong and change into objects and then discard them, laying on the surface. sure it will be taken care of by nature but do we have time to wait?

are we able to advance technologically fast enough when the times comes to have an environmentally friendly power source before our world changes and we cannot?

i think this is what darwin had in mind. we shall see... we will see.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater (2, Insightful)

Gunark (227527) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394714)

While climate change may or may not be caused by human activity, there is other much more obvious and pressing proof that we are in fact destroying this planet. For example, there is little doubt that the mass extinction and loss of biodiversity we are currently seeing is unprecedented (save maybe for the extinction of the dinasaur era 65 million years ago). The danger here is that some may be tempted to use the results of this climate study as some sort of proof against environmentalism in general.

While a reduction of CO2 emissions is nice, the real effect of Kyoto would have been to boost renewable, non-polluting sources of energy. The benifits of this go far beyond just greenhouse gasses. By getting off oil we could do everything from reducing cancer rates (less air pollution), to decentralizing the power grid, to shifting global power away from terrorist states like Saudi Arabia. It really is a win-win situation for everyone -- except those who are currently in power.

Microsoft sponsored (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394723)

This is another Microsoft sponsored review isn't it?.
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