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August 06, 2007

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Galileo

Eppur si muove.

man this post is seriously loaded with language. Why dont you tell us what you really think Matt.

Webster

Did he make you have to use a dictionary?

tylerh

There was a time for skepticism about the reality that the planet was warming. I was part of it. But a cascade of data in the earlier part of this decade has nailed it down: the planet has warmed, dramatically, in the past century. Indeed, the lead editorial in Science, the world's leading scientific Journal, was "Climate: Game Over."

Since you prefer dialectic to data, let me lay this out for you with only two numbers.

If the Earth's atmosphere trapped no heat Earth would be an iceball, like planet Hoth in Star Wars. It might have life around the equator, but without a warmth-trapping atmosphere Earth would be 20 - 50 degrees (F) cooler. This is not rocket science; it's a simplistic consequence of how much energy the earth receives from the sun and how much energy naturally escapes back into space ("black body radiation", for those who had collegiate physics).

The amount of heat-trapping done by the atmosphere has varied throughout the past five billion years, but is generally about "3." Since the start of the industrial revolution, the extra CO2 dumped into the atmosphere has moved that number to roughly "4". That is, the most direct measurement of atmospheric heat trapping has increased (very roughly) by a third in the past 100 years.

Now, this measured scientific reality does not mean AB30 or any other particular scheme, is a good idea. I oppose AB30. But denying basic physics and a torrent of confirming data doesn't seem like a very good idea, either.


p.s. Mark Landsbaum should either admit he doesn't really known much about how global temperatures are computed, or be embarrassed by his poor grasp of the analytical tools used to correct for the very effects he observes (and myriad others he doesn't mention, like satellite wobbles).

While individual measurements are indeed problematic -- that's why it took 15 years to nail this down -- the conclusions are solid. Indeed, the observed decrease in Stratospheric temperature is almost impossible to explain via mechanisms other global warming.

Andy Favor

Tylerh,

Mark's posts on the location of the weather stations just illustrates that scientists have not been adequately maintaining their stations to get reliable data. Yes, global warming studies should only use high altitude data, but the fact is that the data from the land based weather stations is becoming a part of our nation's weather data base and I for one don't trust the global warming fear mongers to not use bad data to further their agenda.

tylerh


Yes, global warming studies should only use high altitude data

FALSE.

All data should be used -- But Carefully. Which has been done, despite Mark's claims to the contrary. If you read my post, you'll notice I said the high altitude readings show cooling.

I for one don't trust the global warming fear mongers

Nor do I.

But the vast majority of scientists who have been working on the problem for the last decade are now in agreement: the planet has warmed.

This isn't faith or polemics we're discussing, it's physical measurements. Admittedly, these are tough measurements to get right: the problems Mark pointed out are real, and acknowledged. But the conclusion is no longer disputed by people who actually work with this stuff.

Again, admitting the physical reality of this past century's global warming in no way commits one to join any of the wacky proposals floating about. I, for one, think the future changes will be gradual enough that the free market mechanisms will handle most of the problems without government intervention.

Indeed the uncertainties of the future predictions are large enough that I am against most government efforts (except energy conservation programs) because they are likely to lock in a bad solution.

that scientists have not been adequately maintaining their stations to get reliable data
What a profoundly ignorant statement. There is no one set of temperature measurements. Period. There are all sorts of data, like satellite measurements, aerosonde readings, mud cores, migration records...

Each data set has its problems -- as Mark pointed out for land based temperature measurements. But taken together, the answer is overwhelmingly clear: the planet has warmed. As one would expect when increasing the heat-trapping ability of the atmosphere.

Cyber-Rain

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