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Socks``
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I normally don't feel like talking about climate change, but with the election over it takes up more of brain space. So here we go.

1) The Good News? GHG Emissions Have Fallen Since 1990. According to the UNFCCC, Annual GHG emissions in Annex I countries (industrialized countries that signed the UNFCCC treaty) by around 6% over the past 16 years.
http://unfccc.int/ghg_data/ghg_data_unfccc/items/4146.php

2) The Bad News? ALL of this reduction is due to slouching economies of former soviet countries that are now recovering and pumping our more emissions. This graph says it all (EIT countries are those "Economies in Transition" to a market economy."


The 6% reduction was not even close to where we should be and even that trend is reversing as former soviet countries continue to grow. Note that this doesn't even consider China! This kinda does make me glad that we have someone in the White House that will hopefully take climate change seriously (of course, I would it have rather been John McCain, who has been working on the issue for years but I digress).

11/19/2008 1:01:30 AM

drunknloaded
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i hope the US never signs any type of kyoto treaty that does not involve china

11/19/2008 1:19:11 AM

LoneSnark
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Tell me again why a treaty written and signed in 1997 used 1990 as its base year?

11/19/2008 10:31:54 AM

agentlion
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here's some pretty graphs, just for some basis

Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature Change


Global Air Temperature


Global Glacier Thickness Change


Sea Ice Decline Intensifies


Sea Level Change


http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/global-warming-what-evidence-do-you-have/

[Edited on November 19, 2008 at 10:55 AM. Reason : .]

11/19/2008 10:54:05 AM

Socks``
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LoneSnark Well the UNFCCC treaty was actually adopted and open for signature in 1992 and the US specifically signed it in October of 1992 (though the treaty itself did not go into effect until 1994). You're thinking of the treaty that was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 as a protocol to the UNFCCC (though I don't think it opened for signature until the following year), which the US did not sign.

The first treaty did not set any mandatory reductions (really, neither did Kyoto but that's a different discussion) but set up the goal of subsequent negotiations, which was to stabilize the concentration of GHG in the atmosphere (in 1990 that was around 350 ppm, now it's around 380, scary shit could really start happening above 450 but now some people are thinking that even current concentrations are dangerous).

As part of Kyoto, Annex-I countries agreed to reduce overall GHG emissions by around 5%, which has indeed happened (that was the good news). The bad news was that most of this reduction was coming from EIT countries that are not growing and reversing the downward trend. Since industrial countries are not meeting the reduction commitments at all, this could be really bad as negotiations move forward.

Here's an old UNFCC factsheet that will help with some of the numbers.
http://unfccc.int/files/press/backgrounders/application/pdf/press_factsh_mitigation.pdf

[Edited on November 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM. Reason : ^^]

11/19/2008 11:00:45 AM

TKE-Teg
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Seriously folks, when are you going to realize that carbon dioxide isn't some big bad boogeyman.

Will it have to be the onset of another ice age? (which you'll no doubt find some reason to blame on humans)

11/19/2008 7:33:49 PM

Socks``
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^ I'm not sure who you're talking to, but you don't have to be a "blame-people-first" environmentalist to realize that the rising concentration of ghg gases in the atmosphere can do serious damage to all humankind (particularly the poorest among us).

Can we be 100% certain about the consequences? No. But that isn't anything new. We never have complete or perfect information. We can only work on the best informaiton we have available. And the consensus in the scientific community points to this being a serious problem driven by human behavior. Yes, there are smart skeptics out there that think the consequences won't be so bad, but they are a small fraction of the many smart people looking into the problem.

You should be familiar with all these arguments Teg. Weren't you an econ major? Surely you realize that there are many smart people out there that are skeptical of the most basic models you learned in class. For example, John Kenneth Galbraith of Harvard believed that single-market model of supply and demand was flawed, because he believed that consumer's preferences were not "soverign" and instead a function of advertising (iow, controlled by firms). Heck, Notre Dame and George Masion Universities have Departments filled with "heterodox" economists that think the mainstream is bunk.

Of course, even though there are smart critics that dispute the fundamentals you've been taught, I doubt you buy into their claims.

Personally, I was never convinced by any of the arguments these "heterodox" economists pushed. And the experience has made more skeptical of people outside the mainstream in scientific fields that claim to have "special knowledge" that other scientists just don't get because they're stupid/too political/easily lead/whatever.

11/19/2008 8:15:34 PM

aaronburro
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1) Did we need another thread for this?
2) Man, it'd be great if temperatures had actually risen in the past 8 years, but they haven't. Whew, how bout that global warming. It's warming us so fast that... temperatures are... staying the... same?

11/19/2008 10:48:47 PM

TKE-Teg
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Hmmmmmmm, no I didn't get a degree in economics so i just skimmed over most of that

In my opinion there isn't enough evidence to say that C02 is the bad guy. That we need to take extreme measures that hurt prety much any country's economy.

11/19/2008 10:50:51 PM

agentlion
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but can you at least agree that we should at least try to do what is economically feasible to reduce dirty and polluting forms of energy use? I mean, fine, even if CO2 isn't the "boogyman", all you need to do is take a look at the skyline of L.A. or any city in China to see that it's fucked up all the shit we're putting into the air.

11/19/2008 11:01:12 PM

aaronburro
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sure. reducing pollution is a good idea, I can't disagree with that. Neutering your economic prosperity in the name of junk science which is making godzilla out of a gecko, though, is stupid. Destroying your ability to actually address the alleged problem through innovation and invention by stifling it is absurd. Reduce pollution? Great. Killing all human productivity in order to save us from an imaginary problem? Ludicrous

11/19/2008 11:04:04 PM

TKE-Teg
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^^yes &

^yes

11/19/2008 11:12:39 PM

Socks``
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Bradford Plummer of The New Republic looks at the same data, but sees some hope.

Quote :
"First, it's not at all clear that the wealthier EU countries are actually going to miss their targets. Some countries, especially Sweden and Britain, are doing quite well. And, as a recent European Environment Agency report laid out, the EU-15 is working to implement a new plan to ratchet down overall emissions in the next 48 months. "

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/environmentandenergy/archive/2008/11/19/has-any-country-had-luck-cutting-emissions.aspx

11/19/2008 11:51:59 PM

Socks``
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TKE & boro,

I agree that we can take measures to fight global warming without crippling our economy.

I think you guys would be interested in reading some books by Bjorn Lomborg (Cool It and the Skeptical Environmentalist). He recommends taking a cool-headed approach to warming issues. For example, he really drives home the point that preventing global warming by reducing emissions is not the only policy option available to us. Perhaps just as important is our ability to "mitigate" the harmful effects of what warming does occur, which is actually largely dependent on economic prosperity.

I think he pro bably plays down the severity of the problem a bit too much, but as I was saying earlier it's possible that we may experience some harmful effects from climate change even we start cutting back emissions more severely. And adjusting to this warming would be much easier in a growing economy.

It's important to realize that there is a whole litany of policy options open to us and we can't focus on just one.

[Edited on November 20, 2008 at 12:04 AM. Reason : ``]

11/20/2008 12:00:00 AM

TKE-Teg
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^I read half of the "Skeptical Environmentalist" back in May and am trying to pick it back up. Mostly due to a lack of spare time rather than disinterest.

11/20/2008 12:01:23 AM

supercalo
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Scientific numbers are rarely exact. All scientist will agree, thats why some instruments costs thousands of dollars but still give a repeating decimal in a read out. A perfect measurement of anything is hard to come by. In the case of global warming I wouldn't call it "junk science" though. Its more risk management, in the comparison of possible outcomes.

I hate to say it but this guy makes a valid argument.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_anaVcCXg

11/20/2008 12:35:57 AM

Socks``
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^ Wow. Love that video. Essentially what I was getting at earlier, but put so much better.

11/20/2008 1:05:29 AM

aaronburro
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Socks, you don't get it. What is there to mitigate if the problem doesn't actually exist? What is there to adapt to if it is all a sham?

Quote :
"In the case of global warming I wouldn't call it "junk science" though. Its more risk management, in the comparison of possible outcomes."

Possible outcomes based on what? Manipulation of data? Oh noooo! We played with the numbers and made some models based on what we want to prove and it looks baaaaaaad!

11/20/2008 8:19:05 AM

nattrngnabob
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I'm not up on global warming. Can you tell me how the numbers in agentlions charts were manipulated?

11/20/2008 8:44:23 AM

supercalo
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^^ I doubt someone would go through the trouble to make up numbers that would support a movement which could possibly worsen an already declining global economy unless it was for a reason, especially if it were the top prestigious scientific institutions like NAS or AAS. Theres no ground that would make a 'fake' global warming scenerio advantageous to anyone in that regard.

The risk management i'm talking about boils down to this:
The "worse case scenerio" of action against global warming is global economic decline, yet many believe it possible to maintain our standard of living within reasonable means. - In comparison to "the worse case scenerio" of inaction against global warming (in all fairness we must compare them both) is not only global economic decline but also a myriad of other catastrophic events such as climate destabilization, famine, drought, flooding, resource wars, and political upheaval on a global scale.

You must realize that in the scientific field, passing off bogus numbers is not looked upon lightly as scientist are constantly trying to out do each other in terms of correctness. In other words a scientist's legitimacy translates to the funding and livelihood to continue doing said 'science'. This isn't religion where people can just come up with stuff out of their ass.

[Edited on November 20, 2008 at 9:51 AM. Reason : I mean they can, but its a hell of a lot more likely that they'll get called out on it.]

11/20/2008 9:45:47 AM

Socks``
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aaronburro,

Quote :
"Socks, you don't get it. What is there to mitigate if the problem doesn't actually exist? What is there to adapt to if it is all a sham?"


Ummmmm. Because even if you don't believe that climate change is a driven by human activity, you can't deny that global temperatures have been rising over the last century? And that if this is part of a continuing trend, we can invest in ways that may help us (and particuarly poorer countries) adjust?

But look back at your previous posts it looks like you deny that even this trend may exist because you think that temps have been stable for all of 8 years. This is not only a bit of a silly approach, but actually ignores the continued upwards trend in temperatures.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

[Edited on November 20, 2008 at 9:54 AM. Reason : ``]

11/20/2008 9:53:49 AM

God
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I, for one, look forward to the coming apocalypse. This world needs a reboot every once in a while.

11/20/2008 9:56:37 AM

HockeyRoman
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That is a fair sentiment except that the role humans would play in such an event. By this I mean that if humans had any part to play in the "rebooting" of the planet then we were a pretty awful species to begin with.

11/20/2008 10:15:20 AM

DirtyGreek
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While I am too tired of actual global warming debates, I'll take ^ this bait and run with it. We aren't an "awful species," not any more than any other. What we are is intelligent and powerful, and we have yet to learn to control ourselves. Our species has been around for 200,000 years, but we've only just started causing the earth problems in the last 8,000, and especially in the last 200. It's our culture and our way of life since we started totalitarian agricultural practices that are hurting the earth, not our species itself. The solution to that? I don't know. But we shouldn't blame our species as a whole, more we should blame our lifestyles.

11/20/2008 2:05:17 PM

TKE-Teg
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11/20/2008 4:38:20 PM

Ytsejam
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Quote :
" since we started totalitarian agricultural practices that are hurting the earth"


wat

11/20/2008 4:51:54 PM

carzak
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Why doesn't everyone just ignore aaronburro and be glad he isn't in a position of influence. There is no reason to get involved with someone who denies the earth is even warming. Leave him behind, we're way past that. I want to here some relevant discussion.

11/20/2008 5:41:48 PM

Prawn Star
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Relevant discussion?

I think there is way too much fear-mongering going on.
I think the threat of rising sea levels is a fucking joke.
I think that too many natural phenomena get attributed to this "Global Climate Destabilization" red herring.
I think that we've been dumping carbon dioxide into the air for centuries, and any reduction at this point would be largely symbolic.
I think that we could nullify the warming effects of greenhouse gases with stratospheric injection of reflective aerosols for a fraction of the price of the more radical solutions.


There, have at it.

[Edited on November 20, 2008 at 5:49 PM. Reason : 2]

11/20/2008 5:48:42 PM

carzak
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Thoughts/beliefs have no bearing on this topic unless you provide evidence to support them.

11/20/2008 5:53:00 PM

Prawn Star
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Thanks.

I can back up any one of those statements. Just pick the one you disagree with.

11/20/2008 5:55:57 PM

carzak
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How about you pick one and say, "I believe this, and here's why." and we'll go from there. I don't necessarily disagree with you, I just want to know why you believe these things.

[Edited on November 20, 2008 at 5:58 PM. Reason : .]

11/20/2008 5:57:15 PM

joe_schmoe
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I really want to participate in this thread, but damn if i just cant get up enough motivation to do some relevant research.

11/20/2008 6:22:23 PM

mytwocents
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/16/do1610.xml

11/20/2008 6:28:30 PM

TKE-Teg
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^^^maybe b/c we've exhausted ourselves talking about it in a 56+ page thread already on the subject!

11/20/2008 7:35:11 PM

HockeyRoman
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Quote :
"I don't know. But we shouldn't blame our species as a whole, more we should blame our lifestyles."

I can certainly get on board with that notion.

11/20/2008 10:14:35 PM

dagreenone
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Somebody to plz explain global warming to me. Seems like 2008 it's cooling, which is it?





[Edited on November 20, 2008 at 10:43 PM. Reason : nvm I figured it out! Global warming only exists in DC! ]

11/20/2008 10:41:40 PM

mytwocents
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^well it would make sense considering its where the most hot air is blown

11/20/2008 10:57:31 PM

Wintermute
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^^
Maybe just looking at 2% of the earth's surface might not be the best way to determine global surface temperature trends. In fact, October was the 7th warmest October in the last hundred and some years.

11/20/2008 11:38:23 PM

TKE-Teg
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^feel free to read the news article a few posts up.

11/20/2008 11:43:28 PM

Wintermute
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I did and I'm not impressed. In the other thread I already dealt with another Telegraph article on the 2007 GISS correction. The fact is, GISS is one of a number of independent global temperature reconstructions and it agrees extraordinarily well with all but the UAH satellite reconstruction. As far as I can tell the obsession with GISS comes from James Hansen's political activism. I don't see the Telegraph going after the Remote Sensing folks.

In anycase, I've always thought admitting the scientific case for AGW for what it is while disagreeing with any given policy solution for it was an intellectually respectable position. I wish people would do this rather than behaving like hacks.

11/20/2008 11:57:54 PM

TKE-Teg
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Its snowing outside, in Raleigh

11/21/2008 7:09:53 AM

HockeyRoman
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Yeah, those jet streaks in November totally debunk the entirety of global climate instability. Good thing you figured that out for the rest of us. . .

11/21/2008 8:51:04 AM

agentlion
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Quote :
"Somebody to plz explain global warming to me. Seems like 2008 it's cooling, which is it?"

It should be called "Global Climate Change", not Global Warming.

The overall global average is rising, but in local areas ( like the US) in any given year, there is no predicting what will happen. It may be hotter, colder, wetter, dryer, or just average.

11/21/2008 9:05:07 AM

HockeyRoman
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I've actually become fond of calling it global climate destabilization. The sad thing is that the louder we shout about this one topic the more pressing and easily verifiable environmental issues get drowned out and ignored (No "global warming" pun intended).

11/21/2008 9:25:26 AM

mrfrog

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If only there was another 50 page topic on this....

11/21/2008 9:31:00 AM

Socks``
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HockeyRoman,

I think that term is the most accurate, but it's kind of a mouthful. I normally prefer climate change, but I think Global Warming sounds more provocative so I chose that as the name of the thread to get more clicks.

And if mrfrog and other don't like the thread, they can scoot their boots outta here.

11/21/2008 9:37:38 AM

Prawn Star
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"Global Climate Destabilization" is a blanket term which climatologists can ascribe to any weather phenomena. It's the ADD of climatology; an easy diagnosis for lazy scientists.

11/21/2008 5:17:02 PM

agentlion
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so you're of the mind that we should ignore the infinitely complex climate patterns that may emerge from one particular phenomenon if it doesn't fall into a neatly categorized event?

11/21/2008 5:22:45 PM

Prawn Star
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Not at all. I believe in sound science, rather than blanket pseudo-scientific generalizations meant to scare people into action. I would love to see the evidence and proof that these individual weather phenomena are related to anthropogenic global warming, but more often it seems like the links between these events and greenhouse gases are tenuous at best.

I hear over and over again that individual climate events such as an unusually cool October in the US cannot be used as evidence against global warming, because the weather is unpredictable and individual events don't mean shit. If you can't use individual events as an argument against GW, then how do you try to use them as an argument for GW with a straight face? This disturbing trend of blaming every weird weather event on "global climate destabilization" is bullshit.



[Edited on November 21, 2008 at 5:40 PM. Reason : 2]

11/21/2008 5:30:43 PM

supercalo
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Prawn Star read this graph from right to left.


Quote :
"The analysis highlights the fact that today's rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, at 380 parts per million by volume, is already 27 percent higher than its highest recorded level during the last 650,000 years, said Science author Thomas Stocker of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern, in Bern, Switzerland, who serves as the corresponding author for both papers.
"


What about this do you not understand? If there hasn't been any supervolcanoes going off in the past 60 to 100 years what else could be the reason?

11/21/2008 9:51:49 PM

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