The View From 1776
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The president continues to assert global warming effects that are not factual.
From the Forbes website: Updated NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat
Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.
- The fellow quoted in your post is a lawyer with no apparent scientific credentials or expertise beyond what he picked up from one undergraduate course in meteorology. He has misread the ice cover data, which is clearly indicating a drastic warming of the arctic region.
If you want a more in-depth description of what is going on in the arctic and the implications those changes are having on the world, spend a few minutes with a series of eminent climate scientists in the following video:
- Mr. Jay, the Forbes article merely reports what NASA's latest data reveal. The columnist does not need to be a professional meteorologist to do that.
To counter his column, you need to quote portions of the NASA report that deny the conclusions in the writer's column.
- Take note, everyone, JJ has posted an actual link in support of an argument!! Red-letter day, so mark your calendars! Not an especially profound or convincing link to be sure, but at least a baby-step toward putting starch in his arguments.
Now, let us examine his source as to merits.
As with all climate-change alarmists, JJ’s all-star experts tend to misrepresent the skeptical opposition as well as the ‘science’ they claim to be reliable witnesses to. A quick look at this blue-ribbon panel’s opening remarks and credentials should suffice to dismiss their misrepresentations as weak on theory and weaker on integrity.
Dr. Jennifer Francis: “Greenhouse gases are something we’ve understood for over a hundred years …” &
“There’s no debate about how GHGs work …”
Not so fast, doctor. Yes, we understand and agree GHGs trap heat, but there is considerable disagreement regarding how much is actually trapped by CO2 in our planet’s atmosphere, and its relative weighting, and it is that which is contested (not CO2’s warming potential). Also, there is very little agreement regarding the role of several other factors and poorly understood phenomena such as the PDO, sunspot activity, clouds, and water vapor; some of which are clearly underrepresented in computer models.
Dr. Steve Vavrus: “In just a very short amount of time, we know that humans have fundamentally changed the composition of the atmosphere.”
Talk about hyperbole! In exactly what way has atmospheric composition changed? Last time I checked, it was still 78% nitrogen, 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 1.2% water vapor (varies), 0.93% argon, and trace amounts of other gases (including CO2). Fundamentally, changed would be a 2% drop in oxygen or a 1000% increase in water vapor, either of which could kill off most animal and plant life (fishes, cockroaches and mosses would survive and thrive, no doubt). A 40% increase in CO2 (0.039% up from 0.028%) is neither fundamental nor unprecedented, and has been far higher without significantly impacting life on Earth. Ergo, get a grip Doctor Strange-bunk!
Dr. Jeff Masters: “We know that if we put a lot of heat trapping gases in the atmosphere, it has got to change the atmosphere.” Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground.
Except that it hasn’t, and shows no indication of doing so any time soon. No, actually, we don’t know that to be true. All we really do know is that GHGs trap some heat, but know darned little about why our laboratory experiments don’t translate into quantifiable heating at the planetary scale. We can hypothesize all sorts of mitigating factors (negative feedbacks) and discrete upsets spilling that heat to space, but only understand atmospheric heat trapping in rudimentary sense. GCMs are groping toward greater understanding, but that is a long way off and will not get there without some greater honesty from those claiming to represent advancement of that knowledge.
Undisclosed is Dr. Francis has had some involvement in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and is the chief proponent of there being a link (however tenuous) between recent Arctic sea ice decline and Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, we can safely dismiss her as ideologically, and not scientifically, motivated. As the video demonstrates, Dr. Francis is given to making grandiose remarks of this kind; statements which aren’t really backed up with evidence or even a plausible theory with a greater than 50/50 chance of surviving challenges. Moreover, her methodology in arriving at this particular conclusion was found to be deeply flawed (see http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/21/arctic-sea-ice-and-weather/ ). Typical of ideology driven pseudo-scientists, Francis attacks colleagues simply for having the audacity of questioning her methodology, and her attacks strike at integrity rather than reason. All-in-all, I find this prim and stuffy woman a tad hypersensitive regarding her work, and more than a little disingenuous.
Information on Dr. Vavrus is scant outside of his university glossy (see http://ccr.aos.wisc.edu/about/personnel/faculty_staff/vavrus_stephen.php ). This source does, however, give us some insight into how seriously we can take him. Apparently, Vavrus is an admirer of William Ruddiman, author of “Earth Transformed” whose pet theory (also and conveniently unprovable) is that global warming is as old as man and prevented the ‘Little Ice Age’ from becoming a big ice age. Vavrus is proposing to test Ruddiman’s hypothesis by using GCMs to simulate present-day climatic conditions as would be expected had humans not changed the landscape through deforestation. There are several rather obvious flaws in this approach. First is current GCMs can’t predict either tomorrows weather or observed weather of the past several decades. Any simulation Vavrus builds on that edifice will, therefore, be inherently capable of testing or verifying anything. Second is humans did not cause significant global deforestation until the around the middle of the 19th century, which makes it highly improbable they could have put much of a dent in any ice age, large or small. All this tells me is warming proponents are becoming desperate at remaining relevant.
Dr. Masters is the lone ‘climate celebrity’ of this trio, and his reputation is built on having created a successful meteorology website on the collectivist model, and for named it after a 1960s militantly radical group (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground ) that is also renown for climate-change alarmism. This, plus Master’s many posts (at his Weather Underground site) in support of warming theory and policies tells us far more about the man than his credentials to misrepresent theory as unchallengeable theory (which is all any of this group has done). This conviction in unproven theory rest far more on political leanings (as it does with JJ) than on reason or evidence.
Since JJ thought to entertain us with a panel of mostly unknown and self-promoting pseudo-scientists having weak credentials and even less credibility, I will leave our readers with a list of much better known scientists with far better credentials, plus a couple of meteorologists (comparable to Masters), who together effectively demolish such grandiose arguments.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIK2kSA89z4 – Dr. Richard Lintzen, MIT climatologist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj_DDU6NZLk – Dr. Willie Soon, astrophysicist and climate scientist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap6YfQx9I64 – Dr. William Harper, Princeton physicist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA3OA_2S4QY – John Coleman Weather Channel co-founder, meteorologist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEHz09N_Y5Q – Joe D’Aleo Weather Channel co-founder, meteorologist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEPW_P7GVB8 – Prof. Ian Plimer, geologist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHb1EklPrPE – Professor John R. Christy, distinguished and wide-published (and, yes, peer-reviewed) climate-scientist and lead author of multiple IPCC reports
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgKJpJyDXQ – Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, climatologist at UAH, and IPCC report contributor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C35pasCr6KI – some Australian climate scientists weigh in
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN_oynx1D8w – Dr. Roger Pielke, prof. of environmental studies Colorado U.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deNbnxaJYOU – 4 NASA scientist refuting global warming theory
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