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← Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable

Alan4discussion's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Alan4discussion

Comment 5 by rolan

I must say that I find the term denier and the general condescending tone rather offensive. I have a science qualification, am skeptical regarding unfounded claims of various flavors, and resent the characterization of any critical analysis of the popular position on climate change as being some sort of Luddite, reactionary response.

Whikle there is a very small minority of scientists qualified to evaluate the specialists subjects which provide the input for the scientific consensus, who are scientific sceptics, the vast majority are deniers who bases their thinking on ignorance, incredulity and the disinformation circulted by denial websites, conspiracy theorists, science duffer journalists and the sponsored politicians and advertisers working for the interests of polluting industries along with their followers.(following the "tobacco strategy" - The tobacco industry sought to delay, and eventually defeat, the EC directive on tobacco advertising and sponsorship by seeking to enlist the aid of figures at the highest levels of European politics while at times attempting to conceal the industry's role.)

I do think that the "reduce carbon dioxide emissions at any cost" position to be flawed.

This is a strawman argument. Nobody suggests that CO2 should be reduced "at any cost". There are potentially enormous costs arising from ignoring the problem.

For those who need further understanding of the nature of a scientific consensus -

1) The material posted above is really great and a great boon to the discussion. The physics is well understood. There is no argument that a doubling of CO2 concentrations should give rise to a temperature increase of about 1 degree K.

But I would point out that Lecture 7 - Forcing, feedbacks, and the climate response explains the uncertainties in trying to estimate the climate sensitivity to this change from models and the difficulty (the lecture says that it cannot be done) in trying to use experimental data for such an estimation. It also states that the precise effect on and by various actors in the system (e.g. cloud cover) is currently unknown. It's the climate sensitivity which is unknown.

It is important to distinguish between the clear cut calculations of GLOBAL EFFECTS and to separate them from the more ambitious attempts to make detailed predictions on future local climates. It is hoghly probabale that warming will result in increased preciopitation in high latitudes. However in detailed climate simulations there is uncertainty about when, where, and how much, additional rain will fall on the west coast of Norway. No doubt deniers will continue to claim that uncertainty about the latter casts doubt on the accuracy of the former.

This is a big deal as most of the IPPC predictions are predicated on multi-degree changes in temperature.

There industrial era rapid rise in global temperatures is far too fast to be the result of the long term climate cycles, which take thousands of years.

2) It is unclear that a 1 (or 2 or 3 or whatever) degree change in global temperature is significant in relation to long-term cyclic, global temperature variation. This is a pulling-signal-out-of-noise problem, and so far, the experimental data doesn't seem to have matched model predictions.

There is a well evidenced record of climate cycles going back millions of years. The effects of of a 1°, 2°, or 3°c increase from present levels in global temperatures, has had massive effects in the past, so there is no reason to think the present would be different. Human CO2 emmissions from burning billions of tons of carbon, plus the triggering the increased release of CO2 carbon sinks (and reducing its re-absorbtion), are in addition to natural cycles.

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 09:13:44 UTC | #865485