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"How Cleaning Up America Dried Up The Amazon":
The New Scientist has an interesting report on some surprising relationships that may exist between pollution and climate change. (Obviously, this doesn't suggest that pollution is good — just that the interaction is complex.)
Smokey:
Ah. The Hadley Center. Their computer model is one of the numerous models here. Notice that the dashed lines are empirical [real world] measurements, and that none of the models is accurate [not that models aren't useful in some respects].

Originally the claim was that increases in carbon dioxide would cause runaway global warming. But that proved to be wrong. In fact, the earth isnear the low end of atmospheric CO2 geologically -- doubling the carbon dioxide [especially considering the growing food shortage[ would be extremely beneficial.

The fact is that so little is known about the climate that any definitive statements are highly questionable.

Before the U.S. abdicates its national sovereignty to the UN over the nebulous "climate change", it would be best to have models that can take all previous climate data as an input -- and produce today's climate as an output. So far, none of the models are able to do that.

These folks always have an agenda, and an agenda is not science. Best to listen to reputable experts, like Richard Lindzen, Timothy Ball, Fred Seitz, and others -- who readily admit that climatology is still in its infancy.

Maybe the Amazon is affected by the U.S. Or China, or Brazil -- or maybe there is no measurable interaction at all. At this point anyone who states that they know is just blowing smoke.
5.7.2008 8:21pm
KeithK (mail):
Climate models didn't include sulphates, which turn out to be quite significant. How many other factors are missing that would tremendously influence the results? When I read a story like this I can't help but think how silly it is to demand dramatic economic change on the basis of models that are very far from complete.
5.7.2008 8:51pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Also note that the article explicitly states that most climate models don't do a good job of modeling climate.

What a farce. Send for the Nobels.
5.7.2008 10:32pm
OrinKerr:
KeithK, M. Simon,

The climate control models aren't perfect, but they are often quite good. And then of course there's the actual changes in temperature in the last few decades -- not something to sneeze at, I think.
5.7.2008 10:47pm
Robert Ayers:
Mr Kerr suggests: The climate control models aren't perfect, but they are often quite good. And then of course there's the actual changes in temperature in the last few decades.
The various IPCC models have been only so-so at predicting the past. And indeed there are the actual changes in temperature: up from 1900 to 1935, then down to 1970, then
up to 1998, now down again ... So?
5.7.2008 11:25pm
Smokey:
OrinKerr:
The climate control models aren't perfect, but they are often quite good. And then of course there's the actual changes in temperature in the last few decades -- not something to sneeze at, I think.
Orin, did you look at the first link in the first post above, showing that no computer model got it right? The models show increasing temps, at the same time the real world temps are rapidly falling. It's like this: global temperatures fluctuate around the zero line on the y-axis. Everything fluctuates in the real world.

Here is a chart of actual temperatures for your "last few decades," beginning at the end of the last minor cooling period that lasted from the '40's to the '70's.

That chart is different from the always-inaccurate computer models. Why? Because it is a record of actual temperatures, rather than assumptions by computer algorithms.
5.7.2008 11:56pm
OrinKerr:
Robert Ayers,

I last looked closely at the mathematical modeling in the mid 1990s when I was an engineering graduate student, so maybe the technology is worse today than it was then. But as for the changes in temperature, where do you get the idea that the temperatures were down from 1935 to 1970 and then down from 1998? Here's a chart of what purports to be average global temperatures, and it seems to show a reasonably steady rise throughout the 20th century. Is that chart incorrect?
5.7.2008 11:59pm
Mac (mail):
The climate control models aren't perfect, but they are often quite good.

With all due respect, Mr. Kerr, can you point to any climate model to date that has both accounted for the known recorded temperature in the past and present? I have not seen a single one that holds up statistically. Even Mike "Hockey Stick" Mann's data does not hold up to scrutiny of known past weather records or to the weather since he invented this i.e. the weather is not cooperating with him.
This article is voodoo, not science. It is a proposition only, thrown out for debate, not a fact.

And, above all, the darned global temperature cooled .75 degrees last year, contributing to the food shortage along with our burning of the world's food supply in the form of ethanol.
5.8.2008 12:02am
jccamp:
Quote from the article: "...the results "seem plausible."

Hardly scientific jargon for a proven.

Even the best meteorology models (in terms of conforming to historical data) have wildly inaccurate results when used as predictors. The best example may be the study of tropical cyclones. Year after year, predictions based on computer modeling are wrong, even though the same models accurately describe past events. The consensus is that weather systems are dramatically complex, that unknown variables are missing from the models. and that attributing gross impact to a single variable (i.e. global warming) is not good science.

It is this kind of backward engineering, deciding on a finding and then looking for a simplistic PC link that will justify the conclusion, that turn some many people off when the subject of global warming comes up.

Man-made global warming may actually be a reality, but how would we know, when the proponents keep, shall we say, cooking the books?
5.8.2008 12:21am
Eli Rabett (www):
There are other, more worrying effects about the Amazon, including that of slash and burn and increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. To quote results about the same Hadley Hadley center coupled carbon cycle model

Secondly, the model predicts that, in the second half of this century, vegetation carbon storage in South America will begin to decline as a result of the die back of the Amazon forest, which is caused by regional warming and drying (direct anthropogenic deforestation is not included). Around the middle of the century, the land biosphere as a whole switches from being a weak sink for carbon to a strong source, mainly due to the rapid loss in soil carbon beyond 2050. In total, between the middle of the 19th century and the end of the 21st century, the combined effects of climate change and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration are predicted to reduce global soil and vegetation carbon storage by around 100 Gt C. The total global changes in soil and vegetation carbon are shown in the previous figure (above). This figure (left) shows maps of the change in terrestrial carbon content between 2000 and 2100.


This is the same model that the New Scientist article is based on. As to climate, you guys practice very good lawyer science. For example, somehow, Orin Kerr did not manage to read the article down to the bottom where Peter Cox says:

"The model shows a catastrophic dieback [of the Amazon] by about 500 or 550 parts per million [CO2]," Cox says. "As we clean up air quality, as we have to do, it is even more urgent to reduce CO2 emissions."

Excellent job avoiding the point Orin. As to the rest RTFR
5.8.2008 9:17am
Smokey:
It's quite easy to refute "Eli Rabett," who still promotes the failed hypothesis that "increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration are predicted to reduce global soil and vegetation carbon storage by around 100 Gt C." That statement has been falsifed via the peer review process.

As we can see, it has been proven that increases in CO2 markedly increase vegetation growth. [peer-reviewed source of chart].
Eli Rabett is in error about the organic chemistry.

Note that the chart that OrinKerr linked to in fact correlates very closely with fluctuations in the Sun's changing output [the Sun is a variable star]. Planetary temperatures track sunspots - which are almost completely absent in the current Solar Cycle 24.

Overlay Orin's chart with this chart, which tracks changes in Solar irradiance. We can easily see the close correlation between Solar activity and global temperatures: in both charts, global warming begins at the same time that the Sun began pumping out more energy, in the early 1900's. The ramp-up in global temps and the ramp-up in Solar energy look the same in both charts. [Also note the correlation between terrestrial temperatures and the decreased Solar irradiance during the Maunder Minimum, which began in the 1600's - a time when it was so cold that the Thames river completely froze over; likewise during the Dalton Minimum in the early 1800's - a time of poor harvests and starvation due to the unusually cold weather.]

The "CO2 causes catastrophic global warming" argument has been repeatedly falsified through the peer review process [AKA: the Scientific Method]. As a result, the "global warming" argument has now morphed into "climate change."

The reason catastrophic AGW is even being seriously discussed any more, after being thoroughly debunked, is simple to understand: Every year the U.S. government hands out close to $5 billion in grant money to study "global warming" and "climate change." And the UN, of course, wants even more -- $100 billion from the U.S. alone for starters, every year. As they say, money doesn't talk -- it screams.
5.8.2008 2:32pm
Curt Fischer:

Maybe the technology is worse today than it was then.


Heh. Nicely done, Prof. Kerr.
5.9.2008 12:54am