jump to navigation

Where’s the Global Warming? March 9, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: , ,
trackback

Where’s the Global Warming?

Posted on ICECAP

By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe

SUPPOSE the climate landscape in recent weeks looked something like this:

Half the country was experiencing its mildest winter in years, with no sign of snow in many Northern states. Most of the Great Lakes were ice-free. Not a single Canadian province had had a white Christmas. There was a new study discussing a mysterious surge in global temperatures – a warming trend more intense than computer models had predicted. Other scientists admitted that, because of a bug in satellite sensors, they had been vastly overestimating the extent of Arctic sea ice.

If all that were happening on the climate-change front, do you think you’d be hearing about it on the news? Seeing it on Page 1 of your daily paper? Would politicians be exclaiming that global warming was even more of a crisis than they’d thought? Would environmentalists be skewering global-warming “deniers” for clinging to their skepticism despite the growing case against it?

No doubt.

But it isn’t such hints of a planetary warming trend that have been piling up in profusion lately. Just the opposite.

The United States has shivered through an unusually severe winter, with snow falling in such unlikely destinations as New Orleans, Las Vegas, Alabama, and Georgia. On Dec. 25, every Canadian province woke up to a white Christmas, something that hadn’t happened in 37 years. Earlier this year, Europe was gripped by such a killing cold wave that trains were shut down in the French Riviera and chimpanzees in the Rome Zoo had to be plied with hot tea. Last week, satellite data showed three of the Great Lakes – Erie, Superior, and Huron – almost completely frozen over. In Washington, D.C., what was supposed to be a massive rally against global warming was upstaged by the heaviest snowfall of the season, which paralyzed the capital.

Meanwhile, the National Snow and Ice Data Center has acknowledged that due to a satellite sensor malfunction, it had been underestimating the extent of Arctic sea ice by 193,000 square miles – an area the size of Spain. In a new study, University of Wisconsin researchers Kyle Swanson and Anastasios Tsonis conclude that global warming could be going into a decades-long remission. The current global cooling “is nothing like anything we’ve seen since 1950,” Swanson told Discovery News. Yes, global cooling: 2008 was the coolest year of the past decade – global temperatures have not exceeded the record high measured in 1998, notwithstanding the carbon-dioxide that human beings continue to pump into the atmosphere.

None of this proves conclusively that a period of planetary cooling is irrevocably underway, or that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are not the main driver of global temperatures, or that concerns about a hotter world are overblown. Individual weather episodes, it always bears repeating, are not the same as broad climate trends.

But considering how much attention would have been lavished on a comparable run of hot weather or on a warming trend that was plainly accelerating, shouldn’t the recent cold phenomena and the absence of any global warming during the past 10 years be getting a little more notice? Isn’t it possible that the most apocalyptic voices of global-warming alarmism might not be the only ones worth listening to?

There is no shame in conceding that science still has a long way to go before it fully understands the immense complexity of the Earth’s ever-changing climate(s). It would be shameful not to concede it. The climate models on which so much global-warming alarmism rests “do not begin to describe the real world that we live in,” says Freeman Dyson, the eminent physicist and futurist. “The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand.”

But for many people, the science of climate change is not nearly as important as the religion of climate change. When Al Gore insisted yet again at a conference last Thursday that there can be no debate about global warming, he was speaking not with the authority of a man of science, but with the closed-minded dogmatism of a religious zealot. Dogma and zealotry have their virtues, no doubt. But if we want to understand where global warming has gone, those aren’t the tools we need. Read full story here.

Comments»

1. Jo Booyens - March 9, 2009

Hi

I was the guy who in early December 1967 broke the news of the first heart transplant (SABC News Team, Cape Town). I have been writing about science intermittently ever since, and learnt to not only listen very critically to what is being said, bit who says it and what his of her social and political background is.

Scenario: Professor Bam Boozle sczres the hell out of the government of his country about carbon dioxide creating a blanket at 20 miles above earth and creates a hothouse effect. Politicians react predictably: they must pretend knowledgeable even if they are scientifically speaking unconscious incompetants (they do not know and don’t realise that they do not know: La Cuccaracha’s). Secondly as the topic has been placed in the public eye and are causing concern, politicians must be seen to be doing something.
Thirdly they come up with the democtratic procrastination device: create a commission of enquiry or an advisory comitee who then advises the powers that be to fund research into this serious problem.

The winner is the professor, who gets a handsome annual grant for the research and produces spans of master’s and doctor’s degree students who in all earnestness researches their okayed topics with singular one-eyed perseverance.

And no politician realises that carbon dioxide is something like 1,75 times heavier than air and has as much change to climb to twenty miles in the sky as lead has of floating on water! – Neve mind the fact that the seas of the world and natural decay produced immense amounts of See-Oh-Two compared to humans production of this gas, lakes, dams and colcanic eruptions release immense amounts of methane annually. Not to mention CFC’s (the naughty gasses making holes above the polar areas) which are nearly four times heavier than air.

The power to command – without real insight – is a much more lethal threat to earth than the mythical earth warming (similar to the coming ice age (some) scientists predicted in the 1970’s.

A true scientist must be an intellectual sceptic and a humble searcher for understanding of our intricate world. Uterior motives which colours research interpretation makes their names toffy and reminds one of the mouse’s deduction when he crossed a bridge with an elephant that he actually helped making the bridge creak!!

Surely real science is not jumping to conclusions – like characters do in cheap novels – and then go looking for proof to substantiate one’s favourite viewpoint, but to tackle evidence from a nul hypothesis and be led to whatever reality can be uncovered by diligent and unbiased research. Or do scientist also tend to “discover” the results that pays best?

Jo

2. Jo Booyens - March 9, 2009

Hi

I share your doubt about a lot of hot air on global climate change.

I was the guy who in early December 1967 broke the news of the first heart transplant (SABC News Team, Cape Town). I have been writing about science intermittently ever since, and learnt to not only listen very critically to what is being said, bit who says it and what his of her social and political background is.

Scenario: Professor Bam Boozle scares the hell out of the government of his country about carbon dioxide creating a blanket at 20 miles above earth and creates a hothouse effect. Politicians react predictably: they must pretend knowledgeable even if they are scientifically speaking unconscious incompetants (they do not know and don’t realise that they do not know, a la Cuccaracha). Secondly as the topic has been placed in the public eye and are causing concern, politicians must be seen to be doing something.
Thirdly they come up with the democtratic procrastination device: create a commission of enquiry or an advisory comitee who then predictably advises the powers that be to fund research into this serious problem.

The winner is the professor, who gets a handsome annual grant for the research and produces spans of master’s and doctor’s degree students who in all earnestness researches their okayed topics with singular one-eyed perseverance. He also earns a handsome living.

In the menatime nobody bothered to explain to the politicians that carbon dioxide is some 1,75 times heavier than air and has as much change to climb to twenty miles in the sky as lead has of floating on water! And no-one points out the fact that the seas of the world and natural decay produced immense amounts of See-Oh-Two compared to humans production of this gas while lakes, dams and volcanic eruptions release immense amounts of methane annually – not to mention CFC’s (the alledgely naughty gasses making holes in the ozone layer above the polar areas) which are nearly four times heavier than air.

The power to command – without real insight – is a much more lethal threat to earth than the mythical earth warming (similar to the coming ice age (some) scientists predicted in the 1970’s.

A true scientist must be an intellectual sceptic and a humble searcher for understanding of our intricate world. Ulterior motives which colours research interpretation makes their names toffy. Choosing only the evidence that suits one’s belief, is like the mouse who, when he crossed a bridge with an elephant, was convinced he actually helped making the bridge creak!!

Surely real science is should be devoid of jumping to conclusions and then hunt for proof to substantiate one’s favourite viewpoint. Should it not be a dedicated uncovering of evidence from a nul hypothesis – and let reality be uncovered by diligent and unbiased research, whatever it may be? Or do scientist also tend to “discover” the results that pays best?

Jo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: