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Earth Stats

Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty 869

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-blame-the-dinosaurs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A study out of McGill University sought to examine historical temperature data going back 500 years in order to determine the likelihood that global warming was caused by natural fluctuations in the earth's climate. The study concluded there was less than a 1% chance the warming could be attributed to simple fluctuations. 'The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales. For the industrial era, Lovejoy's analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences – a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. ... His study [also] predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than – but in line with — the IPCC's prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.'"
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2014 @11:49AM (#46733651)

    Not to mention the past 500 years is 1/9000000th of the planet's actual climate history.

  • My 2 cents (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2014 @11:59AM (#46733721)

    If you want to find the modern culprits of greenhouse gases, look to India and China, not the US. We've cut our emissions drastically over the past 20 years.

  • by savuporo (658486) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @12:05PM (#46733755)

    There are dozens and dozens, multi-proxy reconstructions of temperature records.

    https://www.skepticalscience.c... [skepticalscience.com]
    https://www.skepticalscience.c... [skepticalscience.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

    Its called science.

  • by savuporo (658486) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @12:10PM (#46733777)

    Its called data reconstruction, and the existing large scale records factor use multiple proxy methods of records of reconstructing the temperature records.
    There are multiple indirect ( or proxy ) ways of obtaining temperature history, and all of these would have to be invalidated to prove the existing reconstructions wrong.
    The reconstruction models match with accurate instrument measurements that we have for a past hundred years or so.

    Educate yourself
    https://www.skepticalscience.c... [skepticalscience.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2014 @12:25PM (#46733899)

    Yea, look at this ice core data. Much warmer in the past, with no anthropogenic CO2 influence.

    http://i.snag.gy/BztF1.jpg

    Certainly no catastrophic AGW, humans do well in warm times.
    Cold is cop failures, starvation, and freezing to death.

  • by fche (36607) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @12:33PM (#46733975)

    It's a questionable mixing of questionable data, with a proposed burden of proof that claims to immunize it against questioning or any part.

    It's as though you only accept a cryptosystem broken if all stages and are shown weak.

  • by prefec2 (875483) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @01:11PM (#46734265)

    I wonder why this topic is so much discussed in the USA. In every other country climate change and the fact that we, humans, are causing it is accepted as a scientific fact. However, in the US, there is still a large fraction who doubt it or ignore it. And I am wondering why is that so?

  • by savuporo (658486) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @01:26PM (#46734377)

    >> the proxies can not be independently verified

    The proxies are VERIFIED against each other, and over the time span that we DO have accurate instrumental records. Guess what, they match up, minus normal statistical uncertainty which is continuously further and further reduced by incorporating as many independent observations as possible. There are literally many dozens of methods of recovering climate data from human records and paleoclimate records.
    There is this whole field of science called statistics and data analysis, try looking into it some time.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @01:39PM (#46734483)

    Try wind, but you probably won't have a bird left alive in the whole country.

    It's a myth. The occasional bird is killed by a wind turbine, but as a cause of death it shrinks into irrelevance compared with other man-caused bird deaths - chief amongst them windows. Far more birds die from flying into windows than wind turbines.

    PV gets cheaper every year, and is already very much the cheapest way to power an EV.

    There's nothing wrong with nuclear. Built more plants.

    And you haven't even considered the potential of the enormous power available in the oceans, both tide and wave.

    Certainly the last thing we should be doing is drilling for more fossil fuels. Especially by fracking.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @01:53PM (#46734581) Journal

    99.9% of reviewers agree with you.

    Since I've been an actual real scientist who does actual real science and knows the actual real process, I can assure you that less than 99.9% of reviews of my work have been positive.

    Again if you believe that there are idealogues who wave through papers, then that illustrates your ignorance far more than it shines a negative light on AGW science.

  • by savuporo (658486) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @01:59PM (#46734619)

    There are dozens of ways of obtaining indirect climate data, and they are already compiled into comprehensive databases. You would have to show more than one of them being substantially wrong to disprove the full reconstructions.
    These data sets are continuously reviewed, amended and further improved by thousands of people around the world.
    You want to call all of it "questionable data" - please publish your papers.

  • by rally2xs (1093023) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @02:11PM (#46734675)

    Bird deaths are no myth:

    http://www.cfact.org/2013/03/1... [cfact.org]

    and keep in mind that wind power is a very small portion of the power produced in the country now. Ramp it up to produce 100%, and you're going to have nowhere where you wont be able to see a turbine, and nowhere a bird can fly and expect to live a normal lifetime.

    Drilling absolutely should be done for both sustainability and geopolitical reasons. We cannot convert the entire vehicular complement of transportation in this country to electricity for decades, and possibly never if the magic battery is not invented. Still no one knows how to build it. When they do, then we can get on with battery powered cars that can perform like internal combustion engined cars, and semi-trucks and boats / ships too. This may never happen.

    And, BTW, fracking has been around since the 40's. Whats you're problem? Are you one of those enviros that opposes everything?

    What we have to do is to keep costs down as long as possible, and that means petroleum. Only with the prosperity brought to us by petroleum will we have the research money to possibly perfect something that actually works, be it wind, solar, geothermal, whatever.

    And we still have to research geo-engineering because the damn commies in China are NOT going to quit digging coal, ever. We either figure out a way to take the CO2 out of the air in order to reduce its concentration, or figure out how to live with a warmer planet. Maybe put some $$$ behind getting this working:

    http://phys.org/news199005915.... [phys.org]

  • Re:My 2 cents (Score:5, Informative)

    by umafuckit (2980809) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @02:17PM (#46734721)
    Really? Let's examine your claims.

    The US has seen a minor decrease in carbon emissions [nytimes.com] over the last 5 years or so, but this likely at least in part due to the financial crisis. There has been no long-term decrease over the "last 20 years", as you state, so the US isn't setting an example in cutting emissions. What matters, then, is total current emissions [wikipedia.org], where the US second only to China. The US emitted 5.4 million tonnes in 2010. By comparison, India (one of the countries you single out) and the EU have combined emissions of 5.7 million tonnes. India and China have very much larger populations. The US emissions per capita for 2012 are 16.4 tonnes, whereas China's are 7.1 and India's a paltry 1.6. Clearly the US has a lot of work to do.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @02:31PM (#46734819) Journal

    Spoken like a true ideologue.

    Spoken like someone who's never put a paper in for peer review.

    A hint: they'll try to tear your paper to shreds no matter what it says.

    If you actually did science you'd know that.

  • by OneAhead (1495535) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @03:38PM (#46735239)

    Oh this is rich. The AC calling the scientists ignorant about how the peer review process works. Nice try AC, but GP is right, peer reviewers systematically try to tear pretty much anything that comes their way to shreds. I'm a scientists, and not only do I see this happening to my papers, I do the same to the papers I get to review. Extremely critical reviewers are an essential part of the scientific process.

    Contrary to GP, I feel it's normal that it's so difficult to get a paper published. What is not normal is that scientists are under such high pressure to get so many papers published per year; the process could benefit from some "slowing down". But that's an entirely different discussion.

  • by Gorobei (127755) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:35PM (#46735593)

    Which track record is that?

    • Spontaneous generation
    • Lamarckian inheritance
    • Miasma
    • Bloodletting
    • Aether
    • Java Man

    Be careful putting too much faith in almighty science. They've been wrong before, you know. A lot. And people died because of it.

    You show a bunch of ideas that, when exposed to science, got shot down as objectively wrong pretty quickly. Sounds like the process works.

    Want to list 6 current sciency ideas that are wrong but the scientific community considers reasonable? I'll give you a few to start you off:

    1. Humans are not changing the climate. Current verdict: wrong. Supporters: a few loons. Evidence: about nil.
    2. Evolution is wrong. Current verdict: wrong. Supporters: a few loons. Evidence: nil.
    3. Vaccines cause autism. Current verdict: wrong. Supporters: a few loons. Evidence: nil.

    I'm sure Slashdot2114 will be debating the bad science ideas that existed in 2014. Some will claim history shows science is death. Smarter people will note that imbeciles, public relations people, lobbyists, and trolls have always added noise and generally slowed the dissemination of knowledge.

    Where do you stand, PR Man?

  • by microbox (704317) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @05:08PM (#46735759)

    The causality of *all* prior changes appears to have been dismissed.

    On the contrary, if you actually read the article (for example), you'd note that it is about testing the causality of *all* prior changes to the climate, and see if they are sufficient to explain current changes. Notice how you missed that?

  • by tragedy (27079) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @05:27PM (#46735861)

    You're confusing sophistry with science.

    Spontaneous generation comes to us by way of Aristotle. It was finally challenged by the emerging field of science.

    Lamarckian inheritance was not borne out by empirical evidence, so was effectively discounted. Modern understanding of genetics does recognize some mechanisms that resemble Lamarckian inheritance.

    Miasma is an ancient greek magical revenge curse. Emperical scientists like Ignaz Semmelweiss worked away from that idea. For his trouble, he ended up dismissed from his position and replaced by Carl Braun, who stopped the handwashing program Semmelweiss had started and introduced a ventilation system to extract miasmas. The death rate went back up by an order of magnitude from when Semmelweiss was in charge.

    Bloodletting goes back to belief in the four humours, which comes down from Hippocrates. Science is what has partially dispelled these ideas in modern times.

    Aether is the fifth of the traditional Greek four elements. Once again, the idea comes down from fairly non-scientific thought. The name has cropped up to describe a number of different concepts in science, generally to describe something that may fill the universe in spaces in between regular matter. Science has mostly ruled out most of those theories. The general idea still lives on a bit in concepts such as the quantum foam.

    Java Man... You've really got us there. A scientist dug up fossils of ancient hominids and... um... what's the smoking gun supposed to be there?

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