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Earth Stats Science

Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change 567

Posted by timothy
from the collection-of-data-is-not-an-anecdote dept.
cold fjord (826450) writes with this excerpt from ScienceNordic: Researchers the world over almost unanimously agree that our climate is changing ... But many farmers – at least Swedish ones – have experienced mild winters and shifting weather before and are hesitant about trusting the scientists. The researcher who discovered the degree of scepticism among farmers was surprised by her findings. Therese Asplund ... was initially looking into how agricultural magazines covered climate change. Asplund found after studying ten years of issues of the two agricultural sector periodicals ATL and Land Lantbruk that they present climate change as scientifically confirmed, a real problem. But her research took an unexpected direction when she started interviewing farmers in focus groups about climate issues. Asplund had prepared a long list of questions about how the farmers live with the threat of climate change and what they plan to do to cope with the subsequent climate challenges. The conversations took a different course: "They explained that they didn't quite believe in climate changes," she says. "Or at least that these are not triggered by human activities." (Original paper here.)
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Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists and Climate Change

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  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @10:22AM (#47344675) Homepage Journal
    Bjorn Lomborg Is Part Of The Koch Network — And Cashing In: http://thinkprogress.org/clima... [thinkprogress.org]
  • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @10:23AM (#47344683)
    No, ice at both poles has been melting: Antarctic ice is melting [ossfoundation.us] and Arctic ice is melting [nsidc.org]. Sea level is rising [wikipedia.org] mostly because of thermal expansion and also the previously mentioned melting. You can also just look at the instrumental temperature record [wikipedia.org]. You can see the warming and its effects, right?
  • by itzly (3699663) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @10:27AM (#47344711)
    No, the poles have less ice than usual. You may be confused by the Antarctic sea ice which is getting bigger in the winter. The Antarctic land ice is shrinking. The arctic ice is shrinking both in volume and area.
  • by itzly (3699663) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @10:49AM (#47344845)
    It's probably a reference to the submitter: cold fjord (826450) writes with this excerpt from ScienceNordic...
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @12:51PM (#47345437)

    If you look at the temperature over the last millionish years...
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/... [ucr.edu]

    you can see it's been this hot many times before without human intervention.
    you can see the temperature made a major move upwards a looooong time before the 1800's. from 26c to 29c. Humans almost certainly had nothing to do with that or other massive temperature shifts between 26 and 30c that have occurred repeatedly over the last millionish years.

    This particular move may be enhanced by humans. 7 billion human beings are having widespread effects on the planet. And it looks like we may be on target for 11 billion humans instead of 9 billion humans.

    That's a lot of Co2, methane from cows, asphalt paved and building covered ground that used to be forest in most places.

    But we are not even at a record temperature yet, similar temperature moves have happened many times (dozens, scores?) over the last million years without humans being the cause.

    Based on the evidence of the historical record the temperature could fall 3 degrees shortly after it peaks. Well after we are dead of course.

    Right now, I think the most likely course is temperatures will continue to rise slowly- we'll see the oceans rise by 20" by 2100.

    And we'll have *too many* people. Way over the carrying capacity of the earth. We've overbred and it really doesn't matter what we do if we don't get the population down. We are just moving deck chairs on a sinking Titantic.

    Here's the last 10 million years
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6ftZ... [blogspot.com]

    It shows a pretty strong correlation between co2 and temperature. It also shows the co2 level has fluctuated a lot without humans around and that the temperature has been as high and lower many times in the last 10 million years.

    Here's the last 65 million years
    http://mpe.dimacs.rutgers.edu/... [rutgers.edu]

    We are at the bottom of a 65 million year long cooling period.

    Here's the last 2.4 billion years
    http://geology.utah.gov/survey... [utah.gov]

    We could just be exiting a near ice age. It looks like much of the time, the average temperature of the earth has been about 72F. About 10 degrees warmer than it is now. Humans could be the cause- but even without human interaction, the temperature seems likely to return to the mean at some point in the future. On a billion year scale, the current temperatures are uncommonly low.

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @02:41PM (#47345963) Homepage

    But apparently you assholes don't care about what you are going to eat while your permafrost thaws.

    Oh, they needn't worry about that. When the permafrost thaws, all the sequestered CO2 and methane frozen in the ice and soil is going to release in giant poisonous bubbles and asphyxiate them all. You don't need to eat when aren't even breathing.

    (I can't find a link to the article I read that melting permafrost could release its CO2 explosively, poisoning large areas, but here's a link [scientificamerican.com] about how much gas is stuck in the ground up north. So even if you don't accept the theory that melting permafrost could result in asphyxiation, it is still something we'd want to avoid)

  • Re:"Surprising"??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @07:02PM (#47346921)

    You know, Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries are really a lot like the US. It looks really liberal if you're in the big cities but it starts to get distinctly redneck if you head out of town. The farmers there are like the farmers in the US, a conservative bent that things should stay they way they always were and that the distant remote government really doesn't understand them (same with loggers, another big industry in Scandinavia). Doesn't help that Scandinavian TV likes to portray rural people as ignorant hicks (same as US TV actually!).

    So I can really understand that Swedish academics get confused if they spend their lives in the middle of Stockholm and think that the rest of the country is equally liberal. Then all these European countries feign shock and surprise when suddenly there's a surge at the elections for center and right-of-center parties. The real difference in US is that there a broader balance of political power between the urban, suburban, and rural areas.

    But then again, I'm in California, and I'm always surprised by how many people assume CA is solidly liberal through and through, when we're more like a 55/45 split (all those red/blue states look purple if you look at it county by county).

  • I would be amazed if any sign there were older than 1897. However, yes, you are correct that that is when the warming trend started -- somewhat earlier than the rest of the globe. You're implying that this stands in opposition to AGW. Let's review:

    The foundation of AGW is based on the physical properties of CO2, specifically its absorption spectrum. This is measurable both under laboratory conditions and via satellite. Theoretically you could measure it yourself. Sunlight shines on Earth, and Earth re-radiates this same energy at a lower wavelength. This is described by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. You can trivially calculate that, based on the incident solar irradiation and Earth's albedo, the planet should be about -18 degrees C. The effect of the atmosphere is to slow radiation leaving the Earth (the atmosphere is mostly transparent to incoming solar radiation). Outgoing radiation is absorbed and re-emitted often before it reaches space.

    The lower atmosphere is already pretty much opaque to outgoing radiation; increased CO2 does not block more radiation than would otherwise be blocked. There was a point where it was theorized that no warming could occur because of this. However, it was determined that the effect of an increased partial pressure of CO2 was to extend the CO2-rich region further into space. That this increases the heat energy on the planet's surface should be obvious. The direct effect of a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere is extremely easy to calculate, again using Stefan-Boltzmann, and it comes out to 3.7 W/m^2, which is usually considered to be equivalent to 1 degree C.

    Unless you can find a new way to radiate energy to space, or unless everything we know about radiation is wrong, then the Earth must experience at least that degree of warming for a doubling of atmospheric CO2. Anything further than that is a matter for study and scientific debate, and of course the effects in different places. However, given that warming must be happening, the ability of scientists to say whether specific incidents are or are not related is more plausible.

    I am glad you visited Alaska. I lived there for about 25 years, in the middle of the Chugach Mountains. There was some degree of glaciation on all of the surrounding peaks. Being in an isolated town meant that going anywhere else meant traveling across a great deal of the land. The glaciers have been melting my entire life, but the warming accelerated in the late 1990s; retreat measured in meters or tens of meters per year is very noticeable. This is very easily explained as an effect of AGW. Some other plausible explanation would be quite welcome; anything that would give me the hope of some day having the Alaska of my memory back. Unfortunately there is a great deal of science that speaks against the possibility.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

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