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Earth Science

Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says 1657

BergZ writes "Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming. 'A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record,' the annual State of the Climate report declares. Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, including Canada, the report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its analysis of 10 indicators that are 'clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.'"
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Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says

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  • Good (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wonko the Sane ( 25252 ) * on Thursday July 29, 2010 @12:48PM (#33071120) Journal

    It's been pretty cold [wikimedia.org] recently [wikimedia.org].

  • by BergZ ( 1680594 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @12:57PM (#33071330)
    The report that the article refers to is the 2009 State of the Climate report. More information about it is available at the NOAA website: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100728_stateoftheclimate.html [noaa.gov]
  • by OYAHHH ( 322809 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:00PM (#33071406) Homepage

    Per the "prototype dashboard", rather than tout data only back to 1950, why don't we look backwards 5 million years, because as we know more data means better predictions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png [wikipedia.org]

  • by hardburn ( 141468 ) <[hardburn] [at] [wumpus-cave.net]> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:05PM (#33071526)

    This particular report doesn't specify causes. It just goes over the temperature data and factors directly related to it (like humidity and glaciation). Even if the deniers could pick out one of these datasets and show that's its problematic, there would still be 9 others going the other direction--a textbook case of the Strawman.

    Anthropogenic factors are proven out in other studies. There isn't a legitimate debate about that anymore, either.

    The debate that's left is in the exact effects and what we can do about it. Low levels of extra CO2 in the atmosphere may actually be beneficial, but we've almost certainly blown way beyond that. Then there are large scale geoengineering projects (like putting a solar shield at L1), which are both expensive and may have unknown consequences. They're being discussed because there aren't a lot of better ideas.

  • by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:05PM (#33071536) Homepage

    No, the camps are:

    • Believes climate change is occurring and it's anthropogenic.
    • Believes climate change is occurring but it's nonanthropogenic.
    • Does not believe climate change is occurring.
  • by EmagGeek ( 574360 ) <(gterich) (at) (aol.com)> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:06PM (#33071558) Journal

    There is no credible evidence that supports the hypothesis that humans are causing the alleged, theorized global warming.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:08PM (#33071590) Homepage Journal

    I mean who are we to think we have that much power over the entire planet?

    We are, as far as we know, the only species on the planet capable of doing the physics and chemistry to understand how CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere. That's a place to start.

    Fear of hubris is for barbarians. We're better than that now.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:09PM (#33071628) Journal

    The data as presented indicates a recent warming trend, but does not say anything about whether this is man-made or not; a 0.5deg rise in 50 years is extremely small in the scheme of things, and drawing the usual alarmist conclusions from this is quite unfounded.

    So read the report itself [noaa.gov]:

    The NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) shows radiative forcing relative to 1750, of all the long-lived greenhouse gases indexed to 1 for the year 1990. Since 1990, radiative forcing from greenhouse gases has increased 27.5%.

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are important atmospheric trace gases with significant man-made sources. Nitrous oxide has the third strongest anthropogenic climate forcing after CO2 and CH4 and is considered a major greenhouse gas (Butler 2009).

    The atmospheric N2O budget is out of balance by one-third as a result of man-made emissions, primarily through emissions from nitrogen fertilizers (Crutzen et al. 2007).

    Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continued to rise, with CO2 increasing at a rate above the 1978 to 2008 average. The global ocean CO2 uptake flux for 2008, the most recent year for which analyzed data are available, is estimated to have been 1.23 Pg C yr-1, which is 0.25 Pg C yr-1 smaller than the long-term average and the lowest estimated ocean uptake in the last 27 years. At the same time, the total global ocean inventory of anthropogenic carbon stored in the ocean interior as of 2008 suggests an uptake and storage of anthropogenic CO2 at rates of 2.0 and 2.3 ±0.6 Pg C yr-1 for the decades of the 1990s and 2000s, respectively.

    In the tropics this increase has been formally attributed to anthropogenic change over the 1988–2006 period (Santer et al. 2007).

    all the time series show an underlying rise in OHC consistent with our understanding of anthropogenic climate change.

    I mean, the evidence is all over the report. The only thing stopping them from saying that it is conclusively man made is that 1) it's probably impossible to prove it and 2) there might always be some evidence of non anthropogenic warming contributing to the cause but not accounting for all of it.

  • sure there is (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chirs ( 87576 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:19PM (#33071860)

    If it's nonanthropogenic, it just means we might not be able to stop it by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, there are lots of other options. I seem to remember someone suggesting that it would be relatively cheap to just blast large amounts of titanium dioxide particles into the upper atmosphere in order to increase the albedo of the earth and reflect some of the incoming solar radiation, thus reducing temperatures on earth. The scary part of this is that it's supposedly cheap enough that a single country could decide to do it unilaterally.

    That's just one possible option, there are others.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:30PM (#33072078)

    Here's the only place I'd like to get to: agreeing that 1) climate is warming to a point of unnatural irreversible damage and 2) man made factors are contributing to it.

    I think you might succeed on point #2. But point #1 sets an impossibly high bar. Natural CO2 levels have been much higher in the geologic past and thriving ecosystems existed when there was no ice anywhere on the planet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:33PM (#33072114)

    And where the hell did anyone propose that? Huh?

    Uh, Obama you moron. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2710984620100727 [reuters.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:37PM (#33072206)

    The link you are looking for is:
    http://www.surfacestations.org/about.htm [surfacestations.org]
    and pretty much the worst sites they found are listed here:
    http://www.surfacestations.org/odd_sites.htm [surfacestations.org]

    Garbage-In, Garbage-Out, anyone?

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:38PM (#33072238)
    The current rate of warming is 0.2 degrees Celcius. On any graph of temperatures going back millions of years, the temperature increase over the past several decades appears as a vertical line. To predict the rate of warming over the next century, it would be more informative to use a graph of the past century [wikipedia.org] or so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @01:44PM (#33072388)

    I like Bill Gates summary at TED... CO2 = (P)eople * (S)ervices/Person * (E)nergy/Service * (C)O2 / Energy...

    He argues that the ideal solution would be to bring the sum of CO2 to zero - looks like they only we to do this is bring one of the four components down to zero.... That gives us the following options

    1. Reduce the number of people
    2. Reduce economic activity
    3. Reduce the amount of energy required (e.g. Improve efficiency)
    4. Reduce the use of carbon based fuels.

    Also, to think this decision will be up for vote is silly....

    What do you think they will do?

  • by Have Brain Will Rent ( 1031664 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:00PM (#33072720)

    This is why I hate commenting on this shit. It upsets me, it makes me swear and lash out at complete strangers who don't have the time to read the material they are commenting on.

    Ummm, well if you can't control yourself enough to stop swearing and lashing out then maybe you could control yourself enough to just not post.

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:01PM (#33072762) Homepage

    You do realize that the rate of warming at the end of the last glaciation is about two orders of magnitude than the rate of warming we're experiencing today, right?

    Yes, the current rate has been experienced before -- the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was the last analogous period. But that was 56mya. And anyway, I don't think we want to repeat it. It changed the world so much that we give the subsequent era a new name (the Eocene).

  • by hexghost ( 444585 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:02PM (#33072770) Homepage

    So...you point to the now completely debunked 'climategate' bull, and a book on amazon.

    You must have a Ph. D. from liberty university!

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:02PM (#33072780) Homepage Journal

    The Earth is trying to restore balance. Let it happen. There are too many humans on the planet. We are displacing other animals, we are causing extinctions at an accelerated rate, we are fishing the oceans bare, we are pumping oil out, and strip-mining everything.

    The Earth and most of it's creatures will continue on without us. We will not be wiped out, but our numbers will be pared down. We're at what, almost 7 billion now? Cut that number at least in half to restore some balance to the planet.

    When the cities flood, when the droughts come, when the food burns up in the fields and starvation is rampant, when we are resorting to canibalism, there will still be some who deny.

    The bible tells the story of Noah, and how he tried to warn others of what was coming. Ironic that most of those that deny what's happening are bible thumpers. Apparently, they've never learned the stories and wouldn't recognize God if he came down and bitch slapped them.

    Well mankind, your bitchslapping is coming. You can chose to prepare, or deny. It might take 100 more years, but our numbers will start dropping. We've gone from 3 Billion to 7 Billion in about 40 or 50 years, it'll probably take about 100 years to bring us back to 3 Billion.

    But the planet is working on it. Remember how this year started, Earthquake after earthquake, followed by volcano. In two months we'll be discussing a new virulent strain of the flu, and then there will be more shaking, and more violent weather. Maybe we'll even get a nice rock from space. And the oil will run out.

    Sure it'll take time, but it's all going to happen.
    We're not here forever and we're on our way down from here.

  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:17PM (#33073094) Homepage Journal

    And where the hell did anyone propose that?

    For starters, our President said that energy costs "must necessarily skyrocket." Congress tried over and over to pass a cap-and-trade bill. They've been trying to rush this in since 2007. Now Harry Reid has declared it's "dead", so we have to watch the EPA closely to see if they start creating regulations for the same framework, just done this time through bureaucrats instead of elected representatives. Follow the money: Al Gore has cap-and-trade investments, Goldman Sachs has cap-and-trade investments, George Soros has cap-and-trade investments.

  • by Ben4jammin ( 1233084 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:17PM (#33073102)
    Well it would appear that all contrary views are being modded down, but here is another: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Scientists+using+selective+temperature+data+skeptics/2468634/story.html [vancouversun.com] Once again, I'm not saying whose right or wrong, simply that there is still debate.
  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:36PM (#33073442) Homepage


    You mean the ones who keep shouting down anyone who dares question the science behind global warming, calling them mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers, even when some of those people doing the questioning are climate scientists? Yes, I agree. Reasonable voices are drowned out, on purpose.

    Yes, about 3% of active, publishing climatologists disagree [uic.edu] (Doran, 2009; EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union)

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:52PM (#33073768) Homepage

    Proxies that dont have yearly resolution cannot be used to make judgments about yearly temperature variations. We are talking about proxies that have centennial resolution here.

    Actually, it's more like decadal resolution since the last glaciation. And anyway, show me a period of centennial resolution of 3.5C rise in 100 years (the "business as usual" scenario for at present). The entire warming since the last glaciation was, what, ~8.5C?

  • by IICV ( 652597 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @02:52PM (#33073780)

    It's funny because that's how religion works, but not how science works. The difference is that each priest hears a different voice of God talking to him, but every scientist looks at the same underlying reality. (That's why science converges and religion diverges, but that's an argument for another day)

    Long story short: if you are a truthful climate scientist, you acknowledge that the Earth is getting warmer and it is at least in part due to us. Almost every piece of evidence is consistent with this conclusion, and there is almost no evidence against it.

    If you don't acknowledge the the Earth is getting warmer, you're either untruthful, misled, not a climate scientist or all of the above.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2010 @03:04PM (#33073984)

    Aww... so cute! Someone knows a little bit about math and used that to try to show up his betters.

    60 (or as a significant digit nazi would prefer 60.) is 2 significant digits. Taking averages across thousands of readings to generate a 0.56C result is perfectly acceptable.


  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <tmsNO@SPAMinfamous.net> on Thursday July 29, 2010 @03:25PM (#33074346) Homepage

    There has been no global warming since 1995

    Except, no. There was in fact a warming trend [johnquiggin.com], as Phil Jones explained: "I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods."

    This argument has been so thoroughly debunked, so often, that it takes either a shill or a dangerously ignorant person to put it forth. If you're a shill, karma's a bitch; if you're ignorant, than the question is, are you teachable?

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @05:05PM (#33076072) Homepage

    I like how they added in the implication that this was referring to all skeptical research. Nice abuse of lack of context, there. Those were specific papers which were monstrously flawed. Valid skeptical research is in fact published. As this handy link from another post [uic.edu] shows.

    But you don't want to hear that. Obviously if only a few percent of climate researchers disagree with global warming, it's because the huge number that otherwise would have disagreed in published papers were run out of time.

    You can try to read things into Climategate emails, or you can look at the actual reality of the climate science field.

    Keep telling yourself there's no dissent allowed. That this contradicts reality must make it appealingly self-consistent within your worldview.

  • by Count Fenring ( 669457 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @06:55PM (#33077434) Homepage Journal

    So, I'm curious - the largely corporate-funded studies "debunking" global warming are legit, while those funded with public money are somehow inherently flawed.

    Under what conditions would you believe a scientist who presented findings about man-induced global warming?

    And, if that condition is "No money can be involved," then how does the research get done? Science costs money, particularly when you have to gather data over large areas of the world and large periods of time.

    Also - so you're saying that a majority of climate scientists are banding together in a conspiracy to defraud the government, and the government is abetting it.... why? Those grants get spent, genius - any added tax revenue gets spent ON THE SCIENCE. I mean, for fuck's sake - if you'd ever worked in Academia, you'd know that ending up with grant money unspent is a PROBLEM; you have to have a lot of justification, and it probably means your grant getting trimmed next year.

  • by jon3k ( 691256 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @07:03PM (#33077506)
    Consider that I am probably more educated about global warming than the average person (hey, I read slashdot afterall, right?). If even I'm poorly educated about global warming I think it's safe to say that we're doing an incredibly poor job about conveying the immediacy of the issue. And then we've got things like "climategate" further damaging the credibility of these scientists

    There are also plenty of scientists [canadafreepress.com] who also report that global warming caused by man is a very small problem (or non-existent):

    "In 2009 over 700 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC members, joined with Senator Inhofe in a Senate Minority Report to express their doubts over man-made global warming claims."

    Or even better:
    In the largest effort to date to document global warming dissent in the scientific community, 31,486 Americans with university degrees in science - including 9,029 PhD, 7,157 MS, 2,586 MD and DVM, and 12,714 BS or equivalent - have signed on with the Global Warming Petition Project to state “the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity.”

    It seems that for every scientist I can find that supports the global warming I can find one who doesn't! I'm completely open to debate on the topic, but I just don't see the overwhelming evidence to support one theory. And I'm absolutely attempting to listen to people qualified to weigh in on the topic, the problem is we have experts on both sides.
  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @07:45PM (#33077882) Homepage

    No, the health consequences of carbohydrate intake are FAR higher than the health consequences of power.

    How are the carb levels on that red herring that you're serving up?

    What health consequence have you suffered because of power? Asthma? Headaches? Cancer? Now how many positive health consequences have you gotten because you don't have to walk to work? Or because you have A/C, or running water, or fresh food delivered to a market from across the world, or any number of energy intensive modern comforts?

    False dichotomy. An extra 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour (the wind PTC) is hardly something that will make you walk to work, give up AC, running water, or fresh food. It's practically unnoticeable - $13 a month. And that will disappear over time and then reverse, as renewable generation costs keep dropping, and will drop all the faster the more widespread they're used (just like fossil fuel gen costs did).

    1) Weather exists *atop* the climate signal.

    Climate is an aggregation of weather. A climate signal exists *atop* individual weather events.

    No matter how you arrange it, you experience the combination of weather and climate. So if your sea levels are 3-6 feet higher (current 2100 forecast), and you experience a 3-6 foot storm surge, you've just effectively doubled the height of the surge to 6-12 feet; in terms of storm surge, it's like adding 1-2 Saffir-Simpson categories to the strength of every hurricane. The same thing applies to flood, drought, etc.

    Moving the goalposts here. CO2 is a different beastie than SOx and NOx.

    Wrong. The study I cited right off the bat explicitly ignored CO2. Merely charging power plants for the health consequences of all of their *non-CO2* emissions would cost them between just over 2 cents and just over 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

    That being said, I've been living in LA for almost 20 years, breathing the smog -> what health consequence have I had?

    Oooh, anecdote time! And if I survived a fall off Niagara Falls, would that mean that Niagara Falls is perfectly safe to go over the edge of?

    FYI, smog tends to make worse existing illnesses. It's especially bad for those with asthma, young children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung disease. PM primarily affects the lungs and can be persistant. NOx is a general irritantant that produces the brownish haze and is linked to SIDS. CO is a potent and irreversible cardiotoxin and neurotoxin. SOx causes acid rain, difficulty breathing, and is linked to premature death. Many VOCs are carcinogenic and toxic to many body systems.

    And there's not only direct health costs, by the way; there's also, for example, the increase in missing work due to smog-induced sickness.

    What, Denmark stopped using all petroleum products?

    Who said anything about stopping using *all* petroleum products? Wind + Solar Thermal + Geo + Natural gas peaking is a stable, reliable, cheap, and very low carbon mix.

    The times in history in which the ocean has become acidic have been associated with mass extinctions.

    Citation, please.

    The Siberian Traps? The PETM? How many do you want? Heck, I challenge you to find a *single* time when the oceans acidified when there *weren't* significant extinctions as a result. Anyone who's ever kept a reef tank can tell you how ridiculously sensitive corals are to pH (and temperature, too, BTW).

    Sea level rise occurs everywhere

    Sea level rises actually are not evenly distributed across the globe (similar to disparities in tidal levels for various places).

    Neither of those statements are contradictory. And anyway, the disparity is not great.

    And not all plants respond positively to increases in

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @09:38PM (#33078770)
    UNLESS, the scientist hide their data and the computer models they use to arrive at the results.

    That "unless" should be "even though." They are looking at the same underlying reality, regardless of the results, and regardless of whatever you may think about their methods. Even if the study is fraudulent, the reality is fixed and someone could come by and do the same thing and will be reflecting reality. At worst, it sets back the study, but never does the reality change because someone hides something, or even lies about it.
  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:54PM (#33079146)

    Except acid rain was a fraud

    Go visit China and see it.
    I'm curious, where did you get this stupid misconception that SOx and NOx would not turn into acid? A power company I used to work for had to pay a fortune to get a lot of cars repainted when they messed up, put out a lot of NOx and the wind was blowing over the town, so definitly real enough to touch.
    Who is it that is feeding you such stuff and creating a generation that is poorly equipt to function in an increasingly technological world?

  • by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @02:12AM (#33079992)

    From here [wsj.com]:

    In another, Phil Jones, the director of the East Anglia climate center, suggested to climate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State University that skeptics' research was unwelcome: We "will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

    And yet the papers he was referring to did get cited in the IPCC AR4 report, but not particularly favorably.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.