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Draft of IPCC 2013 Report Already Circulating 306

First time accepted submitter iggymanz writes "More precise modeling has changed some long term climate predictions: sea levels to rise almost a meter more than present over the next century, but past dire warnings of stronger storms or more frequent droughts won't pan out. Instead there will be less strong storms, but peak winds in the tropics might be slightly higher. Temperature rise of global average will be about 3 degree C total, including the 1 degree C rise over the 20th century. In places where precipitation is frequent, it will become even more frequent; in arid areas, the tendency will be to become even drier. Some new arid areas are expected to appear in the south of N. America, South Africa and Mediterranean countries. Overall, hardly a doomsday scenario."
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Draft of IPCC 2013 Report Already Circulating

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  • by yotto ( 590067 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:18AM (#42241253) Homepage

    Because the scum of the Earth doesn't mind ignoring facts while siphoning money from the stupid?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:21AM (#42241283)

    No, it was partly to justify wealth transfer from first world to the richest individuals, through a third world proxy ruled by corrupt officials. It's obvious now that the Kioto Protocol has failed, the UN has created a new excuse to perform the same operation (now, instead of buying them "carbon credits", rich countries will have to give them "compensation money for climate change")

    The rest was to justify the move to alternate (worse) forms of energy, because it's expected China and India will increase the cost of oil now that they are starting to abandon the socialist-based economies that put them into starving misery for decades. USA, Japan and Europe won't have it as easy now that they have to compete with these awakening giants for energy production.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:35AM (#42241397)

    Just sit back and chill !! You can't do anything about it !! NO !! You CAN'T !!

    Sure you can. Move. Its not that hard, depending where you live. I live near a great lake, the supposed increase in extremes of weather is roughly equivalent to moving about 5% further away from the lake. So I need to move "about" a mile east. Having to move a mile toward the lake sucks for the rich people already living on the lakeshore, but they're the people most able to afford it anyway.

    My distant ancestors immigrated to farmland about 100 miles north roughly the same distance from the lake. Absolute worst case screaming eco-nut scenario however highly unlikely, means my GGG-grandkids would have to move 100 miles north to my ancestral homeland to have the same climate as when I was a kid. No big deal.

    Wake me when they're growing bananas in Chicago out in the open air, or a hurricane strikes Milwaukee, then I'll get worried about it.

  • by david.given ( 6740 ) <dg@cowl a r k . c om> on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:36AM (#42241403) Homepage Journal

    sea levels to rise almost a meter more than present over the next century ... hardly a doomsday scenario

    I believe you don't realise quite how many people live within a vertical metre of sea level.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:41AM (#42241431)

    they either boil, starve, or poison themselves.

    I'd put money on primary energy. Base your whole culture and economy on petrochemicals, use them up, then ? There could be a trillion "successful" civilizations out there right now living a vaguely ancient/medieval lifestyle, with legends of having billions of people burning hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in their distant past, but today its a couple million peasants with wax candles and ox power.

    Its a depressing anti-fission anti-fusion anecdote... if any other culture in the universe could have harnessed fission or fusion effectively, we'd currently be a province of their galactic star empire, or at least we'd have detected them by now. Since that seems not to be the case, I'm not overly optimistic about our odds with those energy sources. So when the oil and coal is burned up, that's it. Back to 1700 at best.

  • Re:On the whole (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:44AM (#42241453)

    It's not that hard, but it's useless as climate is a well known chaotic system, so it doesn't matter how precise the model is, it's guaranteed to completely deviate from reality within a few simulation steps. In other words, its predictive power is zero, same with economic models.

  • Hardly doomsday? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:44AM (#42241459)

    Let's compute the total market value of all coastal real estate below 1m elevation before we declare this "hardly a doomsday scenario."

    Let's also factor in the costs of re-aligning all land use to the new climate and the impact of that re-alignment on the global food supply.

    I'm not qualified to do that analysis, myself -- but I would venture, neither is the Slashdot editor who commented so dismissively on the report.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:49AM (#42241499) Journal

    sea levels to rise almost a meter more than present over the next century ... hardly a doomsday scenario

    I believe you don't realise quite how many people live within a vertical metre of sea level.

    Well, that's a valid point however hamanity's war with the sea is nothing new [] and the Dutch have become quite adept at it (with 20% of their country being reclaimed land). Now, that has a whole bunch of caveats about how much trouble they face is that system ever fails and we've all probably heard about that. I would bet that if people believed these reports, some relatively inexpensive measures could be taken to prevent a much more expensive catastrophe. I don't know how much these efforts could help Florida -- an occasional hurricane might make them a bigger problem. But engineers have been tackling this problem.

    For the United States, I think a bigger doomsday scenario of this is for agriculture in Texas. Texas already lost $7.62 billion in agricultural this year [] and if you're telling me that that part of North America is going to get more arid? Well, droughts are something that humans have long had problems with. You can build all the irrigation you want but when that's dried up, there's not a lot you can do. If you like to eat beef and if you like Texas to be a productive state in the union, you should probably be concerned about this.

  • Paren't point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:50AM (#42241505)

    Global warming doesn't care whether you believe in it.

    But the people who don't believe in it will not even consider that their Florida beachside home may be under water in a couple of decades. Therefore, the folks who see the seas rising will sell their beach side properties for a premium to the folks who are: sticking their heads in the sand; folks who think GW is a Liberal hoax; and folks who think the property is just high enough that they won't be effected.

    1. Find people who don't believe in GW.

    2. Sell (currently beach side; underwater later) property to them.

    3. Profit!

  • by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:53AM (#42241525)
    For all we know we are a province of their empire. Being conquered doesn't mean you are entitled to knowing about it if your technological advancement is so low that you can't participate in the greater galaxy...
  • by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:57AM (#42241551)
    We have been polluting heavily for a hundred years or so, but we are already able to counter the effect of global warming (look at all the schemes for changing climate, from space mirrors to simulated volcanic eruptions, to painting a small part of the earth white). The biggest obstacles are willpower for funding and lack of need/urgency.
  • Re:On the whole (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tolkienfan ( 892463 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @09:57AM (#42241555) Journal

    I'm pretty sure they mean more accurate. Many people incorrectly use "precise" and "accurate" interchangeably.
    The article mentions using faster computers. Anyone who's done modelling knows that you can do more steps in the same amount of time, resulting in increased accuracy. They also mention better modelling.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:04AM (#42241631)

    Acid rain we avoided with a cap and trade system on sulfer dioxides. Much like what they want to do with CO2 since it is already proven to work.

    This is a real problem these days, if we solve any issue before the break down of society we get a bunch of ill informed mouth breathers beating their chests claiming there never was an issue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:05AM (#42241641)

    How do you model such a complicated system?

    In principle it can be modelled analytically, if we knew enough to do so. We don't yet though. Our GCMs don't come even close to modelling the historical record with statistical significance. At best they roughly mirror some short-term variations like 100ky cycles and a general increase or decrease in some metrics with the help of fudge factors, but never across multiple geological periods.

    The only people expressing confidence about our predictive ability in climatology based on physical modeling are those who hold the scientific method in less esteem than their own reading of tea leaves. We can graph trends of course and extrapolate along them, but that is unrelated to scientific understanding.

    We'll get there one day. For now though, beware of shamen wearing the clothes of scientists. If the scientific method isn't being respected, you can guarantee that science is taking a back seat to something less objective.

    But don't lose hope. And in the interim, look after our one and only habitable planet. Just because science isn't able to model it accurately yet doesn't mean that it's OK to pollute it. Commonsense applies.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:12AM (#42241721) Homepage Journal

    Baloney. It's the political hacks who pounce on something like this and say "Look! The scientists revised their consensus predictions, *obviously* it's just politics because the truth never changes." They say this because politics is the only thing they (think) they understand. It's just as silly as when they get up on their high horses about "revisionist" historians -- revising history is what *actual* historians do. Revising climate predictions is what climatologists do, and in any case the rumors of what the new IPCC (you like them now?) forecasts will contain is well within the range that's been discussed all along, except for a somewhat more pessimistic sea level rise figure. If you'd actually been paying attention to science news instead of political pundits, you'd know that the recent buzz has been the remarkable accuracy of the original 1990 IPCC report (source: []). This is a remarkable piece of support for the anthropogenic hypothesis, since the computer models used in the late 80s relied heavily on atmospheric CO2 accumulation.

    The only reason people like you think climate change is politically driven myth is because you weren't paying attention *before* it became a political issue. It was vigorously debated in the scientific literature well before it became a political hot potato -- check the abstracts on Google Scholar if you don't believe me. Now you can pooh pooh a 2 degree rise in global average temperature and 1 m rise in sea level, but that's because you have no idea what the effects of those changes will be. A 1m mean sea level rise means substantially more frequent flooding events. A 2 degree temperature rise has a huge effect on the distribution of vector borne diseases.

    It sounds benign to say that there will be "new arid zones in the Southern United States", but only if you don't think about what the appearance of a new arid zone would mean.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:12AM (#42241727)

    Just sit back and chill !! You can't do anything about it !! NO !! You CAN'T !!

    Not as long as the disinformation campaign [] is running in the USA, no.

    That disinformation campaign wouldn't work if not for the alarmist Chicken Littles all going over-the-top batshit crazy with their alarmism and ruining the credibility of anyone trying to speak calmly about climate change.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:13AM (#42241735)

    Participate does not equal see. The natives saw the guys with muskets and cannons and giant wooden ships, even if they couldn't get involved in court politics or academic research back home.

    Another interesting sci fi book plot or whatever is more than one group of savages (aka us, interpret us as pronoun or united states as you wish) might exist. Sure the neo-roman empire ignores and laughs at us savages as a group, but there should be other just slightly more civilized planets, yet still savages compared to the overlords, doing all kinds of stuff we'd notice, like tossing radioactive waste into their sun screwing up the stellar spectrum, or broadcasting RF all over the place, or doing strange things with neutrinos and graviton sources, or extensive civil engineering with H-bombs, or terraforming other planets in their solar system, or attempting to build a dyson sphere, or fill their upper atmosphere with fluorocarbons, all stuff we'd see other savages doing even if the overlords ignored all of us savages as a group, which is interesting.

    I've read Kraus et al about interstellar radio detection, I wonder if anyone out there has run similar numbers for pulsed neutrino generation and detection. I don't care quite enough to shovel thru arxiv for hours, but if some /.er has a useful lead to speed the search? That would make an interesting SETI technique with a built in "you must be this tall" sign to keep the rabble out, apparently EM radiation isn't nearly sufficient. "You must build a cryogenic 100 KM gravitation wave detector to participate in the intergalactic interspecies internet" or "You must be able to generate, control, and detect a neutrino flux equivalent to a major particle accelerator with a 10 amp beam current to participate in the interstellar interspecies internet"

  • by semi-extrinsic ( 1997002 ) <> on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:16AM (#42241773)
    An interesting counter-argument is that we could, by chance, be one of the first civilizations to achieve the technological level we are currently at. Given what we know (or think we know) about the history of star formation in the universe, e.g. that the early stars going nova are the primary source of heavier elements (required for fission, hell, even for semiconductors), this is not unreasonable.
  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:16AM (#42241781)

    Those books were garbage and I'm ashamed to have read them. Someone told me they were hard scifi... but instead it was a furry anime style series of bad science. All of his books, in fact, are pretty much garbage.

  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:26AM (#42241879)

    Maybe you didn't get your science information from the news which as you state likes alarmist predictions you'd have a better understanding of what scientists have actually been saying about all those things for all those years?

  • Re:On the whole (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Giant Electronic Bra ( 1229876 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:35AM (#42241967)
    This is a deep misunderstanding of complex non-linear dynamic systems. You may not be able to say what the PRECISE state of the system will be, as in exactly when it will rain for the weather, or which region will have exactly what rainfall for climate, but you CAN quite confidently map the basins of the various attractors and understand the ensemble state of the system. In other words you don't have to know the precise climate in every little region to know the overall climate. This is ESPECIALLY true of the climate because there is a phase space that represents the possible states. In other words the laws of physics basically govern the overall climate, if one area turns out a bit drier than you predicted then another one has to be a bit wetter because the rain has to fall SOMEWHERE. Excess heat in the system has to go somewhere, and eventually it has to drive increased evaporation, increased temperatures, etc. This stuff is just constrained by basic physical laws. The only real arguments at this point are about ACTUAL regional conditions and details like whether or not the extra rainfall in an area will fall in big storms or more small storms for instance. It is very true that models will not precisely predict these things. It may be impossible to do so, but that doesn't make the models useless at all.
  • Re:Paren't point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by runeghost ( 2509522 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:44AM (#42242061)

    How is getting someone else to pay for building you a brand new house every decade or two irrational?

  • by Giant Electronic Bra ( 1229876 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:50AM (#42242111)
    Actually your assessment is quite good, except it would be applicable to the 1970's. Modern Earth system models are FAR more sophisticated and capable than you are stating. They respond in quite realistic ways to different forcings, reproduce both recent historical temperatures and paleoclimate. They are also virtually entirely physical, containing no 'fudge factors', just basic physics. There are plenty of things that aren't accurately measured and a few significant things that are only partially understood, but when we plug in various different models of those things (say clouds for instance) we can constrain the range of what these unknowns could possibly be hiding. It isn't much. One of the most remarkable facts about climate models is just how consistently they have produced quite similar overall results and how HARD it is to get them to produce really unrealistic results. Even the most grossly simplistic models usually demonstrate significant correspondence with reality. The main area of uncertainty, and one that may possibly be irreducible, are small scale regional predictions. Climate can have a lot of different similar states. It is perhaps impossible even with virtually infinite computer power to predict what the rainfall will be in New England around 2050. The answers you will get in each model run with slightly randomized initial state will vary somewhat. Interestingly though the GLOBAL results are generally rock solid consistent. Chances are this is just a feature of the real world, tiny effects WILL make a local difference, but the overall state of the whole system is constrained by basic conservation laws, so that the large scale predictions are highly accurate (and have generally been shown to be so). Truthfully we may be approaching the limit of what we can usefully do in terms of prediction.
  • by hackertourist ( 2202674 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:55AM (#42242157)

    I would bet that if people believed these reports, some relatively inexpensive measures could be taken to prevent a much more expensive catastrophe

    The Netherlands expect to spend over E100B until the year 2100 on combating the consequences of rising sea levels. Doable for a rich country, but not exactly cheap.

  • by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @10:56AM (#42242169)

    The only reason people like you think climate change is politically driven myth is because you weren't paying attention *before* it became a political issue.

    Nope. The political angle has been apparent for quite some time - I figured it was an attempt to stop the developing world from advancing. Say to prevent China and India from becoming the dominant players on the world stage. But prior to the politicization there were the ever conflicting reports just like we see today:

    sea levels to rise almost a meter more than present over the next century, but past dire warnings of stronger storms or more frequent droughts won't pan out.

    Remember the record hurricane season that was going to be the new norm due to climate change? How about the collapse of the ice shelves in Antarctica that later later started growing - oh, melting will be at the north pole and MORE ice will form at the south. I recall in the 1970's when we were all headed to the next ice age - the computer models all kept falling into something called "white earth" and never warmed up again. At least that is more consistent with the ice cores (looks like we're due for glaciation to start within 1000 years). One of the reasons people are skeptical or even deniers is all this bullshit that they can't get the models and prediction straight. If you keep changing your story, people won't believe you. It's that simple.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @11:00AM (#42242213) Homepage

    The same thing happened with Y2K. A lot of people worked very hard to prevent a giant mess and were successful. Since a catastrophe didn't happen, people assume it was all hype and no substance. Would it have ended civilization as we know it? No. Would it have led to a period of great chaos which could have sent the economy reeling (the markets hate chaos)? Yes.

    If you work hard enough at averting a crisis, you inevitably get people who second guess whether your efforts averted the crisis or whether the crisis averted itself and you're just trying to claim credit.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Monday December 10, 2012 @11:30AM (#42242485) Journal

    So then beef production moves slightly north?

    This is a confusingly ignorant misunderstanding that I constantly see reiterated on Slashdot. There is only a finite amount of arable land and that is 18% of the United States with 0.21% of that being permanent crops. From this site [], you can see in this graph [] that the figure of 18% actually fluctuates. Now, there's a lot of factors at play but drought is a big one and this idea that you "just move the cattle North" to the new land is downright laughable. Temperature is not the only factor in making land arable. Why does Iowa produce more corn than per acre than any other state? Well, the soil has a lot to do with it but also the temperature is better than, say, Minnesota even though there's a lot of corn and soy grown in Minnesota.

    During the dust bowl of the 1930s [], we should have learned that you can't just "move cattle and farming North a bit" to avoid droughts. We also should have learned how important it is to combat erosion and protect our water supplies.

    What happened last season in Texas was they failed to grow their own roughage (hay, straw, alfalfa, sorghum, etc) for their steers to eat and so they paid top dollar to have it shipped down to them and other states profited from Texas' loss. This is not a sustainable model. Moving cattle northward will not work, there is a reason ranching flourished in Texas -- any areas north of there that have the same conditions have long become ranches. Even if someone does the math and says "Oh, hey, this area of Montana here is going to be highly sought after" it's not like a massive ranch in Texas can pick up operations and move them to Montana in a single season. You're going to see restructuralization problems and the United States consumer will cry highway robbery when their already subsidized McDonald's burger costs $1.33 instead of $0.99. Should Texas become akin to Arizona, our economy will feel it.

    Or maybe I can finally get grass fed beef from the USA?

    You can already buy this from Montana and other states. The problem is how much grassland can support free roaming cattle. Again, a lesson learned from the Dust Bowl, we need to build ranches and feed them in order to prevent top soil erosion. If you demand they be free roaming and you calculate it, beef will become incredibly expensive and not a viable option for the entire populace.

    Over all a small increase in the price of beef is not the end of the world. The decreased red meat consumption would probably be a good thing on average for us.

    Right, those grapes were sour anyway?

    Texas still has lots of oil and natural gas.

    So? Most states depend on multiple sources of revenue, right? You should be alarmed when any major industry faces a major problem. Otherwise, why not just kill off all the other industries and embrace "lots of oil and natural gas"? Well, that's simple, you use what you got and Texas is losing arable land to grow food for their cattle.

    Its agriculture was living on borrowed time anyway. Once the aquifer went dry that was coming to an end.

    An unsustainable agricultural strategy is bad agriculture. Doesn't everything -- even your oil and natural gas -- depend on the availability of water? You make it sound like we just turned Texas into Mars and probably for the better? Ruining land is not the answer and this report states that Texas will get more arid so measures should be taken to at least prepare for that, wouldn't you think?

  • by spmkk ( 528421 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @01:59PM (#42243991)

    So, in other words, data about climate change is only legitimate if it points to dire straits. Got it.

    Question for you and other CC hardliners: How is it that any claim of political play in AGW promotion is dismissed as right-wing hyperbole, but doggedly insisting that ANY climate data that casts doubt on the World-Will-End-In-Hellfire hypothesis is politically driven is somehow valid?

  • Re:Paren't point (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rgbatduke ( 1231380 ) <rgb&phy,duke,edu> on Monday December 10, 2012 @02:27PM (#42244271) Homepage

    Go for it. Bear in mind that the actual data is that SLR is around 3 mm/year -- depending on how short a segment of the data you are willing to cherrypick to prove a point. Since the assertion is made above that SLR is supposed to be a meter more than previously claimed -- hence around 2 meters or even more -- and since here we are in 2012 with SLR having gone up a whole inch (to the nearest inch) in the last decade -- we have to take something like 78 inches and split it up among 88 years. Hmm, if SLR went up by an order of magnitude next year we might just make it.

    Otherwise, bear in mind that people who currently have beachfront property could die of old age before SLR becomes an issue for them. You (dear reader) could die of old age before SLR gets high enough to realize a profit on land you bought inland anticipating that it would become oceanfront. Or not.


  • by Purpendicular ( 528740 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @02:53PM (#42244509)
    No one that appeals to "consensus" has any scientific credibility. "On the word of no one", Nullius in verba, used to be the motto of the Royal Society. It is well hidden these days. It is not featured on the home page. In the 19th century, the Royal Society received money from the British government. This created such a scandal that any further government funding was refused. It was judged scandalous that scientist could depend on government funding. This was during laissez-faire. The British government then bankrupted the universities during the First World War (they had their savings in government bonds). These days, the Royal Society is a stooge of British politicians. Since they are the ones paying. Darwin was a hobby scientist. He was not peer reviewed. He did not work at a university. He did not publish papers. He wrote books. Followingen the IPCC logic, I should have answered that "oh, but the whole physics department agrees with my statement" during the defence of my thesis...
  • by AdamHaun ( 43173 ) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:35PM (#42244913) Journal

    It's never been about doomsday for the whole planet. It's about poverty, war, and general misery for billions. But Slashdot Libertarians are still stuck in their echo chamber where anything less than a massive asteroid strike is preferably to a tax increase. Didn't you know that the suffering of poor people is really just a plot to take away your money?

    Some new arid areas are expected to appear in the south of N. America, South Africa and Mediterranean countries. Overall, hardly a doomsday scenario.

    Oh, just some "new arid areas". No big deal. If you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Maybe you should read a bit about the massive drought that hit Texas last year []. Or the many, many wildfires [] due to our entire state being a tinderbox. August in Houston was extra fun, with 29 out of 31 days [] reaching highs over 100 degrees F, with all-time highs of 109 F being reached on four separate days. Maybe you'd rather see some pictures [], if that's your thing -- look, I Googled it for you! You know it's bad when people are hoping for a hurricane to bring drought relief.

    Let me make this simple for you: no water = no agriculture, no cities, few people, lots of fires. Texas has 25 million people. That's a lot of misery you can spread around. A lot of potential refugees moving to your neighborhoods. But clearly letting my state be destroyed is preferable to allowing TEH EVIL (nonexistent) MARXISTS enact their EVIL (nonexistent) SOCIALIST AGENDA! (Which everyone in the world except Slashdot Libertarians is in on, of course.) Those evil socialists just hate the obvious solution of having billions of people and most of our agriculture pack up and move. But not Slashdot Libertarians! In addition to being IT administrators, they're *also* the worldwide experts in the economics of relocating entire populations, and can tell you with 100% certainty that it's super-cheap and mostly painless as long as we let the free market work its magic! Unlike carbon taxes which will instantly destroy the world economy! Because Cambodia!

    (I really heard someone here compare fighting climate change to Cambodian communism once. Incidentally, Cambodian communism was all about forcibly relocating large populations, but if you want to be a good Slashdot Libertarian, you don't sweat the details.)

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.