Monday, February 21, 2011

Nothing changed before 1850?

Despite lurid claims in this article: Permafrost Melt Soon Irreversible Without Major Fossil Fuel Cuts Earth's climate, and everything else, was in a constant state of flux before humans starting mucking about with it.

To listen to those who profit from climate change scare stories, before 1850 CO2 levels were permanently lower than they are today, temperatures were comfortable all over the planet, rain came when expected and in proper amounts, hurricanes were few and gentle, glaciers stayed picturesquely in place and snows, not too much, just enough, arrived on schedule for a White Christmas.

Furthermore, once the Earth stampedes into climate change mode, panicked by dastardly climate change CO2 cowboys, it will forever remain hot, snowy, cold, plagued by hurricanes, tornadoes and drought and short of glaciers, penguins and polar bears.

The truth, of course, is that the Earth's climates have always changed and always will change. Climate variability has no direction, no forward and reverse, no set point, no (spare me) tipping point. Climate has always changed as an emergent phenomenon of the interaction among highly complex geologic, atmospheric, solar and cosmic cycles of natural processes, all beyond human control. Yes, humans do add to the CO2 content of the atmosphere, just as do volcanoes, the ocean, permafrost, methane hydrates, cow burps and dying trees. Is the contribution of human CO2 significant in this context? We don't know. Will reducing human CO2 emissions change climate change and save us from "The Day After Tomorrow?" We don't know.

We don't know the answers to these questions because we don't understand the natural climate change mechanisms that have been in play for millions of years before humans arrived on the scene. Furthermore, our understanding of climate change is obfuscated by human politics, economics and media manipulation. The science of climate change is muddled by the petty graspings of those who seek to use fear of change to manipulate others.

Be not afraid, our climates are changing. The best we can do is not keep our climate accommodation eggs all in one basket, remain resilient, light on our feet, keep a moving target, be prepared physically, mentally and socially for any eventuality.

Then, when it turns out we're heading into a new ice age instead of "global warming," as we really are, ultimately, we'll be able to meet the challenges of continuing climate change as they come along, in their own time.

The first step is to give up the idea of control. Then grasp the concept of cooperation, accommodation, evolution and changing with the times. Seems simple enough.

After all, change is Nature's way!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On the House Vote to Defund the IPCC

This post by Dr. Roy Spencer On the House Vote to Defund the IPCC is one of the most logical and succinct summaries of the role of the IPCC in the climate change controversy I've read. Please take time to read carefully.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If... could... might... the uncertainty of climate change

Polar bears threatened IF climate change warms Hudson Bay: Study

Cities along the southern Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico will likely be hardest hit IF global sea levels rise, as projected, by about 3 feet (1 meter) by 2100, researchers reported in the journal Climate Change Letters.

How do these uncertainties get transformed to certainty in the corporate media? Predictions in science are not descriptions of what is certain to happen, they are hypotheses to be tested against observation. Mathematical climate models only model those parameters programmed into them. They cannot account for those factors not entered into the model's scenarios.

Since articles published in corporate media are ephemeral, written by non-scientists and subject to the whims of for-profit corporate interests, we cannot base world climate and energy policies on screaming headlines and yellow journalism. Science, and scientists (not science lobbying organizations such as the IPCC and National Science Foundation) must be the final arbiters of scientific reality.

Monday, February 07, 2011

From the Land of Headline Hyperbole

The scare-mongering US News and World Report headline:  Wolverines Threatened by Climate Change, Earlier Springs is typical of media hype over "global warming."

Are wolverines threatened? No. But, "Wolverine habitat in the northwestern United States is likely to warm dramatically if society continues to emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, according to new computer model simulations carried out at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo."

Where is the research to support this statement? Not in the article published in Environmental Research Letters. That is merely a study of the effects of increased average surface temperatures on wolverine habitat, based on the unsupported assumption that human greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming.

This long-term assumption stems from the earliest studies of the misnomered "greenhouse effect by  Svante Arrhenius, who assumed, without evidence, that observed increases in temperatiure were the result of widespread burning of coal.

Based on that assumption, the extending assumption is made that by reducing human produced greenhouses gases, we can somehow stop climate change and save the wolverines.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Climate change continues apace, with or without human contributions. Even if humans were causing every bit of observed climate change, and even if humans stopped producing greenhouse gases today, climate change would continue and wolverine habitat would continue to change. 'Twas ever thus.

Wolverines evolved in a changing habitat and will continue to do so long after Homo sapiens are a distant dusty and unpleasant memory. Despite overwhelming hubris, humans are not the be-all and end-all on this Earth. Climate change is a cosmic phenomenon, with its wagon hitched to our local star, turning in tune to local solar cycles.

Fortunately for wolverines, global climate patterns are not controlled by computer simulations. The world remains a chaotic and inexpressively beautiful place, arising of itself, providing constant surprise and delight to its human inhabitants.