Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Random Notes on Climate Change in 2013

namgnld_season22013 was another watershed year in climate change news. The reality of life on a warmer planet was seen in a variety of ways. The reality of the inability of U.S. and international efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels was also stark as use continues to rise. Here are some new data points about life on a warming planet.

The year’s biggest news was made last summer when scientists at a Hawaii research station measured 400 ppm (parts per million) of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has famously called the 350 ppm carbon mark the safe zone for avoiding the worst of climate change impacts. Some terrific charts in The Guardian (probably the best news site for tracking climate issues) provides important context to carbon loading to the earth’s atmosphere.

350 ppm became the rallying cry for Bill Mckibben and many other advocates as a target for the planet. Mckibben marked the 400 ppm mark: “Somehow in the last 50 ppm we melted the Arctic.” He wondered “We’ll see what happens in the next 50.”

NASA has an excellent interactive map that shows the loss of the Arctic ice cap 1980-2012. See another good comparison map here. They’re both stunning. Also, a short video of the disappearing glacier on Mount Kilamanjaro is very good.

Various scientists strained to put 400 ppm threshold into perspective. One attempt was: “We are a society that has inadvertently chosen the double-black diamond run without having learned to ski first. It will be a bumpy ride.”

This chart shows that total carbon emissions continue to rise in the U.S.

November 2013 was the 345th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. November 2013 was the hottest November on earth since records started being kept in 1880.

2013 was the hottest year on record in Australia. South Africa set a new world record for the hottest March temperature ever recorded at 117 F. Many national records were set across Africa in March. Japan saw its warmest day ever on August 12, 2013 at 106 F.

In the U.S., Death Valley saw the highest June temperature ever this year at 129 F. Springfield, Illinois broke records for the largest snowfall event in March with an 18-inch dump. It was the warmest Christmas Day ever in Oakland, California at 69 F. New records were set across the Midwest for the warmest December days ever, from Burlington, Colorado (67 F) to Sak City, Iowa (57 F).

Lake Mead water levels continue to be some of the lowest levels since 1938. 2013 was the driest year on record in California.

Asian cities broke new records for dirty air. The winds of Typhoon Haiyan were reported as some of the most powerful ever.

This study finds a positive correlation between increased nest predation of birds and temperature. A habitat vulnerability assessment highlights a precarious future for moose, spruce grouse, and Indiana bat in the Adirondacks. Moose die-off was showcased in 2013. Terrific interview about David Wilcove’s book No Way Home about how climate change has altered wildlife migrations.

The Rutgers University Global Snow Lab ardently documents snowfall and snow cover around the world. The steady decline of spring snowfall across the northeast and northern hemisphere is painful, but coincides with shorter winters.

Some leaked conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) scientists 5th assessment since 1990 scheduled for release in 2014 links climate change to global food scarcity. Staple crops such as wheat will likely see worldwide reductions by 2% per decade, while overall food demand is projected to increase around the world by 14% per decade as the world moves to 9 billion people by 2050; there are 7.2 billion people on earth today.

The impact of methane gases for accelerating global warming hit the news throughout 2013. Methane leaked into the atmosphere is estimated to have 20-25 times more warming power than carbon dioxide. Methane release is a byproduct of changes to many parts of the warming world. Thawing permafrost provides a major release of methane. Scientists debate methane leakage as a byproduct of hydrofracking and whether this negates any short-term benefits of gas over coal for carbon reduction.

2013 also crystallized the notion that the problem we face is not that we’ll run out of fossil fuels, but that the damage to the planet will be immense if we actually burn a majority of the vast proven fossil fuel reserves. Scientist argue that 80% of known fossil fuel reserves need to stay buried in the ground if we are to stay within 3.5 – 4 F average temperature warming range. That means that vast majority of proven fossil fuel (oil, gas, coal) reserves need to stay buried. Projects slated in the Canadian tar sands area alone will exceed this limit.

The International Energy Agency concludes that known fossil fuel reserves will push carbon levels well beyond the point of catastrophic change. In other words, we’ll do irreparable damage before fossils fuels run out. It’s simply a question of using less.

Paul Krugman pens an incisive review of economist William D. Nordhaus’s new book The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World. Economic impacts could be vast.

For a different perspective, here’s an interesting piece on the risks for public pension funds and other investors by investing in fossil fuel companies. If these companies are able to access and burn all the reserves they own, the planet will soar well above 450 ppm carbon in the atmosphere. If somehow, there’s international agreement and regulation to keep these reserved fossil fuels unburned, then many companies, some of which are the biggest in the U.S., will never recoup billions of dollars invested in securing rights to various reserves.

On a final note, Bill Mckibben sums up U.S. national climate politics at the end of 2013 in yet another great piece in Rolling Stone. He writes: “We’re supposed to be thrilled when Obama says something, anything, about global warming – he gave a fine speech this past June. ‘The question,’ he told a Georgetown University audience, is ‘whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late. And how we answer will have a profound impact on the world that we leave behind not just to you, but to your children and to your grandchildren. As a president, as a father and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act.’ Inspiring stuff, but then in October, when activists pressed him about Keystone at a Boston gathering, he said, ‘We had the climate-change rally back in the summer.’ Oh.”


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Peter Bauer

Peter Bauer is the Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.

He has been working in various capacities on Adirondack Park environmental issues since the mid-1980s, including stints as the Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and FUND for Lake George as well as on the staff of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. He also worked at Adirondack Life Magazine. He served as Chair of the Town of Lake George Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on numerous advisory boards for management of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve.

Peter lives in Blue Mountain Lake with his wife and two children, enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the Adirondacks, and is a member of the Blue Mountain Lake volunteer fire department.

Follow Protect the Adirondacks on Facebook and Twitter.

83 Responses

  1. Tony Goodwin Tony Goodwin says:

    Peter, a great, if depressing, summary of where we are at right now in the climate change debate. Climate change may well be what defines the 21st Century as food production suffers while demand for food increases – and this is not to mention the extreme weather events that will wreak havoc.

    As I see it, the challenge for environmental activists is to decide whether they should be devoting all of their energies to global issues like climate change or whether there are more local issues that are still important.

    And just to be contrary, I will note that the number of CO-2 absorbing trees that are preserved will be the same whether that piece of Forest Preserve is classified as Wilderness or Wild Forest.

    The “Think Globally, Act Locally” slogan has generated a positive environmental awareness, but has tended to produce local actions that do not have any “global” impact. Perhaps that slogan should be turned around so that local “thought” contributes to truly “global” action that does, over time, make a truly meaningful difference – even if there is no obvious local change.l

  2. Matt says:

    “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”

    “The Once and Future King” -T.H. White

  3. Paul K says:

    The pressure to publish is intense among academic researchers, yet scientific journals prefer newsworthy findings to refutations of older studies. A reported one-third of scientists confess to knowing of a colleague who cherry picked data or excluded “inconvenient” facts to tart up his or her research. Grants often flow to politically sexy topics like global warming, and scientific dissenters from orthodoxy suffer some of the same social and professional ostracism as heretics of an earlier time. The heart of the scientific method is disproof. Skepticism then, not unflagging belief in any particular theory of climate change, is the mark of the truly enlightened mind.

    • dave says:

      This comment was itself cherry picked – word for word – from a conservative political website.

      You really should give credit if you are going to copy and paste something like this…

  4. Chris says:

    Well said Paul.

  5. Pete Klein says:

    First, I don’t believe humans are smart enough to know all of the ins and outs of the earth’s climate over the past 20,000 years and sure as hell don’t know what the future will bring.
    I do know that when I was a kid in the 50’s and living in Detroit, it was milder then than now.
    When it comes to weather/climate, the extremes are normal and the normal is abnormal. Hardly a year goes by without seeing some high or low records being broken.
    I just totaled up the highs and lows for 2013 in Indian Lake and 5 months came in below average, 3 were average and 4 were above average with the year total average about 1 degree below average.
    There were two months where the average was about 3 degrees below average and one month that was about 3 degrees above average. Most of the above and below’s were about 1 degree from the average.
    What causes the departure from average (never use the word normal) is largely due to wind direction and cloud cover.
    Clouds at night keep the temperature from falling and clouds during the day help keep it from rising.
    Final note. I totally agree we need to cut back on all forms of pollution. We should do this because pollution is bad in and of itself without any regard to whether or not pollution will cause global warming or trigger the next ice age.

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      You say, “I don’t believe humans are smart enough to know all of the ins and outs of the earth’s climate over the past 20,000 years and sure as hell don’t know what the future will bring”

      Then how do you know that “Clouds at night keep the temperature from falling and clouds during the day help keep it from rising”?

      Never mind, I’ll answer that for you. You use science based on observation. You just don’t understand how climate science works and so you can’t read the observations it is based on. That doesn’t make it wrong or impossible, it just makes you uninformed about climate science.

      When I’m uninformed about something, I don’t pretend to have an opinion about it. You might consider that approach as well.

      • Pete Klein says:

        So, John, may I presume you have no opinion on Global Warming/Climate Change?

        • John Warren John Warren says:

          My opinion on climate change is formed the same way I form my opinion of the roundness of the Earth; the same way I would form my opinions if I had a brain tumor. I’m not a brain surgeon, and I trust the scientific method which has unquestionably and overwhelming concluded, in peer reviewed professional scientific journals, repeatedly for some 50 years, that the climate is warming and that humans have a role in that warming.

          That would be the way that most people who are not scientists consider scientific evidence. Say for example, the scientific fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way around.

          You are entirely willing to accept the scientific method in nearly every other instance – if not, you’d be an intellectual basket case – but in this case, suddenly you are a climate expert.

          • M.P. Heller says:

            Hows that Kool-Aid John? Did you leave any for anyone else?

            • John Warren John Warren says:

              It must be some feeling to believe you are smarter than an entire scientific discipline.

              • M.P. Heller says:

                Well, I know it feels good to have the intelligence not to be lead down the road of ignorance by a dog and pony show in the costume of science.

                For some constructive discussion on the topic, please see my comment below.

                • John Warren John Warren says:

                  “the costume of science”

                  Yeah, you lost me there. I don’t bother debating with people who believe science is a mere charade. That’s a waste of time.

                  • M.P. Heller says:

                    Now I’m the one who is lost. Do you have a reading comprehension disability, or are you just being belligerent? I really can’t tell based on the obtuseness of your last comment. If its a disability I understand, everyone faces different challenges in life. If you are just being belligerent, well I suppose that’s your perogative, but I might point out its unprofessional, unproductive, and quite childish on your part. I know you are capable of better.

    • Alan Senbaugh says:

      Amazing how humans alter their environment so substantially and don’t think they are effecting things around them. Interesting, Mr. Klein is so inclined to grasp at his anecdotal evidence in denying climate change…”when I was a kid in the 50′s and living in Detroit, it was milder then than now.” Yet anyone using the same observational skills can witness the mass burning of fossil fuels, yet still think we have no impact. Dam we are a crazy species. Doomed for sure.

    • Bill Quinlivan Bill Quinlivan says:

      Need to realize that there is Climate Change and there is weather. For example, the recent deep and quick modulations in the jet stream which have brought us the arctic cold erratically and deep into the U.S. is actually linked to global warming. Just because we have a colder than usual period does not refute the fact that the earth is warming, but actually reflects the fact.

  6. Paul K says:

    I have often wondered how one single volcano eruption plays on the sratosphere

  7. Neal E says:

    As a meteorologist of 25 + years I have watched this Global Warming debate evolve. Now it is called “Climate Change”, that way, no matter what happens with the weather it can be “our fault”. It has been interesting to see the believers hand-pick news reports and research to support their argument such as the case with this article yet totally ignore facts and studies counter to their position. We shouldn’t be so arrogant to think that we mere humans can change the climate. We have been inhabitants of this planet for a tiny fraction of its’ existance….and you know what? The climate has been changing long before we were here driving our SUV’s and flipping the switch to our incandescent light bulbs (which I won’t be able to do much longer). Think about our recent past: About 10,000 years ago the Adirondacks were covered by about a mile thick sheet of ice. The lake I have a camp on near the St Regis Canoe area was formed by a chunk of this melting ice…what caused this dramatic climate change? It wasn’t us. Look at how quickly our weather changes in the Adk’s. I was water skiing on Columbus Day weekend…a MONTH later I was chopping my boat out of the ice! It was all due to a slight change in the solar energy reaching the Earth- it was coming in in an ever decreasing angle since June. That’s it. Just a 22.5° change (June 21-Sep 21) in the sun’s angle to the Earth cause this dramatic change. So instead of worrying about something we can have no impact on let’s be good stewards of the land and water around us. The climate has been changing for millennia- and it will continue to change long after we are gone.

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      You claim to be a meteorologist for 25+ years (in other words, a weatherman, not a climate scientist) but you don’t even use your real name. Please point us to your published peer reviewed research on climate change.

      • Neal E says:

        I have a Bachelor Of Science in Meteorology which includes the study of Climate. My name is Neal Estano. And your credentials, John?

        • John Warren John Warren says:

          I’m not making junk science claims Neal. You are. Your BS in Meteorology makes you exactly as qualified as me to make claims contrary to widely accepted scientific opinion, in other words, not at all. Surely, someone willing to take on the discipline of climate science has had a peer reviewed article in one of the major journals – please do point us to it.

          • Paul K says:

            It was a bad year for those who think they understand and control vast, complicated systems. Yes, I’m thinking of Democrats and Obamacare, but also the sun. Climate activists have assured us with chilling urgency that the global temperature is rising and that turning the dial labeled carbon dioxide several clicks to the left will avert catastrophe. Except 1) it’s nearly impossible to reduce CO2 (think China and India); 2) it’s been 18 years since the atmosphere showed any warming despite increasing concentrations of CO2; and 3) money spent on reducing CO2 cannot be spent on other problems.

            • John Warren John Warren says:

              So says another anonymous internet commenter who has no idea about what he’s talking about, but is fully willing to pretend he’s smarter than the current climate science consensus. If you are unwilling to identify yourself and your credentials, and point us to your groundbreaking peer reviewed journal article, you are just a loudmouth with a keyboard.

              “Science has made enormous inroads in understanding climate change and its causes, and is beginning to help develop a strong understanding of current and potential impacts that will affect people today and in coming decades. This understanding is crucial because it allows decision makers to place climate change in the context of other large challenges facing the nation and the world. There are still some uncertainties, and there always will be in understanding a complex system like Earth’s climate. Nevertheless, there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.” — United States National Research Council, Advancing the Science of Climate Change

              “It was a bad year for those who think they understand and control vast, complicated systems.” – Paul K, Internet Comment.


              • Paul K says:

                John, i just read articles that support my view, just like you,”loud mouth with a keyboard!!!,whose the editor of this website John? not me.
                Now, another variable seems to be misbehaving. Apparently, the sun is weakening. “There is no scientist alive who has seen a solar cycle as weak as this one,” Andres Munoz-Jaramillo, who studies the solar-magnetic cycle at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told The Wall Street Journal. More than half of solar scientists, according to the newspaper, speculate that the sun could be returning to a more quiescent phase after a burst of activity that began in the 1940s. Or not. The sun may be dimming a bit, but it may not affect global temperatures because we’ve been pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. On the third hand, it’s possible a more pronounced solar minimum could yield another glaciation. During the last one, an ice sheet one mile high covered most of North America.

                • John Warren John Warren says:

                  I don’t read articles to support my view. Nor do I confuse my ability to read the Wall Street Journal with experienced research and analysis of climate change.

                  I take the advice of majority of professionals in the field.

                • David says:

                  Dude “no one has seen a solar cycle less than this one”

                  11 years per cycle/99 years per scientist= weakest of the last 9 cycles.

                  Far stronger than previous maximums ie during the Dalton minimum ( a period of weak solar cycles in the 1700s).

                  Not a ice age causing event.

                  There are far bigger variables to climate than the solar cycle, such as the tilt change and the eccentricity change of the earths rotation and orbit.

                  Taking facts out of context does not make your assertions true.

            • zyxw says:

              The Democrats are doing a lot better than Republicans (the climate change denial party) in the polls, and Obamacare has signed up millions of people for health insurance. Nobody said these issues are easy, and like many difficult tasks we are bound to find that we make mistakes along the way, but not starting the voyage guarantees we will not reach our destination.

    • “We shouldn’t be so arrogant to think we mere humans can change the climate.” I think you should be more concerned with your ignorance.

      Cyanobacteria, a merely single celled organism, created the atmosphere that allows you and I to breath.

      The term “Climate Change” is now used and is more appropriate because it accounts for the local variability associated with the global climate system. The global temperature is rising at a rate higher than any of the time periods you have cited. Yes, the climate will always be changing, the concern is that our activities are pushing it into a state that will be difficult for us (any many species) to adopt to. We will use technology to adapt, but what will that cost us social and economically?

      Fossil fuels are a finite resource and burning them alters the global climate. Those are both cold hard facts. The question is do we want to gamble the planet so that we can get a few more years of cheap fuel? Or do we want to make the transition sooner and reduce the risk associated with a warmer and more variable climate?

    • Alan Senbaugh says:

      Pretty crazy to think we can burn fossil fuels with no impact on the global climate don’t you think.

      • David says:

        When it really comes down to it the carbon in the ground is bottled up carbon from the past. When coal and oil are deposited temperatures tended to be warmer. We are letting that carbon out of the bottle again, I wonder what could happen.

  8. neal says:

    No sure what “Junk Science” claims I made? I was just pointing out what is obvious. Are you disputing the glaciers never melted…? Or are you claiming that the Native Americans campfires put too much CO2 in the air and caused the glaciers to melt. Are you disputing that a small change in the solar energy we receive has a major impact on our weather? I know, these are inconvenient truths, aren’t they?

    • John Warren John Warren says:


      Do you really expect anyone to take your claim that you are smarter than the considerable scientific consensus seriously?

      Surely, someone willing to take on the discipline of climate science has had a peer reviewed article in one of the major journals.

      Where is it?

    • Jesse B says:


      I don’t think anyone is disputing that solar insolation causes seasonal changes in temperature. But the basis of climate science is that CO2 is a heat trapping gas. And by transforming vast reserves of buried carbon (e.g. coal/oil) into CO2 gas through combustion, we are immediately increasing the atmosphere’s ability to retain heat. It’s like adding extra blankets to your bed. While it still takes a while to warm up the mattress, the bed with more blankets will eventually stay a lot warmer than the one without.

      While uncertainties and debate about the degree of change exist, there is overwhelming agreement that it is taking place and global temperatures are rising (a vastly different argument than local weather variation). And while I agree about the value of good stewardship, I don’t understand why you believe people can’t impact global climate when laboratory, environmental, and field evidence is saying otherwise?

  9. Kevin Donovan says:

    It may help people’s opinions to understand that 97-98% of climatologists involved in climate study agree with the conclusions of the Intergovernmental on Climate change. Here is the link:

    Grabbing John Warren’s analogy, if 97% of brain surgeons recommended one diagnosis and an approach to handling a brain tumor, I’d go with their opinion rather than the other 2-3%. There is no serious debate in the climate science community on this issue.

    • Paul K says:

      Kevin, Speak of the medical community,
      Consider cancer research. A rule of thumb among biomedical venture capitalists, The Economist reports, is that half of published research cannot be reproduced. A 2013 study by Amgen found that of 53 “landmark” cancer studies, only six could be replicated.

  10. M.P. Heller says:

    Peer review. A worthy topic when having a scientific discussion. Citations for claims made in a discussion on technical matters, another worthy addition to the discussion. However, meerly having a reference does not constitute a consensus, nor does a consensus illustrate fact or truth. (Its possible to draw the wrong conclusion and to have that conclusion repeated independantly by making the same error.)

    Lets look at some of the references and citations given by the authour, Peter, in the piece he published above.

    The Guardian: Britans third most circulated newspaper with 189,000 copies a day. (By contrast the Chicago Tribune is 8th in the US and circulates 415,000 copies a day.) The Guardian is widely read online as well, but in any form it is constantly the subject of contraversy and inaccuracy. In 2012 it reported the capital of Isreal is Tel-Aviv. Obviously they had to retract this statement and issue a correction because any third grader who paid attention in social studies can tell you Isreal indeed has a capital, but its Jerusalem, not Tel-Aviv. Considering that The Guardian doesn’t even have reporters intelligent enough to know something very well settled like the name of a well known countries capital, and the editorship also missed this, its probably safe to say that The Guardian is not the place to get your information about issues more complex than third grade social studies. Another interesting note is that a few of its ‘reporters’ were just rescued off a ship trapped in the Antarctic ice pack due to their hubris and their belief that there is no sea ice anymore.

    I see a lot of statistics about record high temperatures but no mention of if there were a similar amount of record low temperatures. So I will include some information about that as well.

    I also saw some references to weather events, which are not climate events, but have been presented in a fashion as to sway the uninformed reader into believing that they are a factor to be considered. Here we can simply apply 12th grade math. Correlation is not causation.

    The last citation worth mentioning I see is Rolling Stone Magazine. An entertainment publication focused on the music industry. I won’t even comment on the lack of validity such a citation brings to the discussion. I think its apparent to all that Rolling Stone is about as peer reviewed by the scientific community as what Barney the Purple Dinosaur says.

    What I find most disheartening about this piece and the comments related to it is that John Warren, editor, has cast aspersions on a well respected and educated Meteoroligist. Calling into question his experience and knowledge of the topic and rubbishing his college degree on the topic. John, what degree(s) do you hold that gives you the background to challange that of Mr. Estano? He has worked for both CBS and NBC affiliates, and The Weather Channel. What broadcast weather jobs have you held?

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      I am not challenging Neal Estano, he is challenging the general consensus of a discipline in which he does not even hold a college degree in.

      I am yielding to the actual expertise of professional climate scientists, just like I would yield to the expertise of a mechanic, or my dentist.

      If Mr. Estano really knows better, surely he can point us to his revolutionary peer reviewed paper refuting the current climate science conclusions.

      • M.P. Heller says:

        So….. YOU have a degree in whatever dicipline you are referencing?

        I think unless you are willing to disclose your own educational background that casting aspersions Mr. Estano’s education is a cheap shot.

  11. Jesse B says:

    MP Heller,

    It’s extremely unfair to cite weather statistics that only refer to the United States and only for a limited time frame. Our nation constitutes only a very small portion of global surface area, and many other areas might be experiencing far different conditions than local ones.

    The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) publishes summarized reports of global weather by month. From it we can see that the global temperature in July 2013 (roughly the same period from the blog you cited) was actually the 6th highest July on record, despite the abnormally cool temperatures in the U.S.

    • M.P. Heller says:

      “In the U.S., Death Valley saw the highest June temperature ever this year at 129 F. Springfield, Illinois broke records for the largest snowfall event in March with an 18-inch dump. It was the warmest Christmas Day ever in Oakland, California at 69 F. New records were set across the Midwest for the warmest December days ever, from Burlington, Colorado (67 F) to Sak City, Iowa (57 F).”

      I was simply responding to the assertations I quoted above. Nothing unfair about that.

  12. Charlie S says:

    If I were to stand inside a confined space,no ventilation whatsoever,with automobile exhaust spewing from a car I’d be dead within half an hour.Think of the atmosphere as the roof of our planet where carbon emissions don’t escape. Think of all the bright people who leave their engines running while their inside Stewarts buying coffee,or outside at the pump filling er up (even though there’s signs saying ‘Shut your engine off when pumping gas.’)Think of the millions who,on winter morns,start their cars up and leave them run for sometimes twenty minutes and half an hour,before they get in to drive off (this is totally unnecessary!)Where are all of those emissions going?
    Think about all of the mindless acts by mindless people. Think we’re in trouble? I do!

    You make me laugh John!

  13. Neal E says:

    Has anyone else notice that John Warren continues to avoid commenting on the simple point I was trying to make regarding “What caused the glaciers to melt?”…Instead he wants to see what “peer review papers” I have published. Bob Dylan said it “doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” and it doesn’t take a Peer-reviewed Climatologist to know that the mile-thick glaciers melted…AND IT WASN’T US! Perhaps it was methane from the Wooly Mammoths!
    As the GW activist see that their evidence is not supporting their specious argument they begin attacking the opposition.

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      So in other words. None. You have never once had your ideas about climate change critiqued by climate scientists in any climate journal.

      Yet you continue to argue that you are more knowledgeable and know better than an entire discipline of climate scientists. All based on the knowledge you gained in a few classes you took for an undergraduate degree in another discipline, and working as a TV weatherman.

      All because at some point in the past glaciers melted!

      You have no shame.

    • David says:

      The exact cause isn’t known but you should note that the melting coincided with a CO2 spike. Climate is weird. Little things can have big impacts, why wouldn’t adding CO2 do the same.

      I don’t think anyone doubts that climate will change without humans, but why would we want to make the change more dramatic?

  14. M.P. Heller says:

    “As the GW activist see that their evidence is not supporting their specious argument they begin attacking the opposition.”

    Clearly the case Neil. Kudos to you for not allowing your knowledge and reputation to be smeared by the unhappy clingers.

    BTW, I saw you a couple Sundays ago very eloquently and professionally sidestep the discussion on-air. Good on you for avoiding a protracted discussion while doing your job. I knew right away based on your reaction (to Mr. Kambrich I think)you were a man of real science, and not the media driven nonsense many here are foaming at the mouth about.

    Pleas stay with us, the Almanak readers, your contributions are valuable. Misinformation is everywhere and its refreshing to hear from someone with an educated background who doesn’t care for Kool-Aid.

    • Neal Estano says:

      Thanks, MP for noticing that…I was not “going there”, as it was not the place, time or forum. But just a clarification, it was not Mr. Kambrich anchoring that night- it was someone else.

  15. JDC says:

    So the climate change deniers, that would be the Congressional majority, put up two renowned climate change deniers to gerrymander the results of a hearing to say that there is no link between recent major weather events and climate change. Sad but predictable. Our Congress at it’s finest.

  16. Pete Nelson Pete Nelson says:

    My comment on this pathetic mess of blather can be happily found on the more-recent post about bear bones and hibernation – which was very interesting by the way so go read that article straight off.

    Happy New Year!


  17. Neal E says:

    Here is a peer review article on Climate Change…It talks about the fact that most of the fossil artifact in the Arctic are those of sub-TROPICAL plants and animal. John still has not given his theory on why the glaciers melted…to do that he would have to admit that it was not man that’s caused it rather a force and mechanism far greater than us…Please read with an open mind:

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      Just because there are natural cycles of warming, and it was warmer in the past, does not mean that climate change is not real now, and that we have not contributed to it. It should be obvious that there is change over time and that factors exist now which did not exist in the past.

      Your single line of argument, even if you are interpreting what it means correctly, does not overrule the multitude of lines of peer reviewed research.

      What is really crazy here, is that you have never even published a paper on this, but here you are foisting your meteorology undergraduate degree as expertise to challenge an entire discipline.

      That’s not the way the world works Neal, and it’s no way to be taken seriously as a scholar or a scientist.

    • How does this chapter relate to recent climate change? It is good evidence that the climate has changed in the past, but it doesn’t disprove the fact that recent climate change is largely the result of human activities.

      If you want to learn more about recent climate change I suggest starting by reading the IPCC reports. If you are still skeptical, then start reading the original research cited in those reports. You may also consider going to your local library and reading journals such as Science and Nature, although there are many other good journals to read as well.

      Your arguments are telling of your fundamental misunderstanding of both paleoclimate and recent climate change.

  18. Will Doolittle says:

    Climate change has been a marvelous method of exposing humanity’s inexhaustible ability to, for no particular reason, deny what is right in front of its face. I used to think this debate would work itself out, over time, as more and more evidence flooded in (literally) from around the world. But now I see that isn’t true. The water could be around their necks and still there will be those who are crying at the tops of their lungs that this is an extraordinary event, all part of nature’s ups and downs, and because someone somewhere is making a case the climate is not changing, no one can claim with confidence it is.

  19. Charlie S says:

    Neal E says: “John still has not given his theory on why the glaciers melted…to do that he would have to admit that it was not man that’s caused it rather a force and mechanism far greater than us.”

    Which glaciers we talking about?The ones 10,000 years ago,or the ones that are melting now? Let me ask you this Neal.Suppose the earth is warming due to cyclic and/or natural conditions.Putting your conditioned, scientific, professional mind aside for mere moments,do you not think that it’s possible we’re adding to these conditions also? I mean really? There’s more cars in this country than there are people.Where does all of that exhaust go? Does it just disappear like the oil disappeared in the Gulf Of Mexico a few years ago when BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploded? (That’s what the puppet Obama said anyway…”the oil is gone.” He was told to say that.)
    What do you think about the analogy with a garage roof and the roof of our atmosphere? The one where if you leave your car running with the garage door down and you stand in the garage at the same time you would die of carbon monoxide poisoning not long thereafter.Is it true that our atmosphere is the earths roof where nothing escapes,not carbon emissions,not high flying birds? Is it possible Neal that all of these years of spewing our toxins into the air is finally catching up to us?

    • Neal Estano says:

      Obviously, I am taking about the ones 10,000 yrs ago…see the past-tense “melted”?
      Again…no one on this forum has put forth a theory why they melted.
      And here is why you don’t…to do that you would need to admit that it was not caused by humans, rather some much larger force in nature. It would destroy your argument for AGW.
      BTW. Your garage analogy doesn’t apply. we don’t live in a garage. The atmosphere is a fluid, dynamic place. Have you notice after a hazy, hot, humid day we get a thunderstorm in the afternoon…once the thunderstorm goes away the sky often times is clear and blue? The polutants/dust, etc gets flushed out of the air… this doesn’t happen in my garage.

      • Neil, The fact that the most recent glacial period came to an end 10,000 years ago doesn’t disprove the fact that humans have released enough greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to produce considerable, appreciable, and measurable warming. In fact, there is evidence coming out that indicates we may have prevented the next glacial cycle from happening. The following are references you may wish to read:

        Archer, D. and A. Ganopolski. 2005. “A Movable Trigger: Fossil Fuel, CO2, and the Onset of the Next Glaciation.” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 6.

        Berger, A., and M.F. Loutre. 2002. “An Exceptionally Long Interglacial Ahead?” Science 297: 1287-1288.

        Cochelin, A.-S., L.A. Mysak, and Z. Wang. 2006. “Simulation of Long-Term Future Climate Changes with the Green McGill Paleoclimate Model: The Next Glacial Inception.” Climate Change.

        Crucifix, M., and A. Berger. 2006. “How Long Will Our Interglacial Be?” Eos 87: 352-353.

        Sternberg, J. 2006. “Preventing Another Ice Age.” Eos 87: 539-542.

        And a general glacial cycle reference worth a read:

        Hays, J.D., J. Imbrie, and N.J. Shackleton. 1976. “Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages.” Science 194: 1121-1132.

        It is pretty astounding to think that “we mere humans” have changed the climate enough to possibly override a natural glacial cycle that has been occurring for hundreds of thousands of years.

  20. Paul says:

    Rather than argue about this perhaps we should prepare for how we will survive in a changing climate? Even the folks who have a grasp of what is happening act as if it isn’t happening. I bet there are plenty of smart people who understand the science of climate change that are rebuilding their homes on the NJ shore as we discuss this.

    We should all take the time to listen to this NPR story on the famous bet between Paul Ehrlich the biologist at Stanford and Julian Simon the economist at Maryland.

    This is a very interesting quote in the story and one that says something about this “discussion” here:

    “But Paul Sabin at Yale says, personally, he worries a lot about the environment. And he wonders if the bet actually poisoned the waters, helping to set the stage for a world where environmental debates are framed by the extremes — one side warning of certain catastrophe, and the other saying everything is going to be great.”

  21. Neal e says:

    Clearly JW has his political agenda. Instead of discussing my “opinion” he attacks me personally and ridicules my profession. Nice going. I am just trying to get readers to think of this issue from a different point of view. One from a less “peer review” standpoint of which John seems to be fixated on.
    I have simply been trying to point out how drastically the Earths climate has changed… No one really know why it has changed so drastically. I certainly don’t. There is no argument that there was nearly a mile-thick layer of ice covering all of the Adk’s and a good portion of North America. What caused it to form? What caused it to melt in a relatively short period of time. I don’t have a degree in Climatology, John but I have a helluva lot more knowledge of how the atmosphere works than you do. Yes, my measly “B.S.” degree did “learn me sumthin'” So go ahead and insult and attack those who don’t agree with your viewpoint. It’s all you have. Hey, I see it’s -11 right now in Saranac Lake…thank goodness for the Global Warming or it would be REALLY cold.
    It is obvious this discussion is going nowhere except to an uncomfortable place. It is too bad the readers of the ADK Almanac cannot share opposing views without these personal insults.
    I have been a print and online subscriber to this and the ADK Life magazine but no longer. So keep preaching to your choir. “I’m out”.

    • John Warren John Warren says:

      Honestly Neal, you are tiresome. Nobody is attacking or insulting you. You made the initial claim that climate change was a scam. I asked you to show us your proof, according to the general standard of scholarly proof which a scientist such as yourself should be well familiar with.

      Your comment about the current temperature in Saranac Lake relating to climate change is all the proof I, and any reasonable person reading this exchange, need to identify you as someone who simply does not understand one of the most basic concepts about climate.

      I’ll have to admit, that surprises even me, although it’s a good reminder of why I try avoid engaging with climate change deniers.

      • Paul says:

        That comment surprised me also. If someone with the background that Neal claims to have makes that comment regarding the daily temp we may be in serious trouble!

      • Neal Estano says:

        I never said climate change was a scam…you only interpreted it as such. (perhaps because you suspect it is). I think Anthropomorphic (Man-made, so you don’t have to look it up) Global Warming is a scam. AGW is a THEORY. There is no body of evidence that can tie any global warming (or climate change to be politically correct)to a human-caused result. None.
        As far as the reference to the current temp in SLK…it was tongue-in-cheek. (that is, humor)…obviously you have no sense of that.
        May I remind you that CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Trees need it to survive…We humans expel CO2 with every breath…so one could surmise that you are contributing to CO2 simply by breathing. Perhaps you should reconsider the impact you are having on the global climate? (again, tongue-in-cheek…it is obvious I need to point attempt at humor).
        You may not think that your smugness was insulting, but it was.
        The responses from you is clear reason for me to avoid engaging in a climate debate with people that don’t know what the hell they are talking about but only read what they want to believe.
        We can “agree to disagree”. I have my strong beliefs, and you have yours. We will most likely not be around long enough to see what, if any effect humans have on the climate.
        As the editor of the Almanac I would hope that you would have moderated the discussion instead of attacking those that disagree with your position. Hey, it’s you website and you can do anything you want. But we don’t have to buy it.

        • “AGW is a THEORY.” This proves your fundamental misunderstanding of science. If your statement was “AGW is a HYPOTHESIS,” you would have some ground to stand on. If you understood what you were talking about you would know that your statement disproves all of what you have been arguing.

          A scientific theory indicates that a hypothesis has been repeatedly tested and confirmed, thus elevating the hypothesis to a theory. A theory stands until disproven by a body of scientific knowledge. The theory of human induced climate change stands, as you so clearly stated, because there is not a body of scientific knowledge that disproves it.

          It is obvious that you want to direct as much attention at John for calling you out on your statements and asking you to provide peer-reviewed science to back up your claims. It is also obvious that you don’t wish to engage in a climate debate with someone that does know what the hell they are talking about.

          Being skeptical is a good trait, one that all good scientists possess. With that skepticism comes the responsibility of becoming familiar the primary literature associated with a topic, especially before espousing your skepticism as truth in a public forum.

        • John Warren John Warren says:

          Neal, I’m not going to bother with you further on this.

          And no, we can not “agree to disagree” – that’s a cop-out. You can agree to disagree. I’ll agree with the people who know better – the 97% of actual climate scientists who disagree with the wild unscientific and illogical claims that you make in internet comments.

          Your comments would not be allowed in scientific journals because they are unreviewed and unsupportable. You get away with it here, because we are generous in allowing anyone to comment, no matter how false those comments are, or how unqualified they are to make them.

          When I teach journalism, one of the first lessons I review with my students is one you seemed to never have learned. You consult appropriately experienced or peer-reviewed researchers for the best factual evidence, you don’t consult internet commenters. And you don’t claim to know better than people whose job it is to know.

          Your comments here are an exercise in narcissism, nothing more.

          • Neal E says:

            Oh, now you are calling me a narcissist? See, you can’t help yourself with the ridicule and name calling. Nice work.
            I don’t understand why someone can’t disagree with you without you personally attacking them.
            I will bet you didn’t play nice in the sandbox when you were little.

        • Alice Visova says:

          Neal, there is a well-established link between anthropogenic activities and climate change. It’s not too difficult to understand, you just have to learn about the carbon cycle.

          Please look at the first figure on this page:

          All the carbon on the planet cycles through different reservoirs like the atmosphere and the sediment. Carbon resides for longer times in some reservoirs and shorter times in others, and the reservoirs differ significantly in size, but overall, before the industrial revolution came along, the whole system was in a steady state for thousands of years, which means that the reservoirs stayed constant size and the rates of transfer of carbon into each reservoir was about equal to the rate of transfer out of that reservoir. These “steady-state”‘ reservoir sizes and transfer rates are written in black on the figure I linked to above.

          We humans are cutting down and burning trees, and burning fossil fuels at such a large scale that we have fundamentally altered the global carbon cycle. We’re taken carbon out of the biosphere and sediment reservoirs and put it into the atmospheric reservoir at a much faster rate than what was happening before anthropogenic forcing. The new numbers are indicated in red on the figure. The excess CO2 in the atmosphere is causing warming via the greenhouse effect and in the ocean it reacts with water to form carbonic acid which leads to ocean acidification.

          By the way, I’m a PhD student in marine biology, my advisor is a carbon chemist who studies climate change in the arctic, antarctic and equatorial regions.

  22. Charlie S says:

    “Even the folks who have a grasp of what is happening act as if it isn’t happening.”

    I know some very thoughtful, sincere, simple, intelligent,futuristic people Paul,who are doing their part to make this world a better place.People who are aware that things are amiss,not just with the global warming crisis,but in other areas politically, socially, environmentally.Smart people I say,people whose attitudes are strikingly different than your average person who can give two hoots about anything other than the wee cubicle they exist in it seems. People who go out of their way to do “what’s right.” I read the link you sent and I don’t see how that is relevant to what we’re dialoguing here (not arguing.) I’m a smart man Paul.Experience leads me to conclusions more than what I hear from others or hear in the news.
    I’m open on the global warming debate,but keep in mind there are many people that are in denial about it either out of sheer ignorance,or because their economic base would collapse were we to change the order of things to slow down what is imminent if it is true.One things for sure…If profits are at stake because of global warming, you can bet you’re going to hear one biased side only of the issue by the corporate media which is what most of the sheep swear by.You know…corporate media as in “Your news in a minute.”

    • Paul says:

      You seem to be disagreeing with a person who agrees with you? I don’t get it?

      I do disagree on one point. I am not open to the global warming debate. Just like I am not open to the evolution debate or the earth is round debate.

      I do agree that there are lots of people who care, I tend to include myself. But don’t you think that there are also lots of people who understand the issue that seem to act in ways that make you think they don’t? That was part of my point.

      If the predictions are right, and like I said, I believe that they are we should be thinking about heading for the hills.

      One thing I do take from that linked story and how it turned out is that technology can and hopefully will save us. On that I am optimistic.

  23. Charlie S says:

    Neal says: “Hey, I see it’s -11 right now in Saranac Lake…thank goodness for the Global Warming or it would be REALLY cold.”
    Yep,but…It’s always been like that Neal,always cold this time of the year up there.What’s new is glaciers are disappearing from the face of the earth,storms are getting more severe,more draughts,more flooding,etc….

    Neal continues: ” It is obvious this discussion is going nowhere except to an uncomfortable place. It is too bad the readers of the ADK Almanac cannot share opposing views without these personal insults.I have been a print and online subscriber to this and the ADK Life magazine but no longer. So keep preaching to your choir. “I’m out”.
    You shouldn’t take things so personally Neal.And why would you be so uncomfortable if you were so sure of yourself.Where’s your confidence?John seems to be sensitive to this issue like many of us are.What happened a million or 10,000 years ago is irrelevant to now.John has some valid points,especially when he says “It should be obvious that there is change over time and that factors exist now which did not exist in the past.” This jumped right at me when I read it.It is so true.

    You say: “I’m not stuck on your premise,”We shouldn’t be so arrogant to think that we mere humans can change the climate.”
    Really? You’re kidding right? Us humans who utilize so many of the Earth’s finite resources,us humans who waste extremely so much?

    You continue: “We have been inhabitants of this planet for a tiny fraction of its’ existence….and you know what? The climate has been changing long before we were here driving our SUV’s and flipping the switch to our incandescent light bulbs (which I won’t be able to do much longer).
    If you do some research Neal you will learn that records prove that the level of greenhouse gases are much higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years.They started going up after the Industrial Revolution (which evolved into light bulbs and SUV’s) began and have been climbing ever since. With all of the information out there and your supposed expertise in meteorology I would think that this would not be news to you.Surely all of the stuff we’re putting into the air via industry and transportation alone is enough to throw this ecosystem Earth off kilter just a tad wouldn’t you think? I certainly do,and this is where I concur with John.
    Stick around Neal.Dont give up on us yet.Maybe we can all learn something here.Eventually the truth is going to smack us right in our faces.By then it will probably be too late.We should have been having this discussion 20 years ago.

  24. Charlie S says:

    I just didn’t see where the link was relevant Paul.I say I’m open because I suppose the good in me tries to find neutral ground but,in the main,i’m with you… I think we’re in trouble unless we do something different soon.We’re not alone on this but unfortunately we’re the minority.I’m iffy on the technology thing.It could also be our doom.

    You say: “don’t you think that there are also lots of people who understand the issue that seem to act in ways that make you think they don’t?”
    I don’t know that many people who fit this category but it makes sense.We’re creatures of habit Paul.

  25. Paul K says:

    John Warren, you sure are having fun, love the Adirondack Almanack, keep up the good work

  26. Neal E says:

    “Stick around Neal.Dont give up on us yet.Maybe we can all learn something here.Eventually the truth is going to smack us right in our faces.By then it will probably be too late.We should have been having this discussion 20 years ago – ”
    Charlie, we were having this discussion in the 70’s…But then the alarmists and scaremongers were perpetuating the GLOBAL COOLING myth…Newsweek magazine cover story:
    I am done with this forum. Agreeing to disagree is not a cop-out, John. I may as well be talking to a wall.

  27. Neal, Are you proposing that scientists are alarmists and scaremongers? Citing a single source of old data, one that is not peer-reviewed, without the context of those findings within the entire body of knowledge, is a misleading tactic.

    There were once scientists that believed the Earth was flat. Should we throw out the idea that the Earth is round because “alarmist and scaremongers” once told us otherwise?

    Agreeing to disagree is a cop-out when you have been unable and unwilling to engage in a meaningful discussion about climate change. You have been unable to provide any evidence that supports your claims.

    If you can provide a body of peer-reviewed knowledge that supports your claim that recent climate change is not attributable to human activities please do so. The entirety of my post-graduate education has been on studying the response of aquatic ecosystems to recent climate change. I initially approached climate change with skepticism, I have read hundreds of peer-reviewed papers on the subject, and I have searched for evidence to the contrary. If you can provide papers that support the proposition that humans have not had a significant impact on our climate please do so. I will read those papers and then we can have a meaningful discussion on climate change.

  28. Charlie S says:

    Neal says: “The polutants/dust, etc gets flushed out of the air… this doesn’t happen in my garage.”

    Then how do you explain that big hole in the atmosphere over the Antarctic? Scientist are saying that hole is due to cfc’s. They obviously didn’t get flushed out of the air.How do you explain?

  29. Neal E says:

    BTW the Ozone Hole is in the Ozone layer of the atmosphere where no weather occurs.

  30. Charlie S says:

    Charlie, we were having this discussion in the 70′s…But then the alarmists and scaremongers were perpetuating the GLOBAL COOLING myth…Newsweek magazine cover story: I am done with this forum. Agreeing to disagree is not a cop-out, John. I may as well be talking to a wall.

    After I flew that missive off I thought about that comment,and yes,there were discussions on this very issue 20 years ago,even more recent with Bill McKibben and others whose names elude me these moments.

  31. Charlie S says:

    My understanding is it shrinks a certain time of the year and opens back up at other times.The point is Neal that that was one big hole in the atmosphere at one time which I have hardly heard a peep about in many years.That hole didn’t happen by itself.

    You say I’m wrong about the garage roof analogy but it makes a heckuva lot of sense to me.And I don’t believe that our pollutants in the air just disappear.They go somewhere.Maybe I’m wrong but I’d like to be proven different.

  32. Does anyone else find it interesting that Neal refuses to provide evidence to support his claim that humans have not altered the global climate? He has exhibited a masterful ability to deflect attention away from the fallacies of his own arguments by directing attention towards others.


    Another way to look at climate change is to assess the costs of action vs inaction under a scenario where scientists are correct and human induced climate change is real and a scenario where scientists are wrong and human induced climate change is not real.

    Scenario 1: Humans are not altering the climate but we take action anyway.
    We incur a substantial economic cost to alter our energy economy and possibly mitigate the perceived effects of climate change. Maybe that results in a global economic depression, but we will also have to make many of these changes when we run out of fossil fuels.

    Scenario 2: Humans are not altering the climate and we do not take action.
    The world is peachy and we made the right decision, although we still have to incur the economic cost associated with transitioning away from fossil fuels.

    Scenario 3: Humans are altering the climate and we do take action.
    We prevent a slue of global economic, social, political, and health problems. At the same time we incur the cost of doing so. Although, many of those costs will be incurred when fossil fuel reserves are depleted.

    Scenario 4: Humans are altering the climate and we do not take action.
    We suffer a number of global economic, social, political, and health problems. Notice that this is inclusive of the risk associated with scenario 1, therefore there is more risk associated with this scenario than there is with scenario 1.

    It is obvious that there is much greater risk of not taking action on climate change if it is real, than there is of taking action if climate change is not real. Further, many of the changes we would need to take will be necessary when fossil fuels run out. The scales are further tipped toward taking action due to the fact that the body of scientific knowledge supports the proposition that humans are impacting the global climate.

    Neil is essentially arguing for scenario 2, but scenario 3 (which saves us from the cost associated with climate change) isn’t that much different. The major difference is that we willingly take on the cost of transitioning from fossil fuels now instead of in the future. Granted there are other changes we should make to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but ditching fossil fuels is the first and biggest step. The cost of making that transition now may be greater than in the future, but the risk of not taking action now is greater than the cost.

    The only way you can argue against taking action is if you don’t think the risks of inaction will play out during your lifetime and you don’t care about the future of society and your descendants OR you are arrogant enough to be certain that human induced climate change is not real, even though an enormous body of scientific literature shows otherwise.

  33. dan mather says:

    This is absurd. If you don’t believe in the scientific method, how can you trust starting your car, medicine, getting in an airplane, or going inside of a building or using any form of technology? You are rerunning a trusted experiment each time you do. Don’t you worry when you turn your key just anything can happen? You and your car might turn into a block of ice for example? Or if you do all these things you have an implicit trust in the scientific method you are taking for granted. Every CLIMATOLOGIST- not meteorologists who look at temporary ups and down locally- believes in climate change, why? The same method that gave you the aforementioned advances. There are many many theories, calculations, chemical reactions, and validation after validations supporting climate change and nothing supporting the lack of it. Decades ago chemists began to look at what would happen to the pH of the ocean should it absorb continually more CO2, estimating (conservatively) the industrial global output, decades ago they predicted, via the scientific method, the equilibrium on solubility reactions for coral reefs shifting forwards due to lechatliers principal, meaning more coral reef dissolution, and a higher ocean ph, every single one of these predictions, not only has since been observed but at a greater rate than predicted, other hypotheses such as the clathrate gun hypothesis, which was much more theoretical, has yet to be verified (lets hop it never is). This is one example among hundreds of different dimensions and verified, verifiable, tested and retested predictions validating hypothesis surrounding global warming. It has long since been accepted as fact by anyone actually looking closely. There is no scientific conspiracy , other than find the truth and verify verify verify. Enough with the politicizing this bs, you can’t politicize the universe, gravity pulls on donkeys and elephants all the same. Climate deniers, I honestly cannot believe you even are around, but I assure you you are wrong, on the wrong side of history, and are just a dead weight on those trying to come up with real solutions to a real problem.

  34. Steve Hall says:

    Many points in these discussions are based on straw man arguments and non sequiturs. I am no climatologist, but from the readings I’ve done, I’ve yet to encounter any climatologist who claims that climate on the earth hasn’t been hotter, or that climate hasn’t changed repeatedly, or even that CO2 levels haven’t been higher. The glaciation of the Pleistocene had more to do with the Milankovitch cycles, the eccentricity of earth’s orbit, along with the precession and wandering of the earth’s axis, than with CO2 cycles. We seem hypnotized by the CO2 debate, while many other issues are ignored. There is a lot more CO2 dissolved in the ocean, than there is in the atmosphere, and the oceans have about a 200 year cycle of turnover caused by ocean currents. It is therefore entirely possible that we are already approaching the tipping point caused by warming oceans slowly releasing their CO2 baggage. If that is true, have fun debating these points, as we may already be screwed.

    Methane is a much more potent green house gas than CO2, and just as the ocean is a significant carbon sink, so the melting of tundra in northern latitudes, is resulting in an increasing release of methane. The claims about solar activity, volcanism and other forcings have been largely debunked in terms of significance with respect to not only natural effects of CO2 release and sequestration, but increasingly with our own strenuous efforts to pollute and poison the atmosphere, at a time when politicians wish to get rid of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. Vulcanism on a scale with the Deccan Plates will have serious and enduring release of greenhouse gases, but volcanoes on the scale of Krakatoa may affect things for a year or so, but their emissions on the whole are less than those of industrialized mankind. These are measurable quantities we’re talking about.

    No one is claiming that warming is only the result of anthropogenic sources. The argument is much simpler: If we are entering a climatic period which may endanger our very existence, regardless of who or what is to “blame”, does it make sense to argue that there is nothing we can do to mitigate those circumstances, or should we be strenuously attempting to create the alternative energy solutions which not only result in less greenhouse gas production, but become the solutions an innovative and inventive culture then sells to the rest of the world? If 97% of the scientists around the world, from countries with extremely diverse political and economic systems, who actually study climatology say that climate change today has a dangerous anthropogenic component, are we to believe that these folks are all simply in the grant fishing business? The whole field of Climate Change seems to me extremely complex, and unfortunately it has fallen prey to the typical sound-byte “gotcha” type political debate which predominates today. Just consider the following: If those who deny that climate change has an anthropogenic component, or even just insist that there is nothing we can do about climate…. If they’re wrong, we’re toast…. Think about that.

  35. Jeff Christie says:

    The American Meteorological Society, the professional society that represents TV weathermen, has come down squarely in support of AGW.

    “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.”

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