Climate Change - Yes or No

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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby greg c » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:50 pm

So it won't kill me to pay more, and it won't kill you. And that's all that matters, eh?


I am a great believer in social democracy. Facts are electricity in Australia is the cheapest in the world. In most countries you pay double, in some up to quadruple. If we implemented a carbon tax at the level the Greens are proposing, you would get about $10bn revenue per annum. After diverting about $3.7bn to the stationary energy plan you would still have plenty to help those who need it. If you were smart the assistance would be targeted to help reduced energy use so the savings would be ongoing for the individual and the planet rather than a straight cash handout

Still all we know is what we have recently observed , there are no historical records of C02 levels prior to the industrial revolution or historically accurate global temperature records , just speculation or calculations of what we think it was.


Wrong !! There are several studies of deep ice cores from the Antarctic that go back at least 600,000 years that give a very accurate measure of the composition of the atmosphere from the bubbles of that atmosphere trapped in the ice. Further, from Isotope concentrations, the average temperature can be deduced at those times as well. This shows that the average temp tracks the CO2 level quite closely and in that time the CO2 level has not gone above 280ppm except in the last 250 years. CO2 levels have gone down in that time though, roughly on the 12,000 year cycle that gives us the ice ages. Two things to note here, an ice age is triggered by about the same deviation from the long term max as we have raised it to today. An Inconvenient Truth shows this quite clearly.

I agree that this does appear to be an explanation for increased CO2 levels, especially as it appears to be confirmed by the changing carbon isotope ratios.


There is no other plausible explanation. In that case we need to act, wouldn't you agree.

The issue is not with fossil fuels, or burning forests, or solar panels, or rotting food, the issue is simply that as a species we are stupid and greedy. When that fact is accepted, the rest falls in to place.


If we accept that we should do something about it. However we have been running BAU for so long in the face of clear evidence that we have backed ourselves into a corner. Time is running out, or maybe already run out.

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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby zzsstt » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:50 am

I always find it interesting when I hear that time is running out. The reality is that the planet will cope quite happily. It may not be the same as it was 100 years ago, but then that wasn't the same as it was 100 years before that, nevermind 1 million years ago! The changes that happen may not suit us, but the planet will not (as some still seem to think) turn in to something like Venus.

When it comes to historical temperatures and CO2 concentration (though I was not the author of the post you quoted), the statement that was made is entirely true. There are no direct measurements, there are only extrapolations. Even if we assume that the extrapolations are correct, and in truth we could never be sure even if we assumed that all the scientists were entirely free of the bias we have discussed earlier in the thread, we are still attempting to compare an extrapolated result with a direct measured result. This at best gives an estimate or guide and at worst gives an entirely misleading result. Add to that, of course, the various "adjustments" that are made to both the measured data and the extrapolated data and, from an old school scientific viewpoint, you have nothing at all.

My weather station measures the temperature every 5 seconds, and with the assumption that it is a reasonably accurate and reasonably consistent unit, that gives me an equally reasonable (though amateur) set of data. I can, with confidence, state that one day was warmer than another and so forth. On a global scale, however, the process is somewhat different. We are taking records for (say) the last 100 years, measured all over the place and with different equipment and different operators. For most of that time for any given reading we are dealing with a best case accuracy of perhaps +/- 0.5C, and noting that as the measurements were taken by many different people, they will suffer from reading differences and time of day differences. We then start to "adjust" that data, which is fine if we assume that such adjustments are genuine and unbiased, or that at least they make the result more accurate (rather than more suited to our cause!). So we adjust for "heat island" affects for city based stations, but do we adjust enough, or too much - the adjustment itself is an "estimate". Then we remove any apparent anomalies in the readings, and I have heard of cases where (alledgedly) an entire year of data has been removed from history becuase there were a couple of daily readings missing. Whilst it is true that such missing data may impact the accuracy of a yearly average temperature, it is also true that the missing year will affect longer term rolling averages! So from this we can easily see that even our measured historical data can be questioned, and more so when we consider that the IPCC's "estimated global temperature" does not in fact use all the available data, but simply a subset of it. Who selects the subset and on what criteria?

Now things get even trickier, as we start to use measurements from satellites. We know (because of the "calibration error" that resulted in the satellites showing no warming) that the temperature measurements they provide are dependent on how they are calibrated and what part of the atmosphere they are measuring. And yet we are to believe that the data published by people who are desperate to prove AGW exists, shows "the truth"?

We then proceed to take the "adjusted, edited and selected" historical measurements, the "correctly calibrated" satellite data and the to the data "extrapolated" from ice cores and other sources, and feed them in to a computer simulation designed by the same people who edited the data and who desperately want to prove AGW is real.......

I will say again that none of this inherently means that AGW is not real, but when viewed objectively it most certainly does mean that the "evidence" is in no way bulletproof. Every day we see "scientific" proof that is clearly hogwash. The marketing department is very good at making dodgy science look convincing, or even making genuine results look like something else, like those bar graphs where the y axis runs from 1000 to 1050, thus making the 20 unit - or 2% - diference between the products look like one product is twice as good as the other?

On the other hand, it is logical that burning fossil fuels takes deeply buried carbon and adds it to the short term cycle. Such a conclusion is utterly logical and does not need computer programs and measurements. It would however also seem logical that:

1/ As the fossil fuel was originally plant/animal material, then all the carbon was originally in the short term cycle, meaning this situation is neither new nor terminal, as the planet survived the last time it was all above ground

and

2/ As in any equilibrium, especially one involving biology, adding to one side of the equation will eventually cause a new balance to be found - CO2 will be removed more quickly as the conditions for growth of the removing entity (i.e. warmer and more "food") cause an increase in the population of that entity.

I am not sure where you get your electricity from for it to be "cheap", but at the current rates (about AU22c/kWh peak rate, or US20c) it is about twice the cost of the US, and much the same as the UK. Electricity pricing varies massively, some small island states do indeed have power costing twice what it does in Australia (though I know of nowhere where it is quadruple!), however some countries pay 60% less than we do (i.e. below US9c/kWh). Australian pricing is about average for a developed country, and above average if we exclude the more extreme (one could suggest "politically motivated") prices that exist in countries like Germany and Denmark.

If a carbon tax was implemented, the price of everything would increase massively. Half the population would require handouts, and industry (and agriculture) would have to increase prices to stay in business. Please remember when quoting the Green party, that they (in all seriousness) follow a communist/dictatorship approach - hardly surprising when many of them actually are communists - and have a zero growth policy.

The problem with an ETS is that in a "mild" form it creates an opportunity for financial institutes to profit, whilst doing very little to fix the problem. In an extreme form, such as proposed by the Greens, it may address the issues, but in doing so it (when done unilaterally) removes Australia from any participation in world trade. The problem is that Australia without world trade would be unlikely to be much fun! And even if it caused a complete halt to fossil fuel usage in Australia (with the inevitable starvation of everybody currently relying on food that requires transportation), that would only remove 1.28% of the world emssions!
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:56 pm

zzsstt wrote:When it comes to historical temperatures and CO2 concentration (though I was not the author of the post you quoted), the statement that was made is entirely true. There are no direct measurements, there are only extrapolations.


I would have thought the historical CO2 derived concentrations were from correlations rather than extrapolations.
IE, for known recent atmospheric concentrations we can see how much CO2 there is in the ice. Do this for as many years as you can to get a good handle on the uncertainties / scatter, then examine how much CO2 is in the ice for years previous to the correlated period and you have a good idea of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 for that period. This is a direct measurement, not an extrapolation! Of course there will no doubt be other factors to take into consideration such as increasing ice pressure over time, temperature at the time of deposition, and others (just thinking logically here, I dont know all the factors that are taken into account).
However, I'm fairly certain there is no "I want to prove increasing atmospheric CO2 to get more funding" factor included :!:
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby Joey » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:52 am

zzsstt , one of the most meaningful posts I have read to date , great summary of how it really is.
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby 470rigby » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:31 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:However, I'm fairly certain there is no "I want to prove increasing atmospheric CO2 to get more funding" factor included :!:

"Au contraire, mon frere". I think that it has to be assumed that all science outcomes are dictated by the strings that come with funding. Unfortunately, the days of purist science went out with the Pennyfarthing. There is a type of "Stockholm Syndrome" at work in that the most science today whereby scientists come to adopt the views of those that have captured the flow of funding. For example, do you think that the ANU Climate Change Institute would fund research aimed at disproving climate change when their very existence is predicated by the belief that climate change is real?

So, if there is some sort of defacto democracy at work in climate change science, the numbers on each side of the argument is probably correlatable to the amount of funds being spent on by both sides.

I suspect that the vast majority of funding flows to those that have a "belief" in the notion that climate change is happening. And we are supposed to embrace the Mark Twainish notion that "we have the majority of scientists on our side, and that's a big enough majority anywhere"!

True science is not democratic. Most of the early scientists were regarded as heretics, but there is no room for heresy in climate science today. Unless you want to starve!
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby greg c » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:35 pm

I always find it interesting when I hear that time is running out. The reality is that the planet will cope quite happily. It may not be the same as it was 100 years ago, but then that wasn't the same as it was 100 years before that, nevermind 1 million years ago! The changes that happen may not suit us, but the planet will not (as some still seem to think) turn in to something like Venus


Couldn't agree more. The Earth Goddess will deal with us. There is no chance we will go the Venus route, we are not close enough. However the last million years it has been going through the various ice ages etc in a very rhythmical way, very stable; that is until we discovered fossil fuels and pushed the graph to places it has not been since we have inhabited the planet.

There are no direct measurements, there are only extrapolations.


Couldn't disagree more. We are measuring the actual air that was there, it is trapped as bubbles in the ice. No extrapolation.

I can, with confidence, state that one day was warmer than another and so forth. On a global scale, however, the process is somewhat different. We are taking records for (say) the last 100 years, measured all over the place and with different equipment and different operators.


You been running your weather station for the last 50 years? Didn't think so, we are dealing with long term trends. I would put my money on a good Victorian era mercury thermometer any day compared to the off the shelf weather stations, I know I've got one too. The heat island effect has been dealt with very thoroughly, it is just sceptic rubbish. We have weather stations all over the globe, not enough over the ocean I will agree. I know of one year of data being removed because it was obviously a typo. One could have just corrected the typo and put the data back in but the right thing was done and the data was left out.

We know (because of the "calibration error" that resulted in the satellites showing no warming) that the temperature measurements they provide are dependent on how they are calibrated and what part of the atmosphere they are measuring. And yet we are to believe that the data published by people who are desperate to prove AGW exists, shows "the truth"


Scientific evidence for the above?

Every day we see "scientific" proof that is clearly hogwash. The marketing department is very good at making dodgy science look convincing, or even making genuine results look like something else, like those bar graphs where the y axis runs from 1000 to 1050, thus making the 20 unit - or 2% - diference between the products look like one product is twice as good as the other?


'Scientific'. Precisely, this is the stock in trade of the sceptic. Like showing the temps for the first 7 or 8 years of the 21st century and 'proving Global Warming is actually cooling. Look at all the data and the upward trend is obvious.

As the fossil fuel was originally plant/animal material, then all the carbon was originally in the short term cycle, meaning this situation is neither new nor terminal, as the planet survived the last time it was all above ground


?? We are thrusting the carbon back into the atmosphere virtually instantaneously in geological time scales, that is the issue.

I am not sure where you get your electricity from for it to be "cheap", but at the current rates (about AU22c/kWh peak rate, or US20c)


Quoting peak prices is a bit rich. See attachment.

Please remember when quoting the Green party, that they (in all seriousness) follow a communist/dictatorship approach


That statement is an insult to a true communist. I am not one but I was good friends with an old couple who were. Owned nothing and shared everything. The Greens are about where the Labor party used to be.

Agreed the ETS as presented to the parliament was a dog. The carbon Tax will not cause everything to go up massively. The rate chosen sets the price lower than it probably would be under an ETS, and is purely meant as a transition step to a proper ETS How else are you to get people to cut back on fossil fuel use. You could of course direct it, but we don't live in that sort of country. Maybe that is why China is dong so well.

Peak Oil will deal with the food transport issue much more severely than the carbon tax ever will. I am not suggesting we stop fossil fuel use and export immediately. Ten years would be good. I am tired of the old argument that because we emit only 1.4% of greenhouse gases we don't need to do anything. If we switched over to 100% renewable electricity by 2020 it would send a powerful signal to other nations, especially if we can start to export the knowledge and experience gained. We should hurry, if we don't, China will do it for us.

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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby zzsstt » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:42 am

I will reply more fully later, but the electricity prices you quote are cut directly from Wiki and are simply not true.

Country Energy domestic tarrif, including GST, as of 1 July 2010:

All kWh (non TOU) - 24.33c
Controlled load (off peak hot water) - 9.23c
TOU Peak rate - 26.2c
TOU Shoulder - 26.2c
TOU off peak - 13.12c

I stated 22c, and for a general domestic user I would suggest that 22c is about right for an average price.

As far as ice goes, are we really measuring air trapped as bubbles? It's a good theory, but when I make ice in my freezer I freeze water and sometimes get gas bubbles in the ice, but they were not in the water! Perhaps the gases dissolved in the water formed those bubbles? The point is that we are simply making an assumption, or a best guess at the accuracy or validity of such measurements.

The Victorian thermometer is only as accurate as the person reading it, even if it is perfectly calibrated. The height of the readers eye, and the reader themself will create a variance, as will the time of day. It may be that the "National Geographic Institue" (or whatever) have very accurate results, but most rural measurements were done by the post office, and they get up late with hangovers the same as everyone else!

As far as the satellite data goes, as you have quote Wiki so will I, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements for detail but I will quote:

"The CCSP SAP 1.1 Executive Summary states:

"Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies."

Like I said, when the data doesn't agree with the theory we find a reason to change the data. Obviously it may that the data was indeed wrong, but it's remarkably convenient! Also explained on the Wiki page is how satellite do not measure temperature, and how the data must be mathematically modelled to get temperature results - and how these results vary depnding on who is doing the modelling. Funny that!
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby Tracker » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:46 am

greg c wrote:Quoting peak prices is a bit rich. See attachment.


What a pack-o-poo that comparison is.. ;) .... How useless it is, with shown prices varying from 2006 to 2010.
I suspect that there are a great many millions of Australians who would love to think they were paying an average of 7c..
Surely, if you actually live in Australia , you would know that 22c is likely a low figure for an average.

Whilst I think that Australia has been doing a deal of catching up with Electricity-Prices, I seriously doubt that we were paying anything like 7c even back in 2006.

http://forums.energymatters.com.au/wind-solar-misc/topic1529.html

Have a look at the above thread for the latest comparison and that customer's quandary ! ;)
AND - then consider what an ETS would do to those figures
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby Tracker » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:58 am

zzsstt wrote:"Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human induced global warming.


Something that I have never been able to comprehend....
A Satellite uses IR Thermography to scan the earth's surface and measure the temperature.

I have a hand gun/meter (pyrometer) and if I stand back from a refrigerator and open the door and measure the temperature, it is different to when I hold the gun close to an object inside.
I presume that the sensor is seeing an average of the temperature within it's aperture.. Not just what I want it to see.

So - how does the satellite discriminate between the upper-atmosphere cold air, lower atmospheric hot winds and the actual surface temperature? (except by application of some equalising fudge factor)

Does anyone know how they do it??
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Re: Climate Change - Yes or No

Postby Tracker » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:25 am

Tracker wrote:We know (because of the "calibration error" that resulted in the satellites showing no warming) that the temperature measurements they provide are dependent on how they are calibrated and what part of the atmosphere they are measuring.

How interesting that I just heard a radio comment about how all the NOA data on Satellite-Earth-Surface-Temperatures, has supposedly been taken off line.
The statement was that a Climate-Change Skeptic challenged the data, and showed that the many years of data was flawed with reading being shown as significantly higher than in reality.
I do assume that many of the Climate-Change models are based on these readings.

So , is it another case of modeling being manipulated to create the result being sought.. :( .... Is it a case of the Surface-Temperature interpolation algorithms of NOA, having been left unchallenged, because it suited the political flavor of "See - we told you so !"
greg c wrote:I know of one year of data being removed because it was obviously a typo. One could have just corrected the typo and put the data back in but the right thing was done and the data was left out.

I wonder how you can create a years worth of wrong data by a typo.. Surely a typo creates one mistake, unless it's a typo in some algorithm that distorts the recorded data, and then I ask, "Well how pure and correct is the data, if a typo can distort it to the point of complete rejection"...
ie.. The data did not suit the model - so we just reject it..

Anyway - thank heavens for the election results - At least we won't be having an ETS in the immediate future, and we might have time to prove just what the situation really is..

greg c wrote:I am a great believer in social democracy. Facts are electricity in Australia is the cheapest in the world. In most countries you pay double, in some up to quadruple. If we implemented a carbon tax at the level the Greens are proposing, you would get about $10bn revenue per annum.

I suppose that is true, because we have lots of coal.. I hear these suggestions and always wonder "Where would these people get their base-load-power from..?"
Has anyone found a reference to genuine price comparisons form recent moths? We clearly know that the 7c is total crap.
If we are going to pay a premium for energy in order to improve the earth's supposed problems, then where do WE make those improvements.

Being the skeptic that I am, I often wonder if the majority of those who vehemently support the ETS and raising energy costs to a dramatically punitive level, are either earning a living from the Climate-Change Industry, or outside the normal taxation system (ie. on Federal-Benefits, students etc. etc.), because I don't find too many average tax-payers who are happy to fund the unproven..
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