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Reducing Climate Change Uncertainty By Figuring Out Clouds

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the look-an-article-about-actual-clouds dept.

Earth 249

Most climate scientists agree that the Earth's climate is getting warmer, but models predicting the severity of the temperature rise span a (relatively) broad range. One big reason for this is the difficulty in modeling things like cloud cover and how different air masses mix and move around each other. "Specifically, they have differences in how water-rich air at the bottom of the atmosphere gets mixed with the layers immediately above it. In some cases, this mixing increases rapidly as the temperature rises, effectively drying out the lower atmosphere and suppressing cloud formation there. This in turn would enhance the warming effect. In others, the increase in mixing is more gradual, limiting the impact of warming on clouds. The former produces a higher climate sensitivity; the latter a lower one. ... So, the authors turned to the atmosphere, using data to determine the relative importance of these processes (abstract). In the end, they find that the models that dry out the lower atmosphere more quickly are likely to get the process right. And, in these models, the mixing increases the drying rate in the lower atmosphere by about five to seven percent for each Kelvin the Earth's temperature increases. In contrast, the rate of evaporation, which adds moisture to the lower atmosphere, only increases by two percent for each Kelvin. Thus, the lower atmosphere dries out, cloud formation there is suppressed, and the planet warms even further. How much more will it warm? Quite a bit."

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First thing they need to do (0)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#45839653)

Is to change to using an absolute scale of temperature like Kelvin

Re:First thing they need to do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45839679)

Sure, and we need to castrate pedos like you, as well.

Re:First thing they need to do (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#45839903)

What makes you think they don't already do the calculations using the Kelvin scale and just convert to Celsius for reporting the results?

Re:First thing they need to do (4, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#45839917)

Is to change to using an absolute scale of temperature like Kelvin

Not really... they could have said "degrees" and it would have held true for all parts of the world using Celsius (including scientists in the US). The Kelvin bit is just silly, as Kelvin just sets 0 at a different point along the same scale as Celsius (0 being no energy vs 0 being freezing point of water). When you're measuring the temperature delta, Kelvin vs Celsius is meaningless (373.15 - 273.15 = 100 - 0).

Re:First thing they need to do (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#45840199)

The Kelvin and Celsius temperature scales use the same sized degrees but Kelvin is an absolute temperature scale in that it's tied to absolute zero while Celsius is relative to the freezing and boiling points of water at standard atmospheric conditions. Since Kelvin is an absolute temperature scale it's more useful when comparing different temperatures. For instance a 1% increase in the average temperature of the Earth would be about 2.85 Kelvin. You couldn't use the Celsius scale to calculate that directly since it it only relative.

Differences from a baseline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840649)

Differences from a baseline mean that a different baseline between the two measures make no difference.

Warming 1degree kelvin from 273K to 274K is the same difference as warming 1 degree celsius from 0C to 1C.

Therefore "kelvin is an absolute scale" makes no difference.

Please think on this.

Re:First thing they need to do (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#45839949)

They're reporting differences in temperatures, in this case "climate sensitivity", the amount of temperature change predicted for a given change in some other quantity (such as atmospheric concentrations of CO2). When discussing temperature intervals, Kelvin and degrees Celsius are used interchangeably, because 1 K = 1 degree C. They only differ (by a fixed offset) when discussing specific temperatures, since they set the zero point in a different place.

P.S. It's 2014 and I still can't type a degree symbol in a Slashdot comment. Here's the Unicode: . And here's the HTML entity: .

meta stable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45839699)

As a physicist I do not take modeling of the atmosphere as we understood it now serious.

The atmosphere is too much a chaotic system with many (meta-) stable states.

Re:meta stable (2)

gargleblast (683147) | about a year ago | (#45842365)

As a physicist blithely dismissing another scientific discipline, you're a lousy physicist.

Chemtrail are working (0, Troll)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#45839717)

... apparently there is a great deal figured out in regards to engineering the weather. The polar ice caps are not shrinking, but growing.

Re:Chemtrail are working (1, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45839773)

Last time, I checked the polar cap on the winter side of the planet was growing. As it does every year in winter. Otoh the polar cap on the summer side was shrinking, as it does every year in summer.
Total ice mass on the planet is shrinking each year. If you have other news than NASA and ESA please post it ...

Re:Chemtrail are working (2, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#45840613)

we've just learned that there are huge reservoirs of unfrozen water under greenland ice sheet, and for the second year antarctic sea ice has reached a record high to the befuddlement of climate modelers (and a ship full of them is stuck in ice), and yet you make absurd statement as if we had completely accurate ice inventory.

The models are failing, they didn't even account for the dominant greenhouse gas on earth, which is water and which is far too complicated to model with current technology. And linking to the stupid assertion #18 on RealClimate.org about water vapor, based on a single event in the 90s, is not going to prove anything other than that only pseudo-scientific arguments from the "climatologists" exist on the subject.

Re:Chemtrail are working (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45841193)

Sorry, your post is from top to bottom just gibberish.
What exactly do you want to say?
An australian ship is cought in pack ice because the captain made a mistake? And you blame climat scientists? They should have warned him?
Since when is a local weather situation 'climate'?

So water vapour is to difficult to modell with current technology? Might it be you mix up thechnology with knowledge? What the fuck has our thechnology to do with our mathematical modells?

Re:Chemtrail are working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45841741)

If you can't spell "caught" correctly, why should we pay attention to you?

Re:Chemtrail are working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842007)

Sorry, your post is from top to bottom just gibberish.
What exactly do you want to say?
An australian ship is cought in pack ice because the captain made a mistake? And you blame climat scientists? They should have warned him?
Since when is a local weather situation 'climate'?

So water vapour is to difficult to modell with current technology? Might it be you mix up thechnology with knowledge? What the fuck has our thechnology to do with our mathematical modells?

All the climate models, with all this uncertainty we keep learning, and the results are always the same "In all the models, Earth is getting slightly warmer because of human activity."

New deep ocean currents found that we didn't know about? In all the models, Earth is getting slightly warmer because of human activity.

Huge lake of previously-unknown water found under Greenland ice sheet? In all the models, Earth is getting slightly warmer because of human activity.

New data comes out about solar activity and cycles? In all the models, Earth is getting slightly warmer because of human activity.

New information comes to light about how clouds effect changes in temperature? In all the models, Earth is getting slightly warmer because of human activity.

Where the hell is the outlier? The one model that predicts crazy results? You know, like the different hurricane models do when the 6 or 7 that are used all show wildly different predicted tracks for a hurricane.

None of the climate change models ever produces an outlier result? The results never change even when our understanding of massive parts of the Earth's climate and Sun change?

I call BULLSHIT.

There's just too much economic incentive to produce results that require more study.

Re:Chemtrail are working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842779)

What's the economic incentive to carry on with business as usual, i.e, unrestrained growth driven by burning fossil fuels?

Re:Chemtrail are working (5, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#45841265)

"The models are failing, they didn't even account for the dominant greenhouse gas on earth, which is water and which is far too complicated to model with current technology. "

The shameless ignorance is strong with this one.

Do you really believe that climatologists have IGNORED water for 50 years? Oh, "oops we forgot it again"? WTF? It's like asserting that the entire profession of internal medicine forgetting that kidneys exist because they're "too complicated to model" and assume animals are all kidney and urine free.

The very paper from the original article, peer reviewed and published in the top journal on the planet, is exactly about this very problem of testing which of the many climate models best deal with the complex feedback and feedforwards with water and clouds by using experimental data.

Here's a hint. The people who do this for a living know much much much much more than you and I do about it. I have a modest idea how much more the pros know about it (I have a PhD in physics and am acquainted with the author) and I also have the feeling that in fact however much more I think they understand, they are probably even beyond that.

Re:Chemtrail are working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842595)

Most climate scientists agree that the Earth's climate is getting warmer, but models predicting the severity of the temperature rise span a (relatively) broad range. One big reason for this is the difficulty in modeling things like cloud cover and how different air masses mix and move around each other.

Lets ignore the other "factors" man has yet to understand, and lets ignore the fact a computer is programmed by man, and mans understanding or in most cases lack of understanding is never at error.

Look at the weather, local in particular, and tell me how many days ahead can they get right? They use computer models to predict weather and there predictions are worse then the days of then doing it by hand.

I use to get a channel when I had cable PCN, Pennsylvania News Channel, they would have a 15 minute segment from Penn States weather center, they use computer models, but they also use there own knowledge of weather and often times go with what they believe would happen, and 90% of the time if they went with the computer model it would be wrong.

Why do people just jump at computers never being wrong, or the fact that despite science being around for thousands of years man has yet to fully understand how the planet works? Again programmed by man, and of course man is never wrong...

Re:Chemtrail are working (1)

kayoshiii (1099149) | about a year ago | (#45841401)

Honestly who modded this insightful. Of course the models take into account water vapour into account, and of the effect of water vapour is difficult to model which is a big part of the reason that the error bars given say in the IPCC are quite large.

As for the Antarctic sea ice. The very first article I looked at explains that although the ice extent is a record, the volume of ice is shrinking. It's almost like the somebody read just the headline and made assumptions. I am not sure what finding ice under greenland would prove at all.

Insane Cloud Posse (3, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#45839719)

Fucking Clouds, How Do They Work?

Re:Insane Cloud Posse (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year ago | (#45839749)

They don't work. They float.

Re:Insane Cloud Posse (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45839801)

They form unexpectatly. They rain down suddenly.
So it is here when you look at it, and suddenly it's gone.

They insulate. They also reflect.
So which effect is bigger?

While forming they are simply water vapour (a potent greenhouse gas).

While forming they extract a great deal of heat out of the ocean. How much exactly depends on many factors, e.g. do they form over night or durin day time.

Re:Insane Cloud Posse (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#45841339)

They form unexpectatly. They rain down suddenly.
So it is here when you look at it, and suddenly it's gone.

They insulate. They also reflect.
So which effect is bigger?

While forming they are simply water vapour (a potent greenhouse gas).

While forming they extract a great deal of heat out of the ocean. How much exactly depends on many factors, e.g. do they form over night or durin day time.

Thank you Sheldon Cooper!

Re:Insane Cloud Posse (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45841405)

Just Sheldon for you!

Re:Insane Cloud Posse (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45841263)

Fucking Clouds, How Do They Work?

Why do we need to figure out how they work? The science is settled. [npr.org] And since it's settled we don't need to do anymore work.

As noted previously, denying this for anyone in this thread makes you a climate change denier. Especially for those that have pointed out in the past that: We don't know how clouds operate fully in the biosphere, how much of an impact the sun has, total and partial fluctuations of various gravity effects, cosmic ray's and their impacts, and so on.

Hold up there, slick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45839747)

This sounds like that hokey atheist socialist liberal "science" thing I was warned about. Everyone knows there's no such thing as global warming. A guy on the radio said so.

Models vs models (5, Insightful)

cirby (2599) | about a year ago | (#45839807)

The study assumes that the models that show lower amounts of warming are the "less accurate" ones, and the models with higher warming are going to be "more accurate." Eventually, that is.

The problem is that all of the climate models that predict AGW have been wrong, and the ones that show the least amount of actual warming are the ones that are least wrong at this point. So their solution is to come up with yet another one-dimensional computer model that shifts the possible warming a few decades into the future.

The study also suggests that the water vapor in the lower atmosphere will more or less migrate up - which is not happening, according to actual observations by satellites.

It's like the old AGW models, which predicted a "tropical hot spot" a few miles up that would happen due to AGW - and which never appeared.

Re:Models vs models (3, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | about a year ago | (#45839901)

"The study assumes"
No, the study concludes.

This political debate waged in selective pseudo-scientific microquibbles is silly. It's really pretty simple.

1) You can trust the process and presume that if the research scientists are converging on the basics, they're probably on the right track.

2) You can prove them wrong - on scientific turf, not the comments section of a news article - and earn yourself a nobel prize and the undying thanks of millions of concerned citizens

3) You can shut the fuck up.

Re:Models vs models (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840167)

The scientific turf does not care about facts. They are just one mass mob involved in a massive circle jerk.

Facts millions of concerned citizens in fact to not give a fuck about science. Which major sports team is winning is of coarse of prime importance.

I blame the jews. The Jewish media has created a climate where the gentiles of the world do not give a fuck about anything except sports. Meanwhile the jews of the world engage in scientific research, and networking, so that they can gather up all the noble prizes. I don't have a problem with real science. The problem is that the real scientists who create these scientific studies all use low wage earner major league sports enthusiasts to gather their data. Garbage in Garbage out. Do you really think someone earing 7.50 an hour is concerned about the legitimacy of science. I have firsthand knowledge of this.

But all you faggots who are concerned with the climate change will not examine how this data is obtained.

True fact. Scientists in the 50's determined that steroids had absolutely no affect on muscle growth. The lab tech was selling all the pharma grade testosterone to his muscle head buddies.
Science is not your God. You have to have some common sense when interpreting scientific results.

Re:Models vs models (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45840259)

2) You can prove them wrong - on scientific turf, not the comments section of a news article - and earn yourself a nobel prize and the undying thanks of millions of concerned citizens

The problem is that 2) requires time. With sufficiently massaged paleoclimate data you can conclude just about anything. But it takes decades to gather high quality satellite data to confirm or falsify the claims made.

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840381)

"Most climate scientists agree that the Earth's climate is getting warmer, "

-- and those that don't are said to be in denial.

Re:Models vs models (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#45841283)

":-- and those that don't are said to be in denial."

which is entirely correct given the experimental data and known facts of physics.

Re:Models vs models (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45842311)

...the experimental data before or after it was "adjusted"?

Re:Models vs models (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#45840429)

2) You can prove them wrong

Prove a negative? So far reality is proving them wrong.

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840537)

The reality is that man influenced climate in ways it doesn't fully understand, period. ALL science agrees with this.

Re: Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842431)

All good climatologists know that, compared to the models, reality has a well known cool bias...

Re:Models vs models (0)

dpilot (134227) | about a year ago | (#45840853)

4) You can be happy that the selfless companies making their hard-earned meager revenue selling hydrocarbons are here to protect us from those overpaid, greedy climate scientists.

(Father of a PhD student in the sciences, so I have a pretty good idea of how overpaid and greedy they are. If you don't recognize that as sarcasm, you have a problem. You also need to better understand just how hostile the US is to the sciences, or at least home growing scientists.)

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45841611)

You also need to better understand just how hostile the US is to the sciences, or at least home growing scientists.

If I saw some cheeky scientist just sitting there growing homes like some sort of Johnny Appleseed, making all of us hard-working red-blooded Americans who had to -build- our own homes the old-fashioned way look like total schmucks, I'd be a little hostile, too.

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842057)

4) You can be happy that the selfless companies making their hard-earned meager revenue selling hydrocarbons are here to protect us from those overpaid, greedy climate scientists.

(Father of a PhD student in the sciences, so I have a pretty good idea of how overpaid and greedy they are. If you don't recognize that as sarcasm, you have a problem. You also need to better understand just how hostile the US is to the sciences, or at least home growing scientists.)

And if your child ever published a paper saying AGW doesn't exist, he'd be even more underpaid because he'd lose his job.

That's the state of climate "science" today. Got the stones to actually ask him what would happen to him were he to try publishing data contradicting the received widsom on AGW?

Re:Models vs models (2)

dpilot (134227) | about a year ago | (#45842193)

As an attacking AC you don't deserve an answer, but I'll give you one. My daughter hasn't had to to a paper on AGW, but she had an interesting little thing happen to her master's thesis. She was using data by previous students, and some of it didn't look quite right. It's not that it didn't match her desired conclusions, it's that certain proportions didn't match what she knew as normal. So she went into the archives, pulled a sample of the original materials, and took the data herself. Whoever had taken the data on the original samples hadn't done it right, and hadn't checked themselves. She had to re-take the data on all of the samples, and ended up changing her conclusions to fit what she found from the data.

AGW is a complex thing - there will be no one conclusive experiment that confirms or blows the whole thing. You nibble around at the pieces, confirming or denying, and real scientists accept real, confirmable conclusions. AGW is also a theory, and real scientists accepts that the theory will need modification to fit the facts.

Re:Models vs models (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45840893)

The problem with models and predictions is that eventually you get to compare them to real world observations. They become accurate or inaccurate based on reality. If you want to enact social and economic change, you make sure your models predict catastrophe. You gobble up any funding provided to you, and use it to predict more catastrophe with more certainty. The problem is that reality will eventually intrude, and the game will be over.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means1.png

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842617)

Join the 21st century already. Sure they had a cozy monopoly on academic journals in the past. That's over. The Internet was invented. It's changed how communication is done and is changing how science is done.

Re:Models vs models (2, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#45840009)

What are you talking about? Neglecting transient fluctuations (which are admittedly large enough to partially mask the still-small trend), global warming has been drastically worse that the worst-case scenarios predicted several decades ago predicted, probably in large part because human fossil fuel consumption has also been exceeding the worst-case scenario assumptions. Just because we haven't yet reached the predicted "apocalypse" doesn't mean we can't see it coming - it was never predicted to start to really manifest obviously until well into this century, and the earliest.

Don't make the mistake of confusing the well-established "broad overview" science with the often disproved theories on the details that may exacerbate or moderate the problem. Trends are far easier to predict - you can fairly accurately predict how a crowd will move using extremely simple models that can't even begin to predict the movements of an individual within that crowd.

At this point nobody in the scientific community is predicting global warming - you don't predict it's going to start raining when you're already getting wet. The evidence is in, GW is real and getting rapidly worse. What's being studied now is the details that may lead to ways we can "cheat" our way out of the problem, or at least get a more detailed prediction of what's actually coming once things get so bad that the politicians are forced to give up their oil-industry funded blinders and deal with the crises surrounding them. Because if you can get even 5-10 years warning that a region is going to start experiencing massive flooding and drought then you have a chance to start building the necessary dams now, instead of waiting until your budget is stretched thin by dealing with crisis after seasonal crisis.

Re:Models vs models (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45840323)

At this point nobody in the scientific community is predicting global warming - you don't predict it's going to start raining when you're already getting wet. The evidence is in, GW is real and getting rapidly worse.

How many degrees per decade again? And why is that considered "getting rapidly worse"? Global warming denying is not the only anti-scientific belief system causing waves here. The catastrophic climate change people are another such problem.

Re:Models vs models (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#45840629)

That qualifies as getting rapidly worse because ecologies take time to adapt, and the rate of change is already exceeding anything in the geological record, including past climate changes events associated with widespread extinctions. And in case you hadn't noticed our ecology isn't currently doing all that great to begin with. Remember, if the bees all die, so do we. Ditto grass, and probably even sharks, etc.etc.etc. Anything that shoves the current ecology permanently out of balance is likely to cause the near-extinction of humanity, at best. Won't be the first time such a thing has happened - only a couple thousand of us survived the last ice age, and that was nothing compared to the human-caused extinction event we're already in the midst of.

Re:Models vs models (0)

Bartles (1198017) | about a year ago | (#45840935)

I never thought of it that way. Thanks for opening my eyes. I think this guy says some interesting stuff, too. You might like him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqSZhwu1Rwo

Re:Models vs models (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45842047)

and the rate of change is already exceeding anything in the geological record, including past climate changes events associated with widespread extinctions

Like the asteroid impact that marks the end of the Cretacious? That climate change event probably took a fraction of a second to go from a rock in deep space to dinosaur ending fireball.

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842093)

What are you talking about? Neglecting transient fluctuations (which are admittedly large enough to partially mask the still-small trend) ...

What. The. Fuck.

So it's bouncing all over the place, but TRUST YOU, you know where it's going to wind up?

Re:Models vs models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842815)

Ever taken a dog for a walk on a long leash?
Nearly impossible to perfectly describe the exact path of the dog, but figuring out that stops will be made at a hydrant, a couple trees, corner store, neighbourhood park is not difficult.

Re:Models vs models (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#45840089)

The study assumes that the models that show lower amounts of warming are the "less accurate" ones, and the models with higher warming are going to be "more accurate.

The study "assumes" nothing of the sort. It compared the differences in the way different climate models handle water vapor and cloud formation and found the ones that dry out the lower atmosphere more quickly do a better job of modeling real world observations.

As far as all climate models being wrong that probably has more to do with your misunderstanding of what climate models are designed to do than it does with the climate models themselves. As George Box said "All models are wrong but some are useful." Climate models are at best crude representations of the atmosphere, partly because it's impossible* at this point to model things on a small enough scale to capture everything, but they're still better than any other method we have.

*Impossible because of limitations in computing horsepower. Current models use grid scales of around 100 km x 100 km x 1 km vertical x 30 minutes per step. [ucar.edu]

Re:Models vs models (0)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45840211)

Probably some of this money [wired.co.uk] could had made a difference in how well we could do model climates, or even figure out courses of actions. But seems that is better investment to give it to denialist trolls.

But I heard (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#45839813)

"the science is settled".

How can there be any uncertainty when "the science is settled"?

The science is settled: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9047642 [npr.org]

Re:But I heard (2, Interesting)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about a year ago | (#45839963)

Good Science tends to be rather aware of its limitations.

Bad Science Journalism tends towards dogmatic assertions of absolutism just as much as many religious folk.

"Error bars", "p-values", "uncertainty values/ranges" are the norm in Science, not the exception.

Here you're juxtaposing two separate issues. First "the science is settled" appears to be a remark or jab at the idea that the overwhelming consensus among relevant Scientists and relevant peer-reviewed studies is that global average temps are increasing and that human activity has played a measurable, significant part of that. Second, the projections for how much temp increase by 2100 and 2200 are not exact at all. They're given as a range with a corresponding uncertainty. Supposedly, this latest study/model serves to narrow that range. It's just like the difference between someone telling you it will snow tomorrow and you'll get between 1 and 47 inches vs. another person saying between 4 to 5 inches. Both predictions are somewhat uncertain but one is less so.

IPCC AGW predictions FAILED (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840115)

Graph [clivebest.com] shows 1990 IPCC predicitons with REALITY. There is a range of values predicted by the IPCC and the "settled consensus of climate scientitst" and then there is reality which isn't in the range they selected. They are WRONG, 100% WRONG. They made their predictions, gave a range, told everyone to stop debating, and were wrong, period.

Go ahead back to your church of AGW and keep tithing and singing hymns or whatever else you do there. The rest of us used failed scientific predictions as PROOF they were wrong.

Spin away at those facts. Attack me, attack the graph, pretend I didn't post this, whatever. The fact remains the IPCC FAILED no matter how you want to try and look at it.

Re:IPCC AGW predictions FAILED (2)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#45841173)

OK, what are the expected sizes of decadal-level fluctuations around those predictions?

Furthermore. The measurements of surface which are prlotted are now known to have problems, in particular, underestimating the polar regions which have sparse data and more heating, and heat going into the deeper ocean. A number of peer-reviewed recent analyses and data has shown that the polar heating has been underestimated, as has the heat going to deeper ocean. There is no mystery or problem.

There are zillions of predictions which have been validated.

Re:IPCC AGW predictions FAILED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45841417)

ZILLIONS!

Re:But I heard (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#45840175)

People making irresponsible and extreme statements about climate need to be disavowed by scientists or the science itself will lose credibility with the public. To a large extent, it already has -- and deservedly so. Get it back by being honest and open and by staying away from politics. It's going to take a really long time.

And, yeah, I understand uncertainty and error bars. When the actual, measured temperatures are outside the error bars, the models need to be declared to be incorrect. My understanding is that this should happen within the next few years for many models, if measured warming trends continue.

Re:But I heard (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#45841181)

Much of the very modest discrepancy has been located. It isn't in the models or the physics, but in the completeness and comprehensiveness of the data sets and the data reduction.

Re:But I heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842677)

So they have bad data and not enough data, but what they do have they summarize poorly. Then they fit a model to the crap data.
Then when more crap data comes in and doesn't match their models, they say that the heat is "hiding" in the deep ocean with Godzilla (where, conveniently, measurements can't be made) or in the polar regions with a pink unicorn (where, conveniently, measurements are very difficult to make).
So if you adjust the crap data with the invisible data, their models match perfectly.

Gee, sign me up to give up gasoline and moving to live in a cardboard box in the forest.

Re:But I heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45841433)

Get it back by being honest and open and by staying away from politics.

But then how does one get any funding? If not for the underlying political games being played concerning the climate, there would be much less incentive to start with the goal state, and then work backwards. It's what the IPCC has been doing for decades(e.g. Hockey stick)

Re:But I heard (0)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#45840017)

I don't think anyone has claimed that our understanding is now complete and scientists can just close up shop and go home. There are huge uncertainties, and the IPCC report is quite clear about noting where they are. Just about all that's settled is that there is some kind of anthropogenic climate change, and CO2 is a large driver of it. That's all that Gore in the linked article seems to be claiming as well.

So answer me this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840021)

Is CO2 transparent to visible and opaque to 15 micron IR?

Is that scientific statement settled, dear?

Do tell.

Is that science settled?

Re:But I heard (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#45840023)

If you drop a feather it will hit the ground. The science is settled on that. Predicting the exact path the feather will take, now that's a much more complicated challenge.

Re:But I heard (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#45840565)

wrong, a feather may fly upward due to thermal or wind, and may land somewhere off the ground. The science is not settled on that either

Re:But I heard (1)

kayoshiii (1099149) | about a year ago | (#45841493)

The science on whether a) The planet is warming b) the cause is greenhouse gasses c) of which the primary culprit is CO2 d) which is caused by Human Activity is pretty much settled.

The parts that aren't settled are exactly how sensitive temperatures are to increases in CO2, exactly what increases in temperature will do to weather patterns how much this will play into the worsening of extreme weather events etc.

For instance we know that when the world was between 1 and 2 degrees hotter (125,000 years ago) that the sea level was 4-6 meters higher than it is today. What we aren't sure about is how long it will take for the ice to melt.

Re:But I heard (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about a year ago | (#45842557)

A is pretty easily shown by the evidence available. B and c are conjecture for which the evidence is - thus far - shaky at best. D is quite far from certain.

First of all, we can't even state what the temperature of the Earth has been prior to about the 1970s when weather satellites began large-scale measurements. Prior to that, all we have are ground station measurements (which are terribly incomplete and imprecise and don't match up with the satellite data), tree ring data (which is even more imprecise, more incomplete, and doesn't match up with either the satellite or the ground station measurements), and ice core sampling (which is HORRENDOUSLY imprecise, extremely incomplete, and doesn't match up with any other measurements).

What we actually know today is that CO2 levels are rising and temperatures are somewhat rising. We know these to be true generally since around the 1920s (which is when ground station measurements began to be done by people with at least some training and reasonably calibrated instruments rather than - and I'm not kidding - the completely untrained janitor using an uncalibrated thermometer) and more specifically since the satellite measurement era began in the 70s. Prior to the 1920s, any data we have is terribly imprecise at best. Certainly, we don't have the kind of precision necessary to provide for sub-degree delta changes over the past 100+ years. The further back we go, the less precision we can have, meaning we have no idea just how "unprecedented" any of this is or whether any of this warming can be considered normal.

What we also know is that the planet has seen vastly more abrupt changes in temperature than what we're seeing today. Al Gore's BS about this being completely unlike anything ever recorded is completely ridiculous and demonstrably false. For instance, take the end of the end of the Younger Dryas period. Rather than our current warming of 1C in 100 years, the end of the Younger Dryas period was marked by a warming of ~7C in 5 - 50 years. The cause? Unknown at this time, but we do know that it's just one of many cases where vastly more abrupt changes have occurred than what we're observing today, and nobody was driving SUVs at the time.

So pardon me if I don't buy the whole "the science is settled" line, since I've actually looked at it for myself. The data is muddled and imprecise, the models don't work without fudging, and our current understanding of the Earth's climate is akin to that of your average two-year-old's understanding of a nuclear fission power plant. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be working to learn more about our climate and any potential ways we may be affecting it in undesirable ways. It also doesn't mean we shouldn't be working to stop obviously damaging emissions (such as those from coal fire power plants that destroy the local environment and create dangerous conditions for humans and other animals).

What it does mean is that we have a lot more work to do before we can declare that we understand what's going on and our role in it. It also means we have far more work to do before we declare that we're in a position to make informed decisions on ways to purposely effect change in the global climate. Doing so without a much fuller understanding of the entire system is suicidally stupid.

Re:But I heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842859)

Say it with me - SaTeLLiTES do NOT measure TeMPERaTuRE!!!!

Kelvin the Earth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45839835)

Who knew the Earth's name was Kelvin?

Oh.

Re:Kelvin the Earth? (3, Funny)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#45840527)

Who knew the Earth's name was Kelvin?

Oh.

It's all just a matter of degree....

Fyfe et al nature sept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45839977)

http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Climate%20model%20results/over%20estimate.pdf

shows that the models are over estimating, relative to the data
I forget the link, but some one in response has looked at the hadcrut data set, and said if you correct for sparse records at the poles, the diff recorded by Fyfe etal is less....
but I'm sure next week will bring another story

Re:Fyfe et al nature sept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840003)

sorry, link for hadcrut re eval is here
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2297/abstract

op all wrong (3, Informative)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | about a year ago | (#45840055)

the abstract doesn't say they used data, it says they identified a math procedure that caused variation between the models

so, what you have are a lot of complex computer models that vary in output; the authors show that about half the variation is due to cloud mixing
however, we have no idea if the models are in fact accurate, other then Fig 1b of Fyfe etal, which suggests that the models are in fact NOT accurate, so it doesn't matter if you lower the variation between them.
http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Climate%20model%20results/over%20estimate.pdf [ed.ac.uk]

I would remind people of history: in the early 1800s, people realized that CO2 absorbs IR, and the late 1800s, they realized that humans were actually putting out enough CO2 to make a diff
Then, around 1900, someone pointed out that the atmosphere is optically thick in the IR (if you could see the color "IR" it would be pitch black all the time), so an increase in CO2 shouldn't matter
This *scientific consensus* lasted untill the 1950s, when people realized that it is emission from the outer atmosphere that matttrs....

so, for 50 years, there was a consensus that CO2 human warming was hooey

In other climate alarmist news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840103)

This week alone two headlines:

2013 Least extreme weather essentially ever:

http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/10/18/new-study-2013-ranks-as-one-of-the-least-extreme-us-weather-years-ever-many-bad-weather-events-at-historically-low-levels/

First time in 20 years more daily record lows than highs

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/31/first-time-in-20-years-more-daily-record-lows-than-daily-highs-that-were-either-tied-or-set-in-2013/

I also read somewhere that back when it was called Global Warming and not climate change there were predictions that by now there would be no more snow in various places in Europe yet they've seen excessive amounts... They sure got that right! Why should I believe a single fucking thing these fuckwads think is going on with clouds.
 

Re:In other climate alarmist news... (0)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45840263)

You mean the year of the record breaking massive storms in asia? You know, "global" means all the world, even if people like you in US think that there is nothing outside, and that can't tell the difference between weather and climate. How well you get paid [wired.co.uk] to spread this?

Re:In other climate alarmist news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840371)

I don't get paid a dime. I simply think for myself... Yes I understand global. If I should only be talking about climate and not weather, then why do all of the alarmists tout about extreme weather? hurricane Sandy was worse due to global warming don't you know?

Re:In other climate alarmist news... (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#45841393)


"If I should only be talking about climate and not weather, then why do all of the alarmists tout about extreme weather?"

To preserve my blood pressure, I will assume that you are actually well meaning, and honestly want to learn and you are just temporarily ignorant.

Weather is the consequence of climate. Weather in North Dakota in the winter is measurably different than summer in Miami because they have differing climates. The specific weather on any one day changes with timescales related to the atmospheric circulation, which is a few weeks. Weather modeling has different purposes than climate modeling---weather takes certain observations as inputs and assumptions and boundary conditions, whereas climate modeling attempts to predict the long-term evolution of underlying physical parameters.

The inability to predict weather more than 2 or 3 weeks in advance is a known phenomenon coming from positive Lyapunov exponents in the evolution of the physical fields representing weather. This doesn't mean that climate is unpredictable because what is intended to be predicted in climate is the basic boundary conditions and inputs to weather models. It is simple to predict that winter in North Dakota will on average be much colder than summer in Miami, because the physics of the Sun and Earth show that less electromagnetic radiation reaches the ground in one case than the other.

Global warming from human activity arises because human-induced changes in the atmosphere resultsin increased emission of electromagnetic energy from the atmosphere which hits the surface. (This is not only a hypothesis, it is an experimentally validated fact). Climate models deal with the complex consequences of this change in physics. Weather models take certain inputs directly from current observations and predict the short-term evolution. They are operationally and structurally distinct.

Re:In other climate alarmist news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840461)

Here we go:

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/wrong-al-gore-predicted-arctic-summer-ice-could-disappear-2013

"Paid" (4, Informative)

cirby (2599) | about a year ago | (#45840663)

Those "record breaking massive storms" were, overall, not much worse than average. A couple of large ones, but they got large mostly because there weren't that many medium-sized storms along their paths. Meanwhile, we didn't seeing much of anything in the Atlantic (record-breaking "dud"), and areas outside of that one patch of Pacific Ocean were pretty average.

On the "paid" issue:
You do realize that even the guy who wrote that study you mention says that the reporter who wrote the story pretty much lied their ass off, right?

The short form: The actual study took any group that published anything at all that might, maybe, sorta could question AGW. Even one article or study. Then they took the entire budget of each organization and added it up. That's how they got that $900 million plus.

The actual amount that could actually, sorta, maybe be tied to anti-AGW funded studies or articles? About enough to fund Greenpeace for week and a half. If you counted things like studies showing that people don't like paying extra taxes for green energy stuff that doesn't actually work.

On the other hand, the "green" businesses are funding all sorts of sketchy "science" to support their industries. Like the guy who makes money off of "carbon remediation," who funded the really stupid "expedition"/tourism group that's currently being evacuated from their ice-trapped Russian ship.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840239)

If you torture your data, it will finally commit... Feels a bit like the late 1900 attempts to 'prove' there is a God. Move on...

You mean scientist don't understand clouds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840279)

Yet they can predict and Identify the exact temperature the earth will rise in the year 2027. The only way to completely eliminate man made climate change is to eliminate the population of the entire plant. Then Nature would flourish, and no species would ever be endangered.

True fact Man killed all the Dinosaurs. It is an undisputed fact. Over 92% of the scientist on the planet agree. I am not sure it was caused by a man made meteor impact, man made climate change, or just over-hunting. But I am sure man caused it.

On the other hand we can't just kill all the people on the planet to eliminate any affect of mankind on the planet. That would be racist. You cant kill black people. So let us just kill white men. Women do not affect the climate. Black people do not affect the planet. We have to give Jews a pass (but only if they can trace their line of descent down to abraham) Because everyone knows the the converted jews are not real jews and are usually white to boot. So kill all the ethnic eurpoeans (unless they are jewish) and the climate problem will be solved.

Seems crazy, but that is what I am hearing everyday from the jewsish controlled liberal media. Yet you people don't understand why I distrust the media when they are reporting on climate change.

Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Title (2, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | about a year ago | (#45840373)

Stop Using Climate Change to disguise an argument about human based climate change.

Nobody needs to argue that the climate changes.

These globalists who want a revenue stream for world government employed on you, your kids via carbon taxes always use this stupid, really irritating title on this so called paid research of theirs on human climate change.

Besides, I thought human based climate change was now a fact, and there wasn't any uncertainty?

Meanwhile low temperature records world wide are in the lead 2 to 1 over heat record highs because the SUN has nothing to do with climate change.

Globalist Climate Change Research = CRAP SCIENCE.

-Hackus

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (0, Flamebait)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#45840605)

Globalist Climate Change Research = CRAP SCIENCE.

Unfortunately for you, this style of argumentation is just easily refuted in the same style: SEZ YOU. You're obviously a mindless puppet of the Koch brothers. Not a very satisfying argument, is it?

If you want to debate this at a higher level than middle-school playground reparte, you should address the researcher's argument: that at higher temperatures the cloud forming moisture at lower levels gets dispersed into the upper atmosphere. This reduces the rate of cloud formation, which in turn reduces the albedo of the Earth. That means that models which weight reduction of cloud formation higher are more likely to be accurate.

Feel free to take issue with any of the points raised in the previous paragraph. Or we can leave it as SEZ YOU.

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840713)

> You're obviously a mindless puppet of the Koch brothers.
SEZ YOU.

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840721)

Actual climate [clivebest.com] says he was right.

The 1990 IPCC report was 100% inaccurate. That is the one we can compare their predictions to what has happened up to this point, not only were they wrong, they were completely wrong. Their new report you ask? Well they say that one is 95% accurate, despite never being correct at ANY time in the past, and they just ignored how they have been wrong every time in the past. Thats not science, that is religious belief.

The BIble is more provably accruate than any IPCC report.

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45840965)

You're right, but this is slashdot. It matters not what reality you live in, and what logical sequential set of events you outline in order to make an educated and valuable point. No, here it only matters that you talk in a way that makes others feel right, based on their gut feeling. It's 2014, this is the middle-school playground.

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (3, Informative)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#45840919)

Sorry, but the Sun has everything to do with climate change when combined with the variable orbit geometry of the Earth around the Sun.

We will reenter the next ice age and Canada will again get covered by a kilometer or two of ice and all existing shipping harbors will become dry land.

It will probably take another 50,000 years, but it will happen on the 110,000 year cycle that has repeated at least a couple dozen times now.

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (1)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#45841105)

Sorry, but the Sun has everything to do with climate change when combined with the variable orbit geometry of the Earth around the Sun.

This is absolutely true -- over millions of years. It does not explain the warming trend in the past century. Your mode of argument is like saying "all will eventually die of old age, therefore automobile accidents don't kill people." There can be more than driver of climate change, and the timescale over which a driver of change operates is very important. Even if car accidents are less likely to kill you than old age, the fact that they kill you at 19 years old rather than 90 makes a big difference.

Four degrees C rise over 100,000 years is no bit deal for the human race. The same change over a century is a very big deal. Not species extinction for humanity by any means, but massive economic dislocation. Imagine the western US as much more arid than it is now; it could mean the end of agriculture on the Great Plains.

Re: Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45841315)

4 over a century is fucking bullshit. link please. kindly provide accuracy.

Re:Human Based Climate Change vs Climate Change Ti (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#45842261)

You are right that 4 degrees Centigrade over a hundred years might be bad for current citizens and that begs another question when it comes to food and water supplies.

Given the world's climate change and the chance that it is cataclysmically caused by humans results in the question as to whether we have exceeded the number of humans that the earth can support in a stable manner.

Try to get a resolution through the UN on that one to reduce population! Trying to reduce man made effects, like not enough water, is not going to cause nations to reduce their population and any such suggestion will be called genocide.

Eventually overpopulation in the animal world corrects itself with massive die-offs. I doubt humans are immune from this. Overpopulation, lack of food and water will probably cause wars in the near future. History is a good teacher.

Did the same model predict today's flat line? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45840997)

Did the same model predict today's flat line?

I guess not.

Difficulty level: Aerosols (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45841503)

If you really want to nail down climate change, you've got to narrow down aerosol behavior. Atmospheric aerosols in the Mie scattering size regime (comparable to a light wavelength) are both resident for the fairly long term (years to some decades) and, precisely because they're in the Mie scattering regime, are bloody difficult to model.

This is partly what makes proposals to dump aerosols into the atmosphere to combat warming utterly insane - You'd need reliable sub-1% accurate control over something that models can't handle for shit.

Also notable: the large-scale emission of fine particulate aerosols, rising in the early 20th century, peaking, then declining with the introduction of pollution controls, has been fingered as corresponding with the mid 20th century's slowed global warming. Meaning we can look forward to accelerated warming now that CO2 levels are even higher but aerosol emissions have largely been halted.

Meanwhile, plans are in motion to rush to the Arctic (which is now more accessible due to... global warming) and dig up and burn everything we possibly can. Which is sort of like getting cold because you're asphixiating on the fumes from your unventilated indoor wood fire, and concluding that obviously throwing more wood on the fire will help...

Denialist Trolls (3, Informative)

Daishiman (698845) | about a year ago | (#45841951)

Holy crap since when did /. get overrun by denialist trolls that just don't read articles, and obviously fail to even read the IPCC reports?

Re:Denialist Trolls (1)

bunratty (545641) | about a year ago | (#45842235)

And just last week many were arguing that Slashdot style moderation would prevent these kinds of comments in online newspaper articles. When people have an agenda to push and the mainstream media won't do it for them, they'll do it for themselves in the comments.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842171)

You libturds cling to climate change harder than a southern Baptist clings to his bible and guns. Just stop already.

Most (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842435)

Most... what a bunch of BS. Like most polls, they use a small sample and then think they are illuminated. This is a callout to all the fucktard statisticians out there. 1000 sampled isn't good enough. 10,000 sampled isn't good enough. 10,000,000 isn't good enough. Their logic would be useful if it were true. It's not. They think they can sample 1000 people in New York and they believe it's a valid sample of people in general. I understand statistics, the best thing I learned was how to manipulate the data and how people with an agenda manipulate it for nefarious reasons. You will be rooted out for your falsehoods.

There is no uncertainty (0)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | about a year ago | (#45842681)

Every time I point out the shaky grounds on which the so called climate "science" is founded I get lambasted by very vocal, very fanatical shouters telling me I am a denier.
The conclusion is clear: I am wrong, all others with doubts about climate "science" are wrong, climate "science" is really science, and there is no uncertainty AT ALL in climate science.

Re:There is no uncertainty (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about a year ago | (#45842785)

Shaky grounds? Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases cause warming. We are emitting billions of tons of carbon dioxide each year into the atmosphere. The warming caused by these emissions was predicted over 100 years ago. We are now observing that predicted warming. Which one of these is the least bit shaky?

I don't understand what you mean about no uncertainty. There is always some uncertainty in science. No measurement is ever exact, and science never proves anything beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Re:There is no uncertainty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45842797)

I must say global warming does happen. I also must say due to evidence from ice core samples I have perused it seems likely the Earth SHOULD be warming currently. I do believe "man made global warming" to be insignificant in the grand scheme of life on this planet. However, pollution IS a real problem(for humans). I also believe the "scientists" of today that keep pushing an agenda to reduce carbon emissions are either grossly ignorant, stupid or well paid(or any combination of the three).

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