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How Would I Address the Climate Change Problem

Updated on June 15, 2019
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

The climate change debate has been going on for over 30 years. It is high time for a new direction. As a climate skeptic, I think the UN and the IPCC has been totally politicized. They lack credibility as being an unbiased source. My proposal is simple and yet profound. Here is my idea if I was in charge at the UN.

- June 2019

What Makes Me Qualified?

I am not a climate scientists. I am a retired engineer by training. I have been interested in climate change for over 25 years. I am an observer and have been following this debate for those periods. I have read papers and attended talks on this topic. I have written articles on HubPages and debated other hubbers on climate change.

The fact that after all these years, despite all the conferences and accords, we have not found a solution by the “experts” tells me something new needs to be tried. The “experts“ have not done a good job in terms of projecting future events, or educating the masses or demonstrate their credibility or lack thereof.

The politicization of this problem by both sides has made this a toxic environment. It is hard to say who started it but the fact is we are where we are today and both sides had a hand in getting us here.

The solution has to come from outside the community. As a skeptic of the theory of AGW, I am uniquely qualified. I have no hidden agenda. I am not paid by big oil or environmental groups. I am an average citizen trying to make sense of what is happening and I want a solution that is reasonable and efficient and gets results.

That is the engineer in me speaking.

Assumptions

To begin, I make the following assumptions.

  • global warming is happening right now and has been for decades.
  • Human activities has increased steadily since the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
  • Human population is also growing at a steady rate, putting pressure on resources like food and water and energy...
  • technology and innovation is growing at exponential rate and no sign of slowing down.
  • climate change as oppose to weather is a long term phenomenon by definition.
  • Climate change is very complex and encompasses many natural cycles in addition to human induced effects.
  • The greenhouse effect is well understood but it is insufficient to explain all that is happening right now.
  • Environment protection such as the EPA is not part of the climate debate. It is a separate branch of our human endeavors. We all want clean water and clean air and the animals and plants protected from extinction.
  • Climate change is apolitical and based on science only. We should not use it for political ideology.
  • The long term survival of the human race on earth should be our collective goal.

Background...

Climate change solutions should be global and across all countries. Therefore, the United Nations is the only international organization capable of tackling this problem.

However, the IPCC and past global initiatives have failed to keep politics out and failed to consider all options when it comes to mitigation of climate change effects.

It also lacks the enforcement necessary to make any solution proposal mandatory. That has been the failure of the Paris Accord and other such agreements.

The fair treatment to combat climate change should be based on GDP. A percentage of the national GDP should be paid by all members of the UN. This way, every person on earth has a stake in the final outcome. What that amount should be is determined by a serious of studies conducted by professionals to examine all aspects of this debate.

The timeframe of this study is based on the scope as defined by the international body. We have some past precedence to draw upon. For example, the mission to land a man on the moon took 10 years. The ozone hole problem took approximately 20 years to resolve.

If we put the best and brightest minds to this problem, I am confident that a solution can be reached in 30 years. I would propose a 5 year study period followed by a 25 years period to implement the solution.

Project Management...

This problem is huge and requires extraordinary project management skills. This problem is a science project and therefore require scientists of all related disciplines to participate. This means we don’t need celebrities, politicians or activists as members or participants. The only people necessary are scientists and engineers who understand this problem and what it takes to solve it.

It is envisioned at the end of the 5 years of study that a serious of proposals would be presented with costs and results.

No solutions is off the table. Also, there may be no solutions. That is a distinct possibility. That is after studying all the contributing factors, it may be determined that the solution is too illusive or too costly that in effect, we don’t have a good solution.

It may also be possible that any effects are within the errors of natural probabilities. Again, this may mean we just have to deal with it by adapting to the changes rather than try to mitigate.

Finally, if a solution is proposed, for example, reducing CO2 emissions by some amount, then it behoves us to calculate the ROI. What is the cost/benefit analysis of such a proposal.

Once, all options are on the table, then it makes sense for the international community to put it to a vote. The majority gets to decide which is the best solution and compliance is mandatory based on GDP. This is only fair and equitable.

The optimum team size should not exceed 9 members. This is according to Scrum methodology. It is fine to have more people working on the project. Just the key decision makers should not be more than 9 members.

This is a key concept. You cannot have a hundred scientists in a room and expect to reach any conclusions. The size matters and in this case, a small number is essential. The “right” member is much more important than how many members.

Who decides? Who gets to decide which scientists are to be part of this team?

Organization

The UN has not been an effective body. It has failed us in many past conflicts by failing to act decisively. It is the nature of this international organization comprising over 100 countries where many are controlled by dictators and tyrants. The 5 member security council where a unanimous vote is required also is a road block to many actions.

I am not a fan of the UN and have written article in the past on why the UN should be disbanded. However, in this case, Climate-Change is uniquely the one problem that everyone in the world can agree on. Coming up with a solution can be debated but the problem exists and most if not all countries agree on that point. There are individuals who may be deniers of climate change. They are a small minority.

Why This is The Only Path Forward

After having tried all else, and with little to show for it and spending billions of dollars, it is time for a new direction.

What is this new direction?

Back to the fundamentals. We need to question everything including the assumptions I outlined in the start of this article.

The Three basic questions we need to answer.

1. What percent of global warming is due to human activity and what percent is due to natural causes?

2. How fast is the process moving? The rate of change per unit of time. In this case, the unit may be measured in decades, not years.

3. What, if anything we can do to change this course? at what cost in terms of dollars.

Black Box Approach

This problem is ideal by treating the earth as a black box. This is how we deal with many complex systems. We don’t need to understand the details of how something works in order to see the effects globally.

Take the automobile for example as an illustration. Most of us learn how to drive as a teenager. We don’t know what is under the hood. We don’t have to. We just need to know how to fill it up with gas, start the engine and push the peddles and shift gears. It will drive us where we need to go.

By the same token, scientists has been focusing on the details and miss the forest from the trees. Studying the various mechanisms that drive our planet is important but not necessarily lead to the solution of the overall problem. In some talks I attended on various topics, the speaker goes into excruciating details of his research and the data findings and analysis...but failed to address the basic question, “so what?” What does this research have to do with the overall problem and solution to climate change? Perhaps he or she thinks the answer is obvious. Not to me. Just because we don’t understand something does not mean we should automatically spend time and resources to study it. There are priorities. We should only spend the resources that leads some where or solve a bigger puzzle.

Back to the black box approach. We know the greenhouse effect and how CO2 plays a big role in warming the planet. The next follow up question should be, what else is affecting global warming or cooling? Because, if we simply say the greenhouse effect is the key contributing factor, and ignore all else, the results does not match the theory.

Here is the reality. CO2 concentration on earth has been rising steadily for the last 100 years. It has surpassed 400 ppm. However, during that same time period, the earth’s temperature has not risen steadily as it should if it was acting like a black box. In fact, during the 1970s, the earth was actually cooling for a period. How come? There must be some other factors of sufficient significance to cause this anomaly.

By searching for answers, perhaps we can find the better model to represent the earth as a black box. One that will include other factors such as sun spot cycles, and volcanic activities, and other planet cycles and even the precession of the earth rotation around the sun.

Summary

I have outlined a new direction. Not everything is spelled out but the basic structure is in place. It is up the UN to implement if they wish. This is not rocket science. We have put men on the moon before in less time. This climate-change is no different. If we put our collective mind to solving it, we can accomplish what we set out to do within the 30 years time frame.

Postscript - June 15, 2019

Reading some of the comments here, it is clear this is a contentious topic. Human induced global warming leading to climate change and the destruction of life on earth as we know it...

I also read the word “extreme” repeated here with charges on both sides. What is extreme? Let me try to explain it.

Extreme is by definition outside the normal spectrum. We often speak of extreme weather or temperature or rainfall as some unusual effect. A black swan effect. Something that is rare. I have been accused by Climate-Change believers as “extreme” in my position. But is that a fair accusation?

What is “extreme“ about taking a measured approach on something that is important and complex and wide ranging as AGW?

What is “extreme” about taking a few years to further study a phenomenon which has been going on for only 30 years...? Considering the effects will not be apparent for another 30 years assuming every prediction comes true?

On the other hand, what is “extreme“ is to ask us, the general public, to take the word of climate scientists who among themselves disagree on various aspects of this theory?

What is ”extreme” is to ask the people to give up their standards of living and spend tax dollars in trying to reverse a trend that is partly natural and partly man-made?

What is “extreme” is to ask a subset of the world population to turn over their hard earned assets to a corrupt international organization who has an agenda to redistribute wealth.

What is “extreme” is to ask the tax payers to subsidize wealthy people with tax incentives for renewable energy use such as electric cars and solar roofs...

What is ”extreme” is to ask the 3rd world citizens to give up cheap energy sources like coal and forests so that the rest of the world can feel good about saving the environment.

Extreme is in the eye of the beholder.

Who is more extreme?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jack Lee

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott,

      So therefore, you of all people, should know how polls can be skewed by the way the questions are framed...

      The fact is based on ice core data, the earth was warmer in times past and it does not matter if it was 400,000 years ago or 4000 years ago.

      The fact that it was warmer, and that humans were not around then, should give all you climate change AGW theorists pause.

      In fact, this proofs my theory that there are bigger forces at play here hence my first question of the top 3. What percent of the warming is due to nature and what percent is due to human activities?

      We know it is not 0% or 100% therefore, the answer lies somewhere in between those two extremes.

      The answer to that question does matter.

      If for example human contribution is down at 10%, then there is very little we can do to affect the outcome? Would you agree?

      However, if it is up to 90%, then obviously, anything we can do will have a much bigger impact.

      What is the beat scientific answer to my simple question?

      Please ask any climate scientist that question...

      And watch them give excuses...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      7 hours ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I researched Greenland and it was called Greenland to get people to go there - in other words, the name is a piece of propaganda. I showed that to you before and your article seems to agree.

      Readers, please note that Jack's article, which I believe, says Greenland was green for a period of time between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago; nobody yet knows how long that lasted - a thousand years, 10,000 years?. We are also talking about the LOWER 1/3 of Greenland. Before that and after that it is (or was) a block of ice that global warming is quickly melting.

      What is "significantly higher", btw? Does it fall withing the normal range established over the last 800,000 years? Without a number, there is nothing to compare to.

      You do know that Tesla is not the only brand of electric car and not necessarily the best selling one worldwide.

      Actually, because I am a statistician, I know how to read polls and determine if their methodology is reasonable. Just because they disagree with your misperception of reality, doesn't make them poorly constructed polls.

      As to people not wanting to spend their tax dollars. That doesn't say much about the collective wisdom about a country who didn't want to give up slavery for economic reasons.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, here is a question for you. Guess how long it will take Greenland to melt all the ice on it assuming the current trend in global warming? You might be surprised at the answer.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Another article on Greenland, why it is called “Green” land.

      https://www.livescience.com/7331-ancient-greenland...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott,

      With regard to Greenland -

      Here is a quote from this NG article -

      “Greenland, on the other hand, was discovered in 982 A.D., when Erik the Red, the father of Leif Eriksson, landed on the southeastern part of the island. Today we can determine through the analysis of ice cores and mollusk shell data that in the period between 800 and 1300 A.D., the average temperature in Greenland was significantly higher than it is today.”

      Here is link to the whole article -

      https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/03/08/greenlan...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      16 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Another side of the story that is hardly discussed...

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/13/the-great-h...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      21 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      By the way, the US total auto sales in 2018 was 16 million units. Of which less than 200,000 were Tesla Electic models. A little over 1%.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      21 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, on a related matter, I went and test drove a Tesla model 3 automobile today. It is very impressive, quiet, with excellent acceleration, and has a 240 miles range per full charge, as the basic model.

      However, after pricing it, with tax and dest. Charge and minus the tax rebate and credits, it still cost approx. $40,000. I did the numbers and it is still too expensive. I can get a comparable gas car for $30,000.

      That is a $10K premium.

      There will be some saving in gas over the years but not enough to offset the up front costs.

      The time to charge using a home 220 V system is about 5 hours. The time to charge in one of their supercharge stations is 30 minutes for 70% level. It does cost some money to use the supercharge station, about $7.

      All in all, it is still not cost effective for me at this time.

      Just want to give you an update.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      21 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, you are smart enough to know these polls are meaningless. If someone ask are you for a clean environment and protecting the polar bears...who is going to say no to that?

      However, where it matters, when people are asked to put their money where their mouth is, that is a different story. Time and again, most people do not think the problem is as dire and do not want to spend tax dollars to try and fix something they don’t think is effective...especially considering what little we do will be offset by the pollution of China...and India...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      22 hours ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Global warming is destroying Greenland - https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/14/us/greenland-sudden...

      AGAIN, Jack, more proof renewables are winning the battle against those who deny them.

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/business/renewable-...

      Actually, Jack, the polls show fairly consistently that 75 - 80% believe global warming is happening and a slightly less percentage think it is mainly caused by human activity.

      The 30% you speak of is the percent of extremist deniers.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      26 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott,

      That is the myth...90% agree with global warming due to human activity. If that is the case, why politicians don’t vote green policies...?

      Don’t politicians appease their voters and supporters? Like everything else?

      The actual true believers is more like 30% and they are the extremist green environmental cases that advocate for vegetarians and mass reduction of human population. To them, people are the problem...the less the better.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      28 hours ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Where you're being unrealistic, Jack, is in assuming that it is safe to continue the status quo. It's not.

      It may well be that the GND's call for 100% renewable energy by 2030 is impractical. However, it follows from decades of grossly inadequate action on mitigation. In other words, the call is based, not on the achievability of the goal, but on the urgency of the need.

      if we could at least come close to decarbonizing the energy grid by that time it would be an enormous step away from the precipice. So I applaud the ambition. Failure *with* the GND might be a good deal better than "success" with inadequate or half-hearted goals.

      The GND is essentially a 'vision' statement. Practical courses will be charted--if we want them. That's why I welcome your statement that you want a plan of action--although I'm not crazy about the '5 more years of inaction up front as we study' part.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      30 hours ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Marie - Interesting thought "1) the tectonic plates would move more smoothly if we left the oil where it is"

      Jack - why don't you listen to the main stream (like 90%) of those who know global warming rather than the 10% who are actual extremist. WHY do you paint everybody with the extremist views of a few. Is it because it sounds better to you even though it is not the truth?

      As I told you before, but you apparently missed it, that I don't agree with all of what is in the GND. But I do support the aspirations about global warming that it contains. And why do you keep harping on the cost?? We already showed you multiple times that the cost of doing nothing like you want FAR EXCEEDS the cost of doing something.

      Why are you willing to live with the extraordinarily high cost of letting the earth continue to heat but not the cost to mitigate it? That makes no sense to me.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      31 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, I am not a denier. I am merely stating the goals of extremist on your side who like AOC wants to go green in 12 years...with the New Green Deal...

      Have you read some of her proposals? Tell me they are reasonable and achievable in that time frame. And the cost?

      Who is being unreal here? Not me.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      32 hours ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I am sure Doc agrees that neither of us support going "cold turkey"; in fact only the extreme environmentalist believe the world can get along with NO fossil fuels.

      You see, that is a sign of a denier and an extremist when they paint everyone with the views of a very few. When you do that, it is very hard to believe you think your positions through. For if one is so facile as to believe that the few represents the whole, why should anyone believe anything else you say?

      Another sign, Jack, is Doc has given you a long list of proof that your claim that

      "If the renewable energy sources becomes economically viable, and reliable and easy to store...then of course we will switch."

      is FALSE. He has proven to you they are now viable yet you close your eyes and ears to the truth. Why?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      32 hours ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, I know I'm repeating myself, but there is no alternative to ceasing to carbonize the atmosphere. It won't be 'cold turkey'--it's a phasing process, not a sudden cessation. So that notion is something of a 'straw man.' But quit we must, inconvenient though it may be.

      "If the renewable energy sources becomes economically viable..."

      It already is, and not only viable, but preferable. That's why it is forcing coal off the grid in many countries, and why it will do so increasingly around the world. I've cited many different sources on this already, but heck, why not yet another?

      https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/May/Renewa...

      "...over three-quarters of the onshore wind and four-fifths of the utility-scale solar PV project capacity due to be commissioned in 2020 should provide lower-priced electricity than the cheapest new coal-fired, oil or natural gas option..."

      "...and reliable and easy to store..."

      There's nothing "unreliable" about the technology; what people mean when they say this is that wind and sunshine are naturally variable. But we have the means to deal with this, including overbuilding and curtailment; dispersion and transmission; and, as you say, storage.

      Battery storage is incredibly easy now: it's quick to build, far more responsive than traditional alternatives such as gas peaker plants (which makes for a more stable grid), and safe. Its cost is higher than one would wish, but is declining with improved scale.

      https://www.lazard.com/media/450774/lazards-leveli...

      There are other good options, too, such as pumped hydro.

      "...then of course we will switch."

      You're starting to get it!

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      42 hours ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I only put this idea out there as a possible mitigation solution...

      There are others which do not require us to go cold turkey on fossil fuel.

      If the renewable energy sources becomes economically viable, and reliable and easy to store...then of course we will switch.

      Right now, I do see it happening.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      46 hours ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Your 65,000,000 year graph (actually only 10,000 years, and even that is not correct) is debunked.

      This article describes how your graph is a lie, a deception, a fraud.

      https://skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=337

      Even your own "black box" modeling proves you wrong, Jack. Those models you hate HAVE INCORPORATED "solar effects and anomalies" and we are NOT in a current pause. I show in https://hubpages.com/hubtool/edit/4679390 how that is just deniers cherry-picking short sets of data that has no meaning in the larger scheme of things to prove a non-existent point. - There IS NO pause.

      How many times does Doc have to prove to you you are wrong about current modelling and that they do track closely with actual data?

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      47 hours ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      The comments, for me, are more interesting than the article!

      My two-cents worth (neither provable nor disprovable, as these are from spirit, not science): 1) the tectonic plates would move more smoothly if we left the oil where it is, 2) the Earth is entering a place in space never experienced by humans before, and 3) crystal power, not fossil or atomic, was to have been developed long ago, but didn't because of greed.

      The Thames River, by the way, didn't just freeze over--it froze completely.

      Geothermal is recommended until we get the necessary scientists and engineers to perfect crystalline energy.

      We'll make it. The survival solutions will come about through grassroot organization, not bureaucratic government.

      Blessings!

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Scott, there is nothing wrong with my logic. What is wrong is a climate models that rely too heavily on CO2 concentration... If they incorporated the solar effects and anomalies, perhaps it will explain the current “pause” in global warming."

      What "pause?" There never was a statistically-significant pause, and the last 5 years have been the warmest 5. The fact that the warmest of all was 2016 does not mean that there is a "pause" in effect; that peak is due to the "anomaly" of the large El Nino at that time.

      "Without the sunspot cycles lack of activities, we may be much warmer now."

      No. This has very reasonable quantitative estimates, and the conclusion is that we'd be a *little* warmer now.

      "That is my point, because we don’t have an accurate model in place, we are dealing with an incomplete results."

      We have reasonably accurate models in place, and in life you *always* have to deal with incomplete results.

      "By the way, all model projections has been erring on the high side."

      Not so. As shown in this link, the observations are within the envelope of model projections--that is, some of the model results are *below* the observations. (See graphs 3 & 4.)

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/climate-model...

      And let me repeat something I've said before: since the model ensemble is a mean, it's less variable than is the trajectory of any single model run--OR the real-world temperature trajectory. So the model mean (the 'best estimate') will never exactly match observations for very long; the two don't have the same statistical properties!

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, there is nothing wrong with my logic. What is wrong is a climate models that rely too heavily on CO2 concentration.

      If they incorporated the solar effects and anomalies, perhaps it will explain the current “pause” in global warming. Without the sunspot cycles lack of activities, we may be much warmer now.

      That is my point, because we don’t have an accurate model in place, we are dealing with an incomplete results. By the way, all model projections has been erring on the high side.

      That should be a clue to these scientists...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yep. And if we did that, but still kept on adding GHGs to the atmosphere, we'd have an enormous ongoing expense *in addition to* the normal costs of maintaining a global energy system.

      Or, we could transition to a clean energy system, which would make our 'default' climate safe, and just pay once.

      And that's not getting into the ways in which radiation management is an imperfect solution--such as not addressing ocean acidification, imperfect matching of regional impacts, and political difficulties in implementation due to those regional mismatches--in other words, serious disagreements about how much aerosol to release and where. (Or even possibly 'whether'--Russia is a petrostate, and moreover probably has the most to gain from some continued near-term warming. They might not want to go along with what, say, India wants.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      My point is there are many ways to skin a cat...

      Some have proposed putting harmless impurities into the atmosphere to simulate eruptions which we know blocks some sun light reaching the earth which leads to some cooling effect...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Or more recently, in 1883, the eruption of Krakatoa, which lead to several years of global cooling...the year without Summer... Natural events has affected climate in the past in huge ways and they will again to be sure."

      Of course. But that has no bearing on whether we would be wise to take a course of action that, according to all the best information we have, will at best be damaging and expensive in both "blood and treasure", and at worst will pose a worsening existential threat.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Jack, you are stretching very far with Krakatoa. You are trying to make us believe that a short-term anomaly is indicative of a long-term trend.

      That is false logic, my friend.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Jack, why is your theory working backwards? According to your graph and comment about 1700, we should be experiencing major cooling of the overall atmosphere for the last several years.

      Problem is, the reverse is true, each year sees a new high in global average temperature. How can that be given sunspots are at record low? Maybe your theory is wrong.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      There are prototype projects of removing CO2 from the air but none are close, as Doc says, that can be scaled to the size needed today.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/climate/remove-...

      As to waiting for the technology to develop - we don't have time any more. We did when people started raising the alarm 30 years ago but your side refused to get on board and actively opposed doing anything - so here we are on the brink of disaster with no time to wait.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Or more recently, in 1883, the eruption of Krakatoa, which lead to several years of global cooling...the year without Summer...

      Natural events has affected climate in the past in huge ways and they will again to be sure.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Go back and read the global temperature experienced during the last minimal sun activities of the 1700s. The major river in Europe froze over..."

      Sure, Jack. But that was with an atmosphere than only had less than 280 ppm CO2--not the present 410 and rising.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Unexpected?" I've been hearing about the low levels of solar activity for at least 10 years. And we've had numerous discussions about it. I won't recap all that, except to ask--if 'the sun rules', then why was 2016 the all-time warmest year in the record, despite levels of solar activity that were anemic at best--maybe 1/3 the peak in '13-'14, and less than a quarter of what we saw back in '00?

      As for all the things I may or may not have been able to imagine, again, do you think it is wise to bet the future of our civilization on 'the unimaginable?' Or, rather, the possibility that 'the unimaginable' may once again come to pass.

      Because, after all, while *something* unimaginable is definitely going to happen, it might just as well turn out to be something unimaginably horrible.

      Prudence would dictate that we take sensible measures today, not hope for a possible silver bullet tomorrow or the day after... or never.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott,

      Go back and read the global temperature experienced during the last minimal sun activities of the 1700s.

      The major river in Europe froze over...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Jack, what is the correlation coefficient for sunspots vs temperature variation over time?

      In other words, would we see the global average temperature change in tandem with the sunspot cycle you offer below?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      How about this unexpected turn of events?

      https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, could you imaging the internet back in 1980?

      How about flat screen TVs?

      And cell phones?

      And stealth technology?

      And AI?

      And drones?

      There are so many potential for innovation and inventions.

      Necessity is the mother of inventions...

      Don’t sell human ingenuity short.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Oh, and while I'm here--note that I made a careless error in my mental arithmetic about the warming rate. 0.18 C/decade x 6 decades would be 1.08 C, and 6 decades from now would be ~2079. So, should the current rate of warming hold, we'll see 2 C well *before* the end of the current century.

      Sorry for any inconvenience...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Doc, what you are ignoring is our increasing technology which even 20 years ago, no one could have predicted."

      On the contrary, I keep pointing at it for you!

      The only technology that could be a 'silver bullet' here would be a cheap, easy, highly scalable method of bulk removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. There is no such technology on the horizon today, and we are suffering climate impacts now.

      Do you really think it is a good idea to bet the future of civilization on a technology that may, or may not, exist at some point in the future?

      "Do you trust the climate change experts of today?"

      Depends. I don't think that they are infallible, but I trust their integrity and their expertise. So my expectation would be that they'll get much more right than wrong--which is what has happened so far, the spin attempts some continue to make notwithstanding.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, what you are ignoring is our increasing technology which even 20 years ago, no one could have predicted.

      And the one example I cite is peak oil...do you remember that?

      All the oil experts were telling us we are running out of fossil oil...and that oil would-be $150 per barrow...and it would be an economic disaster...

      Guess what, oil is at $53 per barrel due to fracking technology.

      So those so called “experts” were wrong on a huge scale.

      Do you trust the climate change experts of today?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "...the bigger issue is do we have the power to change our climate in a “significant way” such as what climate scientists are claiming?"

      And the evidence is very clear that yes, we do.

      "Again, I refer back to the rate of change question. If these changes are on the order of decades, then of course, it would be a serious concern. It would be obvious."

      Per GISTEMP, the observed rate of warming since 1970 is ~0.18 C per decade, and we're already ~1 C above pre-Industrial. Without acceleration, we'll hit 2 C early next century. That's bad enough--and more than enough to rule out 'the order of hundreds of thousands of years', or even thousands of years--but all physical logic says we should expect acceleration for several reasons.

      One is that the forcing keeps getting stronger as atmospheric concentrations keep rising. Another is that natural feedbacks are observably underway (albedo change, water vapor increase, and methane increase, to name 3). So it's much more likely that we'll hit 2 this century, unless we take some very serious actions to mitigate our emissions.

      "However, if it turned out that the rate of change is on the order of hundreds ot thousands of years, then you must agree that the situation is not so dire..."

      But as it ain't, I don't.

      "Despite the changes of a few degrees of warming or cooling, we have the capacity to adapt as we have done in the past history."

      Unfounded assertion. You may want that to be true, but that doesn't make it so.

      "My point is that just because we are thriving now does not mean the current state of temperature is optimum to human life."

      You have to admit, it's a pretty good clue, though! And you haven't rebutted or even addressed my point about biological adaptation (see below.)

      "Perhaps, it is what we have adapted and made the best of what we have."

      Er, yes. That was, in fact, the first part of my argument. The second part is that biological adaptation takes a long time--which we don't have, per observed rates of change. And remember, we rely on a functioning ecosystem for our survival. We aren't viable as a biological species in isolation.

      "Who is to say, we can’t do the same if the earth is 3 degrees warmer in 200 years from now?"

      And who's to say we can? Do you really think it's a good idea to bet the future of our civilization on "who is to say?"

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, my question is valid. I am not denying humans have been affecting the environment including the climate and air quality and water...but the bigger issue is do we have the power to change our climate in a “significant way” such as what climate scientists are claiming?

      Again, I refer back to the rate of change question.

      If these changes are on the order of decades, then of course, it would be a serious concern. It would be obvious.

      However, if it turned out that the rate of change is on the order of hundreds ot thousands of years, then you must agree that the situation is not so dire...

      Despite the changes of a few degrees of warming or cooling, we have the capacity to adapt as we have done in the past history.

      My point is that just because we are thriving now does not mean the current state of temperature is optimum to human life.

      Perhaps, it is what we have adapted and made the best of what we have.

      Who is to say, we can’t do the same if the earth is 3 degrees warmer in 200 years from now?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Some very interesting comments... but too many for me to respond to all of them.

      Will, thanks for joining us!

      Just a couple of quick points:

      "Our unthinking view of 'optimum' is that with which we have always lived. It's what we know from life experience.

      It has been several degrees warmer than today many times in the past and also several degrees cooler, neither of which is optimum in our experiences.

      Will said:

      "If all the ice is gone and sea level rises several feet, that would be a disaster for certain species and for coastal dwellers, but for the rest of life, it could be a lush, tropical paradise.. Optimum is a relative term."

      In biological terms, "optimum" denotes the conditions for which a particular species or ecosystem is adapted. Now, we often loosely speak of "ice ages" as if they are past, but the reality appears to be that we are, in fact, *in* an ice age. That is, the present seems to be one of the "interglacials" which have periodically interrupted the more extensive glaciations characterizing the Quaternary period, as explained, for instance, here:

      https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehist...

      So, for the last two and a half million years, the biosphere has been on a roller coaster temperature ride, in which we are currently at a peak. That means that we--"we" meaning here all Earthly life--are already at the upper bounds of conditions to which we've been adapted for the last two and a half million years.

      So, the changes we are on track to experience will not be "optimum" for anything on Earth. Some organisms will survive, certainly, even in the most extreme warming cases, and in a few million years species diversity will have recovered significantly, and we'll once again have fully developed, fully functioning rich ecosystems.

      But--assuming that we don't deal seriously enough with climate change that we avoid warming in excess of 2 C--we'll have destroyed all the ones we inherited.

      That's particularly the case because of the rate of change issue. As many people have stressed, including Scott, we're seeing rates of change many times faster than those experienced during glacial transitions: then, 5-8 C swings took tens of millennia; now, similar magnitudes are on track to be experienced within a century or two. Biological adaptation isn't fast, so this will be devastating for many species--especially large ones, long-lived ones, and specialized ones.

      So, no, "lush" is not what we will see with multiple degrees C of warming.

      Jack said:

      "Who is to say the year 1990 is the average temperature we should preserve or maintain?"

      Given the above realities, simple logic says that.

      Jack also said:

      "Why are your side arrogant to think the earth is controllable by humans?"

      C'mon, Jack, lose the rhetoric; that's like the lawyer who asks "Yes or no, Mr. Smith--have you stopped beating your wife yet?" It invites the responding question, "Why is your side so irresponsible to think that our actions come without consequences for the Earth?"

      You could better ask "Why do you think human activities influence global temperature?" But I bet if you think back, you'll find that after all this conversation, you already can say just why we think that.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, here is the temperature of the earth past 65 million years...

      http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/the-big-picture-6...

      Who is to say the year 1990 is the average temperature we should preserve or maintain?

      Why are your side arrogant to think the earth is controllable by humans?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Jack, come on, do your research at reliable sites. "A few degrees has happened before both up and down..." is totally misleading.

      But let's look at your sloppy use of a "few" degrees. That could mean 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or more degrees.

      So when was the last time the Earth was:

      1 degree Celsius above the 1870 - 1900 baseline? - Around 425,000 years ago

      2 degrees Celsius above the baseline? - More than 1,350 million years ago. My chart didn't extend past that point.

      3+ degrees Celsius above the baseline? - Maybe when the earth was forming.

      It is statements like that, Jack, that force me to question your understanding about the subject, sorry.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, I am a believer of global warming at this moment...I just don’t buy the solution of eliminating fossil fuels...I also question the dire nature of the results of an increase of 2 degrees C or more. Our earth is massive. A few degrees has happened before both up and down...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Well, Jack, if your side wins, there will be a major decrease in population for sure. A low-side estimate is 250,000 people a year between 2030 and 2050 JUST from global warming itself.

      There is nothing to be skeptical about, Jack, the science is clear and overwhelming. You are far into the realm of denying the truth.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, it is funny how liberals accuses conservatives of the very thing they are guilty of doing. I am not a lost cause but a thinking man. Who realize that climate is complex and one size solution is not the most effective way to deal with it.

      I am not a denier of climate change, but a skeptic. What is a skeptic? One that thinks for himself based on evidence rather than blindly follow extremists. In the climate change arena, we have extremists in environmentalists and in green energy and in vegetarians and in abortion and pro choice. One of the leader of the climate change agenda even proposes reducing global population by 2/3 so as to save the planet...

      How extreme is that ideology?

      And there are extremist scientists as well with their own agenda. People like Michael Mann and James Hansen...

      And we have extremist celebrities like Al Gore and Leneardo DeCaprio...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      2 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "If all the ice is gone and sea level rises several feet, that would be a disaster for certain species and for coastal dwellers, but for the rest of life, it could be a lush, tropical paradise." - Wow! First, if ALL of the ice is gone, your talking about Miami disappearing, NY disappearing, New Orleans disappearing, Bangladesh disappearing and not a "few", lol, feet. Amazing!!

      Doc, methinks that Jack is a lost cause for he can't see the nose in front of his face. He has been done in by the extreme right-wing. Sad.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      3 days ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Our unthinking view of 'optimum' is that with which we have always lived. It's what we know from life experience.

      It has been several degrees warmer than today many times in the past and also several degrees cooler, neither of which is optimum in our experiences.

      If all the ice is gone and sea level rises several feet, that would be a disaster for certain species and for coastal dwellers, but for the rest of life, it could be a lush, tropical paradise.

      Optimum is a relative term.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, just to expound on what I said in the previous post.

      What did humans do 11,000 years ago? When the earth was cold and created a land bridge that allowed humans to migrate into North America...

      That was how we adapted to the changing earth.

      We can do the same going forward, and in fact, we have little choice.

      If we did nothing, another ice age will come around in 50,000 years.

      Will we sit still and let it happen?

      Or will we try to reverse it buy warming the earth artificially?

      And how do we do that? By pumping out CO2 gas?

      You see the problem...where does this end and who decide what is “optimum” for earth?

      A little warming will help Alaska and Russia and the Nordic countries...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, don’t you think it is arrogant of you to think the last 5000 years of human history is the optimum temperature for the earth?

      As oppose to 1 million years ago? Or 10 million years ago, or 65 million years ago when dinosaurs rule the earth?

      The idea that CO2 is this magic element that can change all the normal environment we have is naive.

      I have news for you. The earth has always been changing in climate. From the ice age which repeats every 100,000 years to the warming when Greenland was free of ice, the earth goes through this cycle on its own. The fact that humans has causes some warming due to fossil fuel use is a compromise we have to make if we want to maintain our higher standards of living...

      If tomorrow, the President announce an end to fossil fuel use, what do you think will happen? We will revert back to the stone age.

      It comes down to compromise and adaptation and mitigation...those are some of the ways we can deal with global warming. Every action we take has cost associated with it. That is where the international community has to decide what are the risks and rewards...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      3 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "indoctrinated into the believe that CO2 is the main culprit" - Hardly indoctrinated, Jack. That is my conclusion from a lot of research on the subject plus common sense.

      Both Doc and I agree that things like sunspots, volcanic action, and orbital fluctuations do cause changes in climate.

      BUT, as Doc and I have shown you on Mulitple occasions which you simply Ignore or choose to deny, that what those factors account for is the well established variations in global temperature over the 800,000 years or so.

      Today, temperature rise is now Outside those boundaries for the first time in a million years. What is common between a million years ago and today is the excessively high amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is the ONLY logical and common sense explanation for what is happening today.

      You can deny it all you want and all that makes you is - Wrong.

      Experts need to answer your 3 questions and probably have in the thousands of papers out there on the subject.

      What exactly are you suggesting that Doc and I are denying? That there are other causes to climate change? We have NEVER denied that and agree that they have been the cause of climate change in the last 800,000 years.

      What you are denying is that things have fundamentally changed and while CO2 levels weren't much of a driving force in climate change because the levels were relatively low.

      BUT what YOU are deny is that the extraordinarily high levels of CO2 has completely changed the math and is currently the MAIN driving force of climate change Today.,

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      3 days ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "As a climate skeptic, I think the UN and the IPCC has been totally politicized. They lack credibility as being an unbiased source. "

      ...

      Absolutely. I have zero faith in anything they say or, for that matter, much of what our own, highly biased, government has to say.

      When the entire 'crisis' is being pushed on us almost exclusively by the socialist left, we have to be very suspicious, especially after the UN's IPCC declared that the solution is income redistribution (socialism).

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott, you responses here clearly shows how you have been indoctrinated into the believe that CO2 is the main culprit. My points about sunspots is an example where climate change may have other more significant contributing factors. Some of which are natural cycles, totally divorced from CO2 emissions and human activities.

      Will you at least admit to that point?

      If not, then you are as lost as the rest of the extremists.

      My whole point in this article is to open your eyes to the possibility that there are other causes of climate change, some contributing , some mitigating of global warming. That is exactly why this topic is complex. The fact that you and doc are totally in denial of this is exactly why we are having this debate.

      I refer you back to the 3 three questions I posed in my article?

      Can you answer them?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      3 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "The “warming trend” was artificially exaggerated by selective adjusting temperature records of past.." IS SIMPLY a right-wing myth. Doc has shown you multiple times why your claim is just False.

      " however, the real data does not reflect those extreme projections" - WHAT so-called real data do you have that no one else has Jack.

      Doc showed you his with http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/climate-model...

      Show us yours that has a different picture.

      You do know, don't you Jack, that if the global temperature increases just 1.2 more degrees Centigrade that the oceans and forests start returning all of that stored CO2 (and in the case of the ocean, methane as well) back into the atmosphere. Once that happens, you can't stop it.

      "Some of the CO2 is dissolved or absorbed by the oceans which is 4/5 of the surface of the earth. " - Yes, that is true AND it has been accounted for in all of the modeling. Next.

      Sunspots have nothing to do with increasing CO2 that I have heard, but in any case, has already been accounted for in the models Doc provided you.

      "n every case, the projections has been worst than reality..." - THE REVERSE is true Jack.

      DOC - When I saw that only 17 years of data was considered, I just ignored his graph as being irrelevant to the discussion of climate changes.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, Scott, The “warming trend” was artificially exaggerated by selective adjusting temperature records of past...

      If we project the predictions, it would lead to a huge warming in the next 30 years or so... however, the real data does not reflect those extreme projections. I agree the earth is warming at the present but it is the false projections that I am against and by association, the dire nature of these projections act to scare the kids and the uninformed.

      The truth may be something else totally. For example, CO2 may be increasing and cause some warming but we do not have a static environment. The oceans play a big role as we have discovered. Some of the CO2 is dissolved or absorbed by the oceans which is 4/5 of the surface of the earth. In addition, the current sunspot minimum is lower than previous cycles. Again, this may account for the lower warming detected over the last decade. I just cited 2 cases where the CO2 concentration was not the driving factor of warming...who knows what else is out there...?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Interesting notions. I wish the humans would not have made the dinosaurs go extinct. It would be fun to ride one in a zoo.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "The graphs are data from simulations."

      No, the graphs compare data from climate model simulations with standard data sets, which is the whole point here. It's just as in the graph you used--except not limited to a cherry-picked span, and not including a statistically unjustified "trend" line.

      "n every case, the projections has been worst than reality..."

      Not true. Arctic sea ice loss has been far more rapid than modeling suggested, and so has global glacier ice loss. (The former has been obscured by focus on a few outlying statements, as discussed in my Hub on predictions, to the exclusion of what the mainstream was actually saying ten and fifteen years ago.)

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Scott, one clue to your question lies in the graph that Jack unfortunately chose to use at the end of this Hub. "Global Temperatures: Insignificant and Immaterial Warming from CO2," says the title, while the sub-title adds "17 years of HadCRUT data indicates potential of cooling trend."

      So, what's the problem?

      Let's start with the "17 years" part. Santer et al (2010, I think) showed that the stats of the observed warming trend are such that *you can't expect to see a statistically reliable trend in less than 17*--or, phrased another way, there will be quite a few 17-year periods for which you won't see a warming trend. That is why Monckton spent several years posting successively later 17- and 18-year graphs of "no warming." Sadly, however, the warming would always "reappear" at the beginning of the analysis window... so, this graph is a cherry-pick by virtue of the analysis period chosen.

      The second problem is the fact that the graph is grossly out of date, truncating the available data at July of 2011. It's warmed quite a bit since then, obviously:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1994....

      The third problem I actually hadn't picked up on til I ran the graph linked above: the curved trend they fitted gives a misleading impression. The linear trend I ran shows, during the period they graphed, a linear warming trend of 0.13 C per decade, which is not that far off the long-term trend. (For comparison, the linear trend for the entire record since June 1994 shows a linear trend of 0.16 C per decade.)

      So, the term 'overfitting' certainly comes to mind. Far from cooling having occurred, warming has actually accelerated.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      One more time:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/climate-model...

      (Updates from February of this year.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 days ago from Yorktown NY

      The graphs are data from simulations. In every case, the projections has been worst than reality... that is why this problem persists. As I stated in my original article in my debate with Doc, if the climate change problem is a repeat of the ozone hole problem, there would be no controversy. The fact that the climate change problem has been over exaggerated, and since that time, doubled down by the likes of Al Gore, that we are in a state of turmoil. We have allowed this to be politicized rather than treating it like a science project.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      3 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      How are the data and modeling out of sync other than the models keep Underestimating the magnitude of the problem?

      Doc has shown a couple of times now how in sync they actually are. Are they not not convincing to you? The graphs he gave you are very, very compelling and irrefutable, yet you keep refuting them. Why?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Scott,

      We would not be having this discussion if the model and real data are in synch. The problem is in my opinion that we assumed too much and relied on the incomplete models to make projections that are overly ambitious and dire. That is why a reset is needed and a new direction. One that is divorced from the environmentalists.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      Scott Belford 

      3 days ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      " I think the UN and the IPCC has been totally politicized. They lack credibility as being an unbiased source." - BTW, Jack, who, in your opinion are unbiased sources that have expertise in climatology?

      " The majority gets to decide which is the best solution and compliance is mandatory based on GDP." - What if we have another Trump leading the most powerful nation in the world and the 2nd biggest polluter who, against all evidence, decides he is not going to play ball?

      Your "black box" approach works fine in determining causation and, in a very surface way, a solution. In fact, using your black box and the discussion by Doc below you come up with this final analysis.

      The inputs to the system are 1) green house gases, 2) solar cycles, 3) volcanic and other aerosol factors, and ENSO cycles and the output is global temperature.

      We have long records which show that as the last three inputs, two of which are cyclic and the other episodic, enter the black box, the output is changes in global temperatures that are also cyclical within well defined ranges as well as episodic abnormalities. That is what the history shows.

      BUT, when you add in green house gas inputs, the picture changes radically. Prior to 1880, the GHG inputs were also cyclical within fairly well defined ranges. We find that the output also follows global temperature variations that still fall within well-defined ranges.

      AFTER 1880, however, the GHG inputs have been increasing exponentially and, guess what, so has global temperatures (exponentially, btw)

      Knowledge of where temperatures are going, tells us what to expect on a global basis because we, (well the world since we weren't around then) have archaeological(probably the wrong term, but you know what I mean) records that tell us what Earth was like when temperatures were that high. And what they know is THAT earth would not sustain today's population very well at all.

      Doesn't your own modelling technique now convince you

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      4 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Can "we" agree? It depends upon who "we" includes, I suppose. Frankly, in all the years of me writing about this, it's hard to identify specific results that have been achieved or affected. And, I suppose, rightly so: I (or you) are just one voice of very many in the topic area, after all.

      So, were you and I to agree, with the full forces of our respective beings, on your proposal, I suspect the number of folks we would bring along in that would be pretty small. Which is to say that the IPCC would still be doing what it does, Breitbart would still be doing what it does (and ditto the Heartland Institute, the API, and all the rest). And, sadly, I'm not sure that, after the 5 years were up, we'd agree on what the impartial science had actually said.

      This might all sound as if I think your suggestions aren't worth making, but that is not my conclusion. I think that, if more people were to take your stance that we need to resolve the question, and that we need to be systematic and intentional about getting that done, then perhaps we could start to hack away at some of the uncertainty. And that could only be good.

      In short, I think it's going to be a messy politicized process no matter what we do. But it can be more so, or less so, and you'd think that if we articulate a desire for clarity strongly enough, we might just get some more clarity.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      4 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, thanks for the long explanation. I appreciate all your input. How about the gist of what I propose? Can we agree to start a new “direction” and hit a “reset” button? It seems the current path we are on is leading no where anytime soon.

      I would much prefer a new initiative that has a stated goal and a stated time frame. Otherwise, we will still be debating the same thing 5 years from now...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      4 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      NIcely done, overall. There is much I can agree with here, and much else that I may disagree with, but which is well-argued.

      However, IMO these bits from your concluding paragraphs are a real weakness:

      1) "Because, if we simply say the greenhouse effect is the key contributing factor, and ignore all else, the results does not match the theory."

      Except that *nobody* says 'ignore all else.' As I've said many times, complete with supporting linked citations, the temperature record can be well accounted for if, and only if, natural *and* anthropogenic factors are included in the reckoning. And that's not my opinion; that is the verdict of the climate science community, and secondarily the IPCC.

      2) "Here is the reality. CO2 concentration on earth has been rising steadily for the last 100 years. It has surpassed 400 ppm. However, during that same time period, the earth’s temperature has not risen steadily as it should if it was acting like a black box. In fact, during the 1970s, the earth was actually cooling for a period. How come? There must be some other factors of sufficient significance to cause this anomaly."

      Correct. Those have been considered at length and in breadth in the scientific literature, most recently and successfully in a new paper which can account for the record very well considering primarily just 4 things: GHGs, anthropogenic aerosols,

      https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-18...

      The authors blogged about this in some depth here:

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019...

      "...we were able to reproduce effectively all the observed multidecadal temperature evolution, including the Early Warming and the Mid-Century cooling, using known external forcing factors (solar activity, volcanic eruptions, greenhouse gases, pollution aerosol particles). Adding an El Niño signal, we virtually explain the entire observed record (Figure 1). Further, we were able to reproduce the temperature evolution separately over land and ocean, and between Northern and Southern Hemispheres (NH/SH). We found equally high fractions of explained variability associated with anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing changes in each case. Attributing 90% of the Early Warming to external forcings (50% of which is due to natural forcing from volcanoes and solar) is – in our view – a key leap forward. To date, no more than 50% had been attributed to external forcing (Hegerl et al. 2018). While there is less controversy about the drivers of the Mid-Century cooling, our response model results strongly support the idea that the trend was caused by increased levels of sulphate aerosols which temporarily offset greenhouse gas-induced warming."

      3) "By searching for answers, perhaps we can find the better model to represent the earth as a black box. One that will include other factors such as sun spot cycles, and volcanic activities, and other planet cycles and even the precession of the earth rotation around the sun."

      Climate science has been doing that all along, and continues to do so. But note the factors they mentioned in the quote above:

      "...solar activity, volcanic eruptions, greenhouse gases, pollution aerosol particles... El Niño."

      There doesn't appear to be much room for "other planet cycles... and precession." (Orbital precession is important, but only over much longer time scales--that is, several tens of thousands of years.)

      I'd only add one other note of explanation to the quote above. The statement could be misleading that "equally high fractions of explained variability associated with anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing changes in each case..."

      The unwary may be tempted to conclude that that means half the observed cumulative warming is *also* due to natural factors, but that is wrong. The reason it is wrong is that solar cycles, atmospheric aerosols, and ENSO cycles all go both up AND down again over the observed record. However, the GHG signal has, as you pointed out, been relentlessly upward only over that same time span.

      The logical consequence is that the GHG forcing has continued to strengthen, and so has its effect upon temperature. By contrast, the other forcings tend to regress to the mean over the observed span. That means that while short-term fluctuations are primarily accounted for by non-GHG forcings--most clearly, volcanic eruptions and the consequent aerosols--the long-term trend is mostly forced by the quasi-monotonic GHG increase.

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