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#16711 - 10/14/06 09:31 PM Major News Article on Global Climate Change
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day all,

This is a major news article published as a major story by Time magazine some time ago. It is not all that widely quoted because it was before the global warming reporting really got going but I think it is relevant to our discussions here, even if it is a news article. At the time it was a major article and shaped the opinions of many. I've deliberately changed the odd word for emphasis and will point out the changes at the end, but it should be interesting anyway. Oh, and I?ve added Paragraph numbers.

Quote:
1. In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1994 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly hot and dry spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually warm winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone's recollection.

2. As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually warmer for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of runaway warming.

3. Telltale signs are everywhere ?from the unexpected change to thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the northward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has risen about 2.7? F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly decreased by 12% in 1991 and the decrease has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally covered by snow in summer; now they free year round.

4. Scientists have found other indications of global warming. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude winds ?the so-called circumpolar vortex?that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world. Indeed it is the widening of this cap of warm air that is the immediate cause of Africa's drought. By blocking moisture-bearing equatorial winds and preventing them from bringing rainfall to the parched sub-Sahara region, as well as other drought-ridden areas stretching all the way from Central America to the Middle East and India, the winds have in effect caused the Sahara and other deserts to reach farther to the south. Paradoxically, the same vortex has created quite different weather quirks in the U.S. and other temperate zones. As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms?the Midwest's recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.

5. Sunspot Cycle. The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth's surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth's tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere?thereby altering the earth's climate. Some observers have tried to connect the eleven-year sunspot cycle with climate patterns, but have so far been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of how the cycle might be involved.

6. Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the warming trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that CO2, dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be allowing more and more sunlight to reach and heating the surface of the earth.

7. Climatic Balance. Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service's long-range-prediction group, think that the warming trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth's climate. Indeed, it is to gain such knowledge that 38 ships and 13 aircraft, carrying scientists from almost 70 nations, are now assembling in the Atlantic and elsewhere for a massive 100-day study of the effects of the tropical seas and atmosphere on worldwide weather. The study itself is only part of an international scientific effort known acronymically as GARP (for Global Atmospheric Research Program).

8. Whatever the cause of the warming trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% increase in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth's surface could tip the climatic balance, and warm the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to a very hot age within only a few hundred years.

9. The earth's current climate is something of an anomaly; in the past 700,000 years, there have been at least seven major episodes of glaciers spreading over much of the planet. Temperatures have been as high as they are now only about 5% of the time. But there is a peril more immediate than the prospect of a very hot age. Even if temperature and rainfall patterns change only slightly in the near future in one or more of the three major grain-exporting countries?the U.S., Canada and Australia ?global food stores would be sharply reduced. University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: "I don't believe that the world's present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row."
OK, the changes, the heading of this article was ?Another Ice Age?? and the whole article has had ?cooling? changed to ?warming? and other minor changes to align it with that difference. As far as possible I have not changed the article otherwise.

So how familiar did the article sound? How close was it to articles on global warming and how right was it? Actually some of the similarities are downright spooky. Increasing tornados are mentioned. Droughts, floods and various records are mentioned as well as if they obviously prove the point being made. ?Serious? and ?Catastrophic? are used to describe the outcome. Man is blamed. Solar activity does not correspond with the changes. The need for much greater study and, basically, much more funding, is pointed out as if it is patently self evident. Actually it worked for about three years but because Climate studies had almost no funding up until then and very few people actually held qualifications in the field, there was just no way to increase the funding to levels such as today. As soon as the place got much hotter, the funding dried up. So, according to the solar experts, that is about to happen again. I bet this time the funding will not dry up. The amounts are just too huge and too many people?s careers and income, not to mention very big parts of environmental groups? budgets and even anti-global warming groups for that matter, for those advocating global warming as the biggest issue the earth has faced to just slink away. It will get rather ugly imho, if it happens.

Many people dismiss the ?global cooling? scare in the 1970s as something that was not well supported. This was when I was studying Climate Science and I can tell you that it was anything but a minor issue. It was a very big deal, with news articles in major papers often every day. The grain harvest in the USSR failed five years in a row so the Hare quote at the end of the article came true. There was much more than three years in a row. The whole thing came to a sudden and crashing end because of confluence of solar cycles that matched the well known 11 year cycle with a previously unknown but quite steep solar cycle of a little greater than 200 years. It was 1979-1980 in the Northern Hemisphere that really got hot.

The reason why a search in Google does not bring up all that many news references for global cooling is very convenient if you wish to dismiss this scare as being not widely publicised or having a ?consensus? of climate scientists (and in the 1970s you could put all the world?s climate scientists into a tiny rural town?s meeting room and still have room for a bake sale to raise funds for them). It is simply that the news articles were written before computers invaded the newsroom and these articles are available on micro fiche or in bound old copies but not in electronic form.

It was ironic but my very first published article was a piece on global cooling that suggested that global cooling might not be as certain as was being made out because the data to establish climate change was extremely difficult to obtain. So my lack of respect for comparable data for climate studies goes back a long way. I just assumed, until I had to look at the data again, that with the utilisation of computers and the advancement of other technologies that improvements would have been made in the data set so that they would be able to show trends. My assumptions were wrong.

Details of changes, just for completeness:]

Date of Article: 24 June 1974

Changes:

Sentence 2: ?1974? changed by 20 years to ?1994?.
Sentence 3: ?chilly and wet? changed to ?hot and dry?
Sentence 4: ?on the other hand? removed.
Sentence 5: ?? a series of chilly? changed to ??a series of warm?
Paragraph 2: ?gradually cooler? changed to ?gradually warmer?
Para 2 end: ?another ice age? changed to ?runaway warming?
Para 3: ?persistence and thickness? changed to ?change to thickness?
Para 3: ?southward? changed to ?northward?
Para 3: ?mean global temperature has risen about 2.7? F? changed to ??dropped??
Para 3: ?pack ice ? increased ?? changed to ??decreased?? and ?increase? changed to ?decrease?.
Para 3: ?1971? changed by 20 years to ?1991?
Para 3: ?Baffin Bay ? totally free of snow in summer ? now covered all year round? changed to ?covered ? now free?
Para 4: ?cooling? changed to ?warming?
Para 4: ?polar winds? had ?polar? removed; ?cold air? changed to ?warm air?, ?polar? removed a second time.
Para 4: References to more and more violent tornadoes, no change at all!
Para 5: Sunspot paragraph not changed at all
Para 6: ?cooling? changed to ?warming?
Para 6: ?CO2,? added; ?blocking? changed to ?allowing?; ?from reaching? changed to ?to reach?.
Para 7: ?cooling? changed to ?warming?
Para 7: Ah, the needs more research (i.e. money). Does this sound familiar at all?
Para 8: ?cooling? changed to ?warming?
Para 8: ?decrease? changed to ?increase?
Para 8: ?another ice age? changed to ?very hot age?. OK, so it wasn?t a great change but I didn?t want to change the meaning of the article other than changing cooling to warming.
Para 9: ?very hot age? used again.


Regards


Richard
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Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#16712 - 10/15/06 06:38 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
dehammer Offline
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Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
i could not tell the article from ones in many papers. seems like all they did was change the same words you did.

interesting that it had as much scare tactics.
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the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything.

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#16713 - 10/15/06 05:37 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yet again quantity substituting for quality.

And not a single verifiable word.
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DA Morgan

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#16714 - 10/15/06 08:12 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#16715 - 10/16/06 08:28 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Hiya Richard; neat illustration. I think that is why, as our understanding of climate progressed, we moved away from definitive phrases such as global cooling or warming to the more general 'climate change.'
I still haven't looked at the temperature data yet, but....
~Sam
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Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#16716 - 10/16/06 09:48 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
dehammer Offline
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Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
sam, the problem is that with using the global term climate change to takes into account everything that effects climate both for cooling and heating, is that its used by politicans as evidence of man made global warming. basically, the politicians are blaming us for the effects of solar flares. they are saying in effect that since the suns flares are causing so much trouble, we need to destroy our civilization in an effort to reduct the amount of damage were doing a tiny fraction of a degree.
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the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything.

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#16717 - 10/16/06 10:03 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Well that's the problem with politicians.
But, do we all agree that solar influences are so predominant? I thought the sun was pretty low on the list of factors we can't control (orbit, wobble, volcanos, ocean circulation, continental drift, etc.) Of the things we can control, i thought this kinda summed it up.
Quote:
Originally posted by Te Urukehu:
That the anthropogenic nature of climate change has yet to be scientifically determined - appears to be at the heart of the climate research debate currently underway. The following link is Aotearoa / New Zealand's contribution to the global perspective:
http://www.climatescience.org.nz/assets/2006930201100.ResponseToRSNZ.pdf
So, how many volcanos do 6 billion people equal?
~Sam
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#16718 - 10/16/06 04:48 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
samwik asks:
"But, do we all agree that solar influences are so predominant?"

No we do not. And you'll not find a climatologist at the University of Washington that does either. Nor, I am told, their colleagues at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, CalTech, etc.

This is all diversion and RicS is trying to be a magician.

Take a good look at the source quoted: "Time magazine some time ago." Enough said.
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DA Morgan

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#16719 - 10/16/06 07:22 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
dehammer Offline
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Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
the evidence is strong that those do have a major effect. The problem is that its not political acceptable right now to claim that its anything other than man.

the reason for this is that if it is mostly natural things, then there is nothing man can do to stop it. when skylab fell to earth there was a large (small percentage, but still sizeable) number of people that beleived that they could push it back up with physic abilities and such. Obviously they could not, but they were not willing to say that nothing could be done to stop it from falling to earth.

the same thing is happening here.

IF the temperature is actually rising, and unless it is actually mans doing, there is nothing that man can do to stop it. If man has had something to do with it, then he most likely did very little.

If on the on other hand, he did cause it, there is little that man can do to reverse it in time. After all, man has been doing it for several thousand year, so how can we reverse it in a decade.

There is no evidence that co2 causes the temperature to rise. There is more evidence that the rise in temperature causes the rise in co2.
_________________________
the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything.

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#16720 - 10/16/06 08:23 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Science does not run on what is, and is not, politically correct.

And even if it did at one university, or in one country, you have to be spinning out of control to believe that we can not control North Korean or Iranian nuclear technology but that we can somehow control the publications of everyone's climatologists.

While you dissemble ... the ice continues to melt.
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DA Morgan

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#16721 - 10/16/06 09:05 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
John M Reynolds Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 174
Loc: Canada
Science does indeed run on what is politically correct lest they don't get funding.

Dan, since your post makes no mention of dehammer's observation as to the lack of evidence for the greenhouse effect of CO2, that you have no evidence yourself?

In Northern Canada The highs for Yellowknife, Whitehorse, and Iqualuit are between -1 and 3 Celcius. In Northern Canada, the ice is getting thicker.

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#16722 - 10/17/06 01:47 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
John ... the world is not the United States.

I know that may come as a shock to most Americans but it happens to be true.

If you think the ice is getting thicker ... then no doubt you would be happy to explain that to my brother in-law who is up in the artic working on oil pipelines. He has this crazy delusion confirmed by reality that the ice is melting. So does BP to whom his firm is under contract.
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#16723 - 10/17/06 03:44 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
dehammer Offline
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Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Science does not run on what is, and is not, politically correct.

And even if it did at one university, or in one country, you have to be spinning out of control to believe that we can not control North Korean or Iranian nuclear technology but that we can somehow control the publications of everyone's climatologists.

While you dissemble ... the ice continues to melt.
science might not, but peer review is. North Korean has its own army, and to try to control them risks war. It would be somewhat risky to try to take it by force, since there are so many that would come to their aid, creating ww3 (or is it 4, some say 3 was the cold war).

there are many reasons why this (politically controlled peer review) is possible. heres some of them.
1) once one study is printed, and accepted, its extreamly difficult to get one that says the reverse, since it would require the publishers to admit they made a mistake.
2) telling people that there is no danger is not going to sell papers, while alarmist diatribe will.
3) there is a lot of goverment money for people to say that there is something we can fix, rather than telling people that there is nothing that can be fixed, no matter how much money is thrown at the problem. worse is if you tell them there is no problem to throw money at.
_________________________
the more man learns, the more he realises, he really does not know anything.

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#16724 - 10/17/06 11:10 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
John M Reynolds Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 174
Loc: Canada
Try this:

1. Go to http://www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climateData/canada_e.html

2. From the list choose Nunavut

3. From the next list choose Alert and select Oct 1st (the 16th does not have data yet)

4. Click the Go button

Notice how their high on the first was -23.1 C That is below the freezing point of salt water. Alert is North of the 82nd parallel. The other October days also show temps that are below -10 Celcius. With such cold temps, the ice cannot melt and is getting thicker with each snowfall. Yes, we Canadians get quite a lot of snow. Your brother in law will have a heck of a time explaining to me how ice melts in below 0 temps. For those who do not know, O Celcius is the freezing point of water.

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#16725 - 10/17/06 04:34 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
JR: One day in one location is not global.

No doubt with a little time and google I could find that one the same day, somewhere else, it was the coldest temperature ever recorded.

The saddest part of this charade is that I know you know a single temperature from a single location is irrelevant.

The game ends here.
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#16726 - 10/17/06 08:31 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
Te Urukehu Offline
Member

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 51
Loc: Aotearoa
Quote:
If you think the ice is getting thicker ... then no doubt you would be happy to explain that to my brother in-law who is up in the artic working on oil pipelines. He has this crazy delusion confirmed by reality that the ice is melting. So does BP to whom his firm is under contract.
Quote:
JR: One day in one location is not global.
At least the science emanating from Canada appears to have substance attached (facts,figures etc) - talking to the brother-in-law does not amount to good science.
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#16727 - 10/17/06 11:14 PM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Given his PhD and given that he is there as a scientist and given that his worked has been published in peer reviewed journals.

I don't think his relationship to me, by marriage, is quite enough to negate his opinions.

The "science" from Canada is one data point among many: Only one. You point to one place where it is warmer ... and I'll point to ten where it isn't. This is not a game you want to play.
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#16728 - 10/18/06 02:30 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
Originally posted by dehammer:
sam, the problem is that with using the global term climate change to takes into account everything that effects climate both for cooling and heating, is that its used by politicans as evidence of man made global warming. basically, the politicians are blaming us for the effects of solar flares. they are saying in effect that since the suns flares are causing so much trouble, we need to destroy our civilization in an effort to reduct the amount of damage were doing a tiny fraction of a degree.
dehammer, sorry I focused in on solar flares; I didn't see that solar flares stood in for all the climate forcers that are not man-made. So, politicians aside, your saying that if climate is being changed by forces beyond our control, then the forces we can control don't matter (because they are "a tiny fraction" of the sum total of climate forces). Is that about right?
I guess my question is, do we know if the forces we can't control are pushing the climate (& which direction) or are they pretty much in balance?
~Sam
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#16729 - 10/18/06 03:03 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
John M Reynolds Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 174
Loc: Canada
For those who did not notice, the Average Maximum Temperature for October 16th (according to Environment Canada's almanac page) for that area is -16 ?C while the Average Minimum Temperature is -22.9 ?C? Alert is close to the water (elevation of 30 m), so the water does not have a warming effect. You want more sites? How about we head south to Eureka (79? 58' N Elevation: 10.40 m) Average Maximum Temperature = -18.6 ?C Average Minimum Temperature = -26 ?C. Again below freezing. How about Grise Fiord (76? 25' N Elevation: 44.50 m)? It does not show average max temps, but the past four years had a max of -3.8 ?C. The year 2003 was the only one with a positive high of 2.5 while all the lows were below freezing.


My whole point was that north of the 80th parallel the ice is now thickening and expanding because it is now close to winter. Perhaps this whole like of reasoning is ludicris since I am merely commenting on the seasonal differences when it should be supposed that DA meant that the ice is melting in a more general sense, but that was not how it was presented. He said that while I "dissemble ... the ice continues to melt." Perhaps, he will explain one day why he said something so ludicris himself.

John M Reynolds

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#16730 - 10/18/06 05:54 AM Re: Major News Article on Global Climate Change
dehammer Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/23/06
Posts: 1089
Quote:
Originally posted by samwik:
dehammer, sorry I focused in on solar flares; I didn't see that solar flares stood in for all the climate forcers that are not man-made. So, politicians aside, your saying that if climate is being changed by forces beyond our control, then the forces we can control don't matter (because they are "a tiny fraction" of the sum total of climate forces). Is that about right?
I guess my question is, do we know if the forces we can't control are pushing the climate (& which direction) or are they pretty much in balance?
~Sam
there is an old saying about not throwing out the baby with the bath water.

yes, if there is a problem, then perhaps we should do something, AFTER we know if we have actually done any damage. The thing is how much are you willing to pay for a tiny improvement.

lets put this in more concrete example.

your house has a heating bill thats fairly high. lets say that is cost you about 100 dollars a month to heat it during the winter and 100 dollars a month to cool it in the summer. there are a lot of things you can do to cut the cost down, such as getting better window, putting up more insulation and things. lets say that a super salesman comes to you and conviences you to go for the entire package. this includes everything from paint to solar panels to produce the electricity. You could easily spend 100,000 dollars on it. The end result is that it saves you 100 dollars a month. At that rate it would take you 83 years plus to pay for it. during that time, you would also have to pay for maintance, and replacement of things that break. Your grandchildren could easily be paying for it.

now on the other hand, you decide to do a few things such as calking your windows, and putting up insulating curtains. You do a few test and find where your major drafts are and seal them. You spend a couple thousand to put up awnings over your windows. end result is that you save 40 dollars a month, but the cost is only about 4000 dollars. you pay for it in less than 9 years, including maintance.

now after a couple years, you realise that your setting on top of a thermal pocket that rises the temperature of the house in the winter. even if you do everything to cool the house there is nothing you can do about the heat rising from the pocket, save add a bigger cooler.

going by what the politicians have been pushing with that accord that was signed in japan, we would have to destroy our civilization to improve things just enough to be measured.

solar flares cause more of an effect on the earth's climate that most people are willing to accept, mainly because untill recently, there was no one that understood how they were doing so.
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