Talk:Global warming/Archive 56

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Material which was removed

excuse me, why was the following material removed? Link to section entitled "Scientific Debate" is Debate Among Scientists - Not Large Organisations Fighting Each Other - That is Called "Politics"."

This section was relevant to the entry. Would appreciate a reply. thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 21:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Brittania is indef'd the section was going nowhere William M. Connolley (talk) 23:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I disagree completely with the indef ban. however, thanks for your helpful reply to my query. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 15:03, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

100 reasons why global warming is not man-made

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Newspaper articles are not sufficient rebuttal to the use of peer reviewed scientific papers, and should never be cited on any article in Wikipedia as authoritative on matters of science.


Here are a few excerpts from the Express News Article. It makes good reading. The lack of true science and the clear left-wing political genesis of GW/Climate change should be reflected in the GW article.

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/146138

EXPRESS NEWS: 100 REASONS WHY GLOBAL WARMING IS NATURAL Tuesday December 15,2009

HERE are the 100 reasons, released in a dossier issued by the European Foundation, why climate change is natural and not man-made:

1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher –more than ten times as high.

8) The IPCC theory is driven by just 60 scientists and favourable reviewers not the 4,000 usually cited..............

Mytwocents (talk) 18:41, 17 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dikstr (talkcontribs)

See FAQ. --McSly (talk) 17:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
The argument against the list of skeptics is that the are not related to the field of climatology. Such a field of science is a broad spectrum without a clear definition. If it benefits the theory of MMGW to exclude a specific area of science where more skeptics exist, those in favor of MMGW can do so without being held accountable. This is due to there not being an official list of areas of science associated with climatology; therefore, such a list is not held to peer-review standards. My point is that the list that IPCC produce of scientists that confirm MMGW, by their own definition of climatology, contains a super-majority of scientists not related to climatology. So if skeptics can round of up a list that they attempt to include only published scientists with some expertise, the IPCC can deny certain areas are related, then in turn produce a larger list and not apply their own standards. However, this overlooks the fact that a scientist with expertise in seismic activity may have done ample research in another field without being published. The ability of IPCC to define climatology and not apply the standard to their own list is somewhat of a loophole.Cflare (talk) 17:43, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
See Project Steve. --McSly (talk) 17:46, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
As quoted: "We did not wish to mislead the public into thinking that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists!" Do you wish to infer the opposite. Truth is not decided by majority vote; however, history is written by the winners. Unfortunately when grant money and politicians back a certain view, science becomes settled and majority wins history and science. In these cases, science is not a search for truth. If at any point a theory is used to settle a science and can no longer be questioned, it is no longer science. --Cflare (talk) 18:24, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
See Scientific theory. --McSly (talk) 18:36, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

< There are are lot of points in just this one news article that could be paraphased and used on the GW page. Mytwocents (talk) 00:29, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Looks more suitable to be used in an article examining how the news media have been dumbing down in recent years. Count Iblis (talk) 00:38, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Removal of material from this page.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This page is for discussion of the article, not for airing one's view of the subject. See WP:FORUM.


It seem to me as something of a newcomer that material is being removed from this page just because it expresses a different view from others here. This is a contentions subject and open debate should be encouraged. Anyone who disagrees with the material posted her should state their objections to it here not just remove it. I have never seen this behaviour before on WP in which one side of the debate is summarily deleted. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

It has been removed because it violated WP:TPG. The talk pages are there for discussion of improvements of the article, not for discussions about the general topic of global warming. The material you have now removed twice is not only nonsensical crap, it also is indeed pure soap-boxing and not related to improving the article. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:35, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
The material relates to a current news item about the subject of the article. A quick look through this talk page shows that practically none of it is directly about improving the article. If we want to keep this talk page strictly for the purpose of discussing changes to the article that is fine but both sides of the debate must adhere to that. On other articles where it has been agreed to adhere to a strict policy on the talk page, a separate talk page for discussion of the subject in general has been set up and editors have been asked to continue their general subject arguments there. Just because you believe that the other side's views are 'nonsensical crap' and 'pure soap-boxing' does not give you the right to selectively remove material from the talk page. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:06, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't put words into my mouth. That particular post was nonsensical crap - it was not even remotely self-consistent or on topic. It's not a RS, either, and entirely irrelevant to this article. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:23, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
(e/c)we do remove comments from "both sides", so there is no discrepancy there. Wikipedia is not a forum for discussions - so the whole sub-page thing is wrong. (and frankly i've never seen it, and would be against it) That is what blogs and other public fora are for, this is an encyclopedia. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:25, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
The sub-page was just a suggestion, if you do not like it then do not do it, but please do not pretend that the rest of this talk page is strictly about improving the article. Much of it is debate about the general subject. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:42, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Also, I found this quote. WP:PBAGDSWCBY "Failing to keep Wikipedia neutral. BGD: Keep an article one-sided and make sure it states only one point of view. CAD: When editing, make sure that the article always shows both sides of the issue and is not biased or in favor of anything or anyone." --Cflare (talk) 18:15, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

The point that I was making was that this is the talk page not the article. This is the place for people to express their individual POVs. They can then be debated with a view to maintaining the neutrality of the article.Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:24, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
You seem to have misread WP:TPG, as well as the whole idea about what WP is about. We are not here to discuss our personal point of views - in fact those POV's should be left parked outside when you edit WP. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:27, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
And as this particular thread isn't about the article - i suggest that someone archive it. Take it to the policy pages, or discuss on your personal talkpages. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:29, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I pointed out serious issues of the shortcomings of the article in talk two years ago and last year. I felt I was smeared for my religion (which was not a topic I raised, but which is on my user page and which I acknowledge openly). Afterwards, a policy came about of removing talk content and archiving. I note similar content kept appearing being raised by other editors, but always the same names kept with closing down to discussion. I bring [1] to the attention of other editors, as it seriously questions how this article has progressed. It raises the same concerns I raised, but with more substantive argument. DDB (talk) 03:27, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Bolt quotes Solomon. Solomon is ridiculously wrong- to a degree that I now start to interpret this as a surreal comedic stunt. Few other interpretations make sense. Of course, Bolt somehow manages to top this by suggesting that Google is in on the deal - what, WMC, the UN, all National Academies and Google? Those alien mind control lasers must be going full blast! --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:18, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
[Pa remvoed - WMC] Maybe you are right .. how is Solomon wrong? Google's auto suggest feature is supposed to be automatic, and for it to ignore the 24 million references in favor of fewer references suggests external help. In a similar fashion the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had an online search that offered one reference, an email, to 'climate gate' while Google returned the 24 million figure. I'm unaware of the conspiracy theory involving monolithic UN subversion of science protocols. However, I have no doubt that senior scientists have collaborated to promote their beliefs despite scientific findings and this has spilled into public policy leveraged by political bodies. DDB (talk) 08:46, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

What the discussion here shows is that there are two sides to this argument and therefore, in order to maintain balance in the article itself, free discussion on and around the subject must be permitted on the talk page. Summary deletion of material from this page because it is not in accordance with the majority view is not acceptable. I note that, although there has been much criticism, no one has actually addressed the individual points raised. Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:04, 20 December 2009 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Article Title incongruent with content

Brief history section?

I am new to this article and have not looked at the lengthy discussion archives. What I don't find in the article is a brief history of how and when the global warming idea took hold. Something along the lines of: With the advent of weather stations, atmospheric studies, and anecdotal accounts of heat waves centered over cow pastures, scientists were able to accurately calculate an average surface temperature for the earth. In 1954, the first conference was held in a chilly gymnasium, where the overwhelming consensus was that the average temperature was rising at unprecedented rates.

For this article, I would think a good introduction would summarize when a current average was possible, when paleo reconstructions became possible (or at least popular), and perhaps summarize the scientific areas that have contributed the most to the theory. I will look and see if the footnotes show a chronological pattern, but I would not expect them to.

I imagine that there must have been an introduction like this that became obsoleted as the article evolved. Thank you. Fotoguzzi (talk) 15:01, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

There is an article History of climate change science, which probably provides the best overview. Perhaps it should be linked from all significant articles on the science of climate change. --TS 15:03, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Cite doi finally

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Discussion migrated to #The Great Referencing Discussion


Keep making proposals and forgetting to follow up. In June, we talked about switching to article to {{Cite doi}} since the sorter format is easier to read in the edit window. In August, we talked again about switching, but got sidetracked. You guys mind if I make the switch today? ChyranandChloe (talk) 02:39, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Go for it.--CurtisSwain (talk) 08:21, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
You may also want to consider the method used on Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, where the references are separated from the text like this:
{{Reflist|2|refs= ....(references with names here)....}}
it would require a good naming system ("author(year[optional letter])"?), and some maintainence - but it does make the text alot easier to edit. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 08:59, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw Dragon's flight make the proposal to integrate this feature into WP in WP:CITE.[5] It's done here, but to a lesser extent. Thanks though. I'll have it taken care of by weekend's end, busier than expected this week. ChyranandChloe (talk) 22:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Seconding (or thirding?) Kim's suggestion. I agree that LDR improves the readability of the editable article. I've used it a fair bit; I haven't been rigorous about choosing a reference naming convention, but I agree with Kim, especially in the case of scientific articles. I've generally ordered my references in the same order they appear in the article, but if we adopt a reference naming system as Kim suggests, perhaps the references should be alpha sorted.--SPhilbrickT 13:34, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I dislike {{cite doi}} as it allows an easy way for vandals to modify highly visible pages by making edits to templates that are not watched by many people. It also makes updating the references more difficult. -Atmoz (talk) 22:50, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
It's a system:
  1. Plan. Most references, especially the generic style of scientific journals, do not need to be modified; when it does need to be modified, the edit button may be easier to use than the code window (especially since the refs here are tightly compacted).
  2. Protect. When the ref is stable, and the edit button removed (by passing "noedit" into the second parameter) a bot regularly maintains the ref accordingly. Without the edit button, it's much harder for vandals to find the page. There are other templates that are not protected but used (e.g. {{Cnote2}}, {{Chem}}), and they are not vandalized despite their greater danger.
  3. Preserve. For us, there's plans to create an anti-vandal bot to watch these pages and notify a notice board. We could ask for cascade semi-protect if things get bad.
ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I dislike the closed cite-doi's, there are reasons for changing references, and this makes it rather hard to find out where to edit (imho). There are pro's and con's to this. Frankly i think that WP:LDR with regular references (or doi's), and a good naming system makes more sense than exchanging everything inline with cite-doi's. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:21, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure there are reasons for and against, but it helps to actually say what they are. However, it seems that the trolls are too taxing on time. Your time is important, I'll bring this up when things cool down, but I do expect a good reply. ChyranandChloe (talk) 19:02, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, something has to be done to bring consistency to the reference format. Having a jumbled style of referencing could lead to a FAR/featured article review. Thegreatdr (talk) 21:51, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Wait until the rest has cooled down, it'll get fixed. What plans do you have in mind? Any specific methods or goals? We can start there while we wait. ChyranandChloe (talk) 21:13, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


no discussion of controversy

About a year ago on the discussion for some article about global warming I said that it was necessary to discuss details that could refute people that I know who think the data is faked, as opposed to having different interpretations for valid data. Now the wheel has turned and such a controversy has hit the press. Somebody needs to cover it. I would think the thermodynamics of arctic ice shrinkage would be a good issue to argue. Failing to talk about the controversy with the emails may represent a neutrality issue. Patrij (talk) 15:46, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

We discuss the Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident in an article of its own. We aren't a website for debunking myths but there are plenty of such websites out there and they do a good job. --TS 15:52, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I think you'll find that the mainstream media has moved on already. The current global warming news is all about the Copenhagen conference and opinions about the Copenhagen Accord. There was no new GW science revealed by those emails. The story, the misunderstandings and the counter-arguments have not changed as a result of them. --Nigelj (talk) 15:56, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, the mainstream media have never tried to clarify what all the dirty science that the emails really expose. What you would seem with some exceptions, was an apologetic trash trying to dismiss the case as nothing, without ever showing the text of the emails. But we have loads of articles from reliable sources, as for example the british telegraph (see this, for example), that shows exactly what this emails and computer code really mean. On another thread we have seem how the wikipedia has been manipulated by a few of administrator to push the alarmist view of global warming. It is a joke that in any place of the global warming article we have any citation of the climategate article. Seem taxpayer funded "researchers" have been working around the clock to stop any credible information to appear on this article. Echofloripa (talk) 16:06, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
You've just referred to an opinion piece by Christopher Booker, who as well as having no scientific qualifications also has an appalling record of spreading his misconceptions as critiques of science, as a "reliable source". That isn't up to our sourcing standards. --TS 16:11, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a legitimate concern... this article should at least mention the e-mail incident and its impact in passing, as it goes to the very heart of the skepticism that exists. Should there be more than a sentence and a link? Probably not... but it should be mentioned. Blueboar (talk) 15:17, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with Blueboar. The e-mail incident has been assessed by independent parties who demonstrated that although some of the authors were petty there was no indication of falsified data. It's a tempest in a tea pot that only extended beyond a criminal investigation for invasion of privacy because global warming pseudo-skeptics believed it was <sarcasm>fodder to stop the Evil World Government from taking away their coal burning SUVs.</sarcasm> Simonm223 (talk) 15:22, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Then say that. The scandal had an impact beyond just the skeptics. It has had an impact on how the general population views Global Warming preditions and the science behind them. It may have been a tempest in a tea-pot to scientists... it may have been nothing but media hype... but it had a significant impact on how the general population views the issue. It is going to take years for the scientific community to regain the trust of the general population. The email scandal has had an impact, and we can not and should not simply ignore it. Blueboar (talk) 15:05, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think Wikipedia should be a party to the continued attempts to vilify the victims of a crime. Giving attention to the issue does just that. Simonm223 (talk) 15:13, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
But if you point out what you say above... ie that the e-mail incident has been assessed by independent parties who demonstrated that there was no indication of falsified data, you are not vilifying the victims of a crime. You are in fact supporting them by refuting the allegation. The incident occured, and it has had an impact on how the general public undertands the issue of global warming... All I am suggesting is that we don't stick our heads in the sand and ignore it. Blueboar (talk) 22:28, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
The problem with that is that we would, sort of, attempt to bring in the "latest news" in this article. In such cases you typically have a lot of junk reported in otherwise reliable sources and you only have at most a few correct assesments in peer reviewed journals. I think in this case there only has been one Nature editorial about this incident that would qualify as a publication in a relveant peer reviewed source (relevant because Nature publishes a lot of climate science articles). Editors who do believe that the hacking incident points to something sinister going on can then attempt to bring in their favorite sources that prove them correct. So, the discussion will then degenerate into a discussion about the reliability of sources. E.g. an argument could be: "why would a Nature editorial be more reliable than a Wall Street Journal editorial, surely the former is not independent?". Any arguments presented here explaining why the Nature editorial is releally more reliable and why many of the newspapers articles are wrong can be shot down on the basis of OR.
So, we should not attempt to bring the latest news as the wiki-policies are not really designed to deal with that in articles of a scientific nature. Count Iblis (talk) 23:39, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
The point is that no science was revealed by the e-mail/source code/document hack at CRU. The science hasn't changed, and this article is about the science. Actually, global warming hasn't changed and this article is about global warming - the glaciers are still melting, the insects are still doing whatever they do weeks earlier in the year, etc. If a massive cock-up were to be revealed (which it hasn't) then new scientific papers would be published and we would eagerly report the changes here. That would take a few months (this isn't a 'daily news' article), but that process isn't even in motion over the CRU e-mails. It's just irrelevant. Except in the minds of the most extreme, big-oil-funded, nutters. There are other articles about the hack (which is up to date) and about Public opinion on climate change that may reflect all this, when it has been measured and written up in WP:RS. --Nigelj (talk) 00:01, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Oppressive editing and page ownership

Removal of material section

CO2 over 650ka

This source (Neftel et al.) is referenced to source the following statement: "These levels are much higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years, the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores." This source, however, does not support that statement. The source discusses CO2 concentrations from about 1750. I inserted the dubious tag not because the statement itself is false, but because an inappropriate source is being used. I think the source wanting to be used is Spahni et al., 2005. (Keep in mind, though, Spanhi et al. dicuss CH4 and N2O. Petit et al., 1999, discuss CO2 as do Siegenthaler et al., 2005). Cheers. ~ UBeR (talk) 19:03, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

I've changed it, since no one else would. ~ UBeR (talk) 20:04, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Radiative forcing

The section 'Radiative forcing' begins 'External forcing is...'. If the section is about radiative forcing, why does it begin like this? Also the definition of external forcing is weak: 'processes external to the climate system'. Any processes? Thought processes? Surely some qualification is needed. Processes which have some measurable effect on the climate system?I love SUV's (talk) 09:53, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

I've rewritten some of that bit (and retitled the section) in an attempt to clarify. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 19:35, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. I made one important change [15]. Surely processes (such as thought processes) that have no influence on the climate are do not fall under the definition? I'm not an expert, do revert if I am wrong. I love SUV's (talk) 21:17, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
That's awkward wording. Why not "external influences"? ~ UBeR (talk) 21:25, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Very good. Be my guest.I love SUV's (talk) 21:50, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

New study says CFCs and cosmic rays, not CO2, are main cause of global warming.

I think this is worth citing in the article, but I want to see if there's a consensus for including it before I add it. If the consensus is against including it, then I won't add it. What do others here think of it? Grundle2600 (talk) 03:34, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

The actual scientific paper can be found here. Grundle2600 (talk) 03:39, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

The abstract isn't much to go on and our library doesn't have the full paper yet. Thus I don't yet have an opinion other than the standard advice to wait and see if it has an impact on the field. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 05:14, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for looking and commenting.Grundle2600 (talk) 12:50, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
You can get the gist of the argument at http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/%7Eqblu/Lu-2009PRL.pdf. It's mostly about how CFCs are dissociated. Lu claims that the major pathway is low energy electron attachment to water ice particles in the polar vortex. The first half of the Physics Reports paper summarizes lab work on the process.

Lu claims that this is what drives polar springtime ozone depletion. When he steps out of the lab into the atmosphere, things get very shaky. His claimed correlations are pretty weak and not very well quantified. His model does not include a whole lot of things that we know are happening, including cooling of the stratosphere by increases in greenhouse gas concentrations see http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/aboutus/milestones/ozone.htmlhttp://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/aboutus/milestones/ozone.html and http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html esp. the latter.

The correlation of the ozone with temperature in the stratosphere is a whole lot better than with the Cosmic Ray flux, although Lu is claiming that the CR flux is doing the cooling. Anyhow, the global warming claim comes from Lu claiming that the ozone depletion is exported from the polar area, which leads to a warming of the troposphere because extra UV is available. He doesn't think to think that this would mean that warming of the Southern Hemisphere would be a lot more than of the Northern Hemisphere if this were true, and that much of the observed warming is in the winter, before his mechanism kicks in.

And oh yeah, for your CR fans, he disses Svensmark.Eli Rabett (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:23, 29 December 2009 (UTC).

As far as I know the CO2 hypothesis is quite unproven (people need to understand the diff. between in vitro and in vivo). This article should include alternate hypotheses. On a related note, you may want to include links to the papers that make reference to the 5% decreased strength of the magnetosphere over the last 150 years - that would presumably allow cosmic rays to influence our atmosphere more (assuming they have an influence). Of course, I suggest the curious-minded look up youtube videos of Wilson chambers to see how clouds might be seeded in this manner. I'd think that this would promote cooling, but only if the influx of cosmic rays has remained constant. Cheers. TheGoodLocust (talk) 02:28, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Divergence problem

Could someone explain why the Divergence problem is not mentioned in this important article? There is a lot about this in the evil capitalist right-wing press, and there is even material on it in Wikipedia.

"While the thermometer records indicate a substantial warming trend, many tree rings do not display a corresponding change in their width.[1] A temperature trend extracted from tree rings alone would not show any substantial warming. The temperature graphs calculated in these two ways thus "diverge" from one another since the 1950s, which is the origin of the term."

Why is this not mentioned in this article? The fact that it isn't surely gives credence to the evil right-wing view that Wikipedia is being manipulated. I love SUV's (talk) 09:33, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

From Briffa 1998

[update] I uploaded the chart above as, surprisingly, it does not seem to have been included in Wikipedia anywhere. A question: in the many articles about 'scientific consensus' in Wikipedia, is there anything about the consensus on the Divergence problem? I have skimmed through the literature and the only consensus I could find was that the problem is itself caused by anthropogenic global warming. I.e. the failure of the tree ring evidence to support the global warming hypothesis is itself caused by anthropogenic global warming. I love SUV's (talk) 10:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

The divergence problem is a possible (not necessary, as the divergence can be explained by a number of other factors) problem for tree-ring based temperature reconstructions. It's not a problem for the basic theory of anthropogenic global warming, since the warming is well-attested in the instrumental record, and the basic mechanisms have been understood since long before we could measure the effect. --Stephan Schulz (User talk:Stephan Schulz|talk]]) 11:16, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
You say, the basic mechanisms [of global warming I presume] have been understood since long before we could measure the effect. Pehaps you could tell me what these are. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:09, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
The enhanced greenhouse effect caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and the positive feedback of water vapor (note vapor, not clouds, which are made up of droplets or crystals, and are much less well understood). See Svante Arrhenius. ----Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:37, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Is the positive feedback of water vapour that well understood? [citation needed]I love SUV's (talk) 19:02, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:13, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. But the article on greenhouse gases says "Other important considerations involve water vapor being the only greenhouse gas whose concentration is highly variable in space and time in the atmosphere and the only one that also exists in both liquid and solid phases, frequently changing to and from each of the three phases or existing in mixes. Such considerations include clouds themselves, air and water vapor density interactions when they are the same or different temperatures, the absorption and release of kinetic energy as water evaporates and condenses to and from vapor, and behaviors related to vapor partial pressure. " Is this variability also well understood, and predictable? That was behind my question. I love SUV's (talk) 22:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't doubt the divergence problem isn't a problem for the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. My point was, why is this problem so little discussed in the main article? Indeed it's not mentioned at all. You have to hunt around Wikipedia to find it. Why isn't there a section saying e.g., that there is an apparent problem with the temperature record, but this is not a problem for the basic theory of anthropogenic global warming, since the warming is well-attested in the instrumental record? There could then be a discussion about the consensus among scientists about why the problem exists. Is there a consensus among scientists about why divergence exists, by the way? Also, is there any literature on why it is called 'divergence'? Presumably because there is evidence of correlation between instrumental record before 1950s? If so, what is the measure of correlation? What are the statistical tests used to distinguish such correlation from mere chance? It is quite easy to find apparent correlation in randomly generated data samples. And so on. I love SUV's (talk) 13:28, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
@ Martin - yes I would also like to know what basic mechanism has been 'understood'. Many of the papers I have looked at state categorically that the feedback mechanism (on which climate models depend) is not well understood at all. I love SUV's (talk) 13:33, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
E.g. here [16] "Many facets of the earth's climatic system are poorly understood. A significant uncertainty associated with the modeling of future climatic changes is due to deficiencies in the understanding of, and in the incorporation into the climate models of, several interactive climate feedback mechanisms." So why is Schulz saying that it is well understood? I love SUV's (talk) 13:34, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
It is understood well enough to make predictions for the temperature rise due to a doubling of CO2 concentrations within some reasonable interval of a few K. We don't understand the climate well enough to make a prediction without having to specify an uncertainty. Count Iblis (talk) 13:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


The divergence problem applies to some forests (and really, not all forests) in the extreme northern hemisphere. It does not seem to apply to southern forests, though this could be because of paucity of samples. It's a bit of a fringe subject and until recently didn't even have a Wikipedia article. I wouldn't expect to see it covered in this kind of article. It is covered in dendroclimatology. --TS 13:48, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry why is it a 'fringe subject', given there is a considerable literature on it since the 1990's, and why does it not apply to this article, given that dendroclimatology is one of the underpinnings of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis? It is also essential to understanding climategate. If the instrumental record, which is patchy in the early periods, is all we have to go by, it is difficult to distinguish the current warm period from noise. I love SUV's (talk) 14:14, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
We're not journalists and we don't put our opinions into the articles. We just report on the science. The divergence problem is not a major part of climatology; nor is it regarded as a major problem in climatology. The current warming trend would still be here even if we discarded all of dendroclimatology. Contrary to your claim, the current warming trend is clearly distinguishable from noise. --TS 14:22, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not a journalist. Wikipedia is an important reference work. Given the considerable popular belief that the divergence problem is a problem, why can't that be in the article. If it really isn't a problem, why can't there be a short section saying so? If the current warming is distinguishable from noise, why not a simple explanation of why this is? All this denial and talking down to the plebs actually makes me more suspicious than ever. I love SUV's (talk) 14:31, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, but you are asking for your own opinions to be put into the article. For instance you think there is "considerable popular belief that the divergence problem is a problem" (I doubt whether one person in 1000 has even heard of it, but my opinion on this is no better than yours).
And you also seem to be mistaking this encyclopedia article on global warming for some kind of newspaper piece. You want us to address "popular belief". There are other articles about popular beliefs concerning climate change. This one is about the science. If you think talking about science in an article about the science is "denial and talking down to plebs", you should probably find an article about a non-science subject where this style of encyclopedic writing about science will not be a problem for you.
And here I must stop encouraging further responses. Nothing in this discussion is about this article on the science of global warming at all. --TS 14:41, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
1. Google 'divergence problem climategate' for evidence of the popular belief I referred to. 2. Please explain why the divergence problem is nothing to do with the science of global warming, given my arguments above (namely that there is a considerable literature on it) 3. Reasonable reply to my other argument above, namely that there should be a short section about the divergence 'problem' and why it isn't a problem. I love SUV's (talk) 16:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
This article isn't about 'popular belief'; whatever can usefully be added to the science by dendroclimatology has been added by the scientists, and published and discussed in their peer-reviewed papers. The whole of the science of GW has been, in huge detail. Do you really think that you and a few bloggers have thought of something all the scientists, the peer reviewers, the publishers etc have missed? If there was anything like that that was missed, there would (or very soon will be) peer reviewed papers altering the established science. There is no such thing; if there is, let us know; if it's just the right-wing press, then forget it - grown-up science isn't so easy that everyone can just turn up and have a go any time they like. --Nigelj (talk) 16:59, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
You entirely mistake my point. Where popular belief is widespread and mistaken, isn't it the job of a reference work to address that? By explaining carefully and clearly why the belief is wrong. I am simply asking that there be a short section about the divergence problem and why it isn't a problem. I love SUV's (talk) 17:04, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
@ Tony's claim that "The divergence problem is not a major part of climatology", see e.g. D'Arrigo 2008 [17]: "... reconstructions based on northern tree-ring data impacted by divergence cannot be used to directly compare past natural warm periods (notably, the MWP) with recent 20th century warming, making it more difficult to state unequivocally that the recent warming is unprecedented." (p. 301 and passim). That is the crux of the problem.I love SUV's (talk) 17:08, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I love SUV is totally right here. there is a consistent precedent at Wikipedia for articles to cover significant patterns in public opinion, public debate, etc etc. this encyclopedia has many entries on popular culture such as TV series episodes, etc. (before you all jump on my statement, I'm not saying the global warming article is like a tv series article.) nothing at Wikipedia precludes giving coverage on a global issue like this one as it relates to trends in public opinion and debate. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 17:20, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually that's not quite my point, Sm8900. My point is that a popular reference work like Wikipedia should be educational without treating people like morons. Thus, instead of given long lists of things that scientists think, it should also explain carefully, with appropriate citations, why scientists think it. I don't see any harm in a section on the divergence problem that clearly explains what the problem is, and then clearly explains why most scientists don't think it's a problem. See Fermi problem. I love SUV's (talk) 17:28, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
The article is already 99 kilobytes long just going through the established science: we can't go into every idea that is wrong as well, discussing what the idea is, as well as why it's wrong. --Nigelj (talk) 17:12, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes but there is a lot of irrelevant material in there. The article should simply explain what the global warming hypothesis is (there is confusion in the introduction about that, too), what the scientific 'consensus' is (there is consensus about different things), and the basic reasons why scientists believe the hypothesis. These are: 1. radiative forcing 2. the feedback effect 3. the temperature record. It should record carefully any qualifications that scientists have. If you look at the literature, which I suspect you haven't, you will see that many scientists have reservations, and many express varying degrees of doubt and uncertainty. That is what a good article needs to do. I love SUV's (talk) 17:16, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, some of the sections aren't really science at all. The section on the environmental impact is highly speculative, so also the section on the economic impact (economists can't even forecast what will happen next year). As for the sections on 'mitigation' and 'adaptation' ... The final section on debate and scepticism has nothing to do with debate and scepticism.I love SUV's (talk) 17:21, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
See also the article Spherical Earth which I quite like. It doesn't have long lists of academies and scientists who hold the consensus belief that the earth is spherical. By contrast, it explains exactly why scientists think it is spherical. Why can't this article do the same? I love SUV's (talk) 17:34, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
No original research exists as an answer to your main argument. If you have a case for removing some of the material from the article as irrelevant to the science, then make it. --TS 17:39, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I suggest you stop telling me what literature I haven't read, and go and read the archives of this Talk page, where all this has been discussed before. Then go and look at a few other scientific articles on WP (real ones, not 6th - 3rd century BCE science) then come back and tell us how to structure a scientific article. --Nigelj (talk) 17:43, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I have looked back as far as the archive 48 and find only one fleeting reference to the divergence problem. I love SUV's (talk) 17:56, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Shifting the goalposts back again? I was answering your points about making this article more like Spherical Earth, removing all the 'irrelevant' material and 'confusion', and restructuring it to explain 'why'. You hadn't mentioned divergence for the last third of this thread. --Nigelj (talk) 18:10, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid we haven't got off to a good start, have we? I love SUV's (talk) 18:27, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
@tony My main point, expressed above, is that instead of given long lists of things that scientists think, a good article should also explain carefully, with appropriate citations, why scientists think it. I have emphasised the bit that you may have missed. @Nigel - D'Arrigo 2008 is actually quite a recent paper. I love SUV's (talk) 17:47, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

The DP is an interesting part of dendroclimatology but is of little improtance to GW overall. given that dendroclimatology is one of the underpinnings of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis? is wrong, so the conclusions you draw from it are similarly wrong. See-also http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/what-if-the-hockey-stick-were-wrong/ William M. Connolley (talk) 21:34, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Fine, in that case, as I have argued, there should be a section in the article that covers this important misconception. Plebs like me who read the Daily Express somehow got the idea that it was important. If that is wrong, and millions of people like me, it is important to correct such misconceptions in such an article. I love SUV's (talk) 21:39, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
OK I have just read this [18] on your recommendation. It is very long-winded, but the argument seems to be that even if one of the underpinnings of the GW hypothesis, namely that the current warm period is not just a fluke, we still have the 'forcing' arguments. And then it concludes that there is some uncertainty about how strong the effects of forcing are. I love SUV's (talk) 21:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Why don't you take a look at Britannica's article on global warming?
Here it is.
Now the Britannica is still the most respected encyclopedia on earth. How do you account for the fact that it doesn't pander to misconceptions? --TS 22:50, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
At first glance, I am a little put off by the Britannica entry for the use of "forecast' and 'prediction' terminology. I suspect the IPCC shuns this lexicon for "assessment" and "projection" or the like. It is good to see this wiki article seems to have better terminology congruence than Britannica. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 03:58, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Fine, in that case, as I have argued, there should be a section in the article that covers this important misconception - this is a problem we've struggled with wrt other issues. It is hard to have a section on problems that are not scientifically large, but which have been blown out of proportion in the popular media. Because it isn't too hard to find good scientific articles about the DP, or about aspects of it. But you won't (obviously) find scientific articles saying "the skeptics have got carried away about this" William M. Connolley (talk) 11:29, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree with those who think the divergence problem deserves more coverage here. Ironically, one of the best argument is made by WMC. If the popular literature has blown something out of proportion, we all hope that readers will come to Wikipedia to be enlightened on the subject. If they read about the divergence problem in a discussion about global warming, they may be surprised to find no discussion of it in an article about global warming.
It is quite relevant. The article notes that recent temperatures have been historically high. How do we know this? Simply stated, we compare current temperature to historical ones. How do we obtain historical temps given the short instrument record? In short, by relying on proxies, such as tree rings. Are tree rings a reliable indicator of temperature, given that over most of the instrument record, they have not been well correlated? Scientists have explained why this is so, but here at WP, we seem to think it should not be mentioned, or at least not in an article about global warming.
That's a very perplexing decision.
The arguments are quite weak. If the article is too long, split it. There's plenty of material that could go in a separate article. That less than one in a thousand may have heard of it is a silly argument. I'll bet that over half the articles would be removed if that criterion were enforced.--SPhilbrickT 22:47, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Ocean CO2 feedback

This revert [19] undid my work here.

; CO2 release from oceans : Warmer water can release more CO2. As ocean temperatures rise some of this CO2 will be released, contributing to the global warming cycle. Conversely, this is one of the main reasons why atmospheric CO2 is lower during an ice age. There is a greater mass of CO2 contained in the oceans than there is in the atmosphere.

; CO2 release from oceans : Cooler water can absorb more CO2. As ocean temperatures rise some of this CO2 will be released. This is one of the main reasons why atmospheric CO2 is lower during an ice age. There is a greater mass of CO2 contained in the oceans than there is in the atmosphere.

BozMo (talk | contribs) (Undid revision 334580127 by Mytwocents (talk)think you made it less clear. At least most people think of the sea as water firs)

I don't know Bozmo was trying to say with his explanation

Just a few keystrokes undid my work. Now I am forced to defend my work. Perhaps, after much effort, a direct explanation of the feedback on warming temperatures/ co2 release from oceans will be allowed to remain in the article. All of this takes precious time and effort. Mytwocents (talk) 18:38, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I tried a more neutral wording. Let us see how this goes. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:54, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your effort. I would describe your edit as a textbook example of a neutral paragraph. Mytwocents (talk) 19:06, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
As I tried to say I see this as an issue of clarity, and thought you made it worse. Martin has clearly made it better both than before and than your version. However I personally still don't like the word "absorb", which you did at least replace. It definitely seems to be the wrong word. I would be looking for a word more like "contain" which is static not dynamic but contain isn't quite right either. --BozMo talk 20:05, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
"Absorb" is a good word, used a lot elsewhere and pretty easy to understand. Otherwise you might consider "sequester" or "uptake." Cheers. ~ UBeR (talk) 20:24, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I think you are not getting the objection. Uptake and sequester and absorb are all dynamic (how much it takes in, units of "per time") whereas the actual issue is not the rate of transport in and out of solution but how much can be contained in solution. Actually AFAIK the rate of transport in and out (how much can be added per hour up to saturation) increases with temp whereas the saturation level decreases with temp. Anyway its the wrong word and I thought I would acknowledge that m2c did well to try to replace it. --BozMo talk 20:42, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I see what you're saying, but I don't think you are getting my point, which is that the words I've suggested are used frequently, easily understood, and common within the scientific literature. Maybe "store" would suit you better. Cheers. ~ UBeR (talk) 10:16, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the most striking thing about the above sentence is this one: "As ocean temperatures rise some of this CO2 will be released." This is (iirc) incorrect. (or at the very least strongly misleading) - CO2 will only be (net) released if the Ocean CO2 content are in equilibrium with the atmosphere. If there partial pressure of CO2 on the Ocean surface is higher, then it will still absorb despite getting warmed up .... It will just absorb less. During glacial transitions CO2atmos is in equilibrium with the Oceans, and thus when it warms/cools the reaction will be a release or an absorption. But if (as currently is the case) there is an imbalance between CO2ocean and CO2atmos then it will only slow down the absorption. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:41, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I support the resolution we are working towards. glad we could work this out. thanks!!! --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 03:53, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Assumptions about the ocean's carbon capacity here are like for homogeneous test tubes. Multi phased absorption and adsorption are underway in the ocean's many diverse regions. The amounts of carbonaceous life the oceans can grow and carry are currently unfathomed by folk bent on targeting stacks and tailpipes. I am for stick to the sources and attribute. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 04:33, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Can't quite parse the above, but here is a fairly good quick-and-dirty intro. There's also Chapter 7 of the AR4 (specifically, let me see... subsection 7.3.4). Bottom line is that it's a lot more complicated than just saying that solubility of CO2 in water decreases as temperature increases, and our explanation in the article is not very good. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:45, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Boris. In all, the Feedback section could benefit from a basic intro to the Carbon_cycle before advancing the possible acceleration mechanisms. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 17:52, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, everyone should have a look at Carbon_cycle where it can be seen that humans release about 5.5 Gt of carbon annually into the atmosphere whilst around 90 Gt is exchanged with the surface ocean in the same period. Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:32, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, so let's have a reasonable Carbon Cycle summary with a "See: link" in this article to property set the stage for "forcing"? Don't want to push this on folks, before talk. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 21:01, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
What do you propose to take out to balance that summary? (ie. the article is already at the limits in size (iirc)) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:04, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
And what is your point here? And where are we headed with this? (-2) Gt is the net exchange with the Oceans (90 out, 92 in), thus the Oceans are a net sink for carbon. Are you of the impression that the Oceans will cease or slow down as a sink for carbon? [that would accelerate the increase in CO2 rather drastically (but it would still be anthro)] --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:02, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
You're all looking for Q5 in the FAQ, methinks. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:09, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
My intention is to have a simple Carbon Cycle description (lifted from the article) with maybe a Main Article link. The carbon cycle is the context for which all the forcing occur. Good point about size and FAQ5, I had no real agenda but to better harmonize the two articles. Jumping into the forcing descriptions without the carbon cycle background seems a little too advanced. The carbon cycle really helps put things into perspective. This thread is getting away from the initial start. I should edit something in, and then we can start a new thread if it's too troublesome. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 02:54, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

The Great Referencing Discussion

Somebody in the Super Secret Cabal RFC above mentioned that a big problem with this article is the uneven use of references. Well it strikes me that if there's so much cohesion that editors are accused of acting as a cabal, we ought to be able to reach an agreement on what referencing style to use.

I suggest that we might use template:citation. It's pretty compendious and is suitable for inline references or for references at the bottom of a page. Since this article refers to some sources again and again and the content of the article evolves quite slowly, perhaps the latter method could be adopted. --TS 06:16, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Agree with TS on this. We should use this template and move all references down into the reflist template as done in the Climategate-article.Nsaa (talk) 13:21, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Disagree.
  1. Wouldn't that make it easy to loose references? Change a section of text, but forget to remove the citation buried with 139 others.
  2. If you look at the souce, {{Citation}},[20] {{Cite journal}},[21] {{Cite web}},[22] and on are just special cases of {{Citation/core}} or {{Citation/patent}} where appropriate. Cite journal and such were created to make it easier to tell whether the citation is from a scientific journal or a web page. And in terms of consistency? They all use the same engine to produce text. So it makes no difference style-wise to use {{Citation}} or {{Cite journal}}.
Fix the references that are just URLs, that should probably be our first priority. I believe we need consistency, but have something else in mind. ChyranandChloe (talk) 10:39, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how forgetting to remove a citation would cause a reference to be lost. What you describe would result in a spurious extra citation. For the cases where a citation is referenced multiple times and the first instance gets removed, there is now a bot running that restores the original citation to the remaining first instance. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:51, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
If you forget to remove a citation, with the {{reflist|refs= .... }} method, then it will light up as an error in the reference area. (as a named ref that isn't used - just as they light up in text when the named ref doesn't exist) So it is easy to notice and to fix. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:18, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I also agree with TS, but at the same I think that fixing bare URLs would be the first priority. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:51, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Kim, need to get that in the WP:LDR documentation. In the case of its implementation, even then, searching for the reference among 130+ others to resolve an error message would still be a challenge. If we used {{Cite doi}}, this could significantly cut down the list, and I'd be happy convert article with you. Anyways, I don't think we've adequately addressed, that. If you think things have cooled down, I'm interested in a solid argument as to why we should not use {{Cite doi}} that has not been resolved by the technical features implemented since it was first proposed in June. ChyranandChloe (talk) 07:02, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Irelevant stuff

Most of the sections at the end are nothing to do with the science of GW. Namely

  • Mitigation - suggest removing most of this, particularly material like
    • "Many environmental groups encourage individual action against global warming, as well as community and regional actions. " This is activism, not science.
    • More activism: "Some indigenous rights organizations, such as Survival International, Amazon Watch, and Cultural Survival, have raised concerns over the fact that not only climate change affects the tribal people most of all, as some measures to mitigate the problem are equally harmful for them.[99][100][101][102][103] Survival international came to public with the report, The most inconvenient truth of all, which documents the impact of the biofuels industry, hydro-electric power, carbon-offsetting and forest conservation schemes on indigenous communities worldwide. The organization argues that some climate change mitigation measures have led to exploitation, violation and in some cases destruction of land recognized as belonging to indigenous communities. The International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change has expressed similar concerns. Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, explains that “projects that victimise the people and harm the environment cannot be promoted or marketed as green projects”.[104]"
  • Adaptation - perhaps mention the sub-article, but again, this more science fiction than science - 'even colonization of Mars [has] been suggested'.

I love SUV's (talk) 18:02, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

It does rather look like there are double standards being applied here, with a strict science only policy being applied just to sceptics. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually I am all for science. Science is not about argument from authority, but rather about explanation. Mostly the former in the Wikipedia articles about GW, plus a sizeable amount of ranting. Climate change denial is particularly bad. I love SUV's (talk) 18:25, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Could you explain what explanation you think is missing from this article? There are extensive wikilinks to articles on the details of the science, as you know. --TS 20:36, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

@Tony: Links are generally bad when it is possible to give an explanation in the body of the article. Any science article should give a clear and coherent and succinct explanation of why scientists believe x. In this case (correct me if I'm wrong), the reasons why scientists believe the global warming hypothesis (namely the hypothesis that the earth is continuing to warm, and that the increase in temperature in the last 100 years is not merely a random accident) are

  • Empirical evidence: The temperature record, which suggests that the increase is not merely a random accident.
  • Theoretical model: Radiative forcing by anthropogenically introduced factors (CO2, mainly)
  • Theoretical model: Feedback

As to what is missing. There is no explanation in the article about the statistics of temperature records, nor about the need (very important in science) to distinguish random fluctuations from changes caused by an underlying process. For example, current economic theory, the Efficient Market Hypothesis holds that there are no such things as trends in stock markets - the 'trends' you see are just the result of humans trying to see patterns in events that are essentially random. A lot of that theory involves careful definition of randomness, and types of randomness. I don't see an equivalent section in this article.

The explanation in the article of radiative forcing is somewhat better, but goes into unnecessary detail - the section on Greenhouse gases can't decide whether it is about the increase in CO2, or the effect of that increase. The stuff on aerosols and soot tends to confuse the whole thing - that should be left to a sub-article.

The role of feedback is hardly explained at all. That (I believe) is an important part of the hypothesis, yet the section discussing it is a strange list of things with no obvious purpose. There is no heading section that ties the three parts of the hypothesis together.

The section 'climate models' is all rather uncertain. It needs a summary at the beginning to explain what scientists conclude from their use of models, and perhaps some material on the uncertainty that is attached to models. I love SUV's (talk) 21:36, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I think you'd be best off dealing with the "more activism" section first. Doing even one thing is hard; trying to deal with multiple problems at once is impossible. As to the stats: you may want to head over to the attribution article in the end. There is an answer for your stats, which is that people agree the rise is unusual / unprecedented; but following that leads you to attribution. Not that its well covered there, either William M. Connolley (talk) 11:10, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The multiple problems are due to ownership, pure and simple. I've added some observations based on my attempts to improve things many months ago at the AN/I Oppressive editing and page ownership at Global Warming. Only after commenting did I realise the thread had already been marked "Nothing for admins to do" - when what it should have said was "Wikipedia is censored and there's damn all anyone is going to be allowed to do about it". MalcolmMcDonald (talk) 15:47, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Try WP:RFC/U. --TS 16:51, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I can be bothered - in any case, the destructions say "Before requesting community comment, at least two editors must have contacted the user on their talk page, or the talk pages involved in the dispute, and tried but failed to resolve the problem." However, if there was someone willing and capable of getting the articles back on track, I'd be pleased to support them. My name can be used as one of the people who've attempted to resolve the issues on the TalkPage of the article concerned and been ignored. MalcolmMcDonald (talk) 17:37, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
You may add my name as well. I was politely told, "No Sane Wikipedian would try to mediate this article' when I requested informal mediation, and after watching the back and forth since I made the original request, I agree. The ownership cabal here simply must have their tactics brought to light and the fundamental nature of the article should be changed. The irony is, I AGREE with them but the tactics here used by both sides makes the article need an extensive review and revision by disinterested third parties. It is too important to simply leave as is. Manticore55 (talk) 02:26, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
There is currently an ArbCom case regarding disputes over this subject. ~AH1(TCU) 01:51, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
A request, not a full case. It will only become a case if the arbitrators decide to accept the request. --TS 10:26, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Scafetta and West

I was about to point out that there is already a published disputation of Scafetta and West, Krivova, Solanki, and T. Wenzler have challenged the Scafetta and Willson reconstruction

N. A. Krivova, S. K. Solanki and T. Wenzler “ACRIM-gap and total solar irradiance revisited: Is there a secular trend between 1986 and 1996?”, Geophysical Research Letter 36, L20101, doi:10.1029/2009GL040707 (2009) available tat http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0911/0911.3817v1.pdf when it got reverted to eliminate the reference to S&W. Fine by me.

The gist of KS&W is that S&W used an inappropriate model (one that Kivova had created for telescopic observations to bidge the gap between satellites. Another of Kivova's models is more appropriate, and yields a small decrease in solar irradiance.

At best S&W is pretty out on the limb there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eli Rabett (talkcontribs) 01:11, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

This is not the only problem with Scafetta and West's work. See, e.g., http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD011639.shtml Michaelbusch (talk) 21:11, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I've drafted a new FAQ entry.
Q22: What about this really interesting recent peer reviewed paper I read or read about, that says...?
This is intended to answer people who want to push new scientific papers prematurely into an article. --TS 21:53, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Excellent idea. Where is the FAQ? Eli Rabett (talk Eli Rabett (talk) 01:44, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

About the works of Scafetta and West and the critique made by Benestad and Schmidt Scafetta has replied online here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/04/scafetta-benestad-and-schmidt%E2%80%99s-calculations-are-%E2%80%9Crobustly%E2%80%9D-flawed/ Apparently Benestad and Schmidt have made a lot of mathematical mistakes. There is the need to wait for a formal reply by Scafetta.

Scafetta has also just published a new work "Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change". A comment is here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/18/scafetta-on-tsi-and-surface-temperature/ His model reproduces 400 year of temperature data. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 152.3.249.22 (talk) 23:44, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


The critique by Krivova, Solanki and T. Wenzler to Scafetta and Willson is inconclusive. Scafetta and Willson wanted to show that the proxy models are not detailed enough to alter the published total solar irradiance satellite data. So one proxy model may agree with ACRIM and another proxy model may agree with PMOD. The argument made in Scafetta and Willson is that the experimental teams that have measured the total solar irradiance satellite data that are used in the composites believe that PMOD is erroneous. See page 16 in the presentation made by Scafetta at the EPA http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/vwpsw/360796B06E48EA0485257601005982A1/$file/scafetta-epa-2009.pdf —Preceding unsigned comment added by 152.3.249.22 (talk) 23:14, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

For giggles, Eli notes that at the top of his WUWT reply "they derived a positive minima trend for their composite, it is not clear how a positive minima trend could arise from a combination of the reconstruction of Krivova et al. [2007] and PMOD, when none of these by themselves contained such a trend).” However, the arguments are quite clear in that paper and in the additional figures that we published as supporting material." Except that Krivova says that the wrong Krivova model was used, one that is incapable of bridging the gap, so it is quite clear how Scafetta got a positive minima trend, they messed up.

Moreover, if Krivova is inconclusive about a trend, then so is Scafetta and Willson, because the SATIRE models, as Krivova, Solanki and Wetzlar point out, only contains magnetic and image information, and other things could affect the TSI. Did Scafetta point this out? Anywhere (talk Eli Rabett Eli Rabett (talk) 01:55, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

We're not here to discuss the merits of the science--much less are we here on this talk page to discuss a promotional item on the paper on a blog run by a former weatherman. The point is that the paper is new and the scientific community hasn't had time to digest it and comment on it. That's why it would be inappropriate to incorporate it at this stage. --TS 23:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Of course we're here to discuss the science merits. The fact that the link was to a blog page is an irrelevant obfuscation of the fact that a published, peer reviewed paper on the subject has provided new insight. The 'test of time' argument is frequently used as the last bastion of defense by editors whose biases are contradicted by newer research.Dikstr (talk) 00:30, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
We really, really are not here to conduct discussion on the science. The "test of time" is a good way of putting it. There is no deadline. Things will be clearer in due course. Let the scientists discuss this paper and its significance will then become clear. --TS 00:35, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Note: Hats aren't to be used to close on-going discussions of potential sources for the article. Please don't do this again. (Further note: I make no comment on the issue of this source, just on the inappropriate hatting.) UnitAnode 16:12, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Global warming: proposal for discretionary sanctions

At Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Climate Change there is an ongoing discussion of a proposed measure to encourage administrators to enforce policy more strictly on articles related to climate change. --TS 13:32, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Article probation

Please note that, by a decision of the Wikipedia community, this article and others relating to climate change (broadly construed) has been placed under article probation. Editors making disruptive edits may be blocked temporarily from editing the encyclopedia, or subject to other administrative remedies, according to standards that may be higher than elsewhere on Wikipedia. Please see Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation for full information and to review the decision. -- ChrisO (talk) 01:59, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Greenhouse gases section

I just removed a poorly written bit which was discussing the general carbon cycle at the start of the section. Maybe the greenhouse gas section needs a better starting sentence, it currently starts off with the greenhouse effect, but that wasn't it. Maybe retitle the section to "Greenhouse effect" or something more in line with the content focus. Vsmith (talk) 05:04, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Vsmith, when you removed this [23] and claim it is "poorly written" could you provide some specific changes to improve the writing?
"Greenhouse gases (CO2) are part carbon cycle which is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface."
This writing was a direct paraphrase from the existing carbon cycle article lead. (Note, you removed more then I added.) My intention was to the carbon cycle context for greenhouse gasses. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 13:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
First, this diff shows that I didn't remove more than you added - or at most a space.
Second, "(CO2) are part carbon cycle" - no subscript, missing of the looks rather poorly worded. But that would be easy to fix. It was obvious that you were trying to add carbon cycle context, however, I fail to see the direct relevance. Yes CO2 is part of the cycle ... so? Are the other greenhouse gases part of the cycle? Seemed rather irrelevant to the context of the section - or else implying "more CO2 is good" ... and I think some have argued that, but this isn't the place. Vsmith (talk) 14:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes for article harmonization, it is part of the cycle so it is relevant because forcing and feedback are acting on the cycle. The cycle is the appropriate context for global warming in this article. The text can be corrected (maybe shortened). The reader can decide what is "good". It may be obvious, must I find reliable source to support the inclusion of the carbon cycle within global warming? Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 15:57, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Forcing and feedback in this article are referring to the effects of greenhouse gases on temperature increase within the atmosphere - not the other way around. If global warming has a forcing and feedback effect on the carbon cycle, then that should be a part of the carbon cycle article, not here. As to inclusion of new material, sources are always needed and consensus for inclusion here as well. Vsmith (talk) 16:10, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
If it is truly a cycle, they all effect each other right. Feedback by itself requires a cycle. The carbon cycle is the material context for greenhouse gases, which then supposedly affect the thermo cycles. By conservation of mass and energy principles, they are both relevant. My point is the mass cycles (carbon cycle) are being neglected in this article for a over emphasis on energy cycles (temperature). (Note, I will leave out the entropic cycles for now.) Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 02:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

This article is not about the natural cycles, rather it is about anthropogenic disruption of those natural cycles. Yes, in the long term equilibrium will be established at some new (and likely humanly discomfortable) level and the natural cycles will shift and accommodate ... but that's not the topic here. So the carbon cycle isn't that relevant to the immediate problem of global warming. Vsmith (talk) 03:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Need help w/ research

Some of the FAQs are more widely applicable than just this article

Some of these FAQs are useful points of reference in other talk pages, too. And some of them can (and should, I think) be reformulated into editing policy guidelines for climate change related articles. What do people think about having a Climate Change project? Currently, the narrowest project most of these articles fall under is Meteorology. Climate change in Wikipedia is getting special treatment from right wing media and thus requires particular care. Bertport (talk) 00:05, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

And the "left wing media" has written up the FAQs in these articles - just look at all the left wing blogs in there. TheGoodLocust (talk) 00:28, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I think we got rid of the only obviously left wing blog cited by the FAQ. Looking through the references I'm seeing some conservative media such as the National Post and Prison Planet. I see that the Open Mind blog is cited, but it seems to be focussed on things like statistics. --TS 01:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Check sources 9,14 and 16 - also, the first source was changed, but the new source doesn't support the answer to the question. Also, a lot of questions are just plain unsourced or misleading/incorrect. TheGoodLocust (talk) 01:45, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Now you've got me really puzzled! The sources in question are The Herald Sun, The Royal Society and Open Mind. I've already addressed Open Mind. The Herald Sun's green credentials seem to be blotted by the 2004 story "Greens back illegal drugs", a hatchet job that got them censured by the local regulators for not checking their facts, and their ownership by the Murdoch conglomerate doesn't suggest much likelihood that they're left wing, either. The Royal Society you may not be aware, is a learned society and not given to political statements, which would only contravene its charter but would undoubtedly alienate a large fraction of its membership. --TS 02:05, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The puzzle is easy to solve - click on the links. TheGoodLocust (talk) 02:47, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


Assume I've done that and remain clueless as to your point. Please explain it. --TS 04:03, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


If you wish to expand a FAQ into an essay, policy, rule, or guideline, you are certainly free to do so. The funny business around Q22 we recently discussed in talk:global cooling leads me to caution that policy creation should not be driven to convenience any particular POV. I'm also leery of policy just for global warming type articles. If it's not a good idea elsewhere, it is probably not a good idea here. TMLutas (talk) 02:35, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


KDP just tried to source A22 in the FAQ with three separate larger policy statements, none of which actually supported A22 as it was constructed. I commend the idea of actually reading through and seeing if citations actually support the assertions in the FAQ. It's not just a theoretical problem. TMLutas (talk) 02:38, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Could you explain why you think A22 doesn't follow from those policies? In constructing the answer, specific concrete aspects of What Wikipedia is not and Neutral point of view were in my mind: specifically "Wikipedia is not a newspaper" and "Due weight". At least we can agree that this isn't a theoretical matter: it is a question of Wikipedia's core policies. --TS 04:00, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
There's a new section on that below. To start off, it's contrary to WP:NOTTEXTBOOK. I'm going to do the rest in the new section so all the F22 controversy can reside in its own section. 173.161.30.37 (talk) 18:36, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

@Bertport: Wikipedia:WikiProject Environment/Climate change task force was created a few days ago. - 2/0 (cont.) 06:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Good, thanks for the pointer. Bertport (talk) 14:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Controversy

Global Warming has been mare in controversy to the recent global cooling trends and the release of information that show some of the data climatologists were using was not necessarily accurate. The debate continues and know one will no if this cycle is normal occurance or man made for sometime. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Byron.goodman (talkcontribs) 15:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

FAQ Q3 I think. --TS 15:05, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents

RE: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#.22RfC:_Oppressive_editing_and_page_ownership.22_at_Talk:Global_warming

As I wrote at the ANI started by 2over0, I support global warming 100%, but I think it is a really bad idea to squelch dissent. Global warming editors have a good reason to complain, for years, one side has been unequally represented on the global warming pages, and editors have been unfairly blocked repeatedly. The behavior has been so bad that journalists have written negative articles about global warming editing on wikipedia.

2over0, let editors vent their frustration here, or it will only lead to bigger drama and frustration later.

Moderating conversations is harder in the short term, but squelching dissent always makes for much more drama and headache later. Ikip 18:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Airing grievances is fine - in fact, that is why we have Dispute resolution. It is only that it is being done here and distracting from discussion of improvements to Global warming. The archived discussion remains available for anyone who would like to start a related thread at any of the several venues mentioned above, or anywhere else appropriate that I might have missed. Thank you, though, for your input - the possibility that it could in the long term be more productive to let the discussion play out here is why I asked. - 2/0 (cont.) 19:00, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree completely with Ikip, above. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 22:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Ikip's comment is based on a fundamental fallacy. S/he says, "one side has been unequally represented", but in the science of global warming, there is only one 'side': the science is now settled; those who try to dispute that are not working, published, practicing scientists, but bloggers, journalists, politicians, members of the public, and a very vocal minority paid to do so by Big Oil dollars. The place where there are two sides to the argument (those who get the science and those who don't) is in Public opinion on climate change. This article is the parent article about the science. There are sub-articles for all the education, politics and discussion that is going on worldwide. --Nigelj (talk) 22:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
That is your opinion. There really is no basis for excluding one entire side of an issue or debate. the fact that you would say that there is only one side, highlights the real issue at this entry. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 22:56, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Ikip and Sm8900, seems like some folks are working a POV with no conclusive source support, that's a serious issue with behavior reminiscent of owning the article. Particularly where scientific opinions are concerned. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 00:56, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I think that Sm8900 and ZuluPapa5 have lost me in their "opinions" and "POV with no conclusive source support" statements. The article seems pretty well representative of the science behind the issue (which IMO is more useful than a summary of journalists' opinions), and being based on the scientific reports, it is certainly conclusively supported by its sources. Am I just misunderstanding what you are trying to say? Awickert (talk) 03:09, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Awickert, that comment sounds a tiny bit disingenuous; is it possible that you already do know what we mean? anyway, we mean that a group of editors have prevented this entry from fairly presenting both sides of the debate on this. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 05:41, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, then I did understand what you said. But I don't agree. I see this article as fairly presenting all scientific sides to the debate (albeit very much simplified). I don't see it presenting all political sides. And I think that this is OK because the politicians aren't the experts and this covers the science. Is your point that this should cover public controversy in a broader way? (Note that outside the USA, I'm not even sure if I know what the public controversy is.) Anyway, I think that this is the root of the problem - you and ZP5 are saying that others are being biased, while we say that we are trying to be unbiased by including only science and none of the political mishmash. Awickert (talk) 06:17, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @ Awickert: pardon me for arguing for a side of the debate that I happen to think is wrong, but you seem to be defending a content fork that is dangerously close to being a POV-fork. If this were my decision to make, the main article global warming would be a discussion of the political debate, and the scientific aspects of global warming would be shuffled off into a sub-section or a minor secondary article called, say, 'Global warming research'. That's because global warming (properly understood) is primarily a social/political issue: the science of global warming was around for a good decade or two before it got any public notice, most people today are not interested in the scientific aspects except to the extent that scientists give thumbs up or thumbs down to particular political points, and the problem itself is a political problem that requires political solutions - scientists' only business here is to confirm that the effect is real, and leave the solution to the effect to the rest of the world. Yet you seem to be arguing that the main article on global warming should be strictly about the science, with no reference to the political debates at all (except for what amounts to a cast-off in the last section). I cannot see any justification for that belief; please enlighten me if I am missing something.
I think the approach best suited to wikipedia policy would be to move the current Global warming controversy article to this page, and merge this page into Scientific opinion on climate change. That would resolve the appearance that this is PoV-forking without doing anything to minimize the power of the scientific perspective. What problems would you have with that? --Ludwigs2 07:15, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm about to go to bed, so I hope that this is coherent. (Important to note: I am not one of the main contributors to this article.)
  • This article has been strictly about the science for many years, and that since the subject is rooted in public interest in science, having the global warming article about science seems OK to me. But (2 paragraphs down), I do think that we can reach some agreement.
  • "content fork that is dangerously close to being a POV-fork": I would disagree because citing a wide swath of scientific publications IMO satisfies WP:NPOV, but I believe that you disagree with me because you believe "global warming" to be more importantly a social phenomenon than a scientific conclusion.
The first bullet is legacy, let's forget that. The second is more important. I think it's better for Wikipedia to be an educational resource, showing people what the professional scientists are doing, than to simply cite newspapers (many of which bungle the facts) for information on an ongoing debate that they probably already know about and may already have an opinion about. I therefore feel that forking this whole article off to a research section would be an unfortunate, and could turn this article from a good, scientific one into a mass media extravaganza.
Here's my thought: In a heated issue, is is better to dispassionately present the facts as the experts best know them instead of reiterating the opinions of commentators (who have varying degrees of qualification to competently comment). So if anything, I would add more information on research to this article instead of less. But facts can also be about what politicians are going to do about the issue, and that is important as well. So I wouldn't mind reworking both the "Responses to global warming" and "Debate and skepticism" sections into a single section about response proposals and related political debate. But this would need to be discussed by everyone here, as it would be a non-minor change.
My view in short: In matters of science in an encyclopedia, science should not be subordinate to popular belief. In matters of politics, facts should be presented dispassionately. Awickert (talk) 08:03, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Further discussion

Face-smile.svg one of these days I'm going to have to put a "Warning! Political Scientist as Work!" sign on my sig. I don't disagree with anything you've said here, but from my perspective the observation that numbers of voices are loudly bungling the issue is an interesting and important fact - more important in some ways than the facts that are being bungled. the scientific debate over global warming is pretty much a done deal; to my knowledge there hasn't been a fully accreditable scientific statement against global warming since the mid-90s. The political and social debates over global warming, however, are just now getting their second wind, and you can expect them to continue for years yet. besides which, the only reason global warming is a public issue at all is because it pits the vested interests of corporate entities, nation/states, and the mass of humanity against each other in political spheres. scientists need to tell us whether global warming is real, yes, but how are scientists going to help us deal with the balance between (say) China's deep interest in industrial growth and the geometric increase in pollution that entails?
matters of science should not be subordinate to popular belief, sure; but the question is which science we are talking about. I'd say this problem falls squarely in poli sci territory, not climatology.
but you're right, it's way too late to debate these things effectively. pick it up again tomorrow. --Ludwigs2 08:30, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Is Global warming primarily a political/social issue? If there were no science, then what would the politicians and political commentators be talking about? Scientists aren't giving the thumbs up and thumbs down, they're the ones going to the economist, who go up the politicians, and who ask whether they can get a thumbs up or down on a certain policy. It would be nice if it were the other way around, and the politicians and political commentators went up the scientists and asked: look at my news report or my slideshow, is it remotely accurate? From the news sources, even reporters reporting on "a recent study found such and such", seem to get the facts wrong or misrepresented. However, I think we could do a better job describing the politics of global warming, but I don't think it should be the main focus of this article.

Is having the science be the focus a PoV content fork? Everything is a PoV fork, and maybe it's just the epidemiology PoVed part of me that saying that this mentality is spreading like a disease. How often do we get a proposal to include, say Climategate, and that to oppose would eventually lead to a NPOV violation? Why can't the discussion's subject stick to relevance, or notability, and not move to embittered PoVed editors who warp and oppress and manipulate and lie? (We haven't got lies yet, have we? Ludwigs2, you lie that a resolve is to have politics at the forefront. !. ?. :P. ?.)

You're right, let's assume you're right. To resolve this PoV-fork we'll move Global warming controversy here and move Global warming to GW research merged with Scientific opinion on climate change. Global warming controversy is over 120 KBs long with several PoV-forks that are now being proposed to be moved back (Climate change denial, Climate change consensus). Politics of global warming, well we don't even have enough editors interested in objectively describing an un-objective issue to build it beyond the bare-bones. I think if we followed through, it wouldn't resolve a content PoV-fork, it'll do the opposite. Because then WMC will have a foundation to introduce green party rhetoric, Rush, Al Gore, and on. Look, there's a lot of interest in politics, but not in an neutral or objective manner. If there were, I wouldn't have to ask for the fourth time (see Archive 55), that paragraph four could be improved in the section "Debate and skepticism", and from there we can improve our coverage of the politics of global warming. ChyranandChloe (talk) 09:48, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Ludwigs is right. there are major dimensions to this issue not discussed in this entry, due to the ongoing fixated view adopted by a group of editors. the entry should be more encyclopedic, and cover more societal aspects of this issue and topic. -Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:38, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
hmmm... if there were no science around GW, then we'd all be blithely tumbling down the path to our own species' extinction. But we seem to be blithely tumbling down that path even with the science. Heaven knows I don't want to sell the scientists short, because without the scientists the activists wouldn't have a leg to stand on, and the environment would be largely uninhabitable by the end of this century. but it's the activists who are going to avert the disaster if the disaster is going to be averted, because averting the disaster means changing the way people think about their world.
and me, I never lie; I am the soul of goodness and mercy. Also, I have this marvelous beachfront property in Florida for sale if you're interested... Face-grin.svg
I'm new to this page, so I can't speak to the troubles it has seen (though I can imagine them, given what I know about the real-world political tribulations). But I don't think that primary sources from advocates or critics who aren't scientists have much of a place in the article. as far as I can see it, the article should have this kind of a structure:
  • outline of the political debate
  • pro and con position statements from notable primary sources (brief and succinct, without much argumentation)
  • discussions of pro and con positions from secondary sources
    • scholarly viewpoints
    • notable advocacy position from both sides, clearly presented as advocacy
  • position of scientific perspectives in the political debate
    • scientific results, en claire
    • public and private sector politics surrounding the scientific results
  • real-world ramifications
    • political problems dealing with climate change (national and corporate counter-interests, mostly)
    • worst and best case environmental scenarios as presented by opposing sides
I think that covers all of the relevant issues and includes all sides of the debate fairly, while controlling the spread of yakkity-yak (material that comes from relatively uniformed primary - e.g. pundit - sources, in all its endless glory). Might need to spawn content forks from some of these; just have to be careful not to let the content forks run way like rabid raccoons. --Ludwigs2 14:38, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
This article is about the science. There are other articles about the politics. --TS 14:43, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
thanks Tony, but I've already addressed that particular point above. please don't make me repeat myself. --Ludwigs2 15:13, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
It's simpler than that: this article is about a globe that is warming. Global warming is the title and that is what it is about. The measurement and modelling of that warming. The only way to measure the warming of the earth is by scientific measurements and computer models. The warming of the earth is not something you can measure with opinion polls or focus groups. All of that comes under reactions to the warming of our globe. That's why all the subarticles are about the politics, economics, public opinion, crimes, conferences, etc. Read the words of the title. --Nigelj (talk) 15:27, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I had read your earlier comments, Ludwigs2. I'm just concerned that you seem to be persisting in redefining this well established article to be on relatively subsidiary subjects already covered by subsidiary articles. It's a bit like going to the evolution article and proposing that we cover the subject, in that article, from the point of view of politics and religion rather than science. It isn't going to happen. --TS 15:31, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I can imagine that a political scientist might sincerely think that more people come to Wikipedia looking for material on the politics bubbling around the topic, than for (scientific) information on global warming itself. But that is a matter of speculation, and the phrase "global warming" primarily denotes a physical phenomenon of climate, not a political phenomenon. If we really want to make it easier for readers to find the political material, we can put a "see also" at the top of this article. But even that seems wrong to me. Bertport (talk) 15:54, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
@ Tony: first off, it is not up to you to decide what is and isn't going to happen on this article; that should be a matter for debate and consensus. I understand the value of hyperbole like that, but please don't make the mistake of believing it's true.
That being said, your analogy doesn't hold any water. Evolution is and always has been primarily a scientific issue; one with strong religious overtones, that unfortunately produce some nasty political conflicts, but the debates there have always centered on issues of pedagogy (the teaching of evolution) and so the entire discussion still falls within the realm of science (since science is one of the primary sources of knowledge for educational purposes). questions about global warming, however, invariably focus on political and social behaviors - it is not about teaching people the science of global warming except to the extent that science is useful to teach people about the ethics of global warming. This article as it stands is a very nice explanation of the science of global warming (and I wouldn't want to change that), but as such it is an entirely secondary point in the greater debate about global warming (which has to do with the questions about what, if any, social or political actions should be taken).
and please, don't insult my intelligence with Sesame Street arguments (Global warming is about a globe that is warming - yeeee...); If I want to play word games I'll do a crossword.
@ Bertport: I believe people come to wikipedia looking for both kinds of information, and I believe wikipedia should provide both kinds of information, and I believe that it should be provided with an appropriate structure. I think it's safe to say that anyone who comes to wikipedia looking for scientific information on GW is doing that because they are curious about the political debates on GW and want information in that context; I sincerely doubt that many people come to wikipedia thinking about the science first with the politics a distant second. if you believe, however that a significant proportion of the 20k hits per day this page gets are from people whose main interest is in the details of of how climatology is done, well... you are free make that argument. --Ludwigs2 17:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree that it's likely that most of the reader traffic to this article now is sparked in some way by the political maelstrom. But that doesn't mean they come here looking primarily for description of the politics. I came here looking for authoritative information on global warming, which means scientific information on the physical phenomena. I am secondarily interested in what Wikipedia might have to say on the politics, and I can easily find that when I look at the table of contents for this article and see a section on "debate and skepticism", and if the summary there is not sufficient for me, then I can easily follow the "see also" links there. This article is about global warming, and the politics are a related topic. The science is, quite properly and obviously, the primary content for this physical phenomenon. Sorry if you think it's a Sesame Street argument. I'm sorry you seem to need this spelled out for you. Bertport (talk) 17:48, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
well, since you haven't really responded to my argument, the best I can do is shrug. I think I've shown fairly effectively that the proper context of this issue is the political debate, and that the science of it is only one (albeit it interesting and important) move in that greater discussion. that's even implicit in what you said: looking for 'authoritative' information implies the presence of information which is not authoritative, which implies a enclosing, non-scientific environment... people can and will do what you've suggested regardless (scan through for the parts that interest them) whether the focus of the article is on the science or on the political debate, so to my mind that's a non-issue. The important issue is whether we have framed the article correctly with respect to its real-world manifestation, and it is pretty clear that this article fails to do that. Which is why I suggest that this article may suffer from PoV-fork issues, and why I recommend it be restructured as I suggest. Now, if you disagree that the science should be considered as a sub-facet of the political and social debates of global warming, please let me know what reasons you have for thinking that; I've already stated why I think it should be seen that way. let's put your reasons against mine so that we can make an effective comparison. --Ludwigs2 18:57, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
We have responded to your argument. It's very simple. This article is about global warming, as indicated by the title. You want the article to be about something else. Your interest belongs in another article with a title that matches your topic. Bertport (talk) 22:54, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
well, I can see that that is your belief. Unfortunately, your belief has no basis in reason (at least none that you've demonstrated), and so I'm afraid I'm going to have to dismiss it as an unfounded ideological claim. Your collective opinion is noted, and I will do my best to accommodate it when I discuss the issue with those who are interested in pursuing a rational analysis of the issue geared towards improving the article. thanks for your time. --Ludwigs2 23:28, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Ludwig2 is completely right. the way that articles at Wikipedia grow and develop is by editors being open to each other's differing ideas about what each article should contain. there really is no basis for any editor or any small group of editors deciding that only their subject matter is acceptable, and everyone else's ideas should be rejected immediately and categorically. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 01:43, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) Steve, "Ludwig2 is completely right" followed by paragraph written in such a manner that no one will disagree with, but does not address central point: science or politics or PoV-fork. Discussion is a covenant. Your objective isn't to ensure the comment makes you "right", your objective is to convince the other editors on a specific set of actions. That doesn't seem to be happening. And right now I'm not sure if you want me to address you, Steve, or Ludwig2. For the next 14 comments up there hasn't been a single question. No one is convinced, and no one is asking why. What do you think? ChyranandChloe (talk) 08:06, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, I thought we were already having a specific disagreement about a specific set of proposals. so that's what my comment was meant to address. EOM. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:22, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Further discussion 2

(E/C) As a reply to Ludwigs2's proposals (now far above), in my experience, a lot of people who I meet have vastly less knowledge about global warming than does the average Wikipedian here. Many people don't think that the science is anywhere near a done deal, and the overwhelming majority of these people have the news media as their primary source of information on the topic. My point is that a rehash of this article into what political commentators think, thereby making the science secondary, will remove a place that people can look for well-cited science behind global warming. I'm really afraid that this will instead turn into the exact same sorts of things that they get bombarded with every day by end-of-the-world-is-near radicals and the it's-no-big-deal or its-a-hoax crowds as well. People deserve to know about the details of the science, which is notably absent from a lot of public debates. That being said, this article should (and does) provide links to a number of articles that do cover the controversy, and I think that the coverage of political ramifications and controversy could be improved. Summary: A ton of people are unfamiliar with why global warming is an issue, and we should present facts instead of repeating mass-media stories. Awickert (talk) 19:07, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to satisfy myself with a brief poke here. discussing GW in terms of its status as a political debate is not, not, not equivalent to making a rehash of what political commentators think. that suggestion is hyperbolic to the point of farce, and it ticks me off a bit that you went there. what I am suggesting is framing the issue as a political discussion which has strong scientific elements (which is precisely what it is in the real world), not opening the page to bunches of mindless commentary that would violate numerous wikipedia guidelines and give everyone headaches. please try to keep the discussion on a realistic and productive tack, thank you. --Ludwigs2 19:26, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I think that the problem is that in my history on these talk pages, once the political debate is opened, all sorts of editors want to add all sorts of content - the slippery slope. I think that my other issue is that I don't in my mind disconnect political debate from advocacy. And I'm going to hop down from my polite high horse and ask you to WP:AGF, because I really intended those comments to be a productive dissemination of my views. I try my very hardest to be polite, and I will not tolerate another attack on my character based on your assumptions. But thank you for further clarifying the political debate section that you suggest; I think I'm going to think about this for a little while and wait for the more primary editors of this page to weigh in. Awickert (talk) 19:43, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
My apologies. I needed a day-after-christmas nap (which I've now had) and was a bit more snappish than I intended to be. Of course you're right that once the political aspect is opened it needs to be monitored to keep it within reliable secondary sources (because people who don't get the sourcing distinction will try to insert all sorts of nonsense). I don't think that's a deal-breaker, though, since I'm sure there are a lot of reliable sources out there discussing the political debate from a nice, neutral distance. it's fairly easy to tell in this debate when a source is acting as a primary political voice and when it's taking a secondary or tertiary perspective. --Ludwigs2 23:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

If you want an article that states only one side of the story then the article title should make that clear as in, for example, 'The scientific case for AGW'. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:41, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, in that case, let's change Geological history of Earth to "The scientific case for Earth history", as a large number of English speakers believe Archbishop Usher's calculations, and their side of the story certainly is being neglected. Awickert (talk) 18:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
That is the problem, some editors want to put AGW on a par with, say, evolution but the two are nothing like equivalent. There are no serious scientific doubters of evolution, these who question it come mainly from a specific religious background. On the other hand, there is a significant minority of scientists who do not accept AGW to various degrees. These are spread throughout the scientific community. Martin Hogbin (talk) 18:51, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with Martin. There are no serious doubters of evolution. There are many serious doubters of the Global Warming Hypothesis. It is on a par with the Efficient Market Hypothesis which most economists broadly accept, but which is also doubted by many. (For that reason, even the firmest of believers in EMH insist it be called a 'hypothesis'). I love SUV's (talk) 18:58, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with the two of you. There is no serious scientific opposition to global warming, and GW shares that much in common with evolution. GW theory is the best scientific explanation available by far for the climate effects that we currently see in the world. That doesn't mean it's true, of course; it just means that there is no other theory available which has the same degree of explanatory power. all the opposition to GW theory comes from non-scientific venues, and it is all basically of the form "We have no other theory to offer in its place, but we object to the conclusions of this theory". nor do these non-scientific venues state precisely why they object to the conclusions of GW theory, though one gets the impression it is not on any particular methodological ground. --Ludwigs2 19:11, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
All right, I still disagree with "The scientific case for AGW" because that makes the science secondary. but I think we can come to terms about evenly presenting scientists' views. Yes, there is a very small minority of scientists who disagree with global warming being an issue, and an even smaller minority of climate scientists who do so. Their publications should be and (as far as I've seen) are presented here with appropriate weight to their significance in the scientific community. If you know of significant papers that are skeptical of global warming, please bring them up. Awickert (talk) 19:13, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
There is more to the subject than scientific opinion/papers. This article is titled "global warming". It should therefore be a WP:SUMMARY of all of the major issues involved: the science (which should be elucidated in a subarticle science of global warming), the politics, the economics, the controversy, the effects, etc. We have subarticles for all of the rest, but I don't see how anyone can deny that there are significant political, economic, and other issues to discuss here. This is my objection to "this article is about the science". Oren0 (talk) 20:29, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Oren0, that we should cover broader aspects of the subject, but it seems quite clear on the science that it is not in the same class as evolution and that there is another side to the argument that has not been properly represented here. We should, of course, retain a high standard of sourcing but there certainly is no case for deleting any dissenting opinion on the talk page.Martin Hogbin (talk) 21:13, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
OrenO has it right. There should be space and balance for all sub-topics. I suppect the main topic could benefit from a special wiki project task force. This might make for a good solution after the next RfC from an ANI result. The article is well written, how to expand it (to all realms of reliable sourced study) is what this discussion should focus on. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 04:05, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I am a bit puzzled returning after Christmas. So is this thread about conduct or about some people's feeling that their particular POV is underrepresented? Where we go next depends what the problem is. --BozMo talk 08:02, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
You're on the right track BozMo, however in place of "conduct or POV" try "conduct and POV". Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 16:04, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
As you will know by now there is a separate process for the two of these. I hope there isn't a bad faith attempt to push a POV under a smokescreen of pretending a conduct issue here? --BozMo talk 16:44, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The conduct issue relates to a group of editors blocking an effort to balance the existing POV in this article by a group of editors. could we please try to not get bogged down in the terms and semantics of describing this issue? thanks. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 20:55, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I thought there was a consensus that the current article was pretty NPOV? Otherwise consensus would establish to move it. But anyway that this is really an attempt to shift the POV is clearer--BozMo talk 12:17, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
BozMo, what is going on here? did you just start reading this discussion? or do you enjoy making slightly ornery-but-quite-disingenuous statements? did you just get here? of course this whole discussion is about whether this article is NPOV. there's really no reason to innocently state that "you thought this whole article is NPOV." what's next, telling me Wikipedia is an encyclopedia? thanks for pointing out that you feel this is an attempt to shift the NPOV. Hey, can you really see all that from here? :-) :-) Ok, thanks, EOM. ----Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 13:55, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

(break):::::::::::::::P'raps I would enjoy your discourse more if you told me where and why you think the article isn't neutral, which you imply you do? Meanwhile I liked the walrus version better :-) --BozMo talk 13:57, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

:-) :-D hey, many thanks for your tip of the hat to my foray into comic writing!!! I deleted that in the concern that it might be taken the wrong way. thanks, though...all in jest. anyway, i think I'd prefer to simply let the discussion develop for the moment, as it already is in other sections of this page. I was merely adding my assent to some points raised, and have no problem if the main issues are discussed elsewhere. thanks.--Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 16:07, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I concur that the behavior of a number of wiki editors on articles related to Global Warming is one sided, and bad for Wikipedia in the short run, and the long run. I also concur that this article is POV. A great example is the posting above on this talk section which claims that there is "only one side to the science" - it epitomizes this illogical POV mindset. I assume other editors and admins are aware of this article[24] on the topic. A total administrator supervised rewrite is definitely in order, for Wiki's sake. --Knowsetfree (talk) 02:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Does the politics outweigh the science?

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@ BozMo: let me get this discussion back on the track that I started it on. first off, here's what I'm nt trying to do:

  • I am not interested in evaluating the conduct of editors, singly or collectively. The only conduct issue I worry about is when editors get stubborn and closed-minded, which makes proper discussion impossible, but people on all side of this issue (and every issue on wikipedia) are occasionally guilty of that
  • I don't think it's fair to put it on an emotional level and say that some people's feelings are hurt because their PoV is insufficiently represented. In my view, it's a more analytic problem than that.

What I am concerned about is that this page is creating an implicit PoV-fork by focussing primarily on Global Warming science. Global warming is first and foremost a political issue - it was a political issue long before people began studying it scientifically and it will continue to be a political issue long after science comes to a definitive conclusion about the effect. the only reason GW science has the public attention that it has is because a number of (what I would consider unscrupulous) political figures thought it might be a good idea to attack the science politically. By focusing on the science we get a deeply unbalanced article, because the scientific position is almost uniformly pro-GW.

I mean, this is a great article about GW science as written, but it's a fairly lousy, biased article about the GW debate, which should be the first and foremost consideration. --Ludwigs2 05:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

it was a political issue long before people began studying it scientifically -- tell that to the ghosts of Svante Arrhenius and Guy Stewart Callendar, to name only a couple of the better-known. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 05:47, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
If that was intended as a rebuttal, I don't quite see the point. so, you have two (maybe some more) scientists back to the early 20th century positing CO2 production as an environmental factor, science which went largely unnoticed outside of the scientific community until the advent of green politics near the end of the century. at that point it took off as a relatively well-funded scientific sub-discipline (because of social and political interests). and again, soon (I'd argue it already has) the existence of GW will become a well-established scientific principle; do you think that's going to stop the political/social debates? Science will tell us it exists, and as soon as it does, the political world will have to figure out what to do about it. I mean honestly, IMO the primary reason the science is contested is because political actors want to stave off the point where they will be politically obligated to make fundamental changes in waste-handling practices. or were you reaching for something else? --Ludwigs2 06:13, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I was pointing out that the science has a long history; lots of people think it's something newfangled. Pistols at high noon or would you prefer the pig dung? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 06:19, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
ok, thanks for pointing that out. I don't disagree. --Ludwigs2 06:43, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
The above exchange looks like this:
Ludwig - "This was a political issue before it was studied scientifically."
Boris - "No, it was studied and discussed scientifically before it got any political attention."
Ludwig - "Oh, you're right."
So, end of discussion, and now we can move on to other things, right? Bertport (talk) 11:29, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Bertport: thank you for a marvelous misinterpretation of the discussion that manages - simultaneously! - to be self-serving and to avoid the point I made entirely. you should have been a politician (assuming you're not). but in fact, what really happened here is this:
  1. Boris asks what strikes me as a nonsensical question
  2. I ask for clarification
  3. Boris responds that he is just clarifying a detail (one, incidentally, that has no real bearing on the problem)
  4. I acknowledge his clarification, because there's no point in getting bogged down on side-points
Your choice here is either to go back to the original statement I made and pursue it properly, or to try to transform Boris' rather off-topic comment into something significant. I'm curious to see which you choose. --Ludwigs2 14:47, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
It seems to boil down to the Sesame Street level of what words mean. "it was a political issue long before people began studying it scientifically" is what you wrote. I understand you also think that the politics is more important, or more interesting, or more (something good) than the science. But this article is about global warming, not politics. There are other articles that exist to cover your interest. Bertport (talk) 15:14, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
so: it's you're claim that global warming is a scientific issue more than a political issue because...? (this is an opportunity for you to make an actual argument for your position). If you'd like, I'll refactor my original comment to read "it was a political issue long before people began studying it scientifically in any serious way", but I would hope that you would AGF and not indulge in that kind of pettiness. --Ludwigs2 15:23, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Sesame Street. What do the words mean? [25] Bertport (talk) 15:28, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Scientific opinions are a subclass of politics which attempt to apply objective arguments. Global warming will always be a political issue, until aliens (perhaps from Sesamme Street) get involved. Then there will be a new form of politics. This discussion belongs in philosophy of science. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 17:36, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
This is nonsense. Physical phenomena are the subject of science, not politics.Bertport (talk) 17:47, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
both of those statements are a bit off the mark. Physical phenomena are the subject of science (among other things); human action is the subject of politics (among other things); where human action involves physical phenomena both sciences apply, in their respective proportions. generally speaking, where science enters into politics it becomes political, but where politics enters into science it does not become scientific, if that helps any... --Ludwigs2 18:13, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Do you acknowledge that the words "global warming" denote a physical phenomenon? This is fundamental to the discussion, because you are questioning what the proper topic of the article is. Bertport (talk) 17:11, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you asking that in the context of the GW debate, or in some simplified abstract sense? pretty much everything you care to talk about can be reduced to a physical phenomenon if you try hard enough, and there is no question that the warming of the globe (to go back to SS reasoning) is a physical phenomenon which needs to be analyzed by scientists. this article, as it stands, does a very good job of doing that. In the context of the global warming debate, however, Global Warming has become a euphemism for something akin to "the degradation of the environment by human action". you can see this because some of the anti-GW arguments don't deny that the globe is warming but ascribe it to natural phenomena, and some of the pro-GW arguments aren't all that hung up with the globe actually getting warmer but look instead to dramatic environmental shifts of any sort. so to answer your question, Global Warming refers to potential physical (environmental) results of human behavior. is that the kind of thing you mean by 'physical phenomenon'? --Ludwigs2 17:34, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm asking that in the context of this discussion here. You seem to think that the article titled "Global warming" should be about politics, not about "global warming". "Global warming", as seen in the wiktionary link provided above, refers to a physical phenomenon, not a euphemism for something else.Bertport (talk) 17:47, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, do you understand the logical connection between the title and the content of an article?Bertport (talk) 17:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
and I've answered you in the context of this discussion here, so I'm not sure what the problem is. 'Global Warming' (in the context most readers will be familiar with) is neither exclusively not primarily about the science of global warming. The science is fine, but the science (aside from its interest as a purely formal investigation) mostly amounts to "that which scientists can contribute to the political debate". --Ludwigs2 18:13, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this is getting silly. There are articles about politics and global warming, where your views most certainly will be appreciated. But this article is about the physical phenomenon - just as the Encyclopedia Brittanica one is. While politics is interesting, it is not the base of everything. Science would exist without politics. You are correct in saying that "what to do about what science says" is a purely political issue - but the reverse "science only exists to contribute to politics" is a fallacy. The science on global warming was already in place when the political debate started - read Wearts The discovery of global warming. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm willing to entertain the notion that the point is silly, but I can't yet see any argument that demonstrates that it's silly (and please, no straw-man arguments - no one believes that the science only exists because of the politics). The argument you and bert are making amounts to an editorial claim - to whit: "We as editors have decided that global warming means the physical phenomenon, and so it is." Editorial decisions are necessary, I'm not objecting to that, but editorial decisions should be defensible through some kind of reasoning. I've made a decent argument that the editorial decision made is misguided, and that the decision should have been that GW is primarily a political issue. I am clearly interested in hearing reasonable counter-arguments, but tautological restatements of the status quo don't really satisfy. can you give me something better? --Ludwigs2 18:39, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
(afterthought) put another way: if this article were called "Global Warming (science)", and another article were called "Global Warming (politics)" I'd have a lot less of a worry about PoV-forking. that kind of a set up would be clear. However, with an article called "Global Warming" should be primarily (as I've been saying) about the political debate, because the science only factors in as an important element of that debate. see the issue? --Ludwigs2 18:17, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
You need Politics of global warming, Mitigation of global warming, Economics of global warming, Adaptation to global warming etc etc. There is a whole slew of articles on the policy (and economic) issues. Global warming (per definition) is the physical phenomenon. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:26, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
all of which (to my mind) should be content forks of a properly written "global warming" article which outlines the political and scientific issues in proper proportion, no? --Ludwigs2 18:44, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I think I do see the issue. The issue is that you harbor your own, unsupportable notion of what the phrase "global warming" means. The dictionary does not support you.Bertport (talk) 18:25, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
good thing we're not writing a dictionary, then... --Ludwigs2 18:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (from above) The process by which science advances exists within human politics (ala peer review). Politics is how groups arrive at conclusions. Any discussion undergoing evolution requires an analogous political discussion to evolve. To leave it out, is uncivil and treads on authoritarianism. The science deserves greater weight than the underlying politics, however politics are a factor not to be ignored. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 19:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Under verifiability by a reliable source, I am challenging Ludwigs2's assertion that "Global warming" is more of a social/political than science. What you believe the subject is irrelevant to verifiability, this is not a forum. ChyranandChloe (talk) 05:17, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

I think we're done

I think we're done here. The proposal to rededicate this article wholly or substantially to global warming as a subject in political science has insufficient support, and our coverage of that subject is represented by other articles which can be expanded. I don't think this discussion is going anywhere. --TS 01:24, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I'll be back on this, no worries - I've just been busy with other things for a bit. --Ludwigs2 19:31, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Anthropogenic Global Warming

This article is called Global Warming, but it is clearly about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), a particular theory about very recent global warming over the last few decades but one. It's not about generic warming -- for instance, it's not about any other periods of global warming. I think an article about AGW should be called AGW. Greenbough (talk) 01:07, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

That's only partially correct. The article is about the recent and ongoing episode of global warming, not about events in the geologic past. However, it is only about AGW in so far as AGW is by far the most supported explanation for that episode. The article also discusses other hypotheses with their due weight. We have had this discussion before. "Global warming" overwhelmingly refers to this current episode in both the popular and the scientific press. It is very rarely, if ever, used generically. Hence, per WP:COMMONNAME, this is where the article belongs. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 01:23, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
On-going episode? Are you selectively ignoring the global cooling of the last decade? And if so, why?Dikstr (talk) 02:43, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I note you agree that the article really is about AGW. I still think it should be called that, but will leave that for future editors. On another point, you mention an "ongoing" and "current" episode of global warming, but didn't the warming trend of the last century peak in 1998? Twelve years ago isn't "geologic" past but it's not terribly "current" and a bit of a stretch for the dictionary sense of "ongoing", no? Greenbough (talk) 02:17, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Talk:Global warming/FAQ Q3 seems to be what you are looking for. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 02:56, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
FAQ Q3. Oh you beat me to it, Kim. --TS 02:58, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I had a look at that FAQ. It actually conflates the terms "global warming" and AGW throughout. The words "global warming" have a plain sense in language: warming of the earth. The fact that there have been other periods of the globe warming means the words, in their plain sense, have an application beyond the warming that is is currently* attributed to AGW. [*By "currently", I don't mean to imply that people stopped attributing warming to AGW in 1998. I use "currently" here in the old-fashioned sense of "now".] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Greenbough (talkcontribs) 15:50, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I support having a specific title, the article is rather large and there should be room for other aspects of global warming. FAQ can change like content. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 03:00, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok how about improving the hat note with. "This article is about Global Warming from the current anthropogenic global warming hypothesis ... or something similar. I noticed there are redirects that use the term anthropogenic. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 03:13, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


If a new editor or a writer in a blog uses the term "anthropogenic global warming" or AGW, I can usually predict that the person in question is among the minority of committed skeptics. This is because the term most widely used and understood by most readers is "global warming".
One of the most likely mechanisms, according to the scientific consensus, is anthropogenic CO2, but this article is about the wider context of the current warming trend. --TS 03:06, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
If that is true then the lead needs to be changed because it clearly states that global warming is the cause of man (ie AGW). Arzel (talk) 03:12, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I suggest you read it again. What it actually says is: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation." --TS 03:15, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, there was coolingno cooling in the last decade: Statisticians Reject Global Cooling. --McSly (talk) 03:17, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I assume from your cited link and the wording of your editing summary that you meant "no cooling". --TS 03:23, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
He he, this is embarrassing, yes I meant no cooling. --McSly (talk) 03:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
The most embarrassing aspect of it is the use of the Associated Press activity as a cogent reference.Dikstr (talk) 21:22, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
no intent to derail this discussion, but I do want to point out that this debate would be obviated if the article (correctly) started from the political perspective, as I suggest above. in that case, the anthropogenic GW concept could be shown as (a) one of several political arguments offered on the topic of global warming, and (b) the political argument that is best supported by current scientific research. were that the case, no one in this thread would have anything to complain about. --Ludwigs2 03:41, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Anything else you want to improve by approaching primarily from a political perspective? Evolution? General relativity? Quantum electrodynamics? How about Group theory? Niels Bohr was a goalie, so how about approaching Copenhagen interpretation with reference to the off-side rule of association football? --TS 04:07, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
If any of those topics needed it, I'd say yes. but they don't (evolution's borderline, given the stink some people make about it, but I still hold it's primarily a scientific issue).
With respect to offside rules and Bohr... I'm American, and not particularly interested in sports in any case, so if you're going to use socc... errr, metaphors from that thing you people incorrectly call football, you're going to have to explain them to me. Though I do imagine that quantum football would be a very different kind of game... --Ludwigs2 04:26, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
To "(correctly)": Hey! I saw that!
No, seriously, I think the consensus is against you on this one... and if this were not so, then why would climate be such a science budget behemoth? Awickert (talk) 04:55, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm tempted to answer your last question by saying "Politics". Face-grin.svg. I do understand that a lot of editors disagree with me, yes. I also happen to believe that my position is the correct one, and I have what I think are decent reasons to support that conviction, so I am ethically obligated to advance it. Remember, consensus and majority rule are very different things, for just this reason.
The situation sucks for both of us, believe me; in fact, I'm pretty sure it sucks more for me than for you, because I put up with a ton of shit for speaking out on what I think is right. At any rate, there are (by definition) only three outcomes left here: either (1) someone is going to give me better reasons than I currently have so that I can come to agree with you guys, or (2) you all will start thinking through what I've said and find yourselves convinced that I have a point, or (3) we'll continue discussing it until I get frustrated and bored (which generally takes a while, but will eventually happen). I'd much prefer 1. or 2., if you don't mind. --Ludwigs2 05:25, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
So I think that we both have a component of truth - it is a political issue, and it is also a scientific issue. There isn't much in the way of scientific controversy over it, but Wikipedia covers even non-controversies and the science should be here IMO. The politics are also very important, which is why I suggested that you (we?) think of ways to fix up the second half of the article (the part that deals with the politics), especially because you seem to be knowledgeable about that. I suppose that this is option 4 - an overview article that states that global warming is a scientifically known and socially important. Awickert (talk) 05:32, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
yeah, the real solution may actually lie in coordination of the various pages that deal with global warming. for instance, I'm tempted to say that I'd like to see a page on global warming science (in fact, this page, since it's very well written) with all of the political aspects stripped away: just the pure science. that would only be possible, though, if it were a subpage in an organized collection of pages that dealt with the issue as a whole. that kind of thing is really hard to manage, though. let me see if I can beef up the political and social sections of this page where they stand over the next few days (that doesn't really satisfy me, since the P&S stuff is currently relegated to the tail end of the article, and I think it's more central than that) but it's a place to start. I'll go slow, and listen to objections (if any) as they arise, so no worries on that account. --Ludwigs2 05:56, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Hatnote Upgrade

Above, I proposed upgrading the WP:Hatnote and want to be sure the text may be addressed here in talk, before proceeding. Taking extra precautions to avoid a dispute.

Opening with: "This article is about Global Warming from the current anthropogenic global warming hypothesis ...

Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 20:23, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Object. Ungrammatical to the point of being barely parseable, and contrary to accepted definitions of the term. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:15, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Please edit in or provide a proposal. Thanks Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 01:18, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
This [26] could be productive with a proposal to improve. I have faith a proposal will be forthcoming for us to parse. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 01:22, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
No proposal needed, no "upgrade" needed. We'd best leave the text alone. Bertport (talk) 01:38, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Why do you say "no"? Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 01:41, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Replied on your talk.[27] I think there's some meta discussion in this. I'm challenging your proposal as WP:BAIT-like. It's your job to provide the reasons for. ChyranandChloe (talk) 06:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
WP:revert says " if another editor reverts your change without any apparent explanation, you may wish to wait a few minutes to see if they explain their actions on the article's or your user's talk page." and "Editors should not revert simply because of disagreement." While WP:WAR says "Therefore reverting is 'not' to be undertaken without good reason. ... reverting is not to be used as a way to "ignore" or "refute" an editor with whom one happens to disagree, or to fight battles or make a point. Misuse of reversion in these ways may lead to administrator warnings or blocking." Editors must explain their reverts and work in good faith to improve the content. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 13:34, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
In the spirit of the new probation, please do not accuse other editors of trying to bait others. My experience with ZP5 suggests that he acts in an honorable and good faith manner to pursue the things he believes are in the best interests of the project. I don't know the details of what ZP5 is proposing but I do know that it is not meant to be WP:BAIT. --GoRight (talk) 07:21, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

The proposed wording is factually incorrect, because it falsely implies that the article is deliberately slanted towards adopting a particular view of what causes the current warming trend. Instead, the article aims (and whether it achieves that end is something we might debate) to discuss the current warming trend: evidence for the trend, what the climatologists make of it, major alternative views, and so on. --TS 07:41, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

TS, this thread is about improving the hatnote, please stay on topic here. Following your line of reasoning, the hatnote would read: "The article is to discuss the current warming trend: evidence for the trend, what the climatologists make of it, major alternative views, and so' on." Is this serious or can you provide a factualy correct version with attributed truth for a NPOV? Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 13:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not (as the others here) see any good reasons for changing the hatnote. Its for disambiguation, not for a summarizing the article - thats what the lede is for. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:22, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Improving the hatnote should not require anyone to introduce factually incorrect statements into any part of Wikipedia, I should have thought. --TS 22:51, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
KDP, WP:hatnote says they are for "what is likely to be clearer and easier for the reader" given the difference between the "current anthropogenic global warming hypothesis" and other scientifically studied episodes, for which the existing hatnote guides (and as discussed above), it is a wiki civil service to the reader to clarify the article with navigation summary, beyond the Global Warming title. TS, what would be a correct statement in you view? Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk) 01:14, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
You are very hard to understand. If you mean Wikipedia, please don't write Wiki, which is a generic online collaboration approach. Civil service is a particular branch of government that we don't have on Wikipedia. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 01:20, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
What would be a correct statement? I happen to be quite fond of "Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation." This is the opening sentence of the article. It concisely and accurately defines the subject of the article so there is no need to add text to the hatnote. --TS 07:44, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Once again TS, please stay on the Hatnote discussion, your initial comment seemed to imply correcting the proposed addition, now you seem to have changed the subject. There's been confusion expressed above about what this article is about, and so as a WP:civil service for a WP:NPOV to Wikipedia, it would seem to be reasonable to improve the hat note. (I can appreciate how folks may wish to prevent this service; however, it is really harmless when done correctly and offers greater benefit to the reader.) I supose I'll have to find a few sources to suport attributing the hatnote improvement. Folks seem to just want to say what's wrong (or change the subject) without any source support, or attempt good faith corrections. Zulu Papa 5 ☆ (talk)

NPOV of GW article

Global warming conspiracy theories

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

A redirect to Global warming conspiracy theory has been created.


This article should probably exist if it doesn't already under a similar title. -Atmoz (talk) 04:22, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia rarely considers conspiracy theories to be notable topics in and of themselves, and such cannot (almost by definition) be reliably sourced. Besides, we all know that global warming is an attempt by an alien species to convert earth to a planet they can easily colonize and inhabit, so any other theories are obviously wrong. --Ludwigs2 05:17, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Global warming conspiracy theory already exists. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:51, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Climate history destroyed

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The raw data underlying the instrumental temperature record has not been destroyed. The purpose of a Wikipedia talk page is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page. Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject (WP:TALK).


Apparently all the climate history data was lost (Destroyed). The graphs here were made after that. Is it possible to find a graph from before the data was lost?--92.28.135.31 (talk) 18:50, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Your assumption is wrong. "All climate data" was not destroyed. Why would you think so? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:55, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
You are probably referring to the fact that Norwich University acquired raw data from elsewhere (i.e. they got digital copies), pre-analysed it, and then discarded the huge amounts of original raw data (which presumably still exists in the original place) as no longer useful to them. At least that's how I understood the situation, but it seems that some blogs have misrepresented it. I wonder what motivated them... Hans Adler 19:05, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


Archiving is such a great way to stop discussion of topics which are inconvenient - isn't it? - 59.92.161.66 (talk) 12:09, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Somebody made a false statement, and two editors corrected him. The discussion isn't relevant to improving the article. What more is there to say? --TS 12:32, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Rapid deletion and archiving of any dissenting views seems to be the norm around here. No doubt this will soon be deleted. Martin Hogbin (talk) 12:41, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk pages aren't for discussion of the article topic. See WP:TALK: The purpose of a Wikipedia talk page is to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article or project page. Article talk pages should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views on a subject. --TS 12:54, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years

Can this be included in the page: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230184221.htm ?

It indicates "No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years" and "Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere." This was published recently in GPL. Can we include it? Ted Wilkins (talk) 16:45, 1 January 2010 (UTC)[stike - confirmed scibaby sock - Kim D. Petersen (talk)]

See the last FAQ. — DroEsperanto (talk) 17:12, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
You mean GRL. This is about airborne fraction, see there. Incidentally, we dont mention the existing reserachon this in this article, so it isn't clear we should add the new stuff (which is too new, but I'm bored saying that) William M. Connolley (talk) 17:57, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It's interesting how "too new" has become a substitute for discussion of diverse views. UnitAnode 19:00, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Too new? Chillum (Need help? Ask me) 19:02, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

"Too new" is the argument being used to keep out information from peer-reviewed articles that have been recently published. UnitAnode 19:06, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
To expand on William's remark: The article in question is not about CO2 in the atmosphere. It's about the fraction of anthropogenic emissions that remain in the atmosphere (i.e. that cause the secular increase in CO2 content), as opposed to the part that is absorbed by CO2 sinks. This paper is in conflict with similar recent studies that indicate that some sinks are saturating and that hence more of the emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere (which would lead to an even faster increase in atmospheric CO2 for the same emissions). Anyways, the discussion is beyond this article - I would suggest to add the paper to airborne fraction if it turns out to have some impact. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:17, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
If it's "in conflict", and it's peer-reviewed, then that "conflict" should be noted in the article. "Too new" is not policy, and it's not acceptable as reasoning for exclusion. UnitAnode 19:21, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Stephan, it is hardly beyond this article, as this article specifically discusses predicted sequestration. Either this should be added, (along with other relevant papers) or the current claim should be removed.--SPhilbrickT 19:55, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
"Too new" is an established guideline for this topic. See Q22 in the FAQ section near the top of this talk page.Bertport (talk) 19:39, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
While "too new" is a problem, in this case WP:UNDUE is more relevant. We don't mention either of these papers - neither the ones that claim detection of saturation nor the new one. In fact we don't have any background about future atmospheric CO2 at all, but defer to the various SRES Scenarios. This is an encyclopedia, it's not our aim to reproduce every detail of ongoing research, in particular not in the top-level article on global warming. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:41, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
The relevant place for the reference is in the feedback section, where we note that the ability of the ocean to sequester carbon is expected to decrease. Note that's a prediction, and the present paper is documentation that the phenomenon has not yet occurred. It doesn't refute the prediction of the existing statement, but it does provide a helpful context. The original entry was made on 13 June 2007, 47 days after the publication of the paper. It has now been more than 47 days since the 7 Nov publication of the Knorr paper.
While I realize that WP standards are evolving, I don't recall that the waiting time for citation of scientific references has increased recently. In fact, I don't recall any such policy. Can someone point me to the policy and when it changed, as it certainly didn't prevent the inclusion of the first reference.
I respect that it may be too early to be definitive, and thus, I wouldn't support removal of the existing wording, or even adding that it is wrong. I would prefer something that simply notes that recent evidence does not yet find evidence of the predicted slowing. --SPhilbrickT 19:52, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Unless the new research happens to promote the view of AGW, like this. There are a number of research sources from 2009 that promote AGW, yet they have no problem finding their way into the article. It seems only research which would present alternate views is rejected. Arzel (talk) 19:54, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
This point is not without merit. It seems "new" research is only allowed in if it is research of a certain type. UnitAnode 20:28, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

<-We currently have a statement about sequestration by the oceans. It has been in the article since June of 2007. The current statement is a prediction about what may happen. There are papers which have attempted to measure what is happening, and they apparently reach different conclusions. The easiest approach is to add a reference supporting the observed decrease and this reference supporting no measurable change, leaving the reader with the factual understanding that the science isn't settled, or we need to expand Airborne fraction and point the reader to that section, or both. The only unacceptable choice is to leave in a prediction that sequestration will increase, without noting that it isn't a settled issue.

My recommendation is to add two references to the present article. If someone researches and finds that many more references are needed to cover the main issues, then expand Airborne fraction and include a sentence or two here noting that the issue isn't settled.--SPhilbrickT 20:18, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

As the SciDirect article states, the new result is "in contradiction to some recent studies". So there is evidence for decreased efficiency of sinks, but it's possibly not conclusive either way at the moment. As said above, this article is supposed to give a high-level overview of the topic (its a small fraction in size of even the IPCC WG1 report), not to provide a detailed running blow-by-blow commentary on developing science. The correct place of treating this detail is indeed in airborne fraction. And I haven't found a statement that sequestration will increase in the article - rather, we have one that biological sequestration may decrease. But then there is a difference between biological sequestration and the simple chemical solution of CO2 in water that is a major primary mechanism of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Our current statement is that the biological sequestration "is expected to decline" - i.e. its not claiming that anything is noticeable now, it's not presenting anything as "settled", and it's not contradicted by the new paper. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:30, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
or the current claim should be removed - I'm not clear which claim you mean. Can you quote it? And make it clear why it is necessary to include both the claim and the new paper, or neither? And also make a good argument for why the AF is so vital it has to be in? As Stephan says, this is the high-level overview. This article doesn't include everything (indeed, because of the tendency for people to add stufff, it needs regular pruning to keep it manageable) William M. Connolley (talk) 20:38, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
"And make it clear why it is necessary to include both the claim and the new paper, or neither?" I did make it clear, I'll try again. The current paper says "Ocean ecosystems' ability to sequester carbon is expected to decline" (emphasis added). A study showing that such a decline has not occurred in the last 150 years, or in recent decades, is not a refutation of the prediction, but a useful context. If it was a refutation, I'd argue for the removal of the first and the inclusion of the second. However, the current bare wording leaves the reader with the expectation that sequestration will decline. Maybe yes, maybe no. I think we owe it to the reader to be clear. If someone can argue that this is too detailed for the article, go for it, but if so, let's beef up the Airborne fraction article and point the reader to it. I can't imagine that the ability of the ocean to sequester carbon is so insignificant that it doesn't deserve mention, but if you want to try to make the case, go for it.--SPhilbrickT 22:21, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you understand the difference between the ocean's ecosystems ability to sequester CO2 and the oceans ability to absorb CO2? The second is the big short-term sink, the first is a slow long-term sink... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:26, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
As you should know, the AF assumption is quite important. If you'd like to make a case that it isn't an important element of the global warming calculus, be my guest. But the current article has contained a statement about it for two years. While you work on a case that nothing should be said, perhaps we should remove the existing, no longer reliable wording, then work out what, if anything should be added. Any objection?--SPhilbrickT 22:10, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you read what I have written? The new paper does not affect our current statement at all. What do you think is "no longer reliable" and why? As I see it, there is no need to change anything. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:18, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you read what I have written? That's funny, because I started to say the same thing to you, and crossed it out as not very friendly. I may have answered your queries in my response to WMC, if not, ask again and I'll try again.
the AF assumption is quite important - yes, it is, but it currently has only a very minor place in the article. I don't see why this new paper justifies expanding that place. You are incorrect to state that the paper says that such a decline has not occurred in recent decades (or indeed, over the last 150 years). This is one good reason for not including papers precipitately - they are not as easy to read as you think William M. Connolley (talk) 22:26, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I confess I haven't read the underlying paper beyond the abstract, but the sentence "It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero" seems clear enough. Are you disputing that the authors summary is supported by the paper, or are you nitpicking my quick summarization? I agree that the sequestration trends have a minor place in the current article. That's hardly a rationale for leaving in a misleading statement. Let's improve it or remove it.--SPhilbrickT 22:46, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any contradiction: The article here says, "Ocean ecosystems' ability to sequester carbon is expected to decline as the oceans warm", the Science Daily piece says, "the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline". Where's the problem? --Nigelj (talk) 22:52, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Nigelj, please read the whole article. The construction is roughly "Some articles say X, but a recent paper says not X." You can't quote the first part as if it is the conclusion of the article. The whole point of the article is to show that a recent study disagrees with the sentence you quoted. Hint, the opening phrase of the final paragraph starts: "In contradiction to some recent studies...".--SPhilbrickT 00:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Giving mention in a top-level article to a single paper that is in contradiction with the majority of published research on the subject is clearly forbidden by WP:UNDUE.— DroEsperanto (talk) 00:27, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
The sentence seems clear enough to me. But you've parsed it into contradiction with the other, so I'd suggest it isn't clear to you. A study showing that such a decline has not occurred in the last 150 years, or in recent decades is wrong. The question is, can you work out why? William M. Connolley (talk) 23:24, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
So I was right, you are nit-picking. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for nit-picking. We want our articles to be correct, and sometimes that does require nit-picking. But this is a talk page. Cam Can we talk about how to make this a better article?--SPhilbrickT 00:20, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
No, but I think it is now clear you don't understand it. Perhaps you would care to propose the exact text you wish to add? William M. Connolley (talk) 11:04, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I erred in assuming you had some statistical training. People with statistical training understand that "a trend of +0.7 ± 1.4" and "no trend" are virtually the same statement. To a layperson, they don't sound the same. Am I wrong in assuming you know something about statistics?--SPhilbrickT 01:59, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
You're wrong. Check my publications list. How's yours? William M. Connolley (talk) 11:37, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the information, I'll try to remember that in the future. Now I understand why you were confused. No big deal.--SPhilbrickT 14:28, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
You're not taking this well. Lets be more explicit: I have written papers using statistics in the context of environmental time series. You: well, we don't know, because you won't say. But Now I understand why you were confused is incomprehensible - I'm certainly confused as to what you mean by it William M. Connolley (talk) 21:59, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm taking this well, but when I ask if I'm wrong to assume you know statistics and you tell me I'm wrong, I take you at face value. Apparently you meant the opposite. This is tedious, I'm moving on. --SPhilbrickT 11:12, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Sphilbrick, you are not wrong in what I believe to be your understanding, but not quite correct in the context that it is equal to 0. A trend of 0.7 with a confidence interval of +/- 1.4 indicates that we would be 95% (assuming 95%, may be 90%) confident that the true trend is between -0.7 and 2.1. In absolute statistical sense we cannot say if the trend is positive or negative with any statistical reliablity. I have been doing statistical analysis for 15 years and have several publications myself. Arzel (talk) 03:48, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you William M. Connolley (talk) 09:50, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

What is it that makes this paper especially significant compared to the dozens of other papers published in the field during the past month? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:21, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh, probably the fact that it has been reported on by reliable sources. Arzel (talk) 00:32, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
See man bites dog. — DroEsperanto (talk) 01:14, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
See, indeed, WP:MANBITESDOG, a shortcut I just created. I draw attention to the following: "While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information." And that, my friend, is Wikipedia policy. Let's not ponce around with prissy guidelines. --TS 01:24, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Somebody give me a shout when atmospheric CO2 reaches 0.1% In fact, atmospheric levels of CO2 should be more easily identifiable in the article (as this is the backbone of man-made global warming theory). --AnAbsolutelyOriginalUsername42 (talk) 16:41, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

There should also be a bit more space given to the carbon cycle for the same reasons (it is only mentioned as a throwaway remark in the article). --AnAbsolutelyOriginalUsername42 (talk) 16:44, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

"AGW" and "Global Warming" are conflated in the media

My reading indicates that these terms are used interchangeably in the media, by many sources. I am concerned that this lack of source precision undercuts the merits of this article from an accuracy standpoint. Perhaps we need an article titled "History of the Global Temperature Change Debate". This would include the "new ice age" contentions advanced in the 1970's along with the the current AGW/GW contentions of today. Does anyone have a good idea when climate change became such a hot potato? I'd say this has been building for at least 35 years, with various assertions about cooling and warming coming into play. Perhaps if we 1st put together a good timeline, we could better see what the current debate is about. 7390r0g (talk) 17:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

See Global warming controversy. For a guide to the timescale of the issue, see History of climate change science. --TS 19:06, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I've seen those both, but the I still think a timeline would be helpful. 7390r0g (talk) 20:06, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
As a separate article, maybe, but that would probably be better discussed at History of climate change science, not here. — DroEsperanto (talk) 23:37, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I concur with 7390r0g. A new article on the "history of climate change debate", or something like that, would be usefull. A timeline and links to various topics. I've read that the Global Warming Industry receives billions in grant money annually. Surely such a big business can't be described in one, or just a few articles. --Knowsetfree (talk) 03:10, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

The Ozone layer is going to be destroyed (and us with it) --> Yellowstone Park is going to erupt (and destroy the world) --> Humanity will be threatened by a new Ice Age --> The earth's magnetism will change (and civiliation could well be destroyed) --> Humanity will be threatened by melting ice --> Climate change will make the world intolerably wet, dry, hot and cold all at the same time (and kill everyone).

The global warming article should probably be a stub with a few references to latest scientific journals (which, if they are honest, detail how much we don't know instead of projecting hypothetical global scenarios). Instead we have a bizarre mash of religion and science - where there is not enough empirical evidence to give clear indications on a science that is problematic at the best of times (try getting an accurate weather forecast for two weeks' time). So how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I'll make a guess at exactly 283 (and maybe even get a Nobel peace prize for doing so).

In terms of encyclopedic significance? Well, its certainly significant, and the discussion and projections are themselves verifiable, but the actual substance at hand is as ephemeral as ever (but as a media subject, that makes it all the better) --AnAbsolutelyOriginalUsername42 (talk) 16:36, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

The FAQ need serious updating

I'm looking at it and seeing self-described liberal blogs as sources and a lot of inaccuracies. For one, the "isotopic signature of fossil fuels" would also be the same signature as plants - and plants release more CO2 than anything else on Earth (by far). In fact, land use changes and local heating effects from roads could easily speed up their CO2 release and give that same isotopic signature. TheGoodLocust (talk) 20:30, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

What are your specific proposals for the FAQ, and what are the sources upon which you base your proposals? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:12, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
My specific proposals, for now, are to either remove questions/answers based on unreliable sources or remove those sources. TheGoodLocust (talk) 21:23, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm all in favor of using the best possible sources. Please be specific about the questions and sources you have in mind. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:26, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm looking at it in more detail now and not seeing many reliable sources at all. It would be easier for you to state which ones you think are reliable (it'd be a far smaller list than mine). TheGoodLocust (talk) 21:59, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't play games. Name the problematic sources. --TS 22:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not playing game, you can look at them yourself, at least 80% of them are problematic - I'm not going to sort through all those links when you can easily eye them. TheGoodLocust (talk) 22:40, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Assume that I lack your unerring eye for liberalism and scientific fraud. --TS 22:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Thegoodlocust says that fossil fuels have the same isotopic signature as plants. I don't know whether that is true but it seems counter-intuitive because fossil fuels are much older than living plants and so the isotopic ratio would be expected to change by atomic decay (that's the basis of radioisotopic dating). The FAQ answer to which Thegoodlocust refers cites an article in Physics Today and I wouldn't call that a "self-described liberal" anything, let alone a blog. --TS 22:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
He is wrong. It's true that fossil fuels have the same (or a very similar) C13/C ratio as modern C3 plants. But they have very different C14/C ratios. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:12, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I meant plant based sources - lots of things are based on plants (but older), like limestone. TheGoodLocust (talk) 22:39, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Interesting speculation. Gather evidence, publish, and I'll take care of notifying the Nobel Prize Committee. --TS 22:43, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Since you refuse to point out the specific sources that you consider unreliable there is nothing to be gained from continuing the discussion. I suggest all concerned simply let the matter drop. This is not the place for a tutorial on radiometric decay, the subtleties of carbon fixation by Rubisco, and the like. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:44, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

<outdent> Very well, I will assume as you wish and present the first source "climateprogress.org," which describes itself as "A liberal blog on the science, solutions, and politics of climate change" and says it is "Climate Progress is dedicated to providing the progressive perspective on climate science, climate solutions, and climate politics." TheGoodLocust (talk) 22:54, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Boris has now removed the offending links to which you referred. Any others? --TS 23:25, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, he removed the source, but the new source doesn't appear to backup what it references. Anyway, assuming the question or source is fixed to meet that, the next "iffy" source, but not nearly as bad, looks to be "Grist: A Beacon in the Smog" - according to them they seem to accept publications from bloggers and other sources - I think we could do better and get a real newspaper. TheGoodLocust (talk) 23:42, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
It'll take some time to get the sources built up. Of course, there's nothing to prevent you from finding quality sources yourself. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:08, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Experience has shown me that I will simply get reverted - that's why I'm trying to build a consensus here. I could fix the FAQ, but I have little doubt my work would be quickly turned to dust. Unfortunately, WP:BOLD is not encouraged by this working environment. TheGoodLocust (talk) 00:27, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The Grist piece was written by Andrew Dressler, a climate specialist from Texas A&M. I don't see the problem there. He obviously isn't just some silly blogger. --TS 01:35, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
That's odd, I tried to include a blog from a scientist, a climatologist, who is a skeptic and that was shot down - why the difference? TheGoodLocust (talk) 01:44, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
If you cite a diff or link to the instance you're talking about, we can discuss whether that was appropriate. --TS 03:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
It was in the Glacier/Non-peer-reviewed section of the IPCC - I removed the source and used the BBC or someone else instead. TheGoodLocust (talk) 22:40, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, you mean in the article itself? I'd expect to see higher sourcing standards there than in the FAQ. --TS 09:04, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

"What climate pedagogy to make some progress in the debate?"

Can anybody make sense of the recently added section titled "What climate pedagogy to make some progress in the debate?"? It's got me beaten. Is it in English? The bit about everybody living too far away from polar bears is hilarious, but I hesitate to write it off as vandalism. --TS 14:58, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

The writer of the section, which I subsequently removed, has complained about the removal. I still don't understand it beyond the extent of grasping that it's got Neutral point of view problems and needs editing for coherence by somebody who understands what it's about. Having said that I don't mind if somebody wants to restore the section and clean it up. --TS 00:14, 5 January 2010 (UTC)


I have written the paragraph extending the section on debate and skepticism. I do not understand why some have reported it was not neutral. The minimum of politeness would to explain otherwise I do not undestand what the collaborative spirit of wikipedia is really about.

I wrote that the current communication on climate change with pictures showing polar bears swimming in melted ice as a proof of climate change was not relevant because:

  • there is still some skepticism by people who do not experience sucha changes as polar bears do (the vast majority of human beiings
  • there was not a consensus at COP 15, showing the lack of common spirit and common understanding

I show another example of possible communication on climate change, by Robert Kandel, an IPCC expert. I put all links so that readers make their own minds.

So, what is not neutral? What is wrong with that? What religion have I not respected? —Preceding unsigned comment added by LucAleria (talkcontribs) 09:03, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Luc, this article is subject to high tension. Watch this talk page for a few days, and you'll see that even minute changes are subject to challenge and reversion. If you want to do something to this article, make a proposal on the talk page first, and see what reception it gets. Bertport (talk) 14:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)