Talk:Global climate change

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Archive 1

Wikiproject?[edit]

However, I am against messy articles and I hope we can cooperate on cleaning up the GW mess. Perhaps we should create a WikiProject and work on a mutually agreeable proposal. What info should go into which articles? --user:Ed Poor (talk) 22:02, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:19, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)) A wikiproject is a possibility. I am always rather distressed about the low level of contributions to the cl ch and related articles. There was a note on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Science about it going quiet there... there is also Wikipedia:Science collaboration of the week. Perhaps that would bring in some new people.

"excess skepticism"?[edit]

any specificity on regional climate change, will encounter greater skepticism.

Even the artificial, mutually confirming "agreement" between parameterized global climate models seriously breaks down when one drills down to precipitation and temperature, etc at the regional level. While there is a premature "global" consensus, at the regional level, especially in the temperate lattitudes, there is none. A documented balance between the consensus and the criticism has been reached on the pages that have been described as messy. It is a dynamic balance that is continuing, feel free to participate if you can add to the specificity. I don't see any issues on this page that haven't already been at least visited. If there is anything new to offer, it should face the scrutiny of the more active complete pages and not try to hide away in some cubby hole, hoping to escape scrutiny. If the science is good, it can stand up to criticism and scrutiny.--Silverback 23:25, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The urban heat island is a good example of regional climate change that has nothing to do with global climate models. Where does this go on the climate change page? --Ben 01:51, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The urban heat island is discussed on many of the pages, mostly in terms of correcting temperatures for its effects, it might justify its own article, if one wants to get into the level of detail where the evidence for downstream effects on the weather (note, not climate) are discussed. However, short of that, it doesn't justify a separate climate change page, just add to the existing dicusssions.--Silverback 03:04, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:54, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Specifically, on the urban heat island page. If thats hard to find from the cl ch page, then it should be linked in.

Proposal[edit]

Here is my proposal of how I think it should be arranged and what changes I think would benefit understanding of the concepts. Please let me know what you think, or if you like it feel free to make changes. (It is a fairly quick and dirty one to show you that I am serious about getting things changed--I'm not just ranting here.) --Ben 05:45, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 12:42, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) If you're serious, you need to start adding useful information to the articles. Producing a long proposal before you've really contibuted isn't going to work.
Your opinion is duly noted. --Ben 04:46, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Sample Gl Cl Ch page[edit]

I've created a Gl Cl Ch page which represents my ideas (it isn't entirely complete, politics esp.). I'm reluctant to work on other stuff, especially stuff that already has pages, because I have a feeling you guys will just revert it and dismiss it and it would be a waste of my time, especially considering that some pages will have to change at the same time to reflect the new page otherwise the structure doesn't work. That's why I want to discuss structure first. --Ben 09:12, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why merge?[edit]

If having this article is "mad", then why is there nearly 4,000 words of talk about it? Absent an reason other than personal preference, I think it's better to keep the article.

(William M. Connolley 22:08, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I suggest you try reading the talk rather than weighing it. I'll give you another reason (which I think Silverback touched on) which is that you've put in some totally dubious "some local records" stuff. Its the same old arguments all over again, which should be on the t rec page.

And again I request that a proposal for a merge be made and discussed BEFORE replacing info with a redirect. (Strange, I just had the same conversation with Gary D. at talk:purported cults and he convinced me with the same reasoning I'm offering to you. --user:Ed Poor (talk) 21:51, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

Glossary of climate change[edit]

If you're interested in this page, you may like Glossary of climate change.


More Sources for term Global Warming[edit]

"The term Global Warming refers to the observation that the atmosphere near the Earth's surface is warming, without any implications for the cause or magnitude. This warming is one of many kinds of climate change that the Earth has gone through in the past and will continue to go through in the future." - NOAA

And maybe we should have a Greenhouse Warming page too:

"Greenhouse Warming is global warming due to increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, etc.), whereas Global Warming refers only to the observation that the Earth is warming, without any indication of what might be causing the warming." - ibid.

--Ben 22:19, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:59, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)) The glossary page would be a good page for defining terms with multiple meanings. You will discover that GW is used by different people in different ways. So is cl ch. As long as we describe things and keep terms internally consistent, all is well.
I had already "discovered" that some people view the terms differently. I do not think treating Global Warming with implied causality is scientific at all. They are two separate issues, "Global warming as observation" and "Global warming with implied causality." The first is much more scientific. I think science has moved on from the mistake of treating GW as necessarily anthropogenic (if indeed it ever did) and returned to the basic scientific and literal definition of the term. This helps to disconnect temperature observations, and the theories as to why the temperature is increasing. This helps direct controversy to where it is welcomed and needed, and leads to less confusion about the state of the science. Reporting on the use of GW with implied causality is one thing, incorporating it as a science is another. Internal consistence does not help if that consistency does not represent the science, and I do not believe that it does.
(William M. Connolley 12:50, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Sigh. You're still stuck on the words. Words mean (a) what everyone uses them to mean and (b) what you define them to mean. In the case of GW, what everyone (in the non-scientific domain) uses it to mean is the-current-warming-caused-by-people. In the scientific domain people don't use it that way, because it implies the answer (correctly, as it happens). In science people tend towards using climate change, or anthropogenic climate change. Which is why its the IPCC not the IPGW. However, we can address this by using (b), so at the start of the GW article we explicitly state how we are using the words and then there is no problem. BTW, your I think science has moved on from the mistake of treating GW as necessarily anthropogenic is nonsense.
(William M. Connolley 19:17, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Addendum: I've just realised that one vital use-of-words (about the UNFCCC use) disappeared from the GW article in the course of the edit wars. I've put it back, and elsewhere, because its important.
Maybe you could provide me with a recent paper or other such scientific material that treats and uses the term global warming as if it were necessarily caused anthropogenically. I don't believe you can, though I would be interested if you could. --Ben 23:02, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 12:50, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) As I said above, within science people usually don't use GW.
(William M. Connolley 19:41, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Addendum: in this respect, its interesting to note that GW isn't defined in the otehrwise very comprehensive IPCC glossary [1] (even though GW potential is). Nor does the WG I report use GW [2].

I think I discovered what my problem with the term is, and that's that there is no scientific name for the current global climate change. In the past there is Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc. but simply "global warming" for the present. Is there a scientific name we can use, or just a more specific name like 19th century to present global warming? This way it can global climate changes can be divided up into periods of global climate change, and we wouldn't need to explain some of the methodology behind it (like greenhouse gases, etc.) on the same page, but rather pages which are more general to the science. Present it as if it were a study of another global climate change in Earth's history. The rest would be the science of gl cl ch. I've modified my proposal to reflect this idea.--Ben 07:22, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

WMC, just so you know, I'm always like this when I meet someone out of my league who seems to treat me with disrespect for my ideas, rather than providing me with an explanation I understand. It seems that that's the way I am with authority figures I don't initially don't get along with. Once I get things straight in my own head I'll probably be much less confrontational as long as I feel my concerns are being heard and addressed. I am not looking for a fight, I'm looking for answers. I apologize for treating you with disrespect, however, I am very passionate about my ideas and if you put up a brickwall instead of guiding me through, I'll break it down as best I know how. --Ben 07:22, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 12:50, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) The apology is welcome. As for the rest, you need to start doing some actual work rather than shuffling the work of others. Start by putting up a user page.
Your characterization of my contribution to the discussion, as not being "actual work" is not welcomed. Additionally, starting a user page does not further this section of Wiki. I would venture to contrast my contributions, specifically my proposal concerning the structure of the material, with yours, which to me seems to be limited to talking down all my ideas while providing little of your own. You have obviously made significant contributions to the content but will not even comment on my proposed structure. If you are completely happy with the structure as it is, and/or the pages as they are, then it seems we are at an impasse. I, however, am neither happy the structure, nor with the arrangement of material on the pages themselves. --Ben 21:26, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:00, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I am happy to see my contributions contrasted with yours. You have mainly edited the talk pages; I have mainly edited the article pages. I know which one I prefer. As to the existing structure: quite likely it is susceptible to improvement. As to your proposed structure: I've repeatedly said that I think you should add some genuine new useful content before rearranging other peoples words.
But that does not prevent you from commenting on it. I think the content is adequate, and I don't know what I would add to it. I think structure is geniunely useful in understanding. I don't see how not adding content prevents you from assessing the structure I've provided.
Part of the reason for this is my feeling that you don't know the current content terribly well (and indeed, if you can write things like I think science has moved on from the mistake of treating GW as necessarily anthropogenic, then I doubt you know the (history of the) science well). Contributing to Glossary of climate change would be a good idea.
I don't know the content terribly well, certainly not as well as you. I believe part of the reason is that the structure is hindering me. My comment was a reference to the use of the term "global warming" which I have already discussed and sourced. It was poorly worded. You treat the term differently than I do, and I think climate science is attempting to draw lines regarding how the term is used to ensure the science is understood clearly. You, of course, are immersed in climate science and so terms with multiple meanings, vague definitions, interconnected themes and theories are easily understood within the context of your education and your work. People not immersed in climate science have no context with which to help their understanding, and that's why I find these articles frustrating. Greenhouse gases for example, are explained multiple times and in different places and in different contexts, yet they are just a single (albeit complex and large) subject with respect to climate change, aren't they?
(William M. Connolley 11:44, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) OK, thats a reasonable point and should be fixed. GHG's should be primarily explained at Greenhouse gas. Where else are they over explained?
On the global warming page there is a huge section explaining greenhouse gases as a forcing
(William M. Connolley 20:40, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I've just looked at that. It seems quite reasonable to me. You can't write A GW page without talking about GHG's. The overlap with what is on the GHG page seems small. Perhaps it could be tweaked a bit.
and on climate change there is a short section on greenhouse gases.
(William M. Connolley 20:40, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Which again looks reasonable to me. Its a quick summary and point to the GHG page.
I think that it should be spread out more, with greenhouse gases and greenhouse warming defined on greenhouse gases. Or maybe on a new page called greenhouse warming. Or on the greenhouse effect page.
(William M. Connolley 20:40, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) But the GHE page is about the GH effect, which is not specific to the actual gases.
I don't really have an answer for this, but I don't see why the forcing of greenhouse gas is explained in detail on the page for the present global warming (and in that context)
(William M. Connolley 20:40, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Because it is so interlinked to the theory
when it has been attributed (non-anthropogenically) for many other past global climate changes.
(William M. Connolley 20:40, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) I don't know what you mean by that. The workings of GHG forcing for, say, the last few ice ages isn't that well understood. anything further back is even less well known.
Someone looking up Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and wanting to learn more about greenhouse gases as a forcing, has to go to global warming and wade through current global warming to find out how it works as a forcing. --Ben 20:23, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:40, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)) Because the P-E stuff isn't well understood.
To absolutely and entirely clear as possible, the following text on the page global warming is general and applies to both PETM, the current trend, and other global climate change causation theories. There is no direct link to this important general information from the PETM page or other global climate change pages.--Ben 01:13, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"The hypothesis that increases or decreases in greenhouse gas concentration would lead to higher or lower global mean temperature was first postulated in the late 19th century by Swedish chemist and 1903 Nobel Laureate Svante Arrhenius, largely as an attempt to explain ice ages. At the time his peers largely rejected his theory."
"Atmospheric scientists know that adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to an atmosphere, with no other changes, will tend to make a planet's surface warmer. But there is an important amount of water vapor (humidity, clouds) in the Earth's atmosphere, and water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas. If adding CO2 to the atmosphere changes processes that regulate the amount of water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere, that could have a profound effect on the climate: more water vapor means more warmth."

"The effect of clouds is also critical. Clouds have competing effects on the climate; everyone has noticed that surface temperature drops when a cloud passes overhead on an otherwise hot, sunny summer day. So clouds cool the surface by reflecting sunlight back into space. But many people have also noticed that clear winter nights tend to be colder than cloudy winter nights. That is because clouds also radiate heat back to the surface of the Earth. If CO2 changes the amount or distribution of clouds, it could have various complex effects on the climate."

"Scientists have also studied this issue with computer models of the climate (see below). These models are accepted by the scientific community as being valid only after it has been shown that they do a good job of simulating known climate variations, such as the difference between summer and winter, the North Atlantic Oscillation, or El Niño. All climate models that pass these tests also predict that the net effect of adding CO2 will would be a warmer climate in the future. The amount of predicted warming varies by model, however, which probably reflects the way different models depict clouds differently. Skeptics point to the growing evidence that variation in cosmic ray flux represent an indirect effect of changes in solar activity that increase the warming response to increases in solar activity. Climate models that pass the above tests while modeling the only the direct effects of increases in solar activity will have attributed too much of the historical warming to greenhouse gas forcing, and will predict larger increases in temperature in the future (?). Skeptics of "global warming" greenhouse gases as a substantial climate forcing point to potential feedbacks which current models poorly understand, such as changes in vegetation and cloud cover, and suggest that these processes reduce the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gas forcing; although the uncertainty could just as easily be in the other direction. Skeptics have been unable to produce a credible model of the climate that does not predict that temperatures will would increase in the future. Thus, the skeptics' theory that climate feedbacks will eliminate any CO2 warming effect has not been substantiated by either observations or modeling."
"Greenhouse gases" get their name because they trap radiant energy from the sun that would otherwise be re-radiated back into space, by analogy with the glass panes in a greenhouse. The analogy, however, is a false one: the effects are different: see greenhouse effect. The natural greenhouse effect that tempers the earth's climate is not at issue in the debate over global warming. Without it, temperatures would drop by approximately 30°C, the oceans would freeze and life as we know it would be impossible. What climatologists are concerned about, rather, is that increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere might cause more heat to be trapped."


I think providing a basic structure which is in line with the science (one agreeable with the way you see things of course) would help people understand the science. In weather, for example, one could study clouds, wind, jetstreams, pressure, storms, and a myriad of well-defined subjects. With climate science, people see greenhouse gases, and do not know where they fit in terms of global warming, the greenhouse effect, how it effects climate, etc. They know greenhouse gases cause the earth to warm via the greenhouse effect, and that's all they know. To re-use the analogy, it's like their thinking is hitting a brick wall (mine too). There is no guidance through the subject. This is why people say things like "I believe in global warming" instead of "I believe pollution is causing global warming," or "I believe solar variation is causing global warming." or "I don't think pollution has much of an impact on climate" These are distinct in climate science, but not to people who know little about the subject, in fact, the first two are usually, by the layman, erroneously treated as identical. (this is disregarding that the word "believe" in itself is subject to a semantic debate that I don't want to get into). I think the reason is not undereducation, but because referring to global warming without well-defined structure stifles the manner in which people can discuss the subject. --Ben 00:05, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
and to clarify, I just don't get the feeling that this is a field of science the way it is currently structured, but rather just a kind of scientific investigation. With my untutored eye, I see clear lines in terms of cause, effect, observation, discussion, theory, etc. That's why I don't understand why, for example, you object to a climate forcings page listing the known ways that climate is affected.--Ben 00:44, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)