Talk:Global warming/Archive 14

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See, that's the problem with "Fair and balanced"

Dubc0724 states:

It's funny, over the last few days when I Googled global warming, how many articles are written by right-wing groups denouncing GW and how many are written by left-wing groups holding GW as the most serious issue in the world. Honestly, this can't be a party-line issue. There's got to be some middle ground backed up by science that hasn't been bought & paid for.

See, that's the problem when people grow up on a medium that's always trying to represent itself as "fair and balanced". If group A says "the answer is 2.71828", the medium always feels the need to find a group that holds an opposing viewpoint ("The answer is -3!"). The medium then gives the -3ers the same weight in the story as the 2.71828ers and the audience leaves believing that the two positions hold equal weight in the real world and that the question is still being debated.

Unfortuately, in the real world, there are right answers and there are wrong answers, and reality is not amenable to political pursuasion. So even though media, for fear of annoying a big block of their readership/listenership/viewership still tries to present, for example, "Scientific Creationism" as being of equal weight with Darwinian evolution through natural selection, there is nobody in the true scientific community who thinks that debate is still open. And the fact that Republicans are far more behind Scientific Creationism and Democrats mostly more behind Evolution has nothing to do with reality. There's no middle ground here where, well, maybe God made the world 24,000 years ago instead of 6,000 years ago and it's evolved ever since, there's simply true facts and made-up fantasies. And the media is just too cowardly to tell you the plain, unvarnished truth that scientific creationists are crackpots motivated solely by religious faith.

(You just made your own left-wing opinion clear, thus negating your own attempt to sound fair and balanced. CalgaryWikifan 00:43, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I have no interest at all in sounding "fair and balanced". I have an extreme interest in being correct. And I'm tired of bullshit masquerading as "balance". -- Atlant 01:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Now, back to the rest of my comment that you felt the need to step into the middle of...)
(You. Win. - Ross Midnight)

The same is shaping up to be true of the question of global warming as a result of human activity. Because of the need to please their corporate masters, the media still presents their "fair-and-balanced" bull and reports stories as if "No global warming caused by humans!" was still as valid an idea as "One of the causes of global warming is human activity". But in the scientific community, the intellectual dominoes have long since fallen and there's essentially no debate left about the question of whether or not we're contributing to the observed warming. The only debate left is over the question of how big and how fast a disaster this whole thing is going turn out to be. And the fact that Republicans and other conservative parties world-wide disagree with accepted scientific theory, and American Democrats are running for cover while mouthing support for the idea, has nothing to do with the reality of what's about to happen to us.

Your comments are, of course, welcome.

  • Unless of course you disagree with the almighty Atlant, in which case you are obviously too stupid to deserve a right to debate. 12:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with Atlant, and frankly, I appreciate his candidness here. Two and two will never somehow equal five, and I find it quite chilling that so many are willing to waffle on the facts simply so that some individuals can keep their rediculous fantasies. If you think science (which largely represents the collective of all human knowledge) is fundamentally flawed, why should you have the right to a logical debate? - Ross Midnight

Atlant 12:31, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

ha ha, what a stupid rant you think anyones gonna read it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Good discussion. Creationism is an entirely different debate, however, so we'll leave that one at the door. My original post was meant to point out the fact that any special interest group can find a scientist to back up their views. Google it; you'll see. It essentially takes away any credibility from the arguments of both sides. I haven't seen compelling evidence from either side that leads me to conclude "hey GW is absolutely humans' fault" or "GW doesn't really exist!". All I hear is a lot of arrogant yelling from both sides and a lot of people with the attitude of "you must believe me, after all, I'm a scientist!" Sometimes all the BS involved makes me want to just agree with George Carlin: this world was around a long time before humans, and it'll be around a long time after we're gone. For us to think we can either doom it or save it exemplifies our arrogance and self importance. Cheers! Dubc0724 12:44, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
A bit off topic: I always wonder how people do, only in theory, still deny or question the human's power to seriously harm their planet, and especially theirselves, just with a look at our some 10k of heavy nuclear missiles that can wipe out every life larger than a rat on the planet, was it three or four times?
More on topic: Well, if there is crucial evidence against anthropogenic global warming, it's welcome. Who would not like it much more if human's hadn't anything to do with what's happening out there? But sadly, that does not seem to be the case, given the large amount of evidence already gathered. Putting media or renegade's articles in the article is biasing it, not sticking to the known facts and widely acceptes theories. However, I have seldom seen an article so often being pushed into the same discussions every few weeks. Hardern 13:30, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
What article are you referring to? I've only been following this page for a week or so. The only thing I've been "pushing" is for the consideration that anthropogenic GW has not been completely proven as fact. But we're done with that argument (see above section). Secondly, nuclear war is an entirely different thing than the human pollution GW is attributed to. That's what I was referring to with my Carlin bit. You are right - we could likely do some real damage with nukes, but not the kind of damage being discussed on the GW article. Cheers! Dubc0724 14:12, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
George Carlin's comment is, of course, true, but you'll notice that he doesn't postulate whether we (humans, the species) will remain a part of the world. It is entirely conceivable that we could modify the earth to the point that it is no longer an environment suitable for the continuance of our species. (And I think that was the point of Hardern's "nuclear war" comment.)
Atlant 14:18, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Carlin does say exactly that. I was paraphrasing. He actually said something to the effect of the Earth shaking humans off like a bad case of fleas. I'll look it up. Cheers! Dubc0724 14:37, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
And possibly the reason we were put here is PLASTIC! The Earth couldn't make plastic itself, needed us to do it. Now we've served our purpose; time for us to go. (I love Carlin...) Tuckdogg 03:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Excellent point, Atlant. Bugs the hell out of me, too. There isn't always an equal or even opposite opinion. The sun is round, the sky is blue, and the earth is warming. The 'left' vs 'right' debate should now move on to what the hell we're going to do about it. Iorek85 00:55, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I find comments like these unhelpful to people who are trying to seek the truth on this subject. Yes, the earth is warming, but, has it been proven that the earth will necessarilly continue to heat up? Are we sure that we can use this model to predict the destruction of the earth? If you look only at a section of a trend, you may incorrectly infer something about the entire trend. If you were to look at the graph of cos (x) from only x=-pi/2 to x=pi/2, you may infer that it is a parabola--then your predictions for large or small values of x would be completely off. In short, I believe most of you here have your minds made up on the issue without regard to science. I think this because, when asked about possible shortcomings of the theory, most of you seem only to spout the same talking points over and over again while refusing to put forth any pertinent evidence to defend your stance. --Sick0Fant 21:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Sick0Fant
Erm, I think that's an incorrect analogy. There are graphs covering different periods, ranging from 400,000 years to the past 200. Is the x range enough for you? Most scientists don't think the Earth is going to be destroyed, just with the increased likelihood of the effects that comes with higher temperatures. In short, I believe you have made up your mind about most of us without regard to social science. Cheers! Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 21:55, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, here's another analogy: the population of a species may appear to grow exponentially along a range. However, population will not continue to grow indefinitely-- it will tend towards a maximum. With global warming, many people wonder how we can predict the behavior of the phenomenon (i.e. does an increase in temperature imply that it will continue to increase to the point of causing global hazzards?)! I have not made up my mind on it. I think that it is possible that there is global warming, but this theory is far from a certainty (from what has been put forth).--Sick0Fant 23:28, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Sick0Fant
But you appear to be basing this conclusion on your own gut instinct, whereas the models are extremely detailed and have been worked on by many people for decades. They are not deterministic, but they are by far the best data that we have, and much better than completely random analogies. (Indeed, you can do a very simple algebraic model of the atmosphere and predict the greenhouse effect and CO2 forcings; the current models are much more detailed versions of the same thing.) If it sounds like we "spout the same talking points over and over again", it's because we are reiterating the state of the science -- not our gut feelings or our beliefs, or whether we think something is possible or not, but the best scientific data and models available -- and virtually all of those point to the same conclusions. bikeable (talk) 23:34, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
The article no way implies that the warming trend is absolutely certain, that it is anthropogenic, or that it will continue to warm to a worrisome. It just states the probabilities, the models, the analyses of what could happen, that continued warming is likely, with the possibility of more extreme weather events (and no one contests carbon dioxide level rise). I don't see a problem. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 03:03, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
This left/right, pro/con global warming debate is very US orientated, I think much of the rest of the world see's the debate very differently. Although as the enviroment is inherently linked to social welbeing, left-wing parties tend to ve the initial advocates of enviromental issues, here in the UK for example, the main traditionally right-wing party (the Conservative Party (UK)) have lately been talking about solutions to global warming more than the traditionally left-wing party. In many European countries the right-wing party(ies) (although basically all European politics is far to the left of US politics) is more fearful of the consequences of Global Warming than the left-wing party(ies).
The point being it is not a universally left-right issue at all. Personally I fear that sponorship money (in countries where companies can sponsor political parties) and other vested interests are the real culprits for the hostility of some political groups towards the overwhelming scientific consensus. Canderra 03:08, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

The BS goes both ways, though, with much of it driven by ideologues rather than scientists (not that scientists can't be ideologues, and vice versa). For example, it seems reasonably certain that there is climate change, and reasonably probable that at least a significant portion of this is due to human activities. What is not at all certain, however, is the effect this will have (Katrina and Swiss Re notwithstanding). While there has been climate change in the past, it was not this large in recent memory. On the other hand, the ability of humans to adapt to climate change has not been as significant either. The BS that goes both ways is: (1) we don't know for sure how big the problem will be (i.e., we don't know the cost of continuing to do what we are doing now). All we have are estimates, based on very sketchy models (Swiss Re's complaint is chiefly this uncertainty--if they knew with any degree of certainty how big the problem was going to be, they could just factor it into the premiums they charge). And (2) we don't know for sure how big of an effort it will take to stop climate change (i.e., we don't know the cost of not doing what we are doing now). Nonetheless, we get both sides of the debate acting like these are known knowns. In other words, for every Competitive Enterprise Institute shill saying that climate change isn't happening, there is an National Resource Defense Council shill saying that we can stop climate change with only the slightest change to our quality of life. Both seem very unlikely. Most estimates are that stopping climate change (rather than just slowing it down and delaying the process by a handful of years) will require massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is something that those on the more left-wing spectrum rarely point out. This isn't about buying a hybrid car or installing fluorescent lighting, but convincing people to cut their automobile usage by 90 percent, and significantly increasing the prices of things like food and everyday goods (the production and transportation of which rely on fossil fuels). Another thing not mentioned is the likelihood that most of the costs of climate change will be borne by the more impoverished parts of the world (Katrina, again, notwithstanding). So, try running for office on a platform that says we need to pass a law that only lets us use our cars once every 10 days, and that significantly raises the price of food and conveniences, or else a lot of poor people in Africa and Asia are going to suffer. (And while your at it, good luck also on convincing all those teeming masses in China and India that they are just going to have to put off those dreams of development a few years, because they, too, have to cut their use of fossil fuels...) Fundamentally, we do not know if the costs of doing something about climate change are higher than the costs of climate change itself. And, until we have a better idea about these costs (and who will bear them), the policy changes will remain cosmetic. Epstein's Mother 07:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Atlant, I hear what you're saying, and the debate in this thread could go on for a long, long time but from one scientist to another let me kindly offer that you try not to get too frustrated. All of the points you make are valid but as long as there are people in the world who cannot reconcile their personal beliefs or politico-economic motivations with scientific observations, the laws of physics, and mathematics, then there will always people who believe that there is actually science to support that the Earth is flat, that Evolution is a hoax (warning, this website is a disgusting misrepresentation of science and a warped view of reality), that we never landed on the moon (here is NASA's rebuttal to this nonsense), that Global Warming isn't real, and on and on. There's nothing you can do about it. The facts are there for anyone who is willing to spend an afternoon in their local library and read some basic science. Those who still want to live in the dark ages will do so. Don't loose any sleep over it - just do your best each day to advocate science education and outreach. In a world where the President of the biggest superpower doesn't believe in basic science see here and here, we need all the support for education we can get. Astrobayes 16:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

LMAO there's a website claiming the earth isn't round?! OK, yes, I understand the whole problem with the debate. Global warming is a reality. When you emit tonnses of CFC's and god-knows-what else into your atmoshpere, nothing good is going to happen. But the basic fact fo the matter is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and as long as there plausible support for something we have to put it in. By taking a stance of what's "right" we would have a terrible situation our hands and that would be in terms of everyone thinking they're right and having edit wars. All views need to be represented on Wikipedia, though of course they should be backed up by actualy research and true, valid opinions. Oh yes and you stop talking about how right evolution is? It's driving me crazy looking at a discussion about how we should present what is essentially the right view for global warming, and someone bashes creationism... I could give you tons of reasons why it is actually true and counter your reasons, but this is not the place, nor will it ever be, for it is the discussion for an encyclopedia article.--DoomsElf 19:29, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that's a very enlightened approach you're taking and I hope to be as even-handed as you appear to be as I contribute to Wiki in the future. I only wish that everyone could be as rational. :) Good luck, and keep exploring science! Astrobayes 22:02, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I know that this is probably going to start a firestorm, but I feel like I need to say my piece. I feel that a lot of the arguing that's going on in global warming is actually two sides arguing about different things: causation and correlation. It is entirely true that as the amount of greenhouse gasses increase, the temperature is increasing. It is entirely speculative that this increase in gasses is causing global warming. Now, when I say that this is speculative, I don't mean that greenhouse gasses don't cause an increase in temperature in laboratory tests. I simply mean that the atmosphere is a very big, complicated place, and if we can't predict the path of a hurricane or the temperature of a particular city a month out, how can we say with certainty that an increase in certain types of gasses will cause global temperature increases? We simply cannot, we can only speculate with the best information available. So, both sides of this current debate have excellent points. It would be foolish to ignore the facts: that there is a correlation between greenhouse gasses and temperature. However, it would also be foolish to assume too many facts: that there is a causation between greenhouse gasses and temperature. - Âme Errante 20:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Not a firestorm. But too many people have a world view that Global Warming is caused by western countries, and that there is little evidence that logic and patience mean anything to them. I say western countries, because the champion of battling the demon which is Global Warming gives exemptions to third world countries, when if you are serious about the subject - the entire world must come on board. Do I believe that the earth is getting warmer? I have more faith in the fact that it is getting warmer than that the earth's temperature should be the same give or take throughout history. The bias that this is one of Wikipedia's best articles again, shows the US-centric, socialist viewpoints of... according to Wikipedia itself, educated white males living in the US. 3 million die a year from malaria, because intelligent people placed bans on countries spreading DDT. America, Europe, and the good intentions of these countries kill millions every year in third world. It was a good statement, I wish that people come to the subject with more humility. -User:Greroja

Funding as a source of scientific bias

A climate scientist who resigned from NASA wrote:

Our government heavily funds a marching army of climate scientists -- government, university, and private -- whose funding depends upon manmade global warming remaining a threat. The government agencies, like NASA, that the money flows through also depend upon these issues remaining alive for continued funding. This is not to suggest that there is a conspiracy going on. It's merely to point out that climate scientists aren't always unbiased keepers of truth. The arena of global warming overflows with more strongly held opinions than it does unbiased or scientific truths. [1]

Why do Wikipedians argue for money as a source of bias when it comes to "skeptics" but ignore it when it comes to "alarmists"? That sounds like a double standard. --Uncle Ed 20:00, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Are you trying to tell us that the Bush gouvenment is funding people to be "alarmist" about climate change? Or is this just the old story about scientists who invent threats so that they can then research this imaginary threats? And it's all a giant international conspiracy? Most people who go into science are not motivated by money in the first place. If you have the brain to get a Ph.D. in any physical science, you also have the brain to become a lawyer, M.D., or MBA, all jobs that on average pay much more. Moreover, most leading scientists are tenured and on a fixed salary. They have no serious personal motivation to lie about their research. At least in Germany, their personal gain from extra research projects is extremely marginal and indirect. Contrast this with "think tanks" who essentially exist to create pseudo-opinons for their clients or donors... --Stephan Schulz 20:29, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
No, I'm not trying to tell you that. Roy Spencer is, and not only the Bush Administration but also the Clinton Administration. The US Federal Government is a bureaucracy, and the president can't just make the EPA or NASA or any other agency dance to his tune.
Spencer's argument is an echo of other arguments that billions of dollars per year of US federal funds subsidize research which rewards findings in favor of the Global Warming Theory. How much funding supports research trying to disprove the theory or even simply evaluate its likelihood of being true? --Uncle Ed 20:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Spencer has no argument, he is making an insinuation. --Stephan Schulz 21:46, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Spencer has first-hand knowledge of what he is talking about, therefore his insinuation has some credibility and should be considered. There is historical precedent for a scientific consensus on the "issue of the day" that ended up fading away with a whimper. I remember during the '70's when the big alarm in mass media was the "Impending Ice Age." Here's some sources that were telling everyone to be "Very alarmed" about Global Cooling: Science magazine (Dec 10, 1976) warned of "extensive glacification," Science Digest (Feb 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we "must prepare for the next ice age," Christian Science Monitor (Aug 27, 1974) reports on the cooling of the earth's climate and the danger to us all, Newsweek (Apr 28, 1975) repeated the same warning, and the New York Times (Sept 14, 1975) said that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950." That's the danger of being so sure of your idea that you refuse to qualify it with words like "possible," "perhaps," "we believe," "it appears that," "in theory," etc. I guess speaking in absolutes is an attempt to give your ideas more credibility, which means that any differences of opinion must be dismissed outright, preferably with pejorative language. Does that sound familiar? If it doesn't, just read this and the archived discussion pages for this article to see what I mean. By the way, since this issue is so contentious and so rapidly changing, shouldn't the "Current Event" tag be placed at the top of the article? Cla68 00:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
This article is certainly contentious (though 99.9% of it is in the court of public opinion, not in the scientific community). However, I wouldn't say it's rapidly changing. Current events tags are placed on pages that change on the time period of days (or, in some prolonged cases, a month or so); the scientific consensus on global warming has remained the same for more than a decade. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 00:56, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Is there something akin to True Origins for global warming septics? I mean, a central place where they keep refuted arguments for recycling? Science magazine (Dec 10, 1976) warned of "extensive glacification," indeed...on a time scale of 20000 years, and with the caveat that these predictions are ignoring "anthropogenic effects such as those due to the burning of fossil fuels"[2] (BTW, in 1976...looks like the topic was already a concern back then!). The rest of your sources is either pop science or even purely popular reporting. This reporting does not remotely reflect the scientific understanding at that time, just as your opinion now in no way reflects currenct scientific understanding of the issue.--Stephan Schulz 11:29, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
What you say may be true, but it should be presented in an article that is devoid of POV, which isn't currently the case. The pop journalism arena, along with other political and cultural aspects of the global warming debate, are pieces of the overall subject, whether it makes you uncomfortable or not and should be discussed along with the presentation of scientific evidence, both pro and con. The article is slowly getting there, only, it seems, because of the dogged persistence of concerned community members who refuse to be hectored and browbeaten into submission. Cla68 17:37, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
We seem to differ about the POV and NPOV perspectives in this article, and have done so for a while. I don't expect that to change soon. Anyways, the relationship between a minor and mistaken popular press bomb 30 years ago and the science of global warming today is to tenuous to have space in an encyclopedic article (which after all, is a condensation of the pertinent facts, not a collection of everything that can be remotely connected to a subject). --Stephan Schulz 18:42, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm unclear how you perceive the material as relevant. You seem to agree that it's not scientifically relevant, which is the major focus of the page. If there was a section covering 'history of pop science views of climate change' in this article, I'd see how it fits in, but otherwise...? And, at any rate, it's at best an attempt at sophistry - there's no reason to mention this curio except to create a logical fallacy (scientists were wrong in the past about climate, so they're clearly not credible today.) Am I missing something, here? Graft 19:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Of course some sophistry is involved. "Absolute" truth, if it exists, and if I understand what the definition of it is, is almost impossible to prove. Therefore, we're left with "relative" and "sophistic" truth, which is why we should be open to discussing the definitions, terms, ideas, and metaphysical evidence for both sides of the issue so that observers can take away what they believe to be as close to the absolute truth as they can perceive with their senses. All that matters is that the evidence of either side be backed-up by creditable, third-party references. From what I've read, the skeptics of human-induced global-warming theory fall into that category. Although perhaps fewer in number, they are people with some credibility (Dr. Bill Gray, for example, of the Atmospheric Science Department at the University of Colorado, considered to be one of the chief experts in the U.S. on severe weather patterns and a virulent opponent of human-induced global warming theory. Source: The Washington Post Magazine, May 28, 2006, pp 8-24) Of course, it's okay to say that the proponents of a particular theory appear to outnumber their opponents. But, to suppress the "minority" view is unfortunate, and in this case I believe, inappropriate. Cla68 20:37, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Science is generally healthy despite the conflict of interest that comes from government money. For those who dont see the conflict of interest here is my Marxist socioeconomic class analysis of the situation: Businessmen see communists as Academics generally see libertarians ; they both think 'great... heres some jerk who wants to steal my money' Mrdthree 21:49, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I presume Cla68 is strongly opposed to Gray, on the grounds that he is govt funded and therefore biased... but is he biased pro- or anti- because of that funding? But to be serious: Gray *is* strongly anti-GW (for reasons that are unclear, but appear to include people being more interested in GW than in his research) and he *is* an expert on hurricanes (in a certain way) but he *isn't* an expert on GW, not even on GW-and-hurricanes (which is, on reflection, probably whats annoying him at the moment, because he can't really contribute to the scientific debate (which is why Cla is citing WaPo not science)) William M. Connolley 22:00, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I've never objected to any of the scientific evidence presented in the article, because I think it's all very well presented, illustrated, and explained. In fact, I think the scientific presentations in the article set a standard that other science-related articles on Wikipedia shoud emulate. My objection is that one side is presented as more fact than theory, and the other side is treated as if they didn't have any credibility at all. Thus, I don't advocate deleting any of the current content in the article, just making the language somewhat more qualified and adding the other side of the argument, which really is barely mentioned in the article. As I can see from reading past discussions, there are plenty of community members who are willing and able to add credible input to such an effort, but have been blocked from doing so. Cla68 02:20, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Cla68, I disagree. What's important is not quid-pro-quo with regards to appeals to authority. Yes, it's true that we, as Wikipedia editors, must rely on credible third-parties as sources for articles. However, it is up to us to accurately reflect the scientific debate, which does NOT operate according to models of democracy. There are no minority rights, here; if the minority cannot buttress its arguments with irrefutible facts, then the minority deserves to be ignored. It is irrefutible fact that we ought to report here, and skeptics should be included only to the extent that they are able to provide that. So, Bill Gray is wonderful and all, but as that article points out, he's long on talk and short on scientific arguments. Why should we listen, then? Graft 22:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with you, the minority doesn't deserve to be ignored, especially when they're having as much of an impact on the issue (as you're probably aware, several of the human-induced global warming opponents testified at the recent U.S. federal legislative hearings on the subject, which The Washington Post says was instrumental in persuading the U.S. Congress not to pass global warming regulation legislation) as they are. You're free to put in a retort to their side of the argument in the article. There are other articles on Wikipedia that show dissenting or contrary opinions or theories, even if not many support the alternative view. The Port Chicago disaster, or Attack on Pearl Harbor (see "Japanese views of the attack," which, incidentally, I helped write) entries are examples. I'm sure there are others. If the side you advocate is closer to the "real" truth, then the light of intellectual and open-minded inspection on the evidence of both sides will show that. Choosing to ignore alternative viewpoints is not only unnecessarily myopic, but, based on historical precedent (insert your own example from history here), dangerous. Cla68 02:20, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
So, cla68, just so I understand you properly, it is your belief that any minority group should be able to enter what they believe to be truth, without any evidence validating their claims? Dogma vs. science, no? There are those who argue that we never went to the moon, that the holocaust didn't exist, and that volcanos are the home of imprisoned souls. Are you asserting that we should give equal voice to those people on the appropriate pages (i.e., the pages about volcanos or the moon)? Viewers likely want facts and peer-reviewed theories held likely true by the scientific community... I find it unlikely that they want to view every zealot's own personal beliefs. I believe wiki (like britanica) is not a forum that gives equal (or any!) weight to minority viewpoints that lack factual support and contradict generally accepted science. Just because they say it doesn't make it true... /Blaxthos 15:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think we're getting off-topic here. First we discuss the funding-related biases in science, and then off to arguments about Dr. Gray and other skeptics of GW. But there is good discussion in both topics, so I will discuss the skeptics. I agree with Blaxthos in that nobody can enter information into a scientific article without scientific backup or logic, however, one may enter information about minority standings if they do indeed have evidence. The skeptics do have evidence behind them. Whether it's a lot or a little, evidence is evidence, and nobody can call themselves a scientist if they ignore data. As such, we should include data about the skeptic positions. CommKing 20:00, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

interplanetary global warming

Global warming is *not* something that is limited to earth, that is, other planets can warm up as well, Venus being a classic example. To say, as the article currently does, that global warming is "the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans in recent decades" is incredibly parochial and just plain wrong on the science. TMLutas 12:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC) (forgot to add sig originally)

"Global warming" without qualification invariably refers to warming of the earth, and nearly invariably to the current temperature increase. As far as I know, Venus is not currently warming, although it has experienced a runaway warming in the past, and has, of course, a strong greenhouse effect. --Stephan Schulz 13:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Mars does seem to be currently warming, as is Jupiter as I noted in the paragraph below. We obviously don't have nearly the number of instruments trained on other planets and distance makes for difficulty in measurement but the evidence does seem to be coming in. If you don't want a multiplanetary perspective in the article, set up alternate articles and have a disambiguation squib up top. That would create a rather interesting role reversal as global warming alarmism for martian global warming pretty much translates to skepticism about human climate forcing.
TMLutas 22:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

A second fault is that empirically, we've observed global warming on Mars and Jupiter which tends to support the solar variability theory. The data doesn't yet seem to be there to calculate how much solar climate forcing is going on but that just means that all of our predictions are missing a variable that has the potential to completely change the appropriate climate policy. Policy makers should be drawn to not only the known knowns but also the known unknowns that may make early action highly irresponsible. TMLutas 12:15, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Empirically, we observe nothing of the kind. There are some indications that climate on Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto are in some kind of flux. But that is extremely tentative. For Pluto, it is based on two incredibly weak measurements, and not really surprising, as Pluto is slightly past its perihelion, and expected to warm if it has any thermal interia. Mars temperature is estimated via the extend of the ice caps. We know next to nothing about Martian climate, but it seems to be dominated by dust storms that change the albedo and heat retention. I know of no demonstrated link to solar forcing. And for Jupiter, about all we know is that "something" may change. Again, there is no demonstrated link to solar forcing.--Stephan Schulz 13:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think I understand what TMLutas is saying. I agree that we should include the fact that global warming relates to increases in mean temperature across an entire planet, not Earth. If we do have evidence that other planets are experiencing global warming, then we should include it. After all, even though the media only shows information about earth climate, this is not for the media, as mentioned before in the "Funding as a source of Scientific Bias" section above. That statement was made by you, Stephan Schulz, and I agree with it. So we should include all scientific data aboout GW, whether or not it is well-known. --CommKing 20:13, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I am reverting the change TMLutas made, in which the first sentence was modified to read, Global warming is the increase in average planetary temperature over time. I believe this is strictly a semantic issue. Of course other planets can have a greenhouse effect, which may warm them, but I have never heard the term global warming applied to any planet but Earth. If you really think the phrase can is applied regularly to other planets, add the change back. If you just think that the phrase could be applied to other planets based on the words, I would caution you that relying on etymologies is probably not helpful in determining what a phrase means. For example, virtually all uses in common English of the term "the globe" refer to Earth, even though other planets are globes. We needn't be so nitpickingly technical as to allow every possible interpretation of a phrase that is very, very commonly understood to have a single meaning. bikeable (talk) 02:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
You might have googled the phrases mars global warming, jupiter global warming, and venus global warming for which you get 2.3M hits, 500k hits, and 500k hits respectively. I think that this provides reasonable prima facie evidence that global warming on other planets is discussed. The first few pages on all the searches do seem to yield relevant documents talking about global warming on various other planetary bodies. Because *you* may have not heard a term used in a particular way does not mean that it is not in use. You might just need to get out a little more. On the other hand, at least you visited talk to discuss the matter in a civilized way and for that I thank you. I've had several "drive by reverts" on this change. As I've said before, another option would be to have articles on martian global warming, etc. with a disambiguation header pointing to the other articles from here. What I'm unhappy with is an earth only focus and no pointers to articles on other planets' global warming data (the martian stuff seems to have been coming in steadily over the last 7 years starting in 1999). I'm putting it back unless this sort of hit level (about 3% of the 90M hits for global warming which would be a superset of all such articles no matter the planet) is insufficient justification for a few words of clarification up front.
TMLutas 03:11, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I get out plenty -- I was at a global warming talk this evening! Well, I won't revert it again right now, but I would ask for input from other editors. I did one better than googling "mars global warming" -- I used google scholar, and in a brief search found no evidence of any paper that calls warming of Mars "global warming". Most of those hits you found are referring to Earth global warming and making comparisons to Mars. The term is used, I agree, but often in sentences like this one: The planet [Mars] is experiencing its own version of global warming. In cases like this, I believe that the term is used to describe a warming trend on Mars by analogy with the better-known "global warming" of Earth. It's as if I said, in referring to Mount Olympus, Mars has its own version of Mt Everest -- I wouldn't be claiming that Mt Everest is on Mars. I am suggesting that, far and away, the primary meaning of the phrase "global warming" refers to Earth. Adding some text that indicates that other planet can/do experience some of the same processes is fine, preferably pointing to articles describing climate changes on other planets, but I do not believe it's appropriate for the very first sentence of an article which is, necessarily, entirely about global warming on Earth. bikeable (talk) 03:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The articles that first twigged me to martian global warming first started coming out in 2001 about observations in 1999 and remarked that papers coming out of NASA had started to be published about the phenomenon. The science on this seems to be reasonable and cautious though you do get some skeptics latching on to it and running far ahead of the data (just like alarmists do on the other side to agitate for rash action that may do more harm than good). The interplanetary nature of global warming is vastly more important for the skeptic side than it is for the alarmist side of the political debate because nailing down how much global warming happens on other planets allows you to fairly well subtract out the solar effects and determine how big the human climate forcing component likely is (though the details are likely to be complicated). If Martian global warming data keeps coming in, the nature of the article should change from its earth only focus. I'm arguing for a mere placeholder in the early description at this point based on 7 years of accumulating data strengthening the original 1999 observations. If you've got a better idea for how to handle this emerging twist on this phenomenon, lay it out (this is a general invitation, btw). Until that better alternative emerges from the community, I'll just periodically pop in, fix the text and add to the argument as it come in on this section.
(oops forgot to sign originally) TMLutas 17:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
But, but... how can they have global warming without HUMANS? ;->

Sigh. GW-on-Mars is junk. There are a few limited obs; but not indicative of a secular trend; its just the yearly cycles. Predicatably enough, its on RC: William M. Connolley 18:58, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

WMC, personally I think that the question here is not whether the data on Martian warming is good or not, but whether the term "global warming" is defined as Earth-only or can be any planet. As far as the first sentence is concerned, in any case, I think the question is a semantic, not scientific, one. bikeable (talk) 19:02, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree. It is entirely a sementic issue. Taken at face value, the phrase 'global warming' uses the adjective 'global' in the sense of 'worldwide'. ie. It is not local, or regional warming but warming over the entire planet. In that sense the phrase can apply to any planet, but also to any system that can treated as a whole. Compare phrases like 'global maximum' and 'global minimum' in mathemetical contexts. The closest synonyms I can come up with are "worldwide warming" and "system-wide warming". As for the issue of what to call warming on planets (regardless of whether it happens or not), surely there are examples in the literature of the most obvious phrase: planetary warming? Carcharoth 19:13, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Carcharoth - Planetary warming has 1.3M google hits but a cursory examination demonstrates that planetary warming is at least as often used in articles on earth's global warming while 'planet name' global warming yields front page hits that are all about the world wide warming of that particular planet. It seems to be generally used as describing the process, much like vehicular locomotion can describe driving a car or a horse drawn carriage or a sleigh. TMLutas 01:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, then I suggest we go off at change the "flat earth" article into "flat planet" on the grounds that this, too can apply to any planet. Lets try to stick to reality: GW is about earth, in 99.99% of usage. And much of the remaining 0.01% is wrong, as the RC article demonstrates William M. Connolley 19:36, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
WMC If you would have read the discussion above, interplanetary global warming (totals of venus global warming, mars global warming, and jupiter global warming) form about 3% of global warming google hits. You're just wrong on your numbers and since I have to repeat what I've already written here you don't seem to be reading this section seriously. As to the RC article, I'll try to get back to it sometime because right now is down. It's got site configuration problems as of this timestamp. Until then, I'll stick to the semantic side of the argument. Do I understand you correctly that since global warming is (according to the article you linked to) not occurring on Mars, that we should not use the term in discussing the idea? That seems an odd way for a scientist to proceed in naming things but it fits the methodology of other fields very well. - TMLutas 01:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Carcharoth, I'm not sure what you're arguing with respect to this particular page and its introductory sentence. Of course the word "global" may mean many different things, but we needn't distinguish between the meaning of "global" in programming and the meaning of "global" in the term "global warming", need we? Consider all uses in English of the phrase "the globe" and what proportion of those refer to Earth -- 99%? 99.9%? I think of this as a good example of the Principle of least astonishment. bikeable (talk) 20:10, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, careful! :-) I never mentioned the "programming" sense of global (I presume you mean this definition: "Computer Science. Of or relating to an entire program, document, or file."). This is indeed a borrowing of the word global to refer to system-wide issues, but was not the example I used. The most relevant definition I found (from WordNet on this dictionary page) is : "global - adj 1: involving the entire earth; not limited or provincial in scope; "global war"; "global monetary policy"; "neither national nor continental but planetary"; "a world crisis"; "of worldwide significance" [syn: planetary, world(a), worldwide]". The only distinction I was drawing is that the term 'global' is used in contexts other than the Earth, specifically when it has been borrowed for use in a more general sense to mean "non-local". Please follow the links I provided to see the mathematical context of global minimum and global maximum. My point here is that 'global' in 'global warming' does not refer to just 'the globe' (Earth). Is also refers to the "non-local" (ie. worldwide) nature of the warming. To see the difference, consider the following examples:
  • Worldwide warming of the planet called Earth
  • Global warming of the globe called Earth
Here globe and planet and Earth and world are synonyms. Similarly, global and worldwide are synonyms. My point is that global warming doesn't simply mean "warming of a globe" - it means "global warming of a globe", if you see what I mean. Global has two senses in the phrase "global warming" - (1) pertaining to the Earth and (2) a non-local phenomenon. Does that make any sense? Carcharoth 10:36, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
WMC As noted above there's a good 3M google hits on the term. People are going to search for mars global warming and there should be *something* out there in wikipedialand noting the current state of affairs of the research. As a prelude to that article, it would be nice if the generic term gave a few words in the intro to at least obliquely note there are alternate uses of the term. I've presented one option, instead of just doing the equivalent of whistling past the graveyard and just stomping the reference, you provide a better method of handling the fact of all those references out there. Should we treat them more seriously than I was proposing and give the theory its own article?
TMLutas 01:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
There are not 3.5 million google hits about global warming on Mars. A quick glance through shows that a great many of these refer to global warming on Earth and also make some mention of Mars. bikeable (talk) 01:08, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Since two google searches done a day apart are going to drift and page ranks jump up and down all the time on Google, a Google hit score of 2.3M is not going to mean 2.3M pages truly devoted to mars global warming. It never does for any subject. Having a sentence about "global trade negotiations are warming up" in a page is going to generate a google hit on the global warming search string. The hits are only really good for comparison as you generally expect a similar percentage of false hits on your like searches which is how I was using the statistic. I just redid the search and had to go to the 4th page before I got any hits that fit the criteria that you're talking about and plenty of true "mars global warming" hits mixed in on that page too. The original assertion that I was attacking is that nobody uses the term to talk about phenomena outside of Earth and came up with a rough calculation that about 3% of global warming talk (measured by the same inaccurate scale) is about other planets (aggregating the Mars, Jupiter, and Venus results). Now you could say that 3% of traffic is insufficient. You could say that we should only be measuring scholarly and not popular articles. You could say that other planet global warming should be in its own set of articles. What you shouldn't do is error correct on mars global warming and not error correct on global warming. Unfortunately, since the predicted value when you start to see false hits is beyond the 1000 hits that Google actually returns, it's not actually possible to test the theory. However, going to the last page of results on the mars global warming search shows you still get a pretty high % of valid hits, ie there isn't 3 pages of 'good' hits and then a dropoff to zero relevant and all bogus hits. As a measuring device, I submit that it's "good enough" to debunk the idea that 0.01% of talk about global warming on the Internet talks about other than Earth global warming. TMLutas 03:02, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

If we could move stuff and continue the conversation broken down into discussion of the science (which I'll be the first to say is currently tentative) and semantics, I'd appreciate it TMLutas 03:04, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll try and move my comments later on. For the record, I agree that global warming in common usage refers to the Earth. I'm just trying to improve (confuse?) the semantic arguments. I would also like to see links from somewhere in this article to articles discussing the general phenomenon of planetary warming and climate change on other planets and the climate of other planets (even though it seems we don't know that much), but nothing like as prominent as the changes originally made. I would suggest adding the bit about global warming being an Earth-specific example of planetary warming, to the bit about global warming being a specific example of climate change (near the end of the lead section). Carcharoth 10:46, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

How about this edit? Is that acceptable to all? Carcharoth 10:58, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Saying that GW can in theory refer to other planets is true, but just not worth the space in the intro. If you go to the Mars article, GW is mentioned there (with the RC reference; OK it is again now; I've re-added it; not sure when it disappeared). I really don't understand why this is considered worth having - and as evidence for that, I'll note that the discussion here about GW-on-mars has been totally fact-free (other than my RC ref). There really is very little to it indeed.
As to googling... I tried "global warming on mars". This gets you 14k hits. But... the first hit doesn't contain that text; only in links to it William M. Connolley 13:47, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
1st, we're talking about one sentence in a 56k article, with requests for proposals of alternate ways to get the information out on one side and repeated efforts to just stuff the concept down the memory hole by a varied group of people, only a small minority of which is operating logged in and engaged in talk. This is not good.
Moving on to googling... "global warming on mars" with quotes gets you 14k hits while "global warming on earth" with quotes gets you 919. global warming on mars without quotes gets you 4M hits global warming on earth without quotes gets you 38M hits. Again, the only worthwhile usage of google hits that go beyond 1000 actual results returned is in *comparing* two like search strings to yield a first order approximation of their popularity in the subset of the Internet that Google can reach. The further off they are, the less valid the comparison becomes. The comparative results with quotes are worthless on their face. The comparative results without quotes actually make a stronger case than my own search (I said 3%, your string yields >10%) that this is a worthwhile concept to include in the generic article on global warming. TMLutas 18:12, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
In reply to William M. Connolly, I agree that this article and the term 'global warming' should be about the Earth and the human effect on climate change that that term encompasses, but any article about the warming of a planet needs to have links to the general articles on the 'science of heat variation on the surface of a planet' (which I just made up, but I'm hoping you will see what I mean). From the formation of a planet to its ending, and including the effects of internal heat, decay of radioactive compounds, solar radiation, variations in orbital factors, tidal effects (for moons of gas giant planets), the effects of an atmosphere and, finally, the effects of life (including humans). This is needed to place the whole discussion in a larger context. Otherwise the article becomes parochial and narrowly focused on specifics. This is why I want to see such links (which may already be there, but not easy to find), not because I want to unbalance the article - in fact I want to balance it. If the planetary science articles on Wikipedia already cover this, then fine (please provide links), but this article needs to tie in with the larger science concepts, and not get bogged down in details. Carcharoth 19:02, 23 June 2006 (UTC)



Moving on to the science, It seems reasonable to conclude that there is some warming going on regarding Mars. Whether it's global or regional seems up for dispute with one group of scientists saying global and another (see the RC article) saying regional as rebuttal. Whether that is of a global nature or a regional one would require finding temperature measurements that show cooling in some regions to counteract the warming that has already been detected. Are there any findings out there on martian regions that are cooling? If all regions on Mars are either warming or neutral, you have global warming, if the record is mixed, you've got to average out the regions. So far, all that seems to be in favor of the Mars neutral/cooling side is that RC article pointing out that the S. Pole is not likely to be indicative of larger trends. Unfortunately the backing for that is behind a subscription wall.

The formation "red spot jr" seems to be the largest bit of evidence for warming on Jupiter [3].

Surface temperature

Instrumental Temperature Record.png

This image is misleading. Sure, we know that surface temperatures are up, but global warming theory also talks about temperatures 5 miles, 10 miles and 15 miles up in the atmosphere, not just the 10 to 50 feet near the ground.

Another issue is the use of weather-prediction thermometers to measure long-term trends. How does the accuracy of these thermometers (and the diligence with which they are maintained and recorded) compare to the amount of the surface temperature trend?

And why do some scientists keep harping on (1) the idea that the higher you go in the atmosphere, the more warming should be seen and (2) the observation that there is LESS warming the higher you go, which contradicts the prediction?

I'd like to see the uncertainties about global warming given more attention in the article, rather than making a one-sided presentation which implies that the theory has been proven. --Uncle Ed 20:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, one reason surface temperatures are used is that it is without a doubt the most data-dense level. While we could do plots of the upper levels of the atmosphere (which I'm sure some people have done), the sparsity of the data both temporally and spatially would make it much less accurate than the surface temperatures. I'll let others speak about the accuracy of these thermometers and what the error bars would look like if they were added, but as an average of the surface temperature over the entire globe, the warming is very statistically significant. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 20:31, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I thought the satellites we've had since 1979 were accurate to 0.001 degrees centrigrade. Isn't that more accurate than surface temp thermometers, which are often read in a hurry by underpaid civil servants?
Or do you mean that the theory that GW is manmade and significant would be undermined by showing a graph of the mid-to-upper atmosphere? --Uncle Ed 20:38, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
If you look at Satellite temperature measurements you will notice that they are fraud with error and that by now the best corrections leave them in full agreement with GCMs. I'm putting that graph back in. --Stephan Schulz 21:48, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed to put it back in, graph makes sense. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:53, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, Ed, your talking points are out of date by like a year. Get with the program. Also, you'll note the graph goes back to 1860. I think you'll agree that the satellite record doesn't go that far back. Graft 22:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I think pretty much everyone has picked up the slack where I may have made minor omissions in my comments (I had to rush off). Satellites have allowed us to get more accurate and global measurements very recently, but obviously not dating back nearly as long as the surface measurements. As Stephan said, Satellite temperature measurements sums it up pretty well. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 22:44, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the current Global Warming crisis is because everything right (or really wrong) has occured at about the exact same time period such as Human activity, the geomagnetic pole reversal, the solar variance, and other natural and external cycles. The only problem I have with Global Warming as being bad is that I actually favor it over the long time (though it is always bad when species are lost) because I do not believe that our current climate is where Earth really should be compared to where it was before. Of course, Earth was very different one hundred million years ago with a much warmer climate where Antartica had a subtropical climate and if Earth went back to that climate millions of years from now, many if not all of the species alive now would become extinct and a whole new range of species would have their chance to survive on Earth to face a new mass extinction and a new range of species exist and so on and so on. Many fear that the Earth can't live on with us, but I believe the Earth will learn to live on without us. In the end, we may just doom ourselves and several hundred thousand fellow species, but the Earth will still live on. It is evolution and I favor it, but I still don't want to pollute the Earth at the moment.

This planet has undergone extensive temperature changes ever since the Earth cooled. There is no explanation of those climatic changes to give as a baseline to compare to man's effect on the planetary climate. The image only describes tempature changes that occured in the northern hemi-sphere, where's the southern hemi-sphere data?

This planet is about 4.5 billion years old, and some form of life has been around for at least the last 3.5 billion years (microbes). The oldest dinosaur has been dated to about 228 million years ago. Reference: Nature (Sept. 2, 1999 ) and Science (Oct. 22, 1999). What was the Earth's temperature at that time?

I think you all can see where I am going with this. If they (scientific community, not wiki editors) are trying to prove that the industral revolution has changed this planets climate, then there has to be some sort of record to show what the climate was when the dinosaurs walked the Earth. Chefantwon 23:32, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Changes & Reverts in Alternative Theories?

I've been following the history and it looks like there's a lot of back and forth regarding Alternative Theories, including what appeared to be one very biased anti GW editorial. Maybe the changes and reverts could be discussed here and a solution could be fleshed out? Cheers! Dubc0724 19:32, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Looking at the history, it looks like the main problem arises because some view that section as not being neutral. Most of the bickering has been over the last sentence because it implies (or at least some believe it implies) that these theories have no merit and that they should not be considered. When a section is labeled as a POV, it is best not to just dismiss it without first acknowledging that there is some opposition to that section of the article. User:Lord_Hawk
I agree, there are two problems here: (1) the article isn't written in NPOV, and (2) the contrarian opinion as to whether global warming really exists, is actually a bad thing if it does, and/or is really caused by human beings hasn't been allowed to be presented. Numerous people, including myself, have tried to fix number 1, but have failed for various reason. I don't see a resolution in sight on this one, because the opposition to fixing number 1 is better organized and more dilligent in the matter. Problem number 2 is probably more resolvable, because I think most in the community will support giving at least a short section to contrarian, scientifically-supported, information, along with rebuttal evidence from the other side. There's nothing wrong with that, because it allows people to see both sides and form their own opinion on the issue. Therefore, I invite anyone to take-up Dubc's offer and post here their suggestions for a contrarian section to be included in the main article. I suggest that evidence from independent researchers such as MIT's Richard Lindzen be utilized instead of any information from an anti-GW lobby website or anything like that. I think that any political/socio-economic/idealogical/conspiracy theories be reserved for the Global warming controversy page, because the main article appears to be reserved for science-based reasoning. Cla68 16:53, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, on both points. Thanks for what you point out and propose. --Uncle Ed 16:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

All these global warming (GW) pages do seem to be pretty heated. Sorry, I couldn't help the bad, and probably overused, pun. Since I was first introduced to the whole GW issue by my high school biology teacher in 1991, the issue never was if man made CO2 resulted in warming, but how significant that warming was to global temperature. After reading some of these GW pages I am little surprise to find there are people that think CO2 doesn’t cause warming. According to my biology teacher the oceans are the great regulator of global temperature and because of things like specific heat (water being 4 times greater than air) man made warming of the atmosphere is insignificant. Sorry I do not have a link to the journal articles (nor have I read them), but I thought this was the concept computer models at Texas A&M sought to demonstrate.


The idea being that some bizarre and yet unexplained warming of the Pacific in 1976 has been the predominate factor in recent decadal warming. I apologize if this has already been addressed. There are so many GW pages each with lengthy discussion pages. However, I found not found one yet that addresses the question of ocean temperature and atmospheric temperature and how the two interact. Being that it is not here in the alternative theories section I am assuming that I have missed something that makes the concept entirely defunct. 08:46, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

NOTE: Oreskes concluded that of those articles (about 75% of them) that deal with the question at all, 100% (all of them) support the consensus view that a significant fraction of recent climate change is due to human activities. Note that it is only a fraction, not a plurality nor much less a majority. "Significant fraction" is not defined and is effectually meaningless.--The Outhouse Mouse 18:43, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

This is a wikipedia rephrasing of the article, however. What NO actually looked for was consensus with the IPCC view, which she characterizes as follows: IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities: "Human activities ... are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents ... that absorb or scatter radiant energy. ... [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations". (Emphasis added by me.) So the "consensus" that NO is looking for appears to be "most". See [5]. bikeable (talk) 18:51, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

That's what is the issue about GW. On a geologic scale, 50 years is what, a fly in the ointment? Its nothing, just a speck on a very large scale. To prove without a doubt that man IS causing GW, there has to be evidence that when man wasn't around when the climate was just fine. However there is no data from when the dinosaurs lived to compare to. I remember reading that back when the dinosaurs lived the co2 content was much greater that is is today. (ref needed)--Chefantwon 00:00, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Minority POV

Points of view which disagree with what a majority of active researchers in the field say, are not "biased" points of view, they are alternatives. There is a dispute (however tiny Kyoto Protocol supporters think it is) between the pro-GW-theory POV and the POV that GW theory is "not yet proven" or just plain wrong.

Deleting expressions of this minority POV can only serve to give readers the impression that there is no dispute whatsoever, itself a disputed point! Let's not get carried away with our bias here. --Uncle Ed 02:34, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

The existence of skeptics is noted in the intro. Beyond that, I think the debate should proceed on actual facts. Which disputed facts do you think are lacking? Graft 04:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Note Eds confusion of the politics/economics (Kyoto) with the science (which is what this article is mostly about) William M. Connolley 07:37, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
One interesting point (allegedly based on real scientific fact) of the minority view is that if humans are to blame, the data on warming doesn't quite add up. The alleged scientific fact (and it seems to fit the chart I saw): half of the global warming in the 20th century happened in 1900-1945. Why wasn't there more warming in 1946-1999, when humans emitted far more greenhouse gases? Are humans to blame? Or are natural processes causing most of the climate change? The Earth may be warming, but cycles of warming and cooling have been occurring for the past four thousand years. Please understand: I am not an adherent of the minority view, only that this is an example of a minority viewpoint that seems worth mentioning (I could give a citation for this viewpoint if needed). --Wade A. Tisthammer 23:01, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not confused. I'm interested in the politics of the relationship between the Economics of the treaty (which involves trading emissions credits) and the Science of the matter (which politicians use to justify the trading scheme). As you know, there is a long-running political dispute (particularly in the First World) over whether sufficient "scientific consensus" exists to justify an attempt to lower CO2 emmissions. --Uncle Ed 14:01, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

If you're not confused, then leave "Kyoto supporters" out of the scientific pages William M. Connolley 14:16, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that many are just asking that the last sentence be reworded and have accomplished thus, but that effort is brought down in just one edit. Come on people. We all know that there are better ways to state a fact since we were children. You don't just go up to a person who is having difficulty with a problem and say they are encourage them to succeed despite their failures. It seems to me that this is not the case here and it is causing much resentment among the “minority.” Just remember there are better ways to word a statement and the wording now is biased. Lord_Hawk 07:18, 2 June (UTC)

Exactly which statement do you mean, and how are you 100% certain that its biased, based on... what? William M. Connolley 15:44, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
  • William K. Stevens: Once science moves beyond the relatively deterministic processes of physics and chemistry, prediction gets more complicated and chancier. The earth's atmosphere, for instance, often frustrates efforts to predict the weather and long-term climatic changes because scientists have not nailed down all of its physical workings and because a substantial measure of chaotic unpredictability is inherent in the climate system. The result is a considerable range of uncertainty, much more so than is popularly associated with science. [6]

Based on the above quote, how well can laymen (particularly policymakers) rely on scientific predictions? I'd like to invite you all to Talk:Scientific predictions so we can plan an article on this topic. --Uncle Ed 15:17, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, conflating weather and climate is a poor start, as is asserting chaos in the climate. I suggest you find a better source, possibly one who knows something about met? Junkscience is... junk

William M. Connolley 15:44, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

What's the definition of "junk" science? Why don't we engage in some Socratic Questioning to truly define what "junk" science really is? I think if an experienced Socratic questioner (not me, I'm an amateur at it) led such a discussion, the resulting definition would be so narrow as to render that pejorative term almost unusuable in a contemporary , reasoned debate. However, it would probably be acceptable to use such a term in, for example, a closing argument in a legal proceeding, where sophistic-style reasoning is encouraged and acceptable. However, I think you like to talk about science, which, if I understand what the definition of science is, tries to stay in the realms of "absolute" and "relative" truths, not sophistry. I said earlier that it's inescapable that some sophistry will exist as least partly in this debate. But I think sophistic evidence should be left to the Global warming controversy page. Also, when we discuss scientific evidence here, I think we should try not to use sophistic, or pejorative for that matter, terms. That is, if we claim to be concerned about the true "science" of the issue. Cla68 17:11, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
If you've ever read the socratic dialogues, you'll realise that they are deeply biased and unfair, and reach absurd conclusions. But fortunately you're only an amateur at doing that :-). Happily, there is no need to define junk for our purposes William M. Connolley 17:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Those who use a word or phrase to belittle other ideas or people probably don't care about the "true" definition of the word they're using, because, they probably have a different purpose in mind for using it, than a reasoned search for truth. Cla68 17:36, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Apply your words to yourself William M. Connolley 21:17, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Have you read Wikipedia:Avoid personal remarks recently, my esteemed sir? Anyway, have a good weekend. I'm bored with science now. --Uncle Ed 21:19, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Are you talking to me or Cla? William M. Connolley 21:24, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Heh, heh. Make that, "Have a great weekend!" :-) --Uncle Ed 21:26, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

OK. One. I really don't appreciate it when someone who views a section as not being neutral has another wikier pretend like they have no clue why it is not neutral when they know the exact reason. Two. We won't get anywhere unless an atmosphere of respect is generated and all acknowledge it. And three. Maybe we should just have a link to a site just for Alternate Views so those people can have more say on that site, given that it is not attacked and posts reverted from those who believe in anthropomorphic Global Warming. Well that is my two cents. Lord_Hawk

Well, William and I have respect for each other. He's rather a good bloke, aside from his inability to write neutrally about his work. His being here is part of a longrange experiment I proposed of attracting working scientists to the project, and I won't listen to anyone who tries to "run him off the ranch". I may sometimes suspect him of POV pushing, but at least he's good natured about it. He's my buddy, and I'm glad he's here. --Uncle Ed 14:29, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that neutrality is the key component of Wikipedia. Everything on Wikipedia builds from this foundation. Without it, Wikipedia is just another non-credible, rant site of which there are too many on the Internet. Wikipedia is finally starting to be looked at as a credible source because the quality of the articles is definitely improving, especially in the past year, and also, probably in part due to efforts such as yours to invite involvement by learned academics in various fields. However, if someone can't contribute to Wikipedia in a neutral manner, it really creates a lot of frustration for those of us who try to do so. I don't really believe it's that difficult to suspend one's own opinion when writing about a topic. Plus, we have our fellow community members who are more than ready to point out to us when we've unwittingly written something that isn't truly NPOV. Thus, I find I don't have much patience for those who are either unable or unwilling to do so themselves. Am I the only one who feels this way? Cla68 23:48, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
No you're not. Unfortunately, some people don't seem to realize that skepticism is essential to good science. Without it, people forget to keep themselves open to the possibility that some -- or even all -- of what they think they know might be wrong. Then they start to pick-and-choose data to fit their hypothesis, rather than adjusting the hypothesis to fit the data. Ultimately, they come to reject out-of-hand any information that doesn't agree with their pre-conceived conclusions. That isn't science, it's religion and those who practice resemble cultists more than they do scientists.
(NOTE: This is not directed any any specific person. Individuals like this pop up on all sides of every contested theory.) 19:09, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, the history of science illustrates that the consensus is often wrong--e.g., the world is flat/at the center of the universe, the safety of saccharine, the efficacy of DDT, etc. Indeed, the scientific consensus argument is usually made when the science doesn’t back up the claims. No one argues that the scientific consensus is that the earth is a sphere or that water is H2O because the science exists.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Indeed one of the very first thing greek proto-scientists did was to show that the earth is a sphere and even to compute its diameter to a reasonable approximation. --Stephan Schulz 06:35, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Exactly the point. They *demonstrated* this with evidence and logic. They didn't appeal to a "consensus." Consensus is significant in politics, not in science. Science relies on facts and logic, which is what is sorely missing here. Arker 06:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Comment on the economics and politics of the article: Wikipedia is sopposed to be a source of all human knowledge, as long as the knowledge has support from credible sources. The economic and political debate certainly has credible sources. Indeed, global warming has very significant social effects, and they deserved to mentioned in an article about global warming, as long as the data does not shroud the science behind the theory. --CommKing 20:21, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

"Theorized To Be"

Please discuss the additions/reverts here.

The current sentence reads:
The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing and agriculture, and other human activities, are the primary sources of the human-induced component of warming.
Whether or not you personally believe that there is a human-induced component or that it's significant, why would you need "are theorized to be" when merely discussing the "human-induced component," especially when there's the qualifier "other human activities" ? Are there other human activities that release greenhouse gases that you feel should be added to the sentence? EWS23 (Leave me a message!) 20:05, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Any human-induced component of warming would be due to these factors. Whether this component is significant is theorised to be. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 02:01, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Has it been proved to everyone's satisfaction that GHGs are causing warming? If so, then the article would need to say how much warming they are causing. And the article would not have to mention any opposing views because there would not be any.
But I have found dozens of reports of scientists who do NOT feel it has been proven that GHGs are causing warming. I want these reports mentioned. if there are too many of them, then write one paragraph and use the {{main}} template to refer to Global warming scepticism (or whatever we call it), an article about scientists who do not accept the GW hypothesis and why they don't. --Uncle Ed 15:33, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Seriously Ed, if you have a list of publications saying this, I'd like to see it. Please list them here. Dragons flight 18:02, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Quoting Ed: Has it been proved to everyone's satisfaction that GHGs are causing warming? If so, then the article would need to say how much warming they are causing. Actually, no, that is fallacious logic. C.f.: To know that cigarettes cause lung cancer, do we need to know exactly how many instances of lung cancer they cause each year? Obviously not. - Abscissa 16:51, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

"Bad Chart"

The sum of the various percentages in the pie chart labelled "Anthropogenic CO2 emissions from fuel combustion - contributions to total CO2 emissions, 1990. Source: UNFCCC." is 78.7%. Obviously the sum of the percentages should be 100% (or roughly, due to rounding). This chart needs to be removed/replaced. Does anyone have a good substitute? -summa

Uh, I think the other 23% would be natural emissions (breathing, decomposition, etc.) Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 13:22, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Lol, anyway you slice it, a pie chart that doesn't add up to 100% is wrong! As it is, though, "natural emissions' aren't counted in anything I've ever seen as Anthropogenic GHG Emissions.
It is a bit odd. Whatever is missing should be identified, and it should be better sourced too William M. Connolley 15:19, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
See, this is what happens when people other than me are allowed to contribute figures ;-). (Incidentally, Image:Co2-temperature-plot.png has a substantial time scale problem as well.) I can't find the source of the numbers but [7] (page 12) contains a similar figure. It would appear from those data, that the figure presented here actually has the right proportions (i.e. there is no missing slice), but for some reason all of the precentages in the labels on our figure got scaled by 0.78. Dragons flight 19:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

There's a much better chart here: , which includes all GHG gasses (not just CO2), and its numbers add up. I don't know how to make a "postable" version of this chart, but if someone can do it, it ought to replace the bad chart.

N.B. when I say the chart I provided the link to is "much better" that doesn't necessarily mean "good" insofar as there are some significant issue with the underlying data (see ). For example, I have read, but cannot cite, sources which say that wood burning in Southeast Asia is a significantly undercounted source of GHG's. That's consistent with the "uncertainties" shown at that link.

New pie chart
I have finally gotten around to creating a figure to replace the "bad" chart. Dragons flight 09:05, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Texiii's comments

This article is way to dependent on the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There appears to be a bias that, because the IPCC is a UN organization, it DEFINES what scientific oppinion is. There are many organizations, many of which have much better credentials than the IPCC, that contradict the IPCC. It is also apparent that many of the "editors" of this page are them selves environmental activists, i.e. environmental alarmists, who are hijacking this article to promote there own political agendas. I second the call to have this article scientifically peer reviewed by apolitical scientists, not activists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Texiii (talkcontribs)

You seem to be confused on a number of points. The IPCC documents the scientific consensus - it does it accurately, and is thus enjoys broad support among global change scientists. In addition, the major authors of this page are climate scientists. Guettarda 05:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Can you name these organizations which have better credentials than the IPCC? Hundreds of scientists contribute to IPCC reports; would you exclude all of them from a review as being biased? A good summary of the consensus can be found in a letter in Science by Oreskes, 2004, [8], in which the author points out that in an analysis of "928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords ‘global climate change’ ... none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position. I don't think anyone here is bowing to the UN. The consensus is solid, and the IPCC is doing the best work synthesizing that data that I am aware of. bikeable (talk) 05:10, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
What harm could a peer review have? Dubc0724 16:08, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Of course a peer review is a great idea, unless (as I worried Texiii is getting at) you exclude every scientist who has ever done work with IPCC or anything else related to the consensus. bikeable (talk) 18:01, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Point taken. A biased peer review is no better than biased research. Dubc0724 19:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I realize that I'm a bit over two weeks late to this particular discussion, but let's be careful about holding peer review up as the holy grail of credibility. Funding applications are generally peer-reviewed, and those that are too far from the current consensus thinking on any topic are less likely to be funded, if not dismissed out of hand. While the final review of research results by peers may not be biased in a particular case, the research that is performed and can be submitted through peer-review for publication has been pre-selected by the initial biased peer-review funding process. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal simply means that the research and its results reflect an acceptable methodology to the current consensus of the particular discipline. If the concept had been working several hundred years ago, Copernicus and Gallileo never would have been granted funding to perform their research, since the consensus was the the Earth was in the center and the Sun went around it. Nevertheless, C and G were correct. We need to be very careful about understanding what kind of biases are operating before we can accept as thing as believable, just because we say the words "peer-reviewed".--[David Barkhimer] 06:27 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Let us start with the current chief of the IPCC Rajendra K. Pachauri. The wiki page indicates he is an Industrial Engineer. If this quailifies as a "climate scientist" then almost any one could be considered a climate scientis, thus rendering the term void. I would expect a "climate scientist" to have a degree in fields SUCH AS physics, meteorology or biology. He is also on record as stating: a consumer boycott of ExxonMobil for its stance on global warming, saying it was "a good way to put economic pressure on the US." This is the type of statement activists make, scientists do not advocate boycotts, or any other action, intended to coerce people into accepting a particular opinion. They present the facts and justify their conclusion based on those facts then let others decide for themselves.

The only "credential" the IPCC has is it's UN sponsorship. The UN is a purely political organizaton of dubious character and competence. (Example, Kofi Anan (sp?) and Oil for food bribes/kick backs.) It has no authority to dictate the scientific consensus. And, about 95% of the articles I find supporting global warming can be traced back to the IPCC/UN. This sounds suspicously like the supporters of global warming ARE bowing down to the UN. Second, I will point out that finding "NONE of the papers disagreed with the consensus position" is a red flag indicating a high probability the papers in question were hand picked to support the conslusion. A truly unbiased article would have found at least SOME papers disputing the conclusion.

As an example, I would draw every one's attention to the Petition Project which lists the names of 17,000! who dispute the "consensus" espoused by the IPCC. Even if the "hundreds of scientists" who worked on the IPCC report works out to 1700, it is still small compared to the number who signed this petition. Obviously, I can not track down the bio's of all signators, but I will note that the introduction is written by: Frederick Seitz, Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., President Emeritus, Rockefeller University which I believe is a sufficient credential to at least listen to what he has to say. Also, a quick scan of the signators reveals that about half have a Phd which, again, I believe is a sufficent credential to at least refrain from dismissing their opinion out of hand. I am tempted to list this petition in the actual article, but to do so, I would have to edit the article to say that there is no consensus on global warming which would result in an immediate counter edit by Connolley, et al, in an effort to prevent the public from hearing of any opposition to their opinions.

As for peer review, if the number of signatures on this position is any indication, and I find it hard to imagine otherwise, I would expect any, unbiased, referred scientific journal to have %80 to %90 percent authors/readers with an opinion opposing the so called Global Warming consensus. As an aside, if a peer review by a group with an opposing bias, either justified or unjustified, ends up supporting the position, it would GREATLY strengthen that position: i.e. convincing your friends is easy, convincing your opponents is a true victory.

And I final remebered how to sign these things.Texiii 00:45, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

The petition is widely regarded as having been deceptive. See for example [9] and our article on Oregon Petition. Among other problems "17000 scientists" included anyone with Bachelor of Science degree or higher, and makes no distinction whether they are an active scientist or in a climate related field. They have admitted that only 13% of signers came from "physical or environmental sciences" and that most of those were physicists. Scientific American surveyed a random sampling of signers claiming to hold a PhD and estimated that only ~200 were active climate researchers. Now, 200 is not an insignificant number, but it certainly no where near the grossly inflated 17000. As for the IPCC consensus, please see scientific opinion on climate change for a list of major scientific organizations endorsing their position, including for example, the National Science Academies of every G8 country. Dragons flight 01:17, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

CO2 Chart

Can someone put up a recent CO2 chart that shows the historical changes in CO2. I think this is very illustrative, but I'm afraid I don't know how to do it (See --Ssilvers 06:00, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I find this one very enlightening: 19:35, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Slow Down

The introduction may as well be adapted to the body of this report. According to Jimbo Wales on his user pages discussion forum, the very definition and/or summary of global warming should be stated in the opening paragraph; turning the article into a much more readable topic.

Global Warming? A Myth?

I suggest you all take a look at these articles: I think because of this evidence the wikipedia page should recieve some heavy editing. The wikipeida page says that a majority believe that global warming which is completely opposite to what the first article says. Ergzay 16:47, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

There are no peer-reviwed articles in scientific journals from the past 10 years -- none -- that suggest that global warming is not occuring. If you believe there are, it would be nice if you could list them here. Articles that appear in the mass media are not peer reviwed and certainly not articles from "think tanks" either. - Abscissa 16:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
If people would use their spare time reading the IPCC reports just as carefully as those papers Ergzay presented, a lot of discussions here could be much more advancing-the-article-oriented. Hardern 17:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, people prefer to read that which flatters their own world-view, and most people have a very difficult time differentiating science from editorial commentary. - Abscissa 17:11, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
There is also the problem that many people worldwide have been fed a load of, umm, propaganda about this issue, both from their political leaders and their media. It's hard to overcome the big lie, especially when it is (still) repeated so often.
Atlant 17:37, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
To Abscissa: I suggest you read the articles before you hype your baseless argument. In the second article I listed there is a link to an article in Science which, correct me if I am wrong, is peer reviewed. While it does not say that global warming is not occuring, it says that the ice in Greenland is increasing inland. To quote the second article "Time ignores another paper in Science by Ola Johannessen of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Bergen, Norway, who found that ice is accumulating on Greenlan's interior glaciers." Now give me citation on where your opinion comes from.
To add to the list of articles I gave above I have two others, one from DenverPost and another from CEI.
"The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contents Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominit in the field, agree."
"Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming 'hoax' makes him an outcast."
"'They've been brainwashing us for 20 years,' Gray says. 'Starting with nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was.'"
"Both Gray and Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up."
Well so much for the unbiased scientific community.
And for my second article:
"Myth: Global Warming Will Produce More Storms"
"Another warning is that global warming will cause more frequent or more intense severe weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts, and floods. There is no scientific basis to support this claim. Dr. William Gray, a Colorado State University scientist and one of the world’s foremost hurricane experts, does not believe that global warming is affecting hurricanes: 'It sure as hell ain’t global warming,' he bluntly noted on MSNBC."
I copied only small excerpts from the above articles, there is much more info in the fifth one I posted than which I copied.
Ergzay 06:35, 6 June 2006 (UTC)Ergzay
I have just looked over the history of the Global Warming page and there have been many reverts of information that could quite possibly be excellent points on debunking this myth. I think that the people who edit out this information should stop doing so to keep the squelch off for this bursting issue.
Ergzay 06:58, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Quoting: To Abscissa: I suggest you read the articles before you hype your baseless argument. In the second article I listed there is a link to an article in Science which, correct me if I am wrong, is peer reviewed. While it does not say that global warming is not occuring, it says that the ice in Greenland is increasing inland. #1 - the article you linked to is not from the journal Science. If there is a link to the journal Science within it, so what? The CEI is funded exclusively by private companies--mainly oil companies--to promote a specific agenda. #2 - whether the ice inland in Greenland is increasing or not, I don't personally know. But if it were, that would not be an unexpected consequence of global warming since cooler temperatures are expected in many parts of the world and "warming" refers to the overall average temperature increase. -Abscissa 14:55, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
This is wrong... more ice inland in greenalnd is a consequence of *warming* not *cooling*, so is completely inline wit GW theory and indeed the model predictions William M. Connolley 22:26, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
So, if it gets warmer, it's GW, if it gets cooler, it's GW, if it snows, GW, if it melts, GW. Tornadoes? GW. No tornadoes? GW. Hurricanes, blizzards, typhoons, droughts, monsoons, hailstorms, and locusts. All GW I'm sure. Hard to argue with a theory this flexible.
Its pretty hard to argue if you're not prepared to think about it or know any of the evidence. I didn't say cooler was GW. I said that GW predicts more snowfall in the center of Gr (and Antarctica, for that matter). The mechanism, if you're interested, is that there is more moisture in warmer air, and hence more snowfall. Aroud the edges the extra warmth causes increased melting; in the interior its too cold for that William M. Connolley 08:39, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree the increased mass in Greenland is not evidence against GW, nor is it evidence that there is more warm air carrying moisture worldwide. It may just be a redirection of moisture carrying air masses due to natural shifts. However, the fact that there is accumulation does mean that there is more latent heat being dissipated, most likely from clouds into space, and this may be a negative feedback mechanism to GW. We don't know enough about natural variation and multidecadal modes in the climate to attribute this increased mass. It is not evidence for or against GW, just as the coastal melt in greenland also cannot be attributed to GW.--Poodleboy 10:54, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
And pro-GW statements come almost exclusively from State or UN-funded sources, who have just as much of a potential for bias in the other direction. One should certainly be aware of the potential for funding bias of *all* sources. It's illogical to raise the issue on one side and ignore it on the other. It's also fallacious reasoning to argue ad-hominen circumstantial, which you seem to be perilously close to doing here. Arker 21:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
You are aware of the fact that the IPCC reports are written by scientists which are not paid by the UN? They do work on the reports as part of their normal academic routine. Only the IPCC organization and, if you are lucky, travel expenses are funded by the UN. Of course, nearly all institutions that do basic research receive some level of state funding. Does that make any result of basic research circumspect suspect? Especially universities do very much value freedom and integrity of research. But of course we know that all states on earth share a common agenda of secretly undermining free enterprise with a carbon tax to finance the black helicopters...--Stephan Schulz 22:23, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
"Does that make the value of basic research circumspect?"
First, I don't think "circumspect" means what you think it means.
Well, if I'm a wake, I know what it means....thanks! --Stephan Schulz 05:39, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Second, as I believe I pointed out already, it's fallacious reasoning to dismiss someone's work because the work is underwritten by an organisation with a reason to prefer certain results over others. That applies both ways. And that's the point I'm trying to get you to wake up and see here - knowing the details of the funding of the various researchers may well be grounds for some 'salt-taking' but it applies all around, not just to those you happen to have prejudged as wrong, and in any event doesn't obviate the need to evaluate the data and the logic, rather than dismissing anything that doesn't reach the conclusion you're attached to at the slightest excuse. Someone *might* reach a certain conclusion because their source of funding prefers it, but all things considered that's not a conclusion that should be leapt to by default, but one that should only be considered if all other possibilities can be ruled out. It's much more likely, for instance, that two researchers who come to contradictory conclusions on the same subject, funded by organisations with an institutional interest in each conclusion, were funded by those organisations because they were already demonstrably open to the desired conclusion or leaning toward that conclusion in their work before the funding was offered. And the most serious concern here is precisely the one that you just (unwittingly?) testified to: the vast majority of basic research funding comes through agencies with an institutional interest in regulation. The possibility of a systemic bias resulting from this should be far more alarming to anyone interested in seeing good science done than the possibility that business interests with nothing like that kind of stranglehold over the academic workplace might be trying to corrupt the process in the opposite direction.
"But of course we know that all states on earth share a common agenda of secretly undermining free enterprise with a carbon tax to finance the black helicopters..."
Are you incapable of responding to an opposing point of view without misrepresenting it in the process? Perhaps that's something you should work on. One doesn't need to wear a tin-foil hat to realise that institutions in general have an interest in preserving and expanding their own domain. Just as it's in an oil companies interest to minimise any perceptions that burning oil is a problem, so it's in the interest of state and pseudo-state agencies to exaggerate the need for regulation. Arker 04:19, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Also NB that the CEI has released commercials that say we do not need to worry about CO2 emissions because CO2 is essential to life, which is a wonderful example of an invalid argument. - Abscissa 14:58, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd have to see the commercial in question to say whether I agree with you there. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I did, nearly all commercials fit that category. The argument itself, however, as you sketch it above, is not 'invalid.' is without a doubt a natural, normally occuring gas in our atmosphere. Animals exhale it, plants inhale it, and without it life as we know it could not exist. That doesn't mean that the particular level of it can never be a cause for concern, of course. Either too much or too little could be very bad. Arker 21:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
We know levels are higher during Ice Ages, that these events happen in cycles, and so on. At least in the ice cores they're taken from. We know the current measured level of is the highest it's ever been. About 390 ppmv. We know that certain greenhouses keep the level at 1,000 ppmv. We know it's toxic at 6,000 ppmv. We know if there was none, the average global temperature would be between 41-55 °F rather than 60 °F. We know we ourselves are responsible for some of the increased amounts. What we don't know is if it would be higher or lower without us.

Whether global warming is a myth or not, I cannot say. However, it is clear this article is only presenting one side of the story. One of the most important functions of wikipedia is to serve as a research tool . While this article offers several excellent sources of original research to support global warming, I have not yet found any that oppose the view the mankind is responsible for global warming or that the warming we see will not lead to catastrophic consequences. If Gray and Pielke are being truthful when they call global warming a hoax, then this article needs to reference the studies they rely on for their opinion. Gray also says there are a variety of opinions on the subject. I would like to know what these other opinions are exactly and what research has been done to support them. RonCram 14:37, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Ron - Been there, done that. It's not going to happen on this article any time soon... Dubc0724 15:15, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Ron, what catastrophic consequences are suggested by the article? TimL 18:52, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Tim, the catastrophic consequences are laid out in the article under "Effects."
  • 3 Effects
    • 3.1 Effects on ecosystems
    • 3.2 Impact on glaciers
    • 3.3 Destabilisation of ocean currents
    • 3.4 Environmental refugees
    • 3.5 Spread of disease
    • 3.6 Financial effects
    • 3.7 Biomass production
    • 3.8 Opening up of the Northwest Passage in summer
I am certain that Gray and others have a completely different view regarding effects in each of these areas, but I do not see any attempt to be fair to the views of other scientists in this article. The article falls far short of being NPOV. RonCram 15:24, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Catastrophic is your word, not the articles'. Possible consequences are explored, including positive ones. Wether you interpret them as 'catastrophic' is up to you. TimL 22:10, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Tim, with all due respect - what you wrote is hogwash. There is no way anyone can read these effects without thinking them catastrophic. There are several views about global warming that the article does not represent. The article consistently discusses only the more dire predictions. No one who is even somewhat knowledgeable about the subject can read this article and think it is a fair and balanced presentation of the evidence or the varying views interpreting the evidence. RonCram 02:23, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
You have just made several hypothesis (hypothesi?) where is you're evidence? It would help your case to cite specific examples of issues that are being neglected. I don't interpret the consequences as necessarily catostrophic. Apparently you do. Why so? TimL 02:30, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Tim, if you read through the sections I directed you to you will see the article is predicting a number of catastrophic events, including the extinction of species including possibly human life. Rising sea levels is a catastrophic event that displaces ecosystems and destroys billions of dollars in beach front property. The article also predicts that millions of people in India and China would eventually run out of water. The article predicts that disease will increase. Perhaps worst of all, the articles predicts that as the earth warms the ice caps will melt and further accelerate the rate of warming. I have only touched the surface. RonCram 02:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I hate to break it to you, but the article isn't predicting anything. Scientists are though. You may want to talk with them. TimL 03:03, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Ergzay, although I agree with you that the article could be written in a more neutral manner and should present some contrarian views on global warming, the three websites you quote appear to be from lobbying groups who have political agendas driving their opposition to global warming theory. Therefore, those articles don't have much credibility. If you take the sources they supposedly quote, along with some sources from independent scientists/researchers and put that all together into a reasoned and sourced argument against what this article advocates, you might have a case for including it in the entry. The arguments in the three websites you quote would be better presented in the Global warming controversy article. Cla68 17:42, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

We are aware that Ice Ages happened. That the earth was cooler, then warmer, cooler, and so on. There is no such thing as balance. There is no constant. Yes the earth will get warmer, and then later on it will get cooler. The data I have seen including scientific reports state that our understanding of the upper and middle atmosphere is limited. And without further study (and time) we cannot state what is exactly happening up there. This is not to state that we shouldn't think about the state of the earths temperature, but there is a lot of arrogance surrounding this issue about people's complete understanding of this issue. They don't know. We don't know. They suspect, they theorize, they politicize, and still the truth might not be known for decades. Let's take the money we are throwing away on Kyoto, and spend it instead on upper atmosphere science. -User:Greroja June 21, 2006

Some of how that question is answered depends on how you define "Global Warming". Is it the climate change where the average global temperature of the Earth rising? Is it humans are rasing levels and causing a rise in the average global temperature of the Earth? Is it that the measured rise in the average global temperature of the Earth is a catastrophic problem we are causing that must be fixed right away no matter the reasons or the cost? Or something else? I think a lot of the discussion created is because we're arguing with different definitions of what we're talking about. Sln3412 21:54, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

the known and the unknown -- the case for sacrilege

It may be sacrilege to question the interpretation of the global warming fundamentalists, but here is the case. It falls into two categories, the known and the unknown.

The known:

  • solar activity have been at unusually high levels for over 60 years and based on reconstructions that is unlikely to be sustained. Solanki (2004, 2005) Muscheler (2005)
  • while most temperature change from new sustained levels of forcing takes place in the first 100 years, it takes 1000 years for the climate to achieve stability or equilibrium with the new level of forcing due to the thermal inertia of the oceans. Meehl (2005) Wigley (2005)
  • we know that paleo climates reconstructed at equilibrium time scales show strong correlation with solar reconstructions, and that this is difficult to explain by differences in direct radiative forcing expected from the orbital and other signals seen in the solar variation

The unknown:

  • We don't know the amount of recent warming this new level of solar forcing may account for, because the climate commitment studies haven't been done using unbiased models and starting from the time period of this high level of solar forcing. Evaluating equilibrium temperatures from these high levels of solar forcing are complicated by net volcanic aerosol cooling during the first part of the period.
  • We don't know the relationship between past solar activity as reconstructed from sunspot and and isotopic evidence and the level of radiative forcing. We only have good radiative forcing measurements for the last two or three solar cycles.
  • We don't know the indirect and feedback mechanisms coupling changes in solar activity to the climate, although leading theories are stratospheric coupling or cosmic ray/cloud coupling.

The known:

  • We know models range over more than a factor of 2.5 in climate sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing and vary similarly in their predictions using various scenerios.
  • We know that estimates for climate sensitivity to GHG forcing, as reconstructed from the paleoclimate data are lower than current climate model predictions, although this may be explained by non-equilibrium vs equilibrium time scales and conditions.
  • We know that albedo and cloud physics are two particularly problematic areas for models, and all models are biased towards higher albedos than is actually observed, thus underrepresenting solar forcing. Since the models fit the 20th century data well, they must have compensating errors that warm the climate elsewhere.

The unknown:

  • We don't know what the predictive or attributive accuracy of climate models are currently or what their accuracy was at the time of the IPCC TAR, but we do know there are known problems and biases which raise questions.

--Poodleboy 02:23, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Trolling is generally not allowed on wikipedia. Why is it allowed in articles like this? - Abscissa 02:27, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Abscissa, that characterization is not appropriate. The points PB raises are technical and relevant, though I disagree with some of them. Such discussions, to the extent that they help to shape the article, are appropriate to this forum. Dragons flight 02:48, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
PB, the biggest limitation of what you have written is that of your 10 points you only cite support for two of them. The uncertainties in climate change are a major topic of research and as such what is known and unknown is discussed at length in papers and summary reports like the IPCC, as well as quantifying the uncertainties as best as we are able. I don't have the time to prepare a point by point response to you, but perhaps another contributor will take up that challenge. Dragons flight 02:48, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe most of the others are either in the article or have been discussed here. For instance albedo is discussed above as the very first topic on this page. See: [10]. I cite a paper in that discussion. The sensitivity variation in the models is from the IPCC and is cited in this article proper. Search this article for "sensitivity". With such a range of sensitivities, the models clearly disagree with each other can't be all right. Yet the IPCC appears to think that combining or averaging them, somehow makes them better, much like a panel of experts. Yet as the albedo cite shows, they all have a systemic positive albedo bias. I'd have to look for a cite for estimates of paleo-climate GHG sensitivities. It has been awhile since I reviewed that, but it is pretty accepted as a unresolved issue with equilibrium the leading theory to explain the disparity between model and paleoclimate sensitivities. It will be interesting to see how the IPCC does this next time around.--Poodleboy 07:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
This is what the EPA said after the 2001 report came out:

"What's Known for Certain? Scientists know for certain that human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2 ), in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times have been well documented. There is no doubt this atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities....."

Newer reports are gloomier after observations of the collapse of ice shelves in Antarctica and the like: Can someone put that cite in the article? (or does it get broken down into the various reports?) I'm not exactly sure how to cite this correctly. --Ssilvers 04:42, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

So many words... sigh. I disagree with most of PBs stuff; as DF poitns out, most of it is unreferenced. For example We don't know the indirect and feedback mechanisms coupling changes in solar activity to the climate - this presuposes that such a mechanism does exist. The available data is fully compatible with no solar amplification at all. estimates for climate sensitivity to GHG forcing, as reconstructed from the paleoclimate data are lower than current climate model predictions - no, palaeo estimates are about 3 oC for clim sens. Your other points fall apart too William M. Connolley 07:28, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

One must presuppose the indirect feedback mechanism exists, or reject the paleoclimate/solar reconstructions. That is the point. The TAR statement that the latter 20th century warming is fully compatible with no net natural contribution (they combined volcanic and solar in their statement), is based on the model results, which have since been shown to have a systemic positive albedo bias. So you will have to reevaluate your acceptance of that conclusion. The paleo estimates of sensitivity that I have seen are on the order 0f 0.75oC not 3oC.--Poodleboy 07:54, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
You are refering, I believe, to Veizer and Shaviv in referencing the 0.75 C. However those authors never claimed that their result held over very short timescales and in a subsequent publication (Eos Vol. 85, No. 48, 30 November 2004) acknowledged that without the long-term compensation of continental ice sheets then a 1.5-4 C climate sensitivity was plausible. There initial results (covering 100s of Myrs, mind you) is a sceptics' talking point, but not really a serious challenge to the predictions of climate change during the coming century. Paleoclimate data over shorter timescales (such as during the last glacial maximum) generally predict responses within the IPCC range. However, I will disagree with William in thinking that we probably do need some mild solar amplification, but it doesn't negate the point that solar activity has been flat over recent decades when temperatures have risen substantially. Dragons flight 08:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, V&S, and I mentioned the time scale issue. Correction of the models may close the gap and the time scale theory may then no longer be necessary. Yes, solar activity has been flat, and that point does not need to be negated, when it is flat at high levels that have not equilibrated yet. The thermal inertial of the oceans dampen high frequency signals. Keep in mind that solar activity had been increasing since the maunder minimum until it reached this high plateau about 65 years ago. Most of the temperature impact from this sustained flat level of solar forcing would be realized over 100 years. In this particular case, the volcanism which resulted in cooling during this period would extend the time needed to equilibrate. If Solanki is correct, this high level of solar forcing will likely end before its full temperature impact has been realized. 09:52, 6 June 2006 (UTC) --Poodleboy 10:06, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
If you look at the commitment papers, including the ones you cite, you'd noticed that much of the warming is accomplished in the first decade or two as the land and atmosphere equilibrate. The rest proceeds at a much slower rate. For solar forcing commitment to work as a total explanation, you'd expect the rate of warming now to be ~1/5 the rate it was in the past. Instead the present warming is at or near a maximal rate for recorded history. Also, keep in mind that the climate change attribution models all include commitment effects. Even considering commitment and some solar amplification, it is hard to attribute more than ~1/3 of the warming in recent decades solar effects. Dragons flight 14:17, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I partially agree, actually perhaps mostly agree. Those first couple decades of the plateau in solar activity, were during a time of net cooling, so the temperature rise and net storage of heat in the oceans were delayed until that lapsed while the high level of solar forcing continued the 80s, 90s, 00s. The models, as they exist, already can get the solar contribution as high as 36%, with the albedo corrections this can go higher. I don't deny a significant anthro GHG component, so I guess technically I am not a GW skeptic. But if the revised models increase the solar attribution to say the 33 to 60% range instead of the 16 to 36% range, then their GHG sensitivity will be corrected to the extent that future predictions are much more benign. The solar attribution component of the commitment will also be increase. Not only do future predictions of GHG impact get reduced, the temporary nature of this high level of solar forcing further moderates the outlook.-- 14:47, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Do you have any good reference for this? My impression has been that much of the solar forcing uncertainty is already incorporated into the top of that 16-36% range you quote, which would imply that even if these things do need to be corrected it isn't going to move nearly as much as you think it is. In particular, my impression has been that the model independent paleoclimate correlation studies looking at the last several centuries are still with that range. (16-36% is still more than a factor of two uncertainty, after all.) Dragons flight 15:29, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
PS. I was thinking of, for example, the correlation study of Solanki & Kirvova (2003) who attribute 30% of warming since 1970 to solar effects based solely on solar proxies and the historical temperature record, quite independent of global climate models and GHG sensitivity. Dragons flight 15:57, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I've read that and other similar attempts. I think the flaw is that, unfortunately as problematic as models are, there is no other good way to account for energy storage in the ocean, without going to equilibrium time scales, which makes analyses such as the Solanki's above, useless for a mere 30 years, over which solar activity was relatively constant. For the albedo problems, I think the best reference is Roesch [I prefer this link to essentially the same abstract I cited above. [11]]. In the abstract, he writes "Simulated global mean annual surface albedos are slightly above the remote-sensed surface albedo estimates.". The article has been accepted and is currently in prepub, although the work has been presented at several conferences. I look forward to discussing it when the full text has been published. I've been waiting for it for several months.--Poodleboy 16:36, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
PB, thank you for the reference regarding albedo. Do you have any reports arguing that the fraction associated to solar forcing needs to be substantially increased? It is obviously an important issue, but not something that Wikipedia can really respond to until it has been published and discussed in the literature. Dragons flight 17:03, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
What you have to realize is that slight errors in albedo, even on the order of 0.01 represent more than 10 to 13 watts/m^2, if globally averaged model albedo's are off by that or more, you can easily get to values that comparable to the contribution of the total increase in well mixed GHGs. The albedo problems in the models cannot be corrected by a mere global increase in solar forcing, since most of the problems that lift the globally averaged albedo error are due to much higher albedo errors over specific land areas. The Roesch abstract specifically mentions snow cover areas, where, of course, the local errors can amount to 100s of watts/m^2. The impact of albedo errors will be complicated, because most of the impact of will be during the day of course, and due to land distribution, more of the impact will be in the northern hemisphere than in the southern. GHGs of course, although their watts/m^2 absolute values are low, regain some lost ground because their impact is over the whole 24 hour day. Unfortunately, with such slight errors making such large differences, models will have to become more rigorous before they can have much credibility in either attribution or prediction. I don't full text access to the text of the Bender article that has been published, so I don't know to what extent it calculates globally averaged albedo errors, but once the Roesch article is finally published, there is no reason wikipedia cannot reflect it immediately. It was accepted for publication several months ago. Unfortunately there is a huge publication backlog in advance of the AR4, so these articles have been trickling out. We can get to specifics then.--Poodleboy 18:33, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the effects will be as large as you think they will be. First, you are overstating the effect of a 0.01 error in albedo. Yes, the solar constant for direct, top of atmosphere sunlight is ~1360 W/m^2, but after accounting geometric effects (e.g. latitude) and the absorption/scattering from the atmosphere, the forcing at the surface averages ~350 W/m^2. Still, 3.5 W/m^2 would be a big number, but I'd maintain that this number will have little impact on the attribution/prediction studies. The reason is that the key variable in attribution and prediction is ΔT/ΔF, i.e. the change in temperature associated with a given change in forcing. If the error, in this case in the forcing, F, is constant over the model run then it would have relatively little implication for model results that depends on how the modeled world changes over time. Since we are on the topic, one might as well mention that many of the models have errors in average global temperature of a couple degrees (or did last time I was looking into the issue). But again, if a temperature error is constant throughout the model, it has only little impact on attribution. Of course, we would prefer that all of these issues be resolved so that the models could be as realisitic as possible, but they are still a work in progress. People can and will try to draw conclusions as best we can from the models that we have. While these results will have to be corrected, I doubt the change will be the factor of 2 modification you suggest above. Dragons flight 14:54, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
The ΔT/ΔF would only make sense at equilibrium. The whole point of climate commitment is that ΔT will change without changes in F until equilibrium to a new level of forcing is reached. For instance, in the Gregory study cited on the climate sensitivity page, there is an admission that the 20th century started with some warming already committed, because new levels of forcing had not reached equilibrium yet. If the positive albedo bias in the models is corrected they will have more heat they have to store in the oceans. Of course for the modern period where we have lots of data on the forcing, the models already match the heat flux into the ocean. To make the accounts balance with the extra heat from the sun, they will have to correct their erroneous energy budgeting elsewhere. You are right that my 10 watts/m^2 figure was based on solar flux at 1 AU in the plane orthogonal to the sun. I prefer that figure to the average figure your cited, although the average figure may be easier to compare to GHG forcing. Note that even only a 0.01 positive albedo bias, is comparable to the CO2 forcing. This implies the albedo error could have an impact as great as the total CO2 attribution. You can't dismiss this as being only a relative error, because to get the sea level rise correct the energy budget has to balance, and not be only relatively correct. BTW, do you know if the average solar constant, is for daytime only? I haven't worked through the geometry. The global albedo error is not smoothly distributed. It is concentrated at much higher values on land at times of snow melt and in the desert (presumably year round there).--Poodleboy 15:19, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
FYI, the above thread has been continued here: [12]--Poodleboy 04:53, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Then you have invalid palaeo estimates. Try Your insistence that the models are all biased is tedious and wrong William M. Connolley 08:37, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
You are in for a surprise when you read the albedo literature.--[[ 09:52, 6 June 2006 (UTC) --Poodleboy 10:06, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
The paleo cites at that blog, do not arrive at their sensitivities independent of the models.--Poodleboy 10:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Even the analyses of the Vostok data appear to rely partially upon the biased models.--Poodleboy 10:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
You are cherry-picking in your boosting of solar forcing. I don't think any "revision" of the models will boost your values; in fact even 36% is at the far high end; its no good quoting that value (or even 16-36%) as though absolute. GHG forcing clearly dominates over solar, certainly since pre-industrial. William M. Connolley 15:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)


There is much back and forth about whether to call Global Warming a "theory" (multiple reverts today). Although technically it is a theory (in that it can be falsified) so is every other scientific conclusion. In the common parlance, however, theory denotes high uncertainty, which does not appear to be the case in global warming. Thus I (and given the reverts, several others) think referencing it as a "theory" should be eschewed, since it tends to induce doubt where there is none. Thoughts or clarifications? --TeaDrinker 01:21, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Maybe "induce doubt where there is little" would be more accurate? Dubc0724 01:35, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the doubt is about whether this phenomena portends something about the future that we need to be concerned about, and doubt about whether we can or should do anything about it, even if it is a concern. The article is about the evidence for the phenomenon, what that evidence says about the causes of the phenomenon and about our knowledge of the climate system, and whether we understand the climate system well enough to make useful and perhaps actionable predictions about how the phenomena will evolve, and about how credible are the predictions that have been made, and about what interventions in the climate are possible and might work. Global warming has achieved the status of an observed phenomenon. The attributions and predictions surrounding it are theories or perhaps mere opinions, or perhaps the reports of results from models based upon theories.--Poodleboy 01:49, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
PB agrees that global warming is "an observed phenomenon." In addition, the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere by humans, as well as deforestation by humans, are observed phenomena, as is the increase in worldwide atmospheric CO2 to levels never observed before in the geologic record. Also, the increased trapping of heat by an atmosphere with increased levels of CO2 is a well-understood mechanism. So, there is no doubt that the CO2 emissions of humans will increase the temperature of the Earth above what it would be without such emissions. So, I guess PB is objecting to the forecasts of how much the temperature will increase, and what the exact results of that increase will be. But there is rigorous scientific analysis (and observations, including the most recent alarming observations of rate of rising sea levels) on both of these issues that leaves no doubt that this is a serious challenge to the future of our quality of life on this planet. The only reason that the press and public do not understand this science is that the oil companies, automobile companies and other powerful interests spend a lot of money to obfuscate the issues, exactly the way that the tobacco companies were so successeful for so long at obfuscating the science on smoking. PB, I commend to you the following recent quote by Dr. Joseph J. Romm, previously the acting assistant Secretary of Energy in the U.S.: "Global warming is going to transform this country and our transportation and the way we live our lives. If we don't act pretty soon, in an intelligent fashion, then change will be forced upon us by the radically changed climate... global warming is the issue of the century...." <> --Ssilvers
The model based attributions and predictions are not yet rigorous, they are still just interesting qualitative tools, see the albedo discussions above. If oil companies are trying to obsfuscate, they haven't managed to make a dent in the fundamentalist daemonizing global warming culture. It wouldn't seem to be in their interest to do so anyway, since they are a much less GHG impact energy source than coal. If the press and public do not understand the science it is more likely to be due to past educational deficiencies than to anything else. Do you understand the science?--Poodleboy 19:08, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
This just begs the question: how exactly do you make models to predict an unprecedented event? (I'm assuming that we're all in agreement that that's what "never observed before" means.) Since the scientific method is "based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence" I'd say we're still at least a few hundred years' worth of data collection away from climate modeling acheiving the level of a true science. Until then, it's really just some fancy guesswork. 19:56, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
The only reason that the press and public do not understand this science is that the oil companies, automobile companies and other powerful interests spend a lot of money to obfuscate the issues, exactly the way that the tobacco companies were so successeful for so long at obfuscating the science on smoking. Maybe it's just me, but all I've heard my entire life is how GW is here and it's gonna kill us all. I'm still waiting. :-) But seriously, from elementary school to college, it was presented as fact. I see plenty of propaganda from both sides, so it's pretty much a wash to me as a "layperson" Dubc0724 13:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I think it would help the article if it discussed the theory of global cooling that heralded a coming ice age that was so popular in the early to mid-1970s. The earth did show an established cooling period from about 1945 to 1970s. I do not have the exact dates in front of me. It may help readers understand the issue from an historical perspective and may help them decide whether global warming is "theory" or established scientific fact. RonCram 15:30, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
If you search the entry, you will see a discussion of global cooling and a See also link to it. In addition, if you search for the word "cooling", you will see additional discussion where appropriate. I think that global cooling is referenced adequately in the article, and you can just click on it if you want to know more about it. Plus, the various graphs and charts show it. Any more discussion of it would, IMO just distract from the explanation of what "global warming" is, which is what this entry is about. Note that when global cooling was an issue, the various data about CO2, changes in polar ice, etc. that we now know about had not yet been collected.
As to Dub's observation, we can see the effects of Global warming. The seas are rising. Hurricane strength is increasing. Droughts and floods are more severe. Global warming is here, and it is accelerating. But with the government and big business working to introduce doubt into the minds of the public, and with the enormous number of coal power plants being built in China and India, and the low emission standards for cars in the US, we are facing a very serious situation. The problem is not that the effects on most people in the US are catastrophic now (although they are for people in drought areas or New Orleans), but that if we do not act now to really focus on renewable energy, conservation and the like (I mean by spending billions and billions on research and subsidizing renewables and efficiency), we and our children will wake up in a couple of decades and wonder how we let the oceans rise several meters, how we let hurricanes get out of control, how we let new epidemics spread, etc. --Ssilvers 16:01, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Sslivers, the article has one passing mention of the concern about global cooling in the 1970s. I don't think that is adequate to give the present discussion a proper historical context. Perhaps the article could use a section on the "History of Climatology" or maybe wikipedia has a separate article this one could link to. Either of those would help readers get a better understanding. RonCram 02:37, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
By the by, if you read up on global cooling (it's a bit buried in that article), you'll find the claims of certainty as to the theory being scientifically valid were many orders of magnitude lower in the scientific community than is the case for global warming today. The distinction between cooling and warming is somewhat less in the popular imagination because the popular press is disinclined to properly qualify any story on any subject, especially in regard to caveats applicable to scientific research/debate. So (to give a recent example for MMR) "1 scientist gave a powerpoint presentation at a conference" is given the same weight as multiple published studies. Rd232 talk 08:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
This is all assuming that humans are causing it, and that humans can fix it. And out of curiosity - how is GW spreading epidemics? Dubc0724 16:19, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
See "Effects" and "Spread of Disease" in the article. --Ssilvers 16:23, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Dubc -- by GW are you referring to Global Warming or GW Bush? :-) - Abscissa 16:28, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Do your research on this and you'll know the story. The short answer is that large-scale climate changes alter the distribution of ecosystems on Earth, which changes how diseases vector. All of this is pure science and is not disputed in any peer-reviewed scientific journal. Astrobayes 04:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Either one. :-) Dubc0724 18:11, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I am not even going to bother reading these gigantic comments above. As for the word "theory" -- this is often cited by critics as "evidence" that we are uncertain about GCC. Due to the problem of induction though, we can't approach 100% certainity in science, and for example gravity is also a theory. This is not an excuse to run around and tell people gravity does not exist. However, I still do think the word "theory" belongs in the article. - Abscissa 16:27, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
And no matter what you think of the word "theory", it's been hashed and rehashed in the sections above. No need to go through it again. Dubc0724 18:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

If you really look at it, everything is really just a theory, even the three "laws" on Newtonian Mechanics. We like to say a theory becomes a "law" when the majority believes in it, but we are no omnipotent and thus we will never know whether a theory, how complete and believable, is really a "law". Lord_Hawk 07:16, 8 June 2006 (UTC-8)

User:Lord_Hawk is absolutely correct, and I stand with him on this as a scientist myself. Even today, the familiar force of gravity is quantified via the Newtonian _Theory_ of Gravitation, which is a subset of the _Theory_ of General Relativity which concerns relativistic accelerating bodies. When will this debate be over? In science, the word "Theory" doesn't mean "some idea." The word _hypothesis_ is used in science to describe that. In science, the most current theory describing a physical system refers to a thesis that has failed tests for negativity. When new information comes along that negates part of the model, the theory is revised. So at any time, any scientific theory that is so-named is a set of theses and accompanying models that have failed tests for negativity. So this whole debate on GW "theory" and Evolution "theory" and the "theory" of Relativity needs to be put to rest. But I know it won't... there are still people (and some scientists) who think the Earth is flat, who say we never landed on the moon, and who believe in a literal worldwide flood in the early history of the Earth. They're living in the Dark Ages. Astrobayes 04:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


For those of us only familiar with the Fahrenheit scale, it'd be helpful to see those numbers given parenthetically throughout the article (or at least in the introduction and other major statements of the theory). Fireplace 08:13, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

No way! Is there a MoS guide for this? William M. Connolley 09:00, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Ha ha! At the same time that William posted his warm and fuzzy response above, I did it. If William insists on reverting it, fine. But, William, this is not a scientific article, it is an encyclopedia entry intended to be read by people from different countries. So what harm does it do to give the same data in a manner that all English speakers will understand? --Ssilvers 13:08, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Whilst I appreciate your view, this *is* a scientific article, and proliferating units is bad. If people really don't understand oC, then link the first one, and they can go and find out. So I've reverted. But I welcome other views... William M. Connolley 13:22, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry William, Wikipedia convention is that conversions should usually be given. Dragons flight 13:53, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
How hideous. It certainly isn't done, though - not within the GW type pages. Where is it done? What about... water? carbon dioxide? Not really (though the CO2 info box gives K). I don't think the convention is used - maybe needs revision? William M. Connolley 21:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Get over it, doc. Some of our readers are non-scientists and don't even know ST means surface temperature. My mom never quite grasped metric units. We must think of our target audience: the general reader who wants to know something about science. --Uncle Ed 21:13, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
(double edit conflict, sigh, and all just for a bit of fun) At least, we will not have to present also Rankine, Delisle (I'm sure somebody in Russia still uses this) and definitely not Réaumur values ;) Hardern 21:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

In this article, Michael Duff mentions the case of a woman who was asked by a TV interviewer if she believes in Global Warming. She said: ‘’If you ask me, it’s all this changing from Fahrenheit to Centigrade that’s causing it'’. :) Count Iblis 13:28, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Fahrenheit isn't an SI unit. Considering that this is a heavily scientific article, I would think most of our readership should be familiar...? Oh well, minor point anyhow. I would support only one unit, just out of aesthetics. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 20:58, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Maybe one day the people who came up with the date formatting preference thing (25 May) will make it so temperatures can display in C or F as each user prefers... Rd232 talk 23:00, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
That's dumb. They should all just plug into the Ur-Mind and download the appropriate cortical schemata directly, avoiding this whole "language" problem entirely. Graft 01:01, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

While I can see the arguments for keeping it only in Celsius, the sad truth is that many readers don't have a clue about Celsius and couldn't care less. I think the added Fahrenheit values will help the average American reader understand the concept better. Conversion is probably a necessary evil in this case. EWS23 (Leave me a message!) 05:44, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Scientific results are universally published in degrees Kelvin or Celcius. Since these translate to fractional values Fahrenheit, there is the danger that the false impression will be given of more significant digits of precision than in the actual results. Care should be taken to convert the range of error to degrees F as well, and that the actual reported results be primary, with the conversions clearly subsidiary in parentheses.--Poodleboy 07:39, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Predicted Effects

User:Ed Poor has changed the title 'Effects' to 'Predicted effects'. I am not sure about whether this is POV pushing. I think most but not all have been seen to occur and if the language in each section is appropriate just Effects would be better than 'Predicted effects'. I think there is suitable language in most sections (eg 'Even a relatively small rise in sea level would ...' admits the possibility that a very small rise would not be severe). I should however point out that the attribution to GW is probably a lot less clear than whether we have seen some of the effects.

If the title is Predicted effects then should hurricanes be mentioned at all? If some models show it and some models do not show it, is this just evidence that the models are different and have not made a reliable prediction? I think some mention of hurricanes is appropriate but possibly shorter and possibly demoted to a other possible effects section. Possibly also add that this is unlikely to be good reason to spend money on prevention of global warming as the money would be better spent on changing society to make it less vunerable.

I would be inclined to change back to Effects as the title and change 'The extent and likelihood of these consequences is a matter of considerable controversy.' to 'The extent of these consequences and the likelihood of them being more than just mild is a matter of considerable controversy. However, I accept that could be too much opinion pushing in the other direction. crandles 21:53, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the change should be made back to Effects, rather than Predicted Effects. The latter sounds like POV pushing. Also, this is one more tic in a slate filled with edits of the same theme: a misunderstanding of terms in science versus terms in every day language. In a scientific theory such as Kepler's laws of motion, which rests upon a theoretical framework (Newton's theory of gravitation in this case), always predicts effects. That's what scientific theories do: they predict. That's their power versus pseudoscience like ID and the like. Since the article is on a scientific topic and not a pseudoscientific one, stating "predicted effects" is redundant and can only be included in the context of a POV. It's pretty clear to me: Effects should be the heading. Astrobayes 04:25, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
By convention, when converting from C to F, it should be rounded to retain the same number of digits past the decimal point in F that the C measurement did, exactly to avoid false precision. This is similar to the EU airlines placing pounds in ()s on carry on weight limits (and trucating) for the benifit of travelers from the US who have no natural feel of kilos either. Jon 13:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I added several journal articles yesterday as references for this section. Why were they removed? Does someone have a problem with science? Astrobayes 12:32, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

main page summary

Version I (Natalinasmpf) suggested

Well since this is going to be on the main page, it seems that Raul implemented a different summary than I suggested (that WMC also edited slightly):


Global warming refers to the increases in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans that have been observed in recent decades. The scientific opinion on climate change is that much of the recent change may be attributed to human activities. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, among other human activities, are the primary sources of the human-induced component of warming. Observational sensitivity studies and climate models referenced by the IPCC predict that global temperatures may increase by between 1.4 and 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. An increase in global temperatures can in turn cause other changes, including rises in sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation. These changes may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones or floods. There are a few scientists who contest the view about attribution of recent warming to human activity. Uncertainties exist regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future, and there is a hotly contested political and public debate over attempts to reduce or reverse future warming, and how to cope with the consequences. (More...)

Version to be implemented

Global warming refers to the observed increases in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans in recent decades. The average global temperature rose 0.6 ± 0.2 °C over the 20th century, and the scientific opinion on climate change is that it is likely that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities". The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing and agriculture, and other human activities, are the primary sources of the human-induced component of warming. Observational sensitivity studies and climate models referenced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that global temperatures may increase by between 1.4 and 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. An increase in global temperatures can in turn cause other changes, including rises in sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation. These changes may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, hurricanes and tornados. (More...)

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Comments about the main page summaries

Methinks that the one suggested is better, because there is more concise information over a larger breadth of a topic (rather than going into a long list of possible natural disasters I gave the more immediately destructive ones). I of course don't want to rewrite the template at whim so can I ask whether I should go ahead and replace the current summary with the one suggested?

[And oh, congratulations: this talk page has had 5000+ edits since its move in February 2004. Lively discussion, as always. ;-)] Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 00:51, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth (not much obviously) I think the first introduction is better because it's more neutral. Is neutrality an endangered species when discussing global warming? Prior evidence suggests that it is. Cla68 04:21, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
No objections, so I've updated accordingly, with a small change. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 18:47, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

"observational" climate sensitivity studies are not

I removed the observational climate sensitivity studies phrase because it was misleading and plus this paragraph is about predictions and the predictions were based on model studies. Although the phrase is one that is used to describe some studies, the phrase gives the misleading impression that the climate sensitivity studies are independent of the models. They aren't. See the discussion and my corrected text at climate sensitivity.--Poodleboy 08:00, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

But your text states that the sens studies are purely model based, which is wrong. In particular the Grregory et al is obs based for its lower bound; asserting (as you've done now) that this is entirely modelling is worse than misleading William M. Connolley 08:08, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
How is this stating that they are "purely model based", e.g., "but also dependent on estimates of pre-existing average heat flux into the oceans based on models". My intent is to indicate that they are not totally independent of the models. Now in the global warming page, those predictions are purely model based, or, are you saying they fudged the model results somehow, and that they used purely observational climate sensitivity studies to fudge them? If you provide the cite, I will try to come to agreement on how those predictions are based.--Poodleboy 08:18, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
You changed it to Climate models referenced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that global temperatures may increase by, removing the observational component. You've changed a mix of obs/models into pure models. The predictions of T rise are informed by the obs sensitivity estimates, of course William M. Connolley 19:07, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and they are also informed by model sensitivity estimate, work in cloud physics, study of paleo climate, temperature histories, etc. The question is, why are you singling out "oberservational climate sensitivity studies" here in relation to these predictions? Climate sensitivity is mentioned in the last sentence of the paragraph in an appropriate way, what is your point in this earlier mention? We might be able to make you intention more clear, if you state what the concept is that you are trying to communicate.--Poodleboy 03:11, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
The point the obvious one: that they are not purely model based (work in cloud physics, study of paleo climate, temperature histories is all observational). There is an agenda here: they are model based -> all models are wrong -> the estimates are wrong William M. Connolley 07:19, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
How do you make predictions from observations? Perhaps linear extrapolation from past temperatures? If your phrase is from a source, perhaps that source provides a context which makes sense of it. Let's add something about "observational" if you can show how it relates. Linear extrapolation gives lower figures that the reported model predictions. My agenda is that the predictions you cite are model based. If they are based on something else, provide the citation. The models themselves are used in sensitivity studies, and I am sure those are comparable to more observational climate sensitivity studies, but how are predictions made from observational climate sensitivity studies. Now, given a climate sensitivity itself, and a scenerio for a forcing, one can apply the sensitivity to the figures and come up with a prediction. But that is an application the sensitivity figure, and not a sensitivity study. Perhaps you have citations where the authors did this in the discussion part of their article? The IPCC itself may have done that if that is the source of these figures. Let's look at the cite.--Poodleboy 08:26, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, thats what I mean. Simply using the clim sens figure from obs studies. But I don't have a cite to hand William M. Connolley 09:07, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Your text implies, that this independent method came up with exactly the same range, that would be a surprising result, overlapping ranges I could understand.--Poodleboy 09:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I certainly didn't mean to imply exactly the same range William M. Connolley 14:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
That is why it shouldn't be there, or it should have a supporting citation and whatever range of predictions result from this approach.--Poodleboy 07:32, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm amenable to re-writing it. But not to leaving the page with the impression that the only contraints are models William M. Connolley 08:39, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
The models themselves are constrained by observations, so I don't see what your phrase adds. A citation would help guide any rewrite, perhaps a fuller explanation could be given when the predictions are repeated below. The citation there explicitly refers to the models averaged over scenerios as the source for the predictions. Probably all kinds of sanity checks went into the validation of the models and the predictions. Recent research in published in Nature adds further constraint to the upper extreme end of the range, but I don't see why you are wedded to this particular phrase.--Poodleboy 09:47, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Err, as I've said above, I'm not wedded to the phrase at all... I do dislike your attempts to make the constraints seem all model-based, though William M. Connolley 10:14, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I consider your new language clearer and more supportable. Agreed. While I doubt there are many purely observational climate sensitivity studies, there are some with stronger independent, more observational approaches. It is surprising how essential models are even in those studies. Further development of these tools is essential to further insight into the climate.--Poodleboy 10:25, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

small number of scientists who contest the view...

This was discussed thousands of times previously, but apparently that was not enough. So, I propose that changes must be discussed here and only if there is broad support for changes will the sentence be changed. Any changes without discussion will be reverted without further explanation.

One point for discussion could be that there are actually quite some scientists who don't agree that humans are responsible for GW, but that only a few of them are climate scientists. Count Iblis 23:35, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

That would seem to be pretty important since a lot of science overlaps with climate science. Climate science itself is a pretty broad catagory, where some who would fit in that grouping are less fit to give an opinion than a college geography teacher. There are more than a "small" number of scientists with an opposing view but the bandwagon in favor of Global Warming is hot right now. These opinions go in cycles as we've all seen over the last 40 years or so. New evidence comes in and scientists change their minds en masse. I know this is a political hot potato right now and that "most" scientists believe humans are greatly responsible for the effects. Poodleboy's changing of a "small number" to "some" seems to me to be a fair compromise. It seems balanced, truthful and you still have the "most scientists" statement as its counterpoint.
It's apparent that most of those writing this article agree with most of the scientists, and that's fine. I'm not saying I don't either, but in an encyclopedia "some scientists" is a much better fit to the situation than a "small number." It feels much more un-biased. I liked Poodleboy's addition... it read well, it looked better to my two neighbors (a physics professor and a chemistry teacher) so I changed it back to "some." Fyunck(click) 06:28, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
This is the same old discussion all over again... see the section "Many" Scientists Dissent From View That Humanity's Activities Are An Important Source Of Recent Rises In Temperature above; and probably more before that too William M. Connolley 06:14, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd already read it. Just because there was a discussion before doesn't mean that the correct wording was put it place; And it wasn't much of a discussion... 7 paragraphs (4 q&a's) with you and Stephan Schulz dominating the field. Poodleboy came up with a better choice and I believe it should stay. It works well in the context of this encyclopedia. Fyunck(click) 07:42, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I was only trying to make the the language more NPOV scientific and encyclopedic. It doesn't matter how many scientists, but when new evidence comes in that clarifies the global warming attribution, calling those who were judiciously skeptical the "few", will make them seem like martyrs or heroic geniuses. Perhaps a better compromise would be to actually count them, so the number could be specified. That shouldn't be too difficult if the number really is only a "few".--Poodleboy 08:05, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

One way is to take the IPCC lead authors and count dissent. That gets you 2/120. If you can think of another way, do try it, but just counting dissenters (who are few enough, as the sci-opposing page shows) doesnt tell you the proportion William M. Connolley 09:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
It is routine these days to read in newspapers or hear -- almost anywhere the subject of climate change comes up -- that the 1990s were the "warmest decade in a millennium" and that 1998 was the warmest year in the last 1,000.
This assertion has become so accepted that it is often recited without qualification, and even without giving a source for the "fact." But a report soon to be released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee by three independent statisticians underlines yet again just how shaky this "consensus" view is, and how recent its vintage.
The claim originates from a 1999 paper by paleoclimatologist Michael Mann. Prior to Mr. Mann's work, the accepted view, as embodied in the U.N.'s 1990 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was that the world had undergone a warming period in the Middle Ages, followed by a mid-millennium cold spell and a subsequent warming period -- the current one. That consensus, as shown in the first of the two IPCC-provided graphs nearby, held that the Medieval warm period was considerably warmer than the present day.
File:Hockey stick.gif
Mr. Mann's 1999 paper eliminated the Medieval warm period from the history books, with the result being the bottom graph you see here. It's a man-made global-warming evangelist's dream, with a nice, steady temperature oscillation that persists for centuries followed by a dramatic climb over the past century. In 2001, the IPCC replaced the first graph with the second in its third report on climate change, and since then it has cropped up all over the place. Al Gore uses it in his movie.
The trouble is that there's no reason to believe that Mr. Mann, or his "hockey stick" graph of global temperature changes, is right. Questions were raised about Mr. Mann's paper almost as soon as it was published. In 2003, two Canadians, Ross McKitrick and Steven McIntyre, published an article in a peer-reviewed journal showing that Mr. Mann's methodology could produce hockey sticks from even random, trendless data.
The report commissioned by the House Energy Committee, due to be released today, backs up and reinforces that conclusion. The three researchers -- Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, David W. Scott of Rice University and Yasmin H. Said of Johns Hopkins University -- are not climatologists; they're statisticians. Their task was to look at Mr. Mann's methods from a statistical perspective and assess their validity. Their conclusion is that Mr. Mann's papers are plagued by basic statistical errors that call his conclusions into doubt. Further, Professor Wegman's report upholds the finding of Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick that Mr. Mann's methodology is biased toward producing "hockey stick" shaped graphs.
Mr. Wegman and his co-authors are careful to point out that doubts about temperatures in the early part of the millennium do not call into question more-recent temperature increases. But as you can see looking at these two charts, it's all about context. In the first, the present falls easily within a range of natural historical variation. The bottom chart looks alarming and discontinuous with the past, which is why global-warming alarmists have adopted it so eagerly.
In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Mr. Wegman goes a step further in his report, attempting to answer why Mr. Mann's mistakes were not exposed by his fellow climatologists. Instead, it fell to two outsiders, Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick, to uncover the errors.
Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. "As analyzed in our social network," Mr. Wegman writes, "there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis." He continues: "However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility."
In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman's social-network graphs suggest that Mr. Mann himself -- and his hockey stick -- is at the center of that network.
Mr. Wegman's report was initially requested by the House Energy Committee because some lawmakers were concerned that major decisions about our economy could be made on the basis of the dubious research embodied in the hockey stick. Some of the more partisan scientists and journalists howled that this was an attempt at intimidation. But as Mr. Wegman's paper shows, Congress was right to worry; his conclusions make "consensus" look more like group-think. And the dismissive reaction of the climate-research establishment to the McIntyre-McKitrick critique of the hockey stick confirms that impression.--The Outhouse Mouse 13:03, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
And that upcoming report commissioned by the "House Energy Committee" will be published in which peer-reviewed journal?--Stephan Schulz 13:20, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I am reprinting the relevant paragraph here for your benefit:
Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. "As analyzed in our social network," Mr. Wegman writes, "there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis." He continues: "However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility."--The Outhouse Mouse 15:34, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
And that upcoming report commissioned by the "House Energy Committee" will be published in which peer-reviewed journal? Or which two? A social science journal and one on applied statistics would do. Or are all scientists part of that giant conspiracy?--Stephan Schulz 15:53, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Another count has been made by Naomi Oreskes, who has been quoted quite often now. Final count: Not a single one out of nearly 1,000 abstracts concerning "global climate change" opposes the scientific consensus view. Now I consider this "none" closer to a "small number of scientists" than to "some scientists"... Hardern 10:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
That is not a peer reviewed result and evaluating "abstracts" is a questionable methodology. I am sure however, she is quite right about the amount of dissent voiced in those selected abstracts.
What you have to realize is that "consensus" is defined rather broadly. Ranges of more than a factor of two in model climate sensitivity, are considered in "consensus", because they predict warming and attribute most of it to CO2. These results can also be viewed as disagreement and lack of rigor. That is why we should stick to the science rather than the spin. Why have references to consensus and numbers of scientists in the article? --Poodleboy 10:57, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Rush Limbaugh says that he interviewed scientists that are independent, free from corporate or government contract and they say that Global Warming is not even close to as big of a problem as what Democrats claim it is. Although this clearly shows just one side of the debate and was probably mentioned due to bias, we all know (even liberals) that Rush Limbaugh supports almost all of his arguments with some type of document, fact, interview, or event. He may use them in a biased way (presenting only certain parts of the incident) but they are good and credible sources. As he says himself, Rush Limbaugh is right 98% of the time! Whatever. Does anyone feel motivated enough to look this up and find the source?--Exander 05:51, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
This article isn't about what political parties say, it's about the science. Sure, there are skeptics, but they are a trivial proportion, and far too many of them are in the pocket of the oil industry. I'd say that the Democrats in the US are far too timid on the subject, and since they also owe their souls to big business, they are likely to be very conservative on the issue. Guettarda 06:04, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
There are also a number of scientists who assert that heavy elements formed at the same time as lighter ones, Honestly, look here, it's unbelievable, and some click here that believe the Earth is the center of the Universe, and click here to see scientists who believe that a worldwide ancient flood is real. can always find some who believe anything. When you have people in the world who believe that everyone who rejects such ideas is ‘willfully’ ignorant," here is the reference then you can understand how some individuals can wholesale reject science to believe whatever they want. The test then for what theories in science are "real" is not how many people believe in the theory but how well the theory rests upon mathematics and the underlying physics. So, the old "but there are those who disagree argument isn't worth its weight in hydrogen. Astrobayes 21:29, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


I disagree with PB's recent addition of More recently, errors in surface albedo, snow cover area, and too heavy snowfall (excessive snow water equivilent) have been detailed. (Roesch 2006 [13].

For the reason I gave in my edit comment: this isn't a place to bloat out with various minor model errors, or successes. The one listed already - clouds - is widely acknowledged as the major problem; by contrast, the R et al stuff appears quite minor and doesn't deserve a place.

Secondly, this thing isn't even published yet and should be removed on that ground alone. William M. Connolley 11:01, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, clouds are still a major problem, whether they are widely acknowledged or not. The Roesch results in the abstract are significant, and build on a body of evidence of model problems in the area of snow cover especially. We might as well use the most recent and on-point abstract. We have full text of some of Roesch's earlier but still quite recent work, and those articles have references that would be a good place for you to start if your intent is to form a evidence based opinion, rather than a dismissive "appears quite minor".--Poodleboy 11:11, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
No this won't do. We don't use unpublished/in press papers, or even very recent papers (see discussions in the past) except for exceptional results, and this isn't. Asserting that the R results are "significant" is meaningless/wrong: they aren't particularly exciting; I can see why you want ot puff them up, though William M. Connolley 11:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
"Asserting" the results are significant, is not "meaningless/wrong", it is just the nature of the peer review process, results that were not statistically significant or detectable within the margins of error would not be allowed in the abstract, unless the paper was reporting a null result. You know I have been patiently waiting for this paper to finally appear in print, it has been accepted and is in prepub. Fortunately the abstract has been published, and is informative and useful. Just because the paper has not been published yet, does not mean it is new or untested results. The results were reported and discussed at conferences last year. It would have been published months ago, if it weren't for the FAR article boom and subsequent backlog. You've tolerated other "minor" results in the existing climate model section, you must be particularly unsettled by these results.--Poodleboy 12:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
"Asserting" the results are significant, is not "meaningless/wrong", it is just the nature of the peer review process, results that were not statistically significant or detectable within the margins of error would not be allowed in the abstract - precisely. You are using "sig" in the sense the journals do: sig enough to publish. Obviously, sig enough to publish is not the same criterion as sig enough for the wiki GW page; this is why I said "sig" is meaningless. Thats the first issue. The second - thats its not even published - is also a bar to including it. You haven't read the paper, neither has anyone else, it shouldn't be in wiki William M. Connolley 13:09, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I think Poodleboy is mixing up two different meanings of significance, namely statistical significance ("there is a high probability of a real correlation") and importance. Journals typically require the first and often a bit of the second (but that depends on the journal and level of specialization). In Wikipedia, we require "notability" rather than "importance", although they sometimes go hand in hand.--Stephan Schulz 19:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
To avoid possible confusion later, not everyone agrees that "notability" is required (it could possibly be described as "either notable or encyclopedic", though). —AySz88\^-^ 15:46, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Continued from Attribution of climate warming.

The new 3.4 watts that is introduced into the models upon correction of a 0.01 albedo error, is greater than the forcing by the well mixed GHGs. These models that had been previously tuned to match observations, were in a sense constrained by the developers to match the temperature record and the data on heat storage into the ocean. Without retuning, these models will no longer match theses observations, and will respond to this added forcing with temperatures higher than the temperature record. The likely impact of the retuning to match the observations will be reduction in the model climate sensitivity to CO2, and more of the latter 20th century warming attributed to commitment from the increase in solar activity in the 1st half of the 20th century, i.e. temperature rise delayed by the thermal inertial of the oceans, which act to dampen high frequency climate responses. The change/non-constant forcing is the increase in solar activity from the 1st half of the 20th and before, which model studies show take over 100 years to equilibrate to. In fact the heat storage in the oceans may take 1000 years to equilibrate. Hope you can understand these basics. WMC, I move the discussion here in preparation for introducing new results into this article.--Poodleboy 15:13, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

There are a lot of misconceptions in that. Models are built/tuned to match present day observed climate - not, in general, the past temperature history. So match the temperature record and the data on heat storage into the ocean is just wrong. Without retuning, these models will no longer match theses observations is hard to understand - since nothing has changed, there is no need to retune. The models continue to match those obs as well as they ever did, since model heat storage, and obs heat storage, remain what they were. Various aspects of the models albedo get tuned, but not on the basis of this (unpublished) paper. The likely impact of the retuning to match the observations will be reduction in the model climate sensitivity to CO2 - again, I see no evidence that anyone *is* retuning based on this unpublished paper; and speculating as to the result is for your own private entertainment, not for wiki.
Summary: don't add unpublished stuff; don't add your own misconceptions William M. Connolley 15:57, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Have you actually asked any modelers if they are retuning in response to this paper? Surely some were involved in IPCC wg1. If you haven't checked around, it is no wonder that you "see no evidence". Perhaps they will also explain to you how their model can accomodate several more watts/m^2 without excessive heat temperature rises or heat storage in the ocean, without rebalancing and adjusting parameters.--Poodleboy 14:24, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you know nothing about climate models. All this is your own personal speculation; it belongs in sci.env, not wiki William M. Connolley 20:05, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
You write as if you haven't read the Hansen paper.--Poodleboy 23:03, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Article mentioned by Chicago Sun-Times columnist

For what it's worth, Sun-Times columnist Paige Wiser used this article as a source in her June 18 column: [14]. Zagalejo 06:24, 19 June 2006 (UTC) (PS - don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger!)

Umm...I think I can guess the colour of that hair she talks about.--Stephan Schulz 06:44, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
LOL...[15] Zagalejo 17:52, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
That's scary. This article looks more like a blog than an encyclopedia most days. Dubc0724 19:08, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Accuracy of climate models

the main article is too long so I got rid of verbose giberish. --CorvetteZ51 14:27, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

You replaced four words with four slightly shorter words! :-) but I've already changed it back. Saying that the models are "unable to explain" is a more sweeping, and less true, statement than that they cannot "unambiguously attribute". bikeable (talk) 14:34, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Models can't 'predict' the past, starting 1910, to 1945 with known historic levels of CO2. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by CorvetteZ51 (talkcontribs) 14:48, 20 June 2006.
I agree with Bikeable. The models do not clearly distinguish between the potential sources of the warming. "Unable to explain" is not accurate. Walter Siegmund (talk) 14:52, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I disagree... firstly, the models can reproduce the past; I've added a link for this, the obvious one [16]. Re explanation... there is technical stuff for that in the D+A chapter if you want William M. Connolley 15:38, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
That's odd, Richard Lindzen (one of the lead authors on the report you cite there) had this to say in his testimony to the U.S. Senate: "large computer climate models are unable to even simulate major features of past climate such as the 100 thousand year cycles of ice ages that have dominated climate for the past 700 thousand years, and the very warm climates of the Miocene, Eocene, and Cretaceous. Neither do they do well at accounting for shorter period and less dramatic phenomena like El Niños, quasi-biennial oscillations, or intraseasonal oscillations – all of which are well documented in the data." [17] Furthermore, he decries the entire report as rife with errors, misrepresentations, post-hoc edits (without the approval of the scientists actually doing the research) and blatant misrepresentation of the data. 17:00, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Lindzen's senate testimony is 5 years out of date. Lindzen is 20 years out of date. And even Lindzen accepts the IPCC report as a good summary of the state of climate research. He critizises mainly the "Summary for Policymakers", not the full report. --Stephan Schulz 18:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
(1)Lindzen's testimony is from the same year as the TAR (2001), which what WMC's link connects to. (2)Without providing independent, citable evidence clearly and specifically detailing where and how his testimony is incorrect, calling him "20 years out of date" is just an example of the type of ad hominem attacks he refers to in his testimony. Criticizing others for pushing POV when you're doing it yourself is rather hypocritical, don't you think? (3)The "Summary for Policymakers" isn't even mentioned until about 1/3 of the way through page 6 of his 8-page testimony. By my math, that makes it less than 25% of his testimony, clearly not his main criticism. 19:36, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

L uses lots of words. But when you get down to his specific criticisms - which I notice you haven't - there is little substance the entire report as rife with errors, misrepresentations - such as? William M. Connolley 19:48, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Well... in addition to the previously referenced criticism of the inability of models to accurately reflect past climate conditions (which seriously calls into question their usefulness for predicting future ones) , why don’t you try these on for size? (I've included reference to their specific locations in the text in case you want to check out the context.)
“there is evidence that even the bottom of the range [of temperature-increase projections] is an overestimate” (page 5 para 3)
“the summary still claims that such a relation [between GW and predictions of increased storminess] may emerge – despite the fact that the underlying physics suggests the opposite” (page 5 para 3)
The IPCC does a number of things which encourage misuse.
· Use a summary to misrepresent what scientists say.
· Use language which conveys different meaning to laymen and scientists.
· Exploit public ignorance (and the embarrassment about this ignorance) over quantitative matters.
· Exploit what scientists can agree on in order to support one’s agenda.
· Exaggerate scientific accuracy and certainty.
· Exaggerate the authority of undistinguished scientists.
· Pose leading questions (WG II’s Impact Report).” (page 6 para 1)

“numerous problems with model treatments – including those of clouds and water vapor” (page 6 para 2)

“For example the draft concluded the following concerning attribution: From the body of evidence since IPCC (1996), we conclude that there has been a discernible human influence on global climate. Studies are beginning to separate the contributions to observed climate change attributable to individual external influences, both anthropogenic and natural. This work suggests that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are a substantial contributor to the observed warming, especially over the past 30 years. However, the accuracy of these estimates continues to be limited by uncertainties in estimates of internal variability, natural and anthropogenic forcing, and the climate response to external forcing.
The version that emerged from Shanghai concludes instead:
"In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.
In point of fact, there may not have been any significant warming in the last 60 years. Moreover, such warming as may have occurred was associated with jumps that are inconsistent with greenhouse warming." (page 6 para 4 through page 7 para 1)
“The preparation of the report, itself, was subject to pressure. There were usually several people working on every few pages. Naturally there were disagreements, but these were usually hammered out in a civilized manner. However, throughout the drafting sessions, IPCC ‘coordinators’ would go around insisting that criticism of models be toned down, and that ‘motherhood’ statements be inserted to the effect that models might still be correct despite the cited faults. Refusals were occasionally met with ad hominem attacks. I personally witnessed coauthors forced to assert their ‘green’ credentials in defense of their statements” (page 7 para 2) 18:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think this graph showing the global temperatures in the past 2000 years should either be replaced with one of the many acurate graphs out there that goes back 400,000 years or add one next to it becuase I believe that its better to see a larger range when showing global temperature change.

Expansion of the last 1000 years

Souljourner89 2:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Four hours to frontpage

For those of you who haven't been keeping track, this article is scheduled to appear on Wikipedia's front page starting at 00:00, 21 June UTC. Currently it is 19:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC). Since global warming is a controversial issue with many people, I fully expect to see a great deal of vandalism during the 24 hours for which global warming is the frontpage feature, so I just want to remind people to stay alert. Also, please remember it is Wikipedia's policy for frontpage articles to remain unprotected if at all possible so that they can show off the opportunity for anyone to edit and hopeful benefit from the added exposure. Dragons flight 19:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Aha, thats why the extensive copyediting... :-) Good job. Sadly I'll be in bed for the start... William M. Connolley 20:24, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I think it's better to block this page for this period. Count Iblis 21:22, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
No. See user:Raul654/protection Raul654 00:10, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I can't wait for the day when that page will become obsolete :) — BRIAN0918 • 2006-06-21 01:45
Thank god it's not there any more (replaced by the Klu Klux Klan!). AfD the mainpage i say :p Mostlyharmless 00:26, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately the article has already been vandalised; however I do not feel comfortable modifying the article myself as I'm new to this. I just thought I should notify everyone.

When it's off the front page we'll go back and compare our latest to a few days ago and and clean it up abit. --maj

Ecosystem effects

It seems to me that, generally, species would migrate north (in the northern hemisphere) in response to global warming. Global warming, by itself, may not result in mass extinctions. Two reasons that they may occur in the current scenario are 1)that the warming is occuring faster than it has in the past, potentially giving species as ecosystems less time to move. Forests can gradually shift spatially in response to climate change, but not if the change happens too fast. The second possibility is that a species will attempt to shift, but will run into some sort of a barrier -- a strip mall, a highway, a suburb. At the risk of being banal, I'll note that this may be quite a serious problem as natural areas' political boundaries are fixed but ecosystem boundaries are fluid. I don't have references for these points, but I'm sure that they are out there. Matthias5 03:34, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Questions from someone who doesn't know the answers

I have two questions that seem obvious to me, but are not discussed in the article, so I'm hoping that someone can shed light on them:

1. The Earth has the largest carbon dioxide - sodium bicarbonate - carbonic acid buffer system in the solar system - its 1.4 × 10^21 kilograms of oceans (number from Wikipedia "Ocean" page). I do not understand how the atmospheric CO2 level should be rising, as the ocean should suck up all of this excess, raising the pH of the oceans very slightly. Why is this not happening?

The oceans are absorbing a lot of CO2, and are becoming more acidic as a result. But the speed of absorption is limited. Atmospheric CO2 is only absorbed at the surface, and mixing of the ocean water takes a lot of time, compared to mixing in the atmosphere. So the surface water becomre rather acidic fast, inhibiting further uptake of CO2. This increase in surface acidity is one of the problems of CO2 emission, as it affects ecosystems (e.g. corals). In a few million years, equilibrum well have been resored. BTW, I assume you know that the observed fact of CO2 increase (and the causation by anthropogenic emissions) is not even under discussion? --Stephan Schulz 06:50, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I certainly do not dispute the anthropogenic emissions of CO2 - I'm sorry that you were under the impression that I did.
I also am not questioning the acidification of the oceans - this is a real event, and probably due to the increase in atmospheric CO2. The effects on the marine ecosystem of this acidification is likely to be devastating to the current set of organisms.
What I would like is for someone to provide the numbers, so that I can understand why exactly the oceans cannot absorb this CO2 (the Wikipedia page for CO2 has a nice graph in the "Concentrations of CO2 in atmosphere" section showing about 60 ppm increase since 1960) - exactly how many tons of CO2 does that figure represent? Also, the Wikipedia page on Ocean acidification indicates a 0.1 pH unit drop since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Given the volume of the oceans, how many tons of CO2 would have been absorbed in that period to cause that drop at the involved pH levels? Also, since the pKa of a bicarbonate buffer is somewhere around 6.4, it should be increasing its buffering capacity as the pH drops. If I can see the math, then I can understand the why of this a bit better.--[David Barkhimer] 06:00, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

2. In a warmer Earth, the biomass should increase, so shouldn't a significant portion of the atmospheric carbon be sequestered in the increased plant/animal mass, returning to the ground (land or oceanic) when the organisms die?

See the article. It's uncertain if and by how much biomass production will increase. Even in the best case, the amount of carbon potentially taken up is much less than the fossil fuels we are using. Also, higher temperatures also increase decomposition of biomass, so that e.g. soils can store less carbon.--Stephan Schulz 06:50, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Please explain why soils need to store carbon. When plants die, they and their carbon can just lie there on the ground. That's how we got the fossil fuels in the first place. I do think that you are probably correct about using the fossil fuels faster than the rate of potential redeposition from an increased biomass production - it took millions of years of deposits the first time around.--[David Barkhimer] 06:00, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for taking time to provide information back on these two questions.

- David Barkhimer

I hope it helps. --Stephan Schulz 06:50, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

David, current estimates are that the oceans absorb a net 1.7 ± 0.5 GtC per year and the biosphere another 1.0 ± 0.6 GtC/yr. GtC is gigatonnes (1012 kg) of carbon, and in these units fossil fuel emissions are a little over 7 GtC/yr. Consequently the oceans and biosphere compensate for about 40% of emissions, but the remaining 60% is what accumulates in the atmosphere. In essense we are driving the system faster than it can compensate. On the other point, soils release carbon as bacterial action breaks down dead biomass. At equilibrium, many (but not all) environments are such that the breakdown of this biomass about equals the rate at which new biomass falls into the soil, so there is neither a net source or sink of carbon in the soils. However, as Stephan alludes to, increased temperatures could increase bacterial action and cause soils to be net releasers of carbon dioxide for a time (until a new equilibrium is reached). Dragons flight 06:27, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Politics and PR

One thing I am missing is a summary in this article of the politics of global warming (though that particular article doesn't do an adequate job of explaining the issues; maybe there are others). In particular, there is a lot of information out there about the systematic efforts of fossil industry companies to discredit the science of global warming by setting up fake grassroots organizations, putting scientists (typically not climate scientists) on their payroll, publishing in journals, sending ready-made video materials to TV stations, providing "experts", etc. This article, if somewhat dated, gives a decent summary of the facts. It was written by renowned public relations experts Bob Burton (journalist) and Sheldon Rampton, who also created SourceWatch, a wiki which has background information on many of these front groups and individuals.

I think it is impossible to understand the politics of global warming without understanding that millions of dollars have been spent to discredit the idea that it exists, or that it is anthropogenic (in the words of one industry group, the goal was to "reposition global warming as theory (not fact)"). That the industry has engaged in these activities, and continues to do so, is not controversial. It is good that this article recognizes that the so-called scientific opposition is a small minority, but it needs to also recognize that public opinion about global warming has been the target of highly systematic campaigns. That should of course include a reference to the activities of Al Gore and other environmentalists.--Eloquence* 06:20, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Check this out [18]. BBC Panorama program broadcast June 4th. 12:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The important thing is not whether they are spending money to discredit a point of view. The important thing to consider is whether they are right. Let's be honest, industry money is coming in in order to resolve the public policy issues and they back into dealing with the science. They may very well be right that it is wrong to take early action and that there is alarmist hyping going on. The public policy case for global warming (or human climate forcing to be more technical about what's being talked about) is the weakest area the alarmists have. The opportunity costs for fixing global warming according to alarmist scenarios is going to kill a lot of people and is going to stunt the economic possibilities of an awful lot of poor people in very unpleasant ways. This is almost always glossed over or outright denied in alarmist literature and it's just as wrong as industry glosses the other direction.
TMLutas 12:40, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
How about the money that's been spent to convince people that global warming is (a) real, and (b) humans' (Americans'!) fault. There's money on both sides of the issue. Dubc0724 13:05, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Dubc0724, a lot of that money comes from the US government (via NSF, NOAA, etc.) Your argument may work for a Michael Crichton novel, but in the real world that's in no way an analog of e.g. Exxon promoting its financial interests. Crust 14:06, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Okay? Money is money. There's a lot of people on both sides of this issue heavily invested in their version of "the truth." Dubc0724 14:12, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Crust, are you trying to claim that the government doesn't have an agenda? Anyone who's had any exposure to the government's funding or approvals processes (mine is NIH & FDA) knows that both are highly politicized and that the White House exerts heavy pressure on these bodies to squelch/ignore any scientific research/evidence that runs contrary to its policies. I'm not accusing them of being behind the climate change scare, but Global Warming alarmists are playing right into their hands by contributing to the climate of fear that the administration is actively promoting through "terrorism alerts", the "illegal immigration" hysteria, "bird flu", etc. Scared people are easier to control. 15:17, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Money is money. Is that supposed to be an argument? The point is to the extent US goverment funded scientists are being influenced by the ultimate source of their money that is to be biased against belief in anthropogenic global warming (since this is what the Bush administration wants to hear). In reality, mainstream scientists are fairly resistent to this pressure in their scientific publications because there is little direct pressure (public and policy statements are a very different matter; cf. James Hansen), but to the extent this pressure exists it is in the opposite direction of what you () seem to think. (This reply was written for Dubc0724, but I think it also addresses 15:23, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't doubt that such pressure exists. Your points are certainly valid. But let's not ignore the money and effort that has gone into telling every public school student for the last 30 years that GW exists as incontrovertible fact. That was certainly the case throughout my entire education. I've heard about it for three decades (always presented as fact), so I'm not sure Big Oil is doing such a good job keeping the word from getting out. My original point was that both sides are heavily invested in being right (for mostly political reasons), and as such, both sides are heavily engaged in propaganda. As an example, compare the treatment of this article to that of less controversial "scientific theory" articles. Cheers! Dubc0724 16:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this is the right place to have that debate -- you may be right, or you may be wrong. My point is, however, that this article should describe the politics of global warming briefly. If you are correct and there is indeed a similarly systematic effort to promote global warming as fact in spite of a lacking scientific consensus, then certainly it shouldn't be hard to document that. And if you cannot document it, then you cannot claim bias if the article doesn't contain that documentation. What it should do, is summarize the available facts from both sides of the issue briefly, and link to a detailed explanation.--Eloquence* 16:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. I agree that the political maneuverings of both sides should be discussed, either here or in a separate article. Dubc0724 18:53, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
So no large company is spending lots of money pushing the GW angle? Dubc0724 21:44, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Save the Planet

This is phrase which is frequently mentioned in the same breath as Global Warming. It might merit a little discussion in this article, perhaps in the Effects section but as a negative, and a corrsepondingly stronger effect in the political and refugee sections. One thing GW is not going to do is destroy the world. The world has been hot before, will be hot again, and this lump of rock and water will be just fine, as will Life in general. The same is not true for any given specific species, especially ones living in fragile niches. In previous GW events, change happened relatively slowly, populations and species moved out of the way of the rising waters and towards different food sources, some species perished, and no record survives of any complaints (animals communicate and leave written histories not at all well). This event is different. It is happening much faster, and there are shed-loads of humans around to witness and whinge about it. Enormous numbers of humans are depedant on coastal areas for living space and agriculture. What is it going to be like when coastal communities are finally prompted, by the disappearance of the land under their feet, to first ask for, then demand, then fight for, higher ground in the possession of their politically opposed neighbours? Most wars have started with basically territorial disputes. NeilUK 07:29, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

You reference to "enormous numbers of humans" makes me wonder... Does anybody know if any work has been done on the effect that 6+ billion people breathing has on GHGs? Would this be considered "natural causes" or anthropogenic? Also, what about the effect of all the species humans have driven to extinction not breathing? Maybe the next environmentalist slogan could be "Stop the Greenhouse Effect - Don't exhale!" 17:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Per capita annual consumption of food is something like 900 kilos in the US. Let's say all of this gets digested and exhaled as CO2 - unlikely, since most of it probably becomes solid waste, but let's be charitable. About 19% of this is probably carbon, going by animal weight, which means something like 630 kilos of CO2 exhaled per capita. Meanwhile per-capita production of CO2 in the U.S. from non-biological sources is more like 5.5 metric tons. This is a big difference, you'll agree, though the number is significant.
However, your point is moot, because ALL carbon dioxide that comes from animal exhalation is derived from plant matter, which removed it from the atmosphere in the first place. Thus, unless there's a substantial shift in the equilibrium between the number of plants and animals (via, say, deforestation), animal exhalation can never contribute to an INCREASE in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the other side of the equation (how much plants remove) is likely far more significant than how many humans are breathing. Graft 17:56, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
According to that argument, GW from burning fossil fuels is also a moot point, since they too are ultimately derived from plant matter. Therefore, by consuming coal, petroleum, etc., we are merely returning that CO2 to the cycle. 17:19, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. And the planet will be fine with it. If we are fine with jurasic temperatures is another question. Time scales between biological processes (eating, growing, rotting) and geological processes (creation of fossil fuels) are very different - days to decades vs. millions to billions of years. --Stephan Schulz 17:32, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

"global warming" tattered by recent science

A recent study of Greenland published in Geophysical Research Letters finds that Greenland is no warmer today than it was in the 1920s, and that "although there has been a considerable temperature increase during the last decade (1995-2005) a similar increase occurred during the early part of the 20th century (1920-1930) when carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases could not be a cause." (Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L11707, 13 June 2006, doi:10.1029/2006GL026510 )

It's clear that this wiki "article" is nothing more than a love-fest of people who passionately believe in "global warming."

A word to the wise, it simply LOOKS STUPID if you try to color it SO conclusively in favor of "global warming," particularly as the "science" and computer modelling of global warming falls apart more and more quickly as this decade progresses.

Try to at least adopt a faux-balanced approach so that the article has some credibility. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Please add new subjects at the end. Also, please sign contibutions on talk pages (use 4 tildes like this: ~~~~). The paper you are talking about is only one single study. It only covers a small part of the earth. It has not been carefully evaluated, just passed normal peer review (which is good, but not conclusive). It does not "tatter" our understanding of global warming even if it turns out to be correct. And it simply does not belong in the introduction. --Stephan Schulz 08:18, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
You are forgetting about the U.S. Climate Science Change Program's report HERE.--The Outhouse Mouse 19:46, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
What about it? I have not read the full report, but from the summary it seems to fully support the consensus position. It does contain some newer information than the IPCC report, and seems to e.g. explain the former problems with the satellite record.--Stephan Schulz 20:56, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The question you have to ask yourself is how well do observations confirm the results of greenhouse models? The answer: not at all. The disparity between theory that predicts a climate disaster and actual data from the atmosphere is demonstrated most strikingly in the report's Fig. 5.4G (p. 111), which plots the difference between surface and troposphere trends for a collection of models and for balloon and satellite data.--The Outhouse Mouse 18:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)'re cherry-picking again. Yes, there are some very few areas where models and measurements are not in perfect agreement. Still, they usually seem to be within a 2-sigma-environment. And if you look at the overall picture, the report explicitely states that there are no remaining significant discrepancies anymore. See the abstract, page III. --Stephan Schulz 19:49, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
You say "very few." Could you please place that in context and include sources to back up your use of the term "very few"? If your contention that such models are "only a tiny minority," then I would like to see some sources that are generally accepted as reputable attesting to that position. In reference to page III of the abstract, I am not disputing that there has been "global warming," as such. I am contending that "global warming" is only affected in a minor way by Man (i.e., the origins are only very slightly and tangentally anthropegenic).--The Outhouse Mouse 20:25, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
You are moving the goal posts. You stated that the US Climate Change Science Program report [19] shows that climate models and actual data disagree. In fact, the report shows that they do, in general, agree to a very high degree, and that there are only a few and insignificant remaining discrepancies. There's your reputable source right up. This is only indirectly connected to the question about causality. It gives us (well, at least the NOAA, the NAS, the IPCC, the national academies of science of essentially every major country, and William) confidence in the models. The models tell us that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are the most significant cause of global warming. --Stephan Schulz 20:45, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely I referenced the US Climate Change Science Program Report. If you take a look at the referenced figure on page 111 [20] you will see that it substantiates my contention. Moreover, the Report states: "In the model results, trends in the two measures of tropical lapse rate (Ts minus T2lt and Ts minus T*t) are almost invariably negative, indicating larger warming aloft than at the surface (Figure 5.4F,G). Similar behavior is evident in only one of the four upper-ait data sets examine here (RSS). The RSS trends are just within the range of model solutions." The footnotes go on to say: "The UMd group does not provide either a stratospheric or lower-troposhperic temperature retrieval, and so could be included in the comparison of modeled and observed trends in Ts minus T*t or Ts minus T2lt. Assuming that the relationships between the UMd T2, and T2lt and T*t trends were similar to those for the UAH and RSS data, the UMd data would yield T2lt and T*t trends that were larger than in RSS. This owuld expand the range of observational uncertainty shown in Figures 5.4F,G. Three of the four RSS-based results in Figures 5.4 F and G are within two standard deviations of the model average calues (see Table 5.4B). Note also that for their tropical T2lt trend, TSS claims a 2 sigma uncertainty of 0.09 degrees Celsius/decade. This uncertainty is not included here."--The Outhouse Mouse 17:16, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
(de-levelling a bit) If you're interested in this, you want satellite temperature record which has the most up to date stuff. The report you ref is fairly up to date, but not quite, and doesn't fully grok the aug 11th papers from last year William M. Connolley 17:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

You are probably right that it shouldn't be in the introduction but there is evidence that doesn't quite add up with our current understanding of global warming. For instance the Greenland temperature records and this article from BBC News about the artic sea level [21] I do think the article should atleast address some of these bugs in the current theory --Jayson Virissimo 09:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

While there is a lot of active research, this field has a stable and mature core.
That comment is utter nonsense. It is risible.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Glad to hear it amuses you. --Stephan Schulz 13:50, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
An encyclopedic entry tries to summarize a whole field in a few pages. Individual papers, unless they are earth-shattering, are simply to detailed for this. Once they have been understood, verified, and the basic implications have been worked out, their content can be incorporated accordingly. What you call "bugs in the theory" may be bugs in the papers (as in the case of the MSU temperature series) or areas where the theory makes no detailed prediction (arctic sea level). These may be valuable, but the tentativeness of the science (and all science) seems to be adequately covered in the article.--Stephan Schulz 09:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Short notice: Gavin Schmidt gave some comments on the arctic sea level paper at here. Hardern 11:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Oh dear. Does anyone understand the concept of regional differences? Some places get hotter, some get colder, some get wetter, some get drier. OVERALL, the global temperature is rising. The changes in Greenland are to do with melting ice discharging v.cold water in the region. This cooling does NOT indicate a "bug in the current theory". -Plum

I read somewhere that temperatures are at a 400 year high. Does that mean that we (humans) have been there, done that, and lived through it? If so, why the panic now, this time around? Just wondering. Dubc0724 18:53, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
First, it's at least a 400 year high, and probably much more. Second, the warming to date is only the very first appearance of a much, much stronger period of warming (see [22]). Finally, just because we "survived" it last time doesn't mean we shouldn't try to avoid it; we've survived lots of events that have been pretty horrible. bikeable (talk) 19:13, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
What is the spike from 2050 on based upon, in broad (simple!) terms? That's very interesting. I guess all I was asking is that if such fluctuations have happened without any major catastrophes, what makes this trend so much more alarming? Thanks again for the input. Dubc0724 19:43, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
(Whoops -- I didn't actually mean to include the image in here.) The trend after 2050 is simply the model predictions of all climate forcings, the largest of which is anthropogenic CO2 (note: that's the largest forcing driving the temperature away from stability; other forcings may be larger but are in equilibrium). And sure, the relatively minor temperature changes in the past have indeed had catastrophic consequences, at least for some groups -- for example, the settlement of Greenland occurred when what looks on the graph like a tiny uptick (the Medieval Warm Period) made it inhabitable, and the settlement died out when that warming ended and the Little Ice Age began. The global warming forecasts for the next century are an order of magnitude larger than those effects. bikeable (talk) 20:36, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if my questions were pesky, but thanks very much for the input. Dubc0724 20:39, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Topright image chart

The reconstruction chart that shows tempeartures from 1 AD to 2004 AD would be much more useful at the top than the image that starts at 1860 AD; a very bad year for historical comparsions considering it's around the end of the little ice age. Jon 13:46, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

But it's the most accurate chart, since it comprises of recorded data, not proxy data. The other chart is provided just a bit downstairs. Hardern 13:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, by 1860 the LIA was over. The 1000 and 2000 year charts make the 20th century essentially unreadable.--Stephan Schulz 13:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

"only" is POV

I removed "only" from the introduction ("Only a small minority of scientists...") It is relatively OK to say "A small minority of scientists [disagree]" (although even "small" has connotations of "they're wrong", but I'll let this pass). However, if you say "Only a small minority...", this is semi-loaded language; it implies that the article (and by extension the reader) takes it for granted that global warming is an established fact (I can't comment on the veracity of that, I'm a linguist!) and there are connotations that the "small minority" is a beleaguered bunch of partisans who are obviously wrong and will soon be reduced to zero. It's a small change to make, but a lot of this kind of phrasing adds up to a very strong overall impression of POV. (So Guettarda, can you un-rv your rv please or will I do it?)

I do believe "only" is used strictly as a proportional qualifier. You're reading too much into it. "Only a few" simply means fewer than "A few". --Cyde↔Weys 15:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Cyde-Weys, I guess it doesn't matter anyway. After all, only a few Wikipedians still care about maintaining the neutrality of the language used in articles. :-) Ryancolm 16:10, 21 June 2006 (UTC) (these are my previously unsigned comments, forgot to login earlier, sorry)
Weasel words are weasel words. It needs to go. Dubc0724 16:15, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Seconded. Its against policy to use weasel words. Kyaa the Catlord 19:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, and I'm sorry, but I can't let this go. "Only a few" is NOT fewer than "A few", CydeWeys. Consider this sentence: "Only a few Japanese soldiers are still living on desert islands in the Pacific Ocean, under the impression that WWII is still in progress." Adding "only" to "a few" implies (strongly implies) that the number is reducing and will eventually be zero. It is loaded language, it is POV, and it assumes the eventual acceptance by these "few" scientists that global warming exists. Lads, I'm not saying global warming exists or not - I don't give a rat's unmentionable, if you want to know - but this is LOADED LANGUAGE and must be stopped. There is a clear, negatively ideological connotational difference between "a few" and "only a few." Ryancolm 16:17, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

What if the meaning you're saying is implied by the phrase "only a few" is actually true? The truth is always NPOV. --Cyde↔Weys 16:34, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Then that assertion needs to be sourced and clarified. It should not be left to a vague implication in imprecise language. The fact that there are people willing to fight to preserve the imprecise language is rather a large concern to me. -Harmil 16:42, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Harmil, it is sourced and clarified. Try clicking on the wiki link in that sentence (which points to List_of_scientists_opposing_global_warming_consensus) ... Crust 16:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
No, the implication is not sourced. Remove the word "only", and you have a point, but with the word "only" there is a strong implication that should not be made by default. It should be stated outright or not at all, and if it is stated outright, then it should be sourced. Just plunking a highly leading word at the start of a sentence like that is not in keeping with the standards to which Wikipedia aspires. -Harmil 18:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I should also point out that the article does not say that only a few accept the idea that global warming occurs or is occuring. The debate, at least the one cited in the article in the sentence in question, rages over the acceptance of the antropogenic origin of warming which is a highly contested topic which "only a few" scientists have the funding to argue (unlike most areas of scientific research, contrarians on climate modeling typically don't get funded [23], and so there is little or no opposition). -Harmil 16:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
That's like the Discovery Institute complaining about a lack of grant money to "research" evolution. Raul654 17:12, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Or Kent Hovind complaining about a lack of funding to "research" geology. --Cyde↔Weys 17:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the number of grants that have been given to projects seeking to disprove evolution over the years is HUGE, as well it should be. All theory must be assailed, or it becomes dogma. This is the way the scientific method works. The problem is that, when it comes to global warming, publishing such work brands you an "enemy of the planet" (a phrase that was applied to the research organization a friend worked for after they published solar data that suggested a stronger forcing function on climate than had been considered), so you don't have funding and either have to a) seek funding from sources that label you as "tainted" or leave the field. Consensus isn't what it used to be. -Harmil 18:29, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
This is further supported by the article on alternative views stating that 100% of peer reviewed works support support the global warming theory. The deck is stacked. Kyaa the Catlord 19:28, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Umm, how does that prove that the deck is stacked? 100% of peer review papers support the theory of evolution or for that matter the theory that the earth is round not flat. Are those decks stacked too? Crust 19:41, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
That's the problem. Our earth article is absurdly biased in favor of the so-called "round earth" theory. It's just a theory, folks! The fact that 100% of peer reviewed articles support this theory is just more evidence that hte deck is stacked against alternative ideas. Flat-earth research is often derided as junk science, and flat earth researchers always have trouble getting funding. There's a growing minority of scientists who support the flat-earth theory, and it deserves equal time in the classroom! Raul654 19:45, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Now I get it. ;) Crust 19:46, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Having absolutely no dissent isn't suspect? Noone agrees 100% on 'anything'. Such broad support should be questioned, period. If noone asks questions, science grinds to a halt. And the fact that those who hold alternate opinions are derided and dismissed out of hand is simply troubling. Kyaa the Catlord 19:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Kyaa the Catlord, your reply didn't answer my question on the lack of peer-reviewed flat earth research publications. Is that suspect also? (And by the way, "Noone agrees 100% on 'anything'" is a red herring. There are people who believe in a flat earth, in UFOs, etc., it's just that they can't prove their case to high enough standard to get that published in a scientific journal.) Crust 13:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't respond to fallacies. Argumentum ad populum is fun to throw out, isn't it? Kyaa the Catlord 13:31, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I do sometimes respond to fallacies as demonstrated by my responding to you. You argued that since 100% of peer reviewed articles support the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the "deck must be stacked", i.e. there must be some sort of arbitrary exclusion of contrary opinions on global warming from the scientific literature. My point is that if one accepts that argument then the same argumument applies, pari passu, to the lack of flat earth papers. (And no, I did not make an argumentum ad populum.) Crust 14:10, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Since this discussion is treading dangerously close to violating the spirit of WP:NPA and WP:AGF, I think I'll duck out here while retaining a healthy dose of skepticism. Kyaa the Catlord 14:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Kyaa the Catlord, I apologize for responding in kind on the fallacies bit, but I would be grateful if you could respond to my question or retract your argument. Crust 14:32, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Flat earth theories remained tossed about until the evidence against them became unarguable. Global warming still cannot prove, to a similar level of surity (forgive my spelling its late), that GW is caused by primarily human sources. And despite being questionable, those who even hazard to hold to a competing point of view are made pariahs and ridiculed. GW supporters should WELCOME those who disagree with them, science is about proving a theory and simply arguing from a predetermined point is more like, dare I say it, religion. Kyaa the Catlord 17:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Excellent, I think we are much closer to agreement (so far as the pure logic goes). I don't think there is some conspiracy to suppress legitimate anti-GW arguments, though. To quote from RealClimate, the most prominent scientific climate blog:[24]
I can't really think of any grants that have been given to disprove evolution. That's about as absurd as giving a grant to disprove that gravity works. There are, of course, thousands of grants awarded annually to investigate certain specific niches of the modern evolutionary synthesis, but there isn't any money being granted with the vague (and impossible) goal of "disproving evolution". --Cyde↔Weys 19:49, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The scientific method just rolled in its grave. You do realize that one of the parts of proving a theory is the elimination and study of alternative, competing hypothesis? This is why people should be encouraged to go against the stream and try their damnedest to disprove "consensus". Kyaa the Catlord 19:55, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Please. We know how the scientific method works. No one gives out grants to "disprove evolution" as such. Except perhaps the Discovery folks, but the work they fund is not scientific in nature. bikeable (talk) 20:53, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that it is fairly clear that the neutality of this article is disputed. The use of the word "only" is black letter on this point. If you want to state that a non-majority of scientists dispute the anthropogenic origin of global warming then a better word to use would be "some" or "a few" or "several." The word "only" modifies the words "small minority." Clearly the emphasis here is on denigrating the number of scientists who hold opinions in contradiction to the purported majority.

Moreover, if the article is going to claim that a majority of scientists support the anthropogenic origin of global warming, then citations from sources generally considered reputable need to be provided. It would also be appropriate to provide links to other sources generally accepted as reputable who, in turn, dispute or deny such anthropogenic origins. --The Outhouse Mouse 19:17, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Are we to conlcude that you believe the link you keep trying to add (most recently while not logged in) is reputable? TimL 04:18, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
My opinion is irrelevant. It is what is generally accepted as being reputable that is important.--The Outhouse Mouse 18:39, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

We're protecting individual sentences now? It's still POV, but those pushing their agenda seem to want to control any edits that would conflict with The Official Story. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Were not really protecting anything. If you want to change it, you must first discuss it here. If there is a broad consensus about changing this sentence, then it can be changed. Count Iblis 15:35, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
There will never be such a "consensus" because there are several people who seemingly have nothing better to do than to slant this article to fit their agendas.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Yes, you're right about that. But luckily the majority accepts the well-supported scientific consensus, and often goes to extraordinary lengths to explain it. The article is still overemphasizing the sceptic position a bit, but it's not to bad overall.
Please sign your contributions to talk pages using --~~~~. --Stephan Schulz 16:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Overemphasizing the sceptic [sic] Hardly. Dubc0724 17:31, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Dubc, "sic" is used to denote an incorrect spelling, like "septic". In this case, it's just the non-American way to spell skeptic, and it's quite common. --Spiffy sperry 17:52, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

It isn't worth taking anything this person says seriously, look at his edits: its all worthless rubbish. He's of the same type of those who make unsourced accusations of liberal bias in controversial topics. I bet he thinks is a reliable scientific source.Plijyqseft 18:24, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

But why not question it here on the talk page? Count Iblis 20:32, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Rubbish because I questioned the Official Story? Why not protect the whole article and let the "consensus" decide every single edit? Not familiar w/ but it might be as reliable as wikipedia?
Rubbish because they are pointless and contribute nothing. Get educated on the subject and you might be worth listening to. I suspect your a skeptic not because you've examined all the evidence and formed an opinion, its because your a right winger, and are merely taking up the default right wing position on the issue. I'll agree with you on the wikipedia reliability comments, only because its editors include people like you. Plijyqseft 20:48, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
plijyqseft's rant. A right winger? Not even close. I'm just someone who doesn't blindly go along with what I'm told. I see that dissenters are simply dismissed as "trolls" or "right wingers" here. At least some other editors, like Count Iblis, are willing to discuss the topic. By the way, you might check out[25] LoudMouth 12:51, 12 July 2006 (UTC) (finally registered here...)
If statements such as: "“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”---Adolf Hitler, the father of global warming?" are not trolling what are they? Totally worthless. Also you fail after having it explained to you twice that you are not being dismissed because your a dissenter, but because you obviously don't have anything useful to say.Plijyqseft 13:35, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
The Hitler thing was a bit of satire. And it was damn funny! It also obviously worked if you went to the trouble to dig it up! Maybe it was inappropriate, and that's why when it was reverted I didn't press the issue.
My original question in this section (before you buried it up here) was why is the phrase "only a few" being protected? That was, and still is, a fair question, but you never bothered to answer it, like others did. You just ranted and called me a troll and a right-winger. I suppose THOSE comments are considered "useful." -- LoudMouth 13:43, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
You were labeled a troll because of a moderate analysis of your previous edits and making a new section devoted a question which is already being discussed. Otherwise, why do you want it changed so badly? Its a more accurate description. "A small minority" gives the dissenters undue weight, think of something completely new and ill consider it. As was said before, the dissenters are reading too much into it, and it says alot that they have to make a fuss over trivial things like this.Plijyqseft 14:00, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I apologize for not recognizing that a discussion was already underway. My comments were meant to address the protection as much as the content. I don't necessarily want it changed. I simply asked why people like you are so adamant on keeping POV in the article by using "only a small minority" when "a small minority" would certainly suffice. Certainly it's to downplay any opposition. Maybe this would be a better way to start the sentence: "Only a tiny, stupid minority made up of rednecks, religious fundamentalists and Exxon Board members..." Oops, there I go again trying to be funny. Anyway, read the post above with the analogy to Japanese soldiers. "Only" is POV. You can't argue with that. But I'm sure you'll try. LoudMouth 14:13, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
And no doubt your ultimate goal here is to have the opening paragraph reveal that GW is 'junk science'. "Only" isn't POV, it simply adds emphasis on how few there are. And the evidence is everywhere, we have just a handful of notable dissenters listed on the Global warming skeptics wikipedia page, a few tin pot petitions here and there with what? a couple hundred signatories at the most. Public opposition also gives the illusion that there are more genuine skeptics than there actually are.Plijyqseft 14:44, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
So many things to address here....where do I start?
(1) Opening paragraph with GW as "junk science"? Not at all. Again, you keep trying to tell me what I think, but you haven't been right yet. Keep trying though, it's fun.
(2) I suppose the "Global warming skeptics wikipedia page" is the official registry for GW skeptics? Give me a break. If so, where's the corresponding page listing every single GW-believer? That’d be nice. Then we could put them side-by-side and figure out how much more support pro-GW has compared to anti-GW.
Here's one of the problems. You keep talking about the “consensus”. That’s a nice thing to have, because it’s so vague. You could have six million supporters or six hundred. Who knows? Same goes for skeptics. You say there’s two hundred. Could be two million. But it’s easier for you to frame it as two hundred nutjobs versus the Scientific Community.
(2.5) And what’s this business about “genuine skeptics”. As opposed to artificial ones, I guess? We’d have to re-count our supporters and skeptics mentioned above, wouldn’t we? You know, to only count the genuine ones…
I don’t doubt that supporters outweigh detractors by a substantial margin. But the use of “only” is subjective and POV. It’s only included for one reason: to give the appearance of virtually no opposition to the current theory. That’s not accurate and we both know it. You don’t have to agree with me. You can be wrong if you want. LoudMouth 15:04, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
1. It was a reasonable assumption considering you attempted to add global warming into the junk science article.
2. All notable skeptics are listed there.
3. Where have i mentioned consensus so far? a little confused are we?
4. By genuine skeptics i mean people who actually know what they are talking about and have examined all the evidence and have credibility in the science profession. People that goverments would listen to. Anyone can call global warming "liberal propaganda" (When it is infact a valid scientific theory) and be referred to as a dissenter.
5. It's obvious majority of scientists agree that the recent warming trend is anthropogenic, and there is plenty of evidence to back it up. If the word "only" is there to "to give the appearance of virtually no opposition to the current theory" then that defeats the whole point of the paragraph, which is to note the existence of skeptics.Plijyqseft 15:35, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Alright, short & sweet this time around. #1 was a joke. #2 who decides who's notable? #3 OK so you didn't specifically mention consensus, but that's what keeps being trumpeted here by GW supporters. And nope, I'm not confused at all (condescending tone noted, thanks). #4 OK- then you should also work to determine who are "genuine" supporters as well. #5 - The paragraph is only there because GW supporters have not yet been successful in completely censoring it. So they just pick it apart with weasel words instead. LoudMouth 15:54, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. #1. Sure. #2. Wikipedia editors. #4. Anyone that fits the discription that i mentioned earlier #5. Nice little conspiracy theory you have there.Plijyqseft 17:00, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
  1. 1. Glad you agree. #2. That's a laugh - I meant who in the real world decides? I know who decides who Wikipedia recognizes as notable. #4. Just as long as they agree with you, right? #5. Uh-oh, can't say theory here; the locksteppers don't like that word. Besides, "conspiracy theory" doesn't fit. "Observed pattern" is a little closer. -- LoudMouth 17:34, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
#2 We were talking about wikipedia. #4 Thats nonsensical. My initial statement reads "By genuine SKEPTICS i mean people who actually know what they are talking about and have examined all the evidence and have credibility in the science profession. People that governments would listen to.", you ask who what makes a "genuine" supporter, i simply replied the same criteria except reverse positions on the issue. #5 What? there is no problem with the word "Theory" here, if your using the "GW is just a theory" argument then i suggest you look up what theory means in scientific context. Your statement is still a conspiracy theory.Plijyqseft 17:49, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

[#2] I wasn't talking about Wikipedia. I was asking, in general, who gets to decide who's notable and who's not? Wikipedia editors are self-proclaimed experts (myself included) with varying levels of actual knowledge. Besides, an encyclopedia is supposed to simply list facts; encyclopedias are not charged with the task of deciding who's notable and who's not. So who decides? [#4] See #2. [#5]. I suppose "conspiracy theory" is being used here as a pejorative term, just like "only" that spawned this debate. I guess if your argument runs out of merit, you can always depend on semantics. So yeah, maybe it is a "conspiracy" of sorts, not so much a shady undertaking by a tight-clad team of evil geniuses. Just a handful of people with a certain level of knowledge, arrogance, and free time who wish to maximize their agenda's exposure while limiting dissent. (And by theory, I was making a joking reference to the "theory" fights on this talk page.) Lighten up. -- LoudMouth 18:07, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, advice taken (lighten up). lets finish up, I agree with you on the first part about just presenting the facts, and hopefully a resolution can be found on the "only" issue.Plijyqseft 18:21, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Does that mean I win? Kidding!! --LoudMouth 18:26, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
"Kidding!!" - I hope so! ;-)
You betcha.

Citation needed/minor edit flag Plijyqseft has repeatedly removed the citation flag. Contrary to his edit messages, there is no cite evident in the sentence. WmC, from your last edit summary I'm guessing you were trying to remove what he already removed? If so your pronouncement that no cite is needed does NOT qualify under WP:V and you surely know it. Also, you might both want to read Minor_edits. Arker 10:49, 12 July 2006 (UTC)


Excellent work, guys. Congratulations on much deserved FA status and selection for the Main Page. Ideogram 15:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

May I add my plaudits as well? Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:34, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

About Scientific Concensus

Just a short note. There has been much debate on these talk pages about scientific concensus, and I thought this was a very interesting read. (link is to Dr. Jeff Master's tropical weather blog at "The Weather Underground" which does contain ads.) TimL 18:51, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


I noticed this is a featured article and was wondering why there is no mention about the studies of the implications of methane gas as a consequence of the futher changes that many scientists believe would occur with a signifcant rise in global temperature. The release of traped methane is one of the potencial major outcomes of a rise in temperature of about 5 degrees or more. That is, the release of trapped methane from carbon12 (mostly in the sea bed) into the atmosphere, which is triggered by the rise in global temperatures , and which is thought to increase the temp by another 5% in itself (thus total rise in temp goes to 10% increase), as well as dramatically affect oxygen content of the atmophere. These resuls of an increase of 10% are thought to explain the first mass extinction event on earth. Thanks. Professor33 19:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

The article does contain this: "Positive feedback effects, such as the expected release of methane from the melting of permafrost peat bogs in Siberia (possibly up to 70,000 million tonnes), may lead to significant additional sources of greenhouse gas emissions." and this: "Another suggested mechanism whereby a warming trend may be amplified involves the thawing of tundra, which can release significant amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane that is trapped in permafrost and ice clathrate compounds " and this: "Sudden releases of methane from clathrate compounds (the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis), have been hypothesized as a cause for other past global warming events, including the Permian-Triassic extinction event and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. However, warming at the end of the last glacial period is thought not to be due to methane release [60]. Instead natural variations in the Earth's orbit are believed to have triggered the retreat of ice sheets by changing the amount of solar radiation received at high latitude and led to deglaciation." - though whether these were added before or after your comment, I haven't checked. Carcharoth 11:39, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis entails the phenonmenon I am thinking about. Glad it is there. 16:40, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Article overstates the case

I am not an expert on global warming but after doing some reading, it is obvious the article overstates the case. I have included a quote from the IPCC report that clearly says climate modeling cannot predict the future climate. A wikipedia reader would have thought that was possible the scientific community believed the models were wonderful predictors. I also noticed that the article does not mention the 60 scientists who signed the letter to the PM of Canada saying:"Climate change is real" is a meaningless phrase, used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming, and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time, due to natural causes, and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural "noise." [26] It seems editors here want the world to believe there is a consensus of opinion on this issue in the scientific community. The evidence does not bear that out. RonCram 20:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Very interesting. Dubc0724 20:07, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
This is not notable or rather we should be careful to give undo weight to this tiny minority view. They are counter to the consensus among the majority of scientists.Professor33 20:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
There is, in fact, a consensus of opinion on the scientific community. and as Professor33 implies, we have to be careful not to over-balance the article. This does not mean that there are no dissenters. (There are dissenters on every scientific position.) More information on the consensus is at Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change. bikeable (talk) 20:49, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, there is by no means a consensus on global warming and its extermities. The majority has a positive view, and the minority a negative, but there is not a consensus. I don't understand how the article can be called "Scientific opinion on climate change"? As far as I am concerned, there should be no opinion or bias in science, only a search for knowledge and the truth. It is not a debate. -- The Mac Davis] ⌇☢ ญƛ. 22:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this article is "overstating the case", i don't think it's trying to convince anyone that GW is real, i do think it's aim is to provide alot of relevant and accurate information about the GW theory, and i believe that it's good job at it (or was until it was on the front page and copped an onslaught of vandalism and whatnot). -maj

This discussion is very interesting. I have to add, that as a student of environmental science who has read the journals and studied the numbers, there really is a scientific consensus on global warming. There are, however, several evangelical christian scientists who will continue to voice their minority point of view (60 scientists! wow, what an insignificant number! I would find out who they are and guarantee you that >90% are heavily involved in evangelical christianity). Even if I'm wrong, I know for a fact that according to the real scientific community (sans evangelical bias) GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL! Furthermore, it is human induced. Global warming does not care about your politics. Ecosystems are not persuaded by rhetoric. I am not a "left-winger" and neither are the other 99.99% of scientists who are trying to save your lives. The crazies have done a marvelous job of convincing the public that this is a political issue, but that's because there are still trillions of dollars to be made in the oil business, and as long as they can muddle the facts, they've won the debate. 22:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Regarding your recent edit, the comment from the IPCC report is a worthwhile addition but I am not convinced that you have represented it fairly. It is an extract from the (rather long) summary; it is certainly not the entire summary as the wording of your edit tends to imply. Also the IPCC comment in its proper context is a recognition that the model results will span a range of uncertainty which we need to quantify; for an example of a project which attempts to do this, see [27]. Scientists of course recognize that there is uncertainty, and that no single model will give a single numerical answer that can be taken in isolation as an accurate prediction of climate sensitivity, but your interpretation that "the scientific community still does not have a great deal of confidence in these models" is journalese. I will try to work on this paragraph to take into account the IPCC quote but in what I consider to be a fairer way; watch this space. Arbitrary username 21:33, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I've removed RC's edit; its clearly POV & cherry picked (and not by him either... presumably found by some skeptics). Anyway, the idea that the IPCC doesn't think that GCMs are very useful is clearly nonsense; you just have to read the rest of the report to see that William M. Connolley 21:55, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Thanks, RC, for providing the source, but unless I'm blind your "quote" is not a quote, it's misleading. I could not find the first part "In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that..." on that page at all. The second part seems to come from a discussion of possible improvments, suggesting the use of many models and a probabilistic view. In full, it reads: "The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future exact climate states is not possible." (emphasis by me). It goes on to say: "Rather, the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system's future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions". Chaotic systems allow no exact prediction if the initial conditions are not exactly known - something that is impossible in the physical world. That does not mean that predictions are impossible at all. What is suggested here is to work with different models and different initial conditions to explore the possible evolution of the system, and to allow an estimate of the probabilities of the different possible states. --Stephan Schulz 22:00, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I did my best at refactoring the paragraph in question to take account of the IPCC quote in a hopefully fairer way. However, I was unsophisticated in the way that I resolved the edit conflict with WMC (who was reverting RC's edit), so I'm not sure whether the text now reads well within the section as a whole. Could someone (e.g. WMC) please be so kind as to check this? Thanks. Arbitrary username 22:08, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

To Stephan: Junk Science has RC's version [28]; as does envirotruth from Stott [29]; also attributes it to Stott [30]; as does Daly [31]. So its probably a result of septic websites copying each other William M. Connolley 22:14, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

What's wrong with copying if you attribute the author? And why did you add septic in there? I've been to a two of those sites and they were nicely designed, as well as having factual information! -- The; Mac Davis] ⌇☢ ญƛ. 22:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
What is wrong that one of them misquoted the original report and all the others, without ever checking the original source, just copied the convenient mistake. So how much can you trust that "factual information"? Nice formatting is a sign of either talent or funding, not of correctness. --Stephan Schulz 22:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
That's fine, edit it as you wish. Oh and incidentally, a note to anon, your comments about evangelical Christians siding with the skeptics really weren't very helpful. Check out John T. Houghton for starters...... Arbitrary username 22:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Stephan, I pulled the original quote from the Wall Street Journal piece by Philip Stott found on When someone complained I went to the report and the quote was exactly as Stott quoted it. Are you certain you went to the link I provided? I was trying to find the final report but the only version I found was an interim report. Perhaps they changed the wording slightly from the interim report. If so, my fault. And if so, can you provide a link to the final report. I would not want that to happen again. RonCram 22:53, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi Ron, I used the link you provided to check the quote ([32], page 78, section G2). In fact, I checked all of the page, and the following one. I was unable to find your version. I couldn't find anything relevant on Free Republic, but from a short look I'd treat anything I found there as very tentative at best. --Stephan Schulz 23:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Steve, it appears I made two mistakes. You are correct that the quote is not exactly the same. The portion I looked for was exactly right but I did not check the earlier phrase. Also, I thought perhaps I was linking to an interim report because of the words on the front cover "A report accepted by Working Group I of the IPCC but not approved in detail." But apparently this is the Final Report and Stott had quoted the interim report in the Wall Street Journal. I found this quote on On Monday, February 19th, the much publicized and extensively pre-released and pre-hyped IPCC Third Assessment Report (Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) will be released. Contrary to media hyperbole, the "report" actually contains no new data or evidence of any description, it is a speculative collection of "story lines" ranging from the conservative (no change) to the bizarre (that which has been repeatedly touted in the media over the last few weeks). Whether the "official" release retains the one significant quote from the draft version ("In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-liner chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible." -- Final chapter, Draft TAR 2000) remains to be seen. Given the media's recent fixation with the most extreme (and least likely) "story line" distributed by the IPCC, it seems doubtful whether the media would admit that damning quote's presence even if it has been retained in the "official" publication.[33] I apologize for my role in the misunderstanding.RonCram 05:57, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

References - my edit needs fixing!

I seem to have messed up the referencing system. I was trying to move some of the material to the front and other parts to a footnote in this edit, but this needs to be a footnote, not a reference. Can anyone fix this? Thanks. Carcharoth 11:50, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I reverted that, sorry. We had a long discussion about not using footnotes, which I believe is still current. I'm not really keen on the defn being in the first para - its rather dry, and not really needed there? William M. Connolley 14:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
WMC, could you point to that discussion? The archives are huge and not easily searchable, and I'd like to read the rationale for avoiding footnotes before I shoot my mouth off about it. Graft 14:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Could someone offer a link to the footnotes discussion please? I have an overwhelming urge to change all the inline links to footnotes, but I see a lot of comments about how the consensus here is against it, but I can't see any rationale for the consensus. Thanks. MyNameIsNotBob 04:00, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Most of the discussion took place at the the related Kyoto protocol [34] and see the RFA too William M. Connolley 07:03, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

OK. I've now tried a minor tweak making clear that 'Global warming' is phrase that is part of a terminology. Another thing though: the introduction in general has too much jargon. The second sentence dives straight in with: "average near-surface atmospheric temperature". This needs explaining or at least wikilinking to allow the introduction to stand by itself as a concise summary of the article. Also, the preceding sentence said that global warming includes warming of the oceans, but the rest of the introduction only talks about atmospheric warming. I would make more changes myself, but I fear I might miss some subtle points. Carcharoth 15:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

"dislike the stossel bit"

OK, so you don't like it...can you explain?

Only if you sign your posts :-) Stossels view is a common-or-garden error. Why is it notable enough to be the *only* individual piece refd in the intro? William M. Connolley 18:52, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


There was no mention of temporal variation due to changes in surface and cloud reflectivity/absorption. This is not the same as solar irradiation variation. I have heard that cloud reflectivity swamps variation due to greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, I don't have any data to see what the real story is. Ditto for surface reflectivity/absorption. I think this is of great importance and needs to be addressed here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:22, June 22, 2006 (UTC)

Albedo? It would probably go near/next to the "positive feedbacks" paragraph in the "causes" section. —AySz88\^-^ 03:51, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Mispelling (June 21)

There's a typo in the first paragraph on the article page (sience instead of science), but I can't figure out how to fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:53, June 21, 2006 (UTC)

I don't hold much faith in you fixing misspelled words when you misspell misspell. --mattst88


Is there any specific reason why "degrees" is spelled out ("1.1 ± 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit"..."2.7-8.1 degrees F") for the whole article instead of using the symbol "°C" or "°F" in those places? —AySz88\^-^ 04:04, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

SOmeone made the change recently, during the front-page excitement. IT seems silly to me William M. Connolley 06:32, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I changed it back except in the first mention of temperature changes. Count Iblis 20:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Possible solution to rising sea levels

I've just had an idea. Why not pump the rising water into any major depressions in uninhabited desert areas that could hold a lot of water, eg in Australia, the Sahara and America? This would stop flooding and the new seas could be used as fish farms and beach resorts could be set up around the edge. It might also be possible to introduce coral reefs to attract more tourists. Is this viable? Casper Claiborne 01:51, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

You want to build a pump that can transport billions of gallons of water to higher ground?-- 07:15, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, appart from the unpredictable effects on the climate and the certain destruction of ecosystems, there is a slight problem with the magnitude of the task. A 1 cm increase in ocean level corresponds to about 3000 billion tons of water (if you are imperial: A 1 inch increase corresponds to 8000 billion tons) . A rather conservative estimate for sea level rise is 1mm/year, so you need to move 300 billion tons of water per year. Portable high-performance pumps as used in New Orelans can move 900 tons per hour or slightly less than 8 million tons a year (assuming you can use them all-out all the time). If you just need to move water a small distance (so than one pump is sufficient), you need about 4000 pumps going all out all the time to compensate for a sea level rise of 1mm/year. Less than I thought, more than is practical.--Stephan Schulz 08:04, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
4,000 pumps is nothing. Even if you would need 10 per pipe because the distance that's 40,000. At $100,000 each (wild guess) that's 4 billion dollars, which is a piddling little sum in a global context. There would also be some pipes to pay for. There would be electricity for the pumps to as well, and generating it could have bad environmental effects, but that could be cancelled out by raising the money from petrol taxes. And that's without taking the cost savings into account. The Italians are planning to spend € 3 billion on the MOSE project just to protect Venice. If there are even a hundred million people in zones that would be flooded, and you value property in those areas at just $100,000 per person, that is $10 trillion dollars, which is 2,500 times more than $4 billion. There would be some environmental damage, but there is going to be environmental damage from flooding, and my guess is the coastal ecosystems are more valuable than desert ecosystems overall. I don't see why it wouldn't work. Casper Claiborne 02:39, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Umm....your guess is not wild enough. $100,000 will not buy you the truck it comes on. And even piddling little projects like the Three Gorges Dam cause concern about induced seismic activity (we need to fill 10 of these per year....every year for the forseeable future! Cost for this one dam is estimated at US$100 billion, at Chinese wages!) And then this amount of water will cause isostatic depression of the continental plate....--Stephan Schulz 06:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, the water wouldn't stay there for long, it will evaporate.
So you keep on pumping. The Caspian Sea hasn't dried up yet. Casper Claiborne 02:39, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
That adds another don't have to move the water once, but many times.--Stephan Schulz 06:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
There is something of an area problem. For every 0.5 m of sea level rise you'd have to cover an area the size of Australia and the Sahara combined to a depth of more than 10 meters. Even more assuming you still want parts of these places to be livable. There probably aren't nearly enough natural barriers to accomodate that much water so you've have to create some sort of super levee or dams around the regions you want to flood. At which point, one has to ask whether it makes more sense to build 1 m barriers around regions you want to protect or 15 m barriers around one region you want to flood... Dragons flight 03:09, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Australia looked like this a long time ago  :) Count Iblis 14:48, 25 June 2006 (UTC)


Something I am at a loss to understand is how this all needs to be attributed to the actions of the industrial human race. Mt. St. Helens released more "greenhouse gasses" in its eruption than any thing humans have ever even come close to over our existance on earth. As for the polar ice caps, as long as it's only the sea ice that is melting then no water is really being added to the oceans. Barring nuclear arms, we have really no capacity to control them. I really think that this is a natural process. We are coming off the tail end of the Little Ice Age and it's only natural that things get warmer for a while. Deepdesertfreman 17:08, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Uh, you didn't really read the article have you? It deals with each of your points. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 17:12, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Deepdesertfreman, there is so much propaganda about Global Warming in the US media, that it is better to forget everything you have read so far and start over. Try to read only articles based on peer reviewed scientific articles. It shouldn't be too difficult to find that humans greenhouse emissions per year are more than 100 times that of the Mt. St. Helens eruption. Count Iblis 17:25, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
...or that a large part of the sea level rise is due to thermal expansion, no due to melt water.--Stephan Schulz 21:26, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
.. or that the article also states that Ice Cores extracted by NSF researchers have "identified at least 20 sudden climate changes in the last 110,000 years, in which average temperatures fluctuated as much as 15 degrees in a single decade." Fyunck(click) 09:42, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Latest NASA research from Greenland: Global warming is WORSE than predicted!

NASA climatologists Jay Zwally and Konrad Steffen, have been studying the Greenland ice sheet and talk about their newest suprise in The LA Times:

By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone anticipated — an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles a year — according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL.
Since Steffen started monitoring the weather at Swiss Camp in 1991, the average winter temperature has risen almost 10 degrees. Last year, the annual melt zone reached farther inland and up to higher elevations than ever before.
There was even a period of melting in December.
"We have never seen that," Steffen said, combing the ice crystals from his beard. "It is significantly warmer now, and it happened quite suddenly. This year, the temperatures were warmer than I have ever experienced."
Kevin Drum says: "in a way, the skeptics have turned out to be right: the computer models aren't as reliable as we thought. They're too optimistic." 20:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
As with other reports, we should wait until they have seen some scrutiny and their implications have been worked out. An encyclopedic article should give the overall picture, not follow each single event or publication - especially not those is the popular press or political blogs.--Stephan Schulz 21:38, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Consensus? What does the MIT professor of atmospheric sciences say?

There Is No 'Consensus' On Global Warming By RICHARD S. LINDZEN WSJ: June 26, 2006; Page A14

Mr. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

[longish Copyvio removed...see WSJ directly]

Mr. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Double appeal to authority noted.
Are you suggesting that the only value of the article is "appeal to authority" ? If that's what you think, I guess it is a good example of your mental state and rhetorical technique.
The only reason WSJ publishes and people read Lindzen is because of his title. --Stephan Schulz 10:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Lindzen is a long-term and well-known sceptic, and one of the few who has at least a marginally relevant qualification.
A hah hah! Classic.
That does not make what he says right.
Uhhh ..... ok. What does that mean? Wait a minute ... does it mean that what YOU say is right? Ah, of course.
And what he wrote today is nothing new, either, except for the very selective reading of the NAS report.
What's your point exactly?
Please add new sections at the end of the page and sign your contributions to talk pages (using for tildes, ~~~~) --Stephan Schulz 09:28, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, what's your namer .. Stephan? You come over a little .. weird? Are you new to the Wiki?
It's not actually hard to figure that out [35]. But you seem to have limited interest in facts that do not agree with your world view.
(1) The current convention is that you add new material at the TOP of the talk page, not the bottom.
Nope.--Stephan Schulz 10:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
(2) Comments like this: "Please add new sections at the end of the page and sign your contributions to talk pages" make you sound really, really stupid. No offense. It's better that you hear it straight out. You actualy sound like you think you are, an authority-- a teacher! Are you in charge here are you pal? Funny. It's not really a winning look. Take the advice: don't embarass yourself. Settle way down. Take a deep breath. Calm down.
(3) Comments like "he don't now nuthin', who cares about his authority, we've heard it all before" purely and simply demonstrate flaws in YOUR ability to think. Settle right down, and have another go.
Some of us have heard it all before, it has been analyzed to death, and it still is crap. Guess why it's published as an editorial in an industry-friendly paper of the popular press...--Stephan Schulz 10:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't appear up to date, on some of the satellite data, but the rest is still supportable criticism. Is that why you are grasping at ad hominem straws? Most of the details of the criticisms are already represented in the article.--Poodleboy 10:22, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Now, now. You know you can't post anything that goes against the "official story". (unsigned comment left by
Perhaps you could outline the arguments that you feel have merit for those of us without a Wall Street Journal subscription? As well, although I understand that this is a very personal subject for some, please try to be polite to those with whom you disagree (I'm sure you didn't intend to come off as condescending, but it does read a little rough to me, and I have zero stake in this argument one way or another). 08:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
You can find it in the history for this page, here: [36]. You can also search on Lindzen, his points haven't changed much over the years, several letters are reprinted at Some of his standard arguments about the limited knowledge of the range of natural variability in the climate, and the inability of attributing single extreme events to global warming are represented in the article. I agree with you characterization of the Schulz comments. I would hope we would all have a stake in an undistorted assessment and communication of the scientific evidence.--Poodleboy 08:36, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Umm...given both the position and the content, I do not think that comment refers to me...--Stephan Schulz 08:53, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I see your point about position, but that can be imprecise, especially with anons. Was my categorization of your characterization of the Lindzen writings rather than discussion of merits "rough"? I thought my comments below were rougher, and perhaps the ones he/she had in mind, however, even in that one, I address the merits of the point being made, even if it was off topic, although intended to be relevent by analogy perhaps.--Poodleboy 10:24, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
My apologies for my poor writing. I was referring specifically to "Settle way down. Take a deep breath. Calm down." (as used in the context of discussion with someone who, at least, does not appear to be worked up) and "I guess it is a good example of your mental state and rhetorical technique." I don't wish to offend with my statement that I thought these (and a couple others) gave your contributions kind of a rough (sorry for reusing this word, I can't think of an appropriate synonym) tone. Again, that's just how I saw it, though I don't know how bias could play a part (I really don't know either of you, and I don't really know enough about the specifics of global warming to feel comfortable forming an opinion). 11:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I meant to ask if you could outline the primary arguments that Dr. Lindzen is raising in the editorial, sorry. I only ask because discussions such as these tend to go much more smoothly when objections are presented as clearly and concisely as possible (condensed arguments are easier to respond to) and because it would be good to know exactly what points you personally think have the most merit / speak for his point most strongly (with full editorial pastes, one risks being pecked to death over minor inconsistencies that do not really affect the argument they're making anyway). 11:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

What does biochemistry professor Michael Behe say about evolution? Count Iblis 15:09, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

He says that evolution has difficulty explaining examples of irreducible complexity. He's right, it does. However, many of his "apparent" examples are not holding up well and the hold out examples are not provably irreducibly complex. Have you read his work, or heard him speak, or questioned him? If you can't handle, explain or counter apparent problems with your theory, then perhaps you don't understand it well, or have found a promising area of further research. Because some steps of evolution occurred at a time and involved processes about which little appropropriate evidence could be preserved, may mean that some things will never be explained and so in a sense remain a mystery. This will be, perhaps forever, the last bastion of intelligent design. Sweat it, if you find it interesting. Your mention of Behe is just another attempt at ad hominem argument against the skeptics of global warming alarmism. You will find that they have a lot more science to hang their hats upon, and that they are not relying upon obscure pre-cambrian gaps in our knowledge. The gaps in the climate models are big enough to drive a truck through, and far short of the accuracy to be able to credibly balance the earth's energy budget to with less than a watt per meter squared.--Poodleboy 21:32, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

As PB has pointed out, Lindzen is merely reiterating his position. So I don't see what this new WSJ article adds. First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. True enough, which is why summaries and stuff exists. This is inevitable. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved well no, you can't take taht as a given, quite the reverse. Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. Yes, I would argue that is what Lindzen is trying to do. Its also very telling that he is either still not up to speed on the satellite stuff, or is deliberately distorting it - hard to know which.

Actaully, having another look, I find if all else were kept equal, the increase in carbon dioxide should have led to somewhat more warming than has been observed. This is weird - its completely true; but if L accepts this, I can't understand where he finds room to disagreee elsewhere. If he is accepting the std CO2 theory, and the std sensitivity, where is the room for solar? William M. Connolley 11:09, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I believe his "kept equal" statement merely is meant to point out that the CO2 forcing is quite a bit larger than the 0.6 watts/m^2 global energy budget inbalance, as are some other direct forcings such as solar and aerosols, and as are the uncertainies in internal climate phenomena such as clouds. Since not all forcings induce equal responses in the indirect feedbacks, in such a complex system in the climate, it is not yet possible to credibly attribute this minor positive budget imbalance (compared to the precision of our models) to the human GHG forcing.
Hansen (2005)[37] calls this minor budget imbalance "unusual", arguing that if sustained for a long enough period of time it would melt the caps, and since the caps don't melt that often, it must be unusual. However, as his assumptions imply, this imbalance might occur frequently and just not be sustained for long periods of time. It is clearly interrupted by major volcanic eruptions, and may well vary with the solar cycles of various lengths and with multi-decadal or longer internal climate modes. Hansen failed to discuss, and probably didn't consider that there may have been unrealized temperature increases already in existance at the beginning of his 1850 starting date. The Maunder minimum was, after all, just a few decades earlier.--Poodleboy 15:23, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
No, this won't do. We've all be conned into thinking that L thinks that CO2 has a minor effect. Now we discover that in fact he has, all along, agreed that CO2 has the effect that everyone thinks it has! This destroys his position William M. Connolley 16:42, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
William, you ask above If he is accepting the std CO2 theory, and the std sensitivity, where is the room for solar? I think I can explain. If you note the comment by the IPCC: "The climate system is a coupled, non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future exact climate states is not possible." (page 78) Clearly what this is saying is that there are lots and lots of inputs into the climate we experience. It is an incredibly simplistic view to think surface temperatures are affected only by CO2. Several factors play a factor at the same time (having tendencies to both raise and lower temperatures). Not only does the brightness of the sun play a role, but so does the earth's orbit as well as many other factors (some of which we have not even discovered yet). I hope this is helpful. RonCram 17:12, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
It helps explain your confusion, if nothing else. We're really talking about attribution of the past. If CO2 has caused more warming than we've seen, with the balance presumbly from sulphate, then the rest can't be solar, of course, because we all know solar is awrming not cooling, no? Orbital changes are trivial over the century scale William M. Connolley 17:35, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
WMC, in "if all else were kept equal, the increase in carbon dioxide should have led to somewhat more warming than has been observed", I think you missed the fact that should have is the crucial phrase. If Lindzen accepted the standard CO2 theory, he wouldn't be talking about "should have", he'd be talking about "did". By pointing out that the standard theory doesn't match the observational data, he is clearly rejecting the standard theory. 19:20, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Err, no. Since we have sulphate cooling, we don't expect the CO2 forcing to have given rise to the observed warming, we expect rather more. If you see how that works. So L's statement is completely in line with the consensus... as I said. L is saying that CO2 *should have* lead to exactly what is observed, though he has dressed it up in such a way as to fool you into thinking he is objecting William M. Connolley 19:41, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Lindzen doesn't even mention sulfate. You're the only one who has brought that up, and even you said that sulfate cooling was merely "presumbly" (sic) responsible for balancing the CO2. Lindzen, in fact, said that, "there has been an intense effort to claim that the theoretically expected contribution from additional carbon dioxide has actually been detected."[38] Presuming and misrepresenting the statements of others are not good science. 13:28, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Critical paper reference

I've not contributed to this article before, and since I know this is a contentious issue, I thought I would just add a note here on the talk page in hopes of causing less contention that way. The paper cited and linked below claims to contraindicate global warming based on a study of Greenland climactic data:

Vinther, B.M., Andersen, K.K., Jones, P.D., Briffa, K.R. and Cappelen, J. 2006. Extending Greenland temperature records into the late eighteenth century. Journal of Geophysical Research 111: 10.1029/2005JD006810.

You can find a synopsis online here: [39] I hope that someone finds this useful! Cheers, Dick Clark 18:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

You can't contradict GW based on one region, of course. Don't take the CO2 science take uncritically. Fig 2.5 of the recent NRC report is useful: William M. Connolley 19:10, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
By all means, take it critically. The gist appears to be another predicted component of climate that the current models are in general agreement about, and yet get wrong. Recall the central role the models play in attribution and prediction.--Poodleboy 01:31, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
What makes you think the models get it wrong? William M. Connolley 07:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
This earlier work.[40]--Poodleboy 07:51, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Errm, you mean the bit that sez Using this region as an indicator of Greenland's temperature change that is related to global warming, we find that the ratio of the Greenland to global temperature change due to global warming is 2.2 in broad agreement with GCM predictions.? William M. Connolley 17:18, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Errm, yes, perhaps you didn't notice that the reason they had to go to such extremis to find one part of Greenland that agree with the GCMs, was because the GCMs weren't able to model the North Atlantic Occilation. Their attempt was a bit strained, and they wouldn't have had to do it if the models weren't wrong.--Poodleboy 16:16, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Should the Oreskes paragraph be removed?

The Oreskes opinion essay was about a limited review of selected abstracts, not a survey of the scientific community, as it seems to be being characterized as. It also does not support the first statement, "At present, these have little support within the climate science community as an explanation for recent warming." For example, attributing a significant human contribution to recent warming does not necessarily conflict with "The warming is within the range of natural variation". Humans could be responsible for ALL the recent warming, and that warming could still be within the range of natural variation, in fact, the earth has been warmer in the past before humans were even around. Furthermore, the human contribution could still be "significant" even if only a minor precentage of the recent warming were attributed to it, and the rest to other natural external forcings. This paragraph doesn't seem to belong in the current location, and probably should be relegated to a non-science part of the article if it is too be mentioned at all.--Poodleboy 06:46, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

The O para is pretty clearly marked as a survey of abstracts. Which amount to the findings of those who published them. And of course it does support the first statement. Within-nat-var implicitly includes and-is-caused-by-nat-var; and by nat-var means recent nat-var; it doesn't include the time when the sfc was molten William M. Connolley 07:40, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
How does a survey of abstracts give us information about support within the "climate science community"? Abstracts are not a random sample of the community, and are not about the authors opinion on "support" or not for the alternate theories. And even if they were about support for some consensus statement, that consensus statement does not conflict with the alternate theories, as there can be more than one significant contributer to recent warming.--Poodleboy 07:58, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
What would you accept as a sign of consensus if not a survey of the published literature (reinforced by public declarations by several prestigeous organized professional body of scientists, and opposed by none of these)?--Stephan Schulz 09:19, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Probably another consensus...;) Hardern 18:37, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Note, that Oreskes is a survey of abstracts, not the literature itself. The public declarations of organizations would be evidence of the opinions of those organizations, and I would accept as statements of those organizations or of certain officers of those organizations, depending on how the statements are created. None of this should be in the alternate theories section, unless it explicitly addresses or contradicts those theories. Even then it should be secondary to peer reviewed results.
It is difficult to decide what a sign of consensus would be, one would have to define terms and then come up with a way to measure it. A good sign of scientific consensus would be a lack of alternate theories also consistent with the evidence, a lack of evidence inconsistent with the theory, possible problems or objections to the theory have been convincingly addressed and a general belief among the scientific community that such inconsistent evidence is unlikely to be possible. --Poodleboy 12:23, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I do reckon a "lack of alternate theories also consistent with the evidence", don't you? However, next to Oreskes the existence of the IPCC reports is also a clear sign of the scientific consensus. What else than thousands of contributors to a state-of-the-art overview on climatology are you looking for? Hardern 13:39, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
The IPCC reports are not peer reviewed. Although comments are solicited, the writers of the reports are free to ignore them, and the writers do not number in the thousands. When it comes to attribution and prediction, there are a range of alternate theories to the fear mongering. 2*CO2 climate sensitivity in the models varies by more than a factor of two, and some independent values based on analyses of the paleoclimate are smaller than any of the models. Solar activity for the last 60+ years has been at its highest level in 8000 years. Climate sensitivity to solar forcing may be amplified by solar effects on aerosols and cosmic rays, and the thermal inertia of the oceans has likely delayed full realization of the warming from the increase in solar activity since the maunder minimum through the first half of the 20th century and that sustained increase in forcing may still be being realized in temperature increase through the current time. The current level of solar activity is unlikely to last much longer. I don't know which level of fear mongering "global warming" theory you subscribe to, but your theory, even if consistent with the evidence, is not alone.--Poodleboy 17:21, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
In my understanding, the IPCC reports ARE the peer review - for papers that have already been reviewed, of course. And they ARE reviewed, in the US even by the whole interested public, and by all interested governments of course. If they were as lousy and wrong as you indicate above, nobody would really read them, quote them or do whatever is done with them these days, expecially no climatologists would do that if they'd know better. But in fact, they are a quite accurate summary of today's knowledge about climate change and the human impact on it. Hardern 08:33, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Peer review is a different process, don't confuse it with the IPCC process. If the IPCC were as good as you say, the controversy would be settled now, and people wouldn't still be having to be appeal to authority. The IPCC is a political process, and this second stage of review included governments as well as experts. There will be a lot of resistance from the governments to any admission that they were wrong to forgo hundreds of billions of dollars of growth. The summaries in the TAR spun the truth about as far as they could without breaking it. Since so many have relied upon that spin, the pressure will be greater this time around. There is a lot more evidence about the errors and problems with the models this time, due to a lot of good research in the intervening years. Last time they were able fill a vacuum of evidence with their spin, this time the evidence gives them less room to maneuver.--Poodleboy 13:33, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
(only 1 indent for sanity): PB is badly wrong in all the above; most of it is simply invented. If peer review were as good as you say... there is precious little sci controversy (in the sense you mean; there is plenty of sci argument); what there is, is a lot of puff from minor areas of dissent. THe IPCC is primarily scientific; what policitcal pressure there was, as far as I could see, was towards toing things down, not up William M. Connolley 13:44, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, perhaps the FAR will tell, lets see if they can tone down their previous overzealous statements.--Poodleboy 16:21, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Lets return to the subject, shall we? The primary object we should be getting the opinion of is the scientific literature - not the pronouncements of scientists. To that end, surveying their abstracts seems entirely sensible, since those abstracts are written by the authors to summarise their papers. As to A good sign of scientific consensus would be a lack of alternate theories also consistent with the evidence, a lack of evidence inconsistent with the theory, possible problems or objections to the theory have been convincingly addressed and a general belief among the scientific community that such inconsistent evidence is unlikely to be possible - all that seems to be satisfied. However, the current defn of sci cons - weight of sci opinion - seems better. William M. Connolley 18:14, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Just stumbled across an article by a climate scientist[41] claiming that Oreskes is refuted[42]. Specifically, he says (in an open letter to Al Gore) "Why did you make it sound like all scientists agree that climate change is manmade and not natural? You mentioned a recent literature review study that supposedly found no peer-reviewed articles that attributed climate change to natural causes (a non-repeatable study which has since been refuted....I have a number of such articles in my office!) "

Given the man's credentials and claims, it seems that relying heavily on Oreskes' abstract search might not be a good idea. TMLutas 21:29, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

He is probably referring to Peiser's analysis[43]. However, Peiser got it wrong (and has even partially admitted it by now). See it for yourself: [44],[45],[46],[47] --Stephan Schulz 21:51, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
He's probably not referring to Peiser. Spencer says (as quoted above) that he has the articles in his own office. Here's more [48]. --Spiffy sperry 14:17, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, in that text he does not call Oreskes's study "refuted". At best he says that her definition of the "consensus view" is to weak to say much. None of the papers he cites are in conflict with "Human activities ... are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents ... that absorb or scatter radiant energy. ... [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations". I still think that he refers to Peiser with the "refuted" bit, but admit that's only my feeling. --Stephan Schulz 15:13, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Not only is the statement weak, Oreskes multiple "inferences" that some of the abstracts agree with the weak statement, add additional weakness to her overall conclusion of consensus. What if instead she had been testing the premise that the models are in agreement. Do you think she would infer a factor of 2.5 range as "agreement" or "disagreement"? Her opinion essay should be mentioned outside the science sections, if at all.--Poodleboy 16:34, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Spencer is being very vague in [49]. Stephan is probably correct in that Specner is probably referring to Peiser - (no-one else has climaed to have refuted Oreskes, AFAIK) - but P got things wrong, as demonstrated before. Spencer knowns that too, of course. As to the papers in his office - he doesn't name them. The ones he mentions in the other article aren't about attribution. So I can't quite see why we should remove Oreskes just cos Spencer doesnt like it. Oreskes article wasn't just an opinion essay, it was a report of some actual work - the survey of abstracts. Snice the question of what does the sci press say keeps coming up, and this is the only work addressing that question, it should definitely stay William M. Connolley 17:08, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with everyone here. I think the paragraph is weak in supporting the sentence, know that there are a least a few scientists that have refuted it in published media or in emails, which probably means there are more who haven't stated anything in public. While we argue about being able to verify things, and errors people have made, that doesn't invalidate the criticisms. In fact, that we're even having these long discussions, we have dozens of names of scientists, that are in climate sciences, that disagree. The arguments show there is quite a bit of dissention, don't they? Regardless, that is published, it is a study, and it's all we have. So until something better comes along.... I would myself like to see a direct question asked of the top 10 scientific experts in each field that is related to climate change and see if THEY have a consensus. I wonder why nobody's done that. Sln3412 22:54, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Thoroughly discredited?

Stephan reverted inclusion of a summary of Peiser's analysis, stating that Peiser had been thoroughly discredited. I reviewed the links Stephan provided above, and don't see where Peiser is discredited at all. There was some disputing his interpretation of the position of some abstracts, but similar arguments could probably against Orieskes classifications. If Peiser had been "thoroughly discredited", surely someone would have found the missing abstracts that Orieskes claims to have classified, if not, then the discrediting is not quite thorough.--Poodleboy 05:58, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

And even if he's greatly discredited, it doesn't mean her study is any good, anyway. I would much prefer to see something that proves or disproves there's a consensus directly from people directly involved in this field.
The IPCC report is the outcome of a consensus process in the climate science community. It does not represent the one extreme position, with Exxon, Lindzen and Crichton on the other side. There are people as far out on the other side (and with about the same justification: None). There are hundreds of climate scientists directly involved with the IPCC reports, and the reports survey essentially the whole literature. --Stephan Schulz 23:12, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
But that doesn't exist and probably never will. One thing about Peiser; his data-set searched was larger than hers was (2000) and he found less( 335). Sounds like more data points to show or not show there's consensus. I've also read some of the famous 34 abstracts and yes they seem a bit like everything, some do and some don't say anything much. Lots of interpretations. Finally in the end result, again, if we're looking for the opinions of the scientific literature, Oreskes' is it. It's just not very compelling, at least to me, but eh. Until something better comes along. I'm not holding my breath. One question though; wouldn't one assume a government funded or univerity funded published research paper would give the same answer those that pay for it expect? Or at least that they'd hire somebody to write it that would? I'd be surprised if it was otherwise. That's another reason I don't put much stock in her research as estasblishing a consensus of anything other than those that wrote an abstract out of the community of those that wrote a paper and that were in that database. In that respect, I don't think Peiser is discredited throughly, either. Sln3412 22:54, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
"wouldn't one assume a government funded or univerity funded published research paper would give the same answer those that pay for it expect? ". Um...why should all major gouvernments and essentially all involved universities have an interest in skewing the results? And skewing them in the same way? Even if, that's not how science works. There is a reason why professors have tenure or comparable status: So that their research and teaching is reasonably independent. This may not always work perfectly, but it is absolutely implausible that the vast majority of climate scientists would all be willing to compromise their integrity and the scientific process to support some unmotivated conspiracy. Research salaries are usually ok, but much below what you can earn in other careers. People become scientists because they deeply care about science and finding out as much about their subject as possible, not for monetary rewards. --Stephan Schulz 23:12, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Article about Gore Movie

Those of you more in the know than me... what's your reaction to this? [50] Dubc0724 15:26, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

  • It's coming from those lying bastards in the US Government who got us into this mess in the first place (by not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol) ... so of course they're going to cover their asses and try to discredit it. --Cyde↔Weys 15:31, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Assuming good faith holds applies to Wikipedia editors, not the US Senate. We are not that naïve.... ;-). Anyway, if you read the article, you see some baseless ad-homs, combined with the normal septics (Carter, Ball, Lindzen) and some creative reading of the NAS report. Nothing new here. --Stephan Schulz 15:44, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
So the science in the movie is 100% dead on? I haven't seen the film yet. Thanks Dubc0724 16:32, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Neither have I, so I cannot comment on the movie. If the claims about the Kilimanjaro are true that's a partial whopper in the movie ((local) climate change indeed appears to be the major cause for this, not global warming). The "Hockey Stick" has only been discredited in the eyes of conservative pundits - if you look at the original error bars, all our current reconstructions are compatible with it. Citing must be a sign of desperation. --Stephan Schulz 16:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Whoah, we've ventured into conspiracy theory land. Let's return to our regularly scheduled programming please. :) Kyaa the Catlord 16:48, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Schulz, would "some baseless ad-homs" be something akin to referring to GW theory opponents as "septics"? (Pot ... kettle ... need I say more?)
Stephan is fine. Dr. Schulz, if you want to be formal. I see "septics" as a harmless play of words. I see "In addition, Correll’s reported links as an “affiliate” of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides “expert testimony” in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP" as an ad-hominem. Dr. Corrells "reported" connections to the Packard foundation or a "consulting firm" (my! evil capitalism!) have no influence on his competence as a scientist. Moreover, expecting this relations to be mentioned in a one-page AP article borders on the ridiculous.
"A harmless play on words"? The term is blatantly derogatory! If you expect to convince anyone otherwise, you need to call the honey-wagon, because you're overflowing.
Apparently it's OK in your book for pro-GW'ers to call into question the political and/or financial motives of GW critics, but it's taboo to turn the tables? 20:04, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
If you can show me any publication by the IPCC, NOAA, the NAS, the Royal Society, or any of the scientific organizations suppporting the current consensus that discuss financial or political connections of septics, go on. And notice how circumspect this insinuation in the press release is. They do not claim Correll is wrong! They do not claim Correl has links to the Packard foundation (which he may well have - why that should influnce his work needs a major conspiracy theory). They admonish AP for not reporting that claims he has such links...--Stephan Schulz 22:28, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, "septics" is my phrase William M. Connolley 21:43, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I borrowed it.--Stephan Schulz 22:28, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I also don't see anything in there which misrepresents anything in the AP article[51]. I have, however seen GW theory supporters frequently deride opponents' views as "junk science", usually without providing any evidence to back up the claim. (The phrase seems to be a personal favorite of our own Mr. Connolley.) For those who want to make up their own minds about the NAS report, here's their own summary of it [52] (You can get the whole report if you're willing to shell out $42.30 .)
You can read the whole report for free. I suggest to start with the summary.
Thank you for that. I will read it and comment appropriately when I have time. 20:04, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Instead of unsubstantiated government-bashing, why don't you try taking on the specific claims made in the article (with references to appropriate peer-reviewed evidence, of course), such as:
Um....why should I counter an unsupported declaration by a political group with peer-reviewed science? Double standard?
Al Gore is also a politician and I rather doubt that he had his book/film scientifically reviewed prior to its release. You don't have to counter with peer-reviewed science, but if you want to have credibility when you call the report junk, it would be the way to go. 20:04, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Actuallly, I think he has, although this certainly is not the same as scientific peer review. But still: Gore has no peer review (according to you - at least he cites peer reviewed papers), the commitee press release is not peer-reviewed (and indeed, they quote another press release about the NAS report instead of the report, and they quote Lindzen and his ilk talking about a non-peer-reviewed analysis instead of at least quoting Peiser directly!). So why do you require me to cite peer-reviewed papers?
(1)"Kiliminjaro is experiencing less snowfall because there’s less moisture in the air due to deforestation around Kilimanjaro."
It's not quite that simple, but as I stated above, if the movie claims that Kilimanjaro looses its glacier because of global warming, the movie is wrong. But then AP does not claim that there are no errors: The tiny errors scientists found weren't a big deal, "far, far fewer and less significant than the shortcoming in speeches by the typical politician explaining an issue," said Michael MacCracken, who used to be in charge of the nation's global warming effects program and is now chief scientist at the Climate Institute in Washington
Blaming snowfall decreases (or any other climate phenomenon) on GW if the true cause lies elswhere is more than just a "tiny error". And a statement that effectively says "He did better than your average politician" isn't exactly what I'd call glowing praise. 20:04, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
There is a (false) myth that the glacier loss on K is definitively attributed to not-GW. Thats false. THere are several theories: GW is one; less precip is another William M. Connolley 21:43, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
(2)In the abstracts used by Oreskes, "only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view"
See [53], and many more.
(3)"Temperature measurements in the arctic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930's...before most greenhouse gas emissions"
"suggest" is a weasel word. There is one recent study that claims that some parts of the arctic were warm. That is, of course, irrelevant for global temperatures. There is a huge number of global temperature evaluations, either instrumental or multi-proxy, that agree that the last few decades are indeed warmer than the 1930's. And the NAS report you brought in agrees [54].
(4)"The survey that Gore cites was a single transect across one part of the Arctic basin in the month of October during the 1960s when we were in the middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology."
So? Even if true, has anybody claimed otherwise? This is a hour-and-a-half or so movie. Of course it has to omit certain details. That does not make it "wrong", it does not make the scientists wrong, and it does in particular not make AP wrong in reporting the scientists reaction to Gore's movie.--Stephan Schulz 21:14, 28 June 2006 (UTC) 19:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Article makes no mention of opposing view

This article should contain a section on controversy on the topic. Global Warming is a cyclic natural event and there is no evidence to state humans are having a major effect on it. The earth is going up and down in global temperature in a stable predictable pattern according to all the graphs shown in this article. Claims that the earth will get up to 10 degrees hotter in the next century have not been tested by scientific method and must be examined much more carefully. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Read the many talk pages (including the archives). Then come back and discuss this if you wish.
Atlant 18:07, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Welcome to the discussion! Since you did not sign in, I presume you are new to wikipedia. You are most welcome here. There are some generally observed conventions you should know about. It takes a while to learn them all, so don't fret about it. First, people generally look for the new comments at the bottom of the page. (That is why someone already moved it to the bottom here). I don't know they look to the bottom, they just do. Or they use the "History" tab to find where the new comments are. Second, if you register and log in, then you can sign your comments by typing in four tildes. A tildes looks like ~ and can be found to the left the number one on most keyboards. After you log in, you type your comment and then sign it with four ~ ~ ~ ~ (just like that except without the spaces in between) and it will automatically sign and date your comment. Regarding the content of your statement above, I am in the process of making the changes you suggest right now. I just made an entry on the Orbital Theory of Climate Change. I know it is just a start, but at least the article introduces the subject somewhat. So again, welcome! RonCram 18:18, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Just to add some details: You can (and should) sign with 4 tildes (~~~~) even if you are not a logged-in user. It works in the same way, using your IP-address instead of a user name. If you use the default setup, you can also sign by pressing the signature icon (third from right) above the icon window. New section go to the end, you can create one by using the + tab next to "edit this page". And yes, at least I find new comments via diff and history.
As for the cyclical nature of climate: Yes, it goes up, then it goes down, then it goes up...but look at the time scales. We have a reasonably good understanding of orbital cycles, and they are not expected to produce warming now, and they should never cause a temperature increase at the speed we currently observe. It's a reasonable assumption that most scientists are neither completely incompetent in their field, nor part of a global conspiracy. The overwhelming consensus among them is that anthropogenic CO2 is indeed the major cause of the current increase in temperature.
What I find strinking is that most of the (few) septics moved from "there is no warming" immediately to "well, there is, but its all natural" once the first position became very untenable. Why do nearly all arrive at another position that disagrees with the consensus? --Stephan Schulz 18:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Stephan, scientists should tend to be skeptical. No doubt many of the skeptics (both scientists and amateurs like myself) remember the consensus about global cooling and the coming Ice Age that was trumpeted in the early to mid-1970s. Global temperatures had been dropping since 1945 and a certain crowd was all too ready to proclaim that pollution was pushing us into a new Ice Age. It wasn't true then and I doubt global warming is man-made now. The truth is that Mars is warming. Researchers can see analogies to the warming here on Earth and have employed predictions from the Orbital Theory of Climate Change to both planets. RonCram 22:00, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually warming now is exactly what's expected now under certain models. There is no overwhelming evidence to back up your assertion regarding the rate, either. Some argue it's unprecedented, others that it's relatively mild, if it exists at all. This 'overwhelming consensus' is absurdly exagerrated and utterly beside the point anyway, as science works on facts, evidence, and logic, not consensus. Nor is it particularly surprising that you might find a consensus among 'scientists' (most of whom are not climatologists) selected in a way designed to elicite that. No one's claiming that there's a giant conspiracy here, but it's idiotic to pretend that personal interest never plays a role, when you're talking about *beliefs* rather than evidence.
Climatology is simply NOT at a state, at present, where the questions on this issue are properly answered. There is far too much still unknown, and disputed. Even the basic question as to whether the global temperature mean is indeed rising seems to be open to some doubt, although it very probably is. Questions beyond this are much more difficult. Why is it occuring? Obviously due to a large number of interrelated factors. Sorting those out is a huge challenge. Weighting human contributions is a huge challenge. The only real scientific answer to much of this, at present, is *we don't know.*
That's a perfectly good scientific answer, but not a very desirable answer politically. Arker 23:23, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

The main thing that the scientists haven't included is past history of the Earth. The Earth prior to the evoloution of man. I believe that's about 224 million years of missing data that could be used to either prove or disprove the GW theory. Was it carefully forgotten or just left out on purpose? What was the global temperature when the asteroid hit the Earth 65 million years ago? What was it a day after? CO2 levels before and after the big rock hit us are not even mentioned. What were those, I guess they just convently left that out of the equation.

The main thing to consider is the data that is left out in the GW question. Its a matter of history, Earth has 4.5 billion years of it and only 50 years of history are mentioned.

Carl Sagan mentioned in Cosmos, that the entire human race occured in the last second of the very first day when the universe came to be. Lets see, Big Bang about 15 billion years ago, Earth, 4.5 billion years ago, man (Homo Erectus) about 4 million years ago, man's entire recorded history about 20,000 years ago. Anyone besides me feeling like a grain of sand yet?

--Chefantwon 00:55, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

The silence is deafening. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Mu. Your premises are so far off that no reasonable discussion is possible. Please read some relevant articles on and off Wikipedia and come back.--Stephan Schulz 16:12, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


Try this????

Restoring information on Orbital Theory of Climate Change

The editor who reverted the information about this theory did so saying that no one suggests this is responsible for the current warming. That is not true. To quote:

Dr. Tim Patterson, professor of earth sciences (Paleoclimatology) at Carleton University explains that it is a serious mistake to regard the natural climate cycle as tranquil and predictable. In fact, there is no reason to believe that current rates of temperature change are in any way different to what one would expect due to entirely natural causes. Dr. Patterson says that, by examining Greenland ice cores, scientists have found breathtakingly sudden variations in climate throughout the geologic record.
“About 15,000 years ago, while the planet was still emerging from the last ice age, Greenland’s temperature rose by 9°C in only 50 years,” explains Dr. Patterson. “Once, 12,000 years ago, the temperature rose an astonishing 8°C in a single decade.”
Recent European data suggests that even more severe climate fluctuations occurred at the end of the previous interglacial warm period. Their data shows that temperatures varied from warmer than they are today to the coldest of the ice age in merely a few decades, and then bounced back up again over the next century or so. Dr. Patterson sums up - "the only thing constant about climate is change."

So then natural climate change is one possibility for the warming we see today. Natural climate change includes the Orbital Theory. For this reason, I am restoring the information. RonCram 18:52, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but you do not know what you are talking about. Not even Patterson has advanced Milankovitch cycles as a reason for the current warming. Read the article. --Stephan Schulz 19:15, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I do believe Solanki will be looking at Milankovitch cycles. His research paper shows he is open to channels of solar forcing other than brightness. I do not know of any other channel, other than Milankovitch cycles, that he could be considering. Do you?RonCram 21:49, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Sigh. You were almost doing well for a bit. Then you go and prove that you haven't got a clue about orbital forcing, and that the quote above from TP has anything to do with orbital forcing. Ah well William M. Connolley 21:57, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Ron, you completely misinterprete the last sentence in (Solanki and Krivova, 2003). They look at 3 different mechanisms for solar forcings, and arrive at an absolute upper limit of 30% for the solar contribution. These are not three arbitrary mechanisms, but the major ones known. The parenthesized part is purely scientific prudence - science is always tentative. Of course he is "open" to other channels. That does not mean that he expects that any will be found. And the influence of the Milankovitch cycles is slow, steady, and predictable. It has no significant effect on the current climate development. --Stephan Schulz 22:22, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
As I mentioned some time ago, Solanki's analysis did not allow for unrealized temperature increases from increases in solar activity prior the period he analyzed. The thermal inertia of the ocean draws the temperature response out for several decades and the sea level rise for centuries. Solanki essentially was looking for a solar signal in the climate during a period when the solar activity was not increasing, although, as usual, it was varying. He and Stott both found solar explained a significant fraction even then. This is probably explained by the timing and geographical distribution of solar energy reinforcing the warming.--Poodleboy 02:19, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Even if that is true (and I guess you have a quote for that?) and significant (and I guess you have a quote for that?), it does not affect the validity of Ron's Milankowitch hpothesis. And, looking at the Solanki discussion on List of scientists opposing global warming consensus, it does not make Solanki into a sceptic.--Stephan Schulz 06:41, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The time scales of the orbital influences are too large to be involved in our decadal and centenial scale warming. Ron would have a stronger case looking at the centenial scale solar cycles, specifically the two whose superposition has been proposed as the mechanism of the 1470 year climate cycle. A partial peak superposition of the Gleissberg and Suess cycles (see Solar variation) would be a more likely solar forcing candidate, with our recent recovery from the maunder minimum. Stott and Solanki are both referenced in the article proper. Even 16 to 36% solar attribution (or the 30% you mention above) is a "significant fraction". I wouldn't think fractions would get insignificant until smaller numbers. Such phrases are really ambiguous.--Poodleboy 09:54, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The quote from Patterson was not intended to show that he specifically named orbital forcing. Patterson is arguing that natural climate cycles can be responsible for the warming we see today. I simply extended that argument logically to name orbital forcing as one of the climate cycles involved. I presumed your disagreement has to do with the time period involved in the cycles. If we were talking about orbital forcing in a vacuum, I would agree with you Stephan. But I am not convinced these natural forces are not synergistic. Patterson claims the data suggests natural forces can change temperatures quickly. What forces would you credit for this rapid change? RonCram 22:47, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not yet, in fact, convinced that Pattersons's data is real. Remember, the recent NAS report is rather tentative about decade-level claims for multi-proxy reconstructions of the last thousand years. Now Patterson makes a sub-decadal claim for some 10000 years ago. Even if it turns out to be real, it's only a local temperature, not a global one. I don't know enough about the paper (is it in print? Do you have a reference?) to be more specific. --Stephan Schulz 22:56, 28 June 2006 (UTC)