Talk:Global warming/Archive 15

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Causes of rising sea levels

I'm confused about something. I don't see how global warming can cause flooding. If anything it would cause a decrease in ocean levels. The reason given for flooding is glaciers melting due to global warming. But if that glacier is already there, it already occupies space in the ocean. In fact, it takes more space as a glacier (ice is less dense then water... if you fill a glass with ice cubes and let it melt, the water will take up less space). So if it were true that GW melts the glaciers, it would actually lower the sea levels.--Republicanbetter (this comment by User:Republicanbetter - use four tildes (~~~~) to sign).

There are two reasons for rising sea levels. One is the melting of ice, the other is thermal expansion of the oceans. Yes, if you take a given volume of ice and melt it, you will get a smaller volume of water (about 90% of the original ice volume). But for ice that swims, about 10 % of the ice is above water level. If it melts, this will contribute to the water level. Archimedes' principle tells us that the melting ice will displace exaclty the same amount of water (by weight) it is made of. So melting of icebergs and sea ice will not lead to sea level rise. But not all ice is swimming. Especially in Greenland and Antarctica, massive amounts of ice are above the sea level. If any of this melts, it directly adds to the water in the oceans, and indeed causes a rise in sea levels.
The second cause of sea level rise is thermal expansion of the water. Water has maximal density at about 4 degress centigrade. Beyond that point, it expands if it is warmed. So while the amount (by mass) of water in the ocean is the same, this amount of water will need more volume, leading to rising water levels. See Sea level rise for a more in-depth discussion.--Stephan Schulz 23:49, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
im still not convinced... you say most of the ice in greenland and antarctica is above sea level, but what is it sitting on? unless im thinking wrong, isnt there just more ice beneath it?. i do see however what you are saying about thermal expanision, but what is the temp. now? and how quickly is it heating up? Republicanbetter 05:49, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Take a saucer. Place an ice cube on it. See how only a one-molecule thick layer of the ice rests on the saucer, the rest sits on lower levels of ice. Now let it melt...the saucer fills with water. The ice shield of Antarctica is about 2.5 km thick on average. Most of it rests on rock, and most of it is above sea level. If it will melt, it will hence increase sea levels. The situation is similar in Greenland. Read our article on sea level rise. As for the temperature, the story is complex, because the ocean temperature varies a lot with location and depth. Much of the ocean water is at or below 4 degrees centigrade, because cold water sinks down and the deep ocean is barely mixed. The temperature typically rises as you come up. You can trust oceanographers to get the basics right...--Stephan Schulz 06:42, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Greenland is an island => solid land, Antartica is a continent => solid land, both covered with ice for the most part. And very deep ice for the most part. Layers of ice and snow above layers of ice and snow, never melting adding up over thousands of years. The Artic, on the other hand, is an ocean, with only a thin layer of ice. --Michael Johnson 08:59, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

An experiment

Let's pretend for a couple of milliseconds this entire discussion isn't about money. Now if global warming isn't caused by humans, LET'S SHRINK THE POPULATION and see what happens. You know birth control, talking about overpopulation, allowing abortions, free college education for families with only one kid, you know, easy stuff.

Then if global warming continues, well we have less people we will have to move from the coastlines. If it stops it, well geez I guess all those scientists were right after all. Meanwhile we saved animal habitat, made less pollution, and brought housing prices down.

If you think global warming is a problem don't have kids. If you think global warming isn't a problem don't have kids so you can help prove it's a natural occurance. Attack the real problem, it's easier.
--Lee Wells 14:00, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Not that I'm opposed to stopping population growth, but people are not the problem, CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions are. Less people does not necessarily cause less emissions. --Stephan Schulz 15:20, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Yep - per capita CO2 production varied by an order of magnitude. If the USA got its per capita CO2 production down to that of the Europeans, that would probably alleviate much of the problem. On the other hand, if the countries with the highest per capita CO2 production (like the Persian Gulf states and Trinidad and Tobago) cut their production in half, it would just be a drop in the bucket. Guettarda 18:09, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and if the Europeans would shorten their vacations and increase their work week, they might be able to afford to replace USA coal fired plants with nuclear plants. I guess we each have other priorities, as long as one wants to engage in nationalistic group think. A certain part of Europe's relative lack of wealth is clearly voluntary if you accept the labor theory of value. The economic cost of the Kyoto treaty could have been much better spent.--Poodleboy 19:28, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Umm...this is a rather weird statement. Rather than trying to parse it completely: Have you ever been to Western Europe? --Stephan Schulz 21:33, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm...I have absolutely no idea what PB is talking about. Nationalistic group thinking? Hmm - given the choice between the country in which I live and a continent I have not visited in 20 years, I should be counted with the US. Not that I understand what he was saying anyway. Per capita, other than Luxembourg, Western Europeans range from 5.7-12 tonnes per person. USA is 20.1. Since both the EU and the US have similar populations and standards of living, it's a fair comparison. Not like, say 1.2 tonnes per person for India or 2.7 for China. So, if we look at things fairly, without nationalistic prejudice, then we should expect the US and the EU to cut their usage down to China-like levels - after all, richer countries use better insulation and have more efficient industries. I take it that PB, as an opponent of nationalistic group thinking will embrace this (unlike the American politicians who whine about the fact that China and India did not have caps under Kyoto...what are they saying - if India goes from 1.2 to 1.1, we'll go from 20.1 to 20?) Guettarda 21:54, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
But wait a minute. It's like 10% of China that's using the 2.7 tons. The rest of the country produces almost nothing while living in sheds. It's growing so fast that 2.7 is outdated the day after it's printed. And all these countries economies are based on the standard of living they have at this moment. A 10% cut for any of these countries hurts about the same economically. But if one economy is based on selling airplanes or technology and another economy is based on selling shirts sewn together using their teeth, that should matter. If Western Europe has to drop from 12 to 5 their economy will collapse. Fyunck(click) 07:24, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Umm, typically production of phyiscal goods is more CO2 intensive than a service industy. Western Europe and the US both have reasonably mature economies with a strong service element and reduced production. Indeed, the US is further along that road (78% in services[1], vs. 70% in the European Union[2]). Still, the CO2 emission per GDP is twice as high in the US than in the EU. --Stephan Schulz 07:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Question assumptions. A statistical result such as greater CO2 production in the US geographical area, doesn't mean all individuals there are responsible for it, or that the state should do anything about it. I've lived in Europe and visited there relatively recently, just a few weeks before the tube bombings in London. I found Paris to be a rather inhospitible place, where even the Louvre did not have refrigerated air. You'd think they would refrigerate for the paintings, if not for the people. Perhaps lack of refrigerated air conditioning is one reason Europe lags behind in CO2 production, although France as one of the leaders in electricity production from nuclear energy, has little excuse not to refrigerate.
The US has suffered from environmentalist fear mongering about nuclear energy, and that in addition to a lower tax burden on energy, probably accounts for a signficant fraction of the greater CO2 production. It was not economical to become more energy efficient, and Europe does not seem to have benefitted economically from their energy efficiency. If they have benefitted, then this should be the perfect time to exploit their economic advantage and start growing faster, and their economies should stop hiccuping every time the US economy burps. Environmentalist NIMBYism makes it difficult to build facilities for importing natural gas, and that probably further increases usage of coal. If the costs of living in Paris and London are typical, I doubt that the standards of living are comparable. Since Europe is more urban and expensive, probably a higher percentage of the population suffers from reduced living space and multifamily dwellings. --Poodleboy 10:38, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
"Suffers from reduced living space and multifamily dwellings"? You are revealing a tremendously narrow suburb-o-centric POV. bikeable (talk) 03:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The defensibility of such a POV, should suggest that smugness in the assumption of a superiority of urban/mass-transit lifestyle is unjustified. It depends on the standards applied, and even they should be reviewed for appropriateness to the task and consistency with our other values. That said, I think you have mis-identified my rural-freedom-from-grid POV.
Perhaps I should have said, "traditionally American anti-urban POV". Smugness aside, and despite my own off-the-grid leanings, there is simply no way that any non-urban lifestyle is sustainable for 10 billion, no matter what the underlying technology or energy sources. Despite traditional biases, particularly from ex-urban "environmentalists", cities are dramatically more environmental/sustainable than any more dispersed lifestyle short of hunting and gathering. bikeable (talk) 17:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. I'd be very surprised if the Louvre does not have aircon - nearly all museums have it. It is used in a more discreet manner than in the US, i.e. the temperature differential between inside and outside is kept at a rational level (when I entered a K-Mart after a tropical thunderstorm in Miami, I was certain that the cycling shirt would freeze off my body and I'd been indicted for indecent exposure...). Yes, more sparing use of aircon is one way in which Europe uses less energy per whatever than the US. Better building codes and more reasonable cars is another. And no, living costs in London and Paris are about as typical for Europe than cost in Manhattan is for the US. I've lived in Munich, regularly competing for the top spot in both living costs and living quality in Germany, and I found the overall living cost somewhat lower than in Miami (rents comparable, food cheaper (and better), clothes and fuel more expensive). --Stephan Schulz 07:15, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the Louvre doesn't turn on the refrigerated air in May. The temperature on the fourth floor could not have been good for paintings, given the diurnal and seasonal temperature and humidity changes it would imply. Excessive refrigerated air ususually results in adaptation through more clothing and less chance of indecent exposure, but since it is also dehumidified, I can see your wet shirt point. I'm glad to hear there is some more affordable living in europe.--Poodleboy 08:04, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
While I personally heartily support depopulation, there is a big problem with your proposal. If all of the smart people in the world stop breeding for conscientious reasons, and all of the stupid people don't give a hoot and do the opposite, well, the average intelligence of the population will PLUMMET! I think this expirement is already working out pretty well in the USA.) --Elgaroo 14:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
LOL, I agree. Smart people must work hard to keep the gene pool worth something! Besides, a decrease in intelligent people would totally negate what the Darwin Awards celebrate, eh?--Duskiryl 06:23, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe smart people can adopt kids. That way the kids will be smart too. Because its not the genes people, its the upbringing.

Ice core lead/lags

Anon 67. added [3]:

However, these ice cores have been examined and show that CO2 rises AFTER temperatures rise, not before, and show a 400-600 year lag, thus providing evidence that previous episodes of global warming were not driven by CO2 alone. Therefore it calls into question any paleo evidence some current scientists want to make on the link between CO2 and temperatures as being highly correlated in real time, it was not so in the past. [4]

Stephan and I have both removed it but the anon persists. Perhaps its time to talk about it. And its interesting. Firstly, CO2 and T are clearly closely correlated on 100kyr timescales, and you have to work quite hard to decide which leads and which lags (and I'm not really convinced that this is settled; for example [5] says CO2 lagged Ant deglaciation but preceeded NH; this argues for a close corr [6]). But anyway, given the regularity of the ice ages (which argues for an astronomical driver) its pretty likely that T *should* lead CO2 somewhat in the cycle. In current terms, though, we know full well that CO2 is leading. Secondly, I don't see the GW page using this correlation as evidence of CO2-causes-GW, nor do I think its part of the std.IPCC argument.

So somewhere there should be a nice discussion of the lags/lead stuff, by someone who knows about it. But I don't think here is a good place. William M. Connolley 19:08, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

"Stephan and I have both removed it but the anon persists. Perhaps its time to talk about it." - That's a great move in the right direction. Forgive me for hoping, however, that Stephan and you will go a step further and actually start talking about these things *before* you remove them. I know a lot of the contributions are crap, but not all are, and having editors reflexively reverting everything they don't agree with it not good for the article. Arker 22:36, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, this is a recently featured article. It is in a fairly good state, and should remain so. The addition in question was a) irrelevant in this section, b) partially SHOUTING, c) gramatically lax, d) weasely and e) factually incorrect (the paper claims a 600 +/- 400 years lag, not 400-600 years). It is well-known that CO2 can be both a climate driver and a positive feedback. Nobody claims that CO2 is the only reason for climate shifts, so the new text does not address any pressing need, either. Bring it here, so we can find a good way to integrate it (I suspect it should go into another article, but that's just my opinion).--Stephan Schulz 22:52, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the featured article argument is irrelevant. We were assured during the process that featured article status would not be used to suppress new evidence or to resist change. Please avoid knee jerk reverts to at least preserve the illusion that the article is still open.--Poodleboy 07:43, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You could always AGF and leave out the "reflexively remove" bit; I left an informative edit comment when I first removed it. If you want the text in (do you?) perhaps you'd care to answer my points instead. As to on whom does the burden lie, the adders or removers, thats a common argument never settled. For an FA, arguably on the adders. William M. Connolley 22:53, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I've not expressed an opinion on that particular edit, I have no problem saying "I don't know." I'm perfectly willing to AGF and assume the revert was good, and if you read what I wrote I was doing that from the start. There's a bigger concern here.
Sorry guv, if you're going to say things like having editors reflexively reverting everything they don't agree with it not good for the article people (and others are going for avoid knee jerk reverts) are going to assume thats a reflection on what is actually happening, rather than a general principle. So try harder on the AGF.
I'm merely suggesting that the talk page should be used for it's intended purpose - as I understand it that includes posting rationale when reverting changes like this. My use of the phrase "reflexively remove" is not an indication I do not follow AGF, it's an indication I've had this page on my watchlist for a great many months now and I've noticed a clear pattern, primarily from the two of you, of removing any contribution that sheds doubt on the issue, very quickly and efficiently, and without debate, discussion, or in many cases any substantive comment. Assuming good faith requires me to start from the assumption you honestly believe this is the correct course of action - not that I pretend I didn't see it.
Nope, thats more an expression of your own biases. This page constantly gets skeptic stuff added to excess; without removal it would be swamped with junk. And you'll notice that I've frequently initiated discusion of reverts - as done in this case.
Stephan expressed several apparently good reasons why this particular revert was necessary above, and I'm assuming he is correct. After looking at the text in question, it does appear to suffer one egregious factual error, and a simple note pointing that out would not have been so difficult, would it? Yet the one-liners in the edit history don't give any hint as to this problem. If the anonymous poster in question was (AGF!) reading those to try and determine how to improve the contribution before re-submitting it, he or she was not given any usable guidance that I can see. On the other hand, this talk section is already, as I write this, infinitely more helpful.
Despite that error, the subject matter behind the edit, minus the error, does seem at first glance to be relevant to the section where it was inserted. We are told that atmospheric levels of have risen by a certain amount since 1750. This seems a very good place to ask for a citation, but beyond that and assuming it's true and verifiable for the moment, the clear implication in context is that this is a causal factor behind the global warming which is the subject of the article. If not, then this existing section is just as pointless as the addition in question!
Indeed it is. But the evidence for that (as I've pointed out above) isn't the ice age stuff.
So assuming the existing section belongs there, certainly so would any data that casts doubt on that implication. The data linked there certainly seems to do so. I'm clearly not anywhere near as invested in this subject as the two of you (in fact, honestly, it annoys me that, from my perspective, I'm being forced to devote time to this) but I am rather invested in scientific methodology, and the distinction between correlation and causation is pretty fundamental. Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc is a logical fallacy, but it's nowhere near as serious an error as alleging A causes B only to find that B actually occurs first, don't you agree?
So yes, I do think that particular edit, although fatally flawed, was nonetheless an attempt to introduce evidence that may well have a proper place in the article. As I said, I'm applauding the decision to post this on the talk page, and suggesting that you should not be hesitant to do so in other cases. Arker 00:13, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
ElI the IcE man. Some things are science on a small enough scale and can be proven, some are attempts at science that attempt to equate huge long term scales of time to small ones, or try and prove a complex system we can't even understand much less explain. Δ is always a problem. But I'm not sure if I like Φ or Ω better. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? ΙΧΘΥΣ Don't forget, we're looking at data about ice ages from ice cores where the ice ages happened. And don't forget, according to current CO2 levels, we should already have been in an ice age. Clearly, something is going on. Given all the discussion and lack of clear answers, nobody really knows what it is, despite the consensus. --Sln3412 05:30, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Few / Annan

I took out PBs change to the "few" bit: I can't see why its an improvement; I see the comment 'the term significant is so ambiguous that most skeptics probably don't contest it, what they do is discount that significance relative to true believers; no, I don't believe that: many skeptics would indeed say no-sig-warming-from-co2. More excitingly, I took out the Annan para:

Annan used a range of model results as the basis for his subjective judgement of sensitivities at the last glacial maximum and to assess the value of the Maunder minimum as an additional constraint on his estimate of climate sensitivity.[7]

Given that the paper is entitled Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity calling these model-based seems perverse, but part of the campaign I guess. AFAICS the LGM stuff is completely model independent; the volcanic stuff is also largely obs. Calling the results "his subjective judgement" is also odd/wrong. But anyway, this doesn't belong in the climate models section; and probably not in the article at all, though it should (and I assume is) be in the cl sens article William M. Connolley 15:43, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Please read the article before reverting. "subjective" is the language he used, and he himself admits it is based on the models. Here is a quote from the last glacial maximum section which supports both:
"Accounting for the possible difference between LGM and CO2 sensitivities requires a subjective judgement based primarily on the range of model results."
Assuming good faith, I believe you missed this section because "subjective" was hyphenated in the quote, which would have made it fail to hit on a search. You will find that the maunder minimum analysis is also models based.
I did not renew the "few" debate at all, as you imply. There may be some skeptics who would dispute the "significant", because they know the believers mean something more than just a few percent. That does not mean those skeptics dispute a possible statistically significant contribution from CO2. My "discount the role" language more accurately reflects the skeptical position. Based on this, I will restore the edits.--Poodleboy 16:29, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Sig does't mean in the stat sense, but in the ordinary sense. Again, desc a study with "model" when the title clearly says obs is perverse. And the entire thing doesn't belong; which is why I've reverted it out William M. Connolley 07:20, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I was not describing the study, I was citing certain aspects of the study to support the fact that models are used for more in global warming research than just attribution and prediction. This is the section on the role of models. In this case they were a key part of the chain of analysis of the implications of both the Last Glacial Maximum observations and the Maunder Minimum observations for climate sensitivity. The independent observations referred to in the article refer to the fact that these are different time periods and obviously does not mean that their contributions to his conclusions are independent of the influence of models. If "sig" has its colloquial meaning why is it being used to describe the scientific position of the "few" skeptics? My language is more precise. Why are you reverting, do you have valid wikipedia reasons?--Poodleboy 08:16, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I've described my reasons. You're pushing your own agenda, not improvig wiki. The study is an observational one, as its title clearly says, and you are willfully ignoring that William M. Connolley 08:26, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Judging an article by its title a far poorer methodology than judging it by its abstract, and even that is sometimes questionable. However, as stated, this my edit is not about the study, it is about the usage of models, and this is the appropriate place for it. Note the statement immediate prior to my edit:
"They have also been used to help investigate the causes of recent climate change by comparing the observed changes to those that the models predict from various natural and human derived forcing factors."
This statment is about the usage of models in GW related studies. My edit is relevant, supported by citations and extends the completeness of this section. Like it or not, climate science is highly dependent on these models. I am not trying to represent the total import of Annan's article. I am open to proposals of how to do so here or elsewhere in the article. However, my text is informative and appropriate to the usage of models in this field. If you want to get into a description of Annan's total result instead of just this usage that he puts models to, that might be more appropriate in another section of the article.
While not relevant to this particular edit, I am open to a discussion of just how "observational" this study is, you will need a fuller explanation than just that the word is used in the title. Apparently you mean "independent of models" when you use the word. I think the author means constrained by observations from different time periods or from by different forcings and proxies. He obviously did not mean that his methodology was independent of using models to achieve his ends.--Poodleboy 08:57, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
"Observational" doesn't always mean that models aren't used. In this case, having just read the article in question, I see that it obviously makes extensive use of models. Hardly unusual, and it seems a bit perverse of you to try to deny it, particularly when the article in question is a link away, but there you go.
Nonetheless I fail to see, at the moment, why he thinks it's so important to add that particular sentence to that section. The sentence in question could use some rewording as well, if it really belongs there at all.
The other edit in his last revert, however, I have to say does seem to be an improvement. I refer to "discount the role" rather than "contest the view... a significant role." "Discount the role" reads better, taking fewer words to say the same thing, and seems a bit less loaded as well. Arker 09:06, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
While WMC has been reverting the last sentence. It is the last two sentences that are my addition. The second being the detail supporting the first. It is difficult to summarize in one sentence this use of models in the paper. I am open to less clumsy language, but while clumsy, my language is accurate and fair. Annan did not use models directly in his incorporation of the LGM into his analysis, he formed a subjective judgement based on the models. I would have used "estimating some parameters", perhaps, but the language is his. Overall the paper reads more like a speculative analysis, like one would do at a whiteboard, than a peer reviewed result, however, that is perhaps appropriate to what he is trying to do. I think his real result is to propose a different argument that may help narrow some of the wide range of uncertainty in climate sensitivity. I don't think he is stating that his will be the diffinitive application of that approach. I think WMC latched onto the words independent and observation as advancing his POV that more than just models support the predictions and attribution (or in this case sensitivity). He may be right, but I'm not sure that this particular paper is as helpful as he had hoped. I think that the accuracy of the models are at the center of this controversy and that when they become more credible at lot of the controversy will resolve itself.--Poodleboy 10:44, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I'm still wondering why you think the second sentence belongs there. It honestly seems to be a level of detail out of place in that context. Arker 23:12, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure how we're going to proceed here, since you and I have such completely different readings of the same paper. I also think you're being supercillious and patronising in your description of it as a speculative whiteboard analysis - to the contrary, its a deceptively simple analysis, but nonetheless very good. *All* obs, of just about everything - includig a simple thermometer reading - are filtered through a model. That doesn't make it sensible to describe thermometer readins as model based; nor this study as such. It is, as it says it is, primarily observation based. William M. Connolley 15:11, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes it is a simple analysis, but the language with all its explicitly subjective estimates sounds speculative.
I suggest you read it properly the. Its a good study, and not at all speculative William M. Connolley 22:52, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Please don't engage in personal attacks. Stick to the subject and don't put words in my mouth. I have NOT characterized the study as model based. The parts of the analysis regarding LGM and the maunder minimum are model based.
This is mad. Of course you have characterised it as model based. And of course the LGM stuff is largely observational. And as a prime putter-of-words-into-other-peoples-mouths, please try to avoid kettle blackness William M. Connolley 22:52, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I have not characterized the other parts of the study, other than to mention the language such as "subjective", which at first you objected to, and now must realize that the author uses that word several times in the paper. That strikes me as very informal, and whiteboardish. We are not talking about just any models here, we are talking about climate models, so your thermometer statement is irrelevant. Climate models were used and relied upon by this author for parts of his analysis, and they were in a role that had not been previously mentioned in the article. So, I have added this other use to give a more complete picture of how pervasive and important their use is. You are evidently concerned that if it turns out the models have serious errors, then perhaps his study will have to be revisited to determine how much his conclusions must be altered, but that is not the issue here. If his study is an good and independent as you think, then you should have no problem with it being cited and characterized in the article, to an even greater extent than I have proposed.--Poodleboy 22:02, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Now you made me read that paper. Is it accepted for publication? I'd be somewhat depressed if yes...I find the assumption of stochastic independence they make highly suspect, to say the least. Anyways, this is another case of an overly specific and misplaced addition. Annan & Hargreaves used various kinds of information and combined them. Use of models is not a major point in their paper, and hence the description does not add anything to the model section (and, I claim, is irrelevant in general, since the overal result is not much different from earlier results, while the methods employed are far to low a level of detail for this overview article). Hence I will remove it once more. --Stephan Schulz 22:36, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes it is published: [8] I also found it rather unconvincing, and almost hand wavingly informal. But it is an example of model usage insinuating itself into articles that on the surface look independent. Please note that this article is also the justification for the observational in this statement in the article intro: "The measure of the climate response to increased GHGs, climate sensitivity, is found by observational studies and climate models."
No it isn't. There are various; the Gregory one is on the cl sens page, for example William M. Connolley 07:37, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I didn't require explicit citation, because the article is cited on the wikilinked climate sensitivity page. Perhaps WMC can tell us how much the actual publication differs from the "draft" we have access to. Perhaps the form if not the substance was improved under peer review.
Your dislike of this paper is really quite weird. You seem to be suggesting that it would be nice if he could have made it more complex and harder to understand William M. Connolley 07:37, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Not at all. Simpler is more powerful, if correct. I thought its assertion that its results was based on independent observational data was misleading, because of the false implication given that it is independent of the models, which it only partially is, and the rather cavalier subjective estimations, with sketchy supporting arguments. I guess I prefer a little more rigor.--Poodleboy 09:05, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I favor the removal of the "and observational" and did so in the past, but WMC insisted. Perhaps you didn't know that when you dissed the paper?--Poodleboy 23:11, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
What does that have to do with anything? The quality of the paper is not automatically linked to the position it takes. As far as I can tell, the paper is based on the assumption of independence of the various studies it combines. I don't find that assumption to be well-justified, and hence I don't think the paper makes a sufficient argument for its result. I wouldn't have accepted it in this form, but while I have some knowledge about probabilistic reasoning, I have no formal training in climate science, and hence may miss some point. In any case, what this paper provides is a number of links to different observational studies, and hence it supports the claim that "climate sensitivity is found by observational studies and climate models."--Stephan Schulz 09:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Shouldn't those linked studies be evaluated on their own merits? After all Annan "claimed" be to independent observational. WMC wants to claim that some derivations are independent of the models, if Gregory is an example, I think clarification of the phrase would be needed at least, including disclosure of the many model-based and other assumptions involved in such derivations.--Poodleboy 10:01, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I've added "citation needed" to the use of and observational. Models are not the point of the paper at all, but that does not alter the fact that they were explicitly acknowledged as the basis for LGM component. This is one of the "independent" observations central to their whole analysis. The fact that the result is not different is a specious argument. An "independent" confirmation was exactly the point of the article. They claim to narrow the range, and to statistically reduce the likelyhood of outlier estimates such as those greater than 6. If it were any good, and really independent, it would be making a publishable contribution. Results do not have to make much of a difference to be publishable, in fact, there are arguments being made that peer review publications are biased because so few null results are published. Most null research results are simply put aside.--Poodleboy 23:29, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Don't understand you at all. It *is* publishable William M. Connolley 07:37, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I think null or confirming results should be publishable, if well done. That is not why I would object to this paper. Since it was published obviously it is publishable. However, it is poorly written, and argued. I don't think you are the only one mislead into thinking it was independent observational. That appears to be the impression it is trying to give from the beginning. Peer review should have challenged that.--Poodleboy 09:05, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
The weirdness continues, as you dig yourself deeper ito your hole. This isn't a null result: its a new one. Its also a better result that the recet Hegerl one in Nature. You're still ad-homing it: you've pointed out no flaws at all in its arguments; and you retain your bizarre believe that it isn't primarily observational. Why we should take your views over the literature is a mystery to me William M. Connolley 09:22, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Question: Just exactly what do you mean by "observational?"
It seems like where you're going with it is an attempt to paint a bunch of estimates, like this one, as being based on concrete evidence, empirical, completely independent of modelling and assumption chains, am I right?
If I am, frankly, you're being absurd. As in many areas of scientific enquiry, that sort of empirical precision is just not attainable here. No one has the capability to set a given CO2 level, hold it stable for ten years, and measure the resulting temperature change. That's what you would want to do, if it were possible, but it isn't. So you model. You make much smaller, but doable, experiments, you take all the input data you can, and you try to construct a model from it so you can kind of sort of approximate the large experiment that's impossible to perform.
There's nothing wrong with this, it's a perfectly respectable scientific technique, and the only way of getting at a lot of this data. And eventually, if it's done properly, competing models and multiplying observations can be used to triangulate the underlying forces, and the models become sophisticated and accurate enough to be useful. I'm not convinced they're really there yet in this field, but it's not because modelling is bad science, just because it's a young field and there's a lot of work to be done. But trying to deny the process involves a lot of modelling... well that's truly 'wierdness.' Arker 10:18, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Resetting indent. I never said it was a null result. Stephan implied it was only a confirming result, adding nothing new, and that was a reason it shouldn't be published.

Well, I did not put that forward as a reason against publication (or at least I did not intend to do so). This is my reason for not putting the details into our encyclopedic article. An encyclopedic article is supposed to be a reasonably high-level overview. At that level, the combined result of Annan & Hargreaves is esssentially the same as the stuff we already have. If I agreed with the probabilistic assumption of the authors (or if they justified it better), I would certainly accept the paper for publication in a specialized journal. The result is (or "would be") valuable (and may even be correct), but I don't think the argumentation is strong enough to make the case. --Stephan Schulz 12:35, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I actually have been disputing Stephan on these being valid reasons not to publish. A confirming result by a different method and assumptions is adding something new. In experimental science, even reproduction of important results by the same method, is important publishable confirmation. Where I have agreed with Stephan is on the poor quality and questionable assumptions of the Annan paper. I've just reviewed the Gregory paper, and it is a much better paper. It more openly and clearly discloses its assumptions, methods and exposures to error. Models do play an important role in its estimates of forcings and internal climate variability. It is also a pretty good review of the relevant literature throughout. While disclosing considerable dependency on models, it makes the claim, in one place that it is independent of the climate sensitivity of the model, which is the key component of the climate we are trying to characterize independently. I'm not sure that all uses of the models were independent of the climate models's sensitivity, but it doesn't make that claim. The article will bear a couple re-readings. -- thanx.[9]--Poodleboy 09:43, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

WMC, wasn't your removal of [citation needed] premature, we are still discussing whether your proposed cite is apropo or not?--Poodleboy 11:53, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

As I said, its cited to the clim sens article. don't clutter up the GW article with unnecessary tags William M. Connolley 13:47, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

i.e. Genuflect to thine WMC God.

Majority Press Release from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

please update this article to reflect the facts please---Flag of the United States.svgAm-j4th 22:11, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

First, that's not an "Official Senate Report", it's a "Majority Press Release" from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Second, it does not claim that global warming is a hoax. --Allen 22:24, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Third the US Senate, or any other body of politicians, is not an authority of any sort on scientific questions. Arker 09:12, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The press release does not seem to even be attempting to be an authority on the science. It is disputing Gore's claims that there aren't scientists with differing opinions. If Orieskes opinion essay is cited in this article, the criticism of it should also be mentioned, although, this particular press release is not the best source for that. I believe the primary analysis is directly available on line.--Poodleboy 10:49, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

This could perhaps be mentioned here Count Iblis 10:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I disagree, i think it should be mentioned here :
Of course it's already mentioned here-- 18:16, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

FWIW -- I agree with Allen. And Arker. And Poodleboy. Not to muddy the waters any, but it seems to me in my opinion there's not much consensus going on. But of course, anyone in science that has a published opinion on this subject in a reputable source that can be a citation must be correct, and of course they are all unbiased and free from outside influences of any kind. Just remember; lead and lag are related to temperature. Everything's 90° in here. Just my though. Don't £ it into me, please! --Sln3412 05:45, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

(although science is driven by the scientific method and principles, not consensus)

An anonymous editor added this parenthetical remark in the list of scientists... link. Actually *in* the link, so it broke the link, so I took it back out. However, the intention behind it seems good. Science isn't a matter of headcounts and voting, that's politics, and the two need to be kept separated. Beyond that, it's not only a disparaging comment, it's has an almost stalinist or inquisitorial ring to it - anyone that dares question the theory needs to be kept on a special list? Plus it open a huge can of worms as to how you count 'scientist' and so on.

Frankly it adds nothing relevant to the article, unless you think a hint of stalinism is relevant, but that should go in an article on the politics, not the science. Probably the whole paragraph could be deleted. At the very least it needs a significant rewrite. Thoughts? Arker 20:18, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The paragraph in question now read as follows: Only a small minority of scientists discount the role that humanity's actions have played in recent warming. However, the uncertainty is more significant regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future, and there is a hotly contested political and public debate over what, if anything, should be done to reduce or reverse future warming, and how to cope with the predicted consequences. I find that valuable information. It tells us something about which things are essentially non-contested, and where the consensus is weaker. Consensus is not driving science, but strong consensus among scientists is indeed a sign that the scientific method has reached a stable result.--Stephan Schulz 20:27, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
If you knew anything about the history of science you would realise that is simply not true. Arker 01:48, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I think we have been around this territory before. Tell me any example from the last 100 years where a strong scientific consensus has been overturned (I'll even give you 101 years - no, Einstein's "Von der Elektrodynamic bewegter Körper" did not overturn a strong consensus - Lorentz, Poincaré, and other already where aware of the fact that something is fishy with absolutism). Most "scientific revolutions" do not overturn old results, but rather extend them. We still use Newtonian physics for nearly everything... --Stephan Schulz 07:59, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
You chose 100 years? First of all, I would argue that the methodology for measuring temperature as well as the accuracy of those measurements over the last 100 years is suspect. Moreover, the earth is some 4,570,000,000 years old. Your time period represents about 0.000002188% of that time period. Compress the whole life of the earth into a single year, and you choose to look at the last sixty-nine one hundredths of the last second on December 31. That's hardly what I would call objectivity or proper scope. --The Outhouse Mouse 12:58, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
The point of order is principles of science and how that relates to consensus; that is the scope of this thread. --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Methinks you lost the context. I had claimed (and still maintain) that the overturning of an established scientific consensus has been extremely rare and as an illustration asked for examples from the last 101 years. Some where presented, none of which I find convincing (some overturn pre-scientific notions, some overturn popular, not scientific views, some are plain insignificant in that no broad scientific consensus existed). Nothing of this has anything to do with the lenght and quality of the temperature record. --Stephan Schulz 13:19, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
There seems to be some confusion here. My point was that you yourself had lost context and were wanting to make a point based on a highly selective sampling of suspect "data." Moreover, you addressed/answered none of the points I made. --The Outhouse Mouse 13:30, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
But you made no points at least in this section (headed "(although science is driven by the scientific method and principles, not consensus)") prior to your plainly off-topic (for this section) edit somehow introducing temperatures and the age of the earth into what was an abstract discussion of the quality and stability of scientific consensus. Are you certain you didn't intend to reply to some other thread of discussion?--Stephan Schulz 13:54, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Allow me to bullet the points for clarification purposes: (1) methodology used to measure temperature over the last 100 years was not consistent, (2) accuracy of temperature measurements -- particularly older ones -- is variable at best and bad at worst, (3) you selected a time period that represents a tiny fraction of the time the earth has been in existence. In other words your measurement time basis is so terrifically tiny as to have no meaning. --The Outhouse Mouse 15:55, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Can you substantiate the errors (min, max, std dev, etc) or do you just want us to believe that your pronouncements? --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I'll try to adapt to your style: (1) No, the moon is not made of green cheese. Anatoly Wolgorokov, the first Cosmonaut on the moon, proved so conclusively. (2) The frequency of black cat encounters is often higher than 13/day! (3) Have you read anything except "101 years"? We are not talking about the temperature record here. If you want to, try a different or new section, don't shove it into an unrelated existing discussion. --Stephan Schulz 16:17, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
sigh... Sadly, I can tell from your response that you're not interested in having an intellectual conversation or in advancing the discourse any. Not only was your reply unresponsive, but it was asinine. Whether we're talking about temperature records or any other subject, you're missing my primary point that the time period you chose is too small to be relevant. --The Outhouse Mouse 17:49, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
If we want to talk about market share of different video recording technologies, 100 years is too much. If we want to examine geological processes, 100 years is too little. If we want to talk about mechanized warfare, 100 years covers essentially all of it. And the same holds for talking about the quality of modern scientific results - generated by an international comminity applying the scientific method and communicating via peer-reviewed journals and conferences. There is not much more than 100 years of experience with this system! --Stephan Schulz 22:33, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
You're correct. The time limit for reasonably accurate (but not perfectly accurate) scientific measurements dates from around 100 years ago. However, my point is that this time period is FAR FAR too short to use in order to make any conclusions about climatological trends. --The Outhouse Mouse 18:16, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I see that you only allowed the last 100 years. I guess the "scientific consensus" on the Earth being flat might be a slight embarrassment? But that was over 100 years ago so I guess it doesn't count. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
The claim that the Earth was flat was a religious doctrine imposed on early scientists, much as scientists today are having their work being labeled as 'junk science' if they don't kowtow to the dogma of politicians who reap tremendous campaign contributions from fossil fuel multinational corporations. --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I choose about 100 years because if you go back much further you have no recognizable scientific community and no organized scientific literature, and hence no way of talking about scientific consensus. Before we had peer-reviewed journals, research libraries, reasonable postal connections, there are only rather small groups of (often gifted and dedicated) amateurs. The scientific method is not much older than the age of enlightenment. Also, we are talking about the quality of modern scientific result. And BTW, the Earth being flat has not been held by anyone any expert for more than 2 millenia.--Stephan Schulz 20:38, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
The age of enlightenment may have fuzzy borders, but it was MUCH more than 100 years ago no matter who you ask. Please please please go learn something about the history of science Stephan, it would improve your ability to contribute here immensely. (Oh, and of course you're completely right about the earth being flat - I laughed so hard when I read that part of the original comment I knew that replying to it politely would be beyond me.) Arker 06:26, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, how the possibility of a bacterial cause for ulcers, e.g., H. Pylori, the consensus was that bacteria could not live in that environment?
So what established previous theory of ulcer genesis was overturned? There was only the phenomenolgical observation that stress and diet increase the risc of ulcers. And that is still true. --Stephan Schulz 20:38, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Whatever the previous theory was, some combination of stress and personality type, there was a consensus that a bacterial cause was well nigh impossible, and that is the paradigm that was overturned.--Poodleboy 21:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
How about the consensus in the peer reviewed literature than electrochemists knew how to do calorimetry, until they started getting positive results and attributing it to "cold fusion"?
Huh? Cold fusion never had consensus support. And "they knew how to do calorimetry" is not a scientific theory, just a belief (and true in the usual domain it was applied). --Stephan Schulz 20:38, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
It is not true to the accuracy that had been accepted for decades. When the physicists got involved, they discovered a lot of flaws that altered calorimetry of that type forever. They did not retract decades of papers, or issue corrections of their error factors, but they might well have for the amount of work that is now discredited.--Poodleboy 21:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Plate tectonics was rejected by consensus until the 60s. the US. It was accepted earlier in Europe. And again, there was no previous scientific consensus about these geological processes, just a big question mark and a few different interpretations.--Stephan Schulz 20:38, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
The consensus was that the continents didn't move, so there was no need for processes that moved them.--Poodleboy 21:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
What is the basis for this claim about consensus in the scientific community?? --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
How about the possibiity of an abiotic origin of for carbonates such as limestone? My 120 seconds is up.--Poodleboy 17:12, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Sow what about it? --Stephan Schulz 20:38, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Overtime, cold blooded dinosaurs? Communicable infection requires RNA or DNA? Witness prions. NSAIDs are safe? anti-oxidents will reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers? The resolution of microsopes in limited by wavelength? --Poodleboy 17:19, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Double overtime, acquired characteristics can't be inherited? Certain stresses inutero have effects for multiple generations. Enzymes are proteins? RNAs can act as enzymes. All genes are in the nucleus? Mitochondria. Inheritance and thus evolution is only vertical? Plasmids and viral introns. It doesn't matter which parent a gene is inherited from? Imprinting. Solar constant? hmmm.--Poodleboy 17:45, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
A negative refractive index is not possible? Cepheid variables are a reliable candle for measuring intergalactice distances? The universe must be older than the ages calculated for globular clusters?--Poodleboy 17:57, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
There was never a consensus one way or another on cepheid variable being an unreliable measurement. Your implied reference to the universe being younger than globular clusters is nonsensical. --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
A polynomial time algorithm for solving linear programming problems? See linear programming.--Poodleboy 18:28, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Don't confuse advancements with overturning major, well-established scientific consensus in the last 100 years.--Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Well Poodleboy sure saved me a lot of typing. Thank you, Poodleboy.
I bet you thought you were being clever by specifying the last century, since the canonical examples no one with a scientific background could avoid having heard of are older (Semmelweis and Phlogiston, for two examples.) But there are many, many more recent examples. Another example, there was a much firmer consensus only a few decades ago that human habitation of the Americas started only ~11.5kya. When I was studying Archæology in the 80s, I had a professor that thought this was absolutely untrue, but he was afraid to contradict the 'consensus' publically because of the professional difficulties this would cause. (The Monte Verde excavation began in '77, but as results contradicting the orthodox consensus came in, they were discounted and suppressed for decades.) Today, in 2006, his position has become respectable as the contradictory evidence has multiplied over and over again in the intervening years, and in fact one could even argue that the 'consensus' has already reversed.
Even as late as fifty years ago, there was an overwhelming consensus that natives of the Americas had never been able to sustain old-world populations levels, and that pre-columbian population levels had always been minimal. Improved survey techniques, among other things, provided the stimulus to re-examine that long-held orthodoxy, and the consensus view today is radically different. The Valley of Mexico ~1500ce is now believed to have had a population density easily comparable to the most densely populated parts of Europe.
You will need to provide references to support your claim. You seem to assume that the alleged consensus referred to any size area, not large land masses.--Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
There's a big difference between science and scientism. They're mortal enemies, in fact. Reliance on 'consensus' is a red-flag warning of the transition from the former to the latter. Arker 03:26, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, and did anyone of these earlier scientific communities gather every 5 or 6 years, collecting the konwledge of their particular science, publishing it worldwide, having thousands of independent researchers review them and asking critical questions towards it, having big parts of the US government against it and still providing useful answers without any coherent approach towards a competing theory existing? And did any of these earlier "consensuses" actually develop within a decade or two (although greenhouse theory is basically about a century old), overthrowing all not-satisfying counter-paradigms that were in place against the now standard theory? With the whole world watching at it? With all interestend US citizens downloading and looking at the collection of state of the art science, sending comments to their government which opposes any effective climate protection measure and just waits for any piece of evidence they could send into the field and that would, for once, putting serious doubt into the consensus view? Extending Stephan's idea this way, I think the contrast between PB's examples and the scientific consensus on global warming couldn't be more overwhelming. Hardern 08:42, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
You forget that the reviewers may ask "critical questions towards it", but the lead authors are free to ignore them. The IPCC is not a peer review process, and there is a viable competing theory, natural climate variation. Solar activity is at historically high levels, and has been for over 60 years. Probably, when the models get better, they will attribute more of the recent warming to that earlier increase in solar forcing, dampened by the thermal inertial of the oceans.--Poodleboy 22:50, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Any references from researchers that are not aligned with organizations that receive funding from fossil fuel companies? --Skyemoor 16:15, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
And probably future models will reveal an even stronger attribution of human activities on the climate - that's not a useful point, you see. Solar variation theory is a nice try (and obviously your favourite), but I don't think it will finally be able to neglect the physical effects of CO2. As far as I understood, it is not as clear as you are pointing out that solar activity is that high? Probably worth another solar activity thread in here... again. Hardern 00:13, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
The point is not to neglect CO2, but to put it in proper perspective. You might want to read the Solanki references in the article, they will put current solar activity in perspective and were published in Nature. As far as the models, you might want to read the Roesch discussion above. All the AR4 models have a slight positive albedo bias relative to the observations. Reflecting more sunlight into space would of course have the effect of reducing sensitivity to any changes in solar forcing. So the models are a little more likely to move in the solar direction when these errors are corrected.--Poodleboy 05:36, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
And how much exactly is that "little"? Hardern 08:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
We ran through the implications of a 0.01 albedo bias above and on the Talk:Attribution of recent climate change page. When WMC did not apply 0.01 twice, and did not assume that constant forcing could not cause a temperature increase in the presence of a substance with thermal inertia like water (perhaps he hasn't used a stove before), the resulting 3.5 watt/m^2 was greater than the total increase in GHG forcing since 1850 (2.7watts/m^2). So, for the believers sake, the error better not be greater than 0.01. I just look forward to the improved models that will result.--Poodleboy 09:30, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
I've added results of an albedo study conducted for the IPCC that reported positive albedo biases of 0.009 and 0.012 to the article, with a link to a Pielke discussion. Another diagnostic subproject of the IPCC, which will be published soon, covers a longer period of both satellite observations and model simulations and finds that all the AR4 models had a positive albedo bias relative to the observations. The average error of the models was 0.016 and 0.019 from the two observation data sets. This corresponds to 5.5 and 6.5 watts/m^2 squared respectively, dwarfing the 2.7 watts/m^2 total increase in GHG forcing since 1850.--Poodleboy 06:11, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

PBs comment above is nonsense. The albedo difference is fine; the implied effect on climate sensitivity is wrong; and is PBs own original research William M. Connolley 07:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

What evidence do you have that it is original research? It is a straight forward intepretation of the results, Pielke's interpretation is similar. Calling it nonsense is easy. Pointing out which part is nonsense will probably be harder for you.--Poodleboy 07:51, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Its OR because its a conclusion you are drawing, not one thats in the paper. This is exactly the same arguement as [10], which you lost. Whats the point in restarting the same thing here? William M. Connolley 21:16, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't recall losing that argument? I just decided to await the publication of the paper. My addition to the article is based on a different paper by they way. In my text above the 5.5 watts and 6.5 watts used top of the atmosphere fluxes. Those numbers should be corrected to 2.6-3.1 W/m^2 for surface albedo errors. The argument is still valid, and not nonsense, unless you have some point you haven't mentioned yet.--Poodleboy 23:46, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
This is exactly the same argument as on the Attr page; link above. Clearly I haven't convinced you; and you haven't convinced me. But notice how we're having to do the calculations and comparisons ourselves: whereas if your suff wasn't OR, you wouldn't have to do that: you'd be able to quote from a paper, which would say albedo errors dominate GHG forcing. But you can't William M. Connolley 07:22, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Here's a big one that bears mentioning, only 30 years old from Newsweek: [11]. Global cooling didn't pan out politically, so now they scare us with global warming to get our votes and our money. Professor Chaos 06:41, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Boooring! Hardern 08:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
But notice: This one is DIFFERENT! It's in Newsweek, that pinacle of peer-reviewed scientific journals, and it cites several international integration reports supporting the cooling. And tell me, did you fail to notice the supportive statements of all the major academies of science? Thank god for Rush to point this out, or we could all have been DELUDED to think the global warming HOAX is for real! --Stephan Schulz 07:36, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Pro Global Warming View

In case you don't know we might need to add a controversy section on Global Warming, as this article [12] explains the positiveness of Global Warming. We might ned to put some pro-warming views here, and also may show how difficult it is to eliminate Global Warming. Falconleaf 18:44 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Ermm...that is a 8 year old non-peer reviewed essay on the web-site of a discredited right-wing nothink tank, written by a someone without any formal qualification in the physical sciences. It's plainly irrelevant.--Stephan Schulz 17:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Now your biases are clear to everyone.--The Outhouse Mouse 12:50, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
And as to the merits?--Poodleboy 22:39, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
The usual crap. A collection of unsourced banalities, out-of-context "facts", name-dropping and plain nonsense. No citation or reference. Read it yourself. The sad thing is that it takes much less work to write such a useless piece of garbage than a real scientific paper...--Stephan Schulz 23:31, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
It is not something I would cite here, I prefer sources closer to peer review, but it is not obviously wrong.--Poodleboy 23:34, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
  • "the fact that natural fluctuations in the Earth's temperature, not Man, is the likely explanation for any recent warming."
  • "want Congress to ratify a treaty that will hike consumer prices 40 percent"
  • "Back then, Greenland was actually green."
  • "...the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the chief proponent of the Kyoto Protocol global warming treaty..." a first glance. But anyways, discussing a political hack essay which is out of date and cites no sources is a waste of time. It adds nothing to the discussion. If you think otherwise, I can write a few that are at least not wrong... --Stephan Schulz 23:48, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

That's obviously crap. One of the many reasons I tried to so long to avoid getting involved in this page at all. There are way too many religious partisans on both sides promoting anything that looks like it supports their predetermined conclusion. Arker 06:33, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

You know whats "crap"? Politicizing science. Only this page has so many people going against the consensus. There is another page in wiki which deals with other consequences of anthro CO2 (if I name it, they will start annoying there too...) It also expresses the scientific concensus but the discussion page, well, it only has one sentence. No body seems to care about the scientific concensus there! No body vandalizes that page becuase that particular aspect of anthro CO2 has not been touched upon the media as much. If this were a science debate driven solely by scientific interest and the care to promote good info, both pages should have the same amount of dialogue, but they dont because its a political debate. As a matter of fact, not even the funded groups touch upon this...

I thought we already had a controversy page? Maybe more than one? 17:34, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Seems there's a bunch of those types of pages, hardly surprising with a topic like this. There should probably be a single page, giving pro:con (or con:pro) for "Global Warming" although that's probably impossible, or we could change terms to something more explanative ("Global Warming as an issue of concern" versus "Global Warming as an issue of no concern") since we know the globe is warming. The issue is what, if anything, we can do about it exactly, how to measure exactly how much we contribute, and what to do to lower how much we contribute if it's deemed needed. It doesn't matter, since we'll all long be dead before those questions can be measured and/or controlled, no matter if we're talking about 100 years or 41,000. I just hope we don't any time soon start spending $10,400,000,000 a year to store Carbon Dioxide, like Japan is planning on. I'd rather spend that money like that fighting famine, or AIDs or Malaria. I don't see how a topic like this can be discussed without bias from both sides. Scientists that work in climate-related fields (the only scientists we should care about the opinion of) can't even agree with each other, how are we going to? Sln3412 20:40, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
One thing that NO ONE mentions at all in this article or anywhere else is the contributions volcanoes have to global warming. Scientists looking for a reputation and funding spout the evils of corporations because they're ruining our climate, when the factory's contributions to the composition of the atmosphere are uttlerly insignificant when placed against the natural power of the earth. In my opinion, global warming is probably one of the most overblown issues/hoaxes in history.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. It is not, however, a very informed one. Volcanos have been discussed here before. Some eruptions have a short term cooling effect. Over extremely long times (i.e. geological times...millions and millions of years) volcanos release CO2 as part of the geological carbon cycle. However, their contribution to the current global warming trend is not measurable. We do know that the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, and caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. Not even the "sceptics" deny this. --Stephan Schulz 18:33, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


Discredited how? Arker 10:12, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Search on Peiser above. The gist is some mounted some arguments against some of his abstracts. Hardly discredited. His arguments against Orieskes still stand, and it all goes to show there is a lot of possible interpretations of language in abstracts. Abstracts are a poor methodology for surveying the opinions of scientists, in fact, they are not a methodology for doing that at all.--Poodleboy 16:31, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
...and look at some of the abstracts he took as objecting to the consensus. This is not a matter of opinion, it is either gross incompetence or misrepresentation. Anyways, Peiser's "study" is only self-published, and has no credibility. --Stephan Schulz 16:38, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
He altered the standard to doubting, and most of his abstracts do express doubt. Orieskes standard was far too weak. Orieskes was not published in Science as a peer reviewed study, but merely as an essay, the standard there is that editors want to publish it. Self-publishing, is a very open way of letting your arguments stand on the merits. Many of his points still stand.--Poodleboy 17:36, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Looked through all the links above. Looks to me like neither Peisner nor Orieskes are very reliable sources. They should both be removed. Arker 04:12, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Neither is about the science, at least with Peisner, I doubt he would have been interested in this kind of a study instead of real science, if it wasn't so galling how much attention Orieskes non-research was getting. However, Orieskes, at least, had nothing better to do. I've been for deletion all along to make the article better, but I'm unwilling to get into a revert war over it. In the end, perhaps they cling to Orieskes, because she is the best "science" they've got.--Poodleboy 05:12, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
The argument might go that "If the link to the essay by Ms. Okeskes[13], a history assistant professor and director of the Program in Science Studies at UC San Diego, is there (not a link to a secondary source, a blog), the link to the letter by Dr Peiser [14], a social anthropologist and member of the Faculty of Science at Liverpool John Moores University that shows a recreation of her study should be there. That is an alternative theories section after all."
As far as Peiser having no credibility, perhaps, but the Associate Letters Editor at Science he talked to said of his original letter "In its current form, it is too long for a Letter, but we would consider a shorter version if you are willing to edit it." and when he sent in the 500 word version, said "After realizing that the basic points of your letter have already been widely dispersed over the internet, we have reluctantly decided that we cannot publish your letter."
That's largely moot, since this type of self-published source doesn't meet Verifiablity guidelines anyway.... All I found was this:[15] but there is controversy on this all (surprise!) Peiser once had that as an op-ed in the Financial Post of Canada (gone), and MSNBC [16] has linked to his letters page, so nothing really. However, there is more discrediting info here than there is supporting: [17] [18] So.
On the other hand, anyone that goes and searches for "global climate change" from 1993 to 2003 at the ISI databank at ISI databank can see for themselves if her data is correct or not. (Not that it matters, it just needs to have verifiability, not truth.) I'd say just take hers out, it's meaningless information in that section. Instead there should be a citation backing up "At present, these have little support within the climate science community as primary explanations for the recent warming." by defining what the climate science community is, what criteria determines that, and some verifyable numbers (along with how to recreate them. Not an essay by a an asistant history professor that says so little about her methodology that it creates arguments like this! I basically take Poodleboy's position on this though. Sln3412 19:40, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
In wiki terms, the main difference is that Oreskes was published in Science and Peiser wasn't. Thats a very big difference. Peiser claimed to have replicated O but didn't; obviously; since he got the wrong number of abstracts. That might have been a hint to him. See [19] and [20] William M. Connolley 20:41, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Excessive and Unnecessary Argument Qualification

I re-fixed the line "threat of possible global warming" to "threat of global warming". I made this change before, this is why: I think it is clear in the connotation of the word 'threat' that we aren't dealing with absolute truth, ie, this is the predicted future, which by definition means we don't know what will happen.

I think these kinds of word insertions muddle the intended meaning of the offending sentance. I think it is clear this kind of language is commonly used by denialists to overemphasize the inherint uncertainty of dealing with a scientific topic. I think it is sufficient to discuss these inherint uncertainties in a stand alone section without having to muddle the language of the entire article as if we were talking about someone accused of a crime. (as in: "Then the alleged gunman shot the victim") Thanks. -- 17:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

On second reading that entire sentence is pretty non-sensical(opening sentance to Responses section). I suggest someone with a better literary touch than I repair it. I do, however, stand by removal of the word 'possible' as a matter of writing style principle. -- 17:48, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with your argument above. It should be applied consistently, however, not just to the parts you think favour skeptical positions. That would result in the removal of a good deal of emotive language from the article and improve it greatly. Arker 20:22, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Skeptics of Global Warming

Moved the following from article for discussion:

Not all scientists and thinkers agree on the causes or ramifications of the recent warming of the earth.
Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusettes Institute of Technology, disputes the idea that global warming has unanimous scientific support. Lindzen's editorial in the Wall Street Journal on July 2, 2006 ("Al Gore is wrong. There's no 'consensus' on global warming") can be found here [21].
The United States Senate Committee of Environmental and Public Works also points out that there is not a consensus view among scientists concerning global warming. Associated Press writer Seth Borenstein wrote an article, "Scientists OK Gore's Movie for Accuracy," which claimed Al Gore's global warming-themed movie "An Inconvenient Truth" was supported by a consensus of scientific opinion. In response, the Senate Committee issued a press release listing four prominent scientists who were sharply critical of Gore's methods and conclusions (Professor Bob Carter, of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia; Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball; and Lindzen, above). That press release can be found here [22]
Inhofe knows he has few cards to play, and most of those are tainted with oil company largess, but he plays them over and over, regardless.
Harvard Medical School graduate, author, and filmmaker Michael Chrichton rejects the idea of "consensus science" in general, and global warming in particular. The text of a lecture he gave on the topic at California Institute of Technology on January 17, 2003 can be found here [23]

You know whats sad, congress calling Chrichton to talk about global warming (with gray.) Wow, two EXPERTS...

Why would Chrichton's opinion carry any weight on the subject? --Skyemoor 04:49, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Seems we need peer reviewed sources rather than and Wall Street Journal essays. The senate committee bit may deserve a note, but would rather see papers cited from those four skeptics. Vsmith 20:30, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Just so you know that's the NY Wall Street Journal and i think even the most hardcore leftist would agree that NY papers tend to be pretty far left of center, thst means Wall Street Journal essays would be more liekly to side with alarmists., not less, if even THEY won't touch it, then you know it's far left bunkWesterOfCentr 00:02, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Wow! Now I see... er ... left .. right .. far left .. far left bunk ...?? All I remember is ...the one in the rear got drafted. Pour me another one bartender :-P Vsmith 00:41, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
The Wall Street Journal editorial pages are famously right wing. With the possible exception of the Washington Times (which is not really a major newspaper), it is widely regarded the most right-wing major US newspaper. To describe the WSJ as "pretty far left of center" would raise a lot of eyebrows on the trading floor... Bwithh 21:51, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
It is very amusing to me to hear the WSJ described as left wing. I would characterized it as right wing, and I'm a subscriber. Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:19, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that means you favor the removal of the Orieskes material, since her essay was not peer reviewd.--Poodleboy 23:49, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
No. It means exactly what I said in reference to the section at hand. Do your interpreting elsewhere please. Vsmith 00:00, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
What's wrong with Crichton's speeches? He's a scientist, isn't he? Not a climate scientist, sure, but he very astutely points out many of the problems in climate science, not least of which are the lack of double blind studies and bias in the research on both sides, and the fallacy of 'consensus science'. Besides, isn't the purpose of this part of the article to point out that though global warming alarmists cowardly hide behind this fictitious 'consensus,' many notable scientists are at least skeptics. It's not just a 'small minority,' either, just that a 'small minority' get funding and media coverage, for political reasons. "The Earth Is Still Here, at Average Temperatures and No One Will Die" is simply not as juicy a headline as "Millions Will Die This Decade As Sea Levels Double;" and as a result it is more difficult for the message of skeptics to reach the people in general. Many notable global warming skeptics are former alarmists, who finally looked at the actual facts, including Crichton and Bjorn Lomborg. In my opinion, everyone on both sides of the debate should read Crichton's speeces. They are well sourced, well written, and very informative. If you're already a skeptic, Crichton is worth reading to confirm your point of view, and if you're not, it is important to keep an open mind. Everyone should read everything they can on BOTH sides and make up their own mind, as I do. Professor Chaos 03:45, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
"He's a scientist, isn't he?", mmm, no? You may have noticed that most of his 'scientific thrillers' verge on nonsense-- 03:49, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Chrichton's fiction books aside, he's still in the field. More so than some history assistant professor is. Lindzen is a professor in climate sciences at MIT, and the work is published. Also see the story at RealClimate. The Senate committee is the one that deals with this thing. I think that's a valid thing to add. See also: Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years. I think adding this info is just the sort of thing needed to give some more balance to this article. Sln3412 22:15, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Chriton is not in the field. He's an M.D. by training and a fiction author by career. He has no releveant qualification to speak of.--Stephan Schulz 22:28, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Chrichton a scientist? What scientific field did he get his PhD in? What research has he been performing? What publications in peer-reviewed journals does he have to show? Clue: being a doctor does not make one a climate scientist, or even a plain scientist. --Skyemoor 04:49, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I stand corrected. Still, that doesn't mean he can't be cited does it? Or even if he can't, I still hold that Lindzen, the committee and/or others are skeptics, since they are, regardless on if we agree with them or who they are. That doesn't mean it should be added, I'm just saying they're skeptics. Sln3412 23:26, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course Crichton could be cited if he had something valuable to add to an encyclopedic article. He has not, at least for scientific articles. Lindzen might have, but he is so far of the state of the art that he is irrelevant. Guess why he gets published (as an opinion piece) in the Wall Street Journal, not in a peer-reviewed scientific venue? --Stephan Schulz 07:47, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Crichton is indeed an MD, and not a climate scientist. Of course his novels are all fiction, even State of Fear (though he includes a lot of cited facts in that one). He was also a visiting lecturer in anthropology at Cambridge University. He also studies topics thoroughly when researching for his novels, both to get ideas and to lend credibility to his stories, and while researching to write a thriller about global warming he realized that the facts did not back up what he had always been led to believe after all, and became at that point a global warming skeptic, which he had not been before. He does not claim to have anything to add to climate science other than to call for less bias and more responsibility. Also, as an anthropoligist, he is very good at spotting the trends in the politics and opinions surrounding environmentalism. His speech on environmentalism as the latest atheist religion is very good. Before you criticize his contribution to the debate, you should actually read the speeches, and keep an open mind. He rightly points out that so many scientists are global warming alarmists because that is the opinion that gets the publicity and the grant money. Whether or not he is a climate scientist or a novelist or the next American Idol, he IS a scientist, and he IS very much worth listening to. Professor Chaos 07:32, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I've read "Aliens Cause Global Warming" ages ago. It's a good propaganda piece, but neither a fair not a competent exposition on the scientific process or the facts of global warming. Just like "State of Fear", he selects - either because of incompetence or to fool his audience - unconnected facts and presents them without necessary context. He uses the old weather/climate mixup, he promotes guilt by association (and to do that he overdramatizes alleged failings of science), he still doubts the reality of global warming (which puts him beyond dinosaurs). We cannot read his mind, so your description of how he reached the sceptic position through research is pure speculation. But let's consider his motivation: "Scientist are all right, global warming is real" - how do you make one of Crichton's techno-thriller out of that one? And how much free publicity would it get?--Stephan Schulz 08:09, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Schulz, perhaps you can tell us your scientific qualifications to be commenting on climate sciences, paleo-climatology, etc., or is it just your opinion here? Dr. JJ 22:30, 18 July 2006 (UTC) Dr. JJ

It seems to me that Stephan Schulz doesn't need any qualifications to make the above comments, just what my old high school english classes called "clear thinking". One doesn't need a science degree to analize the validity of competing arguments, expecially when one side has an ever growing body of scientific work behind it. One argument I have always found convincing is that I know that global warming skeptics usually have a clear self interest for their position - they wish to maintain current business practices and lifestyle options. I have never been able to identify a self interest behind the position of the other side. --Michael Johnson 23:06, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Since I have a real name and my user page links to my university web page, that should be easy to find out. I'm a working scientist with a good layman's understanding of climate science from reading much of the IPCC reports and about 10-15 current papers (and, of course, a lot of popular science texts). I've got some background in probability theory (having done some work about reasoning under uncertainty) and a minor in physics, which helps. I also have a fairly good understanding of the workings of the scientific community. And while I don't object to Stephan, I'd prefer "Dr. Schulz" to "Mr. Schulz". --Stephan Schulz 23:16, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
This is not meant as a personal attack, but how can the credentials of a erudite probability theorist such as yourself qualify you as an expert on global warming? --The Outhouse Mouse 12:52, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I asked because Dr. Schulz seems to be disregarding Dr. Crichton and Dr. Lindzen, an MD takes numerous science courses in college and has an excellent working knowledge of the scientific method and principles, thus is scientifically qualified to state his position on these issues. Dr. Lindzen is a world class climate expert with hundreds of publications (most in peer reviewed journals) [24]that is quite impressive, he is also an excellent teacher and speaker, as is Dr. Crichton perhaps you should do more research on your own before you continue to comment with your opinions. If you are not impressed with Dr. Lindzen, a list of my publications and awards will not impress you either, and you will find some other reason to degrade my input, so it is definitely not worth the risk to try and impress you. Dr. JJ 23:33, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ

I don't much like the turn this conversation has taken. I'd like to encourage everyone to focus their comments on the content of the scientific arguments rather than the contributors and their qualifications. Dragons flight 23:42, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. And I don't disregard Crichton because of his qualifications, but because of the nonsense he writes. His qualifications (and his motivation) explain why he writes what he writes. Lindzen is indeed a real climate scientist, and I do have a lot of respect for his work in general. However, he has not published significant scientific work on global warming. Nearly all his global warming articles are unreviewed opinion pieces, often in the popular press. I weight that against the literature record and draw my conclusions.
Dr. JJ, I don't want a list of your publications to be impressed. I'd like to see them because you claim they refute the IPCC view. If they are really exisiting, peer-reviewed scientific contributions, we may want to integrated them into this article. --Stephan Schulz 06:52, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Dr. Schulz, and Dragons Flight, if you think Lindzen has not published peer reviewed research on global warming, perhaps you missed these citations in the link I provided to his hundreds of publications:

203. Lindzen, R.S. and C. Giannitsis (2002) Reconciling observations of global temperature change. Geophys. Res. Ltrs. 29, (26 June) 10.1029/2001GL014074 [pdf]

204. Lindzen, R.S. (2002a) Do Deep Ocean Temperature Records Verify Models? Geophys. Res. Ltrs., 29, 10.1029/2001GL014360. [pdf]

206. Chou, M.-D., R.S. Lindzen, and A.Y. Hou (2002a) Impact of Albedo Contrast between Cirru and Boundary-Layer Clouds on Climate Sensitivity. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2, 99-101.

207. Lindzen, R.S., M.-D. Chou, and A.Y. Hou (2002) Comments on "No evidence for iris." Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 83, 1345-1348. [pdf]

208. Chou, M.-D., R.S. Lindzen, and A.Y. Hou (2002) Reply to: "Tropical cirrus and water vapor: an effective Earth infrared iris feedback?" Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2, 99-101. [pdf]

209. Chou, M.-D., R.S. Lindzen, and A.Y. Hou (2002b) Comments on "The Iris hypothesis: A negative or positive cloud feedback?" J. Climate, 15, 2713-2715. [pdf]

210. Bell, T. L., M.-D. Chou, R.S. Lindzen, and A.Y. Hou (2002) Response to Comment on "Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?" Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 83, 598-600. [pdf]

I think you will find they all make contributions to global warming attribution hypotheses and alternatives to AGW.

And if all you need is some of my work incorporated into the Wiki on this subject, it already has been, so done. Dr. JJ 12:53, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ Also, If you reject Dr. Crichton due the "nonsense" he writes about this subject, could it be you think it to be "nonsense" since you disagree with it? I don't think that to be a definition of nonsense, you should be honest and say that you disagree. I also think some of what is said on these pages I totally disagree with, but I would not call it nonsense as that is not appropriate, as many are people's opinions and they are entitled to them, and if they have qualifications in that particular science, they are qualified opinions, others are, of course, just opinions. Dr. JJ 13:01, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ

I don't think this is going anywhere useful. I've stated my qualifications, and they are easy to verify. People can judge the quality (or lack thereof) of my contributions to Wikipedia. At least the second part holds for you as well. I'll leave it at that. --Stephan Schulz 21:20, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I've often wondered about this "peer reviewed" thing. You guys always say any research must be peer reviewed to be accepted. If the 'peers' reviewing share the same bias of the original (or have a bias against the research's outcome) how does that get any closer to the truth? -- LoudMouth 18:35, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
You have it the wrong way round. It should (not quite must) be PR. But that is necessary, rather than sufficient. Any number of PR papers are junk (see Singer...) William M. Connolley 19:26, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Indeed Loud, and that is a whole other conversation and complaint I have as well. I have been on both ends, and you must carefully pick your "peers" if you want to get by with being opinionated by slipping some comments in your summary that the research doesn't support, it is done often with AGW papers I find. Most research is straightforward and simple, probably 95%, but when AGW hit the press back in the 1990s, and the "policy" oriented political scientists and lay people took over, it became a quagmire for scientists to navigate, but I will get off my soapbox now, sorry. Dr. JJ 18:43, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ

You reveal a surprising lack of knowledge about the scientific publication process. You don't get to choose who reviews your paper. It is submitted to a conference or a journal, and either the program committee or the editor selects a number of anonymous referees. Each of them independently and anonymously reviews your paper, writes a report, and based on these reports the PC or editor (or editorial committee) decides if the paper is accepted, and if any changes are necessary. For conferences this typically is a one-step process, with an open discussion in the program committee about which papers are accepted. For a journal, there can be a multi-stage process, with updated papers re-reviewed until they are acceptable or the editor decides to give up. Essentially all reviewers I know (and I know and work with many) judge a paper strictly on quality, not on wether it supports any particular bias. Note that scientific papers, at least in the physical and mathematical sciences, are not opinion pieces, but present verifiable data and arguments. Bias does not play a significant role (and if it does for one reviewer, that person will typically not be asked again). --Stephan Schulz 20:01, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
While I am less and less convinced of JJ's legitimacy, it is true that many journals now have a more open review process than the one you describe. One journal I am preparing a paper for suggestions for names of reviewers who are competent in the field; the reviewers' identities and detailed comments are available to the authors; and the reviewer comments are published along with the final article. Indeed, I suspect that this process is the trend for the future. bikeable (talk) 20:05, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry you doubt me, I could say the same (but won't), but in my experience with the 8 different journals I have both been a peer reviewer and had my material reviewed, I am routinely asked by the editors and staff who would be likely candidates, as bikeable says, I think it depends on the subjects and journals, JGR-AGU is less opaque than GSA and JSR for instance. 20:29, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ

This is one of my favorite examples of peer reviewed research that has editorial opinion content that was not peer reviewed (since it was not part of the research presented), yet that editorial opinion is what gets this article noticed in the popular media (like an AP story). The research in the paper has nothing to do with modern AGW, yet that is the headline. This is also the type of article that Ms. Oreskes cited as supporting the consensus on AGW. [25] 21:25, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ

Here's how the discussion always seems to go. This was published in a reputable journal. Oh, and where do they get their funding? But it's published. How is an essay any different than an op-ed? That's a biased paper. So is yours. Everyone agrees. There are plenty that don't. They are nut-jobs. Here's their qualifications. Ours have better ones. They didn't say where how they got their data exactly. The recreation included too much data. It's a bigger set and they got less. But they said it was the same. How does that invalidate their information? You're biased. No, you are. This was peer reviewed. What makes their peers less biased than they are. But they were published. (go back to start) --Sln3412 23:32, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Exactamundo, thus this "discussion" format provides little to the issue. On a more important note, the US Congress has finally provided it's analysis of the Famous and Infamous Mann Hockey stick, by real math and stats experts, not too surprising Mann was off base and biased here: [26]Dr. JJ 14:57, 20 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ

The author is NOT arguing that the "consensus view" of global warming is accurate or not, which is what everyone seems to be arguing about (that and each other's qualifications). The author is arguing that there do exist "scientists and thinkers" that disagree with consensus global warming, and even if you take out Crichton, by listing Bob Carter, Roy Spencer, Tim Ball, and Lindzen -- 3 climatology professors and a principal research scientist -- as skeptics, the author proves that not all climatologists agree. This doesn't even seem debateable. Dr. Schultz, even you must admit that there exist climatologists who disagree with the commonly held view of global warming. --Jason little 19:25, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

"Consensus" does not mean that every climate scientist agrees. "Consensus" means that there is broad agreement among climate scientists. Naming three climatology professors who disagree does not mean that there is not consensus. bikeable (talk) 19:35, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Scientific "Theories"

I'd highly suggest changing "theory" to "hypothesis" in nearly all (if not all) cases on this page. These two words have strict definitions in science, and various computer "models" of global warming do not fit "theory" but rather "hypothesis." A theory has to be based on a model that accurately and consistently predicts (without failure) outcomes of future experiments or situations. Global warming "models" have not done this. I'm not going to go through and change each one now, but Wikipedia is doing a disservice to keep the word "theory" in these cases. Superdoggy 05:11, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

So just as the germ theory of disease can predict if an infected patient will live or die? Or the thermodynamic model of hurricanes can tell us where the next big one will strike? Or Newtons theory of gravity finally allowed us to build guns that never miss? Or quantum physics tells us when a given Uranium nucleus will split? More to the point: In any chaotic system, we will always be unable to predict exact outcomes without failure. And if you allow for range predictions, where do the current GCMs fail?--Stephan Schulz 06:58, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
"Theory" is often used where it shouldn't be, particularly by the popular press. The "Germ Theory of Disease" is an example. There are theories about how specific germs cause specific diseases, but there is no all encompassing "Germ Theory of Disease" since such a theory is easily dismissed by diseases not caused by germs. Newton's theory of gravity does make accurate predictions and with the right information one can use it to help make accurate predictions of gunshot projectories. And calling a system "chaotic" is nothing more than semantics so that one doesn't have to admit that one doesn't know enough to predict outcomes in that system.Superdoggy 07:41, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, "chaotic" has a well-defined mathematical meaning and makes it impossible (in the presence of quantum uncertainty) to make exact predictions. However, that still allows us to make some predictions. And that is exacly what GCMs do.--Stephan Schulz 07:47, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Hah hah, you shouldn't confuse chaotic, which describes a (non-quantum)system whose behavior changes in unpredictable ways due to a small perturbation of its initial condition; with quantum uncertainty due to physical limitation of constructable measurement devices. Climate is a chaotic system, so is the stock market, both have unknown initial conditions which makes them extremly unpredictable, but non of them is a quantum system. 00:20, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course the climate system is a quantum system. It's just so extremely macroscopic that we usually ignore the quantum aspects. But Heisenberg still makes it impossible to get an exact state at any one time, and hence the chaotic nature makes exact predictions of future states impossible. Now the stock market is probably not a quantum system, just a bad dream in some elder god's imagination... --Stephan Schulz 06:34, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Simple solution to the problem here. Please state to me what the current Theory is (that is what prediction is made) and what experiments have been done to make it a theory and not a hypothesis (i.e. the predictions came out, within REASONABLE error, as the hypothesis predicted). If there is more than one theory at play, then by definition there is no theory at all, only hypotheses.Superdoggy 08:07, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Nonsense. We have both Newtons and Einsteins theory of gravity. In cosmology, we have the big bang and the steady state theory . It is the normal case in science that we have several competing theories. Much of science is to devise ways of differentiating one from the other. And stating "the theory of global warming" takes the IPCC several hundred pages (and that is an overview). As for experiments: Current GCMs are adjusted on a subset of available historical data, and then do a very good job of predicting the climate of other periods, up to things like ENSO. --Stephan Schulz 08:29, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Newton's theory and Einstein's are not competing. Newton's law was replaced. Available data disputes the Steady State theory, which means it had to be scrapped; Steady State was a hypothesis that did not stand up to scrutiny (its predictions were not there). I dispute that science has competing theories; Science has competing hypotheses.
Well, then we probably must agree to disagree on this point. However, I suggest you read up on scientific theories. --Stephan Schulz 09:13, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
"I dispute that science has competing theories; Science has competing hypotheses." - well then you are wrong. Relativity and Quantum mechanics are both theories (in the sense that they are well supported, have made specific falsifiable predications that were confirmed, 'etc), and are demonstrably incompatible - one of them must be wrong. Raul654 21:54, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Why disagree? From your source: "In scientific usage, a theory does not mean an unsubstantiated guess or hunch, as it often does in other contexts. A theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from and/or is supported by experimental evidence (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations that is predictive, logical and testable." So I ask again, what is the theory, what are its predictions and what experimental evidence (showing the predictions were right) supports the theory? Superdoggy 09:24, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
See my above comment for the "theory" and its testable predictions. As for your claim to exclusivity: How do you derive that from the above text? There typically is a multitude of theories that are consistent with existing evidence, predictive, logically consistent, and testable. Even if we add in parsimony as an extra principle, this still does not usually identify a unique theory, as different theories may make different and incomparable assumptions. As an example, there was a time when Newton's and Einstein's theories were competing. Einstein won out after new evidence came in. That does not retroactively disqualify Newtons theory as a theory, it just becomes a theory that is wrong. --Stephan Schulz 09:41, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
This is all a bit silly. GW is logically self consistent (do you disagree?) framework. It originates with expt evidence (radiative properties of GHGs; various obs studies of the climate system). And it predicts future warming, and is "predicts" the climate change we've seen already. What more do you want? William M. Connolley 09:31, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Warming in general is not a theory anymore than observing an apple fall is a theory of gravity. A scientific theory makes definite predictions. If a theory existed that has made predictions that we've already seen, as you state, give me that theory with its predictions and what the actual observations were. That's what I want. Superdoggy 09:51, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Then read the article. GW predicts that the world will, in future, get warmer. Obviously that can't be tested yet. GW/our understanding of climate "predicts" that GCMs can reproduce the observed changes over the past century; this is verified William M. Connolley 10:18, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay. I can see why I remain highly skeptical. Scientific theories should be able to predict something not yet known, not what has already come. The Big Bang "Theory" predicted Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, for example. Predicting warming in general when there is already a warming trend is hardly impressive.
Umm...GW theory predicted e.g. stratospheric cooling, which has been observed. It has predicted global warming for ages, even before the temperature record was well-enough understood to verify it. Our climate models predict polar amplification, they give a fairly precise prediction about hat transfer to the oceans. I'm certain an expert can list many more such predictions. --Stephan Schulz 10:57, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Man, does the name Svante Arrhenius ring a bell? That is when it all started. So to state that it started today is just crazy!

There appear to be no checks on Raul654's power.

I'm gone. No point contributing when Raul654's arbitrary assessment of content is unchecked. Bye.--Poodleboy 09:28, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Good to see that Rauls 2 reverts are so mighty William M. Connolley 21:06, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I would assume the complaint is based on Raul blocking him for 24 hours. Dragons flight 21:28, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
So he did. Gosh. Then Raul is indeed mighty William M. Connolley 08:28, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

(attack removed)

John, even though others may have "started it", I agree with VSmith that you went too far here. Please review Wikipedia:Avoid personal remarks.

William, you too: saying "is indeed mighty" was a provocation.

Let's all stick to the subject, which is how to improve this article. Which is going to take all our concerted effort, because it's already "better than good", being a Wikipedia:Featured article. --Uncle Ed 18:54, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

And it wasn't John who added it, it was anon JohnCPope's edit was caught in an edit conflict with me. I've removed the attack above again. Vsmith 19:09, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, is this an "environmentalists are commies" attack? It's notable not for the strength of the attack as for its complete and utter eighth-grade lameness. I will hope, instead, that it's a Groucho reference I'm not getting. ("I've had a lovely time editing wikipedia, but this wasn't it"?) bikeable (talk) 18:56, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

"Are either of you two scientists?"

  • [27] (8 of the first 10 are mine, although that ratio goes down on later pages).
  • [28] William does better, but then he has a real funky name.

Further questions? --Stephan Schulz 21:33, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Good, then why are you attempting to push your personal POV and not recognize scientific uncertainty and research? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dr. JJ (talkcontribs) .
Huh? I'm trying to keep this encyclopedic article as close to a fair representation of the state of knowledge as possible. From what I can observe, William does the same. And we speak for all those millions of climate scientists who are too afraid to share their opionion because the Bush gouvernment might nuke their labs if they spoke up. And by the way, Einstein wispers into my ears at night... (This is a joke. If you don't stand up to your opinions, don't try to gain authority from an unverifiable qualifications. Is all that extensive research you and your students and associates do wasted, or is it published somewhere?)--Stephan Schulz 23:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I see, I think I know the kind of person I am dealing with here, thank you for the insights.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dr. JJ (talkcontribs) .

Be welcome. By the way, you can sign (your Wikipedia username) on talk pages by using four tildes: ~~~~. It expands to name and current date. --Stephan Schulz 23:43, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Well Dr. JJ? Please list your published papers so we can gain insight into your posts. Stephan answered your question promptly and fully, now it is your turn. (and if you wonder about me - just check my userpage, nothing to hide there, and no, I have no published papers in the field). Vsmith 23:52, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

As a side note, I've always been impressed and humbled by the credentials of the several users who upkeep this particular page. Most of them make my B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences seem piddly by comparison. EWS23 (Leave me a message!) 00:16, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but when you are a prof seeking tenure in a liberal (is there any other kind?) university, you dare not be ID'ed with something as controversial as not "believing" in the dogma and almost "Big Lie" properties of AGW. There is much federal and state research money to lose and old line liberal full profs to upset if you question the political correctness of AGW, so I must remain anon I'm afraid, and I am. Dr. JJ 03:21, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJDr. JJ 03:21, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like baloney to me. You are a scientist and yet you think AGW requires 'belief'? You're university frowns upon someone who looks at the available data and remains skeptical? Skepticism is the corenerstone of science. Most are satisified with the available data and theory, a few are not. Do you think Dr. Grey at Colorado is going to lose his tenure anytime soon? AWG skepticism is reasonable, you may be require more data. You may think the majority are on the wrong track. The oil companies have a lot of money too, and if you truly beleive AGW is a 'Big Lie' and you know where too look to show it, the oil and coal industries should be very interested in supporting you. Do you know where to look to show that AGW is a 'big lie'? Do you not believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Do you think the Keeling curve is fabricated? These two simple observations (well one fact, one observation) are all one needs to deconstruct to show AWG is a 'big lie'. Good luck, if the majority of scientists are wrong on this, I want to know! TimL 06:48, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

I am not saying the majority (if it really exists, since the last survey I took at AGU showed a majority didn't think humans were the primary cause, and there has been no objective survey since then, which is curious in itself) is wrong, but as a scientist I follow the scientific mthod and principles. Part of those principles require rigor and internal data consistency. Most of the research I have seen are just small, narrow studies that do not prove CO2-Temp attribution, but rather imply a relationship between rising CO2 and temps, at least since 1975 or so, since temps were falling and CO2 rising from 1945-1975. These kind of data inconsistencies, plus lack of rigor in considering records from the Vostok cores that show large time lags between CO2 and temps, as well as CO2 rising after temps go up, not before, as well as hundreds of other pieces of data that don't fit AGW as the primary cause. I think this require more hypothesis modifications and research and debate. However, the political climate makes it difficult to fully discuss these problems and uncertainty since the left wants to move to action and shout down skeptics, and the right wants to ignore everything. Scientists are also political animals with opinions, and that also makes it hard for skeptics like myself to be heard, since most scientists are also environmenatlists who believe humans are bad for the earth. The Big Lie aspects of this are clear when the politically organized pushes come in coordinated pulses from time to time. We have just been through one with Gore's film, many others came out of the woodwork pushing the "lie". As the Nazi's knew, for the Big Lie to work it must be horrible and scary, it must be black and white with no doubt, and it must be said, screamed and repeated over and over until the population's mind is numbed and they accept it without question aznd repeat it to others. Look at this debate and see if you don't see these elements.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr. JJ (talkcontribs)

Global warming, as you must know if you really are a scientist, does not include a key component of a Big Lie, to wit, "a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe anyone 'could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously'". You are in an extremely tiny minority of scientists if you believe that. Also, your Nazi comparison could easily be interpreted as an ad hominem attack on your fellow editors. I'm trying to WP:AGF here, but you are not helping me very much. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 15:15, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
When all the major research societies (AGU, AMS, AAAS, NAS, NRC, IPCC, etc.) are issuing statements supporting the anthropogenic theory of global warming, it seems more than appropriate to treat that as the prevailing view in the scientific community even if some dissenters, such as yourself, do exist. Your unwillingness to identify yourself suggests that your record of scholarship probably does not reflect your dissent (if it did, what would you have left to hide?). If AGW is wrong, one has to ask yourself, where are all the scientists to argue the point? Only a handful are represented in all the debates and they rarely publish anything. Is peer review really so terrible that a coherent alternative position can't be argued? If you want to point out papers and work that undermines the AGW theory, please do. However, I think you will also find that comparing the current scientific situation to Nazism is unlikely to win you any supporters. Dragons flight 15:26, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, I rest my case for this if you wish to ignore all the scientists who are and have been publishing alternate hypotheses to explain large parts of the global warming, you must not be reading the literature, I cannot help you here. Dr. JJ 18:34, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Dr. JJ
It's a pity, I thought there would really be coming something more substantially than the usual crap. Hardern 18:52, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Dude, seriously, have you ever stood in front of a smokestack? One of those big industrial manufacturing types shooting 200 degree burning smoke into the air 24/7? I have, and I can tell you from personal experience, it is HOT. And for a long way around, you can feel the heat, like standing in front of an oven. And you can smell and feel how thick the air is around it, and it is NOT good. There's literally millions of those smokestacks arouns the world, each pushing heat into the air all day every day. And that's not the half of it. Have you stood behind the tailpipe of car lately, even a clean car? Makes a lot of heat. Felt a car engine after a decent length drive? Makes a lot of heat too (it's not all the tailpipe). And there's what, a BILLION cars being driven around the world, and buses and vans and SUVs and eighteen-wheel trucks, some burning gas on the road for days at a stretch? Think about that next time your sitting in traffic with a few thousand other cars ahead of and behind you on the highway, with the same scene being played hundreds or thousands of other places across the globe at the same time, and all the time. And think of all that air conditioning, in this heat wave. Know how air conditioning works? It TRANSFERS the heat, from the house or the condo or the office, from all its appliances and ovens and light bulbs and TVs, it sucks all that heat up and puts it into the air outside. Stand next to the outside part of the air condistioning unit when it's going full blast inside, you'll see. Now tell me that all of those million smokestacks, those billion cars, all the air conditioned buildings on the planet, tell me that has NO EFFECT on the climate. //// Pacific PanDeist * 06:30, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, here you go: The direct effect of heat engines, wether run forward (as in cars) or backwards (as in air conditioning units) is fairly insignificant compared to the indirect greenhouse effect. Total world energy production is about 4*10^13 kWh/year (that includes renewable energy sources, which do not contribute to the overal energy balance, but lets be generous). Current greenhouse gas forcing should be about 0.75 W/m^2. 0.75*365(days/year)*24(hours/day)*5.1*10^14(surface area in m^2)/1000 (to get kW) is about 4*10^15kWh/year, or 100 times more. I suspect I have lost a few zeros somewhere ;-). --Stephan Schulz 17:24, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Watching wanted

Could some of the participants here add Image:Carbon Dioxide 400kyr-2.png to their watchlist. It suddenly seems that people are eager to add elaborate criticisms to this figure. I'm not opposed to criticism, in principle, but the arguments being used are mostly original research and not reflective of the realities and context of the data. Dragons flight 15:05, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Done. Hardern 18:50, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Carbon dioxide 400kyr image

I came across the CO2 image, as I was looking for a graph closest to the one that Gore showed in his slide show. Personally, I think that the one that is up now is too cluttered -- the different colors and dotted lines make it look as if the last section of the graph is not really a part of the graph at all, but just a projection, hypothesis, or something like that. This completely takes away from the point of the graph, which shows how much higher CO2 is now than ever in the Earth's history. Also, the huge box in the middle about the industrial revolution is not really necessary: it just adds a confusingly re-scaled timeline, and has led (understandably) to charges of POV. The spike in the graph is more readable without the box, and the interpretation is self-explanatory (and, anyway, whould be explained in the text).

I made a draft of the graph without the box, changes in colors, dotted lines and so on. It's only a draft, so it can be modified, but I think it's better than the current graph. If people are worried that not having the colors will mean that the different sections aren't cited, that's no problem: as it is now, one has to go to the image file to see the citations anyway, so it would be easy just to add the cited image to the text of the new image file.

What do people think? — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 19:58, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I am, perhaps understandably, biased, so I am not going to express an opinion on which version is best. As a technical comment though, I will say that you are significantly exaggerating the time required for the rise. At about 1000 years per pixel, the rise should be dead vertical with no perceptible slope at all. Presumably this is easy for you to fix. Dragons flight 20:14, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Like I said, it was a quick draft. Indeed, I was hoping that, if people thought the graph should be without the "industrial revolution" box, you might be persuaded to modify your original one: the quality of your lines are much better than mine, and re-tracing yours simply adds error. — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 20:25, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm of a mixed mind. I think different colours are fine. The information in the box should be somewhere. But the way the box currently is placed, it really obscures the dramatic rise to the right. It just looks as if it does not belong to the graph at all. Maybe someone handy with graphics (hi DF;-) can create a different layout. Here is a rough sketch of what I have in mind (but notice: I'm a command line type of person and shouldn't be trusted with a mouse ;-):
My sketch
--Stephan Schulz 20:41, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Would it be possible to replace this graph of CO2 levels over the last 400,000 years with one of temperature? While there is quite a bit of evidence that shows a correlation of temperature and CO2, I don't believe there is enough evidence to show a Causal relationship that CO2 increases temperature. So, because of this, I believe that a graph of temperature would be more informative than a graph of CO2 levels.--CB319 00:32, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
The causal relationship is reasonably clear from first principles. This is the core of global warming as a theory. The graph illustrates why scientists think that the corrent warming is caused by CO2 and not by other climate drivers (we know CO2 causes warming, but nobody (I hope) claims that there are no other influences). Also, it is much easier to reconstruct ancient CO2 levels than ancient temperatures. For CO2, you just analyse air trapped in ice cores. For temperature, you need a number of proxies, and as a result get less reliable data and more discussion.--Stephan Schulz 02:07, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Rather than get into a discussion on scientists thinking xyz or if CO2 causes temperature rises or vice versa, or if it's even important.

"Population growth due to increased carbon dioxide levels from plants has allowed even better farming methods to feed the planet's hungry. This has resulted in the sweat of cattle increasing water vapor in the atmosphere to the point where the Earth can no longer release enough heat. That is the direct cause of the warming of the Earth over the last two hundred years." Sorry.

I do have to say that out off all the graphs that Dragons Flight has contributed; this one, contrary to popular opinion, is the only one I've ever had an issue with. That said, there is no problem with showing the levels, or marking the ice ages, or even with the colors. The box is okay also, but probably is far better as a separate graph. Taking the temperatures and overlaying them on the CO2 is a good idea also, but not replacing one with the other, I don't think. One thing I think we might notice from all this. Regardless of the data, the X/Y axis, scale, sampling period all tell a story. A 10,000 year graph from -10 to +10 averaged by decade is quite different from 1,000 years in the middle of that same data from -2 to +4 averaged by century. Current readings, or different measurements are very difficult to correlate.

In any case, the only problem I've had, is that the comment in the box doesn't fit. The second paragraph under 'Description' on the Image page seems rather POV also. "Since the Industrial Revolution, circa 1800, the burning of fossil fuels has caused a dramatic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, reaching levels unprecedented in the last 400 thousand years. This increase has been implicated as a primary cause of global warming."

Yes, the observed increase has been implicated as one of the primary causes of Global Warming, and yes, fossil fuels contribute to CO2 levels, and yes, CO2 levels tell us we should be far into an ice age. As to when "The Industrial Revolution" began, if burning fossil fuels caused the dramatic increase, or any of the other things, that's a subject far too large to go into in a graph, even if we could verify and/or prove any of it. --Sln3412 07:29, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

if burning fossil fuels caused the dramatic increase... FF have caused the increase. This is beyond doubt. Don't waste time on that issue. As for complaining about the word "dramatic" - why? It is dramatic. As to which graph to use... I think an inset showing the recent rise on a scale where it is non-vertical is useful William M. Connolley 08:34, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I like Stephan's solution, because it keeps the graphs neater, and makes it clear, through the use of his dotted lines, that it's the x-axis itself that is being blown up. In the original, we had to read an oval as meaning "this part of the graph is being blown up, but only the x-axis -- the y-axis is being shrunk." I think it also makes it obvious that the spike is part of the current graph, not some future speculation. — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 13:16, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Burning fossil fuels creates CO2. CO2 levels increase. Therefore, burning fossil fuels raises the levels. I just think there's a difference between making CO2 and the Earth keeping CO2. That's what I meant. (33% over 250 years isn't much drama. Methane's more drama at 150%. Why no graph on methane? etc etc) I won't even mention that all the data showing that increase is recent and directly measured from the atmosphere on an island in the ocean, and the old data is sampled and directly measured from ice at a pole. Or something like that, won't say it.
My point is that the text of us creating much more CO2 starting in 1850 with coal and 1950 with petroleum and natural gas and coal being a fact (it is) is immaterial, makes a point of its own and shouldn't be on a graph of atmosphere levels. The inlay is okay, the text is not. But it looks like since I'm very much in the minority, so be it. Have a nice day! --Sln3412 17:16, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I also like the graph as it is - it consists of useful information, and putting the box into the graph makes it better readable in my opinion. Creating a second image seems like wasting space to me. Hardern 16:48, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

From design and communication perspectives the original diagram is more effective. When viewing the diagram, the first information that jumps out is the increase in concentrations after 1800. This is not POV, it is reality. The data below then provides context by plotting values over the prior 400 ka. The use of colour is actually well crafted, it allows the reader to identify the various sources of data. -- 20:27, 20 July 2006 (UTC) J. Hamilton

Meh, it looks like only a couple other people think the box should go. That's fine, if that's the pervailing conclusion. I'll delete the draft. — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 13:45, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

GW is too big

This article has bloated to 61k. Anyone else agree it should be reduced in size? William M. Connolley 18:59, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

It's certainly a good idea, the question is how to do it. Sections that don't currently have their own "main article" seem to be limited to Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and Pre-human global warming. Other options include trying to cut sections that do have main articles to one or two paragraphs at most. Top candidates for this might be the sections on Historical Warming of the Earth (3 large paragraphs), "Causes" intro (2 large and one small paragraph), Solar Variation Theory (3 large paragraphs), Biomass production (4 small-medium paragraphs), "Responses" (large section), and Climate Models (large section). So, I guess we could read through these and see if there's any fat that can be reasonably trimmed. EWS23 (Leave me a message!) 21:11, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

"Small minority" citation

I think the "small minority of scientists" needs to be cited by an outside source. The fact that there is a compiled list of scientists who have publically disagreed with its root causes is useful, but this is by no means a determination of the opinions of the world's scientists.

I would think the only objective way to qualify this is with poll results; otherwise this sounds like original research. If the existing "List of scientists opposing global warming consensus" article is intended to suffice, that is inappropriate. While the information compiled in that article is from outside sources, the attempt to aggregate its results to represent a small minority of the entire world's scientific community is not only incorrect, but it would represent original research. --Coopercmu 19:57, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

This is a very old discussion; the skeptics keep trying to get rid of "small minority"; every one else keeps putting it back. I doubt there is anything new to say William M. Connolley 20:55, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
i.e. the skeptics do their part and the Connolley Communists ruthlessly do theirs.
You can't use the "no original research" policy to argue against including trivial to check facts without citation. If a fact is very obvious, then that usually makes it impossible from getting an article published about it. Why would an editor accept an article that shows something that everyone in the field already knows? Count Iblis 12:53, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
That's silly: lots of people do, in fact, believe that there's a large debate within the scientific community on this issue, due in no small part to the media's insistance on false "balance," and not backing the statement up with anything would only help perpetuate this myth. Can't the Oreskes study be used as a citation? Or does her study not refer to the concensus on the role of human actions? — Asbestos | Talk (RFC) 13:52, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
That study shows that those people who have written topics on that subject that have been peer reviewed that bothered to have abstracts that she read and categorized according to her criteria haven't said they disbelieve. I don't know that it really means anything at all, so I wouldn't think it would be useful. --Sln3412 17:23, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
According to this chart we've been experiencing "global cooling" since 1998.

--JohnCPope 18:44, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Did you read the graph right?

Getting back to Asbestos's comment: you are echoing the liberal, pro-GW point of view there as opposed to objective fact. I would venture to say that it's actually quite rare for the media to give a balanced presentation on GW. It's slanted more than 85% in favor of GW theories, near as I can tell. And I can't recall a single instance of a major news outlet (like NYT or BBC) saying that "scientists are divided" on the issue.

The media generally cite the UN's IPCC as authoritative and objective - and ignore complaints that the SPM is re-written by politicians to fit their pre-conceived notions.

And when was the last time you saw a newspaper or magazine article criticizing Mann's Hockey Stick graph (and the reliance laymen and politicians place on it)? Or highlighting the 1,500-year-cycle theory espoused by Fred Singer et al.? And where have you ever seen Sallie Baliunas's graph correlating solar variation to temperature proxies?

It's a liberal canard that there's any anti-Liberal bias in the media (they say that corporate ownership implies pro-conservative bias, but the evidence is to the contrary). The New York Times is owned by liberals, and the BBC isn't a private corporation. --Uncle Ed 19:08, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University 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. SOURCE --The Outhouse Mouse 19:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Why would an editor accept an article that shows something that everyone in the field already knows?

This is exactly the problem with the global warming issue. From very early on, everyone was told that there was scientific consensus. More and more people have taken this as truth, yet it has never really been shown. Many of the studies are under the assumption that warming is man-made, and they therefore try to solve the equation with the human factor.
The content and assumptions of scientific articles do not constitute the majority of scientific opinion throughout the world. They represent a very narrow subset of scientists; the ones who are getting paid to research the issue. While studies themselves can be pretty objective, the choice of which studies to fund is political. It is made by committee members appointed by various levels of bureacracy, which ultimately ties to a political agenda.
That's not to say that global warming isn't man-made; however, if the "vast majority" of scientists believe that, I have yet to see it in a study. I suspect the reason for removing the <citation needed> was not for stylistic reasons, but simply because there is no good supporting evidence to cite from. Although I know it's too obvious to bother, I would be curious to see a citation on this talk page, even if it never makes it into the main article. Call me a skeptic until I see the evidence.
--Coopercmu 19:44, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
If you go to sci op on gw, you'll find the balance of support from all the respectable organisations. Or you could read the Oreskes study. Or you could browse the literature yourself. The content and assumptions of scientific articles do not constitute the majority of scientific opinion throughout the world - this is an important point, but completely wrong. What gets written down in the literature pretty well *is* the sci opp - or at least, what else can you use? If you have a viewpoint - stoats cause warming, for example - thats worthless unless published William M. Connolley 20:33, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
It's amazing to me how much debate can be generated over so few words. I always understood the word scientists to refer to individuals with a certain profession, as distinct from respectable organizations or scientific opinion. While the latter two do indeed seem to be in strong agreement, scientists do not.
The contentious phrase is making an unsupported assertion about individuals, not about scientific results. I believe a more accurate sentence would be: The majority of scientific research on global warming supports the claim, or assumes, that human actions have contributed. --Coopercmu 13:26, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Anyone arguing that it is more than a "tiny minority" that disputes the role of human activity in global warming: please demonstrate that it is a "tiny minority" of scientists (or psychologists, or what have you) who believe that engaging in sex with adult men is harmful to eight-year old boys!! Justifiers of pedophilia rely on claims that some portion of researchers into the question find such molestation to be harmless, even natural and beneficial-- and yet so far as I can tell, the proportion of serious researches who think man/boy sex is good for the kids is, oh, about the same as the proportion of serious researchers who think mankind is not contributing to serious global warming!! //// Pacific PanDeist * 03:13, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Wow. Once again, I hear the argument, "It's so obvious, we don't need evidence!" This is against Wikipedia's policies on citations. If there is no evidence to support an assertion, then that assertion has no place on Wikipedia. But apparently because the unbacked assertion supports the authors' point of view, this is overlooked, which of course violates the neutral point of view policy. --Coopercmu 13:52, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll say it again: That study only shows that those people who have written topics on that subject that have been peer reviewed that bothered to have abstracts that she read and categorized according to her criteria haven't said they disbelieve the Earth's getting warmer. That's all it shows there's agreement on. So the statement is more that published work, by those publishing, majorly supports that the average temperature of the Earth is getting warmer by mostly not disagreeing with it. They may even agree that humans cause it, as if anything living doesn't affect its environment somehow, whatever that proves. Or how it proves how much we're affecting it. So we have a cause (burning coal, petroleum and natural gas) that gives an effect (creating CO2). Yay. What's the argument about? Oh yes. The study doesn't really support the assertation, but this isn't logic, it's science, right? Or is it statistics? Or maybe is it something else... I smell black helicopters. --Sln3412 21:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


I just received a comment that my edits to include mention of a controversy regarding "global warming" should only be mentioned in the "global warming controversy" article. This is a foul. It appears that anyone reading the article on global warming should not be told that there is a controversy. He or she needs to stumble upon that fact by accident. First of all, the article should be called "Global Warming Theories." Also, the theories in the article are not presented as theories, but as fact. Somewhere in the article there should be a disclaimer that the scientific research included in the article is simply data, ...lots of good data, but data notheless, from which many different people have legitimately drawn very different conclusions. Also, the article should clearly state that there is still more data needed for any conclusion to be, well, conclusive. Thus it should be clear that the scientific community is NOT at all in agreement on any one theory or conclusion, especially to include whether humans have any effect at all, negligible effect, noticeable effect, substantial effect, or the entire effect. Also, the article should definitely not be claiming that there is some "prevalent scientific opinion" (this is political agenda-speak). At *THIS* point there should be a link to the "Global Warming Controversy." As it stands, the article serves only as a sort of minor propaganda to push a the reader to a particular viewpoint rather than simply providing comprehensive information. I know there are many "doom and gloom" people who believe the earth will end if we don't abolish all the earth's factories and petroleum refineries, and that viewpoint should *ALSO* be reflected as one of many conclusion in an overall spectrum. Since virtually all conclusions on the matter are based on some scientific data, it is just wrong to claim, or even imply, that any one viewpoint is the scientifically correct one...until, of course, some conclusive data is obtained.

I will say I found it amusing that the Global Warming article has no "criticism" section, despite the fact that it is more a political issue today than a scientific one. On the other hand, since this article is already tipping the scales in terms of size, it's probably appropriate to move all the criticism outside; there's just so much of it!

--Coopercmu 19:31, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree but what can you do? Anytime someone writes an opposing view I see it get shot down by the "establishment." There is good information here it's just not the whole truth, and it's why the magnet school teachers I know won't let their students rely on it. It does start to read like an agenda (like asking a Sierra Club member their view on wildlife management) but I have hope that in time these issues will be corrected.Fyunck(click) 07:10, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
There's more than one thing at issue here. Mostly it's everyone's discussing something different. What the dictionary defines global warming as, versus discussing it was if it was Climate Change in general, how you define prevailing scientific opinion (prevailing on what criteria, which scientists, what topic or sub-topic of climate sciences), what data they're looking at, who's funding them (assuming the Sierra Club a worse/better source of funds for a study than Dupont is) and so on. It's certainly not very logical, so it depends on what we're discussing. We're not even talking about the same thing most of the time. For example, when we say humans are producing CO2 and that the Earth's getting hotter, it becomes "most scientists" "support" the idea that "humans cause the warming".
How about a direct survey of the top 25 experts in each of the climate change sciences, what do they say? Has anyone asked? If they have, have they gotten any straight answers? I'd bet no to either. A paper on the temperature range of the blue jellyfish's environment in May at 20,000 leagues under the sea having the opinion that 'global warming is caused by humans mainly' isn't proof of anything. The opinion of somebody that's spent 20 years studying cloud variables might be, assuminng they can get the money and support to get published and peer reviewed.
I've always found this article to be very political, very one sided, but pretty NPOV - It's just that what's out there is not NPOV, and it bleeds through. As Lindzen, the corporate shill, pawn of CATO and global warming skeptic with some papers only going back a couple years (who works at some tiny school doing something low-level and unimportant, and can't even back up his bets with action) said, "As most scientists concerned with climate, I was eager to stay out of what seemed like a public circus." 'Indeed.' But he's a nutcase anyway, so who cares.
This is an encyclopedia, so it doesn't need to be true, scientific, logical, non-political, or anything else. That's not the rules here. And there's probably no way to have anything like that anyway, given this subject. We can't find anything stronger than Oreskes, and things weaker don't even get published as an essay. So it's just a pointless argument in a lot of ways anyway. Come to think of it, that seems to be the same way scientic consensus works. --Sln3412 22:36, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

To ref or not to ref? (FA)

I don't much like references at the end of an article myself (2 clicks, not one) but 3 reviewers seem to have asked for it. It would seem like spoiling the ship for a hapeth of tar if we don't do it and thus fail to get this made a FA. The FA guidelines Wikipedia:What is a featured article? also say a FA should have a "References" section where the references are set out, complemented where appropriate by inline citations (see Wikipedia:Citing sources). For articles with footnotes or endnotes, the meta:cite format is strongly encouraged" So I have 3 questions for people.

1) do you agree we should move to some sort of footnote system?
2) which system? The more I read about this the more confused I am. I tend towards like Harvard refs as that is what I use for all articles I have ever written but it is hard to see how use this for URLs which are a lot of our refs.
3) Do you know a good way of doing the conversion as doing it manually will be a lot of effort.

But do keep going - I think we are nearly there, don't be downhearted now.--NHSavage 21:49, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

  • I support footnotes because if we're going to be citing both print sources and online sources (both appropriate for this article) then we really should use footnotes. It is much cleaner. Besides, how much does an extra click cost anyway? 1 second? It also avoids disturbing the main body of the text with a long citation. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 21:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't mind either way. I've never actively used them, though (LaTeX takes care of that for my professional writing). --Stephan Schulz 22:37, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • I'll get started on it with the footnotes:) Don't worry, it wont take too long if people help out. Judgesurreal777 01:46, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I had a go at doing some automated reference fixing - just all the inline web references. It could still use some tidying, but it's a start. Sandbox version at User:Leland_McInnes/Global_warming_references. -- Leland McInnes 02:16, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I strongly dislike the ref format & like the inline links. So I've reverted back to the pre-ref version. Sorry about all the wasted work but this question has a loooong history and was settled in favour of in-line ages ago. I also disagree with converting the links just to make FA people happy. Harvard style is OK though. William M. Connolley 07:38, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Harvard style is OK though. but how the ecky thump do you do a Harvard style for a URL? My problem with the way it is at the moment is the mixing of all types (and I think this is what the FAC people object to the most). Is there some compromise that we can find here?--NHSavage 08:13, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Look at Kyoto protocol for H style. As for mixed... well maybe, but the one sort we don't have is, so converting all to ref isn't obvious Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 08:53, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
That looks even worse to me. It just includes the website, no date, no author. The whole advantage of Harvard referencing is meant to be that it is more informative than numbered footnotes and the details of all your references are collected at the end in a proper refernces section which doesn't seem to work properly for Kyoto. The problem is that it just doesn't really work for websites. I basically don't like any of these and perhaps we should just give up and only use paper references. ;-)--NHSavage 08:57, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
But footnotes are generally cleaner since IMO one can combine all kinds of citations into one section, and it looks more professional that way too. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 08:53, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Kyoto protocol is mixed, too. Having looked at it, I don't really like the Harvard style, either. It completely disconnects the references entry from the corresponding footnote. I think WP:NOT Paper applies here. Articles are neither static nor is reading them fully sequential. Maybe, after all, the ref-style has something going for it. In fact, I would have WP:BOLDly reverted to the ref style again (and reverting from William would have been a first ;-), but the firewall I'm behind at the moment chokes on large edits.--Stephan Schulz 08:56, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I would like to jovially point out the Kyoto protocol is not and FA, and if you want this article to have that status, universally if you look at the current FA's, the predominant citation system is clear. and Also, you already have the system complete! Just gotta cite the last 8, format the further reading, and you DONE :) And you can copyedit this baby and maybe get it Featured! I think we should focus our efforts and make this happen :) Judgesurreal777 09:11, 9 May 2006 (UTC) Also, I realized I made a mistake perhaps in starting the reference system, but at the time I volunteered I thought that was all of your group, and a consensus had been reached. Judgesurreal777 09:20, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

If getting to FA means swapping to "ref" format, then FA is broken, and I see no reason to go for it. William M. Connolley 09:26, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Ref is not a requirement, it's just a convenient solution to a complex problem of different reference styles. Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 09:32, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

All citations formatted Judgesurreal777 10:06, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted this again. Please stop making this controversial change! I'll also point you to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Climate change dispute 2 principle 2: in part: If contributors differ as to the appropriate style of citation, they should defer to the article's main content contributors in deciding the most suitable format for the presentation of references. If no agreement can be reached, the style used should be that of the first major contributor. William M. Connolley 10:33, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
But a many of your friends think it should be footnotes, and are you going to do all 75 of them again, in the next 3 days, and extensively copyedit the article before the FA deadline is up? It might be prudent to let this one go, and just finish the article, and THEN switch the style once it's an FA, that way you get what you want, and wont have to waste time on it now.... just a suggestion :) Judgesurreal777 10:41, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
WP:CITE makes clear that either Harvard referencing/embedded links or footnotes may be used, so if people are causing a problem over Harvard referencing at FAC, please direct them to CITE. CITE also says that, where no agreement can be reached to change from one citation system to another, the system used by the first major contributor to use one should be deferred to. SlimVirgin (talk) 10:39, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

So let's try to come to an agreement ;-). This may also be something of a cultural clash. In my field of computer science, we use footnotes (normally numbered) for details and side remarks. We use references into the bibliography for attribution. Such references can be numbered [1], [2], they can be name+date (Schulz and Connolley, 2006), (SlimVirgin et al., 2006) (I guess that's what is called Harvard style), or, probaby the most frequent case, they use a short reference key [SC06], [SJ+06]. We do not use footnotes for references, something that seems to be frequent for the humanities.

What now makes me somewhat leaning towards a unified system using <ref> are two points.

  • First, the actual external link (if any) is placed just once in the article. For inline references, you otherwise need to have it both inline and in the references section (and they may drift appart during editing).
  • Secondly, someone pointed out that inline links are problematic for paper and audio versions of the article.

So what are the objective disadvantages of this system (apart from personal dislike and unfamilarity)? I see one:

  • Following the link requires two clicks (first to go to the references, second to go to the article).
  •  ?

--Stephan Schulz 10:59, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Having thought very hard about this one I am in agreement here. I know it is not perfect but I think the combination of citation methods we use at the moment is even worse. I don't think any other way of unifying the citations works and I still don't think it is possible to sensibly use Harvard style for URLs. I think we should adopt <ref>--NHSavage 11:05, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

The paper/audio bit I'm not familiar with. These sound like technical problems that could/would be fixed if anyone were interested. Why is unifying the ref format so important anyway? Inline links for URLs are nice and simple and I think thats very valuable. The ref format is complex. Harvard style works fine for URLs, but doing anything with URLs other than linking them is over-rated anyway... all this listing when accessed isn't worth much William M. Connolley 11:09, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
For inline links there is no real connection between the link and the references section. What do you do with a printout that say "Global warming has been proven a scam perpetuated by Nazi UFOs via mind control rays.[1]"? At best you can guess that this corresponds to the reference (Einstein, A, Knuth, D., Hawking, S., "Nazi UFOs and the Inner Earth", Crosstime Publishing, 2311). This is also a problem with the Harvard system, albeit to a lesser degree. The link is there, but only maintained manually. This is worse than LaTeX without BibTeX - this is typewriter technology. The <ref>s are at least maintained by the computer.--Stephan Schulz 11:32, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you. What refs have got going for them is maintenence by computer, but nothing else :-). Harvard-style is fine, cos each link gets a name. Of course it requires 2 edits. 2 edits, 2 clicks, which...? Well I know which one I prefer. The print-out problem: yes indeed. There are various solutions - one of which is to recognise that it doesn't happen much - but a "produce printable page" button would also work fine. But is the GW talk page a good place to have this discussion? William M. Connolley 18:35, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I think, at this moment, our priority is to get this article featured. I gently suggest that we revert to the footnotes FOR NOW, and then when its featured, you will have time to change it to Harvard style or whatever you decide, which you have every right to do. In the meantime, we could then copyedit this article and get it featured, and then Mr William you can have your cake and eat it too! :) Judgesurreal777 11:14, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Looks like someone is in a hurry - assuming consensus after only a few hours of limited debate, we don't all op in the same time zone :-) As SlimVirgin said Harvard and embedded link style is acceptable - and is my preference. For a FA enthusiast to jump in and help by doing a unilateral convert without consensus is absurd. I strongly dislike the notes style of a numbered list and I rather dislike FA enthusiasts jumping in to modify an article to fit their mold. If footnotes are required for FA - then we don't need FA. Judgesurreal777 please take a look at the history and the arbcomm decision last winter relating to this. Vsmith 11:17, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Only in a hurry, as I have seen articles developing recently and getting taken off after their 5 days because of stasis for whatever reason, and I really genuinely mean to help, I didn't think there would be such strong opinions on the matter, and if I had known I wouldn't have done it. I thought your group was smaller than it was, and consensus had been reached, which you will note if you look at the conversations from earlier. I meant no harm, and I meant no disrespect; ironically, I saw some of you getting bummed out about how much technical stuff was being nitpicked about your article so I decided to help in the first place!! LOL I did not mean to step on anyones toes, I just thought you'd want FA help. I PERSONALLY DONT CARE :) Really truly I don't, change it if you want, but lets change it and get back to copyediting the article :) Judgesurreal777 11:22, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, sorry for your pain and wasted effort, but as you see it arouses strong feelings. If we can leave the refs pending further discussion, then we can keep copyediting the rest William M. Connolley 12:57, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks much :) Hell, once we copyedit, I'll help you harvard style the article LOL Judgesurreal777 13:02, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
If the ref sys could produce and alphabetized list I might support, but a numbered list of 70 - 80 refs is essentially useless. Vsmith 13:04, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I've just resurrected this discussion because I noticed that the issue of dead links had not been given any consideration. Templates such as {{cite web}} provide additional information in the article that can be used to find a source again if its link changes, or if it is removed from one of several mirror sites. Any comments? - Samsara (talkcontribs) 13:14, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

can you provide some examples of its use? William M. Connolley 19:11, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
It is relatively easy to write a script to help with this, e.g. [29] (which would need a little hand-tuning). You may also be interested in the proposal Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Unreferenced GA#New template proposed to create a template better suited for formatting references in science articles (as an alternative to existing templates cite journal, cite web, cite book, cite news). - Samsara (talkcontribs) 10:57, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Revived this discussion once more since it was unclear whether the tree had made a sound. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 23:04, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Here are some more examples of the conversion script: [30] [31] [32] [33]. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 09:48, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Just thought the folks who follow this talk page might be interested - I just dropped by, noticed the ref style, and started poking a little. Noticed that the References section includes <references/>, but didn't see any <ref>-style footnotes. Hmmm. Had the thought that maybe I could contribute some copyediting, and convert the refs to <ref>s (having done a lot of that lately). Went to the discussion page to (1) see if anybody'd registered any opinions on the subject and (2) if not, ask the community, to see if folks thought it would be okay to do so. Found this thread. Read it. Went "oh", and went back to minding my own business.

For the record, though, I do find the current ref style hard to use. Seeing a [1] style ref, and a list of references at the bottom of the article, it's a lot of work to discover if the number corresponds to any of the references and, if so, which one. For all of its disadvantages, <ref> does make it easier for the reader in this sense.

Oh, and congrats on FA! --Waitak 06:16, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

The Other Side

I want to argue against the theory that we are the cause of global warming and climate change. Considering the Earth is billions of years old, I have a hard time believing that humans could be the cause of this phenomenon. If this hasn't already happened before, then how did the Ice Age end? The Earth was in a state of extreme cold, then it warms up again, a prime example of climate change. The Ice Age happened before humans could burn fuel or pollute the environment significantly, so the only logical explanation is that the Earth went through this process before, unaffected by humans. Humans are animals and are a part of nature just like any other living thing on this Earth, which means we are just something else living under the Earth's atmosphere. The Earth itself has been and is more powerful than any little organism that could ever dare to stand against Her. Proof of that is in the fact that we are still struck dumb at the forces She produces, and we are still at Her mercy, not the other way around. Wolfranger 13:06, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Oh, we can change the earth... I always use chernobyl as an example, but in 10 years, I'll be using global warming...

Exactly. Anyone who beleives in Global warming has NO common sense. The earth goes in cycles, people! Take the Ice Age, how did it melt down? This "Global Warming" Phenomenon. It's natural, people. Calm down. 12:07, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

No-one is doubting that previous Ice-ages and inter-glacials were naturally occurring so there is no argument with the first part of your paragraph. However, you then follow that with what's basically an Argument from Personal Incredulity - you can't imagine that a single species could affect a planet's ecosystem, so you discount it. I'd give you two points to consider:
  • The numbers do not lie: the volume of CO2 and other GHG released by human activity is significant, even on a planetary scale.
  • Weather systems are non-linear (see butterfly effect) so even a modest change made by poor li'l humans could have a large consequence.

As for Anon ( He appears to have learned everything he knows about climate change from Sid and Manny. --Oscar Bravo 12:12, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I am not saying global warming isn't happening, because it is. I just don't believe humans can cause such an enormous phenomenon. One question I have, how can scientists attribute it to humans? Sure, we give off alot of carbon dioxide. But, carbon dioxide is a natural gas. Humans give it off naturally as a waste product through respiration. Plants absorb it and make oxygen. But, other animals give off carbon dioxide as well as a result of respiration. Carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere since life first appeared on Earth, which means global warming could be attributed to just another natural cause.Wolfranger 15:50, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

That's an argument from incedulity, a common fallacy, but still a fallacy. There is a reason why most scientists have 10 years or more of post-highschool education under their belt to become experts in a small field. Science is hard, and even getting a good laysman's understanding of any field requires quite some effort. As for your comment on CO2: CO2 is part of the carbon cycle. Carbon in CO2 from respiration has recently (typically days to years ago) been fixed via photosynthesis from atmospheric CO2. It does not affect the overal composition of the atmosphere in any significant manner. Fossil carbon, on the other hand, has been fixed many millions of years ago (and over many millions of years) and is now released during a relatively short time. The amount we release is quite significant compared to the pre-industrial amount of atmospheric CO2. We can directly measure this via looking at isotope ratios (fossil carbon has a different ratio of isotopes than carbon in the biosphere). We also know fairly well how the greenhouse effect works and that it will indeed heat up the earth if we add more greenhouse gases. As with most things, the amount matters. CO2 is not bad per se, but too much of it is causing trouble. --Stephan Schulz 16:02, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
There is proof there is a lot of CO2 we've created in the atmosphere. That doesn't necessarily prove the Earth isn't keeping it "on purpose" or that the CO2 causes the warming. It doesn't disprove it either. Then we can ask, if CO2 causes a .5C rise, is that too much CO2? Or we can ask, is a .5C temperature rise trouble? Those are different questions, different than discussing if "fossil burning = CO2 making = CO2 keeping = warming" or not.
I don't know if it's so much two sides (it's proven to my satisfaction versus it's not proven to my satisfaction) as it is we're lumping too many different things into one and have no basis to agree on what it is we're talking about in the first place. I'm on the third side if it's about sides; I don't believe it's an issue, but I don't claim to know it isn't one. --Sln3412 20:31, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I see your point, Stephan. Wolfranger 13:17, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

The only reason that there is any controversy about the causes of Global Warming is that, if it is caused by human activity, we have a responsibility to do something about it. Unfortunately, "doing something about it" probably means reducing CO2 emissions, which means things like clean power generation, less oil use, smaller cars, and generally adding costs to industrialists who were getting along just fine until all this pesky environmentalism came along. Pretending it isn't happening or assuming it's nothing to do with us, means business as usual and no risk to the gravy train. --Oscar Bravo 07:55, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Into the fray - An Alternative Theory - Considering that the earth's tilt on her axis produces significant seasonal changes it becomes obvious that incremental changes in the earth's orbit would have long term effects upon climate. This research (cited below) proposes answers left unexplained by Milankovitch_cycles. - The Orbital Variance Theory © (used with permission) [[34]] suggests that the actual length of a year varies (over the eons) by as much as 5 days (fluctuating 2.5 days on either side of the mean year) and that the variance is caused by the gradual expansion and contraction of the Earth's orbit over hundreds of millions of years (a natural process). The orbital variances gradually (and cyclically) decrease and increase (over eons) the distance of the earth from the sun. The result is that the length of a day remains constant (Earth's daily axis rotation), however, the length of a year (Earth's orbit of the sun) varies depending upon where we are within the orbital cycle (closer or farther from the sun). - The astronomical measurements that we have used to determine the length of a year have been taken within a very small window of about 2000 years (introduction of the solar calendar). We presume that our astronomical measurements of the length of a year are constants. Presently, according to the theory, the earth's orbit is in a 'contracting phase' with global warming as a natural result (the expanding orbital phase produces Ice Ages). The Orbital Variance Theory © is 'continuing original research' and, therefore, not 'verifiable' for inclusion in the main article. . John Charles Webb 20:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Do you have a better reference than the Temple of Solomon?--Skyemoor 23:08, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

- Other areas that are worthy of investigating are: 1) the growing contribution of aviation to Global Warming [[35]] and 2) deforestation and the diminshing rain forests [[36]] John Charles Webb 20:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

It is obvious

Vocal Eco-nazis insist on hijacking this article for a liberal political agenda. I don't see how this can be stopped, other than to delete and edit whenever the politics are reinserted. --JohnCPope 13:56, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The only person I see here trying to make something political of the issue is you. 17:38, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Going from a general observation to a personal attack. Let's try to confine our discussion to ways of improving the article.
Would anyone care to address the issue of whether Global warming should or should not mention politics? And if it should, how much should be mentioned here and how much shunted over to Global warming controversy? I favor up to 80% of each point being farmed out to the companion article. --Uncle Ed 20:31, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
The politics already inherent in this talk section and the main article plus the fact that a very few wield all the power here, would make adding additional politics to Global Warming a bad idea. I believe it would tend to be one-sided and bloat the entry even more than it already is. Some have said this article needs to be more streamlined; that's not the way to go about it.Fyunck(click) 06:53, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if it's not a case the entire article is political (or sociological) in nature in the first place. If so, why bring it up again? I think these talk pages and sister articles are enough as it is to show that aspect of it. --Sln3412 20:51, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Anon observation


Also, it is interesting to note that human beings only contribute to 3.5% of the total amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted every year into the atmosphere. That, coupled with the fact that in Earth's climate history carbon dioxide levels change after the temperature has changed (and not the other way around) might put into suspect the idea that global warming is in fact being caused by human carbon dioxide emissions. Some scientists believe that a human cause of global warming could be the Urban Heat Island Effect (especially since corrections for it is too simplistic, based on population size) and that a natural cause is the Celestial Climate Driver.

Ha, 3.5% on top of the equilibrium quantity... That doubles the equilibrium quantity in roughly 21 years...

I don't think the article has enough about these two points:

  1. in Earth's climate history carbon dioxide levels change after the temperature has changed
  2. Some scientists believe that a human cause of global warming could be the Urban Heat Island Effect

Urban heat island effect in the north and south poles...?

I've seen some web sites which illustrate CO2 increases coming after temperature increases. Anyone else seen these? Friends of science. Funded by Exxon. Assume its true, explain the mechanism. I say assume because its not.

And how much analysis has been done by the opposing GW theory camps on UH Islands affecting the surface record? --Uncle Ed 20:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

  • CO2 and warming are interrelated - warming typically leads to a release of CO2 from the biosphere (to much simplify things: via faster rotting of biomass), and CO2 leads to warming (via increased greenhouse effect). Thus, there are episodes where some CO2 increase follows a warming episode and further warming follows an increase in CO2.
  • The UHI does not "cause" global warming. It was, at one time, considered as a possible explanation for the measured increase in temperature (as opposed to a real one). This has been extremely carefully investigated, and the effect has been found non-existent in the temperature record. As far as I know, no serious scientist still proposes the UHI as the cause for the increases in temperature. Crichton may still do, but then I'm just repeating myself.
And let me add that "human beings only contribute to 3.5% of the total amount of carbon dioxide..." is a total straw man. Humans are responsible for (nearly) all of the excesss CO2 that accumulates in the atmosphere (and the oceans). The size of natural Carbon flows is essentially irrelevant. It's the old difference between the circulation pump of the pool and a hose adding water. The circulation pump may move much more water, but the hose will cause the pool to overflow. --Stephan Schulz 20:51, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Another observation: the time when the remaining sceptics start crapping their pants about GW and wishing they'd figured it out sooner might be nearer than they think... Independent - 'Amazon rainforest 'could become a desert'. Rd232 talk 21:59, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Everyone alive might be long dead before anyone knows anything for sure, most cycles are too long. Or maybe 10 to 50 years from now we'll know something, but I doubt it. I think we have bigger things to worry about in the near term, myself, but eh. Who knows. --Sln3412 00:59, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Moved from User talk:Dragons flight:

Hello - I edited a section of global warming trying to give some criticism of the "established belief" yet it was reverted back soon after I did the edit. The reasons you gave for reverting it was that it was unsourced and really did not justify contradicting the established view on global warming. I apologize for the former since I'm not sure how exactly I was to go about citing it, but for the latter I am quite appalled. Here are some links you might find interesting (almost all from scientific, peer-reviewed magazines): That report goes into the Urban Heat Island effect and explicitly says towards the end that the scientists attempt to re-adjust temperatures for it might be too simplistic. That being said, the adjusted temperatures to see the true effect of greenhouse gases on global mean temperatures might not be correct. In other words, the global warming we are experiencing could be due to an error in adjusting measurements from the Urban Heat Island effect. This is a report on the Greenland Ice Sheet. For the first half of the twentieth century, it underwent a warming trend but since 1940 it has been going through a slight cooling trend. Since the mid-1980's, that cooling trend has become more dramatic. Moreover, Greenland is having a net increase of ice mass. This article brings up two strong points: the West Antarctica sheet is having a net GAIN of ice each year AND Antarctica has recently reversed a melting trend that has been going on for the past few thousand years. This is an abstract from a Science article that brings up one strong point: East Antarctica is gaining ~45 billion tons of ice a year. This is a nice article from a left leaning organization, NPR. It throws the idea out of the water that Antarctica is gaining ice due to global warming because over the past few decades Antarctica has been getting COLDER like Greenland. Therefore, with the information I've given you so far, the two places that contain the most ice on Earth are getting colder and gaining ice - pretty good indication that global warming might not be all that a lot of scientists are making it out to be. Finally, this article talks about the Sahara desert and how, instead of growing and getting hotter due to global warming, it is in fact RETREATING. Strange that is happening when global warming is definitely happening. Finally, here's a mean temperature graph of the United States since 1880. If you see, the recent increase in temperature is not disimiliar from the one in the late 1920's through 1930's. Oddly enough, as carbon dioxide emissions were increasing from 1940-1970, the temperature was decreasing.

I'd also like to note that if you search for temperature graphs on NASA's website, the stations in or near larger cities show the most dramatic trends of getting hotter. Many other graphs show not much change or even cooling. Urban Island Heat effect maybe? Anyway, I hope the evidence I've given you might give you an idea for why I am at least skeptical about the idea that humans are affecting global warming by emitting more carbon dioxide than what naturally should be emitted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrLove829 (talkcontribs)

I applaud you for having done homework and gathered references, but I don't think you have a full understanding of the issue.
First, the urban heat island effect, while certainly of concern to specific localities, has been reasonably established to have no bearing on the existence/non-existence of global warming. We know this because temperature measurements completely independent of the urban environment all confirm the existence and magnitude (within uncertainties) of the warming. These include borehole therometry, inversion of mountain glacier decay rates, and oceanic warming observed by the fleet of volunteer observing ships. Secondly, three independent groups presently routinely do global temperature reconstructions, NASA GISS, the World Meteorological Organization and the UK Meteorological Office. In each case they make corrections for urban heat island effects by comparing urban to rural weather stations and all three groups agree with the 0.6 +/- 0.2 warming for the 20th century, so at present there is also not a great deal of disagreement about the impact of heat island corrections being made. The climate change we are experiencing is not simply an accounting error, and as far as I can tell, none of your references even suggest it is.
The first article I cited does say towards the end that the compensation for the urban heat island effect might be too simplistic (since the compensation is usually based off of population size and not the amount of concrete/development). If you go to and look up temperature graphs of various places, those places that have the most dramatic warming trends tend to be larger cities. I honestly do not believe that it's a coincidence and that there's a possibility the correction methods for the effect aren't good enough.
Secondly, you seem to have some confusion over the significance of glacial ice sheets. As I'm sure you know, they warmed between the last Ice Age and now, but I bet you are not aware that in many locations this warming is associated with an increase (often a doubling) in the snow accumulation rate. Greenland, for example, is substantially thicker today than it was during the height of the last glacial period. The overall behavior of an ice sheet is a complex and time dependent balance of melting at the edges and accumulation in the interior. Without modeling, it is difficult to draw any conclusions about what their changes imply for global warming. For example, the IPCC climate models actually predict that Antarctica will gain mass as a consequence of warming out to 2100 (i.e. exactly the effect you cited above). I may have missed it, but none of the papers you cite seem to suggest "and this is evidence global warming is wrong" which is the conclusion you seem to want to put forward.
I did give an article that discussed the decrease in temperature in Antarctica:

Granted, it comes from what some people claim to be a left-leaning news source, but that would if anything give more credit to the facts they give since those on the left tend to be more passionate about global warming. Anyway, my point with that article is that it does make sense for Antarctica to gain ice as the temperature increases (more precipitation), but since Antarctica as a whole is decreasing in temperature, that puts to suspect the idea that Antarctica is gaining ice because it's getting colder.

Basically, I think you are (perhaps unintentionally) cherry picking results that you believe support a particular point of view. However, the studies you cite don't naturally lead to the conclusions you want to draw. If they did, the scientists involved would have been the ones to make those conclusions and they don't. If you are interested in looking at references for the points I've made above, ask and I'll try to track down the relevant papers. Dragons flight 18:49, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I am cherry picking the articles I gave. I realize there are dozens that have evidence that global warming is happening. Once again, my point is that there are many places that are contradicting the trend. Since global warming predicts that the temperature increase will be more dramatic towards the poles and I cited them getting colder, that takes away from the credibility of the global warming theory. Also, the articles I usually find have scientists saying phrases such as "despite global warming" and then going into some find that contradicts the theory. Just from what I've seen, many times I see scientists say they agree with the global warming theory in an article while their evidence contradicts it.
Looking at the graphs I've looked at all over the place ("pro" and "con"), I can't see: 1. A recent directly-measured correlation between us creating huge amounts of CO2 the last 225 years causing the Earth to keep 35% more CO2 in the atmosphere during that time. 2. A recent directly-measured correlation between the levels of CO2 being directly responsible for the rise in temperature (or vice versa). --Sln3412 00:59, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
For point 1, we have Image:Carbon History and Flux.png showing that the rate of increase makes sense if ~60% of the carbon we emit each year accumulates in the atmosphere (the present high levels of carbon are causing ~3 GtC/year to be sequestered in the atmosphere and ocean by amounts that can be seperately quantified). For point 2, Image:Climate Change Attribution.png shows the variations in various forcing factors over the last century and their expected impact on temperature. Dragons flight 13:14, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, you are correct. I just don't know if alone they prove a direct cause/effect relationship, but they certainly seem to tend to. --Sln3412 20:59, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Fact, opinion, data and theories

Wikipedia articles should be presenting facts, and should not be a forum for anyone's political opinion. Much data has been collected, and so data is fine to be presented. There are many theories based on the data, therefore varying theories so based on the data, are fair game to be mentioned, but not promoted, especially as anything other than someone's theory based on data. The article should mention that there is controversy and link to a contoversy article.

It is a foul to claim that any theory is "the prevailing scientific theory" because 1) there isn't one, 2)that wording is simply political agenda-speak, and 3) it converts the article into a politcal forum pushing that one theory.

To Uncle Ed: Please do not pretend to "chastize" me about "personal attacks" in the talk page. This article has fallen victim to petty political agendas and you really aren't helping much. The politics need to be removed, and to that end, I will call a spade a spade. If you wish to help, you should be calling all those onto the carpet who have watched some Geenpeace documentary and now insist on converting this Wikipedia article into whatever their brainwashed minds have been told to repeat. If there is data on global warming then that should be presented in the article. If you are playing "let's vote on which theories we should present as legitimate, then you aren't helping. --JohnCPope 13:19, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Please don't SHOUT. We can see that you have a strongly held (if unjustified) opinion. You are wrong on 1), 2), and 3). There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that is reasonably well documented in the article. It may be hard if reality does not conform to your point of view, but that happens occasionally. As for your comment to Ed: Avoiding personal attacks and assuming goodf faith are basic Wikipedia policies. Ignore them at your own risk.--Stephan Schulz 13:31, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
As for your comment to Ed: Avoiding personal attacks and assuming goodf faith are basic Wikipedia policies. Ignore them at your own Unless you're in the majority. =) -- LoudMouth 17:14, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
John, I don't know where you are getting your information from (hopefully not my senator, who has no clue what he's talking about), but your sources are quite clearly incorrect. Try looking at the science. There are disagreements, there are uncertainties, but none that rise to the level of undermining the general conclusions. As for "presenting data not theories" - that would, quite simply, be ridiculous. Data are meaningless without theory - data collection is deeply steeped in theory. Presenting data without theory means that known bias in instrumental measurements cannot be taken into account. In addition, presenting data without theory would violate the idea that Wikipedia isn't a collection of unorganised information. Guettarda 15:05, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Percentage of scientists supporting GW theory

DF wrote: Nearly the entire scientific community agrees on the basic outline of anthropogenic global warming

Well, according to Benny Peiser's literature search, it's less than 3 percent. So, where are you getting "nearly the entire scientific community" from? I'm going to put that in as "fairly describe the dispute". --Uncle Ed 16:06, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Peiser has been discussed before. He is plainly wrong. His "result" has not been subject to any kind of formal review (and informal reviews have found him wrong). We have dicussed this before and you can check his classification errors yourself.--Stephan Schulz 16:16, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Ed, in addition to the IPCC, the following scientific organizations have issued statements supporting the view that the majority of recent warming is attributable to human greenhouse gas emissions.
  • National Academy of Sciences, USA
  • National Research Council, USA
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Royal Society, UK
  • Academia Brasiliera de Ciências, Brazil
  • Royal Society of Canada
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Académie des Sciences, France
  • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, Germany
  • Indian National Science Academy
  • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
  • Science Council of Japan
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Federal Climate Change Science Program, USA
Collectively, they represent a huge swath of the scientific community. Add to that Oreskes' finding that 0 out of a sample of 900 abstracts challenged the anthropogenic component of global warming, and it is clear that the theory enjoys broad and often unequivocal support in the scientific community. Also, even looking at Peiser I have no idea where you got a 3% conclusion. Dragons flight 18:00, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see your citations for the allegation that each of these organizations holds "the view that the majority of recent warming is attributable to human greenhouse gas emissions." --The Outhouse Mouse 19:41, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Most of them have several statement, but this takes care of numbers 1 and 5-14. And there is number 2, number 3, number 4 (with the nice quote "It is virtually certain that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will cause global surface climate to be warmer" and number 15. --Stephan Schulz 20:25, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Peiser says that Oreskes is mistaken and cites three dozen peer-reviewed papers that challenge anthropogenic GW. He also notes that Oreskes' own calculations only show 1% supporting it. The rest neither challenge nor support.
No, Peiser's interpretation of his sample is that 1% support, that is not Oreskes' opinion. Dragons flight 19:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
At the risk of "making a personal remark" (which I hope you'll forgive :-), have you even read Peiser's account of the literature search? --Uncle Ed 18:11, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Tim Lambert's blog contains a copy of the 34 abstracts that are said to challenge the significance of the anthropogenic contribution to global warming. Some observers have claimed that fewer than 5 actually express an opinion on the significance of human emissions with respect to global warming. If you are willing to go through and enumerate which ones of the 34, in your opinion, actually challenge the importance of greenhouse gases to global warming, then I would be willing to reconstruct which of those are from peer reviewed articles in the natural sciences literature (and hence should have been identified by Oreskes in her sample). Dragons flight 19:09, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the abstracts. Many of the abstracts are old (14 of the 34 are from 1995 or earlier). Most interestingly, quite a few have no relation whatsoever to global warming -- e.g., an abstract that describes a new measurement system for microscale fluxes over a forest. Using the loosest possible standards I count only 9 of the 34 abstracts that directly cast doubt on the scientific consensus of global warming. One has to wonder about the criteria that Peiser used. Raymond Arritt 04:45, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

The sky is blue, pigs cannot fly, Peiser is a hack, and the IPCC and other national and international organizations express the consensus view on the topic of global warming. How does wikipedia respond when the less well informed descend and attempt to inflict their reality. Is it possible to set up a wiki or similar site for the reality challenged? -- 16:25, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Reality challenged? I dare anyone to go read his letter, the train wreck of a debate about the abstracts, the abstracts themselves, her study, her editorial in response, and all the other info out there and here, and not see a pattern about who gives up and why. Then something like this site and spend a few hours or days there, comparing any number of fallacies. Pick either "side". Then I want you to cite direct research that proves a) what we do makes everything else happen and b) that we can do something about it. I'd be happy if you could simply prove "no abstracts attempting to refute an idea" is the same as "strong support for an idea".
RealClimate says the consensus is we're .6 +/- .2 warmer since 1900. That people cause it. That if we keep up the greenhouse gas emissions, warming will continue and accelerate. That, maybe, this is a problem and we should do something about it.
Now. First, it has been getting warmer, yes. (There's your strong layman's consensus opinion on global warming; it's getting warmer!) Second, that people cause it, but not saying if it's because we're breathing, because we're farming, because we're raising livestock, because we're fishing, because we're burning fossil fuels, or because of some mix, along with non-human caused reasons. (A rise in X doesn't mean it causes a rise in L, even if they're both rising). Third, GHG emissions causes warming. Wthout stating what exactly; GHG are mostly water vapor.(Warming may cause an increase in the retention of GHG, too, you think?) Math: 'warmer, people make it warmer, GHG emissions is how people make it warmer' + 'prove it' = 'pointless never ending discussion with no proof'
That's why this entire article has a fatal flaw; this is mostly sociological, followed by political, followed by scientific. We're not even looking at a long enough timeline or trend, and it's biased by our direct observations and emotional feelings. And most of the arguments aren't logical, either. Not even mine.
"Most (all?) of us here on RealClimate are physical scientists - we can talk sensibly about past, present and future changes in climate, but potential impacts on ecosystems or human society are out of our field." --Sln3412 00:34, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I think you just made the point about being reality challenged. You have to decide what literature you are going to read, if you are going to get your information on this topic from falacy follies, Benny Peiser, Bob Carter, Tim Ball, and similar luminaries the subject matter will never come together for you. Fortunately there is an extensive literature of credible information available. This article reflects that literature. If you have a specific point to make there are several regular contributors here that could address it. The shotgun approach will not get a serious reply. J Hamilton-- 05:11, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm reading what I read without regard for its source, "pro" or "con". Why should I have to decide what to read beforehand? Information is information, all of it should be considered, regardless if I agree with it or not. No matter of what somebody thinks of Peiser, he actually supports the view that there is a scientific consensus that the globe is getting warmer, since he can only pull 1% out of his hat! It's also clear he didn't duplicate the study, and the abstracts being an average 8 years old isn't indicative of anything, especially since they're not a good sample. That doesn't prove Oreskes' are any better, nor that a consensus is proof of anything, but certainly it points to it. How is that being unrealistic? I found the Deltoid blog very interesting, as well as what they have to say at realclimate. What does that have to do with Bob Carter and Tim Ball, even if I knew or cared who they were? Just because somebody is unreliable (or not) or in agreement (or not) doesn't make their information faulty per se, and some wrong doesn't mean all wrong. How is that being unrealistic?
I am seeing "both sides" (as well as myself) constantly using various forms of argument by consensus, argument from authority, appeal to consequences, false dilemma, begging the question, non causa pro causa, faulty analogy, guilt by association and other red herrings, fallacy of propositional logic, fake precision, ad hominem... None of that proves anything scientific, though, does it? --Sln3412 21:35, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Reality challenged? All the graphs shown in this article - CO2 is my favorite - show co2 has had peaks long before man made an appearance ( or his cars, etc ). These graphs all seem to have the same peaks,etc - nonscientific terminology, sorry - this seems to be long term cyclic type phenomenon. Politically correct thinking doesn't fit too well with events that happen over millenium. I believe, in 1974 we were told we were going to all freeze to death - now we are going to boil to death. I suspect we will neither boil or freeze to death - but that is how I interrupt the last few million years worth of data. Al Gore probably doesn't think the same, but if he could be Pres by singing global freezing, I wonder what he would do and his friends who know reality so well.

The bulk of the research money....

Ed, you wrote: The bulk of research money goes to supporting a scientific opinion on climate change promated by the UN's IPCC, that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities" [37]. Apart from the fact that the reference is wrong for your claim, so are both the assumptions and the implied logic of the whole sentence. Do you have any source for the primary claim? What do you even include as "research money"? Public research money as given by the NFS in the US, the DFG in Germany, and similar institutions is not given to "support a view", but to perform a research project. If we know the outcome beforehand, no study will be funded. But even assuming your questionable premisses about the distribution of the money: What do you expect? Give a large number of equal grants to a group of competent scientists and tell them to investigate the shape of the earth. Most of the studies will come out with "approximately oblate spheroid" or maybe even "roughly spherical". Note how flat earther can claim that "of course that's the result - see how most of the money went to spherists". --Stephan Schulz 16:30, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the sentence (as quoted) has faults. Thanks for your attention to it.
It really needs to be two sentences:
  1. about research money (around $2 billion a year)
  2. about the UN climate panel's point of view
Clearly the "grida" web link refers only to the IPCC TAR.
As for research money, this is should be sourced. After all, it's common knowledge that scientists working at the behest of oil companies or drug companies (or anyone with deep pockets and an agenda) will twist their research to show the results their sponsors desire. That's why the reproducibility of results is so important. (Peer review is not enough.)
I disagree with your analogy about the shape of the earth. That's been known for centuries. As recently as the 1960s or 1970s, scientists (or at least environmentalists) feared the imminent arrival of a new ice age.
You're missing my point. Science is open-ended, but not arbitrary. Science has a strong bias - towards the truth (or, to avoid deep philosophical discussions, towards well-working models of reality). That's why we are using it, instead of simpler techniques like the I Ching or Astrology. If you give money to 100 scientists to investigate a certain aspect, it is expected that the majority comes to very similar conclusions (and, if you spread your money around fairly, that majority will have received the most funding). You are confusing cause and effect. It's very well possible that the majority of institutional funding goes to scientist who support the current global warming theory. But that's because the vast majority of scientists have reached this conclusion, not because funding pushed them that way.
And no, scientists did not fear the imminient arrival of a new ice age. And I doubt environmentalists did - not that that matters in the scientific debate. There where some articles in the popular press. And scientist still believe that, absent other influences like anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gasses, a new ice age is around the corner due to changes in the orbital parameters of earth...of course, "around the corner" in geological terms, i.e. in several 10000 years. --Stephan Schulz 22:33, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
In contrast to advocates like Stephen Schneider, Wikipedia should not "...offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts [scientists] may have." Rather, we should present both sides of any controversy, and describe them fairly (see Wikipedia:NPOV). --Uncle Ed 16:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
    • To Stephan Shultz, no one is shouting. Those who use such wording (e.g. you) clearly wish to silence others. Also, when I point out that someone is trying to disguise his/her politics as scientific fact, and Ed calls it a "personal attack", that does not make it so. further, I don't need you to ramble on about rules in order to change the subject.--JohnCPope 18:39, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
      • In about all online channels, WRITING ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS is generally referred to as shouting. It's usually considered rude. If you have not been aware of this convention, now you should be. And I would say "Vocal Eco-nazis insist on hijacking this article for a liberal political agenda. " counts as a personal attack. --Stephan Schulz 21:41, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
    • To Guettarda, I am not incorrect. Let's review what I'm saying. Data are data, and theories are theories. It is wrong to misrepresent a theory as a fact. Do you disagree with any of this? This is what I'm on about, and this is being violated. In this case, it is wrong to insinuate that there is only one scientifically legitimate viewpoint, or that all the scientifically differing viewpoints are "compatible" and "not competing." You are mistaken when you use wording to the effect of "THE general conclusions." Here are the facts of the matter:

- a) There are many scientists who claim that many other scientists are mistaken about their thoeries - b) all funded scientific research has an interest in marketing their own legitimately scientifically-based, yet incompatible and competing, theories - c) outside the scientific community, yes, there is one prevalently popular humano-centered opinion All of the above is being disguised and intermixed into the article, and I think it is unfair to anyone who might happen to read the article in an attempt to acquire some unbiased information. --JohnCPope 18:39, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I think you may find the reverse is true. Scientists do disagree, however they largely agree about anthropogenic global warming. There is confusion in the public sphere about this, but in the scientific community there is widespread support that global warming is human-caused. Funding is not really the issue, I suspect, since there is no profit in showing global warming is due to humans. --TeaDrinker 07:55, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
There is a dispute between Naomi Oreskes and Benny Peiser over whether scientists largely agree about anthropogenic global warming. Oreskes says 75% agree explicitly or implicitly. Peiser counters that they disagree 3 to 1.
Kyoto Protocol advocates generally appeal to a supposed 'scientific consensus' on global warming theory, but our Wikipedia article on the theory should pay much more attention to actual scientific theories, based on research. We should not exalt the pro-GW point of view as "the truth" (rather, all perspectives are to be attributed to their advocates).
I'd like to see the article talk more about natural cycles seen in history (i.e., before weather forecasters started keeping surface temperature records. There's a 1500-year cycle (+/- 500 yrs) in which the Medieval Warm Period was the latest high, and the Little Ice Age was the latest low. One theory, therefore, is that we are in the "up" phase of the natural 1500-year cycle.[citation needed] --Uncle Ed 14:42, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Truth and neutrality

  • Neutral point of view as defined on Wikipedia contemplates inclusion of all significant perspectives regarding a subject. While majority perspectives may be favored by more detailed coverage, minority perspectives should also receive sufficient coverage. No perspective is to be presented as the "truth"; all perspectives are to be attributed to their advocates.

I'd like to ask how many contributors to the Global warming article agree with the above:


  1. Uncle Ed 14:32, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure there are many but they have already been driven off in frustration


  1. This could lead to infinite regress- we must be reasonable. Being too stringent on avoiding calling things "true" could lead to "Well, you only CLAIM that this source says what you say it says. I claim otherwise, and we must label your POV as such." In real life, we can neutrally and accurately present certain things as basically true. It sounds like this is Ed arguing that we cannot say that there is a scientific consensus on GW- we can only says that so-and-so claims there is a consensus. Friday (talk) 18:05, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Other (such as Ed just made that up, so it's irrelevant):

  1. This poll is useless. There are no "significant" perspectives not covered in the article. The only possible purpose of the poll I can see is to give undue weight to insignificant views in the article.--Stephan Schulz 14:55, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I'm a little suprised that you refuse to go on record in favor of minority perspectives receiving sufficient coverage. --Uncle Ed 15:20, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
      • I'm all in favour of doing so. Given that we already do more than that in the article, I see this poll as a pure propaganda device. Sorry, Ed, you have consistently shown a lack of understanding of the science, the scientific literature, and the state of the article. Argue the points, not the procedure.--Stephan Schulz 15:33, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
        • So says the person who doesn't know jack about quantum mechanics and chaos. Anarchopedia 00:51, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
          • Compared to Hawking or Feynman, sure. But can you point out anything concrete I said on these topics that is wrong?--Stephan Schulz 07:37, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  2. The poll question seems to be a question of broad NPOV policy. If you're interested in changing the NPOV policy, it should be taken up on the policy talk page. The issue at hand is how best to write the article, which the poll does not address. As such, this poll is inappropriate here. --TeaDrinker 16:26, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Scientists vs. Scientific Organizations

I am amazed at the lack of understanding on this topic. How many scientists are there in the world? Millions? And the vast majority of those millions of people believe that humans are a significant contributor to global warming? If that is true, I have seen no evidence for it.

What people are trying to say is that the vast majority of climate research organizations have concluded that humans are an important cause. And that has been demonstrated to be correct. It is not correct to assume that the handful of publicized critics represent the whole of the skeptical scientists.

Perhaps one could imagine that out of the body of skeptics in the scientific community, most would remain silent. After all, why should someone risk their reputation and career on this political issue?

Let's frame this problem in terms of statistics. Say we want to sample this group of millions of scientists around the world.

  1. Let's look at the sample of scientists who have published papers on the topic and received many research dollars to do so. Clearly, most of these people blame the human factor, and they have a financial incentive to do so.
    Scientists don't receive "research dollars" for publishing papers. Haveing a good publication record may help getting grants, but then again, scientists don't get any money from their grants. It's earmarked for research associates, travel funds, lab equipment, and so on. And I've yet to see any argument that anything but the number, relevance, and prestige of venue of publications influence grants.
    Scientists need to get grants in order to have work. If they don't get enough grants, they may lose their job. If a reputable scientist applies for a research grant on a topic that is not politically correct or popular, their odds at receiving the grant may be severely reduced.
    Most senior scientists (those that apply for and get grants ;-) are in tenured positions. Of course they like to get grants, but they don't depend on it. And research is open-ended.
  2. Then let's also examine the scientific organizations who are tied to similar incentives, and are fairly political in nature.
    They are? Any evidence for either either of the two claims?
    Well, these research organizations are funded by national governments. Key policy makers at high levels get appointed to their positions by politicians, and they in turn can hire, fire, and appoint people to various committees, and so on. With some topics that have become an essential piece of political discourse, such as Global Warming, that top-down bureacracy can have a significant impact on the types of grants that are handed out. How do you suppose decisions are made regarding what topics get the most research dollars? Some of the organizations do receive public funding (usually based on long-term contracts to ensure independence), some are financed by membership fees and donations. But no Academy of Science or similar oreganization I know of has appointed officials. Both election to the academy and election of academy officials are strictly by vote of the members. Also, academies don't typically apply for grants, although they sometimes administer them.
  3. Finally, lets examine a dozen or so of the most vocal critics, some of whom have risked their reputations.
    What's the risk? Most of them had no scientific reputations to begin with. Those that have them are tenured, and often at or beyond retirement age. And nearly all receive ample compensation (as opposed to e.g. IPCC contributors, who contribute as part of their normal academic work and are not paid for this).--Stephan Schulz 15:29, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
    Again, given the heat of the political discourse on this topic, it is apparent that vocal critics may receive strong criticism from the press and politicians, which would certainly scare me. Most (many?) scientists receive a salary which is funded to some extent by research grants. No matter whom they report to, they need those grants. --Coopercmu 19:53, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
    You did notice the criticism of Mann et al, I suspect? Scientific discourse goes both ways. And you still have not given a shred of evidence why grants should be given to people who support global warmng (or indeed, how the grant giving agencies will even know what the result of a project is beforehand). Your view only makes sense if you assume the whole system is corrupt - in which case I suggest you stop using any scientific results to protest this sad state... --Stephan Schulz 21:05, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Clearly this is not representative sampling, and this "small minority" conclusion is also original research. Again, I support the assertion that a "small minority of scientific organizations," or a "small minority of scientific opinion" is in disagreement over the causes of global warming, and it's a simple enough assessment to make without a formal study.

Also keep in mind that science can only provide theories, and then try to disprove them. If one considers that the political climate is somewhat hostile to critics of conventional global warming theories, then perhaps one could also conclude that much truly critical research has yet to be done. --Coopercmu 15:08, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

In the United States (and I think Australia, also) that assertion that "the political climate is somewhat hostile to critics of conventional global warming theories" is demonstrably untrue. See James Hansen, for example. Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:24, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
That is certainly true about Australia. For quite a while our Government scientists were restricted as to what they could say about global warming. And as most research dollars come from government, there was certainly no financial advantage in taking any position supporting global warming. However in recent years even the most sceptical politician has come around to realising there is a real problem. This includes our Prime Minister, John Howard, who is infamous for following George W. into just about any adventure he cares to think up. All this makes the oppisition this page receives even more remarkable - I thought John Howard would be the last person to be convinced of the dangers of global warming. --Michael Johnson 23:16, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I think we are talking about climate scientists. Those who actually know stuff about it, i.e. have seen all the data and understand the underlying principles. That's a small subset of "scientists". - Samsara (talkcontribs) 15:22, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I still haven't gotten any direct arguments against my point. The article does not use the term "climate scientists," it uses the term "scientists." And regardless of what anyone may think of the financial incentives, it is not representative to look only at the research leaders and organizations. Who's to say that a lot of researchers even working on these studies don't have serious reservations about some of their models? A scientist's job is not to "know" that they are right, it's to come up with new theories and explanations, and to try to disprove other research. And again, I don't think there's been a lot of research that is actually trying to disprove the CO2 causes of global warming. --Coopercmu 19:53, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Who's to say that... is very weak: you can't build an article on that. If they think it, then it should be apparent in their publications. And it isn't. As to the funding... you are suggesting that people who oppose Bushs anti-GW stance are unlikely to get funded, and therefore that climate research is biased against GW? William M. Connolley 20:25, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, there are way too many tangents in this discussion, and that's my fault. My point is that the scientists considered for representing the entire scientific population, groups 1-3 from above, are not a representative sample. Therefore it is not appropriate to make the "small minority of scientists" claim. The only accurate way to assess the opinions of a large group of scientists is to poll them, as every researcher does not necessarily believe every word in a study they participate in.
Maybe the larger question is this: what do scientist's opinions matter? They don't get paid to have opinions, but to do objective research. Let's talk about the results. Of course I think it's acceptable to have opinion-based articles that are separate from the main GW article, such as Scientific opinion on climate change and List of scientists opposing global warming consensus. --Coopercmu 12:53, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
At the risk of adding fuel to the fire, what about "only a small minority of climate scientists" instead of just "scientists"? It's difficult to see how the views of, say, a string theorist could be relevant. The qualification also would strengthen the truthfulness of the statement. Raymond Arritt 14:08, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
That sounds like a helpful clarification; I'm supportive of it. --Skyemoor 16:51, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Coopercmu that scientists opinions are largely irrelevant: what matters is their research publications. Which gets you the same answer. Which is probably why people don't distinuish the two very carefully William M. Connolley 20:34, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
One caveat; It doesn't get you the same answer, it gets you the research of scientists that have research publications, not the opinion of scientists. Not every scientist publishes, and research isn't necessarily opinion in the first place. Even if it is opinion, it's not necessarily the opinion of the person publishing it, or everyone involved in the research....
When the IPCC says "Human activities ... primarily ... changes in land cover ... are modifying the ... properties of the surface that absorb or scatter radiant energy.... The WGI contribution to the TAR—Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis—found, '...<T>aking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely ... due to ... concentrations.' Future changes in climate are expected ... changes in precipitation patterns and amounts, sea-level rise, and changes in ... some extreme events." is that the opinion of every scientist involved? Oh, I forgot, that was written mostly by the people that wrote the technical summary, so maybe that's a bad example. And of course I "essayized" it <cough cough> a bit. ;) Sln3412 20:10, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Causes of warming

1) No scientist claims that any gasses (classified as "greenhouse" or otherswise) are a source of heat to planet earth. 2) All of science claims that the earth is heated almost entirely by the sun, but does get some small small radiance from geothermal venting. 3) No scientist claims that any gasses (classified as "greenhouse" or otherwise) does anything other than "redistribute" heat (claims include "trap it in" and "block it from escaping") 4) The article leads one to think that humans are not only heating the earth, but that it's the "leading scientific opinion."

Doughnuts being deep fried.
John, while I'm somewhat sympathetic here, I think you've missed the mark slightly. The article doesn't classify GHG's as heat sources.
On the other hand, maybe it needs to clarify this. The presence of GHG's (what a poorly chosen name, by the way!) in the atmosphere makes our air warmer than it would be otherwise.
What is everyone to think when some articles talk about GHG as contributing to the greenhouse effect and call water vapor the main one and other articles talk about GHG as being positive forcing agents and call carbon dioxide the main one? Then we call them both GHG and explain things differently? Sln3412 05:27, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
The only dispute is over how much warming is attributable to their presence. Come to think of it, I'd love to see a layman-accessible explanation of HOW carbon dioxide "traps heat" or whatever it does to contribute to global warming. --Uncle Ed 20:42, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Roughly, infrared light coming from the Sun passes through the atmosphere and reaches the Earth's surface. At this point, the IR radiation is reflected back into space, but GHGs force it to bounce back towards Earth's surface, warming it. Titoxd(?!?) 20:44, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, and have a donut on me. :-) --Uncle Ed 20:50, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Sure, gasses can "block" heat from escaping, but gasses don't know direction, and thus will similarly block IR from entering the atmosphere.--JohnCPope 20:48, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Er, no, it's two different "bands" of IR radiation. Right, Tito? --Uncle Ed 20:50, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Ok, so, I'll use letters to make it simple. So, CO2 only "reflects" type A. You have types A B C D E coming in from the sun. So, A gets reflectd and the rest come in. B C D and E will cause the earth to hit up. The earth produces, from this heat, mostly type A radiation. So, type A radiation is sent out but it gets reflected back in. Is that cool?

(edit conflict) Tito's explanation is not quite right. GHGs are transparent to most wavelengths, but opaque to IR. They allow light from the sun -- primarily visible and UV -- to heat the earth. the earth re-radiatates that heat (as blackbody radiation) primarily in the infrared. The GHGs trap this infrared radiation leaving earth (actually, the GHGs absorb it and then re-radiate it back up and back down). The reason GHGs work is that most of the energy coming into the biosphere is UV/visible, but most of the energy leaving it is IR. See Greenhouse_effect. bikeable (talk) 20:54, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
(Another edit conflict) Actually, it's not infrared light, but all kinds of radiation, but especially visible light, that strikes the surface and heats it up. As a consequence, the surface emits infrared radiation essentially as blackbody radiation, i.e. with a more or less continous energy spectrum. Photons with certain energies can be absorbed by certain molecules (e.g. CO2 or H2O) that go into an excited state as a consequence. When the molecules drop back to a less excited state, a photon (or photons) of similar energy is emitted. The original photon was on its way out (i.e. leaving earth). The re-emited photon can go any way, including back towards earth. Hence the energy is, on average, retained longer and the earth becomes warmer. The more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere, the higher the chance that any given photon is absorbed. --Stephan Schulz 20:56, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Greenhouse Effect.png

(long-live edit conflicts) The greenhouse effect refers to the process whereby energy ultimately derived from the sun is trapped near the surface of the Earth due to the recycling effects of the atmosphere. Most of the heat exchange between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere is accomplished by the ability of greenhouse gases to absorb infrared radiation (the type of radiation given off by all things as a function of their temperature), and so greenhouse gases play an essential role in determining how much energy is trapped near the surface. See figure at right for the relative fluxes involved. At the average mid-latitude location and averaged over a full 24 hours, there is actually more energy transfered from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface than there is recieved directly from the sun. Without the extra energy flux maintained by the greenhouse effect temperatures on Earth would drop more than 30 C. Dragons flight 21:10, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

The CCSP has a lot of good info on all this also, I thought. I was trying to find the graphic at again, but only could find it at placeslike this online. I don't know the copyright, so I didn't want to upload it. --Sln3412 21:46, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

should be rephrased

"Only a small minority of scientists discount the role that humanity's actions have played in recent warming. However, the uncertainty is more significant regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future" ---it compares the "uncertainty" of global change, which is an integral part of any scientifically estimated value, with something very different. I think it should be rephrased. Also, i think the dispute over the climate models is more relevant than the dispute over whether there already is warming. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Alternative Theories, and perhaps reducing the size of this article

Rather than even have that section at all, the Causes section itself should list up to the (2nd? 3rd? 4th?) largest theories on the causes with a paragraph, each with separate articles for full details, rather than just Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and "everything else" (Alternative theories).

Although the list of alternatives shows 'range of natural variation' 'coming out of a prior cold period' (with link) and 'solar irradiance' the only other theory under Causes with a section and a link to an article of its own is Solar Variation, and even then it uses a different term than in the list.

One problem with the Alternative Theories section is that although it lists three things, then claims there's not much support for any, the solar irradiance/solar variation section afterwards is fairly lengthy and seems at least somewhat supported.

The biggest problem is that the support for the implication that such (or any) alternative opinions being 'not widely held' is made by a reference to the Oreskes essay in Science. There are problems with that essay. It's not primary sources, it's not peer-reviewed, it's not more than an editorial, and it's very unreliable:

  • As published, the essay was incorrect up to 3 times on the search terms; 2 times (later corrected) as to what was searched for and 1 time (unknown) about how the abstracts were deleted from analysis (paragraph 5 and footnote 9).
  • The study itself (paragraph 5) was trying to test the hypothesis that dissenting opinions might be downplayed in the reports and statements of societies. But the abstracts don't test that, especially knowing now what she supposedly searched for; articles, in science, that had abstracts, that dealt with "(global) climate change", in that database.
  • The later correction by Science was on the search terms. We don't know if the articles deleted from analysis were 'not about' which of the two phrases.
  • The essay itself does not show what the entire search criteria even was.
  • Paragraph 8 starts out "...shows that scientists publishing..." and then "...among climate scientists..." The last paragraph switches between scientists and climate scientists also.
  • Paragraph 1, 6, 9 and 10 specifically mention "anthropogenic climate change" although that is not what she searched for.

The "Causes" section should list the possible causes. --Sln3412 02:25, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

The problem with listing the 2nd, 3rd etc. most prevalent explanations for warming is that there are no real contenders for 2nd place, 3rd, and so on. In the climatological community the role of greenhouse gases as an explanation for warming is way out in front, trailed far behind by what is best referred to as "something else". There's no consistent proposal for what "something else" might be. Soon and Baliunas say it's solar forcing; Gray says it's natural cycles; Lindzen says it's his cloud iris hypothesis; Piers Corbyn says he knows but is keeping it as a business secret(!); someone else says this, another says that. The article as written is a fair reflection of the current state of alternative explanations. Raymond Arritt 02:55, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Raymond, the prevailing view is that there are no credible alternatives. Given that it is always going to be hard to say what should be included under alternative theories (and forget about trying to rank them). It is one thing to say that the section should be changed, but do you have any objective criteria for deciding what should be included? Dragons flight 03:09, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
You are living in a fantasy land, if you don't realize that both solar variation is a viable alternative theory. Solar is at its highest level in 8000 years. The earth's climate is only out of balance by 0.85 W/m^2 per Hansen, and no model is accurate enough to apportion attribution. All have errors much larger than even 1 W/m^2. -- 03:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Do you have references from peer-reviewed journals? Is this a majority opinion among astro-physicists who specialize in solar dynamics?--Skyemoor 10:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
For the solar, the reference is Solanki, already mentioned in the article. For the models try Bender [38], although any of several IPCC diagnostic subprojects will do. I haven't seen any polls of astrophysicists, but if they have problems with Solanki's work, they should publish, as is the usual practice. The solar conveyor theory is now predicting that the second solar cycle out will represent a significant reduction in solar activity, which is consistent with Solanki's probabilities of the current high level of activity continuing.-- 15:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Solar forcing of up to about 1/3 of 20th century warming is part of the consensus. Solar forcing as an alternative to greenhouse gases for most of the warming is not seen as credible in the consensus view, in part because solar activity has been mostly constant during the last 50 years while temperatures have sharply increased. Neither Solanki nor Bender argue that the existence of solar variations make greenhouse gases not the dominant factor in climate change. Dragons flight 16:05, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Solar forcing was up to 36% of the RECENT warming per Stolt as part of the irrelevant consensus, and that was before IPCC diagnostic subprojects showed the models to have significant bias against solar forcing. Solar forcing was constant, but at a historically high activity level, just as a burner at a constant activity level can raise the temperature of water. The solar warming was interrupted by an aerosol cooling period. Anyway, you are arguing a different point, by getting into the details you are acknowledging this is a viable alternative viewpoint.-- 06:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with both of you. In that case, something like what you've said should constitute the causes section. Something like that the climatological community (reference) has the role of greenhouse gasses (reference) as the major explanation of why the Earth is getting warmer, and that there are no credible alternatives (reference). Perhaps mention that minor points are solar forcing, natural cycles, cloud irises, conspiracy, or whatever, with a line or reference for each at most, if at all. Alternative theory might be a separate section even, but not under causes. As I said, the only other theory other than greenhouse gasses that has any space here is solar variation, so get rid of the rest. It really doesn't read well as it is. I'd try and fix it, but I've already proven I'm bad at it. --Sln3412 03:34, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
This is not an exclusive or. Natural cycles, solar forcings, and various anthropogenic forcings are all part of the current scientific consensus (and listed in the IPCC report). It's just that for the current warming, anthropogenic greenhouse gases have the largest influence and are predicted to dominate for the forseeable future.--Stephan Schulz 23:34, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed in principle, but as the article is currently structured these points fall under the heading 'Alternative theories', i.e., they're 'alternatives' to the consensus view. Maybe call them 'other factors' or some such rather than 'alternative theories'? (That would have the further advantage of removing the non-scientific usage of the word 'theory.') Raymond Arritt 01:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
They're not really alternative to anything, it's just another way to try and look at things as a whole rather than just little bits of it. It's very difficult to even agree on a single aspect; put them into a huge number of aspects and we then start mixing up what it is we were talking about in the first place. The conventional wisdom is that the current warming has named anthropogenically caused greenhouse gases to be the main cause and to be modeled to have the largest influence on climate change; and such gasses are therefore thought of as being the main item in the discussion in the near term. Other factors that might be involved, maybe? Sln3412 00:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll give you an example kind of. When I start going into how a computer "thinks" (the ALU etc) I don't go back to explaining what valence rings are, or positive and negative attractions. But it's helpful before you start learning flipflops and then logic gates and counters, etc to know how transistors work or diodes work or how electrons act or what conducts and what doesn't and what semi does. The details aren't important in and of themselves, unless you're looking into theory. Now, the classical view of it all is a number of electrons can exist in a certain ring, and they orbit. If there is space, the electrons in valence can move. If not, they can't. That's all that's important. The quantum view is different; the terminology, the view of behavior, the details, the sub-particles, most everything. That just confuses the point, unless you're going into the subject itself. All that needs to be done is explain it well enough so that grasp of the information can help to learn what comes later. Then you can jetison any theory, except that knowing some of it later helped to grasp the concepts of what's happening and why things happened. Sln3412 00:45, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Cycles and Mechanisms

It is my understanding that the 100,000 year cycles in temperature and carbon dioxide are caused by the changes in the Earth's distance from the Sun. This causes change in the intensity of light, causing change in temperature. This change in temperature then causes changes in carbon dioxide levels. Seeing as how this works in the reverse way that global warming is said to, what would be the mechanism of this? Obviously the ice core graphs show that the industrial age has seen drastically increased carbon dioxide levels and matching temperatures, but how can it be said that this trend will doubtlessly continue if we don't fully understand the graph? If anyone knows of any research that explains this, it might be a good thing to include in the article. Also, a PhD in Marine Biology quoted to me yesterday that approximately 60% of the worlds photosynthesis occurs in the oceans. Marine algaes and planktons would receive all the benefits listed in the "biomass" section with barely any downside. Also, if you look at the 100 million year timescale, the Earth has been much warmer in the past, and the plant life flourished. So, if anyone could find research on these topics, I think they would be great to include. The evidence for global warming is almost indisputable, but the evidence for the unchanging, exponential, apocalyptic nature of global warming is NOT conclusive; the article should reflect this. The supposed effects of the mechanisms listed in the global cooling article also contradict the effects of global warming described in this article. That must be addressed. --TBSchemer 09:26, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

"Marine algaes and planktons would receive all the benefits listed in the "biomass" section with barely any downside." I think they might suffer in a significant way from ocean acidification. Hardern 14:25, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Ocean acidification is happening at such a slow rate (0.11 pH difference over the course of 253 years) that the majority of organisms would be able to adapt. The ocean is filled with buffers that inhibit rapid change in acidity. As it is, marine organisms tend to have mechanisms which allow them to tolerate changes in pH because of the changes in salinity (and therefore pH) that bays, coastal regions, and upwelling/downwelling regions can experience. Though calcifying organisms can be damaged by acidity, the levels occuring are not enough enough to cause noticeable damage to these species. Keep in mind that your tooth enamel is composed of calcium phosphate, and the 7.4 pH of your mouth doesn't eat away at them (the ocean currently has a pH of 8.14). Also, the majority of calcifying marine organisms use calcium carbonate; increased levels of acid-forming carbonate ions will not liberate calcium from other carbonate ions. Finally, the majority of algaes do not calcify, and would not be affected in any way. --TBSchemer 23:22, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I have a different reading of the 2005 Royal Society report on this topic (PDF). At least, it is uncertain which species will suffer how much: "The tropical and subtropical corals are expected to be among the worst affected, with implications for the stability and longevity of the reefs that they build and the organisms that depend on them. Cold-water coral reefs are also likely to be adversely affected, before they have been fully explored. [...] From the evidence available it is not certain whether marine species, communities and ecosystems will be able to acclimate or evolve in response to changes in ocean chemistry, or whether ultimately the services that the ocean’s ecosystems provide will be affected." ( Therefore, the risks evolving out of ocean acidification should not as easily be underestimated like you do, but instead taken seriously. Hardern 16:15, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
As a first approximation, any biosystem evolved under certain conditions likely to suffer if this state changes. Of course, a new, more efficient one may take its place. However, in this case, algae growths in the oceans is usually limited by lack of nutrients (often iron), not by temperature, lack of water (duh!) or CO2. Seeding the oceans with iron has been suggested as one way to deal with global warming, but I'm a bit sceptic about fixing a global environmental problem by more fudging on different buttons.--Stephan Schulz 07:09, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Positive effects of global warming?

This may seem to be a flippant devil's advocate, but has anyone looked into any possible positive externalities of global warming? It seems that we, as a world, are running pell-mell into the future despite all the warnings and evidence. I find it hard to believe the world is totally pell-mell, but the global warming problem will probably be fully upon us before any corrections are done. So, how does one use it to our advantage? This counter argument may point to a possible conviction held by some that there could be benefits to global warming and if this is so, what would be the benefit of global warming?

Read the article! --Stephan Schulz 06:56, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Did read the article and positive effects are played down and not really covered.
How do you know? Or is your above question just a troll? About the only people predicting serious positive effects are some industy-sponsored pseudo-organizations like the Greening Earth Society. All by itself, and in the long term, global warming may well be neutral or even positive for some indicators (e.g. total biomass production). But we humans are adapted to the current state of the climate. Our agriculture is optimized for certain climates and plants, and much of it is not easily movable. Most of our large cities are close to the coast. People depend on snow to buffer precipation over the seaons. Heck, I like snowboarding in the alps...and I don't have the patience to take the long term (i.e. millions of years) view.--Stephan Schulz 21:40, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, temperate climate zones are the most productive agricultarally (contraire to popular belief that tropical are...) and most technologies were developed to deal with these climates (guess why?) If this climates are shifted towards the poles then there will be less area to exploit them.

Evolutionary cycling, allowing new biodiversity? TBSchemer 07:19, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Do you think that will be good when we are used to the current biodiversity? Don't successful organisms tend to attract the creation of parasites, so more diseases for us and our crops? crandles 21:58, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
An economical and technological boost as seen during the world wars when big projects need to take care of the rising sea levels. --Zero g 11:17, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
This seems plausible to me. Perhaps it should be added to the article. It is, of course, a good reason for dealing with greenhouse gases and/or their production rather than an argument for GW could be good so do nothing. crandles 22:04, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't think "plausible" is enough. Unless you can cite in the economics literature, this sounds like original research. bikeable (talk)
Here's the positive - soon Greenland will be a tropical paradise!! Maybe all the displaced folk can move there from the burning uninhabitable desert once known as Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma!! //// Pacific PanDeist * 06:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)