dimanche 24 janvier 2010

Climate change

So there have been some errors in the computer models predicting the evolution of climate change.  It will not be as swift as previously believed...but it will nevertheless be.  Of course the negationists are very happy and the believers are confused.  We are all suspended to the lips of a few pundits both pros and cons.  We are mesmerized by computer gimmicks that most of us can not understand and they have become our modern bible and oracles.
Empirical knowledge and life experience are no longer sufficient we have to be confirmed by a stupid machine that gives us back only what we put into it and, as many technicians often told me, garbage in, garbage out.  But, over my own life span, I have witnessed some changes: warmer winters, somewhat longer springs and autumns and cooler summers at times.  All in all mean temperatures are a bit higher ( by 1 or 1.5 degrees Celsius).  That is not said by a computer but by adding machines in meteorological observatories.
Canada's northern buildings and Inuit villages are sinking into the thawing permafrost, bangladesh is being washed away by melting glacier floodwaters, several Pacific Island countries are shrinking because of rising ocean levels or such as Vanuatu, I believe, surrounding themselves  with huge concrete platforms to maintain themselves above the sea,
But no, that is all propaganda from the green industries to garnish their coffers by selling to gullible folks and sink the petroleum industry.

28 commentaires:

  1. It's happening, and it will be here before we realize it.

  2. As usual, Rosaria, you are quite right. There is no denying it...unless you are schizophrenic or in deep deep denial.

  3. Hello Costo,

    Here in the Bay Area, congested and frenetic, I haven't seen any change in any aspect of climate. I am not disagreeing with the notion of climate change and the examples that you provide; rather, I am sharing that in our world here, things seem the same, as they have when I was a kid in the 50's and a teen in the 60's.

    By the way, I would like to learn some French because I am going to Greece in May and then to Paris and Normandy, two places I have never visited.

    Although my husband, Judge Blah, is of French Canadian descent, he speaks, nor understands, a word of French.

    Maybe you ought to consider posting some elementary French lessons?


  4. Actually, the most recent scientific word is that Europe is going to experience a 30 year cooling period. (Have you checked this winter in Britain?) That's because of cooling ocean currents in the North Atlantic. Something like El Nino over the Pacific, the result of ocean currents there.
    This, along with cracking ice shelves, melting glaciers, and loss of permafrost in the Arctic.
    All strange, very strange.

  5. @ Cheri, in already warm regions such as CA the difference may not, for now, be noticeable, but if California is the current yardstick for pollution control it is not the same for manifestations of climate change. That phenomenon is much more evident further north. See Rob Bear's comment.
    @ Rob Bear, when the north and south ice caps melt they inject cooler unsalted water in the oceans. It causes fluctuations in warmer currents such as the Gulf Stream that warms up Europe; a weaker Gulf Stream and you have a cooler Europe. Some time ago the National Geographic Magazine had a good issue about this with very clear graphs, check it. Weather and climate are not to be confused however. climate is a long term thing, weather is very short term.
    As for Cheri's desire for elementary French lessons,, well I'm no Rosaria. I may have trained personel in the past but I am no teacher, alas.

  6. @Cheri

    "......I would like to learn some French because I'm going to Greece in May........."

    I think learning Greek would be better.


    Check out this article by Michael Crichton on why predictions , whether on climate or the stock market or anything else, are almost always wrong.

  7. @ Phil: thanks for the reference. All humans are apprentice sorcerers who meddle with forces they know nothing of an can not control. I agree with that. This being said we are still going through a period of observable changes; changes we will have to adapt to.
    Should we move Bangladesh or empty Vanuatu and move it's population to higher grounds? I mean we can't control what is going on but we still have to limit the consequences. And just saying that we are sinking will not keep us afloat.
    As for Cheri's desire to learn some French before going to Greece it not be as loony as it looks.
    I hear that many Greeks learn French as a second and even third language in school. During the last war my father, he was Greek, brought home many Greek sailors on furlough, all except one spoke some French...and they were not all officers or university majors.

  8. Global warming, wait, climate change is a cottage industry now.

    Cooling or warming the debate remains, as we've discussed on my blog, A) is it mostly man-made and B) is it worth converting our economies for something based on what looks like faulty math?

    I don't thing there's a darn thing we can do about it. Even if it were true and accurate, it's too late.

  9. Hello,

    I am going to Greece to take a class on Alcibiades, so my days in Athens are planned. I have heard the Greeks are much more tolerant of English speakers not speaking Greek than the French are of our not speaking French. True?

    Judge Blah's original French name was Sabourin, so I have suggested we go by that name, a suggestion I might add, that went over like a lead balloon.

    I am planning to call myself Cherie in French.

    Bon Jour, misseurs?

  10. Tolerance is not a dominating virtue of the French of France, French Canadians are a bit more tolerant for visitors, not for Québec residents though.
    Sabourin is a well known name around here. One of our best actors is a Sabourin, there is a judge Sabourin and many people bear that monicker.
    In French, Cheri is written chérie and you write "bonjour" (in one word) "messieurs" or "monsieurs" pronounced the same way as the former. The singular is "monsieur" pronounced "messieu". It derives from the old form "mon sieur" or "monseigneur" ("monsignor" an eclesiastical term).
    Give His Honor Blah my regards.

  11. @Chérie

    I think learning Greek would be better.

    I have heard the Greeks are much more tolerant of English speakers not speaking Greek"

    Since I strangely met my Roman wife in Greece, we kept going there quite often for vacations. I can assure, they do not expect foreigners to speak Greek. A guy once told me: "We know Greek is terribly difficult and it isolates us a bit, but what can we do, it is our culture and of course we are proud of it". English first of all, and then French and Italian, are languages spoken there.


    Tolerance is not a dominating virtue of the French of France, French Canadians are a bit more tolerant

    As for France, when I lived there a bit 35 years ago, whenever you asked for directions they first corrected your French and, lesson ended, they indicated the way.

    Now things as far as I know have changed. Reality is winning. They seem to be 'starting' to accept the idea French is not the lingua franca any more. A bitter pill, no doubt, to them.

    Maybe I have exaggerated, maybe not. Only (Greek) Gods know possibly :-)

  12. Glad to hear that the French are getting more tolerant...of other languages.

  13. Global warming is likely happening. That some scientists got political (or religious) in their zeal to prove this and lowered themselves to being sloppy and dishonest doesn't change what is going on. It teaches us to employ better scientists and use better measures of the change that does appear to be happening, if more slowly in some places.

  14. Welcome Zeus, it's good to know the Gods are watching.
    I am convinced that it is happening and over here we have proof of it. However many people confuse weather and climate and some lousy scientists, on both sides, are hindering a sound debate on the subject.
    Of course doing something has a short term cost but we should gain in the long term.

  15. Part of this is continued denial and resistance on the part of industry (and not just in the United States) to deal with the fact that there is only so much dead dinosaur juice left to burn and even if global warming isn't going to drown every polar bear by the end of the week we still need to develop other sources of energy. This can be done but it will cost plenty of money and retooling and paying more in the short run are decidedly unpopular with CEO's who want monster bonuses.

  16. Yes, as Petula Clark used to sing: "Tout le monde veur aller au ciel. Oui, mais personne ne veut mourir".

  17. Paul, I am listening to Alessandro Marcello, contemporary of Antonio Vivaldi, at your Radio-Classique Montréal. I learn he was a polymath lol. Excellent choice of music! and of course, I am hearing le Français du Canada, finalement!

  18. Benissimo. Très huereux de t'avoir donné un moyen de nous entendre parler.

  19. You have witnessed some changes..?

    Can you say that these changes will continue without cease for the forseeable future? No.

    Can you say with any certainty that industrial discharge has caused the changes? No.

    Can you say with certainty what was the magnitude of the changes? No - only at specific points, which will not show identical trends with other points. All conclusions are based on statistical inference, with a lot of judgement.

    The hypothesis that discharge of CO2 is forcing the climate to "warm" is supported by some circumstantial evidence. There is a mountain of observations consistent with the hypothesis, but they don't prove it. They are consistent with other hypotheses as well.

    You are rightly dubious of computer models, but all conjecture on future climate change leads back to the models, which are invoked to prove the conjecture.

    The scientific case is really quite weak. Not a hoax - more like an intellectual fad.

    For the record: I don't work for a energy company, I know the world is round, and Hitler murdered six million Jews. Oh yeah, The WTC was destroyed by bin Laden, NOT the CIA. And men HAVE landed on the moon.

  20. @Lichanos
    Can you say that these changes will stop in the forseeable future? No.
    Many confuse climate and weather, does that make the possibilities any less?
    I'm happy that you clarified a few points in your last paragraph, but even though we do not have the same outlook at 100%, I'm not the type to believe all who disagree, partly or totally, with me are nincompoops.
    The jury is stll out and I'd much rather be safe than sorry.

  21. Can you say that these changes will stop in the forseeable future? No

    But I can say that there is a lot of natural variablity. And I can say the hypothesis is not proven. (People forget the default is the Null Hypothesis, i.e., back to the drawing board.)

    Better safe than sorry...yes, but how safe? I am guessing you don't have insurance against meteorite strikes, eh? The economic calculations are all against doing anything, unless you accept the scariest scenarios. That's why the IPCC keeps mentioning them, though they are careful to say, somewhere, that they are very unlikely. Keep the fires of fear burning brightly or interest will, of course, wane.

    I used to take the point of view that it was not good to play Russian Roulette with the climate, so we should act quickly. I've come to the conclusion that the scientific projections have so little basis that they are no better than speculation. Not a good basis for policy.

    On the other hand, I would LOVE to see a levy of a massive carbon tax! Reducing the use of fossil fuels is good for so many reasons, but climate warming, convenient as it would be, is not one of them in my book.

    Naturally this puts me in a pickle. 'Warmists' think I'm a reactionary republican troglodyte even though I voted for Clinton, Gore, and Obama; some 'skeptics' get pissed when I critique their libertarian politics and conspiracy theories. Ah...facts are facts though.

  22. @Lichanos
    When anything becomes a matter of religion, and for some the climate thing is almost that, there is bound to be excommunications.
    Facts are facts I agree, but facts can be linked and interpreted in many ways.
    The Gulf Stream is one nice example: currently fast melting ice caps are injecting much fresh water in the oceans and it tends to slow and cool the Gulf Stream. hence it starts to curve and sink below cooler waters further away from europe than it used to. It's also being pushed away from the east coast of the USA. Europe and the eatsern seaboard states are paying the price. Our Northern regions are also paying the price by having warmer winters and thawing permafrost, not to mention animal life changes theatening Inuit life styles and living standards altoghether. These are also facts to be pondered. Without being unduly alarmist, we must be cautious.
    Tackling carbon could be a good start but it is only a first step.

  23. @Paul

    Sorry if this is a repeat. I have trouble with your comment mechanism...

    Yes, it is a religion for many, and this is a bad situation for science!

    As for the "facts," e.g. currently fast melting ice caps, you should look at recent scientific data instead of newspaper and magazine articles. The sum of ice at the two poles has been increasing somewhat lately. The north polar ice is within normal bounds after a few bad summers in the late 90s and earlier this year. When you look at actual scientific reports as opposed to what scientists will say, or are quoted as saying in the press, the difference in the "facts" can be surprising.

  24. The sligjht increase is a natural phenomenon due to winter months, however it is thin and fragile ice, can not support usual activities and will not replace lost old ice. recent photos, satellite and other sources, show a recesing permafrost belt and that is very bad news.
    Both sides have powerful lobbies and we, poor laymen, are left to our own cogitations and analysis.
    However the changes I have witnessed in my lifetime, now 79 years, in my corner of the world, tell me that something is indeed going and going fast.

  25. I'm afraid that in the few weeks that this post came into being that more troubles with the models and the evidence used in the construction of the models has come into disrepute. I have become a skeptic based upon the revelations that the scientific evidence is not well founded and sometimes perhaps falsified. This sort of thing has happened before. Something does seem to be going on but we don't know what it is or why.

    It does mean back to the drawing board. We need to take a look at data, and that means we need to also collect new and verified data before we can accept the alternate hypothesis. Sloppy work and clearly altered work can no more be accepted in science then altered or poorly collected and maintained evidence can be accepted as legitimate in a fair trial. We will benefit from going back to the beginning and getting our facts straight.

  26. Zeus knows all!

    You may be witnessing changes happening rapidly, but they may change in the opposite direction with equal rapidity in the next 50 years. That would not be without precedent! Only the computer modelers claim to be able to predict with certainty, but models are simple tools, not crystal balls. The historical record, i.e., going back two or three centuries, includes much data and annecdotal evidence indicating many rapid changes back and forth. It may have less to do with global temperature, whatever that is than with variable currents, winds, etc. etc. All that stuff that isn't modeled well.

    For the record, the one paper on permafrost melting that I have seen - and the permafrost is melting - indicates that a) it is melting very slowly b) that there is no demonstrable connection between "global warming" and the phenomenon. The author related it to more local patterns.

    Also, keep in mind that small changs in permafrost can have big effects on people who build on it! It doesn't mean the world is warming any more than the destruction of beach front homes - which shouldn't have been built there - means that sea levels are rising.

    Extremely complex issues...hard even to define them!

  27. @Lichanos
    We are all witnessing the same phenomenons and we basically agree that something is going on. The people who should be shedding light on the whole thing, unfortubately, for a matter of expediency and personal interests are the ones obfuscating the whole thing. We don't know whom to believe in.
    We are coming to a sorry state, we can not trust the scientists anymore; we can not trust politicians, well we never could; we can not even trust journalists and news outlets. Our only resource is our own judgement...and that is not to be trusted either.
    At any rate, at 7:20 am, in Longueuil, it is unduly warm, -4C, for this time of year with a light wet snow falling and strong winds, the winds are normal fare in the St-Lawrence valley.
    Have a nice day ladies and gentlemen. Will be away most of the day, be back by late afternoon.