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The Carbon Flame War
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Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
The Carbon Flame War on 05/05/2009 03:15:41 MDT Print View

Hi Roger
I have no idea at all about that, but the rivers there in the rainy season are huge and the population density is very low.
Some figures
Western Australia is 2.525.500 sq km population 2.1 million people (1.6m in Perth)
Victoria 227,600sq km 4.5m (tot pop) (3.7 m in Melbourne)
United Kingdom 243,000 sq km , 61 m tot pop (7.5m in Greater London)
USA 9.830.000 sq km 306m tot pop

So the US is 4 times larger than WA but has 145 x more people.
Note that WA is more than 10x bigger than the UK.
When my wife needs something more than basic necessities she has to travel a distance that is almost the same as from London to Glasgow (500km)
Franco

Edited by Franco on 05/05/2009 03:20:42 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The Carbon Flame War on 05/05/2009 04:56:34 MDT Print View

> So the US is 4 times larger than WA but has 145 x more people.

You had better add that WA has zero chance of ever supporting a much bigger population: it just does not have the rainfall needed within thousands of km. For that matter, the same comment applies across most of Australia. You really have no idea how dry this continent is.
2379S: Larapinta
Central Australia, Larapinta Trail. There is NO water out there. None. We were using supplied tanks.

On the East coast (say within 50 km of the sea) we have floods in some areas. But ONLY on the coast.

Cheers

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Aussie Govt delays carbon tax on 05/05/2009 05:33:37 MDT Print View

""INTRODUCTION of the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme has been delayed until mid-2011, 12 months later than originally planned.

Th backpedalling has begun...."

Just to be very clear about this, the delaying of the ETS isn't due to any suspicion that global warming due to CO2 is scientifically invalid, it's because hardly anyone is happy with the government's emission trading scheme - industry or Greens and they really did try to ram it through too quickly, so it hadn't been very well thought out. Like I said before, it's an area of professional interst.

Personally I think they'd be better focussing on mitigation as in the greater scheme of things Australia's CO2 emissions are irrelevant.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Update from the farm on 05/05/2009 05:43:57 MDT Print View

I was up at my parents' farm the last two weekends. I was looking at what used to be our lawn and now looks remarkably like a sandpit. There were also a number of old trees around the garden that had disappeared. I said to my 79 year old mother who was walking past that the lawn was looking a bit dry. She looked at it and then said "and those fools in the Australian [a conservative broadsheet newspaper currently running an anti global warming campaign] say there's no such thing as global warming". She went on to point out that some of the trees in the garden which had died had been there when my grandfather bought the property 80 years ago and had survived until now. A mulberry tree in our orchard which is over 100 years old is also struggling. Basically only the hardiest of the native trees have survived the last few years, in what used to be considered a fertile, well-watered district.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Rog Tallbloke on 05/05/2009 06:02:57 MDT Print View

Dear Rog

"And I will repeat for the third time on this thread that I have never said it isn't, it's just that the AGW camp haven't proved man's activities have anything much to do with it in my reading of the data."

So what do you put it down to? And if you accept that global warming is real, why do you keep insisting to the Australians on the thread that actually we're having lots of rain, when prima facie we aren't?

"The reservoirs are low. What is this proof of? Less rainfall in the local area, or higher population and consumption? A bit of both probably."

The reservoirs are low because it is not raining. Last year the inflows into the Murray-Darling system were the lowest in 117 years: an article from the press last month;

"The persistence and severity of the drought in the Murray-Darling Basin has been described as "unprecedented" after late summer inflows to the river system fell to a 117-year low.

The "bleak" outlook for next three months was adding to the grim news, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority said.

Irrigation water for Australia's food bowl will be dependent almost entirely on rainfall as basin states hold back water for critical human needs.

"The persistence and severity of this drought, particularly over the past three years, is unprecedented," authority chief executive Rob Freeman said as he delivered the basin's latest drought update.

Inflows between January and March of 140 gigalitres were the lowest in 117 years, falling below the previous low of 150 gigalitres during the first three months of 2007.

The 2008-09 water year is tracking as the sixth driest on record.

The basin's total useable water in storage stands at 950 gigalitres - 11 per cent of capacity - well below the March long-term average of 4,400 gigalitres.

The combination of low storage levels, low river flows and high water temperatures, had contributed to outbreaks of blue-green algae in recent weeks."

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rog Tallbloke on 05/05/2009 23:10:45 MDT Print View

Hi Arapiles,
sorry to hear of the continuing drought at your folks place, I hope the winter brings some relief to them.

>why do you keep insisting to the Australians on the thread that actually we're having lots of rain, when prima facie we aren't?

I didn't say you were. I did say that according to the BOM, who are not regarded as a hotbed of global warming skepticism, that Australian rainfall for the last year was 90% of average. Quoting scary stories about reservoir levels is utterly meaningless unless you also provide accurate consumption figures and evaporation rates. As Rogers post indicates, it's a very dry continent, and small but persistent fluctuations in rainfall patterns will have large effects on locales.

Why do you think it's valid to extrapolate these local conditions as proof of man made global warming?

> So what do you put it down to?

Natural variation. This is easily capable of swamping any miniscule effect human co2 emissions may have, as the global temperature decline of the last four years shows.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2005/plot/wti/from:2005/trend
The question I can never get proponents of man made global warming theory to answer is; how is it that global temperature trend has been flat and then falling for the last ten years while human emissions of co2 have risen 15%?

I don't really understand the tendency of human race to blame itself for natural events, or it's belief that it can affect them much. The Incas used human sacrifice to appease the Gods after crop failures. Barack Obama and Kevin Rudd seem determined to sacrifice the economic wellbeing of their countrymen. Strange.

> Personally I think they'd be better focussing on mitigation as in the greater scheme of things Australia's CO2 emissions are irrelevant.

I think adaption is a much more sensible policy. Stone age man managed it during the last 10 ice ages. And they were dealing with temperature swings of 8C, not 0.8C.

Edited by tallbloke on 05/05/2009 23:29:57 MDT.

Stuart Allie
(stuart.allie)

Locale: Australia
Global temperatures have *not* declined on 05/05/2009 23:41:00 MDT Print View

>as the global temperature decline of the last four years shows.
> http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2005/plot/wti/from:2005/trend

This is a complete nonsense. 4 years is *way* too short to identify a trend in this sort of data. To show how bogus this is, try plotting 1999-2008 - oh look, now the trend is upwards! What about 1997-2008 - upwards again! But 1998-2008 is downwards.

It's a nonsensical view of the data. This is explained in greater detail here.

Sorry Roger, but you are just plain wrong about this. Global temperatures have increased, and continue to do so.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
bottom line on 05/05/2009 23:54:57 MDT Print View

the polar and alpine ice worldwide is melting rapidly and has been increasingly for about 20 years

that means either there is significantly more energy coming in (from the sun)

or significantly less getting out

and the increase in CO2 seems to at least theoretically support the latter explanation

put a hunk of ice in a pot of water and then heat the pot on the stove gradually - until the ice melts, the average temperature of the water won't change a whole lot, but once the ice is gone...

i think we need to keep our eyes on the ice

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rog Tallbloke on 05/06/2009 00:15:16 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,

I went to a very interesting seminar this morning by

Michael Roderick (RSES/RSBS)

"Changes in rainfall and water availability simulated by climate models"

Abstract:
How might water availability change as the planet warms?
What do climate models say for rainfall globally?
What about Australia?
Should we trust the models ?
If so, which model/s should we trust?
Animal Farm Translation: "are all (climate) models equal or are some
more equal than others."
..... and so on .....


I think you might find the topic interesting reading

You can find what Dr Roderick talked about at this web page
http://www.rsbs.anu.edu.au/ResearchGroups/EBG/index.php
down load the PDF file "Global water Atlas"

Tony

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rog Tallbloke on 05/06/2009 04:21:14 MDT Print View

Hi Rog

"sorry to hear of the continuing drought at your folks place, I hope the winter brings some relief to them."

Thanks. But the last 11 winters didn't so there's no reason to suppose that this one will.

"Quoting scary stories about reservoir levels is utterly meaningless unless you also provide accurate consumption figures and evaporation rates."

The point is that the reservoirs have never been this low before and it's not as if the population in Melbourne (or Canberra or Geelong or Adelaide) has tripled in the last 10 years or there have been higher rates of use - and in the absence of warmer weather why would evaporation increase? The problem is a simple lack of rainfall, which is widely suspected to be due to climate change, including by the CSIRO.

I lived in London on 2006 and 2007 and I suspect it may be hard for someone in the UK to understand what "drought" like this actually means.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Global temperatures have *not* declined on 05/06/2009 09:46:07 MDT Print View

> Global temperatures have increased, and continue to do so.

Global temperatures follow Sea surface and sub surface temperatures, which have been on their way down since 2003.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2003/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2003
http://climatesci.org/wp-content/uploads/dipuccio-2.jpg
This is not a seasonal blip, weather, or internnual variability. Get ready for another cold summer and winter.

> the polar and alpine ice worldwide is melting rapidly and has been increasingly for about 20 years.

Many alpine glaciers have started growing again, and there's no shortage of snow on them at the moment. Look out for the photos I took on the way back from Sardinia at the weekend in the photo gallery section.
Global sea ice extent is near record levels since records began. Antarctic sea ice extent broke the record two years ago. Arctic 'first year' ice is significantly thicker than expected and is melting more slowly this year. It is currently very close to the 30 year average.
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png
Given the rapid increase in antarctic sea ice this year, and the slow meltoff of arctic ice, I would expect to see the global sea ice extent record broken in the next few weeks.
We will, as you say, keep our eye on the ice, as our friend Skots suggested too.

Tony B, thanks for the link, when i get the chance to download the 37 meg pdf I will. My network will have a fit if I do it over my mobile phone though.

In the meantime, a general comment:
> How might water availability change as the planet warms?

A warmer planet will mean more evaporation and more rainfall. Colder weather and climate brings drought. Ice ages see very little rainfall.

Hi Arapiles,
>in the absence of warmer weather why would evaporation increase? The problem is a simple lack of rainfall, which is widely suspected to be due to climate change,

Absolutely. Climate change warmer, or climate change colder?

It looks like eastern Australia is getting a double whammy of a cyclic dry phase followed by low precip due to colder sea temperatures. Meantime, we are having a damp and cold time of it in England, but with little proper rain. More signs of a cooling planet. We last had a proper drought in 1976, but minor ones come around every 18 years or so. It's linked perhaps to the lunar metonic cycle, or possibly the solar inertial torque changes caused by the sun's motion about the centre of gravity of the solar system.
http://www.john-daly.com/solar/US-drought.htm
http://bourabai.narod.ru/landscheidt/relationship.htm

There's a lot more to climate variation than the vageries in concentration of a trace gas comprising 0.039% of our atmosphere after all.

How else would we explain why global temperature has been level, then falling as Stuart pointed out, while human produced co2 emissions have risen 15% over the same period??
(Still unanswered)

Edited by tallbloke on 05/06/2009 15:02:32 MDT.

Stuart Allie
(stuart.allie)

Locale: Australia
Planet getting warmer - evidence is clear on 05/06/2009 16:26:02 MDT Print View

>Global temperatures follow Sea surface and sub surface temperatures, which have been on their way down since 2003.

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Which part of "too short to identify a trend" don't you understand? I'm a mathematician and statistician and I am telling you that the data does not support your statements.

Show me the analysis that identifies a statistically significant downwards trend in global temperatures and I'll believe you. But you can't, because there isn't one. I've looked.

If you cannot provide some *evidence* to support your statements and I can (and have) provided evidence that you are wrong, why do you to continue to make those statements?

Folks, the planet is getting warmer, and continues to do so. What Roger is doing is like looking at a tiny patch of a topo map and saying "it's flat everywhere" when just outside the area he is looking at is a huge mountain.

Please Roger, I understand that you don't believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, but rather than just state untruths as if they were facts, find some actual evidence to support your case. And do some reading about identifying trends in data (which humans are really bad at) and statistical significance. Maybe read about how science depends on testable hyposthesis too, not speculation.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Carbon Flame War on 05/06/2009 16:40:04 MDT Print View

Well, all I know is, it's definitely getting hotter in here (the forum.)

Stuart Allie
(stuart.allie)

Locale: Australia
Deliberate mis-statement of my point on 05/06/2009 17:28:27 MDT Print View

>How else would we explain why global temperature has been level, then falling as Stuart pointed out, while human produced co2 emissions have risen 15% over the same period??
(Still unanswered)

Answered (again):
From here:
"If CO2 is steadily increasing from year to year and CO2 warms the atmosphere, why isn't the atmosphere steadily warming from year to year? The answer is natural climate variability. Effects such as the El Nino/La Nina cycle, volcanic eruptions and solar cycles are all superimposed over the long term warming trend. This is why we've observed several periods of cooling (or no trend at all) amidst the last 30+ years of global warming. Such periods are to be expected.
"

Now you're deliberately misinterpreting my words. What I pointed out was *not* that the temp has levelled out then fallen, but that it is *wrong* (mathematically incorrect, a logical error, dishonest, ...) to make such statements.

An *apparent* trend that disappears when you change your subset of data slightly is *not really a trend*. That was my point. You are choosing small subsets of data to support your hypothesis. That's not how it works. You have to find a hypothesis that fits *all* the data. If you were a scientist, what you are doing would be considered scientific fraud.

Edited by stuart.allie on 05/06/2009 17:58:55 MDT.

Stuart Allie
(stuart.allie)

Locale: Australia
GW and Australia's drought on 05/06/2009 18:39:40 MDT Print View

For the Aussies out there (and anybody else interested in GW and local impacts).

It's taken a lot of work by a lot of scientists over the last few years, but there is now a reasonably clear picture of how the observed global warming has lead to Australia's current drought. The really brief version goes something like this:

Global warming causes land masses to warm more rapidly than oceans (more thermal mass in the oceans).
This creates a thermal gradient from land masses to the oceans.
So there's a pressure gradient and energy transport that wasn't there before the warming.
So atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns change.
This leads to changes in weather patterns that affect Australia.
The weather patterns that have developed are dry patterns for much of Australia.

One specific example comes from the Indian Ocean. Warmer Asian land masses have change the energy transport mechanisms in the Indian Ocean. This has led to much more frequent Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events. Positive IOD events have cooler East Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures, which means less moisture in atmosphere that is transported across Australia by the trade winds. This means less rainfall in SE Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology has a great new page on their web site that shows the major influences on Australian climate. It's a really good introduction to the different climate drivers and how they affect different parts of the country. You can find it here. If you have an interest in Australia's climate, I highly recommend it.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
less ice on 05/06/2009 20:30:07 MDT Print View

the total volume of ice in the world is less and less

there may be some places where from year to year it is more

extent of ice is meaningless compared with total ice - there is simply and continually less ice because the net energy quotient is changing, and that is the bottom line

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Planet getting cooler - evidence is clear on 05/07/2009 00:56:24 MDT Print View

>>Global temperatures follow Sea surface and sub surface temperatures, which have been on their way down since 2003.

>Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.
Which part of "too short to identify a trend" don't you understand? I'm a mathematician and statistician and I am telling you that the data does not support your statements.

I didn't make any statements about trends, long term or short term. I said that sea temperatures have been on their way down since 2003 which is a true statement whether it suits your view or not. Which part of the following two graphs don't you understand?

sst from 2003

sea temp

Past trends do not predict the future. The global temperature rose 0.7C or so last century (from the bottom of a cool period) and has fallen quite sharply by around 0.2C over the last four years.

The data speaks for itself Stuart, no matter how much you bandy words like "fraud" and "dishonest" around.

>Folks, the planet is getting warmer, and continues to do so.

Wrong. The planet *was* getting warmer, it is *not* continuing to do so. It is getting cooler and has been for several years.

Now Stuart, if it starts getting warmer again, for several years, you are welcome to point it out. Until then, I suggest you stop being so insulting to people who are simply laying the true facts of the situation open for all to see.

>You have to find a hypothesis that fits *all* the data

I have a hypothesis which fits all the data; which is that natural variation can easily account for all the warming and cooling which has taken place on our planet since the year dot.

Now, explain to me how the man made global warming hypothesis fits all the data. For example the period from 1945 to 1975 when postwar industrial activity was rampant, co2 emissions were increasing rapidly, and the planet cooled down for 30 years.

>"If CO2 is steadily increasing from year to year and CO2 warms the atmosphere, why isn't the atmosphere steadily warming from year to year? The answer is natural climate variability. Effects such as the El Nino/La Nina cycle, volcanic eruptions and solar cycles are all superimposed over the long term warming trend. This is why we've observed several periods of cooling (or no trend at all) amidst the last 30+ years of global warming. Such periods are to be expected."

And what about the previous thirty years from 1945-1975? if that cooling was 'natural variation', how much of the last 30 years warming was 'natural variation' too?

Edited by tallbloke on 05/07/2009 02:15:02 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: less ice on 05/07/2009 01:28:21 MDT Print View

> the total volume of ice in the world is less and less

Hi Cory,
Greenland's ice mass is increasing. So is Antarctica's. Perhaps you could post some links to some data to back up your assertions?

"“It has come to an end,” glaciologist Tavi Murray of Swansea University in the United Kingdom said during a session at the meeting. “There seems to have been a synchronous switch-off” of the speed-up, she said. Nearly everywhere around south east Greenland, outlet glacier flows have returned to the levels of 2000."

"Our reconstruction indicates that the melt observed since the late 1990s is likely among the highest extents to have occurred since the late 18th century, although recent values are not statistically different from those common during the period 1923-1961, a time when summer temperatures along the southern coast of Greenland were similarly high as those experienced in recent years."

So, cold weather from 1890-1923, warm weather from 1923-1961, cold weather from 1961-1980, warm weather from 1980-2003.

Coincidentally, the northern atlantic ocean oscillation follows more or less the same pattern. As do the scare stories about climate in the newspapers.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
less ice (trend) on 05/07/2009 02:03:46 MDT Print View

Positioned in the Arctic, the Greenland ice sheet is especially vulnerable to global warming. Arctic climate is now rapidly warming and much larger Arctic shrinkage changes are projected.[4] The Greenland Ice Sheet has experienced record melting in recent years and is likely to contribute substantially to sea level rise as well as to possible changes in ocean circulation in the future. The area of the sheet that experiences melting has increased about 16% from 1979 (when measurements started) to 2002 (most recent data). The area of melting in 2002 broke all previous records.[4] The number of glacial earthquakes at Helheim and the northwest Greenland glaciers increased substantially between 1993 and 2005.[5] In 2006, estimated monthly changes in the mass of Greenland's ice sheet suggest that it is melting at a rate of about 239 cubic kilometres (57.3 cubic miles) per year. A more recent study, based on reprocessed and improved data between 2003 and 2008, reports an average trend of 195 cubic kilometres (46.7 cubic miles) per year.[6] These measurements came from the US space agency's Grace (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite, launched in 2002, as reported by BBC.[7]

Stuart Allie
(stuart.allie)

Locale: Australia
Still not getting it on 05/07/2009 02:08:51 MDT Print View

>I didn't say anything about trends, long term or short term. I said that sea temperatures have been on their way down since 2003 which is true whether it suits your view or not. Which part of the following two graphs don't you understand?

I understand both those graphs perfectly, and clearly better than you.

1. Saying "sea temperatures have been on their way down since 2003" *is* a statement about trends. It's saying there is a downwards trend since 2003. That's what trend means. And it's not a *true* statement because there is not sufficient data in that graph to support it. The apparent trend line that you see is a result of fluctuations over short time scales. It's not real! You are like the people who see images of Jesus in a bit of toast - you are seeing a pattern that is not there. Please learn about how to analyse time series before you make statements about trends in data.

2. Saying "it's getting cooler" is also a statement - and an incorrect one - about trends. I notice you haven't responded to the link I provided demonstrating that your statements are incorrect, you just keep repeating them anyway.

3. The second graph is infamous. It is based on sea heat data that is *known* to be wrong. The instruments were broken. They gave invalid readings. When the guy (at NASA I think) whose job it was to analyse the data realised this, he issued corrected data. But by then, people had jumped on the incorrect data and produced graphs like the one you show here. IT'S WRONG and it's been known to be wrong since 2007. Check your facts.

You keep repeating the same *provably wrong* statements. Once again - show me a single piece of analysis (not a graph of carefully selected data with a trend line of *no* statistical significance through it) to support your statement that it is getting cooler. I've linked to the *proof* that you are wrong. Your response was to move the target by switching from global temperatures to sea temperature and make more *provably wrong* statements and show some graphs that are *known* to be wrong.

Either provide some evidence (sound analysis of reliable data) or admit you are wrong.

You are right about one thing. The data does speak for itself. But you need knowledge of maths and statistics to understand what it is saying. You are continually misunderstanding the message, whether deliberately or through a lack of knowledge about how to read the data I don't know. But to anybody who *does* have the skill to read it, the data is saying that the planet is warming, and it is doing so beyond any possible range of natural variation.

[Edited to give Roger the benefit of the doubt w.r.t. motive]

Look, I know you believe what you say, and that you are just "interpreting" the data. But your interpretations are *wrong*. Consistently, persistently, and demonstrably wrong. Analysing time series, particularly from things like the climate, is a skiill that takes a strong knowledge of maths and stats, and training in science, to do properly. Many scientists get it wrong at least some of the time. But please go and read the links I provided. If you don't understand the arguments, ask somebody to explain them.

I'm happy to keep discussing this, but not if you just keep repeating the same incorrect statements. Try asking questions insted of making grand claims. You'll learn more and so will anybody else reading this.

Edited by stuart.allie on 05/07/2009 02:26:59 MDT.