Hmm. Yeah, that did sound confrontational, didn't it? My apologies. Sincerely.
By way of explaination: like many, my buddies and I have a rather controntational-yet-chummy style when we talk to each other, and when I'm in a hurry it tends to come through when I write informal stuff like this. It doesn't transmit well in text, though. That's one reason I endorse emoticons, even though I think they look juvenile.
Back on the offensive...
I tried to back you against a wall precisely because I CAN'T tell what your position is, except that you seem to contradict me whenever possible. I went back through your posts before I wrote my last one, and I still can't tell. No kidding. I swear it seems as if in one breath you deny that global temperatures are rising and in the next claim that rising global temperatures are due to solar phenomena or are due to some other natural process.
In your defense, you are posting A LOT of text, and answering comments from A LOT of people, so I may be getting mixed up in other debates.
Someone, please, either back me up here or let me know that I'm being thick.
I wouldn't ask anything of you that I wouldn't do my self, so...
FOR THE RECORD:
I believe that global temperature averages have been trending upwards in the past century or so due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas production. I acknowledge that the precise magnitude of the anthropogenic contribution to these rising temperatures is not well established (i.e. it has big error bars) but it IS statistically significant.
Anyway, there it is- I showed you mine, so show me yours. Succinctly, please. I tried to be precise in my use of language, but I'm sure I missed some miniscule equivocation that you can gleefully pounce upon. :-)
If your position is something like "I can't decide if there REALLY is a warming trend or not, but it seems unlikely, and if there is then this greenhouse gas malarky is still a bunch of crud", well, I can accept that. But going back and forth like you are is confusing me. All I'm asking for is a clarification rather than an equivocation.
I once stole a Snickers when I was eight. Sometimes I don't put the toilet seat back down. I consider myself almost exactly middle-of-the-road, politically. I'm a heterosexual white male. I'm a doctor, so you can imagine my position on U.S. healthcare reform. Perhaps most damning: I work for the U.S. government and I'm here to help. (See my avatar and make your own conclusions.)
Another one that puzzles me is this graph you posted:
The atmospheric temperatures that I was referring to were stratospheric temperatures, not troposhperic. Your graph shows troposheric temperatures. Also, your graph shows temperatures dropping near the end there (your *up to date* data) which would support my position rather than contradict it if it were, in fact, stratospheric temperatures on the graph. Or am I missing something?
Here are data straight from the NOAA website:
If you want the link, here it is:
Recall, current models of the greenhouse effect predict falling temperatures in the stratosphere with an increasing greenhouse effect from greenhouse gases, even as temperatures at lower altitudes rise.
If you try hard enough you can poke holes in the legitimacy of anything (including the IPCC). I honestly thought given what you had wrote that you were acknowledging those websites you posted to be rather attractive targets, and I tried to make a kind of joke of it. For the record, they really are easy targets, but perhaps I could have been more politic (again, mea culpa). Further, I maintain that they aren't very convincing when compared to the National Academy of Science, etc., etc.
OF COURSE the corporations that are the biggest greenhouse-gas emitters are going to resist, including resistance with tenuous science via think-tanks such as those you mentioned. (Witness Philip Morris.) They are caught in a Prisoners' Dilemma. Clearly the right thing to do, even if global warming isn't 100% proven, given the serious consequences if it is true, is to err on the side of caution. (If you disagree, I would voice serious doubts about your judgment or motives.) But if only one company does so and the rest don't, that one responsible company will be driven out of business because being environmentally responsible costs a lot. Prisoners' Dilemma. Thus, even though I'm a laissez-faire kind of guy I admit that corporate environmental policy needs to be legislated. It can't be left to the free market.
I don't buy your claim for using *up to date* data, though. When you add a few years of observations to a 100 year series (or worse, a thousands-year series) then try to claim that it's significant, that is rather obfuscating. It's also confusing, when you have admitted that data about natural phenomena have a certain variability and granularity about them (which is why we sometimes use smoothed graphs). And, while I'm feeling confrontational again :-) and while we're criticizing odd scales on graph axes, how about this thing:
It has NO scale on the vertical axis. How can it be critiqued?
Also, you don't have a monopoly on critical thinking. I am an educated man with a science background, so I am trained to look for things like misleading graph axes, check sources, point out conflicting data, etc., just as you are. I am NOT a climatologist, so if you are then you can clamour about your vast experience with climatalogical data. But you would STILL be in the minority of climatologists. (I would *almost* say "fringe minority.") And, if you want to revel in your outsider status among your peers, then all the more power to you, but I don't find you very convincing. I have seen the kinds of data that you are posting beore and, I will admit, it is very interesting on a lot of levels and made me think, but ultimately I found it unconvincing compared to the avalanche of contrary data. (In fact, one of the reasons I started debating with you was to see if you had any new information I hadn't heard of.)
So honestly, when you protest that you are the only guy on this forum who is actually looking at data and thinking for himself it is rather condescending.
> Good suggestion, why don't you follow your own advice?
Yawn back at you.
The weight of evidence is on my side. The world is big enough and there are enough people publishing data, that we can both for all practical purposes on this forum produce an infinite amount of it. But my infinity is still much bigger than your infinity. To make a geek joke: You are all possible integers, and I am all possible real numbers.
Wow. That was bad, eh?
Examples of being able to throw conflicting data around:
You like to cite data from prestigious sources showing decreasing global temperatures. Here's NOAA:
Here's one that (I think) you mention, NASA:
For that matter, concerning your data on temperatures falling in the southern hemisphere, here's NASA again:
Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that (speaking scientifically, not theologically) you agree that modern homo sapiens has been around well less than a million years. Possibly less than a quarter of that, actually. So, can we stop debating the contribution of atmospheric CO2 to global temperatures hundreds of millions of years ago? In which case I refer readers to:
This is the Crowley paper on the NOAA website, and it corrects for things like the various solar cycles, ON A HUMAN TIMESCALE. I can't post the full text because I don't have an online subscription to Science magazine, so this is just the abstract and graphs. I would post the graphs here, but I can't figure out how to copy the high-resolution ones.
Frankly, I've gotten to the point now that I'm just sick of wasting my time throwing data like this back and forth with you. Neither of us is going to convince the other, and it takes too much time looking up all the primary sources, many of whom aren't available on the web, etc. This discussion has become futile. I'd rather play peek-a-boo with my daughter. And, I would prefer not to have her sunbathing on Baffin Island some day. :-P
I suggest that we both return to our other avocations.
At any rate, I'm returning to MY other avocations. If you have any parting shots that aren't redundant, take them, and I will certainly be courteous enough to answer anything addressed directly to me.