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#1 2018-12-20 19:13:50

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

The Science of Climate Change

SpaceNut,

The quantity of DDT required to thin egg shells relates to the concentration of DDT used for spraying crops to kill all insects, rather than just killing mosquitos.  People who support the ban of DDT do not care about the hundreds of thousands of children in Africa and Asia who die of malaria every year without the use of DDT because it's not their children who are dying.  We pretty much eradicated it in the US, apart from our international travelers and illegal aliens.

To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase in agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably, perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that, in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable. Abandonment of this valuable insecticide should be undertaken only at such time and in such places as it is evident that the prospective gain to humanity exceeds the consequent losses. At this writing, all available substitutes for DDT are both more expensive per crop-year and decidedly more hazardous.

National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Research in the Life Sciences of the Committee on Science and Public Policy, The Life Sciences: Recent Progress and Application to Human Affairs, The World of Biological Research, Requirements for the Future (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1970), 432.

The climate has been changing since Earth existed.  Nearly all of the species that ever lived are now extinct, and they lived long before humans ever existed.  As best science can tell us, that is a fact.  When the climate changes, you adapt or die.  That's natural selection in action.  Those who claim to believe in science should believe that the inability to adapt is equivalent to the inability of a species to continue to survive into perpetuity.

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#2 2018-12-20 20:15:45

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

kbd512 wrote:

When the climate changes, you adapt or die.

"There is a preventable threat to the continued welfare of the human race, but I'd rather take the risk--if something terrible happens we probably deserved it"

Yup, there's that same faulty reasoning again.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


-Josh

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#3 2018-12-20 22:36:04

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Josh,

The Earth's climate is nothing more than the Earth's observed weather over an extended period of time, climate being defined as the weather over a period of 30 years according to the World Meteorological Organization.  We've almost observed 2 weather periods over the time when the same people who are prognosticating impending global warming doom say we've had accurate satellite temperature records of the entire planet.  In another 30 years we can use the aptly named "naive model" from statistics to predict the future using our whopping 3 points of climate data.  For anyone reading this who is a little weak on math and statistics, or just graphing straight lines for that matter, that means we can almost draw a straight line using the data that the global warming people presently have and are so concerned about.

Let me translate what that really means for everyone else:

"People who believe in climate change want to change the weather to be the same as it was 100 years ago."

People such as myself wish climate changers the best of luck with that task because we think they'll need it.  We see no need to waste human ingenuity on manufactured problems when we still haven't figured out how to feed everyone on this planet 3 squares per day.

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#4 2018-12-21 14:03:29

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

That was such a wild misstatement of what people believe that I am compelled to respond to it.

To start, here's a basic factual error:

You have claimed that climate is a 30-year average of weather.  That is not the definition of climate, but it is a reasonable way to measure it.  If you have 60 years of data and you care about a 30-year moving average, that means you have 31 datapoints, not 2. 

Any literate person, given a set of 60 datapoints on a graph, would be able to tell if the trend is generally up or generally down.  A person familiar with methods of statistical analysis would be able to do quite a lot more than that (rate of increase, confidence interval, p-value, correlation with other variables, etc.), especially if they realized that a 30-year moving average is one way of measuring climate but is also a semi-arbitrary round number (Why not 23? Why not 34?).

I would say that I'm shocked you don't know this but actually I am quite confident that you do.  You're a smart guy and politics makes us dumb.

Global mean temperature as measured by orbiting satellites is not the only source of data we have on temperature.  We also have weather station measurements and various ways of estimating the temperature in past eras.  The measurements are less reliable as you go farther and farther back in time but nevertheless are basically consistent with each other and with historical and geological accounts, where we have them.

kbd512 wrote:

People who believe in climate change want to change the weather to be the same as it was 100 years ago.

I assure you, as someone who does believe in climate change and someone who knows many people who do (including both people who are highly scientifically literate and people who are much less so), that this is not the case. 

Here is what people believe:

Firstly, that the science on this matter is basically good.  This means that the planet is in fact warming and that the most likely cause of this warming is the release of greenhouse gases by humans.  If you have real, good-faith objections (i.e. hypotheses which are falsifiable and based on evidence) on either score I would be happy to address them (although further discussion of climate change probably belongs in a different thread). 

Secondly, that changes in the climate will have negative effects on people.  All of the world's societies are built in certain ways in response to the climates in which they were built.  Changes to the climate, especially rapid ones, are often costly or deadly.

This is the key point that you did not recognize, so I will speak further on it.  Human-caused climate change is causing the climate to change much faster than it has historically and much more than it otherwise would.  The desire to prevent climate change is not motivated by a desire to create or specify any particular climate, but rather to prevent the climate from changing too quickly.  You said that the climate always changes, and in that you are correct.  But the rate of change matters.  Here are some examples of how a changing climate can have negative effects on humanity:

  • Most big cities exist near major bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans.  If sea level rises, these cities will be at risk of flooding, and the frequency of storms big enough to cause major flooding will increase.  It is true that it's possible to build seawalls, but it's also true that a low-lying city behind a seawall, once flooded (all systems fail eventually), is much harder to drain.

  • Most agriculture is located in regions that have good climates for agriculture.  If the climate changes, those farms will die or suffer and their owners will suffer or go bankrupt.  There won't be famine--at least not in rich countries (in poor countries it's a very real threat)--but the price of food will go up and there may be supply shortages for some items.  In the US, food prices going up is not a catastrophe for most people so much as an annoyance, but in other places it would be a very big deal.

  • People are prepared, to a certain degree, for the natural disasters they are used to experiencing.  Floridians know what to do during hurricanes and their buildings are built to withstand them.  Texans know how to respond to tornadoes.  Northerners know what to do about snow.  Arizonans have air conditioning and know how to deal with extreme heat.  If there's snow in Atlanta, hurricanes in Boston, tornadoes in Tennessee, and extreme heat in Seattle people are going to die.  That's why Hurricane Sandy (which actually wasn't even a tropical storm when it made landfall in NY/NJ) killed 70 people and cause $75 billion in damage.  In a changing climate, all of these are more likely.  The key point here is that preparedness matters but it's expensive: Most people and places typically are not prepared for things that haven't happened in the past.

  • The contagiousness of disease is dependent to some degree on local climate.  The big one here is Malaria, the scourge of the developing world.  As temperatures rise the Tsetse fly will be able to live farther and farther from the equator and people historically not at risk for the disease may become vulnerable.  It's true that there's a vaccine for Malaria.  It's also true that  many people in the US don't have access to healthcare, that infants and older people sometimes, can't be vaccinated, and that there's a growing group of morons who choose to endanger everyone else by not getting vaccinated even when they could and should.

Here's an example that I like (possibly because of its personal relevance): I live in America's Leading Wheat-Producing County (all the signs on the highway say so!).  Almost 100% of the land in my county is devoted to wheat, barley, or lentils.  There's a number of reasons for this, starting with soil.  Our soil is made from dunes of volcanic ash.  This means that it is both fertile and porous.  The porosity is important, because it rarely rains here during the main growing season (This year it rained 0 times between June and October).  Instead, it rains and snows during the winter.  The hills suck up the moisture and release it slowly during the summer, allowing crops to grow without the need for irrigation.  This saves substantial amounts of money for the farmers and makes their jobs easier.

If the winter precipitation pattern here becomes more like the summer precipitation pattern, that would be a big problem for the local economy. The US produces a lot of wheat so it would be unlikely to have a big effect on the nation as a whole unless something similar happened across wide swaths of the West.  Of course the drought was a pretty big deal while it lasted a few years back.  As you said, the climate always changes.  It could happen with or without human contributions.  But if the planet as a whole is getting warmer it seems more likely to be the case that we'll see more summer-like weather and less winter-like weather.

An interesting foil that's stuck with me over the years is the Dubia thought experiment.  The author asks what the world might look like in 1000 years if we go on with status quo (as of 2003) policies on climate.  It's really interesting and arguably a better world, but most population centers that exist now are underwater.  Sort of an optimistic best-case for what could happen after centuries of suffering.


-Josh

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#5 2018-12-21 17:10:03

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Well I only needed the 2 points to pin down a rising temperature on this day. Back when I was much younger this day would have roughly 2 feet of snow on the ground and cold. Todays weather is raining and no snow....

A second point is the ozone hole in which there is only one source in that period of time to which we do have valid data for its starting to heal but its a long ways off and while it was open the ice sheets of the north have been melting....

DDT was sprayed in the north during evenings while children were out in the 60's.  As a child, the county used DDT and sprayed it twice a summer at the start and at the end driving the truck through neighborhoods up and down streets until the entire city was covered. The truck was large and white, and it had a tube that extended from the back that spray the heavy gray-white fog into the air as it drove down the street.

https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pe … and-status

https://jmvh.org/article/ddt-and-silent … ars-after/

https://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets … sMosqP.pdf

Today, nearly 40 years after DDT was banned in the U.S., we continue to live with its long-lasting effects: Food supplies: USDA found DDT breakdown products in 60% of heavy cream samples, 42% of kale greens, 28% of carrots and lower percentages of many other foods.

Men exposed to the lingering remnants of the once widely used pesticide DDT have an increased risk for the most common form of testicular cancer. 

"Some studies in humans linked DDT levels in the body with breast cancer, but other studies have not made this link. Other studies in humans have linked exposure to DDT/DDE [a DDT metabolite] with having lymphoma, leukemia, and pancreatic cancer.The question of whether DDT or DDE are risk factors in breast cancer has not been conclusively answered. Several meta analyses of observational studies have concluded that there is no overall relationship between DDT exposure and breast cancer risk.

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#6 2018-12-21 20:42:04

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Josh,

1. Feel free to move this discussion to a separate topic thread if it pleases you.

2. In order to accept the findings of any organization purporting to make scientific claims and to do so in a logically consistent manner, you must also accept at least some of the premises of their arguments.  When I posted my comments about "climate change", I thought it was understood that I was referring to a purported global average temperature increase in recent decades, aka "global warming", aka "climate change".

Here is how a "climate period" is defined by the IPCC as it relates to "global warming", from one of IPCC's own documents IPCC - Global Warming of 1.5C:

Global warming: The estimated increase in GMST averaged over a 30-year period, or the 30-year period centred on a particular year or decade, expressed relative to pre-industrial levels unless otherwise specified. For 30-year periods that span past and future years, the current multi-decadal warming trend is assumed to continue

3. The WMO, the IPCC, and numerous other organizations devoted to the study of Earth's weather and climate, at least as it pertains to temperature observations, have arbitrarily chosen to define a "climate period" as a 30 year period of time.  You're quite right to question why that number was chosen.  It has no objective and therefore scientific meaning.  It's completely arbitrary, as you already pointed out in your response to me.  It's arbitrary nature is driven by arbitrary human brain constructs in the absence of a sufficient number of accurately recorded temperature data gathered over a statistically significant period of time, which we're sorely lacking.  A computer model is not a temperature observation or record, either.  It's an attempt to extrapolate or predict or guess at what temperature data were in the past before accurate temperature recordings were available and/or what they will be in the future.  We hope that the "guess" or "prediction" is accurate, but frequently the assumptions used in a computer model turn out to be partially or completely erroneous or that we can't or don't include all pertinent causal factors affecting output.  That means that at some point a computer model requires agreement with observed temperature data, yet we still don't have a single climate temperature model capable of producing results with the degree of precision required to accurately predict future trends.

4. Based upon what I've read, I would say we're getting closer to the level of accuracy required by accounting for pertinent causal factors.  I'm not so dense that I won't accept reasonably accurate data and prediction methodology for forecasting future trends, but even the present rate of change is so small that current methods of recording temperature observations are insufficiently precise due to various equipment calibration issues associated with the use of PRT's and their data logger electronics.  I've detailed why that is so in another thread and provided supporting documentation that consisted of the findings of the people that were hired by the climate changers to study their own methods of recording temperature observations.  I'm not going to rehash it here for sake of argument unless you really want to get into the technical issues regarding how drift affects electronic temperature measurement devices such as Platinum Resistance Thermometers or PRT's, which is what the meteorological networks use to make temperature observations.

However, a central tenant of accepting climate science is that recorded temperature observations were of sufficient precision and they weren't.  If you're trying to measure a +/-.1C delta and your equipment can only repeatably measure a +/-.2C to +/-.7C delta (the repeatability of the measurement only gets worse, the hotter or colder it happens to be), then you have a fundamental precision problem that affects accuracy.  It makes no difference at all if your thermometer always reads precisely .5C hotter or colder than what the actual temperature is as long as that value is subtracted or added to arrive at the actual temperature.  So far as I know, there's no such thing as a PRT that's calibrated at the factor that never needs to be re-calibrated, either.  The documentation from the manufacturers are very clear about that point.  Nobody ever wants to debate this topic because they never want to learn about how electronics actually work.  If you're serious about debating this topic, then either refute that point with evidence or I'll presume that you can't refute it because my statements about the temperature data are accurate and not debatable.

5. As far as the "magic" of having 30 yearly global average temperature data points to compare is concerned, there isn't any because Earth is estimated to have existed for at least 4 billion years.  Any mathematically literate person who has taken statistics, given any 60 continuously graphed data points out of a data set of at least 4 billion, will tell you that mathematically speaking you don't know much at all apart from whatever trends you can see in the available data.  That's because you're working with 1/66,666,666 of the available data, which is nearly meaningless given the magnitude of the temperature changes we're talking about.  Even though you can attempt to predict trends based upon available data, as previously stated, any mathematician worth his or her salt will tell you that you're woefully lacking sufficient data to determine what those 60 points of observed data mean in the grand scheme of things.  I think I can make that statement with a reasonable level of confidence since I provide consulting services to implement statistical analysis software.

6. Estimations are not temperature observations.  Guesses about past temperatures made by people who have a statistically meaningless set of data points, many of which were not accurate, and an incomplete knowledge of how Earth's weather works, doesn't support your argument.  If I ever told a client that I predicted that they'd sell "#" quantity of product "X" based upon the last 60 sales out of a total of 6,000 sales in the past 2 years, I'd be absolutely stunned if I wasn't fired on the spot if they knew anything at all about statistics.  In the real world, where so many people are functionally illiterate when it comes to mathematics, I have clients who think that the software's analytical engine should be able to accurately predict the next sales volume value with as little as 2 data points.  If so configured, the engine will use the naive model to distribute a forecast quantity to the customers to whom product "X" was sold, but the engine's prediction value is just shy of completely worthless with so little input data.  The very few who review the engine's confidence interval in the engine run log and know what it means will recognize the output value as the complete garbage that it truly is.  If you know of a way to accurately measure temperature to within 1C or less without direct temperature observations from properly calibrated equipment, then you're the only one because everyone else who is honest will tell you that it's just guesswork that has some evidence, rather than conclusive evidence, to support it.  Maybe calling their guesswork "estimations" makes such guesswork seem "scientific" to people who are scientifically and mathematically illiterate, but you and I both know it's just a guess and nothing more.

Here's what I believe:

1. The "evidence" for "climate change" or "global warming" is mostly guesswork.  There are parts of climate science that are fundamentally sound science, but there are other parts of it that very closely resemble fortune telling or outright lying, either through omission of data that doesn't support the argument, ignoring obvious problems such as the issue I touched upon regarding the PRT's and their data loggers, or through claims made about things we don't actually know because they're actually unknowable with present technology and methods.

2. Changes in anything can have negative consequences, but if the Earth becoming 1C warmer, on average, than it is today is the sort of apocalyptic cataclysm that some unscrupulous people in the media make it out to be, then humanity was doomed to failure a long, long time ago.

3. I understand the premise of the argument that humans are causing the climate to change much faster than it has historically perfectly well, I just don't believe it's based upon anything resembling sound science.  Furthermore, when you say you want to prevent climate change you are, in point of fact, saying that you believe that humans can change the weather over the course of decades rather than just for a day or a week or a year.  The climate is the weather over some defined period of time, arbitrary or otherwise, so stop trying to dance around that point.  You want to change the weather, plain and simple, and you think humans can do that over a period of decades if we all just live our lives a certain way, which according to the IPCC would be how humanity lived in the pre-industrial era.  In that period of human history, life was typically short, bleak, and brutal.  Some of us think that's counter-productive to humanity.

It's pretty funny that you should bring up Malaria as a consequence of climate change since we had a solution to that problem before either of us were born.  Apart from extreme exposures that should have killed anyone and anything, nobody died from DDT in the concentrations required to kill mosquitos.  Crop dusting was a different application with a far greater concentration of the chemical, and yes, there were a few deaths associated with some very extreme exposures.  Suppose for a moment that DDT truly was a chemical that would eventually kill you multiple decades later from some form of cancer.  How long does it take Malaria to kill?  A week or less in acute cases?  Perhaps as long as a month if you're really unlucky?  How important is it to not die of cancer when you're 50 or 60 versus never making it to puberty so you have any chance of reproducing?  Do you have any slight clue how utterly moronic it is to ban the use of DDT and then complain that mosquito deaths increase in warmer temperatures?  Was all the human suffering and death from not using the available means to solve the immediate problem worth it, just to proclaim that we care about the environment?  Seriously.  Do people claiming to care about the poor or claiming to be environmentalists actually care about human lives at all, or is this just about them getting up on their high horse, looking down upon everyone else, and wagging their finger at everyone else?  Last but certainly not least, that growing group of morons who refuse to get their vaccines most notably includes the morons from Hollyweird, the granola state as GW calls it.  Our moronic and Marxist media put as many Hollyweird morons on TV as they can find to spread their moronism to the rest of us.  Strangely enough, our Hollyweird celebrities also believe in "climate change", hook, line, and sinker.

4. How is all that wheat grown where you live?  Does it involve using massive quantities of fossil fuels to power farming equipment or trucks and pesticides to ensure that the crops aren't eaten by insects before they're for harvest, or do we just "naturally" produce more food, acre for acre, than any other country in the world with sunshine and brain farts?  How fast do you think going cold turkey off of fossil fuels would decrease the availability of food?  Think a lot more people would die a heck of a lot faster than from any actually observed climate change?  I wanna see how much virtue signaling we see from our cultural Marxists after they haven't eaten in 3 days because they're living out their "climate change" agenda, which I equate with an insidious plot to mass murder poor people or those too ignorant to know what they're signing up for.  Rather than constantly using the Africans or Asians as our unwitting guinea pigs, let's experiment on ourselves here in America to see what happens when we force ourselves to forego using any forms of fossil fuels and live as we did in pre-industrial America.  I'm guessing that the gasoline riots in France would seem rather tame by way of comparison.

5. If the climate truly is getting warmer, then how is that happening without increasing the quantity of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere by increasing the rate of water evaporation from the world's oceans, which is largely what drives the precipitation cycle?  The climate changers also claim that the average moisture content of the atmosphere hasn't increased, despite warmer temperatures.  How is that even possible?  Shouldn't basic deductive reasoning tell you that it's not possible and something is fundamentally wrong with any climate change argument that doesn't also claim that the average moisture content of the air is increasing?  Unless all or most of that water vapor is lost to space, which is not what our climate changers are claiming, then all that trapped heat has to have some effect on the moisture content of Earth's atmosphere.  That should mean more precipitation.  Apart from CO2, what do all plants that use photosynthesis need to survive?

Ultimately, I believe that fraud masquerading as science has somehow convinced people, some of whom really should know better, that we must live as we did before the Industrial Age since the same people making the global warming claims have provided precisely zero practical solutions as to how we'd go about reversing their purported problem without mass starvation and civil unrest that would surely follow.  I could be convinced otherwise since I believe in actual science, but not by any amount of personal insults, virtue signaling, or making claims without evidence.  The issues I brought up with the PRT temperature measurements and lack of claims about an increase in water vapor are quite real, yet I've never had anyone on this forum address them apart from personal insults or claiming that they didn't understand the technology and couldn't comment on it.  If you actually did that, then you'd be the first to do so.

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#7 2018-12-27 12:21:09

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Giving the split out topic a bump in order for others to find it...

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#8 2018-12-27 17:06:28

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
Website

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Hey kbd512,

In our first foray into climate change in this thread, I quoted an 8 word sentence and replied with 44 words.  You replied with 217 words.  I replied back with 1,259 words, and you responded to me with 2,369 words.  Such is life.  But anyway, to prevent things from getting rapidly out of hand I'm going to try to be at least somewhat brief and respond to what I see as being your primary points without responding to your whole post point-by-point.  If I miss anything you think is important I will be glad to come back to it.

Weather and Climate

One important thing we've been discussing is what climate is.  Your claim, based on various sources, is that climate is a 30-year average of weather.  My claim is that this is a way of measuring climate, even the standard way, but is not the conceptual definition of climate.  My understanding is that climate is to weather as organ systems are to individual cells.  It's true that climate is made from weather, and it's true that you could, if you liked, described as the sumtotal of weather just as you could describe an organ system as the sumtotal of the activities of its cells. 

The key difference in my understanding is that weather is a chaotic and dynamic process of matter dancing around equilibrium in a semirandom way while climate hews closer to that equilibrium and perhaps in the ideal case even describes what it is.  Maybe it's not a coincidence that n=30 is the most commonly cited number for when a distribution of the mean will approach a normal distribution.

Just to be completely clear: I am not dancing around the question.  I have a disagreement with what you are saying that is small but meaningful in that I believe you are conflating the measurement of the thing with the thing itself.  It's as if you said temperature is notches on a thermometer, or the voltage produced by a thermocouple pair.

Measuring, Modelling, and Forecasting Climate

I should probably start this section off by saying: My knowledge of statistical methods is very basic, pretty much limited to what you might find in an intro-level probstat course.  It seems quite likely that your knowledge strictly encompasses mine and goes far beyond.

On the topic of measurement: Every measurement has a bias and a variance, as you've mentioned.  You pointed out that the bias doesn't matter if you're looking at the same temperature, as long as it's consistent.  I would argue that the variance likewise matters much less than you have suggested.  The reason for this is that the variance on the mean is much smaller than the variance on an individual measurement.  I don't know exactly what the granularity of the measurement is, but let's say satellites measure the temperature of each 100 x 100 km square (10,000 km^2) twice per day across the Earth, over the course of one 365 day year (in reality I believe our areal and temporal granularity is much better).  The area of the Earth is 510,070,000 km^2 so there are 51,007 such squares, each of which sees 730 measurements over the course of the year, for a total of 37,235,110 measurements per year.  Using the naive formula of σ/√ ̅n, you might expect your measurement of the global mean to be 6000 times less than any individual temperature measurement.  If your error on temperature is ±1°C, your error on the mean might then be ±0.0002°C according to this naive formula.

I would never claim that to be the case.  For starters it seems impossible that you could be that confident in the stability of your measurement.  But you can be pretty confident.  The following image, from NASA, suggests that our measurement error on the global mean today is ±0.05°C, that in 1950 it is ±0.08°C, and that in 1890 it is ±0.1°C.  Not enough to confidently say that the temperature has risen one year over the next in most years (naturally the average temperature will also change a bit from year to year based on the vagaries of various phenomena like el nino/la nina, the sunspot cycle, etc.), but enough that you can be pretty confident on the trendline.

You also suggested that the observed levels of water vapor seem to cast doubt on the measured temperature increase.  I'm not sure exactly which data you are referring to (humidity levels? Precipitation? Something else?) but it is true that warm air can hold more water.  But do evaporation rates increase or are they already rate-limited somehow? Is there more water in the air but relative humidity is constant? Are the temperatures increasing more over land than over water, meaning that average relative humidity levels could actually be falling? My point is that precipitation and humidity levels are a complicated thing, affected by lots of factors, which makes it hard to say by deductive reasoning alone what ought to happen.  In short, you need to build a model.  I don't doubt that there have been numerous attempts to quantify how rising temperatures ought to affect humidity and precipitation patterns.

giss_temperature.png

Modelling, naturally, is harder than measuring.  A model can be no better than the assumptions and data you put into it, minus any errors made by the modeller.  Climate is a very complicated thing, affected by god-knows how many phenomena.  If you have a particular climate model you'd like to pick apart I can give it my best but frankly I think that's somewhat beyond my competency.  But it helps to do a sanity check on any model. 

Here's how I look at it:  The average temperature of the Earth is substantially higher than it would be without an atmosphere.  We can see this by comparison to the Moon.  This paper has a really cool discussion of lunar temperatures, with lots of cool maps and graphs.  They don't go and calculate and average temperature as far as I can tell, but by eyeballing the graphs it seems to be around 240 K vs 288 K for Earth.  Obviously the Moon isn't the Earth so the Earth's temperature wouldn't be exactly the same without an atmosphere but it should be close.  So the atmosphere warms the planet by roughly 50 K.

Most of this difference is a result of water vapor, which the atmosphere has a lot of and which has a very broad absorption spectrum.  However, because these bands are so thoroughly blocked and because water vapor tends not to reach the upper atmosphere (condensing and freezing out instead) and because of its relatively short atmospheric lifetime (for the same reason) water vapor doesn't change things very much.  Carbon Dioxide's absorption spectrum does not align perfectly with water vapor, has a longer atmospheric lifetime (meaning it builds up instead of reaching an equilibrium), and can loft higher (even if a particular wavelength is "100% blocked" this can still matter because it will warm the lower layers of the atmosphere and ultimately the surface).  The concentration of CO2 has risen from 250 ppm to 400 ppm, and depending on our choices will rise either a bit more or a lot more.  It seems entirely reasonable that this could raise the temperature a bit.  I'm sure different models disagree, but something in the range of low-single-digits K seems entirely reasonable.

I have always been interested in the idea of building some sort of very rudimentary atmospheric model and see what I get.  Haven't done it though.

Throughout your post you used words like guess, estimate, and extrapolation to try to discredit the conclusions of climate science.  It's true: 100% confidence does not exist in this field, and probably cannot.  This is true, in varying degrees, in all domains of life.  While you've raised a number of points in question of the general conclusions (some reasonable, some not) you have not raised any sort of theory of a fundamental flaw or a stronger model which provides different conclusions.  I haven't seen such an alternative raised.

Environmentalism as Ideology

One striking thing about the climate change discussions is that the issue is much more salient to people who are left-leaning than those who are right-leaning, especially when it comes to policy or personal changes.  As a result of this the conversation is dominated by left-leaning people, and (at least in the United States) the technocratic response (there is a problem and we should take steps to fix it) has become wedded to progressive values (climate change is real, therefore we need a green new deal in which carbon taxes fund a government jobs guarantee where people build out solar power and public transportation).

I try to avoid politics on here as much as possible.  I'm sure you've noticed that I am much more left-leaning than the median member of this forum.  On the issue of climate I think I'm something of a moderate.  Lots of progressives use climate change as a coathanger on which to hang policies which they would be pushing anyway.  In other words, I think a lot of people are trying to use climate as a technocratic justificiation for policies they believe in for ideological reasons.  There's nothing wrong with ideology, by the way, as long as you're honest about it.

If you ask me, the best response to climate change is to convert our grid generators to nuclear power (plus nuclear regulatory reform, finishing yucca mountain, and finally funding new nuclear technologies) electrify transportation where we can (Musk has built some nice cars, though they're not cheap enough yet) and leveling the playing field for the tax treatment of denser vs. suburban development (there's lots of federal subsidies to suburban development including the mortgage interest development, extra federal money to highways, etc.).  Those changes will reduce CO2 emissions by a lot without radically changing the face of our society.


-Josh

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#9 2018-12-27 17:19:40

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Weather is a cell steered event that we see locally. Such examples of the cell are in the large paved cities which obsorb heat that does not disappear but lingers throughout the seasons. Another are in the oceans as El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of what is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_o … _on_oceans

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#10 2018-12-28 10:40:53

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

I should be seeing lots of snow here but instead I am getting rain and why thats not a bad thing for water tables if it were to soak in the ground its not as the ground is frozen.

?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fed%2Ffb%2F4333feed46f999f9997146dbf764%2Fnew-years-eve-1228-am.jpg

To snow requires it to be below freezing and global warming is pushing the temperatures upward...

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#11 2018-12-29 05:18:21

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Josh,

Sadly, accurate points about subjects involving quite a bit of math and science can't always be made with extreme brevity.  Apart from a lack of curiosity, maybe that's why these subjects lose so many people and they never bother to read enough to even attempt to understand what scientists are actually expressing to them when it's contingent upon a basic understanding of math and science.  I can't express my thoughts with a series of one-liners.  I suppose we could have a handful of long posts that convey more complete thoughts instead of hundreds of little posts that address individual issues point-by-point.

Weather and Climate

Our climate changers are asserting that humans are changing Earth's climate through CO2 emissions so fast that total catastrophe is mere decades away.  Many similar prognostications were made in the past that never happened.  I see that sort of thing as preying upon the worst fears of a largely ignorant public.  Those who possess a pedestrian understanding of human history will recognize arguments that we can't adapt to a changing climate as the utter nonsense it truly is.  We have historically adapted ourselves to the climate, whatever it happened to be.  We certainly didn't stop using the machinery that made continued sustainment of human life possible.  Right now, most of that life-sustaining machinery is powered by fossil fuels because it's not presently practical or affordable to use most other sources.  It has little to nothing to do with oil company conspiracies, stubborn consumers who love gas and hate the environment, nor lack of effort on the part of scientists trying to bring us better technology.  I see no reason to brow-beat people using what's presently available.  I'm in favor of more efficient energy resource utilization whenever and wherever it's affordable and practical.  Waste is stupid if it's preventable.

Can we actually discuss what I'm obviously talking about instead of arguing over the semantics of the terminology I used or mixed up when referring to "climate period" (arbitrary or statistically significant) vs "climate" vs "temperature measurement", which was quite obviously the assertion that humanity is catastrophically changing the temperature of Earth's climate through CO2 emissions that I believe is based upon rather inconsistent data and analysis?

Measuring, Modeling, and Forecasting Climate

My short list of general issues with the climate data and analyses:

1. Data from the historical climate network is continually adjusted and discarded or simply interpolated (estimation or interpolation is making up data, no matter how well informed, and it's proven to be problematic in numerous other scientific endeavors) if available data doesn't fit the model or there's a dearth of usable data.  The problem can't be the models used because that questions the validity of the models or even the math used, yet there are various examples of what later turned out to be bad assumptions and/or bad math, or omission when the results didn't agree with the experimenter's hypothesis.  There's clearly an issue with both our data collection / recording methods and data analysis methods.  NASA may refer to what they're doing as homogenizing their data, but I think bastardizing the data is a more appropriate term.

A. We can't construct and/or operate a temperature measurement apparatus in a repeatable manner

Sensor and Electronic Biases/Errors in Air Temperature Measurements in Common Weather Station Networks

Evaluating the impact of Historical Climate Network homogenization using the Climate Reference Network - Supplementary Materials

Satellite Scientist: Surface Temp Measures are More Accurate

B. We can't or don't correctly site temperature measurement apparatus

On the reliability of the U.S. surface temperature record

C. We don't fully understand or take into consideration all variables that materially affect the desired outcome of a modeling effort or simply lack enough usable data because we keep dumping data sources and using interpolated data

A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products

Just 5 questions: The temperature record - Interview by Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Science News Team, with Dr. Gavin A. Schmidt, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University

Evaluating The Integrity Of Official Climate Records

Hardly confidence inspiring...  May still be 100% correct, but not likely.  If it was, then we wouldn't need to change it constantly, would we?

2. All studies use different bits and pieces of the same data recorded by the same instruments.  There are numerous assertions that experimenters are using their own data.  That's true from the standpoint that they selected which data to use, but not true at all when it comes to sources.  In what other fields of study are experimenters who are attempting to replicate experimental results permitted to simply copy the data from the same source and then claim that they used their own data?

If I made a fantastic claim about a new power or propulsion technology, the scientific community would demand that someone else replicate the experiment in its entirety and provide their own performance data for independent verification.  Our climate scientists are claiming the world as we know it is about to end and there's more references to the same data sources than you can shake a stick at.  That presumes that none of the issues noted in 1A / 1B / 1C exist.

3. They continually change the models used to extrapolate what the future has in store for us, yet the results always come with more caveats and disclaimers than a surgical operation.  I see nothing at all wrong with a continuous refinement process, but if previous experiments failed to produce a result with a very high confidence level then it leaves the rest of us to wonder about what will be discovered tomorrow.  We're expected to immediately take civilization-altering actions on results that are nearly sure to change before the very next report is issued.  It reads more like a sales pitch for the hottest new stock than a prospectus on a known commodity like coffee or sugar or tea.  It's more like evidence that we're continually discovering things we didn't know or fully understand.

If we're really sure of the results, then great.  If climate scientists turn out to be completely wrong and people die in mass numbers from lack of energy resources, they won't simply be regarded as charlatans, they'll be lucky if the public doesn't treat them the way the Puritans treated "witches".  I sincerely doubt that many climate scientists have that level of confidence in their work, else they wouldn't keep altering it.

Environmentalism as Ideology

We have people shooting themselves and their infant children over this Chicken Little nonsense.  99% of us will live, whether it's 2C warmer or cooler and whether some of us have to move or not.  After the lecture about the difference between weather and climate and temperature measurement, we have SpaceNut conflating his local weather situation with climate change.  A 1C warmer world didn't prevent snowfall in New Hampshire.  As you said before, weather is somewhat chaotic, can vary dramatically from year to year, and is relatively poorly understood due to its variability.  Worse yet, we have people in the media, most of whom probably can't balance a checkbook, claiming calamity at every opportunity.  The media attempt to portray themselves as merely reporting information and that they're trustworthy, but if they were trustworthy they'd rail off the lawyer-speak from IPCC every time they make claims that even the IPCC isn't certain about if one reads the fine print.

If the American people generally agree with the IPCC, though I'm not sure why they would without at least reading the disclaimers and attempting to understand what's being presented, then they should also agree with limiting the massive resource drain associated with solar and wind since there's so little to show for our efforts.  Nuclear power works quite well and has worked since before most of us were born.  The fact that nobody has died from radiation associated with civil nuclear power generation in America in roughly a human lifetime is testament to the fact that we have some clue about how it works and how to use it without killing people.

Most of our "nuclear waste" (unexpended nuclear fuel) should be consumed for energy in Thorium-fueled molten salt reactors.  A little fear of the potential dangers associated with using nuclear power is a healthy thing if it gives everyone pause before they do something imprudent with nuclear power, but fear shouldn't paralyze us into inaction.  There's enough readily available Thorium to power America through the next millennia or so while we figure out how to make practical and affordable solar panels and batteries for transformative electrification.  If people are truly worried about terrorism or nation-state attacks on our power generation facilities, then we should defend them with rail guns and megawatt-class lasers capable of obliterating anyone and anything that doesn't belong there.

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#12 2018-12-29 05:45:42

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,176

Re: The Science of Climate Change

All very good points kbd.

My views are that:

1. Since we, in reality, know so little about how a variety of climate influences (solar radiation, sea temperature, ocean currents, Hadley cells, ice formation and melting, humidity, agriculture, industrial emissions, irrigation, forest depletion, air temperature, urban growth and a number of other factors we hardly understand at all) work on each other and the planet, we should take a precautionary approach. Which means we should seek to minimise our impact on the planet, in particular industrial emissions.

2.  The problem of CO2 emissions will essentially be solved within the next 20 years as solar plus storage becomes cheaper than all other forms of energy. We can then think about taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, but I expect that there would be resistance from countries that have benefited from global warming.  Global warming is actually pretty good for a lot, perhaps most, of the planet.

kbd512 wrote:

Josh,

Sadly, accurate points about subjects involving quite a bit of math and science can't always be made with extreme brevity.  Apart from a lack of curiosity, maybe that's why these subjects lose so many people and they never bother to read enough to even attempt to understand what scientists are actually expressing to them when it's contingent upon a basic understanding of math and science.  I can't express my thoughts with a series of one-liners.  I suppose we could have a handful of long posts that convey more complete thoughts instead of hundreds of little posts that address individual issues point-by-point.

Weather and Climate

Our climate changers are asserting that humans are changing Earth's climate through CO2 emissions so fast that total catastrophe is mere decades away.  Many similar prognostications were made in the past that never happened.  I see that sort of thing as preying upon the worst fears of a largely ignorant public.  Those who possess a pedestrian understanding of human history will recognize arguments that we can't adapt to a changing climate as the utter nonsense it truly is.  We have historically adapted ourselves to the climate, whatever it happened to be.  We certainly didn't stop using the machinery that made continued sustainment of human life possible.  Right now, most of that life-sustaining machinery is powered by fossil fuels because it's not presently practical or affordable to use most other sources.  It has little to nothing to do with oil company conspiracies, stubborn consumers who love gas and hate the environment, nor lack of effort on the part of scientists trying to bring us better technology.  I see no reason to brow-beat people using what's presently available.  I'm in favor of more efficient energy resource utilization whenever and wherever it's affordable and practical.  Waste is stupid if it's preventable.

Can we actually discuss what I'm obviously talking about instead of arguing over the semantics of the terminology I used or mixed up when referring to "climate period" (arbitrary or statistically significant) vs "climate" vs "temperature measurement", which was quite obviously the assertion that humanity is catastrophically changing the temperature of Earth's climate through CO2 emissions that I believe is based upon rather inconsistent data and analysis?

Measuring, Modeling, and Forecasting Climate

My short list of general issues with the climate data and analyses:

1. Data from the historical climate network is continually adjusted and discarded or simply interpolated (estimation or interpolation is making up data, no matter how well informed, and it's proven to be problematic in numerous other scientific endeavors) if available data doesn't fit the model or there's a dearth of usable data.  The problem can't be the models used because that questions the validity of the models or even the math used, yet there are various examples of what later turned out to be bad assumptions and/or bad math, or omission when the results didn't agree with the experimenter's hypothesis.  There's clearly an issue with both our data collection / recording methods and data analysis methods.  NASA may refer to what they're doing as homogenizing their data, but I think bastardizing the data is a more appropriate term.

A. We can't construct and/or operate a temperature measurement apparatus in a repeatable manner

Sensor and Electronic Biases/Errors in Air Temperature Measurements in Common Weather Station Networks

Evaluating the impact of Historical Climate Network homogenization using the Climate Reference Network - Supplementary Materials

Satellite Scientist: Surface Temp Measures are More Accurate

B. We can't or don't correctly site temperature measurement apparatus

On the reliability of the U.S. surface temperature record

C. We don't fully understand or take into consideration all variables that materially affect the desired outcome of a modeling effort or simply lack enough usable data because we keep dumping data sources and using interpolated data

A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products

Just 5 questions: The temperature record - Interview by Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Science News Team, with Dr. Gavin A. Schmidt, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University

Evaluating The Integrity Of Official Climate Records

Hardly confidence inspiring...  May still be 100% correct, but not likely.  If it was, then we wouldn't need to change it constantly, would we?

2. All studies use different bits and pieces of the same data recorded by the same instruments.  There are numerous assertions that experimenters are using their own data.  That's true from the standpoint that they selected which data to use, but not true at all when it comes to sources.  In what other fields of study are experimenters who are attempting to replicate experimental results permitted to simply copy the data from the same source and then claim that they used their own data?

If I made a fantastic claim about a new power or propulsion technology, the scientific community would demand that someone else replicate the experiment in its entirety and provide their own performance data for independent verification.  Our climate scientists are claiming the world as we know it is about to end and there's more references to the same data sources than you can shake a stick at.  That presumes that none of the issues noted in 1A / 1B / 1C exist.

3. They continually change the models used to extrapolate what the future has in store for us, yet the results always come with more caveats and disclaimers than a surgical operation.  I see nothing at all wrong with a continuous refinement process, but if previous experiments failed to produce a result with a very high confidence level then it leaves the rest of us to wonder about what will be discovered tomorrow.  We're expected to immediately take civilization-altering actions on results that are nearly sure to change before the very next report is issued.  It reads more like a sales pitch for the hottest new stock than a prospectus on a known commodity like coffee or sugar or tea.  It's more like evidence that we're continually discovering things we didn't know or fully understand.

If we're really sure of the results, then great.  If climate scientists turn out to be completely wrong and people die in mass numbers from lack of energy resources, they won't simply be regarded as charlatans, they'll be lucky if the public doesn't treat them the way the Puritans treated "witches".  I sincerely doubt that many climate scientists have that level of confidence in their work, else they wouldn't keep altering it.

Environmentalism as Ideology

We have people shooting themselves and their infant children over this Chicken Little nonsense.  99% of us will live, whether it's 2C warmer or cooler and whether some of us have to move or not.  After the lecture about the difference between weather and climate and temperature measurement, we have SpaceNut conflating his local weather situation with climate change.  A 1C warmer world didn't prevent snowfall in New Hampshire.  As you said before, weather is somewhat chaotic, can vary dramatically from year to year, and is relatively poorly understood due to its variability.  Worse yet, we have people in the media, most of whom probably can't balance a checkbook, claiming calamity at every opportunity.  The media attempt to portray themselves as merely reporting information and that they're trustworthy, but if they were trustworthy they'd rail off the lawyer-speak from IPCC every time they make claims that even the IPCC isn't certain about if one reads the fine print.

If the American people generally agree with the IPCC, though I'm not sure why they would without at least reading the disclaimers and attempting to understand what's being presented, then they should also agree with limiting the massive resource drain associated with solar and wind since there's so little to show for our efforts.  Nuclear power works quite well and has worked since before most of us were born.  The fact that nobody has died from radiation associated with civil nuclear power generation in America in roughly a human lifetime is testament to the fact that we have some clue about how it works and how to use it without killing people.

Most of our "nuclear waste" (unexpended nuclear fuel) should be consumed for energy in Thorium-fueled molten salt reactors.  A little fear of the potential dangers associated with using nuclear power is a healthy thing if it gives everyone pause before they do something imprudent with nuclear power, but fear shouldn't paralyze us into inaction.  There's enough readily available Thorium to power America through the next millennia or so while we figure out how to make practical and affordable solar panels and batteries for transformative electrification.  If people are truly worried about terrorism or nation-state attacks on our power generation facilities, then we should defend them with rail guns and megawatt-class lasers capable of obliterating anyone and anything that doesn't belong there.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#13 2018-12-29 21:55:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

As much as we cover the rising sea water levels the opposite happens on land as the fresh water starts to dry up...

Droughts boost emissions as hydropower dries up

folsom-dam-hydropower-drought-empty-hg.jpg

researchers found drought-induced shifts in energy sources led to an additional 100 million tons of carbon dioxide across 11 western states between 2001 and 2015. That's like adding 1.4 million vehicles per year to the region's roadways.

In addition we have seen large forest fires which have dumped even more co2 into the air making the issue even more grave.

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#14 2018-12-29 23:25:14

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

SpaceNut,

Whenever our self-appointed environmentalists decide to come back to the negotiating table, with respect to which forms of power are 24/7/365 reliable and available, there's only one real option and that's always been nuclear power.  Environmentalists lied their little rear ends off about solar panels and wind farms and they're the precise reason why there are more CO2 emissions for them to complain about.

Environmentalists' brains are stuck in an infinite programming loop that ignores objective reality.  Solar panels don't work at night, wind farms are absurdly inefficient and costly, and there's no such thing as a grid scale battery.  Unless solar panels can run off of starlight, wind turbines can overturn the laws of aerodynamics, or batteries that have never existed suddenly leap into existence overnight, then those of them who are truly concerned about the environment have some tough choices to make.

Do environmentalists continue their obvious fraud or admit that their subversive activities are the cause of at least half of the CO2 emissions since they're the ones who have so vocally opposed nuclear power?

Dr. Zubrin has a pretty interesting take on our anti-humanist environmentalists:

Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists & the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism

Interestingly, he also touches upon the environmentalists' fraud regarding the use of DDT.

Edit:

Here is Dr. Zubrin's message to all of us:

Ideas have consequences.

If the idea is accepted that the world's resources are fixed, then each new life is unwelcome, each unregulated act of thought is a menace, every person is fundamentally the enemy of every other person, and each race or nation is [the] enemy of every other race or nation.  The ultimate outcome of such a worldview can only be enforced stagnation, tyranny, war, and genocide.

Only in a world of unlimited resources can all men be brothers.

That is why we must totally reject antihumanism, and embrace instead an ethic based on faith in the human capacity for creativity and invention.  For in doing so, we make a statement that we are living not at the end of history, but at the beginning of history; that we believe in freedom and not regimentation; in progress and not stasis; in love rather than hate; in life rather than death; in hope rather than despair.

- Dr. Robert Zubrin

Last edited by kbd512 (2018-12-30 00:05:23)

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#15 2018-12-30 02:24:25

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Josh,

I'm sure that you will discount anything I say, so I bring to you the message of those who are "in the know" about climate change:

CLIMATE CHANGE 2001: THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS

"In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system's future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Third Assessment Report (2001), Section 14.2.2.2, page 774

Let me translate what that actually means for the rest of our readers.  Our climate models have no ability whatsoever to predict the future.  The most that an extremely high fidelity climate model could possibly tell us, assuming all relevant inputs and mathematical equations that govern climate behavior are actually known / quantified / reduced to mathematical equations, is to produce a valid probability distribution.  In statistics, a probability distribution is a mathematical function used to determine the probability of a specific outcome from a mathematical equation, a computer model driven off of a system of mathematical equations, or an experiment.

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#16 2018-12-30 10:48:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Repost climate as it relates

RobertDyck wrote:

On Earth, winter solstice marks the middle of winter. That's the shortest day and longest night; it's cold, plants are dormant, crops don't grow. Summer solstice marks the middle of summer (not middle, not "start" as the media often says). That's the longest day and shortest night, it's warm. Harvest is an important date, but harvest depends on latitude. For example, Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday of October, in the US it's the 4th Thursday of November. I live in Winnipeg, roughly 100km (62 miles) north of North Dakota. We usually say 60 miles, it depends which point in they city you measure from. Here the first snow that stays used to arrive in the beginning of November, you could have snow in the end of October but it would melt. The last couple years the first snow appears a couple weeks later, middle to end of November.

Sort of shows the lag of the heat laden areas from the summers influence to the climate that we are seeing. As Robert Dyck noted the winter snow might come when its expected but its to warm to stay for winter it is really delayed and it leaves on time. This is the same observation which I am seeing as well...

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#17 2018-12-30 10:53:58

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

The tiny state of NH had Seabrock station built in the later parts of the 70' through the 80's which drove businesses out due to high electricity costs and finally the cost of construction is passed on to the consumer for building which continues to balloon the costs as its going through its life cycle which will soon mean mothballing decomissioning costs will be passed onto the consumer.

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#18 2018-12-30 13:40:43

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

SpaceNut,

You can thank our government in general, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in particular, for the expense and construction time associated with New Hampshire's Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant.  Why did NRC drive up the cost of construction and licensing to unsustainable levels?  I honestly don't know.  They've since learned from their mistakes.  Watts Bar cost only $5B to construct, from start to finish, two decades later.

From Wikipedia:

In the NRC's own words, "a paradigm of fragmented and uncoordinated government decision making, ... a system strangling itself and the economy in red tape."

Now that you've complained about the past, which can't be changed, here are the benefits of Seabrook to New Hampshire:

* Seabrook Station directly employs 650 people that earn more than double the average salary of workers in Rockingham County and Strafford County
* Seabrook Station generates approximately 40 percent of New Hampshire's total electricity, and its emission-free operation helps avoid the emission of nearly 4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of taking almost 700,000 cars off the road
* Seabrook Station contributes $535 million of economic activity locally and contributes $1.4 billion to the U.S. economy each year, and for every dollar of output from Seabrook Station, the local economy produced $1.34
* Seabrook Station's financial contributions to local environmental groups over the previous decade amounted to more than $1 million

1 old BWR at Seabrook generates 40% of New Hampshire's power.  2 modern reactors at Seabrook would generate 100% of New Hampshire's power.  If 4 million tons of carbon-free electricity is good for the environment, then 10 million tons would be better.  You already have a reactor at Seabrook.  That land will never be used for anything else, so why not build the second reactor there?

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#19 2018-12-30 20:11:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

I think there were some funding issues for the original builder for going any further for Seabrook though that may have changed with the regional merger that took place in the current decade. The Hydro power project from canada is also suggested to cause a drop in power costs but that is also been slowed as the powerlines cut through the white mountains of the state and many small towns. The powerlines  which are slated to be above ground which require the right of way for the poles to be clear cut. No one believes what the power companies are telling them with good reason from the past.

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#20 2018-12-30 20:38:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Just how often will people living in Albuquerque, New Mexico get to enjoy a snow day. They got to on Dec. 28 and they made the most of it despite temperatures below freezing.

So does that mean we are heading for a glacier to form over the north american continent again?

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#21 2018-12-31 04:31:55

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,176

Re: The Science of Climate Change

The problem with nuclear fission power is that, if things go wrong, they can go wrong in ways that can take out whole swathes of your country ie make them uninhabitable or unusable for human purposes for decades or even hundreds of years. That's not true of any other form of power.  Hydropower can have disastrous consequences - if a dam breaks - but it doesn't make for future no go zones.

In order to prevent the worst case scenarios you have to put in place so many technology and human-based safety hardware and procedures that the whole thing ends up being horrendously expensive - which is exactly where we are now. And of course, the more safety processes you put in place, the more you raise the suspicions of the general public about the technology.

Fission power is never going to answer our energy needs. Fusion might if fusion becomes a reality.

kbd512 wrote:

SpaceNut,

You can thank our government in general, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in particular, for the expense and construction time associated with New Hampshire's Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant.  Why did NRC drive up the cost of construction and licensing to unsustainable levels?  I honestly don't know.  They've since learned from their mistakes.  Watts Bar cost only $5B to construct, from start to finish, two decades later.

From Wikipedia:

In the NRC's own words, "a paradigm of fragmented and uncoordinated government decision making, ... a system strangling itself and the economy in red tape."

Now that you've complained about the past, which can't be changed, here are the benefits of Seabrook to New Hampshire:

* Seabrook Station directly employs 650 people that earn more than double the average salary of workers in Rockingham County and Strafford County
* Seabrook Station generates approximately 40 percent of New Hampshire's total electricity, and its emission-free operation helps avoid the emission of nearly 4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of taking almost 700,000 cars off the road
* Seabrook Station contributes $535 million of economic activity locally and contributes $1.4 billion to the U.S. economy each year, and for every dollar of output from Seabrook Station, the local economy produced $1.34
* Seabrook Station's financial contributions to local environmental groups over the previous decade amounted to more than $1 million

1 old BWR at Seabrook generates 40% of New Hampshire's power.  2 modern reactors at Seabrook would generate 100% of New Hampshire's power.  If 4 million tons of carbon-free electricity is good for the environment, then 10 million tons would be better.  You already have a reactor at Seabrook.  That land will never be used for anything else, so why not build the second reactor there?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#22 2018-12-31 09:20:45

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Louis,

Could you post what you think will happen if we start using more nuclear power?

"It costs too much and it's too dangerous" are utterly meaningless platitudes that willfully ignore economic and mathematical reality when it comes to providing enough power to feed, clothe, and house hundreds of millions of people.

Too expensive compared to what?

What else do you think we're going to use the land area now occupied by nuclear power plants for, either now or in the next century?

At the end of 2017, the US was #2 in the world for installed solar power behind China.  It produced just 1.44% of America's electricity.

Topaz Solar Farm cost $2.4B to construct and output was 1,268GWh in 2017.  It's absolutely ideally located in a place that is pretty much a cloudless desert.  Annual capacity factor is less than 26.32% (stellar).  Anything less ideally located will cost more and produce less.

Seabrook's BWR output 9,990GWh in 2017 and its capacity factor was 91.53% (average).

Installed capacity is meaningless if you can't actually use it.  On paper, Topaz shouldn't produce much less power than Seabrook.  As always, reality is different from numbers scribbled on a piece of paper.

If we project the absurdity of expense that NRC's dysfunction created for construction of Seabrook, equivalent output from PV still cost $18.9B compared to Seabrook's $12.9B.  If we presume future licensing efforts are more like Watts Bar #2, which cost $5B from start to licensing to produce commercial power, then PV is still more than 3 times as expensive.  We still have to pay to build another gas turbine plant to operate at night when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow, as the British have found to their chagrin with their own wind farms.  Intermittent sources are completely absurd for supplying base load power, especially for an Island nation such as the UK.  Germany's emission keep going up, despite adding mass quantities of solar and wind.  There's a point at which trying to use more solar and wind simply doesn't work.

If we spend $10B on reactors such as those at Watts Bar, then that $10B investment provides 20,000GWh per year.  The same output cost $38.4B if we attempt to use PV, or $28.4B.  With the $28.4B saved, that's enough for another 5 reactors that produce the same output.  Those 5 additional reactors generate another 50,000GWh per year for those who like cost-effective energy.

For all those who complain about the cost of nuclear and proclaim that solar is cheap and cheerful, show me your math.  Don't tell me about what you think something should cost and produce or might cost and produce in the future when I'm citing real figures about what things actually cost and produce.  Let's stop BS'ing each other and post real data.

Dangerous compared to what?

The US has been using nuclear power since we invented it.  There have been precisely zero deaths associated with radiation releases from nuclear reactor meltdowns at civil nuclear power plants in the US in that period of time.  Perhaps you're so ideologically dead set against the use of nuclear power that you think that's all just dumb luck.  In reality, nobody is that lucky.

Nowhere is it written in stone that we must continue to use 1950's fission reactor technology.  The use of water as a coolant, while perhaps expedient at the time since nuclear power was originally developed for the US Navy, was ultimately a bad idea if the reactor isn't floating in its coolant source.  The use of highly pressurized water as a coolant is attributable to all commercial reactor meltdowns.  Humans, rather than insurmountable design defects, were the ultimate cause of all commercial nuclear power accidents, but the need for extremely high pressure water was what sealed the fate of the destroyed reactors.

For me, this isn't about what I'd rather have.  Of course I'd rather have solar panels on my roof than a nuclear reactor down the street, but I also know how to count.  If the math doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out.  You can play whatever game you want and attempt to ignore the obvious problem, but that won't make the problem go away.  There's never a shortage of problems in life, and this is just one more to add to the list, but there's no problem so bad that you can't make it worse.  As bad as nuclear power may appear, I assure you that the alternative solutions are much worse.

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#23 2018-12-31 19:08:42

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,176

Re: The Science of Climate Change

I don't think we will start using more nuclear power, if you mean fission. That age is past. In nearly all countries it is not the least costly option.  It's more expensive than natural gas and solar already in most countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_e … lectricity

Yes with solar, you still need to solve the storage problem ultimately if you want a complete energy solution. But that is being resolved year by year.  Natural gas and solar make for a pretty good fit I think until the storage issue is completely resolved. Much better than nuclear plus jeopardy.

If you use nuclear fission power you have to prepare for terrorist attack and fatal errors that can have generational consequences.

If you are thinking about your nifty Toshiba style low output units, they are even more vulnerable to terrorist attack unless you are going to put an army unit around each one.

kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

Could you post what you think will happen if we start using more nuclear power?

"It costs too much and it's too dangerous" are utterly meaningless platitudes that willfully ignore economic and mathematical reality when it comes to providing enough power to feed, clothe, and house hundreds of millions of people.

Too expensive compared to what?

That's one of the problems with nuclear - decommissioning the sites is hugely expensive...so yes, no good uses for nuclear power sites. Decommissioning a solar power site is probably a couple of days' work.

The US solar power output is pretty pathetic. Germany, which has a highly industrialised and competitive economy, produces 7% of its electricity in a country that has far less insolation potential than the USA.

What else do you think we're going to use the land area now occupied by nuclear power plants for, either now or in the next century?

At the end of 2017, the US was #2 in the world for installed solar power behind China.  It produced just 1.44% of America's electricity.

Quoting specific sites is pretty meaningless. You need to look at levelised cost and who is winning contracts all around the globe.

Topaz Solar Farm cost $2.4B to construct and output was 1,268GWh in 2017.  It's absolutely ideally located in a place that is pretty much a cloudless desert.  Annual capacity factor is less than 26.32% (stellar).  Anything less ideally located will cost more and produce less.

Seabrook's BWR output 9,990GWh in 2017 and its capacity factor was 91.53% (average).

Installed capacity is meaningless if you can't actually use it.  On paper, Topaz shouldn't produce much less power than Seabrook.  As always, reality is different from numbers scribbled on a piece of paper.

If we project the absurdity of expense that NRC's dysfunction created for construction of Seabrook, equivalent output from PV still cost $18.9B compared to Seabrook's $12.9B.  If we presume future licensing efforts are more like Watts Bar #2, which cost $5B from start to licensing to produce commercial power, then PV is still more than 3 times as expensive.  We still have to pay to build another gas turbine plant to operate at night when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow, as the British have found to their chagrin with their own wind farms.  Intermittent sources are completely absurd for supplying base load power, especially for an Island nation such as the UK.  Germany's emission keep going up, despite adding mass quantities of solar and wind.  There's a point at which trying to use more solar and wind simply doesn't work.

If we spend $10B on reactors such as those at Watts Bar, then that $10B investment provides 20,000GWh per year.  The same output cost $38.4B if we attempt to use PV, or $28.4B.  With the $28.4B saved, that's enough for another 5 reactors that produce the same output.  Those 5 additional reactors generate another 50,000GWh per year for those who like cost-effective energy.

For all those who complain about the cost of nuclear and proclaim that solar is cheap and cheerful, show me your math.  Don't tell me about what you think something should cost and produce or might cost and produce in the future when I'm citing real figures about what things actually cost and produce.  Let's stop BS'ing each other and post real data.

The US was behind both the Soviet Union and UK in producing electricity for grids via nuclear power.

I have never been someone who emphasised the risk of deaths from everyday nuclear power generation. In that respect it's like hydro...
It's the disaster scenarios you have to take account of, if you are looking at this responsibly. The problem with nuclear power is two fold: unintended error and terrorism each of which could effectively destroy large parts of your country.

I suggest you look at the price graphs for solar and nuclear: the former dropping like a stone and the latter rising slowly.

There is no obvious floor for solar power prices - they could easily drop by 90% from where we are now.  There are so many potential technological innovations and none involve the "disaster scenario" costs involved with nuclear.

Dangerous compared to what?

The US has been using nuclear power since we invented it.  There have been precisely zero deaths associated with radiation releases from nuclear reactor meltdowns at civil nuclear power plants in the US in that period of time.  Perhaps you're so ideologically dead set against the use of nuclear power that you think that's all just dumb luck.  In reality, nobody is that lucky.

Nowhere is it written in stone that we must continue to use 1950's fission reactor technology.  The use of water as a coolant, while perhaps expedient at the time since nuclear power was originally developed for the US Navy, was ultimately a bad idea if the reactor isn't floating in its coolant source.  The use of highly pressurized water as a coolant is attributable to all commercial reactor meltdowns.  Humans, rather than insurmountable design defects, were the ultimate cause of all commercial nuclear power accidents, but the need for extremely high pressure water was what sealed the fate of the destroyed reactors.

For me, this isn't about what I'd rather have.  Of course I'd rather have solar panels on my roof than a nuclear reactor down the street, but I also know how to count.  If the math doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out.  You can play whatever game you want and attempt to ignore the obvious problem, but that won't make the problem go away.  There's never a shortage of problems in life, and this is just one more to add to the list, but there's no problem so bad that you can't make it worse.  As bad as nuclear power may appear, I assure you that the alternative solutions are much worse.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#24 2018-12-31 19:10:59

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,011

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Getting back to the core issue of global climate change, those of us with a somewhat lesser understanding of statistics should really watch these videos so they know what scientists prognosticating global climate change catastrophe are actually telling them when they claim things that their own disclaimers say they can't possibly prove with any degree of certainty.  No matter what your politics happen to be, if you click on and actually listen to one of the two YouTube videos I posted below, then you'll quickly learn about what our global climate models are actually worth.

The Crisis Of Evidence, Or, Why Probability & Statistics Cannot Discover Cause

Disclaimer:

Some fun may be had at the expense of Democrats or liberals in the above video.  I'm in no way responsible for any increases in cancer of the albondigas associated with watching this video.  This video is known to the State of California to increase the risk of questioning and perhaps even dropping support for idiotic "global climate change alarmist" environmental policies predicated on pretenses that even liberal politicians agree are provably false, yet intend to implement anyway, "because that's the same mistake everyone else makes".  I only wish I was kidding about that last statement in quotes, but a California politician actually said that and Dr. Briggs has it on tape.

Lessons to be learned:

Correlation never proves causation and even with mountains of evidence, causation itself is extraordinarily difficult to mathematically prove.  If causation is provable, actually doing something about it at the expense of some absurd sum of money is often virtually meaningless in nature.

Statistical Follies and Epidemiology. William Matthew ("Matt") Briggs, Ph.D.

Disclaimer:

Some fun may be had at the expense of Republicans or conservatives in the above video.  I'm in no way responsible for any Democrats switching parties from watching this video.

Lessons to be learned:

If a peer-reviewed scientific paper on psychology says that exposure to the American Flag turns Democrats into Republicans, I have some nice beachfront property in Arizona and a bridge in Brooklyn that I'll sell ya for a great price.  Much of the "evidence" presented as proof of global climate change is often a series of assumptions based upon other assumptions, few to none of which were actually observed in nature, just "inferred" or "interpolated" using models.  Sadly, there's probably more empirical evidence that the American Flag turns Democrats into Republicans than there is for global climate change, but my oh my can we ever make absurdity look really "official".

If papers that have passed peer review have as little bearing on reality as the American Flag psychology gimmick, try to imagine what that says about papers that have not passed peer review, were involved in grossly deficient peer review processes, or rely upon a literal house-of-cards set of assumptions as the scientific basis for the conclusions presented.  Science is not consensus-based and it requires robust peer review processes for a reason.  That reason relates back the beachfront property in Arizona and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Learning something useful from the research and data we're given is often difficult and fraught with error, but remaining ignorant is a choice.  In a world where true wisdom is hard to come by, there is wisdom in questioning any models not backed by empirical evidence.

There is no evidence of runaway climate change in Earth's geological past and we've had ice ages with 4,000ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere.  Is there correlation between CO2 and temperature?  I think that's a reasonable assumption, given available data.  Is there causation?  If there was, then a major CO2 increase should not lag a temperature increase by 800 years or so.  It doesn't matter where it occurred in our history.  Causation has to be very consistent to be provable.  The effects of gravity, for example, are not really open to debate.  If you hold a rock out and drop it, there's only one direction that rock is going and it's not "up".  Unfortunately, no such crystal clear relationship exists between CO2 and climate.

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#25 2018-12-31 19:22:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,734

Re: The Science of Climate Change

Statistics are like accountants in that hard numbers rule and anything that looks like a variable is out....hence disclaimers are used as predicting such is not all that possible when man can change, values expected can be over or under estimated....as for sudden rise in climate no none have been seen but only sudden glaciation has happened with a gradual warming rather than staying a frosty frozen deep freezer at which we are plunged back into the frozen once more.

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