Sometimes, the strangest things interrupt the most innocent of tasks.
As usual, this being Friday and all, the communications center bathrooms were locked up tight with a bright pink, hand scrawled note, stapled, not taped, stapled, to the door proclaiming that the washrooms were out of service for maintenance. I don’t know what the boys in the Janitorial Pool are up to but it shouldn’t take every Friday for the last three months to finish fixing what needs to be fixed. I suspect they were playing a joke on our section’s illustrious head honcho, who, as is his custom, was nowhere to be seen.
I really had to go.
Another attack on Michael Mann, but not because of some error he’s made in his science, but because he’s tired of being the target of bullshit attacks.
Michael Mann, the Father of the Hockey Stick graph — you know, the one where they had to “hide the decline” — seems to have a predilection for making implausible claims. Mann has sued the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Mark Steyn for libel, under the legal theory that he should not be subject to “public figure” rules, because he was “an involuntary public figure.” He explains the tragedy of his becoming a “target” in an essay published in The Scientist.
Aside from complaining that Mann is suing or libel, the author of this blog entry can’t even get the facts of a debunked denialist meme correct. He apparently still believes the ‘decline’ was of temperatures and used in the ‘Hockey stick graph’ even though it has been shown several times by different people that neither point is correct.
Apparently, using science to debunk climate change denial arguments isn’t allowed, because the arguments are all from the supposedly falsified general circulation models (GCM) and thereby falsified themselves. I suppose the thinking goes along the following lines – if the GCMs fail, and they contain a number of algorithms based on physics, chemistry and thermodynamics, then those algorithms must also be wrong.
Aside from the fact most of the math, lab experiments and conclusions used in climate science were made decades ago, and in at least one case more than a century ago, the whole argument sounds an awful lot like the Fallacy of Division. I doubt that make any difference in the minds of the righteous anti-science groupies, but I’m going to take a run at it anyway.
After making a quick visit to a blog I was introduced to on Twitter, and noticing the incredible number of errors I decided to take just a short segment of it and see how many corrections I could make to the information. This post is the result of examining just two paragraphs a little more closely than I did in my first perusal.
The quotes are taken directly from the blog, and I’ve included a link to it so context can be checked.
“What we don’t know is there might not be any evidence to back it up because much of the evidence has been “adjusted” to support the global warming craze.”
Any adjustments that have been made to temperatures have been made to account for UHI, altitude, where temperatures are affected by the lapse rate, and to remove outliers, whether they are too high or too low. All adjustments have been documented in peer reviewed journals and their functionality reviewed by independent scientists.
“What we do know is that our planet has supported life for thousands of years and we do not have nearly as much positive or negative impact on it as we are led to believe. ”
Life has existed on land for at least 350,000,000 years, and has experienced 21 different mass die outs. Our concern is the ecology as it stands today, and how rapid changes will affect not just the biosphere but human culture. Adaptation takes time, and rapid change can result in conditions even humans can find difficult.
Nobody has ever claimed we have direct control of the climate. What we do have is control over a source of CO2 that has been segregated from the normal carbon cycle for several million years. In complex systems even small changes, if made in the right area, can have large consequences. The world’s most potent poison, Clostridium botulinum, doesn’t kill through volume – it only takes 0.4 billionth of a gram per kilogram of weight to kill – but through which biological system it affects. CO2 does something similar. All radiation from the sun that doesn’t get reflected back to space has its frequency changed to the UV band. CO2 is invisible to almost all radiation but UV. This means that non-UV radiation coming to Earth bypasses CO2 but after that radiation is converted to UV it gets absorbed by CO2 on the way back out to space.
“The key factor of the global warming argument, critically concentrated Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere, is a fallacy because our planet’s ecosystem would actually do better in concentrated CO2 environments.”
This comment is a fallacy. It’s a straw man argument. Ecologies adapt extremely well, but they do so on geological time frames, not human time frames. We’re concerned with the next several hundred years, not the next several thousand years.
Not all plants improve with increased CO2. Aside from that, the biggest problem with this argument is the effect rising temperatures have on climate patterns. For plants to benefit from increased CO2, both ground nitrogen and available H2O have to keep pace with the increased CO2. Without those two other molecules increased CO2 does little to nothing.
“Some greenhouses even use a warming technique to improve the growth rates of their plants.”
The warming is to encourage growth in plants that have evolved in tropical environments. Those same greenhouses frequently add CO2. Those same greenhouses also supply extra water and nitrogen. See above.
“Our oceans help to regulate the atmospheric temperature and keep it balanced. We have nothing to do with this process and research scientists know that.”
The reason the ocean regulates the temperature is because its mass is far greater than that of the atmosphere, it takes far longer to heat up and cool off than the atmosphere or even the land does. However if the oceans do heat up, as they are, then the only regulation they’ll do is to warm the atmosphere even more. The oceans also regulate the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by absorbing CO2, until it warms up to a point where less CO2 is being absorbed than being released.
The Earth’s carbon balance has varied by no more than a couple of dozen ppmv from the mean of 280 ppmv for more than 50 million years. By releasing carbon that has been sequestered from the atmosphere since at least that time, we’ve boosted the atmospheric concentration to 400 ppmv