Thursday, December 22, 2011

Climate change and the holiday season

This short video, made with the help of my great undergraduate assistant Cory Kleinschmidt, tells the story of how climate change might be affecting a holiday tradition among many Canadian families, including my own.


Tom Curtis said...

Thanks. Great video.

Hisham Zerriffi said...

Nicely done. One quick thing, the credits at the end flashed by way too fast to read.

Anonymous said...

"Silly email scandal"??? O_o

Anonymous said...

And the global warming scam continues. Pls. give tax payers a break and stop promoting this scam.


Simon Donner said...

Silly? True, it's hard to adequately describe that episode with one adjective. As I've said many times, I can certainly see why the CRU e-mails might change the way one views some climate scientists, but they should not change the way one views climate science. I'm not proud of the cat-tiness of some in the profession, but that doesn't change the laws of physics, chemistry or statistics.

Otter said...

'but that doesn't change the laws of physics, chemistry or statistics. '

No it doesn't. But the scientists you want to believe in, DO. And they are Desperate to keep that fact hidden from the public.

Looking forward to Climategate 3.0

John Marshall said...

Climate has always changed the argument is about cause. Since temperature drives atmospheric CO2 levels which lag temperature by 800-1000years the current rise in CO2 is caused by the Medieval Warm Period which research tells us was warmer than today and the temperatures rose faster than those of today. Stop making stupid claims that temperature rises now are unpresidented they are not. CO2 has never driven climate only the sun can do that.

Vindicated said...

Nice video, well done and you will not find an AGW skeptic who doesn't believe climate is changing. That is a fact, and facts don't lie, the fact is, climate has been changing since the beginning of time. One comment in the video says it all..." global rise in temperatures unprecedented in recent history of our planet."
The recent history in the history of mankind, is a blink of an eye , in just the recent history of the earth. And, apparently climate has changed mysteriously for eons and eons of time.
Like I said, no climate change skeptic will argue that the climate isn't changing, the only argument is if mans contribution to the earth is having any effect what so ever. All we ask for is honest to goodness truth and facts backed up by real data, not manipulated or doctored ( shown obviously in your so-called email scam ) The truth is, man's impact on global climate changes are impossible. To me, it is rather silly, that we could control the earths temperature, and so far, no scientist can show us real proof...that my friend is the sad truth. Man-made global warming is a scam, and will be revealed as such ( even more so now that we have seen the email )
Yes, climate will change, we will adapt...get used to it..
Merry Christmas

MrCannuckistan said...

First of all an 0.8c rise in temperature over the past 150 years is so small that the annual increase (0.00533c) is dwarfed by daily fluctuations in Toronto (8c) and the seasonal fluctuations (37.3c).

Second, just because the planet has had a slight warming doesn't mean that man is causing it. There are plenty of other studies (other than the secret (sacred?) hockey stick) that show temperatures higher than today since the dawn of man 200k years ago.

Thankfully, this drivel they call science is dying a faster death these days and we can move on to real issues like the Mercury rules just announce recently.


whitetower said...

Simon Donner said,
"I can certainly see why the CRU e-mails might change the way one views some climate scientists, but they should not change the way one views climate science."

The point of the release of the emails is that the science is junk -- Mann, Jones et al simply conjured up data (and then tried to hide the fact)to fit their preconceived beliefs about global warming, namely, that the earth's climate is warming precipitously due to man-made causes.

There is no "hockey stick." It's made-up.

Simon Donner said...

Ah, great to see the warm spirit of the holidays here at Maribo. And the last few comments were all from family.

Seriously, for those of you who passionately detest Mann, Jones, the hockey stick, climate scientists, etc., let me ask this: is there a line or form of evidence that could convince you that human activity was changing the climate? If so, what is it? If not, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Wes said...

Just drifted across this thread. I’ll take a personal stab at your question. I can’t speak for anyone else but in my business probability inference requires the real discipline of responsible data handling. When I looked into this it turned out that the “simple math,” or the “high school level physics,” I so often hear bandied about, do not in fact suggest significant warming as a result of the C02 we’ve added to the atmosphere. It seems that to get beyond a rather incremental warming in extreme northern and southern latitudes we require the addition of a mathematical constant, a multiplication factor based theoretical ‘feedbacks,’ which amply the warming effect. I can’t see that these have been empirically demonstrated, and it seems every effort is made to hide this from the public. What it would take for me is a sense first of all that we have reliable data – and it appears to me we have reason to question - and then secondly I would want to see a skilled and responsible statistical inference (i.e., that somebody somewhere in this business has some sense of the value of a null hypotheses and that the current warming is unusual enough as to break from a pattern of natural causation). That part I know something about and what I see from the mainstream scientific community on seems desperately lacking. In other words, first of all show me a significant correlation between oceanic and/or atmospheric temperature and CO2 increase, (necessitating an adequately accurate and sizeable data set) ordered to suggest the possibility of causation and with at least a good faith effort to tease free from obvious confounding variables (e.g., oceanic currents, the sun, natural cycles, etc.). In view of the obvious temptations of greed, fame, ideology, politics, career advancement and noble cause corruption attached to this issue this would be a minimum.

Rod Molyneux said...

Nice try Simon but you seem to have ignored the evidence of the very graphs you use to make your point! The warming has been taking place from when this particular data set commences in 1845. There is no evidence here to show that man made CO2 emissions have been causing this warming - indeed the opposite is more logical given the warming which has taken place prior to the industrial era. Going further back, a mere 16000 years, a veritable blink of the eye in the history of this planet the place where I sit and type this in Northern England was covered by a kilometre thick ice sheet. Now THAT is global warming and we certainly didn't cause it. Please stop worrying and enjoy your Christmas. The planet will do what the planet will do and our resources are better used in adapting to change rather than thinking we have the power to turn the earth's thermostat up or down by changing our lightbulbs and building windmills! Merry Christmas anyway!

Bob Armstrong said...

Simon ,
To convince me , show me the physics . By which I mean computable equations . What I see in "climate science" is pathetically amateurish math . I have yet to see evidence that the journeyman "climate scientist" actually knows how to calculate the temperature of a radiantly heated gray ball much less a varicolored sphere like our earth . Question : do you agree with the statement that we have about 10c difference between earth's observed temperature and that of a gray ball in our orbit ? Do you understand that a radiantly heated gray ball in our orbit comes to about 279k no matter how light or dark a gray it is ?

That would be a start .

Simon Donner said...

I appreciate that many of the commenters who took time out of their holiday weekend to rant are very legitimately frustrated about the perceived influence and quality of the scientific evidence that human activity is changing the climate. Something beyond science is at play in these arguments; it must be, because both you and I all seem to think we have fundamental physics on our side. So I know I won't change your minds, I'm not even going to try. All I can say to comments like Bob's is that we go over that very physics of a temperature of a spherical planet out in space in the introductory class I teach, just like scientists do at other universities around the planet. And those courses are taught by people who, like myself, took entire graduate courses called "Radiation" or "Radiative pjhysics"

Vindicated said...

Simon, you offered a challenge " is there a line or form of evidence that could convince you that human activity was changing the climate?"
Yes , there is, personally i would like to see the alarmists sit down with the leading scientific skeptics to man-made global warming , and at the end of the day/week/ or month, if the skeptics came away and said " HEY.. they are right !! they convinced me, then I would probably take it seriously.
But they won't and they can't, all they want to do is say the science is settled. They refuse to debate the subject . How can it be settled when there is so much unknown, and so many contrary indicators to the theory.
Actually I am shocked that you consider yourself to be an educated person, and yet you accept this dogma as the gospel ( there's that religion again ) . Think about this , if all you have ever been told about something is a lie, then, to you , it is the truth. Think about cults/religions etc..
I am old enough to remember the scare I got in the 70's when my daddy told me that we were going to go back to an ice age..seriously, I was scared..that is why I still remember it, I never forgot it. Think what you guys are doing to an entire generation of kids today, it is disgusting and sickening. Your global warming scam if you look at its roots is in the David Suzuki/WWF and his bad..planet good.
Anyway, back to the proof...lets see it, and lets have the skeptics say ..hey ...they are right.. won't happen.
Also, I am not with any group/company/family etc , I am a skeptic because the science is not settled because the likes of Al Gore says it is ( I am a Canadian in Nova Scotia )
Merry Christmas:

Wes said...

My last comment here. Just doing my Christmas good deed. In the grand scehme, maybe together we can save some subsitance farmers from being murdered or thrown off their land for some carbon credit trading scheme. Something beyond science is at play in all scientfic arguments, Mr. Donner. You asked what would suffice for evidence. Some posters took a shot at telling you. Then it seems you shift the ground you are walking on and equalize the onus, stating "both you and I think we have the fundamental physics on our side." Actually, it is you who claim to have the chemistry and physics of planetary climate - and what to do about it - figured out. I am suspecting you might not know how little you actualy know. That you would see having taken or teaching a graduate course as meaningful evidence to the contrary - well let's just say there's some irony here.

Bob Armstrong said...

So Simon , you agree with both my statements ? You agree that the total "warming" to be explained by all spectral effects is about 10c , not the 33c absurd irrelevancy that continues to be spouted on both sides of the debate as the "null hypothesis" ?

If you've got the physics on the side that our perhaps 5% contribution to the natural carbon cycle can make more than a minuscule change to our spectrum ( and therefore temperature ) why is it impossible to find a coherent , quantitative explanation on a level anybody with even a basic college math education can follow ?

On perhaps an even more fundamental level , why do alarmists try to continually dismiss the most basic fact that life exists on earth only because it started with a CO2 rather than O2 atmosphere and plants thrive on several time the current level . It is provably greening the globe .

Finally , see Climate realists testify before the Canadian Senate for some serious arguments against the alarmist position .

Hank Roberts said...

> if the skeptics came away and
> said " HEY.. they are right !!
> ... then I would probably
> take it seriously.

EliRabett said...

When the bomb squad guy runs by you at high speed it is time to get it in gear. Of course you could always say he doesn't know a thing.

As to the various hand wavers Bob Grumbine's set to with McIntyre on what constitutes "engineering level" was indicative. It was simply hand waving o McIntyre's part.

Hank Roberts said...

You got approaching a definitive climate bingo thread here. Is this the talking point test paste area?

Victor Venema said...

Simon, do you know of anyone having tried to model the time of freezing or breakup of lakes? Is that consistent with the observed warming? The AR4 talks about Duguay et al. (2003), but that seems to model mainly year to year variability over short periods.

It would be nice to see how it fits, especially as the shortening in the frozen period seems to start earlier than the rise in the global mean temperature in the main collections.

Some recent studies suggest that the warm bias in the early instrumental period (pre Stevenson screen) may have been larger than we thought. Also see level rise seems to start in 1850-1900, which hints at an earlier start of warming, but SLR uncertainties are unfortunately so high that everything fits within the uncertainties.

Simon Donner said...

Victor -

There was a 2012 paper in Env't Res Letters by Damyanov et al. that used a simple algorithm to estimate length of the urban skating season for Canadian cities. But I can't think of a paper modelling ice cover on small lakes across large scales; that's something I've actually hoped to do in my lab.

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