Global Climate Confusion

So. Global climate change alarmists are … well alarmed. But gosh, if CO2 levels increase that encourages greater plant growth. Seems to me that is a good, not a bad thing.

Fresh water is predicted to be a shortage problem in many areas in the globe. But higher tropospheric and ocean water temperatures will lead to increased evaporation into the atmosphere, which in turn will lead to increased rainfall, which is fresh water. Again. Good thing.

Now, some bad things might result. Some people might have to move. But people aren’t trees. We are mobile. We can construct dikes (see the Netherlands or New Orleans and other reasons inhabited regions close to oceans and below sea level).

So. Question: why do climate alarmist never ever mention the positive aspects of warming? Seems to me most of the changes would be good, not bad.

But if we want to warm things up, we have to work a lot harder people? This CO2 thing isn’t going to help much.

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17 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    It is dated now (2001) but Bjorn Lomborg did consider both the pros and cons to global warming in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist. Few of your pros were much good, from what I recall. However there were some pros you missed…for example, cold causes more deaths than heat every year so fewer deep winters would probably be a net benefit. Air conditioning is likewise less energy intense than heating. However he still came out with global warming as a net threat if I recall.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Skeptical_Environmentalist#4._Future_threats_to_human_prosperity

    Part of the problem with the cost-benefit analysis he advocates, though, is the lack of good data on what it would really cost to reduce CO2. Usually such estimates are simplistic straight lines that say 100 units of GDP in 2000 were associated with 100 units of warming gasses therefore reducing that by 20 units would require a cost equal to 20% of the 2000 baseline GDP. This naturally produces costs of trillions of dollars for any reduction in emmissions or even slowing down emmissions.

    Now, some bad things might result. Some people might have to move. But people aren’t trees. We are mobile. We can construct dikes (see the Netherlands or New Orleans and other reasons inhabited regions close to oceans and below sea level).

    Two risks here are:

    1. Rapid change, which means a massive cost. Having to suddenly protect all of our coastal cities with quickly erected dikes is not a trivial cost. That means less money for things like curing cancer, growing old gracefully, etc.

    2. Unpredictable system changes. It is not certain you are just talking about a gradual warming. If there are ‘tipping points’ then you may see more dramatic problems that are not so easy to contain.

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    However there were some pros you missed

    All are missed ever stinking time by the alarmists. Kinda hurts their credibility, alas.

    Rapid change, which means a massive cost.

    However, this is unlikely.

    If there are ‘tipping points’ then you may see more dramatic problems that are not so easy to contain.

    Ah, the magical unstable equilibrium of temperature in which we live. Alas for the last billion years the tipping point was never reached. Weird, eh? (hence the term magical in the prior sentence).

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    “It is dated now (2001)” .. by a following 14 years of no warming perhaps?

  4. Boonton says:

    All are missed ever stinking time by the alarmists. Kinda hurts their credibility, alas.

    Well the only pro I gave you was that it’s a bigger danger to die from explore to cold in the winter than heat in a heat wave. This is a concern if you are a homeless person in Chicago or NYC. But as a civilization I think there is a more efficient way to prevent people from freezing to death than to try to alter the entire planet’s climate.

    I think many of these pros have the potential to be wiped out by even some modest cons. For example a shift in the prime agricultural regions may appear to be minor on the global scale but in reality could become nightmares. For example, if the world’s best farmland suddenly shifted from the midwest to, say, tropical Brazil we would have a massive food supply problem even if it was simply a ‘swap’ of one to one.

    Ah, the magical unstable equilibrium of temperature in which we live. Alas for the last billion years the tipping point was never reached.

    It wasn’t? Do you even know the climate changes for the last billion years? We’ve covered everything from ‘ice ball earth’ (when the earth essentially looked like the planet Hoth from Star Wars) to super hot earth. Dinosaurs never charted GDP on a yearly basis so we have no formal ‘cost estimatse’ of such shifts left behind in the historical record. It hardly follows that one should assume it is safe to alter equilibriums and assume the changes in output would only be gentle, moderate shifts.

    “It is dated now (2001)” .. by a following 14 years of no warming perhaps?

    There is no such pause in warming. We’ve been warming since 2001.

    http://www.planetexperts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/warmest.png

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Well the only pro I gave you was that it’s a bigger danger to die from explore to cold in the winter than heat in a heat wave

    Well, that’s a problem isn’t it. There are quote a number of items on the “pro” side. But your alarmism stance weakens when you admit to them (which is also why you cling to the ones which are less valuable … helping alleviate global water shortages seems significant thing).

    For example, if the world’s best farmland suddenly shifted from the midwest to, say, tropical Brazil we would have a massive food supply problem even if it was simply a ‘swap’ of one to one.

    Warming? Huh?

    But as a civilization I think there is a more efficient way to prevent people from freezing to death than to try to alter the entire planet’s climate.

    ?? Who is arguing that? I’ve said more rain and more crops. In the past I’ve noted that will open up to a larger area of arable land.

    You’ve also noted “sudden changes in climate” in a time when everyone is altering their estimates of the rate of change down. Are you stuck in the past or something?

    Do you even know the climate changes for the last billion years?

    Life dude. Actually the “great dinosaur” era was very warm with much higher CO2. In fact, if you listen, you’ll hear that the reason the dinosaurs could get that big was the warmer, wetter, higher CO2 led to more plant energy available for those dinosaurs to get big. This seems to be a bigger effect than you pretend when you try to dismiss it.

    It hardly follows that one should assume it is safe to alter equilibrium and assume the changes in output would only be gentle, moderate shifts.

    Yah, and it hardly follows that human activity is causing it. Greenhouse gasses are a very small percentage of the atmospheric gasses. CO2 is a only a very small percentage of the greenhouse gasses. And the human contribution to CO2 is also small (3-4%). Yer not going to fix the things you think you’ll fix by imposing 20% tax on GDP and prosperity.

    There is no such pause in warming. We’ve been warming since 2001.

    You can go a long way fudging data. Compare apples to apples. And your link doesn’t work. Sorry. The mean global tropospheric temperature has been flat for what 16 years now or is it 17. That is the trend published which the models didn’t match well. Recently the data has been “modified” to show warming, but the rational for alteration seems, well, biased.

  6. Boonton says:

    Life dude. Actually the “great dinosaur” era was very warm with much higher CO2. In fact, if you listen, you’ll hear that the reason the dinosaurs could get that big was the warmer, wetter, higher CO2 led to more plant energy available for those dinosaurs to get big.

    That’s great for dinosaurs, how does that impact actual humans who have to live on this earth here and now?

    You can go a long way fudging data. Compare apples to apples. And your link doesn’t work. Sorry. The mean global tropospheric temperature has been flat for what 16 years now or is it 17

    More like cherry picking data. Why consider a single layer of the atmosphere? If you had a huge indoor pool 10 feet deep with a 20 foot ceiling on top and measured the air temperature change from 90 degrees to 85 degrees while the pool temp increased from 85 degrees to 90 degrees the system as a whole has not stayed the same but experienced heating.

    Anyway, the troposphere, a single thin layer of the atmosphere has been warming consistently. See the graph at:

    https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/tssts-3-1-1.html

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    The troposphere is the part of the atmosphere in which we dwell. Hence it’s importance. Why consider it. Well, for the last 20 years that’s what they’ve been plotting and mapping and showing. Now that it hasn’t been changing the way they’d expect their changing the metrics to ones which are more favorable.

    That’s great for dinosaurs, how does that impact actual humans who have to live on this earth here and now?

    Hmm. Well, more plant energy more rainfall, more energy for animals. Man is an animal. Ergo, more plant energy for man.

    Yes. Recently the IPCC refudged their data. I don’t believe/trust them.

  8. Boonton says:

    The troposphere is the part of the atmosphere in which we dwell. Hence it’s importance. Why consider it. Well, for the last 20 years that’s what they’ve been plotting and mapping and showing. Now that it hasn’t been changing the way they’d expect their changing the metrics to ones which are more favorable.

    Changing your story now. You admit in the anlogy with the pool you have warming. Water is more dense than air so if water temp goes up a few degrees that is NOT offset by air temp going down a few degrees. The system, in that example, is warming. In terms of measuring warming, cooling or staying the same, you’ve cherry picked a few data points and ran with a meme of ‘no warming’ that makes no sense unless you’ve decided on your truth already and just want facts to support it.

    Yes. Recently the IPCC refudged their data. I don’t believe/trust them.

    Of course not, your imagination has proven so much more reliable.

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    The system, in that example, is warming. In terms of measuring warming, cooling or staying the same, you’ve cherry picked a few data points

    Actually no. The problem is that I haven’t cherry picked. I’ve consistently used the same data points that the IPCC and everyone else has been using all along. Just recently, to “correct” for the “pause” people have been changing their metrics to get the answer they like. That’s cherry picking. Staying with the same metric. That’s not cherry picking.

    Of course not, your imagination has proven so much more reliable.

    Sigh. Others (scientists) have contested the regularities in how they biased their data to correct it. Point is, if you use one set of measures and base predictions on those measures for 20 years, then the data starts coming out wrong, changing how you measure in such a way that it prejudices the answer you want. That’s not good science. And you know that.

  10. Boonton says:

    Actually no. The problem is that I haven’t cherry picked

    Except no such ‘pause’ exists even in the limited data you’ve choosen to follow. If there was a ‘pause’ then the 10 warmest years on record could not be all post 2000, except for 1998

    And ignoring sea temps may not be cherry picking your data but it is purposefully blinding yourself. Unlike an indoor pool, which may be artificially heated, the seas are warmed only by the sun and our atmosphere’s ability to retain heat (yes geothermal activity does also warm the sea but between that’s not the main source of the ocean’s energy and no evidence exists of increasing undersea vulcanos adding to the sea’s energy). Your argument here on whether or not there’s warming is wishful thinking combined with obscuring uncomfortable facts and over-hyping outliers. No one who talks about ‘pauses’ for example, will show the graph of the troposphere’s temperature over time. No one who looks at such a graph (unless its been selectively cut) will say ‘ahhh there’s a pause’.

  11. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    If there was a ‘pause’ then the 10 warmest years on record could not be all post 2000, except for 1998

    You are unclear on how graphs & trends work. If the temp has been rising, then stops (at and plateaus) you’d expect exactly that.

    And ignoring sea temps may not be cherry picking your data but it is purposefully blinding yourself.

    Then why did they ignore it in their initial reports? Hmm?

    Your argument here on whether or not there’s warming is wishful thinking combined with obscuring uncomfortable facts and over-hyping outliers.

    “overhypying” what the heck is that referring to?

  12. Boonton says:

    You are unclear on how graphs & trends work. If the temp has been rising, then stops (at and plateaus) you’d expect exactly that.

    The graph is pretty simple. They take the average temp. for the 20th century. They then look at the average temp each year and note the ten highest.

    Let’s say the average temp from 1900 to 2000 was 50 degrees and there is absolutely no warming trend. In that case the ten highest years would simply be a random function so you’d expect to see about 5 years post 1950 and 5 pre 1950. Seeing the top ten years clustered all at the end of the period is possible but its possible in the sense that it is possible to flip a coin 100 times and get 75 heads in a row.

  13. Boonton says:

    Then why did they ignore it in their initial reports? Hmm?

    Sea temps were ignored in previous reports? Cite please? These things run hundreds of pages with hundreds of graphs and datasets. Are you telling us that sea temps were only looked at after this alleged ‘pause’ in air temps?

  14. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Cite? Uhm, the significant plot all the models compare against was mean global tropospheric temperature.

    I don’t know, and am not sure why it’s relevant, whether “sea” temps were looked at. Until the late “oughts”, all the alarmists pointed at the graph noted above, until it started becoming apparent that it had plateaued.

    Seeing the top ten years clustered all at the end of the period is possible but its possible in the sense that it is possible to flip a coin 100 times and get 75 heads in a row.

    Like I said, unclear on graphs. OK. You have a plot, say 1880 to 2014. On the whole it ascends gradually then at the end, flattens out for the last 18 years. The “top ten” values will be where? Probably in that part that flattens out? I’m unclear why you would expect any different. In fact if the top 10 where not in the last 20 year, then, gosh, the trend isn’t what I described.

    Look. Tropospheric temperatures are pretty much the thing that matters most. It’s the temperature all the land living things like plants and people live. It is the temperature that affects us.

  15. Boonton says:

    Cite? Uhm, the significant plot all the models compare against was mean global tropospheric temperature.

    You mean the models generate predictions for mean global tropospheric temps. So what? Are you saying the models don’t also predict sea temps? Hundreds of variables and the models ignore sea temps despite the ocean covering 2/3 of the earth? I don’ tthink so.

    Like I said, unclear on graphs. OK. You have a plot, say 1880 to 2014. On the whole it ascends gradually then at the end, flattens out for the last 18 years. The “top ten” values will be where? Probably in that part that flattens out? I’m unclear why you would expect any different. In fact if the top 10 where not in the last 20 year, then, gosh, the trend isn’t what I described.

    This is a rather simple chart. First you take all years 1900-2000 (i.e. 20th century). Add up each year’s mean temp then divide by 100. That gives you an average for the 20th century.

    You then take each year…1880-2014 and ask how far does each year fall above or below that average?

    Again if there is no warming at all then each year will fall some random amount above and below. You’d be as likely to find ‘top ten’ members in the first 50 years as the last 50 years.. If record high years all cluster in one area, that indicates that there is some other pattern at play than simply random variation.

    On the whole it ascends gradually then at the end, flattens out for the last 18 years.

    Actually no it doesn’t, in the ‘top ten’ all but one year falls after 2000. That would mean no pause at all. If it ‘flattend out’ for 18 years then the hottest you could ever get would be 1997 with every year since being less than or equal too that.

    Look. Tropospheric temperatures are pretty much the thing that matters most. It’s the temperature all the land living things like plants and people live. It is the temperature that affects us.

    Nonesense. A global warming mechanism…esp. one based on the sun and the greenhouse effect…cannot be confined to just the troposphere. If the earth is warming then all levels of the atmosphere can be asorbing energy as well as the surface and oceans. And thermodynamics tells us you can’t just ‘lock’ heat up in one area. While the ocean might be able to soak up some additional energy in the short term, you can’t warm the ocean while feeling safe that the troposphere will remain stable. Have you never boiled a huge pot of pasta and noticed how it makes the whole kitchen warmer?

  16. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Read this.

    On the whole it ascends gradually then at the end, flattens out for the last 18 years.

    Now this,

    You then take each year…1880-2014 and ask how far does each year fall above or below that average?

    All the warmest values will be at the end, where the curve flattens. Because it rises and then plateaus at its highest point. How can you not see that? Look. If you walk for 5 miles up a hill which then flattens to a plateau for a mile along a ridge. Then you take random points along the way and measure your altitude, guess what? All the highest points will be on the ridge. But (wait for it ….) all along the ridge your altitude didn’t change at all even (??!!) though for the last mile you didn’t climb at all.

    Again if there is no warming at all then each year will fall some random amount above and below

    This is a straw man. It is not the claim. Re-read the first quoted part.

    And thermodynamics tells us you can’t just ‘lock’ heat up in one area. While the ocean might be able to soak up some additional energy in the short term, you can’t warm the ocean while feeling safe that the troposphere will remain stable.

    Works the other way too. You can’t warm the oceans for 18 years without also warming the troposphere. And since the tropo hasn’t been warming … hmm. Perhaps the ocean isn’t either.

  17. Boonton says:

    All the warmest values will be at the end, where the curve flattens. Because it rises and then plateaus at its highest point. How can you not see that?

    Look. If you walk for 5 miles up a hill which then flattens to a plateau for a mile along a ridge

    Your claim is that if time was a highway, then somewhere around exist 1997 you stopped going uphill. If you were reading your height above sea level, it would be the same from exist 1998-2015.

    But look again at the picture, almost all the top ten years are post 2000. They aren’t all tied either, 2010 was higher than 2009. 2009 was higher than 2007, 2007 was higher than 2004. That’s not evidence of reaching a flat spot, that’s evidence of temps still increasing.

    Works the other way too. You can’t warm the oceans for 18 years without also warming the troposphere. And since the tropo hasn’t been warming … hmm. Perhaps the ocean isn’t either.

    So you feel confident that no one has been measuring the oceans for the last 18 years or if they had it would not indicate warming?