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Perspectives of 8 Scientists Attending AGU Fall Meeting

Posted on 29 December 2012 by greenman3610

This is a re-post of Peter Sinclair's latest video at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

The hallways of San Francisco’s Moscone Center each early December are fertile grounds for planned and chance encounters with leading climate scientists.

Attending the American Geophysical Union’s 2012 Fall Meeting in early December, independent Michigan video producer Peter Sinclair clearly found that to be the case, and his most recent “This Is Not Cool” video produced for The Yale Forum provides witness.

Among the issues touched on in this new video featuring concise comments by eight scientists representing various climate research organizations:

  • the accelerated state of permafrost degradation in Alaska;
  • concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane and changes in the Arctic “much faster” than has been predicted by models;
  • rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet in 2012;
  • periodic cool periods resulting from volcanic eruptions, but seen in the overall context of persistent greenhouse gas warming;
  • a lesson to be learned from “Superstorm Sandy”: the vulnerability of human beings to climate changes still of a relatively modest scale given projections for the future;
  • water vapor and upper-ocean heat content;
  • potential sea-level rise of more than 1 meter by the end of the current century; and
  • the multiple channels of evidence pointing to the warming of our climate and the causes of it.

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Comments 1 to 16:

  1. The weather effects of an ice free Arctic, let alone those of sea level rise, will propagate across the planet. Living as I do in the Southern hemisphere will be no defence against an angry planet. One has to wonder what it will take to wake up the sleeping masses. Anyone who is not alarmed by now must be living in an alternative universe where the laws of physics do not apply. Fool's Paradise, my Gran would have called it.
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  2. The sleeping masses won't wake up! The Age is now allowing alternative views.
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  3. For some reason I couldn't access the video. May just be my slow system. The only thing that will wake up the masses is a few more Sandys squared. There are already signs that the drought in the USA, Sandy, Arctic ice melt and a couple of other relatively mild events (relative to what is likely coming) are already having an effect on public opinion. I find it very hard to believe that even the most extreme measures at this late date to reduce carbon emissions would stop the brown stuff from hitting the wind pusher.
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  4. I think that what will "wake the sleeping masses" is for at least some of the predictions from modelling (and alarm) to actually happen, and for weather to actually become "extreme". Hurricane Sandy was not unusual in any way when compared historically, nor is any weather event that is blamed on AGW nowadays. Thanks Boswarm, for the link to that article in The Age too. (did you really use the word "allowing"??) That article sums up my stance on AGW pretty well. (especially what it says about the use of the word "denier".) I am indeed one of the "sleeping masses" and I am very much awake already, thank you.
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  5. @ Michael. Have you actually read/studied the most used used climate myths on this site. They are available for your perusal anytime. Just scroll to the top of the screen and look left, where it says in BOLD RED printing. Most used climate myths. As for Boswarm's term "allowing". Try looking up the meaning of the word "irony". OK ? Now be a good boy and do your homework.
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  6. Michael @4... Clearly you do not live in the NY region. Nor are you paying attention to what the science is saying about weather extremes.
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  7. Michael of Brisbane @4, 1) Weather is actually becoming extreme, as illustrated by the 2010 Moscow heatwave (a on in a thousand year event, according to the Russian weather service); or the recent heatwaves and droughts in the United States. Deniers like to play the silly game that just because there is a one in a thousand chance of an event occurring without global warming, therefore global warming did not contribute to the event. That reasoning is, of course, simply denial. 2) Hurricane Sandy was unprecedented in its diameter, and exceptional in terms of its Accumulated Cyclone Energy for a Hurricane making landfall so far north. Just because it is not unprecedented by all measures does not make it "not unusual in any way". 3) The Age article was a disgrace, trotting out denier talking points with no evidence of independent thought of analysis. The simplest case of this is the claim that the last 16 years represents a "pause" in global temperature rise, base on the fact that the continuing positive trend over that period is statistically indistinguishable from zero. That claim is, first, nonsensical. The trend over teh same period is also statistically indistinguishable from rates of warming higher than those predicted by the IPCC. If the inference from being statistical indistinguishable from zero is valid; then so also is the parallel and opposite inference. Denier's who push this claim, therefore, avoid contradiction only by selective and inconsistent reasoning. What is more, they do so only by a massive and deliberate cherry pick of an interval with an extreme El Nino at the start and multiple strong La Nina's at the end - a circumstance that should lead to a strong cooling trend. Instead we have a weak warming trend indicating a strong underlying trend. The extent of the cherry pick is made clear by comparing the trend over the last 32 years to that of the first 16 years of that period. The 32 year trend (0.158 C per decade) is appreciably greater than that of the first (0.093 C per decade) and last (0.87 C per decade) 16 years of that interval. The closeness of the 16 year trends shows that, by denier reasoning, warming occurred in neither the first 16 years, nor the second. Therefore, deniers are logically committed to the claim that there has been no warming over the last 32 years, despite the strong warming trend. The simple fact is that if you allow yourself to play silly buggers by deliberately misinterpreting statistical facts, and cherry picking your data, you can pretend to prove anything you desire. This is something deniers take full advantage of. 4) I am unimpressed that you take offense to a term first used in writing the English language 400 years before the Holocaust. Because of its ancient history, the pretense and manufactured outrage about the supposed imputation that deniers of climate science are the moral equivalents of holocaust deniers is ludicrous. Frankly, I take offense at the denier's blatant attempt to manipulate the language so that a plainly accurate descriptive term will not be applied to them. Indeed, I take greater offense at the retreat from rationality inherent in the entire climate science denying movement - a retreat from rationality that will have real, and harmful consequences to my children, and theirs.
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  8. Look, rather than me speaking for Boswarm, let us ask him if he will clarify what exactly he meant by his statement.
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  9. Rob @10, typically, as you know, the constant barrage of insults, accusations of fraud, and/or conspiracy against climate scientists and their defenders in both blogs and commentary on denier sites is invisible to their perpetrators. Despite the barrage of invective they hurl, they are always ready to take insult on the slightest pretext.
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    Moderator Response: (Rob P) Please focus on the science. Michael's attempts to draw readers attention away from the facts (blimp-pointing) should be ignored.
  10. Perhaps Michael would like to point us instead to published science that supports his point of view. That would be a worthwhile topic of conversation. Even perhaps pointers to where this site is making claims that are not supported by published science might be educational.
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  11. Michael @ 4: Somehow the myth of Sandy as just another storm has persisted…check Jeff Masters’ blog for a more fact based look: This is a storm that essentially simultaneously blew over things in Indiana and Nova Scotia, 1500 miles apart. Science Michael, bring us some science….as scaddenp suggests….
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  12. "What is more, they do so only by a massive and deliberate cherry pick of an interval with an extreme El Nino at the start and multiple strong La Nina's at the end - a circumstance that should lead to a strong cooling trend. Instead we have a weak warming trend indicating a strong underlying trend." Can anyone point me at any actual research out there examining this proposition in detail? The proposition makes sense to me, and should, i think, be an "oh dear, WTF is actually going on here" moment in the "debate" about anthropogenic climate change. Yet the "no warming for 16 years" is the current "killer" meme amongst the skeptic lobby when the data its based on, maybe, has serious implications for a warming future.
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  13. Uncle Pete @ 8 and Michael @ 4 Allowed = advertised (Fairfax publishes books)
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  14. @catamon at 12; it's real easy to find (myth 5, it's cooling should get you there). Here's the basic version, click on intermediate for more complex details:
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  15. Boswarm @ 2, you said "The sleeping masses won't wake up!" Regrettably, they have not yet woken up and their peaceful slumber is being perpetuated by mass media non-science such as the article you linked to in The Age. Nothing would make me happier than scientific evidence that all the effects of AGW, which are currently being measured, are wrong. I can promise that such science will not be found in popular newspapers, such as The Age, but in reputable scientific journals, where the science is put to the test of peer review. So far, the papers denying AGW are very thin on the ground.
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  16. It is interesting to see the many reactions and responses to Michael's comment. I notice this phenomenon on other climate sites as well. Someone makes an 'ignorant' remark and quickly the conversation is sidetracked away from the context and subject matter of the article itself. It seems clear that many of these posters comment with the express purpose to accomplish this very aim. (many are repeat posters who clearly have been 'informed' and corrected many times before: It is a conundrum- (1) do we attend to these diversionary tactics? (2)do we respond, understanding that the poster may actually be, simply, mis-informed or uninformed with the aim of informing them? (3) Do we respond with the aim of 'speaking to' the open-minded onlookers? Hmmmmm.
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