Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Climate Effluence
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Because — considering the comments these posts generate — I seem to have a masochistic streak, here are two more items for the global warming debate.

(1) You know the anti-global warming argument that the "sea level has been rising at a rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past 8,000 years" and (citing the IPCC) "No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected"? Yeah, well, it should come as no surprise that skeptics deploy this argument more from scientific ignorance than from evidence. The Commissar takes a look at the facts...



Oh. Sea levels rose rapidly 8,000 - 7,000 years ago, but for the past 7,000 years have flattened out. That “1.8mm per year” is like drawing a straight diagonal line on this graph. Not a lie, but not exactly representative of the data. If sea levels began rising at 1.8mm per year over the next decade, would that be “business as usual,” or a historic change?
What's more, if you read the report in question, you'll find that, just prior to saying there's been "significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century" detected, the report observes that "the average rate of sea level rise has been larger during the 20th century than during the 19th century", and that the lack of acceleration is "not inconsistent with model results". Finally, the rise in sea levels during the 20th Century is about 10 times faster than the sea level rise over the past 3,000 years. That's a little helpful context for the "no significant acceleration" claims.

As the Commissar notes, out of the multitude of things to which they can object, the skeptics choose "sea levels". And they do not exactly "cover [themselves] in impartial, objective glory" on their own chosen battleground.

Divider



(2) Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution lays out his views on global warming. Some "reasonable statements...
1. It is by now pointless to deny that global warming is man-made to a considerable degree.
[...]
5. I don't have a good plan for what to do. Imagine passing and extending Kyoto and turning 2/3 of the U.S. energy supply into nuclear, wind, and solar power. Heroic achievements, to be sure. But if China and India continue to industrialize, global warming will likely continue and perhaps accelerate, as I understand current knowledge.

6. I have yet to see a real plan which recognizes three points: a) without continued economic growth the world will probably fall apart, b) the problem is real and significant, c) any good preventive solution would require an enormous amount of concerted action across both time and across nations.
"Stop all that emitting and polluting!" is not a plan. I suspect that a viable, efficient solution will be found only through the internalization of emmission costs, which will incentivize the development of new energy sources. Practically speaking, only government measures can internalize those costs.

The solution is innovation through economic necessity, rather than conservation due to theoretical threats. Self-interest is a more effective motivator than abstract theory.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Finally, the rise in sea levels during the 20th Century is about 10 times faster than the sea level rise over the past 3,000 years. That’s a little helpful context for the "no significant acceleration" claims.
Jon, I looked at the charts and couldn’t find anything to support this claim.

The most recent figure for sea level rise according to the charts was about 20 cm/year. But the slope of the line between 3,000 and 2,000 years ago seems much greater than 2 cm/year. It’s hard to tell from the graph, but still it doesn’t look like the 20th century was 10 times the rate of the thousand years I pointed out.

Unless the claim is that one century’s worth of data shows a rate of growth 10 times the rate of 30 centuries worth of data. If that’s the case, I’m even less impressed. 30 times as much data would tend to attenuate any minor perturbation in the data points.


Looking at the graph, it’s easy to see there was a major inflection point at about 3,000 years ago which lasted about 1,000 years. What caused THAT change in sea level?

I don’t see much in that graph which tells me that global warming is a 20th century, man-made problem.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
My big problem is that you make the jump from there is global warming, to it is man made global warming.Also you seem to be advocating legislating social change.

Isn’t libertarianism against the government being used to force people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise?
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Sorry, I should have included a link to the report I cited. I’ve added it. Here’s the relevant ’graf:
Based on geological data, eustatic sea level (i.e., corresponding to a change in ocean volume) may have risen at an average rate of 0.5 mm/yr over the past 6,000 years and at an average rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr over the last 3,000 years. This rate is about one tenth of that occurring during the 20th century.
There’s a lot more at the link, natch. As for the degree to which human activity is responsible, that was not addressed in that section. You can read about that here.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
My big problem is that you make the jump from there is global warming, to it is man made global warming.
See the link from my previous comment.
Also you seem to be advocating legislating social change.
Cost-internalization is about the least intrusive, least objectionable legislation of social change. In essence, we’re currently forcing other people to pay for our actions without their consent. Cost-internalization legislation would reduce those externalities.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Sea levels rose rapidly 8,000 - 7,000 years ago

So, was there a Kyoto Protocol 8,000 - 7,000 years ago? How did humans deal with significant anthropogenic global warming 8,000 - 7,000 years ago? I mean, the data posted obviously mean that 8,000 - 7,000 years ago there was significant anthropogenic global warming too. I say "obviously" because if we are using a rapid rise in sea level as evidence for anthropogenic global warming, then the rapid rise in sea level 8,000 - 7,000 years ago would be similar evidence for anthropogenic global warming then as it is now.

BTW, anybody who says it "is by now pointless to deny" something is obviously not interested in a civil debate.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
How do you say things like this and expect to be taken seriously?

"He said he was "carbon neutral" himself and he tried to offset any plane flight or car journey by "purchasing verifiable reductions in CO2 elsewhere"."

What is next a varifiable reductions options market. varifiable reductions insurance. varifiable reductions governmental programs for the poor (Enicare & Enicaid)

I am already in a similiar market and I am paying double for gas today than a year and a half ago. (Yes I understand the econ of the gas situation)

So, I guess, yes I am skeptical of the messenger motives.

 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
What is next a varifiable reductions options market.
Actually, yes. We already engage in things like that. There’s nothing particularly unusual or dishonest about these program. Emissions trading is a very economically efficient method of directing resources and limiting pollution.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
BTW, anybody who says it "is by now pointless to deny" something is obviously not interested in a civil debate.
It is by now pointless to deny that evolution is the best theory for the development of life on earth. Supply and demand is the best theory to explain a market economy. Etc. Are these positions indicative of a disinterest in civil debate?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Other types of polution will have to be addressed by China and India regardless of Kyoto. If not, they will suffocate in their smog, since coal is their major source of fuel. It would seem that to install polution controls to deal with particulate matter, that it would not be that difficult to install scrubbers for CO2. Why do people feel that the cost would be prohibitive? I think cost is a red herring. Some of the technology already exist. It might not reduce the emmisions as fast as using cleaner sources of energy, but it would help.
When man discovered fire, that began his impact on the earth more than any other creature.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
The solution is to adapt to change.

It worked for our ancestors, and it will work for us.
 
Written By: SMASH
URL: http://www.indepundit.com
Are these positions indicative of a disinterest in civil debate?

Yes, they are. Insults are incompatible with civil debate. If your purpose is to persuade others that your position is correct, you would not insult them, no matter how strongly you feel the evidence weighs in your favor. So, obviously, it is neither your, not Tyler’s, purpose to persuade others that your position is correct.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
Ok so the smog market is efficient as expected any supply and demand market finds equilibrium. But global warming is worse today than ever (according to AG). Smog and pollution are better someplaces and worse else where. Credit trading is just another means to increase revenue for some and a way for others to defer innovation. Innovation is the desired effect.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Based on geological data, eustatic sea level (i.e., corresponding to a change in ocean volume) may have risen at an average rate of 0.5 mm/yr over the past 6,000 years and at an average rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr over the last 3,000 years. This rate is about one tenth of that occurring during the 20th century.
Okay, so the claim really is that one century worth of data shows a rate 10 times that of 30 centuries worth of data.

I’m completely unimpressed. I’m certain I could go back into one of those 30 centuries and find a rate of growth greater than the past century. 30 times the data points leads to a much smoother curve. It’s been a while since I took a statistics class, but I remember something called "regression to the norm".


That quote as written is pretty much "drawing a straight diagonal line on the graph".
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Other types of polution will have to be addressed by China and India regardless of Kyoto. If not, they will suffocate in their smog, since coal is their major source of fuel.

It’s already horrible in China. But when you are poor you worry more about money than air quality - see London in 1800’s.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Jon, I continue to be embarassed for you. There are no confidence levels or standard deviation given in that link. From the link table at the top left, there are none in the document.

From this page

And this is only an example, we have unsupported characterisations of the writer’s confidence in the validity of their conclusions, such as:

"However, a few high resolution sea level records from the French Mediterranean coast indicate that much of this increase occurred between about 6,000 and 3,000 years ago and that the rate over the past 3,000 years was only about 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr (Lambeck and Bard, 2000). These inferences do not constrain the source of the added water but likely sources are the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets with possible contributions from glaciers and thermal expansion."
and
"We therefore take the ongoing contribution of the ice sheets to sea level rise in the 20th and 21st centuries in response to earlier climate change as 0.0 to 0.5 mm/yr. This is additional to the effect of 20th century and future climate change."
In other words we can’t tell if it has done anything at or not. There is no evidence (data with replicable evaluations and standard deviations) given in the report either.

You really have not the first fraction of a clue what you are talking about, and neither do they. They have an agenda.

Why have you bought their agenda?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
It is by now pointless to deny that evolution is the best theory for the development of life on earth. Supply and demand is the best theory to explain a market economy. Etc. Are these positions indicative of a disinterest in civil debate?
Um...yes. I find it intriguing that this is a question. Would you debate someone on the merits of evolution, or is it proven to a degree sufficient to you that you would not bother to spend the time on such a debate? What about the moon landings? If someone wanted to have a civil debate about whether or not they occurred, would you participate?

We all hold certain beliefs strongly enough that we are not going to waste our time in civil debate on them but rather dismiss competing beliefs. If you want to chat with me about your experiences as an alien abductee, I’m not going to pretend I am either interested in what you have to say, nor that I am willing to take the discussion seriously.

You’ve established that you place anthropogenic global warming in that category. There’s nothing inherently wrong about that; indeed, it is better to know where someone stands than to pretend that they may change their minds. But you only get one or the other: either you’re willing to entertain civil debate on the question, or you belief that the question is resolved in your mind. Once you choose one, the other avenue closes.
 
Written By: Andrew Olmsted
URL: http://andrewolmsted.com
Aha! This link has a page referencing confidence intervals. However they do not indicate how the confidence intervals were arrived at...still, I have the confidence that any study relying on the Mann Hockey Stick fraud is one that can be dismissed.

Quite an "own goal" there, Jon.

Or are you claiming Mann fixed his hockey stick or that he never "fixed" it in the first place?

Masochism has to be it, because you really are making a pathetic showing.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The most rational and lucid thinking I’ve seen on this subject is in Bjorn Lomborg’s book "The Skeptical Environmentalist". Wikipedia has a good summary of his argument:
From the outset, Lomborg "accepts the reality of man-made global warming" though he refers to a number of uncertainties in the computer simulations of global warming and some aspects of data collection. The main contention of Lomborg is not the science of global warming but the politics and the policy response to such scientific findings. He points out that, given the amount of green gas emission required to combat global warming, the current Kyoto protocol is grossly insufficient. He then goes on to argue that the economic cost of the restrictions which have to be put in place to actually reverse or even slow down global warming is impractically high compared to the alternative of coordinating the international communities to adjust to global warming. Moreover, he asserts that such a cost of combating global warming would be disproportionately shouldered by poor developing countries. Since the policy combating global warming places unrealistic limits on economic activities, the countries that suffer from pollution and poverty due to their state of economy will be condemned to such a state. He also proposes that the importance of global warming in terms of policy priority may be low compared to other policy issues such as fighting poverty and disease and aiding poor countries, which has direct and more immediate impact both in terms of welfare and the environment. He therefore asks for a global cost-benefit analysis to be made before deciding on the best measures to take. The Copenhagen Consensus that Bjorn later organized led to the conclusion that combating global warming does have a benefit but its priority compared to other issues is "poor" (ranked 13th) and three projects addressing climate change (optimal carbon tax, the Kyoto protocol and value-at-risk carbon tax), are the least cost-efficient of the proposals.
 
Written By: cllam
URL: http://
Harun
I don’t think all of China’s industries are poor.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
It still boggles my mind that people refer to the ’Mann Hockey Stick fraud’. There was no fraud. There was a mistake, and it was corrected and it did not effect the results or the conclusions.

 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
Jon, I continue to be embarassed for you. There are no confidence levels or standard deviation given in that link. From the link table at the top left, there are none in the document.
Save your embarrassment for yourself. The page was a technical summary of the data, not the technical details and background. If you had the least interest, you could find those details. (and, I now see you’ve discovered at least one mention, though you still seem to confuse the summary for the scientific research) I’ve blogged the summaries and overviews of the data. If you want an education on the details of climate science, there are resources. I don’t intend to dig back into the tall grass for you. You can do that yourself.
still, I have the confidence that any study relying on the Mann Hockey Stick fraud is one that can be dismissed.
A question: in the previous threads, have you not read my repeated responses to that accusation? Surely you know by now that calling that a "fraud" is, itself, a fraud.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I would be a lot more interested in total global power consumption over the last century. A lot of that is dissipated as heat.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"Mistakes" are something you do once, Kav. Mann now has a career at stake, he can’t back down regardless of contrary evidence.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"Mistakes" are something you do once, Kav. Mann now has a career at stake, he can’t back down regardless of contrary evidence.
I don’t quite get what you mean by the first sentence. It’s certainly not true unless you are talking about something specific that I don’t understand. I have to disagree with your second sentence. If there is evidence that his study was in error I would not be surprised if he backs down, this happens all the time in science; it is the nature of progress. The thing is that there is no evidence that his analysis of the data was wrong so far and plenty of people have been trying to find holes. Or are you being more general? Do you mean backing down because of other studies that purport to show that climate change is not happening in the same way his data suggested it was rather than due to challenges of his own work? The thing there is that so far the preponderance of data backs up his conclusions.

Mistakes happen all the time in scientific publications, usually very minor errors that are then presented in a later correction. I have a colleague who actually made a mathematical error in one of his publications. When he spotted it he corrected it and then found he had made a similar error elsewhere in the calculation. He corrected that and lo and behold it had absolutely no effect on the result. Sheer chance but there you go.
 
Written By: Kav
URL: http://livingrealworld.blogspot.com
No Jon, I am saying it is not "scientific" to take the author’s words for it that the people he is citing in fact support his conclusions with the level of certainty he ascribes to those sources.
Your list of links may be useful. I have other links to other people who steadfastly contest Mann’s conclusions, methods, and or data. They have an equally impressive distribution of degrees.

I’ve already googled more than enough to satisfy myself that Mann is simply overstating his case and you are along for the ride.

Has the global mean temperature gone up 0.6degC in the last 100 years? Very likely it’s close to that. Did human activity account for some of that? Probably. Does Mann claim human activity is the most likely cause for most of it? Why yes he does.

His certitude is fraud or delusion, so is yours, Jon—you have that in common with Al Gore.

This isn’t about science Jon, it is about Global Warming (TM). And Global Warming (TM) is a hoax.

Also, the mere mention of "confidence intervals" and the like do not help out when the paper doesn’t seem to have the info to find the individual papers it’s based on.
"A question: in the previous threads, have you not read my repeated responses to that accusation? Surely you know by now that calling that a "fraud" is, itself, a fraud."
I’ll allow its delusion on your part, that you think you have answered the criticims made of the hockey stick global warming graph better than its authors have.

Mann’s first and linked answer to M&M, for example, is that they are an economist (like they don’t know statistics) and a mining engineer (like that changes data or math).

We aren’t talking about science, Jon, we are talking about politics, which is subjective.

Until a Global Climate Model recapitulates the present from past data, Global Warming (TM) will stay political, and not be scientific.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Until a Global Climate Model recapitulates the present from past data, Global Warming (TM) will stay political, and not be scientific.
And, I assume, you’ll keep your head in the sand and not do a thing to reduce pollution or energy use in the mean-time...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
the report observes that "the average rate of sea level rise has been larger during the 20th century than during the 19th century", and that the lack of acceleration is "not inconsistent with model results". Finally, the rise in sea levels during the 20th Century is about 10 times faster than the sea level rise over the past 3,000 years. That’s a little helpful context for the "no significant acceleration" claims.
Jon, I realize you were just writing from the summary, but the full "context" provides a little less exaggeration.


1) You incompletely quote "the average rate of sea level rise has been larger during the 20th century than during the 19th century," leaving out the preceeding "Based on the very few long tide-gauge records..." Digging deeper you will find that the report says that proper scientific requirements are not "satisfied with the current tide gauge network" and that they "reveal significant uncertainty." Furthermore, "Recent studies suggest that the 19th century was unusually cold on the global average," so the differences between the two centuries will be exaggerated.


2) When you use the summary to state "the rise in sea levels during the 20th Century is about 10 times faster [than the past 3,000 years]," you should really also consider the report’s claim that "the estimated rate of sea level rise from anthropogenic climate change ranges from 0.3 to 0.8 mm/yr." Compared to the "average rate of 0.1 to 0.2 mm/yr over the last 3,000 years" we can’t blame industrialization for a rate 10 times faster, but rather for as little as 1.5 times or as much as 8 times.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Since there are many factors in predicting climate change, how can one take bits and pieces and challege a study. One may know enough about statistics or science to say the right words, but I am getting nothing from some of this discussion to convince me one way or another. I would have to rely on the reputation of the scientist and how many other studies that would come to the same conclusion. Even though I have the background to understand some of the data, not working in that field would put me at a loss at trying to understand the scientist approach.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
Your seal level graph points out that most of the sea level rise has already occured. Interestingly, we have a number of large agricultural cities under 300 feet of water to attest to that fact.

In fact, our problem may be just that, we already melted the majority of the ice 9000 years ago, and failed to restart the glacial cycle.



 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://
It is by now pointless to deny that global warming is man-made to a considerable degree.
I recognize the assertion is Mr. Cowen’s, but would you or anyone else care to specify what counts as "considerable"?
 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
"It is by now pointless to deny that global warming is man-made to a considerable degree."

Balderdash.

 
Written By: Ric Locke
URL: http://
There are actually "books" on the subject. See ’Climate History and the Modern World’ by H. H. Lamb,, 2nd Ed., 1995, published by Routledge. ISBN 0-415-12734-3. See Fig. 39, page 115.

This figure shows 3 distinct representations going back as far as 15,000 years. The ’smoothed curve’ understates the rise in the other two for the past 6,000 years, but shows a rise in sea level of around 80 meters, and approximately 5 meters in the last 5,000 years. The second was ’highly regarded’ and based on the Baltic after adjusting for the rise of the region as the land recovered from the previous ice load. It shows maximum sea levels around 5,000 years ago approximately 5 meters higher than present. The third curve is ’a carefully calculated and more detailed curve...’ apparently ending 2,000 years ago but with several points in the past 5,000 years slightly higher than present.

Sometimes it has been warmer and sometimes it has been colder. Any examination of the aggregated evidence in this interglacial period would show some significant variations. As the man with the HEH says, read the whole thing.

Earth is around 4.5 billion years old. This debate is at most about the last 1,000 years, and really about the last 150 or so. The most charitable thing we can say is that the debate is about statistical noise, and some debaters insist on being more shrill and piercing than others.
 
Written By: Tee Jay
URL: http://
"And, I assume, you’ll keep your head in the sand and not do a thing to reduce pollution or energy use in the mean-time..."

No I won’t. The natural processes that also have an effect on the mean global temperature and mean sea level absolutely dwarf mankind’s activities, and also are beyond our cntrol at this time.

An aside, Matt, you are an idiot. I do not fear man’s power, I have a clue about its limitations.

Also, the use of energy is expensive enough already, as are the precursors to pollution—the most foolish and impenetrably perverse thing anyone pretending to a libertarian impulse could do with respect to Global Warming (TM) is advocate that government have more power to screw with us.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider