[Vision2020] PCEI Climate Change Forum Discussion On Local Blog

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sat Mar 29 15:43:51 PDT 2008

Paul et. al.

The science article from the journal Nature at URL below examines the theory
that the observed climate warming of the past 30 years (and even back to the
17th century) is due to solar variability, using satellite data, the "clear
readings from space," as you phrase it.  The article can be accessed in full
with a subscription.  But this quote from the review is rather easily
understood by a layperson, in terms of any definite conclusion that the data
supports the theory that the warming of the past 30 years is due to solar


Variations in the Sun's total energy output (luminosity) are caused by
changing dark (sunspot) and bright structures on the solar disk during the
11-year sunspot cycle. The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978
are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming
over the past 30 years. In this Review, we show that detailed analysis of
these small output variations has greatly advanced our understanding of
solar luminosity change, and this new understanding indicates that
brightening of the Sun is unlikely to have had a significant influence on
global warming since the seventeenth century.
Regarding the magnitude of climate forcing due to anthropogenic CO2 (and
other) emissions asserted by the IPCC Fourth Assessment report from 2007,
which I assume represents the scientific predictions you doubt, I suggest
you take your skepticism to realclimate.org.  I have received personal
responses to my humble queries from some of the scientists hosting this
website, much to my surprise.  And the discussions on climate science issues
are often very enlightening and balanced, with basic assumptions, facts and
theories run through the gauntlet of skepticism.

Addressing your query regarding mitigation of global warming, if lowering
our carbon footprint is not enough, and how to survive a warming climate, I
agree, perhaps for different reasons, that these are very important
questions.  Assuming the science represented in the IPCC Fourth Assessment
2007 is basically correct, we are already committed to significant climate
change, even if all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions stopped today.
CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for 100 years, which means some of the
emissions from 100 years ago are still in the atmosphere impacting climate.
And the emissions we are now releasing will continue to influence climate
for the next 100 years.

Also, the effect of global dimming (which is given scant attention in the
media), the climate cooling effect of human sourced pollution, indicates we
may be masking a significant amount of the warming effect of greenhouse gas
emissions.  Thus when we cease the pollution from coal fired plants, for
example, which release sulfate aerosols that cool the climate, the masking
effect of global dimming will be removed, and climate warming may increase.
Given this potential, the climate may warm significantly when we lower our
carbon footprint.  Anyway, no one realistically thinks we are going to
dramatically lower our greenhouse gas emissions (which we must) for

We may need to engineer removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, or block solar
radiation.  These extreme engineering proposals are controversial, but under
serious discussion given the seriousness of the problem.  Plans to adapt to
a warmer climate are prudent, given these efforts may not work.  Ironically,
there are proposals to deliberately add "pollution" to the upper atmosphere
to cool the climate, in a way similar to how coal fired plants
can contribute to global dimming due to sulfate aerosols, to ward off the
worst effects of the greenhouse gas emissions from coal fired plants:



You obviously doubt that human sourced climate variables are the main
contemporary influence on warming, and have implied this assessment is
motivated by intentions other than pure objective scientific research
(wording such as "the global warming party line" implies political
motivations rather than following the results of objective unbiased
scientific research).  Human beings are human beings, and no doubt there are
motivations other than the pursuit of objective scientific research to hype
the magnitude of anthropogenic climate change, just as there are motivations
among some very powerful commercial interests to inject doubt and
uncertainty into the scientific findings indicating the severity of the
problem.  However, I trust there are a sufficient number of competent and
ethical scientists working on the science of climate change to provide a
reasonable balance to the conclusions of the IPCC, that is not slanted by
those seeking to make a name, achieve fame, pad their wallets,
promote political agendas, or promote their career, by either being global
warming skeptics or global warming doomsayers.  My "trust" may be misplaced.

Note to Chas, in case you are reading:

You are probably correct I am wasting my "breath" in addressing the science
of climate change on Vision2020.  Consider the results of my posts
addressing PCEI's Climate Change Forum: not a single Vision2020 comment from
anyone involved with PCEI, unless I missed it.  If PCEI is not following and
contributing to environmental discussions on Vision2020, then Vision2020
must not be viewed as relevant to environmental discussions impacting the
public, scientific or otherwise.

Ted Moffett

On 3/28/08, Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Even though I tend to be skeptical of many of the doomsday scenarios
> that seem to crop up in this debate, I do find it hard to believe that
> they are apparently denying anthropogenic global warming.  It seems
> pretty clear to me that we are having some effect on our environment,
> and that the greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide is part of the
> problem.  As I've said many times before, there are plenty of other
> reasons to reduce our dependence on oil, this is just one of them.  I'm
> still skeptical of the magnitude, though.
> That being said, the research I've seen that references satellite data
> that shows that our sun is increasing in brightness seems pretty telling
> to me.  I'm skeptical of the sunspot cycles and the Maunder minimum
> having that great of an effect also, though I'm hoping that research in
> that direction will continue, but the fact that the big ball of fusing
> hydrogen that gives us all our energy in one way or another (except
> possibly for radioactive elements buried in the Earth or energy from
> tides) is getting brighter (and presumably warmer) seems like it ought
> to be important.  Trying to determine the effect of greenhouse gases
> inside our atmosphere in such a complex system seems inherently
> difficult and thus to some degree I'm skeptical of the magnitude of it.
> Clear readings from space is a lot less ambiguous.
> That doesn't mean that we don't have a problem on our hands, but I think
> that some people go too far to try to blame every part of climate change
> on the evil oil barons.  The global warming party line is to blame it
> all on us, and to decree that reducing our carbon footprint will solve
> the problem.  I haven't reviewed much scientific literature on their
> predictions, but I think that's a pretty bold thing to say without some
> detailed predictions that have been made that accurately described the
> climate change over a sizable period of time.  I'd also like to hear
> some ideas about how to fight global warming given the assumption that
> reducing our carbon footprint isn't enough, or, failing that, some ideas
> about how to survive it better.
> Paul
> Ted Moffett wrote:
> > All-
> >
> > A mere mention of the fact that our local cool weather the past few
> > days says absolutely nothing about long term global climate trends,
> > given the difference between local seasonal weather variability and
> > long term global climate change, inspires this response from local
> > blog right-mind.us <http://right-mind.us>:
> >
> > http://right-mind.us/blogs/blog_0/archive/2008/03/27/58989.aspx
> > -----------
> > I suggest presenting these arguments and data to a panel of well
> > credentialed climate scientists who host an award winning website/blog
> > on climate science, Realclimate:
> >
> > http://www.realclimate.org
> > -----------
> > However, given that some of the issues presented in the response on
> > right-mind.us <http://right-mind.us> above, have already been
> > discussed in detail on this website, you may just be referred to the
> > previous discussions:
> >
> >
> http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/climate-science/sun-earth-connections/page/2/
> >
> >
> http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/category/climate-science/sun-earth-connections/
> > -----------
> > I am merely a concerned citizen with no specialized scientific
> > expertise, who studies the scientific consensus on anthropogenic
> > climate change (and what we can do to address the problem), if there
> > is one, which it appears quite likely there is, given the consensus
> > position on the issue arrived at by the Intergovernmental Panel on
> > Climate Change:
> >
> > http://www.ipcc.ch/
> > ----------------------------
> > Scientist Gavin Schmidt, offering his expertise in the discussions on
> > sunspot correlations with Earth's climate (The Trouble With Sunspots)
> > at the URL above on Realclimate, is a specialized climate science
> > expert, revealed by the bios on Schmidt at the URLs below.  If you
> > truly want to debate an expert on climate science, someone of
> > Schmidt's caliber would provide a worthy challenge:
> >
> > http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=46
> >
> > http://www.giss.nasa.gov/~gavin/ <http://www.giss.nasa.gov/%7Egavin/>
> >
> > -----------------------------------------
> > Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
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