[Vision2020] PCEI Climate Change Forum Discussion On Local Blog

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 21:35:10 PDT 2008

Paul et. al.

When I read through the following contribution from climate scientist Gavin
Schmidt regarding solar forcing of climate, I could not but compare his
finely parsed analysis of the daunting complexities involved in the science
and statistics ("sadistics" to some) of the subject, to the graphs on
right-mind.us apparently offered to inspire awe regarding the "obvious"
correlation between changing solar variables and climate temperature, as if
these graphs (data and statistics can be manipulated to construct graphs to
demonstrate what is wanted) should lead thousands of scientists worldwide to
toss the evidence indicating human sourced CO2 emissions are inducing
climate forcing (warming) into the shredder.

Again, the study from Nature is at the URL below, indicating solar forcing
of climate is not the cause of the global warming observed in the past 30


Gavin even corrects himself rather humbly, admitting he made an error, at
the end of his entry at the URL below.  A scientist of Gavin Schmidt's skill
and experience is someone following the "religion of the global warmists?"


Regarding the .05% percent increase per decade in solar energy you reference
from the NASA study, if I read the results correctly, this trend would be
significant over the next century if it continued.  But these results are
not claiming, as far as I could determine, that the warming over the past 30
years can be explained by solar forcing, in contradiction to the IPCC's
conclusion that this warming is mostly due to human CO2 (and other)
greenhouse gas emissions.

The climate change skeptics who point to solar climate forcing rather than
human impacts to explain the warming trend may agree there is a long term
trend.  Other climate change skeptics deny there is any credible evidence of
a long term warming trend.  Read at URL below about Don Easterbrook from
Western Washington University in Bellingham, who was interviewed on national
cable MSNBC regarding his skepticism:

Some claim the warming over the past 30 years may be more a random
fluctuation in climate, and thus the next decade or two temperatures may
level off or decrease.  If believing this there is no requirement to explain
the past 30 year warming period by any major variable(s), either human or
natural.  It is not statistically significant.

It will be interesting to find out what really does happen in the next
couple of decades.

I'd be relieved if there is a leveling or cooling in the average global
temperature over the next two decades.  Radical climate change is nothing to
mess around with!

Ted Moffett

On Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 7:18 PM, Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com>

>  Ted Moffett wrote:
> 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 variability:
> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7108/abs/nature05072.html
> 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.
> There seem to be three things going on here that I, at least, seem to be
> getting confused.  There is 1) the 11-year sunspot cycle, 2) the research
> indicating that the sun may be brightening by 0.05% per decade, and 3)
> aberrations in sunspot activity that are also alleged to have a climate
> impact (such as the "Maunder Minimum").
> I can't tell by the summary for this article if it's addressing 1, or 1
> and 2.  The satellite data originally appeared to show that there was no
> increase between sunspot cycle minimums, due to a gap in coverage between
> two satellites.  Once data from other satellites that overlapped this gap
> was taken into account, the research showed a positive trend of 0.05% per
> decade.  There have been 30 decades between 1700 and present, and 1.0005 ^
> 30 == 1.015109 (or a 1.5% increase in total solar irradiance).  That's
> assuming, of course, that it's a continuing trend and not a fluke in these
> three sunspot cycles that the satellites have data for.  I'll have to find a
> copy of the article to see if it's talking about a 1.5% increase, or no
> increase (except between minimums and maximums of the 11-year sunspot
> cycle).
> The Maunder Minimum is interesting, because it appears to have coincided
> with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age.  The wikipedia article on it
> also states that studies indicate that the sun spends up to a quarter of
> it's time in one of these minima periods.
> So, my logic goes like this: minimums in sunspot cycle activity can cause
> catastrophic climate change (albeit in the opposite direction).  It would
> seem likely that maximums in sunspot cycle activity can cause catastrophic
> climate change, too.  Increases in total solar irradiance would also affect
> the climate.
> Nasa Study:
> http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/0313irradiance.html
> Wikipedia page on the Maunder Minimum:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_minimum
>  -------------
> 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.
> I'll do a little more reading there.  If I can get up the courage, and my
> reading hasn't already convinced me that my question is horribly stupid,
> I'll post it there and see what happens.
> 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 decades.
> I hadn't seen much about global dimming.  This is interesting.  I'll do
> some reading on it.
> 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:
> http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sun/dimm-nf.html
> http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/global-dimming-and-climate-models/
> Interesting stuff.  I'm glad somebody's working on it.
> --------------------
> 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.
> Maybe it's a limitation in myself, but when you throw too many variables
> into the pot at the same time, it makes it hard for me not to be somewhat
> skeptical of conclusions reached using that data.  It's not so much that I
> doubt the contemporary influences on warming, it's that I'm skeptical of the
> conclusions reached about their magnitudes.
> When I talk about the "global warming party line", I'm talking more about
> the media and casual conversations than I am about a conspiracy among
> scientists to milk this for all that it's worth.  It's just my opinion that
> there is a "party line" that, if you veer too far away from it, tends to
> heap ridicule and/or scorn your way.  It reminds me of the reactions I got
> directly following 9/11 when I stated my opinions that we should make our
> response an international one and not a lone wolf aggressive one.  Back
> then, you were thought to be a terrorist sympathizer hell bent on ruining
> America.  Here, you tend to be a "global warming denier" even if you're only
> putting forth a skeptical outlook and not an actual denial of the science
> involved.  I also get the idea that we're thought to be colluding with air
> conditioning manufacturers or something.  Like I want the Earth to get too
> warm to live on comfortably.
> Skepticism is a good thing.  It keeps us from running amok when someone
> tells us something.
> 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.
> I'd also like to say that I agree with Chas that I appreciate your posts,
> even if we don't always agree.
> Paul
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