Detour into troubled water: Innovation is key to the survival of our society, Pt. 4

Originally, I was going to motor on through with land use and species loss, but hit a wall as I wish to rely on other points that would require a bit of explaining (I’m keeping these part-posts under ~800 words each). Hence, I’ve decided to make a detour in this part so that it can be used to refer to in later sections, thereby reducing the necessary weight later on.
One of my pet-peeves is the debate over anthropogenic global warming (AGW). As far as I can tell, such a debate is futile (something that I hope to explain through the collection of these related posts).

Short on Climate Change

Anyone who has been following discussions online regarding climate change should be well aware of the data (if not see NASA, or NOAA Climate for valid and up-to-date data). The cause of this is irrelevant to the fact that we are experiencing an age of changing climate regardless. It is true also that we have experienced changes in climate over the passed few millennia, including a couple of warmer and cooler periods, however I will later discuss why I believe those such times do not relate to our current situation and why they offer no reassurance for the future.

There is ever mounting evidence of our changing climate and a general consensus that this should be addressed as a matter of urgency both within the academic community and various governing bodies.

Short on Sea Levels

This is the area where I’m most out of my element (living in South Australia it’s a surprise that I don’t think snow and ice are just a myth! Luckily I grew up in the south east of Victoria and when on many trips to the snow topped mountains ;)). For that reason, I feel that John Cook at Skeptical Science puts together a great post regarding Greenland’s Ice loss here. Observations by NASA, and NOAA (again) demonstrate a general increase of sea levels over time.  Some of this is be due to thermal expansion, but the bulk will be from ice loss (Grinsted, et al. 2010). This threatens have a detrimental effect on biodiversity that rely on wetlands (Traill et al. 2010), but more on that later.

Short on Ocean Acidification

I get annoyed when I hear people state that CO2 is a harmless gas. If you again go to NASA or NOAA, you’ll find that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by more than 100ppm since the industrial revolution (Raupach et al. 2007) and is at the time of writing this 392.94ppm at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. Of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the past 200 years, around a third has been taken up by the oceans, which has already caused the ocean pH to drop by 0.1 (Fabry et al. 2008). As pH reduces, carbonate ions become less available for the many phyla of ocean dwelling animals that produce calcium carbonate exoskeleton and coral production (Fabry et al. 2008). I’ll develop in this relationship between pH and fitness in a later post.

I know that I’ve been quite light on these points. However, reviewing a wide range of the discussions among different blogs, I fear that denial manages to induce inaction through a number of useful tools; over complication and confusion (ie. an inability to see the forest through the trees), an avoidance of scientific rigour (look at the time it took Prof Abraham to dissect the mess that was Monckton’s presentation; where science papers go through an appropriate review process and are open among peers to be debated and retested, work like Monckton’s presentation is assumed to be taken at face value without such review), and an overwhelming obsession with uncertainty (I often hear, “we need to be absolutely sure if we’re going to make changes”), to name a few.

What I offer here are some basic points which are based on observation. What I will do next is develop on the various effects of these known points. There are always uncertainties, however previous model predictions are increasingly looking like they are underestimations (Grinsted, et al. 2010). If you want to be any more certain, it’ll only be in retrospect. The above points are irrefutable and dangerous if inaction continues (of which I plan to discuss). I will hopefully add some clarity to what I’ve long felt is a pointless and distracting debate and from there I hope to being to develop optimism in our potential to change.

References

Grinsted, A., Moore, J. C., and, Jevrejeva, S. (2010) Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD. Climate Dynamics. 34: 461-472.
Traill, L. W., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Delean, S., and, Brook, B. (2010) Wetland conservation and sustainable use under global change: a tropical Australian case study using magpie geese. Ecography. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0587.2009.06205.x
Raupach, M. R., Marland, G., Ciais, P., Le Quéré, C.,  Canadell, J. G., Klepper, G., and Field, C. B. (2007) Global and regional drivers of accelerating CO2 emissions. PNAS. vol. 104. no. 24:10288-10293.
Fabry, V. J., Seibel, B. A., Feely, R. A., and Orr, J. C. (2008) Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes. Journal of Marine Science. 65:414-432; doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsn048
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4 thoughts on “Detour into troubled water: Innovation is key to the survival of our society, Pt. 4

  1. If this is off topic let me know where you would prefer it on your blog, I have never been here before.
    I’m replying to your comment on Mandias blog as he has a humerous passion for snipping my comments.

    motherincarnate…. yeah debate…. that would certainly be a miracle indeed since the other side never does debate and for good reason. On the rare occasion they have wandered out of their elitist offices and plush office chairs and wait for their eyes to adjust to natural light, they get their clocks cleaned in the debate arena. I could be wrong with my numbers, feel free to correct me if i’m wrong, ( I know you will) but to my best accounting there has been less than a dozen serious debates between real skeptics and the alarmist side and on each debate there was a royal trouncing. People like the moderator/owner of this site constantly belittle Monkton but as stupid and lame and full of bad science as he supposedly is according to Mr. Mandia, he has seriously and without question thrashed your debaters and made them run home to their mammas.

    so if Monkton is as inept as he is, if global skeptics are as lame as we are, why are we always willing for a debate and have won every one. If that’s the case what does that say for the science behind ACGW and the scientists pushing the agenda?
    Any other comments you care to make motherincarnate before Mandia snips me?

    I have a long standing offer to debate with Mr. James Hoggan recognized Spin Doctor cough sorry PR man, and his cohort at desmogblogg. Thought maybe since I’m new in the global warming arena he would stand a better chance than he did with Lord Christopher Monkton. After 4 months still have heard from neither….
    Debate indeed.

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    1. As replied to here http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/climate-change-the-coming-crisis/
      “1personofdifference”,
      “On the rare occasion they have wandered out of their elitist offices and plush office chairs and wait for their eyes to adjust to natural light, they get their clocks cleaned in the debate arena”,
      you practically ooze bias.
      Have you watched Prof’ Abraham’s presentation? I’m sure you’ll see, if you do watch it, that quite obviously it is Monckton who get’s sent to the cleaners. He is very light on the science.
      “we always willing for a debate and have won every one”
      firstly, are you at all a scientist? If you’re part of the scientific community (which you clearly are not), you wouldn’t be debating in such a forum. Indeed I personally have little interest in debating AGW; I’m not a climate scientist for one (ecology) and secondly it is only part of a much larger problem. If you were part of the scientific community, debate would take the appropriate measure of study and review. This is not a leisure sport for the enthusiasts; and from my work within academic circles and for various government bodies, I have seen nothing short of consensus and a whole host of worrisome impacts unfolding.
      As for winning every time, Dr Andrew Glikson wrote an excellent piece for Climate Shifts;
      “If either party chooses not operate under those rules [of academia], then they will tend to win (unfairly), often resulting in a false impression of the resolution of the debate to the non-expert observer.”
      Your 31,000 scientists is not part of reality. As mentioned above, anyone I’ve worked with or read the papers of tends to be opposite to this view of yours. From personal experience, the people of BOM have many years of meteorological experience and certainly don’t debate over AGW. Many farmers and ecologists that I work with also have been witnessing unusual shifts. I hear nothing of this debate that you talk about.
      If there was, I’d certainly be lining up to watch the lectures and read the papers (it would put my fears to rest – those that you’ve cared to gloss over on my blog). However this is not happening. The picture just gets worse with the fresh studies in the latest journals.
      You obviously feel that you’re on a quest (hence the name of yours) and I would love it if you were right. I would suggest you do some appropriate university studies, one would hope to a masters or PhD level and provide logical reason for why almost all data points to this different conclusion. That would be a far more worthwhile venture that hunting the blogs.
      Cheers,
      Tim”
      To add to this however, I’ve had a number of run-in’s with enthusiasts, such as yourself, and feel confident that our exchange will do nothing but waste my time and bore my readers. In that respect I’m probably not going to bother debating with you over a debate that isn’t within the realms of science. You’re free to comment (my latest work regarding innovation will eventually make my entire view’s clear), but you’ll find irrelevant comments deleted.

      Like

  2. 1personofdifference, as there is little debate on this blog why don’t you join us on http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/a-glorious-defeat/#comment-8388 where Lord Monckton is the object of much vindictive from enthusiastic supporters of The (significant human-made global climate change ) Hypothesis.

    We need to spread the truth as widely as possible as a counter to the UN’s propaganda about humans causing catastrophic global climate change through using fossil fuels. Thank goodness we have effective propagandists like Lord Monckton to counter Al Gore and his disciples.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    Like

    1. spread the word! Amen! Lol.. There’s no debate over there.. Pete’s just in need of support.
      You speak like this is a religion. As you’d see if you’d read my current work in progress, i’m not concerned with your trivial AGW spectator sport. But you’ve got one thing right – monckton does nothing but spread propaganda

      Like

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