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Topic Title: E&T Magazine - Debate - Is climate change a man-made phenomenon?
Topic Summary: E&T Magazine - Debate - Is climate change a man-made phenomenon?
Created On: 21 November 2012 10:41 AM
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 24 February 2013 05:49 PM
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HazelGroveWolf

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Comment please on the practicalities:
Real power please
 24 February 2013 06:00 PM
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HazelGroveWolf

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Originally posted by: Ipayyoursalary

Indeed. In the absense of any warming this century the scaremongerers have moved onto blaming perfectly normal weather events on man-made CO2. Despite all records showing zero trend in severe weather. There hasn't been such an appalling outbreak of medieval superstition and anti-science since the salem witch trials: "We never had floods or droughts round here until those witches moved in". The desperate warmists are now relying on the public's poor memory of weather - coupled with the global proliferation of personal video cameras and youtube - to brainwash the gullable with non-stop footage of floods and storms that would never have been reported 10 years ago. Expect an E&T issue on "extreme weather" sponsored by Vestas any month now - if they haven't had one already.


Your last sentence sums up editorial bias in E&T for me. The current editor so far as I'm aware has his fingers in a few media pies and is not in a position of able judgement on technical articles. Marketing takes over from engineering.
A sad state of affairs.
 24 February 2013 07:53 PM
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jcm256

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This is the way to go, if only someone in authority could see sense in United Kingdom.

http://www.streetauthority.com...asoline-engine-459203


Meanwhile UK is not heading for another industrial revolution, with big industrial plants threatening to leave because of the high cost of energy; this is words to the problem below:

It was spawned out of the Brussels obsession with weaning all European countries off coal power. But because of Britain's rich mining heritage, it is a measure that hits the UK harder than any other EU member. Nine of the UK's coal and oil-fired power stations are destined to shut by 2015. This represents about 15 per cent of the UK's total generating capacity. This would leave Britain dependent on imported gas - which comes with a notoriously volatile price tag.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...gem.html#ixzz2Lqa3qH25
 24 February 2013 10:46 PM
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richwin

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Originally posted by: jcm256

This is the way to go, if only someone in authority could see sense in United Kingdom.

http://www.streetauthority.com...e-engine-459203



I used to have an LPG-fueled car some time ago. The gas was half the price of petrol at the time but the taxes on it have increased since.

For the same range, you need more LPG than petrol and you need more petrol than diesel so lorries will need bigger tanks - not an insuperable problem I'm sure.

According to recent claims we are sitting on large quantities of our own gas. It is just a question of whether it can be extracted. So natural gas powered vehicles could make some serious sense. The extraction process would involve "fracking" and horizontal drilling.

Contrary to popular myth, fracking is not a new and untried technology. It has been in use almost as long as there have been oil wells. So its problems are well understood.

Rumour has it that the French have lots of gas but they want to leave theirs underground. I wonder how far you can drill horizontally ...?

-------------------------
Richard Winstone MIET

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
 09 March 2013 09:32 AM
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geoffbenn

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Hi,

These days I don't often post here, but occasionally it just has to be done:
Bombshell: Recent Warming Is 'Amazing And Atypical' And Poised To Destroy Stable Climate That Enabled Civilization(Mar 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm, article quotes Fahrenheit)
New Science Study Confirms 'Hockey Stick': The Rate Of Warming Since 1900 Is 50 Times Greater Than The Rate Of Cooling In Previous 5000 Years
- the significant point is the rate rather than the absolute level.
In short, thanks primarily to carbon pollution, the temperature is changing 50 times faster than it did during the time modern civilization and agriculture developed, a time when humans figured out where the climate conditions - and rivers and sea levels - were most suited for living and farming. We are headed for 7 to 11°F warming this century on our current emissions path - increasing the rate of change 5-fold yet again.

By the second half of this century we will have some 9 billion people, a large fraction of whom will be living in places that simply can't sustain them - either because it is too hot and/or dry, the land is no longer arable, their glacially fed rivers have dried up, or the seas have risen too much.

We could keep that warming close to 4°F - and avoid the worst consequences - but only with immediate action.
- "immediate action", in other words we can make a difference.
This research vindicates the work of Michael Mann and others showing that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause during the past 2000 years - the so-called Hockey Stick - and in fact extends that back to at least 4000 years ago. I should say "vindicates for the umpteenth time" (see "Yet More Studies Back Hockey Stick").
- it gets tiresome...
Unfortunately, we have decided to change the setting on the thermostat from "Very Stable, Don't Adjust" to "Hell and High Water." It is the single most self-destructive act humanity has ever undertaken, but there is still time to aggressively slash emissions and aim for a setting of "Dangerous, But Probably Not Fatal."


For example: at 20C (68F):
- an increase of 2C is equivalent to an increase of 3.6F.
- an increase of 4C is equivalent to an increase of 7.2F.
- an increase of 6C is equivalent to an increase of 10.8F.

Six Degrees (25 November 2007, article quotes Centigrade)
"Alarmism" is a term that gets bandied about a lot. It is often said that one should not call out "fire" in a crowded building. But it really depends, one might say, on whether the "calling out" is done in such a way as to simultaneously prevent a stampede and prevent anyone getting burned.

To be sure, it is alarming, but the question of whether it is alarmist is a more difficult one, and I don't think the answer lies in debating the book. Rather, it lies in looking closely at the underlying science the book builds on.
- do we really want to take the chance of getting anywhere near taking such a chance?
At 5 degrees and 6 degrees, the book really does start to sound alarmist, with the analogy to Dante's Inferno - used to good literary effect throughout the book - coming very much to the fore. At five degrees, we have "an entirely new planet is coming into being - one largely unrecognizable from the Earth we know today. At six degrees, "... the pump is primed ... not for flourishing palm trees in Alaska, but for the worst of all earthly outcomes: mass extinction.


If anyone really feels that they need this in my own words then they should seriously consider their motives... we all need to seriously consider where we're headed... In general it seems to me that climate change deniers generally thrive on a lack of quotes of current main-stream peer-reviewed science. They prefer amateurs to say it 'in their own words' because amateurs tend to make small mistakes. I prefer to quote the experts and largely leave you to make your own minds up

Regards

-------------------------
Geoff Benn BSc(Hons) CEng MIET
George Washington: Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.
skepticalscience.com: getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
sourcewatch.org: exposing public opinion manipulation

Edited: 09 March 2013 at 09:50 AM by geoffbenn
 09 March 2013 03:32 PM
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richwin

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Originally posted by: geoffbenn

If anyone really feels that they need this in my own words then they should seriously consider their motives...


In this case, I agree, your words would not help much. However, a bit more scepticism might be advantageous

1. Does the graph look at all "reasonable"?
2. Is Joe Romm an unbiased observer?
3. Where is the underlying data?
4. Are there any problems with the data or its analysis?
5. What error bars apply?
6. Does the data support the conclusions?

The 11,000 year data is from: A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years by Marcott et al. I believe this is Marcott's actual graph.

I think Marcott has spliced data sets together as has Romm to add the projection. (I do not know where Romm gets his projection from.) So there are several apples to oranges comparisons. (Comparing one point in 400 years to one point per month is always likely to show more variability in the more frequent data. Changing transducers can also distort results e.g. comparing thermometers to proxies.)

According to the paper, some of the samples are several hundred years apart. The graph disguises that well as do the alarmist commentators. So large features like the Medieval, Roman and Minoan warm periods are too small to fully feature. When the time resolution changes for the recent data more variablity is seen.

The data represented is from 73 proxies. I hope they were not cherry picked and are truly representative.

I am sure that this is a coincidence but the cut off date for IPCC AR5 WG1 is March 15th. See here. So the IPCC will be able to have a new icon in AR5 that no-one will be able to rebut in time. (Six days to write a paper, get it accepted by a journal, peer review then accepted by the IPCC.) This is how politics is done - not science.

Another take on the data can be seen here.

So, sorry but, colour me unconvinced.

-------------------------
Richard Winstone MIET

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
 09 March 2013 03:39 PM
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richwin

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While I remain unconvinced about CO2 being a major threat and about curing the climate by raising taxes, I am not altogether unconvinced about man's influence on climate.

This type of issue make far more sense to me.

It sounds very convincing and, if true, has profound implications.

It is not the usual climate propaganda from either side and should be compulsory viewing to all those who still like to think.

-------------------------
Richard Winstone MIET

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
 09 March 2013 06:17 PM
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HazelGroveWolf

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The proposed 'solutions' get sillier, use your engineering brain Geoff.
Wood for electricity generation
 09 March 2013 10:38 PM
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amillar

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Whilst I would never dream of suggesting that the Daily Mail is anything other than a respectable peer reviewed scientific journal it is being just slightly disingenuous by subtly suggesting that trees are being felled to fuel Drax. I'm not quite sure why the suggestion that burning wood waste - as Drax has been doing for some time now - should be considered a silly solution rather than an effective use of spare resource?

P.S. For a fascinating (if slightly strangely written) book on scientific controversy in general I would recommend "The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science" by Will Storr. I've just finished reading it, and it does throw a very interesting light on discussions such as this.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 10 March 2013 01:51 AM
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richwin

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Originally posted by: amillar

Whilst I would never dream of suggesting that the Daily Mail is anything other than a respectable peer reviewed scientific journal it is being just slightly disingenuous by subtly suggesting that trees are being felled to fuel Drax. I'm not quite sure why the suggestion that burning wood waste - as Drax has been doing for some time now - should be considered a silly solution rather than an effective use of spare resource?

Are you sure that the wood chips are waste? The stories I have heard is that trees are being turned straight into chips for fuel. This is leading to a shortage of raw material for chip board manufacturers, for instance. I have not researched the subject but this link suggests that the price of chips is increasing and that suggests that is is no longer a waste product but a valuable raw material: Northwest Wood Chip Prices Level Off

P.S. For a fascinating (if slightly strangely written) book on scientific controversy in general I would recommend "The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science" by Will Storr. I've just finished reading it, and it does throw a very interesting light on discussions such as this.

I have not read the book but I am mindful of the fact that Richard Feynman claimed that the easiest person to fool is ourselves.

Amazon has this as a part of one of their reviews:

What Storr does in discussions of scientific arguments is to set personality and opinion on each side of a dispute against each other - two sets of "arguments from authority"- and comes to conclusions based on who he finds more credible or likeable. That's how journalism may work in some cases and how internet arguments are made, but it's not how scientific issues are settled. The "he said but he said" sections of the book really don't work.

That is how the discussion seems here. The book also mentiones "taking sides", I believe. That, too, is how it works here. We have two sides and we both quote from documents that support our position. If no serious debate ensues then that is how it will remain.

I also understand that cognitive dissonance is mentioned. I find some people have that in spades. For instance, the people who say that the views of scientist X can be ignored because he is not a "climate scientist". By which they mean, his or her PhD is not in climatology. They never look at the "approved" scientists and check whether they are climate scientists using the same criteria. If they did then they would not be left with many of the most prominent ones.

The same when they rubbish Lord Monckton. They don't then look at Vice President Gore and point out that his family's fortune was based on tobacco and oil, that he is not a scientist etc etc.

Do you think that just the sceptics are being irrational or are you including both sides?

I leave you with this from the Amazon reviews:

... Storr says that belief comes first and only then do we justify that belief. We discard evidence against our belief and give too much credence to evidence that supports our belief - this is the confirmation bias. A large part of our belief is hereditary, e.g. political views. Oddly, and to paraphrase the author, being clever doesn't make one any more impartial, it just makes one better able to defend one's prejudice that was arrived at purely emotionally!


-------------------------
Richard Winstone MIET

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
 10 March 2013 12:25 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: geoffbenn
By the second half of this century we will have some 9 billion people, a large fraction of whom will be living in places that simply can't sustain them - either because it is too hot and/or dry, the land is no longer arable, their glacially fed rivers have dried up, or the seas have risen too much.

Maybe we need to take better control of our population growth then. You could start by writing to the Pope to ask the Catholic church to change their stance against contraception. If it will be as you say then maybe nature is sending a message to say 'hey people you need to control your population growth else I will'.
We could keep that warming close to 4°F - and avoid the worst consequences - but only with immediate action.
- "immediate action", in other words we can make a difference.
This research vindicates the work of Michael Mann and others showing that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause during the past 2000 years - the so-called Hockey Stick - and in fact extends that back to at least 4000 years ago. I should say "vindicates for the umpteenth time" (see "Yet More Studies Back Hockey Stick").
- it gets tiresome...

The Earth has been here for 4.5 billion years, not 4000.
Unfortunately, we have decided to change the setting on the thermostat from "Very Stable, Don't Adjust" to "Hell and High Water." It is the single most self-destructive act humanity has ever undertaken, but there is still time to aggressively slash emissions and aim for a setting of "Dangerous, But Probably Not Fatal."

Look at this use/quoting of words from the activist.....Hell, destructive, aggressively, slash, dangerous and fatal. It is almost like reading stuff from a person with extreme religious views.
"Alarmism" is a term that gets bandied about a lot. It is often said that one should not call out "fire" in a crowded building. But it really depends, one might say, on whether the "calling out" is done in such a way as to simultaneously prevent a stampede and prevent anyone getting burned.

However, when a person runs around the office shouting FIRE FIRE FIRE when there is no fire and there is little risk of there being one then usually they receive medical treatment. We can put in place the proper systems and controls to eliminate hazards, reduce risks and manage emergency situations but there will still be a residual risk. Most people can accept the residual risk and get on with their lives but unfortunately there are a few who cannot and just worry about this and worry about that.
To be sure, it is alarming, but the question of whether it is alarmist is a more difficult one, and I don't think the answer lies in debating the book. Rather, it lies in looking closely at the underlying science the book builds on.

A lot of people have taken a look at the science and have critically analysed it and found fault with it. Most of those people tend to be reasonable in their views, understanding and position and really it is only the worriers and activists who cannot handle it, basically because they want the world/life as they see it in their eyes.

The IPCC and co are not completely wrong but people who cannot understand or accept their errors are not best placed to advise others on the merits of the science which the IPCC reports upon.
do we really want to take the chance of getting anywhere near taking such a chance?

Well let's be honest, we have more chance to die in a car crash and yet most of us get in our cars on a regular basis and so chance is a part of life. In reality once we are born we have to take chances until of course we die. I am sure that if we thought we were certain to die on a particular journey we would avoid that one. However, also there could be opportunities to take a different route which may work and so we would have to weigh things up and make a decision. If of course we were loading up a bus with many people then it would be a reasonable thing to have an open discussion and make a team decision, after all we are all taking the risk. I guess there may be one or two who would be the 'we are all going to die' people and one or two who would be at the other extreme, and of course there would be a possibility that either could be correct, but I am not so sure that the people with the extreme opinions would be best placed to make clear headed sensible decisions which were proportionate to the risks. But equally it is good to hear the extreme views because they are part of the debate and need to be considered.
If anyone really feels that they need this in my own words then they should seriously consider their motives... we all need to seriously consider where we're headed...

Well maybe their motives are just to hear your opinion in your own words. I think someone is afraid to write their own words because that would leave them open for critical analysis which they may not then be able to handle. It's much safer to quote others.
In general it seems to me that climate change deniers generally thrive on a lack of quotes of current main-stream peer-reviewed science.

When a CEng cannot see that we actually all agree that the climate changes and is changing then we must question if they are able to properly understand and apply the principles of science.
They prefer amateurs to say it 'in their own words' because amateurs tend to make small mistakes. I prefer to quote the experts and largely leave you to make your own minds up

We can all read the science and find the relevant links and books etc. Most of us learned to read at school and then went onto to further study and work etc., and so reading is a sort of part of our DNA now.

When the expert says the solution is to jump off the cliff many engineers will apply the principles of science and critically analyse what has been said and challenge it and then make their decision. One amongst us will have already jumped.

There is already a lot being done to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions and we do not need to place anymore restrictions on our way of life or ability to stay competitive in the world.

Regards.
 10 March 2013 12:38 PM
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westonpa

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Good points Richard.

Regards.

Edited: 10 March 2013 at 10:46 PM by westonpa
 10 March 2013 12:52 PM
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seeker

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There is a fantastic amount of opposing thoughts around on the internet but the following link by von-storch might be well worth reading - http://notrickszone.com/2013/0...-oversold-the-science/
 10 March 2013 11:59 PM
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richwin

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Originally posted by: amillar

Whilst I would never dream of suggesting that the Daily Mail is anything other than a respectable peer reviewed scientific journal it is being just slightly disingenuous by subtly suggesting that trees are being felled to fuel Drax.

Andy, you might consider this more respectable - still not peer-reviewed prior to publication, though, but I will wish you sweet dreams anyway.

who-says-its-green-to-burn-woodchips

-------------------------
Richard Winstone MIET

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)
 13 March 2013 07:27 AM
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geoffbenn

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Some of you may find the following interesting:
Attack of the climate-denial books - Conservative think tanks fuel publishing boom that spreads misinformation
The books help think tanks and others promote conservative causes, raise uncertainty about the threat of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, and downplay the need for reducing carbon emissions, Dunlap said in an interview. They are a perfect vehicle for the "top-down diffusion of climate-science denial from elites and conservative think tanks in this country to rank-and-file Republicans and Tea Party members," he said. In addition, the books help conservative think tanks in the US "spread the seeds of climate denial to other countries," including the UK, Canada, and Australia, as well as a number of European nations, said Dunlap.

"They are clearly a vital weapon in the conservative movement's war on climate science, and one of the key means by which it diffuses climate change denial throughout American society and into other nations."

The books "confer a sense of legitimacy on their authors and provide an effective tool for combating the findings of climate scientists that are published primarily in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals,"

climate skeptics' books tend to recycle "zombie arguments that are disproven over and over and then pop up again. The books can make any points they want to," without going through any of the scientific peer-review process that traditional scientific papers require.
Regardless of whether or not they have scientific credentials, the authors, in turn, are often treated as "climate experts" who may be interviewed on television and radio and quoted by sympathetic columnists, bloggers, and conservative politicians


Regards

-------------------------
Geoff Benn BSc(Hons) CEng MIET
George Washington: Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.
skepticalscience.com: getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
sourcewatch.org: exposing public opinion manipulation
 13 March 2013 08:25 AM
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geoffbenn

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And here is a bit more of the science behind some recent news:

Earth Warmer Today Than During 70 to 80 Percent of the Past 11,300 Years
Mar. 7, 2013 - Using data from 73 sites around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct Earth's temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age, revealing that the planet today is warmer than it has been during 70 to 80 percent of the time over the last 11,300 years.

Of even more concern are projections of global temperature for the year 2100, when virtually every climate model evaluated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that temperatures will exceed the warmest temperatures during that 11,300-year period known as the Holocene - under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

Clark said that other studies, including those outlined in past IPCC reports, have attributed the warming of the planet over the past 50 years to anthropogenic, or human-caused activities - and not solar variability or other natural causes.

"Now we know that it is warmer than most of the past 11,300 years. This is of particular interest because the Holocene spans the entire period of human civilization."

"The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age," said Candace Major, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, which co-funded the research with NSF's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. "This research shows that we've experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history - but this change happened a lot more quickly."

Nuf said...

-------------------------
Geoff Benn BSc(Hons) CEng MIET
George Washington: Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.
skepticalscience.com: getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
sourcewatch.org: exposing public opinion manipulation
 13 March 2013 10:06 AM
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clivebrown

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I ve recently discovered http://www.avoid.uk.net/ which is a UK network covering the latest climate development work in this country. It includes links to presentations at a recent symposium at the RS, one of which was by Sir John Beddington (Government Chief Scientific Adviser).

So the evidence FOR continues to build but the prospect of adequate global action still seems remote - and I'd agree that wood chips for large scale consumption at Drax seems questionable!

The debate needs to move on - accept that we have a mega problem and get solutions working.

Regards......Clive

-------------------------
clivebrown

Edited: 13 March 2013 at 10:13 AM by clivebrown
 13 March 2013 10:25 PM
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richwin

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Originally posted by: geoffbenn

And here is a bit more of the science behind some recent news:

Earth Warmer Today Than During 70 to 80 Percent of the Past 11,300 YearsMar. 7, 2013

Nuf said...


I'd like to say a bit more if that is OK Geoff?

The article above is talking about the same paper as the article you posted on the 9th, Marcott et al. So my previous comments still apply.

One example of the disingenuousness of their graph is the way they have plotted contiguous data with vastly differing time resolutions. Try it in Excel or a spreadsheet of your choice.

1. Add one random number for each month for 11,300 years.
2. Average the data in groups of 200 years so that the first 2,400 months result in one average figure.
3. Repeat until you get to the last 100 years then do no more averaging.
4. Plot the first 5,600 averages and the last 100 years of monthly data against time.

The last 100 years will be very spikey and will have peaks well in excess of any in the first 11,200 years. It is just maths - nothing to do with climate. It also means features that lasted a century or so are greatly smoothed.

Even so a picture or two might help to put things into some perspective.

The frst is Marcott et al

(NB The graph I posted last time was a Monte Carlo simulation run from the same paper.)

The second picture is that graph added to the end of the Vostock Ice Core Data. This is the data used in Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". It is the white square at the end of the red arrow. Look carefully. (The picture will not be exact - I used MS Paint and did it by eye.)

This is another take from tucsoncitizen.com. Look at graph3; you can see how the earlier variability has been reduced.

So I would say that for all its scare value and media coverage it "don't amount to a hill of beans" as they say in Casablanca.

-------------------------
Richard Winstone MIET

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

Edited: 13 March 2013 at 11:17 PM by richwin
 13 March 2013 10:33 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

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> Geoff Benn wrote : "Nuff said"

Geoff, you do realise the Marcott study you linked to:

All they've done is glue together two completely different data sets to create the illusion of modern warming: The 50 marine sediment proxies they use have a low resolution of about 300 years so they smooth out annual variations. So they tacked them onto the modern thermometer record - and claim the resulting graph demostrates exceptional modern warming. No it doesn't. All it shows is the difference between a low-pass filtered signal and a high-frequency signal. It's a pretty pathetic attempt. You can't wave that rubbish graph in front of trained engineers and expect them to take you seriously. And that's before we even get into how they selected the 73 proxies and what the proxies they rejected show. Or how badly their results match other proxies such as Greenland ice cores etc.

The fact that such a piece of regurgitated junk science is being unquestioningly promoted by alarmists world wide give you some idea of how desperate they've become.

Meanwhile there's been no global warming this century and in the UK it's mid-march and snow's still on the ground.
 15 March 2013 10:55 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

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Test. I think we may have reached the max number of posts since this thread doesn't seem to be accepting new ones,
IET » Other and general engineering discussions » E&T Magazine - Debate - Is climate change a man-made phenomenon?

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