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Here’s some more stuff on climate change that I’ve posted to Facebook and Quora in my perhaps futile attempts to explain a few facts to the deniers …
For a start, it’s no good going with the raw, unaltered temperature data. The raw data needs to be adjusted. Weather stations move, usually from warm central urban areas (heat islands) to airports in cooler spots on the outskirts. Thus the older temperatures are adjusted down to eliminate the heat island effect. Also, changes in temperature measuring instruments and methods have generally resulted in lower and more accurate readings in more recent times. In the 19th century, instruments were typically attached to walls of buildings and protected from the sun by metal screens but this had the effect of pushing up temperatures. Sometimes, a thermometer was simply placed on the wall of a tin building, thus the very high temperatures often recorded in this period. A little later, instruments were often put in gardens away from buildings, but infrared radiation from the ground could push temperatures up on calm sunny days. The instruments used to measure temperature also change, such as from analogue to digital which is more accurate. Scientists need actual temperatures and actual changes in temperature rather than just looking at thermometers. All the adjusted data is there and so is the raw data for anyone to analyse and debate. This NASA graph shows how actual global temperatures have risen: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/.
There are all sorts of deniers whether it’s anthropogenic global warming, round earth, vaccination, AIDS, smoking causing cancer, evolution, the Holocaust, man landing on the moon, various other historical events.
There are various controllers of climate. The sun is the most important one. Others include greenhouse gases, obliquity, albedo. Solar activity has been falling slightly since the 1950s. Obliquity is gradually decreasing as we head to another glacial period in several tens of thousands of years’ time. Albedo is probably having a slight cooling effect. In contrast, the increase in greenhouse gases is pushing temperatures up rapidly.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas (numerous experiments and observations have been conducted since the 19th century) and thus heats the earth. Without CO2, the earth’s surface would be at least 30 degrees Celsius cooler. The more of it, the warmer the surface. Vostok ice core data showed the swings in CO2 levels of about 180 ppm and 280 ppm between glacial and interglacial periods. And CO2 changes come first, then temperatures, contrary to what deniers would like to believe. After a glacial period, it is changes in earth’s orbit that initiate warming, not CO2. As the oceans warm, CO2 is released from there into the atmosphere. The increase in atmospheric CO2 (it rose from about 180 ppm to 280 ppm between glacial and interglacial periods) caused temperatures to increase as CO2 is a greenhouse gas. About 90% of the warming happened after the increase in atmospheric CO2. Also, a warmer climate means more evaporation and therefore more water vapour in the atmosphere. Water vapour is also a greenhouse gas.
Other factors such as solar activity and obliquity have been far more important determinants of climate throughout history. But it all happened naturally. Industrialisation has meant that CO2 has become by far the most important determinant. Yes, warmer is bad. What’s happening is that we are emitting about twice as much CO2 as the environment can absorb so it builds up in the atmosphere about 100 times faster than coming out of the last glacial period, pushing temperatures up at least 10 times faster than coming out of that period. Temperatures are up a degree since the 1970s (when many developing countries got going with industrialisation, adding their CO2 emissions to those of advanced economies) and temperatures are expected to rise another couple of degrees by 2100. The rapid climate change we’re seeing has brought about a steady increase in extreme weather all around the world: hot, cold, wet, dry, stormy, windy. The number of extreme weather events is up fourfold since 1980 and costs in real terms are also way up: https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-global-catastrophes. Climate change increases the risk of fires starting by lightning; see, for example: Climate change increasing risks of lightning-ignited fires. The bushfires this season in Australia are unprecedented and have been caused mainly by lightning. There are serious health issues and species vulnerability and other problems with rapid anthropogenic global warming. Also, there is accelerating ice melt and accelerating sea level rise. Temperatures rose by five degrees coming out of the last glacial period and sea levels rose by 400 feet. So if we get a temperature rise of three degrees, coastal cities and vast areas of farmland will go under at some stage. We’re not all going to die in 10 years’ time or 100 years or probably 1000 years. But it won’t be much fun being around in several hundred years’ time.
Virtually all climate scientists have concluded that we have global warming and that it’s our fault. No scientific organisation takes a contrary view, nor does hardly any government except the Trump regime and Brazil. The science is settled. For quite some time, climate scientists have been mainly researching the effects of this warming and what we can do to try and avoid the worst of it such as shifting to renewables (solar and wind are now cheaper than coal), rather than trying to show we have anthropogenic warming which has already been done.
Don’t listen to the deniers. They haven’t got a clue. Numerous experiments and observations since the 19th century show that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. What is happening is that we are releasing about twice as much CO2 emissions as the environment can absorb so it builds up in the atmosphere about 100 times faster than coming out of the last glacial period and this is pushing temperatures up at least 10 times faster than coming out of that period. There is nothing else that can be causing it. Solar activity has declined slightly since the 1950s. Volcanic activity is low and accounts for less than 1% of human emissions. Albedo is giving a long term cooling effect. Obliquity is decreasing and is also resulting in long term cooling.
Virtually all climate scientists agree with have serious anthropogenic climate change. No scientific organisation takes a contrary view. Luckily, most of the politicians around the world agree with the scientists and the scientific organisations and are taking action to help mitigate the problem such as the shift to renewables.
Who’s getting wealthy from climate science? Nearly all the scientists are employed by universities and by government organisations and are on fixed salaries. But I presume you’re referring to Al Gore. He made his money selling a TV network, from Apple shares, from being a politician and also some from his documentary. The serious money is in big oil, coal and gas which pay heaps of money to right wing think tanks and the like who then pay money to various climate deniers to produce rubbish papers, blogs, etc.
All I can do is give you the facts. If you choose to believe something else, that’s up to you. I am familiar with the science sites and the denier sites and it’s abundantly clear who is correct. If you don’t understand or accept the fact that a number of large surveys of the literature have found 96–98% agreement with anthropogenic global warming, try the polls of the climate scientists themselves and you’ll find a similar level of agreement that we are causing the warming.
These people spend years studying climate science and then make a career of it as they are interested in and good at science rather than to try and fudge results to get more money or something. No one is going to give anyone more money if their research finds that we have anthropogenic global warming. Besides, nearly all the research these days is into the effects of global warming and what we can do to alleviate it. Also, any errors will be found during the peer review process or by deniers, but on the rare occasion some denier has got stuck into a climate scientist, the denier has been found to be incorrect.
You present no case for the denier side, basically I suppose because there isn’t one. Denier stuff contains faulty science, selective data and information, and wrong conclusions. More than 90% of denier papers are from right wing think tanks funded by big oil, coal and gas and are rubbish. Deniers seem to be an endangered species with most remaining deniers being in the US. Even in the US, the latest Gallup poll shows that 66% of residents say the increase in temperatures over the last century is more due to us than natural causes. How about you put forward a case for the denier side and I’ll show you where it falls down.