Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who Made This?



In the comments, Toby points to an interesting YouTube Series on climate change that obviously was excerpted from a British television program.  Pointers please.

UPDATE:  Paul S. provides the link to a BBC3 series presented by Ian Stewart.  The program notes are interesting.
What have you learnt from this series about climate change?

 Until a few years ago, I was a bit of a climate sceptic. Geologists are only too aware that the climate is always changing and that our planet has experienced very different conditions in the past – warmer, wetter, drier, and colder; far more carbon dioxide in the air; higher sea levels and the rest.

We geologists are used to these changes happening over non-human timescales – hundreds of thousands to millions of years – so it took me a while to latch on to the notion that it was the rate of change that was important. I was really gob-smacked when I saw the ice cores from Greenland and was able to put my finger on the point in the core when the planet switched out of an ice age and into a warm period over the course of a single season.   At most, this fundamental change may occur over one to three years, but it's certainly not five or 10 and it's definitely not the centuries to hundreds that I learned about when I did my geology degree 20 years ago.

What is truly scary about climate change is not any of the specific scenarios of rising seas or melting ice, but the sense that our planet's climate exists on a knife-edge balance and we really don't understand what pushes us over the edge, which makes our great chemistry experiment with the world's oceans and atmosphere all the more short-sighted.

37 comments:

Paul S said...

It was a BBC 3-part series called 'The Climate Wars' broadcast around end of 2008, presented by Professor Iain Stewart of the University of Plymouth.

Anonymous said...

"We geologists are used to these changes happening over non-human timescales – hundreds of thousands to millions of years – so it took me a while to latch on to the notion that it was the rate of change that was important. "

So many people seem to miss this vital point.

Anon (1)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

"We geologists are used to these changes happening over non-human timescales – hundreds of thousands to millions of years – so it took me a while to latch on to the notion that it was the rate of change that was important."

there is no basis for claiming the rate of change is high. The current rate of change isn't compared to anything.

Anonymous said...

"there is no basis for claiming the rate of change is high. The current rate of change isn't compared to anything."

Correct. I am a geologist as well, and I find no reason to believe that the rate of change we see today is unprecedented in any way. However for the climate faithful, any tenuous evidence which supports the conclusion that humanity is having an undue influence on climate is a signal to sound the alarm. With the amount of chemistry, physics, math, biology and natural sciences geologists have to understand, I simply can’t arrive at the same conclusion.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Anon,
I am rather amazed by your contention that the current rate of warming is not high. Warming during the PETM was roughly a factor of 10 slower than the current epoch

Hank Roberts said...

Anonymous claims to be a geologist, but he's lying about the facts any geologist would know about rates of change.

He's a jerk.

Anonymous said...

The documentary is a good picture of ckimate contrarianism on the eve of full-frontal "Climategate", which seems to have given the denialist initiative to the likes of Watts, Monckton and Morano, the non-scientists.

I love Stewart's boyish optimism that everything is going to be alright.

guthrie said...

The comment by Noiln is linkspam.

As for anonymous "i am a geologist and say the rate of change isn't abnormal", evidence of shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

AnoNIMHous says,

Guthrie, I think you mean "evidence or shut the fuck up." I heartily agree, though. of course, trying to find evidence might put mr. anonymous and his "friend" in contact with actual science, and I'm not sure I can take the screams of pain when that occurs.

Martin Vermeer said...

All denialists including geologists should watch the video from about 4:53 onward, for an inside look into denialist "thinking".

(Spoiler: Pat Michaels pointing out that if you must tell tales, don't be too transparent about it. [Cynical /me thinks he's wrong: if you lie, lie big. Our Pat lacks imagination, he.] Nothing about the ethics of lying... all about its tactical sagacity. And remember boys and girls: temperatures have been rising lately, and it's us. Pat Michaels himself said so.)

Scrooge said...

Wow it looks like Prof Rabbets chocolate egg/dr pepper POE got someone to agree with him.

Anonymous said...

Horatio was under the impression that geologists have to take (and pass) a course in basic chemistry (the one where you learn about pH). But maybe Horatio was mistaken.

There are numerous "changes" that are happening in response to the increase in atmospheric CO2 over the past century.

Increasing ocean acidity is one of the most significant
"
The acidification of the ocean today is bigger and faster than anything geologists can find in the fossil record over the past 65 million years Indeed, its speed and strength — Ridgwell estimate that current ocean acidification is taking place at ten times the rate that preceded the mass extinction 55 million years ago — may spell doom for many marine species, particularly ones that live in the deep ocean."

“This is an almost unprecedented geological event,” says Ridgwell [an actual geologist]


From An Ominous Warning on the effects of Ocean acidification (by Carl Zimmer)

~@:>

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

for JBowers viewing pleasure. It seems as those the bell is tolling for Mr. Bowers

"Highly displeased with a new carbon tax established by the Australian government, Queensland’s Premier Campbell Newman has ordered former Premier Anna Bligh’s husband, Greg Withers who heads the Office of Climate Change (OCC), to begin dismantling the green energy programs he helped to create. The OCC’s annual $430 million fund which provides $30 million for climate change initiatives will be closed, along with a $50 million Renewable Energy Fund which supports a Geothermal Centre of Excellence.

Australia’s green showpiece, a $1.5 billion Solar Flagship Program, is now in jeopardy, and Queensland’s Liberal National Party government already pulled the power plug in March on $75 million in state funding pledged for a $1.32 billion Solar Dawn solar thermal project west of Brisbane. Newman also declared intentions to axe seven other green schemes because: “We now have a federal government that is imposing a big carbon tax on us and the rest of the country that is meant to solve all these [environmental] problems.” Referring to Withers, he said:” We want him to unravel those programs ‘cause he’s the bloke who set them up.”

@anonymous

ocean acidification? Professor Bell demolished that last week.

@eli rabett

justthefacts over at wuwt has put together a pretty compelling symposium of graphics to show that the temperature isn't going up.

I don't see any of your heavy hitters over there, like yourself and Big Mashey.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Jaybird, I really can't figure out if you understand that you are lying. On the one hand, what you are saying is patently false--none of it from the peer-reviewed literature. On the other hand, you are so astoundingly stupid, you might not understand this is important.

Anonymous said...

Dr JC is trying to drum up support over at WUWT

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/17/results-from-the-surface-temperature-outlier-races-just-in-time-for-ar5/#comment-958949

Louise

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@louise

because your're cowards. If you're too afraid to debate then I'm going to try and bring a team here.

Anonymous said...

@ JC - I post occasionally at WUWT but the ever so charming host doesn't seem to appreciate my perspective.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/17/the-journal-science-free-the-code/#comment-959007

Louise

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@louise

so I see you had 1 comment over there about requiring something of posters and you said e.g. Dr. Spencer.

So what does that mean? Did you have a comment deleted?

Please repost here if so.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@Louise

o ho ho ho, so you're asking if Dr. Spencer would be required to show his code!

Louise, it seems to me your team started this mess, furthermore, I believe it was Dr's Mann and Trenberth who were threatening journal publishers, Louise.

Other than that, awesome point!

Martin Vermeer said...

> because your're cowards.

Yeah, that's it -- we're afraid to accept anything as true that doesn't come with evidence.

...and no, debate doesn't count as evidence. Your argument is with reality, not with us. Take it up there

(But neat of you to warn for the coming flood of idiocy. Sure Eli knows the drill)

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous Billy


11:29am comment at WUWT from Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

"Hi everyone. I'm trying to put together a team to comment blast over at Rabett Run. They maintain that there is a big consensus about global warming so let's put it to the test. If so many people believe in the hoax, let's see how many people ccome to their defense!"

The consensus is among publishing climate scientists. The 97%...

Martin Vermeer said...

> I believe it was Dr's Mann and
> Trenberth who were threatening
> journal publishers, Louise.

Taking your business elsewhere and making a noise of it isn't usually called 'threatening', chocobar. It's called the free market. It's what folks do that tell their favorite pizza place that having rats on the kitchen floor is frowned upon in some circles.

If you had ever had the skills to produce non-junk science papers in any field, I bet you would remember the experience of trying to get published in non-junk journals.

Don't you ever get tired of being so dumb? Just curious

Anonymous said...

Hi All
I've been over at WUWT....and what an unedifying process it is! The ignorance is quite unbelievable, with posters refusing to be skeptical of someone who doesn't believe in the GE. Of course you can't use the 'denier' tag, but that is what they are.

EliRabett said...

This could be a humongous amount of fun, toss them all into the carrot dip until Tony lets the bunnies comments go. A comment for a comment, a post for a post. More work for tired old Eli.....

Let us see: Dear Steve, Eli really appreciates your comment but according to the laws of the blogs unfortunately RR cannot post it until Martin's post appears on WUWT and oh yes, Joe Romm wants a say.

EliRabett said...

Martin, Eli understands the Weasel loves mouse poppers.

Anonymous said...

Well, Horatio did not know the Goofiness would be coming to Rabett Run in all its goofy glory (except for the resident Goof, of course), but as a welcome gesture, Horatio offers:

"Loopy on the web with deny-mans"

- Another Beatles diversification from Horatio Algeranon

Picture yourself on a blog on the internet
With sciencey themes and American Pi's
Somebody calls you, you censor quite quickly
A blog with kaleidoscope lies

Surface-station photos of blacktop and grills
Challenging all of the trends
Look for a blogger with the sun in his eyes
And he's gone

Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans, ah

Follow it down to a seat in the Senate
Where oil execs attract George Marshall flies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the dung-heap
That grows so incredibly high

Cosmic ray theories appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away
Go on attack with your head in the clouds
And you're gone

Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans, ah

Picture yourself snapping photos of stations
With FOX News reporters with fossil fuel ties
Suddenly, someone is there with a term style
The blog with kaleidoscope lies

Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans, ah

Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans, ah

Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans
Loopy on the web with deny-mans

ligne said...

"justthefacts over at wuwt has put together a pretty compelling symposium of graphics to show that the temperature isn't going up."

hold on, i thought the official WUWT line was "of course the planet is warming. how dare you suggest we ever said otherwise", and had been since BEST released their results? or are we at war with Eastasia once again?

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Dr. Jay Crapbury says: "If you're too afraid to debate then I'm going to try and bring a team here."

Mmmm! Fresh meat.

[Sharpens claws]

So, Jaybird, maybe you can help me. What does it say about a political philosophy when it is so feeble it has to deny physical reality to maintain an ilusion of validity?

Russell said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@louise

because your're cowards. If you're too afraid to debate then I'm going to try and bring a team here.

O Goody Goody Cadburyshoes!

What better way to promote debate than importing the cowards who ban us there?

J Bowers said...

The Ian Stewart series was compared with the Great Global Warming Swindle by Dr Brian Cox, as an example of honest science television versus polemic, in his Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture.

Lecture - Science: A Challenge to TV Orthodoxy

Cox says of the Great Global Warming Swindle, "factually total bollocks".

(Jay, I'm not Antipodean... again)

David B. Benson said...

I don't suppose the WUWT crowd (including the resident nutty choclate bar) is capable of studying Ray Pierrehumbert's "Principles of Planetary Climate".

Might be too difficult for some geologists, it seems.

Martin Vermeer said...

Martin gets that he has been inadvertently rude to Eli's fellow rodents. Note to self: practice metaphors more discriminatingly henceforth

Anonymous said...

Pointing out to Doctor Jay that the god-like Spencer once had egg all over his face in public seems to have struck a nerve.

Cue random newspaper clippings and references to "convincing" posts from WUWT.

... and he is "going to bring a team here". Oh, lawdie!

Toby

bill said...

Is it just me or does it appear that Dr. Choccy doesn't have all that many friends?

Ah, WUWT - there are just not that many blogs where you can hope to be personally insulted by the host himself on your first outing, not least for having the word 'green' as part of your email address!

EliRabett said...

Martin, Eli, a carrot eater by trade, did not mean any correction. Playing nice is not a Rabett Run rule.

Phil Clarke. said...

Eli,

By a cosmic coincidence Anthony has just snipped me! Our mutual friend MrRichard Courtney was attempting to advance the argument that ...

"AGW-alarmists rely on the logical fallacy of ‘Appeal to Authority’."

Now, all I did was politely suggest that when this argument was being made by a person with a history of awarding himself a completely fictitious Doctorate when endorsing open letters and the like, surely the ultimate aim must be satire, but sadly the exposure of a lack of Imperial clothing is not something that we can tolerate in polite denialist society, Tony harrumphs

"[snip - Clarke- this is an old argument, waaay off topic, and one of your many angry personal axes to grind, take it elsewhere and please, be as upset as you wish. Be sure to drop the hate bombs about "WUWT censorship" on other blogs (your MO) "

In fact I am not angry, nor upset. This is not a hate bomb. I wish only Serenity and Good Karma to all, even scientifically illiterate washed up TV weathermen with no integrity.

I don't have the post saved, but I am sure I could reproduce it. If you can swing it for me to post there, in return you could allow some of WUWT regular 'Smokey's exciting insights here...

Actually no, forget it.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/17/scientists-rebuttal-of-michael-manns-denierand-other-unsavory-labels-in-his-book/#comment-959951

owlbrudder said...

Seems as though the Chocolate Blockhead has successfully brought all his friends over here from Deniers R Us. Why am I not surprised that Blocky was as unable to influence anyone over there any more than he could influence anyone over here?

C'mon, Blocky, surely Sycophant Heaven has at least one mindless follower who can be goaded into running off at the mouth over here?

No? How deflating for you. Your PhD sounds more like a phfffft now, doesn't it? To quote the blockhead: "Ho ho ho ho".