Mark's environmentsal panic attack

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMnetzero.net
Thu Jun 8 23:52:28 MDT 2000


>>I would say that your continuing refuals to accept the
known facts about changes in the weather, the fact which is no longer denied
by anyone that mean temperatures have increased, does put you in the camp of
irrational denialists. It isn't newspeople who have been linking weather to
suspected climate change with zero scientific basis or understanding, it is
the scientists themselves. Why are you unready to acknowledge this? <<

Mark,

    Maybe the scientists in Britain are different from the American ones.
There is absolutely no agreement in the scientific community that there has
been a significant change towards more extreme weather patterns. But don't
take my word for it. The following is from NOAA:

*   *   *

Is the climate becoming more variable or extreme?

On a global scale there is little evidence of sustained trends in climate
variability or extremes. This perhaps reflects inadequate data and a dearth
of analyses. However, on regional scales, there is clear evidence of changes
in variability or extremes.

In areas where a drought usually accompanies an El Niño, droughts have been
more frequent in recent years. Other than these areas and the few areas with
longer term trends to lower rainfall (e.g., the Sahel), little evidence is
available of changes in drought frequency or intensity.

In some areas there is evidence of increases in the intensity of extreme
rainfall events, but no clear global pattern has emerged. Despite the
occurrence in recent years of several regional-scale extreme floods there is
no evidence of wide-spread changes in flood frequency. This may reflect the
dearth of studies, definition problems, and/or difficulties in
distinguishing the results of land use changes from meteorological effects.

There is some evidence of recent (since 1988) increases in extreme
extratropical cyclones over the North Atlantic. Intense tropical cyclone
activity in the Atlantic appears to have decreased over the past few
decades. Elsewhere, changes in observing systems confound the detection of
trends in the intensity or frequency of extreme synoptic systems.

There has been a clear trend to fewer extremely low minimum temperatures in
several widely-separated areas in recent decades. Widespread significant
changes in extreme high temperature events have not been observed.

There is some indication of a decrease in day-to-day temperature variability
in recent decades.

*   *   *

    The URL is:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/climate/globalwarming.html#Q7

    As you can see, one of the main factors causing perturbations is the El
Niño/La Niña oscillation, which has been more frequent and intense in the
last quarter century or so, although no one has a good theory as to why.
Some scientists speculate the intensification might be linked to global
warming, but if so, no one has been able to suggest how that works.

The oscillation itself is clearly unrelated; it has been a known phenomenon
for hundreds of years, although it has only been since the late 80s, after
the advent of continuous world coverage by meteorological satellites, that
its importance to weather patterns throughout big parts of the world was
recognized.

That temperatures have risen is not a disputed fact. What to make of the
observation is. There are lots of problems with the data, and the data does
not fit the general circulation models particularly well. Too much of the
temperature rise came too early, for one thing. That is of course the
significance of the article YOU posted to me explaining (among other things)
why one could not claim this data REFUTED the global warming hypotheses.

    You ask in another post why I insist on blaming the bourgeois press for
much of the misinformation, instead of accepting that this is what
scientists are saying. The reason I insist on blaming the bourgeois press is
that I've observed first-hand the creation of such stories on countless
occasions. I've been to or watched on satellite feeds the actual news
conferences, and then seen later how they are reported. I've been doing this
now since the summer of 1989 (or was it 90?), it was a hot summer in the
U.S. that coincided with the first wave of mass hysteria among bourgeois
reporters, and especially the weather forecasters on TV, about climate
change. Now you have to understand these people supposedly studied weather
forecasting, but mostly they're just actors. The better ones understand a
fair bit about hurricanes and tornadoes and thunder storms and fronts and
high and low pressure systems and give very good presentations. The
forecasts themselves, of course, all the data, maps and everything else come
from either the national weather service of private companies that provide
it to the TV stations. The point is, however, that they are, in the best of
cases, weather people, not climate people.

The others who tend to handle this material are "general assignment
reporters" and they are absolutely clueless as a rule, and anchors (news
readers), who, it is generally recognized, aren't even *supposed* to know
anything about anything. Their job is to sound convincing, i.e., acting.

The misinformation and confusion got so out of hand that about three or four
years ago, I forget exactly, the White House called a big meeting on climate
change for the people who do the weather on TV, and trooped in a bunch of
scientists from the NOAA and NASA to tell them, among other things, that all
this stuff they'd been repeating for years during every heat wave was a
bunch of bunk, and to please cut it out.

José
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Jones" <jones118 at lineone.net>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 4:56 AM
Subject: RE: Mark's environmentsal panic attack



Jose G. Perez wrote:
>
> Mark,
>
>     Why is the end of the present interglacial merely "theoretical"? We've
> got core samples going back close to 500,000 years showing the
> things works
> like clockwork (well, almost).

This the longest Interglacial in the records. There is much speculation
among climatologists that GHG so far released in 250 years of industry have
forestalled it, but only temporarily, because while airborne GHG has
immediate heat-trapping effects, much slower processes are involved before
equilibrium-change can happen. The oceans have proved a great heat-sink and
that has caused atmospheric temperatures to rise more slowly than was first
expected. It takes a century or more for the changes in ocean heat levels to
start having other effects, for example on the North Atlantic thermohaline.
If this is shut off, then there is a danger of climate-flipped which would
result in glaciation across Eurasia; the increase albedo effect would cool
the climate still further, and other processes would begin. It is too soon
to know how it will play out above all because of the terrifying uniqueness
of the human experience. The planet earth had a different atmosphere
hundreds of millions of years ago. It was carbon and methan rich and oxygen
poor. The first simple life forms existed in that atmosophere, which would
poison us; but oxygen would have poisoned them. Ove a very long period of
time, simple life forms did change the atmosphere; they fixed carbon,
trapping it in their calcified shells or falling to the ocean bottom. More
oxygen and less GHG meant a colder planet more suited for mroe complex life
forms to emerge (us). What we did is, we dug up the fossilised remains of
the wee beasties who lived and died so long ago, called it Black Gold, and
rerealsed the trapped carbon into that atmosphere, thus restoring it to a
state last seens several hundred million years ago. We don't know what the
effect will be but we do know that the termohaline has already started to
shut down, so that therefore big climate changes are in store.
>
>     Now, I don't know about climate flipping, but I DO understand that, if
> people do not change the climate system, all reputable scientists
> agree we'd
> be going back in the freezer just about now, if not this millennium, then
> the next or the one after. And as you noted earlier these changes
> tend to be
> rather sudden. By the time people started noticing and talking about a
> series of unusually severe winters, we'd probably be well on the way to
> Siberia.

Well, the first thing we'd notice would be changes in the ocean heat
conveyor, and that is indeed now happening. Your following remarks show why
you 'distrust the scientific consensus'. I don't think we agree on this. You
are simply dismissinbg the science because you don't like the sound of it.
Of course, there are huge uncertainties and gaps in knowledge and much
controversy, but to dismiss it in this way is wrong. What we know for sure
is that unabated GHG emissions are making the climate more unstable in ways
which threaten the human life-world and biodiversity in general. We cannot
be complacent about that. Because you dislike "catastrophic" and
> "ultimatistic" speculations, you are in danger of ignoring the evidence
that does exist and that is now accepted by an overhwelming majority of
reputable scientists. I would say that your continuing refuals to accept the
known facts about changes in the weather, the fact which is no longer denied
by anyone that mean temperatures have increased, does put you in the camp of
irrational denialists. It isn't newspeople who have been linking weather to
suspected climate change with zero scientific basis or understanding, it is
the scientists themselves. Why are you unready to acknowledge this? You say
>The deluge of misinformation is astounding, especially when  it comes to
"record breaking" summer temperatures or extreme events like hurricanes,
floods and droughts< but far from being misinformation, there is a wealth of
scientific evidence about the facts of these events

Mark



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