Science & Technology

Global Warming Interrupted, Part Deux

From Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be FINE • The Register

New research produced by a Norwegian government project, described as “truly sensational” by independent experts, indicates that humanity’s carbon emissions produce far less global warming than had been thought: so much so that there is no danger of producing warming beyond the IPCC upper safe limit of 2°C for many decades.

“In our project we have worked on finding out the overall effect of all known feedback mechanisms,” says project manager Terje Berntsen, who is a professor at the University of Oslo’s Department of Geosciences and a senior research fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO).

“We used a method that enables us to view the entire earth as one giant ‘laboratory’ where humankind has been conducting a collective experiment through our emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates, deforestation, and other activities that affect climate.”

Berntsen and his colleagues’ results derive in large part from taking account of the way that global temperatures have remained flat for the last fourteen years or thereabouts, instead of climbing as they ought to have done with increased carbon levels.

“The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity,” explains the prof.

“We are most likely witnessing natural fluctuations in the climate system – changes that can occur over several decades – and which are coming on top of a long-term warming.”

At the moment levels of CO2 stand at around 395 parts per million (ppm), climbing at around 2 ppm each year and accelerating. In pre-industrial times the levels is reckoned to have been 280 ppm. Depending on various factors, the amount of atmospheric CO2 might have doubled to 560-odd ppm around the year 2050.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that would be disastrous as it would probably mean 3°C warming or more: and the IPCC considers that anything above 2°C means terrible consequences for humanity. Thus the organisation has long sought to limit atmospheric CO2 at 450 ppm, though this is regarded as a lost cause by many.

But Berntsen and his crew say that analysis is much too pessimistic. They consider that the likeliest result from doubled carbon (which would actually occur some decades after the doubled level was reached) would be just 1.9°C – within the IPCC target. According to the Research Council of Norway, the government arm which funded the new research:

When [the] researchers instead calculate a probability interval of what will occur, including observations and data up to 2010, they determine with 90% probability that global warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration would lie between 1.2°C and 2.9°C.

This maximum of 2.9°C global warming is substantially lower than many previous calculations have estimated. Thus, when the researchers factor in the observations of temperature trends from 2000 to 2010, they significantly reduce the probability of our experiencing the most dramatic climate change forecast up to now.

Other recent research has suggested warming of this sort with doubled CO2, but so far the IPCC and the warmist-alarmist community generally has been reluctant to accept the new findings. However the state of the accepted science is beginning to change, with Britain’s Met Office lately revising its forecasts of warming sharply downwards.

Renowned Swedish climate boffin Caroline Leck, who was not involved in the research, commented:

“These results are truly sensational. If confirmed by other studies, this could have far-reaching impacts on efforts to achieve the political targets for climate.”

The Research Council’s announcement of the new results can be read here.

To quote Harry Binswanger “While President Obama is calling for more tilting at windmills, pun intended, the news on the climate front continues to go against him.”

Global Warming Interrupted, Part Deux

From Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be FINE • The Register

New research produced by a Norwegian government project, described as “truly sensational” by independent experts, indicates that humanity’s carbon emissions produce far less global warming than had been thought: so much so that there is no danger of producing warming beyond the IPCC upper safe limit of 2°C for many decades.

“In our project we have worked on finding out the overall effect of all known feedback mechanisms,” says project manager Terje Berntsen, who is a professor at the University of Oslo’s Department of Geosciences and a senior research fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO).

“We used a method that enables us to view the entire earth as one giant ‘laboratory’ where humankind has been conducting a collective experiment through our emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates, deforestation, and other activities that affect climate.”

Berntsen and his colleagues’ results derive in large part from taking account of the way that global temperatures have remained flat for the last fourteen years or thereabouts, instead of climbing as they ought to have done with increased carbon levels.

“The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity,” explains the prof.

“We are most likely witnessing natural fluctuations in the climate system – changes that can occur over several decades – and which are coming on top of a long-term warming.”

At the moment levels of CO2 stand at around 395 parts per million (ppm), climbing at around 2 ppm each year and accelerating. In pre-industrial times the levels is reckoned to have been 280 ppm. Depending on various factors, the amount of atmospheric CO2 might have doubled to 560-odd ppm around the year 2050.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that would be disastrous as it would probably mean 3°C warming or more: and the IPCC considers that anything above 2°C means terrible consequences for humanity. Thus the organisation has long sought to limit atmospheric CO2 at 450 ppm, though this is regarded as a lost cause by many.

But Berntsen and his crew say that analysis is much too pessimistic. They consider that the likeliest result from doubled carbon (which would actually occur some decades after the doubled level was reached) would be just 1.9°C – within the IPCC target. According to the Research Council of Norway, the government arm which funded the new research:

When [the] researchers instead calculate a probability interval of what will occur, including observations and data up to 2010, they determine with 90% probability that global warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration would lie between 1.2°C and 2.9°C.

This maximum of 2.9°C global warming is substantially lower than many previous calculations have estimated. Thus, when the researchers factor in the observations of temperature trends from 2000 to 2010, they significantly reduce the probability of our experiencing the most dramatic climate change forecast up to now.

Other recent research has suggested warming of this sort with doubled CO2, but so far the IPCC and the warmist-alarmist community generally has been reluctant to accept the new findings. However the state of the accepted science is beginning to change, with Britain’s Met Office lately revising its forecasts of warming sharply downwards.

Renowned Swedish climate boffin Caroline Leck, who was not involved in the research, commented:

“These results are truly sensational. If confirmed by other studies, this could have far-reaching impacts on efforts to achieve the political targets for climate.”

The Research Council’s announcement of the new results can be read here.

To quote Harry Binswanger “While President Obama is calling for more tilting at windmills, pun intended, the news on the climate front continues to go against him.”

Global Warming Interrupted, Part Un

From Climate watch: 2012 figures confirm global warming still stalled • The Register:

The two major US temperature databases have released their consolidated results for 2012, and as had been expected, global warming has failed to occur for approximately the fourteenth year running. One of the US agencies downgraded 2012 to tenth-hottest ever: it had been on track to rank as 9th hottest.

The tenth-hottest result comes from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the three main global databases used to assess planetary temperatures and the only one of the three not so far linked to political climate activism*.

The NOAA says that the 2012 average was 14.47±0.08°C, which makes it the tenth hottest in its records. Preliminary figures released last November ahead of the Doha carbon talks by the World Meteorological Organisation, which averages all three datasets, suggested that the year would be ninth hottest and NASA agrees. However the difference is not a big one: the projected WMO figure was 14.45°C.

However one slices it, the world has not warmed up noticeably since 1998 or so, though all three datasets show noticeable warming in the two decades prior to that.

“Global Warming” Skeptics Don’t Deny Global Warming, They Deny A Global Warming Apocalypse

Bait and Switch in the Climate Debate – Forbes

Over at Salon (originally from Desmog Blog, I think) this chart is actually described as a “slam dunk” against “climate deniers.”

Most informed skeptics do not deny global warming — how could you, the world has clearly warmed over the last century (though some of us will argue that land-based metrics are exaggerating that warming). We skeptics don’t even deny that CO2 causes some warming.  In my case I accept Michael Mann’s old number of about 1C of warming (before feedbacks) from a doubling in CO2.

What we skeptics “deny” is the catastrophe — that hypothesized positive feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system will multiply the initial warming from CO2 many times, raising it from a manageable one degree or less over the next century to three or five or ten degrees.   Skeptics believe that temperatures will rise due to CO2, but will remain within the bounds of temperatures we have already seen over the last millenia, including those in the Medieval Warm Period during which European civilization thrived.  

And we believe that the cost of economic dislocations, particularly in developing countries, from limiting fossil fuel consumption will be far worse than from merely adapting to a one degree change.  

What fair-minded person could possibly imagine this black circle in any way is a rebuttal to this skeptic position?

Krohn, Conservatism, Kant, and the Destruction of Values

Jonathan Krohn first captured the national spotlight when he authored the book Defining Conservatism and delivered a speech at CPAC in 2009.  He had accomplished all of these major feats when he was only 13 years old.  At 17, he’s now making the necessary preparations to enroll at NYU.  However, according to a recent Politico article, Krohn has made a massive ideological shift…backwards.  In fact, Krohn will neither call himself a conservative or reject the ideology outright.  As the article states, “Krohn won’t go so far as to say he’s liberal, in part because his move away from conservatism was a move away from ideological boxes in general.”

Krohn explains it this way:

“One of the first things that changed was that I stopped being a social conservative,” said Krohn. “It just didn’t seem right to me anymore. From there, it branched into other issues, everything from health care to economic issues.… I think I’ve changed a lot, and it’s not because I’ve become a liberal from being a conservative — it’s just that I thought about it more. The issues are so complex, you can’t just go with some ideological mantra for each substantive issue.”

Indeed, “conservatism” is quite similar to the concept of a mixed economy.  Where a mixed economy is a volatile mix of freedoms and controls, conservatism is a slap-dashed conglomerate of free market principles and mysticism–or an appeal to the Dark Ages.  Ayn Rand put it this way:

The most immoral contradiction—in the chaos of today’s anti-ideological groups—is that of the so-called “conservatives,” who posture as defenders of individual rights, particularly property rights, but uphold and advocate the draft. By what infernal evasion can they hope to justify the proposition that creatures who have no right to life, have the right to a bank account?

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 227

However, this doesn’t answer the fundamental question of why Krohn consciously decided to abandon the importance of principles altogether.  What Krohn reveals is most disturbing:

“I started reflecting on a lot of what I wrote, just thinking about what I had said and what I had done and started reading a lot of other stuff, and not just political stuff,” Krohn said. “I started getting into philosophy — Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Kant and lots of other German philosophers. And then into present philosophers — Saul Kripke, David Chalmers. It was really reading philosophy that didn’t have anything to do with politics that gave me a breather and made me realize that a lot of what I said was ideological blather that really wasn’t meaningful.”

Of all the philosophers Krohn lists as important to him; the one who lived and wrote before the rest, and who remains a titan in the field is–Immanuel Kant.  I’ll refer to Ayn Rand once more to elaborate why Kant is such a destructive force in the realm of philosophy:

The man who . . . closed the door of philosophy to reason, was Immanuel Kant. . . .

Kant’s expressly stated purpose was to save the morality of self-abnegation and self-sacrifice. He knew that it could not survive without a mystic base—and what it had to be saved from was reason.

Attila’s share of Kant’s universe includes this earth, physical reality, man’s senses, perceptions, reason and science, all of it labeled the “phenomenal” world. The Witch Doctor’s share is another, “higher,” reality, labeled the “noumenal” world, and a special manifestation, labeled the “categorical imperative,” which dictates to man the rules of morality and which makes itself known by means of afeeling, as a special sense of duty.

The “phenomenal” world, said Kant, is not real: reality, as perceived by man’s mind, is a distortion. The distorting mechanism is man’s conceptual faculty: man’s basic concepts (such as time, space, existence) are not derived from experience or reality, but come from an automatic system of filters in his consciousness (labeled “categories” and “forms of perception”) which impose their own design on his perception of the external world and make him incapable of perceiving it in any manner other than the one in which he does perceive it. This proves, said Kant, that man’s concepts are only a delusion, but a collective delusion which no one has the power to escape. Thus reason and science are “limited,” said Kant; they are valid only so long as they deal with this world, with a permanent, pre-determined collective delusion (and thus the criterion of reason’s validity was switched from theobjective to the collective), but they are impotent to deal with the fundamental, metaphysical issues of existence, which belong to the “noumenal” world. The “noumenal” world is unknowable; it is the world of “real” reality, “superior” truth and “things in themselves” or “things as they are”—which means: things as they are not perceived by man.

Even apart from the fact that Kant’s theory of the “categories” as the source of man’s concepts was a preposterous invention, his argument amounted to a negation, not only of man’s consciousness, but ofany consciousness, of consciousness as such. His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man islimited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them.

For The New Intellectual, 30

And there you have it.  The story of a young boy who embraced “conservatism,” with all its contradictions and logical loopholes, as a viable ideology only to discover that it’s not.  Subsequently, he has gone on to learn that attempting to understand reality and existence is merely a futile effort due to the construction of the human brain–at least according to Kant.  Krohn was right to reject “conservatism” but he has escaped flagrant contradictions only to fall for evasion (His exposure to the former helps explain his attraction to the latter as well).  Here’s hoping Jonathan will read his way to Ayn Rand soon–before the NYU faculty gets to him.

The FDA Owns Your Stem Cells

Writes Scientist Keith Lockitch on FDA Versus Stem Cell Therapies:

Who owns your cells? The FDA seems to think it does, given its lawsuit against Regenerative Sciences, a company that treats orthopedic injuries by extracting, culturing and reinjecting adult stem cells derived from a patient’s bone marrow.

The case is precedent-setting in that FDA is claiming authority to regulate a patient’s own cells as though they were chemical drugs. As one researcher describes it:

If you start to look at this product as being the patient’s own stem cell, how can the FDA claim Regenerative is manufacturing [cells] – they’re culturing them. . . . They seem to have lost perspective on using autologous stem cells. There’s just no way you could apply manufacturing standards. . . . The FDA does not come into a cardiology practice and tell doctors how to do their surgeries or how to do heart replacements. And yet they feel they can come into a stem cell clinic.

The problem with FDA “coming into a stem cell clinic” is that this could have a significantly chilling effect on this whole field of medical research. Under the burden of FDA’s regulatory intervention, the costs of developing adult stem cell treatments would explode and treatments that might have otherwise been profitable might never even make it to market—as has happened with drug development in the U.S. And while stem cell therapies are under FDA review, patients will be denied government permission to use treatments derived from their own cells. [FDA Versus Stem Cell Therapies]

Read the full post at VOICES for REASON.

What Facts of Reality Gave Rise to the Science of Economics?

Capitalism Magazine has another excerpt from Dr. Northrup Buechner’s Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Changes Everything About Economics.

The book sold out at this year’s OCON conference and though somewhat controversial, is definitely worth a read.

Read What Facts of Reality Gave Rise to the Science of Economics?

Physics Today: Logic Leap Reviewed

“The Logical Leap” — a Review:

That scientists should employ the inductive method is not the main theme of The Logical Leap; rather, the book makes the stronger claim and demonstrates that scientists must use this method in order to make progress. And many scientists are indeed making progress, even now, particularly in the applied fields. But what happens when the inductive method is misapplied, or worse, abandoned? String theory is a case in point: Some physicists accept it because it is “beautiful”, not because it was induced from observational evidence. That sort of evidence has caused many fundamental theories of contemporary physics to stagnate for more than a generation. Indeed, Harriman quotes the late Harvard University chemist E. Bright Wilson, who said, “It is very unsatisfactory that no generally acceptable theory of scientific inference has yet been put forward. Mistakes are often made which would presumably not have been made if a consistent and satisfactory basic philosophy had been followed.”

Defining the Climate Debate

Another great one by Warren Meyer:

Alarmists like to call climate skeptics “deniers,” usually in an attempt to equate climate skeptics with holocaust deniers. But skeptics do not deny that temperatures have warmed over the last century, or even that man (through CO2 as well as land use and other factors) has played some part in that warming. What skeptics deny, though, is the catastrophe. And even more, what skeptics deny is the need to drastically reduce fossil fuel use – a step that will likely be an expensive exercise in the developed west but an unmitigated disaster for the poor of Asia and Africa. These developing nations, who are just recently emerging from millennia of poverty, need to burn every hydrocarbon they can find to develop their economies. [Denying the Catastrophe: The Science of the Climate Skeptic’s Position – Forbes]

Climate: Is The Debate Over?

What is, and isn’t, settled about climate science. Guests: Hadi Dowlatabadi is Canada research chair and professor in Applied Mathematics and Global Change at the University of British Columbia. Richard Lindzen is a professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.