User:Π/CP Global warming

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Conservapedia[edit]

Conservapedia's Comments

RationalWiki Responses

Consensus[edit]

Indeed, a recent Gallup poll of climate scientists in the American Meteorological Society and in the American Geophysical Union shows that a vast majority doubts that there has been any identifiable man-caused warming to date (49 percent asserted no, 33 percent did not know, 18 percent thought some has occurred; however, among those actively involved in research and publishing frequently in peer-reviewed research journals, none believes that any man-caused global warming has been identified so far). [1]

Oddly enough, even though 82% of US climate scientists refused to support the global warming theory then, liberal activists were already claiming a scientific consensus for Anthropogenic global warming. (It's hard to understand how 18 percent credence in any global warming translates into "consensus" support for human-caused global warming.)

Note that a full citation for the poll isn't given by Lindzen; perhaps this is because he intentionally lied about its results..? Despite the identical claims of Rush Limbaugh and George Will, the Gallup poll in question found that a majority (66%) of the 400 scientists questioned believed in human-caused global warming, while 23% were undecided and only 10% disagreed. [2] The San Francisco Chronicle published a correction from Gallup regarding this: "Most scientists involved in research in this area do believe human-induced global warming is occurring now."[3] The fairly significant minority in this poll who did doubt human-induced global warming were likely borne of the relative scarcity of convincing evidence for it in 1991.[4]

Are the Himalayan glaciers retreating?[edit]

Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame." [5]

In typical fashion, Conservapedia omits the wide body of evidence that glaciers are retreating worldwide in favour of mentioning an expanding anomaly. Fowlera and Archer (2006) is the study Conservapedia's source is referring to. It says,

"Temperature data for seven instrumental records in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush Mountains of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB) have been analyzed for seasonal and annual trends over the period 1961–2000 and compared with neighboring mountain regions and the Indian subcontinent. Strong contrasts are found between the behavior of winter and summer temperatures and between maximum and minimum temperatures. Winter mean and maximum temperature show significant increases while mean and minimum summer temperatures show consistent decline. ... This divergence commenced around the middle of the twentieth century and is thought to result from changes in large-scale circulation patterns and feedback processes associated with the Indian monsoon. The observed downward trend in summer temperature and runoff is consistent with the observed thickening and expansion of Karakoram glaciers, in contrast to widespread decay and retreat in the eastern Himalayas. This suggests that the western Himalayas are showing a different response to global warming than other parts of the globe."

This study clearly does not contradict Gore's assertion; in fact the authors reaffirm it in the abstract! (Other studies ignored by Conservapedia have likewise confirmed Gore's claim.[6][7])

Two additional articles on Conservapedia deserve mention:[edit]

Global sea level measured by surface gauges between 1807 and 2002 and by satellite between 1993 and 2006

Sea level increase in the last few centuries is the result of natural factors and is unrelated to anthropogenic global warming[citation needed]. The trend of 7 inches per century began in the 1850s, long before the use of fossil fuels; see Hydrocarbon use.
(The "citation needed" tag is on the original!)

Glacier-shortening-Slide2.png
(no commentary)
CP's graph with population overlay
The two graphs (for sea level rise and glacier shrinkage) do show an inversion of cause and effect between hydrocarbon use and the effect. However they also omit the major early "hydrocarbon" used - timber, whether as wood or charcoal. The use (combustion) of timber was the prime mover of the Industrial Revolution and of the deforestation of much of the industrialising western world, and began anywhere between 1600 and 1750, depending on location. The rapidly increasing population after the "dark ages" also increased timber consumption both for building, where the major effect would be of deforestation, and for heating with the additional production of greenhouse gasses. Data for timber usage is not easy to find but population growth can be superimposed on either graph and shows a different picture. At first the effect lags behind but, as "hydrocarbon" usage increases, storms ahead. Incidentally, if the scales are manipulated (stretching hydrocarbon use "taller") the difference is much less apparent.
  1. Global Warming: The Origin and Nature of the Alleged Scientific Consensus - Lindzen, Richard S. Cato Institute. Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 1992
  2. In Denial on Climate Change - Hart, Peter. Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
  3. Myth: Humans are not causing global warming.
  4. The Debate on Radio 4 (dead link)
  5. Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny (dead link) (The author of this article is a member of The Heartland Institute)
  6. An Overview of Glaciers, Glacier Retreat, and Subsequent Impacts in Nepal, India and China - World Wildlife Fund Nepal Program
  7. Geomorphological evidences of retreat of the Gangotri glacier and its characteristics - Naithani, Ajay K. et al. Current Science, Vol. 80, No. 1, 10 January 2001 pp. 87-94