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Climate modelling - just so much uncertainty as to be almost meaningless

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by qubit, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Just read this interesting Economist article on the effects of greenhouse gases and global warming and what it might or might not do to the planet.

    It describes so many drastically different scenarios - from the apocalyptic to the nothing-to-see-here - arrived at by different and respected climate scientists, that it looks like mankind basically doesn't have a damned clue what's going to happen. The root of this problem seems to be the incredible complexity and planetary scale of climate modelling rather than any form of human corruption.

    No wonder many people are skeptical about the whole thing and see this more as scaremongering to give governments the excuse to foist unfair and restrictive austerity policies on their citizens, all the while extracting more money from them in one way or another in the name of saving the planet.

    Given the above paragragh, you might think that I'm a climate change denier. I'm not. I've certainly seen it change in my lifetime and new extreme and damaging weather records are being set all the time, so it's quite real all right despite the temperature reaching a plateau over the last couple of decades or so. It just looks to me like all this is being widely abused by our esteemed effing politicians to foist all this so-called "green" policy crap on us, whether it's genuinely needed or not, in order to promote their public profile and hence stay in power longer and earn more money.

    Read the article at The Economist and decide for yourselves.
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  2. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    global warming, fuel crysis, are all bullshit. i have been hearing that fuel/coal is supposed to last 40 years... that was since 20 years ago(well i am 21, but my dad said he has heard that) so we should be half way to a fuel crysis by now and yet i see 1000tonnes of coal coming to the power plant near my college everyday.

    its all BS.

    the only realities are oozone depletion (which is curing itseff now) and general environmental pollution.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
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  3. claylomax

    claylomax

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    CO2 is going up but there hasn't been warming since 1998. It's just an excuse to tax the hell out of us. Since 2008 winters in the UK have been getting colder but they (IPCC) always have an answer: blame it on Climate Change.
  4. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    The article has it right - the concept of global warming is not up for debate; we need to move on. The debate is on its scale of the effects. The subtitle of the article says it perfectly, The climate may be heating up less in response to greenhouse-gas emissions than was once thought. But that does not mean the problem is going away. This leaves a debate as to what is the right point is at which to take action. If you ask me, every single prediction is at least a 1.5°C increase in temperature, so why not start at working toward combating that 1.5°C rise in temperature and then adjust the plan when new evidence comes about? It's a fallacy to assume that the goal we pick today is immutable for the next 100 years.
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  5. HossHuge

    HossHuge

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    I honestly don't care so much about global warming but there is no question that we are making the earth worse for our children. Air, water and ground pollution are worse than ever before.
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  6. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    DDD's dad have spoken. He fathered a brilliant young go-getter, so he must be right.

    So much this.
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  7. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Talk to me in 40 years. Glad I don't have kids.
  8. Kaynar

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    Global warming perfectly exists, its just not as dramatic as described in many journals because enough steps have been taken for now to reduce its effect to a minimal. Granted that there is a standard 2% increase in total power consumption every year overall (thats official numbers) on this planet, it is required by everybody to take additional small steps every now and then to reduce this effect.

    Of course, I will agree with the OP that the most common steps taken by governments, such as taxing to increase price and therefore reduce affordability, is not a solution for ANYTHING. A school kid could find taxing as a solution to everything yet this is what politics seem to know as "best professional solution".

    It is for our own good that we must use more energy efficient devices. They don't cost more and they consume less. Why not then?

    Go read some stuff and see some pictures about some extremely large Chinese (20-40mil ppl) cities where people can't see 50 feet in front of them because of pollution in the atmosphere. This is what global warming is in a nutshell example of a city only. Also, what about the number and strengh of hurricanes in the USA the past years since CO2 levels are skyrocketing every year?

    Now, it would take A LOT to reach that level globally and according to current official data we are not going to reach that any time soon, but its good to take steps to reduce the pollution that causes global warming as much as we can because: a) it gives jobs to highly trained people, b) it will lead us to freedom from petrol gas and coal which WILL be depleted one day in the far-far future c) it will give countries economic freedom from petrol market which is a HUGE deal if the source of energy can be produced anywhere and does not need to be extracted from a specific place on earth.

    Lastly, even without global warming made from humans, there is a natural return period of "hotter" years which is much more significant than the human-generated global warming and nobody in working in the ecology science doesn't "like" to talk about that.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  9. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Just wanna add that in my opinion, the planet's climate is changing as much due to its own cycles as anything that man has done.

    I've read on sites like New Scientist before that if anything, we're heading for another ice age, which might help to explain this temperature plateau we're seeing. Of course, it would take hundreds or thousands of years for an ice age to kick in properly, but the first signs of it may perhaps be seen now.
  10. Nosada

    Nosada

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    I was always very pessimistic of the whole "we are the ones destroying the planet, but can save it as well"-line, but none of that matters anymore.

    None of the "actions" our governments have taken and none of the "sacrifices" the citizens had to make has made any change. Whether or not we are actually doing our environment harm or not, and in what degree, is meaningless, since the only thing that lowered our output of filth has been the economic crisis. None of the "noble goals" our governments set, which have cost billions upon billions, are going to be met.

    The ONLY difference that the entire environmentalism-movement has made is that some people made a boatload of money, most of the time on the back of consumers and tax-payers.

    The amount of money wasted on "going green" and "saving banks" could have cured cancer, aids, stopped deforestation, saved a few actual species, built the LHC's bigger brother, put a colony on Mars, given everyone affordable healthcare, fed most of africa, designed cleaner nuclear powerstations and forced the middle east into getting it's shit together. But instead we have failing wind turbines, anemic solar power and 100.000$ electric cars so Hollywood celebs don't have to feel guilty about buying a third mansion.

    People are idiots ...
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  11. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    The green concept is good, using less energy and looking at different ways to generate it are good things. The approach and the political stuff surrounding it is not. It's not an easy problem to solve because it's a global problem, and while individuals can be pretty smart, groups of people are never smart. No, not even TPU users. You can't just say "if we had not done x we could have done y instead" because that is not how it works.
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  12. ShiBDiB

    ShiBDiB

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    Realistically my feeling is that I'll be dead by the time anything drastic happens.. so no f's given...

    But I'm also a believer that it's cyclical and regardless of how many dbags buy a prius that the earth is going to warm up and cool down on its own.
  13. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    and they all lead to a temperature increase.

    here is a gun, everybody agrees that it will go off when you fire, some people say it will kill you, some people say it might not, some people say the bullet will miss you.

    no matter how big the short-term effect, nobody will sacrifice their economy for climate change, so not much point discussing. once the shit hits the fan, humans will figure out a way, they always have

    many had hoped that reduced availability of fossil fuels (= higher cost) would lead to better efficiency, but the current US shale gas/oil boom took that option off the table.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  14. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Indeed, but to properly base policy on climate research and predictions, they must at least be within reasonable bounds, not such a wide "anything can happen" range. The situation we have now really allows corruption to flourish in order to fleece the likes of ordinary people like you and me. :shadedshu:
  15. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    Policy makers never really cared, look at results of previous climate conferences
  16. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    1. It is cyclical, there's not much discussion about that.
    2. Selfish bastard. :p

    It would be corrupted no matter what. That's the nature of things, and climate change is is just another outlet for the frustation of impotence. The problem isn't the flesh, it's the core. Most things are just symptoms of illness, the actual problem is generally greed and ego. The world is steeped in it though, and while we can't kill every sinner out there (that would remove every human), we can buy Priuses and low power light bulbs. It's silly, but I understand the people that care. You have to care about something, but it's futile, so why not care about something that could have made a slight difference if it wasn't for the stupidity surrounding it?
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  17. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Frick, I agree that you'd get corruption due to all that greed and ego even if the results were much more convergent. Heck, you know just what a cynic I am! :laugh: However, the people in power (lumping politicians, big companies etc all together here) would be more constrained in what they could bullshit us about and would have to pay the scientists more money to fabricate evidence to allow them to continue peddling these things since the science would more reliably tell us where the climate is heading.

    In the meantime it's an unfortunate fact that wherever man lays down any kind of infrastructure like new power stations, roads, new towns, airports etc, some part of the natural environment is destroyed. These things are mutually exclusive unfortunately so only a limited amount of mitigation can take place. If we didn't do this and lived "at one" with our environment, we'd all still be living in caves on a subsistance basis.
  18. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    It's just the environmentalists making noise (as usual).
    [​IMG]

    Oh, and they're wrong. Just look what they did to nuclear energy in the USA--the cleanest source of power. They shut it down for decades (Obama approved 5 plants recently). You know who was laughing? The people environmentalists hate the most: oil and gas executives.

    Let's also not forget that USA predominantly funded (>50%) the IPCC which issued alarmist "findings" in 2007. They toned those findings way back in their most recent release because a lot of their own predictions (like warming directly correlating with CO2 levels) were wrong. I found some environmentalist publications that claimed the arctic ice cap would be gone by 2013...that dream didn't pan out.


    I'm a skeptic (obviously) and the reasons? They're giving them to me. XD
    Crunching for Team TPU

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