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Tom, they have a few graphs based on long range data at the Wiki. Here's the 5 million year graph:

Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png

It's based on Antarctic temperatures only, probably based on borehole thermometry, which is a drilling method into the ice to estimate previous temperatures over the years.

[Edit]

About the data: It shows a gradual cooling over the past 5MY, although temperature variations seem to be much more extreme in the more "recent" periods. This may just be due to the nature of antarctic climate though (IMO).

Edited by ex_banana-eater

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GC-- What exactly is your point here; are you trying to defend that global tempertures change over long periods? That's a given. Are you trying to assert that in any quantity of time randomly picked global tempertures can on average rise or fall? That is also a given, and whether one notes an increase or decrease is going to depend on the time period that is arbitrarily chosen. When you say that man can effect the climate even locally that is a large assertion, even if "greenhouse gasses" are released in a given area, entropy always increases and those gasses will spread around the planet and can never have more than a negligeble effect on the climate. When there is a relatively large volcanic eruption such as the recent eruptions at Mt. St.Helens, these types of natural occurances put many, many, many more times of "greenhouse gasses" and the like into the atmosphere than man has in his entire history of manufacturing with little or short term climatic effects. How then could man be the cause of "global warming" if that is your assertion? If your point is not what the environmentalists is, "man did it", then what is it? What I mean is what does it matter if the earth naturally gets warmer or cooler, besides being a mildly interesting scientific fact, what does it matter? The earth's climate does what it does, with or without man's "help". A is A.

Edited by Rational_One

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My understanding of this issue is that it is primarily a _political_ one, not a scientific one.

This is true for two reasons. First, the question "Is the global mean temperature increasing?" is meaningless unless accompanied by the question "Relative to when?". Relative to the little ice age, yes, that temperature has risen. Relative to the "Holocene Maximum", no it has not. Over geologic time, the temperature of the earth has gone up and down during times when there can be no question but that man had nothing to do with it.

Second, the overwhelming majority of the noise being made over this relates to the increase of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere - allegedly caused by man. At least one extraordinarily costly measure has already been put into place (the Kyoto Protocol) to force the industries of the world to reduce their emissions of this gas. This burden falls principally on the developed nations, some of which (e.g., the U.S. and Russia) have refused the burden by not ratifying the protocol.

The problem is that man is responsible for only 0.2% to 0.3% (Causes of Global Climate Change) of the so-called "greenhouse gases" - only one of which is CO2. The evidence so far available shows that there is a poor correlation between CO2 levels and the global mean temperature (see various articles on JunkScience.Com).

The bottom line, in my view, is that global warming is yet another attempt by the anti-capitalists of the world to wreck the progress made by capitalism. It is in a sense, an attempt to make us all "equally shabby".

Mark Peters

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OK, I've examined the graphs at Wikipedia, and if they are to be believed, the current warming period is unprecedented in at least the last 1800 years in its rapidity, and (B) if the last few decades are not a freak fluctuation, the average temperatures are the warmest in about 120,000 years.

The temperature rise appears to be consistent with the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels, and abnormally rapid in comparison to previous temperature rises. Of course, all this assumes that the underlying data is valid, but there are dozens of sources sited based on the historical evidence.

The above mentioned data clearly suggests that industrial civilization and global warming are linked. Correlation is not causation of course, but the data suggests that a careful examination is worthwhile. What do you think of that?

Edited by GreedyCapitalist

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The problem is that man is responsible for only 0.2% to 0.3% (Causes of Global Climate Change) of the so-called "greenhouse gases" - only one of which is CO2.

I don't think that we can conclude that man-made emissions have no climate impact from the fact they are .02% percent. A .02% percent in mean temperature relative to 0K is about 6 degrees, which is plenty for a major ecological catastrophe. Personally, I have no idea what the relationship between CO2 levels and temperature difference is, but it's erroneous to conclude that the difference is trivial solely because it is .02 or .005 %.

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My understanding of this issue is that it is primarily a _political_ one, not a scientific one.

In terms of epistemological classification, the issue is scientific. The fact that various groups use the issue to political advantage and claim that it has political consequences (it does not) doesn't change that.

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Tom, they have a few graphs based on long range data at the Wiki. Here's the 5 million year graph:

Given the enormous fluctuations in the 5MY graph over the last 1 million years (certainly much, much longer than man could possibly have an impact), I'd say the current "warming" is a mere blip on the radar of insignificant consequence in the cosmic scale of it all. The climate will change much more dramatically than our current "warming" in both directions all on its own.

There may very well be some correllation between our current small amount of warming and industrial civilization... but so what? Look at the SIZE of those peaks and valleys on the 5MY graph!!! The amount of warming we're talking about is miniscule by comparison, and ultimately of no consequence.

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OK, I've examined the graphs at Wikipedia, and if they are to be believed, the current warming period is unprecedented in at least the last 1800 years in its rapidity,

What do you mean by unprecedented? There are periods in history where certain regions increased by 9 full degrees in a decade, or entire world climates shifted by 4 or more degrees fairly quickly.

Also, what do you mean by "current warming period"? There was a long streak of cooling period from about 1500 until 1860.

and (:worry: if the last few decades are not a freak fluctuation, the average temperatures are the warmest in about 120,000 years. 
Okay, even using the Wikipedia data, I don't know how you arrived at that conclusion. Here is a published article on a study that took into account many more factors than the Wikipedia graphs included, and is likely newer, that shows the 20th century is not even the warmest century in the last 1000 years.

Now let me take a look at the Wikipedia graphs. This is the graph showing the last 12k years, not even the last 120k, and current temperatures are not the warmest in the data shown.

The temperature rise appears to be consistent with the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels,

From what I've read before, the majority of the temperature increase from 1900-2000 happened before 1940, when there were much less CO2 emissions.

The above mentioned data clearly suggests that industrial civilization and global warming are linked.  Correlation is not causation of course

Exactly, otherwise we could also say industrial civilization has a global cooling effect, since the earth is cooler now than 90% of the planet's history.

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In response to GreedyCapitalist, first, the figures are 0.2% to 0.3%, not .02% to .03%. Second, how on earth do you get a 6 degree K temperature change relative to 0 degrees K from a two-tenths of a percent contribution?

There is nothing erroneous about concluding (concluding, not assuming) that two-tenths of a percent contribution to ALL greenhouse gases (not just CO2) could not possibly have any effect on the global mean temperature. All of man's contributions could stop tomorrow, and it wouldn't have any effect on the global mean temperature. Our contributions are literally a drop in the bucket.

You mentioned that you don't know what the relationship between CO2 levels and the global mean temperature is. Read this article, and you will:The Atmosphere and Enhanced Greenhouse - What's Going On?.

The bottom line is that the relationship is _poor_.

Classifying this as a scientific issue is a mistake - as is classifying _any_ environmentalist issue as scientific. Environmentalism is not a science, it is a pseudo-science whose primary purpose and goal is to destroy modern industrial civilization. The "science" exists as a rationalization, nothing more.

Since February 16, 2005, the principle output of the hysteria over global warming, the Kyoto Protocol, has cost an estimated US$ 16,962,037,200, with a potential temperature saving by the year 2050 so far achieved of 0.000175914 degrees C (see JunkScience.Com - the numbers have gotten worse since I wrote this).

Tell me how that qualifies, in any way, as "scientific"?

Mark Peters

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I recently read "State of Fear" and basically all you can prove with the available data is that large fast growing urban areas are warmer than they were 100 years ago. NYC for example inreased a bit in average temperature while Albany has actually gotten cooler. You can do this for any large city and smaller city in a given region and get the same results. The average temperature of the Earth has been pretty stable with a slight increase starting after the "little ice age" which just so happens to be before any industrialization was happening at all. So looking at all the data I would have to agree that urban areas are warmer due to heat retention and urbanization, but overall there is not a warming trend of the entire planet. Certainly not one caused by the very slight CO2 increase in the atmosphere allegedly caused by humans. The Earth itself is responsible for more greenhouse gases being spewed into the atmosphere than humans. Even if you disagree with MC you should get "State of Fear" for the references in the back of the book with all the data. This will help you draw your own conclusions.

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In response to GreedyCapitalist, first, the figures are 0.2% to 0.3%, not .02% to .03%. Second, how on earth do you get a 6 degree K temperature change relative to 0 degrees K from a two-tenths of a percent contribution?

The scale on the first graph is not a percentage, the units are degrees celsius (or Kelvin). The span of variation is only about a single degree. Looking at the annual average, the lowest variance looks like it was about 1861, the highest around 1999. Is a single degree of variance in average tempature over a period of 150 years of any significance at all??

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...entire world climates shifted by 4 or more degrees fairly quickly.

Prior to recorded history, a rapid change within a period of 150 years (the longevity of the current rise) would have been too short to measure, so I don't see how a direct comparison is even possible. In recorded history, no such change in indicated by the data. So within the scale of the current warming, I think it's accurate to say that the trend is in fact unprecedented.

Also, what do you mean by "current warming period"? There was a long streak of cooling period from about 1500 until 1860.

Exactly - I mean the period since 1860.

Okay, even using the Wikipedia data, I don't know how you arrived at that conclusion. Here is a published article on a study that took into account many more factors than the Wikipedia graphs included, and is likely newer, that shows the 20th century is not even the warmest century in the last 1000 years.

The Harvard study is evidence against the global warming theory, I agree, but if you take the average readings given by the Wikipedia data, the 20th century clearly is the warmest.

Now let me take a look at the Wikipedia graphs. This is the graph showing the last 12k years, not even the last 120k, and current temperatures are not the warmest in the data shown.

I don't know about you, but I am going by the average represented by the thick black line.

Exactly, otherwise we could also say industrial civilization has a global cooling effect, since the earth is cooler now than 90% of the planet's history.

This not follow, since industrial civilization did not exist for 99.9% of the planets history, whereas the current warm period has coincided with industry.

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Our contributions are literally a drop in the bucket.

I think you missed my entire point. My point was that a minor change in a complex chemical process can have a serious consequence on the process, and it's impossible to know what the impact of a change in the ingredients without examining the process. For example, a .2% increase in some of the compounds present in your body can kill you. Are you going to argue without knowing anything about biochemistry that since the change in a substance is only .2%, it must be harmless?

Classifying this as a scientific issue is a mistake - as is classifying _any_ environmentalist issue as scientific. Environmentalism is not a science, it is a pseudo-science whose primary purpose and goal is to destroy modern industrial civilization. The "science" exists as a rationalization, nothing more.

I'm not sure which issue you have in mind, but the issue I started with was whether the earth is undergoing a period of warming, what the causes are, and what the impact of that warming might be. This a purely scientific question. The fact that environmentalists hold a certain stance on that issue and make certain ethical and political conclusions based on their beliefs does not change that.

Since February 16, 2005, the principle output of the hysteria over global warming, the Kyoto Protocol, has cost an estimated  US$ 16,962,037,200, with a potential temperature saving by the year 2050 so far achieved of 0.000175914 degrees C (see JunkScience.Com - the numbers have gotten worse since I wrote this).

While I question whether it's possible to know the full cost of the Kyoto Protocol or to measure the relationship between CO2 levels and temperature, the political issues your brought up are not directly related to the question I asked.

Edited by GreedyCapitalist

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If global warming is real, how will it affect humans?

Since no one has attempted to tackle this last question, I will provide my thoughts:

Higher temperatures will probably have a beneficial impact on human welfare, primarily because of the benefits to agriculture. Longer growing seasons, warmer nights, increased precipitation, and higher level of carbon dioxide improve plant growth and make habitation of a larger part of the earths surface possible. There are additional benefits resulting from increased trade due to arctic trade routes being open longer and new routes opening up. There is also the obvious factor of the greater tolerance humans have for warmer temperatures versus colder ones.

When considering the costs of global warming, I think the biggest factor is not the warmer climate itself, but the transition costs of adopting to climate change. In this regard, it is interesting to note that technology is both our primary means of manipulating the environment and the primary means of adjusting to environmental changes.

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Thanks David, that's the kind of information I wanted (what you provided in your above post) when I asked what your point in this thread was. I still think, however, the whole concept of "global warming" has very little, if any, scientific merit, and I don't have to study graghs or psudo-scientific papers to arrive at that fact, and I am not a skeptic . I just take into account the motivations of the people making these graghs and writing these papers, and can the properly dismiss them out of hand if they are based on a poor philosophy. Also, the weakly documented 1 degree change in the ~150 year span you noted shows nothing but random and natural deviations of earth global mean temp. over a relatively short time period. I also think speculating about the effects of this "climate change" either positively or negatively is completely arbitrary. Although I do agree with you that a definate warming trend would probably produce the positive effects you spoke of in your previous post.

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I think you missed my entire point.  My point was that a minor change in a complex chemical process can have a serious consequence on the process, and it's impossible to know what the impact of a change in the ingredients without examining the process.  [...]

I did get your point, but the problem is that there is no evidence for it ... and nobody advocating global warming, to my knowledge, has made that claim anyway.

In the face of the incontrovertible fact that other sources of greenhouse gases contribute far more than man (even from single events like a volcano eruption), and are unambiguously correlated with climate change, it makes no sense at this point to worry about what man should do about his contribution.

To put it another way, if the premise is that a 0.2% change can have an important impact, does it not follow that a change that is one or two magnitudes of order larger is proportionally more important? Is it not the case that any effort we might make to reduce our contribution can be wiped out overnight by a single natural event?

I'm not sure which issue you have in mind, but the issue I started with was whether the earth is undergoing a period of warming, what the causes are, and what the impact of that warming might be. 

I think the evidence is unambiguous on these questions. The earth _is_ undergoing warming ... compared to the little ice age, but not compared to the holocene maximum. Further, most of that warming happened before heavy industrialization took place, the primary alleged culprit (CO2) is poorly correlated with it, and hence no convincing case can be made that man is the cause. Finally, as you yourself pointed out elsewhere, there is good evidence that the impact will be beneficial.

When all this (and more documented at junkscience.com and elsewhere) is taken into account, the scientific aspects of global warming are just not important - but the political ones are. Given the evidence, industrial civilization will be destroyed or at least severely harmed long before any alleged negative effects of warming will be noticed. That is a clear-cut threat to man.

That is why I say this is properly classified as a political, not a scientific issue.

Mark Peters

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Prior to recorded history, a rapid change within a period of 150 years (the longevity of the current rise) would have been too short to measure, so I don't see how a direct comparison is even possible.

What is this based on? Do you mean recorded temperature history? If so, this is incorrect, according to this paleoclimatologist.

In recorded history, no such change in indicated by the data.  So within the scale of the current warming, I think it's accurate to say that the trend is in fact unprecedented.
Recorded history is quite short, only a bit over a century, so I don't know how you can come to any conclusion that this is an "unprecedented" climate change because no one could accurately form a basis of normal fluctuations in such a short period. The claim is further more outrageous considering we have accurate data of periods prior to temperature recordings.

The Harvard study is evidence against the global warming theory, I agree, but if you take the average readings given by the Wikipedia data, the 20th century clearly is the warmest.

That is not correct:

Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

The graph clearly shows temperatures now are cooler than many periods 4000, 6000, and 8000 years before present.

This not follow, since industrial civilization did not exist for 99.9% of the planets history, whereas the current warm period has coincided with industry.

Warm periods have coincided with non-industry as well.

But, now that I think of it, macaroni and cheese is causing global warming. They've only existed during this current warm period. :D

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Recorded history is quite short, only a bit over a century

I was refering to the written record, which goes back about 2,500 years.

The graph clearly shows temperatures now are cooler than many periods 4000, 6000, and 8000 years before present.

I'm looking at the thick black line, which marks the average.

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I was refering to the written record, which goes back about 2,500 years.

First of all, 2,500 years still means nothing, especially when climate cycles often occur in that range. There are plenty of periods in which climate has substantially shifted within the last 2,500 years. Some climatologists think the medieval warming period was a full degree warmer than now, and 2.5 degrees warmer than present in Europe, which had shifted from a climate colder or just as cold as we were experiencing in the 1850's.

I'm looking at the thick black line, which marks the average.

The thick black line shows that climate is equal now to aproximately to 500YBP, 2000YBP, and from 2000YBP all the way until 8000YBP climate was higher than present. So according to that graph, in the last 8000Y's there has been only about 1500 years cooler than now. This is the graph posted as an image in my last post.

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I for one would not mind a longer Summer. 6 months of wet, dreary weather start to wear on a person. Its finally warming up here now.

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