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Matt Ridely on the greening of the planet

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  • User profile image
    Proton2

    The scientist Matt Ridely has an interesting talk about the current condition of the planet:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S-nsU_DaIZE
  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie
  • User profile image
    Proton2

    @Dr Herbie: I love the thinkprogress blog site. Very entertaining  Wink  especially Joe Romm

    By the way Herbie, did you watch the Matt Ridley video at all?

    I will watch the video you recommend later when I have time. Update, I see its just text Crying  , will read later.

    Here is another video worth watching:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vpTHi7O66pI

    and a longer version:

    http://vimeo.com/8239427

    "Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert," begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it's happening to about two-thirds of the world's grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

    - - -

    Meanwhile:

    not so warm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/18/newsbytes-climate-scientists-turn-skeptical-as-climate-predictions-fail/

    Rest assured though that the above has been thoroughly debunked, by, err, calling me names and using the D word:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Cherrypicking+fruitless+debate/8118451/story.html

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @Proton2: Thanks for the vid!

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Yes, because one outlying datapoint alone clearly contradicts a long term trend, especially when that data has a history of fluctuating around the trend Perplexed Come back to me in a decades time with a consistent drop in rate of warming and we'll talk about this...

    (In fact, if one were to take a frequentest approach to probability (which I don't entirely endorse), one could say that 5% of data points would be expected to fall outside the 95% confidence region.)

    And of course scientists devised a theory that fitted the existing data. That's kind if the point. The fact that the theory correctly predicts the known data is really important, because if it didn't it would be utter bunkum.

    EDIT: Also, is the Y-axis showing difference in temperature from a set point in time, or rate of temperature change?

  • User profile image
    Proton2

    @GoddersUK: The Y axis is the global surface temperature anomaly. I do not know what the base years are that are used to calculate the anomaly, and I don't know if this is land surface only or if it includes sea surface temperatures as well.

    The average temperature of the earth is approximately 14 or 15 degrees Celsius  (288 Kelvin)

    It looks like this chart starts around when the UN IPCC says humans started to have an influence on temperatures due to CO2, generally around 1940 - 50, when levels started to rise. Prior to that date any temperature rise is considered to be from natural variability and not from anthropological sources.

    So when you see or hear about how the globe warmed such and such amount since 1880, when the first thermometers were invented and started taking temperatures, keep in mind that all the temperature rise from 1880 to about mid 20th century was natural warming. Most people are not made aware of this fact.

    - - -

    The fitted data that you allude to is actually from tuning climate models, but unfortunately there is no way to verify, as there are so many different ways that you can change the various variables that go into climate models to get the same fitted results. Only future data can verify if the climate models actually work, or provide some guide into how accurate they are. As you probably know weather models are good at most to about 7 to 8 days before they are completely unreliable. The chart shows that the climate models that are used to predict / project future temperature have been on the high side when compared to actual observations.

    - - -

    What you may not know, as you say "Come back to me in a decades time with a consistent drop in rate of warming", is that there has been no global warming from 16 to 23 years depending on which UN IPCC approved data set you use. :

    global temp

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/05/has-global-warming-stalled-now-includes-january-data/

    There is also a 68 page report on this standstill in temperatures here you can download:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/report-global-temperature-standstill-real/

    - - -

    There is an interesting idea of using an statistical model for climate that might show some promise:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/08/statistical-physics-applied-to-climate-modeling/

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    If in 10 years things are different than what the models predict, then I won't be shocked. 

    And if, by then, we have better evidence for a different conclusion then again, I won't be shocked.

    But the charismatic ramblings in a video by this dude (or Al Gore, for that matter) don't matter because they aren't science.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @ScanIAm: Curious, what does science mean to you then?

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @Maddus Mattus: Lets get one thing straight -- Matt Ridley is NOT a climate scientist, he's a Zoologist (like me). His circle of competence is evolution (as is mine).  As such he is NOT qualified to guide public opinion on climate change (and neither am I).

    Accepting Matt Ridley as "a scientist" and asking him about climate change is like accepting a heart surgeon as "a doctor" and asking them about the pains you get in your knee; it's just not something they're trained to know about.

    As a Zoologist, I do not consider myself qualified to cover the finer points of climate change science -- I accept that more than 90% of the people qualified in the subject think it's a real issue, just like I accept that 90% of the people qualified to treat cancer agree that radiotherapy is the best course of action, because I'm a biologist doesn't mean I'm a qualified oncologist.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @ScanIAm: Curious, what does science mean to you then?

    At the very least more than "charismatic ramblings".

    What Ridley didn't even address is that with increased warming the amount of browning will surely overtake the amount of greening. At some point there will be no other land to turn from white to green while there will be plenty of land to turn from green to brown.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @Dr Herbie: If I read you correctly, one must have a degree in a certain field in order to do science in a certain field. I strongly disagree with that view.

    And if that is indeed the view, where does one get a degree in climate science? Where did the first climate scientist come from?

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @Dr Herbie: If I read you correctly, one must have a degree in a certain field in order to do science in a certain field. I strongly disagree with that view.

    That's somewhat of a mischaracterisation of what Dr Herbie said.

     

    Getting a degree is not necessary to take part in the discussion, but it's the easiest way to get the broad background knowledge and foot into a job that gives you the experience required in order to take an active and constructive part in the discussion.

    Matt Ridley doesn't have a degree in the subject, hasn't written any critically acclaimed research in the field and doesn't even have a full time job in the field.

    He's not a climate scientist. He's an armchair critic shouting unhelpful comments from the peanut gallery. If he was serious about doing climate research, he'd get a job, a degree and/or do some real research into the area.

    Until then, he's not an asset to the discussion. He's just a distraction.

     

  • User profile image
    Proton2

    , Dr Herbie wrote

    @Maddus Mattus: Lets get one thing straight -- Matt Ridley is NOT a climate scientist, he's a Zoologist (like me). His circle of competence is evolution (as is mine).  As such he is NOT qualified to guide public opinion on climate change (and neither am I).

    Accepting Matt Ridley as "a scientist" and asking him about climate change is like accepting a heart surgeon as "a doctor" and asking them about the pains you get in your knee; it's just not something they're trained to know about.

    As a Zoologist, I do not consider myself qualified to cover the finer points of climate change science -- I accept that more than 90% of the people qualified in the subject think it's a real issue, just like I accept that 90% of the people qualified to treat cancer agree that radiotherapy is the best course of action, because I'm a biologist doesn't mean I'm a qualified oncologist.

    Herbie

     

    What qualifications do you need to be a climate scientists?

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , Proton2 wrote

    *snip*

     What qualifications do you need to be a climate scientists?

    The only qualification that you need to be a meteorologist pretending to be a climate scientist is a pulse.

  • User profile image
    Proton2

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    The only qualification that you need to be a meteorologist pretending to be a climate scientist is a pulse.

     

    Climatology is meteorology over a long period of time.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , Proton2 wrote

    *snip*

     

    Climatology is meteorology over a long period of time.

    Climatology is a science. Meteorology (as practiced by Anthony Watts) is reading a teleprompter.

    But apologies to real meteorologists with real degrees for lumping Anthony Watts with them as Anthony Watts doesn't even have a degree let alone a degree in meteorology. He was technically just a TV weatherman and not really a meteorologist.

    So I should have said:

    The only qualification that you need to be a TV teleprompt reader pretending to be a meteorologist pretending to be a climate scientist is a pulse.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    , Proton2 wrote

    *snip*

     

    What qualifications do you need to be a climate scientists?

    You cannot declare yourself to be an expert, other people who have proven experience in the subject have to declare you an expert.

    You need experience and some recognition that you know what you're talking about -- either a qualification or one or more publications in a peer-reviewed journal.

     

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @Dr Herbie: So, you either need a written statement from an authority or approval of authority figures (same thing basically) in order to have an opinion or do science in a field?

    What guarantee will I, as a layman, have that they are right?

    If we would apply the same rules to computer industry, we would still be running DOS 1.0,.

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