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Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to expand their knowledge and improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens in global warming skepticism. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet uncritically embrace any argument, op-ed piece, blog or study that refutes global warming.

So this website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

Monday, 30 August, 2010

Sea level rise: the broader picture

Sea level rises as ice on land melts and as warming ocean waters expand. Sea level rise mutually corroborates other evidence of global warming as well as being a threat to coastal habitation and environments.


Posted by doug_bostrom at 10:26 AM   |   14 comments

Sunday, 29 August, 2010

Human CO2: Peddling Myths About The Carbon Cycle

Before the industrial revolution, the CO2 content in the air remained quite steady for thousands of years. Natural CO2 is not static, however. It is generated by natural processes, and absorbed by others.


Posted by gpwayne at 6:14 PM   |   13 comments

Saturday, 28 August, 2010

Why we can trust the surface temperature record

Surveys of weather stations in the USA have indicated that some of them are not sited as well as they could be. This calls into question the quality of their readings.

However, when processing their data, the organisations which collect the readings take into account any local heating or cooling effects, such as might be caused by a weather station being located near buildings or large areas of tarmac. This is done, for instance, by weighting (adjusting) readings after comparing them against those from more rural weather stations nearby.


Posted by John Russell at 7:41 PM   |   24 comments

Saturday, 28 August, 2010

Ocean acidification threatens entire marine food chains

Not all of the CO2 emitted by human industrial activities remains in the atmosphere.  Between 25% and 50% of these emissions over the industrial period have been absorbed by the world’s oceans, preventing atmospheric CO2 buildup from being much, much worse.

But this atmospheric benefit comes at a considerable price.


Posted by Michael Searcy at 10:11 AM   |   35 comments

Friday, 27 August, 2010

Comparing volcanic CO2 to human CO2

The solid Earth contains a huge quantity of carbon, far more than scientists estimate is present in the atmosphere or oceans. As an important part of the global carbon cycle, some of this carbon is slowly released from the rocks in the form of carbon dioxide, through vents at volcanoes and hot springs. Published reviews of the scientific literature by Moerner and Etiope (2002) and Kerrick (2001) report a minimum-maximum range of emission of 65 to 319 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Counter claims that volcanoes, especially submarine volcanoes, produce vastly greater amounts of CO2 than these estimates are not supported by any papers published by the scientists who study the subject.


Posted by Andy S at 9:20 AM   |   23 comments

Thursday, 26 August, 2010

Can humans affect global climate?

When we experience weather events like hurricanes and floods, it’s very easy for us to feel insignificant and powerless in the face of such massive natural forces. How can humans influence this? Well, yes, we can. Of course we can’t influence a single weather event, but we can and do have a long term influence on the climate that causes it.


Posted by John Russell at 8:30 PM   |   33 comments

Thursday, 26 August, 2010

Climate Models: Learning From History Rather Than Repeating It

Climate models are mathematical representations of the interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, ice – and the sun. This is clearly a very complex task, so models are built to estimate trends rather than events. For example, a climate model can tell you it will be cold in winter, but it can’t tell you what the temperature will be on a specific day – that’s weather forecasting. Climate trends are weather, averaged out over time - usually 30 years. Trends are important because they eliminate - or "smooth out" - single events that may be extreme, but quite rare.


Posted by gpwayne at 12:00 PM   |   31 comments

Wednesday, 25 August, 2010

Arctic sea ice... take 2

ADMIN NOTE: On Monday, I must have had a senior moment - I meant to post the new Basic version of the "Arctic sea ice has recovered" argument but somehow ended up copying and pasting the Intermediate version. I'll take this as a cautionary tale not to rush a blog post just before going to sleep. In the meantime, here is the actual Basic version written by Graham Wayne:

Discussions about the amount of sea ice in the Arctic often confuse two very different measures of how much ice there is. One measure is sea-ice extent which, as the name implies, is a measure of coverage of the ocean where ice covers 15% or more of the surface. It is a two-dimensional measurement; extent does not tell us how thick the ice is. The other measure of Arctic ice, using all three dimensions, is volume, the measure of how much ice there really is.


Posted by gpwayne at 9:26 AM   |   27 comments

Tuesday, 24 August, 2010

Hansen etal hit a Climate Home Run -- in 1981

Guest post by muoncounter

By nature, science is a prediction business.  We analyze what data we have available up to a given time and then we say:  Here is what will happen if ...  It is risky.  The bad news is that everybody will pounce on our failures.  So we need to look back every once in a while and celebrate one that was right.

In August 1981, Hansen, Johnson, Lacis, Lebedeff, Lee, Rind and Russell published a paper in Science entitled Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, making the following predictions:


Posted by muoncounter at 12:27 PM   |   25 comments

Tuesday, 24 August, 2010

Station drop-off: How many thermometers do you need to take a temperature?

An oft-cited skeptic argument is that the decrease in available temperature measuring stations during the 1990s introduces an increased bias towards warming. The argument is based upon the premise put forward by some climate change skeptics that stations which show more warming were kept and ones that show less warming were dropped. The reason this assumption is made is because during the 1990s there was a large reduction in the number of meteorological stations being used for global temperature analyses.

In order to test this theory, several independent researchers (Tamino, Ron Broberg, Zeke Hausfather, Joseph at Residual Analysis and others at the Clear Climate Code Project) and have calculated whether the stations dropped showed less warming than the ones kept. The results? Several find no difference and several find that dropped stations show more warming.

Furthermore, it is also important to note that the methods used in global temperature analyses make them robust to the loss of stations because they use techniques which incorporate multiple nearby stations into analysis of any individual region.

So to conclude: Independent researchers have shown that there is no truth to the claim that cooling stations were removed, in fact evidence suggests that if these stations were included, warming would be shown to be slightly greater.


Posted by Robert Way at 9:45 AM   |   18 comments

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