FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

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FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-10-09 06:25am

FEE is the Foundation for Economic Education. It's pretty much lubertarians. It seems suspicious yet I can't detect any overt quackery here... so give a brother a hand, guise.
FEE.org wrote:
How the Debate on Climate Change Is Cooling Down

In a previous column, I noted that the typical audience reaction to my talks about the improving state of the world is not joy and thankfulness for the progress that humanity is making in tackling age-old problems such as infant mortality, malnutrition, and illiteracy. Rather, it is the concern about the exhaustion of natural resources and the supposedly irreparable harm that humanity is causing to the environment.

Apocalyptic warnings about the end of the world as we know it are as old as humanity itself, but recent news should give the doomsayers some food for thought and lower the temperature, so to speak, in the debate about global warming and its future effects on the planet.

In a new study that was published in the journal Nature Geoscience, leading climate scientists have adjusted their previous predictions about global warming and stated that the worst impacts of climate change are still avoidable. Professor Michael Grubb, an international energy and climate change scientist at University College London, said that previous scientific estimates were incorrect because they were based on computer models that were running “on the hot side.”

According to the new estimates, the world is more likely than previously thought to achieve the main goal of the 2015 Paris agreement and limit global warming to only 1.5°C higher than was the case in the pre-industrial era. Only two years ago, many scientists dismissed the 1.5°C goal as too optimistic and Professor Grubb went as far to say that “all the evidence from the past 15 years leads me to conclude that actually delivering 1.5°C” is unattainable.

While it is true that the average global temperature is 0.9°C higher than in the pre-industrial era, the scientists now admit that there was a slowdown in warming in the 15 years prior to 2014 – a slowdown that the models did not predict or account for. Professor Myles Allen, another one of the study’s authors, said “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”

What has changed in the model forecasts since the Paris summit in 2015? The data showing that the climate models are running “on the hot side” has been available for years. In 2015, my colleagues Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger noted that climate models have been overestimating the rate of warming for decades. In 2016, John Christy from the University of Alabama in Huntsville testified before the US Congress that the climate models were inaccurate. For their trouble, all three have been labeled “climate change deniers.”

The Nature Geoscience study suggests that humanity has more time to transition away from fossil fuels. Should it? That’s debatable, argues William Nordhaus, a professor of economics at Yale University, and his coauthor Andrew Moffatt, in a recently released paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper combines econometric and climate models to estimate the future impact of global warming on worldwide income.

The Laws of Economics Still Apply

By studying 36 estimates of the costs of global warming, the pair predicts that 3°C warming will reduce global income by 2.04 percent and 6°C warming will reduce global income by 8.16 percent by 2100. Nordhaus and Moffatt’s estimates parallel the broad consensus. For example, the IPCC in their Fourth Report estimated that global “mean losses could be 1 to 5 percent of GDP for 4°C of warming”.

As Ronald Bailey of Reason magazine calculates, current global average income per capita is about $10,000. If the world grows at 3 percent per year over the next 80 years or so, global average income per capita will rise to $97,000. According to Nordhaus and Moffatt’s estimations, therefore, an increase in global temperature by 3°C would reduce global average income per capita by $2,000 to $95,000. A 6°C increase in global temperature would reduce global average income per capita by $8,000 to $89,000.

“We have a predicament,” Bailey concludes. “How much are we willing to spend in order to make those living in 2100, who will likely be at least nine times richer than us today, $2,000 better off?”

That is not a purely academic question. Thanks to the concerns over global warming, governments throughout the world have been busy imposing serious additional costs on economic development and reducing real living standards of ordinary people so as to facilitate the fastest possible transition away from fossil fuels. The above studies add to the complexity surrounding the subject of global warming and human response to it. They also strengthen the case of those who argue that any such transition should be driven by technological change, not government mandates.
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by K. A. Pital » 2017-10-09 06:41am

I would first note that a model running on the hot side is a long-term benefit even if it provokes overreaction in the meantime. Climate change effects calculation is complicated by the fact we have not accounted for all possible cascade effects that could drastically worsen the situation. Feedback loops in just once aspect which we find relatively simple -sea level rise - have not been adequately explored even now, as our models are still approximating real processes a bit crudely.
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Sky Captain » 2017-10-15 06:38am

Even if human emitted co2 has less impact on climate than predicted moving avay from usage of fossil fuels have plenty of other benefits like reduced air pollution in cities and energy independence if countries use more local resources for energy and import less from politically unstable regions or countries like Russia which use energy resources to influence political processes in countries depending on imported oil and gas.

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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2017-10-16 02:06am

You ant Enviromental Quackery?
go look up "http://co2coalition.org/about/"

It is a site that Preaches the "benefits" of Co2 and how this "misunderstood" gas is like the best thing EVER for the environment!
From their website:
The CO2 Coalition was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy. The Coalition seeks to engage in an informed and dispassionate discussion of climate change, humans’ role in the climate system, the limitations of climate models, and the consequences of mandated reductions in CO2 emissions.

In carrying out our mission, we seek to strengthen the understanding of the role of science and the scientific process in addressing complex public policy issues like climate change. Science produces empirical, measurable, objective facts and provides a means for testing hypotheses that can be replicated and potentially disproven. Approaches to policy that do not adhere to the scientific process risk grave damage to the economy and to science.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a natural and beneficial constituent of the atmosphere. By volume percentage, 99% of dry air is nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). Most of the rest is argon (0.93%), with carbon dioxide amounting to only 0.04%, but slowly increasing. Even smaller amounts of other gases, neon, helium, methane etc., make up the remainder.

Atmospheric CO2 is essential to life on earth, since plants use sunlight to combine CO2 molecules from the air with H2O molecules to make carbohydrates (for example, sugar) and other organic compounds. In the process, oxygen molecules (O2) are released to the atmosphere. At CO2 levels less than 150 ppm (parts per million), most plants stop growing. Over most of the history of multicellular life on earth, CO2 levels have been three or four times higher than present levels. Current CO2 levels of 400 ppm are still much less than optimum for most plant growth.

Air also contains water vapor (H2O), from as much as 7% in the humid tropics to less than 1% on a cold winter day. Human exhaled breath typically contains 4% to 5% CO2 and about 6% H2O.Water vapor,

Water vapor, clouds and carbon dioxide hinder the escape of thermal radiation to space and allow the earth’s surface to be warm enough for life. Without this “greenhouse warming,” most of the oceans would be frozen. Increasing levels of the greenhouse gas CO2 from fuel combustion will slightly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Observations indicate that every doubling of the CO2 concentration will increase the earth’s surface temperature by 1 to 2 C, and perhaps less. The warming is so small that the resulting longer growing seasons and increased plant productivity from additional CO2 will of great benefit to life on earth!
Hear that people? Global Warming is AWESOME!
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-10-18 08:33am

Crossroads Inc. wrote:
2017-10-16 02:06am
You ant Enviromental Quackery?
go look up "http://co2coalition.org/about/"

It is a site that Preaches the "benefits" of Co2 and how this "misunderstood" gas is like the best thing EVER for the environment!
From their website:

Hear that people? Global Warming is AWESOME!
That is grotesque.

So, I need help. Is that FEE article actually citing something that really is true?
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by K. A. Pital » 2017-10-18 01:04pm

I think we'd need the last several years mapped onto this before we get to the point of whether there is really a slowdown:
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-20 06:52pm

On an informal level, even if there were a "slowdown" in the rise of global temperatures from 2000 to 2015, this tells us very little about what will happen later on. The fact that so far our simulations have overestimated the amount of warming isn't entirely reassuring when we don't know why, because whatever hidden force is benefiting us could go away at any time, or reverse itself, or equally significant hidden forces could pop into play and start hurting us.

A lot of things could conceivably 'eat' a 0.5 degree temperature rise or whatever, but then utterly fail to eat the next 1.5 degrees of temperature rise. Or we could trigger some kind of positive feedback loop and gain 0.5 degrees unexpectedly just as we 'lost' 0.5 degrees. So my basic view includes three major points.

1) As Stas points out, the uncertainty in our data on exactly what climate is doing is large enough to 'swallow' a fair amount. Every model predicts a warming trend, and we are poorly equipped to estimate the exact size of the trend because of feedback loops.

2) The fact that the "new normal" is significantly warmer than old one is still a reason for concern. Because it raises the distinct possibility of a "new new normal" that is hotter still, even if that outcome doesn't happen right away and waits for, say, 2040 or 2050.

3) "Nothing is disastrously wrong right this minute" is in general not a good argument when talking about potential disasters. The burning fuse leading to a bundle of dynamite is a minor annoyance only, after all. A little noise and light. A few sparks. But it doesn't give you an accurate model of how big a problem you'll have on your hands if the fuse is allowed to keep burning for another five minutes.

To quote some bits of the article...
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2017-10-09 06:25am
In a previous column, I noted that the typical audience reaction to my talks about the improving state of the world is not joy and thankfulness for the progress that humanity is making in tackling age-old problems such as infant mortality, malnutrition, and illiteracy. Rather, it is the concern about the exhaustion of natural resources and the supposedly irreparable harm that humanity is causing to the environment.

Apocalyptic warnings about the end of the world as we know it are as old as humanity itself, but recent news should give the doomsayers some food for thought and lower the temperature, so to speak, in the debate about global warming and its future effects on the planet.
You have to love how they start the whole thing by try by saying that people who think global warming is a serious problem are "doomsayers" making "apocalyptic warnings."

There is a very wide gap between "this is gonna suuuck, guys, we should do something about it" and "this is the end of the world."
In a new study that was published in the journal Nature Geoscience, leading climate scientists have adjusted their previous predictions about global warming and stated that the worst impacts of climate change are still avoidable. Professor Michael Grubb, an international energy and climate change scientist at University College London, said that previous scientific estimates were incorrect because they were based on computer models that were running “on the hot side.”

According to the new estimates, the world is more likely than previously thought to achieve the main goal of the 2015 Paris agreement and limit global warming to only 1.5°C higher than was the case in the pre-industrial era. Only two years ago, many scientists dismissed the 1.5°C goal as too optimistic and Professor Grubb went as far to say that “all the evidence from the past 15 years leads me to conclude that actually delivering 1.5°C” is unattainable.
Note the weasel potential in saying "leading climate scientists." Which ones, what percentage of the whole? What fraction of the existing models and estimates were inaccurate, and by what amount? Is this about one or two specific models that analyze climate the same basic way being wrong for a specific 'debugging' reason? Or is it about ALL models being inaccurate?
While it is true that the average global temperature is 0.9°C higher than in the pre-industrial era, the scientists now admit that there was a slowdown in warming in the 15 years prior to 2014 – a slowdown that the models did not predict or account for. Professor Myles Allen, another one of the study’s authors, said “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”
Is he talking about one model, a cluster of related models, or all models? No specific answer. Were older models more prone to overestimation than more recent models? Models getting better over time is pretty much what you'd expect.
What has changed in the model forecasts since the Paris summit in 2015? The data showing that the climate models are running “on the hot side” has been available for years. In 2015, my colleagues Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger noted that climate models have been overestimating the rate of warming for decades.
Well, did they say some of the warming predicted was an overestimate, or all of it? What was the extent of their claims?
In 2016, John Christy from the University of Alabama in Huntsville testified before the US Congress that the climate models were inaccurate. For their trouble, all three have been labeled “climate change deniers.”
Christy's been called up by the Republicans to testify more than once.

It's possible that he's a lone voice in the wilderness correctly saying that everyone else is overestimating climate change because of some number of reasons. It's also possible that he's cherrypicking evidence (balloons and satellites) in favor of "climate change is overrated" while doing whatever he can to ignore other evidence (ground stations, say) that disagrees. I don't know, but I'd hesitate to assume he must be the "lone hero."
By studying 36 estimates of the costs of global warming, the pair predicts that 3°C warming will reduce global income by 2.04 percent and 6°C warming will reduce global income by 8.16 percent by 2100. Nordhaus and Moffatt’s estimates parallel the broad consensus. For example, the IPCC in their Fourth Report estimated that global “mean losses could be 1 to 5 percent of GDP for 4°C of warming”.
Some significant problems with this.

One, the damage won't be evenly distributed. Russia may do pretty well, while Bangladesh winds up underwater and a zillion refugees run all over the place from its collapse.

Two, it is very, VERY easy to underestimate the economic impact of a worldwide disaster.
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Surlethe » 2017-10-22 05:53pm

Stas Bush wrote:I would first note that a model running on the hot side is a long-term benefit even if it provokes overreaction in the meantime. Climate change effects calculation is complicated by the fact we have not accounted for all possible cascade effects that could drastically worsen the situation. Feedback loops in just once aspect which we find relatively simple -sea level rise - have not been adequately explored even now, as our models are still approximating real processes a bit crudely.
By the same token, we don't have a good handle on damping loops either. It's also not clear that running models on the hot side is a long-term benefit: e.g. it could lead to an overreaction that prevents continued industrialization in Africa and southern Asia.
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Re: FEE.org article on climate change being overblown

Post by Tribble » 2017-10-23 12:47am

So, I'm not a scientist here or anything, but I've heard that one of the effects of more ice melting into the oceans is that it decreases the oceans' salinity, which can in turn potentially disrupt or reduce ocean currents. If so, wouldn't that mean that in some areas of the world you might see the temperatures flat line or even drop, at least over the short term? What happens if the gulf stream is significantly reduced in strength for example?
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