Climate deniers act like actual skeptics, do own research, get "surprising" results.

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posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:04 PM
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Climate change study forces sceptical scientists to change minds


The Earth's land has warmed by 1.5C over the past 250 years and "humans are almost entirely the cause", according to a scientific study set up to address climate change sceptics' concerns about whether human-induced global warming is occurring.

Prof Richard Muller, a physicist and climate change sceptic who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) project, said he was surprised by the findings. "We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds." He added that he now considers himself a "converted sceptic" and his views had undergone a "total turnaround" in a short space of time.



For the mainstream climate science community - this "new" study is of course hardly groundbreaking, and simply belongs in the #tellussomethingwedontalreadyknow department...


However it is interesting because the Berkeley analysis team not only consists of a few prominent (or I guess now - former) climate skeptics like Richard Muller, but it was also notoriously funded by some extremely shady sources like the Koch Brothers (I wonder if they can get their money back?):


The funding for the project included $150,000 from the Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation, set up by the billionaire US coal magnate and key backer of the climate-sceptic Heartland Institute thinktank.


So it was for these reasons that last year, before the team announced their findings, they were the venerable darlings of the online climate "skeptic"/blog science community, with prominent blogger Anthony Watts going so far as to state:



I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results. I haven’t seen the global result, nobody has, not even the home team, but the method isn’t the madness that we’ve seen from NOAA, NCDC, GISS, and CRU, and, there aren’t any monetary strings attached to the result that I can tell. If the project was terminated tomorrow, nobody loses jobs, no large government programs get shut down, and no dependent programs crash either. That lack of strings attached to funding, plus the broad mix of people involved especially those who have previous experience in handling large data sets gives me greater confidence in the result being closer to a bona fide ground truth than anything we’ve seen yet.



Of course when the Berkeley team made their results (that showed global warming to be real) public last year, he immediately changed his tune - attacking them for anything he could throw at them.


Watts list of grievances on why the study was "flawed":

- it had only been accepted for peer-review at the time, but not yet actually peer-reviewed (even though Watts notoriously posts and promotes non-peer-reviewed "science" on his blog every day - as long as it's skeptical of AGW). *PS the Berkeley analysis has since been peer-reviewed and published.

- it examined data over a 60-year period rather than the 30-year window Watts preferred to cherrypick focus on. (So analyzing a larger sample size and doing twice as much work apparently makes it less robust).

- the not-yet-peer-reviewed paper had spelling errors. (seriously)



Many other skeptics at the time seemed to accept the results, going so far as to say "duh, we already knew it's been warming" but then immediately pointing out that their beef is with the idea that humans are the cause.



...
So now that the Berkeley team has done supplementary research and announced that -


humans are almost entirely the cause



...it will be interesting to see what sort of back-pedaling excuses the remaining camp of so-called skeptics come up with. I'm not saying they have to accept this result (or else!) - but it provides for an interesting benchmark in separating real skeptics from phony ones.

Real ones will need to take this evidence into context with the enormous pile already in place that shows modern warming to be primarily man made. While the rest will no doubt ignore all that yet again, and try to deflect focus on spelling errors and tinfoil conspiracies.



(Then they'll probably cry something about how unfairly people label them 'deniers', while muttering what a 'religion' belief in AGW clearly is)




posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:10 PM
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Just because a skeptic changes their mind does not always mean they did. It could be simply a matter of a large sum of money being dumped in a bank account that they control.

This of course is coming from me, someone who is usually a skeptic.

Even on this story, about another person "seeing the light".

I'm not even discussing the key issue here. Just the behaviour of the people involved. After all I'm a skeptic... So if you would me to change my stance on this matter, simply deposit X amount of $ into numbered account 142-749503-B-7394 in Switzerland.




posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:14 PM
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A skeptical group of scientists from BERKELEY? Berkeley isn't exactly known for wide raging points of view.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I already pointed out in the OP where the funding on this study came from. The Koch Brothers are notorious for spending tens of millions of dollars in funding for climate change denial. It is well outlined here:

Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine


This is the very point I was trying to make about being a "skeptic". A real skeptic would simply take an open-minded position on the subject and evaluate the evidence critically, but objectively, from there. You can read up on the evidence for yourself, and make your own decisions. That means evaluating BOTH sides. I also stuffed a link in the OP that details the vast amount of evidence for why modern warming is man made. Here it is again:

The human fingerprint in global warming


However - I have yet to meet a climate change skeptic who actually does this. They simply declare themselves skeptics by default and then furiously hold onto and argue for anything that supports their pre-disposed beliefs, while finding excuses for/rejecting anything that doesn't conform to the confirmation bias they're so desperately seeking.

Usually this involves wild speculation with zero evidence or other tinfoil stuff like that. Maybe it's my fault for looking in the wrong place for real skeptics:

Are climate sceptics more likely to be conspiracy theorists?


New research finds that sceptics also tend to support conspiracy theories such as the moon landing being faked



Deny Ignorance, ATS



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


It amazes me that even our science is political. The Koch brothers have a agenda and when they spend there money attempting to influence a scientific debate and or public opinion what a pleasant surprise when there ideology doesn't win.

These guys only care about there own self interests.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 

And as a skeptic/denier I am still skeptical about this study. But I will have to read it for myself before I jump to any conclusions.
My issue is that past history shows that Earth has warmed and cooled over several cycles and the modern warming does not really stand out at all if you look at trends over the holocene"current interglacial" period.

And I always knew Earth has been warming until at least a few years ago, but I am convinced it is mainly due to natural reasons.
Last centuries have been unusually cold compared to rest of holocene period, so it is only natural that it will warm when it becomes less cold.
Some these warming and cooling cycles can last decades-centuries.

And if you look even further back in time you see that most of the time it is temperature that is increasing first with co2 lagging behind.
There has been periods with co2 levels in thousands of ppm range, but yet still there was plenty of periods where earth cooled and even went into a ice age, suggesting that the feedback of co2 is really nowhere near as strong as claimed.
edit on 29-7-2012 by juleol because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


Well, as it happens even leading meteorologists switch sides on this topic, as they re-calibrate their data. Now its global freezing instead:

www.dailymail.co.uk...



Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:47 PM
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This guy was never exactly a 'skeptic'


"I was never a skeptic" - Richard Muller, 2011

Richard Muller has never been a skeptic, at best he had a moment of intellectual honesty towards skeptics when he acknowledged Steve McIntyre's debunking of Mann's Hockey Stick, only to later dismiss this as irrelevant to the global warming debate, "This result should not affect any of our thinking on global warming". Hardly surprising, as Muller considers the carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels to be, "the greatest pollutant in human history" and likely to have, "severe and detrimental effects on global climate". The future outlook for global warming according to Muller is that, "it’s going to get much, much worse" and thus advocates that the United States immediately pay China and India hundreds of billions of dollars to cut back their carbon emissions or, "it'll be too late". No wonder he endorsed "The Earth is the Great Ship Titanic", Steven Chu as "perfect" for U.S. Energy Secretary and Al Gore's hypocritical alarmism,

"If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion - which he does, but he’s very effective at it - then let him fly any plane he wants." - Richard Muller, 2008

"There is a consensus that global warming is real. ...it’s going to get much, much worse." - Richard Muller, 2008

"Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate." - Richard Muller, 2003


www.populartechnology.net...



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by juleol
 


Yes, but this is a common misunderstanding most "skeptics" I know have about man made global warming - they seem to be under the impression that the basis for the man made part comes from the fact that temperatures are rising.

The basis for AGW is not simply rising temperatures. The basis is physics. We absolutely know the Greenhouse Effect is real, and we know that CO2 is a prominent greenhouse gas. We know that it's supposed to raise temperatures. This is not Al Gore's "theory" - it was predicted in scientific papers by people like Svante Arrhenius over 100 years ago.

So the fact that it was warmer before is largely irrelevant. We are only in the beginning of this trend and if we don't do something now it is likely to get much MUCH worse. Furthermore the real threat from AGW doesn't come from the amount of warming it comes from the rate. The concern is we are accelerating climate change at such an unprecedented rate that the planet will simply not be able to adjust.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by deckdel
reply to post by mc_squared
 


Well, as it happens even leading meteorologists switch sides on this topic, as they re-calibrate their data. Now its global freezing instead:

www.dailymail.co.uk...



Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.


Actually, that's a widely discredited misrepresentation of the MET report Some key points it conveinently left out:




The study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum - a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level - the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

Peter Stott, who also worked on the research for the Met Office, said: "Our findings suggest that a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases on global temperatures in the 21st Century." [Met Office, 1/23/12]


I



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by juleol
 


PS - the CO2 lag thing is a repeatedly debunked denialist myth.

CO2 acts as both a forcing and a feedback in the planet's climate history. When people weren't around to release it out of the ground it's no surprise that temperature went up first. However what it did was amplify those changes in temperature. Read more info here:

CO2 lags temperature - what does it mean?

More recent research shows that temperature led CO2 only at the poles. Globally it was the other way around. This makes the story add up because it paints a complete picture:

Ice Ages and interglacials are believed to be caused by changes in the Earth's orbit - which affects the amount of sunlight received at the poles. This leads to a process where melting ice/permafrost releases greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane which then go on to warm the rest of the planet at much more substantial rates that can be explained by the relatively minor change in orbit/axial tilt.


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posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


You do realize, of course, that based on absolute CERTAIN predictions in the 1970's, we should be hopelessly locked in the early stages of the next Ice Age (glances at Calendar) right about now? Those scientists were certain too. Absolutely, certain.

Now if measures talked about then had been taken to counter the cooling, and warming was in fact the case, man's ignorance in these complex systems and attempts to meddle with them would have doomed every last one of us. 100% well intentional and 100% terminal if it had been done and again, they were certain and were sincere. Ice! It's coming!

Now..it's warming and it's a race to do this, that and everything else to counter THIS projection....and you know? I've still heard PHD level people argue the mini-ice age theory with convincing evidence for their side....to this day.


I think the moral I take from this is simple. Whatever man is or isn't doing is adding into much larger cycles of climate change that will happen if we're here or not. Recall. Antarctica was a tropical climate at one time on Earth. Climate has been radically different and no one truly KNOWS why. So...Man meddling will do MORE harm than good. It almost always does. I'm eager to see the studies, but human action to ALTER the climate or "fix" it? Well.... We aren't God, nor should we attempt to play one with such little knowledge to base anything on.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by mc_squared
 


You do realize, of course, that based on absolute CERTAIN predictions in the 1970's, we should be hopelessly locked in the early stages of the next Ice Age (glances at Calendar) right about now? Those scientists were certain too. Absolutely, certain.


A HANDFUL of scientists were. One is being inaccurate by conflating a prediction made by a handful of scientists from 4 decades ago to a near total consensus of thousands and thousands of scientists from around the globe on climate change. It's not the same thing. At. All.

I mean, what you are basically saying is that because a handful of scientists made some wacky prediction based on inaccurate data, that that means that ALL future predictions are false. So your entire argument is based around the total rejection of all science. That is the ultimate end of the argument you are making.

That's disingenuous, at best, of course, because anyone can make a 'prediction'. it doesnt somehow negate anyone else making a prediction. One discredits a scientific prediction with data, not spurious comparisons and what is essentially a personal attack on science in general.
edit on 29-7-2012 by stanguilles7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


As you say, there are still some scientists who believe an ice age is coming. The fact is that the vast majority of scientists saw data which pointed to the contrary, a warming trend due to man's activities.

If I'm recalling correctly, for every one which was for the Ice Age theory when it was most popular, there was 6 who were for it's opposite (warming).

That's what 14% and some change? Now we're down to less than 1%. Looks like progress!



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by mc_squared
 


You do realize, of course, that based on absolute CERTAIN predictions in the 1970's, we should be hopelessly locked in the early stages of the next Ice Age


Ummm and do you realize that this meme about all the scientists predicting global cooling in the 1970's is just another routinely peddled denialist myth?

An objective analysis of the evidence shows that the majority of scientists in the 70's were already predicting warming:

What were climate scientists predicting in the 1970s?

They weren't "CERTAIN" at all - a minority believed the cooling effect of aerosols would overpower the warming trend of greenhouse emissions - but they have turned out to be quite clearly wrong.




A lot of "skeptics" on this website really don't seem to understand the narrative and the true politics of this debate. While you're all working each other up silly about taxes and global governance you seem to miss out on the fact that there are a lot of huge corporations in this world who have a very vested interest in denying man-made global warming - the same way Tobacco companies wanted you all to think smoking was not hazardous to your health in the 80's and 90's.


I started this thread in the hopes of weening out some true skepticism for once, but it looks like it's going to go the same way as every other global warming on ATS - a bunch of "skeptics" chiming in to point out all sorts long-debunked memes they read on the internet that clearly must be true because they advertise themselves as SKEPTICAL.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared


I already pointed out in the OP where the funding on this study came from. The Koch Brothers are notorious for spending tens of millions of dollars in funding for climate change denial. It is well outlined here:

 


Yes, you pointed it out. That is exactly why I addressed it. We aren't have an unbiased discussion on climate change, the articles covering this are highlighting the fact that a sceptic switched camps. Like the following:


Scientists said that Muller can expect some serious backlash from the scientific community - especially climate change deniers.
"Now he's considered a traitor," said author Shawn Lawrence Otto, who wrote a book criticizing climate change deniers.


Read more: www.nydailynews.com...



So what if he was initially funded by the Koch brothers? Are they the only people in the world with deep pockets? It changes nothing related to my original post.

If you want to discuss the data, you should post the paper that supposedly change this person's mind. (preferably in the science forum) There is nothing wrong with that. But the articles talking about this story aren't addressing the data, only that someone switched camps, and that's the headline.
edit on 29-7-2012 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


He wasn't initially funded by the Kochs. This project, which finds that global warming is real and man-made, was (partially) funded by the Kochs. It kinda goes against the idea that they were just suddenly funded to say AGW is real (unless someone wants to make the claim that this was the Koch's end-game all along - I seriously can't wait to see that). And there is no paper that Muller read that convinced him. He wrote it.

In any case - it will be available tomorrow on their website:

berkeleyearth.org...

All their methodologies and data are already publicly available there for anyone to analyze for themselves.

Enjoy.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


So, what about my post above showing all his quotes from the past few years where he repeatedly points out he isn't a 'skeptic'?

I"d be interested in your rebuttal.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared


He wasn't initially funded by the Kochs. This project, which finds that global warming is real and man-made, was (partially) funded by the Kochs.

 


Listen, or read, I should say. These articles are highlighting the fact that the Koch brother's helped fund it. Somehow implying that the study has more legitimacy because it was funded by people who are seen to be on the opposite side of the results of the study.

I am saying that the study should be used as evidence itself, if it was done properly with good standards. If proper scientific method was used, etc. That's all you can base the veracity of the study on.

Simply because the outcome of the study didn't meld with some of the people funding it is not evidence of whether or not the study is more valid. I say "initially funded" as in you say "partially funded" as in, there was more money involved than just what the Koch bros. put in.

In other words, money doesn't mean much of anything in this case. Unless you have evidence to show it does. Money could have influenced from either side, but that's not the point.

Either the study was quality or it wasn't.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 

Most skeptics agree that co2 is a greenhouse gas and raises temperatures. The question we ask is how much of the warming is due to co2? This is something we don't know yet and we skeptics think that the warming effect in real world is significantly less than claimed. The natural cycles seems to be stronger than positive feedback caused by co2.
Most of the predictions they made failed to be observed in real world and sometimes the exact opposite has been observed.

If co2 is a big player, then it should have been in past as well but that is just not the case.

We will see in a decade or two who is right I think. If global temperatures does not start dropping over next decade then I might reconsider.
edit on 29-7-2012 by juleol because: (no reason given)





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