Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#12 "Pushing this global climate alarmism" - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... 
And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)

In this twelfth installment we return to Mr. Steele's words as he responds to Heartland Burnett's previous question (see #11)  by complaining that people are "alarmed" at what they are witnessing and what scientists are telling them.  Jim also claims climate science education is missing important information, though he never explains what that might be.

"How should society contend with those who knowingly 
disseminate misinformation about climate science."  
Steele:  You know I agree, I think people that are pushing this global climate alarmism it's sort of a mixed bag.  I think some people have become incredibly fearful because they've heard these stories and just kind of amplify it and echo it.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim, here take a look at what's "pushing this global climate alarmism."  Why do you want people to ignore that reality?

Figure 17.35: Global CO2 emissions are rising rapidly. The industrial revolution began about 1850 and industrialization has been accelerating.

Why shouldn't we feel "alarmed" by what the nonstop injection of gigaton's worth of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere is doing to our planet's very basic geophysical processes and our very complex biosphere?

For a nature guide why do you act so oblivious to how completely landscapes change in accordance with existing weather patterns and the local conditions they create?

Why do you find it so difficult to grasp that it's the climatic optimum of the past eight, ten thousands of years that's enabled our complex human society to flourish?  Now we have tossed on a few extra 'blankets' onto that system and it is inevitably warming up.  

You scoff at people becoming fearful because you manage to completely ignore the observations of what this steady warming is doing to Earth systems and how that is increasingly impacting landscapes.  

§  Is there evidence that our burning of fossil fuels is causing our "global heat distribution engine" to warm up?

§  Will warming (read, energizing) our global heat distribution engine impact the rhythms of the global biosphere that humanity and society has developed within? 

§  Will a warming climate system energize our atmosphere's hydrology, both by increasing the amount of water the troposphere holds and by increasing the energy that needs to be dissipated? (read, less, but more intense rain/wind storms).

§  Are our food supply systems dependent on the established rhythms of our 'current' seasons and rain patterns?

§  Will an increasingly warming planet cause it's cryosphere to melt at increasing rates?

§  Will that melting and warming cause global sea levels to rise?

§  Will rising sea levels impact coastal installations such a shipping ports, oil refineries, coastal cities and subsurface infrastructure, tourist hotel strips and barrier island real estate holdings, to mention just a few? Sea level rise blog

§  Is the math of compounding interest for real?

What part of 'we have a problem' doesn't make sense to you?  

The truth is out there.  
Hiding from it, or denying it with misdirection and hostility laced ridicule, insults and threats doesn't make it go away!

Hey Jim, so how's that meadow of your's doing these days?  Did you manage to make it independent of the global warming driven drought that's parching California?  Or is it as shriveled as the rest of the local landscapes throughout the Sierra's?  What lesson does that offer?
Steele:  Other thing, it guarantees their funding as I've illustrated with some of the wildlife changes that I mentioned earlier is that people are uncritically blaming CO2 warming and scientists are doing this. 
~ ~ ~
What a lazy cheap shot and notice never any specific allegations or evidence.  In essence, it's nothing more than a Freudian projection of your own obsession with money onto your enemies.  

Beyond that, why on Earth demonize people for spending treasure and effort to study and understand our planet's climate system - after all we are dependent on those systems for everything, don't you know?

Besides being fascinating and beautiful and helpful to understand.
Steele:  And they're publishing papers that are obscuring our understanding of ecological changes and they limit our ability to be good environment stewards, so that's what started me off on writing this whole thing.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"They"?  Climate scientists, wildlife scientists, who are you talking about?  All of them?

None of the wildlife population studies you've looked at have anything to do with establishing the geophysical facts of current global warming.  Not to mention the fact that I've caught and documented you grossly misrepresenting many of those studies*.

You play this game of finding some, and fabricating many, flaws in wildlife studies, then you make wildly inappropriate conclusions* through your one-sided reading of fragments of those studies and then you take offense when better information is offered to you.  That's no good faith learning process buddy.

*As I've documented during our CC/Steele virtual debate series.
Steele:  I felt that my whole profession, my whole purpose in what I was trying to do, was sort of being undermined. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Your nobility is touching, although Crocodile Tears comes to mind.
Steele:  And I was also an educator I taught in the high schools in San Francisco and I've become increasingly disturbed that global warming advocate are demanding our science textbooks to improve, what they call climate literacy, but what they're advocating is trying to prevent any kind of alternate explanations.  That might promote some kind of substantive debate.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Does being an occasional high school teacher lend you some authority?  Have you produced any alternative scientific studies?  Your Landscapesandcycles book, blog and talking tours never reach beyond obviously bias anecdotal storytelling around the campfire. 

Mr. Steele, can you offer something of substance detailing what you believe is being left out of the consensus understanding?  Something we can look at, evaluate, and build upon.

Your pals at Heartland and WUWT don't have any serious alternative scientific explanations either.  Do they?  Sure, a lot of cheap shots at the IPCC, saturated in the requisite conspiracy ideation, along with a need to ignore the evidence, or more likely the fear of facing the facts.

Trust me Jim, I don't like the evidence either.
But, that's not a good enough excuse to ignore it!
Grow up.
Steele:  But that single point of view creates this illusion that we think climate change is being totally driven by CO2.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
What about allowing the weight of the evidence to dictate your beliefs despite whatever your ego wants?
Steele:  It down plays or ignores these much more important natural dynamics. If we are truly to improve our climate literacy the text books must teach about natural climate dynamics.  Even if that causes a great debate.
{a sentence snipped for the next installment...} As mentioned above they should sort of teach the dynamics of naturally caused, they should teach about El Nino and ocean oscillations that have offered superior explanations to the timing and location of droughts and floods.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You mean something like this:

Short-Term Climate Oscillations

Short-term changes in climate are common as conditions oscillate (or change) from one state to another (Figure 17.29). The largest and most important of these is the Southern Oscillation between El Niño and La Niña conditions. This oscillation drives changes in climate that are felt around the world about every two to seven years.

Figure 17.29: Normal conditions in the Southern Oscillation have a low pressure region in the western Pacific Ocean and warm water (shown in red) building up there as well. Notice that continents are shown in brown in the image. North and South America are on the right in this image.
In a normal year, the trade winds blow across the Pacific Ocean near the equator from east to west (in the direction of Southeast Asia), piling up warm water in the western Pacific Ocean and actually raising sea levels there by half a meter. Meanwhile, along the western coast of South America, the Peru Current carries cold water northward, and cold, nutrient-rich waters upwell from the deep sea. When the Peru Current nears the equator, it flows westward across the Pacific Ocean with the trade winds.
When water temperature reaches around 28°C (82°F), the trade winds weaken or reverse direction and blow east (towards South America). An El Niño cycle has begun (Figure 17.30). Warm water is dragged back across the Pacific Ocean, heating the central Pacific Ocean and the surface waters off the west coast of South America. With warm, low density water at the surface, no upwelling occurs along the coast of South America. Without upwelling, nutrients are scarce and plankton populations decline. Since plankton form the base of the food web, fish cannot find food, and fish numbers decrease as well. All the animals that eat fish, including birds and humans are affected by the decline in fish.

Figure 17.30: In El Niño conditions, the trade winds weaken or reverse directions. Warm water moves eastward across the Pacific Ocean and piles up against South America.
El Niño events change global climate when circulation patterns in the atmosphere and oceans change. Some regions receive more than average rainfall, including the west coast of North and South America; the southern United States; and Western Europe. Drought occurs in other parts of South America, the western Pacific, southern and northern Africa, and southern Europe.
An El Niño cycle lasts one to two years and ends when the warm mass of central Pacific water has moved eastward once more. Normal circulation patterns resume, but sometimes they are quicker and more energetic. This pattern, with unusually cold water in the eastern Pacific Ocean, is called La Niña (Figure 17.31). El Niño events take place every three to seven years but vary in their strength.

Figure 17.31: During a La Niña, ocean temperatures along the coast of South America are colder than normal (instead of warmer, as in El Niño) and cold water reaches farther into the western Pacific than normal. As in a normal year, trade winds moving from east to west and warm water piles up in the western Pacific Ocean.

Other important oscillations are smaller and have a local, rather than global, effect. The North Atlantic Oscillation mostly alters climate in Europe. The Mediterranean also goes through cycles, varying between being dry at some times, and warm and wet at others.

Mr. Jim Steele, talk is cheap, but can you actually specify what is being down played or ignored?  

Please take a moment and point out what you believe is missing from the following educational material?

Earth System Science, 1st Edition
From Biogeochemical Cycles to Global Changes
Authors : Jacobson   &    Charlson   &    Rodhe   &    Orians   
Release Date: March 15, 2000  |  Academic Press

Part I: Basic Concepts for Earth System Science
1. Introduction: Biogeochemical Cycles as Fundamental Constructs for Studying Earth System Science and Global Change 
2. The Origin and Early Evolution of the Earth 
3. Evolution and the Biosphere 
4. Modeling Biogeochemical Cycles 
5. Equilibrium, Rate, and Natural Systems 

Part II: Properties of and Transfers between the Key Reservoirs
6. Water and the Hydrosphere 
7. The Atmosphere 
8. Soils, Watershed Processes, and Marine Sediments 
9. Tectonic Processes and Erosion 
10. The Oceans 

Part III: Biogeochemical Cycles
11. The Global Carbon Cycle 
12. The Nitrogen Cycle
13. The Sulfur Cycle 
14. The Phosphorus Cycle 
15. Trace Metals 

Part IV: Integration
16. Acid-Base & Oxidation-Reduction Balances of the Earth 
17. The Coupling of Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate: Forcings, Feedbacks, and Responses 
18. Ice Sheets & the Ice-Core Record of Climate Change 
19. Human Modification of the Earth System: Global Change
Answers to Questions 


American Meteorological Society
Climate Studies: Introduction to Climate Science

Brief Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Earth's Climate as a Dynamic System (copyright notice)
Chapter 2: Observing Earth's Climate System
Chapter 3: Tools for Investigating Earth's Climate System
Chapter 4: Radiation and Heat in the Climate System
Chapter 5: Water in Earth's Climate System
Chapter 6: Global Atmospheric Circulation
Chapter 7: Atmosphere-Ocean Relationships
Chapter 8: Natural and Anthropogenic Drivers of Climate Change
Chapter 9: Paleoclimatic Investigations: Relevancy to the Present State of Climate
Chapter 10: Future Projections and Extremes of Climate
Chapter 11: Human and Ecosystem Vulnerabilities
Chapter 12: Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Use
Chapter 13: Human Needs, Actions and Public Policy
Chapter 14: Climate Studies as a Scientific Endeavor in a Changing Society

The introductory college-level AMS Climate Studies course is comprised of the Our Changing Climate: Introduction to Climate Science eTextbook (© 2014), eInvestigations Manual, secure RealTime Climate Portal and Faculty Websites, and Faculty Resource CD. The brand new eText, authored by Chad M. Kauffman, includes 14 chapters exploring the elements of Earth's climate system and human interactions with it. Course management system-compatible files allow for full integration into an e-learning environment.

The Climate Studies eText may be used in conjuction with the eInvestigations Manual and RealTime Climate Portral, or by itself. If you are a faculty member interested in using the Climate Studies textbook in a current or future course offering, you can request an examination copy of the eTextbook and eInvestigations Manual.

Go to the Order Class Materials page for details on bookstore or individual orders of AMS Climate Studies course materials.

High School Earth Science/Climate Change

Lesson Objectives
  • Describe some ways that climate change has been an important part of Earth's history.
  • Discuss what factors can cause climate to change and which of these can be exacerbated by human activities.
  • Discuss the consequences of rising greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, the impacts that are already being measured, and the impacts that are likely to occur in the future.
Climate Change in Earth's History

Short-Term Climate Oscillations

Causes of Climate Change
     Solar Vibration
     Plate Tectonics
     Asteroid Impacts
     Milankovitch Cycles
     Rising Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases
Global Warming

The Discovery of Global Warming 

by Spencer Weart 

A hypertext history of how scientists came to (partly) understand what people are doing to cause climate change.
This Website created by Spencer Weart supplements his much shorter book, which tells the history of climate change research as a single story. On this Website you will find a more complete history in dozens of essays on separate topics, occasionally updated.
Influences on climate

Climate data 

     Venus & Mars 

and so on . . .

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