Talk:Global warming/Archive 2

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Papers which cast doubt on the anthopogenic origin of global warming

One prominent alternative to the anthropogenic hypothesis for global warming is the heliogenic hypothesis. The following papers support that hypothesis, including showing feedback effects which amplify the effect of solar variability:

Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and Climate by Nigel Marsh and Henrik Svensmark Space Science Reviews, Volume 94, Numbers 1-2 / November, 2000 DOI 10.1023/A:1026723423896

Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and Climate by K. S. Carslaw, R. G. Harrison, J. Kirkby Science 29 November 2002:Vol. 298. no. 5599, pp. 1732 - 1737 DOI: 10.1126/science.1076964

Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years by S. K. Solanki, I. G. Usoskin, B. Kromer, M. Schüssler and J. Beer Letters to Nature, Nature 431, 1084-1087 (28 October 2004) | doi:10.1038/nature02995

Suggestive correlations between the brightness of Neptune, solar variability, and Earth's temperature by H. B. Hammel and G. W. Lockwood GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L08203, doi:10.1029/2006GL028764, 2007

Phenomenological solar signature in 400 years of reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperature record. by N. Scafetta and B. J. West GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. ???, XXXX, DOI:10.1029/, (preprint?)

Insignificant Change in Antarctic Snowfall Since the International Geophysical Year by Andrew J. Monaghan,1* David H. Bromwich,1 Ryan L. Fogt,1 Sheng-Hung Wang,1 Paul A. Mayewski,3 Daniel A. Dixon,3 Alexey Ekaykin,4 Massimo Frezzotti,5 Ian Goodwin,6 Elisabeth Isaksson,7 Susan D. Kaspari,3 Vin I. Morgan,8 Hans Oerter,9 Tas D. Van Ommen,8 Cornelius J. Van der Veen,2 Jiahong Wen10

Altitude variations of cosmic ray induced production of aerosols: Implications for global cloudiness and climate by Fangqun Yu JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 107, NO. A7, 10.1029/2001JA000248, 2002

The role of solar forcing upon climate change by B. van Geel,, O.M. Raspopov, H. Renssen, J. van der Plicht, V.A. Dergachev, H.A.J. Meijer Quaternary Science Reviews 18 (1999) 331–338

The influence of cosmic rays on terrestrial clouds and global warming by E. Pallé Bagó, C. J. Butler (2000) Astronomy & Geophysics 41 (4), 4.18–4.22. doi:10.1046/j.1468-4004.2000.00418.x

On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget by Nir J. Shaviv JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 110, A08105, doi:10.1029/2004JA010866, 2005

The following papers cast doubt on the validity of the data used to demonstrate the existence of global warming:

Reexamination of instrument change effects in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network by K. G. Hubbard and X. Lin GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 33, L15710, doi:10.1029/2006GL027069, 2006 (indicates that temperature data has not been appropriately adjusted to reflect instrument changes in the 1980s)

Is the World Ocean Warming? Upper-Ocean Temperature Trends: 1950–2000 by D. E. Harrison and Mark Carson Journal of Physical Oceanography Volume 37, Issue 2 (February 2007) Article: pp. 174–187 DOI: 10.1175/JPO3005.1

Also see Wikipedia's list of Scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.


I think that this sampling makes it clear that it is not a "settled scientific consensus" that global warming is anthropogenic. Anthony Argyriou 02:17, 22 June 2007 (CDT)

Those 12 articles are useful references -- thanks for posting them. But as to whether these prove that there is no consensus, that would take further information and evaluation by people who are thoroughly familiar with the whole body of literature in this field. If the past eight years have seen, as I guess they likely have, hundreds of professional papers and publications, the significance of these twelve can't really be assessed without knowledge of their broader context. That there are scientists who, for a variety of reasons, are skeptical of / feel the evidence is insufficient to prove / utterly reject the notion that manmade factors are the primary cause of recent warming trends is not disputed; what is unclear is the degree of consensus. One can have a consensus even with dissenters. Russell Potter 15:56, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
I don't think we should be relying on wikipedia for anything; especially for contentious issues. We're smarter than that. --Robert W King 16:30, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
I disagree. If you bothered to read the article, you'd notice that pretty much every statement in that article is referenced, most to actual published scientific literature. Rejecting knowledge just because it has the "wikipedia" label on it is a fool's game. Anthony Argyriou 17:02, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
You have seriously misunderstood the conclusions of several of these papers. For example, the ones you characterize as supporting "heliogenic" warming (a neologism that is not used in the literature) do not contradict an anthropogenic role in warming. Perhaps you are falling into the common trap of looking at climate change as a binary problem; i.e., it's either natural or anthropogenic. The prevailing scientific view is that that both natural and anthropogenic processes are at work, with anthropogenic forcing probably dominant. Several of the others have little if anything to do with global warming, much less "cast doubt" on the hypothesis. Raymond Arritt 17:05, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
The claim has been made that there is a scientific consensus that current global warming is primarily anthropogenic. The papers above do not support that so-called consensus, as they show that solar forcing is a significant factor, possibly greater than anthropogenic forcing. These papers do not show a consensus that solar forcing is larger than man-made and/or other natural sources of climate change, but the disagreement here is whether a scientific consensus exists that global warming is primarily anthropogenic. See statements above by Benjamin Seghers, Robert Tito, and Yi Zhe Wu, for example. The papers I listed are intended to show that there is not such a scientific consensus, not that AGW is, in fact, wrong. There isn't enough evidence yet to show that AGW is right or wrong. Anthony Argyriou 17:50, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
I must voice the same opinion as Dr. Potter, as they are very much correct if we're to look at the whole of the scientific literature. Twelve papers out of hundreds published on the topic of global warming each year is hardly proof that there is no consensus within the scientific community. How many papers should I link to for each one of yours to show that these numbers are meaningless? Ten? Fifteen? Thirty? I don't think anyone denies that solar forcings are a significant factor in our climate. Whether it roles is significant in recent warming has been researched by many scientists, and each time is has been shown that its impact since 1980 has significantly waned in comparison to human activities.
I must also agree with Mr. King pertaining to Wikipedia. The said article, while referenced, is incomplete, and inclusion standards are arbitrary. No doubt, there are scientists who distance themselves from the mainstream views on global warming held by a majority of scientists, but it's helpful to look carefully at who these dissenters are and what qualifications they have to adequately say they understand the complexities of climate. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Benjamin Seghers (talkcontribs) 17:26, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If the article referenced is incomplete (which it is), that tends to argue even more that there is no consensus, as it means that there are other scientists not listed who also do not share in the consensus. I am also not willing to casually challenge the integrity of those scientists who have argued against the majority. (And remember, a majority is not a consensus.) Anthony Argyriou 22:01, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
I'm pretty sure that's a logical fallicy. Incompleteness does not always correlate with nonconsensus, although it *can*. If the majority of scientists in a given field can discerably accept something as proven fact(when it has been proven), then those who argue against the majority are dead wrong. We should not be spending so much time on the debate of consensus or nonconsensus; this is a complete waste of time. We should present the verifiable evidence, no matter how weak or strongly supports it's conclusion (if it does at all--even if it has a 1% effect of the overall scope), and let the reader judge. It's not our place to dictate what people should believe; we should be presenting the facts as they are.--Robert W King 22:51, 22 June 2007 (CDT)

Starting from Wikipedia

I've taken a leap of faith and replaced the rather weak article that was here with the very good one from Wikipedia. We can now refine the material from a sound basis, instead of starting from a blank slate. If anyone thinks I've overstepped my bounds, let me know. But we've got to have something better than what was here.

By way of introduction, I've been active on earth science related topics in Wikipedia for about a year but my disillusionment with that project is growing daily. Thus, I plan to spend more of my time here. If you want to know a little about me you can see my user page. Thanks. Raymond Arritt 21:48, 26 June 2007 (CDT)

If you've been an active member of that community on WP, I'd suggest to re-write the total article than to just import the wikipedia version. Chances are a much better article would be produced as a result. Additionally, it would conform more to the goal/aim of CZ--as I understand the idea of "Forking" from WP was long since scrapped because we believe we can do better.--Robert W King 10:39, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
I have to agree with Mr. King. Just as I opposed Ed Poor making this a fork of Conservapedia, I oppose Dr. Arritt making this a fork of Wikipedia. Benjamin Seghers 11:21, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Also, I quarrel with Wikipedia's article as it is a hodgepodge of compromises that resulting from their large and unnecessary arguments. The way in which the users over there bicker is the result of their article so, yes, I would suggest something more original. I would also like to suggest we not become a summarizer of the IPCC like Wikipedia has become, but rather we summarize the scientific papers on which the IPCC reports are based. Benjamin Seghers 11:30, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
I agree with all the sentiments here. The idea is to use the Wikipedia article a starting point to create something much better. It'll take some time. Raymond Arritt 11:39, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
If you find that cleaning up the article is a hassle, I'd just wipe the whole thing and start new. --Robert W King 11:53, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Cleaning up the Wikipedia article is not that hard. It'll take a few days. Everyone is saying to start with a blank slate, but no one was actually building the article. Raymond Arritt 12:17, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Another problem I see is that many portions of the article summaries of other Wikipedia article, which leaves many statements unreferenced. Thus, the {{main}} templates help little here. Benjamin Seghers 12:13, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Of course. Delete them. Raymond Arritt 12:17, 27 June 2007 (CDT)


Rebirth

If I had to start this article over from scratch, I'd roughly follow this outline:

  • Definition: What global warming is defined as (not an expression of theories as to why)
  • What is scientifically known and observed:
    • Graph of documented and recorded temperature changes
    • graph of recorded levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    • graphs indicating amounts of UV levels over time.
    • Tables of recorded weather patterns that show increase or decrease in the following over time:
      • Thunderstorms
      • Hurricanes
      • Floods
      • Heatwaves
      • etc.
    • Agriculture changes:
      • crop levels
      • tree levels
  • List of every known and scientifically backed theory in this format:
    • Theory 1: What is it
      • Who supports it
      • The evidence provided
      • Is it or is it not funded by special interests or lobbyists
      • How accepted is it
      • Proposed solutions
    • Theory 2: What is it
      • Who supports it
      • The evidence provided
      • is it or is it not funded by special interests or lobbyists
      • How accepted is it
      • Proposed solutions
  • Effects of chemicals in an environment
    • What do we know about CO2
    • What do we know about UV
    • What do we know about temperature

(All theories should be properly cited and referenced, and there should be absolutely no unsubstantiated claims)

This article should not cover the following topics

  • Political differences of global warming
  • Whether or not people believe in science
  • Theories with no foundations in science; that is "pure thought" theories, speculation
  • Whether global warming is real or not; that's not for us to decide. That's for the person reading the article to determine. We are simply here to inform and present evidence.

--Robert W King 12:26, 27 June 2007 (CDT)

This could be a good start although it needs some tweaking (e.g., UV has very little relation to global warming). I strongly agree with keeping politics out of it. Raymond Arritt 13:12, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Edit the outline as you see fit. I was just making a quick listing.--Robert W King 13:14, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
What then of the Kyoto protocol? Benjamin Seghers 13:22, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Create a separate article on responses to global warming? Greg Woodhouse 13:25, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
THe Kyoto Protocol was specifically drafted to reduce something due to the presence of something else, was it not? So it's one of the solutions to a proposed/accepted theory. Disassemble the requirements of Kyoto into the Who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Who:
    • Who supports it
    • Who drafted it
    • Who provided evidence for it
  • What:
    • What is its aim?
    • What is the background?
    • What are the claims?
    • What is the evidence?
  • Where:
    • Where is it accepted?
    • From what countries was it drafted from?
    • Who has signed and agreed to it?
  • Why:
    • Why did those nations sign it?
    • What was their reasoning for applying it?
  • When:
    • What year?
    • What criteria by when?

When you break these issues down, the classification of them becomes evident. The Kyoto protocol is a proposed solution to something, as a result of a recognized problem with a theory supported by evidence and we should present it as such.--Robert W King 13:29, 27 June 2007 (CDT)

Deleted Kyoto for now, but put it back in if you like. It would be good to have a separate article on Kyoto and link to it from here instead of giving details of Kyoto in the main article. Then the present article could focus on the science and give a pointer to the Kyoto article for people interested in geopolitical aspects etc. Anyone want to give it a go? Raymond Arritt 13:34, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
It should have it's own article, but we should at least summarize it here.--Robert W King 13:36, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Good idea. Would you like to go ahead and write the Kyoto article, so we can extract bits of it here for a summary? Raymond Arritt 13:51, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
I can contribute to it, but it will happen slowly as I have other things on my plate. For now I'd just mention it's existence and a background of it rather than summarize what the kyoto is about(until we can get there).--Robert W King 15:28, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
Kyoto Protocol, and other policy changes enacted or proposed in response to global warming, should be briefly mentioned in a separate section. The more important policy changes, like the Kyoto Protocol, should have their own articles, the rest should be in a more general "Global Warming policy" article, which can discuss various proposals, and the arguments advanced for and against each. Anthony Argyriou 16:50, 27 June 2007 (CDT)

Citation Needed

I would remove anything that was previously tagged as "Citation Needed" as anything that is speculative and unverifiable does not belong in this context, given the contentious nature of the subject.--Robert W King 12:34, 13 July 2007 (CDT)

The things I tagged as needing citations are not necessarily unverifiable, but simply are without proper citation. If they are in fact false or inaccurate, then they should be removed. If no one can find a reliable or proper source, then they should be removed. Benjamin Seghers 16:12, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
My issue is that I believe we shouldn't have unattributable information; technically those could be considered "rumors" or "theories", and CZ shouldn't be representative of either.--Robert W King 17:25, 13 July 2007 (CDT)
All right, I'll remove them. If anyone ones to re-add the information, they'll need proper references. Benjamin Seghers 17:47, 13 July 2007 (CDT)


Economics

There is a rich area of economics involved in projection of future costs, with a diversity of conclusions (Eg The Stern Report on one hand to Bjorn Lomborgs books on the other.) Where should this be discussed- in the mitigation section, or in another article? David Tribe 17:54, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

It should probably go in the solutions section because, after all, the issue is the expendatures required for those solutions. That said, be careful because the line between economics and politics can be extremely blurred. --Robert W King 23:01, 14 July 2007 (CDT)
I agree with Mr. King in that in economics often lie things of political nature, whether intended or not. Obviously, global warming has many implication on global and national economics--both in the mitigation and expected effects areas. If we do choose to discuss the economics of global warming, we need to do it with scrupulous attention to sources, and must write purely in an eclyclopedic fashion. Benjamin Seghers 09:53, 15 July 2007 (CDT)
Not only that Ben, but we should pay close attention to whether or not a solution is scientifically sound, plausible; example:
  • Proposed solution: decrease oil usage, produce cars that get better milage
  • Requirement: increase the cost of oil per gallon, government subsidies to auto manufacturers to produce more efficient oil-burning engines
In this example, there is an obvious slant toward the increase in oil price and giving money to the auto industry, while still producing cars that utilize gas. Is there any scientific basis in this argument? None that's listed. Is this the most efficient way to attempt to reverse the greenhouse effect? Not in the least.
I gave an intentional obvious example in hopes that I convey what kind of modular thinking we should approach when including accurate and unbiased information in this context (please do not comment on the contents of the example, that is not the point.)--Robert W King 11:44, 15 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, I think if we are to discuss any sort of economic topics of global warming, we as the writers of the encyclopedia should not be making value judgments, but instead use wholly reliable sources to discuss what's needed to be said. Benjamin Seghers 20:39, 15 July 2007 (CDT)

Controversy two

I'm not a subject expert, but I know there is a great deal of unsettled science, politics and economics on this topic. This article leaves one feeling there is little if any controversy associated with this topic. Will Nesbitt 07:53, 21 July 2007 (CDT)

Could you be a little more specific? Benjamin Seghers 09:16, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
Will, our job at CZ is not to report Controversy.--Robert W King 11:18, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
Just to comment on the latter remark. In a way, it most certainly is. If a controversy exists, CZ:Neutrality Policy requires that we report it, rather than take a stand on it. --Larry Sanger 11:31, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
Err, that's what I meant to say.--Robert W King 11:32, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
Heh, thanks for the advice Robert. ;^)
Benjamin, it's hard for me to be a little more specific because then I would be pretending to know something about the subject. What I know is that from a layman's point of view, this reads as if there is little or no dispute or controversy regarding this issue. From a layman's point of view, this is inconsistent with what I have read/seen.
I take no position on global warming, but I've heard the din and hue off in the distance. I've read that the polar caps on Mars are shrinking, which is interpreted by some to mean that Mars is "warming globally". I don't like pollution. If this is what it takes for us to go nuclear (fusion preferably) then let's all shout global warming from the rooftops. I know mine is a completely non-scientific point of view.
My view of this issue is shaped by my memories of the fearmongers who said we were entering another Ice Age. At about that time in Northern Virginia, we had two different storms of about 36 inches of snow. I was pretty scared. If I don't fear global warming, it's not because I've got a clue about the science. It's only because I remember that alarmism. That, of course, is not a logical reason to be alarmed this time around, but it's my reason none-the-less.
Maybe I should be alarmed. Maybe I shouldn't. It's hard to tell when most sources only tell one version of the controversy. Any source that only reports one side of an issue leaves me dubious of the information from that source. Will Nesbitt 12:07, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
The problem then is that you're probably hearing or reading this news from news media, which tends not to be a very reliable sources in this case. I'm sure from the layman's point of view, because they do tend to watch and read a lot of media, there seems to be a lot of controversy and doubt surrounding the issue. For example, I'm sure some TV personality spouted off about how the Martian ice caps are melting, but I can almost guarantee you they didn't mention dust storms the researching scientists blamed the partial (not quite "global") warming on. Had the source you read actually been the scientific one published in Nature, then the connection between whatever warming is occurring on Mars and that of Earth's just seems incongruous. So if you were only being told one side of that story, then yes, you should be dubious. Benjamin Seghers 22:34, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
I actually read about the shrinking caps in a science journal. According to that article, the likely cause of the melting ice (and dust storms) was sunspots. The stated implication was that sunspots have a much greater impact on the climate than the internal combustion engine. I honestly don't know if that is correct. I am dubious of that side of the story because it didn't stand the arguments side-by-side.
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that Al Gore's science background is about as strong as mine, so I'm dubious of his side of the story as well. I recently read of plants found a mile and a half below the ice in Greenland. These plants lived and died well before Henry Ford's ancestors were born. I wonder how the 1930's Dust Bowl would have been reported in an era of enormous government. Like many other laymen, I will have a hard time believing any resource that does not fully examine experts on both sides of this issue. I've heard Chicken Little cackle one too many times.
Common sense and logic seem to agree that the Earth is always either cooling or warming. The part I have a hard time believing is that man is affecting the weather. Like many others, I will never be moved by arguments based upon the majority of opinions in a controversial topic. The majority opinion is not an indicator of correctness in a controversial topic. Instead, I'm moved by arguments that appeal to reason and allow me to make an informed decision. If you don't want to tell me the other side of the story, I'll just assume you have an agenda and doubt your claims too. Will Nesbitt 09:09, 23 July 2007 (CDT)
Yes, the Sun is playing a role in creating the dust storms that result in the melting of polar ice on Mars. However, to say that because the Sun affects dust storms on Mars, therefore Earth is warming is quite simply a non sequitur. We have no real change is dust storms here on Earth as a result in Sun output. So while you, or some TV personality, may have tried to connect the two, they are very separate. (For this reason, the scientists in no part of their research suggest a link between Mars warming and Earth warming.) Thus, putting it in the article to act as some sort of so-called "other side of the story" would be wholly deceptive.
And Al Gore's scientific qualifications are moot. We're not here to discuss him or his film or what he says. We're here to discuss global warming. Beside the point, discussing what Al Gore's qualifications are instead of discussing the actual basis for his claims in the documentary is little more than an ad hominem fallacy. So instead of keeping with the usual discussion on who's saying what, lets try to discuss what exactly they're saying. You say you take no position, but now you say you can't believe man has an impact on climate. To me that seems inconsistent. But this too is moot, because we're not here to discuss our opinion on the matter; we're here to write an article on global warming that is both thorough and accurate. So for example, when we say every major scientific body accept anthropogenic induced global warming, this is only secondary to the fact that science, not majority, confirms the argument. By us saying a majority accepts the truth of anthropogenic warming, this does not mean that it is truth because they are a majority, but rather there is a majority in addition to scientific support. Do you see what I'm saying? Benjamin Seghers 12:53, 23 July 2007 (CDT)
Mostly. I also agree with almost all that you're writing, although I'm not sure why you think that I'm getting my information from "some TV host". I understand your point exactly about Al Gore, and I think that same principal applies when one reconsiders your dismissal that the sun is causing global warming on Mars.
What I'm trying to tell you, and what I'm asking you to accept at face value, is that I have read sober reports by scientific people who have offered rational alternative explanations for Global Warming. I do not know if these reports are correct or not, quite simply because I'm not qualified to make such judgments. My point is that this article does not seem to explore or list any alternative theories or explanations. This article would lead one to believe that there is little controversy about this subject and that this is a matter of settled science. It is not my impression that this is in fact where this debate stands.
I agree that our personal opinions are moot on the subject. However, in a controversial subject, I sometimes find it helpful to state your personal — (The Constabulary has removed an initialism here. Please use plain English instead, for example, "biased" ) — so that someone doesn't wrongly assume — (The Constabulary has removed an initialism here. Please use plain English instead, for example, "biased" ) — or intentions. To restate the above more clearly: I do not take a position on the issue, because I don't frankly know the truth. You may interpret this to mean that I am an "opponent" of global warming. I am not. I think most credible resources tend to agree that the climate is warming. I think the argument lies in what is causing the Earth to warm. I would very much like to see less pollution in the air. I think that pumping greenhouse gases from our vehicles makes as much sense as a Victorian-era urban dweller pitching his chamberpot out the window.
That said, I am not alarmed but those who cry gloom and doom. I am not alarmed by Al Gore, et al, because I've seen too many false alarms about the climate and other issues which seem beyond the control of humanity but well within the reach of good government. Mostly, I am not alarmed because I've read credible alternative explanations to global warming. Perhaps myself and others like me should be alarmed about global warming. If your (referring to the reader's and not to Benjamin Seghers) opinion is that I should be alarmed, I would recommend that you use logic and not authority to make that argument. I would urge anyone involved in a controversial topic take a look at the result of arguments about Intelligent Design. It is possible to give fair voice to all sides and still empower the reader to make a good choice.
To Benjamin specifically, I hope that doesn't sound too preachy. To boil it down: this is a controversial topic but you would never know that by reading this article. The article ignores the controversy. Take for example this sentence: Existence of the greenhouse effect itself is not disputed. This sentence hangs in space inferring but not acknowledging controversy. The effect is to leave the layman puzzled, as if it is the reader's job to guess what facts are disputed. I'm not trying to make trouble. I can do some research if it would help, but I'm not a climatologist so I'm really not qualified to edit or author this article.
Please let me know if I can be of some assistance, and to the authors of this article I hope that this feedback is received in the good spirit in which it was intended. Will Nesbitt 06:12, 24 July 2007 (CDT)
I don't dismiss the Sun's role in how it affects dust storms on Mars (which may very well the because cause of ice melting on its poles). In fact, I acknowledge it just above. However, I do dismiss any link between the mechanism on Mars as a result of changes in solar output and the mechanism here on Earth. From what I can tell, only one distinguished scientists hints at any such link, but all of his peers have rebuked these claims. The only reason I point out that a TV personality may have tried to make such links is because I know one has. And I also know people resort to these types of TV personalities for news and opinions on such subject matters. Whether or not this applies to you, I don't know. I'm just saying it happens.
As for other rational explanations for recent (1980 onwards) warming on Earth, I cannot say I have heard of many. The largest and most rational theory that isn't quite labeled the consensus is the solar variation theory. We do discuss this theory in the section called "Solar variation." This theory holds that the solar influence is being underestimated, and this very well may be true. However, to say that there rational and reliable scientific arguments that say it is the whole cause or most of the cause would be inconsistent with fact. Quite frankly, even the absolute highest estimates put its contribution to no more than 35% of measured warming since 1980. The fact of the matter is that when accounting for natural forces only (i.e. solar output and volcanoes), it does not account for the observed warming since 1980. Natural forcings match pretty well up until 1950, after which point the IPCC consensus says the majority of the warming is a result of human activity. So while while it might seem humble to think humans can have little impact on such a complex and large system, the data says otherwise.
For other theories, I am sure there a few (intergalactic position of our galaxy, for one), they are dismissed as nonsense by the rest of the scientific community. While someone may actually hold the position that JFK death is the result of some alien influence, it isn't necessarily our responsibility to report on it. Because you are from Wikipedia, I believe you understand that fringe theories have no place in encyclopedias. What we should report on is the findings of scientific studies published in reliable venues such as scientific and peer-reviewed journals.
On the "Existence of the greenhouse effect itself is not disputed" sentence, it does hold true, but I think it also puts in context the surrounding material. That is to say, the greenhouse effect isn't what's being disputed, but rather "something else." I see it more as a clarifying sentence than anything else, even if a bit awkward. Benjamin Seghers 15:58, 25 July 2007 (CDT)
And yet more: my original comments and the responses above were written after reading the article itself. After my last entry, I read the entire discussion page and I can see that the editors and authors have made an attempt to grapple with the subject. Your intentions are well-placed and your efforts are Herculean, but I'm sorry to report the Augean Stables are not yet clean. I am under the impression that you have chased away the "right-wingers" rather than engaging them and finding a way to report their concerns. Sorry that I don't have more solutions despite being able to see many problems .... Will Nesbitt 06:20, 24 July 2007 (CDT)
I should make clear I'm not here to chase anyone away. I am here for open debate on the issues. My primary concern here is on the improvement of the article. In my view, this is not a political left or right issue. This is a scientific debate; the data remains fact regardless of one's political feelings. Benjamin Seghers 20:00, 24 July 2007 (CDT)
Would just like to note here that a recently published study by the Royal Society in the UK definitively shows that the Solar variation theory is not credible; read the BBC's coverage of these findings here. Russell Potter 21:35, 24 July 2007 (CDT)
Interesting indeed, but your characterization of the article is not exactly accurate. The study is not "definitive" so long as sober, scholarly critics remain in opposition. In cases like this, it's not uncommon for the advocates of a "disproved" theory to claim that the opposition never fully understood the theory in the first place. As your resource says:
But the organisation was criticised in some quarters for not taking into account the cosmic ray hypothesis, developed by, among others, Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen of the Danish National Space Center. Their theory holds that cosmic rays help clouds to form by providing tiny particles around which water vapour can condense. Overall, clouds cool the Earth. During periods of active solar activity, cosmic rays are partially blocked by the Sun's more intense magnetic field. Cloud formation diminishes, and the Earth warms.
In other words, the study does not definitively absolve cosmic, i.e. not man-made, influences. The fact remains that ice caps on Mars are shrinking. I don't dispute a single word in that article, by the way. (I don't have the credentials or education to challenge this.) But the article is an example of why I have a hard time finding a credible source about global warming. This article stakes out a pretty strong position in the intro and the conclusion, but still leaves a big hole in the middle that says this could all be wrong. Will Nesbitt
If indeed you do, as you say, wish for the input of experts, I would point out that the bulk of CZ's current article was written by Raymond Arritt, a credentialed climatologist, so it has had such input. And again, you are mis-stating the findings of the above study. In an interview about this study, Mike Lockwood, one of its authors was asked:
  • Does this research close the door on the climate change debate?
"Yes it does. If I’m absolutely honest, it was closed already. I think it was difficult for people who weren’t trained in climate science to understand the evidence, because it was complicated and very technical. The idea was that this was a very simple demonstration that you couldn’t just pin it on the Sun as increasingly global warming skeptics have been trying to do.
"You think it would be the end. Unfortunately, it’s amazing how misrepresentation can carry on. A lot of people have picked on the idea that global warming has stalled, because recent temperatures haven’t risen in quite the same way as before. This is very much cherry picking the evidence. They are ignoring the fact that the long-term trend is steadily going upwards. They are picking the fluctuations that exist naturally in our climate system and those that suit them, which is an astonishing cherry picking of the evidence."
Quoted from Scitizen. Russell Potter 13:04, 25 July 2007 (CDT)
It's curious, Mr. Nesbitt, you state Mar's ice caps are melting, despite the fact I just noted above that there is no connection between that and Earth's global warming. It appears as if you're trying to make a link, when in fact there is none.
I should also point the bulk of this article was not written by Dr. Arritt. It was simply copied from Wikipedia, with some edits that amend it. Benjamin Seghers 15:58, 25 July 2007 (CDT)


I'm not qualified to argue this debate with a scientist, so I won't pretend to be qualified. What I know is that many people believe the science that this article reflects. I know that some people do not ascribe to these conclusions. I know that political funding of research has tainted the credibility of some research. I am not here to argue for or against any particular position. I am merely pointing out that this article doesn't seem to indicate that there is any controversy related to this subject. Perhaps there isn't any controversy, but unless and until you explain why there might be controversy then every so often someone will arrive to challenge the article's balance. Will Nesbitt 11:01, 26 July 2007 (CDT)
Governments fund most all research. Note that's plural. It's hard to argue that the scientists are biased by political fundings when every major scientific academy of dozens of different nations come to the same conclusions. That pretty much amounts to independent verifications. We've already listed different viewpoints that hold scientific ground, such as in the "solar variation" section, and we also list certain uncertainties, such as cloud forcing. I don't know what you're looking for. Benjamin Seghers 19:31, 26 July 2007 (CDT)
Please correct me if I am misunderstanding your position. I take this to mean that it is your position that there is in fact little or no controversy about the causes of global warming. This is settled science. There is no controversy, just right and wrong. The majority position is worthy of reporting here because that position (in your editorial decision making capacity) is correct. The minority position is wrong and therefore not worthy of a full explanation here.
It is my position that neither you, nor I, nor a great many other people are qualified to know all of the research which as been done. It is a fact that many people agree with your assertions above. It is my opinion that a good many well-qualified, well-meaning people disagree with those assertions and assumptions. I agree that they might be wrong, but I know they might be right. That type of situation is the definition of controversy.
When there is controversy, it's not the editors job to decide which position is right. It is the editors job to give fair voice to all sides of the debate and let the reader decide which position is right. What I'm looking for is an article which admits there is a controversy then reports the various arguments involved in the controversy.
I predict that until this happens, some people will agree with this article as it stands, but others will either assume editorial bias or complaining about editorial bias on this page. Long after I'm gone and Ed Poor is gone, these questions/complaints will continue with other users. These complaints will never stop precisely because this is a controversial topic and because this article doesn't address the controversy without bias.
I assume is that those who support this article have a slightly different position. Their position is that those who disagree with the article are just ignorant of the facts. Those wrong-headed people simply need to be educated and this article will help them become more educated. Any further discussion about the misinformation about Global Warming will only lead to more uneducated people being more wrong about what is essentially settled science. Will Nesbitt 02:15, 27 July 2007 (CDT)
The problem, I suppose then, is in the definition of "controversy." If a layperson does disagree with the scientific facts of the issue, then they may very well be controversial. However, if we're looking for scientific controversy, then yes, I would agree there is little controversy. That is not to say there is no controversy whatsoever, but rather differences in opinion about certain aspects. However, when it comes to major conclusions, such as the Earth is warming, it's due to greenhouse gases, and the cause of said greenhouse gas emissions are the result of human activity, then there is even less controversy. Like I said though, there are scientifically supported differing opinions, such as the Sun's role is being underestimated, or that cloud forcings may play a more important role originally suggested. These are duly noted. Benjamin Seghers 09:57, 27 July 2007 (CDT)
If there is little or no scientific controversy, then why is it so easy for a laymen to find contradictory evidence and statements with a minimum of research? Will Nesbitt 14:17, 27 July 2007 (CDT)
A layman would not necessarily know which statements offer legitimate, well-evidenced criticisms, and would not necessarily be able to distinguish between valid and invalid evidence, or know the history of such claims in scientific literature. So I'd just say it's easy for a layman to collect statements and data that appear to contradict the general consensus, but it would take someone with knowledge of the field, its methodology, its criteria for study, its data models, etc. to know whether this material was contradictory or not. Russell Potter 15:49, 27 July 2007 (CDT)
Agreed. But any resource that ignores part of the story will lead the layman to believe not that the resource has authority, but rather the resource has bias. The reader wants the opportunity to know the competing theories so that he can make up his own mind. The reader doesn't not want the article to lecture the correct theory to him. Will Nesbitt 05:54, 28 July 2007 (CDT)
There already is the solar variation section that delves into the differing opinion held by a respectable group of scientists. We need to tell all sides of the story, but we have to make sure the views are both bona fide and scientific in nature. We're not going to report on fringe theories. That's not out duty as an encyclopedia. If we are to be a respectable source of authority, as you put it, then represent the scientific findings. Benjamin Seghers 11:16, 28 July 2007 (CDT)

Cow Belching & Politics

This article does not address or examine cow belching. [1] [2] Above Benjamin says that this is a scientific issue and there are no politics involved. But there are reasons to doubt this. For example in this article about cow belching:

They have become the fashionable target for environmentalists, but four-wheel-drive vehicles may be less damaging to the environment than the cows and sheep essential to the rural economy.
The methane emissions from both ends of cattle and sheep are causing so much concern in government that it has ordered researchers to find ways to cut down on the emissions from livestock, which account for about a quarter of the methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful at driving global warming than carbon dioxide – pumped into the atmosphere in Britain. Each day every one of Britain’s 10 million cows pumps out an estimated 100-200 litres of methane.

Aside from the fact that this non-scientist wonders what this all means when we consider that our native bison herds have diminished to about .5% of what they were when Europeans first arrived, there is a key element to this story that pops out to this native of the Washington DC area (and I paraphrase): the government has "ordered" researchers. Ordered in this case means "paid". Paid in this case means "earmarked". Earmarked means "helped out your district with a little pork barrel funding that no one can argue with politically because we are all in favor of reduced pollution".

My knowledge about this process is first-hand and practical, not scholarly. My son works for a Senator, and I have many associates that are government contractors. I have engaged lobbyists and I have participated in government contracting as a business. It is a known fact that perceived crises are the best place for politicians to hide money that they want to funnel back to their districts. I won't bore you or inflame you with past examples, but I will mention that the government (at great public expense) has lost the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. The government has exploded expenses and agencies to fight the War on Terrorism. The borders are out of control. But now, the government is going to add to its plate a "War on the Climate"?

Because my brother-in-law in a nuclear research professor and because I've seen the process of going from government grant to government grant (as have many of our resident scientists), I know how many researchers receive funding from the government. We all know that in some circles this leads to a certain conflict of interest. We all know it's easier to fund a "hot" idea than pure unglamorous research.

Here's an interesting tidbit from Richard A. Muller, a 1982 MacArthur Fellow, is a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches a course called "Physics for Future Presidents." Since 1972, he has been a Jason consultant on U.S. national security.

Progress in science is sometimes made by great discoveries. But science also advances when we learn that something we believed to be true isn't. When solving a jigsaw puzzle, the solution can sometimes be stymied by the fact that a wrong piece has been wedged in a key place.
In the scientific and political debate over global warming, the latest wrong piece may be the "hockey stick," the famous plot (shown below), published by University of Massachusetts geoscientist Michael Mann and colleagues. This plot purports to show that we are now experiencing the warmest climate in a millennium, and that the earth, after remaining cool for centuries during the medieval era, suddenly began to heat up about 100 years ago--just at the time that the burning of coal and oil led to an increase in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

The article is a must-read but he goes on to say:

Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called "Monte Carlo" analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

The point is there remains controversy, both political and scientific. The Citizendium article does not seem to indicate where the controversy is, or what it is about. If I can be of some help, I'm glad to pitch in. If I'm an annoyance, I'm glad to go away. Will Nesbitt 06:56, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

I'd like to point out that when I say global warming is scientific in nature, I do not mean that politics are not intertwined in the solution to said warming. They very much are. But to get a grasp of global warming, one should look to science, not politics or politicians. But I really don't see what cattle belching has to do with politics. This is still a scientific issue. I recognize that rearing cattle is a large contribution to global warming (see, for example, this article that discuss a UN report arguing cattle rearing produces more GHGs than driving cars). Land use also accounts for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions--up to about 25%. However, power stations and other industrial processes are the biggest problems. But lets be clear--when we say "global warming is anthropogenic" or "due to human activity" we mean any activity, and this includes how we use land and how we rear animals. So yes, humans are the major contributor. The so-called hockey stick is something I consider to be one of science's less brilliants moments. But it's distracting to focus on just one set of data; there are in fact many. The trends are unambiguous. Benjamin Seghers 17:02, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Here's an article called Global Warming: A Layman's Summary that seems to acknowledge the controversy and lists a good many references worth following up on. I would prefer an expert validate these claims and filter it for truth, but that article seems to accomplish the mission better than our article.Will Nesbitt

Likewise, here is an excellent link that I think you might be interested in. It discusses many topics you have brought up, and I'm sure other things you are curious about. Benjamin Seghers 17:02, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Hydroelectric Global Warming?

"In a study to be published in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Fearnside estimates that in 1990 the greenhouse effect of emissions from the Curuá-Una dam in Pará, Brazil, was more than three-and-a-half times what would have been produced by generating the same amount of electricity from oil."[1] Will Nesbitt 07:37, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Yes, hydroelectric energy isn't very "clean," and in some instances large emitters than coal burning electricity producers. Other techniques for energy need to be considered, such as those outlined in the IPCC's WGIII report. Benjamin Seghers 17:08, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

This has nothing at all to do with global warming. The politics of energy, maybe, but not global warming. Greg Woodhouse 23:00, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Is this a war of attrition?

I occasionally stick my head in here, and the same people are saying the same things over and over. It's just not right. By all means, create an "alternative views" article, or some such, but this shouldn't be allowed to go on. Greg Woodhouse 23:13, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

I agree, Greg. There must be a better way to resolve disputes. Of course, we have to identify disputes in the first place. --Larry Sanger 00:02, 26 July 2007 (CDT)

I point to Intelligent Design as an example of how a very controversial issue can be handled quite nicely. Will Nesbitt 06:33, 26 July 2007 (CDT)

Global Warming Controversy

Perhaps if the Global Warming Controversy is another article in and of itself. Consider the following from the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works:

The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

That is actually a pretty scary thought. The role of the skeptic is an important part of the scientific process. Skeptics are stamped out in matters of religion, but not in science. The article goes on to say:

If a climate skeptic receives any money from industry, the media immediately labels them and attempts to discredit their work. The same media completely ignore the money flow from the environmental lobby to climate alarmists like James Hansen and Michael Oppenheimer. (ie. Hansen received $250,000 from the Heinz Foundation and Oppenheimer is a paid partisan of Environmental Defense Fund)[3]

Certainly, this article does not prove anything about Global Warming but it certainly establishes that there is in fact a controversy. If there is in fact a controversy, it might be important to report the findings of a recent Senatorial fact-finding mission to Greenland. (I saw this in today's paper.)

The U.S. Senate fact-finding mission, to investigate fears of a glacier meltdown, lasted three days. Now, Mr. Morano has posted his observations on the committee's Web site. The journey "revealed an Arctic land where current climatic conditions are neither alarming nor linked to a rise in man-made carbon dioxide emissions," he began.
Citing temperature charts, he points out that while Greenland has been "warming since the 1880s," temperature averages since 1955 have actually been "colder" than the period between 1881 and 1955. In fact, one study concludes that Greenland "was as warm or warmer in the 1930s and 40s, and the rate of warming from 1920-1930 was about 50 percent higher than the warming from 1995-2005."[4]

Again, this doesn't prove anything, except for the existence of a controversy. To head off any claims of partisanship or politics, please consider the following:

Morano says in a pre-briefing for the trip that the two scientists selected by the Democratic majority acknowledged all temperature changes and glacial melting in Greenland is within natural climate variability.
"In fact, the scientist at this meeting admitted that [in] the 1920s and 1930s the temperature warmed up as fast or faster than it currently is -- in that there is nothing at the moment to be alarmed about Greenland. It all comes down to unproven computer models of the future and how much you believe them," explains Morano.
The congressional staffer also makes note that a top U.N. scientist recently said half of the variables in the U.N. computer models are unknown. Morano points out that Greenland is contributing "almost undetectable amounts to sea-level rise." He also points out that Antarctica is actually reducing sea-level rise, so that in a sense Antarctica and Greenland balance each other out.
"Also keep in mind that during the Middle Ages Greenland was named Greenland because it was green. The Vikings settled it -- and that was long before the age of [the] SUV or coal-powered electric plant[s]," observes Morano.
Other observations by Morano include that the trip will not be an eco-friendly one. The delegation will be flying a large military plane to Greenland, then chartering a plane, helicopters, and then a boat out in a fjord, and reversing that to return home.
Morano also makes arguments that Greenland is actually gaining ice in its interior but losing ice on the exterior, which is essentially how a glacier grows. [5]

Again this proves nothing other than the fact that there are serious people who not only doubt the impact of man on the climate, but there are also sober informed people who doubt that the climate is actually warming. I don't pretend to know anything about climate or climate-modeling, but I know controversy when I see it. When there is controversy, our mission is to report the controversy. Will Nesbitt 08:42, 31 July 2007 (CDT)

OK, let me try this. I really WISH anthropogenic global warming could be false. It is just I didn't reach the right literature. What you report here is a political controversy which has nothing to do with the fact that science came out with AGW. In other words, that opinionist or even scientists have an opinion (pro or con the theory of AGW it doesn't matter), it is not really relevant here because AGW is a scientific theory. NB: scientific theory, not a truth or a dogma!
Anyway, it might well be this political controversy (and I am positive a political controversy do exist) reflects some consistent debate among climate scientists. If such a debate/controversy do really exist within science, then we really need a chapter about it here. So, could you/anyone point out some peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals against AGW, which are not outdated nor were contradicted by subsequent literature? Because this is a very practical point: if a scientific controversy exists, then we need to address it the scientific way, i.e., by referring to published science.
If such scientific literature do not exist, then the scientific controversy itself do not exist.
--Nereo Preto 12:14, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
So Morano is just wrong? And the scientific claims made on these references are (intentionally or unintentionally) false. I don't mean to sound difficult but I've been down this path with other controversies. The path you're trying to send me down is thus: do more research to back up your claims. Guess what? After more research is done, the "true believers" will find new hurdles and create more work. I don't mean to sound difficult or confrontational. But the problem is when people claim the problem is you can't find credible references, then you find credible references and then you find new reasons to turn away from the evidence that controversy exists you begin to get the picture that anything which doesn't fit with the editorial beliefset will be disqualified as bad evidence. Is it really such a leap to assume that the opposition is dealing in equally good faith? :^D Will Nesbitt 14:44, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
If they had something scientific to say, they would do so through scientific resources, such as publishing scientific papers on the matter. If they had something political to say, they would do so through political processes, such as news releases. Dr. Preto is correct--there is an ongoing and important political debate that surrounds global warming. What a TV climatologist says, while perhaps repulsive to some, has little to do with the scientific findings on the matter. If there is in fact something controversial with the scientific matters, then we should see it in the peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals. Don't you agree? Benjamin Seghers 16:47, 31 July 2007 (CDT)
More practically: a good scientific source must have at least one characteristic, that is, manuscripts are peer-reviewed. A further indication of quality is, the Journal is included in the Thomson's ISI catalogue. This is because Thomson has well defined criteria to admit a source into their files. A further measure of quality, though clearly imperfect, is impact factor (IF): does the source have an IF? How high is it with respect to other sources in the same field? Check IF@Thomson. Hope this helps constraining the discussion. --Nereo Preto 02:02, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

Is there a controversy or not?

It is a fact that a field expert is making these claims. On that basis alone it must be reported neutrally. It would make sense to report these claims in the body of the article and then caveat them with the assumption that no peer reviewed science backs up this claim. (Until such time as more research proves this claim false.)

Is it your claim that these experts are just factually wrong? Or, is it your claim that these experts are liars? Either way, it is not our duty to make that judgment. It is our duty to report experts who make those judgments.

But, it's not very hard to find competing data if you look for it. Here is a long list of studies. I have not delved a layer deeper, but I proceed with the assumption that these references are not intentionally less than truthful. From that same resource I quote:

An October 2005 study in the journal Science found Greenland’s higher elevation interior ice sheet growing while lower elevations ice is thinning. According to a November 8, 2005 article in European Research, “An international team of climatologists and oceanographers, led by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) in Norway, estimates that Greenland’s interior ice sheet has grown, on average, 6cm per year in areas above 1 500m between 1992 and 2003.” Lead author, Ola M. Johannessen of NERSC “says the sheet growth is due to increased snowfall brought about by variability in regional atmospheric circulation, or the so-called North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO),” according to the article. (LINK) & (LINK to Journal Science)

This would seem to fit your editorial requirements but does not seem to fit the template of your belief set.I don't know if the globe is warming or if man is causing climate change. But I am quite certain that this is not settled science. It's difficult to prove that the globe is warming. It's not difficult to prove that people are arguing about it.

The claim of “consensus” rests almost entirely on an inaccurate and now-outdated single-page comment in the journal Science entitled The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Oreskes, 2004). In this less than impressive “head-count” essay, Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science with no qualifications in climatology, defined the “consensus” in a very limited sense

That reference proceeds to deconstruct, sentence by verifiable sentence, why this claim of "consensus" can be doubted. As neutralists it is our job to expose the reader to the facts and arguments so that the reader can make up his own mind. When there is clearly controversy, it is not our duty to decide the matter for the reader. I can't argue global warming on equal footing with any scientist, but I can argue neutrality enforcement as well as anyone on CZ.Will Nesbitt 07:40, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

Because a claim is made by a scientist, it does not make it true. Nor does a claim in a scientific and peer-reviewed journal; but at least then it worth reporting on. Dr. Lizden says a lot stuff--mostly through newspaper editorials. While interesting, they do not go through the crucial process of peer-review. We aren't going to report what every scientists says to the press. Like I said above, if they have scientific claims to make, they'll be published in peer-reviewed journals. Further, blogs are no more reliable sources than the press, if not worse. Same goes for think tanks, unfortunately. Benjamin Seghers 07:47, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
Yes, Benjamin is correct, I went through the links you offered but didn't find any peer-reviewed article. However, you report of a Science paper about Greenland Ice which yields ambiguous evidence. That would be the kind of reference we need. Does someone know the complete citation? At least the name of the first author? Even if the article provides evidence for stability of the Greenland ice, this would only be a local effect in a picture of rising global temperatures, and may constitute an annoying fact in need of more study, rather than a scientific controversy. But maybe citations could be tracked down to some more contrarian literature.
I didn't know the Oreskes paper (2004). However, there are many new articles on this topic now in the issue of Nature of the 8th of February, 2007 which update earlier papers. E.g., Giles J., 2007: From words to action. Nature, 445, 578-579.
--Nereo Preto 09:35, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

The question I've tried to get you to answer (unsuccessfully) is do you think these men are liars? When they say the information is from peer-reviewed studies do you doubt them for some reason? The reason I'm trying to get you on the record for this simple and direct question is because it will provide me motivation to research and quote the references upon which these experts rely. For my part, I don't question your resources. For your part, do you question my sources? For example when Denis Avery, global warming expert states:

About 20 years ago we brought up the first long ice core from Greenland. And it showed the 100,000 year ice age cycle. But to our great surprise it also showed a moderate 1,500-year cycle that seemed to be linked to the sun. And 4 years later we brought up another longer ice core in the Antarctic and that showed the 1,500-year cycle. And we’ve since found it in 300 peer-reviewed studies of sea-bed sediments, cave stalagmites, pollen fossils all over the world. And yet we don’t talk about this. We assume that any change in temperature is our fault.

And

We cite in the book 100 studies of peer-reviewed science finding the 1,500-year cycle in physical evidence. We could have cited 300, probably 1,500 science authors.' (who concur with the opinion that AGW is a false assumption.

Before I do the research to find out if his assertions are true, I ask: do you continue to believe with 100% certitude that there are no peer reviewed documents which contradict the thesis found in this article?

It is my assertion that Denis Avery author of Unstoppable Global Warming is an expert in the field which is why he turns up time and time again to debate the issue of global warming. The fact that it is being debated in a public forum is proof that there is a controversy. No one debates the existence of protons or gravity. Further, I doubt the level of reference that is required for all scientific articles at CZ is that we only quote peer reviewed journals. Consider this article which does not espouse any of Avery's claims, but in fairness it must present a point/counter point so that the reader can make his own mind up. Consider this reviewer's characterization of the Unstoppable Global Warming and tell me if you assert that without a doubt the science is settled in this matter.

It is written as a scientific text, with citations to peer-reviewed articles, deference to numbers, and adoption of technical terms. A precis of the argument put forward in the book by Fred Singer, an outspoken critic of the idea that humans are warming the planet, and Dennis Avery is that a well-established, 1,500-year cycle in the Earth's climate can explain most of the global warming observed in the last 100 years (0.7C), that this cycle is in some way linked to fluctuations in solar energy, and because there is nothing humans can do to affect the sun we should simply figure out how to live with this cycle. We are currently on the upswing, they say, warming out of the Little Ice Age, but in a few hundred years will be back on the downswing. Efforts to slow down the current warming by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases are at best irrelevant, or at worst damaging for our future development and welfare.

Here's a summary of my argument. I cannot say with any degree of certitude that the global is warming or cooling or what effect man is having on the climate. I can say with 100% certitude that these questions are being debated. If there is a debate our role is not to referee the debate but to report the debate so that the reader can make up his own mind.

Here's a summary of what I understand of your argument. There is no debate. This is settled science. Until a CZ volunteer takes the time and effort to do your research for you, you will not admit that this is anything less than settled science with a political component. Will Nesbitt

Ok, briefly, this is my point of view.
  • There was a scientific controversy about Global Warming, which is now completely settled, however. Check Giles J., 2007: From words to action. Nature, 445, 578-579.
  • There is a 1500 yrs climate cycle of possible solar origin, BUT it is especially evident in the Pleistocene and only rarely seen in the Holocene. The most important work about the Holocene 1500 yrs cycle is Bond et al., 2001, Science, 294, 2130:2136. Following Bond's curves, and assuming this cycle is causing climate change, the global temperature should have steadely increased in the last 400 years. This is not the case.
  • Solar output can be measured. There is no evidence of an increase of Solar Forcing in the instrumental period. Better: there is evidence of NO solar forcing (Lockwood and Froelich, 2007, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1880, and references therein).
Thus, given the available literature, there is no scientific controversy to report. But -again- maybe I'm wrong. If some reliable scientific literature exists about this controversy, find it and we'll write a chapter. But don't ask me to look for, I just don't know where to look!!!
--Nereo Preto 09:35, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
Because I don't have a vested interest in the Global Warming controversy and because I have no financial incentive to do this research, I'm trying to scale down the research project as much as possible. Therefore, it's in my best interest to accept your research at face value and it's in my best interest to do the minimal amount of research. I'm not a climatologist and don't want to play one on TV. ;^)
Do you accept at face value the statements by Denis Avery that his expert opinions are based upon peer-reviewed science, or do I need to verify those claims before we will admit voices like this into the debate? Will Nesbitt 10:47, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
This is the real point. Since I could find extensive scientific literature suggesting the scientific controversy about Global Warming is over, yes, I believe claims about contrarian scientific literature should be verified, found and eventually cited directly. Not much because I don't thrust Denis Avery, but because if we are to write a quality chapter about a scientific controversy, we need primary sources. --Nereo Preto 11:06, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
Does the same burden apply to both sides of the issue? Will Nesbitt 13:58, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
I would say yes. --Nereo Preto 16:14, 1 August 2007 (CDT)
Let me answer a few of your questions. You ask, "The question I've tried to get you to answer (unsuccessfully) is do you think these men are liars? When they say the information is from peer-reviewed studies do you doubt them for some reason?" The answer is, no, I do not think they are liars. I do, however, feel they are misguided or incorrect. My problem with them, however, doesn't stem from whether I think they are right or wrong, it's that they aren't publishing their thoughts through reliable venues--and that may be for a reason. To allow comments go unchecked, even from scientists, is not a duty of an encyclopedia. Peer-review serves an essential component in the process of verification and validation. You ask, "For your part, do you question my sources?" And I say yes. I don't deny that there are scientists out there who question the idea of man-made warming. I do question the ways in which they question this idea. Because even scientists do get things wrong, misinterpret studies, or even sometimes lie or misguide, there is the important process of peer-review.
You argue, "I can say with 100% certitude that these questions are being debated. If there is a debate our role is not to referee the debate but to report the debate so that the reader can make up his own mind." The question, however, is how is this being debated and by whom? I most certainly do not deny that are many people who debate these question. But it's important to ask who these people are. Are they laypeople, such as you and me? Are they TV anchors? Is a large scientific community debating these basic conclusions? Or is it a handful of individual scientists arguing against certain points? In answering this, I think it should be clear on what we should and should not be reporting on, as an encyclopedia. Benjamin Seghers 17:04, 2 August 2007 (CDT)

Proving there is a Global Warming Controversy

Then sire, I accept your challenge. ;^)

Unfortunately for the cause of the opposition, this advocate will be spending a number of days as the beach enjoying the UV protection provided by cow belching and frolicking in freshly melted ice pushed by the Labrador Current down to the Maryland beaches. I don't look forward to the work of the research, but I'm quite certain I can make you eat you hat.  :^D

I predict that I can find a good deal of peer-reviewed journalism to stand in opposition. I also predict that I will not be able to prove the climate is doing anything. But, I think I can prove there is a controversy. That is a small hurdle to cross, even with the requirement that I quote original source material.

I do not have access to a university library at my location, so I will be overly reliant on net resources. If some misguided soul can help me with this endeavor (or do all the work in my absence) then I will be appropriately appreciative. For that poor soul, I've uncovered some tracks to follow in the notes above. Will Nesbitt 19:18, 1 August 2007 (CDT)


Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics has an interesting challenge to the entire concept of a global temperature. The abstract sounds pretty interesting and it only gets better from there:

Physical, mathematical and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming. While it is always possible to construct statistics for any given set of local temperature data, an infinite range of such statistics is mathematically permissible if physical principles provide no explicit basis for choosing among them. Distinct and

equally valid statistical rules can and do show opposite trends when applied to the results of computations from physical models and real data in the atmosphere. A given temperature field can be interpreted as both “warming” and “cooling” simultaneously, making the concept of warming in the context of the issue of global warming physically ill-posed.

This was on a Harvard.edu site, but it will take me a while to confirm exactly who these guys are. This certainly appears to be peer reviewed information.

Since my goal is to prove controversy and not to prove climate change, can I point to references that challenge IPCC "peer review"? For example, The book Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate makes startling claims such as:

Singer makes several important points: Regarding the purported peer review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Singer argues that "The IPCC chapters were never 'peer-reviewed' in the generally accepted sense . . ." Normal peer review is done by anonymous referees, but the IPCC reviewers were chosen by those who prepared the summaries. "There is no record available as to what comments from reviewers were ignored; nor is there a record of minority opinions," states Singer.
The claimed "consensus" of approximately 2,000 scientists is also dubious. This figure includes about 80 lead authors who actually wrote the chapters, several hundred scientists who allowed their work to be quoted as well as hundreds of reviewers who may or may not have agreed with the report or whether their comments were used or not.
Though the IPCC admitted that there were minority views that it was "not able to accommodate" it did not reveal "the size of the minority nor the seriousness of their disagreements." Several surveys have revealed that the consensus may be exaggerated.

What's amazing to me is how easy it is to hit pay dirt ... and I haven't even mined the resources listed above. Will Nesbitt 19:56, 1 August 2007 (CDT)


I think this guide for How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic is sort of sad actually. This reads like dogma and not like science. Will Nesbitt 20:28, 1 August 2007 (CDT)

I agree. Try this one though. Benjamin Seghers 17:08, 2 August 2007 (CDT)
A comment was removed from the talk page here because the article is under dispute watch. The comment was not on-topic for a particular proposition. Please do see CZ:Dispute Watch for background.
  1. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-07/10/content_6355134.htm
  2. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-07-12-cow-belches_N.htm
  3. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=32ABC0B0-802A-23AD-440A-88824BB8E528
  4. http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070731/NATION02/107310086&template=nextpage
  5. http://www.onenewsnow.com/2007/07/global_warming_skeptic_hopes_t.php