Friday, February 29, 2008

(More) Musings on Global warming

Today is the last day of summer, and the statistics already say it's been the wettest summer for 6 years. (For Sydney). And for a climate that in summer can give you temperatures exceeding 40C something else of interest;
"...Remarkably, not one day this summer pushed past 31 degrees.
"That's only happened three times in the past (in 149 years of the bureau's weather records), with the last being 1956 - it's quite significant,"...".
Australia's weather patterns are not just a yearly cycle. Since settlement a much longer cycle of wet years/drought years has been noted - usually attributed to the El Nino/La Nina effect. (We appear to have just entered a La Nina period).

It wasn't so long ago that Climate Change Activist Dr Tim Flannery (who is a paleontologist, not a climatologist - Stern and Garnaut likewise are economists, not climatologists), predicted;
"...that Australia is now entering long-term climate change, which could cause longer and more frequent droughts.
He also predicts that the ongoing drought could leave Sydney's dams dry in just two years...".
Perhaps not surprisingly, we hear less from Tim in the media these days than we used to.

I still approach the topic of Global warming (these days called Climate Change instead) with an open mind. Perhaps it's my Engineering background, but I look for objective evidence and try to find out for myself. What I am sure of is that the science isn't settled. And I get very cynical when the Climate Change Activists' response to scepticism is to try and muzzle, if not completely veto, debate. Truth will withstand scrutiny, will be supported rather than weakened by debate - if it is in fact truth. Falsehood founders in the light of scrutiny and questions.

So I look for information. I found this. Seems 2007 wasn't warmer than preceeding years, it was cooler - substantially cooler - by each of the 4 main measures of Earth's temperature. Now one year's measurements can be a statistically insignificant glitch. It is the trend that matters, and other things need to be looked at too.

There are also other cycles to look at. To start, ice core measurements can be used to plot temperature, CO2, and particulate levels going back 450,000 years. That data shows recurring warming and cool cycles. Then there are plots for the Ice Ages. These cover a very long period of alternate cold and warm cycles. Then there is the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age, which if nothing else demonstrate that things haven't been static even in the last few hundred years on the climate front.

Then there is the Sun's Cycles to take note of.

As I said, I try to keep an open mind, collect objective data. What I believe is an extremely bad idea is to let 'Activists' alone steer debate, and have them solely provide data. Because, sadly, on this issue and many others, they then only provide a subset of data that leads you to the conclusions they wish you to make.
No thanks. I'd like all the data in the public domain please, and informed debate from those Scientists who disagree as well as those who 'tow the party line', to be added in to the discourse on this important issue.



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