Thursday, December 6, 2007

Global Warming Skeptics Attack - My Response

Ah, man. I’ve been fending off global warming deniers all day long. First, one of my friends emailed me this story: The Faithful Heretic, under the subject line, “more doubting.”

This was my response (we’ve been having this argument for a while):

I can respond to all of those claims.
1. "Bryce says the data fed into the computers overemphasizes carbon dioxide and accounts poorly for the effects of clouds water vapor"
The air can only hold so much water. This is called "saturation". Water vapor contributes to 60% of the natural greenhouse effect. Because the atmosphere can only hold so much water, water vapor does not contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect.
In other words, there will always be just about the same amount of water vapor in the air globally.

2. "'Do you believe a five-day forecast?' he asks."
This is just stupid. Predicting the exact temperatures for the next 5 days is totally different from predicting the average temperature in 5 decades. But yes, the models have been wrong. In fact, they UNDER PREDICTED the temperatures.
3. "Climate's always been changing and it's been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,"
Once again, just stupid. Of course the climate has been changing in the past. But that in NO WAY means we (humans) can change the climate with our 6 billion population, our vast land use, etc..
4. "And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide [in the first 30 feet, *see previous paragraph*]? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide."
Yeah, in the first 30 feet. That's almost taller than Yao Ming. How tall is the atmosphere I wonder?
5. "All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them."
The answer to this is simple. There was another effect that affected the climate before the CO2: Milankovich Cycles. Then, as CO2 happened to go up around the same time, the greenhouse effect amplified it, and the temps then went up along with the CO2.

You still have no argument. This guys main arguments are in #2, 4, and 5, and each of those are EASILY swatted down. Come back when you have facts.

Then over at New School Politics (we’re not done with our argument there, definitely)
“The fact remains that the scientific data does not add up to the earth melting. For one, humans contribute a very small fraction of the greenhouse effect (try less than 2%).”
I don’t think that’s true… Period.

Then, at Political Fever.
"What about the solar cycle? How about that we've been only able to keep track of the weather for 200 years? Or the fact that global patterns are having more of an influence. What about 1998 not being the warmest year on record?"

Oh please. This has got to be the oldest skeptic argument and it has been disproved oh so many times.

According to the Max Planck Institute, there has been little increase in solar irradiance since 1940. There's no correlation after 1940. At all.

And if you don't believe that, the PMOD at the World Radiation Center has records back to 1978.