Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who Needs Computer Models?

One of the more annoying points deniers try to make, is this idea that most of the science of global warming is based on computer models. It seems a convenient way to sideswipe the evidence, "I'm not putting any stock in some computer program". In an indirect way, the criticism has found some validity, the trouble is most of the "real world" evidence tends to find the computer models understate the rapidity of change, things are WORSE than the models predicted. That aside, this angle is mostly a diversion, because who needs models when you have reality:
Arctic meltdown could set new record

It's now a "neck-and-neck race between 2007 and this year over the issue of ice loss," Mark Serreze, a senior climate researcher at the Colorado-based NSIDC, told the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper on Sunday. "We thought Arctic ice cover might recover after last year's unprecedented melting - and indeed the picture didn't look too bad last month."

But recent storms in the Beaufort region "triggered steep ice losses," he said, "and it now looks as if it will be a very close call indeed whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for ice cover over the Arctic."

The Canadian government's chief observers of Arctic ice conditions are expressing amazement at the state of the Beaufort Sea.

"We've never seen any kind of opening like this in history," CIS senior ice forecaster Luc Desjardins said of the Beaufort's exceptional loss of ice this summer. "It is not only record-setting, it's unprecedented. It doesn't resemble anything that we've observed before."

The persistent retreat of polar sea ice in recent years has convinced some researchers that the region is fast approaching a "tipping point" that could see nearly the entire Arctic ice-free during the summer months as early as 2013.


Anonymous said...


It certainly looks like the Arctic Ocean is losing all its multi-year ice. This will open up arctic exploration for oil and gas.

Its going to be a busy place in 2020.


Scott Tribe said...

Leave it to a conservative supporter to overlook the climate change part and instead focus on an activity that adds to the coffers of Big Oil while adding to the GHG emissions as well as the potential for pollution in the most pristine area of the globe.

Seriously Tomm, I don't know how people like you can sleep at night. Conservatives weren't meant to be the caretakers of the earth apparently, but are those who support activities that exploit and destroy it.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the Liberals were in power for 13 years during wihc time they did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about climate change. I guess up until 2006 they didn't believe it existed. Or, they were influenced by eco-terrorists like Anne MacLellan and Ralph Goodale who only cared about placating the oil and gas sector.

If the Liberals regain power, I assume that these eco-terrorists will be back in positions of power making sure that once again no action of any kind on climate change actually materializes.

knb said...

I think they, the Con's, simply look to the line that they can sell.

Love the free market and all it's innovations, one minute. Unreliable!, the next.

The ones's that really get me are the religious right.

Now, in fairness, some have come forward to say that something must be done, but many others, the Michael Coren's of the world for instance, fully dismiss this stuff. Stuff being evidence.

Though he's Roman Catholic, he came to it late in life so in that sense, perhaps he is like the 'new born' Christians who are waiting for the inevitable and just see this as part of the plan.

Not being religious, I can't quote verse, but it seems to me that those who follow are instructed to take care of the Earth and all it's inhabitants in some fashion aren't they?

Conservatives, of Harper's ilk, are only interested in convenient messages, not fact.

They speak to the skeptic in all of us, they search for what base negative emotion they can tap into and go forward.

Clever and slimy all in one shot.

With all the evidence around us, that which we see with our eyes or read through analysis, at this point you are willfully blind and disingenuous or you are an idiot not to believe in climate change.

People like Tomm, (on this subject) make me crazy. He apparently thinks it's a joke.

Tomm, you at one point did offer useful debate. Now you're only about carrying the party message. I don't get it. What's the point in poking a bee's nest?

That goes for wilson and all the other people who somehow think that rather than having a debate, it's more useful to repeat useless talking points.

Where precisely does that move us? Oh, I know. Backwards.

Anonymous said...


Take a few deep breathes and re-read my post.

Did I say anything about this being "good"?

No, I didn't think so. What's making you crazy is "you". Quit looking for enemies.

The sea ice is melting. There is nothing anybody can do about it. Most nations have signed onto a process designed to build the details around decreasing CO2 emissions and increasing terrestrial uptake. The Bali Roadmap. There are still nations like China and India that will need about five years at least to bring on board.

They, not surprisingly, want everybody else but them, to make the changes.

In 2020 Russia, the US and God knows how many other countries are going to be drilling under the Artic Ocean and moving large quantities of stuff around the north. We have to figure out some environmental protection protocols, monitoring, and enforcement resources so that the north doesn't turn into one big oil slick.

This is not a good thing. But its going to happen, and blaming me is not going to make it stop. Quit pointing fingers at "conservatives" and start working with "conservatives" to respond and adapt to the changes.


Steve V said...

"start working with "conservatives" to respond and adapt to the changes."

That's kind of hard, when half your party doesn't even believe in the premise. There the one's who've made an enemies with "reason". And, it seems to me that Conservatives don't want to work with anybody, least of which people who actually have expertise, they've shut them out, the operate independently, they ignore. Seems to me, this particular brand of Conservatives thrives on finding enemies, in every institution that dares to offer a dissenting voice, anything that doesn't jive with a predisposed arrogance.

Anonymous said...

So what's the big deal? The Conservatives say "we don't believe in the phenomenon of global warming therefore won't take any action". The Liberals tactic is - we believe that global warming exists - but we were in power for 13 years and did everything in our power to make sure that NOTHING was done about it.

Which approach is more pernicious?

Anonymous said...


Don't make excuses.

I can obviously say the same thing about Liberal's in other topic areas. If they were in power, you would tell me to "stop making excuses" and roll up my sleeves.

The Federal government is absolutely looking into off shore environmental policies related to oil and gas. They are also building more patrol boats and have been working with willing partners to bring the Law of the Sea up to the new millenium.

There are new and serious efforts.

Pointing out "climate change deniers" (I hate that term) in the CPC is just an excuse.


Steve V said...


You just ignored what I said, which is if you really want to work together, you don't push the expert community away. In reality, your the one making excuses.


Try something original, it gets old after a few years. Last time I checked it's 2008, and most environmentalists support the Liberals proposals. People can argue the merits, but anyone who can't acknowledge that Dion is sincere, is just too pre-disposed to matter. I say this as someone who didn't vote Liberal precisely because they blew it on the environment, so I'm not approaching this as an apologist. The past is dead. Let it go, it's really irrelevant to what is happening now.

Anonymous said...


Who aren't the Feds working with in regards to northern environmental issues?

They are working with other governments, including aboriginal governments and communities, they are working with universities, developers, international partners. Whose missing?

Greenpeace? Sierra Club?

Northern knowledgeable ENGOs and enviro think tanks are in the loop and part of the package. (e.g. Ducks, Pembina Institute, Ecology North)


ottlib said...

knb said:

"The ones's that really get me are the religious right."

Why are these folks not howling with anger at the destruction of God's creation?

You bring up an interesting point knb. According to these folks the earth is only 5000 years old, so it was created with Polar Ice Caps.

As well, if my reading of Genesis is correct the creation of man happened last, with God creating our natural world first.

As well, when God finally had had enough of the sinful ways of man he destroyed mankind in a great flood but taking great pains of instructing Noah to rescue two of each animal first.

God is an environmentalist so again I ask the question why is the religious right not howling with anger at the destruction of his creation?

I think the answer might lie in the fact many on the religious right put more importance on Revelations. Many of them believe and want the end-of-days because they believe they will ascend into Heaven leaving the rest of us poor liberal sinners behind.

I wonder if the end-of-days comes about as a result of mans destruction of nature if these self-righteous folks will be able to explain to God why they allowed the destruction of his creation with nary a peep of protest?