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UK climate unit's e-mails hacked


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The e-mail system of one the world's leading climate research units has been breached by hackers.

E-mails reportedly from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), including personal exchanges, appeared on the internet on Thursday.

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Huh? who is afraid of what here?

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But... but... scientists never lie!

The only quote I have seen from these e-mails so far anywhere needs a big imagination to lead to figure fudging. This looks more like Exxon sponsored institutes clinging to straws.

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While we are waiting for the hackers info to drip out this worth a read (if it has been posted before I apologise) :

http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1052

I like especially this quote:

“We didn’t expect to see such warm temperatures, and we don’t yet know in detail what caused them. But they indicate that Antarctica’s climate may have undergone rapid shifts during past periods of high CO2.”

So much for carbon having no effect on climate.

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I like especially this quote:

So much for carbon having no effect on climate.

It does say 'may have' and the title says 'mysteriously warm', I don't think this closes the debate just yet.

Edited by Moon Monkey
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It does say 'may have' and even the title says 'mysteriously warm'.

Yeh, well... if the river sounds there is water in it. If they had something else to tag it to they would.

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Yeh, well... if the river sounds there is water in it. If they had something else to tag it to they would.

Just thinking out loud Q, we were recently told that the 'tipping' point for the craetion of ice at the poles was around 760 ppm CO2 and we have ice core from a pole showing 6 deg warmer temps than we have now....does that mean if the CO2 does rise beyond its current level and temperature does rise by 6 deg as postulated in that other thread that the poles will still be there ? We were told in that other thread that a 6 deg rise 'would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences'...but they have reversed before.

Edited by Moon Monkey
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Just thinking out loud Q, we were recently told that the 'tipping' point for the craetion of ice at the poles was around 760 ppm CO2 and we have ice core from a pole showing 6 deg warmer temps than we have now....does that mean if the CO2 does rise beyond its current level and temperature does rise by 6 deg as postulated in that other thread that the poles will still be there ?

The poles will, the ice caps is a different story, where the ice cap over the Antarctica has a better chance of being there due to the Ozone hole over there, letting more heat escape into space. If it gets to the point where Antarctica is ice free we will have a Jurassic type climate.

But there is another phenomena that has been registered in the last few years that worries me way more than the increase of temperature. It is this rapid succession of temperature extremes where mostly a record high is followed by a record low or near record low(not necessarily in the same place). One could say that the globe has a mechanism to offset the increase but on closer look you see that the record highs are still outpacing the record lows.

The question there is did we break the air conditioner?

ED: to your added question: It will be always reversible, the question is how high the price is. A dramatic decrease in population, for axample would lead to a dramatic decrease in temperatures too.

Edited by questionmark
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This is the abstract for the paper I was on about, I don't have full access at home:

Geological and geochemical evidence indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet formed during the Eocene-Oligocene transition, 33.5-34.0 million years ago. Modelling studies suggest that such ice-sheet formation might have been triggered when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (pCO2atm) fell below a critical threshold of approximately 750 p.p.m.v., but the timing and magnitude of pCO2atm relative to the evolution of the ice sheet has remained unclear. Here we use the boron isotope pH proxy on exceptionally well-preserved carbonate microfossils from a recently discovered geological section in Tanzania to estimate pCO2atm before, during and after the climate transition. Our data suggest that are reduction in pCO2atm occurred before the main phase of ice growth,followed by a sharp recovery to pre-transition values and then a more gradual decline. During maximum ice-sheet growth, pCO2atm was between approximately 450 and approximately 1,500 p.p.m.v., with a central estimate of approximately 760 p.p.m.v. The ice cap survived the period of pCO2atm recovery,although possibly with some reduction in its volume, implying (as models predict) a nonlinear response to climate forcing during melting. Overall, our results confirm the central role of declining pCO2atm in the development of the Antarctic ice sheet (in broad agreement with carbon cycle modelling) and help to constrain mechanisms and feedbacks associated with the Earth's biggest climate switch of the past 65 Myr.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide through the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition. Pearson PN, Foster GL, Wade BS.

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This is the abstract for the paper I was on about, I don't have full access at home:

Geological and geochemical evidence indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet formed during the Eocene-Oligocene transition, 33.5-34.0 million years ago. Modelling studies suggest that such ice-sheet formation might have been triggered when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (pCO2atm) fell below a critical threshold of approximately 750 p.p.m.v., but the timing and magnitude of pCO2atm relative to the evolution of the ice sheet has remained unclear. Here we use the boron isotope pH proxy on exceptionally well-preserved carbonate microfossils from a recently discovered geological section in Tanzania to estimate pCO2atm before, during and after the climate transition. Our data suggest that are reduction in pCO2atm occurred before the main phase of ice growth,followed by a sharp recovery to pre-transition values and then a more gradual decline. During maximum ice-sheet growth, pCO2atm was between approximately 450 and approximately 1,500 p.p.m.v., with a central estimate of approximately 760 p.p.m.v. The ice cap survived the period of pCO2atm recovery,although possibly with some reduction in its volume, implying (as models predict) a nonlinear response to climate forcing during melting. Overall, our results confirm the central role of declining pCO2atm in the development of the Antarctic ice sheet (in broad agreement with carbon cycle modelling) and help to constrain mechanisms and feedbacks associated with the Earth's biggest climate switch of the past 65 Myr.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide through the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition. Pearson PN, Foster GL, Wade BS.

That could be true, so we are still 50 years off...if we continue to pollute at the same speed. I thing the last measurements put us at 400 ppm. (has not been that high in 2 million years)

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That could be true, so we are still 50 years off...if we continue to pollute at the same speed. I thing the last measurements put us at 400 ppm. (has not been that high in 2 million years)

Sorry its an abstract again Q its a nightmare not having full access here:

Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started loosing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change. This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found

Knorr, W. (2009), Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36

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This is the abstract for the paper I was on about, I don't have full access at home:

Geological and geochemical evidence indicates that the Antarctic ice sheet formed during the Eocene-Oligocene transition, 33.5-34.0 million years ago. Modelling studies suggest that such ice-sheet formation might have been triggered when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (pCO2atm) fell below a critical threshold of approximately 750 p.p.m.v., but the timing and magnitude of pCO2atm relative to the evolution of the ice sheet has remained unclear. Here we use the boron isotope pH proxy on exceptionally well-preserved carbonate microfossils from a recently discovered geological section in Tanzania to estimate pCO2atm before, during and after the climate transition. Our data suggest that are reduction in pCO2atm occurred before the main phase of ice growth,followed by a sharp recovery to pre-transition values and then a more gradual decline. During maximum ice-sheet growth, pCO2atm was between approximately 450 and approximately 1,500 p.p.m.v., with a central estimate of approximately 760 p.p.m.v. The ice cap survived the period of pCO2atm recovery,although possibly with some reduction in its volume, implying (as models predict) a nonlinear response to climate forcing during melting. Overall, our results confirm the central role of declining pCO2atm in the development of the Antarctic ice sheet (in broad agreement with carbon cycle modelling) and help to constrain mechanisms and feedbacks associated with the Earth's biggest climate switch of the past 65 Myr.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide through the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition. Pearson PN, Foster GL, Wade BS.

This article also does not discuss the dependency levels. Vostok drilling clearly shows that first the temperature rise comes, and then only CO2 growth is indicated, the offset between the two is several hundred years. Warmer climate on the planet obviously results in the spread of vegetation of all sorts and acceleration of all ongoing physiological reactions and activity of the living cells. The same time warming of the climate changes water evaporation patterns and thus amends the low-level winds and provokes extremes in climate, such as floods and droughts. Vast areas of forest and grass in places become dry and can be easily ignited by any atmospheric electric discharge - but due to the generally more dry soil during warmer periods, the friction of air over the surface increases, same as the intensity of the atmospheric discharges. In other words it is logical to expect the growth of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere following the temperatures rise - for this sequence between the two one needs no additional theories or miraculous properties of this substance.

It seems the forming of ice caps must indicate general cooling on the planet - as due to the curvature of the earth surface the solar radiation in the polar areas is not falling perpendicular to the surface (differently to equatorial areas) and certainly this must enhance its reflection; also it is obvious that he poles receive less energy per unit of area. Hence they are the coldest on the planet. We do not know the chart of Sun activity million years ago, we only know the planet was hotter and then cooled down; this their continuous references to CO2 isolate this gas almost as the only source of climate changes, which is not anyhow substantiated at all, as it only can interact with IR in the very narrow area falling on the wavelength of 15 microns, while water vapour does the same from 16 to 20 microns (from memory!).

Same refers to ozone holes in polar areas - the flux of solar radiation, passing through atmosphere there possesses not enough energy to ionise Oxygen in the top layers, so the residual UV reaches the surface. The massive UV fall to the areas close to the polar ones was known already over 200 years ago when in the southern part of South America the sheep were introduced and it was found that the sheep there suffer massive blindness disease, which now is attributed to excessive UV radiation.

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Sorry its an abstract again Q its a nightmare not having full access here:

Several recent studies have highlighted the possibility that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have started loosing part of their ability to sequester a large proportion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This is an important claim, because so far only about 40% of those emissions have stayed in the atmosphere, which has prevented additional climate change. This study re-examines the available atmospheric CO2 and emissions data including their uncertainties. It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero. The analysis further shows that the statistical model of a constant airborne fraction agrees best with the available data if emissions from land use change are scaled down to 82% or less of their original estimates. Despite the predictions of coupled climate-carbon cycle models, no trend in the airborne fraction can be found

Knorr, W. (2009), Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36

Wolfgang Knorr has been known to be the "other voice" in the debate postulating things like

"The More CO2 Humans Make, The More Nature Absorbs" which has been proven false. Even the AGW deniers acknowledge that roughly half of the human emitted carbon is not being absorbed which funnily coincides with the larger portion of fossil fuels.

He had his ten minutes by sensationalizing the Earths absorption capacity this year and big oil was jumping all over it. Everybody seems to omit the fact that there is a balance not absorbed.

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Wolfgang Knorr has been known to be the "other voice" in the debate postulating things like

"The More CO2 Humans Make, The More Nature Absorbs" which has been proven false. Even the AGW deniers acknowledge that roughly half of the human emitted carbon is not being absorbed which funnily coincides with the larger portion of fossil fuels.

He had his ten minutes by sensationalizing the Earths absorption capacity this year and big oil was jumping all over it. Everybody seems to omit the fact that there is a balance not absorbed.

I don't know many scientists who haven't been shown to be wrong about something or other and his research group seems to present both sides of the argument quite fairly through their releases. Do you have links to anything that proves this paper is wrong ? Or do we ignore all future work from a scientist who has been shown to be wrong in the past ?

As it says in that telegraph article:

Dr Wolfgang Knorr cautioned that the world should still be trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as part of any climate change deal decided in Copenhagen next month

Doesn't sound like he is in big oils pocket

Edited by Moon Monkey
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This article also does not discuss the dependency levels. Vostok drilling clearly shows that first the temperature rise comes, and then only CO2 growth is indicated, the offset between the two is several hundred years.

That was one of the first things I noticed when I looked at the Vostock data, the second was that for most of the time scale the data points were few and thousands of years between meaning intermediate spikes or troughs could be missed, whereas there were many, many more samples taken on recent ice.

Edited by Moon Monkey
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I don't know many scientists who haven't been shown to be wrong about something or other and his research group seems to present both sides of the argument quite fairly through their releases. Do you have links to anything that proves this paper is wrong ? Or do we ignore all future work from a scientist who has been shown to be wrong in the past ?

As it says in that telegraph article:

Dr Wolfgang Knorr cautioned that the world should still be trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as part of any climate change deal decided in Copenhagen next month

Doesn't sound like he is in big oils pocket

Well, here you have a nice link about Knorr at the time he claimed that carbon levels had remained unaltered since 1850. Not even Exxon dares to claim that.

Now, how you evaluate this is up to you. You don't get to be a Prof. for your achievements in quackery (Knorr is Prof. of the Bristol University), but that does not mean that being a Prof safeguards you from it either.

Edited by questionmark
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Well, here you have a nice link about Knorr at the time he claimed that carbon levels had remained unaltered since 1850. Not even Exxon dares to claim that.

Now, how you evaluate this is up to you. You don't get to be a Prof. for your achievements in quackery (Knorr is Prof. of the Bristol University), but that does not mean that being a Prof safeguards you from it either.

That link is about the paper I posted and you have to read his comments about uncertainties. I once proved a Prof wrong and man was it hard to get him to admit it.

BTW from the article:

Another result of the study is that emissions from deforestation might have been overestimated by between 18 and 75 per cent. This would agree with results published last week in Nature Geoscience by a team led by Guido van der Werf from VU University Amsterdam. They re-visited deforestation data and concluded that emissions have been overestimated by at least a factor of two

Thats 2 papers this month that concur however they are so recent that I think we will have to wait for them to be disproven/confirmed.

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the hackers will be the Chinese government they hack everyone.

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Back to that article again:

The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models.

Thats gotta be a plus.

Edited by Moon Monkey
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It does say 'may have' and the title says 'mysteriously warm', I don't think this closes the debate just yet.

How many scientific papers have you read that use definitives?

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How many scientific papers have you read that use definitives?

Most papers I pay attention to are definitive to within statistical or normed bounds. Otherwise they are completely useless to me, then again I don't work in the 'climate change' field where 'ifs', 'buts', 'maybes' and 'probably's' and prediction ranges that encompass every single possibility seem to be accepted.

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Most papers I pay attention to are definitive to within statistical or normed bounds. Otherwise they are completely useless to me, then again I don't work in the 'climate change' field where 'ifs', 'buts', 'maybes' and 'probably's' and prediction ranges that encompass every single possibility seem to be accepted.

The main problem climatology has is that there are statistical references but nobody has ever observed, or observation been as long as, a whole heating/cooling cycle. That means that you must always leave room for the unforeseen. And unforseens are sadly expressed in ifs and buts.

The end result is what counts.

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The main problem climatology has is that there are statistical references but nobody has ever observed, or observation been as long as, a whole heating/cooling cycle. That means that you must always leave room for the unforeseen. And unforseens are sadly expressed in ifs and buts.

The end result is what counts.

Ifs and buts can usually be bounded, if you really know what you are talking about....even if you have to use historical data to identify them....if a model works then it works, and it should work for 400,000 years worth of data or whatever it is we are claiming to have.

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Ifs and buts can usually be bounded, if you really know what you are talking about....even if you have to use historical data to identify them....if a model works then it works, and it should work for 400,000 years worth of data or whatever it is we are claiming to have.

We have 400.000 years of macro data, sadly climate predictions don't work with macro data. It was clear in the 80s that there would be a heating period (no disputing, it happened). What nobody could have told you is that the brunt of the increase (about 3 degrees) would hit the North pole. We know now why it happened, mostly because of sea currents. We could not have said that in central USA there would be an effective cooling (a few decimals) and that central Europe (including Britain) would get a significant increase. We also know why that happened now. So, the next time that will be predictable. This time it was not.

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