6/24/2014

Global warming doesn´t worry me

Last year I wrote that we should reverse global warming because it seemed that a cold world was better than a world in flames.

Photograph: Forest fire

However, I calmed down a lot after I started to review and study available information, especially how climate models work.  Now I think that global warming is not as serious as I thought.

I must admit I am not a climatologist. However, I know a little about dynamic models in general, and also studied oceanography. I don´t  doubt that the world has been warming, and it is possible temperatures will continue rising. I say it´s possible because as we  will see below, the world did warm up in the 20th Century, but  the surface temperature of the planet has not warmed in the last 12 years.

What I see, especially in Europe, is a panic avalanche. We humans have the tendency to be sheep in many ways. For example, in the Middle Ages it wasn´t difficult to convince a crowd of children and adolescents to join the Children's Crusade, most of whom ended up dead or enslaved. Don´t think that you are safe from this problem. For example,   in the twentieth century communist Pol Pot (the Cambodian communist)  convinced his followers to murder a million of his countrymen for the crime of being educated or belonging to the  middle class...

Photograph: Pol Pot´s Victim´s Museum

I don´t  think those who push us to be scared about global warming are like the Crusaders or the Cambodian communists, or think about killing anyone. They  appear to be good people.

It is easy to convince  people to go in a certain direction if you are only asking them to avoid burning oil and coal, tell them windmills are cute, and forget to tell them how the fine print is supposed to work.  Most people don´t think much about the fine print, don´t question the validity of this request, and do what the government suggests.

But because  I believe that reality is a lie and that those who have power tend to lie,  I searched  information about this topic to make sure what I heard from guys like Al Gore was true.

First, I read about the actual information we have, and this convinced me the world had been warming steadily since the peak reached in the ice age, about nineteen thousand years ago. However, I noticed the temperature record showed some funny ups and downs, and I couldn´t find any scientists who wrote a convincing explanation about these swings.

Second, I sought predictions of climate models considered valid by a large group of climate scientists. The most prestigious is used by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change).

Third, I read the 2001 forecast (TAR "Third Assessment Report) which can be viewed at:


Fourth, I compared the prediction of this model with the "reality" at the beginning of 2013. Such "reality" I took from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the USA. The result is shown here:

Graph: Comparison of the IPCC model predictions in 2001 with real data

As you can see, the little graph shows the temperature has been increasing (pay attention to the scale, it´s what they call the anomaly, the world got warmer but it isn´t really that bad). 

But that IPCC  2001 forecast didn´t come near the temperatures we are experiencing today. Look where the arrow is pointing down, in 2013. This arrow shows that forecasts said the temperature would increase but this didn´t occur in any of the cases. And this despite the fact that the Chinese have increased their consumption of coal in huge quantities (the basic idea is that burning coal causes a lot of CO2 emissions and this causes a Green House Effect which in turn leads to more humidity in the air and makes things even worse).

What can I add? First, I think global warming is real, but it's not something to worry about more than unemployment, corruption, the possibility of a global epidemic, or that the oceans are filthy and  running out of fish. It is a problem, but it´s not the worst problem.

Second, the scientific community deserves our support so they can improve their climate models and get a lot more data. This way they can predict with a little more confidence what will happen in the future. It is better to invest in these models instead of subsidizing investment in solar power plants, which are very beautiful until you see the electric bill and realize they didn´t cut back CO2 emissions as much as is touted.


Note: Below I placed some miscellaneous links where you can access climate data. I´ve also added  some climate blogs to my blog list. These blogs are a mixture, some tend to want you to panic, and some tend to want you to worry less about global warming. 

1 comentario:

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