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  • Global Warming is Irreversible

    Global warming skeptics generally fall into four camps. 1.) We are in a period of global warming just as we could enter a period of global cooling in the future. 2.) The earth is warming but it’s not attributed to man-made activities. 3.) There is some truth to man-made warming but it falls far short of being a crisis. 4.) Global warming is real, man is considerably causing the problem, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

    Climatologists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released report that associates most with the last camp:

    Greenhouse gas levels currently expected by mid-century will produce devastating long-term droughts and a sea-level rise that will persist for 1,000 years regardless of how well the world curbs future emissions of carbon dioxide.”

    Lead author Susan Solomon commented,

    People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 year – that’s not true.”

    In fairness, Solomon called for stricter and quicker action on carbon dioxide regulations, but these regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States will be very costly (Cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses are nearly $7 trillion by 2029 and 800,000 jobs lost annually).

    Doing anything unilaterally would have negligible environmental benefits, as would any multilateral attempts. Will politicians find it acceptable to do nothing? Should we throw money at a problem knowing we can’t fix it?

    It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Global Warming is Irreversible

    1. Dean Jenniges Br says:

      Global Warming is a scientific scare tactic the same as the OZONE scare of the 80's. Where in the blue blazes is the leadership of the Republican party yelling from the top of their lungs that Global Warming is a farce. As in the 80's the Republicans allowed the Democrats to define the issue and push it forward to the consternation of public and business's. Since when a gas which plants use to grow become a toxic hazard. Maybe in a closed space if your trying to kill someone or yourself but not in the free space of the world.

      Republicans have no leadership and have allowed the Democrats to define them and scare them into submission.

    2. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      What is the right level of CO2 and why? Please answer that question.

      Man-made global warming due to the greenhouse gases is a hoax.

      We are actually cooling currently according to the data unless NASA fudges the data to advance their cause of global waming.

    3. Leigh, Michigan says:

      This is GREAT news!!! Now all the global warming fanatics can stfu (since there's nothing we can do) about it and we can move on to real problems! Global Warming (sorry, climate change) is a scam and if you believe you are a liar, a thief, or a fool.

    4. Jay Smith, Ohio says:

      I'm a bit surprised and saddened how disingenuous this summary is. The third paragraph of the article is,

      "I think you have to think about this stuff as more like nuclear waste than acid rain: The more we add, the worse off we'll be," NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon told reporters in a conference call. "The more time that we take to make decisions about carbon dioxide, the more irreversible climate change we'll be locked into."

      Susan Solomon is obviously advocating that we reduce our CO2 emissions as quickly as possible, to avoid irreversible changes that are even more damaging than what we're already in for. Yet author Nick Loris' summary implies that Ms. Solomon suggests we do nothing. This is misleading, to say the least.

      I'm glad that Mr. Loris' ethical obligations as a Research Assistant are not as stringent as they would be if he were a journalist.

    5. R James Australia says:

      Statistically, according to the Hadcrut data, there's been no warming since 1995, and slight cooling since 1998. During this period, CO2 increased at least 5%. If it's such a driving force, I would have expected to see some temperature response. Meanwhile, there's nothing to link CO2 with significant global warming other than an hypothesis.

    6. Dan Pangburn, earth says:

      With knowledge of Control System Theory it is trivial to prove using the Vostok ice core data that net positive feedback does not exist in earth’s climate and added atmospheric carbon dioxide does not significantly contribute to increased average global temperature.

      Those who understand Control Systems Theory (CST) can recognize that earth’s climate can be evaluated as a dynamic system with feedback. Since the sun is the only significant energy source, the model is quite simple. The input (to the transfer function) is the insolation (energy from the sun) combined with feedback from average global temperature (agt). The transfer function includes all factors that contribute to agt. And the output is agt. Repeatedly during the last and previous glacial periods, a temperature increasing trend changed to a decreasing trend with the atmospheric carbon dioxide level higher during the temperature down-trend than it had been when the temperature trend was increasing. This is not possible if there is net positive feedback. CST and this accepted ice core data prove that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (and/or methane) does not significantly influence agt.

    7. Eve, Toronto says:

      I have to wonder at this line.

      "Greenhouse gas levels currently expected by mid-century will produce devastating long-term droughts and a sea-level rise that will persist for 1,000 years regardless of how well the world curbs future emissions of carbon dioxide.”

      First, I hate the words greenhouse gas levels. If you are talking about Co2, say so. If you are talking about water vapor, say so.

      If they are talking about Co2 and sticking to the wrong asumption that C02 warms the planet, why the drought? Warm air carries more water, not less. Sea level rise? It was warmer during the Medieval Warm period and the planet is still here. It was even warmer during the Roman Warm period and in warm periods before that. The time of lowest sea level is more or less equivalent to the last glacial maximum. So to make the sea levels lower, we have to wait for the next glacial which none of us will live through.

    8. Derek, NY says:


      I don't really get how the irreversible nature of climate change will make people forget the issue. If anything, people will want to limit the effects, even though there would certainly be some warming.

      I await the day when those who study the climate can come to a consensus… these debates show how little we know.

    9. Bruce Somes says:

      Global warming, ahh look outside.The earth heats up and cools down every 1000 years we will be growing corn in alaska soon. then it will get cold out and we will see snow in mexico. For some to think that we had something to do with this that is bunk.

    10. R James Australia says:

      Dan – I think all climate scientists agree that the direct effect of CO2 on temperature is relatively small (eg 1 degC). They also agree that there are many negative and positive feedback (forcing) systems. The problem is that they don't know which ones dominate. The models assume that positive feedback dominates. However, as you point out, history tells us the opposite. Over the past 450 million years, our climate has gone through 5 long term cycles, each with an amplitude of about 10 degC. CO2 has been up and down, yet the cycle continues.

      Plenty of scientists are now prepared to speak against anthropogenic climate change, and more and more are being heard. However, the media still don't want to know them, as it goes against the popular trend. We can't have science getting in the way of a good story.

      Meanwhile, Al Gore and his company Generation Investment Management has a very healthy bank account.

    11. james, Ohio says:

      I'm amazed at the zealous response at this issue by the conservative right, attacking scientists for their "scare tactics". It's pretty clear that the political agenda is coming from this forum fighting against the scientific community and not the scientific community towards you. Just like you did when you said warming wasn't happening (some of you still claim this) and just like you did when you claimed it wasn't due to anthropogenic causes (some again, still make this claim) as scientific evidence mounts your view becomes more and more in the minority and therefore narrower. This is how science works. It weeds out poor theory, such as global warming is not happening, and is not anthropogenic caused. Now that the scientific community has a solid majority opinion on these issues due to diligent, peer reviewed research (not research done by oil companies and never scrutinized by the scientific community) you should really start focusing on the problem at hand and ways to reduce emissions without damaging the economy, and what we can do to live with what we've created. Do you think it is sciences goal to cripple the economy?

      Furthermore, trying to apply control systems theory to a system like this is a nice try at deception for people who don't understand science and can therefore be led like sheep when you throw out big words, but you should know better. Calling the Earth's climate a "simple" model is asinine. If it were so simple the evidence would have been much clearer a while ago and the scientists would have been able to tell the far, and out of touch right wing of American politics to politely, stfu.

    12. Dan Pangburn says:

      James, Ohio:

      This is about science, not politics. Most climate scientists are unaware of the science of Control System Theory (CST) which helps explain why they made a mistake. There is no academic requirement for climate scientists to learn about CST. I learned about CST in engineering graduate school. It is usually used in the design of many of the things that you may be familiar with such as rocket guidance systems, auto cruise control, aircraft auto pilot, etc. Only recently it dawned on me that CST could be used to prove that, on average, net positive feedback does not exist in earth’s climate. All of the minutia of weather and climate whether known or not get lumped together (in the transfer function) and it is not necessary to explicitly describe any of them to determine, using the climate record archived in the Vostok ice cores, whether net feedback is positive or negative. That is part of why it is so simple. An understanding of the science of CST is probably necessary to grasp how this works.

      Without significant net positive feedback AOGCMs do not predict significant global warming. (Zero feedback results in 1.2°C from doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide per p631 of ch8 of IPCC AR4. This prediction is probably still high because of faulty cloud parameterization etc.). Unless overwhelmed by other factors I expect a temperature increase from doubling atmospheric CO2 to be less than a degree which would be insignificant.

      I have never seen anything credible that says that the planet has not warmed recently (well, except for the last decade which displays cooling) and it is not a theory, it is an observation although there has been some squabbling about the heat island effect. It is misleading to say that recent years are the warmest on record since the ‘record’ that they are referring to starts at the depths of the Little Ice Age. Of course it is warmer now than it was then.

      If you were paying attention to the issue you would be aware that a growing number of people are abandoning the AGW idea and joining the already huge number of scientists who have concluded that added atmospheric carbon dioxide does not have a significant influence on average global temperature. A small sample of current and former NASA scientists includes: Aerospace engineer and physicist Dr. Michael Griffin, the former top administrator of NASA, Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology, and formerly of NASA, Geophysicist Dr. Phil Chapman, an astronautical engineer and former NASA astronaut, Award-Winning NASA Astronaut/Geologist and Moonwalker Jack Schmitt, Award-winning NASA Astronaut and Physicist Walter Cunningham of NASA’s Apollo 7, Chemist and Nuclear Engineer Robert DeFayette formerly with NASA’s Plum Brook Reactor, Hungarian Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Ames Research Center, Climatologist Dr. John Christy, Climatologist Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Atmospheric Scientist Ross Hays of NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility and Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon. Over 31,000 others have signed a petition saying essentially the same thing. This can be assessed at http://www.petitionproject.org/index.html .

    13. malcium, CO says:

      The NOAA is biased. It’s under the Department of Commerce of all things.

    14. Thomas Gray South Carolina, says:

      31,000, that’s a start, how many will it take to convince the diehards that ”they” are the ones that are wrong ?.

      The mouth of poverty is big enough for us all, and much worse happens when people are broke and freezing from cold I know I been there and done that. NO THANKS.

      By the way Mr James from Ohio it’s your crowd that’s saying,, drought’s, tornadoes, sea rise ,greenhouse gasses ,hurricane’s ,etc etc, are all going to drown and kill our children.

    15. Thomas Gray South Ca says:

      We need our leaders to do things ''''for''' us not '''' to '''' us.


      This is no time for a pork fest spending package that Washington is calling a vomit;;;;;;;;;;;;; sorry ;;;;;;;;; I'll clean it up later,,,, stimulus package.

      Say No,,,,,,, tell your friends to say No ,,,,, write your representative in Washington to say No,,,,, pork is a wast of money and bad for the econimy in good times. Freeze all current spending on the big cows like social security nobody will die, medical care for the boomers and I'm one is going to get very poor and I guess it will be little better than my grandfather's was when he paid CASH for whatever care he got. my dad paid CASH for himself my mother and us five kids also.

      Go to the voters and tell them to say No. there's so much pork in this bill there won't be any money for anyone not getting money from pork spending.

      Government jobs are paid out of ,,, TAX'S ,,. the current spending levels are unsustainable the money is all gone,,,,, To borrow and spend for anything that cannot prove more ,,,, ''''return'''',,,,, on the money spent is the change the government must make,,,,,. GET IT ?

      Create jobs by spending money? fine, '''',,,demand,,,'''' that the numbers on return be given for each penny of TAX money used. No fudge, No,,, I don't know where it went or how much more is needed afterwards. ''' folks the ship is sinking''', the political party's must be stopped, they got us into this mess and you can certainly well bet they are not going to get us out of it.

      Voting force by the informed majority of our people would be a good start, Just keep as many as possible informed. true information is badly needed,,,,,, speak the bad with the good but always speak the truth, from the truth the best decisions can be made.

      A lie will never bring good, but the truth often brings good for both short and long term goals

      sound decisions based on true science with true information gathered for the benefit of the —-majority—- not the benefit of a few for money and corrupt lies that activist are deceiving many into believing, this is another change we must demand and vote for.


      The —-Need—- of the current living majority is —-more important—- than the need of the as yet not yet conceived future children, or —Useful — animals, insects, fish, or plants, including such things as dead birds killed by windmills dead fish killed or not born becouse of water dams our hydro electric generators.

      The TRUTH often shows what the right decisions are, for example

      If we do away with dams for the fishees— we can do away with the windmills for the birdees, — WHO decides the value of one animal over another,??? the few??? the activist??? I eat more bird than fish, When I eat meat. but what is my need??? affordable electricity 24 / 7 GET IT ?

      dams supply electricity 24 / 7 don't decide for—- me—- and mandate hundreds of unreliable intermittent electricity machines that —–kill birds—- to replace just ONE hydro dam. has anyone EVER heard of fish ladders??? noOoo we must tear down our electricity supply by mandate of activist, we can put fish ladders around every dam that needs one it is a mandate already for new dams .

      I will not justify dead birds becouse you will not justify dead fish or whatever to use a much greater power source that has been in continues use for hundreds of years and the fish are still here, and as the cost of energy rises as it must we are going to again need free hydro power wherever it is available.

      nuclear powered electricity does not chop up birds OR grind up fish ooooo but we are afraid for people that may never be born over being poisoned by the waste

      by the latest study that I have read THE WASTE is a problem that for all intents and purposes is fast becoming a scare tactic that will soon no longer work most can be recycled and radio active mass or waste can be made into blocks for storage that produce little more radio activity than standing in the sunshine all day.,,,,there is now a '''''PROVEN ''''' way to burn off the energy that everyone thought was going to require ten thousand years to dissipate,,,,, THIS is no longer true. the advances in atom power have been a little slow but we have advanced and are advancing still unlike solar,,,, agreed it is much safer but it is up against a brick wall it must produce more current in order to utilize any kind of storage becouse of the problem of nighttime when no power can be made.

      the only thing remaining to do concerning nuclear waste is give the reprocessing task to any number of companies willing to do it [ for a fee ] and take it out of our do nothing government hamstrung by activist lawsuits hands and this part of the atomic powered electricity waste disposal is as of yet not moving but solved, GET IT.?

      coal mining can create a field that has much more value than a mountain,,, try feeding 100s of people per acre on mountain land ,,, the cares of the people who care more for such and not keep a greater —-value—- upon his own species,,,,,,,,, [living human men woman and don't let our current CHILDREN be forgotten to suffer the pain the few that are mandating injurious policy upon the majority. ] .

      Unelected activist

      have no business deciding what to spend TAX money on,,, or the composition of energy supply used to support and sustain the —-majority's —-quality of wealth health and freedom to self rule,

      The sustainable energy needs of the majority have a Greater value—- than the energy sources being chosen and mandated but not paid for by unelected activist — that have as much value as the majority but need to leave me and my country alone and go find a poor country to rule instead of mine.

    16. James, Ohio says:

      "Dan Pangburn is awfully sure that those stuffy climate scientists making gloomy predictions about global warming are all wrong. Got me wondering just who this Dan guy is, so I googled him up. Turns out he’s got a masters degree in mechanical engineering and instead of publishing his climate “research” in peer-reviewed scientific journals, he surfs around the internet looking for places to leave comments. I know, I know, it’s possible that Dan is the Einstein of climate science, putting in a day shift at the patent office, or in this case engineering mechanical contraptions, and staying up all night to out-think those hoity toity PhD climate guys on the IPCC, but if so how will he ever get the recognition he deserves? Heck, Einstein would have retired as an unknown civil servant in Berne if he never published in journals and put Max Planck and the other big time physicists on notice that there was a new genius in town. I’m no science guy myself but I do read a lot and I have learned to be wary of self appointed experts. The IPCC reports come from hundreds of respected scientists around the world who publish their research for other scientists to evaluate and replicate. I give them a lot more cred than guys like Dan."

      "Dan Pangburn

      If your scientific claims in: -
      are really so compelling and scientifically sound, we can look-forward to them being published in a respectable scientific journal, such as Nature or the proceedings of the National Academies of Science. Of course, this isn't going to happen, because your analysis is a flawed, pseudo-scientific diatribe relying upon repeated cherry-picked data to achieve a politically predetermined conclusion, unsupported by the evidence.

      Your political bias is revealed by such phrases as "de facto censorship by Climate Scientists", "group-think ‘consensus science’" and “These actions put freedom and prosperity at risk.” What is your evidence for each of these claims?

      Like many politically motivated denialists, you have deliberately relied-upon conflating weather and climate to draw conclusions that are unsupported by a competent analysis of the data. The chaotic weather fluctuations mask the underlying warming from increasing CO2, just as waves on the sea mask rising sea levels.

      You are using straw man arguments to prove your point – climate scientists are not claiming that CO2 is the only driver of the climate. The climate is driven by numerous feedbacks and forcings and your failure to find vastly over-simplistic correlations only proves your lack of ability, but does nothing to prove your case.

      If you really want to be taken seriously, don't cherry pick, or use fallacious arguments, just stick to the science and ditch the politics. "

      Interesting what a google search can pull up isn't it Dan.

      Mr Daniel D. Pangburn

      San diego, California – United States



      That would sure be interesting if that were you wouldn't it?

    17. Zammy, Houston says:

      Global warming or cooling is for the most part controlled by sun spot activity. Right now the sun spot activity is at a low point, so we are witnessing cooling. Carbon dioxide's effects on temperatures can't be fully estimated, since a rise in temperatures leads to more CO2 being released from the oceans (like a soda can being heated and expanding), so most scientists of the IPCC are in error to conclude it would be the other way around.

      Eventually, even if CO2 were the major cause of climate change, most of it is not caused by mankind. A single major volcano eruption can release more CO2 than all CO2 released in the industrial age by man.

      The solution to prepare for climate change ought to be research of better, more effective energy sources (e.g. better crops for biofuels, developing coal resources domestically to become independen of foreign oil), and climate related technologies, such as air conditioning.

    18. Barb -mn says:

      When the arrogance of man comes to realize global warming is natural and can't be controlled by man, they will come to realize it is not irreversible…

    19. Pingback: White House Balks at ClimateGate, Says Climate Change is Happening | The Foundry: Conservative Policy Blog | The Heritage Foundation

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