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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Monday, July 30, 2012

    Former Skeptic Now Believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming


    I am sure it will take no time for the Greedy Oil Party and the Denial Lobby to attack this man, but one of the more highly respected anthropogenic global warming skeptics now is a believer. From BBC News:


    In a US newspaper opinion piece, Prof Richard Muller says: "Call me a converted sceptic."

    Muller leads the Berkeley Earth Project, which is using new methods and some new data to investigate the claims made by other climate researchers...

    The project received funds from sources that back organisations lobbying against action on climate change.

    Their latest study, released early on Monday (GMT), concludes that the average temperature of the Earth's land has risen by 1.5C (2.7F) over the past 250 years.

    The team argues that the good correspondence between the new temperature record and historical data on CO2 emissions suggests human activity is "the most straightforward explanation" for the warming


    This new study that SUPPORTS anthropogenic global warming was partly funded by the KOCH BROTHERS. It was clearly intended to find every opportunity to discredit anthropogenic global warming. 10 scientists were gathered for the study. Nine out of those 10 signed on to the conclusions that global warming is happening and is caused largely by human activity.

    Will the Koch Brothers now attack their own study?


    Here is the abstract from the KOCH BROTHERS FUNDED study:


    Abstract:
    We report an estimate of the Earth’s average land surface temperature for the period 1753 to 2011. To address issues of potential station selection bias, we used larger sampling of stations than had prior studies. For the period post 1880, our estimate is similar to those previously reported by other groups, although we report smaller error uncertainties. The land temperature rise from the 1950s decade to the 2000s decade is 0.87 ± 0.05 oC (95% confidence). Both maximum and minimum daily temperatures have increased during the last century. Diurnal variations decreased from 1900 to 1987, and then increased; this increase is significant but not understood. The period of 1753 to 1850 is marked by sudden drops in land surface temperature that are coincident with known volcanism; the response function is approximately 1.5 ± 0.5 oC per 100 Tg of atmospheric sulfate. This volcanism, combined with a simple proxy for anthropogenic effects (logarithm of the CO2 concentration), can account for much of the variation in the land surface temperature record; the fit is not improved by the addition of a solar forcing term. Thus, for this very simple model, solar forcing does not appear to contribute to the observed global warming of the past 250 years; the entire change can be accounted for by a sum of volcanism and anthropogenic proxies. The residual variations include interannual and multi-decadal variability very similar to that of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).


    Let's look back a bit...for awhile Rush Limbaugh was touting an absurd theory that global warming was CAUSED by volcanism. His argument was that the carbon that Pinatubo put in the atmosphere was responsible for global warming...ignoring the fact that volcanism LOWERS temperatures. As far as I am aware Rush Limbaugh, perhaps due to drug induced amnesia, forgot to correct his error here.

    There also was denialist "documentary" called the Global Warming Swindle where they try to use statements made by global warming skeptic Carl Wunsch to mean things Wunsch didn't intend. This led to the main scientist the "documentary" was quoting going public to angrily refute their claims. To quote from a statement skeptic Carl Wunsch made on Real Climate:


    I believe that climate change is real, a major threat, and almost surely has a major human-induced component...

    The science of climate change remains incomplete. Some elements are so firmly based on well-understood principles, or for which the observational record is so clear, that most scientists would agree that they are almost surely true (adding CO2 to the atmosphere is dangerous; sea level will continue to rise,...). Other elements remain more uncertain, but we as scientists in our roles as informed citizens believe society should be deeply concerned about their possibility: failure of US midwestern precipitation in 100 years in a mega-drought; melting of a large part of the Greenland ice sheet, among many other examples.

    I am on record in a number of places complaining about the over-dramatization and unwarranted extrapolation of scientific facts. Thus the notion that the Gulf Stream would or could "shut off" or that with global warming Britain would go into a "new ice age" are either scientifically impossible or so unlikely as to threaten our credibility...They also are huge distractions from more immediate and realistic threats..

    In the part of the "Swindle" film where I am describing the fact that the ocean tends to expel carbon dioxide where it is warm, and to absorb it where it is cold, my intent was to explain that warming the ocean could be dangerous---because it is such a gigantic reservoir of carbon. By its placement in the film, it appears that I am saying that since carbon dioxide exists in the ocean in such large quantities, human influence must not be very important --- diametrically opposite to the point I was making --- which is that global warming is both real and threatening in many different ways, some unexpected...


    And this from the top scientist the denial lobby tried to quote to support their claims. And he ends up refuting them.

    Let's make this clear: there is NO SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT for the Greedy Oil Party and the Denial Lobby's attacks on the scientific theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    Now can we move on from right wing denial and start DOING SOMETHING???

    Here is a diary I wrote last year on alternative energy, based on an IPCC report and including ways you can purchase alternative energy options for your home (my wife and I have been doing it for about a decade!)

    Here is a diary on diet and the environment, focusing mainly on carbon footprint of various foods.

    We also need more scientists in Congress...check out the top two candidates in this diary...an astronaut and a scientist. We really need folks like them in Congress! MANY more, but let's start with Jose Hernandez and Bill Foster.



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