Hurricane Activity Near Record Low

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by TimBikes, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I'm rather tired of trying to get a couple of you to understand the basic concepts. I've seen the same people posting the same stuff over and over even after they have been provided to good solid peer-reviewed evidence. As such I am only posting in this thread to say I agree with you Tim. Our media should be announcing each aspect of climate change, not just the bad news. Actually they do tend to focus on each aspect as is evident by all of the contrarian documents and sensational articles from either camp. Sensationalism or frontier science is often annoying and very misleading. :(

    Here is a breakdown on the difference between Frontier Science and Consensus Science. I wrote this up a year or so ago for my local car club when we would argue "scientific mumbo jumbo".

    News reports often focus on new science "breakthroughs" and on disputes amoung scientists over the validity of preliminary (untested) data, hypotheses, and moels (which are by definition tentative). This aspect of science---controversial because it has not been widely tested and eccepted is called Frontier Science.

    The mdeia tend to focus on frontier science because its "breakthroughs" and science controversies make good news stories. Just because something is in the realm of frontier science does not mean that it isnt worthy of serious consideration. Instead, such matters need further study to determine their reliability.


    By contrast, Consensus Science consists of data, theories, and laws that are widely accepted by scientists considered experts in the field involved. This aspect of science is very reliable but is rarely considered newsworthy. one way to find out what scientists generally agree on is to seek out reports by scientific bodies such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal Society that attempt to summarize consensus amoung experts in key areas of science.

    The trouble is that the word science is used to describe both frontier and consensus science, usually without distinction. The media preference for frontier science can give the public the false impression that frontier science presents very certain conclusions. With more research, some of the data and hypotheses of frontier science may move into the realm of widely accepted or consensus science; in other cases, however, further research and better hypotheses may cause the results of frontier science to be discarded.

    Unfortunately, when some frontier science is later shown to be unreliable, some members of the public often falsely conclude that consensus science is also quite uncertain. We need to take both frontier science and consensus science seriously but recognize their differences. - Living in the Environment, G. Tyler Miller Jr.

    One other thing to be aware of is the use of the word Theory.

    If many experiments by different scientists support a particular hypothesis, it becomes a scientific theory - and idea, principle, or model that usually ties together and explains many facts that previously appeared to be unrelated and that is supported by a great deal of evidence.

    Non-scientists often use the word theory incorrectly when they mean to refer to a scientific hypothesis, a tentative explaination that needs further evaluation. The statement "Ohh, that's just a theory," made in everyday conversation implies a lack of knowledge and careful testing - the opposite of the scientific meaning of the word. To scientists, theories are not to be taken lightly. The are ideas or principles stated witha high degree of certainty because they are supported by a great deal of evidence and are considered the greatest achievements in science.

    Hope this helps you out a bit. Maybe make things a little less confusing when you are researching stuff like climate change or global warming :)
     
  2. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Good to know we still have seasons!

    I like the attitude, "if I can't do enough on my own I will do nothing and watch the damage accumulate," way to go. This is how civilisation makes progress, no one does anything unless they can do it all alone.

    I'd like to think I was part of a generation who gave a toss.
     
  3. kingofgix

    kingofgix New Member

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    Argueing about individual viewpints on this issue misses the point. There are thousands of scientists involved in GW research, and they overwhelmingly believe it is human caused and cause for concern. Following are some "statements" by reputable scientific organizations that represent the general viewpoint of literally thousands of scientists. Do you think you know more than they do? IMO, to disagree with these consensus scientific positions is unjustifiable unless you are actively engaged in global climate research, and not likely even then.


    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    "The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society."
    Joint science academies’ statement 2007
    "It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken. "
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    "Far from being some future fear, global warming is happening now, and scientists have evidence that humans are to blame."
    National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA)
    "The greenhouse effect is unquestionably real and helps to regulate the temperature of our planet."
    "Human activity has been increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (mostly carbon dioxide from combustion of coal, oil, and gas; plus a few other trace gases). There is no scientific debate on this point."
    Is the climate warming? "Yes."
    American Chemical Society
    "There is now general agreement among scientific experts that the recent warming trend is real (and particularly strong within the past 20 years), that most of the observed warming is likely due to increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and that climate change could have serious adverse effects by the end of this century."
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007
    In February 2007, the IPCC released a summary of the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report. According to this summary, the Fourth Assessment Report finds that human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability.
    American Meteorological Society
    "There is now clear evidence that the mean annual temperature at the Earth's surface, averaged over the entire globe, has been increasing in the past 200 years. There is also clear evidence that the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased over the same period. ... Human activities have become a major source of environmental change. Of great urgency are the climate consequences of the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases... Because greenhouse gases continue to increase, we are, in effect, conducting a global climate experiment, neither planned nor controlled, the results of which may present unprecedented challenges to our wisdom and foresight as well as have significant impacts on our natural and societal systems."
    American Geophysical Union
    "Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century. "
    "A particular concern is that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide may be rising faster than at any time in Earth's history, except possibly following rare events like impacts from large extraterrestrial objects."
    American Institute of Physics
    The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics endorsed the above AGU statement on human-induced climate change
    American Astronomical Society
    "In endorsing the "Human Impacts on Climate" statement, the AAS recognizes the collective expertise of the AGU in scientific subfields central to assessing and understanding global change, and acknowledges the strength of agreement among our AGU colleagues that the global climate is changing and human activities are contributing to that change."
    Federal Climate Change Science Program, 2006
    "Studies ... show clear evidence of human influences on the climate system (due to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and stratospheric ozone). ... The observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents (such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone) alone."
    Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London
    "We find that the evidence for human-induced climate change is now persuasive, and the need for direct action compelling."
     
  4. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(kingofgix @ Nov 2 2007, 01:22 PM) [snapback]534009[/snapback]</div>
    This is a good collection of statements, and probably hard to find reputable counter-examples. Where did you find this? (I'm assuming you didn't take the time to put all this together yourself?)

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(F8L @ Oct 31 2007, 09:02 PM) [snapback]533210[/snapback]</div>
    This is a good distinction, and something I haven't heard before. I know people who are frustrated about medical science as well, because studies prove something is good for you and another study says it isn't. Margarine or butter? Eggs have too much cholesterol or not? But the basics, what you call consensus science haven't changed for decades - don't smoke, eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, avoid fatty meats, get exercise.
    I heard it used today as meaning "plan". As in "well, that's the theory".
     
  5. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(nerfer @ Nov 2 2007, 11:52 AM) [snapback]534018[/snapback]</div>
    I'd like to point out something that is so poorly understood by so many people that it bears constant repeating:

    A single study seldom if ever "proves" anything. Studies provide evidence. Later studies attempt to replicate the results, and succeed or fail. Evidence accumulates, and eventually conclusions are justified.

    Unfortunately, the popular press often misrepresents early results as "proofs," and if those early results are not replicated, the same press that once touted the supposed "proof" turns around and asserts that scientists don't really know anything because their "proof" has been "disproved."

    We'd be much better off if science reporters learned a little bit about science. In fact, most science reporting is done as entertainment by people more interested in sensationalism than in educating the public. So we get comments like the one I quoted above, which portray science as haphazard and unreliable.

    In fact, when there are conflicting studies it is generally because either:

    1. The science is still being done and no conclusion has been reached and the early results must be used to design further studies;

    or

    2. Some of the studies are unscientific, performed by companies or organizations dedicated to scamming the public for motives of profit or ideology.
     
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