Has climate change killed the aliens?

In this vast universe, say many scientists, surely intelligent life has evolved elsewhere.  So where is it?  A new theory is being put forward:  the aliens are all dead.  This is because, in the course of evolution, when intelligent life advances to the industrial level, it inevitably causes climate change that causes its species to become extinct. [Read more…]

The world’s leaders have saved the planet

The Paris climate talks ended with all 195 nations agreeing to cut carbon emissions to combat global warming.  Previous agreements asked only the developed nations to do so, leaving the developing nations, including mega-polluter China, to keep pursuing economic growth without worrying about energy use and climate change.  This agreement, in contrast, committed pretty much all of the world’s nations, though the richer nations promised economic help for the poorer nations to meet the goals.  See this for specifics.

What struck me was the self-congratulatory words of many of the world’s leaders (from the AP story linked after the jump):

“It’s a victory for all of the planet and for future generations,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, adding that the pact will “prevent the worst most devastating consequences of climate change from ever happening.”

“History will remember this day,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Paris agreement on climate change is a monumental success for the planet and its people.”

President Barack Obama said the climate agreement offers “the best chance to save the one planet we have.”

“The 12th of December, 2015, will remain a great date for the planet,” [French President Francois] Hollande declared. “In Paris, there have been many revolutions over the centuries. Today it is the most beautiful and the most peaceful revolution that has just been accomplished — a revolution for climate change.”

[Read more…]

The failure of reality to match up with computer models

The ice caps are supposed to be melting.  But the ice in Antarctica is at record levels.  And the ice at the North Pole, after declining for awhile, is back to normal levels.  So reports a British newspaper, the Register.  I’m struck, though, by a comment in the article that cites,  “This failure of reality to match up with climate modelling.”

That “reality” has somehow failed is rather humorous.  Isn’t computer modelling dependent on what data is programmed into the model?  And isn’t reality always going to be more complex than a model, with far more variables, many of which are unknown to the researcher?  [Read more…]

Accounting for the “pause” in global warming

Scientists admit that there has been no global warming between 1998 and 2013, even though the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has continued to increase.  A new study claims to account for this so-called “pause” in global warming.  It turns out, there are “natural fluctuations” in the climate.  Who knew?

The scientists claim that a little cooling blip has cooled things off in the last decade or so, but that the global warming will soon resume.  Read about the findings after the jump.

But doesn’t this research miss the point?  Does invoking “natural fluctuation” really give us a cause?  What causes the fluctuations, and if they are “natural,” might they account for other temperature phenomena, including those blamed on human agency?  More fundamentally, if greenhouse gasses can increase without making the temperature of the earth go up, doesn’t that suggest that there may be problems with the assumptions behind the computer modeling that give us the dire global warming forecasts? [Read more…]

The myth of ‘settled science’

Charles Krauthhammer says there is no such thing as “settled science”:

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. [Read more…]

Volcanos are countering global warming

The earth is taking care of itself.  From James Fleure in Science Recorder:

Erupting volcanoes offset recent Earth warming, according to a team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after searching for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as climatologists expected between 2000 and 2010. . . . [Read more…]


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