Evidence please

Phillip Scoles, Castlemaine

When we talk about ‘believers’ and ‘non believers’, what are we really talking about – science or religion?
When our ‘believers’ put up the Californian bushfires as evidence of climate change it is obvious they really don’t get it. This is not evidence at all. Already the rumblings out of California suggest that the authorities failed to reduce fuel loads in their forests and of course the fires were deliberately lit. Sound familiar?
It is hard to imagine that six billion people belching carbon dioxide into the atmosphere doesn’t have an effect – it must – however that effect has been proven to be very small and even harder to measure.
Our weather is influenced by Pacific Ocean temperatures resulting in the El Niño/La Niña effect.
Warm patches of water circling Antarctica which affects moisture content of our cold fronts and the Indian Ocean Dipole, which is an ocean current connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans. Little is known about this recently discovered current but it is thought to cause long dry spells. Add to this the heating and cooling cycles of the sun and you have a very complex picture.
All of these forces have been shown to run in cycles as does our weather/climate. Data shows that what we have experienced at the turn of this century – severe drought and prolonged dry conditions – are exactly the same conditions that were experienced at the turn of the previous century. Incidentally, both turn of the centuries were characterised by a peak in the sun’s heating cycle.
In all of this there is one thing that I will agree with our ‘believers’ and that is our dependence on oil as a fuel for transport. Oil reached its peak production years ago and its price will only keep rising which has the potential to destroy us economically long before we are wisps of glowing plasma.

5 thoughts on “Evidence please

  • September 5, 2018 at 10:06 am
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    195 countries signed up for emissions reductions last year on the strength of the science.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm
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    There are countless sources for scientific support for climate change as a cause for the Californian fires.

    Here is a couple: Michael Wehner, senior staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted computations which demonstrated that 2 to 3 degrees (F) could be chalked up to climate change already.

    A study by Columbia University and the University of Idaho found that human-caused warming has expanded peak fire season by an average of nine days since 2000.

    Climate change denial is a type of psychosis rather than a scientific position.

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    • September 7, 2018 at 8:55 pm
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      2 to 3 degrees F is more than the purported change in temperature since 1850, of 1 degree C, or 1.8 degrees F, well within the range of natural variation. Michael Wehner is finding things that aren’t there.

      Fire incidence is way down over the years so any study that says differently, you have to look at the study period and see how selective they have been. Did Idaho U check out this: one fire , the Great Fire of 1910, burned 4100 sq. miles, 3 million acres, in North Idaho and Western Montana, extending into eastern Washington and S.E British Columbia. In 1936, 226,285 fires burned 43,207,000 acres. In 2017, 21,477 fires burned 10,026,086 acres, official figures from National Interagency Fire Centre.

      Facts, now how psychotic is that?

      Who denies that the climate changes over time? What is rejected, not denied, because that implies there is a truth there, is that CO2 is a global temperature control knob and that swingeing and economy damaging cuts to the use of oil and coal will somehow control the climate.

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      • September 13, 2018 at 8:48 am
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        Typically this comment begins by disputing that climate change is occurring, or at least causing more fires, and then ends by saying that climate change is natural while failing to explain what is the present cause of the ‘natural’ change that they have just conceded is occurring.

        It’s the usual modus operandi of climate change deniers and of course very poignant.

        They have my deepest sympathy as they come to terms with the absurdity of their position.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 6:21 pm
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    Believers and non believers is not a useful dichotomy to discuss climate change/global warming/global weirding. More appropriate is acceptance of science and refusal to accept it. Typically those who deny human influence on the climate do not accept the science, and offer half baked ideas as alternatives.
    It is true that a single event such as the Californian fires is difficult to directly attribute to climate change. What is also true is the increasing severity and extent of fires, and the “out of season” nature of them. For example the recent fires in NSW in Winter. Authorities are concerned that the sharing of fire fighting resources across the hemispheres will soon no longer be possible as traditional fire seasons overlap. The severity of the fires in Europe during July and August is unusual at a minimum and associated with record heatwaves. Again, not possible to directly attribute to climate. Nor are the extreme weather events in Japan at the moment nor any of the freak weather events we see occurring regularly. However, the frequency and extent of these extreme events has reached the point where is it hard to argue they are normal and the insurance industry has started to respond to the risk of climate change.

    CO2 in the atmosphere has been known to cause warming since first postulated by Fourier in the 1820s. Current levels are higher than at any time in the last 15-20 million years which can only be due to our burning of fossil fuels. For some evidence of our impact on the climate, search for “NASA climate evidence”.

    The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Southern Annual Mode (SAM) and El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are major drivers of our climate as you state. It is not true that the IOD has only been recently discovered or that little is known about it. It is very important to understand that these systems are affected by our impact on the planet. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology describes them well. To further your understanding of these, search the BOM site for IOD/SAM/ENSO as you do not seem to understand them fully.

    On your final point about the cyclical nature of the climate, this is true. Unfortunately for your argument, these cycles are in the order of tens of thousands of years, not the hundreds of years that we are currently witnessing. A search for Milankovitch cycles will give you a better appreciation.

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