"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Russian Science Director Refutes Warming Claims

Yury Izrael, director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Global Climate and Ecology Institute, issued a scathing indictment of global warming alarmism, published June 28 by the Russian News and Information Agency (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050623/40748412.html)

The following are excerpts from Izrael’s comments:


According to 10,000 meteorological stations, average temperatures have increased by just 0.6 degrees in the last 100 years. But there is no scientifically sound evidence of the negative processes that allegedly begin to take place at such temperatures.

Global temperatures increased throughout the 1940s, declined in the 1970s, and subsequently began to rise again. Present-day global warming resembles the 1940s, when ships could easily navigate Arctic passages.

However, man's impact was much smaller at that time. A Russian expedition that recently returned from the central Antarctic says that temperatures are now starting to decrease. These sensational findings are one of Mother Nature's surprises.

The European Union has established by fiat that a two-degree rise in global temperatures would be quite dangerous. However, this data is not scientifically sound.

Many specialists estimate the peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at 400 PPM.

Our calculations show that carbon-dioxide concentrations would increase by just 800 PPM if all known and produced fuel were incinerated in the space of a few hours. But we will never reach this ceiling. In ancient times the Earth had periods when maximum CO2 concentrations were 6,000 PPM (in Carboniferous period). But life still goes on.

In other words, we must comprehend what will happen while the carbon-dioxide levels will grow from the current 378 PPM to 800 PPM, that will hypothetically occur when all the fuel on earth is burned.

Global temperatures will likely rise by 1.4-5.8 degrees during the next 100 years. The average increase will be three degrees. I do not think that this threatens mankind. Sea levels, due to rise by 47 cm in the 21st century, will not threaten port cities.

18 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

I'd like to know if the Russians signed the Kyoto treaty.

Kathy Hutchins said...

I'd like to know if the Russians signed the Kyoto treaty.

The Russian Duma ratified Kyoto last November, when it became clear that there would be no cost to Russia to do so. Kyoto pegs emissions reductions to the levels produced in 1990. Russia's economy is so in the tank compared to 1990 that they're already meeting the Kyoto requirements. In fact, they can probably make money on the deal by selling their emissions credits. Sometimes these old Commies out-capitalist us capitalists, eh?

Tlaloc said...

It's worth pointing out that Mr. Izrael is not speaking on behalf of the IPCC in this matter. If you want to read what the IPCC actually says look here:

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/index.htm

Additionally his contention that a three degree change poses no threat shows his ignorance. The mean difference between our current temp and the last ice age was only 5-6 degrees. Yes a one degree change worldwide is huge.

"To appreciate the magnitude of this temperature increase, it should be compared with the global mean temperature difference of perhaps 5 or 6°C from the middle of the last Ice Age to the present interglacial."
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/044.htm

S. T. Karnick said...

Of course the director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Global Climate and Ecology Institute is ignorant! That explains everything.

Kathy Hutchins said...

It's worth noting that the latest assessment report, to which Tlaloc provided the link, was issued in 2001. I'm not sure when the 4th assessment report is due; there have been some interim reports published earlier this year. Dr. Izrael is referring to contradictory observations that have been made since 2001, and there have been other anomalies such as the reversal of ice loss in the Antarctic and a better understanding of the cyclic glacier patterns in the Alps. It will be interesting to see how (or indeed if) these contrarian data points are dealt with in the 4th assessment.

The scientific issues at play here are insanely complex, the data sources are gargantuan and open to collection and interpretation error, and constructing integrated models requires a dozen different disciplines to cooperate with each other. What the IPCC is trying to do would be next to impossible under the best of circumstances. The political opportunism that infects every step of this process is far from the best of circumstances.

Tlaloc said...

"Of course the director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Global Climate and Ecology Institute is ignorant! That explains everything."

Well the statement he made was ignorant.

Tlaloc said...

"Dr. Izrael is referring to contradictory observations that have been made since 2001, and there have been other anomalies such as the reversal of ice loss in the Antarctic and a better understanding of the cyclic glacier patterns in the Alps."

I don't think so since he's recycling the same arguments made for the last ten years by people denying global warming.

I've seen nothing about reversal of ice shelf loss, perhaps you can provide a credible link?



"The political opportunism that infects every step of this process is far from the best of circumstances."

The political opportunism wouldn't be an issue if people just got out of the way and let the scinetists do their job. Guess which side believes global warming is a problem (hint: it's not the politicians).

Kathy Hutchins said...

Source on Antarctic ice shelf:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02/24/ice_shelf_collapse/

Note that this guy is not a greenhouse skeptic; he just doesn't think the satellite data support a conclusion that continent-wide the ice is decreasing.

Tlaloc said...

"Source on Antarctic ice shelf"

Interesting, but since this guy explicitly says that global warming is happening and only diagrees as to which of the symptoms are directly linked to it it hardly supports your position (or Mr. Izrael's).

Kathy Hutchins said...

since this guy explicitly says that global warming is happening and only diagrees as to which of the symptoms are directly linked to it it hardly supports your position

How the hell do you know my "position" (to the extent I have one) on global warming?

Just to save you from having to guess, here is my position: this science is not yet ripe for policymaking, but it's being forced to take on that responsibility anyway. I am not a big believer in the Bob Geldof "We have to do something, even if it's wrong" approach. I accept that concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are increasing. I accept that at least locally, various climate measures are outside the historical range. I accept that humans engage in a lot of CO2 releasing activity. I do not think that the relations and feedbacks among these three things are well understood. I think the connections among these factors and any multi-factor variables affecting humans either positively or negatively, such as sea level, precipitation patterns, plant growth, cloud formation, etc, are at best at the SWAG level. I think we have absolutely no bleeding idea whether adopting Kyoto-type measures will have any affect at all on CO2 concentration, never mind the tenuous chains of causality to all the conditions that might actually be of importance.

And, lastly, I think that when you don't know what the hell you're dealing with, it is far better to pursue a strategy that maximizes your ability to deal with the unforeseen than it is to devote resources to preventing some specific undesirable outcome. On the whole, we know from experience that richer, more technically advanced economies that rely on market forces to direct resource use are more flexible, innovative, and resilient than those that are not. Therefore, in the face of uncertainty, the best overall strategy is to be rich and free.

Tlaloc said...

"How the hell do you know my "position" (to the extent I have one) on global warming?"

Sorry, I lost track of which science you ignore to suit your agenda and which you don't.



"Just to save you from having to guess, here is my position: this science is not yet ripe for policymaking, but it's being forced to take on that responsibility anyway."

So in other words I was right in my appraisal of your position and you got huffy anyway? What a shock.



"On the whole, we know from experience that richer, more technically advanced economies that rely on market forces to direct resource use are more flexible, innovative, and resilient than those that are not."

False. Our technologically advanced economy is entirely dependent on oil to maintain it. It is in fact the tall stack of dominos. From a simply entropic view what we have is not stable but massively unstable. Agrarian societies lasted thousands of years and our modern system is about to crash down after a few hundred? You lack historical perspective. Economics is not the divinity they told you it was. It's not a god to abase yourself to. And it certainly won't be your savior when the bill finally comes due.

You are calling the disease the cure because that's comfortable. It means you don't have to do anything, you are free to ignore the scinece by pretending it's too hard for anyone to understand (I mean if an econ major can't get it it's obviously super duper hard).

Your prostestations about how complex the system is only proves that you don't understand it, don't pretend you can speak for those who actually are trained in the field.

Kathy Hutchins said...

When I say the science is complex, I do not mean my own understanding of it. I don't understand how the engine in my Jeep Cherokee works. I'm an economist because I was too good at math to be a sociologist but not good enough to be a chemist. I am speaking of the state of the models as reported and described by the people who work on them. Read the latest WG1 report. Not the summary, not the press releases, not the write-up in New Scientist. Read the entire report. Then when you've finished with that, read the WG2 and 3 reports. Work your way through the data appendices. In particular, study WG1 section 8.10.3, in which the participating scientists evaluate, quite openly, what they don't adequately understand about general circulation models. And this is just the physical science side of it! To model climate scenarios 100 years out, and take account of the effect of human activity on same, you're not only making long range projections about climate, but about economic activity, technology changes, population distributions, and on and on.

I'm not a climatologist, but I have worked on very large computer models. Because of that, I respect what the IPCC scientists have already accomplished. I do not respect what the claque of international bureaucrats, rent-seekers, and professional hand-wringers have done with the 1/1000 of the results they have chosen to exploit.

Tlaloc said...

"I'm not a climatologist, but I have worked on very large computer models. Because of that, I respect what the IPCC scientists have already accomplished."

Not enough to listen to what those same climatologists say though. Yes there are always limitations in science, no science has ever managed to find a grand unified theory for it's field. And yet the science still works. Your CD player still play CDs. Pharmaceuticals still get discovered. And the planet still warms. That's not a claim by "international bureaucrats" (which is an odd argument for you to make given you started this by quoting Mr Izrael- who is a bureaucrat). It's the scientific result.

You can ignore it if you like but your ignorance changes the reality not one whit.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Your CD player still play CDs. Pharmaceuticals still get discovered. And the planet still warms.

"The planet still warms" -- once you've figured out how many data points, distributed in which 3-dimensional grid, and then repeated backward how many time periods, you need to say such a thing -- is not a prediction, or a theoretical construct, or a model output. (1) It's an observation. Where does it get you? You still need to know (2) what is causing the warming. You need to know (3)how much, if any, of the warming is anthropogenic. You need to know (4) what harms and benefits the warming will cause. You need to know (5) what, if anything, in the power of man could mitigate the warming. You need to know (6) what the costs and benefits of various mitigating strategies will be.

Read the 2001 reports and tell me, with a straight face, that the scientists claim that they are confident in the answers to any of those questions past number 1. Succeed, and I'll nominate you for an Academy Award.

Tlaloc said...

1) doesn't seem to be a question, or at best a rhetorical one.
2) Human activity combined with solar activity and meterological changes
3) Some, which is more than we can afford.
4) rampant climate change, sea level changes, ecological devestation and a mass die out.
5) reduction of greenhouse gas production, cessation of rainforest destruction, and in general allowing ecological balances to restore themselves.
6) The cost of our current path is unacceptable. Compared to that any other cost is trivial.

Anonymous said...

Tlaloc, your response here is nothing but a bunch of assertions with no evidence to back it up. You can't prove what you say, but you'll never admit it. Sad.

Tlaloc said...

"Tlaloc, your response here is nothing but a bunch of assertions with no evidence to back it up. You can't prove what you say, but you'll never admit it. Sad."

Bull.

2) is proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Go to any climatologist employed by a credible university and ask them.

3) is an assertion, a logical one that arises from an understanding that the less we meddle with natural systems the better our own survivability.

4) Is also understood by climatologists, the same people Kathy der dismisses and scoffs at with her attitude that sh respects them but they obviously can't be listened to.

Ditto 5).

6) is an assertion again grounded in the reality that the economic hardship of survival is infinitely preferable to the moneymaking potential of mass extinction. Economists are too dumb to get it apparently. They worry about the economy because they don't understand the real threat and they won't listen to those who do.

Anonymous said...

Great, you back up your unsubstantiated assertions by restating them and claiming everybody believes them. Very persuasive.