2010-08-10 16:30:00BASIC Rebuttal 04: "Is Global Warming Still Happening?"
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
203.134.169.106

Suggestion for this one....I've copied parts from John Russell's excellent Basic Rebuttal 07. All feedback gratefully accepted....

Version 3 is attached - with Pictures, and no semi colon(!)

All the indicators show that global warming is still happening. 

When looking for evidence of global warming, there are many different indicators. Whilst it's natural to start with air temperatures, a more thorough examination should be as inclusive as possible; snow cover, ice melt, air temperatures over land and sea, even the sea temperatures themselves. A key 2010 study included 10 key indicators, and as shown below, every one of them is moving in the direction expected of a warming globe.

Ten Indicators of Global Warming 

 

The question of global warming stopping is often raised in relation to a recent weather event - a big snowfall or drought breaking rain. Global warming is entirely compatible with these events; after all they are just weather. For Climate Change it is the long term trends that are important, not short term weather. Trends are best measured over decades or more ( with the most recent decade the hottest on instrumental record ), and these long term trends show that globe is still, unfortunately, warming.



 

 

2010-08-10 16:39:50What do you think of using the NOAA 10 indicators graphic in this rebuttal?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

It's a great graphic, visually communicates so much (here's my blog post about it) - question is whether having the graphic enhances and clarifies the message or distracts? Thoughts, comments?

 

2010-08-10 17:29:34On the use of graphics
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.132.177.33
Actually, I think you raise a general point here that is important. Dragging out the old cliche about 1000 words, I think that graphics like these really help to add substance, yet do so in a way that is engaging and easy to digest. I'm certainly going to look for suitable graphics to enhance the items I write - and speaking of which, time for me to get on with some work and stop blathering...
2010-08-10 17:45:39Yes - "a picture says more than a thousand words"
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.131.35

I agree, pictures like this one help a lot to better relate to the often "dry" information. We should just keep graphs/charts that come with a lot of lines, dots, stars and what not in the basic-rebuttals to a minimum (or forgoe them completely). It might need to be a case-by-case decision though, as for example the "Keeling-curve" is clear enough and fairly easy to explain but graphs like the "Hockey-stick" tend to be confusing for most people.

(full disclosure: I worked for Kodak for many years, so I do have an affinity for pictures being worth more than a thousand words!)

2010-08-13 09:43:57Version 2, with graphic
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
58.160.115.140

This graphic is good - firstly it's not a graph! , but a picture, and it's worth showing. I think as well that this basic rebuttal also needs to address both the facts ( eg the indicators ) and the sub-text - why is someone thinking this question is valid. I'm thinking that this question gains popularity right after major cold weather events, so I'm going to try to answer that as well..

 

---------------------------------------

All the indicators show that global warming is still happening. 

When looking for evidence of global warming, there are many different indicators that we should look for. Whilst it's natural to start with air temperatures, a more thorough examination should be as inclusive as possible; snow cover, ice melt, air temperatures over land and sea, even the sea temperatures themselves. A 2010 study included 10 key indicators, and as shown below, every one of them is moving in the direction expected of a warming globe.

2010 Study of Key Indicators 

The question of global warming stopping is often raised in the light of a recent weather event - a big snowfall or drought breaking rain. Global warming is entirely compatible with these events; after all they are just weather. For climate change it is the long term trends that are important; measured over decades or more, and those long term trends show that globe is still, unfortunately, warming.

 

2010-08-13 09:55:37Comment of 'still unfortunately warming'
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
58.160.115.140

Interested in anyone's thoughts on that last line; I threw it in there for some debate.

Pros.

Believe it accurately portrays our emotional response to climate change - ( feel free to challenge that )

It softens the discussion - makes it more human to the readers ( most important for the basic rebuttals, far less important and possibly a bad thing in the advanced discussion )

And I think it helps destroy or reduce one of the main arguments propagated by the denialists - that thing about the 'alarmist' wanting climate change to be real because of some hidden motive - to profit from it, one world government, blah blah blah blah 

Basically it reflects what I've found when discussing this with friends; the type of people we need to reach. When I move away from the evidence - which can sound pretty bombastic, and move to the emotional level - \"I hope I'm wrong, I hope all those studies are wrong, I hope 97% of the world's scientists are wrong \" that I get more buy in from my friends. Just my experience...

Cons

 Using emotion = bad ?

2010-08-15 04:31:42Last line yes
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

I think the last line is actually vital and I personally don't see any problem with "unfortunately" for by almost any objective measure it is that.

Might drop that semicolon in the last line. I'm a big fan of those but I'm not sure if that one's in the right place. 

2010-08-15 14:53:29updated the top argument..
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
58.160.115.140

Hi all, you'll find most recent update at top.

2010-08-15 15:43:53How candid do we need to be
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.239.255

One criticism of the 10 indicator story is that Antarctic sea ice was sidelined because it didn't fit the indicator pattern (although we understand why - as per the Southern Ocean study that JC put out a while back). Should this be mentioned for the sake of being candid, or are we making life more difficult for ourselves?

I also think some mention of the decadal temperature record should be included. This last decade is the hottest in the instrumental record, three hottest years in the last 12 (lost count - is that the right number?) etc - these are pertinent to the argument, surely? - and this is consistent with the last point about trends, reinforcing the value of them compared to anomalies.

2010-08-16 20:51:51Update 4
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
58.160.115.140

The problem with this argument is that there's TOO much stuff that's pertinent. The strategy on this answer is to pare it back to basics, and hope that readers will seek more details, or seek more rebuttals. I wanted to address the usual context of the question as well. I want the answer to be relevant, to achieve some cognitive cut through the next time we get big snow/big rain/cold day/polar bear sighting/etc...

Anyway - I managed to sneak in a reference to the current decade being the hottest ever.

I left sea ice as it was because it's easier to reference the original NOAA study, and diagram as it is. That way Skeptical Science gets some free street cred from NOAA. Well, that's the idea...

 Again, comments please...

 

2010-08-16 21:27:27Thumbs up, great job, Adam
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49
Graham, I'd leave out Antarctica sea ice for the basic version. Maybe put it in intermediate version. But it's covered well in the Antarctica thread.
2010-08-16 21:30:31One little nit
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49
Ok, one very tiny thing, the repetitive wording in "When looking for evidence of global warming, there are many different indicators that we should look for. " (repeating 'look for'). What about "When looking for evidence of global warming, there are many different indicators". Or "there are many different climate indicators"
2010-08-16 22:04:53Only one look now....
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
58.160.115.140
Good call John; removed the double look.
2010-08-17 02:28:17Good one
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.156.59.156
OK John (and John) - good to go in my view.
2010-08-17 03:53:00
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Anne-Marie Blackburn
bioluminescence@hotmail.co...
80.42.219.219
Works for me - good, clear post
2010-08-17 13:54:05Looks good to me
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
My only suggestion is that you change "For Climate Change" to "For climate change" - there's no reason for those words to be capitalised.
2010-08-17 15:48:11Bumped
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

Bumping this thread, keen to get the 5th thumbs-up so I can go live with this one :-)

(and agree with James re capitalisation)

2010-08-17 15:58:22Nice job Adam!
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
68.164.185.144
I am good with this one...
2010-08-17 17:00:59Woo hoo..
AdamK

adam.kierce@shinetech...
58.160.115.140
Thanks one and all for the feedback and the thumbs. Made the change re capitalisation too...
2010-08-17 18:50:55Question re ownership
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

Have published this one. Seeing it in its final form, so short, concise - beautifully done and complemented nicely by the intermediate version:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/evidence-for-global-warming.htm

However, one puzzlement - James Wight claimed it. Should I change authorship over to Adam K?

2010-08-17 23:19:30I didn't claim this rebuttal
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221

Actually, I claimed rebuttal #70, "It's not happening". This is rebuttal #4, "It's cooling" - which was in fact claimed by AdamK.

I was intending to write something along the same lines (using the 10 indicators graphic) for "It's not happening", but I've been busy and hadn't got around to it yet.