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Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US 599

Posted by timothy
from the overcast-with-a-chance-of-death dept.
Standing Bear writes "NPR reports that 140 years after the creation of the National Weather Service, the US government is proposing the creation of a similar service that will provide long-term projections of how climate will change. 'We are actually getting millions of requests a year already about: How should coastal cities plan for sea-level rise? How should various other agencies in the federal government or in state governments make plans for everything from roads to managing water supplies?' says NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. 'And a lot of that is going to be changing as the climate changes.' Under the plan, the new NOAA Climate Service would incorporate some of the agency's existing laboratories and research programs, including the National Climatic Data Center, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and the National Weather Service's Historical Climate Network. Meanwhile, as plans for the new climate service shape up, NOAA launched a new Web site, climate.gov, designed to provide access to a wide range of climate information."
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Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US

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  • Premature (Score:2, Insightful)

    Climate science is in its infancy, as anyone who has been really following the "Global Warming" debate knows. Certainly we know the globe is warming, but the greenhouse gas aspect of it is still very much up in the air.

    Setting up a Climate Service today would be akin to setting up an Astrology Service. They would probably both give equally good advice.
    • Re:Premature (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:11PM (#31131128)

      Do you know where you're going?

      No.

      Well go faster.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Whoa, you think that climate science is like astrology? That's nothing but fucked-up denialism. Luckily, climate scientists disagree with you and (unlike astrologers) actually want to put their predictions on record because they have confidence in them. I say we let them.
      • climate scientists disagree with you and (unlike astrologers) actually want to put their predictions on record because they have confidence in them. I say we let them.

        I take it you haven't read the emails from East Anglia? Obfuscation, "hide the decline," discussion of how to destroy the careers of those who disagree with them, and subvert legal FOIA requests. Hardly the behavior of people who want to go on public record.

        When scientific research is used as the basis of public policy decisions, that research should automatically be made available for public scrutiny, along with any associated monetary interests of the researchers. Then taxpayers can find out how badly

        • by Kythe (4779) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:51PM (#31131338)
          I've read them. Your characterization is literally full of crap. The propaganda win coming out of that computer crime sure has revved you guys up, though.
          • Oops! (Score:3, Informative)

            by sycodon (149926)

            Per Dr. Phil Jones:

                    * Data for vital 'hockey stick graph' has gone missing
                    * There has been no global warming since 1995
                    * Warming periods have happened before - but NOT due to man-made changes

            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html##ixzz0fWNe9VeK

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tftp (111690)

        Luckily, climate scientists disagree with you and (unlike astrologers) actually want to put their predictions on record because they have confidence in them. I say we let them.

        Sure, why not - let them put their predictions on record. After all, Nostradamus did the same.

        But acting on those predictions by ruining the civilization - well, that's something I'd like to think for a moment or two. Perhaps I will even go as far as to ask for a second opinion.

        • Re:Premature (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:58PM (#31131694)

          How exactly will moving to renewable energy, building homes/businesses that are more energy efficient and better insulated, reducing the carbon output of of major industries and moving toward more sustainable resource use "ruin" the civilisation?

          One of the good things about "doing something about climate change" is that even if we turn out to be wrong (and it doesn't look like we are, but just for the sake of argument) then all of those things haven;t done any harm whatsoever, unless you count breaking the grip of the fossil fuel industry and energy companies who are relying on super cheap coal. Their profits will likely go down, but there's nothing to stop them investing in new tech - do you have any idea just how much money is spent on oil field exploration every year? It totally dwarfs the money spent on green power research.

          Hell, if we swapped out every single coal plant for a nuclear one right now we would cut the amount of radioactivity released into the atmosphere by a gigantic amount, and the amount of CO2. Two birds with one stone.

          You can ask for a second opinion, and you are right to. I think you'll find the vast, vast, vast majority of scientists who have been studying the climate for the past 50 years or more will be happy to tell you all about it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by tftp (111690)

            How exactly will moving to renewable energy, building homes/businesses that are more energy efficient and better insulated, reducing the carbon output of of major industries and moving toward more sustainable resource use "ruin" the civilisation?

            The civilization is already living on a narrow margin. Most of the people on the planet are poor; some are very poor (like in most of Africa.) Imagine that they will be forbidden to burn wood, and instead need to install solar heaters - that would kill whole coun

            • Re:Premature (Score:4, Interesting)

              by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @10:34PM (#31132162)

              We are more than aware of new technologies that can assist us in our move to greener living - some are less useful than others, and some are dead ends (you mention biofuels - I agree; these are a dead end).

              You jump right into talking about banning people in Africa from burning wood. No one is suggesting that at the moment (at least, not seriously). The developed nations of the world are *vastly* the dominant polluters and energy consumers, so these are the houses that need to be put in order before we start looking at the contribution of wood burning in the third world.

              There are a lot of scare stories, and a lot of naysayers, but a great deal of the green tech is just common sense - energy efficient homes and vehicles. If Ford took the cars they sell in Europe right now and put them on US lots (DoT crash tests and certification aside, which they would pass easily) then the MPG would shoot up across the board. It's only the ingrained culture of the US that demands a 3 litre V6 strapped to a lazy slushmatic gearbox in a family car when you can get equal power with considerably better fuel economy from a better-designed 4 cylinder, or even a (shock horror) diesel. That's without even moving away from oil.

              Nuclear plants need to be built by the hundred. It's an extremely mature, well understood, green technology that is hobbled by an undeserved public image and crippling legislative issues and regulations. If we can produce a large proportion of our electricity from nuclear and other green sources we take out a major chunk of pollution.

              Things like solar hot water (not PV-based) in new homes (in the developed world) would cut energy consumption drastically. Even in the UK, where our climate isn't exactly known for its blazing heat and sunshine, solar hot water systems have proven to be extremely effective. They are expensive to install, but as part of a new build they are a no-brainer. They should be mandated by law to be installed in every new house that is constructed.

              A lot of large companies are lazy. BP spends a gigantic amount of money on its cash cow: oil. It spends a truly absurd amount of money annually seeking out new oil sites, while its spending on greener projects is much less. It is spending something, as are companies like Exxon/Shell etc but they could really do more if they wanted to, but there is an emphasis on shareholders and quarterly results. The oil giants made record profits, despite the global recession. They control vast amounts of wealth and are likely the key to our future energy crisis (the cause and the solution) when they choose to put their minds to it.

              There's no real need for higher taxes on small businesses - they are generally just scare stories used to make people fear change. We are going to face a huge blow to everyone, including businesses when the cost of oil starts to be truly felt when it becomes scarce. It really is used for almost everything in the modern world that we consume.

          • Re:Premature (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @10:21PM (#31132094)

            How exactly will moving to renewable energy, building homes/businesses that are more energy efficient and better insulated, reducing the carbon output of of major industries and moving toward more sustainable resource use "ruin" the civilisation? One of the good things about "doing something about climate change" is that even if we turn out to be wrong (and it doesn't look like we are, but just for the sake of argument) then all of those things haven;t done any harm whatsoever, unless you count breaking the grip of the fossil fuel industry and energy companies who are relying on super cheap coal.

            Broken window fallacy. If AGW is not correct but we focus on "green tech" then we will have spent society's resources inefficiently. We will have build carbon-capture facilities that are entirely useless. We will have researched efficiency technologies of less utility than we thought. We will have built homes/businesses/cars that are more expensive than they needed to be because we improperly calculated the cost of future energy input. We will have made our major industries less competitive by pointlessly reducing their carbon output.

            These technologies that don't come for free -- any effort expended in making something less carbon-intensive necessarily either raises the price (thus denying us the money to spend elsewhere) or reduces some other desirable trait (houses with less open space, cars with less HP). To the extent that efficiency is favorable, there's no reason that consumers wouldn't already go for it (indeed, with rising energy prices that problem has solved itself to a large extent).

            Secondly, it's not "energy companies" that rely on super cheap coal but rather it's the consumers that do. Energy companies are only an intermediary who respond to market pressure to provide what the consumer demands. I happen to be quite grateful for the fossil fuel industry -- they have made possible the largest increase in human utility in the history of mankind. Each washer/dryer, for instance, saves thousands of man-hours of effort per year -- allowing us to spend more time on other things. I was talking to my mother the other day (yeah yeah, stupid anecdote follows) and she was remembering how her mother used to sew together torn socks when she was a child (1940s). Think about that for a second -- our time is so much more valuable now that we wouldn't dream of repairing a sock. It's a testament to how much "wealthier", in relative terms, we've become that repairing socks is now beneath us -- made possible of course by the use of a fossil-fuel powered economy.

            Finally, looking practically at the experience in Spain gives me shudders. They lost 2 manufacturing jobs for every green job they created and they artificially priced electrical power way over market price which drove business elsewhere. http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment-public-aid-renewable.pdf [juandemariana.org] [PDF WARNING]

            Hell, if we swapped out every single coal plant for a nuclear one right now we would cut the amount of radioactivity released into the atmosphere by a gigantic amount, and the amount of CO2. Two birds with one stone.

            On that, I can agree with you, but for geopolitical, not environmental reasons. That said, no reason not to form a coalition, eh?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by blindseer (891256)

            There is more than one way to reduce the carbon output from our modern society. I agree that nuclear power would reduce both the CO2 and radiation output from electricity generation but it does not appear that it is high on the list of things the government wants to do to reduce our impact on the climate.

            The problem I have with so many of the proposed solutions to the problem of carbon output is the impact it has on my standard of living. Just about every proposal requires an increase in taxation and/or a

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by avtchillsboro (986655)
        We are already paying for a National Weather Service / NOAA.

        On long range predictions, the AGW alarmists are doing just fine now voluntarily--OTOH, it might be worth it to pay them to STFU...

        ..."I say we let them."

        Agreed--let them do it on their own nickel.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        If I predict the saints will win the superbowl but I also predict the colts will win the superbowl, where's the confidence? Last year the climatologists were touting their predictions that washington DC would never see snow again. This year they dug up their predictions that winters will be more severe.
    • Re:Premature (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Beezlebub33 (1220368) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:20PM (#31131182)
      The U.S. National Academy of Sciences [nas.edu] disagrees with you. The American Association for the Advancement of Science [aaas.org] disagrees with you. The American Geophysical Union [agu.org] disagrees with you. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [noaa.gov] disagrees with you. There are many more, but the point is that the scientists actually studying it are generally convinced. Do you have any scientific organizations that agree with you that the greenhouse gas aspect of it is still up in the air?

      At this point, I think that climate deniers are very close to creationists. In both cases, there are people and organizations that disagree with the science. They can talk a good talk, but fail in the actual doing of the science. They can ask more questions than can be answered currently, can take quotes (and emails) out of context, they can use the human failures of people involved in the science against them, and any screw ups (and they certainly exist in both cases) are taken as evidence that the entire science is incorrect. But, they are ignoring the basic science as a whole, discarding what we do understand, and blowing the uncertainties way out of proportion, in order to promote an unscientific point of view.
      • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:38PM (#31131270)

        The U.S. National Academy of Sciences disagrees with you. The American Association for the Advancement of Science disagrees with you. The American Geophysical Union disagrees with you. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disagrees with you

        Typical liberal scum. You think your out-of-touch ivory tower "experts" can beat the common sense my mother and Glenn Beck taught me? You're just scary numbers, charts, and other things Real Americans like me don't understand to trick us. What you really want is to the destroy the America that our founding fathers knew and loved. Benjamin Franklin wouldn't have believed this climate change nonsense. He would have said it's our God-given right to release as much dioxin and carbon dioxide as we want. We've been doing it for 100 years and the world is the same as when our Lord created it.

        Anyone who wants to destroy jobs by moving to new technology is a sinner and a tyrant, and wants to turn this great God-loving country of ours into a socialist fascist slavery hell. Thank God for Fox News to tell me the truth.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I wholly agree with you! It's a liberal fraud designed to rid us of our guns, too. Just because bullets give off carbon dioxide, the Marxist Socialist commie pinkos think they can steal our god-granted right to bear arms! Well I say, they can have my guns when they tear them from my cold, dead hands! Global climate change is a myth! I was going to protest this in a letter to my local newspaper, but there's 6 feet of snow outside my door and I can't get outside. Makes me so mad I'm firing my gun at the cei
        • by Kythe (4779)
          Pure gold :)
        • Woosh! parent should be modded funny, not troll.
        • /. really needs to grow a sense of humour. This is a joke comment. It should be scored "5, Funny". Even if it was serious, it should still be scored "5, Funny".

        • by upuv (1201447)

          Oh who marked that parent Article a Troll? It's not a troll it's entertainment.

          That was funny. Nice work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SteveFoerster (136027)

        You're right that no major scientific organization is openly skeptical of climate change now. But the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Association of State Climatologists, American Geological Institute, American Institute of Professional Geologists, and Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences have all issued statements that are non-committal. If they're still uncertain, why is is it so irrational for anyone else to be?

        I'm not saying that climate change isn't real, isn't caused by us, o

        • Re:Premature (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Paua Fritter (448250) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:56PM (#31131682)

          If they're still uncertain, why is is it so irrational for anyone else to be?

          Gosh I really can't imagine why Petroleum Geologists might feel reluctant to accept that CO2 emissions are the cause of dangerous climate change.

          If they're still uncertain, why is is it so irrational for anyone else to be?

          Is it so rational to ignore the views of the vast majority of climatologists on climate change?

          • Re:Premature (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve@noSPaM.stevefoerster.com> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @09:19PM (#31131812) Homepage

            Gosh I really can't imagine why Petroleum Geologists might feel reluctant to accept that CO2 emissions are the cause of dangerous climate change.

            Fair enough, and it's probably no coincidence that they were the last ones to switch from a position of skepticism to one of uncertainty. But that explanation doesn't apply to the other groups. Besides, if the implication is that their source of funding makes them unreliable, doesn't that mean that similar analysis of the funding for climatologists on the other side of the issue is also fair?

            Either way, I didn't say it makes sense to ignore the majority of climatologists who express concern. It doesn't. But it does make sense to ask critical questions about the methods they're using to make such dramatic predictions, especially when those predictions have policy consequences that extend far outside their own field.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        A few years ago I heard an ad on the radio. It was created by and paid for by the American Association of Podiatrists. It very earnestly stressed how important feet are, and recommended that we each go to the podiatrist yearly, for a check up.

        I have no doubt that podiatrists know more about feet than I do. I also have no doubt that their recommendation was so biased and unrealistic it was laughable... despite their entirely sincere intentions.

        I have no doubt that climatologists know more about the
      • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @02:32AM (#31133086) Homepage

        I am noticing in many of the posts here a distinct lack of intellectual rigour. A friend of mine is an engineering professor, and he notices this amongst his students too. Specifically, many of his students have an attitude where they feel they can question any scientific theory. Fine you might say. After all, isn't it good to be skeptical? Well yes, perhaps. But when he asks these students specifically why they doubt a particular theory, they can't make a logical argument to support their position. They just say it doesn't intuitively seem right. It is almost as if they don't really comprehend the reasons for their opinions. And this is amongst elite engineering students.

        If I could venture my own opinion on this, I think that relativistic values (and I don't mean Einstein) have seeped into much of our educational system, and by extension to society at large. This relativistic world is a place where there is no real truth, where all opinions are relative to the self and are essentially given equal value. In such a world, taken to its extreme, there are no facts, only opinions. Everything is relative.

        On the left, we see university professors pontificating from institutions founded on Greek principles of Truth and Freedom of Inquiry that these Greek principles are merely just another cultural view in their relativistic universe. And from the right, we see religious leaders cavalierly rejecting the search for Truth through rational inquiry and observation, preferring to create their own "Truth" as revealed in the bible. What both of these extremes are forgetting is that this country was founded on Greek principles of Truth and Freedom of Inquiry, that in the founders' minds, the Greeks were a primary inspiration. Separation of Church and State; Science; Universities where Truth is the primary virtue; the ideals of Justice; a three class society, in which the Middle Class (the Polis) forms the backbone of society; Democracy. These were ALL Greek values and ideals. And has been these Greek ideals that have made our country great.

        If you don't believe this, I suggest you read some Greek literature. Plato. Aristotle. Aristophanes. Sophocles. In Greek literature you will find commentary on many of the most important issues our society faces. The Greeks even wrote about cultural relativism. I believe we are sorely in need of a rediscovery of Greek wisdom.

        And here is my main point. I believe that many in our society are abandoning the Greek values that have made our civilization great. Values such as searching for Truth for Truth's sake through rational inquiry and logic. Skills such as rigorous logic applied in rational debate. In our modern technological society it often seems that Truth should only be pursued for material gain, for profit and not simply because it is noble to pursue the truth. Thus it is easy for business executives to ignore inconvenient facts if those facts might interfere with profit margins. And it is easy for religious followers to adopt truths that make them feel more comfortable with their chosen worldview. After all, if all Truth is relative, then why not pick an easy and comfortable Truth.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      Just because climate science is in its infancy doesn't mean that there's anything fundamentally wrong about consolidating what information we do have about it. It's certainly possible that it could turn out to be an astrology-like tea-leaf-reading exercise, but it's also quite possible to responsibly give information about fields where there is large uncertainty. It's not as if dealing with phenomena about which we have incomplete information and large uncertainty is something new to science.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Setting up a Climate Service today would be akin to setting up an Astrology Service. They would probably both give equally good advice."

      Both ideas are brilliant!

      What's your sign?

    • by nomadic (141991)
      Climate science is in its infancy, as anyone who has been really following the "Global Warming" debate knows. Certainly we know the globe is warming, but the greenhouse gas aspect of it is still very much up in the air.

      Assuming for the sake of argument that you're right about the "greenhouse gas" aspect of climate change being up in the air (even though you're completely and utterly wrong), what you said still makes no sense. You yourself admit that the globe is warming. The article talks about an age
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)

      . Certainly we know the globe is warming, but the greenhouse gas aspect of it is still very much up in the air.

      Unless we go for carbon sequestration.

      Anyhow, I've been following the "Global Warming" debate since the early 80s, before it was a political debate. It's simply ignorant to compare climate science to astrology. The debate has been scholarly and fiercely contested every inch of the way. Also at times ugly but if you've ever seen peer review comments you'll know that's par for the course. Science doesn't work because scientists are nice or wise or noble. But the process is a lot more honest than politic

  • Long predictions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wowsers (1151731)

    I can give one long term prediction. The government will not be able to use "climate change" as an excuse for a orgy of tax rises.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:08PM (#31131116)

    so, let's see the predictions from the national climate service.

    (in a democratic administration)
    Plan for warmer temperatures. higher sea levels, some deserts getting a lot of rain, some areas getting a lot less rain.
    and we can change the climate to make things better

    (in a republican adminstartion)
    climate will be about the same, it will be hot during the summer, cold during the winter, floods will occur, droughts will occur.
    and no-one can do much about it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ProfM (91314)

      ... we can change the climate to make things better

      No, this should read: we need your money to dump into a hole, so climate guessers can pull Punxsutawney AlGore out every August and tell us it's getting warmer out.

    • by WebCowboy (196209)

      and we can change the climate to make things better

      That is what makes me suspicious of what some might call "gorebots"--those that assume not only the problem exists the way they see it, but that the solution is to try and "undo" it.

      I think there is enough scientific evidence to suggest the climare is changing, that the world is slowly warming up, and even that human actvity involving the release of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases has affected climate.

      What I am VERY concerned about is that there is so much certainty that the problem is a

  • Manbearpig? (Score:4, Funny)

    by kimvette (919543) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:11PM (#31131130) Homepage Journal

    So the hunt for manbearpig continues?

    • "Don't ask what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" - Democrats listen to your idol!

      Interesting sig, but I'd rather they didn't listen. Essentially, what he meant was "Don't ask what I can do for you, ask what you can do for me".

  • Recursion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pifactorial (1000403)
    Based on the mercurial history of climate science over the past few decades, we might also need a National Climate Service Service to help us track changes in the climate of climate science research...?
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:12PM (#31131134)
    Since climate science really is a science, it's going to have to make predictions. It's good to put consensus predictions on record and then see how good they are. I have enough faith in climate science to think that they will be quite good. Of course they will have big error bars, but that's unavoidable. Also, it's not uninformative. I think it will be important in 5 years to say: We've got a climate model that's made correct predictions for the last five years, so you should trust that model as a good guide to the future. It's not a perfect argument, but I think it will be more persuasive than what we can say now.
    • by usul294 (1163169)
      Of course, the climate model from the 5 years ago wouldn't predict the past 5 years, climate models can't resolve that small amount of time. The fundamental issue of the predictive properties is that by the time we know if the model is right it will be too late to fix the problem, and the models constantly get better as more powerful computers become available and climate science becomes more sophisticated. There's no good way to test the validity of the models, since theres not alot of good data, similar t
    • by MacDork (560499) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @01:48AM (#31132948) Journal

      I think it will be important in 5 years to say: We've got a climate model that's made correct predictions for the last five years, so you should trust that model as a good guide to the future.

      They've made plenty of predictions. They're just always wrong. The IPCC was established in 1989 and published its first assessment report in 1990. In that report, they predicted an increase of 1.3 to 2.3 degrees C. That didn't materialize and in 1997, the IPCC had their asses handed to them in front of congress: [loc.gov]

      However, it was apparent that when the first so-called consensus was imposed upon the issue of global warming by the First Scientific Assessment of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, such an equilibrium had not been reached.

      That report in 1990 stated, `When the latest atmospheric models are run with the present concentrations of greenhouse gases, their simulation of climate is generally realistic on large scales.'

      The suite of climate models extant at that time predicted that the globe's mean temperature should have risen by then between 1.3 and 2.3 degrees Celsius. Slightly revised versions of these models provided the technical background for the Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in 1992.

      The observed warming since the late 19th Century has only been 0.5 degrees Celsius, or less than one-third of the predicted value. Critics argued, as I did before this committee, that there would have to be a dramatic reduction in the forecast of future warming in order to reconcile the facts and the hypotheses.

      By 1995, in its second full assessment of climate change, the IPCC admitted the validity of the critics' position: `When increases in greenhouse gases only are taken into account, most climate models produce a greater mean warming than has been observed to date, unless a lower climate sensitivity to the greenhouse effect is used. There is growing evidences that increases in sulfate aerosols are partially counteracting the warming due to increases in greenhouse gases.'

      Let me translate this statement. It means either it is not going to warm up as much as we said it would or something is hiding the warming. I predict that every attempt will be made to demonstrate the latter before admitting that the former is true.

      So, the IPCC went back to the drawing board and returned with Mann's infamous Hockey stick graph. They declared DOOM. End of the world. Humanity was fucked. They extrapolated from 1998 temperatures (an unusually hot year) that climate change was 'for real' this time and was about to run out of control. When the skeptics got their hands on his computer model, they found that entering random data produced hockey stick graphs too. [newsweekly.com.au] Oops.

      So, uh, yeah, they've got egg on their face with that one. Nevermind that their prediction was wrong, again. Temperatures peaked in 1998 and haven't been that high since. In fact, it doesn't take a lot of searching to find examples of where their model predictions do not match reality. [sciencedaily.com]

      In spite of all this, there are still people out there who believe in the IPCC. They cannot explain how this planet managed to have an ice age with atmospheric CO2 levels around 4200ppm during the Carboniferous period. They cannot account for three gigatons of CO2 that simply vanishes [eoearth.org] right out from under their noses each year. But hey, there's a consensus. The IPCC says so. So "the debate is over."

      Nevermind Hansen's faked data. [telegraph.co.uk] Nevermind the

  • Great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hawthorne01 (575586)
    Release the source code of your data models that tell us that "ZOMG!!!! Teh oceans are going to go to e1even!!!!!!" and then we'll talk. Until then, it's all smoke and mirrors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Zironic (1112127)

      As far as I know all you have to do is ask for the model to get it.

    • Re:Great (Score:5, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:36PM (#31131260)

      The source code for quite a few models is publicly available. Here are three: one [ucar.edu], two [mpimet.mpg.de], three [jussieu.fr]. The last one even does development in a public repository (click "browse source" in the menu bar) and features quite detailed documentation.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tftp (111690)

      Release the source code of your data models

      This won't help much because the original data was destroyed by CMU years ago. All you have is the data that had been normalized and re-normalized, and you can't use that. And it will take a long time to re-gather the data and to repeat all the processing. But I guess if climate scientists want to get somewhere they'd better start on that.

  • There are already several organizations measuring climate and environmental conditions. So many, there are open file formats to support data sharing.

    Part of the recent US budget includes $433 million to support similar science.

    Who are you looking to for validation that Cap & Trade works? How do you measure that and trust the results?

    If climate science has progressed far enough to provide results, and so much depends on a safe climate - both for progress and survival, someone needs to keep an eye on th

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:05PM (#31131416)

    So the lab facilities, and possibly the employees, would be competed for by two separate bureaucracies? I can't see how that would work smoothly.

    Why can't they just throw some more money at the NOAA or NWS, telling them they need to take on some additional responsibilities?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sehryan (412731)

      You obviously missed the part where the Climate Service is going to be part of NOAA. What they are doing is taking the already existing, climate related offices in NOAA that are scattered about in different line offices, and putting them in to their own line office. The offices don't change what they are doing, or even where they are located. What happens is they can now more easily work with each other on a shared mission.

  • Let tom skilling do the job!!

  • Letter to Dr. Jane (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bodhammer (559311) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:24PM (#31131510)
    Dear Dr. Jane,

    Would you please produce a record of the millions of requests you have gotten. As you may know, there is a LOT OF INFLATED CLAIMS in this area and I would like to independently verify your statements without having to hack your servers.

    Thank you for your prompt reply,

    The Public Taxpayers
  • by NewbieV (568310) <victor.abrahamse ... @gm a i l . c om> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @12:24AM (#31132642)

    Professor Richard Alley [wikipedia.org] recently gave a presentation [agu.org] called "The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History," in which he makes the case that climate models simply don't work right unless you incorporate CO2.

    The key point he makes is that there is a record dating back over 400 million years that provides proof that climate is sensitive to CO2. Doubling CO2 adds 3 degrees C to global temperature.

    There are multiple lines of evidence to support climate sensitivity, and additional research is filling in what gaps might have been missing, and further strengthening the argument.

  • by Torodung (31985) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @03:12AM (#31133164) Journal

    We in the U.S. have decided that separation of church and state is a good idea.

    I wonder how long until we decide that separation of science and state is also a good idea.

    This sounds like it will be an office of propaganda, not a scientific establishment.

    --
    Toro

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:54AM (#31133960) Homepage

    Great, yet another federal bureaucracy. Guess what, there are plenty of professional consultants who will help with city planning, etc. Using private industry will be a lot cheaper than building another monstrous federal bureaucracy. The services will be paid for by those who use them, rather than by everyone, whether or not they are needed.

    AGW had made no, none, zero long-term predictions that have been correct. Increased hurricanes? Wrong, at historical lows. Continued decrease in arctic ice? Wrong, increasing for 2-1/2 years now. Continued increase in global temperature? Wrong, decreasing trend since 1998. Rapid sea level rise? Wrong - increasing at the same rate it has done for hundreds of years. And on and on...

    At the moment, AGW fanboys are saying that anything and everything is proof that they are right - hot weather, cold weather, heavy snow, you name it. The problem is, they have predicted none of these - it's all after the fact, and hence worthless. Given false assumptions, you can prove anything at all.

    But, sure, have them make public predictions - put them on record. Also generate control sets (randomly generated predictions). If the AGW predictions exceed the random predictions by a substantial margin, over the course of several years, then and only then should anyone pay any attention to them.

    None of this, however, is any justification for the government to establish yet another public agency.

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