Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Most Depressing Graphic You’ll See All Year

We get a lot of heat here at NotMakingThisUp when we turn the subject to global warming, which is real and is caused by human beings.

(Ask any gardener what’s happened to the USDA ‘hardiness’ zones since the last official update: they’re moving north.)

But words don’t do the subject justice, because anybody can find a statistic that supports their position. In fact, I have one friend—and he is a friend—who rebuts the human-caused global warming case by citing data showing that temperatures on Mars are going up…ergo, Earth’s warming is not man-induced.

The linkage escapes me, but it provides him comfort.

So instead of words, we’re providing a link to today’s online New York Times, which shows about the most depressing graphic you’ll see all year:


Note to conspiracy theorists: I’m not making it up, so if you think the Times is, complain to them!

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

© 2007 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


Tim Dierks said...

I suspect you actually wanted to link to this "Sea Ice in Retreat" interactive graphic from today's article, "Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts".

John said...


This link should do it.


And the graphic is depressing.

CurmudgeonlyTroll said...

presumably this is the link


An interesting read on energy consumption and sustainability


lots of interesting numbers, but in a nutshell, even if the UK harnessed all the tides all around britain, put solar panels on every building, massive windfarms etc., wouldn't match current UK energy consumption.

Turbowagon said...

I do not see the graphic of which you speak. They must have moved it. Can you post an updated link to the graphic? Thanks.

Bill Luby said...

I assume you mean this link: Sea Ice in Retreat

Bubbles said...

I'm not worried about global warming at all, if you look at more than just a few years of data, say at the past few thousand years temperatures rise and fall it's cyclical. Since we've reached peak oil what I'm worried about is the next ice age, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

BTW: I do NOT own a car and use mass transit, walk or ride my bike to get where I need to go. I remember Jeff Matthews blogging awhile back about being stuck in traffic in his SUV trying to go to a Yankees game and complaining about it and yet he's the one worried about global warming?

Why didn't Jeff take the subway to the game? I've done it many times and its fun especially after night games.

Jeff sounds like your typical hypocritical tree hugging environmentalist.

David said...

"which is real and is caused by human beings."

Whew, I'm glad that's settled.

"The linkage escapes me, but it provides him comfort."

Umm, there is none. I think that’s the point.

TG said...

For whatever it's worth - I have noticed fire ants and bahia grass in Memphis, TN this summer. Both are subtropical species that marked my childhood in south Alabama. It's actually kind of nice to have them around, but I think anecdotally it is evidence of warmer temperatures.

KK said...

It would be interesting to see how the Arctic ice cap looked during the Medieval Warm Period vs. today.

Those Vikings and their Volvos.

Looks like NASA is trying to stay relevant by becoming a brand name global warming data machine. So much for exploring space I guess.

Invictus said...


I believe that the positive connotations Humans, being warm blooded creatures, associate with the word "warming" plays a huge part in the indifferent attitudes we have. Change the issue to global cooling and everyone becomes concerned.

A Danish economist has an interesting perspective on global warming.

1. Global warming is real, and people are a major cause.
2. When considering the problems that global warming will cause, we shouldn't ignore the benefits of global warming, such as fewer deaths from cold.
3. The oceans rose a foot in the last hundred years, and the world adapted, so the additional rise from global warming might not be as big a problem as people assume.
4. Developing economical fossil fuel alternatives is the only rational solution to global warming because countries such as China and India will use the cheapest fuel, period. If only the developed countries who can afford alternatives change their ways, it’s not enough to make a dent in the problem.

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World

There is a book, "Natural Capitalism," which your buddy invoking the Mars is warming also phenomenon probably drew his conclusion from. "The Capitalist Manifesto," also deals with increased solar flares as a major contributor.

In my humble opinion, the real issue should be what to do once global warming accelerates (and profit from), not debating whether it exists.

Invictus said...

A simpler illustration that everyone can understand is May flies in March.

Anonymous said...

Pages of many web site contains global warming pictures. But that pictures not give enough information of global warming. Global Warming myth is very deep ozone has doubled since the mid-19th century due to chemical emissions from vehicles, industrial processes and the burning of forests, the British climate researchers wrote.

Jack Straw said...

Jeff, I for one do not doubt that global warming exists and is PARTIALLY caused by humans. But, aside from "bubbles" example of you in an SUV going to a Yankee game (which is a fair point, IMHO), what do you suggest people do about it right now. And please... as a PRACTICAL matter. Yes, people can make simple choices like taking mass transit, although a lot of times its not that simple. One person is not likely to go out of their way to take the train when it costs them an extra 30 minutes each way, when they see everyone else just polluting up the same road the would be on. What else?

Michael said...

I'm guessing the global warming on Mars that NASA recently noted is our fault too.

patrick neid said...

Finally the fabled Northwest Passage is open!

Jeff Matthews said...

"Bubbles": name calling? Stick with Yahoo! please.

princess said...

Jeff - I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite a while now and find your comments interesting, insightful and full of common sense. I must say that I am surprised by your comment about the "most depressing"... all year. With all the poverty, suffering, and man's inhumanity to man (and animal) around the world, that you would consider the global warming issue the most depressing is "most surprising" to me.

Hells_Satans said...

Ice/Glacier increase and retreat is caused by precipitation or lack thereof, more than anything else. Any Glaciologist will tell you the same.

Jeff, it seems you may not have read up on solar forcing, and rely solely on the NYT to tell you what cutting-edge science research is going on.

The Sun's coronal field has double in 100 years:

Moreover, changes in the heliospheric magnetic field have been linked with changes in total cloud cover over the Earth, which may influence global climate. Here we show that measurements of the near-Earth interplanetary magnetic field reveal that the total magnetic flux leaving the Sun has risen by a factor of 1.4 since 1964: surrogate measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field indicate that the increase since 1901 has been by a factor of 2.3."

Studies done in 2003 [stott] and 2004 [Journal of Climate] show
that even Global Warming [CO2-version] scientists say that as much as
36-40% of the Net Temp increase since 1900 is due to solar forcing!

On top of that, about 15% of the increase has been deemed due to
the [now shrinking] Ozone hole, now, that increase will slow down more and vanish in the next 3-4 decades, but that's a LOT of warming that even the GW science hysterics admit is NOT due to CO2. [Again, Journal of Climate, 2004]

In addition, the US Historical Climate Network (USHCN) reports about a 0.6C temperature increase in the lower 48 states since about 1940. There are two steps to reporting these historic temperature numbers. First, actual measurements are taken. Second, adjustments are made after the fact by scientists to the data. Would you like to guess how much of the 0.6C temperature rise is from actual measured temperature increases and how much is due to adjustments of various levels of arbitrariness? Here it is, for the period from 1940 to present in the US:
Actual Measured Temperature Increase: 0.1C
Adjustments and Fudge Factors: 0.5C
Total Reported Warming: 0.6C

Yes, that is correct. Nearly all the reported warming in the USHCN data base, which is used for nearly all global warming studies and models, is from human-added fudge factors, guesstimates, and corrections.

I know what you are thinking - this is some weird skeptic's urban legend. Well, actually it comes right from the NOAA web page which describes how they maintain the USHCN data set.
Then we also have AUCKLAND (AFP):
A discovery that it is much colder over the South Pole than believed has exposed a major flaw in the computer models used to predict global warming, a new scientific paper claims.
US scientists based at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station say they have measured the temperature of the atmosphere 30 to 110 kilometres (18 to 68 miles) over the pole and found it is 20 to 30 degrees Centigrade (36 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit relative) colder than computer models showed.

Various models are used to predict global climate and some assumptions have had to be made, including air temperatures over Antarctica.

Chester Gardner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois, Weilin Pan, a doctoral student at Illinois and Ray Roble of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research writing in the American Geophysical Union Letters say the models are wrong.

"Because of the obvious challenges, until now, the only temperature data we have had from either the North or South Poles has been from surface measurements and weather balloons that don't go any higher than about 20-30 kilometres (12-18 miles)," Gardner told AFP.'

Predictions of climate
Posted by Oliver Morton on behalf of Kevin E. Trenberth [Nature weblog]

I have often seen references to predictions of future climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presumably through the IPCC assessments (the various chapters in the recently completed Working Group I Fourth Assessment report ican be accessed through this listing). In fact, since the last report it is also often stated that the science is settled or done and now is the time for action.

In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. "

Freeman Dyson had this to say on GW:

Global warming on Neptune also attributed to solar forcing & exposure.

Eppur si muove, as the man said.

expectingrain said...

I don't disagree with Global Warming, but the earth has been here millions of years. If we've caused such drastic changes in around 100 years of being industrialized, that we can see the changes year over year, then the earth is probably toast. Its probably irreversible at this point.

Dave M. said...

Jeff must have missed the NY Times article a few weeks ago where they said.."Still, he and other scientists acknowledged that both poles were extraordinarily complicated systems of ice, water and land, and that the mix of human and natural influences was not easy to clarify. Sea ice around Antarctica has seen unusual winter expansions recently, and this week is near a record high.""

This is also in accordance with many scientific observations that the Northern hemisphere is getting warmer and the southern hemisphere is getting colder. The bias of the NY Times shows when they only devoted the last sentence of the article to the fact of Antarctic cooling.

Then there's this NASA climatologist who says..." ''The analogy I use is like my car's not running very well, so I'm going to ignore the engine which is the sun and I'm going to ignore the transmission which is the water vapour and I'm going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel which is the human produced CO2. The science is that bad.''-Dr Roy Spencer, former NASA senior climatologist.

Jeff, you need to do more diligence on global warming because you look silly when you talk in absolutes.

mla said...

I am not a scientist, so all we can do is sling competing experts toward each other.


Jeff Matthews said...

Scientists still debate Darwin.

Meanwhile, look at what capitalists are doing: companies including GE are altering their budgets and their capital spending plans for what anybody with a backyard knows is happening--it's getting warmer.

As Dylan said, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Jeff Matthews said...

Scientists still debate Darwin.

Meanwhile, look at what capitalists are doing: companies including GE are altering their budgets and their capital spending plans for what anybody with a backyard knows is happening--it's getting warmer.

As Dylan said, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.