Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

More evidence of climate chage?

Posted by Ed C on Tuesday, March 4, 2008

NASA has released orbital photos of ice and dust falling down a 2300 ft cliff taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Press release a full resolutions images here)

Avalanches on North Polar Scarps (Mars)

Amazingly, this image has captured at least four Martian avalanches, or debris falls, in action. It was taken on February 19, 2008, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The image to the left shows the context of where these avalanches occurred, with white boxes indicating the locations of the more detailed image portions shown to the right. All images are false color. Material, likely including fine-grained ice and dust and possibly including large blocks, has detached from a towering cliff and cascaded to the gentler slopes below. The occurrence of the avalanches is spectacularly revealed by the accompanying clouds of fine material that continue to settle out of the air. The largest cloud (upper images) traces the path of the debris as it fell down the slope, hit the lower slope, and continues downhill, forming a billowing cloud front. This cloud is about 180 meters (590 feet) across and extends about 190 meters (625 feet) from the base of the steep cliff. Shadows to the lower left of each cloud illustrate further that these are three dimensional features hanging in the air in front of the cliff face, and not markings on the ground. Sunlight is from the upper right.

Closer to home, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change / The Heartland Institute has released a report Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. From the foreword:

In his speech at the United Nations’ climate conference on September 24, 2007, Dr. Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, said it would most help the debate on climate change if the current monopoly and one-sidedness of the scientific debate over climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were eliminated. He reiterated his proposal that the UN organize a parallel panel and publish two competing reports.

The present report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) does exactly that. It is an independent examination of the evidence available in the published, peer-reviewed literature – examined without bias and selectivity. It includes many research papers ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific results that became available after the IPCC deadline of May 2006.

The report seeks to address the following issues:

The present report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) focuses on two major issues – the very weak evidence that the causes of the current warming are anthropogenic (Section 2) and the far more robust evidence that the causes of the current warming are natural (Section 3) – and then addresses a series of less crucial topics:

  • Computer models are unreliable guides to future climate conditions (Section 4);
  • Sea-level rise is not significantly affected by rise in GH gases (Section 5);
  • The data on ocean heat content have been misused to suggest anthropogenic warming. The role of GH gases in the reported rise in ocean temperature is largely unknown (Section 6);
  • Understanding of the atmospheric carbon dioxide budget is incomplete (Section 7);
  • Higher concentrations of GH gases are more likely to be beneficial to plant and animal life and to human health than lower concentrations (Section 8); and
  • Conclusion: Our imperfect understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change means the science is far from settled. This, in turn, means proposed efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing GH gas emissions are premature and misguided. Any attempt to influence global temperatures by reducing such emissions would be both futile and expensive (Section 9)

Are the people who wrote this report correct? Assertions to the contrary, it seems the scientific debate may be far from settled.
(h/t Powerline: Voices of Sanity on the Climate)


2 Responses to “More evidence of climate chage?”

  1. Oogie Pringle said

    It’s bad enough we are ruining our own planet. Now we have to go a ruin the others as well.

    We should jsut kill ourselves off now so the world will be a better place.


  2. chris said

    If the Heartland “Institute” is really so concerned about science, why do they prominently feature a goofy picture of Al Gore linking to a video called “Snowjob”on their website. Am I really supposed to take this website seriously?

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