Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Climate Change: The Coming Crisis

with 30 comments

My Global Warming Man or Myth – The Science of Climate Change Web site was designed to show the average person why scientists agree that the climate is warming and that humans are mostly responsible.  The next phase of the site will highlight the likely impacts of a rapidly warming world.  As I develop these new pages, I will be posting them here hoping for your feedback to improve on the content.  Once all of the impact pages are ready, I will publish them to the Web.

The General Overview page is the first of these blog posts.

“The research community provides much information to support discussions on ‘dangerous climate change’. Recent observations show that societies and ecosystems are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities, ecosystem services and biodiversity particularly at risk. Temperature rises above 2oC will be difficult for contemporary societies to cope with, and are likely to cause major societal and environmental disruptions through the rest of the century and beyond.”Synthesis Report from the Climate Change Congress (2009)

“Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems. Individually and collectively, these changes pose risks for a wide range of human and environmental systems, including freshwater resources, the coastal environment, ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, human health, and national security, among others.”U.S. National Research Council (2010)

Unfortunately, the equilibrium global surface air temperature change due to a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm (pre-Industrial Revolution) to 560 ppm is likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5oC, with a best estimate of about 3oC, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5oC (Knutti and Hegerl, 2008; IPCC, 2007). As this section of Web pages will reveal, 3 oC will have serious negative consequences for life on this planet.

Each of the items below will be a stand-alone page.  This blog post is the General Overview page.

General Overview
Sea Level Rise & the Coastal Environment
Freshwater Resources
Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity
     Ocean Acidification
Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Production
Public Health
     Allergies & Asthma
National and Human Security
Australia and New Zealand
Latin America
North America
     United States
Polar Regions (Arctic and Antarctic)
Small Islands
Global Tipping Points
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
     1 oC Warmer World
     2 oC Warmer World
     3 oC Warmer World
     4 oC Warmer World
     5 oC Warmer World
     6 oC Warmer World

I highly recommend the following resources which were used extensively in this section of the Website:

According to IPCC WGII (2007):

  • Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.
  • A global assessment of data since 1970 has shown it is likely that anthropogenic warming has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems.
  • Other effects of regional climate changes on natural and human environments are emerging, although many are difficult to discern due to adaptation and non-climatic drivers.
  • More specific information is now available across a wide range of systems and sectors concerning the nature of future impacts, including for some fields not covered in previous assessments.
  • Magnitudes of impact can now be estimated more systematically for a range of possible increases in global average temperature.
  • Impacts due to altered frequencies and intensities of extreme weather, climate and sea-level events are very likely to change.
  • Some large-scale climate events have the potential to cause very large impacts, especially after the 21st century.
  • Impacts of climate change will vary regionally but, aggregated and discounted to the present, they are very likely to impose net annual costs which will increase over time as global temperatures increase.

Figure 1 (IPCC, 2007) shows locations of significant changes in physical systems (snow, ice and frozen ground; hydrology; and coastal processes) and biological systems (terrestrial,marine, and freshwater biological systems), along with surface air temperature changes over the period 1970-2004. A subset of about 29,000 data series was selected from about 80,000 data series from 577 studies. These met the following criteria: (1) ending in 1990 or later; (2) spanning a period of at least 20 years; and (3) showing a significant change in either direction, as assessed in individual studies. It is clear that global warming has caused singificant changes in many physical and biological systems.

Locations of significant changes in data series of physical systems (snow, ice and frozen ground; hydrology; and coastal processes) and biological systems (terrestrial, marine, and freshwater biological systems), are shown together with surface air temperature changes over the period 1970-2004.

Locations of significant changes in data series of physical systems (snow, ice and frozen ground; hydrology; and coastal processes) and biological systems (terrestrial, marine, and freshwater biological systems), are shown together with surface air temperature changes over the period 1970-2004.

Figure 2 (IPCC, 2007) shows the key impacts of climate change as global average temperature rises toward 5 oC.

Key Impacts vs Increasing Global T

Key Impacts vs Increasing Global T

Figure 3 (IPCC, 2007) shows the possible impacts of climate change due to changes in extreme weather and climate events.

Impacts of climate change due to changes in extreme weather & climate events

Impacts of climate change due to changes in extreme weather & climate events

Next: Sea Level Rise & the Coastal Environment

Written by Scott Mandia

June 13, 2010 at 6:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

30 Responses

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  1. to keep things balanced. I suppose I should point out that there are over 31,000 scientists many of who’m are climatologists, Paleoecologists, and meterologists who stand against this hypothesis…


    Mandia: It would more constructive if you would offer fact-based arguments instead of emotional outbursts about the grand conspiracy. BTW, if you really believe that the Oregon Petition (Petition Project as it is called now) is legit, you are not doing your research.


    June 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    • 🙂 Well I will say this much Mandia, you are true to your form.
      So You actually believed everything that you read on Tamino’s website and her website about this woman over Watts?

      Come on Mandia I don’t agree with half of what you say but I would take your word over hers as she’s not even an accredited journalist. She encites issues with her supposed arguments. She admits to assaulting someone who treated her as Watts did and that she isn’t taking her meds.

      um The Oregon Petition has not been proven to be illigitimate and it’s growing.

      your comments in regards to mine about the ice pack is the total sum of skeptic response to supposed global warming.

      I can show you numerous pictures where alarmists have taken pictures of decreasing arctic ice and yet just 30 days prior the oceanic ice was all the way up to the village. It recedes every summer.

      I can show you picture after picture after picture where after the alarmist come through and show pictures of receding ice in the summer (of all things) there are pictures taken of natives where the ice came back at least as much the next summer. I have observed this myself on the Yukon River which is an inland body of water which has been frozen as late as July the last two summers.
      Regional warming or cooling does not equate to global warming…
      Well done indeed professor. When did you become a skeptic, I never knew.

      Since you like to snip my comments and not include the whole comment just the part you like to pick at… if you want evidence you can come to my ball park. It’s ok you’ll be safe. I don’t have scissors in my sandbox, I don’t believe in them whether I agree with the commentor or not.


      June 14, 2010 at 12:45 am

  2. pss… what’s next global warming explains the fact that the greater ice pack of the Arctic grew in 2008, 2009, and 2010?


    June 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    • Again, you are not doing your research and you misunderstand how to calculate trends. A few years does not a trend make.

      Scott Mandia

      June 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm

  3. 31,000 scientists, many climatologists? Wow that would be impressive and certainly lead to much more debate if it were true.
    Anyway, as I said on your last post, I’ll certainly be watching this post with great interest as I’ve been working on something similar, but with more focus on ecology and society, I guess.
    On that note, although I know you probably both need it (your blog is really well informed as is), I just thought I might offer some work I’m aware of regarding ecology and climate change that might be interesting at the least.
    Amano, T., Smithers, R. J., Sparks, T. H., and, Sutherland, W. J. (2010)A 250 year index of flowering dates and its response to temperature changes. Proc. R. Soc, B. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0291
    Traill, L. W., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Delean, S., and, Brook, B. (2010) Wetland conservation and sustainable use under global chhange: a tropical Australian case study using magpie geese. Ecography. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0587.2009.06205.x
    Traill, L. W., Lim, M. L. M., Sodhi, N. S., and, Bradshaw, C. J. A. (2010) Mechanisms driving change: altered species interactions and ecosystem function through global warming. Journal of Animal Ecology. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01695.x
    Feder, M. E. (2010) Physiology and global climate change. Annual Review. Physiology. 72:123-125. doi:10.1146/annurev-physiol-091809-100229.
    Giam, X., Bradshaw, C. J. A., Tan, H. T. W., and, Sodhi, N. S. (2010) Future habitat loss and the conservation of plant biodiversity. Biological Conservation 143: 1594-1602. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.04.019


    June 13, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  4. Thanks, Tim. I will look those up. I also just read Climate-Induced Tree Mortality: Earth System Consequences in EOS Vol. 91 No. 17 by Adams, et al. (April, 2010) that I will be referencing. A good literature review of the importance of forests and how we may be turning carbon sinks into carbon sources.

    Scott Mandia

    June 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  5. I’ll grab the paper at work tomorrow (it’s great working for a uni – endless papers freely available!)
    I’m currently (loosely) associated with similar work (eddy flux CO2 sink/source environments, as part of the Ozflux community – albeit as a tech rather than researcher).


    June 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm

  6. motherincarnate…. yeah debate…. that would certainly be a miracle indeed since the other side never does debate and for good reason. On the rare occasion they have wandered out of their elitist offices and plush office chairs and wait for their eyes to adjust to natural light, they get their clocks cleaned in the debate arena. I could be wrong with my numbers, feel free to correct me if i’m wrong, ( I know you will) but to my best accounting there has been less than a dozen serious debates between real skeptics and the alarmist side and on each debate there was a royal trouncing. People like the moderator/owner of this site constantly belittle Monkton but as stupid and lame and full of bad science as he supposedly is according to Mr. Mandia, he has seriously and without question thrashed your debaters and made them run home to their mammas.

    so if Monkton is as inept as he is, if global skeptics are as lame as we are, why are we always willing for a debate and have won every one. If that’s the case what does that say for the science behind ACGW and the scientists pushing the agenda?
    Any other comments you care to make motherincarnate before Mandia snips me?


    June 14, 2010 at 12:53 am

    • Real debate occurs in the peer-reviewed process where your favorites rarely publish. Monckton has how many published studies? Your side is getting killed in these debates and that is why there are very few scientists that oppose AGW as the primary forcing mechanism in climate change today.

      Hitler convinced his people to kill 11 million in WWII, Rev. Jim Jones convinced 900 to drink cyanide to get to heaven, and Osama bin Laden convinced his followers that crashing jets into the WTC was going to solve the world’s problems.

      According to your standards, these people were the “winners” because they were so effective at debating.

      Scott Mandia

      June 14, 2010 at 7:52 am

      • [snip]

        Mandia: You offer nothing constructive to this blog so please take it elsewhere.


        June 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm

  7. “1personofdifference”,
    “On the rare occasion they have wandered out of their elitist offices and plush office chairs and wait for their eyes to adjust to natural light, they get their clocks cleaned in the debate arena”,
    you practically ooze bias.
    Have you watched Prof’ Abraham’s presentation? I’m sure you’ll see, if you do watch it, that quite obviously it is Monckton who get’s sent to the cleaners. He is very light on the science.
    “we always willing for a debate and have won every one”
    firstly, are you at all a scientist? If you’re part of the scientific community (which you clearly are not), you wouldn’t be debating in such a forum. Indeed I personally have little interest in debating AGW; I’m not a climate scientist for one (ecology) and secondly it is only part of a much larger problem. If you were part of the scientific community, debate would take the appropriate measure of study and review. This is not a leisure sport for the enthusiasts; and from my work within academic circles and for various government bodies, I have seen nothing short of consensus and a whole host of worrisome impacts unfolding.
    As for winning every time, Dr Andrew Glikson wrote an excellent piece for Climate Shifts;
    “If either party chooses not operate under those rules [of academia], then they will tend to win (unfairly), often resulting in a false impression of the resolution of the debate to the non-expert observer.”
    Your 31,000 scientists is not part of reality. As mentioned above, anyone I’ve worked with or read the papers of tends to be opposite to this view of yours. From personal experience, the people of BOM have many years of meteorological experience and certainly don’t debate over AGW. Many farmers and ecologists that I work with also have been witnessing unusual shifts. I hear nothing of this debate that you talk about.
    If there was, I’d certainly be lining up to watch the lectures and read the papers (it would put my fears to rest – those that you’ve cared to gloss over on my blog). However this is not happening. The picture just gets worse with the fresh studies in the latest journals.
    You obviously feel that you’re on a quest (hence the name of yours) and I would love it if you were right. I would suggest you do some appropriate university studies, one would hope to a masters or PhD level and provide logical reason for why almost all data points to this different conclusion. That would be a far more worthwhile venture that hunting the blogs.


    June 14, 2010 at 2:04 am

  8. [snip]

    Mandia: If you are going to turn AGW on its head you need to show factual evidence and not an unsupported diatribe against Mann, Jones, Briffa, and others. I will also ask that you post a picture of your Nobel when you do. Guarantee win. BTW, in case you have not heard: Mann and Jones have been exonerated multiple times and almost every temperature reconstruction with and without tree rings converges on the hockey-stick shape.


    June 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  9. oh by the by,

    I loved the comments about true debate happens in peer reviewed journals.

    Scott I think we both know that maybe used to be the case.
    However, since the alarmist side has worked with journals to oust honest truth seeking editors to give an unbiased dual sided approach to journals and only allowed alarmist side scientists to publish, that argument has flown out the window.

    The skeptic scientists got tired of fighting with the good old boy mentality of peer reviewed journals and started sending their papers to other journals and now you say there are no skeptic papers. There have been over 5000 papers written over the last 10 years by skeptic scientists and most of them never made it to the vaunted Science, Nature or other climate journals because of the nature of the one hand washing the other fraternity.

    This has been noted and proven ad nauseum so let’s please not huff and puff and pontificate.

    Honestly Mandia how do you sleep at night?


    June 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    • How much money do you think the fossil fuel and related companies would pay for a paper that actually proves AGW is false? I believe ExxonMobil makes about $2 billion profit per month and that is just one company. I am quite sure that they could spare a few million for a real scientist to do real research.

      BTW, back in the late 90s they did just that. ExxonMobil led the Global Climate Coalition and its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted. “The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

      Since 1995, they still have not been able to fund a paper that refutes AGW. I wonder why?

      Honestly Mandia how do you sleep at night?

      Not very well because I see what AGW is doing now and will likely do in the future. My mission is to try to convince reasonable people about AGW and its impact while using the scientific method. I realize I will never convince you but by 2020 I think even you might be wondering about your position.

      Scott Mandia

      June 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm

  10. I suspect that many of the turbo-deniers posting here and on other climate blogs are working $12/hr jobs in industry-funded boiler rooms to spew the anti-science line. If, however, you Brad, and other “skeptics” are true skeptics, then this thought exercise should help your truth quest: Read each paper that you claim has been wrongly excluded from peer-review publication, and imagine that its conclusion is contrary to your beliefs (in this context, it supports the AGW scientific consensus). Then, try to find the holes, errors, poor science, incorrect math, and improper use of statistics in the paper that lead to the paper’s conclusion, as you and/or your avatars attempt to do with the existing peer-reviewed literature (or at least with the non-science summaries of them in the general media). If you truly are rigorous in searching for the truth, then that exercise will destroy the illusion that those papers have been denied publication wrongly or because of some conspiracy. The “5000” number probably vastly underestimates the number of papers in the general class of writings that deny the AGW consensus and that have been/would be denied publication. Considering all of the elementary, secondary, and junior college papers ever written to that end, as well as the countless writings on blogs, print media, and anti-regulatory statements in governmental hearings, that number surely is orders of magnitude greater. Quantity isn’t quality–no matter how many grade school kids one puts on a football team, it still isn’t going to beat the Steelers in an NFL game.

    Ralph Kramden

    June 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  11. Brad, you certainly have some time on your hands don’t you? Polluting this and my blog.
    Now, the argument about your understanding is self-evident. This is not a question of sides; denialist sides, alarmist side. In fact there is nothing like that occurring within the scientific community. It’s all in your head. I don’t jump on board the AGW “debate” personally because I’m concerned with ecology.
    Mann et al. lie etc? So you haven’t heard the results of the independent inquiries?
    You think you’re doing the right thing, cleaning up after others etc, but that won’t counter larger issues on the table and on this subject, you’re fighting a fight that doesn’t exist and are not using scientific methodology at all.


    June 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm

  12. The second quote above is attributed to the National Resource Council. I think it should be National Research Council.

    Mandia: Fixed. How the heck did I miss that? Not very resourceful of me. 🙂

    Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Association

    June 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  13. Sorry to the host (I know you deleted the rubbish by Brad), but I wish to reply to part of it.
    “I also find it ludicrous that every time your side throws out something about skeptics you always use the most vile evil despicable characters in history to Hitler or Jim Jones or some other historic villain.”
    Brad, as I’ve said to you before, you discuss this as though it’s a spectator sport – you’re not a scientist and this is not something that has caused a divide within the scientific community, thereby validating “sides”
    You accuse people who understand the science of comparing deniers to hitler – that it’s a standard?
    Watch Monckton go for it here!

    No, I don’t make such claims personally – I don’t need to as the literature is on my side.


    June 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    • Hitler, Jones, and bin Laden were/are all very charismatic and all had very wrong messages. They were so convincing that people were killed. Yes, I used an extreme example to drive my point home.

      Brad insists that Mockton wins debates so therefore there must be something to his side. Monckton lies and distorts and is very good at. So good at it that people like Brad follow him. Sound familiar but to a lesser extreme?

      Can we get back to the topic at hand – Climate Change Impacts, please?

      Scott Mandia

      June 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      • Sorry Scott, I’ll keep on track – I just couldn’t help the detour.

        Mandia: I was not referring to you. 🙂


        June 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm

  14. oops… I used “side” lol


    June 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

  15. Speaking of the bogus petition project, a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states:

    “Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that 1) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and 2) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.”

    Qu’elle surprise.

    More at Climate Progress:

    Jim Eager

    June 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm

  16. The problems that climate change is causing now are more then enough to give fair warning to the Government/Media and Business authorities that something is wrong-very wrong.

    Extreme weather events and the broader aspects of a changing global climate are a few years away- nonetheless the Government does little to inform the public of the growing risks to society as we know it.

    The media is also to be blamed for not telling the truth- but continually allowing itself to be hijacked by a very vocal extremist far right agenda of denying a problem with soaring CO2 amounts should be addressed.

    The business community by in large also pays lobbyists to continue their ‘opinion’ that the hard science of climate change is a ‘political agenda’

    So in the end- we have reached a stalemate- where the problems will only become much larger and out of control in the future. The trouble is that we are all going to pay for this dalliance- and the future not far away could prove to be hellish.

    Peter Mizla

    June 22, 2010 at 5:37 am

  17. […] a comment » This is the third part of the Impacts of Climate Change series. See Climate Change: The Coming Crisis and Global Warming: A Sea Change for the first two […]

  18. Scott and others … sad commentary on the character of the debate here. No surprise. You may be interested given this page’s focus on impacts to look at my just published paper in Geology that reconstructs temperatures for the Arctic ~19°C warmer than now in the Pliocene (4-5 million years ago), at a time when atmospheric CO2 was about the same as now (~390ppm). The fossil site on Ellesmere Island documents the presence of boreal forests at 78°N where there is now sparse tundra. The implications to my team are stark; in the recent geological past at a time when CO2 was at the level we breathe now, the Arctic was very different – forests with beavers, deer, etc. – a forecast for our future; major biomes shifting north.

    The article is open access, so free for all:


    David Greenwood

    June 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    • Thanks! I will likely refence this in my GWMOM site and also in the Arctic section of my Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity Impacts page. I am working on that page now but it is a slow crawl.

      Scott A Mandia

      June 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  19. A bit OT, but better to have posted and been modded than never to have posted at all.

    The Union of Concerned Scientists have decided to get proactive on the subject of Murdoch’s NewsCorp allowing the likes of Fox News to get away with all sorts while the parent claims to be concerned about the environment. They’ve set up an online letter which you can sign and automatically send to NewsCorp demanding they get their house in order. Commenters here may want to give it a go.

    Tell Rupert Murdoch: Get the Facts Straight!

    They’re also asking for help with Promoting Climate Science for the Public Good. I’m sure there are some here with the skills and credentials that they could use.

    J Bowers

    July 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm

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