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Thread: Global Warming...Fact or Fiction?

  1. #3676
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    http://www.examiner.com/article/stud...g-20th-century

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...ture17418.html

    A new study published yesterday shows there hasn't been an increase in extreme rainfall and droughts during the 20th century, even as humans ramped up burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil) in the late 1800s. It also shows that previous centuries show much more extreme weather, even though carbon dioxide levels were far lower than today's. The study used marine sediments, tree rings, ice cores and mineral deposits to reconstruct weather patterns over the last 1,200 years.
    Buried machinery in barn lot in South Dakota during the Dust Bowl, an agricultural, ecological, and economic disaster in 1936.
    USDA, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...akota_1936.jpg

    The scientists behind the study examined the interaction between the climate and hydrological (water) cycle in the northern hemisphere. What they found was no evidence to support the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contention that "dry areas will become ever drier and wet ones wetter as the global temperature rises."

    Dr Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, the lead author and a palaeoclimatologist at Stockholm University, explains that climate reconstruction showed a "prominent seesaw pattern of alternating moisture regimes" that has been remained "consistent over the past twelve centuries." Ljungqvist writes in the journal Nature: "This strongly suggests that the instrumental period is too short to capture the full range of natural hydroclimate variability."

    The climate records, which date back to Viking times, indicate the 20th century was "unexceptional for rainfall and droughts despite assumptions that global warming would trigger more wet and dry extremes." In fact, "several other centuries show stronger and more widespread extremes," lead author Fredrik Ljungqvist of Stockholm University told Reuters. "We can't say it's more extreme now."

    This runs counter to what many climate models have been spitting out, and Ljungqvist says that's because they are based on "over-estimated assumptions that rising temperatures would make dry areas drier and wet areas wetter, with more extreme heatwaves, droughts, downpours and droughts." His reconstructions, based on four unique sets of climate records, shows otherwise.

    The study notes that the 10th century was by far the wettest century in the reconstruction, a time "when the Vikings were carrying out raids across Europe and the Song dynasty took power in China." They also note the 12th century was warm and the 15th century cool, and both centuries were the driest. Their conclusions are based on 196 climate records and say that "variations in the sun's output were among factors driving natural shifts in the climate in past centuries." The IPCC has previously reported the sun plays a little to no role in climate variability.

    The 12th century is notable as being part of the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from 950 to 1250. This higher-than-normal warm spell was shortly followed by the Little Ice Age, which includes the unusually cool and dry 15th century. Since 1850, temperatures across the northern hemisphere have gradually warmed up as the Earth left the mini Ice Age that affected much of the northern hemisphere. Climate scientists not involved in the study said it showed how hard it is to create accurate climate models.

    "This paper adds to the growing evidence that the simple paradigm of 'wet-gets-wetter, dry-gets-drier' under a warming climate does not apply over land areas," said Ted Shepherd, a professor at the University of Reading, who spoke to Reuters. It also shows the contrast in current climate models, which "generally show an intensification of the hydrological cycle and more extreme wet and dry spells during the 20th century."

    The study points out that there is an "absence of evidence that weather patterns predicted for higher temperatures have actually taken place." Scientists have been trying to attribute extreme weather events to global warming, but this study shows that may be an academic undertaking that only occurs in computer simulations, and not in the real world. "Much of the change is not only driven by temperature, but some internal, more random variability," Ljungqvist says. "It's therefore very, very hard also to predict (precipitation extremes) with models."


    The study's authors add the now-standard caveat that global warming is still occurring, but they "question some of the modelling and simulations which have been used to link climate and the water cycle." The EPA relies on computer models and simulations to justify many of their onerous and costly regulations.

    But, but, but... 40 years ago my local area had mild winters so we have to DO SOMETHING, or it will be global CATASTROPHE!!!! I mean, it SEEMS LIKE my tiny local area got more rain last summer than the previous winter so we have to DO SOMETHING!!!!



  2. #3677
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooglin View Post
    But, but, but... 40 years ago my local area had mild winters so we have to DO SOMETHING, or it will be global CATASTROPHE!!!! I mean, it SEEMS LIKE my tiny local area got more rain last summer than the previous winter so we have to DO SOMETHING!!!!
    I am doing my part. I take long showers and drive as aggressively as possible to make sure I get to use as much resources as possible before mandatory rationing kicks into effect. If I don't use it, someone else will.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  3. #3678
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    Oh My God it's worse than we thought! The plants will surely kill us all unless we DO SOMETHING!!!

    From a quarter to half of Earth's vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

    An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet's vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

    Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.

    However, carbon dioxide fertilization isn't the only cause of increased plant growth--nitrogen, land cover change and climate change by way of global temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes all contribute to the greening effect. To determine the extent of carbon dioxide's contribution, researchers ran the data for carbon dioxide and each of the other variables in isolation through several computer models that mimic the plant growth observed in the satellite data.

    Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. "The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process."
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0426162610.htm

  4. #3679
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I am doing my part. I take long showers and drive as aggressively as possible to make sure I get to use as much resources as possible before mandatory rationing kicks into effect. If I don't use it, someone else will.
    Even worse, that someone might be an allien
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  5. #3680
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    Let’s Talk About The Bad Science Being Funded

    http://acsh.org/news/2016/07/18/lets...-being-funded/

    Spectacular failures to replicate key scientific findings have been documented of late, particularly in biology, psychology and medicine.

    A report on the issue, published in Nature this May, found that about 90% of some 1,576 researchers surveyed now believe there is a reproducibility crisis in science.

    While this rightly tarnishes the public belief in science, it also has serious consequences for governments and philanthropic agencies that fund research, as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. It means they could be wasting billions of dollars on research each year.

    One contributing factor is easily identified. It is the high rate of so-called false discoveries in the literature. They are false-positive findings and lead to the erroneous perception that a definitive scientific discovery has been made.

    This high rate occurs because the studies that are published often have low statistical power to identify a genuine discovery when it is there, and the effects being sought are often small.

    Further, dubious scientific practices boost the chance of finding a statistically significant result, usually at a probability of less than one in 20. In fact, our probability threshold for acceptance of a discovery should be more stringent, just as it is for discoveries of new particles in physics.

    The English mathematician and the father of computing Charles Babbage noted the problem in his 1830 book Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, and on Some of Its Causes. He formally split these practices into “hoaxing, forging, trimming and cooking”.
    ‘Trimming and cooking’ the data today

    In the current jargon, trimming and cooking include failing to report all the data, all the experimental conditions, all the statistics and reworking the probabilities until they appear significant.

    The frequency of many of these indefensible practices is above 50%, as reported by scientists themselves when they are given some incentive for telling the truth.

    The English philosopher Francis Bacon wrote almost 400 years ago that we are influenced more by affirmation than negatives and added:

    Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.

    Deep-seated cognitive biases, consciously and unconsciously, drive scientific corner-cutting in the name of discovery.

    This includes fiddling the primary hypothesis being tested after knowing the actual results or fiddling the statistical tests, the data or both until a statistically significant result is found. Such practices are common.

    Even large randomized controlled clinical trials published in the leading medical journals are affected (see compare-trials.org) – despite research plans being specified and registered before the trial starts.

    Researchers rarely stick exactly to the plans (about 15% do). Instead, they commonly remove registered planned outcomes (which are presumably negative) and add unregistered ones (which are presumably positive).
    Publish or perish

    We do not need to look far to expose the fundamental cause for the problematic practices pervading many of the sciences. The “publish or perish” mantra says it all.

    Academic progression is hindered by failure to publish in the journals controlled by peers, while it is enhanced by frequent publication of, nearly always positive, research findings. Does this sort of competitive selection sound familiar?

    It is a form of cultural natural selection – natural, in that it is embedded in the modern culture of science, and selective in that only survivors progress. The parallels between biological natural selection and selection related to culture have long been accepted. Charles Darwin even described its role in development of language in his The Descent of Man (1871).

    Starkly put, the rate of publication varies between scientists. Scientists who publish at a higher rate are preferentially selected for positions and promotions. Such scientists have “children” who establish new laboratories and continue the publication practices of the parent.
    Good science suffers

    In another study published in May, researchers modeled the intuitive but complex interactions between the pressure and effort to publish new findings and the need to replicate them to nail down true discoveries. It is a well-argued simulation of the operation and culture of modern science.

    They also conclude that there is natural selection for bad scientific practice because of incentives that simply reward “publication quantity”:

    Scrupulous research on difficult problems may require years of intense work before yielding coherent, publishable results. If shallower work generating more publications is favored, then researchers interested in pursuing complex questions may find themselves without jobs, perhaps to the detriment of the scientific community more broadly.

    The authors also reiterate the low power of many studies to find a phenomenon if it was truly there. Despite entreaties to increase statistical power, for example by collection of more observations, it has remained consistently low for the last 50 years.

    In some fields, it averages only 20% to 30%. Natural academic selection has favored publication of a result, rather than generation of new knowledge.

    The impact of Darwinian selection among scientists is amplified when government support for science is low, growth in the scientific literature continues unabated, and universities produce an increasing number of PhD graduates in science.

    We hold an idealized view that science is rarely fallible, particularly biology and medicine. Yet many fields are filled with publications of low-powered studies with perhaps the majority being wrong.

    This problem requires action from scientists, their teachers, their institutions and governments. We will not turn natural selection around but we need to put in place selection pressures for getting the right answer rather than simply published.The Conversation

    By Simon Gandevia, Deputy Director, Neuroscience Research Australia. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

  6. #3681
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    https://fabiusmaximus.com/2016/10/17...ange/#comments


    A leaked memo about climate change explains why we’re unprepared
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    Summary: A leaked memo from the highest levels of the Democratic Party leadership discuss how to build public support for large-scale climate policy initiatives. It shows why their efforts failed, and raises questions about the coming Hillary Clinton administration.

    “We don’t even plan for the past.”
    — Steven Mosher (member of Berkeley Earth; bio here), a comment posted at Climate Etc.

    Climate Change Drama
    Memorandum: “Climate: A unifying theory to the case“,
    Emailed from John Podesta to Chris Lehane, 28 January 2014.

    This memo was emailed to Podesta (a senior White House official) from Lehane (partner in the strategic communications firm Fabiani & Lehane, dissolved in Nov 2015). We have it courtesy of Wikileaks — and whoever leaked it to them.

    John Podesta was Chief of staff to Bill Clinton and Counselor to the President for Obama. He is Chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    Chris Lehane – When an attorney in the White House Counsel’s office, he and his current business partner Mark Fabiani called themselves the “Masters of Disaster” for their work as a “rapid-response” team responding to the many scandals of the Clinton Administration. Lehane co-authored a book on damage control titled Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control. Jim Jordan, Kerry’s former campaign manager, called him ”a master of the political hand-to-hand” for his work as a political strategist.

    ——————————————-

    “Thank you for asking us to share some ideas for a holistic approach to climate. Per your direction, the goal is to unify policy, politics, and communications to help the Administration best execute an informed plan over a multi-year time period. …this document is intended to provide some food for thought as the Administration refines its thinking on climate. …{it} addresses the four components that the Administration may want to consider as it seeks to lead on this issue.

    Three-Year Framework. …
    Right v. Wrong. Make the case that climate must be approached as a challenge of historical social change where progress will depend in part on successfully casting the issue in moral terms of who is right and who is wrong …
    The Big Idea. …{It} could drive an Administration-wide approach to climate for the next three years. …
    2014 Action Plan. …

    “To achieve victory, we must treat climate change as an issue of historic importance that is worthy of a true political social movement to create change. This political social movement must be founded on moral principles with stark definitions of who is right and who is wrong, and it is important to outline the historically negative, irreversible implications if we were to not succeed.

    “By pursuing this as a political social movement, President Obama and his Administration will best be able to assure that his legacy includes his unprecedented leadership on climate that initiated the shifting of the country’s political tectonic plates to enable transformative climate change policy, before it was too late.

    “…At the end of the day, given the powerful and entrenched interests that are opposed to climate change policy, one needs to have an organizing platform that defines the Administration as being morally on the right side of the issue and, equally important, defines the opposition as morally responsible for an issue that threatens the health and welfare of the American people. …

    “Define the issue as between those who believe in the science, and therefore are taking steps to respond to the scientific findings, versus those who do not believe in the science. The power of this approach is that it puts the opposition in an indefensible box (the vast majority of people believe the science that climate is changing); it fits into what we call the Troglodyte Narrative (anti-women; anti-Latino; anti-gun safety; anti-common sense fiscal policy; and anti-science) that is raising basic trust issues for the Republican Party – especially with electorally decisive voter cohorts. You either believe in basic science or you are against basic science — in which case you fail a basic requirement for being capable of occupying public office. …
    “The Winning Principles

    “The Big Idea will need to be animated by three principles that the wedge political policies would connect with (think of FDR’s Four Freedoms or TR’s Three C’s). In the context of being informed by various campaigns (candidate and ballot initiative) in which climate was deployed as a decisively winning political issue, there are three issues that really stand out as wedge principles that could undergird the Big Idea (whatever the Big Idea may be).

    “Health/Safety. The opposition is engaged in practices or holding positions that are demonstrably imperiling the health and safety of our people. This ranges from macro issues like extreme weather to local issues like drinking water, air quality and rail safety to micro issues like children’s asthma. People care when the health and safety of their families are implicated.

    “Pocket Book. People care when climate impacts them economically. On the positive/aspirational front, this principle can be about whether new green jobs will be based here or overseas or how citizens are able to save money by paying less for energy. …

    “Accountability/Responsibility. Follow the money. Who is accountable/responsible for the bad things that are happening, and how are they rigging the system to benefit from the bad things? …
    “2014 Action Plan

    “…Establishment of an extreme weather SWAT team prepared to work together and engage when extreme weather happens — including response; local outreach; media; science information about historic nature of the event; and coordinating possible principal travel (POTUS, FLOTUS, VPOTUS, Cabinet).”

    ———————— End excerpt. ————————

    Victory Is The Goal
    Conclusions

    The most important thing about this memo, obvious almost three years later, is its complete failure. Few Americans consider the environment our most serious problem. It is a minor issue in the presidential election, seldom even mentioned. Climate change isn’t among our top 10 fears.

    The approach is pure politics, with little mention of science. For example, the SWAT teams {as we have seen} blame all “extreme” weather on climate change — ignoring that extreme weather is normal, occurring before any anthropogenic effects. The IPCC has repeatedly explained this, not just in their regular Assessment Reports but also in the 2012 report “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX).

    Worse, the binary framing (“the vast majority of people believe the science that climate is changing”) ignores the key issues of how much change is likely from anthropogenic sources — and when. That is the area of debate among climate scientists (there is as yet no consensus), and the necessary input to make public policy decisions.

    Describing climate change as a moral issue probably seemed like a sure winner to Lehane, especially with academia, journalists, and most NGOs as supporting players. But that prevented political compromise or any rational discussion of costs vs. benefits — both essential elements of successful public policy. It polarized the issue so that America has taken few measures to even prepare for the repeat of past weather (as Hurricane Matthew reminded us).

    Worse, Lehane does not mention what he relies upon as the authorities for science. The IPCC? NOAA? The alarmists that journalists love for their exciting soundbites? The climate scientists who write the IPCC’s Working Group I reports devote great effort to explaining their state of knowledge — and the large uncertainties in much of it. There is a large gap between the certainty of warming since the early 19th century plus the large role of anthropogenic forcings since 1950 — and the massive unknowns driving climate during the 21st century. All that is lost when the issue is defined in purely moral terms.

    So they lost. Clinton’s probable win (in March I predicted a landslide) gives Lehane and his fellow activists a second chance. Will they learn from their failures in the 28 years since James Hansen’s 1988 testimony to Congress ignited the movement? Or will they have sufficient political power to push through their agenda despite their weak political support and ineffective plans?

    There are better ways to handle major public policy issues. Climate change, our mad foreign wars, and our mishandling of so many other key challenges — these show our dysfunctional politics in action. We can do better.

  7. #3682
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    It seems a bit silly to take the view that Global warming is not happening. Considering the Arctic Ice is receding at a dramatic rate. The only logical question that comes to my mind is, How much of the warming is due to human activity and how much is natural and part of a cycle that the earth goes through. Lets face it we've only been monitoring such things for a short space of time.
    As with everything else in life the Earth is part of cyclical structure that is far larger than any human mind can absorb.

    That's my thought anyway.

  8. #3683
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    In all the Hillary hoohaa, Podesta's other emails haven't been aired properly yet. To wit, Podesta's Center for American Progress Action Fund's 'assassination' of Roger Pielke Jr.

    In his email to billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Legum described how he believed Climate Progress, the environmental arm of ThinkProgress, got Pielke to stop writing about climate change for FiveThirtyEight.

    "I think it's fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538," Legum wrote.

    Legum did not respond to interview requests on Wednesday.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

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  9. #3684
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    Finally!

    Between this and the inevitable cleaning house at the EPA of all the activist vermin infesting it perhaps we can get back to reasonable policies focusing on real problems.

    Guest essay by Eric Worrall

    Bob Walker, senior campaign adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, has re-affirmed Trump’s commitment to NASA focussing on space exploration, by stating that NASA’s Earth Science Division would be stripped of funding as part of a Trump crackdown on “Politicized Science”.

    Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

    Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding as the president-elect seeks to shift focus away from home in favor of deep space exploration.



    Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as “politically correct environmental monitoring”.

    “We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian. “Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.

    “My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”



    Climate scientists at other organizations expressed dismay at the potential gutting of Earth-based research.

    Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said as Nasa provides the scientific community with new instruments and techniques, the elimination of Earth sciences would be “a major setback if not devastating”.

    “It could put us back into the ‘dark ages’ of almost the pre-satellite era,” he said. “It would be extremely short sighted.

    “We live on planet Earth and there is much to discover, and it is essential to track and monitor many things from space. Information on planet Earth and its atmosphere and oceans is essential for our way of life. Space research is a luxury, Earth observations are essential.”


    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environm...hange-research

    I remember growing up, reading science fiction authors like Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn, about the great battles for funding, about how Senator William Proxmire (D-Wisconsin) did everything in his power to kill American space research.

    His reason for doing so? Like Climate Scientist Kevin Trenberth, Senator Proxmire believed Space exploration was an unnecessary luxury, a waste of taxpayer’s funds. Proxmire wanted to strip the NASA budget to fund welfare programmes.

    I never imagined back then that the true enemy of NASA’s original deep space mission would strike from within, slowly eating away an ever increasing share of NASA’s internal space budget like a raging parasitic infection, leaving the original shell intact, but quietly transforming NASA from a space exploration agency into a glorified weather programme.

    Perhaps Trump will make NASA great again.

    Correction (EW): h/t South River Independent, Jon von Briesen – Senator Proxmire was D-Wisconsin, not D-Illinois, he was born in Illinois.

  10. #3685
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    This article appeared on an investment site, and yielded a debate not unlike the one here on this thread. The merits of the stock in question, Tesla, were ignored by commentators. EV subsidies and climate change got most of the attention.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4028...outright?ifp=0
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  11. #3686
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    Rudolph Is Shrinking: Climate Change Is Starving Santa's Reindeer

    By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer
    December 13, 2016
    Live Science


    Reindeer are shrinking, and it's not because they're on a diet for the holidays. Rather, climate change is making it difficult for them — and their gestating fetuses — to survive extreme winters, new research shows.

    The findings are the culmination of a 16-year study on the reindeer living in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago located between Norway and the Arctic. In 1994, the adult reindeer in Svalbard weighed an average of 120 lbs. (55 kilograms), but in 2010, they weighed less than 108 lbs. (49 kg), on average — a 10- to 12-percent drop in weight, said lead study researcher Steve Albon, an emeritus population ecologist at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland.

    The drop in weight was linked to warmer winters and summers, he said. Reindeer typically mate in late October and give birth in early June, he said. During the cold, dry winter months, reindeer, including those that are pregnant, forage under the snow for lichen, a slow-growing organism that's part fungi and part algae, Albon said. [6 Surprising Facts About Reindeer]

    But warm winter temperatures have increasingly brought rain, not snow, Albon said. Then, when temperatures drop, the wet ground freezes like an ice rink, with the reindeer's tasty lichen stuck beneath the ice.

    Unable to get to their food, hundreds, if not thousands, of reindeer die, and pregnant reindeer that survive either lose their fetuses or give birth to smaller calves, Albon said. In fact, 61,000 reindeer starved to death in Siberia following a rain-on-snow event in 2013 to 2014, according to a November 2016 study published in the journal Biology Letters.

    "In the winter, over the 20 years we've been working there [Svalbard], the temperature has gone up 9 degrees Celsius [16.2 degrees Fahrenheit]," Albon told Live Science. "It's more likely that you'll get these periods where the temperatures go above freezing, and if there's any precipitation, [it later freezes]."

    At first, the researchers noticed these ice-rink events happening every six years — in 1996, 2002 and 2008. But then, the icy events began happening every other year year, in 2008, 2010 and 2012, "and we realized that this was related to the warming climate," Albon said. "The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet, especially this part of the Arctic."

    Shrinking reindeer

    Albon and his Norwegian colleagues initially visited Svalbard's reindeer to learn more about their response to parasites. As they measured and weighed the reindeer year after year to see the effect of parasites, they noticed a troubling pattern: There was a huge variation in the number of pregnant females in 1996, 2002 and 2008, the same years the ice-rink events happened. Moreover, the researchers recorded a decline in the adults' skeletal size and weight from the 1990s to the early 2000s, the researchers said.

    This happened despite the warmer summers, which led to increased vegetation for the reindeer to eat. Over a 20-year period, the summer temperatures increased by about 2.7 F (1.5 C), Albon said.

    "In the summer, 1.5 Celsius doesn't sound like much, but if you increase from a mean [average] of 6 degrees Celsius [42.8 F] in July to 7.5 degrees Celsius [45.5 F], you'll find you get a doubling in vegetation productivity," Albon said. "That's a very substantial change."

    Despite this cornucopia of food during the summer, the winters continued to wear on the reindeer. "They were losing more weight, they were losing their fetuses, so there was fetal mortality," Albon said. [Species Success Stories: 10 Animals Back from the Brink]

    In contrast, "if the winter was cold and dry, the mothers could get to the food, and the calves would be born at size and likely to be more viable," he said. "That very early growth, even in utero, dictates the rest of life."

    Summer loving

    The warmer summer adds a complication, Albon said. When Svalbard is warm and sprouting with food, reindeer are more likely to mate. That means the reindeer population is growing despite the frequent, severe ice-rink winters, he said.

    It's possible that limited winter resources due to increased population may partly explain the "shrinking"-reindeer phenomenon, Albon and his colleagues wrote in their study.

    But regardless of the cause of the "shrinking," the smaller reindeer face different challenges than their normal-size brethren. These smaller reindeer have a disadvantage during the winter because their metabolism is higher than that of regularly sized reindeer, but there's less food available for them to eat. Yet during the warmer summers, these smaller reindeer may have an advantage because it's easier for them to dissipate heat, which is high when they're nursing, Albon said.

    If too many reindeer shrink, it also spells bad news for the herd. If the adults in a reindeer population are, for the most part, more than 110 lbs. (50 kg) in April, the population tends to increase. But if the reindeer are mostly under that weight, the population tends to decline, Albon said.

    For the time being, the researchers are waiting for the reindeer born in the past few years to reach age 6, when they become mature adults. Only then will the researchers have a better idea of how climate change is affecting the reindeer's population numbers, he said. However, another study, presented at the American Geophysical Union Meeting on Monday (Dec. 12), found that climate change might be responsible for shrinking reindeer populations in northern Russia.

    Reindeer are hardly the only animal that is "shrinking" due to climate change. The phenomenon isn't a new one — when the planet got warmer in the past, beetles, bees, spiders and even pocket gophers also shrank, according to fossil evidence, Live Science reported in 2011.

    More recently, reports have tied shrinking bison, salamanders and other animals to climate change.

    The reindeer research, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, was presented Monday at the British Ecological Society meeting in Liverpool, England.

    ###

    Laura Geggel, Senior Writer - As a senior writer for Live Science, Laura Geggel covers general science, including the environment and amazing animals. She has written for The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site covering autism research. Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU. When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee.

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    Last edited by JRT; 13 Dec 16, at 21:31.
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  12. #3687
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    "Thread: Global Warming...Fact or Fiction?"

    FACT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    If carbon dioxide really is a pollutant, should we label gyms as industrial pollutors and install scrubbers on their air conditioner?
    And if carbon dioxide really is not a pollutant then there have been a whole lot of fake suicides ..... and just as many premature burials.

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    Quote Originally Posted by formby View Post
    "thread: Global warming...fact or fiction?"

    fact.
    you have definitive proof or is it just your opinion . PS there is an introduction thread on the forum , 1st thread , go introduce yourself there .
    Last edited by tankie; 30 Dec 16, at 19:49.

  15. #3690
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    Quote Originally Posted by tankie View Post
    you have definitive proof or is it just your opinion .
    I believe the scientists and their explanations. Not being one myself I don't have any particular proof of my own, however.


    Quote Originally Posted by tankie View Post
    PS there is an introduction thread on the forum , 1st thread , go introduce yourself there .
    Thank you! It's done now.

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