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PhiNotPi's avatar

Data on global warming?

Asked by PhiNotPi (11626 points ) January 13th, 2013

Personally, I believe in moderate amount of global warming, in which humans are at least a partial contributor.

Also, I personally know some people who think that global warming is a government conspiracy created by the Democrats to take control of the United States.

I need to win this argument, and I want your help.

I need data, lots and lots of data on global warming patterns, as well as historical rates of temperature, rainfall, and atmospheric composition that dates back both as far as possible and as detailed as possible. I want rates of greenhouse gas emissions. I want statistics on ice cover and hurricanes. I want data on the rate of temperature record breaking, and proof that this isn’t random chance.

There are three rules: First, I need links to the original sources. Second, I need a wide variety of credible sources. Third, there is no such thing as too much data.

Bring on the information overload!

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11 Answers

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Considering the risks of failing to reduce further human impacts on climate and the harm that results from reducing wasteful carbon emissions, I advocate that we assume global warming is bad for us and that we should do all we can to reduce any known causes whether human activity is responsible or not.

Kropotkin's avatar

It’s some conspiracy, since the science goes back over 150 years.

John Tyndall in 1864 was the first to systematically study CO2 and other gases, and demonstrate their radiation absorption properties.

Svante Arrhenius in 1896 was the first to quantify the greenhouse effect and estimate the temperature differences that would result from decreasing and increaing atmospheric CO2.

G.S. Callendar in 1938, built on the work of Arrhenius and also predicted the warming effect of increased atmospheric CO2.

Roger Revelle co-authored a paper in 1957, suggesting that oceans are limited in their capacity to absorb excess CO2 produced by humans.

Pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 was at around 280ppm, and had been that for thousands of years. Current levels of CO2 are at around 394ppm and rising.

The rate at which the ice caps are melting is accelerating beyond what was previously estimated.

Absolutely no other variables analysed account for the warming trend of the last few decades.

But, you’re really asking for too much. There are probably thousands of published research papers on climate change, and I am not paid to look things up for you. There are already secondary sources which collate original research: Wikipedia, the IPCC reports, http://www.skepticalscience.com/, NASA

ETpro's avatar

2012 was the hottest year ever recorded since weather records were kept in the USA. Globally, 6 of the hottest 10 years in history were in the past 10 years.

RocketGuy's avatar

It’s a conspiracy all right, follow the (fossil fuel industry) money funding the denial movement.

jrpowell's avatar

This just popped up on metafilter today.

http://www.metafilter.com/123805/A-draft-of-the-National-Climate-Assessment-report-has-been-released

edit :: And call it climate change. The nuts will claim that since it snowed on January 4th and didn’t on the previous Jan 4th that it is a hoax.

tedd's avatar

Look up the Volstok ice caps. Records going back hundreds of thousands of years thanks to those.

mattbrowne's avatar

In order to win an argument presenting data is just a minor first step. Convincing people about the serious threat global warming and climate change poses is all about emotions and marketing. You need to paint the pictures. You need powerful metaphors, not just data.

Ending climate change denial is difficult, because the fossil fuel industry has hired excellent marketing professionals. It is possible to come up with simple messages to spread doubt about the seriousness of the climate problem. It is far more difficult to refute these simple messages, because climate science is complex. Still, the people who are concerned about the climate have to create good marketing strategies as well using powerful messages. Here are some I find useful:

1) Denying man-made climate change is like denying that cigarettes are addictive.

2) Denying global warming is like denying an increasing population of the United States.

3) Denying that CO2 and CH4 are greenhouse gases is like claiming that the planet Venus is made of green cheese.

4) Telling people that CO2 is fertilizer for plants is like telling people to eat more vitamin D pills.

5) Telling people that the use of fossil fuels is cheaper than green technology is like telling people that cars without seat belts are cheaper.

RocketGuy's avatar

You can also look up pics of Glacier National Park. Hint: there are not many glaciers left in the more recent pics.

ETpro's avatar

@PhiNotPi Anyone who looks at this data and claims global warming has stopped is looking through a very dense coating of crude oil and coal dust.

rojo's avatar

This information from NASA might be of interest on the topic

RocketGuy's avatar

Do you see any consensus in the data collected?:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80167

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