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Rising Temperatures in the Netherlands (koenvangilst.nl)
113 points by vnglst 5 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 77 comments

Something I've been working on this weekend: visualising climate change in the Netherlands.


I particularly liked the heatmap with monthly temperature data since the 1900s. It's a lot of scrolling, but you can clearly see that climate is accelerating since the '90s.

I like this format for displaying these temporal changes. I have rainfall data for my location that I have tracked for more than 20 years and it currently lives in an Excel spreadsheet. I have a few graphs but these annual difference and monthly deviations from normal will enhance what I already show. I like the format.

I am merging my rainfall data with ENSO data about El Nino and La Nina years to look for patterns in local rainfall during those periods. We are currently in an El Nino and it is predicted to be strong. If it doesn't rain again before the end of the year this will be the second driest year in more than 20 since I began recording rainfall and I am currently >13 inches (>330 mm) under normal for this date. We finished last year in a similar condition, 12.6" (320 mm) under normal. Based on our long-term (10-day) forecast I expect this to be the third or fourth driest year since I began measuring. North Texas, west of Fort Worth.

Thanks and that’s really interesting. I wanted to do rainfall next. It’s been really wet here this winter. And the summers have been a lot drier. Can’t wait to see the heatmap for that.

Bedankt voor deze bijdrage!

> I wanted to do rainfall next.

Wind, please!

Most reports like this focus on temperature, some on rainfall.

But more energy in atmosphere -> wind speeds increasing seems logical. And matches my subjective experiences. Would be nice to see this visualized using hard numbers (both extremes & averages).

I like that, I must admit I also forgot about wind, but it makes sense.

I do feel like there's less wind here in the Netherlands than before. But maybe that's just my personal experience after moving to a larger city.

This would also be very interesting here. I believe the intensity of storms passing through has increased over the last couple decades. I am in tornado alley so intense storms are part of life but the wind speeds associated with non-tornadic storms that pass have increased. It is not unusual now to get warnings for winds greater than 60 mph (96 kph) and we have seen winds greater than 80 mph (129 kph) several times in the last five years. I think wind speeds associated with storms are increasing so it would be interesting to see whether that data matches my perception.

I wonder how Much of it is global warming vs other effects! Would be nice to see a even longer historical overlay of the changes. Or even have the values corrected for anomalies that are not an effect of human involvement.

Sure, there is some uncertainty. But in reality, we have a pretty complete model of physics, chemistry, geology and biology. Generally, the predictions we made 10 or 20 years ago match with what we're seeing.

So of course "science does not deal in certainties" but most of the questions are really at the second or third decimal point.

There is an excellent video by David Louapre (of Science Etonnante fame) that explains for example how our greenhouse model works. It's in French, but subtitles should do the tricks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewc8FBtEKPs


I would suggest you watch the video. It does precisely that: help non-PhD people understand what we know, build trust.


Scientists don't really ask for policies. That's the job of politicians. I'm not sure why they'd apologize for it.

Scientists just provide data and options. It's still true that the measures slowed down spread. That it didn't do it enough to justify putting the measures in place or not is more a matter of policy.

Same thing applies to climate change. Scientists provide the data that the climate is warming up. That it appears correlated with certain human activity, not all human activity, only some. And that the current prediction models show X, Y, Z effects in the coming future if the trend is not reversed.

Then politicians need to take that into consideration, and decide what policies to apply or not. Ignore the data and predictions? And possibly gamble that the harsh consequences will come, or put measures in place, which will affect the short term, but possibly avoid the predicted outcomes, alas also possibly be inconsequential because it wasn't enough or it eas too much, or there were other unknown factors at play that the models had not realized were there. Etc.

How can politicians make science- and data-based decisions without being scientists themselves?

They can’t, by definition, that’s why in those cases what ends up happening is the politicians just rubber-stamping policies set up by scientists/experts, as a matter of fact this past pandemic has just put that whole process in the spotlight.

Your opinion is unpopular but the most reasonable.

Scientists are not philanthropists and always need justifications for their funding

You have been downvoted, but it is a good question. Hopefully it was asked in good faith ;)

Since around the 1970s, the North Sea became a few degrees warmer. Fisherman more regularly find fish and other creatures that used to be only down in France or even more south. As far as I know, we don't really know what caused this trend of the gulf stream going more up north. For all we know, it might switch back and we get the climate of Canada; winter from September until April.

Now we find out that same gulf stream is slowing down. We did not predict that and don't really know why it happens and what the consequences will be.

By the way, inside the country, water coming in from more central Europe is coming in faster in winter, causing problems, while in summer not much is coming in, causing more draught. Germany and Belgium are not prepared for this. A few years ago many people died when rivers overflowed.

> Now we find out that same gulf stream is slowing down.

From what I've read so far, we could get a nordic ice-age, because we're so dependent on that hot water and air.

> Hopefully it was asked in good faith ;)

In what way could this question be asked in bad faith?

There do exist people (even on the internet) who ask similar questions about climate change, who prefer to attribute it to all kind of other causes, and deviate or deny that human activities create climate change. I do know that wasn't part of the question, so I can only guess and hope.

The only reason "values corrected for anomalies that are not an effect of human involvement" would be interesting is to find out whether the effect of human involvement is significant or not. It is a valid question, but we already know the answer, so asking OP to essentially re-do a huge amount of climate science comes off as disingenuous.

Sure yeah, or we could accept the settled science and move on to fixing the problem before the ice caps are gone and frozen methane hydrates vent from the ocean and kill much of the globe.

recent science graphics shown among experts predict 4-5 degree celsius rise in annual mean temperatures in far north Europe. From previous discussion, these numbers will change quite a lot of daily life all year.

What? Of course we should! It is of course partially caused by humanity. But it’s a common debate among researchers exactly how much the trends are affecting the changes.

It's a legitimate question, but I can't tell if you're wondering whether we have significant influence on it at all, or if you are just wondering what fraction the solar cycle being at its maximum ~now (iirc) and other such effects are (which I imagine is no more than a few percent, since previous ones are not immediately apparent in the visualization of the previous 10k-odd years (https://xkcd.com/1732/); or even if we're only a tiny fraction on top of nature's mechanisms, that's apparently 'that much' too much greenhouse gases)

The Solar Cycle is approximately has a period of ~11 years (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle). The heating clearly shown in these visualizations does not appear to be related to the solar cycle.

That it has no evident effect is the point I was trying to make. Could I have phrased it better?

(As a random reader, I interpreted your comment as you intended!)

If history has taught us anything, the idea of "settled science" is as anti science as it comes.

Correct words, but blatantly misleading as a concept.

As an example: sure, Einstein found in the 1900s that Newton's theory of gravity from the 1600s was wrong, but it's wrong to such a degree that it doesn't matter for everyday applications and we still use and teach Newton's law of universal gravitation because it's a very good approximation with a very simple formula. If we had based the mechanism of climate change on the "faulty" formula and adjusted our emissions based on that, then found out that it's incorrect to the same degree, we'd have been so close to the truth that it would have worked out perfectly (to well within the error margins of global measurements).

The point of science is that it's about testable predictions. You can say "if I drop a mass from 1m height at sea level in a vacuum chamber, it will impact the surface after 0.10204 seconds" and then go and measure that and you can find that it's right to within your measurement's error margins. We've been doing the same for climate mechanisms and a whole host of other things. If the scientific method didn't work, we couldn't have reliable vehicles, let alone airplanes or useful GPS results.

Don't let yourself be mislead by attention-grabbing headlines of "scientists found out they were wrong all along" which we see all too often. Read the article if it's from an otherwise good source, or click through to the source if it's not, and make up your own mind

I disagree that it's "blatantly misleading as a concept". Just as it is, as a concept, it's essential to being able to argue any conclusion. Which, in turn, is essential to science. There can't be fences. Even if your notes on practical process hold true most of the time.

Though it's a shame to use the climate science example, given the immense anti-science pressure that looks to bury dissenting theories and data instead of engaging them as a means of continuously proving itself in the context of the divisive politics. Which are inevitable given that this particular science seeks to make world altering prescriptions. The failed hope is to make such prescriptions in an environment of no allowable argument. The result is widely percieved corruption of science for political ends. That was never supposed to be an outcome of science, should its principles be followed in spirit and otherwise.

Conclusions have to defend themselves, forever. Ridiculous theories can be marginalized due to lack of evidence, but nothing should be silenced as a matter of working principle. In turn, we can operate based on consensus conclusions but these conclusions have to be able to defend themselves, forever, only on merit.

I see what you're saying, but consider https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide

> [DHMO]:

> - is also known as hydroxyl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.

> - contributes to the "greenhouse effect".

> - contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.

> - has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.


> Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used: as an industrial solvent and coolant [...] [and] as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

You can convince virtually anyone that water is dangerous and should be outlawed by saying only true things.

> In 2001, a staffer in New Zealand Green Party [...] office responded to a request for support for a campaign to ban dihydrogen monoxide by saying she was "absolutely supportive of the campaign to ban this toxic substance". This was criticized in a press release by the National Party, one of whose MPs fell for the very same joke six years later.

More related to this thread, the difference between "just asking questions" and "just sowing doubt" is in the effect on the casual reader rather than in the legitimacy of the question, unfortunately :(. There are things that are harmful to randomly call into question without being specific enough (such that it may sound like you're doubting all of climate change) and/or doing your own research first (many things needn't be carefully asked if you just type it into duckduckgo instead), I believe.

Not saying anyone was sowing doubt here, I'm just responding to your point that there cannot be questions that are off-limits in science. (Also noting that this is a comment thread for the general public on the topic of some graphs, not precisely scientific discourse itself.)

How do you test the predictions of climate science models? I have never found a satisfactory explanation.

There is insufficient data for backtesting models of that complexity.

Arrhenius's original model have help up pretty well, but it is also simple.

Some models from decades ago including some that were very widely publicised in the 80s/90s have been badly wrong.

> I have never found a satisfactory explanation.

Translation: I have never looked for an explanation.

"""Time series of global average temperature anomalies show excellent agreement between observations and model simulations (Figure 1b)."""

Randel, W. J., Polvani, L., Wu, F., Kinnison, D. E., Zou, C.-Z., & Mears, C. (2017). Troposphere-stratosphere temperature trends derived from satellite data compared with ensemble simulations from WACCM. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122, 9651–9667, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JD027158

Among many, many others in the literature. Climate models going clear back to 1960 have been right on the money, with the primary source of error being predictions about how much stupid shit humans would do.

Nice snide comment to start with. I have looked. What I have found does not match what the models need. Most things aimed at the general public are simplistic. I assume the real answers require access to journals.

Are global average temperatures enough to provide data for all the temperature variables in models? Surely only sufficient for a model that predicted only global average temperatures.

Some models may have been right, but some were badly wrong Here is an example of one that got media attntion that is clearly badly wrong.


But was it snide enough? I want people who try to poison the discourse with comments like yours to know that they have no place in civil society and are being corrected.

> What I have found does not match what the models need.

I don't understand this part. Do you mean there is a mismatch between the input parameters to these models and what data you've found to be available?

As for access to journals, yeah, sci-hub is also where I turn to but it's getting less and less reliable. I should make acquaintances with someone at an allowlisted IP address at some point...

> Here is an example of one [model] that got media attention that is clearly badly wrong [URL]

Article is from the year 2000, for context. Parts that have data in them (past or future):

> > in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. [...] Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. [...] within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event" [...] a wide range of research indicates that pests and plant diseases, usually killed back by sharp frosts, are likely to flourish. [...] Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.

Hmm so I'm not seeing the mention of a particular model or study here, just observations of past snowfall and vague mentions (by figures of authority on the matter, to be fair) of "within a few years", "occasionally", and "probably in 20 years". The only real predicted data here is the 0.2°C warming per decade until 2100, but that makes little sense: the day we stop emitting greenhouse gases, the trend will start to slow until it stabilizes (afaik that doesn't take more than one or maybe two decades). It seems foreseeable that we can reduce fossil fuels by at least 50% within that coming century, so how could it keep warming at that rate?

So that seems immediately suspect to me and I wouldn't trust it, but let's say that a casual reader takes it at face value, and for the next handful of decades (until ~today) it should have come true at least. Let's see what actually happened (I'm typing this as I find out, I don't know the answer at the time of writing). The sentence mentions Britain specifically, so that's the right island of the two big ones in the UK afaik, so I searched "britain historic temperatures", found as second result some weather office page (very findable for once! nice), picked a station at random near the middle of the country (at, what seemed to me, an average distance from the coast, to have something potentially representative), and got to this data: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/sta... It breaks down temperatures per month from 1957 through 2022. I copied the data lines into this script:

    import sys, re
    decs = {}  # decades
    for line in sys.stdin:
        y, m, tmax, tmin, *rest = re.sub(' +', ' ', line.strip()).split(' ')
        dec = int(int(y) / 10) * 10  #find decade a year belongs to, e.g. convert "2003" to "2000"
        if dec not in decs:
            decs[dec] = []

    for dec in decs:
        # print the decade and the sum of all values divided by how many values are known (i.e., print the average value) to two decimals
        print(str(dec) + 's', round(sum(decs[dec]) / len(decs[dec]), 2))
And got these results (manually added the 'incomplete' markers for decades where we don't have data from all years):

    1950s 13.53* incomplete
    1960s 12.72
    1970s 13.17
    1980s 13.15
    1990s 13.68
    2000s 13.95
    2010s 14.04
    2020s 14.65* incomplete
So the article said the 90s should be 0.6°C warmer than 60s-80s: (12.72+13.17+13.15)/3 = 13.01; 90s = 13.68; difference = 0.67°C. Okay looks like we've got the right data here when using the daily maximums (though it's still only one weather station; could be coincidence). Then the 2000s were 0.27°C warmer and the 2010s another 0.09°C (average: 0.18 per decade).

Doing the same but with tmin instead of tmax (replace that word in the line that contains 'append'):

    1950s 5.17* incomplete
    1960s 4.91
    1970s 5.0
    1980s 4.95
    1990s 5.5
    2000s 5.85
    2010s 5.74
    2020s 6.2* incomplete
60s-80s average is 4.95°C; 90s is 5.5; difference is 0.55°C. Again, sanity check: it matches what they claimed historic data was like. The 2000s are 0.35°C warmer, that's quite a bit more. The 2010s are cooler, showing -0.11°C warming compared to the 2000s, so that one is clearly out of line. Taken together, you're looking at 0.12°C warming per decade on the daily lows.

Neither is precisely correct, but about +0.15°C (looking at both tmax and tmin) also not super far off for a one-decimal-precision figure to begin with and one random weather station (I picked only one, I haven't cherry picked it).

== Conclusion ==

- The temperature prediction I would give a tentative pass (checking more data would further strengthen or weaken that).

- The claim about heavy snow being 'unexpected' 20 years from then (i.e., three years ago), I dunno, traffic is definitely chaos in germany when any amount of snow shows up, but that's not new as far as I know. What constitutes 'heavy snow' anyway? I certainly don't expect heavy snow any given year, and those historic UK figures look lower than what we get today (which makes sense for an island: I'm about as far inland as GB is wide). Hard to say for me whether that came true. What is your take on it?

- The predicted pests and plant diseases did not have a date on it. That may have been a general statement about warming weather. Not sure where I'd find data on pest and plant disease occurrence, especially normalized for use of insecticides or such.

- The only part that I find wrong is the subjective statement `winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event"`, based on my experience in Germany. It's certainly not the norm for an average winter's week, but "very rare" also sounds too strong. Then again, GB's historic figures seemed lower so who knows, but I'm out of energy (I'm literally over an hour into this comment, I hope you find it useful at least!) to find further data on snowfall in GB/DE or do a survey of GB's reaction to snowfall.

Conclusion's conclusion: the only thing for which I have data was close enough, the rest was vague to begin with.

What part of the article did you find 'clearly badly wrong'?

> (I'm literally over an hour into this comment, I hope you find it useful at least!)

aaaaaaand ghosted...

I should really start to err more on the "fuck this" side rather than dilligently verifying posted information and trying to work toward a common understanding

Answering that to the detail that I feel it requires to prove beyond doubt, would likely take about as much time as doing a meta-analysis on the topic. Here's some starting points:


> We know this warming is largely caused by human activities because the key role that carbon dioxide plays in maintaining Earth’s natural greenhouse effect has been understood since the mid-1800s. Unless it is offset by some equally large cooling influence, more atmospheric carbon dioxide will lead to warmer surface temperatures. Since 1800, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from about 280 parts per million to 410 ppm in 2019. We know from both its rapid increase and its isotopic “fingerprint” that the source of this new carbon dioxide is fossil fuels, and not natural sources like forest fires, volcanoes, or outgassing from the ocean. [...] no other known climate influences have changed enough to account for the observed warming trend

If you're wondering how to establish causality in the first place, when we can't do experiments (we could hardly add and remove a significant amount of emissions at will to see what effect it has), this article provides two methods: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081045/ The problem is not unique to climate science. Quoting the "background" section:

> In clinical medical research, causality is demonstrated by randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Often, however, an RCT cannot be conducted for ethical reasons, and sometimes for practical reasons as well. In such cases, knowledge can be derived from an observational study instead. In this article, we present two methods that have not been widely used in medical research to date.

Beyond global warming, much easier to study is the effect that air pollution has on humans. Stopping coal power plants and combustion engine vehicles in cities would also extend millions of people's healthy years of life every year. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_pollution

> Outdoor air pollution attributable to fossil fuel use alone causes ~3.61 million deaths annually, making it one of the top contributors to human death

The solutions we have today (using wind, water, sun, and fission) that reduce warming and improve health are not perfect, but my understanding is that they are better

How does that relate to what I said?

I am not disputing that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will net cause warming. I am asking for the methodology used to test climate models. The same with the fact that pollution is bad: nothing to do with the testing of climate models.

The analogy with medicines where controlled trails are not possible is flawed. You can observe large numbers of people. We can only observe one planet.

From the replies and the down votes, its seems people read even asking questions about climate models as a claim that climate change is not happening, or human beings are not a major cause, or something similar.

> I am asking for the methodology used to test climate models.

I do not have specific sources about that myself, perhaps someone else

> is flawed. You can observe large numbers of people. We can only observe one planet.

Good point, I hadn't considered that. Still, one can observe a lot of states over time: Earth with an average global temperature of x°C where the CO2=x, sun_state=y, number_of_penguins=z, etc., then the same set of parameters for another temperature. Check which one turns out to always be followed by a rise in temperature the next month/year/decade. (If the number of penguins turns out to be highly correlated, remember you read it here first! :P yes I'm joking about correlation vs. causation which, based on what you wrote already, I'm sure you know about.)

Whether the methods from the paper I found earlier can work 1:1 with this other approach, I'd have to check (or find what other methods are/were being used in climate science specifically), but that's how this must be done because we indeed have barely any data on other earthlike planets

> its seems people read even asking questions about climate models as a claim that climate change is not happening, or human beings are not a major cause, or something similar.

Yes, I've noticed that as well. There are some downvoted comments of mine (also on reddit) for the same reason. It's a very fine line to walk, making it clear that you're obviously understanding of reality but also wondering about some detail aspect of climate change

When there's some doubt and it could be a legitimate question, I always try to find the time to comment without downvoting because, that way, we keep in conversation and other people might also get more insight, but alas I don't always have time and it's common that I see posts (even on a place like stackoverflow where posts are typically rather objective) downvoted without commenting the reason

Asimov has refuted this argument more eloquently than I could here: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dbalmer/eportfolio/Nature%20of%20...

That's a rather huge document just to respond to a single sentence (with someone's highlights, not sure if those are yours or whether to otherwise heed them). Feels a bit asymmetrical in the amount of effort one has to put in to understand your comment/point.

From reading the first page, I would say that this could be a summary / an answer to the statement of the person above you:

> when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

(The document seems to assume that you know the earth is an oblate spheroid or something: rather close to spherical, but off enough that it's noticeable under certain circumstances such as spaceflight.)

If that is indeed what you meant to say, I would recommend citing that part and adding the link for reference. That probably helps more people than just posting the document link by itself

Thanks i like that! Likewise, the relativity of wrong reactions to our situation needs to be considered I think. There seemsnto be consensus now that it is too late to address the problem only in the right way. We should still do all of those things. But to avoid mass suffering, it is well past time we considered planet scale climate engineering as a valid approach. It is risky, but risky is, like wrongness, relative. And the wrongness and riskiness of acting without knowing all the effects is relatively less, not just than continuing on the current path, but even than adopting all the right behaviors at this late hour with no other steps.

That seems to be an uncharacteristically poorly thought out argument from Asimov, who I have immense respect for otherwise. He's engaging in a simple strawman! The issue is him (Asimov) being critiqued for thinking we have finally gotten everything, more or less, correct - finally. The critic alleges to Asimov that he's falling for what I call 'the arrogance of the present.' For great minds in past centuries also certainly thought they had finally, more or less, worked everything out, and were invariably proven wrong. So what makes now different, beyond the fact that 'now' is the time we live in?

Asimov's argument is that modern ideas are 'less wrong' than those of times past. He then goes on to talk about flat Earth and geocentric views of times past, going so far as to literally suggest his critic, refusing to accept any certainty, might believe the Earth could be determined to be a cube next year. That's just deeply disingenuous by Asimov, and I suspect the issue flustered him.

The critic was obviously not suggesting that next year we might decide the Earth is cubical, but referencing modern theories like the luminiferous aether [1]. Asimov would have certainly been aware of such, but as I suspect you might not - it's an extremely interesting tale. The aether was had a tremendous amount of science and support around it. And it was also completely and absolutely wrong. Not incomplete, not even less wrong, just plain wrong. It was only proven to be wrong in the famous (and quite elaborate, by the standard of the times) Michelson-Morley experiment. [2] Yet so strongly supported was the aether, that Michelson actually assumed he made an experimental mistake when he failed to detect the aether. He rejected his own discovery! He has a very famous quote:


"The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote... Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals."


That quote was made in 1894, 7 years after proving the aether (and ultimately centuries of established science prior) wrong! He was still under the belief that he simply had yet to achieve the precision necessary to measure the aether! In fact so compelling was it, that it was really finally only put to rest by relativity, which showed the absurd nature of our reality - that the speed of light is a constant from all frames of reference. That only kicked off in 1905. And indeed there's every reason to expect that some, if not much, of what we think today may simply end up being seen as the aether of our times - well supported, logical, wrong.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminiferous_aether

[2] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_exper...

> going so far as to literally suggest his critic, refusing to accept any certainty, might believe the Earth could be determined to be a cube next year.

He absolutely did no such thing.

What you seem to have missed is that the entire thing is a thought exercise to demonstrate a point.

Quoting the paper, "In short, my English Lit friend, living in a mental world of absolute rights and wrongs, may be imagining that because all theories are wrong, the earth may be thought spherical now, but cubical next century, and a hollow icosahedron the next, and a doughnut shape the one after."

Yes, that is a thought exercise, or reductio ad absurdum if you want to be all fancy about it, not a serious accusation that they might believe the earth is a cube or doughnut shaped.

This is one of the few times I would argue you're offering an unreasonably charitable interpretation.

It reads like a textbook strawman. Asimov's certainty on us 'finally' getting things, more or less, right was challenged. He then strawmans that into somebody claiming there is no such thing as being right, as the future might discover your views flawed. Asimov then procedes to tear down the strawman which he built, with a more than healthy serving of thinly veiled ad hominem and other fallacies enjoined alongside.

I suspect this is why our original poster linked to that 5 page essay instead of paraphrasing what he found so compelling. Argumentative fallacies can give the perception of being right, and even insightful. But in hindsight, it's difficult to say why or how.

I’m pretty sure the only anomalies that have ever produced geographic temperature changes as drastic as the ones visualized are things like city-sized asteroid collisions or volcanic eruptions that blot out the sun. If you haven’t noticed any of those, then it’s probably safe to assume that approximately 100% of the effect is down to human activity.

That’s a faulty statement! https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/


> There is unequivocal evidence that Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate. Human activity is the principal cause.

That’s the sub-headline from your link which is exactly what I said, just with a bit less flourish.

You’re right!

I don't understand what part of that link is supposed to prove the person wrong. Could you cite that part, or at least point out what part of the above statement is supposedly wrong in the first place?

I've been here for about ten years - even in that short period of time it already feels like a different climate, especially in winter. They are totally mild now, more like the spring or fall than the winter of even a few years ago.

You can create an similar graphics for the temperature anomalies in your region here: https://showyourstripes.info/

Some people use them as profile backgrounds etc.

Those are really nice!

It should be more extreme for regions/countries closer to the North Pole. Temperature anomalies for i.e. Siberia had been more than +4ºC in recent years. And those regions may weight more than others because the positive feedback loops happening there that will affect the whole planet.

There will likely never be another Efstedentocht in my lifetime.

I agree that the winters are getting milder but Elfstedentocht is moving the goalposts a bit. The requirements on ice thickness are bigger than they used to be and more rigorous. It makes sense as there is more participants and people are more risk averse in general but still.

It’s hard to believe how many visitors to HN are climate science deniers. This is equivalent to claiming the earth is flat, denying the value of vaccines, or arguing that we didn’t really land on the moon.

It's probably because "+1" and "yup" comments are discouraged, so the people that immediately feel like they have something to add are the ones that think the article is not telling the whole story. At least, that's my guess. I would expect that a representative poll (https://news.ycombinator.com/newpoll might be a starting point) would show an overwhelming majority of readers/commenters does think global warming is real and caused by human emissions.

+1, yup

With measured change in C02 the past 60 years[0], how can we expect the system to behave the same? In my lifetime I will breathe air with C02 levels of 480ppm. Throw in the high sea temperatures [1][2] if you would like some bonus content.

Idk what it means for us on the ground. 90% of the doomerisms haven't gone anywhere - but this is worth keeping an eye on. Who knows, maybe in 3 more generations we'll hit 800ppm C02 and experience cognitive decline[3] before we have to worry about the climate system getting funky :)

[0] https://www.climate.gov/media/15554

[1] https://climatereanalyzer.org/clim/sst_daily

[2] https://climate.copernicus.eu/sites/default/files/custom-upl...

[3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016041201...

There's a strong contrarian trait here, for sure. Also, if you look at the usernames in these situations it's often one or two people replying to literally everyone.

I think at this point we have little choice but to live in denial. I’ve lived in South Texas my entire life, but this summer was the most brutal one I’ve ever seen. Hit new highs in actual temperature and heat index of course, but it was just the months-long unrelenting nature of it that hurt my soul. I’ve never seen so many dead trees and so many dead animals on the street. My co-workers well failed as did many of his neighbors.

What am I supposed to do about any of that? How am I supposed to believe in the future if this is still the early days of climate change with who knows what new horrors to come in a decade or two?

And so we go on because what else can we do? Mostly I’m just glad I never wanted to have children because I can’t imagine what it is like for them as they grow up and realize what awaits them.

It’s one thing to accept the circumstances. It’s another to undermine the discussion and deny that the problem exists.

A large proportion of HN's audience is comprised of get-rich-quick techbros (and wannabe get-rich-quick techbros) for whom anti-intellectualism is a favorite pastime and "fuck you, got mine" is the golden rule.

You’d be surprised how many people deny the value of vaccines.


Extremely rapidly, and it is wholly unprecedented in the geological record[0]. At this point, expressing curiosity about this rather than putting forth the trivial effort to find the amply available high-quality evidence is difficult to read as anything other than bad faith.


Your first two "questions" have been answered, IIRC. A bit of duckduckgoing will e.g. lead you to https://climate.nasa.gov/explore/ask-nasa-climate/3071/the-r.... Same for solar cycles.

The data is not perfect, but unfortunately, there's no escape from the conclusion: we have to act, and we've already missed targets.

Look at that chart, we changed the way we measure temperature in the 1960's with the introduction of digital thermometers. Prior to that we utilized mercury or worse alcohol. The chart itself raises the question(s) I just highlighted. Further, prior to WWII there was not "global monitoring" of temperature; let's highlight this comment:

> Remarkably, despite the differences in methodologies used by these independent researchers, their global temperature estimates are all in close agreement

Let's assume that's true (which I would argue is not true), even "similar" results will have a 2-5% fluctuation -- which is the entire range of the increase in temperatures. If something reads 98.2 one year and the prior reading is 97.3 we have a 0.9 increase in temperature, but in reality it could be the margin of error based on cloud cover or a change in instrumentation. We simply don't know. The article you linked admits as such:

> Each organization uses different techniques to make its estimates and adjusts its input data sets to compensate for changes in observing conditions, using data processing methods described in peer-reviewed literature.

> If something reads 98.2 one year and the prior reading is 97.3 we have a 0.9 increase in temperature, but in reality it could be the margin of error based on cloud cover or a change in instrumentation.

That would be true if we had only two measurements. But it can't explain the trend over the last 40 years (neither can the introduction of digital thermometers in the 60s).

There are a multitude of things simultaneously that need to be considered:

1. The sun naturally has cycles where it increases and decreases in temp

2. The measurement devices we use have changed over time

3. The location of our measurements have changed over time

4. We only have 120-160 datapoints total for yearly averages.. with the above issues associated.

Because of those points it’s hard to make any absolute claims, besides the argument since 1960s the trend is slightly upwards in terms of temperatures , maybe.

Have you looked out of the window recently? Noticed anything odd?

> What if our interments for measuring temperature were improving over the last century?

Thermometers have been around pretty much unchanged for a long time. We don't need particularly high precision measurement for an overall trend on the measurement scale of tenths of degrees Celsius.

> What if the locations of the measurements changed slightly?

Then we'd expect momentary level and trend shifts whenever the location changes.

> And finally, what if we’re exiting an ice age (we are still technically in one)?

We are, but much much faster than would occur without human activity.

> And finally, what if we’re exiting an ice age (we are still technically in one)?

Yes we are living in an ice age, which began 3 million years ago. We are currently in a warm interglacial that started 11,000 years ago.

Yes, the rate of change is way too fast, comparable to a meteorite or volcano eruption, except there aren't

Does this account for the urban heat island effect?

It's impossible to determine if this was satire.

It the perfect exception to the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

Willful incompetence is indistinguishable from malice, and even accidental incompetence becomes malice if wielded by a figure with any modicum of power. Hanlon's razor is among the most backwards memes ever devised.

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