Joined: Feb. 2006
|As for the "heat island" idea. Surely at some point those islands would meet up over time and regularity would they not? If so, when would that be? (probably said that badly: to rephrase: At what point would the "heat islands" be so numerous as to have a global rather than a local effect?)|
The problem isn't so much that "heat islands" (in common English, "cities") contribute to global warming, but rather they can impact local temperatures, particularly near the ground, where measurements have been taken for decades.
An early denialist claim was that global temperatures haven't really been rising, but rather the air surrounding thermometers located in cities has been rising because of the increase in pavement as the auto took hold, etc etc.
Well, we have thirty-odd years of satellite and more of radiosonde (weather balloon) measurements. When all sources are tweaked for known problems (i.e. different biases in different generations of reporting equipment in balloons, heat island effects, etc) all three agree.
This is why all but the most entrenched, most unscientific denialists no longer argue that the earth isn't warming. They now argue that sure, there's warming, but a) it's natural (solar etc) and b) it will be good for us or at least not harmful.
As far as Real Climate coming across as being "entrenched", well ... if you go to a physics site, don't you expect them to be "entrenched", too, in regard to things that are settled? Do you expect them to act in any other way if, say, someone comes along and says some unknown and unmeasured force causes the orbital positions of the planets to affect life on earth, and that we can determine a person's future if we know their birth date and the positions of the planets?
Medical researchers are likewise "entrenched" in regard to homeopathy, because homeopathic preparations are indistinguishable from distilled water.
As far as not trusting the UN as being a reason to not trust an entire field of scientific endeavor ... wow. BTW, they're not UN scientists, maybe that will help you ...
Do you trust the National Academy of Sciences, by any chance? AAAS? The other dozens of national and international scientific organizations that endorse the basic science underlying climate science?
Phonon: no, it's not hypocritical for me to point you a web site run by scientists after flogging your for your random google efforts. Real Science cites the published research upon which their articles are based. You can go beyond the website to the scientific literature if you want, that's the point. And they discuss in detail many of the papers cited by denialists - generally older papers which have later been shown to be wrong. They'll provide you cites to the original papers, and then those that show them to be in error, etc.
That's useful. One paper cited by the C4 documentary, for instance, was published in 1991 and in the intervening 16 years was shown to be in error. The same technique - citing old work and ignoring more recent work - would undoubtably fool many of the public into believing that Pons was right about Cold Fusion after all, and that the truth is being supressed because physicists can't allow a chemist to trump them, or because Utah's largely Mormon, or ...