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Monthly Archives: August 2010

The 35th Anniversary of Global Warming


Global warming is turning 35! Not only has the current spate of global warming been going on for about 35 years now, but also the term “global warming” will have its 35th anniversary next week. On 8 August 1975, Wally Broecker published his paper “Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming?” in the journal Science. That appears to be the first use of the term “global warming” in the scientific literature (at least it’s the first of over 10,000 papers for this search term according to the ISI database of journal articles).

In this paper, Broecker correctly predicted “that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide”, and that “by early in the next century [carbon dioxide] will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1000 years”. He predicted an overall 20th Century global warming of 0.8ºC due to CO2 and worried about the consequences for agriculture and sea level.

He wasn’t the first to predict that rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere would alter climate patterns, but, explains scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, Broecker was the first to take predictions of CO2-linked warming and put them into the context of other, ongoing, climate trends—coming to the conclusion that the cooling experienced from the 1940s through the 1970s was about to reverse itself in a big way.

“Even today, many lay people incorrectly assume that we attribute global warming to CO2 basically because temperature and CO2 levels have both gone up and thus correlate. Broecker came to his prediction at a time when CO2 had been going up but temperatures had been going down for decades—but Broecker (like most other climate scientists at the time, and today) understood the basic physics of the issue.

Announcing the Michigan Skeptics Get Together!

MISkeptics Logo
It's going to be our first Get Together

We will be having our first Get Together on Saturday, September 18th at 4:00 PM in Ginger Restaurant in Canton, MI. We’re expecting to run to about 7:00 PM though it could go longer.

Everyone is invited! Come for dinner, drinks and discussion. Or any combination of the three.

Ginger is located at:

8465 N. Lilley Rd
Canton, MI 48187
Tel: 734-414-1818

Take a peek at the menu: … ry-out.pdf

We have the back room booked so there will be plenty of room for everyone to attend. Be sure to come out, if things work right we’ll have a big announcement for everyone!

Right now we don’t have any discussion topics but if there is something you would like to talk about please let me know in the thread. Otherwise we will have a free-for-all no holds barred talk about anything type of night.

Please RSVP on our Facebook page or here in the Forum so I know how many people are attending so I can adjust the reservation accordingly.

I hope to see you all there!

A Skeptical Evening with Two Paranormal Investigators

On Wednesday MISkeptics went to an event hosted by Chris Lindsay of the Ann Arbor Science and Skeptics Meetup group. I had been excited about going to this for quite some time since Chris had managed to schedule 2 (count ’em, 1 and 2!) Paranormal groups to the event. I was looking forward to talking with them about their techniques and their process for “ghost detection”. Plus their views on the scientific method and logical evidence gathering and critique. What I walked away with was a bucket full of shattered myths and misconceptions and in invitation to provide a skeptical resource to their evidence and statistic resources.

I asked Chris to write up and article for us and he provided this gem which you can find after the jump. Continue reading

Penn & Teller Take on Anti-Vax on “Bullshit” Tonight

Tonight is a new episode of  “Penn & Teller: Bullshit” and this should be a good one. This time they take on the anti-vax groups.

Here is a preview:

I’m looking forward to this one. They have been pretty good at getting to the heart of the matter while managing to stay humorus and self-depreciating (ala Fast Food is Bullshit). Be sure to watch it. If you don’t know much about the topic or the Anti-Vax claims you can find the information here, thanks to The Skeptics Dictionary.

Come and Chat with two Real Paranormal Investigation Groups!

The Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics are meeting up this Wednesday, on August 11th at El Camino Real off of State Street (near Briarwood). We will enjoy some tasty Mexican food and cerveza/margaritas/soda and discussing ghost-hunting. There will be two representatives from paranormal investigation groups (Frost Paranormal and Grimstone Inc.) that will give us an overview about their interest and experiences in paranormal investigations. The timeframe is 6:30 to 8:30 and I will have a table-sign with the Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics logo.  Feel free to stop by if you’re otherwise interested and don’t have anything else to do that evening.

We will Post an article after the meeting as well detailing the event.

New study presents unmistakable evidence for global warming

Phil Plait recently posted an article that once again confirms Global Warming and takes a little bit of time to call out deniers.

He cites a large NOAA Study, which includes data from 300 scientists with 160 research groups in 48 countries. The outcome is clear, The Earth has been warming for more than 50 years.  But this isn’t new evidence. I take that back. The evidence and the reports are new. It’s the OUTCOME that isn’t new. New reports pile up and all come to the same conclusion. Global Warming is real.

Ten Indicators of a Warming World.
Ten Indicators of a Warming World.

Of course, deniers will deny…

But to deny means to ignore the evidence, or twist it, spin it, cherry-pick it, distort it. Studies like the one above are critical, but they will be dismissed by the deniers and their acolytes. We need to keep hammering away at the deniers, and make sure we get as much press — more — than they do. Because this is real, it’s happening, and all the denialists with their fingers in their ears cannot change that. All they can do at this point is make it worse.

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