Climate Change Discussion..A Warming World

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

greenland history Climate Change Discussion..A Warming World

This graph from the Greenland Ice Core has my mind in a tail spin. The debate and conversation around Global Warming and Climate Change has become so political, so agenda driven, so money-corrupted…I just do not know what to believe anymore. It seems every scientist comes from an organization who has hired them to find a particular outcome. Or that scientist has a belief which they set out to prove.

I think both sides provide very convincing arguments and data to support their point of view. It is a fascinating topic…and an evolving science which needs debate and discussion to be open…not sequestered. 

I am very much torn on how much our small amount of Carbon Dioxide is driving the current warming…or if this warming is anything out of the ordinary at all. Politicians/Scientists speak of needing to act now or we may reach a point of no return. Will curbing our carbon footprint have any impact on global temperature?  The science is settled after all. Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant and energy needs to be regulated. Ca-ching!  I wonder if all the billions of dollars raised will help cool the globe?

When you look at this graphic…it sure puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Sure, 2010 was the warmest year in recorded history for Boston..and many other cities. Our records go back to 1872 in Boston. A blip in time in the billion year history of climate and weather on Earth.  It does not mean much in the grand scale of time. But it IS something in our little time here on Earth!

 It is obvious we have been warming since the Little Ice Age 1500’s-1800’s and since we moved into the Industrial age. That is about all Al Gore, The EPA, and NASA’s James Hansen want you to know. This shows the greatest spike in temperature….if you just look at that.  But It is like pulling teeth to have global warming proponents talk about the Medieval Warm Period. ..before there were cars! Forget about what came before that!

This chart above just makes a lot of sense to me. You know why? 18,000 years ago New England was under a glacier hundreds of feet deep of ice  It had to take A LOT of warmth to melt all of that ice. Our climate has been steadily warming since our last age….all without the help of planes, cars and factories.  We are currently at the peak of an interglacial warm phase. So out of  15,000 years of broad scale warming…the last 100 years have spiked and the climate is spinning out of control because of us? Really?

In this kind of optimal climate…life can prosper, food can grow, and people can adapt. I do not think those things are as easily done in an ice age. In fact it would be much harder to live.  

It takes incredible hubris to think we can control the thermostat of the earth. What is the perfect temperature for the Earth anyway? Can we make it cool? I have a feeling a Cold pacific and a quiet Sun have a better chance to cool us then driving a Prius and changing our light bulbs.

What do you think of this graphic and the overall Climate change discussion? I certainly believe in Climate Change and Global Warming. I resent when people say I do not believe in Climate change. It is one of the few things in this life I do believe in!!! But I do question how much we as humans are a driver of global temperature. I want to stress I remain open to both sides of the discussion…I wish everyone would be as well.

I feel there is too much reliance on Computer model forecasts and not enough discussion or knowledge of the physical processes and cycles of the ocean and Sun and their over effects on the climate system. The debate is not over! Despite what Al Gore and Ed Markey may say. Where are these guys by the way? Paging Al….

  • rrgrzych

    I love it Joe…keep politics out of this and let’s focus on the data. I myself am quite a skeptic that the warming we have seen the past 100 years is anything other than a natural process. Whenever I try to “debate” this with friends and relatives the first words out of my mouth are “but you are using 100 years of data out of billions” I myself studied math in college and I tell them if I did any statistical analysis with that kind of data my profs would have laughed me out of the classroom. The debate is wide open no matter what they say and kudos for you for tackling this subject in this blog.

    • klem

      I only have an undergraduate degree in science, and my profs would have tossed me out on my ear if I had tried some of the tricks some of these climatologists have been getting away with.

  • rogerthesurf

    May I recommend my blog which incidently links to the raw data of the graph you illustrate ablove.

    I also support what rrgrzych is saying and would also point out that the only “proof” of AGW is a number of debateable correlations.

    In my freshman statistics class we were belaboured with the fact that a correlation is NEVER proof of anything.

    Did I go to a different university from all these wonderful IPCC scientists then?



  • Bob

    Wow, how many scientists does it take to convince you guys – 5000 to 1? 10,000? These are not politicians here, they’re scientists, and they’re worried, and yes, skeptic that I am, I believe them. Joe, I don’t know if CBS pays you to write this stuff, but they just lost a longtime customer.

    • klem

      Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • rrgrzych

    Bob is the perfect illustration of what the political and world of media is doing to scientists who won’t just talk the talk…don’t want to say and repeat it verbatim…then I will shut you out. Really quite sad, and of course irresponsible and immature.

  • Uncover

    I couldn’t agree more, Joe. There are way too many interests involved and let’s not forget all of these scientists were getting very little grant money before the alarmism ramped up. It all seems very plausible and the temperatures are indeed warming, but we are interrupting data and making conclusions and those conclusions should be freely discussed – that’s what science is all about. You should not be demonize for wanting a discussion. Ultimately, the thong that has been fascinating me the most over the past few tees is your question what is the optimal temperature for us? Is warming a good thing? Do we have more arable land? If we are in fact warming the planet, could it help stop another ice age from happening that would surely wipe out a lot of life on this planet.these are interesting points of discussion that I wish were more acceptable. Btw, I am very far left politically, so for me it is more about the scientist in me and not the politics.

    • ELaw

      I used to feel the same way… it seems there’s always grant money available if you want to cry “the sky is falling”!

      But consider this: suppose I were a climate scientist with good credentials and could produce convincing, good-quality, reproducible evidence that Man’s activities were NOT causing climate change. How long would it be before a pipeline was installed in my living room, conveying $$$$$ upon $$$$$ from oil companies, large industrial polluters, and similar interests?

      • klem

        It would not take long at all. Of course the pipeline would be much smaller than one for a climate scientist who produces proof that Man’s activities WERE causing climate change, but you gotta take the good with the bad.


    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for taking the initiative for debating this important issue. I am a scientist and trained in research methodology. I always welcome opposing viewpoints and think it is critical to have this to advance science. As you stated, statistics are very powerful and data can be manipulated in ways that support a particular frame of reference. I would really want to have a climate scientists perspective on what this graph shows and how it should be interpreted. This would be very useful perspective and help me better understand the potential limitations/biases that this data might have.

  • haterain

    Thank you…

  • bob

    I don’t know if rrgrzych is still reading these comments, but I agree it’s better not to abandon someone you disagree with, so I’m back. I did a quick search to see if Joe has expressed other opinions about climate change, and to his credit, he did post this piece back in June:
    I also recognize that Joe isn’t a climate change denier, but he has a much bigger audience than most of us readers, so he has more influence on public opinion, and I want to be sure he’s done his research.

    Joe, I’m not sure if you read these comments, but can you say more about this sentence? “I feel there is too much reliance on Computer model forecasts and not enough discussion or knowledge of the physical processes and cycles of the ocean and Sun and their over effects on the climate system.” Almost everything I’ve read includes both computer models and an understanding of the climate systems involved.

    I probably sound like I’m taking this stuff too seriously, but really I’m as skeptical as the next guy – probably more so. The thing is, this is an unusual case where I’ve never seen so much agreement among scientists, most of whom have no financial interest at stake – they’re just concerned for their kids, friends, property, etc. and so am I. With the network of data that’s emerging about climate change (which means more than warming – it also includes storms, floods, ocean acidification, deserts, etc.), we’re witnessing scientists collaborate like never before. I agree with nogaps’ comment that I’d like to see climate scientists interpret the graph above, and given that the data is from 2000, expert interpretations aren’t hard to find. A quick google search on “r.b. alley younger dryas cold interval” brings up 5000+ results. The scary part is that the peaks and valleys of this graph appear to correlate with mass-extinction events. So even if you’re not sure we’re causing these changes, I sure hope you’d listen to the thousands of scientists who are devoting their expertise to do something about it.

  • Joe Joyce

    That is what baffles me as well Bob. How did we get this far into the science of human induced global warming when a simple graph like the one displayed above says so much, yet so little about man’s over all impact on the climate system . The global models used for forecasting global warming serve a purpose but have overdone the warming when compared to the actual data over the past 10-15 years. They are based around C02 being the main driver of warming…thus with C02 on the rise…temps will go up and sea levels will rise.
    I can see that.
    But I also am very well aware of the more direct correlation global temperature has with the oceans..particularly the Pacific…When temps warm…when cool…global temps cool. Pretty simple really…all in the middle of a broadscale warming coming out of an interglacial.
    So I am really torn. I see both sides of the argument but I fell the the gloabl warming side just seems too comfortable in their computer model forecasts and does not give nearly enough credit to the large natural forces in play who are the real drivers outside of man’s small contribution

    • bob

      Sorry if this is a duplicate – for some reason it’s not letting me send, so I’m splitting it into 2 messages. Thanks for your thoughtful answers Joe. At some point I finally got convinced that humans are responsible for this current trend, and I trust that the vast majority of scientists on the planet are not fudging data for the organizations funding them. Most scientists enter the field for the same reasons I assume you did – because it interested you – and they know how to look at complex data sets. Not just computer models – I mean graphs like yours above. Cont’d

  • Joe Joyce

    I can say after my recent visit to Woods Hole to talk about sea level rise…they are completely on board Man induced global warming and the potential for dramatic sea level rise in the next 100 years. There is plenty of science going on down there…so that gave me pause.

    I just do not know what to believe or who to trust. I question this young science and and the accuracy of the modelling . Many of these scientists have never made a forecast in their lives.
    I tend to trust people like William Gray & Joe D’Aleo because at least they have made accurate and reliable long range forecasts for decades.
    They are much more focused on the ocean being a driver over humans. It seems to make a bit more sense to me….but again I don’t know what to think. I remain open to all science.

    • klem

      If they think the oceans drive climate over humans, that means they are holocaust deniers..I mean climate deniers.

  • Mike L

    Perfect and very well said Joe! Agree with you totally!

  • klem

    “I just do not know what to believe anymore. It seems every scientist comes from an organization who has hired them to find a particular outcome.”

    It’s simple. Only believe the scientists who are paid by green organizations like Green-Tech, the WWF or Sierra Club for example. We all know their money is pure while coal and oil money is evil. Lol!

    • Jim T

      Ok klem, let’s go with your example:

      Sierra Club 2008 revenue: 53.5 million (from their website)
      Exxon-Mobil 2009 revenue: 310.58 billion (from Wikipedia)

      Who has more at stake here?

      • Uncover

        Totally here you Jim, but most scientists get their money from grants. Any scientist working for Exxon, would e referee to as Exxon – not the individual scientist.

        The point I would make is that we do have to understand that these scientists livelihood and ability to work is based on their ability to generate grants. So, we have to be careful looking at them as being entirely unbiased. Now, we know that Exxon is going to be very clearly biased.

  • Uncover

    Joe – I totally agree. I just don’t know who trust anymore. I’m no means global warming denier, but I definitely don’t trust people that get so angry when you question analyses and conclusions. If we had given into these types, we would still believe the earth is the center of the universe. We should always be questioning and discovering more – that is what science is all about.

    • klem

      And making a buck.

  • Uncover

    By the way, shouldn’t we all be much more alarmed by the fact that we will run out of oil? That is much more compelling for me and there is no disagreement about that (except for the timing of when this will happen). That should be motivating us to very quickly develop sustainable energy.

    • Stephen B.

      I agree completely Uncover. While we’ll never “run out” of oil totally, the easy, cheap supplies are basically gone and what isn’t gone is going to be easily soaked up by Chindia and the 3 billion plus people still wanting their first car. It’s going to continue to completely disrupt and destroy our economy which, face it, is COMPLETELY predicated on growing, cheap energy, but especially oil supplies in order to support all the debt.

      There’s plenty of reasons besides possible man-made climate change to want to burn way less carbon fuels.

      That said, I’m glad to see some such as Joe urging some caution on embracing this man-made warming idea so completely and totally.

      Back to Warming and the chart….I find it interesting how relatively long the Little Ice Age was compared to the other three or so dips below the present 2000-2010 temperature bench mark.

    • klem

      There is enough oil, gas and coal to last the world 300 years or more. That effectively makes them sustainable energy.

      I think we should be much more alarmed by the fact that at any time, humanity is only one virus away from extinction. Yet we spend much more money on armaments.

  • manowx

    The argument about how much human co2 forces warming is a red herring because the amount produced is well in excess of what the natural carbon cycle can assimilate. This means with an average irradiance, co2 concentration can only go up! This in aand of itself is cause to reduce emissons

  • manowx

    Mr Joyce may be a brown-lasher because he only emphasizes the unsettled science and does not espouse precautionary, proactive measures that would reduce the concentration long-term…assuming an average irradiance. As a member of naturalist party, I say we take the high road. Is not “hubris” to think that we can change the climate. I submit it is a cavalier attitude

  • manowx

    correction – a cavalier attitude that we cannot change climate.. This refreshing of page has me typing too fast

  • Topkatt88


  • Charlie

    Now they say there’s more ice on the north pole, it’s just thinner, and new ice

  • Joe Joyce

    Brown-Lasher? Never heard of that,,,must be a Naturalist party thing..being that you are so very “Green”…I must be “Brown” then? That is quite an assumption you are making. I definitely believe in reducing pollution and toxins out of the air. I am afraid C02 does not qualify as a toxin…. A natural gas which plant use for food. Not quite. But it is definitely being used as a tool to regulate and tax as just recently the EPA has called C02 a pollutant…and we all know this is a fraud.

    I think it is vital to have clean water and oceans, clean air, conserve energy and recycle. Reduce our consumption and use of plastics. Use organic and biodegradable products. I love this planet and want it to thrive for the millions of years after we are gone. It most certainly will. I am a naturalist too Manowx. But curbing our emissions is going to come at a significant cost of $$, taxes, jobs, food, transportation, ect…form what I can see will be a very neglible difference in global temperature if any at all.

    I guess “Naturalists” are willing to take the plunge no matter the cost….I am not quite there yet…especially if global temps starts cooling with the PDO

  • Joe Joyce

    Plus alternative forms of energy from hydro,solar and wind need to be developed…but they need to be an effective reliable resource. They also need to be profitable. They can not rely on US tax dollars for ever…or can they?
    Either way..preparing for a fossil fueless world would be wise…because there will be a serious conflict if it comes down to those final drop of oil don’t you think?

    • Pants on fire

      Right Joe, those renewable energy resources should not rely on tax dollars, the same way oil companies don’t rely on $4 BILLION US tax dollars annually. (

      C’mon Joe, give up the ghost. You’re making arguments based on emotions, lies and half-truths. You’re either extraordinarily poorly informed or a blatant liar.

  • rrgrzych

    Wow…I got to hand it to you Joe…you are my favorite blogger on BZ…its great to see somebody in your field stand up to those that attack us because we won’t blindly accept the conclusions they have pre determined with flawed data and manipulative statistics. Joe if you have a chance to answer a quick question…I have read several articles about nws weather automation stations being placed in areas where their environment would affect their reading (ie next to factories, blacktop parking lots ect)…how big of a problem is that do you believe?

  • joejoycewbz

    I think improper placement of the national network of surface stations is a HUGE problem. is the website to see just how bad the problem is. It is bizarre how many are so imporperly placed near concrete and air conditioning units. Apparently some 60-70% of stations are reporting in error towards the warm because of outside factors. Plus just recently much of Canada has had their reporting stations retired or decomissioned. They are major part in reporting the cold of the northern latitdues…now we have very little coming from this part of the world. Fascinating to look into…again…who and what to trust?

    • Pants on fire

      That “HUGE” problem isn’t highlighted just on, a site run by climate denier Anthony Watts, it’s also highlighted on WattsUpWithThat which is run by, yes, Anthony Watts.

      Try googling Watts to see just how many scientists debunk his work over and over again. Did you train with him Joe? He’s also a TV weatherman.

  • rrgrzych

    Thanks joe…I appreciate you taking the time to address my question…I have seen severalarticles on it but I figured that particular media outlet might have been just emphasizing those situations that supported those claims…but it appears it is quite widespread. Once again thanks for taking the time to be an active participant on these blogs.

  • manowx

    Mr Brown Lasher Joyce must also be a Republican because he proposes that very little be done. He fears an economic collapse from a grre economy. No one is advocating heedless action As for EPA, they are more bark than bite. We must recognize that fossil fuel emission is an imbalance and has the potential to alter temperature significantly long-term. Mr Joyce would rather kick the can until the evidence is incontrovertible.

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