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  1. Someone tell Mike Mann he doesn’t need to worry about Andy Revkin’s unpredictability anymore:
    http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/revkin_taking_nyt_buyout.php

    Comment by Lab Lemming — 14 Dec 2009 @ 10:03 PM

  2. Mike’s giving a talk at 8am on Thursday morning on Communicating Climate Change, which I’m really looking forward to:
    abstract

    [edit of URL]

    Comment by Steve — 14 Dec 2009 @ 10:27 PM

  3. Ahhhh yes, talks during the day, pints at Plough and Stars at night. I know how it goes! :^ )

    Comment by Jeff L. — 14 Dec 2009 @ 11:32 PM

  4. Hopefully someone can go to Richard Alley’s talk and report if it doesn’t appear online. He’s one of my favorite scientists, and a great communicator.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 14 Dec 2009 @ 11:51 PM

  5. Hello Gavin,

    I know that you have been interested in changing the impression of “secret science”. Unfortunately the skeptics have been provided some more ammunition with the recent redirects of the CRU data. Do you have any thoughts on why this is happening? Load per se cannot be the issue as these files are not that much larger than a webpage.

    [Response: I’m guessing that ‘normal service’ has not been resumed. Do not underestimate the amount of c**p that has descended on everyone there. – gavin]

    Comment by berkeley_statistician — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:25 AM

  6. #2: “Mike’s giving a talk at 8am on Thursday morning on Communicating Climate Change, which I’m really looking forward to:”

    Events of the last week or two have certainly demonstrated Mike Mann’s particular skills in Communicating Climate Change. Would love to be there too.

    Comment by mondo — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:45 AM

  7. Their blog alone is worth a lot. Thanks much RC for pointing this conference out to us. Very interesting.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:48 AM

  8. Does anybody ever wonder about the contribution 16,000 people make to global warming by traveling to these things? It seems like every man and his dog is at copenhagen.

    Comment by Elliot — 15 Dec 2009 @ 2:55 AM

  9. Thanks for covering this. Earlier today, after reading about the 10th tiresome post on stolen emails over at AccuWeather’s climate blog, in which it was incredibly enlightening to learn that William Gray finds “ClimateGate” to validate his conspiracy theories, I finally advised the blogger it might do his readers some good to ditch the political soap box for a few days and cover one of the major scientific conferences of the year. The lack of media coverage on Copenhagen doesn’t look so bad when compared with the crickets from this kind of event.

    Steve Easterbrook’s comments are a good read.

    Tuesday’s lectures look pretty good. Perhaps part of closing the communication gap between science and the public is to get more of these lectures online. Does one need to be an AGU conference attendee to absorb Richard Alley’s lecture, or will there be some online material? How about a more condensed layperson summary?

    Comment by MarkB — 15 Dec 2009 @ 2:59 AM

  10. As an occasional contributor to RealClimate and also a big fan of the transatlantic Alliance, I thought this short You Tube video on NATO and climate change might prove interesting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef5O48_sPzM

    I hope that posting links like this is not frowned upon.

    Comment by Steven239 — 15 Dec 2009 @ 6:01 AM

  11. Beer?
    Aren’t they packed with CO2 that releases upon pouring?

    Comment by Patrik — 15 Dec 2009 @ 7:23 AM

  12. Happy hour at the San Francisco Brewing Company in North Beach – really worth the walk.

    Comment by Deech56 — 15 Dec 2009 @ 8:14 AM

  13. Elliot says:
    15 décembre 2009 at 2:55 AM
    “Does anybody ever wonder about the contribution 16,000 people make to global warming by traveling to these things? It seems like every man and his dog is at copenhagen.”

    Uh, Elliot, we’re trying to combat climate change so that we can save human civilization. If you’re going to insiste that we give up science, then I’m afraid I don’t see the point.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Dec 2009 @ 9:30 AM

  14. So I’m curious as whether any of our bold and intrepid skeptics or denialists are going and presenting their case for why this or that measurement, process, or whatever is faulty. Or maybe they made a request to present and the were denied the opportunity by the world-wide climate conspiracy?

    Comment by Dean — 15 Dec 2009 @ 10:07 AM

  15. “Uh, Elliot, we’re trying to combat climate change so that we can save human civilization.”

    Well that and the hookers. And the beer. And the government grants. And the hookers.

    Comment by attila — 15 Dec 2009 @ 10:41 AM

  16. Re: #8 Elliot & #13 Ray.

    From: Keith J. Mason “Future trends in business travel decision making” Journal of Air Transportation Vol. 7, No. 1 – 2002

    “The companies spent £95 million on air travel in 1999. The average number of short haul trips taken in 1999 was over 9,000, and the average number of long haul flights (longer than three hours) was 2,260.”

    11,000+ flights per company per annum in 1999.

    Just sayin…

    Comment by Chris S — 15 Dec 2009 @ 10:56 AM

  17. I’m originally from the Bay Area, and suggest that attendees take BART to Berkeley. Hotels cost half as much, and you can meet some great scientists from Cal.
    San Francisco has become too touristy anyway.

    Comment by mike roddy — 15 Dec 2009 @ 11:17 AM

  18. Chris S., then maybe we need to figure out a way to travel that is less carbon intensive. Just sayin’…

    Yes, we can telecon more, but you cannot replace face-to-face time with a telecon.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Dec 2009 @ 11:39 AM

  19. Gavin, you should really pay attention to Popular Mechanics. They have just published a list of 500 peer reviewed articles that dispute the main arguments of anthropogenic global warming:

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    DO you think you could provide a similar list for your side? With both of these lists it would be really easy to immediately see where the real controversies in science are. Let the debate begin!

    [Response: Ummm.. since I’m an advisor to Popular Mechanics, I think they’d have told me. You might want to look into it a little more…. – gavin]

    Comment by yggdrasil — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:04 PM

  20. Yeah, and stock trading times are down to single digit milliseconds.

    I recall reading that Admiral Hopper used to carry a ‘millisecond’ (a piece of wire showing how far light travels in that length of time) to explain why satellite phone calls have necessary delays in them to Congressmen. This is the inverse of that; smaller faster computers squeezed closer together just to make the financial markets spin faster. And they don’t remember that ‘velocity’ multiplies how much ‘money’ is effectively in circulation and worry that it will evaporate. Again.

    There’s ample stupidity about what things cost and what the world is worth, for sure.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:08 PM

  21. Comment by Elliot — 15 December 2009 @ 2:55 AM

    “Does anybody ever wonder about the contribution 16,000 people make…”

    Just thinking about the air segment, about 2.2 billion people travel by air each year. So you can quickly work out a rough idea of the the percentage impact on air travel imposed by the conference. Put another way, this is just a small flavor variant on the sophomoric and trivial “Al Gore and his road show” joke so much appreciated by the innumerate dullards everywhere.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:11 PM

  22. yggdrasil says: 15 December 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Priceless.

    Does “Popular Mechanics”==”Popular Technology”

    “Let the debate begin!”

    Too funny.

    The CRU damp squib has exposed an entirely new and previously unplumbed sump of wannabe wits, depressing the worth and durability of pseudonyms around here. “yggdrasil” all used up, in one post, but I guess this stands as an example of why somebody would hide their identity for good cause.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:45 PM

  23. @15 attila: Hookers, beer and government grants are an integral part of civilization since at least the Pharaohs.
    Those who appear all outraged at their existence are either surprisingly unobservant or understandably upset at not enjoying them as much as they would like.

    @18, Ray Ladbury:

    This might be a good idea:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductrack

    It is far from my area of physics and I have no time to do a proper lit search, but I read about it sometime ago
    and it sounds good. At speeds of 500 mph it has half the speed of commercial airplanes, so
    it could be used to supplant flights of less than 4 hrs duration (thinking that in any flight there is about a 2 hrs. procedure of checking-in, security and boarding so that a 4 hr. train ride is tantamount to a 2 hr. flight).
    Short haul trips are by far the majority of flights so this system could be a big help.

    Comment by Konstantin — 15 Dec 2009 @ 12:45 PM

  24. #18 Ray.

    All I was trying to show was a comparison between Copenhagen and the average multinational – Doug showed it better in #21.

    Given that all the quality time at any conference I’ve been to happened outside the lecture halls (mealtimes, poster sessions, sat on the coach to/from the hotel, fag breaks even) I fully understand the need for them – although I’d agree that telecon has its place.

    Comment by Chris S. — 15 Dec 2009 @ 1:11 PM

  25. I recall reading that Admiral Hopper used to carry a ‘millisecond’ (a piece of wire showing how far light travels in that length of time

    Nanosecond, actually. Carrying around a millisecond would’ve been a bit burdensome … :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 15 Dec 2009 @ 1:43 PM

  26. Re #20:

    Um, Hank, I believe you meant that Admiral Hopper carried around a piece of wire representing how far light travels in a nanosecond. About a foot (30 cm). A millisecond length would be about a million feet, roughly 200 miles, which would be awkward to tote to lectures.

    This nit aside, I certainly appreciate the links and info in your comments. You do a great service to the layman reader.

    Comment by Phillip Shaw — 15 Dec 2009 @ 1:51 PM

  27. yggdrasil:

    Actually, you are a little bit late. The list has been already “debated”

    See here:
    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/poptarts-450-climate-change-denier-lies/

    Comment by Molnar — 15 Dec 2009 @ 2:10 PM

  28. I know you won’t publish this, but I’m responding so Gavin can see my comment.

    Gavin, you said:

    [Response: I suggest that the next time the IPCC writes a report, you review it and suggest clarifications of any line you don’t find clear. Thousands of people did last time to very good effect. However, it’s a little late for AR4. – gavin]

    My response:

    (1) Thank you for finally admitting that sentence was unclear and did not convey that tree ring proxies diverged from temperature readings.

    [edit]

    [Response: It is clear that the sentence isn’t clear to you. However, it was clear to me. It is not as if the IPCC report is supposed to be inerrant; the multiple rounds of review are very helpful in sorting out issues which may be clear to the authors but were not effectively communicated but aren’t perfect. Had you reviewed the report, no doubt you would have made a comment, and the sentence might well have been expanded slightly. But going over it again and again now is a little pointless. – gavin]

    Comment by Skip Smith — 15 Dec 2009 @ 4:29 PM

  29. Yggdrasil,
    There are several problems with that list:
    a) a large share (90 items) are in Energy & Environment, a contrarian “grey” journal that caters to those in denial about AGW. They provide “peer” review in the sense of “fellow deniers”, but they have very few subscribers and their impact factor seems to be off the scale at the bottom: ISI Web of Knowledge doesn’t list them at all. The PopTech website gives a footnote for E&E saying it’s carried in 39 libraries worldwide, “at universities” – notice how they give no number; last I heard it was about five.

    Now, while there are a scattering of articles that made it into serious journals with significant impact factor (I see Nature, EPSL, PNAS, GRL) these surely also undercut the claim that climate ‘skeptics’ are being uniformly shut out and censored. They can publish just like anyone else, as long as they make some kind of plausible case for the specific point they argue. Peer review doesn’t mean something is guaranteed correct; rather, it means it’s more likely to be worth taking time to read, consider, and then possibly argue with than all the articles that don’t make it.

    Now look at some of the other venues where list entries had to go to get into print:
    Irrigation and Drainage
    Iron & Steel Technology
    Latvian Journal of Physics and Technical Sciences
    Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service
    Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology
    AAPG Bulletin – that’s the American Assoc. of Petroleum Geologists

    The text at the end is a bit overheated as well – look under “Rebuttals” and notice how every criticism of the list is deemed “LYING”, and the last item saying that nobody can rebut the list on a blog, wiki, or YouTube video (although the list is on the internet, it can’t be rebutted on the internet?)

    Comment by Jim Prall — 15 Dec 2009 @ 6:27 PM

  30. Goodness, scientists meet once a year to discuss recent research and exchange ideas and the usual skippies have to make sour comments here. Ugh!

    Anyway, I had thought that the GrIS mass balance results up to and including August were usually presented at the AGU fall meetings, but this year, I looked through the program and could not find this type of presentation.

    Please, can someone tell me when and where the GrIS mass balance results through August 2009 will appear? I already know that the results through February are out there.

    Thanks!

    Comment by Tenney Naumer — 15 Dec 2009 @ 7:37 PM

  31. regarding the list of papers at http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html
    posted by yggdrasil — 15 December 2009 @ 12:04 PM

    It’s crap.

    in the abstract for “A Climate of Doubt about Global Warming
    (Environmental Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp. 213, June 2008)”
    – Robert C. Balling Jr. claims that “In addition, increased output of the sun, lack of recent volcanism, and trends in El Niño/Southern Oscillation have certainly contributed to any observed warming. The entire issue is further complicated by the fact that satellite-based and balloon-based measurements of lower atmospheric temperatures show no warming whatsoever over the past few decades.”

    But in the very next paper on the list, “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions (PDF)
    (International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, pp. 1693-1701, December 2007)”
    – David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer publish data from satellites and radiosonde measurements that show warming trends and prove Balling is lying about the temperature measurements.
    He’s also lying about increased output of the sun; see Figure 3 in (#24 on the list) “Are there connections between the Earth’s magnetic field and climate? (PDF)
    (Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 253, Issues 3-4, pp. 328-339, January 2007)”
    – Vincent Courtillot, Yves Gallet, Jean-Louis Le Mouël, Frédéric Fluteau, Agnès Genevey,
    (or http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/pmod/from/mean:6/offset:-1366.6/scale:0.5/plot/esrl-co2/offset:-330/scale:0.01/from:1975/plot/uah/mean:4. I wonder if Courtillot et al truncated the temperature data at 1990 to hide their own “divergence” problem?)

    Indeed, it’s not just crap, it’s self refuting crap. It would be an enormous waste of time to put on hip boots and wade through it all, but then that’s the point.

    google searches (yes I know correlation isn’t causation, but it’s a start)
    Results 1 – 10 of about 1,450 for “climate change denial” “Craig Loehle”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 2,730 for “climate change denial” “Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 2,860 for “climate change denial” “journal energy and environment”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 3,040 for “tobacco industry” “fred singer”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 4,000 for “climate change denial” “Robert C. Balling”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 6,050 for “climate change denial” “John R. Christy”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 20,700 for “climate change denial” “Stephen McIntyre”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 37,400 for “climate change denial” “Ross McKitrick”
    Results 1 – 10 of about 41,500 for “climate change denial” “S. Fred Singer”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 15 Dec 2009 @ 7:39 PM

  32. Re: #31

    I love that link to the list of shoddy papers!

    Puts all the lies in one place! Excellent resource material for knowing just what is crap and what is not.

    Thanks!

    Comment by Tenney Naumer — 15 Dec 2009 @ 8:10 PM

  33. I have posted a summary / review of Richard Alley’s Bjerknes lecture “The biggest control knob – Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s climate history” on my blog:

    AGU Day 2

    The review of Alley’s lecture starts in the fifth paragraph and comprises the remainder of that post.

    In brief – it was very well attended, beautifully presented and thought-provoking. He spent some time at the start outlining how an alumnus from his own university had tried to have him dismissed for “crimes against the scientific community, Penn State University, the citizens of this great country and of the world”. This caused considerable amusement in the hall.

    Comment by Dave Petley — 15 Dec 2009 @ 10:57 PM

  34. Hi,

    I have heard that most of the top climate scientists had/have taken a pledge to stop flying in order not to appear hypocritical and to present a positive role model for the average person. Is this true?And if it is, were the participants in SF and Copenhagen local scientist that took public transport, or rode their bikes to the conference?

    Comment by franky — 15 Dec 2009 @ 11:59 PM

  35. Given that (1) annual human CO2 contribution to the atmosphere is around 3% (actually 2.91% from figures published in IPCC´s 2001 report), and that (2) CO2 maximal estimated contribution to the green-house-effect is 26% (Wikipedia: a non-skeptic-source for AGW), the actual maximal-man-made-contribution to global warming could be calculated to be: 0.03 x 0.26 x 100 = 0.75%. That means that less that 1% of any change in the climate can be attributed to anthropogenic CO2. Knowing this figures to be correct (a good estimation), which reasoning do you use to blame humankind for 100% of any CO2 linked climate change?.

    [Response: You are very confused. The human contribution is about 27% (105 ppmv out of 385 ppmv) of the current CO2 level, almost 60% of the CH4 level, and 100% of the CFCs. The impact of these changes cause changes in the other components of the greenhouse effect (the ‘feedbacks’) and so the % attribution seen in total GHE is not the relevant number (and since I am the source for it in the first place, I should know). Instead, the correct calculation is to work out the total forcing of of all the anthropogenic and natural changes over the 20th C, and then multiply that by the sensitivity of the climate, take into account the thermal inertia of the system and then compare the result to the temperature rises. And lo and behold, it fits. – gavin]

    It seems to me very unlikely that the actual annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (11,700 billion Tm; according to IPCC´s 2001 report), equivalent to 50% of our CO2 production, corresponds only to human produced CO2. In this respect, are there any atmospheric CO2 isotope studies supporting that Mother Nature selectively absorbs/retains ONLY/MOSTLY human-produced-CO2 in the atmosphere?. If so, any references pointing to that possibility would be most appreciated.

    Don´t you think that we´ll have to conclude that 99% OF ANY CLIMATE CHANGE LINKED TO ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS NATURAL, and only 1% could be atributed to man?.

    [Response: No. – gavin]

    Comment by Alfonso — 16 Dec 2009 @ 12:05 AM

  36. Tenney Naumer
    Not all the papers on the list are shoddy, nor do they all “dispute the main arguments of anthropogenic global warming”.

    For instance, “Nature of observed temperature changes across the United States during the 20th century (PDF)”
    (Climate Research, Volume 17, Number 1, pp. 45–53, July 2001)
    – Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels, Robert E. Davis

    ” Our results show that the nature of temperature changes in the United States during this period of warming are quite different from those that occurred during an earlier period of comparable warming with much less human modification of the composition of the atmosphere.”
    and “…the surface air temperature change that has occurred during the period of the greatest human influence on the climate is one in which increases of extremely low temperatures have dominated over those of high temperatures – a climate tending toward moderation rather than the extreme”, which is consistent with model predictions of decreased differences between the tropics and the poles, and greater warming in the polar regions where the cold air masses that drive temperate region cold snaps originate

    Mostly what’s crap is they way the papers were all lumped together without understanding, consistency, or regard to their actual contents –
    OTOH, “Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics (PDF)”
    (International Journal of Modern Physics B, Volume 23, Issue 03, pp. 275-364, January 2009)
    – Gerhard Gerlich, Ralf D. Tscheuschner made the list.
    One abstract contains the gems “Temperature can be completely decomposed into four timescales quasi-periodic oscillations … The dominant contribution of CO2 concentration to global temperature variation is the trend……Therefore, if CO2 concentration remains constant at present, the CO2 greenhouse effect will be deficient in counterchecking the natural cooling of global climate in the following 20 years.”
    The list may only be intended to get folks to pay for the large number of E&E papers which are paywalled.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 16 Dec 2009 @ 12:12 AM

  37. 2200 years ago a Roman General had this to say re deniers et al

    “Commanders should be counseled chiefly by persons of known talent, by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience, by those who are present at the scene of action, who see the enemy, who see the advantages that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger.

    If, therefore, anyone thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am about to conduct, let him not refuse his assistance to the state, but let him come with me into Macedonia.

    He shall be furnished with a ship, a tent; even his traveling charges will be defrayed, but if he thinks this too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not on land assume the office of a pilot. The city in itself furnishes abundance of topics for conversation; let it confine its passion for talking to its own precincts and rest assured that we shall pay no attention to any counsel but such as shall be framed within our camp.”

    [General Lucius Aemilius Paulus, surnamed Macedonicus, Roman general and patrician, c. 229-160 B.C.]

    Comment by John Peter — 16 Dec 2009 @ 1:04 AM

  38. Back to AGU 2009:

    In session PA24A, Providing Climate Policy Makers With a Strong Scientific Base (4:00-6:00 today–Tuesday), an interesting point was made by a presenter from the National Wildlife Federation (Staudt), by a former congressional intern (Walser), and by an audience member from AGU’s public affairs office (or somesuch).

    Climate scientists should meet with their own congressfolk. Preferably in person. Congressfolk are affected by having a personal conversation with a scientist from that congressperson’s own district.

    AGU, the National Wildlife Federation, and a slew of other nongovernmental organizations are eager to help arrange such meetings either in Washington or in the congressperson’s district, and to advise scientists on how to interact with the congresspeople for maximum effect.

    An example of the latter is Walser’s strong advice to always, always ask for something before leaving the meeting. Something concrete and actionable. Even if the most specific thing you can think of is more funding for a particular line of research. Otherwise the congressperson’s memory of the meeting dissolves the moment it is over, because a bazillion other meetings, requests, and data arrive. Don’t expect the congressperson to translate the knowledge or even enthusiasm you (the scientist) might have passed to them. You must provide that targeting yourself.

    And by the way, you don’t even have to leave the conference hall to get beer at the late afternoon break! How civilized!

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 16 Dec 2009 @ 1:41 AM

  39. To all those who dismissed my point about the impacts of travel on global warming I find you a little hypocritcal. On one hand you want me to reduce my miniscule carbon footprint while you stomp around the planet doing good works. I mean there is something like 40,000 people attending copenhagen. Doing what? Plus all the protestors trashing Denmark in what is essentially a “small flavor variant” on the anarchist protests at the various G8 events. I wonder if it is the same people and if those people are also soccer holigans. Same behaviour.

    Anyway moving on I just want to point out the burning lots of fossil fuels and and saying but my actions will lead to other people burning less is about as ethical as the catholic church living the life of Riley on people tithes and asking people to be poor dirt and humble for God. Actions speak loader than words, walk the talk and video conference or something. Everyone needs to cut back and the people doing the asking should cut back the most not the least.

    Comment by Elliot — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:56 AM

  40. Patrick,

    The yeast that produces the CO2 bubbles in beer takes it out of the air to begin with. Beer is carbon neutral. Go have yourself another six-pack.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Dec 2009 @ 6:47 AM

  41. Elliot: the catholic church living the life of Riley on people tithes…

    BPL: “Reilly.” And have you never heard of the vow of poverty? Churches collect money for the same reason as any other voluntary organization–to pay salaries, rent, costs, and to fund programs. Churches don’t make a profit, which is why, in the US, they are invariably incorporated as nonprofit corporations. They don’t have stockholders. They don’t pay dividends.

    People need to fly to Copenhagen because flight is the only practical way to get there quickly. Yes, our flight infrastructure uses too much fuel. Why don’t you work for airlines to use alternative fuels, then? Or to bring back dirigibles? Blaming scientists for using the transportation infrastructure that exists, rather than some nonexistent alternative, is not very realistic.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 16 Dec 2009 @ 7:08 AM

  42. @barton Paul levenson:
    NO! not a six-pack.
    Do you know how much bubbles there ae in a can (just shake before you open it, and you will know). Yes, it’s from the yeast. But how about the CO2 emitted during the production of the can and the production of the steel for that can? It’s 25 times that volume, from coal…

    Comment by Jkiesel — 16 Dec 2009 @ 7:24 AM

  43. @Gavin (about your answer: You are very confused. The human contribution is about 27% (105 ppmv out of 385 ppmv) of the current CO2 level…)

    Gavin: How could that be?. If the estimated annual human contribution of CO2 in 2001 (asumed to be the highest historically at that time) was 1%, and previously our annual contributions were smaller, it follows that the cummulative total % of CO2 contributed by humans (roughly the average of all the annual contributions by humans) will have to be smaller than 1%. It seems to me that you are taking a wrong asumption by considering that any atmospheric CO2 excess over preindustrial times is anthropogenic in origin, don´t you think?.

    Best regards

    [Response: No. Perhaps you might like to entertain the possibility that your sources are not being entirely truthful? See here. – gavin]

    Comment by Alfonso — 16 Dec 2009 @ 8:01 AM

  44. Elliot,
    You know, when I lived in Africa doing development work, every day I had to confront the moral ambiguity of being well fed, well housed and well resourced as I tried to help people who were none of these. Is it your contention that I should not have bothered or that I should have given away all that I had and then been unable to help anyone? Do you idolize Theodore Kaczynski? He was certainly true to his beliefs. To change the world, one must live in the world.

    I commend to you the words of Emerson: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Dec 2009 @ 8:31 AM

  45. “But how about the CO2 emitted during the production of the can and the production of the steel for that can? It’s 25 times that volume, from coal…”

    I don’t know about anyone else, but when I drink a beer, I don’t try and drink the can too…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Dec 2009 @ 8:54 AM

  46. Alfonso: Think about what you’re saying for just one second. If the net ‘natural flow’ of CO2 into the atmosphere were that big, wouldn’t the atmospheric concentration of CO2 be absolutely huge, and increasing insanely quickly, as well?

    There’s a carbon *cycle*. Huge amounts of CO2 come into the atmosphere each year. Huge amounts of CO2 leave it each year. What you need to consider is the net effect, in order to understand the accumulation in any one place (atmosphere, ocean, land).

    Comment by tharanga — 16 Dec 2009 @ 8:57 AM

  47. Re: #36

    Thanks, Brian. Those were real gems alright.

    Comment by Tenney Naumer — 16 Dec 2009 @ 11:36 AM

  48. In #35 and #43 Alfonso brings up an old talking point that we humans emit a small percentage of what nature emits, and concludes therefore that nature is responsible for most of the increase.

    Alfonso, you need to start thinking about *net* additions. For millions of years nature has been very very nearly balanced, taking as much carbon out of the air as it adds to it.

    Gavin pointed out that we are responsible for 27% of the total amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere because virtually all of the 100ish ppm of increase over the 280 ppm pre-industrial level (107/387 = .276). You come back and ask how that can be, repeating that on an annual basis our contribution is a tiny fraction of what nature adds.

    The part you’re missing is that nature takes all her carbon back out – and about half of ours too. We just add it, we don’t draw any down, so the increase is definitely our responsibility.

    Comment by David Miller — 16 Dec 2009 @ 12:59 PM

  49. Elliot says: 16 December 2009 at 2:56 AM

    “To all those who dismissed my point about the impacts of travel on global warming I find you a little hypocritical.”

    I personally was callous, yes, and I should work on checking that tendency a little bit.

    But this really is a scenario where seeing the big picture in terms of proportions is helpful and encouraging.

    As you imply, the Copenhagen conference is undoubtedly larded with a lot of dead weight and dunnage; the core objectives could probably be accomplished by many fewer persons, indeed more efficiently in terms of delivering an actionable plan.

    Yet the impact of 16,000, 40,000, even 100,000 persons descending on Copenhagen is a rather small number compared to that of 6.8 billion persons pursuing their daily activities. Taking just a subset, about 1.2 billion of us live in “developed” nations. For those of us in that 1.2 billion, there are a plethora of small changes in behavior or choice that– if we’re thoughtful and remember them– will literally in a few hours’ time erase whatever impact of the necessary conjugation of experts and policy makers in Copenhagen.

    For instance, I’m painting the downstairs portion of my house. I’m missing some stuff for prep work. I could make a trip right now to the hardware store and get what I need. Yet in about 5 hours I’ll be making another, scheduled trip to keep an appointment. That trip takes me by the hardware store. By being mindful even on this level I’ll save perhaps a liter and a half of gasoline consumption. I don’t doubt that out of 1.2 billion persons there are many tens of thousands facing the same generally analogous choice, right now. If we’re thoughtful, we avoid using astounding amounts of gasoline. It’s as easy as falling off a log, if we’re mindful. Really, easier than making the wrong choice; why would I want to do the transport segment twice?

    The point here is that we personally each have a lot of low hanging fruit to pluck when it comes to improving our lifestyles, and there are so many billions of us available to do it that inefficiencies such as self-styled anarchists traveling to Copenhagen so as to make a narcissistic brouhaha are really lost in the noise.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:08 PM

  50. Alfonso,

    Maybe this can help clear up your confusion.

    If I consume 2500 calories each day, I won’t gain any weight (given my current level of activity). If I increase my consumption of food (no change in activity) by just 25 calories/day (1% of the total), I will gain just under 3 lbs each year. In 10 years I’ll be almost 30 lbs heavier.

    The extremely small increase of caloric intake (just 1%) has caused a significant weight gain. The same is true for a small increase in CO2 emissions. It’s the cumulative effect. It’s throwing things out of balance (the emission and absorption) that causes the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels. Which in turn causes the warming (or in the case of food, weight gain).

    If you’re still confused, try this:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm

    Comment by Ken W — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:24 PM

  51. AGU output:

    “A satellite instrument designed to improve weather forecasts has provided a wealth of data on the flow of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, scientists said Tuesday.

    The data also verified a mechanism in which rising temperatures increase the rate of ocean evaporation, and the increased water vapor, also a potent greenhouse gas, raises the earth’s temperatures further.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/science/space/16carbon.html?hpw

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:32 PM

  52. @Gavin [Response: No. Perhaps you might like to entertain the possibility that your sources are not being entirely truthful? See here. – gavin]
    Hello again Gavin, I did read and took heed of the sources you offered me (see some comments later). However, I have no reason to doubt my sources, and I hope you don’t find them lacking.
    My premises, and sources, are as follows: (1) Table 3 (pg 6) in document “Emissions of GHG in the United States Department of Energy (Document DOE/EIA-0573 (2004))”.

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/17174165/Emissions-of-Greenhouse-Gases-in

    apparently reflecting on 2001 IPCC´s figures for annual estimates of anthropogenic CO2 emissions (23,100 million Tm), (2) the same table for apparent annual estimates of CO2 emissions from natural origin (770,000 million Tm), and (3) the maximal estimated contribution of CO2 to the GHE (26%), which as depicted in Wikipedia is between 9 and 26%.
    With that little data I asked myself 2 simple questions:
    a) Which is the annual contribution of anthropogenic CO2? (Percentage). Answer: 2.91% (I rounded it up to 3% to don’t allow humans any easy escape from their charges).
    b) If the contributions of CO2 to the GHE were as high as 26%, how much of the global warming produced by CO2 could be justly blamed on human emissions? (You’ll appreciate that I take the highest figure to, again, don’t allow humans to get easily away from their charges).
    Answer: Human guilt in CO2´s GHE (%) = % of annual human contributed CO2 (or average of annual % contributed in a given period of years) x maximal estimate of CO2´s contribution to the GHE x 100 = 0.03 x 0.26 x 100 = 0.78% of any GW attributed to CO2 can be directly blamed on human practices.
    If the premises (1-3 above) that I’m using are incorrect, do not complicate things unnecessarily, just direct me to another credible source for those figures. I will appreciate it. Thank you!.
    Gavin, I have read the contents of the link you suggested, but while most of the figures for anthropogenic-GHG reported are irrelevant to my questions, other claims that I could be interested in researching (i.e. “Emissions of CO2 (Figure 1a) from fossil fuel combustion…are responsible for more than 75% of the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since pre-industrial times.”) are just difficult to admit in the light of the fact that we do not appear to be able to differentiate the source of CO2 by its isotopic footprint (i.e. in the link that you offered this statement supports my claim: “The relative amount of the carbon-13 isotope in the atmosphere has been declining, showing that the added carbon comes from fossil fuels and (OR) vegetation.”: my OR).
    In addition, and since I appear to have been immunized early on against indoctrination by my catholic upbringing, I did not get specially impressed by the opening statement (i.e. “Yes, the increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) …are caused by human activities.” ) .
    Gavin, I’m far from disputing that human behavior is having an impact on the environment (I’m convinced that that’s the case), nor I’m proposing that we shouldn’t change our ways to confront this situation. But I’m afraid that some over-interpretation of the anthropogenic impact on GW(with respect to CO2) may have been made. If so, I’m also afraid that the rightful authoritative position earned by Science will resent from such mistake
    Best regards.
    Alfonso

    [Response: SIgh… The natural flux in is balanced by a natural flux out. Which in fact also removes about half of the excess from human activities – but only half. And so the human contribution accumulates. There are dozens of lines of evidence – from mass balance calculations, isotope budgets, oxygen declines, increases in ocean carbon, increases in terrestrial carbon etc. – that demonstrate without a doubt that the 100+ppmv rise has its origin in human activities. In your misreading of the numbers you are assuming the annual increase is the same as the accumulated increase. It is not. Subsequently, you are comparing a no-feedback impact on the GHE to the effect that we expect which will include feedbacks. This too is wrong. This kind of stuff is discussed in many places (try “Start here” above). – gavin]

    Comment by Alfonso — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:34 PM

  53. That list of anti-AGW articles (Yggdrasil 19) is indeed an interesting resource. I’m a writing instructor & I’ll have a class-ful of engineers in the spring term. I think I’ll use it as an instructional aid by having students pick articles at random and attempt to track (using web of science) where they fit in the dialogue: have they been cited? If so, where? Where else are the authors published? I am inspired to this by a comment below the list: “Any valid criticisms would follow the established peer-review process of submitting a comment paper which allows the author of the original paper a rebuttal.” (Which of course begs the question: why assemble a de-contextualized list like this in the first place… ) I think they’ll learn some interesting things about the process of peer-review & how dialogue in science is carried out. Not from the list, of course, but from digging beneath and past it, to trace where these articles fit into whatever dialogues (if any) in which they participate.

    Another comment below the articles reads, “Impact Factor is a subjective determination of popularity not scientific validity”. I wish. My wife’s in the humanities: were impact factor subjective, the scientists on the promotion and review board would have had an easier time evaluating her publication record: as it is, their objective review system assumes a more densely packed field (than indic religions) and a faster publication horizon than 3 years. For her to have even one cited article in the last 4 years puts her ahead of most of her field. By the all-too-objective metric of impact factor, her track record looks pretty lame, in spite of her rising star status among her peers.

    It’s pretty clear that part of the problem is that people outside academia simply don’t understand the academic systems of checks and balances, and AGW denier sites like populartechnology.net (which is also an anti nationalized healthcare, anti marijuana, anti green energy website… your all-round Anti website) capitalize on that ignorance.

    Comment by Steve R — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:38 PM

  54. @tharanga
    if my figures are wrong please correct me. They come from Table 3 (pg 6) in document “Emissions of GHG in the United States Department of Energy (Document DOE/EIA-0573 (2004))”.

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/17174165/Emissions-of-Greenhouse-Gases-in

    as just told Gavin in my answer to him.

    Best regards

    Comment by Alfonso — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:42 PM

  55. > populartechnology.net (which is also an anti nationalized
    > healthcare, anti marijuana, anti green energy website…
    > your all-round Anti website) capitalize on that ignorance.

    Look for blog postings too. Just as an example:
    Results … about 61 for “poptech says”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2009 @ 2:59 PM

  56. Hmmm — same or different ‘poptech’?
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/10/poptech-turns-scientists-into-rock-stars-with-new-fellows-program.php

    [Response: Very different. – gavin]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2009 @ 3:06 PM

  57. I wonder whether Alphonso has problems with his overdraft bill.

    “But it only has 3% p.a. interest rate! How can it have racked up $400,000 debt in only 20 years???”

    Maybe there’s the problem with CDS. Alphonse is in charge of buying them…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 16 Dec 2009 @ 5:18 PM

  58. On Monday night Ben Santer read a personal statement to a packed audience preliminary to his talk. The text has been reprinted with permission on Rabett Run with a later comment by Eli on the sea change in attitude evident at the conference

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 16 Dec 2009 @ 5:59 PM

  59. Wanna see global CO2 levels on a color-coded, 3D, spinnable, globe? From the most recent two weeks? How about CO? And more! Way, way more!

    At the NASA Science booth, JPL is demonstrating its Eyes on the Earth 3D web site. It is fantastic! Browse here, then in the horizontal button bar near the top of the page click on the “Aqua” satellite. Then on the right side of the page, click on CO2.

    The site has lots, lots more. They used game software to provide the interactivity and glitz.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 16 Dec 2009 @ 11:37 PM

  60. From Steve R. in #53: “It’s pretty clear that part of the problem is that people outside academia simply don’t understand the academic systems of checks and balances, and AGW denier sites like populartechnology.net (which is also an anti nationalized healthcare, anti marijuana, anti green energy website… your all-round Anti website) capitalize on that ignorance.”

    Amen to that. I work as part of an editorial team for an academic journal, and my impression is that a number of the people calling “foul!” ought to be a tad more humble and possibly consider (a) that the knowledge systems of academia and science, although far from perfect, actually do have well-considered checks and balances, and (b) that just perhaps the large community of climate scientists actually has considered, at some time or other, many of the concerns being endlessly raised by people who, as Eli likes to put it, need to take some time to RTFL.

    That being said, we in the academy need to do a better job of making knowledge more easily accessible to the public. My university is working with Stanford’s John Willinsky in making knowledge more publicly accessible. When I talked with him a couple of months ago, he confirmed that the climate change issue was one of the compelling forces behind his efforts; he agreed that the public needed better direct access to the scientific literature.

    Gavin, Eric, David, Ray, Mike and the others here at RC: kudos to you all for what you do and especially for what you have been through in the past few weeks. I have been most impressed by your responsiveness, level-headedness, and humor through all of this recent brouhaha.

    Comment by Charles — 17 Dec 2009 @ 12:40 AM

  61. I’m stubbornly sticking to the AGU topic of this post:

    The late afternoon session today (Wed.) on “Methodologies of Climate Model Confirmation and Interpretation I” was excellent, though I did not agree with all the points made (mostly when Popper and the not-very-practical-versions of philosophy of science were brought into it).

    I’m pleased to see that decision theory is being brought to bear on the practical translation of climate science. I just hope that it is not resisted by researchers who are focused on the science side, where the goals are different and so the decision criteria are different.

    That track continues tomorrow (Thu.), as GC41A. Methodologies of Climate Model Confirmation and Interpretation II Posters, from 8:00 to 12:20 in Moscone South.

    At the same time and place is the related GC41B. Uncertainty Quantification and Its Application to Climate Change Posters. That track continues as a paper session from 4:00 to 6:00: GC44A. Uncertainty Quantification and Its Application to Climate Change II in Moscone West 3001.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 17 Dec 2009 @ 12:55 AM

  62. RC Folks,

    I really wish you would delete all these irrelevant comments that have nothing to do with AGU.

    Anyways, I’m at AGU, and there was a really interesting session today regarding climate feedbacks. There were some interesting talks about both cloud and WV feedbacks. Roy Spencer gave a talk trying to promote negative cloud feedbacks, but it was pretty strongly rebutted by several people in the audience, and even he admitted after being pushed a bit that he thinks there is almost no way to quantify cloud feedbacks from observational data (even though, oddly enough, he was trying to promote the idea that cloud feedbacks are negative).

    Far more interesting were talks by Bretherton, Zelinka, and Celement (to name a few) actually looking at the details of obs/model-predicted cloud feedbacks.

    Comment by Sean Davis — 17 Dec 2009 @ 1:13 AM

  63. @62 I was at the feedback’s session as well. I had never seen Spencer in person and he didn’t seem to be bat-shit crazy at all! ;) he made a few good points. I think some of his talk was directed against the Lindzen & Choi (2009,GRL) paper though he never came right out and said it. I mostly agree with his conclusion that currently there is no robust way to determine the overall mean climate sensitivity of the earth system simply with just some 20-year satellite observations. Though that does disagree with the conclusions of some other peer reviewed articles (e.g. Murphy 2009, Forster & Gregory 2006).

    Comment by Chris — 17 Dec 2009 @ 1:34 AM

  64. Tom Dayton wrote in 61:

    The late afternoon session today (Wed.) on “Methodologies of Climate Model Confirmation and Interpretation I” was excellent, though I did not agree with all the points made (mostly when Popper and the not-very-practical-versions of philosophy of science were brought into it).

    One of the points that will sometimes get made about Popper (1930s/1940s) is that the Principle of Falsifiability was more than forty years out of date when he first proposed it — at least if you could read French. For the English-speaking world we had to wait for what amounted to a basterdized version of Pierre Duhem (Duhem’s Thesis ~1892) by way of Quine in the 1950s.

    What aspects of methodologies of model confirmation did you find novel or interesting? Do you know what material from the conference will be online? Do you have any recommendations on authors of material that might be available elsewhere?
    *
    Tom Dayton wrote in 61:

    I’m pleased to see that decision theory is being brought to bear on the practical translation of climate science. I just hope that it is not resisted by researchers who are focused on the science side, where the goals are different and so the decision criteria are different.

    Decision theory? Do you mean in the sense of framing the science in a way that it is better able to guide decisions on how to deal with climate change? A profit-maximizing or more likely risk-minimizing approach?

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 17 Dec 2009 @ 2:41 AM

  65. Re Alfonso @35, your maths are utter nonsense, as simple two-column accounting arithmetic with show.

    Start with the annual global consumption figures for coal, oil and natural gas, which are readily available.
    Calculate the total carbon content of those fuels and the annual amount of CO2 produced by burning that carbon.
    Place that figure in the first column.
    In the second column, place the annual increase in atmospheric CO2, which is a measured quantity.
    Compare the two columns.

    It will become instantly clear that human activity produces in the neighborhood of 220% of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 and that the natural CO2 sinks of the ocean and biosphere absorb ~55% of human emissions, leaving 45% in the atmosphere.

    In other words, natural sinks absorb 100% of all natural CO2 emissions, plus ~55% of all human emissions.

    You ask: “are there any atmospheric CO2 isotope studies supporting that Mother Nature selectively absorbs/retains ONLY/MOSTLY human-produced-CO2 in the atmosphere?”

    As a matter of fact, there are CO2 isotope studies that show that the carbon in the added CO2 is from a fossil carbon source.

    In addition, there has been a measured, though miniscule, drop in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, exactly what would be expected if a huge slug of fossil carbon were burned and the resulting CO2 injected into the atmosphere.

    Any other questions you think scientists have not already looked into?

    Comment by Jim Eager — 17 Dec 2009 @ 12:54 PM

  66. Just wondering if anyone here is on the climate fast today (Thurs, Dec 17), initiated by 350.org (see http://action.350.org/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=4729 ). If you missed today, you could fast tomorrow.

    Attendees at the AGU are exempt — there are just too many good restaurants in San Francisco. I remember this little Italian restaurant up in North Beach when I attended a conference there in 1980 — $6.95 for a 5 course meal. First the salad, then the minestrone soup in a large shallow bowl, then the pasta, then the main course, then the dessert.

    You can tell I’m fasting today. Praying and fasting.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 17 Dec 2009 @ 4:07 PM

  67. #58 Eli on Ben Santer’s statement

    My contribution:

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/17/wegman-report-ghostwriter-revealed/

    Wegman ghostwriter revealed

    How could a trio of statistical experts, all on their own, hope to write a report on a field, climate science, of which they had no previous knowledge or experience?

    The shocking answer is: They didn’t. They had some help from a physicist turned climate skeptic and textbook author (not to mention Wikipedia and a classic sociology text).

    It’s high time those “forces of unreason” received the scrutiny reserved thus far for the victims of their attacks. I will not rest until that happens.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 17 Dec 2009 @ 4:12 PM

  68. Excellent work, Deep Climate.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 17 Dec 2009 @ 5:24 PM

  69. For those who are interested I have posted a review of the AGU session on Scientists’ Communication on Critical Global Environmental Issues here:

    Comment by Dave Petley — 17 Dec 2009 @ 11:20 PM

  70. thanks dave, you would achieve about as much by replying on the denialists blogs as you would on a creationist blog. newspapers and tv interviews
    might be more productive . coordinated press releases .

    Comment by john byatt — 18 Dec 2009 @ 3:38 AM

  71. Sorry to break my (recent) promise, but I just read Jim´s answer (#65) and believe he may help me find some interesting sources.

    @Jim Eager (#65) :[As a matter of fact, there are CO2 isotope studies that show that the carbon in the added CO2 is from a fossil carbon source.
    In addition, there has been a measured, though miniscule, drop in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, exactly what would be expected if a huge slug of fossil carbon were burned and the resulting CO2 injected into the atmosphere.]

    Jim, it would be helpful if you directed me to the references that contain those isotopic studies demonstrating that the atmospheric CO2 increases come from burning of fossil fuels, or those for the measured decreases in oxygen that you say fit “…exactly what would be expected…” from the burning of those amounts of fossil fuels.

    Thank you

    Comment by Alfonso — 18 Dec 2009 @ 6:58 AM

  72. Re the isotope signatures see here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/
    including the cited references in this and the linked earlier and later versions of that post.

    Re the measured oxygen decline search via google scholar using [keeling oxygen flux]

    Comment by Jim Eager — 18 Dec 2009 @ 10:27 AM

  73. Alfonso, I pasted your question into Google and it found the RealClimate topic answering it:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Dec 2009 @ 10:29 AM

  74. @Ken W (#50)[If I consume 2500 calories each day, I won’t gain any weight (given my current level of activity). If I increase my consumption of food (no change in activity) by just 25 calories/day (1% of the total), I will gain just under 3 lbs each year. In 10 years I’ll be almost 30 lbs heavier.]

    Using your own example, I guess that what I’m asking is: How certain are we that all extra-caloric-intake (CO2) added to the body (earth) are contributed by human behaviour (fossil-fuel-burning)?. Are we able to distinguish between this possibility and any increased respiration by the biosphere?.

    In any case, thank you for the example, and the link suggested (that I will use).

    Best regards, and thanks for the helping (no needed repply, I will keep serching).

    Alfonso

    Comment by Alfonso — 18 Dec 2009 @ 10:38 AM

  75. Alfonso in 71 had a question for Jim Eager in 65.

    I thought I would help.

    Jim Eager wrote in 65:

    As a matter of fact, there are CO2 isotope studies that show that the carbon in the added CO2 is from a fossil carbon source.

    In addition, there has been a measured, though miniscule, drop in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, exactly what would be expected if a huge slug of fossil carbon were burned and the resulting CO2 injected into the atmosphere.

    Alfonso responded in 71:

    Jim, it would be helpful if you directed me to the references that contain those isotopic studies demonstrating that the atmospheric CO2 increases come from burning of fossil fuels, or those for the measured decreases in oxygen that you say fit “… exactly what would be expected…” from the burning of those amounts of fossil fuels.

    Alfonso, I believe the following might be what you are looking for:

    pg. 138 (pdf pg 10), AR4-WG1 Chapter 2, Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing, available at:

    Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
    IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg1_report_the_physical_science_basis.htm

    It provides the graphs for the CO2 mixing ratio in parts per million graphed against the per meg deviations O2/N2 in figure 2.3a, and it provides the gigatons carbon emissions per year graphed against the annual averages of 13C/12C mixing ratio of CO2 in figure 2.3b where both 2.3a and 2.3b are for the years 1970-2006.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 18 Dec 2009 @ 11:13 AM

  76. “How certain are we that all extra-caloric-intake (CO2) added to the body (earth) are contributed by human behaviour (fossil-fuel-burning)?. ”

    Very very very certain indeed.

    See IPCC AR4 Working Group 1 report, online at http://www.ipcc.ch

    Comment by Silk — 18 Dec 2009 @ 11:46 AM

  77. Alfonso says: 18 December 2009 at 10:38 AM

    “How certain are we that all extra-caloric-intake (CO2) added to the body (earth) are contributed by human behaviour (fossil-fuel-burning)?. Are we able to distinguish between this possibility and any increased respiration by the biosphere?.”

    Carbon isotopes, refreshingly unambiguous.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 18 Dec 2009 @ 1:10 PM

  78. Alfonso: Start here:

    Suess, H.E. 1955. “Radiocarbon Concentration in Modern Wood.” Sci. 122, 415-417.

    Revelle, R. and H.E. Suess 1957. “Carbon Dioxide Exchange between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2 During the Past Decades.” Tellus 9, 18-27.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Dec 2009 @ 3:20 PM

  79. Alfonso,

    I think you should not get lost in numbers and percentages. For me, it is a simple matter of cause and effect. We burn fossil fuels, the CO2 level rises.

    Without an industrial revolution, the CO2 level would still be ~280 ppm today, like it has been for the past 10,000 years. If you think not, then tell us what caused the rise to 390 ppm over the past two centuries.

    Cause and effect.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 19 Dec 2009 @ 12:54 PM

  80. Timothy Chase (64), the scientific program for the conference seems to be online for the general public in the form of a link on the conference’s Scientific Program page; look in the Meeting at a Glance section, where there is a link to download a PDF file. But that file contains only the authors and titles, no abstracts.

    On that same page is the “Plan Your Itinerary” section, with a link to the Fall Meeting Program and Itinerary Planner. Click that link. What I don’t know is whether you must have registered for the conference in order to use the resulting page, and I don’t want to go messing with my browser’s cookies to find out. But if you can access that page, click the “Browse” link in the tan area at the left. You can also create and save an itinerary that is the subset of the items you are interested in. In either case, you can “Download the Presentation” of each item, which at least means the abstract. I haven’t tried that enough to know whether the full presentations really can be downloaded.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 19 Dec 2009 @ 1:28 PM

  81. Timothy Chase (64) asked me to expand on my comment about decision theory at the AGU conference.

    Before the conference I worried about the small minority of geophysical scientists who continue to express reservations about AGW. I thought they might be inappropriately applying the decision criteria that are appropriate to a purely scientific pursuit of knowledge, in which it is perfectly appropriate to refuse to formally decide yes or no on a theory, because you never “must” make a decision in the pure pursuit of knowledge. Those decision criteria are inappropriate regarding policies about global warming, because decisions and actions must and constantly are being made.

    So at the conference I was pleased to see any and all aspects of normative (ideal, prescriptive) decision theory being applied to judgments about the existence and specific effects of global climate change: Explicit listing of both objective and subjective probabilities, values and utilities (the former being objective, the latter subjective), and combining of probabilities (Bayesian). I already knew that the IPCC report listed expert judgments of probabilities along with (but explicitly separate from) model-based probabilities, but I had read criticisms of that, and I was afraid that some scientists, not just deniers, were criticizing it.

    In the days after I wrote my original comment, I wandered through more of the (huge!) poster hall and noticed that applying decision theory is common practice in scientists’ risk analyses with all sorts of natural hazards such as volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, weather, and climate.

    (Physical science is not my area of expertise. The depth of my ignorance became crushingly apparent throughout the week. It was exhausting but tremendously fun! I was just a tourist at this conference, having gotten my registration paid by volunteering to be a part-time booth babe. In contrast to the traditional method, I threatened to reveal my dental floss bikini if folks did not take flyers.)

    Despite the reassuring evidence of good decision theory application, there were some presenters who seemed to share my initial concern. One of them emphasized the need to decide and clearly identify your goal in evaluating or using a climate model (Wendy Parker, GC34A-02, “Confirmation and Adequacy-for-Purpose in Climate Modeling”). Her advice is needed when applying, for example, the conclusions of R. Knutti in the same session–the models are not completely independent (GC34A-01, “Should we believe model predictions of future climate change?”). The paper that started to worry me about an overemphasis on falsificationism was L. Donner’s (GC34A-03, “On Clocks and Clouds”: Confirming and Interpreting Climate Models as Scientific Hypotheses”). Other papers in that same session (GC34A, Wednesday) then reassured me, especially one presenter (I forget who, but he’s an American who lives in England) who pointed out that the insurance companies he consults to, make very concrete decisions about climate change using appropriate decision rules.

    There was a poster by Martin Vezer, a PhD candidate at the U. of Western Ontario, “A Philosophical Defense of the IPCC’s AR4 Bayesian Methodology.” I talked to him for quite a while. I’m reassured to see a philosopher being very practical about the decision making aspects of science and technology. And he is a philosopher, not a decision theorist or scientist.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 20 Dec 2009 @ 12:01 PM

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