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  1. Great idea. An app is one more attack on the problem — even better if iPad takes off. We need web sites, Facebook groups, YouTubes etc. if we are to stand a chance in the propaganda war.

    I do this stuff at my blog regularly (e.g. recently in response to some misinformed questions on an Australian newspaper site).

    This kind of thing is important for diluting the denialosphere’s dominance of search results as well as reducing the need for the well-known sites like RC to take on every issue.

    But if a lot of us do this individually, without crosslinks or error checking by others, we run the risk of not getting noticed or worse still propagating errors (the last thing we need: the denial case is almost entirely built on errors but if you really care about science, you want to be jealous of your reputation)z. How about we form a friends of science group who review each others’ sites, cross-link, and send out alerts on each other’s contact lists?

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:45 AM

  2. That’s wonderful news Rasmus! I’ve just started putting together a series of what I call ‘A Climate Minute’ videos. Finished the first one tonight.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-ice

    I don’t know how the iPhone part works but I left the option on so the videos can be available to iPhone.


    The Climate Lobby
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:47 AM

  3. On the last, how does a website get on your blogroll?

    http://scienceofdoom.com

    Of course realclimate.org is on mine.. I even included your tagline

    Is there an application process?
    People recommending?
    Number of cited papers crossing a critical threshold?
    Years in business (let’s hope it’s not that one)

    Comment by Steve Carson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:01 AM

  4. Thanks for the mention. The reaction to the iPhone app has predictably been very polarised – some really positive feedback and some very negative, angry feedback. I’ve been dismayed that the climate debate seems to have moved from science to attacking scientists and the IPCC. So if the app can get people learning about science again, all the better.

    The guys at Shine Technologies are currently working on version 1.1 based on all the feedback from the version 1.0 (I sent a wishlist of new, cool features a few days ago so I’m waiting to see what they’ll include). As the app automatically updates its data every few days, I’m also adding new skeptic arguments regularly – just added “Phil Jones said global warming stopped in 1995″ today.

    Comment by John Cook — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:22 AM

  5. My site–at least the Climatology part of it–is at

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com

    You have a link to one of my pages, but you’ve got it at the old Ge oci ties site, which doesn’t exist any more.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:40 AM

  6. I keep on mulling over the following idea: a visualisation of the scientific literature and the main claims on climate change – viewable by date, subject, which papers built on evidence, which ones shifted away, contradicted, altered other conclusions. The same underlying framework could be used to visualise any set of arguments and – hopefully – illustrate the incoherence of ant-AGW attacks. (Not to mention keeping the focus on the evidence itself, not false headlines and personal attacks.)

    I could maybe work on the Java (and Processing for visualisation) – if anyone else out there had any good ideas on the underlying data structure…? I have some thoughts but it’d be good to discuss with someone. I have this vague hope that, with a few additions, it could work off a Zotero sqlite database, so getting the paper data would be a done deal.

    This may be one of those notions that never happens, but in my head it definitely appears to work well! If anyone’s interested, get in touch via my blog or comment here. (Just don’t tell my PhD supervisor…)

    Also: Philip Machanick – any ideas for keeping in touch is a great plan. There seem to be lots of us talking on comments who could benefit from more mutual support. Maybe something simple a quick like a Ning network?

    Comment by Dan Olner — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:50 AM

  7. I’ve downloaded the app and think it’s really good I was pleasantly surprised by it. Not only does it give the sceptic argument and then a brief summary of the science to counter it. It then goes into detail about the science and links to other articles. I even learnt something about the accuracy of the climate models and how well they’ve predicted the recent temperatures.

    I don’t see what the sceptics are so worried about I think it does a good job of introducing people to the science. How can a ‘sceptic’ object to that? What they should do if they are so concerned about bias is make a similar app showing all the science to support their arguments, actually that would be extremely useful.

    Comment by John — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  8. “Some dissidents are now thinking of writing their own app. ”

    That would be fun!

    1. Temperatures are not rising, it’s just UHI and microsite issues.
    2. Temperatures are rising because of the Sun.
    3. Greenhouse effect does not exist.
    4. Greenhouse effect is constant.

    Comment by Molnar — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 AM

  9. Hey, people when do you get your own RSS feed? Please come back to the 21st century and provide one! Others are doing iPad apps and you are still stuck in the 20th century, come on!!

    Comment by Luis Dias — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:24 AM

  10. “Steve Carson says:
    19 February 2010 at 4:01 AM

    On the last, how does a website get on your blogroll?”

    I would suggest to email the site owners and tell them about your site.

    It would have to prove itself worthy over time to be included, some of those sites have given years of consistent service and you need consistency if you’re going to pump another site: you don’t want to have to spend your time checking all the sites to see if they’re still worthy.

    Alternatively you can put your website in your reply details.

    As people read your messages, some will click on the site and the site will get noted.

    Even if your site doesn’t get on the roll call, if it’s worthy of attention, it will get attention.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:27 AM

  11. The link on your Wiki to the UK Met Office ‘Climate Change Myths’ is broken.

    [Response: Thanks. fixed. – gavin]

    Comment by Nick Rouse — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:31 AM

  12. Hi – having just bought an iPhone, one of the first apps I looked for (but didn’t find) was a RealClimate app. I like the way the new York times provides ultra-readable information, one of the best designed news apps for reading. If you ever think about putting a RealClimate app, I think there will be demand. I send you my encouragement. And should you do so, please have a look at the NYT app, for “style” tips. Readable apps are so much better !!!
    best wishes,
    Pete

    Comment by Pete Jeffs — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:36 AM

  13. Yes, great work by John Cook (not just the app, but his years of painstaking work), and much deserved attention.

    I also plug away, to a small but loyal readership at http://www.blognow.com.au/mrpickwick. A great deal of climate change material, mainly from political, media, public perception, environmental implications perspectives. I come to the topic from my research background as a palaeoecologist in Australia. I think RC could help get many other voices heard by expanding the blogroll perhaps, and/or cross referencing where appropriate.

    Comment by David Horton — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:44 AM

  14. #3 Steve Carson

    Very clever! You use language that really draws in the doubting Thomases in order to save them from their evil ways. One would think he was reading a denialist blog, but no!

    I just skimmed through one of your articles – CO2 Can’t have that effect because – and was really impressed with both the content and the style of writing. It was so clear and understandable for a layperson like myself, but more importantly, the tone was right on point. There was not a trace of condescention or arrogance: You didn’t make me feel stupid.

    I would suggest to others that when the “zombies” appear, they be referred to relevant articles on Steve’s site. Skeptical Science might be better for the armchair “scientists” but Climate of Doom is better for the general public.

    Comment by Jiminmpls — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:58 AM

  15. John #4: if you want a treasure trove of denial refutation, pick up Ian Enting’s errata of Ian Plimer’s book.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:06 AM

  16. RE #4 Hi John, Here’s some more positive feed bacdk for you.

    Although I have rarely posted on skepticalscience, I have been a long time fan of the site, I have lost count of the number of people I have directed to the comprehensive list of red-herrings at http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:13 AM

  17. That is great. Let the skeptics build their own app, and update the skepticalscience one accordingly, based on their arguments. Ultimately users and the opinion will see, by comparing arguments and justifications from both sides, that AGW skepticism is junk science.
    If the scientific community stands united and enriches this app, making it THE reference to skeptics’ arguments, then we’ll be closer to making this debate much cleaner and scientifically sound.

    Comment by Julien — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:20 AM

  18. Thanks for this. It’s been pretty dismaying how vicious (and how seemingly well-received) the attacks on science have become. The denialists are really going for the kill right now.

    It won’t work in the long run (and in fact I think the attack sows some self-destructive seeds), but time is not on our side when it comes to the larger problem.

    In addition to the regular round of commenting, I’ve been doing historical backgrounders on the science, very much in a popular vein. Those who’ve missed them can access them here:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Global-warming-science-press-and-storms
    (Nils Ekholm)
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Global-Warming-Science-And-The-Dawn-Of-Flight
    (Svante Arrhenius)
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Global-Warming-Science-In-The-Age-Of-Queen-Victoria
    (John Tyndall)
    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Science-of-Global-Warming-in-the-age-of-Napoleon-III
    (Claude Pouillet)
    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Science-Of-Global-Warming-In-The-Age-Of-Napoleon
    (Joseph Fourier)

    Guy Callendar is in the works right now.

    The articles are “life-and-times pieces,” with summary comments on the significance of climate change-related papers each wrote. They are intended as popular pieces, and are meant to help the layman realize the depth of the science involved–too many seem to think, still, that Al Gore or the Club of Rome dreamed this all up the week before Kyoto.

    The ‘classic’ papers can be accessed from the NSDL Wiki, here:

    http://wiki.nsdl.org/index.php/PALE:ClassicArticles/GlobalWarming

    (This Wiki includes many more articles–and many more modern ones–than I’ve yet been able to write about.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:51 AM

  19. “””Who says that the climate debate is not evolving?””” Thanks for the iphone info! Cringe…I think we should debate the word “debate” in all its forms! “The people who will not be named” push the idea of “debate” on whether anthropogenic climate change is occurring! -G-

    Orestes 2004, Science
    IPCC 2007

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:01 AM

  20. Another new site based in Canada aims to pull together clear, basic points on climate change to balance off the endless stream of wrong ideas and misunderstandings in the media and online.
    http://www.climateresponse.ca
    It’s definitely worth sharing links among like-minded blogs. I’m happy to swap links with fellow activists – just point me to your blog or website. Here’s my blog, mainly about climate scientists and contrarians listed on my climate science stats page:
    http://birdbrainscan.blogspot.com

    Comment by Jim Prall — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:05 AM

  21. #8 Molnar

    5. We can’t trust reconstructions of past climate
    6. We know it was much warmer 1,000 years ago

    Comment by andrew adams — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:10 AM

  22. RE Luis Dias

    Hey, people when do you get your own RSS feed? Please come back to the 21st century and provide one! Others are doing iPad apps and you are still stuck in the 20th century, come on!!

    I would also be interested in a good RC facebook site. Of course, our hosts have their hands full with providing content and moderating comments (as well as their day jobs), but I bet there are a lot of computer-savvy users here who could volunteer some of their time.

    I will also second John Cook’s site and app as complements to RC and other fine sites. The beauty of science is its consistency, and John pulls in a lot of single threads into a strong cord. I like the fact that he uses the scientific literature is the basis of his articles and also that he provides links to pdfs whenever possible. That way, we can cite the primary literature when arguing with “skeptics”.

    Comment by Deech56 — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:22 AM

  23. Jiminmpls: “I just skimmed through one of your articles – CO2 Can’t have that effect because – and was really impressed with both the content and the style of writing. It was so clear and understandable for a layperson like myself, but more importantly, the tone was right on point. There was not a trace of condescention or arrogance: You didn’t make me feel stupid.”

    I’ve noticed that to be an clear difference between anti-AGW writers generally and sites like skepticalscience and realclimate: while much of the science may be complex, it’s possible to get across clearly. Realclimate / skepticalscience and others goal is to help make findings more transparent, and they succeed brilliantly at it most of the time. It makes for a much clearer reading experience. In contrast, trying to get through a McIntyre blog entry is like wading through the Swamp of Sadness in the Never-ending Story. Right now, I’m working through some diff equation problems and even that seems like crystal clear water compared to most skeptic sites. It’s almost as if there’s some sort of underlying desire to obfuscate…

    Comment by Dan Olner — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:19 AM

  24. Philip # 1 You’d better do some googling on “friends of science” before you proceed.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:21 AM

  25. First, skepticalscience.com is one of my all time favorite sites. It really helped me get over the hump and get momentum on any parts of the science I didn’t know at first, and was confused about because of all of the misinformation. It’s also the first place I go when a new anti-GHG argument pops up.

    I sadly don’t have an iPhone, but in the last month I’ve been reading the app development docs for it and learning Objective-C (I’m a software developer, have had a Mac since 1985, the daughter has an iTouch, and I’m getting an iPad whether my wife likes it or not). It looks like a pretty easy platform to build for, but there’s a steep learning curve (new language, new frameworks, new hardware capabilities and limitations, new-but-very-friendly IDE, etc.).

    What I find interesting in this is that the app appears to be designed, like the Skeptical Science site, to quickly give the user a good synopsis of the facts behind any specific point. I don’t think it will be useful in an argument with a skeptic, because it would take too long to access and read, while they would just keep talking and wandering OT. But in the more common and important case, where friends are discussing the issue in a reasonable tone, without too many preconceptions or too firm an opinion, it may sway a lot of people.

    I’m sure, too, it’s really irking the “skeptic” camp that the web site and the app have the word “skeptic” in the name.

    This is a great idea. I hope it has some effect in improving the climate IQ of some of the civilized world.

    On the other hand, I’m sure it will not take long for the disinformation camp to come up with a counter-app (they’ll certainly get the funding to hire some software developers, or eager volunteers from their rabid fans), one that is full of lies and deceit and that may just as easily sway uncommitted groups of people into the depths of ignorance.

    Comment by Bob — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:40 AM

  26. Gavin,
    I thought this was a site devoted to climate DEBATE.
    Please explain then why you are now bringing in some Apple application that like a stuck record will repeat one of two standard responses to whatever argument is brought up: ‘The science is settled’, or ‘Well, that’s only short-term’.

    The Guardian explains that the app may be used to silence your reactionary uncle when he says “It hasn’t warmed since 1998″. Guess what, I was at a party recently and someone told me that actually since 1995 to the present there had been no statistically significant global warming. He was not an uncle of mine, and did not really look very reactionary. He also added that during two recent episodes (1860-1880 and 1910-1940) warming had occurred at a similar rate of about 0.16 degrees Celsius per decade as during 1975-1998. It turned out to be Phil Jones, who recently has stepped down as director of CRU at the University of East Anglia and for many years supplied important data for the IPCC reports. He said that he had told exactly the same things during an interview with the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    [Response: What part of ‘short term trends are not significant’ did you not understand? Discussion of Phil Jones interview. – gavin]

    Comment by wilt — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:50 AM

  27. Dan Olner, #6:

    Interesting. I had a similar idea about 6 weeks ago, and even worked up a mind map of ideas, attributes and capabilities (which I can send on to you, if you get any momentum). Unfortunately the concept became too unwieldy, and I have too many irons in the fire right now to work on it.

    I’d be happy to help out in a design capacity, though, if you could get a development team together.

    But my basic idea was for a web database of “facts” (applicable to any debate, but designed with AGW in mind), each with related, supporting or refuting facts and documents (e.g. papers, web sites, datasets, etc.), as well as short and long elaborating explanations. This would let the facts be fairly atomic (e.g. “CO2 has been increasing at roughly 2 ppm/year”) while still letting people new to a concept delve deeper, and then deeper, first through the explanation, and then by following paths of related facts.

    I also knew I’d never be able to populate the database, and I didn’t want it to be “one sided”, so I created a structure where it would work like a wiki, and visitors could add to it and edit it (with a moderator helping to clean it up, and an ability to lock out trolls).

    Visitors could also identify their allegiance on the overall issue (pro/con) and vote on the correctness of facts. They could also request to be identified (by site administrators) as “experts” (and yes, the skeptic camp could have their experts, too, but it would be based on credentials, not media-frenzy popularity). In this way, the site could reflect both common-man and expert voting percentages.

    I have loads more ideas. If you’d like to see them, let me know.

    Comment by Bob — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  28. I just downloaded Sun 3D which is an app for tracking sun activity. I’m looking forward to more weather & climate apps although the one for climate skeptics is so basic and rudimentary that I don’t need such infantile nonsense, but maybe some good ones will come out.

    Comment by grzejnik — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  29. Re: Skeptical science. A great web site and a great new info distribution mechansim. Thank you Dr. Cook.

    Phone apps and other web-based personal devices are the best way to reach folks under 20.

    Re: federal and executive agencies stepping forward with investments in public education re: climate change:

    NOAA is stepping forward under Lubchenco’s (and Obama Admin.) leadership.

    Along with announcement this month of the New NOAA Climate Service, checkout their new prototype Climate Portal at

    http://www.climate.gov/

    “This effort will gradually transition from a prototype to an operational status over the next year.”

    Their goal: “to enhance NOAA’s Web presence in response to customer requirements, emerging needs for improved decision-making capabilities across all sectors of society facing impacts from climate variability and change, and the importance of leveraging climate data and services to support research and public education.”

    My own initial skim of the site indicates clearly that they will be working to counter effectively the numerous web-based sources of climate mis-information.

    Thank you NOAA. (Better late than never!)

    Comment by Sloop — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:11 AM

  30. Wilt says: “I thought this was a site devoted to climate DEBATE.”

    That is where you are wrong. The purpose of this site is to educate the public about Earth’s climate and the scientific study of it.

    From the ABOUT page of this site:

    “RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science. All posts are signed by the author(s), except ‘group’ posts which are collective efforts from the whole team. This is a moderated forum.”

    The iPhone ap is clearly educational and so consistent with RC’s mission. What is more, any serious skeptic ought to welcome a rapid response to zombie arguments that details the manners of their being effectively dispatched in the past. This can only help the discussion progress to serious topics rather than red herrings. It is like the AnswersinGenesis folks telling Young Earth Creations not to use the long dead entropy argument against evolution. You might want to download the ap, just to make sure you aren’t trying to resurrect a zombie argument.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:20 AM

  31. Dissidents, you say, Rasmus! (“Throw your iPhone into the climate debate.”) Those who hold views contrary to the majority in a scientific debate are to be called “dissidents”??? This word was used in Soviet times, referring to citizens who failed to toe the party line. Sorry if I’m being a tad overearnest here, but please tell me if you’re using the word in a tongue-in-cheek way, like opposing sports supporters tease the other side with friendly insults.

    [Response: Sorry to upset you, but no associations are drawn to the Soviet. But I see others also use the term – becausethey feel ‘climate skeptics’ doesn’t quite fit the description. -rasmus]

    Comment by Brent Hargreaves — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:29 AM

  32. “Climate.gov” – says more than anyone could could ever convey.

    Thanks
    Anand

    [Response: Actually your comment conveys even more. – gavin]

    Comment by Anand — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:30 AM

  33. > subject, which papers built on evidence, which ones
    > shifted away, contradicted, altered other conclusions

    Dan (6), Google Scholar, for “annual review of” +subject
    These reviews come out for every area of science on a regular basis, done by people familiar with the area for various scientific publishers, often more than one for an area.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  34. PS, anyone at Google paying attention?
    We could use a “blogged about by” index corresponding to the “cited by” list at Google Scholar. But please keep them separate. Right now, “cited by” is a mix of science journal cites and PR site mentions, often very confusing.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:58 AM

  35. #21 andrew adams

    Not forgetting

    7. Temperature records have been manipulated to show warming
    8. Temperature records show no warming

    Comment by Frank O'Dwyer — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:02 AM

  36. It’s a great app. I have it. Were I to post a response from it tussling with a resident denier such as over at Brainard’s CJR threads, though, they would just say it’s another “believer” site like this one, cite Christy, call a few names and think they’ve won the argument. Some people have just been slatewiped by politics and aren’t open to being convinced. They have certainty in their falsehoods.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:06 AM

  37. Good luck, guys. I think, however, that you are pissing into the wind. The politics of both the UK and the USA are now such thatthere is (IMHO) almost no chance at all of meaningful climate legislation happening this year — and 2011-2012 look likewise unfavorable.

    If I had the money, I’d invest in coal. In the short run, they and the denialists are going to win. In the long term many of us are going to be sweating or underwater.

    Maybe investing in Greenland property might also be a good idea.

    The iPhone idea is OK – but it is nothing more than the addition of arguments from science to the mix, and that is not going to work. If it did, 50% of the US population would not be creationists. Tea Party idiots are not swayed by any argument that does not feed their warped outlook.

    Things can change, of course, and I really hope they will — and work towards that end. But I am not optimistic. someone has to “think outside the box.” I-phone apps are not that. — JWB

    Comment by John (Burgy) Burgeson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:09 AM

  38. “NOAA is stepping forward under Lubchenco’s (and Obama Admin.) leadership.”

    She gave a great answer at the Wednesday press conference to a reporter’s question about “Jones says there’s been no significant warming since 1995.” Longer periods of time, 100 years, show warming and so on, to which the reporter, repeated the question. Don’t know the news affiliation but it wouldn’t be hard to predict.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 AM

  39. I highly recommend Kevin McKinney’s historical essays (links in #18); fascinating,
    well-written and full of background info. (I have been a fan of ‘Doc Snow’ since discovering him last year.)

    Comment by Pat Cassen — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:14 AM

  40. “21
    andrew adams says:
    19 February 2010 at 8:10 AM

    5. We can’t trust reconstructions of past climate
    6. We know it was much warmer 1,000 years ago”

    Indeed. And you don’t see proponents of #5 arguing with proponents of #6, do you.

    Yet the only thing they agree on is outside their argument. They agree AGW from the IPCC is wrong.

    But that isn’t their argument, it’s their AIM.

    The “skeptics” of #5 do not act skeptical of the “skeptics” of #6.

    Selective in their skepticism? Or not skeptics at all?

    I would say the latter is proven by the former.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:16 AM

  41. #31 Brent Hargreaves

    Well, it comes from the Latin, so I think it’s been around longer than the ‘Soviet times’. For example, it was also used to describe students at a University in Ohio who protested a ware they thought unjust… who were then shot by members of the US Nat. Guard.

    Main Entry: dis·si·dent
    Etymology: Latin dissident-, dissidens, present participle of dissidēre to sit apart, disagree, from dis- + sedēre to sit — more at sit
    Date: 1769
    : disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissident

    AGW climate denialism is based on religious styled belief (not science) and both formally and loosely organized, as in a belief system of influences and sphere of influence, as well as the formal institutions, friends of science, CATO etc. So, religious, political system, organization and belief are all applicable.

    Seems like pretty good word usage to me. I hope you are not arguing with the dictionary definition?


    The Climate Lobby
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  42. A green app for a mobile phone?

    http://fatknowledge.blogspot.com/2007/01/carbon-footprint-of-mobile-phone.html

    Comment by DGH — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:21 AM

  43. #8 #21

    -Climate sensitivity is very high (Plimer)
    -Climate sensitivity is very low (Monckton)

    John Cook:
    Still, I must tip my hat to Plimer and Monckton. Both utilised their formidable public speaking skills and rhetorical flourishes to persuasively explain why humans can’t be causing global warming. Plimer’s argument was that climate has changed in the past. Eg – climate has a high sensitivity. Monckton’s argument was that climate has a low sensitivity. I think the irony that the two were arguing contradictory positions was lost on most of the audience.”>

    I’m tempted to paraphrase Tolstoy: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Every “sceptic” seems to be sceptical in his own way. I think we’ll have to wait some time for a sceptics’ consensus report or even a sceptics’ iPhone app.

    Comment by Andy S — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:39 AM

  44. My wife mentioned to me last night that she’d run an analysis tool on one of Friedman’s NY times columns. The software tool estimated that the column was written at a “Grade 14″ level. She remarked that if Friedman expects large numbers of people to read and understand his column he needs to drop the writing about 5 grade levels. Scientists are used to writing for other scientists which means for people w/ Ph.D’s. You can be sure that Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, James Imhofe, etc understand how to write at grade levels well below “Grade 14.” I think that dropping the “grade level” of the writing down to the high school level would result in far more people understanding the science. I have no idea how to accomplish this but I suspect that it would be well worthwhile.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  45. Good ideas on both the ap and Wiki page (although my librarian wife would have add a couple of points about Wiki). Might I also suggets updating the Start Here page on your site? The May 2007 date on that might lead one to believe that the sources are not as relevant as they still are. The media and public opinion swing wildy and unpredictably, so all is not lost….stay strong and keep up the good fight. I greatly appreciate the continued effort by this contributors to this site.
    Chris

    Comment by Chris Fox — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:52 AM

  46. [Response: What part of ‘short term trends are not significant’ did you not understand? Discussion of Phil Jones interview. – gavin]

    For the record Gavin, what length of time would you say IS statistically significant, 30 years? 50? 500?

    [Response: It’s going to depend on the size of the signal and the ‘noise’ structure in the particular metric. For the current expected rate of warming in the global mean temperature (around 0.2 degC/dec), the AR4 model estimates suggest that you need a little less than 20 years for the trend to be significantly greater than zero 95% of the time. Changes in the decadal means are more significant (but even their you need two decades or more to see the differences (obviously). – gavin]

    Comment by John — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:53 AM

  47. Frank, and

    9. The temperature records show a cooling

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  48. 过年了也没来给你踩博 O(∩_∩)O哈哈~新年快乐啊 帮我回踩啊 谢谢济南网站优化(www.jn-seo.com)

    [Response: Not sure I agree with that.–Jim]

    Comment by 济南网站优化 — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:15 PM

  49. I am sure that just the sight of a link to WUWT will cause everyone here to roll their eyes and go on an immediate ad hom defensive attack, but I am just curious as to what those of you here have to say about this?:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/19/north-america-snow-models-miss-the-mark/

    I am not trying to get a rise out of people or anything by posting this, I am genuinely curious as to the opinion of those of you in support of the theory of AGW on the fact that the GCMs appear to have really missed the mark on snow cover. I think it is an interesting topic for discussion and hope that we can have a level headed discussion on it.

    Comment by ken — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:24 PM

  50. The climate realist (denier) site is giving Skeptical Science much
    publicity. What more could one ask for than have to climate change deniers enlighten themselves? It is nice to see after these people have misled folks searching the web for information on global warming or climate change with fraudulent propaganda sites for years they so howl at the tables turned.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5147

    What’s next? An apps race?

    Go to the app store on your iPhone. Choose category for WEATHER.
    Skeptical Science is the 4th item down.
    Install.

    The contents will be updated on a regular basis.
    Marvelous.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:26 PM

  51. Anand @32:

    ““Climate.gov” – says more than anyone could could ever convey.”

    In part, I agree with your sentiment: protecting current and future generations of all living beings from deleterious, potentially catastrophic, anthropogenic perturbations to the planet’s atmosphere and oceans is inherent to government’s responsibility to protect public health,safety, and welfare.

    But all I really ask is that you use this new portal into NOAA, not condemn its web address.

    John (Burgy) Burgeson @ 37:

    You view exemplifies pure free-market economism; a perspective on reality championed in much (not all) of contemporary American society. But even if you do score big on equity investments in coal-based energy, what kind of world will you and your progeny have to enjoy all those additional ‘bio-survival coupons’ ?

    Second, that “the denialists are going to win” is one of the most poignent ironies I’ve read in a while.

    Climate change isn’t about a (political or scientific) battle between two well-defined sides, its about coming to terms with how, everyday, what we as a species do in the present increasingly constraints how we as a species will evolve long long into the future.

    Comment by Sloop — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:31 PM

  52. RC authors, the AccuWeather blog, listed near the top of the RC roll due to the alphabetization, is *not* a good place to direct anyone.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:34 PM

  53. Re: 4 John Cook says: 19 February 2010 at 4:22 AM

    “As the app automatically updates its data every few days, I’m also adding new skeptic arguments regularly – just added “Phil Jones said global warming stopped in 1995? today.”

    This whole concept is such an excellent and timely answer to the deniers disinformation campaign.

    New posts were so timely I thought you were channeling RC discussions yesterday.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:48 PM

  54. Gavin, in your response to my previous remarks (#26) you bring up the predictable objection about ‘short-term’. From your response to #46 I understand that you regard 20 years as a reasonable period for drawing conclusions about temperature trends. So you will agree that when during the 30 years from 1910 to 1940 there was a similar temperature increase per decade as in the period 1975-1998 (as admitted by Phil Jones) one should take that seriously. You will also agree that from 1910 to 1940 the CO2 concentration remained virtually the same (increasing from about 293 to 300 ppmv) and therefore was not a significant driving force during that period. Whatever were the driving forces in the period 1910-1940 (it is not relevant for the present discussion whether they were multidecadal oscillations and/ or solar effects and/ or cosmic rays and/ or changes in other natural factors), those natural driving forces managed to cause a temperature increase similar to the 1975-1998 period. Can you or any of your esteemed colleagues explain to me why it would be unlikely or even inconceivable that similar forces were present during 1975-1998 and caused most or all of the warming then?
    If you add the (admittedly relatively short) period of 1860-1880 when temperature also increased significantly, then there were 3 episodes of warming since 1850 and in two cases the increase was surely from natural causes. It is hard for me and many others in my surrounding to accept that those natural causes would all have vanished into thin air by 1975.

    Comment by wilt — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:50 PM

  55. The reason why “skeptics” are upset over this is because they’re not used to having their random unsupported claims challenged publicly. The same tired arguments from the same individuals get recycled and repeated by the media ad nauseam, while the slightest error found among mainstream science is overhyped and blown out of proportion ad nauseam.

    As Dr. Steven Chu said:

    “If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want.”

    Hopefully, the broader media will take a more critical look at them. John Cook’s website and app certainly does. Most importantly, it accurately represents the body of academic research in doing so.

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:58 PM

  56. Yeah, I’m sure that’s completely unbiased. Give it up.

    Comment by Larry Johnson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:03 PM

  57. Steve Bloom (#52),

    “RC authors, the AccuWeather blog, listed near the top of the RC roll due to the alphabetization, is *not* a good place to direct anyone.”

    I comment occasionally on various blog posts there and find the comments section littered with anti-science fanatics. The biggest problem with AccuWeather is that they force a “faux balance” approach to the issue. I believe the primary blogger is sincere and reasonable, and often presents interesting information, but his superiors emphasize the blog needs a “both sides” look, which means covering claims from political hacks like Morano, the Heartland Institute, “ClimateGate”, etc.. It’s often “manmade GW proponents” vs “it’s not manmade proponents”, as opposed to simply looking at the science and examining where it leads. Perhaps a good reason to go to the site would be to encourage more science-based posts and combat the regular fanatics that troll the comments section.

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:15 PM

  58. Tim Jones asks “What’s next? An apps race?”

    What’s next is I buy Apple stock!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  59. I agree with Ken (#49) that it would be interesting to have a discussion on the long-term increase of winter snow cover on the Northern Hemisphere (I am writing long-term here because it’s happening since 1989; I know there is a difference between weather and climate). I realise that it may be off topic so I suggest to open a new thread on this if possible.

    Comment by wilt — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:27 PM

  60. OT, but some good news form the media for once.

    There are still some credible journalists out there who get what is going on here– This by Jeffrey Sachs.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science#start-of-comments

    After reading that I felt better about the world, then I made the mistake of reading some of the comments. OMG. He must have hit the nail on the head b/c those in denial are fuming.

    Jeffrey needs our support.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:33 PM

  61. Wilt, see:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/cherry-snow/#comment-39530

    Cherry-picked trends by definition are not interesting.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:42 PM

  62. Wilt (#59),

    A more complete discussion on such a topic than the ones you’re probably used to can be found here:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/cherry-snow/

    Always look for the forest when among the trees.

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  63. #49 ken

    I won’t waste my time sifting through their info as it is well known spin site. However, as to whether or not models miss the mark?

    All the time.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/models-can-be-wrong

    It’s not about missing the mark, it’s about what can we learn and the contexts involved. The point being models help us understand what we understand and don’t understand to various relevant degrees.

    Saying models miss the mark is a red herring distraction and a straw-man


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:54 PM

  64. RE Tim Jones
    Is the so-called “climaterealists.com” site something like “Denial Depot”? It’s a spoof, right? Best laugh I’ve had in a while.

    Comment by Deech56 — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:55 PM

  65. re: #47
    “The temperature records show a cooling”

    Not since this morning. It’s around 15F warmer since this morning.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 19 Feb 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  66. The geniuses at Watsup don’t accept science so they don’t know that more precipitation is expected (but only on some areas) and when the temperature is right it takes the form of snow. So they invent a “mark” that snow is supposed (in their imagination) to meet and manufacture a failure of models that they know little of. Note analysis at Tamino’s Cherry Snow and also the snow cover in other seasons – declining despite winter snow because fall snow starts later and the spring melt starts earlier. http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j237/hausfath/Picture42.png

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:00 PM

  67. 59, Wilt: I agree with Ken (#49) that it would be interesting to have a discussion on the long-term increase of winter snow cover on the Northern Hemisphere (I am writing long-term here because it’s happening since 1989; I know there is a difference between weather and climate). I realise that it may be off topic so I suggest to open a new thread on this if possible.

    Right now NH snow cover nearly equals a peak achieved about 100 years ago, so it is the most in about a century but not unprecedented. Here is a paper discussed today on WUWT showing that the IPCC models predict gradually reduced N. American snow cover:

    http://www.eee.columbia.edu/research-projects/water_resources/climate-change-snow-cover/index.html

    About the apps: I think it would be wise for AGW scientists to concentrate on the science for about 5 years, and leave the popularization/communication to others, except for formal and professional venues like working for the IPCC working groups and testifying (strictly about science) to Congress. When speaking publicly ad lib about policy and the motivations of others, scientists sound, — how shall I put this? — As Dumb as Inhofe. Also, I suspect that people who get their news from apps, like people who get their news from tv, are people who don’t want to know. It’s only a suspicion and I am open to correction. It reminds me of people who feel a need to compete in the public sphere with Rush Limbaugh — you can’t win a serious scientific debate that way. It is perhaps unfortunate that the scientific method, diligently pursued, may take decades to arrive at the truth (as in the Wegener case), but when scientists dabble in policy they just slow down the progress.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:02 PM

  68. wilt (26) wrote:
    ” thought this was a site devoted to climate DEBATE.
    Please explain then why you are now bringing in some Apple application that like a stuck record will repeat one of two standard responses to whatever argument is brought up”

    The skeptical science site is also devoted to communicating accurate climate science. This application is yet another tool to get accurate information to the public. And if you ever took the time to visit that site, you would see that if definitely is not “one or two standard responses”. It’s a wealth of carefully researched, well reasoned, and properly documented (to numerous peer reviewed sources) climate information.

    Comment by Ken W — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  69. Wilt,

    Sigh!

    More cherry-picking. No wonder cherries are so expensive these days.

    First, no responsible climate scientist would contend that CO2 is the only climate driver.

    Second, note that CO2 forcing scales logarithmically in CO2 concentration, so the increase in CO2 forcing from 1910 to 1940 is about half that from 1975-1998. At the same time, solar irradiance was increasing and continued to do so up until about 1950-60. Finally, the period from 1910 to 1940 was remarkably free of large volcanic eruptions, with their cooling effect. I think that explains a lot of the effect right there.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  70. Tamino’s analysis is fine, but you should be able to see that the Wattsers are dumbing off again without it. Try that without looking at Tamino.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  71. wilt (54) wrote:
    “Can you or any of your esteemed colleagues explain to me why it would be unlikely or even inconceivable that similar forces were present during 1975-1998 and caused most or all of the warming then?”

    If you had this new app (or simply visited the skepticalscience.com site) you’d have ready answers to your own questions. Try reading here:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-early-20th-century.htm
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2-is-not-the-only-driver-of-climate.htm
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

    Comment by Ken W — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  72. Speaking of your blogroll, you need to update the links since many are out of date. Several go to “we have moved” pages (ex Cntr. for Enviro. Journalism) and at least one is dead (ex Climate Science).

    [Response: fixed those two. Let us know if you spot any other problems. – gavin]

    Comment by CL — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  73. #54 wilt

    You are cherry picking. You need to tie the trend to attribution before you understand its context.

    Learn the contexts:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels

    Natural variation is still in play but on a different road

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-is-only-part-human-caused

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/40s-to-70s-cooling-co2-rising


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    Sign the Petition!
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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  74. Re: 55 MarkB says: 19 February 2010 at 12:58 PM
    “The reason why “skeptics” are upset over this is because they’re not used to having their random unsupported claims challenged publicly.”

    Not to mention that every reporter, pundit and anchor person with the app on their iPhone will be able to fact check an assertion on the spot to do so. Not much excuse for media ignorance at this point.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  75. I’ve really enjoyed this guys climate reports on YouTube;

    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610

    Comment by Pete Wirfs — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:28 PM

  76. #59 wilt

    It’s easy to understand the long-term increase. Warmer oceans due to global warming evaporate more moisture into the atmosphere. Water is a significant greenhouse gas.

    More atmospheric moisture means more rain and snow.

    This is not rocket science actually. Try putting two pots of water on your stove. One with a high flame and one with a low flame and see which one evaporates faster.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:30 PM

  77. Re #57: Sure, Mark, and as you know I’ve put in my time at the AW blog, but the point about the blogroll listing here is that such “balanced” sites shouldn’t have a place on it since neophytes who visit them will tend to be misled. Others (like you and me) have no problem finding such places if we want to participate.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  78. wilt says: 19 February 2010 at 9:50 AM

    “debate” != “science”

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:39 PM

  79. #63 Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 February 2010 @ 1:54 PM

    I can agree with you that models can miss the mark. They aren’t 100% accurate 100% of the time. However where I disagree with you is where you say it is a red herring or a straw man argument. When there are papers published which talk about the hazards of less snow fall as a result of climate change, and the models predict less snow fall, it is hardly a straw man argument.

    Additionally, in light of the current snowy winter in North America as well as the UK and Europe, there has been a fair amount of discussion amongst supporters of the AGW theory that more snow is a result of a warmer climate due to higher volumes of water vapour in the atmosphere causing more precipitation. One would think that these would be fairly fundamental components of a climate model, so to be off in such a manner as to predict decreasing snowfall trends when in reality we are seeing increasing snowfall trends, it should be raising alarm bells by the model developers, and perhaps a fundamental rethink, wouldn’t you agree?

    I use stormwater flow models in my line of work, and if they predicted high water surface elevations, and low velocities, and as such, we recommended that no erosion protection was necessary based on those models, and then, in reality, high water velocities were experienced causing large amounts of erosion and property damage as a result, we would be headed to court. Luckily, we always perform a reality check, and compare our model results to real world experience prior to drawing any conclusions or making any recommendations.

    Here we have a case where the GCMs are not just off the mark, but reality is showing the trend to be opposite of what they predicted. Again, why is this not triggering some sort of fundamental rethink?

    Comment by ken — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:40 PM

  80. MarkB says: 19 February 2010 at 12:58 PM

    “The reason why “skeptics” are upset over this is because they’re not used to having their random unsupported claims challenged publicly.”

    Same deal as jumping with both feet on “The Daily Mangle” (I still love that name).

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:42 PM

  81. Within minutes after posting my remark at #59 about the trend in winter snow cover, both Ray Ladbury (#61) and MarkB (62) had posted their almost identical response, with an identical link to Tamino’s site. It seems to me that, with so many Real Climate contributors around that apparently are even better conditioned than Pavlov’s dogs, the Iphone app may not even be required anymore.

    But with respect to the snow topic: if you think that there is a change in winter snow since 1989 as Steven Goddard apparently does (Tamino gives the wrong link, here is the correct one: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/19/north-america-snow-models-miss-the-mark/ ) then the obvious thing to do is to analyse the winter data from 1989. That’s a period of 22 years, and Goddard’s conclusion would not be much different if the period started a few years earlier or later. So I don’t think you can call that cherry-picking. What Tamino does is take data over a much longer period (starting in 1967) and also change the nature of the data (by including others seasons) which predictably brings him to another conclusion. I don’t think that is a fair way to analyse Goddard’s document. And bringing up the data of the amount of snow in July, as Tamino does to make his point, will probably not be very convincing to most people living in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Comment by wilt — 19 Feb 2010 @ 2:45 PM

  82. This post shows categorically that climate science as construed here at Real Climate is completely different than all other actual scientific disciplines. Very few legitimate scientific enterprises need their own PR machines.

    [Response: Correct. It’s more multidisciplinary, more difficult, and in many ways, more sophisticated. Very few scientific disciplines address global scale processes that affect a large number of vested economic interests. Zero in fact. You want to see “PR”, you need to look there.–Jim

    I think it speaks volumes about the strength of the evidence for immediate, dramatic socio-economic change (weak) , and the strength of the scientific case for trivial to modest AGW (decent). The difference lies in the agendas of the proponents of the first case, and the mantle of imprtance that ahheres to them if there is indeed a “crisis”, which it doesn’t appear that there is.

    Comment by Mesa — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:06 PM

  83. > jn-seo
    That post is by a blogspam bot, no humanity involved

    > snowfall … WTF
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/cherry-snow

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:10 PM

  84. #35 Frank O’Dwyer

    Exactly – it amazes me how scientists have gone to such trouble to fix the temperature records to show warming but have ended up with data that shows no warming for 15 years and has it getting cooler for the last 10. So they are hopelessly incompetent as well as corrupt.

    [Response: That spiel works fine out amongst the conspiracy theory wolf pack, but not here. You have no idea what you are talking about. In fact it’s amazing how you were able to squeeze so many wrong allegations and statements of fact into such a short space.–Jim]

    Comment by Andrew Adams — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:18 PM

  85. Re:64 Deech56 says: 19 February 2010 at 1:55 PM
    RE Tim Jones
    Is the so-called “climaterealists.com” site something like “Denial Depot”? It’s a spoof, right? Best laugh I’ve had in a while.

    http://climaterealists.com/
    More like a big red boil on the butt end of civilization, it’s a spin
    machine. No spoof. But laughable, I’m sure.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  86. Wilt, #54
    Use the search box at the top of the page, it’ll find many times people here have asked the same question you’re asking. Here’s one with an inline response: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/a-phenomenological-sequel/comment-page-1/#comment-71395

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:30 PM

  87. Steve Bloom has the right of it I fear.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:31 PM

  88. Wilt, the date is cherrypicked, and that means the significance test isn’t a simple t-test. Tamino’s Monte-carlo approach is in fact the correct one in this case.

    Think about it. If you can pick any date as your starting point, obviously that adjustable parameter is going to inflate your result. You have to compensate for that.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:38 PM

  89. #79 ken

    I do not agree because any information out of context loses validity. Context is key.

    It’s simple, less snowfall in some areas, more in others.

    It’s important to understand latitudinal shift. This article is not specifically about it but it does put it in the context.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-polar-amplification-effect

    I don’t know all the factors, but in my over-simplistic reasoning, I do know that if you heat up air, it pushes things out of the way. And in the atmosphere that is complex due to the various currents, updrafts and circulation patterns in each latitudinal range.

    I also don’t’ know how much this is calculated in current GCM’s. If anyone else has input on the this please feel free to add.

    In the discussions I have had, most agree that precipitation trends will change and much more is expected in the higher latitudes.

    Remember, context is always the key.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:44 PM

  90. #81 wilt

    As to your proposal that people in RC are conditioned like Pavlovs dogs…

    If you are in a classroom and some one asks how much is 2+2 and many students chime in and say 4, do you think they are trained seals, or answering the question with a relevant answer?

    Be careful burning all that straw, your are raising the Co2 levels.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:49 PM

  91. #82 Mesa

    Wow, I’m speechless. Well, as the say a picture is worth a thousand words:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    Please do point out to all of us “no warming for 15 years” and how it is “getting cooler for the last 10″.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:53 PM

  92. “ken”:

    Did you bother to find out what the climate models actually predict in terms of precipitation?

    If you did, please provide some references.

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 3:59 PM

  93. For all the heat being generated here by “dissidents”, where’s the new light? Events of the past few weeks have reinvigorated the contrarian crowd, they’re appearing here for instance in droves to defend the dive into degeneration we’ve witnessed of late, but where are the new arguments? Along with the celebration of confusion we’ve seen a lot of old material put on stage once more, but they’ve got all the faults they had the first time around. When, finally, are we going to hear some plausible, robust, coherent and consistent rebuttals to what’s in the IPCC WG1 report, for instance?

    Dissidents have proven already to everybody’s complete satisfaction they’re always ready to engage in political furor, but where’s the scientific progress on the doubter side? Steven Goddard’s snowfall essay? That’s the latest and greatest? Surely there’s something more?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:00 PM

  94. Tamino gives the wrong link? Yes, of course he should have been able to link to a post that hadn’t been written yet…..

    (And people wonder why deniers just aren’t taken seriously.)

    Comment by Didactylos — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:05 PM

  95. Wilt (#81),

    Why reinvent the wheel? Tamino’s analysis of Goddard’s silly claims was sufficient. I also thought Dhogaza (see Tamino thread) said it best when pointing out Goddard’s words on the topic:

    “Why did I choose 1989 as the start date? Because that is when the upwards trend started.”

    He found the branch with the best-looking fruit, and the merry band of followers ate it up.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_picking

    …not to mention he’s cherry-picking his endpoint too, by waiting for an anomalously high year to do his “analysis” (and trying to make estimates in a winter that isn’t over). Would Goddard have tried this analysis last year or next year?

    “That’s a period of 22 years, and Goddard’s conclusion would not be much different if the period started a few years earlier or later.”

    Interesting assertion, considering that if you start in 1985, you get a slope that is a few times smaller.

    “Tamino does to make his point, will probably not be very convincing to most people living in the Northern Hemisphere.”

    You could also look at the spring trend. I indicated this on the Tamino thread. Tamino also has a post on this:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/heavy-snow-job/

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:12 PM

  96. Could someone please review this? It claims to be ‘the end of the AGW hypothesis’ – based on 3 peer reviewed papers.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_agw_smoking_gun.html

    [Response: Just shows that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Please read the paper they draw their conclusion from, which, unsurprisingly, draws exactly the opposite conclusion (figure 3). And this is even without getting into the author’s confusion between brightness temperature and OLR flux. – gavin]

    Comment by Josh — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  97. The NH winter snow cover varies with the arctic oscillation (negative AO, more snow) in general. I have not found a graph with both things but I compared this one to the Watsup snowfall graph. The relationship is no surprise. Tamino has a good point about the cherry snow job, but could there still be something about the AO that the models are not sharp about? I hope this is not a trend! The snow is bad and the wandering Gulf Stream is probably hastening the Greenland melt.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 PM

  98. Ken writes:

    “When there are papers published which talk about the hazards of less snow fall as a result of climate change, and the models predict less snow fall, it is hardly a straw man argument.”

    I would say it is…

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1427

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  99. Re: #84: Jim, I think you’re too quick off the mark there: Andrew Adams and Frank O’Dwyer were, I believe, proposing a parody of skeptic arguments (eg, argument 1) X doesn’t exist. argument 2) Y causes X, not CO2. Or argument 1) X has been manipulated to show Y. argument 2) X shows not Y.)

    -Marcus

    [Response: Thanks, you are absolutely right.–Jim]

    Comment by Marcus — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:52 PM

  100. As an argument against AGW the negative AO and heavy snow in some areas is hopeless. When cold arctic air moves rapidly south, the Arctic does not become a vacuum. Other, warmer air takes its place. For the overall temperature this is a wash. If the warm arctic winter leads into reduced ice cover in summer, this reduces the albedo and increases warming.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 19 Feb 2010 @ 4:59 PM

  101. Jim, I wasn’t being entirely serious in my comment #84

    [Response: I see it now–my mistake.–Jim]

    Comment by Andrew Adams — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:05 PM

  102. Penguins in Antarctica to be replaced by jellyfish due to global warming
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/7263568/Penguins-in-Antarctica-to-be-replaced-by-jellyfish-due-to-global-warming.html
    19 Feb 2010
    “Rising temperatures in the oceans around Antarctica could lead to the continent’s penguins being replaced by jellyfish, scientists have warned.”
    […]

    I’d say that if there were special things to do in life, one of them would be to voyage over to the Antarctic Peninsula to see the penguins. Rather sooner than later…

    Adelie Penguin standing on melting ice during the Southern Summer
    http://groundtruthinvestigations.com/datalinks/_ARC1988_Wn.jpg
    Paulet Island, Antarctica
    01-20-09

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  103. The great advantage of the denialists is that they can pick and choose what to be wrong about while you have to know pretty much everything in order to show why they’re wrong. That tactical advantage quickly translates into a strategic one, since sites like climateaudit can download lots of nonsense into hundreds of noobs quickly and easily, leaving science to scramble to answer each successive wave.

    This app, and your wiki, make it much easier for just about anyone to bring science to bear on stupid, evening the odds.

    Comment by JM — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  104. Gavin, can you help me out here?
    A numbr of commentators have stated that increased snow cover (in the U.S.) is consisyent with climate change.
    But Frei, A. and G. Gong, (2005). Decadal to Century Scale Trends in North American Snow Extent in Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models. Geophysical Research Letters, 32:L18502, doi: 10.1029/2005GL023394.
    using nine general circulation models (GCMs) of the global atmosphere-ocean system show that all nine models exhibit a clear and statistically significant decreasing trend in 21st century.
    Who is correct here?

    [Response: Frei and Gong are using a single index for snow-cover across North America, but the situation is somewhat spatially and temporally heterogeneous. I haven’t looked into this much myself but you can get a sense from the graphs available on the GISS website (for instance, 20C3M+SRES A1B ensemble). Choose ‘Snow Cover %’, choose a month (Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar) and a period (1980-2010 say) and plot the trend. You get decreases in the northern US, and slight increases in the southern US depending on month. Thus I’d say the picture is likely to be a little confused over short time periods with a lot of weather-related noise. Intensity of precipitation is forecast to increase pretty much uniformly, and so that might be a contributing factor to the southern US trends, but that is just speculation at this point. The bigger issue is that single years are not climate change, regardless of the sign of the anomaly. – gavin]

    Comment by Confused on Climate — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:23 PM

  105. Well played, Andrew — I took you seriously, too.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:24 PM

  106. > Andrew … Frank …
    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Poe%27s_Law

    [Response: I’ve always felt that one should obey they law.–Jim]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:25 PM

  107. Re: #94

    “Tamino gives the wrong link? Yes, of course he should have been able to link to a post that hadn’t been written yet…..”

    Perhaps he meant Goddard’s post (linked to from Tamino’s post) was wrong. If so, that’s progress.

    Re: #99,

    It’s hard to tell the difference these days. Some folks are actually that nutty.

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:37 PM

  108. Wilt, I have seen you ask the same questions in other comment areas (maybe the NYT?…everything is running together). You have made it to the right place and I hope that you are sincerely interested in getting educated responses (you are persistent if nothing else). Good work as always to those who continue to answer these questions, despite the redundancy.

    Comment by Chris Fox — 19 Feb 2010 @ 5:44 PM

  109. Mesa (82) wrote:
    “Very few legitimate scientific enterprises need their own PR machines.”

    Very few fields of science have mutli-trillion dollar industries and extreme ideologues working so hard to confuse the public on the actual science. If people read actual science vs. believed personal blogs, poorly researched MSM articles, or talk radio, there wouldn’t be any need for an iPhone app or even web-sites like this. But alas, if real scientists want the public to understand real science they have to do expand their message beyond the typical scientific literature.

    Comment by Ken W — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:10 PM

  110. Pete Dunkelberg (#97),

    Good points. 1989-2010 shows a strong downward trend in the AO index, ending on 2 very extreme values for Dec/Jan. A strong negative AO tends to push Arctic air far south. In winter, with increased precipitation, this seems likely to increase snow cover extent.

    See “tabular format” for full data.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

    I would guess that models projecting snow cover extent, if they model AO, probably have a flat AO trend over the long haul (which is why longer periods of time need to be evaluated), although that’s an assumption.

    Comment by MarkB — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:22 PM

  111. Re Andrew Adams, Frank O’Dwyer and Molnar (nice name!) posts. I think Poe’s law is inadequate in this case; it isn’t just that someone will be fooled into thinking it’s not parody, but really the only sign that these posts are parody is that they are too rational to be real. Let’s give Jim a break – he’s new at dredging through all this muck.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:43 PM

  112. How wonderful, I make mention at a dinner party that I think the models are unreliable and some priceless character says hang on a moment, whips out the iphone, fiddles, and tells me

    While there are uncertainties with climate models, they successfully reproduce the past and have made predictions that have been subsequently confirmed by observations.

    Well that would sort me out. Of course it would certainly put an end to any further mention of climate change, but the discussions about why one would be carrying around an electronic global warming warning device should be hilarious. Does it have to be 10.

    I guess I hang out with the wrong crowd.

    And try and give it up for Lent.

    Comment by Ros — 19 Feb 2010 @ 6:52 PM

  113. Re:104 Confused on Climate says: 19 February 2010 at 5:23 PM
    “…nine general circulation models (GCMs) of the global atmosphere-ocean system show that all nine models exhibit a clear and statistically significant decreasing trend in 21st century.”

    I’ve noticed a divergence in forecast before. Some GCMs are predicting more overall precipitation. Some GCMs are predicting more regional drought. Are there any papers that attempt to reconcile this issue?

    Would it be that anomalies like the AO and ENSO and other oscillatory weather patterns are amplifying effects? Such seems to be the case in Texas where 6 months ago a significant part of the state was enduring exceptional drought. But now, due to the current El Niño, the worst on the US Drought Monitor map are small regions of abnormally dry.

    Thanks Jim.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:29 PM

  114. Re: 81 wilt says: 19 February 2010 at 2:45 PM
    “It seems to me that, with so many Real Climate contributors around that apparently are even better conditioned than Pavlov’s dogs, the Iphone app may not even be required anymore.”

    Did you see that they’d found that on the iPhone? I think a more apt description of the situation would be “…with so many Real Climate contributor’s great minds thinking alike….”

    Comment by Tim Jones — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  115. New Guardian article on climate contrarians and new Naomi Orestres expose book being released.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 19 Feb 2010 @ 7:57 PM

  116. Tim Jones says: “I’d say that if there were special things to do in life, one of them would be to voyage over to the Antarctic Peninsula to see the penguins. Rather sooner than later…”

    See Madagascar, too. It’s amazing, but is being washed away into the sea sufficiently rapidly that it shows up in satellite records as altitude decreases!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:16 PM

  117. Kevin McKinney and Gavin Schmidt, thank you for the wikis.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:22 PM

  118. #115 Yes, the Jeffrey Sachs article is good. And here is another Jeffrey (Masters) http://www.wunderground.com/education/ozone_skeptics.asp comparing the tactics used by corporations to prevent action on reducing CFCs in the 1970s. The tactics used have been turned easily into the playbook for the climate change deniers.

    This campaign by the corporations (and the right wing think tank/”libertarian” ideologues) is already big and getting bigger. The email hacking was like the artillery barrage at the start of an offensive in the First World War. And now the denier footsoldiers are swarming all over threads. We need to be better organised to counter all this. John Cook’s App (and site) is an excellent resource for ammunition, but we need to have a much better coordination of all of us rugged individualists or we are going to be swamped. The kind of loose and casual linking between blogs is no longer enough, but I’m not sure what the answer is.

    Someone above asked for feed links rather than URLs. My apologies. Here is mine http://www.blognow.com.au/rss.php?w=mrpickwick. And while I am at it, George Mobius is doing very interesting things at http://questioneverything.typepad.com/question_everything/, particularly in relation to questions about energy use, and future organisation and economic structure of humans on the planet, after climate change really sets in.

    Comment by David Horton — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:38 PM

  119. Re: 81 wilt says: 19 February 2010 at 2:45 PM

    “””“It seems to me that, with so many Real Climate contributors around that apparently are even better conditioned than Pavlov’s dogs, the Iphone app may not even be required anymore.””””

    You seem to forget that RealClimate contributors are peer-reviewed publishing climate scientists whose work on climate change science holds up over time…I literally don’t of know any contrarians whose published peer reviewed work on science holds up over time except perhaps for Landsea (there might be a few others, but I don’t know of any)…and even Landsea says human caused climate change is going on.1 Your statement seems both irrational and bizarre.

    1 Landsea 2005, Nature “Anthropogenic climate change has the potential for slightly increasing the intensity of tropical cyclones through warming of sea surface temperatures1.”

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7071/abs/nature04477.html

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 19 Feb 2010 @ 8:59 PM

  120. For those concerned about global predictions regarding snow, consider that one parameter is snow cover, especially spring into summer, which determines global albedo. Less reflective snow, more heat. On the other hand, warmth can increase evaporation and result in heavier snowfall in the winter, but if it is heavy wet snow it melts faster and results in less cover. Two parameters that are not contradictory.

    For those obsessing about the lack of a recent short term warming trend should look at the graph at http://hot-topic.co.nz/keep-out-of-the-kitchen/ (scroll down) and play with the slider. You will find that when you set up a 10-12 year period you will see that temperatures were declining or flat for a 10-12 year period just prior to 1978. Global warming stopped! You don’t even have to wait for the post 2000 period to question global warming.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:03 PM

  121. David Horton:
    “rugged individualists”

    If you are a rugged ‘individualist’, why do you need to co-ordinate with others?

    Regards
    Anand

    Comment by Anand — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:21 PM

  122. In my post on the earlier decline in the global record I made a mistake, it occurs just prior to 1997, not 1987. But I am sure that you all will agree that it still completely destroys the assertion that it is warming due to the release of fossil CO2.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:23 PM

  123. #104 Confused on Climate

    I should point out that while I think the long term trend will reveal increased precipitation patterns in higher latitudes, the short term is still weather and climate mixed… short term climate trends combined with natural variation and the chaos of weather.

    Short term climate trends meaning: where we have reasonable climate attribution. In our current winter we have the negative phase Arctic Oscillation and an el Nino event that are influencing weather in the US. The negative AO is also having a big influence in Russia and Europe, but it’s all connected in various degrees.

    The trick (he said trick) is being able to separate the signal for the noise on various scales. I believe this will become clearer over time as modeling improves along with resolution of data and understanding the oceanic cycles and their influence on climate… not to say that some of this is not understood, only that more understanding is always better…

    hmmmm… I’m betting your still confused :)

    Yes, climate is complex. I only know a ‘tiny fraction’ (I’m channeling John Coleman) of what some of the other folks in here understand. But if it helps think about this. The Science on the major parts of the signal is pretty solid. Some might say we are 99.99% sure on certain things. The things in this category could include things like what are the greenhouse gases, there is a greenhouse effect, humans have influenced the climate, humans have altered the climate, there are feedback mechanisms, etc.

    In other words it will/has get/gotten warmer because we added GHG’s to the atmosphere and humans added the gases.


    The Climate Lobby
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:33 PM

  124. Since recent the snowfall amounts have been brought up I would like to ramble here a little if that’s ok. Things have advanced a lot since I was in the business but as far the weather this year that’s something a meteorologist should be looking into. We need to look at a few things. AO, temp differential, jet stream, el nino, and maybe a myriad of other things. i think its possible to find that these polar outbreaks typically occured around solar Max. That seems to have changed the last few years though. It is weather and it is regional. It probably would make climate scientists cringe to have forecasters doing long range outlooks and I can’t blame them, but there are areas that will overlap. Its more productive than saying the arctic isn’t melting because some temp gauges have been moved.

    Comment by Ani — 19 Feb 2010 @ 9:35 PM

  125. Steve Fish says:

    “””In my post on the earlier decline in the global record I made a mistake, it occurs just prior to 1997, not 1987. But I am sure that you all will agree that it still completely destroys the assertion that it is warming due to the release of fossil CO2.”””

    Where’s your published, juried peer reviewed work that holds up over time? What you are doing is pure pseudo science to try to confuse the public and you know it. Science is done in peer reviewed published works and you know that. It’s been done this way since the 1600s. 1

    1. Climate Change 2007 states that the earliest studies on climate change were done in 1681: “Edme Mariotte noted in 1681 that although the Sun’s light and heat easily pass through glass and other transparent materials, heat from other sources (chaleur de feu) does not.

    IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt,
    M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 996 pp.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 19 Feb 2010 @ 10:22 PM

  126. Pete Dunkelberg #24: thanks for the hint. The friends of science site looks good.

    However unlike in science where having the important information in one place suffices, we need to have a lot of people doing blogging etc. with cross-links to defeat the subversion of search engines the denial bunch have achieved.

    If anyone here who cares about the science (as opposed to caring about some other agenda) would like to join my new ning for discussing the science of climate change and supporting scientists in their right to work without harassment go to http://climatescience.ning.com/?xgi=0HXCPQ4ccSp01E and I will OK your membership. Please do not apply if you plan on posting personal abuse, blatant errors or denialist talking points. There are plenty of other places where you can do that. Once your content is up it will be up to you whether you choose to moderate comments. I will change this invitation URL if spammers overwhelm valid requests to join.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 19 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 PM

  127. Oops, had a look at the actual content at “friends of science”. It’s actually denialist talking points once you look below the epidermis. Scrub sentence 1 of my previous comment – this further illustrates my point that it is really important not to let the denialosphere dominate the search space.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:01 AM

  128. Denialism is incoherent. Which fantasy are they going to feature?

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:04 AM

  129. Yes Anand, a bunch of rugged individualists all working in our own way against overwhelming odds using communication to work towards a common goal. A bit like the French Resistance in World War Two perhaps.

    Comment by David Horton — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:25 AM

  130. Josh (#96): “Could someone please review this? It claims to be ‘the end of the AGW hypothesis’ – based on 3 peer reviewed papers.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/the_agw_smoking_gun.html

    You got to love the logic of that writer. He basically so much as admits that the papers conclude exactly the opposite of what HE claims the data shows but dismisses their conclusions in favor of his own (mis)interpretation of the data. What he is missing is that “peer review” doesn’t just apply to data…It applies to the entire train of the scientific argument, including the conclusions drawn from the data. Otherwise, what is to stop me from saying, “Three peer-reviewed papers present data that compellingly contradict the silly hypothesis that the sun is powered by the process of nuclear fusion” and then cite data in three papers that actually conclude exactly the opposite?!?

    It is kind of scary to read the comments in response to his piece though. I guess the readers of “The American Thinker” just eat that stuff up.

    Comment by Joel Shore — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:26 AM

  131. 2 hours ago I explained it to a skeptical person in a way that he believed. I just told him the very simple thing.:
    “CO2 is opaque to infrared. Visible light from the sun warms the ground. The ground radiates infrared. The CO2 won’t let the infrared go back into space. So the Earth gets hotter.”

    That is all it took. Simple. No statistics. Honest looking face. No numbers. I suggest you program that into an iPhone app.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:00 AM

  132. re: 115:
    nit: that’s Naomi Oreskes…

    I’ve reviewed Merchants of Doubt, and Naomi&Erik Conway have dug out amazing back history, meticulously documented. So, I second the motion to order one.

    Comment by John Mashey — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:41 AM

  133. By the way, I am frankly astonished to see “Denial Depot” ( http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/ ) excluded from the RC blog roll. Surely in the interest of fairness and avoiding any appearance of suppression of “differently perceptive” viewpoints Denial Depot should be included in Real Climate’s list of “Other Opinions.” Denial Depot certainly qualifies in the “other” department.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:35 AM

  134. Are you sure this thread is not just another media event like ” Whatevergate” and ” Daily Mangle”…….never mind the rubbish in the Guardian, lets get back to the scientific debate of issues.

    Comment by Bill — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 AM

  135. wilt is just projecting.

    How many times has he come here panting with excitement about how something has shown AGW wrong only to find out he doesn’t know what it is, but just started drooling at the idea as soon as he heard “AGW wrong”.

    Or, indeed, about the pavolvian reaction to

    1) It’s been cooling since (last time there was a maximum)
    2) Romans grew wine in britain
    3) It’s snowing, so there’s no AGW

    etc.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:40 AM

  136. “112
    Ros says:
    19 February 2010 at 6:52 PM

    How wonderful, I make mention at a dinner party that I think the models are unreliable and some priceless character says hang on a moment, whips out the iphone, fiddles, and tells me”

    Whereas Ros would rather not know if she’s wrong.

    ‘cos she doesn’t like being wrong, ya.

    “Facts” are so boring, aren’t they. And being told your wrong is the sort of thing “elitists” do, innit. When they correct you, it just goes to prove they’re wrong, dunnit.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:42 AM

  137. “131
    Edward Greisch says:
    20 February 2010 at 1:00 AM

    That is all it took. Simple. No statistics. Honest looking face. No numbers. I suggest you program that into an iPhone app.”

    Yah, funny that doesn’t work with most of the people coming on here asking “I’m confused about how AGW can be true”.

    Maybe you had there a real, genuine seeker of information.

    You don’t see many of them around today. The denialist-in-skeptics-clothing has nearly eradicated their natural habitat.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  138. Edward, see, for example, whether confused gets that message that J P Reisman puts at the concludium of his post #123.

    If your thesis is correct, confused should no longer be confused.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:30 AM

  139. Completely Fed Up (#135) without any evidence suggests that I would have been using arguments like “1) It’s been cooling since (last time there was a maximum) 2) Romans grew wine in britain 3) It’s snowing, so there’s no AGW”. I have never used any of those arguments in any of my postings anywhere. I hesitate to call an opponent a liar but let us say that he is not telling the truth. It might be by mistake and in that case it’s officially not a lie but a distortion.
    For this reason, and this reason alone, I decided to react to his remark. I have no intention to initiate a further discussion because I have observed over and over again (in all his responses to anybody that brings up a point of discussion) that he is not just completely biased but actually refuses to read first and respond then. That is the rule of the game in case you want to have a decent discussion among rational people.

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:18 AM

  140. wilt (54): Can you or any of your esteemed colleagues explain to me why it would be unlikely or even inconceivable that similar forces were present during 1975-1998 and caused most or all of the warming then?

    BPL: Because we’ve been measuring them and they haven’t changed. We’ve been measuring solar output from satellites, we know what the volcanoes and cosmic rays have been doing, we have a good idea of the Earth’s albedo, etc. The only thing changing significantly in that period was carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. That, plus the fact that we know from radiation physics how greenhouse gases behave, is how we know the present warming is all or nearly all artificial.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:19 AM

  141. wilt (59): it would be interesting to have a discussion on the long-term increase of winter snow cover on the Northern Hemisphere (I am writing long-term here because it’s happening since 1989

    BPL: Try here:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/cherry-snow/

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:21 AM

  142. @MarkB #98.

    No, it isn’t a straw man.

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1962294,00.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012800041.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/science/earth/11climate.html

    Comment by Ken — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  143. wilt (81): I don’t think that is a fair way to analyse Goddard’s document.

    BPL: Of course you don’t. You’re a statistical illiterate.

    Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of–most people are unfamiliar with most subjects, period. But militant ignorance, refusal to learn, is a moral failing. And being arrogant about it (cf the “Pavlov’s dogs” remark) just makes it worse.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:26 AM

  144. @John #89, @Didactylos #92.

    I suggest that you give this a read.

    http://www.eee.columbia.edu/research-projects/water_resources/climate-change-snow-cover/index.html

    Comment by Ken — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:27 AM

  145. @MarkB #98.

    I would caution you to not confuse snow depth, or single precipitation events with snow extent.

    Comment by Ken — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:31 AM

  146. Steve (122): it still completely destroys the assertion that it is warming due to the release of fossil CO2.

    BPL: Look again:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:34 AM

  147. re. 132 John Mashey says:

    “””re: 115:
    nit: that’s Naomi Oreskes…

    I’ve reviewed Merchants of Doubt, and Naomi&Erik Conway have dug out amazing back history, meticulously documented. So, I second the motion to order one.”””
    _________________________________________________________________________
    I appreciate the nit. I agree. Oreskes has a strong science, juried, peer reviewed history that has stood up over time under intense world-wide review. Her peer-reviewed group of works strongly supports a scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.

    For non-scientists and the public…the below publication history (an effective case study in how science is done on a hotly sensitive subject) is how open, transparent science (with controversy) is done and has been done since the 1600s. If you want to contradict this, you need to publish in a open peer reviewed journal/conference/publication and have it stand up to world-wide review over time…This is science. This is what you have trusted your lives to and what has made your civilization function.

    Even economists and oil engineers have published in the field of human-caused climate change.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Oreskes’ case study (which is open access to the public)

    Oreskes 2004, Science
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

    Letters (peer review hostile discussion and responses) to Science
    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-1761-2005.32.pdf#search=%22%22Consensus%20About%20Climate%20Change%3F%22%20oreskes%22

    Oreskes 2005, Science
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/306/5702/1686.pdf

    Oreskes 2007
    http://www.ametsoc.org/atmospolicy/documents/Chapter4.pdf
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Contrarian published papers (none of which contradict human-caused climate change over time (although they try extremely hard).

    Soon and Baliunas, 2003.
    Soon et al, 2003.
    Schwartz, 2007, Journal of Geophysical Research.
    Scafetta and West, 2005.
    Scafetta, N., and R. C. Willson, 2009.
    Scafetta and West, 2006.
    Scafetta and West, 2007.
    McKitrick, McIntyre 2005.
    Lindzen, 2001.
    Miskolczi, 2007, Idojárás.
    Tsonis , 2009, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS.
    Craig & Lohle 2008.
    Douglass et al.2007.
    Klotzbach et al, 2009, J. Geophys. Res.
    McClean et al, 2009, J. Geophys. Re.s
    Gerlich and Tscheushner, 2009.
    Essex, McKitrick, Andresen, 2007.
    Chilingar, Khilyuk, Sorokhtin, 2008.
    Nordell, 2008.
    IPCC AR4, 2007 (synthesis and includes some contrarion work-McKitrick, McIntyre)
    Lindzen and Choi 2009.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:44 AM

  148. Ken@79 & – When there are papers published which talk about the hazards of less snow fall as a result of climate change, and the models predict less snow fall (…)
    “(…) in reality we are seeing increasing snowfall trends”

    and your reference on “Continental-scale snow cover extent“: “These results show that climate change associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions may indeed affect future snow cover extent

    Have we seen “increasing snowfall trends” in continental-scale snow cover extent?
    Maybe the re-think needs to be on your comprehension?

    Comment by flxible — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  149. 104 and 113: on snowcoverage, drought, etc.

    Ch11 of AR4WG1 (FIG 11.12) says the models predict increased winter precipitation over most of North America and decreased summer precipitation. More interesting is the 3rd row in that Figure which shows that the models are nowhere close to unanimity in the US.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:11 AM

  150. Barton Paul Levenson (#140), thanks for your comments, although I do not agree completely. As for the solar effects, you may be familiar with Lockwood’s article in Nature indicating that the solar magnetic field that is linked to cloud formation has increased significantly up to the year 2000 (http://www.eiscat.rl.ac.uk/Members/mike/publications/pdfs/1999/170_Lockwoodetal_nature.pdf). Apart from the sun and the other factors that you mention there may be others, for instance the recently published changes in stratosphere water vapor that appear to be responsible for an important part of the temperature increase during 1990-2000(Susan Solomon, Science, 2010). You will agree that the “What else could it be?” argument in favour of the CO2 effect is not the most convincing one.

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:11 AM

  151. 135, Completely Fed Up: wilt is just projecting.

    Everybody really ought to drop the faux psychoanalysis. It’s completely independent of science, evidence, and human reasoning.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:16 AM

  152. Just posted this on Klimazwiebel.blogspot.com
    Henk Hak said…

    Hans, a question regarding the physics of heat exchange between the earth’s crust and the oceans. I have tried to Google this a bit but didn’t get very far. Is there any information about the amount of heating the ocean’s deepest water receives from the core? There is mention of “petit” volcanoes apparently quite numerous in areas around tectonic shifting. After all the earth’s crust is thinner at the ocean’s bottom than anywhere else.
    Maybe this wasn’t the right place to post but don’t know where else.
    Thanks
    Henk
    Do you have an archived posting , or any other information on this?
    Thanks
    H.Hak

    [Response: Average flux is around 0.04 W/m2 – higher at the mid ocean ridges, lower in the abyssal plains. – gavin]

    Comment by H Hak — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:37 AM

  153. Wilt, the solar magnetic field mechanism and the GCR mechanism are the same. Thus, the fact that GCR fluxes eid not change significantly from 1950-2000 (modula the solar cycle) indicates that this mechanism has not been operant.

    Likewise the recent Solomon paper is also not relevant to long-term trends. We can and have measured stratospheric water vapor concentrations for decades. Result: no consistent trend. So, on the one hand we have a 114 year-old prediction by Arrhenius that anthropogenic CO2 would cause temperatures to rise and a seeming confirmation of that hypothesis. This hypothesis also explains stratospheric cooling, polar amplification, seasonal patterns… On the other hand, we have a myriad of patchwork suggustions–most without any real mechanism–and which really cannot reproduce all of the trends we are seeing. If you were a scientist, based on ALL the evidence, which hypothesis would you pick?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  154. Doug Bostrom (133) wrote:
    “Surely in the interest of fairness and avoiding any appearance of suppression of “differently perceptive” viewpoints Denial Depot should be included in Real Climate’s list of “Other Opinions.””

    Would you likewise expect a site dedicated to evolutionary biology to link to young-earth creationist Ken Hams blog? He even has an article “critiquing” global warming (just like he “critiques” evolution) so maybe realclimate should link to him as well?

    Any crank can set-up a web-site and post whatever nonsense or spin they want. There’s no reasonable obligation or expectation for a legitimate science oriented web-site like realclimate to link to all of them.

    Comment by Ken W — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:53 AM

  155. Ray Ladbury (#153), solar magnetism is also related to solar luminosity, as discussed in the Lockwood paper (I suppose that you have read this important Nature article, or do you only read the verdicts given on Real Climate?). And this article (and several others) surely demonstrates that there was no decrease in solar intensity during the last part of 20th century (actually an increase), so if solar forcing was important during 1910-1940 temperature increase it was certainly important during 1975-1998. Furthermore, what you call no consistent trend in stratosphere water vapor, can also be seen as an oscillation. In this case I have more trust in Susan Solomon’s opinion than in your judgement, if you don’t mind.

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:06 PM

  156. “[Response: Correct. It’s more multidisciplinary, more difficult, and in many ways, more sophisticated. Very few scientific disciplines address global scale processes that affect a large number of vested economic interests. Zero in fact. You want to see “PR”, you need to look there.–Jim”

    The blistering arrogance and complete lack of self awareness (not to mention innacuracy) of this comment is staggering. I can add nothing to it.

    [Response: Nice. When you bring forth legitimate arguments that support your broad brush assertions, people will listen. The idea that you think the “PR” on this issue comes from the scientists, is ludicrous beyond belief. And arrogance is thinking one can pronounce on a topic without in fact actually knowing it’s bases or history–Jim]

    Comment by Mesa — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  157. re 152
    Thanks Gavin . I guess that means negligible in the greater picture. Thanks for all your work on this blog.

    BTW, Roy Spencer did a quick recalculation on Phil Jones’ CRUTem3NH data and his results were identical.
    Henk

    Comment by H Hak — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:28 PM

  158. Perhaps we need to get South Dakota politicians the iPhone app. This link here…
    http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2010/Bills/HCR1009P.pdf

    is their resolution for “balanced” teaching of global warming in the schools. Check out their reasons–they are a list of long debunked canards, falsehoods and fabrications, and just plain fractured logic (or more bluntly, stupidity).

    Somehow global warming has become the new creationism. “Teach the controversy”.

    South Dakota: Doomed (a la Dr. Plait and his Bad Astronomy poster he uses whenever creationism tries to worm its way into legislation).

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:32 PM

  159. H Hak, I provided some links to detailed info on crustal heating, on SkepticalScience.com thread Volcanoes Emit More CO2 Than Humans, in my three comments 234, 235, and 236.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 20 Feb 2010 @ 12:44 PM

  160. re: #147 Richard
    Another nit, albeit bigger this time.
    I think that list could confuse someone unfamiliar with this turf about peer review and credibility. After all, that list has papers in E&E, and the G&T paper was a review paper in an odd place.

    The other issue is that some papers get refuted pretty quickly. It might be nice to have a dense table showing:
    – paper
    – journal
    – some assessment of journal nature & credibility, and whether the specific article was full-peer-reviewed, editorial-board reviewed, or just “rushed into print” as per Sonja B-C.
    – status, including if clearly refuted, when and where.

    A one-pager like that could be a useful reference.

    Comment by John Mashey — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:04 PM

  161. #144 Ken

    Context is key. It’s a common mistake people make. They see a piece of information and don’t know how it fits in the bigger picture.

    This certainly illustrates how easy it is to misinterpret a single piece of information. The argument is also similar to the Arctic ice extent vs. ice mass argument.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-ice

    We hear people argue the Arctic ice is recovering every winter because they are only looking at the extent and not the thickness of the ice.

    Snow extent and precipitation values are expected and in fact showing some degree of change. But snow extent is not the same as precipitation events.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/changes-future/fig3-5.jpg/view

    I have a reasonable degree of confidence that earth will see certain regions drier and others experiencing more precipitation in the future. Like the Arctic recovering argument, precipitation is not extent of precipitation.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:14 PM

  162. Ken W says: 20 February 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Take a look at the site. ;-)

    DenialDepot mission statement:

    “I believe that one day all science will be done on blogs because we bloggers are natural skeptics, disbelieving the mainstream and accepting the possibility of any alternative idea.

    We stand unimpressed by “textbooks”, “peer review journals” and so-called “facts”. There are no facts, just dissenting opinion. We are infinitely small compared to nature and can’t grasp anything as certain as a fact.

    Nothing is settled and we should question everything. The debate is NOT over Gore! When so-called “experts” in their “peer reviewed journals” say one thing, we dare the impossible and find imaginative ways to believe something else entirely.”

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 20 Feb 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  163. #156

    “The blistering arrogance and complete lack of self awareness (not to mention innacuracy) of this comment is staggering. I CAN ADD NOTHING TO IT.”
    (My caps.)
    The last sentence speaks volumes.

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:02 PM

  164. John Mashey says:

    “””re: #147 Richard
    Another nit, albeit bigger this time.
    I think that list could confuse someone unfamiliar with this turf about peer review and credibility. After all, that list has papers in E&E, and the G&T paper was a review paper in an odd place.

    The other issue is that some papers get refuted pretty quickly. It might be nice to have a dense table showing:
    – paper
    – journal
    – some assessment of journal nature & credibility, and whether the specific article was full-peer-reviewed, editorial-board reviewed, or just “rushed into print” as per Sonja B-C.
    – status, including if clearly refuted, when and where.

    A one-pager like that could be a useful reference”””

    Good point, I will try to draw one up. However, it might still be confusing to non-science people…but oh well it’s a start in the right direction.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:08 PM

  165. Psst psst KenW think … ‘The Onion” …

    Except Denial Depot is much funnier, as he does a perfect job of capturing the tone set by so many denialist blogs.

    Comment by dhogaza — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:21 PM

  166. RE- Comment by Richard Ordway — 19 February 2010 @ 10:22 PM:

    Ha! You say “heat from other sources (chaleur de feu) does not,” but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and with geometric logic that adding a little magnesium to the feu will make it work. Research? We ain’t got no research. We don’t need no research. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ research!

    It was fun trying out being a denier, but it was sort of……not very filling. I think that something like my original post, 19 February 2010 @ 9:03 PM (but with the correct prior to 1997 date), is a good response to those who think that it has stopped warming.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  167. Re:155 wilt says: 20 February 2010 at 12:06 PM
    “Ray Ladbury (#153), solar magnetism is also related to solar luminosity, as discussed in the Lockwood paper (I suppose that you have read this important Nature article, or do you only read the verdicts given on Real Climate?).

    No solar hiding place for greenhouse sceptics
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v448/n7149/full/448008a.html
    Nature 448, 8-9 (5 July 2007) | doi:10.1038/448008a; Published online 4 July 2007
    Quirin Schiermeier
    Sun not to blame for global warming.
    “A study has confirmed that there are no grounds to blame the Sun for recent global warming. The analysis shows that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays (M. Lockwood and C. Fröhlich Proc. R. Soc. A doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1880; 2007).”

    W: “And this article (and several others) surely demonstrates that there was no decrease in solar intensity during the last part of 20th century (actually an increase), so if solar forcing was important during 1910-1940 temperature increase it was certainly important during 1975-1998.”

    Surely not. How about, oh horrors!, reading the paper?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:27 PM

  168. But Wilt, solar luminosity is measurable–even more easily than heliomagnetism, and solar irradiance was not changing significantly during the last half of the 20th century. It was increasing both from 1860-1880. Moreover, Solomon is quite clear in her paper that she is looking to explain short-term variability, not long-term forcing. You seem confused on your forcers. Maybe you need a source other than WUWT.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  169. I’m a low-impact greenie, if you please!

    Do I now really have to go out and buy an iPhone, yet another bit of techno-tat, just to keep up in the game?. :-)

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 20 Feb 2010 @ 2:43 PM

  170. #151 Septic Matthew

    First, the Freudian community is feuding on the validity of psychoanalytic process so faux has many connotations in your statement, though you have attempted to use it narrowly.

    Second, you can’t separate psyche form human reasoning. You had to use it to construct your post.

    Third, understanding or analyzing motive is key to understanding confirmation bias. While some may have validity to the scientific argument depending on context, other things may not. This is not unimportant to human reasoning and understanding in the context of debate.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:06 PM

  171. Septic matthew @ 151

    “Everybody really ought to drop the faux psychoanalysis. It’s completely independent of science, evidence, and human reasoning.”

    So that characters like Mesa @ 156, who are totally lacking in self-awareness, can get off the hook for writing arrogant tripe like the following in response to Jim’s comment?

    “The blistering arrogance and complete lack of self awareness (not to mention innacuracy) of this comment is staggering. I can add nothing to it.”

    And denialists aren’t really denialists because denialists don’t like being called denialists, because if you call them that, then people might start paying attention and figure out for themselves that those engaged in denialism are actually denialists.

    If denialists really wanted out of the house of mirrors they’ve constructed for themselves, they would have dumped the denialism long ago and, oh I don’t know, actually paid attention to the science, evidence and human reasoning. Instead we get Lilliputians with no peer reviewed literature of their own, trying themselves in knots trying to pick apart the peer reviewed work of others which they aren’t qualified to evaluate in the first place.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:19 PM

  172. I found this searching through Skeptical Science via the app for Lockwood 2008 in “Articles citing this article.”

    Is there some reason the search window found on the web is omitted in the app?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

    Solar change and climate: an update in the light of the current exceptional solar minimum
    http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/466/2114/303.full
    Proc. R. Soc. A 8 February 2010 vol. 466 no. 2114 303-329
    excerpt
    “Lockwood & Fröhlich (2007) demonstrated that since 1987 the long-term changes in solar outputs, which have been postulated as drivers of climate change, have been in the direction opposite to that required to explain, or even contribute to, the observed rise in Earth’s global mean air surface temperature (GMAST). Since then, the solar trends noted by these authors have continued. By the end of solar cycle 23, the annual mean of the open solar magnetic flux (deduced from geomagnetic activity) had fallen to a value last seen in 1924, in the minimum between sunspot cycles 15 and 16 (Lockwood et al. 2009). Other aspects of this decline in solar activity are reviewed by Russell et al. (in press). In this paper, we study the implications.”

    Concluding remarks
    excerpt
    “In the case of climate change, there is no doubt that global mean temperatures have risen, so that the effect is known to be real. Furthermore, there is a viable explanation of that effect, given that the amplification of radiative forcing by trace GHG increases by a factor of about 2 is reproduced by global coupled ocean–atmosphere models. What is alarming is that in the face of this strong scientific evidence, some Internet sources with otherwise good reputations for accurate reporting can still give credence to ideas that are of no scientific merit. These are then readily relayed by other irresponsible parts of the media, and the public gain a fully incorrect impression of the status of the scientific debate.

    “The direct influence of cosmic rays on cloud albedo is much harder to put in context. If it has operated alongside GHGs, but there were no climate feedbacks, its effect on the term containing ?G must have exceeded that of the term containing ?A by the total 2.46?W?m?2 attributed to feedbacks. To argue that it replaces the GHG forcing requires that one find major errors in the calculation of radiative forcing or errors in the experimental data on the rise of GHG concentrations: neither is a realistic possibility. What is certain is that the uncertainties and lack of homogeneity in long datasets is a real problem for the evaluation of any such effect (i.e. for quantifying its contribution or finding if it exists at all).

    “It is important not to make the mistake made by Lord Kelvin and argue that there can be no influence of solar variability on climate: indeed, its study is of scientific interest and may well further our understanding of climate behaviour. However, the popular idea (at least on the Internet and in some parts of the media) that solar changes are some kind of alternative to GHG forcing in explaining the rise in surface temperatures has no credibility with almost all climate scientists.”

    Comment by Tim Jones — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:24 PM

  173. Tim Jones (#167, thanks for the reference to the Lockwood/Frohlich article. In his Nature article (1999) Lockwood presents data about the continuing rise of the solar magnetic field, and in his discussion mentions several other proxies like long term analysis of the number of sunspots, and cosmic rays-related isotopes. In his article in Proc R Soc, Lockwood does not revoke those earlier observations, as a matter of fact he does not even make a reference to his previous Nature article. This seems rather peculiar and puzzling to me: you can not publish two opposing articles as a first author and then pretend they do not both exist.

    Comment by wilt — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  174. Doug Bostrom (162) wrote:
    “Take a look at the site. ;-)”

    dhogaza (165) wrote:
    “Psst psst KenW think … ‘The Onion””

    Dang, too many threads going on to keep up with who uses satire and who just posts dumb stuff. I walked right into that one :-(

    Comment by Ken W — 20 Feb 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  175. wilt (150) — That solar contribution has been earlier argued against on at least two earlier thread here on RealClimate. Search for GCRs.
    Anyway, the claim is completely put to rest by noting that the atmosphere contains a su0prabundance of CCNs everywhere but maybe the interior of Antarctica, where it doesn’t matter.

    The Solomon et al. paper is certainly interesting, but contributes mainly to the understanding of factors lumped under the rubric of internal variability. It is rather small compared to the hammer of CO2.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:14 PM

  176. David Horton #129: let’s not get carried away. Likening oneself to the French Resistance is skirting close to Godwin’s Law.

    Still it is a pretty uphill battle fighting scientific illiterates who gullibly believe any garbage spewed by the Exxon-Mobil propaganda machine.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:51 PM

  177. I do not possess an iphone (thank god); but to make a totally unrelated point, that I have been meaning to mention for some time, I am pleased to see in recent posts that the word “denier” is gradually being replaced by ie “denialist”. “Denier” to me (I’m 66), has connotations of youth & stockings (not good for my heart at my age!); so how about “denyer”? Maybe Bunyanesque; maybe spellcheck unfriendly; but helps you climatologists keep your minds on your (important) work (especially the older ones!).

    Comment by doug de vos — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:51 PM

  178. Edward Greisch @131:

    Brilliant!

    The only real issue is this: how do you get to the point with them, where they are actually prepared to listen?

    Given that, quite often, denialists are frequently doing their best to overcome some of the more blatant anti-science tenets of fundamentalism, I will typically start with Galileo.

    “Soo… up until Galileo, did the sun revolve around the earth? Once Galileo’s ideas took hold, did the earth start revolving around the sun? And, during the time Galileo caved to the threat of excommunication, did the universe temporarily revert back to geocentrism? No?

    “So what does politics and the manipulative agenda of the powerful have to do with science?”

    And *then*… well, I’m liking your CO2 infrared opacity bit…

    Comment by Jaime Frontero — 20 Feb 2010 @ 4:58 PM

  179. Could someone please debunk this ‘editorial’ conclusively. This from an AG professor emeritus at the University of Georgia. I’m too tired at the minute.

    Forum: Hot air abounding on greenhouse gas

    Washington is debating how tough legislation should be to reduce carbon emissions and slow global warming. Doomsayers are predicting the 21st-century rise in carbon dioxide will bring heating of the Earth, flooding of coastal cities, increases in hurricane strength and frequency, proliferation of tropical diseases, extinction of species and more. Yet the pessimistic prophets dare not weaken their revelations with one certainty: Rising CO2 will make fields and forests more productive.

    (more here)
    http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/022010/opi_565162957.shtml

    [Response: Carbon dioxide does indeed promote faster growth rates in many plant taxa having a particular photosynthetic system (C3), by reducing the loss of carbon that would otherwise occur in photorespiration. However the rates thereof vary widely even in ideal conditions, and CO2 is but one potentially limiting factor among several in typical production settings. As with all such factors, the effect is greatest when other requirements are not limited. Higher water use efficiency (WUE: the amount of carbon fixed per unit of water used), and hence ability to tolerate drought, is where higher CO2 might really have a definite postive effect. The effect on crops has received far more attention than on forests, and statements on effects on the latter are highly uncertain. There are some wild over-generalizations and questionable statements in the piece, e.g. in reductions in ag land and improper comparisons with greenhouses, where the CO2 levels are not comparable to ambient. –Jim]

    Comment by catman306 — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:07 PM

  180. catman306, if what you are seeking to produce is poison ivy, then he is certainly right. Poison ivy thrives as CO2 increases. So do many other noxious weeds. And without the occasional fros to make them die back, there’s nothing to keep the country from being completely overrun with kudzu and poison ivy.

    The problem is that your prof is confusing fetid with fertile.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:20 PM

  181. #176 Philip “let’s not get carried away. Likening oneself to the French Resistance is skirting close to Godwin’s Law”, yes, cheeky, wasn’t it?

    Comment by David Horton — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:24 PM

  182. #179 catman306

    Well, although most FACE experiments were dealing with fixing carbon there is some indicative evidence that non legumes (crops that don’t fix nitrogen) drop proteins in higher Co2 environments.

    Change Biology (2008) 14, 565–575, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01511.x Effects of elevated CO2 on the protein concentration of food crops: a meta-analysis. DANIEL R . TAUB, BRIAN MILLER and HOLLY ALLEN.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  183. Tim Jones #167: better still, you can read the latest follow up on this work for free (Royal Society in celebrating its 350th anniversary is making all its content free this year):

    Mike Lockwood. Solar change and climate: an update in the light of the current exceptional solar minimum, Proc. R. Soc. A February 8, 2010 466:303-329; published online before print December 2, 2009, doi:10.1098/rspa.2009.0519

    This is an excellent paper (in my inexpert opinion), highly recommended reading, especially if you can read and don’t stop at the bits that confirm your prejudices :(

    Gavin, Rasmus et al.: I’d like to see a summary of this paper here. Any chance of that?

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:28 PM

  184. catman306 :

    There is not really much to debunk. He cites no source for his 25 to 50 percent yield increase. He seems to think that there is no difference between field and greenhouse agriculture. He downplays the risks of global warming.

    etc. etc.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives.htm

    Comment by Molnar — 20 Feb 2010 @ 5:56 PM

  185. Maybe this should be added to your Wiki:

    Dallas snow storms and warmth (55F) in Vancouver is a result of the planet warming up as a whole.

    “That’s one aspect of the science that everyone should understand.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPwHnU5ObPY&feature=player_embedded

    These scientific words of wisdom were uttered by none other than our President.

    Anne

    Comment by Anne — 20 Feb 2010 @ 6:49 PM

  186. A Blue Marble slide show:
    http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=33566

    Comment by David B. Benson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 7:13 PM

  187. A posting above states that solar activity cannot explain the warming of the last part of the twentieth century. Another says that what the global warming movement needs is impetus from a prolonged warm spell. The video from a recent American Geophysical Union conference session bears on both points. See:

    http://eventcg.com/clients/agu/fm09/U34A.html

    The speakers point out that the latter part of the twentieth century saw a “solar maximum” period. To many solar scientists, this explains the relative warmth of that period. Recently, the sun’s state and the earth’s climate have changed in unison. One of the AGU speakers expresses the belief that the sun is heading into a Dalton-minimum like period, which was very cold. Thus, it is unlikely the global warming theory will get bailed out by a period of hot weather; rather it is more likely it will be definitively doused by continued cold temperatures. This will be a nice way to demonstrate that CO2 at .04% of the earth’s atmosphere in no way can trump solar influences on climate. It seems increasingly likely that CO2 is an insignificant player in determining climate since it has been discovered by Lindzen and Spencer that the feedback effects on water vapor necessary for CO2 to cause harmful warming do not exist.

    [Response: Feedbacks work exactly the same way for all forcings – solar and GHGs included. If sensitivity is small, then none of the forcings can make much of a difference. Nothing Lindzen has claimed supports solar forcing being dominant – and in fact he is extremely scathing about the level the pseudo-scholarship involved in the various solar correlations out there. On this topic, we actually agree. – gavin]

    [edit]

    Comment by fred g — 20 Feb 2010 @ 7:40 PM

  188. #187 fred g

    Re. Daulton-minimum

    When you are at or around thermal equilibrium an extended solar minimum can cause cooling.

    But that is not where we are at. We are around 1.6 W/m2 positive forcing. So, even if we had an extended solar minimum, which many were claiming last year… until of course solar cycle 24 kicked in… we would not get cooling but only slightly less warming forcing.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:13 PM

  189. Correct me if I am wrong, but the “hide the decline” comment in the Emails refers to tree ring data that has diverged from the real temp measurements for the last 50 years, and was never purported to be a conspiracy to hide any decline in real temperatures.

    However, My question is, is there even a single statistically sound reason why someone could reasonably assume that the current divergence of tree ring data that has occurred over the last 50 years (tree rings indicating that the temps are much cooler than they actually are) has not occurred many times before (since there is no known cause for this anomaly) therefore completely rendering any assertion that one might make about past temps from tree rings completely invalid?

    Is it not a statistical NIGHTMARE to graft 50 years of real thermometer temps onto hundreds of years of tree ring data (the “trick”)because the last 50 years do not agree with real temps now, while having NO idea whether or not this has happened many times in the past? Would it not result in confidence intervals that are on par with chance (50% or less?) Hiding this decline in the relationship between temperatures and tree ring data so that one could use the remaining data to continue to insinuate lower temps in the past seems more than adequately shoddy science to impeach the credibility of those doing it without having to insinuate that they are out and out lying.

    They are purposefully obfuscating the VERY poor reliability of their data in order to justify its continued use, and making assumptions about past temperatures with that data that are obviously baseless.

    If there is a CLEAR explanation for why I might be wrong about this, please respond.

    Comment by JOHN — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:15 PM

  190. RE Joel Shore

    It is kind of scary to read the comments in response to his piece though. I guess the readers of “The American Thinker” just eat that stuff up.

    That they do, and they do not like discouraging words. Back in December I tried to pull a “Joel Shore” (introduce science into hostile territory – I’ve seen and admired your postings on WUWT) by commenting on an article there and got banned, and my posts yanked, after 3 posts. (I was responding to this statement: “One of the most encouraging reactions to this mess comes from the working scientists.”) What’s funny is that the ghost of my brief career as a poster there still remains.

    Comment by Deech56 — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:23 PM

  191. fred g, the solar maximum was reached, and then plateaued (or even decreased), starting around 1960. Some increase in temperature was due to that increase in solar radiance up to that maximum’s plateau.

    But later than 1960 is the “latter” part of the 20th century when temperature increased despite the lack of increase in solar radiance. We know that the temperature increase since 1960 cannot simply be a continued or lagged response to that plateaued maximum, because the Earth’s energy imbalance has continued to increase.

    If the Sun’s output dropped to levels similar to past grand minima such as the Dalton and Maunder minima, the effect on Earth’s temperature would be small. Historically colder periods that coincided with such minima had additional negative temperature forcings.

    Comment by Tom Dayton — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:28 PM

  192. Rising CO2 will make fields and forests more productive.
    Yep.
    And droughts did wonders for the Indus Valley civilization and Egypt’s Old Kingdom.
    Shrinking grasslands forced to Huns to move west
    across Central Asia until they invaded Europe.
    Everybody won!

    Comment by Sufferin' Succotash — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:41 PM

  193. 183, Phil Machanik, thanks for the link to that paper.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:55 PM

  194. #179 Catman

    As an agriculturalist, Harold Brown ought to know better.

    I would like to see some references. He quotes from a published report (an old reference – U.S. Global Change Research Information Office 2000) “Within the next 50 years, forest productivity is likely to increase with the fertilizing effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

    But then he adds his own opinion; ‘Hundreds of actual experiments in fields and greenhouses show that growth and yield will increase by 25 to 50 percent if CO2 rises to double the present levels.’ The latter was never part of the original reference though it was made to look that way.

    In fact the effects of CO2 on crop production has been well documented and considered, though they are often overstated. For example the Fourth IPCC assessment (1) states
    “Recent results from meta-analyses of FACE studies of CO2 fertilisation confirm conclusions from the TAR that crop yields at CO2 levels of 550 ppm increase by an average of 15%. Crop model estimates of CO2 fertilisation are in the range of FACE results [5.4.1.1]. For forests, FACE experiments suggest an average growth increase of 23% for younger tree stands, but little stem-growth enhancement for mature trees. The models often assume higher growth stimulation than FACE, up to 35% [5.4.1.1, 5.4.5].”

    Earlier studies showing the higher stimulation rates were usually based upon closed environment systems. In fact while the average might be as stated the effect is very variable with forest trees showing the greatest effects and some food crop plants showing the least.(2)

    In addition while most early studies focussed their attention on crop yield, later studies have shown that greater care needs to be taken since the effects are rather more varied.(3, 4)

    For example while rice yields did increase, the quality (protein content) decreased. (5) Similarly wheat yields increased, but the quality (protein content) decreased and the grain size was significantly reduced. In addition the gluten and other characters were sufficiently altered to cause the conclusion that there would be a major effect on consumer nutrition and on its use for industrial food processing. (6)

    In yet other studies increased CO2 caused a greatly increased level of toxic cyanogenic glycosides in Cassave (7) while also reducing the total yeild of Cassava tuber; by as much as 90% in the worst case. Cassava of course is a staple food source for more than 10% of the world’s population. It also caused increased cyanogenic glycosides in clover(8) which is likely to adversely affect its use as animal feed.

    So, increased carbon dioxide levels are likely to have some benefits, these are mixed and have been overstated. In addition, taking into account all the negative effects of increased carbon dioxide, I would think that anyone conversant with the evidence would have to conclude that overall, increased CO2 is not a good thing, even within a narrow agricultural context.

    1. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (Part 5.8.1)
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch5s5-8.html

    2. Food for Thought: Lower-Than-Expected Crop Yield Stimulation with Rising CO2 Concentrations
    Stephen P. Long,1,2,3* Elizabeth A. Ainsworth,4,1,3 Andrew D. B. Leakey,3,1 Josef Nösberger,5 Donald R. Ort4,1,2,3
    Science 30 June 2006:
    Vol. 312. no. 5782, pp. 1918 – 1921
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1114722

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;312/5782/1918

    3. Carbon Dioxide Concentration, Photosynthesis, and Dry Matter Production
    Paul J. Kramer
    BioScience, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan., 1981), pp. 29-33
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1308175

    4. What Have We Learned from 15 Years of Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE)? A Meta-Analytic Review of the Responses of Photosynthesis, Canopy Properties and Plant Production to Rising CO2
    Elizabeth A. Ainsworth and Stephen P. Long
    New Phytologist, Vol. 165, No. 2 (Feb., 2005), pp. 351-371
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1514718

    5. Growth and Yield Response of Field-Grown Tropical Rice to Increasing Carbon Dioxide and Air Temperature
    Lewis H. Ziska,* Offie Namuco, Toti Moya, and Jimmy Quilang
    AGRONOMY JOURNAL. VOL. 89. JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1997
    other effects
    Much higher level of toxic cyanogenic glycosides in clover.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/k81533177x6x3169/?p=3261b37c42b542baaea2901c77c0f00a&pi=9

    6. Effects of elevated CO2 on grain yield and quality of wheat: results from a 3-year free-air CO2 enrichment experiment
    P. Högy 1 , H. Wieser 2 , P. Köhler 2 , K. Schwadorf 3 , J. Breuer 3 , J. Franzaring 1 , R. Muntifering 4 & A. Fangmeier
    Plant Biology Volume 11 Issue s1, Pages 60 – 69

    7. Growth and nutritive value of cassava (Manihot esculenta Cranz.) are reduced when grown in elevated CO2
    Roslyn M. Gleadow 1 , John R. Evans 2 , Stephanie McCaffery 2 & Timothy R. Cavagnaro 2,3
    Plant Biology Volume 11 Issue s1, Pages 76 – 82
    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122540174/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    8. Changes in Nutritional Value of Cyanogenic Trifolium repens Grown at Elevated Atmospheric CO2
    Roslyn M. Gleadow & Everard J. Edwards & John R. Evans
    J Chem Ecol (2009) 35:476–478
    http://www.biolsci.monash.edu.au/staff/gleadow/docs/2009-clover-cg-co2.pdf

    Comment by Andrew Hobbs — 20 Feb 2010 @ 8:56 PM

  195. fred g(#187):
    Take a look at Roy Spencers graphs for global average temperature over the past two years and observe the trend. Hint: average global temperature is at a record high (Spencers UAH data had a record smashing +0.72deg anomaly for January 2010), despite the extreme solar minimum, so the ‘solar trumps anything’ theory isn’t exactly gaining strength these days. Rather the opposite, in fact.

    Comment by Esop — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:05 PM

  196. re: #180
    Well, a Georgia Prof already has kudzu; maybe he just wants to inflict it on everyone.
    Here’s a nice ,presentation by U of Toronto researchers, showing why they think that kudzu will be able to survive in lower Ontario by ~2020. Some of the maps offer nice visualizations of quite concrete effects.

    “The vine that ate the South” have been moving North… and it responds quite well to higher CO2…

    Comment by John Mashey — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  197. #189 JOHN

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/

    “As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682).”


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:23 PM

  198. John@189,
    Well the chief reason why the tree-ring data are not suspect in times past and are today include:
    1)the situation of the trees in question is quite a bit different (more stressful) today than it was in the past.
    2)The tree-ring data agree with the other proxy data over the rest of the reconstructed period. Even if you exclude the tree-ring data altogether, you get pretty much the same reconstruction.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:47 PM

  199. Fred G@187 Bzzzz!! Oh, but thank you for playing.

    Fred, solar irradiance stopped rising ~1960, before the current warm period even started. Moreover, we’re at the point in the Milankovitch cycles where things ought to be cooling. That being the case, don’t you wonder why it is still so friggin’ warm? The reason is that CO2 now trumps solar variability. What is more, even if we were to enter a prolonged solar minimum (See Usoskin’s article on this), it would last at most decades, while the effects of CO2 last centuries.

    It sounds like somebody needs to look at where he gets his information.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:53 PM

  200. 137 Completely Fed Up: He can’t see your face on this blog. OR he may own coal company stock. Which means RC needs more movies. Rush Limbaugh uses emotional hooks, like getting angry, on his radio show. Science is supposed to be devoid of emotion, which gets most people to distrust science. Persuasion requires more than just science for most people. How can RC deal with that?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 20 Feb 2010 @ 9:56 PM

  201. John (189):

    The divergence of some tree ring chronologies is hardly a secret – there is a ton of literature on this if you are interested –

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/papers-on-the-divergence-problem/

    Comment by Molnar — 20 Feb 2010 @ 10:13 PM

  202. 200: Edward Greisch says:

    “Persuasion requires more than just science for most people. How can RC deal with that?”

    Ed. I posted a remark on this a couple of days ago, suggesting that writing the science at a lower reading level is needed. As far as I know it was completely ignored, but I think it is nearly self-evident and that it is important to do. It is tough for scientists thoough because scientists are used to writing for scientists, not 9th grades which is a more appropriate level if one wants to reach the public.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:34 PM

  203. Completely Fed Up and Jaime Frontero and RealClimate: We don’t have to and can’t convince everybody. We have to convince enough people to get strong legislation passed. Notice that I convinced only one person that time. Persuasion is a sub-discipline of psychology. RC needs to consult and bring on board some psychology professors who specialize in persuasion. Most people couldn’t pass freshman physics if their lives depended on it. Therefore, strictly teaching physics won’t work. But teaching simplified physics works if it is that knowledge that is lacking.

    First, figure out the denialist. Ask the psychology professor to do that. Then figure out the key to unlock the denialist’s brain. That also requires the psychology professor. Does the denialist feel that you are trying to take something away from him? Probably. What is it? Etc..

    RC, do you understand what I am saying? Don’t be narrow and single track. Work with the other people you need to get the job done. Do you need a writer of children’s books or a cartoonist in the group? A novelist? A diplomat? At this point, perfection may be less important than winning. But winning means getting the correct law passed, not winning the argument. Walk over to the psychology department and talk to whoever happens to be there. It would be a start.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 20 Feb 2010 @ 11:36 PM

  204. Re: 187 fred g says: 20 February 2010 at 7:40 PM
    One of the AGU speakers expresses the belief that the sun is heading into a Dalton-minimum like period, which was very cold. Thus, it is unlikely the global warming theory will get bailed out by a period of hot weather; rather it is more likely it will be definitively doused by continued cold temperatures. This will be a nice way to demonstrate that CO2 at .04% of the earth’s atmosphere in no way can trump solar influences on climate.”

    Temperatures this winter are already considerably higher than most.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Jan_10.jpg

    Monthly Anomalies of Global Average Surface Temperature in January (1891 – 2010, preliminary value)
    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/jan_wld.html
    Five Warmest Years (Anomalies)
    1st. 2007(+0.45°C), 2nd. 2002(+0.44°C), 3rd. 2010(+0.37°C), 4th. 1998(+0.36°C), 5th. 2005,2003(+0.31°C)

    Continued cold temperatures???

    NOAA: Warmest January in both satellite records
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/16/noaa-warmest-january-on-record-in-both-satellite-records/

    Looks to me like CO2 has already trumped solar. A grand solar minima negative forcing doesn’t mean that CO2 isn’t warming.
    I suppose how the public opinion is swayed with mendacious propaganda is another matter.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:36 AM

  205. John #189: the decline problem as others have noted has been studied extensively, e.g.

    Rosanne D’Arrigo, Rob Wilson, Beate Liepert, Paolo Cherubini, On the `Divergence Problem’ in Northern Forests: A review of the tree-ring evidence and possible causes, Global and Planetary Change, Volume 60, Issues 3-4, February 2008, Pages 289-305

    The other important thing to be aware of is that tree ring studies are not the only way of reconstructing past temperature. Each method has different advantages and disadvantages and it we had to rely on only one, there would be a serious problem with accounting for the divergence problem. Tree ring reconstructions line up pretty well with other reconstructions, leading to the conclusion that something unusual happened over the last half century or so. Here’s a scholar search to get you started.

    Google scholar is your friend. Regular google mainly turns up denialist dross unless you are very careful about what you search for.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:47 AM

  206. John (189), Proxy data is always uncertain. Unfortunately, the IPCC reports do not give statistically based confidence intervals. Based on the fact that we know they diverge for the much of the time that we actually have instrument measurements, I suspect the confidence intervals are way out there even for a 50% confidence level.

    Comment by John Phillips — 21 Feb 2010 @ 1:18 AM

  207. 202 John E. Pearson: You are correct. But write for 9 or 8 year olds [4th or 3rd grade], not 9th grade. Then you have to make it look like it was written for adults. Yes, most adults need instruction at that level. You just can’t embarrass them by telling them so. And you have to repeat it enough times to make sure everybody hears it. Students in grade school should receive more than 10 minutes of instruction per week in science. Could somebody write a book on GW for grade school? How about a web based book so that it can be distributed for free? How do you get the schools to let you in the door? [Getting in the schoolhouse door is not so easy these days. Try running for the school board.]
    How do you make the same lesson acceptable to adults? It can’t be the same book unless you get the children to ask their parents to read it to them.

    The opposition of course hires advertising agencies and pays for advertisements and lobbyists and makes campaign contributions, alias bribes. I have received emails stating that they have also forged other peoples’ signatures on some letters and documents. Advertising agencies are psychological engineers. I guess that they must have figured out every possible way to destroy science and frustrate scientists. And they hacked those emails. We are doing amazingly well given such a rich and determined opposition, but not good enough.

    I think that you were heard, but advertising costs money. How can RealClimate do it? If we were the fossil fuel industry, we could hire people to write letters to editors. Some of us readers of RC could, and do, do that. It takes time. We can’t overwhelm the opposition when they own the newspapers and TV networks. So basic democracy and real freedom of speech for humans rather than corporations is also important to us.

    How about set up a foundation and ask wealthy people and other foundations for money?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:47 AM

  208. re: #189 JOHN
    You might want to read Ray Bradley’s classic Paleoclimatology – reconstructing the Climates of the Quaternary, 1999. (600 pages, dense)

    Paleo-folk are fairly good at using statistical techniques to extract useful signals from old noisy data that is what it is, rather than being something that can be rerun in the lab. It is actually very interesting detective work.

    Comment by John Mashey — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:05 AM

  209. About rising CO2 levels and plants – as you pointed out, different species (and groups) of plants will react in different ways to increased atmospheric CO2 levels. In a monoculture, the results might be fairly predictable. But in complex plant communities, changing CO2 levels will mean that there will be winners and losers, and the balance of populations will change. Such a change in the food producers of an ecosystem will cause a change in the balance of the consumers. The outcome of this would be extremely difficult to predict, and these effects would intensify as they rose up through the food chain.

    This is not an experiment I would like to see performed, if we can possibly help it!

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:37 AM

  210. #4 John Cook says:
    I’ve been dismayed that the climate debate seems to have moved from science to attacking scientists and the IPCC.

    The basic charge is that scientists and the IPCC are sabotaging science, by practicing political advocacy and grant-farming in the name of science. Anyone truly interested in science would attack this.

    Comment by BFJ — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:39 AM

  211. John E. Pearson said:

    “I posted a remark on this a couple of days ago, suggesting that writing the science at a lower reading level is needed.”

    Check out http://scienceofdoom.com

    John E. Pearson, I agree.

    The level of realclimate – and skepticalscience (which is what started this post) is at a different level. A level where saying “here’s 5 peer-reviewed scientific papers” is a major part of the argument. Not much use for many out there.

    Firstly – 99% of the population don’t have access to journals.

    Secondly – if they did, for the small percentage of papers that are somehow accessible, there is a pre-requisite of a) advanced science knowledge b) how this subject has been tackled since 1960 (or whatever) to understand the content of that particular paper

    Thirdly – 50% of the population are “skeptical” of the argument from scientific authority.

    Like it or hate it, that’s the world out there. If you want to convince people without the argument from authority..

    Comment by Steve Carson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:57 AM

  212. Tim Jones #204: good points but what fred g seems to be missing is that CO_2 driven warming is in addition to any natural variability. It is a frequent misconception promoted by the denial camp that the mainstream claims the increased greenhouse effect somehow prevents any natural variability. This argument is so clearly nonsensical that it seems pointless to refute it but I’ve seen it so often, it’s clearly something that should be hit on the head.

    If indeed the last few years were influenced by a cooling trend of the sun (as they should be: this is physics, not magic), why haven’t temperatures over the last few years headed down to the levels last seen when solar activity was this low nearly 100 years ago?

    There is no great defeat of climate science if the sun cools a tad and this slows warming. The fact that the sun has cooled slightly over the last solar cycle but temperatures have stayed at or near record highs is strong confirmation of the increased greenhouse effect, rather than the contrary. There is a short lag between solar variation and its effect on global temperatures; in the first part of the 20th century, the effect was very clear. In recent decades, the effect is overlaid on an upward trend in temperatures that has no correspondence with changes in solar irradiance. You can see this very clearly in the graph here.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:13 AM

  213. wilt: the “What else could it be?” argument in favour of the CO2 effect is not the most convincing one.

    BPL: And, in fact, no climate science ever made that argument.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:25 AM

  214. John Phillips, And what is your confidence in that confidence level?

    Jeez, irony really is dead!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:43 AM

  215. wilt “the “What else could it be?” argument in favour of the CO2 effect is not the most convincing one.”

    So how come you can’t answer it?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  216. Fooey. How does one make an active (text) link with this
    comment structure?

    [Response: standard html. < a href=”http://etc” > link </a> – gavin]

    Comment by Tim Jones — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:06 AM

  217. “206
    John Phillips says:
    21 February 2010 at 1:18 AM

    John (189), Proxy data is always uncertain. Unfortunately, the IPCC reports do not give statistically based confidence intervals.”

    Except they do.

    Specifically and with great attention to the validity.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:08 AM

  218. “151
    Septic Matthew says:
    20 February 2010 at 11:16 AM

    135, Completely Fed Up: wilt is just projecting.

    Everybody really ought to drop the faux psychoanalysis”

    “…and far too damaging when I want to project my failings on the scientists.”

    Captain Subtext thanks you for this opportunity to make your posts’ subtext clearer.

    PS it’s a well understood and recognised phenomena.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:29 AM

  219. Steve Carson@211 – I’ll finish your last sentence: If you want to convince people without the argument from authority… – What’s needed isn’t a consulting psychologist or educator, but a persuader, as in PR.

    The “rabid” denialists don’t want an education and are likely incapable of understanding the “facts” anyway. The CBC series on advertising has been very instructive, get O’Rielly on board. [The series has no podcasts, but is available streaming online – not sure about outside Canada but CBC is on Serius 137]

    Comment by flxible — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:51 AM

  220. Re: 187 fred g says: 20 February 2010
    “This will be a nice way to demonstrate that CO2 at .04% of the earth’s atmosphere in no way can trump solar influences on climate.”

    Let’s turn Fed’s comment around and say the following two graphs demonstrate that for January 2010, at least, CO2 at .04% of the earth’s atmosphere easily trumps solar influences on climate.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/02/january-2010-global-tropospheric-temperature-map/

    Sunspot cycle 24: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/ssn_predict_l.gif indicates similarities between 1998 and 2010.
    The prediction for the cycle is here: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

    Although the current sunspot cycle is forecast to have lower amplitude and thereby less energy coming our way, the temperatures for the lower troposphere indicate a greater average warmth in 2010 than 1998.

    Considering that both the current El Niño as well as solar irradiance are weaker in 2010 than 1998, yet temperatures are higher, that no other forcing appears to dominate, the conclusion is inescapable that CO2 must be driving higher temperatures at this point and will continue to do so.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:53 AM

  221. Wilt, I don’t know of any scientist making an argument based on “What else could it be?” Indeed, warming due to anthropogenic CO2 is a 114 year old prediction by Svante Arrhenius! The fact that scientists are continually looking for alternative forcings and have not found any that match the signatures of the current warming. Indeed it is difficult to imagine a forcing other than a greenhouse mechanism that is supported by all the evidence.

    You look for “oscillations,” as if finding them in the absence of a periodic driver would explain anything. The thing is that the “anything but CO2″ approach is also not a particularly compelling story.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:39 AM

  222. re: Tom Dayton at 159.
    Thanks Tom .Very interesting. The articles/book you quote give a higher value than Gavin’s but the value of 0.09W/m2 remains insignificant.

    Comment by H Hak — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:58 AM

  223. 217 Fedup,

    Maybe I should use “likely” or some other conviction based measure similar to what is used in the IPCC report?

    Comment by John Phillips — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:01 PM

  224. 211: Steve, is that your site? It seems pretty good but I can’t really tell if the level of the writing is low enough or not. My wife has free software that will estimate the “grade level” of a sample of writing. If you’re interested I’ll ask her where she got it. I don’t want to demean your effort but my personal feeling is that you need more pictures and fewer words. I think diagrams drawn with xfig (or whatever your favorite drawing tool is) are inadequate. I think that diagrams/drawings need to be in color and visually striking/appealing. You need an illustrator. The sorts of schematic illustrations that are found in the scientific literature are probably too abstract for the general public. That’s what I think anyway.

    A big problem is that folks like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, etc don’t need to understand anything to mock it effectively. I heard some guy on the radio one day ranting that now “they’re going to outlaw breathing”. It takes about two seconds to say “they’re going to outlaw breathing”. It takes minutes to explain why it’s nonsensical. There’s a fundamental asymmetry in the debate. It is FAR easier to babble nonsense than to intelligently debunk nonsense.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:16 PM

  225. re 220:
    To play the devils advocate: ” the conclusion is inescapable that CO2 must be driving higher temperatures at this point and will continue to do so”
    is an “argument from ignorance” and a logical fallacy. (I don’t mean this to sound condescending, it is a technical term used in logic). Basically because we can’t find or think of any other acceptable reason why the temps are rising, and CO2 correlates well, therefore it must be the CO2.
    Maybe you’re right, maybe you’re not.
    Looking at the past temperature records from any of the proxies we NEVER see a constant, straight line.
    Maybe the MWP was only a local NH phenomenon, who knows. Vulcanoes, etc. had an effect, of course. Nevertheless my question is: are you sure that you can explain all those previous temp. fluctuations that were clearly independant of CO2 levels?
    No doubt Gavin and the others here have as much expertise as anyone. As Eduardo Zorita says on Klimazwiebel: there are cubic light years of knowledge that I as a layman in the field have no clue about.
    Yet personally I doubt that we can explain all of the – even relatively recent- past records with enough confidence. We weren’t there at the time and we haven’t studied the climate long enough to know.
    Does that mean for me let’s just wait and see?
    NO!!Even if say CO2 was not a main driver for climate change there are plenty of other reasons to limit our use of fossil fuels, recycle, reuse and live less wasteful. Do what you can in your personal life. And let’s support innovation.

    Comment by H Hak — 21 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 PM

  226. 218, Completely Fed Up: PS it’s a well understood and recognised phenomena.

    As much as the flat earth. It’s no more accurate or useful than Newton’s interpretation of the Revelation of St. John, but like that interpretation it is based on an analysis of myths, with factitious memories added in. According to the psychoanalytic school of thought, you are not qualified to assess the unconscious dynamics of others until you have spent 7 or 14 years in a disciplined and intense effort to understand your own, and then your assessments have to be based on disciplined and intense personal interaction.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 21 Feb 2010 @ 1:03 PM

  227. wilt (155): if solar forcing was important during 1910-1940 temperature increase it was certainly important during 1975-1998.

    BPL: Doesn’t follow. “High” isn’t the same as rising.

    % of variance in NASA GISS temperature anomalies accounted for by carbon dioxide, 1880-2008: 76%

    % accounted for by variations in sunlight: 2.5%

    Do the math.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:25 PM

  228. Regarding IPCC – sea levels:

    “Another way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. We have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, …the IPCC choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and choose the record of one, which gives a 2.3 mm per year of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which should not [be used].
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Kate7 — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:38 PM

  229. Ray Ladbury (#221)’Indeed, warming due to anthropogenic CO2 is a 114 year old prediction by Svante Arrhenius!’
    What kind of argument is that?! If I were to present a list here of things that have been predicted by someone 100 years ago or 1000 years ago or yesterday evening, you would be surprised, but would it make any difference at all for you or anyone else?! What matters is the evidence one can provide for a theory, and this evidence should be based on observations, experiments, and testable predictions, not just (conflicting) models or the words of a ‘prophet'(that is religion, not science). In this respect the AGW proponents have not been very convincing if you look at present day public support, 114 years after Arrhenius predictions!

    Comment by wilt — 21 Feb 2010 @ 2:55 PM

  230. The opposition of course hires advertising agencies and pays for advertisements and lobbyists and makes campaign contributions, alias bribes.

    Edward’s got it right. The opposition understands it takes money to make money. The denial industry’s money trail is abundantly documented, in books like Climate Cover-Up and The Heat is On, and websites like Sourcewatch and ExxonSecrets. It’s not hard to follow, because most of it is right out in the open. Corporate speech is protected after all, as the US Supreme Court just affirmed.

    On the science side, there’s no profit motive, despite the tu quoque calumny of the professional deniers. That’s working pretty well for them, obviously, because, BJF chimes in on queue:

    The basic charge is that scientists and the IPCC are sabotaging science, by practicing political advocacy and grant-farming in the name of science. Anyone truly interested in science would attack this.

    BJF, anyone truly interested in science would know enough about how science is done to understand how ridiculous those charges are! “Grant-farming” — what’s the evidence for this? There are hints and allegations. There’s nothing approaching the detailed accounting of the denier’s lies, even from the deniers themselves.

    Well, BJF, we’re waiting!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:43 PM

  231. “BJF”: I mean “BFJ”, obviously. When, oh when, will RealClimate get comment preview?!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 21 Feb 2010 @ 3:45 PM

  232. evidence of grant farming? The (appalling) list is at Pubmed when you search for climate change or global warming or just about any other semi-related topic.

    Comment by Kate7 — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:05 PM

  233. wilt (228) — At least read
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect
    and maybe then some readi8ng to see that it took about another 60 years to treat all the details. I recommend the history in “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart, first link in the science section of the sidebar.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:08 PM

  234. Wilt asks re my reference to Arrhenius: “What kind of argument is that?!”

    Well, for one thing it puts the lie to your claim that arguments for anthropogenic causation are based on “What else could it be?” For another, it shows that the basic science has been known a VERY long time.

    And as to judging science, I’ll take the peer-reviewed literature over opinion polls any day. This is science, not politics.

    Like I say, you want to talk evidence, I’m game. Maybe we can start with a consideration of how any mechanism other than a greenhouse one simultaneously warms the troposphere and cools the stratosphere. Chew on that one awhile.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:23 PM

  235. BFJ #210:

    The basic charge is that scientists and the IPCC are sabotaging science, by practicing political advocacy and grant-farming in the name of science. Anyone truly interested in science would attack this.

    They would if it’s happening. What’s your evidence? There have been numerous aggressive enquiries into climate science and climate scientists, none of which have turned up anything of significance. Let’s try this question for you while you have your moral outrage turned on. A retired academic publishes a book, using the name of two universities where he holds emeritus appointments to add legitimacy to the book. The book is quickly revealed to have over 100 errors with some that completely overturn the book’s central claims, including citing references that don’t say what the book uses them to support, and using unsourced apparently fabricated data. BFJ, do you think the two universities concerned would have severely damaged reputations if they failed to act against this person?

    wilt #228: the reference to Arrhenius is relevant because he discovered the logarithmic relationship between increasing CO_2 and temperature in the lab, and that relationship held good as a theoretical basis for it was discovered. The theoretical basis for the logarithmic relationship is the IR absorption spectrum of CO_2. This is no different from the development of any scientific theory. An observation is made that has a specific pattern. A theoretical model develops based on other more general theory that is testable across a wide variety of scenarios. The warming effect of CO_2 is extremely solid science. The need for models arises from applying this theory in a complex system with many other effects that may delay or speed the initial effect, and amplify the initial effect in varying degrees.

    wilt, if you want religion, try the cult of carbon that denies the very existence of a basic scientific theory behind greenhouse warming, despite no evidence to support their claims (the greenhouse effect is a constant, all variability is caused by the sun, greenhouse forcing is damped by clouds even though orbital forcing somehow magically is not, greenhouse warming violates the second law of thermodynamics …). In this world view, it doesn’t matter if you hold contradictory views or drop one argument as soon as it’s shown to be flawed and switch to another. Sounds mighty like creationism aka intelligent design to me.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 21 Feb 2010 @ 4:43 PM

  236. #225 H Hak

    Just because you lack knowledge and understanding does not mean an argument is a logical fallacy. Your claim that the statement you mention is an argument from ignorance; is actually an argument from ignorance.

    It’s important to parse reasonable hypothesis, theory, observations, and understanding in a meaningful/relevant manner.

    Is the earth flat? If yes, How do you know? Is the earth round? If yes, how do you know. Just because some wacky bunch of scientists say it is round? Oh my, argument form authority, or argument from ignorance? I mean, no one really knows right?

    And of course you present the classic straw-man. We don’t know everything so we don’t know anything.

    Your question

    are you sure that you can explain all those previous temp. fluctuations that were clearly independant of CO2 levels?

    is a red herring. If two people punch you in the face, it does not have to be for entirely the same reason.

    Please, look up the word ratiocination, apply, then post.

    PS Look up DO event.

    PPS In case I did not make my point above… just because you don’t understand something, does not mean someone else does not know more than you.

    PPPS You say we have not studied climate long enough to know??? Have you ever heard of paleo climate studies?

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/what-we-know

    PPPPS If your going to play devils advocate, at least be familiar enough with the scope of knowledge on the playing field before you spout of nonsensical straw-man arguments that smell like red herrings.


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  237. At one time some would call them “deniers.” The more generous called them “skeptics.” But now, increasingly, it appears that they can be called something else: sane.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/time_to_turn_up_the_heat_on_th.html

    Comment by Tom Servo — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  238. 226, got an actual argument, or are you gist going to go with repeating the same old tired unsupporte statements as if fact?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  239. 225, no there is no argument from ignorance there, it’s the well known idea of the null hypothesis. also recognised as occam’s razor and used by sherlock holmes.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 21 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  240. Kate7 and wilt, please have a look at this post on SkepticalScience.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:19 PM

  241. Re: 225 H Hak says: 21 February 2010 at 12:51 PM

    “To play the devils advocate: ” the conclusion is inescapable that CO2 must be driving higher temperatures at this point and will continue to do so” is an “argument from ignorance” and a logical fallacy.

    The whole sentence:
    “Considering that both the current El Niño as well as solar irradiance are weaker in 2010 than 1998, yet temperatures are higher, that no other forcing appears to dominate, the conclusion is inescapable that CO2 must be driving higher temperatures at this point and will continue to do so.”

    I think Occam’s Razor more adequately describes the assertion. The physics of atmospheric CO2 IS unsaid but grounds the assertion. The evidence of the quality of the other forcings means the the conclusion is inescapable.

    If I had written: “Global surface temperatures are understandable in the context of the physics of atmospheric CO2 and are just within the parameters of GCM projections as modified by observations by Solomon, et al, the current El Niño and the current low ebb in the sunspot cycle. Considering that both the current El Niño as well as solar irradiance are weaker in 2010 than in 1998, yet temperatures are higher, that no other forcing appears to dominate, the conclusion is inescapable that CO2 must be driving higher temperatures at this point and will continue to do so.”

    Would this meet muster?

    I produced evidence and a forecast based on the best available evidence. It wasn’t simply an assertion only true because it is based on lack of proof or evidence to the contrary.

    “The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam “appeal to ignorance”, or negative evidence, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or is false only because it has not been proven true.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

    Scientific truth relies on the empirical evaluation of evidence, not on proof, per se. I think the distinction makes a difference.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 21 Feb 2010 @ 6:27 PM

  242. Someone wrote that we should correct each others errors. How about the following correction although it won’t affect any conclusions?

    Rer #220
    CO2 at 0.04% of the atmosphere i.e 400ppm refers (roughly) to the total amount of CO2, not the increase of it since 1750 as suggested by the comment.
    Since we are now in the realm of the total greenhouse effect we have to consider what would happen with all of the 400ppm removed. The consequent cooling would drive H2O to condense from the air and freeze from the oceans causing more cooling. In the end most of the H2O would be in ice and the Earth’s heat balance would
    lie between a snow ball and the Moon (which is bit darker).

    The final temperature can be estimated very roughly by (a) simple theory using the well tested Stefan Boltzmann equation and (b) by considering the temperature of the Moon (perhaps including data from a total eclipse as discussed near the beginning of Raypierre’s book which used to be on line) and perhaps (c) (??) by looking at the data from the snowball state in the past?

    Discussion.
    Finally why specify concentrations in that uninformative way? Yes parts per million has the advantage of being dimensionless but to me is seems like a rather non-physical measure. A better one might consist of the mean number of absorptions with CO2 which an infra-red photon would undergo before finally escaping from the atmosphere. That would be tricky because it would depend too much on wavelength and pressure. The standard way based on ppm has the disadvantage that it highlights the O2 and the N2 which don’t absorb infra-red at all, and play only a secondary role as a heat sink and as pressure adjusters. It is just one more cause for this mantra to be repeated.

    What would be wrong with specifying the partial densities of the CO2 and H2O instead ? That would be simple, and would avoid using the O2 and N2 as references. Of course it is too late to change and would raise accusations of spin by the anti-science lobby.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:17 PM

  243. Re : previous message.
    It should have been average densities.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:30 PM

  244. Pathetic lede.

    Iceberg Ahead
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/233887
    “Climate scientists who play fast and loose with the facts are imperiling not just their profession but the planet.”
    By Fred Guterl | NEWSWEEK
    Published Feb 19, 2010
    From the magazine issue dated Mar 1, 2010

    Comment by Tim Jones — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:42 PM

  245. Kate7 #228: this looks like the Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner conspiracy theory. Tell me where this is in the IPCC chapter on sea level rise. I also looked in TAR Chapter 11 and could find no mention of Hong Kong. In any case in recent years satellite altimetry is what’s providing the data; tide gauges are known to be problematic.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 21 Feb 2010 @ 7:42 PM

  246. Tom Servo proclaims climate scientists sane and then links to “the american thinker”. Oh, the irony is priceless!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 8:12 PM

  247. Oops, it’s denialists he declares sane. We already know climate scientists are crazy to put up with the abuse they take from the ignorant.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 8:15 PM

  248. Kate7@32, OK, so let me get this straight. It is your contention that any scientist who applies for a grant to study impacts of climate is “grant farming”. OK. No need to look further. You are a loon.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 21 Feb 2010 @ 8:21 PM

  249. Here’s something we might need clarification on: Why were climate scientists made to retract their study on sea rise of between 7cm & 82cm by 2100 from NATURE GEOSCIENCE? The authors weren’t sure if it was because they underestimated sea rise or overestimated it, but I can see how the denialists and the believers will jump on to spin it in opposite directions.

    See: http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=152355

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 21 Feb 2010 @ 8:56 PM

  250. Lynn, if you read the Guardian article, you will learn that the people who reported the errors were Vermeer and Rahmstorf – that’s Stefan Rahmstorf, one of the regular RC contributors.

    Vermeer and Rahmstorf’s own estimates of sea level rise are much higher – 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

    Now that the lower estimate by Siddal has been retracted, there is less to contradict all the other results that point to a higher sea level rise. As far as I understand it, Siddal’s paper was an outlier and conflicted with recent studies on sea level rise.

    This one doesn’t need spinning: this is a clear win for science, and RC in particular. Read what Stefan Rahmstorf and Martin Vermeer had to say about all this last August: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/ups-and-downs-of-sea-level-projections/

    This is a clear example of how blog science can sometimes be ahead of the published science – but it doesn’t mean anything until the published record is corrected. And it has been: Siddal’s paper has been retracted.

    You won’t hear deniers crowing about this event. Instead, they will quietly ignore the retraction, and in years to come, you will see them cheerfully citing Siddal et al (2009), without a shred of shame. See if I’m not right!

    Comment by Didactylos — 21 Feb 2010 @ 10:26 PM

  251. Lynn, note whose comments caused the retraction. One of them is a proprietor of this very blog.

    But of course this will be spun heavily as some sort of fraud rather than a mistake which invalidated the conclusions of the paper. Still it is a fairly rare event.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:03 PM

  252. my apologies since this is OT to this thread but i know the people on here are the ones to point me in the right direction so here goes….

    the chen, harries, brindley, Ringer paper (link is at bottom) showed a comparion of OLR measurements taken in 1997 and 2006. for each year they show 2 graphs of Brightness Temperature (BT) versus wavenumber and they shade in wavenumbers associated with CO2 absorption. They also show a graph comparing the delta between 1997 and 2006 and for the most part 2006 shows about a 1K drop in BT but for the rest of the CO2 absorption spectrum it is zero. What i’d like to do is find out what this delta equates to in W/m2 and i think i have to take each BT graph and plug that BT reading and
    corresponding wavenumber (converted to wavelength) into the plank function and integrate over that wavelength range (and then take the delta of those results). that is not really easy to do based on the graphs and not having access to the actual measurements (i’ll have to guess based on the plots). i could use a linear approximation of the data since the BT does increase fairly linearly with wavenumber (offseting the 2006 graph by -1K) but before i do that i would like some help.

    it’s not as easy as taking the average BT over that range and entering it in the equation of the stephan-boltzmann law because that gives w/m2 integrated over the entire spectrum of that black body curve defined by that peak temperature. this result would be much higher than what i’m trying to find over a smaller wavelength range associated with just CO2 absorption.

    long story short, i’m interested in finding out what the reduction of OLR flux is from 2006 to 1997 in W/m2 based on the data in this paper. if this has already been done or if there is a better way than i described above please let me know.

    the link to the paper is below (sorry but i don’t know how to imbed the link into this message window):

    http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

    Comment by gary thompson — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:34 PM

  253. Re: retraction – Siddall? Of Red Sea fame? I’ve never understood his Red Sea results. The best I could come up with were that his proxy record over emphasized highs and lows (they show very high Holocene sea level stands).

    Comment by Andy — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:37 PM

  254. Geoff Wexler wrote:

    What would be wrong with specifying the partial densities of the CO2 and H2O instead ? That would be simple, and would avoid using the O2 and N2 as references. Of course it is too late to change and would raise accusations of spin by the anti-science lobby.

    I think this is a good suggestion. The concentration is largely beside the point, isn’t it? And as for the “accusations of spin” problem, can you offhand think of anything that they can’t use to craft some kind of accusation?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Feb 2010 @ 11:52 PM

  255. > Lynn, Climateark

    Good example of how science works, this.

    Climateark cites to a story in the Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/21/sea-level-geoscience-retract-siddall

    The retracted Siddall paper made a very low estimate of sea level rise.

    —-excerpt from the Guardian follows—-

    “Siddall said … there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study’s conclusion….
    … the authors of the paper said: “Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.

    “One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes.”

    In the Nature Geoscience retraction, in which Siddall and his colleagues explain their errors, Vermeer and Rahmstorf are thanked for “bringing these issues to our attention”.

    One of the early commenters in replies at the Guardian points appropriately to:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/ups-and-downs-of-sea-level-projections/#more-969
    —-end excerpt from the Guardian—-

    The Guardian also cites a recent paper by Vermeer and Rahmstorf:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/04/0907765106.full.pdf
    In that one, look at Fig. 6 in particular.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:14 AM

  256. There is a sleepy seaside resort near where I live called Akaroa. On the hillside above the town there are two historic graveyards. One graveyard is clearly marked for Roman Catholics only and the other is simply called Dissidents. Reading most of the comments on RealClimate gives me clearer understanding of what that was all about.

    Comment by James Allison — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:53 AM

  257. 230 Mal Adapted: Dead links. Please try again.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:23 AM

  258. Thanks fed up for better explaining the point I obviously made very badly. Innit and dunnit sum up my thoughts on the likely impact of the app in question well I think.

    I chose my sceptic point.
    I can provide statements from supporters who nevertheless do include cautions about modelling, in particular their predictive reliability, but I am sure they have been listed before. If not have a look at Easterbrook, Lenny Smith, Mike Hulme, Doug Nychka and SAIM

    This site is about providing commentary for the interested public. There are some ongoing threads both in the posts and in the comments however that seem to say that public’s role is to read and accept, at best, to acknowledge our stupidity at worst (see fed up) Or to have an iphone thrust upon them as a small plastic tablet holding the truth. Read, convert, or be forever a moron. For those who believe and want to stop the slide the following might be of use when considering why the message is losing potency.

    From “Between understanding and trust:the public, science and technology” Dierkes, von Grote quoting Levy-Leblond (1992)
    “the requirement….that people should be experts, or at least fluent, in science…before giving their view about it…is contrary to the basic tenet of our democratic societies. Democracy is a bet: the bet that conscience should take precedence over competence. We do not require an expert, nor even an “amateur” level of knowledge in constitutional law before allowing citizens to use their voting rights or participate in a jury. Why should we be more demanding concerning technical and scientific matters”…”The problem we face is not so much that of a knowledge gap which separates people from scientists but that of the power gap that puts scientific and technical developments outside democratic control” (p20)
    The is some interesting stuff about how scientists help to erode the trust, assisted by their claims to authority. Another point by Steve Easterbrook.
    “Making a distinction between professional and amateur in science is artificial: what matters is the ‘what’ of science not the ‘who’”

    Daniel Dennet speaking of good and bad memes suggests that the answer to sterilising parasites is to understand how they spread and why, in a morally neutral perspective, to work out the facts and the implications, and that the trick is not to try and annihilate. Maybe that is what Realclimate aims to do, but having been a constant reader for some time, my usual feeling is that I am being drowned by the language and the contempt.

    No doubt many of you are far better informed than I am about the issue of trust with science and scientists. However my view, you are blowing it. That the “bad guys” can point to attempts to annihilate, to lack of respect for the opinions of the public, to the dismissal of those who aren’t in the club, always ably assisted by politicians like ours who do say the science is settled so just accept that you will have to suffer losses, is I believe far more important in damaging your cause, than the Watts or McIntyres or the Carters. You are being too arrogant, you are saying it is outside of our control, that there is no place for hesitation or mitigation or that we can adapt, when the earth goes bonkers.

    Let the Mike Hulme’s do the talking, he gets it. He has shifted this “denier household” Whatever you do don’t patronisingly present people with The Rebuttal, requiring them to read it while you get a drink for God’s sake, as was suggested. And agitate for the removal of Pachauri.

    Comment by Ros — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:30 AM

  259. Ray Ladbury (#234) challenged me to talk evidence. As a matter of fact I have submitted yesterday a detailed answer to a claim he previously made on the Whatevergate thread, but apparently that thread has been closed. Therefore I am submitting it here.

    Ray Ladbury (Whatevergate #653) has challenged me to do the proper math with respect to the relative contribution of CO2 during 1910-1940 compared to the warming in recent years. Initially (Whatevergate #627) Ray Ladbury claimed that the contribution of CO2 to warming during 1910-1940 was about half that for the period 1975-1998, later (Whatevergate #653) he wrote that the log values for those periods would be 0.033 and 0.087 respectively. In that case CO2 contribution in 1910-1940 would be 38% when compared to 1975-1998. (There was by the way an obvious typing error with respect to the CO2 value that Ray Ladbury mentioned for 1940).

    Well, here is my calculation. For a fair comparison the length of the periods should of course be the same, so I compare the most recent years 1980-2009 with a similar 29-year period 1910-1939.
    For 1910-1939 I use the ice core data (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/lawdome.combined.dat) and for recent years the Mauna Loa data.
    1910-1939 CO2: 300-310 ratio 1.03 and the log value is 0.033
    1980-2009 CO2: 339-387 ratio 1.14 and the log value is 0.132

    Therefore the contribution of CO2 to warming during the period 1910-1939 is 25% compared to the value for the period 1980-2009. When one chooses the period 1970-1999 instead of 1980-2009, the outcome is about the same (CO2 326-368, ratio 1.13, log value is 0.121 therefore CO2 contribution about 27% during 1910-1939 compared to 1970-1999).

    Two conclusions:
    – relative contribution of CO2 during the 1910-1939 warming compared to warming in recent years is about 25%, and therefore much lower than “about half” or 38% as Ray Ladbury suggested
    – the problem of course is not so much that there was a typing error, or a miscalculation, but that even in every little detail presented by the AGW proponents there is so often an exaggeration, and it’s always in the direction of more support for the CO2 hypothesis.

    And don’t misunderstand me: I realize that increasing CO2 probably will have a contribution, but I am trying to find the truth or at least the best approximation of the truth: how much will CO2 affect temperature and climate, and when, and how.

    Comment by wilt — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:56 AM

  260. Lynn, I’m sure eventually they’ll republish, but for now, I note “In the Nature Geoscience retraction, in which Siddall and his colleagues explain their errors, Vermeer and Rahmstorf are thanked for “bringing these issues to our attention”.”
    That suggests underestimate, considering Vermeer and Rahmstorf’s published estimates.

    Comment by GFW — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:58 AM

  261. re 236 and 241

    John,sorry I am relatively new to this blog, and reading some comments these kind of discussions have probably gone on for a few years without adding much . Must be a pain for the moderators. I just had a problem with the word “inescapable” and that’s why I reacted. “Inescapable” would mean that we are well past any kind of uncertainty ( as for example in “the world is round”) and that is simply not the case. If the statement had been that the likelihood is greater than 90% based on the best present knowledge, fine. And of course I don’t deny paleoclimatology, and as you probably well know there is still a lot of uncertainty in how to explain some past phenomena.

    Tim , agreed Occam’s razor might apply to your statement. We go with the explanation that seems to fit best and is the simpler one. I just have a problem with “inescapable” which sounds like “case closed” and then we don’t have to think about alternatives any further.

    In the medical field ( my field) there is a constant search for best practices based on the most well-designed studies. Now I would be on the wrong track if I start thinking that if something works therefore my knowledge must be correct and alternative explanations aren’t worth looking for. Amazing how the history of medicine is full of debunkings of “established facts”. Not to long ago Dr Marshall had to infect himself with Helicobacter Pylori to prove that stomach ulcers are usually caused by this micro organism. Yours truly didn’t believe it either initially. It had been “proved” that hyperacidity, stress and genetics was the cause. I am sure that close to 100% of us docs felt this was fact. The literature – peer reviewed and all- on this was very extensive. And antacids/ H2 blockers /PPIs helped therefore case closed? So I’m a little leery of scientific consensus even though I realize we often have to work that way. Let’s just keep an open mind.

    Comment by H Hak — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:15 AM

  262. Lyn #249: it’s unusual for scientists to withdraw a result; the more usual thing is to publish a correction, as when Josh Willis discovered there were flaws in the way he was measuring ocean temperature. A good response is to ask when Ian Plimer is going to withdraw his book.

    This notion that scientists have to be infallible and the smallest error undermines a whole theory I’m afraid is not going to go away in a hurry, and probably won’t until everyone of integrity is hounded out of a career in science. The idiots pushing this line are largely motivated by the belief that the technological civilisation that ensures their creature comforts is under threat by any change in the energy economy. Well, the technological civilisation they enjoy so much relies heavily on science, and if no one wants to do science any more because of the hatred they are spewing, we really will go back to the stone age. Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy …

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:35 AM

  263. Tom Servo (237): At one time some would call them “deniers.” The more generous called them “skeptics.” But now, increasingly, it appears that they can be called something else: sane.

    BPL: If by “sane” you mean “screaming right-wing anti-science ignoramuses.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:57 AM

  264. Re #203

    First, figure out the denialist. Ask the psychology professor to do that.

    Although this usage is correct, for some kinds of denialism, especially the man dying of AIDS who does not believe in science, but also for some people who refuse to read about climatology, it fails to properly describe the conscious manipulator and misinformer. It also omits the moral component of the discussion.

    That is why I agree with the BBC’s Roger Harrabin’s conclusion (he wants scientists to stop using the term) but for a different reason from him. It may be the term denialism (+ variants) has outlived its shelf life. That is because it is too weak a term as illustrated by the above quote.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:26 AM

  265. Its very ugly down under:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2826189.htm#

    The old descriptions just aren’t good eneough.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:54 AM

  266. #225 H.Hak Argument form ignorance?

    Scientists do not conclude that CO2 drives climate change because they cannot think of anything else. Physics dictates that more CO2 in the atmosphere MUST have a warming effect. Observations then show (for example) that details of radiation in the atmosphere match what is expected if CO2 is a main driver. See here (figure 2): http://www.skepticalscience.com/American-Thinker-claims-to-have-disproven-global-warming.html

    I think that the term “argument from ignorance” is a bit negative. While such an argument can never be used to prove anything, in practice the list of possible explanations often is limited and well known, and this type of reasoning can be useful for generating hypotheses, identifying areas for further measurements etc.

    On a related note, a point that “sceptics” fail to grasp is that if they come up with some other “explanation” (say solar activity), the onus is upon them to explain why CO2 would NOT cause global warming, and in this particular case NOT behave in accordance with known (and proven) physical theory.

    Comment by DIck Veldkamp — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:26 AM

  267. Lynn #249, Siddall et al. were not “made to retract” their sea rise study, they chose to retract it because they became aware of oversights that undermined their confidence in their conclusions. Retraction here:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo780.html

    The issues were raised in a post by Stefan Rahmstorf and Martin Vermeer here last year:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/ups-and-downs-of-sea-level-projections/

    Comment by CM — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:32 AM

  268. “232
    Kate7 says:
    21 February 2010 at 4:05 PM

    evidence of grant farming? The (appalling) list is at Pubmed when you search for climate change or global warming or just about any other semi-related topic.”

    So, Kate, how do you get to feed clothe and house yourself while making that paper?

    Grants?

    Since Kate thinks that any and all attempts to get paid for your work as an academic is purely for “grant farming” this would indicate her own work was written to appeal to someone with money.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:59 AM

  269. Wilt@259, the periods in the Harrabin question were 1910-1940 and 1974-1998. That is where I got my figure. But fine, take 1980-2009. The fact ramains that CO2 forcing still rose about 25% as much as during the modern period. And again, this coupled with increasing insolation and decreased volcanism is the likely explanation for the warming.

    I also note that you choose to assume I was exaggerating rather than that we were working on different periods. Now why would you make that assumption when you could just as easily have asked me for details of my calculation–including dates, which you did not specify. I would have assumed it was natural to go with the dates given by Harrabin. I hope you will excuse me for not working harder on my parapsychological abilities.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:46 AM

  270. Ray Ladbury (#269) I am glad that you accepted the correction I made with respect to the relative CO2 contribution to warming in the 1910-1940 period being about one quarter (and not half) of the contribution in recent years. And you are right that in the Jones interview the years 1975-1998 were mentioned. But when comparing the CO2 effect during different periods one should compare periods with the same number of years. It is a mistake that can easily be made and I am not holding the miscalculation against you, as I remarked in my post (#259). I am annoyed however that so often (especially when it comes to prediction of climate changes) unsupported exaggerations are presented. That irritates me as a scientist, and it also undermines public support for those future measures that are necessary and well-based.

    With respect to solar insolation during the recent warming period, one should not only consider the amount of energy coming from the sun but also the changes in aerosol patterns (for instance a strong decrease of sulphate aerosols in recent decades in Western Europe and North America).

    Comment by wilt — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 AM

  271. @Geoff Wexler #265
    I’m a bit fearful about all this. I understand some of our leading scientists have had death threats and this article confirms that and worse (if that’s possible). It’s happening all around the world AFAIK, and Clive Hamilton is highlighting the problem. The ABC had a news item on Hamilton’s article yesterday as well. (I know from personal experience that many public servants over the years have similarly had death threats when they had to make unpopular decisions, but this sort of thing isn’t going to go away quickly.)

    This could be just the beginning. As the evidence becomes clearer, people could become more manic and it may end like some of the anti-abortion stuff in the USA.

    I hope the police get onto this pronto. There’s been talk of making cyber-threats a criminal offense in some states – it might have already happened, but it was geared towards children I believe. We need to strengthen the legislation and put some of the nasties away for a few years.

    Comment by Sou — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:27 AM

  272. Sorry about that, Edward. Naked links:

    SourceWatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch
    ExxonSecrets: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/exxon-secrets

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:39 AM

  273. Although this usage is correct, for some kinds of denialism, especially the man dying of AIDS who does not believe in science, but also for some people who refuse to read about climatology, it fails to properly describe the conscious manipulator and misinformer. It also omits the moral component of the discussion.

    John Mashey has developed a taxonomy of denial. It covers the majority of climate contrarians quite well, I think.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:56 AM

  274. I am glad that you accepted the correction I made with respect to the relative CO2 contribution to warming in the 1910-1940 period being about one quarter (and not half) of the contribution in recent years. – wilt@270

    This is a dishonest spin on what Ray Ladbury said @269. He, very reasonably, used the dates Harrabin had used, you used different ones.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  275. (for instance a strong decrease of sulphate aerosols in recent decades in Western Europe and North America) – wilt@270

    And, as I’m sure mere limitations of space prevented you adding, a strong increase of sulphate aerosols in recent decades in Asia.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  276. #259 wilt

    Unfortunately it’s still a bit of a canard. The system is inter-dynamic with many interactions. While identifying the Co2 component of forcing is interesting, it needs to be weighed with other factors, not the least of which are other GHG’s; H2O, CH4, N2O, CFC’s. Then come the feedbacks…

    But even after looking at that we still need to learn more about how the oceanic cycles function… and then we need to try to understand how human interference in the system might affect that as systems intact and how this affects feedback mechanisms.

    It’s a big game of dominoes.

    Look carefully at your idea that Co2 probably will have a contribution. That is, at this point in the scientific understanding, absurd.

    Co2 is a tiny fraction of our atmosphere, without which earth would be a frozen ball in space.

    If you accept that Co2 is a GHG, the it is simple to accept that more Co2 increases warming. This is pretty simple stuff here.

    Or are you arguing Co2 is not a GHG?


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  277. James Allison@256 – You might carry it beyond “religion”.
    An area near me is even nore instructive, a coal boom town in the early 20th century, the municipal cemetary is neatly divided between Catholic [mostly miners and laborers] and Protestant [mostly managers and entrepreneurs] …. and there’s a totally seperate plot around the corner for the Chinese, who were the cheap imported labor in the mines.

    Comment by flxible — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:36 AM

  278. Wilt writes above:
    > when comparing the CO2 effect during different periods
    > one should compare periods with the same number of years….
    > …
    > … unsupported exaggerations are presented.

    That claim about “same number of years” is an unsupported exaggeration.

    Please cite the source you rely on for this belief and tell us why the use of statistics, for example to compare periods of different lengths, “irritates” you “as a scientist” — you may have a good reason for your statement, but without a cite to a source it sounds just innumerate.

    What kind of scientist are you? Do you use statistics in your work?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  279. > graveyards
    Your point being perhaps that in the long run we are all economists, because although perhaps buried in different places, everyone is equally dead?

    > terminology
    I recommend rereading the basic work on the question:
    http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2004/12/septics-and-skeptics-denialists-and.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:46 AM

  280. Nick Gotts (#274), if you understand the topic that Ray Ladbury and I were talking about than you will realize that for a fair comparison of the CO2-effect on warming during the two warming periods (beginning and end of 20th century) it is crucial that periods of the same length are compared. It doesn’t take much thinking to understand this. Ray Ladbury was quickly to grasp this (#269), and he agrees with my conclusion that a sound calculation must be based on comparing periods of the same length. This changes the outcome: not 50% (or 38%) but 25%. A mistake was made (it shows that even Ray Ladbury is only human), I corrected it, no big deal. Certainly no reason to start accusations of ‘dishonest spin’.
    As far as I am concerned: end of discussion on this topic.

    Comment by wilt — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:54 AM

  281. Hank Roberts (#278) I really don’t understand what you are talking about. I suppose you do not have read the previous discussions, these were published for most part in the ‘Whatevergate’ thread (I have explained #259 why I had to change to the present thread in order to answer Ray Ladbury). Please first read the different posts on this by Ray Ladbury and me at both threads before you jump to conclusions. There is a hostility in your attitude that is completely unfounded.
    As I explained to Nick Gotts a few minutes ago, there has been an open and respectful discussion between Ray Ladbury and me. I think the contributions at #269 and #270 are clear enough to put an end to this topic.

    Comment by wilt — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:10 AM

  282. wilt,
    You are continuing your dishonest spin. Ray ends his #269 with:

    “I would have assumed it was natural to go with the dates given by Harrabin. I hope you will excuse me for not working harder on my parapsychological abilities.”

    Clearly, he is not accepting a correction from you.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  283. Wilt, actually the number of years is less important than the increase in CO2. As long as we get that right, we know how much greenhouse forcing has increased. In any case, whether the increased forcing was 25% or 38% (that is, regardless of which period), it is not negligible compared to current levels of increase due to the logarithmic dependence.

    With regard to exaggeration, I think that you will find that my track record has been pretty consistent–I encourage people not to confuse weather with climate when it comes to extreme weather events. I do not think that it is an exaggeration though to state that stresses due to climate change in conjunction with population increase to 9-10 billion people could place extreme strain on global ecology.

    I think you will also agree that there is a big difference between an unsupported exaggeration of fact and an unsubstantiated allegation of fraud.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:38 AM

  284. #261 H Hak

    Most here are well familiar with uncertainty ranges. I tend to go with relative uncertainty as it is typically case by case. But in certain areas I think inescapable is not inappropriate.

    You were questioning this phrase:

    the conclusion is inescapable that CO2 must be driving higher temperatures at this point and will continue to do so.

    Please note that this web log would be quite unwieldy if each statement had to include all the reasons why something might be considered inescapable. That is why it is encourages to Start Here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    I also recommend for simple explanations:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/
    http://www.skepticalscience.com

    I would say at this point the inescapable truth is that this global warming event is human caused and Co2 is a key component. I would welcome proof that shows Co2 is not a key component but there really is none that holds up. There are lots of notions, opinions and perspectives that say it is not but that does not change the reality. I think the only event that could release a relative amount of Co2 to cause this type of warming would be a flood basalt eruption.

    I’ve check the newspapers and searched the internets, I have not seen any news about a giant flood basalt eruption occurring on earth in the past few hundred years that wiped out a continent. If someone knows if this has occurred and wiped out one of the continents on the planet, please let me know so I can drop all this silly discussion about human causes.

    As to the medical analogy. It’s a non sequitur. The point is well taken though. The simple fact is that there are many uncertainties in climate science. There are many things that are relatively certain. The main signal is fairly well identified and the climate path has altered without any other identifiable impetus. The subject itself has been scrutinized for around 150 years and for the most part the science was settled in the late 50’s.

    The doubt that remains is fomented by special interests that are sowing the seeds of confusion with easy to digest sound bites like: ‘Co2 is not a pollutant, I breath out Co2′, or ‘we don’t’ know everything, so we don’t know anything’ as you illustrated in your post.

    I have an open mind as do most in here. This in the opposite of those in the denial sphere where they base their perspectives on belief and doubt as the foundation for knowledge and understanding. Absurd you might think? But that does not alter the reality.

    The denaildepot is a perfect example:

    We are not afraid to be called climate “deniers”. In fact we embrace it as medal of honor bestowed on us by our alarmist foes. Galileo was a Denier. It is not an insult. I call this blog “Denier Depot” for that reason.

    Welcome to my climate science blog.

    I believe that one day all science will be done on blogs because we bloggers are natural skeptics, disbelieving the mainstream and accepting the possibility of any alternative idea.

    We stand unimpressed by “textbooks”, “peer review journals” and so-called “facts”. There are no facts, just dissenting opinion. We are infinitely small compared to nature and can’t grasp anything as certain as a fact.

    Nothing is settled and we should question everything. The debate is NOT over Gore! When so-called “experts” in their “peer reviewed journals” say one thing, we dare the impossible and find imaginative ways to believe something else entirely.

    To claim that imagination and belief trumps the scientific method while claiming “We are infinitely small compared to nature and can’t grasp anything as certain as a fact” is an insult to the reasoning mind. Essentially they claim that ignorance and doubt are more important that contextually relevant knowledge and understanding.

    Science is steeped in skepticism, that is why the scientific method is such a strong method for developing new knowledge and understanding. That fact that bacteria in the stomach causes ulcers does not nullify the notion that anxiety or stress may cause provide a more ideal environment for that bacteria to grow. We are a biochemical engine with interacting parts. To think one part can never affect another part is one of the problems that has been illustrated in medical and psychological scions. I don’t think climate science is suffering the same myopia of discipline bias at this point. I remember when I first heard about the stomach bacteria theory, I thought it was reasonable. Just because you had problems with it in the beginning does not change the reality either.

    That may be the case here. You don’t think the science is settled. But really, that does not change reality.

    Keep an open mind. And by the way, your a professional, don’t be afraid to use your real name when you post.


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:40 AM

  285. Both this blog and Skeptical Science are absolute treasures, but someone keeps getting overlooked: the man on the street.

    Some Americans believe that climate Armageddon would be just fine, since they would now be swooped into a rapturous pod, and soar up to heaven. They outnumber climate scientists by roughly 1,000 to 1. Americans who believe that they can achieve enlightenment by being bitten by rattlesnakes also outnumber climate scientists.

    The point is that the scientifically educated or enlightened audience is not big enough. Someone needs to figure out a way to communicate the facts better to the man on the street. Maybe Gore is too pompous, and scientists too remote. It may take humor and more visceral language to communicate the facts to the public.

    Scientists don’t like this assignment, since it can be tawdry, and imprecision is more likely. It is critical that this path be undertaken, however, and journalists have clearly failed (see the latest Newsweek article, or read Romm’s excellent take on it). I’ve made a few efforts myself in this direction, and welcome suggestions here from others.

    Comment by mike roddy — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:58 AM

  286. @#148 flxible

    Exactly, Extent is the key. The models predicted a reduction in extent, we have seen an increase. i.e. the models were wrong. Why does that not raise alarm bells?

    [Response: Because you are comparing a single winter with a projected century long trend? – gavin]

    Comment by ken — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  287. #270 wilt

    You mention that you are a scientist. Can you point me to some of your work?


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:41 PM

  288. 238, Completely Fed Up: 226, got an actual argument, or are you gist going to go with repeating the same old tired unsupporte statements as if fact?

    You don’t know anything about the history, evidence, development and popularization of the psychoanalytic concepts (denial, rationalization, projection, etc.), do you? That’s different from your knowledge of climate science.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:47 PM

  289. Re:252 gary thompson says: 21 February 2010 at 11:34 PM

    “the link to the paper is below (sorry but i don’t know how to imbed the link into this message window):”
    http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

    Previous note:
    Re: 216 Tim Jones says: 21 February 2010 at 10:06 AM
    Fooey.
    [Response: standard html. link – gavin]

    Thus:

    the link to the paper…

    Not sure about spaces. If this works, good. If not please through it out and I’ll try again.

    We do need a preview page!

    Comment by Tim Jones — 22 Feb 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  290. Tom Servo says: 21 February 2010 at 5:17 PM

    At one time some would call them “deniers.” The more generous called them “skeptics.” But now, increasingly, it appears that they can be called something else: sane.

    Skeptic does not work because while skeptics are inclined to disbelieve anything, we don’t see that in this case. “Denialist” or “denier are apparently not politically correct and in any case no effective denial is made. “Sane” versus “Insane” is not properly descriptive, either.

    More and more, I’m inclined to the term “rejectionist”, as in “I reject the theory and confirmation you’ve presented. I can’t explain why, I just reject it.”

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:07 PM

  291. Re: 270 wilt says: 22 February 2010 at 9:15 AM
    “With respect to solar insolation during the recent warming period, one should not only consider the amount of energy coming from the sun but also the changes in aerosol patterns (for instance a strong decrease of sulphate aerosols in recent decades in Western Europe and North America).”

    But what about the enormous increase in sulfate aerosols coming from China? Seems to me that’s another negative forcing that’s been overridden by CO2. Much of North America’s share of those sorts of emissions (except Canadian tar sands) have been transferred to the Pacific Rim.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  292. wilt: “With respect to solar insolation during the recent warming period, one should not only consider the amount of energy coming from the sun but also the changes in aerosol patterns (for instance a strong decrease of sulphate aerosols in recent decades in Western Europe and North America).”

    So not only are you wrong to call it “the sun”, you’re also relying on sulpahte aerosols that are a miniscule portion of our atmosphere.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 1:53 PM

  293. Creation of SkS iPhone app discussed by Skeptical Science ringmaster Dr. John Cook, in The Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/22/skeptical-science-iphone-app

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:35 PM

  294. What is a skeptic? The Guardian investigates:

    “The distinction between scepticism and non-belief is a crucial one. While scepticism is healthy, non-belief in the face of overwhelming evidence is the antipathy of scepticism. Recent climate scepticism has been characterised by a visceral mistrust of science, scientific institutions and scientific governance. Never mind that the case for climate change has been painstakingly pieced together over decades – climate change sceptics are busy writing it off on the basis of a few inconsistencies.

    But embarrassingly for climate change sceptics, the people who have thought longest and hardest about what it means to be a truly sceptical thinker seem in a hurry to distance themselves from their fellow sceptics. Michael Marshall, from the Merseyside Skeptics group that organised the homeopathy overdose is clear about the legitimacy of climate change sceptics: “In our view, climate change sceptics are not sceptics. A sceptic looks at the available evidence and makes a decision, and for homeopathy the evidence is that it doesn’t work. But the sceptical position on climate change is that it is happening.”

    Hence “Rejectionists.” More:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/22/climate-change-sceptics

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:46 PM

  295. “But what about the enormous increase in sulfate aerosols coming from China?”

    Seems like it’s only an enormous problem now that it’s happening to the US.

    There were many US companies and many US politicians berating the ecological disaster of Acid Rain.

    Again it was the West of Europe having to make it up for the poorer East. Really became a problem when UK was infesting Norway.

    Lots of rhetoric about eco nazis there.

    Now that the US is getting it, it seems like there IS a problem…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:55 PM

  296. “More and more, I’m inclined to the term “rejectionist”, as in “I reject the theory and confirmation you’ve presented. I can’t explain why, I just reject it.””

    How about “reject”? Call them “rejects”.

    Or for those complaining and saying we should move slowly and stop doing anything until we “know” what’s going on (thereby retarding process) “retards”.

    Do we have quorum?

    :-)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:57 PM

  297. “You don’t know anything about the history, evidence, development and popularization of the psychoanalytic”

    You don’t know what you’re arguing against.

    Projection is a well known and well proven psychological coping technique.

    The popularization of psychoanalysis hasn’t changed that.

    No more than knowing the Newtonian notation of differential equations is now false because so many people know it.

    (I hope, YMMV)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  298. mike roddy :”The point is that the scientifically educated or enlightened audience is not big enough. Someone needs to figure out a way to communicate the facts better to the man on the street”

    Given that the man on the street includes “Some Americans believe that climate Armageddon would be just fine, since they would now be swooped into a rapturous pod, and soar up to heaven.”

    How can you talk to them?

    It would be like trying to explain homotopic geometry to a giraffe with scrapey.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:02 PM

  299. Just for the record, I’m willing to accept wilt’ interpretation–he corrected me with regard to the dates he was using. No problem. It puts us on the same page of the playbook.

    It doesn’t alter the point I was making–namely that the logarithmic dependence of forcing means that increases in ghgs in the past, though smaller than we’re seeing now, were not negligible.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  300. “Climate Dissidents” is a great improvement over
    “deniers” which has always been a questionable way to address those with different opinions.

    Comment by Joe Hunkins — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:30 PM

  301. #286 ken

    Yes, the models are wrong on the ice extent…

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/arctic/arctic_sea_ice_extent6_800pxW.jpg/view

    ad infinitum, the models are wrong

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/models-can-be-wrong

    Essentially what you are saying is that your family consists of a certain number of people. You know this because every thanksgiving that certain number of people show up for dinner.

    Then one year, someone does not show up because of an emergency dental appointment.

    So now, you claim that your family has one less member because that person did not show up for dinner…

    Are you beginning to see the fallacy in your logic?

    Read this:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/weather-v.-climate


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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:36 PM

  302. During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to
    Adlai E Stevenson ‘Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!’
    Stevenson called back ‘That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!’
    http://home.att.net/~jrhsc/ad.html

    > How can you talk to them?
    > It would be like trying to explain homotopic geometry to a giraffe …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:41 PM

  303. “300
    Joe Hunkins says:
    22 February 2010 at 3:30 PM

    “Climate Dissidents” is a great improvement over
    “deniers” which has always been a questionable way to address those with different opinions.”

    But Climate Deniers is a great and ACCURATE way to address those with NO opinions, only the faith that AGW is wrong.

    They DENY AGW, and have nothing to replace it with (or replace it with anything that sticks at the time, they have nothing to BUILD with, only a NEED to destroy).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 22 Feb 2010 @ 3:58 PM

  304. A reminder — if you’re in the US, at least — the people you need to reach and convince are over age 65.

    Consider your methods, language, and level of sarcasm and snark, with forethought:

    “… by far it is the alienation of voters aged 65-82 that has been most damaging …
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/the-party-of-aarp/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 4:04 PM

  305. Use me as your man on the street. I don’t know what to believe. For every article there is about the planet getting warmer, there is another article about adjustments to how temperatures are measured. Both sides make good logical points. Here is where I have my problem. While I believe that the climate models MAY be accurate in a very macro sense, I don’t think they are accurate enough to justify a tax on carbon. Since the models are never 100% accurate, and are constantly revised to deal with changing conditions, how accurate do they have to be so that they can be considered reliable enough that no future modifications will be needed?

    How can you convince me, that the models are not being manipulated to produce the desired results? You come up with that answer, and everything else will fall in line.

    [Response: Because you don’t need models to know that there is a risk to the climate (but if you want to look at models, the code is available for you to run and/or examine). The models will never be perfect, but none of the complicating factors we’ve introduced over the last 30 years have altered the basic response of the climate to increasing greenhouse gases. – gavin]

    Comment by Bill Teufel — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:12 PM

  306. Have people not realised that Denial Depot is a joke? The tag line surely gives it away.

    I’ve been thinking for a while that we need more spoofs of climate rejectionism (good word). Let’s face it, it’s ripe for taking the mickey.

    Comment by Paul L — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:13 PM

  307. > dissidents
    Yeah, they’d like that word; heck, they’d luuvve that word for themselves.
    They can see themselves that way, embattled, like these guys:
    “President Ronald Reagan welcomes dissidents …
    http://www.hoover.org/hila/exhibits/17264409.html

    But they’re not dissidents, and climate science isn’t soc ia lism.

    Distinguish septics from the skeptics and denialists–traditional in climate:
    http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2004/12/septics-and-skeptics-denialists-and.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  308. Ken@286:
    “Extent is the key. The models predicted a reduction in extent, we have seen an increase. i.e. the models were wrong. Why does that not raise alarm bells?

    [Response: Because you are comparing a single winter with a projected century long trend? – gavin]”

    Also because having lots of snow for a couple days or weeks in areas you’re not used to having it so deep doesn’t mean the extent is greater …. talking about the US or the continent, was the extent of snow coverage greater even during that storm? Have we “seen an increase”? Maybe you need to check the definition of extent?

    Comment by flxible — 22 Feb 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  309. Tech writer and Ph.D. biochemist Ken Chiacchia, who used to be in my writers’ workshop, forwarded me this link:

    http://www.treelobsters.com/2010/01/118-skeptics-charlatans.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:12 PM

  310. 304 Hank Roberts – Yeah, there may be some truth in that. But my 30-year-old and her 25-year-old sister, both urbanites, are having great laughs with their friends, as we speak.

    Comment by Kate7 — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  311. 305 Bill Teufel says:

    “While I believe that the climate models MAY be accurate in a very macro sense, I don’t think they are accurate enough to justify a tax on carbon.”

    The models are more than accurate enough to justify a carbon tax. The tough part is pinpointing what the tax rate should be, especially 20+ years from now. The problem however is mostly with the reliability of economic modeling, not the climate modeling.

    But if you were to let the uncertainty of economic modeling stop you, you wouldn’t be able to justify any tax rate for anything.

    To me, the obvious approach would be to start with a relatively small tax (like $10 or $20 per tonne) and then slowly increase it and let the economy adjust.

    Comment by Ernst K — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:28 PM

  312. wilt (270): That irritates me as a scientist

    BPL: You’re a scientist???

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:34 PM

  313. Something interesting and important you might want to participate in.

    http://www.theclimatesummit.org/

    Comment by Tim Jones — 22 Feb 2010 @ 6:36 PM

  314. Until such time as the original data is made available the so called “consensus” does not pass scrutiny. The essence of science is reproducibility. SHOW ME!

    [Response: You need to be a little more specific. – gavin]

    Comment by Marc — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:06 PM

  315. “deniers” which has always been a questionable way to address those with different opinions

    that contains a fundamental error, at least for much of the high profile propaganda. For example when I criticised the Great Global Swindle I was told that it was “just a matter of opinion”.

    But manipulating the calendar , distorting nearly all the graphs , framing remarks about the thermohaline circulation to make them appear to be about the rise in temperature, pretending that climate science started in the 1970’s with some concern about a few cool years, making a scientist appear to say the opposite of what he meant (a familiar stunt now) in at least two different ways,making up a century of sunspot data , needs a more appropriate name than having “different opinions” .

    [By the way the name of one such man of ‘opinion’, Martin Durkin, has been omitted from the “by author” list in the Wiki. He has not gone away, and is still around denouncing the people at the CRU].

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:19 PM

  316. Hi wilt (#259). I find it extremely refreshing that you have performed a calculation (zero sarcasm). The vast majority of people with misgivings over global warming make a few accusations and leave without meaningful engagement.

    “And don’t misunderstand me: I realize that increasing CO2 probably will have a contribution, but I am trying to find the truth or at least the best approximation of the truth: how much will CO2 affect temperature and climate, and when, and how.”

    Doubling CO2 is generally considered to raise temperature by 3C based on many independent studies (excluding models). If this were to occur there is considerable evidence it would negatively affect the agricultural norms our civilization has relied upon to date. My understanding is that it would also melt much of Greenland in time.

    When and how (assuming how to mean the trajectory taken)? The difficult questions… How much energy will the ocean absorb compared to the atmosphere across any given timeframe? How will ice-sheets behave and in what timeframe? How will precipiation, wind patterns and ocean currents change in such a dynamic system? RC is a great resource for current thought on such topics.

    From my reading, the overall prognosis is poor. There is no sign of a concerted effort to deal with CO2 emissions. However it plays out, the additional energy trapped by increased GHG’s will have to go somewhere. With rising population, diminishing resources and increasing temperatures (decade on decade) I expect severe problems much earlier than a phrase I commonly hear from the general public – “it won’t be a problem in my lifetime”.

    Comment by Ammonite — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 PM

  317. Bill Teufel (305):

    One thing to remember is that policy decisions are reversible. Climate change not so much.

    Comment by Molnar — 22 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 PM

  318. I was watching the Weather Channel when the blizzard hit Washington DC: the temp there was 34!

    What a world.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:42 PM

  319. Joeduck@300, As soon as people acknowledge the evidence they cease to be denialists…not before. The evidence is not a matter of opinion, and until there is another coherent interpretaion of ALL of it, we have to go with the theory that best explains the evidence.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 22 Feb 2010 @ 8:44 PM

  320. There is a new name for deniers here http://www.skepticalscience.com/American-Thinker-claims-to-have-disproven-global-warming.html among a number of interesting comments in the thread. “Eyeballers”.

    Comment by David Horton — 22 Feb 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  321. Ammonite – “From my reading, the overall prognosis is poor. There is no sign of a concerted effort to deal with CO2 emissions.”

    From my reading there has not been a PROVEN correlation between CO2 emissions and climate change.

    From a blogger at the IrishTimes:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/1207/1224260240126.html

    I am tired of hearing all of this pseudoscience. The complex non-linear dynamic system that it is, long term climate prediction is simply impossible. If there is a problem, which we can’t say, our only hope is climate control. Climate has many variables (solar activity, volcanic activity, orbital variations of the planet, CO2 atmospheric concentrations etc.). Of these sets of variables the only one we can possibly control is CO2 concentrations. For this there is no consensus on the sensitivity of climate to this variable. Even if it were significantly sensitive, it is the only one we can control. To put this in simpler terms it would be like trying to drive a car (which has many control variables) when all that you can control is the accelerator (no brakes, no steering wheel). Control also requires accurate short term predictive models (turn the wheel right the car goes right). That we don’t have that is dramatically demonstrated by the deception attempt by climate scientists: the car went right when it should have gone left, and they tried to pretend it was going right even to the point of trying to silence occupants seeing it going left. So they are not really in the driver’s seat; the question is should they collect a fare from each passenger, grossly enriching themselves nevertheless? That is the question?

    [Response: The question is whether, when you are driving a car at high speed in a fog, and someone tells you there is possibly a cliff ahead, do you slow down or simply accuse declare the map to be pseudo-science? – gavin]

    Comment by Kate7 — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:12 PM

  322. Reality check:

    “This explains why meteorologists (and engineers I might add) are so skeptical of climatologists. We use mathematical models on a daily basis and see firsthand what the real world limitations are. Climatologists don’t.
    Climatologists lack those two key fundamentals of good modeling and they are trying to predict deviations in multi-thousand year climactic cycles caused by CO2 and other GHG’s. Their inputs are based (with the exception of the past 150 years) primarily on proxy data of unknown accuracy. And since the models look at time spans of tens or hundreds of years, they get very little real work feedback to compare their results to.
    Based on the limitations of these models, how the hell can any one say that they are 90% certain that the earth will warm 3.2degress Celsius by 2100? What the hell could they possibly base that level of certainly on? For example, out of the dozens of feedback loops so critical to the accuracy of climate models, only a small portion of them can be directly measured. This means that these feedback loops, essential to the completeness of the model, cannot be independently verified and errors in them propagate with an unknown level of bias throughout the entire model. Right there climatologists have introduces dozens of errors into their models, and what compounds this, is that they cannot quantify those errors with any degree of accuracy.
    You should sit down sometime and talk with people who use these tools on a daily basis (as well as the people at places like ANSYS, Inc who work on code) to get a better understanding on what’s wrong with them.”

    http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/hot_air.php?page=all

    [Response: Did you even read this story? And have you ever read anything written by climate modellers themselves? – gavin]

    Comment by Kate7 — 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:37 PM

  323. > Kate7
    > reality check

    Really, check it out, it certainly is that:

    —excerpt follows—–

    “… somewhere along the way that narrow professional authority had been misconstrued as a sort of all-purpose scientific legitimacy. It had bolstered meteorologists’ sense of their expertise outside of their own discipline, without necessarily improving the expertise itself. Most scientists are loath to speak to subjects outside of their own field, and with good reason—you wouldn’t expect a dentist to know much about, say, the geological strata of the Grand Canyon. But meteorologists, by virtue of typically being the only people with any science background at their stations, are under the opposite pressure—to be conversant in anything and everything scientific. This is a good thing if you see yourself as a science communicator, someone who sifts the good information from the bad—but it becomes a problem when you start to see scientific authority springing from your own haphazardly informed intuition, as many of the skeptic weathercasters do….

    … when Breck talked to local schools and Rotaries and Kiwanis clubs about climate change, he presented his own ideas: warming trends were far more dependent on the water vapor in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, he told them, and the appearance of an uptick in global temperatures was the result of the declining number of weather stations in cold rural areas.

    These theories were not only contradictory of each other, but had also been considered and rejected by climate researchers years ago….”
    —end excerpt—-

    Check. http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/hot_air.php?page=all

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Feb 2010 @ 11:41 PM

  324. [Response: The question is whether, when you are driving a car at high speed in a fog, and someone tells you there is possibly a cliff ahead, do you slow down or simply accuse declare the map to be pseudo-science? – gavin]

    Bad news… it is not just “a someone”…it is a group of the best international radar experts in the world with four different types of radar mounted on the car…and they can detect that the land ends somewhere ahead…but with the ground clutter they can’t tell you exactly where…but only that a cliff edge is indeed there somewhere ahead and that you will reach it at your current speed and direction. All the radar experts in the car have just shi _ _ ed in their pants.

    IPCC 2007.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:04 AM

  325. Kate7 (322),
    The American Meteorological Society’s latest position statement says:
    “Human responsibility for most of the well-documented increase in global average temperatures over the last half century is well established. Further greenhouse gas emissions, particularly of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, will almost certainly contribute to additional widespread climate changes that can be expected to cause major negative consequences for most nations …”

    Policy Statement of the American Meteorological Society

    Comment by Ken W — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:06 AM

  326. 321: Kate7 wrote: “I am tired.”

    You ought to make an effort to actually learn the science before you dismiss it as pseudo.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:12 AM

  327. Re 284
    Agree with: sometimes inescapable is appropriate. Personally I don’t think we are there yet with AGW. I don’t deny the science behind CO2 , but are the climate sensitivity and feedback sorted out well enough ? There are reputable people like Spencer who don’t think it is. (Please don’t give me the usual funding bs in his case, or that there was a connection with the Bush administration in his past; or that he believes in ” intelligent design”; so what?)
    You thought when first reading about bacteria causing stomach ulcers that it sounded reasonable even though you knew pretty well nothing about the subject. (unless you are also a physician?) Turned out you were right and the experts were wrong. Barry Marshall stated ” for years everyone was against me but I knew I was right”. No, stress and stomach acid have little to nothing to do with the far majority of gastric ulcers. H.Pylori produces copious amounts of urease which neutralizes the acidity locally. This causes an increase in a hormone called gastrin, which increases HCl production. So the fallacy was that increased gastrin and acidity was seen as the cause for the ulcers rather than the consequence of the H. Pylori infection causing ulcers. A classic mix-up of cause and effect. (A bit like the way Al Gore presents the Vostok data in his movie. Yes I read Michael Mann’s explanation, maybe correct but not the most convincing, but there is a cause and effect mix-up in the way Al presents this and it really ticks me off that we show this to schoolkids as is.)
    Marshall could grow H.Pylori in 1982. The American College of Physicians Internists section did not come out with guidelines for treating H. Pylori until the mid 90s. It was very hard for the experts to admit that they had missed the boat. These people weren’t stupid, or agenda driven or anything, they were/are very bright. They had studied the subject very extensively , the literature was very impressive. It sometimes just takes time to unravel things, but in the end truth always prevails.
    So please don’t tar everyone who isn’t convinced of the “settled science” with the same “denial sphere”
    etc. brush. I can see that you get upset about people spouting non-sense and twisted stories. I can get seriously annoyed by some naturopaths etc. that use snippets of science as if they invented it and than misinterpret it and tag on the most absurd conclusions to promote their view. In the same vein: I understand that there is the constant misconception at WUWT regarding temperature trend (anomaly) versus absolute temperatures. (Got confused about that initially myself; not smart). Or the denial of the “greenhouse” effect. Or even stating that the temperature has not increased or the CO2 has not increased, or that the rise in CO2 is not man made. And then the metaphysical arguments as you have pointed out that have no place in science.
    I am glad your posting at 284 is not as snarky as 236.
    the term “ignorance” I used probably got you ticked off. I should have phrased it differently .
    You are with OSS. And advise people on how to counter arguments against AGW . I read a few of your posts and can tell you are very well informed. But if I can give you my humble advise: try not to get too sarcastic with your opponents. It tends to sound arrogant and you can win the argument but loose the battle.
    BTW H Hak is my real name. my first name is Henk to my friends. So call me Henk if you want.

    Comment by H Hak — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:22 AM

  328. Bill Teufel says:

    “””””Use me as your man on the street…

    How can you convince me, that the models are not being manipulated to produce the desired results? You come up with that answer, and everything else will fall in line.”””””
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    You really think the world climate science community since 1824 is so stupid as to use only one line of evidence to basically declare a near state of emergency?…they are not morons you know.

    They use at least FOUR lines of corroborating evidence and climate models are only one of the four lines of evidence…and the climate models have done a da_ned good job so far (They are not weather models for _ _ _ _ _ sake, and average out the starting conditions unlike weather models because climate models usually have 30 years or more to work with while weather models have only a week or so).
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Four Reasons scientists future warming…

    Mainstream peer-reviewed science since 1824 uses at least five lines of evidence to state that human-caused global warming/climate change is happening (90-95% confidence level-IPCC 2007) and will continue…not only one line of evidence from climate models as contrarians cite:

    1) Climate models (different than weather models. Climate models average out starting conditions and weather models don’t)…The first working climate model was in 1896 (Arrhenius, 1896). Climate models have correctly predicted (alright- “projected”) many things in the peer reviewed literature that have held up over time, including average global surface warming (human-caused global warming since 1988), poles warming, the cooling effects of Mt. Pinatubo, many periods in the ancient past such as the last glacial maximum, the mid-Holocene (warming and then cooling), the hothouse PETM, the 8.2 ky cooling/drying event, the cooling of the Pliocene and responses to solar and orbital forcing among others, and hindcasts. Arrhenius S. 1896. On the influence of the carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature on the ground. The Philosoph. Mag. 41,237–276.Ambio,Volume 30, Issue 3 (May 2001), Svante Arrhrenius-1897- Model, grids, predicted more warming at poles, night and winter…AMBIO peer-reviewed journal, 1997, vol. 26, no. 1. (Published by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)http://www.ambio.kva.se/ . A Journal of the Human Environment ).J Uppenbrink – Science, 1996, Wild and Liepert, 1998, K Hasselmann – Nature, 1997.RE Benestad – Climatic Change, 2003, Rahmstorf et al., 2007, Science V Ramanathan – Science, 1988, Hansen 1988, IPCC 2001, AR3 IPCC 2007, AR4, Hansen et al. 2006).

    2) The Earth’s energy imbalance (satellites, models, oceans warming, physics since 1824).

    3) Current observations…speed and duration of the current average surface warming, oceans warming to their depths, speed of arctic sea ice disappearing, 1000 year record sea level rises, speed of ice melting, world-wide retreat of glaciers (many over 6000 years old whether there is short lived black carbon present or not-soot), 20,000 year old ice shelves collapsing, world-wide seasonal changes, world wide storm tracks/jet streams moving toward the poles (“expansion of tropics”), animals, birds, plants fish moving toward the poles, how the poles are warming up faster than the rest of the Earth, etc. These current observations also include knowledge of why the planet closest to the Sun is not the hottest-mainly carbon dioxide (yawn, not the high surface pressure that creates the heat, dude…atmosphere expands with heat…not like in a closed container). I wish someone would take high school physics at least.

    4) Past observations of the ancient past… We know when glacial periods/warm periods happen (about in 100, 000, 40,000 and 26, 000 and 400, 000 year cycles varying with the Earth’s wobbling, tilting and shape of orbit around the Sun). We should now be descending into the next 100,000 year glacial period (“ice age”) now (and we were on track until humans started pumping C02- (mainly), methane, nitrous oxide, black soot into the atmosphere and cutting down whole rainforests)…not violently breaking Earth’s average surface temp records. When Co2 was high, temps were high, animals were warm loving ones, trees/plants were warm loving ones, beetles were warm loving ones, plankton was warm loving ones. When CO2 was low, the opposite was true.

    5) Physics: How carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gases works (and must work) at the vibrational, atomic and molecular level and temperature levels and what happens to them when they are excited by heat/IR/longwave energy). The physics of how oceans hold heat, delay climate change effects by 30-50 years and expand when heated. The physics of how a planet keeps warm and working out equations to explain them (starting in 1824, Fourier). Knowing how CO2 and temperature increases work together: first temps warm, then Co2 goes up )mainly out of oceans, then the planetary temperature sharply rises mainly due to CO2 (from ice cores). This is rocket science, and unless you do peer review climate change work that holds up over time, you should not be telling publishing climate scientists whose work holds up over time whether human made global warming/climate change is going on and how severe it is. You would not tell a heart surgeon the procedures to operate on your child.

    After having been in the climate change community for over 11 years, I have had nightmares about human-caused global warming…and if you really want to have some fun…talk privately to the world’s best publishing scientists whose work holds up over time in the world wide peer reviewed literature as I have…then you will really get creeped out.

    IPCC 2007 and the world wide peer reviewed literature that stands up over time.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:24 AM

  329. ““This explains why meteorologists (and engineers I might add) are so skeptical of climatologists. We use mathematical models on a daily basis and see firsthand what the real world limitations are. Climatologists don’t.”
    This is a (common) instance of people over-generalizing from their own use of computers to other kind of models. I wrote about the common errors of this sort, by discipline, at RC a while ago.

    Comment by John Mashey — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:44 AM

  330. Re: 303 Completely Fed Up says: 22 February 2010 at 3:58 PM
    “They DENY AGW…”

    Not to mention their political strategy is to deny others a rational
    apprehension of reality.

    OT Here’s something a bit unusual to enjoy outside in mid February.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:15 AM

  331. 305 Bill Teufel: Would you rather be taxed or extinct? THAT is the real question. GW can kill everybody. We just don’t know when.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:47 AM

  332. 258 Ros: Democracy is based on the average person Understanding the issues. The average person DID understand the issues, until recently. Conscience alone has never been good enough. In the early days of democracy, everybody DID understand the issues. Mere literacy was good enough until recently. EDUCATION is essential to democracy. The more complex the issue, the more education is required. Democracy is NOT a bet on conscience.
    There is no “power gap” between scientists and voters because scientists have no power. The people who have power are the people who have the money to buy advertising and pay lobbyists. This country has become a plutocracy. Plutocracy is the rule of money. Money rules because of the incompetence of the average voter.

    “my usual feeling is that I am being drowned by the language and the contempt.” is total nonsense. RealClimate has given you the means to educate yourself. There is no contempt unless you are referring to your self contempt. Scientists are NOT the authorities. NATURE is the ONLY authority.

    “You are being too arrogant, you are saying it is outside of our control, that there is no place for hesitation or mitigation or that we can adapt, when the earth goes bonkers.”

    The scientists are NOT being arrogant. YOU are being arrogant! YOU need to gain a proper respect for Mother Nature, the sovereign of the Universe! Nature cannot be fooled. Scientists ARE ONLY THE MESSENGERS!!!!!!! If humans do not respect Nature, it is the human race that will perish! Religious language is well justified.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:24 AM

  333. A new study on hurricanes

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100221/ap_on_sc/us_sci_warming_hurricanes

    I admire the accuracy of the predictions, given the uncertainties on climate sensitivities and emission scenarios. The scenarios used in the study are even not indicated.

    [Response: IPCC A1B scenario by 2100. It’s in the main paper. – gavin]

    And notice this lovely quote:

    “In 2007, the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it was “more likely than not” that man-made greenhouse gases had already altered storm activity, but the authors of the new paper said more recent evidence muddies the issue.
    “The evidence is not strong enough that we could make some kind of statement” along those lines, Knutson said. It doesn’t mean the IPCC report was wrong; it was just based on science done by 2006 and recent research has changed a bit, said Knutson and the other researchers.”

    LOL. After all, Ptolemaeus wasn’t wrong. He was just using the science done by his time.

    Comment by Gilles — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:31 AM

  334. Ray Ladbury (#283), two final remarks on this:
    I agree with you that the CO2 effect during 1910-1940 is not negligible. I have only tried to point out that it is not as strong as you initially suggested: it’s about 25% and not ‘about half that of 1975-1998’.
    I have explained before (#270) that I regarded your remark as a miscalculation. I have never used or implied the word fraud with respect to your comments, and I am sorry if you concluded otherwise. I have complained that there are often unsupported exaggerations in this field, especially with respect to climate predictions. But even for instance in the case of the Himalaya glacier story I am not sure if one should call it fraud, maybe it was just a stupidity to rely only on one unreliable (and certainly not peer-reviewed) source. And the real PR damage was done when honest glaciologists were trying to correct the error and were called voodoo-scientists.

    Comment by wilt — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:59 AM

  335. I keep seeing stories about the mistakes that Climatologists make in their data or analysis. The stories claim the mistakes show that the earth is not getting warmer or that is not man made. Well, What about publicizing the mistakes that actually showed the opposite but turned out to be mistakes as well? I am sure there were just as many but nobody got accused of fabricating those?

    Wake up people.

    Comment by fp — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:20 AM

  336. Paul L, 306, check out my humble attempt by googling 14 Most Heinous Climate Villains. It has appeared on over 40 internet magazines and blogs.

    “Climate dissidents” sounds like one more attempt at “framing” by fossil fuel funded PR firms. Whatever they want, let’s reject. And if they hate being called deniers, that means it must be the perfect term.

    Richard Ordway, thanks for taking the time to do that summary. I’m just a lay researcher specializing in forestry carbon (hint: industrial logging is a bigger problem than most scientists realize), but I know enough climate scientists to have learned that many of them are both scared and frustrated. I’ll continue to try to help in any way I can.

    Comment by mike roddy — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:54 AM

  337. Re #329:
    I read your linked comment, and it awoke my curiosity: are there any surveys about AGW-skeptics (like their education, occupation, income, nationality etc.)? I heard the same about creationists (ie. many are experts in their own field different from biology).
    Are those observations only supported by anecdotes, or are there any more serious studies about it out there?

    By the way I suspect that those people, who are successful experts in any field tend to be more confident in general and are easier to believe that they can form an expert’s opinion about something not in their field of expertise.

    Comment by anticlimate — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:54 AM

  338. Re #329

    Just to add to #329. Engineers also may have less experience of the underpinning of their own devices by basic science. Take condensed matter physics for example.
    A bright beginner would have been horrified at the complexity of the actual problem. It would have been so easy to attack the simplifications made in the models being used. Yet the best people learned how to find a path through all these complications. In most cases later scientists came along and produced better models including more complexity, but the broad features of the early models would survive. Just one of many examples is Einstein’s theory of specific heat , which was absurdly simplified (compare Arrhenius theory of CO2 driven warming produced a short while before) but roughly ‘right’ in the sense that it revealed how quantum effects would operate in that area.

    As a second example consider the independent particle model for calculating the electrical and optical properties of metals and semi-conductors. That ought to look absolutely terrible to an outsider because of its neglect of correlations between the motion of different electrons and again because of its grossly over-simplified way of dealing with the quantum effect of “exchange”. Since then there have been major refinements such as Landau’s quasi-particle theory and a some major advances in computational science but much of this is just disregarded by researchers because the early outrageous models are still easier to think about and are good enough to answer many questions.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:09 AM

  339. H. Hak,
    How many times do I need to say this? We have over a dozen different lines of evidence that constrain CO2 to the range 2 degrees to 4.5 degrees per doubling and all of them favor 3 degrees per doubling. How likely are ALL OF THESE to be wrong and still give the same value?

    Your argument about H. Pylori and ulcers is also a red herring. “Medical science” has only been practiced scientifically since about the 40s. Climate science dates back to the 18th century, with the greenhouse effect dating from 1824, prediction of anthropogenic greenhouse warming in 1896 and global climate models since the ’70s.

    By any standard you choose, anthropogenic causation is established at the 90-95% CL. In any other scientific endeavor, you can take that to the bank.

    So, as near as I can tell, you have presented two justifications for your reservations. One would seem to be contradicted by the evidence (that regarding CO2 sensitivity). The other has nothing to do with climate science. I wouldn’t call that a strong case.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:13 AM

  340. Kate7: From my reading there has not been a PROVEN correlation between CO2 emissions and climate change.

    BPL: Read this, please:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:39 AM

  341. HH: I don’t deny the science behind CO2 , but are the climate sensitivity and feedback sorted out well enough ?

    BPL: Please read:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/ClimateSensitivity.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:41 AM

  342. “So please don’t tar everyone who isn’t convinced of the “settled science” with the same “denial sphere””

    But the “settled science” is a denialist tactic.

    If you SPEAK the language of racism, people will CALL you a racist. This CAN happen and is one of the few reasonable reasons for the changing of “-man” to “-person”.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/

    IR interaction with CO2 ***is*** settled.

    Cloud response to out actions ***is not*** settled.

    HOWEVER, the biggest possible effect clouds could have to ameliorate climate change from CO2 is absolutely insufficient to counter CO2’s effects.

    Therefore the result of CO2 effect on climate is practically as settled as CO2/IR interaction.

    When you add in that the most likely effect of clouds on climate change is to reinforce the warming/cooling of CO2 change and therefore exacerbate the problem, complaining about “settled science” is a purely denialist trick.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:06 AM

  343. Something else for the iphone?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610

    (Beware of imitations)

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  344. Ammonite (#316): I appreciate your calm approach to the debate, that is refreshingly different from several over-heated responses one often gets when a critical remark is made about AGW projections.
    You write: ‘Doubling CO2 is generally considered to raise temperature by 3C based on many independent studies (excluding models). If this were to occur …’
    As you probably know this value of 3 degrees Celsius from one CO2 doubling is only the mean value of the different projections from GCM models, that predict an increase anywhere between 1 and 6 degrees.

    [Response: This is not true. 3 deg C is the best estimate from multiple observational constraints, not GCMs. Which in any case show a range of 2.1 to 4.5 deg C in the latest AR4. – gavin]

    CO2 alone would cause a rise of approximately 1 degree for a CO2 doubling, everything more than that is based upon the assumption of strong and continuous positive feedback mechanisms. And precisely in this area there is much and increasing doubt. One feedback is the release of CO2 from the ocean upon warming, recent evidence suggest that this factor is 5-fold lower than previously thought. The most important feedback is based on the effects of water vapor. The recent article of Solomon in Science on stratospheric water vapor suggests that at least in the stratosphere there is no simple scenario of positive feedback. Previously Paltridge has suggested that at higher altitudes of the troposphere there has been a decrease of relative humidity in recent decades, whereas in the models it has always been assumed that relative humidity would remain constant. If he is right, then there is actually a negative feedback from water vapor.

    I do agree with you that rising population and diminishing resources will cause severe problems in the near future, and in my view those problems deserve most of our immediate attention (and money) as long as there is so much doubt about the magnitude and precise nature of the CO2 effects.

    Comment by wilt — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:53 AM

  345. “By any standard you choose, anthropogenic causation is established at the 90-95% CL.”

    Please remember too that the politicians (who, under some theories of conspiracy are driving the scientists to push AGW as a scare story for their own enrichment) made the scientists change to this confidence level from the one the SCIENTISTS wanted to use: “Greater than 95%”.

    a) If the politicians were driving this, they would have driven it the other way
    b) Note how this 90-95 is transmogrified into 90% to eke the biggest uncertainty. it is 80% likely that the CL is bigger than that if assessed correctly in the band. 100% if you consider real numbers rather than integers.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:59 AM

  346. Kate 7, many climate scientists have doctorates in physics. Now, are really trying to tell us that they do not understand the reality of complex, non-linear systems? Perhaps you would like to compare backgrounds with them. Your dogmatic assertions are embarrassing to you and your profession.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:00 AM

  347. kate7@321
    Hmm. I’m confused. Last week, you were posting a link to a website using a statistical model that you claimed predicted “climate”. Now you link to an Irish blog that claims predicting climate is impossible. Which is it?

    Well, I guess the advantage of being a denialist is that you never have to take a consistent position.

    The fact of the matter is that climate models have actually been very successful at explaining paleoclimate and looking at the response of climate to various perturbations:

    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    What is even more astounding is your contention that the failure of the models would support your advocacy of inaction. The temperature record, the melting ice, phenological studies… all paint a picture of exceptionally rapid warming. The characteristics of that warming (along with simultaneous stratospheric cooling) do not fit any other mechanism, but are easily explained in terms of the known properties of greenhouse gasses. Paleoclimatic studies show that the consequences of rapid warming can be severe indeed (e.g. mass extinction events, severe polar melting and sea-level rise…). This evidence is more than sufficient to establish a credible risk to the climate of the only habitable planet we know of. The models are one of the most important tools we have for bounding the risk due to climate change.

    Uncertainty is not the friend of those advocating inaction. But then, you’re a troll. You don’t advocate anything, do you?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:03 AM

  348. gavin – “The question is whether, when you are driving a car at high speed in a fog, and someone tells you there is possibly a cliff ahead, do you slow down or simply accuse declare the map to be pseudo-science?”

    I am not convinced that your observations in nature support this mind-picture.

    The question is, to me, whether while I am driving on a sixteen-lane freeway in Chicago, the road will suddenly end at a dropoff within the next mile.

    Comment by Kate — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:04 AM

  349. “330
    Tim Jones says:
    23 February 2010 at 1:15 AM
    Not to mention their political strategy is to deny others a rational
    apprehension of reality.”

    And that is why I don’t mind people who don’t believe, but they don’t bother to see if they’re right but STILL piss in the pool others are trying to enjoy swimming in.

    It’s a crime against the noobs that nobody seems to be complaining about, especially the noobs themselves.

    How many times have you heard someone say, after, for example, being shown that Greenland wasn’t a tropical paradise therefore there was a warmer global period in the past “Thanks for that. Why did so many people try to lead me wrong?”

    Never.

    A few thanks for information, but nothing about why someone lied to them.

    You can change people’s minds on a one-to-one basis, but you need to be there face-to-face. Sometimes, especially for the older, the problem isn’t the science but the blame.

    They did it.

    It is *now* known to be bad widely enough for them to know it’s bad.

    Therefore it’s blaming them when you talk of AGW.

    Very similar to second hand smoke. They forget that a child’s lung is smaller and still growing (so any error will be magnified) but hear “second hand smoke can be more dangerous than smoking” and scoff. It’s *blaming* them so they don’t consider that at the time almost every adult smoked, so the only second hand smokers were children.

    But explain to them that the problems caused was their fault, but they are not to blame because they weren’t to know and they are less hostile to smoking/cancer links.

    Same here.

    In the 70’s you had to be a climatologist to know that AGW was a good, solid theory.

    In he 90’s it became well known.

    And then it became “Oh, right, yeah, MY FAULT again” and anything that helps avoid blame, even if that blame is self inflicted is welcomed.

    But you need to find face-to-face what the individual’s problems with the idea is.

    Internet is not private enough and not interactive to anything close to the degree it needs to be.

    And those able to explain questions are heavily outnumbered by those wanting to avoid clarity on the subject, never mind the ones needing talking with.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:12 AM

  350. “CO2 alone would cause a rise of approximately 1 degree for a CO2 doubling, everything more than that is based upon the assumption of strong and continuous positive feedback mechanisms”

    Whither now the “H2O is much bigger greenhouse gas!” point?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 AM

  351. Wilt@344, See, that’s the thing about the CO2 sensitivity studies. Details of which feedback contributes how much and so on, don’t enter into the discussion–multiple lines of evidence all point to the fact that when you add all the feedbacks up, you get 3 degrees per doubling. And they preclude less than 2.1 degrees per doubling. The climate simply doesn’t look like Earth unless the feedbacks are fairly strong. In fact, it’s much easer to get an Earthlike climate with higher sensitivity than with lower.

    Failing to tackle climate change is betting humanity’s future on a 20:1 longshot, regardless of what we do wrt population, poverty, the environment… The evidence is just too overwhelming to ignore.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:15 AM

  352. Wilt@334, we’re cool. I was merely emphasizing that I didn’t take offense at your remarks in light of some of the criticism heading your way. I think what we’ve actually wound up showing is that the effect of CO2 is increasing rapidly.

    FWIW, I agree Pachauri handled the glacier mistake in a hamhanded way. Keep in mind, though, he faces a continual onslaught of unwarranted criticism from climate denialists (and, yes, many of these guys are in denial). Overall, I contend that the IPCC has actually done a very good job reflecting the climate science. WRT WG’s 2 and 3, their charter is tougher and more misunderstood. The public understands risk management even less than they understand science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:34 AM

  353. > wilt
    > strong and continuous
    (citation needed, but I doubt you can support either claim as a necessity; weak and intermittent will do just fine)
    > 5-fold
    (citation needed, if it’s the one I think you mean it’s got problems documented here, but tell us what you think you’re relying on for this)
    > most important
    (important how? not persistence, not altitude, not rate of change; what’s your criterion for using the word and what time span are you talking about?)
    > Solomon, no simple scenario of positive feedback
    Not that anyone said there _was_ such a thing, but thanks for citing at least vaguely so we can see where the strawman is said to come from.
    > Previously Paltridge
    > If he is right, then there is actually a negative feedback

    Let’s try to look that one up. Hmmm, the first Scholar hit is at climateaudit. Must be a recently popular item. What a surprise. Where do you get your information and why do you consider your source reliable?

    “Trends in middle-and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis
    climateaudit.org [PDF]
    G Paltridge, A Arking, M Pook – Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 2009
    “… It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa …”

    Well, you do great armwave. If you would supply citations to your sources it’d make you look a lot more like a scientist, if that’s your intent. You may be one but if you act like a duck, people will wonder if you are a duck.
    Getting the first claim wrong, which Gavin pointed out, was not a reassuring start, that’s why I looked at your other claims and wonder about them.

    I’m just an amateur reader here, not a climate scientist; I try to look stuff up because I’m interested in accurate cites to sources people can check, and very interested in what people think are reliable sources.

    What are your sources for what you believe?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:46 AM

  354. On water vapour feedback, read this:

    “There is a recent paper by Paltridge et al. [2009] that shows that water vapor in the tropical upper troposphere in the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis decreased over the past few decades. I have repeated this calculation with more modern and sophisticated reanalysis data sets (ECMWF interim reanalysis and MERRA reanalysis) and this result does not hold in those data sets. Given all of the other evidence that the water vapor feedback is positive, all of the ways that long-term trends in reanalyses can be wrong, and lack of verification in more reliable reanalysis data sets, I conclude that the Paltridge et al. result is almost certainly wrong.”

    wilt, you would benefit from a more varied reading diet. (and, correction: Paltridge et al. suggested an actual decrease of specific humidity.)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:10 AM

  355. I have been debating with Daily Mail skeptics since November, and have developed an FAQ page here:
    http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-change-debate-faqs.html
    A central, authoritative website along these lines would be helpful, also a newsgroup for those of us who are engaged in this debate to support each other would be good.

    Also we really need a good hacker who can get into the skeptics’ email lists…
    (only joking, of course)

    Comment by Richard Lawson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:12 AM

  356. RE #305 response.

    Thanks for the response Gavin. I have downloaded the models before, however, its been a painstaking process trying to figure out how they actually work. Reading through the link you provided regarding CO2, without models, I know I’ll have some additional question, but just don’t have the time to actually read the papers referenced, and work through the math myself.

    Re #311 – The ramifications of a carbon tax on the world economy is probably as complex as climate modeling itself. Its not as simple as start small and see what happens. Any additional tax will be pushed down to the consumer, and higher prices for everything, without any adjustment to wages, will put a huge burden on the middle and lower class worldwide. This will end up resulting in a curb on spending, and we’re currently seeing the effects of that on the world economy. You can’t assume that corporations will just absorb this cost.

    #317 – Climate change being non-reversible is a bit misleading. If anything, I’d say the climate is constantly changing, its the rate of change that we’re trying to control

    #328 – I need time to review what you wrote, and read the items you reference. I will get back

    #331 – Hyperbole will not convince anyone. Mankind will adapt if our changing environment forces us too. And for that matter, nobody knows how the rest of the world could evolve due to changing environmental conditions. If higher concentrations of CO2, leading to unsustainable warming (ie on the road to becoming Venus #2) actually occurs, could mankind and organisms throughout the world evolve to handle this and control the warming? Could plants develop some kind of Hyper-Photosynthesis, due to the abundance of CO2? I do not think its very beneficial to make claims such as extinction for mankind without action, because it would take centuries for this to occur.

    Do models take into account either any CO2 scrubbing innovation by man or evolution by nature? No and they shouldn’t, however, necessity truly is the mother of invention, and a global climate crisis whose end game is extinction, generates a pretty damn big need.

    And for my credentials – College education Penn State. 3 years EE, then switched business and got an accounting degree. While I’m cannot be classified as a scientist, I understand high level mathematics, the scientific method, and complex problem solving. I’d say I’m a mid-level programmer, which is why I even attempt to decompile and analyse the models. My company has a renewable energy/sustainability division, and I review their work routinely. I have found carbon footprint analysis always has assumptions that allocates carbon usage further up the supply chain, that allows companies to claim “carbon neutral”. Its a numbers/allocation game most of the time.

    Comment by Bill Teufel — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:30 AM

  357. #327 Henk Hak

    As I pointed out, what you think is not consequential to the science.

    Roy Spencer
    Could you enlighten me as to what evidence or work he has done that proves the point you are making. And did it survive peer response? One of the odd problems people need to be aware of is that a scientist can do good work in the scope of his papers and still make unsubstantiated claims that reach outside the scope of the research. This is not uncommon these days in certain individuals that are attempting to maintain their academic stature and still sow the seeds of doubt on AGW.

    Stomach Problems
    No I’m not a physician. My understanding is founded in general systems science which deals with system interactions. I grew up around doctors though. On the point, I can only admit that I am still curious as to whether there have been enough studies to show that stress/anxiety does, or does not influence, or create an environment that contributes to the potential for the bacteria development in question?

    I am by nature skeptical of course. I think in medicine as in climate science, there is still a lot to learn. But that does not take away from what is known.

    Al Gore
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/al-gores-movie/

    Arrogant/Snarky
    I try not to be arrogant (unwarranted confidence) without admission, but I don’t worry about sounding belligerent or a little in the face of silliness. I don’t mind sounding a bit snarky either though. Sometimes it can help others understand a perspective in a connotative fashion, or make a point more pointy :) What is more offensive. A statement that claims that thought the science is strong on the point we should do nothing because some people say we don’t know enough, which will translate to a more difficult life due to inaction for our immediate future; or me being a little snarky? I think the one that is more offensive is the one that hurts the most people, what do you think?

    For example, tI think Kate7’s posts are offensive. She is actually talking to climate scientists who do climate modeling and saying they should sit down and talk with people that use the tools of the trade???

    When I weigh all this (science and denialism by disinformation or lack of context) against the cost/benefit ratios with the risk potentials, I am dumbfounded by the willingness of special interests to continue to fund and pay the ticket prices for certain supposedly reputable scientists to show up at Heartland Institute conferences.

    The cost and damage will be over the top, the cost to the worlds economies will be unfathomable in contrast to current mainstream assumptions.

    You are concerned about if the climate sensitivity and feedbacks are sorted out. They are not. And that should of course be of great concern, but probably not for the reasons you might think.

    You see, the models are wrong. The ice loss in the Arctic is exceeding the melt rate projected in the models. The sea level rise is exceeding the models rise projected in the models. This seems to indicate that we may be wrong about the sensitivities in the system. This seems to indicate that the sensitivity may be much more than we are currently able to calculate.

    Let’s face facts that are established:

    – The ocean ecosystems are coming apart
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZkwewR69w8
    – The climate forcing is enormously outside of the natural cycle
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/the-leading-edge/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels
    – CO2 without the C-14 isotopic signature is a pollutant
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/human-caused/overview?searchterm=isotopic
    – CO2, CH4, N2O, H2O, CFC’s are GHG’s and have increased as a result of human industrial output
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/index.html

    Security
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/security

    I’m mostly examining economic potentials lately and though I don’t have quantitative analysis at this point, the indications I see are that we are in a serious situation that has the potential to unwind before even more significant climate tipping points, due to economic limits in the system related to resource issues. Together these combined effects will be difficult to address.

    Continued inaction at this point based on the known science and the resource capacity / scarcity I would have to say is foolhardy at best.


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  358. kate: “I am not convinced that your observations in nature support this mind-picture.”

    It’s called “analogy” kate.

    “The question is, to me, whether while I am driving on a sixteen-lane freeway in Chicago, the road will suddenly end at a dropoff within the next mile.”

    Why? If you’re driving 100 miles why is it OK if the first one is cliff-free even if the remaining 99 are full of cliffs you can’t see?

    [edit]

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  359. Hank Roberts (#352)asked me for links with respect to the articles of Solomon and Paltridge.

    Here is the link to Solomon’s article in Science:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1182488
    Abstract (complete):
    ‘Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.’

    And here is the link to the Paltridge article (pdf):
    http://www.theclimatescam.se/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/paltridgearkingpook.pdf

    Considering that this article is about TRENDS I think it is difficult to completely ignore it, even when there would be doubt about precision of data in an absolute sense. Furthermore, Martin Vermeer (#353): Paltridge illustrates that both relative and specific humidity have decreased, especially above the tropics.

    Here you can do your own analysis regarding timeseries of humidity data from NOAA:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    [Response: The Paltridge paper is very misleading. The reanalysis they use (NCEP1) is known to have lots of issues with erroneous trends because of changes in instrumentation over time (mainly improvements in sensitivity of radiosondes that lead to sensors correctly registering dry air at altitudes where older instruments would still be incorrectly registering wetter air because they didn’t react as fast on the ascent). Other reanalysis projects do not show this at all, and direct and consistent observations by satellite show the opposite as well. Paltridge was well aware of these issues and yet did not discuss them in his paper at all. Not good practice. – gavin]

    Comment by wilt — 23 Feb 2010 @ 10:53 AM

  360. Bill Teufel (356):

    “Climate change being non-reversible is a bit misleading. If anything, I’d say the climate is constantly changing, its the rate of change that we’re trying to control”

    That does not address my point at all. If new evidence comes out showing that AGW is not such a big problem after all, we can go back to burning fossil fuels (if we want to, that is). If it turns out that the scientists are right, or that they actually underestimate the warming, then well, we can’t put the water back in those ice sheets, can we.

    Comment by Molnar — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:04 AM

  361. Ladbury – I’m confused

    305. Because you don’t need models to know that there is a risk to the climate (but if you want to look at models, the code is available for you to run and/or examine). The models will never be perfect, but none of the complicating factors we’ve introduced over the last 30 years have altered the basic response of the climate to increasing greenhouse gases. – gavin]

    347. The fact of the matter is that climate models have actually been very successful at explaining paleoclimate and looking at the response of climate to various perturbations: Ladbury

    Which is it?

    I advocate for scientists to say, “We don’t know enough yet.” And then for them to keep universal, complete, uniform and clear records. But since I’m a troll, I’ll leave. You are not comfortable with provocative questions.

    I’ve always found the best discussions about topics of critical importance are best served by the asking of good questions.

    The only answers I have gotten here have referred me back to James Hansen’s info.

    Comment by Kate — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:10 AM

  362. kate: “Which is it?”

    Both.

    You don’t need lots of money to live comfortably, but having lots of money means you can live comfortably.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:18 AM

  363. Re #344.
    Super-spin.

    “in the models it has always been assumed that relative humidity would remain constant” (My bold)

    If I have read Realclimate correctly, that sentence is an oft repeated piece of misinformation. According to real life modelers this property (yes it was ‘assumed’ by Arrhenius, but that was in 1896) emerges from their models; are you claiming that they have concealed some secret code which keeps the RH constant?

    In addition this property has been checked approximately by observations. Your point challenging this has been disputed in other recent comments. Furthermore your challenge looks less credible after reading your super-spin just mentioned. The stratosphere is another story because it has quite different physics.

    Here is an even stronger version:

    CO2 alone would cause a rise of approximately 1 degree for a CO2 doubling, everything more than that is based upon the assumption of strong and continuous positive feedback mechanisms.” (my bold)

    By introducing super-spin you are not just misrepresenting the climate models but also censoring out the work by theorists, for example Raymond Pierrehumbert, (some on his web site) and others.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:22 AM

  364. re 339 and 341
    Ray: how many times? I don’t know, it’s the first time I heard this from you but I have seen the graphs of about 22 GCMs that you are referring to I guess.
    Please don’t spout non-sense about the medical science having only been practiced scientifically since the 40s. If that is your quick assessment, it only shows your complete lack of knowledge on the subject and how am I going to listen to whatever else you may have to say? Objective medical science dates back to the Renaissance with the start of extensive documentation of dissections. Ever seen those fabulous drawings from Leonardo and Michelangelo among others? Harvey’s postulates on circulation are from the 17th century, to name just one. And even if the absurd notion that medical science only has been practiced scientifically since the 40’s was true, H. Pylori was detected in 1981 and the debate didn’t start until 1984 because Marshall couldn’t get his first paper published.
    Of course the H.Pylori issue is a non-sequitur, I’m not trying to prove anything. Only want to show that sometimes a large group of very smart and well informed people can all be wrong. In the case of Marshall it really was a one (actually 2) man against the whole world scenario initially. In climate science there is a small minority of reputable people that have legitimate objections to the IPCC conclusions. Spencer is one of them and if you could address the issues he raises on his blog (http://www.drroyspencer.com/) in Januari 2010 and particularly regarding the paper he presented at the last AGU meeting , that would be helpful because he doesn’t have comments on his site.
    Settled science is an oxymoron, there are only settled scientists, there is no settled science. That is if you mean with settled science what Al Gore states: the debate is over. If your 90-95% confidence level is correct – you might be right on that – then you can certainly state that the science is settled ENOUGH to take action.( What kind of action is another debate.) No problem with that at all, imho I really think everyone including Gore and Pachauri should be serious about reducing his/her use of fossil fuels and support innovation. As international agreements seem bound to fail let’s all do our little part at least.
    Barton, haven’t read your site yet but will do so later.
    Completely fed up: i read the unsettled-science but it doesn’t tell me much I didn’t already know. No matter how hard you try, you cannot put square pegs in round holes. There is no debate -is -over settled science. Sorry if people abuse this fact as an excuse to do nothing.
    Thanks guys
    Henk Hak

    Comment by H Hak — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:23 AM

  365. > wilt
    > Paltridge

    Wilt, there’s a good reason to look for the actual publication, not rely on a copy posted at someone’s opinion blog page — to see whether anyone has cited it or published updates or corrections, which the bloggers often omit.

    Look up Paltridge and you find that no science papers have referred to it so far, tho’ it’s being used as a reference in climate denial documents.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=8663275099186880665&hl=en&as_sdt=2000

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:24 AM

  366. Kate, the two comments aren’t contradictory. How do you think they could be?

    “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”

    Modern models have added more and more complications as they are found, and aren’t perfect and aren’t expected to be. Modeling of past events, even with older and less complicated models, has already given good agreement with what we know from the ice and sediment cores and other paleo records

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:28 AM

  367. JPR @ 357

    “When I weigh all this (science and denialism by disinformation or lack of context) against the cost/benefit ratios with the risk potentials, I am dumbfounded by the willingness of special interests to continue to fund and pay the ticket prices for certain supposedly reputable scientists to show up at Heartland Institute conferences.”

    I wonder about that. On the one hand, you have to think that maybe they’re playing a game of chicken with the planet in the belief that they’ll wind up in a better position than their competitors. However, it may be as simple as habitual belligerence rooted in 1800s frontier mythology that’s been re-energized by political pandering — all a piece of the kind of short term thinking, faithiness, and irrational exuberance that seems to have spawned other major crises of late.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 23 Feb 2010 @ 11:51 AM

  368. Kate, if you’re short on time you can look specifically at how GCM models have been refined and improved as well as get some reckoning of their remaining fallibility here:

    Simple Models of Climate Change

    General Circulation Models of Climate

    Both links take you to chapters from Dr. Spencer Weart’s excellent history of climate research. Weart is pretty gifted with making this science tractable for us laypersons in the topic.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:05 PM

  369. Molnar (360)

    The water is still in the system, just in a different state of matter. Nobody can say if it could possibly return to a solid state at a later date.

    Comment by Bill Teufel — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:05 PM

  370. Bill Teufel says: 23 February 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Bill, regarding taxation on C02, it’s helpful to remember that money diverted to carbon taxes will not vanish; all prior experience tells us that the probability of governments seizing this opportunity to “buy back shares” from citizens owning equity in their governments is essentially nil.

    C02 taxation revenue will be spent, the main controversy about this technique is of course that it will not be spent for exactly the same things as it was previously. Can we live without a few more deluxe pizzas, or a flatscreen television for our fourth bathroom, if that’s what being a grownup entails? Probably.

    If as appears to be the case we have been getting a free ride by ignoring the external costs accompanying fossil fuel consumption, we need to take responsibility for that, be accountable. Governments are the grownup of last resort, the family unit we look to when we individually cannot be counted on to be responsible. It’s very unlikely that we’re going to behave like adults if we’re left to our own devices, history is rife with prior analogous examples.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:20 PM

  371. This seems like a good thread for an OT question. So far no “skeptic” has brought this up but I’d like to be ready. The GCM mean predictions seem to accelerate over this century, but the C02 response is supposed to be logarithmic. I don’t think methane from clathrates or permafrost are included so what else is going on? Is it aerosols disappearing as coal plants are replaced, albedo changes, simple inertia?

    If you’ve addressed this before, a link to the post would be great.

    Thanks

    Comment by blueshift — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:25 PM

  372. Kate wrote: “I advocate for scientists to say, ‘We don’t know enough yet.'”

    “Don’t know enough yet” — enough for what?

    The truth is that scientists DO know enough to say with very high confidence that we need to rapidly phase out the use of fossil fuels if we are to have any hope of averting catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and consequent climate change.

    Which is an “inconvenient truth” for the fossil fuel corporations who want to reap trillions of dollars in profit from continued business-as-usual consumption of their products over the next several decades — wealth which will go to other sectors of the economy if human societies act on what the climate scientists DO know.

    Which is why ExxonMobil pays people millions of dollars to lie to you, deceive you, and confuse you about what scientists know.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:29 PM

  373. Thanks to Martin Vermeer above for this:

    On water vapour feedback, read this

    There’s no substitute for comments from someone like Martin who actually knows the science!

    That’s cautionary that Google Scholar, for Paltridge, found only the mentions at the ‘Landshape’ blog and the Australian denial writers’ blog, but not Andrew Dessler’s useful discussion of it at Pielke’s blog.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:32 PM

  374. Kate says, “But since I’m a troll, I’ll leave.”

    Since you aren’t interested in learning yourself or contributing anything of substance all I can say is don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:43 PM

  375. 342, Completely Fed Up: But the “settled science” is a denialist tactic.

    You’re incorrigible! AGW promoters started calling sceptics and denialists “flat-earthers”, “traitors” and such, and even used the phrase “the science is settled”.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:43 PM

  376. I’d like to start with the statement that I’m not here to argue against anthropoligical gloabal warming. In fact, I’ve been successfully making the point that human caused global warming is a well verified theory for almost 20 years. During that time, I’ve seen the verification improve.

    I say that becasue I am now at a point where I see significant problems with the transformation of many climate scientists into climate scientists/action advoates. In particular, I have been disturbed by the actions that have come to light at the CRU and the reaction of those in the field to those actions.

    Now, it is possible that the quotes I’m getting from the head of the CRU are fabricated. UK papers have done that, but I think that the Times tends towards honest reporting more than other UK papers. But, if, as he was quoted admitting, a primary data set was knowingly discarded, that violates one of the first rules of good experimental technique that I was taught in graduate school when I started working towards my physics Phd.

    The emails that discuss “spicing up” the presentations of historical data by replacing some recent data with data from a different source (IIRC, calculated temperatures from paleontological techniques for the last decade or two were replaced with actual temperature measurements) are also troubling. I was trained to never do that, I presented my data, warts and all, and then just pointed out the differences and state that the anomoly was, as yet, unexplained. I remember doing that in my dissertation work, and then having one of the people reading it give me the explaination from work he had done.

    Third, while I am well aware of university and professional politics, and the effect of this on the selection of reviewers, the politicization of climate science by the political debate on what actions countries should take to mitigate global warming has resulted in a blurring of reasons for chosing different papers for publication as well as the choosing of reviewers.

    Now, I am not saying that every climate scientist has abandoned good techniques and have succumed to becoming advocates. I’ve seen, on your site, what looks like good straight science, including historical data trends that show data that could be used by those who would argue for natural global warming. That has the feel of straight science to me. But, I am extremely troubled by the “circle the wagons” approach that I see among many/most? in the field. It is a natural human reaction, but I know I do my best work when I stifle my natural reactions and give dispassionate reports on data that appear to contradict my viewpoint.

    I realize that this thread may not be the best place to put such a communication, but it’s the best place that I can find to communicate with the scientists who run/write for RealClimate. I think that the precipitous drop in the belief in anthropological global warming in the US in the last few months is a strong warning sign that climate scientists need to clean their own house and reset the bright line between scientific research and advocacy for action. Otherwise, the science will be lost in the politics, and everyone will lose as a result.

    Comment by Dr. Daniel C. Minette — 23 Feb 2010 @ 12:56 PM

  377. 321 gavin’s comment: [Response: The question is whether, when you are driving a car at high speed in a fog, and someone tells you there is possibly a cliff ahead, do you slow down or simply accuse declare the map to be pseudo-science? – gavin]

    I think that’s a good first draft of an analogy. Does the science really say that we face a cliff up ahead? That we are even close to a cliff? Somebody like me might point out that, as we are going to run out of fuel before we get to the cliff, we might tank up, even though we can’t tell exactly when we’ll run out of fuel. By the time we finish refueling, the fog will most likely have cleared.

    There are still weaknesses in the analogy: no one is proposing that we actually “stop” to refuel, for example. Some of the expert “map readers” were dramatically wrong decades ago (John Holdren and “Limits to Growth”). The expert map readers seem suddenly to be quarreling among themselves (see Latif and “Betrug”.)

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:04 PM

  378. Henk,
    Let’s try a few test questions:

    1)Gravity is an attractive force between two masses: Settled or not?

    2)CO2 is a greenhouse gas: Settled or not?

    3)Speciation is driven by evolution due to natural selection: Settled or not?

    Once a theory or a technique or an idea becomes so indespensible to understanding a phenomenon that there is very little published that advances the field that doesn’t implicitly assume that theory, technique or idea, we have scientific consensus. Scientists have voted with their pens, and we KNOW that fact.

    It is a red herring to compare the degree of certainty in medical science to that in physical science. The conclusion that stress is responsible for ulcers was not a scientific conclusion. The discovery of the role of H. Pylori was a triumph of science over standard practice. Yes, smart people can be wrong. They’re a whole lot less likely to be wrong when they use the scientific method and base their conclusions on evidence.

    As to Spencer, where to begin? First, his crap about the decreasing number of surface stations has been eviscerated here:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/dropouts/
    and here:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/summer-and-smoke/

    I haven’t had time to review his AGU presentation, but I wish you would apply as much skepticism to it as you do to the rest of climate science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:33 PM

  379. Hank 327 & John 357: “I am dumbfounded by the willingness of special interests to continue to fund and pay the ticket prices for certain supposedly reputable scientists to show up at Heartland Institute conferences.”

    Yes. But it was not limited to the prospective presenters.

    There was also an offer of “stipends for elected officials” (to use terminology on the published invitation) who agreed to participate in those events (“stipend” terms unknown). Providing airline tickets and a week’s stay at a 4 star N.Y.C. hotel for free satisfies criteria for bribery, plain and simple. That was what was offered for the previous event in 2008 at least.

    Comment by Tinkerbell — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:49 PM

  380. Edward Greisch (332) says, “The scientists are NOT … arrogant.” followed by “Scientists ARE ONLY THE MESSENGERS!!!!!!!”

    I might be wrong, but it sure looks like a dichotomy to me.

    Comment by Rod B — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:52 PM

  381. HH:
    “Completely fed up: i read the unsettled-science but it doesn’t tell me much I didn’t already know.”

    So therefore you’re not saying anything that the scientists know either.

    So what are you complaining about?

    That you have been able to think that the scientists think that the entire science everywhere is settled?

    Or maybe that your “science is settled” is so unspecific that it isn’t an accusation at all?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:53 PM

  382. Bill: “#331 – Hyperbole will not convince anyone. Mankind will adapt if our changing environment forces us too. ”

    1) Hyberbole about how clouds are unknown therefore we don’t know what the future will bring is convincing a lot of people.

    2) The second sentence is hyperbole that seems to have convinced you that we don’t have to do anything.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 1:56 PM

  383. Geoff Wexler (#363) accused me of ‘’Super-spin’, because I had written that …“in the models it has always been assumed that relative humidity would remain constant”
    OK, let me rephrase this: AGW proponents have always assumed, based on the climate models, that relative humidity would remain constant.
    Are you satisfied with this formulation? In my view the difference with my previous remark is only semantics, and I think we should focus on the real issues rather than start a discussion about every single word. Now, if a constant humidity emerges from the models, and the data from NOAA suggest otherwise, I am inclined to think that there may be something wrong with the models. You build a theory on observations, not the other way around. And once again, if you read the Paltridge article and look carefully at the trends in the long-term plots (1973-2007), it is almost inconceivable that the trend would ever become flat even when some of the data would be incorrect. For a flat trend you would have to assume that not only most of the data are wrong, but that half of them would be too high and the other half too low and then not by a constant percentage but a percentage that is large at the beginning of the period, about zero halfway, and large again at the end. That is asking rather much. In case you want to do your own analysis, this can easily be done at the NOAA site that I have mentioned earlier. Select an area (for instance the tropics), pressure level, and years of the period you want to analyse.

    Furthermore, I am very puzzled by your remark about Solomon’s paper in Science that “The stratosphere is another story because it has quite different physics.” Again, it’s the observation of data and their interpretation that counts, no matter how different the physics is. Solomon’s interpretation is that the observed changes in stratospheric water vapor ‘would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change’. And of course climate science is very much alive, so this will not be the final word on this topic. But if a highly respected climatologist states in a top-journal that a significant part of warming during the 1990s can be ascribed to a mechanism that was not even discussed before as a theoretical possibility, then I would not dare to proclaim that ‘the science is settled’. Would you?

    Comment by wilt — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:03 PM

  384. SM “I think that’s a good first draft of an analogy. Does the science really say that we face a cliff up ahead? That we are even close to a cliff?”

    Yes.

    Or consider the future where London, NY, Tokyo, and about 80% of the current population are either underwater or in a desert.

    Is this cliff-like enough for you?

    Up until the last possible moment (which is ALWAYS before the event happens), you can do something to avoid that cliff, but if you leave it late you have only bad choices (emergency stop creates a pile up and many people hurt, or you spin out of control and are killed by that rather than the cliff wall).

    And some people are sitting behind the only airbag and restraint and thinking “well, *I* could still survive it if I’m lucky”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:04 PM

  385. Rod B “I might be wrong, but it sure looks like a dichotomy to me.”

    How?

    “Messenger” doesn’t have ANY tag of “Arrogant” on it.

    It’s a new version of “false dichotomy” where the falsity isn’t “there aren’t only two solutions” but one that means “there is no dichotomy”.

    Well done.

    A new logical fallacy.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  386. “#375
    Septic Matthew says:
    23 February 2010 at 12:43 PM

    blah blah blah”

    Did you not read the RC post either?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/

    A vague accusation that can be backpedalled into whatever the “debater” requires, depending on the audience.

    It’s also a strawman.

    Read RC.

    You may learn something.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  387. Re: 348 Kate says: 23 February 2010 at 9:04 AM

    “The question is, to me, whether while I am driving on a sixteen-lane freeway in Chicago, the road will suddenly end at a dropoff within the next mile.”

    It’s already happened.

    This is the result of trying to get by on denial. Except rebuilding the planet will be a might harder than rebuilding a bridge.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:12 PM

  388. “371
    blueshift says:
    23 February 2010 at 12:25 PM
    The GCM mean predictions seem to accelerate over this century, but the C02 response is supposed to be logarithmic”

    CO2’s effect as concentrations increase is logarithmic.

    But because CO2’s concentration is cumulative AND its use has expanded exponentially AND we still have the feedback from when oceans warm up enough in bulk to equilibrium when MORE CO2 is exhausted from the oceans, this doesn’t mean that we would never see accelerating warming.

    Whether you see it depends on whether we run BAU (or MORE B than U), or whether we hold, reduce slightly or reduce rapidly our CO2 production.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  389. Ray (339) says, “How likely are ALL OF THESE to be wrong and still give the same value?”

    That’s actually not odd at all. All are looking at roughly the same input and forming reasonable conclusions (not the same as irrefutable evidence, BTW) that are similar — regarding the info from roughly the 20th century and the change in CO2 versus the change in temperature during that (extremely short) period. NONE of those researchers have observed or measured the increase in CO2 from today’s level forward versus the temperature change that might result. They all might prove to be totally wrong (or maybe not…) but they all are simply extrapolating the stuff that they did see and agree on.

    An OT aside: you give the definition of “climate science” a very wide berth but constrain “medical science” to a very narrow slice. For what it’s worth, the medical science of the early 1800s was given far more credence than Arrhenius’ climate science by both science and lay groups.

    Comment by Rod B — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  390. I used my full title for the first post, but didn’t want the majority of internet references to me to post here. But to answer question #1 from post 378, the answer is definately not. Our best theory (General Relativity) does not depict gravity that way. Rather, mass curves space, and all objects travel in straight lines in the curved space.

    One thing few non-scientists know, and few physicists have to worry about “science is not about the truth” as Dr. Patrick van Esch stated so elequently on the newsgroups sci.physics over a decade ago…when newsgroups were the main discussion forums.

    Comment by Dan M. — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  391. > 379 Tinkerbell says: 23 February 2010 at 1:49 PM
    > Hank 327

    Wrong name, sorry — you’re replying to
    > 327 H Hak says: 23 February 2010 at 12:22 AM

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:20 PM

  392. HH: I suppose my REAL request for you is to consider what you mean with “science is settled”.

    Are you thinking of it as something *scary*?

    If so, what?

    And why?

    Are you thinking that it’s something done to make the public buy in? If so, if it IS “settled” as far as the bottom-line is concerned, is this bad?

    After all, if all the unknown unknowns *happen* to go all humanity’s way, we’re still looking at disaster under BAU, just in a few generations rather than one or two.

    So this doesn’t mean we can afford to waste another two generations pratting about.

    Nothing is out there that has the strength to counter it, and nothing has a reason to.

    So if the bottom line is “We must reduce CO2 production or face disaster in the future”, in what way is the science which isn’t settled important to the man-in-the-street and what we must do?

    And lastly, gravity is not settled science — TO SCIENTISTS INTERESTED IN IT.

    There’s nothing the man-in-the-street encounters that cares about the bits of gravitational theory that aren’t settled. Heck “it’s a force that pulls us down” is good enough!

    The science of medicine and cancer is far less settled.

    Yet the science of medicine is still settled enough to have doctors tell patients that they should give up smoking.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  393. Ron Taylor, Heisenberg himself, e.g., had major difficulties with complex non-linear systems. Though he was uncertain about lots of stuff…. (Sorry. couldn’t pass that up ;-) )

    Comment by Rod B — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:28 PM

  394. Dr Minette – “I think that the precipitous drop in the belief in anthropological global warming in the US in the last few months is a strong warning sign that climate scientists need to clean their own house and reset the bright line between scientific research and advocacy for action. Otherwise, the science will be lost in the politics, and everyone will lose as a result.”

    I think that said “precipitous drop” is as much apparent as real, and correlates much more closely to legislation in the us congress and PR activity by opponents of that legislation, politics being almost entirely outside of any possibility of effects real science can have. It isn’t “scientists” I’ve seen who advocate for any action, other than possibly advocating consideration of ways to reduce CO2 emmissions [useful in any event], but there’s certainly an immense amount of advocacy for inaction. Not a lot science can do about reactionary use of it’s findings.

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  395. It is way past the time for all Americans to come together on the man-made Global Warming issue. It doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent. It doesn’t matter whether you are Conservative or Progressive. The past 3 months have shown the IPCC and some universities involved in Global Warming or Climate Change to have major question raised about the science and findings re man-made warming. If some of these accusations are true, they represent criminal actions that should be prosecuted. How do we find out the truth? We need a MAJOR independent investigation into all of the science and actions of all major players in this debate, including the IPCC. Look what is at stake. The EPA wants to act outside of Congress to impose major constraints on the US economy and future. They SHOULD NOT be allowed to do this until a complete investigation is done. There is no crisis. We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started. If it were a crises, they would have demanded the research stop and action be taken. They did not. The independent investigation should not include any organization or scientist proven to falsify dats. In fact, if this is found out, they should be prosecuted. The UN IPCC should not be involved. We have many ethical, independent scientists who could serve. In the meantime, why not call back all unspent research funds until the investigation is complete. We could use that money to start projects to find and implement clean energy sources, develop safe methods to access our vast oil, coal and natural gas resources and develop cleaner ways to use them. I am sure if the vast private resources are set free, we will succeed. We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.

    Investigation is the most sensible route to take. Let true, peer-reviewed science take us wherever it leads.

    Let us not panic, it is not necessary, and use common sense procedures to lead us.

    Comment by Rudy Petorelli — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:37 PM

  396. #376 Dr. Daniel C. Minette

    Here’s a summary with links back to the RC discussions

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/climategate

    The more important question is there really that much cleaning needed. Most of the problems with the CRU hack was simply quotes out of context of the scientific relevance.

    Not rally a big problem, unless of course your talking about all the disinformation and spin in the media nod denialosphere.


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:39 PM

  397. Dr. Daniel C. Minette says: 23 February 2010 at 12:56 PM

    “Otherwise, the science will be lost in the politics, and everyone will lose as a result.”

    Yes, and lest science be lost in politics, let’s see a strong light directed on those who are working assiduously to promote confusion in the public square, such as promoters of rumors about “primary data” being “knowingly discarded.”

    Dr. Minette, you yourself apparently are a victim of this political tinging; you’re repeating baseless assertions, propagating lopsided emphasis and wholesale exaggeration. You’re assisting a campaign conducted by a faction with overwhelmingly political aspirations. Paradoxically, your essay here lamenting politicization of science focuses solely on real and imaginary faults exhibited by a group whose ambitions are almost exclusively outside of the political realm. You ignore the proverbial elephant in the room while also feeding that very beast.

    Not to pick on Dr. Minette, but his essay seems a shining example of blinded perspective to which we can unconsciously succumb when we’re distracted by disingenuous and hypocritically sanctimonious editorializing, by agents who are not actually concerned with proper conduct of science.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:49 PM

  398. Here’s a quote from today’s NYTimes: “The science behind climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming,” Jackson told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “That conclusion is not a partisan one.”

    In that quote, she does not disaggregate CO2 accumulation from land use changes including deforestation and urban heat islands.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 2:50 PM

  399. #378. Ray, tamino is wading into Watts articles referenced by Spencer in those articles. I note he is happy to use hadcrut/giss when it suits him. From what I can see of Spencer’s blog when you get through the smoke, is that he is not denying AGW, but disputing the sensitivity, arguing that natural variability is insufficiently accounted for and models are producing unrealistically high sensitivity. No papers referenced – has he published this particular line of thought?

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:18 PM

  400. Recent review of papers on climate sensitvity:
    http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:27 PM

  401. Daniel C. Minetter (376): if, as he was quoted admitting, a primary data set was knowingly discarded, that violates one of the first rules of good experimental technique that I was taught in graduate school when I started working towards my physics Phd.

    BPL: Pay attention:

    1. 95% of the CRU data has always been in the public domain.

    2. The other 5% is covered by nondisclosure agreements with national met. services.

    3. The CRU destroyed ITS OWN COPIES of the original data from the NMSs. The original data itself is intact. No data has been lost.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:28 PM

  402. Rudy Petorelli wrote: “The past 3 months have shown the IPCC and some universities involved in Global Warming or Climate Change to have major question raised about the science and findings re man-made warming.”

    That’s not true. None of the events of the last three months have cast the slightest doubt on the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities are causing the currently observed rapid and extreme warming of the Earth system.

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “There is no crisis.”

    That’s not true. The rapid and extreme warming of the Earth system that is already occurring as a result of the CO2 pollution that we have already emitted is indeed a crisis.

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started.”

    That’s not true. No one paid scientists to “prove” anything — climate researchers work very hard, in some cases risking their lives, to understand what is happening to the Earth’s climate, not to “prove” any pre-ordained notion (unlike the frauds and cranks paid by ExxonMobil to “prove” blatant falsehoods with sophistry and pseudoscience). And as a result of decades of diligent, difficult, painstaking work, climate scientists have a much better understanding of anthropogenic global warming than “when they started”.

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “If it were a crises, they would have demanded the research stop and action be taken. They did not.”

    That’s not true. While no one in their right mind would demand that “the research stop”, many major scientific organizations and many climate scientists, individually and in groups, have in fact called for urgent action to be taken. (And of course when they do so, people like you scream that they are being “political”.)

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.”

    The actions needed to phase out CO2 emissions will not “cripple our economy”. However, unmitigated global warming will.

    In short, you have posted a litany of fossil fuel corporation-scripted falsehoods, accompanied by the ill-informed denier’s usual arrogant sneering at the climate science community.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:49 PM

  403. Doug in post # 307 you state that I repeat baseless accusations. I have seen a quote from the head of the CDC. I state my source, and allow the opportunity for someone to give another reference that it is a mis-quote, and the primary data set that was collected by the CDC is still in place. Rather, you personally insult me, without providing such a reference.

    Second, I have seen multiple quotes of the emails discussing using a “trick” of substituting one data set for another for the last decade or two. Are you claiming that those emails do not exist? That the multiple cites of them are false. Can you give me a reference that states that they are?

    Now, I was careful in what I claimed. The substituted data sets are real, and are the origional data. The technique of substituting one partial data set for part of another series when the primary source contains a variation that is inconsistent with other data without explictly stating the known problems with the first set is not good science…as I had been taught.

    [Response: That is not what was being done. We have real temperatures and we have extensions of those records based on proxy data. One particular set of proxy data (not all of them) showed bizarre behaviour post 1960 that indicated that it was no longer working (for some as-yet-to-be-discovered reason). If you want to know what the best estimate of temperatures were doing however post-1960 you would not used a compromised proxy data set, you would use the real temperatures. All of the problems with that proxy data have been examined and picked over in dozens of papers in very obscure locations (like Nature), so the issue was very ‘explicit’. The specific graph mentioned in the email was a single picture on an obscure report in 1999 that no-one had ever mentioned or noticed prior to the email release. Similar (and more ‘explicit’) graphs have appeared in dozens of publications including the IPCC reports warts and all. – gavin]

    I admit, as a physicist, I consider physics the paradigm science. Electroweak, for example, explains electromagnetic and weak interactions over 30 orders of magnitude in scale, is the foundation of chemistry, etc. I was taught experimental technique by first rate particle physicists, and have tried to practice as best I could it for the last 30 years.

    It’s not about helping the other side; its about technique with science. If someone can give me data that shows that the information I’ve seen is faulty, then that will change my opinion. Nothing hurts science like someone using it’s authority without adhering to its techniques. For example, when Carl Sagan assumed that in an all out nuclear war, weapons would be deployed in a manner that maximized burning, instead of in a manner that is consistent with war strategy (e.g. hitting the rainforests in Brazil with bombs that would probably hit missle silos in N. Dakota) he did a great disservice to science. The ideal of science is that it is amoral and apolitical, it merely tries to model the observed.

    So, if you think that my belief the techniques for doing good physics are the basic techniques for doing good science, so be it. I just think that rigor is vital.

    BTW, Doug, what is your background in science? What did you learn as good scientific technique, and where? I showed my cards to be as straight as possible discussing this. Would you also, please?

    Comment by Dan M. — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:51 PM

  404. wilt (383),

    The evidence that globally averaged relative humidity tends to stay constant is pretty good. Please read:

    Gettelman, A. and Q. Fu 2008. “Observed and Simulated Upper-Tropospheric Water Vapor Feedback.” J. Clim. 21, 3282-3289.

    “Satellite measurements from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) in the upper troposphere over 4.5 yr are used to assess the covariation of upper-tropospheric humidity and temperature with surface temperatures, which can be used to constrain the upper-tropospheric moistening due to the water vapor feedback. Results are compared to simulations from a general circulation model, the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), to see if the model can reproduce the variations. Results indicate that the upper troposphere maintains nearly constant relative humidity for observed perturbations to ocean surface temperatures over the observed period, with increases in temperature ~1.5 times the changes at the surface, and corresponding increases in water vapor (specific humidity) of 10%–25% °C^-1. Increases in water vapor are largest at pressures below 400 hPa, but they have a double peak structure. Simulations reproduce these changes quantitatively and qualitatively. Agreement is best when the model is sorted for satellite sampling thresholds. This indicates that the model reproduces the moistening associated with the observed uppertropospheric water vapor feedback. The results are not qualitatively sensitive to model resolution or model physics.”

    Manabe, S. and R.T. Wetherall 1967. “Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Given Distribution of Relative Humidity.” J. Atmos. Sci. 24, 241-259.

    Minschwaner, K., and A. E. Dessler, 2004. “Water vapor feedback in the tropical upper troposphere: Model results and observations.” J. Climate, 17, 1272–1282.

    Soden, B.J., D. L. Jackson, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, and X. Huang, 2005. “The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening.” Science, 310, 841–844.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 3:55 PM

  405. Rudy P (395): There is no crisis. We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started.

    BPL: There is a crisis, and they know enough of the truth to know that if we don’t act fast, we are SCREWED. Which would you prefer–carbon taxes, or the destruction of human civilization? Because that’s the choice you’re faced with.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:01 PM

  406. Phil, when it comes to detail and ESPECIALLY when it comes to complex systems, there’s ALWAYS an argument for something being insufficiently accounted for.

    It’s rather like saying that the calculation of Pi is inaccurate.

    Technically true but pointless.

    The question to ask (and one I do not think is addressed by Spencer or Watts or any of the selectively credulous “skeptics”) is: are the unaccounted effects enough to change the result significantly? And if so, in what direction.

    This was the same reasoning that the CLOUD experiment was hailed as wonderful on BOTH pro-science and anti-AGW sides: a real put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is skeptical position.

    However, the experiment failed to discern an effect, let alone the much more rigorous test needed to say it was enough to explain warming, or counter CO2’s effect.

    This did not stop the selectively credulous saying that GCN and clouds could explain or mitigate AGW.

    Likewise normal clouds. Originally considered (and really still is) a huge unknown. But what IS known about them is that they seem more likely to amplify warming than abate it.

    So the question to ask is NOT “are there effects not sufficiently accounted for” but “could these effects be big enough to make a difference to the bottom line picture? And if so, in what direction?”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:03 PM

  407. “398
    Septic Matthew says:
    23 February 2010 at 2:50 PM

    In that quote, she does not disaggregate CO2 accumulation from land use changes including deforestation and urban heat islands.”

    And you do not say that these effects change the bottom line: we must reduce CO2 production.

    Mostly because they don’t.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:04 PM

  408. Rudy: “The EPA wants to act outside of Congress to impose major constraints on the US economy and future. They SHOULD NOT be allowed to do this”

    Why?

    Warrantless Wiretaps, extraordinary rendition and torture were fine, but cleaning up the pollution is a step too far???

    If you believe CO2 not to be a pollutant, please sit in a sealed room with 2% CO2 already extant.

    Enjoy that “we call it life” CO2.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:07 PM

  409. “393
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Ron Taylor, Heisenberg himself, e.g., had major difficulties with complex non-linear systems. ”

    However, this did not mean that quantum mechanics was pointless or wrong.

    Even though they require nonlinearity.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:08 PM

  410. On the subject of what to call skeptics/ deniers/ contrarians:

    I understand that scientists don’t like to call them ‘skeptics’ because ‘skeptic’ has a special complimentary meaning in the scientific world. But in popular usage it doesn’t mean someone who is particularly rational. When I say ‘John thinks that the cafe will still be open but I am skeptical’ I don’t mean that I have approached the issue in a specially rational way. I just mean that I don’t think it will still be open.

    I suggest calling them sceptics if you want to engage in dialogue. It is necessary to have a neutral non-aggressive term for those people who have just been misled, and most non-scientists understand it to be a neutral term, not a positive one.

    For those with whom dialogue is impossible, ‘denier’ was always too weak a term anyway. Better to call them ‘liars’.

    Comment by Josie — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:10 PM

  411. Rudy Petorelli,
    Might I suggest that you start with your own review of the peer-reviewed science. Go to the “Start Here” button and start reading. I would suggest that you start with Spencer Weart’s History of Global Warming.

    Start unlearning the lies you’ve been told. Then you can start learning the actual science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:11 PM

  412. “389
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Ray (339) says, “How likely are ALL OF THESE to be wrong and still give the same value?”

    That’s actually not odd at all. All are looking at roughly the same input and forming reasonable conclusions ”

    1) It’s also inevitable if the reality is that, yes CO2 doubling causes 3C warming

    2) All of them use different mechanisms. From different fields and via different proxies. The age of civilised man is well understood because of carbon dating matching up with other radioisotope measures, DNA genetic drift wrt speciation rates and archeological old timers like “how much mud is it under”.

    Carbon dating has NAFF ALL to do with DNA genetic drift. Nor is its decay isotopes and ratiospecies the same as other isotopes that are used. And none of them affect how much mud falls on the artefacts.

    So when they conclude pretty much the same age as each other, we are more confident that something hasn’t thrown a spanner in the works or that our knowledge is broken. Either it “just happened” to still give the same answer (so in what way is it broken?), or they “just happened” to all do the completely different wrong thing that “just happens” to come to the same answer.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:16 PM

  413. Rod B., Your ignorance of the sensitivity papers is showing. Start with the review by Knutti and Hegerl that David Benson cites. There are also additional analyses if you want to look at them. They are not looking at “the same input”. They are looking at various climate perturbations and paleoclimate data.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:17 PM

  414. Josie, a laudable aim, but your example shows why you’re incorrect.

    When you suppose someone saying “John thinks that the cafe will still be open but I am skeptical” that means you don’t think that Johns right.

    This means you belittle John’s work or reasoning.

    But where skeptic is right is in thinking WHY John may be wrong. Is it 11pm? Sunday 4pm in a village? Or 10am Saturday in a major city?

    The way these credulous act is just to stop at “John’s wrong”.

    “Better to call them ‘liars’.”

    You have to make sure they actually lie, though. In the main, only the dumbest do that. Most have been given the right weasel words to say. Not *technically* wrong or lies, but misleading.

    Watch Beck sometimes when he goes into “I’m not saying anything, I’m just asking the question”. He isn’t saying you abused puppies in your spare time, he’s just *asking* if you do.

    But where they do lie, yes.

    Twice yes.

    But most of the time, they don’t lie. They either weasel or just deny. They’re not lying about they don’t believe it. But they ARE denying it has any possibility of being right.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:23 PM

  415. Another fine list of evocations of some names on this board.

    http://www.urban75.org/info/conspiraloons.html

    Though “conspiraloons” sounds rather too close to “pantaloons” to me.

    A good read and fairly applicable to some talking heads high up in the denial camp. The stock phrases are different, because this is a different site with different coverage.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  416. Secular Animist: “Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.”

    The actions needed to phase out CO2 emissions will not “cripple our economy”. However, unmitigated global warming will.”

    And I wonder where those who decried hyperbole and histrionics have gone…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:29 PM

  417. Septic Matthew – just because the limits to growth weren’t reached when Holdren or Ehrlich or Malthus or Meadows et al. predicted does not mean there are no limits. Read William Catton’s Overshoot. We are subject to ecological limits, like any exuberant species feasting on apparently unlimited detritus before growing its population size into collapse.

    Comment by Mac Crawford — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:41 PM

  418. Gavin, thanks for responding on the proxie data set. I have a clear understanding than what the quote implied. I have no problem with the word “trick”, I’ve heard that used a number of times, and have used that myself as a substitute for “technique.” What bothered me was the word “hide”. Personally, I would have felt an obligation to show my audience the discrepency, even if I then used the temperature data, simply to let them understand the difficulties seen with the proxie technique. Do you see why that’s important? I can close my eyes and hear my grad. school profs. sharp questions concerning the validity of doing that.

    Instead of doing that, if the proxie data set were to not match data for the last 50 years, then I would call it into question for time periods for which we cannot get a better measurement. How do we know that problem doesn’t exist at earlier dates? I also have gotten the impression, partially from investagations made available here, that the combined proxie set for at least one investigator does not show the real temperature rise of the last 40 years properly, and that it was possible that the Medieval warming period had higher temperatures than indicated by the proxie data because the problem might be a function of not properly calibrating higher temperatures.

    I certainly wouldn’t use the proxie set of data to indicate the temperature for the last 50 years. But, I would use the proxie’s disagreement with the actual temperature for the last 50 years as an indication of difficulties with the proxie technique and, at least mentally, lower my confidence factor in the proxie data until I determine the cause. FWIW, I’ve done that type of thing with my own data.

    BTW, I realize that the origial data still exist, but my understanding is the data set took a lot of effort to compile as an entire set….and that the number of similar robust sets of data can be counted on one hand. Under those circumstance, I can just imagine the horror on my mentors faces if one of the 300 Phds on a typical high energy physics paper were to do something like that. Everyone else would be shocked and appaled. I was trained to always always always keep your copy of the rawest data you can.

    Comment by Dan M. — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:45 PM

  419. Tinkerbell (379), Politicians accepting airplane rides and hotel stays from lobbyists and the like??? Who’d of thunk it??!!

    Comment by Rod B — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:48 PM

  420. That last link to me to this (apologies for linking thetimes):

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article6187493.ece

    However, this is interesting because the times is completely on board that conspiracy theories are dumb here.

    Pity they don’t apply logic like that elsewhere.

    (Edit this out if you like for OT) IMO, there could be a conspiracy. Just not the one 9-11 truthers think: buddies of people in power goofed up and cut corners on the twin towers, pocketed the difference and hoped that it wouldn’t have to survive a 747 crashing in on it. Embarrasment (ESPECIALLY after using it as a causus belli for getting Saddam killed, but also the dismissal of intel on the event as ridiculous [it was at the time]) is all the conspiracy needed.

    Conspiracies just go far too far. They’re more a theme of a James Bond movie.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:52 PM

  421. Dan: “What bothered me was the word “hide”.”

    But how do you hide a decline (presumably in temperatures) by using real thermometer readings? Thermometers are generally considered more accurate than trees. This is why nurses and doctors don’t take you out to the woods to take your temperature..!

    Dan, you’re manufacturing scare.

    Please stop.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 4:54 PM

  422. Completely Fed Up #388,
    Thanks for the reply. I realized I shouldn’t have said “supposed to” regarding the logarithmic response.

    You say:
    “But because CO2’s concentration is cumulative AND its use has expanded exponentially AND we still have the feedback from when oceans warm up enough in bulk to equilibrium when MORE CO2 is exhausted from the oceans, this doesn’t mean that we would never see accelerating warming.”

    I guess I made a couple assumptions about the oceans C02 equilibrium. First, the net out gassing would be relatively slow and wouldn’t show up significantly by end of the century. Maybe that’s because the paleo changes were generally slow (but that’s probably a poor comparison).

    Secondly, I assumed that the GCM’s would be very conservative about predicting when the oceans would go from a net sink to a net source. I base this simply on the fact that the modelers seem conservative in other current unknowns (e.g. ice sheet dynamics). So I expected they would assume this parameter wouldn’t change, but maybe they worked out the chemistry and I just didn’t know.

    Do you know a more detailed source on this?

    Comment by blueshift — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  423. “419
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Tinkerbell (379), Politicians accepting airplane rides and hotel stays from lobbyists and the like??? Who’d of thunk it??!!”

    And politicians like Monckton, Watts, McIntyre, Tim Ball, Fred Singer, …

    Who’d’a thunk it…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:06 PM

  424. re 378 Hi Ray,
    Couldn’t find Spencer’s name on the Tamino references you gave. Would have been surprised to find him there because he understands the concept of temperature anomalies. He is in a different category from Watts’. On his Feb 20 blog he does a recalculation of CRUTem8NH data and comes to the virtually exact conclusions as P.Jones.
    Also he didn’t have a problem to mention that Jan2010 was the warmest Jan on record yet. So I don’t know what crap you found , please enlighten me.

    Regarding your 3 questions: you define settled science as:

    “Once a theory or a technique or an idea becomes so indespensible to understanding a phenomenon that there is very little published that advances the field that doesn’t implicitly assume that theory, technique or idea, we have scientific consensus”.

    OK, agreed. But scientific consensus is not the same as settled science. In scientific consensus there is room for debate. In settled science the debate is closed we are told. That is the ONLY problem I have with that terminology.
    As you probably are aware there is more debate than ever regarding the nature of gravity. And you have no argument at all from me regarding the “CO2 is a greenhouse gas” statement, but you will from some physicists as wrongheaded as they probably are. Agreed, evolution is the best and really only scientific explanation we have regarding speciation. Yet there is plenty of debate there as well, and I don’t mean the metaphysical debate which is not science. I’m quite stale on this but I used to like Stephen J Gould’s “punctuated equilibrium” to explain the explosion of speciation shortly after mass extinctions. He got a lot of flack for that, probably for good reason but I’m sure the debate is not over.
    Cheers
    Henk

    Comment by Henk Hak — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:10 PM

  425. Rudy Petorelli
    A quick google search provides quite a few of your Letters to the Editor (Naples, FL). I apologize if I have you confused, but your rant above appears similar to quite a few letters. I wager that you have no intention of learning and instead, are intentionally disseminating as much false information as you can find. Feel free to correct me and by all means, tell us who your employer is and where you are getting your data.
    CFox

    Comment by CFox — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  426. Henk “OK, agreed. But scientific consensus is not the same as settled science.”

    This is again not news.

    “In scientific consensus there is room for debate. In settled science the debate is closed we are told.”

    No, what science is settled means is that the unknowns do not change the bottom line conclusion.

    It doesn’t matter that gravity is still unsettled. Your car will STILL roll down hill if you don’t put the handbrake on.

    As far as the purpose of the park/hand brake, the science of gravity (and friction, etc) is settled.

    Same with the question “Is BAU a good or bad idea, and should we take measures to severely cut back CO2 emissions?”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:29 PM

  427. 421
    Completely Fed Up says:
    “But how do you hide a decline (presumably in temperatures) by using real thermometer readings?”

    And this kinda thing dosnt do much to dispel my skepticism.. He clearly said it was the divergence from the proxy data and temperature record as what he was referring too… as anyone who has read up on this whole affair will be well aware that that is what that email was about. As im sure you are well aware. And lets be honest, if proxy data has no uniform correlation to the instrument record, how can you possibly assume it did during periods when you dont have the luxury of a comparison? Even if it is just one of the reconstructions…why are you trying to muddy the waters?

    Now i say im a skeptic, but ill be clear, not of the greenhouse effect, or that co2 is a green house gas… or that we contribute, or that it will lead to warming. But more highly skeptical o the more catastrophic predictions that are regularly in the news(e.g the study that predicted up too 2m(approx) sea level rise by end o century)

    Comment by Mike — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:39 PM

  428. blueshift: “Thanks for the reply. I realized I shouldn’t have said “supposed to” regarding the logarithmic response.”

    OK, so sorry for jumping on it so quick. But this is why you shouldn’t really use loaded language.

    “I guess I made a couple assumptions about the oceans C02 equilibrium. First, the net out gassing would be relatively slow and wouldn’t show up significantly by end of the century.”

    That could be one of the unknowns. There haven’t been people sitting around measuring CO2 levels to see what happens when CO2 in the atmosphere changes so quickly. The 800 year lag seen from natural changes in ocean temperatures would indicate that it is multi-centennial scale. However, the year-on-year change was low and so the ocean never really got so far out of equilibrium it sucked up more CO2 because of the differential in concentrations.

    Whether it’s still multi-centennial or not is for someone who does REALLY long term modelling like over millennia, where even the 800 year lag effect has to be included.

    Michael Mann may be a good source here. One reason to come to RC.

    “So I expected they would assume this parameter wouldn’t change, but maybe they worked out the chemistry and I just didn’t know.”

    I would expect this would HAVE to be the case. If not, then there wouldn’t be much need for a separate ocean and atmosphere model in the past. Chemistry is a big thing in the atmosphere because of all the biology in it and the speed of response available to such a tenuous and thin system. The ocean is much thicker and really quite sparse per volume (the deep open ocean are considered the greatest deserts on earth because of the lack of life in them).

    I would therefore assume one reason to have them separate AND to so desire to combine them they were willing to take two steps back to gain one step forward on this, is that the ocean chemistry and how those gasses in the atmosphere are exchanged in the deep and surface oceans must be a big part of it.

    But I don’t know either. I know a fair bit of the physics, some of the maths and a little of the chemistry. I mostly know how hard models are to get WORKING never mind to subvert, rather than how to write one. I suppose you could call it negative know-how (I know you don’t want to do it “this way”…).

    Here Gavin or Ray may be a good fit.

    See how much better it is to have a blog written and contributed by active scientists in the field?

    The downer is how much time people waste of theirs on this project. Including the ones *trying* to help with maybe at best mixed success.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  429. re 426 Hi Completely,
    Maybe we almost agree. I would say the science is settled enough rather than settled. NO, not BAU. Severely curtail CO2 emissions? I would love to see that but how? Anyway that is a different discussion and I’m not going there. Still waiting for your response on Spencer. Take your time, I’m going to be busy for a bit.

    Comment by Henk Hak — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:51 PM

  430. Dan M. says: 23 February 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Dan, it does not appear to be of any relevance other than posturing, but I majored as an undergraduate in geology. I’m certainly not as lettered as are you. And let me say “thank you” for backing up your words with your identity, by the way.

    Just for the record, I did not insult you, unless you feel that being accused of inadvertently repeating rumors is a direct insult. To my mind that is not an insult, though nor is complimentary. Now, if I misunderstood what you meant by “primary data”, as was apparently revealed to be the case by your later post, I apologize for my charge that you were repeating a “baseless assertion.” I took you to be saying that original records on which CRU relied were irretrievably lost, which they were not.

    Nonetheless, your post to which I responded seemed to me reflective more of emotions than it was any particular issue with actual scientific results. I saw essentially nothing in your essay concerning actual research results, as opposed to what you had to say about the squirmy feelings you have regarding the conduct of researchers. It does not appear that your bad feelings are based on any evidence that researchers have misconducted themselves in a way that affects their conclusions; you refer to a couple of matters that have been extensively discussed and dismissed as irrelevant to the consensus position of scientists practicing in fields related to climate change.

    In order to make the tone of this present post less pejorative, let me say that there is presently a “fad” infecting our popular media. This consists of a fascination with extracting various minutia of error or careless speech from the overwhelmingly robust collective endeavor known as “climate change research” and then subjecting these iota to an inordinate amount of attention and sanctimonious criticism.

    If you spend much time on sites such as Real Climate, you can easily see the result of this fad. Seemingly endless words have been spent here discussing “hide the decline” and other such trivia, while attention to more important matters is sapped.

    Even though we know that silly private indiscretions of scientists and a handful of errors in peripheral portions of the IPCC reports do not carry any weight when assessing the broad message that climate change research is communicating, these matters are dominating public discourse on this topic just now. This is in spite of the fact that serious consideration of public policy responses to the C02 pollution problem is finally being taken up. That in itself is a distorted perspective.

    There’s another problem with this strangely focused perspective. The present fad for badgering researchers is entirely in keeping with the objectives of a powerful, politically connected, amply funded and extremely highly motivated faction with overtly political objectives much more plausible than any that might be attributable to a disparate mass of researchers. This special interest is of course the fossil fuels industry. Yet in comments such as yours, we see none of the doubt and mistrust you feel about researchers on exhibit regarding those who would most benefit from such fears. This I find highly ironic.

    Fossil fuel interests have an enormous stake in public perceptions of climate change research. These interests have a demonstrated record of funding numerous think tanks and associated pundits in their quest to sway public opinion on this matter. These interests are also identified as funding public relations efforts that are known to seize on and publicize any feature of climate change research that might promote doubt or uncertainty in the mind of the public. Your post is I feel exemplary of the efficacy of this work.

    Devoting overweening interest to the relatively tiny peccadilloes of climate change research while at the same time ignoring the realpolitik of the public square as it is practiced by fossil fuel interests is very naive.

    In sum, the worst I can say with a reasonable degree of confidence is that your original post seemed to me naive. I’m sorry if you feel insulted by my reading of what you wrote.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 23 Feb 2010 @ 5:55 PM

  431. Kate 348: When Gavin talks about a cliff hiding in the fog, he is talking about abrupt (and unexpected) climate change that is observed many times in the paleoclimate record. Google “abrupt climate change”, or have a start here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/index.html

    The cliffs are definitely out there.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:32 PM

  432. CFU – Yes, some visitors here need a specific nomen, -noid or -bot should be included:
    “conspiranoids” “conspirabots” “regurgibots”

    Comment by flxible — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:34 PM

  433. #424 Henk Hak

    Roy Spencer brings up several denialist arguments in his talk largely by inference or argument by ignorance.

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

    – He says there is trouble getting work published and then complains about the reviewers that say this (inferring his work) is garbage and that paper is gone. thus inferring the conspiracy and setting up the interviewer to say so you think there is a ‘climate change consensus conspiracy’.

    Spencer says about the consensus:

    “Well, I don’t know what consensus means?”

    That of course is obvious, although consensus is actually in the dictionary. Consensus means general agreement, not that everyone has to agree on every single point. Someone should help the poor man out and show him a dictionary sometime.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consensus

    He goes on to say:

    “The only consensus I know of in the science community about global warming is that it has warmed. Or at least up until six years ago it’s warmed. You know. And the big question is so what, or how did it happen, that’s where there isn’t a consensus. But you notice when people say the scientific consensus on global warming, they wont’ specifically say what they’re talking about.

    Of course this is not true.

    – There is a consensus on the general sensitivity range
    – There is consensus on greenhouse effect
    – There is consensus on spectra opacity at various altitudes
    – There is consensus the earth is warming
    – There is consensus the warming is human influenced/induced
    – There is a consensus on the isotopic signature of industrial Co2
    – There is a consensus on the amounts of GHG’s industrially emitted
    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. . .

    Then the interviewer tries to bring up conspiracy again. Spencer then says he doesn’t think there is a conspiracy and brings up the stomach bacteria issue, which of course is probably where you picked up on that lovely straw-man argument.

    He then talks about ‘this thing’ in a correction and on a paper.

    “You usually don’t see that level of intellectual honesty in the scientific community. I mean typically we’re all pretty protective of our theories and our work and we really hate being wrong. That’s true of all of us.”

    The interviewer then says but isn’t that how science is supposed to work. and Spencer then agrees with the interviewer saying that’s how science works.

    So he contradicted his own statements from just seconds earlier in the interview. Hypocritical? Or just plain foolish?

    Personally, this is not a man I would trust with a slide-rule.

    Spencer continues to push a low sensitivity hypothesis but his studies seem to only consider certain segments of analysis and data; not the global system ground, ocean and sky together. Of course he is in love with satellite data. This is typically known as cherry picking. My read on his work is that it is myopic and absolutely conforms to his stated confirmation bias.

    And I must admit that I am dumbfounded that a scientist of his ‘supposed’ stature does not know what a contextually relevant trend is? Is Spencer’s head really buried that deep in the sand/myopia?

    He states:

    “I am predicting today that the theory that mankind is mostly responsible for global warming will slowly fade away in the coming years as will the warming itself and I trust you would agree madam chair that such a result deserves to be greeted with relief”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzf6z-oHP8U&NR=1

    He unfortunately has committed himself to confirmation bias in the face of the consensus on the established science that contradicts his opinions. This combined with myopic analysis (like Svensmark), puts him into a category that he has already proclaimed he will have trouble backing down from. That being his own confirmation bias:

    we’re all pretty protective of our theories and our work and we really hate being wrong. That’s true of all of us.”

    Narrow-mindedness and unsubstantiable bias is not a good attribute in a scientist. Essentially he is saying he is biased and then claims all other scientists are biased in the same way he is. In a sense, he is saying he is a bad scientist. With that I will not disagree.

    WOW!!! He is essentially saying that all scientists are basically dishonest or misrepresenting the truth about science to support their own bias, just like he is. That’s quite a statement, even if only by extrapolation.


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:43 PM

  434. Further to my remarks to Dan, here’s what happens when too many of us inadvertently become rumormongers:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/british-public-belief-climate-poll

    Nothing significant has happened to net research results in the past few months, other than if anything we’ve seen more publications congruent with anthropogenic climate change. Yet public opinion has shifted. Partly it’s down to weather and fashion journalism, partly the swing is about relatively better orchestration of messages on the part of interested parties. None of the opinion shift is down to science.

    Words matter.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 23 Feb 2010 @ 6:44 PM

  435. Re: 395 Rudy Petorelli says: 23 February 2010 at 2:37 PM
    “It is way past the time for all Americans to come together on the man-made Global Warming issue.”

    This is true!

    You write:
    “We need a MAJOR independent investigation into all of the science and actions of all major players in this debate, including the IPCC.”

    That would be fine with me if you include an in depth investigation of the corporations and their hired guns and fellow travelers intent on lobbying and propagandizing meaningful climate change legislation out of existence.

    You write:
    “Investigation is the most sensible route to take. Let true, peer-reviewed science take us wherever it leads.”

    As long as sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander your demand should be looked into, with retribution falling according to the gravity of the crime perpetrated by either side of the so called debate.

    But this isn’t what you mean, is it?

    What your investigation would do is push us past the point of dangerous climate change crossing the point of no return.

    The fact is that climate science is under constant peer review, even to the point of private emails having already been rifled through by thieves only to find superficial impropriety or the merest misdemeanor of mistakes.

    If you looked into the way the fossil fuel and related industries and their dupes have fueled anti science and anti progressive measures with mendacious propaganda to thwart climate change action you would be disgusted by what they get away with.

    If you’re honest you would be, anyway.

    Why aren’t you demanding that they drop their efforts until the whole thing is squared away?

    Comment by Tim Jones — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:18 PM

  436. 356 Bill Teufel: “I do not think its very beneficial to make claims such as extinction for mankind without action, because it would take centuries for this to occur.”

    What makes you think that? Uncertainty is a 2 edged sword. It cuts both ways. We can’t prove that we won’t be extinct in 5 years or that we will be extinct in 100 years. It is way too risky to take that chance. There is most definitely no reason to expect it to take more than one century. “Climate Code Red” by David Spratt and Philip Sutton says the following:
    Long term warming, counting feedbacks, is a least twice the short term warming. 560 ppm CO2 gets us 6 degrees C or 10.8 degrees F. We will hit 560 ppm before mid century.

    Per “Climate Code Red”, we need ZERO “Kyoto gas” emissions RIGHT NOW and we also need geo-engineering because we have already gone way beyond the safe CO2 level of 300 to 325 ppm. We are already at 455 ppm equivalent and we have tripped some very big tipping points. We aren’t dead yet, but the planet needs critical intensive care if we humans are to have a chance of survival.

    “The Vanishing Face of Gaia” by James Lovelock has identified a 9 degree lurch in the temperature that happens at 450 ppm equivalent.
    Looks like we are not going to make it. We HUMANS could be EXTINCT by 2050 because politicians are not considering sufficiently strong action.

    See also: “With speed and violence : why scientists fear tipping points in climate change” by Fred Pearce.

    I have listed the kill mechanisms so many times on RC that it is your turn to search RC to find my previous posts. There are multiple major kill mechanisms. Any one of them could make us extinct.
    And I am ahead of you in science education, which is irrelevant. NATURE is the judge whose judgement is final. I am terrified and you should be terrified too. If you are not terrified, you just don’t understand the situation.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 23 Feb 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  437. Josie @ 410

    Deniers aren’t skeptics. They want to be called skeptics because it gives them an air of legitimacy which they don’t deserve. Caving on that point would be to tacitly endorse their campaign of deliberate disinformation. While it’s true that being contrary and confrontational is the way some people learn, most of those being called deniers here are not arriving in a spirit of dialogue, however twisted. They’re simply pounding away in a relentless and malicious war of attrition.

    ===

    Elsewhere:

    “I admit, as a physicist, I consider physics the paradigm science.”

    “Sheldon: I’m a physicist. I have a working knowledge of the entire universe and everything it contains
    “Penny: Who’s Radiohead?
    “Sheldon [after twitching for a minute]: I have a working knowledge of the important things”
    The Big Bang Theory, Episode 18

    Comment by Radge Havers — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:52 PM

  438. > Mike, 427
    > if proxy data has no uniform correlation to the instrument record,

    Ah, see, there’s your assumption — you haven’t actually read about this or you’d know that it’s only one proxy, for only some trees in some locations, and this is much discussed in the literature, it’s of great interest.

    > how can you possibly assume it did during periods when
    > you dont have the luxury of a comparison?

    Same problem. They don’t assume — you do, and you’re mistaken in this.
    You should be reassured if you look into it. Want to try?

    Seriously, just take half an hour and read about this in the science journals (search Scholar for divergence tree proxy, if you don’t trust anyone else to help you find the information; if you do, look up the blog by Delayed Oscillator for example).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:56 PM

  439. 417, Mac Crawford: We are subject to ecological limits, like any exuberant species feasting on apparently unlimited detritus before growing its population size into collapse.

    How soon? How much mitigation required to avert catastrophe? Holdren et al predicted imminent disaster and they were wrong. They are still predicting imminent disaster, and it looks to me like they are wrong again. It matters a lot how soon these things (80% of the populations of London, New York, and Tokyo underwater) will likely happen. Hence my questions about Gavin’s cliff metaphor.

    395, Rudy Petorelli: We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.

    What to do in the meantime while the investigations that you recommend are carried out? They might take decades. In the meantime some combination of new energy sources and CO2 reduction should be implemented, don’t you think?

    You wrote: We could use that money to start projects to find and implement clean energy sources, develop safe methods to access our vast oil, coal and natural gas resources and develop cleaner ways to use them.

    Wouldn’t you add at least some tens of billions of dollars for CC&S R&D, in case AGW should be proved to be true? And why use up all of our oil and gas as fast as possible? Why not save it and use it as a reserve for dire emergencies while we develop alternatives for general use?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 23 Feb 2010 @ 8:56 PM

  440. “””””Rudy P (395): There is no crisis. We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started.””””””

    I don’t think the mainstream, peer reviewed, juried, refereed published literature that holds up over time agrees with you (from the type humanity has sucessfully used since the 1600s to advance and protect our civilization).

    “”””Conclusion. Society may be lulled into a false sense of security by smooth projections of global change. Our synthesis of present knowledge suggests that a variety of tipping elements could reach their critical point within this century under anthropogenic climate change.””” (TM Lenton, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, … 2008 (200 citations). This is very unsettling when a reputable mainstream juried, peer reviewed, source writes this and it is backed up by a lot of other studies.

    Reasons we might have a “problem” with climate change. I know of no, I repeat no (but there might be some) published mainstream, juried, peer-reviewed world wide works on the science of human-caused global warming that hold up over time that holds up that human caused climate change is not an immediate problem.

    “Uhhh, Houston, we have a problem…” (Some published mainstream evidence backed up by the mainstream peer-reviewed juried,refereed world wide published literature that holds up over time).

    1) There is about a 30 year delay between when we do anything and the climate finally responds (Ocean thermal inertia/heat sink, like why the hottest temperatures don’t happen at the peak of summer, or the coldest temps at the peak of winter…the oceans effectively delay that. IPCC 2007 and the peer reviewed scientific literature that holds up over time.

    2) Elements of carbon dioxide (CO2) stay in the atmosphere for over a thousand years. It is vibrating at the same frequency as heat [around 600 wavecycles per centimeter] (CO2 stops the heat from leaving the Earth’s atmosphere and going into space). What is going into the atmosphere is going to effectively stay there for a good chunk of human history. It will keep making the Earth’s systems more and more out of energy balance- currently out of balance by about 1 watt per square meter and climbing. IPCC 2007 and the peer reviewed scientific literature that holds up over time.

    There are tipping points of no return out there…we know they are there because they have happened in the past: (Rahmstorf S Et al, (2001) in Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, eds Steele J, Thorpe S, Turekian K (Academic, London), pp 1–6; Lockwood JG (2001) Int J Climatol 21:1153–1179; National Research Council (2002) Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (Natl Acad Press, Washington, DC); Alley RB rt al., (2003) Science 299:2005–2010; Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); Rial JA et al., (2004) Clim Change 65:11–38.).

    Greenland Ice sheets-once melted, dark land underneath gets warmer, so melting more ice. ([RW Lindsay, J Zhang – Journal of Climate, 2005, (134 citations); ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations) ;,)]
    ]

    Methane in permafrost and tundra…and much later methane clathrates on ocean floors…especially the shallow Arctic Ocean. ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)]

    Amazon forest catches fire…
    ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); Y Malhi, et al., science, 2008,)]

    Canadian boreal forests, pine bark beetles kill forest…already worse than known and huge fires literally burn all of it down. John Holden publicly when head of AAAS reported Paul Kennedy. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/climate-wars/index.html
    ([B. J. Stocks et al., Climatic Change, 1998 (232 citations); JA Foley, JE Kutzbach, MT Coe, S Levis – Nature, 1994 (306 citations); J Pastor, WM Post – Nature, 1988 (93 citations); ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations) ;,)]
    ].

    Oceans warming so can’t absorb CO2 and become source instead of sink.
    marine methane hydrates (probably not in 2000s)
    East Antarctic ice sheet (probably not in 2000s)
    Arctic Sea-Ice melting Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); M Winton – Geophysical Research Letters, 2006); MM Holland, et al, – Geophysical Research Letters, 2006
    El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)
    Expansion of the tropics
    Indian Summer Monsoon changing Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)
    Sahara/Sahel and West African Monsoon (WAM). Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)

    Land warming so becomes a CO2 source instead of sink.

    P. FRIEDLINGSTEIN ET AL. Tellus, 2003 (312 citations) vegetation and soil carbon feedback
    J.-L. Dufresne et al., GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 2002 (110 citations) decline of tropical forest and a widespread climate-driven loss of soil carbon leading.
    V Dakos et al., Proceedings of the National Acadademy of Sciences, 2008 ( climate tipping points).

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full

    If these natural eco/bio feedbacks come into play, there is nothing we can do by changing our burning of oil, coal and gas.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:18 PM

  441. 438
    Hank Roberts

    I was aware, and did actually specifically say it was one series to quote “Even if it is just one of the reconstructions” This dosnt change the fact that, that series is questionable(and should have been dropped, it wouldnt have greatly effected the end result, so why keep it?)… I believe you are misinterpreting my point… Which is that trying to dismiss by misrepresenting what the taken issue is with the divergence… dosnt lend it self to an impression of honesty. There are issues that have been brought to light, i know there have been bad misrepresentations in the media… but they are the media, thats what they do. But pretending that there is nothing untoward unsurfaced dosnt help the public(me) perception.

    But in saying that, i shall take your advice, and go have a further look into this.

    Comment by Mike — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:21 PM

  442. #429 Henk Hak

    As to curtailing CO2 emissions… Herein lies the quandary. We need to keep the economy functioning while rapidly phasing out CO2 emissions.

    In case you had not noticed, I have a link that I post on the bottom of all my posts lately. Here you can get direct links to Dr. Hansen’s perspectives and information regarding the Fee & Dividend approach vs. the Cap and Trade scheme.

    My general thoughts:

    1. Consumption reduction is fastest and easiest but requires people to be aware of the reality of the problem.
    2. Progressive Fee & Dividend
    3. Rapid development of sustainable renewable energy.

    It’s a simple plan but hard to get started.

    Learn the issue, and join the fight. Sign the Petition!


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 23 Feb 2010 @ 9:45 PM

  443. re 433 John Reisman.

    Thanks for your reply. I was not aware of that first interview,only the second one. No I did not get my H.Pylori story from Spencer. It came to mind because at the time it was quite an eye-opener for me (I graduated in 1978) and I was just as convinced by the literature as most prior to Marshall. And the interesting part for me was how exactly I got fooled.

    As you also well know now, there is not a lot of interest in a large part of the IPCC in alternative views. Henk Tennekes just resigned from the KNMI in Holland, you can read his reasons in an interview in the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf (it is different from his farewell note; it clearly explains how he was shunned for even questioning the group think). No there was no open mind on the official side of the climate group in Holland.
    The CRU e-mails show a circle the wagons mentality among some inner circle reviewers, even to the point of trying to isolate journals that published articles they did not agree with, or to try and get rid of an editor. And a bias mentality? Read the e-mails, some of the statements are a lot more biased than your quotes of Spencer.

    I think you are too harsh on Spencer, these interviews are often ad hoc and the response may not always be very thought out. Read some of Michael Mann’s interviews , not the most thought out either. But if that is all you need to dismiss Spencer so be it.
    Cheers
    Henk

    Comment by H Hak — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:18 AM

  444. Dan M:
    SO, how about a quick comparison.
    Please read the first few pages of Plagiarism? Conspiracies? Felonies?, whichever PDF has the highest version number, currently 1.1, with the next version soon.

    Now, consider the behavior described there in excruciating detail, especially the preparation for and execution of the Wegman Report, but the attacks on Ben Santer as well.

    How would you compare that to the bad behavior you seem to ascribe to CRU? (at least some of which your words seem to indicate you didn’t really understand well).

    Also, how do you feel about climate scientists getting threats of physical violence (including death threats?) I know at least 5 such people offhand, and I’d guess there are more. How do you feel about people misusing government mechanisms via DDoS-like attacks to waste scientists’ time to the point where they get very little actual research done? (I know a few cases like that, also).

    Comment by John Mashey — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:20 AM

  445. Bill Teufel (369):

    “The water is still in the system, just in a different state of matter. Nobody can say if it could possibly return to a solid state at a later date.”

    Yes, and if you cut someone’s head off, you can sew it back on, but that does not make it a “reversal”.

    This debate would be much better if you tried to make a scientific point, instead of a rhetorical one.

    Comment by Molnar — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:51 AM

  446. Richard Ordway
    23 February 2010 at 9:18 PM:

    If these natural eco/bio feedbacks come into play, there is nothing we can do by changing our burning of oil, coal and gas.

    Not true. More greenhouse gasses will always make things worse. If additional positive feedbacks come into play, than the impact of human-produced greenhouse gasses will be increased. Even if we reach a point where a large and rapid warming cannot be prevented, more greenhouse gasses will still make it worse.

    Comment by llewelly — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:59 AM

  447. Dan M., OK, so your objection sounds to me like one of chartsmanship. The researchers clearly state what they did in the paper–so in reality nothing is hidden. What is more, I think one can make a very good argument for using the pre-1960 data, since 1)it agrees with the instrumental temperature record quite well over the calibration period; 2)it also gives the same answer as the other proxy data; and 3)the current era is quite different environmentally from the rest if the instrumental era and so one might expext divergent behavior for this portion only.

    It sounds as if your background might be experimental particle physics. That happens to have been my thesis topic as well. Let me try an analogy. Let us say we are tracking particles through a series of drift chamber. We find two series of hits that seem distinct, with one straight-line trajectory disappearing and the other seeming to appear out of nowhere. The lines intersect and it looks like a “kink”. We can posit that we’ve seen a decay of the original particle into a charged particle and a neutral particle that did not register in the drift chambers. Rather than construct a “best-fit” to all the data, we will use the energy and momentum of the pre-decay portion in subsequent reconstructions. Would you be similarly apalled that we are trying to “hide the decay”?

    Likewise, if we have two stratigraphic columns, each with massive disconformities at different places in the strata, but otherwise coinciding, would you be apalled if we used a reconstructed column in trying to determine the fossil record?

    I really don’t see anything here that I isn’t analogous to common practice in a broad range of sciences–including physics.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:11 AM

  448. “427
    Mike says:
    23 February 2010 at 5:39 PM

    421
    Completely Fed Up says:
    “But how do you hide a decline (presumably in temperatures) by using real thermometer readings?”

    And this kinda thing dosnt do much to dispel my skepticism.. He clearly said it was the divergence from the proxy data and temperature record as what he was referring too”

    You mean “referring to”.

    But that isn’t the “hide the decline” that gets posted on WUWT and CA and thetimesonline or the daily mail pages.

    Is it.

    It’s a “”hide the decline” therefore they’re hiding the decline in temperatures that’s the PROOF that AGW is false and we’re now in a cooling trend like we’ve said since 2003!” hide the decline.

    Funny how that hasn’t built any skepticism of you for WUWT et al.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:18 AM

  449. HH: “The CRU e-mails show a circle the wagons mentality among some inner circle reviewers”

    They do?

    Specifics, please.

    The only ones I’ve seen characterised as such is the frank appraisal of a reviewer of a POS paper as to whether it’s good or, indeed, a POS and whether it should be included in a gestalt work.

    If a reviewer cannot say that a POS work is, in fact, a POS, what purpose a review?

    The only other statement was about a journal that enacted fiat policy (that the journal owner has stated specifically has a political, not scientific, aim) that allowed a terrible and un-peer-reviewed piece of work to be published and, having refused the request of the editorial staff (who ARE scientists and whose reputation is tarred with the mistakes of the journal) to post a clarification that peer review was not done on the paper printed.

    These editors then resigned en masse.

    If editors are overruled in editorial business, what does that show for the probity of the journal itself?

    And if the a journal descends into “National Inquirer” status, how can SERIOUS science limit the damage done? Newspapers have editorial control over being able to badmouth or make fun of such papers. Nature has no such avenue.

    So what do you suggest?

    Kill the journal in the press (how?) or advice any serious scientist that this journal should be starved of attention and let the market decide?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:25 AM

  450. [Not off topic]

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.”

    Yesterday on BBC2 Newsnight, there wasa discussion about UK’s defence strategy. The topic of the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system was dismissed in a few seconds because there was almost a consensus in the room. This involves a decison to spend billions of UK pounds now for installing and operating the renewed system between (2020 or 2030?) and 2050.

    The justification for this decision was that nobody knows what the world will be like at that time.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:28 AM

  451. “429
    Henk Hak says:
    23 February 2010 at 5:51 PM
    I would say the science is settled enough rather than settled.”

    So already you disagree with Spencer’s central thesis.

    “NO, not BAU. Severely curtail CO2 emissions? I would love to see that but how?”

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me.

    Is this meant to be a rhetorical question or are you merely asserting that humanity will never do the obvious things?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:39 AM

  452. PS Henk, you’ve gone from accusatory “So please don’t tar everyone who isn’t convinced of the “settled science” with the same “denial sphere”” to this one where that accusation has been forgotten when evidence that “settled science” IS an appropriate label when you understand what is meant by “settled science” as “settled enough”.

    Now what about those who complain that “settled science” means that all future discussion about what ISN’T known doesn’t exist and shouldn’t happen?

    This is NOT what RC, the IPCC, the figureheads or we posters here on RC think of when we talk of “settled science”.

    Therefore they are building a strawman.

    Why would someone build a strawman?

    Because they want to break down a conclusion by making a different statement than one that was made and prove this made up statement is wrong therefore (don’t look at the straw, forget this isn’t the statement you’re looking for) the IPCC are wrong and unscientific.

    Why?

    Deny the evidence by denying the strawman and going “ergo AGW is not happening”.

    Deny.

    Denialist.

    If you’d said “I’ve heard of this “settled science” but it seems silly to think there’s nothing about the IPCC that says there’s nothing more to discuss in science. What does the IPCC *really* mean when they talk of “settled science”?” then the link to that page would come forth and no accusation of denialism would appear.

    Of course, after the 10,000th repeat from another noob on the same query, it no longer looks like anything other than a sockpuppet astroturf snowjob.

    It then becomes “why do you believe this and ask for clarification? It’s not like this hasn’t been explained 10,000 times before.”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:48 AM

  453. JPR (433),

    Spencer [edit]

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Spencer.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 24 Feb 2010 @ 6:59 AM

  454. Ray Ladbury (413), I don’t know if you read the referred review, but it has no direct contradictions with my assertions in #. First they come up with the current sensitivity by looking at other estimates and finding a good close average then compare that with other analyses which mostly see if the GCM models produce similar close averaged results (oddly not addressing that the GCM outputs rely on equivalent, though not direct, sensitivity inputs — but it’s still a decent numerical assessment.) They project sensitivities into the future from the current concentration not based on physics, but on relatively simple numerical extrapolation. Actually they test that by assessing paleoclimatic assessments, which is a rational process, and find no reason why the current sensitivities can not be reasonably projected (which is not exactly the same as finding that it can be projected.) There is some major uncertainties with this: One, it assumes the sensitivities are the same if CO2 precedes temp or temp precedes CO2. There is no evident indication that this is wrong, but neither is there solid physical evidence that it is correct with high confidence. Two, it compares a widely varying correlation between CO2 and temp in paleoclimatic information covering up to millions of years with a few decades of extrapolating current sensitivities. That is a reasonable thing to do, but mainly because they have no other alternative.

    Some relevant short quotes from the Knutti and Hegerl Review:

    “The quest to determine climate sensitivity has now been going on for decades, with disturbingly little progress in narrowing the large uncertainty range.”

    “Climate sensitivity cannot be measured directly, but it can be estimated from comprehensive climate models. It can also be estimated from climate change over the twentieth century or from short-term climate variations such as volcanic eruptions, both of which were observed instrumentally, and from climate changes over the Earth’s history that have been reconstructed from paleoclimatic data. Many model-simulated aspects of climate change scale approximately linearly with climate sensitivity, which is therefore sometimes seen as the ‘magic number’ of a model. This view is too simplistic and misses many important spatial and temporal aspects of climate change. Nevertheless, climate sensitivity is the largest source of uncertainty in projections of climate change beyond a few decades and is therefore an important diagnostic in climate modelling.”

    “…the equilibrium climate sensitivity, the equilibrium global average temperature change for a doubling (usually relative to pre-industrial) of the atmospheric CO2 concentration…” [emphasis mine]

    “…recent estimates of the equilibrium climate sensitivity are based on climate change that has been observed over the instrumental period (that is, about the past 150 years).”

    “…the relationship between temperature over the past 420 million years supports sensitivities that are larger than 1.5 °C, but the upper tail is poorly constrained and uncertainties in the models that are used are significant and difficult to quantify.”

    The review is a good analysis of the current estimate of sensitivities and does a rigerous [sic] job of assessing the problem of the uncertain upper bound of the current accepted range. (Though the studies that show a low (less than 1 degree) sensitivity are simply and conveniently pooh-poohed.) [The current process of essentially adding up everyone’s projections (61 in BPL’s case) and finding a good average with somewhat constrained deviation and range to help explain the actual physics is a bit shaky — but that’s another problem; I’ll accept it for the time being.] The future sensitivity projections (i.e. the marginal sensitivity for concentrations that increase from current levels) are simple mathematical extrapolations with little (but more than none, to be sure) basis in physics. Is this reasonable from a scientific viewpoint? Absolutely. It’s a best guess made by knowing scientists. Is it probably close to accurate? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it a highly confident and certain physical projection? Absolutely not… which was my main point: the fact that there is some common near agreement on today’s sensitivity does not by itself make tomorrow’s sensitivity certain, even if it might be indicative.

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Feb 2010 @ 11:40 AM

  455. 453, Barton Paul Levenson, from Spencer.html I extracted the following: Now, from the tables of Houghton (2002) and some fancy mathematical footwork on my part, the absorption coefficient of carbon dioxide between the wavelengths of 14.3 and 16.0 microns is about 163 square meters per kilogram. The Earth, at a mean global annual surface temperature of 288.15 K and a surface emissivity of 0.95, radiates an average of 371.4 watts per square meter. Assuming what’s called a Planckian distribution, about 7.85% of that falls between 14.3 and 16.0 microns in wavelength. That’s about 29.2 watts per square meter.

    I do not understand “the absorption coefficient of carbon dioxide between the wavelengths of 14.3 and 16.0 microns is about 163 square meters per kilogram.” How can the absorption coefficient have units of square meters per kilogram?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  456. llewelly says:

    “”” Richard Ordway says: If these natural eco/bio feedbacks come into play, there is nothing we can do by changing our burning of oil, coal and gas.”””””

    “””Not true. More greenhouse gasses will always make things worse. If additional positive feedbacks come into play, than the impact of human-produced greenhouse gasses will be increased. Even if we reach a point where a large and rapid warming cannot be prevented, more greenhouse gasses will still make it worse.
    “”””
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I agree with you llewelly. Thanks for bringing it up. If we reach tipping points (‘The term “tipping point” commonly refers to a critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system.”)-Lenton, 2007, PNAS

    (“Examples that have received recent attention include the potential collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) (1), dieback of the Amazon rainforest (2), and decay of the Greenland ice sheet (3). Such phenomena have been described as “tipping points” following the popular notion that, at a particular moment in time, a small change can have large, long-term consequences for a system, i.e., “little things can make a big difference”) -Lenton, 2007, PNAS

    Lenton, 2007, PNAS

    These tipping points are blatantly there according to scientific literature (see ref. below), and burning even more oil, coal and gas would indeed make things worse and perhaps push us to even more tipping points even faster such as the more-distant-in-the-future East Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsing or the marine methane hydrates.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    References to tipping points in history: (Rahmstorf S Et al, (2001) in Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, eds Steele J, Thorpe S, Turekian K (Academic, London), pp 1–6; Lockwood JG (2001) Int J Climatol 21:1153–1179; National Research Council (2002) Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (Natl Acad Press, Washington, DC); Alley RB rt al., (2003) Science 299:2005–2010; Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); Rial JA et al., (2004) Clim Change 65:11–38).
    __________________________________________________________________________

    If we kept burning more oil, coal and gas at that point, it would further expose our civilization to perhaps some tipping points of its own (mass diseases, mass immigration, mass de_aths due to starvation, war) etc.

    I was bringing up the point that if we pass a threshold, that we can’t most likely by definition, turn back that particular threshold at that point by stopping burning oil, coal and gas and stopping deforestation. By definition, a tipping point means that the Earth’s system has most likely gone on autopilot for that particular tipping point.

    For instance, if a huge forest-wide fire starts in a future-dried out/beetle killed Amazon or Canadian Boreal forest respectively, it is most likely on autopilot (these are self running events of “biblical proportions” that would feed on themselves on “never before seen scales” and would very possibly burn from one end of the continent to the other before stopping..unheard of fires like that most likely create their own self-perpetuating firestorms.

    Or for example, if enough of the tundra/permafrost starts melting and releasing greenhouse gases on its own, the tipping point/threshold would mean that it is producing so much greenhouse gases all on its own that the melting would continue even if we stopped burning all oil, coal and gas the next hour (which of course is impossible anyway).

    I should have been clearer.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:21 PM

  457. There seems to be a lot of newer posters who are expressing some “skeptical” viewpoints and challenging the science. For those readers, first, welcome; you’ve come to the right place for reliable information; second, before posing your question or challenging the scientific literature, is it too much to ask you to download the app that is the subject of this post (or for the i-device naive, go to http://www.skepticalscience.com/) and see if your question has already been answered?

    I’ve see waaaayyy too many posts questioning such basic items as climate sensitivity (to the tune of “…based only on models…”) when a quick examination of the app brings the user to “It’s not bad” -> “Climate sensitivity is low” and lo and behold, there is a nice list of papers, with sensitivities calculated using modeling and observations. A look at the web site brings you to this post:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Working-out-climate-sensitivity.html

    which is a description of the Knutti & Hegerl review article.

    I dunno – maybe check out the article before heading to the comments?

    Comment by Deech56 — 24 Feb 2010 @ 12:45 PM

  458. While I think the iPhone app idea will make little difference, I just noted your Wilki. That one looks much more useful and I hope it can be expanded.

    That being said, I continue to doubt that any meaningful legislation will get through the US Congress this year — or, indeed, for many years. I am advising my grandchildren accordingly. Some of this advice:

    Don’t buy property in Galveston, or, indeed, in any town which has an altitude close to sea level.

    Consider investments in Iceland and Greenland.

    Don’t even think about Arizona. Colorado looks OK.

    Comment by John (Burgy) Burgeson — 24 Feb 2010 @ 2:01 PM

  459. Sloop commented on my post:

    “You view exemplifies pure free-market economism; a perspective on reality championed in much (not all) of contemporary American society. But even if you do score big on equity investments in coal-based energy, what kind of world will you and your progeny have to enjoy all those additional ‘bio-survival coupons’ ?

    (1) As a card carrying Democrat, I assure you that you have misread my post.
    (2) I don’t know what kind of world we will have in 2100. But I do know thatsurvival then will, in part, depend on what wealth one can accumulate before CO2 levels rist to 1,000 ppm. I want my grandchildren to survive.

    Sloop also wrote: “the denialists are going to win” is one of the most poignent ironies I’ve read in a while. ”

    Not sure here if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me. I’ll try again.

    Specifically, my belief is that the denialist are going to win means that I also believe that meaningful climate legislation is just not going to happen and that, ipso facto, CO2 levels are going to reach 1,000 ppm by the year 2100. I wish this were not so. But I see no way to prevent it. I’m going to keep on trying, of course, but I see that I am on the weaker side. I fully believe that one of my great grandsons will, someday, look back at the family history and say — Great grandpa Burgy — why did you not do more.”

    Comment by John (Burgy) Burgeson — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:40 PM

  460. Here’s a simple calculation to get a handle on climate sensitivity. Since 1880 CO_2 has increased from 219ppm according to CDIAC’s ice core records. Current CO_2 is approximately 388ppm. Over the same period, NASA’s world temperature anomaly has increased about 0.8°C.

    If the relationship between CO_2 and temperature is logarithmic, we expect the change in temperature dT from concentration C0 to the current level C to be given by:

    dT = k (log(C/C0))

    If you have a decent model you can determine k but let’s see what the numbers give us vs. the expected effect of a doubling resulting 1.5-4.5°C warming after feedbacks, with 3°C most likely.

    Using the numbers we have and natural logs (the base doesn’t matter: it will change the value of k but that remains consist for all calculations),

    0.8 = k (ln (388/291))
    0.8 = k (ln (1.33333)
    so k = 2.78

    This being the case a doubling would result in a temperature increase of
    2.78 (ln 2) = 1.9°C

    This is on the low side of prediction but feedbacks such as loss of ice will take time and we have various short term slow-downs such as aerosols in the mid twentieth century and from volcanoes.

    I would like to see the argument for how an increase on this scale is possible with the very low climate sensitivities some are insisting on.

    Support science against political attack here: http://www.petitiononline.com/clim4tr/petition.html

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 24 Feb 2010 @ 5:46 PM

  461. re 442 John Reisman.
    Fee and Dividend looks straight forward enough on first reading. Have to mull that over a bit. Maybe indeed a way to make the real environmental cost of eg the tar sands development come in to play. The inefficiency of that process is staggering ( about 25% of the energy harvested goes up in smoke, the gas/diesel burned to get it extracted ); the environmental destruction is a travesty. We have been told that newer technologies will solve that. Will believe it when I see it.
    It is worthwhile looking at places like Holland where the overpopulation has really stimulated some good initiatives that work. Gas prices are very high, close to 3 times the US prices. (Except now the Euro is down so less) You will find many car pooling areas. People drive smaller and more fuel efficient cars.

    Agree also that cap and trade is a scheme. Interestingly both Znet http://www.zcommunications.org/ and National Post
    had articles extremely critical of the carbon trading
    business; sorry can’t find the exact references any more.
    Maybe some of the dividend should go to innovation, in the long run our best chance of success.

    Comment by Henk Hak — 24 Feb 2010 @ 7:58 PM

  462. Rod B., You still haven’t understood the various estimates. Whether CO2 precedes or follows temp is irrelevant. What matters is that you are putting a given amount of energy into the system, and the feebacks respond. Look again. Also note that Knutti and Hegerl cite 10 separate INDEPENDENT lines of evidence–and they line up quite nicely. There are more resources on Barton’s site and here:

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/papers-on-climate-sensitivity-estimates/

    There are really no credible papers pruducing a sensitivity less than about 2.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Feb 2010 @ 9:09 PM

  463. Ray Ladbury (462), the only thing in this post I disagree with is the irrelevancy thing. Asking the scientific question, if CO2 doubling causes X temp increase (steady state) given the present circumstances, does increasing temp by X cause a natural doubling of CO2? No physicist worth his salt would simply say, “I would guess it O.K.” and move on. He would look into it and study and try to verify it. That makes it relevant because of using that info to project future sensitivities.

    I agree(d) with everything else in your post, but it isn’t a rebuttal to my assertion.

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:24 PM

  464. t_p_hamilton (891), How is it that someone can run an experiment that indicates doubling CO2 increases temp 2 degrees and come up with a 90% confidence in his result? Why not 100%? Did he only do 90% of one step in his experiment so assumed he is probably only 90% correct in his results? Or did part of his experiment require something that he wasn’t sure exactly how much to add but had a good idea — maybe 90% close? Or does some Bayesian genie pop up from one of his lab test tubes and pronounce, “n_i_n_e_t_y … p_e_r … c_e_n_t”?

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:57 PM

  465. Gavin, impressive response to Kate in #903

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Feb 2010 @ 10:57 PM

  466. Philip Machanick (#460), with all due respect but your ‘simple calculation’ with respect to climate sensitivity is really far too simple.

    No serious climate scientist would claim that all of the temperature rise since 1880 is due to increasing CO2. The temperature increase from 1910-1940 was primarily due to increased solar irradiance. The contribution of rising CO2 to warming during that period was about 25% of the CO2 contribution to warming in the recent years (see my discussion with Ray Ladbury on this topic, #259 and #269). And even for the warming in the recent years the IPCC statement is that ’MOST of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’ (my capitals). There are several other contributing factors that were already known at the time of the IPCC report, and since then there have been several important new articles, for instance Susan Solomon’s recent paper in Science, suggesting that about 30% of warming during the 1990s is related to decreased water vapor in the stratosphere (see my post #383).

    So if you were to make a rough estimate of the contribution of CO2 increase to global warming during the whole period since 1880, then I would suggest for the whole period a mean value of approximately 40 % (let’s say 65 % in the recent years, and a quarter of that meaning about 15% during 1910-1940). In that case your calculation for a doubling of CO2 would yield a value of about 0.8 degree Celsius. If that value would be correct than there is apparently a net negative feedback (compared to the generally accepted ‘pure’ effect of CO2 doubling of about 1 degree Celsius).

    Comment by wilt — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:48 AM

  467. Rod B.: “if CO2 doubling causes X temp increase (steady state) given the present circumstances, does increasing temp by X cause a natural doubling of CO2?”

    Certainly not generally — since temperature increases logarithmically with CO2, you’d need CO2 to increase exponentially with temperature, but luckily, that’s not expected. As for what is expected, go back and read Jim’s recent post on the CO2 feedback. And why would you expect a reverse relationship to hold, anyway, when the physical processes involved are entirely different? And what does that question have to do with whether CO2 leads or lags temps in the historical record?

    Comment by CM — 25 Feb 2010 @ 4:03 AM

  468. wilt #466, solar irradiance increased in the first part of the twentieth century but is pretty much at the same level now (ftp://ftp.pmodwrc.ch/pub/data/irradiance/composite/DataPlots/composite_d41_62_0906.dat and http://www.acrim.com/TSI%20Monitoring.htm) as in 1880 (http://www.mps.mpg.de/projects/sun-climate/data/tsi_1611.txt): 1365W/m^2.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:42 AM

  469. Wilt, the thing about papers like Solomon’s is that they do not affect the estimates of CO2 sensitivity–you still expect 3 degrees per doubling. It is just a matter of how rapidly that occurs. In some ways, a slower warming is good, but in some ways it causes greater damage and implies a much slower recovery even if we bring CO2 under control.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Feb 2010 @ 6:01 AM

  470. Rod B. says, “Asking the scientific question, if CO2 doubling causes X temp increase (steady state) given the present circumstances, does increasing temp by X cause a natural doubling of CO2?”

    Huh? Rod, you are confusing things. The relationship is not recip-rocal. The CO2 sensitivity is based on the climate’s response to energy added by increasing CO2. There is no way for the climate to know whether an added Joule of energy comes from CO2, insolation or a Martian heat gun.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Feb 2010 @ 6:06 AM

  471. “464
    Rod B says:
    24 February 2010 at 10:57 PM

    t_p_hamilton (891), How is it that someone can run an experiment that indicates doubling CO2 increases temp 2 degrees and come up with a 90% confidence in his result? ”

    Who?

    It’s 3 degrees anyway

    “Why not 100%?”

    Why would it not being 100% be a problem?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 7:31 AM

  472. Rod B., you cannot achieve 100% confidence in a prediction using a statistical analysis using a finite sample.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Feb 2010 @ 8:21 AM

  473. Philip Machanick (#468), it seems you are missing my point. If you read my comment (#466) carefully you will see that I am not claiming that increased solar irradiance could explain all or even most of the warming in recent years. I wrote that it was very important for the 1919-1940 warming, and that the contribution of CO2 increase was much less important during those years compared to the recent warming. Therefore if you estimate the climate sensitivity with respect to CO2 from the temperature increases since 1880 (as you proposed) then you will end up with a value of approximately 0.8 degrees Celsius as I explained in my post.

    Ray Ladbury, yes I agree that there are other (and perhaps better) ways to estimate CO2 sensitivity. But if you take the approach that was proposed by Philip Machanick then in my view you end up with the value of 0.8 degree Celsius.
    I do not completely understand your remark “In some ways, a slower warming is good, but in some ways it causes greater damage”. Can you explain in what way it would be damaging if the warming is slower?

    Comment by wilt — 25 Feb 2010 @ 8:24 AM

  474. “473
    wilt says:
    25 February 2010 at 8:24 AM

    you will see that I am not claiming that increased solar irradiance could explain all or even most of the warming in recent years. I wrote that it was very important for the 1919-1940 warming, and that the contribution of CO2 increase was much less important during those years compared to the recent warming.”

    Can you help me out here wilt.

    What is the sudden desire for stating something that is “dog bites man” in newsworthyness.

    That is what the IPCC report states.

    It doesn’t disprove anything the IPCC states by saying it.

    So why add so many words?

    What IS it with obfuscators and their desire to state non-news all over the place?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 8:42 AM

  475. Wilt, slower warming also implies slower cooling. It implies greater mixing into the mid-to-deep ocean, and so more global effects.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Feb 2010 @ 9:43 AM

  476. 464: Rod B sed “How is it that someone can run an experiment that indicates doubling CO2 increases temp 2 degrees and come up with a 90% confidence in his result? Why not 100%?” and then continued on with even more silliness

    For starters they aren’t determining the sensitivity w/ laboratory experiments. But measurements ALWAYS have errors. A measurement produces a result. The next measurement produces a slightly different result. The next a slightly different result again, etc. Confidence intervals can then be extracted from the data.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:14 AM

  477. Mr (or Mrs??) Completely Fed Up (#474) will you please stop distorting my or anyone else’s words for no good reason?
    I explained as good as I could to Philip Machanick that he had apparently misread my words in post #466. If Philip Machanick would have any problem with my remarks #473, I am sure that he can speak out for himself. I did not proclaim that my calculation would disprove anything IPCC said. Read my words first, and comment then if you feel it’s necessary. But not go around just shouting things out of the blue. People might start thinking that you are Completely Mixed Up.

    Comment by wilt — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:18 AM

  478. Ray Ladbury (#475), that is an interesting idea. But doesn’t it all depend on how fast the enery would emerge again from the ocean? In my view, the more the ocean would function as a buffer with respect to excess energy, the better. And if warming occurs slower than thought, we have at least more time to prepare for changes, isn’t it?

    Comment by wilt — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:27 AM

  479. Oops! Just as I suspected last night in bed, my posts 464 and 465 went into the wrong thread. Sorry

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:29 AM

  480. PS see wilt’s assertion:

    “I did not proclaim that my calculation would disprove anything IPCC said.”

    With his later assertions on the same post:

    “and since then there have been several important new articles, for instance Susan Solomon’s recent paper in Science, suggesting that about 30% of warming during the 1990s is related to decreased water vapor in the stratosphere (see my post #383).”

    And

    “there is apparently a net negative feedback (compared to the generally accepted ‘pure’ effect of CO2 doubling of about 1 degree Celsius).”

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:46 AM

  481. CM (467), valid question. But the issue is the sensitivity from the marginal increase in CO2 starting with levels that we have not seen (upcoming future). The paleoclimatic relationships are used, in part, to justify the projection of the 20th century sensitivity into the 21st century. Since the predominance of paleoclimate change has temp leading CO2 I assumed that is the relevant question. It’s possible they only looked at the few (one??) periods where CO2 led, but they don’t say.

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:56 AM

  482. > Completely Mixed Up
    Oh noes, that would cause far more acronym confusion than we already have.

    How about “Completely Destroys Credibility” instead? That can’t be mistaken for anything els….. oh, wait …..

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:59 AM

  483. > Completely Fed Up says: 25 February 2010 at 7:31 AM
    > “464 Rod B says:24 February 2010 at 10:57 PM
    >> a 90% confidence in his result? ”
    >> … “Why not 100%?”
    > Why would it not being 100% be a problem?

    C’mon, Completely — you’re being RodTrolled, and enjoying it.
    That’s not good for you, or Rod, or anyone else, it’s just self abuse.

    Rod can keep asking faux-naive questions to which he knows the answer forever, just to get your goat for his enormous herd of previously collected goats.

    And you play right into this stuff when you give stupid irate answers.
    It makes the two of you look like you’re a collaborative tag team here.
    Eh?

    Suggestion:

    “RodB knows darned well what a confidence interval is, and is just playing dumb there. Of course scientists don’t claim 100 percent confidence; science is about probabilities. To claim complete confidence, you have to rely on mathematical proof”

    That’s what’s wrong with 100%.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Feb 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  484. Completely Fed Up,
    Thanks again for the replies. I asked William Connelly (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/02/wireless_mice_and_google_buzz.php) who let me know that my question was itself flawed, depending on which emissions scenario is involved. From the WGI Summary for Policymakers: “Warming tends to reduce land and ocean uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing the fraction of anthropogenic emissions that remains in the atmosphere. For the A2 scenario, for example, the climate-carbon
    cycle feedback increases the corresponding global average warming at 2100 by more than 1°C.”
    So, it looks like your response was correct, but my question only applied certain scenarios.

    Comment by blueshift — 25 Feb 2010 @ 12:13 PM

  485. “it’s just self abuse.”

    If I can’t abuse myself, who can I abuse?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 12:58 PM

  486. Tried answering wilt, but the system ate it all right up.

    Hence that “PS” which was a post scriptum for a message wot went awol

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 12:59 PM

  487. Completely Fed Up (#480)

    In response to a calculation by Philip Machanick (#460) I made a correction (#466), and the result of this corrected calculation was a value of 0.8 degree Celsius for a CO2 doubling. I than added:
    “If that value would be correct than there is apparently a net negative feedback (compared to the generally accepted ‘pure’ effect of CO2 doubling of about 1 degree Celsius).”

    Furthermore, I made the remark that science had not stopped when the IPCC report was finished, and as an example I referred to Solomon’s article. Solomon did not make the claim (and neither did I) that her article would disprove anything IPCC said. But if the conclusions of her article are right, then part of the warming during the 1990s apparently is related to a factor that was not taken into consideration before. That is not a disaster, and it is not disproving the IPCC conclusions (CO2 may still have had an important contribution to warming in recent years). It is called progress of our scientific understanding.

    And with respect to understanding: I do not get the impression that your remarks contribute to understanding each other better, or are even aimed in that direction.

    Comment by wilt — 25 Feb 2010 @ 1:29 PM

  488. For those who replied, my #464 makes no sense unless in the context of its correct thread: Whatevergate

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 2:43 PM

  489. #461 Henk Hak

    I originally pondered the idea that some should go to innovation. But politicians are not very good at making sure money is spent effectively, or efficiently.

    The Fee & Dividend structure has best potential for success when kept simple. It also provides monetary stimulus to offset costs to those that will have trouble affording the energy cost increases. In other cases it works as an economic stimulus which will be helpful in maintaining a functioning economy. The sword of Damocles must be considered. It is critical that we maintain a functioning economy.

    I think the market forces, without subsidy, should actually drive the innovation faster because the fee is progressive. When the corps realize they won’t be subsidized, then it is reasonable to assume they will rapidly develop the alternatives to protect their bottom lines. We will need to understand the best formula for the transition and that will take some in depth work.

    Change the premise for motive and that should change the fundamental views on approach and execution. I do not proceed without caution.


    The Climate Lobby
    Understand the Issue
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Feb 2010 @ 2:56 PM

  490. “wilt says:
    25 February 2010 at 1:29 PM
    I than added:
    “If that value would be correct than there is apparently a net negative feedback (compared to the generally accepted ‘pure’ effect of CO2 doubling of about 1 degree Celsius).””

    But before that you asserted:

    “your ‘simple calculation’ with respect to climate sensitivity is really far too simple.”

    Why the change of heart?

    You start off saying it’s no good then using it to “prove” some nebulous “negative feedback” of which you have no cause.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  491. SM (455): It’s an absorption cross-section. The optical thickness of a mass of gas (or liquid, or solid) is

    tau = k rho ds

    where k is the absorption coefficient, rho the density of the absorber, and ds the path length. From unit analysis, you can see that rho (density in kilograms per cubic meter) and ds (meters) multiply together to give kg /m^2, and in fact the product can be called the “specific mass” SM or the “mass path” — mass per unit area. Since tau must be dimensionless, the units of k must be square meters per kilogram.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:33 PM

  492. Rod B (463),

    Try here:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:36 PM

  493. Rod B., your #463 doesn’t make sense either, as Ray also pointed out (not a reci-procal relationship). What you want to know (#481) is simply how people can calculate the warming from a doubling of CO2 based on periods when temps led CO2, isn’t it?

    Comment by CM — 25 Feb 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  494. Hank:
    “> Completely Fed Up says: 25 February 2010 at 7:31 AM
    > “464 Rod B says:24 February 2010 at 10:57 PM
    >> a 90% confidence in his result? ”
    >> … “Why not 100%?”
    > Why would it not being 100% be a problem?
    C’mon, Completely — you’re being RodTrolled”

    Well for those thinking legitimately that Rod B may have a point, the fact that he couldn’t answer should be answer enough for them.

    I knew he wouldn’t answer.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 25 Feb 2010 @ 5:47 PM

  495. BPL (492), thanks, but that wasn’t my argument or assertion.

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:18 PM

  496. CM (493), essentially, yes. Future sensitivity is partly determined/justified/estimated by looking at paleoclimate data. My question was how valid is that viz-a-viz the lag-lead thing.

    CFU (494), I might answer it but only in the correct thread, Whatevergate. Sorry for the confusion.

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:27 PM

  497. wilt, I don’t accept your “correction” (#466). If much of the early 20th century rise was attributable to solar variation, that implies the system responds fairly rapidly to variations in TSI. That being the case, the fact that we are back to about the same TSI level today as in 1880 means that the rises attributable to solar variances should have cancelled out. In #473, you emphasise the “1919-1940 warming”. I know about that. But for that to be a significant part in today’s variance from 1880, the system would have to have a memory that the rapid variation 1919-1940 belies.

    Secondly, the Solomon article (as I recall, no time to check now) claims to provide a cause for a temporary small slowdown in warming, not a reduction in climate sensitivity. If this is correct, the present post-1880 rise should be more than 0.8°C, which would give a higher sensitivity than my estimate.

    Finally, my estimate is not an equilibrium figure. You need to wait for longer-term feedbacks like reduction in ice to arrive at that number.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 26 Feb 2010 @ 6:03 AM

  498. Rod B. #496, my uneducated guess (corrections welcome) would be that lag/lead doesn’t matter to estimating climate sensitivity from past temperature changes. What matters is to account for all the significant forcings over the period in question, and that’s basically the same problem in either case.

    Comment by CM — 26 Feb 2010 @ 6:55 AM

  499. Wilt@478, Whether having more time to prepare for warming is a boon depends on whether we can actually do anything to mitigate the effects. It is quite possible we could wind up being helpless observers and the environment degrades and is less and less able to support population levels. Consider the effect that would have on people knowing things would get worse and worse and that there was nothing you could do to improve things. Rather like the Easter Islanders after they chopped down the last tree.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Feb 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  500. Philip Machanick (#497),

    I am not so sure that solar intensity is back at the level of 1880, but I don’t want to turn this into a discussion about the role of the sun. For the line of reasoning when performing the calculation that you presented initially at #460, all that matters in my view is how much of the warming during the previous century can be attributed to CO2 increase (instead of other causes). If all of the 0.8 degree temperature increase since 1880 were due to CO2 rise then you would be right in suggesting 1.9 degrees Celsius for a CO2 doubling. You will agree that most of the temperature increase in the first half of the 20th century can not be ascribed to CO2, and that is also true for a significant part of the increase during the second half of the century (even if you leave out solar effects, there were for instance contributions from black carbon, other GHG’s like methane, and aerosols). For that reason you end up much lower: approximately 0.8 degrees rather than 1.9 degrees for a CO2 doubling, in my view.

    With respect to Solomon, here is the final part of the abstract of her Science article: ‘More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.’ If she is right, the attribution to CO2 during the 1990s must be lower than previously thought and as a consequence the value for CO2 doubling decreases even further.

    Comment by wilt — 26 Feb 2010 @ 1:08 PM

  501. Wilt@500, Remember:
    1)What matters is temperature rise to reach equilibrium

    and

    2)CO2 sensitivity is one of the most tightly constrained parameters in climate models.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Feb 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  502. Ray Ladbury (#501), you are right with respect to your first remark (situation at equilibrium is what matters). As for CO2 sensitivity, I am not relying completely on model predictions and I think this is still open to debate. Apart from the Solomon data mentioned earlier: part of the uncertainty about feedbacks is related to the magnitude of the climate sensitivity of the global carbon cycle (release of CO2 at higher temperature). As you probably know, a recent Nature article indicates that although this feedback remains positive it seems to be much lower than previously thought. Link: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08769.html

    [Response: We did a post on that a couple of weeks back, with much back and forth about the realism and significance of the results for the future.–Jim]

    The Easter Islanders scenario that you mentioned (#499) is indeed very gloomy. In this case I sincerely hope that you are wrong. Personally, I take some comfort from the observation that during a long period the climate system has managed to avoid a runaway scenario.

    Comment by wilt — 26 Feb 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  503. Wilt,
    The climate sensitivity studies run across a broad range of different lines of evidence: onset of ice ages, interglacials, volcanic eruptions, seasonal patterns, response to perturbations… You are interpreting Solomon’s result as a feedback. There is no evidence to suggest this. The carbon sensitivity paper was also reviewed here. I’d say it doesn’t provide much of a constraint for current conditions where we are melting large areas of permafrost, etc. It is not something I’d want to bet the future of civilization on–and again, the research does not affect CO2 sensitivity estimates.

    A runaway greenhouse effect is in no way necessary to bring about the end of human civilization. All that has to happen is that in conjunction with strains of trying to feed 9-10 billion people, rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns adversely affect the globe’s productive capacity. We know that ocean acidification will decimate global reefs, and this will in turn severely affect fisheries. We know that many crops will not be able to grow in their old fields and that areas further north lack the topsoil (due to glaciation). And on and on. For even higher temperature rises, we could start seeing oceans produce more H2S and less O2. This is a risk that at present we cannot bound. As a risk management professional, that concerns me.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Feb 2010 @ 6:09 PM

  504. wilt (500): all that matters in my view is how much of the warming during the previous century can be attributed to CO2 increase (instead of other causes)

    BPL: then DO THE MATH!!! Here’s all the raw data you need:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Sun.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/LeanTSI.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/SvalgaardTSI.html

    I also have time series data for the PDO if you want it. Guess what? I’ve DONE those analyses, and carbon dioxide accounts for 3/4 of the warming since 1880. There’s your answer.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 27 Feb 2010 @ 7:27 AM

  505. Ray Ladbury
    Easter Island, the real story: how exaggerations hurt the cause

    I have heard the touching story of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) a long time ago, and I have always regarded it as a warning to be careful with our resources. I assume that Ray Ladbury felt the same and therefore brought it up (#499). But recently I have taken a closer look, and it turns out that not the inhabitants of the island but rats (brought along by European colonists) were primarily responsible for the deforestation. Terry Hunt wrote a paper on this subject in J Arch Science (2007), and wrote an overview in American Scientist that can be found here:
    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/num2/2006/5/rethinking-the-fall-of-easter-island/5

    In this overview he writes: ‘I believe that the world faces today an unprecedented global environmental crisis, and I see the usefulness of historical examples of the pitfalls of environmental destruction. So it was with some unease that I concluded that Rapa Nui does not provide such a model. But as a scientist I cannot ignore the problems with the accepted narrative of the island’s prehistory. Mistakes or exaggerations in arguments for protecting the environment only lead to oversimplified answers and hurt the cause of environmentalism. We will end up wondering why our simple answers were not enough to make a difference in confronting today’s problems.’

    Comment by wilt — 27 Feb 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  506. Barton Paul Levenson (#504)

    I could present many different arguments with respect to your calculation, but I have the impression that only arguments coming from IPCC or IPCC-linked scientists might convince you. So first, here is part of a recent BBC interview with Phil Jones (former director of CRU, supplier of temperature data to IPCC).

    Question: Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

    Answer:
    […]
    So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other. Here are the trends and significances for each period:

    Period Length Trend (degrees Celsius per decade) Significance

    1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
    1910-1940 31 0.15 Yes
    1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
    1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    Second, with respect to the warming in recent years (last part of 20th century) the IPCC report only claims that MOST of the warming during this period can be ascribed to increasing CO2, implying that there were other contributing factors. Everyone who looks at the CO2 concentrations and who realizes that the logarithm of the CO2 INCREASE is relevant when it comes to forcing, will understand that the CO2 contribution to warming was much lower in 1910-1940 (compared to the contribution in recent years), and was almost negligible during 1860-1880.

    So if you claim that carbon dioxide accounts for 3/4 of the warming since 1880 you are free to do so, but I can find no support for that claim even among IPCC-linked scientists. Perhaps you should read Terry Hunt’s remarks that I recently quoted (#505) about exaggerations in arguments and oversimplified answers.

    Comment by wilt — 27 Feb 2010 @ 11:12 AM

  507. wilt – My reading of the Easter Island analysis you link says a lot more about the ‘rape’ of ecosystems [including the human population fraction thereof] by “advanced” Europeans, than about rats. The European “invasive species” is really more “at fault” than the Islanders cutting the trees or the rats eating the seeds. Any ecology needs to be considered as a complete system, including the human species. I think that’s the root of many poor analyses, we are a part of the system, not apart from it, and that’s where we over-simplify. Saying the rats were more at fault than the humans is quite like the contrarians now saying humans couldn’t possibly be having an effect on climate, or if CO2 is a problem, there’s nothing we can do about it.

    Comment by flxible — 27 Feb 2010 @ 11:34 AM

  508. Wilt,
    The role of rats in the destruction of forests on Easter Island does not dimish the point: Once the rats were widespread, the natives were helpless observers. Of if you don’t like Easter Island, take two islands where environmental catastrophes are ongoing: Haiti (even before the quake) and Madagascar.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Feb 2010 @ 11:47 AM

  509. Ray Ladbury, you wrote (#499) “Consider the effect that would have on people knowing things would get worse and worse and that there was nothing you could do to improve things. Rather like the Easter Islanders after they chopped down the last tree.” It seems to me that in the last sentence the blame was laid primarily with the islanders. If I understand Terry Hunt’s conslusions correctly than it was primarily the rats.
    That is precisely the crucial point in discussions on warming and climate change: if we haven’t precisely enough diagnosed the cause(s) we can not be confident that the right therapy will be chosen. And exaggerations are not helpful in the debate. Once again, I am not accusing you personally here, but some contributors on this log seem to think that anything goes.

    Comment by wilt — 27 Feb 2010 @ 12:38 PM

  510. wilt (506): So if you claim that carbon dioxide accounts for 3/4 of the warming since 1880 you are free to do so, but I can find no support for that claim even among IPCC-linked scientists.

    BPL: You’ve never taken a statistics course in your life, have you? You have no bloody idea how to do the very simple calculation I did.

    Here’s a hint–you don’t need to know the theory behind regression analysis or how to derive the normal equations. Use Excel. Tools Menu, Data Analysis (it’s the last entry, look at add-ins if it isn’t visible), choose “Regression,” fill out the pop-up form.

    Better yet, take a statistics course. And in the meantime, don’t criticize results you don’t understand. Your criticism is meaningless if you don’t know what the person is talking about.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 27 Feb 2010 @ 4:23 PM

  511. What a bizarre, even by denier standards, discussion of Easter Island. It wasn’t the fact that they’d chopped down every tree or spent their energies on non-productive activities (the statues) that did them in, it was the rats that got introduced! Oh, well, that’s all right then, nothing to learn about human dependence on healthy environments there then, is there? The ONLY importance of Easter Island is as a parable in a microcosm about the importance of the environment and the tendency for humans to behave like the apocryphal frog in boiling water. Those lessons are available all round the world. To suggest that “the rats did it” is a message not to worry about global warming leaves me gob-smacked.

    Comment by David Horton — 27 Feb 2010 @ 6:07 PM

  512. Wilt, the cause of the current warming is known with 90-95% confidence–at a minimum. It was predicted long ago; there is no viable competing mechanism and the data are consistent with the mechanism. What possible additional evidence would you require to convince you?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Feb 2010 @ 6:08 PM

  513. David Horton (#511), a last word about the Easter Island story.

    Here is what Ray Ladbury wrote (#499): “Rather like the Easter Islanders after they chopped down the last tree”. This formulation suggests that the islanders were primarily responsible, and this is the way the story is usually told – even by Ray Ladbury who apparently knew better, which disappoints me. As with every theory, it is good that people investigate it in a scientific way, and then it turns out that the rats were primarily responsible. The scientist in this case (Terry Hunt) writes that he is convinced that we face an environmental crisis but warns that exaggerations are counterproductive. That is basically the point that I was making. As far as I understand, this debate we are having is about man-made warming, not rat-made warming.
    And I do realize that a healthy environment is crucial for our survival. Just take a look at the devastating effects of earthquakes like the one in Haiti or Chile. But you would not use that as an example to prove your theory that man is responsible for everything that goes wrong, would you? As always, start with the right diagnosis before you start the treatment.

    Comment by wilt — 28 Feb 2010 @ 5:20 AM

  514. Barton Paul Levenson (#510), I take distance from your patronizing tone. I have been a scientist all my life, and have used quite a bit of statistics so you really do not have to explain to me how Excel works. But this is not about statistics. You use the wrong starting point as I explained before. If CO2 acts as a driving force to increase temperature, it does so by increasing its concentration year after year. So it’s the INCREASE, right? So one must compare CO2 concentration one year with the concentration in the previous year (you can of course also compare decades instead of years), calculate the ratio, and take the natural logarithm. If you do this properly you will find that the contribution of CO2 increase was almost negligible in 1860-1880, and in 1910-1940 was much lower than in the recent years. This is what was discussed during several contributions of Philip Machanick, Ray Ladbury and me.

    Another thing is that whatever calculation one makes, at the end a rational person will look whether the outcome makes any sense at all. If you come up with an estimation of 3/4 and no else does (including the IPCC scientists) then it just might be that you are wrong instead of everyone else.

    Comment by wilt — 28 Feb 2010 @ 5:41 AM

  515. Ray Ladbury (#512), CO2 is not ‘the cause’ of the current warming and you know this. It probably is a PART of the explanation for the temperature rise during 1975-1998. Everyone (that is, everyone who is not too dogmatic) tries to find out how much the climate is sensitive to CO2 increase, and so far no one has come up with an undisputed answer. Of course one can take very broad limits and say that it can be anything between six degrees Celsius and a value below 1 degree for a doubling, and that answer is probably right but it is not very helpful.

    Comment by wilt — 28 Feb 2010 @ 5:55 AM

  516. #515 wilt

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/global-warming-is-only-part-human-caused

    It is more easily arguable at this point to say that the warming trend is virtually 100% human caused simply by considering the path we should have been on vs. the path we are on.

    There are always error bars wrapped around a model but that does not eliminate the degree of variance from which confidence is derived.

    Humans altered the forcing levels

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels

    We are on a new path in climate and it is a warming path.

    Your arguments are generally obtuse of the red herring brand. It may be that you are simply incapable of understanding what is happening due to your own confirmation bias.

    If I were you, that is where I would look first when it comes to trying to understand this global warming event.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 28 Feb 2010 @ 1:04 PM

  517. wilt (514),

    I used ln Xco2. I regressed NASA GISS temperature anomalies and found that it accounted for 76.4% of the variance from 1880 to 2008 (N = 129). That’s the fact, Jack. I list all the data I used. Try it yourself.

    I find it hard to believe you’re a scientist if you dispute how much variance someone found in a simple linear regression. There’s only one possible answer. It’s a calculation, not a wild guess. Want the equations?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 28 Feb 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  518. Wilt,
    It is absolutely clear from both physics and the correlation that CO2 is the predominant mechanism in the temperature increase–to the point where if CO2 were not in the picture, warming would be indistinguisable from zero over the period. Barton’s analysis makes sense and provides strong empirical support to the prediction made by Arrhenius 114 years ago.

    There simply are no other credible mechanisms nor are any others needed to explain the observations.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Feb 2010 @ 2:53 PM

  519. wilt — I believe you misunderstand how to apply the Arrhenius formula. In any case, I’ve done it correctly, but with now both a decadal and bidecadal lgas on the Whatevergate thread. I will, later today, do this once more for the semidecadal case.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 28 Feb 2010 @ 3:53 PM

  520. Unfortunately I found the iPhone app misleading, contradicting and too vague with some of the answers.

    If you take one question and look at the answer for it, it makes sense. But, if you look at the answers over multiple questions, contridictions start to happen.

    The Sun is a classic. In some answers we get the Sun has shown little or no long term trends, yet in others, a recent cooling effect.

    The answer to one of the extreme weather queries is basically its happening because we say so and there is no information to back it up.

    The main issue with those who are arguing against AGW is that the IPCC report cannot be fully trusted as if simple problems can be found in this so called ‘peer reviewed’ document, how can the rest of it be trusted.

    The only was to shut down the debate, one way or the other, is to have total transparency in both the data and the models.

    After all, it is the future of the planet we are talking about. If AGW is real then we do have a mandate to prevent it as much as possible. If not, then we also have a mandate not to spend trillions of dollars chasing a red hearing.

    Comment by Dave — 28 Feb 2010 @ 6:59 PM

  521. I think this is a great idea. Having an iphone app can get the generation involved that needs to be involved. They are the ones we can depend on to help save our earth in the future and the sooner they learn, they more they will know when they are going to need to know it. I think it’s a wonderful idea.

    Comment by Alexa Ponti — 28 Feb 2010 @ 9:14 PM

  522. Barton Paul Levenson (#517), I have tried to explain to you several times now that there is a difference between CO2 concentration and increase of CO2 concentration. I will give it one last try, using a simple example.

    Suppose for a minute that during a hundred years CO2 had been increasing 0.00001 ppmv every year, and temperature had been increasing for instance 0.5 degrees every decade. You would be plotting temperature versus CO2 concentration and this would yield a ‘perfect’ correlation with an unbelievable correlation coefficient and p-value, and you would probably shout that the science had been settled.
    At the same time I know, and virtually everyone knows, and presumably even you know that such a small CO2 increase would have no measurable impact at all on temperature. That is the reason that not the concentration (X) but the change in concentration (deltaX) should be taken into consideration. This is precisely what had been done by Philip Machanick. I agree with his approach, but you will remember that I made a correction in his calculation (all this has been explained in my previous posts on this topic). That yielded in the end an estimate of 0.8 degree Celsius for a CO2 doubling.

    Comment by wilt — 1 Mar 2010 @ 4:08 AM

  523. wilt, I know what you’re saying. I’m saying it doesn’t matter. The hypothetical case you bring up is not what we’re really seeing. What we’re seeing is that ln CO2 accounts for 76% of the variance of dT in the same year for a sample size of 128 recent years. And no, it’s not a spurious correlation. Did you ever read the damn web page? Did you see where I performed Cochrane-Orcutt iteration to account for autocorrelation in the residuals and CO2 still came out accounting for 60% of the variance? What does it take to get through to you?

    CO2 is driving temperatures. It was predicted in 1896 (Arrhenius) and again in 1938 (Callendar) and again in 1956 (Plass). In 1958 we started collecting the data that eventually confirmed it. Note the past tense. CONFIRMED. CO2 is driving temperature and accounts for most of the increase. I get 76% in a direct correlation. Three-fourths. Adjust for autocorrelated residuals: three-fifths. Still a majority.

    Not the sun. Not galactic cosmic rays. Not air-ocean oscillations. Not geothermal energy. Not urban heat islands. Not conspiratorial number alterations by evil climatologists. There’s nothing else. We have the theory that CO2 should raise temperature, and the evidence fits the theory.

    Deal with it. Stop living in a fantasy world. You’re wrong.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Mar 2010 @ 8:36 AM

  524. “520
    Dave says:
    28 February 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Unfortunately I found the iPhone app misleading, contradicting and too vague with some of the answers.”

    Lets look at the examples:

    “The Sun is a classic. In some answers we get the Sun has shown little or no long term trends, yet in others, a recent cooling effect.”

    What determines a long term trend depends on the question you’re asking.

    In the long term (centuries), that baby will die and leave no progeny behind. In the long term (of decades), that child will live and grow healthy and have children of their own.

    “The answer to one of the extreme weather queries is basically its happening because we say so and there is no information to back it up.”

    Basically you’re saying “I’m making this up”.

    Basically, you need to say what they say, not what you read into it.

    “The main issue with those who are arguing against AGW is that the IPCC report cannot be fully trusted as if simple problems can be found in this so called ‘peer reviewed’ document, how can the rest of it be trusted.”

    How can the case against it be trusted when so much of it has so many dense errors:

    E.g.

    http://www.altenergyaction.org/Monckton.html

    How can you believe the press when they state that “So and so said something”:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/01/11/mojib-latif-slams-daily-mail/#more-1409

    ?

    The app isn’t about the IPCC WG2/3 report. It’s about the common cases against AGW.

    “The only was to shut down the debate, one way or the other, is to have total transparency in both the data and the models.”

    Pyshician, heal thyself.

    How about a little transparency on the denialotrope? When Heartland open up as much as the IPCC or CRU or GISS, or … THEN talk about more transparency.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Mar 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  525. “Suppose for a minute that during a hundred years CO2 had been increasing 0.00001 ppmv every year, and temperature had been increasing for instance 0.5 degrees every decade.”

    Suppose playboy bunnies were mad for internet geeks.

    Wilt, you’re not even trying.

    The point is not that there’s a correlation but that correlation ties in with physical models.

    Though your “no thought experiment” would show correlation, that would lead to a sensitivity much higher than any model would see. A sensitivity far higher than physics or the past evidence would or could explain.

    So, if models predict around a 3C warming for doubling CO2, 0.8C already seen and 0.5C dialed in from lags in the system and ocean oversequestration, and an increase of 41% of CO2, then that’s a fairly good agreement.

    If it had been 1% increase in CO2, this agreement would not hold unless CO2 sensitivity is at around 120C per doubling.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Mar 2010 @ 10:17 AM

  526. Related to the function of this application:

    Huffington Post is a popular site, esp. for the comment threads. I am convinced it is a place where many people acquire an “understanding” of the GHG problem.

    In case you know anyone who could spend some time on the climate change threads, HP could use the help. It has turned into one large talking point party. Many of us who attempt to educate there (I refer often to Skeptical Science, because it’s quick and accessible and because it targets specific talking points) have lost our patience and are in need of relief.

    A good bombarding might raise the level of discourse.

    Comment by Nick — 1 Mar 2010 @ 6:23 PM

  527. > (all this has been explained in my previous posts on this topic). …
    > an estimate of 0.8 degree Celsius for a CO2 doubling.

    When you claim to have corrected modern physics, you owe your readers is an actual citation to where your work appears–at the very least a link or pointer to a timestamp in a blog thread somewhere people can find the work, not just claims that the work was accomplished somewhere.

    Nobody follows anyone that closely taking notes about what they said earlier.
    You have to keep track of yourself so you can show people what you said, not just say you already did it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Mar 2010 @ 8:00 PM

  528. wilt (522) — Well, you are thinking about it incorrectly, I fear. On the Whatevergate thread I have several fairly recent comments which apply the Arrhenius formula to obtain estimates for GISTEMP which agree well with the actual anomalies.

    But first, have you read “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart, first link in the science section of the sidebar?

    Comment by David B. Benson — 1 Mar 2010 @ 8:36 PM

  529. Hank Roberts (#527), you are right that the discussion on this topic, the estimation of climate sensitivity from temperature increase in the past, has become complicated, partly because some contributions have appeared in this thread, and others in the Whatevergate thread. So I made a reconstruction, as concise as possible but without distortions. So I will use complete quotations of the relevant remarks as they appeared (including an occasional typing error).

    Ray Ladbury, Whatevergate #627
    “Thus the increased warming due to increased CO2 in the 1910-1940 period was about half that for the period 1975-1998.”

    I challenged that view (Whatevergate #648) and got a more precise answer:

    Ray Ladbury, Whatevergate #653
    “Wilt, the thing you have to realize is that the increase in CO2 forcing is not linear in CO2 concentration but logarighmic. Thus if we look at the increase from 1910-1940, from roughly 295-395, that’s a factor of 1.03. Take the log, and we get 0.0333. Now look at the increase from 1974-1998 from roughly 330 to 360 ppmv, a factor of ~1.09, the log of which is .087. Thus the increase in forcing from 1910 to 1940 was less than a factor of 3 less than that from 1974 to 1998. Do the math.”

    Wilt, Whatevergate #687
    “Well, here is my calculation. For a fair comparison the length of the periods should of course be the same, so I compare the most recent years 1980-2009 with a similar 29-year period 1910-1939.
    For 1910-1939 I use the ice core data (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/lawdome.combined.dat) and for recent years the Mauna Loa data.
    1910-1939 CO2: 300-310 ratio 1.03 and the log value is 0.033
    1980-2009 CO2: 339-387 ratio 1.14 and the log value is 0.132
    Therefore the contribution of CO2 to warming during the period 1910-1939 is less than 25% compared to the period 1980-2009. When one chooses the period 1970-1999 instead of 1980-2009, the outcome is about the same (CO2 326-368, ratio 1.13, log value is 0.121 therefore CO2 contribution about 27% during 1910-1939 compared to 1970-1999).”

    Ray Ladbury, Throw in your iPhone (#269)
    “Wilt@259, the periods in the Harrabin question were 1910-1940 and 1974-1998. That is where I got my figure. But fine, take 1980-2009. The fact ramains that CO2 forcing still rose about 25% as much as during the modern period.”

    Philip Machanick, Throw your iPhone (#460):
    [Remark from Wilt: disturbing typing error in second sentence, 219 ppm should read 291 ppm]
    “Here’s a simple calculation to get a handle on climate sensitivity. Since 1880 CO_2 has increased from 219ppm according to CDIAC’s ice core records. Current CO_2 is approximately 388ppm. Over the same period, NASA’s world temperature anomaly has increased about 0.8°C.
    If the relationship between CO_2 and temperature is logarithmic, we expect the change in temperature dT from concentration C0 to the current level C to be given by: dT = k (log(C/C0))
    If you have a decent model you can determine k but let’s see what the numbers give us vs. the expected effect of a doubling resulting 1.5-4.5°C warming after feedbacks, with 3°C most likely.
    Using the numbers we have and natural logs (the base doesn’t matter: it will change the value of k but that remains consist for all calculations),
    0.8 = k (ln (388/291))
    0.8 = k (ln (1.33333)
    so k = 2.78
    This being the case a doubling would result in a temperature increase of 2.78 (ln 2) = 1.9°C”

    Wilt, Throw your iPhone (#466):
    “Philip Machanick (#460), with all due respect but your ‘simple calculation’ with respect to climate sensitivity is really far too simple. No serious climate scientist would claim that all of the temperature rise since 1880 is due to increasing CO2. The temperature increase from 1910-1940 was primarily due to increased solar irradiance. The contribution of rising CO2 to warming during that period was about 25% of the CO2 contribution to warming in the recent years (see my discussion with Ray Ladbury on this topic, #259 and #269). And even for the warming in the recent years the IPCC statement is that ’MOST of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’ (my capitals). There are several other contributing factors that were already known at the time of the IPCC report, and since then there have been several important new articles, for instance Susan Solomon’s recent paper in Science, suggesting that about 30% of warming during the 1990s is related to decreased water vapor in the stratosphere (see my post #383).
    So if you were to make a rough estimate of the contribution of CO2 increase to global warming during the whole period since 1880, then I would suggest for the whole period a mean value of approximately 40 % (let’s say 65 % in the recent years, and a quarter of that meaning about 15% during 1910-1940). In that case your calculation for a doubling of CO2 would yield a value of about 0.8 degree Celsius. If that value would be correct than there is apparently a net negative feedback (compared to the generally accepted ‘pure’ effect of CO2 doubling of about 1 degree Celsius).”

    Hank Roberts, I hope this answers your question. And no, I did not have the intention to correct modern physics. I tried to correct a miscalculation, mainly because I dislike exaggerations.

    Comment by wilt — 2 Mar 2010 @ 4:11 AM

  530. John Cook of Skeptical Science adds a master resources page for various arguments pro/con climate change.

    The Skeptical Science list of skeptic arguments is one of the larger compilations going around, currently numbering 91 different arguments. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Whenever I encounter a skeptic argument, I add it to the database which currently contains 242 skeptic arguments. The 91 are those which I’ve found the time to research and write a summary of what the peer-reviewed science says on the topic. Now all 242 arguments have been categorised and displayed on a new Global Warming Links page. And just to open up a potentially huge can of worms, you can add to the list of skeptic arguments yourself!

    There’s more to this list than just the skeptic arguments. Besides each skeptic argument, you’ll notice a green and red number. The green number denotes the number of web pages about that skeptic argument that endorse man-made global warming (let’s call them pro-AGW). The red number denotes the number of skeptic links. This is the guts of Global Warming Links – a resource of global warming links expressing both sides of the debate.

    Sometimes Skeptical Science is accused of being unbalanced. This criticism is certainly true in terms of the links collected so far. There are substantially more skeptic than pro-AGW links. This is because I’ve been collecting skeptic links for years, since before I started Skeptical Science. However, I’ve only been collecting pro-AGW links since I started developing the Links page a few weeks ago. So I would encourage anyone if they encounter a webpage or blog post about a particular skeptic argument to submit it in the Add New Link form.

    I’ve also added two other interesting pages which are linked to from the top of Global Warming Links. There’s Last Week which lists the most popular skeptic arguments submitted over the last week. This should be useful for keeping track of the latest, most popular skeptic arguments. The problem is currently there are only a handful of articles submitted over the last week so it’s not a terribly comprehensive representation yet. Hopefully the list will fill up in quick time. There is also Last Month which lasts the most used skeptic arguments over the last 30 days.

    More:

    Every skeptic argument ever used

    The database is freely accessible for people committed to living in the material world as well as those holding out for a more idealized existence.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Mar 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  531. Fwiw, I’m trying out this experimental approach to education: Video: Desdemona News for 5 March 2010.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 5 Mar 2010 @ 7:11 PM

  532. Surely this will be another tool to generate it to create awareness or changes must be generated.

    Comment by julio — 20 Mar 2010 @ 10:18 AM

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