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The Bore Hole

Filed under: — group @ 6 December 2004

A place for comments that would otherwise disrupt sensible conversations.

1,935 Responses to “The Bore Hole”

  1. 701
    Anteros says:

    Ray Ladbury,

    You say they are not predictions, the IPCC say they are. Forgive me if I don’t take you seriously.
    Try reading the FAR

  2. 702
    Curious says:


    You wrote, “If the FAR group got their scenarios wrong, so what? For me the question is what the model does when given the right scenario. Is there some reason you believe that having made a bad choice of scenarios back then matters?”

    and then later wrote, “And finally, GCMs do not model solar activity. Solar activity is a scenario component. If the sun suddenly drops its output and the earth cools… this is an unpredictable event that in no way damages the credibility of GCMs.”

    I see this as the problem. What scenario will we be facing 10 years from now? 20?

    You don’t know, unless you have a crystal ball. In fact though, like the IPCC FAR report, you want to make policy, regardless of not knowing the scenario. Aren’t we glad we didn’t make policy based on the upper level projections of the FAR report? What makes you think that _this_time you’ll be able to model the correct scenario?

  3. 703
    Emanuele Lombardi says:

    The 1990 IPPC assessment makes the claim that only two facts were known to a certainty. One the greenhouse effect was real and two that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases were rising cause by human activities.

    It goes on to claim with confidence that some gases are more effective at changing climate,atmospheric concentrations o long lived gases like CO2 adjust only slowly to changes in emissions and that current levels would commit us to increased concentrations for centuries ahead,called for am immediate reduction in CO2 of 60%, rising temperatures of 3° C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 2° C to 5° C. per decade). The rise will not be steady.

    So apparently the only problem with the 1990 assessment report is that it overestimated the actual temperature increase. If this were just an academic exercise this would not be an issue. The report was to inform policy makers that a global effort to curb greenhouse gases was necessary to prevent this change in global average temperatures. The Kyoto protocol and treaty was a response to this report which has been superseded by later assessments.

    There are many problems with the 1990 report. Yet many European countries agreed to reductions in CO2 emissions to prevent the dire predictions in the 1990 report. I have reviewed the 1990 report but have not had the time to look at the later assessments but to claim that the chart presented by the WSJ is wrong just refer to the chart on page 30 of the actual report it seems to indicate a plus 1° rise by the year 2000. it is hard to say for sure the chart is low resolution.

  4. 704
    S Cooper says:

    Lots of name calling here – ‘robber barons’, ‘liars’, ‘Neanderthals’. Even engineers. Perhaps engineers would have something to say about the error bars, which now seem to have a spread of c. 0.8C. Since the data haven’t moved outside a band of c. 0.4C over the last decade, I congratulate the models on their unerring accuracy and predictive (sorry, projective) insight.

    So “global mean temperature has wiggled around inside those error bars, just like it was supposed to”? Huge amounts of work and money well spent, then.

  5. 705
    cbone says:

    Quick question. When did the Scientific Method become a popularity contest? Date and reference to the change would be much appreciated.


  6. 706
    RaymondT says:

    @62 dhogaza. More specifically, here is part of Judith Curry’s reply to the comment of Hergerl et al. taken from her blog (Hegerl et al. react to the Uncertainty Monster paper Posted on December 15, 2011):

    [Hegerl et al. object to our statement in the original manuscript: “Figure 9.7 of the IPCC AR4 shows that all models underestimate the amplitude of variability of periods of 40-70 years,” on the basis that we do not consider the uncertainties presented in the chapter. Figure 9.7 is presented on a log-log scale, and the magnitudes of the uncertainties for both the model simulations and the observations are approximately a decade (a factor of 10). Considering uncertainty, a more accurate statement of our contention would have been: The large uncertainties in both the observations and model simulations of the spectral amplitude of natural variability precludes a confident detection of anthropogenically forced climate change against the background of natural internal climate variability] (end of citation)

    Suppose that the error in the power spectra of the models and observations was 1/10 th of that in Figure 9.7 (while keeping the same average values for the models and observations) in that case the statement that most models underpredicted the observations would be true. If we follow the logic of Hegerl et al. however by increasing my error by a factor of 10 (to that shown in Figure 9.7) I could then say that the model predictions are within the experimental error. So I would be going from a case where the models did not predict the observations to a case where the models and observations agree. At one point we have to subjectively decide what constitutes an acceptable error. This question is subjective but must be considered in analysing the uncertainty in the model predictions.

  7. 707
    RaymondT says:

    @Bickmore. You stated: “In the long term, though, the final state of the climate is already constrained by paleoclimate data, with which we can look over much longer time periods, where those short-term effects can’t play much of a role.”

    The paleoclimate data constraint is a hindcast that does not test the ability of the climate models to PREDICT future global temperatures. Who can tell how long the current solar cycle will last ? When we think of how difficult it is to predict the solar forcing I find it difficult to estimate what the climate forcing was in the paleoclimate data.

    I am simply stating that we have not tested the ability of climate models to predict global temperatures on a sufficiently long period that natural variability can be neglected.

  8. 708
    Florrie says:

    The attempt to link questioning of agw with questioning of evolution is disingenious in the extreme. agw clearly is very much open to question, and children should not be lied to by pretending otherwise.

  9. 709
    Dan H. says:

    The education comparisons are not exactly apples to apples. Those that are largely uneducated in the climate sciences, generally do not believe in AGW, because they do not know or care about it. As one becomes educated, they begin to accept the theory as presented, because they have a background understanding. As one becomes more educated, they begin to understand all the different nuances and complications. They do not reject the theory in the same way the uneducated do, rather they do not accept it as fully as the semi-educated do. It is not a rejection of the whole, but rather some of the parts. The well-educated understand the theory, the methods, and the limitations. It is not a belief in false statements as you alluded to in your post, but rather a temperance of the claims based on sound, scientific knowledge.

  10. 710
    RickA says:

    #194 – Chris Crawford:

    I hope Edim doesn’t mind if I jump in here and tell you why I am skeptical.

    The globe has been warming for 12,000 years.

    During that time, the ocean has risen around 50 meters.

    Less than 1 meter of that 50 meter rise has occurred since 1850.

    Now humans are not to blame for the first 49 meters of the ocean rise, and are arguably only responsible for the last 1/2 meter to 1 meter.

    So the long term trend has been rising temperature and rising sea level.

    How do we separate out the portion of the warming and sea level rise which has occurred since 1850, for which humans are responsible (CO2, land use changes, carbon black, etc.) and what would have occurred naturally (given the long term trend).

    The numbers are so small (.8C since 1850 I think), that the human caused warming is lost in what would have occurred naturally.

    That is the primary reason I am skeptical.

    Perhaps you could discuss why I (or anyone) should be so worried about the last 2% of sea level rise, given the 98% rise not caused by humans.

  11. 711
    Dan H. says:

    So true when it comes to personal experience. With a mild winter, support for AGW has increased in the U.S. This is a change from the past two winters, where support decreased due ot the snow and cold. I suspect Europe may be experiencing somewhat of an opposite effect this winter.

    Recent weather events in the U.S. (tornadoes) are probably fueling support for AGW also. After the 2005 hurricane season, there was a jump in support due to the belief that global warming was causing an increase in hurricane occurrances and intensity. This support has waned due to the recent decreases. Therefore, I would garner that the increased support is greatest in those areas hardest hit (just my opinion).

    I think your statement about Arctic sea ice “crashing” is a bit over the top. The sea ice has decreased, but does not appear to be on the verge of a dramatic decline this decade. Using this argument will not become very effect until the sea ice falls below the 2007 minimum.

  12. 712
    Dan H. says:

    Yes, we need to look at much longer trends than a single decade. Using either the 2000s or 1970s, would yield a much different result than the 1980s or 90s. Using the entire dataset (from 1880), the short-term trend has fluctuated significantly, but the long-term trend has not deviated much. While much of the results are noise, some is due to variations in the planetary forcings. There does not appear to be any indication that we will deviate from the long-term (130-yr) trend anytime soon.

  13. 713
    Dan H. says:

    I see your comment got through the vulgarity filter, gavin must be asleep. You may continue to call anyone who does not agree with your narrow views a liar or whatever insulting comment you wish, but it will not change the facts. You may choose whatever small proportion of applicable scientists you wish to achieve your own consensus, but it does not alter the reality that it does not extend beyond that group. For instance, the APS statement does not agree with the so-called consensus stance. Maybe you do not consider physicists to be part of the consensus group, but many others here argue about the physics behind global warming.

  14. 714
    Tietjan says:

    I read the article a few time, but it just appears like it is more of the same.

    In #4 the author writes “dissident voices and new theories are encouraged because they are critical to sharpening our analysis”. After the climate gate emails and the Gleick incident, very few people would buy into this. If I were i climate scientist, I wouldnt even make statements like this, you know that skeptics or conservatives will tear you apart with these kind of statements.

    As a non-scientist, trying to figure what to think of global warming, first thing I wonder is “who stands to gain ?” The author claims there is no evidence to support that government will use global warming to raise taxes… From there he goes on the tobacco cliche argument. To me it is becoming more and more obvious why alarmists run from debate.

    He concludes stating that the claim that cap-and-trade legislation or carbon taxes would be ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis. Even the most hardcore liberals dont want to be associated with cap and trade. How far away from reality do you need to be to believe that carbon taxes will have a positive return on investment ?

  15. 715
    TallDave says:

    It must be painful to gradually realize you’ve wasted your life on an irrelevant non-problem.

    Most AGWers are still in the “denial” phase — ironically. Remember: it’s just weather! The hockey stick is real! Gleick was right! You’re saving the world!

    And if you should run into Harold Camping on the way to salvation, give him a high-five.

  16. 716
    Isotopious says:

    Yes, I am a denier! lol

    “I challenge Mr. Isotopious to present us with the temperature graph for any period in the Holocene showing a temperature rise of similar abruptness.”

    Come on, where’s an expert when you need one! Real Climate has an excellent data source web page. Check it out.

    And by the way, I’m still waiting for the justification of comparing recent warming within the context of one thousand years. You never know, there could be some type of magical climate oscillation lasting exactly one thousand years. Or maybe they (the IPCC) though that period was important for other reasons unrelated to climate (human development, society, agriculture, pixy dust). Either way, from the perspective of a denier, it has no physical basis (even though that was the title of the report!).
    I think it was a AGW believer who once said that even if the hockey stick was wrong, it wouldn’t matter anyway.

    That really sums up AGW for me, “It’s not really right, so it can’t be shown to be wrong (because it already is).”

  17. 717
    john byatt says:

    What you mean that the cold is not due to the Little ice age starting next week?. “they” must surely stone her for this,

    “Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation,” said Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. “The circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents.”

    The study was published on 27 February 2012 in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation.

  18. 718
  19. 719
    Florrie says:

    Well dbostrom if we are going talk about thousands paid by Heartland, to keep perspective we should too look at the billions paid by governments for climate science.

  20. 720
    Dan H. says:

    I thought you wanted the IPCC consensus taught in class, with which I disagree. That is significantly different from the scientific consensus, with which I agree. I have no problem with the scientific consensus being taught. Something on the order of that endorsed by the APS would be fine.
    Is that palatable to you? I have no problem with mentioning that other groups think that the effects of increased CO2 will result in greater or lesser warming, or that these same groups contens that natural forces have had a greater or lesser influence.
    while the APS “opinion” may run afoul or your request, I am using it in response to Craig’s request concerning the IPCC opinion. As I mentioned, these opinions shuld be stated as such.

  21. 721
    Isotopious says:

    Chris Crawford is right.

    Just because something is small or tiny does not mean it is not important.

    For example CO2 is tiny, yet important for climate. What is important for climate is indeed an interesting question, since there is almost an unlimited amount of tiny or large, yet significant, forcing factors.

    ENSO for example says absolutely nothing about climate over the long term, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t run a big part of the climate show. Indeed, ‘proving’ that it doesn’t is Just as impossible as proving it does.
    But on it goes, especially at websites such as this one. This type of climate arrogance and ignorance is wide spread and rampant, particularly at the upper educated level. Quite boring really. Only diligence and good science will destroy the straw-man. All one needs is a small, tiny, yet significant ignition source. And then it is completely and utterly destroyed. Not very hard really, just a tiny spark……

  22. 722
    Florrie says:

    how many years of a non-increasing trend would it take to prompt a rethink? Or is the CO2 theory not quite scientific yet?

    So the straight answer that avoids overcomplicating the issue, seems to be “it generally takes about 17 years of global temperature data to reach that 95% level”. Or of course wait the whole 30-year period.

    Subtracting theoretical non-CO2 affects is valid in principle, but how do you test if you’ve subtracted the right amounts ? Ultimately, the only real test is going to have to be the actual temperature readings, the result of all factors.

    So if we say actual temperatures have been about flat for about a decade, seven more like those would prompt a rethink and/or constitute a falsification.

  23. 723
    Florrie says:

    Ray Ladbury, continuing
    You say 17 years of a non-increasing trend would be enough to shake confidence, but exclude from being shaken the greenhouse effect (uncontoversial) as well as large positive feedback (hugely controversial).

    So what would be shaken then ? Would you then suspect that our understanding of natural forcings was faulty, and that those figures awere understated ?

  24. 724
    Florrie says:

    And I note now the comments where it is claimed that a large positive feedback is beyond dispute. However this just seems to be based on what is needed to make the models fit. In the absence of any hard empirical evidence to support the positive feedback thesis, this could simply be a way to offset some as yet unknown other deficiency in the models.

  25. 725
    Isotopious says:

    104 Tom Curtis.

    Yes you are right. So at 76% do we have 0.9 or 0.7?

    Stated differently, when you double CO2, do you get 1.2 or 1?

    I’m certainly not going to read any literature on the subject, that would be like watching paint dry.

    But please do tell…

  26. 726
  27. 727
    Doug Cotton says:

    O H Dahlsveen says on WUWT:
    March 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I do not believe the theory of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect (AGHE) to be a “misnomer”. I think it is just plain wrong

    Basically you are correct. There can be no transfer of thermal energy from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface by any physical process, radiation or otherwise. However, we have to acknowledge that radiation from the atmosphere does slow the rate of radiative energy transfer from the surface to the atmosphere. This is why it can be warmer on moist nights. However, on balance, other processes, mostly evaporation and diffusion (conduction) will make up for any reduction in radiative flux, because of the stabilising effect of the massive store of thermal energy beneath the outer crust, which is not due to the very slow rate of terrestrial energy flow.

    There is also a cooling effect due to water vapour and CO2 etc as these absorb downwelling IR radiation from the Sun and send upward backradiation to space.

    The temperature gradient in the atmosphere is determined by the mass of the atmosphere and the acceleration due to gravity, both close enough to being constants. All the claims about 255K are based on the false assumption that the surface is anything like a blackbody. It’s not because it’s not insulated from losses by diffusion and evapoation. Less than half the energy exits by radiation. So, not only is that 33 degree figure based on a totally incorrect 255K figure, but it also ignores the fact that there is an adiabatic lapse rate that has nothing to do with backradiation.

    This is a very brief summary of my peer-reviewed paper being published next week.

  28. 728
    GSW says:

    @Martin Lack #177 + #174 + a hundred others.

    I think you need to sit down quietly for a while, work out where you are going with this and, if necessary, seek some kind of counselling or other help. You’re going to make yourself ill.

  29. 729
    John Finn says:

    John Finn says:
    8 Mar 2012 at 11:23 AM
    Steve Metzler says:
    8 Mar 2012 at 7:34 AM
    Point taken, Gavin. OK, so we’re 49% of the way there. But that’s a *long way* from 80%!
    I think you might find Lindzen is referring to the increase from ALL ghgs (e.g. including methane etc). He is is making the case that this increase is equivalent to 76% or 80% or whatever of a doubling of CO2. He is probably right.

    [Response: I know full well what Lindzen is trying to say (and the misleading impression he wants to leave). The fact remains that only using greenhouse gases in this context is wrong – expectations of temperature rise depend crucially on the *net forcing* (incl aerosols) and the heat capacity of the oceans. Pretending these things are zero in order to make a rhetorical point is just wrong. It’s like adding up just your salary for the last year and expecting that number to be your total savings. – gavin]
    Regarding your response.
    I’m sure you do “know full well what Lindzen is trying to say”. I was responding to Steve who doesn’t. However, in your reply you seem to be makiing two main points (1) Aerosols are masking warming and (2) Energy is being stored in the oceans.
    On the first point, aerosols are being used as a fudge factor to explain the lower than expected warming rate – yet you have no idea idea what the magnitude of the aerosol effect is. Lindzen acually makes this point in his presentation. For at least 2 reasons, I believe the aersosl cooling effect is very small, i.e.:
    1. Industrial aerosols are relatively short-lived in the atmosphere. Most are ‘rained out’ within a few days. The effect of aerosols, therefore, is “regionally specific” (Mann & Jones 2003). In other words the cooling effect of aerosols should be most noticeable near the emission source. My home city should have experienced significant cooling (relative to the rest of the world) in the post-war period. It didn’t. Check the CET record and note that Central England was a major industrial region in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In general, the NH mid-latitude regions should have been relatively cooler than anywhere else in the world. They weren’t. It was the arctic that cooled (at 4 times the rate of the RoW)
    2. A small proportion of aerosols will mix longer in the atmosphere and it’s recognised that they are present in the arctic. However, the solar reflection properties of aerosols are less of an issue in the arctic and a large number of studies have concluded that, due to a phenomenon known as Arctic Haze (see, aerosols in the arctic produce WARMING – not cooling.

    On Ocean Heat Capacity, Roger Pielke has demonstrated numerous times using ARGO data that there has been ZERO (or near ZERO) heat gain over the past decade. I’ve seen nothing which contradicts this. I have seen one or two uncoconvincing attempts to show that heat accumulation is effectively ‘by-passing’ the top 700 metres of the ocean but is being stored below that in the upper 2000 metres. Like the aersosol effect these assertions seem, at best, speculative.

  30. 730
    Dan H. says:

    I will answer your questions in reverse order. The AMS survey covered 1815 individuals, of which 52% received a doctorate degree, and another 28% a masters, and 70% were over the age of 40. Compare this to the IPCC which utilized ~450 lead authors, several of whom were grad students or had not studied in the “atmospheric or related sciences.” So, the answer to your final question is yes.

    Second, my personal opinion is similar to the statement issued by the APS. With 50,000+ members, I would say that I am in good company. This is not an issue about whether one group of scientists is lying, but rather different conclusion determined by different analysis of the data. As pointed out earlier, neither the IPCC nor the APS does any research by itself, but makes a statement based on the evidence. I am not claiming that either you or the IPCC are lying when you stated that the climate sensitivity is in the range 2-4.5, so why would you think that I or the APS is lying when we state that the range is 1-3C / doubling? Maybe you can answer your own question, as to why there is a difference.

    Recent sea level graphs, just like temperature graphs posted by their sources are not peer-reviewed when updated. Are we to reject the most recent GISS measurements because they were posted without peer-review? The IPCC does not seem to think peer-review is all that important to the debate, yet you constantly use their reports. I believe that SKS has stated that the recent drop in sea level can be attributed to La Nina events. That is not a “debunking,” but rather an explanation as to why SLR is not accelerating. The graph shows the source of the data (, perhaps you would prefer a direct link to their site, showing the recent deceleration in SLR since 2006:
    I am not presenting any new consensus values for climate sensitivity, merely stating that the IPCC range is not considered a consensus by the larger scientific community.
    And yes, I do tend to dismiss someone who thinks that the climate sensitivity is above 5, just as I do someone who thinks it is zero.

  31. 731
    Dan H. says:

    Yes, the lakes have been wwarm this year, with freezing pccurring only in the northern lake areas. Also, more locals are leanign towards gloabl warming. However, this is just one year, and other parts of the world are not experiencing the same warmth.
    For response to your earlier post, read here:

  32. 732
    John Kosowski says:


    That is a pretty lengthy response to not be able to cite once instance of dishonesty.

    Tactics and agenda?

    You and others are the ones accusing Lindzen of dishonesty; the burden is on you to at least be able to cite instances. The truth is that when you revert to baseless ad hominems, you detract from your own argument in a significant way. I would think that a scientist as reputable as Gavin would not allow that on his forum. I suspect if I came here and started accusing GW scientists of dishonesty with no evidence or basis I would be booted in short order. And rightly so.

    If Lindzen (or any other climate scientist) really is “dishonest,” then that is another matter and everyone ought to know about it. Personally, Lindzen’s response to this particular mistake indicates that he certainly did not intend it and would have much preferred he not made it. That is my opinion anyway.

    So then, how is he dishonest?

  33. 733
    John Kosowski says:

    John Reisman@273,

    I am sorry, but words have meaning, and you can’t just make up your own definition of honesty. I would think it not necessary to explain this, but there is a big difference between “honest” and “wrong.”

  34. 734
    John Kosowski says:


    “When he’s claimed that smoking (not just second-hand smoke, but smoking) is not a significant cause of health problems.”

    Do you have some evidence of this allegation? I have seen similar made before, and they could not come up with any evidence. Note that your premise is that Lindzen made this statement, and that when he made it he knew it was wrong.

    So can you substantiate this?

  35. 735
    simon abingdon says:

    #307 Ray Ladbury. “you simply have to accept that we “know” something”. Otoh (IPCC 2001) “In climate research and modeling, we should realize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

  36. 736
    John Kosowski says:

    “regardless of the science, the answer is predetermined. Is this simply ignorance or dishonesty?”

    I think that is true of people on both sides, and I have even heard Gavin make a similar suggestion using the evolution of the eye as an example, quite convincingly at that. He, of course, was using the example to describe people on the opposite side as his, but I have certainly seen it on both sides.

    As far as Lindzen being “dishonest” I have seen no evidence of such, and I have looked. Nor has anyone here cited any. He made a mistake with the GISS graph (one I think he finds pretty embarrassing), he described an 80% increase as a “doubling” and, perhaps, included a meaningless graph that could show different things based on the choice of axis scale.

    I see a sincere scientist that believes that a .7- 1.0 C degree average global temperature change in 150 years is no cause for alarm. Further, I would suspect that if Lindzen stumbled onto the missing evidence that proved beyond all doubt that half the species would become extinct by the end of the century, that sea level would rise 5 meters by the end of the century and all the water on the planet would vaporize in 400 years, I think he would show it to the world. But at this time, he just doesn’t buy all of that, and so far, neither do I.

  37. 737
    Andy says:

    For the last few weeks, I have been following some climate blogs (mainly this and the Judith Curry blog). Today I have decided to stop following this blog. The comments related to this have been far over the top. The guy made a mistake in labeling a plot (maybe intentionally), which when confronted he retracted and apologized. I have personally been guilty of mislabeling many plots and even unintentionally presenting erroneous data. This is far from a crime.

    Forcing him to correct his mistakes is appropriate, but looking for ways to prosecute, get his tenure revoked, or kicked out of groups is a terrible response. Attempting to destroy someones career is a terrible crime, and frankly makes those even discussing it miserable people.

    [Response: Obviously you are welcome to stop following this blog, but the idea that you are going to stop because of stupid things people say in the comments section makes it quite unfathomable to that you would continue to follow JC! At any rate, it is great that Lindzen has apologized. But the suggestion that it was an ‘innocent mistake’ to be so careless with the data, and then base a very explicit accusation of fraud against GISS (and by implication, others), is quite remarkable.–eric]

  38. 738
    simon abingdon says:

    #349 Lotharsson. You are under misapprehension on a number of points regarding my #338.

    “Claiming libel”. I make no such claim.

    “weaselled your libel claim via ‘may have'”. To weasel is to use cunning or deceit. The meaning of my deliberate use of the words “may have” is manifestly transparent and unexceptionable.

    Statements are either true or false; they may be accurately quoted (or not). All the statements I cited are accurate; they are direct quotations.

    “context that you did not bother to quote”. The context of each statement cited is established by the identifier (#227 for example).

  39. 739
    Steve O says:

    First, people who accuse skeptics of doing their nasty deeds in the employ of “the fossil fuel industry” always sound ridiculous to anyone outside the echo chamber. It’s on par with those on the other side who think scientists are in on some kind of a hoax.

    In general, politicians want to play politics, businesses want to do business, and scientists want to do good science.

    Second, I’m not sure if this post addresses a couple of the main concerns. For 26 of the Northernmost located stations that have records going back to the 1940’s, the average adjustment was 0.7 deg C to lower the historical temperatures. That’s not a minimal amount, and those stations cover a very large area.

    Also, I have a quote that “Trausti Jonsson, a senior climatologist at the Iceland Met Office, has already confirmed that he sees no reason for the adjustments in Iceland and that they themselves have already made any adjustments necessary due to station moves etc before sending the data onto GHCN.”

    I’m in no position to conclude anything either way, but the issue doesn’t sound to me like it’s worth dismissing out of hand.

  40. 740
    simon abingdon says:

    #431 Ray Ladbury. “It is certainly true that there are aspects of climate science that are subtle and difficult to understand.” Worse still “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” (IPCC).

  41. 741
    Paul Vincelli says:

    @454 Richard. Like you, I accept the weight of the scientific consensus on climate change. I agree: blogs are valuable, and papers in low-impact journals don’t carry much weight. But the point is that blogs are not primary sources of scientific information. Only peer-reviewed papers are.

    Sure, perhaps we can ignore one paper in a minor journal. But I don’t think so. If climate change is as important as climate scientists say, any peer-reviewed paper that challenges the scientific consensus should be thoroughly considered and, if possible, rebutted in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. To someone exercising a healthy skepticism, the lack of convincing rebuttal implies that the paper has substance.

  42. 742
    BeeMaya says:

    Ozone hole large or small, not much of GW, methane hole large
    or small, all peanuts.
    We’d better think of laughing gas, which is predominant in the 1750-2000 radiative forcing diagram. Here we notice strong effects and some folks
    suffer already from overdose. Lets break down the real numbers for this gas
    and forget ozone, methane and sulphur and other overrated stuff!

  43. 743
    BeeMaya says:

    The WSJ comes up with only 16 scientists, a motley crew but
    we have 97% of climate scientists who all agree and these are
    much more in number: 77 surveyed in the suffrage, for proving the 97%
    number. We are 5 times better then the WSJ and we can live without
    the missing 3%! Let them write for the WSJ. I always liked to go
    with the strong majority, feels much better inside than being denier

  44. 744
    Tom Scharf says:

    I wonder how many times adjustments that increase the temperature trend have to be made before it is considered “Statistically significant” that the trend of the trend changes has a trend.

    Is there a reason with the billion dollar budgets that the poles still (apparently?) don’t have good temperature monitoring coverage?

    This revisionism does get rather predictable. I suppose it could all be on the up and up, but IMO confirmation bias is so entrenched here it has reached DNA levels. And this is exhibit A for that trial.

  45. 745
    Salamano says:


    You said.

    It’s also false that, by making statements about this ordering, one implicitly acknowledges validity of arguments made in the past about 1998. An argumentation that was fallacious in the first place does not suddenly turn valid. Perhaps in rhetoric, not in logic.

    I simply disagree, and it’s fine for this disagreement to occur. I think Eric did a good job clearing things up on this RC post, and in the past Gavin, Hansen, etc. have said all the things about the statistical non-relevance of declaring a ‘warmest year’ out of the mix. It just wasn’t specifically done caveat-free in this particular post.

    To me, the logic and rhetoric both imply validity with declaring a ‘warmest’ year out of the bunch. If the argument is fallacious (as indeed it is), then it should not be used now either.

    This whole matter is no longer a big deal, because in my opinion the proper context has been brought into “this particular RC post” and no longer has to be declared that ‘so and so did say it often in other places/times’. As has been acknowledged by everyone…one simple ENSO event, combined with some solar activity (or not) will settle the matter in a much less ambiguous way. If that takes 5 more years (doubtful), perhaps it’s worth a re-visit as to just how much the natural variability and noise can stunt/mask the advancement of global temperature due to the increase of GHG (which presumably goes on in the academic world at these various conferences anyway).

  46. 746
    Kasuha says:

    Contemplating the sense of warmest years once again and I’d like if someone could put me right on this:
    What is the real sense of looking at warmest years calculated from CRUTEM data?
    Ever since 1979 we have satellites flying over our heads scanning (almost) whole globe’s temperature 24/7 so if we are looking for _global_ temperature, here we are, no need for land station data.
    CRUTEM does not even cover whole world, there are gaping holes in their data over seas and oceans where no meteorological stations are. How representative for global temperature it is? The coverage is 709 of 2592 squares, that’s less than 30%.
    You may say that CRUTEM is global land temperature – okay. But does that mean seas are unimportant? Why should be global land average be more important than complete global average? Global warming is supposed to affect evaporation, which happens a lot over seas. So temperature changes in there should be important as well…
    You may say that CRUTEM is relevant to areas where people live. But in such a case, why is the average area-based? Why does a far norhtern area where almost nobody lives have similar weight in such calculation as center of Europe or East US where tens of millions people live on each square? If it was calculated from number of people then recently added high latitude areas sure wouldn’t have such impact. Moreover, if it’s about how people feel about it, then calculating temperature anomaly is completely misleading as it sure is not true that people at far north enjoy their below freezing average temperatures as much as people at middle latitudes enjoy their mild averages.
    You may say that CRUTEM is relevant to agriculture. But in that case, yet again, agricultural usage of the area should be taken into account as far north areas are way less agriculturally important. Warming there is actually beneficial for them from the agricultural point of view, while near equator decreases may be felt as improvements.
    And if you say that CRUTEM is relevant to natural processes, then yet again there is a whole lot of sea area missing and sure enough there’s a whole lot of nature right under the sea surface.
    So what is the true reason that we are giving CRUTEM averages preference over satellite data?

  47. 747
    Isotopious says:


    “A cyclic behavior requires a cyclic forcing.”

    Untrue, Maybe you should check up on Newton’s first law of motion, or perhaps Galileo’s law of inertia.

    An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.

    Thus, an object that has cyclic behavior does not require a cyclic forcing.

    What’s next, a hidden rocket on the dark side of the moon….how else does move?

    Indeed, what’s the linear trend of Earth’s temperature for the last half million years……dead flat……oops!……no change!

  48. 748
    GSW says:

    I don’t think RC guys have commented on this. So I’d be interested on their take.

    Do you see any significance to the recent US warming as further confirmation of anthropogenic C02 induced heat signal, or are we all just getting excited by weather?

    I think this is confined to the US. Other regions are normal/cool (?).

    Also if theoretically, we had a few weeks of exceptionally cold weather in the US, would this be confirmation of the exact opposite?

    The statement “one cannot attribute any particular weather event to AGW, but in a warming world this certainly what would expect” I interpret as No but Yes. Something a little clearer (for want of a better word) would be helpful. Thanks

  49. 749
    Dan H. says:

    This is where the whole 17-year time frame got its start.

    It seems to be coming back to haunt him.

  50. 750
    Dan H. says:


    First off, my apologies for citing a source which you could not access.
    The references to which you referred were to studies which described the blocking events, and their potential causes (we have known about the blocking events themselves for years). My statement concerned the research done with reference to trends in blocking events. I will copy the relevant conclusion from their report.

    “Other studies were confirmed which found that Central
    Europe and the Pacific Ocean around the data
    line are the main areas for blocking in the Northern
    Hemisphere. The number of days with blocked airflow
    varies strongly with a maximum in winter and spring
    and a minimum in summer and autumn. When annual
    means are considered, a 2–3-year cycle of years with
    frequent and infrequent blocking activity was found.
    Hardly any evidence for a trend behaviour could be
    found between 1951 and 2007, apart from a very weak
    decrease during that time.”

    Be careful not to jump to conclusions before everything is known.