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Quick pre-SPM round-up

Filed under: — group @ 1 February 2007

Tomorrow is the big day for all IPCC-watchers (and we’ll comment then) but in the meantime here are a few interesting tidbits floating around today.

First off, there are some curious patterns in the whitehouse.gov search engine. It turns out that it has been blocked from returning most results if the search phrase includes “global warming” – even if it’s from the President himself. For instance, searching for “issue of global” gives as top result the President’s Rose Garden speech in June 2001 on Global Climate Change, but searching for “issue of global warming” (which of course is the full phrase used) returns nothing. Hmmm…..

Secondly, Bill Nye (‘the underprepared science guy’) had a rather rough time of it up against Richard Lindzen on Larry King last night – an episode notable only for the regression back to the ‘false balance’ notion that most of the media has been moving away from (sigh…). However, tucked away at the end was a rather confused section, where it appears that Lindzen bet Nye that ice cores don’t have a resolution better than 2000 years. Now this is an odd claim, and an odder thing to bet on, since Greenland cores (GRIP, GISP2) and Antarctic cores (EPICA DML) have sub-annual resolution in many cases for the isotope (temperature) records, and at least decadal resolution (Law Dome, Siple Dome) for the greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4). It’s true that the very longest records (Vostok and Dome-C) have coarser resolution, but surely Lindzen doesn’t think they are the only ones that exist? So, to make up for Nye’s performance, he should at least get a quality bottle of scotch. Bill, let us know if Lindzen pays up!

Finally, there is an excellent article on the sausage making going on in Paris… more on that tomorrow.


93 Responses to “Quick pre-SPM round-up”

  1. 1
    Paul says:

    For any journalist who are reading (hope there are plenty) the Society of Environmental Journalists has just posted a great backgrounder on climate change.

    Information is being update, but there is good stuff there for general interest readers and for those who need a quick reference while on deadline.

    Best of all, there is a list of experts to call for your stories.

    See here: http://www.sej.org/resource/index18.htm

  2. 2
    Brenden says:

    Hi, I just wanted to ask why Bill Nye seems to be criticized so harshly. I admit I am a bit biased in that I am a big Bill Nye fan who loved watching his ‘Science Guy’ show in grade school. I learned alot of things from his show, and gained a much strengthened passion for science at an early age, thanks to his brilliant parody music videos and ‘way cool’ home experiments, which more than once almost set our kitchen on fire.

    Although I understand he is not a climatologist (nor am I) He is at least an intelligent and learned figure in discussing the basic issue of global warming that people need to hear with an authoritative air.

    I thought he did a great job in debating with slow-talking Lindzen and he was spot on with the science and rebuttling the many overused contrarian arguments that Linzden, the Oklahoma senator and the skeptic weatherman threw out there. He also offered good insight into alternative energy sources and currently available energy-efficient appliances such as LED lights and proposed the idea of third world nations developing and modernizing by leaping forward to efficient and environmentally friendly means of technology.

    I do not understand why he deserved to be called “the underprepared science guy” after his well-done delivery of useful and accurate global warming information and opinion. I think you guys owe Bill Nye the Science Guy a cup of coffee and an apology.

  3. 3
    Brenden says:

    Secondly, if you think that special on CNN was falsely balanced, you should watch Fox News every time they talk about Global Warming. They like to get just two contrarian figures up there with Cavuto or Gibson and it’s often just a three-way yak fest of agreeing on how global warming isn’t real. Sheesh!

  4. 4
    A Fritz says:

    Id agree with RC on this one after reading the transcript. Nye started off the conversation with Gulf Stream shut down. If he wanted to argue the importance with circulation shutdown, he should have stuck to the thermohaline hypothesis. To go from “freshening” to “Gulf Stream shutdown” is leaving a huge gap and Lindzen definitely took advantage of that, and Nye was ill-prepared because he didnt see that coming.

    About the unblanace in CNN (re:3) – I think what they are trying to say is that CNN is obviously more balanced than Fox News (and in my opinion, CNN and NBC are drifting right) but the “liberal media” argument is still prevailing, especially with Bill OReilly’s “war on NBC” or whatever they’re calling it now.

  5. 5
    Sashka says:

    Regarding the ice cores resolution: I vaguely remember that there was a seemingly meaningful controversy on the subject related to the diffusion within the cores, if I’m not mistaken.

  6. 6
    tom street says:

    Glad you commented on this. I just caught the tail end of the CNN show but was appalled that there wasn’t a climate expert to counter Lindzen. Basically, Lindzen implied there was no science involved with the IPCC findings and Nye was not prepared to counter that. He also did not seem to know that the IPCC has raised their probability level that GW is caused by man. He tried to bet a cup of coffee on whether or not the probability was in the high 90s but Lindzen implied we won’t know anything until May when the report is published.

    Also, I hated one of King’s last comments that Lindzen should know since he is from MIT, as if that settles everything.

    Also, the lady from the weather channel did a pretty good job but not sure she is a climate scientist.

    All in all, I think CNN did a disservice to the public on this and King is too uninfomed to realize how badly his producers screwed this up.

    We finally seem to be getting some traction on this issue with the new congress and the rather extremely warm winter we have had. Too bad that CNN seems to have its head up its ass.

    By the way, maybe it’s just my browser (Firefox) but I hate this comments section. I am unable to increase the size of these tiny little letters I have to read. Is their a solution for this?

  7. 7
    Don Thieme says:

    It seems to me that Heidi Cullen should have been the one debating Lindzen, rather than Nye. I can see why Lindzen might think that the Gulf Stream and gyre circulation are part of the thermohaline circulation because many textbooks actually treat them together. So I would have to disagree with Lindzen that he was presenting textbook material, and he was really just using that material to duck the telling argument Nye had already made about the thermohaline circulation.

  8. 8
    Paul says:

    Was there any mention on CNN about Lindzen’s history of accepting corporate money? Also, just got a tip from a friend in Paris.

    It appears that Seth Borenstein at AP is on the right track and there will be a sentence affirming that hurricanes are becoming more powerful because of climate change.

  9. 9
    tom street says:

    Went back and read the transcript. I was wrong about the bet, which was about temperature resolution, not probability of man made warming. It clearly looks like Nye is owed a bottle of very expensive scotch.

    It wasn’t so much that Nye was wrong, it’s that he didn’t appear very confident debating Lindzen.

  10. 10
    Pat says:

    I missed it. Is Lindzen still saying that water vapor accounts for 98 % of the greenhouse effect? I’m curious. Also what’s the current state of his ‘iris effect’ idea?
    Where did he get that 98 % idea from, anyway?

  11. 11
    Pat says:

    Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize there was a transcript available.

  12. 12
    Simon says:

    With respect to the whitehouse, I checked their search engine as well. “Global Climate Change” gives lots of hits, “Global Warming” gives only one (a denial of anthropogenic climate change). But you’ve got your phrases mixed up (check your post) which is why the search engine returned nothing. You searched “issue of global warming” but you should have searched “Issue of Global Climate Change”.

    I’m all for trashing this administration but only when it is deserved! I’m obviously using a bit of hyperbole. . .

    [Response: You are missing the point. There are plenty of things on the site that mention global warming, you just aren't able to search for them. -gavin]

  13. 13
    Steve Bloom says:

    Re #5: The comments link after the posts brings up a separate window that cannot be made full-screen in IE either. To get the comments full-screen, either click on the “more” link at the left bottom of the posts that are long enough to have jumps (i.e., short posts like this one don’t have them), or just scroll back up to the top and click on the post title. If the comments text is still too small (and actually I can’t see a difference in mine), your browser has settings to change font size. Possibly it’s set to show smaller text in pop-up windows only.

  14. 14
    Pat Neuman says:

    Two Weather Channel articles which I highly recommend are:

    January 31, 2007
    JUMPING ON A BANDWAGON BEFORE IT SHOWS UP
    Buzz Bernard, Senior Meteorologist
    http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11668.html?from=blog_permalink_mainindex&ref=/blog/weather/

    and

    JUNK CONTROVERSY NOT JUNK SCIENCE…
    Dr. Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert
    December 21, 2006
    http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11392.html?from=blog_permalink_month&ref=/blog/weather/archive/200612.html

  15. 15
    Paul M says:

    I believe global warming is Bill Nye’s new bread and butter. We will see him more on the lecture circuit, and I will predict he will have the first show dedicated to global warming. Human induced climate change will prove to be a lucrative business for some, though as Nye gets up to speed with the topic he will bring it to America’s consciousness. He does have a point with the comparative observations of our neighbor planets Mars and Venus, and humans really should take note. In the meantime, it is now February and the winter really hasn’t come here to Pennsylvania. Anyways I am rooting for Bill Nye to be the new spokesman to get the word out.

  16. 16
    ghost says:

    RE: #5 I get a full screen view of the comments by right-clicking the “Comments” link and opening in a new window in IE/FF, or a new tab in FF. RE: the whitewashhouse.gov site, they probably have Frank Luntz running the lexicon show there; if so, “warming” is taboo. He focused grouped “climate change” and found it to be less scary than “warming.” “Words That Mislead.” Bill Nye? A bit out of his lane, I’d say. At least Larry didn’t use Jessica Simpson.

  17. 17

    There was never a real debate on Larry King last night, only idea jabs flying all over the place, without any knock out, but I suspect Lindzen will regret predicting that it will be colder in 5 years. I am certain that even him, the ever so staunch contrarian, will be convinced about AGW 2 minutes before Boston gets flooded. Let the weather do the convincing, may be even weathermen will “get it” after everyone else went to higher ground.

  18. 18
    Donald B Hagler says:

    In comment 10 Pat asks where Lindzen gets 98% of greenhouse effect from water vapor. Several sources are possible: For example, Prof. Robert H Essenhigh, Ohio State U., noted in his letter (published in the Wall Street Journal 10/10/00) that he ran the numbers for nine years teaching the course: “Air Pollution From Combustion Sources”, and found that “the water averages out as 97% of the thermal trapping, with a top limit of 99%, with carbon dioxide as the balance of 1 to 3%. In other words, the carbon dioxide is less than the ‘noise’ in the variations in the water.”

    This is on point because he is directly speaking of “thermal trapping”, by his adding: “What is now needed is recognition of the futility of trying to control global warming by reduction of carbon dioxide (the Kyoto Protocol Objective) by fuel switching or carbon sequestration, to say nothing of the economic damage by pointless diversion of resources to those ends.”

    In fact, 3 years earlier “Too Much Hot Air” was a feature article in Newsweek, and noted: “Water vapor accounts for some 98% of the warming, without which the Earth would be 61 degrees Fahrenheit colder.” (Pg.49 of issue dated 10/20/97) But, obviously no one would rely on anything like Newsweek, when that result is consistently verifiable by actual observation, such as carried out by Prof. Essenhigh.

    [Response: Lindzen used this '98%' number back in 1991 at least (in a review of the first IPCC report). I have looked high and low for a source in the literature and never found one. If you do the numbers, it never comes anywhere close - see here. -gavin]

  19. 19
    Rod B. says:

    I thought Bill Nye sounded like he was just reciting talking points; I suspect he was. And the weather channel gal just sounded shrill from overconfidence. Lindzen (truth of disclosure — my man) clearly had it over the others but somehow managed to come off as a buffoon a time or two. In all of their defense, however, all of the cable news network producers push for shrieking over learned discourse from their guests — though Larry King probably less than the others.

    re Fox Cable News (truth again — my network) For the record I recall O’Reily issuing a rant in support of AGW; but that was some time ago and my memory might be fuzzy… Pavlov-like criticism are frankly silly. For my money, they far and away present the best hourly/prime news shows (cable and broadcast), well, 2nd best, behind McNeil on PBS.

  20. 20
    Edward Greisch says:

    My neighbors are as hard to convince as George Bush, maybe harder. My neighbors would live in Texas rather than Illinois if they could. Since increases in rainfall are predicted, that would indicate that more rather than less corn will grow. Since the growth of corn is a function of degrees multiplied by days, they think that global warming should double the harvest. They have no use for polar bears or any other organism that people don’t eat. They aren’t interested in whatever might happen after they die.
    How do you convince people like my neighbors?

  21. 21
    Joel Shore says:

    When is someone going to nail Lindzen to the wall on the “no warming in the past 8 years” claim? I mean, some people who use that line may honestly believe it, but someone of the caliber of Lindzen saying it just strikes me as outright intellectual dishonesty (which I am using here as a euphomism for “lying”). I can’t honestly believe that you can get a PhD in meteorology and a professorship at MIT without understanding the most basic concepts of how you deal (and do not deal) with noisy data.

  22. 22
    Ike Solem says:

    A poor discussion of the science is how it seemed, with a few caveats. Heidi Cullen seemed to do the best job.

    Larry King opened up by raising the issue of the Arctic, which was followed up on by Heidi Cullen, although there was no mention of high-altitude glacier melt in the tropical and temperate zones – and these are important issues, as they bear out predictions made decades ago about where the warming would first be most evident.

    Larry King also mentioned heat waves, which fits into the general topic of climate variability; Heidi Cullen mentioned the issue – and no one brought up the issue of more intense coastal flooding and drying continental interiors and what that combination could mean for current agricultural production. Lindzen seemed to avoid any mention of increased climate variability – no surprises there.

    After that, there was the minor goof by Bill Nye; he started mentioning changes in ocean circulation but then made a minor error in getting into a discussion of what drives the Gulf Stream, which Richard Lindzen then pounced on and spent the rest of the program attacking – the issue might have been better framed as a decrease in the deep water formation off of Greenland.

    Bill Nye could have raised many issues with Lindzen, such as whether Lindzen still believes that GCM’s have too much lateral atmospheric transport of heat and moisture, or that some dynamic behavior of the atmosphere will cause it to cool off rapidly by shedding heat to space at the top of the atmosphere.

    There was little discussion of the melting rates of the Greenland Ice Sheet, or of the future behavior of Antarctica, or of how much heat was being stored in the ocean (topics full of uncertainty, but, as Drew Shindell pointed out in the House hearings, uncertainty cuts in both directions – and it would have been nice to see even a brief discussion of uncertainty and risk, particularly from the economists present – for example, a discussion of how insurance companies are currently treating coastal property…)

    One of Lindzen’s last comments was “I’m saying that we have seen a rate of temperature change that is not outside the range of what the climate does by itself.” What’s odd about the long-standing climate contrarians is how they happily contradict themselves from one sentence to the next; I assume he is basing that statement on paleoclimate records, which he then goes on to attack for having to low resolution to be useful???

    In any case, the current rate of CO2 buildup in the atmosphere is something like 20-30X greater than anything seen in the ice cores – and this seemed to be one of the glaring omissions in the debate.

    It would have been good to see a discussion of the rate of fossil fuel CO2 emissions to the atmosphere and of the rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere, and of what the relationship between those two rates was and how it might change in the future.

    There was also no mention of the funding cuts in the climate satellite and ocean data collection programs. Pretty poor overall.

  23. 23
    Harold R. says:

    I don’t understand why Heidi Cullen didn’t speak up? All she could say was the science is solid, which Lindzen harped on for it’s lack of specific evidence. Cullen was horrible, Nye looked foolish. And the viewer walks away thinking, “if global warming is caused by humans, not one of the experts said anything to convince me…”

  24. 24
    BarbieDoll Moment says:

    Is this just another example of media hype or is there some actual concrete foundational evidence for the allegations discussed in the subject matter?

    Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study
    Ian Sample
    The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited, (02 Feb 2007)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2004399,00.html

    “Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “…”The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN’s panel as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work” and ask for essays that “thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs”. Climate scientists described the move yesterday as an attempt to cast doubt over the “overwhelming scientific evidence” on global warming. “It’s a desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their own political aims,” said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.”…

  25. 25
    Mark A. York says:

    My new anti-Crichton global warming novel, “Warm front” is in a competition at Warm Front. The prize is a meager publishing contract with Simon & Schuster. While I link my synopsis, the firstchapter competition is only based on first impressions on the first 2000 words of prose fiction. The book is dedicated to the climate scientists here at Realclimate. May they rule in fiction as in science. I invite readers here to register and vote.

    target="_blank">Firstchapters

    Thanks. Crichton really put a kink my craw. Someone had to get even.

  26. 26
    Edward A. Barkley says:

    The smugness and matter-of-fact tone of climate scientists on human-caused global warming in the face of the mind-blowing complexity of global climate science is only proof that this movement is a new religion in the early stages of foundation. Repeatedly invoking “Katrina” in conjunction with this argument is case-in-point.

    New Orleans has been in great danger of a direct hit from a powerful hurricane since Teddy Roosevelt was complaining about rain spoiling his duck hunt. To hear that category 4 hurricane repeatedly placed at the forefront of so many global warming smackdowns is only evidence of a weak argument, questionable science, political grandstanding and blatent fearmongering. The scientific method that I was taught in high school would indicate that the earliest predictions made by the man-made warming hypothesis be the first tested for accuracy, since in order for an hypothesis to be considered a theory, there must be predictability in the science. And so satellites and weather balloons must detect lower atmosphere warming in advance of ground warming. Even this site admits as much.

    At least the new report admits the train can’t be stopped. Will miracles never cease. Now, let’s here you admit that nitrogen is a bigger problem per cubic foot and eliminating such is much more likely to starve the world.

    In fact, where is the connection between pure, mathematical science and the moral stance you are taking?

  27. 27
    Dianne Fristrom says:

    I just tried a search for “global warming” on the whitehouse.gov search engine and got 4665 (or something) responses – so much for the cover-up

    [Response: No you didn't - you searched without the quotes - William]

  28. 28
    Raines Cohen says:

    The quick-n-dirty dailyKos diary I posted a few hours ago (linked from my name below) based on blog coverage of the whitehouse.gov search oddities has unearthed some plausible alternative theories in reader comments, and I’m now backing (pending further evidence) the hypothesis that the search engine uses tags/categories rather than fulltext. No if we only had plausible alternative theories to anthropogenic global climate crisis.

    Thanks for the CNN synopsis, I hadn’t gtten to see it yet.

  29. 29
    Tas says:

    As for ice core resolution, we have published records from Law Dome that give approximately monthly time-series for the last ~700 years. For non-diffusive species like sea-salts, this is a genuine reflection of the temporal resolution. For water isotopes the resolution, because of diffusion, is maybe reduced to a season rather than a month. At lower accumulation sites, the diffusion problem really starts to reduce isotope resolution even if the physical sampling is many-per-year.

    For trapped air, the resolution depends upon the diffusive age spread at the depth bubbles close off and the rapidity of seal-off by progressive burial. At best, a decade or two at very high accumulation sites like eastern Law Dome (DE08).

    For non-gas species resolution is ultimately limited by the number of resolvable deposition events per year, which we think at Law Dome is around 20-30. Some studies claim 50+ samples per year, but this has to be considered in the context of diffusion and precipitation frequency at the site.

    However you cut it, sounds like Nye is owed something!

  30. 30
    Ike Solem says:

    RE#24,
    Well, yes – (working link):
    Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study, Ian Sample, science correspondent, Friday February 2, 2007 – The Guardian

    “The letters were sent by Kenneth Green, a visiting scholar at AEI, who confirmed that the organisation had approached scientists, economists and policy analysts to write articles for an independent review that would highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC report.”

    See also the RC post, http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/01/calling-all-science-teachers/

    Kenneth Green wrote this blurb on the issue:
    Clouds of Global-Warming Hysteria: Finally starting to lift?
    Ever since the debate broke out over climate change, the world’s attention has been riveted on computer-driven horror stories and the positively silly idea of establishing global-weather control by actively managing the atmosphere’s greenhouse-gas emissions. This focus has gathered up a lethal coalition of people with diverse motivations for promoting it. I call it a lethal coalition because, for nearly 20 years, this coalition has killed off any attempt to look at climate change through a rational lens…

    No discussion of any science, just a fossil fuel think tank-funded rant. See exxonsecrets.org for more details.

  31. 31
    Ike Solem says:

    RE#26,
    Dianne, try doing a search with “climate change” in quotes; you get 628 references; with “global warming” in quotes you get 1 reference, which contains this bizzare quote: “…many Flemish and Dutch artists, like Pieter Brueghel and Hendrick Avercamp, depicted severe Little Ice Age winters in their paintings…” (that was under the heading, “Vikings enjoy Greenland beaches” – ??)

    As far as a cover-up, wouldn’t that include things like pressuring government scientists not to use the words “global warming” or “Kyoto protocol”, having their statements vetted by political appointees, and removing funding from climate data collection (satellite and ocean sensor) programs?

  32. 32
    pete best says:

    Its funny how it takes a raft of scientists and diplomots etc to write a single so called definitive report on the state of the earths climate when it never takes this much effort for anything else scientific. This year the LHC goes online at CERN (particle physics), it is the most complex machine ever devised by humans but I doubt it took a massive UN report to make it so !!??

    Climate Change appears to frighten everyone in Government as it is slated to be un american for one and anti progress for two (which it might well be in the long run) but all of this wrangling and obfuscation by governments etc does not mean that at some point it is not going to become a serious issue but hey do what, by then new fuels and clean technology will save the day.

    Does anyone really know what a massive problem AGW is going to be. Drop off in levels of fossil fuels will only mitigate the rise in usage and population growth by 2050 it would seem. Where are the viable alternatives to Oil, Gas and Coal, where is the infrastructure and how much of it needs to be replaced to carry new feuls and energy.

    In the USA where all this is seemingly being played out (EU 27 already acknowledges the science and wants to act to a certain degree even though its citizens only use 1/2 the fuels of the average US citizen) they have massive leeway to slash CO2 output and energy usage but where is the political will except for California perhaps? I guess that the rest of the world has trouble understanding the USA in many ways – its politics, its attitude to the rest of the world and its science. Are scientists and science not respected in the USA I wonder ?

  33. 33
    Benny says:

    Here’s four initial stories on the IPCC. Notice that those coming out of Europe, don’t go into the hurricane/climate change “controversy.” Is this because Europeans have enough grasp of physics that they can understand how adding more energy into a system through warmer sea surface temperatures would cause hurricanes to grow stronger?

    Or is it maybe that Europeans don’t have a made-for-media team of contrarians such as the National Hurricane Center?

    From AP
    http://tinyurl.com/2ta42y

    Financial Times
    http://tinyurl.com/32kxj4

    BBC
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6321351.stm?ls

    Reuters, South Africa
    http://tinyurl.com/2v645w

  34. 34
    Ulrich Nehls says:

    Sorry – but n o t h i n g has been “blocked” from the White House search engine. Didn’t you notice the %22 signs in the URL given on that blogger site??? Remove them from the URL in your browser and you’ll see more than 4,000 results for “global warming” – including a lot, of course, where both words appear without connection.

    [Response: They are double quote marks, so that you get the phrase, not all of the individual instances of each word. - gavin]

  35. 35
    Jim Edwards says:

    I have not checked the White House site, nor do I intend to, but I hope they do temporarily block certain search terms. It’s pretty clear with the full-court media press that’s going on Re: the SPM release tomorrow that people are going to be interested. Has it crossed your mind that they might preemptively attempt to keep the server from crashing ? People have other issues on their mind, such as Iraq, tax policy, housing, education, etc. Why should the whole site go down b/c 50,000 people decide to log on at once and search for the President’s take on AGW. We all know what you’ll find if you read one of his speeches. What can they hide ? A little less paranoia, please…

  36. 36

    [[In comment 10 Pat asks where Lindzen gets 98% of greenhouse effect from water vapor. Several sources are possible: For example, Prof. Robert H Essenhigh, Ohio State U., noted in his letter (published in the Wall Street Journal 10/10/00) that he ran the numbers for nine years teaching the course: "Air Pollution From Combustion Sources", and found that "the water averages out as 97% of the thermal trapping, with a top limit of 99%, with carbon dioxide as the balance of 1 to 3%. In other words, the carbon dioxide is less than the 'noise' in the variations in the water." ]]

    RealClimate has covered Essenhigh’s bogus calculations before (Gavin — link?). He is making the mistake critics of global warming made in the 1930s — concentrating on saturation at low levels and ignoring the fact that absorption also takes place in higher levels and you have to account for the whole atmosphere. In fact CO2 accounts for 26% of the clear-sky greenhouse warming on Earth, not 1-3%. (Link?)

  37. 37

    [[Its funny how it takes a raft of scientists and diplomots etc to write a single so called definitive report on the state of the earths climate when it never takes this much effort for anything else scientific.]]

    That’s because there isn’t a huge big-business/government effort to confuse and distort the science when it comes to evolutionary biology, celestial mechanics or the theory of relativity.

  38. 38
    Hans Erren says:

    Could you explain what this whitehouse bashing has to do with the next SPM?

  39. 39
    James Annan says:

    #34,

    The “%22″ signs (which represent quotation marks) are simply because I’m searching for the exact phrase “global warming” rather than the presence of both terms “global” and “warming”. It is the former search that fails so spectacularly and curiously.

    Can you find any other exact phrase search that shows a similar discrepancy between google and the whitehouse.gov search engine?

  40. 40
    Henry says:

    I would say the IPCC is going a little soft. There’s no proxy graph in the Summary, with temperature graphs going back to only 1850. They mention the liklihood that temperature now is the highest in 1300 years, but seem to over-qualify this with fluff about uncertainties. I don’t know whose been twisting their arm. The proxy data is one of the strongest arguments for the dire conclusions.

  41. 41
    Serinde says:

    Re 33. It’s more likely due to the fact that hurricanes hardly ever happen.
    Is there any way to pull this discussion into a global forum rather than the discussion of a television programme and personalities most of us non US people have never heard of?

  42. 42
    Tom Adams says:

    35, it has been blocked since January 19 at the latest, that is when I first discovered it. I have no information on exactly when they started blocking it.

  43. 43
    P. Lewis says:

    “global warming” picks up 1
    global +warming picks up 1649
    global warming picks up 4665
    “global climate change” picks up 230

    It’s not for me to comment overly much, being a foreigner, like … but this says a lot about the search engine and politicking to me.

    If you wanted to search for the particular phrase “global warming”, which would you normally choose from the above options in your favourite search engine, other than at whitehouse.gov of course?

  44. 44
    Dan Allan says:

    re 19:

    I’m surprised nobody took the bait and responded to your defense Fox News’ climate science reporting, where you state, “Pavlov-like criticism are frankly silly.”

    There is nothing Pavlovian in criticizing Fox News’ coverage of this topic. Their “fair and balanced” documentary on the topic was a skeptics’ love-fest. The fact that this was expected and predictable, and that the channel is repugnant and anathema to anyone interested in liberal-minded environmental policy does not change it.

    Do I have a Pavlovian reaction to the sound of Brit Hume’s voice? Yes I do. But I’m still capable of a “fair and balanced” analysis of his words.

  45. 45
    Sashka says:

    Re: 29

    Thanks a lot but it was a bit too fast for me. some questions remain:

    For non-diffusive species like sea-salts, this is a genuine reflection of the temporal resolution.

    I have no idea what it means. I thought we were talking about Greenland and Antarctic ice cores.

    For water isotopes the resolution, because of diffusion, is maybe reduced to a season rather than a month.

    Why a season, not 10 years? Or a 100? How well do we understand the diffusion over such large time scales? Same question for trapped air: I guess it’s even more prone to diffuse.

    Apart from the temporal resolution. If you look at water isotopes, is the origin of the air mass that deposited the precip important or not? Say tropical vs. midlatitude. If it is, how do we deal with the lack of this information?

  46. 46
    P. Lewis says:

    In the interests of sci… well, as an afterthought, I thought a comparison might be in order. You can work out the percentage differences yourselves and gauge whether there is any significance to the differences. I just make the observation:

    “global warming” picks up 1, cf. 66,600,000 in Google
    global +warming picks up 1649, cf. 74,500,000 in Google
    global warming picks up 4665, cf. 77,000,000 in Google
    “global climate change” picks up 230, cf. 917,000 in Google

  47. 47
    Nick Gotts says:

    Re #33 “Here’s four initial stories on the IPCC. Notice that those coming out of Europe, don’t go into the hurricane/climate change “controversy.” Is this because Europeans have enough grasp of physics that they can understand how adding more energy into a system through warmer sea surface temperatures would cause hurricanes to grow stronger?

    Or is it maybe that Europeans don’t have a made-for-media team of contrarians such as the National Hurricane Center?”

    Could be because we don’t get hurricanes in Europe! (We do sometimes get the tail ends of them, at much lower wind speeds.)

  48. 48
    Crust says:

    P. Lewis, your numbers above are for Google as a whole. For an apples to apples comparison, you need to do a site specific search:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Awww.whitehouse.gov+%22global+warming%22&btnG=Search

    This gives 439 matches for “global warming” on whitehouse.gov vs. 1 they will admit to.

    On the other hand, “global climate change” is apparently more politically correct in the White House as they give 230 hits vs. Google’s 348.

  49. 49
    Tom Adams says:

    Re 35:

    Your theory that this is a short term block does not hold up against the evidence. Brainstorms.com tabluated whitehouse.gov hits for various terms way back in 2003:

    http://www.brianstorms.com/04mar2003.html

    0 hits for “global warming”. But, as the main article points out Bush used the term in a Rose Garden speech in 2001.

  50. 50
    Darek says:

    To 32.

    Maybe we in the USA have some common sense left and we know better than to listen to pseudo-scientists? Maybe we in the USA know that 0.5% of all of the CO2 produced in the world that humans produce has no meaning in the scheme of things? Maybe we in the USA are really more sophisticated than European decadent losers that have no faith and believe only in so called “science”? There is no consensus for the global warming in scientific society and you can take to the bank.


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