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G8 summit declaration

Filed under: — stefan @ 8 June 2007

We assume that many of our readers will be interested in the declaration of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm (Germany), which was agreed yesterday by the leaders of the G8 countries. We therefore document the key passages on climate change below. As usual we refrain from a political analysis, but as scientists we note that it is rewarding to see that the results of climate science are fully acknowledged by the heads of state.

The declaration states:


48. We take note of and are concerned about the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The most recent report concluded both, that global temperatures are rising, that this is caused largely by human activities and, in addition,that for increases in global average temperature, there are projected to be major changes in ecosystem structure and function with predominantly negative consequences for biodiversity and ecosystems, e.g. water and food supply.

Fighting Climate Change

49. We are therefore committed to taking strong and early action to tackle climate change in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Taking into account the scientific knowledge as represented in the recent IPCC reports, global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emission reductions. In setting a global goal for emissions reductions in the process we have agreed today involving all major emitters, we will consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050. We commit to achieving these goals and invite the major emerging economies to join us in this endeavour.

50. As climate change is a global problem, the response to it needs to be international. We welcome the wide range of existing activities both in industrialised and developing countries. We share a long-term vision and agree on the need for frameworks that will accelerate action over the next decade. Complementary national, regional and global policy frameworks that co-ordinate rather than compete with each other will strengthen the effectiveness of the measures. Such frameworks must address not only climate change but also energy security, economic growth, and sustainable development objectives in an integrated approach. They will provide important orientation for the necessary future investment decisions.

51. We stress that further action should be based on the UNFCCC principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We reaffirm, as G8 leaders, our responsibility to act. We acknowledge the continuing leadership role that developed economies have to play in any future climate change efforts to reduce global emissions, so that all countries undertake effective climate commitments tailored to their particular situations. We recognise however, that the efforts of developed economies will not be sufficient and that new approaches for contributions by other countries are needed. Against this background, we invite notably the emerging economies to address the increase in their emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of their economic development. Action of emerging economies could take several forms, such as sustainable development policies and measures, an improved and strengthened clean development mechanism, the setting up of plans for the sectors that generate most pollution so as to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions compared with a business as usual scenario.

52. We acknowledge that the UN climate process is the appropriate forum for negotiating future global action on climate change. We are committed to moving forward in that forum and call on all parties to actively and constructively participate in the UN Climate Change Conference in Indonesia in December 2007 with a view to achieving a comprehensive post 2012-agreement (post Kyoto-agreement) that should include all major emitters.

53. To address the urgent challenge of climate change, it is vital that major economies that use the most energy and generate the majority of greenhouse gas emissions agree on a detailed contribution for a new global framework by the end of 2008 which would contribute to a global agreement under the UNFCCC by 2009. We therefore reiterate the need to engage major emitting economies on how best to address the challenge of climate change. We embrace efforts to work with these countries on long term strategies. To this end, our representatives have already met with the representatives of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa in Berlin on 4 May 2007. We will continue to meet with high representatives of these and other major energy consuming and greenhouse gas emitting countries to consider the necessary components for successfully combating climate change. We welcome the offer of the United States to host such a meeting later this year. This major emitters’ process should include, inter alia, national, regional and international policies, targets and plans, in line with national circumstances, an ambitious work program within the UNFCCC, and the development and deployment of climate-friendly technology. This dialogue will support the UN climate process and report back to the UNFCCC.

455 Responses to “G8 summit declaration”

  1. 151
    Richard Ordway says:

    re. 128 [Dear RC, do you plan to update your Kilimanjaro article
    given the “new” Mote-Kaser article in the American Scientist
    (the mag of SigmaXi)]

    What is different now? This is one more study out of many consisting of a body of work that is still being investigated on a single point of a world-wide database:

    RC stated that info is still being accumulated on Kilimanjaro:

    “according to limited recent observations [Moelg and Hardy,2004


    “the persistence of these conditions throughout the 20th century still might be an indirect effect of global warming, via the remote effect of sea surface temperature on atmospheric circulation.”

    Whether Kilimanjaro is disapearing due to GW or not, doesn’t mean much to the whole. You need hundreds to thousands of points around the world and examine all of them to build an average data base. Natural variability will make some places different than others.

    You need the average over 30+ years, to start seeing a trend out of noise.

  2. 152
    Hank Roberts says:

    “… you can see (I hope) that the series is definitely going up; that 15 year trends are pretty well all sig and all about the same; that about 1/2 the 10 year trends are sig; and that very few of the 5 year trends are sig.

    “From which the motto is: 5 year trends are not useful with this level of natural variability. They tell you nothing about the long-term change.”

  3. 153
    Richard Ordway says:

    re 128 [Dear RC, do you plan to update your Kilimanjaro article
    given the “new” Mote-Kaser article in the American Scientist
    (the mag of SigmaXi)]

    Also …This magazine does not sound peer-reviewed to me…ie. the authors can state anything they want be it true or false or have fatal errors in it or not…ie. the work is unchecked for accuracy like peer-reviewed journals.

    From their website:

    “American Scientist is a general-interest, nonrefereed science magazine distributed to the approximately 65,000 members of Sigma Xi”

    ..Errr doesn’t sound peer-reviewed to me.

  4. 154
    pat n says:

    Re: Kilimanjaro, although they said, …

    There are dozens, if not hundreds, of photos of midlatitude glaciers you could show where there is absolutely no question that they are declining in response to the warming atmosphere,” said climatologist Philip Mote, a University of Washington research scientist. But in the tropics – particularly on Kilimanjaro – processes are at work that are far different from those that have diminished glacial ice in temperate regions closer to the poles, he said.

    A problem is that they used shrinking area of snow/ice to indicate change without regard to thickness of ice or decreasing humidity and temperature change with altitude.

    Mote and Georg Kaser, a glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, write in American Scientist that the decline in Kilimanjaro’s ice has been going on for more than a century and that most of it occurred before 1953, while evidence of atmospheric warming there before 1970 is inconclusive.

    A rough survey in 1889 suggested that Kibo’s icecap occupied about 12.5 square miles. By 1912, more than two decades before Ernest Hemingway wrote his masterpiece short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” it had dwindled to about 7.5 square miles. By 1953 it had shrunk to about 4.3 square miles and by 2003 it was at a little more than 1.5 square miles.

  5. 155

    [[Were the relatively small emissions of 1800’s and early 1900’s really the cause of the 0.5C raise in 1910-1940? ]]

    No, that was mostly due to increased solar luminosity in the first half of the 20th century.

    [[why is Mars experiencing global warming?]]

    Because its albedo changes periodically due to planet-wide dust storms.

    [[. Also CO2 emissions in between 1940-1960 had more than doubled from early 1900’s, yet there was then a 2+ decade cooling trend. Could “aerosols” really cause such a drastic effect]]


    [[And the industries were not clean in 1910-1940 were they? Why didn’t aerosols have much any effect in those years?]]

    Compare the industrial output then to the industrial output in World War II and later.

    [[If in 2017, 1998 remains the hottest year on record what will happen to the theories?]]

    2005 was already hotter.

  6. 156

    [[despite 20 years of work, and an estimated 40 billion US dollars of expenditure, there is NO hard, measured experimental data that connects increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and increased global temperatures.]]

    You must be completely unfamiliar with the professional literature on the subject if you believe that. For a start, look up John Tyndall’s papers from 1859 to 1863 (that was the first lab work on the subject, to my knowledge). Then Svante Arrhenius’s paper from 1896. Then you might try Gilbert Plass’s paper in 1956, Walter Elsasser’s in 1960, Manabe and Strickler 1964, Manabe and Wetherald 1967, 1975, and the literature just explodes with relevant papers from then on. I believe over a thousand papers on global warming have been published in just the last couple of decades, and each paper represents plenty of hard work on the part of climatologists, geochemists, and physicists. The evidence that more atmospheric CO2 makes the ground hotter is overwhelming. If it didn’t, something would have to be seriously wrong with quantum physics — which means your computer probably wouldn’t work.

    Most of the papers I mention above are available on the web. Try Google Scholar.

  7. 157

    [[This is exactly what I want to understand. How come the 0.5C raise in 1910-1940 can be explained (to large extent) by “natural variability”, but similar raise in 1975-2005 can not be explained by “natural variability”?]]

    Because “natural variability” is just a catch-all term for factors other than human-caused. We know what the major causes of natural variability are — variations in the sun’s luminosity and volcanic explosions. They are enough to account for the first rise. They are not enough to account for the second rise. We have good time series data for those factors. Sunlight increased a bit from 1900 to 1950, and since then it has been flat. Volcanoes have been irregular, but the effect of individual big explosions is usually short-lived (a few years at most).

    [[And the cooling period ~1945-1970, how plentiful were “aerosols” in the atmosphere compared to 1930-1940?]]

    Greater. If you want a rough proxy, follow the GNP (or GDP) of the United States over that period.

    [[Most of the major volcanic eruptions of the 20th century occurred between 1980 and 1995 shooting cubic miles of ash and aerosols into the atmosphere. Did they have a cooling or warming effect?]]

    Cooling. But they weren’t just in that period. Mt. Agung was in 1963, as I recall.

  8. 158

    [[I have read the AR4 to WG1 of the IPCC documents, in detail, and I have found no hard evidence connecting increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and increased global temperatures. I have also read countless other documents on the subject of AGW, including “The Chilling Stars”, with the same result. It has always been impossible to prove a negative. I cannot prove that no evidence exists. But you can easily prove a positive. In science, things like this are very easy to solve. Give me the references, chapter and verse, or even, better still, the actual words.]]

    Try John Houghton’s “The Physics of Atmospheres” (3rd edition 2002), especially chapters 2 and 4. Grant W. Petty’s “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” (2006) is another good one. For more detail, try:

    Goody, R. M. and Yung, Y. L. 1989. Atmospheric Radiation: Theoretical Basis, 2nd Ed. NY: Oxford Univ. Press.

    For original research, start with John Tyndall’s “Further Researches on the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gaseous Matter” (1862), pp. 117ff in Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat, Ed. J. Tyndall, NY: Appleton, 1873.

    Then look at Svante Arrhenius’s “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air Upon the Temperature of the Ground” (1896), Phil. Mag. J. Sci. (fifth series) 41, 237â??275. This is available on the web at:

    Arrhenius’s table data, along with comparisons to modern data, is available at:

    Some more resources are:

    Callendar, G.S. “The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and its Influence on Climate” (1938). Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 64, 223-240.

    Plass, G.N. “Carbon Dioxide and the Climate” (1956). Am. Scientist 44, 302-316.

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

    Manabe, S. and Strickler, R. F. 1964. “Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Convective Adjustment.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 21(4), 361-385.

    Manabe, S. and Wetherald, R. T. 1967. “Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Given Distribution of Relative Humidity.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 24, 241-259.

    For a quick summary of how the greenhouse effect works, try

  9. 159

    [[why temp goes down when CO2 goes up, why temp goes up when CO2 goes down,]]

    because CO2 isn’t the only factor that affects temperature, it’s just one of the factors.

    [[[ why CO2 goes up after temp goes up,]]

    That’s what happens during a normal warming. The present warming is not that type. Let me know if you want the details.

    [[ why the aerosols of 1900 to 1940 don’t count,]]

    They do count. They just were not present in as great quantities as later. You do know that industrial production has gone up fairly steadily since the start of the Industrial Revolution, don’t you? I mean, aside from variation due to recessions and depressions and so on.

    [[ why the upper latitudes get alot hotter (or show macro scale effects) when the global temp goes up a couple of tenths of a degree — but only in the last two decades, not in the early 1900s,]]

    Because there wasn’t a huge global warming going on in the early 1900s, but there is now.

    [[ why accurate global temps can be obtained with rough sparse measurements with a little mathematical wizardry, etc., etc. ]]

    This is a completely false picture, and whoever you got it from was either lying to you or just didn’t know what he/she was talking about. Global temperatures are obtained from tens of thousands of measurements around the world, plus data from radiosondes in balloons (about 1,400 of which are launched every day of every year), and from Earth-orbital satellites, and, interestingly, from Earthshine effects on the Moon. We have very good primary data on global temperatures from about 1850 forward (and regional temperatures back to the 1600s in Europe), and for earlier periods there are many temperature proxies, such as the ratio of oxygen-18 to oxygen-16 in seashells. For a review of how historical and prehistoric temperatures are obtained, this is a good introductory site:

  10. 160

    [[Enough of this nonsense. I retire from the discussion. Another climate skeptic. ]]

    Oh great, and just before I listed a dozen good references for you. You know, someone reading your dialogue in this blog might just conclude that you quit so fast because you knew the evidence that might change your mind might be forthcoming.

  11. 161

    [[OK, assuming a density of 2.235 g/cm^3 and 7 Gtonne carbon from human activities per year, I get a cube nearly 1.5 km on a side. ]]

    Your units must be off. The density you cite is twice that of water, incredibly high for a gas at Earth’s surface. Did you mean 2.235 g/li or 2.235 kg/m3?

  12. 162
    Steve Reynolds says:

    Since we are discussing government policy, could most honest parties agree on something like this approach to mitigating AGW?

    Why not tie carbon taxes to actual levels of warming? Both skeptics and alarmists should expect their wishes to be answered.

  13. 163

    [[what I have failed to find is any hard, measured experimental data which shows that there is causation between the observed rise in CO2 levels, and the observed rise in average global temperatures]]

    Why don’t you take the time series data available for temperature, CO2, solar activity, and volcanic eruptions, and do the statistical analysis yourself? Don’t forget to test for integration and cointegration so as to avoid the spurious regression problem, and don’t forget Sargent’s partial-F test for Granger causality. I can give you 127 or so years of annual time series data if you’re interested. I have it in ASCII flat files at the moment, but if you’d like I can copy them into an Excel spreadsheet.

  14. 164

    [[So adding more carbon dioxide cannot increase its greenhouse effectiveness. ]]

    Crap. This has been dealt with in many places, including repeatedly on RealClimate. Mr. Cripwell may have a physics degree (hell, so do I), but he clearly has never taken an introductory course in atmospheric radiation. And he apparently has an aversion to reading the relevant literature in a discipline. The objection he makes above was made in the 1910s and refuted in the 1940s, for Christ’s sake. Hit the books, Cripwell! Start with the list above!

  15. 165

    [[Could anyone please tell me, whether or not the electromagnetic field of or around our planet is almost a completely unknown in terms of scientific understanding and measurement ]]

    Well, no, it isn’t. The basic principles governing electromagnetic energy were enumerated by James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th century, and we had a good enough understanding of nuclear physics and ionizing radiation in 1945 to build nuclear weapons with it. Satellites have been flying through the ionosphere since 1957, and the database of observations is pretty huge by now.

    [[and if the influence of changes in the radiation level of the sun or the universe at large or shifting magnetic poles are part of our ‘global’ climate models?]]

    Solar influence is, the rest hasn’t yet been shown to be relevant.

  16. 166

    [[Thank you, Ray, for your message 140. I assume what you are actually saying is that you also dont know of any hard measured data, that connects rising CO2 levels with rising temperatures. ]]

    Start with John Tyndall’s lab work with carbon dioxide in 1859. Follow the subject through the literature, through the release of the USAF HITRAN database in 1973 and the later HIGHTEMP database to cope with the Venus atmosphere. Read Houghton or Petty for the theoretical basis. Then do the statistical analysis yourself. Either way, you’re dealing with “hard, measured data,” so stop repeating that there isn’t any. It’s a lie.

  17. 167

    [[The problem with positive feedback is that more water in the atmosphere means more clouds, higher albedo and thus lower temperatures. I have not seen the detailed calculations as to whether the increase in temperature caused by more water in the atmosphere outweighs the decrease in temperature caused by a higher albedo. ]]

    And the reason you haven’t seen them is that you haven’t been reading the relevant peer-reviewed literature. Otherwise you’d know that Richard Lindzen proposed just such a negative feedback many years ago, calling it “the iris effect,” and that it was shot down by satellite data and subsequent research. Here’s an overview:

  18. 168
    Jim Eager says:

    Re: 134 Ray Ladbury: “That’s 7 GT of CO2, so we have to take the carbon (12 g/mole) out of the CO2…”

    It’s my understanding that per year emissions are around 7Gt of carbon, or around 25.7 Gt of CO2, no?

  19. 169
    Aaron Lewis says:

    RE 132, 147
    When I worked for a Big Agency, we were designing stuff to last thousands of years. In 1980 the baseline climate changed, so the projected engineering requirements changed. The same thing happend in 1990 and 2000. A couple of years of good weather or bad weather could dramatically change the engineering requirments for a structure that was supposed to last many 10s of thousands of years. It is stupid! But it goes back into the dawn of engineering – long before they knew about climate change. Oh, yes, and we were on a flood plain that had seen cataclysmic floods (Missoula Floods) in the past. But, since it had not flooded in the 3 decades that were used for our climate baseline, there were no flood issues in our engineering requirements.

    The guy in charge of our climate requirements was an engineering geologist. The moderaters of this forum may consider that the ultimate slur, and censor this comment, but it is nothing more than the truth.

  20. 170
    climate skeptic? says:

    Thanks for your answers. I’m not a hardline skeptic, and definitely not a skeptic for the sake of being contrarian. I’m just undecided. Involved a bit in politics and so on, so I am wondering what I should think of this question. So I am asking myself whether to be a skeptic or not, and why.

    One thing I still wonder about is this aerosol theory. China in the past 10 years have been putting more sulphate into the atmosphere than anyone ever before in the history of mankind. And atmosphere doesn’t care it’s not per capita. As a result we should be witnessing a significant local cooling trend in Asia (at least a relative trend compared to the rest of the world). Have scientists been able to prove this statistically? If not, then it does pose some serious questions I’d think. Tried to seek data, but couldn’t find anything conclusive. Another question was about the 1945-1970 cooling cycle. Does the data prove significant global disparity, i.e. USA, Japan and Europe were relatively cooler than the rest of the world? Couldn’t find an answer to that either.

    In western scientific discourse on the skeptic side the name of Lindzen is ever present, and sometimes you wonder if it is a one man show. But presumably there are waves of scientists in Russia and China who question the IPCC. Who are they? What is their pedigree? Should we take them seriously?

    These include among many: Zhen-Shan, L. and Xian, S. 2007 who do not disagree with the human CO2 effect, but are convinced it has been hugely exaggerated. They have done a lot of statistical research on temperature cycles.

    And the Russian Academy of Sciences’s Astronomical Observatory 2006; Khabibullo Abdusamatov and his colleagues (these are all serious scientists) believe that the current warming trend is reaching it’s maximum, and estimate that a global cooling trend will begin in 2012-2015. They insist that solar activity is the over ruling factor and that human CO2 emissions, while a factor, is relatively insignificant and does not deserve serious attention.

    How do I, or any layperson for that matter, know who to believe? What’s the secret?

    And if 1998 is still the hottest year on record (90+% of the sources give 1998 as the hottest on record including CRU so I’m going by that) in 2015 or 2020, I think that the Kyoto path will start losing political momentum and IPCC will lose it’s hegemony.

    10 more years and this debate is likely to be decide one way or another.

  21. 171
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re #144, 148 Sorry to quibble, but it was Michelson (and Morley) – not Michaelson.

    Regarding Jim Cripwell’s demand for a controlled experiment to establish the cause and effect relationship between CO2 and temperature, I would refer Jim back to Florifulgurator’s question (#123): What is the evidence we have that Earth circles the Sun? Was this established by a controlled laboratory or field experiment, or by strong inference based on observations and the application of deductive and inductive reasoning?

  22. 172
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re 170
    climate skeptic: If the scientists you mention are publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, why don’t you scrutinize their papers for poorly designed experiments, logical fallacies,oversights, outright mistakes, etc? And, see how often their papers are cited in the literature and how their views are treated by other scientists? Or, rather than give undue weight to a small handfull of scientists, look to the IPCC reports which incorporate the input of hundreds of scientists from around the world and which review data from many thousands of peer-reviewed papers. If Khabibullo Abdusamatov and his colleagues, and Zhen-Shan, L. and Xian, S., are doing credible science, their arguments will be given careful consideration in the literature. That is in large part how scientists decide who and what to believe (they also factor in their own original ideas based on their research, and other personal biases, some of which are valid, some of which are not).

  23. 173
    John Mashey says:

    re: #170
    re: China: did you read #137, specifically the reference to Figure 3 on Sulfur emissions, on page 12? Eyeballing that it looks like China was doing 20-25 Mt/year.
    Google: sulfur emissions china tons 2006 quickly turned up:
    China leads world in sulfur dioxide emissions
    Which quotes 25.5 Mt for 2005 … which roughly a third of the peak 75Mt shown for ~1975 in Figure 3.

    “China in the past 10 years have been putting more sulphate into the atmosphere than anyone ever before in the history of mankind.” is wrong.

    Does it concern you that something you are sure of is not only wrong, but easily findable in 5 minutes without complex statistics or physics?

    Do you know the old saw: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence?”
    Today, that means:
    a) One has to know where to look, and be able to get there, and of course, a lot of relevant papers are sitting in Science or nature, etc.
    b) One has to formulate queries well.
    c) One has to be able to understand the results.

    There’s a paper by Menon, Hansen, Nazarenko, Luo in Science, in 2002 called:
    “Climate Effects of Black Carbon Aerosols in China and India”, which mentions moderate cooling from sulfates, offset somewhat by the large amount of soot in the air there.

    Really, this is well-studied, but if you want to see specific examples:

    1) GISS has a great website and well worth exploring:
    then see:
    notice the difference between N. and S. Hemispheres. has the chart that shows volcanoes and ENSOs versus temperatures.
    Print that and keep it while looking at the next:

    Go to:
    download one of the 5-year animations, run it through, and then click to do year-by-year comparisons:
    a) look at US: a good focus point could be Pittsburgh, PA.
    b) focus on Moscow.
    c) focus on India/South China

    Note of course that the best dataset is in the US, there are two World Wars in the middle of this, and remember that soot cancels some of the sulfate effects.
    Looking at animations isn’t proof, but playing with these might give you some insight.

    2) I don’t know any of the scientists you mention from China & Russia, so perhaps you can reveal which websites you’re getting this from?
    I ask because:

    a) When somebody says they are a layman (that’s OK), and says they’ve looked for evidence but can’t find it (when there are many easy sources), that’s OK too, people can learn.

    b) But it is then inconsistent to pop out specific names of Chinese and Russian scientists, paraphrase what they say (or quote detailed technical comments). When this happens, my usual reaction is that someone is reading websites designed to fool the unwary….

    Without knowing them, they may or may not be serious, and if serious, they may or may not be right.

    From the description of the Chinese paper, I can’t tell, but:

    – They claim a novel analysis method [Could be brilliant breakthrough, could be bogus.]

    – People have forever been extracting cyclic patterns from data that turned out to disappear when the next few years of data appear. It is all too easy to find patterns that aren’t really there, if you look at enough data and analyze it enough different ways.

    The Russian can be found in Wikipedia (and also, in Google Scholar under KI Abdusamatov):
    Please read that entry, knowing of course that one must always be careful with Wikipedia.

    He is said to claims that the basic Greenhouse effect doesn’t exist… UH-OH, if true, that instantly destroys all credibility.

    Real climate scientists scarcely ignore solar effects, and as a solar physicist, maybe he can predict a new Maunder Minimum better than anyone else (in which case the existing warming would get offset).

    But there is also a history of solar physicists claiming that CO2 doesn’t matter, it’s all due to the Sun…. note that his (English) publications are in solar physics, not in climate science. In general, it is usually (not always) a red flag when a senior scientist starts generating highly-unusual theories outside their usual field. Even Nobel prize winners go off like that sometimes.

    So, do you have some reason to assert these are all serious scientists?
    The Chinese might be, but the Russian is simply not credible if he thinks there is no such thing as the basic Greenhouse Effect.

    You label the IPCC is a hegemony, and doubt the massed observations of serious researchers, many of whom work at highly-respected institutions like GISS, and who publish in English … but you’re ready to give instant believability to Chinese who are not very checkable, and to a Russian who is easily findable (and not credible). Beware of Chinese or Russians selling bridges…

    I don’t know any magic… but here’s a start:
    Google: skeptical thinking

  24. 174
    Dan says:

    re: 170. The “debate” has long been settled when it comes to the science of global warming. See the IPCC report links. And 1998 was a strong El Nino year, which just added to the already warming temperature trend. This has been discussed many times here.

  25. 175

    [[And if 1998 is still the hottest year on record ]]

    For the second time in this very list of comments, 2005 was already hotter. And 1998 was an El Nino year. If you’ve ever had a statistics course, you know that you can’t extrapolate anything from one data point.

  26. 176
    climate skeptic? says:

    Re: 173

    No need to be condescending. With “more than anyone before” I of course ment that China’s Sulfate emissions are higher than those of any one country ever before in the history of mankind. I did look at the graphs. 75mt was a world total peak. China alone today have close to 30mt Sulfate emissions, and we are already reaching the global peak amounts (and will surpass them soon, if we haven’t already). India are not innocent either. What I wanted to find were the temperature statistics to prove “moderate cooling” in 21st century China. Concrete numbers and calculations. And in similar fashion temperature data to prove that USA, Europe and Japan were relatively cooler than the rest of the world in 1945-1970. In the case someone familiar with this question could provide a link to the answers.

    And Russian academy of sciences is not crackpot science. Abdusamatov is a celebrated senior scientist in Russia who has been studying solar cycles for four decades. That is not a serious scientist? Russia have long and strong traditions in astronomy. He has many prominent names from Russia and Ukraine in his team. I wouldn’t give much attention to one off quotes that are translated in Canadian National Post, and without larger context. In another source his team are quoted saying that human CO2 effect is insignificant in comparison, not denying it, which makes a lot more sense.

    And many of the names in the IPCC report do not agree with the whole total of it, but have only contributed in one small area. Lindzen has had his name in the report. We have had people who have threatened legal action to have their names removed.

    Many people are pondering the question who to believe and why. Very strong impetus should exist if we are to cripple the world economy.

  27. 177
    Vernon says:

    re 174. If the “debate” has long been settled when it comes to the science of global warming, then how does the study by UC Irving that shows dirty show accounts for almost all artic warming fit in?

    “Dirty snow has had a significant impact on climate warming since the Industrial Revolution. In the past 200 years, the Earth has warmed about .8 degree Celsius. Zender, graduate student Mark Flanner, and their colleagues calculated that dirty snow caused the Earth’s temperature to rise .1 to .15 degree, or up to 19 percent of the total warming.

    In the past two centuries, the Arctic has warmed about 1.6 degrees. Dirty snow caused .5 to 1.5 degrees of warming, or up to 94 percent of the observed change, the scientists determined.”

    Well, since Antarctica is not showing much warming outside the peninsula, and most if not all of Artic warming can be shown to be due to something other than CO2. Then where does this leave the CO2 based climate models? They all predict that most the warming would be higher at the poles.

  28. 178
    Jim Cripwell says:

    Another issue has come up recently, and I thought I would solicit reaction on this forum. In order to combat global warming caused by the emission of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, it has been suggested that nations should impose a carbon tax, the value of which is in some way proportional to some measure of global temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the tax. Maybe the relationship should be exponential; say 2 dollars per tonne now, rising to 1000 dollars per tonne if global temperatures rise by 5 C. Climate skeptics in general welcome the idea. Please note that this is a VERY brief description of what is, obviously, a very complex issue. Any comments?

  29. 179
    pete best says:

    In the Book Six Degrees it states that due to climate scientivity issues ppmv is ascribed a range of temp ranges. He states that 0.1 to 1.0 C rise is 350 ppmv (low end probability) and hence unavoidable to within a fair degree of accuracy. 1.1 to 2.0 C is 400 ppmv (low end probability) and this is why everyone is screaming about as it could be unavoidable by 2015 but that a probability, it may still be unavoidable.

    Cutting global emission by 1/2 come 2050 seems more likely to stop 3 degrees C. Is that a fair assessment ?

    George Monbiot writes here that 2 C is unlikely now given the current greenouse gases concentrations which he currently details at 459 ppmv and goes on to propose that politicians are being economical with the truth when they want to limie carbon emissions only.

    I believe that both James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt have commented on the issue of cleaning up other greenhouse gases first and then CO2 after that as it gives more time to avoid higher temperature rises.

  30. 180
    climate skeptic? says:

    “For the second time in this very list of comments, 2005 was already hotter.”

    Why should I take your word for it?

    I would consider CRU an some sort of an authority on this question. They say this about the years 1995,1997,1998 and 2000->:

    “All the temperature values have uncertainties, which arise mainly from gaps in data coverage. The sizes of
    the uncertainties are such that, although it is most likely to be the second warmest year, the global average
    temperature for 2005 is statistically indistinguishable from, and could be anywhere between, the first and
    the eighth warmest year in the record. Similar analyses in the United States rank the year as first (GISS)
    and second (NCDC), but NCDC note that uncertainties arising from sparse observations or measurement
    biases make 2005 statistically indistinguishable from 1998 as well as from other recent years such as 2002
    and 2003.”

    So if the years 2015- are indistinguishable from the years 1995, 1997, 1998… 2000-2005 (and the same point and question follows)

  31. 181
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Re 176: First, because someone is an expert in one field does not make them an authority in another. In fact, it may do just the opposite. A solar scientist MAY be inclined to look at everything in terms of solar physics, because that is what he understands. William Shockley was a brilliant condensed matter physicist. His views on eugenics were idiotic. The threshold for having a say in climate science is a track record of significant, peer-reviewed, pulished research IN CLIMATE SCIENCE. That is the threshold. To have real influence, the community of climate scientists has to know you. If you have an agenda, they’ll know that, and your reputation will diminish. If you show poor judgement, your reputation will diminish. If you are too docile and go with the crowd, you won’t be taken seriously. If you are contrarian, you risk being dismissed as a crank. Once you are in a field, you very quickly learn who the influential researchers are, and once you get to know the influential researchers, you understand why they are influential. Yes, the process is political, but the incentives in the system are all on the side going with the theories that are supported by evidence.
    Scientists look at the world differently from laymen. They look at a complicated phenomenon and ask, “OK, what are the important factors?” Then they measure, experiment and model until they understand the important factors. Next they turn to the secondary factors and ask, “OK, these are the factors I don’t understand. How likely is it that one of these factors may be important to alter the conclusions I’ve come to based on the primary factors?” And they further investigate and incorporate the important secondary factors, then the tertiary factors and so on, until the likelihoos that the conclusions of the theory will be altered are vanishingly small. When the overwhelming majority of the real experts in climate science say there’s a 90% probability that humans are responsible for climate change, you can pretty much take it to the bank.

  32. 182
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re #178 Jim Cripwell – carbon tax
    Just out of curiosity, why would climate warming skeptics (presumably including you) find a carbon tax appealing if you dispute the realilty of anthropogenic global warming? There would almost certainly be a baseline tax imposed on current CO2 emissions, which skeptics seem to be arguing has had no effect on temperature. So, you would seem to be endorsing a new tax for no good reason.

  33. 183
    Timothy Chase says:

    I believe that both James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt have commented on the issue of cleaning up other greenhouse gases first and then CO2 after that as it gives more time to avoid higher temperature rises.

    Hansen also places a fair amount of emphasis upon carbon aerosols. Air pollution. These are presumably responsible for much of the increased rate at which we are losing the arctic ice cap – since they result in increased absorbtion of sunlight. I presume the same would responsible for how quickly we are losing our glaciers, too. But basically, it would appear that once the ice cap is gone through both summer and fall (where summer itself is unavoidable at this point), the complete loss of Greenland’s glaciers becomes a given in the long-term. The process is likely to result in positive feedback between Greenland and the western Antarctic Peninsula as both raise the sea level tens of meters. He also places emphasis on shallow water methane hydrates. Of course part of what worries me is the thawing of the permafrost in the subarctic regions, particularly the thaw lakes in Siberia.

  34. 184
    climate skeptic? says:

    And a third so called skeptic I could mention is Zbigniew Jaworowski of Poland. I have been googling and googling but I have been unable to find a rebuttal of what he says in this essay about CO2 measurements in the ice core data, and why he thinks the science is corrupted:

    To the contrary more and more names keep popping up that seem to agree with him. Many of these are credible researchers, why are they being ignored by the IPCC?

    What does “90% of scientists” mean? As a final word I repeat the question: As a politically involved layperson who should I trust and why?

    Thanks for your time.

    [Response: Hmmm…. I challenge you to find anyone in the ice core community that agrees with Jaworowski – on the contrary, the fact that different ice cores in different locations with vastly different accumulation regimes all support the ice core greenhouse gas history makes his complaints moot. For a more clear debunking of his claims go to:

    [As to who you should trust for the best advice, that’s easy. Don’t trust individual scientists (even me), because we may all have biases, blind spots and agendas. Instead, ask the National Academies, or Royal Societies or professional organisations or international assessment bodies. They have mechanisms that ensure that their claims are the ones that can stand up to peer review over a large segment of the community. -gavin]

  35. 185
    Dan says:

    re: 177. Yes, the scientific debate is over. We are talking about global warming due primarily to the influence of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, particularly in the past 30 years or so. Not 200 years. Certainly 200 years ago, natural influences would have been relatively greater than anthropogenic influences. But we are talking about relatively recent data and trends.

  36. 186
    John Mashey says:

    re: #176
    OK, after this I give up :-)

    1) Precision of expression is good, as are references.
    Please quote where you got the 30Mt, and your source on the totals. You keep asking everybody else for detailed data, but you make assertions of specific numbers without giving references.

    2) I thought I’d given enough references for you to be able to track this down, but:
    I didn’t even look at the Canadian National Post.

    NOVOSTI, the Russian News and Information Agency presumably is better at translating Russian to English, and I think this report is one of the places others got it from: Google: abdusamatov greenhouse novosti

    Having been misquoted more than once in the press myself, I always have reservations, but this all seems consistent.
    Do you have some evidence that NOVOSTI mistranslated?

    They say:
    “But Abdusamatov insisted: “Ascribing â��greenhouse’ effect properties to the Earth’s atmosphere is not scientifically substantiated. Heated greenhouse gases, which become lighter as a result of expansion, ascend to the atmosphere only to give the absorbed heat away.

    Abdusamatov claimed that the upper layers of the world’s oceans are – much to climatologists’ surprise – becoming cooler, which is a clear indication that the Earth has hit its temperature ceiling already, and that solar radiation levels are falling and will eventually lead to a worldwide cold spell.”

    Sorry, crackpot, and NOVOSTI itself is skeptical of what he says.

    The Russian Academy of Sciences in general is quite serious, but that doesn’t stop a senior member from occasionally going off in some weird direction. The SanFrancisco Bay Area has an awesome collection of technical people, and that doesn’t stop us from having crackpots as well.

    Frederick Seitz once was the President of NAS.
    Fred Singer did some good satellite work.
    Since then…

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu has a long distinguished track record for aurora research, and then recently started writing embarrassingly-poor pieces (not per-reviewed) about climatology.
    The great Nobel winner Linus Pauling went off into Vitamin-C.

    I know some NAS members and one Nobel winner, and they’re all still sensible, as are most … but it’s no guarantee.

    One more time: what webpages are you reading for your (misinformation)?
    What sources do you credit? Who are “many people?”
    How well do you understand PR/lobbying organizations like CEI, George C. Marshall Institute, SEPP, etc?

  37. 187
  38. 188
    tidal says:

    Re: #178 “it has been suggested that nations should impose a carbon tax, the value of which is in some way proportional to some measure of global temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the tax. Maybe the relationship should be exponential; say 2 dollars per tonne now, rising to 1000 dollars per tonne if global temperatures rise by 5 C. Climate skeptics in general welcome the idea. Please note that this is a VERY brief description of what is, obviously, a very complex issue. Any comments? Comment by Jim Cripwell”

    I take it you are referring to the call for a carbon tax from – are you all sitting down? – Ross McKitrick, of Steve McIntyre/Climate Fraudit fame……61a7e19ad&p=1

    I am rather confused myself as to why he is stalking this particular horse, but there it is. Either he wants to stay relevant, or he is trying to “scare” the carbon tax advocates or carbon tax fence sitters… or???

  39. 189
    Vernon says:

    re: 177. So the fact that studies show little to no cooling in Antartica and very little cooling due non-dirty snow in the Artic, when the climate models all show that if there is CO2 greenhouse warming that the poles would see more would indicate that not only is the debate not over but not all the facts are known to debate about.

  40. 190
    Dan says:

    re: 189. Again, read the IPCC reports. The science is peer-reviewed. It is not that difficult to click on the links provided on this page and learn something. Yes (again!), the science debate is over regarding the influence of anthropogenic CO2 on global warming over the past 30 years. The data are there, the peer-reviewed studies are there, and the physics are there. The science is quite strong.

  41. 191
  42. 192
    Ken Rushton says:

    Arctic Ice cap about to shrink to a new record?
    Excuse the slightly OT alert. My hobby is watching the earth from space – I think the thinning Arctic ice cap just got hit with an unusually warm vortex of air and is about to melt back to a new record.
    see: the following three links.
    Run back three days to see what happened:

  43. 193
    Vernon says:

    re: 190. So the fact that some thing has been agreed to in the past means new information never forces reevaluations? I fail to follow your line of reasoning. Basically I am understanding it to be that since the IPCC said it was settled, then any new information is to be ignored, since it is settled.

    The UC Irvine study which was peer reviewed and published showed that 20 percent of all all global warming can be attributed to dirty snow in the artic. Between 35 and 94% of all specific artic warming. Your saying that since the IPCC report says it is settled, then we are to ignore new peer reviewed studies.

    It is not that difficult to read the new “peer reviewed” studies as they are published. As was pointed out in RE: 187 by pat n, the models do not reflect what is really happening. If the models are not reflecting what is happening now, then how do we use them to predict the future? That is why I do not understand how you can say the science is settled, the IPCC said so.

  44. 194
    Burkart says:

    Re 180. There is no neat annual increase in temperature with rising CO2 levels – nobody has ever claimed that CO2 was the only influence on climate. Therefore, it is not at all relevant whether 1998 or 2005 or maybe 2007 is the hottest year on record – it is the longer term trend that matters. I suggest you have a look at Rybski et al. 2006. In this paper you can see several climate reconstructions which all show a sharp unprecedented increase in temperatures during the last decades. The paper also contains the statistical evaluation of these climate reconstructions, which shows that the recent trend can indeed not be explained by natural (e.g., solar) variation.

  45. 195
    Timothy Chase says:

    Vernon (#193 in response to #190) wrote:

    It is not that difficult to read the new “peer reviewed” studies as they are published. As was pointed out in RE: 187 by pat n, the models do not reflect what is really happening. If the models are not reflecting what is happening now, then how do we use them to predict the future? That is why I do not understand how you can say the science is settled, the IPCC said so.

    The fundamentals – that anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are responsible for the majority of the climate change – is settled. But there will be other factors – including carbon aerosols and various forms of feedback which the IPCC did not take into account – such as the positive feedback due to:

    a. the increased rate at which polar ice and glaciers are being lost;
    b. the reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the Antarctic Ocean;
    c. the reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide which plants are able to absorb due drought and heat stress; and,
    d. the release of methane by thawing permafrost.

    To one extent or another, all of these positive feedbacks appear to be kicking in. Not good news. Reading what he wrote, it is clear that he was speaking of the fundamentals. And at present Hansen is doing his best to bring to the attention of all concerned the role of carbon aerosols. He has been – at least since 2000.

  46. 196
    Jim Cripwell says:

    Chuck Booth writes “Just out of curiosity, why would climate warming skeptics (presumably including you) find a carbon tax appealing if you dispute the realilty of anthropogenic global warming? There would almost certainly be a baseline tax imposed on current CO2 emissions, which skeptics seem to be arguing has had no effect on temperature. So, you would seem to be endorsing a new tax for no good reason. ”
    The reason is simple. Our voters, in Canada and in many other countries, are demanding that politicians take some sort of action to curb global warming and climate change; curbing the emissions of greenhouse gases. There is a very real danger that our politicians will do something really stupid, like putting in a cap-and-trade policy, or a blanket carbon tax; which could ruin the economy. If they put in a small carbon tax that increases with increasing global temperature, and global temperatures do not rise, very little damage will be done, but the voters will get the impression the politicians have actually done something. Smoke and mirrors, maybe, but that is what politics is all about. And I can assure you that global temperatures are not going to rise; by 2020 they will be seen to be falling; by 2015 they will be seen to be not rising as fast as the IPCC predicts. “Ponder the Maunder”. However, if the proponents of AGW are right and global temeratures actually rise due to increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, then the punative carbon tax will do some real good. Heads we all win; tails nobody loses.

  47. 197
    SomeBeans says:

    #193 Vernon

    If you look at page 56 of 106 of the IPCC report here:
    you’ll see they discuss “dirty snow”. CO2 forcing is 1.66Wm^-2 (see table 2.1 on p13 of 106), forcing of black soot on snow is quoted as 0.15Wm^-2 (Section 2.5.4 p56 of 184), the chart of forcings (Figure 2, p8 of 106) suggests an uncertainty on this figure of +/-0.15Wm^-2.

    I believe forcing and temperature rise are proportional so the UC Irving study and the IPCC report are consistent:

    UC Irving is saying 0.1/0.8 to 0.15/0.8C of global warming is due to dirty snow (12.5%-18.75%)

    IPCC says 0/1.66 to 0.3/1.66Wm^-2 of global warming is due to dirty snow (0 to 18.1%)

    It looks like the UC Irving study has narrowed the error bars a little bit.

    There’s an awful lot of interesting things to read in the IPCC report…

  48. 198
    SomeBeans says:

    You can read the UC Irving paper here:

  49. 199
    SomeBeans says:

    I seem to have gone non-sequential there… I did post that the UC Irving dirty snow paper and IPCC report AR4 chapter 2 agreed on the magnitude of the dirty snow effect on global warming (it had page references and everything).

  50. 200
    J.C.H says:

    Does anybody know where I can find the report on the impact of yellow snow? I can’t believe there might be yet one more thing I’ve done to warm the globe.