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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:

CLIMATE CHANGE

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. 251
    John Mashey says:

    re: #228:
    re 217: Voting: what you say is true. My point is that the 99 to 1 vote or consensus does not per se prove the science. 99 saying tobacco causes cancer is, as you say, a strong data point, indicative and interesting, but it is not a scientific proof. My problem is the use by some to prove the science with consensus: a skeptic says “I don’t believe this” gets answered with “But there’s a consensus, so there!”

    1) If there’s anyone who posts in this newsgroup, and who actually is involved in real peer review, who thinks that one peer reviewed paper is gospel … then it’s not obvious. One more time: this is a 3-sided argument: if you get irritated by unreasoning faith on one side, but are driven into unreasoning skepticism on the other side, you are missing what is being said by people who actually know.

    2) I picked the smoking example because it’s the best single analogy with AGW that I know, with corresponding dates:
    1964: “The Surgeon general has determined…”
    2001-2007: IPCC TAR & AR4

    Let’s say: roughly 40-years’ difference, although the historians will argue about when, exactly the proof for AGW was as clear as the proof for smoking-disease was in 1964.

    For people who actually care about the processes of science and tactics used to subvert it, I once again recommend:
    Allan Brandt, “The Cigarette Century”

    AGW has analogs of most of the key smoking issues:

    3) Your view about 99:1 not being proof is right out of the cigarette-company playbook:

    a) It’s hard to do simple high-school lab experiments that prove everything; rather the conclusion is based on evidence that accumulates over years, and involves a lot of statistics, rather than simple lab tests. In the 1950s, researchers argued a lot about the nature of “proof”.

    b) Even if there were a simple experiment, it would be unethical; “Here: try this, we want to see if you develop lung cancer.”

    c) Some people smoke and never get lung cancer or heart disease, and even when they do, as in all diseases, there are jiggles, and the more serious problems are time-lagged by decades.

    d)Eschewing cigarettes when you’ve smoked heavily for 30 years may help … but not much, i.e., the problem is not instantly fixable.

    Brandt (p. 307) says of 1992: (CAPS mine)

    ‘C.C. Little’s dogmatic assertions of “not proven” would no longer suffice: the industry realized that it could avoid new regulatory intervention ONLY BY REDEFINING THE SCIENCE OF RISK. Following years of fighting epidemiologists, Philip Morris now initiated a campaign for “Good Epidemiological Practices,” organized to “fix” epidemiology to serve the industry’s interests by changing standards of proof. One objective of the program, an internal memo explained, was to “impede adverse regulation.”‘

    i.e., the objective wasn’t to get better science, although that’s what they always claimed.

    Epidemiology studies are well-known to have flaws and statistical errors, and when scientists find them, that’s business as usual. For people with a clear axe to grind, who do not *want* scientific results, a good tactic is to claim to that they only want to improve science, and then do everything possible to set such a high bar that no research gets done, and waste time in irrelevant arguments.

    Another good tactic is to move an argument from a scientific domain into a political one: in the US, ideally in the US Congress, where voting actually does count, lobbyist $$$ matter, and a K-Street address is good, and maybe Congressman can be maneuvered into slowing science down [sound familiar?].

    Few effective tobacco regulations ever came from Congress, but from local and state groups, which are harder to lobby effectively. {Belmont, CA just banned smoking almost everywhere except single-family homes…]

    To calibrate all this, observe that smoking is rising fast in developing countries (60% of Chinese men), will likely kill 50% more people in 2030 (WHO, 2006), and ~10M deaths/year. But, to bring this to a concrete level:
    RJR used to sell a candy-flavored version of Camels called “Twista Lime” (Along with others like Kauai Kolada, Warm Winter Toffee, Mandarin Mint etc, clearly aimed at kids. In late 2006, they signed an agreement that they wouldn’t do this any more (great!)… i.e., they can still *sell* them, they just can’t use the luscious names…

    Anyway, the tactics are similar and often involve some of the same people and organizations, and while there are plenty of people who believe something for reasons other than economics, in both cases there are *serious* economic interests that pay others to churn out masses of disinformation.

    If you accept purposeful disinformation as normal scientific discourse, and if you frequently prefer to believe people who can’t get silly theories published in peer-reviewed journals …I can get you a great deal on a bridge in Nigeria, with lots of oil underneath, that you can sell for a lot of money, but I need a few thousand $ to get the deal started…

  2. 252
    Timothy Chase says:

    Jim Cripwell (#249) wrote:

    In 245 Phillipe wrote “You were asked for data, I don’t see it. What are your predictions based on?” I thought I answered that question. I believe the forecast of the solar physicists as the how quiet the sun will be in solar cycles 24 and 25. Not much better, I agree, than reading tea leaves.

    Might be nice to know who the “solar physicists,” assuming we are to regard them as experts.

    In any case, it doesn’t seem to work, Frank.

    For each of these potential sources it is possible to compute the influence on the Earth’s climate [e.g., Wilson, 2000; Cubasch and Voss, 2000; Haigh, 1996; Shindell et al., 2001]. Given the complexity of the climate system, however, such modeling perforce is based on simplifying assumptions, which implies a significant uncertainty in the results. Here we take a complementary approach. We assume that the Sun has been responsible for climate change prior to 1970. Specifically, we consider the period 1856-1970. Then, using reconstructions and measured records of relevant solar quantities as well as of the cosmic-ray flux, we estimate which fraction of the dramatic temperature rise after that date could be due to the influence of the Sun. Since our original assumption cannot underestimate the solar contribution to global warming prior to 1970, through the present analysis we should obtain an upper limit on the fraction of the warming due to the Sun also after 1970. The two other simplifying assumptions that enter our analysis are (1) the connection between the relevant solar and terrestrial quantities is linear, and (2) this connection remains unchanged with time (and in particular it is the same prior to and post 1970).

    Solanki, S. K. & Krivova, N.
    Can solar variability explain global warming since 1970?
    J. Geophys. Res. 108, doi: 10.1029/2002JA009753 (2003).

  3. 253
    Timothy Chase says:

    Jim Cripwell (#249) wrote:

    In 245 Phillipe wrote “You were asked for data, I don’t see it. What are your predictions based on?” I thought I answered that question. I believe the forecast of the solar physicists as the how quiet the sun will be in solar cycles 24 and 25. Not much better, I agree, than reading tea leaves.

    Might be nice to know who the “solar physicists,” assuming we are to regard them as experts.

    In any case, it doesn’t seem to work, Frank.

    For each of these potential sources it is possible to compute the influence on the Earth’s climate [e.g., Wilson, 2000; Cubasch and Voss, 2000; Haigh, 1996; Shindell et al., 2001]. Given the complexity of the climate system, however, such modeling perforce is based on simplifying assumptions, which implies a significant uncertainty in the results. Here we take a complementary approach. We assume that the Sun has been responsible for climate change prior to 1970. Specifically, we consider the period 1856-1970. Then, using reconstructions and measured records of relevant solar quantities as well as of the cosmic-ray flux, we estimate which fraction of the dramatic temperature rise after that date could be due to the influence of the Sun. Since our original assumption cannot underestimate the solar contribution to global warming prior to 1970, through the present analysis we should obtain an upper limit on the fraction of the warming due to the Sun also after 1970. The two other simplifying assumptions that enter our analysis are (1) the connection between the relevant solar and terrestrial quantities is linear, and (2) this connection remains unchanged with time (and in particular it is the same prior to and post 1970).

    Solanki, S. K. & Krivova, N.
    Can solar variability explain global warming since 1970?
    J. Geophys. Res. 108, doi: 10.1029/2002JA009753 (2003).

    Given their methodology, they conclude:

    This comparison shows without requiring any recourse to modeling that since roughly 1970 the solar influence on climate (through the channels considered here) cannot have been dominant. In particular, the Sun cannot have contributed more than 30% to the steep temperature increase that has taken place since then, irrespective of which of the three considered channels is the dominant one determining Sun-climate interactions: tropospheric heating caused by changes in total solar irradiance, stratospheric chemistry influenced by changes in the solar UV spectrum, or cloud coverage affected by the cosmic ray flux.

    (emphasis added)

  4. 254
    Philippe Chantreau says:

    Re 249. I am somewhat surprised at you desinvolte answer: “not much better than tea leaves” and “I am not an expert in answering this sort of question.” Then what kind of value can I give to any/all of your assertions? As a matter of fact, why would anyone (including yourself) put trust in any of your conclusions or predictions when some are readily available that carry the weight of the best specialists and the best/most complete data?
    Think of it this way: if someone was presenting AGW the way you present your point of view, how serious would it look?

    As for the SH, NH differences, one is mostly covered by ocean and has a massive ice-covered continent at the bottom, I would not expect them to be treated the same.

  5. 255
    Jim Cripwell says:

    Re 253. Phillipe you are absolutely right. My predictions are not worth very much. However, I am not so much concerned with predictions, but with the hard data about what is actually happening to the climate. Data which, hopefully, everyone believes is correct. When this data becomes available in 5, 10, or 15 years we will see who is right. I am, of course, convinced it will be me, together with all the other climate skeptics. The current data shows that it is unlikely that 2007 will show any appreciable rise in global temperatures, and so the trend which seems to have been happening for the last decade of temperatures showing no increase, looks like it is continuing. The question then arises, when will global temperatures start showing the sort of increase that the IPCC predicts? After all, CO2 emissions are still increasing at what the IPCC describes as an unprecedented rate, and with no political agreement as to how to curb these CO2 emissions, this trend looks like it is going to continue into the indefinite future. Unless global temperatures start rising again soon, the AGW proponents will not have too much to cheer about, and the GCMs don’t provide much data on what is likely to happen in a 15 year time frame, according to other entries on this blog.

  6. 256
    Timothy Chase says:

    Sorry – #252 on solar variability was the complete version and I thought that #251 had failed to get through…

  7. 257
    Jim Galasyn says:

    G8 agreement on climate change a “disgrace”: Al Gore

    MILAN (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore denounced a deal by world leaders on curbing greenhouse gases as “a disgrace disguised as an achievement,” saying on Thursday the agreement struck last week was insufficient.

    The dedicated climate crusader, whose 2006 global warming documentary won an Oscar, said leaders at last week’s G8 summit in Germany had not risen to the challenge to respond to what he calls a “planetary emergency.”

    (more)

  8. 258
    Timothy Chase says:

    Jim Cripwell #255 wrote:

    Re 253. Phillipe you are absolutely right. My predictions are not worth very much. However, I am not so much concerned with predictions, but with the hard data about what is actually happening to the climate. Data which, hopefully, everyone believes is correct.

    What? You expecting the laws of physics to get suspended? CO2 or H20 to suddenly become transparent to infrared? Oh, and if you will note, in #253 I cited an analysis which shows that even if one assumes that solar variability was responsible for all climate change prior to 1979, only 30% of the unprecedented change since 1979 could be attributed to it. Basically this is all she wrote for the view that what is currently the main factor driving climate change is solar variability.

    Jim Cripwell #255 wrote:

    When this data becomes available in 5, 10, or 15 years we will see who is right.

    Fabulous – the fifteen year figures will come in just after the Arctic ice cap goes.

    Please see:

    Arctic sea ice is melting much more quickly than projected by even the most advanced computer models, a new government funded study has found. Comparing actual ice observations with climate models, the scientists conclude that the Arctic could be seasonally free of sea ice as early as 2020….

    The study, “Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Faster Than Forecast?” will appear Tuesday in the online edition of “Geophysical Research Letters.” It was led by Julienne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center and funded by the National Science Foundation and by NASA.

    Arctic Ice Retreating 30 Years Ahead of Projections
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/2007-04-30-04.asp

    Jim Cripwell #255 wrote:

    I am, of course, convinced it will be me, together with all the other climate skeptics. The current data shows that it is unlikely that 2007 will show any appreciable rise in global temperatures, and so the trend which seems to have been happening for the last decade of temperatures showing no increase, looks like it is continuing. The question then arises, when will global temperatures start showing the sort of increase that the IPCC predicts?

    Looks like the 10-year average has been going up, and at least as far as I can tell it has picked up some speed.

    Please see:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2007/images/pr20070104.gif

    From:

    News release
    4 January 2007
    2007 – forecast to be the warmest year yet
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2007/pr20070104.html

    5-year average is at 0.20 C per decade – higher than 1979-1997, although the statistical significance isn’t quite high enough to say whether the “acceleration” is real.

    Jim Cripwell #255 wrote:

    After all, CO2 emissions are still increasing at what the IPCC describes as an unprecedented rate, …

    Remember – the temperature rises as the logarithm of the ppm – except when you get close to the origin (i.e., 0 ppm), where it rises linearly. We have a kind of asymptotic going. And there is the lag time. Hansen calculates that if we were to hold the level of CO2 constant today, the temperature would still be increasing for approximately fifty years. Water vapour feeback doesn’t kick in all at once. It is a gradual process.

    Jim Cripwell #255 wrote:

    … and with no political agreement as to how to curb these CO2 emissions, this trend looks like it is going to continue into the indefinite future.

    Quite possibly, and if so, things really don’t look good. Himalayas gone by the end of this century, presumably, but like the Arctic ice cap, I believe the estimate of its rate of decline is on the conservative side. Water shortages for over a billion right there. And in the US the south east is likely to give birth to a dustbowel. Things will probably go downhill from there.

  9. 259
    Robin Johnson says:

    RE #227: Unfortunately, we have based our heating/cooling on remote sources of energy when the cheapest long term solution is to drill a 50 meter deep hole – run some non-potable water lines and use a small pump and fan. Voila! You have a high-efficiency heat pump. The pump and fan consume electricity sure – but in the summer the cooling requires no additional energy and in the winter you just need to take the 57F underground temp to 70F (if you have a well insulated house a low amount of energy required). Its costs $10-15K to install (so its more expensive initially – a major disincentive). But over the life of the system/house – it saves many times that. It OUGHT to be mandatory where reasonably done (which is most everywhere). And would damn sure reduce the need for power plants, oil or natural gas.

  10. 260
    Burkart says:

    Re 255. May I ask why you expect temperatures to go down with ever increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere? CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas, this is well-established and not doubtful at all. What strange climate cycle supports your expectation? As for the rest of your argument, see my comment 194 (incl. the reference).
    Now you can say “I still don’t believe it”. This is what some climate “skeptics” told me after a heated discussion. They had no argument left, and their last sentence in the discussion was “I still don’t believe it”. I was quite speechless, but the obvious answer is: Of course not, as you seem to think this is a matter of belief rather than of science.

  11. 261

    [[The current data shows that it is unlikely that 2007 will show any appreciable rise in global temperatures, and so the trend which seems to have been happening for the last decade of temperatures showing no increase, looks like it is continuing. ]]

    Try looking at the trend for the last 150 years, instead of the last 10.

  12. 262
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Re 250: Theo H. I’m a little surprised that you are having trouble. First, one can look at sheer numbers of peer-reviewed papers. Naomi Oreskes study
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686
    puts the count at >900 favoring the consensus vs. 0 dissenting. Subsequent analyses found maybe 6 papers opposing the consensus in any serious way, so at 900:6, I’ll take those odds. What is more, the 6 papers in the opposing camp all predate about 2000. Now in the time since, there have been a few dissenting papers–e.g. Svensmark et al., but there have been a lot more supporting it. Hell Jim Hansen may have produced more peer-reviewed papers than the entire skeptic community in that interim. Even if you accept the positions of some skeptics that there are, say, 60 or so papers in the opposing camp (and having looked at the list, there’s room to dispute how seriously they challenge the consensus), that’s less than 1%. I’ll take those odds.
    Next, there is the criterion of the expertise of the researcher. Wikipedia has a pretty exhaustive list of those still in denial:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
    Note that very few of those listed are actively publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Most are not even in relevant related fields. Many, have a vested interest (e.g. petroleum geologists) in not altering the status quo wrt fossil fuel use. Here’s a hint: when in doubt, go with the folks who are actively publishing in the field.

    There is no controversy in the scientific community. The only professional society to adopt a position statement that opposes the consensus view is the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (hmm, wonder why). They adopted this position in 1999, and are considering abandoning it this year. Every other professional organization of scientists that has looked at the problem has come down squarely on the side of consensus. Case closed.

  13. 263
    Timothy Chase says:

    John Mashey (#251) wrote:

    If you accept purposeful disinformation as normal scientific discourse, and if you frequently prefer to believe people who can’t get silly theories published in peer-reviewed journals …I can get you a great deal on a bridge in Nigeria, with lots of oil underneath, that you can sell for a lot of money, but I need a few thousand $ to get the deal started…

    Thing of it is, with some people, they are likely to think that the phenomena being studied is too complex for scientists to really get a handle on – when they first encounter the subject. Then they are likely to assume that the scientists are simply playing with the data in order to rationalize their political beliefs. And at that point, they are likely to think in terms of “us vs. them” and adopt the belief that they are justified in a similar politicization of science, and they are likely to become personally invested in their conclusions.

    From then on, it is likely to be a very slippery slope – even if at a purely intellectual level they begin to realize that there is more to the science than they first thought. But given the interconnectedness of science, they will find it necessary to deny more and more scientific conclusions, even as the justification for those conclusions mounts.

    Not a pretty picture.

  14. 264
    Rod B says:

    re 172, 173, 174, 190, 203, 205, 211, 215, 217, 218, 226, 228, 230, 235, 236, 238, 239, 244, 251, et al — WOW! It’s deja vu all over again!

    Ray says, “You seem to have a misunderstanding of both peer review and scientific consensus…”, and Dan says “…Your…words…. “idolatry” and “sacrosanct”…reflect a direct insult at the scientific method…” To the contrary, my criticism was not of the peer review process or of consensus. My criticism was of the people that assert either or both as conclusive proof per se i(by itself) of the AGW theory. And despite denials in some of the above posts one can find numerous instances in RC of what I criticize. (Before you go ballistic, it’s not everyone, by a long shot.) Secondly, the fact that a minor criticism causes so much vehement rebuttal, bordering on wrath, the same reaction one gets from offended fundamentalists, proves my contention that some raise peer review to the religious idol level. On the other hand some (including I) recognize peer review for its clear benefits, its deficiencies, and its necessity. John’s post #217 is a good critique, and there have been numerous ones like it just recently in RC.

    Bottom line, simply “the consensus says so, and the vast majority of peer reviewed papers say so. CASE CLOSED.” just doesn’t cut it.

    Some individual responses: Chuck says (239) “…A paper that has not yet been peer-reviewed has some credibility…”, while Ray says (230) it’s “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

    Barton says (238), “There is a consensus that the Earth orbits the Sun…” There was also an earlier consensus that the Sun revolved around the Earth. And in fact much earlier (and admittedly not long-lived) that the earth was flat. I could go on ad nauseam with scientific consensus’ that turned out to be flat out wrong.

    Using the tobacco story John (251) compares its consensus to AGW with “1964: “The Surgeon general has determined…” That’s poor — the SG was far from having any consensus in 1964. And, on that subject, quickly, you have the tobacco story all backward. (I’ve already locked the bunker and battened the hatches, so, everyone, save your grenades.) Aligning AGW forces with the anti-tobacco crowd is a big insult to the AGW folks. Details are not appropriate for this post, but my simple contention is that the Anti-Tobacco people, including virtually all States and the Federal gov’t, are the ones who made up and twisted the science, often in a conscious, devious, audacious and fraudulent manner — the EPA study(ies) being a case in point.

  15. 265
    climate skeptic? says:

    OK, I’m posting this here too, if there’s someone who would like to comment on it. I think it’s something that should be of high interest to AGW proponents.

    An AGW critic, who can not be dismissed as a crackpot, and should be taken seriously. Doctor Habibullo Abdussamatov. Dr. Abdussamatov is the Chief of the Space Exploration Department of the Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian part of the International Space Station.

    Habibullo Abdussamatov was born in Uzbekistan in 1940, graduated from Samarkand University in 1962 as a physicist and a mathematician. He earned his doctorate at Pulkovo Observatory and the University of Leningrad.

    For the last 45 years he has worked at the Saint Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, which is (and has always been during his time there) one of the best equipped and most respected observatories in the world, at the pinnacle of research in solar physics. He has put his life into research on solar cycles.

    I think we can safely conclude he is not a crackpot in his own field of study.

    He says there are three cycles that he has observed and analysed in detail: a 11 year one, a ~80 year one and a ~200 year one, and that the impact of the longer cycles (especially the 200 year one) are not (fully) accounted for in the AGW theories.

    Dr. Abdussamatov is pretty serious about his research and there are lot of prominent scientists in Russia and Ukraine who seem to agree with him, and they are very serious about their science, or what do you say of this:

    “Because of the scientific significance of this period of global cooling that we’re about to enter, the Russian and Ukrainian space agencies, under Dr. Abdussamatov’s leadership, have launched a joint project to determine the time and extent of the global cooling at mid-century. The project, dubbed Astrometry and given priority space-experiment status on the Russian portion of the International Space Station, will marshal the resources of spacecraft manufacturer Energia, several Russian research and production centers, and the main observatory of Ukraine’s Academy of Sciences. By late next year, scientific equipment will have been installed in a space-station module and by early 2009, Dr. Abdussamatov’s space team will be conducting a regular survey of the sun.

    “With the data, the project will help mankind cope with a century of falling temperatures, during which we will enter a mini ice age, Abdussamatov says.

    Don’t you think this is something that should be of interest to realclimate?

    It’s so contrary to everything the AGW’s hold true and proven, and this guy and his colleagues have put some serious hours (decades in fact) into this research and the fact that Abdussamatov’s team get a prime and permanent place on the space-station for their research says everything that needs to be said of his standing in the Russian scientific hierarchy. For this research into global cooling, Abdussamatov will get several Russian research and production centers, resources from the spacecraft manufacturer Energia, and the main observatory of the Ukrainian academy of sciences (in addition to the famous Pulkovo observatory) under his leadership. We are talking some serious resources here, and a seriously established scientist, an esteemed and celebrated senior scientist, who has studied the subject for over four decades.

    A Crackpot like John Mashey said?

    His expertise in solar physics makes him indirectly credible on AGW, because solar activity is in direct relation to the importance of the AGW factor. If he believes that with exhaustive study he has shown the current warming to have been caused by solar activity, and there are other groups of scientists in China and Russia who have, independently, got similar results, then you can’t just dismiss it as “it’s not their field of expertise”. Because if they are right, that solar activity is the main cause of the 1970- warming cycle, then they are also in all probability right about the relative lesser importance of the AGW factor, and that the IPCC approach has exaggerated it. If they are right.

    And please notice that Mr. Abdussamatov was already “prophetizing” these warming and cooling cycles long before GW became mainstream science in the early 1990’s. A curious coincidence, or credit to Mr. Abdussamatov’s research?

    And before someone resorts to it, like John Mashey above, you can’t dismiss Mr. Abdussamatov and the direct relation his studies have to AGW, by quoting (out of context) one translated sentence from him, that has NOTHING to do with his studies, and could have been a deliberate provocation, or a joke in bad taste, or anything. It doesn’t matter at all really.

    To disprove his theory that solar activity has been the main driving factor in the 1970- warming cycle, you need to show how his methods or conclusions were wrong.

    Abdussamatov published his conclusions over a year ago. During the past year, it seems that not one AGW scientist has attempted to falsify Dr. Abdussamatov’s basic data or his theory. This is something a lot more credible than Mr. Beck, and something you should look at I’d think. Just look at the outstanding resources the Russians and Ukrainians are giving him and his standing in the Russian (former Soviet Union) scientific community. When Russian politicians debate their stance on AGW, Dr. Abdussamatov is likely to be one of their main advisors. So there is also an important political dimension to this. This is a man of influence and authority.

    Will we see a column on Dr. Abdussamatov on realclimate.org in the near future? I’d hope so.

    [Response: Extremely unlikely – for the following reasons: 1) He is completely out of his field of expertise when talking about climate. 2) solar forcing has not changed substantially in at least 30 years (direct observations) and likely ~50 years (from sunspots, cosmic rays, F10.7 radio flux). 3) the idea that climate can be explained by a single variable is nonsense. 4) I have looked but I have not found any peer reviewed paper by Dr. Abdussamatov explaining his climate theories – news releases on Moscow radio do not count. 5) predictions of solar activity are highly uncertain – much more so than impacts of GHGs. 6) the changes in forcing from any conceivable decrease in solar activity are dwarfed by the forcing from GHGs. 7) Dr. Abdussamatov’s high status is irrelevant to the strength of his (non-peer reviewed) arguments. … – gavin]

  16. 266
    Rod B says:

    Timothy (258) — a clarification: doesn’t the forcing go up by the ln of the concentration ratio raised to about the 5th power ?

  17. 267
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Re 265. Climate Skeptic,
    You claim that Dr. Abdussamatov published his findings a year ago. Where? Do you have a link to a paper in a peer-reviewed journal? If not, then how are we to give his ideas the scrutiny you say they deserve. Are you familiar with the phrase “doing science by press”. It refers to the practice of going to the press with a claim of a breakthrough with an idea that you fear might not pass peer review. The idea is to generate a lot of buzz about an idea using reporters who are not science literate in the hopes that it will ease the process of getting published. Benny Peiser did it with his critique of Naomi Oreskes and it backfired. It usually does.
    Your claim the Dr. Abdussamatov is a climate expert because he is a solar physicist and the Sun is an important forcer in climate reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific expertise. Experts in a subject are those who do research in that subject and who publish that research in peer-reviewed journals. The degree of expertise has to do with both the number of publications and reception that they get from the wider community (for example, the number of citations by other papers). Now look at the Wikipedia list here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    Most of these guys are not experts by the above defintion, and that includes Dr. Abdussamatov. Peer reviewed publication is the price of admission to the debate. Otherwise, enjoy the show.

  18. 268
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re 264 Rod B.,
    You didn’t include the rest of that sentence. Regardless, what I should have said, is, a non-peer-reviewed paper could have some merit, depending on what the paper says and who is reading it. If a journal editor sends me a paper to review, that paper is, at the time I receive it, not yet peer-reivewed. If I then read it and decide it is a the best study every conducted on that subject, the paper has merit in my mind. But, I wouldn’t expect anyone else to appreciate that value until the peer-review process is completed, and the paper is prepared for publication. (And, I might add, I am ethically bound to reveal nothing about that paper to anyone other than the journal editor, and I cannot use the information therein) I don’t think Ray would disagree with me on this point. I’m quite sure he was referring to a paper that appears in print (or on the web) without having gone through peer review.

    I still don’t understand why you show so much disdain for peer-reviewed research. Do you honestly think that any allegedly scientific report printed on paper, or posted on the web, is automatically valid as a research paper? Is that how you get your information on which to form judgments on scientific issues? I sure hope not. I thought you claimed on one of these threads to have a science degree? If so, you should consider suing your alma mater, as you seem to have been cheated out of a crucial component of a science education.

    Having written this, I will now drop this topic (I hope) – it has finally dawned on me that responding to silly statements about the peer review process only encourages more silly statements.

  19. 269
    Jim Cripwell says:

    In 260 Burkhart wrties “May I ask why you expect temperatures to go down with ever increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere? CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas, this is well-established and not doubtful at all.”

    It sounds easy, does it not. CO2 absorbs radiation, and so it keeps the earth warm. Unfortunately, this violates one of the fundamental laws of physics; any substance that absorbs radiation, also emits that same radiation. The simple picture that the advocates of AGW paint of the sun warming the ground, and then the radiation being emitted from the ground getting absorbed by the greenhouse gases is a complete oversimplification, that it is really not true at all. Have you ever considered what happens in the Antarctic in the winter? The sun does not shine, and in fact the so called greenhouse gases actually act as refrigerants; they radiate more energy into space than they absorb. The physics of how the world’s atmosphere works is far and away more complicated that the simple idea that greenhouse gases only absorb radiation. Greenhouse gases also radiate energy at the same wavelengths. When you understand this, you may begin to understand why climate skeptics believe the sun is the major driver of the world’s climate, not the greenhouse gases.

    [Response: But this physics is explicitly embedded in all models of the climate – why do you think that only ‘skeptics’ think this? -gavin]

  20. 270
    Timothy Chase says:

    Rod B (#266) wrote:

    Timothy (258) — a clarification: doesn’t the forcing go up by the ln of the concentration ratio raised to about the 5th power ?

    Actually it is going to be a little more complicated – if one wants to be precise.

    Once the center of the of a given line is saturated, the spread due to temperature results in the wings – which spread out from the center. This is what results in the logarithmic nature of the response – but prior to saturation one gets a response which is more or less linear. (An any curve is over a short enough distance will be linear – so stating as much is kosher.) Then you would take into account the temperature as being to the fourth and perform the integration.

    But that is just for a single band, and given other, smaller effects, a precise solution which one could verify within a lab would still be somewhat of an approximation out in the climate system itself. But setting that all aside, the log is a very good approximation over the range that we are dealing with here.

    Of course, this is all pretty much of the top of my head, and if a radiation physicist would like to step in and correct me, by all means…

    In any case, I was responding to a problem that Jim had raised elsewhere – when he claimed essentially that the log was ad hoc with no theoretical support and couldn’t possibly be right due to a reductio ad absurdum which stumped any climatologists he had ever posed it to – as if they had never considered it. (~”Those dumb climatologists…”) Strictly speaking, it isn’t right. But it is more than sufficient for dealing with climate systems – much like Newton can be counted on for virtually any practical purpose on earth.

  21. 271
    John L. McCormick says:

    RE # 264

    RodB: [I could go on ad nauseam with scientific consensus’ that turned out to be flat out wrong.]

    And, you do.

    But, maybe your are right and the rest of us are wrong. At which point, I wonder why you bother to waste your time at RC.

  22. 272
    Jim Galasyn says:

    In 269, Jim Cripwell writes:

    It sounds easy, does it not. CO2 absorbs radiation, and so it keeps the earth warm. Unfortunately, this violates one of the fundamental laws of physics; any substance that absorbs radiation, also emits that same radiation.

    If I understand you correctly, you’re claiming that the entire climate science community has misunderstood the basic thermodynamics of blackbody radiation?

    That’s quite a discovery. You should write it up and publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

  23. 273
    Timothy Chase says:

    Jim Cripwell (#269) wrote:

    The physics of how the world’s atmosphere works is far and away more complicated that the simple idea that greenhouse gases only absorb radiation. Greenhouse gases also radiate energy at the same wavelengths. When you understand this, you may begin to understand why climate skeptics believe the sun is the major driver of the world’s climate, not the greenhouse gases.

    What greenhouse gases do is slow down the energy so that the energy remains within the climate system for a longer period of time.

    This boosts the temperature until more energy is radiated by the system – as much as what is entering it at any given time. But the amount of energy within the system – and thus the temperature – remains higher than it was before. For the amount of energy in the system to drop, more would have to leave the system over a given period of time as what is entering the system. But by the time the amount which is leaving the system has risen to the level that it equals the amount coming in, the system has achieved a new equilibrium – at a higher temperature.

    This is how the conservation of energy applies within a climate system. Not something which a philosophy major should necessarily know, but it is something somebody with a background in physics should be able to pick up rather quickly.

  24. 274
    climate skeptic? says:

    To achieve such a prominent position, he must have convinced his peers in Russia and Ukraine, wouldn’t you think?

    He delivered a report/synopsis of his theory to the international Astronomical Union in June 2004. He published specifications in September and October of 2005, so that’s actually over a year ago. He says that so far he has recieved no serious objections.

    Feeling neglected by the international science community, he contacted Ria Novosti (i.e. media) to popularize his theory.

    The link to the synopsis of his theory (june 2004):

    http://www.journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?jid=IAU&volumeId=2004&issueId=IAUS223 and search for Abdussamatov

    Multi-Wavelength Investigations of Solar Activity
    Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 223, 2004
    A.V. Stepanov, E.E. Benevolenskaya & A.G. Kosovichev, eds.
    _c 2004 International Astronomical Union
    DOI: 10.1017/S1743921304006775

    About the long-term coordinated variations of the activity, radius, total irradiance of the Sun and the Earth’s climate

    Habibullo I. Abdussamatov

    Pulkovo Observatory, Saint Petersburg, Russia

    The 11-year cycle represents a simultaneous parallel change in both the activity level and the total irradiance of the Sun. So, in case of variations of the amplitude of the activity level – a power of a cycle – the amplitude of solar irradiance variations is expected to change correspondingly.

    The identical correlated course of the long-term variations of activity and luminosity of the Sun on the secular timescale has been observed earlier by Eddy (1976), and Borisenkov (1988). Moreover, according to the data of Borisenkov (1988), in each of 18 deep Maunder-type minima of solar activity, revealed over the span of the last 7500 years, the cooling of climate had been observed, while warming occurred during the periods of high maxima. Thus, the integral radiation has always been essentially higher at the maximum, and it had noticeably decreased at the minima. Therefore, quasi-periodic variations of the solar activity during both the 11-year cycle and 80- and 200-year cycles are accompanied by proportional variations of the integral flux of solar radiation, which result in geophysical effects.

    The main cause of climate change during the last millennia is the corresponding cyclic variation of the 80- and 200-year component of irradiance correlated with activity. That is why, the contemporary is not anomalous but is ordinary secular global warming (Aguilar 2003; Reid 2000), as well as previous similar cases of warming during the periods of secular activity growth is still mainly connected with an increase of the secular component of solar irradiance variation.

    Recent observations Ulrich (1995) and Noel (1997, 2001, 2002), show that the solar radius variations within an 11-year cycle has the correlated identically with the activity level variations, although a contrary result with smaller amplitude was obtained by Laclare (1996). Furthermore, revealed that the larger radius is connected with high activity level, and a smaller one with low activity level (Basu 1998). The results of Sveshnikov (2002) have ultimately confirmed the reality of close connection between the change of activity level during cycle and the course of radius variations in both phase and amplitude. In particular, during 11-year cycles with an increased activity level, larger amplitude of radius variations is generally observed, while during the cycles with a decreased activity level – the lower amplitude, i.e. the courses of 11-year variations of both the radius and the activity level are mutually correlated and parallel to each other.

    A presence of 80-year cycle in the radius variations (Sveshnikov 2002, Parkinson 1980, Gilliland 1981) together with secular climate variations is an additional argument in favor of presence of secular component in the solar irradiance variations. In the phase of maxima of 11-, 80- and 200-year cycles has correspondingly larger radius and higher luminosity, while in the phase of minima of these cycles an opposite picture is observed. Observed correlated long-term identical variations of radius, irradiance and activity, which require enormous energy resources for a rather long time, are, in our opinion, the consequence of the same processes, taking place in the innermost solar interior, and are coordinated by a global variation of the whole inner structure of the Sun, caused by changes in the state of energy-releasing core, its temperature, and, probably, its rotation rate in the course of cyclic activity of the star (Abdussamatov 2003). Variation of energy release from the core and corresponding temperature change lead to disturbance of the solar equilibrium, determined by the balance of forces of the inner pressure and gravity. An increase of energy release in the core is accompanied by the growth of temperature, which result in unavoidable global heating of the Sun, and corresponding increase of its radius and total irradiance with the effective temperature remaining practically constant.

    Therefore, cyclic variations of the “solar constant” result from corresponding change of the emitting area, i.e.

    W_ = (�R_/R_)/(�S_/S_) = 0.5.

    Hence, the amplitude of the 11-year radius variation should be limited to Î�R < 0, 5â��. Thus, possible long-term smooth quasi-periodic oscillations of the core’s energy release, accompanied by the corresponding temperature changes, can lead to cyclic global reconstructions of the whole Sun, induced radial pulsations around mean value of the radius, and, therefore, to variations of the “solar constant”, proportional to the relative change of the radius squared. Such long-term global variations of the whole Sun, caused by the corresponding changes in the temperature of the core, can catalyze generation of an activity cycle. Increase of the core’s temperature and corresponding expansion of the whole Sun can catalyze the raise of activity, while decrease of the core’s temperature will catalyze a drop in activity, with the amplitude of the central temperature variations determining the power of a cycle.

    If amplitude of the core’s temperature fluctuations is small, weak cycles with a low-amplitude activity level will be developed, while higher amplitudes result in more powerful cycles. An absence or a rather low amplitude of the temperature fluctuations can lead to a deep minimum of both activity and luminosity of a Maunder-type. Hence, solar activity can acquire additional energy released in the core. Summarizing, observed cyclicities in solar variations are determined by corresponding quasi-periodic changes in both activity and size (and, therefore, total irradiance). That is why, one can expect that in the nearest future (in accordance with expected decay of the activity and irradiance secular cycle) regular secular decrease of the Earth temperature should replace the contemporary not anomalous but regular secular global warming.

    References

    Abdussamatov H.I. 2003, Petersburg fragments of the scientific picture of the Universe, N2.
    SPbSC RAS. Saint-Petersburg, p.8
    Aguilar D. 2003, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Press Release, No.: 03-10
    Basu D. 1998, Solar Phys., 183, 291
    Borisenkov E.P. (ed.) 1988, Climate changes during the last millennium. Leningrad, Gidrometeoizdat
    Eddy J.A. 1976, Science, 192, 1189
    Gilliland R.L. 1981, Astrophys. J., 248, 1144
    Laclare F., Delmas C., Coin J.P., Irban A. 1996, Solar Phys., 166, 211
    Noel F. 1997, Astron. Astrophys., 325, 825
    Noel F. 2001, Astron. Astrophys., 374, 697
    Noel F. 2002, Astron. Astrophys., 396, 667
    Parkinson J.H., Morrison L.V., Stephenson F.R. 1980, Nature, 288, 548
    Reid G.C. 2000, Space Science Reviews, 94, 1
    Sveshnikov M.L., 2002, Sov. Astron. Letters, 28, 133
    Ulrich R.K., Bertello L. 1995, Nature, 377, 214

    [Response: This is an abstract about solar physics, and I would not presume to know more about solar physics than the Dr. Abdussamatov. However, nowhere does he show that solar forcing is larger than GHGs – and if you want to make a projection for climate changes in the future you must do that comparison. All comparisons done by anyone else show that variations over the even the solar cycle are small compared to the GHG forcing. I am very happy that he plans to observe the sun from a new satellite – the more the merrier, but translating solar changes to climate response requires integration of all the factors affecting climate – not just one. – gavin]

  25. 275
    Jim Eager says:

    Re: 269, Jim Cripwell: “It sounds easy, does it not. CO2 absorbs radiation, and so it keeps the earth warm. Unfortunately, this violates one of the fundamental laws of physics; any substance that absorbs radiation, also emits that same radiation.”

    And you think this is a revelation?

    Obviously you haven’t read much of what is written on this site, either in the topic posts or in the comments.
    I think we now have a good handle on just how stupid you think climatologists are.

  26. 276
    Rod B says:

    re 268: “I still don’t understand why you show so much disdain for peer-reviewed research. Do you honestly think that any allegedly scientific report printed on paper, or posted on the web, is automatically valid as a research paper?”

    Just shows you didn’t read my comments (or, if they were too mushy, I apologize). I do not disdain peer review. It plays a very impotrtant role in the dessimination of credible scientific resaearch. It just has some warts and blemishes and is far from perfect. So it should not be viewed with perfect authority (kinda like idols…).

    I agree research stuff, not peer reviewed, printed or posted is not necessarily/automatically credible. But it is not necessarily not credible either. There are tons on non peer reviewed stuff printed, I suspect most of the college texts, e.g. There is probably a higher incidence of junk than that found in peer reviewed papers, but there’s a lot of good stuff, too, and probably less of the herd mentality.

  27. 277
    Rod B says:

    re 271: “But, maybe your are right and the rest of us are wrong. At which point, I wonder why you bother to waste your time at RC.”

    I find the majority of the stuff on RC very informative (even if I disagree — part of the learning process). Especially the vast majority of stuff from the moderators. Then there’s the other entertainment value! Not really — I enjoy the repartee of some of the discourse on the processes od science, and like to think I’m being productive, not just pulling chains. …though some of you guys really have easily pulled chains [:-}

  28. 278
    Timothy Chase says:

    climate skeptic (#276) wrote:

    To achieve such a prominent position, he must have convinced his peers in Russia and Ukraine, wouldn’t you think?

    He delivered a report/synopsis of his theory to the international Astronomical Union in June 2004. He published specifications in September and October of 2005, so that’s actually over a year ago. He says that so far he has recieved no serious objections.

    Nope. He achieved prominence, they started wandering off into Never-Never…

    [More solar variation explains all climate change nonsense…]

    Sure… and 2005 got as high 1998 without an El Nino during a cool solar year because…

    Feel free to check out a technical paper that actually deals with this issue.

    See my response to Jim:

    G8 summit declaration – Comment #253

    Solar variation explains perhaps the majority of what happened prior to 1979, just before the temperatures really started to rise, but it does a poor job after that. And according to solar variation, we are supposed to be experiencing a cooling trend right now – but the 5-year average has been going up instead.

    Anyway, that was a pretty copy-and-paste. But at least at DebunkCreation, Lenny doesn’t look that favorably on that sort of thing when some YEC does it.

    Next time, give us a link, OK?

  29. 279
    Timothy Chase says:

    Rod B (#277) wrote:

    I find the majority of the stuff on RC very informative (even if I disagree — part of the learning process). Especially the vast majority of stuff from the moderators. Then there’s the other entertainment value! Not really — I enjoy the repartee of some of the discourse on the processes od science, …

    I do too!

    … and like to think I’m being productive, not just pulling chains. …though some of you guys really have easily pulled chains [:-}

    Things might get a little tense at times, and lets face it: sometimes you are a stubborn pain in the… but… You definitely add something of value – and you are obviously bright.

    I am glad you are here.

  30. 280
    David Price says:

    About emissions if we have enough fossil fuels to produce half our emissions by 2050 we will be lucky. Oil is about to peak and gas soon after. It now seems there is much less recoverable coal than was once believed. Even meeting the IPCC’s low emissions scenario might be impossible.
    Society’s main challenge in the coming years will be how to keep things going until renewables are sufficiantly developed to take the slack. it will be touch and go.

  31. 281
    Timothy Chase says:

    In the inline to #274, Gavin wrote:

    Response: This is an abstract about solar physics,…

    Gavin,

    That wasn’t the abstract – that was the paper…

    Oy gevalt!

  32. 282
    ray ladbury says:

    #269. Yeah, Jim, tell me about fundamental physics. Yes, radiation is both absorbed and re-emitted, but the light that is absorbed is what? Outgoing. And the light that is re-emitted is re-emitted how? Isotropically. So that means that 50% of what was outgoing is now what? Incoming. And the density of photons in the lower atmosphere–does it increase or decrease. Increase. And when the photon density increases, what happens to the temperature? That’s right. It has to go up, because 1)the photons ultimately get re-absorbed by the ground as heat and 2)the gases and photon field have to be in an equilibrium. What’s that, you say, this can’t go on forever. No it doesn’t. Eventually the temperature of the Earth rises, it emits more photons, and we return to a quasi steady state.
    Oh, and Jim, the reason you have more photons outbound over Antartica than inbound in the Winter is because in the Winter, Antartica’s heat is supplied by movement of airmasses where the sun IS actually shining. Believe it or not, Jim, there really is a greenhouse effect.

  33. 283
    ray ladbury says:

    Re 274. Climate skeptic, isn’t it interesting that just yesterday you were claiming to have an “open mind” on the subject, and now you keep insisting that a third hand account of a synopsis of an unpublished manuscript by a researcher in a field only tangentially related to climate science has all the answers. And this despite the limitations of the author and his theory having been pointed out to you repeatedly. Now, compare this unpublished manuscript–unvetted by the larger climate community–to the >1000 peer-reviewed scientific papers that support the hypothesis of anthropogenic causation. Now I ask you, looking at the balance of evidence, does that look open-minded to you?

  34. 284
    climate skeptic? says:

    “Solar variation explains perhaps the majority of what happened prior to 1979, just before the temperatures really started to rise, but it does a poor job after that. And according to solar variation, we are supposed to be experiencing a cooling trend right now – but the 5-year average has been going up instead.”

    Are you an established scientist in solar physics? Are you now doing what gavin and others have been accusing Dr. Abdussamatov of doing?
    According to Mr. Abdussamatov’s (I love his surname) research, we are still in the warming trend. He predicts the solar cooling trend will start in between 2012 and 2015.

    “at DebunkCreation”

    This is EXACTLY why I am a skeptic?. The sole reason why I don’t know who to trust anymore. I can’t see the borders between science and politics. If you compare a celebrated senior scientist to creationists, just because he disagrees with your convictions, you are winning no friends. In fact, to put it bluntly, you look a fool.

    I don’t doubt GHGs, or AGW. I am skeptical of CAGW. Like someone noted without greenhouse gasses Earth would be an ice cube, so it’s logical to assume that variations in the atmospheric GHG levels will have an effect on the climate. Well, without the sun it would be close to 0 Kelvin. So it is similarly logical to assume that variations in the sun’s activity will affect the average temperatures on Earth.

    We don’t possess 100% certainty about the impact of the solar cycles, and we don’t have 100% certainty about the impact of the Anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The ice core studies come with uncertainties attached, the sulfate aerosol effect comes with uncertainties attached, the cosmic rays come with uncertainties attached, the exact feedback mechanisms come with uncertainties attached (there have been periods that were cooler than today, when CO2 levels were at the same time multiple times higher), and naturally the exact role of CO2 comes with uncertainties attached. Let’s not pretend that the debate is over, eh? That’s nothing but politics at the end of the day. It smacks of the thirst for personal fulfillment that comes with recognition. “Finally they are all listening to us”. It’s the “flow” of CAGW activism (if you are familiar with Csikszentmihalyi). The psychology of this debate is interesting. You can say that Abdussamatov and others in solar physics are talking outside the boundaries of their expertise, when commenting on AGW, but that’s not true. There’s a direct relation between the different causes that have been driving warming in the past 30 years. If it can be proven, as Mr. Abdussamatov believes it will be, that the solar cycles have a more significant role than accounted for in IPCC computer modelling, then the models, when re-run with the corrected values, will give scaled down figures for AG warming. Scaled down estimates for AG warming would be a catastrophe politically. Without alarmism AGW wouldn’t have made the mainstream. So for those who have intermixed science with politics, all theories that are contrary to the CAGW theory, are seen as a personal, psychological threat. Especially if you are investing a lot of emotion into the subject. The doubts have to be dismissed. The psychology of CAGW demands 100% certainty, but science cannot offer it. In Europe around 20 years ago disillusioned young socialists jumped on the CAGW wagon when the research was still in it’s baby steps. Now capitalism was literally killing the planet, and not just exploiting the poor. I find it curious how little evolution the CAGW rhetoric has gone through in all these years. Not much has changed, although you might expect research to alter the early hypothesis’s.

    When this debate is over one day, one way or the other, we will have numbers of textbooks on the psychology of this debate.
    If heretics like Abdussamatov are proven to have been in the wrong, not much will happen. It’s business as usual. But if the CAGW theory is proven to be NOT true, it could revolutionaze the way we see the science of enormously complex questions.

  35. 285
    ray ladbury says:

    Re 274, 281. Oh my God! That’s it! That’s not a paper, thats a freaking book report! They published that. What, did they have 2 extra pages that would have been blank otherwise! Really, Climate Skeptic, have you ever read a real scientific paper that wasn’t published by a denialist/contrarian?

  36. 286
    Timothy Chase says:

    Re #284

    Climate Skeptic,

    I wasn’t comparing him to a creationist – I was thinking of him as someone who make have gone around the bend since his best work. That is the most charitable spin I can give it. Your copy and paste of the entire ‘technical’ article? I was comparing that to things which I have seen creationists do.

    Not name-calling. Not comparing you to a creationist. But if you paste some textual support for a position you are taking, it helps if you understand what it is that you are pasting and can demonstrate that with what you have to say regarding the text. And it really shouldn’t be the whole article. No matter how small it might be.

  37. 287
    Rod B says:

    Timothy (279):
    Thanks. [SLAP! SLAP!] I needed that.

  38. 288
    climate skeptic? says:

    “ow you keep insisting that a third hand account of a synopsis of an unpublished manuscript by a researcher in a field only tangentially related to climate science has all the answers”

    That’s a strawman. I don’t imply such a thing. I have talked about uncertainty, a thing some people try to deny.

    “Oh my God! That’s it! That’s not a paper, thats a freaking book report! ”

    No kidding? I said it was a report. It gives a perspective into what he is studying. What papers he has published in Russian, I do not know. And I don’t think anyone’s too bothered either. But the Soviets were no amateurs in solar physics, and Mr. Abdussamatov, with a 45 year career history, and in his role as the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian section of the International Space Station is not the crackpot you try to make him out to be. He will have under his leadership the famous solar physics laboratory at the St. Petersburg Pulkovo Observatory and the main observatory of the Ukrainian academy of sciences, and several research and production centers in Russia. The spacecraft manufacturer Energia is providing the resources for his study into solar cycles (and, in Abdussamatov’s own words, global cooling) which will be conducted, with priority space-experiment status, on the Russian portion of the International Space Station.

    There is an obvious double standard at play now, and I hope you would notice it. Presumably Dr. Abdussamatov is not qualified to comment on AGW, although his argument is effectively that because solar cycles explain most of the 1970- warming, the AGW factor cannot be very significant but you are entitled not only to dismiss out of hand his research in solar physics, in which you have no expertise, but also to ridicule him.

  39. 289
    ray ladbury says:

    Uh, climate “skeptic”, did you ever consider that maybe the reason why the outlines of our understanding of climate have not changed dramatically are because it is in fact a mature field? There have been significant incremental advances in our understanding of aerosols, clouds, etc. and more remains to do, but the probability of a revolutionary overturn. You seem to fetishize uncertainties. Yet science is not about avoiding uncertainties, but rather about understanding them. And when you understand the uncertainties in our climate models, you would find that for them to be fundamentally wrong, ALL of the uncertainties would have to line up just at their worst-case levels, AND we’d probably have to have evidence of some unanticipated effect not in the models. The likelihood of this at this point is vanishingly small. I’m just curious if you are truly open minded, then why are ALL your efforts directed at looking far and wide, in obscure journals only tangentially related to climate and the few obscure authors whose only common characteristic is opposition to the consensus view. Here’s a hint: Denial is not a river in Africa.

  40. 290
    John Mashey says:

    re: #264 Rod B
    “Using the tobacco story John (251) compares its consensus to AGW with “1964: “The Surgeon general has determined…” That’s poor — the SG was far from having any consensus in 1964. And, on that subject, quickly, you have the tobacco story all backward.”

    “Rod B” has strong opinions, but seems to lack data, and of course, being an alias, not a real person, “Rod B” can post anything without concern for reputation.
    To actually gain data, one can read Brandt’s book, Chapter 7, including the comment:

    “In an age in which powerful interests threaten to overwhelm to integrity of science, procedural science offers a powerful counterweight.” which I think is applicable elsewhere.

  41. 291
    Philippe Chantreau says:

    Could Abdussamatov be the new Lysenko? Unlikely. Would make more sense that the (oh so) persuasive Poutin has “hired” him to give 1st class excuse to Russia for lack of action or resistance to all sensible climate policies. After all, Russia is counting heavily on its large stores of fossil fuels to regain its place in the world and extract favorable attitudes from its European neighbors.

  42. 292
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re # 276 [tons on non peer reviewed stuff printed, I suspect most of the college texts, e.g. .. higher incidence of junk than…in peer reviewed papers, but there’s a lot of good stuff, too, and probably less of the herd mentality.]

    College textbooks are peer-reviewed, though not necessarily by experts – rather, the reviewers are mostly professors who teach in that field and want to pick up some spare pocket change (typically $50-75 per chapter reviewed, which, in my experience, might work out to the minimum wage). But, the science in most textbooks is several years out of date when the book is printed, and there are rarely any original data or conclusions in a college-level textbook – in fact, most textbooks won’t have a market if they don’t cover the consensus view in a given field (I would go so far as to say they help create the herd mentality, if such exists).
    So, can you provide some specific examples of your “lots of good stuff” in the non-peer-reviewed literature dealing with climate change? And please tell us why you feel the papers, books, or whatever, are so good, and possibly even more informative than the peer-reviewed literature. I really am curious to know where you get your information and why you trust it.

  43. 293
    Hank Roberts says:

    >264, RodB, claiming there was no consensus about tobacco by 1964

    Rod, boy, I was there. You’re wrong.

    You can look this stuff up for yourself, and better you do that than trust whoever’s feeding you these lying lines.

    V. DEFENDANTS DEVISED AND EXECUTED A SCHEME TO DEFRAUD CONSUMERS AND
    POTENTIAL CONSUMERS OF CIGARETTES IN MOST, BUT NOT ALL, OF THE AREAS
    ALLEGED BY THE GOVERNMENT
    A. Defendants Have Falsely Denied, Distorted and Minimized the Significant
    Adverse Health Consequences of Smoking for Decades
    509. Cigarette smoking causes disease, suffering, and death. Despite internal recognition
    of this fact, Defendants have publicly denied, distorted, and minimized the hazards of smoking for
    decades. The scientific and medical community’s knowledge of the relationship of smoking and
    disease evolved through the 1950s and achieved consensus in 1964. However, even after 1964,
    Defendants continued to deny both the existence of such consensus and the overwhelming evidence
    on which it was based.

    http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/litigation/usvpm/section_4.pdf

    It’s the first hit Google gives you if you type in: tobacco consensus 1964
    It’s from the papers turned over to the public health archives after the tobacco companies admitted lying for decades.

    Who’s lying to you, Rod? Why do you trust your source for what you believe, instead of looking up history for yourself?

  44. 294
    dhogaza says:

    No kidding? I said it was a report. It gives a perspective into what he is studying. What papers he has published in Russian, I do not know. And I don’t think anyone’s too bothered either.

    So, in other words, the dude hasn’t done shit in climate science, yet you give more weight to his thoughts than you do to the collective thoughts of a thousand or more hard-working scientists.

    Why?

    We all know why. Don’t bother answering.

  45. 295
    James says:

    Re #269: [ CO2 absorbs radiation, and so it keeps the earth warm. Unfortunately, this violates one of the fundamental laws of physics; any substance that absorbs radiation, also emits that same radiation.]

    OK. So that line of reasoning applies equally to any substance, say for instance the glass in your car windows, right? So here’s a simple experiment: park your car in the sun on a summer day, with the windows closed. Come back a few hours later, and see if it’s warmer inside than out. If it is (and mine sure was today), your theory is disproved.

  46. 296
    Timothy Chase says:

    Climate skeptic quoted a paper a little earlier at #276, a paper written by a prominent solar physicist in Russia.

    Anyway, lets take a quick look at what the physicist wrote.

    Most of it seems fairly elementary – like something that a student might write if taking an astronomy course for non-physics majors. How accurate is it? I suspect the fair majority is accurate – but I can’t say for sure as I am not a solar physicist.

    But now look at the bolded part below:

    The main cause of climate change during the last millennia is the corresponding cyclic variation of the 80- and 200-year component of irradiance correlated with activity. That is why, the contemporary is not anomalous but is ordinary secular global warming (Aguilar 2003; Reid 2000), as well as previous similar cases of warming during the periods of secular activity growth is still mainly connected with an increase of the secular component of solar irradiance variation.

    He goes from describing what is presumably the main cause of climate change for the last millennia to the conclusion that it is the cause of the current trend in climate change. Nonsequitur. No one in their right mind would deny the premise, but there is a great deal of distance between the premise and the conclusion. Of course, maybe something which either Aguilar or Reed says might be relevant. Something worth checking. But at the same time, if what they had to say was relevant, presumably he would have said a little more than he did – which really amounts to no more than hand-waving of the sort that, “Most people I have known have brown eyes, therefore everyone I will run into today will have brown eyes.”

    Now how about this part?:

    Recent observations Ulrich (1995) and Noel (1997, 2001, 2002), show that the solar radius variations within an 11-year cycle has the correlated identically with the activity level variations, although a contrary result with smaller amplitude was obtained by Laclare (1996).

    When someone says “identically,” that makes me suspicious – at least when it comes to correlations between physical phenomena. Generally things will be a little more messy – because there will be other factors. Physical systems are generally rather complicated. Obviously he wants to go with Ulrich and Noel – but at least he mentions Laclare. But in any case, this is still a solar cycle and an activity level variation. Not that relevant to the earth’s climate, at least as of yet. And as a matter of fact, he is dealing with the behavior of the sun throughout the rest of the paper – up until this point:

    Summarizing, observed cyclicities in solar variations are determined by corresponding quasi-periodic changes in both activity and size (and, therefore, total irradiance). That is why, one can expect that in the nearest future (in accordance with expected decay of the activity and irradiance secular cycle) regular secular decrease of the Earth temperature should replace the contemporary not anomalous but regular secular global warming.

    This amounts to handwaving.

    There is the allusion to climatology where he mentions the “solar constant,” but this is simply an allusion – with no actual analysis of what has been happening to the earth’s climate in recent times. The quotes marks around the phrase are obviously scare marks – intended to suggest that those who do not agree with his conclusion that solar activity is wholy responsible for the current climate trend are naive enough to believe that solar behavior really is constant. However, it is only within the context of a simple theory which exists for the sake of illustrating the basics of climatology that anyone would ever make that assumption.

    In essence, this looks like a paper which was written by someone for an audience which wouldn’t understand it so as to convince them of the conclusion he wants them to believe without really offering anything substantial to support the conclusion he wants them to believe – in the hope that they will take conclusion as a given because, afterall, he is an authority.

    However, this is my opinion of it.

    I wouldn’t expect you or anyone else to put a great deal of weight on my opinion. I am not a solar physicist. But most solar physicists wouldn’t expect you to just take their say-so either – any more than Gavin would expect you to take his with regard to climatology. But I would not say that you shouldn’t be able to form some of your own opinions given what you can understand. And if you step through the paper as I have suggested, I believe you will see pretty much the same as what I saw. There isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about it – except in terms of the non sequiturs the author wishes you to accept. And to the extent that you have difficulty understanding it, like Gavin, I would suggest that going with the scientific consensus is probably the safest bet.

    *

    But now we might also have to ask whether he can speak as an “authority” of any sort.

    Well, yes, when it comes to solar physics. This is where the paper doesn’t seem to offer anything beyond what is simply a summary of what is probably an extremely conventional view, albeit expressed in a vague and relatively superficial manner. However, when he asks you to draw conclusions regarding what is currently driving the earth’s climate, he is stepping outside of the domain of his area of expertise. It is precisely at this point that he should endeavor to make his argument as strong as possible – but this is where he has nothing to offer other than his conclusions. Bad move.

    However, there are two other tests we could perform.

    First, check to see whether the papers it cites have anything more to say with regard to the climate – particularly with respect to the current trends in the earth’s climate. I suspect they are roughly as weak with regard to the current trends as this paper is – or else they don’t deal with it at all, and in any case, they won’t offer any more justification for his conclusion than that which he himself is offering.

    Second, check to see what papers cite his paper. You might also perform the same test with respect to the papers which he cites – and with respect to the papers which cite his. If there aren’t very many citations, then it was probably not regarded as an especially significant paper. Of course, it could still be a rehash of an accepted conclusion – but then you would probably want to go with the original paper. Additionally, you should probably check to see why they cite his paper. If they are all especially critical, this is probably not a good sign.

    I did the second test, and things turned out poorly. It was cited – but as far as I could see only by political hacks. However, ideally you should perform both of these tests – and in the process chances are you will learn a little more about solar physics.

    *

    But now lets look at a little more…

    The following image would seem to show a fairly good correlation between solar activity and earth temperature:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Temp-sunspot-co2.svg

    This is more or less what we would expect. No external forcing from human CO2 emissions, fair correlation – but at some points one thing goes up and the other goes down, so maybe not that strong a correlation. There are probably other factors. About what you would expect. However, I would still prefer some mathematical analysis by someone who is an expert.

    Now what about temperature, CO2 and solar activity?

    Well, why don’t we look at something fairly recent?

    Here it is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Temp-sunspot-co2.svg

    Now after looking at that image, what do you think is main driver of current climate change prior to 1979? What about after 1979 when temperatures really begin to take off?

    That graphic does a pretty good job of getting across the same point that the article I refered you to does and which I quoted from in my response to Jim.

    Here is a link to the post where I responded to Jim.

    Now don’t expect that article to have a great many of articles citing it. But expect several technical articles to cite it. Why not a lot? Well, it is shooting down a hypothesis which hasn’t been taken seriously in recent years.

    In shooting down a hypothesis rather than trying to support a hypothesis, it is essentially negative in its purpose. Not really a great deal to build on there – even though the article may have a fair amount of value to offer to the extent that it achieves its purpose. And insofar as it is shooting down something which isn’t being taken that seriously, it is essentially a mop-up action. So once again it won’t get that many citations. But the articles which cite it may. And I bet that even though it is a mop-up, it will be cited by substantially more articles that the one by the solar physicist.

  47. 297
    ray ladbury says:

    Rod B., The problem with non-peer-reviewed material is that the few reasonable bits come surrounded by crap–it’s like my favorite statement of the 2nd law of thermo: if you add a teaspoon of wine to a gallon of sewage, you get sewage; if you add a teaspoon of sewage to a gallon of wine, you get sewage. And, if you have something that is worthwhile, then why not submit it to peer review. Of course, there are lots of presentations, class notes, etc. that are available on line that are not peer reviewed in any formal sense. Even there, though, if you have any status in the community, your peers will be more than happy to tell you if they think what you’ve done is crap. And even if I am just making a pitch with a powerpoint presentation, I’ll likely run it by my peers or my wife (also a scientist AND engineer). Humans make mistakes–be they in procedure, in point of fact or in judgement. Peer review is an acknowledgement of that fallibility.

  48. 298

    [[Secondly, the fact that a minor criticism causes so much vehement rebuttal, bordering on wrath, the same reaction one gets from offended fundamentalists, proves my contention that some raise peer review to the religious idol level.]]

    No, it just proves that people get pissed off when you throw unjustified accusations at them. “Look how much indignation my clever post raised!” You can raise just as much indignation by going into a heavily black area and calling people n—–s. But that doesn’t prove how clever you are, it just shows that you want to make trouble.

    [[Barton says (238), “There is a consensus that the Earth orbits the Sun…” There was also an earlier consensus that the Sun revolved around the Earth. And in fact much earlier (and admittedly not long-lived) that the earth was flat. I could go on ad nauseam with scientific consensus’ that turned out to be flat out wrong.]]

    Barton was talking about consensus in the era of scientific consensus and peer review, so the examples you cite, while traditional mainstays of pseudoscience arguments against science, are irrelevant to the point.

  49. 299

    [[It sounds easy, does it not. CO2 absorbs radiation, and so it keeps the earth warm. Unfortunately, this violates one of the fundamental laws of physics; any substance that absorbs radiation, also emits that same radiation. The simple picture that the advocates of AGW paint of the sun warming the ground, and then the radiation being emitted from the ground getting absorbed by the greenhouse gases is a complete oversimplification, that it is really not true at all.]]

    So you’re saying the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist?

    The Solar constant averages 1367.6 watts per square meter and the Earth has a bolometric Bond albedo of about 0.3. That means the Earth’s equilibrium temperature is 255 K. Water freezes at 273 K. Why isn’t the Earth frozen over? Why is the Earth’s surface temperature 288 K? What causes the 33 K difference between Te and Ts, if not the greenhouse effect?

  50. 300

    [[To achieve such a prominent position, he must have convinced his peers in Russia and Ukraine, wouldn’t you think? ]]

    After several clear replies, you still don’t get it, do you?

    Dr. A’s expertise is in SOLAR PHYSICS. It is not in CLIMATOLOGY. When he says the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist, he is advancing PSEUDOSCIENCE; CRACKPOT PHYSICS. Is that clear enough?


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