Friday roundup

An eclectic round-up of the week’s climate science happenings (and an effort to keep specific threads clear of clutter).

It’s the sun! (not)

As regular readers here will know, the big problem for blaming the sun for the recent global warming is that there hasn’t been a trend in any index of solar activity since about 1960, and that includes direct measurements of solar output by satellites since 1979. Well, another paper, has come out saying exactly the same thing. This is notable because the lead author Mike Lockwood has worked extensively on solar physics and effects on climate and certainly can’t be credibly accused of wanting to minimise the role of solar forcing for nefarious pro-CO2 reasons!

Stefan was quoted in Nature as saying this is the ‘last nail in the coffin’ for solar enthusiasts, but a better rejoinder is a statement from Ray P: “That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one.”

TGGWS Redux

The still-excruciating ‘Great Global Warming Swindle’ got another outing in Australia this week. The heavily edited ‘new’ version dumped some of the obviously fake stuff that was used the first time around, and edited out the misleading segment with Carl Wunsch. There is some amusing feedback in the post-show discussion panel and interview (via DeSmogBlog).

RC Wiki

As an aside, this is as good a time as any to point people to a new resource we are putting together: RC Wiki, which is an index to the various debunkings of the contrarian articles, TV programs, and internet pseudo-science that is out there. The idea is to have a one-stop shop so that anyone who comes across a piece and wants to know what the real story just has to start there. For instance, the page on TGGWS has a listing of many of the substantive criticisms from the time of the first showing.

Editing the wiki is by invitation only, but let us know if you want to help out, or if you have any suggestions or comments.

The sweet spot for climate predictability

Between the difficulty of long-term weather forecasts and the impossibility of accurate predictions for economic conditions a century hence, there is a sweet spot for climate forecasts. This spot, maybe between 20 and 50 years out, is where the emissions scenarios don’t matter too much (given the inertia of the system) and where the trends start to be discernible over the noise of year to year weather. Cox and Stephenson have a good discussion of the point in this week’s Science and a great conceptual graphic of the issues.

One could quibble with the details (we’d put the sweet spot a little earlier) but the underlying idea is sound, and in judging climate forecasts, it will be projections in that range that should be judged (i.e. the early Hansen projections).

350 comments on this post.
  1. Steve Bloom:

    Thanks for taking these excellent steps! They’ll make RC much more accessible and effective.

  2. Robert Bergen:

    I like very much the cocept of the Friday Roundup. Keep it, please. And the entry in Wikipedia is nothing short of brilliant, in view of your own self-given mandate to spread the word. I have used your site many times to (try to) educate both the uninformed and the naysayers, with, of course, mixed results. But you are the authority, and hard to deny. Keep it up!

  3. Brian:

    RC continues to get better…thanks.

    As an aside, I very much enjoy reading the progression of comments for various posts. Although you guys likely get frustrated much of the time, another way to look at it is that all this attention, scrutiny, debate, debunking, etc. is so great for the progress of climate science. Yes, there are certainly misunderstandings and setbacks that result from all of this, but in the LONG VIEW, I think all this brouhaha is beneficial.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. Jim Eager:

    Re TGGWS Redux
    Thanks for the link to the Tony Jones interview with Durkin. He sure is a piece of work, dodging and sputtering to downplay his truncating of the graphs and claiming that the more recent data record is “moot”.
    What an [expletive deleted].

  5. SteveF:

    From the Durkin interview:

    Tony Jones: “Why didn’t you continue the [solar] graph from 1980 to now with more up to date data?”

    Martin Durkin: “Well it was a historical part of the program where we talked about key discoveries in the recent history of climatology.”

    Tony Jones: “Why weren’t we told that temperature and solar activity diverges sharply after 1980?”

    Durkin: “It’s a very moot point what happens after 1980.”

    In todays Grauniad, Durkin has a letter in which he describes Lockwood’s work as “feeble”. Interestingly, in view of the above exchange, he says:

    “However, according to the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (as used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), global temperature peaked in 1998 – the warmest year in the last decade. The temperature then fell. It did not change at all from 2001 to 2005 and then fell slightly, again, in 2006. In short, according to the IPCC’s own figures, the global temperature has been static or else slightly declining for several years. The satellite data confirms this picture. Why is this happening when increasing CO2 levels are meant to be driving the temperature up? Could it be because solar activity has waned?”

    Hmmmmm

  6. Timothy Chase:

    From the essay:

    As an aside, this is as good a time as any to point people to a new resource we are putting together: RC Wiki, which is an index to the various debunkings of the contrarian articles, TV programs, and internet pseudo-science that is out there.

    Great idea!

    Although I am not that fond of coding wiki-pages (I am more of an old-fashioned custom-your-own-html kinda guy), they do have their benefits, and it may complement the blog quite well. However, besides the coding, there is also the tendency to create cob-webs. I saw that sort of thing with another wiki not too long ago.

    It may just be me or perhaps the way my mind works, but I prefer good hierarchical structures – with cross-referencing between distant branches. Back in my old Mac days I wrote a program in HyperCard with two navigation listboxes: branches and bridges. The first entry in the branches was the parent of the current location – which was followed by the children. The structure was dynamic so that you could cut and graft a branch to anywhere else in the structure. This is something which wikis don’t encourage – but which is certainly still possible. (Incidently, the program “BrainStorm” ended up being spread out across a good number of files and including all my notes and technical papers with over 2000 pages of type-written information. I guess you could say I found it useful.)

    … but I can see that you already have a little of that going already.

    Quick note: just so you know that I am not stealing your idea – I have been working on a wiki of my own. I got started last weekend. I was going to keep it a surprise, but… what the hay!

    Anyway, it isn’t ready for show as of yet, but I am hoping that it may be something of value in a bit. And yes, this is what has been keeping me busy. I want to do something to try and make a difference. Besides, I figure I will learn a bit in the process of putting it together. We will see what happens.

  7. Neil B.:

    I would like to see more commentary on the change in average dew point over the centuries and recently. The data may be hard to pin down for below 19th century (and, is it really so much harder to estimate than temperature?) However, it could be more revealing than temperature. I expect dew points to have risen more than temperature, from increased evaporation. It could impress people more for PR. Also, the temperature changes are raw averages, but isn’t the rise in nighttime temperatures much more? More often warm at 3 am. etc., and maybe dew points then too even worse increase.

    Also, I get the observational impression that temperatures have risen more than the reports of maybe 0.5 degree or so C (?) in recent decades. Here in SE Virginia, in the 60s, I remember well it snowed rather often. Now, it hardly ever does. Maybe there is another explanation, but people from all around tell me similar stories. What do you know or suspect?

  8. Dylan:

    One notable exception from the GGWS post-show discussion was Ian Plimer. I had greatly admired Ian in his years tirelessly battling the small but persistent creationist movement in Australia.
    But his views on AGW are baffling – having fought creationists on their ideology, he now appears to falling under the same trap; as an associate of the “free market” think tank I.P.A., he apparently believes that there is no justification for governmental intervention into our economy in order to keep emissions under control.
    One of his points I don’t understand at all – he claims that there are ~10000 earthquakes a year, and that the associated CO2 release is not included into the GCMs or properly researched as far as their effect on the climate. In fact, I can’t find any numbers on just how much CO2 is released by earthquakes (or other non-volcanic seismic events), but even if we had those numbers, would it really make much difference?

    [Response: None whatsoever. There is less CO2 in the atmosphere than we have put into it. We know therefore that the carbon cycle is on average taking away human CO2, not adding more of it’s own. – gavin]

    [Response: To correct Gavin slightly: he should have said less additional CO2. Concentration has risen from 280 to 380 ppm, which is an addition of 200 GtC, raising the atmospheric CO2 content from 600 to 800 GtC. These 200 GtC we added is 57% of the fossil carbon we added to the atmosphere. -stefan]

  9. viento:

    The conclusions by Lockwood are based on the fact that sun output does not display a positive trend since 1985 or so. However, a couple of years ago Waple and Mann showed that there is a lag of about 20-40 years between solar irradiance and global temperature. Therefore, according to both papers, the effect of solar output on Earth’s temperature should be peaking now.

    [Response: If 1985 were really the peak. However, you can take the analysis back further and find that solar hit its peak in 1960 or so and any response from that would be well damped by now, yet the last decade is the warmest yet and the rate of warming is increasing. – gavin]

  10. Nick Gotts:

    Re #5 Just a note for non-UK (and probably younger UK) readers. “Grauniad” is a nickname for “The Guardian” (mildly liberal – or in US terms extreme left :-) – daily newspaper). The nickname was coined many years ago by the satirical magazine “Private Eye”, because of the number of misprints appearing in the newspaper.

    On another point, the “Friday roundup” is an excellent idea.

  11. viento:

    #9
    Well I am reading the paper again, and I see in several places that the last grand maximum was 1985. Concerning the ‘rate’ of warming, it is not very clear that it is increasing. The trend in global T and, in particular sea-surface-temperatures in the last 10 years is not as large as in the 90s, though positive indeed – with the uncertainties in determining a 10-year trend.

  12. Hank Roberts:

    The rate of earthquakes hasn’t changed much over time. No reason to think that the rate of CO2 coming out from earthquakes has changed much over time either. And this stuff is studied a lot: http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=891824

    Now, if the Atlantaeans and Lemurians had an extensive project of carbon sequestration — some quantum stringer found a way for them to sequester their excess CO2 by pumping it into a parallel universe (ours), and it’s just now rising up close enough to the surface to all start bubbling out since 1970 or so, we’re in trouble.

    But as Gavin said, there’s no change in the natural background. We know how much fuel we’ve burned; we know how much CO2 has been produced; and we know not all of it’s still in the atmosphere: “the carbon cycle is on average taking away human CO2″ — not keeping up with what we’re adding, but taking care of some, and the excess shows up as the big change since 1880 or so that got bigger after the 1970s.

    The increase is from us.

    And for the other argument, you can imagine a free market because there’s a functioning ecology. As long as there is room in the economics for the free ecological services they can’t get a price put on them and at some point made worthless.

    We blew it with the air and oceans. They can’t be “free” any longer. We sunk expenses into them — all the excess CO2 is in the air and oceans, and the bill’s got to be paid sometime. So the “free market” suddenly has to cope with a price on what used to be free —- no avoiding it, the commitment is already made. We’re just arguing over who picks up the check and whether we can postpone the decision til our children have inherited our seats.

    Some markets are trying to be perennials — others are trying to be one-=shot annual weeds that extract everything they can use and let the rest burn or erode, making conditions worse for the perennials and better for the next generation of annuals that thrive on disturbance.

  13. Ron Tuckwell:

    On Thursday 12th July at 8.30pm [South Australian time] the Australian Broadcasting Corporation [ABC] aired Martin Durkin’s “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. This was an edited version, which, for example, did not contain any of Carl Wunsch’s input. Tony Jones, who hosts the ABC’s current affairs program “Lateline” travelled to Britain prior to the airing to interview Martin Durkin. This interview was played after the airing of the documentary[?mockumentary?]. This was followed by a panel [members described on this website http://abc.net.au/tv/swindle/panel.htm and audience discussion. Tony Jones’ hardhitting interview with Durkin dismembered his position and exposed his fraudulence. The panel clearly answered all of the arguments of the sceptics in a clinical fashion. Yet, I note this morning that an internet poll showed that 48% accepted human involvement in global warming while 47% did not. I wonder whether that will change as there is more opportunity to hear the real facts.

  14. Eric (skeptic):

    The Lockwood paper seems to dismiss the decrease in cosmic rays and 20th century warming as “context” because the correlation broke around 1985. Obviously there are other factors, but ignoring the long term correlation because there is no short term or cyclical correlation seems cavalier.

  15. Lawrence Brown:

    Congratulations on the addition of RC-Wiki. Hope the Friday roundup becomes a regular feature.It will be another reason for TGIF.

    Here are a few comments by Sir John Houghton about “The Great Global Warming Swindle” concerning previous comments on Solar and Volcanic activity:

    5. Volcanic eruptions emit more carbon dioxide than fossil fuel burning � NOT TRUE. In fact, none of the large volcanic eruptions over the last 50 years feature in the detailed record of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    6. Changes in the sun influence climate � TRUE. They cited the Maunder Minimum in the 17th century when no sunspots were observed, as a probable example. Solar influences are the main driver of global average temperature in the 20th century � NOT TRUE.

    Changes in solar output together with the absence of large volcanoes (that tend to cool the climate) are likely to have been causes for the rise in temperature between 1900 and 1940. However, the much more complete observations of the sun from space instruments over the past 40 years demonstrate that such influences cannot have contributed significantly to the temperature increase over this period. Other possibilities such as cosmic rays affecting cloud formation have been very carefully considered by the IPCC (see the 3rd Assessment Report on http://www.ipcc.ch) and there is no evidence that they are significant compared with the much larger and well understood effects of increased greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

    Sir John Houghton was co-chair of IPCC Scientific Assessment working group 1988-2002, and Director General of the UK Meteorological Office 1983-1991.

  16. David B. Benson:

    I encourage frequent, not necessarily weekly, Friday roundups. Only when there is something to roundup, that is…

  17. Craig Allen:

    Following up on the playing of the Great Global Swindle on Australia’s ABC, there is a good interview with Professor Carl Wunsch here on the ABC’s Lateline show. A segment distorting Professor Wunch’s views was pulled from the version shown on the ABC, at his request. He puts his case every well in this interview.

  18. Ben Kalafut:

    I’m surprised that nothing is said in this wrap-up about the unscientific sophistry put out by a group of people advocating strict adherence to certain rules-of-thumb (among them, such stupidity as “avoid nonlinear models” and “don’t use fits to estimate parameters”) when making predictions. Now that the Sun is dead it’s the new refuge for my favorite reflexive denialists.

  19. ray ladbury:

    Eric, What decrease in cosmic rays? There has been none in 30 years according to satellite measurements; none in >50 years according to neutron fluxes. And even if there were such a decrease, how do you take a driver that is 5 particles (mostly protons) per square cm per second and turn it into a 1 degree rise in global temperature? I’ve seen nothing to date beyond handwaving about clouds. Meanwhile we are dumping gigatons of a known greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Ever wonder why you guys can’t get any scientists who actually understand climate to support your position?

  20. Stu:

    Re 8 – Ian Plimer may have been missing from the TV debate, but he did get a say on the ABC’s Science Show earlier in the week when they were discussing global warming ahead of TGGWS. I had a very comprehensive look at what he had to say at http://www.frogworth.com/stuart/blog/?p=88

  21. Mark A. York:

    Damn good! The most annoying thing about critics is they keep repeating the same disproven crap as if it’s Day One, and they’ve had an epiphany no one else is privy to. It’s just soooo wrong on every human level. And stupid!

  22. Alan:

    I watched the GGWD and was delighted that Tony Jones had been chosen to rip Durkin apart. But my favorite part was when one of the panels “skeptics” (who had been strugling to say something impressive) interupted Robyn Williams. Williams was quoting a well known scientist when the “skeptic” blurted out “I know him” in a way that insinuated Williams should be carefull what he says.

    Williams has hosted ABC radio’s science show for 32yrs and has interviewed thousands of top scientists. He turned to the skeptic and said “Do you? He’s a good freind of mine I called him last night to check my quotes. Matter of fact his father was a guest on the first science show”. He then continued on with what he was saying without batting an eyelid.

    Having said that, I was dissapointed with the wacko’s in the audience. One appeared to be a creationist ranting about C14 in coal, another rejected the validity of statistics as a tool because of something Keppler once said, I can’t remember what the third nut-job was banging on about but you get the idea.

    And although Tony seemed somewhat confused when all the scientists on the panel started calling themselves skeptics, he did a fine job of genuinely skeptical science reporting.

  23. Steve Bloom:

    Re #16: Sure, although the volume of significant papers and news lately has become such that I doubt we’ll be seeing any lack of material. Even if there is no material, or more likely if the RC authors are too busy, an “empty” open post would still help keep the topical threads uncluttered.

  24. Julian Flood:

    Re 12

    quote But as Gavin said, there’s no change in the natural background. We know how much fuel we’ve burned; we know how much CO2 has been produced; and we know not all of it’s still in the atmosphere: “the carbon cycle is on average taking away human CO2″ — not keeping up with what we’re adding, but taking care of some, and the excess shows up as the big change since 1880 or so that got bigger after the 1970s unquote

    Had there been a time in the last 100 years when the carbon sink has managed to match or beat our outputs? I’ve seen one graph which suggests a four year period when sequestration was greater than production, but it’s on the internet and you know what that means for confidence levels.

    If there has been, I’d be grateful for guidance to a graph of isotope ratios for that period. I’ve not found that anywhere — and I’d also love to see a simple C isotope ratio graph for the last 1000 years. It has to be graphs, I’m a nurseryman of little brain and I need the pictures.

    JF

  25. Timothy Chase:

    Ben Kalafut (#18) wrote:

    I’m surprised that nothing is said in this wrap-up about the unscientific sophistry put out by a group of people advocating strict adherence to certain rules-of-thumb (among them, such stupidity as “avoid nonlinear models” and “don’t use fits to estimate parameters”) when making predictions.

    The following is what I have been able to gleen so far:

    1. Reliance upon models based the actual physics involved betrays an amateurish lack of sophistication. Abstract rules of thumb which bear no relation to the physics are the basis for a truly modern scientific methodology.

    2. The fact that so many of the so-called experts are in agreement is regarded as a sign of the maturity of climatology as a science and as a reason for being confident in its projections – when in fact this good reason for considering its results highly suspect.

    3. Scientists try to take into account a large array of elements when making their predictions are under the illusion that such comprehensiveness makes their results more reliable. But what this actually suggests is that their methodology is entirely ad hoc and arbitrary – where any fit with the actual world is at best illusory and quite possibly a form of deception. A genuinely scientific theory would take into account as few elements as possible.

    4. A genuinely scientific forecasting methodology would be quite conservative, not make any claims about winter days tending to be colder than the days of summer if it couldn’t reliably predict how warm the weather will be on a particular day four weeks from now.

    5. It is appropriate to forecast on the basis of observed trends – if one avoids any of the messy complexity that might come into play if one were to attempt to explain those trends by reference to the subject matter. However, one should always assume that those trends will tend to become dampened over time such that things will return to normal.

    The conclusion should be obvious: Armstrong is clearly far better qualified to give climate forcasts than Hansen, Mann and all the other climatologists put together, the ranking of his website in the Google search engine for “forecasting” proves it.

  26. Bruce Tabor:

    Re. #4, #5, #8, #13, #17, #20, #22
    I will repost what I put in the Greenland thread about the ABC’s GGWS show…

    The unusual audience comments/questions can perhaps be explained by this article on the LaRouche Youth Movement’s (LYM) US site. Interesting reading for us “warmers”. See:

    http://larouchepac.com/news/2007/07/12/australian-lym-raises-nazi-eugenics-roots-environmentalism.html

    ‘Australian LYM Raises the Nazi Eugenics Roots of Environmentalism
    July 12, 2007 (LPAC) At a live Australian Broadcasting Corporation debate on Global warming, with 15 Larouche activists present in the audience out of 80 attendees, the ALYM and Australian chapter members present got to ask 4 questions to the panelists, exposing the genocidal roots of environmental philosophy.

    The show was aired at 8:30pm, the two and a half hour broadcast on Australian TV started with a showing of the Global Warming Swindle documentary, then showed 2 interviews. The first was with the director of the documentary, Martin Durkin, in which he fended off attacks on his work. The other was with Karl Wunsch, the MIT oceanographer who has said that his contributions to the documentary were misquoted and misconstrued. After this, a live broadcast roundtable discussion was held with 5 “warmers” and 3 “skeptics.” Some notable panelists were Professor Bob Carter, (James Cook University), Australia’s most famous global warming skeptic, and Greg Bourne, CEO of the Australian branch of the World Wildlife Fund. The broadcast’s aim was to completely discredit the Global Warming Swindle documentary.

    It was at this live debate in the studio of ABC Sydney and broadcast on Australian national television that we intervened. Three organizers were kicked out on sight for “suspicion of being potentially disruptive,” while 15 activists, LYM and chapter members, made it in safely. Two of questions centered on the relationship between Nazi race science, eugenics, and environmentalism. One ALYM member, wearing a t-shirt that said “Anthropogenic Global Warming is a bigger fraud than your girlfriend’s orgasm!”, asked about statistical vs. dynamic analysis concerning the method in which the “warmers” gather their data. For the last question of the broadcast an organizer sharply asked if the panelists were for or against human populations. A more detailed report, including the reactions of the panelists to the questions, is forthcoming.

    The ALYM will stay in Sydney for a week in effort to force the Australian Government to investigate the BAE scandal. A full report on this campaign is also forthcoming.’

    OK, the quote is over so what you are reading should make sense now! The poll on the ABC site had about 900 votes by the next morning. In an attempt to prevent double counting, these were counted by giving the ABC your email address and then replying to an automatically generated email – in the manner of an online subscription. Given the relatively small number of votes it should not have been difficult for an organisation like LYM to stack the voting.

  27. Thomas Palm:

    Given all the different kinds of “sceptical” positions that exist it might be useful to have a questionnaire that people can fill in. It is so confusing not to know what part of the established science the person you argue with accept. It would be even more useful if you could get the more known sceptics to fill it in, so that when someone points to, say, Jaworowsky you can point out how many other sceptics disagree with him.

    Kind of like:
    1. Carbon dioxide levels
    a) Carbon dioxide levels haven’t risen significantly recently.
    b) Carbon dioxide levels are rising, but for natural reasons
    c) The rise in carbon dioxide levels is anthropogenic

  28. Hans Vermeer:

    Yesterday Dutch television broadcasted �The great global warming swindle�. It was introduced in comparison with �An Inconvenient Truth�. The broadcast was finished with a forum discussion. In the discussion sceptics equaled convinced scientists. The final conclusion was that a lot of uncertainty remained. But that there may be common ground on being careful with remaining resources.
    The next day several conversations showed me a glimpse of the effect, watching the programme may have had on interested but not deeply informed people. Renewed doubt. It seems to me that it is still hard to imagine that what we small creatures do, may have any noticeable effect compared to overwhelmingly present forces of nature, like that of the sun.
    If this is a relevant response in the minds of the public, it will take more time and effort to introduce appropriate measures of mitigation and adaption. An informed sense of urgency (see for example Hansen june �07) is constantly delayed. Scientists will need time to evaluate new information they harvest from this I.P.Y. But the public needs to be informed. Even if not everything scientists reflect on is proven, try to debate this in public. Speak up. We must react if a sceptic states bluntly that �the melt of the arctic sea-ice is not relevant� and the media lets him get away with it. (I guess he meant it in terms of sea level change, but he failed to inform the public why the loss of sea-ice has consequences broader than that).
    After putting this in words, I try to see the bright side here. Two years ago Dutch broadcasters wouldn�t have thought of giving this subject prime-time. So lets hold on to the momentum.

  29. ray ladbury:

    Re: 18. Wow, That article is the biggest bunch of twaddle I’ve read since I…, well, since I tried to plow through something Bob Carter wrote at the request of a skeptic. So the gist of the paper is “don’t try anything hard ’cause you might make mistakes”? Did these guys even look at any descriptions of climate modeling? And I love the fact that it’s version 43–implying that it required substantial revisions even to meet the “rigorous” standards of Energy and Environment.

  30. John Finn:

    the big problem for blaming the sun for the recent global warming is that there hasn’t been a trend in any index of solar activity since about 1960, and that includes direct measurements of solar output by satellites since 1979. Well, another paper, has come out saying exactly the same thing

    Not quite. The Lockwood paper shows a rise in all solar parameters up to around 1985 (more like 1987 actually) before a downturn. Unfortunately the paper doesn’t discuss any possible temperature lag nor does it consider papers such as Mischenko et al which shows measurements of AOT (aerosol optical thickness) have undergone a significant reduction in the last 15 years.

    A post on the Lockwood paper may be useful – particularly if you draw attention to the graphics on Page 9.

    thanks

  31. Bruce Tabor:

    Further to my earlier post about the bizarre audience at the panel discussion of GGWS on Australia’s ABC.

    Crikey.com.au has footage of the audience question time in two parts.

    The story:
    http://www.crikey.com.au/Media-and-Arts/20070713-The-Swindle-rent-a-crowd.html
    Part 1:
    http://www.crikey.com.au/Media/video/MCRIKEY-Global-Warming-Part-1-01-d17cec26-2e1c-40ed-a198-250ca3b1ab46.wmv
    Part 2:
    http://www.crikey.com.au/Media/video/MCRIKEY-Global-Warming-Part-2-01-423af689-664f-411f-af99-c8a06608d30c.wmv

  32. SCM:

    There were at least one or two Aussie LaRouchites in the studio audience in the discussion of TGGWS (they are known here as the Citizens Electoral Council). They came out with utterly bizarre conspiracy theories linking environmentalism to eugenics.

    Ah ha…I just checked their website and found:

    Australian LYM* Raises the Nazi Eugenics Roots of Environmentalism Increase DecreaseJuly 12, 2007 (LPAC) At a live Australian Broadcasting Corporation debate on Global warming, with 15 Larouche activists present in the audience out of 80 attendees, the ALYM and Australian chapter members present got to ask 4 questions to the panelists, exposing the genocidal roots of environmental philosophy…”

    This certainly explains the poor & bizarre quality of the studio audience questions/statements!

    *LYM = LaRouche Youth Movement

  33. Eric (skeptic):

    #19 Ray, you are right that there’s no decrease in 50 years (figure 4d in the Lockwood paper). That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some warming from the decrease before that. I think the cloud formation model is more than just hand waving despite Lockwood’s strawman handwave. The recent warming is not due to some hypothetical 50 year lag as Lockwood has recently pointed out. But some lag is possible although more likely to be a lag in cooling as cosmic rays increase.

  34. Alex Tolley:

    When arguing with GW deniers/skeptics, my sense is that the argument is really “religious” at this point. The denier’s core belief is that the western (growth based) way of life is inviolate and changes to this cannot happen. Thus deny any evidence that we need to adapt. The arguments are mostly like those creationists use against evolution – i.e. try to find one piece of evidence that cannot be explained and assume that this brings the whole GW edifice down.

    Having said that, this website is by far the best resource I have to counter the GW deniers. One hopes that eventually rationality will win out.

  35. Bird Thompson:

    I’m not a scientist but I know that the debate over AGW is over among scientists. I guess you guys are trying to figure out how best to con-vince the skeptics but I’d like to see more energy put into real plans to mitigate GHGs & to adapt to the ongoing catastrophe of climate change. Is there a website for such action?

  36. Philippe Chantreau:

    Re 33: You know, Eric, you’re starting to sound kind of desperate. That’s a lot of hypothetical conditions: conveniently sized delay, effects that are not proven or without a clear physical process behind them and so on. If you’re willing to accept that, I wonder why you can’t accept something much clearer, with known physics and that has been quanitifed and correlated with the rest of the overall picture. Like say increased GH effect due to anthropogenic CO2 that can be measured and happens while tropospheric and stratospheric temps are diverging. It’s so much more plausible than your scenarios that, for a layman like me, you are beginning to appear as convincing as the LaRouche people, even though your scientific qualifications are better than theirs.

  37. Jack Roesler:

    #35 Bird: Think I’ll take this opportunity to brag about what I’ve done over the last 15 yrs. Starting at where I’m at now, my equivalent CO2 emissions are about 8 tons/yr. 15 yrs ago they were at least 19 tons/yr. That’s when I got rid of an old energy hog refrigerator, and went vegetarian. Bought a used, 4 cyl Honda that got 52 mpg hwy. 12 yrs ago went vegan, thus no longer responsible for the emissions from animal ag. Then replaced my light bulbs with CFLs, and my 63% eff furnace with a 93% one. Then had the house(66 yr old wood frame, 924 ft2) walls insulated, added insulation to the attic, started wearing thermal underwear, and turned the stat down to 63 F in the winter. Then had the old windows replaced with high eff. ones. My old central AC is used on only the 5-8 hottest days of the summer. My starting CO2 load was considerably higher than the 19 tons, because that old refrigerator was a real hog. I can’t remember the numbers. I use my bicycle around town for the 8 rideable months in the Toledo, OH area, logging about 1000 miles/yr. Including a trip/yr to NJ, my total car miles are 4500/yr(I’m 67, retired, and don’t drive much). It’s a 4 cyl Corsica that gets 25 city, 37 hwy. I live alone, but if I get lucky, and find a woman, this household energy use shouldn’t go up much. The only thing I can do now is install solar panels in my backyard. Using net metering, I could actually make some money. If, that is, the PUCO can force First Energy into paying me their actual generation cost for the excess I pump into their grid, and allow me to pump as much as I want. If that happens, I can be carbon neutral.

    I’m sure most households can do what I’ve done, as the investments will pay for themselves in energy cost savings, and in the case of the vegan diet, health care savings. The furnace paid for itself in 5 yrs, and the windows and insulation will take no more than 10 yrs to pay for themselves. The furnace cost $2500, and the others, $4600. Finally, if I install the solar panels, I could buy an electric car, and recharge it with the electricity I make in my backyard.

  38. Stephen Berg:

    Excellent work on the Wiki idea! It’s a very welcome addition to RC and is very easy to access.

    Thanks for all the hard work!

  39. Ike Solem:

    RC continues to be the best climate science site on the web! Regarding the “sweet spot” for climate prediction:

    Weather prediction has a short future limit (1-2 weeks) but it’s entirely dependent on having comprehensive data about current conditions that are delivered by radiosonde and satellite. If we take the oceans as the major component of the climate system, and try to analyze climate as ‘the weather of the oceans’, than how far forward can one make reliable predictions of ocean weather? This would also rely on having the best data possible about current and past conditions in the ocean, which is why the current oceanic data collections systems still need much improvement. Is this notion of ‘short-term climate as the weather of the oceans’ too simplistic?

    Well, the cryosphere is also obviously important. My understanding is that ice sheet dynamics did play a large role in the abrupt termination of glacial events – it seems that at some point, ice sheets reach ‘tipping points’ where melting becomes a self-reinforcing phenomenon, due to albedo effects. As the oceans continue to absorb heat, the poles will warm. How fast will the poles warm, and how fast will the ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctic respond to the warming? That seems to be the question that will determine the rate of sea level rise this century. We will see the effects of the heat being absorbed into the ocean today decades into the future, in other words. How far into that pipeline are we? Again, if we had more comprehensive data about the oceans this would be a bit more certain.

    There do seem to be people in government who believe that no news is good news, however. The efforts to defund climate satellites and muzzle government scientists are well-documented, as is the lack of support for comprehensive oceanic data-gathering. There is also a noticeable failure to prepare for the expected and unavoidable short-term effects (heat wave planning, levee construction, etc.). It’s as if the US government doesn’t want to take any action at all, because that would unavoidably involve acknowledging that there really is a problem.

    The only solution to the problem is to replace all CO2-generating energy sources with CO2-neutral energy sources like solar and wind, as well as to use very efficient technology in all areas. The need for this was recognized decades ago, but efforts to actually move in that direction have been repeatedly shut down by the existing energy interests, even though the technology to make the transition already exists. The question is this: how do you get a multi-trillion dollar fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure to reinvent itself as a renewable energy supplier? There are a few web sites dedicated to this, such as http://www.greencarcongress.com.

    The only bright spot is that such a transition is indeed possible from a science & engineering viewpoint. The only barriers are political and economical, not physical.

  40. Florian Boehm:

    Re 24 by Julian Flood:
    >Had there been a time in the last 100 years when the carbon sink has
    >managed to match or beat our outputs? I’ve seen one graph which suggests
    >a four year period when sequestration was greater than production, but
    >it’s on the internet and you know what that means for confidence levels.

    Depends on what time scale you look. On a seasonal scale atmospheric CO2 swings up and down with northern hemisphere winters and summers.
    On an interannual time scale there were a few years around 1940 in the ice core CO2 reconstruction of Etheridge et al. (1996; Journal of Geophysical Research, 101, 4115-4128) that showed slightly reduced values, i.e. a short decline of atmospheric CO2.

    >If there has been, I’d be grateful for guidance to a graph of isotope
    >ratios for that period. I’ve not found that anywhere — and I’d also
    >love to see a simple C isotope ratio graph for the last 1000 years. It
    >has to be graphs, I’m a nurseryman of little brain and I need the
    >pictures.

    The 1000 year data and a graph have been measured and published by Francey et al. (1999, Tellus Ser. B, 51B, 170-193). The short term variations during the 20th century, however, are very small and may partly be analytical artefacts.

    People blaming rising CO2 levels on ocean outgassing of CO2 or CO2 from the earth’s interiors appear to overlook that industrial CO2 is characterized by its isotopic composition. In addition it is formed from carbon and oxygen. So, an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere comes along with an equivalent decrease in atmospheric oxygen. Neither volcanic, nor “earthquake” nor ocean degassing CO2 show this effect.

  41. DocMartyn:

    Comment by Florian Boehm
    “People blaming rising CO2 levels on ocean outgassing of CO2 or CO2 from the earth’s interiors appear to overlook that industrial CO2 is characterized by its isotopic composition. In addition it is formed from carbon and oxygen. So, an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere comes along with an equivalent decrease in atmospheric oxygen. Neither volcanic, nor “earthquake” nor ocean degassing CO2 show this effect”

    Are you suggesting that people have measured a decrease in atmospheric oxygen over the last fifty years?

    Are you suggesting that the isotopic ratio of subtetrainian CO2 is measurably different from CO2 generated by burning coal or oil?

    [Response: Yes and yes. – gavin]

  42. Hank Roberts:

    >equivalent decrease in atmospheric oxygen
    I thought that was too small to measure?

  43. Hank Roberts:

    Oops, my question was typed in before Gavin’s answer appeared; I was recalling that there’s no _worrisome_ reduction of oxygen because there’s so much more available from photosynthesis (someone had argued that if we had too much CO2 we had to be running correspondingly short of oxygen, which ain’t so).

  44. Florian Boehm:

    Re 41 and 42, Decreasing oxygen:
    R. Keeling et al. published papers about declining atmospheric oxygen in the early 1990s, e.g.:
    Keeling, R. F., R. P. Najjar, M. L. Bender, and P. P. Tans (1993), What atmospheric oxygen measurements can tell us about the global carbon cycle, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 7(1), 37�68.

    The difference between carbon isotope ratios of CO2 from fossil fuels and “subterranean” (volcanic or metamorphic) CO2 is on the order of 1%. The first has much more light carbon (C-12). The typical analytical precision for measuring stable carbon isotope ratios is about 0.01%. That is a factor of 100 better than necessary to distinguish the two sources. So it is very easy to make that distinction.

  45. catman306:

    If there were some way of educating these people about the seriousness of the climate situation, alternatives to fossil fuel would be next week’s Big Thing.

    Rank Nation Number of billionaires
    1 United States 371
    2 Germany 56
    3 Russia 47
    4 India 36
    5 United Kingdom 34
    6 Australia 30
    7 Japan 27
    8 Turkey 26
    9 Canada 22
    10 Brazil 18

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

    Although these people probably have more power than governments to change the way that the world uses energy, does business, and make the required changes quickly, they will resist the re-education. It might cost them their fortunes. But their present day business achievement won’t guarantee their grandchildren’s success in a world of difficult-to-predict extreme weather, failing ecosystems and rising sea levels. Their grandchildren are going to suffer, too.

    How does a planet, full of so many different kinds of living things, get 946 billionaires’ collective attention and get them to change the way they see the web of life that is Earth and get them to willingly change their behavior? What will it take?

  46. Jilm:

    “there hasn’t been a trend in any index of solar activity since about 1960″

    This is not so.

    From Lockwood et al. 1999 (abstract):
    “Here we show that measurements of the near-Earth interplanetary magnetic field reveal that the total magnetic flux leaving the Sun has risen by a factor of 1.4 since 1964.”

    Lockwood, M., et al. (1999), A doubling of the Sun’s coronal magnetic field during the past 100 years, Nature, 399, 437-439.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/abs/399437a0.html
    (Fig. 3)

    similar findings from:

    Solanki, S. K., et al. (2000), Evolution of the Sun’s large-scale magnetic field since the Maunder minimum, Nature, 408, 445-447.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v408/n6811/abs/408445a0.html
    (Fig. 2)

    Even considering that 1960 occurred in solar max, and we are presently in solar min, there is nonetheless an upward trend in the aa index since 1960.

  47. Figen Mekik:

    Hey catman306, I am very curious, where did you get those numbers? I’m from Turkey and am mildly surprised that Turkey is in the top ten with world billionaires :)

  48. Eric (skeptic):

    #36, Phillipe, I would say CO2 forcing is a lot clearer than the cosmic ray influence, but once you add water vapor feedback, things get cloudier although still clearer than the mechanisms hypothesized for cosmic rays. I am not at all desperate to disprove or prove anything, only pointing out that Lockwood did not comprehensively model solar factors in the past and present or analyze warming or cooling lag in any quantitative way.

  49. ray ladbury:

    OK, now maybe I’m being dense, but can somebody explain to me how you get a time lag for solar forcing. Radiant energy is either there or not. Any putative GCR forcing–the ionization is either there or it isn’t–there is no persistent effect. I just don’t see a physical mechanism.

  50. Hank Roberts:

    Jilm, you cite Solanki; did you read the previous discussion? Type that name into the Search box, top of page.

    The link you use is to a letter published in 2000 that refers to its reference 3 as supporting it — but that reference isn’t available unless you’re a paying subscriber. Do you know what it says that Solanki’s relying on?. Can you find a copy of it elsewhere? And who’s cited it since then in research publications?

    You might want to look at the earlier comments on Solanki before relying on that as your main source.
    This by Dano for example: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=228#comment-7296
    points to an online graph worth a look; http://www.astro.phys.ethz.ch/papers/fligge/solfli_rev.pdf

  51. Joseph O'Sullivan:

    A periodic wrap up is a great idea. As an interested but busy layman who wants to keep up with the news in climate science this would be a great resource. It allows me, and others like me, to keep up with recent events.

    I will second Ike Solem (#39), RealClimate is the best climate science site on the web. The one thing I have noticed since the beginning of RC is how many more comments there are now. If you don’t check in every day its hard to keep up with the discussions. Its good that RC is getting alot of traffic and feedback!

  52. dhogaza:

    I would say CO2 forcing is a lot clearer than the cosmic ray influence, but once you add water vapor feedback, things get cloudier although still clearer than the mechanisms hypothesized for cosmic rays.

    So presumably this increase in cosmic rays has been measured, and you can provide a cite, right?

  53. Bruce Tabor:

    Re. #26, #28 Hans Vermeer #31, #32…

    Doubt and delay: “it will take more time and effort to introduce appropriate measures of mitigation and adaption. An informed sense of urgency…is constantly delayed.”

    Yes, all this careful scientific analysis means little if it doesn’t ultimately inform the policy decisions of the world’s greatest CO2 emitting nations. Should RC have a section dealing with the politics of climate change?

    I’m not an expert in this area by any means, but it seems to me that it is vital that the press and the government are on side to effect policy change. If vested interests – and those who are genuinely misguided – have a significant influence here, then appropriate responses to any important issue can be delayed interminably. Witness the success of big tobacco in delaying action on smoking, or the AIDS disaster in South Africa where the government did not believe the science. There are numerous other examples.

    In Australia, government scientists in the CSIRO are allowed to speak publically about climate science, but not the policy implications of what they spend their lives studying. The goivernment has placed managers above them to stop them even commenting. Several have lost their jobs. I understand there have been similar efforts to censor Jim Hansen at GISS.

    Parts of the mining, power and metals industries, our federal government, and Murdoch’s Newscorp (70% of our newspapers) have assisted the obfuscation. Other parts of the press have given equal coverage to both sides, which only adds to the confusion.

    As scientists we tend to think that if we present the scientific evidence clearly, the public will see the truth and appropriate policy will automatically follow. Watching the GGWS, the subsequent panel debate and the LaRouchian’s in the audience, made me realise it is far more complex than that. (The bizarre statements of the latter probably helped our case.) If the press and the government allow the message to be confused, it is difficult for the science to be heard, and its implications digested, until the danger is obvious and it’s too late.

  54. Lloyd Flack:

    I know people have been working on the Earth’ total heat budget. Are there any graphs easily available, of the total heat content of the atmosphere and the oceans. Much of the year to year fluctuation in Global average temperature is from things like El Nino moving heat between the oceans and the Atmosphere. I would expect the total heat content of the Atmosphere and the oceans to show a smoother upward trend than surface temperature trends by themselves. For example I would not expect 1998 to be as much of an outlier from the trend of total heat content or perhaps it might not be an outlier at all.

  55. Dick Veldkamp:

    Re #28 TGGWS in the Netherlands

    Another bright point: there is now debate going on here, about whether news outlets should continue to report on climate in the “he said, she said, I don’t have a clue, the truth is probably in the middle” fashion. Some journalists reject this kind of reporting, and publicly wondered why TGGWS should have been broadcast at all.

    Having said that, this morning there was a “science journalist” on the radio (I suppose I must use quotes), who voiced exactly the “there is controversy, we don’t know whether it’s the sun or the CO2″ nonsense, and threw in some “there’s not enough solar scientists in IPCC” stuff for good measure, as well as “we must not be so arrogant as to presume that we know the cause of global warming”.

    About this last point: to me it’s clear as day: based on the evidence (evaluated by thousands of scientists), there is a 99%+ probability that warming is real and CO2 (+ other gases) is the cause, so we better operate on that assumption. I’m genuinely puzzled how people can NOT see this. Is there some deep psychological explanation?

  56. FurryCatHerder:

    Kudos on the Wiki and Friday Roundup. I predict the Friday Roundup will keep threads from be diverted — until maybe Monday or Tuesday rolls around :)

    I’m more inclined to work with Wikis than Tim, so if you’d like to add me, well, you’ve got my e-mail address.

    And Tim, lee me know where your Wiki is an I’ll give it my special perspective as well ;)

  57. Lawrence Brown:

    Comment #35 asks for information on mitigation of of greenhouse gases. One site is at the Princeton Environmental Institute which goes into detail on Pacala and Socolow’s Stabilization Wedges using current technologies. It also includes an interactive site with a simulation game. The web site is at:
    http://www.princeton.edu/~cmi/resources/stabwedge.htm

    Julie is probably on the mark about keeping threads from being diverted for a short while. It’s a worthy effort but probably like Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill.
    There’s an old saw that if millions of primates were to peck away long enough at their typewriters, they’d eventually produce a work worthy of Shakespeare. The internet has definitely shot that down.

  58. Bird Thompson:

    Thanks Jack, #37, for yr practical tips on becoming more carbon neutral.

    To Dick, #55: the Buddhist pyschological explanation would be that the individual filters out information that challenges the ego’s need for security, thus the deniers & the skeptics & the do-nothings. Also, the corporate-controlled media (like Murdoch) want the people to consume happily & not think too deeply about anything. Global warming (& nuclear war) are the biggest threats to humanity’s security since…what? some supervolcano was it? Somehow we survived that; somehow we will survive climate change & nuclear weapons & toxic chemicals & species extinction & eco-chaos.

    Thanks #45, catman, for the concept of earth having 946 billionaires. They are running the show. How many are aware of the dangers to life on earth? Maybe Al Gore is getting thru to some of them. Maybe the number of people concerned is reaching a tipping point. Maybe the corporate elite will figure they”ll have to make their money by supporting green technology now.

    Thanks to all the contributors to RC. We’re all in this together.

  59. RomanM:

    There are some real problems with the Lockwood paper. As pointed out earlier in the comments, the paper contends that there has been no solar effect over the past 20 years. The statistical (non)analysis justifying this consists of calculating some moving averages, drawing some graphs coupled with an arm-waving “see, there is no connection”. But the biggest problem with the paper is that the authors do not demonstrate that they have taken some other possibly relevant factors into account. They make reference to the relationship between cloud formation and solar activity, but they neglect to look at the possible effect that existing clouds can have on solar irradiation. Try looking at the NASA GISS web-site. In particular, the graph at the top of the page shows the global cloud annual cloud cover since 1983. You will notice that it reaches a relative maximum (~70%) about 1987 and then steadily declines to a relative minimum (~63%) about 2001, before starting to increase since then. Regardless of the reason for the variation in the cloud cover, one has to believe that decreasing the 1987 amount by about 10% must have a substantial effect on global temperature because of increased surface irradiation. The actual size of this effect would require looking at the specific pattern of the cloud cover and the incident solar irradiation at the corresponding global locations. I would have thought that this would have been done by Lockwood et al. or by other climate scientists.

    With regard to your statement “This is notable because the lead author Mike Lockwood has worked extensively on solar physics and effects on climate and certainly can’t be credibly accused of wanting to the role of solar forcing for nefarious pro-CO2 reasons!” perhaps you have not seen the Letters in the publication News and Reviews in Astronomy and Geophysics. He and his co-authors make the statement: “This raises two key questions: firstly, is this mechanism viable and, secondly, can George Bush gain comfort from it in terms of the origins of present-day climate change?” But of course, this is just a scientific assessment and not some sort of politically-motivated “pro-CO2 reason”.

    RomanM

  60. Jilm:

    Thanks Hank –

    The Solanki reference 3 is to the Lockwood et al. 1999 paper. Solanki’s paper is an analysis of solar magnetograms, which show a secular increase in the solar magnetic flux throughout the 20th century, including the latest decades. Lockwood et al. 1999 show similar findings using the geomagnetic aa index.

    I am simply trying to correct the false assertion at the opening of this article that there are no upward-trending solar indices since 1960. This claim is contradicted by the citations I provided, in addition to the raw aa data, using even a very generous selection of start and end points.

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/RELATED_INDICES/AA_INDEX/AA_MONTH

  61. Philippe Chantreau:

    Re 48: Fair enough. Ray has a point, however: postulating a delay in the decades range requires some sort of mechanism for the delay, which is lacking so far. Furthermore, the GCR hypothesis has mainly to do with CCN. There are so few particles involved and, on the other hand, so many other possible, abundant sources of CCN from Earth, that I am highly skeptical of the significance of GCR. In my modest (informed but non scientific opinion) the idea that GCRs can have a major influence on climate sounds like hype.

  62. Hank Roberts:

    There’s a later Solanki et al. letter, I think from 2006, in which he comes to the same conclusion, using a proxy (trace elements in meteorites) also. I haven’t seen any discussion of it, just a mention I think at Pielke Sr.’s website a while back.

  63. Dave Berry:

    The Wiki looks a good start. I agree with an earlier comment that it would be useful to have an indexby argument as well (e.g. index entries for “GW is a result of a natural solar cycle”, “The temparature of the higher atmosphere is not increasing”, “More CO2 is emitted by volcanos”, etc.). If you have the time, of course!

    What I’d really like to see is a TV programme or DVD that presents the science behind AGW in a reasonably layman-friendly way. Al Gore’s film doesn’t present much detail – I saw it after I saw The Great Global Warming Swindle and I thought the latter was better presented, even though the interpretation of the science was wrong. I recall the BBC made a Horizon programme with David Attenborough but I don’t recall how much science it presented.

    If you can find suitably telegenic people to interview, maybe the existence of realclimate.org might give the journalists a “hook”. “A group of embattled scientists, using the new technology of the internet to combat GW sceptics from around the world …” Journalists seem to like their scientists to be embattled, working outside the mainstream, etc.

  64. Timothy Chase:

    jilm (#60) wrote:

    I am simply trying to correct the false assertion at the opening of this article that there are no upward-trending solar indices since 1960. This claim is contradicted by the citations I provided, in addition to the raw aa data, using even a very generous selection of start and end points.

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/RELATED_INDICES/AA_INDEX/AA_MONTH

    Well, I don’t know exactly what you mean by “upward-trending” vs Gavin’s “no trend” or “flat.”

    It would, afterall, be quite a coincidence if the trendline had a slope exactly equal to zero, so something could have an upward trend, but it might be a very small upward trend, in which case both you and Gavin might be right. Likewise, I don’t know what you mean by “a very generous selection of start and end points.” Undoubtedly there are may different points we could select to show whatever we might want to show – given the quasi-periodic nature of the data.

    But to try and make sense of this, I decided to begin by comparing the first half of the century to the second half.

    Using the data that you linked to, I got the following:

    jan 1900 to jan 1950: y=0.2464x -457.14
    jan 1950 to jan 2000: y=0.0129×-1.7515

    The slope for the first half of the century was 19.1X greater than the second half. But why leave out the data which so conveniently goes up to April of 2007? For that I get the following linear trend:

    jan 1950 to apr 2007: y=0.0099x+4.0713

    The first half of the century has a linear trendline with a slope 24.89X great than that between January 1950 and April 2007.

    However, you had difficulty with Gavin saying that trends had been flat as far back as 1960. I can see why.

    I get:

    jan 1960 to apr 2007: y=0.0568×-89.309

    Which means that the slope of the trendline from 1900 to 1950 is only 4.34X greater than that from 1960-April 2007. It seems it would have been better if he had said 1950 rather than 1960.

    But now lets look at what is most relevant – from the beginning of the sharp rise in temperatures (~1980) until today:

    jan 1980 to apr 2007: y=-0.1416x + 306.72

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a negative trend.

    Right where one would be expecting a positive trend if one were trying to explain global warming in terms of this indice. And it looks like a fairly significant trend, almost comparable to that of the first half of the twentieth century, but going in the opposite direction.

  65. Hank Roberts:

    Jilm, he’s right you know.
    Take the data you cited, put it into Excel or anything else that can make you a chart, and eyeball it, if you don’t want to do the trendline calculation.

  66. Hank Roberts:

    Alastair, how can people be taking pictures from satellites that show the Earth, in the 15-micron wavelength, if none of the light from the Earth gets past 30’? Surely from above you’d see nothing in that wavelength but a glowing fog, if all the 15-micron light was just intercepted and scattered right on the deck. Yet people have been writing for decades about photographing the Earth from space in 15-microns. Can you get this from your library, perhaps?
    http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?&verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0256238

  67. Hank Roberts:

    This also might help. Polar bears _are_ invisible in the infrared.
    But not because the infrared is absorbed by 30′ of the atmosphere. It’s the fur.
    http://infrared.als.lbl.gov/pubs/PolarBearASME.pdf

    “One of the most interesting radiative properties of polar bear fur is that it is invisible in the infrared region.”

  68. Eli Rabett:

    The “sweet spot” was already pointed out by honest Jim Hansen in his 1988 paper.

    Forecast temperature trends for time scales of a few decades or less are not very sensitive to the model’s equilibrium climate sensitivity (reference provided). Therefore climate sensitivity would have to be much smaller than 4.2 C, say 1.5 to 2 C, in order for us to modify our conclusions significantly.

    with similar comments about forcing scenerios.

  69. Betsy S:

    Geez. But couldn’t this also be further evidence that the recent land temperature record is tainted. Its bad enough that proxies, sat. temps, and sst all diverge from the land-record “warmest decade” data.

  70. Hank Roberts:

    Betsy, you need some physical mechanism to argue that the solar activity _should_ be predictive, before you use it to claim that the thermometers have to be wrong. No one’s argued that it wasn’t useful in the past, but remember half the fossil fuel burned so far has been burned since about 1970 — that means there will be, for decades, a lot of warming coming even if we stopped now.

    What’s your source for saying that ‘proxies, satellite temperatures, and sea surface temperature all diverge from the land record, by the way?

  71. dhogaza:

    What’s your source for saying that ‘proxies, satellite temperatures, and sea surface temperature all diverge from the land record, by the way?

    She didn’t say SIGNIFICANTLY :)

    Maybe she expects sensors to be perfect …

  72. Hank Roberts:

    Maybe, but I suspect she’s quoting someone she trusts to be reliable rather than direct cites. Let’s ask again.
    Betsy? Source please? No shame quoting what you believe to be a reliable source — just tell us who you trust on this.

  73. Mark R:

    Re #45 and #58
    The political climate will change in the US when some Democratic presidential candidate is savvy enough to employ GW as a coalescent strategy for creating a lasting majority. Al Gore does not count, since he has no stated political ambitions (he’s the wrong man for that job, anyway).
    FDR built just such a majority in 1932 by co-opting the already-existant Progressive movement, casting a fifty-year shadow. We only have fifty years at best, so this must happen soon. There is no FDR on the horizon right now, unfortunately.
    The electorate needs a simple GW plan like the so-called Contract with America (Americans love slogans), limited to five or six points: a massive wind-turbine-construction campaign (Texas has to be useful for something), solar water-heating panels for every home rooftop, high-speed modern inter-city lev-rail connections to replace airplanes, tax breaks for all participants, mandatory auto-mileage standards of 50 mpg.
    One more hurricane destroying Miami or NYC ought to transform the public perception of global warming. Unfortunately, such a disaster is what it will take.

  74. Tom Adams:

    Question about the forecast uncertainty sweet spot.

    They must be constraining the notion of forecast. Are they really saying that its easier to predict a yearly mean 40 years out as opposed to 4 years, for instance?

    They seem to be confusing the long-term forecasts with long-period forecast. Long-period forecasts for about a 40 year period are easier than a 4 year period, or predicting that the temperature will be higher in 40 years is easier than for 4 years.

    Am I missing something? Or could they be clearer about the types of forecasts they mean?

  75. Roger Willaim Chamberlin:

    Like it or not, many countries and private concerns are already going ahead with experiments in adding iron to the dead seas to bring them to life … the reasons are simple/simplistic:-

    -1.- it is potentially forty times cheaper to remove CO2 from the atmosphere this way than any other proposed mechanism and the sea has a vast area already absorbing CO2 and not yet recycling much of it

    -2.- sea life itself can , if increased, reverse the acidification of the seas which is already killing the food web in the sea from the base upwards , reducing life in the sea and adding the burden of CO2 from decaying life [until eventually man can no longer get food from the sea … all just because we let the corals and phytoplanktoon die now , instead of increasing sea life to solve some of the problems we have ,and will have more of , because of our way of life]

    … many other proposed methods of CO2 sequestration actually increase [!] the acidification of the seas, kill life under the sea [and as now discovered in the rocks under the sea – strange lifeforms we only very recently know do even exist, that need no sunlight and live deep under the sea bed], or some methods just do nothing to solve this problem of killing off of our own food supply from the sea and of most of its lifeforms eventually.

    -3.- The sea is potentially just as productive per acre as the land since productivity is determined by sunlight input, but farming the seas is much easier and cheaper because one largely needs only traces of elements missing in much seawater… compare then the expansion of human civilisation, on discovering agriculture ,to the potential we have in farmimg the seas instead of the ‘hunter-gathering’ of current fishing and whaling methods – methods which have been rather uncontrolled and have devastated their own fisheries in many places.

    -4.- giving trace elements to the sea causes a vast increase in sea biomass of all kinds fairly swiftly, the kind of swift response to the crisis that is needed to bring CO2 back under control [instead of the current accelerating run-away of CO2 under positive feedback seen behind current measurements] … man can thus benefit enormously from expanded fisheries and whaling as the sea can most easily provide all the additional food we need to feed everyone [so we need to expand family planning to all countries as well, but at least we solve the problem of the misery of 40,000 little kids starving to death EVERY DAY in our so-called ‘civilised’ world…]

    -5.- Biomass increase in the seas , increasing the mass of life greatly in the seas, is the ONLY safe long-term place for the excess CO2 man is emitting in our lust for easy liviing … paradoxically we are destroying our own home currently through running our lives by the false principle of the ‘Growth Paradigm’ [of our short-sihted current ‘economic’ theories]… the seas provide us one last chance to escape our infantile theories and grow up to be responsible people, caring for and feeding all nations [instead of exploiting the poor to give even more to the rich, which the rich don’t need, doesn’t make them happier, and actually shortens their lives through weight problems, etc] and caring about our world so that it serves all of us well in return.

    Biomass is where the excess CO2 originated, so we know it is safe for long-term and there is no other such safe place known for CO2 .

    -6.- Expanding fisheries and whaling not only makes existing fishermen happy, whilst they are now disgruntled with tiny quotas and throwing dead fish back into the sea , but makes a vast number of new jobs and utilises much laid-up fishery tackle and boats … something which appeals to more than just governement employment statistics…

    -7.- If controlled, sea farming, like forrestry, can majorly affect rainfall and climate on the land and even restore some deserts to use … phytoplankton can be controlled [through the feed of iron trace element] to release dimethyl sulphide en masse , a gas which rises through the air and creates clouds by oxidation to very effective sulphate nuclei which condense the rain droplets…
    One can thus make rain cheaply at last , but also one can seed the ocean in the path of hurricanes and take away their sting , their power, over the sea ,where it does much good [stirring the sea] , and so protecting the land.
    In time men may learn how to use this facility to divert hurricanes too

    — Sadly all this potential good can be undone by the uncontrolled race to exploit this new-found ‘toy’ which nationalistic and competitive urges have taught men to follow… it has the potential of use as a weapon too for obvious reasons..

    What is needed then is immediate international control of the situation so that scientists can manage the continual monitoring of the development of the seas for farming [and for the above other uses] and saving the planet from our past mistaken beliefs [such as the all-pervading idea that money can buy anything even when the resource has run out and the earth has died] … we are capable of this , we can do it, so why not help spraed the word and get everyone worldwide onboard on getting life back under control to everyone’s benefit, why not make earth a better place by changing our priorities from greed to benefit the few to sufficient for all so that we stop warring and competing and destroying… it is there for the taking, but we do not have so long since we are already killing the seas … and buying a very overheated end to civilisation … man cannot live on earth without coming to terms with being dependent upon nature and seeking her solution to our BIG MISTAKE … a little jumility is needed then and ‘asking’ nature to help… something men find so very hard… but it seems our lives and those of our children may require it now, else men really are headed already to mess up the seas ,having fought over and nmessed up the land to great extent… time to rethink, take stock, and ask what future we want … and act ,but swiftly and in controlled manner … can men learn to do this , this time?

    We have a really hard choice to make between turning the earh into a loving caring paradise by co-operating internationally and caring about equality and sharing at last, or destroying our earth to a chaotic overheated ‘hell’ by our usual mad chaotic scramble of devil-take-the -hindmost…

  76. Timothy Chase:

    Hank Roberts (#65) wrote:

    Take the data you cited, put it into Excel or anything else that can make you a chart, and eyeball it, if you don’t want to do the trendline calculation.

    Excel will calculate the trendline for you, too. Linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, etc.. The annoying bit was parsing the text to get at the numbers since spaces were used. I wrote a little code to transform it en masse on the clipboard, but you could probably just save a textfile and open it in Excel. It will ask how you want the columns parsed.

    Excel is your friend.

  77. Steve Reynolds:

    Interesting African take on mitigation vs. adaptation:

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200707130443.html

  78. Hank Roberts:

    New from David Brin on replies to what he calls Enronistas, those denying CO2 is a problem, down the page quite a ways here: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/

    Find: Friday, June 29, 2007
    Perspectives on Climate Change – and The Ritualization of Denial

    Contributors — he’s a well recognized author, and published scientist. He is worth reading if you don’t know him.

    EXCERPT:

    “Recently, on the pages of a very high-ranked tech commerce newsletter, I was personally challenged by a former top member of Enron, to answer a series of standard neoconservative mantras concerning global climate change. Talking points that – in my opinion and in the opinion of almost every scientifically-educated person I know – smack of ritualized denial.

    “Alas, what we are seeing, nowadays, is not a debate, but rather, two subsets of the same civilization shouting past each other from entirely different assumptions and motivations and even mental processes. It can be difficult to find discursive bridges — ways to cross this dangerous gulf — when one side relies completely upon illogical and frantic catechisms of faith.

    He refers readers to New Scientist’s “26 Common Questions” then writes:

    “…. what follows here is not so much a refutation based upon facts — there are countless papers, books and sites devoted to compiling, presenting and hurling mountains of evidence — as it is a list of points offered in perspective. Spotlighting some deceitful tricks used by those who want civilization to sit on its hands, despite a looming crisis that could end our recent golden age.

    “Let’s start with an excerpt from that former Enronista — an example from the deniers’ playbook of talking points ….. “

  79. Barton Paul Levenson:

    After much delay, I have put into final form and posted my catalog of climate sensitivity estimates, including distribution charts and descriptive statistics. I have 61 estimates from the literature from 1896 to 2006, 25 estimates for named global climate models. My climatology page is here:

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Climatology.html

  80. Rainer Sachs:

    OT:
    Does anybody know when Working Group II will release its Report “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”?

  81. Justin:

    In regards to the recent (i.e. 20 year) decline of solar activity, Lockwood and Frolich refer to the PMOD data composite, which has been criticized by Willson and Mordvinov (2003) as unreliable due to its reliance on solar modelling techniques that have been shown to produce inconsistencies in the record. Lockwood explicitly referred to the differences between the two views, but didn’t seem to provide a satisfactory answer as to why PMOD is gives different results than Willson’s composite.

    Additionally, Lean (2005) was referred to in the paper by Scafetta and West, which did not show a decline (even though a solar/temp divergence is still detected) in total solar irradience since 1980.

    My questions are: who has properly handled the data? Was the PMOD composite ever reliable? Or was Willson, et al. mistaken? If the latter, why is this?

    I’m sorry to say that I’m a little confused, and I hope that some of you can help clear this up.

  82. tamino:

    Re: #81 (Justin)

    It’s no surprise Lockwood & Frohlich would prefer the PMOD composite, as Frohlich is one of its authors. They also argue for better inter-satellite calibration in the PMOD composite:

    … we use the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium (PMOD) TSI data composite (Frohlich & Lean 2004) that does differ from others (Willson & Mordvinov 2003) but has the most rigorous set of time-dependent intercalibrations between the radiometers that account for both instrument degradations and pointing “glitches” (Frohlich 2006).

    The Lean (2005) data show neither decline nor increase. However, those data are a proxy reconstruction rather than direct measurement.

  83. Dan G:

    Regarding 75. — an admirable posting for its reflection and expression . . . there’s just this funny little paragraph stuck in between paragraphs 5 and 6 about the excess carbon dioxide coming from biomass — we don’t think of that carbon has having come from biomass . . . unless you consider our rate of consumption of 800 years of deposits/yr as biomass? Other references call carbon from fossil fuels new carbon; i.e., newly introduced (previously inactive) into the active carbon cycle. Old carbon is that which is already in the active cycle which does include biomass.

    I don’t really know about that 800 to 1 ratio — I merely doubled the amount an old rumour from the eighties used to quote. Actually, that would be an interesting figure to know — how many years of organic deposits it takes to supply one year’s fossil fuel consumption — should any one happen to know that. It is just the kind of catchy little relationship that would grip the man/woman on the street.

  84. John Dove:

    #18, #25, #29, on this paper upcoming in Energy and Environment. This is something that I’ve seen quite a lot of recently. In a nutshell, these guys are saying that none of the GCMs covered by AR4 meet best forecasting principles. I was wondering whether any of the experts here wanted to have a go at it, since IANACS.

    What I found interesting is how the writing often descended into a decidedly non-scientific tone. Some of the choicer passages:

    People will continue to believe that serious manmade global warming exists as they will continue to believe other things that have no scientific support (e.g., the biblical creation story, astrology, minimum wages to help poor people, and so on), and public opinion can be intense on such issues.

    The bolded section above is politically and economically far from settled and certainly hasn’t attained the scientific certainty that operates against creationism or astrology.

    We invite others to provide evidence-based audits of Chapter 8. As with peer review, we will require all relevant information on the people who conduct the audits prior to posting the audits.

    Pilkey and Pilkey-Jarvis (2007) concluded that the long-term climate forecasts they examined were based only on the opinions of the scientists. The scientistsâ�� opinions were expressed in complex mathematical terms without any evidence on the validity of chosen approach. […] We hope that before committing resources, decision makers will insist on scientific forecasts rather than accept the opinions of some scientists.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the following passage confuses weather with climate; isn’t that a no-no?

    Taylor (2007) compared seasonal forecasts by New Zealand�s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) with outcomes for the period May 2002 to April 2007. He found NIWA�s forecasts of average regional temperatures for the season ahead were, at 48% correct. No more accurate than chance.

    On the other hand, the authors appear to make some serious charges. The bit about mathematical formulae simply being a formalised expression of an opinion seems counterintuitive, but could be right. I don’t know enough to know. Two more points they make:

    Principle 9.3: Do not use fit to develop the model.
    It was not clear to us to what extent the models produced by the IPCC are either based on, or have been tested against, sound empirical data. However, some statements were made about the ability of the models described in Chapter 8 to fit historical data, after tweaking their parameters. Extensive research has shown that the ability of models to fit historical data has little relationship to forecast accuracy (See �Evaluating Methods� in Armstrong 2001.) It is well known that fit can be improved by making a model more complex. The consequence of increasing complexity to improve fit, however, is to decrease the accuracy of forecasts. The 12 authors of Chapter 8 appeared to be unaware of this principle.

    and here:

    International surveys of climate scientists from 27 countries, obtained by Brat and von Storch in 1996 and 2003, were summarized by Bast and Taylor (2007). Many scientists were skeptical about the predictive validity of climate models. Of more than 1,060 respondents, 35% agreed with the statement, �Climate models can accurately predict future climates,� and 47% percent disagreed.

    This survey, by the way, comes from the decidedly non-neutral Heartland Institute.

    The bibliography is also stacked with the usual sceptics. However, this shouldn’t count against the paper is the ideas are solid.

    My questions: Is there anything in the E&E paper that is valid? Have scientists incorporated these principles into their models? If not, are there good reasons for not doing so?

  85. Hank Roberts:

    John, type “Scott Armstrong” into the search box, top of page, to get a link into the prior thread where he came up as a digression. Other climate blogs commented on him more than here. Nobody found much to recommend in what he’s doing, as far as I recall.

  86. Jim Eager:

    Re 77 Steve Reynolds: “Interesting African take on mitigation vs. adaptation:
    http://allafrica.com/stories/200707130443.html

    Yes, it is interesting. Author Kofi Bentil raises some valid points, but also some not so valid ones. Western nations are not denying Africa the use of fossil carbon fuels, and it is not Western nations that are denying Africa electricity, it is the lack of capital to construct power generating plants and distribution networks, for example.

    Bentil is correct that Africans have survived ice ages and warmer eras, but he is sadly mistaken if he thinks that global warming will be just a “relatively minor environmental shift”, a view that is reminiscent of the profound ignorance with which some African leaders have regarded AIDS.

  87. FurryCatHerder:

    Re #57 —

    What we need is a BBS. We obviously want to yack about all manner of things, some of them productive, even.

    As regards billionaires and motivation — pretty soon those billionaires will discover how much money there is to be made from “Green” everything, just like they learned about “Organic” everything. I was unsuccessful in convincing TXU Electric to subsidise my upcoming solar installation (I close financing Thursday, and should have HOA approval about the same time, if not sooner), so they will lose my business. Too bad, so sad. The thing to do is just get the word out. I’ve shown dozens of friends, and some unknown number of total strangers, my electric bill over the past 16 months or so and based on that, many have switched to CFLs from incandescents. The electric companies and others will eventually acquire a clue.

  88. dhogaza:

    It was not clear to us to what extent the models produced by the IPCC are either based on, or have been tested against, sound empirical data…

    In other words, we have no idea how the models work, but since we’re conservatives and some scientists are so liberal they might actually support minimum wage laws, obviously the models are false and are designed to lead to a New World Order led by communists commuting in black helicopters.

    Doesn’t that about sum it up?

  89. Fred:

    What is your opinion about the claim that there has been no global warming since 1998 as insisted by climate skeptics constantly? The logic seems to be that that the annual global temperature anomaly has not exceeded the El Ninjo year’s (1998) record high temperature. How fast is the present global temperature increase?

  90. John Dove:

    #85: Thanks Hank, that was a fascinating discussion on the Urban Heat Island thread about Armstrong. (The DKos and James Annan links were eye-openers.) Just goes to show what a wonderful and terrible resource RC is — wonderful because of all the experts debunking contrarian arguments, and terrible because you spend ages just rifling around. (But it’s great fun!)

    Incidentally, in my neck of the words, I often read a local sceptic (Falafulu Fisi), who has pretty much the same shtick as Armstrong and the same, er, humility. I always mean to comment on his wilder claims, but his Celestial Bullshit Stance is strong. Fear his Shadow Smog Hand-Waving!

  91. Patrick G.:

    Lockwood’s work featured on NewScientist.com, including some quotes.

    Special Report Climate Change
    Sun’s activity rules out link to global warming

    10:44 11 July 2007
    NewScientist.com news service
    Catherine Brahic

  92. Carl:

    #59
    What does climate science say about this? Is it relevant? I was looking for a reply.

  93. Mike Sykes:

    On page http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=The_great_global_warming_swindle the penultimate link, to “The real global warming swindle”, should be http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2355956.ece.

  94. Ken Coffman:

    Could we get to the bottom line? Let’s assume the climate models are accurate and the power plants and agricultural sources of CO2 are driving unwanted climate change. I’m an affluent American living in suburbia. If you could reach into my life and make me change my ways, what would you do? What ten things would you demand? Besides respect (which must be earned, not granted), what is it you want from the general public? What are your ten commandments? I’m not being flippant, I really want to know.

  95. tamino:

    Re: #94 (Ken Coffman)

    If you could reach into my life and make me change my ways, what would you do?

    In your personal life, conserve energy as much as possible:

    1. Switch *all* your lights to compact flourescent bulbs.

    2. If you’re not already driving a hybrid, get one. Under no circumstances accept a vehicle with mileage less than 50 mpg.

    3. Use public transportation whenever possible, even if it’s less convenient.

    4. Wrap your water heater.

    5. Put solar panels on your home.

    6. Consistently buy foodstuffs that are grown as locally as possible, and eat far less meat.

    In the voting booth, make global warming the #1 priority:

    7. Write letters to the editor of your local paper, and to every elected official who represents you, urging stronger action. Repeat often.

    8. Vote for the political candidate who most strongly supports action on global warming, every chance you get. Let them know that this is why you’re casting your vote.

    9. Put your money where your mouth is; donate to the campaigns of candidates who support strong action to mitigate AGW.

    In your social life, make AGW a #1 priority for “lobbying” your friends and family:

    10. Every time the subject comes up in conversation, emphasize the urgency of addressing this problem, if we’re serious about leaving a healthy world to our children. From time to time, raise the subject yourself.

  96. Chuck Booth:

    I did a search of the RC site and didn’t find any mention of the following website, so I’ll mention it here:
    http://www.climateshifts.org
    �Climate Shifts� is a topical commentary regarding climate change, natural ecosystems, politics and the environment. The blog is written and maintained by Ove Hoegh-Guldberg*, and can be found at http://www.climateshifts.org and http://www.ovehg.org.

    *Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is with the Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland.

    As this blog will deal with some of the political aspects of global warming, it may fill a gap in the coverage found at RC?

  97. Chuck Booth:

    re # 94 (Ken Coffman)

    Why do you think anyone here is “demanding” anything from you or anyone else? Why do you think anyone wants to “reach into” your life and “make you” change your ways?
    The scientists who study climate and feel the data strongly point to anthropogenic global warming have an ethical obligation to convey their concerns to the citizens who fund their research, and to the governments who allocate the research money and want valuable information in return in order to make rational decisions about how to protect the interests of the citizens. Individual scientists and visitors to RealClimate.org may have their own personal views (e.g., Tamino, #95) about what can and should be done to address global warming (and the related problem of our over- reliance on fossil fuels), but I really don’t think anyone here is trying to make you do anything except understand the seriousness of the problem. What you choose to do, or what your elected politicians urge or require you to do, is outside the realm of science.

  98. Jim Eager:

    Re 89 Fred: “What is your opinion about the claim that there has been no global warming since 1998 as insisted by climate skeptics constantly?”

    That the claim is simply and demonstrably not true.

    Although 1998 was higher than subsequent years, with the possible exception of 2005, all subsequent years have been higher than any year between 1980 and 1997, and the slope of the trend for all years from 1999 to 2007 is still positive, ergo we are still warming.

  99. SecularAnimist:

    Ken Coffman wrote: “I’m an affluent American living in suburbia. If you could reach into my life and make me change my ways, what would you do? What ten things would you demand?”

    Probably the most important thing is to shed the underlying notion that the basic laws of physics which underly anthropogenic global warming will adapt themselves to accommodate what “affluent Americans living in suburbia” want. The Earth’s climate and biosphere don’t care what “affluent Americans” want. The lifestyle of “affluent American suburbia” is not sustainable. It is going to end, probably sooner rather than later. And not as a result of “mandates” from the government, or (the idea is laughable) from “environmentalists”, but as a result of mandates from Nature.

    Deal with it as you will. You can make changes now, and perhaps help transform our way of life to one that is sustainable and does less damage to the Earth’s climate and biosphere, or you can continue to live the “affluent American suburban” lifestyle until its aggregate effects cause industrial civilization to collapse, and you are forced to make much more draconian changes then.

  100. Jim Cripwell:

    Ref 98 Which set of average global temperatures are you quoting from, and why?

  101. Hank Roberts:

    Jim, try here:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

  102. Craig Repasz:

    From #94 ” Besides respect (which must be earned, not granted),”

    Any scientist working in earnest should have already earned our respect. However, this is not the case with the AGW issue. What has been granted has been disrespect as a matter of course. The PR machine has produced a number of “experts” who have broad brushed the majority of climatolgists as a bunch of hysterical alarmist who do not understand thier science. This unfounded message gets parroted by the laity.
    A scientist who has a PhD, Post Doc, numerous years of experience in the field, and is highly published in peer review journals is operating with a skill set and understanding that is beyond a lay persons comprehension. Why do you think they need to demonstrate that they are worthy of our respect. It is a rather arrogant assumption.

  103. John Mashey:

    re: #100, #101
    Graphs are often better than words, the GISTEMP graphs are really useful.
    In addition:

    [1] http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/,
    which shows long-term 1880-2005 (plus short-term volcanic) radiative forcing effects in one place Figure (a). Solar irradiance has an 11-year jiggle, superimposed on a slight rise in the early part of the period. Volcanoes cause very sharp dips, and Figure (b) gives the total forcing, whose trend is pretty obvious, and certain relates well to the one line in (a) that’s going up strongly, i.e., well-mixed GHGs.

    [2] http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2005/, Figure 2, which in particular highlights volcanoes, El Ninos / La Nina’s, and of course, the latter two impose additional non-radiative jiggles.

    One might conclude from this:
    (a) Scientists actually know there exist many factors, i.e., they don’t expect there to be some simple formula that predicts next year’s temperature:
    T = f(X), where X is one factor.

    (b) Given ENSOs and volcanoes, it is total silliness to pick one year and draw sweeping conclusions, especially when using a simple temprature chart that doesn’t capture those events.

    Anyway, thanks again GISS: great charts, very data-rich; Tufte would be pleased, as these capture a lot of insight in just a few charts.

    re: #100: Jim: would you prefer such data come from Kristen Byrnes’ website?
    Via Google james cripwell ponderthemaunder, I see you’re a fan of hers, although I’m mystified as to why http://www.sewgirls.com would care.

    [2} Shows temperatures charts with volcanoes,

  104. cat black:

    #99 [affluence] I was just thinking that we have a genetic predisposition to consume and none to conserve. This of course is the basis for the “tragedy of the Commons” made famous in much research and analysis. One could probably make the case that ravenous consumption is actually cultural. But if it is, it is also true that the cultures who choose to live within the limits of nature are quickly overrun by those that chose differently, as we have seen countless times in the last few centuries, resulting in a gradual cultural shift towards ruinous consumption.

    Watching the Deniers do their work, I am struck by the realization that they are the voice of the arch consumers. They will, very clearly, win in the end. The ones that set things aside cannot protect what they did not consume themselves, they are overrun, and it is consumed anyway. This appears to be the future of humanity, the few examples of successful conservation not withstanding.

    On the other paw, Nature bats last. Our silly habit of eating everything in sight, and digging up the earth until it runs raw into the sea, will shortly translate into us eating our own children. That is how Nature dispatches the mindless, undirected consumers in the world. Silly buggers.

  105. Lynn Vincentnathan:

    RE #94, my strategy has been to go for the money-saving measures first. And all aspects of energy and resource efficiency and conservation should be considered. So CF bulbs; low-flow showerhead (costs $6, saves $2000 in 20 years in water and hot water bills – water requires energy to pump & heat it); SunFrost refrig ( http://www.sunfrost.com ) if you can afford it – pays for its high price in energy and less spoilage in about 11 to 16 years. That’s just for starters.

    Also, on your next move, buy a house closer to work/school/shops; run multiple errands; turn motor off in drive-thrus; offset some driving with walking/cycling — it’s also good for the health and spirit; etc.

    If alt energy is available, use it. Our 100% wind electricity from Greenmountain initially cost some $5 more per month, but now we save about $2 a month — it’s actually cheaper than gas/coal/oil generated electricity.

    So do the money-saving things first, then the cost-neutral things, and finally the things that cost more (using savings for the money-saving things to offset or break even). I’m sure you would be able to reduce your GHGs by at least 1/3 with the cost-effective measures, if not more.

    Carrier AC Co had an add years ago – a family ran out of their home shouting “We’ve been robbed,” and the neighbors gathered around. They had spent a whole lot more in electricity with their inefficient AC….So upgrading heaters & ACs.

    NATURAL CAPITALISM ( http://www.natcap.org ) talks about tunneling through & other ideas.

    Then with alt energy, I think a family could reduce by 3/4 without lowering living standards. And if they wanted to “sacrifice” a bit, emissions might be reduced even further. For instance, I’m planning to buy a plug-in hybrid car, once they are available, then drive on the wind for 95%+ of my driving needs, and that will not be cost-effective for us, but it’ll be the big thing we do for the earth and future generations. But since we started saving so much money from 1990 on with all these other measures, we will be able to afford it.

  106. Hank Roberts:

    To Gavin and others — may I suggest a thread or a FAQ called “Why We Have Hope!” or words to that effect?

    This is why: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_09/fig1.gif

    We _did_ good. We can do good again.

  107. Philippe Chantreau:

    Sorry ya’ll, this is way off topic, so skip if it makes it to the thread and you are of a more focused type.

    Re 104: You have a point, but I’m not sure that the organized deniers are the voice of the arch consumers. IMO, they are rather the voice of those who make fortunes out of the arch consumers and spend fortunes into making normal human beings into mindless consuming machines, starting at the earliest age. My daughter’s TV watching is carefully selected and yet she is already able to identify logos and the corresponding brands, simply because the exposure is so pervasive.

    One big problem is that the marketing point of view applies to everything in the world and nothing has value if that value can not be assigned a dollar figure right now. People trained in business and economics (the “dismal science”) have overwhelmed the entire world and applied their rule to all areas of our lives. Never before have humans been so rich and so greedy at the same time. This world is now run by the bottom line ogres, and it will go where that leadership takes it. The “people” have become irrelevant, since they will follow the best propaganda, which will likely be the best propaganda money can buy. The funniest thing is that these ogres are sincerely convinced of working for an overall good design, thanks to the illimited human ability for rationalization. After all, they incidentally provide jobs, don’t they?

    In addition, the ambient scientifc illiteracy is such that rethoric carries more weight than science. One could wonder why somebody so ill qualified as Crichton could ever end up in a debate treating of climate science, yet it has happened. Looking at Tamino’s and Eli’s blogs, I was surprised to see how patient they both were when the dialogue ventured farther and farther from science and into rethoric, the favorite terrain of politicians, mind manipulators and the like.

    I agree with cat black in the sense that life does not care. From dust particles flying in the air to the very inside of rocks, it has already established bacteria as its main and most important/resilient reservoir for all ages. Each one of us carries more bacterial cells than human. The most abundant known life form on Earth is still Pelagibacter Ubiquii (sorry, don’t know how to do italics), although acidification might change that. It’s fair to say that, from the point of view of life, we are a fancy, amusing and disposable life support system for bacteria. Regardless of what happens to us, life will go on until the sun dies and quite possibly beyond (those spores can be suprisingly resilient).

    Yet, funnily enough, what happens to us is really up to us.

  108. Lawrence Brown:

    Re 79, Barton has collected an interesting compilation and analysis of data and graphs and regarding analyses of a doubling of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. A histogram of 25 GCMs, shows a normal distribution, with relatively small variance. 1 S.D. is slightly less than one degree(.95). The mean is 3.15.
    It’s good to have one number such as a mean for the entire Earth, but we have to be aware of the fact that there are places like one in Greenland described in the July 2007 issue of National Geographic. One station monitored by Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado shows a rise in winter temperatures of about 5deg.Celsius since 1993! One of his comments was “It was supposed to be minus 20 and instead it was raining.”

  109. Sean O:

    Regarding Ken Coffman at 94 (and more to the commenters on his topic specifically Chuck Booth at 97):
    I think Mr. Coffman’s question bears a great deal of conversation. I know I discuss this on my site (http://www.globalwarming-factorfiction.com) but I don’t have an answer to Ken’s very legitimate question.

    Mr. Booth’s reply is admirable but I think perhaps a little innocent. While RC does a pretty good job of not ramming demands down the throats of its readers, others on this issue are not so kind. In fact, Al Gore currently is asking everyone to take a pledge that forces industrialized countries to reduce the CO2 footprint by 90% within a generation (what is that 18 years? 25 years?).

    So to repeat and re-emphasize Mr. Coffman’s question but put it in light of Mr. Gore’s request: how does one reduce their CO2 footprint to 10% of current levels?

    Please don’t say lightbulbs and water heater blankets since even wikipedia points out that CFLs use MORE energy footprint than incandescents since they use more energy to create than incandescents. Most lightbulbs are not made in the US these days so it appears that we are diminishing our energy use but all we are really doing with CFLs is moving that energy use to another country – a form of carbon trading, I suppose. Also, the relatively high amounts of mercury in CFLs don’t exactly make them the friends of Mother Nature either. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised in 5 years to hear a strong call for the elimination of CFLs in favor of other forms of lighting that are more Earth friendly (maybe incandescents will come back to favor).

    Eliminating production energy for lightbulbs from the equation you would save between 5 and 10% of your household – call it 8%. Where does the remaining 82% come from?

    After the list is created, we then need to look at total energy usage. As in CFLs, hybrids are not a panacea when you factor in production energy and recycle energy (and you HAVE to recycle at least a portion of hybrid car since it has so many batteries that can’t just sit in junkyards for 50 years).

    I have been called a semi-skeptic before and I guess I will wear that hat. I prefer to be called a pragmatist. If the world is going to end, put up a realistic solution. Personally, I have been trying to find a good solution that compares to just funding mosquito nets in Africa (we know we can save thousands by doing that) and funding free AIDS medecines (another million saved).

  110. Marion Delgado:

    cat black:

    Actually, the tragedy “of the commons” is simply a subset of the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” called the “free-rider problem.” It occurs in everything from radically free markets to collective farms. In every single case, there are two ways to ameliorate the bad effects. One is to make sure the interactions are repeated and the agents are roughly taggable. The most dangerous prisoner’s dilemmas are either one-shots – where rational economic man is assumed to “defect” – that is, take all the slack out of the situation, exploit it maximally, use every loophole – or completely anonymous. The other, even more important, is that there be a trusted outside coordinating authority (when applied to markets, in fact, this is called a failure of coordination). In a Prisoner’s Dilemma, if everyone just does their bit and is not too greedy, on average, everyone benefits.

    The outside coordinating authority doesn’t have to necessarily use force or even be real – gods were the authority for many communities. A good example would be a co-op house. Someone’s car alarm goes off in the middle of the night. Unenlightened self-interest would dictate that, since the best outcome is to have someone else go out in the cold and shut it off while you stay in bed, you should wait until some sucker bites the bullet and does it. But if everyone does that, none of you will sleep all night. If you have an agreed-upon rotating task of being the car-alarm shutter-offer, you will cheerfully do it, since you trust the system and believe everyone will do their modest bit for the good of all. There the authority is the community as a whole – if you constantly defected, you’d be expelled.

    Similarly, in a commons situation, if I am a rancher or sheep farmer, and I know the government or the grange society or whatever will equally restrict us all with even-handedness, I will not put much energy into violating the law and overgrazing. You can say in that case that the heavy hand of the state is controlling people, but actually it’s a tiny catalyst.

  111. David B. Benson:

    While only weather, it has certainly been a strange spring and early summer here. In particular, there seems to be a most unusually large amount of the sky filled with stratospheric clouds. (I know, because the jet contrails form beneath those clouds.)

    Is this to be taken as a bad sign?

  112. Philip Machanick:

    Having posted a few responses to the debate in Australia on the ABC’s swindle forum (often pointing to RC), I feel energized to offer to help with getting Australian denial stuff onto your Wiki. There’s a mine of debunkable stuff in The Australian alone … google on global warming site:theaustralian.news.com.au and see for yourself.

  113. Philip Machanick:

    Has modeling taken into account any increase in aerosols from dirty industries in developing countries (especially China)?

    This may dampen the greenhouse effect as it did when the developed world had dirty industries, but there is even more pressure in China to clean up general pollutants, because of reports of ~500k premature deaths per year from pollution, than to clean up CO2 emissions. So I can’t imagine this as being anything better than a bit of breathing space (figuratively) before things get worse.

    Any comments on what the science is showing?

  114. Jim Cripwell:

    Ref #103. I am trying to understand why there are differences between the various values of average global temperatures; considering they all apparently use the same data. The NASA/GISS set seems to be the one of the ones with the least following. Most people seem to prefer Hadley/CRU; e.g. IPCC seem to use Had/CRU data. So I am intrigued to know why someone picks one set rather than another. As to Kristen, Ponder the Maunder, I was not aware she had a set of values. As to sewgirls, I am one of the few men who have the sense to realize that women should not have all the fun when it comes to embroidery. I have been a participant on rec.crafts.textiles.needlework (rctn)from just about the time rec.crafts.textiles split into many newsgroups. On climate skeptics I go by the pseudonym of Jim Rctner. My passion is counted cross stitch, and if you want to see pictures of my female nudes, and other things, please visit http://www.ncf.ca/~bf906.

  115. Hank Roberts:

    David, contrails are cirrus clouds; poking around, I came across this interesting description of flying in and out of cirrus; it specifies a lot about where contrails formed, talks about cirrus below the stratosphere and investigating their formation:
    http://cloud1.arc.nasa.gov/success/daily_summary/Flight_reports/960413.dc8.html

  116. tamino:

    Re: #114 (Jim Cripwell)

    I’m one of those who tends to use NASA/GISS rather than HadCRU. They provide beautiful graphs, update regularly, and provide lots of different data sets, including zonal means, in very convenient format. I was also under the impression (correction welcomed) that GISS has been considerably more forthcoming about their data and methodology.

    And I’m American, and NASA/GISS data are from the good ole USA.

  117. FurryCatHerder:

    Re 109:

    All of my posts include a link to a Live Journal post that’s pretty much all about CFLs and how much they save.

    If anyone doubts the difference they make, that’s a post worth reading. This month I should save about 500kWH — that’s lights and not having to suck the heat out with the A/C.

    That 500kWH is for about 30 total bulbs. They last about 7 years, so that’s 42MWH over their lifetime (actually it isn’t — I only save 400kWH / month in the cooler months). Wholesale electricity costs about $40 / MWH. If all of the $250 I paid to replace those bulbs was “energy” — no profit, no salaries, no other expenses, just “energy” — the 6.25MWH it (hypothetically) took to make them is still less than the 42MWH they will save. And since retail electricity is about $150 / MWH where I live, I’m going to save many, many times what I paid for those bulbs over the next 7 years.

    That’s not “carbon trading”. That’s “significant carbon reduction”. And the mercury? Coal fired plants emit heavy metals that were embedded in the coal that’s burned. So, there will be less of that as well.

  118. Hank Roberts:

    >why there are differences between the various values of average global temperatures

    I’ll flag this question for the Contributors or real scientists here —- because searching on this question pulls up a LOT of skeptic sites of the “scientists can’t even agree ….” sort. Perhaps someone who’s worked at several of the different groups that produce these data sets can talk about them and about how science works by people all over the world each bringing new bits to the puzzle.

  119. Hank Roberts:

    Speaking of sources for global temperatures, here’s NOAA — in today’s news:
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2890.htm
    2007 STARTS WARMER, DRIER THAN AVERAGE FOR MUCH OF U.S.

    * The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the second warmest on record for the January-June six-month period. Separately, the global January-June land-surface temperature was warmest on record, while the ocean-surface temperature was the sixth warmest in the 128-year period of record….
    * For June, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the fourth warmest on record as neutral El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions contributed to an overall lower global ranking for the month.
    * Above average temperatures covered much of the world�s land surfaces during the first half of the year. While some land areas in the Southern Hemisphere began the June-August winter season with below average temperatures, it was the warmest June on record at the South Pole.

  120. dhogaza:

    Please don’t say lightbulbs and water heater blankets since even wikipedia points out that CFLs use MORE energy footprint than incandescents since they use more energy to create than incandescents.

    Wikipedia says no such thing.

    It says they MAY require more energy to create than is saved over their lifetime because component parts and the bulbs themselves are on average shipped further than is true of incandescent bulbs.

    MAY.

    Due to an artifact of current patterns of manufacture and shipping, not the technology itself.

    The notion that in the future we may see a call for a ban of CFLs in favor of a return to incandescents is ummm ummm ummm fantasy.

    Here is the exact quote from wikipedia:

    the total lifetime energy (from manufacture to disposal) may actually be higher (due to the transportation of all the component parts around the world)

  121. nicolas L.:

    re: 106

    Hank is damn right, we shouldn’t get too pessimistic on our capacity to act (do we have the choice anyway? :)). The Montreal protocol, which aimed at eliminating Ozone Depleting Substances (who are also powerfull greenhouse gases),is a great exemple of international treaty that have worked and works still well. Total phase out of CFCs is planned for 2010 (and we’re on track to succeed in this)and total elimination of all ODSs will be 2040. Ozone layer will progressivly strengthen thanks to this, and optionnally we will have wiped out a part of our GHG emissions (estimated to still account for 20 % of human made forcing on climate… small, but that’s a start).

  122. Alan K:

    #103, 114
    it’s pretty vile that anyone should decide to include anyone’s evidently irrelevant personal activities on this site and that that person should be forced to “defend” or explain it.
    needs a bit of editing in future, I think

    [Response: ‘Vile’ is a bit strong, but I agree w/ the overall point made. Folks, lets avoid personal comments here, ok? – Mike]

  123. Jim Cripwell:

    Ref 116. How do you classify the NCDC/NOAA data? It also comes from the good old USA, and seems to be similar to NASA/GISS in other respects.

  124. Jim Cripwell:

    Ref #118. May I endorse this completely. I would suggest that the IPCC WG1 in AR4 missed a golden opportunity to do just that. May I also suggest that it would be a good idea to annotate any quotes of average global temperatures showing the source. e.g. NG for NASA/GISS; NN for NCDC/NOAA; HC for Hadley/CRU; CR for CRU; etc if there are any others.

  125. tamino:

    Re: #123 (Jim Cripwell)

    I haven’t really used NCDC/NOAA enough to have a feel for how friendly the data format/graphs are. I’ve gotten used to GISS data, and find them suitable for all my needs, so now it’s become habit. It ain’t broke, I ain’t gonna fix it.

  126. pete best:

    Re #121, a phase out of CFC’s was possible because the whole of western civilisation and a lot of the east did not rely on it for everything! This is the issue resulting from coal, gas and oil, there are at present no viable political or economic alternatives that can come online in anything less than around 30 years that will have the effect of offsetting 4 billion tonnes of CO2.

    I am not for one minute suggesting that a couple of million 5 MW wind turbines or a number of solar stirling engines or a new DC based Amercian wide or EU wide energy network will not work, its just that politically its gonna take a long time. Well to around 2050 at the earliest at any rate mainly due to the 70% increase in energy demand.

  127. Bob Schmitz:

    I am quite sceptical about CFL lightbulbs myself: In less than 5 years we can buy LED illumination, probably in nice warm colors, which hardly consumes any energy at all. Would it be worthwhile to change now towards CFL technology while it is already almost obsolete???

  128. John Mashey:

    re: #122 (Alan K (?))
    I wrote:
    “Via Google james cripwell ponderthemaunder, I see you’re a fan of hers, although I’m mystified as to why http://www.sewgirls.com would care.”

    I’ve reread that sentence several times.
    Someone must be awfully sensitive to react like this (vile?), when there was zero criticism of anyone’s interest in sewing. [I was taught enough to get by when I was a kid, everyone should know at least a little.]

    However, I have long had an interest in the mechanisms by which information, misinformation, and disinformation get spread, in the hopes of helping the former and discovering the latter. My current hobby is working through the list of URLs gotten from Google: ponderthemaunder, looking for patterns and relationships among websites, people and dates.
    Of the 560 hits, most were in plausible places.

    I was quite surprised to see a hit in http://www.sewgirls.com , where it seemed maximally OT … but then I recognized the author’s name (from RC), and this wasn’t his first anti-AGW posting there. At least most such are in blogs and newsgroups for which they fit better.

    Anyway, my comment wasn’t about sewing, it was about why there be such skepticism of mainline science, combined with a willingness to not only accept PtM, but bring it up in places where it is clearly OT. Of the various references to PtM, sewgirls was the furthest OT, by far :-)

  129. James:

    Re #109: […even wikipedia points out that CFLs use MORE energy footprint than incandescents since they use more energy to create than incandescents.]

    Really? Let’s think about the logic of that. Suppose the non-energy costs of making a bulb – materials, labor, &c – are the same. (Though I suspect the CFL’s costs are higher.) Since energy costs money, use the difference in price as a measure of the energy that went into the bulb’s manufacture. Then measure the cost of the energy needed for each to produce X number of lumen-hours, (I think that’d be the unit?) At some point the money saved on the electricity should equal the cost of the CFL, and at that point you’ve used less total energy.

    (Obviously there’s a break-even point: it doesn’t make a lot of sense to e.g. replace the hall closet light that I might turn on for a total of 5 minutes per month.)

    [Eliminating production energy for lightbulbs from the equation you would save between 5 and 10% of your household – call it 8%. Where does the remaining 82% come from?]

    You can look these things up, you know :-) Of course every house is going to be different, depending on climate, usage patterns, etc, but offhand I remember the big ones as being water heating, refrigeration, and heating/cooling. For water heating, why not a solar water heater? For refrigeration, a new, efficient refrigerator – not even a SunFrost, just the best I could find at the local Home Depot – dropped my electric bill maybe $5-10 per month.

    Upgrading my insulation has saved me several hundred a year on heating costs, and I hope soon to have solar space heating to cut that even further. Where I live, nighttime temperatures drop into the 60s even when daytime highs are over 100, so opening windows at night combines with the decent insulation to make A/C unnecessary.

    […hybrids are not a panacea when you factor in production energy and recycle energy (and you HAVE to recycle at least a portion of hybrid car since it has so many batteries that can’t just sit in junkyards for 50 years).]

    Very few cars sit in junkyards for 50 years. After they pass their usefulness as a source of salvage parts (which itself saves energy) they’re generally crushed and recycled – which saves energy compared to the cost of mining & refining new metals. Batteries can likewise be recycled, just as lead-acid batteries are now. Nor do hybrids have to run on batteries: there are systems that use hydraulics (I think UPS developed one for their delivery vans) or compressed air, and there are some interesting developments in flywheel storage.

    I think you’re making the mistake of thinking of hybrids as a mature technology, when it’s more like the situation with personal computers before the introduction of the first IBM PC.

  130. Furia Fubar:

    I read the Science article yesterday…I liked the analogy they used of a canoe tipping, tipping, and tipping over

    I cant believe the “deniers” are so tenacious. Knowledge is not a matter of belief. Scientists, while they may want some glory, are not out to swindle the public en masse

  131. Philippe Chantreau:

    Re 126: The CFC case was interesting indeed. The affected industries had no shortage of economic doom and gloom predictions. Nowadays, opponents of environemental regulations and many climate deniers often bring up the topic with the punchline: “see, the ozone hole is fine, nothing bad happened, all the worry was nothing but hype.” As often, that song is both deceptive and ignorant of reality. The reality is that very strong regulations and a definite international phase out effort were enacted. The results are showing, the “hole” is recovering, although not as well as expected. What’s interesting is that ordinary people hardly noticed that anything was being done at all. It proves that the hype was, in fact, in the pessimistic economic scenarios. However, it makes it easier for deniers to spread their message: the masses will easily believe that the ozone hole is all fine without any intervention, since they don’t remember doing anything about it. Kind of ironic, really.

    Of course, the effort to tackle the climate/CO2 will be quite noticeable, which does not mean that is can’t be done.

  132. Jim Cripwell:

    Let me refer to #s 11,55, 89, and 122 for encouragement, and I am trying to behave like a scientist; no polemics. I always hope that the two sides can talk like scientists on some aspects of this important issue. I do not pretend to understand the “sweet spot” for forecasting, but I am trying to understand this whole concept. Let me propose a scenario. Let us suppose that the UNFCCC meeting this December ends with no agreement to curtail the use of fossil fuels, so that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to increase at the rate identified by the IPCC WG1 to AR4. Let us look into the future as far as you like. What would be the maximum value of the average annual global temperature anomaly , should it occur, which would make the supporters of AGW “writhe in agony”. Maybe a value such as 0.15C. Looking at this question the opposite way, if an average global temperature anomaly exceeded 1.0C on the Had/CRU set, or 1.1C on the NCDC/NOAA set, or 1.2C on the NASA/GISS set, within the next 10 years, then I would have to agree that AGW was a real possibility.

    [Response: The next ten years should see a continued trend of about 0.2 to 0.3 deg C/decade rise (barring any significant volcanic activity). But given the ‘weather’ noise, a 95% confidence interval on the expected trend (going from previous ten year estimates) is roughly the same magnitude (much smaller for 20 years though). That implies that the ‘mainstream’ estimate is that the chances of the next ten years having a zero or negative trend is roughly 1 in 40 (though you might get slightly different numbers using different global temperature products). Thus if there were no trend over the next 10 years, that would be a significant outlier (unless there was some obvious reason like a big volcano, or the sun shutting off). – gavin]

  133. Sean O:

    Regarding 129.

    Interesting analysis. I don’t think it adds up though. Your assumption is that energy price is a constant throughout the world (it isn’t). You are also assuming that it is the same type of energy that you get when you plug in your lightbulb – it isn’t. In order to make fluroescent bulbs you must burn a gas of some kind – you can’t only use electricity to build them (although you do need electricity to operate the machinery). Electricity is simply not efficient at producing the type of heat required at the individual locations required. For your analysis to work, it looks like energy cost would need to be a constant.

    Your comments on cars are the point I was trying to make. You have to recycle hybrid cars (at least their batteries) and that is a highly toxic endeavor that is quite expense and NOT factored into the cost of the vehicle itself.

    The stated goal for Live Earth is reduce energy footprint by 90%. The list of conservation efforts simply do not add up to that since every one of those efforts uses energy as well in the production (how much energy does it cost to create a solar panel?). It isn’t about the ability to reduce the individual footprint but rather the ability to reduce everyone’s footprint in the industrialized countries by 90% and non-industrialized by 50%.

  134. David B. Benson:

    Hank Roberts — Thank you, that was an interesting read. Cirrus at 25–39 kft. Which agrees with typical commericial jet aircraft operating altitudes of 30–39 kft around here.

    I still have the question whether the unusally large amount of cirrus so far in 2007 is a bad sign (heat trap) or a good sign (high albedo)?

  135. Hank Roberts:

    David, you might try over at Head in a Cloud (see sidebar); I’ve found that a very informative and all too quiet website for this sort of question.
    http://atoc.colorado.edu/headinacloud/

    Poking around a bit, I found this
    http://spiedl.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=PSISDG005658000001000283000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes
    but I don’t know who’d have current info, or could help you answer the implied question whether what you see locally is a global effect.

  136. Travis Porco:

    Is there any way to gain access to primary data on past temperature, such as the data used in the ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction? Thanks!

    [Response: The World Data Center for Paleoclimatology or Pangaea are the main primary sources. – gavin]

  137. David B. Benson:

    Hank Roberts — Thank you again. It had not yet occured to me to wonder whether this might be global. I had just assumed we are getting some California weather, the way California is getting Mexico’s, etc.

  138. James:

    Re #133: [Your assumption is that energy price is a constant throughout the world (it isn’t).]

    No? Close enough for a first approximation, though, since if the fuels used to create the energy had higher value elsewhere, someone would likely be exporting it.

    [In order to make fluroescent bulbs you must burn a gas of some kind…]

    Why? They’re glass, just like incandescent bulbs. Heat it and form to shape. Then you add a fluorescent coating & some circuitry, or a tungsten (which is not the easiest element in the world to refine & shape, BTW) filament, and you have a bulb. Show me where there’s a significant difference in the amount of energy needed in the production process. There’s not even much difference in the price these days – a big change from the first CFLs I bought, at about $10 each. (And at least 10 years later, all of them but the one that got dropped are still working.)

    [You have to recycle hybrid cars (at least their batteries) and that is a highly toxic endeavor that is quite expense and NOT factored into the cost of the vehicle itself.]

    You don’t have to recycle hybrid cars or their batteries, any more than you have to recycle conventional cars & the (more toxic) lead-acid batteries they contain. People recycle cars & batteries because they make a profit by doing so – and a pretty good one, if my experience of auto dismantlers is any guide :-) Some of the current generation of hybrids can be already be found in wrecking yards – just do a search for Prius or Insight salvage parts.

    As for the batteries, the current generation NiMH batteries are no different (except for being constructed to allow higher currents) than the ones used for other applications.

  139. Travis Porco:

    i think i found the data (cancel previous comment).

  140. Dan:

    re: 133. This appears to be another classic red herring to be added to the denialist’s long list. That is, using tunnelvision when analyzing the comparative energy costs to produce various light bulbs with little consideration of the overall net benefits over time of lower energy required to use CFL and/or LCD bulbs. Sounds quite similar to the initial and unsubstantiated whining about energy requirements for hybrid development that came out against the first hybrid vehicles. And often agenda-driven as was the case against the hybrids when they first came out.

    Tunnelvision seems to be a favorite of denialists. We see it in the quite narrow-minded scientific discussion of the surface temperature data base and attempts to discredit the data without seeing the overall large picture of other observations and proxies across the globe. There seems to be an apparent failure of many denialists to grasp or understand the large scientific picture over space and time. Constantly cherry-picking and regurgitating bits and pieces in failed attempts to support their cause is nothing less than an astounding and sad reflection of the general state of scientific education.

  141. pete best:

    Re #126, I agree that the public did not notice phasing our CFC’s in favour of other chemicals except for deodorants where a big thing was made of it here in the UK anyway.

    Next up is AGW, however this mindset is totally different and politicians have been seduced by the lobbyists time and time again. Funding in alternative energy policy has been next to zero. Sure we have been promised in Scientific American and New Scientist a hybrid car or a hydrogen car once in w hile but the reality is markedly. Oil and Gas and Coal reign supreme and with the world thirst for energy growing we could be in trouble.

    you see coal fired power plants in the USA and Europe are much more efficient than Chinas but who is building them to make our goods. So why is the west not integrating their best technologies into Chinas coal power plants I wonder ???? No answer really is there.

  142. Alan K:

    #128 – OT sewgirls
    John (John?) – first i am a very sensitive soul. Second there was more than an element of the pejorative in your reference to sewgirls as in it seemed you were belittling and ridiculing someone’s private interest more so because it concerned sewing, where perceptions are that it is an activity primarily of interest for women. Your explanation clarifies all, but the first reading qualifies 73.6% for vile.

    now…back to the science…

  143. Jim Eager:

    Re 109 Sean O: “So to repeat and re-emphasize Mr. Coffman’s question but put it in light of Mr. Gore’s request: how does one reduce their CO2 footprint to 10% of current levels?”

    You might want to read George Monbiot’s book “Heat; How to Stop the Planet From Burning.” While the title is obviously deliberately provocative, it addresses exactly this issue. It’s examples are specific to the UK, but Monbiot’s main thrust is that individuals can not reduce their carbon footprint by 90% alone because most of per capita CO2 emissions are not under the direct control of individuals. Therefore it will require deliberate national and societal effort, yet it is possible with current and soon to be available technologies. However, it will also require a major shift in how individuals organize their lives and societies organize their energy, transport and distribution infrastructures. Bottom line: it will not be possible to cut fossil carbon consumption by 90% in developed countries and preserve business as usual, because business as usual is part of the problem.

  144. Donagh:

    As TGGWS is still being sold to networks around the world (with some editing done of course) is it possible that Paul Reiter, one of the contributors to the ‘documentary’ is spending his spare time responding to criticism on every blog that happens to take issue with his attacks on the IPCC? Someone calling themselves Paul Reiter and showing a good knowledge of Malaria has responded to such post on my blog: http://dublinopinion.com/2007/03/15/holy-melting-icecaps-acknowledging-the-treat/
    I’m just using the fantastic resources available on Real Climate Change to respond to whoever it is. It would be great if it was him…he might even reply. I doubt it though.

  145. James:

    Re #140: [Sounds quite similar to the initial and unsubstantiated whining about energy requirements for hybrid development that came out against the first hybrid vehicles.]

    Yes. Remember the one comparing the Hummer to a hybrid, where buried in the fine print was the assumption that the hybrid would last 100K miles, but the Hummer 300K? (At 105K, my Insight is just nicely broken in :-)) Like comparing the energy costs of making a CFL to the cost of one incandescent. The CFL lasts maybe 5 times longer, so you have to compare the cost of making 5 incandescents.

  146. tom:

    Just curious. How would you all rate TGGWS vis a vis An Inconvenient truth??

    Objectively.

  147. Rachel:

    In terms of climate forecasting, you may be interested to read this:

    Kesten Green and J. Scott Armstrong recently examined the validity of the climate forecasts. To date, they have found no scientific forecasts to support global warming. Their paper “Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts” is forthcoming in Energy and Environment. The paper can be found at a new site designed to encourage a scientific approach to forecasting for public policy issues, publicpolicyforecasting.com. Reactions to the paper can be found at theclimatebet.com.

    -Rachel Zibelman on behalf of J. Scott Armstrong

    [Response: Hmmm…. we may have more to say about this, but in the meantime, I would direct you to James Annan’s response. – gavin]

  148. Jim Cripwell:

    Ref 116 and 125. What I was hoping was that somewhere, someone had had a good look at the methodology used by NASA/GISS, NCDC/NOAA, and Hadley/CRU, and found one that they consider most nearly represents what is actually happening, and provide the reasons for this opinion. No such luck. Tamino merely writes “I haven’t really used NCDC/NOAA enough to have a feel for how friendly the data format/graphs are. I’ve gotten used to GISS data, and find them suitable for all my needs, so now it’s become habit. It ain’t broke, I ain’t gonna fix it.”
    I took a look at the differences between the NASA/GISS data and the Hadley/CRU data; the ones furthest apart in value with the NASA/GISS numbers higher than those of Hadley/CRU. From 1881 to 2000 the average difference was 0.14 C. In 2007, the differences for January through May, are 0.49 C, 0.30 C, 0.26 C, 0.33 C, and 0.32 C respectively. No comment.

    [Response: The main differences are how things are extrapolated. GISS extrapolates into the Arctic, CRU does not. But since the Arctic is indeed getting warmer, the GISS method is probably capturing a little more of what is really going on. Plus you need to ensure that people are using the same baseline for the anomalies GISS uses 1951-1980. – gavin]

  149. James Annan:

    The baseline directly explains the 0.14 mean difference (most if not all of it), since CRU use 1961-1990 ie one decade later during a warming trend. The Jan-May baseline difference may be bigger, I don’t know (exercise for interested reader to check?).

  150. Hank Roberts:

    Interesting, at least in the abstract (grin):
    http://csdl2.computer.org/persagen/DLAbsToc.jsp?resourcePath=/dl/mags/cs/&toc=comp/mags/cs/2007/02/c2toc.xml&DOI=10.1109/MCSE.2007.29

  151. FurryCatHerder:

    Re 145:

    I have a hard time imagining that it costs more to make them than it costs to buy them :) Or that the cost of the energy is greater than the cost of them.

    At any rate, all the ones I bought have paid for themselves. Assuming the amount of energy used is actually 4 times greater than what they cost in retail energy dollars (that’s the ratio of retail to wholesale electric costs here), they’ll have saved their energy in wholesale dollars in another 18 to 24 months.

    If LED lights come out sometime soon, I’ll figure out how many months until they’ve paid for themselves compared to CFLs and then replace. Or not.

    I’ll say this — if the denialists want to waste large amounts of money on gasoline and electricity, I guess that’s their right.

  152. Lawrence Brown:

    Regarding comment 147, a brief discussion of the results of the referenced paper by Mr. Armstrong, emphasizes uncertainties. The following is a quote from this discussion:

    “There is much uncertainty about the measurement of global temperature due to, for example, the coverage of weather stations and heat island effects in modern data, and the reliability of proxy temperature measures such as are obtained from ice cores and tree rings. Alternative measures have been proposed, but are not widely used in forecasting. Temperatures vary greatly over periods of hours and days as well as years, decades and centuries. Instabilities occur due to unpredictable events including, for example, volcanic eruptions and poorly understood phenomena such as El Nino weather patterns. Uncertainty over and instability in global temperatures mean that forecasts that depart dramatically from recent and longer term trends, such as those of dramatic global warming, cannot be justified.”
    http://publicpolicyforecasting.com./

    There will always be uncertainties and this applies to all endeavors. To the best of my knowledge, heat island effects can be corrected for and in any case don’t change results significantly. They criticize the reliability of proxy measures, without specifically saying why. Proxies are indirect measures, granted, but have validity. Tree ring variability in thickness can indicate periods of wet and dry years, for example. The effects of volcanic eruptions are certainly well understood, and climate models have had great success in predicting the cooling effects due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
    I for one, would be glad to be wrong about global warming, but as far as I can tell the data and state of the art methods of analysis,that point to global warming, far outweigh the uncertainties.

  153. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Yesterday I added another page to my climatology site, which gives Judith Lean’s TSI (Solar Constant) data for 1610-2000, both in tabular and in chart form. The chart is especially revealing; you can clearly see the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age, and also the roughly flat output for the last 50 years.

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Climatology.html

  154. Barton Paul Levenson:

    On optimism — I, for one, am not optimistic. I’m interested in the science behind global warming and will continue to defend it, but whether humanity will act in time is an entirely different question. Frankly, I don’t think we will. The time-honored human pattern is to wait for an acute crisis before doing anything, and by the time this crisis becomes acute, it will be too late. I think we’re very likely to trip the geophysical feedbacks (permafrost greenhouse gases, seabed sediment clathrate greenhouse gases, ice/albedo feedback) which will make the problem so much worse that we won’t have any way to fix it. Humanity will survive, and probably industrial civilization will survive in the long run, but we’re in a for a very long, very bad time, and probably a major decrease in population.

  155. Eric (skeptic):

    #134,135: David and Hank, it’s certainly not a simple issue (see http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/presentations/UCLAweb.pdf for example), but my impression is that increases in upper clouds will generally be warming. It depends a lot on what they are covering, but high especially high thin clouds will tend to let in SW and trap LW whereas low clouds (warmer tops on IR satellite) will reflect more SW and let out more LW.

  156. tom:

    re:154

    I wish I could somehow set up a wager with you on that one Barton, because I would Major sums of money that we will never suffer a large decrease in population due to the climate.

    For a number of other reasons, maybe, but not climate.

    In fact , if I had to rate # 1 it woul be a Shoemaker- Levy type comet.
    Considering that three of the fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter with the equivalent of 6,000,000 megatons of TNT (750 times the world’s nuclear arsenal) each, I doubt there’s be too many people left.

  157. Ron Taylor:

    Re #147

    Armstrong’s challenge seems a bit like driving a stake on the beach as the tide starts in, then betting on how high the water will be on the stake precisely five minutes, ten minutes and thirty minutes later. It is impossible to know, since it depends on the waves. But you do know that five hours later, the reach of the water will be much higher. His challenge seems irrelevant to me.

  158. J.C.H:

    I disagree. Right now, the only technological solution assured to solve the problem that the world is capable of actually implementing is a significant reduction in the world’s population of human beings.

    It’s cheap; it’s easy; it can’t fail.

  159. Hank Roberts:

    Not true, JCH.

    That’s John Brunner’s solution from the ending of ‘Stand on Zanzibar’, lose the most selfish ten percent

    But in reality, two percent of the people on the planet own more than half of it.

    They bought it, they broke it, they can afford to fix it.

    It’ll cost them the world, but they have it to spend.

    Using the US as an example: http://www.lcurve.org/

  160. pete best:

    Re #158, except for the fact that it goes against the human instinct to reproduce. With people living 2.5 additional years for every decade that passes it would be a good idea to reduce the human population but a significant one is a whole new ball game.

  161. Jim Cripwell:

    Ref 158. I am not sure what this has to do with climate change, but one, politically impossible, solution to the world’s population problem is to put all aid money into educating the females, and leave the males to do the best they can.

  162. Chip Knappenberger:

    Dear RC,

    Maybe in this week’s edition of Friday Roundup you’ll take on Al Gore’s inference that, if we are not careful, our fossil fuel emissions will turn the Earth into Venus and slowly roast us. He seems to be telling this story on his various speaking stops.

    We attempted to describe the actual situation, based largely on your “Lessons from Venus” article of last year. Maybe you all should dust it off again since it seems to have taken on renewed relevence.

    -Chip

    [Response: Glad to see you are keeping up on your reading. But you are expending a lot of effort on extrapolating things that Gore hasn’t said. You can point to Venus to demonstrate that CO2 forcing is capable of great things without suggesting that Earth is likely to end up the same way. Given the prevalence of people claiming that CO2 is saturated, it’s a good counter example. – gavin]

  163. Hank Roberts:

    Let’s look at what he said: Al Gore, his words:

    “…President Ronald Reagan said, ‘In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.’

    “We — all of us — now face a universal threat. Though it is not from outside this world, it is nevertheless cosmic in scale.

    “Consider this tale of two planets. Earth and Venus are almost exactly the same size, and have almost exactly the same amount of carbon. The difference is that most of the carbon on Earth is in the ground — having been deposited there by various forms of life over the last 600 million years — and most of the carbon on Venus is in the atmosphere.

    “As a result, while the average temperature on Earth is a pleasant 59 degrees, the average temperature on Venus is 867 degrees. True, Venus is closer to the Sun than we are, but the fault is not in our star; Venus is three times hotter on average than Mercury, which is right next to the Sun. It’s the carbon dioxide.

    “This threat also requires us, in Reagan’s phrase, to unite in recognition of our common bond.”

    — end excerpt —-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/opinion/01gore.html?ex=1185076800&en=a23c46967b75dd14&ei=5070

    Want to offer a direct quote, not a PR agency paraphrase crafted for your industry clients, Mr. Knappenberger?

  164. Lawrence Brown:

    About #154 on optimism. One of the indicators of global warming, in addition to temperature increases,is a multi study showing that hundreds of plant and animal species are shifting their range northward in the northern hemisphere consistent with global warming. Plants,insects,birds and fish are shifting either poleward or higher in elevation, and other behavioral changes,such as mating are taking place earlier in the spring.
    Our species can do many wonderful things, like writing beautiful symphonies, and solving differential equations, but when it comes to basic survival the lowly insect might have a superior sense of self preservation than we do.
    A lot of the controversy is rooted in initial increased costs in shifting over to different equipment and usage. But many of the new methods included in a new energy paradigm pay for themselves in a fairly short time, and even can reap profits if, for example, one can sell excess energy from electricity back to the utility company.

  165. Steve Reynolds:

    >Venus is three times hotter on average than Mercury…

    Not true.

    [Response: You’re right – it’s only twice as hot. That makes all the difference! – gavin]

  166. Henry Molvar:

    Twice as hot?

  167. TarunKJuyal:

    The study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation. I am write a blog which gave complete information about Global Warming.

  168. Hank Roberts:

    A degree here, a degree there, and before you know it you’re talking about a real problem.

    “…. temperature variations on Mercury are the most extreme in the solar system ranging from -183°C (-298 °F) to 427 °C (800 °F), although its average surface temperature is 167 °C (333 °F). In contrast, the average surface temperature on Venus is actually hotter at a very stable 464 °C (867 °F) because of its thick atmosphere.” http://www.solstation.com/stars/mercury.htm

  169. David Price:

    A year or so ago a story appeared in the media that the Sun’s output was at it’s greatest for 12,000 years. Anybody know anything about this?

  170. David B. Benson:

    Re #169: David Price — Not much. However a little web trawling with search phrase ‘solar proxy ice core’ turned up

    Lonnie G. Thompson, et al., “Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change in Tropical Africa”, Science 18 Oct 2002.

    This paper uses Delta14C as a proxy for solar variability, see the expanded version of Figure 3. Eyeballing this, it appears that the story you refer to appears to have missed a decimal point, since by the Delta14C proxy, it seems to have been as high, or higher, 1,400 years ago and almost as high 800 years ago.

  171. Tim McDermott:

    On optimism,

    Optimism is a good thing. It allows us to keep going. But there are knock-on effects to GW that are well outside the scope of climatogy. Take the northern movement of species. That only works with sufficiently mobile species. I’m afraid that our complex ecosystems, like the eastern (US) deciduous forest, will lose their climax species in the move north. The time for deciduous forests to get to climax is measured in centuries. Will the move north be slow enough?

    My real nightmare comes from the realization South Asia is going to suffer both the loss of glacier stabilization of very important rivers and the displacement of tens millions of people from rising sea level. And both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons.

  172. Hank Roberts:

    I’ve looked for but not found “a story in the media” — where did you read it? Google turned up mention of “a National Academy of Sciences report that warned that the Earth is approaching the warmest temperatures in 12,000 years” — in one of Sen. Inhofe’s Republican Senate papers attacking the science. Not sure where the original is. But that’s about Earth not the sun’s temperature.

    This may help:
    http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11175&page=67
    Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties (2005)
    Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

  173. pete best:

    Some action. http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2790960.ece

    From the National Petroleum Council no less. Maybe Peak Oil and Gas is going be very good for climate change unless of course someone decides to turn up the coal volume.

  174. pete best:

    Is it possible for climate change to be affecting the jet stream because as the UK gets summer flooding this year souther Europe basks in a major heatwave. The jetstream has moved this year causing it to happen apparantly.

    Could climate change in any way be responsible for the jetstreams movement?

  175. Nick Gotts:

    Re #158-161. Slowing, then reversing global population growth can certainly contribute to reducing GHG emissions, but cannot solve the problem, because per capita emissions have been rising quite sharply since 2000, after several decades in which they were roughly stable, due to a reversal of the trend toward lower carbon intensity of energy supply. Moreover, the UNFCCC Annex 1 countries (i.e. rich ones) contain only 20% of global population but account for 46% of GHG emissions, according to IPCC’s AR4 SPM. Talk of a human “instinct to reproduce” is at best sloppy: people to a considerable extent choose how many children to have, are generally choosing to have fewer, and in some countries considerably fewer than necessary to keep the population stable. In Japan population is declining despite the world’s lowest death rate for any sizeable country, and large parts of Europe would also show declining population without immigration, despite low death rates. (Russia, some other east European countries and Botswana are also showing declines, but in these cases a recent rise in death rates due in most cases to socio-economic disruption and in Botswana to AIDS is important.) Although all such projections have associated uncertainties, global population growth is expected to continue to slow (it has been slowing in percentage terms since the 1960s and in absolute terms since around 2000), and reverse sometime in the second half of this century. As Jim Cripwell implies, educating girls is key to speeding the reversal in those countries that still have rapid growth, but urbanisation itself has a large effect, and we couldn’t stop that if we wanted to – the challenge there (so far as GHG emissions are concerned) is to make sure that process happens in ways that do not increase per capita emissions.

    A metacomment: without wishing to cast aspersions on anyone contributing here, I’m generally suspicious of claims that population growth is the key problem we face; they are often associated with considerable ignorance about what is actually happening to global and regional populations (e.g. the common and simply incorrect statements that global population is growing exponentially), and with attempts to blame the poor for problems largely caused by the rich.

  176. Hank Roberts:

    Good read on PR tactics:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/you-cant-spin-mother-nature

  177. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 147:

    Maybe someone has commented, but if not:

    J. Scoot Armstrong is a Professor of Marketing are Warton Business School, Univ of Penn.

    http://www.jscottarmstrong.com/

    Keston Green is a Senior Research Fellow of the Business and Economic Forecasting Unit at Monash University, Australia

    http://www.kestencgreen.com/kgcv.pdf

    While I appreciate the two individuals have a history in terms of dealing with “scientific forecasting”, neither are climatologists, and I find it dubious to the extreme that they are somehow going to provide ironclad proof that, because of their methods, the climatologists have it all wrong.

    More important, IMHO, is the oft-remarked criticism re Why is it critics of Global Warming Theory and Prediction raealy have a background in Climatology, and further, why those that do tend to be out of date in terms of their current expertise to evaluate the work of people working in the field today.

    Mind you, I’m not tryingto say the paper is invalid – after all, I haven’t read it – but given the history of this sort of thing, can you understand why I would be skeptical?

    Regards,

  178. Hank Roberts:

    Type “Scott Armstrong” into the search box at the top of the page.
    And Gavin pointed a previous question to this: julesandjames.blogspot.com/2007/06/more-on-20000-bet.html

  179. Nahan:

    Is the sun getting brighter or is more sunlight coming through the atmosphere? Because it hurts my eyes these days and it didn’t use to do that.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article696586.ece

    Do you read Popular Science magazine there’s several Oil Company and U.S. Navy advertisements in that magazine. They recently had an “environmental” issue and the combined articles amount to saying that entrepreneurs and technological inventions will remedy all environmental disorders. Genetically engineered super trees to absorb more carbon, millions of giant pumps to bring cold water from the deep oceans to nullify hurricanes, and so on. What do you think about that?

  180. Timothy Chase:

    Re Scott Armstrong

    I did a kind of satirical summary of his “scientific forcasting” meta-methodology in post #25 of this thread based on the following paper:

    http://forecastingprinciples.com/Public_Policy/WarmAudit31.pdf

    The sentences are a bit clunky, but the summary is actually fairly accurate, I’m afraid…

  181. Ron Taylor:

    The following paragraph from Armstrong’s paper is about all one needs to see its foolishness. (1) He seems unable to distinguish between the laws of physics and personal opinion. (2) The final sentence dismisses conservation of energy.

    “We concluded that the forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. Research on forecasting has shown that experts’ predictions are not useful. Instead, policies should be based on forecasts from scientific forecasting methods. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts of global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.”

  182. Hank Roberts:

    Nathan writes:

    > Is the sun getting brighter or is more sunlight coming through the atmosphere?

    No.

    > Because it hurts my eyes these days and it didn’t use to do that.

    You’re getting older, Nathan. It happens.

  183. Steve Reynolds:

    J.S. McIntyre> More important, IMHO, is the oft-remarked criticism re Why is it critics of Global Warming Theory and Prediction raealy have a background in Climatology, and further, why those that do tend to be out of date in terms of their current expertise to evaluate the work of people working in the field today.

    One possibility has been pointed out by others before: those are the scientists that do not have to please current climatology grant decision makers.

  184. David B. Benson:

    Re #174: pete best — Weather reporters on the telly oversimplify the weather system, often blaiming the jetstream for this-n-that.

    Hadley Centre has a report predicting climate changes region by region for the year 2050. They predict that the Mediterranean countries are going to become hot, for example.

    So I think it fair to say that Britian’s and Norway’s heavy rains are more likely to occur with climate change just as the heat around the Mediterranean Sea is more likely to occur with climate change.

    Which approximately answers your question.

  185. Ike Solem:

    A few notes on the ‘personal responsibility’ theme that some comments relate to (such as Ken Coffman’s). We know that the warming climate is real, and that this is due to changes in atmospheric composition, which are due to fossil fuel use and deforestation, the split being about 80-20, respectively, with uncertainties.

    Changes in your personal lifetsyle that eliminate your own fossil fuel CO2 emmissions and that reverse deforestation (go plant a tree!) are very commendable, but are insufficient.

    If your local lakes and rivers were heavily polluted with raw sewage because your city had no water treatment plant, than ‘personal choices’ would do little to solve the problem. If you built a one-person sewage treatment plant for your own house, your lakes and rivers would still be polluted.

    Thus, here are some suggestions:

    1) Lobby your government to promote the release of high-technology renewable energy patents to the developing world – yes, intellectual property rights do matter.

    2) Lobby your government to eliminate foriegn oil imports and replace them with domestic, renewable energy supplies.

    3) Lobby your government to enact regulations that will phase out coal-burning plants over then next 10-20 years and to institute programs that will bring solar and wind generation online as replacements.

    3) If you have a retirement fund, lobby them to take their money out of fossil fuels and put in in renewables.

    4) Lobby your government to agree to international cooperation (treaties) that cap fossil fuel emissions, with progressively lower caps each year.

    5) Lobby your university to institute renewable energy research programs, which are woefully scarce in the United States.

    6) Lobby your state and local government to reform building codes to make energy conservation and renewable energy (solar water heaters) a priority.

    7) As others have noted, explain the problem to people at every opportunity and when you see the media do a bad job of covering the topic, be sure to let them know about it. Be sure to tell people about the solutions to the problems, not just about the problem.

    8) Tropical deforestation is the main non-fossil fuel use contribution to increased CO2 emissions. Much of this is due to export agriculture trade policies – so make it a priority to help out developing Third World countries who take steps to preserve their forests (how about free renewable energy technology?)

    The bottom line is that global cooperation is an absolute necessity when it comes to both monitoring the climate system and switching from fossil fuels to renewables.

  186. Timothy Chase:

    David B. Benson (#181) wrote:

    So I think it fair to say that Britian’s and Norway’s heavy rains are more likely to occur with climate change just as the heat around the Mediterranean Sea is more likely to occur with climate change.

    I have noticed the Gulf Stream moving Northeast recently. Part of what seems to be happening is that as the Arctic Ice Cap melts and the northern latitudes warm, the Gulf Stream goes farther north before it descends. If this is the case, then one would expect more evaporation and moisture to be carried north – and presumably in the direction of Great Britain. Additionally, I remember running across material that far north regions may actually experience more rain.

    If one looks at the paths of tropical storms, as they move north, they tend to drop more rain in that region. But by the time they get up there, I believe the wind tends to be much less of a problem. They are actually projecting something along these lines with hurricanes – which are coldcore by the time they reach that area.

    Incidently, the increased moisture in the subarctic region will be bad news as far as the thawing permafrost goes – as it tends to release more methane when conditions are wet. I believe the moisture encourages the growth of bacteria responsible for organic decay. Drier seasons tend not to be as great a problem.

  187. David B. Benson:

    Re #185: Ike Solem — Yes, by all means!

    I think it important to have a goal: I suggest 315 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the year 2050. I chose this goal by noting that this was the level in 1957-8 when modern continuous measurements began, and before the great run-up in fossil fuel consumption of the last 50 years. It also largely agrees with the highest atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of the Eemian.

    Assume that fossil fuels consumption and deforestration continue to put 7 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. There is an excess of about 300 billion tonnes of carbon in the atmospheric carbon dioxide. Then sequestering 15 billion tonnes of carbon per year will meet the goal by the year 2050.

    NETL hopes (expects?) to lower the cost of sequestration to $10 per tonne quite soon, i.e., 2008. If this is possible, then meeting the goal requires $150 billion per year. Which implies a carbon tax of $22 per tonne of fossil carbon, if everybody bears an equal portion of the burden…

  188. Stephen Berg:

    A nice refutation of TGGWS:

    http://www.amos.org.au/BAMOS_GGWS_new.pdf

  189. Steve Bloom:

    This already-unique reduction in Arctic sea ice levels is starting to look a little scary. It’s too early to say that this is the tipping point, but at the same time it’s probably what the tipping point will look like when it happens. See here for the complete satellite-era record. Note that these anomalies are developed via a slightly different metric than the one used by the NSIDC, but the differences are small. AFAICT NSIDC doesn’t produce similar graphics.

  190. Doug Lofland:

    Hello all,

    I have two questions;

    1. Has anyone noticed what has been happening in the Arctic this summer. I have been watching it daily on

    http://www.seaice.dk/

    and the sea ice extent seems to be shrinking way ahead of any other year I can find info for. In fact, I made a crude area measurement, and believe that in the last couple of days, the sea ice has shrunk to less than the end of season (early September) for the extreme years of 2005 and 2006. The melt season has at least another six weeks to go. Is this the albedo “flip” that Hansen talks about in his May 2007 paper?

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_etal_2.pdf

    The government “ice” sites seem very quiet right now. If I am reading the Seaice.dk site correctly, should this milestone not be the headlines?

    2. If there was a large discharge of melt water from Greenland during the melt season, how long would it take to affect sea levels to the south, like the SE USA and the Bahamas? I have read of the balancing of new ice forming and adding the mass back in the winter, but could there be temporary “bumps” in the sea level in places before that happens? Last year in Eleuthera (Bahamas)had some very high tides in September, that came up 15cm over anything seen before (over the bulkhead, flooding the grounds), and there were no nearby storms to account for it. This year we will photograph and measure the events, if they repeat. Similar things have happened in S. Florida, and some say it is really the ground sinking. That gave comfort.

    I am new to this site, and I want to say to everyone that you are doing a great job of trying to get the truth out there, whatever that may be. I appreciate the un-biased open attitude here.

  191. Joe:

    TGGWS on our Govt/Public broadcaster makes me kind of ashamed – the Howard Gov’t is one of the worst in the world on so many issues!

  192. cce:

    This is off topic, but I’m trying to identify the most up-to-date land/ocean temperature reconstructions for the northern hemisphere. The ones shown in AR4 are a bit redundant. As I understand it, Mann et al 2003 is the most up-to-date “Hockey Stick.” Moberg 2005 would be another good one to use. Are there any others that are robust, but at the same time, indepedent of one another? I’m interested in the last 1000 years (for the MWP), but I also want to concentrate on the last 400 years as it relates to Lean’s TSI data, so that would potentially open up more reconstructions. This is for a presentation I’m doing, and I don’t want squiggly line overload.

    [Response: You can find them all at NOAA’s paleoclimatology website, under ‘climate reconstructions’. Some of the reconstructions share common data, but others (e.g. Mann and Jones vs Briffa et al) use entirely or nearly independent data from each other. – mike]

  193. Alex Nichols:

    #174 #184
    I’m not aware that there’s evidence of a link between the precise track of the jet stream and global warming, but there does seem to be a link with intensity of rainfall and flooding events in Northern Europe over the past decade.

    There’s a paper coming out on Wednesday in “Nature” by Dr Peter Stott of the Hadley Centre. This deals with the links between extreme rainfall patterns in the northern mid-latitudes and anthropogenic global warming.

    The contents are currently embargoed, but it’s mentioned in this report in today’s “Independent”:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2793067.ece

  194. SteveF:

    Nir Shaviv has written a response to Lockwood’s paper. An excerpt:

    L & F assume (like many others before) that there should be a one-to-one correspondence between the temperature variations and solar activity. However, there are two important effects which should be considered and which arise because of the climate’s heat capacity (predominantly the oceans). First, the response to short term variations in the radiative forcings are damped. This explains why the temperature variations in sync with the 11-year solar cycle are small (but they are present at the level which one expects from the observed cloud cover variations… about 0.1°C). Second, there is a lag between the response and the forcing. Typically, one expects lags which depend on the time scale of the variations. The 11-year solar cycle gives rise to a 2 year lag in the 0.1°C observed temperature variations. Similarly, the response to the 20th century warming should be delayed by typically a decade. Climatologists know this very well (the IPCC report, for example, include simulation results for the many decades long response to a “step function” in the forcing, and climatologists talk about “global warming commitment” that even if the CO2 would stabilize, or even decrease, we should expect to see the “committed warming”, e.g., Science 307), but L & F are not climatologists, they are solar physicists, so they may not have grasped this point to the extent that they should have.

    Incidentally, this is not unlike a very well-known effect from everyday life. Even though the maximum radiation from the Sun is received near noon time, the maximum daily temperatures are obtained a few hours later in the afternoon. If we were to correlate the falling radiation between say noon and 3 pm (or between June 21 and July-August), to the increasing temperature over the same period, we would conclude that solar radiation causes cooling! This is exactly what L & F are doing. They are ignoring the fact that over the 20th century, solar activity increased tremendously (see the third figure below). So, even though the 2001 maximum is weaker than the 1990 maximum, we are still paying for the extra heat absorbed over several decades, from the middle of the 20th century.

    motls.blogspot.com/2007/07/nir-shaviv-why-is-lockwood-and-frohlich.html

    [Response: This is just grasping at straws. The response to a mid century rise will peak around 10 years afterwards and then slowly asymptote to a new level. There is no way that it will continue to accelarate 5 decades later. – gavin]

  195. Luke:

    Re 190 some examples of sea level distributions are shown at http://www.newsandevents.utoronto.ca/bin1/010221b.asp

  196. Reddog:

    Ok, its mid-July. Where are all the huricanes in the Atlantic? Some activity in the Pacific but no Katrinas
    on the look out. Its warm, so what’s wrong?
    RxR

    [Response: You do understand that July is historically fairly quiet, don’t you? The overwhelming majority of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones and Hurricanes have historically taken place between August and October. Only once we’re well into August will we start to get an idea of how active a season we’re likely to have. – mike]

  197. Barton Paul Levenson:

    [[A metacomment: without wishing to cast aspersions on anyone contributing here, I’m generally suspicious of claims that population growth is the key problem we face; they are often associated with considerable ignorance about what is actually happening to global and regional populations (e.g. the common and simply incorrect statements that global population is growing exponentially), and with attempts to blame the poor for problems largely caused by the rich.]]

    The exponent has been decreasing with time, but population very much is growing exponentially.

  198. Nick Gotts:

    Re #195 [The exponent has been decreasing with time, but population very much is growing exponentially.]

    All the definitions I can find on the web, aside from some which just give the entirely subjective “extremely fast growth” (for a sample just put “define:exponential growth” into Google) specify that in exponential growth the proportional rate of change remains the same. The proportional rate of global population growth rose fairly steadily for a long period up to around 1970 (Johansen, A. and D. Sornette. 2001. Finite-Time Singularity in the Dynamics of the World Population, Economic and Financial Indices. Physica A 294(3-4):465-502) – or a few years earlier according to UNFPA’s “State of World Population 2007″ (http://www.unfpa.org/upload/lib_pub_file/695_filename_sowp2007_eng.pdf), and has been declining fairly steadily since then. Since somewhat before 2000, the absolute annual surplus of births over deaths has also been declining, if UN estimatesa re accurate. By what definition is that time course of growth exponential?

  199. SteveF:

    Gavin said:

    “This is just grasping at straws. The response to a mid century rise will peak around 10 years afterwards and then slowly asymptote to a new level. There is no way that it will continue to accelarate 5 decades later.”

    I agree. Shaviv’s response strikes me as a particularly fine example of special pleading.

  200. J.C.H:

    http://tinyurl.com/2toqer

  201. Dan:

    re: 196. It is important to note that La Nina has not developed as strongly as expected so far, with essentially neutral conditions ENSO prevailing. So it would not be all that surprising to see the updated hurricane season outlooks (early August?) reduce the number of possible storms. A European forecast has already indicated fewer for this year. What is remarkable is how last year still ended up with an average number of storms in spite of the Sahel dust storms and the developing El Nino, which should have produced a well below-normal season. The fact that it turned out average is consistent with the idea that the baseline number of storms per year is increasing with the global warming trend. Of course one year does not make a trend so whatever happens this season is certainly a blip in the longer time trend.

  202. Hank Roberts:

    There’s _much_ of interest in the latest round of AGU Geophysical Research Abstracts online. I’m eagerly awaiting hearing more from those among the authors who also post here (and who, sometimes, make full text available). Please say more about your work when you can.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/current/gl/

  203. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 183: “One possibility has been pointed out by others before: those are the scientists that do not have to please current climatology grant decision makers.”

    Really?

    Could you possibly cite some real-world examples? I mean, verifiable real-world examples, just so we’re clear.

    While you’re doing that, I might point out there is this wonderful argument used by Creationists to explain why so many biologists agree with Evolution. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

    It goes like this: “They [the Biologists] don’t point out that Evolution is flawed/false because they do not want to upset the Evolution orthodoxy and thereby lose grant money for funding.”

    Interesting how similar these two “arguments” are.

    Regards.

  204. Nick Gotts:

    Re #200. J.C.H.’s URL is to an article in The Observer (UK Sunday paper) about Chris Rapley, a physicist, and the new head of the London Science Museum, who is quoted as follows:
    “What I am saying is that if we invest in ways to reduce the birthrate – by improving contraception, education and healthcare – we will stop the world’s population reaching its current estimated limit of between eight and 10 billion. That in turn will mean less carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere because there will be fewer people to drive cars and use electricity. The crucial point is that to achieve this goal you would only have to spend a fraction of the money that will be needed to bring about technological fixes, new nuclear power plants or renewable energy plants. However, everyone has decided, quietly, to ignore the issue.”
    Improving contraception, education and healthcare is indeed a worthy goal, but will have much less effect on GHG emissions than Rapley supposes, at least in the crucial next few decades, first because of the time lags involved, second because the bulk of the population growth it would prevent will otherwise occur in countries where per capita GHG emissions are low. Moreover, since reducing birthrates in these countries is likely to increase per capita GDP and hence energy use, the effect will be further diminished unless efforts to reduce GHG emissions relative to GDP are also made. These population-related measures are indeed necessary, both for their longer-term beneficial effects on GHG emissions and for many other reasons (and it is simply a falsehood, though one often repeated as though it was a daring, “politically incorrect” insight, that “everyone has decided, quietly, to ignore the issue”), but they will not solve the problem: massive cuts in net per capita GHG emissions in countries with low and even negative population growth are required over the next few decades to do that.

  205. John Mashey:

    re: #183 Steve Reynolds

    Since you brought this up:
    Can you give us your feel for the likelihood of the following two, and perhaps compare them to the similar situations in CFC-ozone hole, sulfates-acid rain, and tobacco-smoking:

    a) Scientists working for the government, or for universities, and who think AGW is real, say so primarily due to the skewing of the grant proposal mechanisms?

    b) Scientists working directly for fossil fuel companies, or paid by them indirectly via CEI, GMI, etc, and who say AGW is not real, say so primarily due to the source of their funding?

    In particular, which of a) or b) do you think is more likely?

  206. David B. Benson:

    William Collins, et al.
    The Physical Science behind Climate Change
    Scientific American, August 2007, 64–71.

    An excellent, highly readable, authoritative account by five of the particpants in WG I of the 2007 IPCC assesment. Recommended.

  207. Nigel Williams:

    Regardless of right or wrong I think that the normal response by humanity to increased stress is to breed faster. It happens before wars etc. Right now any human with an ear to what is going on in the world will have that same subcutaneous itch – that feeling that all is not well with the world. Ironically it may only be those with the intellect to understand and take responsibility for the consequences of our actions who may under-breed – the rest will go with the flow, as they always will.

    When push comes to shove its how many folk we have in our clan that is a major determinant of the likelihood of the survival of our genes. So look for a spike in population growth – regardless of the paucity of resources that may be available to feed the hungry mouths or the illogic of increasing populations in the face of the present set of global realities.

    These realities will sort the population issue (and hence comsumption and emissions) in due course.

  208. Steve Reynolds:

    205 John Mashey> “Since you brought this up:
    Can you give us your feel for the likelihood of the following two, and perhaps compare them to the similar situations in CFC-ozone hole, sulfates-acid rain, and tobacco-smoking:

    a) Scientists working for the government, or for universities, and who think AGW is real, say so primarily due to the skewing of the grant proposal mechanisms?

    b) Scientists working directly for fossil fuel companies, or paid by them indirectly via CEI, GMI, etc, and who say AGW is not real, say so primarily due to the source of their funding?”

    Interesting question. While I’m sure there are some exceptions on each side, I think both of your alternatives are pretty rare.

    My experience is that people like to do work that they believe in and think is important. People who already think AGW is real and important are attracted to the field and seek government funding.

    Most people who already think AGW is insignificant will find a different field. A few of the latter group may think discrediting AGW is important and accept funding that is looking for that answer. Some others will work for no monetary compensation to avoid conflicts.

  209. J.C.H:

    How true is this notion that a brilliant scientist who wants to do perfectly legitimate scientific research can’t get grant money unless he tips them off that his research will enhance the case for AGW?

    Thinking it happens that way sounds like a total con job to me.

    If a guy wants a grant to study Greenland ice, does he have to promise he’ll find it’s melting like ice on a gold tooth?

  210. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 208 –

    “People who already think AGW is real and important are attracted to the field and seek government funding.”

    This is the second time you’ve made an inference regarding motive for going into climate research, this time citing government funding (earlier the criticism was directed at those who are in charge of the grant process).

    Again, how about showing us some verifiable information that shows this is a trend? Serious stuff, charts, studies, statistics, that sort of thing, not personal opinions or my-say-so arguments?

    You see, the problem I have with your argument – aside from the lack of anything substantive to back it up – is the rather veiled suggestion/inference that research, in the end, is dictated by funding to the extent that scientific inquiry is stifled.

    Frankly, what you are claiming is counter-intuitive to what I understand to be the nature of scientific inquiry, the idea that, if anything, scientists like nothing better than to prove other scientists wrong. Yet you are essentially suggesting that scientific research is dictated by desired results.

    Now I can provide you with real world examples of where this sort of process is employed – the Discovery Institute comes readily to mind, for example, or the treatment of science by the current administration in the White House.

    In fact, I’m sure Jim Hansen of NASA, who’s work is counter to the political position of the current administration re Global Warming, who has even had a “minder” assigned to him at one point in an attempt to ameliorate his public comments, would find your claim fascinating, particularly as he and his people are employed by that same government. If your claim had any substance, I would expect that his funding would have been cut off!

    But there he is. So what do you think this says about government funding and how it dictates research? Isn’t this counter to your position? Not that the government doesn’t try – and succeed. But it is obvious they aren’t able to shut everyone up.

    So where’s the beef? Where is your evidence that scientific inquiry is dictated by a desire to make the people who pay your way happy, specifically in terms of the scientists examining AGW?

  211. Mike Donald:

    Hi chaps,

    Wanna make a fast buck? Looking through June 2007’s edition of Offshore Engineer I spotted the following from :-

    http://www.offshore-engineer.com/

    Michael J Economides is a professor at the Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston, and editor-in-chief of the Energy Tribune. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect OE’s position.

    QUOTE
    Third and here is where I come in. I have made my own calculations using the Steffan Boltzman Law and radiation and free convection heat transfer. Greenhouse gases do play a role, but the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from some 250 to 350 parts per million since the industrial revolution cannot come close to causing the presumably observed enhanced global warming. I am repeating here a standing offer I made to several publications and audiences without a single taker yet. I will personally pay $10,000 for just one paper in the peer reviewed heat transfer or thermodynamic literature that shows the causal relationship between increased carbon dioxide and enhanced global warming.

    I claim such a paper does not exist, in spite of the ‘scientific consensus’, but I am willing to be corrected and pay for it, no questions asked.
    UNQUOTE

    All together now – Arrhenius?

  212. Nick Gotts:

    RE #207 “Regardless of right or wrong I think that the normal response by humanity to increased stress is to breed faster. It happens before wars etc.”

    Nigel, can you give any source for the claim in the second sentence I’ve quoted? I haven’t found anything suggesting this in a quick online search. The US birth rate certainly rose during WWII, but only very slightly before the US entry into the war, and that was during recovery from the recession – i.e. at a time of reduced stress. I think European birth rates fell during WWII. Certainly, birth rates in rich countries rose during the post WWII boom, and birth rates fell after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the post-Soviet states, a time of profound stress. There’s some evidence that psychological stress reduces human fertility through physiological mechanisms, although this is difficult to determine as infertility is also a cause of stress. Certainly severe enough economic stress does reduce fertility, as women become infertile if they are not getting enough to eat. Even a lesser degree of economic stress may lead couples to postpone having children, hoping they will be better able to afford it later. Overall, the determinants of human birth rates are complex, and any simple statement such as the one you make in the first sentence, dubious. Why do you think it’s true?

  213. FurryCatHerder:

    Does anyone else find this message at the top of the page a bit ironic?

    Everything should now be back to normal but please let us know if there are any more anomalies.

    Uh, we’ve gotten more than a foot of rain in the last month. When are you going to make all this rain go away?

  214. Steve Reynolds:

    210 J.S. McIntyre> Frankly, what you are claiming is counter-intuitive to what I understand to be the nature of scientific inquiry, the idea that, if anything, scientists like nothing better than to prove other scientists wrong.

    I tend to agree with you about the motivations of scientists, but that says nothing about the motivations of funding bureaucrats that may not want to have someone prove their past decisions wrong.

    >Where is your evidence that scientific inquiry is dictated by a desire to make the people who pay your way happy, specifically in terms of the scientists examining AGW?

    You are misunderstanding my point. I’m not claiming any scientists (on any side) are insincere. I’m just saying that funding sources attract people that already tend to believe in the same things as the funding source.

    Most government funding bureaucrats probably sincerely believe that their previous decisions that AGW research is very important were correct. They willl tend to fund scientists that have similar opinions.

  215. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 214

    “You are misunderstanding my point. I’m not claiming any scientists (on any side) are insincere. I’m just saying that funding sources attract people that already tend to believe in the same things as the funding source.”

    Again, can you back this up? You’re offering an opinion-as-fact sans anything substantive to support it.

    My understanding of how science works is that belief in something is secondary to what you want to research. And that the results of your research trump whatever bias you hold, regardless of how uncomfortable said results are to your beliefs.

    Again, you are making a subtle but distinct argument that there is a desire to fit the research to the results.

    It is hard to take what you are saying any other way.

    “Most government funding bureaucrats probably sincerely believe that their previous decisions that AGW research is very important were correct. They willl tend to fund scientists that have similar opinions.”

    Again, funding comes down from the top. Your statement does nothing to address the very public and documented reality that the current administration has appointed people to positions that hold ideological positions that are counter to a support of AGW research. It follows then that THEY control who and what gets funded.

    Yet government scientists like Hansen still go on the record supporting addressing the problem of AGW. In other words, your position appears contrary to even a simple look at real-life examples.

    Regards,

  216. J.C.H:

    “You are misunderstanding my point. I’m not claiming any scientists (on any side) are insincere. I’m just saying that funding sources attract people that already tend to believe in the same things as the funding source. …”

    I think your claim is wishful thing at best, and most likely false.

  217. harry?:

    Can someone on the site answer a question for a simple man puzzled by it for some time. I mean I’ve got 2 science degrees, 20 years of energy conservation research work in a couple of universities and I cant figure out how to get a username and password for this site.
    But as I understand it, the global temperature rises for some reason, then feedback from increased water vapour, and forcing from CO2 released from the ocean sink cause a climate forcing raising the temperature still further in a positive feedback loop, higher temperature more CO2 more forcing…
    Since the ocean is a virtually infinite source of CO2 compared to other sinks and sources and since the records show that past temperature rises have always ended and returned to cooler periods with less CO2, what turns the positive feedback off ?. What mechanism is powerful enough to produce a negative forcing sufficient to overcome the positive forcing caused by all that extra CO2 ?.
    The by symmetry why is this mechanism not powerful enough on its own to account for the warming in the first place?

    Answer please

    [Response: You don’t need a user id to comment. However, to answer your question, a positive feedback in climate is not a runaway effect – as long as the feedback is smaller than the original perturbation then the process will converge – and you can work out that for CO2/T it is a long way from being unstable. The principle negative feedback that forces this is that LW radiation to space which goes like T^4. In ice age cycles, the reason for the warming and then cooling is not due to feedbacks at all. It is due to the forcing from the changes in the orbit (Milankovitch forcing). It generally gets colder again when the amount of radiation in the NH summer starts to drop due to the precessional cycle. – gavin]

  218. Steve Reynolds:

    J.S. McIntyre> Yet government scientists like Hansen still go on the record supporting addressing the problem of AGW. In other words, your position appears contrary to even a simple look at real-life examples.

    That seems to me to disprove your point, that “…the current administration has appointed people to positions that hold ideological positions that are counter to a support of AGW research. It follows then that THEY control who and what gets funded.”

    Bureaucracy, almost by definition, has a lot of inertia, so I do not expect it to be controlled by the current administration.

    BTW, I’m not claiming my opinions as fact; I was asked for my opinion back in 205. If you have any credible sources to dispute my opinion, I am interested in seeing them.

  219. T.D.W.:

    Regarding Nir Shaviv’s blog response:

    motls.blogspot.com/2007/07/nir-shaviv-why-is-lockwood-and-frohlich.html

    And your comment:

    [Response: This is just grasping at straws. The response to a mid century rise will peak around 10 years afterwards and then slowly asymptote to a new level. There is no way that it will continue to accelarate 5 decades later. – gavin]

    Can you elaborate on this? (My apologies, I’m somewhat of an amateur in the field.) I’m not sure I fully understand the problem with Shaviv’s argument here. How do we know that recent upwards trends in temperature aren’t a response to the relatively higher spikes of solar activity since 1960?

    [Response: You can think of a simple model of the climate as something with a large heat capacity (due to the ocean). Thus when you turn up the sun, it will start to warm, but it will take a while to plateau since it takes time to warm the ocean. If you plot the temperature as a function of time, you’ll see the maximum gradient of temperature (ie. the max warming) immediately after the sun gets turned up. Subsequently the rate of change slows (as T gets closer to the new equilibrium value), and it will asymptote after a couple of decades. What we have seen in the real world is that the faster rate of change has happened over the last couple of decades – not in 1960. Given that we know the sun has been stable over that time period, there is no way a simple forcing+delayed response argument fits the data. – gavin]

  220. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 218

    You C&P’d the following: J.S. McIntyre> Yet government scientists like Hansen still go on the record supporting addressing the problem of AGW. In other words, your position appears contrary to even a simple look at real-life examples.

    That seems to me to disprove your point, that “…the current administration has appointed people to positions that hold ideological positions that are counter to a support of AGW research. It follows then that THEY control who and what gets funded.”

    *chuckle*

    All I offered was an example that suggested the opinion you offered was without merit. Would you care to elaborate as to why this disproves a point I wasn’t making?

    “Bureaucracy, almost by definition, has a lot of inertia, so I do not expect it to be controlled by the current administration.”

    Really? Are you suggesting the appointees placed by the administration such are thus running rogue? Or that they are too incompetent to manage their own budgets? Curious, to put it mildly. Again, you offer nothing but what amounts to a question beg.

    “BTW, I’m not claiming my opinions as fact; I was asked for my opinion back in 205. If you have any credible sources to dispute my opinion, I am interested in seeing them.”

    Selective memory, eh? Actually, this goes back to #183. where you remarked:

    “One possibility has been pointed out by others before: those are the scientists that do not have to please current climatology grant decision makers.”

    You offered this claim up as a possibility, but you have yet to offer anything remotely resembling a substantive argument to support your remarks after being asked several times to do so. You have avoided addressing the point that this is a common claim, one we see repeated by the Creationist/ID camp, as I pointed out in #203. Bluntly speaking, you’re argument was fallacious, and your defense of your comments non-existent in any relevant sense.

    So I’ll ask you again: Can you offer anything of a factual, supported nature that would suggest there is anything credible to your remarks, or should they instead be treated with the same regard as similar defenses made by Creationists against evolution?

    Regards

  221. Philip Machanick:

    209 J.C.H Says:>
    I doubt very much that anyone has to write a grant proposal that says “I will definitely find evidence for AGW or I will give the money back”. Most grant mechanisms do not closely track results as a condition for releasing funds over the life of the grant. In Australia, for example, to get a new grant, you are judged on track record and the quality of the proposal. If you have published a lot of papers in good journals, that usually gives your maximum points on track record. If you win a grant and find the opposite to what you thought you’d find, you don’t lose that grant. The worst case, if the whole system is biased, is you get one grant, find the opposite to what you proposed, and the (for the conspiracy theoreticians) horrible biased reviewers trash your track record or research question next time around. If this was really happening at least a few climate scientists would have been awarded major grants, found contradictory results, then not been able to get further grants.

    The system in other developed countries is generally similar.

    I have never heard of this happening, so the conspiracy theoreticians either have to make stronger case by demonstrating that virtually all scientists who win competitive government-funded grants are unprincipled, or that there are examples no one has talked about yet.

    On the other side, tobacco used to be big funders of research, but they closed their own labs in the 1980s because all their findings were negative, and switched to funding shills and sowing doubt in the mass media. I don’t think climate science has quite reached this point yet. There are a few doubters with reasonable credentials, but the number is shrinking as the evidence mounts. I’ve been watching this field since the 1980s, and the general trend has been firming up of the evidence as error bars have shrunk, measurement has improved and bigger computer models have become feasible. Almost every scientist I spoke to 20 years ago couldn’t say there was a strong case for AGW: the errors were bigger than the predicted change.

    If greenies and lefties have taken over the science in this field to change the world, one would have to admire their persistence. Decades of hard slog before the results started to look convincing. Like most conspiracy theories, this one falls down on the implausibility of actually carrying it off, even if you don’t drill down to the science.

  222. Steve Reynolds:

    J.S. McIntyre> Would you care to elaborate as to why this disproves a point I wasn’t making?

    OK, I will take it in small steps for you:

    JS>“…the current administration has appointed people to positions that hold ideological positions that are counter to a support of AGW research. It follows then that THEY control who and what gets funded.”

    Yet Hansen has not been fired or defunded, so why not, if THEY control…

    JS> Are you suggesting the appointees placed by the administration such are thus running rogue?

    You clearly do not understand the concept of bureaucratic inertia. Think about how long most of the funding deciders have had their jobs.

    JS> Like most conspiracy theories…

    You and Philip have not been paying attention to what I have written. My point is that there is no conspiracy, just sincere people doing what comes naturally.

    JS> Creationists against evolution…

    I will stop at that insult. You have convinced me that further discussion with you is pointless.

  223. Chuck Booth:

    Re 214, 218, and others on funding of scientific research

    Government bureaucrats control the purse strings, that is, they decide how much money goes to the national scientific research funding agencies in their country, such as NSF and NIH in the U.S., NRC, NSERC, etc, in other countries). And sometimes they threaten to cut back funding if they don’t like the kinds of research being funded, or the results of that research (U.S. Senator William Proxmire was infamous for his Golden Fleece Awards). But, the actual allocation of funding in the form of research grants is done by panels of scientists who have proven track records of publishing in peer-reviewed journals. And, as Philip Machanick points out in #221, the key to winning a major federal grant is having a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals and having a good proposal – usually that means something that is likely to yield important new data or insights – emphasis on new; bandwagon (or “matrix-filling) science is rarely funded. It’s possible that a contrarian might have difficulty getting a grant, but that is usually because he/she does not have a proven record of publication to support his/her “novel” ideas. I don’t know what the funding rate is in other countries, but in the U.S., only about 25% of new proposals are funded by the NSF, and its not much better at the NIH, which means the funding process is very, very competetive – only the best proposals by productive scientists, as judged by the panel of eminent scientists and based on confidential peer-review, typically get funded – not a perfect process, but its the best there is. A scientist who has a strong record of publication and compelling new data to support an hypothesis that the current models of AGW are flawed will almost certainly be able to find funding somewhere other than from the fossil fuel industry. If they can’t get funded, it is usually because they can’t put together a convincing proposal.

  224. Chuck Booth:

    Re 214, 218 Steve Reynolds and alleged governmental funding biases

    “Think about how long most of the funding deciders have had their jobs.”

    OK, how long have they had their jobs? Any idea? Can you provide some data on this? (I’ll help you here: At the U.S. National Science Foundation, NSF, most program officers are drawn from universities, and serve only a couple of years -very few P.O.s are full-time NSF employees. And the scientists who serve on the review panels are also mostly from universities, and they also serve for only a couple of years, or a couple of grant cycles – they are not government employees. As a result, there is a continual turnover of the scientists who make the actual determinations of who gets the grants, and who does not; this helps prevent the kinds of biases you keep suggesting are prevalent.) Do you have any information that is contrary to this? If so, please share it with us.

    Here is the description of one of the NSF grant programs dealing with climate science:

    Division of Atmospheric Sciences
    Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics (CLD)
    PROGRAM GUIDELINES

    SYNOPSIS

    The goals of the Program are to: (i) advance knowledge about the processes that force and regulate the atmosphere’s synoptic and planetary circulation, weather and climate, and (ii) sustain the pool of human resources required for excellence in synoptic and global atmospheric dynamics and climate research.

    Research topics include theoretical, observational and modeling studies of the general circulation of the stratosphere and troposphere; synoptic scale weather phenomena; processes that govern climate; the causes of climate variability and change; methods to predict climate variations; extended weather and climate predictability; development and testing of parameterization of physical processes; numerical methods for use in large-scale weather and climate models; the assembly and analysis of instrumental and/or modeled weather and climate data; data assimilation studies; development and use of climate models to diagnose and simulate climate and its variations and change.

    Some Climate and Large Scale Dynamics (CLD) proposals address multidisciplinary problems and are often co-reviewed with other NSF programs, some of which, unlike CLD, use panels in addition to mail reviewers, and thus have target dates or deadlines. Proposed research that spans in substantive ways topics appropriate to programs in other divisions at NSF, e.g., ocean sciences, ecological sciences, hydrological sciences, geography and regional sciences, applied math and statistics, etc., must be submitted at times consistent with target dates or deadlines established by those programs. If it’s not clear whether your proposed research is appropriate for co-review, please contact CLD staff (listed above) or the potential co-reviewing program staff (including but not limited to)

    Eric Itsweire (Physical Oceanography), eitsweir@nsf.gov
    L. Douglas James (Hydrological Sciences), ldjames@nsf.gov
    Thomas Baerwald (Geography and Regional Sciences), tbaerwal@nsf.gov
    Tom Russell (Applied and Computational Math), trussell@nsf.gov
    Rong Chen (Statistics), rchen@nsf.gov
    Penny Firth (Ecological Biology), pfirth@nsf.gov

    http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11699

    Can you point out the institutionalized bias in favor of AGW in this program?
    If you go to the web page for this program (using the URL I provided above), you will find a link to abstracts of recent proposals funded under this program. I encourage you to look over the list, browse through some of the abstracts, and come back and tell us how the research is biased toward reinforcing current models of AGW, as opposed to generating important new information about climate systems operating on the earth.

  225. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 222

    JS>“…the current administration has appointed people to positions that hold ideological positions that are counter to a support of AGW research. It follows then that THEY control who and what gets funded.”

    Yet Hansen has not been fired or defunded, so why not, if THEY control…

    Um … you do realize you are begging the question again, a rhetorical fallacy. I brought up Hansen to point out your argument regarding the awarding of government grants was flawed. I am not speculating one way or the other why he keeps his job, only that he does.

    Your response does nothing to address the point that, were your argument true, Hanson and his colleagues would likely not have the funding they do, given the well-reported ideological slant the administration employs regarding science.

    Are you suggesting the appointees placed by the administration such are thus running rogue?

    You clearly do not understand the concept of bureaucratic inertia. Think about how long most of the funding deciders have had their jobs.>>

    Ah … but we’re not discussing “bureaucratic inertia”. We’re discussing your claim scientific research (re, the rewarding of grants) is unduly influenced:

    ==============
    183:
    J.S. McIntyre> More important, IMHO, is the oft-remarked criticism re Why is it critics of Global Warming Theory and Prediction rarely have a background in Climatology, and further, why those that do tend to be out of date in terms of their current expertise to evaluate the work of people working in the field today.

    You: One possibility has been pointed out by others before: those are the scientists that do not have to please current climatology grant decision makers.

    ==================

    Like most conspiracy theories…

    You and Philip have not been paying attention to what I have written. My point is that there is no conspiracy, just sincere people doing what comes naturally.>>

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t make the conspiracy theory remark, Phillip did, and you could at least have the good manners to acknowledge this instead of attributing your cherry-pick to me.

    Your point was, my good man, to infer there IS a subtle operation where the science is subject to the desired results, essentially making a similar argument to the one the Creationists are fond of using when they want to “prove” that there are lots of biologists who don’t believe in evolution but keep their mouths shut for fear of losing grant money.

    This is a rhetorical fallacy, a question beg, one you have yet to provide a single bit of substance to support. Instead, you play the “Everyone knows such-and-such” fallacy re . In short, the Question Beg:

    “begging the question, also called assuming the answer (e.g., We must institute the death penalty to discourage violent crime. But does the violent crime rate in fact fall when the death penalty is imposed? Or: The stock market fell yesterday because of a technical adjustment and profit-taking by investors — but is there any independent evidence for the causal role of “adjustment” and profit-taking; have we learned anything at all from this purported explanation?)”

    From The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” by Carl Sagan

    http://rucus.ru.ac.za/~urban/docs/baloney.html

    Creationists against evolution…

    I will stop at that insult. You have convinced me that further discussion with you is pointless.>>

    It is a valid point, not an insult. If you wish to run away from it, more power to you, but nothing has changed. You made an unsubstantiated remark. It was pointed out to you by more than one party why it was flawed, for a variety of reasons (Chuck Booth’s very detailed response to you perhaps the best of the bunch, far beyond my own humble ability to communicate). In response, you have done NOTHING to support your position, when one would think that, if your claim were truthful, it should be child’s play for you to support it. Instead, you’ve have put up a series of posts that, for all intents and purposes, tend to avoid actually addressing to initial points you made.

    And now you suddenly take umbrage at something I have remarked on more than once, as if I have said it for the first time, and declare you will no longer discuss the “issue”, as it is suddenly “pointless”.

    Speaks volumes.

    Regards,

  226. J.S. McIntyre:

    re: 206 –

    William Collins, et al.
    The Physical Science behind Climate Change
    Scientific American, August 2007, 64–71.

    An excellent, highly readable, authoritative account by five of the particpants in WG I of the 2007 IPCC assesment. Recommended.

    Comment by David B. Benson
    ================

    Thank you. I picked it up yesterday.

    As you correctly characterized, excellent read. Concise and to the point and, IMHO, very accessible.

    Regards,

    J.S. McIntyre

  227. Chuck Booth:

    Re 206, 226 Scientific American article on climate change physics

    The Scientific American web site has some supplemental information related to that article: http://www.sciam.com/ontheweb/ (scroll down the page about half way).

  228. Hank Roberts:

    Got soot?
    http://climateprogress.org/2007/07/24/more-of-nasas-james-hansen-on-old-king-coal/#more-1033
    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118470650996069354-buQPf_FL_nKirvopk__GzCmNOq8_20070818.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

    http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=761
    SCRIPPS OCEANOGRAPHY NEWS
    What Happens Once Global Warming is at Full Power?
    One of the parameters that allows Earth to sustain life is its ability to reflect solar radiation, but to this day there is no existing theory that explains how the planet’s “albedo,” or reflectivity, is achieved or maintained. …

  229. Chuck Booth:

    Re 227 Scientific American article on climate change physics

    The supplmental info I mentioned above includes a description of how the IPCC reports were developed – it is worth reading in light all the criticisms of the reports by non-climatologists:
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleId=C016D6A1-E7F2-99DF-3F52F5F87A54C813

  230. Hank Roberts:

    A request — discussion, or pointers to serious discussion (heck, this is the place I’d expect it) of Peter Ward’s new book “Under a Green Sky” please. Specifically — he writes about the gap between deep time study (up to about the beginning of the last round of “glacial cycles) and climatology (mostly since the end thereof). As I read his book he first sets out the evidence of what was happening at each of the past great extinctions, then points to a pattern I’ve not seen discussed here.

    Maybe it’s not modeled yet? That being, if I understood it, not a _halt_ to the thermohaline circulation but a rearrangement of it such that the surface water being sunk to the deeps is warm water low in oxygen, rather than very cold and oxygen-rich water.

    We’d still, I think, see the water flowing at depth — it wouldn’t be the rate it’d be the temperature and oxygen level.

    It’s early yet. But — Is anyone reading deep ocean oxygen levels? Modeling that possible change? I know there have been some changes in deep ocean temperatures reported (and this is way earlier than expected) — it was a Japanese transect across the Pacific, I’ll hunt for the cite, but it was not a small local effect, it was a small effect all the way across the deep Pacific.

    I may well have missed a major point of the book, got to reread it and read the notes. (Nitpicker caveat, so far I noticed three typos, I’ve sent them to Smithsonian Press, who welcomed the report; hoping they publish an errata page). Hoping for more on it.

  231. Philip Machanick:

    J.S. McIntyre #183 taking umbrage at mention of conspiracy theory … sorry if my bringing that up (not, by the way, responding directly to anything you said) offended you — but ignore that and I will happily ignore your heavy-handed attempt at explaining “begging the question” (assuming anyone who disagrees with you is semi-literature is a poor debating technique) — and let’s stick to the fundamental point. The funding mechanism does not prevent everyone who comes up with a contrary result from publishing (even if you are right and it would damage their chances of getting further funding).

    Cite the cases, please. Otherwise you are arguing that everyone who has ever accepted AGW funding is dishonest. If the evidence doesn’t stack up at least _some_ researchers who’ve accepted this category of funding must have done sound work refuting it. Even researchers working for tobacco companies came up with negative results for their clients (before they closed their labs in the 1980s).

  232. Lawrence McLean:

    I would be interested to know from any of the climate scientist if the particularly cold weather that has occurred in Peru, in Tropical Australia and in Argentina this winter fits with the climate change models or that there is an understood mechanism that explains it.

    My own naive understanding is that extremely hot weather in certain areas results in cool air being sucked up from higher latitudes resulting in unusually cooler conditions in other areas.

    Note: I am not interested in any comment from AGW skeptics. I have noticed that the weather events that I have mentioned has fueled those goons on other web logs.

  233. J.C.H:

    WSI, a private forecasting outfit, recently altered their hurricane forecast.

    William Gray wrote the following in the WSJ today:

    http://tinyurl.com/2gmrqt

  234. J.S. McIntyre:

    re 231

    Good morning, Phillip.

    No, did not take “umbrage” with your comment, only the other individual’s attribution of making it to me instead of you.

    Further, I believe you really need to go back over the posts I wrote. I not once EVER said anything that remotely suggested that people were prevented from publishing for any reason, or that funding was denied because of their “stance” on a subject. Perhaps you read it in something I quoted as opposed to my comments on the quote, which would explain your evident confusion.

    As for being “heavy-handed” re discussing question begging, I’m sorry, but that was the game Mr. Reynolds was playing, something I’ve seen a lot from Creationists and Intelligent Designers and now more and more from Climate Skeptics/Denialists, and I stand by my comments/criticisms regarding the tactic. It is disingenuous, to be polite, and deserves to be called out.

    Finally, please be a little more specific: where in the world did you somehow come to the conclusion that if someone disagrees with me they are being semi-literate? Quite bluntly, I assume no such thing and I think your attempts to provoke in that direction are ill-informed (though in keeping with your confusion regarding what I did or did not say) and impolite. Regarding this specific instance re Mr. Reynolds comments on funding and how it works (though, as I pointed out, he never actually provided anything credible to support those comments), I will offer that I find our culture in the U.S. is producing a population of people who seem to believe that rhetorical fallacies are legitimate to use when discussing issues, learned no doubt from the manner in which popular media’s talking heads tend to comport themselves during debates. If I came off as condescending, I apologize, for what it’s worth, for the manner, but not for the argument itself.

    I post here intermittently, and tend more often to read what others write as opposed to say much because, quite frankly, I am not formally educated in science (I am a middlin’ writer and artist), let alone climatology (and have been rather upfront about my lack in this regard) but instead have come to science more by means of studying on my own, spurred by the understanding that if I were going to be able to keep up with what my child was studying in high school I needed to “brush up” on the subjects accordingly. From that fresh exposure has come a renewed interest in the sciences, in particular the politicization of it, something I can address with some authority as opposed to the intricate workings of the science itself. So when I do comment, it is either offering an opinion, to ask for a question, or as in the case of Mr. Reynolds unfortunate remarks, to point out an obvious error based on my own experience in discussions with people who tend to use them.

    “Cite the cases, please. Otherwise you are arguing that everyone who has ever accepted AGW funding is dishonest.”

    Once again, I suggest you reread the chain of postings before you berate me for something I did not say. Start at 183, then read on to 203, 210, 215, 220, 225. You’ll see a pattern emerge that has nothing in common with your characterization of my position on this.

    Regards.

  235. harry?:

    Thank you Gavin for your kind reminder (in 217) that good ole Stefan-Boltzman is there stopping us running away with ourselves, at least in respect of GW and that Milutin Milankovitch is still considered to be playing his part.
    However there does seem to be some contradiction between your reply to me
    ” In ice age cycles, the reason for the warming and then cooling is not due to feedbacks at all. ”
    and this highlighted item on this site – What does the lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice cores tell us about global warming? :-
    ” So CO2 during ice ages should be thought of as a “feedback”, much like the feedback that results from putting a microphone too near to a loudspeaker.
    In other words, CO2 does not initiate the warmings, but acts as an amplifier once they are underway. From model estimates, CO2 (along with other greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O) causes about half of the full glacial-to-interglacial warming. ”
    Confusing all this is, Joda, is there a consistent hypothesis yet or is it changing all the time? ,
    I guess I’d better get out my slide rule and start doing some sums myself, if I haven’t lost too many brain cells in my retirement.

    [Response: Where’s the confusion? CO2 is not the *initial* reason for the warming (or cooling), but once it starts to react, it’s a feedback making it warmer or cooler (depending on whether it’s increasing or decreasing). – gavin]

  236. Hank Roberts:

    If you consider going to videos for the U-tube generation members who don’t read or write much — but may still vote — this could be boiled down into useful bits: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sun/dimm-nf.html

    (Found while looking at some history on Dr. Ramanathan’s work, see the Scripps news release I posted a couple of responses back — the man’s been doing amazing work for decades and his current work is big news)

  237. Jerry Steffens:

    Re: #235 The confusion appears to concern the use of the word “cause”. The problem with a feedback loop is that the concept of causation tends to be blurred: The proper answer to the question, “Do changes in CO2 cause temperature changes or do temperature changes cause changes in CO2″ is “yes”.

  238. Dan:

    William Gray is at it again re: hurricane trends. Again, via the Wall Street Journal (but of course not a peer-reviewed scientific journal). See http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118541193645178412.html

    Among other things, he subtly switches from discussing the trend of the total number of Atlantic hurricanes to the much smaller subset of US land-falling hurricanes in the fourth paragraph. Which is not the point.

  239. vk279:

    T/CO2/Sunspot graph Wiki:
    It is my understanding that the temperature rise from 1900-1940 is primarily due to solar forcing and the temperature decrease from 1940-1970 is due to air pollution changing Earth’s albedo.
    The graph shows solar activity rising from 1900-1980.

    (Ignoring pollution) It seems reasonable to me to expect to see solar forced warming occur in the 1940-1980 period that is similar in magnitude to the 1900-1940 warming.
    After the pollution starts decreasing at ~1970 I would expect to see solar forced temperature first return to 1940 levels and (perhaps) then increase by the ‘masked’ 1940-1980 amount.
    This would occur without a trend in solar activity after 1970 and, since the increase depends on gradually decreasing pollution levels and not a solar peak, temperature would not appear to be responding to a solar change and would not behave as gavin describes in #219.

  240. Vernon:

    RE: 239 Where did you find evidence that sulfides increased between 1940 – 1970 and that they have decreased since then. I have been unable to find any studies that support that position. I have seen it as conjecture supported by GCM models to explain the mid century cooling, but I have not seen where anyone has actually measured the aerosols to support this hypothesis with empirical evidence.

    [Response: I’m pretty sure that no-body is saying the aerosols have decreased globally since then. In the US and Europe they may have, but globally I doubt it. There is some evidence of a very slight decline since about 1990 (see recent Michenko et al paper in Science), but it’s very unclear that that would be large enough to have a notable global climate impact. The issue with the 1940-1970 period is not that aerosols were high then and then decreased, but that the rate of change was large enough to overwhelm the rate of increase of GHGs. Subsequently, GHGs have continued to increase at a faster rate, but aerosols have not kept up – mainly because GHGs accumulate, while aerosols concentrations are a very strong function of present emissions. – gavin]

  241. tidal:

    >

    Bill Chameides, at Environmental Defense blogs, has a decent rebuttal to the Gray WSJ piece – “Gray’s Hypothesis Doesn’t Hold Water” – here http://environmentaldefenseblogs.org/climate411/2007/07/26/grays_hypothesis/

    By the way, the Environmental Defense “Climate 411″ blogs have a rich series of posts… and there is also and outstanding Webcast on the basic science of Climate Change they made to Tennessee teachers – here: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/climatechangeworkshop/part1/SupportingFiles/ViewerWM7.html
    It does an excellent job of walking people through the basics, and works through many of the main denier points on route. I would suggest that the RealClimate folks take a look and consider this for addition to the “Start Here” post. Some people do not relate well to absorbing these concepts by being told to “read this report”. For those that prefer a different medium, this is excellent.

  242. Hank Roberts:

    Vernon in 240 writes:
    > RE: 239 Where did you find evidence that sulfides … I have been unable to find any studies that support that position.

    You’re looking for the wrong word, Vernon. You won’t find what you’re looking for.
    Tell people _where_ and _how_ you are searching. Tell people what you find.

    I’m assuming you searched for what you said. You’d find nothing. So try this:

    — Look for “sulfates”
    — Read a few dozen of Google Scholar’s references here (click “web search” if you can’t get the papers, or ask your local library to get you copies of the journals — any reference librarian will be very helpful to you and will teach you how to find these things).
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sourceid=Mozilla-search&q=global+dimming

    Also — see the Search box at the top of the main RC page. Try “sulfates” or “dimming” there.

  243. Vernon:

    Lets try this again. Lockwood made some very basic mistakes which even I as a non-climatologist can recognize and I am surprised that no climatologist have noticed it here.

    Basically I see two problems with his paper, the first is that he does not address the latency between driver and effect. For example, the highest intensity of sunlight is at noon but the highest temperature is a few hours later in the afternoon. In the NH June is the month when the most sunlight is received but the hottest days generally do not happen till August. The same is true for same is said for CO2, if were to stop producing CO2 now, what is going to happen in the next 50 years would still happen due to the lag between cause and effect. Lockwood did not take this into account and for this reason most of his argument is flawed.

    Second, even though he says that there are no upwards trends for solar influences, his own charts show that this is not true and some things have tended upwards.

    For these reasons, it is not possible based on this paper to say that there is no solar effect.

    [Response: This is truly clutching at straws. The lags – which everyone acknowledges exist – do not cause an increasing trend with time. No measure of solar activity is higher now than in ~1960. How can a ramp up almost 50 years ago cause an acceleration in warming in the last decades? -gavin]

  244. Vernon:

    Well Gavin, I cannot say I really know, but how is CO2 changes now going to cause problems 100 years from now? Your saying it applies to CO2 but not other drivers?

    [Response: There are at least three time constants that matter: the first is the thermal lag of the oceans (which we mentioned previously – a decade or two), second is the lag from changes in emissions to changes in concentrations – that varies for each component – very short (weeks) for aerosols, a decade for CH4, and from 5 years to 300 years (and longer) for CO2, and finally, there is the lag in human infrastructure. Things being built now (power stations, urban sprawl, highways) are going to be in place for decades. That means that decisions made today will affect emissions for decades, which will still be leading to changes in CO2 in 50 years time which will still be affecting climate in 2100. It is the lifetime for atmospheric perturbations for CO2 that mark it out for special treatment. – gavin]

  245. Timothy Chase:

    Vernon (#244) wrote:

    Well Gavin, I cannot say I really know, but how is CO2 changes now going to cause problems 100 years from now? Your saying it applies to CO2 but not other drivers?

    Gavin wasn’t speaking of increasing temperatures, but of an acceleration in the rate at which temperatures. It is the third and last sentence of what you were responding to:

    How can a ramp up almost 50 years ago cause an acceleration in warming in the last decades?

    We saw the acceleration in the rate at which temperatures increased begin around 1979 and the rate of acceleration actually increase after that. If I understand things correctly the lag for the sun would be at most a decade due to the feedback from water vapor.

  246. John Mashey:

    re: #242 Vernon: climate science includes chemistry.

    For at least part of the story on this:
    1) Start with emissions of *sulfur dioxide* , by reading the following paper, especially looking at Figure 3 on page 12 (Global sulfur dioxide emissions by meta-region) of Smith, Andres, Conception, Lurz,
    “Historical Sulfur Dioxide Emissions 1850-2000: methods and results”,
    PNNL-14537, 2004.
    http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/15020102-hnrUiC/15020102.PDF
    (or several other places). Alternatively, see
    David Stern, “Global sulfur emissions from 1850 to 2000″,
    http://www.rpi.edu/~sternd/Chemosphere2005.pdf, which slices the data in some additional ways.

    You can see a steep rise from mid-1940s to the peak ~1975, as Europe and N. America turned sharply down.

    Further chemical processes are described in:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur_dioxide
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfate

    So, the SO2 further oxidized into H2SO4, i.e., *sulfate* (or sulphate if British) and eventually falls as acid rain.

    Unlike big volcanic eruptions, which blast SO2 into the stratosphere, where it spreads around for a few years before falling out, anthropogenic SO2 stays in the troposphere, in more localized plumes, and falls out fairly rapidly.

    Put another way, you might expect to see anthropogenic sulfates in Greenland or the Himalayan glacier ice-cores, but not much in Antarctica … and that’s what is seen. (Big eruptions show up somewhat everywhere).

    The simplest accessible chart I’ve seen of this is from Ruddiman’s “Plows, Plagues & Petroleum” book, page 157, Figure 15.2, which shows the mid-1970s spike in Greenland. For something more detailed, see Legrand, “Ice-core records of atmospheric sulfur”, 1997, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=1691926&blobtype=pdf

    This is not hard to find, but as Hank says, hunting *sulfides* won’t help.

  247. Timothy Chase:

    PS to #245
    (response to Vernon regarding solar output versus greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide)

    If solar output had remained constant at 1960 levels, the temperatures would have plateaued at 1970. Of course if you reach for water vapor as a means of creating a lag between increased solar activity, you are already buying into the greenhouse effect with respect to water vapor – and your denial of the importance of carbon dioxide becomes incoherent.

    Solar output has actually been falling since, therefore if solar activity were the driver of increasing temperatures, those temperatures would actually have been falling after 1970. And this is even giving you the benefit of a greenhouse effect due to water vapor.

    QED Solar output is not responsible for the current rise in temperatures.

    Solar activity was the main driver of temperature increases in the earlier half of this century, although it wasn’t the only driver, and it has not been the primary driver since 1970. But the rate at which temperatures increased took off around 1979, and that rate has actually increased since then. We are continuing to emit carbon dioxide the rate at which we have been emiting carbon dioxide has actually increased. The temperatures have followed. And we continue to emit more carbon dioxide, much of which will remain in the atmosphere for centuries to come.

    *

    This is the evidence in terms of the trends, but it is not the strongest evidence. What we are talking about are fundamental principles of physics. The absorption and re-emission of longwave radiation by CO2. This knowledge is grounded in quantum mechanics, which has been tested to a level of accuracy unmatched by any other branch of human knowledge.

    Consider:

    1. We understand why CO2 has the properties which make it a greenhouse gas.
    2. We have been aware of these properties as the result of lab experiments over a century ago.
    3. We have performed spectral analysis and know the specific parts of the spectrum in which it act.
    4. We know why it acts in those parts of the spectrum as the result of its structure and excitations.

    Admittedly, the link between the specific trends for a given year or decade are less clear than the fundamental physics – this is due to the complexity of the climate system. And the exact magnitude of the effect isn’t something that automatically follows from the fundamental physics – it requires a knowledge of how that climate system is structured. But we know that it should be there and that it will be roughly the magnitude that we see.

    The direct effect of carbon dioxide in the neighborhood of 1.2 degrees Celsius is as predictable as the time that it takes for an object to fall when you release it from your hand. The indirect effects due to various feedbacks adds another 1.6 degrees Celsius. Given the complexity of the climate system, this is not something that we know by means of fundamental physics, but it is some we are able to demonstrate by looking at the paleoclimate record.

    *

    This isn’t a question of what we may not know. We know. This isn’t a question of winning or losing an argument. If truth is your standard, that has already been decided. This is a question of everyone losing big time in the real world for centuries to come.

  248. Vernon:

    RE: 246 per the IPCC water (clouds), sulphates, black carbon, orgianic carbon, biomass burning, mineral dust, aviation, land use, solar all at the low to the very low level of scientific understanding. Then saying we know greenhouse gases real well and since we don’t know the rest we will assume that green house gases are driving everything and we will assume that the climate is very sensitive changes in greenhouse gases since we know squat about the rest of the drivers.

    UC Irvine did a study that shows that 35-94 percent of all warming and melting in the Arctic is due to black carbon and other aerosols. If the high end is correct, then CO2 next to nothing to do with Arctic warming, sea ice melting, and Greenland. It is only one study, but to say we know one thing and from that we can guess, because we scientifically have low to very low knowledge of the effect of all most all the other climate drivers seems very disingenuous.

    No one, per the IPCC knows a signification amount about how the sun interacts to affect the climate. Lockwood’s ignoring the many possible solar drivers that are just starting to come to light does not prove anything. Saying that we know that CO2 remains in the atmosphere for x amount of time and since we do not know the latency for solar drivers, we can ignore it is also disingenuous.

    That is why I say that Lockwood has problems and I am surprised that climatologist would not stand up and say, nice though but you did not discuss x,y, and z.

    It is like blowing off the fact that the proxies show that we are not warming now have not been for a while even though the instrumented readings say we are. Part of the problem is that what is claimed about now is based on the proxies and if they are not right now, why were they right then?

    Anyway, Timothy, that is why I say so what if we know one piece of the puzzle when we don’t know the other pieces and we are only, and this includes all GCM’s making a best guess based on fit for all the drivers that we do not understand. If we actually knew all the drivers then we would not be having this discussion, but we don’t, so we are.

    Wonder if this post is also going to be ignored.

  249. Jeremy Dawes:

    Having read this site avidly for the last few months, one thought that struck me is how well the denialists have put AGW into the “orthodoxy” camp and the placed themselves into the heretic camp. The denialists then use this to infer that the orthodox camp do not want to listen to the “truth” about the lack of AGW, and build all their arguements from there.

    If you look at the way the majority of us behave, the orthodoxy is actually that AGW does not exist. I don’t think I am much different from an average inhabitant of the western world. I drive a car, use fossil fuel to heat my house, fly to foreign holidays, etc. If AGW was the othrodox view we would all put substantial efforts into removing fossil fuel use from the way we live our lives (rather than just talk about it).

    PS provoked by the blatent misinformation in TGGWS, I did the research and am now slowly starting to make some of changes necessary, but it is a painful process.

  250. Timothy Chase:

    RE #248

    Vernon, please permit me to explain to you some relatively basic principles and then identify some of their applications…

    1. An exacting knowledge of the underlying physical principles does not require an exacting knowledge of how those principles apply to the specific spatial and temporal distribution of the effects as they exist within the climate system.

    2. The uncertainty regarding the specific forcings is principally almost entirely one of spatial distribution, their distribution with regard to latitude, longitude and altitude. It has no effect upon our understanding of the physical principles that are involved.

    3. The existence of other causal factors and uncertainty with regard to the extent to which they are “responsible” for a given effect generally has a negligible effect upon our understanding of the effects of other causal factors.

    4. Even if we are fairly uncertain of the exact consequences of various causal factors within a given year, we can state with near certainty the general direction and near magnitude of the trajectory that the climate system will take as the result of these factors within forty years.

    5. The justification for a given conclusion which is justified by multiple independent lines of investigation is generally far greater than the justification which it would receive from any one line of investigation in isolation from the rest.

    6. Bald assertions on the part of someone who refuses to understand a given scientific discipline or who is unwilling to name his sources in no way undermines the evidence and justification which exists for this branch of human knowledge.

    7. The refusal of one or of a great many to understand any or all of this in no way reflects upon the current state of our scientific knowledge of the phenomea which is shaping our climate.

    8. An exacting knowledge of the human devastation in terms of its exact magnitude and spatial and temporal distribution is in no way required in order to know its order magnitude and near timing.

    9. Identification precedes evaluation.

    10. Reality is, and is what it is independently of anyone’s choice to recognize it or refusal to do so.

    Given your time here, by an rational standard you should be aware of these principles. Assuming that you are willing to grasp them now that they have been explicitly stated, I will explain to you a few of their applications.

    1. Even if we were unaware of whether increased solar activity from before 1960 were partly responsible for the trends we have seen since 1979, this would detract very little from our understanding of the role of carbon dioxide. To give you just one of the many reasons why, the only scientifically credible reason why would be amplification by means of one of the known mechanisms of such amplification, and this would in all likelihood be through water vapor feedback.

    2. However, as I have already pointed out, if you accept the role of water vapor feedback, you have no logical basis for denying the role of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse effect. Our knowledge of the efficacy of both is based upon our understanding of how they interact with infrared radiation which is grounded in some of the most exacting human knowledge which exists.

    3. Even were increased past solar activity partly responsible for the current temperature trends, this would in all likelihood mean that greenhouse gases are more effective, not less – since it would suggest that they were able to amplify the effects of this past radiation into the present. You find this absurd? The absurdity lies not in the basic causal efficacy of greenhouse gases but in the assertion that the causal efficacy of solar activity from before 1960 extends into the present. The only reason why honest scientists continue to perform investigations of this is a matter of public relations to counter propaganda.

    4. Lets consider for a moment the instance of black carbon in the Arctic. What is the reason for our uncertainty regarding the extent to which the melting of the ice has been due to black carbon? We do not know the exact distribution of this black carbon – and the indirect effects of it upon the ice. But we do know that carbon dioxide has been raising temperatures in the arctic, rendering such ice more vulnerable to whatever effects might push it over the edge – including black carbon.

    5. The effects of black carbon are a mutually exclusive alternative to the greenhouse effect that is due to carbon dioxide – but something which works in conjunction with the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. When that study which you refer to suggests that black carbon may have been responsible so far for perhaps the majority of ice which has melted so far melting this simply means that if you were to remove the black carbon so much ice might not have melted so far. But by the same token, remove the increased temperature due to the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and the very same results could and perhaps in all likelihood would occur.

    6. Regardless of the specific short-term causation, given the paleoclimate record, we know what the long-term effects of carbon dioxide are – the evidence which we have regarding its short-term efficacy simply adds to this justification we have for such knowledge, and what little uncertainty might exist regarding the short-term efficacy in no way diminishes our knowledg of these long-term effects.

    7. Remove the global dimming effects of aerosols from a few decades ago and the black carbon and it is quite likely that Arctic summers would be free of sea-ice altogether. Remove the black carbon which is present from the past several decades and from now and the future and in all likelihood the Arctic would be free of sea-ice would still be gone a few decades from now as the result of increased levels of carbon dioxide if we were to continue on our current course. The same would apply to the role of an entirely hypothetical increased solar activity were this currently a factor.

    8. Even when we assign a forcing to a particular factor, the uncertainty of the forcing is not due to our understanding of the physical properties of that substance under laboratory conditions but of the distribution of the substance within the column.

    9. While we are uncertain to some degree regarding the extent to which carbon dioxide is responsible for the trend that a particular decade takes, this has little to say regarding our knowledge of the trend that will result in four decades. And what knowledge we claim of its effects four decades from now is – given the effects of the various positive feedbacks – almost with near certainty conservative in its estimation.

    10. The supposed undesirability of having acknowledging the role of carbon dioxide in climate change cannot be decided without knowing what that aspect is. You simply cannot evaluate it – and the belief that such an acknowledgement is undesirable is incoherent. If anything, it simply means that you are blindly following along a path to a destination which you are ignorant of. But the failure to take the right course will have the very same effects upon countless individuals that it would if one were to deliberately choose the course that you take with full knowledge of the results of consequences of any given course.

    Now if you look closely, I believe you will see that I have responded to you quite well. However, I hold out little hope as you appear not to have done this any of the times people have responded to you in the past.

  251. Timothy Chase:

    Correction to post #250

    The first sentence of #5 in the second set should read, “The effects of black carbon are not a mutually exclusive alternative to the greenhouse effect that is due to carbon dioxide – but something which works in conjunction with the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide.”

  252. Hank Roberts:

    Vernon, on black carbon, you might reread these:
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=458#comment-36826
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=458#comment-36832

  253. Vernon:

    Timothy, if I understand the grist of your argument, basically you’re saying that we do not have to know everything to know enough. While I sort of agree with this, the problem I addressed is not what your answered.

    You have a great circular argument going. We know CO2 is having this effect because of the proxy evidence. We know the rate of change is unprecedented due to the proxy evidence. The climate must be as sensitive as we propose because of the proxy evidence. However, the proxy evidence shows that we are currently cooling. This does not agree with the instrumented readings. 1/6th off all US stations have been surveyed by surfacestations and just from the pictures it is easy to see that most stations are not installed with WMO guidelines, that most listed as rural but are actually in urbanized environments. You have to pick which is right the handle or the blade of the hockey stick because they do not agree with each other.

    You a supposing that black carbon and carbon dioxide are not mutually exclusive due to a yet unknown aerosol that we do not understand (at least that is what Gavin indicated.) Why not just admit that with out knowing the other drivers; there is no way to determine the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 increases? The UC Irvine study suggests that sensitivity is not as high as presupposed in the GCMs.

    The whole problem that is being expressed is that the climate is sensitive to change and that a little change will cause massive results. There is no proof of this, any where.

    But back to my original argument, that we do not know the latency associated with many of the climate drivers and for Lockwood to not take the latency into account is a serious blow to his study. I still do not understand why the climatologist failed to point that out or why the peer review would ignore it. Secondly, we do not know enough about the mechanisms, per the IPCC, to make any conclusion on the impact of a given driver that is not a greenhouse gas. Please note I do not count clouds as a greenhouse gas even though they are made of H2O and are a driver unlike non-cloud water vapor.

  254. Nick Gotts:

    Re #253 Vernon, can you give sources for your repeated statements that proxies show current cooling? I’ve used the search facility on the site to look for “proxies”, and you appear to have been asked what your sources for this belief are several times, but so far as I can discover, have never responded. Why not?

  255. tamino:

    Re: #253 (Vernon)

    However, the proxy evidence shows that we are currently cooling.

    What proxy evidence would that be? References, please.

  256. Vernon:

    Well, there is Briffa, et al (2206) if you find a copy where he does not truncate his graphs. Moberg et al, (2005), Heqerl et al (2006) also show that the proxy and instrumented are diverging.

    Maybe I did not respond because if I knew why they are not matching the instrumented readings, then I would not be asking for some one to explain it to me. That I am not hearing here.

  257. Hank Roberts:

    > Briffa, et al (2206) if you find a copy where he does not truncate his graphs.
    Vernon, don’t cut’n’paste these fragments from the non-science PR sites, give an actual citation to a real publication.
    Give a proper source or a link. One of the hallmarks of the PR sites is these fragmentary and often incorrect fake cites.

  258. Nick Gotts:

    Re #256
    A bit more information please, just to be certain we’re all talking about the same papers.

    Google Scholar doesn’t return anything for “Heqerl 2006″, so I guess you mean:
    Gabriele C. Hegerl, Thomas J. Crowley, William T. Hyde and David J. Frame “Climate sensitivity constrained by temperature reconstructions over the past seven centuries”
    Nature 440, 1029-1032 (20 April 2006)

    Google Scholar doesn’t seem to list anything that would be described as “Briffa et al 2006″ under normal conventions. Do you mean Osborn, T.J. and Briffa, K.R. “The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years”
    Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 841 – 844?
    Can you point us to “a copy where he does not truncate his graphs” – and indeed, to one where he does, for comparison?

    Moberg et al (2005) would presumably be:
    Moberg A, Sonechkin DM, Holmgren K, Datsenko NM, Karlén W, Lauritzen SE. “Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data.” Nature. 2005 Feb 10;433(7026):587-8.

  259. Hank Roberts:

    Vernon, the only place ‘Briffa” and “truncated” appear is in the climateaudit thread where McIntyre is accusing the IPCC of something.
    Since you don’t yet know what Briffa article he’s upset about, so you can be upset about it, you could ask him for the full cite, and then look for it with Google Scholar or ask any reference librarian to get you a copy. Once you’ve read it, that will make it easier for you to quote it and cite it and ask questions about it.

  260. Timothy Chase:

    Vernon (#253) wrote:

    You have a great circular argument going. We know CO2 is having this effect because of the proxy evidence. We know the rate of change is unprecedented due to the proxy evidence. The climate must be as sensitive as we propose because of the proxy evidence.

    I notice that you are refering to the temperature measurements at the stations as “proxy evidence.” This is incorrect as they are direct measurements. Additionally there is nothing particularly circular about the data that we are using – and I indicated as much in point 5 of the first set when I stated:

    5. The justification for a given conclusion which is justified by multiple independent lines of investigation is generally far greater than the justification which it would receive from any one line of investigation in isolation from the rest.

    … as well as touching on it in at a number of different points.

    However, permit me to expand.

    1. We have atmospheric measurements in the lower troposphere, the upper troposphere and the stratosphere.
    2. These are measurements being taken by planes and satellites. The troposphere is warming – just as we would expect.
    3. The stratosphere is cooling – just as is predicted by the anthropogenic global warming theory. (Incidently, the latter of these is something which cannot be explained by any theory based upon solar variability.)
    4. We are taking measurements of temperatures in the oceans both at the surface and at various depths. These are showing warming as far down as 1500 meters.
    5. We are performing measurements of sea level – which has been rising as the result of thermal expansion. Sea level is however a proxy for temperature.
    6. We are performing gravitometric measurements of Greenland and Antarctica which are showing net ice loss in both cases. This is however a proxy. But I would suspect that it is a fairly good proxy as ice will tend not to melt unless it gets warm.
    7. We can witness sea-ice loss in the Arctic which is dramatically accelerating. Proxy. This is partly the result of pollution in the form of black carbon. However, black carbon would not have the accelerating effect that we are witnessing.
    8. We are seeing the acceleration of glaciers in both Greenland and Antarctica, particularly within the last few years. Greenland is no doubt affected by black carbon, but Antarctica is much more isolated.
    9. We are witnessing the rise of the troposphere. This is a proxy, but another good one.
    10. We are witnessing the poleward migration of species. Proxy.
    11. We are witnessing the increased intensity of hurricanes due to the rise in sea temperatures. Proxy.
    12. We are witnessing the accelerating decline of glaciers throughout the world except in a few rare cases. Proxy.
    14. We are measuring the rise in temperatures at greater depths in the permafrost. Proxy.
    15. We are seeing the rapid expansion in the last few years of thermokarst lakes. Proxy.
    16. We are witnessing changes in ocean circulation. Proxy.
    17 We are seeing the disintegration of permafrost coastlines in the arctic. Proxy.
    18. We are witnessing changes in the altitude of the stratosphere. Proxy.
    19. We are getting temperature measurements from countries throughout the world which show the same trends.
    20. When we perform measurements using only rural stations, we see almost identical trends.
    21. We are witnessing changes in wind circulation patterns around Antarctica. Proxy.

    Now with regard to climate sensitivity, it is independent of anthropogenic aerosols as it is based upon paleoclimate records, 400,000 years worth – which I mentioned in point 5 of the second set. (I did say to read carefully, didn’t I?) This is of course something that we know only by means of proxies, but they are a wide variety of proxies.

    Given the residence time of aerosols, we would have to put in larger and larger amounts of them to keep up with the effects of carbon dioxide with its far greater residence time. We know the forcing due to various gases quite independently of any proxies. This is in very large part the result of extensive, systematic measurements performed in the laboratories and the distribution of the gases in the atmosphere – which are known as the result of other systematic studies. Oh, and aerosols do not result in a lag – they mask, but they do not work as by means of feedback. As for your alternative to the greenhouse gas of water vapor for creating a lag without buying into greenhouse gas theory, I am still waiting. And at no point did I count clouds as a greenhouse gas.

    Finally, three last points:

    1. When you refer to the UC Irvine study as suggesting that climate sensitivity is not as high as we think, you are mistaken: they are worried about what temperatures will do as we accumulate more carbon dioxide and aerosols become less and less effective at masking the effects of carbon dioxide. However, this is in the latter part of the paper, and as such it comes as no surprise that you didn’t read that far.
    2. Global Climate Models do not presuppose a given climate sensitivity. As they are based upon the principles of physics and systematic laboratory experiments – as I indicated above. But I guess it comes as no surprise that you continue to think that they are based upon a climate sensitivity and that this climate sensitivity is something that is based upon surface station measurements – despite the fact that Gavin and others have told you otherwise on numerous occasions.
    3. We are not experiencing cooling. The trend since 1998 has been accelerating. 2005 I believe nearly matched it despite the fact that 1998 had an especially strong El Nino and 2005 did not – and was a cool solar year. You would be able to see this if you had payed any attention whatsoever when the fundamentals of statistical analysis had been explained on numerous other occasions.

    I believe I have addressed every one of your points – in excruciating detail.

  261. Vernon:

    RE:260 Since I do not think this will be posted.

    The recent studies of the Antarctic show that ice mass is building and that the Antarctic is having a negative impact on sea level rise.

    Since the discovery that the floats were giving faulty readings, the sea temp is actually static or down.

    The proxy temperature sources show that temperatures have not been rising and according to some, have dropped at the end of the 20th century.

    The data collected by the surface stations appears to be in doubt because the stations are not sited IAW WMO standards.

    The satellite data keeps being modified – one example is the sea level trend which the satellite data shows no increasing trend but one is added from the tidal gauge measurements for example.

    The statement that glaciers are melting down to unseen levels from the past but as they melt reveal past human activities – mines in the Alps anyone?

    The fact remains that since the temperature proxies do not show the current warming, then sciences understanding of using those proxies is faulty. If the proxies are wrong, then where is the supporting data that shows the warming now is has never happened before.

    If CO2 increases always cause warming then how do you explain the cooling from the 1940-1970s?

    Now Timothy, I am not going to argue a model that is designed on ‘know physical processes’ when most of the science is listed by IPCC as low to very low scientific understanding and what is put into the model for those unknowns is a best fit for past (based on proxy temperatures that are now in dispute since they do not match the instrumented readings).

    The sad fact is that the error range on the models out put is so wide that the low end for temperature change is within the noise for no change… which means that the IPCC sees sea levels going up about 1 foot in the next century and temps may go up 1 degree.

    What did I miss and how does that address my argument that Lockwood did not address the thermal latency for solar drivers?

  262. Hank Roberts:

    > if you can find a copy …
    Took about 48 seconds. I’m just another amateur reader, not an expert at anything related to climatology. You can look this stuff up for yourself, once you get the actual citation. Guessing this is the right paper (you’ll have to ask climateaudit what they’re talking about, to know for sure).

    Here ya go, Vernon, download the data yourself.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/osborn2006/osborn2006.html

    Always glad to help someone who really wants to read the original material.

    Note as before, to see the full article you’ll want to ask help from your local library reference desk, assuming they don’t have Science on the shelves where you can just pick it up.

  263. Hank Roberts:

    I found the link from an archived page of this site, which will teach you a _lot_ about proxies, if you read a few years’ worth:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/whatsnew.html

  264. Hank Roberts:

    > what did I miss
    Cites, Vernon. Sources. Where you get your beliefs.

    It seems more and more likely that you don’t know how to look up the papers, so you’re just pasting in beliefs that you find on so-called skeptic websites without being able to find the sources or read them skeptically yourself.

    Let us help you. Tell us where you are getting what you believe to be true, and then we can help you find the actual papers so you can read them for yourself, test what people claim they say, and look at what the authors actually said.

    After that, next lesson is how to look forward in time _from_ any given paper, see which other scientific articles cited that and follow the development of the ideas.

    It’s not belief that’s at issue here. You have your beliefs.

    What’s questionable is the facts. You don’t have them yet.

    Really, people here can help you learn how to find facts for yourself.

    It starts with citing your sources. Always.

  265. William Astley:

    A) Damped Response of Cloud Cover Change & B) Damped Response of Solar Wind Change:

    A) Damped Response of Cloud Cover Change
    Nir Shaviv has written a response to Lockwood’s paper. An excerpt:

    L & F assume (like many others before) that there should be a one-to-one correspondence between the temperature variations and solar activity. However, there are two important effects which should be considered and which arise because of the climate’s heat capacity (predominantly the oceans). First, the response to short term variations in the radiative forcings are damped.

    B) Damped Response of Solar Magnetosphere to Solar Wind Changes
    Svensmark claims in his book “The Chilling Stars, a new theory of Climate Change” that the Solar Magnetosphere takes roughly 2 years to reach equilibrium after a change in the average solar wind speed.

    Lockwood appears to have not read Svensmark & Nigel Calder’s book, which includes a description of Sevensmark’s experiments, analysis, and hypothesis.

    As I have noted, the sun appears to be entering a period of very low activity, so there should be data to determine which hypothesis is or is not correct.

  266. Hank Roberts:

    > proxy, current warming
    I look for your source, all I find is to the contrary as long as I limit my search to published science journal articles. I can only find support for your belief in the blogs that don’t have footnotes.

    Trust the footnotes, Vernon.

    http://www.bioone.org/archive/1523-0430/38/3/pdf/i1523-0430-38-3-465.pdf

  267. Hank Roberts:

    P.S., Vernon, someone using the same name as you is saying similar things here: http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/05/31/how-to-talk-to-a-global-warming-skeptic/

  268. Chuck Booth:

    Re 256 “Briffa et al 2206 [sic]”

    Here is the concluding paragraph from:

    Timothy J. Osborn* and Keith R. Briffa
    The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years
    Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 841 – 844

    “On this basis it is reasonable to conclude that this study provides evidence for intervals of significant warmth in the NH within the so-called Medieval Warm Period and for significantly colder intervals during the so-called Little Ice Age period. The most widespread and thus strongest evidence indicative of a significantly warm period occurs during the twentieth century [see also Supporting Online Material (SOM) Text], when greenhouse gas concentrations were at their highest during the analysis period. The proxy records indicate that the most widespread warmth occurred in either the mid- or late-twentieth century, but instrumental temperatures provide unequivocal evidence for continuing geographic expansion of anomalous warmth through to the present time.”

    Now, what is this about truncated graphs and proxy records showing cooling?

  269. Jim Eager:

    Re 266 Hank Roberts: “P.S., Vernon, someone using the same name as you is saying similar things here: http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/05/31/how-to-talk-to-a-global-warming-skeptic/

    Consider yourself busted, Vernon.

    On that site it is perfectly clear that the posts read like “articles” lifted from skeptic/denier sites, maybe rephrased a bit to make them shorter or to sound a bit more coherent.

    For example, Vernon’s June 11 post listing scientists who have switched from being supporters of AGW theory to skeptics is all too obviously condensed from the list posted on Inhofe’s US Senate blog at http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12 as the opening sentences were copied verbatim.

    As usual no citation is provided, but then I can understand not wanting to provide one in that case.

  270. Hank Roberts:

    > when I cite my sources, you don’t seem to be able to find them

    Whose fault is that? Yours, Vernon. A cite _allows_finding_the_source_.

    What you give are vague references, that match those from co2science and junkscience and climateaudit, and lead only to pages like those when searched on.

    Look — these are cites, which any librarian can check:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/07/friday-roundup/#comment-40821

    Answer: These are the papers you’ve read? Can you cite your sources?

  271. Timothy Chase:

    Vernon (#261) wrote:

    The recent studies of the Antarctic show that ice mass is building and that the Antarctic is having a negative impact on sea level rise.

    Which studies?

    I will give you one:

    Recent Sea-Level Contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets
    Andrew Shepherd, et al
    Science 315, 1529 (2007)

    Since the discovery that the floats were giving faulty readings, the sea temp is actually static or down.

    Here is Hadley Centre UK Met up to 2005:

    Temperature
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    Northern hemisphere, southern and global.

    Got something more recent?

    Vernon wrote:

    The proxy temperature sources show that temperatures have not been rising and according to some, have dropped at the end of the 20th century.

    “The proxy temperature sources…”

    Which proxies?

    I at least named mine. If you would like, I could even get you a paper on the increased prevailence of forest fires due to earlier snow melts and more infrequent rain.

    Do you have studies to show this? Or am I simply to take your say-so?

    And since you seem to have confused the issue in your most recent earlier post, are we talking temperatures or proxies for temperatures?

    When we speak of “proxies,” we mean something that stands in for something else. A proxy temperature would be some indirect method of identifying the temperature, not the actual temperature measurement.

    Vernon wrote:

    The data collected by the surface stations appears to be in doubt because the stations are not sited IAW WMO standards.

    Which stations? The rural stations?

    As I (#260) stated:

    20. When we perform measurements using only rural stations, we see almost identical trends.

    Here are my cites:

    The difference between urban and rural trends were not regarded as significant in either case.

    Please see:

    2.2.2.1 Land-surface air temperature
    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/052.htm#2221

    You might also check the following from the MET in the UK…

    Isn’t the apparent warming due to urbanisation?
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/faqs/2.html#q2.3

    That was from “No man is an (Urban Heat) Island” post number 393.

    The satellite data keeps being modified – one example is the sea level trend which the satellite data shows no increasing trend but one is added from the tidal gauge measurements for example.

    Who says? Have cites?

    And remember: to produce a trend year after year, decade after decade, they would have to keep manipulating the data, and the manipulation would have to be progressively worse. Sounds like a conspiracy to me!

    Here are a couple of local results worth checking out, the first from a technical paper using data that was gathered independently of an meteorological outfit, the second from a center which isn’t even associated with some devious meteorology organization participating in the great climatological conspiracy.

    I cite from France:

    Regular sea temperature measurements have been made since 1975 at Gravelines (French coast of the Southern Bight of the North Sea) within the framework of a research programme aimed at monitoring the influence of the thermal discharge of a nuclear power plant. The sampling has yielded a 28-year timeseries. Pluriannual natural fluctuations of temperature show cyclic patterns and long-term trends in good accordance with global climatic changes as revealed by the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) annual
    index.

    Seasonal and longer term trends in sea temperature along
    the French North Sea coast, 1975 to 2002
    Daniel Woehrling, et al
    J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. (2005), 85, 39-48
    http://www.ifremer.fr/docelec/doc/2005/publication-616.pdf

    I cite from Great Britain:

    Area groupings and findings (2007)
    Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
    http://www.cefas.co.uk/data/sea-temperature-and-salinity-trends/area-groupings-and-findings.aspx

    Ah, but you the latter as they have “environment” in their name. I suppose they might be part of the great conspiracy.

    But lets get a broader picture:

    Instrumental Temperature Record
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record_png

    Global temperatures. Provided by the University of East Anglia and the Hadley Centre of the UK Meteological Office.

    Notice the acceleration towards the end. And that is getting into the first few years after 2000. More recent figures? I am sure we can dig them up for you if you wish.

    Vernon wrote:

    The statement that glaciers are melting down to unseen levels from the past but as they melt reveal past human activities – mines in the Alps anyone?

    Are we mining all of the glaciers, Vernon?

    Even in the Western Antarctic Peninusla?

    Over a hundred there are picking up speed and heading for the coasts. Do you have any idea how large a glacier is? I would suggest you hurry if you haven’t seen one as of yet.

    Vernon wrote:

    The fact remains that since the temperature proxies do not show the current warming, then sciences understanding of using those proxies is faulty. If the proxies are wrong, then where is the supporting data that shows the warming now is has never happened before.

    Which proxies?

    We keep asking you – but you keep them to yourself. This has been going on for weeks now, if not longer.

    Which proxies? Where are your cites?

    Vernon wrote:

    If CO2 increases always cause warming then how do you explain the cooling from the 1940-1970s?

    Aerosols.

    But they have a short residence time compared to carbon dioxide which will stay in the atmosphere for decades, centuries, and at 20%, millenia. Aerosols win early on, bute carbon dioxide wins in the long-run – because it keeps accumulating.

    Vernon wrote:

    Now Timothy, I am not going to argue a model that is designed on ‘know physical processes’ when most of the science is listed by IPCC as low to very low scientific understanding and what is put into the model for those unknowns is a best fit for past (based on proxy temperatures that are now in dispute since they do not match the instrumented readings).

    Aerosols? We are working on them. Clouds? Those too.

    Gases? Clear shot. We’ve got those nailed in the labs and atmospheric measurements of concentrations.

    “… into the model for those unknowns is a best fit for past…”

    What past?

    Are you speaking climate sensitivity?

    We’ve got that from paleoclimate temperature proxies. But they don’t go into the models. And they aren’t hotly disputed topics, not in peer-reviewed literature at least. But maybe if you try the guy shouting at the corner of Broadway and 5th….?

    “… (based on proxy temperatures that are now in dispute since they do not match the instrumented readings).”

    What proxies? Where’s your cites?

    Vernon, let me remind you of point 6 of the first set of the last post of mine you “responded” to (post 250):

    6. Bald assertions on the part of someone who refuses to understand a given scientific discipline or who is unwilling to name his sources in no way undermines the evidence and justification which exists for this branch of human knowledge.

    I am beginning to get the impression that you think that if you repeat something often enough, it will suddenly become true…

  272. John Mashey:

    re: #270 Vernon
    Vernon: do you understand the nature of a real citation?

    If you want people to spend time trying to give you real answers, how about giving author, title, date, or even better, a URL … like everybody else does. Even if the URL points to only an abstract, that’s at least useful.

    In this thread, you posted 8 times (240,243,244,248,253,256,261,270) without giving a single clear cite. The closest you got was in #256, which has:
    – a typo in one date
    – a typo in an author’s name (Heqerl, rather than Hegerl)
    – a reference to an author (Moberg) with multiple papers that year

    Is there some reason you *want* people to waste their time rummaging around GoogleScholar trying to guess what you meant?

  273. Hank Roberts:

    You’ve come full circle, Vernon, without getting anywhere.

    You say that you believe there is some latency not covered in Lockwood’s paper, and that something is missing from the drivers.

    And your source for this belief is?

    That’s your job. Provide some basis for your belief. Cite a source.

  274. tamino:

    Re: #270 (vernon)

    This has been pointed out before, but I’ll give it another try.

    Latent warming necessarily decelerates, eventually approaching a new equilibrium level assymptotically. But if you study the global temperature from 1978 to the present (the time period covered by satellite measurements, and studied by Lockwood & Frohlich), you’ll find that global warming has accelerated. Gotten faster. Hence it’s impossible that this is due to “latency.”

  275. Hank Roberts:

    Last for now: Vernon, the other reason to give cites is so _you_ can look them up _here_ (you can’t look them up if you don’t have the right words to put in the search box).

    This may answer some questions you haven’t asked yet: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/taking-cosmic-rays-for-a-spin/#comment-20103

  276. Timothy Chase:

    “Latent warming”?

    I understand that this term can be applied to greenhouse gases, but does it even make sense to try and apply it in the case of solar energy?

    Just trying to fill in a few more holes whenever possible…

  277. Nick Gotts:

    Re #258 Vernon, in #258 I did my best to identify the papers your vague and in some cases inaccurate “cites2 referred to. I asked whether these were the papers you meant. I repeat the question. Here are my candidates again, to save you searching back:

    Gabriele C. Hegerl, Thomas J. Crowley, William T. Hyde and David J. Frame “Climate sensitivity constrained by temperature reconstructions over the past seven centuries”
    Nature 440, 1029-1032 (20 April 2006)

    Osborn, T.J. and Briffa, K.R. “The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years”
    Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 841 – 844?
    (In this case, can you point us to “a copy where he does not truncate his graphs” – and indeed, to one where he does, for comparison?)

    Moberg A, Sonechkin DM, Holmgren K, Datsenko NM, Karlén W, Lauritzen SE. “Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data.” Nature. 2005 Feb 10;433(7026):587-8.

    If you don’t either confirm that these are the papers concerned, or specify exactly which other papers you did mean (and in the case of the second paper, point to copies where graphs were and were not truncated), I don’t see how to avoid the conclusion that you haven’t actually read the papers, but are simply repeating what someone has told you is said in some inadequately specified papers. If this is so, maybe you should ask yourself why your sources would choose give inadequate citations for the papers they are talking about.

  278. Barton Paul Levenson:

    [[The recent studies of the Antarctic show that ice mass is building and that the Antarctic is having a negative impact on sea level rise.]]

    That’s not what the GRACE satellite says. It says Antarctica is losing ice.

    [[If CO2 increases always cause warming then how do you explain the cooling from the 1940-1970s?]]

    That one’s easy. CO2 does not always cause warming! Increased CO2 by itself always causes warming, but in the real world it’s not by itself. The cooling from 1940 to 1970 was caused by aerosols as world industry ramped up in the absence of pollution laws. When the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, along with similar laws in other countries, the relative importance of aerosols began to decline.

  279. John Finn:

    That one’s easy. CO2 does not always cause warming! Increased CO2 by itself always causes warming, but in the real world it’s not by itself. The cooling from 1940 to 1970 was caused by aerosols as world industry ramped up in the absence of pollution laws.

    Presumably yuo have some data to support this. By which I mean some aerosol data from 1920-1930, say, and some from 1945-ish which shows that the Aersosol thickness in the late 1940s was sufficient to not only negate the cumulative effect of CO2 for the previous several decades but also sufficient to induce a substantial cooling effect.

    [Response: Boucher and Phan (2002) (sulphates), Tami Bond (black carbon and organic carbon), discussion. – gavin]

  280. Hank Roberts:

    More cites for Vernon:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/316/5833/1844b

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/311/5762/841?ijkey=3b78f09c2721a90ee808e69ae1de33a6adfbd126&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/311/5762/841?ijkey=3b78f09c2721a90ee808e69ae1de33a6adfbd126

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/311/5762/841/DC1

  281. Jerry Steffens:

    Re #278,279

    Actually, the temperature graph can also be explained by natural variability.
    I “cooked up” a data set (for a class) consisting of a rising trend with superimposed random noise.
    Portions of the graph looked quite similar to the 20th-century global temperature record.

  282. Hank Roberts:

    Jerry, “cooked up” is correct: “looked quite similar” is not “explained”

    [Response: Be a little careful here. There is enough randomness in the interannual temperatures to conceivably make the 1940s bump be related to internal variability and for any short time period our ability to do a clear attribution solely to the forcings is limited. Within the IPCC runs, the ensemble means do not approach the 1940s peak, but individual simulations do encompass the observations. That superficially implies that both factors are important. – gavin]

  283. Hank Roberts:

    Thanks for the reminder, Gavin. Always appreciated.

    For John Finn — Boucher abstract, if you don’t subscribe for AGU full text: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001GL014048.shtml

  284. Hank Roberts:

    Uh, oh.

    “The CATO Charitable Foundation, funding KQED’s year long program on Climate Change …”

    The local SF Bay Area NPR station just read that sponsor info over the air.

    Google doesn’t identify it, but CATO is one of the Koch family operations. What kind of year long climate change program are these folks funding, for National Public Radio? Anyone know?

  285. Jim Eager:

    Just out in Nature:

    “Brown Cloud” Particulate Pollution Amplifies Global Warming

    August 1, 2007

    Scientists have concluded that the global warming trend caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases is a major contributor to the melting of Himalayan and other tropical glaciers. Now, a new analysis of pollution-filled “brown clouds” over south Asia by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., offers hope that the region may be able to arrest some of the alarming retreat of such glaciers by reducing its air pollution.

    The team, led by atmospheric chemist V. Ramanathan of Scripps, found that atmospheric brown clouds enhanced solar heating of the lower atmosphere by about 50 percent. The results are in a paper in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.

    The combined heating effect of greenhouse gases and brown clouds, which contain soot, trace metals and other particles from urban, industrial and agricultural sources, is enough to account for the retreat of Himalayan glaciers in the past half century, the researchers concluded. …

    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=109712

  286. Hank Roberts:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007…/2006JF000597.shtml
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 112, F03S29, doi:10.1029/2006JF000597, 2007

    Widespread acceleration of tidewater glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula
    “… We present repeated flow rate measurements from over 300 glaciers on the AP west coast through nine summers from 1992 to 2005. We show that the flow rate increased by ∼12% on average and that this trend is greater than the seasonal variability… We estimate that as a result, the annual sea level contribution from this region … is probably large enough to outweigh mass gains in East Antarctica and to make the total Antarctic sea level contribution positive.”

  287. Hank Roberts:

    Sea level:

    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L14608, doi:10.1029/2007GL030002, 2007

    A reassessment of global and regional mean sea level trends from TOPEX and Jason-1 altimetry based on revised reference frame and orbits

    “… Mean sea level trends from TOPEX and Jason-1 altimeter data are recomputed … We obtain a global rate of 3.36 ± 0.41 mm/yr over the 14 year period from 1993 to 2007. … a relative increase in the global mean sea level trend of 1.5 ± 0.7 mm/yr in the latter seven years.
    published 28 July 2007.

  288. Paulina:

    Hank,

    (Re 284)

    Good news: I think that’s actually the CATTO charitable foundation.

  289. John Mashey:

    re: #288 Paulina
    Yes, that seems far more likely …

    but actually, I’m slightly disappointed, since my initial reaction was:
    a) Wow! CATO has changed! or

    b) Wow! even if it hasn’t, KQED should take all the money CATO would give them.
    [As a gedanken experiment, I’d rank the radio stations in the world, starting at those least likely to be damaged with regard to *climate* issues by CATO funding, and KQED would have to rank near the top :-). Really, there are fierce Libertarians around here, who might strongly agree with CATO views on some topics, but would completely ignore them on climate science.

  290. Hank Roberts:

    Thanks Paulina, that makes a lot more sense. Whew.

  291. Timothy Chase:

    Jim Eager (#285) wrote:

    Scientists have concluded that the global warming trend caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases is a major contributor to the melting of Himalayan and other tropical glaciers. Now, a new analysis of pollution-filled “brown clouds” over south Asia by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., offers hope that the region may be able to arrest some of the alarming retreat of such glaciers by reducing its air pollution.

    It isn’t just the pollution which you have to worry about. The drier the land gets, the more likely you will see dust, and dust gets carried for hundreds of miles. Such dust has also been implicated in glacial melt.

  292. Timothy Chase:

    Paulina (#288) wrote:

    Good news: I think that’s actually the CATTO charitable foundation.

    John Mashey (#289) wrote:

    re: #288 Paulina
    Yes, that seems far more likely …

    but actually, I’m slightly disappointed, since my initial reaction was:
    a) Wow! CATO has changed! or…

    As I keep saying, those who value the free market have good reason to get on the bandwagon sooner rather than later. The worse the climate crisis gets and the more various feedbacks kick in, the more draconian the measures that may have to be taken to arrest it. And if someone values freedom, they have even better reason to see it not get especially bad – given the water shortages, food shortages which are likely to result – and how deeply these may affect the economy. Desperate people are more likely to take desperate measures – including giving up their freedom to anyone who promises a “solution.” And yet free societies are actually better able to respond to crises.

    But John, you are right – the CATO Institute and the like are very unlikely to see this any time soon, if ever.

  293. Nick Gotts:

    Re #289 [Really, there are fierce Libertarians around here, who might strongly agree with CATO views on some topics, but would completely ignore them on climate science.]

    Although they might care to reflect that if CATO come out with such ludicrous and dishonest bilge on climate issues, maybe what they say on other issues might also be ludicrous and dishonest bilge?

  294. John Finn:

    Presumably yuo have some data to support this. By which I mean some aerosol data from 1920-1930, say, and some from 1945-ish which shows that the Aersosol thickness in the late 1940s was sufficient to not only negate the cumulative effect of CO2 for the previous several decades but also sufficient to induce a substantial cooling effect.

    [Response: Boucher and Phan (2002) (sulphates), Tami Bond (black carbon and organic carbon), discussion. – gavin]

    Gavin

    Before I go looking through these papers what are they going to say. That emissions increased during the 1940s or similar? That is not the issue – the issue is what was the forcing effect?

    The following is from a paper (“Climate Over Past Millennia”) by Mike Mann and Phil Jones

    “Compared to ghg forcing, sulphate aerosol forcing is far more uncertain, principally because of limited understanding of the radiative properties of the aerosols and their effects on clouds. This forcing is also regionally specific and must be estimated from past fossil fuel use.”

    Apart from the lack of certainty of the aerosol effect, there are 2 other points here

    1. Sulphate aerosols are produced by burning fossil fuels – as is carbon dioxide. Now if the effect of burning fossil fuels up to 1940 was one of warming then we must assume that the CO2 forcing was greater than the aerosol forcing. So what changed? Any increase in fossil fuel use would result in a corresponding increase in both CO2 and aerosols – and in much the same ratio as before, i.e. global temperatures should have continued to rise. The fact that they didn’t suggests that either aerosols were not responsible for the mid-century dip or that CO2 made no contribution to the pre-1940 warming.

    2. Aerosol forcing is “regionally specific”. The aerosol-free Southern Hemisphere also cooled in the post-1940 period.

    Aerosols are relatively short-lived in the atmosphere. The aerosol cooling theory requires that a sudden, sharp increase in aerosols over a relatively small region of the world was of sufficient magnitude that it completely overwhelmed the cumulative world-wide increase in CO2 forcing and/or any increased solar forcing.

    As i posted earlier , it might be woth a discussion on the Lockwood and Frohlich paper (the one which claims to debunk the role of the sun since the mid-1980s). Look at Fig 4d, the graph of Beryllium 10 production (a ‘proxy’ for cosmic rays) and note the timing of it’s rise and fall in the 20th century.

    I will, though, look at the papers you cited.

    [Response: The SH did not cool during this period, it was predominantly a NH affair. The difference between aerosols and CO2 is that the latter accumulates, aerosols don’t. Finally, the problem with 10Be is that there are two good, but conflicting, records for the 20th C – one from Dye3, the other from the South Pole. Dye3 has a trend, SP doesn’t – thus both cannot be good proxies. – gavin]

  295. John Finn:

    Hank

    Re: #283

    Your link does not support the view that there was a substantial aerosol effect between say 1935 and 1945.
    In fact the uncertainties are such that it’s impossible to quantify anything on a global scale. Apart from that the study deals with simulations – NOT measurements.

  296. Gareth:

    Re# 293:

    “Although they might care to reflect that if CATO come out with such ludicrous and dishonest bilge on climate issues, maybe what they say on other issues might also be ludicrous and dishonest bilge?”

    You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

  297. Nick Gotts:

    Re #294 [Sulphate aerosols are produced by burning fossil fuels – as is carbon dioxide. Now if the effect of burning fossil fuels up to 1940 was one of warming then we must assume that the CO2 forcing was greater than the aerosol forcing. So what changed? Any increase in fossil fuel use would result in a corresponding increase in both CO2 and aerosols – and in much the same ratio as before, i.e. global temperatures should have continued to rise. The fact that they didn’t suggests that either aerosols were not responsible for the mid-century dip or that CO2 made no contribution to the pre-1940 warming.]

    CO2 stays in the atmosphere orders of magnitude longer than sulphate aerosols. Consider a sudden rise (from zero, for clarity) in fossil fuel use, with stability in use thereafter. Suppose initially the cooling effects of the aerosols are considerably greater than the warming effects of CO2. After the first few weeks at most, the level of sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere will reach an equilibrium, while that of CO2 will go on rising for decades, and hence the balance of effects can easily reverse. This has been discussed at length on this site.

    In addition, the 1970s and 1980s saw “clean air” legislation in Western Europe and North America, then the major sources of sulphate aerosols. This legislation forced a drastic cut in sulphate-generating emissions, but if anything will have raised the rate at which CO2 emissions increased, as energy is needed to take the sulphur compounds out of power-station and factory waste gases. This also has been discussed at length on this site.

  298. John Mashey:

    re: #294

    “Any increase in fossil fuel use would result in a corresponding increase in both CO2 and aerosols – and in much the same ratio as before,”

    Gavin has already pointed out one key issue. Here’s another.

    I don’t know the ratio history offhand, but
    the “same ratio” is a *totally* unwarranted assumption:
    a) Fossil fuels vary widely in their sulfur content, not only between types (coal vs oil vs gas) but within (low-sulfur “sweet” oil vs high-sulfur.)
    b) SO2 gets produced by other processes than just burning fossil fuels, like metal smelting.
    c) Finally, scrubbers change the amount of SO2, etc emitted without changing the CO2.
    I again reference:
    http://www.globalchange.umd.edu/publications/113/, Fig 3.

  299. Hank Roberts:

    It’s not my link, John Finn, I was just giving you a link to the abstract of the article Gavin suggested. You will need to go to a public library and ask a reference librarian to get you the full article. I was just guessing you probably aren’t an AGU member so couldn’t read the full article online so trying to help.

    > Before I go looking through these papers what are they going to say.

    If you read them you can understand the science, or enough to ask questions. Ask questions that show how much you have read and how much of that you’ve understood. You don’t want someone to just tell you what you’d learn if you read the papers, eh?

  300. Hank Roberts:

    Oh, and also for John Finn, you wrote:

    “Any increase in fossil fuel use would result in a corresponding increase in both CO2 and aerosols – and in much the same ratio as before,”

    Another reason this is wrong, besides those already given you: latitude.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028668.shtml

    Again, this is a pointer to an abstract; your local librarian can help you get the actual article.

    John, as always, I’m curious where people get beliefs they come to RC and state as though they were facts. Were you using your own knowledge and logic to conclude that it makes no difference when and where (and how) fossil fuel gets burned, that the outcome is always the same? If so we can point you to ways to look these things up that will help avoid jumping to conclusions.

    If you didn’t jump to the conclusion, perhaps you were pushed — you may have read that statement somewhere and taken it as plausible and believed it because you trusted the source. If the source was naive, you can help them learn to think this stuff through. If the source was one of the PR sites out there that are pretending to tell the truth, learn from their behavior, eh?

    Where _did_ you get that notion, if you’ll tell us?

  301. Hank Roberts:

    RodB wrote elsewhere, after repeating frequently asserted beliefs:

    > I’m not inclined to dig out the cites and sources; you all
    > can if you wish or disbelieve if you wish.

    Same reply as to John above applies. Trolls don’t cite sources.
    Credulous people believe them. Don’t be among them, check what people tell you. Much of the political posturing is mythology, lies.

    Stuff gets made up by people who are far out on any spoke of the political wheel. There are outliers, and there are far out liars.

    If you want to talk with people who view the world from other angles, get close enough to the facts that you can cite sources others can find. Else you’re making stuff up, or repeating stuff you can’t trust not to have been made up.

    If you’re repeating stuff you took on faith — that’s religion, even if you believe it’s politics. Cites, please, gentlemen.

  302. Joseph O'Sullivan:

    Its off topic, so this my last word on this topic, and yes I know DFTT.

    Rod B.: “You’ve probably forgotten the short-lived Federal law that required all towns with a municipal water supply to provide water with ZERO pollution.”

    I can not forget a law that never existed. The federal law you are writing about is the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its been in place for over thirty years.

    From the Congressional Research Service:
    “After reviewing health effects studies, the EPA sets a nonenforceable maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse health effects occur and that allows an adequate margin of safety. The EPA also considers the risk to sensitive subpopulations, such as infants and children. For carcinogens and microbes, the EPA generally sets the MCLG at zero. Because MCLGs are based only on health effects and not on analytical detection limits or the availability or cost of treatment technologies, they may be set at levels that are not feasible for water systems to meet.

    Once the MCLG is established, the EPA then sets an enforceable standard, the maximum contaminant level (MCL). The MCL generally must be set as close to the MCLG as is “feasible” using the best technology or other means available, taking costs into consideration (SDWA §1412(b))”
    http://www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/06Aug/RL33549.pdf

    There have been controversies with the SDWA, mostly involving the financial costs that cities and states had to pay. Amendments to the SWDA shifted the costs to the federal government which is better able to pay them.

  303. Hank Roberts:

    Rod (sigh), you dumped a pile of bogus claims in the ozone thread.
    Since you don’t have sources for them I’m going to wait to see if you can find any support for what you believe, besides your political or religious faith that what you believe must be true. I doubt you can.

    Asbestos: you doubt any need? Bogus claim if you bother to do the slightest reading in the medical literature. Problem’s still out there.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1852671

    “… Significant excess mortality from nonmalignant respiratory disease was observed even among workers with cumulative exposure

  304. J.C.H:

    Well, I’m gonna continue drinkin’ my morning cup of DDT. That old bugger lived into his 90s.

    But thanks to Hank I’m gonna give up sprinklin’ my DDT with asbestos dust.

  305. Rod B:

    Hank, I know how much you adore cites. And I do understand their value. I simply chose not to spend more time looking for references on the internet. And if you reject my contention because of that, well, that’s probably both of our losses, though probably neither of us care. BUT, not surfing all over the place does not, in any way, make me an outlier, lier, credulous, a myth monger, unscientific, or a troll [edit]

  306. Rod B:

    Joseph, as Walt quoted from the EPA from EPA documents, “…Zero-discharge by 1985 is a goal, not a requirement under the law.”

    Odd choice of words don’t you think? Why would the EPA feel obligated, in 1983, to explain that zero discharge is not a legal requirement?

  307. Rod B:

    Of course the asbestos problem is still out there. It’s just way overblown. E.g., spending hundreds of millions if not billions, to eliminate asbestos from self-contained interiors of thousands of schools, asbestos which had a virtually nil chance of ever being exposed to school children, and most of which was probably the short fiber variety which is almost benign… is…wrong-headed, [edit] not to mention terribly cost ineffective — the original contention BTW.

  308. Hank Roberts:

    Bogus. This is not hard to check. These are the references supporting sampling all lengths for the WTC health followup,
    http://911ea.org/3Final_WTC_Synthesis.pdf

    So who’s protecting _your_ family?

    CBPR EXPERT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    REVIEW OF THE DOCUMENT ENTITLED,
    “Draft Proposed Sampling Program to Determine Extent of
    World Trade Center Impacts to the Indoor Environment”
    David O. Carpenter, M.D., University at Albany, Chair
    Scott M. Bartell, Ph.D., Emory University
    Paul W. Bartlett, B.E.S., M.A., City University of New York (on leave)
    John Dement, Ph.D, CIH, Duke University
    Liam O. Horgan, CIH, Assessment Resources & Technologies, Inc.
    Gary T. Hunt, M.S., QEP, TRC Companies, Inc.
    Richard A. Lemen, Ph.D., Ass’t Surgeon General, US Public Health Service
    (retired)

    which says in part:

    “14. Given the preponderance of short, very thin chrysotile fibers in WTC dust,
    should fibers

  309. Hank Roberts:

    Ah, there’s that “less than” symbol bug, my fault, I forgot to change it to text.

    We should get this back on climate.
    I just couldn’t let that old “safe short asbestos” PR tale stand without challenge. It’s nonsense.

    Quoting from the WTC sampling program proposal:

    “14. Given the preponderance of short, very thin chrysotile fibers in WTC dust,
    should fibers less than 5 u in length, with aspect ratios equal to or greater than 3:1,
    be included in the sampling results and considered in assessments as to whether
    or not cleaning is warranted?

    Short fibers should be sampled and reported. Any assumption that short fibers, less
    than 5 u in length, are not hazardous cannot be justified based on the available science
    [see 14]. There is clearly less evidence for harm to humans from short, thin as
    compared to long fibers, but there has been less study and less analysis of short, thin
    fibers. The analytical method of choice for regulatory purposes has been the phase
    contrast method (PCM), which counts only fibers greater than 5 u in length and aspect
    ratios of 3:1. Epidemiology studies therefore have been forced to compare doses in
    their cohorts only to fibers greater than 5 u in length. It must be noted that the PCM
    analytical method was only chosen based on its ability to count fibers, not on any health
    effect basis [15]….”

    So — would you be willing to try to support your beliefs “justified based on the available science” here?

  310. Joseph O'Sullivan:

    For a final clarification, Rod B the law you wrote required zero pollution in municipal water supplies is the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and recall it did no such thing.

    The web page Walt cited was a history of the Clean Water Act (CAA), which is a different law and not the SDWA, and so does not apply. Second the EPA did not explain in 1983 that zero discharge is not a legal requirement. The web page does not state that. It does state the original language that created the current water pollution regulatory framework in 1972 never required zero discharge.

    To answer your question Rod B “Why would the EPA feel obligated, in 1983, to explain that zero discharge is not a legal requirement?”: The EPA did not explain in 1983 zero discharge was not a legal requirement because it never was a legal requirement, and so the EPA never felt obligated to explain this.

  311. John Finn:

    John, as always, I’m curious where people get beliefs they come to RC and state as though they were facts. Were you using your own knowledge and logic to conclude that it makes no difference when and where (and how) fossil fuel gets burned, that the outcome is always the same? If so we can point you to ways to look these things up that will help avoid jumping to conclusions.

    Hank

    If you’ve followed the discussion you will note that the explanation that aerosols were the cause of global cooling is not quite as straightforward as some may believe. I actually brought up the point that aerosols were regional (referencing Mann and Jones). Gavin may disagree with me on the overall effect of aerosols (but then again may be not) but I hope he understands that I am making some valid – if not totally proven – points.

  312. Dan:

    re: 306. Not an odd choice of words at all. As someone who works with them daily, many of EPA’s documents are (legally) “guidelines” or “goals”, not legal requirements. Since the agency was founded in 1972. You could find this out at epa.gov.

  313. David Price:

    re.297 the question remains why did the co2 effect predominate before 1940 and the aerosol effect afterwards? Unless the depression of the 1930’s caused aerosol concentrations to stagnate while co2 continued to accumulate.

  314. Hank Roberts:

    David, you’ve understood it! Half the fossil fuel use to date occurred since the 1970s. There’s a long slow warming process after CO2 is released. The heat from CO2 indeed “continued to accumulate”

  315. Jim Eager:

    Re 313 David Price: “the question remains why did the co2 effect predominate before 1940 and the aerosol effect afterwards? Unless the depression of the 1930’s caused aerosol concentrations to stagnate while co2 continued to accumulate.”

    Don’t make the mistake of assuming only two factors (CO2 and aerosols). Solar variation is _always_ a factor, and it is generally agreed that solar insolation played the dominant role prior to the mid 20C, with aerosols masking CO2 warming from ~ 1945 to ~ 1975, when CO2’s forcing became more dominant than solar variation’s role in temperature rise.

  316. Rod B:

    Hank (309): Actually your cite is not too far off from what I said….

    Joseph (310), then you’re just not reading things. The EPA’s history goes to great pains (with emphasized typefont, eg) to say “zero discharge by 1985 is a goal, not a legal requirement”. Now it’s likely that a strict and careful reading of the actual statute would say it is not a requirement. But the thrust and clear implication (from EPA documents, too, though you can’t probably find the ones with the bad stuff anymore) was that zero discharge was the law. Granted, it did not persist for very long, but that was the path many went down. Including a nimber of municipalities regarding their drinking water supply. To be honest I can’t recall if any actually went bankrupt, as opposed to their plans saying they would — maybe it was before any actual bankruptacy that the EPA regrouped..

    Dan, give me a break from the benign altruistic EPA. When was the last time they told someone ‘you’re not in compliance, but that’s O.K. You tried. And it’s only a goal. No problem. Have a nice day.’?

  317. catman306:

    Does anyone keep track of how much rain is falling on the Greenland ice cap as a result of the hurricane remnant that is passing just off its coast? Many tropical storms dumping rain on the ice, one after another in succession, seems like a nightmare scenario. The accumulating heat energy in the tropical oceans makes it plausible.

  318. Hank Roberts:

    Rod, you wrote of asbestos your belief that “the short fiber variety … is almost benign” and I asked you for a cite. Asking again.

    The references I found for you said there is no good science to make such claim, and the footnotes and cited papers give good reason to believe the short fibers are as dangerous as longer ones — and recommend that the sampling procedures _start_looking_ for them in the air; they say the sampling procedures now do not _look_ for any asbestos fiber shorter than 5u. You think absence of evidence is proof there’s no problem? Short fibers are already known to be found in the damaged tissue.

    When you write “almost benign” is that programmer’s usage of “almost” — as ‘almost right” meaning “not right” to you? Eh?

    On the EPA letting polluters off, you want just one example? Read the news; plenty on exactly that.
    Not to mention EPA appointees losing their jobs when caught at it. Good grief, just look before you proclaim beliefs, eh?

    ADMINISTRATION PREPARING TO LET AIR POLLUTERS OFF HOOK in exchange for information the EPA already has the right to collect. … http://senate.gov/~govt-aff/index.cfm?Fuseaction=PressReleases.View&PressRelease_id=502&Affiliation=C

    Water Utilities To Congress: Don’t Let Water Polluters Off the Hook; … The EPA has identified MTBE as a possible human carcinogen that renders water … http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/archives/K/2/pub2715.html

    Maria Cantwell – U.S. Senator from Washington State: “Closing the loopholes and stopping the lax enforcement that let corporate polluters off the hook is simple commonsense,” said Cantwell. …. http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=268222

    http://www.google.com/search?q=EPA+official+resign

    This may help with the questions about continuous versus line spectra. See the actual page, quote is just a teaser not an answer:

    “… Kirchoff recognized that three fundamental types of spectra (see Figure 2 ) are directly related to the circumstance that produces the light. These Kirchoff spectral types are comparable to Kepler’s Laws in the sense that they are only a description of observable phenomena. Like Newton, who later was to mathematically explain the laws of Kepler, other researchers have since provided a sounder basis of theory to explain these readily observable spectral types….”
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/Electromagnetic-Radiation-Light-.topicArticleId-23583,articleId-23482.html

  319. Chuck Booth:

    A bit off-topic here, I suppose, but this point frequently comes up in discussions about AGW: Skeptics (including, but certainly not limited to, people like conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh) often claim that puny humans can’t possibly impact global climate. I think it was Hank Roberts who recently commented, “Tell that to the Passenger Pigeons.” For further evidence of how humans are dominating the natural world consider this paper in the latest (July 31) issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [U.S.]: A team of German scientists have estimated that humans appropriate 23.8% of annual plant net primary production “of which 53% was contributed by harvest, 40% by land-use-induced productivity changes, and 7% by human-induced fires. This is a remarkable impact on the biosphere caused by just one species. We present maps quantifying human-induced changes in trophic energy flows in ecosystems that illustrate spatial patterns in the human domination of ecosystems, thus emphasizing land use as a pervasive factor of global importance. Land use transforms earth’s terrestrial surface, resulting in changes in biogeochemical cycles and in the ability of ecosystems to deliver services critical to human well being. The results suggest that large-scale schemes to substitute biomass for fossil fuels should be viewed cautiously because massive additional pressures on ecosystems might result from increased biomass harvest.”

    Haberl et al., (2007) Quantifying and mapping the human appropriation of net primary production in earth’s terrestrial ecosystems. PNAS vol. 104, no. 31, pp. 12942-12947
    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/104/31/12942 (HTML; Open Access)
    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/104/31/12942 (PDF; Open Access)

  320. Dan:

    re: 316. Sorry, no break at all for you. Every single day compromises are made with respect to EPA guidelines. One example: Emission controls on industries are not required to be solely the best. Economic factors (e.g. costs to the industry to install the controls) are weighed in. Every state has an air pollution agency which deals with this. You can contact yours and find out. Ask about the factors involved with “Best Available Control Technologies”. Or search the internet about them. Ironically, they are not always the “best” emission control-wise.

  321. Joseph O'Sullivan:

    To end this thread on a more civil note, I will note that much of this thread has been based on a misunderstandings and will try to clear them up.

    Rod B claimed the law that required municipalities to reduce water pollution to zero in the water they supplied for households and it bankrupted communities. Like climate science, there are no easy answers in environment law. A person without legal training could think the law, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), said no pollution, but its more complicated than that. The law did not require pollution to be zero, just to look to that as a goal if it was financially and technologically practical. The law did put a substantial financial burden on small communities who had limited funds to comply with the SDWA. There have been legislative acts that have reduced the burden, but have not eliminated it. In deference to Rod the costs to small communities have been a problem, but there have also been substantial gains in household water quality.

    The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a different law that deals with a different areas. There is some overlapping coverage, but municipal water suppliers are covered by the SDWA not the CWA. The goal of no pollution is in what is basically the preamble of the CWA. It was really just some grandstanding by politicians who wanted to show how much they cared about clean water for their constituents, and has little effect on the implementation of the CWA. In more deference to Rod, an untrained person could come to the conclusion that the CWA mandated zero discharges, while understandable this conclusion is wrong. Again pollution control is weighed against economic and technological considerations. The financial problem of small communities complying with the SWDA does not occur because the CWA has provisions that provide funds for states and communities that need financial help with complying with the CWA.

    I promise that this will be my last word on this.

  322. John Finn:

    Gavin, Hank, John Mashey, BPL, Nick Gotts (a bit for you at the end)

    First, let me apologise if some of my posts seem a little curt and discourteous. It’s not intentional. It’s just that I often don’t have much time and, in trying to get to the point, tend to post comments rather hurriedly. I note, looking back, that one of my responses to Gavin began in a style which could be misinterpreted. Sorry about that. However, I still maintain that my general argument is correct.

    This all began when I responded to BPL’s comment that the aerosol explanation for the 1940s cooling was “easy” . I knew I was on pretty safe ground challenging him for the data because there isn’t any – no direct data anyway – because the technology (i.e. satellites) to make accurate measurements didn’t exist in the 1930s/40s. Even to-day we can’t provide a reasonable estimate of the current aerosol forcing because a) we don’t know past history (Hank – See Mann & Jones, IPCC report) and b) no-body is really sure what the climate forcing is for a given atmospheric aerosol concentration.

    I’m not totally won over by the solar argument (I’ve criticised some points on other blogs) but it does seem to explain the early and mid 20th century climate pattern better than the SO2/CO2 hypothesis (this, btw, does not rule out CO2 as a prominent driver). In an earlier post, I suggested that 1940s cooling in the SH ‘disproved’ the SO2 cooling theory. Gavin responded to say that the SH had not cooled. He is correct. There was no long term cooling trend in the SH as there was in the NH, but the warming trend did come to an end, and there was a short term cooling of a few years which coincided almost exactly with the rise and fall of the 10Be production (i.e. cosmic ray influence) as depicted in the Lockwood paper (another source, Hank). Gavin has indicated that there is some inconsistency between different 10Be records. Ok that might be the case – I can’t answer that.. But that doesn’t alter the fact that there is massive doubt over aerosols.

    Nick Gotts (& John Mashey)

    Nick – most of what you say is correct. Aerosols could swamp CO2 effect in the early years. But if that’s the case (i.e. SO2 forcing is greater (in magnitude) than CO2 forcing) you must accept that the rise in temperatures between 1910 and 1945 was due entirely to the sun. If CO2 is the main driver for the early 20th century climate then it defies logic that SO2 should overwhelm it after 30-odd years.

    To those who tell me that CO2 accumulates but SO2 doesn’t – I know that ‘s exactly my point (or one of them). To induce cooling, the SO2 production in one year would need to overwhelm the cumulative CO2 effect of decades

    John M. – I’m quite sure that fossil fuels vary in their sulphur (sulfur) content, but this is not really the point – unless, that is, you can show that there was a humungous (massive! gigantic! ) switch from low sulphur to high sulphur fuels sometime around 1944.

    To those who tell me that sulphates are regional, I know – this is exactly my other point. Western Europe and the US (Nick) cover barely 10% of the NH (and less than 5% of the world) . If sulphates were responsible for an average cooling of say 0.5 deg in the NH then Western Europe and the US would have to cool by around 5 degrees.

    And yes, Nick, you’re right there has been a drastic cut in Sulphur emissions – certainly in Europe and also in the US – since the 1970s/80s. So what ‘s caused the rise in temperature in those places since then? The rise in CO2 – or the reduction in SO2?

    In the years leading up to 1980, Europe was emitting around 60 Mt of sulphates per year. I’m not sure of the latest figures, but it was down to around 25 Mt a few years ago (I’ll get the sources for this, Hank). 35 Mt per year less –EVERY YEAR! Think about it! The Mt Pinatubo volcanic eruption in 1991 spewed about 17 Mt of sulphates (Self et al) into the stratosphere. Europe alone has reduced it ‘s sulphur emissions by 2 Pinatubos per year. If industrial aerosols are as effective as is claimed then European temperatures should have risen by at least a couple of degrees since 1980 **. Even a rise of a fraction of that doesn’t leave any room for CO2 warming.

    In a nutshell: the role of aerosols is highly uncertain to say the least.

    ** Did you notice what I did here. I used sulphur emissions data to infer atmospheric aerosol concentration (and, hence, climate forcing) – something I ‘d been critical of in earlier posts.

  323. Rod B:

    I tried a lengthy post but I think I messed up the submission. Or Gavin understandably got tired of this stuff and canned it. But I’ll try a shortened cryptic version. First in light of my 316 and Joseph’s 321 I’ll bury the zero pollution thing.

    Hank’s refutation of the short-fiber asbestos thing is odd in that it includes a quote from the EPA that ‘evidence has not shown s-f asbestos to be harmful.’ Granted they go on to say that the science is not complete and it would be prudent to assume it might be harmful a la WTC dust. (and, yes my “almost benign” means just what you say, Hank… ’cause it’s what I said.) I would agree with that per se to a great extent in that circumstance — slightly different from the entombed asbestos in the schools. It’s also instructive to recognize the EPA statement (probably) came shortly after the EPA had its head handed to them for early on declaring the WTC environment was completely benign. Anyone who understand bureaucracy understands the statement. Do you all conclude that the near $billions spent on eradicating the hidden asbestos from thousands of schools was a wise and cost effect action — as opposed to teachers, labs, and stuff?

    Hank refutes my “not letting them off the hook” assertion by saying he knows guys who have been fired from the EPA for doing just that. That’s odd!! Also, I know the laws include goals, guidelines, and strict compliance all. The EPA follows the law. Which one of you want to walk into an EPA office with a tank of R-12 and say “nya nya” while thumbing your nose at them?

  324. Hank Roberts:

    > If CO2 is the main driver for the early 20th century climate then it defies logic that SO2 should overwhelm it after 30-odd years.

    About the time that contrails started being produced — first time the combustion products were being injected into the stratosphere artificially, closer to what big volcanos do, compared to the emissions from the pre-WWII fossil fuel use that was burned almost entirely at ground level.

  325. Barton Paul Levenson:

    [[re.297 the question remains why did the co2 effect predominate before 1940 and the aerosol effect afterwards? Unless the depression of the 1930’s caused aerosol concentrations to stagnate while co2 continued to accumulate.]]

    As I understand it, increased sunlight was part of the cause for the early 20th century warming, since the Solar constant (TSI) did ramp up a bit over that time period.

  326. Barton Paul Levenson:

    [[Dan, give me a break from the benign altruistic EPA. When was the last time they told someone ‘you’re not in compliance, but that’s O.K. You tried. And it’s only a goal. No problem. Have a nice day.’?]]

    Since the current administration took over?

  327. Barton Paul Levenson:

    [[John M. – I’m quite sure that fossil fuels vary in their sulphur (sulfur) content, but this is not really the point – unless, that is, you can show that there was a humungous (massive! gigantic! ) switch from low sulphur to high sulphur fuels sometime around 1944.]]

    Look at economic output in the ’40s as compared to the ’30s. A switch to higher-aerosol-effluent fuels wasn’t needed. The world burned a lot more fuel in 1944 than it did in 1939.

  328. Eric (skeptic):

    Newsweek article: The Truth About Denial (not just a river drying up in Africa). http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20122975/site/newsweek/page/0/

  329. Dan G:

    I haven’t quite caught-up reading this entire thread, in case this has been mentioned before, but has anyone been paying any attention to the weather in the Middle East? A letter writer in today’s Globe and Mail reports that the temperature in Baghdad hovers consistantly around 50C, according to the newspaper’s weather page. Is this not excrutiating? If it’s true — why haven’t we heard more?

  330. J.C.H:

    Other things about 1944 – a whole bunch of extra cellulose was being burned.

    I don’t know what the impact of explosives would be, if any, but there were also lots of explosions. On Iwo Jima my father’s half-track platoon (4 75mm guns) fired 45,000 75mm shells in 36 days, and there were barely any woody plants left on the island that weren’t burned to a fair degree.

  331. Timothy Chase:

    John Finn (#294) wrote:

    Nick – most of what you say is correct. Aerosols could swamp CO2 effect in the early years. But if that’s the case (i.e. SO2 forcing is greater (in magnitude) than CO2 forcing) you must accept that the rise in temperatures between 1910 and 1945 was due entirely to the sun. If CO2 is the main driver for the early 20th century climate then it defies logic that SO2 should overwhelm it after 30-odd years.

    You are presenting a false alternative.

    The sun was the primary driver prior to 1945, but it was not the only driver.

    As late as 1930, the human population was only 2 billion. By 1975 it was 4 billion, many of whom were enjoying living standards made possible by a relatively advanced economy. Likewise, the sun has been cooling – by some indices, apparently as far back as 1950.

    John Finn continues:

    To those who tell me that CO2 accumulates but SO2 doesn’t – I know that’s exactly my point (or one of them). To induce cooling, the SO2 production in one year would need to overwhelm the cumulative CO2 effect of decades.

    Since the sun was the dominant driver in the earlier part of the 20th century, it would make sense that sulfates could overwhelm solar variability as far back as 1944. By 1960 the sun was clearly cooling off, and if solar variability were the only driver, there is no reason to expect temperatures to rise after 1970.

    Given that economic output was rising since 1939, at the time in preparation for a world war which was only just beginning, it should come as no surprise that the effects of aerosols should come to dominate the effects of both solar variability and the cummulative effects of carbon dioxide. Then pollution laws came into play in the advanced economies around 1970 which started reducing the levels of anthropogenic aerosols.

    And as you point out, sulfates don’t stay in the atmosphere for very long. They reside in the lower atmosphere and tend to get washed out in the rain. But carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a very long time. Its cummulative.

    As such it makes sense that for a while the sprinter of aerosols will do better than the marathon runner of carbon dioxide early on, but we have every reason to expect carbon dioxide to win in the end. Even if pollution laws had not reduced the production of aerosols, carbon dioxide would have eventually become the dominant forcing. As it was, temperatures only began to take off by 1979 and they have been accelerating since.

    Given solar variability, one would not expect temperatures to be accelerating upwards but to be trending downwards for the past several decades. By itself, with a leveling off of aerosols one would expect temperature trends to be flat or trending downwards with the continued growth of the world economy, not accelerating upwards. Clearly greenhouse gases are now the dominant forcing.

    Ba-da bip, ba-da bang, ba-da boom.

  332. Chuck Booth:

    Re # 329 Dan G. – Temps in Baghdad

    That is no secret – I read about it in the paper today. Daytime (and night time) temperatures around 50 C (122 F) sound excrutiating to me,esp if you don’t have A/C or good water to drink, but I don’t think they are unusual for that region in the summer. As I recall, the highest air temperature ever recorded was about 56 or 57 C in Libya early in the 20th centure (presumably, the weather station was sited properly and the thermometer properly calibrated).

    Are you wondering if those high temperatures in Iraq are unusual, or possibly due to global warming? The point of your question is not clear.

  333. Magnus H.:

    Re. the Mike Lockwood paper:

    This paper seems to have hit a nerve with some contrarians/sceptics/denialists, and I have seen various other papers being mentioned in the blogosphere and in discussion forums as “evidence” that Lockwood is wrong. (I apologize if I’m bringing up papers that you may have discussed here, but I couldn’t find them mentioned in any recent thread on this site.)

    A couple of papers being put forward as such “evidence”:

    One is a paper by Charles A. Perry: Evidence for a physical linkage between galactic cosmic rays and regional climate time series (Journal Advances in Space Research, 2007). It is available here (PDF1, PDF2, HTML).

    Abstract: This investigation identified a relation among TSI and geomagnetic index aa (GI-AA), and streamflow in the Mississippi River Basin for the period 1878-2004. The GI-AA was used as a proxy for GCRs. The lag time between the solar signal and streamflow in the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri is approximately 34 years. The current drought (1999-2007) in the Mississippi River Basin appears to be caused by a period of lower solar activity that occurred between 1963 and 1977. There appears to be a solar “fingerprint” that can be detected in climatic time series in other regions of the world, with each series having a unique lag time between the solar signal and the hydroclimatic response. A progression of increasing lag times can be spatially linked to the ocean conveyor belt, which may transport the solar signal over a time span of several decades. The lag times for any one region vary slightly and may be linked to the fluctuations in the velocity of the ocean conveyor belt.

    A second one is a paper by Alexander, Bailey, Bredenkamp, van der Merwe and Willemse: Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development (Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Enginering, 2007). It is available here (PDF1, PDF2, HTML).

    Abstract: This study is based on the numerical analysis of the properties of routinely observed hydrometeorological data which in South Africa alone is collected at a rate of more than half a million station days per year, with some records approaching 100 continuous years in length. The analysis of this data demonstrates an unequivocal synchronous linkage between these processes in South Africa and elsewhere, and solar activity. This confirms observations and reports by others in many countries during the past 150 years. It is also shown with a high degree of assurance that there is a synchronous linkage between the statistically significant, 21-year periodicity in these processes and the acceleration and deceleration of the sun as it moves through galactic space. Despite a diligent search, no evidence could be found of trends in the data that could be attributed to human activities.

    What is your take on these two papers? Are they bringing up anything new, or is it a rehash of old arguments?

  334. Hank Roberts:

    Tell us about those journals? The Perry paper is available from the “globalwarmingswindle” website. The big news about his paper would be he claims the patterns he describes could have happened because the global ocean circulation has slowed down over the past several decades, or something like that. He’s looked for matches in time series and says he found them — but with different “lag times” between each of them, many of the lag times in decades, and explains the lag times as possibly from some undetected behavior of the global ocean circulation. It’s the first paper I’ve read in a while that made the word “farrago” pop into my head.

    “There appears to be a solar ‘‘fingerprint’’ that can be detected in climatic time series in other regions of the world,
    with each series having a unique lag time between the solar signal and the hydroclimatic response. A progression of increasing lag times can be spatially linked to the ocean conveyor belt, which may transport the solar signal over a time span of several decades. The lag times for any one region vary slightly and may be linked to the fluctuations in the velocity of the ocean conveyor belt…..”

    Seems like if you have enough time series charts and can pick any stretch from any of them, odds are fairly good you’ll find some part of each one matches your proposed index — then he proposes something that might allow lag times of decades different from each one.

    This sentence isn’t quite right, he writes: ” Svensmark et al. (2007) demonstrate that the production of new aerosol particles is proportional to the negative ion density under experimental conditions similar to those found in the lower troposphere over oceans.”

  335. Hank Roberts:

    Southern Africa: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1998GeoRL..25.2711T

  336. Timothy Chase:

    RE Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development
    (Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Enginering, 2007)

    While trying to look some parts of the story up, I found the following analysis:

    The study finds a strong correlation between water levels and sunspot numbers. But the correlation is a short term correlation – there is little to no correlation in the long term trends.

    For example, there is no long term trend in Lake Victoria’s levels from 1900 to 1940 when solar activity showed long term increase. Any short or long term correlation breaks down between 1930 to 1970. Next, to obtain correlation over 1968 to 2005, they filter out a 29mm per year trend where there’s been no long term solar trend.

    Water levels correlate with sunspots
    Skeptic Argument
    John Cook 2007
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=70

    There is more. It is short but well worth checking out.

    In any case, it looks like this new approach to sunspots is all wet. Standard fair for the denialists: if it don’t fit, force it, lop off the bits that are getting in the way, and fill in the holes hoping nobody will notice. Their version of the scientific method.

    However, Cook’s site is one of those resources I will want to keep tabs on.

    Check it out if you don’t already know about it:

    Skeptical Science
    Examining the science of global warming skepticism
    http://www.skepticalscience.com

  337. FurryCatHerder:

    Not sure that anyone remembers, or much cares, but sometime today, after I wake up (heh, it’s 2am and I’m still up …) I’ll have an electrician running around on my roof installing 1750 watts worth of solar panels. I’m planning to have a “Green Party” once the weather cools down enough to leave the A/C off. The idea is to make sure the batteries are charged, then open the main disconnect to the grid, and have a party off-grid :)

    If any RealClimate people are in the Central Texas area and want to party on the sun, you can mail me using my name at gmail dot com.

  338. NicK Gotts:

    Re #322 [Nick – most of what you say is correct. Aerosols could swamp CO2 effect in the early years. But if that’s the case (i.e. SO2 forcing is greater (in magnitude) than CO2 forcing) you must accept that the rise in temperatures between 1910 and 1945 was due entirely to the sun. If CO2 is the main driver for the early 20th century climate then it defies logic that SO2 should overwhelm it after 30-odd years.]

    John, there are multiple factors making up net radiative forcing. As I understand it (I’m absolutely no expert), the best scientific evidence suggests that the sun did make an important difference in the early 20th century, when it was increasing in radiance, but there were significant anthropogenic factors acting in both directions (rises in atmospheric GHGs, black carbon and some land use changes pushing in the warming direction, aerosol effects on cloud cover and other land use changes in the other). If the sun had not been pushing in the warming direction there might have been no warming, or even a cooling (I think the evidence and understanding of mechanisms is probably not currently good enough to say, but would welcome expert correction). If that’s so, you can say the warming was “due entirely to the sun” if you want. What’s odd about your comment is that you seem to think that the explanation for global temperature changes since 1900 must be either “all solar” or “all anthropogenic” (and you seem to limit the latter to CO2 and aerosols); and hence you think it would be somehow problematic for me to “admit” the important role of the sun in the early 20th century warming. It isn’t. The evidence is clear that the sun has had a small role, if any, in the warming since 1970 and that increased GHG concentrations in the atmosphere have had a large one.

  339. NicK Gotts:

    re #322 [In the years leading up to 1980, Europe was emitting around 60 Mt of sulphates per year. I’m not sure of the latest figures, but it was down to around 25 Mt a few years ago (I’ll get the sources for this, Hank). 35 Mt per year less –EVERY YEAR! Think about it! The Mt Pinatubo volcanic eruption in 1991 spewed about 17 Mt of sulphates (Self et al) into the stratosphere. Europe alone has reduced it ‘s sulphur emissions by 2 Pinatubos per year.]

    Industrial sulphates don’t get into the stratosphere – they leave the atmosphere in days to weeks, volcanic ones can take a few years. Incidentally, the recent Nature paper on the Asian “brown cloud”
    (Nature 448, 575-578 (2 August 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06019
    Warming trends in Asia amplified by brown cloud solar absorption

    Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Muvva V. Ramana, Gregory Roberts, Dohyeong Kim, Craig Corrigan, Chul Chung & David Winker)

    as well as noting the large uncertainties in the believed-to-be-negative global aerosol effects (also noted by the IPCC), suggests aerosol pollution could have important regional warming effects. At least, that’s according to the first paragraph, online at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v448/n7153/abs/nature06019.html – I haven’t seen the whole article yet. So while you’re right that aerosol effects are incompletely understood, I don’t think you can conclude that the lack of a strong regional cooling effect in the mid 20th century means there can’t have been a significant global cooling effect from them over that period. However, expert comment on this paper would be welcome!

  340. Hank Roberts:

    >Svensmark
    The bit I noted in 335 is actually a quote from the press release, not from the actual Svensmark paper. The press release was wrong.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/taking-cosmic-rays-for-a-spin/
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2006/10/svensmark-stumbles-into-smog-chamber.html

  341. FurryCatHerder:

    (I think we need a new “Friday Roundup”. This one is getting a bit long in the tooth …)

    In the “Ozone” thread some posters have made comments regarding what can best be described as a bit of an ascetic lifestyle.

    Yesterday when I was buying a new lawnmower, because the current one is starting to fall apart after 8 years, I ran into a guy who is building a house out in the high desert. His estimated power production is going to be on the order of 9KW. Because it’s a mix of wind and solar, he should have an abundance of energy to waste as he sees fit, constant wind, lots of clear sunny days — this is an off-grid application, so there won’t be any netting of energy anywhere, what he doesn’t use, he’ll lose. The mower I was buying, by the way, is rechargeable and has many nice features that I’ve not see on moderately priced gasoline mowers — and the batteries required for this application are small enough I can charge them from a small solar array I have as a playtoy — 60 watts is all it has, and that’s not accurate because it uses a primative charge controller that doesn’t perform DC-to-DC conversion to match array output voltage to battery charging voltage. Last night, after doing a bit of yard work, I left the flood lights on for a few hours so I could pack up my tools and relax. Back before going to CFLs I’d never have done that — turning the yard into daylight on incandescents is too expensive, but on CFLs I don’t have to be as careful.

    The short answer is that contrary to the doom-and-gloom we-must-suffer school of environmentalist thinking, we can be both “green” and prosperous. I watched a number of videos on the “White Zombie” — a converted Datsun (apparently it is old enough that it is still a Datsun) that beats V8-powered muscle cars. “Plasma Boy Racing” also links to “Blue Meanie”, another conversion that looks to be faster off the line than my ’79 Corvette with a high output 350 c.i.d. motor. “Green” and lightning fast doesn’t sound like an ascetic lifestyle to me. My electric consumption is down by more than a third, I now leave lights “on” just for convenience (before I was a fanatical light turner-offer), and my electric consumption is still down by a third, and that includes adjusted for outside temperature.

  342. FurryCatHerder:

    Re #184 on the “Ozone” thread —

    Re:176 Furry Cat. It is even better than that. The buyout firm is Kohlberg Kravitz Roberts & Co, a huge private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts. This is not an environmentally sensitive firm, they are capitalist with a capital C, where profits always come first. If KKR saw benefits to going green, prospects for progress on the warming front just got a little brighter.

    Here’s a press release as of 7/27/07 —

    Luminant and Shell Join Forces to Develop a Texas-Sized Wind Farm

    “Shell WindEnergy Inc. and Luminant, a subsidiary of TXU Corp., announced today a joint development agreement for a 3,000-megawatt wind project in the Texas Panhandle and to work together on other renewable energy developments in Texas.

    Shell and Luminant will also explore the use of compressed air storage, in which excess power could be used to pump air underground for later use in generating electricity. This technology will further improve reliability and grid usage and becomes more economical with large-scale projects, such as proposed for Briscoe County.”

  343. Barton Paul Levenson:

    [[Not sure that anyone remembers, or much cares, but sometime today, after I wake up (heh, it’s 2am and I’m still up …) I’ll have an electrician running around on my roof installing 1750 watts worth of solar panels.]]

    Bless you for putting your money where your mouth is.

  344. Hank Roberts:

    Forest fires — not ‘if’ but ‘when’
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12488328

    ————————–Excerpt:

    Ron Neilson, a bioclimatologist with the USDA Forest Service in Oregon, uses computer models to predict how climate change will affect plants over time. Though a warming planet should produce more rainfall over time, Neilson’s models show that forests will grow beyond what the available water can support, and they’ll start to turn brown.

    Neilson is particularly concerned about the southeastern United States, where the terrain and the climate doesn’t vary much. That allows fires to spread easily over wide areas.

    “If one point is ready to go up, a whole huge area is ready to go up,” says Neilson.

    This scenario played out in the dried-out Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Florida this spring when the swamp caught fire and merged with another blaze that eventually scorched an area the size of Rhode Island.

    Carbon Conundrum

    Scientists are also concerned about fires in the “boreal forests” of Canada and Russia. The permafrost underneath those trees is melting, exposing deep layers of peat soil that has locked away carbon for thousands of years. When those forests catch fire, Neilson says huge amounts of carbon will be released, speeding up climate change…..

    ———– end excerpt ———

    Story goes on with nitwit blather from the forest products industry — most wood cut down and turned into lumber ends up burned or trashed sooner than it would if it were left to grow, even considering the risk of forest fires.

    The little site I’m working on restoring in my copious spare time had a foot of topsoil a century ago, the local hydrologist told me, and how has, oh, about two-thirds of an inch above the mineral soil, a thin skin held together by the roots of the perennial plants on the surface above many meters of loose talus that’s held together by the roots of the bigger trees. Burn that off and a decade later the roots have rotted away, the organic material’s washed out from between the rocks, and landslides start happening. Same thing follows big fires as follows aggressive logging, slopes fail, and what’s left washes into the river beds.

    Nature does fix these problems but it takes many centuries. People may be able to as well, but it takes clearing and carefully burning brush, it takes managed fires that burn at low intensities between the trees without killing many of the trees, and there’s no way any of this kind of management can be done on the big northern forests.

    From the NPR story —- and I am posting this hoping the climate modelers are talking to the forest service fire people about their models —- this is another big feedback, on its way fast.

    A year or so ago we had a visit from a Volokh lawyer who caught a typo, proclaimed that big hurricanes wouldn’t necessarily increase just because small and medium size hurricanes were increasing, and who went away when I asked him if he thought big forest fires also wouldn’t increase even when small and medium forest fires were increasing. I wonder if he’s reading.

  345. FurryCatHerder:

    Re #343:

    “Bless you for putting your money where your mouth is.”

    Hah! I got stood up — that’s what I get for writing the guys a fat check in advance. They have a good excuse tho — we’ve had the wetest first half of the year on record and they are backed up on work. The local lakes went from “crisis” on the low side to “crisis” on the high side.

    He’s due to show up on my roof in 2 weeks. Piccies when it happens.

  346. Dan G:

    Re 332 and Baghdad’s temp — there was no hard question. I did (and still do) wonder about those high temps in Baghdad — not because of global warming but because they are consistently 15 or twenty degrees higher than all the other six or seven temps in the middle east given in the paper (Cairo’s for instance) and I do find that puzzling. And, having just endured temps of 31 and 32 with no AC, I was astonished to contemplate 53, wondered at why people would locate themselves there, and had to think that if anyone can show us how to keep cool economically, surely those residents could.

  347. Magnus H.:

    #334, Hank: Tell us about those journals? The Perry paper is available from the “globalwarmingswindle” website.

    I would normally never use such a website as a reference, but they happen to have a copy available of this paper (for those who might be interested in reading it). I tried to find the Perry paper through Google Scholar, but got nothing. I tried a “regular” Google search, and found an abstract from ScienceDirect and a PDF from the aforementioned website. Just a few days ago Google Scholar started listing the Perry paper with a reference to the PDF at the Umweltluege website (a reference I first picked up in a discussion forum). But if you try to download this PDF you will get an error message. The whole website now seems to be gone! Strange, eh?

    Same thing with the Alexander et al paper. No reference through Google Scholar, but a PDF is available from both the Lavoisier Group and the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition – two denialist groups. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    #336, Timothy: However, Cook’s site is one of those resources I will want to keep tabs on. Check it out if you don’t already know about it.

    Thanks for the link. I have sent him a mail asking for an opinion on the Perry paper. I’ll post it here if I get a response.

  348. Magnus H.:

    #336, Timothy: However, Cook’s site is one of those resources I will want to keep tabs on. Check it out if you don’t already know about it.

    #347: Thanks for the link. I have sent him a mail asking for an opinion on the Perry paper. I’ll post it here if I get a response.

    —–

    Cook’s website has now been updated with comments about the Perry paper.

  349. Hank Roberts:

    O.m.G…. Cook’s site is wonderful.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/swingle_sun_vs_T.jpg

  350. FurryCatHerder:

    HEY! WE NEED A NEW FRIDAY ROUNDUP!

    Oh, and the first of the solar went on the roof today. Pics are in the camera and will be uploaded to Photobucket soon.

    Meanwhile, I’m waiting on the bill from the electric company. It should be posted real soon now. It’s looking to be around 1,150 kilowatt-hours, as compared to something closer to 1,750 for last year this time. Don’t let anyone tell you we can’t cut our electric consumption drastically just through simple conservation measures, like those twisty light bulbs.